Axe Mastery skill or Mace Mastery skill: You can attempt to forgo the SP cost of this Feat by softening the defenses of your enemy first. To do this, strike your enemy’s shield up to three times with your weapon, saying “Piercing 1”, “Piercing 2” and “Piercing 3” at the first, second and third strike respectively . After that, you gain one free (0 SP) use of the Pierce Shield attack.
Pierce Shield states:
To use this feat, spend 1 SP and then strike your enemy’s shield hard enough for him to notice, saying the damage that you would inflict prefaced by “Piercing” (e.g. “Piercing 5 damage”). Your target must then receive that damage unless he possesses a Feat or ability that can negate it. If your strike hits a weapon or a claw instead, your target will still receive damage.
So my question is:
Pierce Shield normally says strike the shield; however, it also states if you hit a weapon or claw, the target still suffers the damage. I’m wondering if that same clause was applicable to the Axe/Mace Mastery augmentation to saying ‘Piercing 1, Piercing 2, Piercing 3’ as well. Due to the Mastery clause NOT stating such, I would assume you MUST strike a SHIELD, but I wanted to be safe rather than wrong.