Hoplite Archer
rating: 0+x

Build summary Shield/Spear/Bow Dex Build
Recommended starting class(es) Royalty or Temple Knight
Recommended Soul Level 70+

Recommended stats (Leave at default (**) if not raised)

Vitality 20+
Will/Intelligence 15/18
Endurance 20-40
Strength 16/18
Dexterity 35+
Magic 10/18
Faith 15/18
Luck 7
Recommended equipment

RH1: Sharp Winged Spear +5
RH2: Talisman or Beasts(Versatility Stat Spread) or Talisman of God
LH1:Early: Knight's Shield +10 (16Str) or Steel Shield +10 (18Str)
Late: Dark Silver Shield +5 (16Str)
LH2: Sticky Compound Long Bow +5

Armor: The best you can wear while keeping under 50% Equip Burden.
For males of a high enough SLvl that would be Ancient King's. Until then Venerable Sage's and Black Leather make adequate substitutes.

For females of a high enough SLvl it would be Binded. Until then use Ragged or Black Leather.

Importantly, all of these armors have the minimum stamina penalty

Rings: Rings are light enough that I favor keeping most of them on me at all times and switching out based on need and opportunity. Usually some combination of
Cling Ring / Eternal Warrior's Ring / Foe or Friend Ring / Thief's Ring / Graverobber's Ring

Recommended spells/miracles

Options for spell versatility depend upon your stat spread.

Combinations of the following
Spells: Warding / Cloak / Poison Cloud / Death Cloud / Cursed Weapon (only recomended if you push ToB)

Miracles: Second Chance / Cure / Heal

Gameplay tips and progression

This build allows for almost the strongest archery in the game with still significantly strong melee from behind the safety of a strong shield. In PvE you can melee anything you want in the game and thanks to the ability to poke from behind a shield you have a margin of error, in unfamiliar situations you can be much more aggessive as long as you leave yourself any stamina to block at least one attack and then roll away asap. An Estoc could be substituted for the spear, if that's your preference, but the spear is slightly better damage and longer range. The strength of your bow allows you to take advantage of long corridors and wide open spaces when you can see your enemy far away. It also makes many boss fights extremely easy (refer to the boss strategies section) and when you're strong enough to kill a crystal lizard in a single arrow farming is a little less stressful. I haven't been able to test it much in PvP but if you have the skill to use it this build should do as welll as any other moderate damage build with a little added safety provided by the shield.

The greatest downside of this build is getting it on it's initial feet. The stones you'll need are some of the most difficult to farm, you need to be very careful not to scare away the second crystal lizard in 2-1 otherwise you'll have to spend ages farming the miners and I'm not sure of the certainty of getting a Pure Spiderstone from the Armor Spider boss. Personally, I went through the effort of turning Stonefang pure black before I made any progress there at all. Bladestone is the other difficulty, there are no crystal lizards to help and the Dual Katana Skeletons are highly dangerous. I suggest using Flame Toss, you can retreat backwards while the spell is winding up and with 18 magic the skeletons go down in 3-5 hits on Pure Black Tendency.


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