[] Shadowstrike Spellbreaker: 17s Dummy, 4s Madqueen, Kill Cronley before his Maiven's

Greetings. As you may have known, Spellbreakers, more specifically the dual wielding Shadow Strike variant, have been reclaiming its former top tier build status as of, a feat that is made easier by the changes implemented in However, the builds on various forum posts have not been optimized, with the commented suggestions being a lot closer than the main threads themselves. With this post, I hope to correct a lot of misconceptions and core errors that hinder people from enjoying the glacial wonder that are Spellbreakers.

Sidenote: Even though this build might be already known through JoV’s screenshots and various comments, I still believe it is beneficial to post my version of it as it is more detailed.

Additionally, there is a similar build by Drizzto that I recommend checking out if you enjoy Shadow Strike focused builds. Update!

As you have probably heard or read by now, Shadow Strike took a major hit in the latest patches. Because of this, this build is now a Tier 1 build instead of being a peerless Tier 0 build in Dummy test runs show a 5 second increase in kill time, bringing the kill time to a saddening, but acceptable, ~22 seconds. As for sheet dps, the build suffered around a ~12k deficit (varying depending on the setup).

As for build tweaks, there aren’t much. Because of the heartbreaking changes to Blade Spirit, where they removed the unintentional mechanic of each Blade Spirit having its own instance of devotion procs and cooldowns, the skill is now almost useless to the build. As a result, I replaced Amatok with Chariot, as happy-go-lucky Blizzardspirit doesn’t work anymore. I bound Whirlpool to Ring of Steel as they have very similar cooldowns and is almost always a guaranteed proc.Here is the new grimtools. Below is also updated; Maiven’s is still unnecessary.

As a reminder, you still do not need a well-rolled Loxmere Blade or +5 SS for this build to be good. Olexra’s Chill works just as fine, if not better.

Character I:

(This is with Lethal Assault active. My Cold and Frostburn modifiers are at +2032% and +1916% respectively during this buff)

http://www.grimtools.com/calc/62aPAON4 (updated for press and hold Ctrl+Shift to see before +skills)

Elemental Storm to Shadow Strike | Whirlpool to Ring of Steel
If you are going to running the variant that replaces Amatok with Chariot, then bind Whirlpool to Blade Spirit and Wayward Soul to something along the lines of Star Pact.

Head: Clairvoyant’s Hat with Leather Hide + Mankind’s Vigil
Chest: Deathmarked Jacket with Chains of Oleron and Mankind’s Vigil
Hands: Iceskorn Talons with Mutated Scales and Mankind’s Vigil
Belt: Spellbreaker Waistguard with Antivenom Salve + Spiritguard Powder
Medal: Badge of Mastery (I’m using +5 Shadow Strike, but just +2 is needed) with Arcane Spark
Rings: Alkamo’s Touch of Anguish + Alkamo’s Touch of Dread both with Corpse Dust + Survivor’s Ingenuity
Amulet: TheStillGoodAfterNerf Eye of Beronath with Focusing Prism + Survivor’s Ingenuity
Weapon 1: Crescent Moon with Oleron’s Blood + Creed’s Cunning
Weapon 2: Glacial Loxmere’s Frostblade of Shattering with Coldstone + Creed’s Cunning
Shoulders: Ordered Zantarin’s Shoulderguard of Vitality with Scaled Hide + Mankind’s Vigil
Pants: Stonehide Solael-sect Legguards of Reptilian Resilience with Scaled Hide and Spiritguard Powder
Boots: Stonehide Exalted Treads of Kings with Mark of Mogdrogen and Outcast’s Warding Powder
Relic: Belgothian’s Carnage (best with +1 Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends & +1 Night’s Chill competition bonus)

The items listed aren’t necessarily best in slot. More particularly, while the Loxmere Frostblade seems to be peerless, it isn’t—in my testing, the legendary weapon “Olexra’s Chill” performed exactly as well as this weapon, maybe even better. Additionally, like previously mentioned, while I am using a Badge of Mastery with +5 Shadow Strike, it isn’t necessary; just +2 is needed. And as usual, tailor your rare items, augments, and components to your resistances, though I wouldn’t recommend using anything other than Zantarin’s Shoulderguards for your Shoulder slot as its resistances and skill bonus (+3 to Lethal Assault) are extremely valuable.


Since this is a Spellbreaker, you are going to have slightly more complex skill sequences than the average melee build. Shadow Strike is your damage source, so the utilization of the skill is your highest priority. I recommend binding it to one of your mouse buttons to reduce cast delay and to use it as much as possible. Additionally, as a lower priority, cast Oleron’s Might and Amarasta’s Blade Burst immediately off of cooldown while maintaining Blade Spirits. Use Pneumatic Burst for healing and a constant buff and cast Mirror of Ereoctes and Blade Barrier in emergency situations. Nullify Reflective or shielded enemies.

Gameplay Video

Pros and Cons of this build:

  • Easily the highest single target damage build in the game, evident by the dummy and mad queen kill times.
  • Innately good AoE with Nightfall, Blizzard, Whirlpool, etc. This in combination with the impressive single target damage results in very fast clearing speeds.
  • Great mobility.
  • Very good potential scaling with the expansion.
  • Looks shiny.
  • Have more than average light radius.
  • Acceptable defensive capabilites.
  • Innately squishy and relatively hard to cap resistances because of class choice.
  • Lacking resistance reduction.
  • Rare class choice: many people deleted their Spellbreakers after its descent to the dumpster and as a result, do not have a Spellbreaker ready for when it’s rising back up.
  • Often abbreviated as “SB”, which is also the abbreviation of a very severe profanity in Chinese. Hilarious when I say to someone “you are such a righteous SB” and they take it as a compliment.

Skill choices and variations:

Most glaringly, you might notice the lack of Maiven’s, a skill that is widely considered to be one of the best defensive skills in the game (after you use it of course), in the build. The justification is that this build is very hungry for points even though the current gear configuration frees up more points than the standard 4 piece Deathmarked setup. Additionally, for the purposes of the main campaign, Maiven’s is fairly unnecessary even without Chariot or any defensive devotions because of the briefness of the enemies: groups can be easily killed through the AoE and crowd control capabilities of this build and bosses (even nemeses) tend to last around the same time as your Mirror’s duration should you require it in the first place. For the purposes of Crucible, however, it might be wise to run a more defensive setup, such as siphoning points from Nightfall to Maiven’s and or replacing Amatok with Chariot (though if you are going to be farming in multiplayer, I do not believe these changes to be necessary as the difficulty drastically drops with each increasing player).

Another questionable choice is the full commitment of maxing Night’s Chill even though it’s widely believed that anything past 10/10 is a waste. While the belief is generally true, this case is an exception: this build, and a lot of cold builds, have less than average resistance reduction, and even though Night’s Chill have diminishing returns on its scaling past the normal cap, every bit helps significantly because of the build’s naturally low potency and sources of resistance reduction to begin with.

On a more devotional note, if you are having troubles with resistances, I recommend replacing Owl with Empty Throne.


Special thanks to kidpid for brainstorming, testing of skill and gear variation, and comically criticizing my skill priorities. Also thanks to Drizzto for testing and brainstorming.

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smart title.



Glad you guys liked it.

nice build :wink:

but I will stick with dm for now until the coast is clear! :stuck_out_tongue:

RIP in peace! :rolleyes:

There isn’t anything wrong with the 4 piece DM setup; it’s just that I can squeeze more damage out of the 1 piece version :stuck_out_tongue:

#RIP Spellbreaker.


Drizzto what the fuck :D:D:D:D

Glad someone took time out to post JoV’s build

R.I.P brave build

There is always a guy, who can’t just keep his mouth shut :smiley:

Wouldn’t play, SB got nerfed too bad.

Nice one. :cool:

at least i laughed !!

ok i laughed louder when i first read “brainstorming” in 1st post but whatever :rolleyes:

Oh come on…as if anyone thought some adjustments to Shadow Strike aren’t warranted in the future. :stuck_out_tongue:

It doesn’t take some “top secret build” to see that the pendulum had swung a little too far for cold SS builds. Could argue that it may have already been too far in, but at least now cold is more mainstream. :smiley:

#deadbuild (aka, probably a 5-8% reduction at ultimate ranks)


now lets see if this topic will be usefull or not :cool:

All intended? only because you can put out a massive amount of damage it doesn’t mean this build is broken, if you play it wrong you die, it’s a glass cannon not metter how manage to go defensive.

More defensive = less damage = more deaths, like the old BM faster your kill less you die.

It’s all about playstyle and timing.

There are builds nearly unkillable, can facetank all contents of this game, so why don’t nerf them?

I think if they nerf SB with some logic and not to the ground (oh my BM) it’s ok, but it’s not necessary

Here we go… Been waiting for something like this. Been wanting to rock them Cold Damage Affix Alkamos Scythes for a while now. Will this build accomodate a 2-h?

sure it does. You might as well try it with the legendary scythe for CDR. But don’t get over excited:D

since i didnt update first post just pick up alkamos rings

When the devs have the balls to come into your build thread and tell you they’re nerfing it straight up.

Love these guys. :smiley:

All into Physique?

May I ask what’s your CD on SS ? Something like 1.3s I guess ?