Sacred 2:The Sohei, A mentalism-polearm hybrid for Dragon Mage

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The Sohei, A mentalism-polearm hybrid for Dragon Mage

By chattius


The Sohei was an oriental battle-monk, equipped mainly with a naginata. His enemies were often paralyzed in fear because of his close standing to the gods.

The birth of the character

So why would someone want to play the dragon mage in a sohei-style? The dragon mage is the only class without any combat art based on a weapon. There are several reasons:

  • Elementalism with destroyers is way too easy
  • Several eye surgeries made my playstyle close and personal and halfway zoomed in
  • I did bo-jitsu for 20 years now and I like to see it on my characters too.
  • Regeneration per Hit finally working in the AddOn made me considering to restart my melee-elf based on this modifier. But lack of time forced me to make a dragon mage as close in playstyle as my polearm melee-elf instead.
  • I wanted to try out the mentalism aspect.
  • Testing alchemy on dragon mages for my german alchemy guide.
  • Getting experience with speed lore and dexterity as main attribute for defense
  • ....


The Attributes

Dexterity, every single points till level 91 yet. Edit(26.2.2010): Added the reason from an answer in the running thread. Dexterity does 3 things in this build:

1. It adds to weapon damage: Some polearms are dexterity based, some are strength based. I think it are the polearms with a 'ball' at their tip which are dexterity based. 2. It adds to attack value. 3. It adds to defense value.


The last was the most important reason for me. I was not using a shield, noone seemed to have a close melee dragon mage played. So I had no experience with it. But since dexterity builds up a nice defense value I wanted to boost this base defense by x% raises from speed lore and RUNES OF PROTECTION. Even Runes of Protection doesn't show it in the tooltipp: it gives a '+x% defense value'. So the defense from dexterity is pushed by RoP even more. Another consideration was going all in vitality, but at the time the thread (it wasn't planed as a guide) was written, the most feared enemies in the then new AddOn were enemies with x% life leech. Since x% life leech is calculated from maximum hitpoints adding viatlity would mean taking higher damage from these life leech enemies. I found out that RoP modified for high combat art blocking can defend them so that you take only few hits at once. If you are not used to alchemy, you can replace it by dragon magic lore to add even more hitpoints to the companian buff.


The Skills:

The points I had at level 81 are added. Ancient Magic I brought to mastery at level 81, the others at 75.


Discussion of the skills: Why no Tactics Lore? I decided against tactic lore. The main weapon damage against bosses is x% life leech which is not affected by tactic lore at all. Why polearm and no staves? I went polearms because I have no experience how good I will hit at high levels with my life leech weapons. Staves would allow to shoot and use regeneration per hit from a distance, but they have no life leech. So I would need shurikens at bosses. But the idea to use regeneration per hit demands a 100% hit chance. I decided to go fully polearm. Constitution or toughness? In the following thread: How to become a demigod (post23) I calculated at which values of mitigation toughness could replace constitution. Without a shield the dragon mage would have to take too much compromises to reach thesevalues. I decided for constitution. Why Alchemy? I was using alchemy for nearly a year now and wrote a german guide about it. To give one number, the main important for me: In niob at 300 alchemy a trollteeth trophy does +1000% attack value for more than 50 seconds. I have to hit bosses to recharge my spells, and 1000% attack value is a very big number. Add mentors lasting 4 minutes at these alchemy values and all the other nice stuff. Edit(26.2.2010): If you dislike alchemy, I would replace it by dragon magic lore. It adds another Area of Effect attack and more important HITPOINTS from the companion.

The modification of my combat arts:

  • 1. Mind Strike - weakness
  • 2. Mind Strike - expansion -fast Area of Effect Damage
  • 3. Runes of Protection - awe - stun works even if the enemy does non physical damage
  • 4. Familiar - firebug - I have my polearm socketed with lava, so increased chance to burn. experience-modifier is currently bugged
  • 5. Familiar - quick mind - I want a fast dragon strike to weaken enemies
  • 6. Familiar - life force - more hitpoints
  • 7. Runes of Protection - stone skin - missile block. We play melee.
  • 8. Runes of Protection - runes - Combat Art block
  • 9. Maelstrom - burden - less armour would mean less mindstrike damage, so slowing
  • 10. Maelstrom - extension - lasts longer, I I know I will forget to redo it at bosses
  • 11. Maelstrom - demoralize - lower attributes of enemies
  • 12. Energy Blaze - confusion - target attacks slower


The Playstyle

I try to keep the buffs at their malus. Mindstrike, energy blaze and maelstrom I keep at 3 seconds regeneration time. I try to have 2.5 regeneration per hit. So after each melee hit the combat art can be done again. But more than 3 seconds reg per hit means that you may kill the whole group with a strike and can't recharge anything till you reach the next enemy. 3 seconds are a good compromise. I use to press both mouse buttoms all the time, on the right button is mind strike because it's fast. You have to hit to recharge your spells, so I have trollteeth on a hotkey in case I run in trouble hitting.

Equipment

There is one amulet I wouldn't want to miss: The Artamark's Star.

Can it be played multiplayer closed net? The character is mainly an experiment, so get insprirations, but don't exspect that this character is even close to optimal. I live in countryside with very slow internet so my tests were on 4 player LAN. I play softcore with this character but I never died yet. I pushed through the campagnes to reach niob at level 91. I was not using our smith character but I used equipment from my former dragon mage and melee elves. So if you play closed with friends the character should be comparable.


The dragon mage has not a single combat art which works with a weapon. So the regeneration per hit is done with left clicks which have no regeneration time. What was my concern: The main attack may reach regeneration times close to its animation speed with this rune cap. But maelstream (which has a longer regen in 265) and others still win from RpH.

I think i will add variants of the sohei for people who don't like alchemy. But they will be untested and would be more a skeleton to build your own characters.

The idea of these characters is to use RpH on normal attacks to recharge the combat arts. The main damage will come from spells so the weapon is mainly to recharge spells and less for damage. Of cause we will use x% lifeleech damage if a weapon has it. We would be fools if not. But Lifeleech gets nothing from tactic lore and like the elf it doesn't give any modification points for us. We really don't need it.

Several people don't like alchemy, some don't like melee combat, some prefer bows, some want to use staves, some want a shield, .... Lot of different stuff, so i will only do 3 variants, all without alchemy:


Variants of the Sohei

Fighting Bosses, all variants: use an x% life leech shuriken with a proper shield. Leftclicks to recharge fitting combat arts.

For normal enemies:

Variant A: This is a melee character. RpH is done at close range but without a shield. But the polearm has life leech. This allows to choose dragon magic lore instead of constitution so the hitpoints from the dragon buff can be like the one you would get from constitution. So we get an additional damaging attack: the dragon strike which also lowers attack value of enemies. Choosing some dexterity as attribute gives damage to the weapons and better defense value and we don't have a shield. Doing kills close to you means less time needed to collect the loot.

Variant B: This is a mixed character. RpH can be done at close range and with staff shots. But staff shots may miss moving targets. Staves have no life leech so constitution would be my choose for its combat regeneration. Staves win from intelligence so they can do decent damage for this character even without tactic lore. Staves may have modifiers which help your spells.

Variant C: You like ranged weapons more than any other weapon. In this case a weapon lore would be a waste and tactic lore would unlock speed lore. If you do only shuriken with life leech you could do dragon magic lore. If you don't use life leech weapons all the time, like bows, then do constitution. You can do more damage with your weapon and you dexterity instead intelligence could be an option.


Edit: was tired when posting this, so i changed all ranged lore to speed lore which is the only offensive skill to raise ranged chance to hit.

A Sohei with Bargaining

I try to redesign the Sohei a bit for my second (12 year old) daughter who wanted a shopper. Also i prefer close melee combat because of my eye surgery, my daughter wants to experiment. With the experience i made with playing my Sohei and to bring the wishes of my daughter into this build i do a rather unlogical approach:

It should be a master of all weapons: bow, lance, sword and shield, ... I could either do tactics and speed lore to have an effect on all weapons- or i play a master of all weapons without an offensive skill, knowing that i just need to hit and the damage comes from x% life leech and the spells. Deciding against offensive skills gives 2 skills i can play with.

It should have bargaining, luckily bargaining hasn't to be unlocked.

As my daughter she has access to the family chest,so she will have all runes she needs to start with:

  • 03 Concentration (1 point, we need only 2 buffs, and in beginning the points are for bargaining anyway)

Probably wielding a bow and having protector and runes as buffs at this level. Combat art on right click would probably be destroyers. Since bargaining is still eating all the points we will unlock modifiers of the bought armour by

Hopefully we survived till now and can do:

We modify mind strike to weakness and expansion and will use a sword and a shield and some regeneration per hit if we were lucky.

We modify runes for stunning and continue our playstyle.

We will modify the familiar to fire bug. Now its time to socket fire in our weapon which can be a shuriken with life leech already. So we have a high chance to ignite an enemy. We continue modifying familiar with protection from fire and life force. We want more hitpoints and so we do:

Together with some +all Skills stuff this should boost our Hitpoints already. But since mind strike is more important for us we put all the points we have left in mentalism focus. We try to find a good balance with regeneration times, regeneration per hit, defense and hit chance. We may need a better hit chance against bosses now and give alchemy a try:

  • 35 Alchemy (1 point to unlock trophies)

We try to have bargaining, mentalism lore and focus at level till mastery from now on. To have even more hitpoint we choose constitution next and bring it up with +all Skills.

Same playstyle, still keeping the 3 skills mentioned above at level

All left over points are put in dragon magic focus

So at 75 there should be mastery in bargaining, mentalism focus and lore. Around 85 in dragon magic focus, 103 in ancient magic, 121 dragon magic lore, ...

The modification list would be close to the one in the first post,except familiar would get protection from fire sine this character has dragon magic lore for castring speed.

As you can see, the character is a dual aspect caster build. But because of alchemy and enemy can't evade jewelry it will hopefully get the needed hit chance at bosses. It will have very high combat art levels, but some x% damage jewelry has to be sacrified for hit chance. The character will be barbie's Ken and be redressed for different places:

  • shopping gear: +all Skills, bargaining to the maximum
  • boss gear: no damage but defensive, because main damage is x% life leech
  • experience making gear: damage, hit chance just high enough to hit champions and not bosses with 100%


The atribute points will be vitality.

It has no attack speed, so it needs a close to level x% life leech weapon (bosses) or magic staff (boosting spells for exping). Playing my sohei i noticed that in average it are like 1.5 spells per left click. It are more spells than fifty/fifty because if you have to run to a new group the spells may have recharge already, so no need to do a weapon hit. If i really miss the weapon speed some jewels with attack speed have to be socketed.

Not played yet, defense would be mainly by huge amount of hitpoints, runes of protection and bargaining for defensive jewelry. Perhaps the character will be started at weekend, depending if someone else comes up with a good idea to improve this.

The possible playstyles with this character:

Dragon Mage-Sniper This character allows slowing a group from a distance with maelstream, use a bow to recharge spells with an arrow at a slowed enemy, firing a mind strike or energy blaze at distance into the group...

Dragon Master Use your sword to shed blood so your dragon smells it and is more quickly back into combat by burning the enemies....

Mental-Berzerker Low armoured and protected, but his rage stuns the enemies and his chi does high damage to his surrounding whenever he hits an enemy...

Transformed

The bargaining Sohei - A Diary

This post is sort of a diary, describing the experiences of my 12 year old daughter with this, her seconds character, in sacred2. Her first one was the shield maiden. Don't search too long for defensive skills: Life leech and tons and tons of hitpoints.

The Attributes: She put all points in vitality.

God: She did Forens.

Regeneration System: Traditional

The Skills bargaining -BA concentration -CC armour -AR mentalism lore -ML dragon magic focus -DF mentalism focus -MF dragon magic lore -DL open1 -O1 open2 -O2 open3 -O3

Ll level, MOD modification number, RpH Regeneration per Hit, ECTE -enemy chance to evade, ECNE enemy can not evade# LCA left click damage, MSD mind strike damage [CODE] Ll HA BF RÜ MK DF MF DK KO AM AL MOD RpH ECTE ECNE LCA MSD 05 5 1 1 08 8 1 1 5 1,2 12 12 1 1 5 6 3,4 14 14 1 1 6 9 5 16 16 1 1 10 9 6 1.5 43.0 18 18 1 1 14 9 1 7 1.5 59.2 22 22 1 1 22 9 1 8 2.0 54,4 25 25 1 1 25 9 5 1 2.0 54.4 5.0 26 26 1 1 26 9 7 1 9 2.0 54.4 5.0 164 223 [/code]

Modifications of Combat Arts:

1. Mind Strike -weakness 2. Mind Strike -expansion -fast Area of Effect Damage 3. Familiar -firebug - socket weapon with lava, so increased chance to burn. experience-modifier is currently bugged 4. Familiar -protection from fire -all Combat Art's have a lore to speed up casting 5. Familiar -life force - more hitpoints 6. Runes of Protection -awe - stun works even if the enemy does non physical damage 7. Runes of Protection -protection - against a group of archers we can use maelstream 8. Runes of Protection - runes - Combat Art block 9. Mind Strike -drill - adds damage over time to our main attack


Playstyle: She plays the character in our local youth club, so no access to our family chest or family smith. So some of her skill chooses or the order of early modification reflect this.

Early levels in bronze difficulty: She did Melee and energy blaze first. The first runes she found were whirlwind and berzerker-form. As long berzerker was regenerating she was gathering mobs and used whirlwind to give some extra damage while doing melee combat. She found runes with companion and protector and changed four unused for mind strike. A tlevel 8 she used mind strike with area effect, a shuriken with 11 life leech and a bit RpH. She bought a protector and a berzerker rune.

Silver: She found gloves which transformed physical to fire damage at level 9. She hoped that the firebug modification from the companion would work on the fire damage on her spells she got this way. But this proofed to be wrong. So mind strike would have a focus for some levels more. So she read more berzerker and whirlwind runes to continue the playstyle she did the levels before. She tried to buy more RpH items. And was mainly following the main quest to reach gold and its better items earlier.

The clay golem: At level 13 she had one rune read into each combat art. She was trying the clay golem with fix 13 life leech on a shruiken, mind strike, energy blaze and maelstrom. The golems energy shield was rather unimpressed. She tried to add some burn damage and wanted to use a dragon strike. Her combat art slot was still filled with berzerker instead dragon strike. So she suddenly turned into a berzerker in front of the golem. She got hit a lot, but the golem took damage to her surprise. She had to transform to berzerker 2 times to finish the golem.

The octopus in silver: At level 17 she had still not a single weapon doing x% life leech. So she read some more berzerker runes and was berzerking to do damage while the other spells were mainly to avoid the octopus from healing too much. She needed 3 transformations to finish it.

The next bosses till the 2nd mist in swamp: At level 19 she finally found a two-handed sword with x% life leech at a shop. She had mind strike, energy blaze and maelstrom around 4.5s regeneration time at 2s RpH. Her dragon strike was at malus for big extra area damage. So she did 2 sword strikes at one mind strike. I asked her why she wasn't having mind strike at 2.5 second to recharge it with one weapon hit. She answered that 2 strikes with a sword look more pretty than strike with sword, stand for a spell, strike with sword and and stand for the spell. Two strikes are more dynamical, more fighter like.... At least at this point you should have recognoized that this is not a guide to super power but more a diary. X% life leech did the dragon and the demon while the summon from the mists were done with energy blaze and dragon strikes.

Still no x% life leech shuriken was found, but a lance with the modifier. She prefers the sword, because even the sword seems to have a bit longer animation the character is loosing less time to orientate towards the enemy in a certain angle or position. I asked her why she was still using the sword at bosses, because once she would have a good and working position there is not much time lost after the first orientation. She said: 'Papa, i like the sword animation more!'

The equipment: She has a shopping equipment with bargaining close to 2.5 times her character level. For the battle gear you should avoid stuff with scare enemy which is even on a part of the mentalist set. You can't recharge on enemies which ruin away. Its even more frustating if you use shurikens.

Edit 24.11.2009: My daughter only shops for new gear if she is really low on damage. At level 26 she had not socketed any x% damage, be it from jewelry or smith arts. So i added a left click and a right click damage column in the code section of this post. The left click is for the weapon used while traveling the lands and not the boss fighting one. The right click is for mind strike. The damage columns start with level 26 and they are for people who want to compare their damage with hers. Her low mind strike damage is part because she is mainly running the roads to finish main quest and stops only if she thinks that the chazing mob is too big. She then calls for air support and a dragon strike, in the flames she does some mind strikes. A colum nwith hitpoints will probably be added too since this builds uses high hitpoints and life leech as a defense.

Changes in the original Guide i would do now

Seeing how rarely (very close to never) i run into loosing my buffs at higher levels, i would now take dragon mage lore instead constitution. Hardcore players who fear debuffs can stay with constitution. The companion gives a way bigger amount of hitpoints with the lore. And seeing the high hitchances we will leech enough life in most cases if aiming at the champion in a group with our weapon to recharge mindstrike.

So a non hardcore Sohei would now look:

  • 02 Concentration -5
  • 03 Armor Lore -1
  • 05 Pole Arms -75
  • 08 Mentalism Focus -9
  • 12 Dragon Magic Focus -9
  • 18 Mentalism Lore -75
  • 25 Dragon Magic Lore-1
  • 35 Alchemy -1
  • 50 Speed Lore -75
  • 65 Ancient Magic -75

This will add an impressive dragon strike to the build. At remember a dragon strike is also giving defense already.

Dexterity does 3 things in this build: It adds to weapon damage: Some polearms are dexterity based, some are strength based. I think it are the polearms with a 'ball' at their tip which are dexterity based. It adds to attack value. It adds to defense value.

The last was the most important reason for me. I was not using a shield, noone seemed to have a close melee dragon mage played. So i had no experience with it. But since dexterity builds up a nice defense value i wanted to boost this base defense by x% raises from speed lore and RUNES OF PROTECTION.

Even Runes of Protection doesn't show it in the tooltipp: it gives a '+x% defense value'. So the defense from dexterity is pushed by RoP even more.

Another consideration was going all in vitality, but at the time the thread (it wasn't planed as a guide) was written, the most feared enemies in the then new AddOn were enemies with x% life leech. Since x% life leech is calculated from maximum hitpoints adding viatlity would mean taking higher damage from these life leech enemies.

I found out that RoP modified for high combat art blocking can defend them so that you take only few hits at once.

If you are not used to alchemy, you can replace it by dragon magic lore to add even more hitpoints to the companian buff.

I will add this in the main post.


Originally published at DarkMattersfor review and discussion.

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