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Demonic Impulse Shadowhunter Build Guide

Last Updated: March 25th 2024

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Welcome to the Demonic Impulse Shadowhunter Build Guide! This build revolves around quickly generating Shadowburst Meter with your Intruder skills to transform into a powerful Demon (Z), using quick slashes and scratches from her Demon skills to deal consistent damage.

Demonic Impulse also brings decent amounts of Stagger and Destruction, both in Human and Demon form.

  • Good defense
  • Good mobility
  • Non-positional Gameplay
  • Melee
  • Small Hitboxes

Want a more fast paced and dynamic playstyle based on her Human form? Check out our Perfect Suppression guide.


Chaos Dungeons
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Need some tips for general content? Check out our Guardian Raids and Abyssal Dungeons guides.

  • Howl is your main Synergy applier, and also a main Shadowburst Meter generator.
  • Demon Vision is your highest Shadowburst Meter generator and has high Stagger. Missing this skill can delay your transformation significantly.
  • Demon's Grip and Demonic Clone are also good Shadowburst Meter generators.
  • Decimate is a high-damage human skill with decent Shadowburst Meter generation.
  • Rising Claw is your Human form Counter skill, and also a good Stagger and Destruction skill.
  • Thrust Impact is a backup Shadowburst Meter generator in case you miss other skills.
  • Demonic Slash is your main mobility skill in Human Form and a backup Synergy.

In Demon Form:

  • Fallen Ruin is your Awakening. It's only usable in Demon Form but deals high amounts of damage.
  • Blood Massacre is your highest damaging skill, make sure to cast it off cooldown.
  • Leaping Blow is your second hardest hitting skill and a gap-closing skill.
  • Gore Bleeding is your highest DPS skill due to its low cooldown, make sure to cast it as many times as possible.
  • Destruction is a decent damage, decent Stagger skill with a low cooldown.
  • Death Claw is your Counter skill in Demon Form and Synergy applicator.
  • Ruining Rush is your main mobility skill , and Synergy applicator.

Alternative Skill, Tripod, and Rune Options

Demon Vision

  • Concentrated Release - Can be taken if your Specialization or tripod levels are low, increasing the amount of Shadowburst Meter generated but also the animation time.

Ruining Rush

  • Purify - Can be taken when a Cleanse is needed.

Check the Rune Guide for more details on Runes and how to obtain them.

This build is optimized and meant to be used only in Chaos Dungeons. For Ebony Cube please use a Raid build.

  • Grind Chain is your main skill to clear lesser monsters. It has big radius and can be casted pretty often.
  • Cruel Cutter is your main damage skill to take down the Boss in the second floor.
  • Piercing Thorn, Howl, Decimate and Demonic Clone are good skills to clear lesser monsters and also Elites.
  • Demon's Grip is used to generate Shadowburst Meter for Cruel Cutter.
  • Demonic Slash is used to move around and quickly destroy third floor's crystals.
  • Gate of Eruption is your Awakening. You use it to activate Dominion's set effect for lower cooldowns.

Acquiring additional engravings leads to a faster clear potential, but the build can perform quite well with the bare minimum.

Minimum requirements

  • Preemptive Strike causes your attacks to deal immense amounts of damage to monsters that you haven't attacked yet, making it ideal for Chaos Dungeons.

Additional engravings

  • Contender is a stacking Attack Power effect that increases in strength once you kill a monster, making it ideal for Chaos Dungeons.
  • Raid Captain provides damage based on your Bonus Movement Speed, synergizing well with the Buff Nodes scattered throughout Chaos Dungeons.
  • Lightning Fury generates Lightning stacks that deal massive AoE damage when combined with Preemptive Strike.

Gameplay & Skill Rotation

Demonic Impulse gameplay focuses on generating Shadowburst Meter to quickly Demonize, where most of your time will be spent. Upon the expiration of the Demonize Gauge, you are forced back into Human Form and the cycle repeats. Your main objective is to keep all skills on cooldown (while hitting the boss) due to the build being focused on consistent damage; failing to do so will result in poor performance.

Activating her identity grants you the following:

  • Push Immunity during the transformation animation
  • Paralysis Immunity during the entire transformation
  • +20% Move Speed
  • +15% or +30% Crit Rate from the Class Engraving at Level 2 and 3 respectively
  • Access to Demon Skills, whose cooldowns are reset upon transforming

All her skills in Demon form lack a positional modifier, meaning that you can hit them from any side of the boss without worrying about losing positional bonuses. Bear in mind that most of them are close range so you want to be near the boss.

Demonic Impulse Identity

Demonize Gauge

Once you have enough Specialization and high enough Cooldown Gem for Demonize, you aim to hit 3 Blood Massacre and 3 Leaping Blow per transformation, and as many Gore Bleeding as you can. You also want to keep synergy up at all times by using Ruining Rush and Death Claw.

Basic Rotations

Meter Generation Rotation

  • Using skills in this specific order is recommended because Decimate has delayed meter generation but it's also a high damage skill, so you want it to be inside the window of Howl Damage Amplification synergy.

Demon Rotation

  • Using skills in this specific order at the start of your rotation is recommended because it allows you to maximize Blood Massacre and Leaping Blow casts if you have a high level Cooldown Gem or Swiftness as your secondary stat.
  • Remember to cast Gore Bleeding and Destruction as many times as possible, as soon as they are available.
  • Also, remember to constantly apply Synergy with Ruining Rush and Death Claw.

Stagger Check Rotation

  • If you are in Human form you can use your normal Meter Generation rotation.
  • Not all stagger checks last the same duration, so in some cases, you may need to cast more skills outside of the recommended here.

Tripods and Gems

Tripod Levelling

Increasing the level of Tripods greatly enhances their effectiveness. You may only increase the level of 18 tripods at a time. Some of them cannot be leveled at all, or are left at level 1 - these tripods are omitted from the table, even if they are used. Here are the main tripods you should look out for in order to maximize this build's potential.

Skill1st Tripod2nd Tripod3rd Tripod
Demonic SlashNimble Movement
Thrust ImpactDeep ThrustEncroaching Power
Demonic CloneFist of DestructionEnh. Release Encroachment
Rising ClawGrasp of Death
Demon VisionEncroaching Power
Demon's GripSwift FingersEncroaching PowerStretching Hand
HowlEncroaching PowerMighty Roar
DecimateSwift FingersWeak Point DetectionCruel Hand

Tripods written in bold text are your highest priority, make sure to level them first!

For more information on where to obtain Tripod Amulets and how to use them, check out our Skill Tree System Guide.


Gems are another significant aspect of your build, as they directly impact the damage and cooldowns of your skills. You can equip up to 11 gems at a time. Here are the ones you should focus on in order to maximize this build's potential, listed according to their priority.

Damage Gems

  • Demonize

Cooldown Gems

  • Demonize

For more information on where to obtain gems and how to use them, check out our Gem System Guide.

Stat Priority

This build utilizes Specialization and Crit, with Swiftness as an alternative option in Neck.

  • Specialization is the primary stat. It gives your Demon Skills as well as your Awakening bonus damage, and also increases the duration of your transformation.
  • Crit is a secondary stat. It helps to increase damage consistency and make better use of Keen Blunt Weapon .
  • Swiftness is a secondary stat. It can be used when your Cooldown Gem is lower than Level 9 to help maximize Blood Massacre and Leaping Blow in your rotation.

Hallucination and Salvation

  • Specialization + Crit
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization + Crit

Hallucination Only

  • Specialization + Swiftness
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization
  • Specialization + Crit

Gear Set

Hallucination Set

This set is optimal thanks to the combination of Damage and Crit Rate that it provides, on top of not requiring any active maintenance beyond initial activation. Can be paired with either Crit or Swiftness secondary stat.

Salvation Set

This set is an alternative option that provides Damage and Attack Speed but has lower potential the higher your gear because having multiple sources of Additional Damage becomes less efficient. You always want to pair it with Crit as your secondary stat.

Check out the Gear Progression Guide for step by step instructions and early game gearing.

If you are interested in Sidereal Weapons, click here for more details.


Engravings are a core part of your build. Typically, most engravings will be used at level 3, but some can be used at level 1 or 2 in addition to the others, after reaching item level 1540 and unlocking Ancient Accessories.

Relic Gearing Build (5x3)

  • Demonic Impulse
  • Grudge
  • Keen Blunt Weapon
  • Adrenaline
  • Cursed Doll

Ancient Gearing Build (5x3+1)

  • Demonic Impulse
  • Grudge
  • Keen Blunt Weapon
  • Raid Captain
  • Cursed Doll
  • Adrenaline Lv1

Engraving Explanations

Core Engravings

  • Demonic Impulse grants Crit Rate and removes the Composure effect that prevents you from transforming back into demon for 30 seconds. It also resets all your demon skill cooldowns upon transformation.
  • Grudge increases damage done while also increasing damage received. The engraving is a highly effective damage increase without needing specific positioning, making it worthwhile even with the penalty.
  • Keen Blunt Weapon increases your Critical Damage which synergizes well with your high amounts of Crit Rate.
  • Adrenaline provides Crit Rate and Attack power. Used at Level 3 in Hallucination + Swiftness Neck and Salvation + Crit Neck setups.

Add-on Engravings (Pick 1)

  • Cursed Doll is a significant Attack Power increase at the cost of 25% healing. The healing penalty can be punishing for inexperienced players who are not familiar with boss mechanics, but it becomes easy to overcome with time.
  • Hit Master is an alternative to Cursed Doll, increasing the damage of all your Demon Skills but not your Awakening.
  • Raid Captain is an alternative option to both Cursed Doll and Hit Master. You need to have Swiftness as your secondary neck stat, or external sources of Move Speed such as Vernese Wine to make it more efficient than both previous options.

Level 1 and 2 Engravings

  • Adrenaline only recommended at level 1 when you run the Hallucination relic set and Crit as your secondary neck stat.
  • Ether Predator is a good option, providing a ramping Attack Power and Defense effect as the fight goes on and you collect more ethers. Used in Hallucination + Swiftness Neck and Salvation + Crit Neck setups.

Check out the Engraving Guide for more details.


Bracelets provide beneficial effects to yourself or to your party members depending on the rolls they have.

The primary goal is to get the main stats used by this build - Specialization and Crit . After that you should be aiming for Special Rolls to get more damage. Please note that this system is heavily reliant on RNG, and you should not expect to get much more beyond your main stats early on.

Optimal Bonus Rolls

Hammer + Wedge

Alternative Bonus Rolls

Wedge (without Hammer)
Weapon Power

Check out the Bracelet Guide for more details.


The recommended Elixir Set for this build is Critical.

Check out the Elixir Guide for more details and general stat recommendations.

Card Sets

Cards are an endgame system that helps maximize your character's damage. Here are the recommended card sets for this build.

  • Deep Dive is used early on as it is fairly easy to obtain.
  • Light of Salvation is the standard endgame option, but it can take a long time to acquire 30-piece Awakening.
  • Kazeros's Legion Commanders is used as an alternative to Light of Salvation, in content where enemies have a weakness to Dark Damage.

Check out the Card Guide for more details on how to obtain cards and interact with them.

Early Game Damage Card Set

End Game Damage Card Set


Written by Sekwah
Reviewed by Starlast

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