07-23-2010, 07:11 PM
1. Best tank melee
2. Best DPS melee
3. Best 1 hit melee
4. Best tank caster
5. Best DPS caster
6. Best 1 hit caster
7. Best tank petmaster
8. Best dmg petmaster
9. Best DPS knife throwe
10. Best dmg knife thrower
11. Best untwinked /
12. Best boss killer /
13. Best boss killer petmaster /
14. Best 0 death untwinked /
AND SAY WHY! :rockon:
Help for me and for lots of people i think :surprised:
PS: All with fanpatch and "/" for normal and xmax.
07-23-2010, 07:29 PM
I'll start with a disclaimer... I haven't played enough builds to be able to confidently say which particular class combo would be "best" in each category above. In a few cases, I feel like I have, but in the rest... I'll just describe what features I look for in a build if I'm striving to achieve the best build.
1. The best tank should have the ability to dish out tons of damage while taking a punch. For me, it's been the conqueror -- a potent blend of defensive and offensive abilities that actually build efficiency in late game. This class can be a little vulnerable to ranged attacks because of its reliance on debuffs from the onslaught tree and war horn that are largely a melee range form of crowd control and debuffing. Battle Standard can have its range limitations as well. But the category is tank melee, so it's the conqueror for me.
2. Best DPS melee is a tough one for me. If I look at just the DPS number, I'd be looking at what has the high attack speeds and melee weapon enhancements, so it would be warfare as part of the equation. The other part of the build can vary -- hunter for the piercing and buffs (art of the hunt) and debuffs (study prey line), spirit for the melee range debuffs on the enemy to enhance the real damage I'm doing. Dream for the ToW debuffing aura and the phantome strike melee nuke. If you pin me down... I'd say the Harbinger would edge out the others for real DPS in late game (DPS that translates to devastating drops in enemy health).
3. So I guess my best 1 hit melee would be the Harbinger as well... ToW with Phantom Strike is very potent because it lowers enemy resistances (might have a low DA on onslaught when it's done as well) while delivering tremendous %damage from onslaught and phantom strike under battle rage.
4. To some degree a tank caster is a paradox for me, because casters typically have lower defensive ability which makes them inherently squishy. I'm going to pass on this one for me, but spirit provides a lot of "tanking" qualities with a melee range debuff and ternion (Poinas captured the art of tanking with a spirit toon with his guide to pawning in the spirit forum). I've used that guide to create a very effective ternion build by using more "common" items than the uber end-game ones listed for the final build.
5. Best DPS caster for me was the elementalist, but I have to say that I don't play many DPS caster builds. I liked the total focus on elemental damage that elementalist can have. They have a pet to tank and one to buff for a bonus, but the tanking pet is part of the team DPS but not the caster's. The debuff from squall will help to improve dps. I'd also put in a mention for spirit casters, for the reasons listed in item 4.
6. Best one hit caster would be a Diviner that's using the ternion skill line under a death chill aura skill line. Ternion is one mouse click, but can devestate multiple mobs at melee range. Add in Dark Covenant and this is a huge 1 hit caster.
7. If I'm not taking gear into account, it would probably be the Guardian with the wolves and nymph with the Rally and Battle Awareness helping to keep folks buffed and add in a reflection component to the build. Good defensive gear and a shield can allow this guy to take a lot of hits without going down, especially if the mobs are Plagued. Without a gear consideration, I'd favor the ritualist... they can wear moderate strength based gear and high dexterity based gear while putting everyone under a trance and themselves in a Briar Ward. Great survivability while allowing pets to really dish out the damage.
8. Best damage petmaster would be the conjurer. The uber core dweller tanking and the lich king debuffing and firing from a safe distance is awesome. Add in the ternion/dark covenant options for the staff wielding spirit side it's awesome. The deathchill aura line will also help the pets do more damage because ternion will be done at close range.
9 and 10. I'm not sure what the "thrower" label means. Knives, traps, ice shards, etc. are a mystery to me, so I'll pass on this one.
A disclaimer for 11-14 -- I don't play xmax, so I'll leave that up to others.
11. The best untwinked I've played is my ritualist. Other than gorgon MI gear, they don't seem to need much to keep them going at a fair pace in Epic and Legendary. In normal they can get by with dream skills and beyond that, the pets become very dominant. It's actually a skill intensive build and not a gear intensive build, so I'd go with ritualist. My untwinked melee builds tend to suffer on some of the boss battles that don't favor a melee toon (Hades, Typhon, Demon Bull, Charon, etc.), so I feel a need to get good gear for them to end the battles quickly. The longer I hang in melee with a boss that can one-shot me, the greater risk I'm taking. With that said, I'd say the conqueror can get by with relatively weak gear under Battle Standard and Collosus Form.
12. The best overall boss killer for me is the ritualist. There isn't a single boss that's figured out a good way to fight the ToE, wolves, nightmare, nymph combination. A couple bosses try and turn your pets on you, but you can either disband and recast them (Act 1 telkine) or run out of range of them and regain the pet (dragon liche). Add in a briar ward for added protection if you feel you need it. If the hero has to do the wetwork, then I'd go with the conqueror, the Battle Standard and Collosus Form goes through bosses like a dose of salts. Shield Charge gets you in quckly and interrupts skills for the conqueror and the shield passives can make boss battles even shorter. Bosses don't seem to have many resistances to counter what a conqueror can do -- it's just raw slugging power. And the defense tree helps the conqueror take a punch with Damage Absorption on Collosus Form and Battle Standard.
13. Same as 12 for ritualist petmaster boss killer.
14. Best 0 death untwinked would be a race between the ritualist and haruspex for me. They involve very different playstyles with a petcentric build and a high DA/DPS build, respectively. Both have a knack for avoiding death. If you ask the mobs, "How did that ritualist take you down so quickly?" They would reply, "What ritualist? I only saw a bunch of wolves, a chick with a bow, and a floating eyeball!?" If you can't get uber gear and you can't afford to die... the ritualist has a lot to offer. I don't play xmax or uber xmax challenge, but I see a lot of haruspex builds at or near the top of the untwinked and twinked lists. I think the haruspex seems to fit the bill -- great survivability and fits into a wide range of playstyles (ranged and melee).
I don't think there is a single petmancer which could qualify as the "best DPS" or the "best tank", as things are many would be competing for the same title IMO. Both the Champion and the Guardian for example have Battle Standard + Sanctuary and Colossus + Sanctuary, respectively, narrowing down the "best tank petmancer" to these two.
Now if you define "tanking" as taking the most damage (like surviving 10 Barmanus, which is a purely hypothetical situation) then the Guardian would probably win. If you define "tanking" as taking minimal damage while killing enemy mobs/bosses in practical TQ, then the Champion would win. Since most petmancers are Nature/x classes, it's normal for some of their specialties to overlap with other petmancers'.
The only exception is the Soothsayer, the "Best Boss Killer Petmancer", no contest.
07-24-2010, 05:58 AM
Do Champion and Guardian even qualify as petmancers?
If a Spirit petmancer is using Ternion & ...of Harrowing to kill bosses, is it a true petmancer? Or is it a Ternion killer with some pets tagging along?
Do % health reduction or energy drain with % drain as damage (Spell Breaker/Spell Shock) qualify as damage/DPS, or must the damage register on the "greatest damage dealt" meter to qualify?
Does "best tank" mean in general unbuffed play or with temporary buffs like Quick Recovery with -100% shield block cooldown?
There are also some builds that are incredibly damaging against some bosses but not against others. Ritualist with ToE can get the pets to reflect tons of damage back against Barmanu or Yaoguai, but don't reflect so much damage against Hydra's melee attacks.
That applies to tanking too. An Immortal Haruspex will be completely safe against Barmanu and Typhon, but a Conq with Battle Standard/Quick Recovery/Colossus Form will survive better against Dactyls and Hades as their ranged/AoE attacks don't all qualify as "projectiles".
I think there are too many grey areas to draw definitive conclusions. Or, at least, too many cases of "it's build 1 under conditions abc but build 2 under conditions xyz".
What if the thread was limited to just masteries? Like which mastery offered the best "x" or which mastery that did best in doing "y"? It might make more sense, and would leave other players free to decide which mastery they should pair up with which.
07-25-2010, 05:59 AM
I would simplify it to exclude builds that are optimised post-Legendary with twinked and specialised gear like Sapros, Crosier of Osiris, -100% recharge, +100% CAP, and so on. So instead I'd phrase it as "If a completely new player wanted to take the build through the game using what they could find, what builds would - on balance and throughout the game - exemplify the characteristics of the category".
It takes a while to make a Haruspex Immortal and you need certain gear to do it. If you can't find that gear, if you don't twink, and if you factor in the amount of time that the Haruspex isn't Immortal, then the build is not so strong. Likewise, a Ternion & ...of Harrowing build must get through the whole of Normal without it because ...of Harrowing only starts dropping in Epic.
Based on that, and based only on what I've experienced playing the builds (not what others have posted of their experiences), I'd rate them as follows:
1. Best tank melee: Without all buffs up and in general play against trash mobs, Templar. ToC & Distortion Field & crowd control & shield blocking ftw. In buffed play, my toughest toon is Conq with Battle Standard and Colossus Form up. Naturally that is only a temporary state of affairs. Still, it's awesome when it's up. I can't say that my Guardian or Haruspex (which used to be Immortal but isn't anymore, I took away the gear that made her Immortal even though she found it all herself) are in the same league.
2. Best DPS melee: I'd have to say my Spellbreaker. It's not DPS per se, it's resistance reduction from the LK and Deathchill, but it amounts to the same result - quick killing. The build battles horribly in early Normal. Then, in Epic, it becomes a wrecking ball. I found Harb to be very good too, but Spellbreaker has the edge imo.
3. Best 1 hit melee: everybody and his dog will say spear Brig and it's hard to argue with that. A single Lethal Strike on a Study Prey target racks up some nasty numbers. But the game isn't just about single hits, it's about combos and play style. So I'll put in a plug for spear Dreamkiller. There's something very effective and very satisfying about Phantom Strike, DR/TR and then Lethal Strike as a finisher. The Lethal Strike itself won't do the same damage as a Brig's. But when you consider how you've immobilised and controlled the target (and all the other monsters around it), it's a supreme combo. One could also make a case for spear Bone Charmer with Necrosis, Crosier of Osiris and Take Down. But that's +% health reduction, not DPS. It's also a specialised build that needs specific gear. New players are not likely to get huge -% recharge and Crosier on a single play-through.
4. Best tank caster: conventional casters (two Int masteries) aren't tanks imo. Regardless of the masteries' assets, a toon with 174 Dex, the rest in Int and cloth armour cannot take hits. That doesn't imply that they'll die often, just that survival becomes more a question of play style than the inherent characteristics of the masteries themselves. It's a tough one because the masteries are very even imo. Storm gets slightly better defense (Storm Surge, Heart of Frost, Squall, Thunderball, Freezing Blast) than Earth (Heat Shield, RoF/Soften Metal, VO, Stone Form) imo but its Wisp can't hold aggro like the CD can. Dream gets superb defense and crowd control and its pet can hold aggro on bosses but not so well on mobs. Spirit gets the least defense but Ternion can be used to spread crowd control effects (slowing, confusing, stunning) better than other masteries. Nature gets the huge life boost and a superb debuffer in Plague. But how often is it played as a caster and not as a petmaster? If I had to make a call based on being a pure caster, I think Prophet would edge it. Squall to disable ranged attackers and Dream skills (DW, DR/TR, SoS) to deal with melee attackers, all buffed by the passives and procs (ToC, Distortion Field, Storm Surge, Heart of Frost, Nightmare's Hypnotic Gaze, Wisp's stunning AoE attack) would edge it.
5. Best DPS caster: Hmmm, are we talking raw DPS or killing speed? Poinas' Ternion build has mega killing power but very unspectacular DPS. Because it's again a health reduction build. Even in terms of DPS, one must factor in raw damage versus ability to debuff and reduce resistances. For raw DPS, I'd have to say Elementalist. Spirit and Nature get better debuffs (Elementalist only has the % reduction from Squall). But with the two auras, all the game's top damaging elemental spells and Eye of the Storm buffing everything, Elementalist has great raw damage output.
6. Best 1 hit caster: Oracle, hands down. Even if doesn't use the Ternion & ...of Harrowing ploy, getting the LK/Squall to debuff resistances and then casting maxed SB/SS on a high energy boss (like the Dragon Liche) will result in mega single hits. They don't show up on the "greatest damage dealt" meter, but they're killing quickly. That's the part that matters.
7. Best tank petmaster: I only consider Ritualist, Soothsayer, Summoner and Druid to be petmasters. Yes, Conjurer has two powerful pets, Guardian and Champion have Wolves, etc. But, to me, a petmaster is someone who uses the pets to kill, either solely or primarily. I don't know any Guardians who do no damage themselves, or who kill slower than the Wolves do. Even Summoner and Druid are a bit iffy. Both my Summoner and Druids do a lot of damage on their own, the pets simply add to it. Under that definition, I'd say Ritualist is the tankiest.
8. Best dmg petmaster: As pure pet damage, Soothsayer. Player plus pets, Druid.
9. Best DPS thrower: I'm not sure what a "thrower" is, I presume bow/Throwing Knives/Traps. In which case, I'd vote for Ranger. Brig has single bigger hits with Lethal Strike but it's an awful pain to use on a bow. On balance of playing over a period, Ranger buffed by Strength of the Pack, with monsters debuffed by Study Prey and Plague, would be my choice.
10. Best dmg thrower: theoretically, melee Warlock with Necrosis, Throwing Knives and 3X ...of Smiting jewelry socketed with Monkey King's Trickery could do much what the Ternion & ...of Harrowing build does. And then some. I haven't completed the build yet, mine is only in Act IV Epic and is still playing as a Trapper until I can find the required jewelry items and sockets. But, in theory, the idea should work.
11. Best untwinked: petmasters and archers are both solid as they can get by very easily on store-bought items rather than hard to find uniques. Soothsayer or Ritualist is probably the easiest.
12. Best boss killer: There isn't one, I think it depends on the boss. For example, I'd rather take on Typhon with a ranged toon, Hades/Hydra with a melee toon and Barmanu with a petmaster - preferably one with lots of reflect damage. :p For general play, Spellbreaker is hard to beat. LK & Ancestors & Outsider & Battle Standard & Necrosis & ADCtH is ace.
13. Best boss killer petmaster: Generally - Soothsayer. Where the boss does huge AoE damage that can be reflected - Ritualist with ToE. For bosses that can mind control pets (Megalesios/Dragon Liche) - Druid.
14. Best 0 death untwinked: if my life absolutely depended on it, I'd want a toon that can fight effectively both at range and up close. As I said above, I'd rather take on Normal Typhon with a bow, but rather fight Hades or the Hydra in melee range. I wouldn't want to dual wield, if survival is key then I'd want the protection of a shield. Additionally, I would want some form of distraction (like a pet) so that very dangerous bosses don't focus their aggro on me. All of the above point to a Hunting & x build, as that offers the best compromises for hybrid bow and spear & shield combat. In addition, Hunting offers the only "pet" distraction (Monster Lure) and the only debuff/resistance reduction (Study Prey) that you will ever need. I'd narrow it down to one of three choices: Slayer, Warden or Haruspex. All three get good health and attributes, all three are accomplished spear & shield fighters with good survival skills like Colossus Form, Quick Recovery, Rally (Warden), Battle Standard, Dodge Attack, Ignore Pain, War Horn (Slayer), ToC, DR/TR, Sands of Sleep (Haruspex). Warfare and Dream also offers pets in addition to Monster Lure, and the Nightmare in particular is excellent at aggroing bosses. Defense offers the least to bow offense, but survivability trumps damage in 0 death challenges. However, even without the gear to make an Immortal Haruspex, I'd give a very slight nod to Haruspex for one simple reason: the odds that you'll meet a Legendary Dactyl in the narrow passageway just before Hades' throne room. You can kill it with a bow but it takes forever due to Dactyls' ridiculous CtAP. So, if you have to resort to melee combat, Warden could be in trouble. I'm not sure how Quick Recovery works against the spam wave. If it doesn't block it then, even in Colossus Form with maxed stun resist due to Iron Will and maxed Lightning resist with Rally, a Warden may get stun-locked and owned. You can't rush the Dactyl with Shield Charge because it will nail you on the way in. Slayer has similar problems. Ancestors won't really help, it slaughters them all with a single spam wave. And War Wind has the same problem as Shield Charge - it will nail you on the way in. However, Haruspex gets Phantom Strike, so the Dactyl won't spam wave you on the way in. Dactyls also get ridiculous stun and petrify resistance. However, Sands of Sleep will put it out for long enough (a couple of seconds) that you can pick your spot and PS in. Just pray that PS hits, because the 0.5 of a second or stun that it provides is enough to get the heck out of Dodge until PS recharges. Don't even think of casting DR/TR, you don't get enough stun from PS to cover the DR/TR casting animation and the Dactyl will nail you before you get DR/TR off. If PS doesn't hit, you have a chance that the NM will Hypnotic Gaze the Dactyl and prevent the inevitable spam wave. Again, the confuse only lasts for a couple of seconds but it's enough to make your escape. If PS misses and the NM doesn't use Hypnotic Gaze, you just have to run and zig-zag and hope the wave misses. It's never a sure thing, but I'd still rather take on a Dactyl with PS than with any other melee attack. So Haruspex it is.
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