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Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build
http://forums.te4.org/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=39081
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Author:  EatThisShoe [ Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

So I haven't won with this guy yet, but I've been having a blast so I thought I would share the build I'm using. There is something kind of magical when you combine a couple of mediocre elements into something greater than the sum of its parts, in this case the Higher race, the Steamroller Prodigy, and a Shadowblade without the ambush tree.

The basic idea is to max the following skills: Rush, Essence of Speed, Blinding Speed, Momentum, Highborn's Bloom.
Also useful are all the instant cast buffs: Willful combat, Deadly Strikes, Perfect Strike, Time Shield, Blinding Speed

So here's the deal, normally steamroller burns out rather easily, you don't have much time to kill, and every rush costs quite a bit of stamina. By the time you get the damage bonus up to 100% you are out of stamina. That's where the Higher comes in, Highborn's Bloom may only last 6 turns at 5/5, but you are going to stretch those turns incredibly far with the Shadowblade's speed, and you can burn targets down quickly while using all your combat techniques for free. On top of that you can get more attacks in during the 2 turns you have to kill your steamroller target. Did I mention how many instant cast skills you can cram into your first turn after activating Bloom? you can easily save 100 stamina just on the instant stuff. Steamroller isn't just about chain rushing, it's a 100% damage boost which is very sustainable during Bloom, and gets ramped up faster as well. The speed bonuses also mean enemies don't close into melee range as quickly which is great since you need a gap to rush, ideally you would rather rush than bump attack. Everything about the build works together to cram the maximum damage into as few turns as possible and lets you burn more stamina worth of skills than you actually have in stamina.

Steamroller can be weak against bosses (unless you run into them while ramped to +100% damage) but Shadowblades are already great at single target killing with Cripple, Deadly Strikes, and Dirty Fighting unloading a ton of burst. Plus with Bloom you can burn all your cooldown attacks like Whirlwind as extra damage without worrying about running out of stamina. And Bloom is pretty useful if you have to hit and run.

Two weaknesses of the build:
1. It's fragile, typical rogue HP and lack of stun resist. It works best bursting with Bloom then retreating so you can cover your offense with shielding runes, heroism infusions, and time shield.
2. It doesn't have much mana. I ended up pumping willpower because I unlocked the divination tree and premonition + essence of speed will eat your entire mana bar. Luckily you don't need mana for much except teleport/phase door/Time Shield, and Time Shield will usually be cast during Bloom. I turned off Shadow Combat to be sure I have mana to escape.

Steamrolling around with Bloom has been a ton of fun. I started this build just trying to win with Shadowblade without cheesing ambuscade, but was still finding it rather boring until I took steamroller. This wasn't a fully planned build or anything, so I only listed the essentials. In hindsight there are a lot of variations that could be interesting, especially with all the generic points shadowblades have. Harmony or Light both could be promising and would require less mana than divination. If I had planned the build from the beginning I probably would have gotten Steamroller first at 30 and would have tried to have momentum and blinding speed by then.

Author:  darkgod [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

Makes me proud of my game when I see interesting combos like that :)

Author:  Faeryan [ Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

That makes my pants wet. I toyed with the idea of a but similar fashion Marauder doing Momentum, Step Up and whatever the combat mastery talent it was that gave you 20 stamina for each kill.

This one actually sounds doable unlike my idea that was left on idea stage.

I need to try this one some day.

Author:  Elroniel [ Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

I had a similarly running Marauder on one of the 1.0.5 betas; it ran surprisingly well, all things considered. I would have liked a little more defense related stats, but offensively, it was nuts. In particular, Step Up made finding another target in for rush and positioning a piece of cake.

Author:  EatThisShoe [ Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

I had thought about other classes that might be able to leverage the combo and marauders was the closest alternative. But playing the Shadowblade I hardly needed step-up, with his speed enemies often didn't move between rushes, and he had whirlwind/sweep/deadly strikes to clear space. Also you don't even have to rush every turn, just often enough to keep the damage bonus.

A marauder could go AM though and use the higher regen to cram an extra turn in with Ancestral Life.

Author:  seattlesid [ Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

Oh wow. This looks fun. I was going to use a Shadowblade to unlock the Marauder class but now that I see this I think I will smell the roses on the way. 2 quesions come to mind: Would you have any recommendations on managing the earlier part of character growth? Does the general idea of this character work with the more recent version of the game? THANK YOU!

Author:  seattlesid [ Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

Doh! Just hit 30 and find that steamroller requires 50 strength. Posting this to try and save anyone else from the same blunder.

Author:  cctobias [ Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

I'd reccomend taking Light tree and front loading shields with barrier and BoL if you feel squishy.

Author:  cctobias [ Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

seattlesid wrote:
Doh! Just hit 30 and find that steamroller requires 50 strength. Posting this to try and save anyone else from the same blunder.


If you hoard STR equipment you can get STR prodigies around level 30.

Author:  seattlesid [ Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

Thanks! Well I must say, this is a blast! I mean...it's a different style for sure but I can just pop from unfriendly to unfriendly as a matter of travel or kill. I find myself trying to bounce off of a couple of guys before taking on a boss or elite so I can get that bonus up. Often when I do face a toughy, I have a nice 60-100% damage bonus.

Thanks for posting your build style and thanks Wyrmic for your tips. Weeeeeeee!

Author:  Tryble [ Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher Shadowblade: The Ultimate Steamroller Build

This is an old, old thread, but since people are still watching it, I should probably note that Steamroller Rushes now cost basically no stamina.

Thus, Highborn's Bloom is no longer totally necessary.
Shalore is probably your best bet, stretching out your Steamroller and other speed bonuses as far as possible.

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