Sacred Vanguard Paladin
My version of paladin is very close to one I found on the forums called “Sacred Vanguard” by Unbongwah, which you can find here. In this post, I will be relisting almost all of the build, my alterations (and the reasons for them), as well as a small write up on it’s overall strategy.a
First, however, a quick review from the previous post:
- Style: Melee
- Class: Paladin
- Race: Human
Abilities (28 point):
- Strength (STR): 16 (all level-up ability points go here)
- Dexterity (DEX): 8
- Constitution (CON): 14
- Intelligence (INT): 10
- Wisdom (WIS): 8
- Charisma (CHA): 16
Strength: This helps you hit your target, as well as adds damage to any successful strike. A paladin build tends to be strength dependent.
Dexterity: There are those that will point out that Dexterity is important in that it helps you mitigate damage from successful hits. While it is true DEX adds to your Armor Class (AC), it is best not to bother, as there is little to no dexterity bonus received when wearing heavy armor. It is best to instead let the armor do the mitigation of damage.
Constitution: This helps your health and overall survival by adding its bonus to your Hit Points (HP), as well as raising your saves related to fortitude, including saves versus death!
Intelligence: Intelligence points on ANY build is a good idea. Why? Skill Points. Some classes get a lot of skill points, but the paladin isn’t one of them, so boosting your INT is a means to getting a few crucial skill points.
Wisdom: Hey! A Paladin needs WIS to cast spells! The reason for the low WIS score is because- at least in regards to spellcasting- you will not need it until later (level 4 is your first spell slot), and your wisdom can be enhanced with +4 and +6 gear to get you to 14 WIS, which is the level 4 spell level requirement.
Charisma: A Paladin’s class abilities tend to come from either the CHA score or its bonus, so this should be pumped as high, or almost as much as STR. Examples include: Remove Disease, Lay on Hands, and Smite Evil.
You’re best off maxing out your Intimidate skill and Concentration skills. Other skills you should look at spending any extra points you get are: Heal, Jump, Tumble (One full rank is all you need), Spot, and Search. That last option is a personal preference, as there are a number of quests one cannot complete without a decent search skill. My personal recommendations are (in order of importance): Intimidate, Concentration, Jump, Spot (so you can see the invisible baddies comin), Search (find hidden doors, etc), and Heal. You can mix and match all but the first two (as they are crucial to the build) to suit your personal tastes. Some players may also note Use Magic Device (UMD) as a priority.
Feats: Feats tend to be rather limited for Paladins (some say they are feat starved), but I think they get just enough. You’ll want to follow this list close, but you may take some of the Feats in an order that best fits your play style.
- Power Attack, Two-handed Fighting (Human Feat), Follower of the Sacred Host (Class Feat).
- (Exotic Weapon Proficiency) Bastard Sword (this will come into play later).
- Improved Two-handed Fighting, Unyielding Sovereignty (Class Feat)
- Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
- Greater Two Weapon Fighting
- Shield Mastery
- Improved Shield Mastery
- [Epic] Overwhelming Critical
- [Epic] Empower Healing Spell
- [Epic] Epic Damage Reduction
- [Destiny] Elusive Target of Perfect Two-Handed Fighting
- [Destiny] Deific Warding or Dire Charge
- [Epic] Quicken Spell or Improved Shield Bash, [Legend] Scion of Plane of Water, or Arborea
- Cure Light Wounds, Vitality, Protection from Evil, Bless
- Resist Energy, Angelskin, Remove Paralysis, [Your Choice]
- Cure Moderate Wounds, Magic Circle Against Evil, [Your Choice], [Your Choice]
- Holy Sword, Zeal, Cure Serious Wounds, Death Ward
Enhancements (80 AP Total):
- Human0: Human Versatility: Damage Boost, Human1: Improved Recovery, Sacred Defender0: Holy Bastion
- SD1: Extra Lay on Hands 1, SD1 Extra Lay on Hands 2, SD1 Extra Lay on Hands 3, (Save the last point).
- SD1: Durable Defense 1, SD0: Sacred Defense, SD1: Durable Defense 2, SD1: Durable Defense 3, SD2: Inciting Defense 1.
- SD2: Inciting Defense 2, SD3 Tenacious Defense 1, 2, 3.
- KotC0: Slayer of Evil, KotC1: Extra Smite 1, KotC1 Extra Smite 2, KotC1: Extra Turning 1
- KotC1: Extra Turning 2, KotC0: Courage of Heaven, KotC2: Exalted Cleave: 1, 2.
- KotC2: Exalted Cleave 3, KotC2: Divine Might 1.
- KotC2: Divine Might 2, 3.
- KotC3: Exalted Smite 1, KotC3: Divine Sacrifice 1, KotC0: Slayer of Evil 2, KotC3: Improved Restoration 1.
- KotC4: Empowered Smite, KotC4: Censure Demons, KotC4: Passion 1.
- KotC3: Vigor of Life, KotC2: Melee Power Boost 1, 2
- (Reset KotC and use points in Vanguard, see below for point allocation)
- Vanguard5: Shield to the Face, Vanguard5: Shield Charge 1,2
- Vanguard5: Shield Charge 3, Vanguard 5: Disorienting Smash 1,2, KotC0 Slayer of Evil 1
- KotC1: Extra Smite 1,2, KotC1: Extra Turning 1,2
- KotC2: Exalted Cleave 1,2,3, KotC0: Courage of Heaven
- KotC2: Divine Might 1,2
- Vanguard0: Vicious Shield 2, KotC3: Divine Sacrifice1, KotC3: Exalted Smite 1
- KotC0: Slayer of Evil 2, KotC2: Divine Might 3, KotC3: Improved Restoration
- Vanguard0: Shield Champion, KotC4: Empowered Smite, KotC0: Improved Courage of Heaven
KotC reset to Vanguard Point Allocation
Vanguard0: To the Fore!, Shield Combat 1, Vicious Shield 1
Vanguard1: Shield Specialization, Shield Smash 1,2,3
Vanguard2: Shield Specialization, Brutality 1, Stunning Shield 1,2,3, Missile Shield 1,2,3, Melee Power Boost 1,2,3
Vanguard 3: Shield Specialization, Follow Up 1,2,3, Fatal Bulwark, Strength
Vanguard 4: (None)
Vanguard 5: Armored Strength
Epic Destiny (Divine Crusader):
- Endless Turning 1,2,3, Interrogation, Purge the Wicked
- Consecration 1,2,3
- Sacred Ground, Blessed Blades
- No Regret, Crusade
- Castigation, Heavenly Presence, Celestial Champion
- Strike Down
Twists of Fate:
- Grim Precision (Shadowdancer Tier 3)
- Legendary Shield Mastery (Sentinel Tier 2)
- Rejuvenation Cocoon (Tier 1 Primal)
- Legendary Tactics (Tier 1 Dreadnought)
Those familiar with the Sacred Vanguard build will notice that there are minor alterations. This is due to some concerns I had in certain circumstances. The originator of the build (Unbongwah on the DDO forums) probably has more experience with this build than me, but these changes suit my meta better.
Skills: The original build has points put into UMD. While I know many people prefer this skill to Jump or Heal or many other skills, I personally do not see a need for it. The number of items that I have presently that would benefit from this skill are slim to none. Also, since this is a build for new players, I decided to go with what I think would benefit them more than what would benefit players with more gear and experience. I put those points into Jump, since there are many a times when having more jump is necessary for a Paladin. Spot and Search are also very good replacements.
Feats: Though you will not find any alterations for Feats here in this post, in my build I decided instead to bypass the Bastard Sword proficiency in favor of Tower Shield Proficiency. There are just too many good Tower Shields, and the idea of having to purchase and use scrolls (needing UMD) to even wield something so basic seems like a pain. Instead of Bastard Swords, my build uses Scimitars as their main hand weapon. Note: For the new players, or people that do not understand this, Paladins do not get access to Tower Shields unless they take the Feat or use magic items (like scrolls) to enable said proficiency. If you equip a Tower Shield (or anything you don’t have proficiency with) without these, you will get a -4 to hit. In epic levels, a -4 is really not much of a problem, however in low-to-mid levels, this can be a serious problem.
Enhancements: The original build calls for the Riposte enhancement to be taken to the top level, however there are quests where this becomes a problem, most notably when your guild wants to get all the optionals in the quests where the drow slaves attack you and the mission is to save them. Instead, I put one point into Brutality (Vanguard2) and two into Strength (Vanguard3), which spends the same number of points but avoids the minor damage given out when things hit you, thus saving the poor slaves from something I never intended to deal out in the first place: damage (or death). Granted, moments like that are very, very rare, but I cannot be a tank in those situations if I cannot avoid killing those I am supposed to save. Note: This has really only come up in one guild, where they want “ALL THE XPS!”, but I am a creature of habit and if I don’t do it for all, I will forget to do it for the one that matters.
There you have it: The build for my Paladin life as of 8/8/16. If anyone has any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, feel free to let me know! I’m always ready and willing to improve!