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Assassin/Shadow Madness/Balance. PvP Viable?


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Basically title. I run a deception assassin, and I do fairly well in pvp. Maybe not top Dps, but enough to be useful and be within top 3 of my team most days, if not higher, unless the rebels are dominating. Anyways.


I've tried darkness for survivability, and a hybrid spec for damage. But I have been wondering lately about whether or not a madness pvp spec would be worth the trouble.


So I submit this query to both assassins and shadows alike. Do you run madness/balance for pvp? Why or why not?


(I fear I may not be able to anyways, I almost have full BM stalker gear).


Any insight would be appreciated.

Edited by Wulfra
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I have a lvl 50 shadow i havent played since pre 1.2 because my server died so i rolled an operative and i must say even after the nerfs operative burts is much better than infiltration/deception shadow/assassins, so i specced balance(madness) to try it out and I must say it does generally much more dps. you should try it out see if it fits your play style.
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I am a long-time Kinetic Shadow (since closed beta) that has only recently begun to mess around with Balance. Here's my take on it:


-Balance has great DoT and internal damage, making it better at handling tank classes than the other two specs.


-Modest self-healing allows you to ignore incidental AoE damage, but if you come under focus fire it doesn't mean anything at all.


-The spec lacks burst almost entirely unless you get lucky back-to-back crits on Force in Balance and Sever Force followed quickly by a Spinning Strike. The build puts out excellent pressure when handled properly, however.


-The ability to engage from 30 meters away with a few abilities adds some utility in standoff situations (mostly for interrupts captures and bomb placements).


-The spec is very difficult to kite effectively and itself kites very well thanks to Sever Force.


Here is my favored spec:




I tend to open from stealth with a hard-cast Mind Crush if I think I can get it off or if I land a Mind Maze. The priority is:


Shadow Strike (ONLY on procs)

Mind Crush (on procs or if you can get away with a hard-cast)

Force in Balance

Force Breach

Sever Force (unless you need it to kite or counter-kite)

Project (ONLY if Twin Disciplines isn't running or if you are being kited)

Double Strike


This build does not use Project for anything but the melee damage buff or if you are being kited; don't use Project on-cooldown or you won't have enough Force to be effective. An argument can be made for taking the 9% increased Technique damage over Upheaval.


The one point in Infiltration Tactics procs more often than you may think, and allows you some added burst damage when trying to take out a healer. The only attacks you have that cannot proc it is Force Breach and Sever Force; Double Strike has two chances to proc and Saber Strike has three (one chance for each hit).


This build seems to function best with a decent amount of crit and surge. Mental Scarring grants significantly increased returns on investment into critical strike rating, and your self-healing is dependent on critical hits from DoTs. I opted for crit/surge mods and enhancement with Willpower/Endurance augments.


I am particularly fond of targeting Marauders with this build, since they are so vulnerable to kiting. Sever Force combined with Force Slow can dramatically reduce their effectiveness. The instant-cast Force Lift with the attached 2-second stun is great utility as well.

Edited by Tiresias
Typos. Sorry!
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  • 1 month later...

take my word for it or don't, no i dont have a level 50 sin/shdw yet:


I do enjoy the spec and was initially drawn to both it and darkness tank tree as they seemed the most similar to a longtime lock/dk player(/gasp wow reference! shoot me now!....it was popular for a reason: because it was well polished, and catered to casual players more than other game. and other games at the time of its release kinda sucked compared to it. and...well anyways...no i dont play it anymore, ignore this little rant) as they seem pretty reliant on dots, some self healing, and a mix of melee range abilities(albeit the range is a bit limited). oh and the tank tree gets a deathgrip like ability still cant decide which spec i like more though.


anyways im sure you've heard this before but, if you enjoy it, play it, if not, don't. id say its not underpowered right now, and whether or not its overpowered i cant say, but at some point balance will change and that one ac you hate to face will be nerfed into the ground or you will be buffed and you'll laugh at how easy it is to faceroll them.


thats just how an mmo works. balance is constantly changing, so if the spec you really like isnt currently amazing stick with it and things will change soon enough.

Edited by Jedikillar
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