We all know that Shadow Master is not a popular skill amongst pikes who want to be tough, especially in BC. But there are always exceptions? exceptions like me.
I chose SM over CS ages ago and have been using this skill for a long time now. This guide is meant for pikes like me? who chose SM over CS even when they knew that CS can be stronger when used with Vanish. Now I?m sure that there are many players on this forum who are wiser than me. Feel free to add your tips and thoughts about this topic.
As we know, SM?s greatest flaw is the unstoppable animation, during which you can not drink a potion or run away. So the key to success is a correct timing. Never start the SM skill when you are low on HP ? it?s pretty much like playing Russian Roulette with 5 out of 6 cartridges loaded in the barrel. Always make sure your hp is at max or only a little lower. Never use SM when you?re outnumbered. Also it is wise not to use it on certain monsters or to use with caution. Like Devil Bird who is insanely strong or Frost, Bloody Knight and Chimaera who have ways to slow/stop you down. Also a tough enemy for SM is another Pike, Fighter or some other pvp maniac ? if you want to hunt those then you?re reading the wrong guide.
Firstly if you don?t know yet, SM lvl 10 does 5 hits (the 4 first hits add 45% and the final hit adds 45% x 3 damage). A skill with 5 hits has a high possibility of missing at least one of them. That?s why your attack rating must be at good shape (lvl/1 items, maybe even extra agility for atkr).
The comfort that I see in this skill is the possibility to attach it in my spamming chain. In other words, I can start spamming with CL, then press F1 (or which ever is the hotkey for your SM) and then switch back to CL again. Yes, when you want to use SM fast then I suggest to go make a successful CL hit before switching to SM because a successful CL will make the target knock a little back, winning you time to start off the SM more safely. Basically you spam CL and occasionally switch on SM when the time is right.
Another way and probably the safest way to use SM is to combine it with Vanish. Go make the first hit with SM and then switch to spamming CL. Not only does this add more damage to your SM, it also wins you time. SM consists of 5 hitting animations and when used with Vanish, the monster will take more time to react. You?ll get more hits done before the monster will start hitting you.
It is probably a good idea to use vague when you use SM. Personally I don?t use it as it slows down my spamming chain, but I?m pretty sure that Vague can save your life and in case you?re not as lazy as me, then you will use it.
Yes why not, another way to make sure you take the max of your SM?s potential. Again I?m too damn lazy to use it during a hunt.
Another interesting idea I have heard is to use ground pike to slow the monster down so you can make a safe SM hit. I have never used it, but it should work unless you?re on ice maps.
Well to sum up, the most important thing is timing: choose wisely when to use SM (if at all). If you?re able to do that, you?ll stay alive for sure. I personally have died only 1 time during this skill and it was because of a bad timing while attacking a Frost. I hope you like this guide and I welcome all your thoughts about SM since I might not know all the tricks and tactics.
That?s it for today. SM FTW!
Ty, gl & hf