Nairdin's paladin guide

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Posted by GALADOS 27 May 2015

Ok, I've seen a lot of different posts about paladin hunting and I'm seeing the same thing over and over so I'm putting in my two cents because I'm sick of the "Glass Cannon" stereotype most paladins have because they have a 600+ AS but die in just a couple hits.

Keep in mind, in this guide i'm referring to paladin training from birth to cap (lvl 100). some post-cap is touched on but that's for you to figure out. I'm also assuming that you don't have an army to back you up or spell buff you nonstop. if you do, great. make some little changes.

Weapon Options

First off, let's discuss weapons.

Paladin can be good at any weapon skill because our spells help in so many different ways, you have to take in to consideration lore training carefully for the bonuses from spells, depending on weapon type.

Your weapon is your choice. A paladin can make anything from brawling (utilizing sancted gloves + a bonded UAC compatible brawling weapon + 1618 a paladin can get 5 offensive flares on a single punch.(*at this time, 1618 does NOT add damage weighting to UAC. Several GM's including Estild were made aware of this at simucon and hopefully it's on a list of fixes somewhere.) With Arm of the Arkati (1605), almost any weapon works. I'll explain when we get to spells.

I was a capped paladin with mace/shield in order to control the variables involved with critter combat as much as I could for a long time, and this works out great! (crush only damage, best fatal crit percentage for head/neck shots) I have also used edged&shield/pole/brawl&shield/katar and THW with katana, claid, mattock and maul. I prefer brawling as a personal preference and for my RP.

Training Dilemma

Growing up as a paladin, you have to choose. "Do I want extremely high AS, or massive DS and an average AS?" the answer is simple. If you kill stuff in 1-2 hits with a 300+ endroll, do you really need a 350+ endroll? or is survivability more important to you? Some prefer the method of training Religion lore for Zealot and adding massive AS, but so much is lost, DS loss from not having a shield and lower DS from having a lower Blessings lore is only a portion of it (see above "Glass cannon" reference). If you train 65 Blessings lore by cap, you'll have at LEAST a 34% chance to outright block in offensive not considering the unknown stat bonus (assuming tower shield 5% and 2x shield training 10%, +19% chance from 1609 + stat bonus?). That's HUGE!!

I'm not saying you HAVE to have a shield. thw/polearm works. you're just gonna need some help. you're not able to spell tank yourself because you just don't have the TP's for lores and spells after training minimum 1x dodge.

Lore Training

Lores grow more and more important as you near cap and are getting diminishing returns from other skills. I recommend minimal lore training, maybe .5x, until you have 35 ranks paladin spells for Divine Intervention (Beseech) and 20 ranks of Minor Spirit for 120's nice DS/Spirit TD bonus. After that you can choose more lores or more paladin spells, but Wall of Force (140) is only really viable if you stay in chain hauberk. The casting RT from keeping Faith's Clarity (1603) up all the time for low spell hindrance in plate is just too dangerous in a swarm.

At cap 65 Blessings, 30 Religion and 15 Summoning is perfect. Train more lores post-cap.

Blessings Lore

Why 65 ranks of Blessings Lore?

Religion Lore

Why 30 ranks of Religion Lore?

  • 85% chance to make a target kneel with Divine Strike (1615)/Judgment (1630). Both are awesome, no doubt. I use 1615 when I need something (quickly fading enemies like spectral triton defenders in Nelemar) to stay in RT after I kill them to be able to search them with a 5-8 second RT from my mstrike. This strategy ONLY works if 1615 makes the target kneel. If the target is already down, it does not cause RT. This is important to remember because if you need something to not attack for 10 seconds or so, this is your best bet. I don't think 1630 causes RT or at least not as much RT, even when it makes the target kneel.
  • Higher Vision (1610): +4 more DS (seed 5)
  • Aura of the Arkati (1614): A PALADIN'S BEST FRIEND!! USE THIS SPELL OFTEN! 30 religion ranks will give you the max DS pushdown on this spell of 15%. There is a trick to 1614. This spell is most effective against critters/player characters in a defensive stance! The penalties for a failed warding on this spell are taken off by a percentage, but if a critter loses 75 DS due to 1614 in defensive, they keep that loss of 75 DS in offensive when they switch. If you catch them in offensive, the effect on DS won't be as much but the evade/block/parry penalties they take are what REALLY make this spell special. Wanna hit critters 90%+ of the time instead of getting evaded/blocked/parried? Use 1614.
 **Note- 1614 is super effective as a set up spell for UAC attacks, because it raises your MM by lowering the critter chance to evade/block/parry along with the UDF drop**
  • Zealot (1617): A great boost for post-cap paladins to work on. Not a NEEDED spell although most paladins (remember the term for these guys?) use it. WE'RE NOT REFERRING TO A 2X OR 3X CAPPED PALADIN. We're referring to someone newly capped or growing. Remember, it's a guide, not a manual.
  • Crusade (1618): Religion lore adds a better chance to flare more often.
  • Faith Shield (1619): A novelty spell really useful in a few situations ... usually invasions or PvP against a pure/semi. +12 more TD over the base 50. +62 TD for a minute is pretty useful when you're aggravating Leafiara or Rozy.
  • Divine Word (1640): 2x per day with 30 ranks religion, 3x with 40. But... don't raise unless you have to. Have a cleric do it. you can't use Chrisms anyway and it doesn't fill your head.

Summoning Lore

Having 15 ranks gives bonuses to:

  • 1602: adds +1 RT for a total +3 on a failed warding roll.
  • 1603: max benefit.
  • 1604: Increases crit rank for plasma flares from 1604 or paladin bonding rank 2.
  • 1605: +2% DF. The next DF bonus is 18 ranks. You can move here for the extra 1% DF but... meh.
  • Sanctify (1625): Mana capacity of the bonded weapon is increased by +1 per rank, level of spell that can be infused is increased. Holds 20 charges of 1602 at 15 summoning ranks, which is what I use most of the time(against defenders to slow them down even more. Beseech weapon, attack, 1615, mstrike will usually take out a defender without giving them a chance to attack more than once and give you plenty of time to search them (about 12-13 seconds).

Other Skills

Remember, just a guide, not a manual of how you MUST do it.

Combat Maneuvers

1x Combat Maneuvers (cman) to cap, then work on it as a post-cap goal when you can. You need the cman points. Don't listen to people that say it's a waste because you get "132 phantom cman that's capped at the 202 bonus for maneuver defense and open ambush." So what? You're not getting 162 ranks of paladin spells for that bonus ANY TIME SOON. Get the 101 cmans and eventually 202 post-cap. With the training suggested here you will have 42 phantom cman ranks from 1611 at cap.

Physical Fitness

1x Physical Fitness to cap, make it a first priority to 2x post-cap. This skill is supposedly used in more different areas than any other single skill.

Armor Use

Armor Use. This is a big debate. Growing up, it's easier hunting if you use your set up spells like 118 and 1614. These are heavy on mana but SUPER effective and 1614 is area wide so works great in a swarm. 118 is better growing up 1 on 1. It lowers a critter DS enough that you can usually one-shot em. Area Web is also great if you're doing bandits and stick to a small search area of 2-3 rooms. cast area web in each room and start searching for bandits. when they jump out and attack, they get tangled up.

My advice is this: If you use a shield, get to 80 ranks and stay in chain hauberk for a while until you have more TP's to spare after training spells/lores. If you use THW/pole, decide what you're going to sacrifice to get 150 ranks of armor use ASAP because if you're not in Heavy crit padded aug chain or hauberk, you'd better be in plate or you're gonna die. A lot. With Two handers it's either HCP chain armor and cast your setup spells of 1614 or 118, or go for plate and pretend you're a warrior never casting in the field.

Multi Opponent Combat

60 ranks when you hit cap. 3x mstrike is plenty until post-cap for a paladin with our DF and Damage weighting bonuses. If you need more FoF you have spells for that.

Dodging and Shield Use

You have the TP's to choose 2x shield or 1x dodge. pick one.

Spiritual Mana Control

24 ranks, or 25 if you want to multicast

Perception

1x

Climbing and Swimming

1x to 50-65 depending on your preference, your society, and any enhancives you might pick up along the way.

Spells

  • MnS: 20 ranks (at cap)
  • Paladin Spells: 40 ranks (at cap)
    • 1650 may be released soon.

spell training path

I reccommend getting 102 first. yes your AS suffers. you're a paladin. it's higher than others anyway. then start training 1600 spell circle 1x till you hit 35 ranks. this will give you the life saving beseech ability for webs, poison, stun, disease, measles, mumps, typhoid fever, some curses and more! after that train some more MnS ranks until you get 20 ranks. once you hit this point i recommend stopping until post-cap, to free up TP's to either A. move in to plate or B. train some more lores. it's up to you though

Harness Power

1x

Ambush

This is a tricky one. If you're gonna ambush, do it right. I say train as much ambush as you can spare the TP's for at first. get it to 60 or 70 ranks. this sounds crazy, i know. hear me out.

open ambushing takes in to account cman AND ambushing skill together. once you have tons and tons of cman ranks you can let the tp's you put in to ambush slink back down and set it at 24 ranks once you have 150+ cman, but this isn't happening until post-cap. it's cheaper to train 1x ambush than it is 2x cman.

so it would look like this... lvl 5, 7 cman ranks. lvl 15, 17 cman ranks lvl 25, 27 cman ranks, 4-5 ambushing lvl 35, 37 cman ranks, 10-15 ambushing lvl 45, 47 cman ranks, 20-25 ambushing (this is the point where you start aiming your shots! before here, you're pretty much wasting RT trying to aim.) lvl 55, 57 cman ranks, 30-35 ambushing (here's where you start hitting your targetted shot almost every time) lvl 65, 67 cman ranks, 40-45 ambushing (here's where a paladin makes a choice. Is chain working for me? or am i getting blasted and need plate? If you're dying from crits and need the plate, here's where you get extra TP's to push to that goal because you're done with spells and can lay off ambushing a bit.) lvl 80, 82 cman ranks, 60 ambushing. lvl 100+, once you have achieved the goal of 202 physical fitness, you can start migrating that 60 ranks of ambushing down to 24 ranks, and throw all your next TP's in to cman until that is 2x. once your PF is 2x and cman is 2x, with 24 ranks ambushing life for a paladin is cake. you rarely miss your target, and stuff just seems to crumble with all that extra DF, damage weighting and flares! HAVE FUN!

Survival and First Aid

  • Survival: .5x
  • First aid: whatever you can spare.

Arcane Symbols

Arcane Symbols and MIU are a good idea to put most remaining TP's into because this will increase your spell burst for OTF/Nelemar and you can wear more outside spells. .5x each if you can. more is better if you want to be self-sufficient.

Magic Item Use

See: arcane symbols.

If you know a good sorcerer who can unlock scrolls, (Insert free advertising for Allereli here) focus more on arcane symbols.

If you prefer mage rechargeables and imbeds, train more MIU.

Cmans, Shield Use and Armor Specializations

Really can vary on what type of weapon combination you use.

Do your research. Test different skills. Migrating cmans sucks but it's worth seeing for yourself what's effective and what's not. When people ask my cman and shield skill advice i tell them this:

If you're gonna use a shield, go all the way. get a sancted spiked tower shield, train shield spike mastery and always stay in forward or higher stance for those reactive spike flares on a block, while keeping up 1609 for the extra block chance.

For cmans, 3-4 ranks wspec, 2-3 focus for TD, then train the skills that are being used against you. if you're getting wrecked by shield bash, train cman sbash. if you're getting charged by stupid critters with their lance to the eye crap move, train cman charge. if you're no longer fighting stuff with shields, untrain cman sbash and put the points elsewhere. It really doesn't take long to migrate cmans.

Armor skills: Armored Fluidity.

Hunting

Paladin life is easy.

Growing up, you don't have much mana so make it count. You can ward almost anything your level or a little higher so use that to your advantage. Set up entire rooms with 1614 then open mstrike, use web if you are in hauberk (for low spell hindrance using web.) against single foes and lop off some heads with open ambush. If in plate just stick to 1614. Web is more expensive, but a little more effective.

At cap... If you're not UAC, Be in plate. 1614/open ambush works great, so does mstrike. I'm not gonna go into details for this because you're cap. If you don't know how to hunt well by now, you need more than a guide, you need a mentor. Post-cap you can train more armor use, but you're still going to want to use 1603 because MnS hindrance sucks. With 150 ranks armor use and rank 5 armor fluidity, MnS is 88% without 1603, 2% with it. Paladin hindrance is 8%. 0 with 1603 up (lasts 30 seconds).

Spells to Keep Up

Stackables:

101, 103, 107, 115, 120
1601, 1605, 1606, 1609, 1610, 1611, 1612, 1613, 1616.

Short duration spells:

  • Spirit Strike (117) - +75 AS for 1 swing plus a chance to activate a second, third or even fourth swing because... you guessed it... Blessings lore!
  • 1603 - greatly reduces spell hindrance for paladin and MnS spells.
  • 1607 - this spell is overlooked often. Gives a bonus to stamina instantly gained AND stamina regen, as well as healing you a bit. this is good to use in situations like where you mstrike confirm a room full of grimswarm 3x in a row, cast 1607 and suddenly you have full stamina again and mstrike 5x more before running out of steam and having to rest your mstrike for 10 seconds or so between strikes.
  • 1608 - Ignore FoF for extra opponents, make everything not grouped to you target only you. Let's see a warrior block do that! The FoF offset effect lasts 60 seconds.
  • 1617 - Cannot be used if 1609 is up. Good for those hunts when you need more AS, but are good on DS
  • 1618 - This one's tricky but if used right, gives at least HDW plus 1 per 30 blessings lore skill to your strikes(except UAC, at this time.). Lasts 1 minute, has no cooldown and can be recast or refreshed.
  • 1619: novelty/invasion/pvp against pures/semis. also great to use in the scatter vs liches.

Please read through the section on lores for some more specific hunting tweaks and strategies using spells to your advantage.

This is my short little paladin training guide. Tear it apart, Take my advice, or... don't. Up to you.

I didn't spell check either so... haha.

Enjoy

~Nairdin