[PEACH] The Holy See, a Watcher Shaman/Cleric

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I made a thread a while back about the relative merits of clerics and warlords in unoptimized parties. I came to the conclusion that with an archer ranger, an artful rogue, a longsword fighter and an illusionist wizard at my side, a healing warlord would be a clearly superior choice. 

So, naturally, when my cleric died, and was offered new life by Corellon, I brought him back as a seer-themed Shaman/Cleric.  

Hold up! I have 4 main reasons for this.

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1) I had to come back as a fey creature (No Strength bonus, except for svirfneblins *pfaugh*).
2) My DM gave me +1 wisdom for living twice. I'm not complaining, but that also leans me away from Warlord.
3) Playing a Watcher Shaman sounded fun. Plus it jived well with a seer-flavoured character, which sounded fun.
4) Monsters pretty much auto-hit everyone in my party, for a variety of DM- and party-related reasons, so I needed a little extra healing (hence /cleric).

 
Anyways, here is the new seer-themed build I've come up with. I think he's fairly well-balanced (huge initiative, healing, enabling, buffing, saving throws all accounted for, as well as some nice monster-sliding--does that fall under debuffing?). 

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======


Holy See, level 8


Wood Elf, Cleric/Shaman (Note, I took sense threat. Perception checks for initiative. Fits well with Seer level 10 feature: roll perception twice)


Hybrid Cleric Option: Battle Cleric's Lore


Companion Spirit (Hybrid) Option: Watcher Spirit (Hybrid)


Hybrid Shaman Option: Hybrid Shaman Will


Hybrid Talent Option: Spirit's Power


Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)


Theme: Seer


 


FINAL ABILITY SCORES


STR 10, CON 12, DEX 20, INT 8, WIS 21, CHA 12
 


STARTING ABILITY SCORES


STR 10, CON 12, DEX 16, INT 8, WIS 17, CHA 12
 


AC: 25 Fort: 15 Ref: 19 Will: 23


HP: 68 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 17


 


TRAINED SKILLS


Heal +14, Insight +16, Perception +16


 


UNTRAINED SKILLS


Acrobatics +9, Arcana +3, Athletics +4, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +9, Endurance +5, History +3, Intimidate +5, Nature +11, Religion +3, Stealth +9, Streetwise +5, Thievery +9


 


POWERS


Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack


Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack


Seer Utility: Cast Fortune


Cleric Utility: Healing Word


Shaman Feature: Call Spirit Companion


Shaman Feature: Healing Spirit


Shaman Feature: Speak with Spirits


Shaman Feature: Spirit's Prey


Shaman Attack 1: Claws of the Eagle


Cleric Attack 1: Sacred Flame


Cleric Attack 1: Prophetic Guidance


Cleric Attack 1: Moment of Glory


Shaman Utility 2: Engaging Pursuit


Shaman Attack 3: Spirit of Slavering Bloodlust


Shaman Attack 5: War Chieftain's Blessing


Cleric Utility 6: Stream of Life


Shaman Attack 7: Guardian Eagle Flock


 


FEATS


Level 1: Hybrid Talent


Level 2: Resilient Spirit


Level 4: Totem Expertise


Level 6: Superior Will


Level 8: Sudden Call


 


ITEMS


Longbow


Hungry Spirits Totem +2 x1


Adventurer's Kit


Bag of Holding


Everlasting Provisions


Magic Leather Armor +2 x1


Arrows


====== End ======




I don't need perfect optimisation, and the basics (watcher shaman/cleric) are set in stone. Mostly I am looking for advice on feats (I can't find much of use), as well as paragon paths (thus far I've found Keen Eagle, which is not perfect for a hybrid.) I am open to multi-classing or whatever other kooky ideas which don't require too much item investment. And if you see anything just begging to be improved, let me know. Thanks!

My sense is that Holy Symbols would serve you better than Totems.
Why do I have a mental image of a big, stupid badass jellyfish saying "enkindle this!" all of a sudden? Tongue Out
My name is Commander Shepard, and this is a mediocre Hanar on the Citadel.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Thanks for the advice. Holy Symbols do seem nice because they don't take up space. I don't understand what makes weapliments any better. Is it just some specific weapliments are great? I looked for Soul anything on the compendium and the nearest I found was soul guide, for clerics. It requires channel divinity (which I don't have). Keen Eagle would suit my purposes fairly well though, and the campaign may not ever reach level 16.

Zelink, do you believe a pure watcher would be better than this? I mostly picked cleric because some of the power selections were clearly superior: lvl. 6 utility, lvl 1 daily, arguably lvl 1 encounter and at-will (sacred flame vs... I don't know, voice of battle?). The classes seemed to mesh well.  

I also considered hybrid bear shaman/cleric, and perhaps doing something similar to GelatinousOctahedron's damage resistance build (though the dm probably wouldn't have allowed the polearm momentum tricks). I decided I liked the enabling of the eagle better, but maybe I was wrong.
If you aren't going Wis/Con shaman, might as well go full Shaman. I'm never enthused by cleric power selections.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
I don't know how I missed soul igniter. I guess I just assumed it was a cleric path, for some reason. It does look interesting. The ranger, rogue and wizard will all be critting significantly more than the average, I'd say. 

I'll definitely consider that one. I suppose I should pursue some sort of fire vulnerability if I'm doing that. 
If you aren't going Wis/Con shaman, might as well go full Shaman. I'm never enthused by cleric power selections.



I find this surprising. I'll try concocting a pure watcher shaman and see how they compare. 
The path this build wants to take is the all-purpose beast that is Luckbringer. There's absolutely no excuse not to take it here considering how nasty it is.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Regarding weapliments - economics (only one weapon enchant to purchase at full level) and shards that add 1/3/5 damage to every attack at a relatively low cost.  Plus way more options for elemental shenanigans.

Rebuilding Con/Wis (even on an elf chassis) is perfectly feasible.  If you do you could then consider spending more time in melee, grabbing Sonillor's Hammer to get a melee AW (and MBA) and Tactical Warpriest as your PP.
I did really consider that wis/con route, since I know tactical warpriest is great. It was my PP of choice for my old cleric. But I'd been told before that I needed more enabling, and on the shaman guide G-O said bear is perhaps the worst shaman build. (And I didn't like world speaker)

 Long story short, I wanted Claws of the Eagle as an at-will. 

I suppose I could still change to wis/con if I really pushed it, but it would have to be a really clear-cut choice.

***

Changing the subject somewhat, I could still use some advice on feat choices. I can't find much at all that would suit me. Mark of Healing is not on the table. Does anyone have any suggestions, particularly considering that by level 10 I'll be going first super often? (Rolling perception twice for initiative checks.)

EDIT: and Luckbringer (of Tymora?) seems ok, though i couldn't use that weapliment for shaman powers. (I know that's not the important part, but still.) An encounter reroll is good though.
Any Shaman can have Claws of the Eagle as an at-will.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Not as a hybrid, is what I meant. As a bear I'd be forced to take protector's strike.
True, but then you have to ask yourself, why am I hybriding.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Because of the free scale proficiency and +2 shield bonus, which is great for a bear, who otherwise has to take 13 str and chain proficiency and still have -3 AC comparatively. 

(It's pretty good for watchers too)

Also because of the sweet lvl 1 daily and lvl 6 utility selection. Plus Hybrid cleric was highly rated (maybe even gold I think?) on the handbook. So I just assumed it was a good way to go.

I guess that's really the extent of it.
I've a very similar build, Watcher Shaman/Cleric, that I just reached paragon with.  The only difference on power selection is Spirits of Battle at 2.  I had had Infectious Spark at 3 for about 4 levels, but my DM never ever triggered it, so I retrained it to Death Surge.  At 9 I had Ancient Warlord's Inspiriation (awesome for enabling our Archer Ranger), but just retrained it to Blade Barrier to work with a telekinetic Psion in the group.  At 10 I took Call Forth the Spirit World. 

For feats, I'd get a Accurate Symbol/totem feat.  I liked Mighty Crusader Expertise, or Holy Symbol Expertise more than Totem, I am looking at MC Invoker or Sentinel for Staff implements though, and they give useful skills/powers.   Also look at Last Legion Officer (Dragon 396), as one of the view feats that will trigger a bonus with both cleric and shaman healing surge powers.   
 
For Paragon I went Voice of the Ravaged (Dark Sun), which fit great thematically with the character despite our playing in Forgotten Realms, and has useful features/powers.  I negotiated with my DM to make the 16 feature trigger on Cleric and Shaman dailies ("I worship Melora!  Primal, divine, they're the same thing!") but I'd probably have gone with that PP anyways.   Luck Bringer was on my short list, but it didn't fit the character.  

Some observations from my character so far ... he was the first character I've made, and started as human pure cleric MC shaman in a 6 person party starting at level 1.  2 people left, 2 rerolled, so to fill more of the leader role he hybridized (encountered Melora) to be more enabling and have some tactical control (Guardian Eagle Flock with Watcher).  He's not the most optimized character in the group, but is the most versatile.  Moment of Glory and Stream of Life have saved more encounters than anything else in the group.  

 
Ah, yes, I was planning on taking Ancient Warlord's Inspiration. I also forgot about the accurate symbol feat, I will of course be picking that up. I guess now that I consider improved defenses and other such feats (maybe even scale specialization, and wear it instead of Leather, for a little extra AC), I really don't have any feat shortage to speak of.


Because of the free scale proficiency and +2 shield bonus, which is great for a bear, who otherwise has to take 13 str and chain proficiency and still have -3 AC comparatively. 

(It's pretty good for watchers too)

Also because of the sweet lvl 1 daily and lvl 6 utility selection. Plus Hybrid cleric was highly rated (maybe even gold I think?) on the handbook. So I just assumed it was a good way to go.

I guess that's really the extent of it.



Sky Blue

Shamans don't have the best support and there are levels where there aren't a lot of good powers. Clerics have a lot of support and good powers all over the place. Also, by having easy access to Scale Armor + 2 AC, it makes a couple things happen:
You can take a 20 Wisdom/Auspicious Birth without worrying about significantly compromising your other stats. Now you hit more often while having a 19 AC.
Your Spirit Companion is really hard to hit. Not that it usually should be a significant problem - if the DM is attacking your SC, that usually means the DM is making a tactical mistake of some kind. 

Warlord is likely a better combo with Shaman for all the reasons that Warlord is a good hybrid - but there's nothing wrong with Shaman|Cleric. 
meh, Stalker Shamans have good powers at every level, 1 to 17.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Really? Their powers are okay, but I've never seen any of them as being all that crazy special.
Iron Breaker Claws, the double grant e3, Blood Dancer, Killing Shot, all damn good powers. So look again.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
They're all decent, but I wouldn't call them great unless you're in a very specific party(i.e. one that has a really good MBA striker with variable damage and no other MBA experts.) MBA on a hit with relatively lousy damage is going to be less valuable than than just flat out granting an MBA a lot of the time. Why sacrifice 30% of the potential MBAs for 1d10+bonuses from a Leader when you can just do Spirit Infusion in the first place?

I'm definitely not calling them bad - but why sacrifice the encounter power slot for something that is barely an upgrade to Spirit Infusion?
Spirit of the killing shot + helm of heroes + blade cascade = shredded solo.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Given that logic MwAO, Warlords have terrible encounter powers at heroic. Since all the warlord hit, ally powers are barely upgrades over Direct the Strike. Seriously, you've spent way too much time badly optimized games.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Given that logic MwAO, Warlords have terrible encounter powers at heroic. Since all the warlord hit, ally powers are barely upgrades over Direct the Strike. Seriously, you've spent way too much time badly optimized games.



Read the initial post - the OP describes his game as a badly optimized game... 

The thing that makes the Warlord powers awesome is that they generate multiple MBAs, not single MBAs on hits. Vengeance is Mine is a BA + MBA on a reaction. That is a huge upgrade to Direct the Strike in Heroic. And Direct the Strike doesn't come with +2 to hit, +Int to damage boost either.

In any case, if we're talking about a highly opp'd game, then Cause Fear is a major upgrade on Ironbreaker. because you get your 2+ MBA specialists to make the attack, who have invested major resources into hitting and doing damage, while you the Leader have just investing in hitting.

Yes, Blade Cascade at max damage with +Int to hit/damage is awesome. Explain to me why the hybrid can't simply choose to take that power with that exact option again?
Seriously, you've spent way too much time in badly optimized games.


I wish this were less true of me as well.

Unfortunately, across a dozen campaigns with 5 different DMs both local and online, 10 of the campaigns have been so-called "low-magic" settings where players have no control over item selection and no gold is rewarded, so we have to take what we can get (and use inherent bonuses for the rest). And each of the groups has had at least one player who *hates* anything that might make someone think his character is competent. Starts with a post-racial 15, takes terrible powers, picks feats based on their name. That sort of thing.

I'd seriously like to actually play with competent people and a competent DM for once. 
Not as a hybrid, is what I meant. As a bear I'd be forced to take protector's strike.



That's not true actually. The only restriction on hybrid shaman at-wills are that you can't take the at-will specific to another companion spirit. If you went bear, you wouldn't have to take protector's strike, you just couldn't take Spirit's Infusion, Spirit's Fangs, Claws of the Eagle, or Voice of Battle. Any of the other at-wills are fair game. Not that that really helps much given the other options, but worth clarifying.
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