Dont GuideArchived This guide has been archived as of 03:38, October 15, 2010 (UTC), for the following reasons:
  • Change to functionality of Shadow Form.
  • Guide no longer required for something made so ridiculously simple


The purpose of this guide is to illustrate how the newly buffed Shadow Form can be used to great effect - complete immunity to all spells (except for a few occasions) without downtime. This tactic is mainly used for farming, but can be used for other purposes (see below).


Some examples of what you can do are:

  • Farming
  • Solo Farming
  • Running
  • Luring/Tanking
  • And many other tasks

Remember, you can farm almost everywhere. You can still take damage from:

  • AoE or PBAoE
  • Conditions (not spell or attack related, such as traps)
  • Non-spell type enchantment removal such as Expunge Enchantments (unless Shadow Form is covered with other enchantments) or non-target enchantment removal.
  • Interruption by knockdown or non-spell skills.
  • Touch skills (Vampiric touch, etc.)
  • Standard attacks

It is a good idea to kill any foe that poses a threat to the build first.

Attribute selection

There are three main attributes you need: Shadow Arts, Deadly Arts, and Air Magic.

  • Shadow Arts is the most important attribute because Shadow Form is in this attribute line. It is advisable to put as many points as possible so you have more time to recast.
    • Shadow Arts needs to have at least 13 points attributed to it in order for Shadow Form to be kept up indefinitely.
      • Since December 11th, 2008 update, Shadow Form has gone additional changes with a 45 second recharge time and reduce duration. The longest duration at 16 points attributed is 26.4 seconds. The minimum recharge time for Shadow Form is 22.5 seconds. For non-assassin primaries, the highest possible time at 12 attribute is 21.6 seconds. As such, it is no longer possible to maintain Shadow Form as a non-Assassin primary unless one uses consumables or blessings to increase the attribute, which is not recommended since many consumables that boost attributes are expensive.
      • The update also makes the build more energy consuming than before. Players who mostly use Glyph of Lesser Energy or Spirit of Failure had reported problems and difficulties of maintaining energy while at the same-time killing the enemy. Bring a zealous weapon (scythe recommended), will help mitigate this problem.
  • Deadly Arts contains Deadly Paradox, which is needed by both A/E and A/Me permas. It does not require an attribute investment to use effectively however.
  • Air magic is very crucial for A/E permaforms. It combines with Deadly Arts to keep up Shadow Form. The main skill for this attribute is Glyph of Swiftness. Glyph of Swiftness while reduce the recharge time of your next two spells with 4 points invested, therefore it is advisable to do so if gw:Sliver Armor is also being used.

Note that neither Deadly Paradox nor Glyph of Swiftness need points invested to use Shadow Form. Put any unused points into these two.

Skill selection

Core Skills

Glyph of Swiftness Glyph of Swiftness

Glyph of Swiftness can be combined with Deadly Paradox to reduce Shadow Form recharge time by 50%.

Arcane Echo Arcane Echo

This was the old standard before the Shadow Form buff and still works after it. Shadow Form can be maintained by Echoing a second copy, and then casting the copy before the initial Shadow Form ends. Although it's tougher than Glyph of Swiftness, it gives access to the Mesmer profession for use of skills such as Cry of Pain, Ether Nightmare, etc. and practice will improve the timing.

Deadly Paradox Deadly Paradox

Deadly Paradox can be combined with Glyph of Swiftness to reduce Shadow Form recharge time by 50%.

Shadow Form Shadow Form

Shadow Form is the skill permaforms get their name from. This is what makes you invincible to most types of damage. Shadow Form's recharge is longer than its duration, so you need skills to reduce its recharge time.

Quickening Zephyr Quickening Zephyr

Usually used on teams, Quickening Zephyr frees the Assassin's second profession and allows Shadow Form to be kept up alone.


Sliver Armor Sliver Armor

In large mobs you can kill any foe in only a few seconds.

Intensity Intensity

Mixed with Sliver Armor you will deal a lot more damage.

Meteor Shower Meteor Shower or Fire Storm Fire Storm

Good AoE damage, typically used together with fire attunement, and bed of coals.


"By Ural's Hammer!" "By Ural's Hammer!"

Mixed with Sliver Armor you will deal a lot more damage

Ebon Battle Standard of Honor Ebon Battle Standard of Honor

Increases the damage dealt by Sliver Armor by up to 10.

Cry of Pain Cry of Pain

Used to deal mass damage with the old Arcane Echo Arcane Echo build.

Ether Nightmare Ether Nightmare

Commonly used to degenerate multiple foes and to trigger Cry of Pain Cry of Pain.

Spirit of Failure Spirit of Failure

Great energy management skill for a Shadow Form build as every single attack against you miss, every one will give you energy.

Channeling Channeling

As you're constantly surrounded by foes, you'll gain much energy for every spell you cast.

Empathy Empathy

This is good for boss farming as you can't be targeted by spells, so you will get wanded instead, or attacked normally.

Wastrel's Worry Wastrel's Worry

Wastrel's Worry is very effective against spellcasters and foes with natural hex resistance (which often carry hostile spells and will not activate due to Shadow Form, thus barring them from using a skill to end the hex prematurely). It can use against foes like Warriors and Assassins, although it may be difficult due to their constant usage of skills, which often ends the hex but will cause the attack to miss.


Dark Escape Dark Escape

Useful since it lies in the same line as Shadow Form and can be maintained almost indefinitely with Dwarven Stability. The damage reduction is also useful if there is any enchantment removal or damaging non-spell skills.

Dash Dash

Often used with Dark Escape to cover its recharge time and to quickly break aggro from monsters. Dwarven Stability makes this last 6 seconds at maximum Delver rank, which means you'll be moving faster on average than a 33% IMS.

Dwarven Stability Dwarven Stability

Used to extend the duration of stances that increase movement speed. Can also provide anti-knockdown if drunk.

Siphon Speed Siphon Speed

If points are invested in Deadly Arts, this can be provide a substantial speed boost.

"I Am Unstoppable!" "I Am Unstoppable!"

On demand anti-cripple (for traps) and anti-knockdown.


An assassin with any secondary profession can maintain Shadow Form indefinitely with use of an Essence of Celerity. See here for a list of skills that will reduce Shadow Form's recharge time. Note that as long as the reduction stacks up to 50%, Shadow Form can be kept up forever.

Other professions

Shadow Form can be kept up at 12 Shadow Arts with any profession with the use of Deadly Paradox. They will probably need a source of energy since keeping up Shadow Form will be a much higher drain than with sins. Skills like Balthazar's Spirit and Storm Chaser are commonly used.

Equipment selection

  • Blessed Insignias and Vitae runes, Radiant Insignias and Attunement runes are optional if you need more energy.
  • Zealous Daggers of Enchanting
  • Zealous Scythe of Enchanting
  • Weapon of Enchanting and Shield of Fortitude (+10 vs. Lightning/Fire/etc.)
  • Staff of Enchanting


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