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  1. #1
    Community Member Yazzman's Avatar
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    Default Dex-based ninja assassin viable?

    As I decided to TR my old rogue into something new (namely TWF 13 Rog/6 Mnk/1 Fig) it got me thinking if dex-based shortsword (with the core Ninja Spy enhancements) user would be able to stand toe-to-toe with a str-based build. I would be investing somewhat into Dex anyway (21 for Improved SA feat) so I thought why not go all the way.

    Basically I'm deciding between a brutish build, starting with 17 Str/16 Dex, 2 level-ups into Dex, rest into Str, taking both Improved SA and Overwhelming Crits, or a more subtle one with maxed Dex and 14-ish starting Str, dropping OC along with Cleaves and taking 2 PL feats and Precision (maybe even dropping PA and Imp. Sunder as it would have poor DC from low Str). The first one is rather feat-starved, no room for barb/rogue PL, the second one on the other hand has feats to spare.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazzman View Post
    As I decided to TR my old rogue into something new (namely TWF 13 Rog/6 Mnk/1 Fig) it got me thinking if dex-based shortsword (with the core Ninja Spy enhancements) user would be able to stand toe-to-toe with a str-based build. I would be investing somewhat into Dex anyway (21 for Improved SA feat) so I thought why not go all the way.

    Basically I'm deciding between a brutish build, starting with 17 Str/16 Dex, 2 level-ups into Dex, rest into Str, taking both Improved SA and Overwhelming Crits, or a more subtle one with maxed Dex and 14-ish starting Str, dropping OC along with Cleaves and taking 2 PL feats and Precision (maybe even dropping PA and Imp. Sunder as it would have poor DC from low Str). The first one is rather feat-starved, no room for barb/rogue PL, the second one on the other hand has feats to spare.

    Thoughts?
    A lot of people will tell you dex build is a trap. That said, I think it's very viable for certain very specific builds, one being an acrobat and the other being a TWFing dagger specialist. Your class split is great for acrobat, and IMO less so for dagger specialist where I think you'd want some tempest for the off hand attacks and whirling blades.

  3. #3
    Community Member Yazzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inoukchuk View Post
    A lot of people will tell you dex build is a trap. That said, I think it's very viable for certain very specific builds, one being an acrobat and the other being a TWFing dagger specialist. Your class split is great for acrobat, and IMO less so for dagger specialist where I think you'd want some tempest for the off hand attacks and whirling blades.
    I would use exclusively short swords, with Ninja Spy being able to use Dex for damage/to-hit with them. The Dex build looks solid on paper but I wonder if there's any caveat I'm missing, besides the fact that Str is easier to buff. Then again, I'll be usually in GM Wind stance.

  4. #4
    Community Member voodoogroves's Avatar
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    A split won't have the CC / instakill of a pure monk or rogue; it's nifty and will work but if you enjoy that kind of thing you may find this build lacking.

    Should have good DPS though.
    Ghallanda - now with fewer alts and more ghostbane

  5. #5
    Community Member Stoner81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazzman View Post
    As I decided to TR my old rogue into something new (namely TWF 13 Rog/6 Mnk/1 Fig) it got me thinking if dex-based shortsword (with the core Ninja Spy enhancements) user would be able to stand toe-to-toe with a str-based build. I would be investing somewhat into Dex anyway (21 for Improved SA feat) so I thought why not go all the way.

    Basically I'm deciding between a brutish build, starting with 17 Str/16 Dex, 2 level-ups into Dex, rest into Str, taking both Improved SA and Overwhelming Crits, or a more subtle one with maxed Dex and 14-ish starting Str, dropping OC along with Cleaves and taking 2 PL feats and Precision (maybe even dropping PA and Imp. Sunder as it would have poor DC from low Str). The first one is rather feat-starved, no room for barb/rogue PL, the second one on the other hand has feats to spare.

    Thoughts?
    If you want to Assassinate stuff then don't multiclass because you are going to want as much DC as possible to land it as much as possible.

    However, with the split you suggested I would think that 13/6/1 Rogue/Monk/Druid would be an option for using quarter-staffs since you get the 1st level Druid spell to give +1[W] to damage. Add in enhancements from the Acrobat tree and Monk trees and you could well be rocking some crazy fast DPS.

    In my experience (limited as it is) DEX builds are tricky since it's far easier to buff up STR (Primal Scream, Rams Might etc etc) but it really really depends on what you are trying to achieve, my Halfling Assassin build currently scores about 120 points of damage from weapon damage and sneak attack alone at level 23 with lousy gear (note to self get new gear pronto!). Granted she isn't fully setup yet (see the link in my siggy if you are interested) but she can and will only get better imho. The other added benefit of going DEX based is of course your Reflex save

    Stoner81.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazzman View Post
    I would use exclusively short swords, with Ninja Spy being able to use Dex for damage/to-hit with them. The Dex build looks solid on paper but I wonder if there's any caveat I'm missing, besides the fact that Str is easier to buff. Then again, I'll be usually in GM Wind stance.
    Well, shortswords in general are a very sub-par DPS choice, salvaged only by the named sun blades like Celestia. Any reason you want to go with a short sword build? As mentioned, if you intend to assassinate you really want to be a pure rogue. If going for DPS, staff or dagger are much stronger options due to the tier 5 specialization abilities that give them each +1 crit range and +1 crit multiplier. Short swords get neither that benefit nor any enhancements to boost damage, and while there are some nice named short swords I don't know that they make up for that margin of difference, or even close.

  7. #7
    Founder & Build Synthesis Battlehawke's Avatar
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    Default testing

    I'm currently testing a Shortsword Build. Mostly because I wanted a Rogue "ish" Trapper that could do EE's and be productive. I wanted an "Endfight" melee style as well that could run around in LD and hang with the big boys. I also wanted what I think are the top three "haves" in the game at the momment. 1) Veil, 2) Manyshot, 3) Caccoon. I've struggled with two different builds:

    1) 8 Rgr/6 Mnk/6 Rog. Has the ability to gain Empower Healing (the Only meta that effects Caccon).

    2) 9 Mnk/6 Rgr/5 Rog. Has Improved Evasion but no Emp Heal (Healing Amp makes this less painful though)

    Feat Selection is really tight and have to be taken a specific way and is not all that helpfull to leveling up but at end game are awesome.

    the 8/6/6 version looks like: 13,18, 12,12,11,8 and

    1 - Rog - PBS/ Magical Training
    2 - Mnk - PA(Mnk)
    3 - Rgr - Cleave/ FE (Undead)
    4 - Rgr -
    5 - Rgr -
    6 - Rgr - Great Cleave
    7 - Rgr - FE (Evil Outsider)
    8 - Rgr -
    9 - Rgr - TWD (for the PRR)
    10-Rgr -
    11-Rog-
    12-Mnk- Empower Heal, Zen Archery(Mnk)
    13-Mnk- Path Light (Mnk)
    14-Rog-
    15-Mnk- Gtwf
    16-Rog-
    17-Mnk-
    18-Rog- IC;Slashing
    19-Mnk- Toughness(Mnk)
    20-Rog
    21-Master of Forms
    22-
    23-
    24-Grand Master of Forms
    25-
    26-Perfect TWF
    27-Epic DR (more PRR)
    28-Elusive Target

    will run around in LD or Fury with Cacoon, Brace for Impact and the Earth Stance from Grand Master of Flowers (more PRR)

    Self Healing, Perma Displace Clickie, Max Dodge, Good PRR, EE Survivability. Great DPS and Celestias at End Game!
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  8. #8
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    With dex-to-hit and dex-to-damage without spending a feat, a dex build is something which can work. If you want to use Shortswords, Celestia is a one-fits-all solution.
    Str-based builds can get a higher strength, but only with the help of temporary buffs. Going Dex-based offers a good damage/to-hit stat which can be easily enhanced with Class (Assassain) and Race (Elf, Halfling, Drow) enhancements.

    Personally, I like having the option of PA and Precision, even without improved sunder.

    Unfortunately, Warpriest isn't adding its full potential to Dex-builds, but 13Rog/6Monk/1Cle could still be something to work with.
    Last edited by karl_k0ch; 10-20-2013 at 03:28 AM.
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  9. #9
    Community Member Yazzman's Avatar
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    Well, I went the Dex route and it's a beast so far. I hope to hit level 12 today, really curious how it works in some more difficult content. Took both Precision and PA, but I'm almost always in Prec. Also will take GM of Forms for the Doublestrike and +4 Dex. HPs shouldnt be much of a problem I hope, AC is pretty good, Reflex saves fail only on 1 (tested in elite von5 trap corridor). Sting of the Ninja and Venomed Blades are an interesting synergy. With Ninja Dex-to-damage and Dex-to-hit I have no trouble with base damage. I do miss monk special moves, especially Unbalancing strike which works even on red names and is absolutely awesome if you can get your DC high enough (which I can't ). Don't miss assassinate because I never used it in my rogue life anyway. Basically it plays like your usual rogue with better survivability, minus assassinate.
    Last edited by Yazzman; 10-20-2013 at 01:12 PM. Reason: typos

  10. #10
    Community Member voodoogroves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazzman View Post
    Well, I went the Dex route and it's a beast so far. I hope to hit level 12 today, really curious how it works in some more difficult content. Took both Precision and PA, but I'm almost always in Prec. Also will take GM of Forms for the Doublestrike and +4 Dex. HPs shouldnt be much of a problem I hope, AC is pretty good, Reflex saves fail only on 1 (tested in elite von5 trap corridor). Sting of the Ninja and Venomed Blades are an interesting synergy. With Ninja Dex-to-damage and Dex-to-hit I have no trouble with base damage. I do miss monk special moves, especially Unbalancing strike which works even on red names and is absolutely awesome if you can get your DC high enough (which I can't ). Don't miss assassinate because I never used it in my rogue life anyway. Basically it plays like your usual rogue with better survivability, minus assassinate.
    As I said above, my only complaint with it was a lack of CC or an instakill - espescially at the higher levels. The best I had was weapon procs, Sap and eventually an epic Big Top.

    It did great DPS, but didn't solo as well for me - but I'm somewhat of a control-the-game freak.
    Ghallanda - now with fewer alts and more ghostbane

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