Monkchers For Noobs!
I have now been in a party with two different archer types post U19 and they seem really strong and fun. After perusing the two recent threads in this forum, I am simply left scratching my head.
It seems like race = elf is a sure thing. It also seems like there are some number of monk levels, however, how many? Are the rest ranger? One of the toons I adventured with had a cleric level and I couldn't really imagine why beyond a bit of self-healing. Seemed odd.
Taking a look at the enhancement trees, do you access the AA tree thru the elf racial tree?
What type of starting stats and level ups make sense? It seems like the DEX to damage isn't working, so how does the affect the build?
Finally, I can certainly guess at some feats, but what are "must-haves" compared to "nice-to-have"?
I appreciate any light that can be shed on this subject, even if it is simply pointing me to another thread elsewhere.
I plan on taking my Human Ranger AA down this road with a Monk/AA or Monk/Ranger/AA, but haven't finalized my idea.
Originally Posted by ThomasHunter
Any elven race EXCEPT the Drow get the AA option with 4 AP in their racial tree. Just meet the prereqs, add 4 AP and the AA tree appears as an option.
The Elven AA progresses a little slower in getting those last two cores (you can't until you hit Epic levels) but is otherwise identical to the Ranger version. I fancy the idea of going 6 Ranger levels, the rest as Monk, to gain TWF, Manyshot, Bow Strength feats to add to the Monk unarmed fighting when melee's needed. The Monk levels will add some diversity I prefer, but others may want more Ranger. A few points would go into the Ninja Spy tree for stealth or shortsword and poison DoTs, perhaps, or go Shintao for some healing amp and durability. There's a lot of options but it's going to be an AP-starving build if you put too much emphasis on the Monk and racial sides and not into the dominate AA skills, or forget your need to occasionally go melee and survive over shooting everything.
I've been searching the forum and the web in general, and although there seems to be a good bit of info I can't find anywhere that locks down a "typical" Monkcher build post U19. Having never rolled one before, I'm looking for something that can explain to me the synergy of the splashes and when to take what. Does anyone have a link to a build like that, or would be willing to cliff-notes the build+order for me?
Originally Posted by Spencerian
There are a lot of ways to build a 'monkcher' but here would be my breakpoints for making one:
6 monk levels are required to get 10k stars. That's really a defining trait of a monkcher.
6 ranger levels aren't required but they make qualifying for most of the DWS/AA stuff much easier (don't have to be elf, don't need to spend in racial tree, etc)
A high wisdom is recommended to boost 10k stars and to-hit with Zen Archery feat.
That's really it - the cornerstones of monkcher. Feat-wise you'll want everything boosting archery including manyshot and improved precise shot. I've seen monkchers go with dex for damage or str for damage and do well either way. I've seen a large variety of splashes that people make work very well. Really after those cornerstones I mentioned it's all building to taste.
Now, keeping in mind what I posted here's my opinions on what I like in a monkcher:
For me, I want to play 100% ranged. That's my personal preference and it's not the 'right' way...it's just my way.
In that set up you'll want a few things:
1) Solid passive ki regen. You want to be able to run 10k stars every cooldown without running out of ki and without putting down the bow. I currently accomplish that by skipping out on shadow fade and abundant step. By not using those I can get by with a passive ki regen of 1. Using those might mean shifting to ocean stance, twisting enlightenment, etc.
2) Solid self-healing. If you're ranged you'll likely find yourself missing out on a lot of the healing - bursts and masses won't hit you in a lot of situations. Also, as a ranged toon you'll be able to solo some things that would not be within the grasp of most melee toons. Both of those mean wanting very good self healing. The ranger levels provide some devotion boost as can Shintao. Going 8 ranger or tossing in 2 fvs levels allows you to take Empower Healing to boost a twisted cocoon even more. I personally splashed arti to get wand/scroll 75% boost as well as full UMD. There are a lot of options here but being able to self-heal through EE's should be a goal on a good monkcher.
3) I prefer strength-based for damage mod. I want to put as much as possible into wisdom (make it my primary stat) but Overwhelming Critical means getting base strength to 23 while Combat Archery only requires a base dex of 21. Combine that with the fact that there are more ways to boost str than dex and you've got a solid argument for going str-based for damage (again, keeping wisdom as your primary stat).
With the most recent changes (specifically Warpriest enhancements) I could really see going 12 monk/6 ranger/2 fvs or even 9 monk/6 ranger/5 fvs as nice options. There's tons of AP to be spent in Warpriest to boost weapon damage as a Silver Flame FvS. Honestly the 5fvs version would most likely be unworkable because there's simply too MUCH to spend the AP's on as it is. But even a 2 level splash provides low-hanging PRR, hp's, boosts to weapon damage with longbows, and Divine Might to boost strength even higher.
One last thought. Monkchers have very high stat demands if you're looking to build a good one. You're aiming for 40+ wisdom buffed/geared, 23 str for overwhelming critical, 21 dex for Combat Archery and you need to boost either str or dex as much as possible for added damage. In addition to that you want con for health, int helps with skill points (especially if you're fitting in UMD/Healing), and Charisma helps with UMD. You may not spend points on all of those but you're going to need every stat for something and some require very high amounts just to take the feats you want. As such they're very dependent on high value tomes to fit everything in.
Thank you very much for this information. It has cleared up a lot of things for me regarding the build.
Originally Posted by Darkrok
There are many ways to build a monkcher and the damage at the end will be really near the same.
My build is actual the one in my signatur. Half-Elf (works also great-Elf is NOT a must have!) 12 monk / 6 ranger / 2 Arti - for >40 UMD for buffs/scrolls/ress. I played it first with 2 Rouge instead of Artificer and with Overw.Critical / Strength based. But i changed it to da Dex-based Build without Overw.Crit - doing the same damage at all as before.
One of the most powerfull may be atm Elf 8 Fighter / 6 Monk / 6 Ranger. Here u can use the Kensei tree very well for more damage, but overall both builds are very powerfull and can handle each EE content solo. The reason i use the Arti build is the option to ress partymember, buff GH and teleport pp.
With the Fighter Build u are a ONLY damagedealer without any supportoptions.
Today even without arti or rogue splash you can hit 40sh UMD with just a gh, spare hand and 20-24 cha. add in cha skills +6 GS if you're worried about it... but I do not use it because I already hit no fail heal scroll without gs item.
Originally Posted by Zotze
Also, when you have cocoon with 200 spellpower you're not gonna use heal scrolls that often.
Fair few players are of the opinion heal scroll>cocoon. Having rolled a toon to test it, I gotta say, it's convincing. Instant 450 heal (no racial heal amp) is pretty darn nice from level 12 -> 28. Cocoon, while it helps, doesn't seem as useful.
Originally Posted by korsat
From helf dille, you mean? Heal scrolls at level 12 seem a reach from just umd. Also, you need significant heal amp to get 450 out of a heal scroll, and that's tough to come by earlier in heroic levels.
Originally Posted by Soulfurnace
What's the hamp breakdown for epic characters getting 450 from heal scrolls?
Never! TR UMD power! (Still need *2 arti PL and completionist. As it stands, I'm at 95% at level 11 unless I use a >2 charisma item.)
Originally Posted by EllisDee37
The breakdown.. I'm cheating. Arti wand+scroll mastery (and UMD), combined with .1 heal amp from ship and a 10/20/30 heal amp stick. Add on racial hamp (if applicable) and you're fine to go.
It is doable otherwise, but this specific life had a racial requirement (due to a friends insistence), making everything more awkward.
Tl:dr; I cheated, used arti for UMD and 75% to scrolls, then an offhand heal amp kama.
There are a lot of ways to build a monkcher, but the basics you want to hit:
- minimum of 6 monk levels for Ten Thousand Stars
- access to the AA tree via either being an elf or half-elf, or by having at least 5 ranger levels
- Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Improved Precise Shot, Zen Archery, 10K Stars, Improved Crit: Ranged
- either Bow Strength or the ability to use another stat for damage (Elven Grace for Dex)
- some way to keep the Ki flowing--either by swapping to melee when Manyshot and 10K Stars are on cooldown, or by picking up passive Ki production (Contemplation 3, Ninja Spy Stealthy 3, or Enlightenment 3 in Grandmaster of Flowers); also Master Ocean Stance (Water III); you can stack these for more gen. having a high Concentration also helps, because it will determine how much ki you start quests with, and have after shrinng.
- get Wis as high as possible: the number of arrows you fire while in 10K Stars is determined by your Wis score (for example, you will never loose 4 arrows on a volley until you hit a 42 Wis)
Now, the things that work very well:
- 6 ranger levels gets you most of the feats you need (Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Bow Strength, Manyshot), access to both AA and Deepwood Stalker, and a couple of other minor goodies
- 12 monk gets you faster movement, better saves, Master stances (including Earth III for +1 crit multiplier on 19-20, and PRR and HP), Abundant Step, and some other goodies
- Fighter levels give you some bonus feats (6 fighter is 4 bonus feats, while 6 ranger is 4 bonus feats for archery, plus TWF, ITWF, and Die Hard--realistically, they're even) and access to Kensei for some DPS boosts
- elf comes with other benefits, besides access to the AA tree, including more to-hit and damage with your bows
- most builds end up with 2 levels they can put into a 3rd class, and most builds I've seen either go fighter for the extra feats (if they aren't already going deeper with fighter) or a casting class for access to some healing benefits, or artificer for better scrolls, and access to skills
- last I read (and this is about a year and a half ago), Rapid Reload has a small benefit to ranged rate of fire with bows (5%) if still true, the 2 arti splash gives you a little more by including this as a freebie
- if you're going to be playing at epic levels, it's probably worth trying to squeeze in Power Attack, Cleave, and Great Cleave in order to hit Overwhelming Critical (though this also requires a lot of Str, which can be hard to manage with the Dex and Wis requirements the build has already without some big tomes)
- 11 ranger can get you all of the heroic-level archery feats (except Point Blank Shot, Zen Archery and 10K Stars) for free, and without requiring you to invest in Dex, which can make getting OC (above) easier, and will mean you probably have a little more damage/shot
- going AA on an elf is kind of expensive, since it costs you 4 AP just to unlock the AA tree, and you need to have spent a chunk of AP on racial ehancements
- Shiradi is fun, but Fury is DEVASTATING! Worth twisting in Pin from Shiradi if you're in Fury.
As far as AP goes, you want to get to AA tier 5 for Arrow of Slaying. The rest of your AP can go wherever, though I'll say that AA core 3, and DWS core 3 are both excellent.
For my monkcher, I've gone 12 monk/6 ranger/2 artificer, used my spare feat slots for Dodge (considering changing this) and Precision. I have all the tier 5 AA abilities, core 3 in Deepwood, and enough AP to get me there, and Wand and Scroll Mastery 3 in Archanotechnician. I've got 1 rank in Shintao for the healing amp, and 8 AP in Henshin to get to tier 3 Contemplation for +1 passive Ki generation. The rest gets invested in elf longbow attack and damage and Ninja Spy +3% dodge, and whatever else I have points for (extra sneak attack probably).
I appreciate all of the feedback. I am playing with a friend (trying to duo most quests) and we're first life at this time. So, we did a bit of compromising and I took 1 Rogue and plan on going the rest Ranger.
Why? Admittedly, this is a bit overwhelming never having even tried it before. So, if I like it (it's fun so far and we've gone from 5-8), I would plan on a TR which would make a bit of this easier for sure.
My biggest angst seems to be over Grace and using STR for damage. I love the flavor of Grace for sure.
So next life, I would plan a full out monkcher with the ideas captured here. I'm thinking I need to play around with 10K Stars and see just what that is as well. I kind of understand from the description, but it seems like you want to experience what it does.
Oh, I'm thinking Zen Archery is needed in order to stay centered. Is this true?
Yes zen archery will be needed to stay centred with bows.
I made a Monkcher build (called it Monkcheric) and put it in the custom builds section,but not getting a ton of feedback. It may also be an option for the OP.
I went Human over elf because you get healing amp for less AP plus extra skill points and an extra feat which is nice when you have to waste 3 feats on Power Attack, Cleave and Great Cleave to just get Overwhelming Crit.
Another poster went FVS, but to be honest I think Cleric might be better. You get Wand & Scroll mastery at tier 1 and also opens Warpriest for divine might and righteous weapons and of course Empower Healing so you don't have to choose Heal Scroll over Empower Cocoon. You can do both.
I'd appreciate any feedback either in this thread or in the original. I too am new to the monkcher builds and am excited to TR and looking for a range only (or mostly) build. I decided I will TR my tempest who already has a Pinion. I guess I'll just bank my Kopeshes for another life.