Assassination Rogue PvP Talents and Builds (Dragonflight / 10.0.7)
Choosing the right PvP and PvE talents is a prerequisite to proper performance in PvP. This guide goes through the various talent choices available to you as an Assassination Rogue and gives you the best combinations you can take.
This page is part of our Assassination Rogue PvP Guide.
Regular Talents for Assassination Rogues
Blind, Sap, Cloak of Shadows, Evasion, and Shadowstep are core abilities that you need to pick to play the class. These abilities are your CC, defensive cooldowns, and mobility.
Elusiveness is a good option against comps with predictable damage that you can preemptively Feint. Still, in the current meta (very fast-paced, highly bursty), Cheat Death is often a better option.
Master Poisoner and Virulent Poisons have a specific synergy with Assassination. Having poisons deal more damage and have more potent effects is mandatory.
Improved Wound Poison and Numbing Poison are required when you get to the ultimate talent in the Assassination Tree, Dragon-Tempered Blades. Since you can use several poisons at once, you'll be able to play with both Deadly Poison and Wound Poison as your lethal poisons and both Mind-Numbing Poison and Crippling Poison as your non-lethal poisons.
Thistle Tea, Seal Fate, and Vigor allow you to generate Energy and Combo Points at a faster rate. Assassination is a spec that is starved of resources, so having ways to increase their generation rate is key.
Marked for Death allows you to generate 5 Combo Points instantly. This lets you open your kill target with Kidney Shot for an impactful opener. You can also use it to land one more Envenom during your goes.
Echoing Reprimand and Resounding Clarity allow you to frequently empower your Combo Points to land power Envenoms during your burst window. This works well alongside Poison Bomb in the Assassination Tree, and Amplifying Poison if you play it.
Venomous Wounds is what allows Assassination to regenerate energy. It is a must-have.
Shadowstep, alongside the one from the Rogue Tree, gives you a second charge of Shadowstep. This makes Assassination much more mobile and allows the spec to swap targets easily or escape to safety when needed.
Improved Shiv allows your Shiv to increase your Nature damage. This is key to landing powerful Envenoms during your burst windows.
Iron Wire is what gives Garrote its silence effect. It is a must-have.
Deathmark is the new burst cooldown of the spec, replacing Vendetta. This spell duplicates your Garrote, Rupture, and your lethal Poison for the duration, allowing you to empower your damage greatly. This works particularly well with another mandatory talent, Lethal Dose. This talent increases your Bleed damage, Nature damage over time, and weapon poison damage for every one of these effects on your target.
Dragon-Tempered Blades is a potent talent. It allows you to play with two lethal poisons and two non-lethal poisons instead of one of each. As a result, you can have Deadly Poison and Wound Poison to have both sustained damage and healing reduction, and Crippling Poison and Numbing Poison to have both a slow and be more disruptive.
Bloody Mess, Improved Garrote, and Shrouded Suffocation all contribute to enhancing your Bleed damage. This is key to dealing great sustained damage, as your Bleeds are currently dealing severe damage. On top of that, Shrouded Suffocation lets you gain additional Combo Points when using Garrote from Stealth. It is helpful in your openers or when you use Vanish offensively to land more CC and kill your target.
Elaborate Planning increases your overall damage, but most importantly, your burst damage. Assassination Rogues want to kill their enemies during their Kidney Shot with several Envenom while the target is in the stun. Therefore this talent is a noticeable damage increase during these kill attempts.
Internal Bleeding slightly increases your burst damage as it adds a Bleed to your Kidney Shot that deals moderate damage and enhances the rest of your damage through Lethal Dose.
Serrated Bone Spike is a good ability that deals good damage, is very cheap, and can generate multiple Combo Points from range. The DoT will increase your sustained damage, and the spell itself can be more bursty on your Kidney Shot as it deals much more damage than your standard Combo Point builder, Mutilate.
PvP Talents for Assassination Rogues
You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents; each has its uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful but can be replaced with other PvP talents, depending on your team's goal.
Mandatory PvP Talents
Smoke Bomb creates a smoke cloud around you. Enemy players who are outside the cloud will not be able to target anyone inside it. This talent is mandatory for multiple reasons. Firstly, it can help you land a kill by stunning a target when they have no trinket. By using Smoke Bomb right after a stun, you will prevent the healer from saving their teammate. Secondly, you can use it defensively to save yourself or an ally from a lethal cast about to go off, such as Greater Pyroblast. And lastly, you can use it to prevent incoming crowd control on you or your team if such crowd control would result in you losing a game, such as a Polymorph or Repentance on your healer when they have no trinket, and you are low on health. As you can see, this talent is helpful in many different situations, which is why it is so powerful. In every 3v3 scenario, this talent is a must-have, but in a few 2v2 match-ups, you will not pick it as you will mostly attack the enemy healer.
Situational PvP Talents
Dismantle is a strong PvP talent that allows you to disarm an enemy for 6 seconds every 45 seconds. Disarming an enemy can delay their next kill attempt or stop it entirely if they have pulled the trigger. It is a great pick against Warrior, Rogue, and Marksmanship Hunter. It is also helpful against other Hunter specs. However, they can still use many threatening abilities while disarmed, and the same goes for Retribution Paladin and Death Knight. One thing to note is that you can use Dismantle offensively against Death Knight and Warrior, as being disarmed prevents the use of Death Strike and Die by the Sword.
Maneuverability is a powerful PvP talent versus teams with multiple slows. You can take this so you can maximize your uptime on your target. It also removes any root on you when you use it so that you may escape a Frost Nova or a Steel Trap with it as well.
Hemotoxin causes Shiv to reduce the target's healing received by 30% for 9 seconds. This used to be a very powerful talent, but after multiple nerfs it is barely more powerful than Wound Poison. Therefore you will only pick it if you do not need other utility talents, such as Dismantle or Maneuverability.
Thick as Thieves is a very situational PvP talent that can sometimes surprise the enemy team if you play with a teammate with high burst damage, such as a Night Fae Restoration Shaman in 2v2. By giving 15% more damage to your ally on their burst, you can land a kill if the enemy team has already used their defensives on your Deathmark. Alternatively, you can force defensives with the burst of your teammate, further amplified by Thick as Thieves. Then your cooldowns will close the game. The downside of this talent is that it requires you to spend a point on Tricks of the Trade, something that is rarely done in most Rogue Trees.
System Shock reduces the enemy's movement speed by 90% when you use an Envenom with 5 Combo Points on a target with Garrote, Rupture, and your active lethal Poison, and deals damage. This is a decent addition to your burst damage and has the benefit of almost rooting your target for a brief moment.
Death from Above is an interesting PvP talent. The interesting things about this talent are that it makes you immune to crowd control when you use it and is usable from range. It will make you land at your target location. It can be considered in 2v2 against an enemy that is hard to reach, such as a Frost Mage, or against a setup comp that relies on stuns on you to kill you and will kite you in between stuns, such as Rogue/ Mage. Unfortunately, there will often be three better options, so you will end up not picking this PvP talent much.
The first PvP talent will almost always be Smoke Bomb. To fill the last two slots, you will need to look at what you are facing. If there is a DPS that can de disarmed, such as a Warrior, Rogue, Death Knight or a Marksmanship Hunter, you will pick Dismantle. If you will need to break free of roots or remove powerful slows, like if you are facing Frost Mage, you will pick Maneuverability. In other scenarios you may pick any other optional talent as long as it fits your needs.
- 21 Mar. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.0.7.
- 25 Jan. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.0.5.
- 12 Dec. 2022: Updated with the Hemotoxin nerf.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
- 28 Jul. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
- 01 Jul. 2022: Updated Tier 7 Talents.
- 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 21 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
- 10 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
- 21 Jul. 2021: Updated Tier 1 Talents.
- 14 Jul. 2021: Updated Honor Talents.
- 03 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 06 Apr. 2021: Rewritten by Shadenox and further updated for Patch 9.0.5.
- 10 Mar. 2021: Updated Tier 6 Regular Talents.
- 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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