Seeing that my crossbow knight guide was well received, I decided to make another guide on a class that I play, this time the spear champion. A lot of people have been asking me in game for advice on how to build a spear champion, so I figured I should make a guide on them on the forums here.
The spear champion overall is a good all-rounder class which can excel at both 1v1 and group combat, in PvP and PvM. A very versatile class which can be built in a lot of different ways, depending on what way you want to use the class.
Now what really defines this class is their high dps, average overall tankiness, and some good utility skills. However the spear champion completely lacks hard crowd control effects (stuns, sleeps or mutes). Also good to note is that although their skill powers are the lowest, and they lack both pierce defence and critical increasing passives, their cooldowns are shortest and they have the highest attack speed, making them still pretty viable.
First I'm going to give a few examples of stat builds you can aim for. I'll also explain each time why this is a viable build.
-300 STR, 150 DEX, 230 CON, 200 CHA, rest on SEN.
This is the build I'm currently using and a pretty versatile stat build, evening out stat points on a few different stats. Personally I think this is one of the best options to aim for. The good thing about this build is a high base attack power thanks to our STR and DEX, and a pretty good STR buff and debuffs thanks to our decently high CHA. However, it is not that high on CON so hitting some dodge builded characters might be hard, seeing as spears don't have a that high natural accuracy. Also, our critical is not that high so prepare to be critted.
-340 STR, 125 DEX, 230 CON, 150 CHA, rest on SEN.
A slightly more STR based build, it has a very high attack power but still lacks accuracy and critical rating. Also your debuffs and buffs will be lower, so I personally don't like using this build.
-320 STR, 100 DEX, 270 CON, 150 CHA, rest on SEN
A build with higher CON, you will have less trouble with dodge build characters, but you give up some base attack power and your buffs/debuffs will be weaker, so you won't do as well against non-dodge characters. You'll still have a rather low amount of critical, so prepare to get crits on you.
-300 STR, 100 DEX, 230 CON, 250 SEN, rest on CHA
A build that tries to focus on your critical and natural attack power. You'll get less criticals on you/crit more yourself, but your accuracy is not the best and your buffs/debuffs will be rather low. Not recommended by me personally, but it's not a bad build overall.
-300 STR, 250 DEX, 230 CON, 150 SEN, rest on CHA (dodge build)
Not recommended, but if you wish to try out a dodge build, you will need a good amount of dex. I doubt you'll be able to get it work, but it's a possibility. Good thing about this might be the high base attack power thanks to having such high STR and DEX.
-320 STR, 50 DEX, 180 CON, 200 SEN, rest on CHA (PvM)
This build is more PvM oriented than the others, which are both PvP/PvM. Since monsters usually don't have that high dodge, you won't need a lot of CON, so we can leave part of it out and focus more on other stats. Mainly on CHA, because the mspd down can be very useful in dungeons, a CHA build is a very good idea for a dungeon runner spear champion.
NOTE: These numbers are just examples, you don't have to follow them completely. In the end, you should just choose what you personally think would be best, these are just numbers to aim for, and the explanations with them on what you could expect going with said numbers.
I'm just going to go over all skills separately first, then I'll give you a few possible build options.
Defense training: 15%+50 defense, a must for every champion, regardless of build.
Physical training: 5hp per 1STR, also a definite must for every champion. My build especially has a lot of equipment emphasizing STR, so this is an important skill.
Repose: 10hp recovery flat and 2hp recovery per 25STR. At first sight this may not seem like a lot, but with a high STR build this passive is a must. With my build I get 52hp/sec from this passive.
STR passive/buff: As our build has a decent emphasis on CHA, these two are a must for most builds.
Attack power/HP/defense buffs: Depending on build, these aren't actually bad to get, but personally I don't think the attack power one is worth it. Defense and HP can be nice, because the 5% at lv5 makes quite a difference.
Attack power/mspd/defense debuffs: The attack power and defense down ones are definitely worth it, but personally I leave out the mspd down because one of our aoes already has a mspd down effect.
Battle alertness (decloak): I'm leaving this skill at lv1, but if you really want the cooldown to be lower, you'll have to max it out. Not really needed for PvM.
Taunt: Not getting this, more appropriate for a knight.
Spear attack power/speed and aoe range passives: Naturally we will need these, a definite must get for almost every build. The aoe range passives can be ignored if you purely build 1v1, but it is highly unlikely.
Two hand attack power/speed/accuracy: We will need all three of these, passives are important.
Fire/wind/ice sweep: In most builds, we will get all of these, but we can sometimes leave fire sweep out if we don't really care for being able to endlessly aoe.
Spear strike/piercing stab: Two low power single target skills. If we do build 1v1, we will need these as they're prerequisites for the next skills, but we will never actually use these.
Attack power (both of them)/speed/aoe range passives: Again, your passives are important. Get all of these I mentioned.
Mspd/dodge passive: Although these can be useful depending on build, they are not the most important. Can be left out.
Combat howl/scream/shout/berserker's cry: Personally I do not get berserker's cry fully, only the def and ap down ones. I don't get the mspd down because ice sweep already has a decent mspd down, so I don't find it worth the skill points to get it completely.
Dance of wind/ice/fire: Three more aoes, we will get all of them in most builds. If you don't focus on the aoe aspect that much, the dance of fire will be left out.
Raging spear/longinus strike: Personally I do not get these, but they're not bad skills overall. If you do want to be able to 1v1, these are a must.
Berserk: 50% additional damage buff. A must have.
Warrior's menace/champion training: Both of these are important, be sure to get them.
Berserk: You become really vulnerable if you use this, so it's risky. But you will get this because in return it greatly augments your damage.
Sacrifice: Mainly used by knights. Personally I think this is a bad idea to use as a champion, unless you really have a deathwish.
PvP longinus strike: If you did focus on single target, get this. The attack power down effect is devastatingly strong, a must for those focused on 1v1 that do PvP.
PvM combat howl/scream/shout: You do not need these, if you want to aoe your six normal aoes are enough to aoe endlessly.
PvM longinus strike: Personally I don't think this one is that necessary, but it could be useful against kings. Not recommended though, save your skill points for other things.
Now I'll show the skill build I personally use. The one I use is a build for dungeons/CD, focused mainly on aoes.
You're not getting mspd down?: As I explained before, we have a mspd down effect on ice sweep. You might expect me to get berserker's fully, but I will not do this to save 15 skill points for other things.
You're not getting any single target skills at all?: As I said before, this is an aoe focused build. Hence not getting the single target skills. Also, the only single target skills that are actually worth using are raging spear strike and longinus strike. So you either get all of them, or none at all.
Why did you put 8 points into the mspd passive? 80 is not that much.: Well, you're definitely right that 80 mspd is not a lot, but it can be rather useful if you have the skill points for it, so you don't have to focus as much on mspd through gear to get a good amount of running speed. If you don't think it necessary, you can leave it out. Personally I like it cause in CD you often have to reposition yourself or distance yourself from certain enemies, and dungeons sometimes require you to run through, so extra movement speed is not a bad thing at all.
Why did you not get the dodge passive?: Personal choice. I really don't think it is worth it, seeing as it is difficult to get a working amount of dodge with how low the dodge values are on soldier equipment. Perhaps you could get a working dodge build for PvM, but for PvP it will be hard.
So what's up with the 7 skill points?: I still need to find Champion training and enraged berserk, and I'm saving those 7 skill points for when I have it. For unique skills we will only get the two passives and berserk, nothing else.
How to use this build:
This is rather easy to explain. You aoe. Yes, that's all there is to it. Aoe till they die. (easy explanation for those that are tired of reading heh)
If you still wish to continue reading, I'll go into this a little bit more. We won't always aoe actually. Although most part of the time we will just be mashing the same buttons over and over, there's still a few things to pay attention to:
1) Make sure that def and ap down (mostly for PvP, in PvM it is not the end of the world) are applied AT ALL TIMES. Especially with a CHA build, these skills are important. Pay attention to make sure that the duration isn't over/enemy clerics haven't purified (unique aoe purify) the team. You do a noticeable amount of extra damage/take less damage when these are applied. Personally I use both after going through the damage aoe sequence twice (once every skill is used twice).
2) How to be able to aoe almost endlessly. The sequence goes like this:
Def and ap down are a separate matter, and we use them before we use these aoes. We start with the wind sweep for the dodge down at the start of a fight (seeing as our accu is low, this helps to make our other aoes land on dodge characters), and then use one of the dance aoes (which one doesn't matter, seeing as they're all the same), then the fire aoe for the burn, another dance aoe, mspd down aoe, and then the last dance. After that just use the next aoe that comes out of its cooldown (you'll get what I mean once you try it out).
3)Positioning. It matters quite a lot more than you might think. "With such a high aoe range, it doesn't really matter where we stand right?" You're wrong, it's exactly because our range is so high that it matters. With middle ranged aoes (8-10m) it won't matter a lot where we stand in the pile of people, but thanks to our high range we are able to hit almost everyone while outside of range from most close to middle ranged aoes. Where exactly you position yourself is entirely situational, so it's personal judgment and ability to see how others are positioned to find yourself a good spot to be able to hit as many people as possible while being hit by as less people as possible.
4)Knowing when not to aoe. Yes, sometimes we will not use our aoes. When attacking a boss monster in PvM or the crystal in CD, we obviously won't aoe, but when in CD there's other situations where you might want to prefer auto attacking over using aoes. A good example is: Focusing a cleric/mage/bourg cause they're key characters of the enemy team. You will want to use your auto attacks, because although aoeing will make your overall damage output higher, when it comes to 1v1 your auto attacks do more damage than using aoes, because of our high passive attack speed. Also when there's only two enemies or so left it might prove to be quicker to use auto attacks rather than aoeing. This is also entirely up to personal judgment.
I'm going to go through a few more build options, but I'll be slightly less thorough with those, seeing as I haven't tested those out that much.
If you want a more single target oriented build, I recommend the build I have above, but with a few slight changes. These changes are:
-Put dance of fire, ice and wind at lv1. They'll be weaker, but you'll have 12 skill points free out of this. You'll still be able to AoE spam if the situation calls for it.
-Put the hp recovery passive at lv1. While it does have some effect, not to the point where it matters a lot. So we'll be freeing up some points with this.
-Put movement speed passive at lv5, drop AoE range passive to lv3.
You now have 22 skill points, with this we will get all the single target skills and the PvP version of longinus strike. The ap down effect on this skill is DEVASTATING, and a must have if you choose to specialize in 1v1. Just an example of how strong it is with my current amount of cha:
I think with this I don't really need to explain much further why this skill is a must have, just look at that value of ap down.
Note that with our 1v1 build we will only really use longinus strike, raging spear strike is optional but not necessary. The two soldier lvl skills are not good enough to still use.
I'm going to talk a bit about gear right here, seeing as both the aoe and single target oriented builds use the same equipment.
For PvM, anything goes really. Wether it's a reinforced, brave or courage set, they're all good to use, regardless of build. Personally I recommend either brave or courage.
For PvP, chivalrous wins handsdown. Our build is attack power oriented, so the chiva set, giving us a good amount of attack power, defence, and extra str, crit and hp, is the way to go. You may want a glor set if you do 1v1's and come across a raider or scout, but when it comes to CD we will pretty much always run in a chiva set.
Naturally we will be using an aurum backshield, with substats 12str/20ap, 25/50 or 50/40 accu/crit. 15ap/50def or 25ap/25accu aren't bad either, it's personal preference. But these are the recommended ones. (these substats are the ones we will opt for with every item that has a substat)
As for a mask, personally I use style sunglasses, for the 50cha/25accu. Other options are ashura mask, kaltet mask, scream mask, star glasses, or any other mask with str or attack power.
For accessories, I am personally quite fond of the hiria's tear. Especially with our CHA/STR build, the hiria's is a must. For ring a junon order/ferrel guild ring can be nice for the 100 attack power. Other possible accessories are lava, hebarn/arua, hunter, oro, cliff.. Personally I use hiria's tear with hebarn ring and earring, but it's up to personal choice on what to get. A luna set is not bad either for the 13% critical which is quite a lot, but seeing as I use the hiria's tear, I didn't get it.
For gems, we can opt for diamonds, rubies or tanzanites. Although peridots are good gems, focusing on aoes we don't really need the extra aspd. If you choose to use a single target build then getting two or three peridots might not be a bad idea. Diamonds give us the highest attack power, but rubies give us some extra hp/hp recovery which can be useful. Myself I have three rubies/two diamonds, to balance it out a bit. Tanzanites are good if you wish to focus more on criticals rather than pure attack power, but if you want to focus on those crits it'd be best to get 4 or 5 tanzanites immediately, or else our crit rate will be too low to bother.
If you do use a stat enhancing costume (akram kingdom or ancient royal), we will use akram kingdom, as the ap and crit are far more useful than the def/dodge.
Dodge type champion:
A dodge builded character could be possible, but personally I don't think it'll be a good, working build. Doesn't hurt to try if you really want to though. What I do recommend if you wish to get a dodge build is:
-Our stat build will be the high DEX stat build that I showed earlier.
-We will remove the mspd passive and get the dodge passive. If you want the single target skills as a dodge character you'll have to drop the hp buff rather than only put 8 skill points on the aoe range passive, since the aoe range passive is a prerequisite to get the dodge passive.
For equipment, we will get a brave set for PvM and a glorious set for PvP.
We will still use an aurum backshield, but you might want to opt for a dodge or dex stat rather than the stats I listed earlier.
For a mask, styles are still a good choice, but you might want to get a mask with dodge or dex rather than str or cha. Also with a dex/dodge stat.
For jewelry, a magical set would work out the best most likely, but it's up to personal choice what to get.
As to gems, jades most likely, perhaps garnets.
The problem with a dodge build is that you'll have to give up on a lot of other stats to get a working amount of dodge, and I personally don't think it is worth it. But to each his own, if you really want to try a dodge build then go ahead.
Berserk and Enraged berserk:
Going to put this separated from the rest, as this is something I still have to mention. When exactly to use berserk or enraged berserk. Although enraged berserk is stronger than the normal berserk, it also carries with it a strong def down effect on yourself. In other words, you will be quite vulnerable when using this skill. So when will we actually use the enraged version? Firstly is when you're certain that you're not the one that is going to hit (example: you're running dungeon with a knight who tanks the mobs, it's safe for you to use the skill). Secondly is when you're certain the clerics in your team can keep you alive (example: 5 clerics in your team and there's already a mage in your team who will probably get focused more than you). In situations where it is too dangerous to use the enraged berserk we will just use the normal one.
Another strenuously long block of text by me~
Edited by jerremy, 03 April 2014 - 04:29 AM.