There were recent class updates, buffs for a variety of specs and play styles. Three stood out- Assasination Rogue, Fury Warrior and Frost Mage. On PVE, Assassination Rogues are doing well which got us thinking if they are going to outshine Outlaw and Subtlety in PVE game. However, let us cover on how good Assassination plays on the PVP area.
Assassination Rogue was a fan favorite back in the Battle for Azeroth but since then it has gone through a couple of changes in Shadowlands and was not performing damage wise up until now. The 13% accumulated buff for the spec might be enough to make it somewhat viable for PVP.
1:08 A while back, Assasination Rogue got a 5% damage buff to your aura, not really to the spec itself but to your major abilities as well as talents. And then recently the spec received 8% buff to Assasination aura as well. Making it a 13% aura buff for the play style of Assassination. The aura buffs are very specific because they do not buff everything about the spec. For example, in PVE content, as a melee, as an assassination, quite a lot of your damage comes from your auto attacks. The aura buff affects your ruptures, corrosives, mutilates in venoms, just about everything in your talons and your poisons but it does not affect your auto attacks. From a PVE perspective, Assassination was effectively buffed not exactly by 13% but more like 12% because a good portion of the damage is auto attacks and that does not scale with your aura in most cases. In PVP, your auto attacks are only a portion of game play and usually much smaller. This is because in PVP, you are not always going to sit on the target the whole time. In PVP, you will be using mutilates, kidney shots, bleeds and sometimes you will just be rotting enemies down with damage over time in 2v2 and 3v3 arenas. In PVP, this is where the aura buff makes a big difference, you are going for big moments or bursts where you are not always going to touch the enemy for those free auto attacks. The auto attacks are so big but this is where in PVP the aura buff makes the biggest impact. That’s all your burst damage, sustain damage, your multi-DoT playstyle which Assassination still excels in PVP.
The spec for the most part did not change too much. Now you have a couple of different poisons. Shiv is the spec’s toxic blade which means you get that talent baseline for your spec. Shiv can be used to slow down enemies and that will be the advantage Subtlety and Outlaw will have in PVP but for Assassination you will be using Shiv in order to empower your nature damage.
3:50 On the other hand, slice and dice is a buff you have to try to maintain. It is not a buff you want to maintain while bursting an enemy but it does kind of weirdly play into the play style where if you do not have enough haste on your gear, it might feel a little weird to maintain. Maintaining your bleeds is something Assassination Rogues in PVP should be able to do easily. However, adding that extra layer of slice and dice is what is going to set the Rogues apart. Also ambush made it back into the game for this spec. Ambush and ability does a good amount of damage. So picking between ambush and mutilate might be a little different because your mutilate can give you 4 column points but ambush has the damage with less common point guarantee. Definitely interesting choices.
The playstyle for the spec in PVP felt somewhat familiar and different at the same time. It could be on a slower end due to low haste, so to get all abilities, energy and DoTs up and running, in battlegrounds is quite difficult. And the ramp up makes you a little bit more open to a counter attack from anybody you attack. However with the 100% crit legendary, you will be able to switch gears and go a lot more aggressive. Can get to 50% from 100% of anyone’s health bar in most cases with just a massive in venom as well as with the shiv.
If you are someone who does not enjoy Subtlety play style or you feel like you can play with other DPS instead of 2v2s and rather play with a healer, Assassination can offer you quite a bit of sustained damage but without missing out any of the burst that a Subtlety Rogue will add. Plus 7 vendetta out of GCD feels good, to be able to line up your burst set up makes it much smoother of a play style.
Assassination was indeed a good surprise to get back into. It is a spec which a lot enjoyed back in BFA and a lot of us have forgotten it. If you are someone who is hoping Assassination at some point gets good for PVP, then right now would be the perfect time to get to try Assassination.