ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:12 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 786
Update 1/22
Since writing this guide, a few changes have been made to the game and many of my opinions have changed, especially race selection, inscription setup, and the Charm Mastery talent. It's important to note that Telos' Top Half is no longer the sole good mainhand since shortstaves have been added and the magewarrior ego is insanely good.

Introduction
Arcane Blades have the best damage output in the game. Not even Corruptors can deal can a final boss in a turn or two. Despite their weak start, Arcane Blades are incredible later on and they're really fun too. I recently won with one (http://te4.org/characters/38638/tome/15 ... a447f0434a) and it's definitely been my most fun win in ToME.

This guide focuses mostly on a Stone build which is probably not optimal since it costs an Inscription slot if you aren't going Cornac. Flame builds are probably a little better but both are very powerful builds.


Race
Higher ***
Gift of the Highborn is decent early but bad later. Overseer of Nations and born in Magic are both good. Highborn's Bloom is decent too since a single flurry can cost over 100 mana and you aren't building willpower.

Cornac *****
Dual Techniques and Battle Tactics are essentially required and not getting Stone will seriously hinder your damage. Cornacs are great if you want to get five inscription slots while still getting Stone, or if you also want to unlock Light or Stone Alchemy from an escort.

Shalore *****
Grace of the Eternals is really nice but it's overshadowed by 5/5 Blinding Speed. Magic of the Eternals is amazing for any class, but especially for Arcane Blades since it helps procs Arcane Destruction. Secrets of the Eternals is good since you'll have high Magic. Timeless only has synergy with Greater Weapon Focus, Blinding Speed/Grace of the Eternals, and Temporal Form but it's always nice as a status cure. Only down side is the bad hp mod.

Thalore ****
Both Wrath of the Woods and Natures Pride are great even without good willpower. Unshackled is mediocre. Guardian of the Wood is amazing. A solid choice overall.

Halfling ****
Luck of the Little Folk boots your physical and spell crit chances to 100% late game and gives insane boosts to your saves. Duck and dodge is amazing as it is on any class. Militant Mind is good. Indomitable allows you to skip a physical Wild Infusion if you want. The hp mod is also great. This is probably the best race for builds using only four Inscriptions thanks to Indomitable.

Dwarf **
Power is Money is okay and Stone Walking is good, but the other racials aren't good at all, especially since you won't be building any constitution. There's pretty much no reason to play this race over Halfling except Stone Walking. At least you get a good hp mod.

Yeek *
Your hp per level sucks and your racials, while good, don't make up for it. Since you're not going to build willpower there's really no upside to picking this race besides global speed, which Shalore does just as well with more benefits.

Skeleton ****
I generally don't like the undead races since you can't get Wild, Movement, or Regeneration Infusions. That being said, Skeletons actually make pretty good Arcane Blades. Bone Armor is amazing, especially with the Aegis tree and getting high dex. Resilient Bones is awesome as always. Re-assemble is good and it also gives a good shield thanks to the Aegis tree. Heat Beam and Frozen Spear Runes can make up for the lack of Wild Infusions but until you get them you'll have serious issues with stun and confusion.

Ghoul *
You're tanky and that's it. Ghoulish Leap is outclassed by Rush. Retch is decent. Gnaw sucks unless you're a Reaver.

Stats
Get enough strength (with items) to get one point in Arcane Destruction at level 12 and enough magic (with items) to get 5/5 Earthen Missles at level 14. Try to get 30 or 40 dex by the time you unlock Battle Tactics so Greater Weapon Focus won't suck. Other than that cun > mag > dex > everything else. This means you won't be building con so hold onto con boosting items so you can 5/5 Thick Skin.


Class Talents
Combat Techniques
Rush *****
Get one point at level 1 and max it later. You'll use this a lot.

Precise Strikes ***
Max it if your physical crit chance isn't very good by the end of the game (and you're not a Halfling).

Perfect Strike **
Good for killing Dreads but other than that it's unimportant. Only needs one point since you kill stuff in one or two hits anyway.

Blinding Speed *****
Global speed is good. 5/5 when you have the spare points but it's not important early.

Magical Combat
Arcane Combat *****
5/5 quickly for more spell procs, which is your biggest source of damage.

Arcane Cunning *****
One point is fine early, max it later when you have 90+ effective cunning to get a decent spellpower boost.

Arcane Feed *****
This makes Manasurge Runes unnecessary and give you crit chance. 5/5 ASAP.

Arcane Destruction *****
Amazing passive talent. One point is fine since the damage doesn't get any better and you don't care about physical power.

Dirty Fighting
Dirty Fighting *****
This is actually better against stun immune opponents (Bone Giants, lots of bosses, etc) since you get instantaneous Arcane Combat and Arcane Destruction procs. Against other opponents stunning them is still awesome. One point is fine.

Backstab **
This is decent against enemies who aren't stun immune, but late game you're killing them in one or two turns anyway. I don't like it but it's not a terrible investment.

Switch Place ****
No weapon damage is fine since your real damage is from Arcane Combat and Arcane Destruction. I didn't use it but it's looks like a good one-pointer on paper.

Cripple ****
Reducing global speed is good, especially against bosses since nothing's immune to slows. Another solid one-pointer.

Fire
Put up to 4 points in Flame but make sure you can take them out at level 14. This tree is much better on Archmages than Arcane Blades. If you're skipping Stone, Flameshock is a good replacement for Earthquake and Fireflash is a good AoE spell.

Earth
Stone Skin **
It's not terrible but there are better places to spend your class talent points.

Pulverizing Augur ****
It's a beam, which is nice. Good for hitting lined up enemies or for a ranged attack when Rush is on cooldown.

Mudslide **
You want people to be in melee range so this is a bad idea most of the time.

Stone Wall*****
Amazing defensive spell. Good for blocking projectiles you won't be able to dodge and for giving you time to recharge your cooldowns.

Lightning
You can use Lightning instead of Flame before level 14 if you want. Like Fire, this tree is much better on Archmages than Arcane Blades. If you're skipping Stone, this is worse than Fire because this tree has no stuns and Fireflash is much better than Chain Lightning.

Enhancement
Fiery Hands ***
Decent damage but the boost to fire damage isn't very helpful. Gaining stamina is nice. This and Shock Hands get much better with Flexible Combat and Greater Weapon Focus

Earthen Barrier *
This needs to either cost less mana or be an instant cast (or both) for it to be viable in any build.

Shock Hands ***
Worse damage than Fiery hands, but mana gain is better than the stamina from Fiery Hands. I don't think dazing isn't useful since Earthen Missiles damages them like 1/10 a turn after you hit them.

Inner Power ****
Bonus stats are nice. Good once you have a lot of spellpower.

Stone (locked)
Your first category point should be used to unlock this tree.

Earthen Missiles *****
Better than Flare and Lightning at 5/5, but worse until then. Take out points from Flare or Lightning and put them in this when you hit level 14.

Body of Stone ***
This is decent since it's instant cast, activate it whenever you're going to be stationary anyway and you won't lose any mana and just turn it off when you want to move.

Earthquake ****
This is your only AoE stun, good if you're dealing with multiple dangerous enemies. One point is enough

Crystalline Focus **
Bonus physical damage and penetration is good, saves are a nice bonus. Max this when you can but it's not that great.

Dual Techniques (locked)
Your second category point should be used to unlock this tree.

Dual Strike ***
Stuns are nice. Doesn't need more than one point.

Flurry **********
You get this tree essentially for this talent. Triple the Arcane Combat, Arcane Destruction, Flexible Combat, and Greater Weapon Focus procs is insane. This talent is so good I'd spend a prodigy point to get it if I had to. You can one-shot many bosses late game with this including Elandar.

Sweep ****
AoE is good. Worse than Whirlwind

Whirlwind ****
Hits more enemies than Sweep.

Battle Tactics (locked)
Your third category point should be used to unlock this tree. Try to get at least 30-40 dex by the time you unlock this or it won't be very good. Also try to save 10 points so you can immediately max Greater Weapon Focus and Step Up.

Greater Weapon Focus ******
I got this to 75% with Inner Power and a Heroism Infusion. That means 75% more damage. 5/5 this when you unlock the tree.

Step Up *****
This talent is amazing, almost as good as a free Movement Infusion when you kill an enemy. 5/5 this when you unlock the tree.

Bleeding Edge ***
The bleed effect isn't very good on Arcane Blades. At least it reduces healing which is nice against a handful of enemies. Since you don't really need lots of stamina this can be better than a bump attack on tanky targets.

True Grit ***
Seems decent but it's risky to be low enough on health for it to be useful. This would probably be best used if you have a Heroism Infusion ready.

Two-handed Maiming (locked)
Two-handed weapons are bad on Arcane Blades. Even if they weren't Stunning Blow is the only decent talent in the entire tree.

Shield Offense (locked)
Shields are actually pretty good on Arcane Blade but we're not using them in this build.

Superiority (locked)
All these talents suck except Juggernaut and maybe Shattering Impact (if it procs Arcane Combat and Arcane Destruction, I haven't tested this).

Combat Veteran (locked)
Fiery Hands is better for stamina management than Metabolism and the rest of the talents in this tree are terrible.

Generic Talents
Combat Training
5/5 Thick Skin, 1 or 3 Armor Training, 5/5 Combat Accuracy, and some points in Dagger Mastery if you want. Dagger Mastery isn't great, especially since you'll want a shortstaff in the mainhand but it can be worth a few points. If you care about weapon damage consider picking up the Staff Combat tree from Angolwen.

Survival
Heightened Senses **
God for seeing through dark zones and seeing traps but not needed late game. Consider 1/5 from a thief escort and leave it unless you want to be able to disarm traps.

Charm Mastery *****
Very good, lets you use items like Wanderer's Rest and Rod of Spydric Poison almost twice as often.

Piercing Sight ***
Lets you see invisible foes more easily. Get one point if you care and leave it.

Evasion **
This is bad since it takes a turn to use and it's worse than Duck and Dodge anyway if you're a Halfling.

Conveyance
Phase Door *****
5/5 for obvious reasons. This can also be used as a gap-closer when Rush is on cooldown.

Teleport *****
Use this when you think you might die. One point is fine.

Displacement Shield ***
Great early but doesn't scale well into the late game.

Probability Travel **
Very situational. I don't see why anyone would use this over Phase Door or Teleport but it can help when your other stuff is on cooldown.

Aegis
Arcane Reconstruction *****
If this crits late game it heals you to max. 5/5 this around Dreadfell for a full heal and damage shield.

Shielding ****
Worse than on Archmages but still nice, especially if you're using Displacement Shield or Shielding Runes. Really good with Skeletons's Bone Armour.

Arcane Shield ****
Gives you a shield for over 1000 with a Arcane Reconstruction crit late game.

Aegis ***
Good for boosting your damage shield, doesn't need more than one point (two if you're using Displacement Shield). It's an instance cast which is nice

Harmony (locked)
I don't recommend unlocking this tree but you can if you want.

Waters of Life *****
Corruptors are annoying. This makes them much less annoying.

Elemental Harmony ***
You have no way of damaging yourself with one of these elements without seriously hurting yourself which will often kill you. Despite this, it's a decent sustain.

One with Nature ***
This is okay if you use Infusions a lot.

Healing Nexus *
This is extremely situational, you probably don't want to get this talent.

Light (escort)
Decent on Cornacs since they have lots of extra generic points.

Healing Light *****
This is worse than Arcane Reconstruction but it's free and it has a shorter cooldown. If you're not unlocking this category all your Anorithil escorts should upgrade this talent.

Bathe in Light **
Healing mod is nice and so is the damage to undead but other than that it's underwhelming. Good for healing escorts and Melinda.

Barrier ****
Decent shield but can't crit making it bad late game.

Providence *****
Really, really good, chances are you're getting the tree for this talent. 5/5 this before anything else in this tree.


Prodigies
I got Flexible Combat and Temporal Form which definitely give you the best damage output but other options are viable. However, you should definitely get Flexible Combat at level 30 no matter what since it increases your damage by about 60%.

Flexible Combat ******
Essentially increases your damage output by 60%. It's like a second Greater Weapon Focus that's always on. Look for special on-hit effects from gloves; Crystle's Astral Bindings can cast Shadow Simulacrum which is hilarious and there are tons of other awesome effects like Sand Breath on other gloves.

Crafty Hands ***
Good if you got Stone Alchemy.

Swift Hands ****
This is OP but really boring.

Windblade **
You already have Whirlwind so this isn't that good.

Bloodspring ***
I've never tried this but it seems decent.

Corrupted Shell **
Not very good since it scales with constitution which you don't put points into.

Draconic Body ***
This is cool and I think it works with Arcane Shield. I don't think this is as good as Cauterize though.

Fungal Blood ***
Good for the same reasons as Draconic Body

Spine of the World **
You have Wild Infusions and Relentless Pursuit for a reason. This might be decent on undead races.

Cauterize *****
It will often save you for long enough to heal or escape and is probably the best defensive prodigy in the game. I recommend picking this up at level 42.

Temporal Form ****
Turns half your damage into Temporal which is really nice since Arcane Destruction never doesn't physical damage. Since the nerf, I recommend Cauterize over this but its still pretty good.

Draconic Will ***
This is OK but Indiscernible Anatomy makes this unnecessary except for blocking stuns, freezes, and confusion.

Garkul's Revenge ***
+20% damage to all humanoids including Orcs is good since you fight lots of Orcs late game.

Lucky Day **
This is ok on Halflings if you like Duck and Dodge. It also boosts your crit chance but other than that it's not very good.


Inscriptions
Heroism and Movement are essentially required on everyone. For the last two slots, you should probably use some combination of Regeneration, Shielding/Rune of Reflection, Wild (Physical or Physical/Mental), and a second Movement.

Important Items
The following items are really good on Arcane Blades and you should definitely consider using them.
Telos's Staff (Top Half): This is the best mainhand item in the game for Arcane Blades. It's so good that many mages use this and a dagger or shield. Gives you 35% bonus damage to an element of your choice which is incredible and it also gives tons of spellpower and spell crit chance. The only downside is its abysmal physical crit chance.
Life Drinker: It gives almost as much spellpower and spell crit chance as Telos's Top Half. Although it doesn't boost physical damage like Telos's Top Half, it has a chance to proc Blood Grasp (decent damage and heal) and it actually has a decent physical crit chance.
Mercy: This item is super overpowered and a decent substitute for Life Drinker.

Steel Helm of Garkul: Amazing for a tier 2 item, especially due to the 10% physical damage. I used this the entire game including High Peak.
Eden's Guile: Global speed is good and it scales with Cunning, your primary stat.
Crystle's Astral Bindings: It can give a free Dust to Dust on spell hit, which is half physical damage so it scales with your bonus physical damage. Also with Flexible Combat it can cast Shadow Simulacrum which isn't that amazing but it's funny.
Spellblaze Shard: Amazing dagger that stays great until very late.
Wrap of Stone: Boosts your Stone tree and gives you spellpower and a free Stone Wall. Definitely an amazing item that remains good throughout the entire game and is only matched by Frozen Shroud.
The Untouchable: The stats are decent but the reason it's really good is the free damage shield. A 200 damage shield is as good as 200 bonus health, and it gets even better with the Shielding talent.
Rod of Spydric Poison: It immobilizes enemies and doesn't need to be equipped.
Wanderer's Rest: There isn't a class in the entire game this item isn't good on. Telekinetic Leap is great for when Rush is on cooldown and the movespeed boost is nice too.
Black Robe: Really nice if you're confident you won't get caught of guard and killed. Definitely use this if you get Cauterize.
Honeywood Chalice: Physical damage and temporary resist all. Absolutely amazing item.
Frozen Shroud: 8% resist all is great. Activated ability freezes nearby enemies and deals surprisingly decent cold damage.

Quick Leveling Guide
1-13: Put a point in Rush and Dirty Fighting, put points in Arcane Feed and Arcane Combat whenever possible, put a point in Arcane Destruction at level 12. Put 4 points in Flame or Lightning but make sure you can take them out. Get a few points in Arcane Reconstruction and Combat Accuracy. You're going to have a rough start so you may have to play as a mage for a bit (casting Flame/Lightning from long range and kiting).
14: Unlock Stone, take out your points from Flame or Lightning and put them in Earthen Missiles to immediately get 5/5.
15-20: Put extra points in Rush and hold onto two class talent points so you'll have four at level 20. Unlock Dual Techniques and get 1/5 in each talent. Max Phase Door around this point.
21-36: Get 5/5 Crystalline Focus and Blinding Speed. Get Save points so you'll have 10 at level 36 so you can get 5/5 Greater Weapon Focus and Step Up immediately when you unlock Battle Tactics.
37-50: Nothing else is essential so you can experiment. Temporal Form and Cauterize are probably the best choices for your second prodigy.

The core of this build is 5/1/5/1 Magical Combat, 5/1/1/5 Combat Techniques, 1/1/1/1 Dual Techniques, 5/5/0/0 Battle Tactics, 1/0/0/0 Dirty Fighting and 5/1/1/5 Stone. Everything else is up to you!

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Last edited by bpat on Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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I'm not clear why you consider the Earth tree not useful. Augur is a decent beam that benefits from your physical damage stacking and doesn't interfere with earthen missiles procs in addition to its utility for wall removal. Between that and Stone Wall on an already unlocked category it seems eminently worthwhile. Especially since you don't actually have any recommendations for talent points from level 37 on.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:29 am
Posts: 123
Great work! :)
I see few advantages in dual wielding: :roll:
Arcane combat is the main damage dealer, it only increases with cunning and it is hard to get it above 70% (35 for each if dual wielding). ?why do you say dirty fighting makes it crit? As far as i know, doing a physical crit doesnt get you the spell effect...
Spell crits on the other hand are far more important, earthen misiles 5/5 and crit... that is always nice. , also healing light and shield..

- Flurry: yes, the only reason for dual.
- Using two weapons to increase stats.... (you can use weapon + shield too)
The main question is if shield attacks get arcane combat effect... if they do, then clearly weapon + shield is better (several techniques do 3 and even 4 attacks!)

Greater weapon focus: If you go that route then you have to go with dexterity and imho much more than 40... otherwise its not a good idea.

Healing light is actually incredible: with high cunning (which you max) + high spellpower it can heal almost 1000hps, its free and low recast and it gives you a Shield : Awesome

Skeleton has tons of sinergies: +10 dex are great for G.W.F. and step up solves a lot of mobility issues, one the few classes i really like skeleton.

My question: Whats better, +physical dmg or almost 100% spell crit?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 786
Atarlost wrote:
I'm not clear why you consider the Earth tree not useful. Augur is a decent beam that benefits from your physical damage stacking and doesn't interfere with earthen missiles procs in addition to its utility for wall removal. Between that and Stone Wall on an already unlocked category it seems eminently worthwhile. Especially since you don't actually have any recommendations for talent points from level 37 on.


Augur is much better on Archmages than Arcane Blades. If you're really good at manipulating walls it could be a worthwhile investment. It doesn't hurt to have some ranged damage but it's damage isn't very impressive compared to your basic attacks. Also Stone Wall is definitely a great talent and probably the highlight of the tree. It could be worth going 1/1/1/1 or 1/1/1/5 in this tree when you can spare the points. I personally found the Enhancement tree a good dump for class points since extra damage on hit procs over 10 times with a flurry and regaining mana on hit is nice. I forgot to mention that Inner Power should probably be maxed by the end of the game regardless of your build since Arcane Blades get at least some benefit from each stat.

sofocles wrote:
Great work! :)
I see few advantages in dual wielding: :roll:
Arcane combat is the main damage dealer, it only increases with cunning and it is hard to get it above 70% (35 for each if dual wielding). ?why do you say dirty fighting makes it crit? As far as i know, doing a physical crit doesnt get you the spell effect...
Spell crits on the other hand are far more important, earthen misiles 5/5 and crit... that is always nice. , also healing light and shield..


Physical crits give you Arcane Destruction procs, which does good AoE damage. I like Halfligs since you can boost both your physical and spell crit chances to 100% :D.

sofocles wrote:
- Flurry: yes, the only reason for dual.
- Using two weapons to increase stats.... (you can use weapon + shield too)
The main question is if shield attacks get arcane combat effect... if they do, then clearly weapon + shield is better (several techniques do 3 and even 4 attacks!)


Weapon and shield is definitely a viable build and I'd really like to see a guide for it. Lunar Shield would be especially good on this. I personally like dual wield because you the equipment looks better (hard to beat Telos's Top Half + Life Drinker, more good magic daggers than shields) and you can proc Arcane Destruction more.

sofocles wrote:
Greater weapon focus: If you go that route then you have to go with dexterity and imho much more than 40... otherwise its not a good idea.


I meant you should try to get 40 dexterity by the time you unlock it. I maxed dexterity after cunning and magic and with Inner Power I got it to 75%.

sofocles wrote:
Healing light is actually incredible: with high cunning (which you max) + high spellpower it can heal almost 1000hps, its free and low recast and it gives you a Shield : Awesome

Skeleton has tons of sinergies: +10 dex are great for G.W.F. and step up solves a lot of mobility issues, one the few classes i really like skeleton.

My question: Whats better, +physical dmg or almost 100% spell crit?


Healing Light crits are great even with just one point. I think both physical and spell crit chance are about equally important since your spells deal more damage but physical procs Arcane Destruction. If I had to choose I'd say spell crits are a bit more important.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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You mention using Telos top, but nothing about buying the Staff Mastery tree.

Is Staff mastery not as important as Dagger Mastery?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Doctornull wrote:
You mention using Telos top, but nothing about buying the Staff Mastery tree.

Is Staff mastery not as important as Dagger Mastery?

You're right, I forgot about that. Staff mastery is helpful if you have the generic points to spare.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:21 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:29 am
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Staff mastery what for? The dmg isnt done by the weapon, its done by the earthen misiles.

Arcane destruction is unimpressive imho. it usually goes to 150dmg aoe, which is nice around lvl 30 but does almost nothing at higher lvls. Doing orc prides on very rare ocassions does the aoe save me from having to kill each and every one of the mobs individually .. it might be fun for the oozemancer area though... (but you get no xp).

And a question for experts: if you bash with a shield is the chance of arcane combat trigger halfed? yes or no?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:04 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
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No.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:33 pm
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I have found the PA spell useful the whole game on nightmare, it's a beam (which missiles are not) so you can use it in more situations. I put 5 points in this on a sword+shield AB. Also you neglect to mention the Wrap of Stone, which has to be one of the most misplaced items tier-wise, what is it, 2? Should be more like 4-5. Anyway it's an all-game equip for those arcane blades lucky enough to find it.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:11 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 11:51 pm
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On that same note about the shield; when using the multi-hit shield attacks, do you still have the individual chance per hit to fire off your selected spell(like Earthen Missiles)? And does Flexible Combat trigger with each shield/weapon hit in those moves as well?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
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Yes.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
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sofocles wrote:
Staff mastery what for? The dmg isnt done by the weapon, its done by the earthen misiles.

Arcane destruction is unimpressive imho. it usually goes to 150dmg aoe, which is nice around lvl 30 but does almost nothing at higher lvls. Doing orc prides on very rare ocassions does the aoe save me from having to kill each and every one of the mobs individually .. it might be fun for the oozemancer area though... (but you get no xp).


I went 1/1/5/5 in my racials and still ran out of useful places to put my generic points. Admittedly Staff Mastery isn't very effective but it can be a decent place to dump your generics toward the end of the game.
Arcane Destruction is pretty awesome when you hit like 15 times in a single Flurry with Flexible Combat, Greater Weapon Focus, and Temporal Form for like 4k or more damage AoE. If you don't get Temporal Form its damage isn't very impressive though. Regardless, the AoE is always nice.

Odeshog wrote:
I have found the PA spell useful the whole game on nightmare, it's a beam (which missiles are not) so you can use it in more situations. I put 5 points in this on a sword+shield AB. Also you neglect to mention the Wrap of Stone, which has to be one of the most misplaced items tier-wise, what is it, 2? Should be more like 4-5. Anyway it's an all-game equip for those arcane blades lucky enough to find it.


I may have been underrated Pulverizing augur. I edited the main post to reflect your ideas. Thanks for the feedback!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:08 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:38 am
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Hi,

Excellent guide, but I'd like to comment on a specific point that seems to pop up often in Arcane Blade discussion, and that is the importance of Earthen Missile.

I think it's overrated. I created a cheat character to get some numbers and this is what I got at Spellpower 85:
Lightning 5/5 = 160 to 480 damage( 320 average)
Earthen missile 5/5 = three missiles doing 113 base damage and a 19 damage DoT. If we only use the first tick of the DoT we get 396 damage.

Earthen missile does indeed have higher damage and its more consistent damage range makes it even more desirable. However, the difference is hardly overwhelming, especially considering that these are end-gamish values. at level 10, when you get your first category point they're much less pronounced due to lower spell power, lower cunning (resulting in fewer procs) and lower crit values. At this point, the performance boost you get from getting dual weild tree is much more valuable. Flurry's amazing damage, combined with an extra stun from dual-strike, combined with the utility of Sweep and Whirlwind far outshine the modest damage boost you'll be adding to only one of your three main sources of damage (i.e. the physical attack, Arcane Combat and Arcane Destruction)

Similarly, at level 20, Battle Tactics seems like a much more attractive choice. Greater Weapon Focus increases your overall damage, not just the damage from Arcane Combat. And Step Up greatly enhances your tactical options. The tree actually adds a new dimension to your play rather than some extra damage.

If by the time you get your other category points you still feel like you're low on damage (and you won't) then maybe spending a cat point on earth isn't such a terrible idea. But I think using them to open inscription slots might be more useful.

Another point that was brought up in this discussion:
Quote:
Staff mastery what for? The dmg isnt done by the weapon, its done by the earthen misiles.

Well, unless you are completely ignoring your physical attack, the damage done by your weapon competes with Arcane Combat and can even outshine it (depends on how you build your character). Also, the damage from Arcane Destruction (especially for dual wielders) is still a substantial amount of your overall damage output, since you can get it to proc 100% of the time, while the best you can achieve with Arcane Combat is 40-50% So, even if the numbers look higher, you're effectively only getting 45% of that damage per attack, as opposed to the 100% you get from Arcane Destruction. Not to mention Arcane Destruction's AoE being much more useful than Arcane Combat's beam like behaviour.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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The difference with earthen missiles is that they're physical damage so you get an extra 10% damage and 50% resistance penetration. If ABs got the unlock trees for fire and/or electricity it would be different, but right now they can only get that with stone.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:33 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:38 am
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I didn't know about those, but still I don't think even that justifies prioritizing it over dual techniques or battle tactics especially at such an early level. You can get 8% lightning damage increase from shocking hands (which you probably want to raise anyway), and resistance penetration won't really matter that much until later in the game.


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