I wanted to wait until I installed 2.03 to make this post, but as the IE Mod's maintainers haven't been around since mid-October, I prefer to wait with the patch as I'd rather stick to 2.02 with the mod than to play without. So here's a build update.
My Tidefall + St Ydwen's Redeemer pure-melee run has proven most satisfactory, as Tidefall is notoriously beastly and St Ydwen's Redeemer can positively one-shot Thaos's minions. However, I have been thinking of a few more options that could kick ass on the Lady of Pain, and I've come up with the following:
The Hours of St. Rumbalt (crit build)
The Hours of St. Rumbalt is conveniently available for sale in Dyford, which means it can be picked up early, and comes with the Accurate 3 enchantment that adds +12 Accuracy—a perfect match for its Annihilation and Overbearing properties. Of course the Lady of Pain is a high-damage mistress, so you'll eventually want to enchant it to Superb to get the +45% damage, but you can easily go with Accurate 3 until you get the Sky Dragon eyes. Here are the key points of this alternative:
- Pick up the sword in Dyrford as soon as you can. Even though you'll be missing out on the damage multiplier until you're in Act III, the early +12 bonus to Accuracy will make you crit a lot, which is the meat and potatoes of this weapon choice.
- Durgan Steel has awesome synergy with this weapon, as it converts 20% of your hits to crits and provides an extra +30% crit damage bonus that stacks with Annihilation by design (confirmed by Josh.) Be mindful of the fact that your hit-to-crit conversion from Durgan Steel does not stack with the Priest spell Dire Blessing, however (so just don't waste that spell on the Lady of Pain after using Durgn Steel on The Hours of St. Rumbalt.)
- For this build, you will want to ditch the Knights of the Crucible and side with the Doemenels in Defiance Bay. This will grant you the Merciless Hand talent, which gives you another +30% crit damage bonus. Another +10% will come in Act III from the Dungeon Delver talent that was already part of this build.
- When all is said and done, your crit damage multiplier will be 50% (crit) + 50% (Annihilation) + 30% (Durgan Steel) + 30% (Merciless Hand) + 10% (Dungeon Delver) = +170% and your crits will prone your target to boot, thus making it more likely for you to land a crit the next time. The prone-on-crit effect also works in combo with Apprentice's Sneak Attack, granting you an additional +15% damage on your next attack.
- A major drawback of this choice is that if you want to crank it to 11, you need to invest 2 Sky Dragon eyes to make it Superb. The same is not true of blades that already come with the Superb enchantment, like Tidefall.
With this build, you'll have an attack animation of 24 frames and a recovery of 33 frames (29 + 4-frame delay), which is pretty good for a two-hander in plate armor with Vulnerable Attack (this is assuming you sip a potion of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion, which I strongly advise you do at the beginning of every encounter.) However, if you want to attack even faster, you may want to check this other option.
Blade of the Endless Paths
The Blade of the Endless Paths is the only two-hander in the game to have been blessed with the Speed enchantment, which reduces recovery by 20% and stacks with pretty much everything else that does the same—including the speed bonus from Durgan Steel. It is quite serendipitous that it happens to also be an Estoc, which means you can activate Vulnerable Attack to enjoy a whopping 10 DR Bypass. Here are the key points:
- Switching from Great Sword to Estoc means you lose something on flexibility, as Great Swords conveniently deal Slash/Crush damage and Estocs only deal Piercing. Now, the game doesn't feature an exceeding amount of creatures that are immune to Piercing, but you may want to keep a Pollaxe or St Ydwen's Redeemer in your second slot to handle just those cases.
- The Blade of the Endless Paths already comes with the Superb enchantment, which means there's no Sky Dragon eyes expenditure to go through to maximize your damage output. Vulnerable Attack stacks with its 5 DR bypass property, so you can have a 10 DR bypass to complement your ridiculously high DPS.
- The Speed enchantment, paired with Armored Grace, Durgan Steel (on both your armor and weapon), a 25 Dexterity score (17 base, +3 Ring of Thorns, +3 Caed Nua resting bonus, +2 Rauatai Sweet Pie), and a potion of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion will make you attack for 24 frames and recover for a measly 15 (11 + 4-frame delay.) This is with Vulnerable Attack active and patch 2.02, which means Armored Grace reduces your recovery penalty by 16%. In 2.03 you'll be 4% faster than that just on accounts of Armored Grace; turning off Vulnerable Attack against low-DR enemies will get you very close to no recovery (or right there; I haven't tested it.)
- If you want, you can swap your Gauntlets of Accuracy for Ryona's Vambraces to get an extra 3 DR bypass, for a total of 13. This is going to be particularly useful against high-DR targets such as Adra Animats and Dragons, but way overkill against most other enemies so you may consider swapping bracers depending on the enemy you're fighting. Props to Boeroer for suggesting this.
2.03 Fighter update
Quickly going through the Fighter update in patch 2.03:
- CC immunities mean your Knock Downs won't always be the "get out of jail free" card they used to be. However, the addition of a +20% damage multiplier to them means they remain relevant even against enemies that are immune to the prone affliction.
- Indeed, by taking Knock Down, Bonus Knock Down, and Sundering Blow, you now have five attacks per encounter at +20% regardless of any other effect (and there's no immunity against the -8 DR from Sundering Blow anyway.)
- Clear Out gets scaling damage, which is neat but not enough to make it a big deal. It is still an ability you want to have in case mobs surround you and start interrupting you at speed, as a Clear Out would quickly rid you of the inconvenience. The extra damage is gravy, but hardly something I'd actively seek out in combat (when you hit as hard as the Lady of Pain, you generally want your enemies to stay close rather than to be pushed away from you.)
- Into the Fray also gets scaling damage, and it would be an excellent ability if it wasn't so damn easy for its pull effect to be blocked by pretty anything that might stand in the way between your target and you. However, because it is so easy for your enemy to be blocked and stop at a distance from you, I still advise against taking Into the Fray.
- Armored Grace gets a boost from -16% to -20% recovery penalty. A great ability has just become better. A must-have it was, and a must-have it remains.
- Disciplined Barrage was changed from +10 to +15 Accuracy, making it a perfect substitute for Scroll of Valor whenever you run out of scrolls—or whenever the scroll's effect expires and combat's still ongoing (a great thing about Disciplined Barrage is its instantaneous casting time; as soon as the scroll expires you can click it and keep maiming your foes with high Accuracy.)
Look how cool I am, or of Shameless Self Promotion.
Edited by AndreaColombo, 30 October 2015 - 02:16 PM.