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Thread: Assassin - how do you open?

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
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    Default Assassin - how do you open?

    I've read some conflicting information regarding how to open on a mob/player as an Assassin. So, what's the thought process here? Is the choice of opener situational? Or an opener that rules them all.

    For now, to keep it simple, lets assume that the Assassin does not have Serpent Strike and is not using Bladedancer abilities (ie. Keen & Quick Strike). Though feel free to discuss why this might be better in place of the Assassin abilities and if those Assassin abilities ever overtake Keen+Quick.


    The obvious template is:
    Stealth --> Expose Weakness --> YYY --> Puncture --> ???

    YYY would be the primary question that I have, but also what's ???

    I would think that YYY would be either Assasinate or Jagged Strike, but I'm having trouble deciding which is better (or is it situational). Or is there a better opener?

    I think ??? would be:
    Savage Strike --> Impale ---> Paralyze ---> Backstab x3 --> Savage Strike x2 --> Final Blow --> Foul Play --> Backstab x3 --> Savage Strike x2 --> Final Blow. All the while, keeping your dots up (Puncture, Impale, Jagged Strike)


    This is basically an excercise in figuring out how our abilities best work together and in what situations to adapt. What's your rotation? And does it ever change?

  2. #2
    Plane Touched
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    Generally:

    Stealth -> Expose -> Jagged Strike -> Puncture -> Malicious Strike ->Impale

    In PvE, this is enough to kill a standard mob, so I can start hitting a second target while the first one bleeds out (or just kill it.)

    In PvP I'll assess the situation and do anything from keep bashing the target with Savage Strike/Backstab (using foul play as needed)
    Or if its a warrior or someone else that will beat me into a loody pulp, I might start trying to range them while spamming Fiery Spike to wear them down a bit.
    Or if I feel like the battle is going to turn against me (the target starts getting heals/friends) I will likely run away like a little girl.

    In Open World PvP, if the target has a pet, I will make an effort to mez the pet with Lost Hope before openeing as well.
    Its amazing how many people plain dont react when I do this.

  3. #3
    Telaran Sayaka's Avatar
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    At 51 points in Assassin my PvE rotations are more like this:

    Stealth > Expose Weakness > Jagged Strike > Puncture > Impale

    Expose Weakness > Serpent Strike + Poison Malice + Backstab/Savage Strike x5 > Final Blow

    ... repeat with Slip Away too if you're feeling cheeky and it actually manages to work.

    Serpent Strike and Poison Malice are both off the GCD.

    Foul Play should be reserved for interruptions.

    Malicious Strike is only good for any sort of runner be it PvE or PvP.
    Sayaka the Heartless <Vanguard> | Assassin/Ranger/Bard | Guardian of Deepstrike (PvP)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruxio View Post
    The obvious template is:
    Stealth --> Expose Weakness --> YYY --> Puncture --> ???

    YYY would be the primary question that I have, but also what's ???

    I would think that YYY would be either Assasinate or Jagged Strike, but I'm having trouble deciding which is better (or is it situational). Or is there a better opener?
    You said mob/player, so I'm assuming these are quick encounters (=long dots like impale go to waste). Players with pvp specs might involve a different way of thinking, so here I am thinking world pvp ambushes, etc, similar to the way you'd attack a world mob.

    YYY for me is Paralyzing Strike, and the reason is the talent Double Cross, which keeps me behind and buffs both the following puncture and Final Blow. I typically have enough time on the stun to throw in an extra backstab.

    If I'm feeling saucy, I'll hit a foul play and get behind to repeat the above, otherwise I follow with keen/quick spam from BD, which seems to reliably hit harder than savage strike (plus Keen gets a buff after Quick from Blade and Fury). I use Puncture on CD and try to avoid hitting it when I have 4 combo pts (thus wasting the extra pt it gives). I finish with final blow because it does more damage with the talents I have in the sin tree. Here is my build for these purposes:

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M...xofodbo.VG0f0m

    I go for riftstalker sub for the cool shadow stalking, which also gives a crit and damage buff from Ruthless stalker. This makes you very deadly for the first two rotations, but for something that requires more than that to kill you'll probably want to consider a different build (something with jagged strike, puncture, and impale with the improvements from Physical Trauma, which will also require more strategic timing of the application of these dots instead of just spamming a burst macro and clipping your bleeds).

    These are just my intuitive thoughts from playing and I'd be open to improvements.

  5. #5
    Champion
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    even on basic world mobs the dots are fantastic.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dasorine View Post
    even on basic world mobs the dots are fantastic.
    I will give it a try, but it seems to me the mobs would die halfway through impale. Dead is dead, but half of impale goes to waste.

  7. #7
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    ahh but with impale they'll be dieing as fast as you can stack the next 5 combos up for a rift scavenge heal, I find that a finishing blow takes a bit longer.

    That said either ways so fast its not going to be much of an issue.

  8. #8
    Telaran JerkSauce's Avatar
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    Jagged strike pretty much always crits and will out damage assassinate in most every situation, so it's a choice between that and a stun. Impale on the other hand won't end up out damaging a different finisher on regular mobs but its still a great finisher and I use it a lot.

  9. #9
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayaka View Post
    Stealth > Expose Weakness > Jagged Strike > Puncture > Impale
    Why are you Impaleing with only 4 combo points here? why not slip in a Savage Strike before that to max out?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruxio View Post
    Why are you Impaleing with only 4 combo points here? why not slip in a Savage Strike before that to max out?
    after impale you should be at 5

    edit: sorry after puncture you should have 5 combo points
    Last edited by Conix77; 03-17-2011 at 07:35 AM.

  11. #11
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruxio View Post
    Why are you Impaleing with only 4 combo points here? why not slip in a Savage Strike before that to max out?
    Nevermind... forgot Jagged is 3CP when talented. ;)

    Can Jagged Strike be used outside of Stealth?
    Last edited by Cruxio; 03-17-2011 at 07:36 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruxio View Post
    Can Jagged Strike be used outside of Stealth?
    No, it requires stealth.

    I switched my opener last night from always using paralyzing strike to jagged, and I must say... the mobs are going down a lot faster. By the time I get off my first finisher, the mob is almost dead and I have barely enough time to get a few pts for rift scavenger.

    I avoid using impale to finish on short fights -- jagged strike gets full use because it's at the very start and most encounters last at least 10 seconds, but using impale in something like this is just a waste (it was hitting for about 2 seconds of the 16 and then the mob dies) - hit with final blow and the bleeds will do the rest very quickly, especially if final blow crits.

  13. #13
    Soulwalker
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    Ahh, I think that's my missing piece of info in my head.

    So is there ever any reason to use Assassinate over Jagged Strike? I can't think of any at this point.

  14. #14
    Plane Touched Finkle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruxio View Post
    Ahh, I think that's my missing piece of info in my head.

    So is there ever any reason to use Assassinate over Jagged Strike? I can't think of any at this point.
    Not that comes to mind.

    Regular mobs? I have found that the bleeds are only about half spent before mobs die. So, I open with Paralyzing, Puncture(2 CPs yay), Final Blow. That usually puts mobs at 10%-40%, depending on their HP pool, right about the time they come out or paralyzing. After that it is 2-4 SS followed by a FB = dead. I have found that opening ith the stun allows me to chain pull without drinking as the mobs never really have time to hit me.

    If it is a special Rift mob or one with much higher health? I will Jagged->Puncture->Impale and then SS->FB.
    Finkle: Dwarven Rogue
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  15. #15
    Soulwalker
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    Alright then... lets complicate things a bit more...

    I've read a lot of places that Keen+Quick (from Bladedancer) is more damage and cheaper than Savage Strike. BUT, do the talents ever help to overcome this deficit for a 51-point assassin? Or is Keen+Quick always better damage?

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