If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Best Lost Ark Shadowhunter build: recommended skill levelling, engraving, and awakening skills for PvE and PvP

Embrace your demons with this Shadowhunter build

Looking for the best Shadowhunter build in Lost Ark? The Shadowhunter is Lost Ark’s resident half-demon, swapping between deadly blades and an amped-up demon mode to unleash terror on her enemies. This powerful class can do it all, with tons of ways to pull enemies in and then blow them away. If you’re just getting started with the Shadowhunter, this guide is here to help.

Cover image for YouTube video10 Lost Ark Tips To Help You Get Started | Beginner's Guide

Looking for more Lost Ark class build guides?

Best Lost Ark Shadowhunter build: class overview

Lost Ark’s class playstyles are established by their Identity Gauges and Skills. For the Shadowhunter, these are the Shadowburst Meter and Demon Mode. Using most of your basic skills charges up your Shadowburst Meter. When it fills, you can activate Demon Mode to temporarily transform into a powerful monstrosity. While in Demon mode, all of your skills are replaced by Demon Skills, which have short cooldowns and deal enormous damage. In most cases, Shadowhunter is looking to quickly get into Demon Mode to burst through targets with ease.

Best Lost Ark Shadowhunter build: skills and leveling

Shadowhunter’s abilities are typically either short-ranged AoEs or longer-ranged in narrow lines. Thankfully, she can pull enemies in with Demon’s Grip and then smash them with Demonic Clone, Thrust Impact, or Decimate. Against bosses, Shadowhunter relies on Back Attacks to maximize her damage and build up Shadowburst Meter. Then, she can burst them down in Demon Mode.

You will earn skill points each time you level up, as well as from one-time Skill Potions unlocked via endgame content. Each skill has ten levels, requiring more and more skills points to reach. At levels 4, 7, and 10, skills earn Tripods, which are powerful, build defining augments. Invest in the skills below to reach the listed Tripods, and you will be ready for endgame content at level 50.

Best Shadowhunter PvE skills

Skills Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Howl Quick Prep Encroaching Power Mighty Roar
Decimate Quick Prep Weak Point Detection Cruel Hand
Demonic Clone Vital Point Hit Fist of Destruction Enhanced Release Encroachment
Cruel Cutter Bleed Effect Ranged Attack Boomerang
Thrust Impact Wide Hit Deep Thrust Spectral Explosion
Demonic Slash Excellent Mobility
Sharpened Cut Excellent Mobility
Demon's Grip Quick Prep

Best Shadowhunter PvP skills

Skills Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Demonic Clone Merciless Blow Fist of Destruction Encroachment Discharge
Demon Vision Quick Release Electric Discharge Instant Discharge
Piercing Thorn Enhanced Strike Triple Thorn Massive Thorns
Thrust Impact Excellent Mobility Enhanced Explosion Spectral Explosion
Demonic Slash Excellent Mobility Nimble Movement Chain Charge
Grind Chain Earth Attack Impaired Mobility Chain Attack
Rising Claw Naively Honest Giant Hand
Sharpened Cut Excellent Mobility Infiltration Attack

In PvP, stats and skills are normalized. That means you can create skill presets for PvP with the maximum number of points as soon as you unlock PvP at level 27. Use those points to set up the build above. Shadowhunter is excellent at poking from range before committing in melee to burst opponents down, and our PvP build takes advantage of those strengths.

Best Lost Ark Shadowhunter build: Engravings

Engravings are an endgame customization option in Lost Ark. You’ll start to see these by level 30, but they become much more accessible and important after level 50. There are a number of generic engravings that all classes can use, but each class also has two class Engravings. These often create distinctive playstyles, and Shadowhunter’s Engravings are no exception. These are:

  • Demonic Impulse removes the Shadowburst Meter-gain lockout timer at the end of Demon Mode, allowing you to get back into Demon Mode extremely quickly.
  • Perfect Suppression empowers some normal skills to spend Shadowburst meter for extra damage and increases meter gain. However, it disables Demon Mode.

These two Engravings clearly create two very different playstyles. Demonic Impulse Shadowhunters want to be in Demon Mode as much as possible, maximizing its terrifying power. Perfect Suppression Shadowhunters build up meter quickly to get more damage out of spender skills in their rotation. Both styles are strong options for Lost Ark’s endgame, though Perfect Suppression needs a lot of Swiftness gear before it really starts to feel good.

Your generic Engravings are flexible, especially in the early stages of the endgame where options are limited. There are some particularly powerful or synergistic options though. For Shadowhunter, we recommend:

  • Master of Ambush increases Back Attack damage. This is a nice boost in human form but does nothing in Demon Mode. Master of Ambush is always a fine choice for Perfect Suppression but will have diminishing returns for Demonic Impulse builds.
  • Adrenaline provides a stacking crit buff as you use abilities, which you will of course do rather frequently.
  • Keen Blunt Weapon increases crit damage but adds a chance to deal less damage with non-crits. If you have a lot of crit on your gear, this will net you more damage overall.
  • Cursed Doll and Grudge fill similar roles, granting damage buffs in exchange for a healing decrease and incoming damage increase, respectively. These are the two biggest damage increases you can get from Engravings, but you should avoid them until late in the endgame when you can max out their levels. The lower-level penalties are too harsh.

Best Lost Ark Shadowhunter build: Combat Stats and accessories

In addition to Engravings, accessory items in Lost Ark (necklaces, earrings, and rings) are your source for Combat Stats. These substats can have a major effect on your character, and it is important to target gear with the right stats for your build. Your primary target stat while leveling is Crit, as the increased crit rate and damage provide a substantial DPS boost. Swiftness and Specialization are solid secondary stats, increasing cooldown recovery speed and Shadowburst Meter gain, respectively.

In the endgame, you should base your Combat Stat choices on your chosen class Engraving. Demonic Impulse users should stack as much Specialization as possible to maximize Demon Mode uptime, while Perfect Suppression users prefer Swiftness for the reduced cooldowns on normal skills. Both specs still want Crit as their secondary target. Look for accessories that combine a class Engraving with the correlated stat in Abyssal Dungeons and the Auction House.

Best Lost Ark Shadowhunter build: Awakening skills

Awakening skills are a sort of ultimate ability, packing a giant punch in exchange for lengthy cooldowns. These are another endgame option that you will unlock by following the Trixion quests from North Vern and Rohendel. Each class has two but can only equip one at a time. Shadowhunter’s are:

  • Gate of Eruption, which creates a demonic portal that deals damage over time before exploding for massive damage. It also generates a large amount of Shadowburst meter.
  • Fallen Ruin is only usable in Demon Mode, and fires a giant eye-laser into the ground for a big burst of damage.

Right now, Gate of Eruption is the meta option. It is of course the only option for Perfect Suppression users, but even on Demonic Impulse, the meter gain is too sweet to pass up. Fallen Ruin is a perfectly fine alternative, however, for when Demonic Impulse users need a change of pace.

That’s everything you need to get your Shadowhunter cooking in Lost Ark’s endgame! Shadowhunter is only one of Lost Ark’s many excellent classes, so if you’re still trying to pick or preparing to start an alt, check our tier list for some inspiration. If you’re a few characters in and ready for another boost, visit our guide to Knowledge Transfers to speed things up.

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

In this article

Lost Ark


Related topics
About the Author
Charlie Biggerstaff avatar

Charlie Biggerstaff


Charlie Biggerstaff is a freelance contributor to Rock Paper Shotgun, with other bylines on Upcomer. He has a great deal of experience with shooters of all kinds, including Escape From Tarkov, Warzone, Apex Legends, and more. He's also been known to get stuck into an Action RPG or two in his time.