The Holy Avenger, originally by jinx42, and with a lot of work by manypeople over time, is one of the classic builds for the offensivelyminded paladin. It and its drow variant (Shadow Avenger) are among themost popular paladin builds. While not the originator, I feel that I'vehad a good deal of input into its creation and continue to run theoriginal 28-pt, pre-Mod 2 (nevermind Mod-3) version successfully today,so I wanted to post an update to the original build.The Holy Avenger, 28 point build.Human 10 Paladin/2 RogueStr 17 +3 levels +4 item = 24Dex 10 +3 item -1 iem = 12Con 9 +3 item = 12 (or +1 tome +4 item = 14)Int 8 = 8 (2 skill points/level)Wis 10 +2 (item) = 12Cha 16 +4 (item/buff) = 2032 Point Build stats #1: FutureproofingStr 17 +3 levels +4 item = 24Dex 13 +3 item = 16 (+1 tome, +6 item = 20 Dex)Con 10 +4 item = 14Int 8 = 8 (2 skill points/level)Wis 10 +2 (item) = 12Cha 16 +4 (item/buff) = 2032 Point Build stats #2: Max UMDStr 17 +3 levels +4 item = 24 (+7 bonus)Dex 10 +4 item = 14 (+2 bonus)Con 10 +4 item = 14 (+2 bonus)Int 8 = 8 (2 skill points/level)Wis 10 +2 (item) = 12Cha 17 +3 enh +4 (item/buff) = 24 (+7)All Holy Avenger builds go paladin for first 10 levels, then add 2 levels of Rogue for lvl 11 and lvl 12.Feats & Progression:1: Weapon Focus - Slash, Khopesh3: Power Attack6: Mental Toughness9: Improved Crit - Slash12: Skill Focus: UMDEnhancementsBulwark of Good IIIResistance of Good IIIHuman Versatility V (until lvl 11, this is Extra Smite or Extra LOH)Paladin Action Boost IV or Paladin's Charisma IIIYou only take the Cha III enhancement at lvl 11, and only if you went with the super-UMD variant of the Holy AvengerSkillsWith 8 Int as a Human, you get 2 skill points per level as a Paladinand 8 skill points per level for your two Rogue levels. While startingas a Rogue for level 1 gives you a lot more skill points, it isn'tworth the sacrifice of feat selection (since you need +1 BAB to takemany of the feats). Furthermore, Paladin class skills are all terrible.For levels 1-10, I recommend points into Tumble (enough so you cantumble in FP), Jump, and Balance. They're all cross-class skills, soyou get to put in 0.5 per level. At lvl 11, put all 8 points into UMD.At lvl 12, put 7 points into UMD, and 1 point into Balance.This will give you 15 ranks of UMD at lvl 12, which together with allof your other buffs/enhancements, gives you incredible flexibility.UMD @ 1215 Ranks+5 Cha bonus/+7 Cha bonus (UMD spec)+3 Golden Cartouche+4 Greater Heroism+1 Rabbit Gloves+3 Skill Focus: UMD+5 Human Versatility--------------------+36 UMD. That means failing Raise Dead only on a 1, and self-castingGreater Heroism, Blade Barrier, and other lvl 6 scrolls on a 4.Offensive abilities are little-changed:To Hit:----------+11 BAB+7 Str bonus+5 Weapon+4 Divine Favor+4 Greater Heroism-------------+31/+31/+36/+41If you went with PAB, then add another +6 to hit situationally. Withlowered mob AC's, +26 (with Power Attack on) is plenty for mostsituations. Simply toggle it off if you are missing a bit much.Obviously, you can do more to boost this with things like Rage potions,Divine Power clickys, and Bard buffs.AC:------10 Base13 Armor (+5 FP)1 Max Dex7 Shield (+5 HSS)3 Spec Optics2 Chaosguarde2 Natural Armor (Invaders Ring)2 Paladin Aura3 Bulwark of Good III--------------------43 ACSimilar to the Batman experience, except without the extreme AC and therogue skills, the new Holy Avenger is basically a beatdown melee DPSwho is well-nigh invulnerable, combining reasonable AC's withrock-solid saving throws, self-buffed elemental resists, monster Lay OnHands in an emergency, and Evasion. He is completely immune to fear anddisease, both important in going after mummies and the like, canself-heal with wands, and... oh yes, he raises the dead and slaps downblade barriers and walls of flame off of scrolls with his +36 UMD.The different approaches, as above, are to future-proof in case of anerf to Evasion or to create someone for here-and-now who is spec'ed inUMD. I personally prefer the latter because of the enormous utilitythat high UMD brings to the character, but the future-proofing conceptis (a) able to take max advantage of Mithral FP, and (b) only 2 pointsbehind the UMD-spec build in terms of skills.Furthermore, the wide availability of +1 tomes and +5 stat items affectthe final build stats on an individual basis. If you have numerous +1str, cha, and dex tomes, that will certainly affect how you do yourstat distribution.You do sacrifice 1 pt of BAB, 1 pt of Divine Favor, and your 30-pointelemental resists to go this route. But 20 point resists combined withEvasion just beats the pants off of 30 point resists that it isdifficult to justify going more than 10 levels of Paladin as the gameis today.The Shadow Avenger will be a bit stronger in some ways with higher Chaand built-in SR, but Human Versatility V is a game-breaker for anybuild with UMD.This is the contemporary reference version of the Holy Avenger.Thanks,/gren
As promised, here are the Drowification of two builds -- the Zealot andthe Holy Avenger -- both of which I play and feel I understandrelatively well having capped them both through PUG and guild play,with elite raids, loot runs, etc. These are not NEW build concepts;they are just rehashing of older concepts with a new race -- however,I've been asked for Drow versions of these in PM's and on these forumsso... here they are.Basically, the Drow is a broken super race whose attribute spread isalmost ideally suited for paladin or base-paladin builds. You must nowhave a good reason NOT to make your Paladin something other than aDrow; Humans with the extra feat and extra skills are #1, but I'mafraid the Drow simply dominates most other races as the choice forpaladin builds with their numerous advantages.Prince of Darkness (Drow Zealot v 2.0)The Prince of Darkness is an updated, version 2.0 of my Zealot build.It is the build I personally would play if I wanted to do yet anotheroffensive melee. I may end up doing that as I level my Raviantus CombatEngineer build.Race: Drow (Sex: Male, otherwise, I would call it the Queen of Blades )Str 16 +2 (level) +4 (Item) = 22 (+6 bonus)Dex 13 -1 (Item) = 12Con 10 +4 (item/Bear) = 14 (+2 bonus)Int 14 = 4 skill points per level.Wis 9 +3 (item) = 12 (+1 bonus)Cha 16 +4 (item/Eagle) = 20 (+5 bonus)HP: 140SP: 85 ==> 20 (lvl 6 Paladin base) + 15 (Wis 12 bonus) + 50 (Wiz II item)Alternatively, one could go 8 base Con and 11 base Wis. That wouldreduce HP to 130 at lvl 10, and increase SP by 15 (if still using a +3Wis item).Level & Feats:1 Ftr -- WF: Slash, Dodge. Max UMD, Intimidate. Points into Jump, Tumble, Balance.2 Pal3 Pal -- Khopesh4 Pal -- +1 Str5 Pal6 Pal -- Power Attack7 Pal8 Ftr -- +1 Str, Improved Crit: Slash9 Ftr -- Combat Expertise10 Ftr -- Weapon Spec: SlashEnhancements @ 10: Bulwark II, PAB III (+7 to attack). Then pick two of the following:SR IX (20 SR)Fighter's DodgeResistance IIExtra Smite IIEnergy of the Templar (for more Divine Favors)Extra LOH I(My personal choice would be Spell Resist IX and Resistance II.)To Hit:+10 BAB+6 from 22 Str+1 Weapon Focus+3 from Divine Favor+5 from +5 Weapon+7 from Action Boost+2 Heroism+1 Haste---------------------+35/+35/+40/+45 (-5 for either Power Attack or Combat Expertise mode)Damage:+6 from 22 Str+2 Weapon Specialization+3 Divine Favor+5 Weapon----------------+16 to damage (+5 for Power Attack)AC:10 base armor+13 Armor (+5 Fullplate)+1 Dex Bonus+7 (+5 Heavy Shield )+1 Dodge+2 Paladin Aura+2 Bulwark II+4 Barkskin+3 Spectacular Optics+2 Chaosguarde----------------45 ACIf you need to turtle, +5 Tower Shield = +9 instead of +7, and Combat Expertise = +5. That gives you... 52 AC, 54 when blocking.Note: With a 9 Paladin nearby, add 1 to AC from BulwarkIII. If you took Fighter's Dodge, add 1 to AC from that. There are alot of possible variations here.Drop an AC boost if thingsare bad, and you're up to 57AC for 20 secs (+5 to AC boost). Now, thisis important -- during this time, while you have 52 AC, your To Hitgoes from +35/+35/+40/+45 to +28/+28/+33/+38 (-5 from CE, -2 from TowerShield). If you've used an AC boost, then it's +21/+21/+26/+31 (-7 fromAttack boost that can't be triggered)!You're going to hit more often than not, even in combat expertise mode,even with a Tower Shield and it's -2 to hit. And you're going to hitfor roughly 20 points of damage per hit, and 60 on a crit using aKhopesh, which happens far more often than 17-20 seems to suggest.80-240 points of damage output per combat round, while in combatexpertise mode holding a Tower Shield. That is solid offense anddefense.Power Attack gives the Prince of Darkness the option of going all-outoffense with a 2-hander, or just leave it on all the time, because +30to hit is plenty for most of the content, and doing an average of 100points of damage in a combat round, with crits in the 70's and 200point Smite Evil's are fun.13 Dex is more than just for Power Attack. Should you keep playing andfind that mythical +5 Mithral Fullplate, guess what? You can take fulladvantage of it. It allows you to use Handwraps, or if you find a Str+4 item, or loot the Dragon +6 str belt, then add a +1 or +3 dex itemeasily for additional Reflex saves.Oh, and Max UMD? At level 10:6 Ranks + 5 (20 Charisma) + 2 (Heroism) + 3 (GoldenCartouche) +1 (Rabbit) +2 Command item = 19 UMD. Basically a 60/40 shotof using Raise Dead scrolls, and a lot of racially-restricted weapons.Whilethe Prince of Darkness is not an Intimidate tank, if you need to peelmobs off of your cleric or wizard, you can do it. At 10 you will have27 in Intimidate with a +7 item -- nowhere near what you need to reallydo the job reliably on Elite setting, but better than nothing.13 Ranks +5 (20 Cha) +7 Intimidate item +2 Heroism = 27Intimidate. If you so chose, you could swap out an enhancement slot forSkill Interaction for +5 to Intimidate and get to 32 Intimidate. Again,not bad at all if fit hits the shan.The only weakness thatI can find is the low SP's, and the need for a minimum of a +2 Wisdomitem to cast spells. 85 SP is really quite low, as it amounts to only 8casts of Divine Favor. +SP items are very highly recommended for thisbuild. I personally have a Wiz III helm which would get it to 110 SP's.Note also that the Prince of Darkness will never get lvl 2 Paladinspells, including the valuable Eagle's Splendor buff.The Shadow Avenger (Drow Holy Avenger)NOTE: This build has been modified slightly since original publication. I recommend the new settings going forward.The Shadow Avenger is an updated, Drow version 2.0 of the Holy Avengerbuild -- IMHO, the finest offensive paladin build to date. It's reallydifficult to adapt it for Drow, because losing a feat does hurtsignificantly. However, the base stats are unreal for the ShadowAvenger:Race: DrowStr 18 +2 (level) +4 (Item) = 24 (+7 bonus)Dex 10 +3 (item) -1 (Item) = 12Con 8 +4 (Bear's Endurance) = 12 (+1 bonus)Int 10 = 2 skill points per level.Wis 10 +2 (item) = 12 (+1 bonus)Cha 17 +3 (enhancement) +4 (item/Eagle's Splendor) = 24 (+7 bonus)This is a new revised recommendation based on Drow Spell Resistance not being all that great at lvl 10 on Elite.HP @ 10: 130SP @ 10: 149 ==> 80 (base at Pal 10) + 19 (12 Wis bonus) + 50 (Wiz II item)Level & Feats:1 Pal -- WF: Slash. Max UMD. Points into Tumble & Jump.2 Pal3 Pal -- Khopesh4 Pal -- +1 Str5 Pal6 Pal -- Power Attack7 Pal8 Pal -- +1 Str9 Pal -- Improved Crit: Slash10 PalEnhancements @ 10: Bulwark III, PAB IV, Paladin's Charisma III, then one of the following:SR IX (20 SR)Resistance IIIExtra Smite IVEnergy of the Templar VII (+50 SP for more Divine Favors)Extra LOH II(My personal choice would be Resistance III. SR IX has not proven to beexceptionally useful at the high-end settings on Elite.)To Hit:+10 BAB+7 from 24 Str+1 Weapon Focus+4 from Divine Favor+5 from +5 Weapon+10 from Action Boost+2 Heroism (Kundarak Trooper Shield or Potion)+1 Haste (Potion or Mage)---------------------+40/+40/+45/+50 (-5 for Power Attack mode)Damage:+7 from 24 Str+4 Divine Favor+5 Weapon----------------+16 to damage (+5 for Power Attack = +21 onehanded)AC:10 base armor+13 Armor (+5 Fullplate)+1 Dex Bonus+7 (+5 Heavy Shield )+2 Paladin Aura+3 Bulwark III+4 Barkskin (Potion)+3 Spectacular Optics+2 Chaosguarde----------------45 AC; 47 when blocking; 52 when blocking and Boosting.Saves Breakdown:FORT/REF/WILL+7/+3/+3 Base @ 10+1/+1/+1 Stats+3/+4/+3 Item+2/+2/+2 Aura+7/+7/+7 Divine Grace+3/+3/+3 Resist III--------------------+23/+20/+19 total (+2 vs. Spells as Drow)UMD at level 10: 19 (+2 Command item)6 Ranks + 7 (24 Charisma) + 2 (Heroism) + 3 (GoldenCartouche) +1 (Rabbit) +2 Command item = 21 UMD. Can use Raise Deadscrolls 25% of the time (with a roll of 16 I believe), and almost everyracial/alignment restricted weapon.The Shadow Avenger isNOT a tank; it can manage with 45 AC, but really, at the very high end,not too many mobs will fail to hit.The major disadvantage of the Shadow Avenger is that while 45 AC isn'tbad, it isn't an actual tank. Lack of Combat Expertise, lack ofIntimidate, lack of Tower Shield all hurt the defensive side of theequation a bit too much for the Shadow Avenger to claim tanking duties.But then... this is an offensive build, and it excels at that; soperhaps it would be unfair to call it a disadvantage.The other disadvantage, compared to the Human, is the lack of an extrafeat, which would normally be Mental Toughness. 149 SP's at 10 isn'thorrid, but it certainly isn't anything to write home about. Again,high SP items are recommended.What you gain, of course, is one of the highest To Hit in the gamepossible under current mechanics with equal gear. Frankly, with +40 tohit on the first swing, the Shadow Avenger runs around with PowerAttack on all the time even when using a one-hander. Khopesh is takenbecause it increases damage output quite significantly: 1d8+21 todamage, with x3 crits on a 17 is a beatiful thing to behold in action.Crits will range from 66 on the low to 87 on the high using a +5Khopesh. A critical Smite Evil can go as high as 198.Also, as a pure paladin, the Shadow Avenger will have two lvl 2 spells,which enhance soloability somewhat. Eagle's Splendor buffs help keep anitem slot open, and 20DR Elemental Resists certainly help provide someprotection when soloing.Hope this helps. Go forth and slay./gren
Note: With a 9 Paladin nearby, add 1 to AC from BulwarkIII. If you took Fighter's Dodge, add 1 to AC from that. There are alot of possible variations here.
6 Ranks + 5 (20 Charisma) + 2 (Heroism) + 3 (GoldenCartouche) +1 (Rabbit) +2 Command item = 19 UMD. Basically a 60/40 shotof using Raise Dead scrolls, and a lot of racially-restricted weapons.
13 Ranks +5 (20 Cha) +7 Intimidate item +2 Heroism = 27Intimidate. If you so chose, you could swap out an enhancement slot forSkill Interaction for +5 to Intimidate and get to 32 Intimidate. Again,not bad at all if fit hits the shan.
6 Ranks + 7 (24 Charisma) + 2 (Heroism) + 3 (GoldenCartouche) +1 (Rabbit) +2 Command item = 21 UMD. Can use Raise Deadscrolls 25% of the time (with a roll of 16 I believe), and almost everyracial/alignment restricted weapon.