1. Copypasta from stickies is the best kind of pasta.
SPEC: Which one should I use?
- In Blizzard’s simulations, all three specs have the ability to deal similar damage at max level. Unless you're doing competitive PvE (such as committed raiding or challenge-mode dungeons), you can pick any spec and do well with it.
- Among top raiders, Assassination is by far the most popular spec. Neither Combat nor Subtlety are used very often by progression raiders. This may partly be an "I don't use them because other people don't use them" thing, but most raid fights in Mists *are* more "Mut-friendly" than they are Combat- or Sub-friendly. In other words, the mechanics of most raid fights play more to Mut's strengths and tend to highlight Combat's and Sub's weaknesses.
- That said, the single most important part of doing good DPS with any spec is playing that spec well. If you're dealing crappy damage with your current spec, it may be that you're not playing in the way that will help you deal the most DPS with it.
- When considering which spec to use, keep in mind the different playstyles and benefits of each one. Although all three are more similar in Mists than they perhaps have ever been, there are still important differences.
- Assassination has very good single-target damage and tends to have the best AoE damage (for when you're facing a large number of enemies at once). It is regarded as the "slowest" spec, because the main combo point builder (Mutilate) uses a lot of energy, meaning you'll spend a lot of time waiting for your energy to regenerate for your next attack.
- Combat deals strong damage when you're facing 2 to 5 targets, thanks to Blade Flurry. It is regarded as the "fastest" spec, because it relies on low-energy abilities. At high gear levels, this can mean that you're literally mashing an attack button every second (or even every half-second!).
- Subtlety appears to be somewhere between the other two specs in almost every aspect. Its use tends to be limited, however, because its strongest combo-point builder (Backstab) requires that you be behind your target.
2. Mmm, mmm, pasta.
WEAPONS: Which types will kill stuff the best?
- Assassination: A dagger in each hand. (There are no such thing as "fast" and "slow" daggers in Mists; all daggers are 1.8-speed.)
- Combat: A "slow weapon," a.k.a. non-dagger (2.6-speed axe, fist weapon, mace or sword) in your main hand, and anything in your off hand, though an off-hand NON-dagger appears to do slightly more DPS than an off-hand dagger, assuming the two have otherwise similar stats.
- Subtlety: A dagger in each hand is best. You can also do alright using a non-dagger in your main hand, but you'll need to use Hemorrhage instead of Backstab as your main combo point builder, and you'll usually sacrifice some DPS in the process.
Only if you're Combat do you want the strongest available weapon (in terms of overall stats, not just DPS) in your OH regardless of speed. For Mut and Sub, the 1.8 dagger is best, still because of more poison procs.