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arredondo
14-05-2006, 02:19
How does 40s of near invulnerability sound?

This build is actually working out better than I first thought it would. Use the base template to setup the kind of build you want, then add the filler skills to farm faction in PVP, or to farm XP and loot in PvE. My first team I was with in TA after making it was on a 16 game streak until GW kicked me out with an error message (I think it said "err=19: uber elite builds not allowed" :tongue: ).

While I made this a Me/As build for max Illu/Dom damage (no more than 12 SA points are needed), it could work as an As/Me also. Adjust it to your own needs. Here we go:

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Shadow Form Farmer (Me/As)

Illusion/Dominaton/Dagger Mastery: 16
Shadow Arts: 12
Fast Cast: 4

Arcane Echo: Copies any spell for 20s
Shadow Form {E}: All spells or attacks against you fail for 17s, drop to 41 HP when it ends

Shadow Refuge: +9 regen for 4s, +68 health if it ends while you attack
Heart of Shadow: Teleport nearby and recieve +75HP if you take damage in next 60s
Recall/Return -or- Rez: Shadow Step to ally, depending on skill used

(examples for choices of offense)

Illusion
Conjure Phantom: -5 degen for 15s
Images of Remorse: -4 degen for 10s and -55 damage if foe attacks
Accumulated Pain: -37 damage and Deep Wound if foe has two Hexes

Domination
Wastrel's Worry: -68 damage after 3s if doe uses no skills
Shatter Delusions: -79 damage for shattering a Mesmer Hex
Overload: -21 damage, an additional -53 damage if foe is casting spell (-74 total)

Dagger Mastery
Disrupting Stab: Lead attack interrupts action, if it was a spell it's disabled for 9s
Golden Phoenix Strike: counts as Off-hand attack, will connect if enchanted for -26 damage
Exhausting Assault: Dual Attack that interrupts action, causes exhaustion on spells.

Wear Enchanter armor for max mana. Bring two Illusion Staffs... one with dual +30HP mods, the other with a 30 HP head and a +20% enchant wrapping. In the game, add a third and fourth weapon slot from the inventory window. You want a weapon or focus that gives energy but NOT extra health. I have the Factions pre-order Spiritbinder staff in the slot for +15E. You'll need Daggers for the third setup above... I have my pre-order Dragon Fangs in the fourth slot for this.
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Start with Arcane Echo, let it naturally recharge your energy for a few seconds. Cast Shadow Form, then Heart of Shadow for a cover from Chilblains or something like that. No attack or spell can target you for 20 seconds because of your enchant mod... that's PERFECT for the timer on the A.Echo'd SF you have waiting. Feel free to aggro your enemy, CPU or human. I run right unto the middle of the enemy camp and let them waste their casts/attacks on me as my team comes up from behind me.

Now go into your offense. When the 20s is almost over, you'll see Shadow Form flashing, simply cast your second copy before it ends and you have another 20s of near-invulnerability. Your original Shadow Form will still be recharging, so it and Arcane Echo will recharge together to be ready 15s or so after your second SF ends.

When SF nearly ends a second time, make sure Heart of Shadow is still up. Run/Shadow Step (Recall or Return if you have it) towards your healers, or kite away from battle if there are no healers around. Switch to your empty weapon slot (or one with no bonus HP like my Spiritbinder) and cast Shadow Refuge the moment SF ends. You'll be at +9 degen but your health is at 41. While kiting, switch to your +60 HP staff to jump to 100+ HP.

If you wish, spam a wand blast as SR ends to get its +68 HP bonus (you don't need to be in melee range for wand casts to get the bonus). Otherwise, continue kiting and SR'ing as needed, but try to recharge mana if you can for the next assault. If an enemy is on you, their first attack will trigger +75 HP from HoS like Reversal of Fortune. Immediately cast HoS to teleport away a bit as well as heal you for +75 HP again if attacked. This is while SR is up of course. You only need to kite and stay alive until your enchants are ready again.

If not attacked, you'll get to at least 50% health in no time, even with regular regen, and your Archane Echo and Shadow Form elite will be nearly recharged. Cast them both as soon as your energy is in good shape (health level doesn't matter much), then go back to your evil doings. Be sure you switch back to the +20% enchant staff before you use Shadow Form!

Here are some quick comments on the three sample offensive setups I came up with for this build idea:

- My Domination setup is done with WW->Shatter Delusions->WW. I then use WW every 3s and Overload to punish spell casts of a least 1s. WW->SD is done when the skills recharge. It does nice damage overall, especially vs. casters, and it ignores armor.

- For the Illusion skills, you can get some nice pressure damage with degen, especially against melee. If you can, catch them as they attack for the 55 damage bonus with Images of Remorse and they are under -4 degen. Lay down CP for -5 degen. immediately cast AP for the Deep Wound and a 37 damage hit. Wand spam to add DPS. Refresh the degen only when necessary, but keep casting AP and IoR whenever you know the bonus damage will connect.

- With the Dagger Mastery setup, you have two main strats. Interrupt and disable spells with Disrupting Attack when it recharges (10s recharge) and interrupt with exhaustion from the GPS->EA combo whenever they recharge (both are ready every 8s). Considering you don't need to worry too much about outside interference, just keep harassing youur target with these skills for 40s to keep them off-banlance. Remember, after GPS you have 5s or so to input EA. This way you don't need to worry too much about guessing when a cast is coming too often.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you have some other skill combos that work with this awesome template, post 'em up. Everyone should try out at least one of hte ones I suggested first to get a feel for how to play the build... it's kind of tricky at first but is easy to master. Go on the Nameless Isle and you should be able to take out the two Warriors, the Air Ele, and the Hex master with ease if your'e using the Illusion setup (click, click, click... I love that sound). Once you get the tactics down, you'll be able to come up with your own combos from there for whatever gameplay setup you are playing in.

For experienced PvE farmers out there, be sure to let me know the pros and cons of this setup in the dangerous sections of the game (I don't PvE much, but love farming faction in Arenas). Is the 40s enough time to do some good damage? Can you use the Shadow Step skills with this build to aggro the mobs for battle and then safely return to your distant teammate after the 40s?

Enjoy! :wave:

BLAHHH
14-05-2006, 04:57
For PvE I've been trying something similar to this but different DM skills. So far I've found one problem with the general idea, and in your specific build I've spotted a second - at least in the context of PvE farming.

The first is quite simply, 40 seconds doesn't seem to be quite enough time to be usable for farming. Usually when farming you're taking on high-level mobs (that drop high-level items, of course), and even when I've tried really piling on the damage, it never seems to be enough to take out an entire group (most monsters will always come in threes or fours) in that 40 seconds, and when that 40 seconds ends you can basically kiss your character goodbye. For group play it seems to be more acceptable, but it's still a bit shakey and certainly there are more reliable tactics out there.

The other issue which I didn't find I my own version but I've spotted in yours - it relies on a teammate for shadow stepping out of danger. This instantly makes it farmer-unfriendly, as farmers will always want to go solo if possible. I didn't find this problem because I had Dash on my skill bar with which to spam and run away with, I'd suggest it for yours too.

Tango
14-05-2006, 18:35
40 seconds and you can take out a carp solo in the deep, I can get them to 1/3 in 17 seconds so I don't see the problem with killing them.

Patccmoi
14-05-2006, 18:57
We've been working in PvE on a 2-3 men farming build based on Shadowform tanking. What we use is QZ-SQ (can be fairly low Wild) on the A/R with 16 in Shadow Arts and a ranger behind with QZ at high Wild and damage (Barrage, etc). The damage being fairly low, a 3rd party member that is specced for max damage can help.

Basically the Assassin uses QZ first, then the Ranger use it (to have it on 30 sec recharge). Assassin can then use SQ (22.5 sec recharge), and his Shadowform with 20% enchant (25 sec duration, with SQ and QZ 20 sec recharge). He can then maintain his Shadowform endlessly. Assassin can use something like Apply Poison for damage and spread it around, or Sharpen Daggers, etc. But since QZ is up, better not something too energy intensive, you don't wanna be out of energy when you need to use Shadowform.

Be VARY careful of one thing tough, that we didn't realize at first : Shadowform doesn't make you invulnerable to signets. So for example with your AEcho Shadowform, if they use a Leech Signet on you, you'll be interrupted.

In PvE it seems like you can tank pretty much any kind of group. Maybe in some areas they have something that can still interrupt you using Signets, but i guess just don't go there. Chillblain could be a trouble too if they use it somewhere.

Fun to see it attempted in PvP. If you go Illusion Mesmer tough, why not Illusion of Weakness? Seems like the best safeguard there is.

MaximumSquid
14-05-2006, 19:03
Before the changes to shadow refuge you could get by with shadow form by just hitting Refuge and dark escape near the end of it.

I see that a high refuge is in the build, but i'm a little surprised that dark escape didn't make the core list. . .

hmmmm :english:

The domination and illusion setups look good, but why go interupt on the dagger form of the build?

Wouldn't it be better to do Golden pheonix Strike > Mark of Instability > Twisting Fangs or some other three shot combo that goes for damage instead of utility?

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Edits:
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Hey i had a chance to try it out. It works great for farming faction in the arena, but I was never able to go very far with it.

Too many games I would run into a touch ranger, an illusionary weapon mesmer, or an AoE caster.

A ranger with choking gas would give you considerable trouble if you took either of the casting versions, and I probably don't have to tell you what would happen if someone brought chillblains.

All in all i'd give the builds a thumbs up, but until you land yourself on a team with a healer it will be very unlikely that you will see Ta =/

BLAHHH
14-05-2006, 19:58
40 seconds and you can take out a carp solo in the deep, I can get them to 1/3 in 17 seconds so I don't see the problem with killing them.

*A* carp isn't exactly too great. A truly effective farming build needs to be able to deal with several monsters at once, and be able to take them all out before they take you out.

shamed
14-05-2006, 20:19
I like your illusion one best because it doesn't require the micro-management of the other two and you already have to keep a lookout for your Shadow Form.

Why not include Shroud of Distress (cast it as your second Shadow Form is ending)? It will help you survive in that 20 seconds of downtime.

I don't generally PVE farm either but I came up with this build for Celestial Weapon farming.

http://forums.gwonline.net/showthread.php?t=399354

I issue you a challenge! Let's see who can complete that whole mission solo with your own build first! =)

arredondo
14-05-2006, 21:46
Good comments everyone. I'll address a few points raised....

- Pat, that team setup is look pretty awesome. Hopefully it isn't so strong that they nerf the elite. I can see a lot of PvE teams trying your setup out. for my Illusion setup, you're right about IoW. I'll add it over HoS.

- Maxi, since testing it more, I think I've over rated the usefulness of Heart of Shadow. When played smart, I never need that protection since I'm at 100 HP instantly and SR is running before my final SF ends. Dark Escape is a great choice in place of it. Or, if you're brave, you can try to survive on SR alone for 20s and add another offensive skill to the three you have. Riskier, but doable.

Heh sorry you ran into the worst enemies of this build. I've seen those too so I just kite. A Vamp Ranger with a speed buff though is the toughest. Good thing they are still kinda rare.

shamed: I read your setup and it looks REALLY good. I always love defensive setups. Since I rarely PvE, I may not take up the challenge for awhile. I'm still in the slums area of the game.

++++++

For those who haven't tried the Domination setup, I noticed an unexpected bonus against your enemies. When I rush into the enemy group, PvP that is, I can cast WW on a foe and his attempted offensive skills fail because of SF (spell or melee), allowing WW to 'pop' for free. I chain 3-4 of them on some enemies this way. It's pretty funny when you see it - 'click, click, (-68 floats over them)'. The damage is stronger with the Dom setup if I substitute Power Spike for HoS, but it isn't recommended if you're a poor kiter.

arredondo
21-05-2006, 13:46
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Farmer Grief (As/Me)

Shadow Arts: 16
Illusion: 10
Inspiration: 7
Domination: 4
Critical Strikes: 3

Arcane Echo: Copy next spell cast
Shadow Form: 21s of can't-touch-me
Caltrops: Cripples target and adjacent foes for 16s
Shadow Refuge: +10 regen, +80 HP
Illusion of Weakness: 177 HP kicks in when HP <25%
Shroud of Distress: Evade 79% of attacks for 30s
Mantra of Resolve: Prevents interrupts. -7E per success
Hex Breaker: 30s of one Hex prevention

Have one Mesmer staff with dual +30HPs, the other staff with +20% enchant and armor +5AL. Put on Valkyrie armor for max HP.
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Heh, maybe the slowest faction farming build ever. The whole point is to go in there and last until they finally kill you or the other side quits from boredom....

- Cast IoW, SR
- Cast A.Echo, recharge mana
- Shadow Form w/+20% enchant mod up
- Just before it ends, cast another Shadow Form
- Midway through that 2nd period, put up HB and Shroud of Distress
- Just before SF ends, use SR for mana and switch to the other gear for more HP and run away
- Kite and throw Caltrops down until your two enchants are done recharging
- Put op Mantra of Resolve, then cast AE and SF once again

++++

Note that this idea is for informational purposes only. At no time do I recommend that players take this setup and frustrate enemy teams who can't take you down.... but for the record my best survival time 1v4 with this is 12 minutes. :tongue:

Reikai
21-05-2006, 14:09
signet of disenchant = gg...

Selene Raseth
21-05-2006, 16:49
Actually a shadow form in the right place helps alot. Would need to have alot of critters to make it work, a place like dragon throat with the bridge leading to the assassin boss is a good example. Have 3 death necros with putried, a shadow form or two, and some rits to feast of souls for full health. After clearing it they will all appear at one time, and most of them are assassin or warrior critters. Have the assassin at the bridge body blocking when they appear and when they all come aggro use deathly swarms to get the boost from frenzy stance. Once the first one dies it goes very quickly from there. Using henchy I had putrid hitting 14 of them at once and killing 4 at a time while the others are wounded. Su kinda showed me the light on that one. I figure using players where one could immortally tank would make the most of it. Never could find some people who wanted to try it out though.

halfthought
21-05-2006, 17:35
signet of disenchant = gg...

um, I think there is 1 monster in pve that uses it

arredondo
21-05-2006, 19:07
signet of disenchant = gg...

Sig of Disenchant won't work if it takes a cover enchant first, but to the larger point, of course there are dozens of ways to stop my setup. If someone doesn't have the means (Chilblains is much faster and more reliable than SoE) or I keep my distance by Caltropping them then I can last a good while.

- Signet attacks like Barbed Signet hurts it
- Ele AoE damage from Fire can be felt
- Traps that are triggered do full damage
- Shock still KDs right through it
- Dark Bombing with Touch of Agony or Vamp Touch gets in

There's likely a few more, but it's still funny running around or /dancing when much of what they try simply has no effect whatsoever.

Blixem
06-07-2006, 11:06
Can any1 come up with a solo FoW build using Shadow form & Arcane eco?

Mazlins
06-07-2006, 11:59
If you have two A/Me's (or Me/A's or a combo of each), you could try subbing in AP for SF on the second person and using Arcane Mimicry instead of Arcane Echo. The timing could be a bit tricky, but the idea is that each person aquires a copy of the other persons elite, activates SF, gang up (or go for seperate targets) on a mob, both AP on it, mob dies, SF (AP) and Arcane Mimicry refreshes and you're ready to go again (preferably before the original SF faded)

arredondo
06-07-2006, 16:24
^^^^

Someone posted Arcane Mimicry+Shadow Form up around here a bit ago in a different thread, and a Korean team is currently using it in the tourney I hear.

As a logical progression from this thread, I thought of using A.Mimcry about a week before that farm thread posted it up, and had worked out the timings on Nameless Isle. Rather than post it here fully, I was quietly talking to some online buddies about getting a guild together to try and exploit it in matches. Once it was posted however, I moved on. I guess it was dumb of me to think it wouldn't eventually be public before I was ready. :smiley:

In any case, I have a great new Shadow Form healing build (http://forums.gwonline.net/showthread.php?t=409057) that survives extremely well withOUT needing a teammate with A.Mimicry. You can use it all by yourself in PvP or PvE.

cranialexodus
06-07-2006, 16:26
If you have two A/Me's (or Me/A's or a combo of each), you could try subbing in AP for SF on the second person and using Arcane Mimicry instead of Arcane Echo. The timing could be a bit tricky, but the idea is that each person aquires a copy of the other persons elite, activates SF, gang up (or go for seperate targets) on a mob, both AP on it, mob dies, SF (AP) and Arcane Mimicry refreshes and you're ready to go again (preferably before the original SF faded)

I would have thought AP, when triggered, would recharge the AP that mimicry/echo has become, not the mimicry/echo itself, and mimicry/echo would then be replaced with mimicry/echo after the usual time and take the usual time to recharge. Would be interested to know, have you tried this?

With a 20% enchant mod you can sacrifice several of those points in shadow at minimal duration loss, or add an extra 8 seconds on your total (not just 4 from the second as it'll boost the duration of echo, too).

I think a duo including an SF a/me or me/a could be perfect for kaolin farming, which is usually performed with a team of 4 or more. Sadly both assasins and mes have poor farming skills due to such incredibly limited AoE between them. sf might be possible if you can counter the priests. Can anyone confirm whether SF causes the spirit disenchantment to miss?

shamed
06-07-2006, 17:13
I would have thought AP, when triggered, would recharge the AP that mimicry/echo has become, not the mimicry/echo itself, and mimicry/echo would then be replaced with mimicry/echo after the usual time and take the usual time to recharge. Would be interested to know, have you tried this?

The way to use Mimicry and AP is to let Mimicry go into recharge before using AP. That way, Mimicry is immediately recharged and would allow you to use it on your ally for Shadow Form again.

Your ally, however, has a much harder time. If he Mimicks AP, he has to time his use of SF and AP such that he casts AP right before it is replaced with Mimicry and then he has to kill the target after Mimicry goes into recharge so he can recharge Mimicry instantly to copy AP again.

I used this with my friend for dual Oni farming. I haven't tried kaolin farming yet though. I'll try it and let you know.

If you use Arcane Echo with Shadow Form, you must remember that AEed SF will be replaced in 20 seconds; if you have Shadow Arts at 16 and you use a 20% longer enchant mod, this means that the moment your original SF starts to blink, your second SF will disappear before you can use it. It is best to have SF at 14 or lower so that SF will start blinking at 16 seconds, which gives you a 4 second window to use your AEed copy before it it replaced.

cranialexodus
06-07-2006, 19:01
The way to use Mimicry and AP is to let Mimicry go into recharge before using AP. That way, Mimicry is immediately recharged and would allow you to use it on your ally for Shadow Form again.

Your ally, however, has a much harder time. If he Mimicks AP, he has to time his use of SF and AP such that he casts AP right before it is replaced with Mimicry and then he has to kill the target after Mimicry goes into recharge so he can recharge Mimicry instantly to copy AP again.

I used this with my friend for dual Oni farming. I haven't tried kaolin farming yet though. I'll try it and let you know.

If you use Arcane Echo with Shadow Form, you must remember that AEed SF will be replaced in 20 seconds; if you have Shadow Arts at 16 and you use a 20% longer enchant mod, this means that the moment your original SF starts to blink, your second SF will disappear before you can use it. It is best to have SF at 14 or lower so that SF will start blinking at 16 seconds, which gives you a 4 second window to use your AEed copy before it it replaced.

I see, thanks for the confirmation on mimicry. For echo I suppose I was getting confused because it's an enchantment, I guess you would have an extra 4 seconds in between using echo and SF but otherwise the 4 extra seconds on SF would only be useful on the echoed SF.

SF might be an interesting skill to use with traps. QZ+SQ easily replaces echo, though QZ without EW will drain energy fast.