After much slacking, I finally decided to give some love to my Moon Lord, and went back to leveling it. Despite being the second character I created, it's still not 50 (had been sitting at 45 for months lol). I took a look at the existing guides, but I couldn't find one that suited me, or that made an optimal use of SP (in my opinion), so I created my own build.
Skill justifications are as follows:
Why 1 point in destructive swing? Because it has some uses in PVP (mostly, it knocks down enemies).
Why Relieve Lv 4? Because Lv 4 already removes 3 debuffs from yourself. Lv 5 only reduces cooldown from 39 to 37 seconds; there's no need to max this skill.
Why MP Recovery is max lv? Because I don't want to cry when the dungeon is a bit long and my MP runs out.
Why no line drive? I know what you're going to say: Line drive pwns ass, your build sucks, how can you not get line drive? It's true that line drive does decent damage; however, most people overlook the fact that hacking stance is a totally useless skill, specially for moonlord. In order to get a lv 1 line drive (at least), I'd have to waste (yes, WASTE), 32 SP, which can be used maxing other more useful skills (like parry, more about that in a second).
Why parry? There are some hardcore guys which like risk and danger, and play their ML to feel the adrenaline rush. Those people don't really like a 100% chance of blocking all damage for (at least) 10 seconds, while being able to counter attack both close and long range for a LOT of damage. My guess is that it makes the game less challenging, while making you feel more pro by dodging stuff.
I'm not one of those guys though. When nesting, sometimes you know when damage is coming, but if you got parry, there's no need to dodge it (Examples: Medusa's swords and manticore's balls from the sky, apo's spin attack, bishop's 3 attack stomp after x2 bar, punisher's spinning attack, and a long etc.)
Why Cyclone lv 6? Most people think that cyclone is a totally useless skill, and they leave it at the minimum lv requirement. However, lv 6 and above, the cyclone grows into a huge typhoon when it touches something. It makes it a relatively useful skill in PVE (definitely a lot more useful than your physical skills, which just tickle mobs because of their low damage), but it's EXTREMELY nasty in PVP, making it almost impossible for people to get out once they're inside, and leaving them totally vulnerable for your Moonblade dance, which will probably take out a good chunk of their lives (like 30% at least) if you combo those 2 properly. Take it to lv 6 and laugh at the ridiculous size, you won't regret it.
Why Max Lv Heavy Hammer：This skill is the best sword master skill, hands down. I once wondered what was a sword master's purpose. They can't deal as much damage as an EL or BM; they can't tank like a paladin, they can't support like a Priest or FU, they're not as good at pvp as an acrobat, and they can't silence or reduce attack like a mercenary. Their skills are super fancy though, but that's it; besides looks, they're totally useless.
However, I thought about it for some time, and it became clear that if you max this skill then you're not a total dead weight. You're still useless for the most part, but at least it's something. +42% physical and magical damage is a very nice thing. So, get it, max it, and actually do something for your party other than look cool. Use it every time it's off cd, and increase your party's dps by a lot.
Why lv 1 eclipse? I know that it'd be great to max the most epic taunt in the game (EAT THIS!), but in reality, the skill's growth is awful, and the debuff it inflicts is also very bad. When you hit someone with eclipse, the target receives a debuff which reduces his ability to break your superarmor by 40%. It is not that the target's superarmor is reduced by 40%, nor that the target's attack is reduced by 40%. After lv 4, this increases to 50% and at max lv is 55% (totally not worth it). Level 1 is fine as a 360 degree attack, basic debuff, and as a tool to piss off your opponent in PVP.
The absolutely must-haves are HP, Vitality, Critical, Agility, Intelligence, Magic Attack. The remaining two can be filled according to personal preference; I'd prefer MP Recovery and Final Damage. If, however, you decided to follow a more "hybrid" skill build (with a bit more physical skills), then Strength and Physical Attack would be good choices as well. If you want to up your survivability, then Physical defense & Magical defense can also be considered. Remember that this is only a guide; you should tweak your character to fit your own style.
I'd recommend the following ones: Moonblade dance +20% Damage, Moon Splitter +20% damage and Half Moon Slash +50% Animation Speed, Ultimate +20% Damage.
For Moon Lord, your main focus should be Magic Attack and Critical, in that order.
To build magic attack, need to get intelligence accessories (necklace and earrings), intelligence suffix on equipments, and intelligence/magic attack as 3rd option on crests (expensive).
To build critical, try to get agility on your 2nd stat in your necklace/earrings, fatal rings (with critical as potential - expensive) and critical as a 3rd option on crests (expensive).
It's very difficult to build magic attack in a STR based char, but decent stats can be achieved if someone is willing to invest for those purposes.
Questions, comments and criticism are welcome!