Hi guys, there are some great posts re: the use of the deadly strike/deadly dance spec and I couldn't agree more with their insights. So much, that I wanted to take it a step further. We're squishy. I don't like that, nor should you, especially at lower ranks. With that said, I want a bit more survivability, coupled with the great crit gains from the assassin tree; plus, we can't forget slip away.

The real point I want to make is that this spec offers you great, borderline fantastic, raw power against your fellow melee rogues and dare I say it, warriors. For the record, I am SURE someone else posted this spec before and I am taking no credit for it - that's not something I am shooting for by posting this. I am merely sharing with you something that works well for me and I think it will for others.

The spec - http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1M...dz.0ARbtoboddR

Why may you ask? It's straight forward but I'll call it out.

1. Deadly dance buff = raw damage output.
2. Disarm for 6 seconds. I'm not sure if it's because warriors are not used to being disarmed but generally speaking most of them sit there expecting some miraculous recovery as I beat them down to a bloody pulp.
3. Side Step, and watch your damage sky rocket. When you evade you strike back with an extra attack. You deal 10% more damage for the next 10 seconds. You get to use reprisal, a swing that never misses and it's not on GCD. You get to use disengage that stuns the enemy for 4 seconds. You gain an additional combo point.
4. Energy. You gain 20 more. This may not seem like much but it adds up. Plus, any unused combo points - when the victim dies you get back 5 per combo point.
5. Front of Steel - not sure if you notice, but warriors pull this on us quite a bit. When engaged they suddenly back off about 10 feet and then bull rush us because it's a quick stun. Well, we can return that favor and do the same to them!
6. Blade tempo buff to raw damage output.
7. Dancing Steel - great fun and sweet animation. I love it when I have a healer eying me - charge in and drop that baby up.

You get all the goodies from the sin tree plus slip away. You need to go 32 to get impale so you can open up with a blade tempo / jagged strike / puncture / impale. Throw in a poison malice too.

Last soul is of course ranger for the range combo point generator and finisher.

Here's the deal - I had to weigh what infiltrator offers versus what higher bladedancer offers. Yes, cleanse soul is fantastic. That's the trade off - we can't press a button and get out of a stun but when we're out of that stun they better hide.

Question for you experts: I think it's better to go with Blade Hustle which increases your rhythmic abilities by 6 seconds - that's huge for something like blade tempo that normally lasts 15 seconds (21 seconds now) versus going with serrated blades. What say you?

As far as macros I definitely put expose weakness, blade tempo, and poison malice in my stealth starter. When you open up with a jagged or paralyzing strike (if they're jumping I normally do a jagged because half the time I'm sitting there on top of the person waiting to swing) and land a backstab or puncture with an impale or deadly strike - the damage is really really nice.

The other macros I use - I definitely have an any time 1 CP generator and a 2 CP generator - I put precision strike up at the top, even over backstab because of how well it scales with deadly dance up. I keep foul play on it's own key to land a stun when I want to because there's no consistent time to stun - depends on the circumstance. Reprisal and disengage is on both of these because they're off the GCD and do great damage.

I don't use final blow or baneful touch - if I'm not using impale, I'm using deadly strike, period.

I might add (and yes other folks have mentioned this that follow a 51 sin/15 bd or variation 3x sin/2x bd/10x inf, that landing a deadly strike with deadly dance buff, slipping away, and quickly opening with assassinate is some sick burst.