Since I’m closing on 50 I thought it would be a good time to drop my skill spec. I’ve gone through and decided on this as being the best options for the Deception Assassin. I haven’t run any tests, mainly looking at how I’ve been playing the class and which talents will increase damage output or increase availability of damage options.
Here is the tree: Deception Assassin
The main difference between Deception and Madness is that Madness appears to focus a little more on the caster aspects of the Inquisitor while Deception focuses more on melee abilities with the Force used as an enhancement to that. Darkness is the tank tree but it has some nice little options for damage increase.
Let me dig into the Deception tree selections first.
Dark Embrace 2/2 – this increases Force regeneration by 50% while in stealth mode and for 6 seconds after exiting stealth. This means when you open up from stealth your regen rate for Force will be quite good and lets you recover quickly from some costly opening attacks. It’s also a prerequisite for Darkswell.
Duplicity 3/3 – this grants your direct damage attacks a 30% chance to drop Exploit Weakness on the target. Exploit Weakness causes your next Maul to ignore 50% of your target’s armor and cost 50% less. It has an internal cooldown of 10 seconds, but it is a worthwhile bonus when DPSing in a group since Maul becomes a major source of damage.
Insulation 0/2 – skip it. It increases your armor rating which doesn’t nothing for your damage dealing.
Obfuscation 3/3 – increases your stealth level and movement speed by 15%. It isn’t a direct gain to DPS but it makes moving around while in stealth mode easier, you get detected less. Avoidance is a suitable alternative and I may switch to this at level cap.
Recirculation 2/2 – reduces the cooldown of Discharge by 3 seconds. While you have Surging Charge on, Discharge becomes a decent source of damage.
Avoidance 0/2 – lowers the cooldown of Jolt and Unbreakable Will. Jolt is useful for interrupts and Unbreakable Will is good for breaking out of CC. This is a good PVP ability or if you’re needed for interrupts or bosses use a lot of CC, this could easily become more valuable than Obfuscation since you won’t need to rely on Stealth as much at the end game.
Induction 2/2 – awesome skill, this increases the crit damage of Maul by 30% which is awesome on it’s own, but it also grants you a 100% chance to add a stack of Induction on the target hit by Thrash or Voltaic Slash up to 2 times. Induction reduces the cost of your next Shock by 25% so two stacks of this is a 50% reduction of Force cost to use Shock (good damage, instant cast which also stuns common mobs).
Surging Charge 1/1 – this is your DPS charge which adds a 25% chance to proc 229 internal damage on the target struck with a short internal cool down (1.5 seconds). While this Charge is active, Discharge will nuke a single target for a significant amount of damage.
Darkswell 1/1 – this allows you to use Blackout (this ability increases the difficulty of being spotted while in stealth mode) while outside of stealth mode which grants 6 seconds of Dark Embrace and restores Force (Dark Embrace being an increase in Force regen). This is pretty big for keeping Force up to chain Mauls at enemies – avoid firing it in combat after coming out of stealth because Dark Embrace will already be up. This also makes your Force Cloak ability (get out of combat – which can be used as an agro dump if others are engaged with the target) not reduce healing received.
Deceptive Power 1/1 – increases Force pool amount by 10. Not huge, but it gives you a little more to work with.
Entropic Field 2/2 – Another one that could be substituted for another option – this will reduce the damage taken by area effect attacks by 30% which is nice. It makes life on healers a little easier since the only damage you should be taking if you have a good tank with you is area effect damage. Otherwise, it adds little to damage but something to surviving a little longer.
Saber Conduit 3/3 – when your Surging Charge procs it has a 100% chance to restore 10 Force. Internal cooldown of 10 seconds so it’s a bit of a push. Still, it means you’re getting Force back every 10 seconds without really needing to try. This is a prerequisite for Static Charges which is good to have.
Fade 0/2 – this will reduce the cooldown on Blackout and Force Cloak. The amounts aren’t really significant enough to matter though having Blackout available more often means more Force regen. It’s up to you to decide if 15 seconds off a one minute cooldown ability is worth two points or not.
Static Cling 0/2 – Increases the duration of Force Slow while also reducing the cooldown. It doesn’t really increase DPS and I doubt it would work on raid bosses to any significant gain. I can see if having some value in PVP though I have yet to bother using Force Slow in PVE.
Resourcefulness 2/2 – reduces the case of Lacerate (our PBAE) and reduces the cooldown on Overcharge Saber (level 50 cooldown ability that increases damage of charge procs by 100%) to every 1.5 minutes. Win. I usually don’t get excited about reducing cooldowns, but this is a pure DPS cooldown good for some burst.
Static Charges 2/2 – when your Surging Charge does damage you build Static Charge on the target. Static Charge stacks up to 5 times and increases your next Surging Charge proc damage by 6% (30% at 5 stacks).
Low Slash 1/1 – new ability that I need to leverage more. It deals a good amount of damage and incapacitates the target for 4 seconds. Damage releases the target. Aside from being decent damage or another ‘stun’ effect (which opens up Tumult or getting behind for Maul) it as a prerequisite for Voltaic Slash which is the Tier 6 ability (and pretty awesome).
Voltaic Slash 1/1 – this will replace your Thrash ability because it can build two different stacks of a buff which impacts Shock. The first is Induction (from Tier 3) which stacks up to 2 times reducing the cost of Shock by 50% (at 2 stacks). The second comes from the attack itself which increases the damage dealt by Shock by 15% per stack. Using this ability twice means 50% Force cost reduction for a Shock that does 30% more damage – sweet! (Thrash will only reduce the cost of Shock and costs as much as Voltaic Slash)
You can see most of the Deception tree builds up on itself (Surging Charge), Maul, Force Regen and Maul though it also gives you an extra stun type or could be useful for mitigating CCs or increasing the frequency of interrupts.
You will have 2 points left over and I suggested some options or you may also want to drop Obfuscation or Entropic Field points in exchange for Avoidance (interrupt and CC break cooldown reductions) or Fade (Force regen and agro dump cooldown reductions). Weigh the trade off of convenience and ease on healers against the need for Force regen and CC breaks. (Example)
After climbing through that tree, you can dip into the other two trees though Darkness seems to suit us better than Madness. Here’s what I’d suggest:
Thrashing Blades 2/2 – increase damage dealt by Thrash (unimportant), Lacerate (our PBAE) and Voltaic Slash (win!) by 6%. Direct DPS gain.
Charge Mastery 3/3 – improved effects on all three Charge abilities but the one that matters to us is the Surging Charge impact which is that our attacks will ignore 9% of your target’s armor. Nice perk and we need the three points to dip into the second Tier.
The other option in this tier/tree isn’t worthwhile because it requires that we block, parry or shield an attack for a small % regen of Force – as DPS we shouldn’t be blocking, parrying or popping our shield generator (you don’t have one on, right?).
Electric Execution 3/3 – increases damage dealt by your lightsaber charges by 9%. That’s a passive damage increase to our Surging Charge proc.
Madness tree has a nice sounding ability in the second tier which would enhance our Shock nicely, but the abilities in the first Tier aren’t ideal for damage increases so it’s tough to pick.
Exploitive Strikes 3/3 – might be worthwhile but you use two Force abilities; Discharge and Shock so 9% increase in melee damage after using them could be good.
Crackling Charge 2/2 – sounds good as it is a 16% damage increase off of Discharge but seems limited to Lightning Charge which you shouldn’t be using.
That leaves picking up Sith Defiance 2/2 for 2% damage reduction just to get a 45% chance of a second Shock hitting for 50% of the damage – I’m not sure if that would only impact a second target or if it would work on the same one twice?
Seems too risky so it’s probably better to invest the 2 points back into Deception so 8/33/0.