I want to play a Holy Shaman

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PowerWyrm
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I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:51 pm

Tired of playing melee characters? Istar is too easy for you? Then I have the perfect build: the Holy Shaman. In the past weeks, I've tried to level such build with no or little success. The early game is simply impossible...

So let's describe here the build I've used. Rolled a dwarf shaman with balanced stats, since you will need STR to carry stuff, INT to survive the early game, WIS as your main stat, CON for hps and CHR for decent prices in shops. My starting stats: 14 12 18/30 10 10 10. Since this character will neither be able to fight nor cast spells with the starting mana pool, and shooting is almost out of question due to abysmal hit chance, ABSOLUTELY sign for every Dungeon Keeper event until you win the event and get a mana-boosting item out of it. Gloves of the Magi are a must, but a Staff of Mana with a decent + (6 or more) will do. To get such item, I usually equip a mage staff and skill Air/Holy Support with the 10 skill points you get from winning Dungeon Keeper and leveling to 3. Be careful, if you skill only Air and don't equip a mage staff, the game may think you're playing a rogue and give you a useless item (like gloves of thievery -- happened to me once).

The skills for this build are the following: Mimicry at 30, Holy Offense and Holy Support maxed out, Holy Defense at 40, Air at 5, Traumaturgy at 6, rest into Spellpower. This will probably have to be finely tuned, but we'll go with these values for now.

In the beginning, buy a spellbook of Noxious Cloud. Any spare cash should be spent in cure serious wounds and phase doors. Your first 10 skill points should have been spent before redeeming your deed for an item in Air (5) and Holy Support (5). If you need cash, kill townies with Noxious Cloud. Buy as many cures/phases as you can, a Word of Recall, and go to the Orc Caves. Stairscum, try to kill everything you can with Noxious Cloud and grab everything you can while staying near the stairs. You should quickly gain some levels by killing low level orcs and similar monsters. Remember to avoid anything that's resistant or immune to poison: this means kobolds, unliving and undead. Once you have enough loot, recall to Bree and sell everything. With the cash, buy 3-4 Word of Recall and a book of Holy Light. Spare gold goes again into phases and cure pots. If you play everlasting, try to keep 1500 gold and enable instant resurrection. For spending skill points, the rule is simple: skill Mimicry until your skill value is equal to 0.6 times your level (remember we aim for 30 at level 50), max out Holy Offense and Holy Support, spare points go into Holy Defense (until reaching a value of 40) and them to Spellpower if Holy Defense is maxed. Scum -50ft Orc Caves until you reach level 15 or so.

At this point, with any character, I dive deeper into the Orc Caves until I'm able to kill Azog. With this build, it's out of question. The best to do is probably to go back to Bree and dive into Barrow Downs until you're around 1000ft. Take advantage of the forest terrain by getting a form that can cross woods (even a yeek form will do -- remember that with a staff of mana or gloves of magi, you need a form that can equip them, which eliminates all animal forms immediately). Get a passwall form early in the dungeon (phantom warrior is easy to get, after that you can scum for green glutton ghost which has a +6 speed boost). Kill hounds for experience.

Once level 20 or so, buy a ring of cold resistance and go to the... Helcaraxe! There you can get Sasquatch form, which is a good early midgame form. Be careful, the wilderness around the dungeon has a high danger rate (level 40 or so), and if you stay idle too long on the surface, very nasty monsters will spawn (ancient Ds are common in the area). So recall one sector west of the dungeon (50,38), go there quickly, enter immediately, magic map the level and get down to -100. Stairscum between -100 and -50, kill cold hounds for experience (sometimes an ice troll pit may spawn, consider clearing it if there are no ice troll warriors/chieftains/monks and such nasties inside), and scum for 20 Sasquatchs to get the form (you can get Yeti form first, which has cold immunity and will help greatly in the dungeon).

After you get the form, you should be in the high 20s so it's time to go to Gondolin and scum -50 Mordor for gold and better equipment. At this point, it's vital to raise your WIS stat to get a better mana pool and lower failing rates. You can't kill much with Noxious Cloud or Holy Light, and Curse not only costs a ton of MP, but only harms targets 25% of the time! Your main offensive spell, Orb of Draining, will have a fail rate of 54% with 18/30 WIS at level 27. Once you lower this fail rate below 30%, you may start to use Orb of Draining more often. Kill dark elven warlocks packs for stat pots. Scum for Fasolt the Giant and start working on getting Cloud Giant as form, it's better than Sasquatch. Once you hit level 30, you get ESP from Sense Monsters, which should make life easier.

This is pretty much the point where all my characters die, so I'll have still to write the last part. This will involve staying shallow Mordor for a long time, trying to max stats and getting better equipment (stats, resists, speed...). Once comfortable, go down to the depth where P pits start to appear and get Storm Giant form. At level 37, buy a book of Sense Surroundings to get Clairvoyance. Then scum for Dragonriders...

Lightman
Posts: 165
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by Lightman » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi PowerWyrm,

Holy Shaman definitely is a challenge. Shaman do have some big disadvantages, but there are also some pluses and they are fun to play. To be honest I usually die before getting a dragonrider form and polymorph rings of dragonrider are very hard to trade for. If you do get dragonrider you can dive in mordor at 50 feet without constant fear. It makes a huge difference.

I tend to play corrupted maia and use magic spells rather than holy stuff, but let's exchange ideas.

Stat alternatives
You could try maxing wisdom later in the game. I have found that shaman will do 1bpr no matter how you start off. But if you max strength then dex, you can get 2bpr with the right Dungeon keeper +dex item.

Skill alternatives
Holy Curing (this will give you a stronger role in a party, where you might be able to level up more safely)
Necromancy, although a bit out of theme for a Holy Shaman

Form alternatives (This is the main strength for Shaman and makes them playable. I macro these).
Master yeek from bree for flying, blink, teleport, stinking cloud and acid immunity
Ogre from orc caves: Hide in rocks and trees. Ogre polymorph rings are easy to get from other players and they start at level 9 with level 6 mimicry.
Air spirit from bree. This one is extremely hard to hunt but if you ever manage to get it: +6 speed with poison or cold immunity
Umber Hulk from bree: for kill wall. Shaman have all the equipment slots.
Cloud giant from bree: for lightning immunity.
Green glutton ghost: +6 speed pass wall. When things get nasty step inside a wall somewhere and watch them get frustrated.
Fire giant: From 1000 feet in bree, you really need this for killing dragonriders using fire immunity. Trading for rings is often possible. Gives some hp help.

Hope this was interesting.

Lightman
Tomenet Player

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PowerWyrm
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:13 pm

Looking at my post again, I've said to max out Holy Support. This is clearly a waste of skill points. Since you're a caster, you won't care about Zeal... and the level 50 bonus (DG_CURSE/TY_CURSE) is not worth it. What you want is to get Sense Surroundings high enough for clairvoyance, which means 40 in Holy Support. These skill points can probably be spent in Spellpower, unless there's a reason to max out Holy Defense instead.

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PowerWyrm
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:32 pm

PowerWyrm wrote:Looking at my post again, I've said to max out Holy Support. This is clearly a waste of skill points. Since you're a caster, you won't care about Zeal... and the level 50 bonus (DG_CURSE/TY_CURSE) is not worth it. What you want is to get Sense Surroundings high enough for clairvoyance, which means 40 in Holy Support. These skill points can probably be spent in Spellpower, unless there's a reason to max out Holy Defense instead.
If you skill Holy Defense to 40, you will have a high fail rate on Glyph of Warding. It's probably worth it to max Holy Defense then. Plus you get a permanent protection from evil. If anyone ever uses Martyrdom, tell me...

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PowerWyrm
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:16 pm

I've tried a build with an Enlightened Maia Holy Shaman, replacing the initial five points in Air/Trauma by Astral/Magic. Since you get a better multiplier to holy schools, you have roughy 15/20 extra skill points to spend compared to a regular Holy Shaman, more if you decide not to max the Astral school. Seems to be a nice build, but you have to deal with the high xp penalty.

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PowerWyrm
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:19 pm

Shamans cannot skill spellpower anymore. Use those wasted points into Earth to get Dig/Stone Prison.

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PowerWyrm
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:53 pm

This build has to be amended, since most of the skills for shamans have been redesigned. The basics will stay the same: Mimicry at 30, Holy Offense and Holy Defense maxed out, Holy Support at 40. With the new multipliers, this corresponds to 38+63+56+50 = 207 skill points, leaving 38 spares. Go for a race with balanced stats like gnome instead of dwarf.

With the new system, I would recommend for spare points:
- Earth for Dig/Stone Prison (30 points)
- Magic for greater mana pool (1-38 points)
- Conveyance for Phase Door/Disarm (5 points)
- Spirit for Curse/Lightning Bolt/Spear of Light (1-38 points)

I would not recommend putting points into:
- Air (you'd need 15 points instead of 5 to get the same result as before -- that is a crappy poison could attack)
- Traumaturgy (only useful now if you skill it to 50 -- and it doesn't increase necromancy anymore)
- Sneakiness tree (too low multipliers, and your stealth is already great if you pick gnome instead of dwarf)
- Health (half benefit when polymorphed)

For early strategy, try to win Dungeon Keeper to get a good starting item. Anything will do, since mana is less important for this build now. Get an enchanted bow and use it to kill stuff until you can reliably cast Orb of Draining. If you decided to skill Spirit, use the attacks from that school as backup (you start with 1 point, so you can macro Cause Wounds anyway for weak bolt spell). After that, the same strategy applies.

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PowerWyrm
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:29 pm

Another big nerf for the build: "detect monsters" is now "detect evil". For example, this means you cannot hunt Sasquatches in the Helcaraxe for a nice midgame form, since thy are not evil. You will be stuck with a weak form (or no form at all) until you can get Cloud Giant. If you want to benefit from wood/mountain pass form, try Ogre.

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PowerWyrm
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by PowerWyrm » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:41 pm

With the latest changes, an Enlightened Maia Holy Shaman build works very well. Here's my current build at level 50: Holy Offense/Defense at 50, Holy Support at 41 (stops at 39.984 unfortunately so you have to put another point), Mimicry/Earth at 35, Conveyance at 5. I skilled Magic at bit with this build, so the skill is at 22, but you don't have to. This leaves me 32 spare points...

Now where to put these points? You can increase Mimicry to 50, as it gives you +5 mana per point (that's why skilling Magic was a mistake, as it is 0.6 instead of 0.8 and only gives +4 mana per point). You can also increase Stealth, it's never a bad thing. I was trying to find a way to spend these points to get some means to kill those annoying "GOOD" monsters, but I don't see any. They resist mana, fire, acid, lightning, light, and they reflect. No idea if 32 in Magic Device is enough to throw those rockets, probably not. Well I could always spent these spares in Holy Curing...

Lightman
Posts: 165
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Re: I want to play a Holy Shaman

Post by Lightman » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:52 pm

I have never actually got close myself, but it could be possible to get bone golem form and brainsmash the angels.

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