Raid: Shadow Legends gives champions four main areas of upgrade: masteries and skill ups. It is essential to fully understand each area in order to play well. We will dive deep into masteries.
The Essentials of Mastery
Each champion is able to attain mastery. These video game guides can be obtained by spending skill stones, which can then be farmed at the minotaur-dungeon. One champion will randomly be selected to receive mastery scrolls after each run of minotaur.
Each Champion can get 100 basic scrolls and 600 advanced scrolls. You won’t be able to receive the divine scrolls until all your advanced scrolls have been received.
You can’t get more than the number of scrolls you need to purchase all your masteries. Once a champion has all their mastery scrolls (and doesn’t matter whether you have spent them or stored them; the total is what you can receive), they won’t be able to receive any scrolls. The scrolls will then be given to the champions of your team.
Your first trek to obtain masteries will be long because your 5 champions will each receive them at approximately the same pace. However, once 4 champions are maxed out, the 5th champion will receive all mastery scrolls that drop. This allows you to train new champions faster.
Two of the three branches can be masters: Defense, Offense, and Support. The third tree is locked once you have mastered two trees. There are two tier 1 masteries; three tiers 2-5; and one tier 6 mastery.
This topic was briefly covered in my farming guide, but I will go into more detail here. You can easily farm basic masteries at any time. These masteries can be obtained quickly even at the lowest levels of the minotaurdungeon. You can get Tier 1 and Tier 2 masteries at any point you like, as they offer a slight power boost but not too difficult.
As you advance, mastery becomes exponentially more difficult. Each level requires more scrolls to progress, with the minotaur dropping fewer advanced scrolls than basic and fewer divine scrolls than advanced.
Each tier of mastery costs
- Tier 1: 5 basic Scrolls
- Tier 2: 30 basic Scrolls
- Tier 3: 80 advanced scrolls
- Tier 4: 120 advanced scrolls
- Tier 5: 200 divine scrolls
- Tier 6: 350 divine scrolls
Level 15 Minotaur (you’ll often see dungeons abbreviated and a number indicating the stage. So, for example, “mino 15” might be used in chat to refer to this dungeon). This level can give you 24-32 basic scrolls or 11-16 advanced scrolls. Or 6-12 divine scrolls. It is quite difficult to accumulate 950 divine scrolls 6-12 at once.
How to master your first team
I have often stated that you shouldn’t work towards completing your masteries until it is possible to farm Minotaur stage 14 and 15 in less than 3-4 minutes. Let me tell you why. Since stage 11 is the first stage where you can drop divine scrolls, it is impossible to master your masteries. These are the energy and time requirements to master your first five champions. They can be completed in a 3 minute run. There will be energy and runs depending on how lucky you are with how many scrolls dropped.
- Stage 11: 2060-5545 runs. 24720 – 666540 energy. 103-277.25 hours.
- Stage 12: 1550-3010 runs. 21700 – 42140 Energy. 77.5 – 150.5 Hours.
- Stage 13: 1225 to 1990 runs, 17150-27860 energy. Stage 61.25 to 99.5 hours.
- Stage 14: 765-1310 runs, 10710-18340 energy, 38.25- 65.5 hours
- Stage 15: 610 to 1095 runs; 8540 – 15330 energy; 30.5 – 54.75 hours.
Mastery unlocks in a specific order. If you have more masteries in that tier, you will be able to purchase the mastery right beside it. Or the mastery immediately below it. If you choose Keen Strike from tier 2 offence masteries you can buy Single Out , Life Drinker , Whirlwind Of Death in Tier 3, but not Ruthless Ambush. You will need to take either Shieldbreaker or Grim Resolve at tier 2, or Whirlwind Of Death at tier 3. Then, go sideways to obtain Ruthless Ambush. Sometimes, you may need to take suboptimal mastery at a higher level to be able to gain a better one at a lower level.
Resetting your masteries is free once, but it will cost you 150 gems each time. Try to do it the right way the first time, or at least twice.
Blade Disciple : +75 Attack.
This mastery is generally better than its counterpart and can only be used against champs with guaranteed criticals or who require pure attack value (for example, a bomb-placing champion). This is a rare use.
Deadly Precision +5% Critical rate
This mastery can be used by 99% of champions who use the offense tree. The attack stat is available to everyone, but not all. Most of those who use it will still get it. This is because even if you don’t have any other critical rate gear or critical damage gear, mastery combined with Keen Strike in Tier 2 gives an average 3% damage increase. This generally means that it will outperform Blade Disciple if a champion has more attack power than 2500, which nearly every attack-focused champion will.
Heart of Glory: +5% Damage when attacked with full health.
The mastery is only useful for arena champions who want to increase their initial burst or increase their chances of landing one-shots. It’s not useful in prolonged battles unless the champion is able to sustain full health through healing or any other means.
Keen Strike – +10% critical damage
It is the best tier 2 mastery of offense for any build. Combined with a decent rate of crit, it is a significant damage boost.
Shieldbreaker: +25% damage to targets when using a [Shield] buff.
It is a mostly arena-based mastery as shields are common there. High-tier arena teams will only have one member in the Shield Set. This skill is very useful in arena situations but it’s less common outside of the arena where shields are more common. However, it is useful against the Magic Keep Dungeon.
Grim Resolve – +5% damage for attacks with less than 50% HP
This mastery is more effective in long battles and synergizes well to life steal. It increases your damage when your HP drops, which increases your healing.
Single Out : Increases damage to targets with less that 40% HP by 8%
Clan bosses will have great mastery, as they spend a lot of time below 40 percent.
Life Drinker – Heals 5% of the damage caused by attacking with less than 50% HP.
Giant Slayer is not a special skill. However, once you have it, it can be a useful regen tool for clan bosses. Highly recommended.
Whirlwind Of Death: Increases speed 6 times for every enemy killed. This stacks across rounds to reach a maximum speed of 18 speeds
Good in arena, decent in dungeons, and good on solo farmers in campaign. It is useless for clan bosses. Use it accordingly.
Ruthless ambush: Increases the damage inflicted by 8 % for each enemy that is hit first.
This mastery, just like Heart of Glory is best used to amplify your starting burst.
Bring it Down: Increases damage by 6% when targeting targets with higher max HP
It’s essential for clan bosses and dungeons. The bosses will always have higher HP than you so it’s just an extra 6% damage boost. It’s also useful for most squishy damage suppliers to help break down tanky champions.
Wrath of the Slain – Increases damage by 5% for every dead ally up to 10%
This is a must-have for solo campaign farmers and a good choice for tanky champions who will outlast your team on clan boss.
Cycle of Violence: Increases the chance that a random skill’s cooldown will be reduced by 30% if the target suffers more than 30% damage. This effect occurs once per turn.
This skill can be used in arena or for farming campaign. It can be used to increase cooldowns on AoE ability to farm faster. This skill is not very useful for bosses.
Opportunist – Increases damage inflicted on targets with [Stun],[Sleep] or [Freeze] debuffs to 12%
This one is only for arenas. These effects are not available to bosses. This is true even in arena. You should only accept it if there are other members of your team who could easily inflict some status effects.
Methodical: This Champion’s default skill increases the damage by 2% every time it is used in battle. Stacks in battle for up to 10 strong>
This skill is great for those who use their default skill often. This skill is great in clan boss fights, as the fights last long enough for it to do maximum damage. It’s also great for solo farmers such as relickeeper, who can just keep increasing their farmability and make farming more simple. You will not be able to use basic attacks as often in arena.
Kill Streak: This increases the damage done to enemies by 6% in the arena and 3% at all other locations for every Champion in Battle killed. Stacks in each round up to 12 strong>
It is mostly good for campaign and arena farming, but it can also be used to help with both. You can use it to help your farmers farm. In arena, you can put it on the champion who is most likely to win the kill to help them carry.
Blood Shield: This buff places a [Shield] buff upon the Champion when that Champion kills an opponent. The [Shield]’s value is equal to 15% the Champion’s MAXHP. This happens once per turn.
Kill Streak is similar to , but is primarily for arena and farming.
Stoked to Fury: This Champion’s debuff increases damage by 4%. Stacks upto 12%
It is mostly used in arena but it is also used in clan boss builds. Every Clan boss has a debuff he can apply, so if you are affected by one of these, it will give you a 4% increase in damage.
Warmaster: A 60% chance to inflict bonus damage on an attack. Bonus damage equals 10% of the target Champion’s MAXHP or 4% when attacking Bosses. Bonus damage cannot be done more than once per Skill. Damage calculated based on [Enemy MAXHP].
This is the Giant Slayer equivalent, but it is only for champions who can hit multiple skills at once. This will be discussed in more detail at the end.
Helmsmasher: 50% chance to ignore 25% DEF of your targets. This 15% applies to skills that ignore DEF.
Tank-breaking in arena is limited. It is not a common choice due to inconsistency and the fact that most tanks in arena are very soiled even after a 25% drop. EDIT Although has been slightly buffed in the patch 1.7, it is still inconsistent and worth tanking for a tank buster.
Giant Slayer has a 30% chance to inflict bonus damage when attacked. Bonus Damage equals 5% of the target’s MAXHP or 2% for the Boss. Bonus damage can be dealt on every hit of a Skill. However, it does not count as an additional hit. Damage calculated based on [Enemy MaxHP].
This mastery will be covered more in my Clan Boss Guide. I’ll also have a section dedicated to it at the end. Scroll down for more information.
Flawless Execution – Critical Damage +20%
You will generally be able to master anyone without Giant Slayer.
One note about the defense tree: Because of Giant Slayer, and support having accuracy help as well as buff/debuff extending masteries that can be incredibly useful, Defense tree is usually considered to be fairly weak and should not be used on any champions, defensive or otherwise. It is not recommended to be used on champions that do not have a buff, debuff or require accuracy. Defense champs will often take offense to be able to help their opponents increase their damage or improve their debuffs.
Tough skin: Protection + 75
This tree is a great choice for defense champs.
Defiant + 10.
This is the best tree for anyone who isn’t a defense champion.
Blastproof – Reduces AoE damage by 5%
It is useful for Arena to avoid being bursted out, but also good for PvE, as most bosses deal AoE.
Rejuvenation: Increases healing and [Shield] buffs that the Champion receives by 5%
It is a good idea to have a shield champion or healer on your team. Self shield and self heals are also covered by this. It doesn’t appear to improve healing from lifesteal. Let me know if you have any information!
Mighty Endurance: Reduces damage by 10% for Champions who have [Stun],[Sleep],[Freeze] debuffs.
It is a very situational mastery. Therefore, it’s often eclipsed by Blastproof and Improved Parry,, Rejuvenation.
Improved Parry: Reduces damage by this Champion by 8 percent when hit with a critical hit.
It’s mainly arena, but it’s still quite good, as crits are very common.
Shadow Heal: This Champion is granted 6% of their max HP when an enemy is wounded. Only once per turn
It is possible to have tanky champions face down a heal team. However, it is still very situational. There is not much use for PvE.
Resurgent – 50% chance to remove one random debuff from this Champion if they lose 25% or more of their MAXHP from an enemy skill.
Only useful for PvP and very inconsistent.
Bloodthirst: This Champion will be healed by 10% of their maximum HP when they kill an opponent target. Cooldown: One turn
Excellent ability to farm solo, or in an arena for some sustain.
Wisdom of Battle – Has a 30% chance to place a [Block Debuffs] buff onto this Champion for 1 turn, when [Stun],[Sleep] and [Freeze] debuffs on this Champion expire.
Not recommended for anyone who is extremely inconsistent or highly situational.
Solidarity – Increases Ally Resist 5 for every buff given to them by this Champion.
If your champion has multiple buffs to cast, this is a good mastery.
Delay Death: This reduces the damage that a Champion takes from an enemy by 0.755% for every hit. Damage reduction stacks up until 6% per enemy.
Tanky champions that can endure long battles are the best. To max it out, you need 8 hits. Squishier champions are likely to die before they can get the best out of this mastery.
Harvest Despair: 60% chance to place a [Leech] debuff in 1 turn for [Stun],[Sleep], and [Freeze] debuffs
A [Leech] buff means that champions that attack the champion with the leech debuff heal 10% of their damage. This is a kind of team lifesteal buff that only works against a particular target. If you can place one or more of these buffs, this mastery is very good. These buffs don’t work on bosses so this mastery is arena-only.
Sturdiness: Increases RESIST 10 for every debuff dealt to this champion. Stacks up until 30.
Although it is possible to resist debuff spam, this is not a common skill. Situationally useful in arena.
Selfless Defender: Reduces damage received by an ally from the first enemy to be hit in every round by 20%. Instead, this Champion will take the damage.
It’s a good way to get a tanky champion to do some damage to your squishier targets. It’s best to not put it on squishy champions as they will explode more quickly.
The Cycle of Revenge: A 50% chance to increase the Turn Meter by 15% if an ally is hit with a critical strike. Only increases the Turn Meter once when an ally gets multiple critical hits from one skill.
It is useful for speeding up slower champions in the arena. However, it is not recommended outside of arenas where critical hits are more rare.
Retribution: This Champion has a 50% chance of counterattacking if they lose 25% or more from one enemy skill.
This skill is the best in the Defense tree. It’s great for arena and PvE, especially when paired with life steal. Get hit, counter-attack, heal back up.
Deterrence: An ally can counterattack an enemy 20% if they use a [Stun],[Sleep],or [Freeze] debuff.
Situational. It is probably not worth taking over any of the 3 masteries at this tier.
Iron Skin: Def + 200.
Bravo to a defense champ that isn’t taking giant Slayer.
Bulwark: Reduces damage received by all allied allies by 5% Instead, this Champion will take the damage.
This works well in conjunction with Selfless Defender to mitigate some damage to squishy targets.
Fearsome Presence: Increases your chance of receiving a [Stun],[Sleep],[Freeze], or [Provoke] debuff using Skills or Artifacts by at least 5%
If you have any of these, Arena is a great place to be. These people have a low chance of being placed so it is worth getting a boost. These don’t apply for bosses so Arena-only.
Unshakeable: Resist + 50.
This much resistance is not necessary. Pass.
Steadfast: Max HP +810.
You can master the basics but Pinpoint Accuracy will be more helpful if you have to place debuffs. This is the best choice for debuff-free players.
Pinpoint Accuracy: Ac + 10.
If you have debuffs to put, it is almost an automatic choice.
Lay on your Hands: This increases the healing power of this Champion’s heals by 5%
Are you able to heal? This mastery is yours. This mastery does not include continuous healing buffs. The buff is placed, and the BUFF heals them based upon their maximum HP. This does not apply to the champion. Sir Nick will, however, not be able to heal more using this mastery.
Shieldbearer – Increases the [Shield] buffs that this Champion casts by 5 percent
Are you able to use shields? This mastery is yours.
Exalt in Death: This Champion is healed by 10% of their Max HP when an enemy is killed.
It’s Tier 3 defense mastery. But it’s better than that because you don’t have to hit the fatal blow. It can only be used once per round but it is still useful for single farmers and in arena.
Charged focus: Increases ACC to 20 for Champions who have no Cooldown skills.
It is great for applying your opening debuff, and generally well worth it.
Healing Savior: This Champion increases the healing power and [Shield] value by 10% when the target ally has less than 40% HP.
Are you able to use shields or heals? This mastery is yours.
Rapid Response: This Champion has a 30% chance to increase the Turn Meter’s accuracy by 10% after a buff is removed or expired.
For buff-based champions, get a free turn meter increase This is a great choice.
Swarm Smiter: Increases your Acc by four for every enemy you kill. Stacks up 16
Excellent for arena and decent elsewhere. This is a 4 accuracy freebie even if you are a clan boss. This is a good option if you have debuffs.
Arcane Celerity – Has a 30% chance to increase the Turn Meter’s accuracy by 10% when a Champion’s debuff is removed or expires.
This is Rapid Response only for debuffers. It’s worth it if you care more about buffs than debuffs.
Merciful Aid: This Champion’s mercy aid increases the amount of healing and [Shield] buffs by 15% if the target ally is equipped with [Stun],[Sleep], [Freeze] debuffs.
These debuffs are very rare in PvE, so their use is much more limited. Only limited use in PvP
Cycle of Magic: Increases the chance that a random skill’s cooldown will be reduced by 5%. This is at the beginning of each turn.
Although it’s rare, this can be very useful. This can be useful if you have a champion that has a long cooldown and you are using them in long fights such as clan boss.
Lore of steel: This increases the set bonuses for Basic Artifact sets by 15% This is a multiplicative increase, and not an additive.
This is because the game doesn’t define a Basic Artifact Set. However, it appears that sets that increase your main stats and don’t have any extra effects are included. This means: Offense, Life and Defense, Crit Rates, Crit Damage, Crit Speed, Resist, Accuracy. This multiplicative bonus is multiplicative. It will, for instance, increase the bonus of an Offense set from 15% to 17.25%. It’s still free stats. It’s a pretty impressive mastery.
Evil Eye: Reduces the target’s Turn Meter if the Champion hits the target with their default skill for the first time. Reduces the Turn Meter 20% for single-target Skills, and 5% for AoE Skills.
This mastery was buffed to 1.7. It now applies the turn meter reduction to the default skill, regardless of whether it’s used first or last. It is therefore much more useful in arena. It is still outclassed in PvE by Lore of Steel, and Cycle of Magic.
Lasting Gifts: This Champion has a 30% chance of extending the duration by one turn any buff it casts. It does not increase [Block Damage],[Unkillable], or [Revive On Death] buffs.
It is a must-have for buff-based champions. This greatly increases the efficiency of buffs and their up-time. These are the three buffs that can’t be extended.
Spirit Haste: Increases SPD 8 for every dead ally. You can stack up to 24.
Similar to Wrath of the Slain for offense but with speed. You can have tanky champions who will outlast your team. But Gorgorab is a good choice to give him a speed boost and get his AoE back up quickly.
Sniper: Increases your chances of placing any debuffs from Skills or Artifacts up to 5%. It does not increase your chances of [Stun],[Sleep],[Freeze], or [Provoke] placing debuffs.
Mastery of debuffers is a great trait. Be aware of the debuffs that don’t improve and your champion’s accuracy. They will not benefit from this mastery if they have a 100% chance.
Master Hexer: This Champion has a 30% chance of extending the duration of any debuff by one turn. It does not prolong [Stun], [Sleep],[Freeze] or [Provoke] buffs.
This mastery is just like Lasting gifts for buffs. It’s essential to debuffers. As always, be aware of the limitations.
Elixir for Life: Max HP + 3000
A decent buff for HP champions. But there are better masteries.
Timely Intervention: This Champions’ Turn Meter is increased by 20% when an ally hero falls below 25% HP.
This is a great way to speed up a healer’s time to save an ally who is weak.
Oppressor: For every active debuff cast, the Champion increases the Turn Meter fill rate by 2.5%. Stacks up 10%
This is essentially a 10% speed boost at maximum. It’s not bad if there are lots of debuffs being spread consistently.
Eagle Eye: Acc + 50.
The best mastery for debuff-focused champions to make sure you are applying them.
Giant Slayer, Warmaster
Why does Giant Slayer and Warmaster (WM), get their own sections?
Giant Slayer, Warmaster, are the most valuable masteries in this game. It is what separates the end-game content from the beginning and middle-game. Because it impacts all masteries, each mastery must be weighed against “Why would I get this ability, Giant Slayer and Warmaster?” If you plan to use the champion in dungeons and on Clan Bosss, there is virtually no other tier six mastery that can match or even surpass it.
Let’s get back to the basics:
Giant Slayer has a 30% chance to inflict bonus damage when attacked. Bonus Damage equals 5% of the target’s MAXHP or 2% for the Boss. You can get bonus damage for every hit of a Skill. However, it does not counter an additional hitDamage that is based on [Enemy Maximum HP em>
Warmaster: A 60% chance to inflict bonus damage on an attack. Bonus damage equals 10% of the target Champion’s MAXHP or 4% when attacking Bosses. Bonus damage cannot be applied to more than one Skill. It does not count towards an additional hit. Damage calculated based on [Enemy MAXHP em]
On easy, the Clan boss has approximately 30 million HP. 22% is 150,000 damage. However, the Clan Boss has an Infernal Resilience passive that increases damage based upon max HP. This includes Giant Slayer or Warmaster. The damage is reduced further by the boss’ defense and can be increased with Weaken and Defense down. Giant Slayer, Depending on the boss’ debuffs, can do between 50-70k when it triggers. Its chance of activating is PER HIT. This is the BIG deal. A champion such as Athel who hits 3 times has a 30% chance of activating it. A third hit could trigger it three times and do an additional 150-210k damage. Every turn.
You won’t be able to increase your damage above the 4-5 million mark without Giant Slayer and Warmaster. That would be an exceptional team. It will be difficult for most to reach 3 million keys. Your damage can easily be increased by GS or WM up to 400-500%.
GS and WM are required to do sufficient damage to the clan boss in order to obtain a chest at high difficulty tiers.
High-level bosses have significant HP, so GS and WM are equally effective.
It’s so vital that it will be given to every champion who visits a clan boss. Even if they’re not the best user, because it is unlike any other mastery. End-game teams often include champions like the apothecary who might otherwise be a poor hero. They have a 3-hit A1 as well as a speed buff that allows them to get more attacks.
GS and WM can’t crit and are not affected by attack. Once they have it, people will often dump attack or crit stats to increase their speed and survivability so that they can get as many attacks before dying. These are amplified with Defense Down and Weaken, making them almost essential for maximizing your damage.
Life steal is also triggered by GS and WM. This means that your champion will be healed for 17-18k HP when they trigger. It almost guarantees that a champion with life steal will survive until the Clan Boss has done enough damage to kill them.
GS and WM can have a huge distorting impact on the metagame. Clan Boss, the main focus of end game gearing, is at the moment arena. Arena is not challenging enough to make it difficult, so much emphasis is placed on clan boss. This means that the current metagame is essentially dictated by clan boss. They determine which gear is the best and are one of the reasons speed sets are so popular. It also impacts who champions are viable and what team compositions are optimal.
GS vs WM
Which is better? Many people mistakenly believe that WM will cause twice the damage as GS. While this is true for Clan Boss outside of Clan Boss. However, Clan Boss passive reduces the base damage of WM to 75k. This is the same as GS.
For champions who have a primary attack that hits 3 or more times, GS is better than WM. For 1-hit champions, WM is more effective than GS. Two-hit champions are equal on damage expected. This is why:
War Master: 60% chance to hit 75k, but can only be activated once. GS: 30% chance to hit 75k, can activate multiple times.
The WM average is 45k damage/hit. 60% x 75k = 45k. It has only one proc chance. I tested it. It’s a flat 60% chance.