The Fire Drake: An Incinerating Monk

Your dreams of being like Zuko the Firebender from "Avatar: The Last Airbender" might have been answered.

Your wish of being like Zuko the Firebender from “Avatar: The Last Airbender” might have been answered.

It’s great when someone discovers something new or insightful, especially in the world of Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Teacher Saekee’s been nice to point out insightful threads I might be interested in reading. One thread he recommended, by senior student Robbenklopper, describes how the poster trained the Draconic Incarnation epic destiny for his Monk.

For those not familiar (as I am not), Draconic Incarnation is an Arcane destiny that’s generally for Sorcerers with some application for Bards and Wizards. It focuses on improving spell caster levels and spell power of any element you choose. It’s not a destiny to which Monks, masters of ki, not magic, would normally gravitate.

But what student Robbenklopper discovered is about to pull me partially away from the contemplative martial artistry of the monastic so to better understand the power of sorcery.

The Red Drake

I’m effectively a complete newbie to any arcane classes (except Artificer). I have no Wizards, Bards or Sorcerers in my dojo. The closest character I have that thinks in terms of spell power (the mechanism to amplify a spell’s ultimate damage, broken down by elemental types) is for my Henshin Mystic, Quintessica.

Robbenklopper’s inspiring thread discusses his “Red Drake Monk.” He was able to leverage training in Henshin Mystic and Draconic Incarnation with his Shintao Monk and Combustion augment gems, with a Twisted ability, Flames of Purity, from the new Divine Crusader epic destiny.

His results? A massive boost in Fire spell power. He notes that using the DI abilities, he has generated 3,000+ fire damage and 400 damage using a finishing move (I must assume the Fire related ones such as Breath of Fire, the Burning Hands SLA). Two specific DI abilities, Dragon Breath and Energy Burst – Fire, simply incinerate his enemies.

This got me thinking.

Of Mystics and Magic

What would a fully trained Henshin Mystic, with innate training that adds very useful spell power boosts to Fire and Force damage, gain from the Draconic Incarnation destiny, based on Robbenklopper’s discovery?

Robbenklopper’s character trained only to the third Mystic core ability, Incinerating Wave, a firewall-like attack of Fire and Force damage. He estimates that a fully trained Mystic, with the Serenity core ability, could have as much as 280 Fire spell power, not counting what other effects such as spell lore could add in.

Quintessica is obviously my candidate to find out if she could generate so much Fire damage that she leaves nothing but ash in her wake.

She’s only trained the Grandmaster of Flowers, Legendary Dreadnought and portions of Unyielding Sentinel–hardly a qualifier for her to claim DI. I am not, however, against buying my destiny. I had to do so for Szyncletica, a new Monk at the time, for her to immediately use the Shiradi Champion destiny for her star throwing.

So, as soon as I check the budget, a Key of Destiny is coming for Quin to buy the Draconic Incarnation destiny.

Next comes the task of what to train in the destiny. Robbenklopper warns to pick the fire-related abilities since trying to amplify other elements may weaken your spell power overall.

Quin’s current Fire spell power at level 23 is around 150, roughly. I’m not a great number-cruncher but I’m going to try to figure out what she will gain from each training tier and abilities. The core abilities just add SP to the mix, but spell points are required since the abilities activate magically.

Tier1: Energy Sheath, Dragonhide, Draconic Perception. I can gain some elemental absorption, and improvements to my fortitude save, natural armor, Spot, and reflex saves. These do nothing for spell power but the Destiny Points spent will open the next tier and satisfy prerequisites.

Tier 2: Go Out With a Bang, Barrier of Scales. “Bang” turns you into a bomb with AoE damage once your HP drop below 50%, also turning you Improved Invisibility for a time. “Barrier” adds some damage absorption. Again, spending points here is needed to get to the meaty stuff. I can imagine using Cauldron of Flames to attract and damage enemies before blowing myself up real good with the Bang to finish off a mob.

Tier 3: Dragon Heritage, Piercing Spellcraft. All of the DI abilities use INT or CHA for their DC successes–neither stats are favored by Monks. That said, you pick the color of your draconic inspiration. For Quin, that’s likely the red dragon, with up to +30 Fire spell power once fully trained. Piercing Spellcraft could help ensure that the damage hits, but being a Monk, the results gained here in spell penetration may be inconsequential.

Tier 4: Energy Burst, Secondary Spell Ability. Robbenklopper loved the damage with Energy Burst-Fire. The Secondary Spell Ability seems like I’d get another 20 spell power to Fire.

Tier 5: Flyby Attack, Dragon Breath: With the fire spell power as high as Quin can get it, these abilities (the first emulates Abundant Step + phase-through enemies) smack enemies with the fire damage trained to this point. The poster noted complete toasting of epic giants with Dragon Breath: 3,800 points of damage.

More Firepower…or More Anything

Quin’s own innate Mystic training should also get a sizeable boost with the spellpower updates. I may already have a high Combustion augment gem on-hand to add to a slot in some fire-aligned Thaumaturgy staff. In this mode, Quin doesn’t focus as much on melee damage (yet can still do so well with her staff training) as to pump out maximum Fire damage (with a bit of Force damage) from the stand-your-ground Cauldron of Flame, Incinerating Wave and Ki Bolt.

As Robbenklopper noted, he was able to generate nasty unarmed damage with handwraps loaded with spell power augments as well.

As time allows, I’ll get Quin trained up and post a video if possible on the results.

As Robbenklopper noted, you’re not limited to Fire here. You could train the Electric side or other elements since things like demons will laugh at your attempts to burn them. The only one missing here, I think, is Force damage, which would have been a great option for a Mystic.

I’m still working on a “cool” name for this Mystic fight mode. I think Robbenklopper’s “Fire Drake” stands on its own well for the unarmed fighter. Stay tuned. Props to this man for his incredible discovery.




8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. FuzzyDuck81
    May 15, 2014 @ 15:39:40

    I think my personal preference would be (once enough fate points accumulated) to run in Divine Crusader then have energy burst twisted from draconic.. wouldn’t necessarily have quite the same single-kaboom kick as draconic, but consecration is a nice AoE thing that does fire & good damage (boosted by fire spellpower & crit chance) plus healing & a dps boost.. you’d also have the aura that does bane damage & since presumably as a henshin you’re using a staff, you can get the enhancement for extended crit range – that thing will apply before improved criticals & stack with staff mastery, Sireth is displaying 11-20 for me 🙂 Add in a very powerful cleave attack & you’ve got a powerful, well-rounded destiny – it’s probably my favourite for melee guys now, even over dreadnaught.

    • teachersyn
      May 15, 2014 @ 16:36:13

      I haven’t read up on Divine Crusader at all. That sounds like some good, if not better synergy with Mystic melee and spell power. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Saekee
    May 15, 2014 @ 16:20:40

    Great suggestions Fuzzyduck81; Spencerian, thx for the shoutout!
    Fuzzyduck81, consider the Forester’s Brush Hook in the hands of a Ninja Capstone also–it would have the same crit range as your Sireth and be TWF (assumed IC: Slashing) and gain vorpal, plus of course ninja poison stacking on every other hit. I would love to try it out but it will be a long while til I get there. I love the idea of using Divine Crusader; thx for sharing it!
    The interesting thing about the Fire Drake is that it succeeds with fire–I figured people avoided fire attacks due to many resistances to fire in the upper levels. The Henshin line debuffs fire resistance while buffing the fire attack, making it a nice combo.

    • FuzzyDuck81
      May 16, 2014 @ 03:57:41

      I have the bushhooks on my ninja, but generally end up using dual celestias – hooray for those raider boxes, i ended up with 2 of them 🙂
      Fire was always a poor runner up due to the devil immunities, but that’s changed somewhat since MOTU & it’s a nice solid choice again now, with the exception of the fire peaks raid i guess.

      • Saekee
        May 16, 2014 @ 09:37:39

        wow nice! Hard to argue with dual Celestias–Planar set bonus and the big damage secondary effect procs. The hooks have a couple of advantages, though–better crit range and multiplier (assuming IC: Slashing and Ninja capstone, it is 13-20/x3) and they apply ninja poison. Celestia also does not work with the Dex to damage options of the Ninja tree, not a big deal if STR is high anyway. Both break DR.

    • teachersyn
      May 16, 2014 @ 08:33:03

      That’s been my thought. Sure, devils are fire-immune. But you’re going to find immunities everywhere, like elementals. But for those who aren’t–you can do well. And, as for the Mystic, there’s still room to build up other elemental attack spell power. Before Update 19, Quintessica was a avatar Monk; trained all Grandmasters back when you had to train them. Now, we can get similar powers through Mystics and concentrating spell power. Looks pretty promising; I need to read up on Crusader and other destinies to see where more spell power can be leeched.

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  4. erdrique
    May 20, 2014 @ 09:20:45

    Wow this sounds like a fun and very interesting build!! Definitely has strong synergy and great potential.

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