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Llama's regrettably non-Deathless (PEBCAK) Smite Paladin caster 0.7.9f

Now that they fixed Smite’s ability to proc ailments, I’ve moved to a totally different build that manually casts Smite for decent single target damage (to the mobs, not your FPS). So far I’ve got up to the second quest echo of the Ending the Storm monolith quest and apart from 2 deaths (entirely my own fault), is entirely deathless!

It’s not as tanky as my other build, doesn’t clear quite as well, but has much better single target dps. It also has very good range can offscreen stuff easily and deals with packs decently well.

A short video of a lvl 80 monolith (timeline #21), lvl 77:

Updates

Video uploading…
Added current gear planner gear link & what I’d like it to be.

Skills

Smite:

Smite is a single target spell unlocked at Sentinel lvl 20, it can be spec’d to add a secondary AoE proc called Fissure (also a spell, but a DoT, so no hits or crits but it does benefit from adaptive spell damage & has an added damage effectiveness of ~22%, Fissure also stacks) which is pretty important IMO, as when you’re casting at a mob running towards you, if you target the lead mob, everything else runs through the DoT.

Smite feels a lot better when you get the Fissure node (probably get that one first) and the Righteous Flurry (+50% attack & cast speed), then I went for the Sacrifice node (+200% more hit damage), Atonement (added base crit chance) & Conviction (reduces the health cost of Sacrifice).

You would think that the Sacrifice node would work really well with the Prayer passive (increased damage & healing for 4s after you heal yourself or an ally), unfortunately, Prayer is still bugged & if the heal “overheals” (ie, you have 10 missing health & heal for 20) then Prayer doesn’t get proc’d. But when the devs fix it, Sacrifice will all you to keep Prayer proc’d all the time, even on bosses & trash, which would be an additional 70% increased damage & healing to what we get at the moment.

For levelling, you can either go for Fissure or Righteous Flurry first, then through Sacrifice and Atonement to Conviction.

Smite also has a passive on the Sentinel passive tree that gives life & mana on hit, max it.

Shield Rush:

Whether you choose Shield Rush or Lunge is up to you, they both have benefits, however, I prefer Shield Rush’s ability to get me out of trouble as easily as getting me in to trouble, plus the second hit can kill most trash packs. Lunge is more of a buff for 4s for Armour, Damage & Crit chance.

Since we use a staff most of the time, I go for Dark Rush first (removes the requirement for a shield), then 6 points in Rush Mastery (mana efficiency), Protective Speed (20% damage reduction, useful for when you’re being stupic and rushing along Void Rahyeh’s void beam, not out of it), then left for the more DPS nodes, 4 in Warrior’s Entrance, Echoes of the Charge, 2 in Critical Echo (second hit base crit) & 2 in Stretched Time (45% more damage for the final hit per point). If you’re happy with higher mana costs, you can take points out of Rush Mastery & put them in the nodes that affect the “first” final hit - Splintering Impact (more final hit damage, doesn’t affect the second hit) or Critical Rush (base crit chance for the first hit).

Holy Aura:

Holy Aura is the Paladin mastery skill & always a good choice.

Shelter from the Storm (flat added elemental & poison protection) and Burning Blows (global increased fire damage) are probably the most useful nodes. Demoralizing Aura (slow everything in Holy Aura’s massive AoE) is probably useful, but I’d rather a chill (reduces cast & attack speed as well as movement speed). I’m not sure about Prismatic Fury (elemental penetration), but the alternatives are True Strike (+10% increased crit chance per point, we already get a decent amount of crit chance from the passive tree & gear), Mighty Shield (block effectiveness & heal on block) or Vital Boon (health regen) & Redemption (increased healing).

Sigils of hope:

A skill that I am totally converted to now after reading a diatribe from @LizardIRL on how block was OP (IMO, it’s not, but there’s a thread for that.

It’s not a particularly cheap spell, especially if you’re going full DPS with a Sorcery Staff (20-50% increased spell mana cost), but it’s awesome & gives you everything you would ever want except free bacon sarnies & a shoulder massage (@Sarno, please get that fixed!).

What it does do (all per Sigil):

  • flat added damage (see Smite),

  • increased healing,

  • increased block chance,

  • % increased damage

  • along with a 6% chance to proc on kill & an automated Oh Shit button for when you take big hits (Faith).

Personally I went up to Tetragrm (+1 Sigil) first, then Sign of the Guardian (+3% block chance per Sigil, this is how we get 42% block chance with no shield), Empowering Sigils (% increased damage), Last Wish (chance to summon a free Sigil on kill) before going down to Faith (heal for 200 health if you get hit for more than 25% of your hp, consumes a Sigil on proc) & Unwavering Faith (+20% more heal from Faith proc & reduces the threshold by 40%, not sure if this last one works though).

IMO, the +1 added damage from Decree of Flame isn’t worth it (base added damage from Sigils of Hope is +4) given how useful Faith is, we don’t ignite so Burning Sign isn’t too useful. Invigorate (increased healing per sigil) & Quiet Mind (mana efficiency) might be useful but I don’t think the mana cost, even with a Sorcery Staff (~50 mana per Sigil) is too bad since we don’t use many other mana spenders.

Vengeance:

Ironically last given it’s the first skill you’ll pick up & specialise in.

I don’t really do much melee damage, the whole damage buff while Riposting is nice (Dark Duelist, up to 100%) as is the damage reduction (Bolster, up to 30% less, but it’s only for 2 seconds, which seems unreasonable), I then went left for fire shred, due to the lack of other particularly interesting nodes.

Passives

Sentinel:

3 points in Juggernaut (strength & fire/void protection, 2 in Fearless (vitality & health regen), 5 in Gladiator (block chance & block effectiveness), 5 more points in Juggernaut, then 5 points in Time and Faith (life & mana on hit with Smite & Vengeance). I also put 2 points in Aegis of Renewal, but you can skip that if you want. Retaliation (5% increased damage per point, doubled if you’ve blocked in the last 5 seconds) is also an option in the future.

Honourable mentions - Relentless (increased damage, never seen myself stunned), Armour Clad (flat & % armour). We don’t really do melee so Overwhelm isn’t particularly useful.

Forge Guard:

More block chance (Steel Aegis) & Atunement (Prime Fighter) later on but since Rallying Block got nerfed (max 10 stacks), it may not be as useful. Battle Hardened (% increased armour when you’ve been hit for 4 seconds) might also be worth some points later on if you can’t think of where else to put them.

Paladin:

I’ll put the nodes in the order I think I’d take them, generally putting a point or two in them to move up & fill them out later on, but IMO you should take the block nodes as soon as possible.

  • Honour (block chance & effectiveness, max asap),

  • Defiance (atunement & % elemental protections),

  • Holy Symbol (1 point at most, you can probably skip this if you want),

  • Divine Bolt (it’s only 1 point, procs pretty frequently when we do melee),

  • Holy Symbol (increased healing effectiveness & flat added elemental & necrotic protection),

  • Prayer (increased damage & healing effectiveness for 4s after you heal yourself or an ally, currently bugged in that it doesn’t proc if you “overheal”)

  • Staunch Defender (used to access Shield Wall, 1 point only)

  • Shield Wall (lots of block chance!)

  • Faith Armour (Crit avoidance, use this to fill in holes in your gear, along with …)

  • Prayer Aegis (health & glancing blow, as with Faith Armour, use it if you’re having issues capping glancing blow)

  • Holy Precision (up to 300% increase spell crit chance!!!)

  • Divine Essence (another bugged passive, it doesn’t seem to proc in 0.7.96 but did before, this should be good in that it procs on heal, which you do constantly, and gives you up to 30% increased armour, protections & healing effectiveness, max it if it works)

  • Light of Rahyeh (damage & movement speed)

Other passives to take when you’ve maxxed all of the above:

  • Conviction (% fire damage & fire penetration, not sure how useful penetration is though)

  • Valor (vitality & more healing effectiveness)

  • Inner Flame (attunement & fire protections)

  • Prime Fighter (Forge Guard passive, attunement & strength)

*Iron Attunement (yet more attunement! And some Armour)

  • Guardian (if you’ve taken Prime Fighter, you can then get more hp from this)

  • Retaliation (Sentinel, % increased damage)

  • Relentless (% increased damage)

Gear

0.7.8 changed the body armour & helm slots so we have some very nice choices now. :slight_smile:

Helm:

Winged Helm FTW! Decent implicit armour & 15%-35% crit avoidance

For affixes, set glancing blow (prefix), crit avoidance (suffix), mana gained on Smite use (suffix, very rare), poison/necrotic/void taken as physical (suffix, very rare). You’ll have a potentially tough choice on the suffix but if you can get a good roll on crit avoidance on your helm & chest implicit they would get you up to 85% on their own & you can finish it off with Faith Armour thereby freeing up a suffix slot. Other prefixes are attunement (more damage & elemental protections) & maybe Armour.

Body:

Either Solarum Plate (crit avoidance) or Bronze Cuirass (increased crit chance).

For affixes, there aren’t many “interesting” ones for us (since we don’t do void damage, or echo) though there is the very rare “increased fire damage and ignite duration” suffix if you want to squeeze a bit more dps out of it, but you might as well just go with the usual, vit & attunement prefixes plus 2x protection suffixes.

Weapon:

Either Staff (Sorcery or Oracle) or Sceptre (Divine) and Shield (Solarum) depending on whether you want to go more dps than tank. If you have the uniques, there’s Coral Aegis, Bulwark of the Last Abyss may also be an option, though we don’t do void nor melee…

For staffs, you get to choose between the Sorcery Staff (higher adaptive spell damage, but increased spell cost) or Oracle Staff (slightly lower spell cost but -3 spell mana cost). It is manageable with the higher mana cost, so I’m currently using a Sorcery Staff.

For affixes, you want cast speed & fire/spell damage (they both give bigger numbers than elemental damage), then either 2 protection suffixes or one & either chance to chill/blind/slow.

For Sceptres, it’s basically the same, except you can also have the choice of flat added lightning damage as a prefix.

For Shields, you want maxxed block chance & block effectiveness as prefixes then either 2x protections as suffixes (void is good for Rahyeh) or 1x protection & a reduced damage on block suffix.

Belt:

Probably the most boring slot. Get the base with the highest number of potion slots & some armour (so either a Bronze belt or Ranger’s belt for an additional potion but no armour).

Affixes, stick a set glancing blow prefix on here & get it to t5, then probably 2x protections. Or some crit avoidance if you need it. There aren’t many interesting prefixes other than set glancing blow & then either potion find chance or the extra potion slot prefix.

Rings:

Bases - Personally I went with Gold rings (% increased elemental protection), but Silver (movement speed) & Ruby (health) are good choices too.

Prefixes - Set glancing blow, increased spell/fire damage, set elemental protections, crit chance.

Suffixes - Mainly protections, but potentially crit avoidance if you need it & health.

Amulet:

Bases - Personally I’d go with an Oracle amulet (reduced DoT damage taken), but failing that, Silver (crit chance), Brass (cast speed), Ruby (health), Bone (vitality) or even Copper (flat added spell damage, even if it is lightning).

Prefixes - Personally I went for set elemental protections (on amulet & ring) and crit chance, but set glancing blow, set void & armour, fire/spell damage are all good.

Suffixes - Whatever protections you need.

Gloves:

Bases - Either Solarum (crit chance), Noble gloves (cast speed), Lagonian (ele protections) or Leather (void protection).

Prefixes - I went with cast speed & set glancing blow, but set armour & void, set necrotic & poison are good (if rare) choices.

Suffixes - Crit avoidance if necessary then any protections/health you need.

Boots:

Bases - the most movement speed you can get with the best armour, Solarum Greaves, Brigandine Boots or Heoborean Boots.

Prefixes - Personally I went for set necrotic & poison protection & vitality, but you could also put set glancing blow or attunement.

Suffixes - Crit avoidance if necessary, movement speed is good plus any protections/health you need.

Relic:

Base - Sunrise Emblem is best since it adds flat spell fire damage which will buff your Smite & Fissure.

Prefixes - Cast speed, set glancing blow & spell crit chance are good prefix choices, as are fire/spell damage or the more defensive set health & set elemental protections.

Suffixes - Whatever health/protections you need.

This is the gear I have at the moment, this is the gear I’d like to get.

Idols

Wrathful Rahyeh idols (3 tall, 1 wide) are great as they give 20%-54% increased Smite & Vengeance damage, good suffixes are offensive ones like fire damage, or defensive protection suffixes.

I also went with a couple of Reactive Stout Lagonian Idols for the chance to gain 30 ward when hit, or you could go with some Dazzling Adorned Rahyeh idols (chance to blind on Spell hit up to 35%, so 2 of them could get you to up to 70% chance to blind on hit with Smite).

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Thanks for the build and the analysis, hope my little paladin becomes better now :smiley:

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