First introduced in Build 104, the Assassin is a medium-range fighter who uses a dagger and leather armor and poisons groups of enemies, damaging them over time. He was widely thought of as one of the weakest classes and was fairly unpopular until the devs bumped his max Attack and Wisdom up to 60 (from 50) and his Wisdom gain per level to 1-2 (from 0-2) in Build 113. To unlock the Assassin you must reach level 20 with the Rogue and the Wizard. See his stat gains, caps, and averages here.
The Assassin uses daggers and wears leather armor, and is an offensive powerhouse whose 60 attack and 75 dexterity makes it the second most powerful of the three dagger classes. While the Assassin wishes its dagger could have a higher range, its medium range allows it to deal respectable damage at a respectable range. However, the Assassin does not rely on its dagger as much as its counterparts the Rogue and Trickster do, because its poison directly does high damage to a group of enemies, instead of cloaking the user or distracting enemies to get more dagger hits in.
The Agateclaw Dagger/Dagger of Foul Malevolence are standard daggers with good damage and medium range. The Assassin is able to turn this good damage into great damage due to its high Attack stat. Its medium range is enough for the Assassin to attack enemies at a safe distance as well, meaning the Assassin does not have to tank hits like the heavy armor classes do.
The Bone Dagger is a weaker dagger with a lower range, but its shots pierce through enemies. On a Rogue or Trickster, whose cloaking, decoy, and teleportation abilities allow them to somewhat safely get close to enemies, the lower range, at least, can be mitigated. The Assassin, however, can only use its ablity to damage enemies, and so it’s considerably harder to get close enough to abuse the Bone Dagger’s piercing effect. On the positive side, when given an oppurtunity to safely use the Bone Dagger, the Assassin can wield it alongside (or in lieu of) his poison for highly efficient crowd control.
The Dirk of Cronus is a magnificent dagger that sacrifices a little range for a bigger bump in damage. But despite its power, its lower range means that the Assassin once again lacks a safe way to engage enemies. Of course, on more daring Assassins or against less powerful enemies, this dagger can still be used successfully. Just keep in mind that it’s also highly expensive and rare, so you may want to use it on a dagger class more suited for it.
The Spirit Dagger is a powerful alternative to the Dagger of Foul Malevolence. While the Foul has slightly longer range & more consistent damage, the Spirit Dagger deals more average damage than Foul and has a slightly “wavy” pattern to its shots, which makes hitting enemies slightly easier.
The Assassin’s leather armor helps them survive significantly more damage than robe users can withstand, but not as much as Heavy Armor users. Furthermore, because he fights at medium range and manipulates an offensive ability rather than a defensive ability, it is harder for him to stay alive than it is for a Rogue or Trickster. For this reason, it is recommended to wear a ring that boosts defense and/or HP, such as the Experimental Ring.
When you use his special ability, the Assassin lobs a vial of poison at the location of your cursor which takes ~1.5 seconds to land, and poisons all enemies in its radius, dealing damage over time. Poison has two primary uses: take out groups of enemies, or take out enemies with high HP (gods, quest bosses, etc.) through hit and run tactics.
One method of dealing with groups is to quickly run forward and catch a lot of enemies’ attention, then run back the way you came. The enemies will clump up as they chase you, so lob your poison with your cursor roughly in front of you and don’t stop running. The monsters should run straight into your poison and you can sit back and watch them die. Depending on your speed stat vs the monsters’ running speed, you may need to adjust where you throw the poison. Play around with it until you’ve got the timing down.
If you aren’t quite a good enough judge of where to aim the poison while running, or if you prefer to play off-center (set a hotkey to switch between center and off-center in the options), and don’t have much space on the screen to aim in front of yourself while running, then you can aim the poison right at your character and stop moving for just a second, then resume running. You might take a hit here or there, but you’ll have better control over the enemies’ movement and should be able to hit more of them with your poison.
Another method, especially useful when fighting gods, is to drag your enemies over to some form of cover (rocks in godlands, or trees in lower level areas) and poison them safely from there. This works especially well when you have a whole wall to protect you (i.e. graveyards, ghost king castles, and cyclops castles) although make sure you’re reasonably close to the wall so the monsters will run up to it in a nice clump.
To deal with quest bosses, one of the Assassin’s strengths, run just far enough into the lair (graveyard, grove, castle, etc.) that you can throw your poison at the boss and then run out. This is the safest way to kill quest bosses at lower levels when you don’t have the equipment or stats to survive the attacks of the boss and his minions. Just make sure you stick around close enough to get the experience when he finally goes down.
As the Assassin’s poison ability moves up the tiers, the range, total damage, and MP efficiency improve, but the damage is spread out over a longer time period. Poison damage is not reduced by monster defense. Since some enemies have much lower health than the total damage dealt by the higher tier poisons, you may want to use up an inventory slot carrying a lower tier poison to save mp when killing groups of enemies (but always use your best poison when the enemy can’t be killed in one use, e.g. gods).
The Nightwing Poison and the Baneserpent Poison are mainstream all-around poisons for the assassin. They provide the most damage and the greatest range of any tiered poison. Although it costs a high 110 MP to use, it is much more MP efficient to use these poisons than it is to use a lower tiered poison. As such, this is essential to use on any standard maxed Assassin, because any lower tiered poison will greatly hinder the Assassin’s effectiveness, even with a significantly lower MP cost.
Some Assassin players choose to wear an MP ring so that they can throw in an extra poison to a particular boss, effectively increasing chances of getting soulbound.
The Plague Poison is a potent UT poison from the last boss of the Haunted Cemetery, boasting the widest range of any Poison. Although it deals only 500 damage over a length 15 seconds, the Plague Poison costs only 80 MP and has a range of 9 squares, nearly double the range of both Nightwing Poison and Baneserpent Poison.
Consequently, Plague Poison is most effective against Skull Shrines & Cube Gods, since you can lob it almost anywhere and infect a large swath of enemies. It’s also highly useful in Godlands, especially when fighting multiple gods at once.
Another good use of Plague Poison is in public Tombs, which tend to become FFA (Free-for-All; disorganized and chaotic) when all three bosses are activated at once. With Plague Poison, you can easily infect and secure SB damage all of three them with one usage.
Additionally, if for whatever reason it may come in handy, the Plague Poison deals the exact amount of damage (500) to kill all minions in the Abyss of Demons, though it’s long duration would make using it for clearing rooms quite tedious. One may wish to use the Stingray Poison for such purposes, at equal MP cost and over twice the DPS, however under half the range.
The Murky Toxin is a potent ability found in the Toxic Sewers, which does insane damage but requires good aim. There are 2 simultaneous detonations for the total cost of 125MP: the first one does 900 damage but has a small radius of 2, while the second one does 300 damage while having a larger radius of 4. Furthermore, it gives the user 3 ATT and 3 DEX, meaning the dagger also becomes more viable. Nowadays, most enemies get killed quickly, but the DoT is only 4 seconds, which means the poison provides viable DPS. In short, if you stumble upon this and have a good aim, this is for you.
The main strengths that lie within the Assassin is his high damage output, compared to the other dagger classes, along with the poison ability to do even higher damage to groups of enemies. His higher Wisdom stat of 60, like the Trickster, compared to the Rogue also helps him regenerate his MP for sooner poison uses. With your high speed and damage output, you can often succeed by darting in, quickly damaging a target, and darting out. Even without a Priest backup, an Assassin can solo many events this way.
However, like the other dagger classes, he lacks the long range of staff/bow users and the defense of sword users. Furthermore, the Assassin does not have the invisibility of the Rogue, or the decoys of the Trickster, so survival is heavily reliant on the player’s skill in dodging all projectiles that come your way. Moreover, he lacks a healing ability, so you should always carry healing items and be patient enough to back off from fights for a minute to recover some HP. Otherwise, you will find your Assassin dead much sooner than expected.
A fresh Assassin’s stats are just like a fresh Rogue’s stats, with excellent Speed and Dexterity stats, but has a much better Attack and Wisdom stat than the Rogue does. Even with all these good stats, a fresh Assassin cannot function as effectively as other fresh classes. This is because the Assassin relies on dodging skills in order to survive, and fighting at medium range does not help him, either. The Assassin can still function with a hit-and-run tactic, but is still difficult to pull off at events without any Speed invested.
An Assassin’s capped stats are great for its purposes. His 75 Speed allows him to quickly run in, toss poison, and escape without spending much time taking fire. He also has a great 60 Attack, along with 75 Dexterity, which gives him decent damage output for a dagger class. A great 60 Wisdom allows him to get back on his feet if he misses a lob of poison.
When fighting alongside allies in the godlands, the Assassin usually doesn’t need to use his poison since the enemy is often killed before the poison can take much effect. Instead he can focus on hit and run tactics, using his high Speed and Dexterity to quickly dispatch enemies and then retreat to the safety of the priests or other long-range fighters.
However, if the group approaches a tough god (Medusa, Sprite God, Red Demon, or Leviathan) with lots of health, then feel free to throw some poison at it to bring its health down much faster. Or, if someone (accidentally, I’m sure) drags a group of gods towards the party, move to the side and take aim, because your poison could be the thing that allows you to eliminate them quickly and continue adventuring, rather than having the whole party being forced to retreat to the nexus.
Assassins are also useful to the party in taking out groups of gods from the safety of castle walls. They can also be of help by dealing significant poison damage to tough event bosses surrounded by large groups of minions, such as Cube Gods, Skull Shrines, and even Oryx.
Since Build 119, the popularity of Assassins has skyrocketed due to the simplicity of getting soulbound damage in an Event. Usually 2-3 Nightwing lobs are enough to get an easy stat potion at a Skull or Cube. It is difficult for an Assassin to get soulbound damage if there is no cover (trees, rocks, etc.) around. If there is, quickly run towards the boss, using the cover, and get off a poison before quickly retreating to safety. Using this hit-and-run tactic, the Assassin can easily land plenty of damage without much to lose, and without much effort. Large groups with you can easily speed up the process.
As for dungeon bosses, the Assassin needs to time his poison effectively, because the poison will not affect the dungeon boss if they are under a period of invulnerability. A mistimed poison can completely waste his MP when another opportunity opens up. This is why it is much harder for an Assassin to get soulbound damage on a dungeon boss than an event boss.
Assassin is famous for being the WC character. It has great speed to rush, and the poison gets easy soulbound qualification on Oryx 2.
Notes: Since it cannot cloak, or teleport like the trickster or rogue, it is important to remember dodging is a must when rushing the WC. Just because you throw poisons, this does not mean you are certain to get soulbound. It is possible to throw 10+ poisons and not get a drop. Throwing poison just means you qualify for soulbound.
Whether solo or adventuring with friends, the Assassin has a fun play-style and an ability that takes only a little bit of practice to master. The Assassin can deal high damage to several groups of enemies, without much effort needed, and can get himself easy soulbound damage. Recommended for those who want a challenge that can still yield rewards. Also recommending to play as PPE (Pet Player Experience where you max yourself from nothing but a pet without trading). As mentioned above, you can just throw 2 lobs of poison at Oryx 2 and easily qualify for soulbound.