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giftie
08-31-2013, 09:07 AM
I recently decided to LR+20 my staff dronk. Love the guy, but he plays more like a melee with quickened Heals than a caster and I felt he wasn't the optimal build for that job. So I wanted to try a melee Ranger, but being decidedly unimpressed by the Tempest chain I figured why not do a Ranger Kensai?

My rough idea of a class split is 11 Ranger (full free feat chains and Cure Mod), 8 Fighter (minimum for Kensai T5), Monk 1 (stances, centered outside of GMoF).

I haven't built a melee DPS in a very long time, but here's a rough draft:



Level 25 Lawful Neutral Human Male
(8 Fighter \ 1 Monk \ 11 Ranger \ 5 Epic)
Hit Points: 448
Spell Points: 145
BAB: 19\19\24\29\29
Fortitude: 20
Reflex: 12
Will: 8

Starting Feat/Enhancement
Abilities Base Stats Modified Stats
(36 Point) (Level 1) (Level 25)
Strength 18 27
Dexterity 10 13
Constitution 18 21
Intelligence 8 11
Wisdom 10 13
Charisma 8 11

Tomes Used
+2 Tome of Intelligence used at level 7
+3 Tome of Strength used at level 11
+3 Tome of Dexterity used at level 11
+3 Tome of Constitution used at level 11
+3 Tome of Wisdom used at level 11


Level 1 (Ranger)
Feat: (Human Bonus) Cleave
Feat: (Favored Enemy) Favored Enemy: Undead
Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Cleric
Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Monk
Feat: (Selected) Power Attack


Level 2 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons


Level 3 (Ranger)
Feat: (Selected) Toughness


Level 4 (Ranger)


Level 5 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Stunning Blow


Level 6 (Ranger)
Feat: (Selected) Quicken Spell

Level 7 (Fighter)


Level 8 (Ranger)
Feat: (Favored Enemy) Favored Enemy: Human


Level 9 (Fighter)
Feat: (Selected) Great Cleave
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Weapon Specialization: Slashing Weapons


Level 10 (Ranger)


Level 11 (Ranger)


Level 12 (Fighter)
Feat: (Selected) Dodge


Level 13 (Ranger)


Level 14 (Ranger)


Level 15 (Ranger)
Feat: (Selected) Empower Healing Spell
Feat: (Favored Enemy) Favored Enemy: Elf


Level 16 (Ranger)


Level 17 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword


Level 18 (Fighter)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons


Level 19 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Greater Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons


Level 20 (Monk)
Feat: (Monk Bonus) Zen Archery


Level 21 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Overwhelming Critical


Level 22 (Monk)


Level 23 (Monk)


Level 24 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Epic Toughness


Level 25 (Monk)




Since this is an LR, class order doesn't matter and this particular order is chosen to work with the current 3 class limitation during LR.

Enhancements:

Kensai: 33 (minimum to take tier 5 Enhancements)
Deepwood Sniper: 7 (+2D6 SA and +75 positive spell power)
Arcane Archer: 6 (Conjure Arrows for logistics and Energy of the Wild III)
Tempest: 14 (Core II, +STR and Whirling Blades III)
Shintao: 1
Human: 19 (minimum for GH and Healing Amp III)

Planned twists are Dance of Flowers, Cocoon and Brace for Impact, main ED LD or possibly Fury.

Question 1: Simply put: is this build a huge mistake? Would a pure Fighter/Monk split work better? I'd like to think the auto-granted feats and healing puts Ranger ahead for what I'm trying to do, but I'm not sure.

Question 2: I _think_ I've gotten all the basic feats - did I miss any?

Question 3: What skills should I focus on? I reckon Balance is mandatory. If invest in UMD I can probably reach standing UMD of 20 (enough to bypass alignment restriction), with swap-ins a bit more but not enough for no-fail Raise Dead. Is Hide and Move Silently of any use for non-rogues? Which, if any, social skills are recommended?

Question 4: Would it be worth it to drop GH and HA III for another 10% offhand chance from Shintao tree? I could potentially free up to 14 points from Human tree if I decide to go down that route.

mezzorco
08-31-2013, 09:36 AM
Question 1: Simply put: is this build a huge mistake? Would a pure Fighter/Monk split work better? I'd like to think the auto-granted feats and healing puts Ranger ahead for what I'm trying to do, but I'm not sure.

Question 2: I _think_ I've gotten all the basic feats - did I miss any?

Question 3: What skills should I focus on? I reckon Balance is mandatory. If invest in UMD I can probably reach standing UMD of 20 (enough to bypass alignment restriction), with swap-ins a bit more but not enough for no-fail Raise Dead. Is Hide and Move Silently of any use for non-rogues? Which, if any, social skills are recommended?

Question 4: Would it be worth it to drop GH and HA III for another 10% offhand chance from Shintao tree? I could potentially free up to 14 points from Human tree if I decide to go down that route.

1. I don't know, a very popular build is 8ftr/6rng/6mnk. It gives you A LOT, but you would need higher dex for it to work (you can use DEX to dmg so just dump STR - this way you'll make good use of evasion)

2. Take monk earlier, so you can take stance feats.

3. Forget hide/ms, take heal instead (23 devotion).

4. You can always scroll GH. If I were you, I would invest much more into tempest.

jalont
08-31-2013, 09:40 AM
1. I don't know, a very popular build is 8ftr/6rng/6mnk. It gives you A LOT, but you would need higher dex for it to work (you can use DEX to dmg so just dump STR - this way you'll make good use of evasion)


If I were making this build, I would go 8/6/6 as well. I wouldn't dump str though. I would want OC. Much more important than evasion to me, but that's a personal taste.

giftie
08-31-2013, 11:11 AM
1. I don't know, a very popular build is 8ftr/6rng/6mnk. It gives you A LOT, but you would need higher dex for it to work (you can use DEX to dmg so just dump STR - this way you'll make good use of evasion)

2. Take monk earlier, so you can take stance feats.

3. Forget hide/ms, take heal instead (23 devotion).

4. You can always scroll GH. If I were you, I would invest much more into tempest.

Thanks for your reply!

1) Yeah, I've seen those a lot. What makes them stronger?

Feat-wise, they're the same. Monks 6 gets Master stance, but lose Empower Heal (can be switched with Maximize or Empower, but neither works on Cocoon AFAIK) and Cure Mods. Monks require a larger stat spread, so the attribute advantage gained from Master stance is essentially offset by lower starting STR.

I'm probably missing some fiendishly clever synergy here.

It is possible to drop STR somewhat and get more DEX, but I can't dump-stat STR completely without giving up OC, which would be a huge blow - not to mention not being able to wield anything bigger than a scimitar. There's also the plethora of STR-boosts in the game to consider. I'm convinced STR-based will always be higher DPS. The difference between 16 and 10 starting DEX is only -3 reflex saves, I don't think it will render evasion completely useless.

2) For a deeper monk splash, absolutely. For this particular build, no stance feats are available anyway.

3) Check. That's what I suspected, but good to have it confirmed.

4) Maybe, with 25%-ish chance and short duration. Not very practical. I didn't see much in Tempest that justified spending more in it, unless going to tier 5. Granted, I haven't actually I _tried_ it, just judging from tooltips. What am I missing?

jalont
08-31-2013, 11:24 AM
Thanks for your reply!

1) Yeah, I've seen those a lot. What makes them stronger?

Feat-wise, they're the same. Monks 6 gets Master stance, but lose Empower Heal (can be switched with Maximize or Empower, but neither works on Cocoon AFAIK) and Cure Mods. Monks require a larger stat spread, so the attribute advantage gained from Master stance is essentially offset by lower starting STR.

I'm probably missing some fiendishly clever synergy here.

It is possible to drop STR somewhat and get more DEX, but I can't dump-stat STR completely without giving up OC, which would be a huge blow - not to mention not being able to wield anything bigger than a scimitar. There's also the plethora of STR-boosts in the game to consider. I'm convinced STR-based will always be higher DPS. The difference between 16 and 10 starting DEX is only -3 reflex saves, I don't think it will render evasion completely useless.

2) For a deeper monk splash, absolutely. For this particular build, no stance feats are available anyway.

3) Check. That's what I suspected, but good to have it confirmed.

4) Maybe, with 25%-ish chance and short duration. Not very practical. I didn't see much in Tempest that justified spending more in it, unless going to tier 5. Granted, I haven't actually I _tried_ it, just judging from tooltips. What am I missing?

Monk 6 gives you stance II and stance III and IV can be taken as regular feats, so you can be in stance IV.

giftie
08-31-2013, 12:33 PM
Monk 6 gives you stance II and stance III and IV can be taken as regular feats, so you can be in stance IV.

Ah, okay, so X of the Forms are autogrants at Monk levels 1 and 6 (12 and 18?) but can be taken as a regular feat by anyone with Monk 1? Thank you for explaining that; Wiki is outdated.

So for Grandmaster I'd have to spend 2 (with 6 Monk) or 3 (with 1 Monk) feats? My reason for going Monk 1 was primarily to twist Dance of Flowers. When I listed "stances" as a reason for the Monk level, I primarily meant sitting in Adept Sun stance at all times for the extra STR and Heal Amp.

I can only assume the 8/6/6 builds aim for Grandmaster of Storms, but I don't really see what feats I'd be able to give up to make room for that. 10% doublestrike is great, but at the cost of 3 feats (or two and a hefty DEX investment), I don't think I'll be going down that route.

Alfhild
08-31-2013, 02:33 PM
I can only assume the 8/6/6 builds aim for Grandmaster of Storms, but I don't really see what feats I'd be able to give up to make room for that. 10% doublestrike is great, but at the cost of 3 feats and a hefty DEX investment, I don't think I'll be going down that route.
Monk 6 grants T2 stances and you can get T3 for one feat slot at character L12 or higher. T3 earth is the stance which I think you may want to consider on a build which places high value on Overwhelming Critical.

giftie
08-31-2013, 03:48 PM
Monk 6 grants T2 stances and you can get T3 for one feat slot at character L12 or higher. T3 earth is the stance which I think you may want to consider on a build which places high value on Overwhelming Critical.

Thanks, that makes sense. Completely missed that. I'm assuming this stacks with Devastating Critical too? Probably worth the two feats. I'll think of something.

96th_Malice
09-01-2013, 12:50 PM
My favourite toon is still my 18 FTR / 1 Druid / 1 Monk eleven kensai archer build.

This build is all about enough dex to hit stuff ..... And the rest of the points to get STR as high as possible ( yes I know elf is a bad choice for that )

jalont
09-01-2013, 12:57 PM
Thanks, that makes sense. Completely missed that. I'm assuming this stacks with Devastating Critical too? Probably worth the two feats. I'll think of something.

There's also some nice synergy in Shintao tree with earth stance, and six monk gives you access to all those goodies. While I haven't made a build yet to test, I think it's very likely that some points in the shintao tree will add more survivability/healing than a higher ranger splash.

Inoukchuk
09-01-2013, 02:19 PM
Also take a look at the Ginsu (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/424162-The-Ginsu-a-new-TWF-build-concept) build I posted. It's a 12 ftr/6 ranger/2 monk variant, but also specifically mentions that it's easily converted to 11rng/8ftr/1monk. I hadn't messed with 8ftr/6rng/6mnk, but as I don't leverage the monk trees in my build (nor do I have room for them) I don't know that more monk is advantageous, though in retrospect the feats are a wash since it gives you 1 martial arts feat and 1 adept of form. You gain 2% dodge, 3 ac, 10% move, but lose power boost (+8str).... so I guess it's a matter of taste.

giftie
09-01-2013, 05:07 PM
As far as I understand, the 8/6/6 builds (Abomination, Ghostly Dodger) favor Shadow Veil, which I suppose is a fair trade-off for losing Emp. Heal, Heal Amp III etc, though personally I prefer the latter. It's also possible to build for PRR, but at that point it's really cutting into damage enhancements. Earth strike sounds kinda cool, but I don't really need another clicky - at least not badly enough to spend enhancement points for it. It's not clear to me that the 8/6/6 split is _better_.

I also really like the Ginsu, but stuck with Human for now. I suppose the main problem for me is that these classes are Fighter heavy, and I'd prefer something Ranger heavy. Yes, I'll have to carry the stigma of Ranger icon in PUGs. I just really like the concept of a Tempest, but sorely disappointed in the tree.

And on that note, is there _any_ advantage to going more Ranger? At 12 Ranger you can take Deflect Arrows as an enhancement and get the last +10% offhand chance, and at 14 you get CSW. But it doesn't seem worth it.

I also have some questions about feats. The short list of feats to drop for Master stances is:

Blinding Speed - essentially a solo feat, but even in groups Haste is rarely up 100% of the times I need it.

Quicken - I can't check right now, but can Cocoon be interrupted? I vaguely recall it having the same cast time as Cure spells.

EWP: Bastard Sword - don't really have any right now, I'll be stepping off the boat with Oathblades. This guy has to start grinding one-handers from scratch.

Dodge - I'll be sitting comfortably at 20-25%. I'd really like to keep this, but it's a candidate to drop for more damage.

Zen Archery - but it would suck to have to drop out of centered whenever Manyshot is off CD.

Toughness and Epic Toughness - 80 hit points for two feats. Very expensive, but also needed.

EDIT: Stunning Blow - since I'm in LD anyway and don't have to twist Tactics, it seemed like a nice option to have. But I'm not sure it's a good idea to build for it unless I can get high enough DCs.

I'm leaning towards dropping Quicken (not needed according to the post below) and Stunning Blow, but still looking for input.

EllisDee37
09-01-2013, 05:19 PM
As far as I understand, the 8/6/6 builds (Abomination, Ghostly Dodger) favor Shadow Veil, which I suppose is a fair trade-off for losing Emp. Heal, Heal Amp III etc, though personally I prefer the latter. It's also possible to build for PRR, but at that point it's really cutting into damage enhancements. Earth strike sounds kinda cool, but I don't really need another clicky - at least not badly enough to spend enhancement points for it. It's not clear to me that the 8/6/6 split is _better_.Well, I personally like bluebar healing so for me I'd rather have 11 ranger. But even then I'd still rather have cocoon for most of my self-heals, so maybe 6 ranger is enough. All you really need for cocoon is echoes, and 4 AP in the arcane archer tree gets you echoes at ranger level 1.

I don't think cocoon is interruptable, btw. I think it's supposed to be but is not.


I need to drop two of these. what would you guys do?I rarely spend more than 6 build points on constitution, so for me I'd drop epic toughness and move 10 build points over to dex and maybe int for skills. I've also dropped regular toughness on most of my builds, penciling it in for either the level 26 or 28 feat.

giftie
09-02-2013, 04:02 PM
So I've crunched the numbers during server downtime, and if I'm willing to part with roughly 15% Heal Amp and Empowered Cocoons, the increased damage avoidance from 8/6/6 include roughly +5% dodge, +25% incorporeality, +10 AC and 10% damage mitigation for _more_ damage (well, much lower Bow damage because Ninja II is apparently bugged and I can't squeeze in IPS).

It seems too good to pass up, and it's incidentally just an LR+5 away from 11/8/1. It's a shame that Fighters are better Tempests than Rangers.