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Old July 9, 2020, 10:23   #1
Dooks
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4.2.1 Blackguard Spells Review

I'm currently a CL 50 Half-Orc Blackguard down at DL 65. Bullied my way through the shallower dungeons, but finding myself in a rut. Buffing up and stocking up potions before I go any lower.

Here's a review of Blackguard 4.2.1 spells:

1st Book: Into the Shadows

a) Seek Battle - Great detection spell early on. Helps you find enemies... as well as bringing up your SP. New blackguards will find that their SP drops as time passes by. By Seeking Battle, you can find weaklings to pummel to get your SP up before knocking out the big ones. Trouble is that this only detects enemies that can be affected by fear. It's quite possible to turn the corner and come face-to-face with a strong enemy that literally doesn't know the meaning of fear.

b) Berserk Strength - Just like the potion: you don't feel fear, you hit better, lose some AC, and can't regenerate health. But blackguards can get their health back up by spamming spells, so going berserk is kinda good for this class. Pretty ok spell until you get pFear, after that, I feel this spell is not so useful. What do you guys think about Berserk at the deeper levels?

c) Leap into Battle - I use this all. The. Time. I hardly use projectile weapons anymore (except for the occasional pesky quylthulg). Even if the monster is out of reach, I spam this spell so I can get close as soon as possible. Moreover it's an incredible tactical spell. When I face a mob of hounds or hydras, I hide around a corner as most other melee characters do. The difference is that I move back one more square where I'm out of range of breath attacks. The moment I see one sneak out, I leap, kill, then move right back. Rinse and repeat.

d) Shatter Stone - This one's nice early on for mining. Stopped using it when I got deeper. Lately I realized that this spell is quite useful, especially when I needed to manufacture an instant cubbyhole to take care of monster mobs.

e) Whirlwind Attack - Nice to use when surrounded by a bunch of weak but pesky monsters. Especially huorns.

f) Grim Purpose - This is great early on when you don't have pConf or Free Action. Could be useful against Inertia Hounds now that I think of it, but this spell just doesn't come to mind when I'm up against them.

2nd Book: Fear and Torment

a) Maim Foe - Spam whenever possible! The stun effect is excellent. You deal damage (but not as much) AND get life back. Doesn't work against the undead though. I find demiliches, archliches and nightwings tough to battle against because of their resistance to stun. All in all though, Maim Foe is incredibly useful.

b) Howl of the Damned - Scares monsters in LOS... Ummm... I hardly use this. I only use it sometimes when I need to spend SP just to get back some health. Otherwise, I don't know. I just don't find it useful. Any thoughts?

c) Relentless Taunting - I'm on the fence about using this. It's fun to use especially when I find weak wolves and fleeing orcs, just for the heck of it. I realize it can be used against spell casters, but when I'm up against a bunch of hydras, hounds or dragons, would I dare? Hmmm... I'd rather go find a cubbyhole to ambush them with.

d) Venom - Oh this was a mainstay when I didn't have a branded weapon. Now I'm wielding an artifact weapon with a couple of brands and slaying power, and it suddenly became useless.

e) Werewolf Form - This is my answer against archliches and demiliches. The damage per attack is substantial. However, you can't spam spells like Maim Foe or Leap to get your health back up. I end up changing back to normal sooner than later.

3rd Book: Deadly Powers

a) Bloodlust - If I find a vault full of nasties I'm sure I could handle, I bloodlust as I knock on the door and have my way with them. The side effects are wild though. I sometimes get real slow after a while, or get lots of cuts, or get hallucinations. The hallucination thing is really wild. Otherwise, I don't use when I know I'm up against tough enemies. I just find it's not worth the risk.

b) Unholy Reprieve - This is good. After fighting time hounds, I get the important stats back.

c) Forceful Blow - Oh I love this! Knocks your enemies all the way across the room. Hilarious! And the health you get back after a successful blow? It's quite substantial! Works quite as well when your enemy is up against the wall. You can simply spam this spell and get your health back up from the red. My usual routine when finding a strong monster is Leap, Maim, then Forceful Blow them off to the other side of the room, then Leap again.

d) Quake - Hardly used. I'm sure there's a tactical use to this though. Like when I'm along a reaaaaally long corridor and the spell casters at the other end is shooting, breathing and spelling me to death, I could let a Quake slip just so I could get some cover. I just never got to do it though.
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Old July 9, 2020, 14:04   #2
archolewa
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Relentless Taunting doesnt just increase the chances enemies will move towards you, it increases the chances they will attack instead of casting or breathing. So yeah, absolutely use this against dragons and the like.

I didn't use Leap into Battle much for closing, honestly. Why do that when you can duck around a corner and let them come to you, or dig a tunnel to xlose? Great early spell for the damage and healing though.

Personally I used Werewolf Form against everyone all the time. When the stun ran out, I shift back, Maim them, and go werewolf again. Sure I didnt get the healing from spells, but most enemies died so fast I didnt need it. After each fight I down some CLW, or use a staff of Cure Light Wounds and get moving again.

I found Bloodlust worth using against uniques that were nasty but not too nasty. Get into an anti summoning corridor, pop Bloodlust, Maim them, go Werewolf and go to town. Pretty sure the side effects get worse as you kill things, so it gives a nice damage bonus at minimal risk if you use it for a one v one.

I didnt use Forceful Blow as much as you do, but thats mostly because of my heavy reliance on werewolf form. I definitely found it iseful against Makar the Warrior, Morgoth and Gothmog.
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Old July 9, 2020, 14:14   #3
Dooks
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Originally Posted by archolewa View Post
Relentless Taunting doesnt just increase the chances enemies will move towards you, it increases the chances they will attack instead of casting or breathing. So yeah, absolutely use this against dragons and the like
Ok, sounds like a plan. Will try using taunt more often. I figure it will also lessen the chances of liches touching you and draining your pack?
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Old July 9, 2020, 14:31   #4
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Originally Posted by Dooks View Post
Ok, sounds like a plan. Will try using taunt more often. I figure it will also lessen the chances of liches touching you and draining your pack?
Actually, Relentless Taunting will *increase* the chances, since the touch attack is part of their melee attack. I didn't fight liches until I could put them down in a turn or two.

Now, if you put on Relentless Taunting, and used Forceful Blow on liches whenever they got into melee range (peppering them with wands or arrows as they approached), then you should be able to kill them with minimal fuss.

But frankly, I would just avoid (arch/demi)liches. They're really not worth fighting.
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Old July 9, 2020, 17:39   #5
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Another great review and discussion. I didn't see this said explicitly, but it sounds like you're having fun with this class, Dooks?
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Old July 9, 2020, 21:01   #6
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Whether Bloodlust is worth the negative side effects or not is certainly questionable, and I'd like it to stay in that questionable zone. Something people seem to overlook is that it gives you CL+BL extra HP before you die. This combines with the way that the spells heal you in a beneficial way.

Say you have 1000 HP, CL 40 and average BL 30. It's like having 1070 HP, but when you cast a spell the healing is not reduced by those into-the-negative HPs. So if you can afford to wait until you have 600 HP left before you start casting to maximize the healing without risking death, not only can you wait an extra 70 damage longer with BL active, but your spells will heal you 17% more. (At 400 HP damage healing is multiplied by 40%, at 470 damage it's multiplied by 47%.)

I don't think I'm explaining that very well but hopefully you get the picture. Whether the benefits are worth the risk of BL and RNG forcing you to attack 3 times when you wanted to escape is a decision the player has to make.
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Old July 10, 2020, 00:30   #7
Dooks
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Another great review and discussion. I didn't see this said explicitly, but it sounds like you're having fun with this class, Dooks?
It's a great class David. My BG is in a tough spot nowadays though, grinding through DL 60-65, hoarding pots and looking for better gear. I'm doing a necromancer as well, brilliant class! He was struggling early on, but when he got the 5th book, wow did things open up for him. I might do a review on him as well.

Are you one of the devs alongside Nick, David? Can I do a recommendation? Instead of the Quake spell, which I feel is purely flavor and very little utility, could we do a spell which allows BG to walk his way through walls like what an umber hulk does? And when he attacks, he causes parts of the ceiling to crash down on surrounding monsters, insta-killing them and also tactically hiding you from other enemies' LOS. I think that would be pretty bad-ass! We could name the spell "Hulking Madness" or "Quaking Rage".

If the devs incorporate that in 4.2.2, I'll get me a Hobbit to be a BG and use that spell. What a fearsome Hobbit that would be!
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Old July 10, 2020, 00:39   #8
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Originally Posted by DavidMedley View Post
Whether Bloodlust is worth the negative side effects or not is certainly questionable, and I'd like it to stay in that questionable zone. Something people seem to overlook is that it gives you CL+BL extra HP before you die. This combines with the way that the spells heal you in a beneficial way.

Say you have 1000 HP, CL 40 and average BL 30. It's like having 1070 HP, but when you cast a spell the healing is not reduced by those into-the-negative HPs. So if you can afford to wait until you have 600 HP left before you start casting to maximize the healing without risking death, not only can you wait an extra 70 damage longer with BL active, but your spells will heal you 17% more. (At 400 HP damage healing is multiplied by 40%, at 470 damage it's multiplied by 47%.)

I don't think I'm explaining that very well but hopefully you get the picture. Whether the benefits are worth the risk of BL and RNG forcing you to attack 3 times when you wanted to escape is a decision the player has to make.
Not quite sure I understand it David, but I think what you mean to say is to cast BL when my health is down to half to get the best HP recovery BL has to offer. Is that correct?

I find the BG's HP recovery while spamming spells is incredibly useful, especially Forceful Blow! There are several times when my BG's health is down to the red, warnings keep flashing after I take a hit. I'd be holed up in a corridor so when I use Forceful Blow on a monster, it would still be where it was before I used FB on it. Each time I cast FB, my health would increase around 30-40 points. Spamming FB, my health would get back up to half!

But if it was a dracolich though, hahaha, I wouldn't even dare use that technique!
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Old July 17, 2020, 06:05   #9
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I should have stated this explicitly -- Bloodlust keeps you alive below 0 HP. Maybe it's a bit of a spoiler to give the formula for how much lower you can go:
Character level (max 50) + bloodlust level (max 50)

So that can get you out of some trouble, and that's the main point. But I was also saying that the BG's healing from spells works well with these "negative HPs" because the amount healed is proportional to the amount of damage taken.

On my current BG run I'm using Bloodlust a lot. It's probably best before your stats are maxed when the blows gained can really multiply your damage.
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Old July 17, 2020, 06:14   #10
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I should have stated this explicitly -- Bloodlust keeps you alive below 0 HP.
Also worth noting - only when your bloodlust meter is at or nearly at its maximum.
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