When the Mastery bonuses were first revealed months ago, collectively rogues responded with a resounding “meh.” We know that Main Gauche for combat spec has been criticized for its odd weapon speed issues, and Executioner for subtlety rogues, while OK, is just a flat damage increase and so it wasn’t terribly exciting.
But the Potent Poisons for Assassination rogues was originally written off as a waste. I remember when reforging was added in patch 4.0.1 and we were tweaking our gear, the general advice from theorycrafters was to ignore mastery. I reforged all of my gear to haste at that time.
However, in patch 4.0.3a Potent Poisons was hotfixed so that it boosted the damage of Envenom – the key finisher of the Assassination spec. Suddenly, everything changed.
Agility is still our #1 stat by a long shot. Now, according to the folks at Elitist Jerks, assuming you are at the poison hit cap then Mastery comes in as the next best stat, a little more important than Haste.
Crit falls pretty low on the assassination scale of importance. That’s because our poison and envenom are spell damage which crits for 150% damage instead of physical melee which crits for 200% damage.
As all you assassination rogues are hitting level 85, upgrading your gear in heroics, and getting raid-ready. Keep this in mind.
- Agility is by far the most important stat on gear. One point of agility is worth almost twice as much to your dps as one point of mastery or haste. Given a choice between two pieces of gear, the one with higher agility will almost always be your better option.
- Second important stat: Make sure you are at the poison hit cap. Gem and reforge to get that if you have to.
- After you are at the poison hit cap and you have maximized your agility, you’ll want to gem for more agility.
- Finally, you’ll want to reforge your gear. Reforge away from crit into mastery or haste. Mastery is slightly more valuable than haste, but they are pretty close.
I expect that there will be really good spreadsheets and other tools available soon to help us with our gear optimization. I know there are some out there now but they are still in the testing and development stage so I won’t link to them yet.