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    Default Gingerspyce's caster/healer/quasi-tank build

    Welcome to my tanky caster druid build post!

    Update 38 brought many changes to druid, so I've decided to rework the intro here a bit and I've updated things to reflect recent changes. I originally posted this build in 2013 because at the time druids were still rather new to DDO and there wasn't really anyone playing a druid caster like this build, which plays as a highly defensive frontline caster. At the time, most folks were still trying to play them as traditional ranged casters like their sorc nukers and wizard DC casters, which is not where caster druids shine, so they had gotten poor reviews early on. After seeing the druid perform as a tanky caster, I had a few folks ask me about my build. After typing it all up in chat-sized bits several times I figured I'd just post it in the forums and send people the link when they asked. I hadn't spent any time on the forums up to that point and this may have even been my first forum post. I had no idea that 5 years later it would surpass a quarter million views and remain on the front page the entire time.

    I think this build has remained perennial for a few reasons. One is because it's a good choice for new players who want to play a caster druid. Druid is a great choice for new players because it is a versatile and self sufficient class. The added defenses of this build help to compensate for a new player's lack of gear, past lives and DDO skills so can help keep them alive in situations where they might otherwise be a soul stone.

    Another reason is because this build has never relied on a flavor of the month. It's an as-is, out of the box, working as intended kind of a build that works well in group play and can solo as well. It's not flashy but it gets the job done.

    A final reason is because, well, in DDO caster druids just aren't that popular, so there aren't a lot of builds posted. But there are others out there who, like me, love caster druids and I've had a lot of fun interacting with folks here in the thread and on my Youtube channel, which all began with a quest video designed to demonstrate how the build played. After playing DDO for 9 years, caster druids remain my favorite. You can also find me live streaming at Twitch channel vooduspyce.

    This is a very newbie-friendly and first-life friendly build and also good for people who just want to knock out a druid past life as a caster and/or healer. I’ve included a bit of how-to and additional information here for players who are newer to druid, even if you're not interested in making this exact build. I regularly monitor and update this post and my Youtube channel has hundreds of videos, including several series listed at the bottom of this post designed for various levels of experience and racial variations that are dedicated to supporting the build

    This is a caster-focused build. If you are looking for a melee wolf build, check out the Post u38 Wolf Builds post and you can also check out the Build Repository for other druid builds.


    Update 38

    With the many changes of Update 38, I've added this section to help get others caught up and to offer some feedback after playing it for a few lives. This is just my overview of select changes, for a the full list of changes, see Update 38 Release Notes. I also made a video where I discuss the changes at Gingerspyce's Update 38 Caster Druid Changes Overview and Review.

    Spell-like abilities
    Most SLA's saw a reduction in cooldown time, which makes for a more enjoyable and faster spell rotation. SLA's were also moved down a tier, so caster druids are now viable to play as casters right away, whereas prior to u38, it was common for caster druids to run in wolf form and melee for the first few levels until their casting power ramped up between levels 3 and 5. The SLA of Produce Flame can now be acquired at level 1, Creeping Cold at level 2 and Call Lighting at level 3, which makes a big difference in lowbie quests. The projectile speed of Produce Flame was also increased dramatically so is now a more potent weapon in a druid's arsenal of SLA's. Salt Ray has been added as a tier 4 SLA. While this spell doesn't do much damage, it adds a nice single target ranged stunning attack to the SLA rotation that does a damage type other than elemental (force).

    Fire and Cold mastery
    When casting fire spells with Anger of the Noonday Sun or cold spells with Mantle of the Icy Soul, targets that are immune, resistant, or healed by fire/cold are inflicted with a debuff that causes subsequent fire/cold spells to do full damage. With the new tier 5 Elemental Mastery Enhancement, Anger of the Noonday Sun and Mantle of the Icy Soul are automatically cast on the druid when changing into fire and water elemental forms.

    Nature's Protector
    The new bear tree has a lot of great low tier enhancements that can add significantly to the defenses of a caster druid. Tier 2 innate Nature's Defense is a defensive combat stance that unlocks additional defensive enhancements, similar to fighter's Stalwart Defense and Paladin's Sacred Defense stances. Nature's Defense stance does not interfere with spellcasting or any of a caster druid's other abilities. Tier 3 innate Magical Beast grants heavy armor proficiency. I continue to advocate for heavy armor usage on caster druids, which is now easier than ever to work into a caster druid with just 11 points invested into Nature's Protector, all of which can be spent to provide meaningful benefits of PRR, MRR and hit points. With 11 points in NP, in addition to heavy armor proficiency, you can get 27 MRR, 12 PRR, +2 to saves and 40 hp. I currently spend 17 points in NP, which will give a total of 20 PRR, 27 MRR, +6 natural armor, +3 to saves, 40 hp and +1 constitution.

    New acid spells
    The Enveloping Swarm spell was reworked and is now an acid DOT. Creeping Doom's damage type was changed from poison to acid so is now affected by spell power, thus giving the druid 2 new acid spells and a new DOT. With Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold, the druid now has a total of 4 native DOTs that when are all applied can result in an impressive amount of single target dps.

    Winter's Heart
    This tier 5 enhancement was reworked to something entirely different from prior to u38. It's now a clickie that gives 8 times your wisdom score in temporary hit points. Similar to a warlock's Shining Through but not as effective since the temp hps only last 30 seconds, hence the hit points cannot be held beyond the 1 minute cooldown. It is nonetheless a very useful buffer of hp to activate when reapers are near or when running into a large group of mobs or can function as an emergency self heal in reaper mode since temporary hit points aren't affected by the self-healing debuff of reaper mode.

    Elemental Toughness
    Prior to u38 this buff gave the druid DR5, which became meaningless beyond heroic levels. It has been changed to instead provide 1 stacking PRR per druid level, up to 20 PRR, making it very useful through endgame.

    New heavy armor and shield
    Update 38's Legendary Scales of the Exile and Legendary Giant's Platter offer an excellent defensive option with a set bonus that adds higher defenses when used together. Giant's Platter has 2 set bonuses, a defensive set that works with the armor and an offensive spell set that works with the new fire and cold sickles Wild Flame and Wild Frost. All 4 of these items drop from The Madness of Crowds.


    RACE

    I am currently playing the build as a Dragonborn. This choice is largely for fun and flavor but the Dragonborn racial tree offers a lot for a caster druid. For years I played as a human pure 20 druid, but also played for a while as a Deep Gnome and kept the 1 wizard level, so was 19 druid/1 wizard. I played Deep Gnome when Gnomes were released largely for fun and flavor, but the Deep Gnome racial tree and the default wizard level also offer a lot for a caster druid. Feats and enhancements for Dragonborn, Deep Gnome and Human are below. I have played this build with all races while working through my racial past lives. My favorite races were Dragonborn, Deep Gnome, Human and Half-Elf (Monk Dilettante). For new players I recommend human. Most races work fine, especially if just going for the past life, but for permanent or more long term builds I would not recommend Warforged or Half-Orc for this build. Also note that Aasimar Ascendant Bond is not compatible with druid wild shape.


    FEATS

    Deep Gnome and Human feats are identical except for wild shapes are granted 1 level later on Deep Gnome due to the offsetting wizard level. The Dragonborn pure druid has 1 less feat.

    Deep Gnome (19 druid, 1 wizard) Human (20 druid)
    1st: Empower Spell
    1st: (wizard bonus): Maximize
    3nd (druid): Wild Shape: Wolf
    3rd:
    Quicken Spell
    6th (druid): Wild Shape: Bear
    6th:
    Shield Mastery
    9th (druid): Wild Shape: Winter Wolf
    9th:
    Spell Focus Evocation
    12th (druid): Wild Shape: Dire Bear
    12th:
    Improved Shield Mastery
    15th (druid): Wild Shape: Fire Elemental
    15th:
    Empower Healing
    18th (druid): Wild Shape: Water Elemental
    18th:
    Heighten Spell or Completionist
    21st: free choice (suggestions below)
    24th:
    Intensify Spell
    26th: (Destiny Feat): Guardian Angel*
    27th:
    Embolden Spell
    28th: (Destiny): Elusive Target*
    29th: (Destiny): Deific Warding*
    30th:
    Epic Damage Reduction
    30th: (Legendary): Scion of the Plane of Earth [why Earth?]
    1st: Empower Spell
    1st: (Human bonus): Maximize Spell
    2nd (druid): Wild Shape: Wolf
    3rd:
    Quicken Spell
    5th (druid): Wild Shape: Bear
    6th:
    Shield Mastery
    8th (druid): Wild Shape: Winter Wolf
    9th:
    Spell Focus Evocation
    11th (druid): Wild Shape: Dire Bear
    12th:
    Improved Shield Mastery
    13th (druid): Wild Shape: Fire Elemental
    15th:
    Empower Healing
    17th (druid): Wild Shape: Water Elemental
    18th:
    Heighten Spell or Completionist
    21st: free choice (suggestions below)

    24th:
    Intensify Spell
    26th: (Destiny): Guardian Angel*
    27th:
    Embolden Spell
    28th: (Destiny): Elusive Target*
    29th: (Destiny):
    Deific Warding*
    30th:
    Epic Damage Reduction
    30th: (Legendary): Scion of the Plane of Earth

    Deep Gnome and Human variants have 1 extra feat compared to Dragonborn. For the level 21 feat choice, if you want to go defensive you can take Toughness, Great Ability Constitution, Epic Reflexes, etc. If you want to add to casting power you could take Greater Spell Focus Evocation, Arcane Initiate, Mental Toughness, Arcane Insight, Wellspring of Power, etc. Or for fun you could work in Augment Summoning or Extend Spell at an earlier level.

    Dragonborn (20 druid)
    1st: Maximize
    1st (dragonborn): White, Blue or Black Draconic Ancestry (cold, electric and acid are all associated with winter season, which I use as my primary season starting at level 17)
    2nd (druid): Wild Shape: Wolf
    3rd:
    Quicken Spell
    5th (druid): Wild Shape: Bear
    6th:
    Empower Spell
    8th (druid): Wild Shape: Winter Wolf
    9th:
    Shield Mastery
    11th (druid): Wild Shape: Dire Bear
    12th:
    Improved Shield Mastery
    13th (druid): Wild Shape: Fire Elemental
    15th:
    Empower Healing
    17th (druid): Wild Shape: Water Elemental
    18th:
    Spell Focus: Evocation
    21st: Heighten Spell or Completionist
    24th:
    Intensify Spell
    26th: (Destiny):
    Guardian Angel
    27th:
    Epic Damage Reduction
    28th: (Destiny): Elusive Target*
    29th: (Destiny):
    Deific Warding*
    30th:
    Embolden Spell
    30th: (Legendary): Scion of the Plane of Earth


    *Epic destiny feat Guardian Angel requires 1 capped destiny in divine sphere. Elusive Target requires 2 capped destinies in the martial sphere. Deific Warding requires 3 capped destinies in the divine sphere. Capped means a fully maxed xp bar, not just level 5.

    What about Master of the Wilds? Check out this thread where there is some great discussion of the feat and this video that I made where I discuss the experimenting I did with the feat. Ultimately I don't feel it is worth taking, especially on this build and most caster druids for that matter.

    As a Dragonborn, self buffed and ship buffed, this feat set, along with gear and past lives (all listed below) gives the following resting stats outside of reaper mode, which do not include action boosts, pots, metas, debuffs, etc. but does include reaper cores Dire Thaumaturge 2-4 and Grim Barricade 2-6, which are always on.

    HP: 2803 (Reaper 3658)
    SP: 3414 (Reaper 3464)
    AC: 243
    PRR: 286 (Reaper 305)
    MRR: 152
    Earthquake DC: 91 (Reaper 95)
    Intimidate: 107 (up to 145 situationally)
    Cold spell power: 688 (Reaper 717)


    REAPER

    If you are planning on primarily doing reaper questing, don't bother with options to boost the wolf like Augment Summoning feat or Shared Spirit enhancement unless you are exclusively doing low skull content. Beyond 3 skulls the wolf is largely a useless liability that is relegated to lever pulling and occasionally for running distraction, even for lowbie heroic questing. I also recommend taking Quicken Spell at level 3, which can be put off until as late as level 9 for non-reaper play. Stoneskin can be really helpful in heroic reaper questing as well, but using level 7 wands from The Twelve instead of memorizing the spell can extend your spell pool. I also found Charm Animal and Dominate Animal to be very useful throughout heroic reaper questing. Both work not only on animals but also on vermin like spiders and scorpions, as well as magical beasts. Entangle is another spell that I historically overlooked but is nice crowd control for lowbie quests. Word of Balance hits well against reapers. I've also been using Finger of Death during the last few heroic levels as a quick way to get rid of champions. I have also been using a heroic Green Steel triple positive scimitar with exceptional constitution and 2 tiers of healing amplification because of how essential healing amplification is in reaper mode. Winter's Heart, which was reworked in Update 38, is a great temp hp buff to use when encountering a reaper or large group of mobs or as an emergency self heal in reaper mode.

    For reaper enhancements, focus on Grim Barricade tree first for added survivability, which is critical in reaper mode.

    I have been happy with how this build is performing with a group in reaper questing, but I would not recommend anyone try to solo reapers beyond a few skulls with it. Even with an abundance of past lives, solid gear and now with 70 reaper points, I find myself soloing typically up to 3-4 skulls and sometimes those are problematic to solo. Here is a video soloing heroic R6 Cabal for One during my Elf lives and a video soloing Legendary R5 Night Falls on Stormreach after I finished my racials. In a group I was mostly doing 2-4 skulls for my first few reaper lives but after having built up reaper points I am mostly doing 5-7 skulls in group play now.

    For most of 2017 and through the first quarter of 2018 I worked through my 33 racial lives. The Dragonborn Project video series captures my first 3 reaper racial lives and the first life was played as my regular druid build but lives 2-3 were other builds for fun. The Reaper Life series was done during life 11 and follows a static group doing a 1-20 life of reaper 5-9 skull quests. The Life 15 series captures life 15. The Aasimar Project captures lives 19-21 and the first life of the series is using my druid build. In my 33rd and final racial life, Reaper Life 2 features a static group doing all 7-10 skull quests in a 1-20 life. In Northwynd 2: The Druid True Second Life Series I show that a second lifer of the build can perform well solo in 1-3 skull content.

    If you are newer to reaper questing, check out my Survival Guide to Reaper Mode: 20 Tips for Reapering! and my Reaper Survival Guide part 2 - 20 More Tips! videos.


    TOMES


    All my stat tomes are +8


    ALIGNMENT

    True neutral. Druids must be some form of neutral and there isn't much advantage of one form of neutrality over another. If you are splashing monk in a druid build then you must be lawful neutral. Druid cannot be multiclassed with Paladin, because paladin must be lawful good.


    ABILITY SCORES

    Starting Dragonborn: STR 10, DEX 6, CON 18, INT 12, WIS 18, CHA 10. Increase wisdom when leveling.
    Starting Deep Gnome: 6,8,18,12,20,10
    Starting Human: 8,8,18,10,18,10
    For a 34pt build: 8,8,18,10,18,8
    For a 32pt build: 8,8,18,8,18,8
    For a 28pt build: 8,8,18,10,16,8. Here I am recommending a higher starting con over wisdom for new toon/player survivability. If you prefer, you can start with 16 con and 18 wisdom.


    SKILLS


    Max Spellcraft, Intimidate, Concentration, Balance. UMD at least high enough for no fail resurrection scrolls, remaining points in Heal. Why UMD? ...Raise Dead and Resurrection scrolls, Teleport and Greater Teleport Scrolls and wands of Protection from Evil, Shield, etc.


    ENHANCEMENTS

    This image is for Dragonborn with my current enhancements, which include 11 bonus racial action points from being racial completionist.



    Racial (Dragonborn): Core 1, Resilience 4/4, Hard Scales 3/3, Harder Scales 3/3, White Dragon Breath, Power in Breath 3/3, Draconic Heritage: White 3/3, Memory of Flight, True Power 3/3 (without bonus racial action points you can eliminate whatever you prefer, but prioritize getting True Power if your Earthquake DC needs)

    Racial (Deep Gnome): Core abilities to capstone, Underdark Experience 3/3, Hardy Nature 3/3, Spellcraft 3/3, Nimble Reaction 3/3.

    Racial (Human): Human Versatility: Spell Power Boost, Heroism, Greater Heroism, Focused: Concentration+Intimidate 3/3, Don't Count Me Out 3/3, Human Adaptability: Wisdom, Human Greater Adaptability: Constitution, Human Versatility: Save or Defense Boost, Improved Recovery line to top.

    Druid: see image above

    Wizard (if keeping 1 wiz from Deep Gnome): Eldritch Knight. Eldritch Strike, Improved Mage Armor 3/3, Battlemage 3/3.


    HEROIC PAST LIVES

    Sorc, Sorc, SORC is the best past life for caster druids for bonus to evocation spells and extra sp. Most druid spells or at least the ones you care about most are evocation. Sorc is the only heroic past life that is important to caster druid unless you are going completionist, but there are plenty of benefits to be gained from others if you like grinding out past lives, including MRR from warlock, healing amplification from paladin, spell points from favored soul, conjuration dc from cleric, hit points from barbarian, etc.

    Don’t waste time getting druid past lives unless you are a big fan of the wolf companion. I have 3 past lives of Druid (each giving summons and wolf +2 to all stats for a total of +6) and even with Augment Summoning (making it +10 to all stats) the wolf is not viable for higher difficulty and endgame content. Although I will say it is a blast leveling a wolf with +10 to all stats… it can get intelligence runes lol. But it makes me very sad that I can’t have my wolf out for EE/LE content or raids. Wolf is fine to have out for EN and EH questing. Check out my Solo EE Maze of Madness video to see how the wolf performs in EE content. It is pointless to have the wolf out in reaper quests beyond about 3 skulls, even during heroic levels. Druid past lives also affect summons and charms, so can be helpful when using Charm Animal and Dominate Animal in heroic reaper questing. My current PL's are 3 sorc, 3 druid, 3 fvs, 3 cleric, 3 barb, 3 wlk, 3 arti, 3 pal, 2 wiz plus 1x the rest for completionist.


    EPIC PAST LIVES

    4 stances: Colors of the Queen, Energy Criticals, Brace and Skill Mastery. Focus on getting 3 each of these EPL's first, which will grant Epic Completionist and open your 5th twist of fate! After you get these, focus on additional martial, divine and primal epl's for bonuses to AC, PRR and hit points. Ginger has all 36 epic past lives.


    ICONIC PAST LIVES

    Stance: Shadar-kai because the auto-incorporeality at low health is great for the tanky playstyle. PDK and Deep Gnome Iconic Past lives are great for added PRR and MRR and Shadar-Kai passive bonus provides some added dodge. My current IPL's are 3 Deep Gnome, 3 PDK, 3 Shadar-kai and 3 Morninglord. Bladeforged IPL's (+5% fort each) are not important for endgame because a druid in elemental form gets a +100% racial bonus to fortification, which puts you over 250% fort at level cap, however the extra fortification can be nice for low level reaper questing.


    RACIAL PAST LIVES


    I recommend prioritizing 2 each of Human and Aasimar past lives, which each gives +1 wisdom and then 2 each of Dwarf and Warforged, which each give +1 constitution. But I also recommend going for the 3rd past life of each to get the bonus racial action points. The 2nd life of Dragonborn and Half-elf each gives +1 charisma, which helps the Intimidate and Use Magic Device skills and the first Dragonborn life also gives +1 Spellcraft. The first Half-orc past life gives +1 Intimidate and the first Gnome life gives +1 Use Magic Device. Ginger has all 33 racial past lives for Racial Completionist.


    EPIC DESTINY




    Unyielding Sentinel. Shiradi Champion and Primal Avatar are higher dps destinies, however I prefer Sentinel for the tanky playstyle. Sentinel gives big HP, Renewal, +150% threat generation from spells, bonuses to con and AC and you get immunity to being knocked down while using Stand Against the Tide stance. Sentinel also gives extra sp and other goodies. You can also check out the forum discussion on epic destinies for a caster druid for other ED ideas.


    TWISTS OF FATE

    1. Draconic Incarnation: Energy Burst (cold)
    2. Divine Crusader: Empyrean Magic
    3. Magister: Evocation Specialist
    4. Draconic Incarnation: Precise Evocation

    This combination requires 35 fate points. Some other twists to consider, especially while amassing fate points and working through destinies for the first time include:

    • Tier 1: Wisdom, Constitution, Primal Scream, Endless Faith, Interrogation, Rejuvenation Cocoon, Draconic Perception, Unearthly Reactions, Ephemeral Evolution, Stay Frosty
    • Tier 2: Consecration, Fey Form, Precise Evocation, Damage Reduction, Legendary Shield Mastery
    • Tier 3: White Dragon Heritage, Echoes of the Ancestors: Draconic Incarnation, Evocation Augmentation, Sacred Ground (if using Consecration)


    GEAR (end game)

    Goggles: Legendary Green Steel (triple negative/material/opposition)**
    Head: Legendary Compliance (mythic +1 with Xoriat Madness Delirium, slotted with Deathblock)
    Neck: Epic Torc of Price Raiyum de II (with Eldritch resistance ritual and slotted with Festive Wisdom +2)
    Belt: Legendary Green Steel (triple earth/material/opposition)**
    Gloves: Legendary Green Steel (triple positive/material/opposition)**
    Trinket: Legendary Five Rings (Mythic +1, Reaper +3 MRR, Constitution +17, Resistance +14, Spell Focus +6, Quality Wisdom +4, slotted with Golem's Heart)
    Cloak: Legendary Silverthread Cloak (slotted with Greater Evocation)
    Ring1: EE Ring of Shadows (slotted with Globe of True Imperial Blood)
    Ring2: Legendary Spinneret (mythic +1 slotted with Armored Agility +2)
    Bracers: Legendary Green Steel (triple air/material/opposition)**
    Boots: Legendary Green Steel (triple fire/material/opposition)**
    Armor: Legendary Scales of the Exile (mythic +2 slotted with Good Luck +2)
    Shield: Legendary Giant's Platter (mythic +4 slotted with Crushing Wave Guard)
    Weapon: Legendary Wild Frost (slotted with Intimidate +15, Sentience: Otto's 4-piece: con, cha, prr, mrr, Grandfathers 3-piece: con, hamp, prr, Frozen Wanderers wisdom)
    Quiver: Quiver of Alacrity
    **This 5 piece LGS set give the following bonuses: +36% stacking hp, +35% spell crit dmg multiplier and Ender set bonus. See this post for some of my thoughts about this gear change.


    GEAR (end game non-raid suggestions for those who don't like to raid)


    Goggles: Legendary Feargaze, Legendary Garstone's Lenses, Epic Glimpse of the Soul*, Epic Four Eyes, Cannoneer's Goggles
    Head: Legendary Pansophic Circlet*, Legendary Drow Sage's Cowl, Legendary Compliance , Legendary Unbreakable Stormreach Guardian's Helm, Legendary Hardened Hide, Epic Halcyonia*, Epic Eloquence*, Epic Minos Legens*, Epic Mushroom Cap
    Neck: Legendary Chains, Epic Pendant of Quiet Movements*, Legendary Ward-Inscribed Pendant, Necklace of Mystic Eidolons
    Belt: Legendary Thrummingspark Cord, Legendary Chains, , Epic Belt of Thoughtful Remembrance*
    Gloves: Legendary Blurfingered Gloves*, Legendary Hands of House Jorasco, Legendary Gauntlets of Innate Arcanum, Epic Fanged Gloves*, Iron Mitts*
    Trinket: Legendary Five Rings, Legendary Symbol of the Slave Lords, Legendary Empowered Dragonscale, Epic Token of the Proven*, Legendary Planar Compass, Magestar, Broken Music Box
    Cloak: Legendary Silverthread Cloak*, Legendary Scarlet Scale Cloak, Legendary Earthen Mantle, Legendary Slave Master's Cloak, Epic Cloak of Flames*, Mysterious Cloak, Epic Cloak of Night, Epic Ghost-Waking Cloak, Epic Jeweled Cloak
    Rings: Legendary Spinneret, EE Ring of Shadows, Legendary Five Rings, Legendary Chieftain, Legendary Band of Insightful Commands, Lantern Ring
    Bracers: Legendary Shackles, Legendary Lore-Fueled Packbanner, Legendary Mystic Wrappings, Epic Barbette's Bracers*, Epic Inferno Bracers*, Epic Armbands of the Silenced Ones*, Epic Bracers of Wind*, Epic Ethereal Bracers*, Mysterious Bracers
    Boots: Legendary Shackles, Epic Boots of the Innocent*, Epic Ship Kickers*
    Armor: Legendary Scales of the Exile*, Legendary Scales of Avarice, Shadow Dragonplate Shadow Guardian (This can be crafted with unbound ingredients)
    Shield: Legendary Giant's' Platter*, Legendary Breaker of Bodies, Epic Shield of Tireless Aid*, Epic Demonic Slab*, Epic Stone Wall
    Weapon: Legendary Wild Frost*, Legendary Wild Flame*, Morninglord's Sceptre*, Nightmother's Sceptre*

    Note for newer players: *items are a relatively easy farm. Randomly generated loot and Cannith Crafting provide lots of great options to use in place of raid loot.


    GEAR (leveling)

    3 or 5 piece Chronoscope set and Goggles of Time Sensing can be fun for a druid for a few levels. House C challenge items Cloak of Flames and Bracers of Wind* are awesome for druid because they cover spell power and crit chance for 2 of a druid’s primary elements (fire and electric) plus they have lots of other goodies like blur, fire absorption, dodge, Heightened Awareness and Haste guard. Get heroic versions (starting with level 3 version of the bracers for the permanent Blur effect and upgrade them as you level) and epic versions of each. Silverthread Cloak (level 10) and Earthen Mantle (level 15) are other cloak options. The new Runic Trinket is a nice trinket option for any lowbie caster. Medium armor is the heaviest option until level 10 so use random or crafted hide armor for early heroic levels. At level 10 I recommend heavy armor Scales of Avarice* or you can go with Scales of Malice if you want to stick with medium armor. Can use Scales of the Exile* or heavy Blue Dragonplate starting at L14 if you prefer, but only has 3 higher AC than Scales of Avarice and if you have general potency covered with Pansophic Circlet*, then the blue dragonplate becomes irrelevant and the Scales of Avarice is preferable and is much easier to get if you don't already have the blue scales. You can also use Scales of the Exile* at level 14. Giant's Platter* and Legendary Giant's Platter* are my preferred shields because of the dual set bonuses when combining with Scales of the Exile and Wild Frost. Wall of Wood, Epic Wall of Wood, Shield of Tireless Aid and Epic Shield of Tireless Aid are also nice shield options . Torc is awesome if you’re a TR; even your caster/healer druid can and should be in the middle of combat, taking lots of hits and generating lots of spell points! Vibrant Purple Ioun Stone (upgraded) is also very nice for any caster to have big sp at level 5. Shamanic fetish is a decent teen level trinket. A Green Steel lit II scimitar or Alchemical scimitar is fun to have but not necessary. Since reaper mode came out I've been using a heroic Green Steel triple positive t1 heal amp, t2 exceptional con, t3 heal amp scimitar during heroic lives from 12-20 and random gen vorpal scimitars from 1-7 and Spectral Dagger from Night Revels for levels 8-11. Other weapons to consider are Wild Frost*, Wild Flame, Skiver, Icerazor and Vulkoor's Edge or can use Cannith crafted or just use random gen. Thrummingspark Cord* and Legendary Thrummingspark Cord* are nice belt options. For cold spell power use a Cannith crafted item or random gen for low levels. Can use Barovian Scepter or Macabre Sceptre at level 10 and Pansophic Circlet* starting at level 13. Epic leveling weapon options include L24/26 version of Thunderforge scimitar or Legendary Green Steel.

    *Highly recommended gear.

    For more suggestions about first-life heroic leveling gear, see my my video series Northwynd: The Druid True First Life Series, where I play a "true first life" version of the build on another server, without gear, guild buffs or plat. You can read more about the series and find a journal of the experience with loads of tips and advice for new players later on in my build thread here.

    The gearset I used as I worked through my racial lives is below, which is the basically the same gear that I used during the Reaper Life, Life 15 and Aasimar Project and Reaper Life 2 series. I post it here for reference and to give others ideas on how to gear up, it is not intended to indicate gear you must use. This gearset was made prior to u38 and if I were doing heriocs now I would include Scales of the Exile, Giant's Platter and Wild Frost and I will rework it to include these items after Tiefling is released.



    Other notable gear and supplies




    ARMOR

    Druids must wear non-metal armor. I recommend Scales of Avarice at level 10 and for the remainder of heroic levels. If you choose to forgo heavy armor then Scales of Malice is a good choice for level 10+ and Scales of the Exile is a good choice for level 14+. Heavy Blue Dragonplate is a decent option at level level 14 if available, but I think Scales of Avarice or Scales of the Exile are better chocies. See Scales of Avarice vs. Heavy Blue Dragonplate for more about this choice. There aren't any heavy armor options for druid before level 10 and there are very few named medium armor options prior to that point. A couple lower level medium armor options include Swampscale Armor and Imbued Darkleaf Banded Armor but you're probably better off using random gen or Cannith crafted medium armor with Invulnerability. If Scales of Avarice or heavy dragonscale armor is not an option for upper heroic levels you can use medium armors Scales of Malice, Hardened Hide Armor, Leaves of the Forest, Coat of the Traveler, random gen or Cannith crafted.

    Epic Dragonplate options prior to end game include Vault of Night Epic Red Dragonplate at L20, Cormyrian Green Dragonplate at L23 and Flawless Blue Dragonplate at L25. I recommend Heavy Armor for any non-evasion caster druid build, as the bonus to PRR is very nice and is an auto granted feat with the new Update 38 innate tier 3 Nature's Protector tree. Legendary Scales of the Exile is an easy farm out of Madness of Crowds for end game but you can also use Legendary Scales of Avarice or Shadow Dragonplate (with Shadow Guardian upgrade), which I used for years at endgame and can be crafted with unbound ingredients.

    If you choose not to use heavy armor and opt for medium then Scalemail of the Celestial Sage, Legendary Scales of Malice and Legendary Coat of the Traveler are nice endgame medium armor options.


    SHIELDS

    I'm including a special section for shields because druids can only use non-metal shields and there aren't many named shields that are non-metal. Here are some that don't suck:

    Buckler: Kobold Admiral's Tiller, Alchemical shields (crystal version)
    Small: Warsword Shield, Legendary Warsword Shield, Celestial Oak, Alchemical shields (crystal version)
    Large: Wharfrat's Plank, The Best Defense, Carved Bone Shield, Death's Door, Shield of Tireless Aid, Epic Shield of Tireless Aid, Wall of Wood, Epic Wall of Wood, Dethek Runestone, Alchemical shields (crystal version), Breaker of Bodies, Legendary Breaker of Bodies, The Legendary Best Defense, Giant's Platter, Legendary Giant's Platter
    Tower: Madstone Shield, Madstone Aegis, Stone Wall, Epic Stone Wall, Demonic Slab, Epic Demonic Slab, Guardian Mantle, Alchemical shields (crystal version)

    A few more are listed on DDOwiki here.


    WOLF GEAR

    Endgame collar: Thunderforged Wraps slotted with Meteoric Star Ruby, Ruby of Good, Con +8
    Endgame armor: Flawless Shadow Dragonplate with Shadow Guardian 30/60 DR slotted with Resistance +8 and PRR +16

    Epic leveling collars: Grave Wrappings (L20), Epic Thrall of the Fire Temple (L22), Ivy Wraps (L22-24) or Antipode (L23), Epic Scraps of Enlightenment (L28), Legendary Hound of the Night (L29)
    Epic leveling armors: Epic Stinkpelt's Hide (L20), Epic Duelist's Leathers (L20), Epic Red Dragonplate (L20), Hide of the Goristro (L22), Cormyrian Red Dragonplate (L23), Epic Leaves of the Forest (L22-24), Flawless White Dragonplate Armor (L25), Legendary Hardened Hide Armor (L28), Legendary Scales of Avarice (L28), Legendary Scales of Avarice (L28), Scalemail of the Celestial Avenger (L29), Legendary Coat of the Traveler (L29)

    Heroic leveling collars: Thrall of the Fire Temple (L7), Hound of the Night (L10), Vampiric Stonedust Wraps (L12), Scraps of Enlightenment (L13), Ivy Wraps (L15-17), Thaarak Wraps (L18)
    Heroic leveling armors: crafted hide armor with Invulnerability for low levels, Scales of Avarice (L10), Scales of Malice (L10), Coat of the Traveler (L10), White Dragonplate Armor (L14), Leaves of the Forest (L15-17) and Hardened Hide Armor (L17).

    You can convert any handwraps to a collar at a Device Workstation (located in House C and Eveningstar). I demonstrate how to do this in the introduction of this video.


    WOLF ENHANCEMENTS

    Flanking II is a pre-requisite for Opportunistic Bite, Striding II is a pre-requisite for Lupine Onslaught, Cunning IV and Instincts IV are pre-requisites for Evasion II. For more information about wolf survivability, see this post. If you are not doing reaper questing, you can take Augment Summoning early on and swap it out during mid to teen levels for something more useful. Don't bother using the wolf in reaper questing. Also see How to get 75+ strength on your wolf so you can get the strength lever in LE Tempest's Spine. Here are the enhancements I use:



    SPELLS


    An 8th and 9th level spell is lost when keeping the 1 wizard level with Deep Gnome. Omit Fires of Purity or Ice Flowers for your 8th level spell. Omit Anger of the Noonday Sun for your 9th level spell.

    An overview of some druid spells:

    Druids get 7 offensive spells as spell-like abilities, which is a major sp saver. They have a SLA for each element (fire, cold, electric and acid) as well as a SLA that does light damage and another that does damage based on alignment (Word of Balance) and Salt Ray does force damage. Using Renewal from Unyielding Sentinel as maintenance healing is another sp saver, as well as Energy Burst for low cost AOE dps. While I am not currently using them, Rejuvenation Cocoon and Consecration+Sacred Ground are optional twists that can be used for more low cost healing and AOE dps. My regular single target spell attack routine is the SLA's of Call Lightning -> Creeping Cold -> Produce Flame -> Word of Balance -> Salt Ray. Alternatively you may prefer to cast Salt Ray first to take advantage of extra damage while mobs are stunned.

    Produce Flame A nice little fire bolt, though not efficient to apply metamagics to but for 6 sp, an unmeta'd Produce Flame does decent damage when you want to spam a ranged attack. Produce Flame is also an SLA so max and empower the SLA version for free! Regular spell has cooldown time of 1 second so blast away! Great to include the SLA as part of your regular attack pattern. Also great for charging up Empyrean Magic. There is no save against Produce Flame. The speed of the bolt was sped up significantly in Update 38!

    Entangle (transmutation) a nice lowbie crowd control spell. Kinda like a druid version of web. I use until level 15 when I get Earthquake and some players continue to use it with Earthquake.

    Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold are great damage-over-time spells! They are a lot faster than most other DOTS with only a 3 second cool down you can rapid fire them on multiple mobs. While leveling, keep your cold spell power maxed and cast on a mob then keep moving, knowing it will be dead in about 8 seconds in non-reaper content. Druid DOTS don’t triple stack as traditional DDO DOTS, but both Creeping Cold and GCC stack with each other. Use water elemental form (take at L17), with Mantle of the Icy Soul (a 9th level buff that slows and debuffs mobs that are hit by your cold spells). There is no save against Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold.

    Call Lightning (evocation) at low to upper teen levels you can one-shot mobs in non-reaper content. You get Call Lightning as a 6sp spell-like ability (all SLAs Maximize and Empower for free). The regular spell has a 2 second cool down time so can rapid fire and can one-shot many heroic mobs faster than other casters can instakill them in non-reaper content! Faster casting than wiz/sorc Lightning Bolt and strikes from the sky so never misses due to a mob moving out of the way. Keep your electric spell power maxed, easy with Bracers of Wind.

    Salt Ray (evocation) added as an SLA in update 38! Doesn't do much damage but it does force damage, so it's nice to have a non-elemental damage option. Stuns most mobs, including constructs, elementals and undead but does not stun reapers. A great addition to your spell attack rotation.

    Enveloping Swarm Reworked in Update 28 and is now an acid DOT! A great addition when you want to unload on a boss with 4 DOTS (Creeping Cold, Greater Creeping Cold, Enveloping Swarm and Creeping Doom). There is no save against Enveloping Swarm!

    Body of the Sun (evocation) WOWOW! This spell is like a dream come true and at L13-19ish is fun and extremely powerful, as it basically turns you into a walking firewall! Doesn’t maximize or empower and does about as much dps as a firewall for less SP and moves with you. To add gravy on top of that, it’s a buff so can be extended! Make sure to take fire elemental form first at L13 and take water elemental at L17. As with firewall, BotS loses effectiveness at higher levels. For sick dps cast firewall and BotS!

    Wall of Fire and Ice Storm (evocation) a druid can do nearly as much dps as a cold or fire sorc! In water elemental form, Ice Storm will have an added debuff and slowing effect on mobs when using Mantle of the Icy Soul buff. There is no save against Ice Storm. In this video I discuss the merits of Wall of Fire vs. Ice Storm for new players or players new to casters.

    Freezing Spray cast on mobs so they take 25% more damage from cold spells- great for named and bosses!

    Sleet Storm not a uniquely druid spell but deserves a special mention. This is an excellent crowd control spell but is exceptionally annoying to your party if they don't have Freedom of Movement. Druids are the only class that has both Sleet Storm and FOM on their spell list so just give your party FOM and learn to love Sleet Storm! There is no save against Sleet Storm and it can be a valuable part of your crown control even in EE, legendary and reaper questing.

    Finger of Death (necromancy) don’t do it, it’s a trap!! As casters we see FOD and go “OOOOH I NEEDS THAT!!” But on a druid it doesn’t make sense to spend resources to try to make FOD effective. Stick with Call Lightning at low to upper teen levels and Creeping Cold and GCC at higher levels. Don’t spend resources on necro or spell penetration on ANY druid build. FOD is the only druid spell with a spell penetration check and it is not important enough to invest in spell penetration. In reaper questing I have found it helpful to use FOD for the last few heroic levels as a quick way to get rid of champions. A spell focus mastery item can help the dc of all your spells but I would not recommend going out of your way to improve upon FOD on a druid. If you decide to use it in upper heroics go for it if you find it landing successfully but don't try to make it work in epics on a druid.

    Fires of Purity druids get a weapon buff! Great for party members if no arti is present. Don’t cast on yourself unless fighting mobs that are vulnerable to fire because it overrides Crown of Summer weapon buff (from enhancement line). Must be in fire ele form to cast, so cast on party first, then switch to water ele and buff self.

    Mass Regenerate best mass healing spell in the game!! Use it and love it!! Heals stat damage and neg levels too! Endgame ticks for 400+ on a non-crit (on self with 90 healing amp). Fast casting so already ticks twice by the time a Mass Heal would finish casting. If your entire party needs a bigger burst than that, throw Mass Regenerate and Mass Greater Vigor back to back.

    Snowslide sprint attack spell that freezes your enemies. Use in winter wolf form when you need to get somewhere fast! Does a burst of movement 2x as far as a favored soul’s wings plus 8 seconds of super fast movement. Great for leaping over long distances. Also lets you pass through mobs so great for getting out of crowds when trapped.

    Storm of Vengeance (conjuration) 9th level AOE spell that does electric and acid damage. Long cooldown of 1 minute, but you get an SLA version too at L18 so helps to make cooldown less of an issue. Excellent to chew down large groups of mobs. There is no save against the acid damage, which is the primary damage of SoV.

    Creeping Doom (conjuration) A very nice spell that I overlooked for a long time. Functions as an AOE acid DOT. Slow to reach its target but splashes on to nearby mobs and can be a great add to an AOE attack routine (Ice Storm, SOV, etc.) Update 38 changed the damage type from poison to acid.

    Fire Trap (abjuration) and Fire Seeds Trap (conjuration) If you feel like you need extra bang beyond the regular AOE attack routine (Ice Storm, SOV, etc.) then these are nice to drop at your feet for added AOE dps when fighting large groups of mobs.

    Gust of Wind great for blowing out persistent enemy AOE spells like Ice Storm, Wall of Fire, Otto's Sphere of Dancing, etc. Be careful using because Gust of Wind can also blow out your own AOE's.

    Charm Animal and Dominate Animal (enchantment) I ignored these for years, but now in reaper mode, charms are very helpful to not only neutralize mobs but to have them take aggro and damage instead of you and your party. Works not only on animals but vermin like spiders and scorpions and magical beasts like worgs, griffons and owlbears. Works well even in high skull end game content on spiders and scorpions, which have very low saves. Bonuses that affect your wolf and summons like Augment Summoning and druid past lives will also boost charmed mobs.

    Word of Balance alignment based dps spell that can tick up to 2 times depending on how many steps away your target is from true neutral. A lawful evil target would tick twice, for example, and a neutral good target would tick once. Animals and constructs do not take damage from WOB. Can get as a tier 5 SLA at level 12 and should be a part of your regular SLA attack routine. Works well against reapers!

    Mantle of the Icy Soul and Anger of the Noonday Sun buffs usable in elemental form, which as of Update 38 make a druid's fire and cold spells much more powerful. Targets that are immune, resistant, or healed by fire/cold are inflicted with a debuff that causes subsequent fire/cold spells to do full damage. With the new tier 5 Elemental Mastery enhancement, Anger of the Noonday Sun and Mantle of the Icy Soul are automatically cast on the druid when changing into fire and water elemental forms.

    Sunburst not unique to druid but a very valuable part of a druid's crowd control. I love to double-shot groups of mobs with the regular and SLA versions of Sunburst to blind them. Sunburst also works as an instakill against mob that have vulnerabilities to light and blinding effects like shadows, vampires and evil eyes.

    Earthquake (evocation) provides some of the best crowd control in the game. It is a L8 spell, so you get at L15, just in time for Gianthold elites. Great for kiting or intimidating large groups into and coupling with Ice Storm. For very large or tough groups of mobs, throw Earthquake, Ice Storm and Sleet Storm (give your party FOM or they hate you) and watch your enemies trip, stumble, fall, or slow to a crawl (from Mantle and Beguile) as you and your party obliterate them. Throw Storm of Vengeance on top of that to provide more AOE dps. Use Sunburst SLA to blind them too! Sunburst is also evocation, so the blinding effect hits a lot on druids with good evocation DCs. Turn off Maximize and Empower for Earthquake. The extra damage isn’t worth the extra sp cost, it’s the knock down ability that you care about most. An Earthquake DC of 50+ is good enough to be effective in EE's. I ran at mid 50's prior to u29 and could bring down most mobs almost no-fail except EE Shadar-kai Assassins, evasion archers and winter wolves. See What Makes an Effective Earthquake DC? for more information.

    Legendary content: The bar for an effective legendary elite Earthquake is significantly higher than needed for epic elites. Legendary elite content appears to need a DC in the mid 60's to 70's to be effective. With a buffed Earthquake DC of 74, I am dropping mobs enough to be very useful but not 100% of the time. Don't forget that you can stack your Earthquakes for multiple knockdown procs. You can read more about legendary Earthquake DC's here.

    The way I like to play this build is to run ahead of the party, grabbing aggro of a bunch of mobs at once, laying down Earthquake, Ice Storm, Sleet Storm, SoV and a double-shot of Sunburst then hack away from inside my own personal hurricane! Mass Regenerate works well to keep you and party healed, or Renewal for low-cost self healing. If it gets too intense just turtle-up with your shield for a few seconds while your AOE spells and party chew them up.


    LIMITATIONS

    This build was not designed to solo, but can solo most content if desired, though it does so at a modest pace. Specific limitations include quests with beholders and mobs that can inhibit spell casting such as EE Terminal Delirium and EE Ghosts of Perdition. Quests with incessant stunning such as EE Fleshmakers and EE Ghost of Chance can also be problematic. These kinds of quests are best done as part of a group, as the build is primarily designed for and performs well in a group environment.


    ELEMENTAL FORMS

    A caster druid should run in elemental form at all times because of the significant benefits they give. In addition to buffing your spells (and debuffing the opposite element spells), elemental forms provide +100% racial bonus to fortification and natural poison immunity (+10 resist to magical poison), immunity to sleep, paralysis and stun. Druid elemental forms are different than sorcerer elemental forms. If you don't like the look of being in elemental form, a new auto granted feat called Veil the Elements was added in update 38 to remove the visual effect.

    Take fire elemental form first at L13 and have a blast being essentially a walking firewall while using Body of the Sun. This is one of the funnest spells in the game imo!

    Starting at L20ish, water elemental should be your default form. Keep Mantle of the Icy Soul on you at all times. Sadly this is lost when switching forms, but it’s easy to stay in water ele form for more effective cold spells! Mantle makes targets of your cold spells take a 25% penalty to movement speed, a 10% penalty to attack speed, and a -4 penalty to fortitude and reflex saves, which is huge for making your Earthquake more effective.

    Don't stress about being in the "wrong" elemental form. You can still cast fire spells in water elemental form and cold spells in fire elemental form. Your Greater Creeping Cold is still very strong while you are in fire elemental form, for example. Being in the opposite form will result in a small reduction in caster level for fire/cold spells but it's not worth constantly switching back and forth. It is generally ok stay in one form or another, but switching forms situationally can be valuable if desired.


    ANIMAL FORMS


    Wolf and bear form are designed for melee druids. A caster druid should generally avoid using animal forms, as it significantly increases the cooldown times of spells (but not SLA's). A caster druid's casting power doesn't start to ramp up until late in level 3 when you get Call Lightning as an SLA, so prior to this point it can be fun to run around in wolf form and melee if you prefer.


    HEALING

    Druids can be very strong healers. Traditional healers may find an awkward adjustment when healing on a druid. Other healers wait for the damage to occur and then heal their party. Druids are a little different with their heal-over-time spells (vigor and regeneration). In a sense, you are healing in front of the damage instead of after the damage. You don’t wait for your party to be half down like you might with Mass Heal. Instead, you wait for a smaller amount of damage, then throw Mass Regenerate, which will tick for 400+ on a non-crit with this build (on self with 90 healing amp). At first I was upset that druids didn’t get mass cure spells like cleric and favored soul (they have in pen and paper D&D), but I have come to love healing on a druid so much more than cleric or favored soul, as the HOT spells are amazing for filling in the gaps that are between a traditional healer’s spells. Druids do however get all the single target healing spells Cure Light Wounds through Heal, as well as all single and mass target HOT spells. Unmaximized and unempowered vigor can be very efficient low-cost healing during heroic levels, just have to be proactive and stay ahead of the damage. Use cure spells and Heal for bigger burst of healing as needed. Spring’s Resurgence is also huge at lower levels, as it gives an immediate burst of healing as soon as a player falls below 50% health. It’s cheap to cast and can be a lifesaver in traps or against hard hitting mobs. Get used to regularly casting this on yourself and party members. When tanking groups of mobs or torc’ing up you can effectively use Spring’s Resurgence to keep yourself healed. Useful in epic levels as well. With cocoon twisted in and Renewal from US destiny, you can do a lot of your healing with these SLA's and save most of your mana for offensive casting. Renewal ticks for 300+ on self on a non-crit (with 90 healing amp).


    TANKING

    This build provides good self-healing tanking ability. Use cold DOTS to generate hate. Use intimidate to pull back mobs and bosses if they are pulled away from you. I have used this build to successfully tank all bosses on EE, although I would not advise you tank high-end EE bosses with a first life version of the build. Can tank heroic elite at-level demon queen, Reaver's Fate, VOD and all TOD bosses for bravery bonuses. Tanking is a skill to develop and if you enjoy this build and are interested in tanking high-end content with it then I would encourage you to work toward getting defensive past lives like divine and martial epic past lives for extra PRR and AC, PDK iconic past lives for extra PRR, as well as tier 2 dwarf and warforged past lives for extra con and 36 point build from being a multilifer.

    Temple of the Deathwyrm: can tank dragon and kuldjarghs simultaneously on EE. Kuldjarghs will keep you torc'ed up enough to spam your spells on the dragon. Tank TOTD in fire ele form with Body of the Sun. If someone pulls the dragon too far away from you, quickly change to winter wolf form and use Snow Slide to burst through the kuldjarghs and chase the dragon down and pull back. During final beatdown, stay in winter wolf form so that you can quickly move around with Snow Slide as needed to keep the dragon centered. I have a video that shows all of this in action.

    Fire on Thunder Peak: I am able to stay toe-to-toe with the EE dragons even when then have the Artifact Overdraw +400% damage buff. They are hitting me so hard though, that I suspect without all the hp and prr past lives, it would be considerably more difficult and would recommend anyone using this build that doesn't have all those past lives to just kite the dragons for the final phase of the raid. I have a video of Gingerspyce tanking EE Fire on Thunder Peak.

    Legendary raids: Can tank Xyzzy and Sorjek on LE, although I would not recommend it without past lives and gear.

    Reaper raids: I would not recommend trying to tank end game raid bosses beyond R1, even with past lives and gear.

    If you're new to tanking, I was on a couple DDOCast episodes where we talk about building a raid caliber tank and another episode where we talk about strategies for tanking specific raid bosses that you might find helpful: DDOCast 403 Raid Caliber Tanks and DDOCast 422 Tanking in Raids.


    Have fun building your caster/healer druid, I hope you enjoy this build. I monitor and update this post regularly and I am happy to respond to questions here.

    Demonstration of build solo EE Don't Drink the Water with narration




    I have 6 video series that are designed to support the build: a "True First Life" series and it's "True Second Life" sequel, a Beginner's series, a TR series, a Deep Gnome series and a Dragonborn series...

    True Second Life Series (2018-)
    This series is the sequel to my 2016 True First Life series. It is best for newer players without a bunch of past lives, but will be valuable for others as well. Here I am on another server without access to the wealth, guild and resources of my main server, using only what I was able to amass during the True First Life series. This series is new and in progress with new episodes posted every 2-3 days. It will feature all reaper play, going to level cap of 30. There will be an instructional, demonstrative video for every level where I will offer tips and advice and I am keeping a detailed journal to help others.

    Check out the companion post with all episodes and a journal of my experiences filled with tips and advice later in this thread at Northwynd 2: The Druid True Second Life Series


    Dragonborn Project (2017)

    This series features Gingerspyce playing through her 3 Dragonborn lives. In the first life of the series I ran as my normal druid build from levels 1-20. Like the other guides, I go over gear, enhancements, feats and discuss other important factors in each video. The series was my first featuring all reaper questing and captures my first experiences in heroic reaper questing with Gingerspyce.

    Check out the series at The Gingerspyce Dragonborn Project


    True First Life Series (2016-17)
    The true first life series is best for newer players who are starting with very little and are still learning the game. To emulate some of the struggles of a "true first life" experience, this series puts me on another server where I have no friends, no plat, no gear, no guild and no ship buffs. In the series I worked through the build and elite streak all the way to level cap of 30. In each episode I go over the gear, feats, spells, enhancements, etc. that I'm using for that level. Anyone can follow the fun, but it is geared toward newer players who are interested in a caster druid and would like guidance all along the way in the form of instructional videos and a detailed journal. Starting at level 2, I do a video for every level so new players can see how the build performs every step of the way. This series was completed in early 2017, prior to reaper mode.

    Check out the companion post with all episodes and a journal of my experiences filled with tips and advice later in this thread at Northwynd: The Druid True First Life Series


    Beginner's Guide (2014)
    The beginner's guide is better for newer players who have some experience and resources and ship buffs. Here I demonstrate the first-life effectiveness of the build on my home server, so I have access to a variety of resources. All the videos are narrated and in each video I go over what the gear, spells, feats and enhancements look like for the level range I'm doing. This series will be valuable for anyone who is new to druid and interested in any kind of druid caster/healer. For the project I made a new toon "Scaryspyce" and through level 20 I solo everything on elite, including some of the most difficult heroic content, without using any ability tomes, store pots/buffs, hirelings, green steel or raid loot. This series was made in mid 2014, so some information is outdated.

    Check out the series at A Beginner's Guide to the Gingerspyce Pure Druid Caster/healer/Quasi-tank Build


    TR Guide (2015)
    The TR guide series is better for experienced players with a collection of past lives, but will be valuable for even new players. Here I worked through what was my final life at the time. Similar to the first life series, all the videos are narrated and in each video I go over what the gear, spells, feats and enhancements look like for the level I'm doing except now it is showing what gearing and performance is like after many lives. This series was made in early 2015 so some information is outdated.

    Check out the series at TR Guide to the Gingerspyce Pure Druid Caster/Healer/Quasi-tank Build


    Deep Gnome Guide (2016)
    The Deep Gnome series is best for experienced players with a collection of past lives, but will be valuable for even new players. Like the other guides, I go over gear, enhancements, feats and discuss other important factors in each video. This series was made in mid 2016 so was prior to reaper mode and the update 38 druid changes.

    Check out the series at Gingerspyce Deep Gnome Druid Project



    Some of my other videos and series:
    Voodu Warlock: A Pure Warlock Enlightened Spirit Tank Project
    How to Choose your Warlock for Beginners
    How to Craft a Heroic Green Steel Item and Use the Crafting Planner
    How to Craft a Legendary Green Steel Item and Use the LGS Crafting Planner
    Beginner's Guide to Cannith Crafting
    The Basics of Reincarnating in DDO
    Beginner's Guide to Epic Destinies and Twists of Fate

    over 750 quest videos, raid guides, crafting tutorials and much more for newbies and experienced players alike at my DDO Youtube channel
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 12-12-2018 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Updated to reflect new gear and content

  2. #2
    Community Member Sokól's Avatar
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    Nice build but I would like to see your starting attributes and enhancements!

    Well you are not the only 1 having trouble fitting ice lore on a druid...
    Argonnessen: Hilmir - Purkilius - Jinu - Vignir @ Blood Assassin´s

  3. #3
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Very nice write up! It's great to see someone that has learned how to play a caster druid as many people don't understand them and just shoot them down as not being as powerful as a sorc or wiz. You've got all the strengths and weaknesses nailed!

    On FoD, I have found it to be worth getting the wiz and FvS pls for the spell pen to make it semi reliable. It's a very effective spell and works better at taking out casters than DoTs in many situations as it doesn't give them time to cast anything. If only lightning didn't take such a hit from both elemental forms (where are our other two elemental forms? I love lightning and pretty much stop using it after level 16) it would be a great alternative. Not everyone will be willing to run the pls for this though. I enjoy TR'ing so it was not a problem for me.

    I agree on the wolf pet. I also have the 3 druid pls, and with augment summoning the pet is great for leveling. By 20th level, mine has 1000hp, improved evasion with a 40+ reflex, and a decent AC. He is very survivable in spite of standing in traps, etc. Since my pure druid caster has no evasion, I let the pet open trapped doors and such. He is unkillable. I just wish he could open chests! And he is a great diversion for a caster druid soloing as he takes the aggro and leaves you free to cast. It's also fun to cast EQ and SoV and watch the pet running around finishing the bad guys off while you just watch. But yes, EE is just way too frenetic to keep tabs on the pet, and he will simply die very quickly. Then again, that's true of many players. And yes, he typically has higher stats in every category than me, except for wisdom. Yep, my pet is smarter, faster, tougher, better looking, and stronger than I am.

  4. #4
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sokól View Post
    Nice build but I would like to see your starting attributes and enhancements!

    Well you are not the only 1 having trouble fitting ice lore on a druid...
    Enhancements are easy, everything in Season's Herald. As mentioned, you can take some Nature's Warrior early on where melee is more useful and change them out later. I typically keep some of the first three tiers of Nature's Warrior just so I can jump into wolf form and do some melee if I'm out of sp or it's a melee only situation. It's not great, but it's better than standing there doing nothing.

    There needs to be an updated animal form for epic levels. I mean, you get winter wolf at ~7th level and it really doesn't receive any upgrades for epic levels. None of the enhancements or spells for wolf form are really epic level abilities.

    I would like to see earth and air ele forms as well epic versions of wolf and bear for melee druids.

  5. #5
    Community Member Munkenmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachomammashouse View Post
    FEATS (by level)

    1st Toughness. Human bonus feat: Augment summoning (for fun, will swap later)
    I'd consider dropping toughness for mental toughness, hp enhancments don't require toughness anymore, so it's effectively 30hp vs 145sp and +1% spell crit chance.

    15th: Spell Focus: Evocation (or wiz PL). Dump Augment Summoning for Shield Mastery
    Since this is your only DC boosting feat, I'd definately take Spell focus : Evo, If you don't you won't be able to pick up evo DC's from Magister / Draconic ED's.


    Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold are the best damage-over-time spells in the game, imo, because they are a lot faster than caster and divine DOTS. With only a 3 second cool down time you can rapid fire them. While leveling, keep your cold spell power maxed (easy with Frozen Tunic) and cast on a mob then run off, knowing it will be dead in about 8 seconds. Druid DOTS don’t triple stack as traditional DDO DOTS, but both Creeping Cold and GCC stack with each other. Sadly they do not stack with other druid DOTS (don’t know if this is working as intended). Use water elemental form (take at L17), with Mantle of the Icy Soul (a 9th level buff that slows mobs that are hit by your cold spells).
    I agree that these spells are great damage dealers. However these are backloaded spells, meaning as they near the end of their duration they do more damage than when they've first been cast. You're wasting a lot of sp, and doing a lot less damage recasting these as soon as you can. Also these spells will remove arcane casters Niacs creeping cold stacks, In a party with 2 arcanes or more, sadly your party is better off with you not casting this.

    Firewall and Ice Storm- a druid can do nearly as much dps as a cold or fire sorc! In water elemental for, Ice Storm will also slow your enemies if using Mantle of the Icy Soul buff.
    Ice storm slows down enemies movement speed anyway

    Freezing Spray- cast on mobs so they take 25% more damage from cold spells- great for named and raid bosses!

    Earthquake (evocation) provides some of the best ee crowd control in the game. It is a L8 spell, so you get at L15, just in time for Gianthold elites. Great for kiting or intimidating large groups into and coupling with Ice Storm. For very large or tough groups of mobs, throw Earthquake, Ice Storm and Sleet Storm (give your party FOM or they hate you) and watch your enemies trip, stumble, fall, or slow to a crawl (from Mantle and Beguile) as you and your party obliterate them. Throw Storm of Vengeance (a SLA now!) on top of that to provide more AOE dps. Use Sunburst SLA to blind them too! Sunburst is also evocation, so the blinding effect hits a lot on druids with good evocation DCs. Turn off Maximize and Empower for Earthquake. The extra damage isn’t worth the extra sp cost, it’s the knock down ability that you care about most.
    You can even use it on Eladrin in running with the devils
    Nice writeup Voo, just a couple of comments in red.

    I'd also build a 17/2/1 split, but that's just me I guess.
    Last edited by fTdOmen; 10-09-2013 at 05:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Community Member ZeebaNeighba's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, why don't you also twist the +2 evocation DC from draconic? Does it not stack, or do you just think that +3 dc is worth a twist and +2 is not?

  7. #7
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    very nice build and very nicely wrote to.
    book marked for future reference thankyou.

    your friend sil

  8. #8

    Default Additional +2 from draconic not necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeebaNeighba View Post
    Out of curiosity, why don't you also twist the +2 evocation DC from draconic? Does it not stack, or do you just think that +3 dc is worth a twist and +2 is not?
    The additional +2 is just not needed. Earthquake hits just fine with high 40's DC. With a 55 DC I'm finding that I can even bring down the Shadar-Kai assassins on ee, though not 100% of the time :-)

  9. #9

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by fTdOmen View Post
    Nice writeup Voo, just a couple of comments in red.

    I'd also build a 17/2/1 split, but that's just me I guess.
    I meant rapid-firing GCC on different mobs, not the same mob. Good to mention that casting Creeping Cold and GCC on the same mob before the duration is expired, overwrites, not extends like traditional DOTS, so your biggest damage is lost if recasting on same mob too soon.

    The conflict with druid DOTS erasing Niac's Biting Cold DOT was fixed maybe a couple months ago

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachomammashouse View Post
    The additional +2 is just not needed. Earthquake hits just fine with high 40's DC. With a 55 DC I'm finding that I can even bring down the Shadar-Kai assassins on ee, though not 100% of the time :-)
    This exactly, where is the all or nothing guy ?

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    Community Member reddoormedia's Avatar
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    Default pure?

    Op are you talking about a pure druid, no splash?

  12. #12
    Community Member ZeebaNeighba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddoormedia View Post
    Op are you talking about a pure druid, no splash?
    Yes the op is pure (I know his toon in game)

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    Default Split

    what split did you use.. I was thinking of adding 2 lvls of either Wiz or FVS to mine to open up there respective enhancement trees. Could use you alls thoughts on it.

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    Question Great Build

    Hey voo if its possible mind posting screenshot of your bars kind of tricky when you have 20 bars and so many clickies and spells to put on them..
    Sarlona: Abbyblabby Blondecure Bronlynn Flvs Maxd

  15. #15

    Default screenshot :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajthegreat7 View Post
    Hey voo if its possible mind posting screenshot of your bars kind of tricky when you have 20 bars and so many clickies and spells to put on them..

    screencast

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    Community Member twigzz's Avatar
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    Nice write up spyce. I still laugh(and cry cause that song gets stuck in my head) at your LFM's to this day lol.


    And you're a fellow Michigander!

  17. #17

    Cool ...and can solo elite shroud with this build

    All parts were done legit...
    131 minutes and about 35 pots. Swapped Epic DR for Ruin so that I would have better dps for the portals.


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    Thank you for the link. ::bump::
    Last edited by UrbanPyro; 04-01-2014 at 01:00 PM.

  19. #19
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    I LOVE my druid. Looking at different and interesting builds.

    My current build is a Shiradi Caster. Typically running as fire ellie for body of the sun. Though I am finding that I am tending to run in Water on EE for the Mantle of the Icy soul and reflex debuff with Ice Storm.

    This build look really cool.

    Out of curiosity, even with Heavy Armor Proficiency don't you still have to deal with Arcane Spell Failure?

    I take it you just added that, due to the shadow armor? Which I take it is not considered metal and thus works for Druids.
    Panzermeyer - Huge Terry Brooks Shannara Fan

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    Jelara Shannara - Dragonborn Caster/Intim/Tank Druid (TR XXI - Barb x3, Drd x3, FvS x3, Pal x3, Rgr x1, Rog x2, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XXV - Epic Completionist - ItR III - PDK x3)
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    Eritria Shannara - Human Swashbuckler
    (TR VII - Ftr x3, Sorc x1, Wiz x3 EtR - Prim x1)
    Kirisin Shannara - Sun Elf Enlightend Spirit Warlock Tank (TR XIV - Barb x1, Bard x1, Clc x3, Fvs x3, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XII - Epic Completionist- ItR - MLE x3)
    RueMeridian - Warforged Artificer (TR II - Arti x1, Wiz x1 - EtR II - Primal x1, Div x1)


  20. #20
    Community Member Munkenmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzermeyer View Post
    Out of curiosity, even with Heavy Armor Proficiency don't you still have to deal with Arcane Spell Failure?
    He does have arcane spell failure when using arcane scrolls, wands and spells. There is a reason its not called divine spell failure though.

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