Edit Guide

Shadow HoA Marksman Build Guide (Beta 0.8.5)

Posted By TriKster on July 5, 2022
Last updated on July 5, 2022

Overview

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).

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. 3-4LP uniques are also not required, the Build Planner only represents the BiS stats and possible sealed affixes that are interesting for this build.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Strong and safe Arena/Arena Champions Pusher

Easy Boss Killer

Very tanky

No endgame gear required to work

Unique playstyle and mechanics

Top Tier Marksman Build together with BowMage. Completely different playstyle though

Cons

Not the best Monolith and gear farmer, can clear echoes very fast though if you rush to the quest marker

Requires a lot of practice to not mess up the damage output

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 to save before Smoke Bomb’s 3rd Shadow cast to save a 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!

BowMage vs. Shadow HoA

BowMage is insane for Mono Gear farming because of its offscreen potential. It also works great in Arena. BowMage is far more squishy compared to Shadow HoA. Thats why Shadow HoA is probably the go to Arena pusher build.

Shadow HoA is not the best Monolith Gear Farmer, because you need to setup the rotation for a good amount of damage. You can still play the build in every content to get your gear, but BowMage is more efficient in farming. I add some Monolith Gameplay tips below.

Gameplay Tips

Arena

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 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.

Monolith

For Mono 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 way longer compared to other good Marksman clear builds if you fully wanna 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 (not even to apply dot), so the following mono modifiers are “free”: Frenzy and Haste, Dodge, Glancing Blow, Crit Avoidance.

Bosses

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.

Skills

Passives

Stat Priorities

Equipment

Unique Items and Legendaries:

Reign of Winter (recommended/required)

Use a T10 Longbow with T5 Flat Physical Bow Damage and T5 Flat Fire Bow Damage 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 Physical and Fire Bow Damage for a massive damage boost!

Arrowguard (recommended)

Only if you find a minimum 3LP version to get Flat damage and 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.

Slot
Items
Stats
Helmet

Exile Hat (highest DPS)

Desert Mask (if you need more Mana)

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

Crimson Garb (BiS)

Brigandine Armour (if you need Resistances)

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

Engraved Gauntlets

Crusader Gauntlets (if you need Resistances)

Ravenous Void (if you are lucky)

  • Dexterity
  • Mana
  • Hybrid Health
  • Resistance
Belt
  • Cleanse (T1)
  • Elemental Damage Over Time / Mana Regen
  • Hybrid Health
  • Increased Health
Boots
  • Movement Speed
  • Dexterity or Vitality
  • Hybrid Health
  • Dodge or Res
Relic
  • Dexterity
  • Elemental Damage Over Time / Mana Regen
  • Resistances
  • Resistances / Health
Main-Hand
  • Flat Physical Bow
  • Flat Fire Bow
  • Suffixes are irrelevant (except with Skystrike node)
Off-Hand

Arrowguard (BiS with min 3LP)

Ivory Quiver

  • Flat Physical Bow
  • Flat Fire 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
Amulet

Aurora's Time Glass (recommended for Arena)

Bone Amulet

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

Idols

BiS Idols down below.

You can always go for Life/Resistance Idols until you find the 4x Large Shadow Idol with PrefixIncreased Hail of Arrows Duration

Blessings

For the other Timelines, choose whatever you prefer!

Timeline
Blessings
Fall of the Outcasts

Any

The Stolen Lance

Any

Blood, Frost, and Death

Any

Fall of the Empire

Any

The Last Ruin

Any

Leveling

I usually like to level with Bleed Puncture + Shift to rush through the story.

Here is my typical Marksman Leveling Tree, before I completely respec into Shadow HoA

Puncture Skill tree order:

  1. Perforate 2/5
  2. Press The Attack 1/2 (we will always have Frenzy, even with only 1 Point into it if we constantly attack)
  3. Bloodthirst 4/4
  4. Hunger 3/3

In this short Build Planner I only want to show you my gear which is not that important except to have a fast hitting Bow like Salvaged Bow with Bow Attack Speed and Bleed Chance. We take the Light Quiver for Attack Speed and focus on Movement Speed on Boots. We already take 2x Silver Ring with us for additional Movement Speed. Remember that we get a lot of Increased Damage for each Point of Movement Speed early on with the Agility node (Rogue Tree). For Defenses: Only focus on Resistances and Health until you reach endgame.

If you don’t like to respec the Mastery trees you can immediately set up the Shadow HoA tree. The only difference is basically that I take the increased Bow Attack Speed nodes Swift Assassin and Draining Arrows.

Here is the Passive Leveling order:

  1. Swift Assassin 8/8
  2. Guile 1/8
  3. Evasion 1/5
  4. Agility 5/5
  5. Evasion 5/5 to max it
  6. Steady Hand 1/8 to reach 20 Rogue Passives to unlock Marksman
  7. Draining Arrows 8/8
  8. Assassin's Quiver 1/5
  9. Focus Fire 4/8
  10. Concentration 1/8
  11. Elemental Arrows 1/8
  12. Meditation 3/8
  13. Siege Quiver 2/3
  14. Reflection 5/5
  15. Arrow Storm 1/6
  16. Storm Fletcher 1/8
  17. Elemental Barrage 2/2
  18. Siege Quiver 3/3

Now we unlocked Hail of Arrows and respec the Tree to Shadow HoA.

I explained the full passive leveling progress for Shadow HoA in the video.

Important notes:

Only start putting points into Coated Blades later when you have enough Mana and Mana reg, so that you have no Mana issues while playing. You don’t need that dmg early on. Your last points should be Coated Blades (HoA dmg), Cloak of Shadows (Blade Dancer tree for the Glancing Blow and Dexterity) and Thief's Quiver (Leech and Health).

Put points into Sniper's Gambit for Monolith only if you want to. Respec those points if you wanna push Arena.

Endgame

Loot Filter

FAQ

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 level this Build through the story?

I usually level with Bleed Puncture. Imo it’s the fastest way to rush through the story. I don’t want to tell you though how you should play, so just enjoy the story and game as much as possible. There is no need to rush. You can even copy the Shadow HoA passive if you don’t want to respec. But if you want to make it easier, i added a complete Leveling section down below in this Build Guide just to get an insight how to level Marksman fast.

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.

BowMage or Shadow HoA?

BowMage is stronger and more efficient. But it’s also very squishy. Shadow HoA is the most tankiest Marksman build, but slower with Mono and Gear farming. Both can push high Arena Waves. Both are S-Tier. Both have complete different playstyles. Choose whatever you prefer!

Video

Changelog

  • Build guide was published

Discussion

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