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View Full Version : The Zhyr Build-A Divine Arcane Archer



skraus1
05-07-2008, 04:51 PM
This is fun build I'm currently leveling up. I've had a lot of people ask me about it, so I decided to post the current, more refined version.

Elf Cleric 13/wiz1/ranger2

Starting stats:
Str: 12
Dex: 16+1 tome
Con 12
Int 11+1 tome at level 1
Wis 17
Cha 8

Most playable level strategy, with 2 feat respecs
Feats
1Point blank
3Rapid shot (switch to Quicken before ranger 2 is taken)
6 Wep focus:ranged
9 (Extend)
9 Precise shot or Manyshot (switch to Maximize before ranger 2 is taken)
12 IC: Ranged
15 (Rapid shot) Manyshot

Wizard bonus: extend

Leveling instructions:
1 Ranger (for fun ranger skills)
2-8 cleric
9 Wizzie
10-14 cleric
15 Ranger
16 Cleric
This is a build that is designed to be almost as good ranged wise as a full ranger, and still be a nearly full cleric.

If you want to not need to spend dragonshards to switch feats out, which will also make it harder to play cleric early on, use this leveling strategy:
1 Ranger 2-6
7 Ranger
8 cleric
9 Wizzie
10-16 cleric

1Point blank
3 Wep focus:ranged
6 Extend
7 (Rapid shot)
9 (Maximize)
9 Manyshot
12 IC: Ranged
15 Quicken


Ranged ability
From the ranged ranger side, all it is missing is precise shot and improved precise shot. Divine power allows you to have full bab, so you get all 4 multishot arrows at level 16. It even gains a ranger specialty, arcane archer. This is the weaker of the two ranged ranger specialities for rangers. However it is the best one for a cleric or wizzie. 1) This gives the ability to summon 100% returning arrows, so you can ALWAYS shoot and always have room for wands and speciality arrows. 2) True shot every 30 seconds, which you can combine with many shot, means that you will hit everything except on a one. You can use this to debuff via shattermantle, cursespewing or destruction for example on everything and virtually never miss.

In addition, sovereign host gives you an additional +1 to hit, and you have all the elven ranged enhancements as well.

Cleric Ability

Ranger gives you wisdom twice to mana, exactly as paladin levels would.
Wizzie gives you wizard starting mana, intelligence to mana, a free metamagic feat, use of wizard wands (such as flame arrow, stoneskin, blur and repair wands), and elven arcanum 1.

Combined this means that this build has respectable sp. At level 12 for example, I'm sitting at around 1000sp.

You have nearly maxed wisdom, so your dcs will be at most 1 lower than a human. You gain spells 3 levels later than a normal cleric, but at level 20 will still get level 9 spells. So this build, in the end, isn't missing out on anything.

Ranged+Cleric Synergy

Clerics get the only spell in the game that works best with kiting: blade barrier. Ranged combat is also the only style that works well with kiting. This makes the combination a natural fit for massive dps.

One of the biggest problem casting wise with mutliclassing is losing the ability to penetrate SR. However, with true shot and a shattermantle bow, this build actually penetrates SR 1 BETTER than a normal cleric.

A problem many battle clerics face is that a good portion of their concentration is spent chasing mobs down to wack on. However, with ranged, you can park yourself and fire without needing to chase anything down. This leaves more cognitive resources to watch heal bars, as you basically just need to watch combat enough to keep yourself from getting killed.

In addition, ranged combat tends to place you out of harms way more than melee combat does. Assuming no one is dying, pugs for example have no problem with a ranged cleric shooting from behind a shield wall, but are frequently opposed to a cleric being part of the shield wall.

Downsides
One downside of this combination is that reloading takes 1-2 secs, so you might need to wait a sec before firing off a heal...which is noticable when facing hard hitters against paper tanks.

Another downside is that ranged dps is inferior to melee dps. So, with decent equipment, you will tend to make a noticable contribution to the kill count, but will tend not to lead it.

Aaden
05-07-2008, 07:43 PM
dont you need to have rgr 6 for arcane archer?

captain1z
05-07-2008, 07:57 PM
dont you need to have rgr 6 for arcane archer?

ranger 6 or elf 9 can access the enhancement.

skraus1
05-07-2008, 08:10 PM
ranger 6 or elf 9 can access the enhancement.

Yeah if you're an elf you need mental toughness or an arcane spell point enhancement. Taking wizard 1 allowed taking elven arcanum 1, and therefore qualified the build for arcane archer without closing out the cleric spell point enhancement line. Wizard 1 also gave a free feat, arcane wand usage and more mana than a mental toughness feat, so I see it as a nice combination.

Kalanth
05-09-2008, 12:13 PM
Is it plausable to do this without the wizard lvl? I fully understand the point to it, but just what is the versatility to the Arcane Archer enhancment? Would I functionally be able to work as an Elf 14 Cleric / 2 Ranger?

skraus1
05-09-2008, 04:30 PM
Is it plausable to do this without the wizard lvl? I fully understand the point to it, but just what is the versatility to the Arcane Archer enhancment? Would I functionally be able to work as an Elf 14 Cleric / 2 Ranger?

I am not sure if you're asking why I took wizard to qualify for arcane archer or whether I need arcane archer at all

For arcane archer, you need to do 1 of 3 things:
1) an elf 9 or ranger 6 with an arcane caster class and the arcane spell point enhancement 1
2) an elf 9 wizzie and the elven arcanum 1 enhancement, which allows you to take another class's (e.g., cleric) spell point enhancement
3) An elf 9 or ranger 6 with the mental toughness feat

I elected for option 2 because it gave more mana than 3, opened up arcane wands, required no feats, and gave an additional free metamagic feat.

I thought long and hard about option 3, but in the end it would cost me 2 feats off of my list, some sp, and only give back relatively little in return.

About the usefulness of arcane archer:
With quivers I really was debating whether arcane archer was useful, or whether a non arcane archer ranger 1/cleric 15 would be better.

I decided to take arcane archer because 8th level spells didn't do much for me and it seemed fun and I didn't want to have to recall out ever because I forgot arrows. Even if I drop the enhancement I can switch out wf:ranged for another feat, say empower or precise shot if I find it is not all that useful in the future.

Also, arcane archer allows you to make sure you land a debuff on whatever you're shooting at regardless of their AC. At level 11, with a +3 bow and arcane archer I can have around a +50 on the first shot every 30 secs. I expect that to reach around 60 or so by level 16.

Also, this build is really feat starved because many shot requires quite a bit and this build could definitally use at least 4 different metamagic feats, only 3 of which I could work into this build. Ranger 2 and wizard 1 both give an extra feat, so that frees up a good deal on the feat side and at level 20 will allow extend, empower, max and quicken along with manyshot in the same build...plus another feat if I drop arcane archer in the future.

If you were wanting to make a cleric15/ranger 1 build and get manyshot and useful metamagic, the best build might be a human. Even then you'd be one feat down, the elven ranged enhancements, and a little mana down as well. I'm also am not sure how the stats would work out because of the 17 dex requirement on manyshot, probably meaning a lower str and int to get the same stat distrabution. You would get another feat back however if you dropped wf:ranged. Over all the human would be +1-3 lower to hit and at least +2-3 lower on damage unless wisdom got lowered too. It would also be less thematic and a bit uglier to look at too. It could work though, but everything would be a lot tighter and you would still end up weaker as a ranged attacker.

With the next level boost slated being level 20 (from some dev podcast talking about it), I figured planning for 16 and then 20 would be optimal.

maddmatt70
05-09-2008, 05:16 PM
I would take the second ranger level sooner.. I think rapid shot is a prereque for some of the feats you want to take..

skraus1
05-09-2008, 05:50 PM
I would take the second ranger level sooner.. I think rapid shot is a prereque for some of the feats you want to take..

Yeah, if you're not willing to switch out feats, ranger 2 is necessary earlier. I wanted to get bladebarrier and heal asap (level 13), so I did listed the more expensive way lol. I also wanted to be able to perform as a cleric while leveling up and as a result I wanted as many cleric levels as I could fit in early on.

I listed out a no dragonshards required leveling strategy in the main body.