View Full Version : Echo spamming Signet of Shadows

27-03-2006, 00:58
After some great input for the "Keystone Assassin" build, it's now revised a third time to replace Keystone Signet with Echo. I also changed the stats and ran this build about 50 times... I like how it feels and it still does nice damage.

Deadly Arts - 13
Dagger Mastery - 9
Shadow Arts - 8
Inspiration - 4
Critical Strikes - 12
(one point left)

Leaping Mantis Sting: Lead attack, 18 damage, cripples for 10 secs. on fleeing foe
Wild Strike: Off-hand hits for 15 damage, target loses all stances
Blinding Powder: Must come after off-hand, blinds target for 9 secs.
Twisting Fangs: 16 damage, opponent Bleeds and incurs a Deep Wound for 14 secs.
Mantra of Signets: To instantly recharge SoS, lasts 14 secs.
Signet of Shadows: 31 shadow damage, add 54 shadow damage on the Blind
Echo (Elite): Copies any skill

Besides adding Echo, I decreased Daggers (and Deadly a bit) and increased Critical to 12... it makes all the difference in the world. Your energy is now recovering a lot faster because of the +2E per Critical hit that comes far more often than before. The damage gimp to Daggers is slight, and the slight decrease to my main skill SoS is made up by the extra Critical hits of max damage you now get (22 with these stats).

I also save on energy by precasting MoS a bit before going into battle (3-4 seconds is fine). This allows a bit of regen. I also bought all the runes needed and put on the Zealous and Armour dagger attachments. Zealous gives you +1E every hit for a -1E degen... it's VERY worth it. I'm also in Shrouded armor for max energy. The cast order is (on a running target):


- Mantra of Signets stance (three seconds before reaching target)

- Leaping Mantis Sting-->Wild Strike-->Blinding Powder... they are crippled, lost a stance and are Blind.

- Echo-->Signet of Shadows-->Signet of Shadows-->Signet of Shadows...255 armor ignoring, radar-ranged damage!

- Leaping Mantis Sting-->Wild Strike-->Twisting Fangs... crippled again, lost a stance and now are Bleeding with a Deep Wound.

Total Damage (average 20 damage per base hit): -500 HP


This death build works great for a few reasons. Firstly, the Lead and Off-hand attack have very low recharge times, so in my attack pattern I never have to wait for the second Lead. On opponents that survive the full assault, it doesn't take me long to spam normal attacks (gaining energy) until the skills are ready again.

Next, you have a snare, which is almost essential for melee. You also break a stance, which can really hurt a Distorter who's Crippled from LMS, and it minimizes Frenzy damage from Warriors (I mainly chose WB for recharge though). Blind Powder works great because it can't be evaded or blocked if it's used.

Additionally, it is amazing for the Assassin to have a long ranged damaging attack like SoS. As long as my opening shots get in, I can easily spam three SoS's before they get away. It's not a spell, so Backfire, etc. won't hurt it, and because it is a signet, it has no after cast: Echo (1 sec. + .75 aftercast + 3x1 second for SoS = 255 damage under five seconds.). The fact that it ignores armor allows me to better battle Warriors toe to toe (along with BP of course).

The big Deep Wound Spike at the end often kills, but they are Bleeding for 14 seconds if not, so normal attacks until your setup is ready works well. The spike of LMS-->WB-->TF is strong enough for you to do it on any opponent whose at 50%, saving your SoS spam. If you ever find yourself without Echo, two SoS is still great for a big chunk of damage to the Blind.

I am easily able to rip apart other Assassins because of the defenses this has, and I do well against Warriors and Rangers. Monks are tricky, but if you team up you can make your presence felt. Other casters go down like a stack of cards except pure Blood Necros with... they can be tough, besides Monks and healer Rits, for me to kill.

Your defense and healing, other than BP is weak, so learn to kite when needed. This build is a major force if you have some solid healing/protection to help you. It is unique in some ways because it gets around some common anti-Assassin defenses that, for instances, the damaging R/A pre-build can't as easily get around. Definitely a lot of fun if nothing else.

27-03-2006, 01:13
Have you thought of maybe swapping daggers and critical attribute wise? If you put daggers at 12 and crit at 13 you'll gain 3 energy per crit hit instead of 2, that should help you out mana wise even more. Course if your not having any energy trouble at all there's no need to do this.

27-03-2006, 01:21
Maybe I'm missing something, but your skill points don't seem to add up. You can't have CS at 12, DM at 9, SA at 8, DA at 13, and Insp at 4. That's way more than 200 points.

27-03-2006, 02:09
Maybe I'm missing something, but your skill points don't seem to add up. You can't have CS at 12, DM at 9, SA at 8, DA at 13, and Insp at 4. That's way more than 200 points.
Using runes. Not figuring out the split atm though I've got a really bad headache :p

27-03-2006, 11:26
Thanks for the suggestion. Here are the stats represented both ways... you lose 15 damaage (5 per use) of SoS by dropping Deadly Arts a number. BTW, no points are left over:

Deadly Arts - 12 =11+1
Dagger Mastery - 9 =8+1
Shadow Arts - 8 =7+1
Inspiration - 4
Critical Strikes - 13 =9+3+1
(more energy and Crit damage, 5 less SoS damage)

Deadly Arts - 13 =9+3+1
Dagger Mastery - 9 =8+1
Shadow Arts - 8 =7+1
Inspiration - 4
Critical Strikes - 12 =11+1
(more SoS damage, +1E bonus less per Crit, 1% less chance of a Crit)

02-04-2006, 20:46
Now that I think about this build again, I may test easing off it's "guaranteed kill" ability by switching out Echo (losing one SoS hit of 80 damage) for one of these elites that are supported by my stats:


Aura of Displacement ELITE (Enchantment Spell)
When you cast Aura of Displacement, Shadow Step to target foe. When you stop maintaining Aura of Displacement, you return to your original location.

10E, 2 sec. cast, 15 sec. recharge

This can make the build a lot more frustrating on your enemies in theory... go in and help kill off a target or provide the opening 80% damage. Then whisk away to a safe place (behind your Rit's spirits for example) once things get too hectic for you. I like this concept a LOT.


Locust's Fury ELITE (Enchantment Spell)
For 32 seconds, you have an additional 20% chance to double strike.

10E, 2 sec. cast, 30 sec. recharge

Here's a fun way to test the added damage potential of multiple double strikes in a build. I want to compare the time it takes to kill with this enchant enhancing my attacks with the loss of one SoS. The advantage is that I can keep this on all match, maximizing my normal attack spam and greatly increasing the frequency my +3E Crit hits (even when not using my attack skills) along the way.

Seeping Wound ELITE (Hex Spell)
For 18 seconds, if target foe is suffering from Bleeding or Poison, that foe suffers -2 Health regeneration.

5E, 1 sec. cast, 10 sec. recharge

Bwahahahaha! The worst elite in the game. But I might include it to test out how a joke build feels.


Moebius Strike ELITE (Off-Hand Attack)
Must follow a dual attack. If it hits, Moebius Strike strikes for +22 damage. If you strike a foe whose Health is below 50%, all you other attack skills are recharged.

5E, No cast time, 10 sec. recharge

Why settle for one copy of SoS alone with Echo when I can recharge the entire build! Tell me that this won't be AMAZING if the energy can support it. First, it replaces 22 damage lost from one less 80-damage SoS use. But the big appeal is that I can chain attack this full string.....

Cripple-->stance disable--> Blind---> 2x SoS-->re-Cripple-->stance disable--> Deep Wound+ Bleeding--->all skills recharged

...over and over and over again. Of course you can't stack DWs and Bleeding for extra damage, but you can extend it indefinitely while getting your other damage in (i.e. dual SoS attacks). Crits plus my Zealous mod should help a lot because I can switch to normal attacks when I need a boost. This elite in my build looks full of awesome potential; even the recharge is perfect at 10s.


Assassin's Promise ELITE (Hex Spell)
For 14 seconds, if target foe dies, you gain 18 Energy, and all your skills are recharged.

5E, .75 sec. cast, 45 sec. recharge

I'd be more intrigued with this for my needs if it wasn't for the recharge. Still, I will give it a shot because honestly, do I really feel I'll get a kill every 45 seconds, lol. The Assassin elite options for me are plentiful. If energy is an issue with MS above, then this is an awesome substitute.

Shroud of Silence ELITE (Hex Spell)
All of your Spells are disabled for 15 seconds. For 9 seconds, target touched foe cannot cast Spells.

10E, .75 sec. cast, 30 sec. recharge

Yay me, I have no spells. This can be a decent elite for Monk killing if you have help in your attacks (and he has no one healing him too of course). After confirming he doesn't have some type of enchant up for anti-melee, toss this on him and begin your combo since he'll run. This gives you your Cripple to setup the rest of the damage.

Because you now do 80% max damage from my original version on a tyoical 60AL build, it's best to team up with another attacker on him so he'll die before he gets his ability to cast back. Against other casters, it's a nice way to neuter their help to their team as you continue to hurt them. I wish it lasted longer, but for now I may adjust the stats a bit to get 10s disablement. Kinda like Black Out but I can still use my skills.

Siphon Strength ELITE (Hex Spell)
For 10 seconds, target foe deals -15 damage with attacks and all of your attacks against that foe have an additional 33% chance of being a Critical Hit.

10E, 2 sec. cast, 30 sec. recharge

For this build the -15 bonus doesn't aid much vs. my Blinded melee targets, but it'll help vs. offensive casters a bit. The real potential is in adding 33% chance to getting Criticals... I can possibly be up to having almost a 60% chance of getting Crits if I'm reading that Dagger FAQ thread correctly (+13% from CS L13, +12% from DM L9, +33% from this elite). That's plenty of energy and added damage all around, but the question is do I benefit more from instant skill recharges of the other elites.

Those are the only ones I found fit well in place of Echo and I'll test them all... nothing else in the Mesmer line looks worth supporting (besides my early use of KS in my first build attempts). What are some of your thoughts on these options?

02-04-2006, 23:46
I like the setup.

I've been trying to get a build going with signet of shadow, but I could never make it do any damage.

My only complaint about the build is that you don't have a self heal.

Maybe getting rid of Mantra of Signets for shadow refuge.

If not you can still load up shadow refuge when you go into the 12v12. . .no need for a res in there! :laugh:

03-04-2006, 02:45
Sassy's promise will recharge if your target dies iirc meaning it wont be every 45 seconds unless you fail to kill the target.

26-04-2006, 00:09
I've learned a lot about the Assassin since I posted this as my first build in the class. So here's one updated version using Shroud of Silence, guranteed to shut up your spell casting target (i.e., da Monk):

Critical Strikes - 8
Deadly Arts - 12
Dagger Mastery - 12
Shadow Arts - 10
Inspiration - 4

(zero points left)

Shadow Refuge: +90 HP, 4s of 50% chance to block
Golden Phoenix Strike: Off-hand hits for 26 damage if you're enchanted
Blinding Powder: Must come after off-hand, blinds target for 11 secs.
Twisting Fangs: 18 damage, opponent Bleeds and incurs a Deep Wound for 21 secs.
Mantra of Signets: To instantly recharge SoS, lasts 15 secs.
Signet of Shadows: 29 shadow damage, add 51= 80 shadow damage on the Blind
Shroud of Silence (Elite): No spell casting for 9s, lose your spells for 15s
Rez -or- Golden Lotus Strike -or- Way of the Lotus

As always, Zealous mods and energy+ armor until it's tested. This build addresses a problem above with th lack of defense and/or healing by adding Shadow Refuge.

Start with Mantra of Sigs early as before. If Pat's theory is correct about GPS not needin a Lead attack then you can use Shadow Refuge to be enchanted as you input GPS->Blinding Powder->TF. After that you shut them down with Shroud of Silence, and then you go right into your dual Signet of Shadow attacks.

Total damage on 60AL: 397 (322 armor ignoring)
Total gimp on target: Blind, Deep Wounded, Bleeding, and total spell cast shutdown.

This build has one spell, so the penalty from using this elite does not shut you down. Continue to harass and attack enemy with normal melee strikes until you've recharged... unfortunately there is no snare, but the Rez slot for 12v12 or GvG can be used.

I suggest one of the two +energy gaining skills to be honest since this one can be a bit taxing, but I ran the original above during BWE and will test this one thoroughly in the next few days. A very nice all-around build if it works right... 400 damage is great for a build not purely made for offense, 322 damage ignores armor, I inflict a ton of gimps, and I have defense now unlike before while keeping the rez unless I don't need it.

26-04-2006, 00:31
This is a nice piece of work.

One thing I wonder about all builds based on chain assassin moves, what about distortion, guardian, aegis, ...

Your sequences all look good on paper, but you have to remember real pvp'ers use defense in depth. You'll be quite a terror to footmen, archers and maybe even the bodyguards.

26-04-2006, 02:29
I'm sure most people are aware of the potential gimps in the game.... let's just say my Mesmers and Monks will handle that stuff for me.

In all seriousness, the cool thing about this latest build is that it does it's damage with only two melee attacks. This means that you have a better chance at getting in the hits before protection comes in. You do have the option of adding Way of the Fox if you really need it though (for the Rez), but remember that you can't include everything.

BTW, I forgot that I have two spells that the elite will shutdown, Shadow Refuge and Blinding Powder (which should be a SKILL, not a spell!). I'll have to play it to see how the action may be affected. If it doesn't work out well, I'll choose another elite from the list and re-do it all again.

26-04-2006, 20:27
BTW, I forgot that I have two spells that the elite will shutdown, Shadow Refuge and Blinding Powder (which should be a SKILL, not a spell!). I'll have to play it to see how the action may be affected. If it doesn't work out well, I'll choose another elite from the list and re-do it all again.

Yeah, I was going to point that out, also with Golden Phoenix strike you have to be enchanted when you use it, so shadow refuge (or some monk ench) must be on you. This poses a threat from enchant removal (although not so bad since it's got an 8 s recharge), or an extra problem if you use shroud of silence at the wrong time.

No Golden Phoenix Strike > No blinding powder > no signet of shadows.

Another option, I don't know if you've explored is to go with A/R or R/A (with throw dirt)for a similar build, but use Troll Unguent for self heals (not a spell) serpent's quickness for a stance (recharge your signet/attacks quicker...not as great, but decent) You could also throw in quickening zephyr. And maybe a longer lasting ench like sharpen daggers.

I also agree that blinding powder should be a skill, as should caltrops and a whole lot of dark arts...also binding rituals should be spells...the way it is now, it's annoying for mesmers to interrupt ritualists, as half their spell like abilities are skills. And using power drain on caltrops seems counter-intuitive.

26-04-2006, 22:15
If I use this in 12v12, I'd bring Way of the Lotus over the rez since it gives me energy. For the time being, Shadow Refuge will work fine as the enchant starter.

As for the skill/spell issue, I think Arena.net consciously didn't want the Ranger primaries to have full access to the Assassin skill set to abuse with Expertise.

Azure Eyes
15-05-2006, 05:54
Has anyone tried this build since release yet? I would like to see if it really works in game.

15-05-2006, 06:16
Bwahahahaha! The worst elite in the game. But I might include it to test out how a joke build feels.

No way! Shatterstone is probably the worst elite in the game! It hardly lasts long enough to count as a hex on a target for skills and spells! At least Seeping Wound counts as a hex for 18 seconds, allowing Black Lotus Strike to hit and gain you a pretty chunk of energy for a dual attack follow up. Not to mention Iron Palm could knock down your foe.

critical vengeance
15-05-2006, 11:39
I like this build, deadly arts is somewhat lacking but this makes good use of it, nice work :)

Hitokiri Battousai
15-05-2006, 13:55
This sounds really good especially since i chose a mesmer secondary and didn't really put it to use(in fact i was thinking of switching to a monk one to get contemplation of purity) and makes better use of deadly arts as critical vengeance mentioned.

One thing though, looking at your post with the description of Shadow Refuge, that description is out of date as it only gives regen and then heals a certain amount of HP if you're attacking when it ends. Everything else besides Wild Strike(i think only one stance is lost), seems to be fine...i think.

15-05-2006, 16:05
Wow, I forgot about this setup - it was the first one I tried during BWE. I haven't even tested the final version (http://forums.gwonline.net/showpost.php?p=4045365&postcount=9) yet. Now that I've played the class more, I can see how it would be a pretty good build combining offense and gimpness. Thanks for the Rez!

12-07-2006, 08:01
UPDATE 7/11/06

OK, I finally got some time in playing this and decided to go back to the triple SoS attack for max damage. Here's what I was running...

Triple SoS (As/Me)

Critical Strikes - 8
Deadly Arts - 15
Dagger Mastery - 11
Shadow Arts - 8
Inspiration - 3

(zero points left)

Shadow Refuge: +8 regen for 4s, +52HP if attacking

Golden Phoenix Strike: Off-hand hits for 25 damage if you're enchanted
Blinding Powder: Must come after off-hand, blinds target for 9 secs.
Twisting Fangs: 15x2 damage, opponent Bleeds and incurs a Deep Wound for 13 secs.
B]Mantra of Signets[/B]: To instantly recharge SoS, lasts 13 secs.
Signet of Shadows: 35 shadow damage, add 60= 95 shadow damage on the Blind
Echo : Copy any skill for 20s

Rez -or- Distortion: Need to add Illusion points to use it

Full Shrouded armor, one Dagger set with Zealous and +5E, and the other one normal. You should have access to 37E.

This build would work a lot better for me IF there was a way to use Distortion over Shadow Refuge. I hate this skill since the gimp to be honest, but I need an enchant for GPS and there's no more room with a Rez sig.

In any case, this setup kills even 100 AL builds if it is all executed correctly. Go in with Mantra of Signets on... let it regen energy back a bit if you can. When nearing the target, turn on Shadow Refuge and now you can hit GPS->Blinding Powder->Twisting Fangs. Use SoS before MoS runs out and it instantly recharges. Use Echo->SoS->SoS to finish them off. The total damage is over 500, much of it ignoring armor.

Defense is SR... blah. I hope they fix this skill. If I can fit Distortion here while keeping TF and three SoS uses, I'll be happy.

Azure Eyes
17-07-2006, 07:21
I still feel this build is missing killing power. I feel in many cases that running a standard sin build is more viable. It really makes me mad since its like this build is on the verge of being great but is missing one skill. Hopefully if anet doesnt kill off sins in the next chapter they will add a heal into the deadly arts line to get rid of SR.

17-07-2006, 11:00
Two main difference between this and typical all-melee Assassin builds.

1.) Your three SoS casts can do it's great damage at spell range in case you are after kiters.

2.) Those attacks ignore armor.

But yeah, I agree that the healing is awful.