BDO Shai guide - learn the ins and outs of a charming support
Welcome to our Black Desert Online Class Guide again, Traveler!
This time, we guess it’s time to talk about Shai finally. Leveling her to 61 was a pain in the beginning, but then, it turned into a walk in the park. It appears to be that the “first support class in Black Desert Online” can easily manage everything by itself, sometimes worse, sometimes better than other classes. Today we will learn the ins and outs of our Loli girl, so you can see that she is not only a mighty buffing bard but a formidable foe in 1v1 PvP, as well as an incredible farmer in the later stages of the game.
Table of contents:
Why Choose Shai as Your Main?
The class that stole the “loli” from original BDO Loli - Tamer. Black Desert Online was famous for a lot of things. Advanced action combat system, vast open world with no fast traveling, amazing character creation, open-world PvP, and advanced PvP group play like Node Wars and Sieges. On top of that, it offers multiple Life Skills that can be enjoyable for hundreds of hours thanks to the progression system. But it was also famous for not having a classic class system that pushes players towards claiming a specific role in group or solo play. It means that there are no designated DPS, Tank, and Healer classes. Every class can manage in all stages of the game by itself. Every Class can choose to go for a DP build and be a tank. Every Class can go for as much AP as possible to be able to one-shot an enemy after applying a CC and following up with a combo. However, when Shai was announced, Pearl Abyss stated that Shai would be the first Support Class in the game, with Awakening that will be based around buffs, heals, debuffs, Crowd Control, and some basic damage here and there. A few months, Shai is released, and it’s precisely what was promised.
Since all classes are heavily based around their Awakening during grinding, Shai, with close to no damaging spells in her Awakened state, seems like a burden. Surprisingly, Shai is actually top-tier in Endgame PvE Content. It’s peculiar to see, especially when you compare the number of her available skills to other classes, which seem kind of overloaded with mechanics, animation cancels, and various movement-based skills. However, the amount of damage that Shai can dish out in her small, but devastating combos, especially against monsters, is truly out of this world. A good Shai can go for end-game grind spots earlier than other classes, and she can do it faster. And since you don’t really need Awakening to use your most powerful skills, as Shai will grind in her Pre-Awakening state, if you have sufficient AP+DP+Evasion, you can grind at Griffons at level 50 without many issues. It is crazy when you compare other classes that require much better gear and higher level.
With that being said, if you end up not really liking the Shai playstyle, you should immediately create a different character. Shai is not like other classes. The playstyle doesn’t change. Warrior, for example, switches from a weak sword and board to a massive two-handed greatsword, that grants more damage, utility, and some advanced animation cancels. Valkyrie starts with sword and board as well, receiving a Lancia when she completes the Awakening quest, which allows her to basically pummel her enemies into the ground, becoming an absolute powerhouse. Take a look at Musa. From a simple and somewhat clunky katana-wielder to a tornadoing Tasmanian devil with a Crescent Blade in his hands, that has the best mobility of all classes in the game and can tear through Trash Mobs during grinding like crazy.
There’s nothing like that for Shai. You get your Florang at level 1, and you are stuck with that as your primary offense tool for your entire BDO gameplay. All you get after your Awakening is a bunch of instruments that will be mainly used for buffs, debuffs, and heals. Of course, there are some attacking abilities, three to be exact, but your gameplay will still be based around using this boomerang-ish thing. So be smart. If that class doesn’t seem enjoyable for you at the start, you can and should just ditch this class and pick another one. Unless you want to survive up until you can grind on top-tier grind spots earlier than other classes, nothing will change, but you might feel a little bit better. But if you like looking at Shai, you should go for it.
Status: Your Basic Attack
A simple attack that all classes in the game have. Swing your Florang to deal some damage and recover your MP. Will be only used when you need MP, and you have no other way of obtaining it.
Status: Invincible Movement Tool
This one is your standard movement tool that most classes have in their Pre-Awakening kit. You can use it off-cooldown, but it won’t have all of its capabilities. Cooldown is at 4 seconds, and if you use it each 4 seconds, you will be invincible during the entire animation, and you will gain some extra (5%) movement speed for the next 5 seconds. So basically - you will spam this ability during grinding and use it as your iFrame in PvP. Also, no collision while moving. Walls and obstacles don’t count, but enemies do.
There’s also one crucial thing that translates into your Awakening. When you are playing a song, you can use this ability to dodge abilities, your song will continue, and you will be safer.
Status: Roll and Tuck with Super Armor
Basically, what the status says. Three-second cooldown, Super Armor during the animation, no collision with enemies and NPCs, and +20% Attack Speed buff for yourself that lasts for 10 seconds.
Status: Standard Kick
Just your generic kick under the [F] key. It can float enemies on good hits, and it will recover some mana. Don’t you dare use it in a real fight against a real enemy in PvP, because the animation is way too long, and you are not protected at all?
Status: Like there’s a Bear nearby
This quickslot only skill works like a fake death pill. Think of Metal Gear Solid 3, for example. It’s a skill that you can use to turn invincible for 2 seconds while playing out the standard death animation. It’s a pretty good ability that can be used any time, as long as you are not stuck in any other animation or a stunned-like state. It works only against players, and only if you manage to deceive them, monsters will not fall for that trick and will keep attacking you after your invincibility ends. It has a 10-minute cooldown, so use it sparingly.
You can use it 1v1 as well as in group PvP, but keep in mind that if you are using this skill, and after 2 seconds you get caught in an AoE, you will receive damage. In theory, this skill will be great in Open World PvP, and you will use it when you know that you might lose EXP after you get jumped on Arsha (PVP) server. Some players - you will be able to deceive. Grinders on Arsha tend to kill you, and they will immediately proceed to kill mobs again. However, those who know your class, their class, and they know the damage that can be dished out, they will see through your smoke and mirrors, and they will wait at your body for a few seconds to attack you again when your invincibility ends. And then, playing dead will just turn into dead. So don’t rely on it all the time.
Status: Fairy Dust Buff
Sprinkle your ally or enemy with sparkling fairy dust. It works like a buff, and like a debuff, depending on the target that gets hit by it. It looks like an AoE, but don’t be deceived by the Shai Loli Gods in tight dresses. This skill will hit only one target. When you hit your ally, you will resupply them with +20% of their WP/SP/MP. However, if you hit your enemy, you will remove 10% of their WP/SP/MP.
This ability has no cooldown, so you can essentially keep your ally ready to fight at all times while keeping your enemy unable to fight at all times as long as you’ve got the aim.
Outta My Way!
Status: What she said, Super Armor Shai coming through
This skill sends a wave of energy around Shai, pushing back enemies. The whole animation has Super Armor status, so you cannot get CC’d out of it (you can still get grabbed, though). Also, you and your allies around you (up to 10 of allies) will gain +10 AP for a stunning 30 seconds. It’s a fantastic Skill that will keep enemies away from you in specific scenarios.
Status: Pure Damage
One of your better grinding tools. It can deal a lot of damage, thanks to the accuracy buff you will deal even more of it, and you will recover some of your MP to supply your buffs. Great ability overall.
Status: Some more Damage + BSR + Stiff
One of your skills with the highest damage that will be spammed in PvE for some severe damage. It has a 5-second cooldown, and it can be used on cooldown, but it won’t have all of the cool properties, like applying Stiffness, for example, that is one of the best CCs to start your 3 CC combo on most classes. PvE enemies will die like flies when you spam this skill on them, with the addition of Twirl.
Status: Florang Mind Control
After using One-Two-Three, you can control it with your mind to redirect your damaging Florang when it’s in the air, but only after you hit your enemies with “ONE” part of this skill. It seems silly, but it’s an excellent addition if your target is moving, and is moving fast.
Status: I don’t even know + Forward Guard
Florang does a circle in front of you, damaging enemies and applying Forward Guard to yours truly, while yours truly hops back. This attack also lowers the DP of your enemies for 10 seconds by 10%. A good thing to have.
Status: Holy Grail of BDO Players
Acquiring higher Weight Limit is a very touchy subject in Black Desert Online. In general, every player should opt to gain as much weight limit as possible to ensure that you won’t have to go back to your horse or jog off the grind spot too early. It will allow you to stack more silver, more trash loot, and to take more pots with you, especially when it comes to valuable buffs and elixirs, as those can get pretty heavy if you are planning some more extended grinding session. It will be even more crucial if you are going to grind on Arsha, you will have to be prepared for any situations when it comes to buffs. Same thing with Life Skills, the more Weight Limit you have, the more effective Gathering and Processing will be.
This skill will fix some of your weight limit problems, but it won’t take care of all of them. You will gain more and more weight limit the higher you manage to level up as Shai. You will still have to resort to weight limit bonuses from Pearl Shop and Loyalty currency, combined with Strength Training, to be at the top of efficiency when it comes to the weight. But still, with everything maxed out, Shai will be the most efficient Processing character in the game, as you will be able to use your processing outfit for a longer time before you have to check BDO to empty the inventory due to weight limit.
Status: Unsafe Getaway Card
Ability with damage similar to Twirl. Your Shai jumps backward, throwing Florang in front of her, gaining some distance and damaging enemies in the process. The distance traveled due to Korean back-dash will increase as you put more points into this. Keep in mind that this skill has absolutely none defensive capabilities like Forward Guard, Super Armor, Invincibility, or iFrame. None of that, so it’s an excellent move to use during PvE scenarios when CC isn’t coming, but it can be your absolute doom in PvP unless you know that you are safe (for example, your target is stunned in 1v1 or something like that). Outside of that, using it when you are about to receive a hit, and you want to dodge it - is a big Loli no-no.
Status: Long Super Armor + Damage + DP Debuff
This ability has a veeeeeeeeery long animation. And that’s a good thing thanks to the Super Armor status that is active throughout the whole windup and attack animation. It can also deal with a decent amount of damage, and it will reduce all DP of opponents hit (up to 5 targets) by 10% for 10 seconds, which is a very valuable debuff against basically anyone.
Status: Great damage + Stun Follow-up after Stiff
It is a very slow ability, and it’s not protected, so you should not use it in PvP unless you know that it’s safe to use. And when is it safe to use? When your enemy can’t do anything to you. And since this skill is a Stun, it’s a perfect follow-up after your Stiff, so you can set up a huge Three Crowd Control combo. Also, you can use it during PvE for some good damage. Don’t you ever use it when it puts you in danger, because you’ll be in a bit of a threat, to put it simply? The damage is high in this, if Shai were a purely offensive character, this would be one of her most potent Awakening abilities, but since her Awakening is based on buffing, and providing utility, this skill got placed in pre-awakening. It’s powerful.
Status: Great-value AoE DoT Heal
What the status says. It’s your pseudo E buff, as you can use it by pressing “E” or activating it from your quickslot. There is a proper E buff in your Awakening, but first, let’s talk about this one. It’s not protected, but it has a short animation, meaning that this skill will be activated in most cases. Is it worth dying for? No, it isn’t. So you still have to be careful with this one.
When you activate it, you and max ten allies around you will get some massive heals. Each target will regenerate 200 HP every 5 seconds for 60 seconds. See the value? You and ten other people will receive free healing for 1 minute straight, and with cooldown at 1 minute, you can keep it running for eternity. 2400 HP per a guy from your uber pal club is an excellent deal, and when used properly, it can be a significant upgrade to your battle prowess.
Come Out, Come Out
Status: Wherever you are
Now, this one is a fascinating ability. That natural two-hit combo of the name + status describes this skill perfectly. Your Shai starts jumping around with a lantern-like a random, genetically modified loli person, but it happens for a reason. For a few short moments, up to 10 enemy players will have their DP reduced by 10 for 10 seconds in PvP, and their names will be revealed if they are hidden. You create that horror mini-game basically, revealing players in a medium-large radius around you. You also have a Super Armor status. So if those weasels are hiding in a trunk of your car, or somewhere on the sidelines, waiting to ambush you, you can use it to reveal them, gain Super Armor, GAIN 10 DP yourself, and remove 10 DP from up to 10 hostile targets. PvE enemies don’t like to be discovered, and they will attack you when they see you using this skill.
Status: Or Die Trying
Heal yourself and your allies around you. HP will be recovered in 3 quick ticks, recovering 700 HP per tick for up to 10 targets. The animation is quite long, unprotected, but it’s a good investment to use it when you are in a massive group fight.
It also has a BSR version that heals only 500 HP per tick, but there are seven more ticks, and you will receive a Super Armor state. Sweet.
Status: Sphere protection and Debuff
Now, it will seem a little bit crazy. This ability creates a protective sphere around you. Every attack of the enemy that occurs outside of the circle and travels to hit anyone standing in your circle will be entirely blocked by the edge of your protective area. You gain Super Armor when you use this skill. Additionally, enemies inside the area will receive a 50% debuff to their Attack Speed, Casting Speed, and Movement Speed for 2 seconds upon activation.
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Status: Bonus Gathering EXP
Another thing that makes Shai better at Gathering than other classes. Well, maybe not better, but faster, when it comes to gaining EXP
Joy of Gathering
Status: Joy Of Becoming A Murder Machine
When you perform Gathering of any kind, you will gain +300% Combat EXP. Sweet
Status: Bonus Alchemy EXP
What the status said.
Joy of Alchemy
Status: Joy Of Becoming A Murder Machine Part II
Same thing as with Gathering. You will gain +300% Combat EXP.
Shai Awakening Skill Guide
Melody of Light
Status: Whip out your instruments
Shai has some unique surprise things in her kit. She can use three instruments, a Tamtam, a Tring, and a Tute. It sounds stupid, but hey, it works.
Do it Better!
Status: Shai’s E Buff
Very special buff. All classes have their E buff that applies only to them. However, Shai’s buff is quite extraordinary. Because you can apply this buff not only to yourself but to 10 allies around you, it’s simply amazing. What will you all get? All AP +30 for 30 seconds, and +5% damage to all Special Attacks for 30 seconds. Also, this buff has Super Armor, so you can be interrupted only if you get grabbed.
Status: Keep You And Your Allies Healthy
Tune your thing, some doodling here and there, and you will be able to heal 150 HP per 3 seconds, and +5% MP/SP/WP per 3 seconds to yourself and your friends, up to 10 of them.
Status: Sinister Disabling Tune
Gain Super Armor while playing a tune with your instrument that will expose your enemies, leaving their defenses slightly broken. Up to 10 hostile targets will have their Evasion Rate, and DP decreased by 10% for 20 seconds. This thing will truly hurt some mystics, strikers, and berserkers.
Status: Combat Efficiency Debuff
The Critical Hit rate of your enemies will be reduced by 50% for 20 seconds. Movement Speed will also be reduced for 20 seconds, but only by 10%. It affects up to 10 enemies.
Sun, Moon, Stars
Status: Speed Buff For Allies
Attack Speed, Casting Speed, and Movement Speed will be increased by 10% for 30 seconds for yourself and up to 10 of your allies. Use it when it’s your turn to strike back at the enemy.
Shout to the Sky
Status: Enormous HP Boost
This one is big. This ability can affect up to 10 allies + yourself. Shai starts playing a tune inspired by the beauty of life, you receive 1500 Max HP for 30 seconds, and you recover 500 HP instantly. This buff is insane, and it can turn the tide of the battle.
Time to Shine!
Status: Black Spirit Recovery
What the status says. You and your ten allies at max will receive +0,45% Black Spirit’s Rage Recovery for 20 seconds, which can be useful, especially when your people know how to recover BSR quickly.
Status: Debuff Resistance
All debuff resistances will be increased by 40% for 20 seconds, which, again, works for you and 10 of your comrades. Resistances are still reduced during pure PvP encounters, but this buff can make a nice difference in any combat scenario.
Status: Stiffness + Damage + Super Armor
Send musical splinters towards your enemies. The ability hits 16 times, and it can deal a lot of damage. Which is consistent if you want to finish it, since this ability grants you Super Armor, so you will only have to watch out for grabs.
Status: Damage + Speed Debuff + Super Armor
You play a tune that causes the sun to drop its heat onto your enemies. You gain Super Armor, you deal a lot of damage, and you take away 20% of your enemy’s Attack, Casting, and Movement Speed for 10 seconds on good things.
Status: Damage + Super Armor + Stun
Shake the ground with your tunes to deal damage, while gaining Super Armor and Stunning opponents on good hits, up to 10 of them to be exact, but you’ve already expected that.
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Shai PvP Guide
Saying that Shai feels kind of unique in comparison to other Black Desert Online classes is a pure understatement. It’s the only class that is focused on supporting. Shai has some damage and Crowd Control, but she doesn’t have the same capabilities as other classes. She won’t smash people with a giant sword, she won’t impale enemies on a Kerispear, and she won’t pummel anyone into the ground like Berserker or Valkyrie. With that being said, it’s tough to tell if a class like Shai would work in an MMORPG as focused around combat and grinding as Black Desert Online. But she does work, in her special kind of way.
Shai 1v1 Guide
Most classes in the game depend on the decent balance between AP and DP, movement, avoiding CC, and things like that. Shai turns the system on its head, being a pure Support that specializes in buffing and survival.
This class doesn’t have enough damage abilities or mechanics to be efficient in PvP scenarios by herself. Of course, she can buff herself, and apply some Crowd Control here and there, but she will never be as capable as other classes in Solo Play. However, there’s one playstyle that can make Shai quite decent in surviving, but she will still need to put in a lot of work to make it… work.
In 1v1 PvP, Shai will work only as a Full Evasion + DP Tank that avoids damage and prolongs the death, to discourage her enemy from fighting. Really, fighting a 471 DP, and 850 Evasion Shai is exhausting. It’s like fighting that Boss at the beginning of a game that is scripted for you to lose, even if you win, you lose in the cutscene. And it doesn’t help that this boss has 8,000 HP, and you deal 11 damage per hit. It is precisely why playing against Shai can be so exhausting. You can dish out your best combo, but if you don’t have enough accuracy, and you are not consistent with your approaches, you won’t be able to do much. You will receive some Crowd Control, your speed will be lowered for some time, and in that time, Shai will heal up all of her health, get some buff, and then increase her max HP by a bunch, 1500 to be exact, as you already know. But Shai won’t survive for a long time without one simple thing that is available for everyone.
And it’s knowledge. You will not be a good Shai in 1v1 PvP if you do not know how all other classes work. Why? The answer is quite clear, if you have to base your PvP around surviving, you should know what you have to survive through. And you can’t learn this. Generally, you have to learn which moves should you respect, what should you do to avoid or punish them, and what to do when things go sideways. And since it goes against all classes in the game - if you want to be that boss from THAT game, you will have to put in a lot of work.
Is it worth it, in the end, to even try out Shai in a 1v1 PvP environment? Is it worth it to take her as a class at all? Well, it is if you are looking to make a lot of people mad. The exact same thing can happen to you when you are playing Shai, because why in the seven hells would you choose a class that doesn’t pack a serious punch in its kit, in the game that revolves around fast-paced combat system that is simply amazing for open-world PvP?
However, some people get off on being an unkillable freak that counters every move to discourage the other guy from engaging in Shai ever again. With 850 Evasion and 471 DP, you can avoid so much damage, it’s somewhat unspeakable. And when you know the class that you are playing against, and you know how to react to certain moves, and you see when they are coming - you can survive for a very long time. In general, if you are doing it right, no class will deal more damage than you can heal unless they have some crazy Accuracy build that was designed to fight evasion-stacking classes, which won’t happen in 99% of the cases.
In 1v1 PvP, you don’t even have to try to deal with damage. You won’t be able to kill anybody unless you are much higher with your gear score than your enemy. Move around, use your Super Armor and iFrame to run around the chessboard. Don’t get grabbed and apply CC when you know that you can interrupt your enemy. That’s all you have to do, and it’s all that you can do with this class. Is it fun? Some people will enjoy it, some will not, all you can do is to check it out for yourself. But to be honest, Shai is a class that can be genuinely invaluable in group play. So now, we are heading to the most crucial section of this guide.
Shai Node War Guide
If you’ve already decided to go with Shai, and you want to prepare for playing Shai seriously in PvP - this is the section. Right here, officer! This entire section is the reason why people decide to go with Shai in the first place.
You most likely already know what Group PvP is about in BDO. Or you knew before Shai came out. Because she stirred a pot in an exciting way. Before, neither of the characters, except for Mystic (before nerfs), were able to impact the battlefield as much as Shai. Having a Shai and not having a Shai creates an enormous difference when it comes to battle prowess of max 11 people. Imagine a Node War. For simplicity, we will use 11 classes vs. 10 classes + Shai. One side has an extra Berserker that can handle it in combat just perfectly. And the second group has a Shai. This little gal will:
Reduce your DP by 10% for 20 seconds
Reduce your Evasion by 10% for 20 seconds
Reduce your Critical Hit Rate by 50% for 20 seconds
Reduce your Movement Speed by 10% for 20 seconds
And that’s the Awakening only. Imagine applying a -50% debuff to your opponent’s Movement Speed, Attack Speed, and Casting Speed that comes from your Pre-awakening. It lasts only 2 seconds, but it still can ruin some things for your enemies. Now, to all that was listed above, just count in massive healing, a 1500 Max HP increase, and an All AP +30 and +5% Special Attack Damage as well. All of that for a price of one combat-oriented less in your whole team. Can you see the difference now?
Of course, the price is much, much higher. You can’t just stand in one place and provide buffs and debuffs. It’s much more complicated. You want to do everything in your power to ensure that you can survive by yourself with minimal assistance from your folks. Well, "survive" is not the right word. Because multiple people can collapse on you, and you will be out quicker than you would in a 1v1, for example. You are not there to survive and run away continuously. You are there to do your job, which is simple in theory. You buff allies, debuff enemies, and peel for your main damage dealers. That’s really all you have to do. Of course, it sounds quite simple, but it’s not. In a movement-heavy game like Black Desert Online, the battlefield can get from one side of the playing field all the way to the other side. And if you are being directed by your guild’s shotcaller what to do and when to go, you can get easily ripped apart by your shotcaller and by your conscience that wants to do an entirely different thing.
Does it mean that it’s good to be the main shotcaller as Shai? Well, it’s true that since you are not moving, and you are not focusing on direct combat, it would seem like a very good idea. It would make each fight slightly more coordinated, so you can heal and buff your allies and call shots according to your timers. Everyone will receive the message from you when to go in, and when will they receive buffs. However, it’s better to have a designated shotcaller closer to the action, who engages in direct combat and sees what is exactly going on on the chessboard.
The downside to this power that Shai provides is that she is a buff machine. People will thank you for sheer existence, he won’t do much damage-wise, and she is entirely reliant on her team. And relatively, your team might be dependant on you as well. The biggest cost for that - they are out there having fun, smashing enemies to the ground in AoE, while you are buffing, not having that much joy from playing this game. Oh well, sacrifices have to be made.
Shai class is a very interesting addition that brings something new to the video game chessboard. Are you willing to sacrifice one of the last best combat mechanics in MMORPG for being a catalyst for empowering women and men alike in Black Desert Online? It’s a noble thing, maybe even stupid. I’m not sure how to call that exactly, but it’s a major trade-off that should be considered before you decide to create this class. Maybe you should play Valk, and read our BDO Valkyrie guide, maybe our Warrior guide will make you choose that guy over some other guys or other women? Or our last BDO Shai Guide will make you choose her 100%? We shall see it someday. Share and subscribe, post some comments on our website page. Each user who posted some posts on our forum have noticed some significant improvements in their social life. So sign up today, create your account, confirm it with email, log in, join our forums, search for whatever offers you care about and just press on! See you on the Red Battlefield or on BDO Mobile!
Can I PvP as Shai?
You can PvP as Shai, but you won’t be as dynamic and efficient as other classes. PvP will be extremely hard unless you are one-upping your opponent completely when it comes to gear score.
Why Play Shai?
Shai is a great addition to Group PvP, and a very powerful beacon of light during fights if she is competent. She can PvE very well, but she is not suited for killing players as much as other classes.
Is Shai Fun?
Shai can be really fun to play, but definitely not as fun as other classes, that are way more dynamic and flashy and require more buttons to use than simply pressing LMB, F, and Right Click all the time. It's showing in her gameplay. But she can really make some mess with good gear, if you reach TRI - PEN with Main Hand Weapon Kzarka (Or Dark Blackstar), Nouver Vitclari, Dim, Bheg's Gloves, Urugon's Shoes, Griffon Helmet, a good Ring or two with added good stats. And it takes time. You won't do much with Grunil against BDO Community.
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