ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:18 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:38 pm
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So you want to be a Paladin. Defend the weak, liberate the oppressed, commit genocide against the orcs -- and the other guides are obsolete or overly specific.

The question you need to ask yourself when planning a Sun Paladin is "what will I spend my generics on?" The fact is you don't have very many generic trees. You have 49 points to spend and only 9 non-racial generics to spend on plus up to 3 points if you want a chant other than fortitude. If you don't like your racials you're pretty much going to have to unlock an escort category or pick up staff mastery. This issue is what drives the race question.

Races

Cornac: Unless you're planning on a staff build, Cornac is only as good as the escorts you save.
Unfortunately the most sought after escort category is one you already have. You can hope for Stone Alchemy, Divination, Chronomancy, or Conditioning. Stone Alchemy is an investment. You spend points in it early so you can extract gems and when you return from the east afford two or three times as many merchant randarts as you would otherwise. Divination needs mana regen, but since you won't use it in combat you can swap mana regen gear to rest. Everything but Keen Senses is probably worth one point: Arcane Eye because 0.8 is good enough and 4.0 not enough better to justify 4 more points, Vision because it barely scales at all, and Premonition because it just doesn't scale very well, though the first is potentially worth it. You can sink as many points as you want into Keen Senses and not feel completely ripped off because it scales better as your spellpower increases. Chronomancy is a pure scouting tree and investment is will limited, though will doesn't effect scaling so it's just a matter of packratting another stat. Even one point of precognition will let you look around corners and foresight can turn it into a decent mapping and detection power if you invest in it. The last two talents are absolutely terrible. Conditioning is con based and con is one of your dump stats. Even so, it's a potentially good tree if you hoard con gear for level up. Vitality and Unflinching Resolve are okay, but Adrenaline Surge is the real draw. For a shield user stamina is cheap at twice the price. You can unlock the Harmony tree from the sandworm queen heart, but it's not very good. Only the last talent is worth anything and it's only good in combination with Bathe in Light so you need to put a lot in both. You can also corrupt the sandworm heart and get Vile Life. Because of the way vim works only the first two talents will be reliably available for a non-defiler character, though the third is tempting in combination with Bathe in Light. Hexes is even worse than Vile Life for vim consumption and the talents are themselves weak DoTs. They're merely annoying when NPCs use them on you and unlike NPCs you actually live through the whole duration. The final option is Staff Combat from Angolwen. You don't have the mana regen to make much use of Channel Staff or Blunt Thrust, and if you're using a staff you have another 5 points to find a home for you're not using on Weapon Mastery, but Defensive Posture is better for you than just about anyone else because you're going to have high armour hardiness from Armour Training.

Higher: Highers are surprisingly not terrible, at least for shield builds. Gift of the Highborn is based on your dump stat, but is small loss. Overseer of Nations isn't worth much. Born into Magic is a one point wonder, but it's essentially +15% light damage. Higborn's Bloom is where the points go. A two handed build isn't really going to need it, but shield users burn stamina fast and being able to not burn stamina is good.

Shalore: It should be no surprise that, Sun Paladins being ineligible for antimagic, Shalore are the master race. Grace of the Eternals is a nice one point wonder. Unlike the previous version of the class your bump attacks are good and, hey, you're building magic at least secondarily (you need 52 for unlocks). Magic of the Eternals gives you crits and crit mult, which synergizes all over the place. Secrets of the Eternals is just a speedbump on the way to Timeless, but Timeless is, as always, gonzo. It can stretch Providence. It can stretch Barrier to make pre-pumping with Bathe in Light less ruinous to its duration. And it can probably stretch Flash of the Blade. The problem is that your early game sucks. You're facing lots of poisoners with no way to remove poison. I'd suggest start scumming for a cheap phys wild or heal infusion that you can afford after clearing one swamp level or a rare civilian to drown so you can get Sun Ray to 3 and maybe Bathe in Light to 1 before facing the nagas at all. BiL will let you wait out naga poison rather than dieing so you don't need a cheap poison clearing infusion for sale if you get a rare to drown and reach level 4.

Thalore: The bad news is that your stat mods are all in the wrong places. This pretty much only matters at low level, but it makes this one of the worse starts. The racial tree is pretty generic. Wrath of the Woods scales on your dump stat, but everything else scales solely on talent level and none of it is weak.

Halfling: Halflings are serviceable. Luck of the Little Folk scales off of cunning, which you probably want for crits anyways. Duck and Dodge is evasion, which is always nice, though it's probably a one point wonder. Militant Mind is good for two handed builds, who will want to wade in to groups to use Death Dance and Flash of the Blade. Indomitable is one of the best status removal buttons, but may be a one or two point wonder. It removes 1+TL stuns, dazes, and pins but you can only have one of each active unless flameshock counts as a stun and spydric poison as a pin so past 2 it only reduces cooldown and stretches the immunity and the way daze works its effective duration is almost always one unless you've killed everyone in sight so 2 is adequate. Longer immunity to stuns, dazes, and pins may be worth spending points on for shield builds since they generally aren't deliberately getting themselves surrounded to set up spinny attacks.

Dwarf: Like the Thalore, the stat mods hurt the early game. You do get the Reknor start, which is nice. Resilience of the Dwarves is unfortunately con based, but at least you will have the armour hardiness to take full advantage of what you get from it. Stoneskin is more armor, but at random rather than when you invoke it. Power is Money is good, but it's at the expense of two merchant randarts, which is expensive. Stone Walking is allegedly good, but it's hard to know how much to put in and it scales with con.

Ghoul: Ghouls are iffy. The speed penalty hurts now that bump attacks are worth making, but you have even more hitpoints than a halfling or dwarf. Halflings and Dwarves, though, can use infusions and you can't. Ghoul boosts one of your dump stats and either your primary or tertiary stat depending on your build. Ghoulish Leap is a Rush substitute, which may save you a cat point. Retch is an unreliable Providence to offset the lack of infusions and Gnaw is an extra attack button you don't need. Ghoulish Leap is the only reason to be a Ghoul Paladin, but it's a good reason. Ghoul makes Radiance builds easier.

Skeleton: Skeletons are better than ghouls, but you'll still miss infusions. Skeleton boosts strength and dex, which are both good stats. Bone Armor is another shield to stretch with BiL or Weapon of Light. Resilient Bones reduces condition duration, mitigating the loss of infusions. Re-Assemble is a heal you don't really need that culminates in a substitute for the Blood of Life you can't drink. The synergy is nice, but Skeleton demands enough points you might find yourself shorting the Light tree.

Yeek: Yeeks are the challenge race. Dominant Will is will based, which is bad. Unity gives silence immunity, which is very good. Quickened gives global speed, which is very good. Wayist is probably a bridge too far.

I would suggest Shalore if you want an eastern start or Halfling if you want a western start. Nothing is really terrible the way that eg. a shalore oozemancer is, but an emphasis on building for crits will serve a Sun Paladin well and those are the best races for that. Cornac is usually something to avoid because of the reliance on escort luck.

Other Generic Trees

Technique/Combat Training: You will want to go 5/5/5/5/0 in this tree or 5/5/5/0/0 for a staff build or 5/5/5/0/0/10 if an escort unlocks Exotic Weapon Mastery and you want to aim for Legacy of the Naloren. You can skimp on Thick Skin for good racials or Weapon Mastery if you plan on stacking accuracy and melee crits and using a sword to roll excess accuracy into crit mult. You can skimp on accuracy if you're building dex but not building for rollover into crit mult.

Celestial/Chants: You probably want Chant of Fortitude for the saves and HP. Chant of Fortress is for Anorthil. Chant of Resistance is okay. It's similar to Thick Skin, but scales differently. Watch the diminishing returns. Chant of Light means you're not taking Fortitude or Resistance so your defenses will be weaker, but the lower sustain cost means affording Second Life earlier on a shield build and it's a lot of extra light damage. Be warned that you are likely to rue the lack of physical save from Fortitude on any build that emphasizes neither strength nor con. 5/0/0/0, 1/1/5/0, or 1/1/1/5 this category. If you're going for Chant of Fortitude don't rush it since Sun Paladin escorts can give you points in it.

Celestial/Light: Healing Light is a basic heal that can crit. Still, you can substitute a heal infusion or shield rune if you have better places to spend generics. Bathe in Light is over-hyped. At higher difficulties you need to pre-pump your shields, but on normal it's rarely useful. In combat it shields your enemies as much as it shields you, though if you have the Rune of Reflection your shield can be qualitatively superior while quantitatively equal. It can be useful in long fights to bridge between shield cooldowns, but that pretty much just means the sorcerers on high peak on normal. I wouldn't go past 1 point before Dreadfall, but would want to at least 4 point this at level 50, otherwise invest as you use it. The fifth point in BiL fails to increase the duration at a 1.3 multiplier. Barrier is a good long lasting shield and an important positive energy generator. Max ASAP. Providence is your condition remover. Unless you're a Shalore or Halfling max ASAP. Even if you are a Shalore or Halfling consider maxing ASAP. The longer it lasts the more conditions it will clear and when you need it you *really* need it. At least one of Healing Light and BiL should be delayed until you're done with escorts so you can get a generic from Anorthil.

Cunning/Survival: It's a locked tree so probably only for cornacs, though it might also be worth giving up an inscription slot if you're going for the Swift Hands prodigy. Heightened Senses and Piercing Sight are good to pick up from escorts, but the reason to unlock the tree is Charm Mastery. It cuts charm cooldowns pretty significantly with investment. Evasion also has potential.

The other big question is whether to us a two handed weapon or a one handed weapon with a shield. The shield build is probably stronger, but also has a tighter class point budget. The reasonable investment for the shield trees is 11 points higher than for the two handed trees.

The draw of a shield build is the sustains. Shield of Light now appends a shield bash to every attack, which is particularly dramatic on bump attacks. The heal from Shield of Light can crit. That means it can proc Sun's Vengeance and spellpower on spellcrit equipment. Retribution halves damage until it runs out and then deals that damage back out. Managed properly it dramatically reduces incoming damage. A shield build will try to use block to set up active attack talents, usually Assault or Brandish once they're available, phasing assault out for the return of Shield Pummel when ripostes approach 100% crit rate and then back to assault when everything pretty much always crits whether a riposte or not.

The draw of a two handed build is twofold: You have better crowd handlers and you have Righteous Strength and Absorption Strike. Righteous Strength increases your melee crit rate and uses those crits to crank your physical and light damage and reduce your victim's armour. Absorption Strike cuts light resistance and damage output within radius 2 of the target. It's not a huge reduction in incoming damage like Retribution, you also don't have to put as much thought into managing it.

Class Trees

As a general rule any talent that uses weapon damage scales primarily with weapon quality and doesn't merit more than 1 point of investment except for riders. If you have points to spare 2 points may be okay, but there are usually fairly steep diminishing returns.

Technique/Two-Handed Assault: Stunning Blow at 3 will stun for one less than its cooldown. I wouldn't go higher than that. Fearless Cleave is a 1 point wonder, but a notable one. It's endlessly chainable if you can back up into a Path of the Sun square and if you can hit two or three foes it's worth the stamina to do so. In 1.2.5 it also has a beneficial bug: it allows you to move while pinned. Death Dance is your first crowd clearer. It's kind of expensive, but it has a good base multiplier and is easily worth the stamina when it will hit three and possibly even two enemies. Execution is kind of sad. It's an autocrit, but the base multiplier is poor and while the growth is better than the rest of the tree it's still not great. If your long run plan expects frequent criticals, as any two handed build should, you may want to float one point so you can take it out when the autocrit loses its attraction. 1/1/1/1 or 3/1/1/1 or 3/1/1/0 or 1/1/1/0 this tree. Or 0/0/0/0 if you're using a shield.

Technique/Shield Offense: Shield Pummel is probably a 1 point wonder. The stun duration scales poorly and damage always scales poorly. Still, even 2 turns of stunning will often be a lifetime when you follow up with another attack skill. Riposte has hidden scaling. The second and third point do almost nothing, but the fourth point is worth them all. Getting 3 counterstrikes instead of 2 means getting one of Assault's autocrits doubled or doubling all of Shield Pummel or Brandish or Crusade doubled rather than just the first hit and the SoL proc. Shield Slam is yet another one point wonder. If you have a hard hitting shield it's a little better than a bump, but the main draw is the extra block to set up another attack. Assault is a very powerful attack early on, but as your crit rate rises it loses its luster. Still, it's a shield strike and two weapon strikes, which is still worth the fatigue even when every attack crits anyways. The scaling is particularly bad and it's the last thing you should put a second point in. 1/4/1/1 or 2/4/1/1 or 2/4/2/1 this tree. Or 0/0/0/0 if you're going two handed.

Technique/Combat Veteran: Quick Recovery is a necessary evil. You'll probably need at least 1 point, maybe up to 5 depending on your gear and wish the whole time you didn't have to. Fast Metabolism is a speedbump on the way to Spell Shield. Spell Shield is overkill, you probably don't actually want to go there. It is possible for a two handed build to have the points to spare, though. (1-5)/0/0/0 or (1-5)/1/(1-5)/0

Celestial/Combat: This is what makes a Sun Paladin a Sun Paladin. Weapon of Light does light damage and boosts your shields. It won't keep pace with incoming damage, but every little bit helps and it does stretch the duration which is the only thing making pre-pumping with BiL viable without Timeless. Wave of Power is your main ranged attack. Unlike other weapon talents this one is worth investing in because the chance of a second attack multiplies with the power of the second attack. This is especially important for two handed builds: shield builds will always get the SoL attack, so the extra attack is a smaller fraction of the total damage than on a two handed build. You should have enough strength from prerequisites to get 6-7 range. It's helpful to fire this from a PotS so you can move around to maximize the range without taking any time. Weapon of Wrath is kind of iffy. You're probably not stacking fire damage, Martyrdom isn't going to count for very much in most fights, and if things are going well you don't take damage. Still, it's there when you need it. You'll one point this on the way to Second Life and set it to turn on when enemies aren't visible and forget about it until you're looking for places to stick points at high level, but it's entirely possible you'll wind up maxing it. There are diminishing returns, but second point is good. Second Life should usually be maxed ASAP. It keeps you from dieing and the bigger a buffer it gives you the less likely you are to just die from the next hit. If it goes down for any reason run unless you're fighting something that dispels talents that you have to fight. And remember you don't *have* to fight High Peak stair bosses. You can lure them away from the stairs and then lose them by teleporting or chaining PoL with a movement infusion while you circle around back to the stair. 5/(1-5)/(1-5)/5

Celestial/Sun: Sun Ray is your early ranged attack and pos generator. You'll use this all the time until you switch to opening combat with Barrier or Path of the Sun, and then once you get Sun's Vengeance it'll be back as your positive energy source. I tend to 3 point it for blinding and would 5 it on two handed builds to take advantage of Righteous Strength. It's certainly worth 5 on a staff build. Path of the Sun is a versatile movement talent and a minor DoT. Two handed builds should always open with it unless you're fighting something that will likely die in one rush that you don't want to allow an action. PotS gives a ready escape route and can let you chain Fearless Cleave as mentioned above. Shield builds don't have Fearless Cleave and have less need of positive energy generation, but it still leaves a ready escape route. Sun's Vengeance boosts your crit chance and after a crit there's a 38-80% chance of being able to use Sun Ray without taking a turn with a 25% damage bonus or reducing its cooldown. Late game it should proc very frequently, providing ample positive energy for a two handed build and providing the balance of a shield build's requirements after Crusade. Watch your status bar like a hawk for the indicator so you can reap that positive energy. And for some builds do significant damage. Suncloak is, I think, not very good. It reduces spell cooldowns which is nice, but its own duration isn't long enough for that to be very useful. It limits how much damage you can take from a single blow, but Second Life already buffers you against instadeath and the duration isn't great. I'd skip it completely except on a Shaloren two handed build I think. 2 points will take an 8 cooldown down to 6, a 9 to 7, and a 6 to 5 but you can't actually reach the next threshold for any small integer cooldown. 3/2/5/0 or 5/2/5/0 or 5/2/5/2

Technique/Combat Techniques: Rush is pretty much necessary unless you're a ghoul and you need to max it for the range. PotS alone isn't enough. You can't very well call yourself a paladin and let Melinda be sacrificed. Precise Strikes boosts accuracy and crits off of dexterity. Swords roll excess accuracy into crit mult. If this talent lets you hit 100% crit rate when you otherwise wouldn't it's good and even when you are critting without it the accuracy is still useful. Staff builds should skip this, though, because staffs roll excess accuracy into weapon procs and WoL doesn't count. If you pull off a short staff build SoL might, but the staff accuracy bonus is really just for arcane blades. Perfect Strike is probably excessive. A sword can make use of the accuracy so it can be a place to dump points at high levels if you have the stamina to spare for it. Blinding Speed is also good for shield builds. Two handed builds don't have as good of bump attacks so they benefit less, though they're still hitting people with a two handed weapon and have more stamina to spend on it. The short duration means you need at least 2 points to get a full turn without Timeless. 5/5/0/0 or 5/1/(1-5)/0 or 5/1/1/(2-5) Note that Blinding Speed does not stack with Grace of the Eternals so a shalore might not go for it. On the other hand you could have two turbo buttons.

Celestial/Guardian: Shield of Light is where your damage comes from. It also still heals you when you take damage. The heal can crit and proc Sun's Vengeance or other on spellcrit effects. The multiplier on the shield strike is unusually linear and worth investing fully. Brandish is your crowd clearer, as sad as it is. The burst of light scales like a spell and you pretty much need to max this to get decent damage out of it. You could leave it at 1 -- the base weapon damage multipliers are good -- if you have Radiance for ooze busting, but you'll regret not having one or the other when you meet a brittle clear ooze. Retribution is incredibly good. It reduces damage until it fills up like a shield (though it's not boosted by shield boosters) and then blows up, but unlike the Archmage's Disruption Shield it blows up in everyone's face but your own. You can either let it carry damage so it'll blow up as often as possible or power cycle it when you rest to maximize damage absorption. I recommend the latter. The more you invest the more it'll absorb before dropping. Crusade is your big positive energy generator. The multiplier is bad, but it's better than a bump and it generates a significant chunk of positive energy on a short cooldown. Additionally it reduces up to 4 random cooldowns by 1 each and removes a random debuff if the first and second attack respectively hit. The first rider scales such that the talent merits 4 points incidentally making the multiplier less pitiful. 5/1/5/4 or 5/5/5/4 this tree. Or 0/0/0/0 if going two handed, of course.

Celestial/Radiance: This is a weak tree. Kind of amusing, but weak. Radiance controls the range of the whole tree and gives you illumination. It overlaps with your light radius from equipment but seems to take penalties from illumination reducing items, though the range it gives to other effects isn't reduced. It does mean you can use Wintertide with impunity and take advantage of its activation. Illumination cuts stealth and invisibility and reduces defense and negates evasion bonuses from being unseen. You don't need much Radiance radius to take good advantage of this as a melee class and reducing defense is almost as good as increasing accuracy. Searing Light turns your Radiance radius into a weak DoT. This is only really useful against brittle clear oozes, but is immensely satisfying. The daze isn't very useful since it negates it the next turn. Judgment attacks everyone in your Radiance radius and is independent of Searing light. The orbs are slow moving and not very damaging unless they produce a lot of overlapping explosions and the heal correspondingly delayed and weak. (2-5)/(1-5)/1/0 or (2-5)/(1-5)/1/5 or better yet 0/0/0/0.

Celestial/Crusader: Absorption Strike is a positive energy generator but not a good one. Still, it has a good rider and is worth 3 to 5 points and costs no resources which make it an invaluable part of the two handed attack cycle -- especially since the only other talent in the general cycle is Stunning Blow. Mark of Light is kind of bad. It's an action free heal, but a weak one at best and scaled so it needs investment. Basically a speed-bump, but go ahead and use it when you have excess positive energy and less than full health and are about to hit something. Righteous Strength is what pumps up your bump damage. You need lots of crit rate boosting to get the most out of it. Flash of the Blade is a bigger, better Death Dance. It's radius 2 and Does 2 attacks to each victim, though the multipliers are worse. You'll invest more in it, though, because the level 4 rider is a turn of damage prevention. That's mostly a placebo: FotB doesn't leave much in a position to damage you except major bosses, but if you are taking enough damage to matter you can use it as a pseudo-free turn since you won't take damage except retaliation to the attack itself. (3-5)/(1-2)/5/4 or 0/0/0/0.

Prodigies

You probably have at least some investment in strength to qualify for your technique trees and will need to keep strength gear if you're not strength primary anyways to put on high tier massive armor.

Flexible Combat: Glove procs can be very good. Unfortunately they're invisible until after you buy the prodigy. If you have a lot of glove choices you can pick one that's good. If you have only one real choice like Dakhtun this prodigy is only as good as Dakhtun's proc. I don't know what Dakhtun's proc is and probably neither do you unless someone updated the wiki since I wrote this. This is better with shield builds since they get two attacks on bump with SoL and up three with most actives. A two handed build only gets multiple attacks when fighting multiple opponents.

I Can Carry the World: Not a bad choice. A shield build can be carrying over 40% fatigue by endgame and they have two 6 cycle attacks that consume it. The 40 strength is also nice unless you're a staff build.

Irresistible Sun: It's a big DoT, but it's ultimately single target damage that wins the game. This also scales with strength, so if you used temporary gear to qualify it's not going to be great.

Legacy of the Naloren: It might be good for two handed builds. The accuracy bonus for tridents is 0.1% damage like maces so it's not as good for accuracy stacking, but you can get 10 mastery and it boosts your combat techniques and combat training multiplier to 1.4 and is generally a really spiffing weapon even if it's more tailored to other classes.

Massive Blow: It's another attack button. Yawn. The multiplier isn't great unless you knock your victim through a wall.

Steamroller: This is good for bouncing around things like orc patrol ambushes, but with normal rush, PotS, Wave of Power, and a good movement infusion you can probably get around well enough to squash the orcs in robes. This is probably better for shield builds since they have more and better attack buttons to kill enemies quickly.

Superpower: This is targeted at someone else. Move along.

You Shall Be My Weapon: It's probably better than Massive Blow, though it will put some limits on what belts you can wear. Skipworthy.

Dex is a good stat. It scales Riposte's crit rate and Precise Strikes and gives you defense, accuracy, and a chance to shrug off criticals. You don't automatically need dex, though, and if you don't decide to start hoarding dex gear early you may not be able to get a dex prodigy on some builds.

Crafty Hands: If you unlocked the stone alchemy tree from an escort this triples your gem imbuement slots. Take this prodigy if you did so, otherwise you don't qualify anyways. Examples of what two gems can mean are 100% stun immunity from a couple bloodstones or 10% more crits and 20% to all damage from a pair of fire opals. Just the damage off two fire opals is better than Garkul's Revenge for everything except the Atamathon fight.

Giant Leap: This is a second rush button with a better multiplier and area of effect and the ability to jump over other creatures. Or it's a perfectly targeted short range teleport with damage. If you feel you need more mobility this is probably your first choice of prodigy.

Roll With It: Reducing damage taken is nice, but it's only physical. This is a maybe for two handed builds since they don't have block, but it's only as good as your dexterity so don't expect much if you use temporary equipment to qualify.

Swift Hands: This is good in general, but only as good as your inventory. It synergizes well with ICCtW and builds that unlock Cunning/Survival, but it's not an easy prodigy to take advantage of.

Through the Crowd: This is for pet classes. You aren't one.

Vital Shot: This is for archers. You aren't one of those either.

Windblade: This is for dual weapon wielders. You aren't one, but if you can put up with using a weapon set you're not skilled with for mooks or maybe spending a long time mis-activating the Ruined Dungeon orbs to qualify I think the skill itself is weapon agnostic and it'd be pretty good for a shield build. It's not enough better than FotB to justify the effort to qualify for two handed builds.

Windtouched Speed: You can technically qualify by unlocking Harmony from the Sandworm Queen's heart and maxing all four talents, but it's not worth it. If you want permanent global speed play a yeek.

Constitution is not a good stat, but you'll need a whopping 59 with equipment to qualify for Thick Skin so 50 for prodigy qualification comes with the territory.

Armor of Shadows: This is for other classes.

Bloodspring: You cannot call yourself a paladin if you let Melinda be sacrificed. You also don't want foes knocked back because you're a melee class. I suppose you could make it synergize with Steamroller.

Corrupted Shell: It scales with con and you don't want con. The armor hardiness is nice if you don't find the Wrap of Stone, but I'd look elsewhere.

Draconic Body: This is one of those prodigies that's always good but never great.

Eternal Guard: This is great for shield builds. No, seriously. It's even better than it looks, especially with Spectral Shield. Rather than blocking 2 or 3 hits you block all of them. And then you riposte and use up your counterstrikes for the round and next round your enemy hit you again and you get another full set of counterstrikes. Tough enemies that don't just evaporate under your opening attack will have the counterstrike debuff round after round until they die if they deal damage with an element you can block.

Fungal Blood: This turns all infusions into heal/wild combos. It scales with con, though, and is rather
anemic at low con. If you're wearing +con anyways because of the way the randarts rolled it may be good, but
remember to judge it by the value it will have with your permanent kit.

Never Stop Running: You probably cannot afford the stamina and most builds won't qualify. Those that will qualify can probably least afford the stamina.

Spine of the World: This is another always good never great prodigy. It means never having more physical effects loaded on you after the stun or pin you really need to clear, but once you return to the East you'll have other solutions to that problem. Halflings shouldn't even consider it as they have targeted stun and pin removal from their fourth racial talent.

Magic is really important to you. Most of your defenses run on spellpower and you'll need 52 on at least a temporary basis for talent qualification so these prodigies are easily available to any build.

Aether Permeation: This is for Archmages and I'm not sure anyone else can even qualify.

Arcane Might: If magic is your primary stat this is good. It's not exciting, but it's always there and
damage is nice.

Blighted Summoning: This is for pet classes. You're not.

Cauterize: This adds an extra layer of not dieing, but it seems to apply after Second Life, which is not ideal. Still, you have more tools to dig yourself out of a hole than most classes.

Mystical Cunning: This is pretty much specific to the rogue metaclass. You're not even close.

Revisionist History: This is only available with Chronomancy/Chronomancy:Precognition. It's basically legalized save scumming. Some bosses have their loot generated only on death because of the half hearted way boss drop randomization is implemented for bosses that formerly had fixed drops. It also gets you three times as many tries at merchant randarts and floor chests. I have a foul taste in my mouth just describing it.

Spectral Shield: This is pretty good unless your shield has a very good resistance spread. If you're thinking about this prodigy you might hold off until you see what you can get in the way of merchant randarts unless you already have an endgame quality shield.

Temporal Form: This provides some damage unification, but probably isn't worth it for that alone. This is mostly for chronomancers and you're not one.

Willpower is the stat you probably don't have. If you want one of these you'll have to hoard +will equipment that you'd otherwise just transmogrify.

Draconic Will: This is prevention rather than removal, which means you need to know when you're at risk before you get hit. It's a pretty good effect, but not easy to use. It's better on Shaloren because of Timeless, though that's changing for 1.3. It's also allegedly better at higher difficulties.

Garkul's Revenge: You have to use the fortress library to qualify and you need two specific artifacts. I'm not entirely sure if you keep the bonus if you're not wearing them either. +20% damage against almost everyone that matters is nice, but not worth the trouble.

Hidden Resources: Reducing your stamina consumption is good for shield builds, but everything about this class conspires against you qualifying for it.

Lucky Day: 40 luck gives 16 attack, 16 defense, 12% crit chance, and 7 to all saves. That's pretty good but not great. Still, it's simple and pervasive.

Mental Tyranny: This is for mindpower classes. You're not one.

Meteoric Crash: It's up to chance if you qualify. One of the orc pride bosses has the prodigy and you can observe his meteor, but there's no guarantee he'll trigger it at normal difficulty because he's relatively squishy. If you do get this it scales off spellpower for you so it's not bad and the Sun's Vengeance/Sun Ray pos generation engine will proc this as a byproduct.

Spell Feedback: You're not antimagic.

Unbreakable Will: You ignore a mental effect every 7 turns. If that's silence or confusion you're happy. If it's something less crippling and silence or confusion comes when it's on cooldown you're unhappy. This is one of those general good but not great prodigies and probably not worth hoarding will gear for. Effect prevention is allegedly more important at higher levels, but Draconic Will is probably just better in most cases. This might be good for undead if you're not confident you know when to use Draconic Will.

Some builds emphasize cunning as your third or even second stat and it will get high enough to qualify for prodigies in those builds.

Elemental Surge: Shield or Staff builds can probably proc this all the time with SoL attacks or Sun Ray and eventually any build will eventually be able to proc this with Sun Ray crits, but it only has a 30% proc rate on sufficiently high damage attacks and the shield isn't huge. The fire proc will only come off Weapon of Wrath when you're pretty badly injured and it's also 30%, but it can get you out of trouble. This isn't going to be reliable, but it can act as an extra layer of defense. FotB will proc it pretty reliably if you're surrounded and Crusade will proc it almost 2/3 of the time with SoL.

Endless Woes: This is for damage types you don't use.

Eye of the Tiger: If you aren't worried about running out of stamina you can cycle your actives faster with this. It doesn't do so much for your positive energy talents because the good ones are spells that use physical crit, but with Hidden Resources and/or Highborne's Bloom this has potential. SoL should also proc this.

Fast as Lightning: I'm not sure this even works. You need a particularly good movement infusion and if I'm reading the description right at least a 24 tile straight run. This is pretty much useless to everyone.

Secrets of Telos: You need three specific artifacts and Telos isn't a particularly good staff for you. The stat multiplier is good, but the damage type isn't physical or light and you have a natural edge in stacking physical and light from Righteous Strength. What you really want is a merchant randart with the greater and/or cruel egos.

Tricks of the Trade: This is for the rogue metaclass. You can't side with the assassin lord even if you wanted to as a paladin.

Tricky Defenses: You're not antimagic.

Worldly Knowledge: If you're a cornac who doesn't want to go staff and completely failed to save any alchemists, seers, temporal explorers, or warriors this can get you one of the escort trees. It does include the cat point and have a higher modifier so it's not horrible, but there are probably better choices. Like not playing a Cornac.

Inscriptions

This guide has been on the assumption that you want all 5 inscription slots. Note that you can only have two inscriptions of the same type.

Regeneration: At the higher difficulties the heal over time may be a good deal and builds that skimp on Healing Light or Bathe in Light may find this worth using for a time, but it's not really a good use of an inscription slot.

Wild or Primal: You want a physical wild to remove stun and flameshock. You want a mental wild to remove silence and confusion. These are the things that can prevent you from using Providence. Once you have Relentless you can use the physical wild for quick disarm and pin/spydric poison or blind removal. The primal infusion is weaker because it's less targeted. I suggest two wilds: one physical and the other mental, though either can be substituted with a phys/mental. The primal infusion does let you effectively have three wilds if you're really paranoid about effects.

Heal: Now that healing infusions don't take a turn to activate they're a decent emergency button if you find one big enough. The ability to clear poison effects can also make it easier for your physical wild to remove effects that are actually important and you can stop poisons from overloading Retribution without putting your wild on cooldown.

Sun: No player with any experience ever uses these.

Movement: These were recently nerfed into the ground and are no longer generally good, but if you find one with a movement speed over 600% they're worth a slot.

Heroism: The main purpose of a heroism infusion is the negative death threshold. Use them when Second Life is on cooldown to buy time to escape. They can also sometimes be used for stat prerequisites, though the stats you need to artificially boost usually aren't one of your three highest stats.

Insidious Poison: Unless you have the poison tree this is just a magical wild that takes a turn to use. Magical wilds are the least useful wilds anyways.

Wild Growth: This is mindpower based and your mindpower will suck unless you heavily boost it by accident while pursuing your real equipment priorities.

Shielding/Reflection: You always want shielding so Weapon of Light can have something to pump. I recommend having at least one shielding or reflection rune on autocast when enemies are adjacent. I think reflection is better for this, though shielding can produce bigger shields. Don't sweat the rune's duration since WoL will extend that.

Phase Door: This is not really useful. It's a poor escape and not a very good damage mitigator and the two roles clash. If you're a shalore or undead it can save your life early on when you're weak, but it's the first inscription you should replace.

Teleportation: This works as an escape, though it may put you in a new and different fatal situation. Still, unlike Phase Door it at least has the possibility of putting you somewhere safe.

Manasurge: You don't generally use mana. You can build to use mana if you really want to, but it's not worth an inscription slot to do so.

Invisibility: I don't think NPCs fully respect invisibility and stealth so this isn't a good escape and it reduces your ability to kill people before they kill you.

Vision: This might be worth it on higher levels where scouting is more important, but on normal it's a complete waste of an inscription slot.

Controlled Phase Door: This only buys you a little distance, but it gives you control of where you land so you can drop yourself next to a corner to duck around or even use it as a distance closer.

Heat Beam: This is a physical wild for undead. The wild is generally better because it has a lower average cooldown, but the minimum cooldown is the same so you might consider using one of these instead and getting some free damage.

Biting Gale: This rune is why undead suck. It's a mental condition remover that can't be used while silenced and silence is the most important mental condition to be able to remove. Still, it does clear confusion which is better than doing nothing at all. Undead probably need this until 100% confusion resistance, but they will be regretting their choice to be undead all the while.

Acid Wave: I suppose this is a crowd clearer and debuff. Inscription slots are really needed for escapes and mitigation, though.

Lightning: Do some meaningless damage and then ignore the first attack every turn and mess up any careful positioning. I would not use this rune because of the effect on positioning, but the effect is potentially pretty good.

Rune of the Rift: This is your only controlled way to reduce paradox and you can pick up a paradox tree from an escort. If you're using that for scouting you probably need this rune, which is fortunately a guaranteed reward. If you're not it's just a willpower based ranged attack button.

Taint of Telepathy: This requires you to finish a specific alchemist's last potion which may be bad and it's more useful to mindpower classes. It is a scouting button better than Vision if you're playing at a difficulty setting where you need that, but the mental save penalty might make it too much of a liability.

I'd suggest getting two wilds (mental and physical), a shield, a heroism, and a movement or teleport for the living and a heat beam, biting gale, two shields, and a teleport for the undead.

Equipment

The primary stats to look for are luck, cunning, spell crit, phys crit, crit mult, spellpower, and damage and damage penetration boosts for light and physical. Combat and movement speed are also worth having. Life and negative life are valuable early on and at higher difficulties and for yeeks and builds using chants other than fortitude, but Paladins are quite tanky naturally. Cloaks, amulets, belts, and digging implements have the best ego selections and therefore make the best merchant randarts for non-staff builds unless the slot is already filled with something good. A staff build will probably have to go for staves until he gets something worth beating people in the head with. Red's simplified positive energy management build is less crit reliant and therefore has less need to pursue luck, cunning, and crit boosts.

Tips and Tricks

Apparently this is a thing some people playing at low difficulties have difficulty with. There are three tricks to having ample positive energy to use pos consuming talents.

Autocast: put healing something from the Light tree that isn't Providence on autocast when no enemies are visible. This is a rookie move. It's easy and you'll always have a full bar to start combat, but you'll have things on cooldown and you may find that autocast costs you precious turns when blinded or facing invisible or stealthy opponents. And then you die. Putting Barrier on autocast when enemies are visible but not adjacent is a little more controlled. It's usually an acceptable use of a turn, but sometimes killing things quickly is better and autocast won't let you do that. My advice is don't use autocast for positive energy management unless you can't manage it manually. I do use autocast on adjacent enemy on shield runes and autocast when no enemy is visible for sustains or autocast always for sustains that don't take an action to activate.

Habit: Just get in the habit of using Path of the Sun instead of Rush to open combat, firing Bathe in Light before resting or autoexploring, and using Absorbtion Strike or Crusade against mooks whenever you're only fighting mooks. You'll usually have enough positive energy to smack down casters with WoP or hit groups with Brandish or FotB.

Build for crits: I've mentioned the Sun Ray/Sun's Vengeance positive energy generation engine a few times. Judging by what Red has shared about their experiences it may require more care than my experience had lead me to believe. You want to crit as often as possible to maximize positive energy production and allow you to use pos consuming talents in regular rotation during long fights. Look for physical and spell crit gear, max Sun's Vengeance, Righteous Strength early, Precise Strikes, and Magic of the Eternals early if applicable to your build. Prioritize cunning over everything but unlocks and magic for two handed builds. Shield builds get a lot of crits from dex with Riposte and may balance them. Use an axe until about 60% crit rate. The two hits on a bump with SoL at 60% crit rate will give you an 84% chance of at least one crit per round and with maxed Sun's Vengeance it will proc about 72% of the time. You can expect about 4 procs per 6 turns: 1 to proc Sun Ray and 3 to reduce its cooldown from 9 to 6. Since Sun's Vengeance is limited to one proc per round it's not possible to get the effective Sun Ray cooldown below 5. With only one strike on a bump a two handed build needs a 90% crit rate to achieve that proc rate, but without SoL a two handed build also doesn't consume as much positive energy. Axes turn excess accuracy into crits. The actual turning point where swords add more damage than axes is probably earlier unless you have an unusually high crit multiplier, but if you're having trouble maintaining a full Positive Energy bar a little less efficiency in turning overflow accuracy into damage is acceptable.

Shield Pumping: This is more important at higher difficulties, but even on normal it's a good habit to do this before opening chests or vaults. Hit Barrier if you have it or a shield rune, then hit Bathe in Light. Even BiL alone produces a shield that is better than nothing. Wait until BiL expires and immediately open the chest or vault or step around the corner into LoS of the scary enemy. Be sure to attack within two turns because your shield may have as little as two turns remaining on it but Weapon of Light will also pump it up and refresh its duration to a minimum of two. Wave of Power counts as a melee attack and can be used to keep a shield up for a couple more turns if you're not adjacent to an enemy. High accuracy obviously reduces the risk that you'll miss after taking a non-attack action like setting up PotS.

Builds

Due to post size limits and my lack of foresight in reserving the second post builds are now here.

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Last edited by Atarlost on Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:30 pm 
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The amount of detail you put into this guide is greatly appreciated :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:05 pm 
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It really says something that the title is true while still being a far more detailed guide than most. ToME is deep game, but this is a fantastic guide. In addition, how many test characters did you run for this?

Thank you, Atarlost. Now there's a guide out there for every Sun Paladin (including the weird builds), instead of just one really basic one.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:57 pm 
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One early error I caught: if you take Chronomancy, you get free Paradox reduction on rest. Everybody does.

That does not change the fact that Chronomancy is a bad tree, but it isn't bad due to lack of Paradox reduction.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:52 pm 
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Doctornull wrote:
One early error I caught: if you take Chronomancy, you get free Paradox reduction on rest. Everybody does.

That does not change the fact that Chronomancy is a bad tree, but it isn't bad due to lack of Paradox reduction.


Ah. Last time I played a chronomancer it was like equilibrium in that you had to use a talent to reduce it. Paradox regen may mean the tree isn't automatically worse than Survival or Harmony, which means I need to actually look into it. It may even be better than divination.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:12 pm 
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Atarlost wrote:
Ah. Last time I played a chronomancer it was like equilibrium in that you had to use a talent to reduce it. Paradox regen may mean the tree isn't automatically worse than Survival or Harmony, which means I need to actually look into it. It may even be better than divination.
The main downside is that Precognition seems to be buggy.

But yeah, it should at least be usable now, and if we get Chrono stuff into decent shape for 1.3, then it'll hopefully be quite good.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:46 pm 
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Atarlost wrote:
Revisionist History: This is specific to chronomancers. You're not one.

Not specific. If you get Precognition (or the Chronomancy tree) from an escort, you can actually pick this prodigy too. And it is probably less useful to Paradox Mages than it is to any other class, by the way.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:48 am 
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jaumito wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Revisionist History: This is specific to chronomancers. You're not one.

Not specific. If you get Precognition (or the Chronomancy tree) from an escort, you can actually pick this prodigy too. And it is probably less useful to Paradox Mages than it is to any other class, by the way.


That counts as time travel? Okay, then. Can anyone tell me what this prodigy is actually good for besides getting multiple tries at chests and merchant randarts?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:05 am 
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Atarlost wrote:
That counts as time travel? Okay, then. Can anyone tell me what this prodigy is actually good for besides getting multiple tries at chests and merchant randarts?
Multiple tries at boss loot, too.

Multiple tries at not getting one-shotted by Slashey'mcsquidbutt.

Multiple tries against Slime Tunnel bosses.

Multiple tries in general.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:14 am 
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Doctornull wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
That counts as time travel? Okay, then. Can anyone tell me what this prodigy is actually good for besides getting multiple tries at chests and merchant randarts?
Multiple tries at boss loot, too.

Multiple tries at not getting one-shotted by Slashey'mcsquidbutt.

Multiple tries against Slime Tunnel bosses.

Multiple tries in general.

I'd like a bit more understanding before I write this up.

Shouldn't boss loot be generated at level gen for everyone but chest bosses and slime tunnel bosses? And who's Slashey McSquidbutt? I can't think of anyone squidlike except the Wierdling Beast and I have trouble imagining delaying him until after Dreadfall to get a prodigy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:42 am 
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Atarlost wrote:
Shouldn't boss loot be generated at level gen for everyone but chest bosses and slime tunnel bosses? And who's Slashey McSquidbutt? I can't think of anyone squidlike except the Wierdling Beast and I have trouble imagining delaying him until after Dreadfall to get a prodigy.

"Should" is a question for the philosophers.
"Is", though. I can answer "is". If you're asking "is boss loot generated at level gen", the answer is no.

Slashy'kwishsquid is the demon that gets summoned by killing a monolith cultist. Her name is ridiculous and nobody remembers how to spell it, and also she is described as basically having a squid growing out of her butt. So yeah.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:06 am 
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Doctornull wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Shouldn't boss loot be generated at level gen for everyone but chest bosses and slime tunnel bosses? And who's Slashey McSquidbutt? I can't think of anyone squidlike except the Wierdling Beast and I have trouble imagining delaying him until after Dreadfall to get a prodigy.

"Should" is a question for the philosophers.
"Is", though. I can answer "is". If you're asking "is boss loot generated at level gen", the answer is no.


I assumed since I've seen multiple skeleton archers shooting me with Merkul's Second Eye that all loot was generated with the monster and used by it. I'll be updating the guide soonish.

Edit: I was apparently really close to the post size limit because the discussion of the chronomancy stuff pushed it over. I'll see what I can edit down tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:35 pm 
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Atarlost wrote:
I assumed since I've seen multiple skeleton archers shooting me with Merkul's Second Eye that all loot was generated with the monster and used by it.

It's true in general, just not for most bosses - those always use their default fixedart in combat (e.g., Bill will always use his Trunk) but the one they actually drop is generated only when they die. Bosses that don't have an assigned fixedart (Urkis is one) will always drop the same loot, so using Revisionist History (or See the Threads) on them for that purpose is pointless.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:00 am 
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Having run out of space in the OP I'm going to try to move the builds section down here and put a link. Back to Top

Builds

You're going to have 67 or 69 class talent points and 49 or 51 generics to play with. You can't guarantee getting both the Elixir of Focus and the Elixir of Foundations so plan on one of those being the low value. And, yes, in spite of the limited places to put generics some races will be happy to have the Elixir of Foundations. Apart from staff builds there really isn't much connection between your class and generic choices so I'll treat them separately. Strength is almost purely a damage stat. You need some for unlocks and to wear massive armor, but you can use items for that. Strength does dictate the range of Wave of Power, which is somewhat important, but is just one skill. Dexterity gives you accuracy, defense, and crit avoidance. With frequent crits and a sword to roll over excess accuracy it's a good damage stat as well as a good defensive stat. When using Precise Strikes it's also a physical crit stat only slightly weaker than cunning. Constitution is pretty much unimportant unless you're using the one escort tree that runs on it. It's a defensive stat, but a weak one. Magic is spellpower and unlocks and spell save, and you need quite a lot of it for unlocks. Spellpower runs all your defensive skills, but most of your offensive skills are physical. It may be the most powerful defensive stat of the Sun Paladin. Will doesn't do much for you, just the lengths of your resource bars and magic and mental saves. It's a very low priority in general. Cunning is crit chance and mental save. Most of your skills, offensive or defensive, can crit and this is a very good stat.

Basic Shield Core
Minimal investment in Celestial Combat and Sun is 5/1/1/5 and 3/2/5/0 respectively. Almost every build will also unlock Combat Techniques and max Rush, leaving 40 or 42 points for building a combat style. For a shield user Guardian and Shield Offense can be expected to eat another 26 points (22 if you're getting swarm busting elsewhere or very patient). That leaves 14 or 16 points depending on if you get the Elixir of Focus.

Speed Shield
The left over 14-16 points after the shield base are enough to 5/1/5/5 Combat Techniques, put a point in Quick Recovery, and max either Weapon of Wrath or Wave of Power if you get the elixir of focus. WoW has diminishing returns, but the second point is probably worth it and WoP has no breakpoints so a split investment is entirely reasonable. Max strength and bring magic to 54 first followed by cunning for crits and the remainder in dexterity or grab strength and magic according to prerequisites and max cunning and then dexterity before maxing magic for defense and putting anything spare in strength. You still have all your attack buttons to nova with, but this build takes all your extra late game class points and puts them into damage via global speed. Shalore may be the best race since Timeless lets you start making effective use of Perfect Strike and Blinding Speed earlier. This is also a build to look at for Yeeks for their speed boost. Good prodigies are ICCtW to mitigate fatigue and maybe EotT to bring the Perfect Strike and Blinding Speed cooldowns down to something acceptable.

Fingolfin
This is one of the test character I actually ran for the guide. He closely resembles the Speed Shield build with a fairly standard Shalore generic set. I took the risk of only putting one point in Second Life to max Precise Strikes instead. This is probably not advisable on higher difficulties, but he made it through Normal Roguelike without difficulty. Prodigies were Spectral Shield and Eternal Guard.

Consistent Shield (with crit emphasis)
Perfect Strike and Blinding Speed are powerful, but they have longer cooldowns than most of your abilities, reducing their value in long fights. Eschewing those frees up points for more consistent abilities. Wave of Power and Precise Strikes get maxed, Weapon of Wrath goes to 4, and Quick Recovery goes to 2 or 4. Dex and Magic get maxed first, followed by cunning until you reach 100% melee crit and then strength. Shalore or Halfling are nice for crits, but as a shalore you may take the unusual 1/5/0/0 route because you don't really have any good talents to use with Timeless.

Strength based Shield
While crits drive Sun's Vengeance nothing requires you to seek 100% crit rate. This is basically the previous build without Precise Strikes. The spare points go into Shield Pummel (2), Shield Slam (2), Quick Recovery (5), and if you get the Elixir of Focus, Weapon of Wrath (5) and Fast Metabolism (1) or Shield Slam (4). Strength is your primary stat followed by Magic. Dex and Con are both possible thirds, making this a good build if you're interested in pursuing Conditioning, Corrupted Shell, or Fungal Blood. The extra HP from con also makes Chants other than Fortitude more attractive. This is also less tied to swords. You could even pursue a mage staff build if you want to risk not continuing to find short staves. This kind of build is common in the character vault, but I've seen people complain about positive generation bottlenecks and weak defenses with such builds. Still, people are winning with builds like this.

Red's simple energy management Shield/Radiance build (revised)
This only really works with a ghoul because it doesn't unlock Combat Techniques. I've pulled back a couple talents with breakpoints at 4 that he invested to 5, bumped Sun Ray up for blind and moved wasted assault points to riposte, leaving 5 or 7 points spare. A few places to invest them are noted with ranges. Shield Offense (1-2)/4/(1-2)/1; Combat Veteran (0-5)/0/0/0; Celestial Combat 5/1/5/5; Sun (3-5)/2/5/0; Guardian 5/1/5/5; Radiance 5/5/4/0. You can safely pull from the first Radiance talent if you need to. This sidesteps the positive generation bottleneck of the previous build without requiring a heavy emphasis on cunning to drive the Sun Ray/Vengeance pos generation engine.

Basic Two Handed Core
Minimal investment in Celestial Combat and Sun is 5/1/1/5 and 3/2/5/0 respectively. Almost every build will also unlock Combat Techniques and max Rush, leaving 40 or 42 points for building a combat style. Crusader merits at least 1/1/5/4 and Two Handed Assault's minimum is 1/1/1/1 unless you float a point in Execution, which will lose its value as your crit rate rises. That leaves 25 or 27 points; much more lenient than the shield build. On the other hand I can pretty reliably get a shield build through on roguelike, but two handed builds tend to die in the transition from early to mid game.

Crit Seeking Bastard
From the basic two handed core max the whole Combat Techniques tree, Sun Ray, and Wave of Power. Two point Weapon of Wrath and 4 point Absorption Strike. Bring Stunning Blow to 3 if you have the Elixir of Focus. This works well with Shalore for the crit mult and timeless. Primary stats are cunning, dex, and magic once prerequisites are met.

Radiant Staff Paladin
This isn't a great build. The only gold artifact support you have is Bolbum's Knocker. Randarts that include cruel and/or greater are good as well but greater in particular is rare as hen's teeth. You're using the Cornac Staff User generic plan below because you need all three cat points not reserved for infusion slots on class talent categories and while a Ghoul could skip Combat Techniques he wouldn't be able to afford the points for Staff Combat and Chant of Light. You're also prioritizing the Elixir of Focus over the Elixir of Foundations. Take the basic two handed core without Execution. Put Sun Ray, Wave of Power, and Absorption Strike to 5. Go 5/1/4/5 in Radiance. Judgment fires rad 1 balls so against groups the overlapping explosions make its damage less anemic than the description indicates. Put 2 points in Suncloak. Suncloak should take the Sun Ray duration down to 7. With some Sun's Vengeance crits bringing the Sun Ray cooldown down you can fit two Sun Rays in its duration. It'll
also cut the cooldown of Judgment significantly. Build Magic and Cunning with minimal strength for unlocks (28 for everything but Armour Training 4-5, which can wait for gear), then strength for WoP range after those are maxed or, if you wind up with endame potential gear that has good mana regen incidentally possibly dex to free up Combat Accuracy points for Channel Staff. Equip for crits, spellcrit, crit mult, +light, and +phys. This is, one build where overkill accuracy is completely wasted so don't bother pumping both dex and Combat Accuracy heavily. Good prodigies are Arcane Might and Elemental Surge or, if you have trouble getting your crit rate to 100%, Lucky Day. Secrets of Telos might be worth it if the wiki description is in error and it now does physical damage.

Edison of the Incandescent Orb
This is the test build the above is based on. It sticks to Chant of Fortitude on the generic side and wasted points on Illumination and Execution instead of Judgement. Judgement had been a disappointment when I floated points into it, but looking at the actual math after the fact I concluded it would probably put out useful damage against groups with good light stacking. Edison also pumped dex almost to max before moving to strength because I expected the staff accuracy bonus to apply to Weapon of Light, but it didn't seem to.

Basic Generic plan
If you get an anorthil escort when Healing Light or BiL are not yet maxed or a sun paladin escort when Chant of Fortitude is not yet maxed you can get a generic point as your reward as well as seeking the Elixir of Foundations so you can't really know for certain how many generics you will get. Generic planning is more subtractive than additive. If you max all of Light except BiL at 4, all of Combat Training except Dagger (possibly substituting Exotic for Weapon Mastery), and Chant of Fortitude you will have at least 5 generics left. If you have a racial tree the first point comes free as well. The question isn't so much what you add to the bare skeleton of a build, but what you can get that's better than it.

Cornac Staff Wielder
Staff investment is really simple. You don't need an attack button and don't have the mana regen to use Channel Staff so you're going to 1/5/4/0. Excess points from escorts or the elixir go in order into maxing Defensive Posture, maxing BiL, and Channel Staff because it's marginally more useful than Blunt Thrust, being a ranged attack. Alternately you can draw Healing Light down to 1 and 1/1/1/5 Chants for more light damage.

Conditioned Cornac
The only good reason to be here is Adrenaline Surge on a shield build, in which case you should drop Healing Light to 2 (4 with the elixir) and go 1/1/1/4 in this tree. If you're also pumping con you can drop Healing Light to 1 in favor of Vitality.

Cornac Diviner
Divination isn't a great tree, but if your escort luck runs to celestials and chronomancers and rogues early on you might find yourself taking the first useful escort tree you can. The simple option is to one point everything and put the fifth excess point into BiL. The sustains are cheap at any price because you're not using mana for anything else. If you want offensive benefits you should cut Healing Light or Weapon Mastery to 4 and 1/5/0/0 or 1/3/1/1 or, with the elixir, 1/5/1/1 Divination. You don't get a lot of spellcrit, but it's something. You can get arcane eye following at 5, but I don't think that's as much of a reason to invest heavily as stealth/invis negation which isn't attainable with less than a 1.00 multiplier.

Cornac Gem Crafter
This tree isn't very good unless you max both extract and imbue. I'd suggest prioritizing the Elixir of Foundations and going 5/5/1/0 with Healing Light or Weapon Mastery left at 1, though going 5/5/0/0 and pulling a point from somewhere in the Combat Training tree is possible if you need the Elixir of Focus for the other side of your build and have the bad luck to see Elixir of Foundations completed the first chance and get no celestial metaclass escorts. You can go just extract and use the extra cash for merchant randarts, but lose out on something like 1% to all crits and 2% all damage or +1 to all stats per imbue point without even getting into artifact gems or taking the prodigy for extra imbue slots. Levels 3 and 5 offer 30% and 60% stun immunity respectively as options as well.

Cornac Precognitive
Chronomancy may be one of the worst trees you can take, but I hear from a reliable source that paradox does reduce with resting now so it is viable in the sense that it's better than Harmony and may be better than Survival if you don't have many good item activations. For scouting it's probably better than Divination as well. Even one point of Precognition gives you enough time to poke your head around a corner and Foresight actually scales even though the base value is terrible. The other two talents are terrible, but at least they're stuck at the end of the tree where you can ignore them. I'd 1/4/0/0 this to start with extra points in Precognition up to 4/4/0/0 then five BiL then Foresight then Precognition.

Harmonic Cornac
On the bright side you're not dependent on escorts, just the guaranteed sandworm queen heart. The downside is that Harmony is expensive and only the last skill is good. 1/1/1/4 at the expense of Healing Light. Use Healing Nexus right after using BiL in combat. The two actions for this combo will hurt two handed builds less than shield builds since they have fewer good attack buttons to cycle, but that's still two consecutive turns spent not hitting someone. At least one of them being BiL means you won't lose your boosted shield to nonaggression.

Cornac Gadgeteer
If you want to use Swift Hands you want to unlock Survival and at least 4 point Charm Mastery, 5 if possible. If an escort fills in the Piercing Sight talent tax for you you might also consider moving points from Healing Light or BiL to Evasion.

Higher
You want to 1/1/1/5 the racial tree. You only need to pull 3 points out of the core and I'd suggest taking them from Healing Light or BiL.

Shalore
You want to 1/5/1/5 the racial tree. That means cutting expenditures elsewhere. With the diminishing returns on Weapon Mastery and the damage that should be coming in from MotE that's a tempting place to cut corners. This is a race to consider the Elixir of Foundations with. With Foundations but no escorts you can just ditch Healing Light or BiL down to 1 point. Builds that lack good Timeless targets may stop at 1/5/0/0, though Timeless is always valuable for bringing talents off cooldown and reducing detrimental effect durations.

Thalore
You want to go 1/(1-5)/5/0. Pull from Healing Light first, then BiL, Combat Accuracy, or Weapon Mastery. Don't pull from Thick Skin, that defeats the whole purpose of being a Thalore: 25% resist all between the two talents. With SoL effectively reducing damage by a constant this race is probably better at shield builds, but resist all is valued by anyone.

Halfling
Halflings are easy. Invest 1/1/1/1 and put the remaining point and anything from escorts or the elixir in BiL, Militant Mind, and/or Indomitable. Probably Militant Mind for two handed builds because it synergizes with Cleave, Death Dance, and FotB. Don't let the low recommended investment fool you, all the talents are good it's just that most are good even at one point.

Staff Halfling
With so many one point wonders and staff combat available from Angolwen without spending a cat point you can 1/5/0/0 Staff combat without cutting into the core generic build apart from the now useless Weapon Mastery. Excess points from escorts or the EoF can go into Defensive Posture as well as BiL, Militant Mind and/or Indomitable.

Dwarf
I'm going to say 1/1/5/0. Resilience doesn't scale, Stoneskin is unreliable, and Stone Walking is also unreliable, though if you are running a build that can pump con you might consider it. With just one point from escorts you can afford that. With more escort points or the elixir you can finish BiL and put some points in Stoneskin since it's a passive that just happens or Stone Walking if you think you can get enough use from passing through thin walls.

Ghoul
Ghoulish Leap is why you're here. Retch performs a similar function to BiL so you might consider drawing points from there for it. Gnaw is a maybe for two handed builds, but shield bashers have plenty of attack buttons already. 1/5/1/0 is a good minimal investment taking a point from Healing Light. More investment in Ghoul or Retch is possible.

Skeleton
Skeleton is the race that will put the most stress on your generics. Bone Armor is big, bigger than barrier. It won't crit and doesn't benefit from spellpower boosters, but it's still huge. Unfortunately, it's not a substitute because of the longer cooldown, but it's well worth investing in. Resilient Bones and Reassemble are the undeath tax for not being able to use infusions or the blood of life. You need to max the former to minimize the duration of silence because there's no way for you to remove it and the latter for the extra life. Reassemble is a big heal, but it has a bad cooldown. You can probably leave Healing Light at 1 safely with Reassemble. 1 point will hold you through to level 12 and then you have two heals. I think the best bet with the Elixir of Foundations is to 3/3/5/5 Combat Training, 1/4/5/5 Light, 5 point CoF , and 1/5/5/5 Skeleton. Bone Armor and Barrier are probably low priority to max since you have both of them. I think extra points go into Thick Skin then Armour Training if you
get celestial escorts, but with the extra shield you need them less than other races.

Yeek
Yeek's a 1/5/5/0 tree. That probably means 1 pointing Healing Light and dropping either Combat Accuracy or Weapon Mastery to 4 since you can't afford to compromise your defenses. The Elixir lets you max everything relevant in Combat Training and 2 point Healing Light. Possibly in the long run points should be moved from Combat Accuracy or Weapon Mastery to Healing Light, but any heal bigger than your HP bar is wasted.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:02 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:46 pm
Posts: 2275
Location: Ambush!
Wow, that is pretty comprehensive.

You're certainly living up to the thread title. :mrgreen:

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