[Feedback] Deathguard Shadow Strike Dervish and Shadow Strike in general

I have tested few specs of Deathguard Shadow Strike Dervish. In my opinion Deathguard offers better support for Shadow Strike and is more well-rounded set in general then new Dunefiend.

Here is the Grimtools of my spec.. Notice how I chose Aeon + Dying God over Acid Devotion map. Because I did try with Yugol + Abomination at first but spec was dying every time. I tested it all in Crucible 150-170 with three blessings + vanguard banner: a golden standard for testing all endgame builds (except niche tanky builds designed for very deep Shards and Celestials). Success rate of this spec is <40%.


EDIT: Summoning @thejabrixone @ya1 @Nery @Valinov and everyone who had experience with Acid Shadow Strike in this patch both with Deathguard and Dunefiend to share your opinion on the matter!

Here is SS damage breakdown to make this wall of text more bearable

SS cooldown is 1.6 seconds.

As you can see from the stats, build has everything it could need on paper to become successful. High cdr coupled with Aeon Devotion, 80% of Ascension uptime, double resist reduction, respectable OA/DA and armor and physical resist, huge leech. But it just doesn’t work.
To make matters worse, this is Acid Dervish, class combination with insane amount of Synergy. You all saw what Venomblade Dervishes can do. You all saw what Demonslayer Dervishes can do.

Suggestions for Deathguard

  • Add more Cold to Acid conversion
  • Add a flat cd reduction for Shadow Strike

Suggestions for Shadow Strike

  • up its weapon damage
  • make Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends an AOE proc, kind of like Tainted Eruption from Abomination devotion
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Did you try the dunefiend weapon with +1 nightade instead of the 2nd deathguard blade? You don’t rly need that vit to acid conversion on a dervish, right?

I like this part

Also can’t understand why is there Deathguard when we have Dunefiend for SS :roll_eyes:
Double RR mastery with flat absorb and cdr vs Reaper?

Shadow Strike hasn’t been updated for long time and apparently struggle .

I have tried it as Spellbreaker in previous patches and even with defensive devotion map and insane damage,like over 25k WD it can’t complete Gladiator 170 and even if it does,it will be slower.

The main problem is the fact,auto attack is just more solid as life steal source,also it deals constant damage and trigger WPS and they can proc multiple devotions.

My suggestions for SS

-increase WD
-Nightfall should have bigger range and more skill points bonuses available

Dunefiend set

-add CD reduction on weapon 1,like -0.3 seconds
-add CD reduction to blood of Dreeg modifier to SS -0.3 seconds in weapon 2
-change conversion from pierce to acid,not lightning on chest.

Deathguard set,I have played Bone Harvest Reaper and really struggle,strange idea to combine SS+BH,which is 2h skill to DW build

-change skill bonus from SS,to ABB and Execution
-add -25% or so modifier to Omen
-add Defensive ability to 1 armor piece and offensive to other.

Legendary gear only Reaper struggles with OA,DA,CC and covering resistances.

Rather than repost my old commentary on the cold side of shadow strike I’ll just be linking it here Cold shadow strike? and restating relevant thoughts old and new.

  • Mobility runes have changed the gamescape such that the mobility on shadow strike is no longer a heavy upside and it should be rebalanced accordingly.
  • Sources of +skill to shadow strike itself and derivative are hard to come by in a meaningful and useful way for cold builds when scaling on the skill fails to match general bonuses, or in the case of nightfall is dead last in terms of scaling.

As a cooldown based single target nuke skill that cannot stack itself with WPS (nightfall currently does negligible damage) there are two directions for improvement, single target prowess and AoE prowess.

  • Improvements to its single target damage per cast would need to be of such great magnitude that it becomes something just shy of a “click to delete” skill if the design intent is for shadow strike to remain single target focused. The cooldown drastically limits its contribution to overall kill potential, especially when compared to auto attacking builds that are stacking WPS and consistently hitting with both hands.
  • improvements to the skill’s cooldown will be much more beneficial than the single target damage buffs we are likely to see. Frequently shadow strike is responsible for massive overkill on a single target, even more so when it rolls its chance to strike with both hands. Instead of having one utterly massive spike of damage spread over the time it takes for so many autos we would see better performance with more frequent attacks.
  • improvements to nightfall could give the skill meaningful AoE and actually give us a reason to invest in it instead of the current state where you want literally anything else.

Look back a patch and nobody was talking about shadow strike in the absence of the new gearing options. We don’t need a slew of modifiers on sets to prop the skill up, the base skill itself needs buffs.

If one of the two acid shadow strike sets is going to change why not make it the lesser of the two, dunefiend? Shift the bonuses to ring of steel and you have an all the more thematic “things spin” acid set, to say nothing of the stat holes it currently has.

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You do, actually, because of flat vitality damage from the relic. But it’s not why I took second Deathguard Blade. It’s simply better then Dunefiend one. 4% cdr, fully Acid dagger, +1 to Nighblade (so I can actually cap SS and NJE) versus 30% weapond damage on SS and a huge loss of flat damage with my double Seal of Blades setup (note that all the flat Pierce from Seal of Blades is converted into Acid on SS).

Alright so here it is what you asked for:

My current one only softcap shadow strike though. Havent polished it again. Maybe after the buff if any.

Shadow strike cannot be used for your focus. Previously my success on N&O SS because it supported by multitude of powerful procs. The other was with RoH because RoH is massively damaging.

I have also tried pure cold SS + ABB infiltrator with silver sentinel set and it’s not good. SS need buff. It’s either need to be super massively damaging as single target damage or give it a bit of AoE.

After taking a closer look, you are right. Even without conversion deathguard blade is better.

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Deathguard should convert cold not pierce so that it can be used with Riftscourge Slicer. And then some buffs to the mods. And then SS is still a meme main because it’s single target. Seriously, no reason in the world to be so stingy on those conversions.

One approach (that would admittedly shaft 2h - maybe give it a 2h transmutor?) could be to always have DW SS hit with both hands. It’s already a cooldown based nuke with massive crit damage, more consistency would be welcome. However this is headed towards the “click to delete” design which I’m not sure the devs would prefer.

I wonder what will tooltip look like with 26/16 SS and 22/12 NJE. Because it seems like that Dunefiend gives SS much less than Deathguard does. But it’s still not nearly enough. Any kind of decent auto-attacker build is like levels above SS build right now.

I totally forgot toadd the video I recorded for it, added it to op.

Sure thing. This is witch hunter version I made and have given up on it:


SS is basically comparable to Cadence but scales with cdr instead of attack speed so let’s compare the two, both on base skill and item support, only DW.

-Better weapon damage
-AoE support (fighting form) hits limited targets but deals full damage on both targets. Also no
of targets can be increased easily with items in the case of pierce.
-majority of damage can be easily converted to your main damage type. Physical obviously is 100%, pierce at 90% (reaver), cold (deathmark) at around 60-70% depending on rolls. Same with any other damage type you want with the right items, and since conversion on cadence builds is mostly global, it affects even the non cadence hits.
-high attack speed is easily achievable on DW. Pierce has no trouble gettin 200% for example.

Shadow Strike
-worse weapon damage than Cadence
-AoE support (nightfall) doesn’t deal so much damage
-conversion is wonky. On dunefiend only cold is converted. On deathguard only pierce. There isn’t much global conversion too so in the case of acid so lethal assault on basic attacks isn’t so effective, and your WPS is generally weaker.
-your cdr can’t reach ideal levels, since you don’t have an offhand and the sets don’t grant as much as you want. Cold has loxmere daggers but it has skill point issues in exchange for cdr. This js where it really pales in comparison to cadence cause 200% AS cadence with max WPS (you go cadence every 2 hits instead of 3) lands cadence around twice per second (a bit less since some wps have bad animations), but from mad_lee’s figure of 1.6 s cooldown on SS, you hit twice per 3.2 seconds, and cadence already hit 6 times at that time period, while having a base skill better than shadow strike at anything except lower AoE and the movement part.

What I suggest:

-lower SS cooldown through item support (doesn’t matter which damage type) to Vanquisher VM levels. In current patch the only times we’ve seen builds around movement skills work are those that can be spammed indefinitely (Vanquisher) and those that have multiple movement skills chained in succession (veretragna’s triple blitz markovian), and those are all full conversion builds, so maybe just cooldown isn’t enough.

-more conversion is a given

-lastly more AoE on nightfall. This will make SS builds a lot more point deficient tho since you’ll have to max out all three SS nodes as well as lethal so maybe ad more +skills too.

2 out of 3 of those above should be fine, imo.

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If you’re giving it a lower cooldown in any regard the energy cost will need to be addressed globally. Going well below 1.8s will absolutely chug energy on any build, and this is a weapon damage melee skill we’re talking about of all things.

It’s 1.6 cd on my build and energy is very manageable with those stats. But then it’s Oathkeeper of course, not sure how Witch Hunter can even compete here.

This has literally always been the case.

Thank you for clarifying. I’ve never seen a clear cut answer on it until now, just speculation.