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Thread: Axes Axes Axes

  1. #1
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    Default Axes Axes Axes

    Looking at a Fighter life with Great Axe, Dwarven War Axe and shield and Throwing Axes. Any ideas on this build would be appreciated.

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    How interchangeable do they need to be? There's a lot of mutual exclusivity between the best of each setup.

    Throwing axes get +2 crit range, +1 crit multiplier with 3 Bard (swashbuckling Competence bonus). I don't want to say that's the only way to do it, but there's going to be a substantial difference in their dps unless you get that crit range from elsewhere. Greataxes and Dwarven Axes would be fine with Kensai, though the latter would benefit from a bit of Vanguard. All three benefit from Stalwart Defender.

    Off the top of my head, you'd need 15 feats you'd need for all three setups. Fighters get up to 11, so that's at least 14 fighter levels
    - THFx3, PA/Cleave/GC, SMx2, Imp. Shield Bash, IC:Slashing
    - IC:Thrown, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, IPS, Quick Draw

    This feat setup requires 17 Str, 19 Dex. With so many Axes it'd be a shame not to use TYWA, which means Dwarf, which means a lot of Con-stacking; alternatively, pick up Brutal Throw and forgo Dwarf entirely.

    With 14 fighter levels and a variety of gear types, I'd say go straight Kensai, for which Axe Focus affects all three of your weapons. You'll have 4 feats to spare, which IMO would be the Heavy Armor line, since you have multiple possible weapon foci.

    Roughly 41 Kensei, at least 11 Dwarf (if you've got racials, that's icing on the gravy), 14-23 Stalwart Defender (+6 Con; 20% HP optional), leaving 13-24 for various other things, which could include Vanguard if you want some stuns and bashing. Stats are going to be fairly reliant on tomes, thanks to IPS, but regardless you'll have a bunch of health and PRR.

    If you need a level-by-level breakdown, just reply =)

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    Dwarf or Human is good to me 32 point build. I like Dwarf better with axes no past lives yet though 1 Human though.
    Edit: I didnt do a racial reincarnation so i would have start a different character if i want to go with Dwarf i guess. Human will work though.

    I completely forgot about Improved Precise Shot and 19 dexterity prereq. 2WF maybe better (thinking)?
    Like the cleaves a lot with great axe though. Could go with Dwarven war axe and shield feats too.
    I would need a lot of Vanguard to make Stunning Shield effective?

    Im ok with a Bard splash some movement speed would be nice too
    Last edited by Coffey; 07-21-2018 at 06:44 PM.

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    TWF will be slightly easier than IPS with Throwing Axes, but I'm pretty sure you can't take both THF and TWF feats. I know that was the case with SWF and TWF, which people got around by taking SWF, then taking Ranger levels.

    Honestly, you'd be just fine switching between a greataxe and an axe-and-board. You need a lot of Vanguard cores to make its dps effective, but presumably you'd THF most of the time and switch to axe-and-board for situations requiring tankiness? Stunning shield, unlike the combat style attack speed and shield bash chance, doesn't increase at all with Vanguard level, and is really easy to keep useful through heroic levels.

    Bard isn't going to jive especially well with a greataxe and an axe-and-board, as most of its damage comes from Swashbuckler. If you're not going pure or mostly-pure bard for the Warchanter cc, you're probably not going to benefit from it much if you don't want to adhere to Swashbuckler gear requirements. I only really mentioned it because of throwing axes, but if you're willing to forgo those, I'd still consider a pure or mostly-pure fighter. The extra feats can go towards tactics, which shoot your vanguard dc's into the stratosphere (based on my n of 1 during my fighter life a couple of years ago).

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    I misunderstood you about Bard. I like pure character class better anyways. Ranged doesnt have to be the greatest ever just an effective fun option when i need it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Discpsycho View Post
    TWF will be slightly easier than IPS with Throwing Axes, but I'm pretty sure you can't take both THF and TWF feats. I know that was the case with SWF and TWF, which people got around by taking SWF, then taking Ranger levels.
    Using Ranger levels a clever way around that haha! i was referring to just 2WF and Throwing Axes as an alternative (Only thinking about the possibility).

    Quote Originally Posted by Discpsycho View Post
    Honestly, you'd be just fine switching between a greataxe and an axe-and-board. You need a lot of Vanguard cores to make its dps effective, but presumably you'd THF most of the time and switch to axe-and-board for situations requiring tankiness?
    Yes, definitely for some options to tank and higher damage as well as Ranged.

    I want to get the Feats right because i can only change one for free with Fred if i make a mistake.

    Do these Feat choices look correct? To get the damage to Throwing Weapons in Kensai do i need to add Weapon Focus Throwing and Improved Focus Weapon Throwing?
    I know i will have to add Weapon Focus Slashing, Improved Weapon Focus Slashing for Great Axe and Dwarven Axe to get further up the Kensai tree. Do the Throwing Axes get added damage
    from any of the increases of say Dwarf or Vanguard trees?

    Ranged Throwing Axes: (Feats 8) Point Blank Shot, Brutal Throw, Quick Draw, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Weapon Focus Throwing, Greater Weapon Focus Throwing, Precision (Hopefully).
    Melee: (Feats 11) Power Attack (Prerequisite for Cleaves), Cleave, Great Cleave, 2HF(x3), Shield Mastery(x2), Improved Shield Bash. Weapon Focus Slashing, Improved Weapon Focus Slashing.

    So it doesnt leave a lot of room for anything else the way it is. Would like to have Heavy Armor feats at least 3/4 anyways.

    Edit: Alternatively this is not as good and no 2HF no cleaves:
    Melee: (7 Feats) Exotic Khopesh or Dwarven Axe, Precision, Shield Mastery(x2), Improved Shield Bash, Weapon Focus Slashing, Improved Weapon Focus Slashing.
    Last edited by Coffey; 07-22-2018 at 02:29 AM.

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    Community Member Vish's Avatar
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    Has anyone seen a monk fighter using axes?
    Vishantii (the bird man)
    Kil (heroic and epic completionist)

    Sarlona, Heart of Wisdom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffey View Post
    Looking at a Fighter life with Great Axe, Dwarven War Axe and shield and Throwing Axes. Any ideas on this build would be appreciated.
    Haven't played my Kensei fighter that uses great axes in months, so out of the loop on that for a little while longer. As far as Dwarven axes, I use CC until 12, switch to GS Lit II than at 14 I use Sever until 20. Use Min II for DR breaking purposes. Shield I use CC until 20 and ML 2 Ooze Guard shield all the way to 30 when fighting oozes and rust monsters. I have the ML 6 Dwarven Thrower, but ranged is more perched mobs I need to kill and just use whatever I come across.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vish View Post
    Has anyone seen a monk fighter using axes?
    I dont have the monk yet and am only trying out throwing weapons to pick off pests really. It doesnt have to be the best just effective and im not looking to do Reaper 10. Just a quick turn around at 20. I will leave extreme content to the pros

    Quote Originally Posted by Qhualor View Post
    As far as Dwarven axes, I use CC until 12, switch to GS Lit II than at 14 I use Sever until 20. Use Min II for DR breaking purposes. Shield I use CC until 20 and ML 2 Ooze Guard shield all the way to 30 when fighting oozes and rust monsters. I have the ML 6 Dwarven Thrower, but ranged is more perched mobs I need to kill and just use whatever I come across.
    I hope the stunning shield is effective looking forward to that. Not sure what Great Sword Lit II is. Sever sounds effective though

    I dont know what ML 6 is but ranged option is nice and hopefully fun.

    Really just trying to make all the Feats fit which is kind of a funny thing for a Fighter haha.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffey View Post
    I hope the stunning shield is effective looking forward to that. Not sure what Great Sword Lit II is. Sever sounds effective though

    I dont know what ML 6 is but ranged option is nice and hopefully fun.

    Really just trying to make all the Feats fit which is kind of a funny thing for a Fighter haha.
    What's this? A greenie?

    Stunning Shield is very effective as long as you invest in the DC - Difficulty Class. My Cannith crafted shield has Combat Mastery to help boost it. He also invests in the enhancements in the tree, takes the fighter feats and has fighter past lives that also help boost it.

    GS is Green steel. By running heroic Shroud and collecting ingredients and shards you can upgrade your blank weapon. To get a blank weapon you have to run all the Vale quests and get the Shavarath stones and ingredients. There are crafting sites that can show you how to do it and how to make green steel. Hard these days to get a group or find a group running Shroud. As a good replacement and easier to acquire, the Mountains Fist works quite well and you can get the ML 12, 13 and 14 ones based on normal, hard and elite difficulties.

    ML is minimum level. It's the level of the item you can start using it. The ML 6 Dwarven Thrower I have means I can start using it at minimum level 6.

    Fighter is the easiest to fit feats because they get so many. It sounds complicated for what you are trying to accomplish with 3 differen5 play styles rolled into 1. Sounds like a job for Unbungwah.
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    Yea im a noob what can i say. Sooo much to learn all the lingo and such haha!

    Im actually having fun with figuring out the build im not stressin or anything.

    Maybe my memory is not so good but when I played D&D back in the early 80s and i dont recall Green Steel
    I dont care for crafting but i guess i have to eventually. I dont care for long leveling either seems to be the way of things.

    I have read of people staying at level 30 for years maybe thats the way for me!

    Edit: And as far as i can see i will have give give up some defensive feats for this build. With 1 Heavy Armor feat will give me 12 PRR MRR
    2 will give me 21 PRR MRR not too shabby.
    Last edited by Coffey; 07-22-2018 at 04:11 PM.

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    Not sure what you're looking for here. You specifically want a build that is intended to use all three?

    Assuming you are talking about a pure fighter, generally speaking you will be better off with falchions, scimitars (or khopeshes depending on your priorities), and throwing daggers. Those weapons will benefit more from the fighter bonuses to critical profile and not require spending a feat and/or AP on the exotic weapon mastery enhancement.

    As far as an actual build goes, just take THF and TWF feats and quickdraw and you've covered all the bases for using each weapon type. Don't spend more feats on ranged than just quickdraw though, it's not worth it currently. If you want to be a more effective melee/ranged hybrid, perhaps a 6 ranger splash or just all in on ranger is a better class for you. I think that currently you really sacrifice quite a lot if you try to build for above average ability in both melee and range on fighter (and ranger, honestly) but if it's preferable to you, just go for manyshot.
    Last edited by the_one_dwarfforged; 07-25-2018 at 10:28 PM.
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    Thanks for stopping to take a look

    I was seeing if i could build a multiweapon Fighter with axes 2HF and SB as well as Throwing axes.
    Multishot doesnt work for Throwing but you are right Ranger has almost everything there in the 5-6 levels.
    I wanted to make a pure Fighter with 3 Axes because it was part of the challenge to me.

    Was fun looking at the build and getting some ideas here in the forums because i know there are a lot players
    that wonder about different builds but are to shy to ask for help or just use someone elses ideas w/o being part of the
    process because they dont want to be made to feel foolish.

    Im shelfing for the time being thanks for the help!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffey View Post
    I was seeing if i could build a multiweapon Fighter with axes 2HF and SB as well as Throwing axes.
    Can it be done? Of course! Is it a good idea? Oh hell no. Let's get to it.

    So the first obvious issue: if you really want to make a throwing axe build, your best option is Swashbuckler for the sweet crit bonuses; secondary bonuses include extra Doubleshot, Resonant Arms (sonic dmg on crits), and possibly the tier-5 abilities (Exploit Weakness etc.). You could also combine it with SWF+handaxes to go S&B. Also Swashbuckler is a pretty front-loaded class, making it easy to combine with other classes like rogue, ranger, or fighter for added DPS.

    But Swashbuckler clearly isn't intended for 2H weapon builds. If greataxes are going to be your primary weapon, pure fighter makes more sense; particularly if you want the option of switching to dwarven axe+shield. The downside is Kensei isn't as good for thrown weapons as Swashbuckler; but honestly how often do you really expect to use throwing axes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    So the first obvious issue: if you really want to make a throwing axe build, your best option is Swashbuckler for the sweet crit bonuses; secondary bonuses include extra Doubleshot, Resonant Arms (sonic dmg on crits), and possibly the tier-5 abilities (Exploit Weakness etc.). You could also combine it with SWF+handaxes to go S&B. Also Swashbuckler is a pretty front-loaded class, making it easy to combine with other classes like rogue, ranger, or fighter for added DPS.

    But Swashbuckler clearly isn't intended for 2H weapon builds. If greataxes are going to be your primary weapon, pure fighter makes more sense; particularly if you want the option of switching to dwarven axe+shield. The downside is Kensei isn't as good for thrown weapons as Swashbuckler; but honestly how often do you really expect to use throwing axes?
    Well then hmmm where to start. Overall it was for fun with the axe theme. Im not stuck on that and will gladly look at other options.
    The throwing axes were and idea for killing hard to reach ranged enemies and to combat boredom while leveling.

    I like the fact that Bard is such a great early splash and i see now after your clear explanation how powerful it is in comparison to pure fighter.
    I havent looked at Bard much because im not a fan of single target DPS much i like to spread the love around.
    Feat starved is a definite understatement here omg. Nothing for melee class feats even.

    First some questions:
    If i combine swash buckler with vanguard and go with SWF and Shield Mastery will i have stunning shield or shield charge?
    What would be the mechanics of this combination be for att speed and would it process secondary shield bash?
    Does dwarven waraxe still process 20% grazing hits plus magical weapon effects w/o THF line?
    Are cleaves worthwhile?
    Is there enough feats available to have throwing weapons too?

    Edit: i see now that swashbuckler has options for ranged or melee but not both.
    Last edited by Coffey; 07-26-2018 at 06:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffey View Post
    If i combine swash buckler with vanguard and go with SWF and Shield Mastery will i have stunning shield or shield charge?
    What would be the mechanics of this combination be for att speed and would it process secondary shield bash?
    All Vanguard abilities work with Swashbuckling; however the attack speed bonuses from SWF and VG cores don't stack.
    Does dwarven waraxe still process 20% grazing hits plus magical weapon effects w/o THF line?
    Are cleaves worthwhile?
    Yes and yes.
    Is there enough feats available to have throwing weapons too?
    Edit: i see now that swashbuckler has options for ranged or melee but not both.
    Most Swashbuckler abilities apply to both melee and thrown weapons; but a few are melee-only (e.g., Low Blow, Different Tack), one is thrown-only (Wind at my Back), and some of them you have to choose the melee or ranged version of an ability (e.g., Coup de Grace).

    Anyway, let's go back to your original idea of pure fighter to see what can be done and why it's a bad idea.
    Code:
    Kundarak Axemeister
    Fighter 20
    True Neutral Dwarf
    
    
    
    
    Stats
                   32pt     34pt     36pt     Tome     Level Up
                   ----     ----     ----     ----     --------
    Strength        18       18       18                4: STR
    Dexterity       16       16       16       +5       8: STR
    Constitution    16       17       18               12: STR
    Intelligence     8        8        8               16: STR
    Wisdom           8        8        8               20: STR
    Charisma         6        6        6               24: STR
                                                       28: STR
    
    
    Feats
    
    
     1        : Power Attack
     1 Fighter: Cleave
     2 Fighter: Weapon Focus: Slashing
     3        : Quick Draw
     4 Fighter: Great Cleave
     6        : Point Blank Shot
     6 Fighter: Weapon Specialization: Slashing
     8 Fighter: Improved Critical: Slashing
     9        : Rapid Shot OR Improved Critical: Thrown
    10 Fighter: Greater Weapon Focus: Slashing
    12        : Improved Precise Shot
    12 Fighter: Precise Shot
    14 Fighter: Two Handed Fighting
    15        : Stunning Blow
    16 Fighter: Improved Two Handed Fighting
    18        : Improved Shield Mastery
    18 Fighter: Shield Mastery
    20 Fighter: Greater Two Handed Fighting
    21 Epic   : Overwhelming Critical
    24 Epic   : Combat Archery
    26 Destiny: Perfect Two Handed Fighting
    27 Epic   : Tactical Supremacy
    28 Destiny: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting OR Doubleshot
    29 Destiny: Dire Charge OR Deific Warding
    30 Epic   : Heavy Armor Champion OR Improved Shield Bash
    30 Legend : Scion of: Arborea
    
    
    
    
    Enhancements (80 AP)
    
    
    Kensei (41 AP)
    
    • Kensei Focus: Axes, Spiritual Bond, Strike with No Thought, Power Surge, One Cut, Alacrity
      1. Extra Action Boost III, Weapon Group Specialization, Haste Boost III
      2. Weapon Group Specialization, Ascetic Training: Conditioning III
      3. Weapon Group Specialization, Shattering Strike I, Strength
      4. Opportunity Attack, Weapon Group Specialization, Liquid Courage, Strike at the Heart, Strength
      5. A Good Death: Melee, Weapon Master, One with the Blade, Deadly Shot, Keen Edge
    Vanguard (24 AP)
    • To the Fore!, Shield Combat I, Vicious Shield I, Shield Combat II
      1. Shield Smash III, Unbalancing Shove I
      2. Stunning Shield III, Melee Power Boost III
      3. Follow Up III, Fatal Bulwark, Strength
      4. Shield Charge III
    Stalwart Defender (15 AP)
    • Toughness, Stalwart Defense
      1. Item Defense I, Durable Defense III
      2. Resilient Defense III, Instinctive Defense I
      3. Tenacious Defense III, Strength
    Destiny (24 AP) Legendary Dreadnought
    1. Legendary Tactics III, Extra Action Boost III
    2. Momentum Swing III, Imp. Power Attack
    3. Lay Waste, Critical Damage I
    4. Anvil of Thunder
    5. Advancing Blows, Devastating Critical
    6. Master's Blitz, Headman's Chop
    Twists of Fate (36 fate points)
    1. Grim Precision (Tier 3 Shadowdancer)
    2. Whirling Wrists (Tier 3 Shiradi)
    3. Pin (Tier 2 Shiradi)
    4. Legendary Shield Mastery (Tier 2 Sentinel)
    5. Brace for Impact (Tier 1 Sentinel)
    Basically I took a conventional S&B axe fighter build like my Dwarven Defender and, well, gimped it a lot by adding a bunch of throwing weapon feats. The important combo being Improved Precise Shot + Deadly Shot, which will be a free x4 critted throwing axe thru a straight line of mobs. Which is still no AA, but yell something in Scottish while you do it to feel awesome.

    The enhancements are more-or-less what I would do for a greataxe / S&B hybrid. For purely S&B, I would use something like 42 VG / 25 Kensei / 13 SD instead. Or just follow Strimtom's lead if you don't need defensive stance.

    EDIT: there's only two named throwing axes but for this build you should definitely acquire this one.

    I mean it's a dwarf-restricted weapon meant for fighting your most hated nemesis: tall people. What more do you want?!
    Last edited by unbongwah; 08-08-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    All Vanguard abilities work with Swashbuckling; however the attack speed bonuses from SWF and VG cores don't stack.
    Could be interesting with melee only build. VG cores would stack secondary shield bash.
    Edit: Swashbuckling limited to light weapons only if you want the +critical threat range +2 for handaxe.
    Doubled if if you have the improved critical feat wow!

    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Most Swashbuckler abilities apply to both melee and thrown weapons; but a few are melee-only (e.g., Low Blow, Different Tack), one is thrown-only (Wind at my Back), and some of them you have to choose the melee or ranged version of an ability (e.g., Coup de Grace).
    Again not going to be great at one or the other, Got it.

    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Basically I took a conventional S&B axe fighter build like my Dwarven Defender and, well, gimped it a lot by adding a bunch of throwing weapon feats. The important combo being Improved Precise Shot + Deadly Shot, which will be a free x4 critted throwing axe thru a straight line of mobs. Which is still no AA, but yell something in Scottish while you do it to feel awesome.
    Looks at enemy, spits in hands, rubs hands together, quickdraws an axe, hollars "eat this you twally-washer" hits em right in the kisser!

    You could still further waste 2 feats Weapon Specialization: Thrown Weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    The enhancements are more-or-less what I would do for a greataxe / S&B hybrid. For purely S&B, I would use something like 42 VG / 25 Kensei / 13 SD instead. Or just follow Strimtom's lead if you don't need defensive stance.
    I like Strimtom's Vanguide. Still great even after they nerfed the VG core if i remember right. Just not as stunning.

    Looks like either pure melee or pure thrower only. The DDO way!
    Last edited by Coffey; 07-27-2018 at 05:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffey View Post
    Could be interesting with melee only build. VG cores would stack secondary shield bash.
    Edit: Swashbuckling limited to light weapons only if you want the +critical threat range +2 for handaxe.
    Doubled if if you have the improved critical feat wow!
    I've actually been playing with this sort of thing because Frenzied Berserker's Focused Wrath adds +2 to critical multiplier on both the main hand weapon and the buckler.

    My models are evolving, but the 1 sec cooldown is really crippling. With SWF @ 30, you're looking at a situation like:

    20% = 19 bash/minute
    51% = 32 bash/minute
    81% = 39 bash/minute

    With 100% Doublestrike SWF, you'll get ~255 attacks/minute with your main hand weapon. Realistically, this means only about 10% of your damage will be secondary shield bashes. The base attacks will be about the same (higher damage on the buckler counterbalances the extra 0.5x stat on main hand), but the main hand will have double/triple the threat range as well as (almost certainly) better procs.

    You're probably not hitting 100% Doublestrike with current gear (75% is a more reasonable estimate), so it's a bit better than I'm making out.

    However, there's a lot of nice thing going on. You can equip the Crabshell Buckler (for Guardbreaking) and, combined with En Pointe, daze enemies on a regular basis. I believe PSWF works with all attacks you make while SWF (including Shield Bashes), so Overbalance is a lot better (it's not great mind you - you're probably only knocking down an enemy every ~15 sec with secondary shield bashes - it's more like a nice addition to abilities like Shield Charge that pile a large number of shield bashes into a single move).

    Again not going to be great at one or the other, Got it.
    Well, it's more like you either choose to be great at S&B or you choose to be mediocre at thrown weapons.

    To make Thrown Weapons really sing, you need Shuriken Expertise + Advanced Ninja Training + 10k Stars + Whirling Wrists. You also need an extensive feat line on top of whatever you're doing with melee that will distract from your melee. Not being able to take Swashbuckler thrown weapons enhancements really isn't a significant factor. The enhanced Swashbuckler critical range is nice, but it's not close to nice enough to counterbalance all the Monk advantages.

    My own tinkering with Vanguard/Swashbuckler is at the point here:
    Code:
    12/5/3 Fighter/Barbarian/Bard
    True Neutral Halfling
    
    
    Level Order
    
    1. Bard. . . . . . 6. Barbarian. . . 11. Barbarian . . .16. Fighter
    2. Barbarian . . . 7. Fighter . . . .12. Fighter . . . .17. Fighter
    3. Fighter. . . . .8. Bard. . . . . .13. Fighter . . . .18. Fighter
    4. Barbarian . . . 9. Barbarian. . . 14. Fighter. . . . 19. Fighter
    5. Fighter. . . . 10. Fighter. . . . 15. Bard. . . . . .20. Fighter
    
    
    Stats
    . . . . . . . .36pt . . Tome . . Level Up
    . . . . . . . .---- . . ----. . .--------
    Strength. . . . .6. . . .+8. . . .4: DEX
    Dexterity . . . 20. . . .+8. . . .8: DEX
    Constitution. . 15. . . .+8. . . 12: DEX
    Intelligence. . 14. . . .+8. . . 16: DEX
    Wisdom. . . . . 14. . . .+8. . . 20: DEX
    Charisma. . . . .8. . . .+8. . . 24: DEX
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28: DEX
    
    Skills (Errors)
    . . . . .Bd Bn Fi Bn Fi Bn Fi Bd Bn Fi Bn Fi Fi Fi Bd Fi Fi Fi Fi Fi
    . . . . . 1 .2. 3. 4 .5 .6. 7. 8 .9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    . . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
    Hide. . . 4 .1. 1. 1 .1 .1. 1. 1 .1. 1. 1 .1 .1 .1 .1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
    Move Si . 4 .1. 1. 1 .1 .1. 1. . .2. 1. 1 .1 .1 .1 .1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
    UMD . . . 4 . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . 7 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .23
    Tumble. . 4 .1. ½. . . . ½ .1 . . 1 .1 .2. 1. 1. . .2. ½. ½. ½. ½. . .17
    Jump. . . 4 .1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. 2. . . . . . . . .1 .10
    Balance . 4 . . . . ½ .1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
    Perform . 4 . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
    Swim. . . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
    . . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
    . . . . .32 .7. 5. 7 .5 .7. 6 10. 8 .6 .8. 6. 8. 6 11. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7
    . . . . .32 .7. 5. 7 .5 .7. 6 10. 8 .6 .8. 6. 6. 6 11. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7
    
    
    Feats
    
    .1. . . . : Single Weapon Fighting
    .3. . . . : Weapon Focus: Slashing
    .3 Fighter: Weapon Finesse
    .5 Fighter: Shield Mastery
    .6. . . . : Precision
    .9. . . . : Improved Single Weapon Fighting
    10 Fighter: Improved Critical: Slashing
    12. . . . : Greater Single Weapon Fighting
    13 Fighter: Improved Shield Mastery
    15. . . . : Weapon Specialization: Slashing
    16 Fighter: Improved Shield Bash
    18. . . . : Tactical Training
    18 Fighter: Greater Weapon Focus: Slashing
    20 Fighter: Tactical Mastery
    21 Epic . : Overwhelming Critical
    24 Epic . : Tactical Combatant
    26 Destiny: Perfect Single Weapon Fighting
    27 Epic . : Greater Weapon Specialization: Slashing
    28 Destiny: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
    29 Destiny: Dire Charge
    30 Epic . : Epic Reflexes
    30 Legend : Scion of: Ethereal Plane
    
    
    Spells
    
    Bard
    1. Focusing Chant, Feather Fall, Expeditious Retreat
    Enhancements (80 AP) Frenzied Berserker (32 AP)
    • Die Hard, Frenzied Toughness
      1. Cracking Attack III, Athletics I
      2. Body Blow III, Blood Tribute III, Extra Action Boost III
      3. Blood Trail III, Supreme Cleave III, Constitution
      4. Crazy Strike III, Wade In II, Constitution
      5. Focused Wrath I
    Vanguard (24 AP)
    • To the Fore!, Shield Combat I, Vicious Shield I, Shield Combat II
      1. Shield Smash III, Unbalancing Shove I
      2. Brutality III, Stunning Shield III, Missile Shield III
      3. Fatal Bulwark, Dexterity
      4. Shield Charge III
    Swashbuckler (13 AP)
    • Confidence, Swashbuckling
      1. On Your Toes III, Tavern Shanties II
      2. En Pointe III
      3. Skirmisher, Swift Strikes
    Stalwart Defender (11 AP)
    • Toughness, Stalwart Defense, Overbalance
      1. Durable Defense III, Stalwart Defensive Mastery II
      2. Resilient Defense III
    Destiny (24 AP) Legendary Dreadnought
    1. Legendary Tactics III, Extra Action Boost III, Attack Boost III
    2. Damage Boost III
    3. Critical Damage III, Haste Boost III
    4. (none)
    5. Devastating Critical
    6. Master's Blitz, Headman's Chop
    Twists of Fate (35 fate points)
    1. Sense Weakness (Tier 4 Fury)
    2. Reign (Tier 3 Fatesinger)
    3. Legendary Shield Mastery (Tier 2 Sentinel)
    4. Unearthly Reactions (Tier 1 Magister)
    5. Stealthy (Tier 1 Shadowdancer)
    In theory, you could convert a lot of those spare feats (garnering +8 melee power from 4 Focus/Specialization feats isn't exactly a must-have) into ranged and if you had a pile of racial AP, you could convert Dex-to-damage on Thrown Weapon. With PBS, PS, IPS, Quickdraw, Shuriken Expertise, EWP: Shuriken and Rapid Shot (which doesn't actually limit the power of the build all that much) and a Whirling Wrists twist, you could do semi-decent ranged dps when you didn't feel like melee'ing.

    While not a finalized build, it seems there's probably a useable approach in here somewhere.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for posting this, some really nice work right here!
    I have been thinking about combining swashbuckler with vanguard.
    Hadnt really considered barbarian too though.

    The damage looks incredible the numbers must really stack up. And vanguard i like using and wouldnt even consider trying a SWF without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    However, there's a lot of nice thing going on. You can equip the Crabshell Buckler (for Guardbreaking) and, combined with En Pointe, daze enemies on a regular basis. I believe PSWF works with all attacks you make while SWF (including Shield Bashes), so Overbalance is a lot better (it's not great mind you - you're probably only knocking down an enemy every ~15 sec with secondary shield bashes - it's more like a nice addition to abilities like Shield Charge that pile a large number of shield bashes into a single move).
    Do you use a different appraoch to attacking mobs or generally the same as a fighter VG build? And i see you dont use Low Blow from swashbuckler a trade off for AP placement elsewhere?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    In theory, you could convert a lot of those spare feats (garnering +8 melee power from 4 Focus/Specialization feats isn't exactly a must-have) into ranged and if you had a pile of racial AP, you could convert Dex-to-damage on Thrown Weapon. With PBS, PS, IPS, Quickdraw, Shuriken Expertise, EWP: Shuriken and Rapid Shot (which doesn't actually limit the power of the build all that much) and a Whirling Wrists twist, you could do semi-decent ranged dps when you didn't feel like melee'ing.
    Looks like a possibility but i have given up on the thrower. unbongwah talked me down from the notion, this game just doesnt allow for the combination.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    While not a finalized build, it seems there's probably a useable approach in here somewhere.
    Should be, never looked at this type melee before and i would like to try it after running a fighter vanguard.
    Just looking at adding a bow for this build at present but probably not.
    Last edited by Coffey; 07-29-2018 at 12:24 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffey View Post
    Thanks for posting this, some really nice work right here!
    I have been thinking about combining swashbuckler with vanguard.
    Hadnt really considered barbarian too though.
    We start from the knowledge that we need a minimum of 3 Bard levels, which precludes the 5th/6th Vanguard cores out of the gates. Since we're struggling to spend the feats we have already, there doesn't seem to be any point to taking more than 12 Fighter levels.

    That leaves us 8 levels to play around with, 3 of which must be Bard.

    The difference between Strike with No Thought and Focused Wrath is 16% more damage with a standard Handaxe, 24% more damage with Shield Bashes and 33% more damage with En Pointe (actually less than this since critical won't affect weapon procs and Sneak Attack). Can everything in Kensai except for Strike with No Thought minus everything I haven't mentioned from Frenzied Berserker bridge that gap? I don't believe so, although I haven't extensively analyzed it.

    Likewise, ditching Barbarian in favor of more Bard is a possibility. Here I'm far more confident that nothing you do with Swashbuckler T4/T5 or Warchanter is going to match what Frenzied Berserker brings in terms of critical multiplier.

    Two of the most likely candidates to replace Barbarian - Monk and Paladin - aren't available. Ranger is largely limited to DWS and everything I'd need is T4+, so virtually unreachable once we've committed 11 AP to Strike with No Thought. Rogue tends to have the same problem. The casting classes aren't particularly good at melee even under ideal circumstances - you're not going to find 5 levels in Eldritch Knight providing more oomph than 5 levels in Frenzied Berserker.

    There's also the simple fact that Focused Wrath (and presumably the other T5 Barbarian critical profile modifications) are some of the only ways outside of Vanguard to actually improve the critical profile of a shield. So despite the fact that I'm missing the critical 5th/6th cores of Vanguard, the power of the shield bashes is remarkably close to the pure Vanguard (the pure Vanguard still has a slightly better critical profile and, of course, much better base weapon with 4[w] on a Tower Shield over 2[w] on a Buckler).

    The damage looks incredible the numbers must really stack up. And vanguard i like using and wouldnt even consider trying a SWF without it.
    I'm 50/50 on it. The problem I mentioned above is that no matter how awesome your shield bashes are, they're still just a small portion of what you do - and as you scale up gear, they become a smaller and smaller portion. A pure Vanguard is probably only going to run 50% doublestrike. A few more updates worth of gear and that might be 80% - 100% - all of that additional power piling onto the main hand and none of it onto the shield bash. I think the redesign of shields from Ravenloft going forward has given new life to a tree that was previously a bit of a joke.

    But it's not a scaleable new life. Even if you hit 100% shield bash chance, you're not improving shield bashing much over what current Vanguards can do. Haste and doublestrike don't affect shield bashing (to a meaningful extent). I suppose it could be argued that Falconry opens up Wisdom-based Vanguards, but I'm not entirely sure what the advantage of that approach would be.

    I'd like to imagine that the two S&B styles could be usefully combined. But doing so requires losing those powerful 5th and 6ths cores of Vanguard, so I'm not entirely sure it pays off.

    Do you use a different appraoch to attacking mobs or generally the same as a fighter VG build? And i see you dont use Low Blow from swashbuckler a trade off for AP placement elsewhere?
    Low Blow would require 4 levels of Bard, which would necessitate losing the 4th core of Vanguard. It would also probably mean going from Dex-based to Cha-based (which largely just means changing the Different Tack multi-selector). Low Blow is also not the most impressive ability around. While a 15-18/x7 19-20/x10 shield bash sounds ridiculously awesome, the inability to Doublestrike means that it's not nearly as impressive as a main hand variant on that sort of attack would be.

    Should be, never looked at this type melee before and i would like to try it after running a fighter vanguard.
    Just looking at adding a bow for this build at present but probably not.
    Over on the Ranger forums, I posted a variant that loses Fighter in favor of Ranger. Such an approach essentially gives up on optimizing the shield bash portion and just accepts that shield bashes will just add about 10% more attacks without those attacks being anything special (or bringing with them knockdowns/stuns/etc.).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    The difference between Strike with No Thought and Focused Wrath is 16% more damage with a standard Handaxe, 24% more damage with Shield Bashes and 33% more damage with En Pointe (actually less than this since critical won't affect weapon procs and Sneak Attack). Can everything in Kensai except for Strike with No Thought minus everything I haven't mentioned from Frenzied Berserker bridge that gap? I don't believe so, although I haven't extensively analyzed it.
    This would be good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    I'm 50/50 on it. The problem I mentioned above is that no matter how awesome your shield bashes are, they're still just a small portion of what you do - and as you scale up gear, they become a smaller and smaller portion. A pure Vanguard is probably only going to run 50% doublestrike. A few more updates worth of gear and that might be 80% - 100% - all of that additional power piling onto the main hand and none of it onto the shield bash. I think the redesign of shields from Ravenloft going forward has given new life to a tree that was previously a bit of a joke.
    More damage definitely makes sense but i think the stuns are the other great thing about shields as a weapon as well as AC and other goodies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    But it's not a scaleable new life. Even if you hit 100% shield bash chance, you're not improving shield bashing much over what current Vanguards can do. Haste and doublestrike don't affect shield bashing (to a meaningful extent). I suppose it could be argued that Falconry opens up Wisdom-based Vanguards, but I'm not entirely sure what the advantage of that approach would be.
    Again i would go with purposely kept at a balance of power because the other side of the coin its defensive adds.

    Mostly for AA clerics for paralyzing arrows i believe. And you cant go wrong with a cleric melee build with extremely high DC and SP pool too and with war domain added tactical DCs.
    Not that it will ever compete with a pure melee build. But it is more like a cleric should be and can bash the bad guys around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    I'd like to imagine that the two S&B styles could be usefully combined. But doing so requires losing those powerful 5th and 6ths cores of Vanguard, so I'm not entirely sure it pays off.
    Thats true and with the 6th core stun process rate changed from 50% (which read 5%) to 10%. That is a huge difference on stun CC.
    And that brings about this question: What is the effectiveness of stunning with this build compared to fighter VG?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    Low Blow would require 4 levels of Bard, which would necessitate losing the 4th core of Vanguard. It would also probably mean going from Dex-based to Cha-based (which largely just means changing the Different Tack multi-selector). Low Blow is also not the most impressive ability around. While a 15-18/x7 19-20/x10 shield bash sounds ridiculously awesome, the inability to Doublestrike means that it's not nearly as impressive as a main hand variant on that sort of attack would be.
    Just forget about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    Over on the Ranger forums, I posted a variant that loses Fighter in favor of Ranger. Such an approach essentially gives up on optimizing the shield bash portion and just accepts that shield bashes will just add about 10% more attacks without those attacks being anything special (or bringing with them knockdowns/stuns/etc.).
    I will run them down instead and the hireling clerics with divine disciple usually light blast targets pretty well if there not busy staring at you or doing their nails.
    Last edited by Coffey; 07-29-2018 at 05:20 AM.

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