Yesterday I wrote that no one will ever accuse any of my builds of being valid. Except that is not entirely true; one of my builds appears to be thoroughly valid, as witnessed by a neutral observer who played the build to cap and then wrote about it. I want to say “gushingly”, but I am not certain that Samius Gurobo gushes about anything. More like a grudging appreciation. But an appreciation no doubt; very complimentary in fact!
This build does all the things i want my melee to do. —Samius Gurobo
I found his write up quite validating. So yes, one build may actually be “valid”. And now my completionist Mawry has capped the build, at least until the cap raise in update 29, and as I generally do, such an occasion calls for a look back appraisal; that which I call a “cap report”.
I have posted the details of the build before, check this link for the specifics. I had to make surprisingly few adjustments. I say that because I always vary in some way from build plans, but in this case I don’t actually recall any variance. There must have been, there always is, but as far as I can remember I played it exactly as designed. Samius tweaked his version slightly, he wanted a smidgeon more DPS, check this link for his variances.
Perhaps the briefest of recaps would be in order:
- All charisma
- Five levels of bard Swashbuckler and single-weapon fighting
- Three levels of fighter Stalwart Defender and shield mastery
- Twelve levels of warlock Enlightened Spirit and Eldritch Aura-boosting Sonic spell power
- Divine Crusader epic destiny, or when forced to use another ED for karma purposes, Consecration/Sacred Ground/Crusade as twists of fate
A melee build with benefits.
Have At You
When one is seeing all of these caster buttons on their hot bars one can get distracted into thinking they are a caster. But no. This build is all melee, all the time. Everything the build does should be for the purpose of meleeing, enhancing melee, controlling melee or otherwise melee-related.
The spells are melee buffs or opponent melee debuffs or crowd control. You are here to swing your sword. Never forget.
On the plus side, you should find that you are pretty good at it. I didn’t set any records in terms of damage on each hit, criticals were 800-1100-ish at level 28, but I had a crazy-fast hit rate. Damage numbers fill the screen like heavy fog lifting off a cold mountain lake. The melee capability is good, good enough even for Epic Elites.
So Many Capabilities
The build can do so many things that I would often forget entire capabilities. Or go the opposite way and spend so much effort trying to use all of the features that I got distracted and lost track of my current context (and probably my hit points, I do that all the time anyway).
But I digress. The point is, you will be able to do so many different things! The build is like a golf bag; you can select the club which is most appropriate for this encounter.
- You can crowd control with Fascination: your killer Charisma means that this always works – but be careful about your Eldritch Aura. If you are careless you will activate everything you just mesmerized
- You can crowd control with Evards Black Tentacles: more fun than Fascination and easier to launch, but more opponents save and does not last as long
- You can turtle up and let your auras do your work for you. A form of tanking. Slow, but effective, and you have the survivability and self-heals to get away with it
- You can load up on the AoE attacks and clear the room. Eldritch Aura + Crusade then Eldritch Blast, Forced Escape, Blow By Blow, Soundburst. Repeat until the room is empty
- You can single up on a bad guy and just beat the hell out of him. Improved deception plus Low Blow means any one bad guy is going to have a really tough time hitting you at all
So many capabilities.
One More Thing
Just in case you were not already dazzled, there is this one more thing that completely and totally rocks: Coup de Grace. A chance to instantly kill anything that is disabled. Not just a chance, but a very good chance, the save is based on your Perform skill. Which ought to be stellar.
There is a really long list of ways that you can disable an opponent, including your Fascinate song, your Low Blow melee attack, and best of all, an Enlightened Spirit spell-like-ability called Dark Delirium, which has no saving throw.
I’ll repeat that. Dark Delirium has no saving thrown. So, basically, in every melee, you can start out by disabling any one opponent, and then have a very high chance of just killing it outright.
Boom. Dead. Snicker-snack.
There is a But
Yes there is a but. It is a great build, my favorite Epic build to-date, but the build is susceptible to damage by enemy casters. Turtling up does not help; there is not a lot of MRR and it shows when the casters gang up on you. Maybe the saves are too low, maybe it’s the MRR (I think it’s the MRR) but regardless, beware the casters.
I’m pretty sure it’s the MRR. And there is gear for that! Even if I don’t happen to have any of it.
- Solo-ability: very very nice. Problems with casters, and needs better gear to manage lvl28 EEs solo. 9 of 10
- DPS: adequate but on the light side. Speed of attacks makes up for lightness of blows. 7 of 10
- Party Support: buffs, crowd control, tanking, AoE, even healing (depending on ED): 8 of 10
- Survivability: good defenses, plenty of HP. Sometimes it seemed like no number of melee opponents was high enough to bother her: 9 of 10
- End Game: Must have gear. She contributed to end game raids but the lack of gear showed: I’m giving her an 8 of 10 based purely on potential
I had so much fun playing this build. I wish I could stay on it, but Mawry has other plans and has to ETR. Again. Yet, I like the build so much that I ran my existing bard Rancyd Danzig up to level 20 and had him walk the green mile just so he could TR into a FeyBuckler.
And now he is, a tiny little level 2 FeyBuckler, ready to climb the mountain of experience and join the end game.
That is how much fun this build is. So much fun that I want to have one, always.
🙂 😀 🙂