Nightshade Spec Guide

By Luckie N'more

Note1: These are my suggestions, and while they've worked well for many Shades there's no reason for you not to experiment if you want to. My one piece of warning on experimentation is that the Shade is extremely easy to gimp if you mess up spec distribution.

Note 2: I'm going to assume you use Piercing. The reason for this is simple: Piercing = 50% Str, 50% Dex for damage, Blades = 100% Str. The Shade's primary increase is Dex (1 per level) while Str is only its tertiary increase (1 per 3 levels). Quickness is secondary (1 per 2).

Race: Lurikeen, Short.

Reasoning: (prior to adding anything at creation).
Elf has 70 Int, 75 Quick, 75 Dex
Luri has 60 Int, 80 Quick, 80 Dex

Intelligence is useless to the Nightshade; it's not even how its Power is awarded. Nightshade Power is dependant on your Strength stat (weird, I know, but it's true). That means you'll be doing less dmg (5 less Dex), hitting slower (5 less Quickness), and have 10 useless points of Intelligence if you make an Elf. Additionally, Lurikeens are small, very small. I don't care how good Stealth is, there's ALWAYS a "visible" range bubble around you. Might as well make it as small a target as possible.

Starting Attribute Points:
+10 Str and +10 Dex for sure, this will help your damage output. For the last 10, it's a little more of personal preference:

1) +10 Quick
2) +10 Con
3) +5 Quick +5 Con

Str and Dex is obvious, it's your damage output. The difference between Con/Quick for advantage is a little blurrier. The Con will give you a slightly higher base HP, allowing you to take more hits, while the Quick will allow you to attack faster, dealing more damage. However, (and you're not likely to run into this in early levels) there is a limit to how much Quick can influence your attack speed, and between all the +Quick items and +Quick buffs in high levels (40+) chances are you'll be going over that limit quite often. As such, as a long-term plan, Con may prove more useful for the extra HP, but in the early levels, attacking faster might be just as good.

Option 3 is kind of a compromise, attack a bit faster and get a bit more HP, but not a lot of either.

Note: The following spec plan assumes you don't choose to auto-train Stealth. To be honest it really isn't worth using Auto-train. It nets you 14 more Spec points and it means sacrificing a lot of Stealth until 25. 14 points may seem like a lot at those levels, but in long run it isn't.

Ok, my suggestion for an end-game spec lay out is not a definite thing yet. As things stand, Envenom is a little underpowered, BUT Mythic has stated they are looking into it. I tend to trust Mythic, but will have to see the patch to know what they're doing for sure. As such, I'm going to offer 2 "end game" spec plans, BUT regardless of which you go with, the progression from 1 to 45 is pretty much the same, it only really changes in the last 5 levels.

Note: Unlike other Specs, +Envenom items will permit you to use higher-level Poisons (with Weapons or Spell Specs, your Styles/Spells are given from BASE Spec, with Envenom your poison abilities are given off MODIFIED Spec).

Level 50 Spec:

40 Stealth: Safe Fall 4, easily modifiable to 50 as + Stealth items are easy to come by.

39 Piercing: Modifiable up to 50 easily, makes for a very good damage output. Remember, if your BASE damage isn't good you're not going to kill anything. Spec 44 and 50 styles arenot worth the points and + Pierce items are easy to come by.

39 Crit Strike: Gives you Perforate Artery, Creeping Death, Stunning Stab, the most powerful Hidden attack chain. The Spec 44 and 50 styles are Evade based, and as good an Evade as a Nightshade gets, they aren't worth it. To evade you need to be taking hits, and unless I'm in a bad group or soloing I usually don't get aggro often enough anymore. I used to do it EASILY in earlier levels, but now at 40+ the tanks out-taunt me. Also,taking hits is bad since at 40+, while you can, if using good armor/weapons/specs, solo yellow/orange, the downtime is bad and not recommended.

41 Envenom: Allows you to easily gain modified 50 Envenom, giving you access to the highest poisons.

5 Celtic Dual: Leftover points that can't be used anywhere else.

TIP: Always Envenom both weapons if you're soloing or in a small group that takes a while to kill its target. In larger groups, you're wasting money since target dies too quickly.

Leveling Progression:

Note: I give recommendations for Spec Points at level intervals, not per level. Spec advancement between these intervals is entirely up for you to play with. Also, so long as you don't deviate from the hard line limits set in "End game specs", feel free to play with things a bit to see how they work Maybe you want to raise Piercing a little faster, or perhaps a bit more Stealth is your style. Again, even the "hard cap" I set in end-game stats is up to you to modify if you wish, but it has been my experience (and that of many Nightshades I've helped) that my recommended build is a strong one. I am capable of soloing Orange con Armsman and Paladins with ease (Albion, Plate armor). Casters are stunned before they realize I've attacked them, and dead before the stun wears off. Other assassins' fall quickly unless they are much higher level, similarly specced, or they get Hidden Attack advantage.

TIP: For leveling from 1 to 20, you may find it useful to do tasks, especially kill tasks. Select named Guards and say "Task" to obtain a kill task from them. Alternately, named NPCs will give delivery tasks. Not ALL NPCs will give tasks every level, but rather only a few per level. You may have to check multiple towns before you find one. Once you do, use the same NPC until you level, and then you'll need to find a new one.

Level 5 Spec:

Piercing: 3
Crit Strike: 4
Stealth: 1
Envenom: 1
Celtic Dual: 1

The Piercing 3 will give you a moderate base damage, while the CS 4 will allow you to use Backstab and Eviscerate. I recommend opening any fight you can with BS/Evis. Also, even though you only have 1 Envenom, you can still use the lowest level DoT Poison, do so. It will do wonders for your solo ability -- Should be able to consistently solo yellow with little to no downtime.

Level 10 Spec:

Note: The 2.2 Spec points per level kick in at level 6 (first level) now that you're a Nightshade, so you have more freedom to spec.

Piercing: 8 This allows for Wasp's Sting / Hornet's Sting back positional combo. Use if you're having trouble sneaking up on a mob, or if you're in group and other player gets the taunt.

Crit Strike: 8 This gives you Kidney Rupture, the third style in the Backstab 1 chain, as well as giving you Pincer, a strong Side Positional attack, mainly for groups, but might be used in some solo situations if getting behind the mob for Backstab is proving too difficult.

Stealth: 5 This gives you Distraction as well as a higher chance of remaining hidden while trying Backstab.

Envenom: 5 This gives you the first Disease, poison, and second DoT. From this point on, I'd recommend using Disease on one weapon, DoT on other.

Celtic Dual: 1 This won't raise for a long time, will stop listing it till it's ready to go up.

Level 15 Spec:

Piercing: 12 This allows you to get Scorpion, a De-Taunt style which will prove extremely useful, and Black Widow, an upgrade to your base style. Usable at any time, moderate damage, but high endurance. Gives a small bonus to hit.

Crit Strike: 15 Many players will say not to max a Spec, those players usually are talking in generalities. This is one of the exceptions. 15 CS allows you Backstab 2 / Thigh Cut, the BS2 chain entire, and will have to suit until you get Perforate Artery.

Stealth: 7
Envenom: 5

Level 20 Spec:

Piercing: 18 Permits Sidewinder, the next chain off Black Widow. Basic source of damage for quite a while.

Crit Strike: 18 Gives you Garrote. Right now Garrote is weak on its own, but later on the Garrote / Achilles' heel chain will be your best damage. I still use that chain for "any time" attack at 41, and intend to keep using it right till end.

Stealth: 12 Gives you your first level of Safe Fall as well as Danger Sense. Danger sense is a useful ability that informs you when a mob has scouted you or a player in RvR has targeted you or your group.

Envenom: 5

Level 25 Spec:

Piercing: 21 Gives Copperhead, Side Positional style, fairly useful. Replaces Pincer for side attack.

Crit Strike: 22 Gives Perforate Artery, a extremely strong hidden attack. Only drawback is that it is front positional so stealth becomes a little more important now then before. There's no stun on this, but the sheer damage it does easily replaces BS2/TC.

Stealth: 17 Gives Detect Hidden, allows you to see Stealthed players at a much longer range then other players do.

Envenom: 10 Allows for use of the third level DoT poison.

Level 30 Spec:

Piercing: 22

Crit Strike: 25 Gives you Achilles' Heel. Between the damage and the Long Duration Attack Speed reduction on Heel, Garrote / Achilles' heel should now become your primary "any time" attack. Perforate Artery, as always, is your best opener.

Stealth: 20 Safe Fall 2, general improvement.

Envenom: 20 Even if Mythic doesn't make high-end Envenom more useful, DoT and Disease are currently the key poisons in RvR. This allows you to get the 5th level DoT and the 2nd level Disease poisons; the first Disease has far too short a duration for a significant encounter

Level 35 Spec:

Note: You're now looking at the "real" RvR. Frontiers, Keeps, maybe even Relics if you're lucky, not to mention covert exploration and assassinations. The Nightshade is one of the most fun classes, in my opinion, to bring to the RvR field.

Piercing: 22

Crit Strike: 34 Yes, this is a huge increase, but the benefits of Creeping Death far outweigh the losses. This style does about 1/3 again the damage of Perforate Artery, and inflicts a stun on the target of approximately 5 or 6 seconds. This can make or break many fights in PvE
Stealth: 24
Envenom: 20

TIP: At 36, raise Stealth to 25, THEN do whatever skills you wish in accordance with level 40 Guide Line. 25 Stealth gives you the ability to climb the walls of keeps and take out players/guards on the inside.

Level 40 Spec:

Note: By level 40, you should easily have +6 Envenom in items. (Shadow Crystal Orb, Master Assassin Pendant, Ghostly Truesilver Gloves grant a total of +7) So even with 20 base Envenom, you'll be able to use the level 25 DoT and 26 Disease)

TIP: ALWAYS Remember to re-equip your necklace after a port. To use the portal, you need to use a Port necklace. This means that your regular necklace is de-equipped. Forgetting to re-equip it can hurt you if you rely on bonuses from it, especially spec bonuses.

Piercing: 34 You've got your other skills to acceptable levels, now it's time to bring your Piercing back up to par. This massive jump compensates for many levels of not raising Piercing. You should notice a significant increase in damage output at these levels. You should make an effort to get 2 Right Bracer of Skill, Epic Dagger, and Balanced Asterite Dirk. They grant a total of +10 Piercing. You're cap is +9 till 45 but this will help a lot.

Critical Strike: 34

Stealth: 25 With proper Stealth equipment, Hauberk of Deceit - West Wind quest, Shadow Crystal Orb, Ring of Hidden Talent - Touch of the Amadan quest, Imbued Unseelie Boots, Cloak of Obscurement - Anxious Healer quest -- you'll have +10 Stealth, capped at +9 Till 45, making an effective 34, this is good enough at this point, the key is being able to Climb -- 25 base.

Envenom: 20

Level 42.5 Spec:

Note: I reduce to intervals of 2.5 levels here because it's still 5 gains in Spec points, but you are gaining the bonus 50% points at half levels now.

Note: The Hauberk of Deceit is only 78 AF, yes, BUT because it is 100% Quality is has the same effective AF as an 87.6 AF 89% Quality vest. In short, between the effective AF and the bonuses, it's well worth keeping for a while longer

Piercing: 34 Assuming you have the +9 Piercing identified via items above, you're modified Piercing Will be 43. As long as modified Piercing is equal to your level, there is no problem. In other words, don't raise this again till 44.0, and then only raise it 1 point.

Crit Strike: 39 Stunning Stab, the final style in your Perforate Artery chain, does a bit more damage then Creeping Death, but no effects.

Stealth: 31 Safe Fall 3, modified stealth of 40 with above items.

Envenom: 20

Level 45 Spec:

Piercing: 34 With +10 in pierce items and +1 in Realm Rank, Realm Rank bonus is NOT included in level cap, I will have modified 45 Piercing, keeping Piercing = level.

Crit Strike: 39 Again, I keep CS capped at 39, this does not increase again ever.

Stealth: 36 I intend to replace my Hauberk of Deceit at 45, and don't know for sure at this point that I'll be able to make up the lost Stealth, as such I raise 2 points into Base Stealth so that 36 +9 is still 45 and again, Spec + items equals level.

Envenom: 29 I currently have +8 in items and Realm rank, I'm trying to get Midnight Marauder Gloves to bring this to +9. If I am able to either get these gloves, Rank 3, or +1 Envenom somewhere else without sacrificing something important, I will be able to get the Spec 37 Disease at 45. Otherwise, I'll raise it another point or two at 45.5.

Level 47.5 Spec:

Piercing 36 Still looking at +11 Piercing here, so 36+11 is 47. If I get Realm Rank 3 before this, I'll leave it at 35 and have +12 = 47. Either way, mod Piercing = Level.

Crit Strike: 39 Capped.

Stealth: 38 Based on having +9 Stealth, keeping this equal to level after modifications.

Envenom: 35 Keeping this up high as long as I can keep modified Piercing and Stealth equal to level, aiming for high end poisons at this point more then anything.

Celtic Dual: 1

Level 50 Spec:

Piercing: 39 Easily modifiable to 50, good damage.

Crit Strike 39 For the 3-style Perforate Artery combo.

Stealth 40 Easily modified to 50, benefit of Safe Fall 4, which does come in handy in some areas.

Envenom 41 Easily modifiable to 50, use of all poisons.

Celtic Dual 5 Leftover points.

This Nightshade spec was originally written by Luckie N`mor, Knight of Seasons of Darkness, currently a 45.5 level Nightshade residing in Hibernia on the Bedevere server. It was provided to the Sacred Silver Blades site by SSB Michael.


Pierce Items:

Right Bracer of Skill (2 each)
Epic Dagger
Balanced Asterite Dirk
Total of +10 Piercing

Stealth Items:

Hauberk of Deceit - West Wind quest
Shadow Crystal Orb
Ring of Hidden Talent - Touch of the Amadan quest
Imbued Unseelie Boots
Cloak of Obscurement - Anxious Healer quest
Total of +10 Stealth

Envenom Items:

Shadow Crystal Orb
Master Assassin Pendant
Ghostly Truesilver Gloves or Midnight Marauder Gloves
Total of +7 Envenom with GT gloves or +8 with MM Gloves

Note: Items listed are for the 40 to 50 Level range.


CM-Coruscating mines
BC-Bog of Cullen
MT-Muire Tomb
SD-Sprag Den
BL-Bri Leith
LD-Lough Derg
LG-Lough Gur
Rn-Random Drop
Qst-Quest item
CoM-Cliffs of Moher

Neck Slot

Rogue Overlord Pendant Loc:?-? (lv45)
Dex+7, Qui+7, CS+1, St+1

Master Assassin Pendant Loc:BC-Saibra Wayguard (lv 40)
Dex+6, Qui+6, Env+2
Drops off Siabra Mireguards and Siabra Raiders in region where Neese spawns in the Bog.

Master Rogue Pendant Loc:CoM-Siabras (lv ?)
Dex+4, Qui+4, St+1

Jewelry Slot

Jewel of Madness Loc:MT-Rn (lv 16)
(jewelery) Dex+4, St+1

Shadow Crystal Orb Loc:CM-Rn (lv 47)
(jewelery) HP+18, Env+2, St+2
Drop off monsters in "The Pit" including Abysmals and Phantom miners etc

Bracer Slot

Bracer of Tracelessness Loc: TB (lv 38)
Dex+7, Qui+3, St+2

Right Bracer of Skill Loc:BC-siabra? (lv 38)
Pr+2, Qui+7

Boot Slot

Boots of Blending Loc:Qst-Roane Skin (lv 11)
(AF22) Dex+6, St+1

Imbued Unseelie Boots Loc:CM-Rn (lv 47)
(AF94) Dex+12,Qui+3, St+2

Helm Slot

Noble's Leather Helm Loc:MT-Rn (lv 15)
(AF30) Qui+3, St+1

Helm of Shadow Melding Loc:LG-saibra? (lv 20)
(AF40) Dex+4, St+3

Earth Crafted Molded Helm Loc:SD-Rn (lv24)
(AF48) Dex+4, St+3

Cloak Slot

Cloak of Concealment Loc:Cn-Pookhas (lv31)->hooded black drop
Dex+7, St+2, heat 6%

Cloak of Obscurement Loc:Qst-Anxious Healer (lv 33)
Dex+7, Str+6, St+2

Pooka Lord's Mantle Loc:?-? (lv 50)
Qui+16,St+2, heat 8%, cold 8%

Gloves Slot

Jeweled Ridgid Gloves Loc:CM-Rn (lv 40)
(AF80) Dex+3, Qui+9, Env+2

Ghostly Truesilver Gloves Loc:CM-Rn (lv 44)
(AF88) Qui+12, Env+3
Drop off monsters in "The Pit" including Abysmals and Phantom miners etc.

Imbued Unseelie Gloves Loc:CM-Rn (lv 47)
(AF94) Qui+9, CD+2, Env+2

Ring Slot

Carved Sphene Ring Loc:SD-Rn (lv 25)
Pr+1, Bla+1, Blu+1, CSp+1

Glimmer Striker Ring -Strength: 7pts -Dexterity: 7pts -Constitution: 9pts -Slash: 10% level 50 item, 90% quality Epic zone

Shadowstrike Ring, The +int ring, has +10% crush

Shadow Ring, +emp ring, has +10% thrust, as well.

Leather Armors

Guile Leather Armor AF 70 - Off of Glimmers at entrance to EZ.

Furtive Cave Dweller Leather AF 74 - Cave dwellers in Moher

Rigid Jewel Spiked Armor (All pieces) AF 80
Drop off Collared Gemgetters and various monsters in top level of Coruscating

Poachers in CF drop Recondite Poacher leather armor, AF 98,
usually +6 dex to +16 quickness, various resists on each piece
boots add stealth, and gloves add envenom

Pierce Weapons

Crystal shard Loc:MT-Rn (lv 21)
(Dps7.5/Sp2.1) Pr+3

Oaken Impaler Loc:Cn-cluricans (lv 25)
(Dps8.7/Sp2.5) Pr+1, Dex+3,Qui+3, heat 2%

Spritely Stiletto Loc:BL-Siog Seekers (lv 28)
(Dps9.9/Sp2.6) Pr+1, Par+1, Dex+3
Also u can find the Spritely Stilletto of Wraith Sprites in Cliffs of Moher. i got one off a Wraith Sprite when doing the Anxious healer quest.

Balanced Asterite Dirk Loc:CM-Rn (lv 36)
(Dps12.8/Sp2.5) Pr+2, HP+12

AILBLE CLAW: Piercer 12.8dps 2.6spd +2 Pierce +2 Parry +4 Quick (Lev 39)
Ailble - Deamhan Hound south of Innis, west of where Bran the Giant spawns.

Silvered Spellbound dagger Loc:Qst-Ilisa's Trade (lv 40)
(Dps14.1/Sp2.3) Pr+4, Dex+6, body 12%, +Proc

Coruscating Truesilver Dagger Loc:CM-Rn (lv 42)
(Dps14.7/Sp2.6) Pr+3, Dex+3, Qui+3

Wicked Thorn Loc:LG-Far L. (lv 43)
(Dps15.3/Sp2.2) Pr+2, Qui+9, +Proc

Shard of Light - Pierce drops off The Blight in CF.

Granny's Needle (Granny) in CF
One-hand piercer
16.2 dps, 2.6 spd +3 pierce +10 dex +10 str 2/2 charges of 97DD proc

Glimmer Rapier - Glows (fire burning effect blade) off of Glimmers in the EZ. Further in.

Shadow Crystal Rapier - Bottom of CM doesn't glow properly.

Also, another glowing rapier named Moondeath Rapier or such out of the EZ, deeper in I believe.

  Page last updated on July 26, 2005 11:13 AM and all SSB graphics and texts are ©1996-2005 by Medar.