This guide is based on my firts character winning the game (normal difficulty) : a stealth Shalore Shadowblade
I made several choices for this build, so some of my comments are based on these choices.
Contraty to several guides I read, I chose to bypass several trees completely to focus on others.
- no rush
- no extra speed
- no stunning (well almost)
- no light (until very late)
How to play
You are a glass cannon. As a glass cannon, the key of survival as a Shadowblade is: DO NOT GET HIT. (Each of my stupid deaths is due to forgotting this golden rule)
What does it mean ? It means you have to max defense, escape dangerous situations, and use tricks to make dangerous situations less dangerous.
And of course kill your foes as fast as you can.
What may kill you:
- Getting stunned
- Critical hits from strong warriors (Armoured skeletons, some specials)
- Thinking you will survive a crowded place and being wrong
- Thinking you will OS a tough enemy, and being wrong (:-p)
I think its a pretty good choice for a beginner shadowblade: you can get stealth at level 1, and fast leveling is great. You will probably reach lvl 50 before High Peak
Fairly good. Regen, extra infravision and bloom are good.
Good choice, but the start-game is a bit harder than Cornac (no healing, no wild infusion). Improved speed, improved crit, invisibility, and Timeless make the Shalore a very good choice in the end-game
Not very in phase with Shadowblade
Good choice too, as Shaloren, but a bit less interesting. Having good crit % is not mandatory for the Shadowblade if you focus on stealth.
Dwarves are strong, dwarves are not agile, dwarves have good armor. All the things you dont need as a Shadowblade.
Speed problem. Plus healing problem. Plus no wild infusion
I would make skeleton an average choice for Shadowblade. Leveling with a skel is a bit frustrating. But bone recons and bone shield are great. Stunning will be a problem, though.
Never tried a Yeek Shadowblade, but I guess it will be a so-so choice : you dont have willpower to improve Dominant will, but you need the speed bonus of Quickened.
As a general view, Shadowblades have plenty of class talents to upgrade, so your main problem will be to decide where to specialize.
I chose to specialize on stealth. It needs some investments, so it is not possible to max all talents...
- Dual weapon training: Not very usefull. Get it at 1 for the next talent. It is fairly expensive for the benefits
- Dual weapon defense: You need as good defense as possible, so Dual weapon defense is good for any Shadowblade.
- Precision: Its up to you (the most difficult foes for SHadowblades are high armoured : shield wall, ...) so it can be usefull. Or not.
- Momentum: Stamina cost is a bit too expensive. And you already have plenty of speed buffs.
- Dual strike: A life savior at the beginning of the game. Useless in the mid-game (your foes are usually dead before they relize they are stunned). Starts to be interesting again in the late game, when enemies have plenty of HP so you cannot OS them anymore. But also strong ennemies are usually very resistant to stunning (based on the difference between your Phys power and their, they are usually better than you are as you don't have strength)
- Flurry: Very good offensive technique. High damage. Be careful if the guy you strike has retribution.
- Sweep: Attack all foes in front of you : good if there are several foes in front of you. Remember, as a shadowblade, if you are surrounded, you're dead.
- Whirlwind: see above
I usually bypass the whole tree to focus on stealth.
This tree is very important for stamina regeneration. However, there are more important things to take before unlocking this tree.
Quick recovery is your end-game friend (before unlocking the tree, you have to rely on stamina-regen kit)
- Thick skin: 15% resist all is vital.
- Armour training: lvl 1 to be able to wear any equipement you will find
- Combat accuracy: Max it as soon as possible. Before stunning or crit your opponent, you have to hit him
- Weapons mastery: you dont use them
- Dagger mastery: Your main weapon. Max it after combat accuracy, and after getting 1 in Armour training
Looks good, but needs too much investment. Becomes useless very soon. My advice is to bypass it. Dual strike should be enough for stunning.
- Lethality: get 1, and 5 i the end-game for maximum crit damage
- Deadly strikes: A free attack and increase AP. Perfect. Get it ASAP
- Willful combat: Could be good, never really tried it.
- Snap: same thing
- Shadow combat: get it at 1 to start, then upgrade it when you have nothing else to do.
- Shadow cunning: You dont need high Spellpower. 1 is good
- Shadow feed: Get it at 1 ASAP, then upgrade it. You can change your manasurge for another rune (shield, wild, regen) once you get it.
- Shadowstep: Perfect. Contrary to 'rush', it has no minimum distance. (btw, I unlocked marauder thanks to this talent, without planning to)
The main tree of the 'stealth' build. Get it at 5/1/1/5 ASAP, then max Shadowstrike: First thing is to avoid damage. Then you can plan to deal high damage. Remember: when stealth, all your damage are critical.
- Heightened senses: It is good if you have no infravision source. Improve it as you wish (depends on your equipement)
- Charm mastery: not usefull. Needed for the next talent (unless you improve it with rogue escorts)
- Piercing sight: 1 or 2 is needed, but nor vital. Up to you
- Shadow leash: useless
- Shadow ambush: vital in the mid-game to silence those bad spellcasters (corruptors, skel mage, ...). Get it at 1 ASAP. Becomes less interesting in the mid-end game, as the "bad spellcasters" are often killed with one good shadowstep. Becomes vital again for the final fight : those 2 bosses are spellcasters. Silence them for 7 turns and you win. You can also use the talent to pull a target from a group of foes and kill him alone
- Ambuscade: Worth the investment. But 3 is enough. Using it is a bit tactical:
Use it to attack a single foe and leaving your real self safe somewhere.
Use it to debilitate (stun, silence) an enemy twice (first your shadow, then you).
Use it to explore through walls (using PT).
- Shadow veil: useless for you shadow, too dangerous for you, unless you want to commit suicide.
(you can get it with the 'Trick of trades' prodigy. It has a good synergy with Shadowblade)
- Lacerating Strikes: Not usefull
- Scoundrel's Strategies: Not usefull
- Nimble Movements: One more mobility/escape technique, and based on Generic Points instead of class Points. Very good. (the first reason to get Trick of the Trade, the second being to improve your stealth power). Plus your shadow can more with Nimbe movements, contrary to PD
- Misdirection: Good too for better defense based on Generic Points. Not vital.
(1/1/0/0) first, then max what suits you best.
I invested in the end-game. It was quite usefull against orc prides. It was not so great in damade, but blinded foes are cool (they cannot prevent you from getting stealth)
- Phase Door: your best escape mean. Max it asap. Do not invest in Ma for this : use items. Your goal should be to get this to lvl5 at around your 10th
- Teleport travel: your emergency escape. 1 is enough as it is an emergency.
- Displacement shield: Good shield for shadowblade (you dont have that much shielding capacity). Get it at 1, then max it in the end game.
- Probability travel: This is one of the best talent (in my opinion) for a shadowblade. You can afford to sustain it always, and it gives the feeling of being a ghost. (Having it at lvl24 to save Melinda is mandatory)
Time shield is interesting, but I prefer investing in an inscription slot instead of the tree, as it will be less expensive in term of Class Points. You already need many class points for other vital things.
Arcane eye is good, but not vital. Do not unlock the tree. Hope for the good escort
NB: Arcane eye can be replaced with Precognition if you meet a Temporal Explorer escort.
(36): Inscription slot
(Bile): Combat Veteran
(30) Trick of the trade: better stealth and access to Nimble movements (mobility).
(42) lucky days: better stealth, better saves, better crits.
Regen (madatory: probably your only source of healing)
Wild Phys+Mag (mandatory to remove bad effects)
Shielding (better than time shield as it scales with your best stat with no cat/gen point to invest)
Manasurge (nice but not vital)
I chose to bypass magic trees, so Mag was not a vital stat. Instead, improve 1 Dex / 1 Cun / 1 Con at each level, use +Mag items and +Str items to learn the talents you need then swap your gear.