Epic Shuricannon: Nothing Comes Close

SzynTR1-L22I posted a demo run of the Shiradi Shuricannon at high Heroic levels to demonstrate the build’s basics.

As an Epic character, the ‘Cannon’s training in Shiradi, along with some ninja happiness, can be summed up in one phrase: Nothing comes close.

You can take that in both senses of the meaning.

The Shiradi effects, for those unfamiliar, add interesting elemental effects around 7% of the time that add area-of-effect and direct damage to targets using ranged attacks. It doesn’t matter what kind of ranged attack you use; even magic works (thus the popularity of the Shiradi Sorcerers).

Now, a 7% chance for an effect to go off (“proc”) doesn’t sound like much.

Well, then, you have to look at the Shuricannon’s basic design. Here’s a screenshot of Szyncletica’s character sheet (above).

Here you see that DEX is very, very heavy. That’s because DEX determines both damage and to-hit for a Ninja Spy. Also, the DEX is also the percentage of a second shuriken through from both Shuriken Expertise (granted as a Drow) and Advanced Ninja Training. As an Epic character, Szyn and her kind normally throw 2-3 stars per attack at the minimum with this ability.

The typical ranged feats (Rapid Shot, Quick Draw) also help thrown stars per second.

Ultimate Wind Stance adds 15% to that throwing speed.

And then, we add Shiradi’s Whirling Wrists: up to 60% increase to that throwing speed.

But wait, there’s more.

Use Spelltouched Shuriken for greater raw damage and additional crazy-random damage effects to go with Shiradi’s, and Green Steel for these special cases such as high-level demons and undead.

The result? Attack speed and damage so incredible that few things get close enough to hurt the Shuricannon before it mows them down.

Bonus training in Primal Avatar adds in Rejuvenation Cocoon for good self-healing and Shiradi’s Healing Spring for backup.

For burst damage, Ten Thousand Stars adds extra stars based on the WIS modifier.

I’ve soloed the Devil Battlefield quests except for Genesis Point (where I needed a hireling) to gain enough favor for Yugoloth (“Yugo”) potions. They give a +2 stacking stat bonus but with a tradeoff. Also available are DDO stat elixirs that do the same but without a tradeoff. That’s another +4 to essential stats if required for damage and defense (DEX/WIS).

The summation: The Epic Shuricannon, while perhaps having fewer types of versatility that a “Monkcher” might have, is perhaps the best thrown-weapon build anywhere. As Firewall, creator of the build, has argued time and again in his thread, while multiclassed builds using Halflings might get some benefits, they are offset by one thing or other that’s part of the Shuricannon’s success. You have to train in Shuriken proficiency and Expertise for non-Monk halflings. You lose the DEX to Damage effects, as well as the Drow’s shuriken competency training bonuses. The Drow/Monk spell resistance and Dodge is superior. Ninja Spy’s Shadow Veil adds high incorporeality and invisibility.

Multiclassing also means you lose a level 20 capstone. The Shuricannon’s capstone, as a pure Ninja Spy, is gaining Vorpal to any shuriken and other piercing and slashing ki weapons, as well as +2 DEX and (although still a nagging bug) increased critical threat range that should bring the crit range to as wide as 15-20.

To demonstrate, I’ve recorded two videos.

This first one is of Szyncletica managing the undead giant skeletons on the way to Garamol’s lair in the raid wilderness of the Subterrane. Fans of the blog know that Lynncletica, a Shintao tanker, is strong enough to farm this area, where no hirelings are allowed. But could a Ninja Spy, a class tree not designed with self-healing or undead attack proficiency do the same–and with only a throwing star? The answer comes from Szyn’s high DPS and one triple-positive Greater Disrupting shuriken that ends the CR 25 Garamol far faster than Lynncletica and with fewer resources expended.

The second video shows how Szyn handles a mob. A perfect place for this is the Underdark Arena challenge, “Fight to the Finish.” One ninja: one mob for 10 minutes or more–seems like a fair fight.

She owns a Level 20 Icy Bursting Improved Paralyzing star that halts most everything. Occasional hits of the Nerve Poison from Shiradi training and freezing from her Level 14 Frozen Tunic (still equipped on Epic) make for quite a dominating show. Improved Precise Shot ensures very heavy mob damage and crowd control. She uses a Onyx Panther to aid with aggro management a bit, healing it with Rejuvenation Cocoon as needed, but doesn’t rely on it.

I’ve directly uploaded these videos (trying once more to get the overall brightness correct with better success) for far better clarity, and am using Amara to add captioning, rather than using Windows Movie Mangler. Just click the CC button if you don’t see the captions on the Garamol run. The second video has no commentary: 1 movie = 1,000,000 words.


25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. FuzzyDuck81
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 05:33:04

    It’s ironic that the lowest damage weapon in the entire game can result in one of the most powerful builds available…. also a quarterstaff melee build with Sireth is one of the most powerful melee options…. methinks the devs are trolling us 🙂

    • teachersyn
      Apr 17, 2014 @ 07:07:59

      I think they want to see if we’re paying attention. Firewall certainly was. 🙂 The ‘Cannon thread just had a poster announce that he completed Lords of Dust on EE L23 with his L20 ‘Cannon. How ’bout that?

  2. mernom
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 05:36:34

    Even when I went to the st I coulden’t deal with garamol that quickly.

  3. Kavatch4.2
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 10:37:20

    I don’t think drow sr stacks with monk spell resist.

    • teachersyn
      Apr 17, 2014 @ 10:46:38

      It seems to do so. It’s not a wild increase but the numbers do appear a bit higher than from a non-Drow. I’ll verify it sometime.

  4. erdrique
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 11:40:10

    I’m definitely going to have to make me a shuriken build, seems really fun :).

  5. Saekee
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 14:59:44

    hi, nice–I went into the Sub with my ninja at level 15 and found the skellies easy enough but your Garamol takedown was fantastic!
    I checked out the thread again–have you considered going Elf instead of Drow and picking up some AA imbues for the Shuriken as a result (still pure Monk)? then you would gain bludgeoning, for example, on the shuriken (Morphic imbue), making skellies much easier. I am sure the imbues would make up for the loss of the +4 damage and drow poison, or not? YOu would need to swap a feat to get the Shuriken expertis–maybe the Deflect Arrows?

    As for Sireth–I am considering a Henshin Mystic build with Tier 5 in Henshin but the Ninja Capstone…that would buff the spear in both directions (Vorpal from ninja capstone and heightened crit range and multiplier from the Henshin). Problem is that I do not have the spear…what do you think? STR as main stat for Overwhelming critical etc.

    • teachersyn
      Apr 17, 2014 @ 15:13:56

      Firewall’s discussed racial ideas similar to your thoughts. I agree with him; the Drow gives a free key feat and increased shuriken damage. The Venomed Blades is a bonus but the Ninja Poison greatly magnifies its effect (once it’s back working). Monks are low on feats so getting what you can free is better. Also, if I recall, many AA imbues may be limited to bows only, not thrown weapons, but I’d have to check. As for Sireth, yes, I have one on my Mystic and it’s great for many occasions. But bludgeoning damage is really good with other weapons. The Mystic’s overall damage profile improves a lot with LD training and has great crits without it and with high STR (staves). But I think ninja wins here; it concentrates on training on only one weapon with punishing maximum effect, like taking down a slash-resistant 25,000 red-named skelly in 4 mins. 🙂 If you can get more STR in your Mystic, do so! It has to be treated as other melee weapon users and not as a typical Monk.

      • Saekee
        Apr 18, 2014 @ 17:08:07

        i thought the AA imbues affect ammunition, and that the shuriken is treated as such? If not, then yeah makes no sense to use the Elf enhancements.

        As for Sireth–was thinking that it is simply a way to work in a TWF ninja to use Sireth with the Mystic Tier 5 enhancement. Sireth gives slashing/piercing damage so it would become vorpal with a ninja, and have the Tier5 mystic staff expanded crit range and multiplier for a nice synergy.

        • teachersyn
          Apr 18, 2014 @ 18:13:26

          If you can afford the AP, yeah, it would be…badass.

          • Saekee
            Apr 18, 2014 @ 20:26:14

            barely fits–you get maybe 7 leftover, assuming you want cauldron and wall of flame. Basically enough to take deft strikes. I think it might work –on the planner I took the full twf line, PA, IC: piercing and IC: bludgeon. Gives a lot of flexibility as an armed monk who can fight unarmed fine also. curious to try it…My next life.

            Was inspired by this to try Garamol–just turned level 17–jumped in, found him, fought him down to 2000 hp and died (didnt bring enough heal pots with me). So I healed, went back in, and finished him…and got my ICY! whoot! Thx again for inspiration!

  6. Shawn Wilson (@shawnvw)
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 20:05:15

    I have an epic Drow Barbarian with the Brutal Throw feat. How close can she come to the Shuricannon in terms of damage?

    • teachersyn
      Apr 21, 2014 @ 20:43:24

      Good question…and one probably discussed in brief in the forum thread. If I recall, Firewall’s argument for the ‘Cannon’s power comes from DEX ruling all damage, 2 extra stars per throw (more when Doubleshot goes off) thanks to many trained and built-in abilities of the Drow and the Ninja Spy tree. We also Vorpal all at level 20. Scan through the thread to read on more comparisons. Your crits may be better but not the DPS.

      • FuzzyDuck81
        Apr 22, 2014 @ 03:05:46

        Yep better crits but the real power of the shuricannon is it’s machinegun rate of fire giving more opportunities for the procs to occur.

        • teachersyn
          Apr 22, 2014 @ 07:10:33

          I’m hoping to take mine into an EE. Reviewing someone’s EE Tor, I’ve been concerned that I wouldn’t do enough damage. But, yes, you’re right–the ‘Cannon is a VERY fast thrower, far so than an AA/Monkcher build. I neglected to see the multiple damage caused by other effects. I’m really doing more like 200-500 damage per hit depending on the strikes. So stay tuned; I’ll definitely make a video of that run.

          • FuzzyDuck81
            Apr 22, 2014 @ 14:49:58

            I’m curious what other destiny stuff you’ve got twisted – cocoon is pretty much a given though i expect 🙂

            I’m thinking haste boost from dreadnaught plus soundburst from exalted angel could be good if you have some SP to play with, since it’s DC is based off character level plus wisdom modifier, so it could be a useful extra bit of crowd control in addition to the flashbang… maybe acute instincts from fury could be decent, so you get a bonus to a bunch of handy skills & wisdom after chugging a rage potion.

            • teachersyn
              Apr 22, 2014 @ 15:07:40

              With Shiradi active, my only Twist is Rejuvenation Cocoon. It’s quite the cheap and quick battle heal. My HP is laughable but that’s the “nothing comes close” part. Dodge is capped at 28%, I’ve got Blurry to reintegrate and I throw on Shadow Veil when things are nasty. I did happen to solo-kill Amrath for Yugo potions and have DDO Store elixirs for a +4 to DEX (and a few things) to hit 60 DEX. I’d love to add LD for boosts but that will require me to to slack outside of Shiradi to get it. But I’m betting it’s a good idea just for the Haste Boost. The others might not work with ranged/thrown.

              • FuzzyDuck81
                Apr 23, 2014 @ 10:41:35

                Levelling off-destinies is the only real problem with the system, luckily the majority of characters i play are relatively destiny-independent… still, on a couple of my characters i found starting off as far away as possible from the “ultimate” destiny for it was a good bet since it’d help expose me to alternative possibilities, plus when i finally did get to the main one it’s an upgrade to awesomeness, instead of a defacto nerf by running alternate ones.. also, by that point i’d have some handy twists 🙂

                • teachersyn
                  Apr 23, 2014 @ 10:45:46

                  Quite true. As you posted I was writing a unpublished post on going EE with my ‘Cannon and the need to grind XP for them. I choose the easy out on the Twists: I buy a Tome of Fate. 🙂 Shiradi throwers definitely miss the Whirling Wrists but I may be able to live. I’m wondering if a third life of training Shadowdancer might be worth it for tactical play.

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