Guard effect

I tested yesterday how efficient the different ‘guard’ effects I have on my items and my dragon touched are to see if they’re as useful as I hope them to be. As I try to move over from my blue dragon scale armor to my dragon touched I’m also testing out what works best for me with the least amount of overlap. Note that there are more ‘effects’ that you can add to the armor then shown below but I removed them because they’re redundant to the better effect (in other runes) and that I’m not interested in them.

Eldritch Runes:

25% Striding – this is interesting – it would be possible to say have boots of feather falling and this – especially in those areas where it’s more advicable to remove the feather fall. But it’s max 25% as suppose to 30% that you can find on items.
Deathblock – this is interesting – I have it on my necklace that I upgraded running necropolis but since I use my potency necklace all the time and the death ward spell I seldom get to use this effect anymore.
Feather Falling – could be combined with my boots of striding (30%) but the issue that I have is that there are a few things and quests where you need to take the FF items off.
Greater Resists – I currently have sonic on my DT but that’s not very useful and it’s no better than having the spell buff. However, it can’t be removed by anti magic. Acid, cold or lightning would be nice.
Healing amplification 10% – this is good to have – makes my free cure light spells even more efficient and goes well with my enhancement.
Heavy Fort – it’s covered on my minos legen but if I would ever want to use a different kind of helmet (like Seraphim – (Helmet) Sacred, Hollowed, Abjuration Focus, Devotion VI for the abjuration focus) or a GS helmet of my creation
Resistance +5 – this is useful but not a high priority
Stat Skills +3 – I assume that you can increase your UMD skill this way?

Deathblock, greater resist or healing amp are probably the effects I’m most interested in.

Tempest Runes:

+1 Exceptional Stat – This can be good since they should stack with +2 Exceptional making it possible to create a ToD ring (say +6 Char with +2 Exceptional) and adding this to it for a total of 9.
Corrosive Salt Guard  Interesting guard effect – according to everything I’ve read about it it procs more often than say Crushing wave.
Crushing Wave Guard
Healing Amplification 20%  Again, good to have. Should stack with 10%
Magma Surge Guard – have it right now and doesn’t seem to proc that often. Therefore not as useful for me. I rather have something go off more often with less damage than something that goes off once in a blue moon.
Protection +5 – This would make work well with my shield or when I dual wield

I’m leaning towards corrosive salt guard here or perhaps +1 exceptional Char.

Sovereign Runes:

+3 Dodge(Doesnt stack with Chattering Ring) – that would stack with my chaosgarde and ring of balance (whenever I use em) for even additional AC
+4 Natural Armor – I assume this is dodge and not deflection
Crippling – have it on my Sickle and it’s an interesting effect that would apply to all my weapons with a successful crit. Having 2 15+ crit rapiers almost guarantees it.
Destruct – I have experimented with this effect (improved destruction) and it’s very useful – especially for someone like me with no 2 weapon fighting feats
Earthen Guard (procs Stoneskin, caster level 7) – interesting guard effect – gain a free stoneskin whenever it works. Depends on how often it procs.
Greater Spell Pen VIII – I have the +2 version right now and this would make it slightly better. But I don’t really need more spell penetration right now since I seem to in average be about 80-90 percent successful
Heightened Awareness 4(+4 Insight AC) – Like the natural armor above – this is very interesting. I don’t have any other items with insight bonus so if my aim is to replace the AV I’m losing for not using the ring of balance and the chaosgarde – this would be the perfect thing to add.
Radiance Guard – Interesting guard effect that would be most useful in Amrath and any undead area
Smite (smite on melee attacks) – adds smite to all attacks so any construct would be in real danger
Sundering Ooze Guard – I’ve seen this effect spawn Oozes before (black puddings) interesting as a kind of ‘pet’ help effect.

I’d like to add one of the guard effects but I feel more inclined to either go for one of the +4 to AC of something like destruct as it would benefit my ability to hit and that of anyone else in the group.

If I’m looking at maximum protection prot +5 and +4 insight should be good. The prot +5 will only increase my AC another +1 (since my shield already have prot +4) but the additional +4 insight would cover the loss of my ring and bracers. I won’t really increase anything but I won’t lose it either. So if I’m fine now I’ll be fine later.

But the thing is that AC isn’t all that useful in the higher end quests. It usually boils down to damage reduction as suppose to no hits and blur seems more important than semi-decent AC. I seriously do not think that 4 points of AC either way will do much of an impact compared to punishing measures like Guard effects. If they’re going to hit me I want them to suffer as much as possible. Note that I’m moving away from most specific elemental effects such as lightning, cold and fire and more towards light and acid since they seem to affect higher end critters the most. There’s no reason to add effects to a armor that’ll more easily kill low end critters since it’s relatively easy to do so anyways.

I did some extensive testing on kobold assault (Elite) to get an idea of how often my guard effects would do their jobs while worrying about any of them actually manage to ‘kill’ me. I was happy about the cold shield from my bracers but not all that impressed with magma guard. I didn’t expect a barrage of sudden death by ‘fire’ but it’s sad that it went off so few times that my earthgrab effect seemed to go off ‘all the time’ in comparison.

Maybe I should simply make a couple of GS gloves that include all tier 3 fire guard (or any element) effects for a guaranteed punishing effect?

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