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  1. #1
    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Default Santa's Little Slayer - Another Elfin' Centered Kensai

    NOTE: I will no longer be updating this build. I will be happy to continue to answer questions for those who are still interested in this build. EDIT: See post #152 for comments on updating this build as of U35.

    Updated for U24.

    Santa's Little Slayer - Another Elfin' Centered Kensai
    8fighter/6monk/6ranger dragonmarked elf
    Lawful neutral
    34 point build
    In-game name: I am not currently playing this build

    This is a centered dual rapier/longbow wielding dragonmarked elf build. I decided to name this build in the spirit of the holidays. Breakdowns on everything can be found below. I'd appreciate feedback on any aspects of the build. Thanks in advance.

    Build Features:
    Excellent offense:
    ~Excellent twf dps: 128% mainhand/110% offhand attacks
    ~Excellent ranged option: furyshot and 10k stars
    Excellent defense:
    ~Maximum damage avoidance: 73.28% miss chance through 22.5 minutes of displacement from dragonmark, 25% dodge, 25% incorporeal from shadow veil, and 5% from elusive target
    ~Decent damage mitigation: 26.47% damage reduction from 36 PRR
    ~Evasion with a 61 reflex save
    Good self healing:
    ~cocoon with 302 positive spell power and 90 heal amp, heals about an average of 134 hp per tick
    ~heal scrolls with a 44 UMD with no gear swaps or buffs, 55 with gear swaps and self buffs

    I know you can get displacement with GS clickies and blah blah blah, but the dragonmarks no longer require much investment and the elf tree has a great deal of synergy with a rapier/longbow user, so you don't end up wasting AP to get either the dragonmark or damage enhancements.

    I originally planned this build as str based, but after running the numbers the dps when using dual Balizardes as dex based in wind stance is actually ahead of str based in earth stance when you factor in the greater dps benefits of grandmaster wind stance over master earth stance. Dex based offers an EE useful (though not spectacular) reflex save, while str based offers 10% more damage mitigation from higher PRR but a useless reflex save. I think dex based is the better option because it offers more well rounded defenses and higher dps.

    Stats:
    str: 8
    dex: 19
    con: 14
    int: 8
    wis: 16
    cha: 8

    All level pts in dex.
    No tomes required.

    Level Progression: rmrrrrrmffffffmmmmff

    With this level progression you won't be able to be centered with rapiers until level 20. Keep in mind, however, that you are limited to the first tier of stances until level 18 anyway, so it is a minimal loss if you're not centered. All of the following are viable options.

    One alternative is to just play as an uncentered evasion twf. Using rapiers, you have two options. You can use str for to hit and get dex to damage through the elf enhancements around level 5-6. Or you can take weapon finesse (to be swapped out later, probably level 20) instead of dodge or precision and get dex to damage from improved weapon finesse in the second tier of deepwood sniper. The second option allows you to use dex for to hit and damage as early as level 3.

    If you want to be centered you can use either handwraps or shortswords, neither of which benefit from the elf weapon enhancements. Handwraps will require weapon finesse if you want to use dex for to hit and will not get dex to damage. If going centered with shortswords you can take tempest and graceful death, the second and third cores in the tempest tree, to use dex for to-hit and damage.

    You can also replace two feats with weapon focus slash and whirling steel strike to use longswords. This option allows you to benefit from the elf weapon enhancements and use dex for to hit and damage. This needs to be planned out carefully, however, as nearly all of the feats are prerequisites for something later, but you can safely drop dodge and precision and swap them in later.

    Feats:
    1 dragonmark
    2m dodge
    3 precision
    6 extend
    8m zen archery
    9 imp crit pierce
    9f imp crit ranged
    10f weapon focus
    12 gtwf
    12f weapon specialization
    14f point blank shot
    15 improved precise shot
    18 master of forms
    18m ten thousand stars
    20f gr weapon focus
    21 grandmaster of forms
    24 overwhelming critical
    26 perfect two weapon fighting
    27 combat archery
    28 elusive target

    Skills: 22 concentration, 15 heal, 11 UMD, 9 balance, 4 spot
    Skill Progression:
    1r heal4, concentration4, UMD4, balance4, spot4
    2m concentration1, balance2
    3r heal2, concentration1, UMD2
    4r heal1, concentration1, UMD1, balance2
    5r heal1, concentration1, UMD1, balance2
    6r heal1, concentration1, UMD1, balance2
    7r heal1, concentration1, UMD1, balance3
    8m heal2, concentration1, UMD1
    9f balance1, UMD1
    10f heal1, UMD1
    11f heal1, UMD1
    12f heal1, UMD1
    13f heal1, UMD1
    14f heal1, UMD1
    15m concentration4
    16m concentration4
    17m concentration1, UMD3
    18m heal2, concentration1, UMD1
    19f heal1, UMD1
    20f concentration2

    Enhancements:
    Elf: 20 total
    Core: 3 total
    Elven accuracy 1 (2% to hit)
    Dex 2
    Tier 1: 5 total
    Dragonmark focus 3 (+3 uses of dragonmarks per rest)
    Aerenal weapon training 2 (1 to hit/damage with rapiers/longbows)
    Tier 2: 4 total
    Lesser dragonmark 2 (shadow walk)
    Aerenal weapon training 2 (1 to hit/damage with rapiers/longbows)
    Tier 3: 4 total
    Greater dragonmark 2 (displacement)
    Aerenal weapon training 2 (1 to hit/damage with rapiers/longbows)
    Tier 4: 4 total
    Aerenal weapon training 2 (1 to hit/damage with rapiers/longbows)
    Skill 1 (3% doublestrike, 3% doubleshot, 3% dodge, bypass 3% dodge)
    Grace 1 (dex to damage with rapiers/longbows)

    Kensai: 34 total
    Core: 3 total
    Kensai focus light blades 1 (1 to hit with light blades)
    Spiritual bond 1 (battle meditation on vorpal)
    Strike with no thought 1 (1% doublestrike)
    Tier 1: 5 total
    Weapon group specialization 2 (1 to hit and damage with light blades)
    Haste boost 3 (30% attack speed boost)
    Tier 2: 10 total
    Weapon group specialization 2 (1 to hit and damage with light blades)
    Weapon meditation 2 (meditate to gain meditative focus)
    Dodge 6 (3% dodge)
    Tier 3: 5 total
    Weapon group specialization 2 (1 to hit and damage with light blades)
    Shattering strike 1 (3[W] damage)
    Critical accuracy 2 (2 to confirm crits)
    Dex 2
    Tier 4: 6 total
    Weapon group specialization 2 (1 to hit and damage with light blades)
    Critical damage 2 (2 crit damage)
    Dex 2
    Tier 5: 3 total
    Keen edge 1 (1 threat range with light blades)
    Deadly strike 1 (consume action boost for auto crit attack, 500 damage on vorpal)
    One with the blade 1 (stay centered with light blades)

    Ninja spy: 13 total
    Core: 3 total
    Basic ninja training 1 (dex to hit with piercing weapons)
    Advanced ninja training 1 (dex to damage with piercing weapons)
    Shadow veil 1 (25% incorp for 1 minute)
    Tier 1: 4 total
    Sneak attack training 2 (1 to hit when sneak attacking and 1d6 sneak attack)
    Acrobatic 2 (2 balance, 2% dodge)
    Tier 2:
    Sneak attack training 2 (1 to hit when sneak attacking and 1d6 sneak attack)
    Fists of iron 2 (earth ki attack, 3[W] damage, 1 crit threat range, 1 crit multiplier)
    Tier 3: 2 total
    Sting of the ninja 2 (inflict ninja poison on crits - d4 poison every 3 seconds for 15 seconds, stacks 20 times)

    Shintao: 7 total
    Core: 1 total
    Bastion of purity 1 (10 positive spell power, 10 heal amp)
    Tier 1: 6 total
    Deft strikes 6 (10% offhand attacks)

    Tempest: 6 total
    Core: 2 total
    Shield of whirling steel 1 (2 shield bonus to AC when dual wielding)
    Tempest 1 (10% offhand attacks)
    Tier 1: 4 total
    Whirling blades 2 (1 to hit and damage when dual wielding)
    Improved reaction 2 (2 reflex save, 2 saves vs traps)

    Epic Destiny:
    Fury of the Wild (for best ranged dps and excellent melee dps)
    Legendary Dreadnought (for best melee dps and excellent ranged dps)
    Divine Crusader (for excellent melee dps and best defense)

    Twists:
    1) critical damage when in Fury (legendary dreadnaught tier3, critical damage +6) OR sense weakness when in Dreadnaught (Fury tier4)
    2) a dance of flowers (GMoF tier1, +1.5[W])
    3) rejuvenation cocoon (primal avatar tier1)
    Alternatives: hail of blows (GMoF tier 2, 3% doublestrike), extra action boost (legendary dreadnaught tier1, 3 action boosts), brace for impact (unyielding sentinal tier1, 40% fort, +2 saves), unearthly reactions (magister tier1, 3 dodge/6 reflex)

    Gear Set:
    Weapons:main: Thunder-Forged Rapier (touch of flames/dragon's edge/mortal fear/orange slotted meteoric star ruby/colorless slotted dex2)
    offhand: Thunder-Forged Rapier (1st degree burns/paralyzing fear/mortal fear/orange slotted positive spell power138/colorless slotted heal15)
    vs fire immune mobs swap main to: Thunder-Forged Rapier (touch of shadows/dragon's edge/mortal fear/orange slotted ruby of endless night/colorless slotted)
    ranged: Thunder-Forged Longbow (touch of flames/dragon's edge/mortal fear/orange slotted positive spell power138/colorless slotted)
    ranged vs fire immune mobs: Thunder-Forged Longbow (touch of shadows/dragon's edge/mortal fear/orange slotted positive spell power138/colorless slotted)
    Armor: Flawless Black Dragonscale Robe (haste guard/armor pierce20/relentless fury/acid res40/blue slotted false life40/SET: doublestrike3)
    Goggles: GS HP Min2 mep/mee/mee (45HP/con skills6/heavy fort/protection5)
    Helm: EN Helm of the Black Dragon (con3/yellow slotted wiz10/colorless slotted globe/SET: doublestrike3)
    Neck: Shroud of Ardent neck (AC8/PRR18/blurry/fear immunity/heal amp60/blue OR yellow slotted vitality/green slotted good luck2)
    Trinket: Epic Litany of the Dead (turn the page/profane abilities2/attack4/damage4/light of dawn/blue OR yellow slotted wis8/green slotted wis2)
    Cloak: Adamantine Cloak of the Wolf (exc seeker5/dodge8/attack4/diversion20)
    Belt: Battlerager's Harness (intim20/spiked/raging focus/vengeful fury/spike guard/green slotted blindness immunity)
    Ring swap: EE Consuming Darkness (seeker12/combat mastery5/green slotted proof against disease10)
    Gloves: Sanctified Gages (UMD5/2d6 light damage/deadly11/greater dispelling guard/blue OR yellow slotted str6/green slotted deathblock)
    Boots: Epic Boots of the Innocent (resistance11/speed15/tendon slice6/GH/vertigo12/stunning12/shatter12/blue OR yellow slotted cha8/green slotted cha2)
    Ring: Seal of House Avithoul (wis7/exc sneak3/sneak attack5/imp deception)
    Bracers: Dumathoin's Bracers (dex11/PRR30/elemental resist45/natural armor10/blue slotted con8)
    Quiver: EE Quiver of Poison (d10 poison on ranged)

    Final Stats:
    str31: (8base, 5tome, 6item, 1exc, 2ram's might, 5primal, 2profane, 2ship)
    dex56: (19base, 5tome, 7levels, 11item, 2insight, 1exc, 1elf, 2kensai, 4wind stance, 2profane, 2ship)
    con36: (14base, 3tome, 8item, 3insight, 1exc, -2wind stance, 5primal, 2profane, 2ship)
    int15: (8base, 2tome, 1exc, 2profane, 2ship)
    wis38: (16base, 5tome, 8item, 2insight, 1exc, 2fury acute instincts, 2profane, 2ship)
    cha26: (8base, 3tome, 8item, 2insight, 1exc, 2profane, 2ship)

    HP:
    176 base
    80 epic levels
    25 heroic durability
    20 improved heroic durability
    10 draconic vitality
    100 fury of the wild
    364 con36
    40 false life slotted
    20 vitality
    45 GS Min2
    20 hag's apothecary ship buff
    900 TOTAL
    48 yugo
    948 self buffed

    Fort/Reflex/Will Saves:
    16/12/9 base
    4/4/4 epic
    11/11/11 item
    2/2/2 good luck
    1/1/1 alchemical
    4/4/4 GH
    0/2/0 tempest improved reaction
    0/0/3 fury tunnel vision
    3/0/0 game hunter ship buff
    0/2/0 chronoscope ship buff
    0/0/2 grandmaster's dojo ship buff
    0/23/0 dex56
    13/0/0 con36
    0/0/14 wis38
    54/61/50 TOTAL

    Dodge:
    3 dodge feat
    6 monk
    3 kensai
    2 ninja spy acrobatic
    3 elf
    8 wolf cloak
    25 TOTAL

    PRR:
    30 item
    6 fury damage reduction
    36 TOTAL (26.47% damage reduction)

    Heal Amp:
    60 necklace
    10 shintao
    20 ship buff
    90 TOTAL

    Positive Spell Power:
    22 ranks
    8 epic
    3 tome
    14 wis38
    10 shintao
    6 fury acute instincts
    36 implement bonus
    138 red augment
    15 slotted
    2 good luck
    1 elite spider cult mask
    3 forbidden library ship buff
    15 crusader's chapel ship buff
    4 GH
    25 superior ardor pot
    302 TOTAL

    UMD:
    11 ranks
    8 epic
    3 tome
    8 cha26
    5 item
    2 good luck
    1 elite spider cult mask
    3 forbidden library ship buff
    44 UNBUFFED WITHOUT SWAPS
    6 exc cha skills GS item swap
    50 UNBUFFED WITH SWAPS
    4 GH clicky
    1 cha ship buff
    55 BUFFED WITH SWAPS

    Mainhand Strike Chance:
    100 base
    3 martial ED past life doublestrike stance
    3 elven skill
    1 kensai core 3 - strike with no thought
    10 grandmaster wind stance
    3 epic spare hand
    3 black dragon set
    5 perfect two weapon fighting
    128% MAINHAND

    Offhand Strike Chance:
    80 greater two weapon fighting
    10 tempest core 2 - tempest
    10 shintao deft strikes
    10 perfect two weapon fighting
    110% OFFHAND
    Last edited by CThruTheEgo; 06-12-2017 at 10:18 AM.
    Unarmed monk guide with builds|The Arcane Warrior: wiz/fighter hybrids|White Feather Sniper: CC/dps focused deepwood stalker|The Divine Cuisinart: divine crusader tempest|The Count of Monte Cristo: swashbuckler|Hassan's Assassin: dex assassin|Dubbell O'Seven: WF artificer|Santa's Little Slayer: dragonmarked elf centered kensai

  2. #2
    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Good idea? Bad idea? Too standard of an idea to be worth commenting on?

    I'd particularly appreciate feedback on the gear since I want to start acquiring it, but I'd welcome comments on any aspect of the build. Thanks in advance.
    Unarmed monk guide with builds|The Arcane Warrior: wiz/fighter hybrids|White Feather Sniper: CC/dps focused deepwood stalker|The Divine Cuisinart: divine crusader tempest|The Count of Monte Cristo: swashbuckler|Hassan's Assassin: dex assassin|Dubbell O'Seven: WF artificer|Santa's Little Slayer: dragonmarked elf centered kensai

  3. #3
    Community Member Sokól's Avatar
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    The build looks good.

    I would use the epic spare hand for belt (but yours is not bad with the seeker) and either ring of avithoul or backstabbers gloves for SA and improved deception.

    IMO improved deception is very important for ee questing on a melee.

    and twist brace instead of standing with stone.

    I would also select the haste boost from tempest it stacks iirc.
    Last edited by Sokól; 12-03-2013 at 12:11 PM.
    Argonnessen: Hilmir - Purkilius - Jinu - Vignir @ Blood Assassin´s

  4. #4
    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sokól View Post
    The build looks good.

    I would use the epic spare hand for belt (but yours is not bad with the seeker) and either ring of avithoul or backstabbers gloves for SA and improved deception.

    IMO improved deception is very important for ee questing on a melee.

    and twist brace instead of standing with stone.

    I would also select the haste boost from tempest it stacks iirc.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think the spare hand really offers this build anything and with the crit profile of dual Balizardes seeker becomes very important.

    I agree with the value of improved deception, although I'm not sure what to give up for it. Without empower heal, I'm reluctant to lose the 30% heal amp from the PDK gloves. The doublestrike 6 ring is a nice dps boost. And losing the guardian's ring would mean about a 10% loss in damage mitigation. I suppose the damage avoidance this build has lessens the value of PRR overall, but I would have greater spike damage to deal with by lowering it.

    What enhancements would you suggest I drop to fit in haste boost?
    Unarmed monk guide with builds|The Arcane Warrior: wiz/fighter hybrids|White Feather Sniper: CC/dps focused deepwood stalker|The Divine Cuisinart: divine crusader tempest|The Count of Monte Cristo: swashbuckler|Hassan's Assassin: dex assassin|Dubbell O'Seven: WF artificer|Santa's Little Slayer: dragonmarked elf centered kensai

  5. #5
    Community Member Sokól's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think the spare hand really offers this build anything and with the crit profile of dual Balizardes seeker becomes very important.

    I agree with the value of improved deception, although I'm not sure what to give up for it. Without empower heal, I'm reluctant to lose the 30% heal amp from the PDK gloves. The doublestrike 6 ring is a nice dps boost. And losing the guardian's ring would mean about a 10% loss in damage mitigation. I suppose the damage avoidance this build has lessens the value of PRR overall, but I would have greater spike damage to deal with by lowering it.

    What enhancements would you suggest I drop to fit in haste boost?
    I would drop shintao and the doublestrike ring...

    Gear suggestion: if you really want the amp you could go with a tod ring craft 20% on that find 30% bracers (yeah I know almost impossible now) than you have the hands free for backstabbers gloves.

    I was once hooked on maxing amp but somehow my dps suffered for it.

    IMO an avithoul ring will always outperform a 6% doublestrike ring and then some.

    Guardian ring is a keeper. If I were gearing your guy up I would maybe go for the consuming darkness ring for seeker then spare hand and backstabbers gloves. Easy to switch backstabbers for pdk gloves if you feel the need in a quest. On my sorc for example I have an amp gs stick and heal scrolls as a weapon slot which I equip when I cast cocoon or use heal scrolls. Remember these are just suggestions.
    Argonnessen: Hilmir - Purkilius - Jinu - Vignir @ Blood Assassin´s

  6. #6
    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sokól View Post
    I would drop shintao and the doublestrike ring...

    Gear suggestion: if you really want the amp you could go with a tod ring craft 20% on that find 30% bracers (yeah I know almost impossible now) than you have the hands free for backstabbers gloves.

    I was once hooked on maxing amp but somehow my dps suffered for it.

    IMO an avithoul ring will always outperform a 6% doublestrike ring and then some.

    Guardian ring is a keeper. If I were gearing your guy up I would maybe go for the consuming darkness ring for seeker then spare hand and backstabbers gloves. Easy to switch backstabbers for pdk gloves if you feel the need in a quest. On my sorc for example I have an amp gs stick and heal scrolls as a weapon slot which I equip when I cast cocoon or use heal scrolls. Remember these are just suggestions.
    Shintao provides 10% offhand strikes. Personally I'd value the consistency of that over the limited (although higher dps) uses of haste boost.

    Yeah I'm definitely not going to bother with a ToD ring. I hardly ever see that run on my server. I'm honestly not sure how much heal amp I'll need since I've never relied on cocoon for self healing.

    Consuming darkness, spare hand, backstabber's gloves, and 30% heal amp bracers does sound like a good set up. I'd lose 3% doublestrike and 20% heal amp but gain 2 seeker (which is about an average of 3 damage per hit on this build), imp deception, 13 points of sneak attack damage, and 3 slots. That seems like a nice balance actually. Thanks for the help Sokól.
    Unarmed monk guide with builds|The Arcane Warrior: wiz/fighter hybrids|White Feather Sniper: CC/dps focused deepwood stalker|The Divine Cuisinart: divine crusader tempest|The Count of Monte Cristo: swashbuckler|Hassan's Assassin: dex assassin|Dubbell O'Seven: WF artificer|Santa's Little Slayer: dragonmarked elf centered kensai

  7. #7
    Community Member Arkadios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think the spare hand really offers this build anything and with the crit profile of dual Balizardes seeker becomes very important.

    I agree with the value of improved deception, although I'm not sure what to give up for it. Without empower heal, I'm reluctant to lose the 30% heal amp from the PDK gloves. ?
    Switch your gs hp item to belt, and put golden guile in neck slot (though as you say that +10 seeker is nice.)
    Quote Originally Posted by katz View Post
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    yay!

  8. #8
    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Gear updated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkadios View Post
    Switch your gs hp item to belt, and put golden guile in neck slot (though as you say that +10 seeker is nice.)
    Golden guile is nice but if I'm going to fit in improved deception I'd rather have an item with built in sneak attack on it, like the avithoul ring or backstabber's gloves.
    Unarmed monk guide with builds|The Arcane Warrior: wiz/fighter hybrids|White Feather Sniper: CC/dps focused deepwood stalker|The Divine Cuisinart: divine crusader tempest|The Count of Monte Cristo: swashbuckler|Hassan's Assassin: dex assassin|Dubbell O'Seven: WF artificer|Santa's Little Slayer: dragonmarked elf centered kensai

  9. #9
    Community Member elg582's Avatar
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    Wow, this is a lot easier than it used to be!

    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...nsei-Ninja-Elf

    Things I learned from that build:

    1. Displacement isn't so hot; you can farm ings for a GS clicky for it in no time, and it's less useful at end game where everything has true seeing. Dodge + Incorporeal are your friends

    2. Elf weapons suck. Except bow

    3. AP are tight; that's even more true with the new enhancement system, but you seem to have it figured out. 33 in kensei is tough because it means wasting a point to get to 30 for tier 5, so 34 is more realistic.

    4. The leveling order sucks; you have to frontload ranger for xTWF, but then you have to frontload monk to get form feats early, and you also need to frontload fighter to use your main weapons. I just gave up and use wraps and shortswords until 20.

    My modern version of this build is human (PDK, atm actually) with khopeshes and bastard swords. No displacement and no IPS, but without 10k stars, it's not like you're using ranged for anything but burst DPS, anyway, so dual nightmares and cleave for trash, khopeshes and bow for bosses.
    Last edited by elg582; 12-04-2013 at 07:39 AM.

  10. #10
    Death's Dominator Eth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    ...

    2. Elf weapons suck. Except bow

    ....

    My modern version of this build is human (PDK, atm actually) with khopeshes and bastard swords. No displacement and no IPS, but without 10k stars, it's not like you're using ranged for anything but burst DPS, anyway, so dual nightmares and cleave for trash, khopeshes and bow for bosses.
    Serious question - what Khopesh is better than Balizarde?
    Only one I could think of is the Drow Khopesh which is .5W better, has the same crit range and crit multiplier, but lacks 2 enhancement damage, has no phlebotomizing, no red slot, no dodge, no good luck, doesn't qualify for the prowess set and needs 2 more feats (improved critical+proficiency - OK given we're talking about a centered kensai here, you will also take improved crit. for balizardes).
    Thelanis - Ethforged - Etherar - Fjirty --- Mitis Mors
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  11. #11
    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the build feedback elg582.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    Wow, this is a lot easier than it used to be!

    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...nsei-Ninja-Elf
    Yeah I'd seen your thread when I was looking to see if anyone had posted a build similar to this before I posted it.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    1. Displacement isn't so hot; you can farm ings for a GS clicky for it in no time, and it's less useful at end game where everything has true seeing. Dodge + Incorporeal are your friends
    I mentioned this at the beggining of the OP. I have several clickies on my rogue and it works, but it's tedious to use a clicky every minute and a half. And it's mostly bosses that have true seeing. Trash can pose a threat in endgame content so displacement is certainly useful and, with the new enhancements, nothing is wasted in the elf tree to get both defensive and offensive gains.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    2. Elf weapons suck. Except bow
    Balizarde is arguably the best one handed weapon in the game, especially with an enhanced crit profile from enhancements, feats, etc. Eth summed this up pretty well in his response.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    3. AP are tight; that's even more true with the new enhancement system, but you seem to have it figured out. 33 in kensei is tough because it means wasting a point to get to 30 for tier 5, so 34 is more realistic.
    Yeah you've got a few optional points to spend so you could spend 34 in kensai if you wanted. There isn't much else I wanted in kensai though so I opted to spend more points in the other trees.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    4. The leveling order sucks; you have to frontload ranger for xTWF, but then you have to frontload monk to get form feats early, and you also need to frontload fighter to use your main weapons. I just gave up and use wraps and shortswords until 20.
    Yeah you have to make sacrifices somewhere with the leveling. I figure I'll simply play the character as an evasion twf until I get far into the monk levels, maybe even until level 20/21 since it won't be until then that I can get shadow veil and master of forms.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    My modern version of this build is human (PDK, atm actually) with khopeshes and bastard swords. No displacement and no IPS, but without 10k stars, it's not like you're using ranged for anything but burst DPS, anyway, so dual nightmares and cleave for trash, khopeshes and bow for bosses.
    I opted to go with IPS to have the option of ranged versatility. Also, Nightmare got a big nerf recently and khopeshes haven't been optimal for a while now. With the right crit profile increases, Balizarde is the optimum choice for twf now.
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    Community Member elg582's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eth View Post
    Serious question - what Khopesh is better than Balizarde?

    Only one I could think of is the Drow Khopesh which is .5W better, has the same crit range and crit multiplier, but lacks 2 enhancement damage, has no phlebotomizing, no red slot, no dodge, no good luck, doesn't qualify for the prowess set and needs 2 more feats (improved critical+proficiency - OK given we're talking about a centered kensai here, you will also take improved crit. for balizardes).
    Ah, but Drow has other nice goodies on it, and you're ignoring the Ironwood and Elemental Khopeshes.

    I'm not disaparaging Balizarde, it's a good blade, but more defensively oriented, much of which is likely to be wasted, and no DR-breaking. Yes, you've got Celestias for that, but their crit profile is terrible.

    Yea, feats aren't the issue

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    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    Ah, but Drow has other nice goodies on it, and you're ignoring the Ironwood and Elemental Khopeshes.

    I'm not disaparaging Balizarde, it's a good blade, but more defensively oriented
    Drow khopesh might be an option if you need specific combat tactics and don't have them slotted elsewhere. But Balizarde will still out-dps each of those khopeshes, no question about it. Just compare the base damage, crit profiles, and damage effects, it's no contest (not to mention the racial and Planar Prowess bonuses). It does have several defensive properties, but it also has several offensive properties. The CC properties on the ironwood and elemental khopeshes have a very low DC and aren't likely to be effective in EE endgame content so they don't really add anything worth comparing.
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    Community Member elg582's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    Thanks for the build feedback elg582.



    Yeah I'd seen your thread when I was looking to see if anyone had posted a build similar to this before I posted it.
    Aren't you glad you're not restricted to longswords?


    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    I mentioned this at the beggining of the OP. I have several clickies on my rogue and it works, but it's tedious to use a clicky every minute and a half. And it's mostly bosses that have true seeing. Trash can pose a threat in endgame content so displacement is certainly useful and, with the new enhancements, nothing is wasted in the elf tree to get both defensive and offensive gains.
    Meh, that's a lot of racial points, but I do still play characters with the displacement dragonmark and elf racial weapon bonuses; it's a monkcher, but...


    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    Balizarde is arguably the best one handed weapon in the game, especially with an enhanced crit profile from enhancements, feats, etc. Eth summed this up pretty well in his response.
    See mine; I don't like it. Not trying to discourage you, just giving you my reasoning.


    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    Yeah you've got a few optional points to spend so you could spend 34 in kensai if you wanted. There isn't much else I wanted in kensai though so I opted to spend more points in the other trees.
    The problem I always run into is that I have 29 points of stuff in tiers 1-4, and everything else that is even remotely appealing is 2 AP


    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    Yeah you have to make sacrifices somewhere with the leveling. I figure I'll simply play the character as an evasion twf until I get far into the monk levels, maybe even until level 20/21 since it won't be until then that I can get shadow veil and master of forms.
    You're also blowing an epic feat on forms, and the kensei centering isn't doing you much good if you don't have the monk levels to take advantage of it.



    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    I opted to go with IPS to have the option of ranged versatility. Also, Nightmare got a big nerf recently and khopeshes haven't been optimal for a while now. With the right crit profile increases, Balizarde is the optimum choice for twf now.
    IPS? Well, you've got the feats, and elf has the DEX, so why not?

    I don't see Balizarde being any better than Drow or Ironwood; 2 damage from the prowess set? Meh. Everything else you can either get elsewhere (dodge, good luck) or doesn't really matter (AC, keen).

    And the other weapons you get access to are pretty weak; light blades gives rapiers, short swords, daggers, kukris and throwing daggers, heavy blades gives greatswords, longswords, falchions, scimitars, bastard swords, and khopeshes.

    Frankly, the daggers might be the best choice: I like Agony more than Balizarde, and the other high level daggers are really nice, too; Fell Shiv, Sacrificial Dagger, etc.

    That's the best part about the kensei centering ability, though; you can change weapons

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    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    Aren't you glad you're not restricted to longswords?
    Are you kidding? There are plenty of great longswords! Like Oathblade and that glowy one that kinda looks like a lightsaber and...ummm...did I mention Oathblade?
    Revisiting the Classics: Axesinger / Dwarven Defender / Drow Ninja / Drow Paladin / Elven Ranger / Monkcher / Sacred Vanguard
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    Community Member elg582's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Are you kidding? There are plenty of great longswords! Like Oathblade and that glowy one that kinda looks like a lightsaber and...ummm...did I mention Oathblade?
    Hey, you forgot Tesyus!

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    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    Meh, that's a lot of racial points, but I do still play characters with the displacement dragonmark and elf racial weapon bonuses; it's a monkcher, but...
    That's the beauty of this build though, there is a great deal of synergy from the racial tree. For a lot of builds, getting to the top tiers in the racial tree requires "wasted" points. Nothing is wasted here. There are a few nice enhancements from the class trees that are missed, but nothing that is essential or game-changing. And I think what is gained from the racial tree is well worth the sacrifice.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    The problem I always run into is that I have 29 points of stuff in tiers 1-4, and everything else that is even remotely appealing is 2 AP
    Yes, but as you point out, the other options are only remotely appealing. So you either waste 1 point to reach 30 or get a minor benefit from spending 2. Personally I value the other optional enhancements that I chose over the minor benefit options offered by spending 2 in kensai. But these are the optional points to spend, so it's not going to dramatically change the build no matter how you spend them.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    You're also blowing an epic feat on forms, and the kensei centering isn't doing you much good if you don't have the monk levels to take advantage of it.
    I don't think this is a big loss. I've already got overwhelming crit and combat archery. The only epic feat I'm missing out on is epic damage reduction which would only add about 3-4% damage mitigation. The value of PRR is minimized on this build due to maximizing damage avoidance. I didn't neglect it and still have 66 PRR, but another 10 isn't a big difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    I don't see Balizarde being any better than Drow or Ironwood; 2 damage from the prowess set? Meh. Everything else you can either get elsewhere (dodge, good luck) or doesn't really matter (AC, keen).
    Prowess set adds 4 damage as well as 15 PRR.

    Balizarde has +2 enhancement over Drow Khopesh and +1 over Ironwood.

    Balizarde and Ironwood have the same base damage, while Drow is ahead by .5[d8] which is 2.25 on average.

    Balizarde and Drow have the same crit profile of 18-20x3 with keen built into Balizarde while Ironwood is only 19-20x3.

    Phlebotomizing adds an average of 13.5 damage per hit compared to 2.8 from Drow's maiming and 10.5 from Ironwood's cosmic, each of which will work against almost every enemy.

    The combat tactics on Drow are only useful for specific builds and only if you don't already have them elsewhere. The greater stone prison on Ironwood has a low DC (33 fort) and isn't going to be effective in EE endgame content.

    That puts Balizarde an average of 14.45 points of damage ahead of Drow and 8 points and +2 crit range ahead of Ironwood. Even without the Prowess set bonus Balizarde still comes out ahead of both. So in terms of raw damage output, there's really no contest, Balizarde is the clear winner. And that's not counting the +4 racial bonus or the 3% doublestrike from elf.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    And the other weapons you get access to are pretty weak; light blades gives rapiers, short swords, daggers, kukris and throwing daggers, heavy blades gives greatswords, longswords, falchions, scimitars, bastard swords, and khopeshes.

    Frankly, the daggers might be the best choice: I like Agony more than Balizarde, and the other high level daggers are really nice, too; Fell Shiv, Sacrificial Dagger, etc.
    I don't think I'll be using any other light blades, so this is a non-issue. I'll probably end up crafting specific DR breaking rapiers to maintain the racial benefits.

    Agony is better than Balizarde on a rogue with knife specialization due to the increased crit profile with that enhancement. I use it on the assassin in my sig. But on this build Balizarde will out-dps Agony.
    Last edited by CThruTheEgo; 12-04-2013 at 03:16 PM.
    Unarmed monk guide with builds|The Arcane Warrior: wiz/fighter hybrids|White Feather Sniper: CC/dps focused deepwood stalker|The Divine Cuisinart: divine crusader tempest|The Count of Monte Cristo: swashbuckler|Hassan's Assassin: dex assassin|Dubbell O'Seven: WF artificer|Santa's Little Slayer: dragonmarked elf centered kensai

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    I like the build. Considered something similar but don't have the time to play it right now.

    One thing to consider while leveling - while not an elven weapon dual-deathnips work VERY well with this build (just require swapping some AP) and starting at level 16 would be centered. The entire mindset of boosting crits carries over well to the nips and they serve as a nice stand-in until you obtain/unlock balizardes. For the levels where nips aren't centered you could use short swords with 1 AP spent in Ninja Spy to open up having them centered. Vampiric Fury Shortsword would work nicely starting at 12 and Tiefling's Assassin's Blade does very well all the way from 4-15 due to the great crit profile.
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    Community Member elg582's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    Prowess set adds 4 damage as well as 15 PRR.
    But you can get 2 artifact damage elsewhere, so that's +2.


    Quote Originally Posted by CThruTheEgo View Post
    I'll probably end up crafting specific DR breaking rapiers to maintain the racial benefits.
    ...and there's where you lose me; I don't need the DPS against trash, I need it against bosses, and lootgen/crafted khopeshes are better, even with the racial bonuses.

    That and the human damage boost are what sold me on heavy blades. Different mix, though.

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    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    But you can get 2 artifact damage elsewhere, so that's +2.
    Even without this Balizarde is still in the lead.

    Quote Originally Posted by elg582 View Post
    ...and there's where you lose me; I don't need the DPS against trash, I need it against bosses, and lootgen/crafted khopeshes are better, even with the racial bonuses.

    That and the human damage boost are what sold me on heavy blades. Different mix, though.
    Well now that you mention it, there aren't currently any endgame bosses that have specific DR, so Balizarde is still the better choice against them.
    Unarmed monk guide with builds|The Arcane Warrior: wiz/fighter hybrids|White Feather Sniper: CC/dps focused deepwood stalker|The Divine Cuisinart: divine crusader tempest|The Count of Monte Cristo: swashbuckler|Hassan's Assassin: dex assassin|Dubbell O'Seven: WF artificer|Santa's Little Slayer: dragonmarked elf centered kensai

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