The Full Support Priest
A guide for all you priests and high priests looking to support your party.

Acknowledgments:

Cross-references from Katreyn's Full Support Guide and from Mibu's High Priest Guide. Stat simulation from the iRO Stat Calculator. Skill simulation from the RMS Skill Simulator. All links to items, skills, etc. provided from TalonRO. Thanks to Aceviper, Azurhialine, and Minnamon for their very valuable feedback! Most of all, thanks to all of the countless people who have taught me more about being a good support priest in RO over the years. I've learned many valuable things and had fun with you all. I hope that I can learn even more about being a better support priest![1]


Introduction


Welcome! Even if you’ve just been starting out in RO for only a short while, you probably have a sense as to how helpful a good support priest can be. Whether it’s providing stat-enhancing buffs, giving cover in a dangerous mob-filled area, helping you warp to a special location, or providing that much-needed heal, priests (and high priests!) are your first line of support. Yet, becoming a support priest takes more than just dumping all of your stat points into INT and adding skill points into supporting skills. If you’re wondering how to become a support priest (or how to further optimize your existing support priest) then read on!

I fully expect that there are lots of people who have an even more in-depth knowledge of support priests than I do, so this guide is just a walkthrough of the basic mechanics of the class and how to build a more effective priest. Once you get the hang of it, the beauty of this class is the ability to make subtle adjustments to skills, stats, and equipment so your priest is uniquely yours! Throughout this guide, I’ll include little tips and ideas along the way that I’ve personally found to be interesting or noteworthy through my own years of playing as this class. Thanks for reading!


Heal Plz: Becoming a Support Priest & the Types of Support You Can Provide


First of all, if you're looking on how to level your priest, consider trying a TU / ME build first, followed by a stat and skill reset to switch into the support build. Generally speaking, you won't level all that fast on your own as a support priest in early stages, so this kind of build is ideal for those switching after reaching a high level or after maxing out. For guides on how to make a TU / ME priest, see the TalonRO wiki entries for ME Priests and TU Priests. Secondly, please note that TalonRO currently runs on a pre-renewal system, meaning that the many mechanical changes made to RO through the Gravity Renewal updates won't apply here. Throughout this guide, you'll find a few sections that mention Renewal mechanics, as well as a section at the end that highlights some pre and post-renewal differences.

Being a support priest is more complex than just being able to hotkey Heal – there are actually different kinds of support priests for different situations! Think of it like cooking: heat will always cook food, but sometimes you need different temperatures to cook something to perfection! A support priest with the same basic skills and stats will always function effectively most of the time, but to be super effective you’ll want to tune up for the job at hand. I’ll go through the stats in the next section, but let’s illustrate the different types as the following:

FSPriest001.png

There are of course other potential types of priests you'll see out there, but all of the support priests will generally fall into one of these four categories. For now, we'll cover the basic mechanics, tips, and tricks of being a generalist support priest.


Stat Points


The building blocks of stats in RO fall into six domains, which in turn affect various attributes (Flee, MATK, Perfect Dodge, etc.). As a support priest, some of these matter more than others. I’ve rank-ordered them in terms of importance:

  • Intelligence (INT): The single most important stat you could put points into, INT controls your magical use, including your Magical Attack (MATK) and Magical Defense (MDEF). INT will do a whole host of wonderful things for you as a support priest, including raising the effectiveness of Heal, increases your maximum SP, SP regen, and other magical and SP-based goodies.
  • Vitality (VIT): As a support priest, you need to be able to take a smack or two, or nine, or twenty. One of the innate characteristics of the Acolyte/Priest/High Priest is a fairly good amount of HP and VIT bonus, so you should consider taking advantage of this. VIT primarily will increase your base Defense (DEF) as well as raise your HP, and a host of other bonuses.
  • Dexterity (DEX): This stat is the next most useful to a support priest. It’s very important if you’re planning on casting a lot of support skills, but it’s otherwise not useful if you’re mostly planning on tanking and healing. DEX is crucial in reducing your cast time and after-cast skill delay, as well as providing modest bonuses to both MATK and MDEF.
  • Luck (LUK): Once upon a time, LUK was considered an afterthought for most priests. Presently, LUK will help you to increase your rate of Perfect Dodge as well as provides a slight decrease to a whole host of status effects. However, the mechanics of Renewal will make LUK a more nuanced stat. This is where your level of customization can start to kick in. LUK will command some increases to your Flee and Perfect Dodge, both of which can help you miss attacks.
  • Agility (AGI): This stat isn’t all that important to a support priest in my opinion and can be relatively ignored, unless you’re trying to go for a very high flee and perfect dodge rate.
  • Strength (STR): The only reason to put some points into STR as a support priest is if you’re looking to carry more items with you, which may be useful to those going with the WoE support route. In the (sort of) words of famous rapper Jay-Z, "if you're having support problems, I feel bad for you, son; I've got 99 Intelligence and STR to one."

Tip: Focusing on having some DEX isn’t a bad idea; I like it when needing to cast things in a pinch and it provides for a certain degree of flexibility in difficult situations. The added speed from some extra DEX can sometimes provide a slight advantage.

So where do I put all my stat points? If you're just getting familiar with the support priest, I'd follow this basic template. After you've become more familiar with the effects of the stat point distribution, try experimenting!

As a 99/50 Priest, I would recommend that your stat distribution resemble the following:
  • STR: 1
  • AGI: 1
  • VIT: 80
  • INT: 99
  • DEX: 8~15
  • LUK: 15~20

As a 99/70 High Priest, I would recommend that your stats now look like this:
  • STR: 1
  • AGI: 1
  • VIT: 80
  • INT: 99
  • DEX: 10~11
  • LUK: 20~21

Alternatively, another great recommendation is to go for a higher DEX rate, given the availability of gear and cards on Talon that can help get you to Instant Cast (IC). Thus, you'd try and get up to the necessary 150 DEX (with equipment and buffs to get you there) and pour the rest into VIT and INT, as in the following:
  • STR: 1
  • AGI: 1
  • VIT: 80
  • INT: 60
  • DEX: 99
  • LUK: 1

In each of these distributions, you'll see a high emphasis on INT and VIT, followed by a slightly higher allocation toward DEX, followed then by some LUK. You might decide that you like more LUK and less DEX, which is fine. You may even decide to focus on faster casting later, in which case you'll want to take some points from INT (especially if you can offset some of that with some reasonable equips).

Of these stat points, which should you put points into first? I'd recommend the following sequence:

  • INT to 99 -> VIT to 80 -> DEX to 15~20 -> Rest to DEX
-or-
  • INT to 80~ -> VIT to 80 -> INT to 99 -> LUK & DEX (this would be to give you a chance to get some needed HP points for a while before you dive back in)
-or-
  • INT to 60~ -> VIT to 60 -> DEX to 99 -> Rest to VIT

Really, any combination will work. What's important is finding the right balance for where you're leveling if you're primarily supporting your party while you gain levels yourself. If you're in an area where you might be tanking more often, put some points into VIT for a while. If you're primarily healing and buffing your party, focus on DEX somewhat.

As a 99/70 High Priest it is often misconstrued that 100 VIT is required to gain 100% immunity to effects such as Stun, Silence, Poison and Bleeding. However, only 90 base VIT is required for this. Hence saving a large amount of points to be placed in other stats.

Great! With the basic concepts around stat points down, we have a good foundation for the support priest. For now, we need to try and gap some of the distance in our stats with sweet, sweet equipment.


Equipment


First of all, there are many, many combinations you can choose from. Knowing that you can't have it all (I wish, right?) you'll have to pick and choose. Is having a higher heal important to you? What about fast casting time? How about raising VIT? All of these are important, but you'll have to find what works for you. The following are some of my recommendations from the years, but with new additions and changes, you'll want to keep on top of new equipment. The equipment here will focus on cards and gears that are mostly obtainable; the Super Quest Items (SQI) that apply here would be great to have under virtually any circumstances, but we'll assume that you aren't walking around all lean and mean with a bag full of SQIs!

As a general rule, you'll want to shop for gears that perform the following basic functions:

external image 5170.gif Headgear - equipment that raises your INT (and consequently, MATK), increases SP or SP recovery, and equipment that can boost your healing amount (if looking for items that correspond to increasing your heal, search the TalonRO database under Item Script Containing: "bHealPower"). Consider carding your headgear with either an Elder Willow Card, Isilla Card, Rideword Card, or a Bacsojin Card if you have one. Of course, if you have anything better like the Lord Kaho Horns, then by all means!

external image 5074.gif Mid Headgear - A slotted INT middle headgear is preferred for a Priest in order to maximize MATK, SP, and to increase your healing amount. They can be Blush [1], Ice Ear Wing [1] and many more. Cards you should consider are Mistress Card, Pharoah Card and some immunity cards (if your build isn't VIT based) such as Marduk Cardand Orc Hero Card etc. However some non slotted mid-headgears are good for vanilla woe/pvp. Some examples would be Robo Eye and Angel of Ghost .

external image 2374.gif Armor - Look for a good high defense armor.Glittering jacket will usually do the trick, and carding it with something that gives it an elemental property is also beneficial. If you can afford it, the Diablos Robe has been a favorite of mine (Max SP + 150, MDEF + 5, Reduce Skill Delay by 10%, Increases Heal by 6% (+ Diablos Ring for an additional MATK + 3%). An alternative would be to obtain slotted elemental armours which give you the benefit of making excellent combinations such as RSX wind armour. Of course, carding an elemental enchanting card on top of an elemental armour is pointless. An alternative option would be Formal Suit[1]. Relatively cheaper and easily available, it is a light armour which doesn't weigh too much.

external image 2005.gif Weapon - Something that will functionally increase either your MATK and/or Heal. You'll never use it for smacking anything, so go all out on finding something that will suit your needs. Examples here include: Evil Bone Wand, Recovery Staff (especially when upgraded to +8~10), Glorious Staff of Recovery, Holy Stick, or the Thea Staff. If you're comfortable going without a shield, you can always try using a Divine Cross (which ought to boost your MATK, DEX, and others when combined with things like a Spiritual Ring). The Priest SQI is the Evangelist - but if you have one of those, chances are you don't need this guide much. ;)

external image 2115.gif Shield - Basically any shield with a race-based card, meaning that the card offers extra protection against a certain kind of mob race (demon:khalitzburg :: demi-human:thara frog, etc.) or perhaps a Maya card to use Auto-Guard and to gain the MDEF bonus. I'd recommend a shield in the +7 range, either a Buckler, Stone Buckler, Thorn Shield, or a Valk. Shield if you can afford it.

external image 2528.gif Garment - You'll probably want to start with an immune garment (a garment carded with the Raydric Card). Focus on getting the card and then popping it into either a +7 wool scarf or +7 muffler. Alternatively, if you need the additional DEX, you can always opt for a Stem Worm Card (+5 DEX), but a Raydric Card is nice. You can also go for Noxious or Deviling Cards here as well. In an ideal world, a Lord of Death Card would be a wonderful addition to any garment (10% resistance to all monster sizes and an additional +10 VIT). If you have the funding, go for a Proxy Skin Fragment, a Diablos Manteau, a Mushika (if a High Priest).

external image 2403.gif Footgear - Luckily, with a great number of SP-enhancing cards for your shoes, you have plenty of options! +7 Shoes / + 7 Tidal Shoes ought to fit the bill, especially with either a Verit Card, Sohee Card, Gold Acidus Card, or Matyr Card. Diablos Boots or Valk. Shoesare also excellent here if you can afford them. For a DEX boost, consider carding them with a Gargoyle Card (which, here on TalonRO, gives you +5 to DEX) or a Moonlight Flower Card if you have one. A Dark Lord card would also provide a significant boost to your HP. Lastly, as an alternative that I've used before, you could try out a pair of Variant Shoes as a High Priest if you can afford them. However, I would *not* recommend upgrading them - leave those puppies as is, unless you feel that you desperately need the DEF in exchange for the Max HP/SP for some reason. Ultimately, you'll want to try and equip yourself with the SQI Slotted Slepnir boots.

external image 2622.gif Accessories- Lots of choices here! A Celebration Ring also would be a nice addition, as that gives +5 to all stats. Slotted earrings are nice for the INT bonus, as are slotted Orleans Gloves if you're looking to enhance your DEX, or a slotted Rosary. Spiritual rings are also quite decent (extra so when paired with a Spiritual Ring and Divine Cross), as are Diablos Rings (when paired with the robe / set). Some of my favorite accessory cards include Smokie cards (for hiding), Sting Cards (for DEX + 4), Alligator Cards (to reduce ranged attacks), Cookie Cards (for LUK). The SQI applicable here would be a Brisingamen.

Tip: Each class comes with its own "card set" - that is, a set of cards that when all equipped together generate great bonuses for that class. You can always try out this set if you like! The priest card set will do the following:
Vit+10 ; Reduce the variable cast of skills by 10%; Reduce the cost of SP from skills by 10%; Reduce damage from the demon / undead races by 30%; Increase exp. from the demon / undead races by 5%.
The cards you'll need for this set are: Rideword Card (headgear); Enchanted Peach Tree Card (shield); Geographer Card (Armor); Fur Seal Card (Weapon); Cookie Card (accessory). Once you have all of those cards, enjoy those extra bonuses!

Hooray! Equipment on. Stats in place. Now we can move onto the real substance of the support priest: those shiny, wonderful skills.


Skills


First of all, always go to max job level. This means job 50 as an acolyte, job 50 as a priest, and job 70 as a high priest. We'll approach the skills as being presented across three tiers: primary skills (skills so essential that no support priest would be without them), secondary skills (skills that function as considerable support providers), tertiary skills (skills that you could do without or skills that are a matter of personal preference). Anything left over we won't worry about putting any skill points into.

For the first 50 job points gained from being an Acolyte, I'd recommend the following:

Primary Skills
  • Heal - Level 10
  • Divine Protection - Level 5
  • Blessing - Level 10
  • Ruwach - Level 1
  • Teleportation - Level 2
  • Warp Portal - Level 4
  • Pneuma - Level 1

Secondary Skills
  • Increase AGI - Level 10
  • Aqua Benedicta - Level 1
  • Angelus - Level 5

Tertiary Skills
  • Decrease AGI - Subtract a few points from either Increase AGI or Angelus if you like to add here


For the 70 job points coming from the High Priest, you'll have greater flexibility. Primary skills here are true across all four sub-types of support priest, while secondary skills will be useful to just about any support priest. Tertiary skills will be confined to special purposes, like being a WoE support priest, etc. and only if you have the extra points:

Primary Skills
  • Increase Spiritual Power - Level 5
  • Impostio Manus - Level 3 (at minimum)
  • Aspersio - Level 3
  • Recovery - Level 1
  • Assumptio - Level 5 (unless you're going for WoE Support only)
  • Magnificat - Level 3 (at minimum)
  • Resurrection - Level 4

Secondary Skills
  • Impostio Manus - Level 5
  • Magnificat - Level 5
  • Lex Divina - Level 5
  • Lex Aeterna - Level 1
  • Meditatio - Level 10
  • Kyrie Eleison - Level 4
  • Gloria - Level 5
  • Suffragium - Level 3

Tertiary Skills
  • Aspersio - Level 5
  • B.S. Sacramenti - Level 5
  • Sanctuary - Level 7
  • Decrease AGI - Level 10
  • Kyrie Eleison - Level 10
  • Basilica - Level 5
  • Safety Wall - Level 10

My general recommendation on the tertiary skills is that you probably won't be needing things like Sanctuary, Decrease AGI, or Kyrie unless you're going to be providing support in WoE or PvP - though some wouldn't even think of having anything less than Kyrie 10! Additionally, you could opt for Safety Wall, particularly if you've maxed out your INT and you're going to be supporting in either PvP or WoE. As for things like ME, TU, and others - you'll not have to use these as a true support priest, unless you want to try going hybrid, which is entirely up to you. That's part of the whole fun with this class - try mixing and matching until you find a compliment of skills that suits your needs and playing style best!

Specialization within the Support Priest Build


Four different specializations appear within the support priest family. Each one will require a slightly different set of skills, equipment, and stats to be fully optimized, but the basic support build will take you pretty far in any situation.

Player versus Monster (PvM)

Here, you'll focus on being mostly INT and VIT heavy. Your high INT, combined with Meditatio level 10 will give you some impressive Heals. Focusing in on things like Lex Aeterna when supporting a Sin X (sonic blow) will be quite helpful, and generally buffing / healing the party will be your priority. You'll even be able to solo in areas with lots of undead / demon types given that you can heal bomb your way through a lot of mobs (heal bombing is just healing the undead / demon monster to deal damage - it helps to use the /noshift command first before attempting this).

Player versus MVP (MVP)

This specialization is a lot like the PvM, except that you'll really want to focus in on being very good at teleporting, being ready to heal status ailments (with recovery), and working with Lex Aeterna to double damage to the Boss. Healing and providing general support here is key, and some additional equipment that helps to boost HP and monster resistance would be nice. In these situations, you're the glue that's holding the MVP party all together, so be quick on those skills! Don't forget to bring a few healing items and SP items for yourself on these adventures.

War of Emperium Support (WoE)

Unlike in traditional support, healing won't be your primary focus at all. Instead, add in some skills like Safety Wall, Decrease AGI, and be sure to have relatively high HP. This is also the one and only time that you might want some STR (around 30 or so) to bring in lots of HP / SP healing items. You'll also want a good amount of DEX here too generally. Switching to Battlemode is recommended, as are possessing both Marc and Evil Druid Cards. While everyone has various strategies with regard to WoE, think of your support as being both to the Emperium as well as to your fellow guildmates. Cast lots of Pneuma and Safety Wall, along with Sanctuary to heal the Emp. and keep everyone in the precast buffed and ready to rumble. Remember that if you're playing in Vanilla WoE, your equipment (and thus your stats) will have to be optimized in a different way.

Player versus Player (PvP)

This functions a lot like both the PvM and MVP builds, except that your hotkeys will likely look a bit different. You'll likely want an accessory that lets you use the hide skill, and your focus will be to use lots of Safety Wall (against Asura Strikes) and Pneuma (for long-ranged attacks). Lex Aeterna can also prove useful in this environment. All else being equal, provide the same kind of general support as in other builds.

Tips and Suggestions


While your bonuses at high levels will be enough to sustain you through most things, you'll always want to have a certain compliment of items with you at all times. The following are among the most useful to a support priest:

external image 717.gif Blue Gemstones - used for Safety Wall, Resurrection, and others, Blue Gems are a support priest's best friend. You'll want to have lots on you as running out in the middle of support is a dead end in some cases. If you have a Mistress Card, no problem!

external image 523.gif Holy Water - like the blue gems, holy water is necessary for other skills, including Aspersio. You'll likely not need a ton of holy water, just enough for when you need to cast Aspersio to support others who need some holy in their weapons. Luckily, with some empty bottles, Aqua Benedicta, a pool of water, and some time on your hands, you can make all the holy water you can bless!

external image 505.gif SP recovery items - blue potions, grape juice, and even ygg berries and seeds can come in handy, especially in the midst of battle. Although you'll generally have very good SP recovery (further enhanced by skills like meditatio and magnificat as well as equipment), you might find yourself in a bind on occasion. Carrying a few of these with you can be a life saver - literally!

external image 610.gif Ygg Leaves - in the event that you die and no one else is carrying them, have one or two on you that you can trade to a party member so they can bring you on back! You may be working the res. for your party, but make sure you've got yourself covered too.

external image 12079.gif INT-enhancing food - especially at higher levels, the INT-boosting food can really put you over the edge in a tight spot, especially for special events. You won't need too many of these, but they're nice to have for certain circumstances.

Pre and Post-Renewal Mechanics: What Does it Mean to a Support Priest?


As mentioned at the top of the guide, TalonRO functions with pre-Renewal mechanics. This means that if you're used to a Renewal world, you'll have to think differently as you approach your stats. As an example, lets take a look at MATK - a very important component in understanding how things like healing and certain skills can be made optimal.

Understanding MATK formulaically can be helpful, especially as you try and find your own ways to increase your heal if you so choose. Your Heal is largely driven off of your INT. The general formula for Heal is as follows:

Code:
( [(Base Level + INT) / 5] × 30 ) × (Heal Level / 10) × (1 + (Modifiers / 100)) + MATK
 
 
 

In Renewal however, the formula for MATK is as follows:

Code:
sMATK = INT + (INT/2) + (DEX/5) + (LUK/3) + (BaseLVL/4)
Punch line here is that while INT remains your most effective way to raise
Healing power (aside from skill level, which we'll always assume is 10),
be mindful of other factors that can also influence your heal, such as
base level, LUK, and other modifiers.
 
 
Tip: Take a moment to play around with a stat calculator to see what the distribution of points will do for your HP, SP, Heal, etc. I'd recommend the iRO stat calculator, which will give you a good sense as to how distributions matter. Near as I can tell, the changes to stats and Renewal are as follows:


Current Mechanics: I recommend looking at the stat formulae over at iRO wiki's archives, which will apply to the mechanics here at TalonRO.

Renewal Mechanics:

Strength (STR)
- 1 point of STR increases status physical attack power by 1.2
- 5 points of STR increase status defense by 1

Agility (AGI)
- 1 point of AGI increases flee rate by 1
- 4 points of AGI increases your attack speed by 1
- 5 points of AGI increases status defense by 1

Vitality (VIT)
- 1 point of VIT increases your Max HP by 1%
- 1 point of VIT increases your recovery rate by 2%
- 2 points of VIT increases your status defense by 1
- 5 points of VIT increases your status magic defense by 1

Inteligence (INT)
- 1 point of INT decreases your variable cast time by 0.2%. - 1 point of INT increases your status magic attack by 1.5
- 2 points of INT increases your status magic defense by 1

Dexterity (DEX)
- 1 point of DEX increases your hit rate by 1
- 1 point of DEX decreases your variable cast time by 0.4%.
- 4 points of DEX increases your status magic defense by 1
- 5 points of DEX increases your status magic attack by 1
- 10 points of DEX increases your status physical attack power by 1
- 10 points of DEX increases your attack speed by 1

Luck (LUK)
- 1 point of LUK increases your Critical by 0.3
- 3 points of LUK increases your status physical attack power by 1
- 3 points of LUK increases your status magical attack power by 1
- 3 points of LUK increases your hit by 1
- 7 points of LUK increases your flee by 1
- 10 points of LUK increases your perfect dodge by 1

Base Level
- 1 level increases your HIT rate by 1.
- 1 level increases your FLEE rate by 1.
- 4 levels increases your status ATK by 1.
- 4 levels increases your status MATK by 1.
- 6 levels increases your status DEF by 1.
- 6 levels increases your status MDEF by 1.

Battlemode is a critical device for being able to use all your skills at once. Casting your skills quickly and efficiently is also a product of proper planning through battlemode and hotkeying the skills you'll need. If you're unfamiliar with Battlemode, take a moment to become familiar as once mastered, you'll be able to use nearly all the skills you'll need quite quickly.

Putting it all together

The one thing that has helped me to understand how to be a good support priest has been learning from others and experimenting on my own. I'm sure that players at TalonRO who are reading this right now have lots to add, suggest, or correct - which is great! There's no one correct way to play and lots of ways to make your support priest unique to you. All kinds of feedback are most welcome - it's how we can all learn from one another. Thanks for reading and good luck on your support priest journey - you'll do great!
  1. ^ Kudos to Evren for posting the guide in forums.

    Edits on Nov. 29 2011 - updates to TalonRO-specific items, SQIs, and links. Incorporated feedback into Wiki from Azurhialine, Aceviper, and Minnamon.