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  1. #1
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    Default Utile: Poor man's end game melee sorcerer

    I am pretty sure plenty of people have tried a Cetus build (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...forged-Fighter) and failed to make it work in end game. The reason, more often than not, is the lack of crucial gear and not so much that you do not have the necessary twitch skills. In end game it becomes crucial to have 3 main things: 1) good DPS, if you copied Cetus the only reason not to have it is the lack of a good weapon; 2) self healing, with a bladeforged you should be fine, but in a Cetus you will need pots; 3) damage avoidance, meaning you need a reliable source of displacement.

    So if I do not have the goodies, I cannot play an end game melee? Do I really need to run endless Shrouds to farm displacement clickies? This build is an attempt to make the standard centered "fighter" available to the populace (myself included).


    The build: 12 sorcerer / 6 monk / 2 paladin staff build

    12 sorcerer gives you plenty:

    - Reconstruct: to heal when the bladeforged SLA is in cooldown.
    - A healthy amount of SP: well over 1k and the consumption of SP is not much higher than a regular Cetus / Zeus, so imagine how many saved pots.
    - Displacement: all you can eat!
    - Other goodies: dimension door, fireshield, shield and other handy buffs.

    6 monk allows you to reach the t5 henshin enhancement

    2 paladin for divine might and the saves

    Ability points 36 points build

    16 STR + 5 tome + some level ups (to reach OC)
    6 DEX +3 tome
    19 CON +3 tome
    11 INT +3 tome
    8 WIS +3 tome
    16 CHA + 3 tome + remaining level ups

    You need a big investment in CON, tomes aside, since you have plenty of sorcerer levels with a very low HP dice. Aside of that, you want to have high STR (ideally to reach OC) and high CHA for the saves and the SP. I chose INT as a 4th stat to grab some skill points. If you do not have tomes / 36 points build, I would be careful lowering too much CON.

    Enhancements

    You want the bladeforged reconstruct SLA, t5 henshin, divine might and in my case some points into a savant to power energy burst. Yes, enhacement points are very tight in this build.

    Epic destiny and twists

    The build runs in LD (so far, I use it solo or in groups) and has twisted energy burst, the t1 turn undead ability (to be able to use divine might) and dance of flowers. Energy burst is a big investment and if you don't have plenty of destiny points or don't feel like struggling so much to keep it, it should be fine. I find it useful to keep the blitz up and it is cheap SP wise. Evasion mobs will avoid it most likely and the rest will often save for half, but it still does a healthy amount of damage (min around 1k). So if you chose to drop energy burst, you can invest the extra enhancement points into getting the ninja incorpor. and perhaps grim precision or any other melee ability.

    The gear

    The only big grind required here is shireth. Stout oak can simply not compete DPS wise, so you are going to have to run CITW (or use a box) to get it. It is still much better than aiming for an eSoS or a T3 TF weapon.


    Q&A


    Is this really and end game build?

    Yes and no. If you do not have a 36 points build, some tomes, a healthy amount of twists, the destinies unlocked and reasonable gear you will most likely not have an easy time in end game. My point is that this build allows you to lower the time sink needed to pull a Cetus / Zeus style melee. So for someone who cannot or does not want to put so much effort in making and end game melee, this should be a simpler choice.

    I am aware there are other caster / melee hybrids out there, such as Shoikan (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...ader-Warpriest). Again, I think that those builds require far more grind than this one.

    How is the DPS?

    Perhaps the closest comparison is Zeus (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...-and-Lightning). The DPS is clearly inferior, but it isn't laughable. In blitz, you will deal (in air stance) crits between 1k-2k, compared to the 1.5k-2.5k of a Zeus nd the double strike and attack speed is lower. Again, gear and twists are a key factor.

    Are there any variations of this build you recommend?

    There are other builds that give you utilities that you would need to farm. For instance, bards have good self healing and displacement and there is the juggernaut. What I attempted here is to get as close as possible to the standard centered kensei while providing some of the goodies you would need to farm through the build instead. Would a rogue version of this work? Probably, and doing it would be moving more from Cetus to Zeus, so to speak. With the drawback that you would lose the monk goodies. I am open to discussion, though, if you think that there is a split that clearly beats my current build.
    Last edited by BigErkyKid; 06-26-2014 at 07:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    what about taking 6 lvls of paladin and then getting the stance that increases hp?

  3. #3
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    Default poor mans build

    While I like the basic concept of your build and its definitely a viable build, it's not really a "poor man's" build. This is a term that generally refers to a "build" that is playable with a "low" or "free-to-play" budget. Your build requires that they buy the 1) Eberron Package for Sereth, 2) Bladeforged and 3) Monk. I'm not knocking your build. I think it would be fun and has lots of potential. Just not many "poor" people can afford it...
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivstuntman View Post
    what about taking 6 lvls of paladin and then getting the stance that increases hp?
    I did not need more HPs, nor wanted to use a shield.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battlehawke View Post
    While I like the basic concept of your build and its definitely a viable build, it's not really a "poor man's" build. This is a term that generally refers to a "build" that is playable with a "low" or "free-to-play" budget. Your build requires that they buy the 1) Eberron Package for Sereth, 2) Bladeforged and 3) Monk. I'm not knocking your build. I think it would be fun and has lots of potential. Just not many "poor" people can afford it...
    Right, all you say is correct. I am just saying that it is "cheaper" than other end game builds in terms of time sink. It does require you to have all that.

  6. #6
    Community Member Seikojin's Avatar
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    Do you think you could do this as a 28 point, first lifer, with no destinies, and have it setup for the farming point? Like 5000 favor and gear so tr runs can be done to get you to a 36 point build state?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seikojin View Post
    Do you think you could do this as a 28 point, first lifer, with no destinies, and have it setup for the farming point? Like 5000 favor and gear so tr runs can be done to get you to a 36 point build state?
    Just to be clear, are you asking if this could be a build to farm favor / challenges or stuff like that?

    No, I don't think it is ideal in that sense.

    If the question is whether you could do this without twists, tomes, or a 36 points character, the answer is yes.

    You could, but it will be less effective. There is no crucial threshold to reach. Overwhelming critical is nice, yes, but not essential. More tomes means more HPs, more SP, more skill points. But I think this is one of those builds where power scales smoothly as opposed to being all or nothing.

    The only thing you absolutely need is the LD destiny. Even a stout oak could work.

    Keep in mind though that the build would be less powerful. But still work better with the same amount of grind than a Cetus or Zeus.

  8. #8
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    "2 paladin for divine might and the saves"

    I'm fairly certain you need four levels of Paladin to get Divine Might, since you need Turn Undead to activate.

    -- Eli Bolas
    There is no chance I'm reading that grammatical disaster.

  9. #9

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    My immediate thought was "you lose +2 crit range from kensei tier 5" but of course you solve that problem nicely by switching to a staff build. Kudos on that.

    It does seem a bummer to run a staff build without 1 level of rogue for +15% attack speed. A pretty significant bummer. Enough to justify the "poor man's" tag, I think. But I still like the concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elibolas View Post
    "2 paladin for divine might and the saves"

    I'm fairly certain you need four levels of Paladin to get Divine Might, since you need Turn Undead to activate.

    -- Eli Bolas
    You can twist Turn Undead.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    My immediate thought was "you lose +2 crit range from kensei tier 5" but of course you solve that problem nicely by switching to a staff build. Kudos on that.

    It does seem a bummer to run a staff build without 1 level of rogue for +15% attack speed. A pretty significant bummer. Enough to justify the "poor man's" tag, I think. But I still like the concept.

    You can twist Turn Undead.
    Yup, I twist turn undead.

    The main point of the build was to approximate the standard BF centered kensei but from the perspective of someone who is not completely geared. As other people have pointed out, this still means having access to plenty of packs and to iconics. Poor was meant in the sense of not having the very best weapons (TF tier 3) or an eSoS / eAGA, nor displacement clickies.

    The appeal a centered fighter is to combine the versatility of the monk stances and the saves of the paladin with the melee power of another base character. Here, I just recognize that fighter / rogue adds melee DPS but it is not crucial to the concept. You can trade some of that power for a lot of utility from sorcerer and still be EE capable.

    In particular, this version saves you the need of farming displacement clickies, to use pots in longer quests and it also adds handy stuff such as dimension doors and possible scroll uses for other nice utilities. It also adds the possibility of having a nice energy burst to save/charge your blitz. I would like to emphasize that those "handy things" often make the difference between viable and not in end game. I see plenty of people run a Ceuts with non optimal weapons and without displacement to get pawned in a few seconds. Furthermore, I consider sireth to be one of the easiest to get end game weapons. Yes, if you do not have a box you still depend on luck, but nowhere comperable to the grind of a TF tier3 or an eAGA or eSoS. Seriously, it is way easier.

    Of course, once you recognize that in the epic destinies era the base character is not so crucial (a sorc can end up being a good blitzer), you can experiment with other possibilities. 12 sorc, 6 rogue, 2 paladin or perhaps with better synergy 12 wizzard, 6 rogue 2 paladin are both options for some more melee power (rogue staff > monk staff). If you feel confident, 12 wizzard, 6 monk and 2 rogue could be a more offensive build. In all cases you are giving up on something, but depending on gear it might still be viable. 6 rogue / 2 paladin might be the less risky version, but 6 monk and 2 rogue with insightful reflexes could also work well.

    In my case, I did a monk, paladin version of the above. It worked fairly well and I farmed CoVs in a double CoV period very quickly in EEs. As usual, you have the problem of having to blitz to be effective. But this is common to all melees I know that do not have mortal fear.

    Hope this clarifies a few things!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigErkyKid View Post
    I consider sireth to be one of the easiest to get end game weapons. Yes, if you do not have a box you still depend on luck, but nowhere comperable to the grind of a TF tier3 or an eAGA or eSoS. Seriously, it is way easier.
    I consider eAGA far easier to farm because you can just solo the three quests on EN on any epic alt. For CitW you have to rely on raid groups for a mostly dead raid, which is an unenviable task.

    Of course, once you recognize that in the epic destinies era the base character is not so crucial (a sorc can end up being a good blitzer), you can experiment with other possibilities. 12 sorc, 6 rogue, 2 paladin or perhaps with better synergy 12 wizzard, 6 rogue 2 paladin are both options for some more melee power (rogue staff > monk staff). If you feel confident, 12 wizzard, 6 monk and 2 rogue could be a more offensive build. In all cases you are giving up on something, but depending on gear it might still be viable. 6 rogue / 2 paladin might be the less risky version, but 6 monk and 2 rogue with insightful reflexes could also work well.
    I like your train of thought here.

    Out of curiosity, what are the pros and cons of the following:

    12/6/2 sorcerer/monk/paladin
    12/6/2 wizard/monk/paladin

    My calculations including gear but ignoring ability modifier put the sorcerer at 1530 spell points, wizard 965.

    The wizard gets three free metamagic feats. Note that the Cetus build has five extra feats over the sorc version. (Seven, actually, but you're forced to waste two on weapon focus/greater weapon focus to unlock keen edge.) So the three wizard feats could help mitigate that a little. Wizard can easily take extend for hage/displace/tensor's and quicken for reconstruct with a third bonus feat left over. (Mental Toughness to help close the mana gap?)

    What other considerations? I don't know sorcs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I consider eAGA far easier to farm because you can just solo the three quests on EN on any epic alt. For CitW you have to rely on raid groups for a mostly dead raid, which is an unenviable task.

    I like your train of thought here.

    Out of curiosity, what are the pros and cons of the following:

    12/6/2 sorcerer/monk/paladin
    12/6/2 wizard/monk/paladin

    My calculations including gear but ignoring ability modifier put the sorcerer at 1530 spell points, wizard 965.

    The wizard gets three free metamagic feats. Note that the Cetus build has five extra feats over the sorc version. (Seven, actually, but you're forced to waste two on weapon focus/greater weapon focus to unlock keen edge.) So the three wizard feats could help mitigate that a little. Wizard can easily take extend for hage/displace/tensor's and quicken for reconstruct with a third bonus feat left over. (Mental Toughness to help close the mana gap?)

    What other considerations? I don't know sorcs.

    Alright, so the basic reason to go sorc was the obvious one. You reduce the amount of abilities you need to pump. I did not take 2 handed fighting feats, so I was OK feat wise given the addition that monk brings. Cetus needs more feats because he has manyshot, but I have yet to see a staff build that uses manyshot.

    I would go wizard if I abandoned paladin, as I might in my next iteration. I am thinking I could get a 12 wizard, 6 monk and 2 rogue with insightful reflexes. The problem with staff builds remains the same: blitz or get a t3 TF. In groups, specially in good ones, blitzing is quite hard. So you end up being quite crippled. There is absolutely no solution for that issue, at least I don't know it.

    Going wizard /rogue will allow for trapping skills, and specially open lock (far more relevant nowadays in end game). The build will be more offensive and I expect and absurd amount of double strike, but still will face the blitz/mortal fear or die.

    In any event, tangencial to this discussion, but reconstruct is so extremely OP that now that I finally conceded and used a melee BF once I have been spoiled for many other builds. The immunities and innate self healing are a complete game breaker.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigErkyKid View Post
    Alright, so the basic reason to go sorc was the obvious one. You reduce the amount of abilities you need to pump.
    I don't follow. The way I was imagining it, int is still a dump stat for the wizard variation. (With the stats listed in the OP + ship buffs a wizard can cast level 6 spells with no int item at all.)

    What feats does the sorc version take? I agree with you that dumping the THF line is the low hanging fruit.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I don't follow. The way I was imagining it, int is still a dump stat for the wizard variation. (With the stats listed in the OP + ship buffs a wizard can cast level 6 spells with no int item at all.)

    What feats does the sorc version take? I agree with you that dumping the THF line is the low hanging fruit.
    Well if you dump int you will have way fewer SP in exchange of a few feats. But I honestly don't see very good options for those feats .

    I took power attack, cleave, g cleave, toughness, epic toughness, perfect two weapon, extend (quality of life with not many levels of sorc), quicken. Those are the core. The rest were fillers as far as I recall.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigErkyKid View Post
    Well if you dump int you will have way fewer SP in exchange of a few feats.
    My calculations including gear but ignoring ability modifier put the sorcerer at 1530 spell points, wizard 965.

    But I honestly don't see very good options for those feats .

    I took power attack, cleave, g cleave, toughness, epic toughness, perfect two weapon, extend (quality of life with not many levels of sorc), quicken. Those are the core. The rest were fillers as far as I recall.
    The wizard feats would be quicken and extend, of course, then probably mental toughness to kick the wizard pre-stat total from 965 to 1070. It would essentially let you take the THF line back.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    My calculations including gear but ignoring ability modifier put the sorcerer at 1530 spell points, wizard 965.

    The wizard feats would be quicken and extend, of course, then probably mental toughness to kick the wizard pre-stat total from 965 to 1070. It would essentially let you take the THF line back.
    Maybe I am awfully wrong at this, but I find THF to be a huge waste. Glancing blows require you to be stationary and cannot crit.

    When fighting groups of mobs, I am constatly moving so I don't benefit much from the already limited addition to DPS of GB (remember, no crits).

    As far as I can tell, I would only go wizard for the rogue / monk combination. One route could be to go for insightful reflexes, the other to semi dump int and go for DEX to damage to pump reflex saves (by far the most important save in game). It is a more complicated splash and I would not recommend it for those looking for the standard centered kensei experience.

    Nevertheless, I am interested in doing the monk rogue variation. The downside of it is that most probably will saves will be horrible. I ll be posting on it.

  17. #17

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    Fair enough about the THF; if you move during combat they're literally a waste. Let's see, 7 heroic feats and 3 epic:

    Power Attack
    Cleave
    Great Cleave
    Improved Critical
    Toughness
    Quicken
    Extend

    Overwhelming Critical
    Epic Toughness
    Blinding Speed (?)

    You get the above with 1500-1700 spell points as a sorc, or if you drop down to 1000-1100 spell points as a wizard you can add:

    Precision
    Dodge

    (The third extra feat is mental toughness which is already factored into the 1000-1100 spell points.)

    The wizard version wouldn't require any changes to stats, level splits or gear; you'd only need to hit 16 int to cast all available spells, and the 11 base +3 tome +2 ship of the build as written will suffice for that.

    The wizard also gets 3 level 6 spells, as opposed to 1 for the sorc, which means you can cast tensor's transformation with extend instead of relying on scrolls.

    500 spell points when you already have 1000+ seems less helpful than precision, dodge, and extended tensor's.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Fair enough about the THF; if you move during combat they're literally a waste. Let's see, 7 heroic feats and 3 epic:

    Power Attack
    Cleave
    Great Cleave
    Improved Critical
    Toughness
    Quicken
    Extend

    Overwhelming Critical
    Epic Toughness
    Blinding Speed (?)

    You get the above with 1500-1700 spell points as a sorc, or if you drop down to 1000-1100 spell points as a wizard you can add:

    Precision
    Dodge

    (The third extra feat is mental toughness which is already factored into the 1000-1100 spell points.)

    The wizard version wouldn't require any changes to stats, level splits or gear; you'd only need to hit 16 int to cast all available spells, and the 11 base +3 tome +2 ship of the build as written will suffice for that.

    The wizard also gets 3 level 6 spells, as opposed to 1 for the sorc, which means you can cast tensor's transformation with extend instead of relying on scrolls.

    500 spell points when you already have 1000+ seems less helpful than precision, dodge, and extended tensor's.
    Right. it is a good analysis, thanks for sharing it. I wouldn t be able to take dodge though (dex requirement) so it is just precision.

    It is otherwise a fairly similar build.

    What I am struggling now is with the 6 monk, 2 rogue. I d like it to be high saves, to have a good amount of extra DPS and to have a good pool of SP. 1k or 1,5k might not seem very different, but in long quests I was very thankful for having the extra SP. Same goes for raids.

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