|Build summary||An Evasive Heavy Hitter and Counter Attacker|
|Recommended starting class(es)||Thief|
|Recommended Soul Level||120|
Recommended stats (Leave at default (**) if not raised)
Armor is a bit of a moot point, gear towards what you like that still allows you to move freely. I have the following.
*Venerable Sage's Hood
With these stats, not only does it look good (Silent Killer look) but you have decent defense with built in poison resistances, which is good since poison seems to be a fan favorite in this game, all while maintaining mobility. You use ToB or ToG to cast Second Chance when entering an area and as needed, then switch to iCat for Light Weapon. So buy a lot of spices from the vendor in 3-1. There is also actually just a leftover stat that you can freely put anywhere. I put it on luck.
|Gameplay tips and progression||
The way to progress is totally up to you. What worked for me might not work for others. However, I went to 4-1 first to get the Crescent Falchion +1 and the Compound Long Bow. For sake of saving space, you can look at the guides for that world for locations. I then completed 1-2 and all of world 2 as those are ideal spots for hardstones via geckos and monster drops. The first tunnel to the right in 2-2 as well as running thru the beginning portion of 2-1 up until you come to the ledge where to your right are explosive barrels and a gecko and a small horde including boulders throwers to your left. I believe this is where you get the spike shield, for reference. That made farming the stones to make my bow sticky much easier. Needless to say, I used the bow when starting out. So my stats went first into dex until I was doing respectable damage. From there I raised faith to 18 and followed with strength. Vit and End to 20, Magic to 30 then rounded out End and Vit.
Now for explanations. This build, at least the way I picture and play it, is all about deceit. Of course I'm speaking towards the PvP aspect. For PvE you can very easily rip through anything coming your way. It's just a matter of knowing your enemies' attack patterns. For example, when using a Lava Bow, you always want to use Fire Arrows. Since the fire damage scales with your magic stat, you pack a bit of a punch and a momentary stun. This can make the difference of walking away unscathed or potentially cracking your Second Chance in world 3. The stun lasts just long enough for your next arrow to land on the jailers, stunning them again, and often kills in two shots without them ever firing off a paralyzing spell or soul ray.
In Body Form, you want to always, ALWAYS, two hand your Blueblood Sword. I see most people brag about the stunlock abilities of the sword. Surprisingly, that's not why I suggest this. Stunlock is easy to avoid. In my experience, if the stunlock worked, chances are it was someone you really didn't need to use it on, and when you actually need it to work, you're facing someone who knows how to avoid it. The thing is, they're going to be EXPECTING the stunlock. I've found the 2h R1, R2, R2 combo is far more effective, for many reasons. I've toyed around with many weapons and I may be wrong about this being unique, or it may just be a push effect and they become direct hits, but each hit increases in power with this three hit combo. If they're unfortunate enough to get hit by all three, with Light Weapon cast, they're dead, through defenses, high Vit, faith or second chance, they're dead. There's also a few seconds of what I believe is referred to "hyperarmor" in the animation and the swings themselves are actually somewhat unpredictable.
R1: Vertical slash from right to left (no hyperarmor)
These swings have large arcs that end behind you, so even if someone is roll happy, they're caught. If they attempt to backstab, They're caught. If they're using a heavy weapon, the both of you might take a hit, but they are wide open while you can follow up with attacks and roll away while they recovering. Even if it's tempting, roll away after every combo. There's no need for a double roll as a single roll will give you space to recover stamina, and after those hits, your opponent will be looking to heal. Wait for them to begin that animation and dash in for another attack catching them in the middle of it.
As I said, this setup is about deception. That brings us to Poison Cloud. Poison Cloud is in no way intended to poison. If you happen to poison, that's great. Poison Cloud is a bit of a blinder. It blocks their PoV from you and of course they're going to roll away from it. That's what you want. Don't chase after them. Instead, use this time to heal, if you need to, use a spice, or recast Light Weapon. I'll be honest though, once I learned to pick my attacks with the BBS, it saw no use other than casting on Miralda in 1-1. I'm reluctant to take it off as I may need it again though. It's not like the other spell slot is being used anyway. As far as bows go, I've explained that Lava Bow and Fire are for the stun effect, against certain enemies or characters in certain gear, it could potentially do more damage than the Sticky. If you are setting up a choke point where you can spot your invader in the distance, like the towers on 1-2, or replacing the skeleton archers on 4-1, you want to fire off a few shots then run. As you're running, switch to your BBS and cast LW with the iCat, once you round a corner or get out of their sight momentarily. I don't mean be a few steps ahead and try it, that's how your face gets bashed in. You have to realize you're luring them in and fire a few shots, not shoot at them until the last possible moment and run. They will round a corner still trying to chance you and bam, you got them full on in your combo. Then, chances are since they're chasing you and you've stopped to cast LW, you have your stamina whereas theirs will be somewhat depleted.
Soul Form: BLUE Phantom
I cannot say if this build is difficult to master or not, as it's simply my play style. But I've only been killed by one invader and that was when I was summoned, and as I ran under the dragon to shoot him from below and kill him, a black phantom was waiting on the inside and got in a backstab and another hit as I was getting up (DBS). The host didn't tell me or even try to warn me that there was a BP on the board. It was suckish and cheap, but it still counts. I've even killed two invaders at once in 4-1 with this just yesterday. Weird how that happened… The point of this build, as I said, is to take the invaders' tactics and mechanics and use them against them. That's just the kind of person I am. You have to be adaptable and you have to be evasive. This is not a build to just rush in blindly swinging. Quick precise attacks and get out of there. If they all land, you win. If one misses, the enemy is now in a panic and scrambling. YOU are your defense, but there will be a time when someone with a Mirdan Hammer or spear comes at you. If you happen to get caught in that stunlock, immediately after you feel the vibration of getting hit, hold down L1. Since you're two handing the BBS, you'll attempt to block. It won't save you from taking damage, but it will stop you from being stunlocked and you can then open your combo in the middle of theirs. Remember, that second attack has a period of hyperarmor, and the first and third attacks are fast. Basically, once you get off that first attack, your second and third are guaranteed as long as you have stamina.
I welcome any constructive feedback or questions about it. I tried looking through the different builds before I posted this one, and while some builds have similar stats, the weapons and play style are different. Another little plus to this is the range of stats give you versatility. You can use sharp weapons, moon, crescent, quite a few. So if you have that persistent BP who keeps coming back determined to get you eventually, you can always mix it up on him and throw him for a loop. There was a BP that kept coming back for my host once, I equipped Northern Regalia just for the fun of it, when 2h and my phantom setup and me being pure white, 1290atk, I kid you not. I was firing at him with my bow. Since I was the one killing him the other times (waited until he was in the middle of his swings on host and fired), he rushed me. Switched to NR, 2 hit kill. If the damage rolled over to second chance, it may have been a ohko. It did 2300+ dmg. As I said, you have to get in their heads and use their tactics against them. PvE this cuts through anything very easily. PvP is where the build keeps a smile on your face however.
Stick and Move