The Elves of WAR: Meet the Shadow Warrior levels 1-5

Our overview of the High Elf ranged dps career, the Shadow Warrior, may not be enough for you. So here we are with an examination of every skill from level one through five. It's the latest installment of Massively's pre-NDA coverage of Warhammer Online, the Elves of WAR.

Shadow Warriors are the quintessential bow-and-blade class, with skills in long-range, short-ranged and hand-to-hand combat. They have three stances they can switch between at a moment's notice that buffs each combat speciality. The first one, Scout Stance, is explained below along with the other beginning abilities.

Level 1 - Scout Stance
5 sec cooldown
A long distance bow stnace that increases your Ballistic Skill initiative by 2 and the range of your bow attacks by 10%.

Level 1 - Eagle Eye
45 AP, 2sec cast, 5-100ft range
A well aimed arrow that deals 53 damage.

Level 1 - Grim Slash
40 AP, Instant cast, 5ft range
Deals 30 damage to your target.

These are your two basic attacks, ranged and melee, with a ranged buff. Encounters are simple as shoot until melee range, then spam Grim Slash.

Level 2 - Broadhead Arrow
25 AP, Instant cast, 5-65ft range, 3sec cooldown
An Ailment which deals 105 damage to your target over 15 seconds.

No we're getting somewhere. Open with the long casting Eagle Eye, then pop this instant cast high damage DOT. A few Grim Slashes later, loot and move on. This is also an excellent arrow attack during the Public Quests. Tag as many mobs as possible with this for maximum damage output. Another nice thing about this ability is that it can be used in any stance, unlike many other great arrow attacks. The only downside is the shorter range than most bow attacks and the cooldown which is minor.

Level 3 - Acid Arrow
40 AP, 1.5sec cast, 5-100ft range, 5sec cooldown
An attack which deals 40 damage and reduces your target's armor by 74 and reduces their chance to block by 10% for seconds.

A good attack to rotate in between Broadhead Arrow and Eagle Eye for extra damage. Also useful against boss mobs in PQs.

Level 4 - Assault Stance
Instant cast, 5sec cooldown
A close combat stance which increases your Strength and Weapon Skill by 12 and increases your Armor by 100%.

This is where the fun begins. The stance dance between long-ranged stance and close-combat stance begins now. Open with your Scout Stance to whittle down your opponent from above, then when the mob closes in, switch on the fly to this stance for extra damage increasing abilities and double your armor. Good times.

Level 4 - Brutal Assault
45 AP, Instant cast, 5ft range, 5sec cooldown
Target must be facing away from you.
Requires Scout or Assault Stance.
Deals 67 damage to your target and makes monsters hate you less than normal. Only usable when you are behind the target. If you are Vengeful, then this attack may be used from any position.

Ok, ok, at first you're thinking, "how is a detaunt attack helpful if I have to be behind the mob?" Well, you have to be proactive about shedding your aggro. "But I'm half a block away raining death down from above" you say. This ability isn't available to you in Scout Stance, only your new Assault Stance and another one down the line.

In later levels, you will get a short term, long cooldown Vengeful buff that will activate special functions in certain abilities like this one.

Level 5 - Takedown
15 AP, 1sec casting, 5-65ft range, 15sec cooldown
An Ailment which deals 41 damage and snares your target, reducing their run speed by 40% for 10 seconds. If you are Vengeful, then the target will also be knocked down for 3 seconds.

Don't have time to get off your arrow attacks before the mob closes in? Open with this snare then you'll usually have enough time to fire your Broadhead and Acid Arrow attacks before having to switch to Assault Stance.

Next, an examination of levels 6 - 10 including Skirmish Stance (ranged close-combat), a real detaunt and very big arrow attack.
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This article was originally published on Massively.