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Papa Smurf - Shadow Warrior Guide


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So, here we go. My first 'official' build. So be nice :P

SWdownload.png

Introduction

 

So after tooling around around and trying to stick with certain builds on various characters, I decided to just create a character and just let things flow and do things that I felt was needed at the time. And this is the result. Which I'm actually proud if so far.

He's aimed at running all three buffs simultaneously (GR, RE and NA), while still hoping to be able to maintain decent attacking and defensive prowess.

 

It should be noted that I do have a shopper or two at various levels (45 HE and 88 seraphim), although I have no built Smithers in so far. I was thinking of making this on a smith, but did not choose to go down that path.

Also, I'm running CM Sacred 2 Ice & Blood, so that also may influence skill selection and such.

 

At the moment, he's running around at level 87 in Platinum difficulty, single player, hardcore. I've had an interesting moment with the guardians, but otherwise haven't looked too closely at death yet.

 

 

 

Attributes

 

Strength all the way. If you're having HP problems, then throw some into Vitality. I haven't had any issues with going all STR though. Also it helps your attack value seeing as how we'll be mastering our weapon lore late.

 

 

Skills

 

Lv2 Tactics Lore.pngTactics Lore - Needless to say, more damage = good. Also for Death Warrior and Malevolent Champion modifiers

 

Lv3 Armor Lore.pngArmor Lore - Also, less damage is good too. Less regen penalties for your combat arts and you can't go wrong

 

Lv5 Death Warrior Focus.pngDeath Warrior Focus - Either this or Malevolent Champion focus.Get to level 5 for Concentration.

 

Lv8 Concentration.pngConcentration - Extra buff, less regen. Also good.

 

Lv12 Hafted Weapons.pngHafted Weapons - Taken for attack, weapon level and unlocking modifiers

 

Lv18 Malevolent Champion Focus.pngMalevolent Champion Focus - Lets you rock the faster regen times

Lv25 Constitution.pngConstitution - You could always use more hit points. After all, if you run out of these, it's a dirt nap for you...

 

Lv35 Shield Lore.pngShield Lore - More protection never hurt anyone... Except the guy you're hitting from behind that nice big shield of yours

 

Lv50 Combat Discipline.pngCombat Discipline - This is more of a 'free choice' skill. Enjoy a refreshing 10% faster regen with your combos with the ability to slot more Arts with one button click! Oh, and more damage too...

 

Lv65 Astral Lord Focus.pngAstral Lord Focus - This one last seeing as how Nether Allegience is less important than Grim Resilience and Reflective Emanation until mastering Concentration at 75, so it pretty much won't be used for 10 levels unless you want to pump some Rallied Souls into your gameplay. Otherwise, just put 9 points into it to fully modify NA and you're done.

 

 

Masteries

 

Tactics Lore, Armor Lore and Concentration should be mastered at 75. I'm keeping Tactics and Armor at level and placing the remaining points into other skills until they're mastered.

Hafted Weapons is fourth

Constitution is fifth

Shield Lore is sixth

 

Combat Arts

 

Death Warrior

 

Grim Resilience.pngGrim Resilience

Rejuvenation for more HP regen. I actually had a hard time deciding if I wanted to take this one or Fortify.

Discipline for less of a regen upkeep

Safeguard for more defence. If Combat Reflexes were taken as a skill though, I'd go with Reflex

 

Rousing Command.pngRousing Command

Persistence for a longer duration of speedy attacks. Combine with Killing Spree

Impulse to increase your attack and cast speed, so you hit things more often

Leader to pass the attack speed onto your skeletons and anyone else you may be playing with

 

Demonic Blow.pngDemonic Blow

Wounding for the bleeding damage over time. Handy for bosses

Frailty to make things easier to hit, such as bosses

Life Leech for a bit more damage, and a bit more healing...

 

Ruinous Onslaught.pngRuinous Onslaught

Getaway to make sure you don't get stuck in the mud

The other two are up to you.

 

 

Malevolent Champion

 

Reflective Emanation.pngReflective Emanation

Backlash So that those pesky ranged attackers get a taste of their own medicine

Antimagic So that those pesky spell casters get a taste of their own medicine...

Idol So that your skeletons can reflect damage as well

 

Augmenting Guidon.pngAugmenting Guidon

Ensign So that allies receive the bonus to healing if they're a little further away

Healing To heal your skeletons and other party members

Leadership Of course, this makes sure that everyone gets healed

 

Killing Spree.pngKilling Spree

Control to increase your chance to hit

Perseverence so that you can hit faster and more accurately for longer. Coupled with Rousing Command should see you hit a lot faster

Sway so that you get to hit things more than they hit you

 

 

Astral Lord

 

Nether Allegiance.pngNether Allegiance

Accomplice for another minion

Commander for yet another minion

Balm, the only time my skeletons have died is in boss fights. If they're going to go down, they're going down. This just helps them stand back up again quicker

Rallied Souls.pngRallied Souls (Optional)

Dark Realm otherwise you pretty much have to stand right on top of the body to raise it

Demand for more dead people to see

Contagion 'cause infection is so cool all the cool kids are doing it

 

 

 

 

Equipment

 

Most of my equipment has +All Skills or +All Combat Arts. As I said in the introduction, I don't have a smith, so I don't have any of my equips with sockets yet (very few of my items actually have sockets). If you did though, you could probably socket +Skills, +CAs and/or +Attack/defense to help round out your build.

Also because I'm playing Single Player without Enhanced Perception, Set, Legendaries and Uniques don't drop much for me. Most of the time I receive them is as set quest rewards...

Also, +Attack Rating items are good. One drawback for a melee-based character of mastering the weapon lore so late is that the To Hit chance suffers. Compensate by boosting your attack value anyhow you can until you start pumping up your weapon lore.

Combos

Killing Spree + Rousing Command - Damaging burst with a periodic minor Area of Effect bonus, increase your attack value, and watch as your attack speed skyrockets! You'll have hit that monster 10 times before it realizes that it's supposed to be dead!

Belligerent Vault + Scything Sweep + Frenzied Rampage - Jump into the middle of a large group and hit 'em all! 'Nuff said.

 

 

Tactics

 

Regular mobs I'll just left-click for killing, with the occasional BV/SS/FR combo thrown in. The skeletons do get in the way sometimes, but they can handle themselves and tend to kill things that I'm not killing anyway.

Champions I'll wail away while holding down Demonic Bow as well as regular attacks.

Bosses I'll have all the above mentioned CAs active as often as possible while wailing on them, along with skeletal support.

 

Advantages

Simple, easy, straightforward, jack-of-all-trades. A nice all-round build with nice combat support skills and buffs

 

Disadvantages

Doesn't excel at any one aspect. Low attack rating around levels 75-100. No access to other bargainers/smiths might make decent items hard to come by

 

 

Options

As opposed to the Combat Discipline skill at level 50, you could take one of the following to suit your needs and wants

Riding.pngRiding - This will help cut back the regen penalty while mounted, which can't be all bad

Combat Reflexes.pngCombat Reflexes - Helps avoid hits, and I'm not sure if it does or doesn't, but could stack with the GR buff

Toughness.pngToughness - If you're taking too much damage, try this on for size

Spell Resistance.pngSpell Resistance - Suffering too much magic damage? This could help

Blacksmith.pngBlacksmith - In case you want it

Or, you could go with Sword Weapons.pngSword Weapons as opposed to hafted if you want.

 

 

Outro

 

Well, that about sums it up I think. Of course seeing as how I'm still new to the fine art of character building, any suggestions to improvement are always welcome. Plus, I don't know all the ins and outs of all the games mechanics, so if there's anything that isn't right in there, let me know :)

 

Cheers,

- Smurfed

 

 

 

Update

 

04-21-2011

Okay weird, I updated, hit submit, and it didn't save. Tried refreshing, closing the browser and deleting browsing history, but still... Rewrite time... Gah.

So, I modified a few things. Specified that I'm running HC with the Ice and Blood CM version.

No longer pumping any points into Vitality, changed it all to strength.

Swapped the order of weapon lore and constitution mastery order in light of the weak attack rating at higher levels

Elaborated on my equipment a bit more and offered suggestions to compensate for the low attack rating

Added in the Combo section to show a few of the combos I use, as well as modifying the Tactics section to reflect this

Pointed out the low attack rating in the Disadvantages section

Wrote it all out twice...Just_Cuz_21.gif

 

 

 

04-18-2011

With thanks to Schot for making a few suggestions, I've fine-tuned the build a little further.

Originally at level 50, I had taken Riding as the skill choice. In testing, I found that Combat Discipline is more beneficial during bossfights, and bossfights are really the only place where you need the lesser regen penalty from riding, but is outweighed by the damage bonus from Combat Discipline.

Grim Resilience - Rejuvenation. Originally I had taken fortify, but found that extra HP isn't as handy as extra HP regen at higher levels, especially with mastered Constitution for HP regen during combat.

 

Edited by Smurfed
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Oh noes! It's smurfed, The barbarian. :o Haha, never thought I'd see the idea of a smurf merged with that of a blood thirsty Barbarian. ^^

 

Nice build smurfed. :) I like that you go for Tactics right away. You get a nice damage boost and plenty of mod points to spend. Something that seems maybe a tad out of balance though is defense vs offense. It looks as though you may have a bit too much focus on defense. Investing into vitality, Grim Resilience Fortify, Armor Lore, Shield Lore, Constitution and Riding might be overkill. Personally, I would probably drop Shield Lore in favor of Combat Discipline. In regards to Grim Resilience Fortify I would suggest you consider Rejuvenation instead. My first Shadow Warrior I chose Fortify and boy did I regret it. After seeing gogo's Shadow Warrior using Rejuvenation I saw how useful it could be. I tried Rejuvenation on my next shadow Warrior and liked it much more than Fortify.

In regards to your point about Bosses I would suggest you add a suggestion to use a Leech life from opponents weapon that can be found or bought which is very effective at taking down bosses while at the same time keeping you alive.

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I'll be honest and say that it never really occurred to me either. It just panned out that way... :P

 

And thanks for the suggestions Schot. In regards to Grim Resilience - Fortify, I really was torn between that and Rejuvenation. I remember sitting there for something like half an hour or somesuch trying to decide.

 

And yes, admittedly there is a lot of defence there. I was thinking of restarting this build when I get Ice and Blood and making him HC. Would it still be a good idea to substitute the extra defence from shields (especially their black chance at mastery) for improved combat arts and combo's in that event? And in Ice and Blood, is Spell Resistance really that important?

 

And yes, I like the leech life. I was running around with a LL axe for a while there, but upgraded it to another weapon that didn't have it unfortunately... :(

Edited by Smurfed
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Okay, so I restarted the build on HC, edited the balance script for faster leveling to just run though, and swapped Riding for Combat Discipline, GR Fort for GR Reju, and I must admit that the build works nicer. Also using Scything Sweep for regular mob killing now too. All in all, more balanced indeed.

 

I'll edit the main post later to reflect the changes

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Okay, so using Schot's level 200 blank characters, I've identified a few problems with the build at high level. Namely attack value. Easiest way to counter at the moment would be to pump all stat points into strength, HP was never an issue. I'll do some more tweaking after work. As it is I'm running late at the moment.... whistle.gif

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Updated with more info on tactics, weaknesses at higher levels and compensating. See the update section to see more on what I changed.

 

Also, hopefully it's not that annoying when I post so much in my own thread when I find something else out about the build and update it. Just delete the redundant posts if you need to :)

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I personally don't mind. Keeps me updated on your progress. :) And I like the work you've put on him. I probably wouldn't have invested into shield lore, given that I'm into duel wielding or two handed weapons myself, so I'd be pressed to decide between Toughness or Spell Resistance.

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Cool, good to know that I'm not being a PITA with all these successive posts... :P

 

Also yes sure, obviously you can substitute Shield Lore for Dual Weapons, or anything else you want for that matter. It's a guide after all, take from it what you will and expand upon it if you want thumbs1.gif

 

 

Although, another progress update. Currently level 102 in platinum, doing boss runs to see how I fare against them with the build looking pretty solid, nothing really needs tweaking except maybe gathering socketable equips an other more solid loots.

Anyway, doing boss runs and was doing the Gar'Colossus, and noticed that I didn't use one health pot, my skele's were taking the brunt of the damage, and still standing afterwards. So that got me thinking, why am I on the front lines?

 

So, yeah. After doing some fiddling, I swapped out Hafted weapons for Ranged weapons, Shield lore for Toughness, got myself a bow and started making it sing against mobs. my SS and PS combo works pretty well against groups, and champions don't stand up too well against the DB spam...

 

I haven't done any bosses with this new setup though, so not sure how it'll fare. I'm going to take a break for now though. Will fiddle with it some more later for sure. This could be more fun...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm tempted to call the build complete at this stage. I've more or less dropped off testing it in favour of testing my ranged SW for the time being. But before I did that I was bosshunting in Plat without any difficulty. But, until I get around to doing that in Niob, I'm not going to call it just yet...

 

I think I'll also add a new thread with my range SW sometime in the future. Even though it has a similar skill layout with this one, the CAs I've used and mods vary slightly.

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Bravo on this! If you want, I can open up a new page on the SacredWiki, and we can port your build into the Player Contributed Guides section if that's okay with you?

 

I can create the open page, and you can just copy paste it in to the Wiki page that I can provide you a link for. Your name will appear in the Wiki history page as the page's creator.

 

:)

 

gogo

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That'd be cool gogo, but I want to get to niob with this build before going too far with it. After all, if it's not good enough all the way through, then it's not good enough now, is it? ;)

 

I once I hit that milestone I'll see what it's like at level 200 with Schot's lvl200 blanks just to see what it's like rockin' some superpowered guardian action..

 

Hopefully have everything done and dusted and complete by the end of the week

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