SWTOR 3.0 Deception Assassin DPS Guide by Evolixe

SWTOR 3.0 Deception Assassin DPS Guide by Evolixe of TOFN.

Intro to Deception Assassin

Deception pretty much plays like it used to. The energy management got slightly changed and we got a replacement ability for Shock but that is really all there is to it as far as mechanical 3.0 changes go.

You still have your choice for utilities which I highly advise you judge on a boss-to-boss basis. Each boss has unique abilities and that makes different utilities particulary useful.

Overall though, I would generally not recommend the exercise of the Deception Discipline at all given the current strength of Hatred. Hatred beats Deception at AoE, Single Target, and in some cases even at burst capabilities.

If you really are a die-hard Deception player that doesn’t want to know about Hatred, just know you are shooting your own kneecaps. kinda. 😛

Rating

  • Single Target Dps: 7
  • AoE Damage: 4
  • Group Utility: 7
  • Rotation Difficulty: 9
  • RNG Dependant: Very Slightly
  • Burst: 8
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

Gearing & Stats Priority

  • **Must Have** Accuracy: As close to 759 accuracy rating as possible.
  • 0 Alacrity
  • 68-77% Surge
  • 180-220 Critical Rating (Got less attractive, not sure about the values)
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Willpower (Resolve)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set bonus: 6 piece Stalker’s
  • Surging Charge

Gearing Overview

  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
  • At this point in time Alacrity is not advised until you start hitting massive Surge Diminishing Returns (over 74%, which you won’t reach for a while with the accuracy requirement). It doesn’t reduce the cooldown of your Force Cloak and therefore completely mucks up your Recklessness/Blackout synergy.
  • Crit rating isn’t that amazing anymore, I’m unsure of the exact values that would be wishful. But I’d personally stay around the ~180-220 crit rating right now.
  • Choice of relics should be made on a fight-to-fight basis. Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution will give you a greater overall damage increase, while Boundless Ages will allow you to focus your burst into a short window for fights with tight burn phases
  • Getting your set bonus as quickly as possible is highly recommended. It will increase your dps substantially enough that having lower item level armorings with the set bonus is still a better option than higher item level armorings without it.

Utility Choices

Each boss you’ll probably want a different Utility set. However let me first state the ones you should have for EVERY boss fight.

  • Clerity/Avoidance, Breaker cooldown reduction and Force Speed cooldown reduction mainly. Increases uptime, allows you to escape dangerous situations more often. Can save your life in pretty much every fight.
  • Misdirection/Obfuscation, increases movement speed..and as a little bonus adds a layer of 5 levels in stealth. Prevents detection from both players and creatures. Once again good for uptime..but also for avoiding all kinds of situations any boss can throw at you.
  • Fade, due to the nature of the Deception talenttree is completely mandatory for force management reasons.
  • Force Harmonics/Audacity, because it is pretty much the only utility that DIRECTLY increases your single target damage.

Now you have 4 choices left per boss.

  • Shadowy Veil/Insulation can be good for bosses where you have a high damage income on. IE Walkers, Torque, Blaster. It’s a pretty nice talent for all of those.
  • Lambaste is a must have for any boss where you will be allowed to AoE a number of close range targets for longer than 5 seconds at a time. Great for Torque HM and Sparky SM.
  • Mind over Matter/Disjunction is great in situations where an extended Resilience time is actually going to provide you any gain. For example on Torque, so you can wander the fires like nothing is going on, or on Blaster..to eat the "Boss" his lazer damage for a longer than normal period of time. Bulo, for eating the minecarts without having to f-off. It can be useful on Walkers, if you intend to take risks and not move..but it shouldn’t be necessary given you have more than plentyful room to manuever in 8man.
  • Cloak of Resilience/Shroud of Madness can be particulary useful on bosses that have a high frequency of particulary hard-hitting force/tech abilities. Such as Kurse on Commanders, The Underlurker with Rage storm and the adds in melee range, or Walkers whom simply have a TON of ShroudableAoE abilities.
  • Egress/Emersion, great on fights where you get slowed or rooted.Most notoriously The Underlurker.
  • Lastly, Containment/Haunted Dreams is pretty much the only other actually useful point in the Heroic tier for PvE. As on Commanders, you’ll sometimes want to put some CC on the mandalorians while you’re handling others.

Any Utilities I didn’t mention are not even worth considering for end game plays.

With the sole Exception of Mental Defense/Shapeless Spirit, if your healers are extremely slow with cleansing on Torque HM.

Abilities & Rotation

Abilities

discharge Discharge while in Surging Charge has a different mechanic from Madness, so instead of being a dot it is an instant damage ability, however its damage depends on how many Static Charges you have built, up to a maximum of 3 charges. Using it while at 3 stacks is a must, and delaying it will often lead to a dps loss. As per 3.0, Discharge also increases ALL force damage dealt to its target by 5%. For everybody in the group/raid.
sunderingassault Maul is one of your most important abilities. It should only be used with a Duplicity proc, increasing its damage done and reducing cost. However it is very low on the priority list simply because it can be delayed for exactly 6 global cooldowns before it would have a negative impact on DPS. As per 3.0 Maul also applies an armor debuff on its target.
shock (1) Shock is no longer any part of your rotation at all. And it can be removed from your actionbars entirely.
balllightning Ball Lightning is considered to be your most important ability, in combination with Discharge, and should be used on whenever you have 2 induction procs unless you already have 3 Static Charges. It deals decent damage, procs your lightsaber Charge, essentially improving its damage and giving you Static Charges, and can be quite low cost.
lightningswing Voltaic Slash is your general filler ability, allowing you to buff your Ball Lightning with Voltage, which should be up as often as possible, triggering Induction to lower Shock cost, and dealing decent damage.
disorientingblow Assassinate is your sub 30% damage ability, and should replace Voltaic Slash whenever it’s available. The only reason it’s below Voltaic Slash on the priority list is because you have to keep the Voltage buff up permanently, meaning that eventually you may have to delay the use of Assassinate by a GCD to refresh your Voltage buff. The only abilities that should be used ahead of Assassinate are a 3 stack Discharge, and Voltaic Slash (only to maintain Voltage). If Assassinate is up during a Duplicity proc, Assassinate should be used first and Duplicity delayed, due to its long internal cooldown.
spinningstrike

Lacerate is your AoE replacement for Voltaic Slash. If there are more than 3 targets within its range Lacerate is well worth the effort. And in 3.0 it also applies ALL benefits that Voltaic Slash does on only a single target.

Rotation

Opening Rotation

I personally prefer to open with Stealth + Recklessness / Adrenal + Discharge  + Ball Lightning + Voltaic Slash + Voltaic Slash + Maul (proc) OR Voltaic Slash + Discharge + Ball Lightning +  Blackout > follow rules (see below)

swtor-3.0-deception-assassin-opener
Another opener would be Stealth  + Voltaic Slash + Voltaic Slash +  Recklessness/Adrenal  + Discharge  + Ball Lightning + Voltaic Slash + Maul (proc) OR Voltaic Slash + Blackout + Voltaic Slash + Ball Lightning> follow rules 

swtor-3.0-deception-assassin-opener-2

Rotation Strategy

Now let’s talk “Rotations”

The reason for using the quotes is because there isn’t really much of a rotation for Assassins. It’s all about interpreting your momentum the right way. I will explain exactly what I mean by that now.

For Assassins, I like to explain the damage sequence as a set of rules that you should follow but you CAN “cheat” them if you find yourself in a unique situation.

The first rule, ALWAYS use Discharge the moment you get 3 Static charges. Not doing so might result in procs that will only retrigger the duration of the 3 stack proc. But they are effectively “lost” This can still be a good thing though, if you need to save your burst for a couple of seconds for example. You might want to hold off on using your Discharge. But only then.

The second rule, ONLY use your Ball Lightning with 2 Induction procs. Not doing so will result in force starvation before Blackout is back. Forcing you to use more Saber Strikes than you should. Once again this rule can be cheated if you find yourself in a massive overflow of force. For example at the opener.

The third rule, keep your Voltaic Slash buff up at all times. This rule should not be cheated and is pretty much a holy grail. Sometimes you will find yourself using extra Voltaic Slashes to ensure you do not overcap force. This is when you are in the middle of a Ball Lightning cooldown and havn’t got anything more force consuming to use. If however you find yourself overcapping and Discharge becomes available, Discharge still has priority.

The fourth rule, use your Maul only with a Duplicity proc. It is also at the bottom of your priority list because while the proc is up, another cannot trigger due to internal cooldown. It replaces one of your Voltaic Slashes in between Ball Lightning’s cooldown when it triggers. Allowing you to save 13 force. Which you will need to last the entire 45 seconds of Blackout cooldown.

The fifth rule, Assassinate on cooldown. The only ability that takes priority over Assassinate is Discharge. Once you enter the burn phase, you will pretty much stop using Saber Strike entirely and switch to using Assassinate, Voltaic Slash and Maul in between every Ball Lightning cooldown. However you should delay Ball Lightning for Discharge/Assassinate if it comes to that.

Now before we continue I wish to add a little explanation as to how Ball Lightning really works in conjunction to the rest of your abilities. Basically, when you use Ball Lightning, you have EXACTLY 3 GCDs to get 2 Induction and once you have that you should stop using attacks that trigger Induction.

For example: You are at 60 force, you have a Duplicity proc and need to refresh Voltaic. You use the Duplicity proc and you refresh Voltaic Slash. After that you Saber Strike to ensure you don’t lose more force than you have to.The order isn’t important unless either buff is prone to expire before you can get the second gcd off. In that case whatever is about to fall off has priority.

This rule is overridden once you get to the burn phase. At that point you just hammer for as long as you have force. Only using a Saber Strike if you think you will run out of force.

AoE rotation

The AoE “Rotation” has basically become your Single Target rotation where you Substitute Voltaic Slash for Lacerate. Lacerate now costs the same amount of force, and offers the same bonuses that Voltaic Slash does including the Voltage buff. It is a full-blown replacement for 3+ targets in close range.

This doesn’t make the AoE of Deception particulary amazing..but at least it’s not as terrible to execute as it used to be.

Sample Parse Analysis

swtor-3.0-deception-assassin-parse

Force Breach (Discharge) has taken the top spot from Voltaic Slash as your main damage source now. Which isn’t surprising given the drop of crit chance as we don’t have the old 4-set anymore. And the new 4-set makes us able to almost perfectly sync Force Cloaking and Blackout.

Psychokinetic Blast (Ball Lightning) is your full-blown Shock replacement. It hits harder but basically does the same thing. The high frequency of its use and high Surge rating on it cause this ability to come in a close second.

Clairvoyant Strike (Voltaic Slash) as I said with Force Breach, this ability lost a lot of its damage from the sudden drop in crit chance. However it is still by far your most activated ability and therefore comes in at a balanced third place.

Shadow Strike (Maul) also hits particularly hard thanks to Duplicity, however it’s less frequently used due to Duplicity’s longer cooldown, though it should still be in fourth place for your overall damage.

Shadow Technique (Surging Charge) is an excellent Charge, with a low proc chance for high damage, but thanks to Voltage Balls, it is forced to proc more often than it should naturally, despite its long internal cooldown. Depending of course on RNG, the exact percentage will vary, but will often take the fifth spot for your damage dealt.

Spinning Strike (Assassinate) is a powerful and cheap ability that gains great benefit from talents. It should be used as often as possible, and its damage essentially depends on how long the fight actually lasts for with targets under 30% HP. On an average single target boss fight, it should do lower damage than your other hard hitting abilities, but higher than Saber Strike and any fillers.

Saber Strike is the final components of your parse. Saber Strike is used the most during the two long delays between Blackout and Force Cloak cooldowns, since you won’t regenerate Force as quickly, so accounting for between 2-5% of your damage dealt is often a good number.

You can observe that at least half of your damage dealt is done by melee attacks from your Voltaic Slash, Assassinate, Maul and Saber Strike close to 50%, while the other half comes from Force abilities such as Ball and Discharge. A high proportion of your damage dealt, usually around 70%, is done by Energy / Kinetic damage which is highly mitigated by armor, making your armor penetration talent and Debuff very useful. The other 30% is Internal damage from Discharge and your Saber Charge.

About the author

Evolixe is a well known Shadow/Assassin player residing on Tomb of Freedon Nadd. Mostly known for PvP experiences, recently joining into the PvE scene and quickly picking up Nightmare level raiding. Currently recordholder of multiple Infiltration/Deception DPS world records on latest content bosses.

  • Bennet1901

    Great guide. Now if I can have impose weakness and my force slow range boost back it might not be so bad in pvp.

    • Bennet1901

      And maybe stacking duplicity for this would be good.

    • It would need a little more than impose weakness for it to become viable in PvP again tbh.

      Straight up 20% damage boost to Discharge and Assassinate+Maul. It’d need a tone down in pve after that probably, but that’s nothing we couldn’t fix.

  • Kyumz

    nice ego about the autor omg

    • The about author section was a copy/paste from the pre-3.0 guide.

      • Bonn

        Lol, did he write it himself though?

        • Yes, and what he wrote was true pre 3.0.

          • Shmakin

            Now if only Roudy made a PvP guide for his sin…

            • Thing with PvP guides is the fact that it’s so dynamic. It’s why I don’t make any “class” PvP guides.

              Everytime someone picks an ability for a GCD there are a million and one things that can happen. And you need to have a pre-set gameplan for each and every one of them.

              PvP is experience. You can’t put experience in a guide, as much as I’d like.

  • RushJohnson

    Dulfy when will Hatred guide be up. I main an Assassin (tank for PvE) and have found Hatred hard to kill with in PVP cause of the lack of burst, while i can top the dps charts in Deception. So I am really excited to see what I am missing about Hatred that makes it so OP. Thanks for all the content as always and Happy Holidays –RJ

    • Don’t have a current ETA for the hatred/serenity guide. Unsure who wants to write it at this time.

      • RushJohnson

        Cool. I guess I will figure it out on my own (I think I know what I was doing wrong). Who is writing Darkness? I have really been enjoying 3.0 Darkness tanking

        • Don’t know who is writing darkness sin either, let me ask around to see if anyone is interested

      • Mark Shireman

        Sounds like Evolixe should write the Hatred guide since s/he seems so enthusiastic about it…

        • Haha, I am :p

          But for example I use both dots one after the other even in PvE for my own comfort. Theoretically that’s not the best way to go about a single target approach, but I find the alternative clunky and weird to execute.

          • Ellendra

            That’s because it *is* weird and clunky to execute 😛 It took a long time for me to get used to having 3 spaces between my dots.

          • RushJohnson

            Evolixe, if we arent stepping on any toes can you write out the rotation for single target hatred particularly with pvp in mind. Like I said I feel like I can pawn fools pretty easily with deception, but having trouble finishing in Hatred. My guess is I wasn’t thrashing enough after my dots were up. (Thrash is the filler replaced by Assassinate, demolish proc, then leeching strike)? BTW good job on the guide! Loving DPS Assassin in PVP

            • I Leeching Strike in PvP only when I actually need health. It can hit really hard but if you’re at full hp.. then 5 seconds later get bursted to 15% and only barely manage to escape.. you will hate yourself if you already used Leeching Strike with full HP before and then just die because the healer was half a GCD short of getting you massive support.

              As of the “rotation” like I said.. PvP is dynamic. My opener is VERY dependant of enemy movement, approach, class, and setting. I couldn’t give you a real GOOD answer without being here for another 10 years writing things that could possibly happen and how to approach them.

              However if you want to really generalize it.. on an isolated target I open with DF, then CT and Discharge, then start melee for a raze proc. Assassinate is always top priority even over Leeching Strike unless you urgently need health.

              • RushJohson

                Interesting so you don’t CT, Discharge then DF to spread DOT’s? The dot buff applied by DF shouldn’t miss but two ticks of CT correct? Thanks for the fast reply btw

              • You asked for Single Target, and I specifically stated that this only goes under isolation. If there are more targets to be hit, CT>DS>DF are TOP priority.

                In fact, it is so essential you get that off asap, that I pretty much always pop my deflection right out of stealth so that nobody can stop me from making that happen.

              • RushJohson

                I assume that means ur always taking Dark Stability then. Do you find Audacity as necessary in Hatred as it is in Depection?

              • I used to take it, but I’m moving away from it now. The extra stack pretty much doesn’t help at all given I mostly Recklessness my Death Field.

                The cooldown reduction on Overload is véry nice, but it’s not worth it over a reduced cooldown on a second purge.

                For PvE, Audacity is a must however. As it is the only Utility point besides Lambaste that DIRECTLY increases your damage output.

              • RushJohson

                Last Q since I have you. Do you run Opressing Force and Nerve Wracking in PVP. I like the combination and I figure in a DOT spec it worrks really well

              • Nope. Neither.

                Nerve Wracking is literally insignificant compared to the other utilities and Oppressing Force is… well.. same thing really. It’s not going to account for more damage reduction than your AoE taunt. Being stunned doesn’t even always mean you’re taking damage.

                I think it’s a wasted point.

              • RushJohnson

                Sorry those are the reduced cool down on Electrocute and 5% increased dmg when players are controlled by Eloctrocute and Spike

              • Right :p

                Either way, given the amazing choices we have.. I skipped that one too.

              • RushJohnson

                Very Cool. Thanks again for you thoughts and Happy Holidays.

                –RJ

              • Sweet, thanks :p

          • Mark Shireman

            TBH, I was a little put off by the “Don’t play this discipline – it’s crap compared to Hatred. Go play Hatred or you’re failing your guild” messaging. It’s one thing to state in a guide: “This is the weakest discipline for sustained DPS” or something of the like, but flat-out stating “If you play this spec, you’re a liability” is a bit arrogant to say the least. It might even be true, especially if you’re a progression raider looking to do NiM mode 60 content, but that’s making assumptions.

            • It’s merely the truth. If you find it offensive I’m sorry, and I suppose you’re right about the wording. But my line of thinking doesn’t always take that route.

              Personality thing, at least you know for sure I wrote it :p

      • Ellendra

        I’ll be writing the Hatred guide, but the holidays have been very busy for me this year, so it likely won’t be done until the 26th or later. I’ll also be largely borrowing from what MK already had written, since not a lot changed.

    • Dulfy did ask me and I’m fine with sharing my knowledge. But I’m not someone that can do world top 3 in serenity for PvE.

      What I can do is share my ways and experience.

    • Also, you can watch my stream where I play Hatred/Serenity in PvP and occasionally PvE.

      You’re free to ask questions there too 😉

  • Artorias

    So question, why are you not pre-proccing Voltaic stack and reduced Ball Lightning cost in the opener by using Lacerate? This cuts out Voltaic ENTIRELY from the opener, allowing you to use Maul without having to worry about delaying gaining your Voltaic stacks to make your next Ball Lightning proc Discharge?

    • Ellendra

      It’s clunky outside of dummy parses, but yes, this can be done. Honestly, you have so much force in the opener that it hardly matters outside of the extra Surging Charge trigger you get. On a real boss, this is much harder to do, but can certainly be done.

      • Artorias

        Preproccing is never hard especially since Voltage lasts 15 seconds, plenty of time to open on a boss.

        • Ellendra

          I didn’t say hard, I said clunky. You have to drop stealth to Lacerate, then stealth back up.

    • Because it doesn’t net you any gain.

      You want to get rid of your blackout ASAP after opening so you can prevent having to clip it with force cloak.

      • Artorias

        It pulls out Voltaic Slash from your opener in favor of other abilities which will hit harder. What gain do I get from using Ball Lightning without Induction or Voltage?

        And this doesn’t even matter either. The change I’m proposing doesn’t change when you use Blackout or cloak, it changes the opening ability priority due to pre-gained stacks.

        • The cost reduction is useless because you need to use your blackout before you can get to a point where you can prevent it from capping out, if you do this.

          To clarify, it’s not bad. There is no downside to doing it, but there isn’t anything to gain either.

          • Ellendra

            There is one thing you gain: an extra hit of Surging Charge that you wouldn’t have had. It’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s there.

  • The Watchmen

    “Overall though, I would generally not recommend the exercise of the
    Deception Discipline at all given the current strength of Hatred. Hatred
    beats Deception at AoE, Single Target, and in some cases even at burst
    capabilities.

    If you really are a die-hard Deception player that wants to know
    about Hatred, just know you are being liability to yourself and your
    raiding/pvp team by doing so.”

    My question for guide’s author is this: If you do not recommend playing Deception over Hatred in any PVE content, then why bother making a guide at all?

    Seem likes to me you are just trying to give those hardcore Deception player a guide to do it right while telling them straight-up that they are stupid and wrong playing bothering with the discipline at all.

    You did not have to be that harsh, telling people they are a liability is they play Deception. Just rude.

    That said, it’s a good guide and thank you for creating it. I have a Shadow, and I’ve ran Balance and now Serenity for the longest time, but mess around with Infiltration here and there. Good to have some pointers.

    • Because I know how the spec works exceptionally well. And I like to help people regardless.

      I’m not creating this guide for myself.
      I’m doing it for you guys.

      • The Watchmen

        The guide is brilliant and well done, just had issue how up front you were is all.

    • DrOph

      Intentions well noted, but your “helpful” comment, suggesting that the author be less straight forward about the capability of the Deception/Infiltration spec is misguided, and doesn’t serve the needs of the community at all. I’ve been a hardcore deception player since I began playing swtor, and I have to agree 100% with their assessment. You dabble as you say with the class, and speak mainly from the standpoint of what you perceive some hypothetical third party may think, criticizing the author who has an indepth understanding of the class. You suggest he is rude for stating what any prospective sin raider should know about the class, a sober consideration of what may be their best options for running an assassin or shadow in endgame content. You may worry that someone somewhere may not appreciate the brutal reality which the author stated so plainly, but you can’t really fault them for saying it. As a die-hard deception player, I think that quote should be rendered in bold and italic. If you are raiding, it’s not about what you like, but about what the team needs to be successful. Knowing the limitations, and accepting them is a very important part of understanding the class.

      • The Watchmen

        I know well the limitation of raid groups and different encounters. I raided every piece of content in WoW from Vanilla straight through end of Mists. I’ve also done everything is SWTOR but 16-man NiM EC and NiM Brontes DF and NiM Raptus/Council in DP. I’m just one of those guys that like to explore what different team configs you and use and win, but at the end of the day, what will exceed wins. Just hate the most FOTM specs always win.

  • Ellendra

    The only thing I would bring into question, here, is the gearing section. I’m working on figuring out the gear, but I think, even with the lack of effect on Blackout and Force Cloak, Alacrity will have some benefit, as the force isn’t quite tight enough yet for that to become an issue. The critical rating values may be surprisingly close to what is optimal, though, so good on you for that one. I can also provide the math on the new 6 piece vs new 2 piece + old 4 piece if you want it.

    • Sure, after you get into the 70’s% of surge rating.

      • Ellendra

        4 pieces of story mode gear will already put you at almost 70% Surge. It’s going to either be 3/1 or more likely 2/2 for Surge/Alacrity in these two tiers of gear. I don’t know how it’ll play out in further tiers yet, and my code is still funky, so it could change, but that’s what I’m getting so far.

  • Anonymous

    Leading with this statement: “If you really are a die-hard Deception player that wants to know about Hatred, just know you are being liability to yourself and your raiding/pvp team by doing so.”

    If I am a die-hard Deception player, I’m not interested in Hatred, but I’m glad to hear that it’s sub-par to Deception and a liability to myself and others no matter the content I play.

    Ironically I don’t think that’s what the author meant to say. Presumably he was actually trying to say, hey I’m writing this guide but don’t advise others to play the spec.

    Therefore, seeing that Deception is so completely broken that the entire ops group will be incapable of clearing content, no matter its level, and that it is unable to compete with even the lowliest pvper out there, I feel no need to read further and will find a class/spec that is functional within the existing game mechanics. After 12x XP that should be fairly easy, with other characters and I look forward to a time that the community finds a way to play this class that I can learn from that makes it capable of contributing to end game group content.

    • Should’ve been “that doesn’t want to know anything about Hatred”

      Either my or dulfy’s typo.. Sorry :p

      • Yeap.. definitely mine. Sorreh <3

    • Ellendra

      Unfortunately, Evo is somewhat right in that statement. The advantages Deception once had are no longer as clear, especially in these operations. Lots of fights have enough adds that the splash damage from just Death Field makes Hatred deal more damage than the on-demand burst Deception brings is worth. There are also very few short, hard burns that would make Deception excel, due to Hatred not being able to have its full damage up for long enough. Had these fights been designed differently, Deception could shine in some (and I will probably still use it even in HM/NiM to show it can be done), but most things Deception does can be better done in Hatred :/

  • Axerost

    Annihilation guide pls, can’t wait to see the numbers. Is it in progress? When can we expect?

    • Dulfy doesn’t write the guides herself, someone needs to actually step up and be willing to do it :p

      • Axerost

        Yep I know just wondering whether someone is already on it

  • Solicron

    I love deception. Never, in a million years, would I play the most god-awful boring, cancerous rot that is hatred. It’s so freaking boring and OP that I can easily deem it the worst spec in the game. That’s my opinion though. It makes me sad that not many others share it.

    • Ellendra

      Honestly, it’s not terribly boring. It’s rigid and punishing if you want to play it at an optimal level, and small deviations can cost you a lot of potential damage. It is far from the top damage dealing specialization in the game any more, and outside of PvP, is actually fairly well balanced against other classes (though I personally think the damage for Assassins should be tuned up a tiny bit overall, due to light armor limiting their “off tanking” ability and their “raid utility” coming the form of a once per 15 minutes mid-combat rez).

      • Solicron

        “Honestly, it’s not terribly boring.”
        Discharge, CT, deathfield, thrash, Demolish… thrash thrash thrash. It’s not volatile, it doesn’t change. It’s boring.
        ” It’s rigid and punishing if you want to play it at an optimal level”

        Because hitting those same 5-6 buttons is terribly hard 😛
        “though I personally think the damage for Assassins should be tuned up a tiny bit overall”
        …plz no.
        “”raid utility” coming the form of a once per 15 minutes mid-combat rez).”

        5% phasewalk heal? If you’re hatred, the AoE damage increase? If you’re deception, the armor decrease and the thing discharge did (TBH, I don’t remember :P)?

        • Ellendra

          You’re entitled to an opinion. I’m entitled to say you’re wrong.

          As for not being boring: don’t clip your dots, use 4 abilities, 3 of which have different cooldowns, without letting them interfere with one another, plan ahead because your energy management isn’t terribly forgiving yet at the same time burn as much of it away as you can at any given moment with no instant recovery move, constantly evaluate your actions against enemy hp levels and number of enemies available to hit. There’s a lot to think about when trying to play better than derping around and using abilities in the completely wrong order. If you want to go ahead and not try to play a class to its full potential, go ahead, be my guest, but don’t try to tell me that there isn’t a lot of planning that needs to go into playing that spec to make it perform optimally.

          And yes. Damage, for a melee class in light armor should be higher than that of ranged classes, who don’t have to be healed through extra damage and who don’t have to spend time running after the boss. As I’m about to reiterate, we bring nothing unique and amazing to the table outside of a stealth rez that Operatives have no cooldown on versus our 15 minute cooldown. Hatred, right now, is not the top damage dealing spec in the game. In fact, it might not even be in the top 5. That’s kind of tough to deal with when we don’t bring anything else amazing to the table, and take a ton of damage that ranged classes can avoid. Yes, the self heals help make up for it, but that’s all we have.

          Nobody realistically takes Assassin’s Shelter unless they’re a tank. There are far, far better options for a dps to be taking for every single fight in the game. Saying the AoE damage increase is raid utility ignores the fact that EVERY spec in the game gets 2 abilities like this, just like Hatred does, and that that one is largely useless on single target bosses.

  • Meelis S

    After looking this guide and my sin deception utility skills i was like – facepalm.

    Really hard to follow utility skills as it jumps from skillful to masterful and heroic back and forth.
    Other guides are good to follow and make choices. First 3 you have to pick anyway before advancing other points. If the point is that for each boss fight you have to repec, then should this guide also be more specific of utility combos rather naming some and then others are useless.

    • Well the fact that 2 of the “Mandatory” ones are in the First tier really only leaves the choice in that tier between Lambaste and Insulation. As the other 3 don’t really offer much of a benefit for PvE (at least in the current content) at all.

      I kind of expect my readers to be capable of simple decisionmaking like this themselves..
      Writing in great detail is nice for the people who are absolutely new to the game, but a pain to read for anyone that already has some experience.

  • I love Deception too much… and I still can’t get my Hatred rotation on par with Deception… dunno what I’m doing wrong… but I get about the same DPS as you do… slightly less… but that’s okay 🙂

    • In all fairness, when doing this I already had a HM earpiece and 1 HM setpiece as well as 3 SM setpieces.

      As of currently, I have a HM earpiece, 2 SM implants, 3 HM setpieces, 3 SM setpieces (Yes I have the 6-set) and a 192 MH.

      And the week has just been reset 😀

      • :D. Okay… nearly everything on 192, except Main-Hand, relics and belt… so that would explain the slight damage difference 🙂

    • finally got it… I see what you mean with Hatred :/. But still Deception is too nice to discard

  • Macleod

    I’ve been playing Madness (Hatred) on my assassin since WAY before it was “cool”…or “FOTM”…or “OP” or whatever others might want to call it. A spec that has been by far pretty much the worst for a majority of this game’s life cycle, do I mind that it’s been superbly buffed in recent times? Hell no, but I am getting pretty sick of everyone whining about it. I don’t care what spec you choose to play, whether it be underpowered or flavor of the month, play what you want and have fun. I won’t tell you not to play Deception, or anything else for that matter…just don’t whine about me playing a recently “overpowered” spec when it’s what I’ve been playing on my assassin for 3 years (most of which was gimped)…let me enjoy this time in the sun while it lasts, because one thing is certain…like all things, it will get nerfed again, eventually.

    • Random comment is random?

      • Macleod

        Redundant comment is redundant.

    • painterchick

      I cannot agree more.I love my madness sin and its been my main since day 1. I would like to see a guide for it though. I have been experimenting with it

      • Macleod

        I would write one, but I already have a job! 😉

  • Larsenex

    So many DPS guides. When are we going to find a ‘definitive’ Power Tech tanking guide? One that says, yea use all shield augments because we want to proc our heat shield. One that says have this much defense, absorb and shield because its optimum….

    In half 192, and half 186 i cant see why everyone is saying full shield augments. I am using optimized enhancements (immunity and sturdiness) and still my absorb is only 37.85%, Shield is 48.26% and Defense is 19.89%. I can plug in absorb or defense but what is optimum?

    • Elfy

      I agree. Too much DPS guide. Lets talk about the healers. Before 3.0 my sorc AoE heal deal 1300-1400 heal in full-full 180+ rating, and now I heal 630-660…. Full of 186+ rating….If I dont wear anything I can heal 600-610. WTFFFFF ?? So I put up +3000 willpower, and worth nothing…. This is a ****ing anoying thing. When I was lvl 50 2,5 years ago I deal 670-680 heal with my AoE skill….and I only use the rakata gear. I have that healer comp with a lvl 30-35 basic gear, this is what he weared when I got him, and he can deal more heal than me….

      Everyone got a tons of new cool skills and deal much more dmg before than 3.0
      Everybody have 40K+ basic healt at lvl60. Only the healer’s life get suck…..
      Idiot Bioware………….

      • Lumi

        Your numbers are moot. BW is avoiding inflation by reducing all numbers across the board. Sorry your epeen is not satisfied, but who cares besides you? Lower level mobs still die faster, so what purpose do higher numbers serve? None.

        • Elfy

          I’m sure you are one of those dps who now OP…..

          • Lumi

            Tank, actually. And i’m sure you’re a moron….

            • Elfy

              Oh a tank..then just turn the boss away and stand like a piece of sh*t 🙂 Whitout healer your a nobody…never forget that, idiot….

              • Mazio

                And without a tank, you’d likely be too dead to heal anyone…. so, yeah, GG

              • Elfy

                1 good healer and 3 good dps worth more than a tank 🙂
                And if a tank die nothing happens…if a dps die nothing happens….if a healer die, everybody die…

              • Mazio

                Then i recommend you try some more challenging content. I play all 3 roles and no matter which one i play i’m not under the illusion that i am better or more important than any other role. I find your self appointed elitist viewpoint very childish and misplaced.

              • Elianne

                On any PVE ops content, especially on hm or nim, if tank dies everybody get killed one by one. So yeah 3 dps 1 heal ain’t do shit.
                If the game needs tanks and heals and dps it’s because none of them would do shit without the others

              • Ellendra

                I would love to see you say that in NiM Calphayus pre-nerf, where he could global tanks. Fun times. I would love to see what he does to healers and dps, but that content doesn’t exist any more, so I’ll have to settle for nerfed NiM Calphy. 🙁

              • Axerost

                I guess you are one of those pugs that spam dark heal and thing your are important, your ignorance stinks.

              • Lumi

                Amazing how not a single person agrees with you… Obviously you’ve never played a tank at any real skill level because there’s far more to do than “turn boss away and stand there”. Should really not speak up on topics you know nothing about, case in point: this article.

              • Elfy

                I had a full 180+ gear tank, 1 full 180+ operative, 1 180+ mara, 2 assasin /1tank 1 dps/ 1 dps sorc and 1 heal sorc…. I played all of them every single week, but the most boring talent is the tank, and yeah i did the DF-DP HM too…. But boring as hell. You staning and use 3 skill, nothing much… maybe when the adds came you use 1 plus skill, and thats it…

      • Xzelsius

        You’re one of those stupid childs going for FULL 186 Yavin crap and think he can heal better now. Why the hell you put 186 crap lettered mods with crit into you gear and replace 180 non-letteres AP mods?

        It’s not the game.. its you..

        My sorcerer in 180/186/192 optimized mix (only BiS mods and enhancements) still heals the same like before. The only small thing that changed is the channeled heal that now heals lesser than before. Instead i got better force managment.

        So don’t tell the Sorcerer/Sage is broken ^^

        • Elfy

          Nope, I one of them who spent a year to get the most powerfull gear, and now the little shits whos start the game 1 week ago got better heal and gear than us, who playing here almost 3 years…. thats a little bit annoying, when you start all the farming again again again again again and again… In other games you can change your gear to the new one with some item, and dont need to farm it agan over than 1 year…..

          • Lumi

            Welcome to MMOs, the games that never end….. take it up with the devs of every MMO ever made, not in the comments section of an article on a single spec from a single class… They won’t change the status quo just for whiners like you, but you can sure try…..

    • Thyreesa

      OK, for stats and stat budget KeyboardNinja will help you for PT / VG :

      http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=616779

      You’re definitely too high on Defense and Shield, and way too low on Absorb

  • Crazz

    Does this mean Deception is not good in pvp anymore ? I highly doubt so I just shred lots of people today like nothing as change from before 3.0…

  • idnewton

    I strongly disagree with the opener as used in PvE or dummy parses. You should be starting your rotation before combat by prepping with two Lacerates so that your Ball Lightning has a 100% chance to activate Surging Charge and grant a Static Charge.

    Opener:

    Lacerate x2 (without hitting enemy) –> Stealth –> Adrenal + Overcharge Saber –> Spike –> Recklessness –> Discharge –> Ball Lightning –> Voltaic Slash –> Maul –> Voltaic Slash –> Blackout –> Ball Lightning

    • Artorias

      I have no idea why you’re using spike but:

      Lacerate X2 -> Stealth -> Adrenal + Recklessness -> Discharge + Overcharge Saber -> Ball Lightning -> Maul -> Voltaic Slash X2 -> Ball Lightning -> Discharge -> Voltaic Slash -> Maul -> Ball Lightning

      is what I personally do.

      • Mutefoxx

        Lol Evolixe, my wife walked over from the kitchen, looked at my screen, read the first sentence of your post then proceeded to bust out laughing while walking away. Just wanted to share…

      • idnewton

        That’s even better. I’m not sure why I though Spike was ideal to use, I think I remembered it having pretty significant damage simply from the ability. Unfortunately looking at it now, that damage isn’t enough to make it worth using, and allows you more than enough time to fit Maul in before the two Voltaics so that your Voltage buff is preserved.

        In fact, using that opener, I don’t even find myself needing to use Blackout, which allows me to save it for the period after the rotation when I would normally be using a Saber Strike with the Voltaics and the Discharge. Then at 30 seconds of course I would cloak out, pop discharge again, and probably use the opener all over again if the abilities are up.

        The problem with the guide’s opener is that your first Ball Lightning is useless. Not only does it not have two stacks of Voltage, it also doesn’t have two stacks of Induction which is later stated to be a requirement, though it cites the rotation as an exception. I disagree, because it is simply wasteful. Using two lacerates before the start of the fight gives you benefits with absolutely no drawback whatsoever.

    • You get a Discharge exactly when you need it by not doing that. Once again, doing such doesn’t net you any gain whatsoever.

  • Dante4

    I have question about gear section, in particular about Critical Raiting. Evolixe are you sure about 200 Critical? Because i find myself doing a way more damage (~200 dps) with 300-320 Critical rather than with 220… And with that amount of Surge…

    • “not sure about the values”

      Think that should be pretty clear.

    • Ellendra

      The math for that is starting to shape up. My code is almost right (roughly 200 less dps in 192 and 198 than there should be in my analysis), but it seems that you’ll want to run ~250 or so critical rating for *optimal average damage*. 246 is as close as you’ll get in 192s, and you’ll jump up to 360 in 198s. This is also assuming full sets of gear. I’ll be sending Evo all my results once they’re refined to where I want them to be.

  • Ry

    Just noticed that they took out the separate duplicity proc from Low Slash :(. I’ve been foolishly throwing Low Slash into my rotation.

    • yeah… it’s still there, but there’s a shared cooldown between auto-proc and low-slash proc now 🙁

      • There is no more “low slash proc” it’s a 100% chance from all direct damage abilities now. If your first attack after the ICD is thereby a Spike or LS, ofc you still get duplicity because they do damage.

    • It was never a good idea to use Low Slash for that purpose in PvE to begin with really.

      If you look at the old guide, you would see that I didn’t take Find Weakness there to begin with.

      • Ry

        Hmm… I used to always throw it in to get double maul proc. Then again I mostly used deception only in PvP or if I got bored in sm ops.

  • Sal

    Evolixe do you have a link for pvp assasins? i really would like to know how to gear my sin and shadow

    • What, for Deception?

      I honestly think you’re doing it wrong if you Deception in PvP.. but either way, avoid Alacrity alltogether, get only Surge. All Deception has now is it’s burst and it’s not even amazing.

      WP Augments
      0 alacrity
      23-25% crit chance (250 ish rating?)
      0 accuracy

      • Sal

        My apologies i meant for hatred and serenity but if that same setup is required then i’ll go with what you have here

        • For Hatred PvP this is what I do:

          WP Augments
          5% alacrity
          0 crit rating
          0 accuracy
          Rest power/surge

  • Jerry

    Wow, ppl really get pissed about sins lol.

  • Sarigar

    I hope there’s a Hatred/Serenity guide before long. I switched my Shadow to Serenity in 3.0 to try it out, after being Kinetic Combat for years, and I’m finding it to be challenging. Sever Force and Force Breach are both instant with no CD, and don’t have a very visible effect, so it’s hard to tell if they went off at all. And there are so many abilities: Force in Balance, Sever Force, Force Breach, Serenity Strike, Mind Crush/Vanquish, Spinning Strike, Force Stun, etc. I’m not sure where they’re all supposed to go yet. 🙂 Although stuff seems to melt like butter around me, and I haven’t died, so I guess I’m doing it more right that wrong.

    I’ve been trying to learn from the existing Balance guide, and I guess my main question is: where does Serenity Strike fit in the new order of things?

    • For PvE, Serenity Strike is used on cooldown where you would otherwise Double Strike. (as in the exact same priority ratio, Spinning Strike still comes first etc etc)

      For PvP, Serenity Strike should only be used when you need health.
      However used as often as you can whilst meeting that criteria.

    • Ellendra

      New guide is undergoing final edits before being submitted. I wanted to make sure I didn’t make too many grammar/spelling mistakes 😛

      • Can I read it? I might have some additions for you.

        Never know, and I like to share anyway 🙂

        • Ellendra

          Sure, give me an email to send it to and I’ll let you have it.

          • I’ll pm you on swtor.com.. don’t really want to post it here.

    • erruss

      butter… is what they should have called it lol ..

    • Naug

      When playing a dot spec in 3.0, make use the of the new and improved debuff UI. Go through the options on the target frame in Interface Options. You can sort it such that your own debuffs are at the front of the debuff list and get a golden border. This should give you all the information you need to keep track of your dots!

  • Asi

    Please bring a Hatred guide out. PLEASE!

    • Ellendra

      Should be in Dulfy’s hands by tonight. I’m going through and doing final edits and I asked someone I respect a lot to go through and edit some things as well.

  • RushJohson@rjonline.com

    So I ran about 25 matches as Hatred in PVP last night and this morning before work. Really good averaging about 25-ish kills and about 470-490K damage which I am kinda bummed about. I would like that to be about 700k. I am in full exhumed stalker with Power/Surge Implant and Earpiece (Force wielder – I have no idea what the name is). So I still have my PVE tanking saberstaff and I wanted to ask if the community is using the stalker saber staff or ripping out the mods of the power/surge single saber (force wielder again I think). Also do you run full 7-piece stalker or are you using any a single piece of armor from another set.

    Thanks

    • The mystic legs come with BiS Mod and a Pow/Alac Enhancement.

      It also doesn’t matter where you rip a hilt from.
      A MH hilt is a MH hilt and it all does the same thing even for a Double Saber.

  • zenight

    Anyone else stop reading at “Oh by the way this discipline is worthless compared to the other dps one”?

    • Dante4

      Not

    • A sad but cold truth. I for myself pick up Infiltration only for the Walkers on 16 man Hard Mode because the Ground Burst missile hits Serenity Shadows without cooldowns for 54k.

      Given the fact that I needed to do the “unshielding” of unit 1, I couldn’t always avoid them.
      So playing Infiltration was mandatory for the AoE damage reduction it has.

      And I sometimes play it when I simply get bored playing Serenity all the time :p

      • zenight

        Oh well, I’ll be sad that I won’t play Deception anymore…

        Still best that I know it so I don’t invest too much time on this discipline.

        Hopefully they’ll buff it to be as good, or at least have strengths, over Hatred.

        • I hope so as well, and I should slap myself in the face for not watching Hatred more closely as well as its standing vs Dec during PTS time :X

          • Ellendra

            It really isn’t so far behind Hatred in single target sustained. It’s just that few fights don’t have adds and don’t play super well to on demand burst, and so Hatred has the chance to shine where Deception doesn’t. Deception also doesn’t have the best on-demand burst in the game any more to help compensate for this.

            • The problem is that I can pretty much beat Deception’s burst in Hatred.
              It’s really not far off at all.

              • Ellendra

                If you don’t “double Raze” someone, it’s not really close. The problem is that you can “double Raze” them.

              • Yes well, that is possible and I don’t see anything being done about it anytime soon :p

              • Ellendra

                It could be simply fixed a couple ways. DoTs overwriting each other, Raze gets limited to Demolish at level 57, and probably others I could come up with if I thought the devs would read this comment.

              • Overwriting is the only one that would make sense and not overcomplicate or straight up nerf things (in a way they shouldn’t be).

                But I bet you they’d argue that it would be “technically difficult”.

  • Konoha the Wiper

    3.0 they should have just rebuilt dps tree to be a full melee, no bs required class

  • Konoha the Wiper

    Evo give me a pvp guide please

  • Vluxis

    Kinda an off topic question but what do you think about accuracy in pvp in general? do you think its worth it? I’ve been unsure about this on my vanguard ever since 3.0 pre 3.0 i just went with 94% from tree and companion. Just rail shot is 25% of our dmg so i’m really unsure about this sorry that its not about sins 😛

    • At least for my Sins and Shadows, I skip it as a whole. I don’t need accuracy in order to perform. A miss in PvP isn’t as vital as it is in PvE. And it happens very rarely only.

      • Vluxis

        Ah ok just seems non can give me a “correct” answer some say 95% some say 91%. I do fine numbers with 95% but pvp is not the best judge of how good your doing every match is very different in terms of dps. I also think some pvp’ers over value surge.

        • The thing is, the only alternative to Surge is Alacrity. And while Alacrity is nice.. it only speeds things up for you. Which serves you no right while you are under enemy controlling effects.

          While Surge, as soon as you get back, will at least provide you with a decent edge given the fact that you’ll be able to pump in some damage.

  • Stanley White

    Thank you for the guide but i will still be playing deception as always. had no trouble playing it in nim pre 3.0 and no trouble in sm/hm now. even now i have no trouble at all on dps charts in all the boss fights in ravagers or temple. we are even messing around in hm ravagers on the first boss and still have no trouble especially since the first boss requires a lot of burst dps. i love this spec and will still always play it in raid and clear it like we always do in my guild. if you like it and you are keeping up with everyone else, don’t change, but play the game and have fun. a lot of times it just comes down to the player and not the spec.

    • Nottopdps

      I don’t think its possible to play any spec and have fun at the same time stress over how to be “top of the charts”. I hate this if you’re not on top, you are not trying.

  • Angier

    I’m wondering where the impression comes from that hatred is better in pvp than deception. So far, my utilities and burst was way better with deception, while all hatred had going for it was the tremendous potential for survivability. Yet, pvp is about burst first and staying power second if you do anything else than objective defense, especially since damage done means jack in comparison to k/d.

    I’m not so bold to claim that my execution of hatred is flawless but I’ve pinned down the playstyle exactly like these guides have suggested and besides some rare crit luck there isn’t anything in hatred that would overcome a dedicated healers attention. Sth that deception is still capable of.

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      Well there is the fact you will consistantly have 2 dots on everyone, giving yourself up to 1800 heals/second even before Leeching Strike and Death Field’s self heals are accounted for…

      • What??? Lol.. they took away most of the healing from dots. We hardly have any coming from them now. It’s mostly DF and Leeching.

        Why is Hatred better? It has better burst potential, it has WAY out of Deceptions league overall damage (and thus pressure) and it’s got more survivability.

  • sedai

    what i dont like about this is that it doesnt help noobs who arent 60.

    • It’s not meant to.

      I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.

      • Anirac Grebgah

        Would be nice if someone wrote a guide that was easier to understand for people new to the tanking class. I wouldn’t count myself a noob, having a level 55 healer and one level 40 DPS, but I still had some issues following some parts of this guide. Basically I googled tanking guide to learn how to play my tank, it’s the first try for me on a tanking class 😛 And assassin is supposed to be one of the harder tanks to learn. It’s awesome as DPS though, lol.

        • melikenoother

          As a deception assassin, you’re not meant to be a tank. That’s darkness.

        • historyshowsus

          I’m with you there. Still having trouble with the “rules” because I dont actually understand how I will know that I have 3 static discharges what the procs are and how to tell I have them. I work in the technical field and write technical documents. The first rule for a method of procedure is to write them so that your mom can accomplish the procedure. In the case for this manual that means terms need to be defined for us casual players so we know what we’re looking for. It isnt happening here and google has been of little use.

  • Durlock

    just recently started gearing my assassin, and wondered, is the new set bonus realy worth it? The old 4piece adds 15% crit chance to voltaic slash, but the new 6piece only adds 1 autocrit maul/assassinate per minute
    or at least take the new 4 piece and old 2piece, as I find myself throwing in a saber strike once in a while, especially during execute phase to regain some force

    • The old set bonus is nice, but it doesn’t weigh up against the new one.
      The old 2-set is now baseline for the class, you don’t need it on gear anymore.

  • Fenris Vanagandr

    Bah, fock it. I like the spinning DEATH animation of Voltaic Strike, So I’m gonna roll Deception, Ops dps charts be damned!

  • TorTureR

    i dont play this game from when the hatred class was called madness xD(before the carter hutt expansion or sometime like that was the name lol), so i want to play my assassin again (lvl 30) and want to ask u something :P, i want to play it only for history mode ( i like it alot) im not interested in pvp, and sometimes i wanna do operations (but this isnt essential i only want that work for this), before i leave the game i was playing madness and i like that gameplay, being a melee assassin with electric powers and aoe dmg, but i dont know the changes of the skills that they have now, so wanna know what build u recommend me for FUN!(principal this)/DPS, hatred or deception?

  • historyshowsus

    A little confused by the rotation. Maul can only be used from behind the target. After a discharge, ball lightning and two voltaic slashes how do I get to the target’s rear quarters. I have generated enough agro that he is focused on me and turns with me no matter where I go making maul impossible to use.

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      Ask the tank to guard you and use the mass mind control threat drop? Deception generates a fuckton of threat so it can be a bit of a pain in the arse.

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