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  1. #1
    Founder Hamlin's Avatar
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    Default critique my build - the Paledancer

    The build: Pure wizard, Shadowdancer ED; fully functional wizard with some stealth/melee ability

    This is a concept that I came up with earlier this year, but I really couldn't try it out because it requires leveling to 20-21 and using the free LR to make the feats work. I leveled him up as a pure no-nonsense standard pale master, but now I'm ready to LR. Before I do so, I wanted to post my ideas here again to see if there's anything I need to fine tune or rethink. Here it is, with some clarification on my decisions after:

    Class: Wizard 20 (Pale Master) / Shadowdancer 5
    Race: Half-elf w/rogue dilettante
    Past life: Favored Soul

    Starting Stats (34 points):

    STR 12 - 14 (+2 tome)
    DEX 14 - 17 (+3 tome)
    CON 15 - 18 (+3 tome)
    INT 18 - 22 (+4 tome)All level ranks here
    WIS 8 - 10 (+2 tome)
    CHA 8 - 10 (+2 tome)

    feats
    1. Toughness
    1W. Empower Spell
    3. Spell Penetration
    5W. Spell Focus: Necromancy
    6. Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
    9. Greater Spell Penetration
    10W. Maximize Spell
    12. Two Weapon Fighting
    15. Improved Two Weapon Fighting
    15W. Extend Spell
    18. Improved Critical: Slashing (or Piercing?)
    20W. Heighten Spell
    21. Greater Two Weapon Fighting
    24. Epic Spell Penetration
    26ED. Epic Mage Armor
    27. Ruin
    28ED. Hellball

    Feats I really wanted but had to leave out:

    Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy
    Insightful Reflexes
    Augment Summon
    Precision
    Holy Strike (for more melee dps. Was a toss up between epic mage armor and this)
    Quicken Spell


    Gear:

    Gear-wise, I already have the war wizard's set and a planar focus of subterfuge with +3 insightful INT on it. INT for wizzy, and subterfuge set bonus if I get my Agony upgraded. Pretty good for this build I think. I also have several decent loot gen scimitars left over from my last life. I'm still undecided on whether I'm going to take improved crit slash or pierce. Probably slash if Agony is going to be my main weapon. Agony has keen on it anyway and I could still situationally use my scimitars. I also have a Staff of the Necromancer for when I'm going full caster mode. I was thinking Shadowmail would be good for this guy, but it's medium armor and would kill evasion.

    I'm really concerned about spell power items. I need ideas for sources of spellpower/spell crit/etc. that don't go in the weapons slot. So I would be free to cast AND melee. As it stands now, I'll need to make that decision based on the encounter and switch weapons accordingly.

    Enhancements:

    Full rogue dilly line in racial, just about everything in the PM line, and I'm sure I'll be tweaking some to take some Eldrich Knight when that comes out. Not sure how that's going to work out exactly because I haven't had time to log into Lammania and try it out.

    And finally, the character builder:
    Code:
    Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 04.19.02
    DDO Character Planner Home Page
    
    Quibellius Paledancer
    Level 28 True Neutral Half-Elf Male
    (20 Wizard \ 8 Epic) 
    Hit Points: 390
    Spell Points: 1658 
    BAB: 10\10\15\20
    Fortitude: 10
    Reflex: 9
    Will: 12
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
    Abilities        Base Stats          Modified Stats
    (34 Point)       (Level 1)             (Level 28)
    Strength             12                    14
    Dexterity            14                    17
    Constitution         15                    18
    Intelligence         18                    35
    Wisdom                8                    10
    Charisma              8                    11
    
    Tomes Used
    +2 Tome of Strength used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Charisma used at level 7
    +3 Tome of Dexterity used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Constitution used at level 11
    +4 Tome of Intelligence used at level 15
    
                      Starting            Ending          
                     Base Skills        Base Skills       
    Skills           (Level 1)          (Level 28)        
    Balance               4                 14            
    Concentration         6                 27            
    Hide                  4                 14            
    Jump                  3                 13            
    Move Silently         4                 14            
    Spellcraft            8                 35            
    Spot                 -1                 11            
    Swim                  n/a                4            
    Tumble                n/a               14            
               
    
    Level 1 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Empower Spell
    Feat: (Half-Elf Dilettante) Half-Elf Dilettante: Rogue
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Favored Soul
    Feat: (Selected) Toughness
    
    
    Level 2 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Automatic) Defensive Fighting
    Feat: (Automatic) Sunder
    Feat: (Automatic) Trip
    
    
    Level 3 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Spell Penetration
    
    
    Level 4 (Wizard)
    Ability Raise: INT
    
    
    Level 5 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Spell Focus: Necromancy
    Feat: (Automatic) Improved Heroic Durability
    
    
    Level 6 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
    
    
    Level 7 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 8 (Wizard)
    Ability Raise: INT
    
    
    Level 9 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Penetration
    
    
    Level 10 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Maximize Spell
    
    
    Level 11 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 12 (Wizard)
    Ability Raise: INT
    Feat: (Selected) Two Weapon Fighting
    
    
    Level 13 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 14 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 15 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Extend Spell
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Two Weapon Fighting
    
    
    Level 16 (Wizard)
    Ability Raise: INT
    
    
    Level 17 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 18 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
    
    
    Level 19 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 20 (Wizard)
    Ability Raise: INT
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Heighten Spell
    
    
    Level 21 (Epic)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Two Weapon Fighting
    
    
    Level 22 (Epic)
    
    
    Level 23 (Epic)
    
    
    Level 24 (Epic)
    Ability Raise: INT
    Feat: (Selected) Epic: Epic Spell Penetration
    
    
    Level 25 (Epic)
    
    
    Level 26 (Epic)
    Feat: (Epic Destiny) Epic Destiny: Epic Mage Armor
    
    
    Level 27 (Epic)
    Feat: (Selected) Epic: Ruin
    
    
    Level 28 (Epic)
    Ability Raise: INT
    Feat: (Epic Destiny) Epic Destiny: Hellball
    So...you may be wondering why shadowdancer for a wizard? Well, the 18/2 wizard/rogue split has been around for years...shadowdancer basically to play like that, except I can't do traps. That's huge, but I almost never solo and there are plenty of capable trappers out there. All abilities have an INT-based DC, so I really think there's some synergy here. Here's what I like about shadowdancer for this build:

    1. Shadow Mastery (innate) grants evasion, and vorpals remove sneak attack immunity.
    2. Shadow Lance - Free nuke to mix into my rotation. Wonder if pale master bonus spell power to negative energy boost this?
    3. Lithe - Boost AC and reflex saves
    4. Cloak of Shadows - Stoneskin-like immunity to light damage! Very handy for a PM in undead form
    5. Shrouding Strike - extra melee damage, build shadow charges for other abilities
    6. Meld Into Darkness - 100% dodge for 15 seconds. Good "Oh sh**" button
    7. Improved Invisibility - unbreakable invis for 30 seconds, free displacement afterwards
    8. Executioner's Strike - Extra melee damage, chance for instakill

    AND...the two abilities I REALLY like...

    9. Shadow Manipulation - Dominate/charm target for 1 minute, then he dies afterwards. INT based DC. Awesome.
    10. Consume - Divines get implosion. I'll have a similar INT based ability.

    Tier 2 and 3 don't have much for me so I can boost int instead of taking abilities there. More INT is never bad for a wizard.

    I mainly see myself using melee because I'm saving SP for a big fight, low on SP, or I just want to finish a mob off without expending any SP. Most of the abilities I listed above cost shadow charges, and I'll need some melee anyway to build those up. So that ties together nicely. I would melee all the time during my FvS life an he wasn't stacked with a ton of melee feats either. Wouldn't do it on EE, but EH you can get away with it. I'll have 9d6 sneak attack damage if you combine rogue dilly + Shadowdancer 5. Blindness is a lvl 2 necromancy spell...I'll be sneak attacking mobs that will have a harder time hitting me back. It also goes without saying that I'll be using master's touch and tensors at all times during melee.

    So that's basically it. Meet the Paledancer. One thing if you suggest changes...first and foremost this guy is a wizard. I will not gimp spell casting ability in any way to get more melee power. I meant this just as a fun alternative way to play the wizard class. So please, critique it, let me know if there's a glaring weakness or something I haven't considered. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    The Mad Multiclasser Failedlegend's Avatar
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    I know your already Lvl20 but you may as well make this a good 1-20 build in case you decide to do it again so yeah you don't really need Greater Spell pen or Greater spell focus so early especially since you have the passive PL FvS, whereas your going to want extend and TWF as early as possible so swap some feats around a bit

    Like this


    1. Toughness
    1W. Empower Spell
    3. Spell Penetration
    5W. Spell Focus: Necromancy
    6. Extend
    9. Two Weapon Fighting
    10W. Maximize Spell
    12. Improved Two Weapon Fighting
    15. Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
    15W. Greater Spell Penetration
    18. Improved Critical: Slashing (or Piercing?)
    20W. Heighten Spell
    21. Greater Two Weapon Fighting
    24. Epic Spell Penetration
    26ED. Epic Mage Armor
    27. Ruin
    28ED. Hellball

    I'm not seeing why this build requires an LR...it seems like it would work fine as a 1-20 build with some feat order adjustments. The only reason i could see for an LR is if you use an LR+3 so you could have evasion throughout lvl 1-20 than swap out your rogue or monk levels for either 2 more wiz levels (or 2 ranger levels...see below)

    The cloak of shadows also makes you immune to negative damage negating you only form of healing making it as pointless as the cloak of night from PM you still have to take it anyways as a pre-req I'd just say only use it sparingly (ie. To block some light DoTs after samcking your improved invisibility ability)

    Here's what I'd go with: http://ddodestiny.info/#d/shadowdanc...k,l3,n3,q3,u,z

    Also you might consider dropping toughness in favor of insightful reflexes instead (or in favor Precision if you go with the below suggestion)

    Lastly might I suggest splashing 2 Ranger for Improved Weapon Finesse, Faster Sneaking and +2D6 SA and free TWF that way you can go Dex/Int based and mixing your dex and epic mage armor plus palemaster will make you incredibly survivable (ignore all those cries of AC IS USELESS...it works just fine) its not like you take any feats that require Str and it could save you on some tomeage in the dex department. Also it will unlock the Hide/MS skills as well as spot so you can see hidden enemies.

    Not for OP: For anyone trying to plan this build out I'd recommend halfling as they can actually get MORE SA than a Half-Elf can (3 halfling guile enhancements and tier 3 of halfling sneaky grants another SA die) with an awesome bonus to Dex and negligible penalty to Str (assuming 2 ranger splash) not to mention the halfling agility line (+3Maxdex and dodge bonus, +3% dodge,on hit +1% dodge/sec until missed) and cores (+2 dex, +3 to all saves)


    Hmmm....*runs off to create a TWF Halfling Wiz18/Ranger2*
    Last edited by Failedlegend; 10-28-2013 at 11:23 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cordovan
    There is little value in getting into an edition debate; as with anything, we create what we believe works best for DDO.

  3. #3
    Founder Hamlin's Avatar
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    Hey Failed, thanks for the feedback. I hear what you're saying about the LR. I felt that it would be boring to take the feats in the appropriate order while leveling. Someone might have more patience than I do and roll it straight up. LR isn't NECESSARY, but it does allow you more freedom in heroic to take whatever you want. In my mind, this build wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be until 20+ anyway.

    Thank you very much for the heads up on Cloak of Shadows. I wasn't aware that it also blocked negative damage. That's disappointing to say the least. Unfortunately, I still have to take it to get to Shadow Manipulation and Consume.

    Toughness...how much does the feat give you at level 28? 30 HP maybe? Is it worth a feat slot? I don't know...for a low HP class like Wizard, I was thinking that I could use every bit of HP I could get. I'm still debating this one.

    I like your idea with the halfling 18/2 wizard/ranger variant of this build. It's a solid idea and I think it'd work. I'm going to stick with the half-elf w/rogue dilly though. Get another +2 enhancement bonus to INT that way.

  4. #4
    The Mad Multiclasser Failedlegend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamlin View Post
    Hey Failed, thanks for the feedback. I hear what you're saying about the LR. I felt that it would be boring to take the feats in the appropriate order while leveling. Someone might have more patience than I do and roll it straight up. LR isn't NECESSARY, but it does allow you more freedom in heroic to take whatever you want. In my mind, this build wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be until 20+ anyway.

    Thank you very much for the heads up on Cloak of Shadows. I wasn't aware that it also blocked negative damage. That's disappointing to say the least. Unfortunately, I still have to take it to get to Shadow Manipulation and Consume.

    Toughness...how much does the feat give you at level 28? 30 HP maybe? Is it worth a feat slot? I don't know...for a low HP class like Wizard, I was thinking that I could use every bit of HP I could get. I'm still debating this one.

    I like your idea with the halfling 18/2 wizard/ranger variant of this build. It's a solid idea and I think it'd work. I'm going to stick with the half-elf w/rogue dilly though. Get another +2 enhancement bonus to INT that way.

    No problem

    Yeah Cloak of Shadows/Night are nigh pointless

    Yeah its 30HP at Lvl 28...its definitely a personal pref feat...its nice to have but not 100% necessary...hard decision really.

    Both versions work I obviously prefer the halfling version but its personal pref (ie. your version obviously gets the capstone...but meh imo)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cordovan
    There is little value in getting into an edition debate; as with anything, we create what we believe works best for DDO.

  5. #5
    Bacon Queen MadCookieQueen's Avatar
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    going to challenge a couple feat choices here based on my experience with both pure necro PM wizard and a melee wizard:

    Greater Spell Pen, Extend Spell, Hellball, Epic Mage Armor and Epic Spell Pen - I wouldn't go with any of these especially not if it means you can't have some VERY critical feats for surviving. I'll explain.

    Once you take Spell Pen, that's it your done. Basic spell pen opens up all the ED twists you will ever need for a +6 to spell pen. You can achieve an upwards of 54 spell pen which is plenty for EE drow without burning two additional feats.

    Extend Spell...I personally have a love hate relationship with this feat...Love the fact that I can be lazy with Death Aura and displacement. Hate the fact that it eats a feat slot. With what you're burning for feat slots for fighting this one just doesn't work. Not if you expect spell efficiency.

    Hellball and Epic Mage Armor: Not as cool as you think...especially not for what you will give up for it.

    What you absolutely have to take (IMHO):

    Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy: Necro DC is important...you will have plenty spell pen to get through but the necro spell does nothing if you don't jack the Necro DC up as high as possible.
    Insightful Reflexes: your INT added to Reflex...that's a must. You will be in combat...things will hit you (or try to)...your HP isn't all awesome and you can go down quickly. A massive boost to your Reflex save can and will save your butt.
    Quicken Spell: Combat casting...Negative Energy Burst is your panic button for healing. That needs every advantage that it can get. It is one of the spells you can't afford to not have it go off.
    Epic Spell Power: Negative: Did I mention that you need your death aura and negative healing burst to be as amazingly high as you can make it. It's the only way you are going to heal and survive.
    Elusive Target: See Insightful Reflexes...you really dont' want to get hit too often. Remember you can't cast if you're dead.

    Playstyle it's all about the EDs:

    Expect to swap EDs and twists like crazy before each run. Sometimes you will need to chill out and be the caster of awesome and sometimes you can hang out with the melees. I would recommend that anything EH you can handle as a Paledancer but if you choose to run EE...you'll need to fade back and be the wizard...Magister baby!

    I don't know if you read it or not but check out the Pale Master Guide https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...e-Master-Guide ...it's huge and informative with all the math to back it up and a great discussion back and forth.


    word of warning from melee experience...if you run with a Fascinate bard...you cannot be running death aura...it will cancel out fascinate, which makes bards cry and the rest of the party too.

    Good luck and have fun!

  6. #6
    Founder Dorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Failedlegend View Post
    Not for OP: For anyone trying to plan this build out I'd recommend halfling as they can actually get MORE SA than a Half-Elf can (3 halfling guile enhancements and tier 3 of halfling sneaky grants another SA die)
    What is this tier 3 of halfling sneaky? I see the guile enhancements.

    thanks.
    Dorian

  7. #7
    The Mad Multiclasser Failedlegend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Once you take Spell Pen, that's it your done. Basic spell pen opens up all the ED twists you will ever need for a +6 to spell pen. You can achieve an upwards of 54 spell pen which is plenty for EE drow without burning two additional feats.
    I can't say yeah or nay to this without personally testing it so I'll just take your word for it especially I've never actually used spell pen feats beyond my first couple casters...its nice if you have nothing else to take but otherwise its fairly meh.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Extend Spell...I personally have a love hate relationship with this feat...Love the fact that I can be lazy with Death Aura and displacement. Hate the fact that it eats a feat slot. With what you're burning for feat slots for fighting this one just doesn't work. Not if you expect spell efficiency.
    It's not some much laziness as it is mana efficiency and better DPS as it only 10 extra spell points to use it (ie. Haste 20 -> 30, Death Aura 25 -> 35, etc.) and because you have to cast it less you don't have to stop attacking as much...they only take a second or so to cast but from a pure DPS standpoint it is a noticeable difference since normally you would be casting it

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Hellball and Epic Mage Armor: Not as cool as you think...especially not for what you will give up for it.
    Hellball I have since discovered does suck...but how is +20 AC not awesome.


    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy: Necro DC is important...you will have plenty spell pen to get through but the necro spell does nothing if you don't jack the Necro DC up as high as possible.
    I wouldn't exactly call ESF 100% required it's personal preference really...same with the type personal pref

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Insightful Reflexes: your INT added to Reflex...that's a must. You will be in combat...things will hit you (or try to)...your HP isn't all awesome and you can go down quickly. A massive boost to your Reflex save can and will save your butt.
    IR is a fantastic thing but it depends on how much he plans to put into dex its debatable whether the extra reflex is worth it (the large the gap the better the feat obviously).so I'd go either way really.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Quicken Spell: Combat casting...Negative Energy Burst is your panic button for healing. That needs every advantage that it can get. It is one of the spells you can't afford to not have it go off.
    This one is personal pref I find the jump spell plus some skill can replicate the same effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Epic Spell Power: Negative: Did I mention that you need your death aura and negative healing burst to be as amazingly high as you can make it. It's the only way you are going to heal and survive.
    This one is nice (VERY nice actually) and I'd take it if it didn't require maxing out a divine ED to get it...not worth my time unless I've already unlocked it

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Elusive Target: See Insightful Reflexes...you really don't want to get hit too often. Remember you can't cast if you're dead.
    No argument here

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    Expect to swap EDs and twists like crazy before each run. Sometimes you will need to chill out and be the caster of awesome and sometimes you can hang out with the melees. I would recommend that anything EH you can handle as a Paledancer but if you choose to run EE...you'll need to fade back and be the wizard...Magister baby!
    I don't mean to be rude but few people appreciate being told how to play and I doubt the OP likes it either...he'll be just fine being Shadowdancer full-time

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorian View Post
    What is this tier 3 of halfling sneaky? I see the guile enhancements.

    thanks.

    Halfling Stealthy: +1/+2/+3 Hide and Move Silently. Rank 3: Attacks you perform while sneaking deal +1[W] damage.

    The wording is a little vague so I'm not sure if its actual SA or actually requires sneak (I'm pretty sure its the latter)...also slight correction to what I said before its +1[W] not 1 SA die...so could actually be more than 1D6
    Last edited by Failedlegend; 12-20-2013 at 12:58 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cordovan
    There is little value in getting into an edition debate; as with anything, we create what we believe works best for DDO.

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