Demonic Impulse Shadow Hunter. Problems and Solutions?

Demonic Impulse Shadow Hunter is by far my favorite power fantasy in all of Lost ark. You’re bladed up and ready to blast enemies from Feiton to Anikka with your demonic transformation powers. Let’s talk a little bit about Demonic Impulse and its state of play in current endgame content and how it scales into future content.
I find that DI shadowhunter is often stated to have a high floor damage yet a low ceiling. It struggles a little bit due to being a transformation class. DI has a cheaper barrier to entry to get started dealing tons of damage, but its high floor and low ceiling lend to it feeling like you’re playing within a crawl space. Playing optimally on DI and pumping damage just doesn’t feel like it outputs nearly enough to keep up with other classes. I find this to be feeling more true in the past two raids released to the west, Clown and Brel. I want the investment in a shadow hunter as a main to feel like a main, and not a cheap alt character.
I would love to see some quality of life brought to my favorite Delain and I’d love to hear what others think about the current state of this spec as well. But what good is stating a problem if you’re not trying to create a solution? If you’d like to bare with me for just a moment, I’d like to share with you a potential direction that could modernize SH.
First, I’d like to state my goals for increasing the quality of Shadow Hunter’s DI spec. I’d like to mitigate some of the awkwardness that transformation classes feel in legion raid content, add the potential for more expressive gameplay without changing her playstyle, and make her feel more powerful and actually be more powerful. I think it’s also important to not negatively impact the current progression shadow hunters have made to their characters. Demon Gems should be just as impactful and Perfect Suppression shouldn’t be sacrificed for this quality update. It’s also important to open up DI SHs to a meaningful use of the gearing systems other classes use to fulfill their power fantasies, ie Tripods and Gems. Finally, gotta keep that Demon fantasy intact (and maybe beef it up?).
My recommended solution comes in two parts. The first is to allow the shadowhunter to salvage their form when the raid no longer allows them to use it meaningfully. The second is to change the DI spec to allow for purple skills to be more impactful on your damage when your form has faded.
Part one is simple. Allow the shadow hunter to cancel her transformation and keep her meter where it was when you canceled it. To keep players from canceling after using their most powerful skill, charging back to full to transform and reset the cooldown to do it again, I think the cooldown reduction would have to be changed. Either refund based on the meter used in demon form, or not refund at all unless the meter is fully depleted while in form. This change will hopefully help shadow hunters feel more powerful and impactful even when the legion raid throws downtime at you (or make you feel like a badass for canceling your demon form to finish a rotation of destruction skills without sacrificing too much).
The second part is where I’d like to touch on the Demonic Impulse spec itself a little more. My proposed change would be to empower a shadow hunter’s purple skills for a short amount of time after their transformation is naturally fully exhausted. This would just come in the form of a damage buff. I think the purple skills in human form still lend strongly to what makes the DI SH feel so powerful and demonic. It’d be nice to see these skills get some love, and it wouldn’t change the natural rotation that Shadow hunters are used to while playing this spec while keeping PS unaffected. This will also allow for shadow hunters to progress their damage further through the use of gems and tripods on more skills. I can see where investing in these systems could split the player base a bit, but I would personally rather have to invest more to become stronger than to stay feeling plateaued.
I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on the matter. Do you think DI is fine? Does it need damage or quality of life buffs? What changes would you like to see if any? And do you think my proposed changes have any glaring flaws or go against my design goals in ways I didn’t foresee? Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

TLDR: Give DI SH some quality of life to make transformation less wonky in legion raids, and open her up to a more meaningful gearing, by making more gems and tripods important/impactful.

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Both DI and PS needs a lot of help. Tier lists seems to consistently place them in the bottom or even trash tiers, meanwhile, burst hit master style spec classes have a very solid position in the top tier. Such as: Artillerist, both Arcana, spec summoner, Igniter Sorc, THEN only followed closely by DB Striker, Death blade, scrapper and GS.

Wished they give struggling ones a much needled help, like DI, PS, and Pistoleer.

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So the thing about DI is while I do believe it could use a tiny damage buff, I would consider DI a “jack of all trades” class

With very high Spec you can transform in less than one rotation, along with the fact you have a built in HP restore when you do, built in almost max movement speed along with very excellent stagger and weak point along with not only low cooldowns, but you only need two gems to function

You trade being top DPS for ease of play and gearing in a sense and that’s not a bad thing

However I’m of the opinion they should add a 7th ability to their kit if they wanna boost DI DPS

Now with PS, what I hear all the time is “mana issues”

If I remember it’s a fast paced Entropy class (similar to RE Surge I think) and the mana drain is real with it

I think if they adjusted the mana values PI would feel a lot smoother to play, while still being rewarded for your back attacks

Not gonna lie Shadowhunter should be a candidate for a “rework” soon, but we’ll see what happens

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The transformation skins they’re adding could include some buff/debuffs to simultaneously make the class’s gear requirement and ceiling go up while making the class more difficult to play in some way. It would mean the skins would need to be attainable through other means than the cash shop though.

For example, the skin could give 10% crit and 5% damage but reduce health by 20% or something like that.

But really, why does DI have to be so weak when we have Barrage Artillerist in the game, who just goes around with one high level gem and blasts the boss from a screen away while being an unstoppable tank. It doesn’t make sense.

PS on the other hand has an incredibly high requirement as it is with 6 damage gems, and is punishing enough to play being a consistent back attacker with hp barely above reapers and having the least mobility of the assassin classes. Along with fixing its mana issues it just needs a straight-up damage buff and should parse at least as high as shock scrapper or esoteric striker (about 10-15% more).

I will repeat my comment from reddit:
Change how demon skills work:

  • red skills should be demonized versions of purple skill. So if you are using purple Howl, after turning into demonic it would change to red howl with different animation and effect/damage
  • update tripods to reflect that change
  • sh would require now normal gem setup instead of one dmg, one cdr
  • demonic would have much more build diversity as it wouldn’t be forced to use same 6 skills
  • player need to decide if they want more purple skills with good meter generation that after turning red are doing less dmg or more purple skills that after demonization are doing crazy damage but in purple form generate less meter
  • after demonization all skills cdr should be reseted (same as for current BT zerkers) so after transformation player don’t need to wait before taking action


  • demon can be finally competitive
  • more build diversity
  • more interesting gameplay


  • no longer a “cheap” alt, normal gem setup required
  • highier difference between floor and ceiling of the class

With ~1780 spec you can transform with 4 skills and 2 wealth runes, allowing you to use runes on all your demonic skills. It’s super smooth. Even if you miss a skill you still have backups. Takes like 4? sec to get back in form. Part of the playstyle is to transform back and fill your meter before cutscenes so you are instantly ready.

Its playrate would go up if they gave an option to revert the region-based visuals on the client side. Noone wants to look at that ugly thing.

The class is fine for what it is. A great secondary or entry level class thats always gonna be pretty good but not BiS.

Also, a pvp beast

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so basically , PErfect suppression recolored? the whole point of the class is its transformation , maybe add tripods on ALL transformation skills would be better

Add tripods and gems on transformation skills and maybe even add a new damage skill to the rotation

Adding some damage to purple skulls is also not a bad idea

Yeah, PS especially gets no love, it’s been left to languish for a long time now and DI kinda just falls off because burst is just better for how raids work, generally you want to push damage all at once either during certain DPS windows or to get past mechs (e.g. dropping a big hit on clown right before showtime so you can push afterwards and skip some mario).

Hello Lost Ark friends and dear Community and Design Member/Manager,

I feel as a day 1 SH main the same way you do. I spend a lot of hours and grind into the game to juice up my SH as much as i can. Right now I am at 1565, cleared all the normal and hard raids and content with her as soon as they went online. Even Brel Hard, which was a pain and so much fun at the same time. So she is not as unplayable as Players from Korea are grading her. :smiley:

But i really do agree that she is on the bottom of the list in terms of attractiveness for a raid group and in terms of Dmg output eventho you are consistently pumping as much as you can with low dps downtime. I know there is a problem with transformation classes and 2 gem classes such as DI. She is way easier and cheaper to gear than other classes are. But i have to say she simply feels way too underpowered to play. My alts, in which i put way less grind and gold than her, are sometimes outperform my SH. Its seems unbalanced that my 1495 DB feels stronger than a nearly full equipped SH. And i did invest 10 times the gold i invested into my DB. So is a SH really that cheaper, than for example a DB, which will outperform her with lower lvl gems and gear?
Sometimes my main is getting Gatekept only due to being a SH. She is providing one of the worst synergies for a team, because she is applying those only for a short period of time while being in human form. Which you don’t want to stay in for a long time, because lets be honest human form as a DI SH deals as much dmg as supporter do. And supporter are way better in buffing the team than a SH does. Ofc you can swap out of your demonic form and play a buff bot for Classes like Surge DB, Igniter Sorcs and all those other hardhitting classes, but that’s not her main job, because other classes are doing it way better and more consistent than you while they are not dropping in dps as you do.

I also thought about how it would be fair for other classes and for SH players to lift up that ceiling of her a little bit higher and make her more attractive to be played and more attractive to be a good contribution to the team.

I love my SH and i don’t want her to be changed. I love her survivability and mobility, her stagger and destruction, her easy and fast way to transform. I wouldn’t change the Playstyle of her and completely reworking her. Her design is great and very fun to play. But her low dmg and low utility (in form of buffs) for the team are making her an unattractive member of a group which i do get. And I do get why she is getting gatekept. If you want better synergies for your team, there are better solutions, if you want more stagger for your team while not losing as much dps for your overall team, there are better solutions.
You get my point.

Talking about attractiveness and gatekeeping. Increasing her party buff wont fix much, for what is being wrong with SH in my opinion. While an extra 6% Dmg buff is nice to have its not applied as frequently as it should be. Its forcing you to get out of your strong form which in the end is not efficient.

  • So a solution could be to make one of her Demon Skills apply this buff for your team. For it to be more consistent up for the team.

  • Or add maybe Crit chance on top of the dmg buff. Since a lot of classes are attractive for groups in forms of being a Crit synergy for other classes. This would also help DI to have higher Crit and deal more DMG since you are running DI with KBW anyways.

  • Another idea could be to add gems for your Demon Form skills. This idea was often mentioned, but its usually coming with a pro and con. If you remove the current gems we have it would be annoying for players who grinded those lvl 10 gems, spend a lot of silver into them to get the right lvl 10 gems. The pro would be that its giving you a higher ceiling which wouldn’t come for free. An actual reason to grind for. Why don’t we simply add Demon Form Skill gems on top of the current we have. You would have your identity gem, like Blade has for her surge, or like Berserker and gems for your individual demon form skills. Of course this would be overpowered as hell if we added another 40% of you hardhitting skill on top of the current 40 percent we have, but why don’t we lower those numbers. Maybe to half of it. You would need to run tests and numbers to see what is overpowered and what isn’t. And adapt to those numbers. Maybe even a lvl 10 gem getting you only 10 percent on certain skills. Getting 1 percent of extra dmg for 1 lvl of the gem you have.

  • you could make SH awakening a hard hitting skill, longer animation time for it to be harder to land but hit hard in demon form. You would increase the „big number“ which players like to see, and your overall dmg output, while it being capped on 3 uses per raid. You could push certain Bars of Bosses where you need to push the boss like a SF for example does. Which also makes coordination with your supports more important.

There is a lot of ways to increase her Dmg, not even starting on adapting Tripod systems, these suggestions are relatively easy to perform and do not require creating a whole new system for SH and reworking her. Since i know that Smilegate is busy on other threats. A new way for SH to grind would feel refreshing and would equalize her in terms of DMG output and use for the team.

Ím really looking forward forward on your opinions. I would be of course really happy about your guys feedback and maybe with a little bit of luck to lost arks community managers or Class designers.

Have fun raiding and good luck on your progression

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Low DMG is a tradeoff for being one of the easiest to play class in the game. Also there’s too many SHs already, no need for more…

Dear Techtus,

tell me what a simple to play class is? What makes DI an easier class to play?
If you are talking about simply staying alive, demonic is way easier than other classes. I agree completely on that with you. Are all Supports in general easy to play aswell? Since they are able to selfpeel even better than DI, got more immunities and better heals. Or a GL or an Artillerist, able to neglect more dmg and mecs while dealing more dmg than a SH.
Think about that, clearing hell content or Brel hard and even raids on I lvl, it mostly isn’t enough to simply stay alive. You need to deal dmg, in order to push certain mecs or certain numbers, which is in the end making a raid easier due to having less of those hard mecs. In order to deal dmg as a SH, you need to consistent deal dmg since she is the type of dps dealing consistent and not high dmg. On cutscenes or mec where you can’t attack you lose dps. Since you have to consistent deal dmg, you are usually doing worse than other classes. So in order to be useful as a sh you have to greed certain mecs other classes don t have to to keep up with them. Otherwise another class simply has a better use for the team than a SH has.

And btw in what way would it be bad for a class to be more attractive ?

Fast and tough piano style character with many dashes, self healing, non positional ( hit master class ), range skills, no real rotation… Do I have to continue?
I know a lot of people that main SH DI and how they struggle on alts because they got used to a playstyle that forgives anything.

Like I said it is in certain scenarios easier than other classes, So are other classes. Evers class has its use. A dps should deal dps. And SH doesn’t. And we are not even close to the upcoming content, and already scratching on a ceiling where other classes have more room to improve.

For a SH player it is inconvenient to be capped and not able to improve further. And i already recognized that in the past raids.

I’m also playing different classes, like scrapper, igniter sorc, bard, DB. Some of them are less forgiving but do have benefits SH hasn’t.

Then swap for PS, way more damage, also a lot cheaper. But harder to play, and that’s why not popular among spoiled DI players.

Compare a PS to a Surge DB, which char is doing his job as a DPS better ?

I’m not saying to make SH harder hitting then hard to play classes, I’m simply suggesting putting the ceiling of utility in a group or DPS higher. There is a reason a SH is getting gatekept and there is a reason SH is trash in most players eyes,

Hey, if you want to be an S tier dps, you have to reroll. Sure, class balance in LA is far from ideal but that is not likely to change anytime soon.

Plus surge DB is a spec class ( slower, harder to play ), PS is a swiftness class.

I thought that’s what this forum is about. Trying to discuss things and try to balance and improve players Experience on different classes

No, not really. It’s AGS forums, but it’s SG pulling the strings. And they are not even aware we exist . This forums is here so we, users could talk to each others.