Practicing What You Preach (Or, Why Syncletica Sucks)


Sometimes, Syncletica is a moron. In this not-so-related capture, we see Syncletica’s stone floating peacefully, surrounded by the WHOLE minotaur city that came to greet and beat her.

Some time ago I mentioned an Epic Elite run with my guildmates into “The Portal Opens” where Syncletica felt all “Hey–I know kung fu” confident–right up to when she was killed like a gnat in the first 20 seconds of the adventure.

I’ve been playing and enjoying the game too much using other toons, dealing with real-life, updating the Monk guide and enduring many new and planned game updates to get around to giving Syncletica a decent post-mortem–until now.

Syncletica is my very first DDO character. Her other students, Lynncletica and Ryncletica, have an advantage in that they are built from the harsh lessons of Syncletica’s gameplay. For some reason, I didn’t meld much of Lynn and Ryn’s experience into Syn’s second life, and it gravely shows. I must’ve been sleeping on the day that I True Reincarnated her.

Poor Miss Chance

Syncletica’s Dodge bonus at level 23 was a puny 8%. Nope, that’s not a typo. Lynn, an Earth Stancer, has a respectable 18%, while Ryncletica runs at 21% at Level 17 and will have it perpetually maxed when back in Shadowdancer destiny.

That’s pretty lame. Syncletica plays fine in Heroic adventures but a mere 8% chance to save against an attack is a mortal flaw.

While Syncletica is a fan of the Dance of Clouds 20% concealment buff she can generate herself, she has no incorporeality bonus.

Summing it up, Syncletica needs some gear and a retool of her feats for better Dodge. She’s a Wind Stancer with very high Doublestrike (16% to 22%) but she won’t survive to use it until I add in some feats and a bit of gear to raise her Dodge to at least 16%. An Epic Gianthold Ring of Shadows would be useful here.

As with Ryncletica, it would be logical to adjust feats to add Whirlwind Attack. The prerequisite feats for it (Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack) would add in an instant 7% Dodge bonus but also Combat Expertise to boost AC by 10%.  A Monk with Doublestrike and Whirlwind Attack should have crazy procs on off-hand attacks, helping to clear a room faster. I’ve long since required that all Monks have at least Cleave in their build, so this will eat three, not four, effective slots.

If time allows, Shadowdancer training to get Shadow Form for 25% incorporeality and better Dodge would also make Syn a longer lasting fighter.

Poor Epic Fortification

Syncletica was slaughtered in EE Portal Opens because she entered with only 100% fortification. The enemies in a typical EE are CR 40 or more. That means Syn needs at least 140% fortification to survive a direct critical hit at least once. Without that, Syn was instantly killed by a critical hit.

She’ll need to train a bit in Unyielding Sentinel for its tier 1 “Brace for Impact” which gives 40% stacking fortification and +2 to Reflex saves (handy for Evasion).

She owns a Fabricator’s Ingenuity set to add in additional 25% stacking fortification if needed, and she should own a 20% or higher exceptional fortification item to add to this.

Poor Saves

Syncletica’s saves are average. Her Wind Stance reduces her Fortitude saves. Her high DEX should help her Reflex saves, but something is missing. As I note in the Monk guide, based on DDO forum discussions and Lynncletica’s experience, a 40 save is minimal for Epic Elite, 50 is good, 60 is godly.

Syn should train more in Ocean Stance. She’s loved the use of Void Strike IV in the past. However, it’s now a liability since it’s not as reliable as a kill strike before Epic levels, as well as the massive AP drain in training other stances to qualify for it. Further, the Grandmaster of Flowers tier 6 ability, Everything is Nothing, is effectively a Void Strike IV, Mass, with a certain kill success, that requires destiny points, not action points. Syn needs the saves (and Dodge bonuses) that Grandmaster of Oceans can provide. The downside is that I might not be able to improve her Earth Stance beyond Adept level…there won’t be enough APs for more than two Master or greater stances, I suspect.

Speed is Not Enough

Wind Stance is a joy to play. It’s certainly more kung-fu than the other stances. But EE is an endurance game and Syn was far too spongy to succeed in her current level.

A thought came to me to consider training her more in the Legendary Dreadnought destiny. Aside from working to get Improved Combat Expertise (for more PRR; Syn currently hasn’t any), she can certainly take advantage of the action boosts. Syn can already seem a blur when fighting, but a haste action boost would make her essentially ethereal to her foes.

The damage and attack boosts would certainly not hurt, either. Training the destiny to maximum for the epic moment of Master’s Blitz would make Syn a powerfully fast fighter. The question remaining involves Syn’s ability stats, specifically, STR. I’ve learned from Lynn how important STR really can be in determining damage (I’ve not played other melees so forgive my Captain Obvious epiphany), yet I’ve often put STR on the lesser track. Syn has high DEX…maybe too high. Two or more points need to go from DEX to STR, if not a bit more. The change will affect Reflex saves but give far greater damage per second. On a Wind Stancer, that means you’re aren’t shooting faster, necessarily, but your bullets will be much larger.

Down on the Farm

Looks like Lynncletica will have to spend a bit more time in “Devil Assault”  to build up some Tokens of the Twelve so that I can reincarnate Syncletica once more. As it seems, Syn should become an interesting fusion from Lynn’s Earth schooling and Ryn’s shadowy Ocean schooling to make her a powerhouse fighter once more.

I guess I should prepare for the new enhancements, too, and how that will affect all of my characters. I’ll have to apply GamerGeoff’s workaround for the broken updated TurbineInvoker code to get my Lammania client started again.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kavatch2.0
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 15:47:45

    Everything i Know is about early to midgame (lvl 20 was once endgame but now i consider it midgame) ddo, these endgame musings are quite helpful to me.

  2. FuzzyDuck81
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 03:07:52

    Good defences are something so many people overlook. My favourite character in my monk stable is still my gimpy abomination, Ossara (12monk/6fighter/2artificer) a dragonmarked elf & I’ve made a point of maxing her defences as much as I can – extended displacements, shadow fade, incorp & blur items for when i forget to buff/the others are dispelled & she typically runs with dodge as close to maximised as i can manage.

    For her twists, I’ve taken unearthly reactions (magister, adds dodge, reflex saves & phase through enemies when tumbling), perfect balance (GMoF, adds more dodge & stuff) & meld into darkness (shadowdancer, +100% dodge for 15sec every 2mins). Combine that lot with & the often-overlooked primal travel (primal avatar 3rd innate ability) which gives +50% dodge (actually appears bugged to give +100% atm) for 12 seconds every minute & she can be practically untouchable for a decent amount of time, even in epic elite – then when the enemies have gathered, i turn into a tree & smoosh them.

    Admittedly I haven’t managed to cram in beyond the basic 100% fortification, but she pretty much lives by the mantra “All the world shall be your enemy, and if they catch you, they will kill you. But first, they must catch you!”

    Sadly the name Elhrairah was already taken 🙂

    • teachersyn
      Jul 16, 2013 @ 07:14:25

      “Smoosh” is good. 🙂 I should’ve added that several Displacement clickies would be in this revision as well. Going to have to make a few more Shroud runs than usual to have at least 2 per character.

      Shadowdancer and GMoF have nice synergy, more for my ninja, but for Syn, that extra Dodge and Incorporeality is the key for her, I think. My ninja lives by that mantra you mention, but she goes by the idea that you have to find her first, THEN catch her. “Ghost Protocol.”

      • FuzzyDuck81
        Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:37:38

        🙂 mine has some decent stealth skills too, not sure why i put points in them since i rarely ever have the patience for sneaking & playing in pugs quite a lot means less opportunity anyway. Still, with the changes coming up i think i may experiment more with it.

  3. Daniel Haughton
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 21:04:36

    I go for pure, raw durability on my primary Monk, Regtur Edisnori. I can squeeze over 1300 hit points out of him and a solid (for a monk) 55 Physical Resistance. Between gear, enhancements, and epic destinies, I have a solid 100% Healing Amplification that makes healers adore me and I run quests in Unyielding Sentinel with four charges of Light the Dark to add my own healing to the group on top of my standard Light Monk abilities. People look askance at my odd build, but when I pop a LtD that keeps the real Healer from going down, everyone shuts up.

    Also, I once soloed the blue dragon and cloud giant in Tor on Epic Hard while in Fatesinger on this build. In that configuration I have 1114 hit points and what I did (after the rest of the party wiped) was evade and whittle over and over until I could take them both down with a single Dirge.

    I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone because the DPS is quite honestly rather mediocre, and the saving throws aren’t much better, but I have fun with him all the same.

    • teachersyn
      Jul 16, 2013 @ 21:39:01

      Great story. I have never seen a Monk with more than 900 HP, but you imply it’s a multiclass (likely Fighter, I’d guess), so that makes sense. Good use of EDs for versatility. In Earth Stance on my tanker, with a 14 PRR gem, and Improved Combat Expertise, I got 62. Can’t talk about Beta Fight Club, but you can see my alpha talk about the Shintao stuff and how it helps things a bit. Interesting that you’ve gotten more from UD than the first tier; will need to review. Always reviewing…

  4. Daniel Haughton
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 01:04:57

    Oh no, he’s pure Monk. I can’t bear to multiclass such a wonderful class. He has precisely three feats: Path of Harmonious Balance, Toughness taken a ridiculous number of times, and Epic Toughness.

  5. Daniel Haughton
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 15:34:59

    I hate to double post, but I wanted to add that Reg only has a ten point PRR crystal and no Animal Cloak at all.

    US is good for some pretty solid self-healing, an auto-death block effect, and up to +9 AC as well as some other odds and ends. For instance, I wear Flawless White Dragonscale Robes which have a +6 Shield Bonus that completely bypasses the Monk inability to use a shield. The first tier US ability Shield Prowess will improve that by up to 50% and you can get the first level of the second tier ability Legendary Shield Mastery (+5 PRR and +2% double strike) without buying any shield-related feats.

  6. teachersyn
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 23:18:38

    Ah! I’m extremely impressed! Many people take the easy route of multiclassing. If you’ve ever seen the Monk guide I created, I hold to a pure Monk and don’t go down that multiclass road (although I know many have had good success). The Flawless White Dragonscale Robe and matching helm is on my tanker’s wish list (love that Shield bonus, too, as on the regular WDS robe). I was wondering about the high HP, now I know. I spend feat slots to increase Dodge or Toughness or attack diversity with Cleave and related things.

    Was never sure if any other US effects would work without wielding a shield. Now I know. I think my tanker does about 100-140 HP on a Healing Ki bursts, which does quite well when she’s actually damaged. So Shield Prowess increases AC without a shield?

  7. Daniel Haughton
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 01:48:41

    Shield Prowess ONLY increases AC if you have an item effect that specifically grants a Shield Bonus to AC as with the White Robes. But in those cases, yes it does. Granted, AC isn’t as useful as it once was, but Shield Prowess is one of the very few abilities in US to only cost one Destiny Point per level.

    I’ve only ever multiclassed a monk once, with a Bladeforged which must multiclass if they wish to be anything but pure Paladin. I settled on Pally 6, Monk 9 to start and took Hunter of the Dead and Shintao for maximum undead slaying potential.

    • teachersyn
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 07:22:16

      That’s PERFECT. Outside of the effects of Way of the Sun Soul set, which I find very handy, the Shield Prowess effects gives me a stronger reason to do more US levels. High AC (with PRR) still mitigates damage in case the big three Miss Chance effects and Evasion fail somewhere, so your logic is still damned sound.

      The dojo now lists you as Senior Teacher.:) I’ll be updating the Monk guide in the armor and gear section with your insights and credit you here by character name with a link to this post. I love it when I learn something new. Thanks again for sharing.

  8. Daniel Haughton
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 08:14:29

    I am most honored! Experimenting with the Epic Destinies has been a joy for me. I find Fatesinger, Draconic Initiate, and Unyielding Sentinel to be the most fun/useful outside of the main Monk destiny. I was particularly impressed with how well Draconic Initiate synergizes with the Elemental Forms. If you tend to stick to one form exclusively, as I do, pick the matching dragon abilities and suddenly being in Melee range with your monk is very unhealthy for opponents who aren’t immune to that elemental attack.

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