Does epic warding count against damage before Gate? If it does, then it's potentially useful, otherwise it would be a waste of a feat. I still cast energy buffer for when Gate runs out (with abo rod, that's pretty rare), but that only affected my choice in domain, not a whole feat. EW from items is still ok.
I agree on the GR with respect to hell pens for clerics as opposed to other casters, however I'm always hesitant to drop stat feats. I still feel that epic dodge is a little bit of a waste on a soak/gate toon, I think it really shows it's value on hard to hit toons, high AC/conceal.
Course my only cleric is a double cheese LG one, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I think a LE cleric with monk splash and a +1CL ego item would be a great build.
Gate takes effect before Epic Warding in that it's basically a 116/- damage reduction.
Epic Warding is a bit waste of feat for a class that is tight on feats especially if u want to get 5 epics. 9 Epic Wardings per use on gear = 27Mins of 50/+20 physical damage soak, so far after my reinc of this cleric this is more than enough for me. I can always keep myself in EW and still didnot use them all till rest. Btw Stoneskin is completely useless in hell/ely/abo in that everything has +14 enchantment wep, but it's useful in LLs.
And Epic Mage Armor my thought on this isnot to get the epic dodge actually, but to get +36 parry for those with little gear to boost parry. But for my reinc of this cleric I still took empower spell over EMA in that it's totally impossibly to fit in Bestow Curse in spellbook if you want heartbane and only have extend metamagic. Anyway the gear setup I listed can cover enough parry bonus to boost it to around 120. Currently my parry is 118 without song with the first set of gear. Also EMA is a one hit thing which means if u die it's gone for good, making it less appealing to me though I have to say I almost never died on this cleric in hell unless rolling 1 on save. With 132regen per round, even if kd'ed, a single pf/male canot do much to me really, unless it's a random swarm.
Dropping Greater Wis IMO is a very bad idea on a caster cleric. Caster cleric is a heavily DC based caster, not like mage who can not only do DC spells but damage spells/mob control spells, also not like druid who can not only do DC spells but mob control/party healing spells. But as I mentioned in the build, if you wanna get 5 epics, the best way is problly to drop both save feats and empower spell.
Magic Vestment isnot available for a cleric wearing robes, it only works on armor. But I think most heavy armor has +18 armor ac in that case. If you wanna use armor + abo torch, going pure cleric for the damage soak route might be a better choice than splashing.
I respectfully disagree about dropping the Greater Wis on a Cleric, because my 3x Cleric got her 2nd and 3rd demi iterations with just 8 GrWis feats, and never noticed a difference. But I think that depends on some other factors, like if you have a Wis arti, and if you have access to a +6 Wis subby to start with, and potentially even if you already have 1 or 2 demi iterations. If you're missing some of those things, I agree it's probably not a great idea. Also, my version was pure for those two trips, which gave me 1 more DC, essentially, with Battletide.
With ego items and +14 gear now, I think that it's even less essential to have full DC on a Cleric, because with either of those items in your gear, you're at what used to be the max prior to randomization being added to the mod. But those are sometimes tough to fit in on a caster, because of all of the set gear that they wear. Mine wears a +14 INT/WIS Heavenly Haunt's (she used to wear Pendant of the Seer, but I figured +1 to all spells > +1 to spells level 5 and below).
That's not to say that dropping the save feats and Empower Spell (or EMA, whichever) isn't the best way to go...just another option I see for people, for more flexibility, in this nice build.
Also, my version was pure for those two trips, which gave me 1 more DC, essentially, with Battletide.
I think your purity was key Phal.
Not only do you get the +1 DC from Battletide but you will also break SR much more often than a 38/1/1 build. If the splash build breaks SR 50% of the time and beats saves 50% of the time then it gets a kill on 25% of all casts. A pure build will break SR 60% of the time netting a kill on 30% of casts. That's a 20% improvement in effectiveness (HUGE).
This of course assumes that you have no druid or you have a druid that can't or won't NB the trash for you. If you have a fantastic druid the advantages of purity are somewhat reduced.
I've partied with Phal's pure cleric for quite a few times and have to say that is definately a kick-ass cleric. I have no doubt of its effectiveness even without max wisdom. But I think silver hit the point there, pure cleric is 2 more sp than splashing cleric which is 10% more chance to penetrate mob with sr between 67-86. Not to mention the 1 more penalty to mob from battletide.
The reason I choose splash on a cleric is mainly due to my personal playstyle. Those partied with me knows how I play my casters, spawn, pull, tank and cast without needing to stay back is how I always do. That means, I need some perfect defense plus reasonable saves for a caster like cleric. I know ppl would debate about saves on cleric but for me it's definately not smart to spawn 2 ice reavers and prayer +keeping them in battletide aura with their on hit DC 65 paralyse if my cleric has no save feats. I'm not saying my playstyle is the smartest but I think that's what makes a game, everyone can play the way they want. Pure cleric has some nice bonus to their offense power indeed but no monk lvl means no monk ac, no ranger lvl means 1 less feat. So the 2 less wisdom means not only 1 less DC, but 1 less AC. And I have to say even 1 AC does matter for those with the AC range of 120-140. Check the ab of the hell mob if you have questions about this, or run a log parser and check the dodge rate. My dodge rate was 75%ish with 128 AC, but 83%ish with 131AC(that is with ruby rod).
Also I've reinc'ed my cleric to this for a while, the difference is I didnot take epic mage armor but stick to empower spell cuz I found it impossible to fit bestow curse into spellbook without empower metamagic. But so far I'm quite disappointed with aboleth torch, defense I have to say is noticably worse than with ruby rod even if I have gate and epic warding on all the time. I've also done a few further tests for statistics. After thinking a while, I think the problem is the loss of physical immunity plus 20 less regen. Also epic warding seems to drop inbetween a fight a lot. Aboleth torch anyway will fit a pure cleric perfect since they donot have much AC there. going plate +abo torch for the soak route is the way for pure cleric.
Second, I understand what you're saying, Silver and Rain both, but I'm not sure I buy the extra Spell Pen being the reason it's successful with 1-off max DC. The reason I say that, is that both Kaezar's 1-splash Cleric, and Dod's 2-splash Cleric, were 1 off max DC too, and both were extremely effective still. They were one of the main reasons I decided to not max my DC; I'd seen how well they did, so I knew it was feasible, and wouldn't hurt the build that much. So the 2 extra SP, while it definitely doesn't hurt, I don't think invalidates my statement that losing 1 DC doesn't kill a build.
Lastly, I totally understand what you're saying Rain, and I'm not disagreeing with you in the slightest. As you said, what makes this a great game, and mod, is playing a build how you like. I love how you play your Cleric, and respect that I have to play mine slightly differently (I run in directly behind the tanks typically, and rarely spawn). So I was just trying to offer up what I consider an alternative, for others who read about this build, because I have seen at least 3 different Clerics without max DC (and some Fallen Angel ones too, which are automatically 1 off max DC). So I know it works, and still works well. So I was just wanting to make mention of another alternative other players might want to consider, based on their playstyle, and what they want out of the build. If they want to keep their saves but add an epic, they can drop 2 Wis feats and EMA/Empower. If they want to gain the epic, keep Empower or EMA, and not care about saves, they can do that too. Just throwing out different ideas that I've seen work just fine.
As for the rest of your post, I think it's the best Cleric build thread because of your in-depth discussion of spells and everything else. It's made me consider some things on mine, in deciding if I want to re-reincarnate it after 3x'ing it recently. The new item randomization has me rethinking some things, so it's been really helpful reading your post here. Thanks very much for spending the time to make it so informative!
I think you're right. The thing that dominates the effectiveness of any cleric is the use of the BEST spell in Hell - Extended Greater Restore. While restored you are simply uber - more or less regardless of your wisdom being maxed or not.
The more people in your party you restore the more effective you all become (and that's why I love clerics so much - it's the ultimate combination of team buffage and individual body count).
This thread is a good reminder of some of the reasons why HG is so great. We can see that many different builds of the same class can be highly effective, and that people can disagree without being antagonistic towards each other.
Firstly, a bit off topic, Merry Christmas to you guys! (no xmas here but well you do )
Now back to the topic, I have to thank you guys for replying and adding your thoughts which is why I always want feedback whenever I made a build post. After reading the replies, I think it was my bad not to make it clear, that is, about dropping 2 greater wisdom doesnot mean it'll make a cleric ineffective or unfeasible, but less effective than max wis. I have a wizard who has only greater int 8 and she's been quite effective so far with the DC spells so those 3 clerics(phal, kaezar and dod) are not alone on that. Somehow I did say in my previous post "dropping greater wis by 2 is a very bad idea", the reasons I thought of were two I think. One was the battletide and sp thing(bt+prayer = -8 saves which is like a curse song effect, and they both need sp) which is considering you're a pure cleric. But if not pure, there was the other reason: almost all the clerics' useful and most-used spells are DC based, not like a wizard who can do damage spells/mob control as well. But those were the reasons I had when I saw your post at first. After a second thought, I think the more reason might be concluded as me being a DC freak. I just don't feel right without max DC on a caster seriously. After playing my wizard I kinda convinced me the 1 DC doesnot make a big difference. So now after reading your post, I did think of dropping 2 greater wis and pick another Epic since an evil cleric with banishment(Abj foci) or empower blade barrior spam(conj foci) might be more fun and useful vs. the 1 DC loss. But since there're players using this build, I think my current thought is, wait till the new update coming and see how new things come(ie. new areas, new spells etc.). Now that abyss/hades gonna be another huge area like hell, I'd really like to see how effective each spell school will be and then decide whether I wanna go for another school foci or not. Cuz we have already seen the need for abj foci even just because of 2 existent areas, not to mention the bunch of more areas to come. Yes, you know, lets just wait 3 days!
As a sidenote, on page 1, for the evil cleric you have Epic Spell Gr. Ruin listed in the epic level feats, but you say to take spellcraft in Legendary Levels. You have Gr Wis 10 in LL levels.
You need to take all 10 Gr. Wisdom's in epic levels and take Epic Spell Gr. Ruin and EMA in LL's since you wont' have enough spellcraft. I took them after LL Evoc/Div/Nec since spellcraft was 52 (50 base (spellcraft+2 int), need 50 base before anything for 2 Greater Ruins.
Also Parry has to be taken in LL levels as well after you get 52 Spellcraft.
Greater ruin is taken in legendary levels in this build - at lvl 57 if you follow the build exactly. You can also achieve the 50 based spellcraft after taking the GR feat if you want to and still get the second GR.
Hi, I'm looking at reincarnating my cleric to the lawful good version of this build, but was wondering if it would be worth dropping the monk and pal levels and going pure cleric, would the extra dc be worth it? Would I lose anything other than the saves, I'm guessnig the monk or ranger splash is to get wisdom AC? If I splash 1 level i might as well splash 2 and get the saves? Exactly how much of an AC drop would dropping monk/ranger cost? All help appreciated. Oh, and if I went with the hell set cleric heavy armour could I make some this AC back up?
There is a good thread here where Shard and some others pointed out the benefits of going pure vs splashing. You don't gain any DC by going pure, but you do gain Spell Penetration, among a number of other benefits. The biggest loss are saves, AC, and Discipline dump.
When I was deciding if I wanted to go pure or not, I knew I wanted to use Heartbane, so 1 Paladin level didn't make any sense. Then I decided that if I were doing that, I may as well dump the Monk level as well. These are the benefits I saw in going pure, as opposed to a 2-splash Cleric:
Pro's: - +2d4 level drained from Energy Drain - One more AC from, and 8 more rounds of, UEF - +2d6 more damage from Destruction - Extended Greater Restore lasts 12 rounds, as opposed to a splash's 10 - 1 more bonus/pen from Battletide (like an auto +1 DC on spells when they're within range) - Great for you and for other DC-based players, like Assassins, Rangers, Druids, etc - 2 more DC on Greater ruin - +2 Spell Pen compared to a normal splash build