Friday, November 4, 2011

Building a Better Beast: The Wraith

Originally I was going to call this build "Traptester"

Welcome to number two in an ongoing, but limited, series called Building a Better Beast. In each segment we take a look at how to make your artificer’s pet, that little bundle of mechanical joy called the Iron Defender, even better. Today’s build focuses on a very narrow niche, making a pet which works well with rogues.

Artificers are already pretty rogue-like, and two classes share a lot of similarities, maybe you want your pet to work well with rogues because you want to multiclass, or maybe you just want to help the rogue out when he goes scouting. Either way, this beast setup (which I’m code-naming Wraith) will help.

Like the last build, the Tank, there are spells which will make this build even more effective. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up the Augment Summoning feat.

1st Level: Like always you want to make sure you can heal your pet, but more important is protecting it from the various traps that it may encounter as it defends the rogue.

Repair Light Wounds--A standby which is necessary. Plus it doesn’t take up a spell slot, so why not?
Resist Energy--Drop a few of these on the Iron Defender to help defend iit from getting blasted by unseen traps.
Resistance--Like the aforementioned spell, this will help keep your Iron Defender safe. A bonus to spells means he is even more likely to take half damage from most traps, which makes it easier for Resist Energy to soak up all the abuse from the trap.

2nd Level: With the next few spells there is really no chance your pet will be damaged by elemental spells, and even physical traps will have trouble getting through to him.

Protection From Energy--Combined with Resist Energy the two make for a potent defense against elemental damage.
Reinforce Construct--Temp hit points? Yes please, lets see those spikes hurt your pet now.
Cat’s Grace--An increase to AC and a bonus to Reflex saves, come on traps, you’re going to have to try harder

3rd Level: Other than the Repair spells and possibly Stoneskin if you want to spend some extra money, there really isn’t a lot here for the Wraith.

4th Level: Upgrade for one spell, another repair spell and everyone’s favorite armor enchantment.

Protection From Elements--Like Protection from Energy, but for every element at once, most certainly worth it..
Armor of Speed--Unlike the tank who wants this for AC and attack speed, the Wraith really just wants this for the +1 to Reflex saves.

5th Level: Just like the tank you’ll want to pick this spell up.

Radiant Forcefield--This spell is amazing, if by some chance an Elite trap happens to break through your pet’s defenses, this will make the damage even more neglible.

6th Level: Other than reconstruct there aren’t really any options for this build.

1st Level:
Homunculus Distraction, the bluff skill makes enemies susceptible to sneak attacks for awhile, trust me, your rogue will thank you.

2nd Level:
Homunculus Ruthless Deception while the enemy is susceptible to sneak attack damage for 6 seconds you might as well add on some of your own. Get +3 to sneak attack damage with this enhancement.

3rd Level:
Homunculus Skillful Deception, a +2 to hit with sneak attacks is pretty helpful too.

4th Level:
Pick up Homunculus Danger Avoidance for a bonus to AC and Reflex saves.

5th Level:
Turn that bluff up a notch by picking up Homunculus Distraction II, and don’t forget to upgrade your Danger Avoidance while you are at it.

6th Level:
Homunculus Dexterity has become available to you, take it for a chance at a great enhancement later on.

7th Level:
Time to upgrade your sneak attack capabilities with Ruthless Deception II and Skillful Deception II, bring the bonuses to a +4 to hit and +6 to damage.

8th Level:
Pick up Danger Avoidance III and Distraction III to increase your combat effectiveness even more.

9th Level:
Your pet is still a combat build when it comes down to it, pick up Reinforced Armor to give him the extra hit points he needs.

10th Level:
Skillful Deception III and Ruthless Deceptoion III this level means your pet’s getting a +6 to hit and +9 to damage on sneak attacks.

11th Level:
Time to max out Danger Avoidance and Distraction.

12th Level:
Save your points.

13th Level:
And spend them now for Homunculus Dexterity II

14th Level:
Fear those traps even less by picking up Homunculus Evasion, a captsone enhancement you’ve unlocked with your rogue-like abilities.

15th Level:
And now you can max out your Ruthless and Skillfull Deception abilities for a +8 to hit and +12 to damage while using sneak attacks.

16th Level:
Take a moment and reward yourself with Improved Evasion.

18th Level:
A +20 to hit points would be nice, go ahead and upgrade your armor twice.

19th Level:
You might as well accept your brutish nature by picking up Adamantine Plating.

20th Level:
And upgrade it twice here for a total of +12 to AC and DR 6/adamantine.

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