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Dr Strangellama, or how I learned to stop worrying & love the DW-Void-y Rogue

This isn’t a build guide per se, but it is a guide to Shadow Daggers. It was also going to showcase how much better a staff would be for it, but, erm, no. DW Blade of the Forgotten Knight & the Amulet is awesome, much higher attack speed, lots of damage & since you’re dual wielding you get much better support from the Bladedancer passive tree. If you want to go balls-to-the-wall on added damage for Shadow Daggers, it’ll be DW Blade of the Forgotten Knight (+53 melee phys damage, +15-25 melee void damage & +35-50 spell void damage) and 2 Ballista’s Cursed rings (11-13 throwing phys damage & 14-17 throwing fire damage at t5).

How Shadow Daggers works -

Shadow Daggers is (I think) an ailment that triggers a secondary effect. When you hit a mob with 100% chance to apply Shadow Dagger, you apply 1 stack of an ailment called Shadow Daggers. When you reach 4 stacks they trigger a damaging effect (not an ailment) for base phys damage plus any added melee, throwing attack & spell damage @ 100% added damage effectiveness. So if you want as much damage as possible then you need to stack as much of those added damage as possible. They are equivalent, so 1 added melee damage = 1 added throwing attack damage = 1 added spell damage (either adaptive or any element).

Shadow Daggers has a whopping 300% added damage effectiveness.

Tags - Physical, Melee, Throwing and Spell

Damage doesn’t appear to be converted, so the base damage of the skill (60) is multiplied by any physical damage modifiers, but any added damage doesn’t get converted & is multiplied by it’s own element modifiers (eg, the % increased void damage on Blade of the Forgotten Knight).

The damage appears to be based on the hit that procs the dagger damage (ie, the 4th hit if you don’t have any shadow dagger effect), I hit the dummy 3 times with my DW Forgotten Knight swords then removed them & hit it unarmed & did tiny damage, compared to hittting it 3 times unarmed & then the 4th time with DW Forgotten Knight swords.

Increased Shadow Dagger effect appears to both reduce the amount of hits required to get them to do damage as well as increase the damage that the Shadow Daggers do. So while the “Shadow Dagger effect” effect that reduces the number of hits required for damage does have breakpoints, even if you’re inbetween them, you still get the benefit of increased damage.

Shadow Dagger Effectiveness breakpoints -

  • 0% (4 stacks)

  • 50% (3 stacks)

  • 150% (2 stacks)

  • 250% (1 stack), this is what I suspect is going to be the breakpoint for 1 stack, which is achievable but requires t6 or t7 helm/chest affixes (with max rolls you can get 4x 27% on idols, 50% on a T5 helm affix & 75% on a T5 chest affix for a total of 233% increased effect. So you’d need probably 2x average roll t6 affixes to hit this.

Skills - Shift (Hidden Blades, 2 points), Puncture (Death’s Imprint, 4 points), Smoke Bomb (Knives in the Dark, 1 point but also Swirling Fog for +25% increased frequency per point, 4 points), Shadow Cascade (Shadow Elegance, 1 point), Synchronised Strike (Umbral Assassination, 1 point), Dancing Strikes (Dark Blades, 1 point)

Edit: It also looks like it scales with % increased melee, throwing & spell damage, but not % hit damage from the skill that procs it.


Isn’t it always a crit as well? So you only need to stack AS and CD.

Yup, it always crits (unless you have another effect that prevents critting such as Winguards).

Yeah that’s why I thought about a Two Handed sword build with an Ancient Sword as base. After I lost all my savegames I’ll give it a spin right now ^^.

“Unfortunately” two-handed weapons provide less base damage for Shadow Daggers.

A Blade of the Forgotten Knight (dual wielded), can give up to 53 melee phys, 25 melee void & 50 spell void as base damage (total = 128 x2 = 256). With an attack speed of 1.2
A Sorcery Staff can provide up to 64 melee phys, 120 adaptive spell damage & 2x 51 flat melee added damage prefixes (total = 286). With an attack speed of 0.92.
An Ancient Blade can provide up to 53 melee phys & 2x 51 flat melee added damage prefixes (total = 155), plus up to 67% crit multi, how much crit multi can a Rogue get normally? 75% from All In (so the crit multi from an Ancient Blade is effectively a 24% more multiplier). With an attack speed of 1.05.

I’ve calculated the effective DPS based on the flat damage x attack speed x crit multi (2.75 for the Forgotten Knight sword & Staff and 3.42 for the Ancient Blade). I’m ignoring all other modifiers since they are either common or not relevant (the weapon’s attack speed is a multiplier to all other sources of attack speed, therefore the only relevant one is the weapon implicit, a Deicide Sword will always be ~14% faster than an Ancient Blade).

The Forgotten Knight sword is significantly better than the staff which is significantly better than the Ancient Blade.

The Ancient Blade’s base damage is just too much lower than a Deicide Sword.

I realy don’t care that much for the damage if it’s viable. The Ancient sword just delivers up to 76% (?) more crit dmg That’s why i wan’t to toy arround with it and test it vs other weapons. In the end I’m pretty sure flat dmg weapons will have better results but I’m simply bored so I play something offmeta that might be totaly crap :D.

BTW I have to take another look at weapons because how the mechanics work I don’t even need to play a sword build if there are Idols that might work. I’m pretty sure there are no Idols that have the explizits I’m looking for but then again I just fiddle arround with it.

On top of it after some testing… no way the daggers only scale with spell and throwing dmg. I hit for 200 dmg and do 1k crits at 223% crit dmg without any % increases in throwing dmg or spell dmg. There are no other dmg benefiting stats on my sheet so there has to be more to it ^^. I think… and this is far fetched… that the daggers scale the same way as the skill you use it with.

The scale with melee, spell & throwing damage. It’s adding all of the flat melee damage, flat spell damage & flat throwing damage as base Shadow Daggers damage. Plus ~200 base physical damage.

If I add 200 dmg to the dmg I do it might hit the spot but it seems to be something like Base skill dmg + Shadow Dagger dmg x CD. That’s the only way possible to make 1k crits possible with 200 dmg on skillusage.

IMO, it’s

  • (60 + (flat melee damage + flat spell damage + flat throwing damage) x3 ) x (% shadow dagger effect + % melee damage + % spell damage +% throwing damage + % global damage modifiers) x (% crit multi)

The global damage modifiers would include anything such as % increased damage while dual wielding, any increased element modifiers (such as physical, void, etc that are relevant to the flat damage you’ve got).

When is the gameplay anime music video with Linkin Park coming out?

I don’t find a source for it, where is this from? “Shadow damage modifier” how tho? if shadows uise a skill that proccs a dagger? Why is throwing dmg in this? The daggers aren’t thrown at all. Magic dmg okay… I realy have no idea why all three dmg types are in there outside of the fact to make the daggers viable for every dmg build no matter if you use throwing or spells (even if there is only one) and melee dmg.

I’m a tad bit confused and neither find something in the game guide or if I mouseover and press alt. enlighten me please I’m propably blind :D.

from the patch notes for 0.8d

the tags were added to give ways to scale the damage (and i think were intended to be included from the start? the base damage is absolutely worthless without the tags enabling scaling)

i believe @Llama8 meant to type “shadow dagger effect” instead of “shadow damage effect”

edit: btw, very interesting concept llama, i look forward to trying it out. i’ve yet to find a single blade of the forgotten knight though, so i’ve got some grinding (or gambling) to do.

Ahh, that would be a typo, it was supposed to be “shadow dagger effect”.

Dammitt posted this on Discord when asked if anyone knew all the tags for shadow dagger.


Source: Discord Link

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Hm okay makes me instantly sad to see a staff as best possible 2h option. I realy like the rogue class but some stuff is so out of line I don’t think it’s fitting but luckly that’s only a me problem. Now I need to see what doors this options open up and if there is a way to make this work nicely.
So far it seems like only dualwielding is the way to go for melee, everything else don’t stand a chance because there a problems to itemise accordingly. I’ll give the staffs a try these days but this makes me pretty sad.

as i started thinking about how to make this work without the forgotten knight swords, i had an idea for a “budget” version… mainhand sceptre, offhand rune dagger… the damage won’t be as good but it has all the parts to be successful.

With dual wield the whole thing is a nobrainer. You can simply work with shards on swords that increase spell damage. I want to make it work with a twohanded weapon but it seems like a huge waste of time because the devs missed the opportunity to design the class in way to make it work. It looks like they want rogues in only 2 ways… with a bow or dualwielding and nothing else.
I like the rogue how it is and this is the first “problem” I personaly have with this class. This is probably something only I have a problem with so no sweat ;). it’s just a bit dissapointing but I’ll see how it works out in the end.

Yeah, for crafted, dual wielding a Divine Sceptre & Rune Dagger would be best.

Has anyone been messing around with this?

I haven’t been able to find a combo that works better or at least reasonably well compared to a Boardman sync strike and cascade shell. Having the shadows count as separate sources for applying the dagger debuff really helps delete screens. Also has the added benefit of making smoke screen pretty lethal (at 150% dagger effectiveness it procs daggers once a second).

Daggers are hitting for about 6-11k with 400 crit multi, 250 increased, and 2 Shards of the Shattered Lance (working with what I have lol). For comparison, my cascade crits for 300 and sync for about 1000.

If 250% is the magic number for 1 stack procs, I think it may actually make dancing strike viable as a damage source. I’ve been messing around with it and at 150%, it feels okay, but it requires shift-cascade dagger procs. Cascade’s mana gain lets you take dancing strike’s shadow generator and never run out, too. It feels a lot more fun than the sync strike + cascade combo though.

Messed around with Puncture, but the skill feels awful for melee.

Still think it’s hilarious how staffs with shadow daggers are actually not bad. Very strange how they work.