Arcane Caster Essential Protectives

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Arcane Caster Essential Protectives Empty Arcane Caster Essential Protectives

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:21 pm

(separated this post out of another thread on spells and spellcasters)

Handing out my trade secrets here Arcane Caster Essential Protectives Icon_razz

I and others have been doing that for a while, so I guess more is better Arcane Caster Essential Protectives Icon_smile

Some brief summaries of various important spells for Arcane Casters:


Arcane Caster Essential Protectives:

1. Shadow Shield. One of the most robust protections spells available.
It gives you +5 Natural Armor, and 10/+3 damage reeuction which is powerful
by itself.

In addition, you are invulnerable to necromancy spells (such as enervation,
Energy Drain, finger of death, wail of the banshee, glacius'
hypothermia, horrid wilting, cleave health, harm, destruction, and slay
living, or any of the inflict wounds spells.)
You ALSO become 100% immune to negative energy damage.

The drawback to this spell is that it is "breachable". That means that the
"breaching" spells, lesser spell breach, greater spell breach, and
Mordenkainen's Disjunction will always automatically be able to remove Shadow
Shield, without a caster level check. There is a list of breachable spells,
and these breaching spells go down the list in order removing spells from
highlest level to lowest. Each spell has a limit to how many breachable
protections it can remove, when it fulfills that quota, the remaining
breachable spells remain until another breaching spell is cast on that target.

2. Tempest's Protective Gale. This spell is a no brainer when facing off
against archers. 100% miss chance due to the extremely powerful winds. Note
the very short duration however, 1 round per 2 caster levels. If you want this
one to last a bit, you *need* to use Extend Spell. Also, this spell is one of
the best AC boosting spells for a caster. +1 deflection bonus per 3 caster
levels... so at level 39, you are gaining a whopping +13 deflection. Nothing
else in game can give deflection that high!

3. Energy Buffer. The strongest elemental damage protection available. 40/-
resistance to ALL elements is very powerful. Watch out for the limit of 60
damage absorbed for any type, however. If you are up against a threat that has
significant elemental damage output of one type, be prepared to recast this
multiple times during the fight. Still, all in all, this spell is basically
free hit points, which an arcane caster sorely needs. It is also the best
tactical response to being the target of a hellball... combine it with
Tempest's Stormshield (see below) and you wont even be touched by the
tac-nuke... who needs evasion!? Arcane Caster Essential Protectives Icon_razz

4. Lesser Spell Mantle, Spell Mantle, and Greater Spell Mantle. These spells
tactical applications are complex enough that they probably deserve to be
covered in their own post. The basic gist of it is, when you need to not get
blasted by incoming spells, you throw one of these up. They are all
"breachable" and can be easily dispelled by another arcane
caster, regardless of caster level.

In spell combat, proper use of these spells in combination with other spells
such as Haste, Greater Sanctuary, Mordenkainen's Disjunction, Greater Spell
Breach, True Sight, Energy Buffer, and Shadow Shield will decide the fate of
any caster. My best advice is: getting a mantle up should be your 1st
defensive priority in spell battle, as it protects you from all non-epic
spells, and will force your opponent to use an action to dispel it rather than
open up with offensive magic. If you have a mantle up, and your opponent does
not dispel it first thing, then your options of response open up nicely... all
depending on the disposition of your opponent at that time.

Situational awareness is absolutely *critical* in spell battle (aka
Cert'Amen). If you dont know exactly what is going on with yourself, your
opponent, and your environment, you will invariably make a mistake... and lose.

5. Haste. This spell is a compact and efficient combination of defense and
offense. Properly used, this spell can enable a less powerful caster to defeat
a more powerful one. The +4 dodge AC is a wonderful perk, and an Arcane caster
who is going to melee damn well better cast this spell first. The extra attack
per round at your *full* lead attack bonus is another reason this spell is
invaluable for melee. The duration is only 1 round per level, but trust me
when I say that the lack of permahaste items in Aenea makes an *extended*
Haste one of the most beautiful things there is Arcane Caster Essential Protectives Icon_smile

However, the true power of this spell in NWN (and D&D 3.0) is in its ability
to allow a second spell to be cast in each round. It also affects
counterspells. A non-hasted caster cannot counterspell a hasted caster (theres
a good bit more to it, thats just a one line summary). And Imagine if you
will, the endless cycle of "Caster A dispels caster B with
Mords.... Caster B immediately spell Mantles. Caster A dispels Caster B
again.... Caster B remantles." If you get a haste up, and your opponent does
not.... you get your dispell off AND a chance to attack before he remantles...
or alternately, you get a chance to mantle yourself AND dispel your opponent.

Due to this factor alone, Haste is your second most important priority in
Spell Battle (arguably more important than spell mantle, but I disagree...
being hasted doesnt help at all if your opponents first move is to smack you
with a bigby's grasping hand, taking you out of the fight in round 1).

Lastly, movement speed. There are inevitably going to be times when your
spells arent right for the situation, and your opponent has you where he wants
you... and the only way to survive is to MOVE!... haste can help you do that
to escape AoE's and also to avoid the melee threat of certain Bards who like
to sing the Most Boring Song.

6. Improved Invisibility/Displacement. These two are inferior to Greater
Sanctuary in one respect that if an enemy is close enough to see you, or has
True Seeing, you can still be targeted by them. However, the reason they are
still very important for melee is the 50% miss chance. Half of all incoming
attacks will miss, buying you more time to do other things before you have to
disengage or heal yourself. Improved Invisibility requires a higher level
slot, but makes up for this with ten times the duration of displacement.

Two other important notes: Improved Invisibility is an invisibility spell and
hence, can be dispelled by Invisibility Purge (including the 50%miss chance),
while displacement cannot. Also, when you are relying on damage shield spells
like Acid Sheath, Fire shield, Razorleaf Shield, and Death Armor to do the
lion's share of your damage output, using this spell or other effects that
make you harder to hit (like boosting your AC) can be inadvisable, as getting
hit less means these spells inflict less damage. Against a mob of enemies who
do very high melee damage (like Orc Destroyers), you may still want to at
least consider the 50% miss chance, as without time to heal, you may wind up
dead before your damage shield spells can do enough damage.

7. Tempest's Stormshield. A nice solid duration, and 100% electrical immunity
are side benefits to this spell. The big advantage here is *immunity to
Knockdown*, the Bane of Arcane Casters. Hellball, Knockdown, Improved
Knockdown, Sphere of Denial, Bigby's Forceful Hand, Tempest's Microburst,
Overpowering Shout, Quaking Chorus, Great ThunderClap, and others are all ways
to put you on your backside and make you vulnerable at the worst
possiblemoment. With this spell active, you need not fear such, and can
respond to emergencies on the battlefield quickly.

8. Protection from Evil/Good/Law/Chaos. These 4 spells have a wonderful
duration, are not breachable, and will protect your mind from all mind effects
except those from True Neutral opponents (very rare). Since you probably arent
going to use your gobs of first level slots for much else besides maybe magic
missile, slotting these four can save you from using a higher level slot for
Lesser Mind Blank.

9. Acid Sheath, Fire Shield, Flora's Razorleaf Shield, Death Armor. These are
the great equalizers. Are you up against an enemy with spell immunities
galore, high Spell Resistance, and a Melee barrage that will wear down yourbest
protections very quickly? Give them something to think twice about with these
spells. The more they hit you, the faster they will die, and chances are,
unless they are hitting *extremely* hard (in 70+ range) or have VERY high
elemental resistances, these spells will cause them to take more damage from
hitting you than they can deal with their weapon. NOTE: Fire Shield will also
make the caster 50% immune to fire and cold damage.

End result, they will stop hitting you... either cuz they are smart and
patient, or because they were stupid and now dead. I recommend extended
versions of ALL of these spells.

Notes: Most of these are breachable, notably Acid Sheath and Fire Shield. Acid
Sheath is the bread winner for damage, and VERY few things have the kind of
Acid Resistance it takes to make the damage manageable. Also, if at all
possible, if you can wear your opponent down to low Hps without using these
spells, it is a wonderful and effective tactic to save them for last, when
your wounded opponent finally believes they have a chance to beat on you...
and then they get a nice suprise in the middle of their assault and wind up
dead before they can react Arcane Caster Essential Protectives Icon_smile Make sure you have improved combat casting, or
enough concentration skill to avoid disruption or this trick doesnt work.

10. Epic Mage Armor. Praise be to the Purple Dragon for making this spell work
as was intended in the Epic Level Handbook. No garbage +5 bonuses of various
types that wont stack with the stuff you already have. No... in Aenea this
spell is actually worthy of being called an EPIC spell.

+20 Armor bonus to AC.

The only things it wont stack with is Enhancement bonuses on Armor, or on
Bracers. Combined with full plate thru the use of Automatic Still Spell III, or
with -45% arcane failure on the armor(Chitin Armor works beautifully for this,
sucks that you cant craft the appearance though), you can get a VERY high AC
with this spell. 8 for full plate, 1 for Dex if you have at least 12 dex, and
20 for Epic Mage Armor. Thats a 39 AC wearing nothing but your full plate.
This spell cannot be stopped by spell failure, and cannot be dispelled.
Nuff Said.

11. Epic Warding. The best source of Damage Reduction in the game. soaks 50
damage from every hit. The only weapon that will bypass it must be a +20
weapon. You will probably never see such a thing in Aenea. The only way to get
something that high is to be an arcane caster with a +20 stat mod (meaning
your casting stat must be 50 or higher), and use the Black Blade of Disaster
Spell... which, considering the Black Blade's Attack bonus is only +27 on the
lead attack... it will hit only 5% of the time, making it not a threat.

Everything else must resign itself to losing 50 physical damage from each of
its strikes... and about the only things that can do 50+ physical damage in a
single strike(non-crit, mind you) are druids in Dragonform, or rogues with
high sneak attack dice. Yes, a 70 Strength bestial Orc red Dragon Disciple
with a 2hander can, too... but how much past 50 will he be doing? 60? 65?...
well now, thanks to epic warding... he is doing 10 or 15... and god help him
if you have your damage shields active, too.
This spell cannot be stopped by spell failure, and cannot be dispelled.
Nuff Said.
daveyeisley
daveyeisley
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