|Build summary||Super Low-level pure mage of the glass cannon sort|
|Recommended starting class(es)||Royalty, preferably female|
|Recommended Soul Level||24-32|
Recommended stats (Leave at default (**) if not raised)
LH: Soldier's Shield or Dark Soldier's Shield // Kris Blade // Morion Blade for PVE or craziness // phos pole or crescent dagger for extra mana regen
Also, get a bow. You can do a longbow w/10 str (part of the reason I recommend adding 1 to str) and it's always good to have a sniping weapon. Plus, if you go with Firestorm in PVE, you won't have any long-range spells.
Armor: Because of super-low endurance, female builds benefit because they have a variety of lighter armor with good stats and stamina regen, IMO. I prefer Binded, but if you want to increase magic defense (what for, you'll die in 2-3 hits anyway with this VIT), mix it up with Dull gold + Black leather. Use Monk's Head Wrappings or Circlet as you see fit.
Rings: Soul PVP: Cling + Friend's/Foe's or Magical Sharpness if you don't have Friend/Foes or, if feeling ballsy, drop the Cling and go Magical Sharpness + Friends/Foes. Switch with Rats if you want
Any of the following groups of spells could populate your 3 slots:
Homing Soul Arrow (gets 4 orbs at 25 Mag and 5 at 31 Mag) + Firespray or Soul Ray
Firestorm if you want to be mean in PVP or make PVE easier.
Fireball + Firespray or Soul ray (wait until NG+ to get Fireball because Firestorm can carry you through some of the bosses better than Fireball will)
Cloak + firespray + soul ray for PVP stealth hunting (don't wear Kris/Sharpness ring/monk's head/crescent/rune. Keep it to Foe's and Cling or Foe's and magical nature for extra spell. You can still use a moon sword)
Warding + Soul ray or Firespray.
Second Chance. Your super-low vit means 2nd chance is a must both in PVP and PVE. (Useful tactic: 2nd chance then "trade blows" by casting HSA as you anticipate an attack — you lose 2nd chance and the other guy's SC could be broken through and he killed. I've been on the giving and receiving end of that tactic).Note that IT'S A PAIN TO USE at 16 faith. You have two choices: either add two levels more into Faith and use the Talisman of Beasts for spells and magic or use Talisman of God if the coast is clear then switch out that talisman for a wooden talisman or, if you're going for max dmg, an iCat. I found it's so much of a pain to switch out the talisman every time (and I like to keep my slots populated with shield/kris/weapon/catalyst) that I relented and pumped two more into faith to use ToB once I beat Scirvir BP. Plus, as it turns out, the ToB does better magic damage than the wooden catalyst (b/c it adds stat bonuses from both faith and magic) even at 18 fth. The two extra faith at such a low level makes the build a little less "lean," but there is something to be said about the convenience factor, and the slight increase in magic damage is a cherry on top.
Note that, if you have a lot of free time at the beginning of a PVP invade and come armed with HSA, you could go Hyper and cast HSA with morion + clever + icat, then switch out the clever for cling, heal, put on ToG, 2nd chance, switch icat and morion for wooden Catalyst and Kris, then spice. You'll have a MEGA-powered orbs floating around you but normal power going forward. come into battle with a roll R1 of your estoc and those arrows can spell instant death for a host or blue, even through 2nd chance. It would be tricky to stage this, but it could be done (Invade already hyper with equipment at hand, cast and rearrange around a corner once you spy the host/blues lurking - they might come looking for you eventually, though so get your rhythm down). Of course, it would be way easier to set this up as a host between invasions. This trick can be implemented for boss battles, too. Think Flamelurker, while he's sitting there staring into space after you enter (keep your thief's ring on). I haven't tested this latter example, be forewarned.
|Gameplay tips and progression||
First, to explain the stats: they're obvious, except perhaps the Str. This is my preference, so I can equip a few more weapons and wear a slightly better shield (soldiers = a little > buckler). It means I can quickly use the dragon long sword if I want to melee in world 5, for example, and it also means I can upgrade a broad sword or long sword with moon or crescent. (I think moon outdamages crescent slightly with 25 magic, but I'm not 100% sure. MP Regen is probably a good tradeoff anyway because melee should be a last resort for this guy. That, and you can farm shards and chunks of darkmoon waaaaaay easier — think 4-2 reaper and, after you kill Urbain in Mephistopheles quest, the 4-2 black phantom. You can get +4 crescents in no time). For extra mana regen (mostly PVE or between duels in PVP), get the phos pole for the most regen, or just bring a dagger or secret dagger up to crescent +3. If you have a +5 crescent estoc or falchion as your melee, which I recommend, don't make the dagger +5 or it won't stack. Leave it at +3 or +4 b/c it will stack that way (Note that +4 doesn't have any more regen than +3). I prefer the dagger over the pole because (1) you don't have a lot of vit or end so your item and equip burden is limited: 0.5 lbs is better than 4 lbs of luggage; and (2) you don't have to use colorless demon's souls, and as a dagger, the upgrade is very quick (a handful of small and large sharptsone shards and a handful of darkmoon shards with a chunk).
You could pump vitality if you're chicken, or trade off the 4 you added to faith and the 1 you added to str to go UBER-MAGE at SL 25 with 31 magic (5 homing soul arrows FTW!). Or, keep all stats and take the magelet up to SL30 to get your 31 magic.
As far as gameplay—-don't get hit! If anything, this build will help you play more carefully. You can take a hit or two, at least in NG, even from some of the skellies (Stay away from giant depraved ones, though), but you die pretty easily. The tradeoff, as is always the case with glass cannons, is mega damage for a SL24-30 player. You get three slots and enough MP to firestorm and enough magic to have four or even five homing soul arrows (at sl 30). Pop on the Sharpness ring/Monk's head/Kris Blade, or for craziness, switch out the sharpness and kris for the Clever Rat's and Morion blade, and you are talking quick boss deaths. PVP can be fun where you find it. Be creative. Using FS and HSA just means one-shotting the SL24-36 victims (or dying from a swipe or two). More exciting is lurking with firespray, soul ray and cloak instead and picking 'em off slowly. You could play more "melee" style by putting on warding and firespray or soul ray and whip out your Crescent broad sword + dark soldier's shield (the only time dark is every any good is when you can't wear the DSS, like with this build). Get hit once? Shoot a couple of firespray while backing up to make 'em back off and heal themselves. Or, get bored? Shoot Soul Ray to finish 'em off (DSS and young paladins are your weakness, though). You could also help out as a blue. Play it cool, swinging your sword and all wimpy-like, then when a black phantom invades (on those rare occasions), hang back and whip out HSA once the host begins approaching the BP (so BP can't dodge!) - bye bye! This would be a good way to up CT for a friend's ring, if you find invasions.
Another PVP tactic that might be fun is HYPER FIRESPRAY. Invade at 30% health with Clever Rats+Morion+iCat + Monk's head + Foes or if don't have, use Magical Sharpness. You don't need a lot of MP because you're only using 2mp each shot. Always walk backward and blast away with firespray. Too much dodging? Mix it up with occasional fireballs for splashdeath. Just watch out for other mages and arrows. If they breathe on you, you're dead.