Interview in the Underbelly: Paryah

Our very first post in the series Interview in the Underbelly. We’re going to be hearing from the one and only Paryah. As one of the founders of Ravenholdt, I thought Paryah would be a great guest to start the series.

The goal of the series is to interview a member of the Rogue community maybe every 1-2 weeks. Hopefully we’ll have a range of people from all walks of life within World of Warcraft. We’ll grow this series over time and hopefully everyone enjoys the content!

Tell everyone about yourself

I am Paryah. I currently double main Rogue and Vengeance DH. I am an officer in a guild that I started about six(ish) years ago. We raid Heroic and dabble in Mythic. I am not hardcore but I do love the Rogue class. I have been interested in the Rogue community and in providing the best possible resources for all Rogues since before Ravenholdt existed. Currently Ravenholdt is divided into three primary sections: the main site, the Discord, and the theorycrafting site. I run the main Ravenholdt site.

When and how did you start playing World of Warcraft?

When WoW came out I was immersed in Neverwinter Nights (I think… Wow that was a long time ago). A friend wanted me to play WoW and had me come over and check it out. But he played a Gnome mage! Seriously! That did not sell me on the game and it was a few years later that I got a real look at the real not-Gnome WoW at another friends house. I went home and immediately created an account. That was either late BC or early Wrath. I consider myself to be a Wrath-baby. My first character was an Orc Warrior and my second was my undead Rogue. The Rogue was so much fun that I have actually never gone back and finished leveling my poor Warrior.

How did you choose the name for your Rogue?

This is probably the same story as half the players in WoW, lol. I had an old D&D Dark Elf Rogue called Pariah. The name seemed fitting for a Forsaken but was taken. So I messed with the spelling and Paryah was born.

What do you enjoy most about playing a Rogue?

OMG everything! I love stealth. I love doing quests while killing as few NPCs as possible, just because I can. I love being able to explore without having to worry about fighting a bunch of mobs along the way. I love the pickpocketing content – I think that’s a lovely little thing that no one else has. Rogues are special.

What do you dislike most about playing a Rogue?

Visual clutter in melee. Nuff said.

Tell everyone an interesting situation that has happened while playing a Rogue

So there we were, fighting Ultraxion. I swore I would not hit Shadowstep… But it was there and it called to my finger and the next thing I knew I was perched on a ledge with that accursed dragon way above me. And I was stuck there til we killed him or wiped. So here I am, enjoying the view of a devastated Dragonblight, watching my DPS on Recount plummet, and suddenly there is this tiger sitting next to me. I could not for the life of me figure out where he had come from or why he was there. The Hunter’s pet wasn’t a tiger. After a little bit he faded out. You guys, I thought I’d discovered some hidden content! Seriously, there are invisible tigers living in Wyrmrest Temple! OMG! What could it mean? It wasn’t until years later that I figured out that the Hunter had Stampede or some such Hunter ability and one of his little fellows must have done just what I did and got stuck on the ledge too. Yeah, I felt like an idiot.

Of course there was that other time on Thok when I thought I was talented into Burst of Speed (I miss Burst of Speed) but I’d forgotten to switch talents. Thok targeted me and I hit Burst of Speed…and Shadowstepped right to the jailer… Good times…

What would you play instead of a Rogue, and why?

If Rogues did not exist, I would probably be a druid. Before this expansion my second main was my bear. Love the versatility. Love bear, love kitty.

Which expansion has been your favourite?

Mists of Pandaria. OMG that expansion was so gorgeous. I loved the zones. I loved the story. I was so ashamed to be Horde. The raids were fun. And to top it off, my guild was flourishing. We started in Cataclysm, but in Mists we really came into our own. It was a lot of fun.

Which expansion has been your least favourite?

I hate to say this, but probably Legion. Don’t get me wrong, least is relative, I still love WoW. But Legion feels so big that I can’t quite get a handle on it. I’m a completionist and it really feels like I can’t do everything. Professions feel obstructed. AP feels infinite. There are thing I love, like the class mounts and the zones and Suramar (which was so made for Rogues) and Demon Hunters (Vengeance is so much fun!), but I feel like I am constantly playing catch-up. Maintaining two raiding mains along with a stable of alts is a losing battle.

How did Ravenholdt come about?

Once upon a time Rfeann was the Rogue columnist at WoW Insider, a news site that is now gone (it is the reason that Blizzard Watch now exists – but that’s another story). At that time WoW Insider had to downsize and laid off a bunch of writers, including the class columnists. In his personal blog, Rfeann mentioned that he had some ideas for a Rogue community website. I did too. I currently had a site called One Rogues Resources which pulled together Rogue news and listed useful Rogue sites but I was interested in more. I shot him an email saying you, me, awesome? He replied with the idea that the four active (at the time) Rogue bloggers should talk about creating Ravenholdt. He and I, along with Fierydemise and Haileaus got talking… And the rest is history.

Tell everyone a fun fact about Fierydemise

A fun fact. Hmm. Well FD is about the most perfect person: cute, smart, great taste in class and entertainment, and about the sweetest kindest person you will ever meet. But beyond that, he has to be the world’s best ranter. I don’t know how fun a fact this is, but it’s super fun to listen to. Get him started on a topic and he’s off. I don’t think he even takes breaths. Also, he lives on Soylent.

What is the best transmogrification for the Trial of Style?

The one I’m wearing because I always win! No really, I did ToS (Trial of Style) twice, got Freestyle, and won both times in my everyday transmog. I think that means my moggery is awesome and I should quit while I’m ahead.

What is your shoe size?

7 but being undead my sharp little toes just destroy footwear – so it doesn’t really matter. If I like it, I can make it fit.

Pineapple on pizza, yay or nay?

This is a complicated question. There is a pizza place near me that does a Hawaiian pizza with pineapple, ham, and cream cheese. It is to die for. You cannot judge until you have tried this pizza.

Thank you Paryah!

We would like to extend our thanks to Paryah for answering our (and some from Patreons) questions. You can find Paryah on Twitter, or managing Ravenholdt.

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Rogue WeakAuras

Playing any class at more than just a basic level requires keeping track of timers, procs, charges, and more. It is next to impossible to do this without help and there are several addons that are designed to do this for you. One of the most popular is WeakAuras.

WeakAuras is highly customizable and quite complex but once you have installed the base addon, if you aren’t up to creating your own UI, you can import a WA set created by someone else. Because everyone has different preferences, you may have to try out more than one to figure out what works best for you. Below are links to WAs created by rogues for rogues.


Gray_hound’s WA is an all inclusive package that serves all three specs and switches automatically when you change spec.


Notter’s collection is Assassination oriented but includes both other specs as well.


If you enjoy Infexious Gaming’s videos, you may want to check out his WAs.


Potato has  set for each spec.


Mystler also has a nice selection.


If you want to search for more options or specific WAs, Wago.io is a searchable database collection designed specifically for sharing WAs and other similar addon elements.

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Notter’s Rogue WeakAuras Compilation

I’m Notter from from the guild Ethic on Ravencrest-EU. I’ve been playing since WoW’s open beta, and I am playing (mostly) as Assassination Rogue this expansion. I aspire for a simple UI, that enhances your performance, which is unobtrusive while out of combat. I’ve compiled, edited and created WAs to try and suit.

These WAs compilation is suited for both new and experienced rogue players, and includes features that may improve your performance through indications on when to use abilities and tracking several unique techniques. They are separated into different groups, in order to allow you to pick and choose whichever you want, but I highly suggest to use them all, as they are meant to work together.

Feel free to ask any questions, give suggestions or requests, and I’ll do my best to answer. You can reach me at either:

  • Discord – Notter#7189
  • B.Net – Notter#2746

Assassination

Features:

  • Tracking debuffs, with glow showing when to refresh garrote and rupture
  • Indication for Nightstalker empowered rupture
  • Indication for Exsanguinate
  • Indications for Subterfuge empowered Garrotes
  • Poison Reminder (in case poisons ran out)
  • Kingsbane Tracking
  • Tracks envenom and Surge of Toxins
  • Tracks Poison Bomb ticks

Assassination Debuffs

Kingsbane Stacks/damage

 

Tracking empowered / not empowered garrote between different targets:

Tracking empowered Rupture and then Exsanguinate:

 

Outlaw

Features:

  • Tracking buffs and debuff
  • Blunderbuss / pistol shot tracker
  • RTB buffs tracker
  • Blade Flurry tracker + targets in range tracker (must have enemy name plates enabled, and in view)

Outlaw abilities tracker

Roll the Bones – all buffs

Demonstration:

Blade Flurry tracking targets in range:

Subtlety

Features:

  • Tracking debuffs and abilities
  • ShadowDance tracker
  • Shadow Techniques tracker
  • Finality Indicators and Trackers
  • Finality empowered Nightblade indication

Subtlety debuffs/buffs

Demonstration:

Credits

These WAs use EZOBOSS’s WAs as a basis, but reworked and updated for patch 7.2.5, and the new Features in WeakAuras 2.

Targets Database for debuffs are based on Riff’s code.

Shadow Techniques tracker by Lorentz

Order hall opener by Pottm

Kingsbane stacks tracker by Potatosaur

Change Log

17/09

  • Hide poison reminder when equipping Underlight Angler fishing rod.

31/07

  • Fixed showing both 5CP and 6CP when Vigor Ring is equipped and Deeper Stratagem is Selected.

10/07

  • Fixed outlaw’s Roll the Bones buffs not loading if DfA talent was selected

07/07

  • The “Rogue Buffs” WA had an incorrect string with only Feint instead of all buffs

05/07

  • Fixed garrote not showing as empowered after using vanish
  • Changed Shadow Dance counter to be more precise
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7.3 Assassination Rogue Guide

Written and maintained by Notter and Tumna.

This is an advanced Assassination guide intended for rogues who want to move their gamplay to the next level.

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 autoattacks 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.*

Single target opener with shoulders and nightstalker   Single Target opener with shoulder and subterfuge   Early KB opener
(Prefered by Tumna)
  Single Target opener without shoulders
[Nightstalker]
Garrote   Garrote   Garrote   Garrote
Mutilate   Mutilate   Kingsbane   Mut till 4-5 cps
Rupture   Rupture   Rupture   Rupture
Vendetta   Vendetta   Vendetta   Mut till 4-5 cps
Toxic Blade   Toxic Blade   Toxic Blade   Vendetta
Kingsbane   Kingsbane   Mutilate   Envenom
Vanish   Vanish   Vanish   Toxic Blade
Envenom   Envenom   Envenom   Kingsbane
Mutilate   Mutilate   Mutilate   Mutilate
Envenom till mantle expires   Garrote   Envenom till mantle expires   Vanish
    Envenom till mantle expires     Rupture
The reason I prefer this opener is the ability to get higher KB damage in opener.

 

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.)

I recommend using Ask Mr. Robot to test which are better, since they have an easy to use interface for changing the possible relic nether crucible’s bonuses.

 

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 dmage 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 – Remvoed vanish bug reference

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

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Some Fires Never Die

fierydmise on final boss episode 66

Fierydemise on Final Boss episode #66 discussing the rogue class in Warlords of Draenor.

When Fierydemise stashed his theoretical daggers in permanent storage last month, my first thought was: “Holy crap. How did it take him this long?”

A pillar of our rogue community for the past five years, FD has been a tireless defender of truth, justice and extensive mathematical rigor dating back to at least 2010, when in his very first official WoW forum post he assailed server faction balance as “absurd.” Trying to keep up with FD — or to top him in a theorycrafting debate — was like running a marathon: You had to be prepared to match him stride for stride until one of you dropped. And it was probably gonna be you who dropped.

My own history with FD began in September 2012, when he appeared in WoW’s official rogue forum out of the blue with a guide on how to play a combat rogue in Mists of Pandaria. Our exchange in that thread is pretty much how most of our conversations went back then: I questioned his sources, he defended his diligence, and we eventually worked out a compromise.

In the years since, I learned there’s no need to question FD’s sources. As he grew from rogue spec guide writer to all-around rogue class expert to one of the leading minds in WoW theorycrafting, what gave FD his strength (and his influence) was an unforgiving dedication to accuracy and rigor, and an unwavering desire to correct errors and ensure rogue players had the best information at their fingertips.

tamen and fierydemise at PAX Prime 2015

Fierydemise (right) with fellow Shadowcraft developer Tamen at PAX Prime in 2015. (Image via Tamen on Twitter)

All of that led him to team up with Haileaus, Paryah and me to create Ravenholdt back in 2014 — and for him to take the reins of Shadowcraft, the rogue class’s most venerable optimization tool, a little over a year later, following in the footsteps of Aldriana and Pathal. Fierydemise hasn’t just been a big part of the conversation among rogue players for years; he’s created the conversation, framed it, led it. Sometimes quite literally, as in the case of one of his greatest achievements, the establishment and growth of our Discord channel. He’s also, as it happens, just a genuinely good human being, with a level of empathy and personal connection that I think many folks tend to assume can’t exist in the deeply analytical mind of a theorycrafter. But it can. In most, it very much does. FD is a shining example.

But a person can’t volunteer their time and their energy to a passion forever, and for FD, the time finally came last month. That it took him this long to reach that point is a testament not just to his own sense of dedication, but also his commitment to the rogue class, the people who play it, and the people who help make our community thrive — not just the leaders you see writing guides or posting blogs or streaming or tweeting, but those who work quietly and behind the scenes as well. FD wouldn’t leave unless he was confident there were quality folks to carry the torch. That’s how quality he is.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Here are a few WoW (and rogue) community leaders, both past and present, who wanted to share their own thanks and recollections about one of WoW theorycrafting’s great minds, and one of the rogue class’s greatest, period. I’ll add to this collection as more submissions come in.

Aeriwen, longtime WoW rogue guide writer and theorycrafter

I can’t recall when I first met Fiery. The years have been so many. But with a bit of sleuthing, the earliest interaction that I’ve found between us seems to have been a debate. That seems appropriate. Fiery has been an invaluable leader in our community. His careful commitment to accuracy and due diligence has carried this community for a decade. He leaves big shoes to fill, but he laid behind him a well trodden path for others to follow. It has been a honor to work with him. He has been a wonderful friend and colleague these many years. I do not have to wish him the best because I am certain that he will succeed in his next endeavor. It is in his nature to excel.

Calligraphy, Wowhead developer and recovering monk theorycrafter

FieryDemise always asked me some pretty tough questions, and presented theorycrafting in a way I hadn’t really thought of. I tend to look at things from a more practical standpoint, whereas he really pushed things into a more theoretical standpoint. I’m not as involved with rogue, but I appreciate these types of challenging questions, and that he’s one of those very rare people who will listen to the “other” view without being condescending, even when he disagrees.

Celestalon, a.k.a. Chadd Nervig, Technical Game Designer, WoW

Thanks for all the contributions you made to the community, FD!

Mystler, rogue theorycrafter and Shadowcraft developer

With your “retirement” post offical, I just want to use the opportunity to thank you for all you’ve done. Personally, when I look back at the last few years, I’ve always been a silent listener in Ravenholdt IRC and later Discord. One who has mostly consumed information from trusted people in order to get better, with some “private TC” alongside. It was not until I read your ShadowCraft call for help that I woke up and finally decided to put my passion for the class to good use. I am so happy you welcomed me with open arms and got me started, which helped a lot to overcome my anxiety to work with and for the community.

I can understand your interests have shifted and with another “Thank you” I just want to wish you all the best! 🙂

original ravenholdt logo by fierydemise

The original (and most adorable) Ravenholdt logo, designed by Fierydemise.

Paryah, Ravenholdt co-founder and rogue journalist

Fierydemise. What can I say? Ebullient, brilliant, passionate. We share a love of rogues and classic science fiction. I have loved working with him and will miss him keenly. Salute, FD, you made this community what it is. Whoever gets to work with you in the future is truly fortunate. Best to you.

Pathal, a.k.a. Pins, former rogue theorcrafting leader and Shadowcraft wizard

Out of all the people I worked with on Shadowcraft, no one managed to put up with my shenanigans and idiocy like Fierydemise. He was my sounding board and filter to the rest of the community, and I know all too well how demanding both that position and designing the engine is. Lay back, crack open a beer, and take a breath. You’ve earned it.

Vigilate, veteran top-end rogue raider and PvE streamer

Fiery, I’m sad to see you quit. I remember the first time we chatted was back sometime in mid-late Cata. At the time, I was just looking for people to chat PvE Rogue stuff with, but I ended up finding something more as the past few years have folded out. I’ll always look fondly upon the “OG Ravenholdt” from the MoP days. It was a close knit community, and you were one of the people that made it great.

Responses on Twitter to Fierydemise’s Farewell Message

From Current and Former Community Leaders

Selections From WoW Players

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Sim Yourself

“Sim yourself.” More often than not, this is the reply that you’ll get when you ask about the best gear to equip or how stats scale for your character. But what does it mean to sim yourself? Why do we care? And, most importantly, how do we do it?

Because of the way that World of Warcraft is dealing with gear in Legion (e.g., a random chance that a new gear drop will be immediately upgraded in various ways), there are so many variables possible that in most cases there is no single Best in Slot. The gear and attributes that are best for you depend entirely on what else you have equipped and what content you are planning to take on. What this means is, if you are interested in optimizing your DPS for the content that you are playing, you will need a method for figuring out exactly how what you have interacts with any new gear that you might acquire so that you can pinpoint which setup will work best for you.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is by using a program called SimulationCraft, often abbreviated SimCraft or even SimC. It’s available as a downloadable program as well as an in-game add on. Once you get used to simming yourself, it’s not difficult – but it does take a little setting up. Another add on called Pawn is very handy for applying what you learned from your sim.

This is a quick and dirty guide to simming yourself to get the most out of your gear.

The first thing that you need to do is download and install SimulationCraft from its official website.

The next thing is to install and enable the SimulationCraft add on, which is available from Curse.

Note: If you don’t want to use the add on, SimCraft can import your data from the Armory. To do this, follow the instructions on SimulationCraft. Be aware that this is often a less optimal method because not only is the Armory occasionally out of date, but also you will need to log in and out of game to update it, which is less convenient than using the add on.

Open SimulationCraft and select the Simulate tab.

Open World of Warcraft, and make sure that your character’s spec, gear, and talents are set the way you want them. In your chat box type /simc.

This will open a box of highlighted code. On your keyboard, press C while holding down Ctrl to copy the code (if you are on a Mac, press while holding down ).

Return to SimulationCraft and paste (with Ctrl V, or ⌘ V on a Mac) the code into the Simulate window. Note: you can opt to either 1) paste your code after the code that is automatically in the box, or 2) delete the default code and replace it with your pasted code.

Select the Options tab and then the Scaling tab.

Check Enable Scaling.

We are rogues, so under Stats to Scale, select Agility, Crit Rating, Haste Rating, Mastery Rating, and Versatility Rating.

Click Simulate! in the bottom right corner.

It will probably take a little time for your simulation to run; the more powerful your computer, the quicker it’ll be. When it is done, you will see a screen that looks like this:

Scroll down a little. You will see your talents and artifact build along with a whole lot of other lovely data, but there are two things that are of immediate interest.

The first is your estimated DPS. This is just an estimate based on what you have equipped. Can you pull this number in a boss fight? Can you pull more? It doesn’t matter! The only reason that we care about this number is to use it as a baseline.

The second is your Scale Factors. This tells you your Scale Ranking, which is basically what stats are most important with your current build.

As you can see, according to this sim my stat priority at the moment is:

Agility >  Versatility > Crit ~=Mastery > Haste

Those priorities are completely customized to me. By comparison, if you look at a reputable rogue DPS guide like Stjern’s, it will tell you:

Agility > Mastery > Versatility > Crit > Haste

His stat priority is a place to start. With my gear and how I am optimized, my stat priority has now changed. This is exactly why no one can tell you what is best in slot for you without a sim.

When you get new gear, equip it, sim yourself again, and check out that estimated DPS. If it goes up, the new gear is probably an upgrade.

Pawn is an add on that works with your sim data to compare items in-game and give you an idea whether or not a piece of loot is an upgrade or not.

Install and enable Pawn, which is available on Curse.

Open World of Warcraft and you will see a Pawn button on your Character pane.

Now go back to your SimulationCraft results and find the Pawn string, which is right after your Stat Ranking. Highlight and copy the Pawn string, including the open and close parentheses and everything in between.

Back in game, click the Pawn button to open the Pawn window. Select the Scale tab.

 

Click Manual.

You should see a screen with more options. Click Import.

Paste the Pawn string from SimulationCraft into the text box and click Okay.

This will show you your new stat weights. Go back to the Scale tab and make sure that Show this scale in tooltips is checked.

Close the Pawn window. Now, when you look at gear in your bag, you can immediately tell whether or not it is an upgrade based on your sim.

If you prefer to watch and listen rather than read, Infexious has you covered.

Now you have the basics.

All of these tools, and the theories behind them, were created by the WoW theorycrafting community. Theorycrafters use math to analyze game mechanics. This can give us insight into the way the game works, which in turn allows development of these tools and best practices for playing your class and your spec.

And this SimCraft tutorial is just the beginning. If you want to learn how to hot-swap gear to compare sims, learn how to sim relics, or just learn more about SimCraft and theorycrafting, here are a few resources.

For quick simulations you can also use the Raidbots bot in the Ravenholdt Discord. Just type !sim -h in Discord for instructions. For an online solution, check out the Raidbots website.

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Tomb of Sargeras Tips & Tricks

 

Goroth:

  • CloS/Feint works on Infernal Burning
  • CloS/Feint works on Rain of Brimstone (Mythic-only)
    • Assassination: Crimson Vial (with artifact trait) + Feint can solo soak without CD proccing
    • NEW: assuming high ilvls, ~935, easily solo-soaked with Feint w/o proccing CD: deals 4.5m damage

Demonic Inquisition:

Harjatan:

Mistress Sassz’ine:

Sisters of the Moon:

The Desolate Host:

Maiden of Vigilance:

Fallen Avatar:

Kil’Jaeden:

Once again, as we all experience more of the content (read: Mythic), this page will become more conclusive. Please comment anything you feel I may have unintentionally left out. I’ll work to update this page as frequently as possible—so check back!

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Nighthold Tips & Tricks

Hello! I’m Kistler, from Damage Networks-Stormrage, and welcome to NH-Tips & Tricks.

Ravenholdt.net used to house continuously updated, community-driven Tips & Tricks threads for each encounter within a raid tier, and I’ve personally rather missed having such guides as references. With the Rogue community as active and communicative as it is today, the time felt right to resume this practice for the Nighthold (and beyond!).

I have omitted several (not enough?) interactions I think trivial, to avoid cluttering this post, but if I have left anything out you think important, please let me know. This post will be regularly updated with further input from you all and as I further experience mythic encounters. Please comment any suggestions (“You FOOL! You forgot to mention xyz!), questions (Does insert racial ability here work on xyz?), or corrections.

Highlighted mechanics still need confirmation…halp!

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Kingsbane fix/nerf in latest 7.1.5 hotfix

In the most recent 7.1.5 hotfix applied on January 31, 2017 Blizzard has changed Kingsbane so that it no longer double dips from Agonizing Poison.

This was a bug that needed to be fixed but it also represents a sizable nerf to the damage of Kingsbane.

Depending on the amount of mastery that you had Kingsbane was doing anywhere from 9-16% of your overall damage on the fight.

(Pre Hotfix)

Kingsbane at 14.49% of overall damage

(Post Hotfix)

Kingsbane at 8.15% of overall damage

Because Kingsbane is no longer double-dipping from Agonizing Poison we can estimate an approximate 45-50% damage decrease. This was obtained by looking at some post-hotfix logs as well as using napkin math.

Using very rough napkin math we can estimate an overall 5-7.5% damage decrease.

Some quick takeaways:

  1. This increases the possibility of Exsanguinate becoming competitive
  2. Alacrity value also increases
  3. Despite an overall 5% damage nerf Assassination Rogues are still one of the best DPS specs in Nighthold.

Note: Estimates were obtained using very unsophisticated napkin math and looking at different logs. Please wait a few days until the theorycrafters are able to sim the changes and provide better data before making any changes to your gearing strategy

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Advanced Assassination guide for 7.1.5 / Nighthold Raid

This blog was originally posted on roguedpsguide.com by Yazuki

Introduction

Feb 3rd: Kingsbane double application bug has been fixed and we have been compensated with a 4% damage buff. Our DPS remains the same as before the bug fix for most people while Rogues with CoF+Boots might see a slight decrease.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a beginner guide, this is meant for people who already have a general understanding of how the spec works and want to further improve themselves

Message from the author

Hello, my name is Yazuki I currently raid for the US 8th guild Encore and plan on constantly updating this guide in order to help as many people out as I can. You may be wondering why I’m putting in the effort to write a guide when there’s already so many guides available, well that’s because most guides are outdated or what they’re saying is simply just incorrect. I’ve noticed this because a lot of people approach me asking for help and the first thing I usually notice is that they’re doing something wrong that they believed was correct because a guide said so or someone told them it was the optimal thing to do. This guide will assume you already know the basics of assassination like our toolkit, optimal way to level your artifact, etc. Instead it will go more in-depth into how it’s played at the competitive level. If you are new to the class or spec I urge you to follow the other great guides on our website like Stjern’s Rogue Legion overview guide. My goal is to provide a guide that if you follow correctly will give you the confidence to play your class to the fullest potential.

I only recently started taking raiding seriously on my Rogue for BRF in Warlords of Draenor and since the beginning of Legion, but I’m confident in how to play the class optimally because every tier I’m able to achieve rank 1 parses on multiple fights. Notably being #1 in the world for Emerald Nightmare and #2 in the world out of rogues for Trials of Valor. With the release of Heroic NH this past week I’ve gotten rank 1 on more than half the fights however logs are now private so refer to my stream vods if curious on how the fight is played out. This isn’t meant to brag but moreso to erase any doubts you have that this guide would provide any false or suboptimal advice.

If you wish to talk to me I am always answering questions and plan on streaming all of my Mythic progression over at twitch.tv/yazuki. Raid schedule is currently Mon-Thurs 9-12 EST so head on over during those times and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Spec Overview

Assassination is a spec that excels at single target damage over a long period of time with strong multi-target cleave on up to 3 targets as long as uptime on them is high. The most important part of playing this spec optimally is having your raid leader understand the pros and cons of the spec and taking full advantage of it. This means assigning other classes who excel at AoE to AoE and letting Sin rogues do what they excel at which is murdering the boss or priority adds.

Pros:

  • One of the best single target DPS specs in the game
  • Relatively short DPS cooldowns allow for control of damage on priority targets
  • Very strong multi-target cleave on up to 3 targets
  • One of the highest survivability classes along with mobility
  • DPS doesn’t suffer much from doing mechanics due to damage coming from bleeds

Cons:

  • Extremely poor target swapping due to the ramp up nature of AP
  • Has no reliable AoE due to having no control over Poison Bomb procs
  • Becomes heavily RNG reliant at the highest level of play due to Poison Bomb/Blood of the Assassinated procs

Important 7.1.5 Changes

  • Critical strike chance nerfed by 5%
  • Agonizing Poison proc rate buffed by 10% and base value nerfed by 0.5% per stack
  • Rupture damage normalized (Higher CP no longer increases the damage done only duration)
  • Kingsbane fixed to now scale with Vendetta (AP also applies 2 ticks of poison for KB, unsure if intended) [Hotfixed recently]
  • Elaborate Planning nerfed to 12% damage buff
  • Deeper Stratagem nerfed by 5% on finisher damage
  • Master Assassin Relics nerfed to 8/6/4 seconds Vendetta cooldown reduction
  • Alacrity reduced to 10 stacks max with each stack providing 2% haste instead of 1%

Talents

So with the changes in 7.1.5 there are several differences in what talent we consider to be optimal now, however the playstyle of the spec remains relatively the same if you played with Agonizing Poison before the patch.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

With the nerfs to Elaborate Planning it is no longer the optimal talent this tier. Instead Master Poisoner is now the superior talent in every situation. It is important however to understand why that’s the case because at a glance, 12% increased damage still sounds incredibly strong.

Master Poisoner scales with:

What this means for us is that just keeping 5 stacks of Agonizing Poison on the target alone gives us a permanent 6-7% increased damage buff with our current mastery levels which is further increased by Surge of Toxins. Along with the fixes to Kingsbane making it an important ability in our rotation, this talent is by far the superior choice.

Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Nightstalker is the best talent in this tier because the first spell cast from Stealth deals 50% more damage. What this means is that on the opener and every 2 minutes afterwards you’re able to Vanish-> Rupture to take advantage of it.

Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

With the 7.1.5 changes to Deeper Stratagem and Rupture on top of losing 5% Critical strike chance, it no longer makes sense to take it. Instead we take Vigor as it is an overall better dps gain.

Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Entirely fight dependent but the clear choices here is either Elusiveness or Cheat Death. Leeching Poison is strong on fights where healers struggle with throughput and there is little burst damage but that is extremely rare nowadays.

Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Thuggee is the only talent that’s useful this tier in a raid situation, as it resets the cooldown of Garrote if the effected target dies. The other two talents require you to stun the target and in most raid encounters, mobs are immune to stun so they aren’t useful.

Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Taking all the important 7.1.5 changes into consideration Agonizing Poison is the optimal talent to take in practically all cases despite being nerfed by 0.5% per stack. Some people will argue that Exsanguinate is still better but the truth is all the changes hurt the spec meanwhile Agonizing Poison benefits greatly from it. We can compare how the two fare with 7.1.5 changes to see why this is the case.

Agonizing Poison:

  • Favors stacking Mastery which is further encouraged because of Master Poisoner synergy
  • Rupture normalization along with increased application rate alleviates the main issue with AP build which was its rather poor target swapping
  • Kingsbane is now an important DPS cooldown which is made even stronger because each application of Agonizing Poison currently increases stacks by 2 instead of 1 like Deadly Poison or Wound Poison would [Hotfixed recently]
  • The 5% Critical Strike nerf isn’t as important due to Master Poisoner and Vigor being our optimal talents now which relies less on Combo Point generation via Seal Fate
  • Largely unaffected by the 0.5% nerf per stack

Exsanguinate:

  • Favors stacking Critical Strike and Versatility which doesn’t synergize well with Master Poisoner despite it being superior to Elaborate Planning
  • Deeper Stratagem nerf hurts the playstyle of having a huge empowered Rupture go off for quick burst windows
  • Has rather weak scaling as it can’t take advantage of the new and improved Kingsbane
  • 5% Critical Strike nerf is a huge nerf to the spec because most of the damage came from bleeds which doesn’t scale with our Mastery: Potent Poisons.

After comparing the two you can see why Agonizing Poison is the superior talent choice this tier. With Exsanguinate the only way to scale bleed damage is through Elaborate Planning and Deeper Stratagem which are now inferior talents. So while the spec may be good for players who recently hit 100, the spec suffers greatly due to poor scaling and is the main reason why it is no longer taken for raids.

Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Until they make any further changes to the other two talents, Venom Rush is the only viable talent this tier.

Playing the spec

In order to play Assassination optimally the first thing you need to understand is the spec isn’t one where you just spam all your abilities off the GCD. Instead of the fast paced play-style of Outlaw, Assassination requires you to think ahead and pre-plan everything if you want to achieve optimal dps. This is largely due to the fact that we have a limited energy pool which can’t keep up with the rate at which we can spam abilities.

Abilities

Understanding how our abilities work and interact with eachother is extremely important because once you understand the fundamentals of the spec, everything else will eventually fall into place and you’ll understand things easily like why some talents work while others don’t or why you use this opener instead of that opener.

Vendetta : Our most important DPS cooldown which is used almost every time on CD unless there is a priority add or burst phase coming up soon. With the combination of Master Assassin relics and Convergence of Fates, your CD is on average 1 minute which lines up nicely with Vanish.

Surge of Toxins : The trait which determines when we use our finishers and the amount of CP you should use them at. Despite what the tooltip says this trait actually scales with CP at 2% each meaning it’ll increase poison damage by 2% at 1 CP and 10% at 5 CP which means it is important to use your finishers at high CP to take advantage of this. It is important to note that Surge of Toxins does indeed scale with Agonizing Poison and it’s effects is further increased by Master Poisoner making it a vital part of our rotation.

Rupture / Garrote : our two bleeds which should have near 100% uptime. These make up a huge portion of our damage and every time the bleed ticks it’ll refund energy through Venomous Wounds. It should be noted that while these abilities get snapshotted by the Nightstalker buff meaning the damage buff stays throughout the duration regardless of you leaving stealth, everything else is updated dynamically. This means that your bleeds will do increased damage when you activate Vendetta and then return to their normal damage after it expires.

Envenom : Our standard finisher and the main ability used to keep Surge of Toxins uptime high. The buff it provides increases poison application rate by 30% which is essential to stacking Kingsbane very high. With our 4 pc set bonus Envenom is able to compete with Rupture for overall damage contribution. It is important to note that Envenom scales with our Mastery: Potent Poisons and Agonizing Poison but is unaffected by Master Poisonerand Zoldyck Family Training Shackles despite it being poison damage.

Kingsbane : Our artifact weapon ability which becomes a big portion of our damage contribution with the fixes introduced in 7.1.5 along with the current bug(?) where Agonizing Poison applies 2 stacks of Kingsbane per application rather than 1 stack like Deadly Poison or Wound Poison does. Having near 100% Envenom buff uptime during Kingsbane is essential.

Bag of Tricks : AKA Poison Bomb is one of the main reasons why Assassination damage can be so streaky especially during fights with multiple targets. This ability hits incredibly hard and scales with basically everything that amplifies our damage as it counts as a poison, however it’s potential is gated behind an RPPM system. The proc rate of this trait is approximately [1 + Haste] procs per minute and there aren’t really any ways to control when it procs so there’s no reason to try to play around it.

Blood of the Assassinated : The 2nd most RNG trait providing huge bursts of damage as it essentially doubles your Rupture damage for 10 seconds on the target with a 35% chance to proc. As of now there is currently no benefits to try and “fish” for Blood of the Assassinated procs so there’s no reason to try and play around it when it does proc.

Rotations

Opener

Pre-pot during pull timer -> Garrote -> Mutilate -> Rupture -> Mutilate to 5 CP -> Vanish -> Rupture -> Vendetta -> Mutilate -> Kingsbane -> Immediately Envenom for the buff

  • The main reason for casting Rupture twice is because you always want to take advantage of the Pandemic effect which carries over up to 30% of the dot’s max duration onto the next application for Nightstalker empowered Rupture.
  • Envenom is immediately cast after Kingsbane and Mutilate in order to take advantage of the poison application buff.

Single target rotation

Maintain Rupture and Garrote on the target with near 100% uptime. Cast Mutilate as your CP generator. If Rupture has less than 6 seconds remaining on the duration then reapply the debuff, otherwise cast Envenom. (Important note: Do NOT overwrite a Nightstalker buffed Rupture or Garrote, the buffed damage doesn’t carry over. Wait until the last tick to refresh it.) Every finisher you use will apply the Surge of Toxins debuff scaling higher with more CP usage. Ideally all finishers will be used with 4 or more CP to take advantage of the Surge of Toxins debuff.

Your main goal will be to clip your Surge of Toxins debuff with every Envenom cast, this means casting Envenom at the last possible second before Surge of Toxins runs out so that Envenom is boosted. Envenom isn’t directly effected by Surge of Toxins, but by the buffed up Agonizing Poison effect so it’s very important that you clip it every single time. If you’re familiar with the Elaborate Planning playstyle it’s very similar, you’re just replacing tracking the Elaborate Planning buff with the Surge of Toxins debuff.

Anytime you’re energy starved and unable to consistently clip your debuff with a 4+ CP Envenom, just let it fall off and pool your energy until 150+ and then rinse and repeat the cycle. It’s better to let it drop off and pool your energy than to constantly struggle to clip the debuff and potentially miss out on a lot of extra damage. Rupture re-applications don’t follow the same rule as Envenom does for clipping because the damage from dots is updated dynamically instead of snapshotting so don’t worry about it too much.

Cooldown usage

Vanish should be used on cooldown to empower your Rupture and preferably lined up with Vendetta. There are certain scenarios where delaying Vanish to be used with Vendetta is worth it:

Vendetta is almost always used on cooldown as well, especially if you have Duskwalker’s Footpads or Convergence of Fates because every second you delay it is wasting them. There are a few exceptions to this similar to Vanish:

  • You have Zoldyck Family Training Shackles and you know the boss won’t live for another round of Vendetta so you delay use until sub 30%
  • There is a huge window of burst where it is worth holding onto
  • Kingsbane is on CD for 10 seconds (Important: Vendetta has a 20s duration while Kingsbane is 14s so you can cast it while Kingsbane has 6 seconds on CD and still get the full benefit)

Kingsbane is mostly used on CD and in the most ideal scenarios lined up with Vendetta and a full energy bar. Keep in mind because of its relatively short CD you can very easily lose out on extra casts of it throughout the fight because of delaying which makes it not worth it. The only times worth delaying Kingsbane is:

  • Vendetta is coming off cooldown in the next 10 seconds

Multi target rotation

Important to note: Surge of Toxins is a debuff therefore it applies to only one target. Make sure to always choose one main target to cast and clip your Envenom on if you have limited energy. I recommend using Garrote to keep track of your main target.

Two targets

Very similar to your single target rotation, just maintain bleeds and poisons on both targets. It’s fine to use a 3+ CP Rupture as your initial one.

Three targets

Mutilate is now replaced with Fan of Knives as your CP generator. Maintain bleeds and poisons on all 3 targets, same thing as two target cleave.

More than three targets

Same as before with three target cleave, but instead of maintaining Rupture on every single target you just want to have enough bleeds going that you don’t run out of energy spamming your Fan of Knives and Envenom. At this point you just pray for Poison Bomb procs because that is where all your AoE damage is going to come from.

Stat weights / Enchants+Gems+Consumables

Stat weights

Agility > Mastery > Crit=~Versatility > Haste

  • Keep in mind there are no longer any special breakpoints especially for Crit because MP/Vigor/AP build is a lot less reliant on CP generation.

As always stat weights are never set in stone and always changing depending on your gear. It is strongly recommended that you sim yourself after every upgrade in order to get the most accurate results. If you are unsure how to sim yourself there are plenty of detailed guides on how to properly sim yourself.

This is an example of what you should expect your stat weights to look like in Mythic gear with NH 4 piece set. For anyone interested in the Pawn string to import for their own use, ( Pawn: v1: “Yazuki”: Agility=17.81, CritRating=13.31, HasteRating=7.84, MasteryRating=15.20, Versatility=12.51 )

Enchants and Gems

Keeping in mind our stat weights, we want the following enchants

Neck: Mark of the Hidden Satyr (Mark of the Trained Soldier may sound great here because it’s 600 Mastery but through sims it’s shown to be a lot worse.)
Cloak: Binding of Agility
Ring: Binding of Mastery

Gems: One Saber’s Eye of Agility with the rest being Masterful Shadowruby

Consumables

Flask: Flask of the Seventh Demon

Potion: Potion of the Old War or Potion of Prolonged Power

Food: Nightborne Delicacy Platter with Barracuda Mrglgagh being a cheaper alternative.

BiS List for Nighthold w/ Relics

Relics

Despite the nerf to Master Assassin relics, our relic priority remains largely unchanged. This is due to the fact that Convergence of Fates introduced in Nighthold and Master Assassin has amazing synergy when paired together.

The dps sims will look like something like this for relics:

4 pc + CoF:

  1. Master Assassin
  2. Toxic Blades
  3. Gushing Wound

CoF only

  1. Master Assassin
  2. Gushing Wound
  3. Toxic Blades

4 pc only

  1. Toxic Blades
  2. Gushing Wound
  3. Master Assassin

No 4 pc or CoF

  1. Gushing Wound
  2. Master Assassin
  3. Toxic Blades

Things to take note of:

  • Toxic Blades is a purely single target trait and despite it simming well, is going to always be the worst trait due to the nature of raids and progression never being about pure single target dps.
  • Gushing Wound excels in multi target cleave fights as you’ll be able to keep Rupture up 100% of the time
  • Master Assassin allows more casts of Vendetta which is essential to raids during progression as there are a lot of priority adds which usually require burst.

Taking everything into consideration Master Assassin remains the best choice even without a Convergence of Fates. It is also the easiest relic to aquire as of 7.1.5 because 2 drop in Nighthold and the 3rd drops in Trials of Valor meanwhile, there are only 2 Toxic Blades relics and 1 Gushing Wound relic that drops from Nighthold and Trials of Valor.

If you are lucky enough to loot Duskwalker’s Footpads it is recommended that you use 2 Master Assassin 1 Gushing Wound with Convergence of Fates so you can easily line up your Vendetta with Kingsbane With the latest hotfixes nerfing Kingsbane double application, I recommend using 3 Master Assassin relics instead and just using Vendetta on CD while still following the rules for delaying Kingsbane.

BiS list for Nighthold

Keep in mind that there is never going to be a 100% correct BiS list due to the RNG nature of warforging along with the Legendary system. This list is mostly used to give you a rough idea of what bosses you want to spend coins rolling loot on.

Shadow Relic: Breath of Dusk drops off High Botanist Tel’arn
Iron Relic: Infused Chitin Fragment drops off Skorpyron
Blood Relic: Phylactery of Unwilling Servitude drops off Helya
Helmet: Doomblade Cowl drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Necklace: Zealous Timestone Pendant drops off Chronomatic Anomaly
Shoulder: Mantle of the Torn Sky drops off Star Augur Etraeus
Cloak: Doomblade Shadowwrap drops off Trilliax
Chest: Doomblade Tunic drops off Krosus
Bracers: Bracers of Impossible Choices drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Gloves: Gloves of Synchronus Elements drops off Spellblade Aluriel
Belt: High Shadow Councilor’s Wrap drops off Gul’dan
Pants: Doomblade Pants drops off Gul’dan
Boots: Grove-Tender’s Moccasins drops off High Botanist Tel’arn
Ring 1: Spellblade’s Gemmed Signet drops off Spellblade Aluriel
Ring 2: Ring of Exclusive Servitude drops off Tichondrius
Trinket 1: Convergence of Fates drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Trinket 2: Draught of Souls drops off Gul’dan

Tier pieces would be ranked Helm > Cloak > Pants > Chest > Shoulder > Gloves.

Thank You

If you’ve made it this far in the guide I really appreciate you taking the time to look over it as this is my first guide and I want to be as thorough as possible with it. Any suggestions for future guides are greatly appreciated, just leave a comment below or message me whenever I’m streaming at twitch.tv/yazuki.

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