Bowmaster Ascendant

Paracleta22Skipping low-reward chains to reach level 20 and beyond, the Bowmaster Paracleta is remarkably adept at controlling trash and even some minibosses as she wins Elite quests.

Gear, especially bows, is important but not as critical as leveling and flagging for raids that can yield greater rewards than plodding through the usual chains repeatedly.

One important point I neglected to account from the original build (and a change in the enhancement tree with a recent update) is that the Arcane Archer tree is cheaper to work up to 40 action points. This left me with enough remaining to fully complete the core Elven racial enhancements and add Shadow Veil from Ninja Spy into the fold, reserving 2 AP for the last AA cores. I previously noted how the use of WIS modifiers for the DCs of several imbues are what give this Zen build its characteristic flavor. Thanks to a reader that noted that they were able to accommodate Shadow Veil in a variant of this build.

Another matter involves Doubleshot. At level 20, I have 30% and can’t account for the sources. I’ve got the 5% effect of Shadow Arrows now at level 22, the 10% bonus on capping the AA core to come at level 25, and but Epic Destiny Doubleshot feat until level 27. But who am I to complain? I’m sure I can trace it, but time is a bit limited.

She’s working her way through the Devil Battlefield now for Yugoloth favor and the +2 ability potions, but low bow damage made it hard going. At level 21, she has the Combat Archery feat for extra weapon damage and completed the Eveningstar Drow quests, holding my experience levels so that destiny levels are completed. Starting from Grandmaster of Flowers to the primal tree to get Rejuvenation Cocoon and Shiradi Champion’s Pin and Otto’s Whistler and fill all destinies to get Twists unlocked and filled. I’d like to have Shiradi running by the time Paracleta enters her first “Caught in the Web.”

There’s so much going on as this character grows swiftly that I’m worried I will miss out on some XP opportunity. But that’s why raid flagging and the support I can get there might make a difference. I’m using sagas more and more on this. Paracleta is raid-designed. Hopefully she can keep substantial amounts of trash too afraid to fight in “Fire on Thunder Peak” and “Caught in the Web” or help in the DPS in other raids. I so want to get this girl into the weekend raid parties that remain the awesome group they’ve always been for fun raids, even in failure.

A comment or two in the last post from Teacher Jammond reminded me that AA imbues get damage bonuses from spell power. So destinies in the Arcane tree could be just as nasty as others. I’ve began study of adding Equipment bonuses of Magnetism (for great Electric imbue boosts against pit fiends), Combustion (icy enemies), and Impulse (Force damage) to have an enhanced DPS solution on hand against certain bosses. Still using my Unwavering Ardency bow in the Storm Horns, that bow with the Fire Arrows imbue, boosted with the Improved enhancement, really fry fire-sensitive enemies.

At level 22 now, Pynthetica granted her sister a Tier 0 Thunder-Forged longbow. Pyn’s early advantages in Harper Agent Ranged Power helps in damage as Paracleta’s damage is less than Pyn’s at the same level—the difference caused by the Ranged Power variation as well as slightly lower DEX. All this superb crowd control isn’t useful if Paracleta can’t slay bosses before they slay her, or if it takes too long to rid herself of a held mob before one enemy gets in a lucky strike. Going Shiradi will help, as will Epic Power as she levels a bit more.

Paracleta will hold her level at 23 as she pumps XP only into as many Epic Destinies, particularly Primal, for healing, fate points, and of course boosts to abilities and damage. As with Pynthetica and Mericletica, getting Pin as a Twisted ability is helpful. I wonder if Pin works with Improved Precise Shot, affecting all in the line of that arrow’s fire. If so, my, my. Same for Otto’s Whistler. I want to take significant Epic Destiny feats when I’m eligible.

A guildmate donated what I needed for a Seal of the Black Abbot to unlock my Unwavering Ardency bow’s Blinding power and requested a video. Time is short to get one in on this post, but perhaps I can work one in next time, on Heroic Elite, with one of my favorite quests, “What Goes Up.” That will also illustrate Paracleta’s near-perfect paralysis crowd control. Only enemy Clerics and a few Champions resist my AA Paralysis to be a serious threat.

To keep that perfect control with paralysis means I’ve got to keep that WIS high. Right now she’s around 40. Good, but not great. I want 50 at minimum and expect that 60 is my Epic Elite minimum for 75% or better DC success. For that, I need to keep an eye on better Insightful Wisdom items, WIS 10 or better items, and get the special Festive bonus when I’m able.

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. isabellawolgoth
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 08:16:27

    I really, really want to try this build!
    Thank you so much for your work.

  2. geoffhanna
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 11:01:19

    Also curious to see which effects work with Improved Precise Shot

    • teachersyn
      Jun 08, 2016 @ 11:04:16

      Will definitely run a video testing this. The possibility of a single arrow causing a charging horde to dance is quite intriguing. I would think someone has tried this before, however.

  3. Jammond
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 15:18:44

    Both Pin and Otto’s work with improved precise shot, and the synergy with paralyzing arrows is AMAZING. Lock a target, and run straight back til you have a chain of 3-6 enemies all paralyzed, pin and slayer, and watch everything die. You may then give an evil laugh, if you feel so inclined. Also works with your shuricannon.

    Slayer shot and final strike have been my solution to lowish arrow damage on trash (especially with 10k arrows and manyshot running), while improved electrical arrows, and archer’s focus stance, with their respective debuff/buff fuels some genuinely astounding numbers vs a boss.

  4. Georgia Dweller
    Jun 14, 2016 @ 09:22:17

    I have a technical question about monk archers. I have experimented with making a Iconic Monk archer sun elf with a cleric level to try and get the racial A.A. I would make it pure elf if I reincarnated. But the feature i want is the ability to switch between bow and shuriken. Many shot and ten thousand stars. My question is how dose a monk maintain the necessary ki for this while always staying ranged. I know it is possible I just cant solve the riddle on a lvl 15 iconic experiment.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 14, 2016 @ 11:04:23

      Hi. As you realize, ki isn’t normally made by ranged attacks. The key is Passive Ki Regeneration. There are several enhancements and EDs that help.

      -Stealthy (Ninja Spy): Rank 3 gives +1 but only while in Sneak. A very easy one to add.
      – Contemplation (Henshin Mystic or Kensei Fighter): Rank 3 adds +1. You need 8 AP there but as you reach higher levels and Greater Ocean Stance (below) you can reset the tree and put that AP elsewhere.
      – Greater/Ultimate Ocean Stance (Granted Monk 12/18 feat): +1 while in this stance. Also gives +3/4 WIS.

      The remaining three require investment in Henshin Mystic (not generally recommended for ranged/thrower build) or found in the Monk-oriented Grandmaster of Flowers epic destiny.
      – Way of the Tenacious Badger (tier 1): +1 when your HP <50%.
      – Serenity (Henshin Mystic level 20 core enhancement): +1.
      – Enlightenment (Tier 1 GMoF): +1, an easy addition to any build off-destiny with a Twist of Fate slot.
      – Balance in All Things (Sixth innate GMoF ability, not Twistable): +1 passive ki regeneration. If using GMoF as active destiny while in Greater Ocean Stance and in Sneak, you will charge up rapidly.

      In most instances, always adding skill points to Concentration, using Concentration enhancement items and a WIS 36 or better, you will have no problem having enough ki for Ten Thousand Stars (20 ki) every 60 seconds.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 14, 2016 @ 11:19:19

      Note: To make an Iconic work here may not be practical. To use shuriken well requires Ninja Spy core enhancements 1 and 2. To use bows well requires the Elf/Sun Elf Grace and Skill enhancements and Zen Archery feat. However, Sun Elf gains less damage as it lacks the Elf’s Aerenal Weapon Training for bow damage and lacks Dragonmarks for Displacement defenses.

      My Elven Zen Archer build optimizes bow use as a sniper. The Poison Master build is Drow to give “Shuricannon Light” killing prowess with shuriken and shortswords. The Elven Zen Bowmaster combines Monk speed and defense with Elven traits and Arcane Archery. Sun Elves seem more Cleric/Favored Soul compatible. And the Drow are naturally the best star throwers with their racial traits and granted Shuriken Expertise. Combined with Ninja Spy, it’s potent.

    • Jammond
      Jun 19, 2016 @ 15:25:46

      Hey, virtually all my monk archers (both full monks and monkcher variants) use sun elf and the racial tree. Syncletica already answered about passive ki regeneration, so I won’t go back over that. There are some specific issues to your proposed build that I’ve encountered, and some are more frustrating to overcome than others.

      The first is, how do you plan to do damage, primarily? Bow strength? Harper int to damage? Bow strength does give you more potential damage, with divine might in the cleric tree, but exacerbates your MAD problem (strength for damage, Dex for hit, precise shot/IPS, and combat archery feats, con for HP and bigger ki pools, Wis for better 10k stars, AND charisma for divine might leaves you stretched VERY thin, even with a full set of high end tomes and 36 point builds. It might not be viable at all without them). You would also have to pick up brutal throw for the shuriken, so… that’s two extra feats to make that work.

      Dex to damage requires either a regular elf or ranger levels, to pick it up from deep wood sniper. That comes with other challenges of its own, such as needing to use feat slots to pick up master and/or grandmaster of forms that are autogranted with monk levels. This does have the benefit of making a single attack stat, and generates more shuriken per throw (assuming ninja spy II and shuriken mastery)

      Int to damage from Harper is also challenging in that you leave virtually all your AP committed (41 to AA, 14 to sun elf for access to AA, and 12 in Harper at a minimum, leaving you with only 13 discretionary AP. Access to ki regeneration via the monk trees is completely locked out).

      Secondly, why switch to shuriken at all? This is always going to put you a feat behind (shuriken mastery) no matter which option you choose for damage. 10k stars works with the bows, as long as you have Zen archery (which is needed anyway if you don’t want to give up being centered). Yes, your DPS WILL be horrible for 40 seconds out of every 2 minutes, but you’ll have the doubleshot imbue to help mitigate that and slayer arrow and final shot are very nice damage even without manyshot and 10k arrow boosts. Mechanically speaking, you don’t seem to gain much from them, so unless you just have an epic dawn bringer burning a hole in your pocket or have a flavour reason, you’ll probably be better off dropping them entirely. And if it is an epic dawnbringer? Roll up a pure shuricannon. Right now. That combo is just tasty….

  5. DDOCentral
    Jun 14, 2016 @ 22:46:47

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  6. Cruces
    Jun 29, 2016 @ 10:34:49

    Hi Spencerian, just thought I’ll chime in here as a thought strikes me about Henshin Mystic suggestions and I didn’t want to enter the official forums:

    (I qualify by saying that I know nothing about game balance and the metagame of DDO, I just casually play)

    Right now Shintao Monk and Ninja Spy both have a series of toggles modifying philosophy finishers, leading up to big abilities such as Rise of the Phoenix and Touch of Death.

    1) Why not stick to the symmetry and give Henshin Mystic toggles that modify a monk move as well? Meditation seems to be already a path that the developers are taking, so much as well make the toggles modify that – like cauldron of flame or focus. It also fits in with the master-of-ki subtheme of the Henshin Mystic. The current additional vulnerability ki attacks seem not to be doing much.

    2) We could also just add a ability to let the Henshin Mystic move around at tier one while meditating, just not attack (if OP). This would allow cauldron of flame / focus to make more sense and would be a nice reason for other monks to dip into the tree.

    3) Push a weaker version of void strike to a 9th core ability to let the void finishers not be broken.

    4) Add a tier 5 ability for Henshin Mystic that upgrades the lower level void strike/ adds a void-void-void finisher to old void IV level.

    5) It would also be nice at higher level to have something that has a chance to recharge a meditation charge/ regens meditations. Could be tied to a chance each time a void strike lands or something.

    What do you think? Just a thought. I’m too much of a lurker to chuck it onto the official forums, but if you think its worth anything, you could chuck it there?

    • teachersyn
      Jun 29, 2016 @ 12:10:33

      1) Good question. The Mystic can pick either philosophy now. The vulnerability things were relics from the old Ninja Spy enhancements and are just as impractical now as then. The tree definitely needs more ki spell-like abilities. However, the tree’s greatest problem is that it’s all offense and no defense.
      2) Moving while meditating, especially since the Mystic can gain extra Meditation uses, is a great idea.
      3) and 4) I like and have asked for the return of a lesser Void Strike to get the old finishers back. The special Voidx3 finisher is good, but I’d make that part of a core ability rather than a tier 5 enhancement so it doesn’t lock other trees. Level 12 minimum.
      5) Also a good idea in slow regeneration of Meditation turns (1 per 2 minutes by level 20). Should also be a core item or part of one.
      Good ideas all around. One critical point is attack speed which is sorely lacking with defense boosts. I’d make an enhancement that give untyped PRR or AC or Dodge bonuses powered by the ki bar on a toggle (like Spirit in Primal Avatar ED). Attack speed could also work that way.
      Send your suggestions to Cordovan in a PM. It’s better than living with what we get.

      • Vladrich
        Jun 29, 2016 @ 20:37:39

        I fully agree with you about the offense/defense imbalance with mystic, as I creep up on level 30 and played with multiple Epic Destinies, the one thing I can say for certain is that these feats of daring you can pull off with bowmaster/shuricannon/ninja are a lot tougher with mystic (if not impossible in some instances). Things have evened out quite a bit since unlocking Divine Crusader, but if it doesn’t burn I’m in trouble (or worse, if it is healed by fire like the golem in Good Intentions). Combine that with farming for piecemeal gear and staves in Epic level (I never imagined I’d get a Sireth, Spear of the Sky for the 10th Anni, only to discover my normal habit of choosing LN will bar me from playing with my new toy), I’ve been having to switch over to handwraps more and more often (big numbers are fun with staves, but the lack of good metal DR busting staves is HUGELY problematic). I never had this much problem staying geared as a pure ninja monk and it does feel like mystic is the cousin no one wants to talk about until he shows up at your wedding and hits on the bride (and I’ll send Cordovan a PM over my observations as well).

      • Cruces
        Jun 30, 2016 @ 01:31:21

        Stupid Question, but how would I go about PMing Cordovan?

    • mernom
      Jul 09, 2016 @ 18:06:11

      Another idea that I thought of: make the spell like abilities deal a different type of damage based on your stance. Or an independent stance that can modify your spell like abilities.
      That will allow you to get around the issue with fire immunity.

  7. mernom
    Jul 09, 2016 @ 18:16:10

    Unrelated to the current topic, but related to the blog in general: my main character in Cannith TR’d into a drow monk.
    It’s been quite fun, and I noticed that I managed to get my AC up to 45 with shield of faith and barkskin pots. I still don’t have a parrying item, but I found a few nice things.
    A 10 prr/mrr hat with ml6, boosted my defense quite well. That, and the usual overflow if vorpal weapons.
    I have a pair of vorpal handwraps… And I’m a ninja.
    Not that it matters much, I have the greater bold trinket and a feeding poisoned shortsword, so most stuff die on vorpal anyway.

    It’s so good, that I tend NOT to use my wis ione stone… For finisher DC. Which I love, freeze the lifeblood is serving me well. For now, tasty hams are my best friends, along with festival cookies. But I can take care of most enemies on my own.
    Almost soloed elite Redwillow at lvl 6… Until l met the traps.

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