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The Revenant racials, as a whole, seem to be focused on survivability/durability, granting the ability to stay in the fight even at zero HP. The Assassin class, while technically a Striker, seems to lend itself towards survivability as well, with powers focusing on mobility and insubstantiability/durability.

Do these come at an insurmountable cost to damage output? It seems that such a striker would be spending less of its resources on pure damage output, so would fall behind as compared to other strikers, and a party dependent on a Revenant Assassin for its Damage-Per-Round may find fights lasting longer, and therefore consuming more resources, than a party with an alternative striker.

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

No, you cannot use a Revenant Assassin as a high-damage striker.

Original Assassins have fantastic mobility, interesting secondary effects, and absolutely worthless damage (a thought explored in both practice and theory). Roughly speaking, you'll want your striker's DPR to fall within (8*Level+24)/4 and (8*Level+24)/2.

To calculate DPR, use the following formula:

(1-(BaseDefense+Level-ToHit-1)/20-CritChance)*(WeaponDamageAverage+StaticModifier)+(CritChance)*(CritDamage+StaticModifier+ExtraDamage)

Where:

  • Base defense = 14 for AC, or 12 for NADs (Fort, Ref, Will)
  • Level is level of the character
  • ToHit is the total attack modifers of the character
  • Critchance is .05 (20), .1 (19-20) or .15 (18-20)
  • CritDamage is the maximized Weapon Die * Number of Dice
  • WeaponDamageAverage is Number of Dice * die average * n[W]
    • Die Average = sides/2+.5
    • Brutal 1 = sides/2+1
    • Brutal 2 = Sides/2+1.5
  • Static Modifier is the unchanging modifier added to attack rolls
  • ExtraDamage is the weapon's critical extra dice: This can include bonus dice from the weapon's enchantment and/or bonus dice from the high crit property.

For a level 1 defender with longsword: To-hit is 4+3, damage 1d8+4: (1-(14+1-7-1)/20-.05)*(4.5+4)+(.05)*(8+4) = 5.70

(Defenders and other low-damage types fall within (8*1+24)/**8**=4 -(8*1+24)/**4**=8 4-8 damage.

For a level 1 barbarian with howling strike and a 1d12 executioner's axe: To-hit is 5+2, from stat+proficiency; a brutal 2 weapon drops the average by one, and adds 2; and rampage adds an extra basic attack on crit.

(1-(14+1-7-1)/20-.05)*( (5.5+2)+5+3.5 )+(.05)*(12+5+6+6.5+3.5)+(.05)*(1-(14+1-7-1)/20-.05)*( (5.5+2)+5)+(.05)*(12+5+6.5+3.5) = 12.97 on howling strike. So a level 1 barbarian is a "3 round striker" (HP estimate / DPR) which is quite accurate.

For assassins, they suffer from a number of problems: unspectacular dailies, a very swingy striker damage feature that doesn't scale with tier, and unimpressive at-wills, as per the guide. If you want a respectable damage assassin go with the Executioner assassin released in Dragon 394. However, individual builds may vary, and should be assessed using the above guidelines.

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@BrianBallsun-Stanton the extra damage also includes the flat damage boost from enhancements and feats as well i assume. is that right? is that the only place that those would need to be considered. –  b33f3r Feb 28 '13 at 23:06
    
Good question, no, that's part of Static Modifier, as it adds universally to all parts of the roll. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Mar 2 '13 at 23:04
    
If you are not fixated on the name of the class, play a Rogue (Scoundrel). It hides in the shadows, kills you from begind, but does way more damage and has much better support in feats, items and powers. –  András Oct 27 '13 at 10:26
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