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Disambiguous.png This article is about the profession Assassin. For the enemy, see Assassin (monster).

A female Assassin in Luxon armor

The Assassin is a ninja-themed profession introduced in Guild Wars Factions. Complemented by their primary attribute, Assassins are capable of dealing large amounts of damage in quick, short periods of time. As its name suggests, Critical Strikes increases the Assassin's chance to inflict a critical hit. Furthermore, successive points in Dagger Mastery increase their chances to double strike - that is, hitting a target twice in one attack. Despite being lightly armored, Assassins possess several self-enhancing skills that increase the chance to block. The Assassin's key ability is the Shadow Step. As the name implies, it allows them to quickly move in and out of battle through instantaneously teleporting to a target, friend or foe. Relying on luck and illusion, the patron goddess of Assassins is Lyssa, though dealing in death they also have ties to Grenth.

Assassins are very vulnerable to damage due to their weak armor. You should never charge into the middle of a fight but rather look for key foes such as Mesmers that may shut down your Monk. Assassins focus on killing their enemies quickly before they have a chance to mount a counter-assault, even more so if you attract the attention of their Monk. While an Assassin should focus on causing damage, some healing skills are required such as Way of Perfection or defensive skills such as Critical Defenses to stay alive. If things go bad, escaping from battle is advised by using protective buffs such as Shroud of Distress or Feigned Neutrality. However, Assassins are key to some of the most powerful groups, as dealing hard, swift strikes allows for an easy run.

The primary Assassin's base armor provides 70 armor, +5 energy, and +2 energy recovery. A starting primary Assassin begins with 25 base energy and 4 energy recovery.

The Assassin's primary attribute is Critical Strikes, which increases its critical hit rates.

Dagger Attack Chains[]

All Assassin dagger skills chain into a combo - certain attacks must follow other attacks.

  1. A lead attack can be made at anytime. If a lead attack is successful, a slash mark LeadAttack.png will appear on your opponent's health bar.
  2. An off-hand attack usually requires a lead attack mark on the target. If an off-hand attack is successful, a cross mark OffHand.png will appear on your opponent's health bar.
  3. A dual attack usually requires an off-hand attack mark on the target. If a dual attack is successful, a starburst mark DualAttack.png will appear on your opponent's health bar.

The next attack skill in the sequence must hit before the required mark fades. Each mark lasts for about twenty seconds from when it is given. Normal attacks and/or other skills may be used in between without interrupting the attack sequence.

If a successful attack hits, it will reset the sequence with its position in the chain. That is, if a lead attack hits a target who is already marked by an off-hand attack OffHand.png, it will reset the target's status back to a lead attack LeadAttack.png.

If a dagger attack skill is used out of sequence, the skill consumes energy as normal, but the attack misses and recharges instantly. Since out-of-sequence attack skills always miss, they have no effect on the skill chain.

Some off-hand and dual attacks have exceptions to this chain, such as Falling Spider, which is an off-hand attack that must hit a knocked down foe, but does not need to follow a lead attack. Some non-attack skills and spells act as lead or off-hand attacks like Dancing Daggers. Other skills must follow lead-, off-hand- or dual attacks, such as Blinding Powder or Impale.

For more help on dagger chains, see the quick reference for Assassin chain attacks.

Skill chains are crucial to the Assassin's damage; since daggers have the lowest damage of any weapon in the game (7-17 maximum damage), even their blazing attack speed (from double strikes and a high critical hit rate from Critical Strikes) will result in little more than pinpricks of damage against any but the weakest foes. However, the Assassin shines in the armor-ignoring bonus damage granted by attack skills, most notably dual attacks as any bonus damage they do is doubled - assuming both attacks successfully hit. Many players who are new to the Assassin class focus more on their high critical hit rate (an understandable fixation, given how much critical hits hurt when used with, say, hammers or scythes), and thus overload their skill bars with defensive shadow steps or other trickery, relying solely on their critical hits and natural attack speed to deal damage.


  • Critical Strikes (primary attribute): For each rank in Critical Strikes, your chance for critical hits increases by 1%, and you gain 1 energy for 3 ranks or above, 2 energy for 8 ranks or above, or 3 energy at 13 ranks or above each time you successfully land a critical hit.
  • Dagger Mastery: With a skill list of rapid chain attacks, Daggery Mastery increases the damage you do with daggers and the chance to inflict a critical hit with daggers. Each rank also increases your chance to double strike by 2%.
  • Deadly Arts: With an ensnaring skill list, Deadly Arts increases the effectiveness of hexes that make enemies more vulnerable to your attacks.
  • Shadow Arts: With a defensive skill list, Shadow Arts increases the effectiveness of self-augmentative and shadow-stepping spells.

Profession Combinations[]

see Secondary professions for an Assassin

Related Articles[]


  • For various reasons, it was sometimes difficult for Assassins to be able to get into PvE PUGs. When the class was new, many new players attempted to make Assassins and play them as tanks, giving the profession a negative reputation which has followed it for its entire history. However, due to various buffs, especially the Sunspear PvE only skill, Critical Agility, this is no longer the case.
  • Assassin henchmen tend to be the first dead in battle. This is because of all the classes, Assassins require the most "organization." The order in which skills are used, as well as the timing of movement and proximity to foes, conveys concepts impossible for henchmen AI to properly handle. For this reason, the majority of players who use Assassin heroes tend to have them play builds centered around the combination of Critical Strikes and another weapon: usually a bow (using Barrage) or a scythe (using Wounding Strike).