Character Builds #2 - Higher Reaver

I’ll be trying a new format with this character build today, and hopefully it will look better.

Now then, I’m usually in the #tome channel on mIRC [we use Rizon server for those interested], and there are a lot of people that ask ‘how do I build a Reaver?’; and, here’s your answer. Now then, this build in particular is only one of several ways you can go. Notice that I don’t use the Bone or Hex trees at all. That’s mostly personal preference – but I’ve seen good use and arguments for Bone Spear and Bone Shield. I have not seen good arguments for Hexes yet, and it my opinion, the entirety of the Hex tree itself is rather terrible – though, I honestly don’t know the radius of their effects now, as they lack that in their descriptions.

Now then, here is a character dump of a level 50 Reaver with base equipment. Ruin is sustained, so Vim is lowered correctly. You’ll notice a few things here, such as stats, base hp/vim/ect. Take your time and look at the talent choices as well and see if you notice the combo involved.

I recommend a Higher as the race for one big reason really – the regeneration of the racial talent. Early in the game this will be what allows you to use blood sacrifice as you are ending combat without too much fear of a stray skeleton mage or archer killing you. As you wont’ be raising willpower with this build, the amount regenerated won’t scale, meaning you’ll probably only get an extra point or two as you progress due to your kit increasing willpower. This is fine, as you will always want to have at least one regeneration infusion inscribed on you, and probably level 20 or 30 you’ll want to put a second on.

 [Tome 4.00 @ Character Dump]

Sex : Male STR: 60
Race : Higher DEX: 12
Class : Reaver MAG: 60
Level : 50 WIL: 11
Exp : 0% CUN: 20
Gold : 10.00 CON: 60

Attack(Main Hand): 91 Life : 1684/1684Encumbrance : 8/148
Damage(Main Hand): 62 Difficulty : Normal
APR (Main Hand): 2
Crit (Main Hand): 6%
Speed (Main Hand): 1.00

                                Vim              :     256/256

Attack (Off Hand): 91
Damage (Off Hand): 33
APR (Off Hand): 2
Crit (Off Hand): 6%
Speed (Off Hand): 1.00

Fatigue : 0% Spellpower : 60
Armor : 0 Spell Crit : 4%
Defense : 0.7 Spell Speed : 1
Ranged Defense : 0.7

Physical Save : 30
Spell Save : 17.75
Mental Save : 7.75

Number of NPC killed: 0
Most killed NPC: none (0)

  [Talents Chart]

- Technique / Combat training (mastery 1.30)
    Heavy Armour Training (generic)   1/5
    Massive Armour Training (generic) 5/5
    Health (generic)                  5/5
    Weapon Combat (generic)           10/10
    Weapons Mastery (generic)         5/10
    Knife Mastery (generic)           0/10

- Corruption / Sanguisuge (mastery 1.30)
    Blood Sacrifice (generic)         5/5
    Drain (generic)                   5/5
    Absorb Life (generic)             1/5
    Life Tap (generic)                5/5

- Corruption / Bone (mastery 1.30)
    Bone Spear (class)                0/5
    Bone Grab (class)                 0/5
    Bone Nova (class)                 0/5
    Bone Shield (class)               0/5

- Corruption / Curses (mastery 1.30)
    Curse of Defenselessness (class)  1/5
    Curse of Impotence (class)        5/5
    Curse of Death (class)            1/5
    Curse of Vulnerability (class)    5/5

- Corruption / Plage (mastery 1.40)
    Virulent Disease (class)          5/5
    Cyst Burst (class)                5/5
    Catalepsy (class)                 5/5
    Epidemic (class)                  0/5

- Corruption / Scourge (mastery 1.40)
    Rend (class)                      5/5
    Ruin (class)                      5/5
    Acid Strike (class)               5/5
    Dark Surprise (class)             5/5

- Corruption / Reaving combat (mastery 1.30)
    Corrupted Strength (class)        1/5
    Bloodlust (class)                 5/5
    Carrier (class)                   5/5
    Acid Blood (class)                5/5
 [Current Effects]

- Ruin

- Build focus -
Ranged DOT with supporting hard hitting and status causing melee abilities – that is about as detailed summary as you need for Reavers.

Raising magic first to help with EVERYTHING – that’s right, EVERYTHING you have scales off of magic [and thusly, spell power as well], then swapping between 10 points in str/con to help with overall damage/wear ability of items, and to allow rising of health at critical points. Survivability is hard as overall you are weaker than most enemies you will come across, but that is where VD and the various diseases and status effects you can inflict come in. You need to make your enemies weaker, way weaker, to be on an even field with them. But then, why only make it even? VD can put multiple diseases on a target at a time. Now, while the 3 diseases lower stats, they don’t disallow kit usage by npcs – BUT they do lower the effects of the stats. For instance, the str disease will lower the amount of damage that you take, especially at higher levels. The DOT you can inflict is great; it is large amounts of exotic damage types, with medium to long duration. You are able to inflict a wide variety of damage types as well, darkness, blight, acid, fire [if you go into hexes], along with physical, natively. Along with the various diseases and ways to spread them, you also are able to blind, cut, stun, lower damage all damage dealt, lower all resists, and if hit, thanks to acid blood – one of the best talents in the game – you can also lower ac [very good], and attack [even better] of npcs. Most all of these effects are at range, and at 10+ range as well. You also steal vim using 2 different talents and regenerate health through your racial, infusions, and increase your overall damage with life tap. This build focuses greatly on hitting from a distance, over duration, and then finishing them off with a hard hitting melee attack. You may want to not put 5 points into massive armor, and instead opt for only 1. If t his is the case, I’d recommend either putting them in Weapon mastery instead of absorb life. Absorb Life just isn’t very good, at all.

- Class Talents -
The order of which I recommend raising your class talents is going all out into VD first. This is really the first part of a really good combo, and the most important. The damage scales with your spell power [say hello to Bloodlust], it has good range and has a very short cool down. The stat penalties are also very good, with this dump it’s 18 stat point penalty. It doesn’t start that high, with the penalty only being 1 at the beginning, but you really want the DOT in the early game. Later, when VD is coupled with Cyst Burst and Catalepsy, you have one of the best combos in the game. First you disease someone, and then depending on if you want to spread the disease [meaning other npcs get inflicted], or if you want to stun the npc [Catalepsy], you can do so. Or of course you can simply let them come at you diseased, and then disease them again. That combination of three talents will cover your ranged assaults for the entire game, mostly.

As Ruin becomes available, I like to stop with VD and go directly and completely into Ruin. It does great damage, doesn’t drain your Vim like other project style talents such as Weapon of Light, and it’s an exotic damage type. Once you put a point into it, I’d sustain it, but if not, when you reach level 5 and raise it to tlvl 2, I greatly recommend sustaining it then. It will drastically help with your melee damage output.

Once Ruin and VD are maxed out, I like to race down to Acid Blood. Now, Acid Blood is by far one of the best talents in the game. 1) It’s passive ; 2) It deals damage, DOT style [which is VERY good for you {see Bloodlust}] ; 3) It’s a damage that really isn’t resisted all that often actually ; 4) It lowers the attack on enemies [which is VERY good news for you] ; 5) It lowers npc armor as well, which doesn’t mean a WHOLE lot as most npcs just resist damage instead of possessing armor, but you’ll notice it when it happens on the right enemies. Also, Acid Blood scales nicely in all aspects with tlvl, so I really believe it should be gotten to, and completed as soon as Ruin and VD are learned. Also, to get the talent learned, you only need 44 str, and that is easily reachable in a hurry. Depending on the comfort you have with dealing with pits, summoners, splitters, breeders, ect. you may want to invest a point [or 2 in the case of Cyst Burst, as it’s radius increases to 2 with 2 points] in Cyst Burst and Catalepsy before doing Acid Blood; and this is okay as well. Acid Blood is mostly picked up by me at this point because I like to finish off enemies in melee, to help preserve my Vim. Vim usage isn’t really an issue I find at any point other than the first 10 levels or so usually, unless I’m really in a bind and need to use a lot of the melee talents in succession.

In either case, after VD, Ruin, Acid Blood, and minimally a point in both Cyst Burst and Catalepsy, I like to finally invest a single point in both Acid Strike and Dark Surprise. Now, Acid Strike to me can be either really good or moderately bad, it really depends on the npcs you are fighting, and how tightly packed they are. Acid Blood’s key feature is that it splashes, a 1 radius burst in other words. This is your only melee style ball attack, and that makes it important, but not important enough to max out until late in the game. It functions fine at tlvl 1 most of the time – as only the base damage and splash damage scale with tlvl. Dark Surprise however is good pretty much the whole time. It deals 2 different damage types [to make it useful against a wider variety of enemies], the second hit auto crits if the first strike landed, and it BLINDS. Now, let me talk about the positive and negative aspects of Blind. The npcs that are immune to blind are probably the ones that you will want to blind the most, those being the undead enemies [like Dreads, Skeletons, Vampires, Ghasts, Ghouls, Wights, ect]. And the undead also have a bonus against you as they also typically resist darkness, blight, acid, ect in at least small amounts. However, not a single orc/dragon/natural enemy to my knowledge is immune to blind. That’s right, all those spell casters, berserkers, bears and dragons can be blinded. Just made you grin a little bit didn’t I? Unfortunately you are unable to spread blindness as you can diseases, but it does make melee life a lot easier once you have Dark Surprise.

Regarding unlocking the Curses tree, I like to hold off on that until my lvl 20 category point. You really want four inscribe slots at about your third dungeon with a Reaver so you can be absolutely sure you have enough healing to get by. The only curse you may want really early is Curse of Vulnerability. What this curse does is it lowers all damage resists on the target by x%. Those of you that have fought things immune to your damage type know exactly how useful this talent can be. The other useful Curse is really a toss up between Impotence and Death. Death is useful because it’s more DOT – but its core aspect is blocking healing for the npc. I … don’t know any npc that heals itself. So, Impotence gets my vote as it lowers all damage that the inflicted is capable of doing. It’s just like having – x% [damage], and that means you live longer. It’s really meant for things that have a lot of life, and/or are resistant to your damage types [not that I know of any other than Bone Giants and some bosses]. You’ll find the curses useful in some situations, but in most you’d rather disease/cut/stun/blind/ect them.

- Generic Talents –
Some what fortunately, you don’t have too many options for generic points. You only have one class tree that uses generics, and the most generic of the generic trees, Combat Training. Now everyone probably knows the drill by now when it comes to the Combat Training tree – raise con to use Health, raise str to unlock Massive Armor and in your off time upgrade Weapon Combat as needed. That all still applies to Reavers, to an extent. As a dual wielding class, you will want to raise Weapon Combat almost every chance you get to maximize the chance of getting both hits in every time. But then you run into a slight problem – Blood Sacrifice, the core talent of regaining your main energy source, deals you damage. Luckily, the amount of hp lost is static, but the amount of Vim regained scales quickly with tlvl and off of magic – so I recommend raising Weapon Combat every 4 levels, and Blood Sacrifice, and eventually Drain [which also scales with magic] every level other than that. Drain will do decent damage, and its range increases with tlvl, so you may wish to focus on that in particular more so than weapon combat, depending on how much you use your melee talents. Also, Drain can be used in every fight as a replacement for Blood Sacrifice, given that the amount of Vim recovered is directly based on the amount of damage Vim itself does. Life Tap can be very useful, or not at all. What it does is it drains some of your life, like Blood Sacrifice, but then it raises your damage, like an inverted Curse of Impotence. The duration at tlvl 5 is 7 turns, which is plenty long to get a couple of diseases going and spread, along with a cut. Yes, it even boots your DOT damage, which is really all its good for. Some people may find that some of the massive armors aren’t as useful for you as they would be for fighters/berserkers/sun paladins, and that’s fine. I do say put at least 1 point into the talent regardless as you never know what you’ll find; and 1 point is probably enough. In that case, go ahead and put the other 4 into Weapon Mastery [which really should be about the last thing you increase]. Weapon Mastery doesn’t scale very well with tlvl, same as Weapon Combat, but it does help you even more so than most other classes as you do attack more than once a turn.

- Dungeon Advancement –
Normally I would recommend melee capable classes of going into the Maze first as that is a very easy dungeon for melee combatants. The Reaver, while capable of devastating melee, isn’t one of them though – at least not until they have a few levels under their belt. So, the Old Forest is probably your best bet at easy adventuring with quick levels. The dungeon being fully lit and with large open areas work to your advantage with VD weakening the mobs or flat out killing them as they come at you. Even Wrathroot isn’t too much of an issue as long as you get to him at about level 3 or 4, as VD should deal a load of damage at that point, and you might even have a point in Health. The only real danger that Wrathroot possesses is freezing you and then coming in and not attacking the whole time you are frozen. The further away he is, the better it is for you, as the only damaging talent that he has at a range greater than 3 is Freeze. Once he gets in close he can do Tidal Wave and Ice Storm, both of which are no good for you. And, coming to him at such a low level, you most likely won’t have Ruin high enough, or Dark Surprise yet. So, Wrathroot = VD and walk backwards, then VD again.

Next I recommend the Maze as it will probably be easy as you might be as high as level 9 coming out of the OF. It’s pretty easy, usually 1v1 fights, 1 tile wide corridors, with some traps. The only npcs you might want to watch out for are the Minotaurs as they can confuse you [so you blind/cut/disease them before they get a chance to]. NOTE: The Minotaur of the Labyrinth can be blinded, which then makes him a push over. He can also be inflicted with whatever status effect you want, as he isn’t inherently resistant to any of them.

Next I usually tackle the original 2 dungeons, probably the Shaws first if I have found an artifact staff [for the apprentice quest], if not, then I do Kor’Pul first. Everyone knows about these two dungeons, and there isn’t much to say here so I’ll leave it at that.

I do the merchant quest whenever it shows, and the Cursed quest after my third dungeon [depending on if I’ve found a good weapon or not]. After all that, I do the Storming the City and Urkis quests, preferably with at least 25% lightning res.

Following all of these side marks, it’s pretty much a tossup between the Sandworm Lair and Daikara. If I have access to 40% or greater cold res, and 70% or greater stun res, and I have 2 regeneration infusions, and a teleport rune, then I usually do Daikara before the sandy pit. I also recommend to those that have trouble or have never been – have at least a phase door rune when going to the sandworm lair. Preferably a teleportation rune, but a PD would work fine.

The Ambush can be extremely difficult, or doable depending on how high of damage your VD does, along with the spread ratio of Cyst Burst, and the stun duration of Catalepsy. With all the orcs grouped so closely, you can disease stun about 3/4ths of them in 3 turns, and then work off the archers from there.

In regards to the order to do the western dungeons on the trip back, I say do Kor’Pul first, then the others in which ever order you want. Kor’Pul’s drop is custom made for you, and thus, it’s useful for you.

The prides in the east I like to leave until after I’ve done the Unknown Cave, and the Flooded Cave [remember your amulet of the fish!]. Depending on how bad I need a shop, I might even do the Spider Lair before starting up the quests to return west, or the prides.

The order that I recommend to do the pries really depends on what equipment you have. If you have a lot of fire/cold/lightning/acid/stun res, then Vor is a good start, if you only have good fire/cold then perhaps Gorbat instead. Grushnak, the warrior pride will probably be the roughest for you, with all the high damage melee crits and rushing in your face, you won’t be able to keep the enemy at bay. However, this pride is the ideal place for Acid Blood to show its worth. If Acid Blood and Ruin are maxed, and you have good armor and weapons, Grushnak might actually be the first tribe to try. Rak’shor is going to be your bane however, as you’ll be fighting hordes of yourself. Be prepared to fight of a LOT of DOT effects. Luckily, none of the Leaders of the Pride are all that difficult, as all can be inflicted with whatever the hell you want to throw at them.

- Equipment –
These are pretty much the items you should be striving for. Usually once you find one of these or a comparable item, even if it’s material lvl 1, you’ll probably use it for a good long while. Artifacts are capitalized, egos are not.


    Razorblade, the Cursed War axe
    elemental of corruption

    Glory of the Pride
    Ring of Dead
    Varg’s Redemption
    pearl ring

    Unflinching Eye

    Eldritch Pearl
    Wintertide Phial
    scorching of elbereth

    Spider-silk Robe
    Behemoth Hide
    Scale Mail of Kroltar

Cuirass of the Thronesmen
    impenetrable of the dragon

    Ureslak's Molted Scales
    thick cloak of fog

    Helm of Dwarven Kings
    Dragonskull Helm
    Crown of the Elements
    prismatic of precognition

    Girdle of Preservation
    Girdle of Calm Waters
    Blurring of resilience

    Gloves of the Firm Hand
    powerful of iron grip

    Frost Treads
    Boots of Phasing


    acid wave

- Ideal Endgame Equipment -
Pearl Ring/Vargs Redemtpion - Vox - Wintertide Phail - Ureslak's Molted Scales - Scale Mail of Kroltar - Helm of the Dwarven Kings - Gloves of the Frim Hand - Wintertide/Razorblade, the Cursed War Axe - Boots of Phasing - Girdle of Preservation

The reasoning is that this particular set up should, along with your talents, allow for more damage absorption as these grant a lot of broad resists without being too difficult to wield once found. Vox in particular should be the amulet you wear 100% of the time once obtained, as it raises your max vim, which is very nice but not utterly important, while also granting 80% silence resist, which is very important. Over all, there is no better amulet in the game for reavers and the same really goes for the Girdle of Preservation as well.

- Character Dump Talents –
These are what your talents will look like at level 50, with tlvls 5, and these stats. Keep in mind that they will in actuality be much greater in effect as you’ll be wearing a lot of things that increase your magic as you go.

Blood sacrifice - 139 vim recovery
Drain - 146 blight damage, 20% vim recovery of damage dealt
Life Tap - 19% damage all increase over 7 Turns – works with DOTs
Curse of Impotence - 27% damage decrease
Curse of Vulnerability - 42% resist all drop
VD - 32 blight over 6 turns with 18 stat drain [192 total]
Cyst Burst - 65 blight per disease 3 radius spread
Catalepsy - 5 turn stun dealing all remaining disease damage
Rend - 174% with 29 bleed damage over 5 turns
Ruin - 31 blight damage with each hit
Acid Strke - 174% acid damage – 96 acid damage 1 radius
Dark Surprise - 154% darkness – 154% blight with crit and blind 4 turns
Bloodlust - Maximum 6 spellpower increase a turn, with 39 spellpower reachable
Carrier - 100% disease resist with 20% chance to spread disease on melee
Acid Blood - 21 acid damage 5 duration, -25 attack, -29 armor

Hopefully this is a better character build guide, and that this one is even more helpful than the previous. This is part 2 of an unknown amount of character build guides, so expect many more.

As always, if you have questions or comments, you can leave them here, in the blog, or in this thread, or you can always PM me on the forum, or catch me in #tome. Again, enjoy, and try it out.


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