May 212013

Dexterity-based Dual-wielding Battle Cleric
Yes she can heal. When I remember. And want to.

My completionist Mawry recently trudged through her sixth life, this time as a Cleric. As is traditional, time to look back and reflect on the highs and lows of her TR-driven existence.

She was not a normal Cleric, no, Mawry’s latest build featured maximized DEX, two levels of Rogue for Evasion, and lots of two-weapon fighting with an array of rapiers she’s been gathering since 2006.

My original idea for this build was to have enough survivability that she could stand in the front line and go toe-to-toe with anything in the Heroic levels, keeping herself up with her Radiant Servant aura ticking green numbers and keeping everyone else up at the same time.

When trouble comes, she’d have Radiant Blast, or when deeply necessary, Mass Cures. But mainly her spell points and her playing focus are on the bad guys, not on the party’s hit points. She won’t be playing the Red Bar game.

The crunchy bits:

STR 10/18
DEX 18/28
CON 14/22
INT 08/10
WIS 14/26
CHA 16/26
Hit points   387
Spell points 1298
AC           39 
PRR          19
Fort         29
Reflex       29
Will         31
Empower Healing
Extend Spell
Greater TWF
Improved Crit Pierce
Weapon Finesse
Haste Boost 1
Skill Boost 1
Radiant Servant 2
Imp Emp Healing
Heal 2
Open Lock 1
Energy of the Zealot 3
Prayer of Life 3
Prayer of Incredible Life 2
Life Magic 4
Extra Turn 2
Imp Turn 1
Divine Heal 2
Divine Might 2
Wand/scroll Mastery 1
Halfling DEX 2

So how did that go?

Evasion is oh-so Handy But Not Free

Many quests reward Evasion. Some all but require it. When you are ignoring lightning blasts and dancing blade traps, it seems pretty cool. And it is. But when you are limited to light armor some of the thrill goes away.

DEX-based Melee Efficiency Drops Off Around Level 16

With Weapon Finesse and a lot of dexterity, you will never have a problem hitting your opponents. But you may have trouble in doing any significant damage to them. You can make up for lack of STR damage by having good weapons, but only to an extent, and that extent comes to a peak somewhere between level 14 and level 16.

It still works, but you’ll need patience, and you’ll gain a new appreciate for the phrase “whittling them down to size”.

For the Most Part, Radiant Aura Was Enough

Most of the time, Mawry turned on Radiant Aura and was able to ignore healing. Not only on herself but also on the rest of the party too. In most situations, damage does not accrue quickly enough to overcome the steady tick-tick-tick of Radiant Aura-based healing. You will have lots of spell points available for blade barrier and cometfall.

Sometimes You Have to Healbot

But sometimes the damage comes so fiercely that your best chance of success is to equip your best Devotion item and spam Cures and Heals. Hirelings are simply not enough for some situations. Standing on principle and refusing to play healer is fine for 95% of the Heroic content. But being able to recognize and adjust for the other 5% is a vastly smarter strategy.

Very Strong Solo and Duo

With two levels of Rogue and a few skill ranks I could open most locks. My ability to slay was sufficient, if a bit slow at times (the whittling thing again). Self healing. Even the ability to raise yourself at higher levels. All good for soloing. Very good.

Mawry’s melee capability was enough to stand in as a meatshield and keep the bad guys off of a caster when duoing. This build spent a lot of time partnering with control Wizard or a nuking Druid and was an efficient and useful partner in both cases.

Shields Are Nice, Occasionally

Although equipping a shield slowed DPS even further, it greatly added to the ability to withstand melee versus bosses and other super-heavy hitters. Bring a good shield. You’ll be happy you did.

You Will Die, Sometimes

Just under 400 hit points is not enough for the top-level Heroic quests, but was plenty for everything up to and including 17th level quests and raids on elite.

Nonetheless, a pure melee character at the same level would have had 5-600 hit points or more, and you simply cannot make all of that up with aggressive self-healing. Sometimes the damage just comes too fast (Elite Running with the Devils and those light attacks) or is just too big (Ghosts of Perdition and Cholthuzz’ disintegrates).

When that happens, you’ll die. Fortunately you will likely have learned Death Pact by the time you are encountering these types of dangers. Raising your own self is a big plus.


Not everything was butterflies and sunshine.

  • I would not recommend this build for epics – needs more HP
  • It would have been very difficult to pull this off on a 28-point build
  • You always have to have a good weapon. Either you’ll need a stockpile, or the ability to build or acquire them on demand as you level

But it wasn’t trying to be an epic build. It was trying to be one life of fourteen on the way to completionism. And that it did well. Very well.

This was not as effective as the Dark Monk life but probably was as effective as any of Mawry’s other previous lives. More than most. And more group-friendly.

I am looking forward to shedding her clerical vestments; I am just not cut out to play a support role. But this build, and this life, was about as Commando-like as a cleric can be.

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚

  5 Responses to “Sixth Life Report: Evasion Battlecleric”

Comments (5)
  1. If I ever play DDO again, I think this is a build I would loved to try to replicate!!! Always amazed with your coolness!

  2. Looks like a fun one, though TBH my approach would have been 17cleric/1fighter/2 monk for evasion which would have given the extra feats & proficiencies & just not worried about whether i was centered or not ๐Ÿ™‚

    What’s the plan for her next life?

  3. People Keep telling me that weapon Finesse is obsolete (or even more so) since the AC changes in MOTU… and that even with a half-way adequate strength you can Keep on hitting and save a feat in the process…

    My Guildie did a rogue/cleric life as his 2nd life. It worked well up until the end. Nowadays there are nice weapons that use dex to attack and damage (envenomed blade from Lords of Dust chain…) that even Keep working in Epic quests.

    But I was more impressed with his staff-wielding Clonk (18/2 cle/Monk).

  4. That was my experience with Weapon Finesse in the past as well: having that bonus damage from Strength made too much of a difference to recommend it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The DEX build will be back – with a vengeance! – when the new enhancements come out … Just so you know.

What do you think?

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