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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Recently, I was reminded of the old "King of Combustion" Jade Phoenix Mage build before WotC nuked their boards in 2015. Searching for permutations of "King of Combust" and "King of Combustion" lead only to the old "Tome of Battle Build Compendium II" and, ironically, a post I myself made almost a decade past. I did find a copy of the Compendium hosted here around the time the old forums went belly up, plus a separate copy on enworld, but it looks like neither has a functioning link to the build in question. I already tried tossing some of the links into the Wayback Machine to no avail.

    Searching for the original author's username was also a goose chase, leading me to yet another GITP thread that mentioned the build only in vague generalities, although that one was more recent. I know the general premise is using and abusing metamagic to turn the Combust spell from Spell Compendium into something of a "Touch or Die" spell, but the exact details are lost on me. From what I can recall, I believe the build went something like (Crusader or Warblade) 1/Wizard 5/JPM 8/Abjurant Champion 4 and then either finished off with some combination of Jade Phoenix Mage, Abjurant Champion, and /or maybe some other +1 spellcasting/+1 BAB class that would "fit." I know for actual play there is rationale to take the various classes in a different order for things like skill point allocation, maneuvers learned when the first martial adept level is taken, and then stance progression for JPM. I don't think the build used any of the tricks to shave off that fifth level of wizard and fit in JPM 10 and AbC 5 either.

    So, assuming no one has secreted away a copy of the original somewhere, does anyone have an idea as to recreating the Combust King?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
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    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    sounds interesting, but never heard of it before
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    https://web.archive.org/web/20110909...2566#338392566


    This?



    Title: The King of Combustion
    Race: Human
    Build Stub: Warblade 1/Wizard 6/Ruathar 3/Jade Phoenix Mage 10

    BAB: +16
    Fort: +12
    Ref: +9 (* +1 from Warblade)
    Will: +11
    Spellcasting: 9th level spells, CL 17
    Maneuvers: 8th level maneuvers, IL 15

    Progression:
    Warblade 1/Wizard 1-5/Jade Phoenix Mage 1-5/Wizard 6/Ruathar 3/Jade Phoenix Mage 6-10

    Class Features:
    1. Battle Clarity (Reflex saves), Weapon Aptitude
    2. Conjuration PHB2 Immediate Magic: Abrupt Jaunt
    7. Arcane Wrath, Rite of Waking
    11. Empowering Strike
    13. Word of Friendship, Gift of the Elves
    14. Low-light Vision, Elfwise
    15. Star Blessing, Avandor's Grace
    16. Jade Phoenix Master
    18. Quickening Strike
    20. Emerald Immolation

    Feats:
    1. Power Attack, Empower Spell
    2. (Scribe Scroll)
    3. Smiting Spell
    6. Arcane Thesis: Combust, (Maximize Spell)
    9. Arcane Strike
    12. Twin Spell
    15. Searing Spell
    18. Martial Study: Bounding Assault

    Maneuvers:
    1. Moment of Perfect Mind (DM), Sapphire Nightmare Blade (DM), Steel Wind (IH)
    7. Burning Blade (DW)
    9. Searing Blade (DW)
    11. Searing Charge (DW)
    17. Desert Tempest (DW)
    18. Bounding Assault (DM)
    19. Inferno Blade (DW)
    Heroics: Avalanche of Blades, Diamond Nightmare Blade, etc.

    Stances:
    1. Punishing Stance (IH)
    8. Mystic Phoenix Stance (JPM)
    11. Martial Spirit (DS)
    16. Firebird Stance (JPM)

    Notable Class Abiltiies

    The idea of this build is to abuse the touch spell Combust via Arcane Thesis. A quick look at combust progression:

    2nd: Smiting Searing Combust (10d8)
    3rd: Empowered Smiting Searing Combust (15d8)
    4th: Maximized Smiting Searing Combust (80)
    5th: Empowered Maximized Smiting Searing Combust (120)
    6th: Empowered Twinned Smiting Searing Combust (30d8)
    7th: Maximized Twinned Smiting Searing Combust (160)
    8th: Empowered Maximized Twinned Smiting Searing Combust (240)

    Store empowered searing combusts in a spell storing weapon, as well as casting large combusts into your weapon via smiting spell.

    With Heroics, you can take Martial Study as your fighter bonus feat to obtain Avalanche of Blades or Diamond Nightmare Blade at high levels.

    The build has many of the standard Gish tactics, such as Wraithstrike+Arcane Strike, Arcane Strike+Desert Tempest, etc.

    At low levels, the build uses Punishing Stance to boost its damage, relying on the Immediate Magic variant (conjuration) Abrupt Jaunt to teleport away from attacks. Fist of Stone makes an excellent spell at low levels, as it provides you with a second attack with which to gain +1d6 from Punishing Stance. Enlarge Person also works well when combined with Steel Wind (greater chance of threatening 2 opponents).

    Once the build hits 8th level, Mystic Phoenix Stance takes over, providing much needed AC, DR, and an arcane caster level. Combust begins to play a larger role, since it is cast at +3 CL (2 Arcane Thesis + 1 Mystic Phoenix Stance). Also at 8th level, the IL hits 5, and Heroics should be used to grab Iron Heart Surge via Martial Study.

    Otherwise, the build plays like a typical Gish. It suffers from ASF, but grab Mithril Twilight Chain Shirt, cast Shield and Dragonskin, and the AC should be fine.
    "The monk hits you a shattering blow in the kidneys, luckily this fixes a long standing alignment issue with your spine, gain +10 Move"

    "The evil wizard fireballs you, since the weather has been nasty you are now pleasantly warm, gain immunity from fear effects and cold and necrotic damage "

    "The drow cleric smashes you in the skull with an adamantine mace, this jogs your memory, regain all your used spell slots for the day"

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    This?
    A thousand times yes! Thank you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrice Dead Cat View Post
    I don't think the build used any of the tricks to shave off that fifth level of wizard and fit in JPM 10 and AbC 5 either.
    What are these tricks?
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    What are these tricks?
    The less cheesy version uses two feats, both from Cityscape. The first one gives you some minor skill bonuses (Favored), but the second one gives you one extra "real" skillpoint in a skill relevant to your organization (Primary Contact). It explicitly says it can be used to bypass the usual "level+3" limitation. Other options include things like taking blood line levels, which act kind of like LA but still increase your ECL for things like max skill points, and then riding the experience river to catch up (assuming your group is using XP RAW). Probably the most cheesy involves knowing a Psion and using the Psychic Reformation power to rebuild your character as needed level to level.
    Last edited by Thrice Dead Cat; 2019-09-19 at 06:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    I'm super interested in this cause it's cool. Anyone got any ideas for what stats to use? also yes let us here these level shaving tricks.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Voidstar01 View Post
    I'm super interested in this cause it's cool. Anyone got any ideas for what stats to use? also yes let us here these level shaving tricks.
    I made the comment while you were posting apparently, see above. I should add, you could later use the Embrace the Dark Chaos and Shun the Dark Chaos spells to swap out Favored and Primary Contact once you qualify for the prestige class (Jade Phoenix Mage, in this instance) for something more relevant. The build is rather feat hungry as-is, which I think is one reason why there's no Combat Casting or Abjurant Champion levels in there even though that would bump up the BAB by +1 at most levels. Shaving off Wizard 5 would also cost the "shortcut" build yet another feat, so that's another argument against it versus the original Ruathar build.

    Another option would be to take Energy Substitution [not fire] rather Searing Spell to get around things like Fire Immunity, but Searing Spell does have the added bonus of working on things normally immune whereas Energy Substitution just swaps out on element for another, immunities and all. I guess you could drop Arcane Spell and bump up most of the feats if you feel like you can live without its minor bonuses. The other option is to not take Martial Study at all, but then you're waiting until 18th level for Searing Spell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrice Dead Cat View Post
    The less cheesy version uses two feats, both from Cityscape. The first one gives you some minor skill bonuses (Favored), but the second one gives you one extra "real" skillpoint in a skill relevant to your organization (Primary Contact).
    This one sounds easiest since you can retrain those later.

    I would definitely rather do this as wiz5/wbd1/jpm10/abjchamp4, and frankly the bonus feat from wiz5 seems more valuable than +1 BAB and +1 shield AC from AJ 5.
    Last edited by Elves; 2019-09-19 at 10:03 PM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    This one sounds easiest since you can retrain those later.

    I would definitely rather do this as wiz5/wbd1/jpm10/abjchamp4, but frankly the bonus feat from wiz5 seems more valuable than +1 BAB and +1 shield AC from AJ 5.
    Now that I'm brushing the dust from my collection and my memory of 3.5 is resurfacing, I would agree on both those counts. If flaws are on the table, then Wiz5-6 can be ditched without issue. That would screw with the maneuver progression table for at least the first level of JPM (possibly more, depending), but then either retraining or the Dark Shuffle could be used to qualify for Abjurant Champion and the lost wizard bonus feat. This build also focuses on Desert Wind for extra maneuverability and the fire theme, but I was always partial the Crusader. Plus, they get Devoted Spirit, which makes qualifying for higher level maneuvers there easier compared to some of the Desert Wind ones. That would cause the build to lose Battle Clarity (Reflex Saves) and native access to Diamond Mind, but it'd gain a few extra maneuvers known and have the automatic refresh mechanic of the Crusader.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    If you go wiz5/warblade1/jpm2/abjchamp1/jpm8/abjchamp3 it doesn't mess up anything, since Burning Blade which it takes with JPM 1 is a 1st level maneuver.

    Departing from the Desert Wind theme loses serious style points since this build is all about fire.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    My issue with most Desert Wind maneuvers is that even though they are very much on-theme, they also have no way of overcoming fire resistance or immunity. I like the first two boosts (even if Searing Blade has the wrong initiation action in its block), but Searing Charge feels like a dud without the usual charge attack synergies and the fact that a Gish should have flight already from the magical side. I has similar issues with Desert Tempest as it provokes AoOs as-normal, so either you're tumbling at reduced movement or eating attacks as part of your flourish across the battlefield. Inferno Blade is just too late for my tastes. At 19th level, there are going to be far too many things with some amount of protections against regular fire.

    If we swapped Crusader for Warblade, Crusader's Strike would give the rest of the party some survivability with the incidental healing at low levels, but doing causes us to lose things like Punishing Stance and all of Diamond Mind. We could also then focus on things like Defensive Rebuke, grab Thicket of Blades with the one stance JPM grants, and whichever alignment-based strike you qualify for when those come up. If I played from level 1 on, I'd be inclined to go with Crusader over Warblade but otherwise close to what the original King has. If I started at a higher level (say, 5 or so), I'd shuffle it around to earlier wizard levels to help jump-start the higher level maneuvers from the schools other than DS and DW that the chosen base class can take. And to be fair, some of that is my wanting to fit WRT into the maneuvers known.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    This is mostly a flavor build anyway since the focus on Combustion is good but not high-op, and if you want to focus on that spell for its own sake there are better ways of doing it than Empowering Strike. So I think thematics matter.

    Searing Charge should of course be replaced with Leaping Flame.


    If open to homebrew, I suggest Garryl's great Desert Wind rush maneuvers.
    Last edited by Elves; 2019-09-22 at 08:31 PM.
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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    A recent thread just made me want to point out that there's nothing shenanigany about qualifying for JPM early via psych ref at level 5 to give yourself Primary Contact (Concentration), then trading it out after leveling up as a JPM when you'll actually meet the prereqs.

    So what would be competitive with the bonus feat from wizard 5? Spellsword 1 isn't really useful to you. Spelldancer 1 is good but requires an untenable 5 more feats (3 more prereqs and extend>persist), and I also don't like its partial redundancy with abjchamp's free extend.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    A recent thread just made me want to point out that there's nothing shenanigany about qualifying for JPM early via psych ref at level 5 to give yourself Primary Contact (Concentration), then trading it out after leveling up as a JPM when you'll actually meet the prereqs.

    So what would be competitive with the bonus feat from wizard 5? Spellsword 1 isn't really useful to you. Spelldancer 1 is good but requires an untenable 5 more feats (3 more prereqs and extend>persist), and I also don't like its partial redundancy with abjchamp's free extend.
    Spellsword 1 is usually the class level I'd take at that point, but BAB requirements ruin that. Abjurant Champion would work like I proposed earlier. That'd make the final breakdown Wiz4/Cru1/JPM10/AbC5, but not necessarily in that order.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wings of Peace View Post
    "See these cookies? Note how while good they taste sort of bland. Now try these, they're the same cookies but with chocolate chips added. Notice how with the second batch we expended slightly more ingredients but dramatically enhanced the flavor? That's metamagic."
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    Default Re: [Archive Dive] [Build] The King of Combustion

    Another variant is to focus on shivering touch instead of combust...


    One possibility for that spare level is archmage elemental substitution. All you're getting from abjch5 is +2 AC/+1BAB.
    Last edited by Elves; 2019-10-04 at 06:50 PM.
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