Tsy's Endgame Sin PvP Guide
Note: This guide is now one year old, and is outdated due to the popularization of Rank 9 3rd Cast (including Purify Spell) as well as Reincarnation-based class skills. I am no longer active on the International version of Perfect World. However, help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who as for it... or deserve it.
I check this guide occasionally. If you wish to question me, or talk more thoroughly with me about PvP knowledge, please post on this thread. I will respond.
Tsyren - Archosaur - 102 Sage Assassin - Banned
Tsyn - Raging Tides - 94 Sage Assassin - Inactive
Tsy - Syndicate - 105 Sage Assassin - Active
Table of Contents.
Section 1 - Introduction
Section 2 - Playstyles
Section 3 - Skill Usage
Section 4 - Cultivation Selection
Section 5 - Genie Analysis
Section 6 - Class Analysis
Section 7 - Gear Selection
Section 8 - Group PvP (World, NW, TW)
Section 9 - Advanced Advice
Section 10 - Conclusion
Section 1: Introduction.
The assassin was one of the best PvP classes to play, and thus has acquired a reputation of being the refuge of incompetent. However, since new skill adjustments, the assassin has finally begun to level out with other classes, and with the introduction of some new in-game content, has been surpassed slightly by other classes (especially at high endgame gear). This paper attempts to address how to maximize your impact on the PvP playing field as a sin.
(format taken from TheDan's BM PvP Guide)
Difficulty to Play: +++
Damage Output: ++++
Control Skills: +++++
Group PvP: +
1v1 PvP: +++++
Explanation of the Psychology Behind PvP
(credits to Zsw - Dreamweaver)
This is not necessarily part of the sin guide, but I thought it was a rather apt summary of the PvP climate at the time period. It's not specific to the sin class in particular, but I do recommend that you read it so you can better understand the world outside the safe zone.
Section 2: Playstyles.
The assassin is a spike dps class that relies on its supreme damage to kill debuffed, disadvantaged, or disabled opponents. The class counter to this is that assassin has very little initial tanking ability, instead relying on evasion of damage and status effects to survive.
Uses stuns and control skills, but mainly noted for its use of Normal Attacks (usually at 2.86 or 3.33 attacks per second) as "filler" - where the main dps comes from. Generally, an APS assassin is extremely squishy and can be killed in a few hits. However, it makes up for this with absolutely massive DPS. Because of recent skill and gear changes (namely, the Wizard anti-normal attack buff, and the Purify proc on Rank 9 3rd cast weapons), the APS assassin is usually seen as outdated or for those with less funding. However, it can still do fairly well in PvP, and it is the general consensus of the assassin community that APS is required to kill a 40k HP barbarian. Curiously, because of APS usage, an APS assassin will usually have more chi at its disposal.
Uses stuns and control skills, but mainly noted for the fact it does not use Normal Attacks, instead using filler skills (usually quick casting skills that have large damage add-ons). The damage of a DPH assassin is random, but has a chance to become extremely high (through crits or GoF proc, or both, the coveted ZerkCrit). Because a DPH assassin does not require interval armor, this type of playstyle opens up the possibility of "Full" sets - i.e., Full R9 Recast. This gives a DPH assassin significantly more defense than an APS assassin, but because of its inconsistent damage, may be forced to wait until luck favors its upper end of its damage range (especially on tankier targets, such as a BM).
(The next section is my own speculation. You may or may not agree with me. If you dislike speculation, skip this section. My friend was a bit cynical about putting this in - "ppl r stupid" - but hopefully...)
Most people assume that the assassin is a stunlocking class. I argue against this; while the assassin is a highly effective stunlocker, one cannot deal much damage while in a long term stunlock. I could stunlock a Rank 9 recast barb for a minute, sure; but how likely are they to die to my CC skills? In my opinion, the BM is still the only class that can stunlock and still remain at their own peak dps capacity (due to a more reliable stunlock based on only the stun debuff, as opposed to freeze/sleep/seal, etc.) By stunlocking someone, a sin trades control skills for their own potential damage.
I've always played the sin as a debuff spike class; I rarely attempt to stunlock an opponent when I'm also trying to kill them. In fact, the only time I stunlock for longer than about 10 seconds is when I'm actively trying to disable someone (as if they were in stasis - a "holding position", if you'd like). Mind you, I've surprised a lot of R9 sins who tried stunlocking an opponent to death. By being more "sloppy" in their eyes, I've been able to succeed where they have not.
My theory is that the sin is a sort of spike class that has multiple "passes" - imagine two knights in shining armor running at each other. Each time they run past each other, they deal damage to the other's armor, until eventually one of them gives way. It makes sense, if you think about it.
Let's get more specific. If we define a "pass" as something you do to make your enemy use up a defensive move, then really what a sin does is a, spike their own damage to make a pass easier, or b, debuff the opponent so that a normal pass is more dangerous, so an opponent has to use a defensive skill. When an opponent can no longer defend against "passes", they die.
Why is a wizard so hard to kill? You need to eliminate their genie, apoth, self-buff, and their own teleport CD, as well as their own disables against you - let's call those "checkpoints". That's a hell lot of defenses you have to dig through before you can really kill them. Why is a barb so hard to kill? They don't have as many "checkpoints" - genie, apoth, and invoke - but because of their massive hp, they can constantly cycle these defenses in the same way that a catabarb can survive the dps of an entire faction. Your passes against a barb are much more costly to execute, and this is what makes them so hard to kill.
How do you create a "pass"? I define a pass as a certain action or sequence of actions that you do - such as an aps onslaught - that if your target does not counter, they will die. If I keep attacking this BM while powerdashed, for example, they will die if they do not leap, apoth, etc.
But then, what is the purpose of stunlocking? Let's see. Some checkpoints can activated while certain debuffs are in place: An archer cannot kite (by running) if they are frozen. A barb cannot invoke if they are sealed. Occult ice will disable all checkpoints except genie and passive skills (such as the wizard buff). By controlling your opponents, you can negate certain checkpoints that they have, making them easier to kill.
But then, things start to get real interesting. A pass does not have to be able to kill an opponent, if you're only trying to proc their checkpoint (say, apoth). It just has to scare your opponent into thinking that using their own checkpoint is necessary. If I freeze someone, then triple spark - they're probably going to react, even if I don't attack afterwards. By predicting your future action, they're going to react - even if that action never is going to take place. This is the concept behind cancelling ultimate skills on a wizard: Some wiz starts BIDs on you while you're slept. If you don't genie, and that skill hits - you're dead. You cannot take the risk, or think you cannot take the risk, of letting an ice dragon crash down on your puny virtual fishy ***. PvP, at endgame, is not really a matter of 1v1ing your opponent's character, but just playing a mind game with them. Whoever gets psyched out first makes the first mistake, and thus, dies.
The structure of passes varies between opponent to opponent, but usually, I recommend the following structure:
You use damage based passes, such as sheer autoattacking, for procing someone's checkpoint that they can use while stunned. Namely, you want to get them to use genie. You keep on using this type of pass, if possible, until they're forced to use genie. After their genie is wasted, you can proceed with a pass based on stunlocking: Because their genie is wasted, and the stun has rendered all of their other checkpoints null (can't pot while stunned, can ya?) the pass is successful and they have a higher chance to die. Stunning is important strategically, yes, but hammering out stuns one after the other isn't exactly efficient.
There are, of course, major variations to this theory, but this sort of "chess move" philosophy is how I've always preferred to describe sins. A bit esoteric speculation mixed with a morbid sort of formality, but I like it.