Link inside to 5.0 Assassination Guide (PvE)

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85 Night Elf Rogue
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UPDATE: This thread will be replaced with a new one for Mists of Pandaria.

You can see the work in process here:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6758626681

Mathias is really busy running SI:7, and asked if I could disseminate this to you all.

    Actually it was in a locked compartment of his bunk inside his room at SI:7 headquarters, but I think we can agree it’s obvious he wanted me to save him the trouble of having it delivered. I’ll skip the parts about his mother and his ranting about getting even with VanCleef; and honestly, “READ THIS AND DIE” scralled on the cover was really just absolute overkill on so many levels.

    This guide is intended for level 85 heroic- and raiding-geared assassination rogues. Much of the information will be useful for others as well, but the details may be slightly off. Practically all of this is straight from Elitist Jerks (of course), and I highly suggest frequently visiting their forums for the latest class news and developments ( http://elitistjerks.com/f78/ ).

Table of Contents
Edited by Verelyse on 9/30/2012 2:17 PM PDT
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I. PTR and Patch Notes
Patch 5.3.0 (Pending):

  • Nothing yet to report.

Patch 5.2.0 (Pending):

  • Nothing yet to report.

Patch 5.1.0 (Pending):

  • Nothing yet to report.

Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 9/16/2012 4:14 PM PDT
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II. The Basics
Talents:

            The talent system experienced a complete overhaul in patch 5.0.4; it's now comprised of 18 talents divided into 6 tiers of 3, unlocked at levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90. Only one talent can be active per tier, and you can switch between them on a fight-by-fight basis using Dust of Disappearance.


            1st Tier (available at level 15): The default talent for this tier is Shadow Focus, which negates the energy cost of our first ability used from stealth. If ambush turns out to be a stronger opener than mutilate, we may take Subterfuge instead. And Nightstalker may be useful for Blade Lord Ta'yak.

            2nd Tier (available at level 30): This tier is situational. Nerve Strike and Combat Readiness may be useful on fights where DPS are fixated by adds (Will of the Emperor, Grand Empress Shek'zeer). Deadly Throw could come into play as a ranged interrupt/slow with Redirect or Shuriken Toss.

            3rd Tier (available at level 45): The default talent for this tier is Leeching Poison, which heals you for 10% of your damage dealt. Elusiveness causes Feint to also reduce all damage taken by 30% (the AoE component is multiplicative), and Cheat Death may be useful to "cheat" some mechanics.

            4th Tier (available at level 60): The default talent for this tier is Shadowstep for higher mobility and increased time on target. Preparation (which resets Claok of Shadows, Dismantle, Evasion, Sprint, and Vanish) may be useful for specific encounters. Burst of Speed is not recommended.

            5th Tier (available at level 75): This tier is situational (and mostly useless). Prey on the Weak increases damage taken by stunned targets, Paralytic Poison can be used with Shiv to apply a 4 second root, and Dirty Tricks stops your poisons or bleeds from breaking Gouge or Blind.

            6th Tier (available at level 90): The default talent for this tier is Anticipation so we can use 5 combo-point finishers without wasting any combo-points. Shuriken Toss is a ranged combo-point builder which synergizes well with Deadly Throw, and Versatility removes Redirect's cooldown.

Glyphs:


Professions:

            In terms of DPS, herbalism, mining, and skinning should be avoided. All the other professions are roughly identical in terms of raw agility or an equally viable amount of attack power. Also be aware that Engineering's Synapse Springs cannot be used at the same time as an on-use trinket.

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Edited by Verelyse on 9/16/2012 7:27 PM PDT
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III. Stats
Equivalence Points:

            Equivalence Points (or "EP values") convert the value of each stat into an approximate amount of attack power. For example, if a point of agility has an EP value of 2.6, it's worth approximately 2.6 points of attack power. This way we can compare the worth of all our stats using a common base.

                      EP values for patch 5.0.4 and level 90 have not yet been calculated.

                      However, the priority list is as follows:

            Agility > 7.5% hit (769 rating) > 7.5% expertise (769 rating) > Mastery > Haste > Crit > Hit

Expertise and Hit:

            Expertise: This stat reduces the chance for your attacks to be dodged or parried. NPCs can only parry attacks in a 180-degree frontal arc, so DPS only have to worry about the dodge cap. NPCs also can't dodge while casting, and dodged attacks refund 80% of their energy cost for Assassination.

                      Before Patch 5.0.4, Assassnation would only aim for the Expertise cap after obtaining the legendaries so as not to waste the Fury of the Destroyer proc. Whether this is still true in 5.0.4 or at level 90 has yet to be determined, so obtaining the dodge cap is recommended for now.

                      Expertise Caps:
                      Dodge: w/ Racial:
                      Heroic Dungeons: 615 (6.0%) 512 (5.0%) Gnomes get a racial
                      Raid Bosses: 769 (7.5%) 666 (6.5%) bonus with daggers.

            Hit: This stat reduces the chance for your attacks to miss. The hit cap for auto attacks is much higher than that for special attacks, and hit rating above the special attacks hit cap isn't a very strong stat. Poisons also now use the special attack spell hit cap instead of the spell hit cap.

                      Hit Caps:
                      Special: Hard Cap:
                      Heroic Dungeons: 721 (6.0%) Unknown.
                      Raid Bosses: 781 (7.5%) Unknown.

Rating Conversions (level 85):

1% Crit: 179.34 rating (or 324.72 agility).
1% Hit: 102.45 rating.
1% Expertise: 102.45 rating.
1% Haste: 128.13 rating.
1% Mastery: 51.23 rating.

Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 9/16/2012 6:39 PM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
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IV. Gear
Weapons and Poisons:

            Assassination dual-wields daggers and uses Deadly Poison for a lethal poison. The default non-lethal poison to use is Leeching Poison, which heals you for a portion of your damage dealt. Each non-lethal poison has an additional ability when paired with Shiv.

                      Crippling Poison: 50% chance to slow your target by 50% for 12 seconds on application of Crippling Poison. Shiv applies a 70% slow for 12 seconds. This poison is ineffective on bosses.

                      Leeching Poison: Heals you for 10% of your weapon damage dealt to a target afflicted by Leeching Poison. When you use Shiv you are immediately healed for 5% of your total health.

                      Mind-Numbing Poison: 50% chance to reduce the target's casting speed by 50% for 10 seconds. Shiv increases the next spell's cast time by 100%. This poison is ineffective on bosses.

                      Paralytic Poison (5th Tier Talent): 20% proc chance, stacks to 5 stacks and then stuns the target for 4 seconds. Shiv roots your target in place for 4 seconds. This poison is ineffective on bosses.

Tier Sets:

            2pc-t14: Increases venomous wounds damage by 20% for assassination rogues.
            4pc-t14: Increases the duration of shadow blades by 12 seconds (to 24 seconds).

Trinkets:

            Fundamentally, rogues use two kinds of trinkets: on-use or proc trinkets, that then have a cooldown, such as Darkmoon Card: Hurricane, and trinkets which stack a constant buff with no cooldown, such as Fluid Death. The graph linked below (from EJ) illustrates how they vary in DPS.

            http://i.imgur.com/YxCHv.jpg

            Trinkets with an on-use or proc effect have significant DPS at the start, and then fall gradually as the encounter unfolds. Stacking trinkets start lower, and build up to their full potential. While optimizing these mechanics is irrelevant to most gameplay, it's worth understanding, at least.

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Edited by Verelyse on 9/24/2012 2:24 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
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V. Rotation
Single-Target:

            Opening: Begin the fight with mutilate, and get rupture and slice and dice up as quickly as possible before building up to 4-5 combo-point envenoms. Ambush (paired with the subterfuge talent) may come out ahead of mutilate (paired with the shadow focus talent), but this has yet to be decided.

            Mutilate > Rupture > Mutilate > Slice and Dice > Etc.
            The underlined mutilate should be replaced by dispatch if your first mutilate results in a blindside proc. At this moment, this is the most efficient opening known for assassination rogues, both in terms of energy, damage, and GCDs. After this, the rotation becomes a simple priority system.

                      Pre-Potting: This term refers to the practice of using a potion ( Virmen's Bite ) immediately before a poss pull, triggering the potion cooldown before entering combat. This allows you to benefit from two potions during a boss encounter. This can be paired with a stealth macro:

                      /use virmen's bite
                      /cast stealth

            Mutilate Phase: from 100-35% health, mutilate is your combo-point builder. Use envenom at 4-5 combo-points, and rupture at 1-5. Higher combo-point ruptures are better, per se, but even a second of downtime negates that value, so use whatever you have to keep it up.

                      Blindside Procs: Each mutilate has a 30% chance of proccing Blindside, which allows you to use dispatch once in the next eight seconds. This dispatch will also not have an energy cost, and should be used before your next mutilate when you are at 4 combo-points or less.

            Dispatch Phase: At 35% health, dispatch replaces mutilate as your combo-point builder. You will also aim for 5 combo-point envenoms when using dispatch, but you can still use mutilate if you're having energy capping issues. 4-5 combo-point ruptures help with rotation stability during this phase.

                      Clipping Envenom: Try to avoid clipping (overlapping) the buff from two envenoms. You CAN do this if you're in danger of energy capping, but envenom timing is an important element in maximizing your assassination DPS. This is something to keep in mind all the time.

            In review, open with mutilate and get rupture and slice and dice up as quickly as possible; keep both up constantly. Slice and dice is simple since it's automatically refreshed by envenom, but rupture will require your attention. You can also overlap ruptures by 1-2 seconds without losing a damage tick.

            Lastly, be VERY aware of your energy bar – NEVER let it become completely full ("energy capping"). If you're ready to use a finisher but will energy cap before rupture is ready to be refreshed, cast envenom. Then rupture as quickly as you can with whatever you have available.

Multi-Target:

            An optimal AoE rotation for assassination hasn't yet been identified, but the basics are simple: target a nearby enemy and spam fan of knives until you reach 5 combo-points, and then use crimson tempest. It is possible although unconfirmed that maintaining rupture would also be ideal.

            AoE rotation without Rupture:
            Fan of Knives to 5 combo-points > Crimson Tempest
            AoE rotation with Rupture:
            Fan of Knives > Rupture > Fan of Knives to 5 combo-points > Crimson Tempest

Cooldowns:

            Shadow Blades: "Auto-attacks hit for shadow damage and combo-point generating abilities generate an extra combo-point for 12 seconds." Our new toy in Mists of Pandaria; use it with vendetta when you can, but the cooldowns don't line up very well. Use early and often unless saving for a burn phase.

            Tricks of the Trade: "Increases the target's damage by 15% for 6 seconds, and transfers your threat as well." This ability is a DPS cooldown when not required for threat control; transferred threat also decays rapidly after the effect ends. DO NOT USE THE GLYPH FOR THIS ABILITY.

            Vanish: "Allows the rogue to enter stealth while in combat." While vanish can be a minor DPS increase when paired with one of our First Tier talents (nightstalker, subterfuge, or shadow focus), its primary strength in Mists should be in utility (dropping threat, quick cheapshots, etc.).

            Vendetta: "Increases your damage on the marked target by 30% for 20 seconds (25% for 30 seconds if glyphed)." Timing is everything with this cooldown; you want to use it as often as possible, but also only when you'll have uninterrupted time on target to make use of it. Ideal use is fight-dependent.

Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 9/24/2012 3:01 AM PDT
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VI. Optimization
Gems:


Enchants:


Consumables:


Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 9/24/2012 3:24 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
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VII. Reforging
Introduction:

            Reforging is a service offered by Ethereals in Stormwind and Orgrimmar which allows you to convert 40% of a secondary stat on a piece of gear into another secondary stat not already present on the item. You can only reforge items at or above an item level of 300.

            Before raiding, reforging is a simple optimization process. You are practically guaranteed to have the 6% melee hit required for heroic dungeon bosses, so your only goal is to maximize mastery and haste while downplaying other stats. Raiding adds some complications, however.

ShadowCraft:

            http://shadowcraft.mmo-mumble.com/
            While this is far from its only use, ShadowCraft is a very handy reforging calculator when you are ready to aim for the 17% spell hit cap for raids. Simply upload your character from the armory, hit the Auto-Reforge button on the left, and carry out the instructions that follow.

Complete Rogue Reforger Tool:

            http://elitistjerks.com/f78/t115053-complete_rogue_reforger_tool/
            While technically out-of-date, this application still works perfectly fine. ShadowCraft works off a series of preset optimization guidelines, so if you want near-perfect optimization under more unique circumstances, you should download this program from Elitist Jerks.

Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 3/7/2012 2:52 PM PST
85 Night Elf Rogue
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VIII. Pre-Raiding Gear (Part 1)
            Gear listed is between item levels 346 to 378 and is obtainable without raiding. The values listed are approximations based on a constructed pre-raiding BiS gear set using ShadowCraft, with no gear being used that was over item level 359. Let me reiterate that these values are APPROXIMATIONS.

            For customized accuracy, please refer to ShadowCraft ( http://shadowcraft.mmo-mumble.com/ ).

Helms:


Amulets:


Shoulders:


Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 10/3/2011 7:35 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
8185
IX. Pre-Raiding Gear (Part 2)
            Gear listed is between item levels 346 to 378 and is obtainable without raiding. The values listed are approximations based on a constructed pre-raiding BiS gear set using ShadowCraft, with no gear being used that was over item level 359. Let me reiterate that these values are APPROXIMATIONS.

            For customized accuracy, please refer to ShadowCraft ( http://shadowcraft.mmo-mumble.com/ ).

Cloaks:


Chests:


Bracers:


Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 10/3/2011 7:36 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
8185
X. Pre-Raiding Gear (Part 3)
            Gear listed is between item levels 346 to 378 and is obtainable without raiding. The values listed are approximations based on a constructed pre-raiding BiS gear set using ShadowCraft, with no gear being used that was over item level 359. Let me reiterate that these values are APPROXIMATIONS.

            For customized accuracy, please refer to ShadowCraft ( http://shadowcraft.mmo-mumble.com/ ).

Gauntlets:


Belts:


Leggings:


Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 10/3/2011 7:37 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
8185
XI. Pre-Raiding Gear (Part 4)
            Gear listed is between item levels 346 to 378 and is obtainable without raiding. The values listed are approximations based on a constructed pre-raiding BiS gear set using ShadowCraft, with no gear being used that was over item level 359. Let me reiterate that these values are APPROXIMATIONS.

            For customized accuracy, please refer to ShadowCraft ( http://shadowcraft.mmo-mumble.com/ ).

Boots:


Rings:


Trinkets:


Return to the Table of Contents:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1658707015?page=1#1
Edited by Verelyse on 10/3/2011 7:37 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
8185
XII. Pre-Raiding Gear (Part 5)
            Gear listed is between item levels 346 to 378 and is obtainable without raiding. The values listed are approximations based on a constructed pre-raiding BiS gear set using ShadowCraft, with no gear being used that was over item level 359. Let me reiterate that these values are APPROXIMATIONS.

            For customized accuracy, please refer to ShadowCraft ( http://shadowcraft.mmo-mumble.com/ ).

Mainhands:


Offhands:


Throwing Weapons:


Return to the Table of Contents:
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Edited by Verelyse on 10/3/2011 7:38 AM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
8185
Reserved.
Edited by Verelyse on 8/28/2011 6:18 PM PDT
85 Night Elf Rogue
8185
Reserved.
Edited by Verelyse on 8/28/2011 6:19 PM PDT
85 Worgen Rogue
9035
12/23/2010 11:54 PMPosted by Orlÿ
C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER


So mean but I admittedly laughed really hard when I saw this.
85 Night Elf Rogue
8185
Reserved.
85 Troll Rogue
2480
nice writeup GJ~
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