Assassination Rogue PvP Talents and Builds (Shadowlands / 9.0.5)

Last updated on Apr 06, 2021 at 06:09 by Shadenox 11 comments

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

Level Choices
15 Master Poisoner Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning Elaborate Planning Blindside Blindside
25 Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge Subterfuge Master Assassin Master Assassin
30 Vigor Vigor Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death Marked for Death
35 Leeching Poison Leeching Poison Cheat Death Cheat Death Elusiveness Elusiveness
40 Internal Bleeding Internal Bleeding Iron Wire Iron Wire Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak
45 Venom Rush Venom Rush Alacrity Alacrity Exsanguinate Exsanguinate
50 Poison Bomb Poison Bomb Hidden Blades Hidden Blades Crimson Tempest Crimson Tempest

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.


Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Master Poisoner Icon Master Poisoner is the best choice in this tier. Since you should be playing Wound Poison Icon Wound Poison, you are not picking this talent for the damage increase, but for the increase to non damaging effects. This will increase the magnitude of the healing reduction effect from Wound Poison Icon Wound Poison, as well as the slow from Crippling Poison Icon Crippling Poison. This is very powerful in PvP.


Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents

Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge is the best choice in this tier. This talent will allow you to crowd control the entire enemy team every time you come out of Stealth. It also increases the damage done by Garrote Icon Garrote by 40% in PvP combat, which is nice. Garrote will often deal a great part of your overall damage if you manage to land several empowered Garrotes in a game.


Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death is the best choice in this tier. This can be used in two different ways. You can use Marked for Death and get a full Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on your kill target from Stealth, or at any point if you do not have 5 Combo Points ready and your team need them stunned. You can also use it aggressively for Envenom Icon Envenom during your burst window.


Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents

Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is the best choice in this tier as long as you are playing with a healer. Rogues do not have a lot of damage mitigation, so this spell is essential to your survival. You want to time this ability right before being hit by a powerful spell such as Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt or Divine Toll Icon Divine Toll. Also, you want to try and time it before being stunned. Pre-Feinting a Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso, a Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, or a Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt often makes the difference between living and dying.


Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents

Internal Bleeding Icon Internal Bleeding is the best choice in this tier. This adds a bleed to your Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot that deals a lot of damage, adding a lot of pressure on the enemy during your kill windows. It is worth mentioning that is also works with the passive Venomous Wounds Icon Venomous Wounds, so you will get even more energy to attack your target during your Kidney Shot windows.


Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents

Alacrity Icon Alacrity is the best choice in this tier. Haste is already one of your strongest secondary stats, this talent gives you additional Haste to help increase your damage output. Alacrity by itself is not an amazing talent by any means, but it remains the best option on this row.


Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents

Poison Bomb Icon Poison Bomb is the best choice in this tier. Although you cannot control the proc from this talent, you will be using Envenom Icon Envenom and Rupture Icon Rupture often which means Poison Bomb will end up being an increase to both your burst damage and your sustained damage.


PvP Talents for Assassination Rogues

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their 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 Icon Smoke Bomb creates a smoke cloud around you. Enemy players who are outside the cloud will not be able to target anyone inside of 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 the 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 that is about to go off, such as Greater Pyroblast Icon 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 Icon Polymorph or Repentance Icon 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.


Situational PvP Talents

System Shock Icon System Shock reduces the enemy's movement speed by 90% when you use an Envenom Icon Envenom with 5 Combo Points on a target with Garrote Icon Garrote, Rupture Icon 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.

Maneuverability Icon Maneuverability is a very strong PvP talent versus teams with multiple slows. This can be taken so you can maximize your uptime on your target. Most of the time the 3 talents shown above are so powerful that you will not select this talent even when facing a team with a lot of slows.

Mind-Numbing Poison Icon Mind-Numbing Poison causes your Deadly Poison Icon Deadly Poison and Wound Poison Icon Wound Poison to also apply Mind Numbing Poison. This will cause the enemy to take damage every time they cast a spell. This should be taken when your primary target is a caster. You should replace Maneuverability Icon Maneuverability with this PvP talent.

Death from Above Icon Death from Above is an interesting PvP talent choice. The interesting things about this talent are that it makes you immune to crowd control when you use it, and it is usable from range and will make you land at your target's 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.

More often that not you will run System Shock Icon System Shock alongside Maneuverability Icon Maneuverability to fill your last two slots. Mind-Numbing Poison Icon Mind-Numbing Poison will replace Maneuverability when you do not need the slow removal, and Death from Above Icon Death from Above will be picked alongside Manoeuverability instead of System Shock Icon System Shock on very specific match-ups only.



  • 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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