Assassination Guide

Written and maintained by Notter and Tumna.

Updated for 7.3.

This assassination guide has been written by:

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide please contact either of the above players.

A Word From the Authors

Notter – Playing since open beta, but over the last few months I’ve been very involved in theorycrafting concerning Assassination, and as a result seen my performance increase. I’m knowledgeable in most things concerning Sin, and back up my findings with simulations. so i’d like to put that knowledge into one summarized place.

Tumna – I have been playing WoW since give or take around vanilla anywhere from casual to hardcore. As long as I can remember I have always looked to the rogue community for advice or tips. Being able to return the favor to new players or just players wanting to improve means a great deal to me. I hope this guide helps you like the rogue community has helped me over the years!

Contact Information

We’re usually found in the Rogue Discord and we’ll be happy to answer any further questions.

Tumna- Tumna#7993

Notter- Notter#7189

As time goes on we will try and keep this guide as up to date as possible if you notice something is missing or incorrect please get a hold of one of us.

Thank you for checking out our guide.

Active Abilities

Kingsbane– Releases lethal poison within The Kingslayers and injects it into your target, dealing Nature damage instantly and additional Nature damage over 14 seconds. Each time you apply a lethal poison to a target affected by Kingsbane, Kingsbane damage increases by 15%. Awards 1 combo point.

 

Mutilate
Your main combo point generator. It generates between 2-4 CPs (mutilate counts as two attacks, main hand and off-hand).
Important!: Never use mutilate if you’re missing only 1 CP. It’s a waste of energy and CPs.

 

Garrote
Causes bleed damage over 18 seconds. Generates 1 combo point. If used from stealth you silence the enemy for the next 3 Seconds. If used with Subterfuge (Talent) the damage is increased by 125% if applied during the first 3 seconds after breaking stealth.

Let the Bleed fully tick when empowered. Cannot generate an extra CP through seal fate. Refresh around 5-6 seconds due to pandemic.

 

Rupture
Finishing move. Deals bleed damage over a period of time depending on combo points used. Refresh around 7-8 seconds due to pandemic.
Important!: If an enemy dies while rupture is applied to it, you will instantly regain all the energy you would have gotten from Venomous Vim.

 

Envenom
Finishing move. Instantly deals nature damage and increases your poison application chance by 30%. Damage and duration is increased per combo point spent.

 

Vendetta
Major cooldown. Marks an enemy for death for the next 20 seconds, increasing the damage you deal with your abilities and auto attacks to that target by 30%.

Important!: Use on cooldown when missing at least 80 energy.

 

Fan of Knives
Spray Knives at all targets within 10 yards, dealing physical damage and applying your active poisons at their normal rate. Fan of Knives awards 1 combo point, however each enemy hit is affected by Seal Fate which can generate more combo points.

 

Vanish
Allows you to enter stealth while in combat. For the first 3 sec after vanishing, damage and harmful effects received will not break stealth. Also breaks movement impairing effects.

 

Shadowstep
Teleport behind the target, granting you 70% increased movement speed for 2 seconds.

 

Poisoned Knife
Throw a knife at the target, 30 yard range. Deals damage and applies active lethal and non lethal poisons to the target

Passive Abilities

Mastery: Potent Poisons
Increases the damage dealt by your poisons by X%.

 

Seal Fate
When you critically strike with a melee attack that generates a combo point you gain an additional combo point per crit.

 

Venomous Wounds
You gain 7 energy each time you deal bleed damage to a poisoned target.

 

Bag of Tricks
Envenom and Rupture have a 2.5% chance per combo point spent to smash a vial of poison at the target’s location, creating a pool of acidic death that deals Nature damage over 3 sec to all enemies within it.

 

Blood of the Assassinated
Rupture has a chance to infect your target, increasing damage dealt by your Rupture by 100% for 10 sec.

 

From the Shadows
Declaring your Vendetta unleashes a barrage of poisoned daggers at the target for Nature damage over 20 sec.

 

Talent Abilities

Hemorrage
Increases bleed damage from your abilities on the target by 25% for 20 seconds and awards 1 CP.

 

Toxic Blade
Deals a big 600% Nature damage hit. The damage of your poisons against the target is increased by 35% for 9 seconds.
Use on cooldown, as even just the hit itself is not worth wasting.

 

Exsanguinate
Increases bleeds tick rate on the targed by 150%.

 

Marked for Death
Marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. Cooldown resets if target dies withing 1 minute.

 

Death from Above
Deal damage to all enemies withing 8 yards, then leap into the air and Envenom your target on the way back down, with such force that it has a 50% stronger effect.

 

Most sin’s talents are actually balanced pretty well, so what’s best for you might vary. These are our choices.

Poison Build is recommended and is more popular.

Bleed Build Might work well for a cleave fight, but performs a little worse on ST, and the gear requirements are very different from Poison Build (needs high crit/vers).

Tier Poison Build Bleed Build Details
15 Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning With low mastery levels Elaborate Planning may sim higher.
30 Subterfuge/NS Nightstalker Subterfuge is with T20 bonus. Otherwise, Nightstalker is equal.
45 Vigor/DS Deeper Stratagem Vigor and Deeper Stratagem are very close in performance. Choose your prefered playstyle.
60 Cheat Death Cheat Death The choice here depends on the fight. But Cheat Death is the safest choice.
75 Prey on the weak Prey on the weak Without T20, Thuggee is more useful
90 Toxic Blade Exsanguinate
100 Venom Rush Venom Rush Venom Rush is universally better for both bleed/poison build.

Pre-Pull

Prepot at 1-2 seconds on pull timer.

Openers

*Please note to wait till mantle buff expires before vanishing a second time.*

Shoulders and Nightstalker   Shoulder and Subterfuge   Early KB opener (shoulder + subterfuge)
(Prefered by Tumna)
  Opener without shoulders
[Nightstalker]
  Exsang opener [No shoulders, Deeper Stratagem]
Garrote   Garrote   Garrote   Garrote   Garrote
Mutilate   Mutilate   Kingsbane   Mut till 4-5 cps   Mutilate
Rupture   Rupture   Rupture   Rupture   Rupture
Vendetta   Vendetta   Vendetta   Mut till 4-5 cps   Vendetta
Toxic Blade   Toxic Blade   Toxic Blade   Vendetta   Mut till 5-6 cps
Kingsbane   Kingsbane   Mutilate   Envenom   Vanish
Vanish   Vanish   Vanish   Toxic Blade   Rupture
Envenom   Envenom   Envenom   Kingsbane   Garrote
Mutilate   Mutilate   Mutilate   Mutilate   Exsang
Envenom till mantle expires   Garrote   Envenom till mantle expires   Vanish   Mutilate
    Envenom till mantle expires     Rupture   Kingsbane
This gives higher KB damage in opener.
But overall similar damage to other openers.
Envenom

Single Target Rotation

After Opener: The most important thing for your rotation is keeping both Rupture and Garrote up at least 95% uptime. When both bleeds are up use envenom with at least 4-5 combo points. Try to use Envenom right before your Envenom buff falls off.

Use Vendetta on cooldown with at least 80 of your energy missing.

Use Kingsbane as often as possible, but make sure to have Envenom buff up. Preferably use Envenom before using KB, or immediately after.

It is also important to use a finisher at 4.9sec or below remaining on KB, as your Surge of Toxins will have a big affect on the strong last ticks.

Use Toxic Blade either the last 8 seconds of Kingsbane duration or on cooldown. Do not delay your Toxic Blade more than 5 seconds waiting for Kingsbane. If Vendetta is coming up you can delay as well.

Use Vanish to apply rupture as often as possible if specced Nightstalker.

Do not override NS’d Rupture in this case, let it tick until it falls off.

If you have Mantle of the Master assassin then you would cast Envenom.

Notter’s Garrote use: With T20 and Vigor, Use Garrote at 4CP, As long as the current Garrote is not empowered by subterfuge.

If at 4CP and Toxic Blade has 1s remaining, don’t garrote, just envenom.

Note – This is not necessarily a dps increase, but i find it easier to keep envenom buff during KB, and can fit 2-3 envenoms consistently during TB.

Multi Target Rotation

For 2+ Targets use Fan of Knives as your primary combo point generator.
Have rupture applied to at least 3 highest health targets.
With T20 bonus, garrote them as well.

Legendaries

Mantle of the Master Assassin:

Grants 100% increased critical strike while in stealth and for 5 seconds after breaking stealth. Mantle is considered the best legendary. Mainly because of increased opener DPS, and as fights get shorter, this has more impact.

Zoldyck Family Training Shackles:

Causes your poisons and bleeds to deal 30% increased damage to targets below 30% health. The Bracers currently sim second or third depending on off pieces. Fights with long execute phases or multiple enemies make the bracers really shine especially when it’s paired with Subterfuge.

It’s recommended to save your vanish for <30% on boss with these, if you will not miss a vanish cast.

The Empty Crown:

Causes Kingsbane to generate 40 energy over 5 seconds when used. The helm also sims second or third depending on off pieces. The energy return is nice, and the fact that it is a high Ilvl helm with good stats makes it a strong choice.

Duskwalker’s Footpads:

Reduces the cooldown of Vendetta by 1 second every 65 energy spent. The boots are a good 4th choice if you don’t have the above 3. When paired with 3 Master assassin relics the boots may provide slightly better results, with the reduction to Vendetta.

The Dreadlord’s deceit:

Gives you a stacking damage buff to your Fan of Knives. Stacks up to 30 stacks and is mostly useful in Mythic +.

Ideal T20 Pieces

The tier pieces to avoid for assassination are Head and Shoulders.

(Except if you lack legendaries for these slots, and don’t have T20 bonuses, then getting the set bonuses would be high priority)

Please keep in mind due to Titanforged item levels, this may differ for you.
So while the general rule is to avoid those, we recommend to sim yourself.

Relics

SimulationCraft Relic ranking with Tier 20

Master Assassin: Reduces the cooldown of Vendetta.

Master Alchemist: Increases damage dealt by Deadly poison and wound poison.

Toxic Blades: Increases the damage dealt by envenom.

Gushing Wound: Increases damage dealt by rupture.

Strangler: Increases Garrote’s Damage.

It is recommended to have at least 1 Master Assassin relic.

Most common builds use:
2 Master Alchemist / 1 Master Assassin
3 Master Assassin

But this is not set in stone. Other relics at higher ilvl might work better for you! We recommend to sim yourself.
Nether Crucible

From Simulation’s craft relics sims, we can see the four best Tier 2 traits are:

Torment the weak

Secure in the light

Infusion of Light

Shadowbind

It’s fine to have the same trait multiple times.
But when choosing your relic path, you also have to keep in mind the 3rd tier extra trait.

There is no strightforward answer to know which T2 and T3 are the best for you.
So in order the get the best result, you’re gonna have to sim the possible options, while keeping in mind:

  1. The best T2 traits
  2. That the same rules apply for the extra 3rd tier trait (i.e. master assassin is usually the best option, etc.)

It’s also recommended to use Crucible Weights addon with trait values from thre relic Spreadsheet by Gray_Hound.

Trinkets

SimulationCraft Trinkets ranking with Tier 20

Specter of Betrayal: Best for a fight with a static boss that stays in place.

Keep in mind in the simulation the boss doesn’t move.

Umbral Moonglaives: Great for AoE. Use 3 seconds before vanish with Mantle of the Master Assassin.

Engine of Eradication: Generally good. (Recommended Weak Aura).

Convergence of Fates: Still extremely sought after and very good at high ilvls.

Consumables

Flask: Flask of the Seventh Demon

Potion: Potion of Prolonged Power

Food: Feast, otherwise Nightborne Delicacy Platter (Mastery)

Please note that if you have a higher priority stat please adjust accordingly.

Enchants / Gems

Neck: Mark of the Trained Soldier (Mark of the Hidden Satyr might be better for Exsanguinate build).

Rings: Binding of Mastery. Please sim yourself to know your ideal stat weights.

Cloak: Binding of Agility.

Gems: Saber’s Eye of Agility, and any extra slots, mastery gems.

Stat-Weights / Machine Learning

It is always highly recommended to sim yourself to see your own stat weights. Stat weights change with items, so please always double check.

Poison Build

Agility>= Mastery> Crit>Versatility>> Haste

Bleed Build

Agility>=Crit>>Versatility>=Mastery>>Haste

Machine Learning – Stat Goals

Ask Mr. Robot introduced an alternative to stat weights. This new smart method uses an algorithm that shuffles your stats in the same ilvl to find all the best stat possibilities for you, and you only have to run it once!

I found it to be more accurate than stat weights and I would recommend it.

For more details:

Ask Mr. Robot: Stat Goals and Graphs

A lot of people ask to have their Warcraftlogs analyzed, but we’ll teach you how to do it yourself. There are a few important things you can easily check:

Damage Done Tab


Rupture and Garrote – high uptime %, ideal is above 95%

Poison Bomb – Average percentage is 7-8% of damage amount. Anything below or above, is either bad or good luck.

Resources Tab

Select “Energy” in the dropdown menu on the top left.

The Wasted column is the important part.

You want to have as little as possible wasted energy. In this example, there was little to no energy wasted. Keep in mind, with vigor, every 120 energy wasted, means you wasted a whole bar of energy.

Select “Combo Points” in the dropdown menu.


As with energy, you want to have little to no CPs wasted. Every row here needs to have 0 in it. The only exception is Seal Fate, these are the CPs you gained from critical hits.

If you use mutilate at 3CP, and you crit, you will have a high chance of wasting 1-2 CPs. But still, this should not be a high number.

In the example above, I used Garrote at 3CPs, which meant extremely low CP waste.

Buffs Tab


In here you can check how lucky you were with Procs from trinkets and Concordance, and otherwise check buff uptimes, such as Envenom.
Blood of the Assassinated


If you want to check how many procs of BotA you had:

  1. Top left, Select Enemies instead of Friendlies
  2. Make sure to select the boss in case there was more than one target. In this case it’s Goroth.
  3. Select the Debuffs tab.
  4. Select yourself as the Source. In This case it’s Notter.
  5. Select BotA as the ability.

In the above example, we can see there was only one proc, and it was at the end of the fight.

Tomb of Sargeras

Goroth

Heroic – You can use Cloak for every 2nd AoE, instead of hiding.

Mythic – Save Cloak for soaking far away Brimstones. Once pillar collapses, immediately Shadowstep to Goroth.

Before running to hide, make sure your bleeds have a long duration. As assassination you can solo soak every brimstone with by rotating cloak of shadows and feint/Vial combo.

Demonic Inquisition

Heroic – Be sure to keep both rupture and garrote up on both targets (and have the debuff fully refreshed before the boss is unattackable).

Interrupt balec as much as possible. As a rogue you can completely negate being forced to go down due to torment. One major thing is to cloak off Echoing Anguish, If it is cloaked off the debuff is completely negated and doesn’t affect other players.

Mythic – The only other major difference is the adds spawning when players leave the torment cage. If the adds get into melee range then cleave and put bleed on them otherwise do not run all over the place trying to get them.

Harjatan

Heroic – Don’t bother applying DoTs to murlocs, they die too fast. Use foK when surrounded by enemies, and keep attacking the boss.

Use Feint once Frosty Discharge is on 1 stack (on the boss), to take a lot less damage.

Mythic – Make sure to have your Debuffs on the egg, slightly before the boss hits it, And continue your normal rotation on the boss.

Sisters of the Moon

Heroic – Use Cloak to remove Moon Burn. When moontalon is up, keep debuffs on him, and use AoE rotation while focusing on Boss.

Don’t try to solo the Incorporeal Shot, everyone in the raid will take damage if you do.

Mythic – 1st and 2nd phase, save Cloak only for Moon Burn / Rapid Shot.

In 3rd phase, save cloak for Beacon (there will be no Silencing AoE).

Use Crimson Vial whenever you get absorb shield / right before Glaive Storm, to help healers.

DO NOT shadowstep between dark/light parts. It will add a stack!

The Desolate Host (Not as hard as it looks)

Heroic – Use cloak within the last 3~ seconds of Spear of Anguish and you will not be knocked into the opposite realm.

If in corporeal realm when the engine is casting Tormented Cries if you run behind the boss the line will go into nowhere not affecting the raid.

When the boss is casting Sundering Doom/Doomed Sundering you can use cloak to stay in the wrong cast (wrong = purple swirl) being able to get extra damage on the boss.

For the time that Engine/Soul Queen are alive while The Desolate Host is up, try to keep your bleed up on both targets.

Mythic – Umbral Moonglaive Trinket is recommended.

Corporeal side is preferable to Sin rogue, as you’ll be able to avoid spear of anguish most of the times with cloak.

Keep bleeds on adds, and mostly just FoK and attack the Engine.

Save sprint for Soulbind when you have to run to the middle, don’t cloak it or you’ll kill the other player.

If you do get to the other side, don’t use Crimson Vial and make sure to remove HoTs from yourself.

If you are still on high HP, stand in green goo / get hit by mobs until under 50% so you’ll be able to click the braziers. If you are the soak crew for spear of anguish use cloak with 1-2 seconds left on the debuff to ensure you have it up for your next soak.

Mistress Sassz’ine

Heroic – If you find yourself on the wrong side of the Slicing Tornado, you can shadowstep to the boss.

If Adds live a long time in your raid – Rupture them all.

Otherwise, just rupture one, and maybe garrote another, and do AoE rotation.

Umbral Moonglaives trinket is recommended for this fight.

A trick to get a murloc off of you is it use cloak and stand in the jellyfish. you will not get stunned and it will knock it off of you.

Cloak also negates knockback and damage from Crashing Wave.

Mythic – Focus on the boss most of the time. The adds need to die at a certain times so do not worry about aoe.

P2 there are no tornados so you can do your Multi-target rotation till P3.

Save sprint for wave in the middle of the room since in mythic the fish comes much faster. Unless you are already near the edge or in a safe zone. If that applies use sprint for inks.

Maiden of Vigilance

Heroic – Cloak will remove your Bomb, without detonating it. So save your cloak for bombs.

If orb phase is coming up in less than 40 seconds, save your Vendetta.

Only use Vanish after the orb phase.

Mythic – There are no differences in mythic

Fallen Avatar

Heroic – In 1st phase, you can use Cloak for every 2nd Rupture Realities, allowing you to stay on boss.

If using Engine you can position yourself in the corner and all the orbs will be automatically picked up as they spawn.

Not Recommended for progress – If you want to pad damage, keep your debuffs on the maiden as well (make sure to have subterfuge’d garrote on her).

2nd phase – you can solo Dark Mark with cloak. Step away from everyone, and use it right as it about to hit. (cloak does not remove the debuff).

Mythic – I recommend saving cloak for Unbound Chaos.

Use it for the very beginning of the fight, and then next when you have vanish ready.

Not moving around when the boss casts it, is very helpful for the raid.

Use shadowstep to get back to the boss after running away from Rupture Realities.

Save Vendetta for when the maiden has cleansing protocol shield up, it must go down fast.

Kil’Jaeden

Heroic:

Phase 1

You can soak the small armageddons with little to no damage taken with feint up. It is not recommended to cloak the debuff off yet. When rupturing singularity hits you can usually shadowstep right back to KJ and have little to no down time. If you find yourself in a bad position to be knocked off the edge you can use cloak when singularity hits and you will not be knocked back at all.

Intermission 1 You can soak 2 armageddons and after getting the 2nd debuff you cloak off both.

Aside from that make sure you soak focused dread flame with at least feint up.

Do not attempt soaking big armageddon pool, it is physical damage.

When adds spawn – Rupture one of them, and use AoE rotation on boss.

Phase 2

Make sure you get out with bursting dread flame. Unless targeted by Focused Dreadflame or shadow reflection be proactive in soaking armageddons.

Intermission 2 try and be as active as possible in finding illidan (usually hunters will handle this) once you get to him stick around for a few seconds wait till you are topped off by your healers then go kill the shadows. If you have an armageddon debuff entering this phase even 1 it is highly recommended to cloak off.

Phase 3

Make sure to not stand anywhere near Flame orb when it spawns.

When the boss casts Darkness of a thousand souls be sure to wait till 1-2 seconds before dipping into the rift, Cloak will not be enough, don’t stay outside.

Mythic – Further research required

Does Vendetta increase the damage of dots already on the target??
Yes, the DoTs damage is dynamic and benefits from damge increases such as vendetta.

Will Blood of the Assassinated be overriden if I rupture again?
No, BotA is a seperate debuff applied to the target, if you reapply Rupture to the target, it will still gain the benefit.

What are the Best Legendaries?
Generally, Shoulders + Bracers/Crown, but sim yourself for the best answer.

What stats are best? What’s the mastery cap?
Sim yourself. Stats weights can vary between characters.
Mastery has no cap with poison build. The more the better.

Is trinket X better than trinket Y?
Sim yourself.

How do I sim myself?
Ask Mr. Robot simming guide and their simulation
SimulationCraft simming guide
Or use raidbots (they use SimC)

When do I use Toxic Blade?
On cooldown. (for more details, read the rotation section)

Are there any Weak Auras?
We recommend these WAs compiled by Notter (Great for beginners)

Is there a BiS list?
No. This changes from person to person because of Titanforged items.
You can try and use Ask Mr. Robot to calculate BiS particular to you.

Is Assassination fine for leveling to 110?
Yes, it might lack mobility compared to Outlaw and Subtlety, but if you plan to play Sin, this is a good opportunity to practice.

Is T19 2p + T20 4p better than Shoulders?
No. That’s a 30k dps loss.

27/07 – Changed Mantle opener to work better with mantle nerf

06/08 – Add more questions to FAQ

09/08 – Changed Non-mantle opener with NS to have earlier vendetta

31/08 – Removed vanish bug reference

17/09 – Add Nether Crucible tips under relics. Add tips for maiden and avatar mythic.

02/10 – Add Bleed opener and reuploaded images in higher resolution