At Last a Kensai, and Five Other Things

The members of my young guild and I have been playing so often that writing has become rather secondary. I’m very sorry about that; working from home means computer time becomes taxing, even for gaming.

But let me see if I catch everyone up with small summaries of builds I’ve been enjoying and will add to that eternally updating Monk guide in its new version (more info to come).

Zeldacletica: The Abbey Guardian

Originally, because swords are cool, I planned for Zelda to ultimately wield a greatsword, blending Fighter-like melee prowess with centered monastic benefits.

But that development road seemed too darned expensive with action points as well as long delayed. The One with the Blade enhancement in the Kensai tree required 30 AP to unlock to treat a greatsword as a centered focus weapon. So Zelda would’ve had to wait and fight as a rather gimped Monk, fluent in none of the enhancements, unable to use anything useful other than a quarterstaff, until she met the 30 AP requirement.

So then I reconsidered. Just to see what they were like, I made Zelda an Aasimar, going down the Fallen path for eventually stacking bonuses to Doublestrike, fear immunity, extra melee power and healing amplification. The Healing Hands enhancement provided 7 Heals, effectively, which I thought would be gravely needed.

That’s because the last time I tried to make a Kensai, it died on the vine, likely because the Monk benefits in innate defense were less present with a multiclassed character. Evasion, Dodge, AC…all of these were under threat.

But today’s available gear, a crafter on-hand, and some additional thinking set Zelda on a path to surprisingly fun gameplay.

I decided to make the focus weapon as one Zelda could use immediately without any additional feats or enhancements: A quarterstaff. With that Monk weapon, Zelda could utilize everything as the trees developed. Recent fun with the Mystic tree told me that Zelda’s offensive power, at the least, should match a Mystic, if they could endure the damage with fewer Monk levels. So, in addition to AP in Kensai and Aasimar, a few points were placed in the Henshin Mystic tree to improve staff damage, add Quick Strike (25% Morale Bonus to Doublestrike) and Lighting the Candle (adds fire and force damage to every weapon, even ranged).

I imagine the “Abbey Guardian” as the first person a stranger would encounter at my dojo’s gate. The Fighter levels and feats ensure that even a single guardian could overpower a hoard of attackers for a short time.

As I was building Zelda, Saekee (who was kind enough to drop by Ghallanda and join the guild with a new character) suggested some armor appearances to give Zelda that “samurai” look. Thanks to having some 20ish active characters and tons of ingredients, a trip or two into “The Mindsunder” quest yielded the Elocator’s Habiliment. Then, after buying two Mirrors of Glamering, the armor was copied as a cosmetic armor, and then (from my original Mystic, Quintessica) I made a glamer of her Sireth quarterstaff and then added the special Feywild Illusory weapon glamer effect from a saga reward. It wasn’t long after the image below that Zelda obtained the shorter Slate-Scale Capelet that completed the look nicely.

Zeldacletica, Aasimar Abbey Guardian.

With 12 Monk levels, Zelda has what she needs to do most of the monastic skills as a Light Monk. But what she excels at, more so than even my latest Mystic build that uses Falconry’s WIS to-hit/damage abilities, is sheer damage-per-second. The Guardian is a STR build. In a crunch fight against a horde, I kick on three things: The Aasimar’s Divine Purpose, the Mystic’s Quick Strike, and then launch into the fray, punching up the Kensai Haste Boosts, various powerful attacks from that tree as well. The room-clearing action happens when Zelda goes all whirling dervish, with Cleave, Great Cleave and Whirlwind Strike as fast as she can pop them.

Another feat stacks in the damage: Swords to Plowshares, improving a staff’s damage by increasing their critical threat range.

Weaknesses include things implicit with a Monk with only 12 levels: No Grandmaster stances. No innate spell resistance. Lower Dodge. Much of this I have been able to compensate for with gear.

Because of all of this going for her, Zelda sits at level 21 right now but has completed many Epic Elites, gained 5000 favor and has done my favorite ultimate test for a soloing Monk: Heroic Elite “What Goes Up.” With the Favored Soul Albus as backup (not needed as much except to keep some Death Ward on against an army of mages), Zelda (and the DDO Wiki) helped me realize something I didn’t see in previous runs of this always-awesome quest.

The army comes at you in finite, although initially and seemingly overwhelming waves. Zelda crushed the orcs and handful of mages and was tooling out hit points from the boss when she realized things seemed a bit quieter. She had cleared things fast enough that the eventual spawns of the ice elementals with the always-spawning mages and Shadar-Kai were comparably less. It didn’t hurt that Zelda fought off the orcs very close to the flight pillars, taking them down simultaneously with the orcs. So, lesson learned: Take down the enemies faster to reduce the seemingly overwhelming force.

Epic Destinies are a happy thing for a melee fighter like Zelda. Grandmaster of Flowers is nice, but ones such as Unyielding Sentinel, Legendary Dreadnought, Fury of the Wild and Shadowdancer should allow Zelda to switch up well to meet raid needs as I work to get her in some multi-guild raids with the Sons of Ares and others.

One more build to talk about in this post.

Artemistika: The Zen Friar

Years ago as I set up this guild, I transferred an Elven ranger over to help with renown. With the guild now filled with a few other players, I decided to TR this ranger to a new Zen Archer variation.

My past archers tended to use the Ninja Spy enhancements so that passive ki regeneration through the Sneaking enhancement was possible. But I reconsidered whether a Light Monk could do the same thing. The answer came from the Henshin Mystic tree and the Falconry tree paired up. The Mystic’s Contemplation ability added the needed ki so that the Ten-Thousand Stars manyshot counterpart could be used often (it has a 1 minute cooldown). Artemistika could wield a quarterstaff for hand-to-hand fighting and to use Light Monk finishers to buff herself and her party. But her go-to weapon is naturally a bow.

Falconry adds great crowd control and attack measures as noted recently. Going the Killer Instinct route for WIS to-hit/damage allows powerful DCs to ensure anything that can be blinded or tripped by the bird will happen. As a full Monk, Artemistika has the usual miss-chance features, but new gear with Lesser Displacement has helped quite a bit in fighting.

As a Wood Elf, she initially trained in Wild Step for a quick burst of movement speed and the rare Missile Deflection 10% to add to her defenses.

Misti here has also received more glamered armor to give her a great look.

More on these two and three other builds I’ve been enjoying at a later time.

The guild has a number of players with a creative knack and tenacity about them that has not only made gameplay great of late, but has prompted me to build yet another ninja.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DDOCentral
    Feb 11, 2021 @ 17:07:58

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  2. Goremu
    Feb 11, 2021 @ 19:32:12

    Hey, no stealing my Kensai! 😛 Lol.

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