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Samones
05-27-2015, 07:23 PM
My favorite character I ever played in PnP (4e) was a lightning mage, a customized class we made using an obscure race from one of the Star Wars rpgs. He had, as you would guess, access to most of the lightning spells in the game and was a mix between a wizard and sorcerer, combining the sorcerer's innate magical skill with the intense study and precision of the wizard and basically was able to deal absurd amounts of damage. Not too long ago, I tried to make a ddo version of him and settled on the Air Savant. I'd like any advice that people can give for trying to give him a similar feel, but please understand that a few elements are fixed since they are tied to the actual character: his Intelligence being a bit higher than normal and the dragonmark healing probably being the main ones. I'm currently level 10 and basically F2P with access to Gianthold and the Harper Tree, but those are the only relevant things I've bought so far. Really not attached to my choice of spells so far, nor my enhancements. Figured snagging light armor from EK would help survivability since I don't have access to a lot of named robes, but I'm pretty flexible as far as enhancements go. Thanks in advance!

Xander
Sorcerer 20
Chaotic Good Halfling


Stats
. . . . . . . .28pt. . .Level Up
. . . . . . . .----. . .--------
Strength. . . . .6 . . . 4: CHA
Dexterity . . . 10 . . . 8: CHA
Constitution. . 14 . . .12: CHA
Intelligence. . 14 . . .16: CHA
Wisdom. . . . . .8 . . .20: CHA
Charisma. . . . 18 . . .24: CHA
. . . . . . . . . . . . 28: CHA

Skills
. . . . . 1 .2. 3 .4. 5 .6. 7 .8. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
. . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
Concent . 4 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 23
Spellcr . 4 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 23
Heal. . . 2 .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ . . 11
UMD . . . 2 .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ .½. ½ . . 11
Perform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. .1
. . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
. . . . .16 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4. 4 .4


Feats

.1. . . . : Least Dragonmark: Healing
.3. . . . : Spell Focus: Evocation
.6. . . . : Empower Spell
.9. . . . : Maximize Spell
12. . . . : Heighten Spell
15. . . . : Greater Spell Focus: Evocation
18. . . . : Mental Toughness
21 Epic . : Epic Spell Focus: Evocation
24 Epic . : Quicken Spell
26 Destiny: Epic Spell Power: Electricity
27 Epic . : Ruin
28 Destiny: Hellball


Spells

Detect Secret Doors, Protection from Evil, Merfolk's Blessing, Sonic Blast
Invisibility, Knock, Blur, Resist Energy
Fireball, Chain Missiles, Displacement, Heroism
Wall of Fire, Force Missiles, Dimension Door, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability
Eladar's Electric Surge, Cyclonic Blast, Ball Lightning, Dismissal
Chain Lightning, Globe of Invulnerability, True Seeing
Greater Teleport, Delayed Blast Fireball, Finger of Death
Otto's Irresistible Dance, Sunburst, Greater Shout
Meteor Swarm, Power Word: Kill, Energy Drain

Enhancements (80 AP)

Halfling (12 AP)
Halfling Luck
Jorasco Dragonmark Focus III, Acrobatic II
Lesser Dragonmark of Healing, Break out the Leeches
Greater Dragonmark of Healing

Air Savant (43 AP)
Air Savant, Air Affinity, Greater Air Affinity, Conduction, Light on Your Feet, Elemental Apotheosis
Shocking Grasp III, One with the Storm III, Spell Critical, Electrocution III
Pierce Electric Resistance III, Spell Critical
Spell Critical, Charisma
Electric Loop III, Spell Critical, Charisma
Lightning Bolt III, Awaken Elemental Weakness, Evocation Focus

Harper Agent (17 AP)
Agent of Good I, Charisma, Agent of Good II
Harper Enchantment, Traveler's Toughness II
Magical Endurance III, Versatile Adept III
Highly Skilled III

Eldritch Knight (8 AP)
Eldritch Strike, Spellsword: Shock
Toughness I, Battlemage III
Light Armor Proficiency


Destiny (24 AP)

Draconic Incarnation
Energy Sheath: Electricity III, Draconic Perception III
Out with bang: Electricity III, Precise: Evocation II
Dragon Heritage: Blue III
Energy Burst: Electricity III, Spell Knowledge III, Spell Augmentation I
Dragon Breath
Energy Vortex: Electricity

Twists of Fate (21 fate points)
Endless Faith (Tier 1 Exalted)
Rejuvenation Cocoon (Tier 1 Primal)
Stormrage (Tier 4 Primal)

Thalone
05-27-2015, 09:25 PM
Your spell selections seem a little off... As a Sorcerer, your spell slots are at a premium and should be reserved for spells where DCs matter or for nuking. Anything you can get away with scrolling or potting, you should. I'm looking primarily at True Seeing (which supercedes Detect Secret Doors), Heroism, Invisibility, Globe spells. Also keep in mind that you want a wide variety of elements in your attack spells, in case your enemies are immune. In particular, Disintegrate is a useful spell to take. There's an inchoate spell selection guide (http://ddowiki.com/page/Spell_usefulness) on the wiki.

In a similar vein, you may want to dip a bit into another elemental tree so you can get some cheap SLAs to supplement your spell rotation. You didn't take Wind Dance as an Air Sorc? Seems weird. I feel like you've invested too much into Harper and racial. I know you went halfling for flavour, but I don't think the Dragonmark healing will be overly useful on a UMD character like yours. Since you're already in the second tier of EK, you can take 75% boost to wand/scroll and use those for healing instead, for many more charges than will be available from Dragonmarks.

This would free up a feat slot for earlier metas--on a Sorc, you want metas early because they're free on your SLAs. Consider a secondary spell school in place of Mental Toughness--you'll have a billion SP on a Sorc, and you can fuel your SLAs indefinitely on echoes. Enchant for some CC? If you can get your Mass Hold DC high enough, that is free +50% helpless damage on everything.

I notice you didn't take any CHA in the ED tree--what difficulty are you planning on running? You're already 4 CHA/2 DC behind since you chose halfling instead of drow; you may start seeing lots of enemies saving if you don't bump up your casting stat via EDs. When I run Draconic, I tend to just take one tier of the left branch containing Energy Burst so I can afford to increase CHA.

cru121
05-28-2015, 12:26 AM
to make the early game a smoother experience, I'd recommend some shuffling around.

I'd take Maximize and Empower first. You're going to do just fine with cure potions the first levels. Consider also taking Quicken sooner, so that you can really spam all the SLAs.

I'd scroll Invisibility and take Scorching Ray. Instead of Heroism, take consider Haste. I also like Shout.

Skills: Ditch Heal. 11 ranks not worth it imo. I'd rather start with +2 STR.

Maybe less Harper, more Fire Savant secondary.

Red_Knight
05-28-2015, 04:58 AM
I assume this is a first life build, and that you don't have 32 point builds unlocked. Anyway, a few thoughts I had on your planned build.

Strength 6 could really bite you in the rear. Things that damage strength are fairly common, and with Str of 6 it doesn't take much to make you helpless. This also means you're likely to hit your encumbrance limit long before you have filled your bag.

Also, con 14 might be a little low. If you were an elf or drow then a 14 con is really good. But if you can get away with it, 16 or better yet 18 con is highly desirable.

One way you could do this is by dropping charisma down to 17 to start, and investing more in constitution. Alternately you could drop Int down to 10 to raise Con to 16. Going human would then allow you to still get 3 skill points per level.

I'd have to agree with others taht Heal isn't a vital skill for a sorc. It's only really useful for recovering health at shrines. I've never seen a situation where someone needs help stabilizing. Either they auto stabilize, something finishes them off before you can use the Heal skill, or they got killed instantly.

If you have any sort of magical healing shrines become useful only to recover spell points. And if you're investing in UMD, even the eternal cure minor wand from Catacombs is more then enough. That's what my sorc uses when soloing to heal. Or bring along a cleric/favored soul hireling. Either way you don't have to worry about using shrines to heal.

For feat selection, I have to ask you: Why didn't you consider Forceful Personality? Since you're using wisdom as a dump stat, Forceful Personality would ensure you get the best will save you can get. I'm also going to parrot others and say you should get your meta feats sooner. Empower and Maximize will help you far more then most anything else in early levels.

And finally enhancements. I'm not sure about the Harper Agent tree since I've never used it. But I have to ask why you are snagging Light Armor Proficiency from eldrich knight? Heck, is there a reason you're taking the tree to begin with?

I ask because this addition seems... odd. The extra health from Toughness 1 is useful. But with low dex, no shield, and little strength I'm not sure why you want to be in melee range. I can't imagine your AC will be that high so things will hit you easily. Without Tensers Transformation you're not likely to be hitting anything with your weapon, in melee or at range. Really, your stats seem wrong for dipping into this tree for melee abilities or armor.

Samones
05-28-2015, 07:15 PM
Consider a secondary spell school in place of Mental Toughness--you'll have a billion SP on a Sorc, and you can fuel your SLAs indefinitely on echoes. Enchant for some CC? If you can get your Mass Hold DC high enough, that is free +50% helpless damage on everything.

...

I notice you didn't take any CHA in the ED tree--what difficulty are you planning on running? You're already 4 CHA/2 DC behind since you chose halfling instead of drow; you may start seeing lots of enemies saving if you don't bump up your casting stat via EDs. When I run Draconic, I tend to just take one tier of the left branch containing Energy Burst so I can afford to increase CHA.
Thanks! This is my first time really playing as a ddo caster, so I wasn't sure how the SP issue was going to work out, and wasn't considering how much CC would help (same thing with Wind Dance, which I assume people generally use as an emergency escape? I'll find some way to fit that in). As for ED's and epic quests, they're really only theoretical at this point. Haven't gotten any character high enough to experience epic for myself, so I was kind of just going off of what sounded cool. I'll definitely look at taking some Cha points.


Consider also taking Quicken sooner, so that you can really spam all the SLAs.

I'd scroll Invisibility and take Scorching Ray. Instead of Heroism, take consider Haste. I also like Shout.

Maybe less Harper, more Fire Savant secondary.

I'm definitely switching Quicken to level 12 (my next level-up), and take your spell advice. I don't use invisibility often, and pots have worked pretty well so far, so I agree that it really doesn't need a spell slot.


I assume this is a first life build, and that you don't have 32 point builds unlocked. Anyway, a few thoughts I had on your planned build.
That would be correct.


Strength 6 could really bite you in the rear. Things that damage strength are fairly common, and with Str of 6 it doesn't take much to make you helpless. This also means you're likely to hit your encumbrance limit long before you have filled your bag.

Also, con 14 might be a little low. If you were an elf or drow then a 14 con is really good. But if you can get away with it, 16 or better yet 18 con is highly desirable.

One way you could do this is by dropping charisma down to 17 to start, and investing more in constitution. Alternately you could drop Int down to 10 to raise Con to 16. Going human would then allow you to still get 3 skill points per level.

I'd have to agree with others that Heal isn't a vital skill for a sorc. It's only really useful for recovering health at shrines. I've never seen a situation where someone needs help stabilizing. Either they auto stabilize, something finishes them off before you can use the Heal skill, or they got killed instantly.
I've always been confused by the whole Lesser Reincarnation thing. Would the Lesser Heart of Wood that each character gets on character creation allow me to fix some of these issues? Cause if so, that would be fantastic. I'd rather not completely reroll a new character, but if I use that Heart to get around that, then that would be awesome (if so, can someone walk me through it?)


And finally enhancements. I'm not sure about the Harper Agent tree since I've never used it. But I have to ask why you are snagging Light Armor Proficiency from eldrich knight? Heck, is there a reason you're taking the tree to begin with?
Really, the only reason I was thinking of dipping into EK was because I was having a bit of trouble with survivability and thought that the little bit of MRR and PRR from light armor might be a good investment. After reading through the replies, it sounds like the extra escape ability from Wind Dancer, more ranged SLA's, a few different spells (including a bit of CC) would do the same job and boost DPS at the same time.

unbongwah
05-28-2015, 08:41 PM
Since you're already lvl 10 and Chaotic Good, this build may be of limited use. But here's my sample build for a first-life halfling sorc.


Jorasco Savant
18/2 Sorcerer/Paladin
Lawful Good Halfling


Level Order

1. Sorcerer 6. Sorcerer 11. Sorcerer 16. Sorcerer
2. Sorcerer 7. Sorcerer 12. Sorcerer 17. Sorcerer
3. Sorcerer 8. Sorcerer 13. Paladin 18. Sorcerer
4. Sorcerer 9. Sorcerer 14. Paladin 19. Sorcerer
5. Sorcerer 10. Sorcerer 15. Sorcerer 20. Sorcerer


Stats
28pt 32pt Level Up
---- ---- --------
Strength 8 8 4: CHA
Dexterity 10 10 8: CHA
Constitution 14 16 12: CHA
Intelligence 12 12 16: CHA
Wisdom 8 8 20: CHA
Charisma 18 18 24: CHA
28: CHA

Skills
S S S S S S S S S S S S P P S S S S S S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
------------------------------------------------------------
Spellcr 4 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 3 1 1 1 1 23
Concent 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 21
UMD 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11
Tumble 1 1
------------------------------------------------------------
12 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
12 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3


Feats

1 : Maximize Spell
3 : Least Dragonmark: Healing
6 : Empower Spell
9 : Heighten Spell
12 : Enlarge Spell
13 Deity : Follower of: Sovereign Host
15 : Quicken Spell
18 : Spell Focus: Evocation
21 Epic : Greater Spell Focus: Evocation
24 Epic : Epic Spell Focus: Evocation
26 Destiny: Epic Spell Power: Electricity
27 Epic : Ruin
28 Destiny: Hellball


Spells



Magic Missile, Nightshield, Grease, Jump
Web, Snowball Swarm, Blur, Knock
Displacement, Lightning Bolt, Frost Lance, Sleet Storm
Ice Storm, Dimension Door, Force Missiles, <Any>
Ball Lightning, Eladar's Electric Surge, Niac's Biting Cold, Protection from Elements
Chain Lightning, Otiluke's Freezing Sphere, Disintegrate
Prismatic Spray, Otto's Sphere of Dancing, Mass Protection from Elements
Polar Ray, Otto's Irresistible Dance
Energy Drain



Enhancements (80 AP)

Halfling (12 AP)


Halfling Luck

Jorasco Dragonmark Focus III, Acrobatic I
Lesser Dragonmark of Healing, Break out the Leeches, Nimble Reaction I
Greater Dragonmark of Healing



Air Savant (40 AP)


Air Savant, Air Affinity, Greater Air Affinity, Conduction, Light on Your Feet

Shocking Grasp III, Spell Critical, Electrocution III
Spell Critical, Alternating Current III
Spell Critical, Charisma
Electric Loop III, Feather Fall, Spell Critical, Charisma
Lightning Bolt III, Awaken Elemental Weakness, Wind Dance, Evocation Focus



Water Savant (28 AP)


Water Savant, Water Affinity, Greater Water Affinity, Hypothermia

Cold Ray III, Spell Critical
Efficient Maximize III, Spell Critical
Spell Critical, Charisma
Snowball Swarm III, Spell Critical, Charisma




Destiny (24 AP)

Draconic Incarnation


Energy Sheath: Electricity III, Draconic Perception I
Out with bang: Electricity III, Precise: Evocation II
Dragon Heritage: Blue III
Energy Burst: Electricity III, Secondary Specialty: White II, Spell Knowledge III
<none>
Energy Vortex: Electricity, Fearsome Invulnerability


Twists of Fate (5 fate points)


School Specialist: Evocation (Tier 2 Magister)
Unearthly Reactions (Tier 1 Magister)



A few comments:

It's a good idea to have a backup element. I went Air+Water, but if you prefer Air+Fire, switch savants and adjust your spell list accordingly.
A pally 2 splash provides a big boost to survivability: namely Divine Grace (adds your CHA mod to all of your saves) plus armor & shield proficiencies. I usually wait until after lvl 12 so you can pick up Chain Lightning and Conduction first.
I like Enlarge because it increases the range on most of your spells, inc. SLAs. Alternatively you could take Extend or Force of Personality.

Red_Knight
05-29-2015, 03:24 AM
I've always been confused by the whole Lesser Reincarnation thing. Would the Lesser Heart of Wood that each character gets on character creation allow me to fix some of these issues? Cause if so, that would be fantastic. I'd rather not completely reroll a new character, but if I use that Heart to get around that, then that would be awesome (if so, can someone walk me through it?)

Lesser Reincarnation keeps your current level and class choices (unless you use a +x lesser heart of wood). It also doesn't let you change race, gender, or alignment. What it does do is let you change appearance, reallocate your initial stat points, and re-level. This allows you to change feats taken, skill selection, and when applicable spell selections. It should also raise your character to a 32 point build if you aren't a drow, I think, allowing you to spend a few more points on base stats.



Really, the only reason I was thinking of dipping into EK was because I was having a bit of trouble with survivability and thought that the little bit of MRR and PRR from light armor might be a good investment. After reading through the replies, it sounds like the extra escape ability from Wind Dancer, more ranged SLA's, a few different spells (including a bit of CC) would do the same job and boost DPS at the same time.

Just wearing leather or chain armor wont improve your survivability very much. Without a high dex to supplement the light armor, you are still going to get hit a lot. Non-magical chain armor is equal to +4 robes or black widow bracers after all. And light armor wont give as much physical resistance as you're hoping for. Light armor, shield, high dex, and the improved mage armor SLA from eldrich knight can give okay AC and okay physical resistance. Better yet if you invested in the medium armor enhancement. Best still if you can pull off full plate and tower shield without any spell failure. But just light armor is kind of meh. it wont provide much protection on it's own. There's a reason high dex rangers and bards use to run around in robes or outfits while using bracers of armor after all.

Having more hit points, stacking things like blur and (occasionally) displacement, management of where you are vs the enemies, and having a means to self heal provides much more survivability. My main sorcerer at level 10 for example has a lot better chance of surviving quests now after I rerolled yet again. The reroll has 18 Charisma and 18 Constitution base, with the rest going into Int for skill points and raising Str/Dex to 10. But then this is a 32 point build. Yeah I get hit more often when things get close. But not that much more often. I was only getting a 13% defense chance at level, I think, from my bracers of armor +5 and 18 dex. Could be misremembering the chance to avoid being hit.

I should mention my sorcerer is a 'burn them to the ground' style fire savant who's spell list doesn't include much, if any, crowd control just yet. Shardrena's idea of 'crowd control' is "maximized fireball to the face" or "maximized, empowered, heightened Scorch and Burning Hands to the face"

Red_Knight
05-29-2015, 03:38 AM
A few comments:

It's a good idea to have a backup element. I went Air+Water, but if you prefer Air+Fire, switch savants and adjust your spell list accordingly.
A pally 2 splash provides a big boost to survivability: namely Divine Grace (adds your CHA mod to all of your saves) plus armor & shield proficiencies. I usually wait until after lvl 12 so you can pick up Chain Lightning and Conduction first.
I like Enlarge because it increases the range on most of your spells, inc. SLAs. Alternatively you could take Extend or Force of Personality.


In order

I'd personally gone with Force as my secondary spell type. Many force spells are auto hit, and you aren't likely to see things resist it. While the stuff that has Shield or Night Shield can easily be burned/electrified/frozen/whatever. But I agree, having a backup damage source is a Good Thing. Especially as a fire savant in my case. Grr, blackbone skeletons and oozes.
If you have access to half elves, the paladin dilettante can serve much the same as splashing paladin. You don't get the armor and shield proficiency, but if you really want those you can dip into the Eldrich Knight tree anyway. But in general using a shield and armor is a bad idea as a sorcerer.
All three are good options. Force of Personality switches will save to using charisma instead of wisdom. Extend can make some of your spells more cost effective. While Enlarge could let you nuke from further away. But with 8 wisdom I'd personally suggest force of personality.