Assassin Overview


The Assassin is known for her amazing ability to set Traps with great power. Being trained in Martial Arts, the Assassin is also a fierce melee warrior. She can use Claws to cut through her enemies, and even delve into some abilities of the other Characters. This makes the Assassin the ideal choice if you want to sit back and watch your Traps do the work, or if you want to jump into the action on the front line.

Her mastery of Shadow Disciplines allows her to have very interesting Crowd Control techniques, as well as incredibly fast Movement Speed.

The combination of Lightning Sentry and Death Sentry is a powerhouse that can perform well on a low budget, and destroys almost any content when fully equipped, even on high player counts.

When it comes down to slaughtering The Secret Cow Level, Wake of Fire can be as great as its Lightning counterpart. However, due to the frequency of monsters that are Immune to Fire, it can be troublesome in other parts of the game and isn't very useful.

Not quite so popular are her Martial Arts. Except for the so-called Kicksin, which specializes in killing the Ubers, they tend to feel rather clunky, especially when played with some latency. They become a lot of fun in Single Player, when you have excellent gear for them. Starting on this Skill tree is not recommended!

The Runeword Chaos allows for a unique gameplay experience. Using Whirlwind from the Barbarian in combination with various other abilities, the Assassin can be a lot of fun, mostly in solo scenarios.

The biggest weakness of the Assassin is the relatively low variety in actually playable builds. In comparison to the frequently used Lightning Damage Traps, other Traps and the Martial Arts Skill Tree almost seem irrelevant.


Every Character has the Attributes Strength, Dexterity, Vitality and Energy. At maximum Level, a Character has access to 505 Stat Points which can be allocated into the Attributes. While Vitality only affects the Life pool and Energy only affects the Mana pool of your Character, Strength and Dexterity have additional uses:

Generally, Stat Points are only allocated to this Attribute to wear your gear, however, Strength has an additional use: it increases the Physical Damage portion of melee attacks.

Generally, Stat Points are only allocated to this Attribute to wear your gear, however, Dexterity has 4 additional uses:

  • It increases the % Chance to Block up to 75 while using a Shield.
  • The Attack Rating of every attack is increased, improving the Chance to hit your target.
  • Every 4th Stat Point into Dexterity increases the base Defense of the Character by 1.
  • On ranged builds, Dexterity increased the Physical Damage potion of your attacks.

Starting Attributes of the Assassin

Baseper Levelper Stat Point
Life50+2+3 per Vitality
Stamina95+1.25+1.25 per Vitality
Mana25+1.5+1.75 per Energy


Breakpoints are an integral way to improve your Character's performance. For in-depth explanations on them, please check out our article on Breakpoints.

Attack Speed

Due to her Skill set, Attack Speed is a Breakpoint the Assassin cares about. Due to the complexity, Attack Speed would go beyond the scope of this post. Check out the d2planner to simulate your Breakpoints.

Block Rate

When using a Shield or Weapon Block while dual-wielding Claws, the Assassin has a % Chance to Block. When successfully blocking, she enters a block animation. Increasing your +% Faster Block Rate decreases the time your Assassin needs to execute it.

Faster Block Rate0133286
Block Frames5432

Cast Rate

The Assassin's Cast Rate determines the rate at which she can use spells. Increasing your +% Faster Cast Rate decreases the time required for a cast. The Action Flag determines at which Frame the used Skill is actually triggered.

Faster Cast Rate0815162739426586102174
Cast Frames161514131211109
Action Flags9876

Hit Recovery

When being hit, there is a chance that you get stunned. Increasing your +% Faster Hit Recovery decreases the time your Assassin needs to recover from this stun.

Faster Hit Recovery0715274886200
Hit Recovery Frames9876543

Skill Trees

Every Character has 3 Skill Trees in which they can allocate Skill Points to increase their power. Each Skill Tree consists of a total of 10 Skills, and you can assign a maximum of 20 points per Skill. These Skills are placed into 6 rows, which represent the 6 Skill tiers. While tier 1 is available at Character Level (clvl) 1, the other tiers get available at clvl 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30.

Skill Points
Every Character gains access to 110 Skill Points (98 from Level-Ups and 12 from quests).

Not every Skill is available right away. The arrows on the Skill Tree show the prerequisites needed to obtain skills further down the Tree.
Example: You have to put a Skill Point into Dragon Talon and Dragon Claw to gain access to Dragon Tail.

A lot of Skills have Synergies, which are Skills that passively boost the strength of another Skill. The main Skill shows how much a Synergy increases its power per Skill Point allocated into it.
Example: The base Lightning Damage of Lightning Sentry is increased by a summed up multiplier which increases by 12% for each Skill Point allocated into Death Sentry, Charged Bolt Sentry, Shock Web.

Build Guides

The Assassin has a variety of builds to choose from:

Natalya's Odium

Natalya's Odium is the Elite Set, which was exclusively designed for the Assassin exclusively. Making use of the Martial Arts Skill Tree, this Set works well in lower player count farming situations. Long term, this Set becomes obsoleted by setups that focus on a combination of Uniques and Runewords.

Character Specific Gear

Every Character has items that only it can use. For the Assassin, these are the Claw type Weapons. A lot of them can spawn with 0-3 "Staff mods" with a range of +1-3 to the Skill listed on the item.

Base Items


  • Katar1
  • Wrist Blade1
  • Hatchet Hands1
  • Cestus1
  • Claws1
  • Blade Talons1
  • Scissors Katar1


  • Quhab1
  • Wrist Spike1
  • Fascia1
  • Hand Scythe
  • Greater Claws
  • Greater Talons
  • Scissors Quhab


  • Suwayyah
  • Wrist Sword
  • War Fist
  • Battle Cestus
  • Feral Claws
  • Runic Talons
  • Scissors Suwayyah

1) These Claws cannot spawn with additional Assassin Skills on them.

Set and Unique Items


  • Bartuc's Cut-Throat


  • Jade Talon
  • Firelizard's Talons
  • Shadow Killer
  • Natalya's Mark

Lore & In-Game dialogue

In this section you will find the lore of the Assassins as well as the in-game dialogue she uses while travelling through Sanctuary.


In the third century, two brothers rose to dominance from within the ranks of the Vizjerei clan of mages; their names were Horazon and Bartuc. Both were equally powerful and ambitious, and both were fascinated by the power one could obtain through the practice of Demonic Magics; however, the two differed in their views regarding how best to study demons. While Horazon viewed demons as a great source of power, he felt that in order to use that power best, you must harness a demon and bend him to your will. His brother, on the other hand, grew to sympathize with the demonic powers and felt (with no small influence from the demons) that the demonic forces were best understood by allying with the Hellish authorities so their secrets could be shared freely, and that is exactly what he did. Their diametrically opposed philosophies caused a great schism that split the ranks and tore the Vizjerei clan apart.

When at last their fierce rivalry culminated in inevitable violence, the combatants learned too late that they had both been played as pawns by the demonic host. The ensuing battle was so great it set the very firmament aflame, and when it was complete and the stillness of remorse was all that remained, Bartuc lay dead, Horazon had vanished into self-imposed exile, and the Vizjerei had learned a costly lesson. The small surviving group of sorcerers, the remnants of the once-great Vizjerei clan, resolved forevermore to spurn Demonic Magics and set about renewing their studies in the Elemental Magics. To further ensure that a similar tragedy could never happen again, they formed a secret order whose sole purpose was to police the mage clans, destroying corruption wherever they found it. This was the birth of the Viz-Jaq'taar, the Order of the Mage Slayers-otherwise known as the Assassins.

Knowing that such an order might itself be corrupted if exposed to the power of magic, the Vizjerei deemed it of the utmost importance that these Assassins maintain the purest, most focused minds. They should live in meditation and draw their power from within, not from external forces that could easily mask demonic interference. To this end, the Order would not employ the magic arts directly; rather, they would use ingenious devices and enchanted items to battle those possessing great magical powers. To further their campaign against demonic corruption, they concentrated on honing the natural martial abilities of their bodies, both physical and mental.

Because the Order remains veiled in secrecy, few people, even among the mages, know more than rumors about this mysterious organization. Their reputation has been one shrouded in ambiguity. Legends of their stalwart vigilance, and the widespread fear of their retribution, have kept many mages away from the temptations of corruption, so actual sightings have been rare. However, with the reemergence of the Three, and the subsequent increase in demonic manifestations in the world, the Order has shown a greater public presence of late.

Act 1

Blood Moor (Entering)
Den of Evil (Entering)
Den of Evil (All monsters killed)
Burial Grounds (Entering)
Blood Raven (After Kill)
Cairn Stones (Clicking one)
Tree of Inifuss (Clicking it)
Tristram (Entering)
Deckard Cain (Saving in Tristram)
Forgotten Tower (Entering)
The Countess (After Kill)
Monastery Gate (Entering)
Horadric Malus (Picking up)
Jail (Entering)
Catacombs (Entering)
Andariel (After Kill)

"They'll never see me coming."
"So dark. Perfect."
"The Rogue's test is done."
"Whose handiwork lies buried here?"
"What I kill stays dead"
"These stones hold an ancient power."
"How has this tree escaped corruption?"
"Tristram. The first to fall to Diablo's wrath."
"Cain, go to the Rogue camp!""
"Oh, who would wanna remember this place?"
"So much treasure. It almost covers the stench."
"Such corruption in this place."
"A malus. This should go to Charsie."
"Try and cage me demons."
"I don't like it down here."
"Death becomes you, Andariel."

Act 2

Sewers (Entering)
Radament (After Kill)
Claw Viper Temple (Entering)
Tainted Sun Altar (Clicking it)
Arcane Sanctuary (Entering)
The Summoner (After Kill)
Tyrael (After talking to him)

"Why must evil hide in such wretched places?"
"Vengeance. For Atma."
"Dark magic in a darker tomb."
"Serpents, I expected worse."
"The Sanctuary, Horazon's obsession."
"Horazon, your decoy is dead."
"I shall track the Prime Evils to the end of the world."

Act 3

Jade Figurine (After picking up)
The Gidbinn (After picking up)
Lam Esen's Tome (complete quest)
High Council of Zakarum (After Kill)
Durance of Hate (Entering)
Mephisto (After Kill)

"Hm. A jade statue. What should I do with it?"
"What a delicious blade. I should consult Ormus."
"Ormus, you have strange taste in books."
"The dark magic here is dispelled."
"Mephisto, I'm coming for you."
"Mephisto, you were no match for me."

Act 4

Izual (After Kill)
Diablo (After Kill)

"Corruption, take flight."
"A hero's mistake is finally corrected."

Act 5

Bloody Foothills (Entering)
Shenk the Overseer (After Kill)
Frigid Highlands (Saved Soldiers)
Nihlathak's Temple (Entering)
Nihlathak (After Kill)
Arreat Summit (Entering)
Worldstone Chamber (Entering)
Baal (After Kill)

"You'll pay for your atrocities, Baal."
"Shenk, your command has ended."
"Follow me."
"I should have known."
"You dark mages are all alike, obsessed with power."
"I shall prove worthy."
"The Worldstone. What power."
"The evil brotherhood is no more."


Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by Facefoot


Sep 21st 2022
Fixed formatting issues