After publishing my [126.96.36.199] Budget S&B Physical Battlemage, a rightful comment stated
While in the case of Battlemage - because of the Spellsource set - I would slightly disagree, there is in fact a great synergy between the Soldier and Oathkeeper mastery for shield builds. The beginners section in the Build Compendium X (Forgotten Gods) and Beginner build guides Compendium (for AoM + FG expansions) have currently two beginner Warlords, a two-hand melee weapon Forcewave spammer ([188.8.131.52] Budget physical Forcewave Warlord) and a Blitz orientated S&B build (Blitz Krieg - A SSF, HC-Viable, New-Player-Friendly Warlord). So there might be enough room left to provide another levelling alternative. The idea to use Deadly Momentum to increase the punch of Blitz is e.g. already used here [184.108.40.206] Blitzer Physical Warlord: The Tank Who Hits Hard and Fast
A Shielded Life - Part 2
The intention of the build is to have the Cadence S&B Warborn Warlord gameplay on a budget build. Therefore, Cadence is used as main damage source, and War Cry is used for the resist reduction. Another target was to have a rather strong defense, centered around Overguard - especially at the end. A deliberate descision was to not use Forcewave at all - even while levelling. In the early levelling phase, Blitz is used as rather dominant damage source, so there is some kind of natural overlap with Cenos build.
While Blitz is important, the improved Milton’s Casque, paired with Safeguard and later Deadly Momentum give the normal attacks - even with a rather limited investment in Cadence - a rather good punch. So the typical gameplay while levelling will be Blitz (or Charge) into a group of enemies, use the main attack (Cadence) and Blitz again when the cooldown ends. And if the gear is updated regularly, it plays rather smooth that way. Overguard is not really needed for a long time, but provides a good boni just in case - even if the increased health regen might be more important early than the other boni.
At higher levels, the focus on Cadence will be more dominant and after level 90, the Overguard aspect is strengthened by increased investment of skill points. In 220.127.116.11 this was also done by using Colossal Bulwark, however, the added physical damage converted to aether damage with patch 18.104.22.168 reduced the value of the shield for the build. Therefore, the shield was changed to Kalis’Ka’s Harvest. To have some kind of stress test - beside the challange dungeons and nemesis on Ultimate - some superbosses kills were attempted at lower difficulties - and these attempts were not total failures with the 22.214.171.124 version.
Only self-found equipment and self-found crafting materials were used while levelling. Also, no mandates were transferred, writs were bought as soon as possible. However, all necessary blueprints were already found with earlier characters. The character was played solely in 126.96.36.199.
Grimtools of the current character. Most attribute points are invested in Cunning to increase the offensive ability (OA) and damage. The bare minimum is invested in Spirit to meet the gear requirements.
[Cadence, all permanent buffs and Deadly Momemtum and Overguard. Damage is higher without Overguard.]
Using the same components and nacked gear, it is already possible to cap all resistances skeleton character (= without affixes), however, the OA and defensive ability (DA) is rather low, so the gear must mainly support this aspects. Keep in mind that increasing Cunning will help to increase the OA and the damage here.
- 188.8.131.52 inital version
- 184.108.40.206 shield changed to Kalis’Ka’s Harvest, Fighting Form increased to 12/12, skill points taken from Decorated Soldier (2), Safeguard (2) and Field Command (2)
The new level 100 version with the new shield was tested at Korvaak, Morgoneth, Lokarr - as well in Shard 25 in the Shattered Realm (all in Ultimate).
The full campaign (softcore) with both expansions was finished in all three difficulties (Veteran, Elite, Ultimate). Monster totems were activated on sight - after cleaning the surrounding area. Deaths happened, but were rather rare. In Veteran, four deaths were caused by my total ignorance of my chaos resistance, five are related to my attempts to kill superbosses in Veteran / Elite - and the last one happened while facetanking Kymon in Ultimate (and might be related to a 9.7k hit taken by the character).
All challenge dungeons were finished in Ultimate relatively painless. Shard 25 was reached in the Shattered Realm in Ultimate for the additional skill points in one try (and it should be possible to go higher; @Ulvar1 could finish shard 65 with the build, but for higher shard farming check/really consider the comment at the end of the levelling section about bringing Fighting Form to 12/12 for three target Cadence like proposed by @Ceno). The following nemesis were slain in Ultimate: Moosilauke, Kubacabra, Valdaran, Benn’Jahr, Grava’Thul and Kaisan.
Additionally, because the character is rather defense orientated, the ability to kill some superbosses was tested (not in Ultimate - it is a budget build after all). Shortly after reaching level 100, Ravager (of Souls) and Callagadra could be killed in Veteran, Callagadra needed a more careful approach and some kiting to avoids death (the kill was the third attempt). The first attempt to kill Ravager (again of Souls - stupid me) in Elite failed, with some pharma the second attempt - after the move to the more Overguard centered build - ended again prematurely (with a death) after reducing Ravager to 3 million hit point. The last and finally successful attempt was with the final character (all skill points, final gear) and pharma. It took a little less than 14 minutes. Clones and Lokarr are relatively easy and possible without pharma.
Levelling / SkillsThe character starts as Soldier and always uses a shield (note: In the early phase (level 1 to 10), using a one-handed ranged weapon strongly increases the defense - as not being hit is still the best defense.) The first skill points are invested in the Soldier mastery bar, after reaching 10/50 in the mastery bar, invest one point in Blitz and one in Menhir's Will. Blitz will be for some time the main source of damage - especially considering groups of enemies. The skill points gained with the following level ups are invested in Blitz (2) and the mastery bar (1). At level 9, it sould be Blitz at 9/16 and the Soldier mastery bar at 15/50. Oathkeeper as second mastery is taken with level 10, Blitz is reduced to 4/16 and the Soldier mastery bar to 10/50. Invest one point in the Oathkeeper mastery bar and max Safeguard immediately (for the armor, flat physical damage and % physical damage).
The next targeted skill is Deadly Momentum. With the next level up, invest one skill point in Cadence, one in Shield Training and one in the Soldier mastery bar. The skill points gained with following level ups are mainly invested in the Soldier mastery bar. However, after reaching 15/50 in the mastery bar, invest one point in Fighting Form and after reaching 32/50 in the mastery bar, one point in Blindside and one point in Overguard. Farm a good Milton’s Casque, as the finally accepted one will be used until the area can be visited in Elite. After 40/50 in the Soldier mastery bar is reached, start and max Deadly Momentum. Farm a good Warden’s Fortress and Gutworm’s Mark (after Deadly Momentum is taken), get a movement rune (with shield damage) and craft Calamity (is needed for Juggernaut). After maxing Deadly Momentum, max the Soldier mastery bar and start and max Menhir’s Bulwark. Menhir’s Bulwark is taken as exclusive skill because health regen, increased healing effects and the damage absorption are key parts of the defensive setup.
After Menhir’s Bulwark is maxed, invest one point in Field Command and in Squad Tactics with each level up. The third point is invested in Military Conditioning (1), Veterancy (1), Decorated Soldier (1), Scars of Battle (1) and than the Oathkeeper mastery bar (in this order). Farm a good Mogara’s Fangs, a new Warden’s Fortress, Milton’s Casque, Gutworm Medal, Solael-Sect Legguard and craft a Devil’s Cord. As soon as possible, craft a Juggernaut relic. If you don’t have the blueprint, keep in mind that some vendors sell the blueprint.
Because of the used chest armor, one point was invested in Zolhan’s Technique (without, the investment would have happened later). The moment the Oathkeeper master bar reaches 5/50, instead of investing in the mastery bar, invest one point in Presence of Virtue and with the next level up one in Smite. After Field Command and Squad Tactics are maxed, invest two skill points in the Oathkeeper mastery bar and one in Presence of Virtue. After reaching level 50, you can move to the first Totally Normal Shield.
The next steps are - Oathkeeper mastery bar reaches 15/50: invest one point in Haven and one in Resilence, with the next level up, one in Markovian’s Advantage and Zolhan’s Technique (if not taken already earlier) - Oathkeeper mastery bar reaches 20/50: invest the second gained skill point (if available) in Presence of Virtue and than with the next level ups all skill points in Shattering Smash (until 6/10 with gear is reached). The distribution for the following level ups is: one Oathkeeper mastery bar, one Presence of Virtue - after Presence of Virtue is maxed, the second skill point is invested in Shattering Smash. Don’t forget to farm a new Milton’s Casque and Warden’s Fortress in Elite after finishing the Veteran base campaign.
After Shattering Smash is maxed, max the Oathkeeper mastery bar, only invest in between one point in Rebuke when possible. Starting with level 65, Coven Combatant’s Chestguard and later Malmouth Vanguard Pauldrons are potential gear options. At level 75, get the second Totally Normal Shield. After the Oathkeeper mastery bar is maxed, invest one point in Guardians of Empyrion and Celestial Presence. The following level ups are one in Celestial Presence and one in Cadence - until both are maxed. Only than start to take War Cry (target: 12/12 with gear) and Break Moral (max).
At level 90, it is time for the final faction gear update (rings, elite version of chest and shoulder armor). While trying to buy good rolled ones - start to look for a good level 94 Colossal Bulwark. There are different good affix options depending on the personal preference, it is e.g. possible to focus on cooldown reduction (more Overguard, War Cry and Blitz) or physical resistence (here). Keep in mind that the of Barricades suffix allows to take a second Seal of Might while still having a 90%+ block recovery with Overguard, so it is more or less a “rare” suffix. If wanted (as keeping Milton’s Casque and Warden’s Fortress is an option to have a more offensive Blitz orientated build) - move from Warden’s Fortress to Colossal Bulwark and from Milton’s Casque to Fettan Mask should at level 94. After the move, adjust the skill points: remove the 23/22 point from Deadly Momentum, reduce Blitz to 1/16 (without gear), bring Overguard to 12/12 (with gear) and take Markovian’s Defense. Regardless of the equipment decision, reduce shattering smash to 6/10 (with gear) and invest the skill points in Break Moral. The last skill points gained with level ups and quests are used to max Break Moral, getting (=investing one skill point) in Fighting Sprit and raising Decorated Soldiers (I had a not so good rolled Fettan Mask and wanted to have a bit more elemental resistance overcap reserve).
Another worthwhile target for the last skill points is Fighting Form, at 12/12 another Cadence target is added (so Cadence will hit up to three targets compared to two). Six skill points are needed to increase Fighting Form to 12/12, four can easily be taken from Decorated Soldier and Squad Tactics, and two from another skill, e.g. Safeguard.
With patch 220.127.116.11 the build was affected by the added physical damage converted to aether damage to the old shield. This change reduces the sheet damage from ~125.000 to ~ 115.000. While the build seems still solid using a Colossal Bulwark, I would no longer consider the shield as best option for the build. Therefore, the shield was changed to Kalis’Ka’s Harvest. The stats of this shield were buffed with patch 18.104.22.168 and %physical damage was added to Presence of Virtue, so the damage under overguard - even with Markovian’s Defense - could be kept and is now at ~129.000. However, the downtime of Overguard has become longer. A minor buff is the increased attack converted to health on the pants.
With the change to the shield, also the proposed increase of Fighting Form for the third Cadence target was done. To bing Fighting Form to 12/12, six skill points are needed, points were taken from Decorated Soldier (2), Safeguard (2) and Field Command (2).
level 10: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2EMYwn2
level 20: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNYp0XgZ
level 30: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/eVLwy1d2
level 40: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62aaGmk2
level 50: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/O2GnR16N
level 60: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/xZy01QrV
level 70: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/lV70nmvZ
level 80: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YVWwa10V
level 90: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/dVbrjqEV
level 100: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/q2mXealN (reaching level 100)
level 100: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/lNkGvO4N (v.22.214.171.124)
level 100: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/JVljDopN (current status)
- Crossroad yellow
- Assassin’s Blade: Resist Reduction
- Remove Crossroad yellow
- Toad: Adcth
- Empty Throne: Resistances
- Panther: OA
- Eel: temporarily (see step 11)
- Harvestman’s Scythe: stats, health regen, DA
- Solemn Watcher: DA
- Dire Bear: physical damage, DA, proc, affinity
- Remove Eel
- Azrakaa: physical damage
- Shieldmaiden: Shield Boni
- Owl: affinity
- Oleron: physical damage, proc
The devotion setup is a mixture between defensive devotions (Solemn Watcher, Shieldmaiden, Harvestman’s Scythe) and offensive devotions (Azrakaa, Oleron). The proc from Oleron was choosen to have a reliable Area of Effect offensive skill. As Menhir’s Bulwark and Haven increase healing effects (including Adcth), the effective Adcth is higher and Adcth devotions are not needed that strongly. Another pillar of the defense is life regen, which is supported by Harvestman’s Scythe.
GearThis build relies on specific Monster Infrequent items. Early core items are Milton's Casque and Warden's Fortress. In some cases, it is important to farm suitable version more than once. However, while levelling, acceptable ones will be good enough, as they must be exchanged later by higher level versions. In case of amulett and medal, a good rolled lower level version might be better than a not so good rolled higher level version (see, e.g., the amulett used in the final build). For some slots (cloves and boots) random non faction drops or Epic / Legendary items might provide better stats, however, faction gear allows to provide a more standardized baseline character and is therefore used here - even if some of the mentioned alternative gear for these slots was found.
Guaranteed Epic / Legendary Drops
amulett: Mogara’s Fangs - +1 to all skills in Soldier, can be farmed from Mogara, the Prime Matriarch
medal: Gutworm’s Mark - +3 to Deadly Momentum, can be farmed from Gutworm, the Maneater
pants: Solael-Sect Legguard - Adcth, resistances, can be farmed from Guardian of Solael
girdle: Ugdenbog Gridle - +1 to all skills in Soldier, can be replaced with Wendigo Warder Girdle
chest: Coven Combatant’s Chestguard - +3 to Deadly Momentum
shoulder: Malmouth Vanguard Pauldrons - +3 to Cadence, Blitz and Smite
rings: Coven Storm Seal - faction physical damage rings, with bonus to DA, attack speed and +2 to Field Command / Presence of Virtue
gloves: Elite Rhowari Grips - generic attack speed faction gloves, can be replaces by better random drop or craft
boots: Elite Legion Greaves - physical resistance faction boots, can be replaces by better random drop or craft
Juggernaut - +1 to all skills in Soldier, OA and proc (health regen)
Notable Other Gear Option:
Alternative gear for the final build, but also earlier versions are suitable while levelling the character.
boots: Mythical Final March - Menhir’s Will
boots: Mythical Runeguard Greaves - Field Command, Presence of Virtue
boots: Mythical Stonetreaders - Overguard
boots: Mythical Dreadnought Footpads - Blitz, Blindside, Rebuke
amulett: Spellsource Deflector - Overguard bonus, +1 to all skills in Soldier
What Else / What Now
Go Farming: The character is able to farm totems, challenge dungeons and nemesis and (low) shards in the Shattered Realm in Ultimate relatively safe. With a bit patience also stronger enemies are possible like Ravager in Elite.
The direct endgame version of the concept is a Warborn S&B Cadence Warlord. Unfortunately, as S&B builds - beside retal - are currently not considered that favourable for endgame content (as other concepts can do the same but faster or stronger), only some have been published, e.g. [126.96.36.199] Classical S&B Cadence Warlord tank for easy SR 75 (for a Ravager farmer build see e.g.: Which Ravager should I face). There are also other non Warborn based builds, e.g. [188.8.131.52] Dual Shield Warlord! SR75~76 easy, Callagadra, Scion of the Sands Kill 2m50s, Ravager of Minds Kill 1m40s, Avatar of Mogdrogen Kill 3m16s [vid] Callagadra very easy version or [184.108.40.206] The new Carrot tank - Markovian S&B Warlord! SR 75+/Crucible buffless
And as Warlord is a relative versatile class, respecing to one of the other concepts like retaliation Warlord, EoR Warlord, Shield Caster etc is always possible. See Build Compendium X (Forgotten Gods) for the most current builds.