Stoneshard – Comprehensive Melee Guide

Stoneshard - Comprehensive Melee Guide
Stoneshard - Comprehensive Melee Guide

In this guide you can find all info about melee in detail.

Guide to Melee

General Melee Advice


No matter if you use a bow, your face/LoS (Line of sight) or noise (e.g. shouting or being a walking boombox) to pull one mob from a group. It is mandatory throughout early game and i bet it will stay viable throughout the game. So make yourself familiar with the mechanics of pulling. Just one tip for face pulling: if 2 mobs sit next to each other horizontally: approach one of them at max range diagonally, so the other mob isnt in faceaggro range. If u approach them vertically chances are high u will pull both and will be in for a rough fight.

Let the enemy come to you (Lure)

Yes most of the time its best to let the enemy enter your melee range so u can get first hit. If you enter his without a gap-closer skill he will hit you. Also setup the terrain situation thusly that it is to your advantage, lure the enemy; e.g. when u play Mace lure him into a diagonal corridor situation so you can knock him back into the wall for bounce dmg and a potential daze or even stun.


Generally you want to use your buffs, like raise shield, massacre, parry or fencer stance before u enter melee range. Ofc the same goes for herbs, shrroms, medicine and potions.

Know your Rota

Think about the best combination of skills or whitehits (standard attacks that dont use a skill) to do damage and commence this rota (short for rotation) when u dont have to debuff the mob, react to an enemy buff or need to buff up yourself or need to flee/reposition.


U can bait/pull unaggrod mobs via sound with a a shout (right click your char, repeated uses increase the volume and thus the range, be careful with it), smashing a vase, opening a door or fighting noise. The mob will flash yellow (excited) and migrate to the origin of the sound. If u hide behind a corner either in melee range (dagger, mace, staff) or in “gap closer” range (axe, GS, Sword,staff, make sure ur skill range is reaching 1 tile into the corridor) and pull off that the mob will appear yellow in your range gz its gg. You get a guaranteed crit (on a hit) and the mob wont retaliate and only aggro the next turn (if u stun him with your ambush he will stay yellow and u can stun ambush chain kill him, im looking at you maces).

Funnel into Tunnel

If you face 2+ enemies try to create a 1v1 situation at all costs by any means. (until much later in the game where specific tree/char combinations gain an advantage by fighting multiple enemies at once)

Know when to Back off

After playing for a while you will get xp on evaluating odds of situations the game throws at you. If you feel a slight hunch you can’t beat what the game threw at you, retreat and/or zone. Even when u think u can beat it, it’s almost always better to back off until your CDs (cooldowns) or energy and or some health regenerate a bit. If you e.g. just had a rough fight, potential mobs will migrate to the fight location so if u want to make sure on the rest, back off some rooms/trees and hide and rest there. Also generally you want to LoS (Line of sight) Archers and some casters. E.g. Hide behind a tree and let the Archer come to you so u can open with a gap closer or approach him in melee, try to avoid walking into a take aim. Also sometimes it’s better to back off and eat the Attack of Opportunity (AoO wich has a chance of 50%) than the skill, especially when next turn a valuable CD is ready and you can counter said enemy skill.

Know when to close in

Some mobs have range 2-4 gap closer melee abilities. If u cant LoS bait them, be either the first to close the gap by your gap closer skill or just take one step into them to hug, eat the white hit and avoid the much more dangerous skill.

Understand the Geometry of Corners and Trees (Aka. Reeving)

Obstacles can not be traversed diagonally without the use of movement skills. Therefore you or the enemy needs 2 turns to traverse them. Use that to your advantage to disengage a disadvantageous melee situation. E.g. if the mob is bottom right from you around a corner or tree, back off to the left horizontally, you will probably eat an attack of opportunity (AoO, 50% Chance) but gain +1 range on the enemy and effectively disengage melee. I will henceforth call that Reeving.

Know your defense or offense and play/buy to its strengths

Generally Dodge:Rng until u stack it high enough then its:gg. Flat protection almost always works and for most melees it’s important to stack it high enough quickly. Tho if you are burster (e.g. Axe, GS), hit and runner (sword, dagger, staffs) or a stunner (staffs, maces) you can opt to invest weapon over protection when you are confident you can play pristine and don’t need amour to even the odds when ♥♥♥ hit the fan. Ofc the same goes for if u have defense Buffs (e.g. parry, unwavering, raise shield/defensive stance, fencer stance) can always prebuff and have the stats to block reliably enough to secure the kill. But generally avoiding bad luck> improving good luck and u won’t get a medal (yet, speed running inc) for killing the mob in 2 hits instead of 3 tho again “the best defense is a good offense”


If all is lost you can always zone (traverse a dungeon door or a map corner). Mobs won’t follow when they are above distance 4-5. To check if they followed or not try to rest, if u can they didn’t, if you can’t they did. If they did follow space bar to reg and wait for cds and buff up as well as you can, as much as you need to defeat the following situation: As soon as you leave the tile you just zoned in on, One random mob of the ones that followed you will spawn and hit you. After that the fight commences. If u beat the mob make sure to immediately step onto the zoneintile again to block reinforcement and spacebar reg/buff etc for the next enemy. If you make it into town, mobs won’t follow, that is if you didn’t cheez zoneskip into it.

Appreciate the Gimmicks

Learn and appreciate Herbs, Shrooms, Potions and Vivification essences. Know when to use them and against what.

Gear for All Trees

  • BiS (Best in Slot) Ammy is either Jorgrims, Phylactery (for tanky builds) or that Fang Ammy from Witch Hut.
  • BiS Rings are Silver Aquamarines (CD reduce) or Silver Topaz (Pain resi). If u want to ele Staff then its Gold Saphire.

Weapon Tree Specifics

Following are the Weapon Tree specifics.

They are sorted by Skills, Spec opts (what skills to choose), Plays (what u can pull off with them), Gear and Enchants.

Greatsword (GS)



  • Hard counter to deadly trick, Raise shield, Parry, Fencer etc.
  • Can be used to secure a kill on last hit if a whitehit would be overkill.


  • Opt Perception 15 for +1 range.
  • Charge Ambush.
  • Dont Feist of Steel before charging into 1 mob especially not if you Ambush.


  • 100% on the counter on a block, prebuff.

Arc Cleave

  • Roflsauce dmg single target and hits 5 Fools if you need to.
  • Dont Feist of Steel it.

Feist of Steel

  • Its sole purpose is to enable AoE attacks with GS.
  • Even if your crit efficiency was 200% u still lose dmg because u lose the chance of an ungimped true crit.

Spec Opts

  • Parry, Courage, Arc Cleave. Rest is Wayne.
  • aim 15 per for the +1 on charge, 1 vit 1 str until sustain, then 2 strg.


Charge Ambush

  • Make sure to be at max possible Range when u ambush that fool.


  • Counter skills, secure kills.

Prebuff Parry

  • Duh.

GS Kite Ambush according to Reeves et. al.

  • If u plan to face a beefier Foe. Parry up, plan your Charge Ambush thusly that you end up in a Reevable Situation, arc Cleave do the Reeve and watch the Mob bleed out or your cds refresh. Now go kill dat bear boi/girl.


  • Scythe in Racks.
  • Knightly Girdle
  • Mail Coif or Vembrace against fumble pain with Tanned Boots to get 4 prot for 1k.



  • Flat dmg, Crit efficiency, crit chance, energy leech.
  • Armor penetration, Life Leech.


  • HP, Energy, Reg, Block Chance.
  • Resi, Counter Chance.



Double Lounge

  • Use it in Ambushes, best effect with one handed dagger.

Deadly Trick

  • Log in, equip a dagger, skill into trick and go kill yourself a bear. Most OP singular Skill this patch.
  • Use its dodge to Burst or Root to disengage.
  • Don’t Trick into a 1v2 situation, better burst and keep trick cd for second mob burst or disengage.

Painful Stabs

  • Prebuff. Fun fact: Its better than Massacre (Axe).

Quick Hands

  • Imho only useful for Hunter. Refer to my Hunter Guide for Info.


  • Wayne.

Spec Opts

  • Coup de Grace via Painful Stabs.
  • 1 agi 1 str 1 vit (vit until sustain, more agi if u facetank a lot).


  • Double Lounge Ambush (One Dagger opt fist shield for increased dmg).

Deadly Trick Hit and Run

  • U can Deadly Trick, Double lounge and still disengage, gain 2 distance via Reeving, watch the enemy bleed.


  • Knightly Girdle or Footman.
  • Vambrace, Tanned Boots.
  • Mail Coif.



  • + 2 Ele, (Electro, Fire etc), Weapon dmg, Crit chance, Crit efficiency, Energy Leech.
  • Life Leech.


  • Counter, dodge, block.


  • HP, Energy, Reg, Dodge.
  • Resi, Counter Chance.



Cleaving Strike

  • Opt after Onrush for Bleed debuff, else whitehit can be better if dual wield.

Keeping Distance

  • It’s a disengage if you Reeve, else one free attack, opt after onrush for bleed.


  • Gap Closer, Bleed Debuffer, Ambusher.

Fencer`s Stance

  • Solid PreBuff.


  • General Buffs for dual swordplay, reg or snowballing.

Spec Opts

  • Keeping Distance, Fencer, Honed Edge, Gloat.


Reeve Ambush and Run

  • Buff Fencer, Ambush the Mob with Onrush thusly that u land in a Reevable Situation, opt cleaving or whitehit when dual wield swords and got Honed edge with Gloat, keep distance-reeve and watch the mob bleed

Advanced Reeving

  • Cut corners with Keep Distance to disengage Melee effectively, sometimes u can even get a hit in when u disengage to a reevable situation or not if u want to plain disenage without eating an AoO.


  • Knightly Girdle, opt Mail Coif vs Vambrace + Tanned Boots.



  • Flat dmg , Crit efficiency, crit chance, energy leech, Blyad Chance.
  • Armor penetration, Life Leech.


  • HP, Energy, Reg, Block Chance.
  • Resi, Counter Chance.




  • Daze/Stun for Days, Bounce into Walls for more dmg.

Armour Break

  • Can opener and debuffer.

Finish off

  • Hammer and Anvil meh Buff

Spec Opts

  • Either Finish off or opt Moment of Weakness with Concussion. After those 5 skills: Dazing (can opt dazing earlier if dual wield mace).
  • 1 vit 1 strg until sustain then 2 strg.


The Bounce

  • Force the enemy into a situation where he is with his back against a wall and Onslaught him, chances are u will knock him back and he will receive additional dmg based on his max hp and can be dazed by the crushing dmg.

Ambush Bounce Stunlock

  • If u Ambush a mob with onslaught and Bounce him chances are he is stunned and will not aggro, so as long as hes stunned you get free guaranteed crits which stun him again etc.


  • Knightly Girdle, opt Mail Coif vs Vambrace + Tanned Boots



  • Flat dmg , Crit efficiency, crit chance, energy leech, Blyad Chance.
  • Armor penetration, Life Leech.


  • HP, Energy, Reg, Block Chance.
  • Resi, Counter Chance.



Hail of Blows

  • Use it to Bounce. Ambush with it if u can. Nice synergy with Destabilizing Hits. Ele dmg gets roflsauce with high mp and/or Boulderstack (geo).

Step Aside

  • Nice Opener, helps set up the bounce. Softens up for Hail with destabilizing hits. Nice cd reduce against 1v2+ situations.


  • Helps setup the Bounce if u fukt it all up.

Unwavering Stance

  • Kinda Nice Prebuff.

Spec Opts

  • Peacemaker opt destabilizing hits.
  • Unwavering then the rest of passives as you see fit.
  • Stats kinda depend if u go high ele or phys.
  • Saff has the most complicated Stat spread of them all.
  • U can Opt Vit for the HP or the Energy sustain in earlygame, tho hail has energy leech and some staffs aswell.
  • Opt str for inc phys and block.
  • Opt Will for MP and lower CDs if u bet on ele dmg.
  • Opt Agi against fumblepain, for crit and more dodge when u dont invest in block power via enchants.


The Bounce

  • Force the enemy into a situation where he is with his back against a wall and Step Aside or Hail him, chances are u will knock him back and he will receive additional dmg based on his max hp and can be dazed by the crushing dmg.

Bounce Ambush

Reeving with Peacemaker

  • Reposition to get a Bounce with Peacemaker


  • It kinda depends if u opt max ele or phys dmg and dodge vs prot/block.

Tho generally:

  • Kinghtly Girdle.
  • Rush Monk Staff, Opt reinforced if phys.
  • Vambrace, Tanned Boots.
  • Rush Witch Staff.



  • If u bet on mp for ele dmg go +2 ele (lightning->Stun, fire-> fumble etc).
  • Else Weapon dmg, crit, crit effi, energy drain etc.


  • HP, Energy, reg, Block power (if u stack block).



Raise Shield

  • Prebuff melee, good counter against bursts and skills like trick if you couldn’t bash them away.

Shield Bash

  • Nice silencer, ok damage with high block value, can stack daze into a stun, cd reducer esp for shield raise against high daze resi mobs.


  • You can bounce with it tho dmg not overwhelming, nice cd reducer for raise shield when 1×2+.

Defensive Stance

  • Ok Prebuff.

Spec Opts

  • Either Breakthrough (if early) or Retaliation (if better shield).
  • Opt moment of retribution for more styles or defensive Stance for another PreBuff and nice counter.
  • Stats depend on Mainhand.
  • Tho Shield gains most from Str.


  • Endless Block and Retaliate.
  • Later Defensive Stance, Breakthrough, Realiation and Raise Shield have a very nice synergy when fighting lots of mobs at the same time. Make sure to manage energy because its quite costly to keep up.


  • Whatever else Main hand needs.
  • Never use the Barracks Shield, get Oak Shield atleast (under 100 coin).
  • Don’t underestimate Fist shield in dodge/counterbuilds.
  • You can get a Lucky Kite Shield before Mannshire loot/rep it.
  • You can opt to rush Knightly Shield in Mannshire, imho its a steal for what it does.


  • Block, Counter, Block Power.




  • Nice ambusher, make sure to land an injury before Cut Through, Needs Ferocity passive bodypart dmg to be “more reliable”.

Cut through

  • Finisher when mob has 1-2 Injuries depending on mob HP, also nice to soften up dem cans.


  • PreBuff, Pray to not Bleed enemys with Lounge and hope for dat jucy bodypart dmg instead.


  • Overkill finisher in case the mob doesn’t stay dead after he’s dead.

Spec Opts

  • Cut Through, Ferocity, Massacre.
  • The rest is just overkill if you got lucky on the Bodypart and win anyways.
  • 1 vit 1 str to sustain after that 2 strg.
  • If u love the all (too much) or nothing rng of axes and are generally a gambler you can also opt to stack dodge and go with agi.


  • Ambush.
  • Reeving.


  • Knightly Girdle, opt Mail Coif vs Vambrace + Tanned Boots.
  • Since Axe is offence only it is the only tree where its sometimes better to invest into a better weapon than amour. E.g. a Bearded Axe can make a difference of night and day in order to hit those jucy injury thresholds. If u want it cheap, skeledungeon drops them loot/rep=profit.
  • Do yourself a favor and dont dual wield axes, that is if you don’t want to play the game on hardmode. You will hit injury thresholds less because of the 80% dmg gimp of the mainhand when dual wielding. Better to use a shield or another weapon to get some options for when ♥ hits the fan. Deadly Trick (Dagger), Keep Distance (Sword) and Onslaught (Mace) are examples of cheap enablers to help you survive with the axe.



  • Weapon dmg, crit chance.


  • HP, Energy, reg.

Spewage of the Unnecessary but Mandatory Highroller Wizdom

  • Dont play greedy lest you can handle the heat.
  • Know the difference between rolling that dice and making absolutely sure.
  • Avoiding bad luck > increasing good luck.
  • If you are totaly and utterly out of options: Drink that mystery potion.
  • Its a turn based game. Max reaction time is a couple of weeks if your system is stable.
  • Yeet that Well Bucket. Yeet it.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2688 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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