1.7.4 Insane Stone Warden Guide "Irresistible Fun"

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1.7.4 Insane Stone Warden Guide "Irresistible Fun"

#1 Post by GrayStillPlays »

So, the last Stone Warden guide was posted something like 5 years ago. Since then there's been changes both to the abilities and to the equipment, so I figure I'd do a guide. Here's my guy. I feel like there's a bunch of ways you could play this class, so I'm just posting what ended up working for me. I'm not a great player, as you can tell from the 7 deaths (although 6 of those were before the first prodigy point, which is where I feel this class struggles the hardest), so I figure if I could do this pretty much anyone can. I had a much more in depth guide typed up, but then I lost the entire thing and I don't have the literary masochism in me to type the whole thing out again. I ended up not using Eldritch Stone (the actual unlock) at all, but I'll put what I would have gone for if I did in the TL:DR.

Build TL:DR

Class Talents
Wild Gift/Earthen Vines: 3/1/2/2
Wild Gift/Dwarven Nature: 5/4/1/1
Spell/Eldritch Shield: 5/5/1/5
Spell/Earth: 2/1/1/4
Spell/Deeprock: 4/1/1/4-5
Wild Gift/Earthen Power: 5/5/4/5
Spell/Stone: 1/3/5/0-5
Spell/Eldritch Stone: 5/1/3/3

Generic Talents
Race/Dwarf: 1/1/5/1
Technique/Combat training: 5/3-5/0-1/5/0/0
Cunning/Survival: 1/5/1/1
Wild Gift/Call of the Wild: 1/3/1/3
Spell/Stone Alchemy: 1-5/1-5/1/5

Stone Warden Thoughts

Stone Warden is a weird class. It kind of wants to do a bunch of stuff, and it's not great at all of it. It SOUNDS like it would be this crazy tanky class, but without any percentage based damage reduction outside of Thick Skin and no one-shot protection, it actually ends up being insanely fragile. There is a few things it DOES do well though, and that is one or two shot literally everything in the game. It also has a LOT of get out of combat cards to play, and some great battlefield manipulation. The power progression was very late game oriented. It felt good but fragile levels 1-25, but once you get that first prodigy which is percentage based damage reduction, damage, and battle field manipulation all in one, things really change. At the end, I was basically steam rolling through everything. Everything in the game that wasn't a boss or a unique died to a single Eldritch Slam. Most stuff that didn't die to an Eldritch Slam died to the counterstrike Eldritch Blow that came after it.

Basically the idea here is kill everything before it kills you. The class also has a lot of stuff that feels like it should be amazing on paper, like all of it's resists and penetration, but it ends up being very dependent on the gear you end up with, more on that later.


1. Cheat sheet
2. Build rationale and analysis
3. Change log

Cheat Sheet

Stat distribution priority
MAG/WILL, STR, left over in Con

Category Point Order
Inscription, Stone Alchemy, Deeprock, Stone, or if not going Deeprock another Inscription.

Shield or Rune of Reflection if you find it is fantastic because it's instant and this class is starved for instants, it also passes over to your stone halves. Stormshield is likewise great, this class needs all the one shot protection it can get, and not getting hit by some big bads massive 1-shot is nice and it also transfers over to your halves. From there healing/movement are good as needed and Dissipation is pretty much mandatory. I eventually got rid of movement and just used Boots of the Hunter, but honestly at some point I wasn't actually moving in combat anymore, you'll see why.

Irresistible Sun and Arcane Might. AM could probably be replaced by FC or ICCTW.

Equipment priority
HP especially early, you need all the padding from insta-death you can get. Spell crit, spellpower/MAG, heal mod, increase crit damage, dmg shield mod, phy dmg, stun res, on hit (slow/blind/gloom). You do some bumping with the class, but most everything dies to a Eldritch Slam or an Eldritch Blow, which are both spells.

Alchemist Quest priority
+2 generic, +2 class +4% spell critical chance

Analysis and Rationale

So...Irresistible Sun. Kinda cool I guess, it's 8 turns of a 1 square pull toward you, some damage, and a 30% damage reduction to everything hit by it in a radius 5. You know what's better than 1 of those though? 3 of them happening simultaneously. Yes, if you cast IS and then summon your stone halves, they BOTH get it as well. So you have THREE IS's yanking stuff 3 squares a turn to your trio of death, while ALL doing the damage (the damage starts to get pretty nutty, especially if like me, you managed to consolidate your damage by finding something like the Pendant of the Sun and the Moons. It was doing 400 for each of us per tick, or 1200 damage a round. Since Body of Stone is so nice, you don't really want to move much as a SW...and you don't have to, because 3 squares of yoinking a turn is pretty insane.

Most prodigies don't seem to translate over to your stone halves, so if you get say, ICCTW, they don't get the +50 strength. Sustains don't seem to translate over as well, so your halves don't also get to have Earthen Vines of Body of Stone, for instance. Anything that is a TIMED buff DOES seem to transfer to them. Shields, Stormshields, Regen, Block...and of course, IS.

Speaking of consolidating damage, SWs are kind of annoying because their damage is all over the place. They do arcane, physical, nature, and some fire. Getting that Sun and Moons pendant and just having to deal with Dark and Light was so nice, even if it meant part of the build wouldn't really benefit from it.

Weapon Choice

I mean...shields.

Class Talents

Wild Gift/Earthen Vines

[3] Earthen Vines: I liked these a LOT more than I thought they would. I guess they got a damage buff at some point, but they were doing about 200-240 damage per tick against each enemy tangled. The real benefit is the other stuff you can do with them though. 3 points to get 6 radius.

[1] Eldritch Vines: More damage and some mana and EQ I guess, but really what you want is...

[2] Rockwalk: Now we're getting somewhere. Remember how I said we really don't want to walk anywhere in combat? This helps that. 2 points to get that CD down to 9. But besides going to the bad guy you can...

[2] Rockswallow: ...bring him to you! I used this ALL the time. It was great to snag someone, yoink them into the death trio, and then just melt them. 2 points for the 9 CD.

Wild Gift/Dwarven Nature

[5] Elemental Split: These guys are legit. They're carbon copies of you, with your stats, resists, HP, and equipment. They have their own talents, but they DO get benefits from buffs you have on you when you cast them. 5 points for 11 turns of them.

[4] Power Core: Makes your Stone Half cast a damage shield and your Crystal Half do a damage spell. More points is more ranks of the spells. I just found 4 to be good here.

[1] Dwarven Unity: Makes your Stone Half taunt everything and the Crystal Half shoot some rocks. Really it's the taunt that matters, I used this all the time. More points makes more stone attacks from the Crystal Half and a larger taunt radius, but being that you're yanking everything to you at an insane rate, I found a 4 taunt radius to be fine.

[1] Mergeback: The only status clear you have, luckily it's pretty decent. 1 point for 5 statuses removed which can be physical, mental, OR magical. I didn't use it that much but it was nice to have it if I needed it.

Spell/Eldritch Shield

[5] Eldritch Blow: Welcome to the MVP tree and probably the MVP skill. Eldritch Blow scales to an insane degree, eventually doing 588% weapon damage of arcane damage and stunning stuff. When Eldritch Slam didn't kill something, this did. Since Eldritch Slam gives everything Counterstrike, you'll be hitting for 6-13k in the end with this pretty regularly.

[5] Eldritch Infusion: This is really, really good. It makes you do more damage when you attack, and do some damage when stuff hits you, but the real benefit is how much spell and mindpower this thing gives, which is to say...a ton. At level 5 it also reduces block cooldown by 3 turns.

[1] Eldritch Fury: This is good, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't scale like Eldritch Blow does. 1 point was fine for me.

[5] Eldritch Slam: My god...this will be responsible for killing 95% of everything you come across. 275% melee weapon damage in a titanic radius 7 at 5 points, AND EVERYTHING gets counterstrike for 3 turns. The most common insta-death combo was this, followed by Eldritch Blow on the counterstriked unique/boss.


[2] Pulverizing Auger: I used this to dig all the time. 2 points for the 3 range dig. Interestingly if you're stacking physical damage bonus, it gives a pretty good bonus AND it transitions over to your halves when you summon them. I actually ended up with the bonus a lot because I would typically find the guy I'm going to kill, tunnel behind him, carve out a small cave so I'd have space to summon the halves, blast through the wall with the Auger, then Reflective Shield/Storm Shield/Dwarven Resilience/IS and then summon the Halves.

[1] Stoneskin: Eh, I guess it can reduce some CDs on some of your spells.

[1] Mudslide: I never cast this a single time, but you need it to get to...

[4] Stone Wall: Now we're talking. 4 points makes this targetable, and it's fantastic for either walling off some powerhouse enemy while you slaughter everything around it or run away, or walling off yourself so you can let stuff CD and heal. You can also wall yourself off near a wall, and then Auger through the wall to safety. At 4 points it's 15 turns, that's some serious duration.


[4] Deeprock Form: I wanted this entire tree to be way better than it was. If I had to do it all over again...I probably would have not taken this and just taken another inscription. On paper all those resists and bonus damage is great...but I got that pendant and was doing dark/light damage, and the turn it took to become a Deeprock Elemental...I was better off just doing a shield damage thing and insta-killing whatever I was fighting. Still, if you want to do it, 4 points gets you 19 turns as an elemental, and that should be plenty.

[1] Volcanic Rock: Could be cool to corner snipe and gives some arcane pen/damage, I never used it.

[1] Boulder Rock: Never used this either.

[4] Mountainhewn: This CAN be amazing...if you get the right equipment. In my head I was like "I'm going to get this awesome phys resist gear or a juggernaut gauntlet or something and then have 75% resist all" but what really happened was the gear I wanted didn't have a ton of physical resist, and so sometimes the physical resist was LOWER than the resist it was replacing. I wish the dev changed it so that it replaces the resist with physical resist IF physical resist is the higher one. This also cancels out the resists from Body of Stone, which annoys me.

Wild Gift/Earthen Power: 5/1/1/1

[5] Stoneshield: This is your weapon mastery talent, an easy 5.

[1] Stone Fortress: Meh...

[1] Shards: Cool that it gives you a melee retaliation strike once per turn, it just doesn't scale that great. 1 point is fine.

[1] Eldritch Stone: In my head I wanted this to be so cool. Like I'd cast this, bring out the stone halves and they'd have it, then I'd Eldritch Slam and explode the shield on the Stone Halves and it would do all this damage. It just really didn't because weirdly it doesn't appear to crit. So, there's just other stuff you can be doing with your turn. If it was an instant, I could see myself using it more.

Spell/Stone: 1/3/5/0-5

[1] Earthen Missiles: Nope.

[3] Body of Stone: Now we're talking. BoS gives you a boatload of resists against some really good stuff AND it's instant, something this class really wants. It roots you...but it doesn't matter because this build is yanking everything to it almost instantly. If I had to do it over again, I probably would have skipped Deeprock and taken this to 5. Even at 3 though, you get 84% fire resistance, 52% lightning res, 20% acid, and 39% stun...and some spells are reduced in their CD...but there's really only one spell that's reduced that matters, and thats...

[5] Earthquake: Want to cast at range for some reason? Now this is the stuff. A massive 5 radius, range 10 spell that does damage and stuns stuff every turn for NINE turns. With some neat positioning, you can even get this to go off in smaller rooms with tunnels that you probably made thanks to the auger. I used this a lot in the prides.

[0-5] Crystalline Focus: If you're stacking physical damage, this is amazing. If you end up with something like the Sun and Moons pendant, it's pointless.

Generic Talents

Race/Dwarf: 1/1/5/1

[1] Resilience of the Dwarves: 1 point is good here, it's instant and gives a bunch of saves and armor hardiness and stuff.

[1] Stoneskin: 15% to ignore a melee attack? Yeah...this class really benefits from this. That percent doesn't go up with more points so 1 point here.

[5] Power is Money: If you're playing insane you're always going to have a boatload of money, and +50 to all of your saves is pretty hot.

[1] Stone Walking: Just another get out of death option. 1 point is typically enough to allow you to step outside of a room, through a wall, etc.

Technique/Combat Training: 5/3-5/0-1/5/0/0

[5] Thick Skin: It's universal damage reduction and this class needs it.

[3-5] Heavy Armour Training: You get three points here mandatory. I'd probably have gone 5 points here but I ended up getting a busted robe.

[0-1] Light Armor Training: 1 point here if you manage to find a busted robe.

[5] Combat Accuracy: We need to hit, and the class doesn't really have any built in accuracy talents.

Cunning/Survival: 1/5/1/1

[1] Heightened Senses: Just to get to...

[5] Device Mastery: Devices fill out a lot of holes in this class, so this is very important. I used the silence ability on the Pendant of the Sun and Moons pretty much all the time, as well as the Boots of the Hunter. There's many others as well you might find, this is good pretty much all the time.

[1] Track: It'll keep you alive...I wish I hadn't neglected cunning for so long to get it.

[1] Danger Sense: It does some stuff...the coolest part is it gives you a second save at -16...considering how high the saves get on this class, that's not bad.

Wild Gift/Call of the Wild: 1/3/1/3

[1] Meditation: 1 point was plenty.

[3] Nature's Touch: With some heal mod and crits this heals for a really good amount. 3 points felt good here, could easily go 5.

[1] Earth's Eyes: Just to get to...

[3] Nature's Balance: 3 points refreshes 6 Wild Gifts tier 4 or less. That's hot. Another Elemental Split, another Rockwalk/swallow, more Dwarven Unity, Mergeback etc, even another Nature's Touch.

Spell/Stone Alchemy: 1-5/1/1-5/5

[1-5] Extract Gems: You could just do 1 here if you wanted. I have terrible luck with merchant artifacts though so I like to have as much money as possible.

[1-5] Imbue Item: Pretty good if you find some of those top tier gems. I typically clear most of the content in the game, so I always end up getting a few.

[1] Gem Portal: 1 point gave me a gigantic 15 grid teleport. I actually used this all the time, considering I was typically fighting against a wall somewhere.

[5] Stone Touch: Man...I feel like this is really under represented. At 5 points this is a 6 range beam that lasts for 6 turns. You can't use it on bosses, but man, on insane, you can use it on a TON of stuff. Just locking unique's and such down is great, but you can also follow up with an insta-kill. 30% of the creature's life in damage will shatter it, and Stone Touch into an Eldritch Slam (giving the petrified creature a counterstrike) into an Eldritch Blow pretty much killed everything.


Irresistible Sun: A ho-hum prodigy in most circumstances...but when you get it THREE times over, it provides some serious benefits. Damage, a 3 square pull per turn, and a -30% damage reduction to everything is exactly what this class needs.

Arcane Might: Again, I feel like this could have easily been ICCTW (which also incidentally would increase the damage of IS since that ability is strength based) or Flexible Combat. Arcane Might was a good, safe bet though. Interestingly Deeprock Form also would allow you to take YSBMW, but again I just like Arcane Might because it's good all the time under every circumstance in this build.


12/23/21: Guide Created


I've been gone for a bit, so I'm a bit rusty, but I'm getting back into the swing of things. I feel like a Drem could have been really good here...but the issue was getting the class to that first Prodigy point. For a player that is fairly impatient and makes a lot of mistakes (me), the defense focus of the Dwarf just really allowed me to go the distance compared to a Drem.

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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Stone Warden Guide "Irresistible Fun"

#2 Post by helminthauge »

GrayStillPlays wrote: Sat Dec 18, 2021 5:25 am It SOUNDS like it would be this crazy tanky class, but without any percentage based damage reduction outside of Thick Skin and no one-shot protection, it actually ends up being insanely fragile. There is a few things it DOES do well though, and that is one or two shot literally everything in the game.
It is a crazy tanky class (at least on Insane and below difficulty) after the block buff. With two amazing shields, the block can be + 1000 flat damage reduction and Stone Wardens can have block on for a long duration, especially if the race is drem. Of course you need Eternal Guard prodigy to make block not a one-time consumption.
One or two shot literally everything in the game is actually very common. If you're talking endgame, that's basically something every class can do, including the Cultist of Entropy with specific build.
The pulling (if multiplied by 3) and damage decrease of Irresistible Sun is OK, but the damage is just too poor. The damage is 35 + 1.3 * strength, so even if you have 150 strength and 150% damage bonus, you and your buddies are still just doing a bit more than 1000 damage very turn. This is really not impressive. Plus the radius is only 5, which really just outranges the melee classes.

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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Stone Warden Guide "Irresistible Fun"

#3 Post by helminthauge »

I just tested it, a dwarf stone warden can continously block for 24 turns at 100% speed, without any means of CD reduction out of class talents. And at that point Eldritch Blow is at CD 1.
Of course in real play it's hard to stay at 100% speed and either faster or slower will screw this, and the character may even fall under +CD effects, but I think 10 turns should still be perfectly OK. And don't forget that you can play drem.
If you really don't like block for some reason, you should use a 1h weapon + shield then. Without block, 2 shields do you no good except saving 5 generic points, which you have a lot.

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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Stone Warden Guide "Irresistible Fun"

#4 Post by GrayStillPlays »

Can I get a link to your winner? I messed around with block for a few different characters but it never did what I needed.

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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Stone Warden Guide "Irresistible Fun"

#5 Post by Klootje »

I'm going to try this build, except that I lucked into a Sun Paladin escort, and took Celestial/Chants.

I'll pick that one at 10 instead of an infusion. The chants themselves are ok, but the second and third skill are also useful: by picking a chant you can get a physical, mental or magical debuff by selecting a new chant. Cooldown per individual chant is 12, so pretty good, and turning them on and off is instant, so if I don't have any chants active I get an extra debuff remover of my choice. It also removes all cross-tier effects. And having a chant on gives passive mana regeneration, so I can always start a battle at full mana.It is essentially half of a manasurge rune in that respect.And I can easily ditch the regen infusion, because Stone Warden already has a bunch of heals (and a healing infusion is often more useful in my opinion, as it it is instant). And they don't need many points, so I can easily get the Stone/Gem tree at 20 as well.

So Chants - Stone Alchemy - Stone I guess.

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