From StrategyWiki, the video game walkthrough and strategy guide wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
cleanup

This article could use a cleanup in order to be more legible and/or presentable. Please help improve this article in any way possible. Remember to follow our editing guidelines when improving existing articles. If you can improve this page, please edit it, or help by discussing possible changes on the talk page.

If you need help with wiki markup, see the wiki markup page. If you want to try out wiki markup without damaging a page, why not use the sandbox?
Cleanup required: July 2007

"Schooled in the martial arts, her mind and body are deadly weapons."

Like a mimic, the assassin can be fashioned into a character that resembles any of the other character classes. An assassin specializing in traps may keep her distance like a sorceress; an assassin focusing in martial arts may battle like a barbarian; and an assassin who has learned shadow master may let her minion assist her like a druid or necromancer. Yet her speed, cloaking ability, and finishing moves give the assassin her own special flavor. Her trap-setting skills and ability to damage crowds of foes also make the assassin a valuable asset in groups of adventurers.

Initial Attributes[edit]

  • Strength: 20
  • Dexterity: 20
  • Vitality: 20
  • Energy: 25

Attributes[edit]

Thanks to her nimbleness, stealth skill, and traps, the assassin does not need to focus on defense to the extent that paladins and barbarians must. None of her skills take tremendous amounts of mana, and quite a few skills generate effects that last a long time; for example, burst of speed lasts for a couple of minutes, and shadow warriors stay alive until they are slain.

An assassin character specializing in traps and martial arts will want to put more points into the energy attribute than one who relies on stealth or summoning. Trapping can often be done from a safe vantage point, allowing for the peaceful quaffing of a mana potion, while martial arts assassins need mana in the thick of a fight--thus, it is especially important for these hand-to-hand masters to have plenty of available energy.

Assassins may choose to wield a weapon and a shield or two weapons--almost always, two claw-class weapons. The choice should be based on your style of play. A player who is tired of dying or who is playing hardcore will likely wish to emphasize defense and will therefore tend to use shields. A player who runs more risks to become a slaying machine will likely opt for a pair of claw-based weapons.

  • TIP: Although a dual-weapon assassin may learn a skill that allows her to block, this skill's benefits are easily attained by a decent blocking shield.

Assassin Initial Equipment[edit]

  • Weapon: Katar
  • Armor: Buckler

Fashioning a Powerful Assassin[edit]

The assassin's wide range of abilities allow her to become almost anything she likes, from a raging melee fighter defended by spinning blades to a more standoffish spell caster to a hit-and-run poisoner. If you attempt to create an assassin who is well-rounded in all of these areas, however, you will likely find the higher skill levels (nightmare and hell) quite difficult.

An assassin character should be focused in one of the three main skill types--martial arts, shadow disciplines, and traps--and should then be semi-proficient in one of the other two. This will put her in a specific role, whether fighting alone or in a group, while giving her the option of approaching certain tough situations in an alternative way.

For example, an assassin who is highly proficient at martial arts will spend most of her time charging her attacks and releasing finishing move spells on large groups of creatures--but there will be times when a few traps, or a shadow warrior, will make it easier for her to stay alive. An assassin who is a master of traps will be called on to soften up crowds of enemies but should have some weapon mastery to help polish off the survivors.

Martial arts are the best route for players who thrive on excitement and who enjoy the challenge of mastering the back-and-forth mouse clicks that the martial arts require. Players who prefer to strike first and mop up later will likely enjoy the trapping skills, which allow for this kind of approach. And some players will dive into the role of the assassin, learning to cloak, backstab with poison, and control the minds of enemies.

In any case, an assassin character will be best served not by being a jack-of-all-trades, but by specializing in one field, while keeping a second as a weaker but viable option. The makeup of the other players in her group, should the assassin player opt to join one, will affect your decision as to which skill to specialize in.

Weapons[edit]

In stark opposition to the barbarian, whose skill tree lets him specialize in any of six weapon classes, the assassin can gain special mastery in only one class: the claw-class weapons. Many of the assassin's martial arts and shadow disciplines rely on her wielding one or two sets of claw-class weapons. For these reasons, it is a rare assassin who will not use a weapon of this type.

Every assassin must decide whether to wield two sets of claw-class weapons or to wield just one with a shield. An assassin player who is gung-ho and daring will be more likely to go without a shield, while a more patient and careful assassin will opt for the safety of a shield. Hardcore players may wish to go the latter route, giving the nod to defense rather than offense.

  • TIP: Some assassin players who have chosen to focus on martial arts skills like to go without a weapon, using their quick fists to charge up their devastating finishing moves rapidly. Certain claw-class weapons carry a speed bonus, however, which can make them as fast as (but more damaging than) plain old fisticuffs. The appeal of going weaponless may override such considerations, however!

The assassin may learn the weapon block skill, which gives her some safety when she fights with a pair of claw-class weapons and no shield. But most good shields provide quite a bit more blocking ability at no cost to skill points, especially for an assassin with high dexterity.

Several of the assassin's skills can rightly be considered weaponry, especially the blade skills. Her level-30 blade skill, blade shield, has a name that sounds defensive, but this skill offers quite an attacking bonus, especially against enemy melee.

Fighting Enchanted Monsters and Bosses[edit]

An assassin's tactics in all-out brawls with the game's toughest foes depend on what development path her character has pursued.

The right trap will do great amounts of damage not only to the swarm of minions surrounding enchanted monsters, but also to the enchanted boss itself. A trap assassin can often dispatch an entire enchanted monster group using traps alone, if she has a mana potion or two along. Many enchanted monsters are located behind closed doors in caves, temples, and the like; look for glowing lights on the floor behind closed doors, and set some traps on the far side of the door (hover the cursor over the door until "Closed Door" appears, and then release the trap). Watch for it to activate, and watch for signs of corpses appearing.

  • TIP: Traps also work quite well against bosses, who can often be lured mindlessly into a waiting group of five. Test your traps against your most powerful enemies to see which ones do the most damage; some bosses are immune to or protected against certain kinds of damage.

If you have the ability to summon a shadow warrior or shadow master, use her to distract an enchanted monster or boss, while you use the assassin's quickness to dart in and out of danger. An assassin at full health (with reasonably high resistance percentages) can take a wallop from just about any monster in the game, giving you time to recover and dash away if a boss turns from your summoned partner to face you.

An assassin who is talented in martial arts can dispatch the minions of most enchanted monsters easily enough, but area-effect finishing moves are not as efficient once the battle turns to the enchanted monster itself. Against a single foe, it is usually best to turn to finishing moves, which specifically do damage against a single opponent (or steal life and mana from the foe).

A new assassin is quite capable of advancing through the first two acts without spending many skill points at all, enabling her to have a nice supply when she begins encountering serious resistance. Therefore, you should consider saving spell points up until your character begins to face opponents that require more determination. For some players, this may occur quite early in the game, but for most, it will not happen until Acts III or IV.

This will give you a chance to accustom yourself to the assassin's special abilities, and you will know better what kind of assassin you would like to concoct. In general, don't spend skill points (unless you are dying to have a particular skill) until the monsters you are facing begin to pose significant problems to your character.

Below are several distributions of skill points for a variety of assassin characters, each of which has specialized in a different type of play and has completed the game. We assume that such a character is at level 35, and therefore has 39 spell points (one per level and four from quests) available. Note that some items increase skill levels, but such items are not assumed.

Remember that these examples are just that--examples! These are certainly not the only way you could choose to apply skill points, and they aren't necessarily the best way. Apply skill points to cater to your particular style of play. Use these examples as guidelines for specializing your character class in a particular skill.

Assassin Builds[edit]

The assassin is like a fusion of a melee character and a Sorceress that has some extra skills (Shadow Disciplines) that help her out. The following builds are tried and true as long as they have good equipment. None of these builds are guaranteed to work.

Martial Arts Assassin[edit]

ALL Martial Arts Assassins have the following points on the followings skills:

  • 20 Claw Mastery
  • 20 Tiger Strike
  • 1 Dragon Talon
  • 1 Dragon Claw
  • 1 Dragon Tail
  • 1 Dragon Flight

However, people do different things after this. These two skills allow the Assassin to do UNREAL damage at a low level and continue to let the assassin do godly damage for the entire game, however, the Assassin will only be able to hit a single monster using physical damage and she will have to charge up her Tiger Strike. The next "builds" just build on top of those two skills.

Phoenix Strike Martial Arts Assassin[edit]

In addition to Claw Mastery, the finishing moves, and Tiger Strike, she also does Phoenix Strike to do non-physical damage. To make this Assassin you should invest your points in the following way:

  • 1 (or 20) Fists of Fire
  • 1 (or 20) Claws of Thunder
  • 1 (or 20) Blades of Ice
  • 1 Cobra Strike
  • 20 Phoenix Strike
  • 1 Burst of Speed
  • 1 Psychic Hammer
  • 1 Weapon Block
  • 1 Cloak of Shadows
  • 1 Shadow Warrior
  • 1 Shadow Master

For the skills labeled 1 or 20 skill points, you should chose weather you like the meteor, the chain lightning, or the chaos ice bolt and max out the synergy for it. My personal favorite is the ice since it freezes so I maxed Blades of Ice. However, it is really your choice. The meteor does the most damage, though it is hard to aim and does little area damage and most of the time you are really far better off just using Tiger Strike. The lighting does the best area damage since it penetrates but it doesn't freeze. The ice freezes but can't do as good of area damage as the lightning can. All the extra skill points should go to the finishing move of your choice or Shadow Master/Warrior.

Strategy

PVM: You should do charge up Phoenix Strike most of the time and use whatever elemental attack you have decided to master. This should take care of the normal monsters pretty easily. For all monsters immune to your magical attack, or if they are a boss, use Tiger Strike and they will fall. Most of the time, beating things is a cinch.

PVP: You should charge up your Tiger Strike on the little critters that you can kill in the Blood Moor. Then get within range of your Dragon Flight and make a (hopefully) lethal attack on the player. If you have decent weapons, a charged up Tiger Strike that is not blocked will INSTANTLY kill your enemy. It is best not to attack the other player and stay out of range until you have charged up your Tiger Strike. If your Tiger Strike failed to kill the enemy, then charge up your Tiger Strike again and try to kill him/her. .) Phoenix Strike is NOT RECOMMENDED to be used in PVP.

Venom Martial Arts Assassin[edit]

The other Sub-build uses Venom to do non-elemental damage:

  • 1 Burst of Speed
  • 1 Fade
  • 20 Venom
  • 1 Cobra Strike
  • 1 Weapon Block
  • 1 Psychic Hammer
  • 1 Cloak of Shadows
  • 1 Shadow Warrior
  • 20 Shadow Master

This build leaves a bit more skill points to play around with. This build does best at attacking only a few monsters at a time, and it is recommended to use Dragon Tail to hit tightly packed monsters. You will be done with this build at level 79 if you do all the skill quests. This build leaves you with a amazing 19 extra skill points to play around with.

Strategy

PVM: You should cast Venom in town and again whenever it runs out. When you are fighting, when you attack a normal monster, you should use Tiger Strike so you could charge it up. Then, when you see some tightly clumped monsters or a Champion/Boss monster, use Dragon Tail on the toughest monster to unleash the Tiger Strike and do some area damage. It is slightly harder for this build to handle hoards of enemies but easier for them to kill bosses.

PVP: You should put Venom on in town. Then, you should charge up your Tiger Strike on the little critters that you can kill in the Blood Moor. Then get within range of your Dragon Flight and make a (hopefully) lethal attack on the player. If you have decent weapons, a charged up Tiger Strike that is not blocked will INSTANTLY kill your enemy. It is best not to attack the other player and stay out of range until you have charged up your Tiger Strike. If your Tiger Strike failed to kill the enemy, then charge up your Tiger Strike again and try to kill him/her. (Usually, however, if you fail to kill your enemy quickly, they will kill you.)

Trap Assassin[edit]

These Assassins use traps that kill the enemy. Fire traps are generally not very useful so these builds do not invest on them heavily. However, there are some PVP builds that use fire traps (mainly Wake of Fire) and are generally OK.

Lightning Trapsassin[edit]

These Trapsassins use Lightning Sentry to do damage and Death Sentry to do Corpse Explosion.

  • 1 Fire Blast
  • 20 Shock Web
  • 20 Charged Bolt Sentry
  • 20 Lightning Sentry
  • 20 Death Sentry
  • 1 Claw Mastery
  • 1 Burst of Speed
  • 1 Fade
  • 1 Psychic Hammer
  • 1 Cloak of Shadows
  • 20 Shadow Warrior
  • 1 Wake of Fire
  • 1 Blade Sentinel
  • 1 Blade Fury
  • 1 Blade Shield

These assassins use lightning sentries and death sentries to destroy the demonic hordes of hell. She summons a shadow master to help deploy the traps.

Strategy

PVM:This Assassin will cast Burst of Speed, Blade Shield, and Shadow Warrior. Then, when she meets a single enemy, she uses Lightning Sentry. When she is faced with hordes of demons, it is best to put down 4 lightning sentries to kill them off and 1 death sentry to explode the corpses and do more damage.

PVP: These assassins will just drop as many lightning sentries as possible and hope that they hit. If you decide to town guard, which other people will hate you for, put five traps a few yards outside town in a semicircle. This will insure that at least one lightning bolt will hit.

Hybrid Build[edit]

This build uses Dragon Talon and Death Sentry to take down enemies. This is how you build it:

  • 20 Death Sentry
  • 20 Dragon Talon
  • 20 Lightning Sentry
  • 20 Charged Bolt Sentry
  • 1 Shock Web
  • 1 Fire Blast
  • 1 Blade Sentinel
  • 1 Blade Fury
  • 1 Blade Shield
  • 1 Weapon Block
  • 1 Claw Mastery
  • 1 Psychic Hammer
  • 1 Cloak of Shadows
  • 1 Shadow Warrior
  • 1 Mind Blast
  • 1 Burst of Speed
  • 1 Fade
  • 1 Venom
  • 1 Mind Blast
  • 1 Dragon Flight

This build can do melee and traps making it almost ideal.

Strategy

PVM: The Assassin casts either Burst of Speed or Fade, then Shadow Warrior, and then Venom to let her boots do more damage. In combat, when she is fighting a single monster or a boss, she can easily take it down with Dragon Talon. However, when fighting giant hordes of enemies, she will take down the first few and rely on the Death Sentries to kill off the enemies. When fighting big bosses, she will use Lightning Sentries and Dragon Talon.

PVP: This Assassin will fight like a Smiter. She will cast all that she needs, and then attack the person with Dragon Talon. Due to the fact that she stuns the enemy, she can easily win duels against melee attackers.

Choosing your build[edit]

To accomplish these distributions, you must have at times saved skill points to spend on higher-level skills. You should chose your build by what you like to do.