Swash Freezing bard - trying to bring the love back

Eleazzar

Well-known member
I don't have an "official" build yet but I'm thinking it would be something like this:

Non-humans lose a feat: either Improved Shield Bash or Quicken Spell.

Sickle variant: take Swords to Plowshares at level 6, Improved Critical Slashing instead of Piercing, and Precision at level 18. Normal sickles will become 14-20/x3 weapons; a few named ones will become 12-20/x3 (e.g., Widowblight, Tharkuul's Bane, Devourer's Reaping). Also if you decide to run in Divine Crusader, sickles qualify for Favored weapon bonuses with Axiom of Faith.
Sickles! Oh wow! I would never have though about that. I need to look into these. I always though Swords to Plowshares was for staffs and wraps.
So with CHA being at 14, wouldn't that impact the freezes or spells DC's?
 

unbongwah

Well-known member
So with CHA being at 14, wouldn't that impact the freezes or spells DC's?
Spells yes, freezes no because "Spinning Ice, Frozen Fury, and Skaldic Scream now use the highest of Dexterity, Charisma, or Strength for their DCs." So I want to do a DEX Swashbuckler/Warchanter who goes all-in on melee and only uses spells for support.
 

Eleazzar

Well-known member
Spells yes, freezes no because "Spinning Ice, Frozen Fury, and Skaldic Scream now use the highest of Dexterity, Charisma, or Strength for their DCs." So I want to do a DEX Swashbuckler/Warchanter who goes all-in on melee and only uses spells for support.
ok cool. Loving this. Just one question tho. What allows Dex to Hit and Dmg?
 
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Eleazzar

Well-known member
Weapon Finesse gives DEX to hit; Swift Strikes gives DEX to damage. Or you can use a named weapon with inherent DEX to hit and damage like Tiefling's Assassin Blade.
Since we are going SWF, why not Shadar-Kai for chain whip as well? I know we lose a feat, may have to use a +1 heart but have your theorycrafted anything around this idea? Do you think its WORTH it.
 
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unbongwah

Well-known member
Since we are going SWF, why not Shadar-Kai for chain whip as well?
As I said upthread, the issue is AP costs. Grabbing everything I want is at least 88 APs so I need to decide how to downscale it for a "lowbie" toon. One option would be a "DEX primary, INT secondary" variant which goes for Know the Angles instead of No Step Missed; smaller bonus than if I went all-in on DEX but lower AP cost for a Battle Trance (6-8 APs for KtA vs 11-13 APs for NSM). And bumping up INT means more skill points for trap skills to go with rogue 2 splash.

Silver lining: if I decide to use daggers or kukris, I can get DEX to hit for 1 AP from Assassin, thereby saving a feat (Weapon Finesse). I'll also benefit more from Vistani tree (e.g., Rapid Slash).
 
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In terms of gear, how to go about building a basic setup for this build at this point? After so many years away, I'm finding myself completely lost on epic/legendary gear. I usually run a setup from 20-26 and another one for the last couple of levels. 20-26 is basically cannith crafting atm. I have no clue how to go about building something new and start looking for stuff. Any input?
 

Eleazzar

Well-known member
In terms of gear, how to go about building a basic setup for this build at this point? After so many years away, I'm finding myself completely lost on epic/legendary gear. I usually run a setup from 20-26 and another one for the last couple of levels. 20-26 is basically cannith crafting atm. I have no clue how to go about building something new and start looking for stuff. Any input?
How I am doing it, is using the Fam Set from Sharn and Adherent of the mist set from RavenLoft till 29, then switch to the level 29 versions.
 

unbongwah

Well-known member
Sickle variant: take Swords to Plowshares at level 6, Improved Critical Slashing instead of Piercing, and Precision at level 18. Normal sickles will become 14-20/x3 weapons; a few named ones will become 12-20/x3 (e.g., Widowblight, Tharkuul's Bane, Devourer's Reaping). Also if you decide to run in Divine Crusader, sickles qualify for Favored weapon bonuses with Axiom of Faith.
I went onto Lamannia last week to test the sickle version. Functioned basically as expected. With minimal gear at level 20, Warchanter DCs were low 50s while No Step Missed is active; so I'm sure it gets much better with a little effort. I'm underwhelmed by Skaldic Scream though: the 2-minute cooldown is way too long for a freeze effect that's shorter than Spinning Ice yet has the same DC. The devs should just make it have the same CD as other bard songs; the finite charges are enough of a limiter already IMO.

So I might dust off the bard 18 / rogue 2 combo again, trading Skaldic Scream for trap skills and Evasion, which can be upgraded to Improved Evasion at level 26 (The Darkest Luck).
 

FVSHasBeenEvenMoreGutted

Well-known member
this may be unpopular, but doing VKF with kukris is a very good choice for swash bard because warchanter gives cleave abilities and more importantly right now rapid slash is the old confront any foe attack, meaning it hits 3 times in a huge frontal AOE. therefore, doing VKF makes you an AOE god, yes, it has less crit range than handaxes, but the aoe attacks make it much better (IMO) for leveling. for raiding, obviously handaxes best cuz its the most single target dps, but I doubt you are raiding if your asking this question because freeze bard isn't amazing for raids other than the ballad buffs.
 

Eleazzar

Well-known member
this may be unpopular, but doing VKF with kukris is a very good choice for swash bard because warchanter gives cleave abilities and more importantly right now rapid slash is the old confront any foe attack, meaning it hits 3 times in a huge frontal AOE. therefore, doing VKF makes you an AOE god, yes, it has less crit range than handaxes, but the aoe attacks make it much better (IMO) for leveling. for raiding, obviously handaxes best cuz its the most single target dps, but I doubt you are raiding if your asking this question because freeze bard isn't amazing for raids other than the ballad buffs.
I was actually wanting this for cap. So raids, reaper point farming, gear farming etc. I loved running a freezing bard back in 2015. I got all my PDK/Bard lives on it. If its not going tp be gimped with freezes or DPS then I will ditch this project.

I am not expecting Meta but if my freezes are hardly hitting in R3-R5 w/70 Reaper points and the gear I stated above, then it will suck playing and a waste of my time.
 

FVSHasBeenEvenMoreGutted

Well-known member
I was actually wanting this for cap. So raids, reaper point farming, gear farming etc. I loved running a freezing bard back in 2015. I got all my PDK/Bard lives on it. If its not going tp be gimped with freezes or DPS then I will ditch this project.

I am not expecting Meta but if my freezes are hardly hitting in R3-R5 w/70 Reaper points and the gear I stated above, then it will suck playing and a waste of my time.
oh i got to 115 DC on a 2nd lifer, its very doable, just needs work, ideally hit 120 DC for r3-5 for modern content, but 110 is pretty much no fail in older stuff
 

unbongwah

Well-known member
Take 2 on the concept, now with trap skills.
Drow Swashchanter
18/2 Bard/Rogue
Chaotic Neutral Drow


Level Order

1. Rogue . . . . . 6. Bard. . . . . .11. Bard. . . . . .16. Bard
2. Bard . . . . . .7. Bard . . . . . 12. Rogue . . . . .17. Bard
3. Bard . . . . . .8. Bard . . . . . 13. Bard . . . . . 18. Bard
4. Bard . . . . . .9. Bard . . . . . 14. Bard . . . . . 19. Bard
5. Bard . . . . . 10. Bard . . . . . 15. Bard . . . . . 20. Bard


Stats
. . . . . . . .28pt . . Level Up
. . . . . . . .---- . . --------
Strength. . . . .8. . . .4: DEX
Dexterity . . . 20. . . .8: DEX
Constitution. . 12. . . 12: DEX
Intelligence. . 16. . . 16: DEX
Wisdom. . . . . .8. . . 20: DEX
Charisma. . . . 10. . . 24: DEX
. . . . . . . . . . . . 28: DEX
. . . . . . . . . . . . 32: DEX

Skills
. . . . . R .B .B .B .B .B .B .B .B .B .B .R. B. B. B. B. B. B. B. B
. . . . . 1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
. . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
Perform . . .3 .1 .3 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 . . 1. 2. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
Concent . . . . . . . 1. 3. 1. 3. 1. 3. 1. . .1 .2 .1 .2 .1 .1 .1 .1 .23
Disable . 4 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
Search. . 4 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
UMD . . . 4 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 . . 1. 1. 1. 2. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
Open Lo . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9. . . . . . . . .1 . . 1. 15
Heal. . . 2 . . 1. . .1 . . 1. . .1 . . 1. . .1 . . 1. . .1 . . 1. . .11
Balance . 4 .1 .1 .1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Spot. . . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Jump. . . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Swim. . . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Tumble. . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Haggle. . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
. . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
. . . . .44 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 11 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9 .9



Feats

.1. . . . : Single Weapon Fighting
.3. . . . : Precision
.6. . . . : Improved Shield Bash OR Empower Healing Spell
.9. . . . : Improved Single Weapon Fighting
12. . . . : Improved Critical: Piercing OR Slashing
15. . . . : Quicken Spell
18. . . . : Greater Single Weapon Fighting
21 Epic . : Inspire Excellence
22 Destiny: Perfect Single Weapon Fighting
24 Epic . : Overwhelming Critical
25 Destiny: Crush Weakness OR Doublestrike OR Lasting Inspiration
27 Epic . : Epic Damage Reduction
28 Destiny: Harbinger of Chaos
30 Epic . : Epic Reflexes
30 Legend : Scion of: Arborea OR Ethereal Plane
31 Destiny: Shield Mastery Specialty
Built to use daggers or kukris; DEX to hit comes from Assassin (Knife in the Darkness), saving us a feat on Weapon Finesse. Or use one of the Swashbuckling-compatible weapons which natively support DEX to hit, such as Tiefling Assassin's Blade or Zephyr.

Your Enhancement spread will depend on whether you're F2P or have the Universal Enhancement trees.

Completely F2P:
Enhancements (Spent: 80 +0r +0u / Max: 80 +0r +0u AP)

Warchanter (39 AP)
  • Skaldic: Constitution, Weapon Training, Song of Heroism, Fighting Spirit, Victory Song
    1. Poetic Edda II, Enchant Weapon
    2. Words of Encouragement III, Ballad Melody: Arcane Shield III, Iced Edges, Sprint Boost I
    3. Ironskin Chant III, High Spirits II, Frozen Fury III
    4. Ballad Melody: Recklessness III, Northwind III
    5. Chant of Power III, Howl of the North, Spinning Ice III
Swashbuckler (22 AP)
  • Confidence, Swashbuckling, Uncanny Dodge, Panache
    1. Blow By Blow: Melee III, Tavern Shanties II
    2. En Pointe III, Action Boost: Double Strike Boost I
    3. Elegant Footwork, Swashbuckling Style: Skirmisher, Resonant Arms I, Different Tack: Swift Strikes
    4. Swashbuckling Style II: Skirmisher
Assassin (11 AP)
  • Knife in the Darkness
    1. Venomed Blades III, Sneak Attack Training
    2. Toxin Affinity III, Sneak Attack Training
Thief-Acrobat (8 AP)
  • Staff Control
    1. Sly Flourish II, Fast Movement
    2. Haste Boost III

Best-case scenario with Vistani Knife Fighter and Horizon Walker:
Enhancements (Spent: 80 +0r +1u / Max: 80 +0r +1u AP)

Warchanter (39 AP)
  • Skaldic: Constitution, Weapon Training, Song of Heroism, Fighting Spirit, Victory Song
    1. Poetic Edda II, Enchant Weapon
    2. Words of Encouragement III, Ballad Melody: Arcane Shield III, Iced Edges, Sprint Boost I
    3. Ironskin Chant III, High Spirits II, Frozen Fury III
    4. Ballad Melody: Recklessness III, Northwind III
    5. Chant of Power III, Howl of the North, Spinning Ice III
Swashbuckler (16 AP)
  • Confidence, Swashbuckling, Uncanny Dodge
    1. Blow By Blow: Melee III, Tavern Shanties I
    2. Fast Movement, Action Boost: Double Strike Boost I
    3. Swashbuckling Style: Skirmisher, Resonant Arms I, Different Tack: Swift Strikes
Horizon Walker (14 AP)
  • Mark Target, Improved Marking, Greater Marking
    1. Planar Dodge III, Skills I
    2. Protection from Evil and Good III, Favored Enemy: Evil Outsider
    3. No Step Missed III
Vistani Knife Fighter (11 AP)
  • Knife Expertise, Knife Juggler, Quick Reflexes
    1. Mist Stalker, Rapid Slash
    2. Weapon Versatility, Haste Boost III
Assassin (1 AP)
  • Knife in the Darkness
The F2P version actually has more sneak attacks and +3 Imbue dice; but the P2P one has higher doublestrike and a Battle Trance so both its DPS and Warchanter DCs will be better.

Epic Destinies offer a lot of flexibility, though you'll definitely want Unyielding Sentinel for Renewal and Legendary Shield Mastery. Sample configuration:
Destinies (Spent: 60 (40 +20pdp) / Max: 68 (48 +20pdp) AP)

Fatesinger (33 AP)
  • Fatesinger's Repertoire, Intoxicating Presence, Glitter of Fame, Hear My Voice Friend
    1. Epic Strike: The Sword Sings, Harmonic Resonance
    2. Mantle of Sound and Fury, Discord: Blade of Discord
    3. Reign III, The Sonata to Serve III, Masquerade III
    4. Great Ballads of War III, Majesty, Resonance of Fate: Martial Resonance, Metamagics Attunement: Extend
    5. Ballad of the Ages, Blade Song, Turn the Tide
Unyielding Sentinel (14 AP)
  • Unyielding, Ward Against Darkness, Stand Against the Tide
    1. Divine Energy Resistance, Brace for Impact II
    2. Renewal, Shield Prowess III
    3. Legendary Shield Mastery III
Shadowdancer (13 AP)
  • Shadow Training, Step Through Shadow, The Darkest Luck
    1. Cover of Darkness III, Technician I
    2. Dance in the Dark II, Epic Strike: Shadowstrike (melee)
    3. Epic Strike Upgrades: Dark Imbuement
Legendary Dreadnought instead of Fatesinger is also a good option IMO, since Dire Attack's DC uses any stat plus Stunning bonuses which also apply to your Warchanter freezing attacks.
 
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