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  1. #1

    Default The Zen Archer 1.0 (DDO version)

    EDITED 8/17/2015

    Here's my take on a "Zen Archer" using available DDO features. This is a sniper build, like the Deepwood Stalker.

    Unlike the SRD resources, the "zen" in this build comes from

    • Training all Monk levels for superior innate Dodge, spell resistance, saves, movement speed, and damage in Earth Stance
    • Training in Ninja Spy: Stealth/passive ki regeneration, Dodge bonus, Dodge cap bonus (to 30%) Shadow Veil (25% Incorporeality and silent Invisibility), Flash Bang (escapes), and Sneak Attack enhancement
    • Training Elven racial abilities for longbow proficiency, damage bonuses and DEX-to-Damage (bypassing the need for any Ranger levels for Bow Strength), Doubleshot and Dodge bonuses with longbows
    • Dragonmark of Shadow training adds in Displacement for 50% Concealment
    • Training the Deflect Arrows feat


    With Ninja Spy and Elf alone, there are 5 to 6 defensive layers based on miss-chance, feats, saves and Spell Resistance that allow this build to fire more continually than other archers and move less often (allowing Precise Shot/Archer's Focus bonuses to stay maximized). Ranged attacks of all kinds work far less effectively against the Zen Archer, and what enemies get to melee range will also have to defeat miss chances before they hit or are taken down.

    With anywhere from 20% Concealment (50% with Displacement active from dragonmark), 30% Dodge, 25% Incorporeality, and Deflect Arrows deflecting an attack that bypasses any miss-chances from any direction once per six seconds, the Zen Archer holds her ground. Spell Resistance on a Monk helps to ignore many attacks to go with Improved Evasion's benefits.

    As a Monk, the Zen Archer is a fast scout and can use Monk techniques to reach places other classes cannot. Faster Sneaking AP is helpful but optional and can be reallocated. Hide and Move Silently AP helps greatly to move past large mobs or tougher enemies if desired.

    Passive ki regeneration, needed since bows cannot generate ki on attack, comes from Ninja Spy (Stealthy, all ranks), Henshin Mystic (Contemplation, all ranks) and Greater/Ultimate Ocean Stance for a minimum +3 passive ki regeneration at level 12. Training "Way of the Tenacious Badger" increases weapon damage while at <50% HP but also gives an additional +1 passive ki regeneration. As with all Monks, Concentration skill is maximized.

    Using Henshin Mystic AP is optional throughout, and I recommend that you reset that tree once you reach Epic, pumping that AP into Ninja Spy's Sneak Attack or Harper Agent's Ranged Power or DEX benefits.

    DEX is be the primary stat to boost throughout the life for damage and to-hit. DEX also increases AC bonuses that, as a Monk, aren't restricted by Maximum Dexterity Bonus. DEX also helps Reflex saves. WIS is crucial for Ten Thousand Stars usage (1 minute cooldown and 30 second activity) which would be more convenient in general battle than the 2-minute cooldown, 20-second room clearing Manyshot (saved for crunch times and boss battles). WIS also aids Will saves and supports Monk abilities and the ki pool. This build is helped with tomes, of course, to DEX, WIS and CON.

    Some additional CON is needed for better Fortitude and HP, but often this build avoids the fray and damage that necessitates a big HP bar. INT is an drop stat but can be optionally boosted to 13 to add in Combat Expertise for AC boost, especially in Greater/Ultimate Earth Stance. But this feat slot would be best served in damage to the bow, thus Precision to bypass Fortification against normally critical-hit immune enemies is recommended. STR is also less important since any melee attacks gain DEX-to-Damage with Ninja Spy training.

    Harper Agent training boosts Ranged Power, Favored Enemy options, stat-boosts for hirelings if desired and adds, at Tier 5, in Improved Deception to swing enemies about, allowing Sneak Attack damage and slowing enemy advance. Optionally, taking the Harper Righteousness option makes bows Good-aligned.

    Heroic Feats: Dragonmark of Shadow, Deflect Arrows, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Improved Critical: Ranged, Ten Thousand Stars, Manyshot, Precision.

    Epic feats and Destinies: Combat Archery, Blinding Speed, Toughness and Doubleshot are the basics. Overwhelming Critical is an option as well. With additional Epic levels and ED training, Ranged Power increases damage. EDs such as Divine Crusader can boost Doubleshot and other damage. Shiradi Champion would be the dominant ED for ranged damage and Nerve Venom, with at least Primal Avatar training for the ever-popular Rejuvenation Cocoon as a Twisted ability. You can go anywhere with EDs that support Ranged damage and defense.

    Once you've unlocked all three Fate slots and have tier 2/slot 1 ready, the Zen Archer trains easily through EDs with only Pin (Shiradi), A Dance of Flowers (GMoF base weapon damage) and Rejuvenation Cocoon.

    The Zen Archer is designed not for maximum damage but sustained enemy damage without kiting or excessive healing. This build works best with an aggro-magnet in party for Sneak Attack damage and mob control, but also makes a great scout by picking off things from afar with near-impunity. The Zen Archer is a stealth sniper. If you are a faster player that wants to mow down things rapidly, this isn't your build.

    You can choose to add Improved Precise Shot if you like. My goal was not to make a room clearing build but to clear paths to my goals through power-hits with Pin, sniping and stealth. IPS may compromise the overall defenses of the build.

    Suggested Heroic gear:

    The Zen Archer needs Concealment. The Bracers of Wind from Cannith Challenges are a comparably affordable and easy-to-build option to add this on lower levels, or a Greater Nimble Trinket from Crystal Cove. The level 3 Bracers of Wind are also easy to build. Dodge gear will greatly improve defenses throughout. Deadly, Accuracy and Seeker gear are also beneficial. Best low-level bows include: Greatbow of the Scrag (blunted ammo, excellent skeleton killer if you have an Ruby of Ghostbane, superior overall damage), Thornlord (power hitter bow for general use), Tortured Livewood Bow (Troll slayer, Acid damage), Serpentbranch (two augment slots, Poison damage), any Bow of the Elements, and many others.

    Early on, robes and outfits with Flurry for Doubleshot bonuses are good. At level 14, the Black Dragonscale Robe adds in Armor-Piercing and Haste Guard. A White Dragonscale Robe is also a good defensive option.

    Keep a decent pair of handwraps and shortswords available; this is still a Ninja Spy that can use dark finishers at melee to paralyze, blind or mute enemies, not to mention taking down the occasional bow-immune door and root wall. Get House Deneith favor for better quivers and 75% returning ammo. Special quivers such as Quiver of Poison and Quivering Quiver are nice but not required.

    Gear that helps slow or stop enemies or give Sneak Attack bonuses such as the Ring of the Stalker and Frozen Tunic are also useful. A Ring of Shadows with Blurry also gives better Hide/Move Silently bonuses. I'm partial to the Nightforge Gorget for 100% Fortification with a Yellow augment slot perfect for a Deathblock gem.

    Suggested Epic gear:

    Treads of Falling Shadow, Bracers of Twisted Shade, and many more. Any gear should support miss-chances, Hide/Move Silently, saves, increasing fortification to 150% and beyond, and weapon damage.

    AP would be spent in the Elven tree first to build up ranged competencies and DEX-to-Damage, then Ninja Spy and Henshin Mystic training before Harper Agent gets the majority of AP. This build doesn't come fully into its own until level 12 but often has a breezy life once DEX to-damage is up.

    By Epic, with Shadowdancer's Grim Precision in a Twist, you can generate 60% fortification bypass with GMoF as active destiny with Piercing Clarity and Precision--more with a 5% ship buff and Armor-Piercing bonuses. The Zen Archer (with a Thunder-Forged bow) punches down planar gateways with these bonuses in about 30 seconds.

    Train as many EDs as you like to unlock slots. GMoF is the best balance of damage and defense, with Shiradi naturally giving best bow damage, with Shadowdancer not far behind. Other EDs aren't bad, especially the high-defense Unyielding Sentinel where you can keep kiting to a minimum.

    In Epic, I found the L23 Ring of Shadows (with a spell point augment) and the Seal of House Avithoul work excellently to give defenses and stacking Deception effects with Harper Enchantment of Deception to spin-bluff enemies.

    Discussions, corrections and thoughts welcome. Please do not go into any multiclassing options. If you know anything about me through my blog and Monk guide, my goal is to maximize the innate skills of the Monk class alone. For more on how this build is working out, see this post and this post.

    (Thanks to EllisDee for the excellent Character Builder Lite, used to compile this build.)

    UPDATES per discussion:
    • Harper tree did not show maxed Versatile Adept, now corrected.
    • Ninja Spy tree had too much SA and Faster Sneaking was removed for spare AP.
    • Magic of Patience too good to pass up to extend Displacement.
    • Skill points not fully allocated; added more to Spot.
    • Dragonmark feat and Elven training was missing, corrected. Dodge feat removed for Least Dragonmark.
    • Deleted Quick Draw from first post; not part of build, not applicable to ranged weapons.


    Code:
    Zen Archer
    Monk 20
    Lawful Good Elf
    
    
    Stats
    . . . . . . . .28pt. . .32pt . . Tome . . Level Up
    . . . . . . . .----. . .---- . . ---- . . --------
    Strength. . . . 12 . . . 12. . . . . . . . 4: DEX
    Dexterity . . . 16 . . . 18. . . .+3. . . .8: DEX
    Constitution. . 12 . . . 12. . . . . . . .12: DEX
    Intelligence. . 10 . . . 10. . . . . . . .16: DEX
    Wisdom. . . . . 16 . . . 16. . . .+2. . . 20: DEX
    Charisma. . . . .8 . . . .8. . . . . . . .24: DEX
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28: DEX
    
    Skills
    . . . . . 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    . . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
    Concent . 4. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
    Spot. . . 4. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
    Move Si . 2. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 21
    Hide. . . 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 20
    Jump. . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
    Tumble. . 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
    . . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
    . . . . .16. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4. 4
    
    
    Feats
    
    .1. . . . : Least Dragonmark: Shadow
    .1 Monk . : Deflect Arrows
    .2 Monk . : Zen Archery
    .3. . . . : Point Blank Shot
    .3 Monk . : Path of Inevitable Dominion
    .6. . . . : Rapid Shot
    .6 Monk . : Ten Thousand Stars
    .9. . . . : Precise Shot
    12. . . . : Improved Critical: Ranged
    15. . . . : Manyshot
    18. . . . : Precision
    21 Epic . : Combat Archery
    24 Epic . : Overwhelming Critical
    26 Destiny: Toughness
    27 Epic . : Blinding Speed
    28 Destiny: Doubleshot
    
    
    Enhancements (80 AP)
    
    Elf (19 AP)
    
    • Elven Accuracy, Elven Dexterity
      1. Phiarlan Dragonmark Focus II, Aerenal Weapon Training
      2. Lesser Dragonmark of Shadow, Aerenal Weapon Training
      3. Greater Dragonmark of Shadow, Aerenal Weapon Training
      4. Aerenal Grace, Aerenal Weapon Training, Skill
    Ninja Spy (16 AP)
    • Basic Ninja Training, Advanced Ninja Training, Shadow Veil
      1. Stealthy III, Sneak Attack Training, Acrobatic III
      2. Sneak Attack Training, Agility III
    Henshin Mystic (8 AP)
    • Riddle of Fire
      1. Mystic Training I, Way of the: Tenacious Badger
      2. Contemplation III
    Harper Agent (37 AP)
    • Agent of Good I, Dexterity, Agent of Good II, Dexterity
      1. Harper Enchantment, Traveler's Toughness III, Awareness I
      2. Versatile Adept III
      3. Highly Skilled III, Know Your Foe: Undead, Versatile Adept III, Dexterity
      4. Vigor of Life, Versatile Adept III
      5. Harper Enchantment: Deception, Versatile Adept III, Magic of Patience
    Destiny (24 AP) Shirardi Champion
    1. Stay Frosty II, Healing Spring III, Dexterity
    2. Prism, Pin II, Dexterity
    3. Rainbow
    4. Double Rainbow
    5. Stand and Deliver, Nerve Venom III
    6. Rain of Arrows
    Twists of Fate (1 fate points)
    1. Rejuvenation Cocoon (Tier 1 Primal)
    Last edited by TeacherSyn; 08-18-2015 at 07:35 AM. Reason: Updated with final Epic suggestions.
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  2. #2
    The Hatchery Enoach's Avatar
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    Interesting choices.

    I did notice the points spent in Jump, I've personally found that most times I exceed the 40 cap even when I spend 0 or 1 point in this skill. And since you mentioned wanting to maximize on Sneak-Attack damage just curious as to why investment is not made in a skill like bluff.

    Also, why using the Tier Five Harper Tree - Harper Enchantment of Deception when gear exists with Deception and Improved Deception.
    http://ddowiki.com/page/Category:Imp...eception_items

    Also might consider twistable stance like "Stay Frosty" (Tier 1) which has a chance to apply a slow effect.

    While most will look towards FoTW for burst damage, or SC for the nerve stuns and other archer tricks like pin and ottos. I've actually found I like LD with Master's Blitz (PRR version as I have the dodge shored up). MB is pretty easy to keep going especially with IPS and cycles with Manyshot/10K Stars. Now it does not add to the double shot like DC's ability but if you Manyshot/10K star while that ability is active you lose the doubleshot bonus thanks to the -100% Doubleshot chance cool down.

    I personally like Air Stance over Earth as it helps me keep enough Ki to keep Shadow fade going and not sacrifice 10K stars in doing so. but this is more my play style so it could work out different for others.

    I personally took a different approach, but it does look like you are having fun.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoach View Post
    Interesting choices.

    I did notice the points spent in Jump, I've personally found that most times I exceed the 40 cap even when I spend 0 or 1 point in this skill. And since you mentioned wanting to maximize on Sneak-Attack damage just curious as to why investment is not made in a skill like bluff.

    Also, why using the Tier Five Harper Tree - Harper Enchantment of Deception when gear exists with Deception and Improved Deception.
    http://ddowiki.com/page/Category:Imp...eception_items

    Also might consider twistable stance like "Stay Frosty" (Tier 1) which has a chance to apply a slow effect.

    While most will look towards FoTW for burst damage, or SC for the nerve stuns and other archer tricks like pin and ottos. I've actually found I like LD with Master's Blitz (PRR version as I have the dodge shored up). MB is pretty easy to keep going especially with IPS and cycles with Manyshot/10K Stars. Now it does not add to the double shot like DC's ability but if you Manyshot/10K star while that ability is active you lose the doubleshot bonus thanks to the -100% Doubleshot chance cool down.

    I personally like Air Stance over Earth as it helps me keep enough Ki to keep Shadow fade going and not sacrifice 10K stars in doing so. but this is more my play style so it could work out different for others.

    I personally took a different approach, but it does look like you are having fun.
    Good points. Jump points offset the -20 penalty while in Sneak. Allows the build to move anywhere and keep cover. But yeah, you can move around a few of those points with good gear including Insight bonuses from the Jidz-Tet'ka while in Wind Stance. I don't tend to place skill points in cross-class skills. I'd add more points to Spot if not Jump.

    Since this is a Ninja Spy, adding enough Bluff to work reliably isn't a real option. The advantage of using the Harper tree is having Improved Deception no matter the weapon wielded but also the Ranged Power damage and Sneak Attack that hits with that Bluffed effect. The Sneak Attack on Heroic is modest compared to even the simplest Rogue but can accumulate well with Deception or other effects that slow or stop.

    Any relevant ED that Monkchers enjoy could work with this build that boost general damage.

    Improved Precise Shot is off the table and here's why. This build works like the Deepwood Stalker in that you want to target and kill quickly one enemy at a time. IPS really generates the aggro since you're also hitting enemies between you and the target. Zen may not be able to keep up with that much without a lot of kiting, which also eliminates Archer's Focus bonuses and increases the risk for HP loss. Think Hawkeye from "Avengers." TTS cycles after 1 minute and lasts 30 seconds so I can keep that running far longer than the benefits of Manyshot, which is still good for emergency trash clearing. The farther the Zen Archer is away from any enemy, the deader it will be. It exploits the spell caster's limits, is effectively untargetable to enemy archers, and melee fighters will have to make a run for it and likely lose.

    Wind Stance is fine to boost DEX but I like Ocean Stance to keep passive ki recharges, Dodge bonuses and better WIS. Earth Stance can be used to help weapon critical modifier but leaves the Zen at their weaker states of balancing enemy damage to protections. Wind doesn't help with ki regeneration unless I'm missing something.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoach View Post
    Also, why using the Tier Five Harper Tree - Harper Enchantment of Deception when gear exists with Deception and Improved Deception.
    http://ddowiki.com/page/Category:Imp...eception_items

    Also might consider twistable stance like "Stay Frosty" (Tier 1) which has a chance to apply a slow effect.

    While most will look towards FoTW for burst damage, or SC for the nerve stuns and other archer tricks like pin and ottos. I've actually found I like LD with Master's Blitz (PRR version as I have the dodge shored up). MB is pretty easy to keep going especially with IPS and cycles with Manyshot/10K Stars. Now it does not add to the double shot like DC's ability but if you Manyshot/10K star while that ability is active you lose the doubleshot bonus thanks to the -100% Doubleshot chance cool down.

    I personally like Air Stance over Earth as it helps me keep enough Ki to keep Shadow fade going and not sacrifice 10K stars in doing so. but this is more my play style so it could work out different for others.
    hi Enoach, am thinking through my own thoughts on this but thought I would chime in on your observations:
    Improved deception is not available on any bows--just named melee weapons. This is one of the nice things about tier 5 Harper.

    I think you meant Water stance, not Air, for the passive Ki regen?

    edit: Spence posted while I did; ninja'd.
    Last edited by Saekee; 05-14-2015 at 11:02 AM. Reason: ninja'd
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  5. #5
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    A few questions / suggestions:
    • A monkcher without any AA enhs is...odd. Even if you want T5 Harper instead of Slaying Arrow, it still seems like you ought to invest in some imbues.
    • Is there any particular reason for going pure monk? If it's just a flavor / thematic choice, that's fine; but you don't take any monk capstones and the higher-lvl stances are chooseable for regular feats, so it's a suboptimal balance choice. The classic monk 12 / rgr 6 / <splash> 2 builds remain popular for good reason; for one thing, the free rgr feats would let you take, say, Mobility + Spring Atk for more Dodge if you really want to max out that aspect of this build.
    • If you're going the DEX-to-dmg route, why not dump STR for more DEX/WIS/CON? And if you have Harper, consider the INT-to-dmg route instead, particularly on a TR build with tomes.
    • Due to the Doubleshot penalties from Manyshot and 10K Stars, I don't consider the Doubleshot ED feat worthwhile on a monkcher.
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  6. #6

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    hi spencerian, interesting approach! I like the use of pure monk for the various bonuses it offers. Here are some questions:

    1. I wonder what your achievable dodge will be. I figure you will be in Water stance for easier kiting, improving WIS and hence 10K, and adding dodge and saves. Earth costs a couple points of DEX which means a small loss of damage (not a big deal) but also a loss of movement speed. Given the DPS of 10K, I think water stance is hands-down the way to go. It also affects only STR negatively which is pretty much a dump stat. If your dodge ends up getting very high, you can then swap out the dodge feat. Between water stance (4), Ninja acrobatic (3), upper elf enhancement skill (3), monk (6), combat archery (2) you are already at 18. Gear etc would pump this up easily to 26 if not 28.
    2. Tier 5 Harper also includes a very cheap (3AP) boost to ranged power (another 6!) and 2AP for free extend spell feat. That would extend the displacements to a very good duration (this is my approach for the Twilight builds as you know). Hence you would need 37 AP there. However, I am not sure it is worth it compared to the benefits of Elven AA and its Tier 5 in epics, since you get arrow imbues, slayer arrows, Moonbow etc. That seems too good to pass up. You can then spend enough to get the capstone there for another 20% doubleshot. Moonbow can also power KtA if you take that in the Harper Tree although AP is very tight.
    3. I would really recommend IPS. Swap dodge and precision, and take IPS. Even if you only use it situationaly, it is the principle CC of ranged combat. According to my rough estimates, you will not need the dodge feat.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    A few questions / suggestions:
    • A monkcher without any AA enhs is...odd. Even if you want T5 Harper instead of Slaying Arrow, it still seems like you ought to invest in some imbues.
    • Is there any particular reason for going pure monk? If it's just a flavor / thematic choice, that's fine; but you don't take any monk capstones and the higher-lvl stances are chooseable for regular feats, so it's a suboptimal balance choice. The classic monk 12 / rgr 6 / <splash> 2 builds remain popular for good reason; for one thing, the free rgr feats would let you take, say, Mobility + Spring Atk for more Dodge if you really want to max out that aspect of this build.
    • If you're going the DEX-to-dmg route, why not dump STR for more DEX/WIS/CON? And if you have Harper, consider the INT-to-dmg route instead, particularly on a TR build with tomes.
    • Due to the Doubleshot penalties from Manyshot and 10K Stars, I don't consider the Doubleshot ED feat worthwhile on a monkcher.
    I agree--think another option instead of pure monk would be to do my Twilight Bow (13 rogue/6 monk/1 fighter) in which case the synergies with Tier 5 harper would be stronger--more sneak attack damage and INT being a useful stat for roguery. And then you will wonder why not do 18 rogue...But one of the advantages of being a pure monk is Epic reincarnation options--you can reincarnate into a pure drow poisoner, a shuricannon, or this Zen archer.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    A few questions / suggestions:
    • A monkcher without any AA enhs is...odd. Even if you want T5 Harper instead of Slaying Arrow, it still seems like you ought to invest in some imbues.
    • Is there any particular reason for going pure monk? If it's just a flavor / thematic choice, that's fine; but you don't take any monk capstones and the higher-lvl stances are chooseable for regular feats, so it's a suboptimal balance choice. The classic monk 12 / rgr 6 / <splash> 2 builds remain popular for good reason; for one thing, the free rgr feats would let you take, say, Mobility + Spring Atk for more Dodge if you really want to max out that aspect of this build.
    • If you're going the DEX-to-dmg route, why not dump STR for more DEX/WIS/CON? And if you have Harper, consider the INT-to-dmg route instead, particularly on a TR build with tomes.
    • Due to the Doubleshot penalties from Manyshot and 10K Stars, I don't consider the Doubleshot ED feat worthwhile on a monkcher.
    An Elven AA Monk is next on my list. The Doubleshot and imbued damage would be insane on it but as an Elven AA it will level its final cores very slowly, into L25.

    The Zen Archer is dependent on the many, many bows and arrows that defeat DR or add damage. It's less of a DPS than a single-target DPS that's very hard to kill. I'm not usually for ignoring any benefits of a capped core of a tree, but for a Monk, all of these are melee or shuriken-based. The Harper actually benefits things more. Keeping to full Monk levels benefit more. The Zen Archer is a Monk with a bow.

    Dodge comes pretty naturally for a Monk and builds up well in gear, too. It's getting the Dodge cap higher for any class outside of Rogues that helps, and Ninja Spy's Agility helps get it to 30% with a ship buff of 2% (a minor error I didn't note above).

    I could dump a little STR but this doesn't help the build when they find those silly bash-required doors and root walls, and certainly the hellish Ray of Enfeeblement (Irestone Inlet is a PITA). Items can help here but its never a good idea to not have an old-school melee option since, unarmed, STR still determines unarmed damage, even on a ninja.

    INT to Damage doesn't work. The Monk benefits more from DEX not only with to-hit and Damage but because of AC bonuses and Reflex. Great for Rogues, not for Monks. It also just spends more points and defeats the reason to go Elf, which also adds longbow proficiency that I'd have to send a feat slot to get. Zen Archery only makes a bow centered, but doesn't give proficiency.

    A Zen Archer thrives on Doubleshot. Going Elf gives me 5% in Heroic at minimum. Sustained fire increases the likelihood of more hits per attack. Ki is more for defenses through Shadow Veil but is on-hand for TTS, which I cycle every 30 seconds and is really more reliable than Doubleshot, especially with more WIS (42 or so, if the forum thread on this is still valid).

    And now that specialty arrows like Slaying arrows drop in packs of 100 in loot chests with U25, I have emergency options far more often from arrows alone. Saves more AP.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    I agree--think another option instead of pure monk would be to do my Twilight Bow (13 rogue/6 monk/1 fighter) in which case the synergies with Tier 5 harper would be stronger--more sneak attack damage and INT being a useful stat for roguery. And then you will wonder why not do 18 rogue...But one of the advantages of being a pure monk is Epic reincarnation options--you can reincarnate into a pure drow poisoner, a shuricannon, or this Zen archer.
    Multiclassing may always bring more damage, but that's not the point of the build. It's to leverage Monk levels, trees, Elven skill and Harper training to keep shooting when all others have to move.

    You can go Halfling for more SA from the racial tree alone and use INT-to-Damage from Harper. But this compromises the benefits that a Monk brings for miss-chance. Short of a Pale Master, no other class has stronger and sustainable 25% Incorporeality than a ninja. You're also slower, have a DEX bonus cap unless you're a really gutsy unarmored Rogue. You might do more damage, but you'll also sustain more damage.

    The benefits of reincarnation are right on the money.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    hi spencerian, interesting approach! I like the use of pure monk for the various bonuses it offers. Here are some questions:

    1. I wonder what your achievable dodge will be. I figure you will be in Water stance for easier kiting, improving WIS and hence 10K, and adding dodge and saves. Earth costs a couple points of DEX which means a small loss of damage (not a big deal) but also a loss of movement speed. Given the DPS of 10K, I think water stance is hands-down the way to go. It also affects only STR negatively which is pretty much a dump stat. If your dodge ends up getting very high, you can then swap out the dodge feat. Between water stance (4), Ninja acrobatic (3), upper elf enhancement skill (3), monk (6), combat archery (2) you are already at 18. Gear etc would pump this up easily to 26 if not 28.
    2. Tier 5 Harper also includes a very cheap (3AP) boost to ranged power (another 6!) and 2AP for free extend spell feat. That would extend the displacements to a very good duration (this is my approach for the Twilight builds as you know). Hence you would need 37 AP there. However, I am not sure it is worth it compared to the benefits of Elven AA and its Tier 5 in epics, since you get arrow imbues, slayer arrows, Moonbow etc. That seems too good to pass up. You can then spend enough to get the capstone there for another 20% doubleshot. Moonbow can also power KtA if you take that in the Harper Tree although AP is very tight.
    3. I would really recommend IPS. Swap dodge and precision, and take IPS. Even if you only use it situationaly, it is the principle CC of ranged combat. According to my rough estimates, you will not need the dodge feat.
    As for achievable Dodge, see my blog post on this.

    The point of the build is to have such strong saves, passive defenses and miss-chances as to not to kite. If I must move, I move faster than any Rogue or Ranger--and still keep my general defenses.

    I get, I think, 18 Ranged Power with all of this in Heroic, more as she goes Epic, so your calc matches my own. I didn't consider that the Dragonmark Displacement would be affected by the Extend Spell effect, so tell me how long it can boost that duration--that's a nice trick!

    Harper also gives enhancement boost to weapons. Not as much as AA, but again, sustained attack that doesn't have to move seems to offset higher damage per shot before others have to move. The Zen's defenses are strong enough to stare an ogre in the face as it swings and swings and misses while staying true to any other target.

    IPS is a bad idea, as noted above. Add too much aggro to zen balance and it will defeat its prime balance of damage and protection by drawing too much attention. One or two things swinging at her is OK, but ten or more enemies makes a mathematical certainty of pain to the Zen Archer, even if her miss-chances could be doubled.

    Perhaps Dodge feat could be removed later as more natural Dodge is found and items are added. But I find it helps a LOT early on. If so, I'd love Shot on the Run for +3 Ranged Power.

    The Elven AA capstone forces you to save 2 AP for level 22 and 25 to add those last two cores. I do want to make a build like this as a Doubleshot Demon.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeacherSyn View Post
    As for achievable Dodge, see my blog post on this.

    The point of the build is to have such strong saves, passive defenses and miss-chances as to not to kite. If I must move, I move faster than any Rogue or Ranger--and still keep my general defenses.

    I get, I think, 18 Ranged Power with all of this in Heroic, more as she goes Epic, so your calc matches my own. I didn't consider that the Dragonmark Displacement would be affected by the Extend Spell effect, so tell me how long it can boost that duration--that's a nice trick!

    Harper also gives enhancement boost to weapons. Not as much as AA, but again, sustained attack that doesn't have to move seems to offset higher damage per shot before others have to move. The Zen's defenses are strong enough to stare an ogre in the face as it swings and swings and misses while staying true to any other target.

    IPS is a bad idea, as noted above. Add too much aggro to zen balance and it will defeat its prime balance of damage and protection by drawing too much attention. One or two things swinging at her is OK, but ten or more enemies makes a mathematical certainty of pain to the Zen Archer, even if her miss-chances could be doubled.

    Perhaps Dodge feat could be removed later as more natural Dodge is found and items are added. But I find it helps a LOT early on. If so, I'd love Shot on the Run for +3 Ranged Power.

    The Elven AA capstone forces you to save 2 AP for level 22 and 25 to add those last two cores. I do want to make a build like this as a Doubleshot Demon.
    This Tier 5: Magic of Patience: Your spells benefit from the Extend Spell metamagic feat. This does not increase their Spell Point cost. (This does not stack with the actual Extend metamagic feat.)
    This will double the duration of the displacement SLA! 6 sec per caster level duration, 2x with extension means this will last 4 minutes when the level cap is 30. With the extra dragonmark uses, you get 4 clickies. I use this on my Twilight builds. It is awesome. Add to this the eChimera crown for an extra use, which you equip only after shrining (shrine, hit displacement, then put on your usual headgear. Or keep it on for stacking HP, a couple of slots, more dragonmark uses across the board). As luck would have it, I was able to make one due to the long farm for an EMG. 5 uses for 4 minutes means you get 20 minutes of displacement per quest between shrines at the presumed cap of level 30.

    I would really encourage this also: Versatile Adept IV: [+2/+4/+6] Melee Power, Ranged Power, and Universal Spell Power. For 3 AP you get 6 ranged power (and 6 melee and spell power). It is too good to pass up!
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    This Tier 5: Magic of Patience: Your spells benefit from the Extend Spell metamagic feat. This does not increase their Spell Point cost. (This does not stack with the actual Extend metamagic feat.)
    This will double the duration of the displacement SLA! 6 sec per caster level duration, 2x with extension means this will last 4 minutes when the level cap is 30. With the extra dragonmark uses, you get 4 clickies. I use this on my Twilight builds. It is awesome. Add to this the eChimera crown for an extra use, which you equip only after shrining (shrine, hit displacement, then put on your usual headgear. Or keep it on for stacking HP, a couple of slots, more dragonmark uses across the board). As luck would have it, I was able to make one due to the long farm for an EMG. 5 uses for 4 minutes means you get 20 minutes of displacement per quest between shrines at the presumed cap of level 30.

    I would really encourage this also: Versatile Adept IV: [+2/+4/+6] Melee Power, Ranged Power, and Universal Spell Power. For 3 AP you get 6 ranged power (and 6 melee and spell power). It is too good to pass up!
    Thanks! I just read through your Twilight build on extending Displacement.

    The Zen Archer maxes all the Versatile Adept enhancements. I may move one more point from somewhere to get more Displacements, but often, rests aren't a problem since I regenerate ki so fast. I may like moving a Harper point to make Displacement last longer. It's the Zen's emergency stand-your-ground mode. Great find.

    EDIT: I'm noticing that Adept IV is missing. I'll update the code of the initial.
    Last edited by TeacherSyn; 05-14-2015 at 12:12 PM.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeacherSyn View Post
    Thanks! I just read through your Twilight build on extending Displacement.

    The Zen Archer maxes all the Versatile Adept enhancements. I may move one more point from somewhere to get more Displacements, but often, rests aren't a problem since I regenerate ki so fast. I may like moving a Harper point to make Displacement last longer. It's the Zen's emergency stand-your-ground mode. Great find.

    EDIT: I'm noticing that Adept IV is missing. I'll update the code of the initial.
    actually my math was wrong--at level 19 I am getting 3:48--at level 30 that would be 6 minutes
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    hi Enoach, am thinking through my own thoughts on this but thought I would chime in on your observations:
    Improved deception is not available on any bows--just named melee weapons. This is one of the nice things about tier 5 Harper.

    I think you meant Water stance, not Air, for the passive Ki regen?

    edit: Spence posted while I did; ninja'd.
    Thank you, I did mean Water stance.

    I use the Golden Guile myself so I don't have to concern myself with what weapon I use. That's why I posted the link to other Improved Deception Items. Now I admit I'm fortunate to have been lucky enough to get the shard/seal/scroll to also have an epic version so it is a nice item at epic levels and since they drop so frequently I have heroic as well.

    But the OP did answer some of my questions about the build. I now understand why IPS is not in the build and that they are going towards a single target attack style.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    actually my math was wrong--at level 19 I am getting 3:48--at level 30 that would be 6 minutes
    Holy---! With 4 Displacements, that could be sufficient for raid-level protection at the least.

    I'll need to find a point to add back to the Elf tree as I'm sure I didn't max out the number of Dragonmarks. But if the duration is that long, I might not need to go there.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoach View Post
    Thank you, I did mean Water stance.

    I use the Golden Guile myself so I don't have to concern myself with what weapon I use. That's why I posted the link to other Improved Deception Items. Now I admit I'm fortunate to have been lucky enough to get the shard/seal/scroll to also have an epic version so it is a nice item at epic levels and since they drop so frequently I have heroic as well.

    But the OP did answer some of my questions about the build. I now understand why IPS is not in the build and that they are going towards a single target attack style.
    The wiki's page on Deception notes that effects from items may stack with effects with weapons to increase the chance of the effect. So a Golden Guile isn't out of the equation.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeacherSyn View Post
    The wiki's page on Deception notes that effects from items may stack with effects with weapons to increase the chance of the effect. So a Golden Guile isn't out of the equation.
    nokowi posted a vid based on testing--basically, you want both one weapon and one piece of gear with improved deception.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    nokowi posted a vid based on testing--basically, you want both one weapon and one piece of gear with improved deception.
    Hopefully then the Harper enhancement is treated as a weapon enhancement in combination with the Golden Guile. I know I have one handy on my G-land character, so I'll test that when I'm closer to level and got everything trained up.
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  19. #19
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    I am not seeing any skill points allocated to spot. Without spot, any ranged build inevitably fights in close quarters against stealthed mobs or has to wildly shoot should you know the quest well and where the mob is. Either of these two circumstances does hinder the concept of your build I think.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfhild View Post
    I am not seeing any skill points allocated to spot. Without spot, any ranged build inevitably fights in close quarters against stealthed mobs or has to wildly shoot should you know the quest well and where the mob is. Either of these two circumstances does hinder the concept of your build I think.
    That's true. The build's rather flexible and I didn't religiously declare the need to have any tomes. Since Monks get few skill points, Concentration is the only strict requirement and, depending on play style, you can add more or less Hide/Move Silently (although stealth as a ninja is a really good idea at times, especially while using Sneak to boost your ki regeneration between fights).

    But we all know that Spots a good idea. I'd recommend using the free 1,750 Favor for a +2 INT tome to add some more skill points. You can swap out points from Jump as well. My actual build does have at least 10 Spot, and being an Elf gives you some natural bonuses, and you should wear Spot gear. The Mummified Bat is a good and easy one to farm from Sorrowdusk. Like any other archer, the more Spot, the better.

    EDIT: I'm still learning the builder. Didn't allocate all available skill points, so Spot has a lot more love.
    Last edited by TeacherSyn; 05-14-2015 at 05:35 PM.
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