ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:18 am 
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Yeek

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The BIG GIANT Sun Paladin (Ogre) 2H+Shield Guide ... OR ... How I Learned to Love Champion's Will



Preamble:
I didn't try to make a COMPLETE guide. Though this did end up really darned long. Also, this was written in January/February 2013 prior to Embers of Rage coming out, so does not contain anything for v1.4.

For basics on Sun Paladins please read Red's excellent guide here: viewtopic.php?f=56&t=42935 (then come to this guide to see where we take things in a completely different direction). This build is HIGHLY OFFENSIVE but with very good defense.

NOTE: I have -not- completed the game on Roguelike or higher than Normal difficulty yet. I know Sun Paladins are felt to often be a harder choice for the final battle and for Nightmare/Insane. This guide may not do you any good in those difficulties.

Also please take note that this build is VERY gear dependent (meaning without a lot of luck you'll want to make use of the Item Vault and get some items from other character runs) for obtaining 3 things:

  • Talent buffs from a specific artifact (Champion's Will)
  • Raising immunities with things like Tarrasca and Garkul's Teeth
  • Getting to REALLY nice levels of Crit (33% @ L36), Crit Multiplier (210% @ L36), Light damage (+51%) and Light Penetration (35% @ L36)

You CAN still make an Ogre SP 2H+Shield without the listed gear and have a TON of fun, but you will probably want to adjust some Talents to make up for the lack of Mastery buffing.

NOTE: Sun Paladins HATE Luminous Horrors ... make sure you grab the ring 'Elemental Fury' and equip it when attacking any type of monster that has high Light resistance or (worse) heals from Light damage. But TAKE IT OFF when not worried about that.

Using the strategy in this guide ... by level 30 I was almost able to clear level 3 of Sludgenest (killed over 1000 spawns and 100 squares, only had 12 spaces left to open before 3 bosses with really nasty abilities spawned and I ducked out). I continued facerolling Bearscape and 5 Farportals, including purposefully opening every Summoning trap and chest I found, in a row (so much facerolling that I hit L36 in a Farportal without having trained any stats or talents since L29 because I wanted to make sure I planned out my talents and stats properly). I started writing this up at L36 and at that point I'd only died once (normal difficulty / adventure mode ... but I should have done Roguelike since my 1 death up to L36 was going through Nur to get to my fortress ... a lucky stun/pin while I was low on oxygen ... yep ... I drowned).

...

[SPOILER]The final fight was HARD. But it was my first time on it outside of an Alchemist Exploration run (which is where I ended up getting my Champion's Will).

I had ALL but 1 life by the time I got to it (that stupid drowning mentioned above) and I didn't kill them until the final life. I don't remember (it has been 6 weeks since I was working on this) what I did differently. IIRC,

I -believe- I was trying to leave the summoning portals up during the first few fights. On my next-to-last life I read some guides and realized my mistake but the room was a DISASTER, full of dragons, so I spent next-to-last life cleaning up the room and the portal. On the last life I was able to just focus bosses, using stuns as much as possible on 1 while I focused the other, and teleporting around a LOT to get cooldowns to recharge. However it was fairly easy with that change so I can see this build working on a Roguelike setup.

I goofed badly and went after Atamathon ... my courage was high and my lives were low ... so I lost that character and the gear. I'll try a Roguelike run once I re-accumulate some of the needed artifacts on other runs. Yay items vault.[/SPOILER]

For his character sheet, go here: http://te4.org/characters/188669/tome/7 ... 8aa2d0849f



... Intro:
My first Sun Paladin was a Skeleton. Just ... because I'd unlocked both during my previous run. It was a little bit of cheese but nothing like an Ogre Paladin turned out to be.

Then I ran a bunch of other classes but kept wanting to run Sun Paladin again. The combination of Sustained and Passive abilities was just, well, :ahem: easy ... but fun. And then I found Champion's Will and unlocked Ogres on my only Exploration Mode run. It was time for more cheese.

So .... WHY OGRE?
The Sun Paladin guide from Red is built around using your shield to smash things. Champion's Will is an amazing mastery buff for 2H Paladins. Ogres ... can use both at the same time. And since we're going to be using all 3 of our Category Points on Talents, we can train 'Writ Large' (last of the Ogre racial talent tree) near end game to get an extra Inscription.

The rest of this will focus on what is DIFFERENT from Red's Sun Paladin Guardian guide, since most of that guide is still applicable to our basic playstyle.



... Stats:
Str == Magic > Will > Dex == Cunning > Constitution

This is different from the guide, which puts Willpower almost at the end ... why? Because unlike the normal guide we are going to want a LOT more Stamina due to adding in the 2H weapon talents. I didn't MAX it as stamina pool regenerates well with Talents, just a good sized pool for lower levels. Stopping around 30 base Wil turned out to be fine.

@ L36 this is how my Stats looked (including gear because I forgot to show both):
Str 85 (135... see Prodigies)
Dex 17
Con 41 (mostly due to Items)
Mag 74
Wil 37
Cun 21 (mostly due to Items)

@ L50 this is how my Stats finished up, including the bonus points at 50 (stats with gear in parentheses):
Str 60 (125 ... see Prodigies)
Dex 30 (38)
Con 26 (59) (I overspent on Wil earlier a bit so didn't hit the 30 points here)
Mag 60 (80)
Wil 33 (52)
Cun 30 (47)

(since we get good bonuses from just about everything, I just played it boring and targeted 30ish base in all secondary stats ... while leveling raise Str and Mag fairly equally, so that you open up the various talents at the right time)



... Brotherhood of Alchemy Quests:
These are IMPORTANT. With a build like this you are going to be BEGGING for more talent points. Make SURE you get these:
  • Elixir of Focus ... Agrimley the Hermit (randomly on the world map) ... +2 Class Talent points
  • Elixir of Foundations ... Ungrol of Last Hope ... +2 Generic Talent points (this one is less important)

The other ones I was able to complete before an Alchemist finished:
  • Elixir of Avoidance
  • Elixir of the Savior

So long as you get Focus and Foundations, pick your poison on the other ones.

Final Alchemist Reward: Don't worry about it. By the time I'd finally found the last of the ingredients for Foundations (bad luck) the other Alchemists were pretty much done. In my case Stire (Derth) got done first and I didn't help him with his last elixir so I didn't get a Final Reward. However they aren't THAT important to us anyway.



... Talents:
  1. First Category point: Celestial Guardian (like Red's guide)
  2. Second Category point: Celestial Radiance (like Red's guide)
  3. Third Category point: Celestial Crusader (this is what you've been waiting for, you COULD take it earlier but you'll be more fragile until you can get Radiance and Guardian trained).

Up until around L30 I spent points pretty much exactly like in Red's guide. At L28/29 I just plain stopped training talents because I wasn't sure how I was going to plan out for endgame. The list below should help you plan out and spend a bit more than I did from 28-36.

------
NOTE: if you look at my character sheet, I overspent on 'Searing Sight' early on. Don't forget the talent mastery buffs from Champion's Will. I raised it to 4/5 but really only need to spend 3/5 because of the talent mastery buffs bringing it over level 4. One more free point is one more free point that you could put into smashing faces with other abilities. I adjusted this list accordingly so that it will help you plan better than I did.

This is also why I listed my Mastery levels. Mastery is multiplicative per level, meaning if you have +.4 Mastery then at level 2 you will have 2.8, not 2.4 (if Mastery were only added in once). Therefor .4 Mastery at level 3 gives you 4.2 effective level. This helps us save even more talent points. But it also makes this build dependent on Champion's Will.

I tested whether Mastery works properly in cases like this by only raiding Flash of the Blade to 3/5 and still getting a shield as if it were level 4. The language on a talent MATTERS. If it says "at level 4" then you can use Mastery to achieve the bonus. If it says "with 4 points in this talent" then you have to spend points to get there regardless of Mastery.
------

If I were running a new Ogre Sun Paladin, at least for Normal difficulty, WITH CHAMPION'S WILL ... I would use this as my plan (also included what I actually spent below this). The formatting is odd because I'm using CODE tags to keep the spaced formatting.

CURRENTLY the list is what I ran with, not fully optimized, see notes for various abilities.
Column 2 is L36
Column 3 is L50
(I'll get back and edit this to be OPTIMAL with what I actually ran with in parentheses ... WHEN I GET BACK TO THIS, needed to post and head to dinner before adjusting some points)

NOTE: The last 4 points you spend at 50 you can juggle around as needed if in Adventure/Exploration modes. Put them in the talents you are least sure about so you can respec if you don't like them.


Code:
CLASS POINTS          @36          @50
* Tech / 2H Assault (x1.2):
  Stunning Blow       1/5          2/5
   ... this + Shield Pummel are your stuns, and this one has a better chance to stun and stun duration than Pummel
  Fearless Cleave     1/5          1/5
   ... nice for closing in but not worth it except to get Death Dance
  Death Dance         1/5          3/5
   ... get to level 3 effective for the bleed)
  Execution           [SKIP ALL]
   ... a really weak talent and we have a ton of attacks

* Tech / Shield Offense (x1.1):
  Shield Pummel       1/5          1/5
   ... a useful stun, but don't need to max for duration because of 'Stunning Blow' scaling better on stuns
  Riposte             1/5          1/5
   ... might skip to buff other attacks but having level 4 doubles both duration and # of counter attacks, I know many people skip this but I like it for defensive times ... only do 1/5 or 4/5, 2, 3 or 5 is pointless
  Shield Slam         1/5          1/5
   ... mostly used for an extra block, doesn't do enough damage to matter for this 2H build)
  Assault             1/5          1/5
   ... in a 1H build this is our BIG attack, and it is still nice, but doesn't scale as well as some other attacks, worth getting

* Tech / Combat Veteran (x1.1)
  Quick Recovery      3/5          3/5
   ... I'd probably leave this at 1/5 if doing things over, nice to have some Stamina regen during combat, but once we start raising Wil it is less of a problem and I could have had 5 more points @ 50
  Fast Metabolism     1/5          1/5
   ... only take if you want some Spell Shield points, otherwise we heal better from Shield of Light and at 50 I really would have put the points elsewhere
  Spell Shield        1/5          1/5
   ... more spell save is nice, but by 50 the diminishing returns due to gear is likely limiting this talent significantly, with 1 talent point granting only around 3 more save instead of 10, might even skip
  Unending Frenzy     [SKIP ALL]

    NOTE: the more I spent managing my talents at L50, the more I wished I'd skipped Combat Veteran entirely to max out other abilities

* Celestial / Guardian (x1.3)
  Shield of Light     1/5          5/5
   ... make your shield a constant extra hit, more points scale well
  Brandish            1/5          4/5
   ... Light-based AOE attack, very big at higher levels but IMPORTANT do NOT take this until you are DONE with escorts, I think I killed 2 escorts with this ... 5/5 is nice but 3/5 is the sweet spot for most encounter ... I ended up accidentally going 4/5 while   writing this and wanted that point for Riposte
  Retribution         5/5          5/5
   ... MAX EARLY
  Crusade             0/5          0/5
   ... nice and would use with a 1H Guardian build but, we're being offensive!

* Celestial / Combat (x1.3)
  Weapon of Light     5/5          5/5
   ... max early, good damage and enhances shields)
  Wave of Power       1/5          3/5
   ... a very nice ranged attack BUT points past 3/5 don't scale % as much)
  Weapon of Wrath     2/5          2/5   
  Second Life         5/5          5/5
   ... max ASAP, and if you see it break, consider getting the hell away!

* Celestial / Radiance (x1.4)
  Radiance            1/5          1/5
  Illumination        1/5          1/5
  Searing Sight       3/5          4/5
   ... 3/5 = 4.2 effective with Champion's Will so stop at 3 for the dazes... I accidentally spent to 4/5 and lost a point I would have put in Sun Ray at 50
  Judgement           [SKIP ALL]
 
* Celestial / Crusader (x1.5)
  Absorption Strike    1/5         1/5
   ... reduced cooldown with Champion's Will, but not worth more than 1 point with this build
  Mark of Light        1/5         1/5
   ... not really worth it except to raise others
  Righteous Strength   1/5         1/5
   ... nice but only adds melee +crit, Sun's Vengeance buffs all crits by 2x, 1 point to get Flash of the Blade
  Flash of the Blade   3/5         3/5
   ... 3/5 = 4.5 effective, giving you the shield, AND reduced cooldown with Champion's Will

* Celestial / Sun (x1.5)
  Sun Ray              1/5         4/5
   ... Champion's Will buffs it to 3 for a ranged blind with lowered cooldown, generates light, relatively weak dmg but you get free casts once you can raise 'Sun's Vengeance'
  Path of the Sun      4/5         4/5
   ... for movement utility, though with mastery it does a fair amount of damage
  Sun's Vengeance      0/5         5/5
   ... once you've got other things raised, lots of +crit and buffs Sunray utility
  Suncloak             [SKIP ALL]
   ... would be nice but takes a lot of points to raise

* Tech / Combat Techniques (x1.1)
  [SKIP ALL]


GENERIC POINTS         @36        @50
* Race / Ogre (x1.0)
  Ogric Wrath          1/5        2/5
   ... this was a "leftover" point ... considered Blood Splash' [Corruption / Vile Life] due to a TON of crits, but decided to take an extra Inscription
  Grisly Constitution  5/5        5/5
   ... MAX ASAP for Champion's Will + Shield
  Scar-Scripted Flesh  1/5        1/5
   ... nice since we crit a lot but not nice enough
  Writ Large           4/5        5/5
   ... max around L37 to get an extra infusion

* Tech / Combat Training (x1.1)
  Thick Skin           2/5        5/5
   ... DON'T raise Con until Will maxed, if ever, can get Thick Skin to 5/5 with item buffs
  Armour Training      4/5        5/5
  Combat Accuracy      5/5        5/5
  Weapons Mastery      3/5        5/5
  Dagger Mastery       [SKIP ALL]

* Celestial / Chants (x1.3)
  Chant of Fortitude   5/5        5/5
   ... max early)
  OTHER CHANTS ...     [SKIP]
   ... if you really want a different chant, figure out where else to skimp on, Resistance would be useful in some cases

* Celestial / Light (x1.3)
  Healing Light        2/5        5/5
   ... with your +crit this scales well
  Bathe in Light       1/5        1/5
   ... use like Red's guide for keeping Energy up and to help with escorts, not worth extra points
  Barrier              2/5        5/5
   ... with your +crit this scales well
  Providence           5/5        5/5
   ... max ASAP for a nice remover

* Cunning / Survival (x1.1)
  [SKIP ALL]

* Wild-gift / Harmony
  [SKIP ALL]
   ... from Heart of the Sandworm Queen ... if I were going to take talents from using the Heart, I'd probably Corrupt it, see next.

* Corruption / Vile Life
  [SKIP ALL]
   ... from Corrupted Heart of the Sandworm Queen ... I thought I might want to take some of this tree but ended up not having enough spare talent points ... if we were playing a non-Ogre with a 1H weapon we might take these




... Auto attacks, Auto-casting / Insta-casting and Light (Positive Energy) pool NOTES:
  • To be honest, from the point which you equip Champion's Will (once you have Grisly Constituion maxed) through at least L40 you'll be doing enough damage with simple attacks that you'll barely need all of the offensive talents we've trained. You will 1 or 2 hit most regular enemies with just auto attacks. Combined with your Sustains (see next bullet) you will be walking through Normal mode on auto explore just mashing normal attacks the vast majority of the time.
  • Set ALL Sustains (Weapon of Light, Weapon of Wrath, Shield of Light, Searing Light, Retribution, Righteous Strength) EXCEPT for Chant of Fortitude and Second Life to "Auto-cast when no enemies visible". For all of those, if we're in an encounter that disables them for some reason, we don't want to accidentally lose a turn at a critical point. Yes, this will make your positive energy pool fairly small but they're generally worth it as you have your Stamina-based attacks to use when your Light-based attacks are not usable.
  • Chant of Life and Second Life get set to "Auto-cast when available". Why? Chant of Life takes 0% of a turn so you can cast it without worrying about screwing up your combat. Second Life takes a full turn to activate but always is worth it for saving your bacon. You may want to disable Second Life auto-cast this for REALLY ugly encounters and micromanage it but for almost all encounters I've been in I was able to watch for when it ticks down to 1 turn left before coming up and then pop a Shield rune (0% of a turn) so that you have protection for Second Life to pop and consume the next turn. It is worth 100% up time.
  • Retribution is worth keeping up full time but once it breaks (and likely kills everything in sight) it has a short cooldown. So keep an eye on it. If you see it break, use Mirror Shards if you have them equipped (uses a turn, works very similar to Retribution) or a Shield rune (0% turn) if you don't have Mirror Shards OR you can't afford to use a turn to get a shield up. Barrier if you have no other options (I generally dislike Barrier because it uses a turn). As soon as it is available again, as long as you can afford the turn, reactivate Retribution. The use of a turn in combat is why I don't set it to auto-cast when available like I do with Second Life.
  • If you want more Light pool for attacks, your weakest overall sustain is usually Weapon of Wrath followed by Righteous Strength. But ... both of these add damage ... so if you're wanting more pool for more damage, you may be better off just leaving them up.
  • Bathe in Light is set to Auto-cast when No Enemies Visible as per Red's guide. It keeps your Light pool full while between encounters. However while in early game and waiting for escort quests to appear I DON'T auto-cast it. It is much more useful to have to shield your escorts (and heal them, especially if you can block them in a corridor and rest/spam Bathe until they are healed up). This is your PRIMARY method of Light pool generation. The shield from it is fairly weak -and- gives that weak shield to nearby enemies so don't worry about saving it for a combat shield. Use it when your Light pool and Stamina pool are both depleted to get some more special attacks.
  • Remember that Path of Light, Sunray and Absorption Strike don't consume energy, they GIVE it. If your pool is high, start off with a damaging attack.



    ... Basic Boss/Rare Priority Rotation:

    1. Setting up the encounter (for instance directly after opening a chest and a rare appears or for any Boss)

      IF the target is too far to get within 1 square away using Path of Light, trudge your way closer while juggling Shields/Heals. Once you are close enough to get at least most 1 square between you with a Path of Light (later on use a Movement Infusion when you can take a 4th Inscription and save Path of Light for your main combat), pop the following all in 1 turn:

      • Writ Large (0% turn, lowers your Rune/Infusion cooldowns)
      • Shield rune (0% turn and will be up again twice as fast because of Writ Large)
      • Ogric Wrath (0% turn, enhances shields, gives more offense, keeps up some resistances similar to a Movement infusion)

      You haven't actually consumed a turn yet so you can start pounding on things.

      NOTE: Don't pre-cast your Regeneration. You have way too much shielding and passive healing to need it up front unless you had to trudge your way a bit before getting close.

    2. From a distance:
      • Wave of Power ... Red's guide generally doesn't care for it, but it does a high amount of damage and is ranged while using up some Light that you can quickly regenerate
      • Movement Infusion (if you have one equipped) to get closer
      • Path of Light (if off cooldown, you may have used it to get closer) for a little damage but mostly to give yourself some movement utility AND regenerate light from Wave of Power.

    3. Almost in melee:
      • Fearless Cleave ... when you have 1 square between you and the Boss/Rare, hit Fearless Cleave to get in melee range as well as to wipe out regular mobs to each side of it.

        Did Fearless Cleave wipe out all of those enemies in front of you and there is another with 1 square between you and it/them? Hit it again. It has no cooldown! Just keep an eye on your Stamina pool.

        BUT ... if your target is on or adjacent to your Path of Light (if you used it), don't bother with this on a single target unless your higher damage options are on cooldowns.
    4. In melee:

      IMPORTANT: For short fights, use whatever makes you happy. For longer fights you'll find you need to manage Light more at first and mix in more Stamina attacks. In extreme cases like Sludgenest, conserve your Stamina so that you don't run out as it is much harder to regenerated. Remember how strong your normal weapon attack is and conserve Light/Stamina if you need extra time wading through normal enemies to get to a boss.

      NOTE: Once you've started draining your Light and Stamina you'll have to decide which abilities to use. This is just an idea of which things to mash first. If this is a normal enemy, you can probably just autoattack your way through it. This list is based on what you should have available as of L36. If you're not there yet, use what you've got. Remember Red's guide won't mention a lot of the abilities you'll have by 36 so read it, too.

      1. IS THIS A HARD MELEE TARGET/BOSS (if you have Spectral Shield prodigy, ANY)?
        • If so, consider using Block or Shield Slam if your shields are low/down, otherwise save them both in case things get ugly.
        • Shield Pummel for a chance to stun and a big hit.
        • If you DIDN'T stun it and still want to, Stunning Blow ... lower damage but another shot at Stunning based on a different stat. If Shielf Pummel DID stun, then save this to re-stun in the middle of your other priorities below:
      2. ARE YOU OR BOSS SURROUNDED BY OTHER ENEMIES?
        • Death Dance (big hit to all within 1 square of you, applies a bleed DoT)
        • Flash of the Blade (big hit to all within 2 square radius, costs some Light, gives a 1 turn 100% damage shield ... LOVE THIS ABILITY ... by L30ish you'll be wiping 20 slimes out in a single use ... seeing 600-1800 dmg hit 20 things at once just makes you happy)
        • Absorption Strike (generates a little Light and does a nice AOE debuff)
        • Path of Light (if you're not worried about needing an "oh crap" getaway soon, cast under as many enemies as possible)

        NOTE: Skip Sunray unless you need more Light (Positive Energy) ... save it for cleaning up any low health enemies that aren't in melee or to blind (once you have 3 effective mastery, which you get with 2 points due to Champion's Will)... it will never do more damage than a normal weapon attack.
      3. IS THE BOSS ALL ALONE? AND IF IT MATTERS IS IT STILL STUNNED?
        • Assault (biggest hit you have)
        • Brandish (big hit, uses a lot of Light)
        • Absorbption Strike (good hit, generates a little light, shorter cooldown from Champion's Will)
          -mix in as needed-
        • stuns as needed with Shield Pummel/Stunning Blow (see next)
        • blocks as needed with Shield Slam/Block
      4. ARE YOU ABOUT TO GET SMACKED HARD (especially if you have the Spectral Shield prodigy)?
        • Shield Rune / Mirror Shards / re-pop any defensive cooldowns like
        • SECOND LIFE! If it for ANY reason is down but available, get it up (meaning it popped once already)
        • Retribution! If it for ANY reason is down but available, get it up (meaning it popped once already)
        • Shield Slam (when you have spare Stamina or are focused on 1 or 2 enemies, good damage)
        • Block (when you are out of Stamina OR are surrounded by a bunch of enemies, in which case with Riposte you can do a lot of counter damage)
      5. ARE YOU OUT OF STAMINA AND LIGHT?
        • Path of Light (gives 20 light)
        • Sunray (gives 16 light)
        • Absorption Strike (gives 7 light)
        • Bathe in Light (gives 20 light, gives you a small heal/shield, gives ENEMIES that same small heal/shield)
        • normal weapon attack (will help you generate Stamina due to Talents)
        • use items that generate Stamina if you have equipped one
      6. Casting a "Throwaway" Sunray so that you can followup with something like Flash of the Blade, and you don't need it for ranged attackers? Do it.



... Prodigies:
This is where, if you haven't already, you might look at me like I'm crazy.

  1. 'I Can Carry The World!' ... massive damage boost but equally importantly it conserves Stamina AND Positive Energy by negating Fatigue ... for Nightmare/Insane you might want to skip this one, I don't know, but you might well need the extra resources. You might take it 2nd, since your damage is already pretty insane at L30, but I wanted to see how well it worked out.
  2. You decide ...
    • 'Spectral Shield' will give your shield MUCH more reliability
    • 'Irresistable Sun' is going to be very useful for utility
    • 'Arcane Might' is the last chance you're going to boost your damage significantly (good for Normal/Easy).
    • 'You Shall Be My Weapon!' ... items that give you + to Size Category could make this very interesting (I know I could get at least +3 size while keeping my main gear, giving a 600% weapon damage knockback/stun every 10 rounds, but especially because of the knockback I wouldn't take that for anything above Normal/Adventure facesmashing fun)
    • (others?)

I took 'Spectral Shield' for this guide since I'd already gained a ton of +crit and damage that Arcane Might would give and lots of mobility from items and infusions that Irresistible Sun would.

I personally HATE 'Cauterize', we have a lot of end-of-life-saving abilities and having a fairly strong DoT (if it was a hard hit that killed you) can be pretty frustrating mid-battle. Your mileage may vary.



... Escorts:
While escorts aren't 100% needed, you REALLY want to see the Lost Anorthil and the Sun Paladin (multiple times is useful, up to 2 for Anorthil and up to 5 for Sun Paladin ... you can do it if you're willing to use Addons), see below. If you don't see both of them once OR one of them twice, you'll be 2 talent points less than I was for this guide so figure out ahead of time where you want to save 2 points. If you see them more often than I did then you'll get extra talent points (which would be really nice).

NOTE: I didn't use any Escort addons during this run, though I'm using them now on my Roguelike builds (currently trying to get a Cursed Mindstar wielder through the difficult levels at the beginning without screwing up and taking on vaults that I should skip)

SUCCESSFUL Escorts ...
  • Lost Anorthil ... Bathe in Light +1 OR Healing Light +1 (saves us a Talent point!)
  • Sun Paladin ... Chant of Fortitude (again saves us a Talent point!)
  • Lost Warrior ... Vitality
  • Lost Warrior ... Vitality
  • Lost Warrior ... Vitality (ending up with 2.4 effective level for some nice passive healing)
  • Repentent Thief ... Heightened Senses

FAILED escorts:
  • Repentent Thief ... Heightened Senses
  • Repentent Thief ... Heightened Senses ... would have allowed me to disarm traps by having level 3
  • Sect of Kryl-Feijan ... (no serious reward, just showing my shame)

OTHER escorts: (ie, what I would have taken for rewards if I had been given the chance)

  • Seer ... Premonition (I've taken this on a Paladin before and found it nice, especially if you can get it more than once)
  • Alchemist ... Magic +2 (more damage, Stone Touch would be a good alternative, don't even think about Stone Alchemy as you won't have the needed talent points to train up Imbue without really gimping your other Generic talents)
  • Loremaster ... +2 Strength OR +2 Magic (I couldn't find enough data online to decide if Disarm would be viable later on ... my guess is that you can't get the effective level high enough to be useful, but if you can ... that would be a really nice thing instead of stats)
  • Temporal Explorer ... Magic +2 OR Precognition OR Foresight (whichever you like better, Precognition and Foresight are both nice)



... Runes/Infusions:
At start I use a fairly typical setup of Regeneration, Shield and Teleport / Controlled Phase Door (max quality on each). It is very tempting to take a second shield instead of Teleport / Controlled Phase Door and you might do that if you anticipate no "oh crap" times. The Teleport came in very handy when grinding away in Sludgenest but otherwise through L36 I hadn't used it much.

Once you have Writ Large (Ogre racial final talent) to 5/5 you can take an extra Inscription. Another shield is an easy choice. Movement or Heroism (of the Wizard or Warrior) are also very useful. For L37 when I maxed Writ Large I took a Movement Infusion of the Warrior to basically double my closing ability combined with Path of Light.



... Items:

ITEMS - REQUIRED for this build:

I did regular damage testing with the dummies in the fortress to min/max things like Mastery (ie, amulets of perfection, Champion's Will) vs other buffs. Master at -least- keeps up on single target damage and buffs so many of your other abilities that, unless you find something amazing, you'll likely want to keep Mastery up as best you can. Champion's Will is the easiest and strongest way for this. Some shields might look better but overall these combinations were what I found most effective. +Light damage is a nice stat, but +Crit% and +Crit Damage ended up edging +Light damage out in most cases.

  • 2H Weapon: Champion's Will ... the most important part of this build, lowers CD on 2 amazing damage talents and lets you save at least 4 talent points until later in the game. Due to the synergy on talents no other 2H weapon will be better. This build would not exist without this item. Pretty much the only thing that might make this weapon better would be doing Light instead of Physical damage and while you can find those, the Talent bonuses make or break the build in my opinion. And that frontal cone of added damage will have you spewing Light at your enemies to the point of addiction.

    (Dark God ... PLEASE don't nerf this thing because of my love)

    There IS another option that isn't quite as useful (but in combination ... is really nice). Find items with "of Perfection" on them. This will buff Celestial Guardian and Crusader trees (by .33 at tier 5). I didn't find one until around L40 on this character so I might have "wasted" a couple of talent points but very useful nonetheless. Unfortunately the one I found was an amulet and it is really hard to give up on Mirror Shards for harder encounters.
  • Ring: Elemental Fury ... use to kill Luminous Horrors and Celestial bosses that heal from your light. This ring converts ALL of your damage. Yes, it includes making 25% of your damage fire, so you'll be healing Luminous Horrors for 25% of your damage ... but you'll be hitting them with other damage types for a lot more and not doing any Light. ONLY use it when fighting things that heal based on Light damage, take it off otherwise, as you lose 30-40% damage versus a +Light build.

ITEMS - optional but very handy:
  • Armor: Tarrasca ... amazing armor/hardiness + knockback immunity.
  • Shield: Summertide ... 100% Blindness immunity, 25% Confusion immunity, lots of +dmg and its base damage is Light, good block (you CAN get some more block with a couple of other shields but not enough to really outshine this one out of the shields I've seen so far). I rarely use the ability on the shield as the damage is low, but it's nice if you have a line of low health enemies you want to clear. Remember that via Shield of Light you are going to be doing a LOT of extra shield hits and 30% chance to blind almost every auto-attack is really nice. You might pick a different shield (I found a random rare that adds 100% of your Armor value as damage to each hit that can do more base damage but only barely as it was Physical) for extra damage but Summertide is a really nice option.
  • Cloak: Wrap of Stone ... life saving pause if you're about to get your ass handed to you from something far away, gives you a chance to let cooldowns reset and Stamina recharge a little. Since duration scales with Spellpower, and you're a rolling Spellpower machine once you've upped your Magic, this scales well.
  • Helm: At 36 I'm still using a random rare that adds 40% Blindness on melee hit, which combined with Summertide gives me close to 70% chance to blind each turn. However there are many other good options like:
  • Helm: Helm of the Dwarven Emporers ... 30% Confusion immunity, some extra light damage, +4 Mag / +3 Wil (Stamina), larger light radius (Blindness immunity is pointless on this one if you have Summertide). An extra Sun Flare is nice but you're probably already blinding the crap out of individual attackers so it's mostly useful when you're swamped my many at once.
  • Yaldan Baoth ... helpful for the few times when up against Invisible attackers, but that will be rare later on with some of your Talents helping unmask most Stealthers.
  • Gloves: Dakhtun's Gauntlets ... +50% Crit multiplier, +10% physical dmg, decent armor, +10% Spell crit chance, +6 Str/Mag ... very very nice.
  • Gloves: Gloves of the Firm Hand ... you lose a lot of damage from Dakhtun's but useful if you haven't been able to max out Disarm/Stun/Freeze immunities (Knockback will be handled already if you have Tarrasca).
  • Amulet: Garkul's Teeth ... for pinning immunity and a nice AOE attack, swap as needed with:
  • Amulet: Mirror Shards ... if your Retribution keeps going down, use the item use on this for a replacement ... if against a hard but encounter have them both up at the same time ... amazing damage reduction + reflect ... and buffs light dmg.
  • Boots: Boots of the Hunter ... great offensive capability, helpful immunities/saves along with a small movement boost and some health.
  • Boots: Wanderer's Rest ... 100% pinning immunity

Boots/Amulets NOTE: Wanderer's Rest allows you to use Mirror Shards instead of Garkul's Teeth ... don't use Wanderer's Rest AND Garkul's Teeth ... you get to decide if you want more defense using Mirror Shards + Boots of the Hunter, more offense using Garkul's Teeth + Boots of the Hunter, or some other combination.

WHAT IS MISSING: Having an item with the Lucid Dreamer bonus (sleep immunity) > Stun/Freeze/Confusion Immunity > Cut (bleed) immunity

... Miscellaneous:
  • Tool: Wintertide Phial when finding Mind-based rares
  • Tool: Lightbringer's Wand ... lots of extra Light damage and extra Spell Saves if you're not high on Spell save yet along with a decent on-use Light ability.
  • Misc: Burning Star ... for mapping
  • Misc: Wyrm Bile ... if you don't mind a shot at losing a few stats, you can get another Inscription via the extra Category point.

(and if you like this type of super offensive build but want to go 1H/shield, think about Human Adventurer instead of Ogre Paladin if you want to get even more creative on talents)


Last edited by Jahf on Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:46 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:16 am
Posts: 13
UPDATED ... added forum formatting to make it easier to follow.

COMING UP ... I want to edit the talents a bit to optimize things based on what I learned / goofed up on while playing.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:15 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:53 pm
Posts: 108
I've already pulled a win on Normal/Roguelike with a Sun Paladin back in 1.3. I've moved on to Nightmare/RL since then and have been considering trying out Sun Paladin again because I liked the class so much. Ogre's my favorite race so far, purely for inscription reasons, but trying out a combination 2H + Shield paladin's been on my mind for a while; which is why I made the basic weapon overview thread the other day.

I didn't even know Champion's Will was a thing before seeing it mentioned here, but I don't have one in vault, unfortunately. I think I'll stick with the plan of going Staff / Shield using Bolbum's Knocker; available very early, less STR investment needed overall, possible 1.5 mastery without even a cat point (thus covering the Phys loss by less STR), and uses a whopping 140% MAG modifier.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:46 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Posts: 318
Legacy of the Naloren and Windblade are better prodigies.

You do not need to rely on the vault. Legacy of the Naloren is a better weapon for this build then Champion's Will. I know because I tried.. tested in the training room. The overpowered trident deals a good deal more damage, even though Champion's Will is stylish.

And the other items are not essential, this race/class combo is so good that you will completely smash Normal difficulty, even with very bad luck with item drops.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:09 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:16 am
Posts: 13
grobblewobble wrote:
Legacy of the Naloren and Windblade are better prodigies.

You do not need to rely on the vault. Legacy of the Naloren is a better weapon for this build then Champion's Will. I know because I tried.. tested in the training room. The overpowered trident deals a good deal more damage, even though Champion's Will is stylish.

And the other items are not essential, this race/class combo is so good that you will completely smash Normal difficulty, even with very bad luck with item drops.


Thanks :) I'll look into the Prodigies mentioned and add them to the recommended list. Probably tomorrow though for that and the notes below.

No doubt that it can be fun with many other item combos. If I get the buzz to go edit the guide I'll minimize the "must have" feel of the gear a bit when I put in what I feel are slightly better talent spends than I used for that run (currently been ignoring editing that bit while I try to get a CuCo with mindstars in roguelike).

However, testing on dummies doesn't really do justice to Champion's Will. 2 reasons (for me ... besides looking sideways at Tridents :). I'd say it comes down to maxing damage or more flexible build/play. I can't say which will matter most on higher than normal difficulties. For normal, maxing damage over flexibility definitely has advantages ... but you're not lacking for damage with either method.

1) Not really highlighted, but -1 to the CD on Sun Ray, Absorption Strike and Flash of the Blade buffs damage a little, but moreso adds to utility and survivability.

2) Mastery buff, highlighted above but to summarize:

... getting a ranged blind out of Sun Ray with just 2 (instead of 3) talent points, Searing Sight giving a daze with 3 (instead of 4), Flash of the Blade giving shield with 3 (instead of 4) frees up 3 talent points ... and since we're opening up a lot of talents, those are valuable.

... if happy with 5ish in other talents many others can be underspent and still be as useful as a "normal" SP build.

... Making those talents in Sun/Radiance/Crusader that you -do- max out have a talent level between 6.5 and 7.5 effective level (and many of those are going to be utility talents that won't affect the dummy calculations at all)

Those give CW a lot of love for how I wanted to play it. I definitely wouldn't say my guide is THE way, ever, for anything I write. But honestly the only thing I kept wishing for was that it did Light damage instead of Physical as that would have made stacking Light damage buffs better than crit buffs. And looking at Legacy, the damage conversion would mean less synergy if stacking Light damage (but has good use if the player doesn't have access to Elemental Fury).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:58 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Posts: 318
Testing on dummies is not the same, that's right. A marginal difference in damage on training dummies would mean very little.

But the point is: it shows a pretty big difference in damage output. You also see that difference on the battle field. In the end your weapon needs to deal kill things. My experience was really that I was more effective with the trident, and my character had access to both weapons (and mastery in both of them).

But yeah, Champion's Will is certainly cool, and it might be a matter of style in the end. Personally I sacrificed Weapon of Light (left it at 1/5) to be able to spend more points elsewhere. I didn't regret it.

Such details aside, this felt to me like the strongest R/C combination that I played, and I played oozemancers, summoners and wildfire archmages. Not just big damage and good utility, but also in terms of robustness. You can afford some mistakes and it feels like you will survive anything. (Normal / Roguelike)

I had second life active all the time, and it only triggered once in the whole game, which was when I opened the OP dragon room in Vor Armory, almost as soon as I went East.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:46 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:16 am
Posts: 13
I'm doing a SP Roguelike run atm, playing with talent points. Cheating a bit by picking my escorts.

What I really wanted was the ability to open up Stone Alchemy, but giving up on one of the major Categories just doesn't feel right.

Agreed that Naloren vs. Champion's is going to come down to playstyle, at least on Normal difficulty.

I'd love to hear if anyone has done either of these combinations on higher difficulties. I never felt like damage was lacking, especially with the lowered CD on 2 damage abilities.

It looks like, if you are willing to pick escorts via addons and use Champion's, you can end up with 10 or so "free" talent points and still have what feels like a standard SP build. Which would have been enough for Alchemy :) But what I'm wondering now is if the freed talent points can do anything to significantly boost damage.


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