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This is a tank build for PotD. It's designed to be an unmovable object, putting up with any punishment your enemies throw at you, while providing a modicum of support for your party. It does very little else. If you want a tank you can micromanage, or one that can deliver a respectable amount of damage or CC, you need a different class. Also, I would recommend this build only for the Watcher, since Faith and Conviction is currently bugged on hireling Paladins and you need those extra defenses.

 

Note: There's a lot of discussion on this board about whether Paladins are weaker than other classes (yes) and what should be done to improve them. I'd prefer if that discussion remain in preexisting threads and not migrate here. This is for taking the Paladin class as it currently stands and making the most useful tank of it we can, not for debating what the class should and should not be.

 

Race:

 

Wild Orlan has the best ability bonuses for pumping Deflection, and Defiant Resolve gives you a nice defensive buff when Will gets targeted. As an added bonus, Orlan PCs seem to get more race-specific dialogue than other options, thanks to Fantasy Racism. Your other good options are Coastal Aumaua for the bonus against Proning and Stunning attacks, since those break your engagements, or Moon Godlike if you want some extra healing for you and your party, though later in the game you might find that your Endurance doesn't dip much or very often. Pale Elves are also nice for the added DR against Fire and Frost.

 

Order:

 

I recommend picking based on how you want to roleplay your character. If that's not a factor, you could consider them based on order-specific talents, but to be honest, most of them aren't useful for this build. Of the talents that are useful, most of them are only useful for getting through the early game and don't scale well beyond that. Since the Darcozzi Paladini have the one order talent that's useful the whole game, I recommend them if you don't care about roleplaying factors. If all you want is to get Faith and Conviction up quickly, however, you might go with the Goldpact Knights, as Rational and Stoic seem to be very easy to raise quickly.

 

Attributes:

 

The build I used for my PotD run was Might 2/Con 15/Dex 3/Per 20/Int 18/Res 19. After seeing how little use I got out of that extra health beyond the first few levels, though, I'd be inclined to swap Might and Con for better healing off of Lay on Hands. In fact, since the base durations on a lot of your abilities are pretty high to begin with, the best route might be Might 17/Con 3/Dex 3/Per 20/Int 15/Res 19, though that might give you trouble extending your aura over the whole party. I wouldn't bother with Dexterity in any case, as you don't have the melee damage to care about attack speed or enough active abilities to worry about how quickly you can fire them off. You can't dump Might and Con or your Fort defense will be terrible, and if you dump Intellect you're weakening Lay on Hands and might have problems getting your aura to stretch over the party.

 

Skills/Culture:

 

Take either Aedyr or Ixamitl Plains for the extra Resolve to keep Deflection and Concentration high, and grab your favorite +2 Lore background. Your stats and lack of anything better to do make you one of the better options for scroll-user in the party and it gives you more dialogue options. You've got a good baseline in Athletics already, so if you want to pump that too for scripted interactions, you're in good shape. Survival unlocks a few dialogue options if you have it in the 4-6 range (though I spotted one at 9) and can provide a nice boost to the duration of food and potions if you have points to spare, but I'd rely on someone else for scripted interactions with it. A little bit of stealth is nice for positioning, but otherwise skippable (I've only seen one dialogue option unlocked by Stealth, and that was at level 4, for the record).

 

Abilities/Talents:

 

Now to the nuts and bolts of the guide. I'll go level by level.

 

Level 1: Lay on Hands. The tooltip on this one is misleading; it's actually one of the more powerful heals available in the early game, especially if you have high Intellect to boost it. It's single target, so only really good for helping a party member who's getting focused, but for that job it's better than what Priests or Druids will be able to provide for several levels. It can even be used on yourself if you need it.

 

Level 2: Hold the Line. You need that extra engagement to tank properly, end of story.

 

Level 3: Aura. This comes down to preference and party composition. The elephant in the room is the Priest; two of the Priest's bread-and-butter buffs, Armor of Faith and Bless, don't stack with the bonuses provided by Zealous Endurance and Zealous Focus, respectively. I prefer Zealous Endurance anyway, because it's only slightly worse than Armor of Faith, and that makes for one less spell your Priest needs to cast. If, for some reason, you aren't running with a Priest in your party, you might want Zealous Focus instead to make up for the missing accuracy; you can also take it and the Critical Focus talent if you want to stack hit-to-crit conversion. I prefer holding choke points to kiting, so I don't see much use in Zealous Charge, but if it fits your tactics, go for it.

 

Level 4: Weapon and Shield Style. Cornerstone tanking talent which gives you a nice boost to deflection and shores up your Reflex defense, which is hurting a little from dumping Dexterity. If you're playing a Shieldbearer, you might consider Shielding Touch, as the deflection bonus is still pretty useful at this level, especially since you're already using Lay on Hands on allies getting focused by melee or ranged attackers, in all likelihood. The bonus doesn't scale, though, so it will become negligible later on.

 

Level 5: Liberating Exhortation. This is not a very good ability. Most debuffs are AoE, so this is like trying to put out a forest fire with a tea cup full of water, and you can't even use it on Charmed or Dominated party members. At best, you can use it to negate a paralyze or stun on a party member you need active, or neutralize accuracy debuffs on one of your casters before they fire off some CC. If you're playing Darcozzi, though, you're about to get a talent that will make it worthwhile.

 

Level 6: Inspiring Liberation (Darcozzi). +10 to accuracy for 20 seconds (boosted by Intellect) twice each encounter is nothing to sneeze at. The fact that it also cancels any debuffs on your ally is icing. If you're not a Darcozzi, just move up the schedule of defensive talents, or you could slip in Critical Focus if you grabbed the Zealous Focus aura.

 

Level 7: Reviving Exhortation. The best of a bad lot. It's an encounter revive, which isn't bad per se, but the ability is currently bugged. It'll get your ally back up, but it'll probably drop them back down after the duration is up thanks to the massive Endurance penalty it inflicts. The only other option here that's worth anything is Deprive the Unworthy, which is useful in a couple of fights, but most of the tough enemies you encounter aren't tough because of their buffs, and you probably have someone else who can suppress buffs.

 

Edit: Alternate Pick: A few people recommend taking Sworn Enemy here as an accuracy boost and a way to slip in a bit more damage. It works well if you've got a weapon property that debuffs on a hit/crit, like Disorienting or Stunning. If you're not playing a Darcozzi, you could even take this at level 5 instead of Liberating Exhortation, in case you want Deprive the Unworthy or are holding out for a bug fix on Reviving Exhortation.

 

Level 8: Cautious Attack. More deflection.

 

Level 9: Reinforcing Exhortation. Once again, the best of bad options. Your Paladin probably doesn't have anything better to do, so dropping a Deflection buff on an ally taking heat is something at least. Assuming your Priest can't be bothered to lay down a Circle of Protection or the like. You might consider going back for Deprive the Unworthy instead, if you need that buff suppression. There's also Righteous Spirit, but enemies don't seem inclined to try to Charm or Dominate your Paladin in the first place so it's somewhat marginal.

 

Level 10: Superior Deflection. More deflection. You might actually be doing pretty well on deflection by now, in which case you can swap this one with the level 12 talent.

 

Level 11: Hastening Exhortation. Finally something good. Attack speed buffs aren't that common, and now you've got one that lasts 30+ seconds.

 

Level 12:  Deep Faith. Rounding out the defensive bonuses here.

 

Now, if you aren't playing Darcozzi or didn't pick up Critical Focus or any of the other order talents, you have a spare talent here. There's really not that much left that's useful. You could take Greater Lay on Hands, but you probably stopped relying on that ability a long time ago. You could take Fast Runner or Graceful Retreat for those times when you really need to re-position your Paladin, but that doesn't come up much at all. Your Fortitude defense is probably still lagging behind your other defenses, so you could always take Bear's Fortitude. This is why I'm not too opposed to taking an order talent that helps you out in the early game but doesn't scale; once you've got those core defensive talents, there's nothing else to take, really.

 

Equipment:

 

Grab a hatchet early for the extra deflection and use the best shield you can find. Your weapon damage is unimportant, so look for something that has a good support special. Shatterstar and Measured Restraint both have Guarding to give you an extra engagement and can be obtained relatively early. If you think you're just fine with two engagements, you could use something with Draining, but you probably don't hit hard enough or often enough for that to be significant. Look for something with Disorienting or Marking (assuming that one actually works) to help your allies out instead.

 

After you retrieve the stolen shipment for the blacksmith in Gilded Vale, you should buy the Outworn Buckler, strap it to your arm, and never take it off. The Herald ability provides a +5 bonus to all defenses, including Deflection, to your entire party. That makes it a +13/+5/+5/+5 shield. Make it Fine/Exceptional when you get the resources and level necessary, and it will treat you well.

 

Aside from those considerations, try to keep your Paladin equipped with the best Of Deflection/Protection items you can find, and prioritize Resolve and Perception boosting items while also boosting Might and Intellect if you can. The best Resolve/Perception boosting items go in the Neck slot, so focus on getting Rings for your protection items. If you need to stretch your aura further, the Boots of Zealous Command can be bought from Winfrith in Dyrford. There's not much else that's useful for you in the Boot slot, so you may as well.

 

 

There you have it, a tough tank with some situational support abilities that you can point at enemies and forget about. If anybody can think of a good talent I've overlooked for that last non-Darcozzi talent slot, let me know.

Edited by Kaigen42
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10/10 almost Exactly How i Play mine PC

 

Pale Elf Paladin Maxed Perception Int and Resolve

Kept Might and Con at 10~ and both seems to do no good because i dont need any health after lvl 5-6 and my healing is null so id rather have more might , went darcozzi for accuracy buff .

Also Hold the Line at lvl 2 seems to be the key to Paladin tanking also as soon as available getting weapon with +guarding ( One is at end of endless path lvl 2 and another in defiance bay first weapon vendor.

 

It is easy to get 100++ deflection mid game and forget about damage 

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Solid build, although I probably wouldn't dump might completely as it affects your healing (even if it's only LoH, for moon godlike it's also their racial) and you have enough hp anyway.

 

For the last talent, nothing spectacular, but maybe Bull's Fortitude since it's your worst save and getting petrified sucks.

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I am thinking that 3 Con MainTank PC Paladin with good racial on POTD would do just fine in terms of never getting knocked out , and then maxing might along with Perception Int and Resolve would be Ultimate Build , also with ton of might you could look into Kind Wayfarer talents for some Healing Power , might consider this in future 

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Very nice.

 

I still enjoy less micro via moon god-like heals and the second stat spread is good due to this because your might and intelligence stack out for some great heals.  Typically with my PC paladin, I ran out of health rather than endurance due to this before hitting the usual 100+ deflection.

 

Also for lvl 7, I like using Sworn enemy with the second stat spread.  Between that and Inspiring, your paladin will deal a good amount of crits, so other weapon types are viable like Tall Grass for example to prone enemies on crit.  But YMMV because Flames of Devotion is quite good to me, where as the rare times I would need to heal allies, the Moon God-like already did it in a pinch before I could even hit space bar to think about healing them.

 

The trick to later healing much like Monk wounds is to just nuke your paladin with spells.  This does double duty much like some of those Pale Elf builds floating around and cast speed is usually faster on a wizard or similar casting classes than a Lay on Hands.

Edited by MoxyWoo

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Solid build, although I probably wouldn't dump might completely as it affects your healing (even if it's only LoH, for moon godlike it's also their racial) and you have enough hp anyway.

 

For the last talent, nothing spectacular, but maybe Bull's Fortitude since it's your worst save and getting petrified sucks.

Yeah, in the end I regretted pumping Con so high and dumping Might, though LoH was still plenty useful for the first 6 levels or so. I'm torn on whether Might 18/Int 15 or Might 15/Int 18 is the better way to go, though. That extra Intellect could be the difference between reaching your back line with your aura or not (though in my run I seemed to hit a bug at some point where my auras stayed on my party regardless of how far away they got).

 

@Exoduss I'm not a big fan of the Kind Wayfarer talents on a tank. You're not going to get killing blows, and going with Flames of Devotion instead of Lay on Hands trades a good single target heal for a mediocre AoE heal tacked onto a mediocre attack. The tank build just doesn't have the damage modifiers to make Flames of Devotion sing.

 

@MoxyWoo Considering the Liberating Exhortation's drawbacks, I wouldn't fault anyone who decided to take Sworn Enemy instead, but I don't think it's enough to put your Paladin's damage on a respectable level. It's true that if you're a Moon Godlike you probably will find Lay on Hands a little redundant, though. It's still handy for archers messing with your back line.

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@MoxyWoo Considering the Liberating Exhortation's drawbacks, I wouldn't fault anyone who decided to take Sworn Enemy instead, but I don't think it's enough to put your Paladin's damage on a respectable level. It's true that if you're a Moon Godlike you probably will find Lay on Hands a little redundant, though. It's still handy for archers messing with your back line.

 

 

I agree lay on hands is good for an emergency heal.  The Moon God-like aura though is pretty huge, and can reliably hit the backline shooters even with my starting intelligence of 15, not sure where it ends exactly, but gun using NPCs are always within. 

 

As for Sworn Enemy, its to me one of the "best of a bad bunch" due to accuracy always being handy.  Mostly the secondary crit effects are decent on a paladin for more control via autoattack and usually one huge monster with micro via Eder using his taunt/pull encounter was enough to let me go damage mode if I so chose.  That said, I had a tough time giving up Outworn buckler to justify this due to the party buff it provides...  Still, +10 inspiring, +15 Sworn +6 Zealous Focus are decent modifiers for a self contained class to get some crits in (sans all the stacking issues).

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I also prefer Sworn enemy over Reviving Exhortation and taking advantage of on-hit weapons. While active buffs do not stack with other active buffs that are mechanically similar, there is no other active accuracy buff that is mechanically similar to Sworn Enemy. This means they have the highest ceiling for melee accuracy out of all the other classes.

 

(Reckless Assault does not stack with Devotions of the Faithful because they both grant melee accuracy, in case anyone was going to mention the rogue)

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I also prefer Sworn enemy over Reviving Exhortation and taking advantage of on-hit weapons. While active buffs do not stack with other active buffs that are mechanically similar, there is no other active accuracy buff that is mechanically similar to Sworn Enemy. This means they have the highest ceiling for melee accuracy out of all the other classes.

 

(Reckless Assault does not stack with Devotions of the Faithful because they both grant melee accuracy, in case anyone was going to mention the rogue)

I was going to mention the cipher with tactical meld. Seems to be on the same level (base 5 lower but +20 vs +15)

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I also prefer Sworn enemy over Reviving Exhortation and taking advantage of on-hit weapons. While active buffs do not stack with other active buffs that are mechanically similar, there is no other active accuracy buff that is mechanically similar to Sworn Enemy. This means they have the highest ceiling for melee accuracy out of all the other classes.

 

(Reckless Assault does not stack with Devotions of the Faithful because they both grant melee accuracy, in case anyone was going to mention the rogue)

I was going to mention the cipher with tactical meld. Seems to be on the same level (base 5 lower but +20 vs +15)

 

 

Oh, right. Tactical Meld is a unique accuracy buff, too. This also mean ciphers blow away all the other casters in spell accuracy, too.... hmm...

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I'm finding myself persuaded by the arguments that Sworn Enemy is a valid alternate ability to pick up at level 5 or 7. The only thing seems to be that one-handed weapons with on-hit effects appear to be pretty scarce on the ground, especially before Act 3. Starcaller is a fun weapon, though. Maybe I'm just overly attached to that +1 engagement from Shatterstar/Sheathed in Autumn. What are people's preferred weapons for most of the game on their tanks?

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I'm finding myself persuaded by the arguments that Sworn Enemy is a valid alternate ability to pick up at level 5 or 7. The only thing seems to be that one-handed weapons with on-hit effects appear to be pretty scarce on the ground, especially before Act 3. Starcaller is a fun weapon, though. Maybe I'm just overly attached to that +1 engagement from Shatterstar/Sheathed in Autumn. What are people's preferred weapons for most of the game on their tanks?

 

Vile Loner's Lance

 

+5 accuracy because its a 1h spear

-5 all defense for 5s (modified by INT) when you hit the enemy

Its cheap.

Can be bought at the Salty Mast, Ondra's Gift.

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Drop Int to 10 or so. The Paladin aura is too small to start with for the Int multiplier to be useful.

 

And do not, do not, do not take Hold the Line. Engagement does not assist you with tanking in any meaningful way. The AI doesn't give a damn about it (and it shouldn't, considering this build's disengagement attacks are worthless). I don't know why people hold on to this myth - frankly, you can turn off engagement altogether, and enemies will still mob your tank.

 

Maybe I'm just overly attached to that +1 engagement from Shatterstar/Sheathed in Autumn.

Yes, you are. Guardian is garbage.

Edited by gkathellar
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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Drop Int to 10 or so. The Paladin aura is too small to start with for the Int multiplier to be useful.

Good build, but I agree with the remarks made by MadDemiurg and Gkathellar. You'll get more out of 10might/10int if you ask me.

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Int is also useful for LoH and exhortations duration. Plus it's a good conversation stat is you use this as PC.

Those are all long enough already. They don't need the boost.

 

If you're desperate to have all three conversation stats, I cede the point. But really, two maxed out is more than enough.


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Drop Int to 10 or so. The Paladin aura is too small to start with for the Int multiplier to be useful.

 

And do not, do not, do not take Hold the Line. Engagement does not assist you with tanking in any meaningful way. The AI doesn't give a damn about it (and it shouldn't, considering this build's disengagement attacks are worthless). I don't know why people hold on to this myth - frankly, you can turn off engagement altogether, and enemies will still mob your tank. 

We have dramatically different experiences with engagement. As an experiment, I tried toggling Eder's Defender modal in the game I'm currently running. With it on, they mob around him. With it off, one sticks around while the rest briefly tip their hats to him before running at my back line. Do you run melee-heavy parties? I could see engagement being negligible in that case, as it does nothing to stop enemies from turning to attack anyone they can reach.

 

@eubatham, I could see dropping Might and Int, but where are you going to put the extra points? You don't need Con because you're sturdy enough already, and Dex does even less for you than any of the other stats.

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I didn't run +engagement on my dracozzi since Eder seemed to have enough, and keeping him far enough away to tie up a group while the other 5 nuked down the few that leaked through with my offtank dracozzi seemed like enough.  Additionally, the monsters go for the lowest deflection by default, so having "less" than Eder was good enough to pull 2 or 3 off of him while keeping a solid front line. 

 

Finally, disengaging is not too threatening from Eder by default.  I ended up giving him an Estoc despite his weapon focus due to this, because as they tried to go for the back line, or the paladin, at least his hits meant something.  I'm sure this would vary in PotD but the engagement mechanic didn't seem to help me tank that much where as positioning and placement all did.

 

Edit to add:  One reason I like INT and RES maxed out is because weapon/shield style will at least give your reflex up and deflection, where as being charmed, dominated, or similar was super annoying.

Edited by MoxyWoo
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I also reacted to the zomg get Hold the Line EOD. I'm trying out a paladin tank after being a long time (in terms of the age of the released game anyway) fighter fan. For clarity - I play 1 tank, 5 glass cannons. I do feel engagement plays a part in holding aggro, as mobs seem more prone to run away from my paladin than my fighter. However I find that this is a low level problem only. Once you've picked up a few figurines you can use them to engage any chargers - I have yet to see a mob that doesn't stop when engaged. You can even just left-click them with your tank before they get away from him and they'll immediately stop, you don't need to wait for your attack. Problem is they're probably gonna get behind him so unless you can reposition you can't do it twice, and if you're CC'd you can't even do it once.

 

On my fighter tanks, every level up is exciting. On my paladin, just the even levels really. Talents feel far more precious here and there are so so many I would take over Hold the Line.

Edited by omgFIREBALLS

For something being 'for free', 'straight after leaving port maje' there sure is a lot of specific investment and required stopovers.

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For clarity - I play 1 tank, 5 glass cannons

 

That may be why. Enemies tend to target whoever has the lowest deflection within a certain radius, so if you only have 1 tank, it's going to be hard for you to catch mobs of 5+ without a doorway or something. 2 tanks makes your life a lot easier.


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I play the fighters with the same setup, so I'm just comparing experiences.


For something being 'for free', 'straight after leaving port maje' there sure is a lot of specific investment and required stopovers.

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Right. I'm just throwing it out there - my preference is a paladin tank and a monk off-tank, and I've never had problems with mobs moving past them as long as they're a good distance forward. The difference may just be number of tanks.

 

/le shrug


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Personally for a tank paladin I would drop int/dex to min, max con/per/res and put the rest in mig. You need high fortitude vs petrification and adra dragon wings (both of which can be fatal), while deflection and reflexes cover most spells/melee attacks. My first choice of order are the goldpact paladins because you don't get penalties for being cruel/deceptive - which are required if you want the best stat boosts for your character. I would pick background and talents that increase perception mostly because perception is a stat that can't be boosted by resting/foods. I like to take also bear's fortitude and snake reflexes to be able to reach 170+def/170+for/170+refl vs the adra dragon (which means only grazes from him in PotD).

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