- Author: Jamielolx
- Date: August 6, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Assassination Rogue stat priority is similar to other melee DPS and particularly other Rogue specs, with the small caveat that as we rely more on our poisons, we care a lot about the spell hit cap — explained below.
- Hit rating
- Cap: 237 rating, or 210 rating if there’s a Draenei in your party
- Expertise rating
- Cap: 214 rating (26 expertise)
- Attack power
- Haste rating
- Depending on your gear, haste rating can be as powerful as or even more powerful than attack power – simulation tools are your best friend
- Crit rating
- Armor penetration rating
Hit rating will be your most important stat — if you can’t hit your targets, you’re not dealing damage. You gain a 1% increased chance to hit for every 32.79 hit rating you have. Furthermore, as a Rogue you get a 1% increased chance to hit with your spells (poisons) for every 26.232 hit rating you have.
The soft-cap for dual-wielding melee hits versus level 83 (boss) enemies is 8%. You do not have to care about the hard-cap, as it simply takes too much investment to reach. Normally you would stop at that point, but we want to cap spell hit for our poisons too — meaning we need a whopping 446 hit rating to cap, or 17% spell hit chance. That is an excessively high amount, but thankfully we have ways to reduce the amount needed.
Assassination Rogues have access to the Precision talent in the Combat tree, which means that we only need 12% hit chance, or 315 hit rating. Furthermore, having a Shadow Priest (Misery) or Balance Druid (Improved Faerie Fire) in your raid reduces that requirement by a further 3%, meaning we need 9% hit chance, or 237 hit rating. Finally, having a Draenei in your party (not raid) gives you the Heroic Presence aura, which offers an extra 1% hit chance, meaning you need 8% hit chance to cap, or 210 rating — or, if you don’t have a Shadow Priest / Balance Druid in your raid, you need 11% hit chance, or 289 hit rating.
Expertise (and expertise rating) will be your 2nd most important stat — again, if you can’t hit your targets, you’re not dealing damage. You gain 1 expertise for every 8.1974 expertise rating you have. 1 expertise reduces the chance that your attacks get dodged or parried by 0.25%. However, expertise has an unfortunate quirk: you cannot have fractional amounts of it. For example, if your character has 111 expertise rating in total, you will end up with 13 expertise, rather than 13.54 which is what you get if you divide 111 by 8.1974.
The soft-cap for melee hits versus level 83 (boss) enemies is 26 expertise, reducing the chance that your attacks get dodged by 6.5%. You do not have to care about the hard-cap, which involves eliminating parries, as you should always be attacking the boss from behind, and enemies cannot parry from behind. This means that melee characters need 214 expertise rating in order to reach the expertise cap. Assassination Rogues unfortunately don’t have access to any expertise-boosting talents, and there are no racial traits that boost expertise when using daggers, so we need to get that very high amount in order to cap.
Attack power makes your attacks and poisons hit harder, and therefore it is the core stat of assassination. For Assassination Rogues specifically, you’ll really want to focus on Attack Power because it scales so well with poisons. A lot of your consumables include AP as well, which in turn scale with a lot of raid buffs (such as TSA, Blessing of Might, or any other talent or buff that directly increases attack power).
Haste is pretty straightforward, it makes you hit faster, so it also makes your poisons proc more and make you auto-attack faster. You gain 1% increased attack speed for every 32.79 haste rating you have.
Haste also indirectly boosts your energy regeneration rate through things like talents (Focused Attacks), set bonuses etc, which further boosts your damage. Just the fact that it causes your poisons to hit more often however makes haste extremely strong for Assassination Rogues.
At a certain point, when your gear is strong enough, haste rating will actually become as powerful as attack power for you. You will have to use a simulation program in order to figure out that point however, so we’ll be recommending it below attack power in this guide.
As a Rogue, you gain 1 Attack Power per 1 point of Agility, as well as an increased chance to crit for each point of Agility you have (83.33 Agility per 1% Crit). These amounts are further increased by 10% when buffed with Greater Blessing of Kings, meaning you gain 0.1AP and 0.1% Crit more per Agility when having kings up. This means that 1 point of Agility is always better than 1 point of Attack Power, but you usually get 2 points of Attack Power for each 1 point of Agility from most sources (for example, gems, enchant and gear), meaning Agility doesn’t make Attack Power obsolete.
Crit is good on any physical damage class, including Assassin Rogues, it just gets outshined by the other stats due to the fact we have we don’t have a lot powerful crit-scaling effects. It’s not something you’re going to chase, but it’s not a stat you want to avoid either.
One of the reasons Haste is better is because you need less Haste rating to get 1% Haste than you need Crit rating to get 1% Crit, making it an ”expensive” stat.
Armor penetration is an incredibly strong stat for most physical damage dealers — but sadly, Assassination Rogues aren’t in that list. It only affects our melee attacks and Mutilate, as all of our other abilities deal Nature damage and thus naturally bypass armor. You should avoid it when you see it on gear as much as you can — but inevitably some of your items will have a little bit of it on them.
Strength gives you attack power, like agility does, without offering a bonus crit chance. You never want to chase it, as items with strength on them tend to lack other stats that we desire (like agility + attack power, which generally come in a package deal and are stronger) and thus will be sub-par for you. However, strength buffs like Horn of Winter will still help you, so keep it in mind.