All NewsDiablo II
Powered By

Dragon Tail Assassin Guide

Last Updated: February 23rd 2024

B

Share on Social

Disappear your enemies with the deadliest Kicker in the East: the Dragon Tail Assassin. Not much can withstand the devastating blow of a fully-charged Dragon Tail. One of the hardest hitting abilities in the game, it one-hit-KOs most monsters in a Full Game or /Players8 on Single Player. Bosses are also effortlessly eliminated. Dual-wielding Mosaics in Patch 2.6 makes this build even more fast and effective!

This Assassin uses Tiger Strike to charge up its Dragon Tail finisher, dealing both Fire and Physical Damage to her targets. Elite Monster assassination is her specialty, especially once acquiring Enigma. This build can vaporize nearly every standard Farming Spot and Terror Zone with the power of Infinity, Flickering Flame, and Flame Rift.

The Dragon Tail Assassin comes with a suite of highly effective support abilities as well. Death Sentry provides additional crazy AoE damage. Burst of Speed allows you to strike as fast as possible. Shadow Warrior or Shadow Master and the defensive skills Cloak of Shadows, Mind Blast, Fade, Weapon Block, and Cobra Strike provide incredible Crowd Control and survivability. Even on a budget, this Assassin's feet are deadly weapons.

Ideal Standard Setup
Ideal Standard Setup


Dragon Tail


Tiger Strike


Death Sentry


Teleport

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Assassin Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Great Elite Hunter ✔
2 Primary Damage Types
Several Strong Build Options
Insane Area Of Effect Damage
Works Well With Any # Of Players In Game

❌ Hard To Master
❌ Dangerous Playstyle
❌ Complex Build Mechanics
❌ Somewhat Clunky Playstyle
❌ Requires GG Gear For Full Potential

Sunder Charm Setup

Patch 2.5 introduced a new way of breaking Immunities: Sunder Charms. Any enemy that would be Immune to your damage type is instead reduced to 95% Resistance, before any other Resistance reductions apply. (e.g. Conviction, Lower Resist) These Charms also reduce YOUR Resistance against the sundered damage types! Check out our post on Sunder Charms to learn more about these new Charms. The following setup uses Flame Rift, allowing you to farm anywhere you want.

Sunder Charm Setup
Sunder Charm Setup

Gear Changes

To optimize this Sunder Charm you need as much -% Enemy Fire Resistance as possible. Equip Flickering Flame, Phoenix Monarch, and a Gemmed Phase Blade socketed with -5/5 Fire Rainbow Facets to accomplish this.

Counteract the negative effect of Flame Rift with Flickering Flame. It not only counters the negative effect, but also provides additional -% Enemy Fire Resistance! You can also use upgraded Aldur's Advance.

Terror Zones

The new Terror Zone mechanic combined with Sunder Charms open up a wide range of farmable areas. The following list highlights the best and worst Terror Zones for this build. With the Sunder Charm Setup, more Terror Zones become accessible. Learn more about Terror Zones here and see how they stack up in our Terror Zone Tier List.

Best

The Secret Cow Level - High Density, Easy Mobility, No Immunities
Rocky Waste + Stony Tomb - High Density, Many Elite Groups, Easy Mobility, Few Immunities
Frigid Highlands (Eldritch ONLY) - Quick Access, Few Immunities
Flayer Jungle ONLY - High Density, Many Elite Groups, Quick Access, Few Immunities
Tal Rasha's Tombs - High Density, Many Elite Groups, Few Immunities

Worst

Temple + Halls of Anguish + Halls of Pain + Halls of Vaught - High Physical Damage, Immunities
River of Flame + City of the Damned - High Physical Damage, High Elemental Damage, Immunities
Durance of Hate - High Physical Damage (Dolls), Few Elite Groups, Low Density Trash Mobility
Chaos Sanctuary - High Physical Damage, High Elemental Damage, Immunities
Arreat Plateau + Pit of Acheron - Low Density, High Physical Damage, Immunities

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Cobra Strike
8. Weapon Block
9. Shadow Warrior (Max Last)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Warrior

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Utility

Attributes

Note: This section provides you with the standard Stat Point allocation. Build Variants may require different allocations!

Strength

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Strength your gear provides when equipped.

Dexterity

Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Dexterity your gear provides when equipped.

Vitality

Allocate any remaining Stat Points into Vitality after meeting Strength, Dexterity and Energy requirements.

Energy

Do not allocate any Stat Points into Energy. Mana costs are covered by “x% Mana stolen per hit” on gear, buffs, Charms, and Cobra Strike.

Essentials

Gear Options

Farming Spots

Mercenary

Playstyle

Breakpoints

Hardcore

Build Variants

Starter
Budget
Standard
Magic Find
Damage
Sustain
Hardcore

Setup

The Starter variant of the Dragon Tail Assassin meets the minimum gear requirements for farming the Starter tagged areas in the "Farming Spots" section above. These areas can be Solo-farmed by this setup (/Players1 on Single Player) in both Nightmare and Hell difficulty. Prioritize + to Skills, Kick Damage, Resistances, Attack Rating, Cannot Be Frozen, and Life/Attributes on your gear. Double Upgraded Goblin Toe provides you with high Kick Damage. Pattern Claws provide you with decent survivability and damage if made in a + to Dragon Tail Base. Strength Claws are also great for early-game Boss killing due to their Crushing Blow stat. A Staff of Teleportation on Weapon-Swap allows you to travel short distances (Dragon Flight allows you to use monsters to reposition). Follow the Assassin Leveling Guide to get your Assassin to Level 75.

Mercenary

An Act 5 Bash or Frenzy Mercenary using Lawbringer(s) is ideal for a Starter Dragon Tail Assassin. Sanctuary and Decrepify provide added safety and damage. Decrepify also allows you to deal with Physical Immune monsters. Mercenaries require Resistances, Life Leech, and/or Damage Reduction to stay alive. Smoke is a cheap Body Armor option for much needed Resistances.

Skills

Allocate about 10 Skill Points into Weapon Block to achieve decent Chance to Block while dual-wielding Claws. Use Shadow Master instead of Shadow Warrior for its superior tankiness.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Shadow Master (Max Last)

Put ~10 Skill Points into the following Skill:
Weapon Block

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Master

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

The Budget Dragon Tail Assassin achieves solid results with gear that is much easier to acquire than the gear on the Standard Build. This variant can farm almost every Farming Spot the Standard Build can on a lower Player Count. This build makes use of several lower-end gear options that still provide solid Damage, Attack Rating, Resistances, Damage Reduction, and the Cannot Be Frozen stat. Full Natalya's Set with Upgraded Natalya's Soul provides many of these needed stats. A single Mosaic or even Bartuc's Cut-Throat are great options for maintaining effectiveness on this setup. Naj's Puzzler provides you with extra mobility. If you can acquire Flame Rift you can kill Immune to Fire mobs.

Mercenary

A Budget Dragon Tail Assassin uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with The Reaper's Toll. Dragon Tail's Damage benefits greatly from its Decrepify proc; Decrepify also allows you to deal with Physical Immune monsters. Treachery and Guillaume's Face provide additional damage and survivability. This Mercenary reaches the 75% Increased Attack Speed Breakpoint to reliably proc Decrepify.

Skills

Allocate about 10 Skill Points into Weapon Block to achieve decent Chance to Block while dual-wielding Claws. Use Shadow Master instead of Shadow Warrior for its superior tankiness. The rest is the same as the Standard Build.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Cobra Strike
8. Shadow Master (Max Last)

Put ~10 Skill Points into the following Skill:
Weapon Block

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Master

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

This is the Standard Best in Slot (BiS) Dragon Tail Assassin featured in the beginning of the guide. It is the balanced "jack-of-all-trades" version, capable of performing the most tasks well. This variant is the point of comparison for all other variants. It carefully balances Damage, Magic Find, Defensive Stats, and Teleport mobility. Dual-wielding Mosaics allows you to continually use Dragon Tail without losing Tiger Strike Charges. Flame Rift allows this build to smash Immune to Fire mobs. This setup reaches the 102% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap.

Mercenary

The Standard Dragon Tail Assassin Mercenary is an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Infinity for -85% to Enemy Fire Resistance and reduced monster Defense from its Conviction Aura. Fortitude and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor maximize this Mercenary's damage and survivability.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Cobra Strike
8. Weapon Block
9. Shadow Warrior (Max Last)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Warrior

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

This variant stacks as much Magic Find as possible for Elite Pack targeting efficiency. Magic Find Charms and Harlequin Crest are the keys to this build. This setup can farm most areas just as effectively as the Standard Build with any number of Players in the game (Player Count). Flame Rift enables this build to crush monsters that are Immune to Fire. Just like the Standard Build, the Magic Find version of the Dragon Tail Assassin achieves the 102% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap.

Mercenary

Just like the Standard Build, the Magic Find Dragon Tail Assassin Mercenary is an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Cobra Strike
8. Weapon Block
9. Shadow Warrior (Max Last)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Warrior

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

This variant aims for the highest possible Dragon Tail Damage while maintaining solid -x% to Enemy Fire Resistance. Flame Rift allows you to crush monsters that are Immune to Fire. This setup is even more effective in High Player Count games (/Players7-8 on Single Player) than the Standard Build. +5-6 To Dragon Tail Claws and Kenshi's Chain Gloves of Alacrity are keys to setup. The Damage variant of the Dragon Tail Assassin sacrifices Teleport mobility and Charge uptime for as much damage as possible. This build achieves the 65% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap.

Mercenary

Just like the Standard Build, the Damage Dragon Tail Assassin Mercenary is an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

You can allocate additional Skill Points into Weapon Block if needed. The rest is the same as the Standard Build.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Cobra Strike
8. Weapon Block
9. Shadow Warrior (Max Last)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Warrior

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

The Sustain Dragon Tail Assassin uses Phoenix for high Life/Mana sustain and -x% to Enemy Fire Resistance. With 1x Mosaic this setup has decent Charge sustain as well. Flame Rift allows you to crush monsters that are Immune to Fire. This build effectively snipes Elites with reckless abandon. Just like the Standard Build, this variant reaches the 102% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap.

Mercenary

Just like the Standard Build, the Sustain Dragon Tail Assassin Mercenary is an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Cobra Strike
8. Weapon Block
9. Shadow Warrior (Max Last)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Warrior

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Setup

For the Hardcore mode variant, aim for 50% Damage Reduction and maximum Chance to Block (75%) to guard against taking extreme amounts of Physical Damage. Additionally, overcap Resistances beyond the natural cap of 75% if possible to counteract hostile Conviction or Lower Resist (Fade can help achieve this). Plague Cleansing Aura provides Curse Duration Reduction for extra safety. If you choose to use Flame Rift, stack additional Fire Resistance to counteract its negative effect. This setup reaches the 102% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap. Consult the "Hardcore" section for more detailed information.

Mercenary

Just like the Standard Build, the Hardcore Dragon Tail Assassin Mercenary is an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

Max Shadow Master instead of Shadow Warrior for its superior tankiness. You can also choose to use and invest additional Skill Points into Fade on a Hardcore Dragon Tail Assassin. The rest is the same as the Standard Build.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Fade
3. Cloak of Shadows
4. Mind Blast
5. Dragon Talon
6. Dragon Flight
7. Cobra Strike
8. Weapon Block
9. Shadow Master (Max Last)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Dragon Tail
2. Tiger Strike
3. Claw Mastery
4. Death Sentry
5. Shadow Master

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear and enough Stat Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%). Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Mechanics

Teleport

Death Sentry

Summary

  • Maintain 3 Charges of Tiger Strike to do maximum damage with Dragon Tail. Dual-wielding Mosaics allows you to perpetually maintain the 3 Tiger Strike Charge maximum while only using Dragon Tail.
  • Dragon Flight into monster packs before acquiring Enigma.
  • Since there is both a Fire and Physical component to Dragon Tail's damage, Lower Resist, Conviction, Amplify Damage, and Decrepify all make it stronger.
  • 1-Point Dragon Talon enables you to deal with most Fire Immunities. Flame Rift, Phoenix, and Flickering Flame empower Dragon Tail to handle them.
  • The Dragon Tail Assassin has several Defensive Skills that make it possible to survive without amazing gear. Weapon Block grants Block Chance while dual-wielding Claw Weapons (no Shield). Either Shadow Warrior or Shadow Master distracts enemies and absorbs damage. Cobra Strike grants incredible Life/Mana sustain. Fade, Cloak of Shadows, and Mind Blast all situationally mitigate the damage you take. Abuse these abilities to the fullest!
  • This build excels at sniping Elites with any number of Players in the game (Player Count) and in any Farming Spot (including Terror Zones) with a full build. Crush monsters to your heart's content!

We hope you enjoy this build! The Dragon Tail Assassin brilliantly combines awesome power with fun and interesting gameplay. This one-shot wonder is jaw-dropping!

Good luck!

Credits

Written by DarkHumility
Reviewed by Teo1904

© 2024 Maxroll Media Group, All Rights Reserved