Skills and Builds for the Assassin in D2R

The Assassin is one of the two new classes introduced in the Diablo II expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. The Assassins were originally known as the Viz-Jaq’taar or the Order of the Mage Slayers. Their sole purpose was to maintain peace and order within the mage clans and destroy any corruption. A veil of secrecy enshrouds the Order, and so public knowledge of the Assassins is built upon rumours and legends. However, with the return of the Three Prime Evils and the subsequent increase in monsters, the Assassins have begun to emerge from the shadows to help restore order throughout Sanctuary.

Diablo 2 Assassin

Unlike a mage, whose power lies in their use of magic, the Assassin shies away from the magic arts and instead relies upon her physical and mental training. By avoiding magic, it is believed that the Assassin is not at risk of corruption. The Assassin works to keep her mind focused and pure, drawing power from within. When she does use magic, it is through the use of enchanted items.

Assassin Skills

The Assassin’s martial arts skills reflect her preference for using weapons that are attached to the hands, like claws. This makes the Assassin better suited to PvP rather than a melee battle. Meanwhile, shadow disciples are psychic abilities that have emerged from the Order’s strict mental training. Traps are items imbued with magic and are a great way of inflicting damage to large groups or from afar.

In addition to their main skills, the Assassin is an expert at picking locks; there is no lock that an Assassin cannot open. This frees up space in their inventory, where other classes would need to carry keys.


  • Level 1
  • Level 6
  • Level 12
  • Level 18
  • Level 24
  • Level 30

Martial Arts

  • Tiger Strike, Dragon Talon
  • Fists of Fire, Dragon Claw
  • Cobra Strike
  • Claws of Thunder, Dragon Tail
  • Blades of Ice, Dragon Flight
  • Phoenix Strike

Shadow Disciplines

  • Claw Mastery, Psychic Hammer
  • Burst of Speed
  • Cloak of Shadows, Weapon Block
  • Fade, Shadow Warrior
  • Mind Blast
  • Venom, Shadow Master


  • Fire Blast
  • Shock Web, Blade Sentinel
  • Charged Bolt Sentry, Wake of Fire
  • Blade Fury
  • Lightning Sentry, Wake of Inferno
  • Death Sentry, Blade Shield

Assassin Builds

Because of the precise nature of the Assassin’s skills, there are only three main builds of Assassins in Diablo II will normally fall into. These are Trap Assassins, Martial Artists and Hybrids. Excellent variations within each build include:

  • Dark Warrior: Shadow disciplines.
  • Elementalist: Elemental martial arts like ‘Phoenix Strike’.
  • Lightning Trapper: Lightning traps such as ‘Lightning Sentry’.
  • Monk: Skills that impact the area of effect, like ‘Death Sentry’ and ‘Phoenix Strike’ (Hybrid).
  • Talon Kicksin: Finishing kicks, specifically ‘Dragon Talon’ and ‘Dragon Flight’ (Martial Arts)
  • Vampire: The skill ‘Cobra Strike’, which sucks mana/life from enemies (Martial Arts).
  • WhirlwindAssassin (WWsin): Rather than skills, this build is centred around the Chaos runeword.

Trivia about the Assassin in D2R

  • Compared to the other classes, the Assassin has the most Stamina in Diablo II. One can determine a character’s stamina by their vitality, and the Assassin’s Vitality increases faster than that of any other character.
  • The first Assassin featured in Diablo II is Natalya. She only plays a minor role and has no real in-game function, but many believe her to be a preview for the introduction of the Assassin class in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.