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Assassin PvE Gameplay Guide

Posted Fri, Dec 11, 2009 by Savanja

If you’ve chosen to play an Aion Assassin then you may have already discovered that this class is like having a high maintenance girl/boyfriend.  If you were looking to play something that allowed you to sit back and switch on auto-pilot, then you may want to re-think your class choice, but if you crave deep player interaction and exciting combat, then you’ve come to the right place!

To help you in your growing Assassin career this guide will give you some great tips and advice on making the most with what this class has to offer. Learn how to gear up, get a rundown of skill repertoires that will keep your damage steadily flowing, and find out your role in a group all in this Assassin PvE Gameplay Guide.

The Basics – Gearing Up

Watch your back if you catch site of the iconic dual blades.

First, always keep in mind what the Assassin is capable of.  This class has amazing burst damage and can do scary things when physical crits land and this is something that you’ll want to encourage via your gear. While there is a lot of discussion as to whether Assassins are better off stacking their manastones in favor of +Attack, I still prefer going with +Physical Crit first.  Early on you won’t have to worry about coming anywhere near the crit soft cap, presumed to be around 440, but as it approaches in the mid levels, you can start thinking about also adding to your Attack where you have space available. Maximizing damage should always be a priority, don’t spend time worrying about evasion or the other skills; they are all meaningless if you are doing your job and killing quickly.

Weapon choices come down to dual swords or dual daggers and I’m finding a lot of this is personal preference. Daggers crit more often, however swords crit bigger numbers and I found that early on, the daggers were more useful but higher in levels, the swords seem to do more damage overall. In the end, you’ll really want to go with whichever offers the best stats and the highest quality that you can afford. If you generally use daggers and come across a fabulous sword, use it! You won’t be missing out on anything but changing things up a little.

Bows, which are typically a Ranger weapon, don’t get enough love from the Assassins.  Get one. Get a good one even! Assassins don’t get ranged skills, however, having a bow to pull mobs to a prime fighting location or using it on retreating enemies makes having one on hand very worthwhile.  They can do okay damage when a crit lands and will occasionally offer an itty bitty stun.

Going Into Battle

You’ll find a few essential key skills in the Assassin arsenal. Damage, stuns, and poisons.

Damage – These are your typical skills, Surprise Attack, Swift Edge, signet engraving skills, etc.  These are the skills you will use most of the time but these should also be timed around your stuns and Stigma skills and auto-attacks.

Stuns – The signet bursting skills and Counterattack are the Assassin’s best tools. When an enemy is stunned, it can’t turn allowing for the Assassin to go in for a Surprise Attack shot and a add oodles of damage in the process.  If these are used with good frequency and staggered properly, Surprise Attack will never go unused.

Poisons – Apply Poison is a staple in the Assassin’s damage lineup.  The DoT it adds is a small thing but the Assassin is all about maximizing damage and part of this is using everything you have. Always have Scolopen Poison in your inventory and when you’re fighting always use Apply Poison.

A good standard routine to use in PvE combat is to open with the Stigma skill Ambush and Surprise Attack.  From there, smack down some quick damage with your Swift Edge – Soul Slash combo. Use your signet engraving chain skills, a burst signet skill, and then back to your damage combo, signet engraving, and another burst signet. After every other burst signet, your Surprise Attack should be up and usable.

There is no doubt, the Assassin is a formidable opponent.

If you’re opening with a bow and arrow pull, you can still use the same routine, just wait until the mob is close enough and clear of his friends before using Ambush.

In PvE combat you may find that you don’t have a huge need to use your Hide skill. You can use it to open combat in combination with Surprise Attack in the earlier levels, but really once you have Ambush there isn’t a need for it. You may also notice that I left out the buffs that the Assassin has.  Skills like Focused Evasion, Devotion, and Clear Focus are nice to use but during typical PvE gameplay, you’re killing too quickly to be terribly concerned about buffing. Clear Focus is nice if you feel like you’re getting into trouble during a difficult fight, but you may be better off just using health potions.

Grouping Up

In a group, your only real concern is to not outshine the tank so much that you take on agro. Part of doing your job is bringing the damage, but your job is also being mindful that you aren’t breaking the groove of the group.  Calming Whisper is your de-aggro skill and in a group, you should be using it every now and again particularly if you notice that the mob is turning your way a little too often. If you’re still getting agro with Calming Whisper, wait a couple of seconds after the tank has attacked before digging in and then wait a couple more seconds before using your highest hitting attacks.

If you have a good tank, you can pretty much let loose with your big hitting skills. If your tank doesn’t already know, be sure to ask that they always turn the mob to face away from the group so that you aren’t exposing your backside to potential adds. You’ll always need to be on the rear of the target but you shouldn’t be the one getting blamed for taking on more mobs during battle.

The Assassin is a fun and active class that may not be for everyone but for those who enjoy down and dirty in-the-fray combat, it may be the best class you’ve ever played!

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