Heroes of Shadow and Dragon Magazine Assassin Question?

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I am confused with all this Essentials and Core 4E stuff. A friend of mine is trying to make an Assassin via the Dragon Magazine #379. But what's the deal with the Executioner Assassin in Heroes of Shadow? Our assumption is that all the classes features are already picked out, there's no real customization. For example, we don't see a 1st-level Daily power anywhere. What are the differences between a Core Class and an Essential Class? It looks to use like the Essential Classes are unable to optimize except through feats.
The Heroes of Shadow Assassin (the executioner) gets a daily use of Poison instead of choosing a daily power.    Essentially the Executioner is an Assassin who only gets features and powers when the chart says they do.  For example: Executioners (barring Hybrids) only have 1 encounter attack power "Assassin's Strike".  They do not gain additional uses of it at 3, 7, etc it just becomes more powerful.
Ours is a world where people don't know what they want, and are willing to go through hell to get it. -Don Marquis
It's generally correct that feat (and PPs, EDs, gear choices) are the only way to optimise e-classes - but that's a LOT of room to optimise, and the differences between optimised and not are still great.

And the E-ssassin is actually a decent class, where the Ossassin is terrible.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
If you wanted a functional assassin you would want to build from the Executioner Assassin frame, but if there were daily powers from the original Assassin that you liked there is a feat, Shadow Master that lets you swap a Poison Vial for a Daily Power