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Shadow: Real Ultimate Power

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Shadow
Real Ultimate Power

BASE STATS

Vigor: 42 / Magic: 36 Speed: 42 / Stamina: 36

HP: 24 / MP: 0   BatPwr: 24 / Def: 30 / M.Def: 30 / Evade: 24 / M.Evade: 24


EQUIPMENT

Weapons: Ninja Daggers, Knives
---
Shield: -

Head: Light Helmets, Masks, Hats
Body: Medium Armor, Light Armor, Vests


SKILLS (Throw)

Ninja Stars - physical attack (Vigor); ignores defense, may target multiple foes
Knives - stronger physical attack (Vigor); ignores defense
Scrolls - Fire, bolt, or water damage (Magic) to all foes (split damage; more effective vs. a single foe)
Smoke Bomb - sets Image on a party member


ESPERS

Phantom - Vigor+1/Stamina+1  ---  16 MP: sets Vanish on party
Fenrir - Speed+2  ----------------------  48 MP:  sets Image on party


SPELLS

Haste
HasteX
Float
Warp

Dispel
---
Regen Stamina
Rerise (???)

Edited by BTB

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Shadow the Hedgehog

The Ninja, The Assassin, The Horrible Father, Mr. "I'm Emotionless But Not Really". I wonder if he's trying to be cool and edgy.

Strengths

  • Incredible damage output, with options for neutral or weakness sniping
  • Incredible party support, except for healing
  • Very high speed
  • Very good AoE
  • Great Elemental Control
  • Unique counterattack helmet (Ninja Mask)
  • Unique magical relics (Rogue Cloak, Memento Ring)
  • Decent access to ST healing (Regen, Rerise, Healing Shiv, high speed for Item)
  • Great all-around base stats

Weaknesses

  • Frail; No HP espers, cannot equip shield, no heavy or mage armor
  • No personal AoE heal, unlike all other characters
  • Very limited debuffs
  • No MP espers, only basic access to MP+ equipment

Shadow is defined by his extreme nature. Extremely powerful glass cannon with arguably the best support skill set in the game. However, this is counterbalanced by extreme frailty. Curiously, he's also the only character without access to AoE heals, though his raw speed combined with Potion & Rerise make him arguably a better healer than some others.

Builds

With only two espers, the line between builds is fuzzy. There's definitely a difference between a pure build of one esper vs. a pure build of another esper. However, hybridization is also a very real thing.

Tiger

Vig/Stam Shadow. The main boast of this build is physical damage output, Shadow's main source of single-target damage. Throwing Ninjatos or Ninja Stars with this build is the game's best neutral source of single-target damage (iow, ignoring weaknesses or hitting low p.def), and this build gives high numbers per throwable. The stamina also boosts his counterattack rate, which pairs well with Ninja Mask & Kagenui, so keep this guy in the front row. It's not like he'd tank a hit anyways.

Still quite speedy thanks to Shadow's equipment. Some people also like his ST healing with Regen with this build.

Lotus

Speed, speed, and moar speed! Incredible party support & Ninja Scroll thrower, both which depend only on gear & speed. The magical damage is incredible, and physical damage is still quite good. All that speed means he goes first in combat, making him an excellent random clearer with scrolls. The raw speed also allows for Item spam, making this build the game's best Item user. MP might be an issue if you over-spam Rerise, so be cautious.

The physical dps is honestly probably equal to the other build thanks to all the speed, so don't be afraid to Throw stuff. The other build is better for this because of other reasons. (GP spent per Throwable, triggering more enemy counters, weaker counterattacks, lower counterattack rate).

If you ain't using physicals, you can equip the Lazy Shell with near impunity, greatly helping Shadow's defenses. Still not incredible, but much better than what Shadow normally gets. The Mirage Vest is an option for more speed & even some mg.eva, though it's probably overkill, & Shadow's got HasteX for boss fights anyways. (Also, how useful mg.eva is is arguable anyways).

Shadow

The hybrid build.

Misc

  • Don't forget to buy equipment & stock up on Throwables before the Floating Continent (Jidoor).
  • The Mutsunokami is another good source of AoE magical damage. Obviously, pair with Kagenui & Rogue Cloak.
  • If played well, Shadow isn't too terribly expensive. Smoke Bombs are dirt cheap, Ninja Scrolls are also pretty cheap, and he's got plenty of damage options besides Ninjato. Save Ninjatos & Ninja Stars for Kefka's Tower or other times when you can't snipe a weakness.
Edited by thzfunnymzn

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Updated for 2.0

Not much to see on the surface except for a doubled MP cost for Fenrir; like Setzer, Shadow's major changes in 2.0 are a significant overhauling of his weapons. Of particular note is that the Kazekiri/Mutsunokami procs are now stamina-based and the Kusarigama is now an anti-human "net" weapon available in the Zozo era.

Edited by BTB

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A few notes on my opinions of Shadow:

1) He finally becomes usable once you have Wall Ring and Guard Ring. IMO those are top tier relics for any character, but I find them a must for Shadow.

2) The fact that he does most of his damage from Mutsunokami cleave procs leads me to feel that a speed build is overall preferred to a vigor/stamina build. More speed also allows Shadow to support his team with support items more often at critical times in fights.

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With the Mutsu Aero procs based on Stamina now, there's dual synergy with Phantom while fighting, but only to an extent. Nowea ran the numbers over on discord the other day, and I think something like 10 Phantom/15 Fenrir was the peak for DPS.

EDIT: actually, just noticed this note just after the summary... "It's worth noting that it's like... a 7% difference in damage between Shadow's 'best' and 'worst' EL spread". So you basically can't go wrong.

Edited by SirNewtonFig

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I see, glad to hear someone did the math.

I will add then that since the DPS differential is so small, I would lean more towards +Spd since it means you have more turns to use/throw items as required.

But I do think he is a well designed character in that you have at least SOME useful choice with his development

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The flip-side of that is that higher vigor and stamina ups his survivability.

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I didn't see Nowea's analysis, but I'd assume his calculation was assuming throwing stars or regular Fight damage, right? The wind procs would be extra to add in, since they're random.

Also, it goes without saying that elemental scroll DPS is independent of vigor and stamina but dependent on speed, so if your plan is to throw lots of scrolls, your DPS is highest with 100% speed.

 

6 minutes ago, BTB said:

The flip-side of that is that higher vigor and stamina ups his survivability.

How big of an effect is that really, though? Especially with +1 and not +2. (Genuine question, not a snide rhetorical)

Edited by pogeymanz

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Plug some numbers into the damage calculator and see :P

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5 hours ago, pogeymanz said:

I didn't see Nowea's analysis, but I'd assume his calculation was assuming throwing stars or regular Fight damage, right? The wind procs would be extra to add in, since they're random.

The assumption was a specific gear set, haste applied, and frame-perfect spamming of the Fight command, I believe. Given that he had him geared out with the Rogue Cloak for the hypothetical exercise, I expect the wind procs were factored into the analysis as some form of average, such as "expect 25% of Mutsu hits to instead deal <expected calculated Aero damage>".

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