Hey guys, for some time I've wanted to write a guide about my favorite career in the game – Shade. So there it is! Even though I play every careers, I consider myself an <
. I will try to explain every point in detail without wasting your time.
Note that this guide is only for Legend and might be redundant for lower difficulties because Shade benefit a lot from Legend's higher density of elites and the increased HP of said elites and bosses.
- 1. Introduction – what is Shade and why play it?
Shade is a frail assassin-type character and her kit fit that fantasy pretty well. The Shade excel at killing high HP foes and does well at killing armored elites and specials. The ''weakness'' of the Shade is dealing with hordes but that can be circumvented.
Her career skill – Infiltrate – makes her go invisible (can still be hit!) for 10 seconds and your next melee attack get a massive damage bonus. Note that shooting your bow or throwing a bomb will remove the invisibility but not get the bonus damage. You can heal and bandage no problem though.
As a passive ability, you do more damage when attacking enemies from behind, mostly useful against bosses.
- 2. Talents
http://verminbuilds.com/#15ad46a597fc-24b0219de845 (sample build, is malleable. More info bellow)
Level 5 – SHADOWSTEP
Shadowstep is the main reason you won't get slaughetered by hordes. With this, you can safely strafe around in a (half) circle around the horde blocking and attacking and rarely get hit. There's no other option on this tier.
Level 10 – HEKARTI'S BOUNTY
Speaking of no contest, a free 15% damage boost versus two near-useless talents.
Level 15 – ERETH KHIAL's HERALD
This tier there's actually a choice to make between EKH and MISTRESS OF SACRIFICE. Ideally, EKH is better but MOS gives you a bit of leeway on your backstab angles. Still, I highly suggest EKH.
Level 20 – KHAINE'S THRIST
Like every other careers, temporary HP on kills is king, as chip damage will happen one way or another.
Level 25 – SHADESPIRIT
30% cooldown reduction is always nice and the other options aren't good, although SHADOWHUNTER has its moments.
- 3. Gear
While Shade doesn't have a single unique gear set, there's isn't that much diversity.
Here, you don't have a choice, it's Dual Daggers (aka DD). Yes, you can win with other weapons but if you want to push Shade to its limit, DD are simply the best. DD does the highest boss damage in every situation, has a great damage multiplier to go with your career skill that allow you to 1 hit kill literally everything that is not a boss with a fast, simple left click (no charge attack needed).
DD does have a ''weakness'' though, it's poor at cleaving hordes/multiple enemies on top of each others. That's where your lvl 5 talent comes into play as you have to preemptively dodge to compensate. It will feel weird at first and you will get hit a lot but the pros far outweigh the cons.
For its properties, use Crit/Attack Speed. Try Chaos instead if you don't have a Red Chaos/Infantry Charm.
As for its trait, you have quite the options here. Parry is great, Resourceful Combatant is great, Swift Slaying is great. I recommend Parry as it can save your ass more than the others.
Also note that this guide implies that you're using DD since this weapon is great in every situation.
Shade has many great ranged weapons but generally 2 of them really shine above the rest.
This is your best anti-horde weapon. A charged shot will create a small AoE explosion off where you shoot, poisoning anyone around it and dealing damage. Having AoE damage to weaken/kill hordes is the best friend of your Dual Daggers. Mastering this bow is how you will get a lot of temporary HP from your level 20 talent.
For its properties, use Chaos/Infantry since you use this weapon to kill hordes.
As for its trait, use Barrage. Hagbane + Barrage lets you melt bosses with a Strength potion, making 2/3 of the potions good for you.
Your best weapon to kill specials, so use this if your team lacks in that department, like a melee heavy group.
For its properties, use Chaos/Skaven. With your Chaos/Infantry Charm this let you reach nice breakpoints.
As for its trait, use Scrounger. It's not amazing but it's better than the rest.
Your other range weapons are also good but they don't do anything the aforementioned ones already do.
For its properties, use 2 stam/20% health, the usual.
For its trait, both Boon of Shallya or Healers Touch are great. It might be controversial but I think Healers Touch is best on Shade, as you mostly go down from burst damage and keeping full Temporary HP is easy with Hagbane. Play with both and decide which you like best.
For its properties, use Chaos/Infantry is the go to to lessen your horde weakness.
As for its trait, use Decanter. Extra duration on your Conc or Str potion is simply the best.
For its properties, use Curse Resistance and Crit Chance, standard stuff especially Curse Resistance.
For its trait, both Shrapnel and Grenadier are good. I prefer Grenadier because bosses aren't a problem for me, Grenadier can help versus patrol if I don't have a Conc/Str potion.
- 4. Breakpoints
Thankfully Shade doesn't have any amazing breakpoints to reach so it's mostly personal. Use this amazing spreadsheet to mold your weapons to your liking . I generally try to maximize my Hagbane effectiveness versus horde so I like having at least 30% Chaos/Infantry.
- 5. Tips
I will start with the most important tip – use your career skill. A lot. Its cooldown is very short, so if there's no Chaos Warriors in sight, use your ult on any elite or special. There's 3 Stormvermins in front of you? Career skill. You hear a Hook-rat during a horde? Career skill, ping it and kill it. Monks? Berserkers? Leech? You know what to do. Using your career skill deliberately is a great way to help your team, especially during hordes.
With a grimoire, you gain 15% Attack Power and therefore 1 shot Stormvermins with a charge attack (both daggers must hit the head). It take some practice but is very rewarding.
Dodge. A lot. Your dodge range is enormous, you can even dodge behind Shielded Stormvermins when they're blocking attacks. I suggest you use the dodge-only hotkey. Though be careful of skating enemies!
The way you deal with horde on top of you is dodging left and right, blocking and spamming left click in between. You cannot out-muscle a horde by simply standing still like some other careers.
If you're using Hagbane, try to aim in the middle of the horde, maximizing the AoE explosion. ~Half of the AoE will be wasted if you fire at their front line.
Also, always charge your Hagbane, raw left clicks are near-useless.
Hagbane has a low amount of arrows, I suggest only using it when needed (against specials, if your group is weak versus hordes and you can kill a nice shot in the middle of the horde). I try to not use more than 2-3 arrows per horde.
Strength Potion turns your Hagbane into a patrol killer. Str pot gives your poison (and all attacks) armor penetration!
Concentration potions can also be used to solo Chaos Patrols if they're pulled by accident.
Don't be shy to use your Conc/Str potion if things go awry (lots of Shielded SVs with Chaos Warriors and Maulers, etc) you don't NEED a potion to do amazing boss damage.
Your passive ability of doing more damage when behind enemies is mostly useless outside bosses but you can still use it when Elites are attacking your friends.
Enemies will most of the time keep doing their attack animation even if you use your career skill – don't stop blocking too early.
Well that's all I can think off , hopefully this will help new Shade players to master this fun and engaging career.
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