Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ninja PvP Guide


Table of Contents (Search for the 3 letter code including the brackets to jump to a specific section):
-- 1. Introduction [INT]
-- 2. Stats [STA]
-- 3. Skills [SKI]
------ 3a. Skills in general [SKG]
---------- 3ai. Thief Skills [SKT]
---------- 3aii. Infiltrator Skills [SKA]
---------- 3aiii. Assassin Skills [SKN]
---------- 3aiv. Ninja Skills [SKS]
------ 3b. In-depth analysis on essential skills [SKD]
------ 3b. Recommended builds [SKR]
-- 4. Equipment [EQU]
------ 4a. Sets [SET]
------ 4b. Soulcraft Options [SOL]
-- 5. PvP Strategies [PV1]
------ 5a. 1v1 [PV2]
------ 5b. Group [PV3]
-- 6. Miscellaneous Information [MIS]
-- 7. FAQ [FAQ]
-- 8. PvP Videos [PVV]

1. Introduction [INT]
PvPing as an end-game ninja can be either easy or difficult depending on what you're looking for when you're PvPing. If you want to PvP noobs all day and win, while still remaining a terrible ninja, then sure, it's easy. However, if you're looking to be competitive, either 1v1 or group, there are many things that you'll have to learn, and it can be quite challenging if you're not nimble with your fingers. As a class, they can be deadly and quite useful, even as support in group PvP, if you play properly. Please note that if you are one of those "OMFGNARUTO!!11!!1!" or "IMANEENJA!!11!!" retards, then this guide is not for you and you should stop reading right now, as you'll never get anywhere in PvP, and you'll be terrible for life, or rather the entirety of your DO career as a ninja.

2. Stats [STA]

Leveling past 60 gives you 5 stat points per level that you can allocate instead of the usual predetermined stat gain for assassins, which is quite a ripoff if you ask me. Prior to leveling past 60, you gain 4 points in AGI and 2 points in HLT each level, which alone is better than the 5 stat points that you are allowed to allocate.

For any competitive ninja, you will want to allocate all your stat points into AGI. HLT is useful if you want to absorb hits, but your role in PvP is to attack, not tank hits. If you can't hit anyone, you're useless; dump all your points into AGI, no questions asked.

3. Skills [SKI]

Basic layout (this will get updated in the future with more images and such)

3a. Skills in general [SKG]

Note: This is based on the assumption that skills are not upgraded past level 5. I will note which skills areuseful to level to 10 within the skill description. All skill points towards level 10 skills are negligible and will be based on the assumption that you use skill forges for those skills. This section also assumes you know what the prerequisites for your skills are, and as such, they are not listed. In addition, this is based on changes made to skills after the Revenge of Paris patch in other versions.
Format:Skill Name
Skill Description
Recommended Level(s) and Reason(s)
3ai. Thief Skills [SKT]

Air Combo Launch
Launches enemies into the air. The amount of enemies launched depends on the level of the skill. Does not work on fallen or midair targets.
1/5 This is a prerequisite for multiple useful skills.

Aerial Frenzy
Hits launched enemies with a spinning attack. Does not work on targets who have already aerial recovered.
1/5 Use it to keep combo or to support AAS.

Somersault Kick
Similar to Air Combo Launch, except with a longer animation.
0/5 Useless skill. You shouldn't be using this or Air Combo Launch.

While in midair, character drops down and relaunches enemies.
3/5 Prior to level 3, this skill has no launch height at all. Level 3 is when it launches targets that are hit. This should be used as a relauncher in PvP, but do be aware that it has a long recovery time, so don't use it unless you know you won't get punished. Use it often to get the hang of knowing when to use it and when not to use it.

Rocket Punch
Fires a boxing glove shaped rocket at the enemy to stun them at a certain chance. A higher level of this skill increase stun chance, as well as stun duration.
5/5 or 10/10 This is an essential skill in PvP, for supporting, catching, and locking. This can be upgraded to level 10, and it is highly recommended that you do so. Stun chance at level 10 is 95%.

Nozzle Tuning
Upgrades the damage of rocket punch.
0/5 Rocket punch is not supposed to be used as a source of damage.

Relaunches a fallen enemy into the air.
0/5 or 1/5 This skill is the quickest relaunching skill that we have, and is the only way to combo aerial frenzy immediately after launch. As of now, this skill may be left at 0, but if we ever receive the fly cooldown nerf, it may be worthwhile to invest 1 point into this skill.

Double Attack
Useless garbage.
0/5 Only works for x attack.

Also garbage.
0/5 Long casting animation, low damage.

Increases HLT of you and your team members in range.
0/5 or 1/5 Only get this skill to level 1 if you're an evade build with at least 150+ int, as well as enough sp. It is a prerequisite for the dexterity skill, which is useless if you're not an evade build and don't have enough mp to support its use. This skill itself is useless unless you have a healer on your team, and even so, its MP usage is too high compared to its usefulness.

Increases AGI of you and your team members in range.
0/5 or 10/10 Only get this skill if you're an evade build and have enough mp and sp. I recommend only getting this if you have enough skill forges, as there are more useful skills than this. If you do get this skill, make sure that you do get it to level 10, as it provides a +20% boost to your base agi, which is a lot of evade if you're building your character properly. At max, this skill requires over 900 MP to cast, so I highly recommend at least 150+ int if you're going to use this skill, or you will find yourself out of MP.

3aii. Infiltrator Skills [SKA]

Poison Crasher
Inflicts poison status to your opponent at a fixed rate depending on skill level when you use any skill. This is a buff, not an attacking skill.
1/5 or 5/5 This skill's main use is that it's a prerequisite for April Fool. However, if you have enough skill forges, you may choose to max this skill for 1v1 matches for some extra damage. Its process rate at max is 25%, which is quite high considering that our skills are all multiple hit skills.

April Fool
Attack enemies to reduce their damage to 1 for the duration of the debuff.
3/5 or 5/5 This is very useful for saving your teammates against heavy hitting classes; it reduces the damage of every skill or attack the opponent uses to 1 damage for the duration of the debuff. At level 3, the debuff time is 1 second longer than the cooldown. If you have enough skill forges, I would suggest maxing this skill. Also, do note that this skill costs a considerable amount of MP (twice as much as our normal skills).

Attacks multiple times depending on the skill level and launches enemies into the air. This skill hits mid-air targets. At level 3, this skill hits fallen enemies, as well. As skill level increases, so does cooldown time.
3/5 I'd leave this skill at level 3 for the cooldown time so that you can still air combo (not the skill) properly. In addition, level 5 for this skill launches a bit too high for my liking, and will often launch targets out of AAS.

Violent Blow
This skill hits multiple times and has a chance of inflicting stun on the enemies. At level 3, it also hits fallen targets.
3/5, 5/5, or 9/10 I would recommend leaving this skill at level 3 purely for the SP required for one extra level in this skill. Higher levels of this skill does inflict a longer duration of stun, but it's not that important since it's not long enough to change how you will combo after the stun. It is uncertain whether or not a higher level increases the percentage of stunning.

Hides your character in a hole (invisible to others). Detect will cancel your hiding status, as well as prevent you from hiding. You may not move around or attack while burrowed. There is a time limit on how long you can burrow for.
1/5 A higher level of this skill only reduces MP consumption marginally, and is unimportant. While it does have a 20 second cooldown, it is still useful for saving yourself from a combo that may end up killing you.

Attacks in a straight line forward on the x-axis while in burrow.
0/5 You shouldn't be burrowed for more than 1 second, anyway, so don't bother with this skill. Easily predictable and mediocre damage.

Shadow WalkHides your character from other people. Attacking will take your character out of shadow walk. Detect will cancel your hiding status, as well as prevent you from hiding. You may move around while using this skill. There is a time limit on how long you can shadow walk for.
2/5 The only use for this skill is to cast wood rush without being interrupted, as well as catching opponents that are attacking your teammates off-guard with hypnotizer. Do not dash while this skill is active, as people can see your dash marks, even though you are invisible.

Swift Attack
Attacks all enemies around you with a single hit attack, knocking them down. Level 4 in this skill hits midair targets that have already recovered, as well as fallen targets.
4/5 or 5/5 Get it to level 4 just to be able to hit midair and fallen targets; level 5 if you have skill forges for the extra damage.

Katar Blocking
Increase your character's block rate.
5/5 or 10/10 This doesn't even require an explanation.

Throwing Dagger
Throws a dagger at an enemy to knock them down.
5/5 or 10/10 This is an attack with high damage and only a 2s cooldown. Obviously, max it. You'd only want to go to level 10 if you have enough MP as it requires 120 MP per use when it's level 10.

Dagger Mastery
Increases the damage of daggers thrown with the throwing dagger skill, as well as the amount of daggers thrown.
5/5 You can throw 7 daggers at level 5.

Katar Mastery
Increases critical rate and aim rate by x%.
5/5 More aim and absolute critical rate %.

3aiii. Assassin Skills [SKN]

Percent chance to put opponents to sleep. Chances of success are based mainly on your base aim rate.
5/5 You'll want as much duration as you can get with sleep for team matches with difficult to kill opponents.

Shadow LeapMoves to the rear of the nearest enemy and knocks them down. Same animation as swift attack.
0/5 This skill has terrible range as it only targets enemies in front of you. Also, you are vulnerable if they have fast rolling speed.

Perfect Strike
Moves your character forward by a dash distance and attacks any enemy in the way.
0/5 What used to be an amazing skill, but completely nerfed to the ground in the PSB patch. Damage is now 1/3rd what it used to be at max. Although you could use it to gain distance, it's really not useful at all for the SP you need to use to obtain it.

Devilstorm Dart
Throws a lame shuriken.
2/5 Get it as prerequisite for wood rush.

Blade Forging
Gives bleeding effect to devilstorm dart.
0/5 Useless passive for a useless skill.

Wood Rush
Summons a huge log which rolls forward and attacks standing/fallen enemies in its way. Also reduces aim and movement speed of the enemy.
5/5 Amazing debuff and great damage if the enemy is against the wall. Max it.

Ninja Frenzy
Transforms yourself into a ninja.
1/1 If you need to ask why, just stop reading right now. Seriously.

Cherry Blossom Shower
Strikes an enemy and launches them into the air
1/5 Prerequisite.

Leaf Fall
Attacks the enemy very slowly.
1/5 Prerequisite.

Mist Vanish
Attacks enemies in front of you with three quick slashes. Similar effect as gust slash, but with slightly better range.
Any Level it up if you have enough skill points. Getting it as high as you can is in your best interests as the damage increase is nice.

Sky Penetration
Launches the enemies into the air. Same animation as storm blade, but much better. It can pick up fallen enemies and hit enemies that are not in the falling state.
Any Again, level it for the damage increase.

3aiv. Ninja Skills [SKS]

Protect Edge
Daggers surround your character and attacks the enemy when in range.
0/5 Useless skill. Cannot use it while in ninja form.

Enables awakening skills.
1/1 Obvious enough...

Dodge Master
Passive that increases movement speed and evade.
5/5 If not for the evade, get it for the movement speed.

Multi Illusion
The ultimate skill, except not so ultimate.
0/1 You are reading a PvP guide.

Cross Blade
Summons ninjas to push enemies forward. Disregards the direction the opponent is facing.
4/5 Level 1 summons 1 ninja, level 2 summons 2 ninjas, and level 4 summons 3 ninjas. The distance pushed is also higher.

Shadow Blade
Attacks forward with a pretty long range.
0/5 In addition to the cast time, there's also a long animation time of around 1s in which you can't do anything, making it pretty much impossible to follow up with a combo.

3b. In-depth analysis on essential skills [SKD]

These will go in the same order listed above.

Aerial Frenzy
This is a good skill to use to support archers who are AASing someone with high block and/or evade. You can keep enemies in the air much longer than you can with sky penetration. You can also chain it after sky penetration if you're fast enough. It gets in some extra damage and can mess up the opponent's aerial recovery if he/she hasn't recovered already.

A very situational skill. It has a quick animation, but it has a slow recovery time, which could get you caught by your opponent if he/she has fast reactions. Typically, this skill is used against a fallen enemy and can be chained into sky penetration. In addition, if you regulate your aerial frenzy hits, you may also cutdown after aerial frenzy to continue your combo.

Rocket Punch
While some people may say that the skill is slow and is not useful, it is much the opposite. At level 5 or higher, this skill inflicts level 9 stun, which lasts for 2.5 seconds. This is extremely helpful to catch enemies, especially if they are rolling and do not have a high amount of movement speed. Randomly throwing a rocket punch does not hurt you either, as long as you are not in range of your opponent. The skill costs a tiny amount of MP to cast, and if your opponent is caught off guard, then it's a free combo for you. One thing to note is that if your opponent has an extremely high amount of movement speed, they will move while being stunned if they were moving upon impact.

April Fool
This skill is extremely useful when you need to save your teammates. At level 3, it hits fallen enemies as well. Due to this, it is possible to chain it after using sky penetration if you're fast enough. Since this skill can be jump canceled, it is possible to fit it into any combo, provided that you cancel it instantly.

At ambush levels lower than 3, the cooldown is short enough to use after sky penetration and spam it, but it is more beneficial to have it at 3. Providing that you are skilled at PvP, the amount of damage you can gain with a proper combo that requires more than two buttons is worth much more than the simplicity of spamming two skills. Just to recap, at level 3, it also hits fallen enemies, which gives you more opportunities to chain it into a combo.

Violent Blow
The stun that this skill gives is not really that useful. You would not be using this skill to catch, nor would you use it to keep a combo going. In that sense, its main use is to add extra damage. You may go for higher levels of this skill, but I would not advise it due to the extra MP consumption and the amount of skill points it costs per level.

An extremely useful skill for avoiding your opponent. While it may no longer be spammed, it's still nice for a last minute save from almost any attack. One thing to keep in mind is to never burrow for more than half a second or you will be caught in a combo from someone camping your burrow. The only exception to this is when you are burrowed under a blizzard or snow blues. You will get frozen if you do not wait until those skills end.

Swift Attack
One of the best and most essential skills in your PvP arsenal. This skill is great for catching opponents since it has a huge range and instant animation. In addition, it can allow you to keep your combo after someone aerial recovers since it does hit midair targets at level 4. However, do not rely on this if the opponent has block or high enough evade, since you will get punished if it does not connect successfully.

Throwing Dagger
Useful for interrupting someone or dealing massive damage at point blank range. It has a nice range and can interrupt an opponent dashing towards you. Make sure to use it primarily as an a source of damage and not as an interrupter or you will run out of MP quickly. This can easily be linked into any combo, and you should do so, as it will be your main source of damage.

Never rely on this skill. It is nice to have since you can disable your enemy, but the success rate is not something you can rely on. This uses your base aim to calculate the success rate. Because of this, you will not land it often on anyone above 90 evade. In addition, if you get hit right as you're casting sleep, or if you jump cancel too early, it will not process.

Wood Rush
This deals a lot of damage when your opponent is against the wall, so make sure you use that to your advantage. The only other use is against a group of opponents that are being locked by one of your teammates. It is not advised to use this against a single opponent if there are multiple opponents, unless you feel that it may change the match around. There are multiple ways to link this in your combo without using sleep, so do try that instead of relying on a cheap skill every match.

Ninja Frenzy
Please visit the miscellaneous information section for more information on utilizing the transformation to its maximum potential.

Mist Vanish
This is a decent catching skill as it causes knockdown similar to that of sword dance. It has a slight vertical range also, so you can use that to your advantage if you're trying to lock an opponent with someone trying to save them.

Sky Penetration
This is the most useful disrupting skill, as well as one of the easiest skills to catch with. Use it in conjunction with ambush to get multiple opponents off your teammates' backs. The AoE is pretty big as well, so take advantage of that.

Cross Blade
At level 4, the damage on this skill is significantly higher due to the extra ninja that is summoned. This skill can be chained into your wood rush combo in order to deal massive damage against the wall. There are a few things to be noted, however. At the end of the animation of this skill, your opponent has a very brief amount of superarmor status, which can cause them to escape your combo if you do not execute it properly. In addition, if you use the skill too close to your opponent, they will not get pushed and your MP will be wasted.

3b. Recommended builds [SKR]

Note that the following builds assume that you have 1 extra skill forge farmed so that you can offset the 1 skill point requirement for the awakening skill. Level 10 skills are not included, and I will be under the assumption that you farm skill forges to allocate points into them, unless there are points left over.

Basic Build 155 SP left


4. Equipment [EQU]
Recommended Equips:

Max Critical Damage:
3 Piece Chaotic Gourian Set (+42 agi, +80% critical damage)
3 Piece Chaotic Gyrophic Set (+45 agi, +90% critical damage)

The basis of all equips with ninjas revolve around those 6 pieces. If you opt for survivability and aim, you may either choose to go for special with health/agility or agility/evade. Note that if you're planning to do an evade build, you'd want to go strictly for specials with agility/evade or your evade won't go high enough to make people miss you (unless they have no aim at all). If you do not have lots of funds, I'd advise going for health, then agi as a second stat.

Evade builds are extremely costly as aim/evade accessories are extremely high in demand. Aim/hlt accessories are slightly cheaper, but you can still get away with advanced accessories if you're not doing an evade build.
Critical damage is the recommended build for PvP as it is more difficult than ever to deal damage to high defense stackers (players with above 5k defense or full heirloom bone/heirloom chaotic hera). Critical damage is the only way you'd be able to tear through players with thick defense, in additional to a well enchanted weapon.

Maximum Evade:
Bubo's shoulderguard (+12% agi)
Elluman's crown (+12 agi)

If you wish to get some extra evade, you may swap out the shoulder piece with a bubo's shoulderguard. Note that bubo's stat increase is based heavily on your base agi, so unless you're statting into agi, it's useless. I would still recommend using the 3/3 build over the bubo's, however, but you may want to have a spare bubo in case you wish to swap.

If you really want more evade, you can swap out the helm piece (must be different chaotic sets so you don't lose the 2 piece agi bonus) for a elluman's crown. However, this is not recommended and will result in a loss of either 80% or 90% critical damage for a mere 2 evade.

Maximum Aim:
5 Piece Heirloom Chaotic Goblin (+41 agi, +12.5% aim)
1 Piece Bubo's Shoulderguards (+12% agi)


6 Piece Chaotic Gyrophic (+45 agi, +90% critical damage, +18.1% aim)

From what I have calculated, the aim from these two combinations are almost identical. The only difference between the two sets aside from the obvious defense increase with the chaotic gyrophic set is that the 6 piece chaotic gyrophic set would provide you with an extra 90% critical damage at the loss of some evade that you'd get from using the bubo's. Personally, I'd opt for the critical damage since the only reason you'd want extra aim is to hit evade stackers, and the critical damage is an easy way to take down lots of their HP quickly since most of them are quite fragile.

Maximum Movement Speed
2 or 3 Piece Chaotic Gourian/Gyrophic
4 Piece Heirloom Bone Dragon Assassin (with one being the back piece) (+25% mspd)
1 Piece Vegabond Boots if you opt for 2 piece chaotic instead of 3 (+10% mspd)
Beetle Pendant (+4% mspd)
Laptop or Trip to Korea Balloon (+5% mspd)
Water Guardian Shoulders (+10% mspd)
Fire Guardian Boots (+10% mspd)
Legend of Combo/Last Action Hero Medal (15% with the former, and 12% with the latter)

If you're using the 3 piece chaotic set, the maximum movement speed you can achieve is 112%, and with the 2 piece, you'd be able to attain 122%. In addition, ninja form adds around 30% mspd. If you have a 10% movement speed character card, that'd bring the max possible mspd to 162%. With this setup, it is possible to run just as fast or faster than a movement speed stacking archer.

Cash equipment set bonuses:For the best stat bonuses, you'd want some combination of at least 4 water guardian pieces and 2 fire guardian pieces in order to have a +14% agi bonus. Some of the pieces are obviously better than their counterparts since they have health/agi as opposed to having a str stat. This includes the fire guardian helmet and the water guardian bottoms.

There's lots of variety in the cash section depending on what your main focus is. The fire guardian backpack and water guardian gloves both give a solid +10 evade each, while the water guardian backpack gives +5 aim and the fire guardian gloves give +10 aim. In addition, for stat stacking, you'd want to use the fire guardian shoulders and water guardian shoes, which provide 10 hlt and 13 agi each as opposed to 10% mspd each from their counterparts.

There are lots of combinations that you can choose from with the cash set pieces alone, and you'll have to decide for yourself which stats you want over the others. 


5. PvP Strategies [PV1]

6. Miscellaneous Information [MIS]

The ninja transformation form has a lot of useful cancels. The following list consists of examples of how this cancellation may be used to your advantage:

  • This lets you escape forced knockdown skills such as sword dance. While you are in ninja form, you are allowed to switch back to normal form before you fall to the ground. This occurs because you are allowed to untoggle toggle skills while hit by sword dance and such (any toggle skill may be untoggled, does not exclusively apply to the ninja transform skill). However, you may not use toggle skills while in that state, thus you can't transform to ninja form if you're in normal form and get hit. The difference is that disabling the ninja transform skill returns your character to its original standing state, nullifying the knockdown status. This is extremely important to master if you're looking to be a competent PvPer, both in 1v1 and group matches.

  • This one is a bit more difficult, but if timed properly, you can also avoid pf launches while in this state. However, the time frame in which you can pull this off is rather tricky, and you may wish to consider using the next trick to roll out and burrow the next launch instead.

  • This lets you finish your rolls early, either to your advantage or disadvantage. Due to the same reason as above, you are able to cancel your rolls and catch your opponent in an unexpected counter attack.

  • Ninja cutdown can be canceled by untransforming. This lets you launch your opponent without the ridiculous recovery time associated with the ninja version of cutdown. This can save you from being punished by your opponent.

The skill "fly" can be ended early if you move to any direction before landing on the ground. This eliminates the landing animation and allows you to untransform earlier in order to pull off your combos.

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