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Basic Barbarian Build for Mod 16 + Level 80 Build

Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your preferred playstyle, gear, and stats.

Barbarian Notes: Forget your old GWF altogether, the Barbarian in many regards is a completely new class. The class is reasonably balanced, does great damage, and is a fantastic tank due to its threat pull capabilities.

Make sure you check out Lord Willow’s Barbarian build video for a deeper understanding of the build information presented below.

Blademaster DPS Barbarian for leveling
Barbarian Sentinel Tank for leveling

Barbarian build for level 80

Notes: This build is focused on the DPS Blademaster Barbarian. You can check out Lord Willow’s video for some discussion on the Barbarian tank. Lord Willow and others tested the At-Wills and found that Relentless Slash, even for single target, outperforms the other At-Wills, especially with Steel Blitz slotted. He thus slots single target Encounters and uses Relentless Slash instead of Axestorm for AOE damage. Make sure you check out his video to understand more about the viable variants of this build, including the pros and cons of the Bloodspiller/Bloodletter variant or the combination of Not So Fast/Relentless Speed/Relentless Slash.

DPS Barbarian build for level 80

If you want, you can always check out our old Barbarian basic build blog for M16.

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Basic Cleric Build for Mod 16 + Level 80 Build

Note about Basic Builds: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in this new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your prefered playstyle, gear, and stats.

Cleric Notes: If any class is going handily solo group content, the DPS Cleric is that class. The cleric is doing good damage, but does have some limitations in longer fights due to divinity generation, but makes up for this with the dodge mechanic and healing powers available in the DPS path. 

For level 80 healing Devout Cleric build information, check out Lord Willow’s Cleric build video

DPS Cleric for leveling
Heal Cleric – Make sure you check out the video for level 80 information

Level 80 Cleric Arbiter Build

Notes: Here’s the level 80 powers and boons from alliance member and streamer Backpetal. If you want the narrative about these choices and how her rotation works, make sure you check out her video. Enna builds to her playstyle and is not a “min/max’er”. Go to 21:00 for the discussion of the powers selected below and go to 28:00 for information on gear. Thanks Enna!

Level 80 Arbiter Cleric Build
Arbiter Cleric Boons

If you want, you can always check out our initial Cleric builds blog post for Mod 16.

Basic Paladin Build for Mod 16 + level 80 build

Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the next mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing in the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your preferred playstyle, gear, and stats.

Paladin Notes: The paladin is the only class in the game without a DPS path, but don’t let that worry you too much. The paladin is really not much slower to level than a DPS class. What you gain is a class that is both a great healer and tank. 

As a Paladin tank you need to decide what your preferred playstyle is going to be. Are you going to be board and sword, or more just sword? Both are viable tanking options. You will see better survival going with a shield-heavy playstyle, but play is less dynamic and you do a lot less damage Check out the new level 80 Paladin build information below and check out Lord Willow’s new Paladin build video.

Solo (Justicar)

This is the same build you would use for a attack heavy tanking build (same feats, different class features)

Solo Offensive Paladin for leveling
Sword and Board Paladin for leveling
Heals Paladin for leveling

Level 80 Paladin build

The level 80 paladin optimally uses multiple loadouts in the party tank role, the solo DPS role and the party healer role. Check out Lord Willow’s video for details. The Paladin can be quite complex to manage the many options. Powers for the three builds are as follows:

Powers for Paladin build in party tank role

Powers for solo DPS Paladin build; yes, this is an Oathkeeper build!
Party Heals Paladin build

If you want, you can always check out our old builds blog post for the paladin.

Basic Ranger Build for Mod 16 + level 80 build

Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your preferred playstyle, gear, and stats.

Ranger Notes: The melee Warden Ranger build is the most viable from a DPS perspective. Check out the new video for detailed information on the melee Warden Ranger build. All the ranger AOE builds, if played right, should be within 5% DPS of each other.

The Ranger remains the most flexible class in the game with strong AOE and single target builds in both Warden and Hunter paragons. You can focus archery, mixed stance, or melee in the Warden path, and go single target archery or a thorned roots build in Hunter. All of these styles of play are viable for end game content. Check out Lord Willow’s variant Ranger build video for alternates to the Warden dps build. Make sure you scroll down towards the bottom of the page for a dps focused level 80 Ranger build (Warden) information. If you’re interested in jumping straight to Ranger gameplay, check out Lord Willow’s Ranger gameplay video.

Leveling Builds

AOE (pure melee)

This is all about hitting as many targets as possible, and having flurry up as often as possible to boost clear the ground damage, then switch to rapid strike as your at will when targets dwindle down to one or two remaining. Never switch out of melee stance to maximize your damage.

AOE Melee

AOE (pure Archery)

This is all about staying in an archery stance, and hitting as many targets as possible, and leveraging (using to maximum advantage) electric shot.

AoE Ranged/Archery

AOE (Stance Switching)

This is an AOE archery build, that is dependant on leveraging (using to maximum advantage) stance switching, and using electric shot.

AOE (DOT/ Trapper Style)

This is a stance switching build all about applying roots and bleeds. Your mainstay at will is rapid shot, though aimed strike could be mixed in if running with a tank. Use crushing roots as an alternative to seeker’s vengeance.

Single Target (Archery Style, best single target damage)

The only time you would switch out of ranged stance for this build is to apply gushing wounds. Rapid shot and Aimed Shot are your At-Will mainstays (rapid shot has a very slight edge in damage per second). You can easily switch marauders escape for constricting arrow, in that case also switch the Thorned roots feat for Critical action.

Level 80 Builds

Thanks to further hard work from Lord Willow, we can bring you new level 80 Ranger build to try out and tweak. There are suggested DPS boons on the Wizard build for level 80.

For detailed information about the melee Warden Ranger (the best Ranger build for DPS), check out Lord Willow’s video.

Warden AOE Pure Melee

This is all about hitting as many targets as possible, and having flurry up as often as possible to boost clear the ground damage, switch to rapid strike as your at will when targets dwindle down to one or two remaining. Never switch out of melee stance to maximize your damage. This build is not for the faint of heart, because it’s all Melee all the time (and no life steal), you will have a lot of interrupts due to enemy AOE which throw off your rotation, and therefore lower your damage output

When in AOE the rotation looks like: Throw Caution > Clear the ground x4 > Hindering Strike > Clear the ground x4 (or Rapid Strike if down to 1-2 targets) > Steel Breeze > Clear the ground x4> (or Rapid Strike if down to 1-2 targets) > Repeat from the top. Remember to mix in Forest Ghost for Trash, and Snipe for single target

Warden AOE Pure Melee

Warden AOE Pure Archery

This is all about staying in an archery stance, hitting as many targets as possible, and leveraging electric shot. You should never switch to melee stance with this build to maximize your damage

This build is a lot of fun to play (so much fun this is the build I used to level to 80 on Live), maybe not as effective on paper as a stance switching build, but it offers dynamic gameplay, and allows you to stand off a little bit an avoid enemy ground AOE (not getting interrupted to dodge = more DPS). This build pairs really well with a tank, or Melee DPS class holding most of the aggro.

Rotation: Split The Sky > Electric Shot x3 > rain of arrows > Constricting Arrow or Cordon of Arrows > Electric Shot until encounters off cooldown (rapid shot for single targets)

Warden AOE Pure Archery

Warden AOE Stance Switching

This is an AOE archery build, that is dependant on leveraging stance switching, and using electric shot.. This build can go two ways…

If you want to be more archery focused take the Storm Conduit Feat, more melee focused Take the Blade Hurricane feat

Warden AOE Stance Switching

Hunter AOE “The Bloody Rooter”

This build has become my personal favorite for Solo runs in Master Expeditions, and has been a strong asset in Multiple dungeon runs. This build will give you the most “breathing room” with a little extra control, and DOT damage, but will be the most difficult to master maximizing your damage (getting the most out of aspect of the serpent). From an AOE perspective this build performs roughly even with the other AOE builds, but it does much better than the other AOE builds on Single Targets.

This is a stance switching build all about applying roots and bleeds, mainstay at will is rapid shot, though aimed strike could be mixed in if running with a tank, use seeker’s vengeance as an alternative to crushing roots. Make sure to leverage Slashers Mark Daily while in party to get a bit more Stamina to your tanks.

Hunter AOE

Hunter Single Target Archery Focused

In theory this build has to potential to give you the best single target damage and has good burst potential, in practice this build is situationally limited. Most of the best powers for this build have long cast times, this build will pull aggro off mediocre tanks, and has basically no AOE utility for bosses that spawn minions. As such this build should be limited to scenarios where you know there will be no AOE need, and you have a good tank keeping the enemy AOE out from under your feet. As soon as you start dodging around your Damage output will plummet

The only time you would switch out of ranged stance for this build is to apply gushing wounds. Rapid shot and Aimed Shot are your At-Will mainstays (rapid shot has a very slight edge in damage per second). Can easily switch marauders escape for constricting arrow, in that case also switch the Thorned roots feat for Critical action

Hunter Single Target Archery Focused

If you want, you can check out our archived Ranger basic build blog post.

Basic Rogue Build Mod 16

Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your preferred playstyle, gear, and stats.

Rogue Notes: The Rogue Assassin is in a decent place and can benefit a party not only with great single target damage, but also by granting combat advantage from powers like Smoke Bomb.

For a narrative of the level 80 Rogue, including rotations for powers, make sure you check out Lord Willow’s level 80 Rogue build video.

Leveling Builds

Rogue Main Single Target Build

Alternative build: There is none; the whisperknife path is a bit on the sad side. But if you insist…

Rogue Whisperknife

Level 80 Builds (AoE and Single Target)

These builds are thanks to Lord Willow. Make sure you check out his Rogue build video to understand how the AoE and Single Target loadouts work from a power rotation perspective.

Assassin AoE level 80 Rogue build
Assassin Single Target level 80 Rogue build

You can always check out our initial Rogue build blog for M16.

Companions in M16

Updated: The official developer blog for companions has been published.

Female companion in neverwinter

Companions have always been a huge part Neverwinter. There were a several of aspects Cryptic addressed in module 16 (Mod 16; M16). The first issue was that fighting companions were extremely necessary due to their stat sharing from to Bonding Runes; augments were used in niche builds. Another issue was that different classes all used the same companion because that companion was best in slot (BiS), e.g. Chultan Tiger, Archons, etc.

If you’re short on companions, head over to the Epic Temple of the Spider, Great Wolf Den, or Cragmire Crypts. The second chests in these dungeons seem to drop companions at a reasonable rate. These second dungeons require a key purchased with 15 acorns from the Acquisitions Incorporated campaign.

At a high level, here are some of the changes to companions for Mod 16:

Companions Unbound

Companions have been separated from their bonus powers so that players have more freedom in choosing what companion visual they want fighting by their side. Abilities and bonuses such as “Reduces the target’s defenses by X” are now slottable powers similar to how mounts work. This means when you get a companion, you actually get a pack of assets that is the companion and the slottable powers associated with that companion.  Similar to the mounts stable, companions are now stored in your Companion Roster. Which companion you select as active from your roster is still important in that it still has unique attack abilities and/or is an augment, so in that regard there will still be BiS companions – however it’s significantly less important than before.

screen shot of layout with choices
You choose which companion powers to apply from a list of possible powers drawn from all companions on your roster.

Companions also provide bonus stats or effects, such as “Chance to heal you and your companion”, or “2% damage to enemies not facing you”, or straight stats like “+4000 Power, +2000 Awareness”. These bonus stats or effects slot in either Offense, Defense, or Utility slots. (The slots not surrounded by the red square in the image above or the Offense, Defense and Utility slots). The types of slots you have is completely driven by your class. The most important part of these stats is that they are not subject to scaling. Any “+x” amount of stats stays the same regardless of whether your in a scaled zone or not. Because these stats are not downscaled, your choices here are an important part of your strategy to deal with scaled content. The numerical value of these bonus stats increase as the companion is upgraded. For example, green companions give +2,000, blue is +4,000, purple is +6,000 and orange is +8,000.

Content creator Rainer has been hard at work creating tools to help with Mod 16. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel for his latest updates. His MOD16 pocket wiki details even companion, their type (i.e. utility, offense or defense) and all the bonuses. This is really an invaluable tool for defining your companion strategy: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/…

Bonding Runestones

The 3 runestone slots are now Bonding Runestone slots. Bonding runes will be used for both augment and fighting companions, and they are now a passive power instead of needing a companion to attack to share the stats. The direct stat bonus has been removed from Bonding runestones and Eldrich runestones will no longer function. Eldritch Runestones will have a trade in for Bonding Runestones.

Using Bonding Runestones, both Augments and Fighting companions are viable. During Mod 16 testing on the preview server, many of our alliance members found success running a fighting companion during solo adventuring (they can grant positional Combat Advantage) and switching to an Augment for group play.

Companion Equipment

Companions now only use companion equipment, and companion equipment takes runestones as the slottable gems instead of enchantments.  All the stats that you get from runestones become scaled and become the equivalent of Rank 7 of that runestone type in scaled areas. So anything you slot above Rank 7 will only benefit you in level 80 content (i.e. non-scaled) areas.

screenshot of new layout
The left side of the interface selects the active companion. The right side of the interface controls companion and player bonuses independent from the choice on the left.

Companion Type Bonus

You now only have one companion slotted from your roster at a time, as opposed to 5 on live (you have multiple companion powers though, as seen in the screenshot above in the lower right corner). So what about the legendary companion stat bonus? With this, they changed the “mastery bonus” to companions be a “bolster bonus” based on how many companion of that type you have (Humanoid, beast, magical, etc) and how leveled up they are. This bonus caps out at 5 of the same type at legendary quality but gives a bonus even if you don’t have a legendary companion. The bolster bonus affects the power of your companion, i.e. you companion does more damage based on the bolster bonus.

Reddit user Michael_DarkAngel prepared a clever spreadsheet that calculates the effect of bolster (as well as other companion factors), which can be found linked via this post.

The companion bolster stat bonus is now sorted by companion type.

New Companion Gear for M16

New Companion Gear for M16

Due to the restriction that companions can only use gear that specifically allows use by companions, there’s new companion gear dropping in the Undermountain Mod 16 release. As you play through the Undermountain campaign you will receive new companion gear. As with player gear, this is a much higher Item Level than any gear from the pre-Mod 16 era and also contributes to the Combined Rating aggregated across gear.
The Combined Rating adds a flat amount to every statistic that has a resistance. The Combined Rating adds the amount on the gear to everything except Power and Hit Points.

A 15k Oathbound Paladin in 30 days (Mod 15)

The Versatile Oathbound Paladin

While we don’t know what Mod 16 will bring, we do know that Oathbound Paladins are currently a desirable addition to about any party composition in Neverwinter. This entry is a case study of one of our Alliance members and their journey to a 15k IL Oathbound Paladin in 30 days on a budget of about 2 million Astral Diamonds (AD). We attempt to present the strategy in 12 steps below.

NOTE: Building a 15k OP for 2 million AD in 30 days isn’t achievable for your first character in the game on this kind of budget. Being a member of a large, supportive guild with resources also helped make this OP possible on a 2 million AD budget. Without guild support you can easily add another 1 million AD to the budget. We’ve included a sourcing table at the end of the post to help guide your search for resources.

Building this OP leverages an existing “end game” character and adds a new OP to your existing character list. The definition of “end game” here is that you are no longer prioritizing resources for that character and have a modicum of resources from some of the major events already in hand. We call these out in our case study below. In this case study our existing “end game” character was 16k IL and has completed all PVE content, thus allowing us access to all the Account Unlock PVE content.

Ideally the addition of an OP comes between modules, when Refining Points (RP) are plenty (you probably have a backlog then anyway) and time can be focused on the OP.

12-Step Strategy

  1. Build: Target a specific build to narrow the focus of you build. OPs have lots of options, from full tank to devotion with options in between like a dps/powershare/buff build. Check out the OP Discord server or a site like mmominds.com to select a build that will serve as your plan. This case study selected a dps/powershare build. We did not select a dragonborn; that choice would have blown our budget.
  2. Enchantments: Get Azure enchantments and plug them into utility slots. You’ve probably got rank 8s in your bank or guild vault. (If you want, you can use Regal Insignias in mount slots, but the 30 day timeline was achieved without those). Grab Radiants for HP and Power. You’re targeting Rank 11 Radiants and you’ll probably use those Preservation Wards from your main toon getting what you start with up to Rank 11. You’re probably starting with some Rank 7 or 8 Bonding Runestones. You’ll want to get your Bonding Runestones to as high as you can go with your existing AD and refining stones.
  1. Neck/Waist: Use AD to buy your neck and belt items. We had every piece of the Skull Lord’s set already in inventory so we slotted those items. You’ll want to upgrade those neck and waist items to IL 500. Another great option here is the Barovian set if you can get your hands on that set for a bargain.
  2. Getting to 70: Grind out the into quests to get to level 70. Running around doing HEs with guildies in the Stronghold can accelerate this greatly. Check your inventory for a free XP booster; if you already have an endgame 70 character, odds are you’re sitting on at least one from some event. Also turn on the guild XP boon. You’re not going to have all the boons when you hit 15k and those can be obtained over time. Getting to 70 should take 2-3 days and weekends are perfect times for this. Check to see if there’s an upcoming Double XP event and target that weekend. After you hit 70, you can throw those Azure enchants on to your companion in offense slots to boost your critical chance and put traditional utility enchants like Darks or Quartermasters in those Utility slots.
  1. Weapons: Once you hit level 70, head on over to Chult for your Primal weapons, Upper Primal Pants and hopefully a Shadowstalker Ring. Use your RP to bring your weapons to IL 500. Prioritize your Main Hand if you’re short on RP or refining stones.
  2. Starting Gear: Next head over to Ravenloft for gear. Start with the Vistani gear. Then grab hunt posters from the AH and guildies to help your grab the specialty gear for your build.
  1. Other Gear: Pick up the Adamantine Chausses +1 from the AH (around 9k AD) and slot those with a Radiant enchant.
  2. Rings: You’ll want at least one double Offense slot ring and a Bronzewood Raid Ring (IL 560) will quickly get you there. Those are less than 400k on the AH now but make sure you ask in guild or alliance chat if someone can craft one for you. The free alternative would be the Ring of Offensive Action from Makos in Omu.
  3. Artifacts: As far as artifacts go, target those desired for your build but also look to see if you can achieve the primary objectives (more power, ArP or HP) by using an easily obtainable class artifacts. Check your guild bank for possible artifacts as well. Artifacts on the AH can be quite reasonable as well. If you’re buying artifacts, target at least Rank 60 and save the RP for other upgrades.
  4. Weapon Enchant: For weapon enchantments, a moderate Feytouched can be found on the AH for around 200k AD, but only select Feytouched if you’re committed to ranking that to transcendent. Again, check your guild bank for options here too. You can always contribute to your party with an alternate like Terror if that can be had for cheap or found in the guild bank. Good options here include Plaguefire, Terror, Frost or Holy if you’re not going to rank your Feytouched to transcendent.
  5. Companions: You’re probably sitting on a free companion coupon. Use that for a tiger from the Zen store. Odds are that your guild also has companions to flesh out your slots. You’re going to have to forego the Razorwood, but archons and the Deep Crow Hatchling are all in the 200-250k range.
  6. Mounts: You’ve also probably got a free mount or two sitting around. Slot those in with the cheapest Insignias for now, or if you have to, buy the cheapest mounts that get you the Insignia Bonuses you need. If you bought a mount from the Zen store for your first character you can claim that again for your new OP. Here’s a great site for mount insignia data.

EXTRA: If you’ve got extra Zen to spare, buy the campaign buyout bundle and use patronage tokens for the Cloaked Ascendancy and Jungles of Chult (or buy those out too if you’re super wealthy).

Sourcing Guide

In Hand
Azure Enchantments
Radiant Enchantments
Bonding Stones
Preservation Wards
Refining Stones
Refining Points
Artifacts
Companions
Mounts

Options (if available or desired)
XP Booster
Bronzewood Raid Ring
Regal Insignias

Bought
Neck gear
Waist gear
Adamantine Chausses +1

Bought As Needed
Enchantments
Bonding Runestones
Refining Stones
Artifacts
Companions
Mounts
Ravenloft Hunt Posters

Enjoy your new Oathbound Paladin!

GreyHastur reports on HR (Mod 15)

Greyhastur2Our own Tredecim Alliance Cloak member GreyHastur has been on preview server checking out the Hunter Ranger (HR) class changes.

Hastur has posted the results of his testing between the full combat HR and the archery/combat HR in a less than six minute video. His testing was done in a solo Kessell’s Retreat run without party buffs.

A review of the logged data from both runs using Advanced Combat Tracker concludes that the damage per second (dps) between the two builds has roughly a 33% gap in dps, with combat leading the gap. One of the reasons for this gap is because the combat HR has 7 feeds that increase damage and archery only as 5 feats.

For the full details and ideas on how to approach the Mod 15 HR, check out the entire video!

 

List of Mod 14 build guides (work in progress)

Hello all, I will slowly gather a list of mod 14 build guides that people recommend. Would like to thank those people who take the time to write them up for other Neverwinter players.  Here is the start.

Trickster Rogue (the talk of the town)

Peanut Stabber Guide

Control Wizard (control?)

A Guide to Wizardry

Sharp’s Uncensored CW Builds (M13)

Great Weapon Fighter

 

Scourge Warlock

 

Guardian fighter

 

Oathbound Paladin

 

Devoted Cleric

 

Hunter Ranger

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