Realising slowly that i'm the only real epic Lord of Blades tank of my guild, i decided to make a "simple to gear" build, which doesnt require a bunch of past life to work awesomely.
Very similar versions by way better builders than me have probably already been made, however, this build is based on the http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=344637, that i play myself with some nice efficiency (thanks to the build of course ^^) on epic Lord of Blades.
As you can read on the link i posted, my toon is AC built, however, i realized how much DR and damage mitigation was more important than AC once you get deeper in the very end game content of DDO.
As far as my toon owns a eSOS, his dps are rather weak, to not say real weak for a fighter. Even though i can pass in THF mode, i still feel that he is only dedicated for pure tanking, and i dont see the point of bringing him to do anything else.
That's why i tried to focus a bit more on a decent dps output, without real gear requirement. Indeed, people have usually real issue to build an efficient tank because they try to focus on AC. I had all the gear required before i decided to make a 4th life tank on that toon, but even if i got the required AC to tank the lord of blades on hard, even on elite with ideal setup, going for pure damage resistance and mitigation is way ahead for many reasons :
- You don't need to ask for buffs like the paladin aura or a bard song, you are really much more self sufficient
- You can choose a gear setup that allows you a better damage output as soon as your shield is blocking as much damages as possible.
- You are tankwise efficient for almost any raid as soon as you got enough intimidate and a DR breaking shield/weapon.
In addition, if you are purely dedicated to DR tanking, you can totally focus on HP and dps as soon as you got your enhancement and shield feats requirements filled.
RACE : Half-elf
I know this is a P2P race, however, it grants in my opinion 2 great things for this build :
- 2 intimi clickies : the normal version with the 15 seconds timer, and a half-elf version with a timer i would evaluate around 45 sec-1 min (would have to compute it, correct me if you got the actual duration).
- Best self healing amp possible thanks to the monk dilletante (20% from human ascendancy, 20% from monk dilletante), which grants you 40% base healing amp for only 12 AP (against 30% for the same cost if you are human) <= thanks ubonhgwah for the correction there.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE DILLETANTE : To get the monk dilletante without the need of starting with 13 wisdom, you can take any dilletante at start, and go for 12 wisdom + 1 tome, or 11 wisdom +2 tome (depending on what you can afford), and swap the dilletante feat with Fred as soon as you reach 13 base wisdom.
SPLIT : 18 fighter 2 monk
Why 18 fighter ?
- Because it grants stalwart defender III, fighter prestige associated to the tanking as the name subtly suggests it.
- Not going to capstone, even if 10% doublestrike is nice, i dont think what it actually grants worth a 2 monk splash (for the incoming reasons)
Why 2 monk ?
- The class feats of the monk allow you to take thoughness, while on fighter levels, you can't take thougnesses on fighter class feats, and you may want to save non class-related ones to take particular feats like dragonmarks (if you plan to use epic chimera's fang, which i will speak about later).
- Way of the tenacious badger grants +1 intimidate, and every intimidate you can get is awesome to when you come to tank the lord of blades.
- Evasion... first of all you have to know i NEVER build for evasion, and that's just a bonus on the build. However, when you come to tank the lord of blades on epic, saving a blade barrier or a cometfall damage is awesome (especially when you have to grab him away from the blade barrier, you have to cross it). It also saves some damages on various bosses (Horoth's spells...). And you can actually reach pretty nice saves even without maxing dexterity like the Zerjmoar does.
General note for real beginners that can't access monk nor half elf : After some checking about the various tanks build on the forum, Shade's one seems simply in the same way of thinking as the one i'm presenting here. Here is the link : http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=344642
I still value the half elf over the dwarf for its healing amp and double intimidate, but i guess dwarf and human remains real good tanks in any situations.
CHARACTER PLAN :
Here is a quick guide, i did it quite too fast, and took the feats in a rather random order (which should work still, i just don't like to take cleave last). Note ALSO that it is meant to be used with epic chimera's fang, which isnt a difficult epic item to acquire at all, but grants real nice bonuses for stalwarts.
If you plan to use pure intimidate tanking, thus a rather weaker threat generation, i would recommend to go for more thoughnesses instead of the dragonmarks, for 66 additional HP + 20%, for around 80 additional HP.
Also note you can go for dual epic chimera's fang in dps mod, which would bring simply be done by replacing the 3 THF feats (Two Handed Fighting, Improved Two Handed Fighting, Greater Two Handed Fighting) by the 3 Two Weapons Fighting feats (and you would then need to start with 15 dexterity, could lower charisma or constitution and use enhancements to unodd it).
2 feats that people may ask the reason why i took them :Code:Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 03.11.02 DDO Character Planner Home Page Francis Level 20 Lawful GoodNeutral Half-Elf Male (18 Fighter \ 2 Monk) Hit Points: 444 Spell Points: 0 BAB: 19\19\24\29\29 Fortitude: 18 Reflex: 12 Will: 12 Starting Feat/Enhancement Abilities Base Stats Modified Stats (32 Point) (Level 1) (Level 20) Strength 14 24 Dexterity 14 16 Constitution 16 19 Intelligence 8 8 Wisdom 12 14 Charisma 14 16 Tomes Used +2 Tome of Strength used at level 7 +2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 7 +2 Tome of Constitution used at level 7 +2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7 +2 Tome of Charisma used at level 7 Starting Feat/Enhancement Base Skills Modified Skills Skills (Level 1) (Level 20) Balance 2 3 Bluff 2 3 Concentration 3 4 Diplomacy 2 3 Disable Device n/a n/a Haggle 2 3 Heal 1 2 Hide 2 3 Intimidate 2 19 Jump 2 7 Listen 1 2 Move Silently 2 3 Open Lock n/a n/a Perform n/a n/a Repair -1 -1 Search -1 -1 Spot 1 2 Swim 2 7 Tumble n/a n/a Use Magic Device n/a n/a Level 1 (Monk) Feat: (Selected) Bullheaded Feat: (Half-Elf Dilettante) Half-Elf Dilettante: Monk Feat: (Monk Bonus) Toughness Level 2 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Power Attack Level 3 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Shield Bash Feat: (Selected) Skill Focus: Intimidate Level 4 (Fighter) Level 5 (Monk) Feat: (Monk Bonus) Toughness Level 6 (Fighter) Feat: (Selected) Least Dragonmark of Storm Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Shield Mastery Level 7 (Fighter) Level 8 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Two Handed Fighting Level 9 (Fighter) Feat: (Selected) Lesser Dragonmark of Storm Level 10 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Shield Mastery Level 11 (Fighter) Level 12 (Fighter) Feat: (Selected) Greater Dragonmark of Storm Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Two Handed Fighting Level 13 (Fighter) Level 14 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Greater Two Handed Fighting Level 15 (Fighter) Feat: (Selected) Toughness Level 16 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons Level 17 (Fighter) Level 18 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Sunder Feat: (Selected) Toughness Level 19 (Fighter) Level 20 (Fighter) Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Cleave Enhancement: Fighter Armor Class Boost I Enhancement: Fighter Armor Class Boost II Enhancement: Fighter Armor Class Boost III Enhancement: Fighter Extra Action Boost I Enhancement: Fighter Haste Boost I Enhancement: Fighter Haste Boost II Enhancement: Fighter Haste Boost III Enhancement: Fighter Haste Boost IV Enhancement: Fighter Stalwart Defender I Enhancement: Fighter Stalwart Defender II Enhancement: Fighter Stalwart Defender III Enhancement: Human Adaptability Strength I Enhancement: Human Greater Adaptability Constitution I Enhancement: Human Improved Recovery I Enhancement: Human Improved Recovery II Enhancement: Human Versatility I Enhancement: Human Versatility II Enhancement: Human Versatility III Enhancement: Human Versatility IV Enhancement: Fighter Item Defense I Enhancement: Fighter Item Defense II Enhancement: Way of the Tenacious Badger I Enhancement: Half-Elf Improved Recovery I Enhancement: Half-Elf Improved Recovery II Enhancement: Racial Toughness I Enhancement: Racial Toughness II Enhancement: Racial Toughness III Enhancement: Improved Intimidate I Enhancement: Improved Intimidate II Enhancement: Improved Intimidate III Enhancement: Improved Intimidate IV Enhancement: Fighter Strength I Enhancement: Fighter Strength II Enhancement: Fighter Toughness I Enhancement: Fighter Toughness II Enhancement: Fighter Toughness III
- Improved Sunder : If you go for chimera's fang path, you'll get +10 shatter, which represents 10 additional DC to your Sunder attempts. With your rather high strength, you should be able to land it very often, and it's simply - 8 AC and a reduction of the fortification of the boss ; thus granting more critical hits chance to your party.
- Cleave : First it can be used as quickdraw to balance the lost swings when you are on the little attack block cooldown of a boost use, but it also grants you to keep shield blocking and still be able to hit with your weapon, while it is only letting you not blocking less than a second, if you try to swing while shield blocking, you'll need more time to be blocking again. Also grants you a circular attack around you, good to grab initial aggro in a pack of mobs.
(that part isnt real clear, i can't explain it well, please apologize me).
If you think you should replace these feats by feats enhancing your combat abilities like weapon focus, go ahead. However i can tell you that on my tank, even AC based, i am shield blocking most of the time (ok i mainly tank lord of blades nowadays).
I dont like to apply the skill points on the character planner, though, the skill repartition is quite simple.
4 skills are important to me, however you wont be able to max them : Intimidate, balance, jump and spot (in some extend)
- Intimidate MUST be maxed. This is your main tanking ability, every single point you can get needs to be taken.
- Balance is really important for tanks, however you can basically get a decent rank with a decent dexterity, an +15 item and some buffs
- Jump is real great to flee a pack of mob, or to go to the mob you need to tank when others are blocking you the way, however, once again, you can get a decent jump with some strength and and item and/or buff
- Spot allows you to see enemies on your way, allowing you to get them and not run across them letting them go on the party. I assume it can be replaced by some party setup with you well ahead, being sure aggro will be for you.
Make sure you got 1 point in tumble, so that you can move easily while blocking.
For the intimidate computation :
1 Badger path
6 Stalwart Defender III
7 Charisma modifier
20 Epic Brawn Spirit
2 Good Luck
4 Fighter intimidate IV
3 Skill focus : Intimi
2 Coin Lord Favor
4 Greater Heroism
1 Yugoloth Charisma potion
6 GS charisma skills item
81 intimidate (+2 bard, +2 monk - 84)
+ (5 Claw Gloves) => 86 (up to 90, overkill)
Assuming epic Lord of Blade is no fail intimi on a 82-83, you should be fine without claw gloves, and starting with 14 CHA. However if you can afford epic claw gloves, it's +5 intimi right here, and you may want to then dump charisma at beginning, so you can put more points in strength.
Thanks to unbongwah for making me add this useful part
As i said, i assume this build is NOT difficult to gear at all, and here are some ideas or recommendations, for the more BASIC version i could make.
Head - Any + 6 stat helm, or anything you can slot there is fine. Minos Legens is awesome in itself as being a real easy item to get (ideally epic helm of frost)
Necklace - Any + 6 stat you may need can be slotted here. Silver Flame Talisman isnt bad if you really have nothing else
Trinket - Epic Brawn Spirit (not EASY to get, but some farming should do it.)
Cloak - Anything you can slot here is good (ideally epic envenomed)
Goggles - Could make a GS HP item there
Gloves - Ideally epic gloves of the claw but THAT'S rather hard to get. Thus Frabricator gauntlets to finish your set with the bracers is a decent idea.
Belt - ToD 6 CON GFL belt will work awesomely there. Easy to get. GS +6 CHA skills item isnt bad there for your intimi.
Boots - Madstone boots will prolly do wonder
Bracers - Could make a GS HP item there, otherwise you can check those new cannith bracers (Fabricators bracers), epic scorched are good to finish your Abishai set if you can afford it.
R1 - Any ToD ring to max out the stats you want
R2 - Any ToD ring to max out the stats you want
Body - 30% 20% 10% Dragontouched healing amp would probably work awesomely, maxing your healing amp
Shield : CRAFTED +5 holy burst(metal DR breaking what you tank) tower shield of greater (what you tank) bane will work awesomely, both for pure dps from shield and Damage resistance (25% damage mitigation).
Weapon : Epic chimera's fang if you can afford it, otherwise a crafted +5 holy burst of Gw/eB is cool while waiting. (a +5 holy burst adamantine returning axe of Greater Construct Bane is really golden in Lord of Blades for aggro resets espeically on last phase, just saying).
As you might have understood it, the only items i REALLY recommend are :
- Epic Brawn Spirit
- Crafted Tower Shield
- Epic chimera's fang if planning to use it
For the rest, just try to find a decent setup to maximize what you wish to maximize.
Hopefully i wasnt TOO unclear, i assume that many improvements and suggestions can and must be made, i'and m ready to answer any question of course =)