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[Contest] Guide: Cardinal Nov '21

Discussion in 'Players Guides' started by Loree, Nov 15, 2021.

  1. Loree

    Loree User

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    1 Introduction

    Hi folks, I am Cintra, currently playing a Doomcryer on purple server. Yes a Doomcryer! I've played through almost all chronicles and "versions" of LineageII until Essence. I tried many different classes in L2 essence and leveled multiple characters to lvl85 and beyond but Cardinal remains one of my favourites of all time. So why would you play healer on a "chronicle" like essence? What makes this class enjoyable and what are its drawbacks? In this guide we will take a closer look and try to find answers to all of these questions.

    Cardinal is the unchallenged king of all healer classes in L2 essence. It can be a 1on1 beast that withstands even the strongest damage dealer classes as well as a strong party and clan healer that can absorb tremendous amounts of damage. If you can’t wait to start leveling one, be warned! Leveling up a cardinal won’t be easy, especially if you don’t have an orfen earring+2. Furthermore, most pure damage dealing classes will outfarm you easily both exp and adena-wise. Cardinal is anything but a good adena farmer class. It is surely one of the hardest classes to level.

    But do not despair! LineageII essence offers a class change service with every major update and rumors say, that a permanent service is just around the (korean) corner! That way you can change any other class into a cardinal without loosing your level. Sounds great? Alright, let’s get into it!

    2 Leveling up a cardinal

    Taking the shortcut via class change service is not your style? You really want to start from the scratch? Welcome to the long and tough road to 85lvl and higher!

    Once upon a time, an elpy slayer was born on TI…
    Or as a wise man (named CJ) once said: “Here we go again!“

    Starting from level 1 you basically just follow the quest line. Most NPC’s will teleport you straight to the corresponding hunting grounds and once you’ve killed enough monsters you will receive a scroll of escape to get back tot he NPC (Hint: If you keep those scrolls, you will have a nice stack of free BSOEs! Kek!)

    By following the quest line you will hit 40 within a few minutes and heck, there is even a free class change included! After 40 the quest series continue and you also have the option to join the transcendence instance once a day. Make sure to use your exp boosts in that instance and you will hit 60+ in no time. Starting from level 60 the leveling slows down. Monster are tougher and require more than 1-2 nukes to kill. At this point (if not before) you will face mana issues.

    2.1 The mana issue

    Like any other nuker class, cardinal is highly mana-dependend. The higher your cast speed and skill cooldown reduction, the faster you will run out of mana.

    If you keep your Might of Heaven skill at low level it can carry you to level 70+ without having mana problems. In case you get your hands on an orfen earring +2 forget any restrictions and nuke your way to 85! If this is not the case, take a look at the following things that could help you managing your mana:

    1. Increase your MEN stat with dyes, dragon belt, venir talisman, collection and so on
    2. Invest the 1million adena on MP Recovery Lv. 2 skill as early as possible
    3. Keep your nuke skills at low level
    4. Enchant a talisman of eva as high as possible
    5. Use a d grade set +6-8 for additional mp regen (light or robe)
    6. Get a Majestic or Nightmare robe helmet for another 8% mp regen
    7. Get a talisman bracelet lv. 4 or higher to add 7% mp regen
    8. Add a hardins rune (wizard) to your weapon
    9. Enchant Agathion Procella to +5 or higher
    10. Combine spinel brooch jewel to lv. 4 or higher
    11. Learn the 2-star skill Divine Recovery (see section 5 Skill books for Cardinal)
    12. Stay at lower level areas, the difference in exp is negligible but the mana to exp rate is way better. A good spot to stay is fields of massacre at the high level undead monsters (even after lvl72 it is still viable)

    Or simply buy an orfen earring +2

    Once you’ve reached level 76+ it’s time to think about proper gear. The better gear you have, the higher areas you can go and the faster you will hit level 85 and later even level 90! While looking for new training grounds keep in mind that your nukes do additional damage to undeads and demons! The following high-level areas have undead and demonic monsters:

    • Tower of Insolence (TOI)
    • Dragon Valley West
    • Lair of Antharas (world zone interserver)

    3 Gearing up a cardinal

    Good lord, there is so many items what should I buy first? It all depends on how much you are willing to invest, be it time or money! Besides all those juicy items there is two which you might want to focus on:

    • Did I mention orfen earring +2 already?
    • Spellbook: Divine Beam
    • [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Both are hard to get but will make your life so much easier. I highly recommend to buy both items from other players. There is the option to buy an orfen earing +0 and enchant it to +2 but the chance is rather low. The same applies to the spellbook: divine beam. You can try to caft it for 441 seals via special craft with 25% chance (korean chance!) but in most cases, buying it from other players is way cheaper (unless you are super lucky) Besides special craft, this book only "drops“ from loot boxes and world bosses with extremely low chance.

    Beside these vital items, the gearing process highly depends on your playstyle. If you play für PVE, stop reading this guide, change to SE (or Doomcryer^^), activate auto-hunt and never come back. And don’t forget to tell your heirs to check your char once in a while.

    If you are playing for PVP think about joining a group. Finding one can be hard but definitely not impossible! And now for the gearing process (also known as THE SWIPING of the visa masta!).

    If you build your cardinal for group/mass pvp you might want to focus on suvivability based on the following:

    • HP
    • Damage reduction
    • Skill Critical damage reduction
    • Skill Critical rate reduction
    • Knock-down/stun/pull/imprisonment resistance
    • Pdef/Mdef (least important in this list)

    If you build your cardinal for 1on1 or small scale skirmishes a mixture of survivability and damage output will make the difference with a focus on:

    • Magic skill critical damage
    • Matk
    • Damage reduction
    • Skill Critical damage reduction
    • Skill Critical rate reduction
    • HP
    • Pdef/Mdef

    In both cases but especially in the first one you will have to compromise your farming capabilities in order to increase your survivability in pvp. That’s the cardinals fate, sadly. But hey, you still have your group blaming you for every single death. If you still have daddy’s card ready, here’s the deal:

    3.1 Weapon/Armor/Jewels

    "low" budget (pve solo/group) – when daddy is broke or his card got blocked

    • Cabrio’s Hand/Themis‘ Tongue/Daimon Crystal +0 or Aden Staff +10 or higher
    • Majestic or nightmare robe
    • Any a grade robe helmet
    • Majestic robe boots and gloves
    • Valakas event necklace
    • TOI rings / DV earrings
    • Sigil + HP/WIT or INT

    Medium – when daddy is stingy but at least let’s you use his card
    • Cabrio/Themis/Daimon +5 or Queen Ant’s Stone Breaker with 3 runes: health/cast speed/hardin's wizard
    • Flaming Set or lightning Set +5 with -critical damage augment
    • Mana helmet +5
    • Evasion boots +5
    • Silence Gloves +5
    • Valakas Necklace / Majestic Necklace +5 or higher
    • TOI Ring +7, Core +2, DV Earring +7, Orfen +2
    • NM shield +5 (+HP/CON) or Shield of Vengeance
    • Sigil +HP or WIT/ INT for pve

    High - there is basically no limit but let’s assume daddy’s card has less than 150k $ limit)
    • Blessed Cabrio or Themis +8/ QA Breaker +7/8 with x3 runes 18/18/16 (HP, Cast speed, Hardin wizard or warrior if you go for full HP build)
    • Flaming Set +7 or Protection Set
    • Mana Helmet +7 or Protection Helmet
    • Evasion Boots +7 or Protection Boots
    • Silence Gloves +7 or Protection Gloves
    • Vengeance shield +7 or Protection Shield (game breaking item!)
    • All epic jewels +2-4 (Core,Baium,Zaken,Orfen,Frintezza, AQ for farm and in future Antharas Earring, Beleth Ring)
    >>Best in slot jewels for mass pvp: frintezza, antharas, zaken, beleth, core

    3.2 Augmentations for all armor/jewels should focus on damage reduction, skill critical damage/rate reduction, pdef/mdef

    FAQ: Weapon/Armor/Jewels: What should I focus on first (survivability pvp build)?
    • Weapon: One-handed A grade weapon with at least lvl14 rune health & cast speed (weapon itself doesnt matter that much)
    • Sigil/Shield: Any A grade shield with 2000+ HP augmentation
    • Main Armor: Flaming/Lightning Set +5 with decent augmentation: -10 to -15% received critical damage
    • Boots: Boots of evasion +5 (can be a life saver!)
    • Helmet: Mana helmet +5 for that extra CON/MEN
    • Jewels: Core ring +2 and orfen earring +2, (TOI +7 and DV+7 work in second slots if you cannot afford baium/beleth ring and zaken/antharas earring)

    3.3 Pay-to-win items (Items that are mainly bought with LCoins and require heavy over-enchanting)

    • Brooch jewels 3
    • Talisman Aden 5-7, eva 4, speed 4, authority 4, venir 12
    • Agations all +5-6
    • Dragon belt 5 or blessed +4
    • Cloak of protection +5
    • Hero Circlet +3-4 or +3 CON accessory for pvp, WIT/INT for pve
    • Pendant 2

    • Brooch jewels 4-5
    • Talisman Aden 7, eva 5-6, speed 5-6, authority 5-6, venir 18+, baium talisman
    • Agations +6-7
    • Dragon belt 6-8 or blessed +5-6
    • Cloak of protection +7
    • Hero circlet +5-6 with augment -7% to -10% received damage
    • Pendant 3-4
    • Dolls lvl 1-2 (baium and core lvl2 important)

    High (depending on daddy’s card and luck)

    • Brooch jewels 6++
    • Hellbound 5++, eva 7++, speed 7++, authority 7++ venir 25++, baium talisman +3
    • Agathions 8++
    • Dragon belt 8++ or blessed 7++
    • Cloak of protection 8++
    • Hero Circlet 7++
    • Pendant 4-5
    • Dolls lvl 3++ (most important: baium, core & antharas for knock-back resistance and defense)

    FAQ - P2W items: What should I focus on first (survivability pvp build)?
    • Brooch: Opal 6, spinel 6-7
    • Talisman: Hellbound 5+, eva+7, venir 25+, baium talisman+3
    • Agathion: Petram +8, then joy, nebula, procella
    • Belt: Blessed dragon belt +7
    • Cloak: Cloak of protection +7
    • Circlet: Circlet of hero +5 or higher, most important is augmentation: -10% received damage (the higher the better)
    • Pendant: Einhasad's Pendant 4 (must-have for pvp!)
    • Dolls: Baium 2-3, core 2-3 and maybe antharas (currently super expensive) should be the first goal, you need that knock-back resistance!

    4 Skill Books for Cardinal

    As already mentioned, books can be crafted with giran seals via special craft. They also drop from command channel bosses with low chance (3-star and higher only from world bosses with even lower chance). Again, I recommend to watch the market and try to buy the books from other players.

    4 Star: forget about it, not even a single book exists on EU yet

    3 Star:
    • Divine beam (must-have!)
    • Balance Body (important)
    • Sensation (optional)
    2 Star:
    • Holy buster (important)
    • Advanced cleanse (important)
    • Sacred power (optional)
    • Unleashing (optional)
    • Divine recovery (60sec cooldown is bad, cannot replace orfen +2)
    FAQ - Skill books: What should I focus on first (survivability pvp build)?
    • Balanced Body
    • Advanced Cleanse
    • (Divine Beam)

    5 Stat points

    Suvivability build:
    • CON, CON and even more CON, some MEN might help, too but mages aren’t a thread in the current patch (November 2021)

    Mixed/Hybrid build:
    • 90 INT, 45 WIT and everything else goes into CON

    PVE leveling build:
    • If you are still leveling, not end-game stacked and do not have divine beam: all into WIT, If you have divine beam: 45 WIT and everything else into INT

    • At some point casting speed/magic cooldown is capped by skill animation, increasing it further won’t make you cast faster.
    • Magic critical rate is soft-capped at 333, anything above will increase your magic crit rate by close to zero (better invest in magic crit damage and m.atk at that point)

    6 Collection

    There are countless items in collection, therefore I will just point out the most important characterics that a cardinal should focus on.

    Survivability build:
    • CON stats
    • Damage reduction
    • Skill critical damage reduction
    • Skill critical rate reduction
    • HP potions effect increase
    • Weapon resistance
    • Knock-back, pull, imprisonment & stun resistance
    • HP increase
    • P.def/M.def increase
    • Skill cooldown

    Hybrid/mixed build:

    All from above plus
    • M.atk​
    • Magic skill critical damage​
    • Skill damage​
    • Magic skills critial rate (until 333 m.crit rate)​
    • Soul shot damage increase​
    • Cast speed​

    7 Playstyle

    7.1 Group/mass pvp

    First of all, be ready to die alot. Cardinals are always one of the first targets and even a full stacked cardinal with more than 65.000 HP will die at some point if too many enemies hit him at the same time while debuffs are on.
    But until then you have the following arsenal to prevent it from happening:

    Main skills: Chain heal, balance life, cleanse, purify

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Secondary skills: vitalize, greater battle heal, magical backfire, root, sleep, paralzye

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Attack skills (better keep your dps alive instead of nuking for close to zero damage): Divine beam, might of heaven


    • Keep in mind that healing skills will be applied to your own character if the target is out of range! (with a few exceptions, e.g. chain heal)
    • Death Knights take extra damage from holy attacks
    In Battle:

    Watch your group‘s/clan member‘s debuffs and cleanse/purify them as much as possible. In essence it’s all about disabling enemies and focus on key targets to win fights. Make sure your team does not get disabled by debuffs and anomalies. Keep your top dps alive and watch your enemies for when they use their limits. In less stressful situations disable and interrupt enemies with your debuffs. If enemies focus on you, let your dk’s cage you to avoid damage or spam heal/cleanse on yourself. Rotate opal and core ring’s blessing to handle debuffs. Watch out for daggers as they got high burst damage with latest update (November 2021). Use greater battle heal and vitalize to fill the gaps while rotating chain heal and balancing life.

    7.2 PVE

    Activate auto-hunt and go afk. With end-game gear you can farm any place, only the ice lord’s castle, lower giant’s cave and toi10+ might be a bit hard. Salvation helps to save some coins if those proud afk killers are passing by.

    7.3 Small scale pvp, 1on1

    Your debuffs are the key to victory! Once enemies are out of mana the fight is over Disable them, heal yourself and damage them with divine beam and might of heaven. It requires some practice to switch fast between debuffing, damaging and healing yourself but once you master it, the majority of players with equal equipment won’t be able to kill you anymore. If you are on a pure HP / survivability build you won't kill anyone 1vs.1 with same equipment, this build is made for group pvp.

    7.4 Olympiad

    Pray for good team mates and keep them alive. Disable your enemies and let them run out of mana with magical backfire. If you register to a match simultanously with your clan mates, chances are increased that you will enter the same match together.

    Last but not least - 8 Conclusion

    Cardinal is not for everybody and requires a huge investment to shine. But! If you build it for survivability and group pvp it is way cheaper to gear than a damage dealer. The drawback of this way is the limited farming capabilites, you will exp rather slow and farm only little adena.

    The korean developers of LineageII essence have been trying to do a balancing act between every class being self sufficient and keeping up the original roles that include support characters. And they failed.

    But do not despair young padawan! There is some light at the horizon! Some more group content has already been introduced in Korea and LineageII essence is highly dynamic. Sooner rather than later this guide will be outdated but until then, enjoy the ride and don’t forget to swipe... ahh, I mean shine, SHINE!



    The million dollar question:

    "How much do I need to spend to be competitive?“

    Well, it all depends on your luck. Assuming that you start your own character from the scratch, with 5k to 10k € you can build a very strong cardinal (survivability build) that is able to handle endgame group pvp.

    For a hybrid build/damage dealing cardinal you should consider to add a 0 to above numbers to be able to fight top guns. Keep in mind that leveling itself costs some money if you want to have full boosts all the time.

    The one and only l2 essence rule:

    “Buy instead of gamble“​

    Whenever you have to choice between buying and gambling for an item, always go for buying items ingame directly. In the long run, it will save you tons of money.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021