I have been planning on making this guide for some time but I haven't really started on it until now. I started Shai upon returning to the game and I find that I really enjoy the class. Some people don't really like Shai due to various reasons, but in my opinion it is probably the most beginner friendly class besides the usual picks like Witch/Wizard.
If there are updates to the guide, I will edit a new version number and a quick detail of the update:
Version 1.0: Quick summary of class
Here is my take on the class and I am scoring each point out of 10:
1. Class Summary
- You can fight with combos or do a nuke if you have a solid AP (8/10)
- You are somewhat mobile (5/10, you definitely lose to Musas, Mystics and the other mobility classes)
- You can buff, heal, sustain longer in fights (9/10, taking a point off for the slight delay casts if using instrument)
- You play music! No one else can do it (except the silly rented flute). (10/10)
- Beginner friendly as you start off as Professional in Gathering and Alchemy so it can easily become a lifeskill character (10/10)
- You don't have weight issues (10/10)
- You don't need to worry about skill points. The skill tree is small so you can easily complete them by the time you level (10/10)
- Very good at sustaining dps on a specific target as you can manually control the Florang to do multiple hits, albeit with less mobility when doing so (7/10)
- Because the class is partially considered a mobility class, there are very limited guards. You do get super armors in quite a number of skills but can be very situational (6/10)
- Attempting to sprint always ends up using the Hop skill unless you remember to turn off combat or you are equipping the instrument at the time. This can be annoying if you wanted to run faster or really just wanted to go to the next spot in your grind (1/10)
- You get labelled a lolicon if you declare your love for Shai (screw toxic chat)
- No mounted combat (???/10 depending on how much you find mounted combat to be important)
- Talents do not get skill add ons (however some talents will have better effect as you enhance your Sol)
- The Talent system is separate from Awakening, and Sol do not count as awakening weapon. Therefore, you can't open Awakening weapon boxes on Shai.
2. Skills Summary (only the essentials)
Primary (Florang skills):
I took out a lot of useless skills from this list. Skill combos can be mixed depending on situation but I often use RMB (2 hits) > Backward + LMB > Backward + RMB> LMB + RMB (situational) > reposition and repeat. You can easily reposition by doing Hop or Twirl.
Hop -> You dodge with a short invincibility. Very useful for kiting and hit and runs. This is your most important skill in cancelling and dodging enemies. You can repeat Hops as many times as you want but the invincibility does not take place during cooldown. (10/10)
Tuck and roll -> Phasing forward roll with super guard and attack speed buff. A highly situational skill (7/10)
Twirl -> One of the most commonly used skill as you do a hit and run. The skill can also add on to regen life on hit, which is super effective given the high number of combo count. It can also be used to switch to Florang immediately after using your instruments. (10/10)
One-Two-Three -> One of the main dps skills where you do forward ranged attacks twice, followed by an aoe around you. The aoe is rarely effective so it is best to cancel to a after the first two hits, or simply sustain the florang with the later passive Go! (8/10)
Hop Three -> Also one of the main dps skills where you do a forward aoe and puts up a guard at the same time. Your dp is buffed while doing this skill (10/10)
Light Bag -> Basically makes you carry more while you level up so it's easy to grind and loot. There's no reason not to enjoy this bonus! (10/10)
Kwik-Two -> Another main dps skill where you quickly move backwards while your florang sustains a forward ranged attack. This skill can add on to regen life (10/10)
Twirl-Three -> Depending on your combo, this skill can work as a dps skill but the animation is not as fast as others (7/10)
Eat This! -> Fastest forward ranged attack and can add on for more DOTs (8/10)
Cheer Up -> One of the most important skills as it works as a heal over time skill (10/10)
Come Out Come Out-> Mostly works for PVP where you bring people out of stealth. If they are wearing camouflages, this skill reveals their name. However, you cannot cancel the animation and that will make you suffer attacks for 3 seconds. You rarely need to use this in PVE unless you want to be a joke. (5/10)
Get Well -> Instantly brings up your hp. 3 times (10/10)
Over here! -> Protected Area with knock back but you are immobile during cast. You can use this as a last resort if you are waiting for heals to come off cooldown (8/10).
Gathering Whiz / Joy of Gathering -> just a bit of gathering bonus because why not? (10/10)
Alchemy Whiz / Joy of Alchemy -> yeap it's useful because alchemy leveling is time consuming (10/10)
Note that most musics can be cancelled/chained by switching to a different piece manually. Drums cannot chain.
Melody of Light-> Change to your instruments. You may not need to use this button manually if you have assigned songs to quickslot (I highly recommend to do so as you can switch to a song buff immediately midway during your fight).
Tuning -> You can either manually cast this if you are bored or you need to regen HP or resources. Alternately, your character will auto activate this if not doing anything while on instruments mode. (7/10)
Misty Haze -> Decrease enemy DP and accuracy. if in a party setting, this will be very useful. This song is improved by upgrading your Sol. (8/10)
Delusive Light -> Decrease enemy crits and movespeed. if in a party for PVP, this will be useful. This song is improved by upgrading your Sol. (7/10)
Do it better! -> Gives an AP buff after a short cast (this cannot be cancelled). (9/10)
Sun, Moon, Stars -> My pride and joy. This skill buffs attack and move speed, and can be further improved by upgrading your Sol. You really start moving faster than usual and if you are one of those who enjoy high speed combat, this brings you up to that level. I recommend to max this if you are a solo player. (10/10)
Shout to the Sky -> Buffs max hp for yourself and allies and gives a one time heal (unless you repeat the song buff). For supporting Shais, you can choose to max this to better improve your allies' max hp during fights. (10/10)
Time to Shine! -> Increase black spirit rage recovery. Well what can I say? (7/10)
Summer Rain -> Increase debuff resistance. If in pvp, this piece of music is important (9/10)
Forest Echo -> The best AOE for Shai if you are grinding weaker mobs. You do not need to target the mobs, the song just smites them all around you. If your AP is high, you can just run into the middle of a group and launch this tactical nuke. You can continuously sustain this nuke by holding the commands manually, and it will only end if you used up your stamina. (9/10)
Sun's Fury-> Single burst that will also decrease all speed on your enemies, but the cast time will not be worth it unless you are in a chase so this is more oriented towards PVP (8/10).
Earth's Tremble -> Single burst that will do a short stun on your enemies. Varied uses. (8/10)
3. Tips to be a better Shai
- Like any class, you need to train your stamina up. This is especially important to sustain your Forest Echo or to do more Twirls.
- Learn to switch between music and combat with ease. You only need two or three songs in your quick slot as you can chain music with commands manually so choose the songs most important to you. Never put a drumming music on quickslot as it makes you less mobile during an emergency.
- Always remember to change to autorun with T after combat so you can sprint properly.
- Music deals better damage in PVP but your cast/animation times will delay a good effort. Until you have an advantage, use your Florang skills to deal some damage (however minor it is), stay mobile / heal, then switch to music to wreck some havoc (but don't rely on this too much, Shais are severely penalised in PVP and your cast time for songs will make it redundant in a high speed combat so it is usually better to run away unless you are there to tank/support for a group).