“What makes a good hero in Shop Titans?”
In the previous segments, we’ve covered some general skills that can be learned by multiple archetypes, as well as what you’re looking for with your Fighters. This time, we’ll be taking a deeper look at the Rogue archetype specifically. Rogues are the slippery guys who take advantage of the chaos caused by your Fighters. They have average stats across the board – less HP / Def than Fighters and less Attack than Spellcasters. They make up for this with this innately high Evasion and Crit Chance stats. They survive like Fighters by evading most attacks aimed at them and they keep up with Spellcasters’ damage output with more frequent and powerful critical hits. They’re a strong middleground between the other two archetypes. One notable downside to Rogues is that they’re arguably more heavily punished by specific anti-archetype mechanics than Fighters or Spellcasters due to their heavy reliance on critical hits to deal damage and Evasion to survive a fight. There are a few boss affixes in ToT that reduce Evasion or Crit effectiveness and Extreme difficulty has a blanket 20% Evasion penalty as well.
Like last time, we’ll be going over some individual skills in-depth to find out WHY these aren’t a great option. I want to stress again – a hero with any of these skills is definitely not useless, but they are weaker than they should be. This guide will focus more on building a cohesive skillset. Fighters and Spellcasters can mostly get by if you throw a dart at a few skills that happen to have the right stats on them. A good or a bad Rogue skillset is more about how well the skills synergize together more than how good the individual skills are.
We’ll start with Backstab. This skill grants a boost to Attack and CHC – 30% / 3% at rank 1 and 80% / 15% at rank 4. For any class that wants to crit, this is not too shabby because it provides a good boost to CHC and some extra Attack. Backstab is the one of the posterchildren for the concept of a skill being “outclassed”.
A skill being outclassed doesn’t automatically make it bad, of course. Arcane Blast, Eagle Eyes, and Acrobatics are all Common skills that have at least one direct upgrade in a higher rarity skill. These three are still good choices despite that because their boost is strong enough to be competitive (AB) or a rare boost to a key stat (EE / Acrobatics). Additionally, any class that needs a weapon skill is usually fine with a Common one (provided it’s a good weapon type, of course). That being said, typically a good lower tier skill like these is only outclassed by one or two higher tier ones. Backstab is beaten out by two Rare skills that can be learned by Rogues (Hinder and Finesse) plus the universal skill Whirlwind Attack.
The low power is the bigger issue. Skill slots are very limited so you’re forced to be pretty choosey if you want to remain competitive. Rogues need to rely on Evasion to survive a fight which usually means you’re using 1-2 skills for that. Rogues typically need a weapon skill too, which eats another skill slot. If you also need CHC, then there are many better choices. Disregarding the direct upgrade skills, you have a few alternative options for CHC:
Eagle Eyes and All Natural both give huge bonuses to CHC and can effectively cover your need for the stat in one slot, which lets you grab other important stats.
Telling Blows grants more CHC than Backstab plus a boost to CD.
Deception is incredibly valuable for Rogues as it provides both CHC and Evasion in a single slot.
Next up are Sturdy, Fast Healer / Survivor / Toughness, and Juggernaut. These skills’ primary benefit is a percent boost to total health. Don’t get me wrong – HP is important and is easily the most crucial stat in the game. It’s a universal rule that your DPS drops to 0 if you’re a corpse, regardless of what game you happen to be playing. HP as a stat is important up until the point that you can comfortably survive the quest 95% of the time, and then any extra is far less impactful. These skills specifically also don’t provide any boost to combat capability (aside from the obvious “more HP” thing) and Rogues typically need to be pretty picky with their skills.
- Sturdy is simple as it only provides HP%. It’s a pretty big boost at 60%, but is a prime example of this point – it offers no additional combat help aside from allowing the user to take an extra hit or two.
- Fast Healer, Toughness, and Survivor all provide Rest Time Reduction as their secondary stat. This effect does absolutely nothing in battle so it’s partially wasted aside from one niche build we’ll get to later. Additionally, all three have less HP value than Sturdy despite being higher rarities than it.
- Juggernaut’s secondary stat is bonus Defense (75% at rank 4). This is great for Fighters but not quite as good for Rogues. Rogues can only wear Light armor so their Defense stat is typically going to be too low to get anywhere close to the 50% mitigation cap. They can’t use Shields either, which is another big piece of Defense in gear. Still, the extra Defense from Juggernaut can occasionally make the difference between a win and a loss.
Impervious is the exception here. This skill is a direct upgrade to Sturdy and is HUGE – it offers a whopping 80% HP and +150 flat HP at rank 4. This is a massive boost to survivability and is useful on all classes. You still get the inherent downsides of “no combat capability besides more HP” but this skill singlehandedly offers such a large boost that it’s well worth it if you can snag it.
Now, one huge note here – this section is primarily for general use Rogues as a whole. There are a few builds here and there that can take pretty good advantage of the extra HP offered by these skills and we’ll cover them down below.
Putting it all Together
Most other universally bad skills have already been covered in the General Skills page, so let’s put this all together. As previously mentioned, Rogues need some specific synergies and tools in their skillset compared to the other archetypes. A Fighter can throw a dart at any four skills with HP and / or Defense and will do their job alright. A Spellcaster is usually fine with (nearly) any skills that boost Attack. By contrast, a good Rogue build needs a few key components to really excel. These things are pretty important and you’ll see a noticeable difference between a Rogue that has them all (even weak versions of these pieces) and one that’s missing a component or two. A rough order is:
- 75% total Evasion (78% for Pathfinders)
- Weapon skill
- Crit Hit Chance
- Crit Damage
Note that some classes have a slightly different stat priority than the above, which we’ll cover individually. Some of these can be made up for in your gear / Spirit choice. A full set of Carbuncle spirits will grant 12% CHC & Evasion. You can get a surprisingly high amount of Evasion from gear via pieces like Cat Burglar Outfit, Woven Lilycloak, a few pairs of Gloves, and some Shoes. Some Affinity bonuses can give you a bit more Evasion or CHC as well. Additionally, Rogues inherently have 30% Evasion and 20% CHC. You usually don’t want to overshoot these stats too much because going higher than 75% Evasion / 100% CHC means you’re wasting stat power. Let’s break down each class individually next to get a better idea of this with more specific examples.
Monks are a unique Rogue class. They typically prioritize CHC just as highly (if not higher) than Evasion, they can’t wield a weapon, and they’re the only Rogue that wears Clothes instead of Light Armor. When promoted to Grandmaster, they also have access to the class-exclusive skill Destructive Strikes. This is one of the most potent offensive skills in the entire game – providing a whopping 150% Attack and 300% CD at rank 4. Monks also get a hefty 250% CD from their innate skill at rank 4.
- Since Monks have so much Crit Damage with their innate skill and Destructive strikes, you ideally want additional Attack in your skills to back it up. Hybrid Attack / CHC and Att / Eva skills are great here.
- Speaking of Destructive Strikes, yeah. Any ideal Grandmaster has this skill. It’s too good to pass up and is equivalent to a weapon skill for the other Rogues.
- Monks need Crit Chance, no two ways around it. Reliable critical hits are a crucial piece of their kit, so you need at least one skill that boosts it. Ideal candidates are All Natural / Eagle Eyes for their huge bonus, Deception for also providing some Evasion, Telling Blows, and any hybrid Att / CHC skill. Backstab is weak as previously mentioned but can be a good budget option in a pinch.
Musketeers are pretty similar to Monks in that they tend to prioritize crits over Evasion. This is due to their innate skill giving them more Crit Damage with consecutive critical hits. A typical Musketeer build is nearly identical to a Monk one, but you’ll need a weapon skill instead of Destructive Strikes for obvious reasons. Weapon skills are a HUGE deal for Rogues in general because the weapon is a massive portion of their attacking power. The ideal weapon skill here is Marksman because it boosts their best weapon type (Guns) and provides a nice bonus to Evasion which they can sometimes struggle to fit in their skillset.
Next up, Wanderers (Don’t worry, we’ll get back to Thieves at the end). This class gets a huge amount of Evasion for free from their innate skill – 20% at rank 3 and 25% at rank 4. Add in the 30% inherent to being a Rogue and you need very little Evasion from skills. Heck, it’s possible to hit the cap with zero skills. Their access to Light Armor, Shoes, and Cloaks means they can get an extra 17% from gear without taking Spirits into account. Ideally you do want SOME in your Wanderer’s skillset because it means you can use better gear that has other secondary stats on it, but this is an option if necessary.
Conversely, this also means it’s extremely easy to overcap a Wanderer / Pathfinder. For example, the Common skill Acrobatics gets a Wanderer to 70% and a Pathfinder to 80% by itself. You’ll need to keep an eye on how much you actually have to ensure you’re not wasting too much stat power. Beyond that, Wanderers are pretty flexible. They tend to be built defensively with additional HP / Def or offensively with more Crit power. A weapon skill is important for either path because even a fully invested defensive Wanderer will put out decent damage due to their more frequent crits.
- One big thing to keep in mind with the offensive path is that Wanderers are the only Rogue class that doesn’t have any bonus to their attacking stats from their innate skill. This means that an attacking Wanderer may struggle to outdamage a similarly built Rogue. Dancers autocrit on dodges & gain a bunch of free CD, Musketeers / Ninjas gain CHC that allows them to crit with nearly every hit, Monks get lots of CD plus access to Destructive Strikes (one of the most potent offensive skills in the game), and even Thieves get a miniature weapon skill. Wanderers by contrast only gain the “is a Rogue” benefit of 20% base CHC. That said, they’re a Rogue with access to Guns. Attacking builds absolutely work well on them – just don’t expect them to crit the target to death in a few turns like some of the other members of this archetype.
- On the other side of the spectrum, their higher max Evasion means they can typically stick around in a fight for far longer than the other Rogues. Musketeers / Monks typically don’t run max Evasion and Ninjas are far easier to hit when they’re knocked out of their innate. A Wanderer built with Phoenix or Lizard spirits will easily be the last hero left alive (aside from Clerics) if things go south. Additionally, the huge chunk of Evasion they get from their innate means they can more easily spec into HP and Defense in their skillset – allowing them to hang out with the Immortal Quartet style Clerics. 78% Evasion means they’re barely getting hit at all and the extra defensive stats from building them like this allows them to shrug off the few hits that they DO take.
- Finally, the aforementioned defensive potency of Wanderers means they can be a fantastic choice for ToT if you’re having difficulty clearing it. This team style is relatively easy to set up and is thus a phenomenal choice if you’re having difficulty getting more Titan Souls. More detail on this style (since it’s a pretty specific build path) can be found in the “An Answer to the Tower” page.
Ninjas are a bit of a hybrid between Wanderers and Monks / Musketeers. They have the high natural Evasion of the former and the crit-heavy focus of the latter. They get an enormous amount of CHC from their innate skill: a meaty 50% at rank 4. This puts a Sensei to 70% with no additional skills. On the flipside, this means it’s extremely easy to overcap a Ninja on both stats. The Acrobatics example from the previous bit about Wanderers applies here as well, and you can do similar with All Natural. AN grants 30% CHC at rank 4 which puts a Sensei exactly to 100%. An ideal Ninja / Sensei build has a bit of Evasion, a bit of CHC, a weapon skill, and as much Attack / CD as you can cram into the skillset. Overcapping a Ninja / Sensei on CHC or Evasion isn’t quite as big of a deal as a Wanderer because they can lose their innate skill in the middle of a fight. Having some extra Evasion lets them survive a bit more reliably while this combat bonus is unavailable. This is more important for a Ninja because their innate skill is gone for the rest of the battle when they get hit, whereas a Sensei will get it back after two turns.
Similar to Wanderers, it’s possible to hit the Evasion cap with a Ninja / Sensei with no skills due to their innate plus three Evasion gear items (only difference is they can use Gloves instead of Cloaks). Again, it’s not ideal but it’s a viable option if you need it.
Dancers are a bit unique when it comes to stat priority. Their innate skill grants them a guaranteed crit after they dodge an attack, which means that CHC as a stat doesn’t have as much impact as it does for the other Rogues. If a Dancer is in a party, less attacks are directed at them TO dodge in the first place = they’ll need to roll for a crit normally. They will also need to do this when they inevitably fail a dodge. Aside from this, a Dancer’s stat priority is pretty similar to the other Rogues. Weapon skill, Evasion, Attack, and CD are all pretty important. If your Dancer has low Evasion, then CHC can be viable as well since they won’t be dodging attacks as much as they should be.
Thieves / Tricksters
Finally, we get to the Thief / Trickster. This class gets its own section because we have a lot more to cover here. Thieves are typically built to run with Polonia due to their promoted innate skill directly boosting her unique item stealing mechanic. Thieves / Tricksters can be built as a traditional Rogue with the same general stat priorities as the others. Evasion, CHC / CD, Attack, etc. They can get away with no weapon skill because their innate provides a similar (if smaller) boost to a Common weapon skill. That said, Thieves / Tricksters built for general usage tend to be outclassed pretty hard by Dancers. A Dancer has a significantly better innate skill, better base stats, nearly identical equipment, the same Wind element, and critically do NOT need a Titan Soul. As such, Tricksters are almost always built to partner with Polonia. This means their overall damage output is minimized and made consistent as much as possible. You want as little Crit stats (both Chance and Damage) as possible because that will make the rounds a bit less volatile. Infrequent and small critical hits are pretty important here. A good Trickster trio will be optimized to drag the battle out long enough to steal all 26 items, but not too much further. A Thief / Trickster team (more than any other Rogue class) should be built using the Hero Simulator since much more fine tuning will be required. As for how to build your Tricksters, there are typically three distinct styles. Each one has their own pros and cons so it mostly depends on what you want out of them. These are Versatile, Tank, and Rest Time Reduction.
- Starting with the one that tends to be the most common these days, Versatile. If you’re familiar with any guide to Polonia-ing, then this is likely the style you’re aware of because it’s the one featured right here on STC (Thanks, Tyco!). With this setup, you can use nearly any skill that’s not “auto-fire bad”, no Common weapon skills, and no Crit skills. There are 19 viable skills (18 if you don’t want to count Extended Warranty) so it’s not too difficult to set one of these up. You’ll usually want to focus on hybrid Att / Eva skills, but nearly anything outside of those three skill categories works. This style isn’t quite as easy to gear as the next style (setting it up requires some specific tweaking / tuning) and isn’t as good at making money as the third, but the big thing is that they can be used effectively for non-Polonia things. For LCoG and even ToT, you can give them “proper” gear and they can keep up with your normal heroes. When it’s time to return to “normal”, give them their lower tier weapons and cheaper gear. With more investment, this means that you can build them to do endgame content like Void Dimension stage 2 (All-Seeing Eye) on Hard. This will let you get the usual 26 T10 items plus additional drops like Sigils and T13 items from doing the stage on Hard.
- The second (Pure Tank) is the simplest to set up. If a skill offers any kind of boost to damage, you throw it in the trash. Gear is easy too: build purely defensive. There are 13 or 14 viable skills here (again, depends on how you feel about Extended Warranty), so it’s not too difficult to roll either. This setup is extremely difficult to kill and you can slap some Mammoth spirits on them to draw attacks away from Polonia herself (Polly is usually the first / only one to die unless you take steps against it). If you happen to get an Epic weapon skill, you can get around the weapon bonus by using a weapon that it doesn’t support (a Dagger with Marksman for example) or by using an extremely low tier weapon. The main downside to using this team style is that it can sometimes struggle with doing non-Polonia things. High end content is doable with the Tricksters, but Polonia will very likely fall over due to the extended battle against a hard-hitting foe.
- The third (Rest Time Reduction) is by far the most difficult to set up because it requires high Rest Reduction Time on all three members. There are only three skills that offer this stat! Two of these (Survivor & Fast Healer) are mutually exclusive so it’s not physically possible to get all three. Not only do you need Toughness, but you also need all three to roll the same second RTR skill so their rest timers actually sync up. On top of that, this setup also has an unexpected downside: micromanaging. The goal of this style is to minimize downtime between quests as much as possible, which means you need to be setting an alarm to log in every time a quest or rest is done so they’re not idle. The upside is that the extra downtime reduction means this style is the best of the three at making money. The rest time reduction scales up with quest difficulty, so you’ll see great returns if they can handle high end content like Cinderlake or Void Dimension on Hard (Polonia will probably die at this level as usual).
- If you want to be an absolute madman, you can build two of these teams. One team rests up while the second quests to minimize downtime even further. You’ll need to use gems or stamina potions for Polonia between quests.
And that’s it for the Rogues! Next time, we’ll cover the final archetype – Spellcasters.