Edit Guide

Shadow HoA Marksman Build Guide

Posted By TriKster on July 5, 2022
Last updated on March 20, 2023



Also known as Cold Hail of Arrows

Originally created by Tunk

S-Tier Marksman Build. All Endgame Content viable. High Arena/Champions and Corruption Pusher + Boss Killer. Tankiest Marksman Build. SSF Friendly. Very unique and mechanical playstyle.

The Build was created for pushing high Arena waves. You can comfortably farm with it in Monolith or Dungeons, it just requires a different playstyle (for further information read through the Gameplay/Mechanics section).

In order to reach the full damage potential on Bosses and in Arena, Shadow HoA requires a perfectly executed skill rotation consisting of Smoke Bomb - Dark Quiver - Shift - Hail of Arrows.

Most of the Monolith content can be done with a simple 2 skill rotation consisting of Shift - Hail of Arrows.

Highest Arena push was performed by Tunk in 0.8.5 - Wave 822 (Softcore)

Here is the beginner friendly gear that I also used in the Video Build Guide (Level 97 - Wave 345 SSF)

Reign of Winter is the only unique that is recommended for this build to perform well. All the other uniques will only give you additional defensive bonuses.

Pros & Cons


S-Tier Marksman Build in 0.9

Strong and safe Arena/Arena Champions Pusher

Easy Boss Killer

Very tanky

No endgame gear or unique items required to perform well

Unique playstyle and mechanics


Not the fastest Monolith and gear farmer

Requires a lot of practice to not mess up the full damage potential

Very mechanical. Can be hard to play for casuals or beginners

HoA is unlocked at Level 30 in Marksman tree, so you start relatively late with this build

Gameplay / Mechanics

Skill Rotation

Smoke Bomb - Dark Quiver - Shift - Hail of Arrows - Moving - Smoke Bomb - Dark Quiver (if needed) - Shift - Hail of Arrows

Welcome to maybe one of the most mechanical builds in the game. I absolutely fell in love with the rotation and playstyle. It definitely requires some practice, because one mistake can cause a death in high arena waves.

It is one of the only endgame Marksman Builds that fully utilizes Shadows as a mechanic. The build is not using any Mana Generator Skill so the whole Build is about perfect Timing, Positioning and Skill Rotation.

Important Notes

All attacks have a long casting duration. Using the skills is the only time where you stand still and not get the -25% Less damage Taken while moving Bonus from Evasion. Try to use Smoke Bomb before Dark Quiver because you will get the Silver Shroud first to stay safe if enemies are already too close.

Try to Shift on top of a Black Arrow from Dark Quiver to save a few seconds

Use Shift before Smoke Bomb’s 3rd Shadow cast to save 1 second. You can basically get the full Dark Quiver damage bonus after 2 seconds instead of 3 if you play it correctly. Every second counts in high Arena waves.

Use Hail of Arrows right after Shift because of the high Movement Speed Bonus from Shift + Agility for additional damage. You only have one chance for the perfect rotation and damage output, so don’t mess it up!

Gameplay Tips


Follow the skill rotation that is mentioned above. Try to find a spot in each arena zone where you comfortably can pull enemies into a narrow area. You really have to know each Arena zone. You will achieve high Waves with high game knowledge. It’s not all about the gear. So practice as much as you can!

ALWAYS MOVE! It is important to keep the -25% less damage taken Bonus from Evasion Passive up. Use Decoy only if you mess up a skill rotation or fast enemies are running towards you. Hail of Arrows has a long cast animation because we don't scale Attack Speed. Therefore you can use Decoy as well before casting Hail of Arrows.


For Monolith you can either rush through an echo to get to the quest marker if you wanna push corruption or farm bosses or clear out the whole echo. It takes longer compared to other good Marksman builds if you wanna fully clear the map. You can leave out the whole Dark Quiver and Smoke Bomb rotation though with less damage. Just Shift + Hail of Arrows when you see a bigger group of monsters for some additional gear drops. In general i recommend to kite first and pull enemies together before you use the whole setup.

You never hit enemies (except for Skystrike which adds additional dmg to kill high density mobs faster), so the following mono modifiers are “free”: Frenzy and Haste, Dodge, Glancing Blow, Crit Avoidance.


Absolutely amazing against bosses like Shade or T4 Dungeon Bosses. Just do the normal Shadow setup and shoot HoA on top of the boss. Kite around the area, look out for the telegraphed attacks from a boss and cast HoA again after its duration. You can learn a lot of boss mechanics while still doing damage, so this build is perfect for bosses.



Stat Priorities


Unique Items and Legendaries:

Reign of Winter (recommended/required)

Use a T10 Longbow with T5 Flat Fire, Cold or Lightning until you get it.

There are no interesting Suffixes you can craft on the Bow. We don’t need Attack Speed or Crit for this Build.

Try to farm a 2LP Reign of Winter to craft Flat Fire, Cold or Lightning for a massive damage boost!

Remember that PrefixIncreased Elemental Damage Over Time will benefit all flat elemental dmg types.

Arrowguard (recommended)

Only if you find a minimum 2LP version to get Flat Damage or Resistances back from a well crafted Ivory Quiver

Aurora's Time Glass (recommended)

This unique can save your life in Arena. But you need to balance your resistances after giving it up for Bone Amulet.

Go for Health/Dodge or Resistances when you find it with LP.


Gorgonscale Coif

Exile Hat (more dmg and style points)

  • HoA Duration
  • Cooldown Recovery
  • Inreased Health
  • Resistance
Body Armour

Gorgonscale Coat (BiS)

Exile Coat (if you need Resistances)

  • + Level to HoA
  • Dexterity or Vitality
  • Increased Health
  • Increased Dodge

Engraved Gauntlets

Crusader Gauntlets (if you need Resistances)

Ravenous Void (if you are lucky)

  • Dexterity
  • Area
  • Hybrid Health
  • Resistance
  • Cleanse (T1)
  • Elemental Damage Over Time / Mana Regen
  • Hybrid Health
  • Increased Health
  • Movement Speed
  • Dexterity or Vitality
  • Hybrid Health
  • Dodge or Res
  • Dexterity
  • Elemental Damage Over Time / Mana Regen
  • Resistances
  • Resistances / Health
  • Flat Cold Bow
  • Flat Fire Bow
  • Flat Lightning Bow
  • Suffixes are irrelevant (except with Skystrike node)

Arrowguard (BiS with min 2LP)

Ivory Quiver

  • Flat Cold Bow
  • Flat Fire Bow
  • Flat Lightning Bow
  • Resistances
  • Resistances
Ring 1
  • Dexterity
  • Elemental Damage Over Time / Mana Regen
  • Resistances
  • Resistances / Health
Ring 2
  • Dexterity
  • Elemental Damage Over Time / Mana Regen
  • Resistances
  • Resistances / Health

Aurora's Time Glass (recommended for Arena)

Bone Amulet

  • Elemental Damage Over Time
  • Cold Penetration
  • Dodge
  • Health / Resistances


For the other Timelines, choose whatever you prefer!

Fall of the Outcasts


The Stolen Lance


Blood, Frost, and Death


Fall of the Empire


The Last Ruin


Build Variants


Bleed Puncture + Shift is my go-to leveling strategy until i unlock Hail of Arrows at around level 40.

Here is my full video leveling guide for Shadow HoA:


The video is also linked at the end of the guide.

Important notes:

  • Only start putting points into Coated Blades later when you have enough mana and mana regeneration, so that you have no Mana issues while playing. You don’t need that dmg early on.
  • Put points into Sniper's Gambit for Monolith only if you feel tanky enough to farm faster in monolith. Respec those points if you want to push Arena.
  • I like to overcap Rogue passives so that i can easily respec the Bleed Puncture setup into Steady Hand 8/8. Therefore you don't need to put points out of Marksman mastery later again.


Loot Filter

No loot filter is provided for this guide. You can generate a loot filter for this build in the Build Planner or create one using Filter Wizard in the Loot Filters section.


Any major changes for 0.9?

No. The mechanics of the build are still the same. The changes to adaptive dmg don't force us to go for another gear setup. Since we are using PrefixIncreased Elemental Damage Over Time on most of our prefix slots we still benefit from the flat cold dmg from Reign of Winter and also adaptive dmg like Elemental Arrows which will not get converted into Cold with the new 0.9 Patch.

Hail of Arrows cost less mana but received a 325% added dmg effectiveness. I tested all the conversion and the dmg output is pretty much the same compared to 0.8.5.

Hail of Arrows lost 1 point in Steady so we will lose 10% duration, which is fine.

I tested the newly added %Increased Area of effect prefix on Gloves and Amulet and it is not really worth it since the area is already big enough and doesnt count as a multiplier.

Why Cold Conversion?

You don't have to play the cold version for this build. Because of the 0.9 changes to adaptive dmg, you can simply play Hail of Arrows as a Fire or Physical version. Both versions usually allow you to spec more points into dmg for the Hail of Arrows tree.

The cold conversion allows you to get Chill on enemies, which makes survivabilty easier for arena. Also the high flat Cold Bow dmg we get from Reign of Winter will benefit from the Cold Penetration

I have problems with the high mana cost of Hail of Arrows. What am i doing wrong?

You need around 15 Mana Regeneration in your character sheet to comfortably play this build without mana generator skills. I would even recommend to go a bit higher 16-18.

Before that, simply swap Decoy with a mana generator skill like Puncture Flurry or Cinder Strike to generate mana faster.

Try to put points into Coated Blades later. Dmg should never be a problem for you with this build. Focus on quality of life features first. Coated Blades will highly increase your mana costs for Hail of Arrows!

Why no Drelkor’s Compass Bow? It has the same amount of Flat Damage as Reign of Winter.

Reign of Winter also gives Cold Penetration and Attunement which makes Mana management a bit easier.

If you stick with Physical Base HoA damage, additional Base damage that you get from Elemental Arrows (Marksman tree) will not be converted, so it’s harder to push the damage. Increased Elemental damage over time is a really good affix to buff elemental HoA damage since the numbers are higher on this affix than a regular inc dot, cold, physical damage affix for example.

With the Cold conversion in tree you get additional Chill chance, which is a good defensive layer for a build that can’t hit (missing slow, chill and frailty)

Drelkor's Compass has reduced Bow mana cost. Less Bow mana cost makes HoA do less damage. We want HoA’s mana cost as high as possible, that’s why we scale HoA duration.

Why no Sniper’s Gambit (Marksman Passive)?

Sniper's Gambit 6/6 Don’t get me wrong. 30 Flat Bow damage is an insane buff for this build. I would recommend to always take it to boost your damage while farming for gear. If you really wanna push high Arena or Corruption content i would not recommend this node because of the 12% Increased damage taken. I prefer defense over offense, that’s why i’m not using it in my Build Showcase.

How do you play in Monolith to farm you gear?

In Monolith you have to adapt your playstyle a bit. Try to attract as many monsters as possible so that you don’t have to constantly cast HoA only for a couple of enemies. Remember that each HoA cast costs a lot of mana, so you will have mana problem if you don’t kite a pull enemies. You can either push straight to the Echo Marker to finish the quest (for Boss and Corruption Pushing) or pull as many enemies as possible together for more loot drop and efficient playstyle. More info in ‘‘Build Mechanics and Gameplay’’ section.



  • Updated the Stat Priorities (Equipment) section due to damage conversion changes in 0.9
  • Updated Build Planner for 0.9
  • Added Video Leveling Guide
  • Updated for 0.9. Added Skill Tree & Passive Tree leveling progression. Added ''Monolith Farming'' Build Variant. Updated FAQ. Minor Gear and Skill adjustements
Show more
  • Build guide was published


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