Hi guys, ive been poking around the forums and other various websites for a really nice and proper guide to assassin deception DPS and pvp aswell, sadly only blackrabbit2999 offered a semi-decent guide, but dont get me wrong, his guide was how i got started on my assassin, buts is just not detailed enough, and there isnt anything else out there. I figured maybe it was time i wrote up a guide on how to “properly” play the deception spec.
I’ve watched many videos on youtube with deception assassins just spamming maul and i can tell you it was painful to watch, because i can clearly 4-5 shot people in pvp (not that OP, compared to operatives lol) and if its done correctly and timing is used correctly, you will be unstoppable, guaranteed.
Before you read this guide, BEWARE, its really long, but extremely comprehensive, meaning i have gone 105% into detail, im not only listing the spells description, that you can find in game, instead im giving you 2-6 sentences per spell about its PROPER use in pve and pvp, killing two birds with one stone
After you read my complete spell setup and detailed descriptions, i will link my talent build Via a calculator, so you can see my talent build, and ill explain most of my talent choices to you guys, but there are a few that are kinda obvious and no deception assassin should miss.
After you read my talent tree build and talent guide, i will begin to talk about rotations and strategies in order to save your force, use minimal amounts of force, and pump out the most damage and CC possible. After taking a good hour or 2 (maybe 30 min if ur a fast reader lol) you will REALLLYY understand the true mechanics of the assassin deception class/spec. Its worth the read, i guarantee it.
First, how i line up my spells on my keyboard, in order: (take into account its made for pvp, but i use the same exact set of spells in pve as well, never changed it)
1. Saber Strike – Used to build up force when im low, 1-2 times should be enough to get your next voltaic slash going.
2. Low Slash – people have asked why i have this kind of spell as my number 2, well its amazing, whenever the maul buff procs, i low slash them, run behind and can easily pull a 3.5k crit with this combo.
3. Voltaic slash – The bread and butter spell for assassins, with what i think has one of the coolest melee animations in the game!!
4. Discharge – This is very important, as combined with recklessness popped, 3-4k crits with full centurion gear come easily. should be used EVERY cooldown.
5. Shock – A very handy spell in both pve and pvp, make sure to use voltaic slash twice before using this, and ill explain why later when i explain my talent build.
6. Assassinate – This spell i always use on targets once they go below 30% health, its the assassin finishing move. In pve i use it every cooldown when the boss is below 30%, and pvp it hits pretty hard when your opponent is below 30%
7. Maul – the reason this spell isnt within the top 5-6 of my keyboard spells, is because i only use this when the 3 point talent in your tree procs. The talent reduces the cost and increases damage done, ONLY USE this when it procs, it will cost 25 force. Without the proc, 50 force for this spell is not right.
8. Blackout – This spell is amazing, once you get the blackout talent in your tree (explain further later) you can get a good 6 seconds of greatly increased force regen, great for those moments when your on the last 20-30% of a big boss, or the huttball carrier has like 15% health (HP) and your low on force, pop this spell, and finish that sucker off!!! haha
9. Force Speed – most people would argue this would be like a shift-1 or a T button (on your keyboard) keybind. i disagree! having this as my number 9 spell instead of R or T or V gives me great mobility the second i need the perfect getaway, or when im 30 meters from getting the huttball over the goal line.
0 – Force Cloak – Force those WoW rogues out there, this is the vanish equivalent, u can use it whenever you want in combat (or out of combat, but a waste) its basically a disapear spell, and its great for when you just know your not gonna win that duel and you gotta get away, and in PvE its amazing too, when the boss enrages and everyone starts to die in 2 shots, u can vanish AND AVOID REPAIRS!!! woohoo!!!
“-” – Force Shroud – the keyboard button to the right of 0, the minus sign is my force shroud, used when i can predict a big burst of damage heading my way, i pop this, it lasts 3 seconds and i completely avoid the incoming attack, but only for force and tech attacks, meaning a melee juggernaut can still hit me, but a sorcerer cant use lightning on me, and a sniper cant hit me with shots, and so on. its also great because if you have a DoT (damage over time) ability on you, this will take them off when used, and you can just disappear using force cloak, and that way, the DoT wont take you out of stealth anymore. instant win
“=” – Overload – this is my bumping spell, the really cool animation when you pretty much punch the ground like the hulk. In Pve, its useless unless you knock adds close to the edge of a cliff off to their doom, i can only think the tall robot trash in eternity vault. In pvp, when some dummy is standing right next to the fire, bump him into it AND ENJOY THE BARBEQUE!!!! lol
Now, thats my 1-12 (12 is the “=” sign), here is my bottom bar, completely keybinded! :
T – Force Jolt – your interupt spell. Awesome in pvp when that healer has like 15-20% hp, you interupt him with this spell, then burn him down. in PvE, your group might mention the boss casts a long casting spell, and you might very well be assigned to interupt the boss the first time he does it, the someone else will get it the seond time because yours is on CD. Catch my drift here? lol ive wiped many times in flashpoints in raids because some fights are instant wipes (with gear…) because people fail to interupt an 8 second cast…..such a simple fix.
R – Electrocute – Such a fantastic spell for PvP. Basically, its a 4 second stun with a bit of damage done using it and you can do damage to your target currently stunned with this spell, and the stun will not break! when someone is running through the fire in huttball, you can stun them, and watch them get roasted. In PvE, its mainly good for a mid combat CC on an add, but other then that, all bosses are champion level NPCs and cannot be affected by this kind of stun, and because of this immunity they have, these bosses cannot have their spells interrupted by it.
F – Recklessness – Finally i get to talk about this spell. This spell is my true success to wrecking people in PvP, and really doing some serious damage in PvE. Basically once you use it, it lasts for like 15 seconds i think (feel free to correct me) and it gives you two charges of recklessness. Simply put, these two charges increase your chance to crit by 60% with your force spells (discharge and shock, thats really it all its worth blowing charges on). And dont be fooled, 60% isnt really what it seems, i crit with this proc up 9/10 times, only occassionally will i miss the crit, and the charge will still be there waiting for me to use up if i miss, so i just voltaic slash 2 more times, and pop a shock, or discharge if its off CD. For PvP i can nearly 3-4 shot people, assuming i get lucky and hit 4-5k crits, 3 times in a row, and yes with the 4 piece set bonus for pvp gear, u get an extra charge of recklessness, it may not seem like much, but that one charge nearly garuntees you another 3-5k crit (depending on your level of gear). This spell truly is the master spell in both PvE and PvP for assassins, tanks, depcetion dps, and madness dps alike. You get this spell at an early level, and if you dont have this keybinded yet, i feel bad for you, keybind it now!!! use it every CD, the damage and crit boost from this is irreplaceable.
V – Stealth – You must all have been thinking by now “where the heck does this crazy wing nut have his stealth spell???” well i can tell you when i was leveling in december and january, i had this as my 6 spell on my keyboard. When i hit 50 and really got into pvp, i realized, i only use this once every 2-3 minutes, because im nearly always in combat, so i felt my stealth didnt deserve that spot, and it could easily be hit with the V button on my keyboard. This spell is self explanatory as far as im concerned, always get into stealth before combat as a deception assassin, because your first 6 seconds out of stealth have increased force regen! (then with blackout used in combat, same buff comes back for 6 seconds, awesome!!) and in pvp if your blackout is on CD (cooldown) and you cant stealth for the regen buff (duh ur in combat) you can always use your force cloak spell to quickly vanish, regen your force (force regens faster in stealth) and come right back out again, but only blow your Cloak CD if you know ur pve group aint gonna wipe on the boss. In pvp you can vanish, spike (explain spike soon) and continue to deal damage to your current pvp opponent.
X – Unbreakable will – Im not sure if i got the name right, but this spell has an Iffy cooldown in my opinion, i played WoW before, so 2 minutes for a spell that gets you out of stuns and such for me is pretty much normal. Sometimes i stay in the stun when i have a lot of HP and my target is running off with loads of HP, in order to save this for another moment. I use it mostly when im stunned in the fire in huttball (dont wanna get roasted!!) and when i almost have a healer down (they may be at like 10%) and i unstun myself, interupt their heal, and BAM assassinate them! lol, and for pve, its kinda useless, unless maybe your a tank, your stunned, and you gotta pick up the boss or adds to save the group, but for pve deception, kinda useless imo.
Mouse button 1 – My current relic – For those of you who dont know, a relic is a piece of gear that you can equip (you can have two on at a time) and it has a proc that you can manually activate by simply dragging the relics picture from your characters gear page, onto you action bar. If anyone is curious, mine is a champion relic, and whenever i hit this relics keybind, it gives me like 220 crit and 220 surge i believe for like 10 seconds (maybe 15 not sure). So its almost like a second recklessness, not as good, but gotta love getting a higher crit change going for a few seconds!!
Mouse Button 2 – Mass mind control – All i can say for pvp is…WOW! this spell is great. basically, its the assassins AoE taunt, in pve as a tank (darkess assassin spec) you can use this to make all the adds within like 10 yards attack you. In PvP, bioware was nice enough to add some use for it. simply put, in pvp when you use this spell, within 15 meters/yards all your enemies do 30% less damage to all you allies in the same 15 meters for like 6 seconds i believe, unless they attack you. So basically everyone takes 30% less damage for 6 seconds, and you stay the same, you can rack up 3-4 more medals for using this every CD in big groups of enemies and friendlies alike. Id only use it when 2 or more enemies and friendlies (teammates) are in your 15 meter vicinity, otherwise, save it for a time when your in the middle of a big fight, maybe in a mosh pit in void star! lol
Shift 1 – Mind trap – again for the wow rogues out there, this is basically your sap spell, and for those who never played wow, its basically a spell where you must be in stealth to use it, and you stun a target without starting combat and without exiting stealth. in pve (mainly questing) your companion and you go into stealth, you see 4 targets you need to kill but arent confident you can take them all, so you mind trap the one furthest from the group (AoE dmg will break its stun effect) and burn the others while that one stays stunned FOR A MINUTE!! in questing this is such a handy spell. in pvp however, it doesnt keep your current enemy (who cannot be in combat by the way) stunned for long, i havent fully checked but you can stun them for nearly 10 seconds i believe, but be warned, most people know if they get mind trap, the assassin (this being you) is nearby, so they might use their unbreakable will spell (unstun) and start to AoE and maybe hit you with their AoE, getting you out of stealth, ruining the element of surprise, be careful, use mind trap on your target of choice and get away from your pvp target fast, and then plan your approach and kill.
Shift 2 – Saber Ward – Im not quite sure if this is the right name, but its the spell that reduces damage taken by 50% from all tech and force attacks i believe. Quite handy in the middle of a duel in pvp to give you some more time to kill whatever your currently working on, or if you brave enough running with the huttball as a dps class haha. in Pve for a deception its kinda pointless, unless the boss your on has a tech or force AoE that maybe you can help reduce and make easier for healers. in all fairness its more of a tank spell than anything.
Shift 3 – Overcharge Saber – For those of you who arent level 50 yet, and still soaking up all this information, this spell is the level 50 spell for assassins. As a deception its nice to give yourself a boost and your surging charge a boost, increasing your damage done. Other than that, its simple, just use it ever CD or whenever u deem necessary, in pve or pvp.
Shift 4 – Mind control – This is your taunt. Now your probably thinking “why wud i as a dps wanna use a tank taunt” well its basically a single target version of the mass mind control, single target taunt. usually if i see my healer getting harrassed by some dps or tank, ill use my tab button to eventually select that dps, taunt him, and he does 30% less damage to my healer teammate, and i get back to the person i was working on before. If you practice your tabbing in pvp alot like i did back in wow, you can eventually tab to the dps harassing your healer, taunt, and get back on your primary target within like 3 seconds. Its worth helping your healer always. in pve, dont ever use this spell unless your raid group has a good reason for you to. If you do and ur not supposed to, ur tanks will be upset lol.
Shift 5 – Spike – As a deception, this spell must be used in stealth and will break ur stealth upon use. What it does is it knocks your target down lying on their back on the ground for 2 seconds and stuns them for an addition 2 after. you can do damage to them during the 2 second knockdown, but if you do damage to them during the 2 second stun after the knockdown is over, u will break the 2 second stun. in pvp, its a great opening spell (breaking out of stealth spell = opener spell) to use on a healer or huttball carrier or whoever with low hp, as they cant do anything for 2-3 seconds.
Shift 6 – Force Slow – Sometimes i use force slow, sometimes i dont, i use it the most on huttball ball carriers, or the majority of players who end up trying to run away after 3-5 seconds of fighting me
Congrats guys, the spell section is OVER!!! dont forget to always have your surging charge spell on, because its like a combat stance you stay in when you fight. Im big on buffing in pvp, so before you get on the pvp grounds, or leave the safe areas in pvp, buff up with mark of power, not only for you, but to give your nearby allies that extra boost as well. some people forget to buff, it takes one sec, it kinda annoys me, but hey, watcha gonna do? 😛
Anyways, this next section is probably the least important in my mind, because talents can be changed in various ways and to be honest, ive been through many builds and havent seen HUGE difference in my adventures as an assassin. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that THIS IS A PVP BUILD, NOT PVE, but it can work just aswel for PvE and i think dual specs coming soon so no sweat. here is the link to my build, open it and read what i have to say about it in the following sentences:
Im gonna speak from the bottom to the top, each row known as row 1 which has insulation, dark embrace and duplicity, and row 2 having avoidance and etc, so im gonna name the talents and either explain why i have them, or i will say “self explanatory” which means….well you the point!!
– Dark embrace is self explanatory
– Duplicity is what i mentioned before in the maul description. its very important for a deception assassin to have. To be honest, i didnt use it when i was first playing at 50, but one day i picked it up, and smacked myself across the face for not getting it before. Cheaper force costing maul attacks once every 10 seconds, and ignoring 50% of your targets armor, great deal for 3 points imo.
– Insulation is pretty self explanatory, you get 30% (with 2 points) more armor whenever you have surging charge on, seems like a good deal to me, and worth the reduced damage taken in pvp or even pve for that matter.
– Obfuscation is an easy pick because who doesnt want their stealth to be harder to detect, i mean common guys, im sure at least 90% of us assassins chose this advanced class cuz we love the whole idea of stealth. And increased movement speed? even in pve thats good, doesnt hurt imo.
– Recirculation is great because discharge is one of the assassins main tools in rocking those 3-5k crits, who doesnt love using discharge more because of a reduced CD?
– Avoidance is a good pick for me personally because i pvp ALOT and love the lowered unbreakable will CD and if your more of a pve based assassin, i would not recommend this. use the 2 points for something you deem better for pve.
– Deceptive power is self explanatory
– Darkswell, remember i mentioned earlier in the blackout description that there was a talent that would give you 6 seconds of good force regen, well this is that talent, it makes blackout give you a 6 second force regen when used. simple. 110% worth it for any assassin.
– Surging charge is the tanking stance for assassins which i believe i mentioned earlier, not getting this will make the worst assassin on your server, self explanatory 😛
– Induction, remember how i said i hit 4K crits from maul, well this talent for one increased the amount you crit with whenever you do manage to crit with maul, it DOES NOT increase your maul crit chance, but instead the amount you crit for. and the second part is probably the most important talent in assassin dps as a whole, basically using voltaic slash twice makes your shock cost 50% of what its usual cost is, basically from 50 force to 25…thats awesome, you cannot miss this talent!!!
– Saber conduit is basically more of a stepping stone to get to the talent above it, static charges, which ill be explaining soon. a 30% chance to get 10 force once every 10 seconds to me seems like a small deal, but then again im quite sure it has a made a difference in some of my gameplay.
– Fade is great because a reduced CD on blackout is fantastic, instead of getting the increased force regen once a minute, you get it once every 45 seconds, making those “im out of force moments” very hard to come by, assuming you time your spells correctly 😛 and since i pvp the force cloak reduced CD by 1 whole minute is a gift from bioware to our pvp assassins, great talent.
– Static cling is a good talent, but i only recommend 1 talent our of the 2 for this once because with the one talent point, the CD and duration of force slow are exactly the same, meaning the second force slow wears off on your target it will come off CD at the same time, IMO thats all i need.
– Entropic field, other seasoned and decent assassins on my server have asked me why i dont get the talent that reduces the damage i take from AoE, and i have the best answer: GET OUT OF THE AOE…..durp. such a simple fix and you dont waste two talents in this. You see some smuggler doing his/her XS freighter flyby or a consular doing forcequake, it is so very clearly marked on the ground with the republic logo, your an idiot if you stand it. If you get stunned while in it, unstun and run, or if its on CD just take the abuse, with full centurion gear anyone can survive the AoEs the classes have in this game. For pve this might be worth it, but thats your call and depends on the healers you run with.
– Low slash is a great spell/ability for my playstyle. Ive heard and read a few pve assassins moaning about it for pve reasons because bosses really arent affected by it, but this spell can be used on adds and trash, i told those assassins that this game is dependent on CCs especially in heroic raids. As for pvp, like i mentioned in the spell details earlier, this is great for when your maul talent procs and they wont let you get behind, you just stun them with this run around behind them, and backstab em straight up!! lol
– Static Charges is great because deceptions heavily rely on discharge as part of their pve rotation or a pvp big crit. To be very honest with you guys, i just use discharge when it comes off CD everytime, and treat this talent as more of a bonus to my discharges damage done, rather than stacking up to 5 charges and using discharge. Through raiding and loads of warzones, ive had 2 charges give me a 3k crit, and 5 charges give me a 1.5k non crit hit, so i wouldnt stack this to 5 and rely on it for a big hit, treat it like a bonus when using your discharge. the charges proc enough so that everytime your discharge comes off CD you should have at least 2 charges waiting imo, somtimes more, sometimes 1 if your unlucky. it all depends.
– Resourcefulness is a fantastic pve talent, because although it sounds reduces the CD of cloud mind (that spell doesnt exist for assassins, i think it was a sage threat reducer, but its gone i believe, the torguild.net tooltip is wrong…) it actually lowers the cost of lacerate which is your AoE lightsaber ability, great for trash and adds in PvE but really stupid in PvP, complete waste of force imo, doesnt do enough in pvp to out damage the other teams healers. the second part of the talent is also nice for PvE because it you can use overcharge saber more often. Now the reason i dont have any talents in this talent, is 1. i dont use lacerate in pvp at all, and 2. im sacrificing overcharge saber for more talents that give me more mobility and survival, my rule of thumb for overcharge saber in pvp is just use it when its off CD, otherwise i do enough burst and damage as it is.
– Crackling Blasts is very self explanatory, more crit is always welcome, especially when its for your two biggest force spells, shock and discharge.
– Voltaic slash is by far my favorite spell amongst every single character i have in game. First of all, using it twice increases the damage done by your shock by 15%, and using it 2 times gets you to 30% which is the max. Its flashy and has such an epic animation. Only issue is, when a ranged dps or a tank on the other team sees you flashing this spell around, the smart people will say to themselves “hey a squishy assassin, lets wreck them” so be careful how you show this spell off in pvp haha (and dont fool yourself, assassins are so squishy in pvp). Also, for those of you who dont know, when using this spell, strafing (not turn, strafe using Q or E) will make it so your lightsaber spins in the direction of your strafe, and therefore you can make you animations look more acrobatic, and flashy. try it out!
Now the last 7 points i spent in the darkness tree, the tanking tree on the left.
– Charge mastery is pretty simple to understand, basically when you have your surging charge on (which should never be off as a deception) it makes your attacks ignore 9% of your targets armor, in other words, more damage, dont complain, enjoy it lol.
– Thrashing blades to some people is not worth it, because most assassins in pvp only use voltaic slash, well wake up, voltaic slash is the most used melee spell for assassins, its worth that extra 6% for only 2 points, and its a great talent to help us get to the final talent, right above it. For PvE assassins this is great because it also increased lacerate damage by 6% so that would work well on adds and trash in raids too.
Row 2 (the final talents)
– Lightning recovery reduces the CDs of two very important spells in pvp, force shroud (our semi invincibility spell) and force speed, our super fast sprint spell. 20 seconds for speed instead of 30 is a great deal imo when in pvp, and having shroud on a 45 second CD instead of a 1 min means you get to resist 100% of force and tech attacks more often. For PvE, i believe this talent to be utterly pointless, i only have it because i enjoy the mobility and increased survivability it provides.
Congrats once again, we are nearly finished with this article/guide!!! The last section is relatively short compared to the first two. this section is just me pretty much telling you the ways of how i rip sh** up and kick a** 24/7, all day all night. And ill be sure to include a quick and simple PvE rotation to maximize dps and save as much force as possible.
The play style to an assassin in PvP is fairly simple. My general overall rule, is use what you deem is necessary for the situation your currently in. PvP is not only about taking your opponents out, it is also about predicting and mitagating incoming damage or CCs.
My basic play style is i open with a spike usually, which knocks my target on the ground, then i voltaic slash 2 times to get my 2 charges from voltaic slash itself, increasing the damage dealt by shock by 30%, and at the same time, you reduce the cost of shock by 50%, remember the induction talent in row 3? ya thats right, you gain 2 buffs just from using voltaic slash twice! great deal and i love the way the developers set that up.
After my 2 voltaic slashes are used, i pop my recklessness spell, and shock right off the bat! boom 3-5k crit, yeehaww, its that simple, then by this time you should have at least 2 charges of the discharge buff, remember row 5 with static charges? so then right after your 2 voltaics, your recklessness pop, and your shock, give your target a nice critting discharge, right in their face. another 3-5K hp knocked off their HP bar feels goooood!
At this point, i can bet your maul talent will have procced already, so give your target a low slash to stun them for 4 seconds, go behind em, and stab them right the backside!!! lol so evil xD remember to only use maul when the talent procs, even if your target has 10% HP and your assassinate (finishing spell) is on CD, voltaic slash 2-3 times instead, maul without the proc costing 50 force, will do no more than 1.5k non crit, it just aint worth it without the proc.
Those are the basic damage dealing abilities. In terms of using stuns like electrocute and interupts like force jolt, use those when u feel you need them. Some one scared of you trying to run away? electrocute them and take em down!! a healer is getting low on HP and is trying to save him/herself with a heal? jolt them to interupt and finish them off!!! lol force speed when you gotta run to help teammates or bail from a fight, cloak when you realize you cant win a fight against another player or your being ganked by 2 or more enemy players, shroud to remove any DoTs on you, cloak and quickly sprint. other than that, spike to start combat, blackout for force regen when needed, overcharge saber to do more damage, you all get the point.
Like i said thats it, remember to use voltaics twice before EVER using shock (unless u gotta finish off an enemy 10 yards away or so) discharge every CD, and take every thing i said into consideration, and i hope you build up your own play style! everyone should play how they like, not how i tell you to play. experiment with your assassin and enjoy the gameplay!
I said i would give you a pve rotation, well its basically the same thing with the 2 voltaics in pvp, then shock, discharge, then maul, rinse and repeat, thats it, remember to use recklessness every CD in pve, dont forget to saber strike when your low on force, and to make this even nicer, the PvE assassin raiding gear(the dps one) has an amazing 2 piece set bonus, basically you get addition force back when using saber strike, it is so nice
Thanks to everyone who read the whole darned thing hahaha i know this must have been a tiring read and i hope you have found it worth it. Before closing up shop here, i re read most of it and asked myself “was the information i gave kinda obvious?” and i concluding with i dont believe so, i included personal experiences with this advanced class and the corrections to the mistakes SO MANY assassins make today in pve and pvp alike. Its a very simple class to play once you keybind your spells in a way that feels the most COMFORTABLE TO YOU!!! lol dont forget to customize and play your assassin to your taste and style.
There is only one favor i want to ask of any potential posters and players with questions: positive reinforcement!!! please, only post things that are constructive and positive. Im always open to suggestions, criticism, and please if you see anything that could improve this guide and any mistakes you believe i made, tell me them, but in a nice and positive manner
Everyone, please understand and respect that i put nearly 5 hours (over several days) into composing, constructing, and adding the finishing touches to this guide, so please dont be rude with your comments, i just want my hard work and time to be a useful resource to those people who are new to the class and even those who are geared and maybe want to tweak and change the way they play.
In addition guys ive decided just now that if you guys thought this was detailed and very usefull, let me know and if i get enough positive comments on this and requests for a tank guide i will do that as well, i have spent a week or so in the darkness tank spec with simple centurion gear and i did great, and i believe i have mastered that spec too. Just dont ask for a madness guide because i havent tried it yet lol 😛
If enough people request or recommend this, i will really consider making a youtube channel with my pvp and pve exploits with possible commentary on how to adjust in pvp and pve gameplay, but that would be so much more time consuming and i would need to know if enough people would be interested in watching potential gameplay videos.
Thanks again for the support guys, and leave your comments in the section below!!
The Shadowlands server
Guild : Bon Weir