Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki

Shades (Dual Weapons) is a Dark Elves missile infantry unit introduced in Total War: Warhammer II. The twin blades of these spurned Elves are brought to bear with truly brutal results.


The ancestors of the Shades once ruled Clar Karond but were betrayed and exiled by their peers. Now the outcast clans have become utterly at home in the wilderness of the Blackspine Mountains, moving as silently as ghosts through petrified forests and razor-sharp rocks. Their lives are vicious, even by the harsh standards of Dark Elves. Every day is a battle for survival with the dread beasts of the mountains; every night a gauntlet of drum-driven king-sacrifice and death duelling. The Shades' hardiness makes them valued additions to any raiding fleet, and many Dreadlords expend much wealth in enticing them to their cause. When the army attacks, the Shades infiltrate the enemy battleline. From this position, they can harass the foe with volleys of dark-fletched bolts, or strike out and slay war machine crews with glinting blades.


  • Anti-Infantry: Anti-infantry units have an advantage against targets that are smaller than a horse. This advantage can be a damage bonus against small targets, superior weight used to smash through lighter enemies, or an explosive attack from range that effects a large area.
  • Armour-Piercing Missiles: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.
  • Stalk: This unit can move hidden in any terrain.
  • Vanguard Deployment: This unit can deploy in an expanded deployment area, allowing it to start the battle within striking distance of the enemy - or somewhere unexpected.


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What these shades have over the regular shade is a bonus vs. infantry on their melee attacks and slightly better melee stats overall. This is a solid bonus, but not entirely worth it. If playing campaign and having exorbitant funds, then sure they are a good unit. However, it is usually better to get the greatswords variant at that point.

Shades are also late game unit, and the longer a campaign goes on the more high tier armored units will be on the battlefields. This means that the greatsword variant will be more useful than the dual swords.

While not a bad unit, regular shades are cheaper and function mostly the same and the greatsword variant is better for dealing damage to armored threats.