The Irresistable Bowmaster

tauriel

Tauriel from the film of the book, “The Hobbit.” She’s got nothing to do with the post. I just think she’s lovely.

With Pynthetica the Zen Master at 5,000 favor, capped all levels and relevant destinies, and completing raids to gather ingredients and gear to create and improve her Legendary Green Steel and Thunder-Forged bows, it was time to finally dust off Paracleta.

Paracleta, as you might remember, is an experimental build that’s the opposite of the stealthy, high-defense, virtually uninterruptable damage on single-target zen mastery of Pynthetica. The “Zen Bowmaster” build is intended to a swift-moving DPS build that does not stay still.

The challenges I have with Paracleta involve the near-exclusive use of the Elven Arcane Archer tree. Rather than glomming resources from both Ninja Spy and Harper Agent trees, I need to max out the AA tree at 40+ action points so I can have a much-higher inherent Doubleshot than Pyn’s 32%. Paracleta’s base Doubleshot should be nearly 58% by level 25.

Because I haven’t enough action points to spare after adding the required AP for the Elf racial enhancements for Dexterity-to-Damage, Paracleta won’t have a high Incorporeality, losing out on Ninja Spy’s 25% Shadow Veil. Her Dodge won’t be as high (perhaps 27% at Epic). She can still gain Lesser Displacement (25% Blurry) with an item–but even Pyn hasn’t found that item for herself yet. Ranged Power damage will be a bit less, too, with no use of the Harper enhancements.

I could be wrong on the AP as the AA update clearly adjusted ranks and some point requirements. If I can find points for Shadow Veil, I will use it.

But, as with other builds, serendipity often comes from gameplay.

At the end of level 11, I added Terror Arrows to the mix.

Now I’ve played Pynthetica in her first life as a Human Ranger Arcane Archer, so I’m familiar enough with Arcane Archers. But it seems the Arcane Archer’s recent enhancement update has improved the potential effectiveness of Terror Arrows greatly to Paracleta’s benefit. This is the current definition:

On Hit: Target is feared. (Will save vs. DC: 20 + Wisdom Modifier + Enchantment Spell Bonuses)
On Vorpal: Target is subject to a Phantasmal Killer effect.
Passive: +1 bonus to DC of Enchantment Spells

 

So, what’s a Monk known for, in terms of ability stats? Often, a very high WIS.

Pyn’s higher WIS serves for stronger damage and Doubleshot using Ten Thousand Stars, in addition to great Will saves and total available ki. Paracleta will gain greater benefit from the same stat but, since the success of Terror Arrows is based on a high WIS modifier, Paracleta stands to halt more enemies with these arrows than many other builds, including Rangers, who might add 14 base points to WIS to gain their spells but not add much more to the stat. Likewise, monkcher builds, often using STR from their Ranger levels as the bow damage, concentrate on STR with just enough WIS to have enough ki for Ten Thousand Stars.

Therefore, while DEX is the ruling damage stat on both Zen builds, a higher WIS (50 or more) on Paracleta will mean not only that Terror Arrows could be an incredible crowd-controller, but so will all the other specialty arrow imbues, including Paralyzing Arrows, Smiting Arrows and Banishing Arrows, now all using the same definition. Short of red-named immunity, there would be few enemies that will resist a hit.

So imagine a single arrow on Improved Precise Shot that paralyses or Fears a mob very reliably. Standard paralysis is only DC 17, while I will have much more, as high as my WIS will go: At 50 WIS, that’s a 40 DC at least. So if spell casters can still charm and do related things at similar modifiers on INT or CHA, I should be able to make do–I hope.

And if I can understand the arcane bonuses from Enchantment bonuses and where and how I can boost those to improve the overall DC of all these arrows, so much the better. Tips are appreciated. I found some named goggles to add a point.

I ran Paracleta through some level 6 quests on Elite to get their XP. On her first life she can just sneeze and gain 100 XP, so leveling up is less a priority than to experiment with what Paracleta can do.

In “Redwillow’s Ruins”, “Taming the Flames” and “Tear of Dakkaan”, Paracleta ruled those places with Terror Arrows, causing all kinds of things that should be hard to Fear to run away. My keyboard controller is set up for me to quickly change targets so I can keep everything Feared while also shooting them dead. My hireling Cleric even survived “Flames”, a place where hirelings quickly die because of spamming fireballs from the fire elementals. But these things can’t spam if they’re too busy running away. Same for the hobgoblins. I kept them at bay, with my Frozen Tunic occasionally entombing enemies, or Vorpal hits activating Phantasmal Killer effects for a quick kill.

With level 15 now banked after a powerful run through the Red Fens and Vault of Night chains, I watched Paracleta nail Fear or Ph.Killer with 98% success in some Demon Sands side quests. The real test comes in the Droaam quests. Those guys have better saves over many other enemies.

But when I tackle them, I’ll have a +2 WIS tome and at least 32 WIS.

I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about Paracleta’s overall defense. It may be no worse than Szyncletica the Shuricannon. With a high DEX (at least 45, I hope, by cap) Paracleta will also have good reflexes, too. Not using Improved Precise Shot on the Zen Archer build to avoid getting attention was the deal there. But with several levels of mob-stopping power available to the Arcane Archer, IPS is not only back on the table, but desired.

After all, the whole purpose of the build is to see how hard you can push the all-Monk build using existing enhancements. Since Monks have a great overall default set of saves, it shouldn’t be impossible to make due with even three-fourths of Pyn’s defense.

At level 15 it’s time to wear more stout armor than the Level 12 Frozen Tunic, so either a stored Icy Raiment or White Dragonscale Robe is due. I have the insane Unwavering Ardency bow from the Anniversary event for equal measure. The modifier for that bow with a Seal of the Black Abbot is making me actually run the Orchard chain and explore the wilderness to get the needed items to get that seal.

With a goal of getting 50+ WIS by level 30, Paracleta should be something interesting to play. Now I can’t wait to go to level 15 and add Improved Precise Shot. That’s where the fun begins.

Paracleta will share one common trait with Pynthetica in that total weapon damage is less important than a secondary benefit from the build. In Pyn’s case, it’s total defense from high Reflex and miss-chance. High weapon damage came along as part of the design and n Epic Destinies and Ranged Power in Epic. In Paracleta’s situation, at this point, it’s the overall DC to speciality imbues for tactical control of a battlefield–and applying that pain to as many targets as possible with as many hits per attack as possible with high Doubleshot and Improved Precise Shot.

The Zen Archery feat also takes hold when WIS is higher than DEX in determining the attack roll. I just need to keep DEX high to keep damage going.

So Paracleta will gain so much from just boosting WIS throughout her lifetime to ensure her specialty arrows do their work no matter what the difficulty. She may end up becoming far more “Zen” than Pyn.

I’ll likely post a video sometime of Paracleta doing her thing in a Droaam quest just to show it off. I might have enough data to post the official build by 20 but want to push her further to find her big weaknesses since every build has one.

FYI: The character’s name (pear-uh-KLEET-uh) fits barely in my typical character naming scheme and is based on another name for the Holy Spirit in Christian theology: “Paraclete” means “the advocate.” She tries to invoke the spirit of the bow.

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. isabellawolgoth
    May 19, 2016 @ 16:56:46

    “Terror Arrows”!!!
    Just lovely:)

  2. Jammond
    May 20, 2016 @ 09:28:14

    I’ve done something similar with a build a couple times, and in terms of absolute stopping power, I found that INT/WIS builds work better. This DOES require at least a +3 Dex tomes (at a 16 base for IPS or +5 for combat archery), so it’s not ideal for Paracleta’s first life, but when you ETR, it’s definitely something to consider.

    The damage when you build for INT (and use Harper tree to do so, which pretty much locks up all your AP), comes from the potentially massive spellcraft skill you can build up to, with the resulting high spellpowers for your elemental imbues. Running a lvl 16 version right now in very subpar gear, and I’ll regularly see 100+ points of elemental damage. By contrast, my arrows themselves do around 40-50.

    Combine that with your more tactical use, and you might really enjoy the synergy on a future version. Very much enjoying how you use the tactical imbues, especially as I haven’t really played with them since the pass. That’s my own fault, as I tend to subscribe to the “it can’t kill you if you kill it first” play style philosophy, and it’s always interesting (and fun!) to see someone else take something I’d ignored and build a whole style around it.

  3. DDOCentral
    May 20, 2016 @ 23:33:08

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  4. saekee
    May 23, 2016 @ 08:19:33

    Tilomere posted a build called Mortal Fear on the forums that boosted the DC of terror arrows to insane heights. You might find some good tips there.

    And yes, Tauriel, just because.

    • teachersyn
      May 23, 2016 @ 16:33:27

      I’ll look for that. I’m seeing this build seem squishier by each level. Its DCs are great now but whether it will survive in Epic is another matter. I likely can’t work in Shot on the Run (requires Dodge and Mobility), so far adding Concentration is slow and I’m still wrapping my head on how spell power can really help imbued damage.

      • Hartanna
        May 25, 2016 @ 01:00:06

        I followed your build almost entirely for this, though I’m having trouble with the gearing at level 29. I went with more DEX than WIS, taking up to Grace in the elf tree. at 29, I have 499 HP and about 375 ki when full (not often). I did manage for shadow veil, and my imbues are incredible. terror works against almost anything, and then if I really want to snipe, I go paralyzing with precise shot. I see great damage, and the toon is consistent. the only real flaw I am finding really is the HP. Issil on Kyber has managed to survive even LH Tempest and Hound so far with the low HP, and your best destiny I find would be shadowdancer.

        • teachersyn
          May 25, 2016 @ 08:21:01

          Thanks for trying it! The Bowmaster’s strengths are exactly what I argued against for the Zen Archer. Improved Precise Shot is an aggro magnet that will eat you if your crowd controlling shots miss their mark. I tried compensating with planning more DPS: Doubleshot. Saekee’s note of a similar build that enhances spell power to boost damage is something I’m reading with interest. Doesn’t look like Henshin Mystic or Harper enhancements can help a lot there. Sounds like you’re doing it right, but the key to any archer’s success is to shoot from afar, kill fast and don’t aggro the whole dungeon at once. This is hard to do on this build. But we sometimes forget that we can turn off IPS. 🙂 Not sure myself which ED might be best, however, this build’s DPS might enjoy Magister, but Divine Crusader’s Zeal of the Righteous Doubleshot buff is also worthy. Since you’re ahead of me in experience, please keep me informed–you may see something wrong I’ve missed, and I can adjust the build to reflect what you find. Thanks again!

        • teachersyn
          May 25, 2016 @ 11:07:34

          Oh, other point. By level 18 and with sufficient ki regeneration, both Zen builds should fight in Earth Stance for higher critical hit multiplier, AC and PRR, but Ocean Stance is better for saves, higher WIS and additional passive ki regeneration.

          • Hartanna
            May 26, 2016 @ 16:39:21

            Issil has now reached level 30, and as you suggested is testing earth stance. For a 1st lifer, she has a low set of ability scores, though still respectable. STR 24, DEX 45(47 in Ocean), CON 27, INT 27, WIS 22(26 in Ocean), and CHA 10. Her gear is still a problem, though one she is working on. Double shot sits at 58%, with a ranged power of 58. Her HP sits at 625 in Mountain, or 565 in Ocean. She has a 33% dodge cap, which is maxed. In Mountain, her Ki buildup is capped at 270, and passive regeneration sits it at 60 (as opposed to 65/280 for Ocean stance).

            All info above comes while standing in Shiradi Champion, as Issil is still working on capping out that destiny.

            I hope this helps.

      • Jammond
        May 26, 2016 @ 00:26:31

        With relation to imbue/spellpower damage, I pick two elements to spec for, and then pick the extra dice for the next two tiers, followed by improved elemental arrows for the final tier. This gives me a 6d8 (average of 27 per hit) elemental imbue as a base. That’s definitely solid damage per shot, but nothing super special, in and of itself. The fact that it scales with spellpower is where you major punch comes in.

        The list I’m going to give is far from comprehensive, and not even close to the highest bonus in most categories, it’s just to give a simple baseline of what can be EASILY achieved. Keep in mind, that this assumes using Harper tree for int to hit and damage, and thus a primary int focus on stat allocation.

        140 equipment bonus
        50 insight bonus
        80 spellcraft skill
        40 AA tree
        6-12 Harper tree (call this 6 for sake of argument)
        36 implement bonus (enchant weapon, etc)
        15 guild bonus
        20 Arcane warrior feat
        40 preferred scion legendary feat

        Comes out to 427. And that number can go up a couple hundred more if you can be bothered to min-max that much. That pushes your imbue from an average of 27 per hit to 142. As a secondary benefit, you’re already prepped for spellpower damage on an elemental scion feat, to take your damage into the realm of insanity at that point.

        All of that only matters, of course, if you find the play style enjoyable. I think you will though, as I added your tactical control concept to my AA for trash, and switch to elemental for bosses and I’m VERY pleased. Trash was my weak point, and now nearly everything can be solo’d.

        I hope you find my little rant half as helpful as I found your post. Many thanks for the blog.

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  6. Krachead
    Aug 04, 2016 @ 17:55:48

    I think Tauriel is really lovely too. Must say that I have really enjoyed all your posts and the website and have enjoyed leveling a Monk with your guidance. Live long and prosper.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 06, 2016 @ 09:37:04

      Thanks! I’m hoping to ramp up with a few more posts after a bit of a sabbatical, including a few thoughts about Gen Con, the gaming convention here in my hometown of Indy.

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