The Shadowbleed Guide
Hello. If you are looking to get great DPS in PVE then you have come to the right place, i have been using my play style since just after beta ended for this game and its honestly not really changed at all, the only thing that has changed is the gear that’s available and companions. Just a little introduction to who i am in this game, I am Footie Shadowbleed, I have been playing on and off since beta and have found that my DPS is average or higher than people with a much higher item level. I assume this is either because they think stats are the only thing that matter and now how you play the game. Those people would be what i like to call wrong. This game is my favorite MMO because of the combat system, you pick where you stand, what attack you use, when you use it, when you pull out the big guns and just slash everything to ribbons and laugh as they bleed to death while you laugh from stealth. If this is something that sounds like fun to you then please read on while i explain what i do, why i do it, and why its possibly the best way to play the TR class for PVE purposes.
First things first im going to list all the stuff i will go over, if anyone has any questions or would like something added then just let me know and ill get back to you when i can.
- Stats- What stats we are going to focus on building and why
- Combat Advantage- What it is and why its so awesome
- Master Infiltrator or Whisperknife? I will explain why i chose MI over WK
- Damage breakdown- I run a program called ACT(Advanced Combat Tracker) and break down what did damage
- At Will Powers- What to use and when to use them
- Encounter Powers- What to use and why i chose the ones i use
- Class Features- Which ones i use and why
- Dailys- Which ones and why
- Campaign Boons
- Companions- Which one is best for us?
The stat breakdown on what we focus is Critical>Power>Armor Penetration (until you have 70% pen)>Lifesteal>Recovery>Defence. The other stats dont particularly matter. The reason we focus on Critical Strike over Power is because we want the lostmouth set to proc as many times as possible, each proc is equal to around 4-5k damage in the little duelists flurry combo and that adds up fairly quickly. Tiamat has the largest damage resistance at 70% so anything over 70% is overkill and a waste of stats. Lifesteal is our main defencive stat because as a TR we are made of paper, anything that can hit us is either going to kill us instantly or its going to bring us down to half hp, lifesteal combats this because once you get it up to around 10% you are gaining an average of 7k hp per duelists flurry combo, thats 10% of your hp back every combo, not bad but theres a better way. Master your shift roll, in this game they gave us the ability to dodge absolutely everything if you time your roll right, ill leave you to figure out what your own timing is for stuff because everyone is going to have different levels of ping and thats going to be a fairly large factor in choosing when you roll.
Combat Advantage. I see SO many people, not just rogues that dont understand what this is or what it does. Combat advantage is described quite adequately by the wiki so i am going to copy paste the definition here.
The Combat Advantage is an attack modifier that increases amount of damage dealt vs surrounded foes
When attacking a foe, if there is an ally attacking the same foe from the opposite direction, both players involved will have Combat Advantage, dealing bonus damage.
This is indicated by a sword icon next to the floating damage. Enemies show a blue indicator at their feet when you are in the right position.
Other things can grant combat advantage as well, Dazing Strike which is a staple encounter for us grants combat advantage for the duration of the daze.
Combat Advantage is so important because it easily adds about 20% to our damage overall because of the feats we take and artifacts we have (I am assuming everyone has the Lantern of Revelation). More on why its a 20% increase for us and not just a 15% will be in the Class Features.
Master Infiltrator or Whisperknife?
I have done both and while the sheet DPS for whisperknife is higher by a good 20-30k DPS it simply isnt as practical in real combat ive found. Master infiltrator allows us the paragon power of Impossible to Catch, this skill is incredibly important because for 3 or 4 seconds (depending on how many power points you have available) you automatically deflect ALL attacks and are immune to CC. It is our panic button, when we feel like we are about to die and have no stamina availible its our last ditch attempt to survive. Early on with this build i would save this and use it only when you have to so that it is always availible, as you become more comfortable with it you can use it to just give yourself 10% AP (Action Points, Action Points allow us to use our Daily Powers once we reach 100% more on this in the Dailys section) It has a fairly long cooldown of 20 seconds so make sure you can survive without it for 20 seconds before you use it. You dont do much damage while you are dead. Another reason we take MI over WK is because it gives access to the Skillfull Infiltrator class feature, Who doesnt want 15-20% runspeed and a free 3-4% critical strike and deflect (1200 or 1600 free stats).
Now for the Damage Breakdown
I am putting this ahead of explaining which powers to use so that you have a good idea of what deals the most damage and why i chose what i did. ( I am trying to figure out how to put a picture here, it would make life so much easier if this was easier to use)
As you can see Shadow of Demise is our main damage dealer, the best part? its Piercing damage, that means it ignores 100% of damage resistances. The next highest damage is the bleed from duelists flurry flanking (combat advantage is read as flank in the ACT i dont know why so dont ask, TL;DR flank=Combat Advantage) this is where i got the name Shadowbleed from, the two highest things are Shadow of Demise and the Bleed from duelists flurry, plus Shadowbleed just sounds cool in my opinion. coming in third is the companion active ability of Poisonous Intent, which i have from the Death Slaad companion, (if you do get one make SURE you dont upgrade it to purple, leave it at blue, once you upgrade it to purple the poison stacks explode meaning you have to place them back onto it and that takes time, the damage from the explosion is not enough to compensate from the DOT we could have had). Fourth place goes to Dazing strike that beautiful encounter it is, it deals not much less than lashing blade BUT has half the cooldown(which i will refer to hereafter as CD) that means that Dazing Strike has a higher DPS overall which is one reason i take it over lashing blade, another reason is because the CD is almost identical to the amount of time we need to recharge our Stealth which we use simply to proc Shadow of Demise (SoD) which is where a large part of our damage comes from. The fifth and last one which i will discuss here is the Lostmouth set, its basically equal to 8% of my damage which is a decent bit of damage there.
This is fairly straightforward, we take duelists flurry because the bleed damage is incredible and the actual flurry is good for proccing the Lostmauth set, this never leaves my bar. The second one is somewhat interchangable depending on the situation, normally i run Cloud of Steel because sometimes being in melee range will kill us. For very difficult boss fights where every damage amplification helps i run Sly Flourish because 5% damage for everyone is nice to have. When you are soloing content chances are at some point you are going to run into a situation where remaining stealthed as long as possible will keep you alive long enough for cooldowns to come back up, for those instances we run Gloaming Cut.
Encounter powers are important because they are our gateway to SoD damage which is an absolutely essential part of playing this build. There are 2 powers that NEVER leave my bar for PVE content, those 2 are Impossible to Catch and Dazing Strike, my reasons for picking them i have explained above. The last encounter power i generally use 2 encounters which i switch out based on what i need, Smokebomb for AOE and regular dungeons because of the Daze, the Daze is the important part of the skill not the damage though the damage is nothing to scoff at, 14k DPS for 3 seconds will clear most small trash like assassin drakes so you can drop it and focus on the stronger enemies. The other Power that i run is Wicked Strike, Because it runs off a charge system realistically there is NO CD. This means that whenever stealth is up we have SoD on our enemy instantly. I run this in bossfights because the Damage resistance reduction is nice but the main reason is that it has no CD and therefore gives us the ability to apply SoD whenever possible.
One of these i discussed earlier and is Skilful Infiltrator. The other i use is Oppressive Darkness. The reason i pick this one is because its the one that adds the most damage, true it requires combat advantage but the fact that the damage is piercing damage and that it adds 10k damage per duelists flurry combo (which i will refer to as DF) which is pretty great.
The Dailys i use are Lurkers Assault and Whirlwind of Blades (LA and WoB respectively) LA i use when i am doing single target damage because it not only gives us a flat 20-25% damage boost but makes our stealth recharge extremely quickly. This allows us to do 3 SoD in a row. If you time it correctly you can have the damage from the previous SoD stack into the next one, this allows for 500k damage when the second SoD pops. WoB is what we use when there are a lot of adds to clear, you stealth into the middle, drop WoB then smokebomb for maximum AOE damage.
One thing that i really need to talk about because it is so essential to our damage is SoD
While in Stealth, your powers now also add the Shadow of Demise effect to the target for 6 seconds. This effect is powered up by further damage you deal. Additionally, you generate Stealth 20% faster and no longer have your regeneration interrupted when taking damage.
Shadow of Demise: When this effect ends, its target takes Piercing Damage equal to 50% of the damage dealt to its target by the Rogue. Piercing Damage cannot be deflected and ignores armor.
This effect cannot stack.
At this point in time the regeneration no longer being interrupted is a lie, its never worked so far as i know, you will always lose some stealth from taking damage however it will constantly fill instead of starting up after a second or two of not taking damage. You will notice that it deals more damage the more damage you deal while the debuff is on the enemy, this means that you want to apply SoD BEFORE you deal the largest amount of damage possible to further increase your damage.
The main companion you will have is an agument companion, there are many agument companions so choose wisely, when choosing an agument companion dont look at the active bonus, focus on what stats it will gain as it levels, these are the stats that you will recieve from the companion.I personally use the Black Dragon agument companion because its built in stats are Power Critical and Armor penetration. The other companions you should select for their active bonuses, Ideally you will pick companions that can boost your Critical Severity, we crit quite a bit so more damage for your crits are pretty fantastic. Other than that you should pick companions that do well with your playstyle, i personally prefer to do as much damage as possible and rely on my skill with dodging to keep myself alive so all of my companions boost my damage in some way. The Death Slaad adds a DOT which stacks up to 5 times which adds up to around 10-14k DPS. The erynies adds 10% crit severity. My Fire and Air Archons add % damage when the enemy is not at full hp and when it is under 50% hp.
Your standard rotation will be Stealth>Dazing Strike>Smokebomb>DF>Impossible to Catch(ItC)-This is your Standard AOE combo
Stealth>Wicked Strike(WS)>Dazing Strike>DF>ItC – This is your Standard boss fight combo