Hi again, here we are repeating the cycle. This time is for a ninja that once was useful, now not so much…
Dim Mak is a smoke bomb user ninja that can enter shadow stance; her specialization is to slow down husks, more than kill them. This ninja also has the most quantity of ways to enter shadow stance with 4, while some others have 3, and most have 2; this ways are by either using smoke bomb, or killing husks with dragon slash, throwing stars, or with a melee weapon, so really, keeping up shadow stance is not all that hard on this ninja.
They have perks to reduce the energy cost and cooldown of smoke bomb (instead of 60 seconds, the cooldown is now 20 seconds), also to increase to it's duration from 6 seconds to 11 seconds, and increase movement speed and activate shadow stance upon using it. So use it! They also have dragon slash and throwing stars, that if you get a kill with them, you will activate shadow stance. Also, and as the sub-class name suggest, they possess dim mak, so they recover shield while on shadow stance.
Dim Mak used to be the tankiest ninja, but that title has long since been lost to Thunderstrike and Harvester, with both ninjas having access to dim mak while also having other tools for survival or combat. The only advantage Dim Mak has over Harvester or Thunderstrike is that they can use any weapon, as the only perk that encourages melee in their kit is shadow stance, but with 3 other ways to activate it, you don't really need to go melee, specially considering the state of it right now.
Their Support bonus (quick shield), is not too useful if you have many heroes, but very useful if you don't have many supports, specially on ninjas. Right now the best user of this support is Thunderstrike because of dragon daze, after that any hero with Thunderstrike in tactical can use this support efficiently. But again, if you have nothing better, you can use this support and is likely to save you from bad situations.
Since this ninja possesses Dim Mak, their main usefulness is in the front line of the battlefield, ideally with close ranged weapons: either melee, or shotguns. Could also be pistols or AR's, but shotguns are the best close ranged ranged weapons (that's a bit of a tongue-twister).
First, you have to spam smoke bomb but try to save a few for smashers and mini-bosses since it slows them down even if just a bit. The reason to spam it is because is a shadow stance activation every 20 seconds, and considering shadow stance lasts 4 seconds, you are technically having an uptime of 1/5th of shadow stance on smoke bomb alone. Also, you get 30% movement speed for 15 seconds, which really helps you traverse the battlefield.
If you see weak husks: dragon slash' em! If you see blasters throw 'em stars! If you need shadow stance throw stars to a pitcher (easy to kill)! Try to keep shadow stance active as long as you can to keep your shield up. Of course, and take in consideration, Dim Mak is among the ninjas with the lowest HAD in the game (still higher than most other heroes though), so their damage with abilities will be a bit less impressive than most other ninjas.
For the weapon, I already said that you can grab either a ranged or melee weapon as it barely makes a difference, and it will depend a lot on your set-up. If you want to focus on your abilities, go ranged, if you want to take the juice out of all their perks, go melee. Now, if you go ranged, I highly recommend going with shotguns as they give the highest damage and impact per bullet; and you should ideally be in the front line anyway; another decent option is pistols due to their high accuracy at close range. As for melee, I personally prefer spears and axes due to their easy to follow swing pattern (that makes kiting while dealing each blow easier) while also having a decent damage per swing; in the case of the axe it also has a decent impact per swing; of course, axe is better because there are actually support bonus for it. Scythes are also a decent option if you don't mind the slow attack speed.
Since they focus on smoke bomb, and smoke bomb is not really that great of a damage ability, the support and tactical perks are not as easy as they may seem:
For support you can use:
|Hero||What it does||Self-note|
|Swordmaster five winds cut||Increases edged weapon damage by 12/18/24%||This includes swords, axes, and scythes; overall the best to take get the max out of your kit.|
|Shuriken Master ability damage||Increases damage of abilities by 10/15/20%||If you decide to go full ability with this hero.|
|Brawler keen edge||Increases edged weapon critical hit damage by 35/54/70%||If your edge weapon has a lot of critical hit chance, go for this one.|
|Deadly Blade/Harvester anatomy lessons||Increases edged weapon critical hit rating by 8/13/18%||If your weapon has critical hit damage perk, and you want more consistent critical hits. Much better if paired with Deadly Blade or Vanguard in tactical.|
|Skirmisher caffeine high||Increases energy regeneration rate by 12/18/24%.||All of your abilities cost a lot of energy, and if you want to also use melee weapon heavy attacks, then this might be your best option. Does not offer more damage though.|
|Electro-Pulse/Warden actuated attacks||Increases blunt weapon damage by 12/18/24%||If you decide to go melee, and to go with clubs or hardware, go for this one! Don't expect to kill much with your abilities though…|
|Berserker/Master Grenadier assault damage OR Ranger hipshot||Increases assault OR pistol weapon damage by 12/18/24%||If you go ranged, but somehow don't care about abilities (or you don't have something else).|
As for tacticals, this hero is similar to Piercing Lotus, with a slight variation in the order:
|Hero||What it does||Self-note|
|Thunderstrike dragon daze||On shield break throws a blast that may stun enemies around you for 1 second.||Has the best HAD along a few other heroes, and goes very well with Dim Mak's dim mak perk (waited too long to make this one).|
|Alchemist hearty strikes OR Master Grenadier Survivalist||Alchemist heals you a tiny amount every 4th melee hit, Master Grenadier heals you with every kind of direct damage.||Similar to Piercing Lotus: helps you tank enemies a bit more. Ideally you should take Alchemist for the extra HAD, but depends on what you have, and if you go melee or not.|
|Deadly Blade corrosion||Applies affliction and snare with melee critical hits for 3 seconds.||Requires a decent amount of critical hit chance, but is worth it.|
|Vanguard stun baton||Melee critical hit chance has increased impact and may apply 1.5 seconds of stun.||Saves you from blasters, and may stun enemies. Still requires a fair amount of critical hit chance.|
|Phase Scout sneaky sneaky||On shadow stance activation you get 20% movement speed for 5 secs.||Essentially the same as Fleetfloot (you need to kill husks to get speed boost), except for this hero it also works upon using smoke bomb and they have reduced cooldown in that ability. Is useful for 2 things: deal with the weak husks, and for Rescue the Survivors and Build the Radar Grid missions as it makes finding the survivors/towers that much faster (60% faster than any other non-ninja hero for 5 seconds to be precise, taking in account shinobi, up in smoke, and sneaky sneaky).|
|Fleetfloot stormborne||Increases movement speed by 30% on melee kills for 3 secs.||On this hero specifically it is worse than Phase Scout simply because of shadow stance activation upon using smoke bomb + the speed boost of using it. On other ninjas with shadow stance they are equally good, on ninjas with no shadow stance Fleetfloot is better, because of obvious reasons.|
|MEGABASE smokescreen||Completely heals your shield upon using smoke bomb.||Even with 20 second cooldown smoke bomb, I cannot really recommend this tactical, it is there if you want it.|
At first I used Shuriken Master with Thunderstrike. Now I find myself changing those 2 constantly trying to figure out which one is best. Difficult to say really, but for now I have settled with either Brawler or Harvester/Deadly Blade and Thunderstrike.
Conclusion and Rating
Dim Mak used to be the tankiest ninja, now they are only a shadow (pun intended) of who they once were. They are still a very viable ninja that focuses on controlling the battlefield with smoke bomb.
- Single-Target DPS: 5/10. It's not that bad, but is not astounding.
- AoE DPS: 7/10. Smoke bomb on 20 second cooldown + dragon slash really push this number.
- Utility: 6/10. 20 second cooldown on smoke bomb is very good, and really helps slow down husks consistently; they also regenerates shield fast, which is useful for staying on the field for long periods of time.
- Synergy: 6/10. Extra speed on using smoke bomb is useful, but a bit random. Focusing on shadow stance AND smoke bomb while not having perks to increase any melee weapons is odd, specially considering the name of this sub-class is the same as a perk related to shadow stance, not smoke bomb.
- Class: C. Used to be class B due to their tankiness, but has been heavily outclassed by Thunderstrike with more survivability (and slightly more damage), and Harvester with much more damage output (and slightly more survivability). They also suffer from fast energy depletion when used at their full potential like most other ninjas, and do not offer that much utility.
TL; DR Dim Mak uses smoke bomb to control the battlefield, and shadow stance to stay in the front line. They have the most ways of activating shadow stance: killing with melee weapons, dragon slash, or throwing stars, or simply using smoke bomb. Ideally you should go melee to maximize your kit, but the lack of perks around it leave you open to use any weapon in the game, but if you decide to go ranged, I recommend close range weapons like shotguns. Try to keep your shadow stance active all the time to keep your shield up and stay on the battle much longer. The support and tactical you choose will depend heavily on how much value you give to your abilities, and if you decide to go melee or not.
Thanks for reading! Hope you liked this one and see you next week!
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