Gathornia’s Shadowknight Build – OP Protection/DPS Focused – Mod 10.5

by Gathornia on February 3, 2017
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Gathornia’s Shadowknight Build – OP Protection/DPS Focused – Mod 10.5

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Gathornia’s Guide to Tank/DPS (Shadowknight Build)

This build’s purpose is to give players a different feel/theme to tanking. This specific build focuses on Massive HP boosts and utilizing percent based abilities to maximize healing, damage and shields/temporary HP. By using this build, you WILL sacrifice some Defense in return for having a higher HP pool and DPS.



Many can argue that this or that race is better. When it comes down to it, it is personal preference. With that being said, I personally prefer the Human for the 3% to DR and the additional 3 feats. I will explain later on how these additional feats are used.



This is another area where some may debate. To maximize for this build, I put points into CON and CHA. This is to increase HP/Defense and AP Gain/Stamina Gain/Crit.



While recently we have been nerfed, there is some very much useful Dailies we have available to us. I will cover the ones I commonly use.

Divine Judgement – Provided us with a good chunk of damage in a very small area around the target. There are times to use this.

Divine Protector – While this has been nerfed, this is still very useful. Max at rank 4 gives us 6 seconds of catching damage. Will explain with Binding Oath on how this is used for DPS purposes.

Shield of Faith – While this has been nerfed, this is still a fairly useful daily. Gives 30% DR, in which we will need if you’re defense is not high enough. Numbers will be close to the end of this post.



I honestly do not rotate much out between solo, group and boss situations. Below, listed in order, are the ones I use.

Templars Wrath – Obviously a winner in the tank books. Gives 300% of damage done as temp HP. This is your meat and potatoes as your survivability.

Binding Oath – Another great winning encounter. This one gives you 100% of your HP as a temporary shield. After x (depends on the rank) seconds or depleted, the shield will blast away and deal 100% of the damage it took to surrounding enemies and hit you for 50% of the damage it absorbed. I use this with Templar’s Wrath and Divine Protector to deal some major damage. This can crit as well. Really good way to protect your group and really redirect that damage elsewhere.

Smite – This one is mainly for DPS. Hits decently hard, gains some AP and has a small AoE affect for enemies around your target.

Blinding Light – Another good encounter with good AP gain and damage. Also increases your incoming healing while it is active.

Absolution – Good temp shield to not only apply to yourself, but to individuals as well. Gives up to 50% of HP as a shield.

Bane – Nice little buff/debuff to your target. Good way to prevent Boss’s from smacking you down upon charging in like Leeroy Jenkins!!!!

Vow of Enmity – This is a great additional way to increase your DPS and your aggro gain. Gives up to 50% more damage (stackable with Bane) for the whole group if you prefer to have more of a buff/debuff role.


Class Features

This is one area that I am constantly changing due to the situation I am in. Again, in order from what I use to rarely use.

Aura of Courage – Another personal fav, even for DPS. Every hit gains some Radiant damage for the whole party. This is one of the reasons to focus on HP. Deals 1% of your HP as damage. Each of the 3 other ranks increase it by 10% of that. This does scale and seen hits in the 17k. Not too shabby for an innate ability.

Aura of Radiance – Yes, I am using it. What I have figured out so far is that max rank should be something around 100% weapon damage every 3 seconds. While the aggro gain isn’t much, its more than what you’d get without it. This does not have a limit of targets either and respects the 30′ range as all auras. To repeat, 30′ range every 3 seconds for 100% weapon damage + scalability.

Aura of Truth – All mobs around you hit for less while this is active. Combined with Bane, it takes a good chunk away from Boss mobs.

Aura of Protection – Very straight forward. Adds a max of 12.5% DR. Since we are going to have a lower DR, its not a bad idea to use. This however could lower how much damage you take with BO. Pick your poison.

Aura of Wisdom – Everyone gains a good chunk of recharge speed. Not a bad idea and it has its place.



To be honest, these never change.

Oath Strike – Primary strike, third strike forces your target to attack you. This is a good way to keep bosses on you instead of the GWF behind him.

Radiant Strike – Fun way to charge a short distance and do some AoE damage.


This is what I have for the feats/paragon section.

Feats and Paragon Path


Below are the Boons I have chosen for this build. I am currently working on The Storm King Thunder Boons.

Dread Ring Boons
Elemental Evil Boons
Icewind Dale Boons
Maze Engine Boons
Sharandar Boons
Tyranny of Dragons Boons
Underdark Boons

Guild Boons – Armor Penetration Bonus,Defense Bonus(when tanking)/Lifesteal Bonus(when solo or tanking trash),Mount Speed Bonus



There is much arguement in this area as well. Augment versus Combat Companions with Bonding. I can see both views and when it comes down to it, its how comfortable you feel and how deep your pockets are to get the bonding runestones needed. I will give the Augment side of this for this build. I would love to test a bonding companion as well.

  • Bulette Pup – This cute lil guy has 3 defensive slots inwhich i placed a minimum of rank 9 Eldrich Runestones in them. This gives back 28.5% more stats returned. In addition to that, he is my Legendary, so another 15%. This is a total of 143.5% of the stats he has. While this is no where near the stats of a bonding, this is not too shabby for something that has 100% uptime. I have 2x Loyal Defender Gear, and planning on getting the last belt next week. For the defensive slots, I am using Radiant (yes, this actually gives you the HP bonus + % gain from augment). For Offensive, I am switching over from Power to Crit because the build works better with crits than power.
  • Energon – This lovely new toy adds 5% of your Max HP. Great bonus and one of a few I’m considering for the Summoned/Combat Companion role. His summoned bonus is that he’ll absorb AP during a fight and give it to you after combat has ended. This feels kind of like the Warlock Dust to Dust/Borrowed Time post combat healing.
  • Fire Archon – Very popular Summoned/Combat Companion. Using mainly for his active bonus to gain more damage.
  • Air Archon – Another archon for the increased damage bonus.
  • Young Yeti – Another damage bonus, but need to take damage (thats the whole point) to get this to trigger. Cool bonus is that it makes you a bit taller.

Below is a list of notables that I am currently testing with this build. A huge diffence with these is that the playing styles will focus on pure tanking/resistance/debuff rather than DPS. I will explain below the use of each companion and changes per playing style of the build.

  • Chicken – For the Debuff
  • Rust Monter – For the Debuff
  • Battlefield Medic – For the Incoming Healing
  • Lillend – For the healing per Daily use.
  • Sylph – For the Control Resist
  • Will-O-Wisp – For the Control Resist


Gear and Stats

Before I go over the gear set and enchantments, I enjoy going rogue with gear and enchantments that normally do not make sense, and make sense out of it. With that being said, there is no reason to insult the gear chosen. I am not here to say this is the “It” gear or this is what is BiS. I am not! I am here to say this is the direction I am taking. If something comes up that is better, then naturally I will upgrade.


Armor – Greater Shadowclad (NOTE: Do NOT use the trans version as this will provide with a nice unwanted aggro clear. If you must upgrade, go to Pure).

Weapon – Trans. Lifedrinker (Used to beef up Lifesteal. Other alternatives that would work: Any Dread, Any Vorp)

Defense – Radiant, Radiant and Radiant. Maximize your HP to increase not only your HP Pool, but also Tenebrous and AoC as well.

Offense – Tenebrous for 5 slots (one per rank). If you happen to have extra slots, Crit or Power would work nicely.

Explanation of the choices above:

Goal 1: Max out on HP. Regardless of your defense, you are going to take a hit. Several items/enchantments/class features are based on Max HP. Here is a list of those that I am currently using.

Energon – Gain 5% of Max HP.
Aura of Courage – Deal 1% of damage (+10% per additional Rank, max of +30%).
Bulette Pup – Heal 25% of HP if damage for over 25% of Max HP.
Tenebrous – Deal 1%/2%/3%/4%/5% Necrotic Damage from Max HP when attacking. This has an internal cooldown. They do not stack if they are the same rank (note enchantment selection for offensive enchantments). Each will trigger individually, but for an amount around 15% of your Max HP (15k per 100k). In addition, each has an opportunity to scale with damage modifiers (Archons, Young Yeti, Etc).
Binding Oath – 100% of Max HP as a shield. Deals AoE damage if depleted or time expires. This is a huge chunk of damage that can crit and lifesteal.
Absolution – Shields for 20% (Max of 50%) of HP. Another good mitigation/survival encounter based upon HP.

Goal 2: Have multiple ways to gain life back once damaged or dealing damage.

Trans Lifedrinker – Deals 15% weapon damage and heals for that amount. Gives 5% Lifesteal and 20% Lifesteal Severity.
Bulette Pup – Same as above.
Lifesteal – With gear/boons, sitting at 8%. Weapon Enchant gives the extra 5%. Can switch to guild boon for an extra 12% (use when not tanking difficult things/solo).

Goal 3: Deal mainly Radiant/Necrotic damage (This is what can make this build fun to play).

Listing everything that deals these types of damage.

Aura of Radiance
Aura of Courage
Tenebrous Enchantments
Lifedrinker Enchantment

Variations of the Build

In testing, I found two fairly viable playing styles that can be changed based upon Class Features, Encounters and Companions. Below is the breakdown of each.

Debuff – Focuses on lowering the damage, tends to roll well with the typically tank types. Using Bane, TW and BO for encounters. Use Aura of Truth and Aura of Protection to maximize damage mitigation and reduction. Use Shield of Faith/Divine Protector to help with saving lives instead of taking them. Use companions like Chicken, Rust Monster, Frozen Galeb, Bulette Pup and Engergon. Alternately, can use Sylph and Will-O-Wisp instead of Chicken and Frozen Galeb to maximize your Control Resist. It really depends on what you would prefer. The numbers I am seeing with this are as follows: 30% Damage Reduced by Bane, 5-15% from Rust Monster, 10% from Martyr’s Blood, 12.5% from Aura of Truth. Using a Trans Bronzewood would also lower by 10%. I would safely say damage reduced would be around 57.5 – 77.5% Damage reduced.

All Out DPS – Focuses on lowering your targets hit points. Use Smite, TW and BO/Blinding Light. Class Features would be Aura of Radiance and Aura of Courage. I tend to follow up with 3 Archons (Fire,Air,Earth) and Bulette Pup and Engergon to maximize AoC. At times, I may trade out the Earth Archon for the Young Yeti. This tends to be more of the fun playing, solo types that just rule the area with an iron fist.

Leave a reply
  • Graunarim
    February 4, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Very nice, thank you very much for this build. What powers, rotations and tactics are going for Orcus?

  • February 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you for your comment. For Orcus, I am currently using Aura of Truth and Aura of Protection for class features. I am using Bane, Templar’s Wrath and Binding Oath for encounters. I use Divine Judgement and Divine Protector for dailies and finally Shielding Strike or Oath Strike (depending on if I need more aggro or not) and Radiant Strike for my at-wills.

  • Richard Lionheart
    February 4, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    What does your power tree look like? A picture of it would be awesome and help me out.

  • Blackcoffee
    February 7, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Hi Gathornia …
    I have OP ( Oath of protection and justice feat) with 2.7 IL, Recovery +9-11K, Defense +18-22K, Deflect +3-7K, DR +68-78%, Greater Negation on my Elemental dragonflight Armor & No reinforcement kits.
    Main & Off hand all twisted
    Rings : Rising deflect and Sudden defense.
    Power rotation : TW – BO – BL/any
    But with that all stat i still can’t Tank Orcus & i’m stuck now about this build.
    Can you give some suggestions to overcome this?
    Thank you!!! (sory, my english is Bad)

    • Dave
      February 13, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      You need Bane in order to tank Orcus. I use Bane & circle of power to go with TW. But Bane makes all the difference. Also the Valhalla set for artifact gear.

      • February 16, 2017 at 6:36 am

        .Dave ,Thx for ur suggestion.
        – i use bane when my member party have High DPS & i use BL when low DPS to help little damage.
        – ok…i’ll try to switch Bane & circle of power for next party. (my normaly rotation is : TW – BO – Bane)
        – i have valhalla set but still blue quality so i do not use it for now.

    • Bad_Moses
      February 15, 2017 at 12:24 am

      Try to watch a Video of a Paladin tanking, i was having some problems until i watch a video, the most important thing is to learn how to always keep a second life bar up, you have to rotate between Binding oath, templar Wrath, use bane on Orcus for damage mitigation, and divine call to refresh your abilities cooldown, keep atacking with oath strike between the rotation, and use shield of faith when your daily is full. The most important thing is to form a group for you to train amd get the time between the rotation, keeping always a big bar of health, Never try to keep tour shield up, you don’t have time to keep raising your shield, keep atacking so echoes of light might proc also.

      • February 16, 2017 at 7:29 am

        Bad_Moses…Thx for your explanation
        i’m agree with “keep a second life bar up” and i always do it.
        but, the problem is if we go to CN with low DPS member party and DC can’t support the tank while the tank should keep orcus (in public queue, sometimes).
        although I could keep the bar a second life but still it did not help.
        but this’s about OP stats only,I just want to know whether the defense of 68% was not enough or must change play style only to tank orcus.

        • InkJokey
          August 7, 2017 at 8:02 am

          With your stats you should tank orcus easily, even without a dc. Imagine you get a healadin in the party than it will be even harder to tank 😉
          But to come to the point, the problem is your rotation. If you wanna tank orcus use the following:
          TW – Bane (3x) – COP, when the daily is up use the Shield of Faith. Don´t forget the divine call to reduce cooldowns and increase ap.
          Use the Aura of truth
          In combat you should be over 80% DR (cap) with the negation. If you below use Aura of protection. If you are at the cap use Aura of wisdom

  • King Vyking
    February 7, 2017 at 10:50 am

    i think that you’re build is not very good, something is good but something like artifacts belt and neck are very bad, also some feets, I’m not the first noob I use paladin on ps4 after mod 10.5 and with 3.1k gs group i closed FBI without any problem or aggro losing.

    • Nikki
      February 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      What artifacts, belt and neck would you recommend? I just respec’d from healing and am enjoying tanking very much. Thanks.

  • Yaren
    February 10, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Gr8 guide. 🙂 I want to ask you what about mount insignias? Should I use Regal of Courage and Barbed of Aggression or I should put different ones?

  • Peerless Thorr
    February 14, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Excellent build, but don’t you find that a base ~200k aoe on an approx 8 sec cooldown, which also relies on a daily to maximize it’s potential, a bit too situational? Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to be critical, just constructive. I would love to talk shop with you, pm Peerless Thorr

  • Nikki
    February 26, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Thank You so much for this build. I am using it and loving it. I just hit 70, and respec’d from healer to tank. My IL is slowly coming up thanks to this new build. I love it!

  • Lucifer Morningstar.
    March 2, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Hello Gatorina I really do not have much experience playing with the paladin class, I have a GWF from module 5. 3 days ago I started playing with a PO. And today I went up to lvl 70. I was reading your guide and I find it very interesting. I have a similar plan for my paladin, the only big difference is that I chose max. WIS. Although I do not have experience in the class, before putting together the PJ. I was reading his skills and their effects and he noticed that his greatest source of damage comes from jumping his HP, he had also thought about the Tenebrous enchants. I did not know if that would work, but I see that it does. I really liked the guide, as it confirms a lot of what I had planned for my PJ. Thank you very much!!.

  • Anole Assasin
    March 29, 2017 at 2:50 am

    I have a variant of this build, but my HP is setting around 250k and only at 3126IL by the way im on xbox. I have no issues tanking orcus either.

  • Anole Assasin
    March 29, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Just to help, its pricey but grab the Harper bard. His active gives hp, but his song of rest also increases your hp by 10%. Very good buffer and debuffer as well.

  • SirEatsAlot
    May 8, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I have a 3k Pally Iv built myself that makes me wonder what’s wrong with anyone who has issue tanking orcus. Y’all need to figure out the games mechanics. It’s not just the build by how a character is played. It’s kinda a rough and unfocused build. Its builds like this that make paladins look like shite. Sorry man, but very unimpressed. I play on Xbox if you ever feel like discussing. GT is OG Cumulonimbus

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