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Character Guide: Merisiel

Character Guide Merisiel

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#1
jolyonb

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There appears to be a dearth of discussion on suggestions for character development and inventory picks. I'll start one on Merisiel here. Other characters should get their own guides. Please feel free to add suggestions/comments for Merisiel to this thread. I'm not going to type out all the details here; I'll just link to this excellent document instead.

 

 

General Notes

Merisiel (Meri) is the rogue of the party. Because her primary power requires that she is alone at a location to use, you'll want her to be alone as much as possible. Because of this, she doesn't work so well with Lem or Valeros. I like to use Meri as a lone scout who can essentially look after herself without any help from others. She tends to be able to scout decks pretty effectively, and so can locate items for others to come and pick up. If she accidentally runs into something you want but she can't pick up, her Delay power is there to help. As she can really be self-sufficient, Meri is one of the better characters to have around, especially in smaller parties. Her main drawback is that she isn't very good at helping other characters do stuff, and she tends to be a bit stunted once a number of locations have been closed and she's forced to be social.

 

 

Skills

Str: d8

Dex: d12 (Acrobatics +2, Disable +2, Stealth +2)

Con: d6

Int: d4

Wis: d6 (Perception +2)

Cha: d6

 

Meri will be your trap monkey and will excel at closing locations that need acrobatics or stealth. On top of that, you'll want her to use a ranged weapon, so make sure to max out dex as you can. After that, pick whatever you feel like (but probably avoid Int).

 

 

Powers

Hand Size: Up to 6. Make sure to get her there as a matter of priority.

 

Meri doesn't start with weapon proficiency, and a lot of people will give her that as her first power feat, just so she can use the fancy looking bows. However, I'll suggest that she doesn't actually need weapon proficiency, as she can use crossbows and slings without taking any penalties. The only thing she misses without weapon proficiency is the ability to discard a ranged weapon to help somebody else at a different location. However, given how few weapons she has, you should avoid doing this anyway. If you're trying to solo hard missions with Meri, then weapon proficiency will net you some more damage on average though, which may well be worth it.

 

Her hide power is quite useful for evading summoned monsters that you don't actually want to fight. Particularly so for the Guard Tower, where you can avoid all of the thugs at the start of your turn. Beware that some barriers require you to actually defeat the summoned monsters to defeat the barrier though. This power makes Ilsoari quite a good ally for scouting, as you can hide if the demon turns up. Note that if you have a summoned monster that's an easy kill, you can use it to recharge a card in your hand to get some turnover going.

 

Sneak attack is Meri's bread and butter. At the very least, recharge a single card on every combat check to get the extra dice. You will quite commonly discard a card for two dice, too, but make sure that you've got a way to heal Meri if you're going to do that too often. After maxing out hand size, put some bumps in here. Also note that in play, sneak attack is an important way for Meri to get turnover happening in her deck. Use it often!

 

 

Roles

Acrobat is the role of choice. The Delay power allows you to encounter a villain and leave them on top of that pile, essentially isolating them until you're ready to deal with them later. You can also delay a boon if you really want it but need a different skill for, allowing another character to come in and pick it up. Sabotage Barrier is kind of pointless for Meri; she stomps on pretty much every barrier anyway. Sabotage Location sounds nice, but unless you're playing a small party with Meri often, it doesn't come up much. Item Collector is kind of a waste. Are you that in love with items anyway? Inspired Dexterity is really very useful. Stock up on Dex blessings, and then recharge them instead of discarding them.

 

Thief is a role I haven't actually played. It doesn't get a hand size bump, the one extra possible bump on sneak attack is marginal compared to Delay, Magic Expert doesn't work because Meri never recharges armors/weapons/items (except for items that are dex based anyway), and Black Marketer is wasted after you've already got the good stuff. (Thief also gets Inspired Dexterity.)

 

Verdict: Take Acrobat, and choose Inspired Dexterity and Delay in whatever order you like, then max out your hand size again, and then keep on bumping sneak attack.

 

 

Cards List

Weapons: 2 (+2)

Spells: 0 (+1)

Armors: 1 (+1)

Items: 6 (+3)

Allies: 2 (+1)

Blessings: 4 (+2)

 

Your picks for extra cards here depend on your play style.

Weapons: I like to bump this by one slot. Meri shouldn't lose a weapon once she's got it in her hand, but it can take a while to do that with only two weapons in the deck.

Spells: Giving her a single spell is actually not that bad. Give her a cure spell, and sure it will be banished, but she'll get to pick another one at the end of the adventure. If you have an adventure that has a special requirement coming up, you can also select for it.

Armors: One armor is enough. Meri shouldn't be taking hits; she should be hiding from bad combats, and slaying everything else. Multiple armors tend to clog up the hand for characters who have them, so I like to avoid getting more than one.

Items: I like to bump this a few times. Items are nifty, but be wary of having your hand fill up with situational items.

Allies: More explores!

Blessings: Yes please. Especially once Inspired Dexterity kicks in.

 

Suggested priorities on one more weapon, then blessings/allies, then items and maybe a spell.

 

 

Inventory

 

Weapons: You want ranged weapons. Crossbows and slings tend to not require weapon proficiency, and often do better than bows anyway. You don't want to discard a weapon if you can avoid it, because who knows when you'll get it again.

 

Here are my choice of ranged weapons by level. Your first goal should be to get magic weapons, and then start being picky about which ones you have. I've included the dice that each weapon adds, for comparison (but not including the base dex). When a strength dice is added, I've included 1d8.

 

B: Light Crossbow (1d8)

B: Heavy Crossbow (1d10)

B: Shortbow +1 (1d6+1)

B: Sling (1d4, good for ancient skeletons at early levels)

C: Deathbane Light Crossbow +1 (1d8+1, +1d8 against undead)

L1: Dagger +1 (1d4+1, recharge for +1d4)

L1: Flaming Shortbow +1 (1d6+1)

L1: Frost Sling +1 (1d6+1)

L2: Light Crossbow +1 (1d8+1)

 

At the lower levels, the standout weapons are the Deathbane Light Crossbow +1, Light Crossbow +1, and Dagger +1. The Frost Sling +1 is good for those Ancient Skeletons. Other weapons on this list can stand in as you look for better stuff.

 

L3: Venomous Dagger +2 (1d4+2, recharge for +1d12)

L3: Venomous Shortbow +1 (1d6+1, discard for +1d12)

L5: Acidic Sling +3 (1d6+3, discard for +3d4)

 

At the higher levels, these are the weapons to keep an eye out for. The Venomous Shortbow +1 is included because it's strictly better than some on the lower-level list, but I'd prefer the dagger or sling in most situations.

 

If you take weapon proficiency, then consider the following:

B: Shock Longbow +1 (1d8+1, discard for +1d8)

B: Returning Throwing Axe +1 (1d8+1, recharge for +1d6)

L1: Longbow +1 (1d8+1)

L3: Black Arrow Longbow (1d8+2, +1d8 against giants)

L5: Venomous Heavy Crossbow +2 (1d10+2, discard for +1d12)

 

With the exception of the Longbow +1 that simply replicates the effects of the Light Crossbow +1 for Meri, all of these are slightly better than their contemporaries on the previous list. I'm not sure that the slight advantages are worth the power feat though, and Harsk in particular will also want these bows.

 

 

Armor: No heavy proficiency, and bows are mostly two handed, which precludes shields (although some light crossbows are one-handed, as are slings, so you can opt for a shield if you have lots of these!)

B: Magic Shield

B/L1: Elven Chain Shirt

L1: Agile Chain

L1: Djezet Skin

L1: Shadow Chain

L1: Shield of Fire Resistance (fire damage is pretty common, even if you succeed every check)

L2: Blackcloth Armor

L2 Loot: Snakeskin Tunic

L3: Shield of Force Resistance (enchanters, boo!)

L3: Steel Ibis Lamellar

L4: Lesser Bolstering Armor

L4: Reflecting Shield

L5: Spellward Shield

 

Items:

Spyglass/Magic Spyglass/Wayfinder

Thieve's Tools/Masterwork Thieve's tools (The MW version becomes much less useful around L5)

Crowbar (Allows you to close all those locations that need a strength check, and helps with a bunch of obstacles too! Could also sub Portable Ram, but it's much harder to recharge)

Crown of Charisma (auto-acquire allies, auto-close some locations, auto-defeat some bosses!)

Staff of Minor Healing

Samisen (basically the only thing Meri can do to help other characters other than blessings)

Luckstone/Greater Luckstone

Belt of Incredible Dexterity

Pole (I always love me a 10-foot pole...)

Ring of Protection

Amulet of Fortitude (auto-close some locations, auto-defeat some bosses!)

 

Allies:

Father Zantus is good, as Meri needs healing to keep her big sneak attacks going, and she's often alone and so won't have healing from others. If you've got a cure spell in her deck, then you can probably forgo Zantus.

Ilsoari Gandethus works really well with the Hide ability

Otherwise, the crow, monkey and eagle are favorites of mine.

 

Blessings:

Stock up on blessings/favors of Erastil, maybe one blessing of Milani or blessing of Calistria

 

 

Locations

Meri excels at the following locations:

Guard Tower (hide from the summoned banes!)

Prison (the location power is nifty for Meri)

Warrens

Wooden Bridge

Glassworks

Junk Beach

Mill

Courtyard (Meri is about the only character I want in the Courtyard)

 

 

Other

The biggest issues I run into when playing Meri is that she often ends up with a hand full of stuff that doesn't have much turnover. This means that she only gets one explore per turn, and can get slow and bogged down. Don't feel guilty about ditching some stuff to get some turnover going if you need to, particularly if you can get a summoned monster (guard tower will get you two recharges against a bandit for an easy combat roll!). This is also a reason why you should prioritize getting some more allies and blessings in your deck.


Edited by jolyonb, 04 December 2016 - 07:53 PM.

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#2
aznxknight

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Good analysis, I would like to add: perhaps spells isn't all that bad but definitely not of high priority. I feel like 9 items is too much after you have put all your card feat points into blessing and allies. There shouldn't be a need for put more points into armor and weapons so the only two left are spells and items. 

Take this for example: You want Meri to explore more. I don't recall an item that allows you to do this so we'll settle with allies for now. One of your allies is occupied by Zantus, which actually means Cure. So the best spell candidate would be Haste. However, let's get creative. Instead of haste why not just put Cure in and substitute Zantus with absolutely any ally you like that also lets you explore? So with the Zantus + Haste method you can heal and explore but you have a buried card and banished card, all useless to you. With the second situation you can also heal and explore, but one card may be banished but the other is in your discard pile which can be easily recharged.

Again this is only if you want Meri to explore more, which is also the department I feel she's lacking in.

 

One more thing: although whatever spell she uses is banished, this gives her a more flexible choice in choosing what you want her to use for the next scenario. If you needed fire against the trolls in AD4 perhaps fiery weapon or heat blade would be more viable seeing as she's more of a lone ranger and it's most likely your other divine casters don't really carry this in their deck.


Edited by aznxknight, 15 November 2016 - 09:18 PM.


#3
jolyonb

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Points well taken, aznxknight. I've edited the post to reflect your ideas. I hadn't thought of loading her up with a cure spell and ditching Zantus.



#4
Thyraxus

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Note that the Venomous Heavy Crossbow +2 does require Weapon Proficiency, unlike all the other weapons on your list of recommendations



#5
jolyonb

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Note that the Venomous Heavy Crossbow +2 does require Weapon Proficiency, unlike all the other weapons on your list of recommendations

Man, missed that. I saw "Heavy Crossbow" and said "Good!" These cards are notoriously non-standardized! Fixed now.



#6
Thyraxus

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Another nice item worth mentioning is the Healing Poultice. It's essentially a Potion of Healing that gets buried instead of banished, so it's back for the next scenario without you having to bother hunting around for a replacement. If you have one of those in your deck as your "emergency healing in a pinch" option, it leaves you free to replace Father Zantus with another discard-to-explore ally. It's legendary (gold border) though, so good luck with those treasure chests...



#7
jolyonb

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Another nice item worth mentioning is the Healing Poultice. It's essentially a Potion of Healing that gets buried instead of banished, so it's back for the next scenario without you having to bother hunting around for a replacement. If you have one of those in your deck as your "emergency healing in a pinch" option, it leaves you free to replace Father Zantus with another discard-to-explore ally. It's legendary (gold border) though, so good luck with those treasure chests...

 

Haven't seen that one, alas. The treasure chests are not kind to me on gold bordered cards, with the exception of the battering ram, which I think I've seen five or six copies of. Gold acquisition is a bit too slow for my liking, and playing local heroes with six characters repeatedly on legendary gets old very quickly.



#8
Longshot11

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Another nice item worth mentioning is the Healing Poultice. It's essentially a Potion of Healing that gets buried instead of banished, so it's back for the next scenario without you having to bother hunting around for a replacement. If you have one of those in your deck as your "emergency healing in a pinch" option, it leaves you free to replace Father Zantus with another discard-to-explore ally. It's legendary (gold border) though, so good luck with those treasure chests...

 

Haven't seen that one, alas. The treasure chests are not kind to me on gold bordered cards, with the exception of the battering ram, which I think I've seen five or six copies of. Gold acquisition is a bit too slow for my liking, and playing local heroes with six characters repeatedly on legendary gets old very quickly.

 

Heh. I've salvaged a couple of Poultices, and never seen a Ram ... :)

 

All advice here is very sound. I'll add a couple of points, from a solo Meri's POV:

- you'll need max items, to have a contingency for all those situations and location that you'd otherwise have to chase a villain into; Amulet of Fortitude is good, so is Crown of Charisma (it's also cool to imagine how you use it's pointy spikes when you throw it away for a Backstab!); at least 1 Masterwork tools until you hit AD5 (afterwards, it's a toss-up, as many barriers are already outside its 14 range, but it's your call); Elven Boots can be helpful, and Ring of Protection will spare you from a bunch of annoying banes that nick you for 1 BYA/AYA damage (F- you, Enchanter!). Crowbar is *awesome*, not only because the extra dice VS barriers (good luck Acrobacy-ing your way out of a Necromantic Deathtrap), but  it also gives you a shot at closing some Strength locations (Fort Rannick, Giant Lair, Guard Tower is practically a sure thing). Yes, your hand WILL get clogged - so never forget you can recharge through your Backstab, so throw it in even if your combat is a sure thing!

- with regards to the above - DO NOT always evade easy summons - they're basically an extra *free* recharge for a card in your hand you don't need right now (and Bandit at Guard Tower gives you TWO recharges!)

- DO get a Weapon Profficiency (this would be my advice even for non-solo) - Axes and Composite bows (which use your d8 Strength) on average do 1 point of damage more than a shortbow (d8 VS d6), and they can be recharged/discarded for extra dice in comparison to the Crossbows (you'll love that when facing a villain alone!). Also, you won't hate your life, if you come across the Venomous Crossbow +2.

- once you get it - never let go of the Emerald Codex! It can give you access to Healing/Support spells you can get in no other way

- start the game with a Sage, and keep her like your own daughter - she can give you a shot at some Wisdom/Intelligence checks you have no shot at making otherwise. Also, Blessings of Shelyn/Irori are your friends!

- Father Zanthus is a better healer - but it you come across the promo ally Poog of Zarongel - switch him in! He can get you a precious +3 to your combat and you never know when you'll need the Fire trait. Also, in a pinch, he can give you an explore, in contrast to the Father.



#9
jolyonb

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Nice post, Longshot11. I particularly like the idea of not evading summons to get more recharges, and taking a crowbar. I'll add a bit to the guide about these. I'll also add a list of weapons to look out for if you decide to take weapon proficiency.

 

As for Poog, he costs $25, alas...



#10
Bullwinkle

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For a purely solo Merisiel, what do you guys think of the viability of Thief instead of Acrobat? The best power, Delay, loses most of its value solo, so the real choice then becomes +1 hand size (Acrobat) or +2 to close locations (Thief). Is extra hand size simply too important to pass up in this case?

#11
jolyonb

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I think it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. I think I'd still lean towards Delay, because it's common to explore a number of times in one turn, and hit an encounter that you just need a full hand to deal with. Yes, you can just Hide in such a case, but if it's a villain/henchman/boon you really want, then Delay is still superior.

 

For a purely solo Merisiel, what do you guys think of the viability of Thief instead of Acrobat? The best power, Delay, loses most of its value solo, so the real choice then becomes +1 hand size (Acrobat) or +2 to close locations (Thief). Is extra hand size simply too important to pass up in this case?



#12
Bullwinkle

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I disagree. A solo Merisiel doesn't need to worry about exploring: you have 30 turns to go through 30 cards, so unless you're unbelievably unlucky, or in the habit of evading everything, it's incredibly rare to run out of time. And even when that happens, I'd rather just replay the scenario on those occasions than handicap myself for every scenario by wasting a power. Meri has so few blessings/allies and so few ways to heal, I don't think it's a good idea to burn through your deck when you don't need to.

So since I'm not going to choose Delay, is there any value in choosing closing over hand size?

#13
MaxDranzer

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What about Great Bolstering Armor?



#14
BlueZero

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Hi,

 

I know you don't come here anymore but thanks it's very useful guide for beginner like me. Too bad i dont find any guide like that for the second base char Kyra.







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