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Baron or Baroness

Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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re: Shadowknight Guide


1. General information on class

  The shadowknight is one of the strongest aoe tank's in the game.  They don't survive as easily as other tanks on incredibly hard content, but can hold their own if you play them right, and can be solo healed in the majority of current content instances. They have the capability to balance very well between survivability and DPS


2. Why pick your class over another

  I like toons that give me the opportunity to do different kinds of things. In the instance of the shadowknight, I can very quickly swap between full out dps, to picking up a mob and holding it long enough to get stable. Everyone who plays with me knows that I'm a fast-paced player that finds a challenge in running instances as fast as possible. I don't know a tank that can do it better than an SK!


3. AA choice and why - with screen shots

  It's important to note that to do my job I maintain two primary specs - 1. Pure DPS, 2. Pure Heal. I do have a third spec that balances the two, but I rarely use it this expansion. Additionally, I reset my Dragon page during raids if I need different tools to work with (i.e. if I need the additional snap line). 


                                                             Crusader DPS

 Crusader DPS

                                                      Crusader Survivability

Str Line:

10 in Swift Attack – It does damage and increases my own attack speed for 20 seconds

10 in Avenger’s Relentlessness – Gives me 17.6 DPS

2 in Idolic Axe – You may need to put 10 points in this to get 10% hate gain. I don’t need it on Liepha, so I just put 2 in to get to the endline

1 in Avenging Invigoration – Ability Reuse, Recovery, and Casting speed. I hope at some point to be able to swap out of this, but balancing stats on a Shadowknight this expansion is especially hard


Agility Line:

10 in Joust – Damage ability.

10 in Trample – 40% AOE Auto Attack. Fantastic place to put points as AOE is hard tocome by/reforge.

2 in Higher Ground – Put points in to get to the endline.

1 in Lance – AOE Frontal that can’t be riposted.


Stamine Line:

1 in Hammer Ground (4 in Defensive) – I found putting points in other areas gave me more DPS, but I do put one in to get the ability because it’s a knockdown. I often use this in raids when mobs spawn at a certain %. This way, the mobs are instantly knocked down and gives me more time to get them picked up.

(Def) 8 in Fervor of Faith – Gives me higher crit chance to help meet TOV raid requirements

(Def) 10 in Sentry’s Bulwark – 5% Max Health Increase

(Def) 1 in Divine Aura – This doesn’t help all that much in raids any more because more often than not, I’m taking hits for way more than 50% of my max health, but I haven’t been willing to give it up just yet as, when I need a full heal spec, I’ll take everything I can get.


Intelligence Line – DPS Spec:

10 in Legionnaire’s Smite – 10 points makes it as good straight-damage wise as many of your other abilities

10 in Legionnaire’s Wrath – Improves the damage of your spells by 12%. Huge for SK’s as the majority of their damage comes from their spells.

2 in Legionnaire’s Mercy – Put points in it to get to the endline.

1 in Legionnaire’s Conviction – 40% magical damage reduction and 200% of that reflected back on the attacker. I’m still playing with having this full line in my spec. Haven’t been able to figure out where it shows on ACT


SF Line:

8 in Cavalier’s Shout – A toggle-able threat proccing buff. I like it because I can turn it off if I need to specifically not pull aggro (tank swap fights, etc.) and it helps with hate in general.

8 in Legionnaire’s Focus – 4% DoubleCast. I’ve run with taking the recovery speed option over this and I like having the doublecast more.

4 in Crusader’s Faith – A must have. It is often Liepha’s top incoming heals in raids lately, even over her healers spells, and Shadowknight’s can further boost it in other AA’s.


                                                         Shadowknight DPS           

Shadowknight DPS

Shadowknight Survive





Shadowknight Survive

Line 1-

5 in Innoruuk’s Carress – 5% increase in taunts on your self buff

5 in Grim Harbringer – 5% Trigger chance increase on your self buff

1/5 in Soulrend – Improves damage. One of our lowest damage abilities. I only put one in my offensive because I needed an additional point to get lower in the tree. There's 5 in my defensive stance in order to give me all 4 end lines.


Line 2-

5/0 in Unholy Blessing - Increases the heal amount of my reactive ability. This can be placed on myself or an ally

1/0 in Insidious Whisper - 1 point (reduces resistability by 10%) seems to be enough for me to not get resisted on my primary taunt

3/0 in Blasphemy II - Reduces resistability by 10% on my group taunt.

5/5 in Cleave Flesh - Another one of our lower dps abilities, but it's a dps spot to put points.


Line 3 -

5/5 in Siphon Strength - 5 points in this ability gives 99 Sta and reduces the targets  Max Health by 1.3%

5/5 in Shadow Coil - One of our biggest damage dots. This reduces the time of the spell by 50%, making the dots hit faster, and adds lifetap

5/5 in Leech Touch - Makes Harm Touch heal me for 32.4% of your Max Health

5/5 in Devour Vitae - Improves the critical damage of this spell. This spell can turn into an AOE spell, so well worth it

3/3 in Rescue - This increases the hate position proc of Rescue by 3


Line 4 - 

5/5 in Death March - The reuse on this is useless. However, it adds "Strength on the March" to the ability. This adds a group buff of 181.6 Strength to Death March

5/5 in Tap Veins - 15% CB to my other AOE lifetap ability. 

5/5 in Doom Judgement - 10% CB to another AOE

5/5 in Hateful Slam - Increases taunt and damage amount of one of my single target combat arts by 20%

5/5 in Mana Sieve - 12.5% CB to our mana tap spell. 


Line 5 -

1/1 in Unholy Concentration - 15% Strikethrough. Must have.

1/1 in Hateful Respite - Death Prevent. Must have.

1/1 in Reaver - Always on buff that increases my spell damage by 5% and heals me on every hostile spell I cast by 4.8% of my max health. Must have

0/1 in Pools of Blood - I put this into my Survability spec when we first started raiding in this expansion to give myself more health. I may remove this from my build, as well as the additional points placed above to be able to get it 


Line 6 -

5/0 in Dreadful Nightmares  Medium level single target damage. Gives 25% more to base damage

5/4 in Essence Siphoning - At max level, gives me 7.5% potency and reduces the mobs potency by 7.5%

5/5 in Unholy Absorption - Reduces all damage done to caster by 2.5%

0/5 in Pooling Blood - Again, an ability I took when I went full survivability for raiding. Max points gives me .4% Max Health percentage in crease and 5% unconscious health modifier. I may remove this in favor of more dps


Line 7 - 

1/1 in Blood Siphon - Pulls 25% of the groups health and converts it into a ward. The remainder of the ward turns into a heal (but this pretty much never happens because of the damage mobs do). Basically another "Oh, Crap!" Button

                                                         Shadows DPS

 Shadows DPS

Shadows Survive

Liepha's Shadow Survive

General - 

5 in Pet of the Gods - Increases attribute bonus of diety pet by 50%

5 in Hearty Constituion - 2.5% Max health increase


Fighter -

5/5 in Swinging Strike - 15% base damage increase and 10% Critica

5/5 in Battle Hardening - Reduces physical damage done to caster by up to 309.37

1/1 in Sneering Assault - Additional snap combat art. Must have.


Crusader -

5/0 in Cavalier's Call - Adds 1.25% potency to your Unholy Strength group buff as well as 25% spell bonus damage for yourself. I don't have this in my defensive spec only because I didn't have the points

5/5 in Knight's Stance - Adds 25 WDB to your sword when you're wearing a shield. This ability helps make your one hander as good as a two hander

5/5 in Valor in Battle - Increases the damage of your self buff, Grim Harbinger, by 25%

5/5 in Phalanx - Gives you 15% Block Chance 

1/1 in Aura of Crusader - Stun breaker ability AND it makes you immune to all effects for 22 seconds. Must have.


Cavalier - 

5/0 in Rancorous Spite - Adds an additional 15% to the base and critical damage amounts of one of your higher single target damage spells.

0/5 in Malevolent Protection  - Does a small amount of healing, damage, and threat when you block. Not enough dps to warrant having it in my DPS build

5/5 in Dark Knight's Protection - 5% Accuracy and 15% block chance. Must have.

1/1 in Shadowknight's Furor - 100% Ripose/Stoneskin for 16.5 seconds ( in my build). It also adds 20% spell damage to your attacks and procs threat every time you hit. MUST HAVE.

1/1 in Essence Siphon - Decreases Int, STR, and AbMod of target. Increases the Int, STR, and AbMod of the group. Also does damage


                                                               Heroic AA 


Even though I only have one listed here, my spec here differs depending on what I need.


Line 1 - 

10/0 in Attribute Prowess - Increases my stats. STR will increase my damage and is compounded by  the Legionnaire's Wrath ability in the Crusader tree which increases spell damage by 12% of my strength

0/10 in Spirit and Body - Increases Max Health by 5%


Line 2  -

10/10 in Expertise - Increases Potency. I choose more potency over CB because my potency is much lower than my CB if I'm not in reckless

10/8 in Critical Genius - CB increase

10/10 in Lightning Reflexes - As a tank, I've found it incredibly hard to keep my stats up where I need them, especially because casting stats are just as important for me as dps, so I use some of my aa's to boost Reuse to give me some room to move


Line 3 -

10/10 in Enhance: Crusader's Faith - Adds 10% resistability, strikethrough and accuracy to the group. It also increases the time of Crusader's Faith by 8 seconds with 10 points in it. Must have


Line 4 - 

1/1 in Zealous Smite - Group Cure + target encounter aoe and it does pretty big damage


                                                              Dragon DPS  

Liepha Dragon DPS 

Dragon Survive

Liepha Dragon Survive


Line 1 -

10/10 in Dragon Scales - Adds 10% maximum health when in defensive stance

10/10 in Ancient Focus - This increases the duration of beneficial abilities by 10%. This make a huge deal when you need to rotate your stoneskins/damage reductions. This even works on Diety spells. I keep it in both builds

10/0 in Forward Stance - I only take this in my DPS build because it gives me 15% Crit bonus  while in reckless.


Draconic Aggressor (DPS)

1 in Ancient Advance - Putting 10 points in this doesn't seem to stack much damage on my taunts, so I didn't bother putting more points into it

10 in Strength Within - Gives 330 more STR which again compounds with Legionnaire's Wrath

10 in United Strength - 10 WDB

1 in Aggressor's Power - 11 second buff that gives you 20% of your base crit bonus as additionaly Crit bonus

Elder Dragon Scales Line (Survivability)

10 in Fierce Roar - Increments max health by .15% every time I use a primary taunt

1 in Last Stand - Damage reduction if you pop under 2% health. I don't know if this counts if a stoneskin/dp triggers but even then. I don't plan on going under 2% health very often, so I find this pretty much pointless.

10 in Layered Scales - 10% mitigation when in defensive stance.

1 in Draconic Stand - Instant 25% max health heal and 25% max health increase for 24 seconds. Great to have as an instant save or if you're taking a lot of small hits.


Additionally, if needed, mid raid I may reset one of these two specs in the dragon page to grab the "Dragon Roar" page. The bottom most ability is an additional snap.



                                                               Prestige DPS 

Liepha Prestige DPS 

Prestige Survive

Liepha Prestige Survive

DPS Line:

Line 1 -

3 in Stalwart Aura - 12% chance whenever I'm healed to proc 5% damage reduction. Because SK's heal themselves so well, this can pretty much be kept up 1/2 of the time.

3 in Death and Destruction - Improves the base damage of 4 of our blue aoes by 60% 

3 in Field Commander - Small damage proc on spells and combat hits


Line 2 - 

1 in Chaos Cloud - A replacement for grave sacrement that grants additional hate positions. This does a ton more damage and can be reset with the next ability listed below to allow for two powerful blue aoe threat snaps. Must have for DPS spec.

2 in Death March - Gives a 100% chance for Death march to reset the reuse timer on Chaos Clous


Line 3 - 

1 in Chaos Knight - Gives 1 crit bonus for every 20 MA you have


Line 4 - 

3 in Reaper's Mist - Blue AOE that life taps and can buff the groups potency. Can increment up to 8 times


Line 5 - 

2 in Soul Reaper - Increases the base damage of Reaper's Mist initial attakc by 120%

3 in Reaper's Grasp - Adds 3 additional disease damage strikes to Reaping

3 in Life Reap - Improves the potency that Reaping grants by 150% and improves the heal amount by 100%


Line 6 - 

1 in Reaper's Touch - Additional blue aoe which REPLACES Harm touch (they are on the same timer, so be careful with that)  that has a 32% max health heal and makes a ton of our other blue aoe's cast instantly for the next 40 seconds. 


Survivability Line

Line 1 -

3 in Stalwart Aura - 12% chance whenever I'm healed to proc 5% damage reduction. Because SK's heal themselves so well, this can pretty much be kept up 1/2 of the time.

3 in Death and Destruction - Improves the base damage of 4 of our blue aoes by 60% 



Line 2 - 

1 in Dark Knight's Defiance - This ability is amazing. It adds 25% damage reduction to Crusader's Faith, which lasts  25.6 seconds in my DPS build. If you're having a harder time surviving, I would highly suggest putting points into this instead of going all the way down the DPS side. 

2 in Soulsucking Faith - Single target lifetap abilities have a chance to finish the cooldown of Blood Siphon (pulling group health into a ward). Not that great, but needed to get further down. 


Line 3 - 

1 in Shadow Wall - 1% potency for every 12% Crit bonus


Line 4 - 

3 in Chaotic Blade - Does damage to the target and heals me. The heal is higher the closer I am to death.


Line 5 - 

2 in Chaotic Hatred - Adds disease damage tick that will heal over time 

3 in Chaos Barrier - Reduces incoming damage by 30% for 1-2 seconds after use

3 in Chaotic Restoration - This ability is what really makes this ability awesome. It turns the ability into a group heal and cure. 3 points in this is a must have if you take the ability


Line 6 - 

1 in Chaos Knight - This increases the duration of Shadowknight's Furor by 10 seconds, making it 26.5 seconds instead of 16.5. This is a huge deal if you're having a hard time staying alive.


Line 7 - "Middle" Line

3 in Unholy Protector - Increases STA by 100


Class Focus

Liepha Class Focus

Focus: Caress Feedback - Adds a small heal to your self-buff

Focus: Unholy Hunger - Improves the trigger chance of your group buff

Focus: Grim Harbinger - Improves the trigger chance of your self-buff

Focus: Reaver - Improves the heal amount of your self-buff

Focus: Devour Vitae - Turns your single target lifetap into a AOE lifetap

Focus: Tap Veins - Increases the heal amount of your other AOE lifetap

Focus: Death March - Adds damage reduction to On the March

Focus: Bloodletter - Adds an additional trigger to Bloodletter. MUST HAVE


Focus: Grave Sacrement and Focus: Harm Touch and worthless because they mostly focus on increasing the reuse of the spells, of which you should be capped on. In addition, both of these abilities are replaced with other abilities through AA's - Chaos Cloud for Grave Sacrament and Reaper's Touch for Harm Touch.


4. Combat Arts and Spells:

Stoneskins / Saves:

Crusader's Faith - Heal's the crusader based on the groups damage. 25.6 seconds. Has 25% damage reduction in my defensive aa build

Shadowknight's Furor - 100% riposte/stoneskin for 16.5 seconds or 26.5 seconds in my defensive AA build.

Bloodletter - 2 Trigger always-on stoneskin (if you take the class focus option)

Hateful respite - 22 second 1 trigger stoneskin aa. Comes back in 1 minute

Divine Aura - Avoids all damage under 50% of max health

Death March - Reduces damage done to group by 10% for 10 seconds. Timer refreshes after every kill.

Touch of Death - Will absorb physical damage when the amount is greater than 60% of my health

Legnionnaire's Conviction - Reduces 40% of all incoming magic damage and reflects 200% back as damage. 



Sneering Assault - 3 position snap

Rescue - 6 position snap

Touch of Death - 8 second Force target

Grave Sacrement/ Chaos Cloud - AOE snap - 2/3 positions respectively



Devouring Mist - Increases physical mitigation of the mob by 432 and decreases the mitigation of the target encounter vs physical damage by 2592

Siphon Strength - Decreases STR and Int of the target by 126, decreases 7.5 potency and 1.3% Max health.

Cleave Flesh - Reduces targets wisdom by 299.9 and does damage


AoEs - In Damage/Cast Order:

Reaper's Touch

Chaos Cloud

Reaper's Mist

Death Cloud

Zealous Smite - Target encounter/Green aoe

Unending Agony -


Doom Judgment


Devour Vitae

Tap Veins

Hammer Ground



Insidious Whisper - Single target taunt and  damage

Blasphemy - Target encounter taunt and damage

Hateful Slam - KNockdown/Stun, Damage, and single target taunt


Spells/combat arts discussion, basics on your stuff.

 SK's are  60% Spells, 40% combat arts, but as a long time ago they were INT based characters, they actually have a lot of boosts to spell damage hidden in their spec. Because their spells do, combined, a whole lot more than their auto attack, SK''s stats are a whole lot harder to balance than other toons. 



Single Target Attacks:

Shadow Coil - Lifetap and Dot

Swift Attack - Damage and Attack Speed increase

Dreadful Wrath - Slow and damage

Mana Sieve - Damage/Dot and power regen

Painbringer - Damage/Dot and Heal

Siphon Strike - Damage and Heal

Malice - Damage

Legionnaire's Smite - Damage (AA)

Joust - Damage (AA)

Soulrend - Damage, knockdown




5. Hot bar setup - with screen shots

 Liepha's Crazy Hotbars


So... my hot bars are a little crazy. Across the top - Dmg/group temp buff, biggest damage spell, and my attack speed buff. Then my taunts and snaps.

The next two lines down are single target attacks and aoes.

The bottom line are my debuffs, dps temp buffs, and my death saves. 

The hotbars on the right are my buffs, clicky cures, mana pots, signets, etc + my "oh crap" clicky items, and random other things.





6. Group buffs and individual buffs and why you use them where.

Group Buffs

Unholy Strength - RAID WIDE - 1.3 Potency,, 114 STA, 5% spell damage

Unholy Hunger - Group - Damage/Heal proc


Self Buffs

 Innoruuk's Carress - Health, Damage, Threat proc when I get hit

Grim Harbringer - Health and Damage proc when I hit with a melee weapon

Lucian's Pact - Defensive stance

Dark Blade - Offensive stance *I Never Use This*

Recklessness - Reckless stance

Reaver - Procs heals on me on hostile spells. Additionally, gives me 5% bonus spell damage.

The Tribunal's Bastiff - Diety Pet Buff. 61.9 to all stats

Seething Hatred - Damage over time spells increase damage with each tick. Additionally, I proc damage on combat/health hits and 300% of health regained from lifetaps are turned into hate

Cavalier's Shout - Threat proc on combat or spell hit. AA ability in both my specs




Buffs I put on people

Devious Evasion - Grants target 54% chancew of making an additional attempt to avoid being hit using my avoidance. 

Unholy Blessing - Reactive heal. I may macro it on another tank if they're taking a lot of hits and I'm not tanking

Intercept - Totally situation based. I often macro it to my healers when we have sudden adds spawning so I can just rotate it on them all the time 



Pre pull buffs

Unholy Blessing - Reactive heal

Crusader's Faith or Shadowknight's Furor if it's a tough pull/ I expect a lot of damage.



Casting order, combat arts/spells, temp buffs, and why

  After pre pull buffs I will typically use my Bow, unless I have to body pull.

  If there's a big aoe group of mobs, I pop Shadowknigt's Furor (100% riposte + 20% spell damage), then I pop Aggressor's Power (20% of my base crit bonus is added to my crit bonus) and then rotate through my blue aoes to maximize damage. If I'm casting single targets, I go in a line starting at my top bar and going down, always interrupting the order to do something earlier in line that has popped.


For death prevent rotations, I try to use Crusader's Faith first as it comes back the quickest, then Hateful Respite, then Shadowknight's Furor. If I'm taking heavy hits with Crusader;s Faith, I pop Death March (10% damage reduction) and the Dragon Writ for another 8% damage reduction for a total of 43%. I use Touch of Death as a last resort since it has a 5 minute come back timer.


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Baron or Baroness

Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 319

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re: Shadowknight Guide


Bump! Few more things to add and pretty up but its pretty much done.





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re: Shadowknight Guide


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