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arredondo
03-04-2006, 11:26
Here's a cool concept that addresses a key concern for most offensive Assassin build's... energy and health management. In theory until I test it, the setup looks to be able to fight well by gaining mana and HP the more damage you inflict:

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Assassin's Victory

As/Wa

Dagger Mastery: 14
Deadly Arts: 10
Tactics: 10
Critical Strikes: 8


Expose Defenses: 8 seconds of ineffective evade/block skills vs. your attacks (Hex)
Black Mantis Thrust: 19 damage Lead, 14 second Cripple on the Hexed enemy
Jungle Strike: 19+27= 46 damage Off-Hand on a Crippled foe
Horn of the Ox: Knock down Double attack for 14x2= 28 damage
Falling Spider: Off-Hand poisons a fallen enemy for 19 seconds, 33 damage
Twisting Fangs: Dual Strike causes Deep Wound and Bleeding for 19 seconds, 10x2 = 20 damage
Victory is Mine!: Elite Shout. +49 health and +5E for each Condition on all enemies in the area
Rez

Full +energy armor and Zealous weapon mod is assumed until I can test to see if other options are possible.
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Use every skill in the order listed above. Start with your Hex and you should be able to get each future attack to connect with ease. When you are done, you have laid down four Conditions on your foe: Cripple, Poison, Deep Wound, and Bleeding. All of that gives you a max total of 196 HP and +20E from this one victim alone.... more comes to you if surrounding enemies in the area are suffering too.

A team of Assassins with this build together can battle a long time I'm guessing if they keep racking up the Conditions on as many enemies as they can. A group of four Assassins using this concept in an 8v8 setup can get almost 800 HP and +80E every 15 seconds! :shocked:

The stats were chosen for the following reasons:

- Dagger Mastery at 14 to maximize Dagger speed and DM skill damage while leaving room for points in other areas
- Critical Strikes is at 8 to maximize the amount of Crits possible in a non-Critical based build that still gets +2E each time you land one (I think L7 only gives you +1E)
- Deadly Arts is at 10 so that you can get 8 seconds of your skills not being dodged or blocked... L9 would make that 7 seconds and L12 takes too many points to get 9 seconds.
- Tactics gets the left overs of 10 points, which is still a high amount for a non-Warrior using four attributes.

The damage from one unaltered sequence is:

- 146 in skill damage (not counting Condition damage)
- 140 (estimate) in weapon damage, assuming an average of 20 damage per hit counting +20% damage mod and possible Crits
- 100 damage from DW on a 500 HP foe.
- Poison and Bleeding combine for -7 degen once your combo is done. It's 140 degen damage over 10s starting after the final hit of the combo
- +7E from Zealous alone, +4E to +8E on average from the Critical hits is a net total +11E to +15E as you battle.

Don't forget to yell "Victory is Mine!" to regain a ton of energy and plenty of HP. You're doing close to 400 damage from atacking with the main sequence. -7 degen and a few subsequent "normal" hits (giving you +1E and +2E with Zealous and Crits) as you recharge should finish them off in time if they can't heal/have no help. Your early Cripple hit ensures they stay close.

Your Hex (10s recharge) and Lead attack (12s recharge) should be ready in five seconds or so, with the other skills falling in line after that well before you get to them in your chain. If he survived the first skirmish, you should have all your energy back to give him another full dose in no time. Yet another way an Assassin lives up to his name.

Enjoy!

Nanashi
03-04-2006, 11:38
Sounds like an awsome build. Definetly something I'll have to look into, man... I'm going to have to make a list and keep tabs so I know what to use for each build and where to find each one. While it maybe just an estimation or theory of yours, it still looks like a highly affective build at that, assumeing nobody removes the hex before you can get the other attacks off. Hopefully you'll strike to fast for people to think, in most cases takeing out eles (the assassin's bane) in a heart beat.

XP

BostonVaulter
03-04-2006, 14:02
one problem I see with this build in pvp is Restore Conditions, there go all your conditions and the enemy is healed for a large amount, plus your VIM won't heal you or give you energy. Also purge conditions is somewhat popular.

But that won't be any problem for alliance battles, there's barely any monks anyway.

It is a very nice build. I can't wait until factions comes out to test all of these new build ideas.

Tanamoril
03-04-2006, 15:47
The only problems I can find is that it takes up a lot of slots, and if you're blinded, well, you're screwed, and you'll miss 1 condition if the enemy is balled up as Horns of the Ox' effect won't trigger.

shaktiboi
03-04-2006, 16:02
Good concept, but I worry about two things:

1. Your chain starter is a spell with a 2-second cast time. Seems like that would allow many opportunities for your target foe to react and run away before you can lay the 2nd crippling attack. You have no TP or speed boost to catch a runner.

2. You have no tactical mobility (TPs or speed boosts). If you get in trouble and Victory is Mine! isn't ready, you've got no way to escape or get some distance. IMO tactical mobility is one of the prime strengths of the Assassin class. If this is a purely PvP build, I'd suggest dropping the rez for a mobility spell of some sort, like Return (to get away) or Death's Charge or Shadowy Burden or Scorpion Wire. I bet that the knockdown from Scorpion Wire would give you time to pop off your opening spell and then land the cripple. Plus it could be really fun to get close, tag your target with scorpion wire while their teammates start chasing you as you run away. Suddenly you're behind them, right on top of your target with a big knockdown! Whee!

Also, I'm not sure about a couple of your base assumptions:

A. I think 20 weapon damage per strike is a bit optimistic. I think the real number will be more like 16 or 17 per strike against an even-AL opponent, based both on my own number-crunching and based on what I saw in FPE with my own Assassin. Against Warriors (higher AL) I think you're looking at more like 12-14 damage per strike.

B. I think your estimates for energy regen from critical hits is way too high. At the CS value you're running with, you get +2 energy back per critical hit. Your critical hit chance is only 24%. With your Dagger Mastery value, you have an average weapon speed of 1.03 seconds. In 10 seconds, therefore, you're going to average 10 swings, so only 2 or 3 of those swings will be crits. That's either 2 x 2 or 3 x 2 energy regenned from your Critical Strikes skill. So at most, you're going to get back an average of only +4 to + 6 energy back from your critical strike damage.

Check my dagger FAQ for the math to back up these numbers. It's easy to think you're getting a lot more from Dagger Mastery and from Critical Strikes than you really are. To really see significant ongoing energy regen, you need 13 ranks in Critical Strikes and be running Critical Eye full time. Then you'd be getting 12 to 16 energy back per 10 seconds, on average (3 x 4 or 4 x 4). Again, my experience from FPE bears out these exact numbers.

MaximumSquid
03-04-2006, 18:35
ViM
Meladru's Resilience
Warrior's Endurance
Ferocious Strike

You can run any of these aggresive energy elites for great effect.

I'm not sure which one will end up being king, but pet assassins with Tiger's Fury has my vote so far.

I like the setup. . .but i'm worried that you may not have the energy to complete the combo if you are a little short. . .say from DP or drains.

Mainly I just dislike black mantis thrust. You'll be down 15 energy before you land the first blow. You need 40 energy to complete the combo. . .but then you need 5 energy remaining to do ViM.

Even with zealous and energy from criticals I just don't see you chaining the combo without pauses in between.

arredondo
03-04-2006, 20:07
Thanks for the comments and the encouragement... as I said it is a work-in-progress since I can't test it yet as I usually like to do before posting something.

- Restore Conditions, Mend Ailment, etc... my two Mesmers will work on keeping the Monk's Condition repair skills all screwed up if 3-4 Assassins are simultaneously working on their respective targets. There are dozens of ways to do this... I am a loooong-time Mesmer primary so believe me that it is an issue that can be confronted.

- If I'm Blinded with nearly any Assassin build (or melee build in general) I'm screwed :smiley: . Hopefully MY Monk is able to promptly take care of me with Restore Conditions, Mend Ailment, etc. It's kind of stating the obvious so far with these statements, heh. No one build can do it all, so no need to make any major adjustments so far...

- The 2-sec Hex time isn't an issue. Many of my Mesmer and Necro builds have been successful with .25 to 3 second Hexes littered across the board. If an enemy isn't focused on you, they don't even see the cast icon. Yes, it does alert the target pain is coming within one second after it lands, but if there are multiple targets being assaulted simultaneously, there's only so much each enemy build can significantly do in the one second of realization if they can't evade or block, especially if Mesmers are working on the Monks (Diversion spam, etc.).

- I don't have defensive tactical movement aids, but I am constantly applying Cripple as an offensive movement aid. This is enough to stay on a target's butt in most situations. If I need to get away, then yes, as posted I am relying on my kiting skills and/or the protection of my Monk or Ritualists. That's unless he's Hexed, which allows me to Cripple him.

I actually did think about non-Rez options for an organized team that was really hardcore about this concept. I had in mind that four Assassins each would teleport to their target on command (maybe even have the Mes/As also teleport to their Monk targets to spam Diversion) which would make things VERY hectic for the opposing team with so many fires to put out at once. The back line of Rits and/or Monks, along with the two Mesmers would have the hard and soft rezzes since the Assassins were tapped out of slots.

I didn't include the thoughts because it is REALLY untested and I didn't want to move the focus of a single build into a debate on a team build, and as a rule I always include a rez in a build idea a post up just to not send out the message that its expendable to the RA/TA crowd out there. Already too many of them ignore an essential skill for the smaller playfield. It's a great point to discuss.... it's just that I shy away from doing so for the reasons stated.

- I read the FAQ; good job. I still poke about various sources to get additional info. I worked it out in detail this time. As far as I can tell, the average base value for any attack (counting all potential bonuses) with my given stats is actually 19 damage (18.83) vs. 60 AL enemies (I'll always use 60 AL as my example target even if not mentioned.).

So I was about one damage point off of the general guess I made above based on eyeballing the info. No big whoop. Understand that this number increases to 24 damage (average) when I use my basic melee attack since double strike bonuses don't seem to be possible when using skills.

In your calculations, please include a customization bonus of +20% damage and the bonus modifier of +15% when health >50%. This gives you +38% base damage on your knives. Using an average of 12 damage from the most bare set of top level knives (7-17 damage), my adjusted base damage is now 17 per hit (16.56).

Then figure in the Critical damage, which is always 24 HP in my build (24.11), and the chance of actually getting a Critical hit. For me this would be about a 30% chance (8% from CS at L8 + 22.4% from Dagger Mastery at L14). Together this takes my average damage to 19 damage per hit. I can get as high as 24 damage, or as low as 14 damage but the average is 19, not 12-14.

And in case you don't want to include the +15% mod when >50% health, it is 17 average damage the build is dealing. Without the 20% customized damage as well it is 15 per hit on average with my stats.

- For energy received from my combo, I am calculating the seven hits alone. A 30% chance of getting a Critical with my stats on 7 hits is about 2. I eyeballed it above and stated 2-4 Crits, but I'll settle it by saying 2 strikes for +4E from Crits alone. I get +7E from Zealous as I stated, so I was correct in including +11E in my stats.

With natural regen of +1 per second (under Zealous' penalty), I'll have a net +21E on average in ten seconds or so (+11E+10E). The energy armor can give you up to 32E if I remember correctly (maybe a bit more), so 53E of mana - 45E of skills = I can use everything on my skill bar with no problems (barring E-Drain, before someone states MORE of the obvious).

I think I can pull it off with 8E left on average, 4E if I don't get any Critical bonuses. Put another way, I get a guaranteed +17E minimum each time I do the entire combo and make contact (32E base mana pool + 17E= 49E available to use 45E on all skills).

Now I'll have 8E+20E= 28E after yelling Victory is Mine! More energy if more enemies are suffering from Conditions, less energy if Conditions are removed (to address the obvious that someone is bound to point out). Two basic hits later as I recharge should give me +1E x2 per Zealous and +1E x2 per natural regen (I attack about once per second with my DM stats), which is +4E. That's a total of 32E, or my max energy pool. I'm ready for action just as my skills are recharged.

Shadow Dancer
03-04-2006, 20:30
It's a very nice build on paper, but I found (admittedly only from limited experience in the FPE) that making your skillset into one big combo can rapidly make your downfall. I'd generally suggest making a combo take up no more than 4-5 of your skills (I'd recommend 4 when you're starting with Black Mantis-Jungle Strike. It's a nice combo, but pretty energy intensive)

arredondo
03-04-2006, 20:34
If you find any holes in my energy assumptions, please point them out... I feel pretty good about the numbers to be honest. In the worst case scenario of Crits not connecting, you will always have the energy to pull it off with the right armor on and a full tank of gas. If four Conditions are in the area when you finish your combo string (on your target or other enemies combined), you can easily get back up to full energy with ViM! and do it all again the second your Lead attack recharges (in about 3-5 seconds).

shaktiboi
03-04-2006, 21:02
Then figure in the Critical damage, which is always 24 HP in my build (24.11), and the chance of actually getting a Critical hit. For me this would be about a 30% chance (8% from CS at L8 + 22.4% from Dagger Mastery at L14). Together this takes my average damage to 19 damage per hit. I can get as high as 24 damage, or as low as 14 damage but the average is 19, not 12-14.



Either I'm misreading what you're trying to say in this paragraph, or you're confused about how Dagger Mastery affects the chance of a critical hit.

1. Dagger Mastery has nothing to do with % chance of criticals. Dagger Master affects only the adjusted speed of daggers. 14 ranks in Dagger Master equates to a 28% chance of making two strikes with one attack swing. This effectively speeds up your daggers to 1.03 seconds per attack (1.33 / 1.28).

2. You figure your percent chance of Critical hits *only* from your "base" crit chance (16% at 12 ranks in Dagger Mastery, so probably either 17% or 18% at 14 ranks.), plus another 8% from your 8 ranks in Critical Strikes. If we take the optimistic 18% base for your 14 in Dagger Mastery, that comes out to a 26% chance of criticals (18 + 8).

shaktiboi
03-04-2006, 21:18
If you find any holes in my energy assumptions, please point them out... I feel pretty good about the numbers to be honest. In the worst case scenario of Crits not connecting, you will always have the energy to pull it off with the right armor on and a full tank of gas. If four Conditions are in the area when you finish your combo string (on your target or other enemies combined), you can easily get back up to full energy with ViM! and do it all again the second your Lead attack recharges (in about 3-5 seconds).

The only other question I have is about the value of using Zealous for an Assassin. If understand the Zealous bonus/penalty, you lose one tick of energy regen in exchange for gaining 1 energy per swing of your weapon (or is it per successful hit?)

Assuming you get the 1 energy per swing, that's 10 energy in 10 swings. The fastest possible dagger speed is 1.00 seconds per swing at a Dagger Mastery value of 16. (Going all the way down to 1.33 seconds per swing at Dagger Master 0).

So it seems to me like the Zealous attribute is meant to benefit only those weapons (and skills) that result in multiple swings (hits?). Cyclone. Hundred Blades, etc. If you pull off several skills in a short burst that equates to a short burst of weapon speed faster than 1.00 seconds per swing, then Zealous is buying you "extra" energy that you would not have had otherwise.

But if you're swinging a Zealous weapon at normal axe/sword/hammer speeds of 1.33 or 1.75 and you're not getting lots of multi-swing specials fired off, then you are ultimately coming out far behind on energy regen. You'd be better off without the Zealous mod.

Now with Daggers, it get's tricky, because people look at Dagger Mastery and think "If I have a 28% chance to swing twice because of my high 14 Dagger Mastery, then Zealous will *rock* with that!" But they forget that daggers swing for 1.33 base speed just like a sword or an axe. Max Dagger Mastery brings the dagger speed to 1 second per swing, which is a ZERO SUM gain with a Zealous mod. The only time your Zealous mod will net you more energy than you'd be getting without it is if you can somehow spam multiple Dual skills in a short burst. Which isn't really possible.

Unless I'm totally missing something important about the way Zealous mods work, I can't see their usefulness for an Assassin primary unless you're using an axe or a sword and using the multi-strike attacks for either one.

JeanDeathwish
03-04-2006, 22:18
If four Conditions are in the area when you finish your combo string (on your target or other enemies combined), you can easily get back up to full energy with ViM!

What if your target is dead? No energy and no health. Try not to kill your target too fast. =P

arredondo
04-04-2006, 00:20
I've already practiced another setup with Zealous and without (my triple SoS build)... you definitely earn more mana with them. Simply switch to the non-Zealous set when you are roaming and you won't notice the .3E per second loss.

Look at it this way, without Zealous when you are attacking with the 7 skill hits that connect in 10 seconds, you earn 3.1 energy from that extra pip. With Zealous, you earn a full 7.0 energy. As long as you're active, it adds up nicely. Switch to the 4 pip weapon during down time.


What if your target is dead? No energy and no health. Try not to kill your target too fast. =P

Doh! Great point. Remember kids... you can use ViM! at any point of your assaults. Make sure to use it before it's too late. :wink:

arredondo
04-04-2006, 00:31
Either I'm misreading what you're trying to say in this paragraph, or you're confused about how Dagger Mastery affects the chance of a critical hit.

1. Dagger Mastery has nothing to do with % chance of criticals. Dagger Master affects only the adjusted speed of daggers. 14 ranks in Dagger Master equates to a 28% chance of making two strikes with one attack swing. This effectively speeds up your daggers to 1.03 seconds per attack (1.33 / 1.28).

2. You figure your percent chance of Critical hits *only* from your "base" crit chance (16% at 12 ranks in Dagger Mastery, so probably either 17% or 18% at 14 ranks.), plus another 8% from your 8 ranks in Critical Strikes. If we take the optimistic 18% base for your 14 in Dagger Mastery, that comes out to a 26% chance of criticals (18 + 8).

Dagger Mastery definitely improves your Critical percentages just like all the other weapon lines do (Axe, Hammer, etc.)... all the info out there on the Assassin class (including here) state that. The other weapon lines get a +16% chance at L12, and supposedly this doubles every five ranks up, and is cut in half every five ranks down (info is here at this site). That's a +/- 20% change per rank, which brings my L14 DM to 22% Criticals roughly. Add 8% from my L8 CS and there you go... 30% chance at a critical. Here's a quote from the Assassin page here at this site:


Dagger Mastery: Dagger Mastery increases the damage you do with daggers and your chance to inflict a critical hit when using a dagger. Many skills, especially dagger attack skills, become more effective with higher Dagger Mastery.

Double Strikes are a straight 2% increase per rank, but as I said is not possible to get using skills according to multiple accounts I've read. So if I use regular attacks, my average damage per hit is higher than the base damage with a skill, but the skill often adds its own damage/special conditions to make them worthwhile. I did not include DS in my calculations at all.

I also wasn't calculating damage per second in the main combo since I know exactly how many hits will connect in a sequence: seven. I put up the average damage per hit, and used that as my base total in my original calculations. I guess it's ok to knock off -7 damage since my estimate was off by 1 HP. The estimate of +4E from two normal strikes during recharge was a safe estimate since I do attack once a second at DM L14 (roughly speaking).

shaktiboi
04-04-2006, 05:37
Dagger Mastery definitely improves your Critical percentages just like all the other weapon lines do (Axe, Hammer, etc.)... all the info out there on the Assassin class (including here) state that. The other weapon lines get a +16% chance at L12, and supposedly this doubles every five ranks up, and is cut in half every five ranks down (info is here at this site). That's a +/- 20% change per rank, which brings my L14 DM to 22% Criticals roughly. Add 8% from my L8 CS and there you go... 30% chance at a critical. Here's a quote from the Assassin page here at this site:



Double Strikes are a straight 2% increase per rank, but as I said is not possible to get using skills according to multiple accounts I've read. So if I use regular attacks, my average damage per hit is higher than the base damage with a skill, but the skill often adds its own damage/special conditions to make them worthwhile. I did not include DS in my calculations at all.

I also wasn't calculating damage per second in the main combo since I know exactly how many hits will connect in a sequence: seven. I put up the average damage per hit, and used that as my base total in my original calculations. I guess it's ok to knock off -7 damage since my estimate was off by 1 HP. The estimate of +4E from two normal strikes during recharge was a safe estimate since I do attack once a second at DM L14 (roughly speaking).

Ah, I gotcha. I'll review that aspect of SonOfRah's essay and make some adjustments tomorrow then. Thanks for pointing this out to me.

shamed
04-04-2006, 08:09
Still churning out interesting builds, I see. Anyway, my only suggestion is replacing Horn of the Ox with Iron Palm (Target touched foe suffers 5-41 damage, and if that foe is suffering from a Hex or Condition that foe is knocked down. Iron Palm may be used as a lead attack) for non-uncontrollable knockdown. What I mean is you can control the fact that your target with have hexes and conditions on him (which he has) but you can't control whether he'll be adjacent to an ally. Also, in the possible situation that your hex ends before you hit with Iron Palm, since it's a skill it'll ignore armour/blocking/missing/blinding etc.

arredondo
04-04-2006, 22:54
Still churning out interesting builds, I see. Anyway, my only suggestion is replacing Horn of the Ox with Iron Palm (Target touched foe suffers 5-41 damage, and if that foe is suffering from a Hex or Condition that foe is knocked down. Iron Palm may be used as a lead attack) for non-uncontrollable knockdown. What I mean is you can control the fact that your target with have hexes and conditions on him (which he has) but you can't control whether he'll be adjacent to an ally. Also, in the possible situation that your hex ends before you hit with Iron Palm, since it's a skill it'll ignore armour/blocking/missing/blinding etc.

I'll look into that, thanks. Adjacent is a VERY small area (I know, I like to Dark Bomb with Dark Aura), but I'll consider what you said as a different version alongside this one because it'll free up a spot.

I'd drop the two lead and off-hand hits along with Horn of the Ox, then add Iron Pam and another off-hand. This leaves me with a free slot, but I need to re-work the stats , look at the damage, and check on the mana info to be sure it'll hold up. One skill I'd like to add if possible would be Balanced Stance in the Tactics line. For 16s, you can't be knocked down or be hit with a Critical... would that give you a leg up on Gale/Shock Warriors and other Assassins or what? It recharges in 30s, so it would work well in aggressive battle campaigns.

Furinto: I'm looking forward to trying it too! Only a month or so to go....