With both capped Ryncletica and Pynthetica, I’m completing and experimenting with as many epic destinies to see which have additional options or abilities with melee or ranged fighting, respectively.
I’ve heard nice things about Divine Crusader in past comments here. Generally a melee destiny that really amps up a Favored Soul, Cleric or Paladin, it turns out that the Zen Archer, also a WIS-based class, can enjoy a bit of fun with it, too.
That fun doesn’t come from Consecration, Sacred Ground or Crusade, although it’s a nice option to cause great harm to enemies gathering around you while you’re still firing away. I take the extra WIS in the destiny since both Pyn and Ryn (also training up that destiny) loves the WIS for extra Ranged Power bonuses, ki related advantages or dark finishers.
In fact, many of the abilities in this destiny aren’t optimized or useful with ranged attacks for Pyn–save one.
That’s the sixth innate ability: Zeal of the Righteous. You can use it every 4 minutes. Activate it and you get, among other things, +50 Ranged Power and +50 to Doubleshot. One point of each disappears every 3 seconds until gone.
Now I have around 31% standing Doubleshot at all times, outside of any destiny. With tier 5 of DC completed, I have 55 Ranged Power. That’s not a lot compared to other destinies, clearly. From the total, 30 of that comes from Epic Power feat bonuses, 9 from Harper Agent, only 12 from the destiny itself, and 4 from an Epic Dynamistic Quiver.
Kick on the “Zealous Zen” mode and my Doubleshot goes to 81%, and Ranged Power from 55 to 105. Nice.
But we are so not done.
Kick on Ten Thousand Stars and Doubleshot goes to 100 (20 Monk levels x 5) + 31 base + 50 = 181%, and Ranged Power to 55 + 43 (WIS) + 50 = 148 — more if I use a Yugoloth potion or other WIS-boosting abilities.
The joy is the slow decay of Righteous Zeal. TTS lasts 30 seconds and Manyshot goes for 20 seconds. Zeal will last 2.5 minutes.
I can start Zeal and then immediately use TTS. The cooldown of TTS is the same as its duration (30 seconds), I can switch to Manyshot just after TTS is over. In 30 seconds, Zeal has dropped about 10 stacks so I still have its 120 Doubleshot + 31 base + 40 = 191%. Ranged Power drops to 55 base + 80 (20 BAB x 4) + 40 = 175.
Another 10 seconds pass after Manyshot is done (30 seconds total) of the shared cooldown of Manyshot and TTS and another 10 stacks of Zeal are gone.
I return to TTS. Doubleshot is 100 + 31 + 30 = 161%. Ranged Power is 55 base + 43 (WIS) + 30 = 128.
Thirty more insane seconds of pummeling my targets go by. Manyshot still has at least 1 minute left on its own 2 minute cooldown and won’t be up fast enough to use again before Zeal expires. I wait 30 more seconds and 10 less stacks until TTS is back…and I have a lot of passive ki regenerated to do it again.
Doubleshot is 100 + 31 +10 = 151%. Ranged Power is 55 base + 43 + 10 = 102.
When neither TTS or Manyshot are up, I still keep sizeable bonuses to Doubleshot and Ranged Power.
Life might be more interesting to start off Zeal at maximum with the shorter but greater power of Manyshot. Starting at 50 Zeal:
Doubleshot 120 + 31 + 50 = 202%. Ranged Power is 55 base + 80 (20 BAB x 4) + 50 = 185.
And 1 minute 30 seconds after the last stack of Zeal faded, I can use Zeal of the Righteous again.
With all the armor-busting power I have with a tier 2 Thunder-Forged longbow with Dragon’s Edge (35% armor-piercing and up to 105 Bleeding damage on critical hits), that’s going to be incredible to try out on a raid, much less some quests.
Keep in mind that I stand still so I can add another 15 Ranged Power atop these numbers, thanks to Precise Shot’s Archer’s Focus, and that I stand in Ultimate Earth Stance for a +1 to my bow’s critical multiplier. Divine Crusader’s Blessed Blades and Celestial Champion also augments critical threat range, improve my weapon by adding my Law and Good alignments to my bow, and more Doubleshot if I’m struck (and survive the hits).
Two and an half minutes is a very long time to smack something very hard with a lot of arrows. I can imagine using this on the arena raids such as “Fire on Thunder Peak,” ridding the field of a lot of undead trash, as well as being ready to take down the uber magma brutes, the Stone Meridian and certainly put some hurt on the dragons.
But I like videos to demonstrate things. To do so, I needed a quest where you can see all the enemies of the battlefield without a lot of motion and also have overwhelming numbers of enemies that aren’t level 1 kobolds.
I thought “The Weapons Shipment” on Elite would be a fitting place to show how to clear the room, don’t you think? Scale up the number of enemies by adding a couple of hardy hirelings to redirect aggro for a few moments (as any good sniper prefers in a crowd fight), and voila.
Not even the ranged-aligned Shiradi Champion has all the innate nastiness of Zeal. Most importantly, the Zen Archer’s innate miss-chance, high spell resistance and (with Epic levels and gear) stronger reflex saves and PRR, make it a great trash clearing machine.
Note how little I move around: That’s the Zen Archer’s trademark.
Enjoy the carnage!