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  1. #1
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Default Sacred Vanguards (aka Revisiting S&B Paladins for New Players)

    EDIT: this post has been updated for U29.

    Update 23 really buffed up paladins: Turbine introduced the Vanguard PrE, improved KotC and Sacred Defender, and upgraded the Holy Sword spell, making it one of the best DPS bonuses in DDO. There's never been a better time to play a classic S&B pally. This thread supplants my Sacred Defender builds; rather than retread everything I said there, I'll just spotlight some of the key changes lately. This thread will be devoted to pure pallies for the Vanguard capstone and the extra lvl 4 spell slots (Zeal, Holy Sword, CSW, Death Ward).

    The main goals of any DDO tank build have always been good DPS, good survivability, and enough threat to hold onto mob aggro. U23 has really improved the DPS of paladins in general and S&B pallies in particular (thanks to Vanguard), while keeping the survivability and tanking capabilities they've always had. U23 also improved the defensive benefits of medium & heavy armor by improving PRR and adding MRR; in particular, MRR means you no longer have to feel pigeon-holed into having Evasion to get good protection from Reflex-based spell damage. EDIT: the U28 balance changes eliminated armor MRR, which makes other sources of MRR more important.

    Now, all of that being said, my recommendation is that you are still better off using 2H weapons to start and switch to S&B later on. Why? Partly because the DPS bonuses for 2H weapons are pretty front-loaded: +1.5x STR mod to dmg; higher base weapon dmg; +10 dmg from Power Atk (after BAB 5+) vs +5 to 1H weapons. Partly because there are a number of good low-lvl 2H weapons to use, esp. Carnifex. And partly because you have few APs to spend early on, so it's better to split them between two PrEs (KotC and SD) rather than all three. And partly because Vanguard is a backloaded PrE, IMO, which doesn't start hitting its potential until lvl 12.

    So this build presumes you use 2H weapons thru lvl 11, then switch to S&B and tier-5 Vanguard at lvl 12. For an example of a S&B pally starting from lvl 1, see ED37's VG pally thread. Or just rearrange the feat order & Enhancements yourself.
    Code:
    Sacred Vanguard (U29)
    Paladin 20
    Lawful Good Human
    
    
    Stats
                   28pt     32pt     Level Up
                   ----     ----     --------
    Strength        16       16       4: STR
    Dexterity        8        8       8: STR
    Constitution    14       16      12: STR
    Intelligence    10       10      16: STR
    Wisdom           8        8      20: STR
    Charisma        16       16      24: STR
                                     28: STR
    
    Skills
              1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
             ------------------------------------------------------------
    Intim     4  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  23
    Concent   2  2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2  22
    UMD       2     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     11
    Tumble    1                                                            1
             ------------------------------------------------------------
             12  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3
    
    
    Feats
    
     1        : Power Attack
     1 Human  : Two Handed Fighting
     1 Deity  : Follower of: Sovereign Host
     3        : Force of Personality
     6        : Improved Two Handed Fighting
     6 Deity  : Unyielding Sovereignty
     9        : Improved Critical: Slashing
    12        : Greater Two Handed Fighting
    12 Swap   : Exotic Weapon: Bastard Sword replaces Force of Personality
    15        : Shield Mastery
    18        : Improved Shield Mastery
    21 Epic   : Overwhelming Critical
    24 Epic   : Empower Healing Spell
    26 Destiny: Guardian Angel OR Perfect Two Handed Fighting
    27 Epic   : Epic Damage Reduction OR Stunning Blow
    28 Destiny: Elusive Target OR Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
    29 Destiny: Deific Warding OR Dire Charge
    30 Epic   : Quicken Spell OR Improved Shield Bash
    30 Legend : Scion of: Plane of Water OR Arborea
    
    
    Spells
    
    
    
    1. Cure Light Wounds, Divine Favor, Protection from Evil, Bless
    2. Resist Energy, Angelskin, Remove Paralysis, <Any>
    3. Cure Moderate Wounds, Prayer, Magic Circle Against Evil, Dispel Magic
    4. Holy Sword, Zeal, Cure Serious Wounds, Death Ward
    Enhancements (80 AP) Vanguard (41 AP)
    • To the Fore!, Shield Combat I, Vicious Shield I, Shield Combat II, Vicious Shield II, Shield Champion
      1. Shield Specialization, Shield Smash III
      2. Shield Specialization, Stunning Shield III, Missile Shield III, Melee Power Boost III
      3. Shield Specialization, Follow Up III, Fatal Bulwark, Shield Riposte III
      4. (none)
      5. Shield to the Face, Disorienting Smash II, Shield Charge III, Armored Strength
    Knight of the Chalice (23 AP)
    • Slayer of Evil, Courage of Heaven, Slayer of Evil II, Improved Courage of Heaven
      1. Extra Turning II, Extra Smite II
      2. Divine Might III, Exalted Cleave III
      3. Improved Restoration I, Divine Sacrifice I, Exalted Smite I
      4. Empowered Smite
    Sacred Defender (13 AP)
    • Holy Bastion, Sacred Defense
      1. Extra Lay On Hands III, Durable Defense III
      2. Inciting Defense II
      3. Tenacious Defense III
    Human (3 AP)
    • Damage Boost
      1. Improved Recovery
    Leveling Guide
    1. Hum0 Damage Boost; Hum1 Improved Recovery; SD0 Holy Bastion
    2. SD1 Extra Lay On Hands I, II, III; (Bank 1 AP)
    3. SD1 Durable Defense I; SD0 Sacred Defense; SD1 Durable Defense II, III; SD2 Inciting Defense I
    4. SD2 Inciting Defense II; SD3 Tenacious Defense I, II, III
    5. KoC0 Slayer of Evil; KoC1 Extra Smite I, II; KoC1 Extra Turning I
    6. KoC1 Extra Turning II; KoC0 Courage of Heaven; KoC2 Exalted Cleave I, II
    7. KoC2 Exalted Cleave III; KoC2 Divine Might I
    8. KoC2 Divine Might II, III
    9. KoC3 Exalted Smite I; KoC3 Divine Sacrifice I; KoC0 Slayer of Evil II; KoC3 Improved Restoration I
    10. KoC4 Empowered Smite; KoC4 Censure Demons; KoC4 Passion I
    11. KoC3 Vigor of Life; KoC2 Melee Power Boost I, II
    12. Reset Knight of the Chalice
      • Vanguard: To the Fore!, Shield Combat I, Vicious Shield I, Shield Combat II
        1. Shield Specialization, Shield Smash III
        2. Shield Specialization, Stunning Shield III, Missile Shield III, Melee Power Boost III
        3. Shield Specialization, Follow Up III, Fatal Bulwark, Shield Riposte III
        4. (none)
        5. Armored Strength
    13. Van5 Shield to the Face; Van5 Shield Charge I, II
    14. Van5 Shield Charge III; Van5 Disorienting Smash I, II; KoC0 Slayer of Evil
    15. KoC1 Extra Smite I, II; KoC1 Extra Turning I, II
    16. KoC2 Exalted Cleave I, II, III; KoC0 Courage of Heaven
    17. KoC2 Divine Might I, II
    18. Van0 Vicious Shield II; KoC3 Divine Sacrifice I; KoC3 Exalted Smite I
    19. KoC0 Slayer of Evil II; KoC2 Divine Might III; KoC3 Improved Restoration I
    20. Van0 Shield Champion; KoC4 Empowered Smite; KoC0 Improved Courage of Heaven
    Destiny (24 AP) Divine Crusader
    1. Endless Turning III, Interrogation, Purge the Wicked
    2. Consecration III
    3. Sacred Ground, Blessed Blades
    4. No Regret, Crusade
    5. Castigation, Heavenly Presence, Celestial Champion
    6. Strike Down
    Twists of Fate (18 fate points)
    1. Grim Precision (Tier 3 Shadowdancer)
    2. Legendary Shield Mastery (Tier 2 Sentinel)
    3. Rejuvenation Cocoon (Tier 1 Primal)
    4. Legendary Tactics (Tier 1 Dreadnought)
    If you have a +2 INT tome at lvl 7, max Concentration and put remaining pts into Balance or Heal.

    Epic feats: as you can see, I listed a lot of options, which will largely depend on whether you want to emphasize DPS or survivability; I list the survivability option first, DPS option second. As for your Scion choice: Arborea is the no-brainer DPS boost (+2 Enhancement bonus, +20 Melee Power); while Plane of Water is +20 MRR and +2d20 cold dmg, so it adds both survivability & DPS, but downside is needing to slot Glaciation gear (you can reach approx. 500 Glaciation Spellpower in current endgame, so approx. 125 cold dmg per hit).

    The listed Twists are a best-case scenario and presumes you've leveled almost all of your EDs. But the only must-have IMO is Legendary Shield Mastery for the extra doublestrike & PRR; so fill in the rest as you see fit while leveling.
    Last edited by unbongwah; 02-27-2016 at 08:41 PM.
    Major build threads: Axesinger / Dwarven Defender / Drow Ninja / Drow Paladin / Elven Ranger / Monkcher / Sacred Vanguard / Cleric Domains / Kundarak Brigade / Iconic Builds
    My Build Index: a Motley Menagerie of Original Rapscallions, Pugilists, and Gimps!

  2. #2
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Default

    Kundarak Vanguard: dwarf build which takes advantage of the +7% S&B DPS from Dwarf Fortress; the downside being it costs 18 APs so I had to make compromises in Sacred D. and KotC to get it. It also goes for Dreadnought for max sustained melee DPS. This version can be specced for either heavy picks or warhammers: the advantage of not using dwarven axes is it frees 3 feats (4 if you count PTHF); the downside is losing glancing blows.
    Code:
    Kundarak Vanguard
    Paladin 20
    Lawful Good Dwarf
    
    
    Stats
                   28pt     32pt     Level Up
                   ----     ----     --------
    Strength        16       16       4: STR
    Dexterity        8        8       8: STR
    Constitution    16       18      12: STR
    Intelligence    10       10      16: STR
    Wisdom           8        8      20: STR
    Charisma        14       14      24: STR
                                     28: STR
    
    Skills
              1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
             ------------------------------------------------------------
    Intim     3  2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2  23
    UMD       2     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     11
    Heal      1                                                            1
             ------------------------------------------------------------
              8  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2
    
    
    Feats
    
     1        : Shield Mastery
     1 Deity  : Follower of: Sovereign Host
     3        : Power Attack
     6        : Stunning Blow
     6 Deity  : Unyielding Sovereignty
     9        : Improved Shield Mastery
    12        : Improved Critical: Bludgeoning OR Piercing
    15        : Improved Shield Bash
    18        : Empower Healing Spell
    21 Epic   : Overwhelming Critical
    24 Epic   : Cleave
    26 Destiny: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
    27 Epic   : Great Cleave OR Quicken Spell
    28 Destiny: First Blood OR Elusive Target
    29 Destiny: Dire Charge
    30 Epic   : Epic Damage Reduction OR Quicken Spell
    30 Legend : Scion of: Arborea
    
    
    Enhancements (80 AP)
    
    Vanguard (41 AP)
    
    
    • To the Fore!, Shield Combat I, Vicious Shield I, Shield Combat II, Vicious Shield II, Shield Champion
      1. Shield Specialization, Shield Smash III
      2. Shield Specialization, Brutality III, Stunning Shield II, Missile Shield III, Melee Power Boost III
      3. Follow Up III, Fatal Bulwark, Shield Riposte III
      4. (none)
      5. Shield to the Face, Disorienting Smash II, Shield Charge III, Armored Strength
    Dwarf (18 AP)
    • Dwarven Toughness, Dwarven Constitution
      1. Pick and Hammer Training
      2. Dwarven Tactics I, Child of the Mountain III
      3. Stand Like Stone III
      4. Dwarf Fortress III
    Sacred Defender (11 AP)
    • Holy Bastion, Sacred Defense
      1. Extra Lay On Hands III, Durable Defense III
      2. Resilient Defense II
      3. Tenacious Defense I
    Knight of the Chalice (10 AP)
    • Slayer of Evil
      1. Extra Turning II, Extra Smite II
      2. Divine Might I, Exalted Cleave III
    Leveling Guide
    1. Van0 To the Fore!; Van1 Shield Smash I, II, III
    2. SD0 Holy Bastion; SD1 Extra Lay On Hands I, II, III
    3. SD1 Durable Defense I; SD0 Sacred Defense; Van1 Shield Specialization
    4. Van0 Shield Combat I; Van2 Stunning Shield I; Van2 Shield Specialization
    5. Van3 Follow Up I, II, III; Van2 Missile Shield I
    6. Van0 Vicious Shield I; Van3 Shield Riposte I; Van3 Fatal Bulwark
    7. Van2 Melee Power Boost I, II, III; Van2 Missile Shield II
    8. Van2 Missile Shield III; Van3 Shield Riposte II, III; Van2 Stunning Shield II
    9. Van2 Brutality I, II, III; SD1 Durable Defense II
    10. SD1 Durable Defense III; SD2 Resilient Defense I, II; SD3 Tenacious Defense I
    11. (Bank 4 AP)
    12. Van0 Shield Combat II; Van5 Armored Strength; Van5 Shield to the Face; Van5 Shield Charge I, II, III
    13. Van5 Disorienting Smash I, II; KoC0 Slayer of Evil; KoC1 Extra Smite I
    14. KoC1 Extra Smite II; KoC1 Extra Turning I, II
    15. KoC2 Divine Might I; KoC2 Exalted Cleave I, II, III
    16. Dwf0 Dwarven Toughness; Dwf0 Dwarven Constitution
    17. Dwf1 Pick and Hammer Training; Dwf2 Dwarven Tactics I; Dwf2 Child of the Mountain I
    18. Van0 Vicious Shield II; Dwf2 Child of the Mountain II; Dwf3 Stand Like Stone I
    19. Dwf3 Stand Like Stone II; Dwf2 Child of the Mountain III; Dwf3 Stand Like Stone III
    20. Van0 Shield Champion; Dwf4 Dwarf Fortress I, II, III
    Destiny (24 AP) Legendary Dreadnought
    1. Legendary Tactics III, Extra Action Boost II
    2. Momentum Swing III, Imp. Power Attack
    3. Lay Waste, Haste Boost III
    4. Anvil of Thunder
    5. Advancing Blows, Devastating Critical
    6. Master's Blitz, Pulverizer
    Twists of Fate (18 fate points)
    1. Sense Weakness (Tier 4 Fury)
    2. Legendary Shield Mastery (Tier 2 Sentinel)
    3. Rejuvenation Cocoon (Tier 1 Primal)
    Valenar Elf variant: here's a build I did for someone else in another thread. They wanted a S&B elf using scimitars; for flavor I also added the Shadow Dragonmark because having Displacement is useful and everyone loves cool tattoos, amirite?!
    Code:
    Shadow Vanguard
    Paladin 20
    Lawful Good Elf
    
    
    Stats
                   28pt     32pt     Tome     Level Up
                   ----     ----     ----     --------
    Strength        16       16                4: STR
    Dexterity       12       12       +1       8: STR
    Constitution    12       12               12: STR
    Intelligence    12       12               16: STR
    Wisdom           8        8               20: STR
    Charisma        14       16               24: STR
                                              28: STR
    
    Skills
              1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
             ------------------------------------------------------------
    Intim     4  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  23
    Concent   2  2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2     2  22
    UMD       2     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     11
    Tumble    1                                                            1
             ------------------------------------------------------------
             12  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3
    
    
    Feats
    
     1        : Shield Mastery
     1 Deity  : Follower of: Undying Court
     3        : Precision
     6        : Least Dragonmark: Shadow
     6 Deity  : Undying Call
     9        : Improved Shield Mastery
    12        : Improved Critical: Slashing
    15        : Empower Healing Spell
    18        : Stunning Blow
    21 Epic   : Overwhelming Critical
    24 Epic   : Quicken Spell
    26 Destiny: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
    27 Epic   : Improved Shield Bash
    28 Destiny: First Blood OR Elusive Target
    29 Destiny: Dire Charge OR Deific Warding
    30 Epic   : Epic Damage Reduction OR Bulwark of Defense
    30 Legend : Scion of: Arborea OR Plane of Water
    
    
    Enhancements (80 AP)
    
    Vanguard (41 AP)
    
    
    • To the Fore!, Shield Combat I, Vicious Shield I, Shield Combat II, Vicious Shield II, Shield Champion
      1. Shield Specialization, Shield Smash III
      2. Shield Specialization, Brutality III, Stunning Shield II, Missile Shield III, Melee Power Boost III
      3. Follow Up III, Fatal Bulwark, Shield Riposte III
      4. (none)
      5. Shield to the Face, Disorienting Smash II, Shield Charge III, Armored Strength
    Knight of the Chalice (14 AP)
    • Slayer of Evil, Courage of Heaven
      1. Extra Turning II, Extra Smite II
      2. Divine Might I, Exalted Cleave III
      3. Divine Sacrifice I, Exalted Smite I
    Sacred Defender (13 AP)
    • Holy Bastion, Sacred Defense
      1. Extra Lay On Hands III, Durable Defense III
      2. Resilient Defense II
      3. Tenacious Defense III
    Elf (12 AP)
    • Elven Accuracy
      1. Phiarlan Dragonmark Focus III, Valenar Weapon Training
      2. Lesser Dragonmark of Shadow, Valenar Weapon Training
      3. Greater Dragonmark of Shadow
    Leveling Guide
    1. Van0 To the Fore!; Van1 Shield Smash I; Van1 Shield Specialization
    2. SD0 Holy Bastion; SD1 Extra Lay On Hands I, II, III
    3. SD1 Durable Defense I; SD0 Sacred Defense; Van1 Shield Smash II; Van0 Shield Combat I
    4. Van2 Stunning Shield I; Van2 Missile Shield I; SD1 Durable Defense II, III
    5. SD2 Resilient Defense I, II; SD3 Tenacious Defense I, II
    6. Reset Sacred Defender
      • Elf: Elven Accuracy
        1. Phiarlan Dragonmark Focus III, Valenar Weapon Training
        2. Lesser Dragonmark of Shadow, Valenar Weapon Training
        3. Greater Dragonmark of Shadow
      • Vanguard: Vicious Shield I
        1. (none)
        2. Shield Specialization
      • Sacred Defender: Holy Bastion
    7. SD1 Extra Lay On Hands I, II, III; SD1 Durable Defense I
    8. SD0 Sacred Defense; Van3 Fatal Bulwark; Van3 Follow Up I
    9. Van3 Follow Up II, III; Van2 Melee Power Boost I, II
    10. Van2 Melee Power Boost III; Van2 Stunning Shield II; Van2 Missile Shield II, III
    11. Van3 Shield Riposte I, II, III; Van1 Shield Smash III
    12. Reset Sacred Defender
      • Vanguard: Shield Combat II
        1. (none)
        2. Brutality III
        3. (none)
        4. (none)
        5. Shield to the Face, Disorienting Smash I, Shield Charge I, Armored Strength
    13. SD0 Holy Bastion; SD1 Extra Lay On Hands I, II, III
    14. SD1 Durable Defense I; SD0 Sacred Defense; Van5 Shield Charge II, III
    15. Van5 Disorienting Smash II; SD1 Durable Defense II, III; SD2 Resilient Defense I
    16. SD2 Resilient Defense II; SD3 Tenacious Defense I, II, III
    17. KoC0 Slayer of Evil; KoC1 Extra Smite I, II; KoC1 Extra Turning I
    18. Van0 Vicious Shield II; KoC1 Extra Turning II; KoC2 Divine Might I
    19. KoC2 Exalted Cleave I, II, III; KoC0 Courage of Heaven
    20. Van0 Shield Champion; KoC3 Divine Sacrifice I; KoC3 Exalted Smite I
    Destiny (24 AP) Divine Crusader
    1. Endless Turning III, Purge the Wicked
    2. Confront Any Foe, Consecration III
    3. Sacred Ground, Empyrean Magic, Blessed Blades
    4. No Regret, Crusade
    5. Castigation, Celestial Champion
    6. Strike Down
    Twists of Fate (14 fate points)
    1. Grim Precision (Tier 3 Shadowdancer)
    2. Legendary Shield Mastery (Tier 2 Sentinel)
    3. Legendary Tactics (Tier 1 Dreadnought)
    If you don't have a +1 DEX tome to start, take Power Attack at lvl 3 then swap it for Precision after you take a DEX tome.

    ULTIMATE TANK variant: Okay, not quite, but this version emphasizes survivability over DPS; so it focuses on Sacred Defender, then Vanguard, then KotC. This is a niche build for someone who wants to run in Unyielding Sentinel with super-strong defenses (at the expense of DPS, obviously). AFAIK, Don't Count Me Out and Eternal Defender stack, extending your unconsciousness range by 60 HPs. This build eschews bastard swords and uses scimitars or longsword instead (ideally Fellblade), letting me shift 4 feats into more tankiness. It's also designed to use just the +2 and +5 tomes earned from Favor; so while it's not F2P anymore (can't hit 5,000 Favor without most content unlocked), it is technically doable without spending TPs in the DDO Store or using the Auction House. I went CHA-based for higher saves, higher Intim, and bigger LoH heals. Since this is an epic / endgame-focused build, I'm not going to bother listing a leveling guide.
    Code:
    Unyielding Vanguard
    Paladin 20
    Lawful Good Human
    
    
    Stats
                   34pt     Tome     Level Up
                   ----     ----     --------
    Strength        13                4: CHA
    Dexterity        8                8: CHA
    Constitution    16       +5      12: CHA
    Intelligence    11       +2      16: CHA
    Wisdom           8               20: CHA
    Charisma        18               24: CHA
                                     28: CHA
    
    Skills
              1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
             ------------------------------------------------------------
    Concent   2  2  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  2  23
    Intim     4  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  23
    UMD       2     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1     11
    Balance            1     1     1     1     1     1     1     1         8
    Heal                                                               1   1
    Tumble    1                                                            1
             ------------------------------------------------------------
             12  3  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4  4
    
    
    Feats
    
     1        : Shield Mastery
     1 Human  : Power Attack
     1 Deity  : Follower of: Sovereign Host
     3        : Toughness
     6        : Empower Healing Spell
     6 Deity  : Unyielding Sovereignty
     9        : Improved Shield Mastery
    12        : Improved Critical: Slashing
    15        : Combat Expertise
    15 Swap   : Improved Shield Bash replaces Power Attack
    18        : Shield Deflection OR Quicken Spell
    21 Epic   : Overwhelming Critical
    24 Epic   : Epic Toughness
    26 Destiny: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
    27 Epic   : Epic Damage Reduction
    28 Destiny: Elusive Target
    29 Destiny: Deific Warding
    30 Epic   : Bulwark of Defense OR Force of Personality
    30 Legend : Scion of: Plane of Water
    
    
    Enhancements (80 AP)
    
    Sacred Defender (41 AP)
    
    
    • Holy Bastion, Sacred Defense, Divine Righteousness, Redemption, Glorious Stand, Eternal Defender
      1. Extra Lay On Hands III, Durable Defense III, Sacred Armor Mastery III
      2. Bulwark Aura III, Resilient Defense III, Sacred Shield Mastery III
      3. Tenacious Defense III
      4. Reinforced Armor III, Swift Defense, Hardy Defense III
      5. Reinforced Shield III, Harbored by Light III, Strong Defense I
    Vanguard (24 AP)
    • To the Fore!, Shield Combat I, Vicious Shield I, Shield Combat II
      1. Shield Smash III, Armor Training I
      2. Stunning Shield I, Missile Shield III, Melee Power Boost III
      3. Follow Up III, Shield Riposte III
      4. Armor Mastery III
    Knight of the Chalice (9 AP)
    • Slayer of Evil
      1. Extra Turning II, Extra Smite II
      2. Divine Might I, Exalted Cleave II
    Human (6 AP)
    • Damage Boost
      1. Improved Recovery, Don't Count Me Out III
    Destiny (24 AP) Unyielding Sentinel
    1. Brace for Impact II, Shield Prowess III
    2. Legendary Shield Mastery III
    3. Renewal III, Endless Lay On Hands I
    4. Light the Dark
    5. Hardened III, Strength of Vitality III
    6. Undying Vanguard
    Twists of Fate (18 fate points)
    1. Grim Precision (Tier 3 Shadowdancer)
    2. Imp. Combat Expertise (Tier 2 Dreadnought)
    3. Rejuvenation Cocoon (Tier 1 Primal)
    4. Unearthly Reactions (Tier 1 Magister)
    Last edited by unbongwah; 02-27-2016 at 03:44 PM.
    Major build threads: Axesinger / Dwarven Defender / Drow Ninja / Drow Paladin / Elven Ranger / Monkcher / Sacred Vanguard / Cleric Domains / Kundarak Brigade / Iconic Builds
    My Build Index: a Motley Menagerie of Original Rapscallions, Pugilists, and Gimps!

  3. #3
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    18,446

    Default

    Gear Recommendations

    The important things to remember to keep slotted whenever possible:
    • Stat bonuses: STR is the most important, of course, followed closely by CON & CHA. WIS is for spell-casting and Will saves (unless you take the Force of Personality feat); DEX is for AC & Reflex saves; INT can be ignored unless you invested in an INT skill like Search or Spellcraft.
    • DPS: you will want Deadly, Speed, and Seeker items slotted, in that order of importance; unless you're running, say, in a static group with a bard or arcane caster who always keeps you Hasted (lucky you!), in which case you can skip Speed. At higher levels, you may want Manslayer and Accuracy items slotted if you can squeeze it in. You'll want Ethereal / Ghostly for fighting incorporeal enemies like wraiths (or use Ghostbane / Ghost Touch weapons); and True Seeing for enemies who use Blur / Displacement. Can't kill what you can't hit, after all!
    • Survivability: I would say Fortification is the single most important bonus and should be kept as high as possible; it protects you from critical hits and sneak attacks. After that, you'll want False Life + Vitality items for extra HPs (they stack with each other, but not with themselves); Resistance + Riposte / Parrying items for higher saves (again, stack w/each other but not themselves); and PRR / MRR to reduce physical & magical dmg, respectively. You will want concealment (Dusk / Blur / Displacement), Incorpealty (Ghostly), and Dodge bonuses for the extra miss chances; remember that your max DEX bonus (MDB) also caps your Dodge bonus, so it's important to keep them in sync. You will also want to keep a Deathblock item handy to protect against instakill spells, esp. from beholders. And once you start using Cure spells, you'll want Devotion Spellpower slotted; if you can boost your Heal skill too, that's great.


    I'm not going to bother with best-in-slot endgame gear because it's a constantly shifting target with every update; plus it all depends on which content you have, whether or not you like to raid, etc. And frankly with my track record, my "endgame" gear list would sit un-updated for a year or more, rendering it irrelevant (or at least obsolete) pretty quickly. So instead I plan to focus on relatively easy-to-acquire gear lists which can help with leveling: i.e., no fancy raid gear or a long list of greensteel-crafted items. This is by no means a comprehensive list; just some suggestions for gear that's worth considering, IMO. Empty gear slots should be used to fill in any gaps among the bonuses I mentioned above. And there's going to be some overlapping between gear sets due to the minimum levels (ML) for different versions (Normal / Hard / Elite) of the same items.

    The first gear list is mostly from F2P content, so anyone can farm it. The second list are various possible upgrades, mostly from Gianthold. The third list is a mish-mash of higher-level options, both the easy-to-acquire reward gear from Wheloon or Storm Horns, as well as some of the better / harder to acquire gear from Gianthold, the Madness chain, and heroic Eveningstar quests. The final list is the "epic starter gear:" again, a mish-mash of Eveningstar Commendation gear (starting with the Knights Loyalty set), Storm Horns, some Challenge gear, etc.


    A few specific comments:
    • The Nightforge gear is acquired through the Relic of a Sovereign Past quest, which is easy to solo-farm at level 9 following this guide. The beauty of this quest is you do not need to finish it in order to acquire the Nightforge gear and there's always 15 pieces of ore regardless of difficulty. So you can farm it on Casual as many times as necessary and not break your Bravery streak, as long as you don't actually finish the quest; just recall after you've traded your ore and reset the instance if you need more. Likewise, the Cloak of Invisibility can be solo-farmed in Tempest Spine following ED37's walkthru; having Ghostly (10% Incorporealty) on a ML:9 item is great.
    • Several items listed are part of named item sets and are included on the presumption that you would obtain the entire set. [I didn't bother with low-level gear, but there's some stuff from Korthos and Red Fens that's worth considering for a first-lifer, particularly the Vulkoor's Might set.] In particular, the Wrath of Sora Kell set is nice for ML:11 (+2 dmg, +5 STR / CHA / WIS, +10 Intim, +40 Potency) and drops from a F2P quest chain; it can also be upgraded to the ML:13 versions (stat bonuses increase to +6, Intim to +13, and gain True Seeing). Likewise, the (heroic) Devil's Gambit set looks nice for ML:14, but TBH I haven't tried to farm it yet so no idea how rare the drops are.
    • If you're going for Beholder Plate Armor, you definitely want the Sustaining Symbiont as well to negate the armor's Metal Fatigue; it's also got Gtr False Life and exceptional CON +1. I would upgrade it with Delirium (Displacement Guard).


    Choosing your Weapon

    As for the eternal "bastard sword vs dwarven axe?" argument, a brief overview of their respective epic DPS. [EDIT: updated to reflect U28 balance changes / nerfs to Holy Sword]

    Legendary Dreadnought
    • b.sword: 19-20/x2 base -> 18-20/x3 Holy Sword -> 16-20/x3 IC:Slash -> 16-18/x3 19-20/x5 (Overwhelming Crit + Devastating Crit) = 33 effective hits (assuming 95% hit chance)
    • d.axe: 20/x3 base -> 19-20/x4 HS -> 18-20/x4 IC:S -> 18/x4 19-20/x7 (OC+DC+Headman's Chop) = 34 effective hits


    So here we see d.axe leads by (34 - 33) / 33 = +3% DPS. Also d.axes can use Anvil of Thunder, which procs a free no-save stun vs trash mobs on crits; AoT has got a 12-sec. CD, so say 1 free 6-sec stun every 80 secs which is +50% DPS 7.5% of the time or +3.75% DPS overall. That's a major oversimplification, of course, since I've ignored doublestrike bonuses etc., but it gives us a baseline for comparison.

    Divine Crusader

    • b.sword: 19-20/x2 base -> 18-20/x3 Holy Sword -> 17-20/x3 Celestial Champion -> 15-20/x3 IC:Slash -> 15-18/x3 19-20/x4 (Overwhelming Crit) = 33 effective hits
    • d.axe: 20/x3 base -> 19-20/x4 HS -> 18-20/x4 CC -> 17-20/x4 IC:S -> 17-18/x4 19-20/x5 (OC) = 33 effective hits


    Here we see d.axe are tied with b.swords in effective hits; but the wider crit range of b.sword means it will proc on-crit effects more frequently, like Dragon's Edge, Crippling Flames, and Burning Emptiness. And since unlike, say, Bloodletter, those effects don't scale with your crit multiplier, it means tier-3 Thunder-forged b.sword will have a higher on-hit avg dmg bonus from these effects.

    However, this is presuming we are using crafted weapons with similar properties. If we're talking named weapons, then eSpinal Tap is a lot better than EE Prison Break, the highest-level named d.axe. eSpinal Tap is 16-18/x4 19-20/x6 in LD, 15-18/x4 19-20/x5 in DC, a net gain of 5 or 6 effetive hits, respectively.

    Really, though, the lesson here is you're going to do a ton of DPS with either weapon type, so IMHO pick based either on what gear you have available to you or which weapon you think looks cooler.
    Last edited by unbongwah; 02-29-2016 at 10:28 AM.
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    Community Member Domacett's Avatar
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    nevermind. I see the answer.
    Last edited by Domacett; 11-14-2014 at 06:10 PM. Reason: epiphany

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    Is this in response to me? x.x

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    Community Member Sehenry03's Avatar
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    Ok a few questions...

    1) Why hammers over dwarven axes? Axes will have more dmg plus splash dmg right?

    2) Do you have a personal preference between the 2 races? I always leaned to Dorfs in D&D but more humans in DDO.

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  7. #7
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sehenry03 View Post
    1) Why hammers over dwarven axes? Axes will have more dmg plus splash dmg right?
    Basically it's a question of priorities, since pure pallies are feat-starved. Dwarven axes get glancing blows, but you have to invest the THF chain if you want to max them out. As you can see, the human build spends all of its heroic feats on DPS & Shield Mastery - no room for metamagics until epic levels. Also I forgot to mention that the dwarf build is based on Mornh, which does better crit dmg than dwarven axes: 15-20 x4 w/Holy Sword + IC:Blunt, boosted to 13-20 when in Div Crusader (Celestial Champion), which helps make up for the lack of glancing blows. Once you get to Thunderforged weapons, though, it becomes more of a wash.

    That said, it's pretty easy to convert the dwarf build to d.axes w/THF chain by following the human build: Power Atk (1), THF (3), ITHF (6), IC:Slash (9), GTHF (12), Shield Mastery (15), ISM (18). Again, I recommend leveling with greataxes before switching to S&B at higher lvls.
    2) Do you have a personal preference between the 2 races? I always leaned to Dorfs in D&D but more humans in DDO.
    Most of the time, humans are preferable for the extra feat, racial Dmg Boost, and heal amp. That said, pallies in general are strong enough to pick the race you like and, well, you see my avatar.
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    I find Dwarven paladins to be amazing. Getting throw your weight around, going all points into CON, getting some dwarven fortress still lets you get thru KoTC and a lot of defender trees. You have tons of HPs and generally crush stuff. Go IC pierce at 12 and use Death Nip at 14, with holy sword you are just a slaughtering machine. Feats something like 1 SM 3 toughness 6 PA 9 ISM 12 IC pierce 15 Empower heal 18 whatever u want...cleave maybe if u want to use momentum swing twist or FoP or Tower shield. Swap out IC pierce for IC bludg when you want to go with epic war hammers.

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    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Glad you mentioned Deathnip, but TYWA is something of a trap on a dwarf pally: it obligates you to spend at least 18 APs in dwarf tree (a pretty substantial investment, given how good the other PrEs are now); and you miss out on the extra dmg from Div Might.
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    Default Would anyone recommend a few fighter levels?

    My son has been playing his Paladin up to level 14. We're going to do a Heart of Wood Reincarnation to refine some of his selections. One thing we're debating about, is if he should stay pure pally to 20th, or if he should take a few fighter levels for the feats and the access to kensei enhancement tree?

    Any thoughts on pro's of con's on taking two or three fighter levels?

  11. #11
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    The Vanguard capstone is pretty nice for a S&B toon: "While shield is equipped: +2 attack, +2 damage, +5% doublestrike, +1(W), and shield bash stuns 5% of the time DC(10 + 1/2 Character lvl + strength modifier + stun bonus)." I can't think of any splash which will provide a bigger DPS boost than that. Likewise, the lvl 18 Vanguard core enhancement provides +5% atk speed (+15% bonus total); again, I can't think of any splashes which will give you more DPS than that.

    The main advantage to splashing is the extra feats from ftr (or possibly wiz). So on my first build, pal 18 / ftr 2 would allow one to add, say, Quicken + Emp Heal for better healing; or perhaps Cleave+Gt Cleave, since if you take T5 Vanguard you can't take Avenging Cleave as well and Lay Waste still requires Cleave feat as a pre-req. You could also pick up extra action boost from Kensei if you have the APs to spare. You may also splash for defensive benefits, such as from Warpriest or Eldritch Knight.

    My advice would be to stick with pure pally, though that does require making some tough choices about what feats to take.
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    I really like the advice and information you've put here! I've been wanting to make a pure Bladeforged paladin, and I really like the idea of a S&B Bladeforged, but I'm run into a few snags. Bladeforged (warforged) have to spend a feat to use armor, so I'm having trouble with that part of the character sheet.

    I had considered taking two levels of fighter, since it also has the vanguard class, but I realised that they probably don't stack for the purposes of taking the Vanguard capstone, which is really nice to have. I'll make a toon on lamannia to see if it would work, but any suggestions on alterations or ideas for a bladeforged sacred defender would make my day.

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    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanaga132 View Post
    I had considered taking two levels of fighter, since it also has the vanguard class, but I realised that they probably don't stack for the purposes of taking the Vanguard capstone, which is really nice to have.
    You're right, they don't. If you spend pts in the pally Vanguard tree, it locks out the ftr one; and vice versa.

    So I've been debating what to do for a pure S&B BF Vanguard. One option focuses on DPS: Adm Body, THF x3, b.sword or d.axe, SM+ISM, IC:Slash, OC, Power Atk or Precision; that uses up all 10 feats (7 heroic + 3 epic). A ftr 2 or ftr 1 / wiz 1 splash would add two more feats; maybe Quicken and Stunning Blow? The other option is more tactics-oriented using Mornh: Adm Body, SM+ISM, IC:Blunt, OC, Power Atk or Precision, Stunning Blow, Quicken, with two epic feats left over to tweak things.
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    I have been playing with the vanguard tree.

    So my suggestions for you are:

    - Drop stunning blow: it is a trap, it will lock plenty of gear and your shield is an awesome stunning tool. You don't need stunning blow at all.

    - Drop quicken: with high concentration it is hard to interrupt your healing spells. And most of the times cocoon (which apparently you cannot interrupt) is more than enough to heal.

    - Go human: you get an extra feat and you aren't putting points into dwarf anyway. In addition you can get the +30% damage action boost and some healing amp for minimal investment.

    - Go khopesh: everything the hammer is, better. In addition, I have room for both khopesh and IC: blunt so I carry a khopesh and a warhammer for skellies.

    - Magical training: I build mostly for raids nowadays (quests have been completely dominated already). Magical training is awesome when a tough raid goes wrong and you refuse to use pots.

    That aside, personally, I invest everything into vanguard and sacred defender (+30% HPs, + 6 CON you don't need STR so much). Once you consider epics you have room for regular cleaves so there is little gain from going KOTC.


    PS - I have played two vanguards to cap, a BF and a human. BF survives better, but I dislike BF so... :P

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    Community Member Sehenry03's Avatar
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    Can someone explain to me how shield bashes work?

    I mean I understand actually attacking with your shield instead of your weapon...but during a normal attack sequence of just using your weapon will your shield get any attacks in automatically or do I HAVE to physically click my shield attack button?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sehenry03 View Post
    Can someone explain to me how shield bashes work?

    I mean I understand actually attacking with your shield instead of your weapon...but during a normal attack sequence of just using your weapon will your shield get any attacks in automatically or do I HAVE to physically click my shield attack button?
    I happens when you use the normal attack. For instance, holding down the attack button, you'll get an auto shield bash occasionally, frequency depending on what your bonuses are to % chance for shield bash. no need to do anything extra in particular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    You're right, they don't. If you spend pts in the pally Vanguard tree, it locks out the ftr one; and vice versa.

    So I've been debating what to do for a pure S&B BF Vanguard. One option focuses on DPS: Adm Body, THF x3, b.sword or d.axe, SM+ISM, IC:Slash, OC, Power Atk or Precision; that uses up all 10 feats (7 heroic + 3 epic). A ftr 2 or ftr 1 / wiz 1 splash would add two more feats; maybe Quicken and Stunning Blow? The other option is more tactics-oriented using Mornh: Adm Body, SM+ISM, IC:Blunt, OC, Power Atk or Precision, Stunning Blow, Quicken, with two epic feats left over to tweak things.
    Wow, that was a really quick reply! I'll go ahead and try both of those builds out on Lammania, since I'll be there eventually anyway to test out barbarians. Thanks for the advice, I'll be trying them out now. If I find out anything of note, I'll be back.

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    Ah, by the way, I had to tweak the vanguard enhancement set up you have on the second of the three builds listed. I took all the enhancements listed that below the ones that require 30 AP spent, but that only totalled up to 29 ap, and the remaining enhancements listed required 30ap and up. It's not a real problem, as one could just add a point or two more into vanguard according to one's preferences, but I figured I'd let you know.

    Edit: nevermind, found that removign the point spent to make it 30 ap to access Tier 5 enhancements could be removed after taking all the tier 5 and the 5th core enhancements. Wasn't aware that worked outside of Ron's old character planner, as I tried that on my fighter's trees and failed.
    Last edited by yanaga132; 11-29-2014 at 12:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yanaga132 View Post
    Ah, by the way, I had to tweak the vanguard enhancement set up you have on the second of the three builds listed. I took all the enhancements listed that below the ones that require 30 AP spent, but that only totalled up to 29 ap, and the remaining enhancements listed required 30ap and up. It's not a real problem, as one could just add a point or two more into vanguard according to one's preferences, but I figured I'd let you know.

    Edit: nevermind, found that removign the point spent to make it 30 ap to access Tier 5 enhancements could be removed after taking all the tier 5 and the 5th core enhancements. Wasn't aware that worked outside of Ron's old character planner, as I tried that on my fighter's trees and failed.

    Oops! That definitely shouldn't be happening, as when I do that, it oddly makes it so some of the points I've used are not spent. I'm going to have to submit a bug report or something, as even in lamannia, this shouldn't happen.

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    Community Member Sehenry03's Avatar
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    Do you miss using a tower shield? Not sure if its worth using a feat on.

    I am really leaning toward 18Pal/2Fighter just for a few bonus feats and free tower shield feat and haste boost.

    I just got my PDK to 28 and I am gonna run shroud a few times to get some shards of power to make a few GS weapons to use while I get 3 Pally lives.

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