Glass Cannons

Suki2Spent a bit of time this weekend giving some love to my freshly-Epic Rogue Assassin, Sukitetica.

I’ve spoken a bit on my take on their general performance in comparison to Ninja Spies. I should sum up these points.

  • Assassin Sneak Attack damage is incredible.
  • Single Weapon Fighting’s speed with Sneak Attack damage is insanely powerful.
  • UMD turns any Rogue into Batman–or, at least, Batman’s utility belt. From Raising Dead, to Heals, to defeating traps and opening doors, emergency buffs–they can do it all.
  • Assassinate is still damned fun.

That said, the epic Sukitetica got herself killed a few times, which leads me to add one point.

  • Assassins can’t take damage worth a damn. Or, at least, mine doesn’t.

That’s not really news. However,  I feel that you have to be able to absorb some level of damage during crunch times. I ran with a great party on the Sschindylryn quests; always a personal favorite. We nailed “House of Rusted Blades,” clearing out everything while one person tanked the Blademaster boss perfectly for several minutes alone. Paladin.

In “House of Broken Chains,” the results were similar. I used my UMD to disable enough of the slave collars, although I learned fast that UMD’s roll is far less reliable than Concentration with a Monk. A few slaves died. But we got the rescue bonus and even took down a horde of spiders, clearing out the place.

But “House of Death Undone” took a little more party finesse since the place is full of enemies and enemies-turned-zombies. This House has a great medical plan: Life and Unlife Insurance. I wondered about their dental plan.

We took out the matron mothers in each House. House Avithoul was kind enough to present me with a Seal of House Avithoul for my trouble, a perfect ring that just made my DPS shoot up substantially.

I’m still stuck on what the Epic Rogue should be wearing, aside from that welcome ring. There’s no Commendations path I’m aware of that supports the Rogue. So, I guess the Rogue has to mish-mash items from various patrons based on the character’s need.

Looks like the Druids of the Kings Forest commendation rewards have the greatest general appeal. It provides great Hide/Move Silently bonuses, and offers Sneak Attack damage bonuses with all three set items.

Experience with Artemistika also reminds me that getting enough of these particular commendations are a pain in the butt. I’ll spend more time trading three commendations from more readily dropping patronages to generate what I need for the druids.

As for weapons, I’m still in great shape. The Sacrificial Dagger is simply a murder weapon in the hands of an Assassin against anything not a zombie. I used that weapon from the moment I could wield it, only swapping it out with a disruptor when I had a need. It’s got negative-leveling on a critical hit, and I do that a lot.

But back to Suki’s defenses. They suck. Her AC is laughable. Her miss-chance skills (20% Concealment, 0% Incorporeal, 18% Dodge) isn’t great. Without the Insightful Reflexes feat to use the INT modifier for Reflex saves and not DEX, Suki’s average DEX isn’t enough to ward off a high-level trap. Shadowdancer’s Dodge powers will work only if I’ve trained more Dodge and raise her maximum dexterity bonus (which I hadn’t). If she’s detected, she has few backups she can kick on to escape, like the Ninja Spy’s Flash Bang.

Her fortification must go to 150% to survive EE attempts. I watched her 56 DC to Assassinate work 90% of the time, but that 10% worries me. And she needs more to her rogueish skills to find and disable traps and open doors. I couldn’t pull off opening the locked door to the boss of “Death Undone.” It took a wizard in the party to beat it.

So Suki has a lot to fix. Lots of gear. Lots of Epic Destinies to train.

It’s going to be fun.

On Cannith, Suki’s counterpart, Gadgetetica, has been pretty vigilant until I realized that I didn’t train her Single Weapon Fighting on her. Big whoops. I ended up using my free Lesser Heart of Wood to Lesser Reincarnate her. Wasn’t a bad idea since this allowed me to reassign more AP into the Assassin tree to get that much closer to being ready to assassinate on schedule at level 12.

I haven’t spoken much about Shintao Monks lately. I’ll need to do so soon.

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. saekee
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 09:56:02

    I recommend an Epic Ring of the Stalker and Adamantine Cloak of the Wolf. The former can get two augment slots so you can put in deathblock and an exceptional +1 to INT. They require running challenges, though… If not, the drow Piwafi cloak is nice and is great as a swap-in for stealth runs.
    The ring of shadows is good defensively.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 08, 2015 @ 10:00:56

      Just got a Piwafi, so I’m happy there. An Epic Ring of Shadows is actually less on my list since the H/MS is covered well, and Blur is a scroll away. Ack! Cannith challenges are hit and miss for me. I find that the ranged characters are far more successful in farming them than others. Still, a Stalker ring is still a much-desired thing for Suki as well as the Zen Archers. Finding someone to run them with since hirelings are less reliable than before, not so much.

      • saekee
        Jun 08, 2015 @ 11:51:53

        I can help with the Cannith ones but we need to be around the same level, I think

        • teachersyn
          Jun 08, 2015 @ 12:46:25

          We do, within 5 levels or so. I’m about to hit 19 so it may be a bit.

          • mernom
            Jun 10, 2015 @ 03:30:25

            Epic ring of the stalker also has ghostly, for10% Incorporeal miss chance, and also the ghost cloak from Gianthold. Golden gile, or whatever it’s called from the pre Evningstar chain has imp deception which helps avoiding hits when the enemies turn around. And you may consider making a GS item that can summon earth elementals, although it’s less useful at epic levels. I once saw an interesting build on Lammania, a Shurricannon that filled himself with Ooze GS items to rapidly summon himself an army, so that type may help you a little.

            • teachersyn
              Jun 10, 2015 @ 08:34:04

              The Guile is on my list, as are anything else that gets Ghostly without undue craziness. The Treads of Falling Shadow are far less complicated to obtain, later. Whisperchain is good, too, for Blurry. I’ll have to research the ooze effect; that’s a neat trick!

              • mernom
                Jun 10, 2015 @ 08:39:36

                I played with him, he had about 10 of those in a manner of seconds.and since they spawn at the target, they prevent them from coming right at you.was pretty neat!

  2. Tholgrin
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 14:12:49

    The Cannith ingredients are bound to account, so you can run them on any character you can find a group for and then swap them over. That part is easy; finding the group, not so much. :-/

    As for armor, the Hide of the Goristro makes for a nice piece from 22 until you can find/craft something better, and is relatively easy to farm from Trial by Fury in the Demonweb. Or, purchase on the auction house.. due to its relative frequency, there’s usually several available for very reasonable rates on both Auction Houses, at least on Orien.

    For other trapping gear, the Bracers of Twisting Shade (search/disable) and Nether Grasps (open lock) make for some pretty hefty increases, even if only on a swap-in-only-when-needed basis. As the Epic versions drop on both the Heroic and Epic arc end reward for the High Road, there’s usually gobs of them available for next to nothing on the Houses, or from guildies. (I’ve got half a dozen of each I could send you… but they’re on Orien!)

    When it comes to faction commendations, I’ve found that running around in wilderness or farming specific quests is less than an efficient use of time. If you want a guaranteed payoff of a specific faction, the fastest way I’ve found is to run the Druid’s Deep arc on Heroic Casual. No XP, true, but also no (or almost no) resource expenditure, the entire arc on HC can be completed in around twenty minutes, and you are GUARANTEED three coms of your choice upon completion. A full set of faction gear (35 coms’ worth – 2x 5 for accessories, 10 for armor, 15 for weapon) is usually done within three hours in this way. Even on my luckiest day in the wildness or questing, I have never come close to that drop rate elsewhere. Yeah, yeah, it’s casual, but then, we’re not there for XP or challenge, are we?

    Also, not sure if you already knew, but the cosmetic Bunny Hat from the DDO Store (turn the visuals off, though, eww) provides a hidden bonus to UMD when a wand or scroll is equipped, called “Nothing Up My Sleeve.” Can be handy, in a pinch!

    Also, chinchillas.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 08, 2015 @ 14:22:34

      Yep, got the Hide on my Deepwood Stalker, works well. And know all too well the deep, hurting grind to get three Commendations in Druid’s Deep, as that was how I had to get most of what I needed for the Sniper. I’ll likely have her pay-it-backward by doing the farming since, with Update 25, Artemistika is a bow cannon with crits that are quite mighty. Didn’t know about the bunny hat. But I own a Treasure Hunter’s Spyglass and they have the same Competence bonus. I have UMD 43 now, and more to come with a bit more CHA, so she’s got that licked.

      • Tholgrin
        Jun 08, 2015 @ 14:39:43

        Sadly, faction coms are bound to character. 😦 can’t grind them on another toon… blech.

        Which is probably why I *NEVER* play Druid’s Deep for real, since I’ve run it so many times for commendations that the mere thought of trudging through them for less-than-stellar XP makes me want to introduce my eyeballs to an irate squirrel.

        • Tholgrin
          Jun 11, 2015 @ 20:17:07

          I may or may not have a Morninglord on Ghallanda, now.. if’n you’re still looking to farm faction coms, she’ll need at least twenty!

  3. James
    Jun 09, 2015 @ 00:15:31

    I kinda enjoy the chain except for Overgrowth. I never can seem to farm for EE hook. Killing everything in one min is too hard even for a competent group if you can find one.Got the 2 en and one eh version though.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 09, 2015 @ 08:56:03

      That series hasn’t a bad storyline, but most of our weapons are less effective there since they’re natural or fey creatures. I’m tempted to nickname this chain “Clear Cutting” or “I’m not a lumberjack and it’s not OK” or something like that.

  4. DDOCentral
    Jun 09, 2015 @ 05:56:16

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  5. erdrique
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 18:54:49

    Rogues can definitely be squishy. However, don’t forget about Improved Uncanny Dodge. Only a short burst/duration but it can help in a pinch.

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