Mar 042014

Mawry and her immaterial companion AdventureDog
I posted yesterday’s Completionist announcement prematurely. Not because it isn’t accurate – it is, Mawry is done – but because it is out of order. I’m behind in my writeups, but I was too excited to wait until I was caught up, and now it is going to look all wacky date-jumbled. I may use my site editor powers* to re-order the posts when they are all done.

* Editor Powers Activate!

There won’t be a full writeup of lives 11-13 because I didn’t play them fully; I bought all or most of those incarnations. But the 10th life was played in full, and was a good life with an unusual build. It deserves the usual end-of-life treatment.

I’ve already detailed the stats of the build here. Very detailed. I presented the build as an end-game build which was a mistake, and was properly savaged by the forum savagers. I hadn’t played it in the end game, I hadn’t even built it all the way to level 28, so my bad.

But it was an awesome build in the Heroic levels, dominant! And one that I think would be well-suited to end game play although perhaps needing a tweak here and there as new builds commonly do when configuring their roles and capabilities on Epic Elite.

But enough about what it isn’t. Let’s talk about what it is.

  • Rogue 3 / Wizard 17
  • Eldritch Knight
  • Maxmimized DEX for melee damage, reflex saves, and AC
  • Evasion
  • Halfling Dragonmarks

Crowd Control by AoE

Mawry did not have Intimidate, so she would instead draw monster attention with an Acid Rain or Ice Storm, then run into the middle of it and start swinging away. It is insane – INSANE! – how effective this is in Heroic levels. You have to have the defenses for it but if you do, OMG, piles of dead monsters everywhere, while the rest of your party is able to do whatever they want without taking any damage at all.

Things I would change

I put lots of skill ranks into Search. I was hoping to be the Rogue on top of everything else, sort of a new Batman build, but there aren’t enough skill points available to a wizard; I didn’t think that through at all. I should have put those ranks into Heal.

I also built up Mawry’s UMD. While this is a good idea in general, I didn’t make much use of it (actually I never used it even one time) so while the capability to use cleric scrolls is a plus, I think the build would have been better served to have these ranks in Intimidate.

Sword and Board DPS is … well there is some

Doesn’t hit as hard as a two-handed weapon and doesn’t hit as often as two weapons. Hard to argue with those basic facts. The Eldritch Knight enhancement Shield Striking automatically whacks the bad guys with your shield every so often, and I suppose that helped, but I never felt that I was doing any more than adequate DPS with my sword.

But then, adequate is good enough, right?

Playing the Inventory Game

This is the only thing about this build that I would describe as actually bad. Mawry was carrying items to enhance her Rogue skills (although she was quite bad at trapsmithing by level 16), spell components for each spell level, and the large selection of weapons that one needs to melee effectively in heroic levels.

All of that added up to a lot of inventory space. Even with Coin Lord favor, even with an extra bank of inventory slots from the DDO Store, even with all that, I was constantly running into full inventory messages while looting. I had to be much more obsessive about selling and banking than is normal, and far more than I would have liked.

Feat-based Self-Healing

The Halfling Dragonmarks are just all kinds of wonderful now that one can access the full suite of healing capabilities with a single feat and a handful of racial enhancement points. Every Halfling should have them. They are so nice that they really deserve their own article; expect one soon.


  • Solo-ability: Very very nice. Every bit as soloable as the Freezer Burn and more than any other build I’ve created to-date. 10 of 10
  • DPS: Adequate. DEX to damage is a big plus but wearing a shield is a big minus. 6 of 10
  • Party Support: Tanking and AoE, excellent buffs (constant blur, rage and haste). 8 of 10
  • Survivability: Good saves and fast self-healing. Plenty of HP. 9 of 10.
  • End Game: Incomplete. I believe this build could excel in the endgame but that is only my opinion and others differ dramatically arguing that it needs more HP and more agro-gathering capabilities


I thoroughly enjoyed playing this build. It was nice to have something that could keep up with my Gamer Girl’s Freezer Burn druid and add more than cosmetic value to her heroic dominance. The build is so capable at so many things, I thought that the experiment was a huge success.

And it speaks well to the renewed viability of DEX builds in general. No, DEX builds do not benefit from Rage and Primal Scream (and other buffs) in the way that STR builds do. But there are other benefits and they can totally be enough to make up any difference in build quality.

Fun, fun build. Highly recommended.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  5 Responses to “10th Life Report: “Half-Track” Wizarding DEX Tank”

Comments (5)
  1. Question – what if you switched wizard for sorcerer? Since charisma would also improve your intimidate?

    • You would lose some skill points but improve Intimidation and UMD. You could also use Force of Personality to help with Will saves. You’d have to totally give up any pretense at traps and locks but that is not actually giving up anything useful.

  2. Sounds like a fun experiment indeed!!

  3. I don’t agree with the forum populace savaging a build idea, but then I try not to read character build threads/posts/things, I dislike the critiquing of other peoples’ builds … probably because mine are bad, and I don’t want them to receive the same critiquing back πŸ˜›

    I prefer to ask questions, “What are the 3 levels of Halfling for?”, and find interest in whatever the response is, even if “It was a mistake, but we’ll see how it plays out”.

    Either way, Geoff is a veteran, and empirical data isn’t to be ignored. Fun is as an important a piece of data as various definitions of effectiveness πŸ™‚

    P.S. Let the savaging of Bob’s comment begin.

    P.P.S. Everybody should splash halfling (at the very least)!

What do you think?

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