This Shai guide only focuses on the large scale component of the class, and will have no information on shai’s role in GvGs, RBF, or any information concerning PvE or 1v1s. Large scale happens to be a significant reason to play the class, as Shai shines in it.
Why roll a shai?
Shais are a very unique class in the game, as they occupy a niche role in large scale PvP. They are primarily a support class, and while it is possible to use AP gear and attempt to frag out, you will almost certainly perform poorly, as the class is simply not designed for that purpose. If you plan on using a shai for large scale, understand that you will be building a purely defensive gear set, as your survivability is of the utmost importance. People who are interested in a pure support role in BDO should consider a shai.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Shai has many SA abilities, which lend to its surprising survivability. These SA abilities are able to CC the opponent, or give significant debuffs to the enemy.
- Shai has many extremely useful buffs that have a widespread effect on multiple team members. These buffs will continue to be applied during the active time of the skill, and have a duration of 30 seconds.
- Shais have the potential to be extremely tanky, as they will often have a bonus of 700-1500 HP on top of an already high health pool. Coupled with evasion gear, shais have a surprising survivability considering their small stature.
- Shai’s bubble ability, known formally as “Over Here!”, has incredible utility in large scale and the potential to single-handedly shift the balance of a fight.
- Shai is a relatively cheap class to gear, as DP builds are generally cheaper than AP builds. Though you need two sets of gear, one for PvE and one for PvP, it should be noted that shais are capable of grinding high level areas with relatively low AP.
- Shai is one of the lowest mobility classes in the game, and you will find keeping up with a fast moving ball to be taxing on your stamina. Stamina is important to have, as one of your core abilities requires a decent amount to remain active. Shai’s low mobility also makes it harder to dodge attacks, most importantly those that add evasion debuffs.
- Shai has no S-Block, which will make fighting against guilds with many long range classes (witch, wizard, archer, zerker, etc) difficult.
- Shai’s most important abilities have relatively long cool-downs, and require one to use these abilities with care and foresight.
- Shai is a clunky class, with many skills requiring you to stand still or move slowly. This makes positioning an incredibly important skill to learn.
- Shai can be potentially very squishy if enough evasion debuffs are applied. Having to create two sets of gear can be expensive, which requires one to decide whether to focus on their AP or DP gear.
In this next section I will be going over the core abilities in a shai’s arsenal, which I believe will highlight the role of a shai. Although these are the most important abilities, that does not mean the other abilities aren’t important as well.
Shout to the Sky ( S+F, Awakening)
This is Shai’s most important buff, which adds 1500 HP when maxed out, and 700 when it is not. It is recommended that you max this skill out, as its impact is greater than the other options. This skill is also an AoE Heal for 500 HP each tick.
The impact of an additional 1500 HP cannot be understated: most classes have approximately 4200 HP fully buffed, and an additional 1500 HP is an overall increase of 35%. This buff lasts 30 seconds, which can be longer than some ball-to-ball fights. Since this skill is so important, it is imperative to use this at the right time, and attempt to apply the buff to as many people as possible. The skill has a CD of 40 seconds, meaning if it is used at the wrong time, you might be forced to fight without. This will greatly diminish the effectiveness of having you on the team, as one of the main purposes of this class is to apply this buff. Also note that upon activating this skill, you will be able to play it for 30 seconds.
Forest’s Echo (Shift+F, Awakening)
One of Shai’s most notorious skills, this ability keeps you protected in a SA while anyone who wanders into its AoE will be stiffened. This is an incredibly reliable skill, as its SA activates immediately; the only issue is finding the right moment to use it. This skill has a very short CD, and consumes stamina at a constant rate. Depending on your stamina, you will be able to hold this skill for approximately 13-17 seconds.
This skill is useful for keeping enemies CC’d for a considerable duration, setting up kills for the rest of your team. The AoE is large, and often you will find that players who have their effects turned down will voluntarily walk into it, thinking you are easy prey. Remember that you must use Forest’s Echo when there is potential for someone else to finish off the opponent, as it is useless by itself. It is highly recommended that you remember the key combination for this skill, as it transitions off of your other awakening skills very well.
Over Here! (Shift+Q, Pre-awakening)
Chances are if you have any interest in the shai class, you will have already seen clips of this skill being used. Although it has a relatively long cool-down, it has the potential to sway the outcome of a fight single-handedly. When an enemy, or ally, makes contact with your bubble, they will return to the location they were prior to touching it. Effectively, the bubble will hold them in place, and prevent them from moving past it. Here are some of the situations where this skill can be used effectively:
- Defending your team against an ultimate: It is recommended for everyone, regardless of class, to keep a lookout for classes with hard hitting ultimates such as Berserkers, Tamers and Valks. Bubbling to save your teammates will earn you brownie points from your guildies for sure.
- Holding a choke: Using the bubble in open-field can be effective, but opponents are still able to move around it. When defending a castle or fort, holding choke points can be extremely effective, especially if you are able to set up a kill for your team mates. Additionally, you can use the bubble to cut off part of the opponent’s ball, leaving the rest of them to helplessly watch as your team cleans up the cut-off force.
- Halting Enemies with PA: Protected Area, also known as PA, is hands-down the most important ability in large scale. Being able to immobilise and effectively waste a good chunk of your enemy’s PA will almost certainly annoy them.
There are various other instances where your bubble can help out in, such as countering a CTG, wasting invulnerability timers from enemies who are respawning, or defending against a considerable amount of incoming ranged damage. These are all situational, and will require experience to know when to counter. Also, keep in mind that the bubble’s effect extends upwards, meaning it can defend against opponents who are on walls or barricades.
Do it Better! (Shift+E, Awakening)
One of the more important buffs for shai. Gives all allies 30 AP and +5% special attack damage. This skill has a rather awkward animation, rooting you in place, and has a CD of 3 minutes. It has a SA, but the SA only activates a few moments after the skill is activated, making you vulnerable. Despite all this, the buff is one of the more impactful in your kit, and it is important to keep an eye on when it is available. This is one of the skills I would recommend you place in a Cool Down slot. It should also be mentioned that the radius of this skill is quite large.
Rage Absorb (Rage Absorb Hotkey, default “Z”)
Another important buff. Grants +50% critical attack chance to allies, a considerable buff for some classes. This skill activates quickly and has a SA. It is also easy to keep track of, as your character will begin to emanate a dark aura as your rage fills up. Since shais do not use Tungrad items, it is fairly important to use this whenever you have the chance, as you do not want to waste any rage.
Notable Awakening Skills
Misty Haze (Evasion Rate -10%, DP -10%)
Delusive Light (Critical Hit Rate -50%, Movement Speed -10%)
With these skills, shai is able to move with full SA for an extended period of time, whilst applying some impactful debuffs as well. These skills allow you to position yourself in the opponent’s main ball and transition to other skills such as Forest’s Echo. Both of the debuffs are quite potent, although Misty Haze even more so against players with high defense gear.
Remember to use the i-frame of Hop and the SA of Tuck and Roll to faster position yourself, or to dodge certain classes or attacks. It is also important to note that these skills take seconds before their SA kicks in, meaning you will be vulnerable for some time.
Sun, Moon, Stars (Attack and Cast Speed +5%, Movement Speed +10%)
Summer Rain (Debuff Resistance +20%)
Time to Shine! (BSR Recovery +0.3%)
Shai’s other buffs are also quite useful as well; they simply don’t hold as high importance as Shout to the Sky. Sun, Moon, Stars scales with the enhancement level of your Sol, making it useful to enhance it to at least TRI. Time to Shine! Is a great skill to use on your down-time, as ultimates are highly impactful. It is important to figure out for yourself when the best time to use these buffs are, as they all are slow activating skills.
Sun’s Fury, Earth’s Tremble
Sadly, both of the other AoE skills in a shai’s arsenal are far weaker than Forest’s Echo, though this doesn’t mean they don’t have a use. Their main weakness is the start-up time for the CC to land, and how short the duration of the CC is. However, if you are out of stamina and the other main ball is on top of you, these skills can be used to allow you to regenerate your stamina whilst keeping you protected. The CC of this skill can also be mouse-moved, allowing you to more accurately hit your target.
Hop III: An incredibly important skill; use this to quickly move around. Consumes stamina, so be careful to not run out of it. The i-frame is on a 3 second cool-down, and it may be worth it to place this skill on a cool-down timer quickslot. Very useful for when you need to position yourself closer to the enemy team.
Tuck and Roll: Much like Hop, this is an important skill for positioning. The cool-down is 3 seconds as well. The skill is not an i-frame, but has SA, meaning you will be debuffed and damaged while in the roll.
Play Dead: A useful skill with a ridiculous cool-down of 10 minutes. In the middle of a battle, no one will notice you keeling over, allowing you to pop back up and throw out skills such as Forest’s Echo. Useful for getting out of sticky situations, such as after being grabbed or knocked down.
Outta My Way!: This applies a 10 AP buff to your teammates and can be charged by using your florang skills. You don’t even have to hit anything to charge it up, but it is quite tedious. I don’t know if it’s feasible or even worth it to charge this skill up during a node war, but if you were to do that, it would be during down-time.
Come Out! Come Out!: This ability applies DP buffs to teammates and DP debuffs to enemies, although they are quite minor. This skill is useful as it is similar to the Awakening Debuff skills, but does not have the considerable start time that those skills have. Use this skill to quickly and safely position yourself amongst the enemy mainball, then use a keybind to seamlessly transition to skills such as Forest’s Echo. This skill is also capable of revealing stealthed opponents, though considering its long cooldown, using it for that purpose is debatable.
Get Well (700 HP per tick, 3 ticks total)
Cheer Up! (200 HP per 5 seconds, for 60 seconds)
Shai has two pre-awaken heal abilities. While nowhere near as potent as the heals that mages have, these can still come in handy. The main issue with these heals are their long cool-downs and their lack of scaling; Get Well will only heal for approximately half of your unbuffed health pool. Still, you will be able to use these to heal yourself up when your low, which will allow you to last longer. Cheer Up! Is a worthwhile skill to use before an engage, even if it does have a small impact; just be sure to use other skills that have higher impact first.
Twirl (Evasion +5%)
Hop-three (Defense +10, Evasion +5%, 10 seconds, is a FG ability)
Kwik-Two (Evasion +5% for 10 seconds, moves the player back quickly)
If you are willing to put evasion skill-addons onto your skills, using your florang during node war can be surprisingly useful. In most cases, the enemy team will not let you walk up to them and use your FG skills, but if you find yourself CC’d, these can come in handy. Out of all of these skills, I personally find Hop-three to be the most useful, as it has a FG and gives the most defensive stats. It’s hitbox is slightly inconvenient to land with, but if aimed is doable, especially if the enemy team is on top of you. Kwik-Two is also useful, as it allows you to quickly move back, although in most cases you will have many slow debuffs.
The gems I will be recommending are strictly PvP gems. If you wish to use gems to assist you in grinding, that is fine, but I will not be covering any PvE in this section.
Helm: 2 Jin Harphia
Evasion is the primary defensive stat for a shai DP build, and Jin Harphias bring a staggering 40 evasion and 100 HP to the table. These are expensive gems, so be careful with them.
Chest: 2 Magic Crystal of Infinity- Evasion
These gems bring a total of 20% Special Attack Evasion. Overall, these will be more effective than BON/JIN Cobelinus, as the average AP of the player base is constantly increasing. These crystals scale particularly well, and will result in you sometimes surviving absurd damage.
This is where things get tricky, as you will have to place 4 Han Magic Crystal- Hoom into your remaining slots. I will be outlining all the gems of note, and it is up to you to decide which gems you will use.
Red Battlefield Crystal: Adamantine (Knockdown/Bound Resistance 25%, Stun/ Stiffness/Freezing Resistance 5%)
JIN Hystria (Movement Speed +1, Max Stamina +175)
(More stamina means more mobility and longer Forest Echo)
BMC Precision (Ignore All Resistances +10%, All Accuracy +8)
(Helpful for landing Forest Echo’s CC better)
BMC Precision (Grapple Resistance +8%, All Accuracy +8)
Awakened Spirit Crystal (HP +150, All AP +5)
I personally go 2 Awakened Spirit in Offhand, 2 Hooms in Mainhand, 2 Hooms in Gloves, and 2 RBF Adamantine in Shoes. Still, at the end of the day it is up to you.
Unlike most classes, you will have to hotbar many of your important skills. While this may seem like a hassle, it helps in making the class feel far less clunky, and will make you faster in general. How you setup your hotbar is up to you, although I would recommend placing down your buffs and important skills such as “Over Here!” and “Forest’s Echo”.
It is also important to note that you cannot simply rely on your hotbar. You will have to remember all the key combinations for your skills, as it will allow you to transition from one awakening skill to the other. Here are some quick tips to get you remembering your skills in no time.
Q- Your SA Debuff skills are all variations of the Q Key combination
SHIFT- Your AOE CC skills are all variations of the Shift Key combination
The buff abilities are F, F+↓, RMB, RMB+↓.
If you are feeling that your shai is too clunky, another tip is to hotbar your Hop III Ability, preferably on your mouse’s thumb key. This is particularly useful for quickly transitioning to your Pre-Awakening, instead of having to C-swap. This also makes going from awakening to your heals much faster.
Large Scale Strategy
There are many reasons to bring a shai to a node war or siege, as they bring unique and invaluable contributions to the team. It is also, in terms of skill and execution, rather easy to be a considerable boon for your guild, as there is a limited amount of things you need to do to pull your weight. However, failing to do these things will greatly decrease your usefulness, so it is imperative you pull off these few tasks as best as you can.
Similar to the importance of a witch using PA at the right time, a shai must use her buffs, most importantly “Shout to the Sky”, at the right time. It is important to listen to your shot-caller and have a general grasp of when to use your buffs. Each fight will start differently, so the order of which you use your buffs will differ each time. You can use your less important buffs preemptively, then use Shout to the Sky as you see the enemy main-ball approach. While using “Shout to the Sky” last will ensure the buff is applied on at least some people, it also means you will have less time to apply it to as many people as possible. As you can see, there is no one right way of buffing your team, so this will come down to personal preference and experience.
The shai’s placement will be within mainball. After you have engaged the enemy, it is unsafe to use buffs; this is when you will have the chance to debuff your enemies. Misty Haze is, in most cases, the more potent debuff to use, but be sure to give yourself time to activate it’s SA. After Misty Haze, the skill you will most likely transition to is Forest’s Echo. Keep in mind that there is a good chance your opponent will be PA’d at the start, so be mindful to use Forest’s Echo when you have the opportunity to set up a kill. The chance that you will be grabbed in a main-ball engage is somewhat low, so as long as you have stamina you will be protected. It is important to position yourself in the areas most dense with opponents, as it is not your goal to survive, but to mitigate damage and be as impactful as possible. Keep in mind that mindful opponents will avoid engaging DP builds in general. Also keep an eye out for high-impact classes such as zerkers, tamers and mages.
If you are able to properly buff up your team, debuff a bunch of opponents, and mitigate as much damage as you can, then congratulations… you have fulfilled your role. There will be no ceremony or honors for playing a shai, and no way to properly quantify the impact you have made, but understand that for a single slot in your team’s roster, you have made a great difference. You are here to support your team, not be the star of it; your team’s victory is all that matters.
Siege Addendum: there seems to be a lack of shai players in siege (and in PvP in general), so if you are reading this, chances are this part will not be relevant to you. I won’t sugarcoat it: you’re gonna need a buncha gear to last in siege, as most siege players will be armed to the teeth. Also, if you are one of the few shais who will be defending a castle, learn which choke points you will be guarding, as bubble brings an insane utility to castle defense. If the enemy is pushing every 1.5 minutes, you will be able to bubble every other push. Keep in mind that your bubble is able to block players who are in V (Escape Mode), in case any players attempt to sneak past a choke point and appear behind you. If you attacking a castle, it will be extremely important for your team to receive the 1500 HP Buff.
If you are interested in shai, there is a very good chance you do not already have the best gear in the game. One of the difficulties of playing shai is having two sets; one for PvE and one for PvP. However, getting a good amount of evasion gear isn’t too expensive. The following image is a relatively cheap but effective build for shais.
This build will allow you to reach approximately 840 evasion after buffs. You will be very tanky against most players, and be able to mitigate a good amount of damage. This does not mean you can play unsafely, as most geared players will still be able to kill you eventually. Another weakness of this build is the lack of a good amount of DR; in other words, you will be burst down very quickly by classes with accuracy bonuses in their skills (witch, striker) and severely hampered by classes with evasion debuffs (witch, valk, maewha, shai, etc). This leads us to the elephant in the room…. Voltaic Pulse.
Voltaic Pulse is without a doubt one of the strongest abilities in the game. Not only does it CC, it is protected, does high burst and most aggravatingly, adds a significant evasion debuff. You cannot block this attack, as our class does not have a reliable forward guard. In other words, your best defense against this ability is to counter the CC with a super armor, meaning you will get the evasion debuff. Your tankiness will take a SIGNIFICANT dip after you receive this debuff. Due to the prevalence of witch and the chaotic nature of large scale, avoiding this debuff is hard if not impossible. In other words, you will have to count on the fact that you will receive this debuff. The only real solution is to build DR to mitigate the damage that your evasion doesn’t counter. However, building DR is extraordinarily expensive. Here is an example of an endgame DR build:
This build retains about the same amount of evasion, but has approximately 100 more DR. The level of tankiness between these two builds is night and day, but it comes at a cost. Building DR past the first build will cost you hundreds and hundreds of millions of silver for ONE DR. No one will expect you to have this amount of gear, but understand that if you wish to mitigate a significant amount of damage, you will need gear similar to this. Still, at the end of the day, evasion takes priority over DR, and your main role in large scale is to buff and to bubble.
Consumables and Buffs
Buffing up for a DP build is relatively cheap, far cheaper than AP builds. For this reason, it is important to use as many buffs as possible, as you are there to mitigate damage for your team; the more damage you can take, the more effective you will be. I will be listing all the buffs you should be using for Large Scale.
Whale Tendon Elixir (Damage Reduction +100 for 30 seconds)
Khalk’s Elixir (All Resistance +10%, Damage Reduction +15, HP +100, Movement Speed +5%)
Elixir of Strong Life (HP +150)
Elixir of Steel Defense ( Damage Reduction +10)
Splendid Helix Elixir ( Evasion +12)
(This one is a must have!)
Tough Whale Tendon Elixir (Damage Reduction +125 for 30 seconds)
Elixir of Overwhelming Endurance (Stamina +150)
Magic Damage Reducer (Magic DR +3)
Strong Resurrection Elixir (HP Recovery +15)
Ancient Slate Ornament (Evasion +16 for 1 Hour)
Muskan’s Bloody Steel Helmet (Evasion +20 for 1 Hour)
(The best furniture buff to use, but it is far far more expensive and rare)
There is only one food buff you should consider: Exquisite Cron Meal. It offers a ton of stats, but here are the relevant ones:
Movement Speed +2
Ignore all Resistances +4%
Villa Buff (All AP +10, All DP +10, HP + 200, All Resistances +10%, Ignore all Resistances +5%)
Cash Shop Buff (300 Loyalty points for 100 HP)
Resplendent Alchemy Stone of Protection (All Damage Reduction +10, Evasion +12, HP +170, Resistance +6%)
(A must have for anyone serious about building DP)
Amity Buff: Talk to Alustin for 100 HP for 5 energy. Do the conversation mini-game until it is unlocked.
It is recommended you roll a Fairy that will allow you to Auto-pot every 2 seconds. Rolling skills on fairies is extremely tedious, but it is absolutely worth it.
NOTE: I do not grind on my Shai. The skill add-ons I use are PURELY for PvP. If you wish to PvE on your shai, I highly recommend you use the skill add-ons detailed in other guides. The Evasion buffs you recieve from skill add-ons are highly situational, as they require you to hit the enemy for them to activate.