Post by Paradoom on Apr 2, 2015 18:16:00 GMT
Why a stormlord?
Well quite some time ago I stumbled over a stormlord and was in the mood to try something new. They seem(-ed) to be rather popular so I gave it a try. What came out after about 6 weeks of building and testing was a toon that was a run-making party supportive high melee damage dealer. What you see here is a version that anyone can build as long as they have the half-kyton bur race. It will do very well on it´s own on a run and is certainly not something that get´s dragged around. If that happens you do something wrong, with the exception of hive, where there are no lvl 9 spells.
What is a Stormlord?
A Stormlord is a specialized melee combat druid (a fighter if you will). Instead of relying on offense spells and killing it´s opponents with divine magic, it beats them to a pulp in a matter of moments in close combat. It uses it´s spells to buff it´s own and the parties fighting and surviving abilities. It can go into two major directions: one (as the one that I post here leans towards ) focuses on granting extra party support, the other goes into main battle tank (e.g. you would pick up illusion and EMA on such a toon and no evocation). I might add such a version too at some point.
What is it´s party-role and what does it provide for it?
A stormlord is a dexterity tank (best one in my opinion on all of hg). It stands up to nearly anything and works well all over the mod (just hive is a real pain). It provides a solid main tank, that can even survive if killed and unbuffed and reencounter the mobs after a resurrection.
It has many helpful self- and party-buffs (high regeneration, conceal, AoV, foundation of stone etc.) and the version I will show you below has even really nice party supportive epic spells.
A stormlord can also provide what usually a druid does: dropping the spell resistance of monsters. For that it casts nature's balance on itself and creates a huge circle around it that drops it by +/- 13 SR. (lasts 2 Minutes)
So basically you can keep the baddies at bay and beat on them like bongo drums, while the casters have a good time using their spells on them. (maxed out it tanks asmo as well as abyss princes at 60).
Pro's n Cons
What is good about them:
- levelling is fun, because you gain more and more fighting power constantly and some high extra boosts at certain breakpoints, namely: level 32, 39, 40, 50 and 60. (details in the build progression)
- high amounts of attacks with monk weapon progression
- high extra physical bonus damage (details to that later)
- self acid and elec weapon buffs (the later with 6d even)
- very high ac (depends on the weapon- and gear-setup, more to that later)
- AB is mediocre (~95 at 60 in +14 gear, dualwielding, fully buffed), but the monk progression and high amount of attacks compensate that.
- good listen (around 100), which will make you break the conceal pretty well.
- even strength checks are doable, but require demi 1 and asmo belt (can be boosted in paragon even more)
- damage is very straight forward and relies on constant high damage output and not on crits. That shows especially positive when fighting none critical mobs.
- provides one "oh crap" panic button with it´s immute (this build at least) and in combination with a caster druid can provide some extra time to sort stuff out.
- high dex/reflex together with the monk evasion lower the incoming aoe damage of spells significantly
- rather high con/hp (for a toon like it) make it very solid and survivable
What is problematic with them?:
- Gear setups can be a pain. Mord and breach have to be covered at all times and your physical immunities are rather low. Due to that you have to be extra careful to avoid bashing on mobs with physical kickback (e.g. hamatulas hurt). In general it is hard to cover all the elemental imms also, but your buff spells help with that.
- It needs some brains to use this toon and is not the typical leeroy in and laugh tank (at least not at the beginning and without proper gear). You have been warned! (personaly I find this also a pro point, cause it is not as boring too )
- building it with other subraces bears a high risk of harsh xp-penalties (e.g. brownie has -40% iirc)
- some spells you have to recast constantly to remain in a top battle ready state. That can be a bit of a hassle if your group pushes on without breaks (not too much of a deal though)
- your saves are not optimal pre demi
- demands bur sub-race level. lower ones might work too, but will hardly be as effective or have to focus on other niches.
Race: Human (one extra feat, one extra skill point / level)
Subrace: Half-Kyton (Bur-Subrace, +10 tumble, mobility, dodge, good stats)
Alignment: Lawful neutral (needed for the monk at level 40)
Pandect craft weapon
|Human||Half-Kyton||Arty||Asmo||Final stats (65+)||Paraadds|
|Basis||Subadds||At lvl 40||At lvl 60||2x Demi||Dex||At lvl 65||At lvl 60||At lvl 80|
|at60(+14 0x)||at80(all maxed)|
2 Druid / 1 Fighter (lvl 3)/ 12 Druid / 1 Fighter (lvl 15)/ 2 Druid / 1 Fighter (lvl 18) / 19 Druid / 1 Fighter (lvl 39) / 1 Monk (lvl 40)
All stat-points into Dexterity
|Level||Pre Epic Levels (1-20)|
|1 Druid||Blooded + SF Evocation|
|3 Fighter||Weaponfinesse + Weaponproficiency Exotic|
|15 Fighter||Greater weapon focus + Metamagic Extend Spell|
|18 Fighter||Improved two-weapon fighting|
|Level||Epic Levels (21-40)|
|21||Great Dexterity I|
|24||Epic weapon focus|
|27||Epic Prowess + Great Wisdom I (druid bonus feat)|
|30||Great Dexterity II|
|31||Great Wisdom II (druid bonus feat)|
|32||At this level you have 30 base dex: storm of vengeance turns into storm avatar and natures balance into a 2 minutes lasting circle. Now you´ve become a stormlord.|
|33||Great Dexterity III|
|39 Fighter||Weapon specialization + Epic weapon specialization (big boost to your dps)|
|40 Monk||big boost to your defences (AC and evasion) and attacks (monk weapon progression)|
|Level||Legendary Levels (41-60)|
|41||Read a spell-tomb of conjuration|
|45||Legendary weapon focus|
|48||Great Dexterity IV|
|50||You gain your first extra attack from storm avatar|
|51||Great Dexterity V|
|54||Great Dexterity VI|
|55||Use a dexterity artefact. (+2 dex and blindness immunity + endless darkness|
|60||Legendary Weapon Specialisation; You gain your second bonus attack from storm avatar|
At this point you enter the dream land. This still adds to the character and ofc increases it´s fighting potential, but it is already quite powerful for the current encounters.
|Level||Paragon Levels (61-80)|
|63||Paragon weapon focus|
|66||Paragon weapon specialization|
|72||PSK Conjuration (Weaponsprean)|
|78||Paragon Anchoring (str-checks +4)|
|Skill||Level 40||Level 60||Level 80|
|Animal Empathy||1 on lvl 1||1||1|
|craft armor||0, raise in LL||63||63+5|
|discipline||43 (take at level 40)||43||43|
|Listen||43 take on lvl 40||43||43|
|Tumble||40 take at lvl 40||60||60|
Level 60 it is ~950 (+14)
Doubledemi ~1030 (1070 in +16)
Level 80 ~1360 (nicely high for a dexer)
130 AC (132 with Gird) @ 60 in 14s 0x Demi.
143 AC (145 with Gird) @ 80 in 16s 2x Demi.
In case of an emergency, you can give up your attacks and put on a small shield. That will boost your AC to 150+, with gird you'll have 158 at level 80! (u'll still have 7 attacks a round, but with a -5 progression (108 AB), meaning you will still hit and do damage just not as much).
Attack Bonus and Attacks
at 60, 0x demi, in +14 gear, dex arty: 97
at 80, 2x demi, in +16 gear, dex arty: 108
Actual AB and attack progression fully buffed (stats +14, skills maxed, storm avatar active) and dualwielding at 60
bonus attacks: 97/92/87/82
With this you have 11 attacks per round. If you would engage flurry of blows you can hit the engine maximum of 12, but the -2 AB is such a big loss, it is not worth it.
A specialty of a stormlord is that it gets extra bonus damage with caster levels past cl 40 when it casts storm of vengeance (storm avatar), extra attacks at cl 45 and 55 and full bab tier one attack progression (3 extra ab and one more attack yet). Combined with the weapon specialization it gets a pretty solid base physical damage.
Damage maxed out at 60:
....... Pre-epic tag completion: +2 damage points
....... Storm of Vengeance: 15 damage points ( CL 55 - 40 = 15)
....... Weapon specialisation feats: +12 Damage points (2+4+6 = 12)
....... Prince-win bonus: +10 damage points
Damage maxed out at 80:
....... Paragon weapon-spren: +22 damage points( CL 75 / 5 * 1,5 = 22,5 @80)
....... Weapon specialisation feats: +8 damage points
In total that is 69 physical bonus damage per hit maximum and fully buffed. (if you buff with a CL-ego 1 more).
While weapon-spren is practically a must have, it is in my opinion too weak. It needs either a boost even to damage or it´s duration has to be much longer (at least for the caster itself) or have something like 2-3 uses. Or alternatively make the storm avatar respect paragon levels as well for CL calculation (which would make the most sense).
Read the spells in your spell-book! You have tons of supportive spells (weapon buffs, elemental resists and imms, conceal etc.)
One of the most important ones are the regeneration spells you can cast on yourself. If you have them up you gain a really high amount of regeneration. On top you can also add a healing circle, that even grants other tanks near you extra healing. All combined grant you easily 100+ regen each round. If you add gear and achievements onto it 150+ is easy to get. That´s plenty to survive quite some incoming damage (with this you can bash on normal hamatulas at least )
With a gsf abjuration item and a draught you can have 50% immunity to any element of choice with Energy Immunity as well to cover a hole in your setup.
Ah the most troublesome aspect of any decent tank. Stormlords are no different, but they can compensate some wholes in your setup with their self buffs at least.
Some items that help for your buffing (don't need to wear those!) are a caster level druid ego, an item with either added in green or as an aug with gsf abjuration and one with gsf divination (for augury) or a symbols ego. Some draughts of the mentioned school help as well.
The abjuration aug/green item would be nice if you can wear it all the time. that way you can cast down the special fonts (font of vision (ab boost that stacks, font of restoration (restore) and font of elements (elemental resist of choice) and get them automatically with large circles.
For levelling and to make things easier (especially for covering all needed imms), it is often better to wear a light armor and and a large shield. Once you are 2x demi, switch to dual wielding your weapons (you can try it before too already, but Nessus with penalties will hurt).
So what gear to wear:
In general try to get your hands on gear that has added immunity to daze, stun and confusion. You tank nothing if disabled and since u are a dexer your AC loss is extreme when you get these effects on you (or are kded). Added regen in combination with your buffs can become a major survival ability as well.
Breach boots and a mord imm ring are a solid combination. Now you can add a bur/ur imm ring to that and you should have at the very least 2 elements covered ( a well randomized universal contumacy works too) As exotic focus on magic imm first (as a mark: 50% with 20 resist is ok). Keep bur mord imm rings of all exotics handy, so you can switch your exotic imm focus as needed.
As helm a visor of vigilance is always a solid choice. But you are flexible here and could e.g. use one with elemental resists like helm of the zeal or w/e you lack.
Cloak is pretty much the same. The cloak of corruption provides some good elemental resists or the cloak of the unjust is nice for some more elemental and physical imms and level drain imm. If you wanna use other boots a thraxxia cloak (breach imm from azzagrat 3) is nice.
Amulet of the Pharaoh grants good physicals and is a good choice. Alternatively (or at least as buffing item) have a Pendant of the Seer on you (for the invisible purge buff (-7% conceal on the mobs) and if you wear it 2 more lvl 9 slots).
Tia druid belt is a good choice to cover at least some spells-lots. You need around 12-15 level 9s for effective usage of natures balance circle and storm avatar.
As armor wear either a wrap of raphael or a dim mak robe (if you are dual-wielding). the first grants good imms and some extra spell-slots. If you are lucky you can get it randomized up to provide lvl 6 spell imm. The dim mak grant epic will and push it over the 60 mark if needed.
If you go sword n board style use a medium shield (any of the caster shields with reduced spell failure and elemental imms are fine and a light armor (the druid bur one is excellent)
Gloves are very open, the typical meph-gloves are a save bet for instance but maybe something else that grants some exotic imms/resists can be more helpful.
You can switch quite some stuff around with asmo gear and you have several good options to use: The helmet grants you +16 to all stats at 65 and high level uef, the gloves grant you good battle stats and immunities. Or have a look at the cloak. The boots can be nice for extra slots and amnesia immunity but you will have to cover your battle stats from something else.
Abyss gear can help with that, but many items there demand level 80 to grant the full +16 stats.
There are three options for weapons: Goads, Kamas and Nun chucks are the way to go.
All of them are small and can be finessed. You gain the monk ab and attack progression using those.
You will have to craft 3 basic sets of weapons:
Set 1: Acid, Fire, Sonic, Positive, Negative and Divine (mainly hell)
Set 2: Cold, Elec, Sonic, Positive, Magic, Divine (mainly hell)
Set 3: Fire, Cold, Positive, Magic (mainly abyss)
An often seen hell crafted weapon damage combination is:
Acid, Cold, Sonic, Div, Neg, Pos
That is because that combo works on tons of mobs at least somewhat and will often not heal superiors.
The level 50 Weapons provide also the chance to gain some high damage specialized ones which can be helpful against specific mobs or to avoid healing.
Some hints on playing a Stormlord
Buffs you should have up at any given time are storm avatar (storm of vengeance), regenerate and monstrous regeneration, concealment, aov and blood frenzy(recast it before each battle. nice temp hp boost).
Do not stand around! As dexer becoming flatfooted is your death. The ac drop is so ridiculously high that you get owned in seconds inside a spawn. Always do any sort of combat action (preferably bash on the mobs) or spam drink heal potions.
Foundation of stone with tortoise shell can be very handy to tank KD dangerous mobs. But be ready to have less ac with those spells active than you would have normally (at least when dual-wielding).
If there is no druid in the group, you are very likely the main source for spell resistance dropping. Make yourself aware of it, and make sure to have your nb circle up and running (it lasts 2 mins per cast extended)
Going off of a mob to rez someone, may be noble, but with a toon like this should be well considered. Is the one down critical for the spawn? Is it timer critical? Is the mob too tough for the group without the dead one? If those are all no you shouldn't run off ressing with this toon. You more likely die yourself in the process, leaving the group naked for mobs aggro. Usually your damage output is high enough to kill a critical mob before you have to go rezzing. But when that is handled immediately switch to that
If you use choke points or have to fight a boss, remember to use your fonts. The extra ab and restoration helps you and your party a lot.
Familiarize yourself also with your epics. Especially the immute is important to time correctly. If there is a random dropping on top of the party (in w/c they are even spread out) it is probably time to activate it. If someone dies and gets resurrected, he/she will not be granted the immute effect until 6 seconds (1 round) of time have passed. If possible wait that time then do it.
USE your pendant of the seer invisibility purge circle!
ALWAYS have something to go into GS with on you. Either potions or an item with GS is not optional but mandatory.
Shadow shield can be obtained from druid staffs for some extra imm beef.
You can tweak this toon with the right augmenters. An IC/PC aug for instance will grant you a tad better chance for landing a critical hit and an "of the salamander" one would improve your listen skill (if you don't use VoV).