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How to Rune and Gear Your Assassin at Level 20 in Guild Wars

by: Melina Ann Collison ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Guild Wars is an MMORPG game that allows players to sink deep in a world that is full of beauty and fighting. The Assassin is a specific character class in Guild Wars that offers players a unique opportunity to tank on the front lines like never before. Learn how to gear a level 20 Assassin.

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    Character Introduction

    Guild Wars MMORPG has a wide range of PvP and PvE for players to get involved in. The graphics are beautiful all the way from the shores of Nightfall and Tyria to the picturesque Factions. Gamers will never have a lack of new lands to explore and new adventures to engage in with Guild Wars. When an Assassin in Guild Wars reaches level 20 they are the highest level that is obtainable in the game and should begin choosing their fighting style and then get gear; armor and runes, to complete the build. The Assassin is a melee fighter that will have opponents dead before they even see them.

    An Assassin is an up-close and personal fighter that is stealthy and crafty. Fast runners and great fighters the Assassin will keep Photo By Melina Ann Collison monsters on their toes. The Assassin utilizes daggers to fight their opposing party with. Assassins use energy to fight with and cast their spells. The Assassin character in Guild Wars can dominate both PvE and PvP worlds offered in the game.

    The Assassin is typically the one who can sneak up on someone and kill them with the other person unaware. Fast casting and high damage skills will fill up the Assassin’s skill bar. Assassins are a formidable part of any Guild Wars team from the Underworld to The Fissure of Woe. Capable of a great deal of “high profit” solo missions the Assassin is a very versatile character in the game.

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    Armor Selection

    The Assassin character has a multitude of armor selections and types available to them. Players can mix and match armor pieces or focus on specific armor collections. When a player reaches level 20 it is important to have “maxed” armor. The Assassin’s maxed armor is 70.

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison 

    Here is a list of the different maxed armor types and where to obtain each:

    • Obsidian Armor: The Fissure of Woe
    • Asuran Elite: Rata Sum
    • Deldrimor Elite: Central Transfer Chamber
    • Monument Elite: Eye of the North Outpost
    • Norn Elite: Gunnar’s Hold
    • Ancient Elite: Bone Palace
    • Sunspear Elite: Command Post
    • Primeval Elite: Throne of Secrets
    • Vabbian Elite: The Kodash Bazaar
    • Canthan Elite: Divine Path
    • Kurzick Elite: Vasburg Armory
    • Luxon Elite: Leviathan Pits
    • Judge Elite: Granite Citadel
    • Saintly Elite: Marhan’s Grotto
    • Woven Elite: Granite Citadel
    • Flowing Elite: Granite Citadel
    • Labyrinthine Elite: Marhan’s Grotto

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    Armor Selection (cont.)

    • Tyrian Standard: Droknar’s Forge, Wajjun Bazaar, and Boreal Station
    • Istani Standard: Consulate Docks or Command Post
    • Sunspear Standard: Consulate Docks or Command Post
    • Canthan Standard: Kaineng Center
    • Kurzick Standard: House zu Heltzer
    • Luxon Standard: CavalonPhoto By Melina Ann Collison 
    • Shing Jea Standard: Kaineng Center
    • Ascalon Standard: Kaineng Center
    • Krytan Standard: Bukdek Byway
    • Censor Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Dragon Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Sacred Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Star Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Woven Standard: Droknar’s Forge

    The only difference between elite and standard armor is the way it looks and the price. Standard armor is considerably cheaper than elite armor.

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    Rune Selection

    Runes are items that upgrade armor in Guild Wars. Insignias work with runes by adding modifiers. Each armor piece can have 1 insignia and 1 rune attached to it; head, chest, hands, legs, feet. This will allow for up to 5 runes and up to 5 insignias for each complete armor set. You can remove and change runes on a character’s armor but it is very expensive to do so.

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison 

    Runes can be obtained from Rune Merchants, loot from drops, or salvages from armor pieces. Some runes are stackable and others are not, however, if two of the same runes are applied the negative benefits will occur but not the positive. So if the runes are giving a +3 buff and -75 health and there are two on instead of getting +6 buff the player receives -125 health and +3 buff.

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    Assassin Runes and Insignias


    • Vanguard’s Insignia
    • Infiltrator’s Insignia
    • Saboteur’s Insignia
    • Nightstalker’s Insignia


    • Minor Critical Strikes Photo By Melina Ann Collison 
    • Minor Dagger Mastery
    • Minor Deadly Arts
    • Minor Shadow Arts


    • Major Critical Strikes
    • Major Dagger Mastery
    • Major Deadly Arts
    • Major Shadow Arts


    • Superior Critical Strikes
    • Superior Dagger Mastery
    • Superior Deadly Arts
    • Superior Shadow Arts

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    Attributes and Builds

    The Assassin’s attributes and build are going to focus on their primary core profession and offer additional points in any second profession that is active or available. The maximum Assassin attribute level with maxed weapons, runes, and armor, can be; Dagger Mastery PvE 21 and PvP 17, Critical Strikes, Deadly Arts, and Shadow Arts PvE 20 and PvP 16.

    A character’s build and attributes should be similar in nature to ensure the best possible game play as well as the strongest character possible. Builds should focus on 2-3 attributes instead of 4 or 5. When you do this your Guild Wars character is maximizing their potential by putting all their attribute points in one place, as a substitute to placing them in random spots. If a Assassin has skills in their skill bar that are placed in Dagger Mastery then the attributes should be in Dagger Mastery as well. The special attribute for the Assassin is Critical Strikes.

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    Attributes and Builds (cont.)

    The basic Assassin attributes explained:

    • Critical Strikes – Special attribute; every Critical Strikes attribute point allows the character to hit with critical strikes and gain energy upon critical hits.
    • Dagger Mastery – Increases the success rate of critical hits and damage with a dagger and increases double strike chance.
    • Deadly Arts – Each Deadly Arts attribute point offers increased effectiveness to specific hexes.
    • Shadow Arts – Each Shadow Arts attribute point increases the efficiency of shadow stepping and self spells.

    Assassin builds can be categorized buy both their attributes and elite skill currently being utilized in the skill bar. Assassins need to have at least 1 elite skill at all times that is from their chosen attribute chain.

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    Second Professions and Elite Skills

    Assassins that reach level 20 are going to need to start getting each second profession offered in the Guild Wars games. When a character gets a new second profession they will have access to unlock new skills and buffs to enhance game play and further customize their characters. There are 9 different second classes available to the Assassin; Ranger, Dervish, Paragon, Ritualist, Monk, Warrior, Necromancer, Mesmer, and Elementalist.

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison 

    Elite skills are available from a multitude of zones in the Guild Wars games. Elite skills can be captured from a boss if the player has a Signet of Capture equipped in their skill bar. Signet of Captures are available from Rune Traders in Guild Wars towns and outposts. Every build needs at least one elite skill that corresponds with attributes and weapon points.

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    Combining Attributes, Builds, Runes, and Armor: Explained

    The Assassin needs to find the right combination of runes, insignias, armor, second professions, and attributes that compliment each other and make the most effective build possible. An Assassin who specializes in Dagger Mastery will want to set their gear up in the following way:

    • Obtain a spear Req. 9-12 Dagger Mastery with stats in Critical Strikes or Dagger Mastery
    • Maxed armor, with headgear for Dagger Mastery
    • Insignias and Runes for Critical Strikes and Dagger Mastery
    • Attributes set in Critical Strikes and Dagger Mastery
    • Build and skills that reflect Critical Strikes and Dagger Mastery
    • Dagger Mastery or Critical Strikes elite skill

    Furthermore, if an Assassin wishes to change builds they would want to correlate their skills and attributes and follow the same concept explained above. Armor, attributes, skills, runes, insignias, and weapons all need to have similar traits to enhance each other.

    Try not to mix up skills and attributes. While it is possible to do this it does not make for a good character build.

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison