Carver Shadowstalker as Tank?

Has anyone tried using the Carver Shadowstalker (“CS”) as a tank?

The idea would be to give it an artifact with speed enhancements (or Topaz Focus on another creature) and the Blood Dance legendary enchantment (the ability of the Witch Doctor Sacrificer). If I understand these abilities correctly, the high-speed CS could start each round by defending, which triggers the Blood Dance ability and makes all other creatures take only 1 damage from all attacks. Normally this would make the CS highly vulnerable due to the 100% damage increase from Blood Dance, but defending would also trigger the inherent Cloak and Dagger ability of the CS, meaning that it gains Invisibility each time and never loses it (because it never attacks). Since Invisibility makes it impossible to target the CS with attacks or spells, and all other creatures take only 1 damage, it would effectively make the party invincible.

I lack the materials to actually try out this tank build, but any thoughts on its weaknesses? Maybe splash damage and other group effects? Stun, etc. that would keep the CS from defending each round? Something else I am missing?

Skeleton mortarman hits everyone, just have to targeta different creature. Effects that are “additional” damage, like spider, viper, raptor Occultists, and some of the Devils and others like a few smiths do them as well. Then, you have status effects and creatures who proc the opposing team like the necropolis who can afflict an entire enemy team with poison. There are more things like this out there.

However, managed correctly, yes, you’d be darn close to untouchable.

[quote=“Juncboks, post:2, topic:476”]Skeleton mortarman hits everyone, just have to targeta different creature. Effects that are “additional” damage, like spider, viper, raptor Occultists, and some of the Devils and others like a few smiths do them as well. Then, you have status effects and creatures who proc the opposing team like the necropolis who can afflict an entire enemy team with poison. There are more things like this out there.

However, managed correctly, yes, you’d be darn close to untouchable.[/quote]

I agree that multi-shot damage (e.g., Skeleton Mortarman) and group-wide status effects (e.g., Necropolis) could create problems, but I am curious what you mean by “additional” damage (e.g., Occultists) being a problem Do you mean that the “additional” damage is not mitigated by the Blood Dance ability? Has this been tested?

As for managing these problems, I think the most important thing would be a spellbook composition that focuses on cleaning up the status effects that are known to be delivered group-wide via spell and/or creature ability. The Life Mage perk Holy Defiance might also help to ensure that your low-health CS doesn’t get one-shotted by a group-wide attack.

Any additional thoughts on how to manage this build correctly? Are there other specific teammate builds that would help support the CS/Blood Dance that come to mind? Any that help protect against status effects?

I don’t remember which smith, but one of them deals additional unmitigated damage based on its artifact. And from what others have said in recent posts they use Occultists specifically to counter the doctor’s effects. They’d deal 1 damage from their direct attack and the additional damage isn’t affected by the ability. Though I, myself have not run into the doctor (I generally play randomized creatures).

I use such a combo (witch doctor with cloak and dagger) in my current team in realm 203. I can say the only problematic enemies are
Frenzy “Wrath for everyone” Ghoul
Skeletal “Everyone is dead” Mortarsman
Servant “Your speed is your doom” Hunter
any creature with off target stun: Diabolic Henchman, Stone Giant, Stun Phoenix
probably a few others but the most memorable are definitly the frenzy ghoul and mortarsman. Anything that prevents the witchdoctor/carver from defending.

In addition death and sorcery realms are annoying because ghoul snare and dispel will ruin your day.
And yes there are abilities which are not mitigated (Occultist, Troll Arsonist, some smith). The combo also works poorly with pegasus since it takes full damage when intercepting attacks. I also believe damage to barriers is not reduced but it has been a while since I used those.

Still the combo is awesome and with proper CC (I use an impaler banshee) to take out problematic enemies and good killspeed you are almost never defeated.

This combo is a good technique to reduce damage from physical attacks, but what are you doing to cause damage to enemies on realm 200+? What is your average creature level up there?

And forgive my ignorance, but what is CC short for?

CC stands for crowd control.
I, too, am curious on your method of damage…

My average creature level is about 600 (though it does not really matter) and enemy level was reported as 10000 when I last used an identify creature scroll in realm 181.

I use poison and Calamity (Ominpotent Deity ability).

  • a taunting Necropolis that stacks poison to 10 pretty quickly
  • Raven Acolyte for 50% health
  • Bile Slime for 6% poison damage per stack
  • Witch Doctor with invisibilty for defense (technically the invisbility is not needed since the Necropolis tanks, but you will be very glad you have it when your Necropolis dies to stone, haunt or some instant kill ability and your remaining creatures have to finish the enemy team
  • Impaler Banshee for CC and high single target damage (Contamination artifact)
  • Topaz Paragorn to go fist
  • artifacts with Subversion(blight) to counter healers (especially mercurial slimes) Curse of Silence (no spells), Contamination (offensive poison to a single creature) and Calamity (to watch the enemy go boom)

Fights are mostly over during the enemies first round. As soon as one enemy dies, the chain reaction from Calamity kills the rest.
This team died 3 times up to now:

  • to a dispel in sorcery realm
  • to a ghoul snare in death realm
  • to a skeletal mortarsman in a major sigil (before the Impaler Banshee was on the team)
    Surprisingly I did not (yet) die to Frenzy Ghouls but this is more by luck than anything else. As long as your Calamity creature is not killed you will win after 4 deaths between you and the enemy team.

I also used Calamity to get up there, though it serves as more of a backup now.

And I agree, with the right combo of abilities, level doesn’t matter. I even stabled my nether creatures and switched to normal creatures, so my team performs better by avoiding Djinns, and realm level still isnt an obstacle. Zack has yet to tweak Identify Creature, and the spell maxes out at 10000, even though the ones you are fighting are higher. At least the loot still gets noticably better!

Topaz Attunement is another really powerful ability, as is the Greater Iscription of Taunting, that I removed from the party because they made fights too predictable and easy. I keep a Lich Overseer with the infinite Lords resurrection ability to reboot my party if I get wiped out by a Skeleton Mortarman.

I used to have a Mite Gravedigger with the Pegasus ability, so he would absorb any lethal attack, resurrect and taunt, and the Omnidiety would activate calamity. This was foolproof but boring, and no longer works since the MG ability got adjusted.

Thanks for sharing. Where are you up to on the daily realm? The enemies wont be nearly as tough as on realm 200, the highest I have seen would be more like realm 80.

I am currently on streak 11 for daily realms.

As for loot, I am kinda disappointed by it in 200+ realms. The amount increases but not the quality. I have found only three pills total (even switched to death) and no dust.

I agree on nethers. They are currently not worth using because the djinn is too disrupting and the change to scaling based on total xp hurt them. I plan to do a little experiment soon by bringing a level 1 nether and normal of the same type to a high level, winning a fight with XP boosts and comparing stats. Since both should get the same XP (no diamonds) I can see how much (if any) of an advantage nethers have.

Does the flying pony protect from cleave/thrust/splash? I like that it is passive and undispellable but enemy hunter or cinder devils would still be deadly.

Another fun tank combo is Final Breath and Epidemic. Provoke/taunt with the pulse bat to give it dying, then transfer it to the enemy next round. It is not very safe for high level realms but fun nontheless.

Hahaha, I was not happy with the loot on realm 200 either, I kept climbing. As the quantity increases, your chance of finding what you are looking for goes up.

I am using death class as well, for the pills. I have only found 16. They are stupid rare. However, I still carry beef with Zack over the decrease in demon dust since the 1.3.0 update. I have not found a single demon dust since that update, which means that the rarity significantly increased.

Zack says he is going to improve the nether demon creation process, so I have stopped bothering with them until he does. Given the time and effort players go through to create nether creatures (not to mention the hours of fruitless dust mining I have gone through), I think it was appropriate for them to be awesomely powerful. I also never had a problem taking them down as enemies using indirect damage and debuffs, so I don’t see why people were complaining about them to begin with. The Djinn Arcanomancer threatens to make all of the creation process trouble not worth it. Zack is already working on a tweak, we’ll see.

Try putting the Pegasus on the right or left corner, and keep your OD on the other corner, so splash will wipe out 4/6 party members and OD will trigger 4 calamities. For many abilities, the Pegasus will intercept damage and the ability will not activate, I am not sure how cleave and thrust behave. (I don’t use the Pegasus right now it is toxic to my current build.) I was also unsuccessful equipping a Pegasus with Final Oblation (too easy!), the ability didn’t trigger.