All along the crooked way - An Assassin's Handbook

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Scavenger Bird Ki Focus is pretty good if you use a Weapon as your main attack magical item, to avoid wasting shrouds. To be honest I also used Final Sleep until paragon when good weapon options become available.



Cool. I certainly felt like the Final Sleep ki focus was a good option. It has more versatility than a vicious weapon, and the crit bonus is the same. Covenent Agent builds may not have full crit potential in heroic, but they still crit more often than other Assassins, and my party's Bard has at least one power that increases crit range against a monster, so I expect to get a good amount of benefit out of it. And I'd only really consider a mithrendain steel weapon as a secondary weapon on a dual wielding build that actually used two weapons, rather than a double weapon, which is pretty much the only other weapon I could think of that stood out as an option.

So, I'll keep that, and probably get a Scavenger Bird focus when I switch to a magic weapon for my main source of enchantments, unless something even better has come out by then. :P

Maybe there will be a really good crit focused Ki Focus between now and then.

A man can dream. :D

meanwhile, definately picking up acrobat boots. Maybe if I can afford it by ditching the distance crossbow I'll get gauntlets of blood as well. Those can be pretty nice, before better stuff comes around. Getting extra damage against any enemy that isn't feeding me THP isn't something to scoff at.
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Since I've made a few posts recently complaining about the lack of good Assassin at-will's, I thought I'd try a build that focuses on building up a MBA to fill in the role of a good striker at-will.  It combines Greatspear with Impaling Spear for an at-will 'Weapon versus Reflex' attack, and lots of charging feats and items to increase the damage.

Assassin Charger:
Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
REA, level 30
Revenant, Assassin, Soul Thief, Perfect Slayer
Build: Bleak Disciple Assassin
Guild Training: Bleak Disciple
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Spear)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Choose your Race in Life: Eladrin
Background: Occupation - Guerrilla (+2 to Perception)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 26, Dex 28, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 16, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.


AC: 45 Fort: 42 Reflex: 43 Will: 40
HP: 152 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 38

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +29, Acrobatics +29, Perception +24, Thievery +29, Insight +22

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +17, Endurance +25, Heal +17, History +16, Intimidate +17, Nature +17, Religion +16, Streetwise +15, Athletics +17

FEATS
Level 1: Assassin's Escape
Level 2: Eladrin Soldier
Level 4: Melee Training (Dexterity)
Level 6: Wrathful Warrior (retrained to Battle Awareness at Level 11)
Level 8: Surprising Charge
Level 10: Versatile Expertise
Level 11: Impaling Spear
Level 12: Powerful Charge
Level 14: Eladrin Soul
Level 16: Fey Charge
Level 18: Hafted Defense
Level 20: Fierce Vitality
Level 21: Ghostly Vitality
Level 22: Robust Defenses
Level 24: Epic Will
Level 26: Defensive Advantage
Level 28: Liberating Teleport

POWERS
Assassin at-will 1: Executioner's Noose
Assassin at-will 1: Shadow Storm
Assassin encounter 1: Smothering Shadow
Assassin daily 1: Targeted for Death
Assassin utility 2: Cloak of Shades (retrained to Grit and Spittle at Level 6)
Assassin encounter 3: Cloaking Mist
Assassin daily 5: Twilight Assassin
Assassin utility 6: Tumbling Dodge (retrained to Fast Hands at Level 21)
Assassin encounter 7: Shadow Jack
Assassin daily 9: Bound by Shadow
Assassin utility 10: Reactive Surge
Assassin encounter 13: Well of Shades (replaces Smothering Shadow)
Assassin daily 15: Sundered Shadow (replaces Targeted for Death)
Assassin utility 16: Insightful Riposte
Assassin daily 19: Guild of Shadows (replaces Twilight Assassin)
Assassin utility 22: Liquid Shadow
Assassin encounter 23: Wraith's Assault (replaces Shadow Jack)
Assassin daily 25: Folded Shadow (replaces Bound by Shadow)
Assassin encounter 27: Last Word (replaces Wraith's Assault)
Assassin daily 29: Doom Foretold (replaces Sundered Shadow)

ITEMS
Survivor's Belt (paragon tier), Eladrin Ring of Passage (paragon tier), Ring of Protection (paragon tier), Cloak of Translocation +6, Magic Ki Focus +1, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Horned Helm (epic tier), Gauntlets of Destruction (paragon tier), Tattoo of the Penitent Martyr (paragon tier), Phantom Chaussures (paragon tier), Marauder's Starleather Armor +6, Thundergod Greatspear +6
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Missing Entries from recent Dragon issues:
Magic Ki Focus +1 is placeholder for Cup of Death Ki Focus for +1/tier THP with Bleak Disciple Training
27th Encounter - Shadow Knives
30th Feat - Untouchable Shade

If I charge a target with combat advantage, I get:
Attack +39 versus Reflex
Damage 3d10+6d6+31 (Gauntlets of Destruction: reroll all 1's)

Edit - I forgot to add shroud damage initially.  Now 1 Shroud is included in the damage total.

Target Reflex = 42 (Monster NAD: 12+level)
DPR = (.10 * 0) + (.85 * 73) + (.05 * 139) = 69

Attack and Damage Details:
Show

Attack Bonuses:
+9 Dexterity, +15 Level, +3 Proficiency, +6 Enhancement, +3 Expertise, +1 Charge, +2 Combat Advantage

Damage Bonuses:
2d10 MBA, +1d10 Surprising Charge, +3d6 Horned Helm, +2d6 Thundergod (+6d12 Critical), +1d6 +6 Shroud, +9 Dexterity, +6 Enhancement, +2 Eladrin Soldier, +6 Iron Armbands of Power, +2 Powerful Charge

The build can get good positioning from which to charge each round, thanks to Shadow Step, Fey Charge, and Eladrin Ring of Passage.  Since I'm using a Greatspear, I can also take advantage of reach (offensively and defensively).  

Although Assassin's have to deal with low HP, I think Revenant Bleak Disciple builds end up being tougher than the average striker.  You max Con for lots of surges, you get what is arguably the best THP generating mechanic, and a few Revenant feats can keep you functioning in case you're reduced to below 0 HP.

Here's a few other things defensive aspects to the build:
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Insubstantial versus Shroud Target (Untouchable Shade feat)
+3 AC - Charge (Marauder's Armor)
+2 AC and +2 Reflex - Teleport (Cloak of Translocation)
+2 AC with Combat Advantage (Defensive Advantage)
Concealment (Phantom Chaussures)
+2 ST - Teleport (Liberating Teleport)
+1 ST (Ring of Protection)
Roll Twice for Death Saving Throws (Survivor's Belt)

In the end, the hope is that the charging MBA fills in the role of your go-to single-target striker power, leaving encounters and dailies to focus more on AOE attacks and controller powers.  Lots of teleporting power leave the build fairly mobile, and the Revenant Bleak Disciple angle makes the character very difficult to kill.  It won't be at the top of the tier for strikers, but my goal was to make it an effective Assassin build at any tier.

At least, that's what I was hoping to achieve.  Comments?  Criticisms?  Improvements?
I't a pity you can't squeeze a little more Str and Wis. Polearm Gamble is potentially great with Shadow Knives and Shadow Assailants on an AP). You get an attack on each turn of the creatures inside the area, you can shift for better position, can slide them adjacent to you and get an opportunity attack for each of them.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

I't a pity you can't squeeze a little more Str and Wis. Polearm Gamble is potentially great with Shadow Knives and Shadow Assailants on an AP). You get an attack on each turn of the creatures inside the area, you can shift for better position, can slide them adjacent to you and get an opportunity attack for each of them.


You could squeeze the extra point in both by dropping your Con score by 1, but you still wouldn't be able to pick up Polearm Gamble until Epic.

There's another good epic destiny for this build, and one that would help make up for both dropping your Con by 1 and the need to free up another Epic level feat slot for Polearm Gamble.  The Raven Knight ED gives you both +2 to Dexterity and Constitution (as opposed to just Dexterity with Perfect Slayer).  You also get a +2 speed bonus (good for charging), and you gain insubstaintial and phasing whenever you charge!  That would basically remove any need for the Untouchable Shade feat, so you could replace that with Polearm Gamble.  The final icing on the cake is that adjacent enemies take a -2 penalty to attack rolls against you.

On the whole, Raven Knight is probably a better ED for this build than Perfect Slayer.
I'll work out the full build then. Anyway I'll wait for the monthly compilation to be out, to see if there's any change to Class Acts article.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

So, I've looked in all the books, and can't find the assassin class.  Also, I've looked in all the assassin handbooks, and nobody states where the assassin can be found.  Someone let me know please.
You can find the Assassin in Dragon Magazine 379.  It should be coming out in actual book format with the release of all the rest of the Shadow power source characters later this year I think.
I heard it was coming out in a phb later this year, but was confused as to where it was.  Thanks for the tip though!
It's not going to be a PHB, it's a book all about Shadow-source characters (Hexblade, Assassin, Necromancer).  And I believe I read the release date was March of 2011.  So we've got a long while before that's out.

Incidentaly, before I forget, one of my favorite tricks with Scavenger Bird Ki Focus is using Twilight Assassin.  You put a shroud on the thing your Twilight duplicate is standing next to, hit it with the Twilight Assassin attack, then use the Scavenger Bird to move the shroud over to the thing you actually want to attack.  It can be very handy for letting your Twilight Assassin wander to different targets than the one you're focusing on (especially if your ability to get to the target is impaired) while still doing the maximum 6 damage per TA hit, and still keeping your shroud production on your main target steady.
I think I have found a way to make an assassin both fun and optimal.

Yes this is based off the Assassins Creed 2 character Enzo.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Enzo, level 30
Human, Assassin, Soul Thief, Perfect Slayer
Build: Bleak Disciple Assassin
Guild Training: Bleak Disciple
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Axe)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 24, Dex 28, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 15.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 16, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 13.



AC: 44 Fort: 42 Reflex: 43 Will: 37
HP: 150 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 37


TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +22, Stealth +29, Streetwise +22, Thievery +29, Acrobatics +29, Athletics +21


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Diplomacy +17, Dungeoneering +15, Endurance +22, Heal +15, History +16, Insight +21, Intimidate +17, Nature +15, Perception +21, Religion +16


FEATS
Human: Hidden Insight
Level 1: Crimson Eye Action
Level 2: Venom Hand Killer
Level 4: Venom Hand Master
Level 6: Weapon Proficiency (Execution axe)
Level 8: Versatile Expertise
Level 10: Action Surge
Level 11: Killer in the Crowd
Level 12: Fleet-Footed
Level 14: Persistent Threat
Level 16: Melee Training (Dexterity)
Level 18: Agile Athlete
Level 20: Nightmare Master
Level 21: Walker Through Shadows
Level 22: Epic Resurgence
Level 24: Poison's Partner
Level 26: Superior Initiative
Level 28: Robust Defenses
Level 30: Secret Stride


POWERS
Assassin at-will 1: Leaping Shade
Assassin at-will 1: Executioner's Noose
Bonus At-Will Power: Inescapable Blade
Assassin encounter 1: Smothering Shadow
Assassin daily 1: Strangling Shadow
Assassin utility 2: Cloak of Shades
Assassin encounter 3: Cloaking Mist
Assassin daily 5: Heart of Dust
Assassin utility 6: Slayer's Escape
Assassin encounter 7: Shadow Link
Assassin daily 9: Obscuring Shadow
Assassin utility 10: Promise of Retribution
Assassin encounter 13: Dark Step Ambush (replaces Cloaking Mist)
Assassin daily 15: Sundered Shadow (replaces Strangling Shadow)
Assassin utility 16: Liquid Shadow
Assassin encounter 17: Traitorous Shadow (replaces Shadow Link)
Assassin daily 19: Executioner's Blade (replaces Obscuring Shadow)
Assassin utility 22: Assassin's Eye
Assassin encounter 23: Wraith's Assault (replaces Smothering Shadow)
Assassin daily 25: Reaper's Touch (replaces Heart of Dust)
Assassin encounter 27: Shadows of Doom (replaces Dark Step Ambush)
Assassin daily 29: Three Shadow Venoms (replaces Sundered Shadow)


ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Spiderkissed Execution axe +6, Bloodtheft Starleather Armor +6, Death Strike Ki Focus +6, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Boots of Teleportation (epic tier), Cat Paws (epic tier), Ioun Stone of True Sight (epic tier), Brimstone Cloak +6, Shadow Band (epic tier), Star Opal Ring (epic tier), Wraith's Cord (epic tier), Solitaire (Violet) (epic tier), Ghostwalk Tattoo (epic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

I'll work out the full build then. Anyway I'll wait for the monthly compilation to be out, to see if there's any change to Class Acts article.



So I made a few changes to the Assassin Charger build.  One main change was to switch to the Raven Knight ED, which seems almost perfectly tailored to my purposes (+2 Dex and Con, +2 Speed, Insubstantial & Phasing when Charging, Adjacent enemies are at -2 to attack me).

The other changes really helped to increase the DPR.  These changes were switching from Eladrin to Longtooth Shifter as my past race, and adding Lasting Frost and Echoes of Thunder.  

If I charge a target with combat advantage, I get:
Attack +39 versus Reflex
Damage 3d10+6d6+45 (Gauntlets of Destruction: reroll all 1's)

Edit - I forgot to add the damage bonus from the use of Frozen Whetstone.  It's now incorporated.

Target Reflex = 42 (Monster NAD: 12+level)
DPR = (.10 * 0) + (.85 * 89) + (.05 * 155) = 83.4

The only thing I consider a little cheesy is the use of Frozen Whetstones to enable Lasting Frost/Wintertouched.  When I switched from the Perfect Slayer ED to the Raven Knight ED I lost my combat advantage enabler.  So I went the cold route, but I also didn't want to give up my Thundergod weapon.  I assume my charge attack still gets the Thunder keyword from the Thundergod weapon, but please let me know if I'm mistaken about that.

Here are the attack and damage details:
Show

Attack Bonuses:
+9 Dexterity, +15 Level, +3 Proficiency, +6 Enhancement, +3 Expertise, +1 Charge, +2 Combat Advantage

Damage Bonuses:
2d10 MBA, +1d10 Surprising Charge, +3d6 Horned Helm, +2d6 Thundergod (+6d12 Critical), +1d6 +6 Shroud, +9 Dexterity, +6 Enhancement, +3 Weapon Focus, +6 Iron Armbands of Power, +2 Powerful Charge, +3 Gorebrute Charge, +2 Longtooth Shifting, +3 Echoes of Thunder, +5 Lasting Frost, +2 Frozen Whetstone


Here's the build itself:
Assassin Charger
Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
RSARK, level 30
Revenant, Assassin, Soul Thief, Raven Knight
Build: Bleak Disciple Assassin
Guild Training: Bleak Disciple
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Spear)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Choose your Race in Life: Longtooth Shifter
Background: Occupation - Guerrilla (+2 to Perception)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 28, Dex 28, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 16, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.


AC: 44 Fort: 43 Reflex: 42 Will: 40
HP: 154 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 38

TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +29, Acrobatics +29, Perception +24, Thievery +29, Insight +22

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +17, Endurance +26, Heal +17, History +16, Intimidate +17, Nature +17, Religion +16, Streetwise +15, Athletics +17

FEATS
Level 1: Shifter Soul
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Greatspear)
Level 4: Versatile Expertise
Level 6: Melee Training (Dexterity)
Level 8: Gorebrute Charge
Level 10: Wrathful Warrior (retrained to Battle Awareness at Level 11)
Level 11: Impaling Spear
Level 12: Lasting Frost
Level 14: Wintertouched
Level 16: Surprising Charge
Level 18: Weapon Focus (Spear)
Level 20: Fierce Vitality
Level 21: Ghostly Vitality
Level 22: Echoes of Thunder
Level 24: Powerful Charge
Level 26: Robust Defenses
Level 28: Epic Will
Level 30: Rapid Regeneration

POWERS
Assassin at-will 1: Executioner's Noose
Assassin at-will 1: Shadow Storm
Shifter Soul: Longtooth Shifting
Assassin encounter 1: Smothering Shadow
Assassin daily 1: Targeted for Death
Assassin utility 2: Cloak of Shades (retrained to Grit and Spittle at Level 10)
Assassin encounter 3: Cloaking Mist
Assassin daily 5: Twilight Assassin
Assassin utility 6: Tumbling Dodge (retrained to Fast Hands at Level 21)
Assassin encounter 7: Shadow Jack
Assassin daily 9: Bound by Shadow
Assassin utility 10: Reactive Surge
Assassin encounter 13: Well of Shades (replaces Smothering Shadow)
Assassin daily 15: Sundered Shadow (replaces Targeted for Death)
Assassin utility 16: Insightful Riposte
Assassin daily 19: Guild of Shadows (replaces Twilight Assassin)
Assassin utility 22: Liquid Shadow
Assassin encounter 23: Wraith's Assault (replaces Shadow Jack)
Assassin daily 25: Folded Shadow (replaces Bound by Shadow)
Assassin encounter 27: Last Word (replaces Wraith's Assault)
Assassin daily 29: Doom Foretold (replaces Sundered Shadow)

ITEMS
Survivor's Belt (paragon tier), Ring of Retreat (paragon tier), Ring of Protection (paragon tier), Cloak of Translocation +6, Magic Ki Focus +1, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Blood Fury Longsword +1, Horned Helm (epic tier), Gauntlets of Destruction (paragon tier), Tattoo of the Penitent Martyr (paragon tier), Phantom Chaussures (paragon tier), Marauder's Starleather Armor +6, Thundergod Greatspear +6, Frozen Whetstone (heroic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

One last change I'm contemplating is switching from the Soul Thief PP to Avenging Haunt, in order to be harder to knockout/kill.
Pretty good DPR with this one. More than 80 starts to be reasonable for a striker.
I would still look for a way to put Polearm Gamble into the build, as there are several encounter powers that let you slide a target when it is hit, possibly giving you free MBAs.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Pretty good DPR with this one. More than 80 starts to be reasonable for a striker.
I would still look for a way to put Polearm Gamble into the build, as there are several encounter powers that let you slide a target when it is hit, possibly giving you free MBAs.


Subtract 1 from starting Con and add 1 to Str and Wis.  That will qualify you for Polearm Gamble at Epic.  Remove the rapid regeneration feat to make room for polearm gamble.  I think that's all there is to it.
Added Squad's charging assassin to the builds section. Waiting for the compilation coming out tomorrow. Lots of comments on the new stuff are coming soon.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Added ratings for all powers from the latest Class Acts. One gold, one sky blue and one blue power, so pretty juicy stuff. Will rate Gloaming Dancer PP and the feats tomorrow.

By the way: I know Shadow Assailants is broken, but after so much time finally an assassin broken power!! Let us revel in glee until the next round of errata.

Edit: soooorry. I forgot two powers yesterday (Gloaming Call and Blood Shadows). Now they're in (another sky-blue and blue power respectively). Gloaming Dancer PP in too. Only feats left.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

It appears that the character builder is busted.  I have seen multiple character builds on this thread that use 2 class-specific feats to find combinations of powers to maximize DPR.  

Player's handbook says

There are two restrictions on your choice of a class-specific multiclass feat. First, you can’t take a multiclass feat for your own class. Second, once you take a multiclass feat, you can’t take a class-specific feat for a different class. You can dabble in a second class but not a third. 


 
It appears that the character builder is busted.  I have seen multiple character builds on this thread that use 2 class-specific feats to find combinations of powers to maximize DPR.  

Player's handbook says

There are two restrictions on your choice of a class-specific multiclass feat. First, you can’t take a multiclass feat for your own class. Second, once you take a multiclass feat, you can’t take a class-specific feat for a different class. You can dabble in a second class but not a third. 
 




Your avatar claims you to be an Insider, but I believe this to be a falsehood...

Behold the mighty Windrise Ports, father to most things busted. It's a background that specifically lets you take 2 multi-class feats.
Backgrounds -> Forgotten Realms -> Windrise Ports (Last Entry)

Added in Dragon 386.  When it will be changed in some fashion is beyond me, but that and the Auspicious Birth style of backgrounds are pretty much a fixture in just about every power built character made.

And yes, it allows you to take two different classes worth of multiclass feats.
Just finished rating the stuff from Dragon 388. What looked as a pretty weak article at a first glance came out to be full of power.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Will have to double check the builds section, as some of them use Windrise Ports (nerfed in the last update). Nothing else has been altered.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Great job as always Erleni!

(Maine Coon owners rock)
Only one build had to be taken out. It was my Hand of the Raven Queen (for both Windirise Ports and Threatening Strike). All the rest is still valid.
The only build that uses more than one MC is gaining the possibility to multiclass to more than one class via the Traveler's Harlequin PP features and not Windrise Ports.

Squad's charging build made me think a bit to another possible Polearm build. There are at least two encounter powers, Nightshade's Kiss and Spectral Assailants that let you slide the target everytime it is hit (Nightshade's Kiss) or takes damage (Spectral Assailants). Combined with Polearm Gamble they can be used to generate a bunch of MBAs (you can get up to one per turn).

They work like this: position yourself at one square from the target (targets). Use the encounter power. Then when one of your buddies hits the target, slide it near you, get an MBA from Polearm Gamble and if you hit slide him back at one square from you, rinse and repeat. I know the target(s) can move away on its (their) turn, but you can set up things properly by timing attacks with the rest of the party. Shadow Knives will add spice to the build by giving you an attack at the target's turn beginning (you need an AP for that) and if you hit you daze and slow.
Is there a way to knock the targets prone too? Any other suggestion to improve this idea?

Edit: well there's another build I'll need to update:the Headsman. The current version no longer works, but the Eternal Seeker one does (I mentioned it in the comments). No more high level solo one shot kills, but still valid for elites.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Just wanna say that this is probably my favorite handbook. Great work. Constantly coming back to this for ideas for my various assassins.
My wife is playing a Tiefling Night Stalker Assassin, and we were wondering how optimal the following paragon paths and epic destinies were for her race/class.

PP: Turathi Highborn, Broken Mirror

ED: Prince of Hell, Heir to the Empire
Here my 2c:

Turathi Highborn looks pretty good, mainly for Turathi Frenzy and the 20th level daily. The rest of the features/powers is not that good but still reasonable.

Broken Mirror: Mirror action has a pretty good synergy with Shadow Knives. Use Shadow Knives with an AP and knock them prone. Then when their turn starts if you hit them with the attack they are dazed, slowed and prone!! The rest is not really that good for a striker.

Prince of Hell: darkvision is good but no bonus to Dex is pretty bad. What I really like is the 30th level feature, because you can really build an assassin slasher with it, but 30th level is really late.

Heir to the Empire: the utility is outstanding being an encounter and the 24th and 30th level features are interesting. Anyway you still don't get any bonus to Dex.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Yeah, but Prince of Hell and Heir to the Empire both give bonuses to Cha, which is her secondary score.
Has anyone done a strong mathmatically analysis on the use of Assassin's Shroud on a round by round basis?

Going for all 4 seems like a waste compared to using 1 each round.
You're wrong there.
-- Trigger them with an attack as accurate as possible. Reason: One accurate attack is enough to collect your Strike bonus damage for up to 4 rounds.
-- Trigger them as late as possible. Reason: When you miss, you still only lose one - which is relatively less the more Shrouds you got on the target.*
-- Trigger them as early as necessary. Reason: A target that dies and has still Shrouds on it is a waste. Worse a target that just barely keeps standing with Shourds on it is twice a waste.

* Imagine you miss 4 rounds in a row (example in Heroic, take mob with enough HP):
-- Trigger Shrouds every round: 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 0 dmg
-- Trigger Shrouds every other round: 0 + 1d6 + 0 + 1d6 = 2d6 dmg
-- Trigger Shrouds only once: 0 + 0 + 0 + 3d6 = 3d6 dmg
What it comes down to, really, is that playing an assassin requires a lot of patience and careful analysis - but mostly planning.  Triggering your shrouds when you've got a better chance of hitting is very important, be it due to combat advantage, lowered defenses, or a weapon attack vs. NADs (we do have a handful of those).  Of course, you also need to accurately gauge the health of the monster so you can know how many rounds you can afford not to invoke.  All this makes playing an assassin a lot more intricate than any other striker. 

The bottom line is that there is no one "most optimal" strategy for how often you should invoke shrouds.  The most optimal thing to do is to be observant and careful with which attacks you use and when you use them. 
I've just realised a huge mistake in my calculations, I wasn't counting in the damge being done whilst stacking up Asassin's shroud on a target.
Need some help from CharOp'ers:

powers like Nightshade's Kiss and Shadow Assailants can greatly benefit from Polearm Gamble, because you can use the slides to generate opportunity attacks via the feat. A greatspear is an interesting weapon for such a build and if you take Mark of the Storm and a thunder weapon you can do the same with Shadow Knives too. Can yopu give me some suggestions to make a good build based on these ideas?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

As a personal appeal, could you please include the source text shortform of all feats, items and non-core (with respect to the original article) powers, and organize items by level? That would make this guide much more reader and user friendly.
@ Surrealistic: I'll probably add the source over this month (I'm finally on holiday for three weeks), but I'm not really convinced by the advantage of organizing items by level. I normally decide what items I want based on the build (say Frost weapons with frostcheese builds, radiant weapons with Covenant Agent, and so on) and not really on the base of the level they come at. Anyway I'll think about it.

Champion of the Vigil (in this month's Groups and Guilds article) looks pretty interesting for an assassin. Violent Emergence is the main reason (19-20 crit range when you're hidden from the target). You can really go crit-fishing with this one (and from 11th level).

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Just saw that the compendium and CB version of Shadow Knives is different from the version we see on Dragon 388 (and horribly worse). As no official errata has been sent out I stay with the current evaluation of Shadow Knives, but be aware that the compendium and CB version has been nerfed into utter uselessness (you can make only one attack for 1[W] and no dex bonus plus dazed and slowed with a17th level power....)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Wow, that's... aweful.  Seriously, what does wizards have against this class?  I sure hope the other shadow classes aren't so cursed with suck. 
Seriously, the Assassin already has crappy HP, a once-per-encounter insubstantial that lets them keep living under fire as long as they don't try to be strikers and attack, and the slowest-to-reward striker mechanic in the game. Why do they have to get their **** handed to them in their own power selection? I mean, juh-yee-zus!

The original core books said that this was our game too. It doesn't feel like that anymore.

@ Surrealistic: I'll probably add the source over this month (I'm finally on holiday for three weeks), but I'm not really convinced by the advantage of organizing items by level. I normally decide what items I want based on the build (say Frost weapons with frostcheese builds, radiant weapons with Covenant Agent, and so on) and not really on the base of the level they come at. Anyway I'll think about it.



Helps players determine what they might want when choosing starting items at a glance (where you may have to make 'suboptimal'/build inconsistent choices due to level restrictions). Further, while I understand this is the char op forums, it is also a handbook for the uninitiated to the class, some of whom may not hash out/pre-fab a build from the bottom up, fashioning a character from blues/sky blues as they go. Having items ordered by level is of obvious benefit to them, allowing for quick and easy identification of their options as they proceed.
Very nice handbook so far, but the green for standard is... own flavor Wink.

And some builds you posted so far are gone (I can't find the build in a link).

Nice work!
New Assassin goodies coming this month, I think I read somewhere?

Figures.  My assassin died the other night.  TPK, bodies in an unrecoverable location, the works.
And some builds you posted so far are gone (I can't find the build in a link).


Yeah, the link to my charger build takes you to page 3, when it's really on page 50.

The new assassin content looks to be an essentials preview of the assassin, later this month in dragon.