Retail Assassination Rogue needs a rework

Assassination Rogue is the worst class by far in the game. Its single target is mediocre and its aoe is clunky and unwieldy. This is not just an opinion but an observable fact back by logs

Lets bring assassination back to its classic simplistic basics. Here are my suggestions

  1. Make indiscriminate carnage a passive so that garrote and rupture hit 8 targets every time.

  2. Get rid of echoing reprimand. Replace it with an easier to use ability. Maybe like classics hunger for blood. A straight up damage increase on targets with bleeds.

  3. Make our AOE finisher better. Add a dot initially, subsequent casts consume the dot instantly and reapply a new dot.

Rotation would look like
From stealth → garrote → rupture → mutilate → slice and dice → mutilate (or fan of knives if aoe) envenom (or crimson if aoe)
Maintain hunger for blood, garrote and rupture while doing mutilate builder envenom finisher


idk why they don’t just tune up our poisons or other essentially baseline damage. They could tune up all dagger damage by a certain percent, maybe. Easier than tweaking interactions between all the buttons, and lets them avoid making our gameplay even less what we’re supposed to be. It would move us up on single target, and would help move us off being absolute worst overall.

It just shows the overall game design is a big issue that isn’t intended to accommodate our game play anymore. There is SO MUCH AOE required that even being best on single target wouldn’t necessarily move us too far off the absolute bottom of the overall chart. One boss fight here and there doesn’t change that. They keep tweaking our AOE to help us be viable, but the logs prove it isn’t working.

I definitely don’t care for echoing reprimand. One of the reasons I went Venthyr in Shadowlands was because I preferred the gameplay on Flagellation, by FAR. But assassination can’t access it now because it is in the sub tree. And it isn’t even optimal over there… it only appears in one of the four or five talent builds. Annoying.

I also hate crimson tempest. Would rather have them dump that and dissolve the damage into a talent on envenom or something. Plenty of natural poisons in the world that make bleeding worse. It fits.

Anyway. Not quite despairing yet about them tuning assassination to what it deserves to be at some point in the near future, like, the next three months, but am not holding my breath, either.


All rogue damage is crap, finishers dont do a lot, ambush isnt an ambush, it’s what other classes do for throwing weapon damage pretty much. They shot themselves in the foot with the rework to retribution. They gotta hop on it and make all of us fight like retribution is. Those jokers are in 11.0 while we are stuck in 10.0 beta.

Rogue was the last class to be developed yet included the most gimmicks and non impactful damage. No one wanted any of the SL abilities yet they put them there anyway and ignored rogues saying no.


Because it is damage control on rogues, they obviously don’t want us crapping on stuff.

Bs like secret technique ruins subtlety, crap find weakness makes subtlety nonsense too and all the other missing parts of the kit.

Should have left all rogues alone in cataclysm, outlaw should have stayed combat. There was no reason other than the good idea fairy blessing someone’s day with a whispering of a fart to the ear and changed rogues.


Why bother having a DoT spec at all if the purpose is just going to be DoT ripping. I think Tear Open Wounds is interesting but prefer rolling Rips more. Soul Flame is also really interesting for bridging the AoE gap.


If you ever say that again, you will not like the result. HfB was a horrible maintenance buff and no one liked it.


Except we aren’t even best single target


Assassination is a bit lost in terms of class design… Devs apparently have no clue on what direction this spec should go, you do either bleed or poison dmg, but right now, you do damage only with Garrote and rest abilities are far, far behind. Like poisons do nothing, finishers do nothing, ambush without Blindside is just dead button and so on. Then you have those unwanted, expendable and badly designed spells like Slice and dice and Echoing Reprimand. I just feel like any design changes they made from Legion till Dragonflight are making it worse and worse… Last time I really have fun with rogue was during WoD.


I stopped playing in Wrath where assassination was my chosen spec. Came back when shadow lands launch and was extremely disappointed in how much assassination changed. I didn’t even recognize the spec anymore.

I’m hoping blizzard considers them for a rework much like they did with Ret cause damn they need it bad


Every expansion we move further from what it is to be a rogue.

  • lethal attacks, not gimmick cds
  • ambush melting faces
  • finishers cranking , not secret technique, not reprimand
  • poisons being useful and bleeds for all rogues
  • emphasizing on your kit as a rogue instead of encouraging you because this is what rogue “you are”. Envenom should pack a punch, not amplifying poison as a precursor. Same issue w dance, hyper focused on 1 aspect of the entire kit of rogue. Roll us back to cataclysm.

Sincerely time to make use of the full kit for all rogues, not hyper focusing on things.

If you truly care about change for all of rogue kind check out this rework tree for class and Subtlety, we also did Assassination

Authors: V and I

Back to the trees team, return to monke.


Hunger for hobos was a crap ability honestly.


Assassination Rogue does not need a rework. An example of reworks gone rogue is how Outlaw did not move the spec forward from Combat, only drive Pirate gimmicks.

At this point, Sub should get any rework attention so the rest of the class can be unscrewed from degenerate Shadow Dance design (HO Outlaw feels terrible to play–FW on a full physical spec and unscrewing RtB RNG are it’s saving grace, but incorporating Ambush procs with Dispatch/Blindside wasn’t fun either).

My concerns:

  • Combo points are too plentiful
  • Stealth abilities are undervalued
  • Energy is the least interesting resource
  • Scaling is heavy handedly controlled

Combo points used to feel like large moments. Now five combo points isn’t enough to make finishing moves feel like finishing moves. Combo point gain is doubled to quadrupled in many cases, and gaining a full stack of combo points feels trivial as a result.

Stealth abilities like Ambush used to feel really great to use. Ever since the thought that Shadow Dance was a good addition, the idea of making stealth abilities feel great has been quickly thrown out. They’re just Sinister Strike with 15% more damage now. Garrote getting a 50% bump from stealth is a nice exception even though it also creates this awkward gameplay rotation around offensive Vanishing for Subterfuge spread (which I’m somewhat okay with–it makes assassination feel more like Sub Rogue than Sub).

But on Subterfuge spread, Garrote costs 45 energy and has a 6 second cooldown. Energy was originally designed to stop rogue from needing cooldowns on abilities, as it had a natural tick rate and gain to meter how many abilities you could use back to back. Offensive Vanishing for a damage gain is fine but needing to do it to cleave the skill is nonsense. Energy as a resource has not really kept up with the game because every class is now designed with hasted rotational ability cooldowns. I’m not sure on how to address that overall though I can say Garrote needs the cooldown removed. Increase the energy cost and add a 75% cost cut to stealth to preserve “feel” if desired, but at least design it with core resource philosophy in mind.

“If Rogues are having fun, nobody else is.” This is true. It’s also true for literally every other class. MMO players flock to whatever imbalanced options are available. Mass Invis allowing free kills? I can’t remember anyone saying “If Mages are having fun, nobody else is.” But it was certainly an issue. Scaling makes Rogue one of the worst to level and makes Timewalking feel really really really bad as a Rogue. Instead of attacking the core issue (Stealth is a strict invisibility, not a sneak) the entire class suffers for it instead. I’ve heard it’s an underlying problem with how the game engine handles Stealth, but that’s an engineer’s problem not the player’s… Which instead of being corrected by the Blizzard team carries on as a tax to balance and design.


A rework of Assassination is quite unrealistic given the fact that the spec hasn’t really changed in the last 4 xpacs. Blizzard had the chance with Dragonflight but it did not happen, unfortunately.

The only intermediate adjustment I can think of is Scent of Blood. It needs to become a 2-point talent giving the same amount of Agility increase (1,5% / 3%) per Rupture as it does now as a 3-pointer. In addition, Garrote needs to be part of the Scent of Blood mechanic, too. That would lead to +24% Agility with Carnage/8 Targets. Not really game breaking considering that our AOE is mediocre at best and DoT based.

The freed up 3rd point from Scent of Blood should be used for a new talent that gives us a DoT extension mechanic. Like refreshing a Garrote or Rupture during their respective pandemic window on a target will extend all Garrotes/Ruptures on other targets by 2 or 3 seconds to keep bleeds rolling.
It feels really bad when Carnage spread bleeds are about to run out trying to get both bleeds up again on as many targets as possible while you are now drained of energy compared to being flooded with it during Carnage.

The next adjustment would be to get rid of Exsanguinate. It is a quirky skill in today’s Assassination play style. To make thing worse your own tooltip does not even explain the inner workings of Exsanguinate. A player new to Assassination won’t be able to use it correctly in the rotation unless he/she reads the FAQ on Ravenholdt Discord. Sorry, but this is just stupid skill design.

Arterial Precision is interesting by design but massively undertuned in its current form. If it is going to stay that way, then just scrap Exsanguinate and put Arterial Precision in its place. AP would then be supported by the other bleed talents on the right skill tree and be a fine talent even with current dmg numbers.

The vacant capstone slot of AP could be filled with Kingsbane again. You basically killed Kingsbane with the new position as there are no supporting skills for it.
If you are afraid of a possible Kingsbane/Dragon Tempered build…well tune it. This is your daily business as skill designers, isn’t it?


I personally think that sin having 2 capstone talents entirely focused on aoe is bad for the spec, especially since the second came at the expense of kingsbane, completely killing its chances when slapped into a choice node with DTB.

I get that blizz used the talent system revamp to let every spec have some decent access to aoe and st, but i really believe they could pull back a bit and let at least pure dps have their specs more locked in. Such as letting sin be more ST and 2-3 target cleave focused.

Rotation wise, I think sin plays fine, but its damage is very disfunctional, so much comes from just garrote, and from every other deathmark due to exsang. I would personally hope to see a bigger lean into the execute profile the left side of the tree teases, let an assassin have some kill pressure identity! Put kingsbane back over there and give it a boost!

1 Like

That would give it an AoE capability too similar to Outlaw and Subtlety, which isn’t meant to be Assassin’s niche.

Or, just don’t talent into it if you don’t like it. As it is now, ER spices up the rotation nicely imo.

Legion was the worst thing to ever happen to Subtlety.

1 Like

They could take the cd to 30 seconds on ic so its more readily available for every pack.

As far as echoing i personally don’t hate it on a boss fight but on aoe it just feels like more button bloat along with slice, and for me its an overabundance of things to track. But the thing is how much of a dps loss is it to not take it…


By far the worst idea ever was turning rogues Into what we are now, especially us Subtlety rogues. Balanced around gimmicks and garbage cds.


And combat…


The entire class as a whole suffered from the redesigned, whatever happened to just being a rogue? They had to go down the cringe route of feral druid design for assa, pirates for combat, and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm for sub rogues.


I remember in Beta when it was a min and a half CD. lol.

30 seconds would be awesome.