Author Topic: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow  (Read 3394 times)

ghoselle

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Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« on: December 20, 2011, 07:57:05 AM »
The Jedi Shadow is one of the Advanced Classes of the Jedi Consular.  It is a tank and dps class with 2 dps trees and 1 tank tree.

Kinetic Combat is the tanking tree, with a focus on defenses and control moves.  It also has a bit of self healing.

Infiltration is the stealth tree, with a focus on backstab.  It has a number of procs as talents including ones that augment project and shadow strike.

Balance is another dps tree less focus on fighting from stealth.  It makes use of damage over time attacks.  It includes an early talent that causes crit DoT effects to generate a self heal.



The Good:
Playing from stealth is fun.  There is something very amusing about being able to one-shot weak enemies from stealth.  With a tanky companion, combat is often about strafing around and 1-2 shot'ing the weak enemies your companion has occupied.  Since you'll often be moving around, JS also has a short range instant attack that can be used while moving so that you don't lose dps time while moving.


The Bad:
I don't really have any serious complaints about this class.  Occassionally terrain makes it so that you can't get in a position that allows you to use backstab - notably fights on hills are sometimes problematic.


The Ugly:
Lack of in combat healing is occassionally frustrating, especially with a tank companion who calls out for healing.  Early AoE threat moves are rare with makes tanking hard when playing with other classes with good AoE until the upper 20s when you finally get an AoE threat move not on a 15sec+ cooldown.

More Thoughts:
Jedi Shadow is interesting in that it is a class that can be played from stealth.  Early in the Infiltration tree are talents that increases your stealth level and makes it so you move as fast stealthed as an unstealthed person, and that give you increased energy regen when you leave stealth.  This can change how you play significantly as you can stealth past almost any mob you don't feel like fighting. 

JS makes uses of Techniques which are like warrior stances or DK presenses.  In Combat, you do 5% less damage but get 150% extra armor and generate extra threat.  In addition your 15 second cooldown move does AoE damage.  In Force, your 15 second cooldown move becomes a dot and you proc kinetic damage on melee hit.  In Shadow which is a talent in the infiltration tree, you have a chance of doing additional internal damage on melee hit - and further up the infiltration tree you regenerate energy when you proc this extra damage.

JS resource mechanic is force which works much like rogue energy.  It continually regenerates.

The infiltration tree very much wants you to be fighting with a tanky companion.  Fortunately the first companion JS gets is a tank. 

Thanamira

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 05:16:58 PM »
More good:

* Stealth is not annoying.  In WoW (okay, BC era), I found it faster to be a jackbooted rogue who just ran up to stuff and stab it.  Here, stealth only slows you down by 15%.   Combined with Sprint at level 14? 15?, you aren't slowed down.

* Insert usual stuff about stealthing to gathering nodes and bypassing trash.

Bad:

I only played a JK to level 5 or so, but holy crap did JKs kill faster than JCs.  *shrug*

Playstyle:

* I think this is more about JCs: rather than having a WoW warrior's move-around-the-terrain toolbox, JCs get rangestriking.  If something is almost dead, use the instant.  If something is nearly dead, use the channeled effect.  If something is alive, fine, run over to it and backstab it until it dies.

OMG:

* You get a double-bladed lightsaber.  I mean, c'mon.  It's like being made of cheating.
Thanamira (110 arcane maga), Reonna (110 prot warrior), Gaillardia (100 eventual resto druid)

Thanamira

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 06:08:15 AM »
If you go with the tanking tree, then your second companion rocks.  Your first companion is a tank/mdps, but your second companion is rdps/heal.  So your playstyle changes from "I'm a tank, in dps stance, doing rogue backstabs" to "I'm a tank, in tank stance, doing awesome things".

Also, at 26, you get an instant, no CD, AOE move that costs 50 Force.  So suddenly, picking up adds isn't that big a deal.
Thanamira (110 arcane maga), Reonna (110 prot warrior), Gaillardia (100 eventual resto druid)

ghoselle

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 06:58:35 AM »
I leveled as the infiltration tree with a few points in other trees.  I found it quite capable of tanking instances. Higher up, it even gets reduced costs on the AoE move you get at level 26.  Infiltration before you get your 31 point talent is often about watching/causing a stun, and moving behind the opponent for a cheap huge damage backstab.  Once you get your 31 point talent, this becomes much less useful -- it is still a small net dps gain to backstab but only when you have the reduced cost for backstab proc.


Once I was 50, I swapped to the tanking tree.  The tanking tree at 50 is interesting to play for solo'ing, largely because it has so much splash AoE damage.  For killing a single tough opponent, it is slower than infilitration.  But when you are fighting a group of enemies, you'll kill the first one and then turn and discover all the rest of them are already below half health.  Furthermore, you have a lot of damage reduction so especially with a healy companion you can solo some tough mobs.  However, I do miss the +stealth level & speed talents.   It is worth noting that their are 2 separate tanky builds -- one does not go all the way up to the 31 point talent and instead has better dps and more self healing.  Someone else's theorycraft suggested that the hybrid build was with 10% of the optimal dps build's dps, while still being a solid tank.  Personally, I'm in the full tanky build for now.  http://sithwarrior.com/forums/Thread-Sith-Assassin-Jedi-Shadow-Tanking-Compendium is an excellent thread.

Vylin

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 07:31:24 AM »
How would you describe tanking is as a Shadow?
SWTOR Characters: Republic - Zerana, Hedrak, Joanna, Delmond; Empire - Destro, Entropi, Pennance, Purgatori

ghoselle

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 08:36:03 AM »
How would you describe tanking is as a Shadow?

So first off, tanking is a little different that in wow.  There are a lot of mobs that shoot from range and are basically unmovable.  Packs are often spread out enough that no one ability you have will hit them all.  So it tends to involve a lot of movement and/or a lot of CC to control a pull well.  Furthermore, several of the cc's are "last 60 seconds, on a 60 second cooldown" so if it gets broken early it can not be reapplied.

Tanking as infiltration:
Use tanking stance.  Often you get to stealth in to do the initial pickup, which can be useful since it gives you the option of doing a "sap" for CC'ing one mob.  Open up from behind on one mob relying on your fast energy regen post stealth to get you energy back, pick a central mob and force breach (which is an AoE in tank stance).  At this point you probably have everything on you.  Taunt any thing that isn't.  Move as central to the group as possible and hit the swipe-equivalent skill that hits every mob in 10 yards -- its cheap for infilitration.  If any mob gets pulled off you (unlikely but happens occassionally) taunt it back.



Tanking as Kinetic:
You have a lot of different damage reduction cooldowns.  There is a ~10 second cooldown that gives you +20% shield block chance with 8 charges for 15 seconds, that you basically want to use either when the buff is about to drop or when you are down to 1 charge.  You have a a reduced damage cooldown that is 5 seconds of immune to force or kinetic attacks on a 30 second cooldown.  You have a longer cooldown self heal.  You also have a talent that makes spinning kick not require stealth to use -- which means you have a knockdown on a relatively short cooldown; so far I've found it to work on everything except bosses but including some things that seemed to be stun immune and its a good way to give the healer a few seconds to catch up.  You also have a buff you stack up to 3 times, that when fully stacked causes project (a channeled attack) to also heal you a reasonable amount -- you can dodge/parry/shield while channeling.

You have a lot of AoE.  You have 2 separate "hit everything in 10 yards of the targetted mob" short cooldown abilities, each of which applies a different damage reduction buff (one is -5% hit, one is -5% damage) that you want to keep up on as many enemies as possible.  And if both of those are cooldown, you have a melee range AoE strike with no cooldown.

You have a lot of energy regeneration.  There is a +30% energy regen talent.  And you get 2 energy back per attack blocked or shielded, which adds up fast.

You have a "death grip" equivalent -- but be warned it has a large minimum range so its often hard to use.

Your sprint is on a reduced cooldown and is talented to remove movement impairing effects, so you can use it to shoot around and pick up problematic mobs or move out of bad stuff.

Starting the pull is casting your +block% skill and then moving in, throwing a rock at one target off towards and edge (note the rock has travel time, so you can often cast it and then retarget before the mobs actually are aggro'd) and then quickly swapping targets to a one that is central and doing one of your AoE's to pick up everything near that mob.  If group is clustered, do the other AoE, otherwise swap targets again to another chunk of mobs and use it there.  Use the deathgrip equivalent if necessary - but I found I don't use it a lot.   Especially with spread out range strikers, I find myself running a lot and using various 10 yard range attacks to build threat. 

On bosses, things change a bit.  You become focused on using your cooldowns a lot more.  Always keeping +shield block up, rotating through your reduction and self healing cooldowns at appropriate times, and doing whatever the boss mechanic is.  Single target threat is a lot of keeping the debuffs up on the boss, throwing rocks, using cooldowns and the occasional other ability.


Comparing the two, I think that the infiltration tanking is probably simpler but has a lot less tools to let you turn a marginal situation in to a win.   And I've definitely seen bosses in level 50 content where infiltration tanking would not be viable without over gearing them.  However I found it good for leveling and for non-50 instances.

Tank spec tanking (kinetic) is pretty dynamic.  You have a lot of options and it there is definitely the ability to be smart and make yourself more successful.  It is rare that you feel energy starved.


One other change worth mentioning for people who are used to thinking of wow shield tanking.  Hits are done different.  Its a 2 roll system.  The first roll determines if it is a crit, miss, parry, or hit.  The second roll determines if it is shielded.  There is no way to become crit immune.  I _think_ that it is conceivable to get it to where you push "hits" off the result table and only get crit, missed, or parried.  This means there is not a need to stack +shield rating to get to some 'cap' value.

Vylin

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 05:46:33 AM »
Here is a PvP video for the Jedi Shadow if people want to take a look and see what the class is capable up (and if this style of gameplay is up their alley).
SWTOR Characters: Republic - Zerana, Hedrak, Joanna, Delmond; Empire - Destro, Entropi, Pennance, Purgatori

Vylin

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 06:00:13 AM »
After leveling a Sith Warrior - Marauder, I decided to give the Sith Inquisitor - Assassin (mirror to Shadow) a try.

Overall I really like the class thus far. The gameplay is a lot smoother compared with the Sentinel/Marauder, and it has a nice mix of close and mid-range combat abilities. For those who like playing a Warrior-Mage hybrid, Assassin really seems to fill that void.

One of the more impressive things about the Assassin compared with other melee is the amount of CC. Aside from a "Sap" ability, they also boast a stun, knockback, and short incapacitate in addition to a ranged snare (which is infinitely more benefitial in a PvP setting than a melee range snare).

In PvP the Assassin has quickly become my preferred class. I've stopped playing Marauder since I am posting similar damage with my Assassin, but am also experiencing more control, burst damage, CC, and utility. As a side note, I am also able to get 8-9 medals per match thanks to being a tank hybrid and using Guard to get bonus tanking medals. From reading thus far, Tanksins are preferred in PvP to DPSins at 50.

Overall, the Assassin/Shadow is a really fun class I have enjoyed thus far. And definitely worth giving a try. As a bonus note, the stealth mechanic is VERY helpful in bypassing mobs to reach objectives quickly. If you are hellbent of doing the bonus objectives on every character this might not be a benefit.
SWTOR Characters: Republic - Zerana, Hedrak, Joanna, Delmond; Empire - Destro, Entropi, Pennance, Purgatori

Vylin

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Re: Advanced Class Review: Jedi Shadow
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 07:03:08 AM »
I am currently level 44 on my Assassin (Shadow Mirror) and I have to say I am still LOVING this class. It can do everything I want, has AMAZING damage, and I just can't get over how incredible it is to have stealth. I've heard that there are too many Assassins at 50 right now, so that might be a major bummer since I am getting the PvE itch. How are Shadows over on the Pub side? Similarly overpopulated?
SWTOR Characters: Republic - Zerana, Hedrak, Joanna, Delmond; Empire - Destro, Entropi, Pennance, Purgatori