So as it turns out, Artificers are pretty good! Yes, I realize I am two years behind the curve with this announcement, but I just learned it and I wanted to share.
Yep. Two-year old newsflash: Artificers are pretty good!
You may wonder why I didn’t play an Artificer thoroughly back when they first came out. Let’s just say I am a slow learner. I TR’d my wizard Sparksy into an Artificer and then basically shelved her. There is more to it but it is complicated and frankly, boring. I won’t be bothering you with the details.
Last week, my main completionist-in-progress Mawry gobbled up a Stone of Experience and accidentally put herself out of level range of anything my Gamer Girl has. Casting about for something at an appropriate level, there was Sparksy the neglected Artificer.
It’s been all Sparksy, all the time, for about a week now. She’s rapidly achieved level 11, meaning it is fair to make some preliminary judgements about the character.
One word: WOW!
She has a caster-first build that was not popular when I first posted the details, but has been working out exactly as I had hoped: spells that have stun effects are able to land the stun every time. Damage spells typically one-shot opponents. Her casting is devastatingly effective.
That is, when she even needs to use it. The heavy repeater is usually enough all by itself. DDO Blogger Keavaa posted a note about the usefulness of Deception on ranged weapons; so inspired, I tried it out too and oh my, it is so effective that I start to feel kind of bad for the monsters.
The artificer has so many ways to clear a room; Lightning Sphere or Static Shock for ranged spell damage, a heavy dose of heavy repeater, and if something manages to get close enough, Lightning Motes or (especially) Elemental Prod for the coup de grace.
I didn’t even mention the Flame Turret or the rune arms, even though they are incredibly effective too, and I use them all the time. So many ways to clear a room!
Apparently the omnipowered death-by-many-flavors can be annoying to others in the party. At one point, my Gamer Girl just stopped, looked at me, “wouldn’t you rather just solo Sparksy? You shoot everything in the room without caring if it attacks you, you drop those Flame Turrets on everything, I can’t even CC anything because it’s all dead before I can get the spell off!” Or something like that, I have the accurate tone even if I am inaccurate about the exact wording.
So I found a weakness in the build after all. Sort of. It is so strong that it’s strength can become a weakness in a group setting. Social considerations count too.
Sparksy is so badass that it makes the other half of our party feel a bit superfluous. I’ve been there, PUGging with Clerics that want to solo everything by running it around their Blade Barrier, or casters that would drop a Cloudkill and make everyone wait till it killed everything (back in the day when Cloudkill really did kill everything). Not fun.
This is why they had to create Kryptonite for Superman. It’s boring to have your hero be invulnerable and unstoppable. At least, it is boring to everyone else; I am quite enjoying this new Nuclear Option. I am not just beating quests, I am destroying them. They whimper and beg for mercy but no, Sparksy and I pummel them into speed-run uselessness.
She is a one-halfling Weapon of Mass Destruction.
Awesome. Why did it take me two years to figure this out?
🙂 😀 🙂