Assassin, like the Assault, can work quite flexibly in a variety of roles. Despite her ability to almost instantly kill any player on any team, she actually needs to stay away from players most of the time. Assassin is the worst class for base defense, able to get rid of one healthy player at most before having to run away while her grab recharges. Instead, the Assassin primarily should be targeting bots and turrets. The Assassin should only hit players if she has little better to do or if one lone player is causing some chaos at the base.
Stealth makes up plenty of what the Assassin is doing. If you're drawing the attention of any players, you're doing it wrong. The Assassin must strike hard (kill a player, destroy a swarm of bots, get a turret or two) and fade away without a trace. Proper stealth requires good use of the Cloak, terrain cover, and good old-fashioned sneaking.
Using the cloak allows you to get through any bots or turrets automatically, and allows you to sometimes even go right through a firefight without ever being noticed (unless you get hit). Dash can easily nullify this though, as your dust trail can give away your position. Cloak only in the very open areas where players will easily see you, and instantly turn it off when hidden from enemies.
The use of cover will obviously vary depending on the arena. For example, the tunnel just to the left of LaseRazor Arena is almost never checked by players unless a threat has shown itself there. The same goes for the bot spawn area of Spunky Cola Arena. Cover can even be as simple as simply hiding behind a corner just enough that any passers-by won't see you as they move along. All maps have a ton of convenient places for the Assassin to hide, and most of them will rely on the circumstances of the moment.
Finally, we have the "Ninja Vanish" technique. Anytime the Assassin actually finds herself in danger, she can use her Smoke Bomb, jump, cloak immediately upon jumping, and use her Dash to get away. This is made especially effective if you have gotten the Sword, since you will take no damage upon landing, which would otherwise outline your cloaked body momentarily. With proper knowledge of the arena, Assassin should be able to escape from just about any situation outside of a tunnel.
This is certainly one of the most appealing things about the Assassin. When she kills, it's usually because she got a good backstab on her opponent. Ideally, you do this first by lunging at someone from behind and then immediately grab once you're there. Even this needs to be used with some caution, though. Some classes have especially high defense, or else they may have an armor endorsement. This is more effective when upgraded to a Sword, as a lunge-grapple from the back can even potentially take out a Tank.
Getting to your opponent is another thing entirely. If you remain cloaked right up to that last moment, a perceptive player will be able to just jump or at least turn enough that your grab suddenly gets the front. Instead, just employ some good old-fashioned sneaking. Uncloaked, position yourself behind them in a way that you can perform what you need, either a lunge-grapple or a standard walking one (some areas just offer too little room to lunge first). There's no need to be cloaked if you are already behind your target, outside of his viewable area, and you aren't already being pursued.
Should you fail in your assassination attempt, it's not usually a good idea to try finishing the job. Get out and give up the kill for lost. If nothing else, you'll get an assist somewhere later, but more importantly you will not be an attractive target for your opponent. You've still achieved something by distracting/disabling your opponent for a little bit of time. This can allow someone they might have been targeting to get away from danger or potentially even allow another player to get the kill himself (especially a Sniper with explosive rounds). You'll also be keeping any juice you've already obtained, and a juiced Assassin is a truly devastating thing. The Ninja Vanish is often an effective means of escape here. The smoke bomb animation will even keep you from being pushed away from Tank or Assault charges. If this is not available, your lunges and dash can be used to help get you away (you'll probably be taking some bullets, so cloak is not so effective) as long as your path is at an angle to your opponent's view. Run directly away, and you're still in the same area of their reticule.
Game modes Edit
The Assassin is amazing at keeping bot lanes in check. She hits very hard with her sword, grapple, and lunge attacks. Her lunge and dash also allow her to work multiple lanes effectively, and her Smoke Bomb can be used on larger crowds of bots about to breach the moneyball to stop them from moving. The Assassin is also incredibly effective at eliminating Jackbot XL, using both her grab and standard sword slashes. Add in her easy accumulation of juice and you have a true wrecking ball.
Early game Edit
The Assassin can go a few different ways here. First, although she's the fastest class in the game, she can't just lead the charge into the enemy's army and expect to do much. One thing she can do is use her dash & cloak (at least one of which is upgraded) to quickly get into the enemy base without any turrets giving her trouble. Once at the side of a spawn ring, she can start firing shurikens at turrets. Similarly, she can get up close with a cloak & smoke bomb to disable a turret as she slashes it. If the base is totally undefended by the time this is finished, she can camp at bot spawns and destroy any that come out. This ensures your moneyball won't go down (if your team's defense is lacking just as much as your opponent's) while also feeding you juice you can use to defend yourself if discovered.
Another way is to build up money for your skills, aiming for the long game. Your first goal is to get the money you need for a sword ASAP. For this approach, you need to get yourself into cover where you can still see other players coming in. Lunge into a backstab and run to a safe area so you can taunt for an additional $50. If you just bought Passive 2 without upgrading anything else, this will put you very close to that sword you need, but obviously your presence will be known. It'll be difficult to get yourself in a position to do it again, and how you follow up should depend on how everything else is progressing. If your opponents aren't concentrating on a line of bots or are otherwise distracted by your teammates, a quick money-making move is to cloak in, get behind that enemy bot line and quickly lunge and slash your way through them before Dashing away again. As you'll already be heading back towards your own line, this "cut-and-run" approach usually isn't as dangerous as it seems.
One other thing to note. The Assassin doesn't usually have to rely on Jump Pads to get between levels in the early game thanks to her Smoke Bomb. Utilize any Pads unlocked by others, but don't unlock any yourself.
Mid game Edit
A good Assassin needs to be able to meet the needs of the team. She can cover a tremendous area of the map very quickly, so she can serve as a decent scout, communicating enemy positions to her team while getting the occasional assassination. If bots are gathering up, she can slash them away very easily. Keep in mind there will probably be opponents nearby causing this push, so be ready to save yourself from death if that is the case. Level 3 cloak will allow you to camp at an Ejector, effectively causing an large portion of the lower play field to be very dangerous. The occasional waves of Gremlin bots can also put the enemy into significant disarray as they try to get the gremlins, allowing your team to get into a more advantageous position. If your team is doing abysmally and the enemy team is just kill-farming your team, the Assassin can single-handedly destroy both bot lanes so that your moneyball never goes down (until Overtime, that is).
Stage-specific factors can also come into play, here. It's exceedingly easy for the Assassin to get around GrenADE III Arena, even using Smoke Bomb to get right at the opposing spawn ring from the small center ring. In Spunky Cola Arena, she can camp at the enemy's bot-spawn at minimal risk. Even if she's discovered, it's very realistic that she can get out of danger. In the same area, she can be a menace by shooting shurikens in the narrow corridor of the opponent's walkway by their base. AmmoMule Arena has a very convenient hiding tunnel under the central dome, allowing her to view both lanes from a position where players seldom check. Steel Peel Arena has a walkway on the side that makes an easy entrance for an Assassin devoted to destroying base defenses. LaseRazor Arena has so much of a 2nd-level play field that she can almost do whatever she wants down below and safely Smoke Bomb away. Once above, she can maneuver around the upper-area almost at will, simply dropping down again to confuse any higher players that end up finding her. It's simply too labyrinthian for players to realistically pin down a mobile Assassin.
Attacking a Money Ball Edit
The Assassin can hit the moneyball as effectively as any other class. She can be on the side of the spawn ring and shoot almost unimpeded at the moneyball. As soon as one player comes to get her, she can just dash to the other side and continue. Once cornered on the upper level, simply employ the Ninja Vanish and escape. Until she can realistically get back, she can at least tag it with her Shuriken Launcher to keep it down.
Defending the Money Ball Edit
Should it become necessary to protect your Moneyball, look for enemy Pros first. Use your Cloak and rear grapple to get the drop on them. Once the Pros are gone, go for the Breach Bots to finish clearing the immediate area. Once that is done, Cloak and scan the perimeter for incoming Pros, sneaking up on them as they approach. Make sure they can't get to your Moneyball, since any hit on it resets the shield clock.
This is the primary source of the Assassin's great speed. Hold down the X button and she runs at an extremely fast speed. The level of your dash determines how long she can run. Level 2 dash will usually be enough for whatever you need, and at level 3, you can easily run laps around the whole arena. This is not necessarily good to use with a cloak, since you leave a dust trail behind you. An observant player can notice the dust trail and just shoot at that.
Obviously the Assassin's primary means of moving undetected, the cloak makes you almost entirely invisible. The level of cloak affects how long it takes to actually become cloaked and how long it lasts (level 3 is instant and even recovers energy very slowly if standing still). Bots and turrets also will not fire at you, however a ShaveIce will still put up a frost aura if you move into its range. It's not all good news, though. You emit a hum that other players can hear (Uber is currently working on a system for deaf players) and the closer you are to players, the more visible you become. If you get to point-blank range, you'll even be clearly outlined. Use this just for moving around generally open areas and stay away from other players. Never walk right up to an opponent's face while cloaked. Additionally, if you are damaged while cloaked, you become briefly visible. This includes fall damage, so upgrading to a sword can affect this, too.
The smoke bomb has two primary uses. Anything within its blast radius will be temporarily disabled, and players hit will experience an extremely disorienting flash for a moment. If you jump while the smoke is still present (almost immediately after use), your jump reaches extremely high. To give you an idea on the height, the Assassin can potentially hit the Annihilator with her head from the highest point of LaseRazor Arena. The smoke bomb is therefore both useful as a means of destroying things that would otherwise destroy you (disabling turrets and bots so you can damage them) and to escape from enemy pros. Additionally, the smoke bomb animation stops you from being pushed by charge attacks, allowing you a bit of an answer against the Assault and Tank. Although this also stops you from being grabbed from the Assault's charge, it doesn't stop any other regular grab. The same Tank can still launch you away with his grab rather than charge you if he knows you would be employing this technique.
- See Assassin Custom Classes for user-submitted Endorsement choices.
This is meant for people who have little to no experience with the Assassin.Edit
- THE ASSASSIN IS PRIMARILY A BOT PUSHER AND TURRET DESTROYER. While she is capable of assassinating most Pros with one grapple, that isn't her job for the team. She is an excellent bot pusher: capable of keeping both lanes on a map in your favor with her stealth and agility. Also, she is well equipped to take down turrets: either by smoke-bombing them then hacking away, or by using juice to quickly hack through multiple turrets. Don't actively hunt Pros unless they are in your way in pushing a lane. Your K/D ratio is the last thing you'll be worring about as an Assassin.
- DON'T HAVE MORE THAN ONE ASSASSIN ON THE SAME TEAM. One is all you need to fulfill your team's bot and turret killing needs. Having two on a team is pushing it, and anymore than that is overkill and depriving your team of other valuable Pros.
- DON'T RUN INTO THE FRAY. The Assassin, alongside the Sniper, has the lowest health in the game. For this reason, do what your class was made to: be sneaky, be quick, and be precise.
- WORK ON MAXIMIZING YOUR PASSIVE SKILL FIRST. Your sword is a vast improvement from your dagger, so get it quickly. With your starting cash, you can either just upgrade your passive then save up for the third upgrade, or upgrade either your dash or cloak skills alongside it. Which one you choose depends on your preference for better mobility or increased stealthiness.
- ALWAYS CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. Always try to attack Pros who are at a disadvantage to you; either weakened by your teammates, or blissfully unaware of your presence. If you fail in quickly eliminating an enemy Pro, run like hell and try again later when they are pre-occupied with something else.
- KEEP THE ENEMY MONEY BALL DOWN AT ALL COSTS. Your mobility and stealth allows you to reach the Moneyball and plunge a few shurikens into it before being noticed. You can attempt to escape afterwards with the Smoke Bomb, but even if you can't, any attack on the Moneyball resets the shield reset clock, so you can buy time for your teammates to continue the assault.
- ATTACK THE JACKBOT FOR YOUR TEAM. You are very damaging to this big tin can, so slash away. While you can grapple it for half its health, it is usually more productive to slash at it from behind, as you can still kill it relatively quickly, not make yourself an easy target for nearby pros, and quickly fill your juice bar.
- IF YOU CAN, GRAPPLE FROM BEHIND. This is in a protip in-game, but is still vital. Not only will you do more damage, but if you fail, you still have an extra second to escape as they turn around.
- YOUR CLOAK IS NOT TRUE INVISIBILITY. You are outlined by noticeable distortion at close range, and you emit an obvious hum. Thus, be quick. Also, turn your cloak when your close behind your victim, as to not announce your presence to your intended victim.
- USE YOUR SMOKE BOMB AS AN ESCAPE TOOL. Besides blinding Pros and stunning turrets and bots, you can jump to easily three times your regular jump height RIGHT after a smoke bomb. Your time window increases as your level in the skill does.
- DASHING, UNCLOAKED OR NOT, KICKS UP DUST BEHIND THE ASSASSIN. It's not hard to guess what's going on if you see small puffs of dust coming up out of nowhere. If you must dash and cloak at the same time, try to keep a distance from the enemy team to reduce the chance of being spotted.
- MAKE USE OF YOUR LUNGE. The right bumper allows you to lunge at the enemy, and it's pretty useful if you need to close a distance as an enemy is turning around. You can grapple immediately after a lunge, and the damage the lunge itself provides helps make sure your assassination attempt succeeds. It allows allows you to escape sticky situations quickly.
- AVOID SOLO ENCOUNTERS WITH TANKS. They are your counter class, and a competent Tank will annihilate you at close range. Only attack them either if you have team support, or if they are low on health.
- YOU CANNOT GRAPPLE DEPLOYED GUNNERS OR TANKS. Also, don't just run behind them and start slashing, as smart Gunners/Tanks will just burn you with their jump jets (yes, they can still use them while deployed). Instead, pull out your Shuriken Launcher and fill them full of projectiles. It will kill them very quickly, and keep you at a safe distance.
- This editor found that the best skills to begin with are the Cloak and the Assassin skills. Both work together for performing Assassinations. However, upgrading your Dash skill instead of your Cloak has some benefits, such as increased mobility.
- Cloak and Dash do NOT go well together, contrary to popular belief. Dashing makes you leave dust trails that skillful players can perceive. Dash to get near your position quickly, then Cloak to make the stealthy approach.
- Cloak is only truly invisible when not moving.
- Smoke Bomb boosts your jump height greatly. Don't be afraid to use the "Ninja Escape" to escape when enemies surround you or to make a surprise approach on one.
- Smoke Bombs can stun any enemy and blind any Pro.
- Lesser skilled Tanks and Gunners can be taken head on if you know what you're doing. Even if your initial grab doesn't kill them outright, immediately jump to avoid the inevitable Slam or Death Blossom and you can kill them with a lunge or a few slashes.
- Walls make great hiding spots when being chased. Line up your Smoke Bomb jump to land on one of the glass walls while cloaked, and you have the upper hand. Players rarely look up when they hear the hum of a cloaked Assassin, being more preoccupied with what's behind them.
- Snipers often surround themselves in traps. Use your Smoke Bomb jump to your advantage and try to land right behind them.
- Attacking a tank is never advised as an assassin, but if you need to, a lunge from behind followed instantly by a grapple with usually kill a tank, as long as you managed a rear grapple.
- If you are going to take on a large group of bots, remember that your smoke bomb paralyses them and that Breach Bots usually won't attack you if you're behind them.
- You may not see much use for the smoke bomb skill, but upgrading it to level 2 will actually earn you some extra defense, as observed by the stats on the right hand side when upgrading.
- As an assassin, it is highly recomended to run the Gold Armor endorsement, as it increases your overall survivability. Specifically, it makes it harder for heavier classes to kill you, and allows you to survive an Assault grapple-charge as well as a frontal grapple from an enemy Assassin (which you can then grapple in return, usually netting you a kill).
- Rate of Fire increases the speed at which you swing your melee weapon, which affects your bot slaying and turrent destruction capabilities. It works great as either a Silver or Gold endorsement, but Armor is usually preferred as Gold.
- Health Recovery allows you to return from a close call more quickly and return to wrecking bots and turrets, or assassinating pros. Consider it for either the Bronze or Silver slot.
- Skill Recovery is a very useful, as it increases the duration of your cloak and speeds up the rate at which you can use Dash and Smoke Bomb. A good choice for Silver or Bronze, as there are other endorsements which better benefit the Assassin.