Demonic Impulse Shadowhunter Raid Build Guide

Last Updated: September 28th 2023

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Shadowhunters have two viable raid builds centered around one of their two available Class Engravings; Perfect Suppression and Demonic Impulse. This article focuses on the latter, the Demonic Impulse Shadowhunter.

Shadowhunters have an Identity Gauge called Shadowburst Meter. You charge it by using skills in Human Form. When it's full, you can then Demonize and gain access to 6 new skills. In Demon Form they are more powerful with +20% Movement Speed. Demonic Impulse only exists to amplify their damage output when in Demon Form by providing them free Crit Rate during the form. At levels 2 and 3, you're looking at 15% and 30% extra Crit Rate, respectively.

Because of this Demonic Impulse Shadowhunters focus on filling their Shadowburst Meter as fast as possible to deal their big burst damage skills like Blood Massacre. With their natural Movement Speed buff from Demon Mode and the already low Cooldowns from Demon Mode skills, you're going to be zooming around the battlefield doing huge DPS.

And here we get into the caveats of Demonic Impulse Shadowhunters. While Demonic Impulse can be a viable Class Engraving for Shadowhunters, it requires too much optimization in order for these type of Shadowhunters to show their most optimal DPS.

In Tier 1 and 2, the problem becomes very apparent. It will require high Specialization stat and Wealth runes to make sure you charge your Shadowburst Meter to full in 1 Human Form skill rotation. This just isn't possible in Tier 1; there just isn't enough Specialization stat coming in from your accessories. You won't ever get enough Shadowburst Meter from 1 rotation unless you use your Awakening Gate of Eruption. This means you can't cast Demonize for 1.75 rotations. This leads to a suboptimal damage rotation. Tier 3 fixes your issues as your overall stat cap becomes much higher.


This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 50 before transitioning to it. Check out the Shadowhunter Leveling Guide and 1-50 Leveling Guide to reach Level 50.

Check out the Perfect Suppression Shadowhunter for an alternative Shadowhunter playstyle. Check out the Guardian Raids and Abyssal Dungeons guides for an introduction to their content.

Raid Skill Build

  • Demonic Slash is your generic gap closer skill.
  • Demon Vision and Howl are your two highest Shadowburst Meter generators. you can keep Mighty Roar on Howl for some comfortable range increase.
  • Thrust Impact, Demonic Clone, Demon's Grip, and Decimate all generate Shadowburst Meter.
  • Demon Vision, Demonic Clone, and Thrust Impact have decent Stagger.
  • Rising Claw is your Counter skill.
  • In Demon form, all skills essentially become damage dealers with Blood Massacre being your biggest nuke. Most Demon form skills cause high Stagger and can be spammed.
  • In Demon form, Ruining Rush and Leaping Blow can serve as gap closers.
  • In Demon form, Death Claw is your Counter skill.
Use the Scroll Bar to see the minimum Skill Point allocation
  • Fallen Ruin is taken over Gate of Eruption for a higher damage Awakening and as a safety hard crowd control superarmor button, since Demon Form lacks of knockdown and hard crowd control immunity.


  • You can take the Naively Honest Skill Tree for Demonic Clone instead of Vital Point Strike as damage is not the primary purpose in your Normal form; it's making sure your skills hit so you can gain Shadowburst Meter.


  • Use Demonic Slash to get close to the target.
  • Counter bosses using Rising Claw or Death Claw.
  • The goal of Demonic Impulse Shadowhunters is to reach full Shadowburst Meter as quickly as possible to Demonize. There is where their big DPS nukes come from. Almost all of your Normal mode skills are solely used to generate Shadowburst Meter.
  • In Tier 1 til early Tier 3 you won't have enough Specialization or Wealth runes to Demonize in one full rotation of your skills. Therefore, it is important that you use your lowest cooldown skills first before the highest. This way, your low cooldown skills come back up quicker, allowing you to cast them a second time to Demonize faster.
  • in late Tier 3, when you have high Specialization stats(1700+) you should use Demon Vision, Howl, Demonic Clone first as they generate most of your Shadowburst Meter. If you can't fill up the meter with those skills then add in the rest of the skills.
  • Once in Demon form, use Leaping Blow and Blood Massacre as soon as they're off cooldown as they're your big hitters then use Gore Bleeding and Destruction for filler damage and refresh Damage Amplification debuff with Ruining Rush or Death Claw.
  • In Demon form you gain a percentage of your health back since max HP increases every transformation.

Stats Priority

Demonic Impulse Shadowhunters aim for Crit and high Specialization. With Demonic Impulse, Demon form receives free Crit Rate so you do not need to focus on high Crit. Demon Form also gives a flat +20% Movement Speed and +20% Max Health Pool . A high Specialization stat is needed as it increase Shadowburst Meter gain from Human Form skills, the damage of all your Demon Form skills, and increases the uptime of Demon Form.

  • Specialization/Crit Build: With the help of Crit from the necklace and from the bracelet slot in the future, you'll be able to min max a bit more Crit Damage with this build. Using Poem of Salvation can alleviate the lack of speed. You'll prioritize Cursed Doll or Hit Master instead of Raid Captain since you'll have trouble hitting cap movement speed for the damage increase.
  • Specialization/Swiftness Build: This build will prioritize Raid Captain in the build because of the increased speed from your Swiftness necklace. Use Shrieking Hallucination to help get the Crit Rate needed for Keen Blunt Weapon.

In Tier 1 and 2, it is difficult to properly run Demonic Impulse Shadowhunter due to low stats and no high grade Wealth runes.


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

Note: Bracelets should not be your top priority to optimize since it'll be much more efficient to optimize your other gear first. Bracelets are costly! So slowly build towards a Main Stat and a Sub Stat. Anything else is extra!

Check out the Bracelet Guide for more details.
Possible Special Effects to Roll:


Combat Stats(Specialization + Crit)


Basic Effect(Dexterity)
Sawtooth Blade
Weapon Power
Expose Weakness


Class Engravings provide powerful stat boosts that dictate the playstyle of a class. Battle Engravings are generally used to increase damage. Below are the recommended Engravings for this build. 

Check out the Engraving Guide for more details.

Starter Engravings

  • Demonic Impulse removes the Composure debuff, which prevents Shadowburst Meter gain for 30 seconds after exiting Demonize.
  • Adrenaline provides an additional source of Crit and Attack Power. In higher Tiers it is easier to maintain this buff.

Add-On Endgame Engravings

  • Hit Master is a great choice as almost all Demon Form skills do have not have a Head Attack or Back Attack modifier. It is a safer alternative than Cursed Doll, but Cursed Doll is still the optimal engraving for maximizing damage as it does not reduce Awakening skill's damage.
  • Keen Blunt Weapon* requires a high Crit stat to make use of its bonus. Thankfully, you receive a Crit Rate stat boost once in Demon Form.
  • Raid Captain is a decent engraving if the player is running Swiftness sub stats build as you'll get movement speed increase from Demonize, your Swiftness stats and having a support in party with their Swamp of Yearning Chestpiece buffs. At 140% movement speed, Raid Captain provides 18% increased damage.
  • Cursed Doll* is a significant Attack Power increase at the cost of 25% healing penalty. The healing penalty can be punishing for inexperienced players not familiar with boss mechanics.
  • 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. Demon form also regenerates some of your HP every time you Demonize.

(*)These Engravings should only be used at Engravings Level 3.

Optimal Setups

Engravings are listed in order of priority from left to right.

Option 1

Demonic Impulse
Cursed Doll
Raid Captain
Hit Master
Keen Blunt Weapon

Option 2

Demonic Impulse
Raid Captain
Keen Blunt Weapon
Ether Predator

Gear Sets

These are the specific gear sets for each tier.
Check out the Gear Set Guide for more details.

Early Game

250-1100 gearscore
Providence Set

1250-1340 gearscore
Dimensional Set

Early Tier 3

1340 -1414 gearscore
Erupting Waves Set

Piercing Gaze Set

Craft any combination of the legendary gear sets listed above and try to push to 1415 as soon as possible.

Tier 3 Legion Raid Set

1415-1490-1580+ gearscore
Salvation Set
(Using Crit Necklace)
Hallucination Set
(Using Swiftness Necklace)

The name of your set will change with every higher tier gearset you acquire, but the set effect will remain the same. Look for the keyword of your set when recrafting it so you don't easily get lost.(e.g Entropy, Hallucination etc)

Sidereal Weapon

Recommended Sidereal Unity Effects for your Flowing Thunderous Wings are Thirain and Balthorr.

Check out the Sidereal Weapon Guide for more details.


Runes enhance skills by providing bonuses such as Attack Speed or Cooldown Reduction. Runes have limited availability and you cannot acquire them from the same source twice. For some runes there are 2 sources and as such, you can acquire two of the same rune. Therefore, it's important to place your Runes on skills wisely. Below are the recommend rune placements for Demonic Impulse Shadowhunter.

Check the Rune Guide for more details.

Demon VisionWealth
Demon's GripWealth
Demonic CloneWealth
Ruining RushRage
Quick Recharge
Death ClawQuick Recharge
Gore BleedingGalewind
Leaping BlowGalewind
Blood MassacreGalewind
  • Bleed works best on skills with low cooldown.
  • Galewind should be applied on your big damage skills like Blood Massacre.
  • Wealth should be applied on your highest Shadowburst Meter gain skills like Demon Vision and Howl. If you feel you still lack Shadowburst Meter gain or don't have enough Specialization, consider adding Wealth to Demon's Grip and Demonic Clone.
  • Destruction can be paired with Overwhelm to further increase it's Stagger check potential.
  • Quick Recharge helps reduce the cooldowns of your skills.
  • Purify can be slotted on any skill for the chance of removing a debuff.

Gear Skill Tree

While Gems add benefits to skills, you can also increase the effects of Skill Tree themselves. Skill Tree levels go up to 5 and each level can increase the damage, cooldown reduction or buff that they provide.

For more information on how to add equipment Skill Tree and how to get them, please visit our Skill Tree System Guide.

DecimateSwift Fingers
Weak Point Detection
Cruel Hand
HowlSwift Fingers
Encroaching Power
Thrust ImpactEnhanced Explosion or Deep Thrust
Encroaching Power
Demonic CloneVital Point Strike
Fist of Destruction
Enhanced Release Encroachment
Demon VisionConcentrated Release
Encroaching Power
Demon's GripSwift Fingers
Encroaching Power
Stretching Hand
Rising ClawGrasp of Death
Demonic SlashNimble Movement
  • Encroaching Power is the only important Skill Tree to level up to quickly Demonize up and unleash your inner demon.
  • Other tripods are just side benefits that doesn't factor much to the build as most damage done in this build will be during Demonize mode.


Gems grant bonus damage and cooldown reduction to specific skills. You can only equip 11 of these Gems at a time so it is recommended that you prioritize the Gems for your most important skills.

Please visit our Gem System Guide for more information like how to create higher tier Gems.

Attack Gems


Cooldown Gems


Card Sets

Cards are an endgame system for maximizing your character. Below are the recommend sets for this class.
Check out the Card Guide for more details on how to obtain them.

Budget Card Set

Budget Card Set 2

This card set does not replace Light of Salvation set or Kazero's Legion Commanders set, but it can be use if you're new to the game and has set to get your Light of Salvation/Kazero's Legion Commanders set +18 or +30 yet.

Optimal Damage Card Set


  • Demonic Impulse Shadowhunter gameplay focuses on their Demon Mode skills. Normal Form skills are mainly used to fill your Shadowburst Meter so you can Demonize faster.
  • In addition to the free +20% Movement Speed you get in Demon Mode, Demonic Impulse also gives you free Crit Rate.
  • Demonic Impulse Shadowhunters require a heavy focus on Specialization stacking. Without high Specialization, which is the case in Tier 1, it takes more Normal Form skill casts to fill your Shadowburst Meter. Wealth runes will be your friend.
  • Make sure to use your shortest cooldown Normal Mode skills first to maximize Shadowburst Meter gain.


Written by Rei
Edited by Yaen
Reviewed by Starlast

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