The Shieldbreaker is one of the most interesting classes in the game. You might consider her to be one of the weakest front-liners in the game. But once you figure out the huge advantages and strengths she has you’ll see her as the exact opposite.
This guide will help you see her like that as well as how to overcome her weaknesses.
The Shieldbreaker herself
The Shieldbreaker is a frontliner that can tear through enemies thanks to many of her skills ignoring protection and guard, as well as using blights to her advantage.
At level 0 resolve she can still be useful despite her low damage and health, recruit her if you have space in your roster. You’ll soon see why.
If you want to see her details and skills in exact, here’s her wiki page: https://darkestdungeon.fandom.com/wiki/Shieldbreaker – [fandom.com]
Like all every other class in the game, she has 7 abilities:
This attack moves her 1 space forward and ignores protection at the same time. The 2nd detail is the key to her utility in regions with a lot of protection in enemies mainly the Cove and the Weald, allowing you to get through those enemies that you would normally spend turns to kill go down much quicker.
This attack moves her 1 space forward but the real benefit from it is that it not only ignores guard but it also breaks it, which means whatever the target that got hit by it can’t be protected for 2 rounds. It doesn’t end there, it also has a chance to drag the target forward and lower their speed. This is really good in the Ruins, the Cove and even the first Darkest Dungeon mission, because of the guarding there will be as well as dragging enemies that are weak forward for others to kill.
A strong attack with a strong blight. It can only be used if she’s at the very front and can only be used against one of the front 2 enemies, it will also move her back 1 space. The power of the attack itself combined with the blight can make quick work of enemies or even one-shot them if it crits, especially in the Ruins.
One of, if not the best attack if you take 2 of them. Like the Kiss, this can only be used at the very front and will move her back 1 space, but it gives a really good hit to your foes. The attack will hit the entire enemy party and even give them a minor blight, this is what makes it so good when you take 2 Shieldbreakers, because you can just continually use this over and over again and easily tear apart formations.
This attack ignores stealth and will move her back 1 spot, this is really good in the Weald or later difficulties on missions since many enemies can have stealth on themselves. The big speed debuff also makes it helpful against enemy medics and stress inducing enemies who tend to have high speed.
A strong attack with blight that can only be used in the middle ranks. On its own it’s still good because of its high damage and blight, but with a mark it only gets even stronger being able to deal up to 60% additional damage to marked enemies when fully upgraded! Combined with a BH, Houndmaster or anyone who gives marks, she can just get rid of them that quickly. It is also her only attack that doesn’t move her.
A defensive ability that moves her 1 space forward and gives her a speed buff but the main reason you want to use this (especially in low health) is that it gives her 2 aegis scales, these scales will ignore any damage caused by physical attacks (attacks that display damage in health numbers) but it doesn’t stop DoTs, stuns, debuffs, etc. from happening. In other words, if she’s starting to go down use this to extend her survival a little longer.
With a lot of skills that make her usable regardless of her position she is quite good in a lot of battles against high protection and small blight resistances. Her ability to break guards can be very useful in places like the Cove, the Ruins, the Courtyard and even the first 2 Darkest Dungeon missions.
The one place she is absolutely amazing with another Shieldbreaker is the Farmstead, because as mentioned earlier in Impale, 2 of them continuously can tear through those waves very quickly and easily, especially with that blight that stacks up.
Aside from the shared camping skills, her unique ones involve the following:
Snake Eyes: Grants everyone 15% armor piercing. This is good in regions with many protection enemies since it can let everyone else hit them much harder.
Snake Skin: Grants 15% max health and protection to herself. If you need her to last longer in combat give her this it will help you a lot.
Sandstorm: Allows one party member to not be marked. This can be incredibly helpful in regions where enemies benefit a lot from marks and even against the Swine King who uses marks to his advantage allowing you to keep someone from being annihilated because of them.
Adder’s Embrace: Gives her a blight chance and resistance buff. Really only helpful in regions with a lot of enemies who can cause blight or have weak resistances to it
When camping, there is a 50/50 that the shieldbreaker will suffer a nightmare upon resting, this will basically act as a nighttime ambush that can’t be prevented so ignore skills that prevent them unless they come with useful buffs. There are 7 of them and can only occur in certain difficulties, the enemies found in these will always be the same. These nightmares will also replace nighttime ambushes so don’t use skills that prevent them unless they can be of use for you (Sanctuary, Bandit’s Sense, Hounds watch) since they replace the ambushes they cannot occur in the Farmstead or the Darkest Dungeon which don’t have ambushes as far as I know.
If you weren’t prepared for one of these, you’ll be very screwed because she gets horror that does 20 stress for 5 rounds and it doesn’t end there, not only can it not be removed with laundanum, but she can’t get virtuous during one of these and on low resolve levels this can be the end for her and your party because the enemies in the nightmare can be really nasty if you didn’t change your combat skills to take them on.
Here are a few basic tips to avoid having one of these be the end of your party:
- Give everyone but her the pep talk camping skill, with 3 of them you can lower the stress she’ll get to the point where she receives about 11 stress per round.
- Change your combat and camping skills before you camp. I still recommend you keep a nighttime ambush skill as a just in case it doesn’t happen. You’ll want to have at least some skills in camping to lower stress received or the stress she already has. For combat give everyone as many skills that ignore stealth as possible. If you have a stress healing skill equip it as well, you can’t change combat skills during camp so do it beforehand.
- Focus on one enemy at a time especially the one that will begin with stealth since it has a huge crit rate buff while stealthed.
Of the 7 nightmares that can occur, they can only happen in certain difficulties:
- The first 3 can only happen in apprentice (level 1) missions
- The 4th and 5th in veteran (level 3) missions
- The final 2 in champion (level 5) missions
These nightmares are the only way you can get her class-unique trinkets, including her Crimson Court set (the exception is her shard trinket).The enemies you’ll find in her nightmares are actually pre-determined and are the following:
- Nightmare 1: 1 pliskin, 2 rattlers
- Nightmare 2: pliskin, rattler, rattler, pliskin,
- Nightmare 3: pliskin, rattler, death adder
- Nightmare 4: 4 greater pliskins
- Nightmare 5: greater pliskin, irritated rattler, sinister adder
- Nightmare 6: terrible pliskin, enraged rattler, nightmarish adder
- Nightmare 7: 2 nightmarish adders
I won’t go over the enemies and full detail but to give a TL:DR of them:
- Pliskin: Start of stealthed, have a blight attack and very high crit chance buff while stealthed
- Rattler: Can guard and gain a riposte when doing so
- Adder: Large enemy with a blight attack, a stun attack and a self heal ability
When you complete all the nightmares, the shieldbreaker will get a speed, max health and protection buff for 2 battles every time she camps
A lot of her unique trinkets can be of good use be it for offensive or survivial. She has a total of 8 unique trinkets, 7 can only be obtained through nightmares and the other with shards:
1st nightmare-Venomous vial: Increases her blight chance
2nd nightmare-Shimmering Scale: Gives a small prot. buff
3rd nightmare-Dancer’s Footwrap: Increases her speed and move resistance
4th nightmare-Fanged Speartip: Does more damage to marked enemies (a Collect Bounty equivalent)
5h nightmare-Cuirboilli: Increases her health greatly, which makes it one of if not her best trinket
6th nightmare-Obsidian Dagger: Increases her debuff and blight resistance
Final nightmare-Severed Hand: Increases her blight chance and lowers stress received
Spectral Speartip: Increases her damage and health by a little while also giving a blight chance buff
With all the information provided here, I hope that you can find her of even better utility than she already is. Make sure to keep her alive because of her small health especially in lower levels.
Thanks for reading, now go on and make the best out of her!
I hope you enjoy the Shieldbreaker Class Guide – Darkest Dungeon® guide. This is all for now! If you have something to add to this guide or forget to add some information, please let us know via comment! We check each comment manually!
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