I still don't really understand how to equip characters in this game.

For example, I'm playing a shadow with (more or less) a 50-50 DEX and INT repartition. Since I don't have much life, I prefer ranged combat, , so I equiped a bow and a wand. I assume it makes sense for that kind of build.

But what about the protection ? I feel more confident in the good old armours than in the fancy energy shield or the evasion equipment. Bad idea ? Since my character has a lot of DEX and INT, should I privilege evasion and energy shield ?

Should a typical warrior (pure STR) fight with some heavy two handed sword and a heavy plates armor ? Or would it be efficient to equip him with a staff and some evasion garments ?

Are there more efficient combinations class-gear than others ?

3 Answers 3


Evasion works with a "roll" system. Each attack generates a hitroll, which is then added up against your evasion. When the hitroll number finally goes over your evasion, you're struck by the attack, and the hitroll number resets. For some reason, they still express this as a percentage to dodge, when it's not probability based at all.

In addition, evasion will not help you at all once an attack penetrates. It is very much possible to be one-shot by bosses such as Brutus, ESPECIALLY on the higher difficulties. For these reasons, I find it very difficult to recommend pure evasion for a non-Ranger in solo play. In group play, you can have someone else taking the brunt of the damage.

I don't have much experience regarding energy shield, but I do know that it bleeds through on attacks that deplete it. That is to say, if you have 50 ES and get hit for 100, 50 damage will bleed through and strike your health directly. It seems to be nothing more than an addition to your existing health pool. Beyond that, I can't really comment.

Regarding armor: All forms of armor-granting gear have a strength requirement. It is possible to increase your strength on the passive skill tree, but given the Shadow's starting position on the tree, doing so would make your build less efficient on the higher difficulties. Armor offers a straight damage reduction, though, so if you're going to be struck by something, armor is the one value that will actually reduce the amount of incoming damage.

If you feel the need to go for armor, I would highly suggest ditching the Shadow, as its starting position on the skill tree makes it difficult to pursue STR boosts without damaging the character's long-term sustainability. Given that you like to play a ranged style, I would recommend rolling up a Duelist and working on a ranged build, as the Duelist's starting location is ideal for mixing DEX and STR (being a hybrid class of the two stats).

If you decide not to go down that route (understandable), I would just maximize evasion and not worry about Energy Shield at all. As such, Dexterity would be the best stat to focus on. If you've got a lot of blue skill gems you want to keep around, taking a couple of INT nodes on the skill tree would allow you to keep using them without overly damaging your long-term viability.

To answer your final question: Marauders can be DPS oriented or tank oriented. It all depends on how you want to play. Neither build is inherently advantageous.

  • 3
    If you want armor as a shadow, go grab the Iron Reflexes keystone. It converts all your evasion to base armor, which is then increased by +%armor nodes.
    – Kexlox
    Jan 30, 2013 at 19:16
  • I completely forgot about that keystone.
    – Krael
    Jan 30, 2013 at 21:37
  • 2
    Worth mentioning: an advantage of energy shield is that it regenerates on its own if you can go without being hit, and it regenerates quite quickly (both of which differentiate it from normal health). As I understand it, evasion makes it so you can avoid a couple hits, potentially gaining yourself time to have your ES refill on its own (without having to run away as much).
    – PeterL
    Feb 11, 2013 at 17:30

For a DEX/INT character, at a certain point you will have little choice: the armor stats will require more STR than you have accrued.

IIRC There is a passive which converts evasion to armor.

Evasion is good in that you will avoid hits, but the problem is that for the heavy hitters, you will need more HP overall in order to survive the 1 in 20 hits which get through (to my knowledge, evade caps at 95%). Note that evasion rolls are "normalized" in some manner to "reduce streakiness." I infer this to mean that you cannot expect 19 miss rolls in a row.

So if you have lower armor stat, you need to not allow to-hit rolls to occur and carry higher HP to compensate for lower Damage Reduction.

All that said, I have played with Rangers who can stand and deliver on archer mobs which would waste my Marauder quicker than I could react if I did not hit, fade, circle, repeat.

  • ...why do you need strength? There's armor that requires just int or dex, or a mix of the two. INT = Energy Shield, DEX = Evasion, STR = armor.
    – Frank
    Jan 29, 2013 at 18:43
  • higher lvl (pure) armors may require higher base STR stats. There are plenty of gear with DEX requirements that a melee character can't meet without sacrificing passive points to buy higher DEX
    – horatio
    Jan 29, 2013 at 19:43

If you decide to go the Assassin route for your Shadow character gear with energy shield will be a life saving spec in later levels...literally. My friend has a high level Shadow assassin, which I'm currently working on, and his character has 2 passives that when used right are awesome:

  • Ghost reaver which takes all Life Leach and applies it to energy shield, basically free armor!
  • Chaos inoculation: max life is set to 1 HP but immune to chaos damage - the only damage that ignores energy shield!

Having a high evasion skill with those passives makes it much more difficult for you to be hit by melee damage which drastically reduces how quick your energy shield gets depleted.

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