After playing through the game as an assassin I have several important tips to share.
Before going into combat, do a few things:
- Go into your reactions and Turn On “Ask” for sneak attack. Even though it will now ask you “Do you want to sneak attack” every time you can, you will want this, and I will explain why.
You only get ONE SNEAK ATTACK per turn. So If your attack is already enough to kill a foe, you will auto sneak attack them and essentially waste it. So if you have an offhand attack, you can make an offhand sneak attack afterward.
- Never Use the sneak attack (melee) or Sneak attack (Ranged) options. Why? Because of the above.
If you use Sneak attack Melee and MISS, you can still make an offhand attack, but it won’t be a sneak attack because you’ve already used it. NEVER USE THEM.
Now, if you’re an assassin, you need to know a few things. ALL of your potential comes from how you engage in combat. Sadly, Scripted fights, and fights that are the result of a mistake deny you of almost all of your abilities. But when you do get to engage your way, it’s incredibly powerful.
Here is a basic breakdown of how you should engage your enemy in simple steps.
Engaging the Enemy:
- Break the party and Enter stealth to get into a position either at range, or in melee where you want to strike your enemy. Good enemies to attack are low AC foes like wizards before they get their protections up.
- Enter turn based mode to prevent the enemy from moving, turning, or having another enemy spot you.
- With your bonus action, apply a poison to your weapon for added effect. Wizardbane oil, or oil of accuracy. It doesn’t really matter. You will get this bonus action back at the start of combat thanks to Assassin’s Alacrity
- Attack the enemy and DO. NOT. USE. SNEAK ATTACK. This is absolutely critical. this is why sneak should be turned off.
You might be asking, why shouldn’t I sneak attack? Because this will USE your sneak attack and you won’t get it back when combat starts. Meaning you WON’T be able to use sneak attack for your “Assassinate: Ambush”
Ideally, because you’ve struck an enemy from stealth, you SHOULD have inflicted surprise on every enemy. Now that the enemy is surprised, you can bring the rest of your team in and attack. Once the rest of your team is in position, you can finish your turn. Strike with your critical hit sneak attack and watch the numbers fly.
Consider taking the “Alert” Feat. It prevents you from being surprised, AND it gives you +5 to your initiative. This is super important because if an enemy goes before you, it WON’T be surprised.