Assassination Rogue Playstyle and Rotation Guide

Patch 10.2.7 Last Updated: 8th May, 2024
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Playstyle & Rotation

Assassination Rogues Rotation is handled through mostly Damage over Time effects and a set of cooldowns. As long as you can manage your cooldowns and track all the maintenance buffs/debuffs, you will be on your way to victory!

General Rotation

  1. Maintain Garrote, Rupture and Slice and Dice
  2. (When talented into Crimson Tempest) Maintain Crimson Tempest in 4+ AoE
  3. Maintain Caustic Spatter on your main target
  4. Deathmark on Cooldown
  5. Vanish during Deathmark and Kingsbane for Master Assassin on the last 3 seconds remaining on Kingsbane
  6. (When talented into Kingsbane) Kingsbane every minute, every other Kingsbane inside of Deathmark
  7. (When talented into Kingsbane) Shadow Dance every minute, casting Kingsbane during the timer
  8. (When talented into Kingsbane) Hold both charges of shiv for Kingsbane
  9. (When not talented into Kingsbane) Shiv on cooldown
  10. Use Serrated Bone Spike to avoid overcapping stacks
  11. Generate combo points with Ambush via Blindside on less than 3 targets
  12. Generate combo points with Mutilate on less than 3 targets
  13. Generate combo points with Fan of Knives on 3 or more targets
  14. Envenom for the buff with at least 4+ combo points
  15. Envenom as a filler

Opener (With Shadow Dance)

  1. Garrote
  2. Ambush
  3. Rupture
  4. Mutilate
  5. Slice and Dice
  6. Mutilate to 5+ combo points
  7. Envenom
  8. Deathmark (potion + trinkets + racial ability here)
  9. Shiv
  10. Shadow Dance
  11. Kingsbane
  12. Garrote
  13. Envenom
  14. Ambush to 4+ combo points
  15. Rupture
  16. When the first Shiv expires, Shiv
  17. When Kingsbane has 6 seconds remaining, use Thistle Tea
  18. When Kingsbane has 3 seconds remaining, use Vanish. You will want to Garrote and Envenom in this window

Multi Target (Mythic+ Build)

    1. Garrote three times from stealth or until all targets have Garrote
    2. Rupture (Or Slice and Dice if you do not have the buff up already)
    3. Fan of Knives to 4+ combo points
    4. Rupture for bigger/longer pulls, or Envenom to start your cooldown sequence earlier
    5. Deathmark (potion + trinkets + racial ability here)
    6. Shiv
    7. Shadow Dance
    8. Kingsbane
    9. Garrote
    10. Envenom
    11. Fan of Knives to 4+ combo points
    12. Crimson Tempest
    13. When the first Shiv expires, Shiv
    14. When Kingsbane has 3 seconds remaining, use Vanish. You will want to Garrote and Envenom in this window. Alternatively, you can also use Vanish to spread more bleeds at a later point. This would lower your burst in the moment.


    This is up to you how detailed you are and the headings used for your class/spec.

    Examples: Cooldown and Ability usage, Pandemic, Movement, Survivability & Defensives


    Pandemic is a powerful tool that should be utilized in order to refresh your bleeds. It works as follows.

    Pandemic takes up to 30% of the duration of an applied dot/buff and adds it to your new applied one. The duration depends on the new instance.

    Example: Garrote (18 sec) can be extended by up to 5.4 seconds from an existing instance.

    The damage of the new bleed is entirely based on the new bleed, and there is no carry-over from the previous bleed, only time. Because of this, you will want to let empowered bleeds finish ticking in their entirety.

    Cooldown Usage

    Sepsis Specific Usage

    Due to the nature of Sepsis, it’s important to understand how to specifically use it, and how it interacts with the rest of the rotation. Let’s first discuss how the ability itself works.

    When you first cast Sepsis, it does two things. The first is apply the actual Sepsis damage over time effect. This does nature damage. The second is it gives you the Sepsis buff, which lasts for 10 seconds and allows one use of a stealth ability. This buff also includes Improved Garrote, and is a core part of Sepsis.

    Sepsis should be on cooldown every 1:30. Both stealth buffs trigger Improved Garrote, and should be used exclusively on garrote. The first buff should be used early to empower your garrote; the second, after Sepsis fades, should be HELD as long as possible in order to extend the first garrote (refreshing it in pandemic under 5.4 seconds is fine in this case).

    Deathmark should also be fully on cooldown as soon as it comes up, especially with the 4 piece bonus, which makes Deathmark essentially a 45 second duration cooldown. Empowered Garrotes for Deathmark are challenging, but manageable. More on that later.

    Shiv should be either on cooldown with one charge, or held for Sepsis/Deathmark with 2 charges if you won't overcap charges.

    By default, Vanish is HELD for the 2min Deathmark, used on the 4min Deathmark on cooldown, then held again for the 6 min like before. You can also use it if you have a gap with no improved garrote and you're approaching the end of a fight. Very importantly, on some fights like neltharion or Sarkereth, the fight timings will cause you to vanish on cooldown for uptime. In these cases, you should sync Sepsis with Deathmark.

    Improved Garrote Timings

    After your opener, you will run into the following timings:

    This improved Garrote will last into the first half of your 2 min Deathmark. When this garrote from Sepsis is in pandemic range, extend it with Vanish then:

    You will start this Deathmark without improved garrote. If you know the fight will end before the next Deathmark or you have exsang, it's better to hold Deathmark a couple seconds here to sync with Vanish.

    Vanish Garrote will then carry into the 4:30 Sepsis.

    At 6 minutes you repeat the opener and begin the cycle from scratch.


    Pooling is a slightly important aspect especially considering the tier set bonus in 10.2. Effective Pooling will maximize uptimes on effects, as well as get the most out of the 4 set bonus. There are some rules to pay attention to. It’s easier to explain when you want to use energy, rather than when you don’t want to spend energy:

    You will want to spend energy if any of the following is true:

    • You don’t have 4+ combo points
    • You have any cooldown running, including Deathmark, Kingsbane, Shadow Dance
    • Your envenom buff is currently up, and about to expire in the next second or so
    • You have >80% energy

    By following these rules, you will have a naturally high uptime on Envenom, Sanguine Blades, and your tier bonus. It will also naturally get you in the flow of chaining Envenoms together. In AoE, maintaining enough bleeds to sustain your energy is an important part of your rotation so you should definitely be trying to manage your energy.