Skills Classification

Happy New Year to all fellow readers!

Before I start, Thank you for your support, especially those who are following this blog and my guild mates, in the past year of 2016! Hopefully 2017 would be great for DH5 with plenty of new additions and bug-free updates. ūüôā

To follow up with the traits ranking post, let’s more on to one of the major aspects of this game – Skills.

How they work

Skills, like spells or abilities in other games, are seen as an essential and indispensable part of the DH5. A character can equip up to 3 different skills at once (ie. back, bracer, belt) and this grants the ability for him/her to use all 3 skills during combat.

To trigger these, most skills are single tap (eg. most AoE, shields, support buffs, projectiles etc.), while few are press and hold (eg. Fire Cone, Ray of darkness etc) and a unique one with different effects according to when you release the button (eg. earthen wrath).

Skills often come with an attached special ability (not to be confused with its inherent traits in the item card), which unfortunately lack any official documentation. These are often activated when contact with the hostile opponent is made via the skill itself, triggering effects such as fear, slow, damage over 3s (DOT) etc.

Moreover, as all skills each have unique effects, this is in no way a ranking post.

Although the skills themselves are easy to cast, they require different play styles in order to use them effectively. Thus, to master the use of a specific skill requires a good deal of combat experience using the skill itself in all scenarios to familiarize oneself with the skill effect, range of effect, and cooldown timings. This, of course, would take some time in order to use properly and eventually, skillfully.

Skill Properties

Similar to what was done for the traits ranking list, a few aspects of the skills are weighed (in the general sense) as a comparison amongst the different category of skills. This would hopefully give a better sense to players as to how the skills perform in actual combat. As mentioned above, these are properties are:

  • Strength – how effective it is in terms of offensive/defensive ability
  • Range¬†– how far are its effects of casting
  • Cooldown – how long/short does it take to cast again


While there is no official classification, an observation of skills in DH5 is that they perform certain general behaviors which can be grouped together according to their effects, which are easier to sort than the categories of back, belt, bracer. These fall within the few basic categories of the following:

  • Projectile – single shot
  • Ray – continuous beam
  • Spray – expanding cone-arc
  • Area of Effect – 360 degrees
  • Persistent Zone – damaging field
  • Action – from the body
  • Defensive – protective
  • Support Buffs – enhancers

Accompanying these categories would be several noticeable skills which one might choose to possess (based on availability and luck of draw). Nonetheless, one would need to get used to these skills first before considering to use them.


The simplest of magic spells, projectile skills are single bolts of raw elemental damage that are launched from the caster’s hand. These often come with a few charges which have relatively quick cooldown times and can be used in succession fairly quickly.

However, like ranged attacks, projectile skills can be reflected by certain monster abilities (eg. voror reflect shield, Colossi’s artillery mode etc). Using these skills¬†should be treated with utmost care in order not to get them reflected upon yourself.

Though now rare, fire cone is easily one of the most damaging hit-and-run projectile type skills

Noticeable Skills

  • Fire Cone (Bracer, DOT + Fast cooldown)
  • Chain Lightning (Bracer, auto-targetting, 20*dmg, long cooldown)
  • Ice Blast (Bracer, 6*shatter dmg)
  • Snowball (Bracer, very large projectile + many charges)

Strength – fullstarfullstarhalfstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–fullstarfullstarhalfstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –fullstarfullstarhalfstar


As a concentrated ray of energy, these skills are able to pierce through the reflect shields (eg vorors) and have incredible reach which make them great for long distance attacking. They are also great for armory raids and fast clearing of low-level WPs and daily dungeons. Furthermore, they also have extremely fast cooldowns make them immensely spammable as well, making them a great alternative to AoE skills.

The shortfall of Ray skills would be their low damage output, which pales into comparison compared to many skills out there. This makes them less suitable for higher tiered raiding instances.


Noticeable Skills

  • Ray of Darkness (Belt, high HP/Hit)

Strength – halfstarblackstarblackstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–fullstarfullstarfullstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –fullstarfullstarfullstar


Unlike the next category of Area of Effect skills, Spray skills are those that deal damage in a progressively expanding arc in front of the caster. These help in bulldozing and clearing a path through swarms of monsters, dealing a healthy amount of damage at a moderate cooldown rate.


Noticeable Skills

  • Avalanche (Back, Slow + DOT)
  • Flame Eruption (Bracer, Knockdown + DOT)

Strength – fullstarfullstarhalfstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–fullstarhalfstarblackstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –fullstarhalfstarblackstar

Area of Effect (AoE)

Usually associated with the term ‘burst‘ in their name, these skills are high in offense and deal large amounts of damage to a relatively large radius around the caster’s immediate vicinity of 360 degrees. As a form of defence during casting, these AoE skills provide a short duration of invulnerability when the skill is being cast.

When combined with bloodrage, Predatory Instinct helps take out hordes of incoming minions before they swarm upon you

Noticeable Skills

  • Predatory Instinct (Back, Stun + Guaranteed Crit + Fast cooldown)
  • Immortal Justice (Legendary belt, Stun, Slow cooldown)
  • Ice Burst (Belt, Slow)
  • Nightmare Burst (Belt, Fear)
  • Static Burst (Belt, Stun)

Strength – fullstarfullstarhalfstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–fullstarfullstarblackstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –fullstarblackstarblackstar

Persistent Zone

Not to be confused with AoE types, persistent zone skills are those which you change a portion of the ground to a damaging plot of land. This is usually circular in size and expands when you evolve the skill to the next tier.

Persistent zones are one of the most deadliest skills in the game as they linger around for relatively long periods of time, periodically¬†damaging enemies whenever they walk over it. What’s even better is that they have an additional control skill which kicks in when enemies pass over the zone, which essentially keeps them entrapped within a whole lot longer.

Nonetheless, to balance out these skills, they have one of the longest cooldowns within the game, making them less easily spammable compared to other skills.

Entangling Vines are great to deal constant damage and entrap monsters within its field of effect

Noticeable Skills

  • Ice Stalagmites (Legendary Belt, freeze)
  • Entangling Vines (Belt, slow)

Strength – fullstarfullstarfullstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–fullstarfullstarblackstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –halfstarblackstarblackstar


These skills are performed by initiating a bodily action (eg. stomping on the ground, rushing towards an opponent) in order to deal damage to the opponent. Like the AoE skills, these action skills sometimes provide brief periods of invulnerability when casting

As all actions come from your character, these, unfortunately, have the shortest¬†range of effect (with the exception of ‘rush’ sub-types).

Mal.Rush helps you cover a good amount of distance in a short period of time, damaging everything in your path and providing a small window of high dodge

Noticeable Skills

  • Malevolent Rush (Bracer, high dmg + small window of high dodge)
  • Cyclone (Bracer, slow + DOT, fast cooldown)

Strength – fullstarfullstarblackstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–fullstarblackstarblackstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –fullstarhalfstarblackstar


As the name suggests, defensive skills form a barrier around you to improve one’s survive-ability. This can either take the form of soaking up damage (eg. HP shields), improving armor (eg. ice shield) or increasing dodge (eg. smoke veil) and are versatile enough to be used in any situation.

However, in order not to create an entirely invulnerable character, these are not easily spammable and possess a moderately high duration of cooldown.

Shields are powerful defensive skills that do not need to be gotten from gear chests and benefit the most from Superfusion points

Noticeable Skills

  • Smoke Veil (Back, high dodge + reflect projectiles)
  • Lightning Shield (Back, periodic stun)
  • Ice Shield (Back, slow to attackers)
  • Nature Shield (Back, HP/Hit)

Strength – fullstarfullstarhalfstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–halfstarblackstarblackstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –fullstarblackstarblackstar

Support Buffs

While they don’t do direct damage similar to¬†the defensive skills, Support buffs are actually rather useful in terms of boosting the character’s offensive abilities (eg. attack, damage, speed). They also possess similar cooldowns like the defensive skills, to ensure that one does not get boosted too much and too often.

Haste speeds up attack speed and run speed, making it both an equally offensive and defensive skill

Noticeable Skills

  • Haste (Belt, extremely high attack and run speed boost)
  • Warcry (Back, direct dmg boost, self + nearby allies)

Strength – fullstarfullstarhalfstar¬† ¬†Range¬†–fullstarhalfstarblackstar¬† ¬†Cooldown –fullstarblackstarblackstar


Didn’t read everything earlier in the post?

Here’s a quick referral list that sums up what I wrote.skills.png

Skill Selection

Although many would recommend the end-game trinity of skills of Fire Cone, Smoke Veil and Ice Stalagmites, the selection of skills is ultimately based on the ability of the player and how well he/she is able to use them.

For example, having an all offense setup comprising of AoE-mid-long range skills can help overcome the lack of ranged weaponry. A mixture of Predatory Instinct (AoE) – Fire Cone (mid) – Ray of Darkness (long) can help in taking out monsters from a distance before one goes into the fray to take them out.

On the other hand, should one decide to go full on melee, equipping a combination of stun-defensive-support skills can help boost your offensive and defensive capabilities during battle. For example, Shockwave (stun)-Lightning Shield (HP shield)-Haste (speed boost) would allow a melee user to quickly stun and clear an enemy swarm without taking much damage.

Another strategy would be placing skills of different elements, allowing you to compensate for not having a strong weapon to combat the opposing element. This can be seen in the instance of Fire users having strong Light skills (eg. Static Burst, Immortal Justice) to quickly take out the Water minions on the map which deal double damage to you. With the increasing gear stats of T6 items, this is a viable option without sacrificing too much of his/her global stat. One no longer has to equip skills of the same element in order to get more than 8k/8k, which is a sufficient enough to clear mid-high ranking SHs.

While not all items here are maxed out, 8k/8k+ for a hybrid setup is still achievable if all your items are T6

Nonetheless, these setups are in no way recommended as it is up to you to learn and improve one’s skill through consistent usage in order to use them effectively.

TL;DR: Skills have a variety of abilities that¬†can help you compensate and/or boost your combat abilities. Like traits, there is no recommended setup and selection of skills is based upon one’s preference from practice and gained experience.

Hope this clarified skills for you and have a great year ahead! ūüôā


9 thoughts on “Skills Classification

  1. Great post as always!
    Love the fact that you mentioned that other non-legendary skills are still useful and can be used by players with different combat-skills.
    Currently using smoke veil, fire cone/flame eruption and ice burst.


  2. Dear Zung,
    Thanks a lot.
    Can I ask how to use Earth Warth like dash?
    I see the AI could do it like the Mal Rush in auto mode but I cannot figure how…


    1. Hi Alfredo,
      You’re welcome! However, I don’t think Earthen Wrath can be used like dash. It has 3 attack modes (based on how long you charge it), but there isn’t a dash-like action to any of them.

      I added another post about skills documentation (on Sunday) which you can read on what these attack modes are.

      Additionally, you can refer to this video here, but the caster only does the 1st and 3rd actions:

      Hope this helps!


  3. Hi Zung, for Smoke Veil; what is the max dodge that can be achieved after it is T6 max and after using super fusion? I’ve seen a handful of Legendary players using Predatory Instinct in raids, do you believe that if this was super fused to the max it would be a game changer similar to SV? Lastly, do you think it’s worth super fusing either Mal Rush/Fire Cone to the Max? If you would recommend that, do you k ow what the max super fusion damage would be?


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