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The Count of Monte Cristo - dps, CC, survivability focused


Updated for U24. See post #462 for a U27 gear set as well as other possible build changes. See post #479 for a discussion on U29 changes.

The Count of Monte Cristo
Human bard 20
True neutral
36 point build
In-game name: I am not currently playing this build

This is a charisma based human swashbuckler bard 20 that uses a buckler in the offhand. It has excellent melee dps, very well rounded defenses, excellent CC, and good self-healing. Due to this build's ability to adapt and control a multitude of situations, I decided to name it after that most resilient character from one of the greatest stories ever written. Breakdowns on everything can be found below. I'd appreciate any feedback about the build. Thanks in advance.

Build Features:
Excellent offense:
~38% doublestrike, 68% with doublestrike action boost
~Zeal of the righteous
~20% human damage boost
~97+d20 DC coup de grace
~Charisma to damage with a 68 charisma
~335 sonic spell power for resonant arms (6d6 sonic damage on critical hits)
~Swashbuckling stance increased crit range and multiplier on finesse weapons
~Increased crit range from celestial champion and exploit weakness
~Vorpal on 19-20 with reign and thunderstruck effects
~Overwhelming crit
~BAB of 28 with GSWF for max base attack speed
Excellent defense:
~69.4% damage avoidance from 32% dodge, 50% concealment through displacement, and 10% incorporeal from equipment
~44.75% physical damage mitigation from 81 PRR
~31.03% magic damage mitigation from 45 MRR
~Evasion with a 67 reflex save
~Slippery mind with a 53 will save
~887 base HP
~20% increased movement speed
Good self healing:
~Quickened cure critical wounds and cure serious wounds with 304 positive spell power and 100 heal amp
~Sacred ground - 113 hp every 3 seconds to all in the area with 0 heal amp, 226 with 100 heal amp
~2056 SP
Excellent CC:
~61 DC Otto's sphere, 79 with debuffs
~97+d20 DC fascinate with music of the sewers, music of the dead, and music of the makers to fascinate oozes (woot?), undead, and constructs
~97+d20 DC low blow shield knockdown

For a layout of the build using EllisDee's planner and without the extra skill points from an int tome, see post #403.

str: 10
dex: 15
con: 16
int: 8
wis: 8
cha: 18

All level points in charisma.
No tomes are required for this build, but they certainly help.
For 34 point builds, lower str to 8.
For 32 point builds, lower str to 8 and con to 15.

1 swf
1h shield mastery (see note below)
3 precision
6 spell focus enchantment (took extend initially and swapped in spell focus at 20)
9 iswf
12 imp crit pierce
15 gswf
18 quicken
21 improved shield mastery
24 overwhelming critical
26 perfect twf
27 inspire excellence
28 perfect swf
Note: You can take force of personality instead of shield mastery and swap to shield mastery later (level 20 at the latest). Dashing scoundrel's 10% doublestrike, which requires nothing in the offhand, is more useful for lower levels. It is worth noting, however, that you can get near max dodge very early. I think at level 9 or 10 I had 24% dodge with a buckler equipped. So choose whichever option you prefer – moar dps or moar defense. I switched to buckler at level 9 because I had the Crystal Cove buckler with guardbreaking, which is useful and fun.

Skills: max balance, haggle, heal, intimidate, perform, UMD, 9 jump, 8 bluff, 4 diplo, 1 tumble

Spell List:
1st: focusing chant, feather fall, hypnotism, grease, merfolk's blessing
2nd: blur, invisibility, rage, hypnotic pattern, CMW
3rd: displacement, haste, CSW, good hope, dispel magic
4th: FoM, CCW, dimension door, Otto's sphere of dancing, break enchantment
5th: greater heroism, mind fog, shadow walk, mass CLW, gr dispel magic
6th: Otto's irresistable dance, mass charm monster, mass CMW, heroes feast

Swashbuckler: 43 total
Core: 6 total
Confidence 1 (1 dodge, reflex, and max dex bonus per core)
Swashbuckling 1 (1 doublestrike, 1 enhancement bonus to weapon, swashbuckling stance)
Uncanny dodge 1 (gain uncanny dodge feat, 1 doublestrike, 1 attack, 1 damage)
Panache 1 (1 doublestrike, 1 attack, 1 damage, 1 enhancement bonus to weapon)
Roll with the punches 1 (5 dodge cap, slippery mind, 1 doublestrike, 1 attack, 1 damage)
Evasive maneuvers 1 (2 dex, 2 cha, evasion, 1 doublestrike, 1 attack, 1 damage, 1 enhancement bonus to weapon)
Tier 1: 4 total
On your toes 3 (3 dodge)
Tavern shanties 1 (1 song)
Tier 2: 8 total
Fast movement 2 (30% movement speed)
Doublestrike action boost 6 (30% doublestrike)
Tier 3: 11 total
Swashbuckling style - skirmisher 1 (10% dodge, swashbuckle with buckler in offhand)
Resonant arms 6 (6d6 sonic on critical)
Different tack - smooth flourishes 2 (cha to damage)
Charisma 2
Tier 4: 3 total
Swashbuckling style II - low blow 1 (shield bash knockdown with perform dc)
Charisma 2
Tier 5: 11 total
Thread the Needle 2 (5 damage with precision)
Second skin 6 (6 reflex, 6 max dex bonus)
Exploit weakness 2 (stacking +1 crit range on non-crit hits until crit hit)
Coup de grace 1 (perform + d20 instakill under certain conditions)

Spellsinger: 23 total
Core: 4 total
Spellsinger 1 (1 spellpower per point spent, each core after this one grants 1 diplo/perform/listen/UMD, 2% sonic/positive spell crit, and 1 enchant/evocation/illusion DC)
Music of the sewers 1 (fascinate oozes)
Music of the dead 1 (fascinate undead)
Music of the makers 1 (fascinate constructs)
Tier 1: 6 total
Magical studies 3 (100 spell points, magical training - echoes of power and 5% spell crit)
Lingering songs 3 (60% song duration)
Tier 2: 7 total
Willful 3 (3 will save)
Wand and scroll mastery 2 (+50% effectiveness of scrolls)
Yellow marigold crown 2 (1 enchantment dc)
Tier 3: 4 total
Spell song trance 2 (1 morale DC, -10% spell cost)
Charisma 2
Tier 4: 2
Charisma 2

Harper: 10 total
Core: 3 total
Agent of good 1 (1 to hit vs evil, 1 universal spell power)
Cha 2
Tier 1: 4 total
Harper enchantment 2 (1 weapon enhancement, 20 spell points)
Traveler's toughness 2 (10 HP)
Tier 2: 3 total
Versatile adept 3 (3 melee/ranged/spell power)

Human: 3 total
Core: 3 total
Damage boost 1 (20% damage)
Human adaptability charisma 2

Warchanter: 1 total
Core: 1 total
Skaldic constitution 1 (1 con)

Epic destiny:
Divine crusader
Tier 1: 5 total
Bane of undeath 2 (2 to hit and 2d6 damage vs undead)
Purge the wicked 1 (2 seeker, purification on crits)
Charisma 2
Tier 2: 5 total
Consecration 3 (28d6 damage to enemies when on consecrated ground)
Charisma 2
Tier 3: 4 total
Sacred ground 2 (heal 101 hp every 3 seconds when on consecrated ground)
Charisma 2
Tier 4: 4 total
Crusade 2 (10% damage when on consecrated ground)
Charisma 2
Tier 5: 4 total
Celestial champion 2 (+1 crit range, celestial fervor - 1% doublestrike on crit, stacks 10 times, lasts 6 seconds)
Charisma 2
Tier 6: 2 total
Charisma 2
Alternatively, you could drop 1-3 charisma and pick up any or all of castigation, heavenly presence, and strike down.
Note: Fatesinger is also a good option that allows you to maintain the CC potential of the build. Fury of the wild and legendary dreadnaught could work as well, but you'd lose 3 DCs in either destiny.

1) Reign (fatesinger tier 3, 11d20 sonic and electric on vorpal)
2) Legendary shield mastery (unyielding sentinel tier 2, 15 PRR, 7% doublestrike)
3) Magister enchantment specialist (magister tier 2, +3 enchantment DCs)
Alternatives: energy sheath electric, sense weakness, soundburst SLA, extra action boost, hail of blows, critical damage

Gear Set: See post #462 for a U27 gear set as well as other possible build changes.
Weapons: Thunder-Forged Rapier (1st degree burns/dragon's edge/mortal fear/red slotted devotion138/colorless slotted)
vs fire immune mobs: Thunder-Forged Rapier (touch of shadows/dragon's edge/mortal fear/orange slotted devotion138/colorless slotted)
ranged: Thunder-Forged Throwing Dagger (touch of flames/dragon's edge/mortal fear/orange slotted devotion138/colorless slotted)
Shield: Kobold Admiral's Tiller (dodge10/DR14 vs slash and blunt/guardbreaking/colorless slotted dex2/hidden green slotted proof against poison10)
Armor: Shadowscale light armor (shadow phase x3/deathblock/ghostly/fort130/profane spell DC1/blue slotted HP40/green slotted fear immunity)
Goggles: EN Intricate Field Optics (cha3/spot17/TS/yellow slotted greater enchantment focus2/colorless slotted heal15)
Helm: Mythic Minos Legens (fort150/vitality45/fort save10/sheltering30/insightful con3/unbreakable adamancy/yellow slotted wiz10/green slotted Globe of True Imperial Blood)
Neck: Shroud of Ardent (sheltering30/blur/fear immunity/heal amp60/blue slotted golem's heart/green slotted crushing wave guard)
Trinket: Epic Litany of the Dead (turn the page/profane abilities2/attack4/damage4/light of dawn/blue OR yellow slotted wis8/green slotted wis2)
Cloak: Sage's Mantle (enchantment focus5/illusion focus4)
Belt: Epic Chord of Reprisals (cha11/resonance144/perform20/soundproof/roar/sheltering24/yellow slotted blindness immunity/green slotted sonic resistance40)
Ring swap: EE Consuming Darkness (seeker12/combat mastery5/green slotted proof against disease10)
Gloves: Sanctified Gages (UMD5/2d6 light damage/deadly11/greater dispelling guard/blue OR yellow slotted str8/green slotted str2)
Boots: Epic Boots of the Innocent (resistance11/speed15/GH/vertigo12/stunning12/shatter12/yellow slotted water breathing/green slotted protection8)
Ring: Skirmisher's Ring (con8/thunderstruck/yellow slotted anthem)
Bracers: Epic Ethereal Bracers (dex11/riposte9/insight AC5/insight saves4/ghostly/deadly10/speed14/feather falling/yellow slotted draconic soul gem/green slotted natural armor8)
Quiver: Epic Quiver of Alacrity (concentration -50/speed15/ranged and spell threat -15%/insightful sneak4/doublshot8)

Gear Notes: Here is a list compiled by EllisDee37 of named swashbuckler weapons with an improved crit profile.
See post #73 and post #75 for other heroic weapon suggestions.
See post #343 for a gear setup from level 15 and up by UurlockYgmeov.
See post #366 for a level 20 gear set composed primarily of Eveningstar commendation turn in rewards and Wheloon/Stormhorns end rewards.

Final Stats:
str34: 10base, 5tome, 8item, 2insight, 1exceptional, 2rage, 2competence, 2profane, 2ship
dex42: 15base, 5tome, 2capstone, 11item, 2insight, 1exceptional, 2competence, 2profane, 2ship
con44: 16base, 5tome, 11item, 2insight, 1exceptional, 1warchanter, 2rage, 2competence, 2profane, 2ship
int20: 8base, 5tome, 1exceptional, 2competence, 2profane, 2ship
wis30: 8base, 5tome, 8item, 2insight, 1exceptional, 2competence, 2profane, 2ship
cha68: 18base, 6tome, 7levels, 11item, 3insight, 1exceptional, 1human, 2swashbuckler, 2spellsinger, 2capstone, 1harper, 6divine crusader, 2competence, 2profane, 2ship, 2yugo
Note: No tomes are actually required for this build.

120 base
80 epic levels
25 heroic durability
20 improved heroic durability
10 draconic vitality
11 epic primal past life
50 divine crusader cores
10 harper traveler's toughness
476 con44
40 false life slotted
45 vitality
20 hag's apothecary ship buff
48 yugo
935 self buffed

525 base
250 slotted
100 magical training
1036 cha66 at level 28
125 divine crusader
20 harper enchantment
25 arcane sanctum ship buff
2056 TOTAL

Fort/Reflex/Will Saves:
6/12/12 base
4/4/4 epic
11/11/11 item
4/4/4 insight
2/2/2 good luck
1/1/1 alchemical
4/4/4 greater heroism
1/0/0 competence (inspire greatness)
0/6/0 swashbuckler cores
0/6/0 swashbuckler second skin
0/0/3 willful (spellsinger tier 2)
3/0/0 game hunter ship buff
0/2/0 chronoscope ship buff
0/0/2 grandmaster's dojo ship buff
0/15/0 dex40
15/0/0 con40
0/0/10 wis30
51/67/53 TOTAL

6 swashbuckler cores
3 on your toes
10 skirmisher
10 Kobold Admiral's Tiller
4 inspire heroics
1 haste
34 TOTAL 32 is max dodge bonus
Max dex bonus on Shadow Dragonhide Armor is 33 with swashbuckler cores, second skin, and fencing master ship buff but max dodge is 32 with fencing master ship buff and roll with the punches.

16 light armor with BAB 28
15 light armor
20 legendary shield mastery
30 Mythic Minos Legens
81 TOTAL (44.75% damage reduction)

15 light armor
30 Mythic Minos Legens
45 TOTAL (31.03% magic damage reduction)

Heal Amp:
20 divine crusader
60 item
20 ship buff

Otto's Sphere DC:
10 base
4 levels
29 cha68
1 spell focus enchantment
3 magister enchantment specialist
1 yellow marigold crown
3 spellsinger cores
5 Sage's Mantle
2 slotted
1 profane on shadowscale armor
1 archwizard ship buff
1 spell song trance
3 hypnotic pattern
5 crushing despair
10 mind fog

23 ranks
8 epic
4 tome
3 spellsinger cores
29 cha68
20 item
2 good luck
1 elite spider cult mask
2 Otto's irresistable dance hall ship buff
4 GH
1 focusing chant

Positive Spell Power:
11 ranks
8 epic
3 tome
10 wis30
23 spellsinger
1 harper agent of good
1 harper versatile adept
10 divine crusader
33 implement
138 red augment
15 slotted
2 good luck
1 elite spider cult mask
3 forbidden library ship buff
15 crusader's chapel
4 GH
1 focusing chant
25 superior ardor pot

Sonic Spell Power:
95 perform
23 spellsinger
1 harper agent of good
1 harper versatile adept
36 implement
144 item
15 stormreaver memorial monument ship buff
20 greater cacophony pot

3 martial past life
5 swashbuckler cores
15 legendary shield mastery
5 perfect twf
10 celestial fervor (gain 1 doublestrike on crit, stacks 10 times but does not stack with items, this is easy to maintain on this build so it's worth including)
30 action boost

28 BAB divine crusader's just cause (1st core)
3 enhancement from swashbuckler cores
4 from swashbuckler cores
12 str34
4 profane
4 morale (inspire courage)
2 competence (inspire greatness)
13 enhancement
2 tactical training room ship buff
Add to this the 20% base percent chance that all characters get as well as the 5% percent bonus from precision.

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