Recommended raiding build for assassination rogues
- Tier 1: Elaborate Planning
- Tier 2: Master Assassin (Venthyr) / Subterfuge (Non-Venthyr)
- Tier 3: Marked for Death (Venthyr) / Deeper Stratagem (Non-Venthyr)
- Tier 4: Cheat Death
- Tier 5: Iron Wire (some niche silence usages, but is largely not)
- Tier 6: Alacrity
- Tier 7: Poison Bomb / Crimson Tempest (Venthyr always, Non-Venthyr cleave and AoE)
Boss specific recommendations and strategy:Raid Bosses
Tier 1 (15)
Master Poisoner is very rarely used in PvE content. It’s main strength lies in PvP where it enhances your Wound Poison, which applies a stronger healing reduction on the enemy. Never pick this talent in PvE.
Elaborate Planning is the best talent for most scenarios, especially when there are multiple targets. It’s a flat 10% damage increase on all of your abilities every time you use a finisher, and the more targets you have > the more energy regen you have > the more generators you cast > the more combo points you get > the more finishers you get to use.
Blindside has been the premier single target talent in previous patches but is no longer viable due to the tier set bonus. Elaborate Planning is the better option in all situations now. It provides a consistent, strong buff to all of your damage.
Raiding: Elaborate Planning
Mythic+: Elaborate Planning
Tier 2 (25)
Nightstalker is a very niche talent that is too weak to consider. In all situations, Subterfuge provides more damage. However, this talent can see some play in Torghast where you can snapshot a Crimson Tempest from stealth, which allows you to do crazy amounts of damage, especially if you have Unceasing Chain Link anima powers. Outside of Torghast, never pick this talent.
Subterfuge is our go-to talent in 9.2 for non-venthyr setups, especially with the tier set bonus. Its main strength lies in spreading out several bleeds in a quick succession on every mob pack, which in turn translates to high energy regen and damage. With the bonus that increases bleed damage, these garrotes also provide a crazy amount of single target damage, turning Subterfuge into a great all-around talent, versatile and applicable for every situation.
Tier 3 (30)
Vigor is a good passive choice, the main benefit of which increases your maximum energy. That increase makes openers on multiple targets much smoother, allowing you to easily get Subterfuge garrotes on every target. This combination is good for both cleave and AoE and is a mediocre choice in single target. You can easily take Vigor and be good to go for most content. However, there are some better options, so you should only consider it for mythic+.
Deeper Stratagem is the go-to choice for raiding once you obtain your tier set bonuses and double legendaries. The added energy from the 4 piece bonus becomes a no-brainer pick. Increasing our Envenom and Rupture damage (both significant sources of our damage) makes Deeper Stratagem a strong choice.
Marked for Death is a good talent whenever we have adds spawning because you can get resets if the target dies within 1 min. However, it is a little challenging to play with at times and will require practice. This is a better talent in raids compared to Vigor; however, it gets outclassed once you obtain your tier bonus and swap to Deeper Stratagem. Marked for Death is a good choice for m+ as well, but people tend to stick to Vigor because of the ease, as well as the fact that most of the value of Marked for Death comes from resets, which all happen at the end of a pack, where damage is not important anymore. The other good thing about Marked for Death is the fact that it gives a quick burst of combo points. This is very important for Venthyr as it helps stacking Flagellation quicker than before.
Tier 4 (35)
Leeching Poison pretty much only sees play in Torghast and maybe in open-world content. It can also be good on some raid fights with a lot of ticking damage, and no one-shot mechanics, such as N'zoth. A raid fight rarely lends itself to spec into Leeching Poison because of that. Cheat Death's strength as a safety layer is still very strong, making it hard to recommend Leeching Poison. If you play Night Fae and spec into Dreamweaver's Podtender, you can consider Leeching Poison, as you already have a free cheat. In general, the choice is still very low impact and shouldn't make or break anything.
Cheat Death is our go-to talent for raiding and mythic+. It is a very strong choice to simply ignore death. It lets you cheese some mechanics as you can intentionally use Cheat Death as a defensive, like solo-soaking the Kel'Thuzad soak without cloak. However, in some situations like Rive on Sylvanas, it will kill you through cheat due to the mechanic's raw overkill damage. The cut-off for this is roughly twice your max hp. Keep this in mind when you try to soak a mechanic.
Elusiveness is usually the go-to choice for PvP. It has some niche uses on big mechanics that generally wouldn't be reduced by feint, but these are few and far between and usually don't require an extra defensive on your part. Stick to Cheat Death.
Raiding: Cheat Death
Mythic+: Cheat Death
Tier 5 (40)
Internal Bleeding doesn’t see much play. It is a niche choice for PvP, but even then it’s not very played much.
Iron Wire is the go-to talent choice for mythic+. It’s silence and damage reduction capabilities help the group out a lot and should not be under-appreciated. It’s possible to have some niche potential uses in raids, but it mostly sees no benefit.
Prey on the Weak is a great talent for PvP and has some PvE capabilities as well. However, due to the strength of Iron Wire, this talent doesn’t see much play in Mythic+, and current raids don’t have many things that you have to stun, so you don’t benefit much from this talent in a PvE setting.
Raiding: None of the options matter
Mythic+: Iron Wire
Tier 6 (45)
Venom Rush is an old relic from the past. It used to be a very overpowered talent in Legion, but after it was nerfed and reworked, it has not seen much play since then. You should never pick this talent.
Alacrity is a very overpowered talent and you should pick this in every situation. It’s pretty much a permanent 10% haste buff on your character, if you manage to keep it up. It sims very highly which means that the 2 other choices in this talent row doesn't stand a chance against Alacrity.
Exsanguinate is the worst talent we have in the talent tree. Even with maxed out gear and stats (including 126% haste and 126% crit), this talent still loses to the other options. The only reason Exsanguinate was good in Battle for Azeroth, was because of the overpowered Shrouded Suffocation azerite trait on top of the absurd amounts of haste we had with corruption. Even with the addition of the set bonuses, this talent becomes even worse comparatively.
Tier 7 (50)
Poison Bomb is our go-to single target choice. It’s a passive damage trait, and again, a relic from Legion. It used to be a very broken passive ability for your artifact back in Legion. It was toned down and added as a talent in Battle for Azeroth. It’s a very small increase in DPS, but it's still better than the two AoE options we have, which are;
Hidden Blades - This talent has not seen play in years. There were some janky builds in BfA with some azerite traits, but in not in serious raiding and mythic+ scene. You never want to pick this talent.
Crimson Tempest is our AoE talent of choice. It's a very strong ability and should be played whenever there are multiple targets. Always pick this talent on AoE encounters and in mythic+, regardless of the affixes or whether it’s tyrannical or fortified weeks. Always go with CT in m+.
Mythic+: Crimson Tempest