Skills & Passives

Learn about the Skills, Gameplay and Passives for the Shadow Daggers Bladedancer Build.


Umbral Blades

Umbral Blades applies 3 Shadow Daggers ailments per second and persists for 5+ seconds. We cast it through Shift with Umbral Remnant plus Lasting Presence and Dancing Shadows. Since we're scaling Shadow Daggers damage and not Umbral Blades we can convert it to Cold for the Chill.

Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression

Synchronized Strike

When used correctly Synchronized Strike can apply a very large number of Shadow Daggers to a single target. We accomplish this by using Perfect Coordination to increase the number of Shadows that hit and then immediately using Shift to proc Shadow Cascade on every Shadow.

Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression


Shift is your main Movement Skill while also casting both Shadow Cascade and Umbral Blades and providing an execute from Consumed by Shadow. It also provides us with Invulnerability and Dodge for a short duration, allowing it to fulfill movement, offensive and defensive roles.

Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression

Shadow Cascade

Don't equip Shadow Cascade on your Skill Bar, instead equip unspecced Decoy and use it as a panic button to Taunt enemies. Shadow Cascade automatically procs every time you use Shift and provides a substantial number of Shadow Daggers stacks.

Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression

Smoke Bomb

Smoke Bomb is typically a defensive utility skill, and while it still provides some benefits here it's the offense we want. Knives in the Dark constantly applies Shadow Daggers while Eroding Fumes shreds armor. Finally, Smoke Blades gives us a stacking damage buff while standing in the smoke.

Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression


Passives provide powerful effects that dictate the playstyle of a Class and its Masteries. Remember that you can allocate Passives on the first half of all Masteries regardless of the one you chose.

  1. Since we're almost always moving Evasion is a huge damage reduction buff.
  2. With the right gear and the Haste buff from Agility we can spend a lot of time well over 100% Movement Speed, making the damage buff from this node very strong.
  3. Blood Dance and Melee Damage Leeched as Health from gloves are our primary sources of sustain so get this passive as soon as possible.
  4. Crit Multi is hard to come by so All In is a huge damage buff. Shadow Daggers always crits so there's no downside here.
  5. Swift Assassin and Once provide extra benefit since Shadow Daggers has both Melee and Throwing tags.
  6. While Pursuit is a decent damage buff, the main benefit it provides is Movement Speed.
  7. Thanks to Focus Fire and Wound Maker we don't need to worry as much about taking Dodge or Critical Strike Avoidance modifiers in the Monolith of Fate.
  8. Perfection stacks provide large buffs to damage as well as Armor and Dodge from Confidence. We also take one point in Exuberance to double our stack generation.
  9. If you play hardcore, investing in Death's Door is always an option for additional DR. Note that unlike stamina the DR from this node only kicks in once you're already at low health. This means it won't protect from potential one shots when you're above the low health threshold.
Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Passive Tree Progression

Make sure to complete the Campaign to get all your Passive Points.


To maximize both our damage and defenses we want to keep moving as much as possible. This means a healthy dose of Shift and Synchronized Strike while using Smoke Bomb strategically when we're safe from getting hit.

Skill Usage/Rotation

  • Stay on the move and use Shift on cooldown
  • Use Synchronized Strike against tanky enemies and packs. Make sure to use the skill directly on top of them for maximum Shadow Daggers stacks. When in extended fights against enemies with DoTs make sure to use it at least every 4 seconds to maintain Crimson Shroud stacks from Crimson Storm.
  • In extended fights, find a safe spot near enemies to cast Smoke Bomb. Try to stay in the Smoke to gain damage from Smoke Blades.
  • If the enemies become overwhelming, use Decoy to taunt them and buy some time.
  • If mana is getting low use Shift a few times in a row before using Synchronized Strike again.


  • Run to the objective using Shift on cooldown. Most of the enemies nearby will be killed from Shadow Cascade and Umbral Blades. Shifting near enemies will make it easier for Umbral Blades to find its target.
  • Use Synchronized Strike on Rare enemies along the way. This should one shot them most of the time.
  • Upon reaching the objective:
    • If it's a single enemy cast Smoke Bomb then continuously cycle between Synchronized Strike and Shift until they are dead.
    • If it's a group follow a similar strategy by using Smoke Bomb on cooldown near large groups or tanky enemies, then target enemies with your Synchronized Strike/Shift rotation. If you run low on mana Shift a few times in a row without using Synchronized Strike. If you start to feel overwhelmed at any point use Decoy.


  • Use Smoke Bomb on cooldown as long as it's safe to do so.
  • Synchronized Strike into the boss and then immediately Shift away. Continuously do this as long as you have enough mana.
  • If you're low on mana Shift a few times without using Synchronized Strike until your mana refills.
  • Use Decoy in emergencies when you need a breather or to keep adds off of you.

Advanced Skill Tips

  • Shadowslip from Shift gives us invulnerability while Shifting. This can be used to strategically avoid telegraphed attacks
  • Multiple Umbral Blades cannot hit the same target, so when fighting large groups of enemies try to spread them around to maximize damage.
  • Incapacitate from Shadow Cascade is our primary source of Frailty. Make sure powerful enemies maintain max stacks by using Synchronized Strike and Shift near them. One rotation will be enough to apply three stacks.
  • Don't underestimate the power of Smoke Bomb. Along with applying Shadow Daggers it is also a major source of Armor Shred through Eroding Fumes and Swirling Fog and gives us a huge damage buff through Smoke Blades. On top of that, we get an immediate stack of Silver Shroud from Moonlight Bomb which guarantees we Dodge the next attack. The dodge can be used strategically to avoid telegraphed attacks and push DPS instead of disengaging.

Learn more about how to maximize your gameplay in the Build Scaling section of this guide.