Forming a PvP Team: Assassins

By Nightshade49 »
Content » Arena

Hello, people. I am back with another PvP team composition guide. Today, I will introduce our assassins of the game and present their performances in Arena one by one!

*Note* For the heroes that I do not own and may take a long time to properly test them, I asked people who have experience with them and also my experience of fighting them. Also note that I am solely going over their PvP performances and will not determine their overall usefulness. Also keep in mind that this guide is here to give players who are starting to play Arena seriously some basic information and not to veterans (although if you find this useful, feel free to read on). If you have been playing someone for a long time and it works, you don’t have to follow anything I say. After all, I am just a player myself.

General Idea of Assassin in PvP

So, what does an assassin do? is a question that we need to discuss first. In my opinion, the most class-defining characteristic of Assassin class in King’s Raid is their ability to “target” enemies. You cannot choose who to attack in King’s Raid, but many assassins let you target a specific enemy with their skills. This lets them force a close quarter combat with enemy heroes who prefer to stay away from direct fight and simply kill enemies in a distance, aka ranged DPS. Their stats are heavily based on this part of their role. They have more defense and less offense than ranged dealers while having more offense and less defense than warriors. These are the general ideas of the role of assassins in Arena. Let’s go over the characteristics of a specific assassin hero now!

Epis

She is currently one of the strongest assassin as far as DPS goes. Also popular in both PvE and PvP. 

Strengths:

-Very high DMG output

-Teleporting skill has low mana cost (normally 2 but 1 with a Transcendence Perk)

-S1 ignores DEF naturally and with a Transcendence Perk, also ignores block. This is what lets Epis one shot tanks and healers. In other words, she can perform well against wall decks.

-Good self-sustainability due to her built-in lifesteal in her skills and her relatively longer invincibility frame (when she teleports she is immune to any DMG)

-Because of above traits, she can have full gears of Atk/Atkspd/Crit/Crit DMG and does not have to sacrifice a line for Lifesteal/Penetration.

-Range of S3 is wide, reaching from backline to middle while being immune to CC and thus very low chance of getting interrupted. Also, moves to the next target if S3 kills the enemy. If the first hit of her S3 kills an enemy, she will approach the closest target and hit him/her.

-Her teleport is positional, not stat-based. This allows Epis to attack different heroes if combined with repositioning skills such as Maria S1/S3 and Lakrak S1.

Weaknesses:

-No CC

-Her teleport is toward the furthest enemy, which is often a priest without any formation breaking skills. This means she may trigger the Priest T2 Perk, Vengeful Curse (-70% DMG from the attacker for 3 seconds. This cannot be dispelled.) and suffer a severe DPS loss.

Ezekiel

He is widely considered as a non-PvP hero. He is one of the new heroes and could be studied in the future to use in PvP, but so far I have encountered no Ezekiel in PvP.

Strengths:

-Teleports toward enemy with highest ATK

-Heavy DMG from Fury mode

-Lots of CC and utility, including slow, draw-in, stun.

Weaknesses:

-When he uses his teleport, he teleports to the front of the enemy. This makes him vulnerable to attacks immediately, especially against Nyx. In the worst case, he might die instantly from taking 4-5 Nyx auto attacks all at once.

-Needs Fury state to deal significant damage, but Fury only activates after using four different skills. Also it only stacks after the end of the cast. If the skill is canceled, Curse (the name of the stack) does not stack.

-When in Fury mode, cannot be controlled and skills consume HP.

-He is mana hungry because his DPS comes from spamming skills in Fury mode. If you are low on mana, you can’t use skills under Fury which will result in DPS loss.

Fluss

His concept is Anti-Magic, High Priority Assassin. His entire kit is geared toward being able to eliminate dangerous foes as soon as possible.

Strengths:

-He has very low mana cost. S1=2 Mana/S2=1 Mana/S3=2 Mana

-He teleports to the hero with highest ATK (note that he moves behind the hero, which differs from Ezekiel’s jump)

-His teleporting S2 leaves a Mark on the target and all his attacks prioritize Marked target. I discovered that if the hero with Mark teleports (say, Epis got Marked and she teleported to your healer) and Fluss uses his skill, he immediately dashes to the target.

-Dispel. His S2 dispels with a Transcendance Perk while his T5 Dark gives his auto-attacks 10% chance to dispel.

-His auto-attacks deal significant DMG if combined with Mark, S3 Dark (When S3 is under cooldown, auto-attacks deals +50% DMG) and T5 (Attacks 1 extra time during auto-attacks). Against Mages/Priests, about 5-6 of his auto-attacks should be sufficient to kill a Marked target.

-His passive and S2 gives him sustainability against Magic DMG.

Weaknesses:

-Despite his kit that gives him some defense against Magic DMG, he has problems with surviving. While he may slaughter the entire enemy team by himself when he survives, he often dies before.

-Mark can be dispelled, lowering his DPS.

-Relatively low DPS compared to other Assassins. Still sufficient to kill squishy DPS, but he is very weak against wall decks.

-His invincibility frame is basically nonexistent.

-It is a bad idea to 1vs1 a warrior such as DPS Priscilla and Theo with Fluss. This is true for most assassins but especially Fluss because of his lower DPS.

Gladi

While he is regarded as a mostly PvE hero, there are some Gladi users in Arena. His weapon is the DEF ignoring DMG.

Strengths:

-Literally covered with skills that ignore DEF. Very good to melt down warrior tanks or Demia with mediocre PvP gears. Can break down enemy team from tanks.

-Self-Cleanse+ATK Buff+Dodge against Magic DMG in S2

-S3 is a linear nuke that will one shot backlines.

-While nerfed, still a strong UW (+140% Crit DMG at 7 stacks. Stacks per each Crit Hit.)

-Transcendence Perk can make him deal DMG proportional to enemy Max HP, making him strong against wall decks.

Weaknesses:

-No teleportation skill

-S3, the only skill that can reach backlines by itself, costs 4 Manas.

-UW effect/S2 can be dispelled.

-Needs time and effort/cash to get him and his UW in the first place.

Mirianne

She is the only ranged assassin at the moment. She also has her unique shield capabilities, offering more defense to her allies.

Strengths:

-Her Target Lock On goes to the enemy with lowest MDEF. This means she will always target heroes that are easiest for her to kill. Her attacks priotize Locked On enemy.

-Target Lock On cannot be dispelled.

-She shields allies with her S2 and her S3 also triggers this when killing an enemy. The shields go to her and ally with lowest PDEF, blocking DMG and also making them immune to CC.

-Her S3, when no one is Target Locked, targets the lowest HP. This ensures a safe kill of near-death enemies.

-Her S3, with a Transcendance Perk, can also dispel and stun.

-Her S4 buffs her Crit Chance by 400 when there is a Target Locked enemy or can add reduction of received DMG by 30%.

-Works well against wall decks.

Weaknesses:

-Has a problem with Fluss if she is the highest ATK hero.

-Needs some stars on her UW

-Target Lock is a significant factor in her performance.

-MDEF boosting priests such as Laias and Rephy can reduce her DMG.

Reina

She is not a PvP assassin but I have encountered a few dedicated Reina users.

Strengths:

-S1 resets upon a Crit Hit and costs 1 mana.

-Immune to all DMG while casting S1

-Self Crit Chance Buff (Crit DMG after Transcendence Perk that majority chooses) in her S2

-Scales very well with UW

Weaknesses:

-Basically always targets the tank

-Extremely mana hungry

-General consensus is that she needs at least 3* UW to perform well.

-No means of attacking backlines at all unless the tank is dead

-Despite spammable S1, she is not that durable.

-When against Phillop in PvP, rapidly stacks Phillop’s UW stacks (increases ATK and DEF of Phillop every time he is hit).

-She needs perfect gear because she relies on constant Crit Hit S1 but there are many heroes who equip Crit Resist T1 Perk (Not to mention tank Scarlet who also has Crit Resist in her passive).

Roi

He is mostly a ST Nuker in PvE. However, he can be seen in Arena.

Strengths:

-S3 resets/recovers two Manas upon a Crit Hit

-S2 gives him ATK boost and immunity to Physical DMG

-S1 has a long invincibility frame

-S3 tracks lowest HP% and deals a massive burst DMG

-S4 has a good DMG and can one shot assassin tanks with mediocre gears.

-S4 Transcendance Perk gives him about two Manas in the beginning of match.

Weaknesses:

-Needs lots of Mana and takes time to start his S3 spam chain.

-His S2 Physical Immunity can be dispelled with Physical Attacks such as Nyx S2 and Ricardo S3 (lol).

-Has zero defense against Magic DMG.

-His S3 targets lowest HP%, which means he might potentially hit nothing but tanks constantly

-Just like Reina, relies on constant S3 Crit Hit and if this fails his DPS dies.

-S1, aside from its invincibility frame, is useless unless you have an enemy near death. Even then you have to rely on RNG unless that hero is the sole survivor (In most cases, last survivor of a match is usually the tank so it wouldn’t matter anyway).

Tanya

She competes with Epis for the most popular assassin hero in PvP. Comes with lots of utility and CC.

Strengths:

-S1 targets lowest P.DEF, similar to Mirianne. She goes for the easy kill.

-S2 is a strong AoE spell that can one shot poorly geared backline/middle. 

-All of her skills silence when Crit Hit occurs.

-She has good sustainability due to her Stealth Mode Dodge boost.

-Stealthed S3 can demolish DPS lines, as it dispels and then deals heavy DMG and silences.

-S1 also amps the Physical DMG done onto the target.

-With good gears, she has useful CC in all her skills.

Weaknesses:

-S1 targets lowest P.DEF. If there is no mage in enemy team, this means Tanya will head to the Priest. This is the same problem with Epis-she can trigger Vengeful Curse and cut her own DMG output by 70% for 3 seconds, which is a long time in Arena.

-Her UW Stealth mode is not reliable, which forces S1-S3 sequence in order to use her dispelling S3. This costs 5 Manas total (it will be 6 if you want a sure kill with Transcendance Perk that gives S3 +100% DMG for 1 mana increased.). With her UT she doesn’t need to use S1 first to dispel anymore.

-Stealth can be dispelled.

So, Who Do I Choose?

Now that we went over the brief overviews of each assassins, the most important question comes: so, who do I use?

No assassin is invincible and have weaknesses. When forming a team around or with an assassin, ask these questions.

-What do I need? Do I need sheer damage or quick disruption?

Assassins are often divided into these two.

Pure Dealer Assassins:

Epis, Roi, Reina, Gladi

Disruption/Utility Assassins:

Mirianne, Fluss, Tanya, Ezekiel

-Can I support him/her?

This is extremely important. Primary job of an assassin is to cause 1vs1 combat with a hero that is not suited for 1vs1. All assassins except Mirianne are melee, which makes them vulnerable to some heroes’ passives. Also because of their class, assassins are significantly weaker to Magic DMG than Physical DMG. It is likely good to bring heroes that offer protection against Magic DMG such as Rephy, Laias, Ricardo.

-Do I have a backup if the hero dies?

This is important. Assassins are vulnerable to attacks because their teleport sometimes aggravate of two or more different heroes at the same time. It is generally not a good idea to pick one assassin as your one and only dealer.

-Am I sufficient in AoE?

Majority of assassins have single target or very limited AoE skills except Epis or Tanya. This may cause problem as while you focus on killing one hero, an enemy hero with a strong AoE skills can one shot the rest of your team.

Double Tanks or Tank + Warrior + Assassin Team

This was previously one of very popular team comps. Usually this deck involves Demia/Sonia+Scarlet+Laias with mostly Epis/Tanya. This is because of their strong AoE capabilities that can obliterate enemy backlines by themselves. The two tanks will provide disruption and  defense while the healer protects the assassin who will launch their skill to eliminate squishy backlines.

However, there is a significant weakness to this composition. Due to having three frontlines, this team is very vulnerable to CC Lock comps as even limited AoE CC can easily shut down your CC and DPS. Especially against Theo to whom cleanse means nothing. This allows possibility of enemy quickly taking down your assassin who is the only dealer unless you are also running a warrior DPS. To compensate this disadvantage, many run Sonia instead of Demia who has strong defense and respectable AoE magic damage. Note that even with Sonia as tank and a warrior DPS, vulnerability to CC Lock still stands.

AoE DPS + Assassin

This is a neutral deck build using standard setup with simply exchanging a Main DPS for the assassin. This team is very well rounded, minimalizing risks of having a strong counter against this team. This ensures a consistent win rate and also allows flexible playstyle. I am also using (trying to use) this type. My deck is Demia, Laias, Lakrak and Fluss.

As much as this team would have no clear disadvantage, it will also have no significant advantage over others. This is an all-rounder who will be fair in most matches but never excellent. I also found a problem with not enough DMG to break down wall decks, especially with Treasures.

Double Assassins

This is a less popular composition. There will be a tank and a healer and the dealers line will both be assassins. This comp is extremely strong against burst nuke comps as your heroes will fly everywhere and nukes will only hit one or two heroes while your assassins slowly kill enemies on by one.

Two most significant counters this team has are Theo and Sonia. Theo does extremely high DMG with strong defense (warrior gears have highest DEF), letting him potentially crush your assassins before they even teleport. His Chip CC (cc with very short duration but frequent and fast) from his S4, For Jane, will lock down your assassin and easily slaughter him/her. Sonia is quite similar as she deals Max HP based DMG (which is why people farm ID gears for her) and has S2 self-buff that grants herself +44k ATK and DEF. Then she will throw her S1 which will constantly Chip CC your frontline/middle in her electric field, putting them under lockdown. Assassins mostly have relatively low DMG output compared to ranged dealers and some double assassin comps are therefore countered by wall decks such as Fluss and Ezekiel. In order to compensate this, you can use Tanya/Epis/Mirianne. Or Gladi if you have him to outright kill tanks first.

Assassin Tanks. Yay or Nay?

Some people like to go for full offense, even at the cost of high risk from negating defense units. Warrior tanks are fairly common, starting with Gau and Kasel. However, some people go even further by using an assassin tanks. And some new players ask if they can do the same. Here is my honest opinion. Don’t.

Why, you might ask? First of all, assassins go even further than warriors toward offense in their skills. This gives away a crucial job of a tank as the protector of the team, endangering your entire team as the frontline falls apart if enemy has Theo/Priscilla/Roi who can quickly slay your tank. Also, using your assassin as your only tank basically locks down your teleportation capabilities. If you teleport, unless you fully aggrravate the entire enemy team, your ranged units will be having a direct fight against enemy frontlines which is a very, very bad idea. Yes, some people still make it work. However, they are already very knowledgeable about the game and they have a very specific team comp that will sufficiently support the tank. Even then, this is still not a good choice in PvP and those cases are mostly for tough contents (such as using tank Fluss to redirect dragon breath). In PvP, using an assassin comp is definitely not recommended.

Using Assassins in PvP

Now that we looked over heroes and basic concepts to cover, let’s take a look at how to actually utilize assassins in Arena. We already talked about the primary purpose of assassins: force a 1vs1 combat against a hero that is very weak in 1vs1. Here are some things to keep in mind.

-Avoid 1vs1 against DPS warriors.

Warriors, in my opinion, are the best heroes in a direct 1vs1 combat. Heroes like Kasel and Theo are especially strong and assassins are best to not go against them unless your assassin has a very tangible advantage. If you have Roi and you are trying to 1vs1 Priscilla, that is fine as Roi has his S2 Physical DMG Immunity. They have far superior defense and have both built-in Dodge and Toughness, potentially killing your asssassin quickly. 

-If against a wall deck, try to kill the healers first.

Wall decks are strong against assassins who usually targets DPS. In this case, try to attack healers so that the tanks cannot recover HP. Tanya/Epis/Mirriane are your specialists here.

-Watch out for CC.

Assassins are, in return for higher DPS output than warriors, are much more vulnerable. Even 2-3 Mana CC skills can potentially injure+disable/kill your assassin, so watch out for those. If you fall into enemy CC Lock, it’s GG. Try to cleanse, use Talisman of Resistance, or beat them in speed by taking advantage of your low cost teleportation.

PvP Artifacts for Assassins

-Soul Spring Water 

One of the best artifacts for assassins, this will let you teleport faster and give you an advantage in dealing DMG faster due to low mana costs of assassins’ skills. Note that this is most effective in its 2 or 3* form.

-Angry Pumpkin Head 

A good DPS artifact that gives both offense and defense boost.

-Earth Core 

Basically same with Angry Pumpkin Head.

-Golden Cat Statue 

Faster speed means both faster mana gain and faster casting. This will give you an advantage of quickly sniping enemies before they can react.

-Fancy Traditional Pendant 

A general DPS boosting artifact with increased Crit Chance and Crit DMG.

Thank you for reading!