So here's a decent build to how you can play your knight in both PvP and PvM.
NOTE: Be sure to read the comments underneath this guide as well, as there have been some changes to the knight since the big skill update, and those were added separately.
Stat build of the knight:
Naturally, you don't have to copy this entirely, but something along these lines should work out. I'm going to specify a little bit more as well why I opted for these stats.
STR: As you can see, I only have 300str in this build, which some may find surprising. This is entirely my personal choice. I'm not very fond of building high amounts of a single thing, and it also starts to cost loads of points once you go past the 300 point. That's why I leave it at this. If you wish to emphasize some more on the tanky aspect of the knight (or you don't have a sopdu shield and need to wear aurum), it's recommended to invest more into this stat.
DEX: Dex is the second stat that adds to your ap, although less than str does. If you don't need more attack power in your build, then you can just leave this out of your stat build, as it has no other benefits. EDIT: Since patch 482, dex also adds extra off hand defence, so it increases defence and improves the amount of dmg you can block.
INT: I got a little bit of points into this stat because it adds me a bit of mana, and also adds to my magic resist. As a knight, your magic resistance is low. Incredibly low, in fact. It never hurts to try and get some more.
CON: Adds to your accuracy and to your critical rating (although only by a little bit). I think 250 is good as it makes for a high base accuracy, making it less necessary to invest in accuracy by other means.
SEN: Adds to your critical rating and improves by attack power by a little bit. You need a lot of this stat, to prevent people from doing critical hits on you. These can hurt. A lot. Especially if a skill lands a critical hit.
CHA: I got a little bit of this to improve my slow (if you leave it at 10, your slow will not have any noticeable effect at all) and my self buffs. If you do not think it necessary to improve these, then you have no need to get this stat.
EDIT (as of 13 january 2014):
While the stat build above still works decently enough, it is not the greatest right now. First of, the amount of mp and magic defence you get from int is rather low, so I don't recommend actually putting much into it, or none at all. Secondly, dex does not add that much attack power, not to mention you don't need the extra physical block that much you get from the passive, as your base physical block is strong enough as it is. On to cha, as my current skill build (which I will get to later) no longer has any self buffs, and the slowing effect of slow shot is weaker than most other slowing effects in the game, there is not much of a need for cha. That's why we'll leave it out completely.
What I have left is: 320str, 150dex, 230con, rest on sen. Putting more into sen for the crit chance works as both offensive and defensive, to prevent crits on you and do more crits on enemies.
You might also want to put more in dex, up to 150 or even 200, leaving out some sen. This is entirely up to your personal choice.
Other possible options are:
300str, 200dex, 200con, rest on sen.
300str, 150dex, 270con, rest on sen.
340str, 150dex, 230con, rest on sen.
You might have noticed that, aside from leaving out cha, these stat builds are similar to my champ stat builds. This is because knights and champs rather obviously share the same necessary stats.
Now on to the skills I use.
I'm going to give you two skill options here, first my own one, and after that another possibility.
Starting with my own one I'm using right now:
We're not getting as many skills as my earlier build. The buffs get left out, cause while they are usually stronger than cleric buffs, you don't need the extra hp and def from the buffs that much. Not to mention you can't use it when the cleric has already buffed, cause of the no overlapping problem. This build also doesn't have taunt and sacrifice, cause as a crossbow knight you will usually keep your distance (there are those that fight close combat, but I will get to that later with the second skillbuild). I did get repose at lv2 cause I had a few skillpoints left, and at that lvl it already gives me about 20hp recovery per second. Definitely not a bad skill overall. Shouts are more for the champion, and as we don't have any cha in my stat build the STR buff is pretty worthless, not to mention too costy. The only ones we will be getting now are the defence and HP passive, which are both very important.
One handed tab:
This one's pretty similar to our last skill build, although we have the piercing passive now and didn't get shield stun and dispell. The reason why is, as I've already mentioned before, as we keep our distance usually, there is not much of a need for close combat skills such as the shield tree. That's why we don't really get those skills in the current build. In return, we get defence pierce, which is rather strong in both pvp and some pvm situations.
Still very similar to my old build, but with the piercing passive this time around. We also increased protection's lvl to 5, so that the cooldown is shorter than before. Other than that no changes.
Although fire shot and magic shot were greatly lowered in damage, you will still want to use these for their fast casting time, relatively high damage thanks to being magic attacks and the taunt/burning effect.
Second possible build: The difference here is both in build and style of playing. This build will focus more on sticking with the team and attempting to disrupt the enemy as much as possible. For this you will have to give up on the accuracy and piercing passive in the knight tab, and get taunt, sacrifice, shield jab and shield stun all to lv5. You will find yourself often at point blank, contrary to my build which attacks from a distance.
You'll only need two armor sets, which are chivalrous and reinforced/brave set (depends on what you yourself choose to wear, though I would recommend reinforced).
Chivalrous is by far the greatest equipment to use as a knight, for it adds a lot of defence and attack power, and also adds critical, max hp and strength. If you PvP, you use this set, end of story.
For PvM, you can opt for either a reinforced or a brave set. Although the brave set has more PvM defence, I myself think the reinforced set is better. It has higher hp stats, has hp regen, and there's the substats. Not that brave is a bad set, but reinforced is better in my opinion (and also cheaper). Currently, you may want to go for either brave or courage thanks to the pvm offense and defense bonuses.
As a shield, you will definitely be using a sopdu shield of tutankhamun. It is a lot better than the aurum shield in its defensive stat. If you can't afford this shield, just go for aurum shield.
As backshield, any aurum backshield will do, although naturally it should have a good substat. 12/20 str/ap would be the best, cause strength gives a lot of hp thanks to your passives, quite possibly the 12str gives even more hp than the normal 200hp substat. Other possible stats are 20 str, 50/40 accu/crit, 15/50 ap/def, 25/50 or 25/25.
For a mask I recommend the style sunglasses. The 50charm does improve your slow effect by quite a bit, and it improves your self buffs. Secondly, it gives a small bonus to accuracy. The same substats as the ones I recommended before should be good. Other than style sunglasses, you can also use ashura mask for the str/con combination.
Accessories are a little bit trickier and vary from person to person. Seeing as you can no longer use buffsets, I do not recommend getting a lot of these sets, only two or three should be fine. One possible set is the oro PO7 set, if you want to have maximum tankiness. Cliff A7 is also quite plausible (I've used this set for certain reasons, and it did work quite well). If you wish to get some more damage, a lava or a hebarn set work just fine. Pretty much anything works, depending on how YOU want to build your character. (This is something I like about knights, cause they can work with a lot of different builds, and no one knight builds exactly the same)
Something that has always bothered is that most people seem to use full sets, with three of the same gems. For buffsets this was good, as you had to stack as much of a single stat as possible, but I just don't see it as the best thing to do for actual combat. The set I want to use myself (although an oro PO7 or a cliff A7 set would work just fine, so you can use this too like I recommended) is this:
Hiria's tear D7: The 40str it gives adds quite a lot of hp, a bit of extra defence and improves your damage. The charm helps improving your slow shot and your buffs.
Hebarn ring P7: Adds a good bit of damage and critical rating, and quite a bunch of attack speed. Peridots are very strong gems, one of the few gems that didn't get nerfed.
Hebarn earring Ta7: Adds a good bit of damage and a lot of critical rating, thanks to the tanzanite 7. Although it's also not a bad idea to get a 25/50 statted hebarn piece. Might even be better, but if you don't have a lot of cash, this can be quite costy.
As weapon, I'm going to recommend something that most people don't use, or haven't used in the past three years. That's right, I'm talking about a hardened weapon. The hardened six stick bowgun in fact. A lot of people may wonder why I am suggesting this certain weapon, as most people believe the epic is the best item there is. For some weapon classes, that is a true statement. However, this is not something I agree with when it comes to the crossbow. Actually, the only thing the epic crossbow is better at is its accuracy. Although the base damage of the epic is higher than the six stick, since it doesn't have an attack power substat, it loses in attack power. Also, a lot of people seem to be forgetting one thing.
Most people don't seem to know this, but the six stick bow gun is actually the fastest attacking ranged weapon in the game. Even with the attack speed stat epic has, it still loses against this crossbow when it comes to attack speed.
Other than the six stick bow gun, the exalted bow gun may be a better option thanks to the higher PVM/PVP offense. Don't think the epic is better than the six stick though.
NOTE: exalted is currently better than hardened in terms of raw damage, but hardened still boasts the higher attack speed. Either one is fine.
Gameplay as a knight:
This is just something I wanted to add because I've seen a lot of horridly bad knights lately. I do not mean this as an insult, and I am not going to call names either, but I just feel like a lot of people have started to play knight, and they don't really seem to know how a knight works. The knight is a very difficult class to play, as in you can't just spam your buttons if you want to be good. This is especially true for PvP. That's why I'm going to give a few tips of how you should best play with this class. Firstly, here are my skill bars, to give you a bit of an idea.
First I'm going to adress taunt (magic) shot, taunt and sacrifice. Using sacrifice in PvM isn't very hard to do, but right now I'm talking about how to use these skills in a PvP situation. This might be hard to do, but watch out who you are taunting. Look for enemies who are attacking your clerics or mages for one. It is already hard enough for them as is to survive, so helping them out a little can do a lot. Secondly, try to use these as much as possible. It disrupts the enemy team a lot, and it's the only form of tough crowd control you have, aside from the shield stun ability, but that cooldown is far too long to be considered very effective crowd control. Also use your dispell to targets close to you. It's very hard for clerics to buff up in the middle of battle, so removing a persons buffs can be quite nasty.
Secondly, as you can see I only use three of my crossbow skills. One I already adressed above, but I'm now going to mention the other two. First is the fire shot. This is your main damaging ability, as it not only is good at dealing damage by itself, it also applies a strong burn for five seconds. It is key to always use this skill whenever the cooldown is gone. After that there's also your slow shot. Although not the strongest slow, this ability does slow your opponent, and can be quite useful. The damage isn't very high though, so only use it once to apply the slow (it lasts for 15 seconds, so it is not a necessity to keep using it all the time). The reason I only use these three is cause the damage output on the others is low. Also, focus shot (the first skill on the knight tab) has a decent amount of damage, but the casting time is too long to bother using it. (Note: Slow shot will no longer be used if you went with the no cha build, as the effect will be too little to make a difference.)
Switch between shield spikes and guard to keep your damage reduction buff up constantly. Then you will have protection left, which can be used on allies (preferrably mage/cleric, or anyone who seems to be targetted the most)
Now I'm going to talk a bit about picking your targets effectively. A lot of people just seem to go in and target the enemy they see/everyone is going for. You shouldn't do this. As a knight, you have to choose wisely which opponent you will be fighting. Especially as a crossbow knight, for you specialize in 1v1 combat, choosing a target is one of the most important things to do. It depends quite a lot of how you build, who you will be targetting in wars. I'll take my build for example, and choose a target that is weak against my build. My build is quite offensive for a knight, but still has the necessary defences of one. While we have both defence pierce passives, these aren't enough to do much damage on high defense targets such as clerics and other knights. We'll mostly be targetting low to mid defense enemies. You can still target clerics, but this is mostly for interrupting them, not for doing damage. Try to use your shield stun/taunt shot on the enemy clerics to prevent them from healing themselves and their allies. Also, although I do have the accuracy passives and a decent amount of concentration, I am not using my epic crossbow, so my accuracy isn't as high as most. It is possible to attack raiders and scouts, but most of the time we will not do this. Our main targets will be mages (when there's actually one there), bourgs and artis. We do a lot of damage on these classes, enough to kill them on our own. The reason we do this is because these classes are of the highest priority to take down, as their damage output and crowd control are very high, and they come with a low defence. Letting these do as they please is not good, and will most likely result in your loss. Try to interrupt them as much as you can, and if possible, kill them before they do too much damage to your team.
Well, that's about it. I really hope this guide will help some people with making their knight, as I put a lot of effort in this ^^
Edited by jerremy, 24 February 2014 - 12:51 PM.