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[Class Build] The Juggernaut - a heavy armored Monk


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#1
KDubya

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This is the Juggernaut, designed to be the heavily armored vanguard that is both unstoppable and relentless. If the enemy can not damage you, you beat them down, if the enemy does damage you then you beat them down faster. The five D's are what you need - damage, DR, defenses, deflection and damage. In the words of Patches O'Hoolahan - "A frontline melee who can't take a beating is as useful as a **** flavored lollypop"

 

Onto the build. (Used and tested on PotD and in White March)

 

Class - Monk

 

Spoiler

 

Race - Boreal Dwarf

Spoiler

 

Culture

Any will work, you are not at any max or min for stats so pick whatever you want. If one started with Brigandine armor I'd say take that.

 

Stats

Might - 18  You want damage to get through DR. Plus you will get speed from Two Weapon Style and Swift Strikes

 

Constitution - 15 You want high endurance and high health. Getting a very high Fortitude is also very good.

 

Dexterity - 10 More would be better but you run out of stat points. Can swap with Perception

 

Perception - 15 The accuracy helps, especially at the beginning. Interrupts are also useful as your fast attack speed will frequently interrupt enemies. Also gets you some dialogue options. Can swap with Dexterity.

 

Intellect - 10 Many of your attacks are AoE and this also extends your duration of Swift Strikes and other buffs. Again more would be better but you run out of points.

 

Resolve - 10 You are a frontline melee who will get hit so more deflection and more concentration is wanted but again you run out of points.

 

All of the stats are not at any racial/cultural minimum or maximum so you can freely choose whatever suits you. I'd like to get the benefit of maxing any of the stats but I do not like the minimum effects on a Monk. Every stat is useful. Your dialogue is limited to Might. Constitution and Perception. The good news is that any items you find that boost stats will be appreciated.

 

Talents/Abilities

Level One - Swift Strikes - I like the speed boost and it lasts for ten seconds instead of one attack with Torment's Reach. Works with weapons as well as fists.

 

Level Two - Lightning Strikes - Adds 25% lightning lash to all your swift strikes. Works with weapons as well as fists.

 

Level Three - Torment's Reach - Spend the first wound on Swift Strikes and then blast out as many Torment's as you can. Cone AoE will get multiple targets and also has a minor debuff. The Monk AI does a good job of using these as fast as it can.

 

Level Four - Weapon Focus Peasant - +6 accuracy for you fists. Also works with spears and hatchets to give you alternate damage types or quarterstaff for a reach weapon. At low levels I find missing more problematic rather than slower attack speed.

 

Level Five - Turning Wheel - adds a +5% burn lash per wound. Currently bugged in that it does not work at the same time as your lightning strikes lash. The lash is applied against 25% of the targets DR so you want to get past five wounds to start to put out a big beat down, but even extra minimum damage adds up. Wounds only last for ten seconds or so, so you still want to spam out your Torment's but this will help with the damage output.

 

Level Six - Two Weapon Style - +20% attack speed that works with fists or weapons. Can swap with level four pick if desired.

 

Level Seven - Duality of Mortal Presence - +8 to either deflection or defenses. Time to start shoring up our vulnerabilities.

 

Level Eight - Vulnerable Attack - Set it and forget it. Even against only 5 DR it still kills faster then to not use it.

 

Level Nine - Crucible of Suffering - gets you +10 defenses for 20 seconds after a hostile effect expires. If the first stun gets you this will help against the next ten. This is where the relentless part starts to take shape.

 

Level Ten - Savage Attack - More damage is always popular.

 

Level Eleven - Flagellant's Path - A teleporting attack that damages and debuffs everyone between you and your target. Start in the frontline get a few wounds, activate Swift Strikes and then zoom across the battlefield and hit the mage. Run to the mage's farside and then zip back towards another target or back through the melee that is busy trying to chase you. With this you ARE the Juggernaut.

 

Level Twelve and Fourteen - Pick whatever you want. Superior Deflection if you need more deflection, Weapon and Shield Style if you find yourself swapping to a shield often, some of the defense boosting talents like Bull's Will or the specific defenses like Mental Fortress, even Interrupting Blows can have some utility.

 

Level Thirteen - The summon fire and ice twins. Just too cool not to take, add in spell use on items and you're even better.

 

Notable Omissions -

Spoiler

 

Equipment -

Armor - You want the heaviest you can get. Brigandine or plate. When I hire mercs at level two to fill out my team until I get the story companions I always pick the culture that starts with Brigandine, 10 DR in the beginning is a godsend.  Sanguine Plate is very nice with the Frenzy when crit effect activates but the speed does not stack with Swift Strikes.

 

Shield - Having a shield and fist on one of your slots is very useful, especially in the beginning. Start taking too much damage and swap to the shield. The Larder Door with its bash even counts towards Torment's Reach's damage output as it is a full attack. You can even swap to your shield when you are paralyzed or prone.

 

Weapons - Primarily you want to use your fists. They scale with level, they are fast speed, they do more damage than other fast speed weapons. You will want to have another damage type available, for this I like Spears. There are a few good spears, no one else ever uses them. The custom designed one Cladhaliath works well. Throw a lash and a Spirit Slayer on it and you'll be happy.

 

You can go with weapons only. I'd suggest going two handed with Tide Fall and Greenstone Staff. I actually have Zahua set up like this and he does well.

 

Misc. Equipment - Anything that activates when you are critted is great, Shod in Faith is unbelievably good with this build. I missed them when I swapped for the unarmed damage boosting boots but Zahua is getting good use out of the boots now. Defense boosts are better than deflection.

 

Team Support - A Paladin with the DR boosting Aura, Zealous Endurance, Greater Lay on Hands, Herald shield and Reinforcing Exhortations is great.

 

Chanters can help with their fire lash song and frighten the enemy song. Dropping a big AoE paralyze is always useful as well.

 

Durance makes a great contribution as a sacrifice to the Blood Pool for +1 Constitution and +5% total endurance.


Edited by KDubya, 24 September 2015 - 11:22 PM.

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#2
KDubya

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Saved for future edits/comments

 

 

 

Addendum - Apprentice Sneak Attack is a good pick for level 12 or 14. Another +15% damage is nice and its easy to set up via flanking or Sagani's stunning shots with a bow.


Edited by KDubya, 25 September 2015 - 06:10 PM.

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#3
Elric Galad

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Not far from monk I'm currenrly playing. I'll go Iron wheel, but maybe it's because I don't feel flagellant path attractive.

I'll be curious about your wound management. You seem to have a lot of wound spenders, plus turning wheel (which need a lot of wounds to be efficient due to 25% DR of the lash damages).

#4
Boeroer

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Turning Wheel and Lightning Strikes' elemental bonus damage don't stack. Burn gets overridden by shock. True story...

Enervating Blows (lowers fort by 20) plus Force of Anguish (targets fort) is a great combo.

If you took Iron Wheel you could use lighter armor = gaining wounds faster at the beginning and stop getting damaged when you have plenty - while being faster.

Edited by Boeroer, 25 September 2015 - 11:58 AM.


#5
KDubya

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Not far from monk I'm currenrly playing. I'll go Iron wheel, but maybe it's because I don't feel flagellant path attractive.

I'll be curious about your wound management. You seem to have a lot of wound spenders, plus turning wheel (which need a lot of wounds to be efficient due to 25% DR of the lash damages).

 

 

My wound management goes like this - first one goes for swift strikes. Then if I have only one or two I'll bang out the Torment's. If I have four or more then I'll pick a target for Flagellant's.

 

I don't try and hold onto any for Turning Wheel, they last as long as it takes me to spend them on other attacks.

 

I have not gotten to thirteenth level yet for the twin summon. They look really cool but they will suck up eight wounds that prior would have powered a few Flagellant's. If the wound cost is too much or it throws everything else under the bus I might need to skip it and get something else at thirteenth. Maybe Enervating Blows for some additional debuffs and set ups for Apprentice Sneak Attacks.

 

 

 

 

Turning Wheel and Lightning Strikes' elemental bonus damage don't stack. Burn gets overridden by shock. True story...

Enervating Blows (lowers fort by 20) plus Force of Anguish (targets fort) is a great combo.

If you took Iron Wheel you could use lighter armor = gaining wounds faster at the beginning and stop getting damaged when you have plenty - while being faster.

 

I read your bug report on Turning Wheel and I'm assuming that it is supposed to stack and will be fixed. If it is designed to not stack then I will drop Turning Wheel and take something else, Stunning Blows looks to be my next choice for level five. The other choice would be Force of Anguish. The problem with going FoA would be having too many wound burners. Stunning Blows are not as good as FoA but do not use wounds and are twice per encounter. For me FoA would be situational and once I get Flagellant's it'd hardly ever get used.

 

Gaining wounds has not been an issue, I'll frequently get alpha struck for eight or so which sets the Juggernaut into motion. The speed reduction from plate hasn't been an issue, for me anyway, I'd rather have the +7 crush, and +10 slash & pierce from plate at a cost of -35% recovery instead of robes.

 

Plus my team does not have a Priest, or any caster for that matter. So healing is from Shod in Faith boots or from two Greater LoH.

 

With Flagellant's Path being the cornerstone of my build Iron Wheel would not be available until level thirteen. There it'd be down to that, the twin summon or maybe Enervating Blows.

 

The great thing about Monks is that there are different ways to build them, they are all effective and fun, and you have hard choices on which good talent to not take. More classes should be like this.



#6
Ymarsakar

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I probably missed a patch note, but how do monk wounds work now? They used to be a dot that does damage over time. Without lesser wounds, do the wounds just disappear after 10 seconds and applies full damage back to the monk? (10 damage per wound?)



#7
KDubya

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I probably missed a patch note, but how do monk wounds work now? They used to be a dot that does damage over time. Without lesser wounds, do the wounds just disappear after 10 seconds and applies full damage back to the monk? (10 damage per wound?)

 

 

I think back in Beta wounds served as some sort of damage absorber but that is all gone now.

 

Normal wounds happen when you take 10 points of damage. Take 80 points and you get 8 wounds.

 

If you take lesser wounds talent you get a wound every 8 points of damage. Take 80 points of damage and get 10 wounds. That is the only difference with lesser wounds.

 

You can then spend the wounds to power certain attacks and actions, some abilities like Turning Wheel and Iron Wheel passively give you binuses based on the number of wounds that you have at that moment.

 

All wounds have a duration which I think is ten seconds after which they go away.


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#8
rheingold

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I like the build. Just a few concerns around talent choice. I've played a monk with and without long stride and the difference is huge. Long stride is really great, it makes positioning a cinch. Well worth it. Flagellants path is cool and I would take it as well, but it's expensive to use and you only get it really late. Using items for haste is an option, but again they can come late in the playthrough. And when you look at the alternatives for the respective slot they tend to be much better than haste.

#9
KDubya

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I like the build. Just a few concerns around talent choice. I've played a monk with and without long stride and the difference is huge. Long stride is really great, it makes positioning a cinch. Well worth it. Flagellants path is cool and I would take it as well, but it's expensive to use and you only get it really late. Using items for haste is an option, but again they can come late in the playthrough. And when you look at the alternatives for the respective slot they tend to be much better than haste.


What ability do you skip in order to take Long Stride? Torment's Reach and Swift Strikes are cornerstone picks, Duality and Crucible of Suffering are what lets you shrug off the CC attacks, or at least make them graze which is good enough. That leaves level five and Turning Wheel which adds a bunch of damage. Get eight wounds hit back with a Torment's that adds +35% damage in a burning lash, hit another Torment's and you hit for +30% damage and so on.

Running around is just going to trigger a lot of disengagement attacks and if you are not running around what good is Long Stride?

Level eleven is not that late in the game now with a level fourteen cap. With Flagellant's Path your movement IS an attack. It even works when you get stuck which is really useful in Durgan's Battery.

With my two heavy Monks I start combat engaging and stopping the onrushing melee enemies. Once I get a few wounds I can start using Flagellant's Path to zip across the battlefield damaging everyone in the way. Enemies that were engaged with the monks run after them setting up a return Flagellant's Path through their line.

Enemy mages make this all possible by hitting one of the Monks with their big damage spell, usually some sort of missile strike, which just fuels the Flagellant's Path that hastens their death. If they don't strike at the Monks, the Monks will chew up their melee and then go after the mages and archers, if they do strike the Monks it just gives them wounds to power up the Flagellant's Path that brings the Monk right up in their grill. It even debuffs their defenses making it more easy to hit them.

Why just move when you can attack AoE in a line?
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#10
rheingold

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W

 

 

I like the build. Just a few concerns around talent choice. I've played a monk with and without long stride and the difference is huge. Long stride is really great, it makes positioning a cinch. Well worth it. Flagellants path is cool and I would take it as well, but it's expensive to use and you only get it really late. Using items for haste is an option, but again they can come late in the playthrough. And when you look at the alternatives for the respective slot they tend to be much better than haste.


What ability do you skip in order to take Long Stride? Torment's Reach and Swift Strikes are cornerstone picks, Duality and Crucible of Suffering are what lets you shrug off the CC attacks, or at least make them graze which is good enough. That leaves level five and Turning Wheel which adds a bunch of damage. Get eight wounds hit back with a Torment's that adds +35% damage in a burning lash, hit another Torment's and you hit for +30% damage and so on.

Running around is just going to trigger a lot of disengagement attacks and if you are not running around what good is Long Stride?

Level eleven is not that late in the game now with a level fourteen cap. With Flagellant's Path your movement IS an attack. It even works when you get stuck which is really useful in Durgan's Battery.

With my two heavy Monks I start combat engaging and stopping the onrushing melee enemies. Once I get a few wounds I can start using Flagellant's Path to zip across the battlefield damaging everyone in the way. Enemies that were engaged with the monks run after them setting up a return Flagellant's Path through their line.

Enemy mages make this all possible by hitting one of the Monks with their big damage spell, usually some sort of missile strike, which just fuels the Flagellant's Path that hastens their death. If they don't strike at the Monks, the Monks will chew up their melee and then go after the mages and archers, if they do strike the Monks it just gives them wounds to power up the Flagellant's Path that brings the Monk right up in their grill. It even debuffs their defenses making it more easy to hit them.

Why just move when you can attack AoE in a line?

 

Well it's expensive to use so that's an issue. To be honest - thinking about it I may drop it completely and go for the DR talent instead. I tried it and found it underwhelming though cool. The problem is it works well, but I just find it hard to justify the wounds it takes up. Regarding disengagement attacks, well for any other class they are a pain but for a monk they are a free source of wounds. I just find it a game changer to be able to use long stride. Speed in combat helps and monks are really the only class to get it other than using items, so why not take it?

To confirm:

I like Flagellants path - it's a good ability but for me it comes really late and is expensive.



#11
KDubya

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Got to thirteenth level and trying out the twin summons. All I can say is WOW!! These guys are great. They don't seem to have a duration either, not sure if that is a bug.

On PotD, at 13th level on Monk, 12th for the rest of the team and went to Craigholdt. Summoned the twins and sent them off to do some damage on their own. Came up on that Ogre and he was alone. The twins were able to whoop his ass all alone. Best of all my Second Chance ability from my armor works with the twins.

With my high con they each had like 280 endurance and I think the same huge DR. I can't wait to see how Zahua clones wielding Durgan enhanced Tide Fall will do.

I'd even think about shooting my guy in the head to activate these Duplicates of Death.

I can't see any reason not to take this ability at level thirteen. Too bad they can't get their own wounds to power Flagellant's or to summon their own duplicates. It'd be like the Wizard's Apprentice with the brooms :)

#12
Teioh_White

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Yeah, that ability makes Monk just Nutso comopared to how it used to be. Just having the Twins would be enough, but being able to essentially make every per-rest per-encouter, just puts it over the top. And it doubles the uses! Paladin's is sorta like that, just a gamechanger level 13 move.

 

I mean, even Fighter gets something awesome, like a short term....DR debuff...thing. Oh, right. Fighter. Well....it sure keeps the self esteem of the remaining jobs high!



#13
KDubya

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Sometimes they despawn after combat ends and sometimes they don't.

For extra fun you can hit them with a reinforcing exhortation to make them tankier :)

It does cost 8 wounds which is a lot and the enemy likes to use it as well. An extra 8 DR from Iron Wheel while spending wounds on the normal Torments and Flagellant's would be very good as well. So many good options and ways to build a Monk.



Here is a question I have:

Are you limited to only ten wounds at a time? I've never seen more than that on the counter.



With regards to the Fighter, I've moved on. Monks, Paladins, even Tanky Rogues in armor with shields (Devil) are more appealing by far. I still need to roll a barbarian but I see no reason to think that they won't be awesome and a lot of fun. The Fighter Sundering Blow is nice, sort of like the Paladin's Flames of Devotion except it is not a first level ability but its level 13 final super awesome power :(

#14
AndreaColombo

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Toying with the idea of building Zahua like this when I pick him up. I've never played a Monk and this build is pretty enticing :) Guess I'll alternate between his fists and The Grey Sleeper.



#15
KDubya

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The summoned twins do not spawn with copies of the weapons you wield, just fists. My Zahua twins did not each have TideFall or the Greenstone Staff. They still did great but you can't get extra on hit spell effects or extra casts of spells from weapons and shields that way.

You do get to use per day spells that are on your equipment. Some Warding Gaze or something like that on a belt was available to the twins. Second Chance from armor also looked to work, have not seen Frenzy from Sanguine Plate or the Shod in Faith boots activate on the twins yet. I need to try with the armor that has the stunning wave and electrical spell to see if that works, try rings as well.

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Boeroer

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Works. Everything with spell binding that is not a weapon works. Forgemaster gloves also work. You can summon Firebrand for your two duplicates that way - but maybe that their fist are better.

Spell binding I don't know. Gold question. I also had that robe that casts Mirrored Image when you get critted and never saw that in the duplicates.

Things like Ryona's Vembraces (3 DR bypass to every form of attack) also work.

Edited by Boeroer, 28 September 2015 - 09:39 PM.


#17
AndreaColombo

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^ Mirrored Image never procs from Raiment of Wael's Eyes; I tested it yesterday for a bug report in the beta patch tech forums.

#18
Ymarsakar

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Force of anguish is pretty good if you have space for it. Two wounds and it often knocks melee blockers out of your way, allowing you to just zip around. More mobility.



#19
KDubya

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Still no Dev comment in the bug thread about Turning Wheel turning off the Electrical Lash from Swift Strikes.

If that is by design then there is no reason for me to take Turning Wheel at level five. What to take in its place?

1.) Stunning Blows doesn't require wounds and gets two uses per encounter.

2.) Force of Anguish - great CC but takes two wounds and I already use wounds on Torment's, Flagellant's, Swift Strikes and the Twins. I'm not sure I'd ever get to use it.

3.) Long Stride - Once I get Flagellant's I use that to move around and attack everything in between so not as useful for this build.

I'm thinking Stunning Blows is the choice for this build. Too bad the more interesting options are all at higher level.

#20
Ymarsakar

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Have you tried lesser wounds if you are running out of the wound resource?






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