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About Zoda

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  1. Essence Interruptor usully does the job there fairly easily if you have a decent tank. Sometimes I hire a devoted/ghost heart for the early game to just autoattack through the first few levels with Essence Interruptor. Lord Darryn's Voulge also comes in handy there.
  2. I never really considered The Best Defense. Honestly I haven't even read it properly it seems, just dismissed it as yet another bashing shield that's not Tuotilo's (I think I only ever did the Seeker path on one playthrough). Never noticed that it has damage scaling instead of deflection. Also Terrifying to Face seems super convenient for such a build, I think you might have just sold me on this one, and then Unbroken it is. The occasional riposts being being better is just icing on the cake. Shame that it comes fairly late.
  3. I played an unbroken/trickster as a hired adventurer, but that build focused on pumping deflection and procing Riposte and since Riposte is a full attack, I used Tuotilo's Palm. I actually regret not going Devoted on that build in hindsight. Now obviously focusing on both terrifying enemies and deflection/riposte at the same time is a pretty big nonbo, so lower deflection would sufice. As for the subclass, Unbroken's +10 pen is surely huge, however I can't terrify everything, and I would already have a lot of engagement slots + persistent distraction. At that point Tactician starts to become appealing, as it would allow to spam abilities. On the other hand, Unbroken could turtle up very effectively when terrifying is not an option. I think both have their merits. The Tactician/Trickster is more universal though, and could completely change layout without respeccing, if terrifying is not an option. As you said, high damage per hit weapons would be most beneficial, and I remember reading your post about acquiring Citzal's great sword. Now normally I don't like to exploit the game engine, but this time, I might make an exception, as it feels like the ideal weapon here. Overbearing Guard + One Dozen Stood + great sword modal would resul in huge (and accurate!) disengagement attacks. Now that I mention it, a greatsword devoted/trickster focusing on riposte could be fun, and could also use WOTEP to change it up Voidwheel + Refreshing Defense should also be a fine combo.
  4. Some more questions came to mind... 1. Instruments of Pain + Wotep: does it increase the cone by +500% to a giant cone? That'd be kinda nice with Soul Anihilation. Do the secondary AOE hits proc Hearthbeat Drumming? 2. If I create a Fighter (not set on subclass yet)/Trickster that's focusigin on terrifying enemies to proc disengagment, how reliable would it be, would they actually have to move out of engagement range? I sort of know how the mechanics work on paper, but would like to hear about it from someone who has seen it in practice. 3. This is once again a question of how something works in practice. The build would be Steel Garrote/Streetfighter, with a chanter also chanting for additional 12% drain. I'd go human and aim for Voidwheel to get bloodied as soon as possible. Eventually only use Voidwheel until I get bloodied, then switch to Chromoprismatic. With all the recovery reduction, it could activate qstaff modal for +20 deflection (Nalvi on Edér + Abraham + probably Contender's armor and Helm of the Falcon). Reasonably high CON so being bloodied is still not horribly low hp. Could a build like this function as a main tank with proper setup?
  5. I'm in the middle of a Stalker/Soulblade playthrough, and I have to say I really prefer Ghost Hearth for the later parts of the game at this point. Initially the bear was truly beastly, but as encounters get harder and harder, it gets very tedious to keep it alive, and I try to do everything to passively boost its defences: troubadour chanting, endurance aura, Shining Beacon, Hearth Defender's Scales (I massacred Junvik Vilage). The engagement immunity in particular is what I really miss (I always rolled ghost hearts before - or Maia obviously). Not sure if Stalker bonuses are better than having Ghost Hearth at this point, even if I do focus on the AC and go melee with it. I really think the passive bonus should scale a bit. Spending bond to resummon is no different than spending it on healing, and not having to deal with grief/dilemma is also a big upside. Meanwhile Maia is running on AI, Ishiza stays stealthed and ever since she got Driving Flight, she is taking over my watcher in overall damage done. Will see what happens when I get to Takedown Combo + Desintegration. Maybe I'm just mad, because I couldn't do Memories of a Mad Man trial with a lvl 15/14 party in 2 tries
  6. This sounds amazing actually, never noticed that Divine Retribution says ally and not party member (this kinda makes me wanna roll SC paladin). I have a followup question. Do effects that specify party member count animal companions? Specifically thinking about abusing Ghost Heart with it of course (with Neriscyrlas' Hope and Burden and whatever other effect I find if I start researching it). A quick note on the build I outlined: it feels amazing on easy to moderately hard encounters, but in the really hard ones I'm crying for my usual turtle Herald with the Shieldberer LOHs.
  7. I like herald because in most cases it spares me the trouble of having to deal with healing in most fights altogether. Just stands around with endurance aura, ancient memory, mercy and kindness and maybe throws in an occasional emergency LoH (Shieldberer LoH is kinda OP too, especially on a Herald, pretty much a full heal, and insanely fast cast), if someone eats a big crit. I don't like having to bother with actual healing spells, that's why I chose herald. This Kind Wayfarer version is fun though, punching stuff for AOE heals is way more entertaining than actually healing. I ditched the bashing shield momentarily in my ongoing playthrough. Herald not having access to Monastic Training takes away a lot from their (and I mean Tuotilo's) effectiveness. So it's Sasha's and Sun and Moon for now.
  8. So I always ran a shieldberer/troubadour when I wanted to have a strong healer in the party, max res/mig/enough int to reach 20 (16 base usually) for the double linger, evened out dex/con. It is a great build, and I'm sure many of us used it, but it is kinda boring, does nothing but heals, occasinoaly can cheese a fight with Brand Enemy and that's about it (then you reload anyway, because real men don't cheese fights). Upside is that it can function as an afk tank in emergencies. Then last playthrough my watcher was a kind wayfarer (never played that subclass before), and my idea of a healbot started to shift a bit. I still think the AFK version is great, but there are merits to using a kind wayferer troubadour that actually hits stuff. White Flames AOE would be pretty reasonable with 20 INT + Ring of Overseeing (although a case can be made for Chameleon's Touch, Focused Flames is kind of mandatory), then buff its output with Physicker's belt and Footprints of Ahu Taka (and Mercy and Kindness in the lategame). Obviously we would need it to do the full attack with dual wield, so a bashing shield is in order (any works really, maybe have multiple setupts, in case if medium shield modal is needed). Dual wielding actual weapons is an option too obviously, but I like my healers as sturdy as possible. The focus is not on the damage so any of them work. Ring of Focused flames, and Gauntlets of Greater Reliability to make sure the attacks have good hit chance. Then the weapon of choice. Obvious one is Sun and Moon, but I actually think with the combination of Devil of Caroc breastplate, and the action speed aura upgrade, Sasha's Singing Scimitar is an amazing here. Sasha's also allows lower dex (+2 dex from the boots too). Self mending is a nice touch on top of its base stats. Then upgrade Flames of Devotion to Shared Flames. This together is big boost to the party's dps output, and the shorter the fight, the less healing is needed, so even better. The focus should not be on doing damage (not directly at least), so if needed a club/flail/hatchet can be used for the modal. All the key pieces are there from Nekataka too. I've been stalking these boards for a while and never really bumped into a herald build like this, so I figured I share my idea (admittedly, I never reasearched healer builds, so it might be out there).
  9. I started Tactician/Druid, made it to Nekataka, before having an urge to roll up a stalker. My planned earlygame combo of WoTeP + Taste for the hun will have to wait a bit. Will switch back to it eventually, doing parallel playthroughs is fun. Will still take Tekehu for the watershaper chill fog, so it's a full druid experiment The stalker is a bit squishier than expected, but still fun. Ectopsychic echo was better on Ghost Heart where I could just let the pet rush in without engagement or fear of bonded grief, but it's still a fun combo. Maybe I should just use it on Ishi, since I do take Maia, but that would lessen the roleplay. Rushed to Sayuka for Stalker's patience to have constant dot applied for the bonus pet damage, using Thaos' Headdreass and microing the pet to always flank, pretty fun, does way more damage than expected. I'm just a sucker for Seer, even if this is the first time I play it as melee.
  10. I've been literally sitting on character creation screen for days, so I figured I'd ask some opinions for my watcher's build on my next playthrough. I'm planning to use Edér (swashbuckler), Tekehu (druid) and Maia (scout) with some sort of a ranged cipher MC (ranger or chanter). So my ideas are: Berserker/Druid - I NEVER used druid in deadfire, and this intrigues me. I'd use Lord Darryn's Voulge most probably and Deltro's cage with the extra pen and might from frenzy. Int affliction removal either with Modwyr switching or with drink/food/svef. Not sure how tedious it would be to track my health, I only played with berserker multiclassed with devoted, and unbending + voidward was enough to be on full life pretty much every time my frenzy ran out. Sounds like a high risk - high reward build. Tactician/Druid - applying Taste of the Hunt with WOTEP sounds fun (am I correct that it applies it in AOE?) early on and with this party setup Brilliant comes easy. Tekehu's chill fog + Edér's persistent distraction + the cipher can easily set it up. Should be very sturdy and adaptible build. Druid: I already plan to play Tekehu as a druid and his sublcass sounds superior, I guess he would become a Stormspeaker or multi if I do pure druid. Does druid get a lot of benefits from the watcher's bonuses compared to Tekehu/hired adventurer? Berserker/Steel Garrote: I want to play with Lord Darryn's Voulge a bit, but I already played devoted/berserker, and the lack of other good polexas would lock me into that single weapon, which I might get bored of. This build would have the flexibility of other weapons, and I'm hoping that the passive drain coupled with Spirit Frenzy (and/or party debuffs) would be enough to counter Berserker's self damage. Also would become very tanky in the endgame with stoic steel + hardy + thick skinned + heart defender's scale aura from Edér (and I have a fetish for AR stacking). Unbroken/Trickster - this is a build I already played on a hired adventurer for a few levels, but could get a bit extra out of it on the watcher, plus on the hired dude, I usually just let it play on AI after initial agro grabbing. Tutotilo's Palm setup. Devoted/Rogue - would aim for Voidwheel. Strightforward greatsword striker build. Stalker/Soulblade - takedown combo + soul anihilation. Cipher has good synergies with the pet. Seer is my most played class though, I just never played it in melee. It would free up the hired adventurer slot for a herald healbot.
  11. If you go stalker, then deffinitely take Edér. +2 armor for both you and your bear is nuts, and Nalvi for recovery bonus for the rest of the group (honestly Edér's party bonuses are crazy, and I like the guy). Tekehu with specific builds can also perform extremely well, thanks to his unique subclasses. Like he is amazing at setting up Tacticians with the foe only Chill Fog he gets from Watershaper and there are some insane combos you can do with his Stormspeaker subclass and the Effort great sword if you go single class. I often take Maia for the gunhawk subclass, as a scout. She is very good at picking off casters with her increased range and built in interrupts. Scout gets all the acc/damage from the class, the suboptimal stat spread is nothing compared to the benefits gunhawk offers. The other companions I'm not so keen on from a powergamer standpoint. I can second Boeroer on fighter + something. Devoted/Unbroken/Tactician are all amazing multiclasses. I'm planning a Tactician/Druid right now that applies Taste of the Hunt with WoTeP in an AOE, then switches weapons until the DOT needs to be reapplied. Probably gonna take Edér and Tekehu with him with a Seer and not sure on the last party member. Tactician/soulblade was my 2nd plythrough, very sturdy build as well that sets up Brilliant tactician for himself, while also dishes out damage. Tactician gets better the more you put into your party. You can just stack a tonn of armor and use unbending with high might and int in the lategame. Like I made a Devoted/Berserker after I killed Memnok on my last playthrough to make use of the Chromoprismatic staff, and despite the berserker selfdot, unbending and high armor kept him up without anything but the passive heal of my herald even in harder encounters. Warcaller can also be a nice tank, it is not just sitting around with the agro. I used mine as unbending/trubadour. He has a +10 deflection/+1 engagement chant, and with 20 int you can linger 2 chants (or go for brisk recitation and invocations). Unbroken can be changed to Tactician, if you are using a tactician party, brilliant + brisk recitation returns phrases super fast to use on invocations. Unbroken/trickster is another fun tank build. I used it with Tuotilo's Palm and monastic training. It does very good damage for a tank with the riposts and autoattacks. Throw in the 15% drain chant from a chanter and it probably doesn't need much looking after. I guess it would work well as a Steel Garrote paladin too instead of Unbroken.
  12. Even for a full power gaming party I like Edér. Heart Defender's Scale and 2nd pet (for me it's usually Nalvi), makes up for no subclass and unpotimized stats spread imo. I like taking a Seer. It was my first watcher build on my initial playthrough (potd), and I find it hard to let go. Steady good damage output with all the cipher goodness. If I hire a second adventerure, that's my herald usually haha. As for your watcher's build, take one that has an engaging, interactive playstyle. I think most of us focus on the watcher the most, and a build that can be set on an AI and let go can get boring real quick. The Spearcaster build can definitely work on a companion, and doesn't feel like it would need much micromanagement. The druid/barb combo on the other had sounds like something you want to pay a close attention to.
  13. Maybe I just never took Amra far enough, always stopped my builds around level 8-10. It just feels like there are real standout one handers and ranged weapons, and the mods on unique two handers don't really compare. Like Magran's Favor and Slayer's Claw are both super amazing to begin with, compared to those, Amra feels (at least to me) subpar, as I said.
  14. Kind Wayfarer and shield for roleplaying reasons I guess? The Kind Wayfarer Flames of Devotion upgrade really shines if you are using two weapons unfortunately, since it procs the heal on both weapon hits. If you are dead set on shields, you can use Tuotilo's Palm with monastic training to not cut your subclass effectiveness in half. Unfortunately other bashing shields' damage doesn't scale at all. I'd probably want higher might on a wayfarer too for better healing done, but you can only really cut from resolve. Your deflection won't be any good on POTD. I just posted my Kind Wayfarer Inquisitor, but that's dual wielding as well. It is not doing any casting but the healing is really really noteworthy.
  15. Estocs just don't give me the same executioner vibe that great swords do, and also single damage type, but I agree they are nice. It feels like two handers really got short end of the stick in Deadfire, feels like there are more unique sabres than two handers all together. Obviously I'm exaggerating, but there is no true standout two hander to me before Chromoprismatic (and that's a staff... not really what I'm usually going for). Nothing like Tidefall in the prequel for example, that comes early and stays relevant till the very end. Barely any pikes, only Ngati's Tusk usable, and it comes super late. Only decent poleaxe caps out at superb. And greatswords... well, WOTEP is very niche use, there is no way in hell Effort is working as intended, Burden is unfortunately useless. Twin Eels and Sanguine Great Sword are okay I guess, but nothing to write home about, and they are still punished by the modal, if you want to use it. Voidwheel feels like it may be worked with but it's no walk in the park to get to begin with. Karabörü is at least there for the taking from the getgo. Rest don't even worth mentioning. On the other hand there are countless amazing one handers (which is cool), many many crazy combos, full attack synergies and so on. Kinda bummed out about it, because in other games, I'm a two handed hammer/axe/great sword guy haha Morning Stars at least have amazing utility and great dual damage type, but again, super limited choices (only 2 uniques pop to my head). Maybe I'm gonna try my hands at Amra/Oathbreaker's End, but they too feel subpar compared to dual wielding. I actually started a devoted/shattered pillar build a while back with Amra, but it didn't feel very engaging to play, and was also a bit squishy (nothing that Unyielding won't fix later on I guess...)
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