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November 29th, 2012, 03:45
I used the free LR to respec Susan into a Wolfy Healer build.

STR 16 (10) + level ups
CON 16 (10)
INT 10
WIS 16 (10)

Monk dilettante, though I think Fighter would still work, for issues described later.

To goal is to fight in melee in Wolf form when not main healing, supplementing the current main healer as much as possible. I'm still working on Druid healing timing, which is far different than Cleric/FvS due to lacking a spike mass heal. I stand by Druids being as capable, with their HoTs, but needing a modified skill set.

1 - Toughness
1 - Monk Dilettante (May swap back to Fighter)
2 - Wolf Form
3 - Power Attack (may also consider dumping, as the effect is not noticable. Better to move up other feats and make room for a metamagic I think).
5 - Bear Form
6 - Quicken Spell
8 - Winter Wolf Form
9 - Natural Fighting
11(?) - Dire Bear Form
12 - Improved Critical: Bludgeoning (Per Devs, Natural Attacks are technically classified as Unarmed attacks, which falls under this feat's umbrella)
13 - Fire Elemental Form
15 - Natural Fighting (?)
18 - Empower Healing/Maximize (?)

With Water Elemental being taken whenever I get it, too tired to remember right now when that comes into play.

Druids are exceptionally feat-starved in melee wolf/bear builds. You need the usual suspects for dps, plus as many Natural Fighting feats as you can muster. Plus, you'd also want Max and Empower for your AoE DoTs and Creeping Cold spells. In the end, once I hit Vale I'll probably decide for or against Emp Heal.

Spell changes were minimal, adding in a few form-specific buffs and attacks instead of some unused spells.

One minor issue is that even in form, you get hit with a 25% non-proficiency penalty to-hit if you're using a non-proficient weapon (even though your current weapon type is technically natural attacks instead). Thus, Fighter dilettante may be better, at this stage, than Monk, though it shouldn't be an issue to stack up a decent sickle or scimitar.

Another issue is that the new effects do not work under form, or at least Heartseeker does not. It's possible that Ribcracker (bludgeoning equivalent) does however. Got to test that.

One good thing though, is that you do not get a penalty for TWF without the feats when in form, so you can equip a caster stick to your offhand. Spell power still works, though I didn't test enough to see if the lore did as well. So you can equip a shield or caster stick with a decent casting combo on it, and use that to back up a solid melee stick in the main hand, which will have it's damage effects added to your own melee.

Tactically, I've traded offensive spell strength for melee strength. On the field I operate in much the same manner as I have; fight inside Sleet Storm/Ice Storm or Firewall/Entangle combos. I may also try Call Lightning Storm again, with little hope that it's worthwhile. Maybe against bosses, where they keep standing long enough for it to matter.

Damage is not much higher on a regular hit, even with PA (not sure that's working at all), but on crits Winter Wolf shows it's strength. It's stronger than a Khopesh. With the doublestrike from NA feats, and arty/druid buffs, it's not too shabby.

This build basically requires pure Druid, and the wild-shape capstone which reduces spell cooldowns. Given the weakness in regular Wolf form, you're not likely to get any use of of this until you get Winter Wolf.

I'm still researching the build, but a quick jaunt was much more fun on Susan than her prior setup. 250+ crits tend to do that (Doublestrike + 6[w] on Jaws of Winter). DC based casting will be more limited, so things like Call Lightning will become less than useful. So much of her spell dps will be from Ice Storm and Firewall, and maybe Call Lightning Storm (doubt it). Later Storm of Vengeance.

It was the night before Hogswatch…

I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe
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