Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 12:17 PM |  
Never much for cookie cutter specs, I worked out an Assassin/Bladedancer hybrid that is a blast to play in Warfronts. The spec is 32 Assassin / 21 Bladedancer / 13 Infiltrator.

What it offers (compared to 51 assassin, its closest relative):

Blade Tempo - Offensive Cooldown
Side Steps - Defensive Cooldown
Weapon Barrage - Spell Interrupt
Flash of Steel - Gap Closer
Sprint - Gap Closer
Group 40 Dex buff
Better energy efficiency

What it lacks (compared to 51 sin):

Serpent Strike

I'm not counting things like Poison Gas and Hidden Veil because (to me) those are gimmicky at best.

This spec offers far more versatility than full Assassin and is much hardier when caught out of stealth (something 51 Assassin fails at horribly). It also has significantly more cooldowns and has the potential to beat any class, though like most builds it struggles against high-rank clerics.

Macros Used

2 CP
cast Puncture
cast Precision Strike
cast Quick Strike
cast Keen Strike

1 CP
cast Backstab
cast Quick Strike
cast Keen Strike

Generally speaking, the goal is to get Jagged Strike and Impale ticking, then start pumping out Deadly Strikes for bigger hits. Never use Final Blow. Sindancer lends itself to various playstyles and strategies, and because of that I'll describe some of my common matchups here, and what I do in various situations.

Maximum Damage Combo
If you're trying to kill a necro/lock or cleric, your best bet is to pump out the most damage possible, using all your cooldowns. Your biggest advantage here is that they won't take you seriously because you're a rogue, so you can usually get all your DoTs up before they freak out.

Open with Jagged Strike > Puncture > Blade Tempo/Trinket > Impale and then get 5 combo points as quickly as possible, interrupting any heal being cast during this time and they should be hurting a bit by now. As soon as you get 5 Combo points:
Deadly Strike > Slip Away > Assassinate
This should hit almost anyone for well over 2k damage and if they are below 500 valor it can go upwards of 2500 with Blade Tempo and trinket active. If they're still alive, follow with Foul Play/Backstab and dump down to 0 energy. If they manage to heal through that, you gave it your best shot, but now you're dead. :)

DoT-Cheesing Non-Healers
You can do this as 51 Sin also.

Open with Jagged Strike > Puncture > Impale then Slip Away and immediately start spamming them with Expose Weakness. This will add damage to your DoTs, but more importantly, it will force them to stay in combat so they can't drink. Once your DoTs expire, reopen and even an 800 valor warrior will be below 50%.

You can also use this Expose-spam technique to prevent rogues from stealthing if you're not ready to engage them yet (like if his friends are hanging around at Vault). He'll stay unstealthed and when the time is right, you get the opener.

vs. Marksman
This is actually fairly challenging if they have high valor.

Open with Jagged Strike and immediately Foul Play to give yourself time to Puncture and Impale. Don't snare. You'll need it later and he's about to break it with On The Double.

If he pops Improved Hit and Run, you need to either Side Steps or Slip Away.

If he gets to range on you, you need to use Flash of Steel or Sprint, but don't use FoS while his OTD is up or you'll waste it on his immunity.
Posted by Dunsparrow Labels:


Grapejelly said...

I am having an awesome time with this spec (adapted as my rogue is only 41 right now) in warfronts and open world pvp. At first it just seemed like assassin-lite and I was dubious for what it'd be like in the meat-grinder at 50 but then I got all the way to Flash of Steel in Bladedancer and frankly I'm sold...

For now as I can't put the 13 in INF I'm shoving this in Nightblade as I level for a bit of light ranged attack and CP building on the run. I'd probably be loathed to lose that by replacing it with Infiltrator at higher ranks at 50 :( Look forward to trying out your other pvp specs at 50. Great site.

July 9, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Dunsparrow said...

Thanks. I actually don't run this spec anymore, because I find Assassin is not well-suited to my playstyle. I like to be in the thick of fights, eating and dealing damage, rather than on the edges, choosing targets of opportunity.

However, I'm glad you like it and it is pretty effective. Having 15 points in Inf is extremely important for the healing debuff that is really your only chance against many mages and clerics.

July 10, 2011 at 9:04 AM