When a blade finds its mark despite all precaution, or an arrow kills from out of nowhere, that's the unmistakable work of a Shadow. While certainly capable of standing toe to toe, rogues of this specialization prefer to flank and surprise, taking any and every advantage. Opponents rarely know how their defences have failed, and Shadows have no interest in enlightening them. From the simplest misdirection to the most complex decoy, Shadows rob opponents of certainty, and are never more dangerous than when seemingly face to face with the enemy. To battle a Shadow is to be uncertain that you faced one at all.
Talent tree Edit
| Pinpoint Precision|| Passive |
Requires: Level 7
| The shadow is adept at finding the enemy's weak spots. Consequently, critical hits inflict more damage. |
+50% critical damage
| Inconspicuous|| Activated |
Requires: Level 8
| For a short time, the shadow assumes a misleading stance that attracts little attention, creating room to strike fast and hard without being swarmed by enemies. Upon activating this talent, the shadow also sheds the threat accumulated from previous attacks. |
100% Threat reduction
-50% Threat generation
Requires: Level 12
2 points in Shadow
| The shadow can maintain the ruse of Inconspicuous for longer. |
Requires: Level 14
Requires: 4 points in Shadow
| The inconspicuous shadow can now avert all hostile attention for a short time. |
-50% Threat generation
| Disorienting Criticals|| Passive |
Requires: Level 9
| While obscured, the shadow gains a considerable bonus to critical damage. In addition, any critical hits the shadow lands while obscured automatically DISORIENT enemies, leaving them vulnerable to further harm from a warrior or mage. |
+50% Critical damage when obscured
100% Disorient chance for critical hits when obscured
| Predator|| Passive Ability |
Requires: Level 13
Requires:5 points in Shadow
| Shadows are particularly deadly when they manage to flank their foes. Whenever the shadow strikes an enemy from behind, whether with a basic attack or using a talent, the attack now always results in a critical hit. |
100% Critical chance for flanking attacks
| Decoy|| Activated |
Requires: Level 10
Requires: Pinpoint Precision
Requires: 2 points in Shadow
| The shadow is a master of misdirection, creating a personal decoy that keeps enemies occupied for a short time while the rogue escapes in stealth. |
100% Stealth chance
Decoy created with 50% rogue's maximum health
Requires: Level 14
| The decoy can take more damage before enemies destroy it. |
Decoy health +50% of rogue's maximum health
Requires: Level 16
4 points in Shadow
| The decoy becomes a vicious trap that explodes when enemies destroy it. |
Upon death, fire damage proportional to decoy's health
| Shadow Veil|| Passive |
Requires: Level 11
Requires:3 points in Shadow
| The shadow becomes obscured when entering stealth. This effect persists for a short time after dropping out of stealth, making enemy attacks more likely to miss the rogue. |
100% Obscure chance when stealthed
Playing a shadow can be quite difficult, but it might offer you a unique gameplay.
One of the biggest disadvantage of this specialization is the fact that both the Subterfuge and Scoundrel talents offer powerful alternatives. Pure Stealth is actually a Subterfuge talent. And although decoy might sound powerful, enemies tend ignore it quite regularly, as it seems that Hawke's threat isn't transferred to the decoy. Goad might therefore be more reliable.
Another big drawback is that one of the best talents - Pinpoint Precision - is available early on. That means that as soon as Hawke gets access to a second class specialization (at level 14), it might be a sure pick for assassins and duelists as well.
And last but not least, the (often overlooked) benefit of the shadow specialization itself: 3% chance to activate stealth whenever Hawke takes damage isn't that useful on a glass cannon spec (few hitpoints) either.
Nevertheless, there are a few tricks that will make a Shadow quite powerful.
Try to focus on Disorienting Criticals. In other words: Try to be obscured as often and as long as possible. This way, you not only benefit from the additional 50% crit. damage and the defensive benefit of being obscured, you will also disorient your enemies. This can then be exploited by warriors and mages, increasing their damage output, which will make it less likely that enemies focus you.
Another trick: Force your party members to 'hold their position', scout ahead, hit your enemies a few times and place a decoy right next to them. If your party members are still far away, it's more likely that enemies will attack the illusion. You can wait until they destroy it (dealing damage via Rigged Decoy) or use it to center your area-effect talents on it.
- Combining Shadow Veil and Lingering Shroud can grant a powerful advantage, being able to attack out of stealth once without breaking it, but you lose the benefits of being obscured (in the following fight).
- Inconspicuous is one of the few talents that can be used outside of combat
- Although Inconspicuous resets your threat, mobs might still continue to attack you in no other party member has generated some threat on these mobs
- You can't use Goad on a Decoy
- It's possible to skip Decoy (unless you want it or need it to get access to Shadow Veil)