Yes she can heal. When I remember. And want to.
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
Feats: ====== Empower Healing Extend Spell Greater TWF Improved Crit Pierce Weapon Finesse
Enhancements: ============= 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 CHA 2 DEX 1 Halfling DEX 2 WIS 3
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.