On day one or perhaps two, my once human Warlock reincarnated into an iconic Deep Gnome.
Not because I wanted so desperately to play Gnome – while I find nothing wrong with new races or classes, I generally don’t change things just because I have a deep desire to look different.
To me it was simply to serve a longer term goal of improving my Warlocks spell pen. When we first heard about Gnomes there was a lot of speculation on what the Iconic would really be. With an earthen theme early favorites fell into the Druid category as well as more speculation framed in lore.
Personally I thought it was Artificier since they were also changing something in the Arcanotechnician tree, but when people talked about Wizard I sorta liked that idea better.
I like Iconic. Not because they seem more powerful – which can be arguably ‘trueish’ for some builds but only in that it offers a few stronger features such as the Bladeforged reconstruct SLA. But there’s nothing that much more powerful in way of features that make the Bladeforged a better melee than a Horc. Just the convenience of self sufficiency.
And that is true with Deep Gnome as well.
As you can see here there are several strong points with Deep Gnomes and in this case how I invested it. None all that much more powerful than any other race or Iconic.
You can for example get an phantasmal force SLA through the Archmage tree – one with shorter cooldown but cost slightly more.
And there are plenty of trees that provide bonuses to weapons specific to that type of race.
To me, however as you can see I am concentrating on the casting aspect of the Deep Gnome. An artificier, straight or multi classed would see great benefits in the light weapons part of the tree. It covers several light blunt weapons (including pick and short sword) and light cross bows (repeater or not). It culminates in a competence bonus to crit range. That’s not remarkable in itself since there are other trees with similar features, but it can be useful when you play a pure artificier that lacks that type of benefit. Making needle a very potent level 23 named light repeater.
There are also a lot of ‘caster’ centrist features such as a perma blur, SLA stoneskin, additional DC for illusion spells and color spray.
For 3 points invested it costs 2 SP and provides a cone shaped defensive attack that can make life a lot easier for a caster. It’s like a mid tier upper end anti magic proc (except spell casting involved of course) with a potpourri of many different effects. No Spell resistance and it can be enhanced by many different of your typical DC enhancing metas.
It is to me extremely useful.
The difference between the Deep Gnome Phantasmal Force SLA and the Archmage one is that at 3 points the Deep Gnome version cost 5 SP with 16 seconds cool down and the Archmage core one cost 10 SP with a 6 second cool down. Both being equally useful in tandem (more about that later).
Not to disparage any of the other features in the tree – such as the 3 additional save points that I picked but never marked or for that matter adding more AC and PRR, one of the more useless additions is conjure stone.
It’s like the fury of the wild version but useless. Low damage – even in heroic. Once you hit upper heroics the 40-70 HP in damage won’t do much. The knockdown effect seems to be a 50-60 percent chance. It’s an awkward slow throw that will most likely hit the ground (or other terrain features) with no additional effect outside low damage and possible brief knockdown.
You’re better of smacking away several more spells in the same time frame than the single creature hit feature of the SLA.
Notice – this is an actual conjuration of a stone. It’s not like the fury of the wild that initially could be boosted by force spell power but was considered a little bit too strong for a tier 1 feature (and I agree). Altho even when they changed that, it still hurts. This one doesn’t. If anything it should be boosted by metas. Otherwise it’s no more useful that the little Gnome picking up a rock and hurling it to get the attention of whatever is over there.
The tree also comes with the possibility of 20 more spellcraft. That’s useful but I didn’t want to eat too many points in the same tree. But as the stoneskin SLA start losing it’s usefulness in Epic I’m thinking about reinvesting it into that instead.
Enhancement wise I’m doing archmage this time around. I figured that I would give the PF SLA a shot with the idea that I would run as a Shiradi caster as destiny. So initially I invested in the evocation core line (for cheap magic missiles) but once I hit EGH things didn’t work so nicely. I even had trouble in EH to get the PF to work and if you invest so deep into evocation then everything else sorta falls apart from CC through dancing ball to PF mostly not going off.
Above is the reinvestment and re-tunement of my commitments.
First. Gone is the Palemaster skellie. Sure. It’s a cool idea to soak up some agro. It’s actually pretty durable but I never had any way to heal it so eventually it got munched up. The low 30-40 damage per hit just isn’t good enough to justify 2 points per investment and I only had 2 ranks in it. So gone. I also invested enough in Eldrich knight to get the light armor. N
I’m still debating that. I have a few good light armors and the PRR is nice. Even if it’s minimal compared to robe.It works very nicely with Warlock but there might be less benefit with Wizard. We’ll see.
ow I only do HP in both those trees.
But as you can see I’m pretty deep in the racial tree – which is unusual for me and arcane casters and I’m very much invested in the Archmage tree. The upper Epics will determine if that pays off (25 now).
This reinvestment however see to work in EH. I now use 2 PF SLAs, both on different cool downs and with similar deep investment in DC. Such as you can see in this tree Illusion for DC, +5 item, +3 from racial and feats. I got enough spell pen for that to not being a huge problem and the PF work with what looks like 70-80 percent reliability with additional neg level draining.
And because so much is about cheap Shiradi procs and SLA type casting I felt that it was pointless to invest in making the use of META cheaper.
Currently I use extend for things like displacement (SLA through the illusion core enhancements), rage and fire shield (spells), embolden and other features for the SLAs and a few spells (dancing ball etc) and while throwing up dancing ball with other associated CC benefiting AOEs can be expensive, I only use them in areas where I know there will be lots of activity.
For most part color spray works nice on the 2-3 rushing you and PF and other SLAs on ranged. And Color Spray is particularly nice on non boss caster creatures since it can also add silence to the mix. I like quiet enemy casters.