[1.0.6] CI Crit Dagger Shadow (30k DPS Flicker Ninja) [OB video up!]

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Banner courtesy of engrace

The build formerly known as the CI Jack of all trades Shadow Guide:
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/49579
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Other Guides
Pain Attunement Shadow
Spork Battle Mage Shadow
Eldritch Battery EK Shadow
EB/Armour/HP Crit Dagger Shadow
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Changelog
Spoiler

4/10/12
9/10/12 - Patch 0.9.12qq
11/10/12 - Patch 0.9.12t
13/10/12 - bought new dagger
14/10/12 - Changed VS to DS
18/10/12
19/10/12
22/10/12
23/10/12 - Throne of Shadows
28/10/12 - Added a FAQ
30/10/12 - Added some videos of high level map runs
01/11/12 - Patch 0.9.13
02/11/12 - PvP Footage Added
16/11/12 - Added some stats to compare speed of leveling vs a Spork Shadow
29/11/12 - Tweaked end-end-game build v1 slightly to increase survivability
23/01/13 - Open Beta!
4/03/13 - Added a new section: Additional advice from other high level players
12/03/13 - CI buffed again!
7/4/13 - In preparation for 0.10.5 - melee patch!
6/6/13 - Patch 0.11.0!
29/11/13 - 1.0.1 skill tree update


Warning: This is by no means an easy build to achieve or master. It will be very tough early on, especially in Cruel and Ruthless. Be prepared to die alot of times if this is your first try with a shadow. I strongly discourage you from building it in HC until or unless you have very good ES gear stashed up. If this is your first time playing, my advice is to steer clear from this build, it is not easy!




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FAQ
Should I level my gems?
"
Aura gems should always be leveled, Clarity should not be leveled past 3. Curse gems should not be leveled at all. Lightning Strike should not be leveled past 9 initially.

As a rule, when in doubt, check the wikipedia to make sure your stats can actually support the gems before leveling it up.

Everything else can and should be leveled.

Is this build gear-dependent?
"
Yes

Does this build require OP gear to succeed?
"
You don't need OP gear to succeed, although you will need very good ES gear to survive. However, the better your gear, the more fun you'll have, but that's no different from other builds.

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How dagger shadows compare to the other Shadow Types (in my opinion)

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Daggers VS Claws
In a nutshell, Claws provide higher %lifesteal and hence increased survivability but overall lower critical chance and DPS. Daggers on the other hand do not provide %lifesteal but make up for it with an overall higher critical chance and DPS.

What is this build about?
It's a build that focuses on building the shadow around a CI build, focusing mainly on high crit chance/crit multiplier with Surgeon's Granite Flasks, Energy Shield, Evasion, and ES Steal while using Lightning Strike as the AOE CC skill, Viper Strike/Elemental Hit/Double Strike as the main dps skill in 1v1 bosses/pvp situations and Flicker Strike as a high DPS spam skill when needed.

DPS-wise it leans heavily on criticals and hence revolves around a high crit-chance and high crit damage multiplier build for dealing damage while taking advantage of the crits to recharge granite flasks quickly.

The Key Keystones
Chaos Inoculation - Grants Immunity to Chaos damage, Max life becomes 1
Influence - Influence amplifies the amount of DPS/defense you get from auras.
Vaal Pact - Life/ES leech is instant

Gameplay Videos

Bandit Quest Reward Choices
Normal: Kill all the bandits for an extra passive skill point
Cruel: Help Oak for 18% increased physical damage
Merciless: Help Kraityn for +1 Frenzy Charge


The Three Phases of Growth aka Skill Tree Progression
Growing pains

The Chaos Immune Phase

End-Game [Three Alternatives]
Spoiler

Non-VP Version I would recommend this for HC leveling
116 Points, Approx Level 98
Much higher defense in terms of ES and block chance, rely heavily on ES CDR but no VP

In HC, I would recommend pathing your tree according to the above tree first. If you get a godlike weapon and are dealing a massive amount of DPS as well as a godlike set of defensive gear and feel like you want more DPS and VP, only then should you save up your regrets and respec into one of the trees below. However, do your calculations first. Make sure you'll still have at least 7.5k ES if you respec. For instance, the above tree grants you 235% incr. ES and 145% incr. ES from your shield whereas the bottom grants you 210% incr. ES and 60% incr. ES from your shield. If you have 7.5k ES from the bottom tree, you'll probably get about 9k from the above.

IR/US/VP Version
116 Points, Approx Level 98
Slightly lower defense in terms of ES and block chance, higher DPS, rely heavily on VP

VP/Non-IR/Non-US but 88% chance to avoid stun
114 Points, Approx Level 96


Pros and Cons of this Build
Pros
1. An extremely fun build, yielding very high DPS
Cons
1. Base accuracy is abit low due to the lack of Dex nodes, (chance to hit is about 78%), but that can be countered by getting a Circlet with +accuracy
2. Might find it a bit difficult-going mana wise, but that is in turn countered by the Mind Drinker node and Warlord's Mark curse.
3. Will be tough to build

Usable in
1. Default
2. Hardcore (only if you have the gear ready for it)
3. High Level PvP - Possibly, we'll have to wait and see

Note: These gear was crafted in closed beta before the wipe. That amount of ES on the chestpiece and shield will no longer be attainable within 2 prefixes. Everything else should still be attainable.[/i]

Gear:
Spoiler

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Situational Items
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Flasks
2 Granites, 1 Quicksilver Flask, 2 Mana Flasks

Suggested links on Gear:
Spoiler
Dagger: Whirling Blades, Blood Rage, Curse
Chestpiece: Lightning Strike - Faster Attacks, LMP, Power Charge on Crit (not necessary if you have Romira's Banquet), Increased Crit Damage, Mana Leech/Weapon Elemental Damage
Shield: Reduced Mana - Discipline - Hatred/Grace
Gloves: Flicker Strike - Melee Damage on Full Life, Melee Physical Damage, Melee Splash/Incr. Crit Damage
Head: Double Strike - Melee Damage on Full Life, Melee Physical Damage, Faster Attacks/Power Charge on Crit
Boots: Cast with Damage Taken - Enduring Cry - Immortal Call - Incr. Duration

Stats (outdated - was back in CB)
Spoiler

Character defense screen was with Grace, Discipline and a Granite Flask on. DPS screens are with 4 frenzy charges up. Take note that Granites no longer grant 10k Armour hence the damage reduction will likely be lower now.

With Granite Flask of Iron Skin on
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With Granite Flask of Resistance on
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Flicker Strike
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Lightning Strike
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Double Strike
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Post-CI Gameplay Style
Spoiler

Usage of Flasks
Using the Granite Flasks constantly will keep you at >20% damage reduction and as they recharge one charge everytime you deal a crit strike, feel free to use them generously!

In short, you become a high DPS ES/Evasion/Armoured Tank!

Auras and Active Skills
Discipline, Hatred +/- Grace.
Discipline is the priority, followed by Hatred, then Grace/Haste if you have enough mana

Blood Rage
Need I say more? You're CI, this skill is what makes you awesome! Switch it on, kill a few mobs, watch the frenzy charges pile up, get the bonus ES steal and be even more awesome!

Curses
Enfeeble/Temporal Chains are the curses of choice for survivability. For DPS, Critical Weakness is the curse of choice.

Versus Mobs
Lightning strike will be your main skill. There's no need to tank the enemies. You can just stay from distance, curse them, hold down shift and then press whatever button it is that controls your lightning strike and watch it
annihilate the mobs!

Some pointers to take note regarding LS
Best LS main support combinations, in descending order
1. Quality (>14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Faster Attacks + Weapon Elemental Damage
2. Quality (>14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Faster Attacks
3. Quality (<14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Pierce + Faster Attacks
4. Quality (<14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Pierce

- It is always useful to get a weapon/amulet/ring with cold damage and fire damage as well so you can freeze your enemies and burn them (remember, your crit chance is very high so you'll be crit-ing very very often
- if it is heavy in terms of mana usage, throwing in a mana leech will always help!

1v1 Bosses
Viper Strike. Best early-game and arguably mid-game skill when you're still weak and need to kite bosses to stay alive. Also a super useful skill for elemental resist rares and bosses like Vaal where you're constantly trying to avoid their high elemental damage skills.

Elemental Hit. Best mid-game skill when you no longer need to kite bosses that much and would rather kill them face to face (provided you can support the mana cost). The added elemental damage helps in freezing/shocking/burning your opponent when you crit. It is most effective with a fast weapon as a fair amount of damage dealt is skill-based and is independent of your weapon damage. (in that sense it is somewhat similar to viper strike except viper strike is capped at 4 buffs/second)

Double Strike.Best end-game skill when your base damage is high enough such that 2 x 70% of your base damage (level 1 gem) still yields higher damage than the extra damage provided by Elemental Hit and the extra chaos damage provided by Viper Strike. Better yet, the mana cost is so low as to be negligible in late game. Also, since double strike processes as 2 hits and the second hit will always be a crit if the first one is, it allows for shock-stacking and double charging of surgeon's flasks whenever you crit

Flicker Strike
Always a useful spell when you want to catch/hit an opponent who is running away, be it a ranged mob or an enemy player. Not just that, it has tremendous dps as well, especially if you link more damage based gems to it. (note that I did not add many DPS gems to it and it still deals a heck load of damage)

Usage Methods
- If you get bored of owning mobs with LS and want to give yourself a mild headache, top up your frenzy charges and let loose with flicker spam! 0 cd with your charges up and if you get to KO enemies with 1 hit, which is often the case as you crit often, your frenzy charge recharges and you get to flicker more. My flicker usually lasts on average 8 times before exhausting all my charges.
- If you find yourself in a situation where you get punctured (CI's WORST ENEMY) and you cannot move (or else you'll take added damage) while mobs are starting to surround you, use flicker to get out of trouble by flickering to a ranged mob outside of the pack surrounding you, or just spam flicker strike and flicker till the puncture cds, allowing you to deal damage and avoid damage from puncture and from most normal hits/spells. (you don't take damage from puncture while flickering, but you will if you whirl out of battle)

Escape Method
Whirling blades, that is all

Early Game Gameplay Tips
Spoiler
The difficult part of this build is actually being able to progress through the earlier levels. If you can get through that you'll do fine.

In this section I will attempt to outline the early game gameplay of this build.

Early Game Gear
Focus on gear that gives you +life, namely leather belts with +life and rings/ammys with +life.

At this stage, ES gear is weak, so I would recommend you to stack Armour, resistances and HP to improve your survivability. Main objective here is to survive till late game where you can get good ES gear. Weapon-wise, don't be picky. Get anything that gives you higher DPS, although it would be better if you focus on Claws/Swords/Daggers for the purpose of allowing you to use Whirling Blades as well as Viper Strike. There is no need to single-mindedly specialise into daggers so early in the game and if you notice, I did not spec points into dagger nodes early on as well.

Flasks
2 HP Flasks, 1 Quicksilver Flasks, 2 Mana Flasks. (Can be 2 HP/3 Mana if you wish, judge for yourselves as appropriate)

The first HP Flask for me is always a panicked flask. For the rest of my flasks I tend to prefer useful mods such as Dispel Frozen and Chilled.

Skill Gems

AOE/CC
You will not be getting Lightning Strike as a quest gem till somewhat later in the game. If you want it earlier, you can always level a templar till level 10, kill Brutus, get it as a quest gem and then transfer it to your stash for usage by your shadow or simply trade for it from another player.

Some pointers to take note regarding LS
Best LS main support combinations, in descending order
1. Quality (>14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Faster Attacks + Weapon Elemental Damage
2. Quality (>14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Faster Attacks
3. Quality (<14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Pierce + Faster Attacks
4. Quality (<14%) Lightning Strike + LMP + Pierce

Before you get LS though, there are a few options you can go for:

Fire Trap when used in combination with a weapon AoE would also be a good option.

Freezing Pulse + LMP is also a very good option (my favourite option) that can last you all the way till Cruel Act3 too.

If you're using a claw, Whirling Blades will be the best AoE for you early on in the game.

Bosses/Individual monsters
From normal all the way to end cruel, dual wield weapons and use Dual Strike. The DPS benefit which allows you to speedrun through the earlier levels much faster far outweighs the paltry defensive bonuses provided by the low level shields. However, make sure you keep a Viper Strike gem socketed and continue to level it. You will need it once you switch to 1h + Shield.

Survivability
Normal-Cruel
Summon Skeletons. Especially useful against flicker mobs and Kraitlyn as it gives them an additional target to flicker to and spares you the agony of being spam flickered to death.

Cruel Onwards
Spell Totem + Summon Skeletons will be your best friend. This spell summons a totem which will summon skeletons around enemy monsters, thus shifting aggro away from you.

Curses
Temporal Chains/Enfeeble early on in the game if you need survivability.
Warlord's Mark after

Playstyle Versus Bosses
This is pretty much the same in most AARPGs. You will be very weak early on. Your key to defeating the bosses will be to kite them. Viper Strike them to 4 charges, switch to Dual Strike, then escape to recharge HP/ES when you get low, then repeat cycle till they die.

Against elemental bosses such as Merv and Vaal, stack resist rings. Versus Merv, get cold resists. Versus Vaal, get BOTH Fire and Lightning Resists. (Very important)

When do I respec to CI?
Spoiler

Merciless Act 2. No sooner than that. More specific instructions below:

When you reach Merciless Act 2, the first place you should head to is Fellshrine. Don't bother doing any quests at this point in time. All you should be doing is grinding at Fellshrine, leveling and farming for gear. Don't bother progressing in quests until after you've respecced into CI.

After you've respecced into CI, you want at least 3.3k ES in order to complete Act 2 relatively smoothly.

In order to do that, you need to have at least 3K ES

Attention: Even with 3k ES, Vaal can still one-shot you with his melee attack, so remain alert when fighting him!

Things to avoid/pay attention to when CI
Spoiler

Avoid Causic Mana Flasks! They will kill you because you have only 1 Hp

Puncture mobs are your worst enemy! If you're punctured, stop running! (If you run you will take more damage) Stand still, switch on a Granite, tank them and kill them.

Avoid getting trapped in large packs as they'll stunlock you to death.

Also be wary of archers, keep moving or else they'll stunlock you to death as well.

Lastly, don't bother going into maps until you have the Eye of Chayula unique ammy.

End-Game Gear
Spoiler

Headgear: High ES helm, Alpha's Howl or Crown of Eyes

Amulet: Eye of Chayula is the best, failing which an ammy with +ES will do

Rings: Dream Fragments if you don't have Alpha's Howl or Auxium chain belt. Romira's Banquetis a nice ring, so is The Taming. For other rings, choose in order of descending priority: +Mana, Increased Attack Speed, +Energy Shield, +Int, +Lightning Damage.

Belt: Auxium unique or 21-30% Elemental Damage with Resists and +ES

The defensive gear types I would advise you to go for would be:
Pure ES Chest
Pure ES Shield
Of the remaining three pieces, (Boots, Head, Gloves) go for 2 Pure ES or 1 ES and 1 EV, and 1 Hybrid

Why not 3 Hybrids?
Because 1 pure ES and 1 pure Evasion will always yield better defensive stats as compared to 2 Hybrid pieces and are easier to craft/find.

Why that 1 Hybrid piece then?
Because if you noticed how I link my Flicker Strike, I need 2 Reds, 1 Green and 1 Blue socket. Pure Evasion pieces have a higher chance to roll Green sockets, ES - Blue sockets and Armour - Red sockets.

It is nearly impossible (or just damn expensive) to roll 2R 1G and 1B on a pure Evasion or pure ES gear and resorting to using a pure Armour piece for that wouldn't be worth it.

However, Hybrid gears have a higher chance of rolling all the different combination of colours, hence my reason for using at least 1 piece of hybrid gear.

If you find getting 3R1G for Flicker Strike tough on EV/ES, use an AR/ES piece of gear instead.

If you think that you've got enough ES, feel free to use Maligaro's

as with most builds, having great gear is key to success. Even more so in this build as having great gear will amplify exponentially the fun you will have with it.

How do I get better gear?
Trading for better pieces of gear will be your main source. However, there will come a point when you realise that you can no longer get better gear through trading, and that is where crafting comes in, as explained in the next section.

How do I go about Crafting? All your answers and more!

Additional advice from other high level players
Spoiler
Dustbinlid
I posted this on the CI/Daggers thread on the forums, it didn't get much attention, so I'll also post it here and maybe it will get more. My hope is that you guys can read it, benefit from it and maybe even add it to the build it self. Who knows. This information is aimed for people that are running around 75+ looking to be hitting 72+ maps or so, where things start to get a bit nasty and more importantly when you start to play in a party. The guide and feed back is great on how to get there, now this information is for people that have gotten there and now need to a U-turn and change what they were doing to keep up to the challenges that high end maps present.

The playstyle suggested in the guide and what I see a lot of people talking about is completely solo play, even so far as to expect end game to be about soloing maps. So I think it's important to remember that the game is better played in a group and if you are struggling then look for PUGs and play as a team. There is no need to try and solo the world, unless that is specifically your aim.

One of the key examples of "the guide" suggesting solo play is the fact that 6links are used on LS rather than Double Strike. In group play I rarely if ever use LS, even if it didn't drop me down to 10 FPS it's damage it poor at best compared to the other abilities you have. So using 5/6L items I would suggest using them on Double Strike rather than Lightning Strike.

LS is good for solo and the AoE is decent in pairs or groups of 3, but beyond that with GMP and Faster Attacks the spam becomes too much for a lot of players and FPS lag becomes and issue, so spending a lot of currency and sockets on LS is wasted as your rarely use it, atleast not no where near at much as your use Double Strike.

The second is to assume that you will be using warlords curse in groups, I highly doubt that you will ever be able to use it in a group so you can't assume that you will have that leach. And have the endurance charges,so I would suggest when heading towards the top end and when you have VP to get at least 1 piece of get with 2% leach, because without Blood Rage up and Warlords mark you have no natural leach. Recently I've completely stopped using Warlords and have swapped over to Crit. Vulrability, this boosts your crits. massively and when your aiming to burst down key targets this is perfect. Also the DPS increase mixed with Vaals Pack I'm fairly sure you will Leach more life back.

The other thing that I often read and feel needs to be mentioned is peoples belief in the importance of Dream Fragments and the immune to stun neck. Both of which cost a lot. I strongly advise against getting either of these items, the neck in particular, until you have got at least 5K ES and capped resists. Within the guide itself it even lists them as being situational, don't waste all your money on a Dream Fragments, spend it on a ES shield. The ability to remove Freeze can easily be achieved with the use of Flasks, both Granite and Mana. Personally I used 2 Flasks "of Heat" until I had my own Dream Fragments and while DF is better, it should not be held in such high regard, it is a luxury at best and what is far more important is obtaining a good ES Shield. So how do you find these amazing items, well easiest place is http://poe.xyz.is/, it's a 3rd party site that allows you to search the POE trade forums for specific items, so go use that!

Mentioning Dream Fragments this ring is completely situational, sometimes you don't need it and in these cases I swap it out for a DPS ring with another 2% Life Leach.

Within the same frame it's also important to have at least 1 flask that removes curses, in high end maps and even low maps if you randomly spike and don't understand why it will often be due to having Vulnerability or some similar curse on you, being able to remove these is key to surviving. It's also useful to carry around a 1 Detonate Undead, often in high end maps your find yourself up again 3-4 Necros and you can't pick them all off, so stand back a bit and just blow all the corpses up so no resummons. It's a green gem, easy to use so I generally swap it for my Whirling Blades.

The final point I'll make is to remind people of the importance of resists, have 75% in all resists is a must for any level of map play, if that means you use Purity, use Purity. To that extent I would also suggest swapping the suggest Quick Silver Flask for a Surgeons Topaz Flask, because of the way shock stacks work and the nature of the mobs lightning damage is the most dangerous element that we face as CI/Daggers. If you don't have 75% to all, use Purity. Currently I run Discipline, Haste and Wrath as default and then swap Hate to Purity in maps that give me resist penalties.



Note: That's the important stuff, this following is my own personal ideas and thoughts about leach pre and post VP and can be mostly ignored as it's minor improvements but may be of interest to some players.

As stated earlier in the thread without VP you are capped at how much HP/Shield you can leach per second and as Invalesco correctly stated this is a complex art of balancing your Damage along with your max HP/Shields. It goes without saying that when you are in the "grey" area of moving into CI you should only spec for Ghost Reaver when your Shields are larger than your HP pool, this will hopefully happen before you move into CI.

The next point to look at is the attack speed of the dagger you are using, a slower dagger will create more spikes of damage, which pre-VP is bad as it's more likely to take your crits/damage over the leach cap, if you have a very fast dagger with the same DPS the numbers will be smaller and your crits will create less "wasted" damage. With that in mind I would also advice against taking gear with crit multipler Pre-VP as this again will make the spikes higher and create more "waste". Pre-VP you want to look for fast daggers with a constantly stream of DPS, Post-VP you want slow ones that maximize the crit. multipliers you have from your gear and spec and the fact that Double Strike crits twice within the same second, give yourself large jumps in leach, which is why you specced VP in the first place.



Essay over. Again, give love to Invalesco and all CI/Dagger shadows, there is a light at the end of the tunnel just keep on trucking. At lvl 79 this is my talent spec, as you notice I have Vaals Pack, my DPS with double strike sits at around 14K but with the crits is makes a massive difference: http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgYB_5MeGjBUmVcoKrVIsbPtQaZ_h9sWv_PqcFJw1cBR62OZmrb3ES-IaxnX44QOSKc0EZZW6gV96f65fOywjAtHBsLsX2q0xSsKwQDbGhB79Uu-OpfQVvW5PttufeOdo_yrf8YnqX5ZwcUsv4hCkBtwVpoT29R3_axm2HYs4Y6KXMaio8HzbRk74bvWEVDi96cri3oc3JMnN2YspqbrN4PqurQMRnGVIILHQYd6uGz2rpMqOCj66-64kwx9EH_Gng==

Anamaeus

Hello fellow Shadows, I have read over the last couple of weeks many posts in this forum that cast doubt upon the ability of this build to achieve end game worthiness; whether it be in survivability or damage to just general usefulness.

Granted, it isn't an easy build to learn or acquire the necessary pieces of gear to succeed but I continued on, encouraging others to do so as well. I want to take the time today to show you what the end game CI Crit Shadow can look like as of right now in the 0.10.4 patch if you are determined enough to get there.

I was first inspired by Invalesco when I was new to this game, downloading the Open Beta after having heard so much about it while playing Diablo 3. Before the release of Open Beta I had no prior experience on Path of Exile but I was a big fan of the idea that you could use your skills as gems that leveled and progressed on their own and the skill tree while massive looked intriguing for the enormity of it all.

First I'd like to give all credit to this build to Invalesco, and thank him for his response to my many inquires over the last couple of months. When I read the title "30K DPS Flicker Strike Ninja" I thought to myself not only did it sound powerful, but a lot of fun at the same time!

As many of you probably were allured by the same promise, it was not an easy road to achieve such power and I honestly feel I would have been bored of playing the Shadow class had it been easy.

So I told myself once I hit level 85 I would post a progress report of sorts in this thread for others to see that the build does in fact still work well, and in many ways is still quite strong. This is meant to encourage those who are still having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and to be compare with my peers to see where I stack up amongst them, so here we go!

Level.85.Passive.Skill.Tree

http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgYABX0MfQ5IEHsQfxEvEZYVUBXXFr8Z1xzcHhonqSgqKPoqOCsKLKYsvyzhMFQzljY9N2Y74UGHQYxGcUcGVmNW6lb1XMZfam0ZcFJwVnM_d_16uH3jfll_xoLHhq6H24hCiGuLeowLjoqPRpAbkyeVIJfQmVeZmpoTnaOio6XLpn-m66cIpyunNKxmrpOxs7QMtMW1SLb3uJO5Prl8vjrAUcEAwcXB88Lsw23GnteG2HbbGttu29Ti9-OE6f7rY-vu7BjssO1B8-r1S_yr_5M=




Stats

Defense

75d4dc65350f17aca6135e0e8289fa0c


Double.Strike

63e56ccf700f9a19376d2e7059dd3808


Lightning.Strike

3862006d1f976a44dacd2d4dd94840c0


Flicker.Strike

ed13f6cb97876afffac24ff35aa2a8f5





Gear



So why not more auras? Because when running map groups, I often find that we have every aura available, sometimes multiple copies of such. I could obviously drop my Skel-bro totem from my headgear in place of at least Clairity+Grace but I still haven't found the need to yet, honestly. Hatred and Blood Rage are more than enough to kill anything I am doing solo, and as previously mentioned there's an abundance of auras to go around when mapping in a full party.

Although I have Eye of Chayula, I don't find it necessary at all to wear unless I am solo grinding purely for the MF it provides. Dream Fragments are one thing I haven't bothered picking up yet, since the economy has valued them far too highly in my opinion I'll simply wait until I am determined to PvP enough to merit the use of one. These are not necessary in order to be effective with this build, and as Invalesco sorted them into situational gear, that is how they should be used, situationally.

Hopefully this will generate a few responses, I'd like to see some of the other high level Shadows post their stats and inspire the lower level guys who are struggling to get through the rough patch of the build to keep on going, as it's not the end result that always counts but the journey you take to get there.

Dagger_Advice
In my experiences I would rank the ideal stats for dagger dps like this

1. IPD% - Gonna make the biggest numbers out multiplying base damage with percentage.
2. Physical Damage added - multiplies into your IPD% and thus is second most important.
3. Attack Speed - Determines your attacks per second, a huge damage amplifier.
4. Accuracy - Damage and speed won't matter if you don't land it.
5. Added Lightning Damage- Second to physical damage but superior to other elements.
6. Crit Multiplier - does more in the dps formula than crit chance.
7. Crit Chance - Helps you crit more often but is useless without the above stats.
8. Elemental Damage(Cold/Fire) - Still useful, but inferior to light dmg cus of Arcing Blows.
9. Added Int/Dex - Useful utility for mana/es or evasion/accuracy. Not a wasted stat but not ideal.

In terms of ranking the types of daggers..

1. Imperial Skean - Has a higher base damage than Plat Kris, and attacks faster but less crit.

2. Platinum Kris - Highest crit chance/multi, equal attack speed to Demon dagger, good avg dmg.

3. Demon Dagger - Highest base damage, less crit multi than Plat kris and is slower than Skean.

4. Ambusher - Has the highest attack speed in the class, but lower min dmg than all but Slaughter Knives.

5. Ezomyte - Same attack speed as Slaughter knife but has more rounded average damage and a slightly higher base crit chance

6. Slaughter - Although it's ranked nearly last it's still better than any other type of dagger not listed here above it because of its basic stats. What hurts it is the innately low minimum damage, though it averages good stats in every other category, with a superior max damage to everything but Platinum Kris & Demon Dagger.

7. Gutting Knife - Good average damage, is hurt by it's slow attack speed more than anything, but does relative good overall.


So that's pretty much it for my opinion on the actual daggers, but if you want base dps values for each they rank up like this according to the PoE Wiki

1. Ambusher (63.2 dps)
2. Imperial Skean / Ezomyte Dagger (Tied at 63 dps)
4. Demon Dagger (62.4 dps)
5. Gutting Knife (61.8 dps)
6. Slaughter Knife (60.9 dps)
7. Platinum Kris (59.4 dps)



Hope my guide has been helpful :)

If you have any suggestions or feedback for the improvement of the Shadow Skilltree, do feel free to state them! :)
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[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

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Last edited by Invalesco on February 11, 2014 11:27 AM
I'm liking the look of this. When I read the title the first thing in my mind was, "Oh great, another fool who doesn't understand that you can't be great at EVERYTHING", but I get a nice feel for this build.
The one thing that scares me is CI, especially for PvP, but this character looks like a hit and run type, so you might be okay if you're always on the hunt.
Something else to consider in this guide; is this build very gear-sensitive or require specific gear? In cut-throat (the PvP I'm assuming you're preparing for) a successful build will have to be somewhat lenient on gear because you can lose it easily.
Stay awhile and listen...
I like the idea of this build. I have followed this build path before, however, I did struggle in early stages around level 20-30 for survivability. When would you say is the right time to learn the CI keystone? I think it's very important to prepare your ES before taking CI. Also, would you consider using the ethereal knives skill as your AOE attack rather than LS?

I would love to see this build in action, so if you ever have the time please make a video of your character in PvE (or even in PvP).

Cheers mate!
"
I'm liking the look of this. When I read the title the first thing in my mind was, "Oh great, another fool who doesn't understand that you can't be great at EVERYTHING", but I get a nice feel for this build.
The one thing that scares me is CI, especially for PvP, but this character looks like a hit and run type, so you might be okay if you're always on the hunt.
Something else to consider in this guide; is this build very gear-sensitive or require specific gear? In cut-throat (the PvP I'm assuming you're preparing for) a successful build will have to be somewhat lenient on gear because you can lose it easily.


some advantages u will have over other classes in this build
- mobility! in PVP, u can further insert a phase run gem to make yourself run faster, and less easier to target. Which means, the opponent should be running from you! because once you flicker beside them, ranged users in particlar will have trouble defeating you due to your high dps and high as. Frost wall will be useless against you as you can just whirling blades through it
- high block chance and evasion i put in quite alot of points into my ES recovery delay nodes and block nodes and am going to put in more as well. In PVP, you can always decide to remove some points from other nodes and put them into the block chance nodes as well.

some advantages u will have as a CI user over normal hp/armour/evasion flask users in the case of PVP
- you get to have more slots for granite and diamond flasks, effectively granting you more damage reduction and dps. in other words, you could have 10k armour on top of your high evasion (probably around 30% dodge chance, might be scaled down in pvp but could still be crucial in dodging critical hits, etc.) and on top of your high ES, in this case I had 6.3k, which effectively is 6.3k HP, which is a huge amount.

- your ES regenerates quickly and does not need flasks. you can outlast your opponent this way because with a high energy shield delay recovery increase (mine is 125% which allows me to recover my ES after not taking damage for about 1.5 seconds but you can throw in another point to put it to 140% which makes it even faster) In other words, every 1 or 2 attacks that your opponent misses or gets blocked (which is highly likely considering your high evasion and block chance, or every time they use 1.5 seconds or more to try to manoeuvre themselves around the battlefield, you regain your ES! if you play it right against a strong enemy, making use of your mobility, you can draw out the battle and force them to use all their hp flasks whereas you'll basically be as strong as you were at the start. The only time this ES recovery might not work will be against those players with resolute technique. But hey, they don't even have crit? just stay there, tank them and crit them to death. if they keep all 5 flask slots as hp slots and spam them, whirl away, phase run for a bit, after 1.5s --> full ES again.

-chaos immunity don't underestimate this attribute. For enemies that use viper strike or added chaos gem, this effectively takes out one of their main dps skills/gems. Also, always keep a viper strike gem with you and level it. It will come in useful eventually at higher level. 200 chaos damage per second, stacked 4 times = 800 chaos damage per second, ignoring armour reduction and going thru ES is going to cause alot of problems for other non-CI users

In terms of gear, that will be a gamble for you the same way it will be for other players. It kinda is a case on whoever takes the most risk will be able to reap the best rewards. However, that said, you have less reliance on your gear in this build as compared to your armour/hp/strength counterparts. Why? there are two reasons I can think of:

Auras
Vitality, determination, hatred are percentage based auras. they can only be as good as a character's gear is. The poorer your opponent's gear, the less effective they are. On the other hand, wrath, grace and evasion are more flat value auras. They are independent of your gear whilst still producing a lot of damage/survivability. I'll provide values to act as comparison. Level 16 wrath will provide up to 6-92 extra lightning damage. as compared to level 16 hatred which will require a weapon with 283 physical damage to produce 92 cold damage. granted, there might be more consistency to the damage dealt out by hatred as compared to wrath, but can you see an opponent carrying around a top tier 283 physical damage weapon around in a cut-throat event?
Determination is based on a percentage value of armour. The less risk your opponent takes, the less effective this gem gets. On the other hand, grace provides 1100 extra evasion rating at level 15, which multiplies to 1963 based on this build's percentages, which leads to an increase of 9% in the dodging capability. Vitality similarly acts on how much hp the opponent has and how much high hp items he puts on him. Discipline at level 15 gives me 330 extra ES, which translates to 1183 based on the percentage increases in this build alone (this was calculated without any kind of gear which increases maximum ES percentage). every 1 extra ES you put into your char is going to yield 3.584 effective ES which is not a number to be scoffed at.

Skills
Both Viper Strike and Elemental Hit provide flat amounts of DPS independent of your weapon's dps. and elemental hit's added lightning damage will get multiplied further by the arcing blows passive node.

In conclusion, it rather much depends on how much risk you take, or rather how little risk you take as compared with your opponent. But that said, with this set of skills and build, a certain level of risk for you would tend to yield a higher gain as compared to someone else taking approximately the same amount of risk.

In terms of gear, focus only on DAGGERS! high physical damage and crit chance would be even better. Get the Krises. Copper/Golden/Platinum as they tend to have the highest innate mods for crit chance. Defense wise, just focus on stuff with ES, Evasion and resistance. taking note that whatever values in there (ES and evasion rating) low as they might seem, will end up being multiplied by the build anyway.

1v1, I don't see any reason to lose as long as you play smart and utilize the shadow class and build's strength. If you're ganked 2v1 or 3v1, just run if you're not confident enough.
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[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
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"
Neo12 wrote:
I like the idea of this build. I have followed this build path before, however, I did struggle in early stages around level 20-30 for survivability. When would you say is the right time to learn the CI keystone? I think it's very important to prepare your ES before taking CI. Also, would you consider using the ethereal knives skill as your AOE attack rather than LS?

I would love to see this build in action, so if you ever have the time please make a video of your character in PvE (or even in PvP).

Cheers mate!


Ethereal knives yes, but only at the start. reason being you get ethereal knives much earlier than LS when you're a shadow. In addition, later on in the game, with your shadow being located very conveniently close to the arcing blows passive node, you'll do way more damage with your LS rather than ethereal knives

Yes, what you're raising is a common dilemma wannabe CI users face. "When to start focusing on ES and what to do in the earlier part of the game?"

For me, the main objective for the earlier part of the game is to survive until you get to cruel and get your grace and determination auras as part of your quest rewards. Hence, in this stage of the game, I usually stack equipment very haphazardly, getting any defensive equipment which is a decent enough upgrade from my previous equipment, not focusing more on armour and evasion rather than ES (take not that at this stage the flat ES values of the equipment in normal are not that great anyway and you're not of a high enough level to have enough ES increase % nodes) I also focus alot on HP and i dump skill points in HP areas, such as the Fitness node next to the shield block area slightly to the below-right, the big 30 strength node, and the 8% increased maximum life next to arcing blows. these I feel, with leather belts and HP equipment are usually sufficient for me to get by until I decide to change to CI. If still uneasy, you can dump more points in the 8% increased maximum life nodes just below the CI node. However, do not dump so many points as to neglect your dps nodes and the general build progression nodes. Once you reach a suitable stage where you have a high enough ES, use the refund skill points that you get from your quests and remove the fitness and maximum life nodes and place them in your build progression. There isn't a need to remove the 30 HP strength nodes. they each provide you with 6% increased melee physical damage and allow you to use strength based skills such as lightning strike, reduced mana cost and increased item quantity.

Next question, when to switch to CI? make sure your build is just 1 point away from CI (so u can remove a point from fitness and place it in CI) whenever you're nearing a situation where you want to go CI. There are 2 ways to go for CI.

1. it is usually safe to go for CI if you fulfil a criteria of having 1K ES or so (with our without discipline) as once you put a point in the CI node your ES rises again dramatically. (this option is however not my favoured option, and I do not use this in hardcore)

2. this is my favoured option and is the one I use in hardcore mode. CI is not chosen just because it's awesome and allows you to use blood rage, it is chosen because of increased survivablity, which is the most important aspect in hardcore, mainly due to Chaos immunity. Even if you find yourself at a stage whereby you have more than 1K ES, around half of that as HP, (approx. 700 hp or so) you will still be able to survive the chaos dps dealers in the whole of cruel difficulty as long as you keep an eye on your hp bar, use your flasks and be aware of the viper strike arachnoids in weavers chamber whilst kiting and NOT TANKING the vaal constructs in the ancient pyramid and vaal ruins. However, once you go to ruthless, you will not be able to survive the chaos dpsers with that amount of HP, so it will be a good time to switch to CI just before silk's spear quest in ruthless.

My route of action everytime I reach act2 (no matter what difficulty) is usually to do all the east side quests first. Meaning I grind at fellshrine to a decent enough level before heading to chamber of sins quest and kill kraitlyn. I only switch to CI when I feel I can no longer handle the chaos aspect of act2, which is usually by the time you get to silk's spear quest in ruthless difficulty or vaal ruins/ancient pyramid in cruel difficulty.

This build is definitely viable in HC, and I used it in the 2 Week HC race, switching to CI only in ruthless difficulty (because I loved my panicked HP flasks) at weavers chamber. At that time I was at 700 odd Hp and 1.5k ES. Managed to reach merciless difficulty but died at level 53 at rocky climb due to a lethal combination of desync and puncture :(

so yes, I would say it is viable in HC and is great fun especially once you switch on blood rage!

P.S. will work on the videos :)
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[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
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Last edited by Invalesco on August 3, 2012 12:35 PM
videos added :) apologies for the bad fps and occasional desync :s
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
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I noticed from your skill build that you didn't take the mind drinker skill. Is it not worth taking it since you already have mana leech gems? Based on having those auras, is it necessary to increase mana pool by taking mana nodes? What do you think of further increasing critical strike chance? There are two nodes right above assassination skill, and bloodthirst skill.

Thanks for posting those videos, they were pretty cool! :D
"
Neo12 wrote:
I noticed from your skill build that you didn't take the mind drinker skill. Is it not worth taking it since you already have mana leech gems? Based on having those auras, is it necessary to increase mana pool by taking mana nodes? What do you think of further increasing critical strike chance? There are two nodes right above assassination skill, and bloodthirst skill.

Thanks for posting those videos, they were pretty cool! :D


it is viable to take the mind drinker skill at the start, but later on once you get access to mana leech gems, it's better to remove that point and place it somewhere else, especially since at least half of your overall damage is going to be elemental rather than physical.

and yes i actually ended up taking increased maximum mana nodes to support those auras, but only because most of my gear is mf gear so they don't provide that much extra mana/intelligence. to be honest, tempest shield isn't all that necessary. i just like it coz it looks cool haha. by all means adapt the build to suit you :) increased critical chance is always good! but if you look at the videos i've posted, the crit chance is already pretty decent, what you might want to do is to place points into increased critical damage or increased survivability (eg. shield block nodes) just find a good balance between survivability, increased crit chance, and increased crit damage and you'll do just fine :)

glad you enjoyed those videos! :)

[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
added a section on skill tree progression and early gameplay tips to help make the build more friendly for new players :)
[b]Need help with crafting? Try the [url="http://bit.ly/craftpoe"]Crafting Guide[/url][/b]

[b]Status: Acro/Phase Acro Caster Shadow in Nemesis[/b]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHGLWhMunM"]Build of the Week 14[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfinva"]The first Righteous Fire/Non-Shavronne's HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/rfpainva"]The first Righteous Fire/Low Life HC[/url]
[url="http://tinyurl.com/q99dy4m"]PVP Tips and Tricks![/url]
Why is your chance to evade 30% when your evasion rating is over 4k? My evasion rating is under 500 on my shadow, and my chance to evade is 46%.

What am I missing here?

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