The Assassin is one of the most interesting classes of Diablo 2.
Originally added as an expansion class in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, the Assassin arrives in Diablo 2 Resurrected from the get-go, and many will be attracted by this shadowy character.
If you are an RPG veteran, you might find many character tropes when looking at Diablo 2's Assassin. This class is a mix of several mechanics, which in other RPGs are used by classes such as Thief, Rogue, Hunter, and even Monk.
The Assassin uses shadows and stealth mechanics to catch unsuspecting foes off guard, just like Rogues, but she is also skilled in martial arts, just like Monks. It has a hole skill tree dedicated to traps, something other RPGs often tie in with classes like Ranger or Hunter.
Finally, the Assassin has a unique perk in not needing keys to open closed chests, as she is, after all, a Thief as well!
As you can see, this is an interesting blend that offers a lot of possibilities for various playstyles.
In this article, we will tell you the basic details you will need to know about her before playing and offer some tips for the best Assassin build for beginners.
Best Assassin build for Diablo 2 Resurrected
As we've already mentioned, Assassin has three skill trees: Martial Arts, Shadow Disciplines, and Traps.
Some of the most popular builds revolve around her Martial Arts, which she uses as her main damage skills, while Shadow and Traps act as support skills.
Martial Arts are divided into two subgroups: Charge-Up skills and Finishing Moves, which work in synergy with each other.
Charge-Up skills are adding extra effects, damage, and other bonuses with each Charge-Up, and then those bonuses are being unleashed either through an attack or through a Finishing Move, which itself also applies various bonuses.
Dragon Claw is the only Finishing Move that uses Claws (a unique weapon type for Assassins), while others use your feet (kicks). Adding up several Charge-Up before unleashing a Finishing Move can deal monstrous amounts of damage, and it is the main way to play as an Assassin.
For the purpose of this beginners' guide, we are opting to go with the Tiger Strike & Dragon Tail Assassin Build.
Dragon Tail applies bonus fire damage based on your physical damage, while Tiger Strike provides an enormous physical damage bonus. These two, in combination, will devastate your enemies.
How to spend your Attributes (stats) points
As a Martial Arts class, the Assassin primarily relies on physical damage; thus, it is important to allocate enough points on your Strenght attribute, but don't go overboard there.
As with most builds during the normal playthrough, try to always have a decent amount of stats points in reserve, as you will never know when you might get some great gear that you can not equip because you don't have enough Strenght or Dexterity points.
- Strength: Always spend just as enough as you need to equip a weapon or armour that you need.
- Dexterity: Enough to equip your weapon; you can add more if you want better Defense.
- Vitality: This is the most important one for the Barbarian is it will improve your Health and Stamina, both necessary for his survival, being a melee character.
- Energy: This is the least important attribute, don't spend any points here.
What are the best Assassin skills for this build?
Given that we are going for the Tiger Strike & Dragon Tail Assassin Build, you will want to put your skill points in these two until you reach 20, as they are the main damage skills of this build.
While you should max out both of them, it's important to keep Tiger Strike a few levels above Dragon Tail (4 to 6) while you are levelling your character, as that will give you the maximum amount of damage. Eventually, both of these should be level 20.
The other two really important skills are Cloak of Shadows and Burst of Speed, the first one being defensive, while the second one is significantly improving your damage output.
Cloak of Shadows will lower enemies' defences, it will block many of their effects, and will limit their line of sight. Feel free to invest around ~5 to 8 points into this skill.
Burst of Speed is essential for your Tiger Strike and Dragon Tail combos, as they depend on your attack speed, and BoS increases both attack and movement speed for a decent amount of time. Keep in mind though, that this means that you should generally avoid Fade, as they can not be used at the same time, and thus, they are not compatible.
You should also invest at least 1 point into Claw Mastery, as Claws are designed to work with Assassins, and many can be useful in some situations even if you don't use them as your primary weapons.
Dragon Flight is another decent skill to put at least 1 point into it, as it is essentially a teleport that can help you to move around the map and chase monsters faster.
Let's check out how you should spend your skill points:
- Dragon Tail - 20
- Tiger Strike - 20
- Dragon Talon - 1
- Dragon Claw - 1
- Dragon Flight - 1
- Psychic Hammer - 1
- Claw Mastery - 1
- Burst of Speed - 5 to 10
- Cloak of Shadows - ~7-8
Not really a complicated build, there are a few core skills that you need to level up, and everything else is on you how would you like to develop. While we didn't list any of the traps here, you can also use some of the Trap skills that can pair really well with the Tiger Strike & Dragon Tail combo, but that's something we will leave up to you.
Best weapon for the Tiger Strike Assassin build
Seasoned Assassin players almost unanimously agree that Lawbringer is by far the best choice for this build.
Lawbringer is the rune word AmnLemKo which you can put on nonmagic swords, hammers, sceptres with exactly 3 sockets.
Among many other bonuses, it comes with an exceptionally rare Slain Monsters Rest in Peace mod, which forbids enemies to use corpses, and this can be really useful in a lot of situations in a game where undead is one of your main enemies.
It also comes with a 20% chance to cast level 15 Decrepify on each strike, a Necromancer curse that lowers movement, attack speed, damage and physical resistance by 50% of all affected enemies. An insanely good effect for this build focused on inflicting physical damage.
Not enough? It also provides you with a permanent level 18 Sanctuary Aura, Paladin's skill that provides continuous damage to Undead around you, which most of your enemies are.
Check out all the stats:
- 20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Decrepify On Striking
- Level 16-18 Sanctuary Aura When Equipped (varies)
- -50% Target Defense
- Adds 150-210 Fire Damage
- Adds 130-180 Cold Damage
- 7% Life Stolen Per Hit
- Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
- +200-250 Defense vs Missiles
- +10 To Dexterity
- 75% Extra Gold From Monsters
When it comes to protection, there are a few decent options, but just like with our Amazon build, here we choose to go with Whitstan's Guard simply because it has the highest Block Rate of any shield in Diablo 2.
Another great option you should consider later is Sanctuary (the rune word "KoKoMal"), which you should create with a 3-socket Tower Shield.
It provides really good resistance and overall good defence.
Defense: 154 (Base Defense: 47-55)
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 53
Chance to Block: 92%
+175% Enhanced Defense
Half Freeze Duration
40% Faster Block Rate
55% Increased Chance of Blocking
+5 To Light Radius
- +20% Faster Hit Recovery
- +20% Faster Block Rate
- 20% Increased Chance of Blocking
- +130-160% Enhanced Defense
- +250 Defense vs Missile
- +20 To Dexterity
- All Resistances +50-70
- Magic Damage Reduced By 7
- Level 12 Slow Missiles (60 Charges)
Again, there's a lot of options you can choose here, depending on what you will need to cover as you progress through the game, but the general consensus is that Chains of Honor is the best armour for this build.
Chains of Honor is the rune word "DolUmBerIst", which you put on nonmagic body armour with exactly 4 sockets.
It offers +2 to all skills, solid damage reduction, and a huge bonus to all resistances. It also comes with 8% leech, making it particularly great for our physical damage build.
Chains of Honor
- +2 To All Skills
- +200% Damage To Demons
- +100% Damage To Undead
- 8% Life Stolen Per Hit
- +70% Enhanced Defense
- +20 To Strength
- Replenish Life +7
- All Resistances +65
- Damage Reduced By 8%
- 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
For our head, we like to go with Kira's Guardian, a unique tiara, which provides us with the "Cannot be Frozen" effect, a great perk for a build that relies on constantly attacking.
While extremely useful, immunity to being frozen is not the only reason we like Kira's Guardian. This tiara also has the highest resistance bonuses in the Helm category of items.
- Defence: 90-170
- Required Level: 77
- Durability: 25
- +50-120 Defense
- +20% Faster Hit Recovery
- Cannot Be Frozen
- All Resistances +50-70
Other gear - Belt, Boots and Gloves
With the Tiger, Strike Assassin build, it's all about kicking, and that means that we need to have a good set of boots.
Focusing is on damage; you should go with either Gore Rider or Goblin Toe; neither of these two is difficult to find.
Once you have any of these, upgrade them to Myrmidon Greaves or Mirrored Boots, respectively.
- Defense: 62 to 71
- Required Level: 65
- Required Strength: 208
- Durability: 24
- Assassin Kick Damage: 83 to 149
- Quality Level: 85
- Defence: 59-68
- Required Level: 60
- Required Strength: 163
- Durability: 18
- Assassin Kick Damage: 50-145
- Quality Level: 81
For the belt, you can go with The String of Ear, which provides you with a 15% damage reduction across the board, and more importantly, it gives you around 8% leech on your attacks.
Still, we would rather recommend Verdungo's Hearty Coil, which gives you the largest HP boost out of all belts in the game. It doesn't provide you with lech like The String of Ear, but we already have leech from Chains of Honor.
Verdungo's Hearty Coil
- Defence: 125-158
- Required Level: 63
- Required Strength: 106
- Durability: 16
- 16 Potion Boxes
- +90-140% Enhanced Defense
- 10% Faster Hit Recovery
- +30-40 To Vitality
- Replenish Life +10-13
- +100-120 Maximum Stamina
- Damage Reduced By 10-15%
For Gloves, just try to find something that will boost your Martial Arts skills and increase attack speed; the more, the better.
Finally, for jewellery, Mara's Kaleidoscope is by far the best amulet for this build, while Raven frost is a nice ring to have.
With that said, our best Assassin build guide is now completed. While this guide provides you with a lot of information, non of it is set in stone, and there's room for experimentation.
Once you start learning how to play the class, you will understand better how would you like to play it, and then you can freely tweak this build to suit your preferred playstyle.
Don't forget to check out our dedicated Diablo section for guides, news, leaks and much more so that fans of the iconic ARPG franchise stay up to date with the latest information.
Featured image via Blizzard.