Difference between revisions of "Tasonir's Melee Naga Guide"

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{{Advice}}
 
{{Advice}}
  
==Changes in Version 0.11==
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==Warnings and Scope of this guide==
Most of this build was tailored to version .10, but not much has changed in .11 aside from constriction.  You no longer start with constriction at level 1; you gain it at level 13. This will make starting out as a melee naga '''considerably''' more difficult, although your end result will be nearly the same. It is recommended that you rely more on poison spit to deal with dangerous threats in the early game.
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This is not intended to be a guide for new players. It is assumed that you have already decided to worship Cheibriados - Cheibriados requires significant conducts in that you cannot walk at normal speed, or use any haste or speed weapons. This makes Cheibriados a challenge god - this guide is how to cope with the challenge and become as strong as possible; NOT to compare directly to a build with haste.
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Much of the guide focuses on a hybrid character who follows Cheibriados. It is NOT necessary to play as [[Naga]]. It is NOT necessary to be melee! Ranged weapons work fine, casters are probably strongest - I am simply less fond of them. Remember this is a guide written by one person, and above all else, adapt it to your needs.
  
 
==Melee Nagas of Cheibriados==
 
==Melee Nagas of Cheibriados==
Melee [[Naga]]s of [[Cheibriados]] are extremly powerful fighters with the addition of their constriction attack in .10. However in .11 the early game is considerably more difficult than other races due to slow movement and constriction requiring level 13, but things improve drastically once you have high piety and reach level 13. Cheibriados's additional stats give Nagas enough dexterity to overcome the dodging penalty for large races and enough int to cast high level spells while being powerful fighters. The slow movement speed of nagas becomes a bonus which raises slouch damage, killing many early monsters in a single cast and even powerful late game monsters in 2-3 invocations. Pure melee builds can use heavy armor, while light or medium armor builds can branch into support magic, especially if they are going for more than 3 runes. Transmutations such as Statue Form, Translocations for Controlled Blink, and Charms for support spells like Regeneration are core spells for such hybrids. Pure fighters can instead focus on dodging for higher EV than caster versions.
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Melee [[Naga]]s of [[Cheibriados]] are powerful fighters with high health, very strong AC by the mid game, and several useful intrinsics like poison spit, poison resistance, and see invisible. They pay for these benefits with slow movement; and cheibriados makes you twice as slow. In return you will gain very powerful god abilities and a passive +15 to all stats, which allows you to hybridize and fight very effectively if managed properly. Your extra slow movement speed will increase slouch damage, but is still worse than a flat 2.0 turn move speed on other Cheibriados races. Most typical builds will want to end up in a medium armor such as fire or ice dragon armor, and learn a fairly wide range of the standard support spells: regeneration, blink/Cblink, repel/deflect missiles, transmutations if you are using unarmed, abjuration, etc. You obviously cannot learn haste, a significant drawback.
  
==The Benefits of Cheibriados==
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[[Cheibriados]] is a fairly straightforward god - you refuse haste and move slowly in exchange for +15 to all stats and powerful abilities. See the god page for more details on them. Due to the lack of speed a lot of players consider Cheibriados to be a weak god. Learning to deal with the conduct will take patience, and the early game can have some deaths which are extremely difficult to avoid. You will become slower before you become significantly stronger; but eventually it will smooth out.
[[Cheibriados]] is a fairly straightforward god, once you learn how to cope with the incredibly slow movement speed (see the survival advice section below). The bonus to all stats is deceptively powerful, especially on a build that can take advantage of all three stats. It is this that makes going dodging on a large race possible, and makes spellcasting hybrids viable. Try to keep piety at maximum unless you need to slouch a dangerous situation, in which case try to regain it as soon as possible. Slouch is an incredibly versatile panic button that will last all through the game.  This leads to a very simple playstyle which is based on raw power, and does not use buffs that are generally considered no-brainers.  This can be helpful for those who are new, but this build is still no where near as simple as the very straightforward [[Berserker]].
 
 
 
Note that the loss of haste from following Cheibriados is a significant penalty. For this reason a lot of players consider Cheibriados to be a weak god. While I feel the bonus stats, slouch, and step from time make up for this, there is significant disagreement on the issue. If you wish to worship another god, some parts of this guide may not be applicable. Certainly learn to cast Haste!
 
  
 
==Background and Weapon Choice==
 
==Background and Weapon Choice==
Many [[background]]s can be used to play melee Nagas. Naga [[Fighter]]s, [[Gladiator]]s, [[Skald]]s, [[Monk]]s, or [[Transmuter]]s all work well with this build. A main decision is what weapon/shield you will be using: I personally prefer using unarmed, shields, and statue form; but many players prefer weapons like polearms. Monks have high starting unarmed combat but start with very limited equipment.  Fighters start with a shield, gladiators a helmet, and transmuters get a transmutations book, although it does not have statue form.  Feel free to experiment with the background that suits you best; very little of this guide changes based on your background, just train your weapon skill instead of unarmed and the choice of shield vs two-handed weapon is up to you. Of weapon skills, polearms are generally favored for the innate reaching ability. Background is most important for the early game, pick whichever one you can survive the early game the most reliably with. Lately I have been using fighters, so if you have no experience with the various backgrounds they are a great place to start.  Even though fighters start with a weapon, it is easy to turn the weapon skill off and train unarmed from the start.
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Many [[background]]s can be made to fit this guide. Naga [[Fighter]]s, [[Gladiator]]s, [[Skald]]s, [[Monk]]s, [[Hunters]] or [[Transmuter]]s all work well with this build. A main decision is what weapon/shield you will be using: I personally prefer using unarmed, shields, and statue form; but many players prefer weapons like polearms. Feel free to experiment with the background that suits you best; very little of this guide changes based on your background, just train your weapon skill instead of unarmed and the choice of shield vs two-handed weapon is up to you. Of weapon skills, polearms are generally favored for the innate reaching ability. No, hunters was not a mistake - they play fairly similar to melee except removing the need to move during combat entirely can make the early game smoother. Just train your launcher skill early on, and you can either stay with it all game long or hybridize into melee depending on how your game progresses.
 
 
The guide is written to suggest unarmed, shields, and statue form.  Using a weapon and statue form is perfectly valid, either with or without shields.
 
  
==Pros and Cons==
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In short, whatever you put in your hand slots can be made to work - Nagas have fairly flat aptitudes and work well with basically any weapon type. I personally love unarmed and transmutations, but do not feel forced into picking this style. It is extremely powerful, but comes at a cost of very high experience requirements to get it performing well.
Pros
 
*Innate poison resistance, See Invisible
 
*High health
 
*Constriction
 
*Large size (enables constriction to work on more targets, requires less shield skill to remove shield penalties)
 
*Scales toughen every 3 levels for a final bonus of 9 AC
 
*Magic aptitudes of 0 allow for hybridization
 
*Slow movement speed increases slouch damage
 
*Poison spit ability gives ranged damage early on, can be used to soften powerful mobs, kill fleeing mobs. Less useful in the late game, but very helpful in the early game.
 
  
Cons
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See the [[Naga]] page for more details on the race.
*Low aptitudes for defenses, melee, and ranged skills. Unarmed Combat and fighting aptitudes of 0, defensive skills at -2. Your character will level quickly but your skills will take much longer to reach high levels.
 
*Slow movement speed - accidental moves during combat can drop you 100hp if there happened to be a hellion or two nearby.
 
*Deformed body can make the early game tricky
 
*Large size (dodging will receive a penalty)
 
  
==Physical Skills==
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==Skill Training==
High importance:
 
*'''Unarmed Combat''': Your primary attack, this will do most of your damage. You'll want this all the way to 27 eventually.  This may be replaced with a weapon skill if desired.
 
*'''Shields''': Shields interfere with unarmed combat less than most weapons, and you only need level 9 for shields and level 15 to use large shields. A very large boost to survivial in the early to mid game. Somewhat less useful in the extended game due to torment/hellfire damage, but still helpful. Raise to at least 15, more optional.  If going with a 2h weapon instead of unarmed, you obviously don't want this!
 
*'''Fighting''': Everyone wants more health! At least 10, but usually around 20.
 
*'''Armour''': Depending on how heavy the armour you plan to use will be, you'll want around 15-25 levels. If you're casting spells in medium armor (ie, dragon armor) raising this will be critical to being able to cast higher level spells.
 
*'''Dodging''': Despite being a large race, once you are worshiping Chei you will have extremely high dexterity, and thus can raise dodging and have a decent EV. Wearing a fire/ice dragon armor with end game armor/dodging skills should give you roughly 20-25EV.
 
*'''Invocations''': Raise this to 10 immediately after worshipping Chei, later on raise to 14-15 to make Step From Time reliable.
 
  
Other skills:
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Skill training is not that different from most characters, although hybrids tend to need a fair bit more experience and can be tougher as you’ll want to cast magic with your +15 int, while also training fighting skills. Start with your weapon skill until either min delay, or a reasonable amount of skill for a ranged weapon. With Chei’s stat boosts, reaching min delay is typically possible at around 13-15 skill, making ranged weapons a very cheap investment and an excellent way to deal with the early game, provided that you have enough ammo to use them. Slings and bows tend to have more early ammunition. If you are using unarmed, around 10-15 skill before you branch into other skills is a good stopping point. When you join Cheibriados, train invocations to ~10 for slouch to reach 1% fail, and then get some defenses started. Keep balancing your offensive skill with defenses and when you are comfortable train whatever magic schools you need for spells you have found. Avoid training magic schools for spells you haven’t found yet - you always need more damage and more dodging. Around mid game get invocations to 14 for 1% fail step from time. When you have the time for it, raise fighting for the health - you can somewhat afford to delay this since nagas have +20% health, but more always helps. As you can see, hybrids can be very demanding on skill training order. Dodging is your best overall defense, but you will eventually want high armor as well, and shields if you are using them. Stealth and evocations can be reasonable options depending on what you have found, but are not required. Try to only train the least amount of skills that you can to survive until you’re through lair and orc at least.
*'''Traps and Doors''': Raise to taste, Most people prefer to have this around level 10-12 before entering the realm of Zot.
 
*'''Ranged attack''': Usually either Throwing or Slings, as they are both compatible with wielding shields. To just use it for fleeing mobs/mobs with ranged attacks about 5 skill is fine, if you want to use it more often raise it higher.
 
*'''Evocations''': Wands are a useful ranged option and it's nice to auto identify remaining charges, but mostly it depends on what evocable items you have (e.g. Decks, mana recharging items). If you aren't using any, you don't need to train this.  Getting a few levels is very easy to do in the late game.
 
*'''Stealth''': While I don't find stealth particularly useful due to being too slow to sneak up to monsters who have not noticed you, it can be useful to run away from monsters. This can cause packs to come at you more slowly, giving you time to position, cast buffs, or use ranged attacks. You'll need to shout or make some form of noise when looking for monsters to approach you.  
 
*'''Spell casting skills''': If you are going for a longer, all rune victory game, then spellcasting becomes increasingly important.  Spells are not important in a 3 rune game, although the lower level spells could still be used with little experience investment. See the next section for details.
 
  
 
==Spellcasting Hybrid==
 
==Spellcasting Hybrid==
Nagas have 0 aptitude for all spell schools except for +3 poison, so they can easily learn magic to support their survival and damage in combat. The most powerful spell is Controlled Blink, although it's a hefty investment. Blink is only level 2 and is cheap enough that even very heavy armor users can learn it. Other support spells nagas benefit from are transmutations: Statue Form is an exceptional offensive and defensive boost. Necromutation is  a purely defensive option for those who want to be hungerless or have complete immunity to mutations, and blade hands gives tremendous damage due to Chei's stat boost, although it will meld your shield.  It may be useful in the early game before you reach statue form, but it is surpassed by the many defensive facets of statue form.  Overall, Statue Form is the most 'complete' transmutation and provides all the boost you will need for every area of the game. It provides a powerful boost to attack damage, 50% resist to torment, some resists, GDR of 40%, and you are slowed. The +30% health is also a major plus, and your slouch damage will increase from the slow effect.  Note that this removes your slowness 2 mutation, so the increase is very slight. With slowness 3, you will actually walk faster in statue form, but your attacks/other actions are still slower. It is recommended as the best form for this build; blade hands/necromutation are possible variants.
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While your damage may be primarily physical, support magic is an important part of any character who doesn't worship Trog; Cheibriados worshippers should use all the standard utility spells with an emphasis on blink and controlled blink if available. Common utility spells to look out for include repel/deflect missiles, regeneration, abjuration, blink/controlled blink, control teleport, phase shift, stoneskin, abjuration, etc. If you are using unarmed, blade hands is an excellent spell, although you can't also use a shield. Statue form is an all around useful form that can be used with melee or ranged weapons, including shields, and won't slow down your movement very much since you're nearly as slow as a statue already (2.8 vs 3.0). Keep in mind that the slow also applies to non-movement, so all your combat and potions etc are 50% slower too. Still, it is worth using if that's the setup you're interested in; the 50% reduction to torment is particularly useful in the extended game with high regeneration. If you do learn statue form, picking up several other earth spells is practically free: stone arrow or even iron shot can be affordable, LRD is single school, and if you have enough, shatter is also single school. It is unlikely you'll ever need that much firepower, though, and the massive noise generated can make it quite risky. Watch out for wasting experience training too much armor skill/wearing medium armor if you intend to go statue form - it will be melded and not factor into your strength. It isn't necessarily a complete waste though, as you will not want to be slowed at all times.
 
 
'''Core spells:'''
 
 
 
[[Blink]], [[Controlled Blink]]
 
 
 
[[Regeneration]]
 
 
 
[[Statue Form]], [[Stoneskin]]
 
 
 
[[Abjuration]]
 
 
 
'''Additional desirable spells:'''
 
 
 
[[Apportation]], [[Control Teleport]], [[Phase Shift]], [[Repel Missiles]]/[[Deflect Missiles]], [[Flight]], [[Dig]], [[Mass Abjuration]], [[Shatter]], [[Fulsome Distillation]] (if you like to do mutation roulette)
 
 
 
Other spells I haven't listed can certainly be of use, but be careful of spending too much skill experience for marginal benefits. Many charms spells you want are charms/air - but you don't need to put any actual points into air to get them castable, due to your very high intelligence and spellcasting. This prevents anti-training with earth. It is generally worthwhile to put some levels into necromancy for regeneration, to raise its spell power. I try to avoid learning any conjurations, fire, ice, hexes, or air - you are still melee and will need experience to raise your physical skills.
 
 
 
Since statue form and stoneskin benefit from additional levels of earth magic even after they are at 1% failure, learning shatter in the late game is fairly easy. It provides a way to both break walls to open up shortcuts and a way to damage all monsters in LOS without using piety. This can also be better against slow moving monsters. However, be extremely careful of the incredible noise produced by it - you will soon be swarmed by monsters from all sides.  Make sure you are ready to deal with them and always have a method of escape. Another problem is that at 9 mana per cast, you can quickly run out of mana. Not using shatter makes it difficult to run out of mana - you cast a few buffs, and then fight with 30+ mana left for escaping with blink.  You do not need a method of restoring mana in most cases, although one or two magic potions are useful if you are drained by a ghost moth or eye of draining. If you cast shatter often, you will probably want a ball of energy, staff of channeling, etc.
 
 
 
You'll want to wear a -3 EV armor for a hybrid and train armor to 20-27. At high enough armor skill the penalty for -3 EV is quite manageable, and fire/ice/pearl dragon armor provides adequate GDR for melee characters. You do not have to learn all of the above spells, you can only train spellcasting high enough for level 3-4 spells and statue form. Missing controlled blink and mass abjuration will make certain things more tricky but still very winnable. Just how heavily you go into spellcasting is largely a factor of how much exp you plan to gain over the full game; getting everything castable without any wizardry items on is easily achievable if you plan to get all 15 runes. Note that while in statue form you will have no armor spellcasting penalty since it is melded; recasting statue form will be much easier. Just be careful, since all actions will be slowed by 50%, such as buffs, potions, wands, opening doors, etc.
 
 
 
==Skill Training Order==
 
Start the game by training only unarmed combat. If you started with a weapon class such as fighter, do not train your weapon skill, but continue to use it for the first couple of floors until unarmed reaches level 5-6, then switch to unarmed. Train shields once unarmed is around 5, or as soon as you find one if you didn't start the game with one. Train invocations as soon as you have Chei's first power. Turn off invocations once it reaches 10, shields once you remove the penalty completely (3 bucklers, 9 shields, 15 large shield). You will want a large shield and 15 skill in the end, but you can direct the experience to other skills if you haven't yet found a large shield. When unarmed reaches roughly level 10-13, turn it off and train armor/dodging. Once both defenses are up to 5-10, turn unarmed back on and start raising fighting. Exactly how much armor/dodging you need will depend on how heavy your body armor is. Heavier armors should raise the armor skill more than dodging. If you don't know if you should use heavy or light armor, use heavy armor.  Light armor is more difficult and only worth it if you cast a fair amount of spells. Eventually in statue form your armor will be melded and have no impact, unless you are out of statue form. Get traps up to 5 near the end of lair or in orc, and to 10-12 before late game. When you find a useful sling/javelins, train slings/throwing to boost their damage/speed. Level 5 is plenty, level 10 if you use it very frequently.  Raise invocations once you are comfortable with you defenses/damage until slouch has a 0% failure and step from time is 1% (around level 14-15). Evocations can be raised in the late game if you wish to evoke items, but is not necessary.
 
 
 
If you are planning on casting spells, wait until midgame and then start mixing in spell training appropriate to what spells you have found. Focus on getting controlled blink or statue form first, depending on which you can find. With both of them and regeneration you should be robust enough to survive until you find all the rest of your spells. Abjuration/Mass Abjuration are always of use, although Mass Abjuration can only be found in the Grand Grimoire, which can be hard to find - check any book that is flagged as {high level}; you can identify it by reading if you have 6 spellcasting and 10 summoning, or just use a scroll to check.
 
  
 
==Equipment==
 
==Equipment==
Early on it can be tough to wear heavy armor, because of the deformed body mutation. You will only receive half the base AC, and the EV penalty is increased due to a Naga's large size. The first few floors can be cleared with light armor to avoid this, and then switch to heavy armor once you find an enchanted plate mail or similar. Once your scales have improved to +2 or +3 armor, especially if you've found any secondary armor (helm, cloak, gloves, or if you're really fortunate, a barding) you will have plenty of AC to benefit from heavy armor's GDR. 
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At various phases in the game, you'll have different incentives to switch between working on AC and working on EV. Early game, avoid heavy armor because of your deformed body mutation. A +0 plate mail with 0 skill is generally bad even on d:1; but by the time you're in lair a +4 plate with 5-10 skill may be worth wearing. Early on it will be much easier to raise EV quickly through dodging because of the +15 dex; you should generally train this first unless you find a highly enchanted body armor. When you can finally afford to train armor somewhat, a medium armor such as troll leather, ring mail, scale mail, or chain mail are reasonable options, generally if they have some enchantment. It's perfectly fine to stay in light armor until you can find a dragon armor; if you are using unarmed combat, you especially need to stay in light (encumbrance 11 or lower, the lower the better) armor because heavy armor can slow unarmed attacks. If you do wear medium armor and use unarmed, training armor will reduce this penalty significantly, but don't neglect your offense. The delay is determined by rolling 1d10 + 2d(EV Penalty) - 10; if the result is positive, that amount is added to your attack delay.
 
 
Another especially bad penalty to heavy armor is the delay to unarmed combat in heavy armor. Every time you attack, the game rolls 1d10 + 2d(EV Penalty) - 10; if the result is positive, that amount is added to your attack delay. It is very helpful to have several ranks in armor before, or quickly after, putting on heavy (plate or higher) armor to reduce this attack delay. Late game a switch to dragon armors will enable spellcasting and effectively remove this penalty for most of your attacks. This penalty does not apply to weapon based builds.
 
  
Aside from the body slot, nagas wear bardings instead of boots, which provide significantly more AC, with only a minor EV penalty. This is a large benefit, but they are much less common and you may not find one until the late game. If you are still having trouble finding one late game they can be commonly generated from scrolls of acquirement, so pick armor until you get one. This does make getting non-barding armor slots less likely, so beware if you have a barding you already like. Consider jewelry, or a rod for pure melee builds.
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Aside from the body slot, nagas wear bardings instead of boots, which provide significantly more AC, with only a minor EV penalty. This is a large benefit, but they are much less common and you may not find one until the late game. If you are still having trouble finding one late game they can be commonly generated from scrolls of acquirement, so pick armor until you get one. This does make getting non-barding armor slots less likely, so beware if you have a barding you already like. Consider jewelry, rods, or wands. You cannot generate a wand of hasting, so you have a slightly better chance of getting a wand of heal wounds. It's still far from certain, however.
  
 
==Stats==
 
==Stats==
With Chei's boost, +15 to all stats at max piety, you can branch into spellcasting, dodging, and heavy armor. This requires a large amount of exp, and it's best to focus on one first, and get others later. You also have enough stats to avoid any sort of stat death for a long time, and can run through areas like the tomb/hells quickly and heal the stat damage only a few times, or once when done. Of course if you have plenty of royal jellies/potions of restore abilities, keeping your stats high is useful.
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With the +15 to all stats, you have all you need of the three. Dex will boost your EV slightly, int will help with casting and strength will raise your damage slightly. I generally go with int, but when you already have 30 of each, it isn't as critical as other builds.
Pure melee fighters will probably benefit from strength the most (increased physical damage, blocking with large shield), but anyone planing on learning high level spells should raise int (spell success, spell hunger). Dex will raise your EV but there are diminishing returns once you go over 24 dex, and you'll hit that level with just your base dex and Chei's stat boost, so it is the least beneficial.
 
  
Take your starting background into consideration: fighters have low int and if you're spellcasting, you'll want to put all 9 levels into int. If you started as a monk or skald, you may only want to put 6 levels into int, and 3 into strength, or similar. If you are doing a 3 rune game with no significant spellcasting, you'll probably want to put all 9 into strength.
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==Survival Advice ==
 
 
==Dungeon Branches==
 
Melee Nagas can take the typical path through the branches. The only branch significantly altered is the Abyss, where your slow movement speed is counteracted by a slower monster spawn rate. Assuming you are high enough level to go for the rune, it is generally best to actually fight and kill the monsters unlike most characters who should flee. You will benefit from the exp and they won't be dangerous to a level 20 or above character. For more details read the area pages on [[Dungeon branches]].
 
  
==Survival Advice ==
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Make sure you are familiar with how to explore safely; this generally means autoexplore, but also using shift+ direction will stop as soon as a monster is noticed. Never take more than one manual step at a time - this is true for any character, but will be extremely deadly when worshipping Chei.
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Use poison spit very frequently in the early game - macroing af. to a convenient key will make it easy to use and remember.
 
It is possible for mobs who just come into your LOS to notice you and then get 1-2 additional turns before your next turn. You may take two hits; this is uncommon and you should have plenty of health to absorb such damage, but make sure not to exaggerate the problem by moving several steps at a time. Auto-explore is much safer; like every character holding down movement keys is deadly. It's just three times as deadly with Chei!
 
It is possible for mobs who just come into your LOS to notice you and then get 1-2 additional turns before your next turn. You may take two hits; this is uncommon and you should have plenty of health to absorb such damage, but make sure not to exaggerate the problem by moving several steps at a time. Auto-explore is much safer; like every character holding down movement keys is deadly. It's just three times as deadly with Chei!
 
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While uncommon, there are times where you may wish to split up your constriction attack and melee attacks. If you are fighting something with high health that cannot be constricted, spare an attack to hit something smaller in order to constrict it. Then you can continue to melee the larger target while the small target will be constricted to death.
While uncommon, there are times where you may wish to split up your constriction attack and melee attacks. If you are fighting something with high health that cannot be constricted, spare an attack to hit something smaller in order to constrict it. Then you can continue to melee the larger target while the small target will be constricted to death.
 
 
 
 
Wands of Invisibility and teleport are excellent escape options, especially when running is not possible. Raising stealth is also an effective way to prevent swarms of monsters from noticing you, and nagas have the highest aptitude in the game for it, +5.
 
Wands of Invisibility and teleport are excellent escape options, especially when running is not possible. Raising stealth is also an effective way to prevent swarms of monsters from noticing you, and nagas have the highest aptitude in the game for it, +5.
 
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Expect non-ranged monsters to move roughly 3 tiles each time you take a step; monsters who are 2 tiles away can be engaged by taking a step back, 4 tiles away can be walked towards, 3 tiles away you can move sideways or rest (resting will only burn 1 turn). It is always a viable choice to simply rest on the tile where you are and let them come to you. Casting buffs on yourself while you wait is a great way to kill time. Methods for closing to melee range against powerful ranged mobs:
Expect non-ranged monsters to move roughly 3 tiles each time you take a step; monsters who are 2 tiles away can be engaged by taking a step back, 4 tiles away can be walked towards, 3 tiles away you can move sideways or rest. It is always a viable choice to simply rest on the tile where you are and let them come to you. Methods for closing to melee range against powerful ranged mobs:
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Controlled blink to melee range. Probably the best choice and one you won't have for a very long time. When and if you finally do, use it.
 
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Temporal distortion. Fairly cheap, and instantaneous. This means that after you use it and the mobs have moved towards you, you still get to attack before they do.
*Controlled blink to melee range. Probably the best choice and one you won't have for a very long time. When and if you finally do, use it.
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Retreat around a nearby wall or door. Depending on how the dungeon layout is this may bring them all the way to melee or at least two to three tiles away.
*Temporal distortion. Fairly cheap, and instantaneous. This means that after you use it and the mobs have moved towards you, you still get to attack before they do.  
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Scroll of Fog. They'll have to come inside the fog to see you.
*Retreat around a nearby wall or door. Depending on how the dungeon layout is this may bring them all the way to melee or at least two to three tiles away.
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Block their LOS with another mob. Most monsters won't shoot through other mobs and will follow the melee monster right along to you. Note that a few monsters are more than happy to roast their fellow dungeon dwellers, so this isn't universal. Dragons and demons in the late game are generally willing to shoot through each other, so this is more useful for Centaurs/Yaktaurs in the mid game.
*Scroll of Fog. They'll have to come inside the fog to see you.
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Fight back with ranged attacks. Similar to resting for mobs that will come closer to you, you can just use a few turns attacking with spit poison, wands, slings, or throwing weapons. Against stronger mobs you'll probably only soften them up, but they'll get closer to you on any turns they don't use their ranged abilities and then they're faster to kill in range.
*Block their LOS with another mob. Most monsters won't shoot through other mobs and will follow the melee monster right along to you. Note that a few monsters are more than happy to roast their fellow dungeon dwellers, so this isn't universal. Dragons and demons in the late game are generally willing to shoot through each other, so this is more useful for Centaurs/Yaktaurs in the mid game.
 
*Fight back with ranged attacks. Similar to resting for mobs that will come closer to you, you can just waste a few turns attacking with spit poison, wands, slings, or throwing weapons. Against stronger mobs you'll probably only soften them up, but they'll get closer to you on any turns they don't use their ranged abilities and then they're faster to kill in range.
 
  
 
==Sample Morgue Files==
 
==Sample Morgue Files==
 
'''15 rune Statue Form Hybrid'''
 
'''15 rune Statue Form Hybrid'''
  
Morgue: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Tasonir/morgue-Tasonir-20120418-062739.txt
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Morgue: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Ta ... 062739.txt
  
YAVP: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4340
+
YAVP: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4340
  
This is the best example of the build, using my now preferred statue form as the main transmutation. Note that this game never generated a book of the warp so I had no controlled blink - it was not skipped intentionally. I also never found a cloak of preservation, which I would have worn instead. The berserk potion at the end was just to experiment with max health records, so I don't have Chei's boosted stats in the log file.
+
This is the best example of the build, using my now preferred statue form as the main transmutation. Note that this game never generated a book of the warp so I had no controlled blink - it was not skipped intentionally. I also never found a cloak of preservation, which I would have worn instead. The berserk potion at the end was just to experiment with max health records, so I don't have Chei's boosted stats in the log file.
  
 
'''5 rune pure melee in Crystal Plate Mail'''
 
'''5 rune pure melee in Crystal Plate Mail'''
  
Morgue: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Tasonir/morgue-Tasonir-20120310-013421.txt
+
Morgue: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Ta ... 013421.txt
 
 
YAVP: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4047&p=51846#p51846
 
  
This build is recommended for people who have not won any games yet - you will avoid spellcasting and just focus on melee power. Statue form is not very important for the regular game, as you will rarely be tormented.  Skip going to slime if you have never done it before, I included it in this run as I'm very familiar with the area.  Remember you only need 3 runes to win! 
+
YAVP: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4047&p=51846#p51846
  
'''15 rune Necromutation build'''
+
This build is recommended for people who have not won any games yet - you will avoid spellcasting and just focus on melee power. Statue form is not very important for the regular game, as you will rarely be tormented. Skip going to slime if you have never done it before, I included it in this run as I'm very familiar with the area. Remember you only need 3 runes to win!
  
Morgue: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Tasonir/morgue-Tasonir-20120323-202132.txt
+
'''7 Rune ranged combat (bows)'''
  
YAVP: https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4140
+
Morgue: http://dobrazupa.org/morgue/tasonir/mor ... 052133.txt
  
This build used necromutation instead of statue form as I was overly concerned with torment damage on my first 15 rune victory. Not a bad variant, you can more easily take other high level necromancy skills like death's door and Borgnjor's Revivification, but statue form is recommended as a better all around form and easier to cast.
+
Ranged combat is very powerful in the early game, and an excellent way to start since the loss of constriction. Conserve ammunition with melee once you have time to develop it, but use ranged combat for anything dangerous. This can allow you to drop transmutations, which will free up a lot of experience for other skills.
  
 
[[Category:Character guides]]
 
[[Category:Character guides]]

Revision as of 18:43, 30 March 2014

Version 0.14: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
This article contains advice from other players, which may be subjective, outdated, inaccurate or ill-advised. Read at your own risk and alter to fit your play style as necessary!


Warnings and Scope of this guide

This is not intended to be a guide for new players. It is assumed that you have already decided to worship Cheibriados - Cheibriados requires significant conducts in that you cannot walk at normal speed, or use any haste or speed weapons. This makes Cheibriados a challenge god - this guide is how to cope with the challenge and become as strong as possible; NOT to compare directly to a build with haste.

Much of the guide focuses on a hybrid character who follows Cheibriados. It is NOT necessary to play as Naga. It is NOT necessary to be melee! Ranged weapons work fine, casters are probably strongest - I am simply less fond of them. Remember this is a guide written by one person, and above all else, adapt it to your needs.

Melee Nagas of Cheibriados

Melee Nagas of Cheibriados are powerful fighters with high health, very strong AC by the mid game, and several useful intrinsics like poison spit, poison resistance, and see invisible. They pay for these benefits with slow movement; and cheibriados makes you twice as slow. In return you will gain very powerful god abilities and a passive +15 to all stats, which allows you to hybridize and fight very effectively if managed properly. Your extra slow movement speed will increase slouch damage, but is still worse than a flat 2.0 turn move speed on other Cheibriados races. Most typical builds will want to end up in a medium armor such as fire or ice dragon armor, and learn a fairly wide range of the standard support spells: regeneration, blink/Cblink, repel/deflect missiles, transmutations if you are using unarmed, abjuration, etc. You obviously cannot learn haste, a significant drawback.

Cheibriados is a fairly straightforward god - you refuse haste and move slowly in exchange for +15 to all stats and powerful abilities. See the god page for more details on them. Due to the lack of speed a lot of players consider Cheibriados to be a weak god. Learning to deal with the conduct will take patience, and the early game can have some deaths which are extremely difficult to avoid. You will become slower before you become significantly stronger; but eventually it will smooth out.

Background and Weapon Choice

Many backgrounds can be made to fit this guide. Naga Fighters, Gladiators, Skalds, Monks, Hunters or Transmuters all work well with this build. A main decision is what weapon/shield you will be using: I personally prefer using unarmed, shields, and statue form; but many players prefer weapons like polearms. Feel free to experiment with the background that suits you best; very little of this guide changes based on your background, just train your weapon skill instead of unarmed and the choice of shield vs two-handed weapon is up to you. Of weapon skills, polearms are generally favored for the innate reaching ability. No, hunters was not a mistake - they play fairly similar to melee except removing the need to move during combat entirely can make the early game smoother. Just train your launcher skill early on, and you can either stay with it all game long or hybridize into melee depending on how your game progresses.

In short, whatever you put in your hand slots can be made to work - Nagas have fairly flat aptitudes and work well with basically any weapon type. I personally love unarmed and transmutations, but do not feel forced into picking this style. It is extremely powerful, but comes at a cost of very high experience requirements to get it performing well.

See the Naga page for more details on the race.

Skill Training

Skill training is not that different from most characters, although hybrids tend to need a fair bit more experience and can be tougher as you’ll want to cast magic with your +15 int, while also training fighting skills. Start with your weapon skill until either min delay, or a reasonable amount of skill for a ranged weapon. With Chei’s stat boosts, reaching min delay is typically possible at around 13-15 skill, making ranged weapons a very cheap investment and an excellent way to deal with the early game, provided that you have enough ammo to use them. Slings and bows tend to have more early ammunition. If you are using unarmed, around 10-15 skill before you branch into other skills is a good stopping point. When you join Cheibriados, train invocations to ~10 for slouch to reach 1% fail, and then get some defenses started. Keep balancing your offensive skill with defenses and when you are comfortable train whatever magic schools you need for spells you have found. Avoid training magic schools for spells you haven’t found yet - you always need more damage and more dodging. Around mid game get invocations to 14 for 1% fail step from time. When you have the time for it, raise fighting for the health - you can somewhat afford to delay this since nagas have +20% health, but more always helps. As you can see, hybrids can be very demanding on skill training order. Dodging is your best overall defense, but you will eventually want high armor as well, and shields if you are using them. Stealth and evocations can be reasonable options depending on what you have found, but are not required. Try to only train the least amount of skills that you can to survive until you’re through lair and orc at least.

Spellcasting Hybrid

While your damage may be primarily physical, support magic is an important part of any character who doesn't worship Trog; Cheibriados worshippers should use all the standard utility spells with an emphasis on blink and controlled blink if available. Common utility spells to look out for include repel/deflect missiles, regeneration, abjuration, blink/controlled blink, control teleport, phase shift, stoneskin, abjuration, etc. If you are using unarmed, blade hands is an excellent spell, although you can't also use a shield. Statue form is an all around useful form that can be used with melee or ranged weapons, including shields, and won't slow down your movement very much since you're nearly as slow as a statue already (2.8 vs 3.0). Keep in mind that the slow also applies to non-movement, so all your combat and potions etc are 50% slower too. Still, it is worth using if that's the setup you're interested in; the 50% reduction to torment is particularly useful in the extended game with high regeneration. If you do learn statue form, picking up several other earth spells is practically free: stone arrow or even iron shot can be affordable, LRD is single school, and if you have enough, shatter is also single school. It is unlikely you'll ever need that much firepower, though, and the massive noise generated can make it quite risky. Watch out for wasting experience training too much armor skill/wearing medium armor if you intend to go statue form - it will be melded and not factor into your strength. It isn't necessarily a complete waste though, as you will not want to be slowed at all times.

Equipment

At various phases in the game, you'll have different incentives to switch between working on AC and working on EV. Early game, avoid heavy armor because of your deformed body mutation. A +0 plate mail with 0 skill is generally bad even on d:1; but by the time you're in lair a +4 plate with 5-10 skill may be worth wearing. Early on it will be much easier to raise EV quickly through dodging because of the +15 dex; you should generally train this first unless you find a highly enchanted body armor. When you can finally afford to train armor somewhat, a medium armor such as troll leather, ring mail, scale mail, or chain mail are reasonable options, generally if they have some enchantment. It's perfectly fine to stay in light armor until you can find a dragon armor; if you are using unarmed combat, you especially need to stay in light (encumbrance 11 or lower, the lower the better) armor because heavy armor can slow unarmed attacks. If you do wear medium armor and use unarmed, training armor will reduce this penalty significantly, but don't neglect your offense. The delay is determined by rolling 1d10 + 2d(EV Penalty) - 10; if the result is positive, that amount is added to your attack delay.

Aside from the body slot, nagas wear bardings instead of boots, which provide significantly more AC, with only a minor EV penalty. This is a large benefit, but they are much less common and you may not find one until the late game. If you are still having trouble finding one late game they can be commonly generated from scrolls of acquirement, so pick armor until you get one. This does make getting non-barding armor slots less likely, so beware if you have a barding you already like. Consider jewelry, rods, or wands. You cannot generate a wand of hasting, so you have a slightly better chance of getting a wand of heal wounds. It's still far from certain, however.

Stats

With the +15 to all stats, you have all you need of the three. Dex will boost your EV slightly, int will help with casting and strength will raise your damage slightly. I generally go with int, but when you already have 30 of each, it isn't as critical as other builds.

Survival Advice

Make sure you are familiar with how to explore safely; this generally means autoexplore, but also using shift+ direction will stop as soon as a monster is noticed. Never take more than one manual step at a time - this is true for any character, but will be extremely deadly when worshipping Chei. Use poison spit very frequently in the early game - macroing af. to a convenient key will make it easy to use and remember. It is possible for mobs who just come into your LOS to notice you and then get 1-2 additional turns before your next turn. You may take two hits; this is uncommon and you should have plenty of health to absorb such damage, but make sure not to exaggerate the problem by moving several steps at a time. Auto-explore is much safer; like every character holding down movement keys is deadly. It's just three times as deadly with Chei! While uncommon, there are times where you may wish to split up your constriction attack and melee attacks. If you are fighting something with high health that cannot be constricted, spare an attack to hit something smaller in order to constrict it. Then you can continue to melee the larger target while the small target will be constricted to death. Wands of Invisibility and teleport are excellent escape options, especially when running is not possible. Raising stealth is also an effective way to prevent swarms of monsters from noticing you, and nagas have the highest aptitude in the game for it, +5. Expect non-ranged monsters to move roughly 3 tiles each time you take a step; monsters who are 2 tiles away can be engaged by taking a step back, 4 tiles away can be walked towards, 3 tiles away you can move sideways or rest (resting will only burn 1 turn). It is always a viable choice to simply rest on the tile where you are and let them come to you. Casting buffs on yourself while you wait is a great way to kill time. Methods for closing to melee range against powerful ranged mobs: Controlled blink to melee range. Probably the best choice and one you won't have for a very long time. When and if you finally do, use it. Temporal distortion. Fairly cheap, and instantaneous. This means that after you use it and the mobs have moved towards you, you still get to attack before they do. Retreat around a nearby wall or door. Depending on how the dungeon layout is this may bring them all the way to melee or at least two to three tiles away. Scroll of Fog. They'll have to come inside the fog to see you. Block their LOS with another mob. Most monsters won't shoot through other mobs and will follow the melee monster right along to you. Note that a few monsters are more than happy to roast their fellow dungeon dwellers, so this isn't universal. Dragons and demons in the late game are generally willing to shoot through each other, so this is more useful for Centaurs/Yaktaurs in the mid game. Fight back with ranged attacks. Similar to resting for mobs that will come closer to you, you can just use a few turns attacking with spit poison, wands, slings, or throwing weapons. Against stronger mobs you'll probably only soften them up, but they'll get closer to you on any turns they don't use their ranged abilities and then they're faster to kill in range.

Sample Morgue Files

15 rune Statue Form Hybrid

Morgue: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Ta ... 062739.txt

YAVP: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4340

This is the best example of the build, using my now preferred statue form as the main transmutation. Note that this game never generated a book of the warp so I had no controlled blink - it was not skipped intentionally. I also never found a cloak of preservation, which I would have worn instead. The berserk potion at the end was just to experiment with max health records, so I don't have Chei's boosted stats in the log file.

5 rune pure melee in Crystal Plate Mail

Morgue: http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Ta ... 013421.txt

YAVP: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4047&p=51846#p51846

This build is recommended for people who have not won any games yet - you will avoid spellcasting and just focus on melee power. Statue form is not very important for the regular game, as you will rarely be tormented. Skip going to slime if you have never done it before, I included it in this run as I'm very familiar with the area. Remember you only need 3 runes to win!

7 Rune ranged combat (bows)

Morgue: http://dobrazupa.org/morgue/tasonir/mor ... 052133.txt

Ranged combat is very powerful in the early game, and an excellent way to start since the loss of constriction. Conserve ammunition with melee once you have time to develop it, but use ranged combat for anything dangerous. This can allow you to drop transmutations, which will free up a lot of experience for other skills.