EverQuest II Shadowknight Tanking and DPS Guide

EverQuest II Shadowknight Tanking and DPS Guide by Toesmash

I see lots of questions on how to DPS and tank as an SK so I decided to wip up a little guide on how I DPS and MT/OT.  These are things that work for me, and I do not assume that this is how everyone should play an SK, and I’m not the end all be all SK or do I pretend to be so please take it with a grain of salt.

Spell Damage Myth
First lets deal with the 75% spell damage misconception.  Our damage is not 75% based on the spells you cast doing damage, auto attack damage should (depending on weapon 1 hand vs 2 hand) should range between 22% – 35% (from a meh 1h .legendary to a kick but fabled 2hander).  Our CA’s kick in about 10%, and then we proc Grim Strike for about 7% – 11% (this is a spell, but it’s damage requires you to swing that weapon).  Usually Mele, CA, and procs due to your autoattack will be 40% – 55% of your total damage.

Weapon Delays
For an Sk/Hybrid weapon speed is very important, fast weapons with a low delay (under 2 seconds) means you will be missing out on autoattack swings alot, our spells and CAs take from 1 to 2.5 seconds to cast (including recovery time), during this time you will not swing and you want to swing.  Lets take a look at the damage done with a 1.2 delay weapon and a 2.5 delay weapon;
Weapon A – 1.2 delay 500 damage            Weapon B. 2.5 delay – 1000 damage.
1 sec CA (smash) – 400 damage              1 sec CA (smash) – 400 damage
2.5 sec spell (Wrath) – 1500 damage       1.5 sec Spell (anger) – 1000 damage
swing – 500 damage                                 Swing – 1000 damage 1.5 sec
spell (anger) – 1000 damage                     2.5 sec spell (wrath) – 1500 damage
swing – 500 damage                                  Swing – 1000 damage
Total damage – 3900                                Total Damage – 4900
Weapon A could have gotten another 500 damage if he/she had not qued up there spells and waited .2 secs, still more damage is done with the slower weapon.
What we need to do when we equip our weapons is figure out exactly how fast we’re attacking with how much we are hasted, this number of course will change if your in a group/raid setting.  To find out the true speed of your autoattack type /weaponstats.  This will give you the true delay (you can also look at this in your persona tab now too).
Now if you know that your weapon is swinging once every two seconds you can base what spells your casting/queing around this delay.
Example of /weaponstats read out
Primary: Name:Soulfire Gladius
Base Damage:44-250 Actual Damage 136-773
Actual Delay: 2.3
Proc Percent: 9.0%
Procs Per minute: 1.8  

Spell/CA hotbar layout
Okay, so now we know our weapon delay how can we base our casting orders around it, how do we figure out which spells take how long to cast and based on that which ones can we que up, and which ones can’t.  Well there are two methods, the 1st is to examine the spells and remember the casting time for each spell or arrange them according to how long the take.
My spell hotbar is based on casting times, the primary hotbar has all the 1 second spells, secondary hotbar has the 1.5 second spells and the 3rd bar has the 2.5 second/miscalanious spells.  More so on the primary, I have also arnaged the spells acording to refresh timers, the quickest spells are numbers 2 – 6 for fast hitting.
The reason for the spell arangement is quick math, if I have a 2.5 delay weapon I can hit one 3rd row spell, or one 2nd row and 1st row spell for each autoattack.  Also when using something like death march which gives us 50% spell haste (well its 62% at master 1, but I round it down because I’m lazy :p), the math can be done quickly again, like hitting queing 2 2.5 sec spells, or 3 1 sec spells, and 1 1.5 sec spells… etc.  quick and easy math to get the most out of your swings.

Conclusion of Weapon Delay and Casting speeds.
The above concepts are pretty important to get, without a firm understanding your DPS/Tanking will always lack, that autoattack is so important to get in.  I didn’t really go into spell haste and it’s effects, with spell haste your casting timers changing accordingly, just examine the spells to see the impact.

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