ArcheAge Dual Wield Dark Runner Guide

ArcheAge Dual Wield Dark Runner Guide by Vlare

This guide is based on my own experiences and opinions, nothing is the law, if you don’t agree with something I say or do, that’s perfectly fine. I would however like to keep this thread for the guide and keep it constructive. No QQ/flaming or anything else. Questions and discussion, let’s keep this civilized.

Table of contents
1) Introduction to Dark Runner
2)About me
3) Gearing
4) The Build
5) The style
6) Combos
7) Matchups
8) Closing statements


The Dark runner class is a melee-assassin who uses high mobility, high damage and elusiveness to lock down his targets and kill them. This class is traditionally played as a 2H in-your-face burst class however, I have put my own spin on it and mixed things up. This guide will attempt to inform you about playing the Dual-Wield Darkrunner, from both a build and stylistic point of view.

About me

Hello everyone, I am Vlare. I’ve been a “competitive” gamer for most of my life. What this really means is that I have always been a player who strives to be the best at what they do, and where competition is involved, participate in it. I have been playing games for over 20 years now from all genres. I began playing ArcheAge some months ago on the other regions servers, and played on the Alpha server for a long time where I primarily focused on both DaggerSpell and Dark Runner classes. I spent a lot of time playing both classes, as well as a few others. I also explored the various styles of playing these classes. I am not claiming to be the best Dark Runner, but I think I have a lot of knowledge and experience that I can bring to the table and I’d love to share it with all of you.



I think it is fair to say that the majority of Dark Runners chose leather. This does not mean to say that it is our only option. As a Dark Runner, you have two choices: Leather and Plate. Each one of these armors has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Using leather will grant you more rounded resists (Magic/Physical) as well as higher crit and evasion chances, you will also gain trip reduction.

Plate on the other hand offers little to no magic resist and makes up for that by giving you a ton of physical defense as well as more Health and Stun reduction.

So how does this pan out. Well, against all physical types, Plate will likely make your life easier as all of your armors damage reduction goes towards mitigating this damage type, it also makes you have more HP, so basically, you will be a lot harder to kill. In the current Meta, the game is over-run with Melee dps and Archers, with casters essentially sprinkled in (at least from what I have seen, and this may/will also change as the game develops).

Does this mean choosing plate is correct? Not necessarily, by going plate you sacrifice evasion and crit rates. So this, in my opinion ultimately boils down to personal preference. I do feel like leather is “more fitting” to an Assassin type, but there are also aesthetics we need to consider, as this is an MMO and we want to look awesome. Ultimately, they will each have their own pros and cons, so it’s up to you to determine what you like, I encourage you to experiment and provide constructive/supporting feedback in this thread. I personally use Leather.

Regardless of which Armor-type you opt for, I strongly recommend going for the Desert Set as this offers Str/Stam stats which are your two most important stats. Strength offers damage, Stamina offers HP (survivability). Now before all of you say “VLARE WHAT ABOUT AGILITY. CRIT CRIT CRIT”. Yes, Agility is a nice added bonus. However, the way that I play is all about being as consistent as possible and all agility does is add to RNG. If you can take free agility somewhere, you should but I would personally never take Agility over Strength or Stamina.


This is our bread and butter. A lot of this comes down to personal preference. Since we are a Dual Wield Dark Runner, we will want TWO (2) weapons.

If you are not aware, all of the weapons in ArcheAge Have Hidden abilities, or procs. This is one of the most important things to consider when choosing weapons.

The following link has a summary of the weapons with their procs :

There is a difference between Ideal, and practical as well that we should consider. It will be “ideal” to run the two best stat weapons of type X and Y. But, as we know this game is super RNG, gold is not always easy to come by, and things take time so I am going to outline the more practical way of doing things. I will update this guide as I can.

Main hand: Hasla 1H Sword.

The reasoning for this is quite simple; you’re probably not going to get anything better for a very long time. It’s easy to get, it’s good, and above all else, IT’S A SWORD.


This is a bit trickier, I personally run a sword, but many people opt for Katana, Axe, and even dagger.

Ultimately this is going to boil down to what proc you want, what you have available, and above all else, stats. Each of these weapons has a different effect, Katanas Gives crit chance, Daggers give GCD time, and Axes do bleeds.

I personally run two swords. Now, I have not TESTED if there is a diminishing return on the proc chance, if there is I am going to swap to a Katana when I can most likely so that I can get higher spike damage.

I would not use a dagger as we do not have a spammable attack that benefits from this. I would not use an Axe because the bleed is counter-intuitive to us needing to CC targets, it breaks the CCs.

I would not use a spear for armor piercing because we already achieve this through battle-rage passives.

Really it will boil down to Sword/Katana or Double sword. Also please keep in mind that, Aesthetics are always important. If you think double swords are cool, use them. You have to like your character of course.

The Build

Here is my current Dark Runner build.

You are more than welcome to run your own build, this is my version of it.

It is pretty standard except for three things really.

1) I don’t run Frenzy.
2) Reckless Charge
3) No Weapon Maneuvers

So let me explain this, and this is purely opinion.

I ran with frenzy for a LONG time. I know all about animation cancelling and all it offers.

However, what I found was that Frenzy was essentially an All-in button against melees. The more damage you do, the more damage you take. If you pop this and don’t kill your opponent, they are likely going to kill you as soon as they get their hands on you.

The Stun after 30-seconds. This can be played around, however I have longer fights, and don’t want to have to run away and get stunned. As a dual wielder we do not have as much Burst and spike damage as a 2H player. We play a much more in-and-out style, and because of this, having to play around a stun just adds more obstacles.

Against casters, I can understand the appeal of the point, but I found myself always reluctant to use it. I instead took this point and spent it on Reckless Charge.

Why? Because I am all about mobility. Moving faster, being all over the place, being hard to keep track of. Reckless charge allows us to further enhance our play-style by giving us a speed boost essentially every time we attack. This skill also greatly improves our matchup against Archers because it gives us an easier time to keep up with them and stay on top of them.

What about Weapon Maneuvers.

Well, this skill scales with Gear. At the time of making my build and putting everything together, the bonus from this would have been maybe +10-25 Melee power. I really did not feel that this offered enough for what I could have from another point. With better gear, this passives value increases. It’s entirely possible to take this over Frenzy and reckless if you want it.

The Style

The basic play style for our build and class is quite simple. Get in, do damage, get out.
Our class comes equipped with a multitude of gap closers and gap makers. What this allows for us to do is play a kind of hit-and-run style. We should never be fighting (Archers/casters can be an exception) unless we have skills to use that are not Triple Slash. Triple slash is essentially only there for tripping or a bit of consistency/filler against non-melees.

So to reiterate, We will in most cases go in, do our damage, get out, wait to be able to do it again. Rinse-Repeat, kill. There are exceptions, such as casters/Archers/ and when we think we can finish the fight.

We use swords, which give us 100% chance to parry on proc, we also use passives to increase our parry chance as well as reset the cooldowns of our skills. What we are aiming to do here is only go in when we have things off cooldown, parry as much as possible, re-proc our skills, go back in. Keep moving all over the place. Keep your opponent guessing, make it hard to track you.

Against archers, Dual Wielding allows us to parry arrows. This acts as a form of damage mitigation and allows us to take significantly less damage when closing the gap.


The follows skills will play a huge role in our ability to combo opponents:

Leech (auramancy)
Charge (Battle rage)
Triple Slash (Battle rage)
Overwhelm (Shadowplay)
Stalker’s Mark (Shadowplay)
Precision Strike (battle rage)
Shadow Smite (Shadowplay)

It is imperative that you read these skills over, understand what they do and how they work in conjunction with one another. I will outline combo sequences but not explain what all the abilities do, you can do this for yourself.

Ideal combo:

Stalkers mark > Leech > overwhelm > Shadow smite > Precision Strike > Charge > Triple Slash > Get out or Tiger strike > Get out.

Mini combos:

Charge > Triple Strike > Precision strike
Charge > triple strike > Overwhelm > Shadow smite > Precision strike.

You can mix these ups, but the main focus is to trip or stun your opponent and “backstab” them.


I’m going to keep this short with brief explanations, if you guys request more complicated ones I can try to provide them.

Against witchcraft

You can make a safe assumption here. All Witch users have fear, lassitude and sleep immunity.

What this means is, No Leech.

You need to pretty much save bondbreaker just in-case. I would also recommend saving Shrug it off, but this one is on a case-by-case because if you can shrug and counter-combo and win, I would say do that. Saving BB for a lassitude is often-times a safe bet though.

*** Experimental technique***

This is a high risk high reward move you can do against witch users. I would not personally do it unless I had nothing off cool down and was stuck in melee range. But, some of you guys are risk takers so here is how it works.

It is entirely possible to Leech a Witchcraft users and steal their buffs. What you can do actually is steal the sleep/fear immunity from them. Doing so makes this matchup infinitely easier as you really can play as if there is no sleep/fears to worry about. In the case that they see you do this and purge you, you must go back to playing traditionally, but ideally you will be able to put on so much pressure that you will be in a strong position.

Now, the reason I say this is a high risk high reward is because. In general, witchcraft users will initiate their stun fear sleep combo as soon as you are in range of them. If you get in melee range and use your GCD on leech and don’t get the sleep immunity, there is a high chance that fear > Sleep is going to hit you flat in the face. However, if you’re fast enough or they are too slow, you can try to use this technique.

Against Defense users.

REDOUBT. OH MY GOD REDOUBT. This skill pretty much nullifies us for 20-seconds.
We can’t trip, we can’t combo, we can’t hit (block chance). Redoubt is more or less the bane of our existence. What this means is that, when you see this sucker go up, DO NOT ENGAGE. Run Away, hide, reset, do whatever you can to not be there/ fighting.

Playing against pretty much all other trees is quite easy. Be aware of what they can or can’t do, don’t get caught in their combos.

Against Archers

Archers are pretty frustrating for a lot of players to deal with, they have high range, high damage, high mobility. Luckily for us as Dark Runners, we come equip with many tools to deal with them. There are several ways to approach the DR vs Archer matchup , and it will greatly depend on what type of Archer it is.

In general, a safe strategy to use is something along the lines of the following :

Both begin to engage, pop cooldowns, trade stalkers mark. At this point the archers usually do one of two things, try to close the gap for a leech combo/overwhelm/smite – OR they begin to kite.

If they do the more aggressive leech style, it’s important to try not get leeched, and if possible, leech them. If you are able to land a Leech+Stalker mark combo on an archer, you are in a VERY good position to just combo and win. If on the other hand you get leeched, the archers have a few nasty combos they can put out which makes our life hard.

Against the archers that opt to kite us, I traditionally open with a backflip > Tiger strike to close the gap. This is often times enough to begin applying pressure or go for a leech. Against primevals, they will likely teleport at this point, so it is imperative that you mirror them and chase them with teleport.

If you can stay glued to the archers while doing all of your combos, you should be able to out dps/cc them and take the win. I will post a video to try to show how the Vs. Archer matchups usually play.

In the case of Stonearrows, it is a lot harder. I strongly suggest seeing above about redoubt. Against Stone arrows it is usually ideal to try to sleep > reset the redoubt, or try to just burst them through the redoubt but this is a lot riskier.

Closing statements

This class is VERY fun. It’s very fast paced and offers a lot of opportunity to trick and “outplay”. The damage is high, the mobility is high, but we are pretty fragile. I think Dark Runner is one of my favorite classes for this very reason, it does not leave a lot of room for error, so you must play well to win.

I am a Dark Runner Stream, I do Q&A, AMA and commentary. So please feel free to check me out, drop me a line. Questions/comments always welcome.

I will update this guide to make it cleaner and more informative when I have time. I think for now it is a good starting point. Based on the popularity of this guide I will add more. I am all about trying to help and teach. I’m not the best, I don’t think, and I make mistakes still. We are all learning and need to keep learning and improving.

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1 Response

  1. supremekser says:

    Nice guide, just wanna know how i can deal with witchcraft, stun sleep fear, i can’t in range at all, and usually die after 1 or 2 combos due to my shitty gear. How can i pull off a combo, despite having lower ping and worser gear because right now, everytime i tiger in and try to sleep, it wouldn’t work on most occasions because of my ping. But imo it’s not about ping, i wanna know how to outplay my own class cause if i do what generic darkrunners do, it’s over for me, any tips for improving my pvp. currently having trouble successfully comboing, daggerspells(cc), primeevils(kiting, stun, leech), paladins, shadowblade(i just get cced when i go in, even if i try to tp out i’m slow), basically, most witchcraft defense, my own class, i have trouble with. My win rate in arena is 1% lol. Please do me favor and reply through email how i can get better, ty .

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