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  • Good DB builds

    So, with Heirs being somewhat available, what DB builds do people suggest? Any changes to your favorite combat set ups?


    ....

  • #2
    Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
    So, with Heirs being somewhat available, what DB builds do people suggest? Any changes to your favorite combat set ups?
    IDK.

    If we say Deebs are "Resonant" with Shining Ice Mirror, then Air sword-fighter just got viable.

    Deeb archery just got insane.

    My ST literally cackled at the options this gives this arc's antagonist.


    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
      Deeb archery just got insane.
      How so? (Have only skimmed DB archery so far)

      Air-swordsman seems much more viable than before. I don't know if that makes it good, of course. With a quick read it seems to be about aiming and attacking people in metal armour?


      STing Bronze Age Exalted

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
        IDK.

        If we say Deebs are "Resonant" with Shining Ice Mirror, then Air sword-fighter just got viable.
        You mean if they get all the benefits which are listed for Solars in the core book (which would make sense, since Solars and DBs get the same benefits from Jade artifacts in the resonant/dissonant system)? What combos specifically with that weapon are you thinking of?

        Comment


        • #5
          Archery

          Rolling Stormcloud Approach breaks the archery-movement game a bit. Now that Air Stealth Archer who starts the fight off at extreme range and rains arrows down gets way more turns of free shots, basically she shoots you until she runs out of initiative, which considering she can be launching withering attacks may be more limited by terrain or enemies taking cover than anything. Which got even better because dodge got two new air charms, one of which makes Hopping Firecracker Evasion an Air charm as well and helps escape combat by adding a disengage to the movement roll.

          Landslide Missile Attack for Earth archery also lets you do a kind of similar thing. It knocks a target back, and possibly even down if they fall onto an earthen surface. With that you can aim at somebody at medium range, they move to Short, you fire and knock them back and down, they get up, you aim, they move to Short, fire again and knock them back and down. On its own it's not so great because you're only hitting for 1 damage each time, but combined with ranged allies it's great teamwork.

          Awareness

          A bit of a teamwork enhancement here, with Victory-Seeking Insight you can now shift initiative around and even, potentially, generate a lot of it. If a party of 5 who all have this charm activate it they can each pay 4i to give their hearthmates initiative, and get 8i in return from all of them. Or even everyone dump everything they have into their hearthmate to give, say, a Fire Dragon stylist the guaranteed first turn with an epic decisive attack.

          Brawl

          Water based Brawl can now strike AND grapple with Strength for really cheap, so that's good. If you want to be a super beefy brawler but low on Dexterity you only need to sacrifice defense. Also they can now clash, and losing the clash counts that as an onslaught penalty for yourself and allies. So like, Mela's Flashing Tongue where you make a number of withering attacks equal to their onslaught penalty, finishing off with a decisive one? That can be a good combo.

          Dodge

          For dodge, apart from Air, now Water and Earth have more options. One benefits Earth aspected archers quite a bit as it's a charm that creates cover where there was none, or creates lots where there was some.

          The Heart like Water dodge charm that triggers on any successful decisive dodge, and lets you sent the attack back at the attacker with all the charms they enhanced it with, plus any Water Dragon charms, plus it doesn't reset you to base it resets them. Note that Flow With Strife, the water signature charm, lets you cancel levels of damage with initiative and cancelling all damage lets you count as dodging the attack. So you might take a big decisive hit, use some charms to lower the decisive damage, cancel the rest with Flow With Strife, and then smack the attacker with what they just hit you with.

          Also the games first reflexive rise from prone, which counteracts a lot of stuff. Air Dragon stylists like this.

          Lore

          Mantle of Elemental Power lets you use Elemental Bolt attack as a Thrown or Archery weapon. You can use it with Persistant Hornet to make a living lightning bolt that harasses your enemies, you can use it to rain lightning from the skies with Arrow Rain Tempest, you can use Swallows Defend the Nest to pluck enemy arrows out of the sky with razor sharp thorns, and on top of all that it reduces the cost of EBA, and gives you an EBA based parry that even has +1 as though it were a medium weapon, and gives it additional range. Fuck. Yeah. This is what you take when you want to use elemental fury as your primary attack and defense.

          Also As in the Beginning, a charm so powerful I'm kind of torn on if it's too powerful. It doesn't deal any damage directly, has a huge cost, huge setup time, massive cooldown, bit penalty to using it...but combined with a full circle it wipes a city off the map. Anyone not killed instantly, in other words non-trivial characters, trying to fight the DB circle in the midst of that elemental hellstorm of fire, wind, lightning and poison is going to have a really bad time.

          Melee

          Air swordsmen got like, a dozen new charms in melee. A whole new branch dedicated to aiming in melee. First you can aim and convert initiative to motes, then when you attack benefitting from aiming you reroll (Essence + enemy's mobility penalty) non-1 dice, with an upgrade that lets you reflexively aim before an attack. SO get this, you're wielding artifact twinblades at Essence 5, with a 16 die base attack, and you delay your action to clash, you clash with the enemy using Crossfire Flash, reflexive Unerring Lightning Razor, a full excellency and a level 2 stunt. You now have an effective 39 die attack, assuming none of your allies helpfully increased their mobility penalty to make it even more.

          Dragon-Scale Shield has so many different effects it's hard to say what's best, but the fact that Water can block an attack while under full defense and give the enemy an onslaught penalty in response is pretty good, especially combined with Water Dragon constantly benefiting from it.

          Earth also became pretty good protectors, at least against elemental or magical effects. Facing off against things like other Dragonblooded, or elemental gods, or just elementals lets them act as a grounding rod, pulling attacks away from their allies and buffing themselves with essence regeneration for the effort.

          Resistance

          Dragon Graced Raiment is just fucking cool. Air based medium armor with no dodge penalty means medium armor has a real use now, and the fact that you can make epic elemental clothing out of it is great. The other effects are all useful, but don't, from what I see, change much, except maybe water ninja with concealable tag on any kind of armor. Apocalypse Outlasting Prana though, it's the first DB charm that lets them survive uncountable damage, and combined with Perfected Scales of the Dragon lets you survive seriously powerful decisive attacks.

          Sail

          Earth aspects treat the deck of their ship as an earthen solid ground. Now Earth aspected captains get to use all their fancy mountain strength charms while naval fighting. Some other charms give DBs a bit of an edge in naval combat, including broadsides with ships lacking anti-ship weaponry and momentum dice tricks. Having a DB captain saddle up beside your ship in a racing schooner and then blow a hole in it with fire essence would be quite the surprise.

          Thrown

          Sand Scourge Feint is a new distract charm, Earth based, and it lets you steal initiative from the guy you're distracting and give it to your ally, with initiative break if applicable, by expending your aura rather than paying the cost.

          War

          Even more teamwork charms, this time dual-combo attack charms. Especially when combined with that new awareness charm it could get really powerful, like you start the fight, the person with lower initiative dumps 5i into the guy with higher, making for +6i with the free one, then they act first and combo strike with the same high initiative, preemptive onslaught penalties. Or, even better, use its upgrade charm on turn 2 after distract gambiting for even MORE initiative, getting full free excellencies and actually being able to combine multiple elements together even if they're aura keyworded.

          That's pretty good. Now, at Essence 5 (I know, I know no game ever in the history of Exalted has gotten to Essence 5) that combined with With One Mind, which is a charm that when you're benefiting from a distract gambit from an ally, your attack has double 7s on the attack roll. Technically you don't even need to benefit from it, just as long as it was attempted.

          I think with that the real question is what combo builds can TWO players make, that will destroy anything. It's on a cooldown, once per story unless you overcome a major obstacle by protecting a hearthmate, or working together to defeat a powerful foe, so it's not something you use every fight, but it's really cool.

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          • #6
            Nice summary, thanks.


            STing Bronze Age Exalted

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
              Nice summary, thanks.
              Very much seconded.

              My guess is, like DrLoveMonkey says, Victory-Seeking Insight and Tiger-and-Dragon Combination are the things that will have the most immediate impact on typical games as they're available from standard chargen and they address one of DBs' major problems – having enough initiative to threaten real top-top-tier opponents. With the former, a spec'd up hearth of DBs is going to have the option for big alpha strikes, while with the latter your defensive buddy who has been relentlessly defend-othering you while you poke for initiative is suddenly potentially deadly.

              Having a suitable DB retainer is suddenly even more useful than ever. Cue Fire swordsman 'Initiative Parasite' and his faithful Earth squire 'Finishing Move'.

              --

              Feel like the dodge tree got a big boost. If you're using it, you're going to want to take Safety Among Enemies as one of your signature charms now to get Heart Like Water if it stays as it is.

              Air looks like the stand-out winner of Dragon-Graced Rainment as you say, in fact Air seems to have gotten a lot more combat oomph in general – medium armour-wearing air melee-ist aims, uses Flying Dagger Leap to make an unencumbered rush and unleashes the new air combat tree in all its glory...

              That's just the personal scale stuff too
              Last edited by Moss Reynholm; 04-04-2020, 08:16 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                How so? (Have only skimmed DB archery so far)

                Air-swordsman seems much more viable than before. I don't know if that makes it good, of course. With a quick read it seems to be about aiming and attacking people in metal armour?
                Rolling Stormcloud Approach. Aim at Long range, your opponent moves to medium, you fire and move back to Long, your opponent moves to Medium, you move back to Long and Aim. Repeat.

                You fire every other turn, meaning even with a full Excellency, you gain 1m a turn whilst kiting.

                You can use those motes on Ice-Slick Tread Technique. Now not only do you stay at Long range, but you leave difficult terrain behind you.

                Line of Sight a problem? With Skyward Eye Vigil you only need line of effect.

                Nimble Zephyr Defense means you gain Init when foes miss you. Light-as-Clouds Method and Heart Like Water for if you foe can catch you.

                Dragon-Graced Raiment hands you significant defensive advantages. And it combos well with Blood-Chilling Strike which just stops your foe moving.

                So it goes something like this:

                I get a bonus success on my Stealth roll. I launch an unexpected attack from Medium range, which stops you moving, even with Charms, then move back to Long (leaving a rangeband of difficult terrain between us). If you are an Archer who can somehow Reflexively Aim at me, then I turn your attack with all its Charms right back at you. If you are not an Archer, you do nothing whilst I aim at you, regenerating motes. Unless you can One More Step + Thunderbolt Attack Prana me, you will never catch me as I fill the area with difficult terrain, Aiming and moving. And if you do catch me, you better not let me Dodge or else I'm moving out to Medium with a Reflexive Disengage that fills the area between us with more difficult terrain.

                Then there's Tiger-And-Dragon...

                Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post

                You mean if they get all the benefits which are listed for Solars in the core book (which would make sense, since Solars and DBs get the same benefits from Jade artifacts in the resonant/dissonant system)? What combos specifically with that weapon are you thinking of?
                Every time you Aim with Shining Ice mirror, you gain +2 non-Charm defense.

                Cold Moon Slash lets you attack from Medium if you Aimed.

                Long range.
                Turn 1: Aim. Get +2 Defense, +3 to hit.
                Enemy moves to Medium.
                Turn 2: Attack out to Medium range, inflicting mobility penalties (Cold Moon Slash) and reroll (Essence+mobility penalty) failures on attack and damage roll (Unerring Lightning Razor). Wound Penalties on foe.
                Enemy moves to Short.
                Turn 3: Steel Tempest Strike allows a free Reflexive attack. Ice Fixing Strike Stacks a -1 Defense. Then your actual turn. Unerring Lightning Razor with Willpower for the extra +2 non-Charm defense, +3 Accuracy and reroll (Essence+mobility penalty) failures on attack and damage roll (remembering the increased penalty from Cold Moon Slash). Winter Night Cut for another -1 Defense and -2 on attacks.
                Enemy attacks you (at -2, -Wound Penalties, at +2 Defense).
                Turn 4: Unerring Lightning Razor + Fulminating Thunderclap Surge gives you an Unblockable, -4 (-2 Defense, -2 Mobility, -? Wound) Evasion, attack with +3 dice to hit and damage, reroll (Essence+mobility penalty) failures on attack and damage roll.

                There is no Turn 5.
                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 04-04-2020, 10:24 AM.


                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

                  Every time you Aim with Shining Ice mirror, you gain +2 non-Charm defense.

                  Cold Moon Slash lets you attack from Medium if you Aimed.

                  Long range.
                  Turn 1: Aim. Get +2 Defense, +3 to hit.
                  Enemy moves to Medium.
                  Turn 2: Attack out to Medium range, inflicting mobility penalties and reroll (Essence+mobility penalty) failures on attack and damage roll (Unerring Lightning Razor). Wound Penalties on foe.
                  Enemy moves to Short.
                  Turn 3: Steel Tempest Strike allows a free Reflexive attack. Ice Fixing Strike Stacks a -1 Defense. Then your actual turn. Unerring Lightning Razor with Willpower for the extra +2 non-Charm defense and reroll (Essence+mobility penalty) failures on attack and damage roll (remembering the increased penalty from Cold Moon Slash). Winter Night Cut for another -1 Defense and -2 on attacks.
                  Enemy attacks you (at -2, -Wound Penalties, at +2 Defense).
                  Turn 4: Unerring Lightning Razor + Fulminating Thunderclap Surge gives you an Unblockable, -4 (-2 Defense, -2 Mobility, -? Wound) Evasion, attack with +3 dice to hit and damage, reroll (Essence+mobility penalty) failures on attack and damage roll.

                  There is no Turn 5.
                  That's just, that's... well, it's awesome.

                  Soooo... Shining Ice Mirror = Relentless Wind? (Arada's sword from 2e, no idea if still canon).

                  How viable is air-melee is without the artefact do you reckon?
                  Last edited by Moss Reynholm; 04-04-2020, 09:52 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Moss Reynholm View Post

                    How viable is air-melee is without the artefact do you reckon?
                    Playing the game as intended against published antagonists: Air Melee has gone from "awkward and weak" to "solidly playable".

                    Combat Optimized: Air Melee has gone from "unplayable" to "suboptimal". It hits a good niche if your Kinship can pile Onslaught onto a single target (e.g. if you are paired with a Fire Immaculate or Steel Devil) but still needs help with crowd control (Thousandfold Tempest Strike is E4 but fills a massive gaping hole in Terrestrial offense). Fire Melee and Water Dragon Shining Into the Void are stronger builds. Mounted Wood Switch Hitter is also clearly better.
                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 04-04-2020, 11:18 AM.


                    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                      Archery
                      Also the games first reflexive rise from prone, which counteracts a lot of stuff.
                      Lunars had one first.


                      Mantle of Elemental Power lets you use Elemental Bolt attack as a Thrown or Archery weapon.
                      But you could already do that?


                      Sand Scourge Feint is a new distract charm, Earth based, and it lets you steal initiative from the guy you're distracting and give it to your ally, with initiative break if applicable, by expending your aura rather than paying the cost.
                      In retrospect, "Pocket Sand!" was an obvious hole in the Dragon-Blooded Thrown Charmset.


                      formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                        Lunars had one first.
                        Damn that’s what I get for not being well versed in Lunars
                        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                        But you could already do that?
                        Not quite, EBA is a simple charm, so if you wanted to use Swallows Defend the Nest or Persistent Hornet Attack with it you’re out of luck. You could shoot stuff with it, yes, but you couldn’t do all the things you could with an archery or thrown weapon. Plus with that up it only costs one more to use which is a lot more friendly.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Not quite, EBA is a simple charm
                          Ah, right. I forgot that and the conflicts that would arise from it.


                          formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                          • #14
                            I’d be really interested to see if anyone has already come up with any builds using the new charms from Heirs (or even just general DB ideas they really wanna try out or found work for them), so to get the ball rolling here’s one that ruthlessly rips off the work of others as a starter for 10. It’s (by my standards) min-maxed. I’d probably tone it down some for play (your mileage may vary etc).

                            Haven’t included merits or specialties, but the basic concept is…

                            Chargen Dynast Ambush Archer

                            Based heavily on DrLoveMonkey’s build here: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/exalted/1344650-dragon-blooded-archer-advice-wanted?p=1344771#post1344771

                            And aspiring to play like the advice of JohnDoe244 earlier in this thread: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/exalted/1378370-good-db-builds?p=1378505#post1378505



                            Air Aspect

                            ATTRIBUTES

                            3 Strength
                            5 Dexterity
                            1 Stamina

                            1 Charisma
                            4 Manipulation
                            2 Appearance

                            5 Perception
                            1 Intelligence
                            5 Wits


                            ABILITIES (all BP used here)

                            Aspect

                            Linguistics 5
                            Lore 0
                            Occult 3
                            Stealth 5
                            Thrown 0

                            Favoured

                            Awareness 5
                            War 1

                            Athletics 5
                            Dodge 5
                            Archery 5

                            Other

                            Integrity 3
                            Resistance 3
                            Socialise 3
                            Survival 3


                            CHARMS

                            Free Excellencies (5)
                            Archery

                            Athletics
                            Awareness
                            Dodge
                            Stealth

                            Archery (5)
                            Harvest of the Hunter
                            Sky-Calming Draw
                            Arrow Thorn Technique
                            Death From Nowhere
                            Drawing Lightning Style


                            Athletics (2)
                            Bellows-Pumping Stride
                            Ice-Slick Tread Technique

                            Dodge (4)
                            Flickering Candle Meditation
                            Nimble Zephyr Defense
                            Hopping Firecracker Evasion
                            Light-as-Clouds Method

                            Resistance (1)
                            Ox-Body Technique

                            Stealth (3)
                            Soundless Action Prana
                            Vanishing Wind-Body Technique

                            Blood-Chilling Strike



                            Advancement (rough notes/intentions):


                            CHARMS:

                            Combat, combat, combat:

                            Go to town on archery and awareness charms, prioritising Rolling Stormcloud Approach (the absolute must have) and Skyward Eye Vigil when available

                            More Ox-Bodies

                            At Essence 3, get Whispering Dragon Soul and Zone of Silence and from Dodge get Elusive Crosswinds Defence, Safety Amongst Enemies and then Heart Like Water (at Essence 4)

                            Less of a priority, but getting some Athletics and Resistance up to Dragon-Graced Raiment would be useful

                            Evocations depending on what merits you buy

                            --

                            Other (sort of):

                            Grab the Integrity excellency

                            Get some Occult to help handle spirits, maybe learning sorcery (the reason your Occult is at 3) to get Beckons That Which Stirs The Sky to play up your combat advantages in bad weather

                            Buy up the Linguistics tree, prioritising the silent communication charms to coordinate ambushes

                            Potentially get some Survival to help endure/hunt foes in the wilderness. A sneaky bird familiar might come in handy

                            --

                            NON-CHARMS:

                            The way you spent your bonus points you should be set for a while on skills, so I’d shore up your slightly embarrassing attributes first of all. Stamina and Intelligence both to 3 would be my focus

                            Would enjoy any critiques anyone has to share and definitely would love seeing anything anyone else has come up with.
                            Last edited by Moss Reynholm; 04-24-2020, 05:42 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Idle musings on other stuff from the PDF, based around (a subject I'm probably too hung up about) making effective-ish builds outside the usual aspect ability match-ups or just going with the default Immaculate style...

                              1. Earth-focused melee – I've previously figured 'why would you do this when Earth Dragon is right there?', but it looks a bit more of a thing now? Getting an artefact heavy weapon to get the full benefit of Dragon-Scale Shield, pair it with Dragon-Graced Weapon and your preferred heirloom Grand Goremaul/Stone of the Ram's Horn combo and you've got Earth Dragon lite without the merit expenditure and access to the very good melee tree.

                              Throw in heavy armour, ISoS and spamming Ox-Bodies, maybe with some mundane throwing weapons and Sand-Sourge Feint for a bit of range/surprise factor and you'd maybe get a decent feel of an implacable Earthy warrior out of chargen that doesn't have to have been an Immaculate.

                              Anyone with more experience got a feel for how good the magma charm is?

                              2. 5/1/5 Brawler – mucking around with trying to make this, well, not good but fun to play thanks to Flotsam-and-Jetsam Approach (FYI, basically allows you to use strength with improvised weapons for a scene for 1m). End up just spamming Ox-Bodies at the minute, and realising that Water has so many toys it's hard to justify going with any other aspect, even if I'd like to make an Ragara Earth-aspected brutish debt collector work (although honourable mention for Wood and Oaken Thew Exertion).

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