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Starting an Artificer

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[edit] Races

  • Warforged is an attractive choice, with bonus to Constitution and easy self-healing via repair infusions.
  • Half-elves have access to their unique dilettante feats. Rogue dilettante with 3d6 sneak attack is particularly popular. Both half-elves and humans have access to Human Versatility enhancement that can grant up to 25 % damage boost. Humans have also access to the Cannith dragonmark, making them the best crafters in DDO.
  • Races with bonuses to Dexterity (halflings, elves, drow) have easier time qualifying for Improved Precise Shot (needs 19 dex). Drow can start with 20 int.
  • Dwarves may not be an intuitive choice, but they don't have any disadvantages and can make very sturdy artificers. Half-orcs are a rare choice, except for builds that maximize strength.

[edit] Abilities

  • Strength: Most artificers don't put too much emphasis on Strength. Many rely on crossbows and infusions (e.g. Flame Turret or Blade Barrier) for damage. Even those artificers that favor one handed melee weapon and runearm often have only average strength (relying on Insightful Attack or Insightful Damage to improve their melee performance). Few artificers maximize strength and use the level-up points to increase it. However, neglecting Strength completely is not recommended, carrying several heavy crossbows on a 6 strength halfling can be problematic.
  • Dexterity: An important ability for many artificers. Most artificers start with at least an average score so that they have easier time hitting with their crossbows. Many start at 16, read a +2 tome and spend one level-up point to achieve 19 dex, needed for Improved Precise Shot. Also allows you to add your int mod to dmg longer with Insightful Damage because your base attack is higher. Somewhat rare melee only builds can dump dexterity completely.
  • Constitution: Put at least 6 points here. Given that most artificers rely on ranged attacks and infusions, can self-heal, and come with an iron defender, artificers might survive with less constitution than other classes; however, this is not recommended.
  • Intelligence: The most important ability for artificers. The difficulty class (DC) of infusions depends on it (e.g., Blade Barrier or Tactical Detonation). Also, artificers can add Int modifier to some attack rolls or damage rolls. Most artificers want to start with 18 (if they can afford it) and put level up points here.
  • Wisdom: Artificers rarely put points to wisdom.
  • Charisma: Artificers are avid users of the Use Magic Device skill, which is controlled by this ability. However, they have enough bonuses to this skill that they can perform successfully even without putting ability points to charisma.

32 point buy ranged: 10 str, 14 dex, 15 con, 18 int, 8 wis, 8 cha (all level-up point to int)

32 point buy ranged with Improved Precise Shot: 8 str, 16 dex, 14 con, 18 int, 8 wis, 8 cha (one level-up point to dex, rest to int)

32 point buy melee: 15 str, 8 dex, 15 con, 18 int, 8 wis, 8 cha

32 point buy str-based: 18 str, 8 dex, 16 con, 14 int, 8 wis, 8 cha

[edit] Feats

Artificers start with a free Rapid Reload feat and benefit from a bonus feat every 4th level, up to five total, selectable from a wide list. This allows them to cover their main role and perhaps dab in other roles.

Still, artificers should choose their focus early:

Mental Toughness and Improved Mental Toughness can help artificers overcome their somewhat lower amount of spell points compared to caster classes.

Augment Summoning works just as well on your pet as it does on hirelings, summoned monsters and charmed creatures.

Eschew Materials - This feat is a mixed bag. Positive: It eliminates the need to eat 6-10 inventory slots for materials. Negative: It costs extra SP and eats a feat.

Construct Essence - Non-Warforged races should consider this feat as it allows you to be very self-sufficient. Note that leaving something that can replace this might be a better strategy. High level artificers can use heal scrolls more effectively than anyone and the 25% healing deamplification (attenuation) will always hurt.

Dragonmarks of Making - Additional 10 levels to Cannith Crafting. Great synergy with inherent Artificer benefit.

[edit] Infusions

Artificers have access to several infusions that enchant their weapon and improve their combat performance. All artificers can scribe repair infusions into bonus slots. Flame Turret, Blade Barrier, Blast Rod, Prismatic Strike, and Tactical Detonation are the main direct damage spells.

Artificers are the masters of UMD and often carry a wide repertoire of wands, scrolls, and clickies to complement their spell list. With improved caster level and +75 % wand mastery, artificers are the best scroll healers in the game. Combined with their Admixture spells, they can act as solid secondary healers.

[edit] Multiclassing

Artificers have attractive Tier 5 Core abilities and they have access to bonus feats from a wide list. Therefore, most artificers stay pure. Those who decide to multiclass often choose rogue or monk levels for evasion, to complement their trap finding ability. Additional feats (monk/fighter) and haste boost (rogue/fighter) are also worth it to lose the capstone for some builds.

Some artificers take advantage of 6 levels of rogue for the mechanic I prestige enhancement - Int to damage with crossbows.

Downside is that for a ranged Artificer that your scaling on your conjured bolts is calculated from your artificer levels. So +6 at a pure level 20, which allows for a nice selection of cannith crafted weapons, like with arcane archer.

[edit] Dipping Artificer

Artificers are a rather front loaded class, they gain several attractive abilities early. In spite of that, there are not many builds that benefit from taking only a few levels of artificer. Combining artificer 6 with 14 levels of bard warchanter or 11 levels of ranger could make interesting experimental builds.

  • art 6/bard 14 crossbow specialist (dex and int and con)
  • art 6/bard 14 one handed fighter (str and con)
  • art 6/ranger 11 - manages to collect lot of abilities and feats without much synergy, lacking focus; significant ranged burst DPS with fusillade and manyshot; traps and evasion, full TWF

[edit] Useful Past Life Feats to consider

  • Ranger Passive: +2 damage to ranged attacks, +2 to all elemental resistances
  • Artificer Passive: +1 to int skills (disable device, search), +1 to UMD
  • Fighter Passive: +1 to attack rolls (more attack means longer use of Insightful Damage), +1 tactical feat DC
  • Rogue Passive: +1 sneak damage, +2 trap save
  • Monk Passive: +1 to damage rolls
  • Barbarian past life feats: are always handy no matter what the class, because of the passive +10 HP and the active feat counting as toughness for enhancements and being a non-scaling +20, minor loss of 2 HP compared to toughness.
  • Druid passive: Summoned creatures, charmed minions, and hirelings gain +2 ability scores. Stacks with Augment Summon. 3 of these and Augment Summon give your dog +10 to all ability scores

Less useful: Mostly because of short buffs

  • Paladin passive: +5% healamp (although normally useful, will have no effect when self-healing with repair spells)
  • Paladin Active: 3 Divine Favor clickies. (+1 luck bonus on weapon attack and damage. +1 for every 3 caster levels beyond level 3, maximum +3 luck bonus. About 2 minutes per use.) Has its uses, but it's a short benefit
  • Fighter Active: is better then Tensor's because it allows you to cast and get a +4 attack bonus on top of making your base attack equal to your level, but it lasts a lot shorter.
  • Rogue Active: +1 all skills, 3 skulk-type clickies (+(level) hide & move silent, +(level/2) sneak damage, +(level/4) sneak to-hit. rounding down) Note: 1 Minute per use.
  • And there are of course the caster past lives, that are probably less important for giving small bonuses to sp and spell penetration

[edit] Gear to look for

One thing to remember on items with clickies: Due to Artificer Knowledge feats, even lower level items can be very useful as your effective casting level for it increases. At level 20, with the Tier 5 Archanotechnician core abiliy, almost every device has a casting level as if it was level 20. (i.e. 20 minute expeditious retreat spell from a minimum level 1 item.)

Ascension Chamber (Necro 4)

Blockade Buster (Attack on Stormreach)

Cannith Challenges (Challenge pack, or daily free tokens)

  • Ring of Master Artifice
    • Whole range of levels available, listing general description
      • Repair spell clicky, wizardy effect for extra spellpoints, reconstruction spellamp, repair lore, %chance to cast repair on self when hit
  • Spare Hand
    • Whole range of levels available, listing general description
      • Riposte, exceptional combat mastery (bonus DC to tactical feats), Staggering Blow lv12 and up, disable device, open lock, and on epic tier2&3 UMD+3

Treasure of Crystal Cove (Seasonal event)

  • Treasure Hunter's Spyglass
    • Whole range of levels available, listing general description
      • spot, search, detect secret doors clicky up to lvl 12, true seeing from lvl 16, UMD from lvl 8, exceptional intelligence from lvl 16 tier 3

Plane of Night (Vault of Night (story arc))

Chronoscope (Devil Assault)

Zawabi's Revenge (Sands of Mechantarum)

The Last Stand & Into the Deep (The Red Fens)

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