The Shade - Fleshing Out the Flesh Wearer

I don’t think that the Shade is useless. In fact, somehow, I’m the happiest playing that class than the other two. What needs to be known is that you need tip top shape gear to make it worth playing, which may or may not be a problem depending on your perspective, but when I got my hands on reds and set up in a specific way I’m having more fun than ever. I feel it’s closest to my V1 setup too, Sword & Dagger, and in a different way. Backstab and critical hits are in essence Killing Blow.

But there are some suggestions I wanted to proffer on the Shade to improve its effectiveness and to further cement its role. You have a class whose main schtick is to get behind enemies and do a lot of damage. What this actually translates to right now, since most people use the Glaive, is frontlining anyway because it’s way too dangerous to go behind enemies because more are continually pouring in who will just hit you in the back and you’ll save your Infiltrate skill for the bosses because you are the only class who can do meaningful melee damage to them.

Digressing for a second, I have a serious complex about the damage bosses take in melee and I wonder why it’s never been brought up before. it’s just borderline useless to go up against them like that without very specific and powerful weapons, i.e Halberd & Glaive. Then you have Dual Daggers with Backstab 75% bonus doing nothing on light swing spam to them.

But because Fatshark seems to want to pursue specialized roles in their class system and flesh them out, I want to offer up feedback I’ve been generating over the weeks on the Shade specifically.

Murderous Prowess (Backstab)

  1. Backstab hits or kills should restore ammo. The talent should instead increase the ammo restored. This would go a long, long way to making the Volleybow more useful, and that weapon has been in a state of disrepair since the first CBT and has gotten no love.

  2. Backstab needs an indicator. I find it astonishing that a perk like Backstabbery, and many others, which have been in Vermintide 1 for years do not function properly or up to the standard set so long ago. Heroic Intervention, Off Balance, both don’t work (and the former fundamentally can’t because Aidings have been removed) and there are no indicators they are even on. This is incredibly bizarre in the case of Off Balance. Due to the unknown angle of backstab, the need for some kind of indication that it happened is vital. And I have more on that…

  3. Backstabs should grant a (stacking) buff that prevents or (reduces) enemy aggro. This was my biggest idea for the class. It would incentivize and encourage people to get behind enemies and the more hits/kills they get will keep them safer and it also provides a way to indicate that Backstab is happening. This lets people work behind the lines with skillful play. It would force the Shade to also lean on the team.

Taking advantage of Backstabbery in V1 was niche as hell, and it still is here. But with the RPG systems and the class functions, there is a real opportunity to make it fun to use and more importantly worth using actively.

Elven Repeating Crossbow

  1. LMB Rate of Fire needs to be brought in line with Saltzpyre’s. There was a slight increase in Patch 1.0.5 for this which doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. Potentially increase ammo to 45 from 30. It’s either this or a natural ammo restoration, but this weapon is just not worth using unless Scrounger and a crit chance build or Ranger Veteran Bardin are in play. The former takes many hours to set up and gear the character for, and the latter relies on people forgoing the sheer survivability and power of Ironbreaker. In short, it’s a toll booth to fun, a hard roadblock on playing the class.

  3. This is general feedback on the Volleybow. I say it’s been in disrepair for so long because its weapon illusions either have no sound or are using sounds from Saltzpyre’s volleybows. The hipfire accuracy needs to be improved so it can better be used as a run and gun weapon. There are crippling delays on switching weapons when using the alt-fire. It’s just frustrating to use even after you’ve gotten used to it. Its horrid ammo count makes using it without meeting certain conditions suicide. In Vermintide, if you run out of ammo, you are in a very dangerous position. This weapon seriously needs to be looked at.

That’s all I wanted to suggest. The Shade is fantastic, I truly enjoy playing it. But I feel that’s because I am closer to my V1 setup in several ways. If Fatshark’s vision is to make every class adhere to their cardinal role of either Melee, Ranged, or Team Focus, then this is what I think would help the Shade stand proudly.


I love playing my shade, but my group always complains that it doesn’t have the “Press F to Fix” that the only other elf career gets. [insert Handmaiden players raging here]

What they don’t complain about is that patrols and bosses seem to just disappear. Really looking forward to the 60s cooldown as of 1.0.5 rather than the 120s; I think it’ll bring a lot of gameplay back to the Shade’s ultimate. I also think the reduction in multiple spawn types that 1.0.5 promises (horde+specials+boss+morehorde) will give non-pyro/ws more time in the sun.

As an aside, I prefer dual daggers than sword/dagger. The increased attack speed allows massive ammo restoration against most bosses, as bosses have moments when they are unable to turn on you. (Roger/Spawn attacking someone else, Troll taking a breather, and the Stormfiend is just easier in melee) You can also clear waves pretty easily by just attacking at head level at super-speed.

Some way to reduce enemy aggro and stay safely behind enemy lines is all i ever wanted for this class. as it is, theres no way to backstab someone unless you use your special or spend an eternity sidestepping around them, which at that point you shouldve just killed them head on instead of wasting time.

and yes, some indicator on where you can backstab them. it feels like its the smallest margin possible, requiring you to be directly behind them, parallel to where theyre facing, making sure your swing isnt the slightest bit off.

meanwhile, the talent to increase its effective backstab area feels nonexistent and i have no indicator if i ever did backstab someone unless im taking the ammo talent. im not looking something like the tf2 spy’s matador side stab, but its like trying to thread a needle… while youve got a hoard bearing down on you and the needle keeps spinning like a top


Volley crossbow with monster power, crit and Hunter trait is pretty good at melting bosses and it really turns out to be a versatile weapon. I think FS should be really careful about doling out too much ammo. I honestly think it’s a fairly well balanced weapon in its current form. It’s certainly better than any of the bows on shade.

I also think the buff to shadowstep makes it a hard contender for the first talent choice if you aren’t using daggers.

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I agree with you, it seems well balanced. I have the same build except I swapped Hunter out for Scrounger (I think that’s the name, it’s the one that gives 2 ammo back on crit). Still good against bosses, and absolutely baller against hordes and patrols - I’m not sure how the crit calculations work, but I seem to get back more ammo than I shoot when firing directly into a big horde.

Didn’t think about trying Fletcher with Dual Daggers in this specific way. I’ve been running the Volleybow with Scrounger and I try to get headshots more than anything else and it’s a fantastic weapon for killing bosses even without Hunter or vs. Monster. I have +5% Crit Chance/ +20% crit power on mine currently. Ranged weapons have lower crit rates than melee so I never thought about Hunter on it especially when I want to be able to fire into hordes and the occasional special.

With the Infiltrate damage boost, I typically use the first charge attack if Glaive/S&D and then hit the active as I load up the second powerful attack. The cooldown reduction makes this strategy a lot more useful.

It’s like trying to pee in a dixie cup while standing on top of a paint mixer!

i’ve tried my best to adapt to this playstyle, but the main problem for me is the time taken chasing after the boss. you won’t be able to effectively hit a ratogre or chaosspawn if it’s chasing someone, and all that lead time taken for u to chase it, some ranged class has already taken down half it’s HP and is continuing to do so.

i’ve tried hard to love the build, but glaive still wins out for me due to it’s effectiveness at doing everything well.

You are the ranged guy as a shade? Seriously, shoot on the move as you close in*, stab when you get close, reload when you inevitably get knocked back, repeat.

*The volleybow doesn’t slow you down when you zoom-burst. Take advantage of that.

It took me awhile to notice that I wasn’t slowing down to zoom, it’s sweet!

nice. will try it out