PvE Soul Bender Guide

Discussion in 'Soul Bender' started by Kerath, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    A Guide to Playing Soul Bender/Soul Reaper/Dark Lord in Dungeon Fighter Online

    Version History
    2015.09.13 - First version of the guide posted
    2015.09.21 - Added equipment enchantment suggestions
    2016.04.14 - Revising skill descriptions to fit our post-revamp status
    2016.04.18 - Added a lot of information to the gearing section, particularly regarding different chronicle setups
    2016.04.21 - Small tweaks to some of the skill descriptions/recommendations

    Table of Contents
    • General Overview
    • General and First Job Skills
    • Soul Bender Skills
    • TP Upgrades
    • Skills Conclusion
    • Gearing and Avatars
    • Otherverse Guide

    General Overview

    Hi there. I've seen a lot of questions around the forums on a lot of topics regarding Soul Benders, and I figured it might not hurt to throw together a guide to help answer a lot of the more common ones and give new Benders some guidance as they make the journey toward DFO's endgame.

    Soul Benders are what I tend to think of as an "offensive support" class. We are focused less on buffing ourselves and others and more on making our enemies weaker. We are a zoning class, relying on manipulating the battlefield for maximum results and using positioning to our advantage due to the nature of our signature ghost skills. We are a magic damage class, and thus focus on magic attack, magic critical, and intelligence, and we also have intrinsic shadow damage on the majority of our skills, so shadow damage boosts are also of great value to us. We don't have a lot of good burst damage options available to us, but are capable of decent sustained damage output with the right gear.

    This guide will predominantly focus on the Soul Bender's role as a party support class - the so-called "Bremen Stack" build, whose primary goal is to make enemies tremendously weak against magic damage. Note that this isn't because Soul Benders are incapable of doing anything but supporting - of course you can go for a more solo-oriented damage build. However, if that's your goal with this class, I'll warn you now that the majority of classes in the game will blow your damage out of the water with similar investments into gearing. It's like with Crusaders - sure you can play battle sader, but you are at your strongest when you maximize your support skills. As Soul Benders, we bring something to a group that no one else does, and that's Bremen. It really is that good, and is the reason why Soul Benders have the closest thing to a "free ticket" to the hardest content in the game in the parent Korean version of DFO.

    Also, I should mention that this guide will be entirely focused on PvE. I have very little PvP experience, and none on Soul Benders specifically. If anyone else out there wants to help out to provide PvP information for the class, that'd be appreciated. In addition, it is not aimed at total DFO beginners - I have written with the idea that you have a basic understanding of game concepts and terminology, both generally and those specific to DFO.
     
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  2. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    General and First Job Skills

    Note that if I don't mention a skill, it means it's not even worth considering in a PvE build. Conversion should be set to Magic for what I hope are obvious reasons.

    Quick Rebound
    SP cost per level: 10
    Max level: 1
    Simple answer: get it. The most useful 10 sp in the game.

    Focus: Magic Critical
    SP cost per level: 20
    Not essential in a support build per se, but it's still a very good return on your investment and thus highly recommended. Pretty much mandatory in solo/damage loadouts.


    Magical Rear Attack
    SP cost per level: 20
    You will probably end up being too tight on SP to get this now that we have 2nd awakening skills, but it's actually a pretty good choice for Soul Benders, as our zoning-style damage actually back attacks quite a bit. By all means, play around with this one. Also makes a good point dump.

    Ancient Memory
    SP cost per level: 25
    Ancient Memory provides you with a 50% uptime Intelligence buff. At max, it gives 150 INT for 20 seconds, with a 40 second cooldown. It's not something I'd really recommend, as I generally feel there's better uses for 250 SP elsewhere in our kit, but it can line up ok with some of our other limited duration/burst skills like Kalla, Tombstone Triangle, and Blache.

    Ghost Slash
    SP cost per level: 15
    Damage type: Mixed, shadow
    The first spammable damage throughput you'll get, and it's decent. Ghost Slash is something you will probably keep maxed throughout at least the low to mid levels, and it remains an ok fast poke even afterward. You likely won't be able to have all your low cooldown attacks maxed, so you'll have to choose between this one and a couple others. The main drawback to this skill is the rather lengthy after-use delay.

    Upward Slash
    SP cost per level: 20
    Damage type: Mixed, neutral
    Your basic launching skill. This can safely be kept at 1 for PvE.


    Ashe Fork/Thrust/Aerial Chain Slash/Drive Slash/Gore Cross
    Magic-converted forms of these skills can be fun to screw around with while leveling, but should generally not be kept leveled in the long run. Some have some utility you may find useful enough to warrant keeping a value point in them.

    Kazan
    SP cost per level: 15
    Damage type: Fixed, neutral
    The first of the ghosts you will get. This one is a must-max regardless of your build, as it will provide a nice strength and intelligence buff to you and any allies standing within the circle. The most recent revamp dropped the cost of this skill from 20 SP per level to 15, which is a nice little point saver.

    Guard
    SP cost per level: 20
    Not essential by any means, but surprisingly useful in a lot of situations if you can find room in your build and remember to use it to block big attacks. Makes a good point dump if you happen to have 20-100 SP left over in your build and aren't sure what to do with it.

    Weapon Masteries
    SP cost per level: 20
    Maxing the mastery of your weapon of choice (most likely a short sword or katana) is generally a must. A very large proportion of our damage is percentage-based, so you gain a huge boost to that from having a maxed mastery, and the hit rate is also very useful and means you don't really need hit rate from gear or emblems.

    Moonlight Slash
    SP cost per level: 15
    Damage type: Mixed, shadow
    The second of our low cooldown spammable throughput damage skills. This one is more of a multi-hit juggle than a poke. I believe it actually has slightly higher damage output over time than Ghost Slash does if both are maxed and both are used on cooldown, however Moonlight Slash has the issue that juggling can actually reduce your damage, since anything that is in the air does not take damage from your ghosts, so you need to be a bit careful about how you use this one. While not essential, it's good to keep 1 point in it for utility even if you decide not to make it one of your main skills. The most recent revamp dropped the leveling cost from 20 to 15 per point, making it a little easier to fit into your build if you really want it.


    Force Wave: Neutral
    SP cost per level: 15
    Damage type: Mixed, neutral
    This is actually quite a nice poke, though it's neutral element and thus won't benefit from your shadow resistance debuffs. I wouldn't recommend keeping it in an endgame build, but it's totally viable while leveling if you happen to like it.
     
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  3. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    Soul Bender Skills

    Unshackle
    SP cost per level: 50
    This passive skill has two effects: the first is that having any points in it raises the level of all your ghost skills by 1. The second is that it causes both Kazan and Bremen to deal non-element damage ticks to any enemy within their radius, which is actually really nice, because it really adds up once you get good at zoning and mob control, particularly Bremen's. It's a bit of a bummer that it's not innately shadow element, though that's hardly a huge deal, either. It can also be toggled on and off, because there are times (notably in Otherverse dungeons - more on that later) where you will want to control whether or not they are doing damage. This is a highly recommended max, particularly in solo builds, though it should be noted that in endgame content like Anton, the damage is negligible and can cause more problems than it's worth due to things like damage reflect mechanics, so you may want to spec it out for those situations as the SP could be better spent elsewhere.

    Lunar Curtain
    SP cost per level: 20
    This is a short duration active ability that has two functions - it acts as both a buff and a debuff when it is used. For yourself and allies, it provides additional shadow resistance for 30 seconds. However, more importantly, any enemies caught in the AoE when you cast it have their shadow resistance reduced. A must-max - have it on an easy accessible key or input so you can use it regularly. The last revamp dropped the SP cost from 30 to 20 per point, which is always nice.

    Shadow Harmony
    The subclass passive you get just for being a Soul Bender - it raises your shadow resistance and lowers your light resistance. Automatically acquired and maxed.

    Hazy-Eyed Bremen
    SP cost per level: 25
    Damage type: Fixed, neutral
    Ahh, here is your bread and butter, and the game didn't even make you wait too long to get your hands on it. This is the skill that truly defines Soul Benders and sets us apart from every other class. Bremen's most important function is that any enemy inside the circle has its magic defense enormously reduced. This is useful at any stage in the game, and utterly invaluable in endgame content. This skill is the reason why Soul Benders are (alongside Crusaders and, formerly, Witches) the most sought after support class in raiding. The most popular and effective Soul Bender build revolves around getting Bremen to as high a level as possible (it has a soft cap at 20, but can be raised as high as 30 with equipment and other bonuses). The other benefit to Bremen is that anything in its area of effect has its abnormal status tolerance hugely reduced, so you will also be every Brawler's best friend.
    This is a no-question must-max regardless of build. Even if all you do in a dungeon is drop Bremen in a decent spot and then go afk (please don't actually do this), your magic damage friends will all adore you. As an added perk, Bremen actually does a very sizeable amount of damage over time when Unshackle is on. The recent revamp raised the cost of Bremen from 20 to 25 per point, but most other skills either stayed the same or got cheaper, so you'll probably barely notice.

    Full Moonlight Slash
    SP cost per level: 30 (maxes at 1)
    If you have room in your build, this is a good one to grab, as it adds a 3rd hit to Moonlight Slash. Even if you only have MLS at 1, the extra juggling utility provided by FMLS is worth considering. Again, not essential, but nice to have. Used to cost 100, now costs 30, a small but nice saving in SP.

    Afterimage of Keiga
    SP cost per level: 20
    Damage type: Percent, shadow
    This skill does a ton of different things. At first glance, it may look like a 1 point wonder, as you get the old Afterimage of Keiga 30% damage resistance as well as the Ghost Step dashing invincibility frames all at 1. However, there's a couple reasons why I still suggest maxing this. The first is that it incorporates the old Possession ability, where it modifies your x attack chain to be shadow damage and makes it do a whole lot more damage. This is probably our best spammable throughput/filler ability when maxed, which is already reason enough to consider maxing it.
    The second reason is the boost in movement speed you get from leveling the skill. As a not-very-tanky class that's highly dependent on smart positioning and generally lacking in super armour, movement speed is incredibly useful. This skill also gives a small boost to your evasion rate, and gives some additional damage to Phantasmal Slayer (more on that skill later). SP cost was reduced from 30 per point to 20 in the last revamp, making maxing it a more attractive prospect.

    Ghost Slash Drive
    SP cost per level: 30 (maxes at 1)
    This is a pretty interesting passive that modifies Ghost Slash, so if you like Ghost Slash and opted to keep it maxed as a core throughput skill, you will also likely want to grab this skill. The passive allows you to charge up Ghost Slash, causing it to do an additional slash that does more damage the longer you let it charge. The 2nd slash will also have an additional effect based on whether you used Kazan, Bremen, or Saya (more on her later) most recently.
    Kazan: Additional bonus damage and an intelligence buff
    Bremen: A chance to put any enemies hit to sleep
    Saya: A chance to freeze any enemies hit
    Post-revamp, this is now a passive that maxes at 1 for 30 SP, meaning there's not much reason not to take it.

    Phantom Sword Slash
    SP cost per level: 30
    Damage type: Percent, shadow
    This is one of our best damage skills. While it's not low enough cooldown to be used as a core throughput skill, it is one you will want to be using regularly, as its damage potential is very high relative to most of our other skills. It sends out a whip-like shadow blade in front of you, hitting twice and pulling enemies toward you, with a chance of immobilizing the enemy on hit. A must-max in any damage setup and a very good candidate for maxing even in support builds.

    Ice Saya
    SP cost per level: 40
    Damage type: Percent, water
    Our first cube skill, Saya is a ghost whose primary purpose is to do damage and freeze enemies, giving her quite a lot of excellent potential in a solo build for both additional clearing power and mob control. Her damage isn't that fantastic relative to her SP cost, but the utility generally makes up for it. She is less useful in a support build, as you generally have less need for mob control, and in harder content where our support is more needed, uncontrolled freezing can cause more problems than it solves. It should be noted that because Saya is water damage, she does not benefit from our myriad shadow resistance debuffs. Much as it'd be nice to keep Saya, this will probably be one of the first skills you need to cut out of most endgame builds, keeping it at just 1 for Necromancy buffing (more on that later).

    Tombstone
    SP cost per level: 40
    Damage type: Fixed, shadow
    This skill causes tombstones to rain down in an AoE around you, doing shadow damage with each hit, and also having a chance to curse any enemies hit. It grants super armour and forces you to stand still for as long as the skill is running, though it can be cancelled early using the jump key. This skill used to be pretty terrible, but after the most recent revamp, it has become one of our best damage skills, and you now have the ability to cast Lunar Curtain after initiating the skill. This is now a recommended max, which just becomes even better with Tombstone of Oblivion 9pc or ToO 6pc combined with Shadow Rage 3pc.

    Rhasa: Carrier of the Plague
    SP cost per level: 40
    Rhasa is an interesting ghost, whose entire purpose is to debuff any enemies within the area of effect. These debuffs are myriad: reduced attack speed, movement speed, physical defense, and hit recovery for each min-ghost that attaches to the enemy, as well as poison, bleeding, and blindness. It's not really a great SP allocation in a solo build, as it requires a huge investment in SP (you pretty much have to max it in order to keep its abnormal status levels high enough) to make the most of it, and doesn't really add enough to your damage to warrant it. Rhasa used to be a mainstay of the support build as it provided some physical defense shred, but this aspect of Rhasa has been gutted, so you will likely be keeping only 1 point in this ghost for Necromancy except in Tower of Despair or other places where you want to cheese APCs with the status effects. Like Saya, it'd be lovely to have, but it just doesn't justify its cost in other endgame applications.
    Note: this does not hold true if you are supporting a physical shadow element dealer using your 9pc Tombstone of Oblivion setup. In that case, you still take Rhasa, because crappy pdef shred still beats no pdef shred. But outside of that and Tower of Despair, Rhasa just isn't worth it. However, even after the rather significant nerf, it is still possible to do a non-shadow physical support build with Rhasa stacking. Just be prepared to invest a lot more resources if you want to achieve the same level of effectiveness you do with Bremen in a magic dealing setup.


    Phantasmal Slayer
    SP cost per level: 50
    Damage type: Percent, shadow
    Phantasmal Slayer is a so-called 'super grab', because it will hold even enemies that are normally ungrabbable. Its damage is pretty weak relative to its SP cost and cooldown, but you will still want to have this skill in every build for its tremendous utility. It has invincibility frames, but also has a significant after-cast delay that locks you in place. While it's not really worth maxing this skill in any build, it's a good idea to get it to level 10 so you can invest in its TP (more on that later).

    Kalla of Dark Flame
    SP cost per level: 60
    Damage type: Mixed, shadow
    While it's quite costly sp-wise and only has limited natural uptime, Kalla is still a must-max in any damage setup and still highly recommended even in support builds, as it's one of our best sources of damage. This skill's ghost attaches to you in much the same way as Ghost Step, and allows you to shoot fireballs with your x swings both on the ground and in the air. These fireballs attach to enemies and do damage over time that adds up quite quickly. The most recent revamp has allowed you to attach dark flames to enemies with a variety of other Soul Bender skills, like Tombstone and Phantom Sword Slash, adding further damage potential to Kalla. In addition, you can now use the triple slash 'finisher' at any point during its duration without ending Kalla, but you can still only use it once per Kalla usage. It should be noted that Kalla's DoT ticks ignore defense, which is what makes Soul Benders surprisingly useful sources of damage against enemies like Tog in the Anton raid, despite SBs generally being low on the damage tier lists. Also note that Kalla fireball ticks count as back attacks, so if you go for a Kalla-focused setup, it's a good investment to pick up the magic rear crit passive (unless you're crit-capped without it).
     
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  4. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    Fear of Darkness
    SP cost per level: 45
    Our 1st awakening passive isn't mind-blowing, but it's well worth maxing, as it reduces the shadow resistance, attack speed, and movement speed of all enemies within 300 pixels of you quite significantly.

    Ghost 7: Furious Blache
    SP cost per level: free
    Damage type: Percent, shadow
    Our 1st awakening active is an oddball. Its strength is based on the number of ghosts you have in play. When the summon starts, a big swamp will form in the area, lowering the movement speed and hit rate of all enemies caught in it. After a short period of time, Blache will surface from the swamp, damaging everything in the area. Blache will consume every ghost you have summoned at the time it appears, and will gain in attack strength for each ghost consumed, so it's best to have Blache eat as many of your ghosts as possible if you want to maximize the damage burst.
    A few things will happen. The first is that the cooldown of any ghost eaten in this way will be refreshed, giving Blache a utility aspect in addition to its damaging effects. The second is that any enemies killed by Blache will give you an intelligence buff. On top of this, like all active awakenings, Blache gains additional bonuses as the skill levels up.
    Level 3: Increases the debuff on enemies in the swamp, and increases the INT gained from enemies killed
    Level 6: Provides some short-term buffs based on what ghosts were eaten
    Level 9: Boosted attack strength per ghost consumed
    On paper, Blache looks pretty good, with incredibly high damage values. However, the way Blache hits makes getting the full effect on each enemy kind of wonky, so the theory often looks better than the practice. Still, have fun messing around with him, and at the very least, the cooldown refresh on ghosts like Kalla is very useful in its own right.

    Ice Saya Crystals
    SP cost per level: 60
    Damage type: Percent, water
    This is an alternate version of Saya (yes, you can have both, and can even summon both at once, though that's almost certainly overkill) that has a slightly longer duration than the standard Saya but also a much longer cooldown. Saya Crystals does more damage than the regular Saya per tick and also has a chance to freeze any enemies hit, but also creates crystal projectiles that will seek out enemies within the circle for additional damage. When compared to regular Saya, the Crystal version has higher damage, but lower uptime. It can be quite beneficial to 'cycle' them to cover each others' downtimes. Like with regular Saya, this skill is not particularly needed in support builds, but is very useful in solo builds and can work well in damage builds. As with ordinary Saya, this skill does water damage, meaning it won't benefit from our shadow resist debuffs. With Zieg and Tombstone actually being useful now, you may need to be prepared to axe this from your build; it's still a really good ghost, and still a highly recommended skill, but not necessarily a must-max.

    Tombstone Triangle
    SP cost per level: 70
    Damage type: Mixed, shadow
    This skill drops three very large tombstones, which each project a circular aura. The stones also do a small amount of damage to anything they hit when they land. Anything within their auras gets their shadow resistance massively reduced, and has a chance to be cursed. After a certain duration, the tombstones will explode, doing a huge burst of shadow damage, making this one of our only respectable sources of burst damage. You can also detonate the skill early by using it a 2nd time before its duration ends. However, in most cases, you will want to keep the tombstones out for as long as possible to gain the maximum benefit from the shadow resistance debuff. This is a must-max in any build, as it's fantastic for both support and damage.

    Blade Phantom
    SP cost per level: 80
    Damage type: Mixed, shadow
    This skill operates very similarly to a ghost, putting a circular AoE on the ground and affecting all enemies within it. This skill causes enemies to get hit by barrages of blade slashes, which also inflicts poison and immobility. While it's a bit costly SP-wise, it actually does quite respectable damage for a fire-and-forget skill, and seems to automatically back attack (this utterly wrecks some things, like those undead vanguard dudes in Ghost Train). The immobility is also very potent against things like Tower of Despair APCs. Definitely worth considering in any build; I've taken a liking to it.

    Phantom Mastery
    SP cost per level: 80
    A very straightforward passive skill: it just increases the duration of every one of our ghost skills, including the 2nd awakening active, Zieg. You'll want to get this in every build.

    Necromancy
    SP cost per level: 100
    This is an interesting buff skill that allows you to de-summon any ghosts you have on the field and attach them to yourself and your party members in the reverse order the ghosts were summoned. Each attached ghost yields a weaker version of the ghost's normal benefit that stacks with ghosts on the field (e.g. you can benefit from the INT and STR from both the attached Kazan from Necromancy and a Kazan AoE on the ground simultaneously). The effects are as follows:
    Kazan - STR and INT buff
    Bremen - small stacking magic defense debuff per hit on enemies
    Saya - chance of freezing (apparently this works on status immune enemies right now, but does not in future... enjoy it while it lasts) and a sizeable damage multiplier on frozen enemies
    Rhasa - significantly boosted level on abnormal status effects as well as abnormal resistance
    Ghost Step - increase in movement speed and very small damage reduction, as well as dashing invincibility frames (note - if this version is on you, you will lose your possession x string)
    Kalla - very weak version of Kalla fireballs (note - this will overwrite the better Kalla version on you, so it's generally not worth it)
    This is a must-max in a support build for obvious reasons, as it allows you to do what you do even better than before. It requires a little more management and juggling, but you should get the hang of keeping the appropriate ghosts on people pretty quickly. At minimum, you should be trying to keep Kazan and Bremen on your party at all times, with Ghost Step and Rhasa where appropriate (Saya is situational; uncontrollable freeze effects can be problematic at times). Even in a solo/damage build this skill is worth considering despite its hefty cost, at least for as long as the Saya damage thing sticks around. Also, it should be noted that the effect of each ghost is based on Necromancy's level, not on the ghost's level, so you can have a level 1 ghost and still gain the full Necromancy benefit from attaching it.

    Descent of Zieg
    SP cost per level: 300 for level 1, 200 for each subsequent level
    Zieg is an interesting idea. It gives us a summon with a bunch of unique abilities that trigger off of your own abilities. When Zieg is out and you use a skill, he will often mimic your actions with his own version of the skill.
    Placing a ghost circle will cause Zieg to use Phantom Scream, a point blank AoE attack that has additional effects based on what ghost you used (defense shred for Bremen, water attribute enchant for Saya, and poison for Rhasa). Kalla's finisher triggers a similar attack from Zieg, as do Phantasmal Slayer, Phantom Sword Slash, and Tombstone.
    At long last, Zieg is no longer an idiot! With the most recent revamp, he no longer wanders around with terrible AI, but instead stays put until you reposition him with Phantom Sword Slash (he will teleport to where you're standing when you use PSS, slightly behind you). This has made Zieg enormously more useful, as there's actually a good chance you can hit the things you want to hit with his screams and other attacks. You should be picking up at least level 1 of this now.
     
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  5. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    TP Upgrades

    Only gonna cover ones that are worth considering here.

    Kazan Upgrade - definitely want some investment in this on a support build, as it boosts Kazan's stat buff by 8% per level. You'll probably want this at 4 or 5 depending on how the rest of your TP loadout looks. More discretionary on solo/damage builds.

    Ghost Slash Upgrade - straight up 8% damage increase per level. Also only 1 point per level. Worth considering if you invested in Ghost Slash or as an odd number dump.

    Moonlight Slash Upgrade - increases size and damage. Also only 1 point per level. Worth considering if you invested in MLS or as an odd number dump.

    Hazy-Eyed Bremen Upgrade - must-max regardless of build. Gives you a percentage boost to your magic defense shred and gives Bremen a small physical defense shred.

    Ice Saya Upgrade - kind of underwhelming, as its only effect is to increase Saya's duration by 1 second per level. Should generally be skipped.

    Ghost Step Upgrade - gives you a chance of becoming briefly invincible when you get hit, and increases Ghost Step's i-frames by 0.12s per level. It'd be a nice thing to have, but your TP are generally more valuably spent elsewhere.

    Phantom Sword Slash Upgrade - increases the size and damage of PSS. One of the best damage TP options, so it's highly recommended in solo/damage setups.

    Tombstone Upgrade - damage and curse level increase. Now that Tombstone is a core damage skill, this one's well worth considering in solo/dealing setups.

    Rhasa of Epidemic Upgrade - increases the number of mini-ghosts that can attach to any one enemy by 1 per level. Used to be core in support builds, but is now only worth picking up if you're supporting a physical dealer in 9pc Tombstone setup.

    Phantasmal Slayer Upgrade - this is one of those 'transformation' upgrades that changes how the skill behaves. When you invest at least 1 level in this, it removes the after-cast delay of Phantasmal Slayer, allowing you to move around freely while they're held. This decreases the amount of i-frames you get, but you shouldn't honestly be hurting for i-frames on this class anyway with Ghost Step and Wave Wheel Slasher to leverage. And with how critical positioning is on this class, the ability to move again immediately is pretty invaluable, in addition to being able to do damage during that time frame if you're in a solo/damage loadout. Definitely worth getting 1 level, though any levels beyond that just increase the damage of Phantasmal Slayer, and PS's damage is pretty crap so that's not really good value.

    Kalla of Dark Flame Upgrade - increases the damage and duration of Kalla. I'd call this one a must-max for any damage loadout, and good to invest as much as possible in even in a support loadout. Kalla's a primary source of damage for the class, and the increased duration (and thus lower downtime) is super helpful. Note that if you're using a setup that extends Kalla's uptime, like the Blade Soul chronicle set (more in this later), any points beyond what's necessary to achieve that uptime have a fair bit less value and may be better invested elsewhere, as the damage increase is only for the dark flame sword part and not the fireball ticks.
     
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  6. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    Skills Conclusion

    So at this point a lot of guides would suggest builds, but I'm not going to do that for a few reasons. One is that I shouldn't really need to at this point - you've got the pros and cons of the skills summarized above, and we have unlimited free skill resets in the game, in addition to tools like damage analysis and the training centre. Combined with your own experience, you should be able to come up with something that works effectively for your play style. And honestly, it's really not the end of the world if you end up with something very slightly suboptimal - it's pretty hard to completely screw up a Soul Bender build as long as you max Bremen and use some common sense for the rest.
     
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  7. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    Gearing and Avatars

    Here's the avatars and corresponding emblems to look for.
    Hat/Hair: INT or cast speed, INT+mcrit emblems
    Face/Torso: attack speed or abnormal resist, attack speed/cast speed/either of those plus movement speed for emblems
    Top: Bremen +1, mcrit emblems
    Bottom: HP max, mcrit emblems
    Waist: Max inventory weight or evasion, movement speed or mvspeed plus attack speed/cast speed emblems
    Shoes: Movement speed, movement speed or mvspeed plus attack speed/cast speed emblems

    This gear section is not meant to be an exhaustive and comprehensive list - it's more aimed at entry level stuff to get your foot in the door in endgame content. By the time you're getting beyond the stuff listed below, I doubt you need a guide anymore to tell you what to do.

    Gear loadout for the Bremen stack support build
    Weapon: Unsung Warrior's Tachi (best, but VERY hard to come by), Ancient Ruins Bronze Sword (only drops from Lost Treasures so it can be a pain to find), any reasonably high level legacy short sword or katana if the former two aren't available
    Top: Legacy: Wool Coat of Lat (the War God Cloth Coat is a fantastic and far superior choice if you're willing to do that much PvP)
    Bottom: Sea God's Cursed Silk Trousers, Essence Evil Spirit Scroll (very hard to come by)
    Bracelet: Essence Constant Bracelet (very hard to come by)
    Ring: High Tech Slayer Ring
    Sub-equipment: Song of Himan Stella - Soul Bender
    Title: Awakened Ones package title with +2 Bremen rolled
    Pet: Petit Dark Lord
    You need to leave 6 gear slots available for the Unholy Dominion chronicle set which, for most people, will be shoulder shoes belt bracelet necklace magic stone, but may vary depending on what pieces you manage to get your hands on. Note that there's no point stacking Bremen above level 30, so if you can get higher than that, it means you can substitute a +Bremen piece out for something else like a Marbas/Hot Summer pet or an epic or legendary.

    The Unholy Dominion set effects are as follows:
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, the 9pc set bonuses aren't nearly good enough to warrant occupying another 3 gear slots (unless you're going through the more intensive process of trying to spec for pdef shred support) that could be filled with more Bremen levels or, if you already have enough to hit 30 with room to spare, good off-slot pieces like an elemental tear or mixed support legendaries (or epics if you're lucky).

    We're extremely fortunate in that we can accomplish a ton with just chronicle setups coupled with buyable/farmable stuff. Here's a few other chron setups that are noteworthy and that you should complete at some point in your bending career.

    Blade Soul
    [​IMG]
    This is the go-to set for getting the most out of Kalla. With the full set plus some investment in the TP, you will have 100% uptime, as well as significantly more damage potential. The reason why this set is noteworthy even for those following the recommended support path is that Kalla fireball DoT ticks ignore defense. For those planning to do Anton content, this is the set you use against Tog, as it's one of the few ways of doing really good damage in that fight. Unless you manage to find full Dark Gothic and a Makya or something, this will probably be the only time you will be a primary source of damage in a raid, so live it up. This is not a good mix-n-match set; the 20% decrease in flame damage interval on the 9pc bonus is a pretty significant part of its damage.

    Tombstone of Oblivion
    [​IMG]
    This set is useful to us for two things. The first is as a damage set - more specifically, the 6pc bonus. This makes Tombstone far more powerful, as well as far safer to use; in an action game, standing around in one spot for any length of time tends to be a fantastic way to get yourself killed, so the 50% faster channel time is a virtual necessity for getting full damage out of this skill in harder content. Because you really only need the 6pc for damage functionality, this is a good set for doing some mixing and matching with off-slot pieces or with some Shadow Rage pieces (more on this to follow)
    The other purpose to the ToO set is for supporting physical damage dealers. Normally, this is something Soul Benders really aren't good at, and the most recent class revamp only made us worse at it, gutting both Rhasa and Bremen TP's ability to shred pdef. However, we still have a role to play in a specific situation: shadow-element physical dealers using the Dark Gothic epic set. This is where you want the full 9pc bonus on Tombstone of Oblivion, as the shadow element resistance shred on Tombstone Triangle becomes utterly bonkers. For most of you, you're not gonna have a full Dark Gothic physical buddy, so just getting the 6pc will suffice, but it wouldn't hurt to get the full 9 to have for a rainy day. Note that you should NOT use this setup to support shadow magical dealers - you will do more in a 30/6/6 Bremen setup than you will in 9pc ToO for magic damage regardless of its element unless your party comp has some other large source of mdef shredding.

    Shadow Rage
    [​IMG]
    The Shadow Rage set is, in general, not a great set. It tries to be too many things at once and isn't especially successful at any of them. The 6pc could hypothetically turn you into a ghetto hold class, but there's other classes that are far better at it, and it just doesn't justify setting aside 6 slots. And the 9pc bonuses just feel like a random thrown-together assortment, on top of the fact that no one uses Phantasmal Slayer as a core damage skill, set bonuses or no.
    So why mention this set? Because the 3pc bonus synergizes very well with 6pc of the Tombstone of Oblivion set, making this our best 'economy' damage dealing loadout. If you aren't geared to the teeth in full epics and legendaries, then chances are 6pc ToO 3pc SR are going to be the way you'll roll for soloing and sub-dealing.

    I'm not going to go into any appreciable amount of detail on epics for this class, as unless you're a mega whale or absurdly lucky, you aren't going to get any appreciable amount of really good epics anyway, and it's not like you can meaningfully 'aim' for them. The only thing I'll mention is that the Spider Queen set, or most notably the top, belt, and shoes have particularly good synergy with a Bremen setup, so if you find any of those, do a happy little jig. Individual pieces of the Wesley's Strategy set are also very useful in support roles, but that's not a Bender-specific thing. This is also true of any gear pieces (typically legendaries or epics) that give beneficial auras to your party or have resistance-shredding auras for enemies.
    In general, though, just feel that sense of warm, smug satisfaction in knowing that if you never find a single usable epic in your entire career, you will still be an incredibly useful and high value member of your raid team.

    For enchants (regardless of build) I'd suggest the following:
    Weapon/Top/Bottom: Magic Attack (a really good INT or INT+MATK enchant is also well worth considering)
    Shoulder/Belt/Shoes: Magic Crit
    Ring/Bracelet/Necklace: Shadow element damage
    Sub-equipment: Anodron of Darkness (and eventually you could look into the one you buy with antoniums in Noble Sky)
    Magic stone: The one from Kulun-Moon

    If you are wealthy enough to curse your gear with interdimensional stats, the obvious choice of INT is also the correct choice.
     
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  8. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    Otherverse Guide

    This isn't meant to be a complete Otherverse walkthrough, but rather a quick reference for things to remember as a Soul Bender in these dungeons.

    Goblin Kingdom
    Room 1: Normal
    Room 2: If you're a short sword user, swapping to a katana can make feeding a little easier due to shorter cooldowns on skills like Wave Wheel Slasher
    Room 3: Nothing Bender-specific
    Room 4: Normal
    Room 5: You have a lot of i-frames on this class so you can do just fine as a bomber, don't be shy
    Boss: Try and have someone in your group lock him down (you can do initial setup for them with Phantasmal) before dropping your circles so he doesn't just go charging out of them and waste your time

    Castle Nebulous
    Room 1: Just make sure you're repositioning your circles as necessary. It can be a good idea to have your disabling ghosts (Saya, Rhasa) centred over whoever's stabbed to help keep them safe
    Room 2: If you're not in a comp that can kill all the puppets at once, make sure Unshackle is off
    Room 3: Like with room 2, if you can't handle taking on the whole room at once (ice walls, nen bubbles, Number 28 etc coupled with AoE burst), make sure Unshackle is off
    Room 4: Nothing Bender-specific
    Room 5: Phantasmal Slayer makes a great quick initial grab on this guy, allowing the rest of your team to get set up
    Boss: Nothing Bender-specific

    Rangelus' Guerillas
    This whole place is super straightforward. Just make sure you have Unshackle off for the boss fight if he goes to the nen bubble bomb phase, as Kazan's long duration means he will probably hit the land runners and mess up the synchronization. If your party is juggling him to control him due to a lack of other forms of lockdown, help out with Upward Slash and (Full) Moonlight Slash.

    Void Rift
    Room 1: Nothing Bender-specific; be ready to i-frame if a ketchup and mustard donut salvo decides it doesn't like you
    Room 2: Even though you can't damage Swaycle directly, you can disable him with Phantasmal Slayer. Just be sure there's no chance of the hitbox touching whatever cube is glowing red or you'll die
    Room 3: You can nab Vanis with Phantasmal Slayer just as his 2nd speech bubble ends if you time it right, but there's other abilities that are better at this (Junk Spin, Shadow Binding, etc) so it probably won't be your job
    Room 4: Nothing Bender-specific
    Room 5: Be careful using Phantasmal Slayer to keep the demons on the platforms in here. There can be a bit of a knockback when Slayer ends, which can actually serve the opposite purpose and throw them off the platform
    Boss: If you are trying to kill him early between phases, make sure to have your ghosts set up on him slightly ahead of when he becomes vulnerable. You can try and burst him by timing stuff like Tombstone Triangle's detonation if you want to contribute beyond ghost circles. Don't use Saya Necromancy here

    Castle of Bakal
    Room 1: Nothing Bender-specific
    Room 2: Just avoid using stuff that will knock him down - stick to things like Kalla (use it before you enter the room to avoid the anti-cube response), Phantom Sword Slash, the first couple hits of your x string, etc
    Room 3: Turn Unshackle off. If you don't have the disease, try and help keep Neiser from moving around with Phantasmal Slayer (careful not to hit the stalkers with it). Right after he does his moon walk thing is a good time to do this as he won't be i-framing for a bit afterward
    Room 4: Don't use Rhasa, as it will actually slow down Numak's phase initiations and waste a bunch of time. Don't use Saya Necromancy either, or if you do, don't hit the real Numak with it
    Room 5: No disables or knockdowns. Saya is a no-no because he become invulnerable if you freeze him, wasting your party's time
    Boss: Nothing Bender-specific, really. I've heard speculation that using supergrabs on Bakal makes it more likely he'll fly away soon after, but I've yet to see it confirmed in any concrete fashion.

    Dark Side
    Room 1: Nothing Bender-specific
    Room 2: Some people say Rhasa can make blood drinker phase last longer, but I've never seen any evidence of this. One thing to note is that when you go to reaper phase, if Rhasa is out, advise all your party members to get out of his circle ASAP, as any Rhasa ghosts attached to them after the phase ends will kill them. This is one of those times where having a point in Moonlight Slash (and ideally also Full Moonlight Slash) along with Upward Slash is pretty useful, as one of the only ways to keep him from doing obnoxious things is to juggle him to death. Try and help your party do this as much as you can
    Room 3: Don't use Rhasa until after the ghosts have attached to your party, otherwise you'll slow the phase down and waste time
    Room 4: Practice using Phantasmal Slayer at times when she's not in i-frames (right when you enter the room, just as she finishes a slashing combo, etc). This is actually one of the few places where not having any TP in Phantasmal could actually be very effective - if you grab her just as the hand debuff brings you to a halt, you will hold her for the duration of your paralysis, allowing anyone in your party who can still do damage to get lots of free hits in on her. It's probably possible to do this with the Phantasmal TP, but your timing window will be much shorter. Also, like with Tiamat in Room 2, use whatever tools you have available (Upward, (F)MLS) to juggle her as much as possible to keep her from doing horrible things and shorten the fight
    Room 5: if Michael decides to come after you with a big punching combo, Guard can save you a whole lot of grief
    Boss: If you think there's any chance your party will trigger Betrayal, turn Unshackle off or it will kill anyone in your circles very quickly. Crowd control abilities like stun will make Ozma invulnerable, but he's completely immune to freeze (even the glitchy superpowered Necromancy version) so you can use whatever ghosts you like in this fight with no worries

     
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  9. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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  10. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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  11. Kheffin Bow down before the god of RNG.

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    Something that you might want to mention is what 30/6 Bremen means, as the term is thrown around everywhere for Anton. Until I did further research, I was under the assumption that 30/6 meant Level 30 Bremen and 6 pc Unholy Dominion. According to https://www.reddit.com/r/DFO/comments/3ml42p/how_does_one_achieve_30_bremen/cvg0g8g, 30/6 refers to Bremen's level/Bremen's TP level. I assume that 6 piece Unholy Dominion is just assumed to be the gear of choice for support builds and not mentioned. It would be a lot clearer if the colloquial term was 30/6/6 though.

    This distinction is also why Himan Stella is the best sub equipment; it levels the TP of Bremen. The King's Book of Secrets levels Bremen by 1 level, NOT the TP. I bought the King's Book thinking it was the same thing (even though their texts are different, I thought it was just bad translation), but you shouldn't do this. Himan Stella is way more expensive for a reason.
     
  12. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    Yes. That's the reason why the Song of Himan Stella is the only subequip I mention in the Bremen-stack gearing section - there is quite literally no substitute for it (of the things you can actually buy or realistically work toward). It is the single most potent piece of gear you can get, and should be an absolute priority for anyone looking to be serious about playing Bender. I believe there used to be another subequip that gave +1 Bremen TP, but it's no longer in the game, so the Himan Stella is a must-have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  13. Ark From Pain, Awakening

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    Veiled Inheritance was the purple sub you are thinking of I believe, but like you said it is not currently in the game.

    There are also 2 epic subs that give +1 Breman TP, Warlord's Talisman and Ares Armguard, but seeing as how they are both epics, they are significantly harder to obtain (Warlord's Talisman being the harder of the 2 since it can only come from Epic pots).
     
  14. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    I generally hesitate at the idea of even mentioning epics (except maybe in the case of some that have become unfortunately 'core' for classes, the primary one being Magic Cataclysm) as something to work toward in a guide, given how infinitesimally low your chances of ever getting specific epics is.
     
  15. Eisen もふ もふ

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    How much cast speed needed for support build? I thought his ghosts has kinda long cast time (tried with kazan when i'm still an asura) so i choosed 2x cspd for clones and ended up with 100,6% which i think quite overkill
     
  16. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    For support it's kind of up to personal preference - as far as I know, there is no 'gold standard' for it. I personally think you can go either way on avas - INT will give you more damage, but your damage is still gonna be pretty crap in a support setup, and 90 INT isn't that impressive when you have a SPR-stacked Crusader buffing you. The cast speed, while not strictly necessary or anything, does make you just that little bit less likely to be interrupted at an inopportune time, and does make your Kalla fireballs any time you're jumping or backstepping faster. Basically, you have 'enough' cast speed whenever you're casting fast enough to feel comfortable with it, which'll be a different point for each person.
     
  17. Eisen もふ もふ

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    i've been wondering about this (because rare avatar is near too), why is getting higher than lv 30 bremen is a no? At first i thought because its the hard cap but today with burning event i managed to hit lv 31 from 29 (or its only possible with burning buff?)
     
  18. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    As far as I know, under normal circumstances level 30 is as high as Bremen can be raised. I'm guessing it's one of two things: either burning time counts as a special case, or DFOG doesn't actually have a cap implemented for Bremen yet and that's something that will come with the class reworks. Either way, 30 seems to be the ceiling in kDnF, so my general assumption would be that that's where we either are or will end up once we're "caught up". In the event that I get a piece of gear that would put me at 31, I'll screw around with it more and see if I can come up with a more concrete answer (though right now that'd require a constant bracelet or an unsung warrior's tachi, and both of those are :bang: to get; I doubt rares+platinum emblems will be any better in terms of cost of acquisition given the number of people who like to whale out on this class).
     
  19. leemf

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    i got a question can you max out all your ghost and get enough sp for other useful stuff
     
  20. Kerath Happy 9pasha

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    Yes. It's not necessarily the best idea, though. We end up being pretty tight on SP once you have all your skills at 85, so you have to make some tough calls.
     

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