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I may not be the best Anti-Paladin out there, but thought I'd give a shot at a FAQ - Round Two.
I'm going to preface this new FAQ with just a short introduction to help you decide what route to go. The Anti-paladin can be one of the strongest classes in the game but it requires a very definite knowledge of the game including aura/barrier/shield locations, gear knowledge, knowing your current opposition problems (it changes), and a very important knowledge of knowing what to do when. Some of this can be useful for everyone, and other parts might only be for those that want to be the next Cabdru/Ravon. It's an easy class to kill with but very hard to master and avoid dying because even once every ten-twenty kills is enough to not become the next powerhouse.
1) Human or the Halves - I lump these together because they're very similar in application - you're average across the board. Your spells are stronger than felar/duergar/fire giant, their vulnerabilities are relatively weak compared to other races, and your combat will be better than the weaker races. Prep heavily to offset your lack of "strengths". Mace/dagger is a great combo so you can maledict your target (crippling/faceslash) and keep them there after waking them up. Switching tactics based on the opponent is nice and an option with diversity. This is a common choice for Tribunals because they can use their cabal powers to see hidden foes and defend easier in town. Your range is also increased because you have a low experience penalty - this can be a blessing and a curse, since you'll have more opponents (not good during dangerous situations) and usually the lower end opponents aren't worth many charges. It should also be noted that in the end-game for an anti-paladin, these are the weakest races because you have no real "bonus" - you aren't always flying, giant sized, can see hidden, etc....a great race to learn the ropes though.
2) Duergar - you're strong, dexterous, and not a complete fool in spells but most importantly you can see hidden. The implications of this become huge later on once your real threat becomes that which you cannot see, especially assassinate or the majority of thieves. There's also a lot of good gears for duergars only (Yzekon/Aran'gird/spiked gear). Axe/flail is pretty much your choice. Collect enlarge preps to offset your size and bash opponents down. Find a resist-positive prep to handle some offsets against paladins, and fight druids during the nighttime or indoors to avoid sunray. In the end game, this races benefit (detect hidden) can be offset with a really rare piece of gear but still has great stats.
3) Arial - constant flight is nice but still carry sky (flight) wands just in case you become earthbound/webbed. Sleeping and vault will be your bread and butter for killing, and make sure you use wands to stay alive. Sword and shield is also still a good option. You can/will get bashed to death so try to avoid these situations. Any weapons work but remember you have little strength, so either gear to offset strength loss or wear light weapons. Find the Ancient Dragon Blue Hide or resist-lightning preps to deal with those problems.
4) Drow - the mage version of an anti-paladin. You've got a very exploitable vulnerability, lack of strength/health, and one of the easiest things to kill without massive wand/preps. I'd advise heavily against this until you learn a lot of wands. Whips are a great option for drow, especially since Lashes of the Slave works well with Unholy Slavemaster edge. You might want a sword to parry with though, or take spear and Spine of the Akragaka. In the end once the charges give enough hp/mana, you'll be quite the scary bastard because your weaknesses are pretty limited.
5) Felar - IMHO one of the worst options for new players. Your spells are crap, your combat is lacking until high ranks with felar_only gear to compensate, and you can't dual wield so faceslash/dagger isn't an option (mainhand dagger gets insanely parried/dodged). They can only become a viable choice after intense training, spamming of spells, great loot, and using a lot of preps. Spear is your best weapon choice for obvious reasons or using a polearm if you find one light enough. I'm not entirely sure but I believe crippling strikes is strength-based, but it'd be a viable option if it worked enough. One of the hardest races to get off the ground running but once the gear/charges go, it's a solid race.
6) Fire Giant - king of the anti-paladins at one point, but I'd put them on par with Duergars now considering dexterity changes. Bigger size, giant resist, ability to use 2-handed weapons - they are the choice of the "bash bash bash" crowd. Your issues are going to be those you cannot see, invokers (get blue leafs or other resist cold options), and bards. Flail/axe/mace are good options, polearm if you're crazy. Use enlarge preparations to help against being blackjacked and constantly remember you're a big target, especially to assassins.
1) Tribunal is a great option for those that can't see hidden. Guards give the charge if they land the last blow.
2) Scion is great for the lower hp races because of despoil giving 200+ hps. Nightwalker is also great for tanking if you need it and good damage (it'll give you the charge if it lands the kill). Sight is also good for finding targets who teleported or are running from you.
3) Empire is probably the best option as Emperor, but the Black Sect powers are kind of "eh". Dark feast can stack from each player kill, giving minor hp/mana and bless-effect of -save vs spell...and eating a corpse can give a significant amount of health (players give 200-300hp heals) but you can only eat corpses of challenging foes (npcs/pcs). Black circle helps summoning and lags your target so they only get one command in before you do (good for people spamming directions). Power of the damned....I never had work as Keshuk because the amount of summoners is pretty small and you have to be higher level supposedly (most necros/shamans are higher level than you until you reach hero). Sigil of pain is good as well (non-baneable soften), just wish you could do it on a slept target but it does damage now.
4) Scarab is not for the faint of heart or roleplaying ability, but the powers are awesome - enough said.
1) Flail is probably the weakest unholy choice at the moment because of the lacking ability of enervating spirits - which helps against people who use shields but it's a very small amount of your opponents. Giants have some good options here for unholies (crimson dragon tail and the new HLK flail), and it is good for a weapon that most don't know how to use....but usually those that don't know it that are worth the charges are defensive enough to get around that fact.
2) Axe is a good mainhand option assuming you're strength is high or you find a light enough weapon. A very common weapon in CF, it's usually easy to find good unholies here (earthquake is a great average 31 weapon). Cleave is a good starter for those feeling lucky since it doesn't lag but does a lot of damage...take the Lucky edge and the bleeding edge. This also lets you shieldcleave for when it's necessary (again, rare).
3) Mace is a very good mainhand option simply because of crippling strikes which is one of the strongest skills in an anti-paladins arsenal (there's more to it than -dexterity). If you want to dual wield a mace, a long elvish mace is a great light option....but make sure you take Merciless Ambidexterity. Also make sure that you are at least the same size as your target or smaller...if you are bigger and miss (and you will quite a bit), you'll get hit back for missing if you are one size bigger. Lots of great unholy options here as well.
4) Dagger is a *horrible* mainhand option. Don't ever do it...seriously, let me say it again. It's a HORRIBLE mainhand option - daggers are parried like crazy and faceslash works fine in the offhand, especially with Merciless Ambidexterity. Don't do it! Faceslash can cause trip lag only when opening with it into combat (you'll see yourself cackle), and with Slasher it'll land two attacks. It's negative charisma (morale too?) and causes minor bleeding for a few hours.
5) Sword is your vanilla option, much like axe since they both use cleave (and Daevryn confirmed both cleave with the same success). Little less offense than an axe, but more defense. Good options for the "caster" anti-paladins.
6) Whip is your option to abuse Lashes with - very dexterity intensive, the big point of lashes comes when you have either a *lot* of charges or you have lightning control (more detail below on this). Lashes is a flurry that takes movement to use, but can cause you to drop offhand items, disarm, bleeding, lower morale and more. Take both edges with it if you're going this route. There's likely going to be a change with whip and lightning control after Ravon dies though...
7) Spear is for those that like to sleep their target because of Vault. Arials are best at vault, they have a slightly different echo where they spread their wings (more damage/bleeding). Vault is not for the faint of heart if you miss or your target moves, because you will eat a DEMOLISH or worse. One tactic to do is to have Vaulting Tactician (you will land on something else instead of missing) and summoning a weak target to land in case you miss. Make sure you take Spine of the Akragaka (if you're not a felar).
8) Polearm is for those that want a challenge. Morosa used to be pretty horrible, but now it works even if you are blind so your only limitation now is under/over water (it won't work). Morosa works while blind without a target, and will always hit your original target even if they are rescued - nice surprise for those that like to fallback/rescue with pets. It will charge even if your target leaves the room...this can be a blessing and a curse. If your target flees and you're doing a 4 charge, you just wasted 2-3 rounds of doing nothing. If your target flees and returns, they'll get a nice surprise when they return. This happened quite a bit with Ambra (druid), who would flee to let her pets take the front. I started doing morosa 2-3 round charges, since Ambra would return in and get a nice surprise thinking I'd be killing her pets...and more than once it got her killed. 4 round morosa charges with the edge still knock your target out of the room quite a bit, which is useful for regearing and killing tough mobs. Being a giant and enlarged though helps a lot. Make sure and take the lucky edge. For unholy options, you've got the giant_only polearm (47 pound ave 33), the Thunderlance (30 pound, shocking), pincer staff (rarely procs), new HLK polearm (not so hot proc), and a few others...not so hot. Also take Stunning Charge if you have a high strength (all polearm stuff is str/size based) to charge with normal charge (not morosa).
1) Your first bonus comes at 20 charges, which makes irongrip undispellable.
2) Charges only count if you see "unholy light" in the description. One is +10 hp/mana, the other is +1 hit/damage. All other echoes are just flare.
3) Each control comes in every 25 kills, give or take a soul. Fire at 25 charges (level 43), ice at 51 (level 45), lightning at 77 (level 47), acid at 100ish (level 49), and finally defilement at level 51.
4) Each control comes in at 75% so don't worry about saving practices.
5) Fire does flaming and a random "blast" ranging from MANGLES-DEVAs.
6) Ice does freezing bite and drains movement and strength (when you see the echo).
7) Lightning does shocking bite and does a random "blast" for DEMOLISHES-ANNIHILATE. Also every hit you do can cause "seizures and convulsions" on your target which freezes/lags them...thus why lashes is so powerful is because each lash hit can proc this.
8) Acid does aciditic bite and a blast.
9) The defilement control is rumored to give negative save vs spell and a softening effect, but not confirmed.
10) It's pretty common to level sit around level 40 (once you have irongrip) to get at least ice control before you break into the hero ranks - the reasoning being that getting charges is harder at hero without control and that you don't just want the fire control...because Marans heal taking fire damage. You'll also get a quite big amount of edge points once you break the 50 kill mark.
1) Weapon mastery is key to handle hard to hit classes (assassins, warriors, etc) since you need to hit them or you'll lose in a battle of defenses (least without a/b/s). Solo rank to 25 if patient enough and get most weapons in 90s (especially weapons you won't rank with), mastered trip/bash/disarm, and defenses mastered. Don't forget hand to hand either. Also, work on excision+wands, especially if you're using a two-handed weapon (gather wands in Azuremain to spam while ranking or buy cheap ones). Working on skills isn't easy in higher ranks, so hold out and do it early on. Monks from Moudrilar are great summonable targets for spell practice since they don't chase and can't see invis.
2) If you get someone slept, start with curse to lower their saves. If you suspect they are blessed or rely on morale heavily (paladin/bard/conjurer), use power word despondence next to strip these "bless" affects so you have a higher chance to land the more important ones next. At this point, it depends on how much time and mana you have - plague/blind are extremely useful on anyone, while deafen/worldbind can destroy some classes. If you can't awaken them with guaranteed lag (vault/faceslash/lash), friends, or no-exit rooms, try with iceball/energy-drain or wands that can lag (pebble to boulder). Poison/plague can cause strength loss, and plague can be stacked by casting multiple times for more -strength.
3) If you can't sleep your target, this is where the finesse is necessary. Crippling strike can help you hit hard targets like assassins, and hopefully through gear/controls you're outdamaging your opponent by keeping them lagged (trip/bash). If not, start maledicting you target (energy drain is huge against shamans/paladins/invokers) and using things to even the fight (slice can cause bleeding, iceball drains movement points, deafen to stop bards/casters, etc).
4) Preps, preps, preps - make sure you have every edge over your opponent. Here's a basic checklist to make sure you have:
- bless scrolls
- resist mental pills
- flying (wand or potion), always have one wand to use in-combat if you can't flee and need to renew
- cure disease/poison/blindness
- teleport potions (keep one inventory at all times)
- wands of return
- wither wand
- translucence potion/scrolls
- frenzy potions for hit/dam
- heal pills (I cannot stress how useful these are, but they're very expensive)
5) Gear wise, you want to focus on a few stats: +hit, +dam, +str, -save vs spell/paralysis, and possibly +hp/+dex. This will change depending on your current rank - early on in the 20-30s, you'll want +hit/+dam so you can kill your opponent before they kill you. Later once you have spells for damage, you can ease off the hit/damage. Once your weapon starts to get stronger, you want to focus on saves and strength so you can keep your weapon since the unholy blessing will handle hp/mana/hit/dam. If you're a weaker race, obviously focus on str/hp. There a lot of newer items that help strength that a lot of people don't use, so explore around (like the new orc Keep).
6) Learn what you can summon for your benefit - either to stop thirsting villagers, get coins/food, or for general regearing (the felar chief is a good example). Don't summon players where you want them to land something before you (like another AP to sleep you) without black circle at least.
7) Edges can make big differences in the strength of your anti-paladin so explore, roleplay and definitely rack up kills. Dumb races should focus on defensive ones (like the unholy resist), and the smarter races should get those that help their spells.
- Steal sight is an awesome defensive/offensive edge and can help against a sizable weakness (being blinded).
- Spine of the Akragaka can make using a spear/polearm better than any weapon with a shield for defensive use but can't be picked by a felar.
- A lot of edges require high %'s, so practice something until you see it available.
- A lot of edges also require high intellect, so don't be surprised if you don't see quite a few with dumber races.
- List of AP edge files - add your own input.
8) I can't stress enough that to survive you need friends - or more importantly, a lack of too many enemies. Not necessarily groupmates/permas, but you will have *plenty* of enemies without making enemies of non-caballed players or those "on the fence" with being your enemy. Against other APs, establish dominance like the animal kingdom. Weakness will give anyone a reason to kill you and take your weapon later, so give them a reason to fear you from the beginning.
9) More of a CF-related tip and not specific to anti-paladins (although it's common), but being evil doesn't give you a reason to be a jackass. The playerbase is small enough as it is, try and be civil so the game can be fun for everyone. Does this mean you don't pk someone? No, but you don't need to full-loot/sacrifice/multi-kill just for the sake of being evil. Oh and if you take another AP's weapon, at least give them a courtesy try of getting it back - logging out or always teleporting makes you look like a douche.
10) Using a two-hander unholy in general is not a good idea. The reasons are as follows....
- using anything beyond excision isn't possible without removing your weapon which is not always possible and always not a good idea. This includes things like picklocks, periapts, orbs of travel, etc.
- expect to waste a lot of edge points on Strong Wrists to make up for this weakness
- excision doesn't work while blind, which even with steal sight can be a big problem. With a one-hander you can walk into a fight holding a wand of return, but if you get sunrayed/eyejabbed/etc with a 2-hander and need out before you can blind them it's not possible.
- without a duel wield, you lose out on some important stat affects. A good example of this is when dual wielding something like a tiny iron or spider axe for +str/+dex which you cannot do with a 2-hander. Same with great shields like grinning devil and boiled leather or poisoning and other affecting offhands (stonecutter, scepter of domination, etc).
- your defense is higher with Spine than a dual-wielder, but you lose out the offense - and offense is what wins. Polearms didn't seem that effective against even classes that had knowledge of them since you can't deal out -dexterity with crippling strikes.
- usually for the 2-hander skills to be effective, you need either a very stupid or a slept/locked-in-a-room target. To have them slept, you need a non-villager (which is a lot of your fights) or high intellect....which won't work with the strength need for morosa. Most people that get hit by a morosa in combat will run if it doesn't kill them outright. And if they're locked-in-a-room, generally they're going to die anyways no matter what weapon you have.
- I'd only suggest an arial using spear and that's about it for spear/polearm users. They'd have the nice vault (wing echo gives more damage/bleeding), and the added defense would let them cast more. There's also a *very* nice ave 28 spear that's new and light, although it is shocking bite.
More to come...