MapleStory Guide: Dark Knight Skill Information
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Contentssage goes in all fields
Dark Knight Guide: RED
Introduction to Darkness
Welcome young explorer! What a horrible night to have a curse isn't it? aah, but the dark knight class has some of the most amazing curses you could possibly imagine!
Starting as early as second job, you'll receive skills with a range so large, you'll one day find yourself at level 250 and they'll still be on your keyboard. moving on to third job where you'll gain a massive boost to your damage, and the ability to drain the enemy dry of their health while you recover yours; and finally fourth job, where death herself becomes your ally by reviving you from a lethal attack, healing all your HP, and making you invincible for a certain amount of time.
Needless to say, this will take effort and time, and my job here with this guide is to help you reach this goal the fastest way possible. But heed my words: this damage is worth nothing if you don't have fun with it, this is after all a game and the purpose of any game is to have fun with it.
General Dark Knight information and inquiries
This section will cover general information that is good to know before starting your Dark Knight, namely what are the benefits and downsides of the class, which kind of weapon should one use, and whether being an ultimate adventurer Dark Knight is worth it or not
Pro's and Con's of playing a Dark knight
We got plenty of changes with the RED update which fixed most of our flaws, but in doing so it created a few new ones, and left some previous ones untouched, here are some of the most significant pro's and con's of being a Dark Knight:
Pro's of the Dark Knight♠ Great attacking distance for a warrior
♠ Amazing healing system, which pretty much makes you not use HP pots.
♠ Very stable damage, due to 90% mastery, and criticals also having a stable min and max damage
♠ Lots of critical hits due to an 85% chance once maxed, for those that like big, red numbers
♠ Highest warrior HP when using hyper body, except for Demon Avengers.
♠ Hyperbody being a party skill helps some classes survive better and Avengers deal more damage
♠ Several sources of PDR ignore, and good amounts of it too.
♠ Ignores death with a skill that triggers automatically and also grants invincibility
♠ Huge attacking range on most of our skills leaving even some mages and thieves behind
♠ Massive amounts of damage increases that affect all our skills, starting as early as third job
♠ Magic crash allows us to prevent a boss from casting it's most dangerous buffs
Con's of a Dark Knight♠ Lack of a skill which reduces damage taken from magical attacks
♠ We lost sacrifice, only skill in the game that allowed you to ignore all defense with every strike
♠ We get so much total damage from skills, that the effectiveness of boss damage potentials is greatly reduced
♠ Skills with cooldowns, meaning a badly timed dispel will lower our damage significantly
♠ On that same line, the cooldowns don't allow us the use of our best skill all of the time
♠ We can't ignore physical resistance, unlike our paladin friends
♠ Lack of a shield means that we have one less equip to scroll with attack
As you can see, our con's aren't THAT big of an issue but some can get a bit troublesome at times, mainly the cooldown one, and if you're very funded or battling hard enemies, the boss damage, sacrifice and physical resistance ones are gonna be very annoying. Some of these can be worked around or aren't as important as they once were however.
Polearms and Spears... What's the deal?
You've seen the pro's and the con's of the class and thought "yea, this is for me!" so now you're here wondering which weapon you should use, what's the difference between spears and polearms?
Functionality wise... there's none. A spear and a polearm that have the same stats and speed will perform exactly the same, but most of the time this won't be the case; spears tend to have a lot more attack at higher levels while polearms feature lower attack but a faster attacking rate, so the new question would be which is best, more attack or more attacking speed?
I'll always recommend the faster speed for one several reasons, some simpler than other, first being that attacking speed is much harder to get meaning that it's more valuable, on that same line the better geared you have the more attack you'll have which makes the bonus that the spear has much smaller in comparison.
For a more mathematical approach, a single speed increase (which is the usual difference between a spear and a polearm of the same level) is equal to roughly a 9% increase in damage. so if you had 200 attack with a polearm equipped, the spear would need to get you over 218 attack to be better, a dark knight has 70 attack from skills, comparing the spear and polearm with the highest attack in the game currently, the Terminus Warmonger (Lv. 160 Polearm, Fast speed, 161 attack) we end up with 231 attack, just from skills and a clean polearm, for the spear to be better you'd need to have 251 attack or more.
The Terminus Impaler has... 180 attack, which added to our previous 70 attack makes it 250 attack exactly.
So just because of the polearm's faster attack speed it becomes the better option in pretty much any situation, as you can see however the difference between the two when unscrolled is marginal so at lower levels I wouldn't fret over it too much and just use whatever I can get my hands on. Once you're ready to scroll your own weapon or buy one however I'd look for a polearm.
...But that's only from a purely perfectionist point of view however, inside the game you'll probably notice that polearm prices double and may even triple that of spears and that's also an important factor to consider, since buying a polearm could mean not being able to afford some extra gear that buying the more affordable spear would get you. We also have to compete for polearms with the Aran class which only helps to drive the price up.
So there you have the factors that determine what you should get, polearms being better with spears being much more affordable in comparison.
To be, or not to be... an Ultimate Adventurer
All right! You're hyped up, maybe got a spear or polearm set aside for your to-be Dark knight but now the question arises: should i make him an ultimate adventurer?
Putting it bluntly: No, it's not worth the effort.
As an ultimate adventurer you'll gain access to soul driver which grants you a small and slow attack that hits both your sides and a little bit upwards, but it's so slow you can just use two of your second job skills and kill more monsters in that time.
another advantage you'll gain will be the "Soul" summon, this summon however lasts very little and does laughable damage to enemies, it is however free damage and i'd say it's the best thing you get out of being an ultimate adventurer.
Third you'll gain the ability to equip gear that is 10 levels above you, but leveling nowadays is way too easy and you'll find that in the time you get a cygnus to 120 for the ultimate explorer and then level that, you could have simply trained yourself to 150 on a regular adventurer and equipped the gear regularly.
And lastly you get a medal with very little attack. if you're serious about your dark knight you'll get a better one at 200, if you played another class to 200 before you'll get a better medal as soon as you make the character, ultimate or not; so this last benefit isn't worth the trouble either.
Now, here comes the important part: Leveling a cygnus to 120 just to make an ultimate adventurer isn't worth the effort, but doing it to get that delicious 24 to 30 attack bonus (30 if you keep leveling it all the way to 150) from having a cygnus certainly is and it will also benefit all the other characters you have on the account, so if you already have a 120-150 cygnus and don't mind using it to make an ultimate adventurer Dark Knight then by all means go right ahead. The little extra perks might not be much but they're a nice enough reward for having leveled a cygnus.
Common Terms for the Dark Knights
This section may not be useful to you now that you're just starting, but once you start to delve into the forums and mingle with all the other dark knights you'll notice that we use a lot, and i mean a lot of terms to refer to our skills; this because of how many skills we've had over the years and how long the names of most are, not to mention that people in the forums write these over and over and over again, so why not make it easy on ourselves and use acronyms and shorter terms to write faster?
Below you'll find a list with most of these words and their meaning, they will also be used in the guide when explaining certain skills and such so without any further ado:
DK - Dragon knight, our old third job
Zerker - Berserker, our new name for the third job advance
DrK - Dark Knight
PA - Polearm
CD - Cooldown, some skills need time to recharge.
"D" prefix - means decent, several skills have a D version to them obtainable on equips.
HB - hyper body, grants 60% hp and mp to the whole party.
SE - bowman skill "Sharp Eyes", grants critical hit chance and damage, real good for dark knights.
SI - buccanneer skill "Speed Infusion", increases your attack speed.
FA - Final Attack, does a free extra hit at a 40% chance.
ER - Elemental resistance.
Pull - Spear Pulling.
Crash - Magic Crash, very useful bossing move.
Sac - Sacrifice, may refer to the attack, or the new skill that absorbs beholder.
Wisdom - Dragon Wisdom, now called Lord of Darkness but people may refer to it as wisdom.
Roar - Dragon Roar, old AoE skill, now replaced with Beholder Shock.
Shock: Beholder shock, people may still refer to it as roar.
Chain: Crossover chain skill, may also refer to our secondary weapon, berserker chain.
Impale, DI - Dark Impale, our main training move in 4th job, and later on bossing move.
Hex/Heal - Beholder's skills, "hex of the beholder" and "Beholder's healing"
Res - Reincarnation, people may refer to it as "res" due to it reviving you.
Zerk - also Reincarnation, may be referring to our old skill berserk, which is now part of reincarnation.
Potato/Synthesis - Nightshade Explosion, because nightshade is a type of plant of which potatoes form part
Zak/Czak - (Chaos) Zakum, two bosses, but also used to represent the helms they give.
HTP/CHTP - horntail and chaos horntail's pendant, they give lots of all stats.
MoN - Mark of Naricain, an easy-to-obtain pendant that gives nice amounts of attack.
Skills And Builds, From Warrior To Dark knight
Time to discuss what interests you most, the skills you'll use to level from a warrior to a full-fledged Dark Knight who'll inspires the fear of all in your path (and the fear of all the Gotham City villains).
This section will be divided in parts depending on which job advancement stage you're in, and then these will be divided into several parts too; a part with the game's description of the skills that are obtained at that Job, then the suggested skill build to follow, and lastly an explanation of why the skill build is like so along with any possible variations to the build that may also work if you prefer a different approach.
Let me remind you one thing however: This guide suggests the best skills and best skill order to level as fast as possible without getting any skills that won't be useful in the future, however if you want a skill that isn't recommended by all means feel free to get it since this is after all a -guide- not a rulebook... not to mention you'll have all your skills maxed once you reach 180 or so anyways.
So without any further delay, the Skill guide!
The Warrior: A Clean Slate
Starts with the Job advancement at level 10, ends at level 30
Iron Body: 20/20 Maxed
Warrior Leap: 10/10 Maxed
Warrior Mastery: 15/15 Maxed
Slash Blast: 19/20
Reasoning and Other Builds
The first thing we max is Warrior Leap because it will increase our movement speed by a great deal, not forgetting to put one point in Slash Blast to hit six monsters with increased damage for faster training; once Leap is maxed we get Slash Blast up to level 19 to make sure we kill the monsters in one hit, we don't max it because then we'd have to sacrifice a point from another skill, all of which we'll use until level 200 and beyond.
Afterwards we max Warrior Mastery for the stance rate and the speed increase while leaving Iron Body for last, since the defense boost is small and the HP bonus isn't really necessary at these levels, same goes for the damage reduction, which isn't really useful now but will once you start bossing later on your career
If this isn't your first character, you have good equips, link skills, or things of the sort and thus damage is not a problem, you can leave Slash Blast for later and max Warrior Mastery right after Leap.
The Spearman: Pole Arms Also Acceptable
Starts with the Job advancement at level 30, ends at level 60
Piercing Through 19/20
Beholder 1/1 Maxed
Weapon Mastery 10/10 Maxed
Weapon Booster 10/10 Maxed
Iron Will 10/10 Maxed
Hyper Body 10/10 Maxed
Spear Pulling 20/20 Maxed
Final Attack 20/20 Maxed
Physical Training 5/5 Maxed
Reasoning and Other Builds
This stage is also very straightforward. We start by getting a point in piercing through and spear pulling since they'll be our main attacking skills all the way to level 60, afterwards we get 5 points in Weapon Mastery so we can unlock Weapon Booster.
Weapon Booster allows you to attack faster and thus kill and train faster, i stop adding points once it's at level six since a duration of 2 minutes seems plenty, however if you don't feel comfortable with this amount or simply want to rebuff less often you're free to take it up to whichever level you want.
Once that's done we go back and max Weapon Mastery and then work on getting level 19 Piercing Through which will be the skill we won't max as Spearmen for the same reason as before: the lost level is an incredibly small loss of damage but by doing so we won't sacrifice any of the other skills, all of which have uses well past second job.
Afterwards it's the turn of Physical Training followed by Spear Pulling, and then Iron Will to help mitigate the damage we receive a little bit; maxing Final Attack comes next for a bit of extra oomph on our attacks
Hyper body is left until the very end because as a warrior you won't be lacking HP anytime soon, and thus it's better to spend the SP in all of our damaging skills first. When you're done maxing Hyper Body go back to Weapon Booster and finish adding SP to it until it's maxed
Congratulations, you're done with the Spearman job! coming next...
The Berserker: Because Dragons Are Apparently Outdated (Never Forget)
Starts with the Job advancement at level 60, ends at level 100
Beholder Dominant 4/10
Beholder's Shock 20/20 Maxed
Beholder's Buff 20/20 Maxed
Lamancha Spear 20/20 Maxed
Rush 10/10 Maxed
Cross Over Chain 20/20 Maxed
Lord of Darkness 10/10 Maxed
Endure 20/20 Maxed
Reasoning and Other Builds
Congratulations on reaching level 60! With that out of the way however it's time to explain some things i'm sure you're wondering.
for starters, why don't we max crossover chains inmediately? The reason is because while crossover chains doubles the damage you will inflict Lord of darkness grants you a very high amount of critical and critical damage which means your damage will boost considerably. On top of this it also grants you the ability to recover up to half your health with every hit you do, and lamancha spear hits -very- fast so leveling lord of darkness first grants you both an offensive and defensive boost. add to this that Cross Over takes twice as long to max and the pro's of lord of darkness become simply too many.
Once lord of darkness is complete we inmediately move to cross over chain, the damage increase is indeed massive and it will benefit all of your attacks. Then we move to beholder's buff because 40 attack will increase your range by more than leveling lamancha, since most of the time you'll be spinning the spear over your head rather than throwing it and the damage increase per level on the spin is very small. After this we move on with lamancha spear to finish all of our main attacking skills
With our main skills maxed, it's time to move on to the secondary ones starting with beholder's shock, the reason we don't max this skill earlier on is because even though the damage is fairly impressive it's range is only a fraction of what it used to be and now it can't even serve the one purpose it had: hitting platforms way above and below you. It still is however good damage and can help hit stuff that is a moderate distance behind you for example.
We move on to endure which will be one of our most used skills even if we aren't aware it's working, it's ability to stave off status effects proves invaluable at bossing which is something we won't see much at this point, but it will help if you're leveling via PQ's and the boss likes stunning for example. With that done we next max rush for the extra damage.
Beholder dominant will barely see any use and that's in the best-case scenario, this because the skills we earn in 4th job won't allow us to use this skill and things like beholder's shock or buff require beholder to be attached to you rather than free, plus the damage is quite lackluster even when this skill is maxed.
The Dark Knight: Mansion and bat-related gizmos not included
Starts with the Job advancement at level 100, ends when you give up
♠ Due to a lot of misunderstandings on how gungnir's bonus damage works, here's a quick explanation: when using gungnir and ONLY when using gungnir, you'll receive an increase in total damage, not on gungnir's damage but total damage, the same kind of total damage granted by Cross Over Chain back in third job.
if you require a more thorough and mathematical explanation, check the [to be named and linked here section]
Skill Build Introduction
Before going to the actual skill build, i feel fourth job deserves a bit of an introduction due to how different it is from pre-RED dark knights, and even from most other classes. If you check the skills in the previous section you'll notice that dark knights have several skills that improve their damage: Reincarnation, Weapon Mastery and Sacrifice mainly, and our strongest 1v1 skill has a big 8 second cooldown which renders it absolutely useless until sacrifice is maxed
...and all of these skills take 30 SP to max. Just to be able to use your bossing skill you'll need to level 20 times, to have it at maximum power you'll need another 20 levels to max reincarnation and mastery, and you'll still be missing the ability to use magic crash and won't have 100% stance either.
For this reason we've come with only one fourth job build, and it's a build designed with only one thought: leveling as fast as possible. Which means skills like gungnir and sacrifice will be left for much later since they barely help when mobbing, if at all.
It will be a tough road but it only makes the reward sweeter, and this guide is here to soften the road as much as possible, so with that out of the way here's the skill build:
Skill Build Part 1: Mobbing
Skill Build Part 1 ExplanationWe start straight from the beginning by adding one point to mastery for the big immediate boost in our minimum damage, and then we pump points into dark impale until it's maxed since it's our strongest mobbing move by far and at level 16 it gains a sixth hit increasing it's power greatly.
Reincarnation comes next since it's a big boost to... well, everything! you get extra speed, extra chance to nail a critical hit, your critical hits now deal more constant (and thus stronger) damage, and you gain an extra 30% damage just for keeping your HP high which won't be a problem thanks to your third job skills.
Now, i'm aware of how boring this sounds, the above is a "damage first and foremost" build but if you want to (and i actually encourage it) put a point in both gungnir and sacrifice you're absolutely free to, using just 2 SP will still have you get dark impale's sixth hit at level 105 so the loss in damage is minimal, and you can start getting a feel for all of your main skills.
Those two skills out of the way it's time to max mastery so that your damage becomes stable and much more precise, followed by stance so that you don't ever have to reposition yourself due to knockback
Skill Build Part 2: Now it's Personal
Skill Build Part 2 Explanation
This is it, what you were waiting for, the 1v1 aspect of our class. we begin by putting one point in gungnir's descent (at level 139) to unlock the attack and then we max sacrifice ASAP since this skill is what allows us to use gungnir reliably without cooldown. That completed we max gungnir to finish the deadly combo and put a point in hero's will to escape seduce from bosses since at these levels you are at the perfect level to tackle bosses like horntail, you can add a point to hero's will earlier if you feel you need it but with the huge cooldown it has it's really more of a one save per boss attempt. it goes well with reincarnation however since it can save you if the revival effect is still on cooldown.
Then we max magic crash to prevent bosses from casting harmful buffs on themselves and afterwards we max hero's will. Congratulations, you're now set completely to boss.
lastly we max our other skills starting with Maple Warrior since if you're soloing it's a nice buff to your damage and then... well, there's really nothing else worth maxing but we'll do beholder's revenge just to finish with all the fourth job skills plus it can help a bit when farming items and such i guess, but really by this point you can use your points on whatever you want, this includes skills from previous jobs since you'll be able to max them all before you even reach level 200
Hyper Skills: Above And Beyond Normal Skills
What are Hyper Skills
Hyper skills are new skills that are unlocked as you level up past 140 and unlike normal skills you don't gain 3 SP every level up nor are able to get every hyper skill, this due to the fact that you only earn SP for them every 10 levels until you reach level 200 and also because the amount of SP you earn is very limited.
all hyper skills are divided into one of three groups: Passive, Supporting and Active. Passive skills are skills that like their name implies give a slight boost to some stat and are always active, stuff like +10% critical chance or +50 strength. Supporting skills improve the skills you already have, like increasing the damage done with a certain attack, or reducing the cooldown of a skill. And Active skills are skills that you have to use, all clases have 3 and it's usually an attack and two buffs, one of which is shared amongst most classes
Now, and here's the catch, all of these hyper skills take only one point to max and you'll only get 6 points for Passive skills and 5 for Supporting skills (you get 3 points for active skills and you only have 3 skills, so you're fine there) and to get all the points you must have reached level 200, not to mention some skills open up as late as level 198
now, passive skills are very straightforward and it's easy to know which are useful and which aren't so I won't bother listing them and will only list the Supporting and Active hyper skills.
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