The Lone Blade: Kiricletica Reborn

Kiri's a little closer to the single-bladed Akatsuki than her "Sword Art Online" inspiration. And not nearly as cute when assassinating.

Kiri’s a little closer to the single-bladed “ninja” Akatsuki from “Log Horizon” than her “Sword Art Online” inspiration, Kirito–although Kiri’s not nearly as cute when assassinating.

Feeling impulsive a few days ago, I gathered up some Tokens of the Twelve with the L26 Kiricletica, made a Heroic True Heart of Wood and proceeded to start a new life with my soloing Ninja Spy.

My impulsiveness made me forget to buy up a boatload of Yugoloth potions, but I still have a modest supply.

And the new ingredients system for the Shared Bank makes localizing collectibles needed for the House Deneith ability potions for more emergency WIS or DEX so much easier. I’ve also been more crazed in farming anything mossy for those WIS potions.

Reviewing the quest list, there wasn’t much else Kiri could accomplish that was necessary to do, although I entertained clearing all other lower quests for a time. She’d mastered Shadowdancer and Grandmaster of Flowers.

But I wanted to give Kiri a few important changes under her cloak for this second life.

The Lone Blade

Kiricletica’s first life had one general problem: attack speed. As an armed Monk, damage per second with shortswords is a bit lower than fighting unarmed. She had offhand chances with the Two Weapon Fighting feats but didn’t train them in full.

She was able to pack in more damage with many enemies, thanks to Ninja Poison. However, takedown speed is critical in solo ops so that the isolated enemies you remove do not have an opportunity to strike back or call for help.

Kiricletica is now the first of my Monks to use Single Weapon Fighting.

It was a clear choice to boost attack speed for a character that’s not a one-man army. My exploits with Flynncletica sold me on this idea immediately.

By level 15, Kiri as a SWF user could have 30% base Combat Style bonus melee alacrity, not counting stacking enhancement bonuses from Wind Stance, Haste, or her Melee Alacrity trinket. For quick takedowns, that’s a help.

I said “could” because feats can still be tight if I want to add in Whirlwind Strike for some combat options. If I have to pick, it’s obviously for more SWF speed.

Kiri won’t enjoy the innate stacking Doublestrike, Dodge or AC bonuses that Swashbucklers like Flynncletica can gain with the right training of that class’s enhancements, combined with SWF.

But that’s not the point. The Ninja Spy already masters a shortsword with impressive attack bonuses, Dexterity to Damage, as well as enjoying inherent abilities as a Monk. If I can add some morale bonus Doublestrike in from something, great. She’ll also gain Shadow Double later for a burst of 100% Doublestrike with 2x weapon damage for 6 seconds with a 30 second cooldown.

To my pleasant surprise, Single Weapon Fighting is treated as a Monk Class Feat. Curiously, I couldn’t initially select it during character creation with the granted 2 ranks of Balance already in place, the feat’s only prerequisite. I had to backtrack and add two more points to Balance before the feat was selectable.

Dodge and the Half-Elf Cleric Dilettante returned as well. Using scrolls and wands is just too good to pass up. Training Mobility and Spring Attack for Dodge as well as Combat Expertise for more AC.

I felt more reserved in training too much of the Half-Elf tree, and I shouldn’t be. I chose the Elven side in Kiri’s first life for more Dexterity, which was rather meh, but going more Human this round should be more advantageous with its Action Boosts for special needs, and more additional ability points. Improved Recovery is a no-brainer for needed healing amplification, as is boosting the Cleric dilettante for using Heal and Restoration scrolls.

She ate a saved 30,000 XP gem from a very lucky Daily Dice roll to send her straight to level 3, where she’s already taken the Dark path and trained much of the good stuff in the Ninja Spy tree, lacking only Sting of the Ninja for a while longer.

Kiricletica has the maximum WIS I could add to her on creation: 18 base. She’s already 24 WIS with buffs, inherent bonuses and Ocean Stance  at level 3, still lacking an enhancement bonus item. I exploited her power immediately, using “Freezing the Lifeblood” finishing moves on the few orange bosses of a few Korthos quests. Kiri had 48 base WIS and could boost it to 54-56 with potions by L26. I want to see 60 there for perfect finishers.

Once damage-enhancing abilities such as No Mercy are trained again (up to 30% more damage to helpless enemies), takedown speed will be insane, especially with Human Action Boosts and more DEX. Of course, the assassinate-like Quivering Palm at level 15 should apply quite well with Kiri’s very high WIS DC.

DEX is still important and is the second critical stat. I want to get this much higher than her first life, perhaps 40-45 by Epic. This should help not only sword damage but increase Kiri’s throwing star prowess. If feats allow (and I doubt they will), I’ll add Ten Thousand Stars to her in this life.

Ki retention and generation is the real challenge to making this work at such low levels; Kiri’s DCs for her finishers at her level is rock-solid. A crafted Concentration +7 helm sits on her head for a bit more help. Eight action points are going to train the Henshin Mystic’s Mystical Training (more to finisher DCs)  to ultimately gain the Contemplation ability (more Concentration and another passive ki regeneration point).

Not a single point goes into any Shintao ability.

I dug up a Phiarlan Mirror Cloak  for more Hide/Move Silently until I can use her Cloak of Shadows once more.

She’ll try to have a bit more Spot, too. Colliding into the asses of other stealthy enemies while sneaking around yourself is outright embarrassing.

The Revised Mission

I’ve got a lot of characters to get up to speed and also to TR in keeping with improving my ability to help others enjoy the game and improve their skills.

While I love, love, LOVE playing Kiri in solitary mode, and will still do so from time to time, I’m trying to hold her back while I TR and level up a few others, as too many of my characters are loitering around at higher levels.

I’ll still keep Kiri to her original soloing challenge rules while alone as a matter of role-play, but she’ll be likely joining parties more often. I’m only questioning whether to move her to level 5 right away.

Flynn and Szyncletica will be diving into several “Devil’s Assault” runs to generate as many Tokens as I’m able to do. I’m determined to get my dojo to be less top-heavy so I can help out other players and have more fun to boot.


33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. saekee
    Aug 15, 2014 @ 10:59:18

    Sweet–another SWF ninja! The shadow double boost is great single target DPS. Since you are using short swords I found that the ss bastard line (sun blade, star of day, Celestia) proc glancing blows if you do not move while using them. With Celestia it results in nice sunbursting.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 15, 2014 @ 11:18:12

      Excellent tip. Kiri never got a Celestia since she was born after the Raider’s Box giveaway, so Sun Blades and Stars of Day are all she’s got. She’ll make due. I’ve enjoyed the GS Triple-Positives for undead takedown more, but it will be some time before she’s able to get one built.

      • saekee
        Aug 15, 2014 @ 11:25:17

        yeah–I wasn’t thinking for undead but for the glancing blows. Let me know if they proc for her as well. It is moah damage, even if only a little

    • Lightning
      Aug 15, 2014 @ 21:24:57

      I originally considered an SWF Ninja, but have decided, instead, to stick to my Fighter primarily, as of late. It really is quite a bit of fun, but I do miss my Monk skill access. Maybe I’ll TR him into a Rogue later on and give that a whirl. He’s already planning on utilizing Light Armor for the Fighter Dodge line, but he wields Bastard Swords as well. (I was going for a Kirito feel, and seeing as Bastard Swords are the heaviest one-handed variety, I thought it would fit. Perhaps I’ll experiment with a splash of Rogue instead of simply pure fighter. Perhaps go Long Sword instead, and utilize Elven dex-to-damage.)

      In other news, the glancing blows from the Bastard/Shortswords is quite helpful. AoE on a single target fighting style really helps, considering the speed you get along the way.

      I was really hoping that SWF would come with it’s own animation, a la Flurry of Blows, but oh well.

      • teachersyn
        Aug 16, 2014 @ 07:57:51

        I would love a backward grip attack, myself. 🙂

        • Lightning
          Aug 16, 2014 @ 12:52:14

          This game is in some serious need of new animations and attack styles. At least different ones for various types of weapons, anyway. I’m sure most weapon damage is done by using a piercing type weapon as a slash from time to time.

          On the other hand, it gets kind of dull seeing the same one time and again. At least something based off of the 4 non-unarmed attack styles would be nice. One for one handed, one for two-handed, two-weapon and another for sword-and-board. Actually, I think I’d make a tank if they took the Shield feats and combined them into one line.

  2. mernom
    Aug 16, 2014 @ 02:33:36

    i made an experimental char for testing swf on monk,veteran monk 2 ftr 2 with longsword ki weapons.sinse i’m low lvl i don’t see anything nice yet,but i did find out that the starter longsword looks alot like a katana,which gives a feel like leafa from SAO.(lol)

  3. mernom
    Aug 16, 2014 @ 15:41:18

    btw you said that you coulden’t squees the 3rd 2wf feat in on your 1st life,what did you take to fill it all?
    could you pls detail your 1st life build,and your plan for this life
    (planning to go ninja at some points,and gona look for some pointers in your builds)
    btw,when going longsowrd monk,is there a point in taking the ninja capstone?it should only work on shortswords,so…

    • mernom
      Aug 16, 2014 @ 15:42:45

      checked,and it seems that the vorpal part effects longswords as well…

    • teachersyn
      Aug 16, 2014 @ 22:47:10

      I believe I trained the Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack and Combat Expertise and the first 2 feats of Two Weapon Fighting. Being half-elf, I lost a feat over being human.

      Initially I tried longswords with Kiri but that cost an extra feat, so I reverted to shortswords to save that. On this build, going max SWF is important for very quick takedowns and, based on other comments, the glancing blows for greater DPS.

      • mernom
        Aug 16, 2014 @ 23:29:14

        if the only change is that your going max swf insted if 2wf it’s not really help,you can only reach the 2nd feat.if your going human that should give you the missing slot,but are you sure you didn’t forget to drop wep focus slashing?my friend had a shintao with full whirlwind,2wf,toughness and had space to squeeze in resiliance.

        • teachersyn
          Aug 17, 2014 @ 00:13:42

          I’m probably undercounting my feats, and I always take Improved Critical for whatever weapon I use. But yes, I should be able to go the full SWF but I doubt I can squeeze Combat Exp without compromising something.

          • mernom
            Aug 29, 2014 @ 20:01:46

            i went to lammania and made a couple of dwarf monks,and managed to get full 2wf line both times.
            my 2nd one was a spy with the following feats:
            toughness,full 2wf,dodge>mobility>spring,presicion,deflect arrows,imp piercing (without epic feats)
            btw,as for the atvantage of going swf over 2wf,it will only show itself if you can boost your dex to the max.
            if you have 60 dex,you have 25 mod,and with full swf you deal 50 dmg FROM THE DEX MODE ALONE.
            however,with full 2wf and a 7 points spash into shintao,you get 90% offhand attack.if you have a good offhand wep,you can deal better damage at lower ability numbers,as well as having extra effects(seeker +10 on offhand effects bow weps,allowing you to hold a dps wep in your main hand)
            the disatvantage of 2wf,is that offhand gets only 50% ability at high numbers it will start falling behind.

            • teachersyn
              Aug 30, 2014 @ 00:03:18

              Been thinking the same about that DEX. Kiri will likely go much higher on DEX for this reason. At the attack speed, with making things helpless and No Mercy…quick death to anything should I need to. Going full SWF will be very cool.

              • mernom
                Aug 30, 2014 @ 08:23:00

                If your talking about sneak atk dmg,2wf delivers it faster.

              • mernom
                Aug 30, 2014 @ 13:44:03

                btw,i looked at lammania and it seems that they’r gona reduce the double ability mod to half (and 1.25 at 2’nd tier),while adding melee power insted,so you may wana look into that.

                • teachersyn
                  Aug 30, 2014 @ 20:19:59

                  I will. Guess no good thing lasts forever. Thankfully there’s still Nerve Poison and No Mercy to amplify the pain to the helpless.

      • Lightning
        Aug 17, 2014 @ 11:24:18

        The added DPS from Glancing Blows really only comes off of 3 short swords. Granted, they’re usually good short swords that get used a lot, but still. 😛

  4. FuzzyDuck81
    Aug 17, 2014 @ 05:39:44

    My own ninja is SWF too, TBH i think it’s the best route to go for ninjas since pSWF in epic levels means hey, double the number of those handy vorpals for the extra bane damage/instakills & going fully dex-based is really nice when you can get 2x the stat modifier to damage.

    In fact, i was able to kerjigger her feats around to the point where woot, elf ninja with dragonmark, full SWF line & shuricannon capability too… though she’s light side, so hasn’t got quite so much in the way of big-hitting poison damage & those handy dark side finishers, meaning when i do get into combat its a little more full-on than your own hard & fast takedowns, but hey, that’s what displacement is for, right?

    • teachersyn
      Aug 18, 2014 @ 10:28:11

      Nice. I was hoping for that reasoning, too, with the full SWF line. My build wants the higher WIS to make finishers stick but I’ll be adding more DEX than before for more attack prowess. Same for quasi-Shuricannon power; far less DEX than my Szyncletica, but more than enough to choose a true ranged option, perhaps training Shiradi in this time around. Until the Sting bug is fixed, I’m carrying the strongest Cannith star I can craft to add back Ninja Poison. Worked well against an EE Keras in Lords of Dust with Szyn. Armed with a Tiefling Assassin’s Blade at L6, Kiri’s a meat-carver right now.

      • FuzzyDuck81
        Aug 18, 2014 @ 10:37:41

        With a sunblade as a backup for zombies? 🙂 Gotta love those old things, still great even after all these years.

        • teachersyn
          Aug 18, 2014 @ 10:42:40

          Just dusted mine off. 🙂 Still see kamas as better for DR, but if you hit hard and fast enough, who cares!

          • FuzzyDuck81
            Aug 18, 2014 @ 11:17:57

            What DR? it’s a bastard sword masquerading as a shortsword, so it’s slashing.. it’s also got the better base damage as well as the extra damage effects on it.. and i guess if you get the new one there’s a red slot too, hooray!

  5. erdrique
    Aug 18, 2014 @ 14:17:09

    Sounds like a fun build for sure!! I have yet to take advantage of the single weapon fighting feats on my characters. Need to figure out if I can create an appropriate character to use that line.

    • mernom
      Aug 18, 2014 @ 14:21:00

      basicly it’s quite easy to make a swf char with any class that you used to play with a single weapon.(for example,if you play as a elf wizard with a single longsword,sinse befor the knight line)and feat slots to spare.
      the most important thing is that without taking 3 bard lvls and a light weapon,you CAN’T hold a shield in your offhand,so you lose that bonus.but,you can hold runearms freely,and possibly orbs too.(didn’t test)

      • FuzzyDuck81
        Aug 18, 2014 @ 14:56:01

        Yep runearm & orbs are fine, swashbuckler line simply gives them a couple of extra bonuses. Runearms need the feat from artificer to qualify, and orbs need the magical training feat, which is free with 1 level of arty, cleric, fvs, wizard, druid or sorcerer.. any other class needs to select it, though bards can get it by spending AP in the spellsinger line. It’s a feat i tend to take on most characters who dont get it for free, the SP to power destiny abilities is nice, and it includes 5% crit chance & echoes of power too 🙂

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