A pair of Freezer Burns and their canine companions
Last weekend I had a real Eureka moment. A discovery. A breakthrough.
There I was, playing with my Gamer Girl, me on Mawry my completionist-in-progress, her on Majicka the character she built to accompany me, both of using the same build.
Eureka! It is the build! Out of all the builds I’ve played (and I have played many different builds), this is the single most dominant build yet encountered.
Most. Dominant. Build. Evar.
I have to qualify that statement a little as I have only played it in Heroic content, so cannot attest to its Epic qualities. My Gamer Girl has, and it seems pretty dominant there too, but I will withhold bestowing Greatest Ever until I get some Epic time in too.
Speaking of my Gamer Girl, one of my favorite things about this build is that it is hers. She came up with it. Her. All by herself. I named it (it needs a name, right?) but it is her build in every way.
But enough with the superlatives. Time to get crunchy! I’m not going into every detail as I normally would since this is only as of level 14. Also, Mawry has nine past lives contributing to these numbers and I am not factoring them out. Nonetheless, here are the highlights:
STR 10/18 DEX 10/19 CON 18/25 INT 14/16 WIS 16/30 CHA 8/10
HP 345 Fortitude 19 Reflex 11 Will 22
Spellpoints 1300 Cold/Lightning Spellpower 158* Fire/Acid Spellpower 98*
*In water elemental form while Druid of Winter is active
52 points in the Seasons Herald tree, maxing out everything cold and SLA-related
Look at that crazy spellpower at level 14! Hit points could use a buff, and will get Toughness next level. Dexterity save is low too, one has to have the appropriate resistances and protections in place to minimize elemental spell damage.
She gets crazy spell criticals too. 8% from enhancements, 2% from feats, 14% from crafted Lore weapons. So much damage!
In practice, Empower is on all the time. I summon everything I can which at level 14 means a hireling, a wolf, and a Djinni or Huge Stone Elemental, all of which are superior to normal summonses due to being Augmented and having bonus CON from to the Pack Aptitude spell.
Then I run. As fast as I can. I DOT up whatever I encounter, the first monster gets the practically free spell-like ability (SLA) Creeping Cold, the next monster gets the regular-but-still-very-cheap Creeping Cold, the next gets a practically free Lightning Bolt SLA. If there is a fourth monster, or a boss, out comes Greater Creeping Cold and/or a second non-SLA Lightning Bold. If I get outnumbered, I have the best persistent AoE in the game in the form of Ice Storm.
The druidic DOTs are the most effective spellpoint/damage spells that I have encountered. The best part is that they actually increase in damage with each tick; no need to stack them up as a wizard or sorcerer would do with Niacs Biting Cold. One cast kills most opponents.
So I just keep running. The monsters freeze and die behind me, and anything that survives with a few remaining hit points will either get left behind or finished off by my summonses.
Incredibly powerful. Hardly anything resists cold damage, but when something is encountered, there is still fire damage. Not as overpoweringly puissant but still sufficiently effective, and I expect it to be even more so in Fire Elemental form (which I believe I get next level?).
Really. Jaw-droppingly fast and powerful.
In practice, my Gamer Girl and I are both running this build at the same time. Actually I tweaked it a tiny bit, her character has more WIS and less INT, mine gets extra skills which I put into Heal so I can be self-healing too. I bring a cleric Hireling but I use the Divine Vitality more than the healing.
My Gamer Girl’s character is not as self-healing but it matters to her less, she is a better buttoneer than I and takes less damage. We have other minor differences: I build special scimitars (Ice Lore IV/Lightning Lore IV with red augment slots for Glaciation and Magnetism) and sometimes hit things with them, she just buys whatever cheap auction item weapons have Lore on them and never hits anything.
But I digress. The point here is what happens when we run together: OMG. Devastation everywhere. The only real problem we have is that it is sometimes difficult to coordinate which monster gets which DOT and we occasionally double-DOT.
Watch this run through Purge the Fallen Shrine, on Elite, at level 13:
Note how often in this video I am trying to catch up to my Gamer Girl who has already DOT’d up most of the bad guys by the time I arrive.
I’ve seen people mocking caster-centric Druid builds on the forums and it amazes me. Have these people ever played one? Or seen it in action? Better and cheaper DPS than a Sorcerer. Self-healing equal to or better than a Warforged Wizard. Unique abilities like Water Elemental form, unique buffs like Pack Aptitude, unique DOTs like Creeping Doom. Killer-cheap SLAs.
How is this not as good as it gets?
Answer: it is. This is as good as it gets. Play one and see.