YASD: Troll Martial Artist (of Wu Jian)

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Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 719

Joined: Thursday, 16th August 2018, 21:19

Post Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 17:59

YASD: Troll Martial Artist (of Wu Jian)

I decided to try out one of the new bcrawl backgrounds.

For those who don't know, Martial artists start with Wu Jian, Unarmed Combat, 4 strength, 1 int, 7 dex, a robe, a ration, a potion of agility, and a changed version of the spell Confusing Touch.
The changed CT only works with 2-handed UC, and has a reduced confusion duration, but does full damage and does not expire when an enemy has been confused.
Bcrawl trolls don't wear body armour but get intrinsic AC (Like draconians but more.)

The character played ok, but I think that was mostly because bcrawl Wu Jian and Trolls are pretty good.
On the one hand I felt strong due to having strong offence and lots of hp, but on the other hand my defences were terrible, and I felt it was very easy to lose more than half my hp.
Most fights I just used Wu Jian movement attacks. Serpent's Lash was nice for dealing damage to some dangerous enemies, dealing instant damage when I was at risk of getting one-shot, and fleeing to stairs when appropriate. I mostly used Heavenly storm to deal with hoards of enemies, but my experience later in the game suggests that Heavenly storm + Serpents lash might also be a good way of dealing with uniques. I did notice that when I used Heavenly storm to deal with a hoard of enemies I would invariably end up at low hp, usually around 30%. I had to quaff potions of Heal wounds pretty often in these situations, and felt like I was slowly being bled dry. (I went down from 10 to 6, and wasn't too worried yet.)
Whilst in a Heavenly storm I found it hard to see why I was losing hp.

CT was barely noticable, with enemies only getting confused occasionally and never staying confused for very long. It's most important effect was probably to reduce incoming damage. A shield would have been better for that task though. A shield would probably have prevented my eventual death on V:2, which was in part due to getting shot by yaktaurs.
To be clear, I could also have prevented death by playing more carefully, and there were situations where 2-handed UC + CT was stronger than UC + shield would have been (particularly when dealing with Mara, and trying to kill uniques with a single Serpent's lash).
For species who need to wear armour the advantage of dropping CT would be even more pronounced. (Because they'd be giving up a shield AND heavy armour.)

It was mildly annoying that CT wasn't a permacharm. It felt like the spell had been nerfed to the point where it could be a permacharm, but I still only had the spell when I could be bothered to cast it, and it cost a turn to recast it in the middle of combat. Same problem as I usually have with Beastly Appendage.

The reason Wu Jian was so strong is basically being able to spam its abilities (like heroism), and getting cleaving UC is also nice:
Action                   |  1- 3 |  4- 6 |  7- 9 | 10-12 | 13-15 | 16-18 | 19-21 || total
Invok: Whirlwind         |    12 |    26 |   122 |   232 |   616 |   647 |   677 ||  2332
       Lunge             |    13 |    26 |    31 |    64 |   131 |   129 |   121 ||   515
       Heavenly Storm    |       |       |     2 |     2 |       |     5 |    10 ||    19
 Abil: Wall Jump         |       |       |     5 |     4 |    12 |     4 |     9 ||    34
       Serpent's Lash    |       |       |     2 |     5 |    15 |    19 |    22 ||    63

morgue is here: https://underhound.eu/crawl/morgue/pete ... 171132.txt

Temple Termagant

Posts: 14

Joined: Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 12:00

Post Thursday, 13th February 2020, 10:03

Re: YASD: Troll Martial Artist (of Wu Jian)

I posted about this topic on discord today, I think you kinda nailed the issue with CT here as well: shields. WJC gives you incredible damage by the midgame (which also makes conf touch a bit meh, things get one shotted a lot), there is no reason you want to run around with 24/15/0.
I would argue though it is more viable on a heavy armour character, since they at least wont die so easily without a ls (you can cast tier 1 spells in cpa really).
With that said CT pushes things in the right direction as in giving a reason for empty-handed unarmed - which is not a good choice currently most of the time. The question is if it is better to accept it as a nice/cheap spell pre-lair that you end up dropping most of the time or change it so there is reason to use it in midgame and beyond.

Anyhow nice try taking the first MA win from me, better luck next time.
(Should I leave 1st spelunker for you? ;) )

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