The Skirmish Shadow Warrior Project

Having tested the Assault path in the process of writing my Guide to Sexy Boots (Shadow Warrior Guide) I have decided to fully test all Shadow Warrior paths and share my experience and observations with anyone interested.

Session 1 - Full Skirmish Bombing

Just for fun I decided to run a full skirmish, front lines, "bomb spec'ed,"
Shadow Warrior and I had a great time, although my version of a great
time is probably not the same as yours. ;) Although my mortality rate in this
crazy bomb spec was much, much less than it was during melee testing - and I
attribute this directly to better gear (3pc Warlord/3pc Invader vs 3pc Invader/3pc Conqueror) and higher renown (RR55 vs RR69,) I found it to have excellent enemy softening capabilities and with good heals it is pretty viable. In either event, we found out a few days ago that with the release of patch 1.3.6 this build will no longer be possible; rather than throwing all my testing footage away, I decided to share it as a fun memory. ( more commentary... )

In this "bombing" spec I ran Masterful Aim, Expert Skirmisher, Charge Forth, and Replenishing Strikes which put my heaviest damage at 0-25 feet. I found the damage hit of running Split Arrows undercut my ability to single target. Rather than stacking the typical Armor, I decided to stack toughness and it seemed to work pretty well; ( I rather think the armor or toughness debate is going to boil down to your play style and which classes are hitting you most. )

Lileath's Arrow was by far the best ability in the tree for bombing because it didn't matter if the mdps was in my face or not and also because it kind of worked around the lowered range penalty of Charge Forth; giving me the ability to work at a more traditional Skirmish range. The damage off Lileath's was very respectable and even running at only a 20% crit rate the AoE factor had me crit'ing on every shot.

Running this in a group with Leading Shots is beautiful although AP was a bit of a problem at first. I found that a half second-ish pause between button smashing was enough to solve the AP issue; in fact, once I got a rhythm down I never went back to Replenishing Strikes for AP management. Though I will admit that because I personally got very few block/disrupts with my build, Replenishing Strikes was not really providing enough AP return to be worth running for me.

Sorc's were my biggest problem in this build, although I don't think this is "unexpected" and to be honest it wasn't that much of a problem, not sure if they simply overlooked me because I was uncharacteristically in the front lines or maybe it was a lack of Sorc's on the battlefield for over a week. (…hahaha…) Anyway, running Concealment was generally enough to escape most of the Sorc's who decided to hit on me. ( hide commentary... )

Mastery Training
Renown Training
Skirmish Stats

Bomb Skirmish SW Video Play on YouTube
2010-07-12 20:45
2010-07-12 22:21
2010-07-12 23:47
2010-07-13 22:14
Bomb City - I was not the champion

Session 2 - Skirmish/Scout

In this session I kept the same renown training and gear as session 1 and played with various mastery point allocations in Skirmish and Scout. This is probably the most difficult build I have tested thus far because, at first, I had a hard time adjusting to Skirmish/Scout finding the Scout damage to be lackluster compared to Skirmish damage. In addition, in light of pending changes in 1.3.6, I completely avoided the Expert Skirmisher and Charge Forth tactics which reduced my damage a bit as well. However, with some fiddling and grumbling I eventually found a viable build for effectively stance dancing skirmish and scout sans ES/CF. The mortality rate in this build ranged quite a bit, I found the front lines bombing play style of session 1 to be less effective sans ES/CF, but survivablity at full range skirmish was acceptable to me. ( more commentary... )

In the 7/16 12:09 screen shot and video some of you may pick up on the fact that I was in a premade; I thought I would include this since I realize that many of you prefer to run in groups. In the premade I was running an 18 points Skirmish / 10 points Scout build and I believe Masterful Aim, Leading Shots, Bullseye, and Instinctive Aim was the most effective sans CF/ES tactic set I found. (Although, I personally can't stand the increased cast times from Steady Aim so IA was rather frustrating for me.)

On the 20th, after much fiddling, I settled on a 17 point Skirmish (giving up Flanking Shot) / 11 point Scout ( taking Enchanted Arrow and Fester Arrow ) as the best build for stance dancing Skirmish/Scout effectively. With Enchanted Arrows I found the damage on Fester Arrow/Flame Arrow worth dropping into Scout for on single targets. This is the build I used in the Skirmish/Scout City screen shot.

I ended up playing around with tactics a lot during this session (trying to steer clear of Charge Forth and Expert Skirmisher.) I think Masterful Aim, Enchanted Arrow, Bullseye, and Leading Shots was the best combo I found. (As a note, I almost always run leading shots these days regardless of being solo or not, but I'd say Replenishing Strikes, Discerning Offense, or Pierce Defenses would probably be good alternatives to try.) As was the case when testing the bombing spec of session 1, I found that Split Arrows hurt my Spiral Fletched Arrow damage too much to be worth taking and opted for using Lileath's Arrow for AoE damage and running Spiral Fletched as a single target attack. ( hide commentary... )

Skirmish Mastery Training
Scout Mastery Training
Renown Training
Skirmish Stats
Scout Stats

2010-07-16 08:23
2010-07-16 12:09
2010-07-16 12:38
2010-07-20 09:25
Skirmish/Scout City - I was not the champion
Skirmish/Scout Video Play on YouTube