On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices forAssassination Rogues in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents andglyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.
The other pages of our Assassination Rogue guide can be accessedfrom the table of contents on the right.
1. Talent Choices↑top
- Crowd Control
There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents arenow viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance(and Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90).You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs betweenencounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics.Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does andhow they affect your play style.
2. Tier 1 Talents↑top
Tier 1 talents improve your Stealth.
- Nightstalker increases your movement speed by 20% andthe damage that your abilities deal by 50%, while you are stealthed.
- Subterfuge causes Stealth to break 3 seconds after dealingor receiving damage (rather than instantly, without the talent).
- Shadow Focus causes your abilities to cost 75% less Energywhile in Stealth.
Shadow Focus is the best choice here. It gives you a nearly-free Mutilate at the start of each encounter and every 2 minutes after thatthrough Vanish.
While Nightstalker can be useful in certain situations (e.g., forthe weekly solo Gold Run scenario in Isle of Thunder), it will never be takenover Shadow Focus in any raid environment.
Subterfuge is worthless to Assassination Rogues.
3. Tier 2 Talents↑top
Tier 2 talents give you the choice between crowd control and survival talents.
- Deadly Throw is a Finishing Move that reduces the movement speed ofyour target by 50% for 6 seconds. It also deals damage based on the number ofCombo Points it is cast with. Finally, if you cast it with 3, 4, or 5 Combo Points, itwill also interrupt and silence your target for 4, 5, or 6 seconds respectively.
- Nerve Strike causes your successful casts of Kidney Shot and Cheap Shot to also reduce the damage your target deals by 50% and thehealing it does by 10%, for 6 seconds.
- Combat Readiness causes you to take 50% less damage from meleeattacks. The damage reduction builds up gradually by stacks of 10%, until youhave 5 stacks. Each enemy hit grants you a stack. The effect lasts 20 seconds,but it is removed after 10 seconds without receiving melee attacks.
These talents will not impact your DPS as a raider.
Combat Readinessshould be the default choice and will prove useful when you will have to tanksomething (e.g., Will of theEmperor, Ji-Kun, orDark Animus).
Nerve Strike should be taken in any encounters where you will have tostun an add (e.g., Spirit Kings,Tsulong,Lei Shi, orRa-den).
Deadly Throw will mostly be useful in PvP, against healers and casters.
4. Tier 3 Talents↑top
Tier 3 talents provide you with various means of improving your survivability.
- Cheat Death causes an attack that would otherwise kill you toinstead reduce your health to 10% of your maximum health. Then, Cheat Deathreduces the damage you will take by 85% for 3 seconds. This effect hasan internal cooldown of 90 seconds. However, it can only absorb up totwice your maximum health.
- Leeching Poison grants you a new Non-Lethal Poison thatafflicts your target in such a way that your melee attacks against thetarget heal you for 10% of the damage that they do. When using Leeching Poison, Shiv provides an instant 5% heal.
- Elusiveness causes your Feint ability to alsoreduce all damage taken by 30% for 5 seconds. Against AoE damage,the damage reduction is 65% (50% from Feint plus 30% of that from Elusiveness).
All three talents are viable here. Elusiveness is a must-have in anysituation where you have to use Feint extensively to mitigate damage(most encounters) or when the additional 15% AoE damage reduction is neededfor a particular mechanic (e.g., soaking sparks inWill of the Emperor).
In situations that do not require Elusiveness, Cheat Death shouldbe the default choice, as it can be used to entirely bypass encounter mechanics(not to mention it can save your life on many occasions). Leeching Poison'susefulness is very debatable, as the healing it provides is rather weak (when itis not overhealing).
5. Tier 4 Talents↑top
Tier 4 talents give you the choice between abilities that improve yoursurvivability or your mobility.
- Cloak and Dagger causes Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot to have a 40-yard range and to teleport you behindyour target.
- Shadowstep causes you to teleport behind your target,which has to be within 25 yards. It then increases your movementspeed by 70% for 2 sconds. This ability has a 20-second cooldown.
- Burst of Speed increases your movement speed by 70% for4 seconds. If you happen to be afflicted by movement-impairing effects,then this ability will also remove them (with the exception of rootingeffects) and prevent their reapplication for4 seconds. Burst of Speed has no cooldown, but costs 15 Energy.
Shadowstep should be the default choice here, as itallows you to easily reposition yourself behind your target, whetherit is a friend or an enemy. Besides its numerous uses in most encounters,it always provides a DPS gain, as it will increase your uptime on yourtarget.
Burst of Speed is useful in PvP or while questing. Its use ina raiding environment was very questionable due to its Energy cost, butPatch 5.4 changed that. With a cost of 15 Energy, it is now viable touse it on encounters where you suffer from movement-impairing effectsor where you really need the movement speed increase.
Cloak and Dagger is useless for raiding.
6. Tier 5 Talents↑top
Tier 5 talents give you more utility or crowd control.
Paralytic Poison can be useful in PvE content, especially for fightswhere you need to fight many adds and where you need to use Cheat Deathas a Tier 3 talent (hence freeing the Non-Lethal poison spot occupied by Leeching Poison).
Similarly to Nerve Strike, Prey on the Weak should be taken inany encounters where you will make use of Cheap Shot or Kidney Shot.
Dirty Tricks do not really have any PvE implications.
7. Tier 6 Talents↑top
Tier 6 talents provide you with performance-improving abilities.
- Shuriken Toss is a ranged attack that replaces Throw,costs 20 Energy, and awards 1 Combo Point. If used against targets furtherthan 10 yards away, it deals twice more damage and it causes yourmelee attacks to throw shuriken. These shuriken have a 30-yard rangeand poison your target with your Lethal Poison.
- Marked for Death instantly adds 5 Combo Points on your target.This ability has a 1-minute cooldown, but this cooldown is reset whenthe target dies.
- Anticipation basically grants you a maximum of 10 Combo Points,of which only 5 can be consumed with Finishing Moves. So, if you have 8Combo Points and you cast a Finishing Move, you will be left with 3Combo Points.
Anticipation will be the best choice in nearly all situations.It will prevent you from wasting the Combo Points that Seal Fate willgenerate when Mutilate or Dispatch deals damage, and the extraCombo Points granted by Shadow Blades.
Marked for Death can be picked in fights with many adds(e.g., Horridon), where you canbenefit from the 5 free Combo Points very often. However, even for such fights,there is still debate in the community as to whether Marked for Death is betterthan Anticipation or not.
Shuriken Toss can be used in fights where the boss will be out of meleerange for a long time. There is currently no encounters where it surpasses Anticipation.
8. Major Glyphs↑top
Glyph of Vendetta is the only mandatory major glyph. It increasesthe duration of Vendetta by 10 seconds (to make it last 30 seconds)but reduces its damage bonus by 5% (to make it 25%). The only time when this glyphshould be skipped is if you will not be able to fully benefit from Vendettaif it lasts more than 20 seconds.
Several of your major glyphs offer you increased survivability.
- Glyph of Cloak of Shadows causes your Cloak of Shadowsability to also grant you a 40% physical damage reduction while it is active.With this glyph, Cloak of Shadows becomes a powerful damage mitigation toolthat you should use whenever necessary.
- Glyph of Evasion increases the duration of Evasion by5 seconds, making it last 15 seconds in total. It can be useful if you everneed to dodge attacks for longer than 10 seconds.
- Glyph of Feint increases the duration of Feint by 2 seconds,making it last 7 seconds in total. It can be useful if a damaging AoE abilityfrom a boss lasts more than 5 seconds. Given the extensive use you willmake of Feint, this glyph very often is a must-have, as it increases yourDPS by making you spend less Energy and Global Cooldowns refreshing Feint.
- Glyph of Recovery cause healing you receive to be increased by 20%while Recuperate is active. Using Recuperate is a DPS loss, but ifyour healers are struggling with a fight, this glyph can be helpful.
- Glyph of Redirect reduces the cooldown of Redirect by 50 seconds(thus making it on a 10-second cooldown). This glyph is mandatory on any bossfight that requires target swapping.
- Glyph of Sharpened Knives causes Fan of Knives to also damage the armor of its victims, applying 1 stack of Weakened Armor to each target.This can be a DPS increase in AoE situations with adds that will stay alive formore than 5 or 6 seconds, but not too long. If the adds remain alive for toolong, then other melee players will have plenty of time to apply the debuffon them, reducing the effectiveness of the glyph.
- Glyph of Smoke Bomb increases the duration of Smoke Bomb, a majordefensive raid cooldown that Rogues provide to their raid.
- Glyph of Sprint increases the movement speed bonus provided by Sprint, which is very useful in encounters during which you useSprint to increase your uptime on the boss.
Finally, a few other major glyphs might occasionally come in handy.
9. Minor Glyphs↑top
Glyph of Safe Fall, which reduces the damage you take when falling,and Glyph of Poisons, which causes you to apply your poisons faster,will probably be prime choices.
Glyph of Blurred Speed, which enables you to walk on water while Sprint is active, might be situationally useful.
- 10 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
- 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3: nothing to change ( Shuriken Toss buff has no impact in PvE).
- 20 May 2013: Dryaan's second review of the guide.
- Improved explanations regarding why Shadow Focus is the best Tier 1 talent.
- Improved explanations for your choice of Tier 2 talents (added examples of bosses where talents are useful).
- Emphasized the fact that Elusiveness is a must-have, under certain circumstances. The rest of the time, Cheat Death should be taken.
- Reworded explanations for Tier 4 talent choices.
- Added a mention that Prey on the Weak is sometimes useful.
- Improved explanations for choosing Marked for Death.
- Emphasized how beneficial Glyph of Feint can be.
- 25 Apr. 2013: Updated advice for choosing Tier 4 talents ( Cloak and Dagger is not nearly as useful as we made it to be).
- 19 Mar. 2013: Added Glyph of Smoke Bomb and Glyph of Sprint to the listof potentially useful glyphs.
- 19 Mar. 2013: Added a mention regarding the usefulness of Paralytic Poisonin PvE.
- 11 Mar. 2013: Patch 5.2 update.