[RPG] Is the Assassin class non-functional


I play a 4e Drow Assassin ( Night Stalker ). I find that the class while a striker does not do much damage.

Would it be better if I play a hybrid or keep to pure Assassin.

Best Answer

I don't think that the class is outright broken (as in "unplayable") but rather is seriously lacking feat/item support and requires a much higher level of expertise to properly build and play than other strikes (especially the ranger, where spamming Twin Strike is almost always the perfect answer to any problem -_-').

Anyway, there are some ways to increase the damage output of an assassin. The primary thing to remember, however, is that you will primarily deal large spikes of damage and not a high baseline damage every round (like e.g. a rogue).

Also note that an assassin can basically use the same tricks as other characters as well to pile up damage (using BFG-style weapons like the executioner's axe or the fullblade, knocking prone for Headsman's Chop[DDI], using a Frost Weapon[DDI] for frost cheese, using items like Gauntlets of Blood[DDI] for more damage against bloodied targets, and so on and so forth).


  • Cruel Shroud[DDI]: gain CA against targets under your shroud; works well in combination with Power Attack[DDI] and two-handed weapons to effectively gain a substantial free damage boost
  • Lethal Shroud[DDI]: increase damage of shrouds (at epic tier 1d8+10 instead of 1d6+6)
  • Brutal Shroud[DDI]: shroud damage rolls gain Brutal 1 propery
  • Killer's Insight[DDI]: once per encounter add 2 shrouds with single use of the Assassin's Shroud power


  • Shadow Storm[DDI]: level 1 at-will; attack deals 1 (2 at epic tier) additional damage for each creature adjacent to the target (this does include the assassin himself!); depending on your party composition this can produce a good damage bonus
  • Targeted for Death[DDI]: level 1 daily; as an effect until the end of the encounter you add 2 shrouds when you use the Assassin's Shroud power against the target
  • Twilight Assassin[DDI]: level 5 daily; conjure shadow assassin that can make minor action implement melee attacks (Dex vs Ref, 3 damage or 6 damage if target has shroud on it); useful for crit-fishing since you can make 3 attacks per round now (standard + 2x minor)
  • Guild of Shadows[DDI]: level 19 daily; basically the same as with Twilight Assassin but this is the multi-target version; you summon 3 shadow assassins that make an implement melee attack against one adjacent enemy (Dex vs Ref, 5+Dex mod damage) when you sustain the power as a minor action - the only drawback is that your duplicates cannot attack the same target
  • Soul of Death[DDI]: level 22 daily utility; regain hit points as if you had spent a surge and additionally use Assassin's Shroud up to 4 times against a visible enemy; drawback: it's an interrupt that triggers when you drop to 0
  • Doom Foretold[DDI]: level 29 daily; not only the probably biggest gun in the assassin's arsenal at 7[W] but also let's you use Assassin's Shroud up to 4 times against the target after the attack; useful for building chains: add 4 shrouds in any way > attack with this power > immediately have 4 shrouds again > spend action point and attack with other daily/encounter


  • Death Shroud Ki Focus[DDI]: level 4+; encounter free-action power that lets you use Assassin's Shroud on the hit target and doesn't count against the 1/round limitation; also deals additional critical damage for each shroud on the target (invoked or not)
  • Iron Armbands of Power[DDI]: level 6+; well... yeah, the obligatory arms slot item for any melee striker that doesn't gain an item bonus to damage from somewhere else ;-)
  • Bracers of Assassination[DDI]: level 16+; score critical hits on 19-20 when using an assassin/assassin paragon path attack power against targets with 3+ shrouds; the level 26 version increases the range to 18-20
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