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The Thrasher Hybrid Assassin


Delillo's Avatar


Delillo
04.06.2012 , 04:11 PM | #1
The Thrasher Hybrid Assassin

The Thrasher build is designed to be an alternative to the standard 31/0/10 (or 31/1/9 which I prefer) darkness build. The build sacrifices some of the tanky group utility (and AOE focus) of the standard build for better single target pop.


First some observations about the 31 point darkness build.

1. Dark Charge- quite simply, Dark Charge is substantially better than lightning or surging charge. +150% armor at the cost of 5% bonus damage (that's not even 5% damage, that's more like 2.5% damage) is a great exchange. The only reason to take any other charge is simply that they are pre-requisites for some abilities in other trees- so unless you are going to go full madness or deception, dark charge is the default assassin stance.

2. Wither is great. Talk about an all-in one ability. Things it has going for it: AOE, increased range, force attack, snare, damage debuff and if that wasn't enough, it triggers harnessed darkness. Its everything a 31 point should be. You could probably take out 75% of the damage of this ability and it would still be worth using every CD.

3. Harnessed Darkness is great as well. Big damage with a substantial self-heal. It's so good that pretty much everything you do as a 31 point darkness assassin is about building charges of harnessed darkness so you can do it again.

4. Energize + Exploitive Strikes is amazing synergy. Energize is a guaranteed crit that procs a huge melee crit rate buff. Combine this with Recklessness which gives +50% crit damage and you have very hard hitting shocks, especially when combined with Electrify and Chain Shock.

5. Huge utility- all the best utility lies in the darkness tree. Disjunction is what every Deception assassin wants and can't have, especially when combined with the reduced cool-down on force speed.. Ranged pull and an out-of-stealth knockdown. Higher energy regen and a second self-heal are all just bonus.


The Negatives:
1. Your threat to healers is not great.
2. The prevalence of so many darkness assassins means that much of that great utility from wither is probably already taken care of.


So one of the things I found while playing 31/1/9 is that I had a tendency to be a complete slave to harnessed darkness. I start combat with wither and shock and 7.5 seconds later I wither again and I have 3 procs of harnessed darkness and I am ready to Force Lightning. By the time Force Lightning ends shock and Wither are off cooldown so that's two more charges of harnessed darkness...and so it goes. Rinse and Repeat.

So what this means is that pretty much all of your force is devoted to wither, shock, force lightning, and (hopefully) assassinate. I use Discharge in big groups of course but you actually need to make sure that you don't burn through your force doing other things...like using Thrash. So its actually hard, or even self-defeating, to try to make Energize a part of your rotation. So between Wither, Shock (no guaranteed crit) and Force Lightning you are putting out a good bit of damage but its not the most focused.

Also, the devotion to wither, shock, and Force lightning, all force attacks, means that the extra 200-ish Force Power from a focus instead of a shield is put to good use.



The Thrasher Hybrid build is designed to sacrifice the group utility of Wither in order to provide more single target threat.

The Thrasher Hybrid Build
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#20...rskbZoZf0cMb.1



So, this build retains all the good stuff from 31/1/9 with the exception of wither. You also stop using Discharge. The main thing you add is:

Claws of Decay
Increases the critical strike damage dealt by Thrash by 50%.

You are now reliant on shock to build stacks of harnessed darkness, which will be slower. However, ALL of your shocks will now crit because you thrash until you proc energize, which also resets the CD of shock. Energized shocks automatically trigger Exploitive strikes so you have +15% crit to Thrashes which do +50% crit damage.

Note: I don't feel at all strongly about the points in Swelling Shadows and Electric Execution. If you want to put those points into +3% Endurance, go right ahead. This is just a decision to add a tad more offense at the expense of a few HP. Also since you are thrashing so much more than other Darkness Assassins, talents that effect Dark Charge procs get more milage. Also there is a free point floating around there- the key build is 27/1/12 so if you want to put 1 point into an expensive Death Field and use it situationally, do so. I still recommend 4 points in Swelling Shadows and Electric Execution.

Also, unlike the standard Darkness's use of almost exclusive force attacks, the Thrasher is going to use a much higher percentage of melee attacks- meaning that the smaller force power figure on shields affects them less. In other words, Thrash does pretty much the same damage whether you are using a shield or a focus...so use a shield (and dark ward and receive the benefit of Hollow).

Gear
Now what I have been unable to test, since I don't really PvE, is what this spec would do using Rakata armor mods with everything else Battlemaster. Rakata Stalker set bonuses are (2) Saber Strike hits restore 1 Force and (4) +15% crit on Thrash(!). So you'd have to lose 200 Expertise in exchange for +85 Endurance and +82 Wisdom. Thats 964 Expertise vs. 1164 (or about 19% bonus vs. 22.2% expertise bonus). Using this set Thrash would be running at +30% crit (above base) most of the time and do +50% crit damage (above base) when it hits. Also remember that crits can't be shielded, so that's definitely some extra penetration. Also, since this build is so melee damage based, the BM gear high accuracy numbers are actually put to much better use. Your near-constant +15% melee crit means Assassinates and duplicity-proc'd Mauls are going to hit big much more often, so thats also more burst and more kills.

If Rakata gear is not an option then you probably do want the Survivor set bonuses (reduced CD on Spike and +5% damage when Guarding) without the other survivor shielding stats, which is pretty much standard Darkness itemization at this point.

Testing
My experience with this build so far- I am almost full BM (still using champ saber and shield). And my overall damage is slightly down in WZs without Wither and Discharge to pad the numbers but my killing blows are up at least 25%. Against most other classes I feel better 1v1, since my 1v1 damage is higher and much more bursty, so I'm more likely to finish off opponents I control. Ironically other Tank Assassins are now a harder matchup since their force attacks ignore my shield and because the debuff effects of wither and discharge are frankly, effective against this build.

Personally, my ego can live with this. I'd rather be better at killing enemy healers and DPS than dueling my mirrors, but some might conclude that this spec is “worse” than the standard 31 point build because its at a disadvantage in a heads up fight.

Play-style
Without Wither, you also need to play more like a deception assassin since your target isn't perma-snared. You will use force slow from time to time, but if you leveled as deception as I did, that should be second nature. Unlike Deception, the Thrasher has Force Pull and disjunction at his disposal. You definitely have to be good at watching your buffs and procs to play this build, especially as you are completely reliant on shock to build harnessed darkness. Much like Maul and duplicity, you don't shock without an energize proc- shock is too expensive to cast without being patient for the guaranteed crit. You also need to be careful not to fall into a “force well” where you don't have enough force to shock but you do have enough force to thrash- and therefore you stop Shocking- you need to be patient and saber strike up to acceptable level of force when shock is available.

The other side of this is that dark charge itself will heal you more because you are using Thrash and Saber Strike so often- you are also getting much more milage out of Overcharge Saber with this spec.

In the end, this build gets the most out of the Assassin's simplest ability but then sets up 3 different procs to take advantage of its use - Energize, Duplicity, and Harnessed Darkness.

Summary
I am not going to tell you that this build is “better” than the standard 31/0/10 (or 31/1/9) build. This is more a play-style choice. I do think this provides a play-style that is closer to what most people wanted when they chose an Assassin in the first place. There are many times, especially in group PvP, where you may choose the single target threat that the Thrasher provides over the AE pressure that the standard Darkness build provides. So the Thrasher might be the Assassin to run...when you're running more than one.

Neovag's Avatar


Neovag
04.07.2012 , 07:37 PM | #2
Why on Earth would you put a point in Duplicity, instead of Death Field?
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upzie's Avatar


upzie
04.07.2012 , 07:54 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Neovag View Post
Why on Earth would you put a point in Duplicity, instead of Death Field?
Because DF is useless w/o Fanatiscm.

As for this build vs 31/0/10 I personaly pref 31/0/10, wither -> shock -> Fl. I personaly go for 3 stacks of HD if I got Reck up, and then only after I get a energize procc for 3x hd -> wither -> Energized shock wich results in pretty massive burst.

With this approach the self healing is amazing for longivity.
Upzie, Assassin | Disciples of Zédupz | Tomb of Freedon Nadd
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Delillo's Avatar


Delillo
04.07.2012 , 08:30 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Neovag View Post
Why on Earth would you put a point in Duplicity, instead of Death Field?
The point in Duplicity is actually really good. What is really wasteful is the full 3 points in Duplicity. My deception spec was 2/1/2 in the first tier because the next 2 points in duplicity are so wasteful because of the proc lockout.

But just a single point in Duplicity means its going to proc quite often giving some cheap punch to any darkness build.

Even if you go 31 points into Darkness, I recommend 1 point into Duplicity. Your saber strikes will make sure that its available often. Scrimp one point on torment instead.

toshman's Avatar


toshman
04.08.2012 , 05:32 PM | #5
meh....not sure about this one.

i rather get DF instead of duplicity. this way you still have a decent AOE that hits hard. currently using 27/0/14. and thrash can hit for 1200 per hit with full stalker BM.

3xshock still proc FL.

Koolmea's Avatar


Koolmea
04.08.2012 , 10:53 PM | #6
I have an almost same spec ...but why are you using Hollow and Dark Ward, everyone knows shielding is almost equal to 0 in PVP. And since you're a tankassin you should really not use a shield generator ...
Those 3 points you used in those skills should go to Shroud of Drankess imho.
But meh, everyone has his playstyle.
Overall is a good spec.
Trust me, Im an Engineer!
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Fatealis's Avatar


Fatealis
04.09.2012 , 06:13 AM | #7
Wasting a point in duplicity instead of deathfeild definitely hurts this build. 10% to proc is really worth it to you over a 30 m range aoe ? Seriously consider fixing this to put deathfeild in it that is the build i use when i play Offensive darkness.
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Delillo's Avatar


Delillo
04.09.2012 , 11:56 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Koolmea View Post
I have an almost same spec ...but why are you using Hollow and Dark Ward, everyone knows shielding is almost equal to 0 in PVP.
I think the early reports of shielding's uselessness were greatly exaggerated for one thing. I have played with this build enough to see the charges of dark ward being used up to know that I am indeed shielding damage and often. Hollow is worth taking if only for the heal, so the additional shielding is a nice bonus.

And, again, unlike a 31pt darkness assassin who lives by wither, shock, discharge, and force lightning almost exclusively, this build is going to use most of its force on thrash, along with proc'd mauls and assassinates. The difference between the focus and the shield is primarily FORCE POWER so melee attacks hit just as hard with the shield, ergo I'll only take a damage hit from using a shield on shock and force lightning. That said, if you want to build to be as offensive as possible use the focus by all means. I just play too much huttball to give up the shield.

As far as the floating points on the darkness side, I don't think the return on 1% more HP for 1 skill point is that great. Since this build thrashes and saber strikes so much the return on charge based talents is greater.

FWIW the single point in duplicity in the 31 point darkness build is something that I got from Tamgros who runs the 31/1/9 spec. I especially recommend the 31/1/9 build is you leveled as deception and have a high comfort level with maul.

Quote:
Wasting a point in duplicity instead of deathfeild definitely hurts this build. 10% to proc is really worth it to you over a 30 m range aoe ? Seriously consider fixing this to put deathfeild in it that is the build i use when i play Offensive darkness.
Well you have to remember that that 10% proc rate is per swing and each thrash swings twice and each saber strike swings 3 times. So what you find is that when you get to the point when you are going to force lightning, its available: And then the FL > Maul > Assassinate > shock provides the burst you need to actually finish targets off.

If I were to keep death field in the build, you simply can't use it at 50 force. You have to take the talents to make it cheaper. At best you can take it down 25% before you have to start eating into claws of decay or harnessed darkness, the two cornerstones of the build.

I would rather keep the build focused on killing a single target.

Hethroin's Avatar


Hethroin
04.10.2012 , 12:01 PM | #9
Setting up HD stacks with shock is going to take a long time and isn't going to give you the results you are looking for unless you're going for a top 1v1 spec.

I've been running 24/0/17 ever since they broke 23/0/18. This spec does more single target damage than the full tank, keeps most of the mitigation, while losing standing-still-self-heals and gaining on-the-move WW and DF in place of whither. My play style is more mobile than the tank spec with HD allows me to be.
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Delillo's Avatar


Delillo
04.10.2012 , 07:56 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Hethroin View Post
Setting up HD stacks with shock is going to take a long time and isn't going to give you the results you are looking for unless you're going for a top 1v1 spec.

I've been running 24/0/17 ever since they broke 23/0/18. This spec does more single target damage than the full tank, keeps most of the mitigation, while losing standing-still-self-heals and gaining on-the-move WW and DF in place of whither. My play style is more mobile than the tank spec with HD allows me to be.
Well, I am going for a top 1v1 spec.

Re: your 24/0/17
Looks good. These are all playstyle choices and I think your spec makes some good ones.

24/0/17
Death Field
Instant WW
Claw of Decay

vs

27/1/14
Improved Maul
Harnessed Darkness
Claws of Decay

vs

31/0/10
Wither
Harnessed Darkness
Discharge

I think you look at these choices and you'd say that 31 darkness has the most AE and debuffing. 27/1/14 has the most single target threat, and 24/0/17 sacrifices some single target threat and healing for improved CC and mid range AE capability.

The question I would ask is which spec is best vs that sorc or merc. Does harnessed darkness or instant whirlwind make killing that healer easier?

My money's on harnessed darkness. I had a few good over time 1v1's in Ilum the last couple of days against healers. Without HD, I think my opponent could have simply outlasted me. With harnessed darkness, I was able to heal enough to make them run dry on their force. The healer has to choose between healing and doing damage. With HD, you can do both.

Another thing I've noticed on my stats at the end of the WZs is that I am healing for 15-20k more per WZ than with 31/1/9. I can only attribute this to additional dark charge procs from this spec and how you use it. In other words, by thrashing and saber striking more you heal 40-50% more.