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  1. #1
    Community Member hermespan's Avatar
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    Default Fenris Build(melee specialized wolf druid)

    I get a lot of questions when I'm in parties and the only one in front of me is the barbarian or that well built assassin in kill count or theres a barbarian and assassin and I'm ahead of both of them.

    here's how it's done. Learn from my mistakes.
    Build
    Race
    Helf, rogue dilettante, end of story. 3d6 sneak attack. You are a melee, this SA stacks with your wolf sneak attack and capstone, and you should have bluff pumped. This is "free" dps. You end up with 11d6 sneak attack. That's nothing to sneeze at.
    Feats
    Don't think like a caster. You don't need quicken. Just get that out of your head. To do a melee wolf druid right you can't go half way. I've been screamed at by idiots that think otherwise, talk in party chat about how every druid MUST have it or they are gimp, and I beg to differ. They are stupid, don't understand wolf form, and are thinking like casters. I've taken quicken on one of my lives. Trust me. Total waste of a feat. I saw 0, ZERO, difference in spell failure. It doesn't add DPS, so why are you taking it?

    When you shield block in wolf form, you attack normally. Your heals won't get interrupted if you take concentration, max it, and when you are shield blocking, which should be 100% of the time. I've had 20 mobs on me and not failed heals when shield blocking and swinging the whole time without quicken. I've done a LOT of testing. There's NO penalty for sheild blocking in wolf form.

    If you don't believe me save quicken for when you start failing heals. You can always take it later. You won't fail heals if you heed my advice.

    Toughness
    IC:Blunt
    Power Attack
    Shield Mastery
    Improved Shield Mastery
    3x natural fighting
    Maximize

    As a wolf druid, doublestrike is your bread and butter. Max it. Forget augment. you can't swap it out at fred (at least on my druid it's been bugged for both lives so far, Life 3? I've learned my lesson), and in EE content your pets are useless. Maximize because sometimes you will be casting for that extra bit of dps. May as well double your AOE dps and double your vigors.

    Stats
    Personally I wouldn't build a melee druid with less than 32 pt build.
    16 str, 16 wis, 13 dex(for rogue dilly), 16 con, dump int, put the rest in charisma(for umd)

    Skills
    Concentration, Bluff, UMD, Balance, in order of importance

    Weapon Type:
    Wall of wood, epic hard at least. You get heal amp, nice DR and you get more doublestrike when using a shield. You lose DPS by dual wielding or using handwraps.

    First off, forget about scimitar. You want to use clubs as a wolf form specialist melee druid. Remember in wolf form, the damage profile of your weapon is overridden by wolf form so that 20/X2 crit profile doesn't mean anything.

    Build yourself a Lit II sceptre. Huh? A sceptre? A sceptre is classed as a club as far as using it as a melee weapon. You can't build a greensteel club, so you are stuck with sceptre for a weapon you are both proficient in, and is wood (since it's treated as a simple club weapon type). This also opens up possibilities when picking up blanks for crafting because you can choose from clubs or sceptres for your crafted weapons.

    Why club? 3 reasons.

    The first one is Shillelagh. Adds .5(W) and doesn't work on scimitars because they are metal. Clubs and sceptres are wood and shillelagh only adds that half die on wood weapons.

    The second reason I'll get back to a little later when I talk about EDs, but it's a doozy.

    The third reason is druid is proficient in simple clubs and sceptres, but not anything else that's wood and allows you to use a shield.

    Clubs and sceptres can be crafted into DR breakers when they have a red augment slot. You can slot silver, cold iron, whatever in there. There are no transmuting clubs (they are wood!) so this is a requirement for cannith crafting blanks. Start collecting sceptres and clubs that have red augments if you are/have a crafter.

    Generic random loot gen clubs and sceptres with red augment slots can be had on the AH for between 500-10k plat. Way cheap!

    I know this is long winded so bear with me.

    Destinies:
    Before we get started on EDs, you are going to need 19 fate points so start grinding.
    DPS Mode
    As far as I'm concerned, for DPS mode, the only ED that exists is dreadnought. I've tried them all 6 ways to sunday, including shiradi, primal gimp, and the rest. You have to be careful when configured for max dps. I don't use this in EE PuGs because it makes me a glass cannon, but you can romp all over EH content with it. I do better in EH raids, EH Tor and EE PuGs in a more tanked out ED, _unless_ it's a guild run and I have competent crowd control. The casters in my guild really know what they are doing so I max dps it in guild runs no matter what.

    1. Lightning Mace
    Remember reason 2 for using clubs? This is it. Electric damage works against pretty much 80% of mobs. Much more than fire does in end game content. PLUS, on vorpals you get a lightning strike proc. On all crits you get a 15% doublestrike bonus for 6 seconds 15%! For reasons outlined below you are critting for 300-680 (or 1,111 when your procs are all maxed) damage + 680 lightning strike + 680 lightning mace vorpals + holy burst + sneak attack. I've had this happen and doublestrike. you are sometimes looking at 6k damage on a single vorpal doublestrike when your Lit II also procs lightning strike.

    I've seen single numbers doublestriking in my damage stream of 1,111+yadda+yadda+yadda+yadda when everything is proc'ing. No it's not a 12k eSoS barbarian crit. However eSoS is an iWin button and druids can do more than 12k vorpals and knock stuff down, so I don't feel bad playing second fiddle to barbarians. A good assassin, pally or fighter has the potential to outkill this build but it doesn't happen much.

    2. Melee haste boost
    Anyone that's played a straight melee class knows how awesome this is. Once you've had it it's hard to live without. You get 8/rest in dreadnought if you take the +3 action boost on tier 1, which you should.
    3. Improved power attack.
    Adds another +.5(W) to power attack.
    4. Advancing blows
    +1 to hit and damage on crit, stacks 5x
    5. Devastating Critical
    +1 crit damage multiplier on 19-20 rolls
    6. Pulverizer
    +1 threat range with bludgeon weapon equipped.
    7. Volcano's edge
    Use this and a scimitar for mobs that are vulnerable to fire but not electric.

    Twists:
    1. Smite the Wicked +2(W)+7 attack (exalted angel)
    2. Shrouding Strike +3(W) attack (shadowdancer)
    3. Primal Scream
    Eats 18 fate points

    Tank Mode
    Sentinel
    Tank it up. Get as much healing amp as you can. I have 10/20/30 + the enhancements.

    Without good crowd control you need this in EE.
    I simply don't die in most EE quests when I'm in sentinel and don't forget to put on my tanking gear. My DPS suffers substantially but no one seems to care when you finish off the mini boss and whatever mobs are left by yourself and get the party back up after they all die but you.
    I've done EE with
    player 1 6 deaths (I'm this guy in dreadnought, in an EE PuG without crowd control)
    player 2 6 deaths
    player 3 2 deaths
    player 4 2 deaths
    player 5 2 deaths
    me 0 deaths (in sentinel, EE PuGs)

    Happens this way more often than not.

    Twists:
    Lightning mace (of course)
    Shrouding strike
    That eats 19 fate points and you won't get another tier 1 twist so you are capped at 2. Maybe haste boost is better than shrouding strike, but I don't think so, not for tank mode.

    Conclusion
    A highly specialized melee druid is quite potent. Especially when you consider he can do a lot more than just melee:
    1. heals (maximize + vigor = easy button)
    2. earthquake (in EH at least)
    3. mediocre aoe damage (less than a wizard, but still it's a lot of extra damage for a melee focused character)
    4. scroll res (reincarnate is useless)
    5. teleport (convenient!)

    It's 6 AM here, I need sleep. I'll cover gear tomorrow
    Last edited by hermespan; 03-11-2013 at 05:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Community Member hermespan's Avatar
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    reserved

  3. #3
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    did something fairly similar for a druid life, one point to remember is that animal form lowers your int so for the runes in wiz king remember to carry an int item and to shift out of wolf form to unlock the treasure room shrines. Also animal forms lower cha so if you are borderline on a scroll for umd shift back to human form for that as well.

  4. #4
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    thank you for this - pretty much sums up what I have minus the awesome understanding of clubs and how they work with the ED, great work!

  5. #5
    Community Member Dasthug's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I've never really thought about making a druid, but wolf did seem cool. I have an arti I'm bored of, maybe I'll TR him for canine shenanigans once I'm done leveling my current TR'd char.

  6. #6
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Good info - had not realized Shillelagh or weapon-specific LD abilities would carry over into animal forms. Nice!

  7. #7
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    Nice write-up, I might give this a try at some point.

    I don't see Smite the Wicked showing +2W in the wiki. This is confirmed?

    The shield-blocking-while-attacking seems like a bug to me. Any idea if this is WAI?

    19 Fate points is certainly nice, but it looks like the build will still be quite functional without the active DPS twists, so it's not like it is gimp along the way. That is a good thing.

    I'm surprised you don't twist in Shield Prowess. Does the double-strike not stack in Wolf form?
    The Silver Legion - Guild Medieval
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  8. #8
    Community Member Tuney's Avatar
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    I got a question , while Shillelagh is granting 0.5[w]. Wouldn't Magic fang which at level 20 end up being better for giving you a flat +5 bonus?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuney View Post
    I got a question , while Shillelagh is granting 0.5[w]. Wouldn't Magic fang which at level 20 end up being better for giving you a flat +5 bonus?
    I was going to say the same thing, and doesnt magic fang go up to +6 at 25? seems like that would win unless some multiplicative thing with EDs kicks in?

  10. #10
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Interesting, you didn't mention where you were putting your level ups, I'm going to assume that there into str since your focusing so much on dps. With that in mind, why are you going pure druid? you could splash 3 levels for 3 more feets and still keep snowslide and mass regenerate, or even more levels for more feets. What do extra druid levels give you?

    Random thoughts:
    *No legendary shield mastery twist? thats a fair bit of double strike.
    *Why not empower healing, works on all your important heal spells and destiny healing effects.
    *Seams a loss to be in LD without having at least a cleave and master blitz.
    *It seams to me that magic fang would be superior to Shillelagh in most situations.
    *Your twists seam... unusual I don't really understand the justification for taking single target attacks with +[w] effects when there is so much else available.

    In addition i jumped into the GH wilderness area to test out some of your assertions.
    Quote Originally Posted by hermespan View Post
    When you shield block in wolf form, you attack normally.
    When I just shield blocked in wolf form my combat log showed a dr of 33 for every hit, when i shield blocked in wolf form with auto attack on (attacking a mob) my combat log showed a dr of 10 for every hit (my dr from cloak of night). Auto attacking in wolf form and shield blocking simply suppresses the shield blocking, it turns it off. I did not test click and hold to attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by hermespan View Post
    Your heals won't get interrupted if you take concentration, max it, and when you are shield blocking, which should be 100% of the time
    I then jumped into EE cabal for one and agroed a single archer. I have max concentration and a +15 item. I chose to cast call lighting storm because it has a long cast time and allowed concentration rolls. Each hit from the archer caused me to roll for concentration - while shield blocking - some of which i failed and canceled the spell. I did not test heal spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by hermespan View Post
    6. Pulverizer +1 threat range with bludgeon weapon equipped.
    I do not have a caped LD druid so I was unable to test this, however since druid weapons are considered handwraps in animal form it is very unlikely that this ability applies to wolf form - especially since momentum swing does not. If someone has this could you test it, with and without a club in hand. Just see if you can get a crit on a roll of 16.
    Last edited by Pilgrim1; 03-13-2013 at 02:46 AM.

  11. #11
    Community Member AtomicMew's Avatar
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    You need to start playing end game EEs before stating that quicken makes no difference. Trash mobs hit as high as 300 in melee and even with 100 PRR that is still over 150 damage a hit. With shield blocking, that's still 100 a hit (being generous) which is still impossible to save against. Besides that, most people looking for wolf form DPS splash heavily. Past dire wolf form, there's not a great deal of benefit for more druid levels on a melee focused build.

  12. #12
    Community Member DynaTheCat's Avatar
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    Hehe.... cute puppy tho.

    But ya, gonna hurt EE.

  13. #13
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    I'm also curious about the weapon interactions. When did you test this build Hermespan?
    I didn't think Dreadnought weapon effects worked with Unarmed (animal form) attacks.
    Does Shillelagh now stack with Magic Fang?

    How did you get the blocking-while-attacking thing to work?

  14. #14
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    bumping this - still curious to see some answers particularly on:

    I'm also curious about the weapon interactions. When did you test this build Hermespan?
    I didn't think Dreadnought weapon effects worked with Unarmed (animal form) attacks.
    Does Shillelagh now stack with Magic Fang?

    How did you get the blocking-while-attacking thing to work?

  15. #15

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    I'm afraid I need to necro this topic. My apologies.

    But I'd like to see some answers to some of the questions posed here, too.

  16. #16
    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    Very interesting ideas and it seems like the OP has tested this out in EE pretty well.

    I have just gotten really into playing my druid and LOVE wolf form. Since my first life I had no idea what I was doing, I decided to go half-orc and just use the pre-gen nature's warrior... which is a horrible build. But despit the poor choices in feats, it actually works phenomenally well. I have been leveling with a TR buddy of mine (I usually run elite first-runs with him and he farms in the meantime so we stay about the same level). He is close to completionist and by all means an excellent player and I am rocking the kill counts, usually beating him, without even trying. I was thinking about doing a half-elf druid (pally cleric or barb dilly) next life and splashing monk 2 and rogue 1 for trapping, evasion, feats, and bluff as a class skill.

    I am also skeptical about shillelagh being superior to magic fang. It seems like +6 is better than 0.5 [1d10] in all respects. I would also want the monk splash at the least to open up a feat slot for Quicken (and Augment for leveling). You say you don't need it, but I just don't see how you can mitigate the damage from EE enough to make it work.

    ED choices seem decent. I am still a bit new to melee EDs since I mostly have casters so I have little authority to comment on this matter.

    Very informative though. I will definitely use this for future lives. I am planning to do three druid lives and done. I know the pets aren't very useful in EE (thus the PPL feat isn't worth much), but they make things smooth while leveling.

  17. #17
    Community Member Munkenmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermespan View Post
    I've taken quicken on one of my lives. Trust me. Total waste of a feat. I saw 0, ZERO, difference in spell failure. It doesn't add DPS, so why are you taking it?
    I don't take it either, but it would marginally boost dps, the faster you get casting over with, the quicker you're back to meleeing.

    1. Smite the Wicked +2(W)+7 attack (exalted angel)
    2. Shrouding Strike +3(W) attack (shadowdancer)
    3. Primal Scream
    Seems to me like you'd be better off with

    1. Sense weakness.
    2. Hail of Blows
    3. Tunnel vision

    or

    1. Sense Weakness
    2. tunnel vision
    3. primal scream


    Your strikes look ok, but you can't use them often enough to keep up with these imo.
    Last edited by fTdOmen; 05-08-2013 at 04:22 AM.

  18. #18
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    That build is terrible, period. Not only for the things mentioned before (magic fang vs Shillelagh or the wierd fate twist or no quicken..) but also cause a pure melee druid its feat starved and dont even have cleave (dont mention great cleave or overwhelming critical)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Formulacion View Post
    That build is terrible, period. Not only for the things mentioned before (magic fang vs Shillelagh or the wierd fate twist or no quicken..) but also cause a pure melee druid its feat starved and dont even have cleave (dont mention great cleave or overwhelming critical)
    Druids don't really need cleave since they get other options by merely being druid. The only thing they're really missing is that their feral spells don't necessarily hit more than one target... and even then, they have Reaving Roar for that which is basically a sonic explosion.

    And they have Earthquake which is CC you wouldn't necessarily see from a Fighter.

    Think about why you take Cleave/Great Cleave/Overwhelming Critical. Melee druids focus on using double strike, with shield mastery, improved shield mastery, and their natural fighting feats. This is in addition to their spells that add dice to their attacks in much the same way Cleave/Great Cleave/OC does... in addition to having another effect, like a knockdown effect.

    Not to mention the capstone for melee druids is pretty fantastic, and this is in addition to their ability to more or less cast spells almost infinitely due to one of their enhancements giving them temporary spell points every time they crit, which is frequently due to wolf form's rapid attacks.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magus_silveresti View Post
    Druids don't really need cleave since they get other options by merely being druid. The only thing they're really missing is that their feral spells don't necessarily hit more than one target... and even then, they have Reaving Roar for that which is basically a sonic explosion.
    Thats the typical answer from somebody that never bothered to play a druid on EH o EE. Roar is **** on the elite quest. If you think 50 sonic damage (or even 100) everytime you kill something worth when mobs have +10k HP ... well look back at your numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Magus_silveresti View Post
    And they have Earthquake which is CC you wouldn't necessarily see from a Fighter.
    Yep fighters dont have earthquake, big news. Ok, lets says yout EQ dc its enuff to trip mobs on EE, now what? You still need dps to take them down. Are you going 1 by 1 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magus_silveresti View Post
    Think about why you take Cleave/Great Cleave/Overwhelming Critical. Melee druids focus on using double strike, with shield mastery, improved shield mastery, and their natural fighting feats. This is in addition to their spells that add dice to their attacks in much the same way Cleave/Great Cleave/OC does... in addition to having another effect, like a knockdown effect.

    Not to mention the capstone for melee druids is pretty fantastic, and this is in addition to their ability to more or less cast spells almost infinitely due to one of their enhancements giving them temporary spell points every time they crit, which is frequently due to wolf form's rapid attacks.
    What? Any druid "melee" spell its single target. some trip, some bluff, other freeze, buts all single target (but the lvl 9 one) There do nothing like the cleaves witch give a lot of AOE melee potencial. hell even single target worth to use them. not to mention that its the only thing you can use when you meet your friend the beholder.

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