Wednesday, December 11, 2013

[Guide] Assassin and raids

For a nice change of pace today I want to share few hints about raiding with your assassin. My raiding experience so far is not all that great (Mitra knows I am no PVEr), but I have completed T3 and T4 and so far raiding  T4 on regular basis.

Lets clear up one thing right off the bat: I am not a number cruncher. What I will post here is by no means "the best possible specc" nor the rotation that I will show you is bound to grant you nothing but optimal results.

I am, however, providing solid build and a well timed rotation. Feel free to judge for yourself.

I am not a DPS freak when it comes to raiding so I am not obsessing about reaching for that top spot on DPS charts. Using the build and the rotation I am providing here I can go for several raids without single death and I feel like I am contributing to the team in a meaningful way by not only doing "pew-pew", but also by bringing to the raiding table helpful buffs.

Before we go on any further I want to say that this guide is heavily geared through T4 raid (with the exception of "door duty" during General fight). Other raids like T3 might need a little different approach or even different builds (more damage based).

My raiding philosophy is "better safe than sorry" so there might be a slight overkill on anti-aggro stuff (still distraction group buff is too good to pass up) but it goes a long way if you are just starting out on T4 with nothing but aggro magnet Brittle Blade full epic armor set.

My raiding build - 
My DPS raiding build -
My balanced raiding build -

Few words of explanation:

Lotus tree
Common mistake in different speccs is going for Dull Pain and Lotus Tainted Blood + Lotus overload. That is a lot of points that are usually completely wasted as it is tank who needs to worry about protection in certain fights. Sure, from time to time there will be fights where AOE magical damage is present and in those situations those feats are justified, but going DP+LO as a default specc is uncalled for.

Corruption tree
Necrotic Empowerment and From the Darkness are matter of personal preference. I use Necrotic as a primary source of shards because Crystallized Lotus Extract is kept as a back up if I need to pop in Crimson Lotus Pollen very fast. Also if you are really using your miasmas the way you should you will burn A LOT of shards. If you don't have 3 shards instantly available you are really wasting Crimson Lotus Pollen as instant aggro dropper. Besides I like Necrotic as my main source of shards as it regens them slowly and feeds me them constantly thought out the fight.

Aggro management:
Assassin is one of the best single target damage dealers in the game so it makes him a natural DPS class in raid scenario. With great damage comes ... great responsibility since it also means that it is quite easy to pull aggro from tank. Assassin class is very unforgiving so getting Boss on you will, more often than not, result in you dieing a horrible, horrible death. Luckily Assassin is more than competent when it comes to managing his aggro. Those abilities can be divided into three categories: passive -hate, active -hate, aggro list droppers, and aggro reducers.

Here is what we get:

Passive -hate: those are the permanent -hate buffs that you get from certain perks and feats. High base
-hate is needed for Assassin to be dealing sustained and high damage. Without solid -hate even the best aggro management tools won't be enough as you will be constantly re-building hate and  pulling aggro.
Sources: items with hate decrease rating, Spirit of Nightfall passive, Soothing venom (AA), Subtlety, Distraction

Active -hate: those are buffs that you get for a short period of time from Cover of the Dusk

Aggro list droppers: Bosses have a hate list and whoever is on top of that list will be attacked by the Boss. Aggro list droppers will move you down on that list so you won't be target.
Sources: Spirit of Nightfall, Wiles

Aggro reducers: those simply reduce the amount of aggro you have already generated
Sources: Crimson Lotus Pollen, Trickery.

While each of those feats and perks can work alone it is best to combine them together into combos for most benefit.

Cover of the Dusk - you can use this solo as it works wonders. This is a great way to open the fight as you will be generating very little hate and soldier will at the same time get a lot of aggro so he can tank better.
COD is also a nice thing to pop before you unload your heaviest attack (for example Kidney Shots + Liberation + Steeped Lotus Extract + Soul Destruction).

Spirit of Nightfal + Crimson Lotus Pollen - SON gets you instantly lower of the hate list and CLP lowers you aggro so you don't pull it again. Using just Spirit of Nightfall might not be enough because if you continue to do DPS there is a high chance of you poping up again as #1 on hate list. At the same time CLP, while it lowers your aggro, might not register with the Boss fast enough before he kills you.

Wiles + Trickery - exactly same principal as above which is combining aggro dropper with aggro reducer. I am using this combination often preemptively as it doesn't have any shard cost.

In regular Boss encounter I will open with Cover of the Dusk and then proceed to DPS the target. When I am feeling like I have done a good amount of DPS (especially if I have crited a lot) then I will drop Wiles + Trickery to lower my aggro and continue to DPS. At the same time I will have my fingers close to Crystallized Lotus Extract + Spirit of Nightfall + Crimson Lotus Pollen (on my keyboard alt + a + s +d). Lotus Extract provides me with 3 instant shards so I can be 100% sure that my Lotus Pollen will go off (it needs 3 shards to work) and drop a lot of aggro. Spirit of the Nightfall, which is free of shard cost, will make sure that the Boss will instantly changes the target. 

So this way I am usually rotating Cover of the Dusk and Wiles + Trickery and keeping my CLE+SON+CLP as a back up for emergency.

If you are not required by your Raid Team to have Distraction feat  then you will be more than fine with just Cover and CLE+SON+CLP. If you are required to have Distraction (like I am) then you can easily invest those 2 points into Wiles + Trickery as it is a worthy addition. Hell, will having such amazing tools you can also get less -hate items and go a little more DPS heavy in terms of armor pieces composition.

What about the rotation?
With rotation best thing is to show one. I am using lotus dart and soul strike for the poisons rotation and I am dropping naked Face Stabs during Swift Strikes animation. The whole rotation is timed on Grim Corruption cool down so when I am down with whole sequence the next GC is ready and I can start the rotation again. 


Caudilloo said...

There is a small chance I am wrong, but unless they changed it I'm fairly certain that wiles will only help once you already have aggro. (which is also what the tooltip says)

Trickery is good to use pre-emtively to keep your aggro low. Wiles is more of a 'oh Shit' kind of tool.

Slith said...

I am asuming Wiles works like Nightfall so moving you one step down the hate list. If so then it is still helpful to get lower of the hate list even if you are not on top of it allready.

Stira said...

Is it not better cheat the reaper than trickery? (Only asking I'm a total noob with my sin)

Slith said...

No problem Stira, here is your anwser: you shouldn't be dieing in a first place so cheat the reaper is nothing else than insurance against your own mistakes (which you shouldn't be making).

Wiles works in synergy with Trickery. Wiles drops you down on aggro list while trickery reduces your aggro. This combination is very strong when it comes to droping aggro and keeping your from re-gaining it (and dieing instantly).

Wiles + cheat the reaper is no were near as useful.

Think of it as this: cheat the reaper helps you when you die. Wiles and trickery helps you not to die :P

Stira said...

ok, thanks for the answering.
Another thing. I'm doing some video-tutorials (in Spanish) one for each class I've played. I always use the information I've read around. Do you mind if I use this guide as a back-bound of my sin tutorial. Ofc I always put a link at the original source (in this case your blog).

Sorry to ask here but I tried to pm you on official forums and you have the pms blocked.

Slith said...

Sure thing, I would be honored if you used my guide in your video.