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Posts posted by Jrllo

  1. Amazing, thanks for this @Haplok!

    I think I'm going to have to give this one a go. It looks like a wonderful combination of burst damage, sustained damage, control and mobility. Exactly what I'm looking for... AND makes good use of some very fun looking weapons in Seekers Fang and Gravecalling. Never too wild about guns, but I'm excited that they only seem to be part of the puzzle here. 

    I am going to give the Forbidden Fist route a try as well. It could easily 'blunt' my edges, or help round the build out - we'll see. Logically, this is a character that wants to get in, crush a squishy and avoid getting hit while dishing out the chaos... but FF looks like it helps round things out a bit in terms of resilience and, as you point out, some interesting options for the curse. 

    The Assassin/Bloodmage combo discussed has also piqued my interest too, as it appears to offer pretty much the same selling points listed above. Really, the variety offered by Wizard spells should really have made the decision for me... but for whatever reason I just can't look past ciphers at the moment. 

    Yes, their spells seem to be far less flashy, you get far fewer to play with, and they playstyle is as limiting as it is engaging... but I keep coming back. I think flavour is a big part of it, for better or worse.

    • Like 2
  2. 10 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    When it comes to the Assassin subclass I just try to keep in mind that an Assassin without any stealth or invisibility is still like a regular Rogue - but only a tiny bit more squishy (it's really not that much). So there's really no need to feverishly focus on strikes from stealth or invisibilty - if this gets screwed up the character is still a full Rogue. :) Of course it can be especially effective and fun to pull off some impactful actions from invisibility/stealth - but also sometimes it gets repetitive and then I just skip that stuff - like in easier encounters - and spare the invisibility for emergencies or so. 

    By the way: why I prefer to use the Assassin as an ACC-boost to CC/debuff-spellcasting instead of alpha-strike-weapon-damage-dealer™  is that later in the game the health pools are so bloated that a weapon attack with +50% crit damage doesn't have that much impact anmore compared to just a regular weapon attack - but a reliably applied disable or even mind control will still be very impactful. In the early game however those hefty weapon attacks from stealth and invisibility do really have their merits. 

    Honestly, this is the first time I think I’ve seen the Assassin described in a way that hasn’t focused on its frailty or it’s supposed need to use guile exclusively on stealth skills… and it’s extremely refreshing! Thanks for sharing @Boeroer!

    It certainly sounds like this class combination is more than capable of turning on the melee, the spellcasting and the stealth shenanigans than I gave it credit for.

    While I’ll need to investigate some suitable (and flavourful!) weapons for it beyond the summoned staff - what I’d give for a summoned, lifedraining blade - I might have to give this one a go after all. 🙂

  3. 2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

    Yes, what @dgray62said. I think @Jrllo you mixed up Corrosive Siphon with Draining Touch. 

    An alternative to Corrosive Siphon could be Concelhaut's Draining Missiles I guess? I didn't use that a lot though so I can't be sure. At least it's one of the few spells of the wizard that heals. 

    C's Draining Touch with Grimoire switching is an option for the approach @Kaylon mentioned. The other would be C's Parasitic Staff. 

    It's also not a terrible idea to stack some regeneration gear like Rings of Greater Regeneration, Three Trolls Stiched, Fleshmender and/or Trollhide Belt. Since you can get target by party members' heals while invisible, healing up yourself "passively" while casting spells does help. 


    Yeah, you guys are dead right @dgray62 @Boeroer - I've somehow managed to merge those 2 spells together in my head. That's what you get for replying to a thread at 1am while trying to get your child back to sleep! 😅

    I suppose my remaining curiosity about this build is just how much you tend to get to melee with it. Or rather, how much value there is in it. The big alpha strikes from stealth are an obvious opportunity... but would it not just be more valuable to fire off another spell of some sort instead? 

    @Kaylon's build suggestion sounds like it can nicely transition between melee and spellcasting. Much like with my response to @Haplok above re. his Transcendent, there's something that really appeals in the idea of being able to seamlessly switch from melee to spellcasting (spellcasting that doesn't necessarily need to be in melee range - although obviously that necessitates some means of getting around the battlefield like Escape or Flagellant's Path). 

    This is mostly showing my ignorance of Assassin builds and playstyles beyond simply piling everything into a massive alpha strike and running away, or finding ways to manipulate the mechanics of invisibility spells.

    On paper this sounds like a build that can potentially scratch my itch. I just want to be sure I wouldn't be falling into a trap of having a class that requires a lot of micromanagement just for me to be playing it in a way that really goes against its strengths (ie. skewering enemies with my badass sword when really I'd be 100% better of throwing a fireball or using a gun instead)

  4. 2 hours ago, Haplok said:

    I realize the OP probably made his decision regarding the Transcendant, but still I want to share my experience.

    I played an Ascendant/Helwalker, close to melee, and it worked marvelously. I used Grave Calling saber a lot, killing skellies summoned by Pallegina, which both Blinded, Paralyzed, damaged enemies and gave Focus (with Kitchen Stove blunderbuss offhand for Thunderous Report instant max Focus and Ascension, huge damage and Daze opening - and faster attack speed in melee from dual-wielding).

    Later on moved to Seeker's Fang rapier with its Spider's Flurry and mini-disintegrations. Used Flagellant's Path to zig-zag trough the battlefield, often one-flurry killing squishies. Was super fun. Ascendant can spam spells, which is particularly helpful with high levels ones, like Disintegration. And Ascendant's high Focus ceiling was also nice for Seeker's Fang damage scaling. Plus Ascendant gets bonus damage when Ascended (therefore almost always).

    I really had a lot of fun with that character.

    A FF would have less damage from might, but also be MUCH more durable. And +50% duration of hostile effects PLUS enemies unable to heal AT ALL is just awesome!

    Thanks @Haplok. Actually I believe it was a post from you on another thread sharing your experience with a FF/Ascendant that inspired this very idea in me. The thought of zipping across the battlefield and being able to (sort of) seamlessly transition from melee burst to ranged caster + manipulator really resonated with me. Leap to a squishy, obliterate them, sling a few spells where they stood before diving back into the fray... magic!

    Any more advice on gear, stats, abilities etc. from this playthrough of yours would be very welcome! 🙂

  5. 8 hours ago, Kaylon said:

    The blood mage has unlimited access to invisibility and spells and all that combined with assassin's bonuses (acc, pen and crit dmg) allows you to be a very powerful caster, like @Boeroer explained. However you can't spam spells without serious healing and for that you have to mix draining spells or use draining weapons.

    The melee part is self sustainable much more easily. You summon a draining weapon, attack from invisibility and finish your target before the other enemies can react which will replenish your lost health at the same time, then become invisible again, recover your spells, etc.

    You can switch easily between the two modes without any drawback and have a purely offensive build. However, until you obtain Arkhemir's Brilliant Departure you have to use a more conservative way of playing. Use wizard's buffs to increase your survivability and go melee and when you draw the aggro use Smoke Veil to escape and launch a few spells, etc...

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing @Kaylon! Certainly a more varied build than I’d expected; I’ve tended to assume that assassin builds are far more limited in scope due to the subclass drawbacks. This puts a far more interesting spin on compensating for them than the usual ‘stay ranged.’ 

    Out of curiosity, what weapons did you use with this setup? 

    The corrosive siphon synergy looks like a good suggestion too. Would this tactic REQUIRE the grimoire switch technique you’ve advocated in the past @Boeroer, or do you envision this working as more of a ‘use when you need it’ action?


    I suppose to drag this conversation back towards the original topic to a degree (gotta think about the Google searches) - what are people’s thoughts on Sages?

    Logically, they look like they should fit the melee/spell caster role perfectly. I’ve entertained Citzals Lance builds before (both for this and PoE1) but always eventually talk myself out of it due to the time it takes to buff, summon and get started. 

    How have people found them to use in practice? Are there fun and viable alternatives to Citzal’s Lance? Does the setup grow tiresome (in either game)? 

    And of course, subclass. Helwalker and Shatteree Pillar are the obvious ones. Does Forbidden Fist present any particularly interesting opportunities or synergies? 

  6. 16 hours ago, Kaylon said:

    The monk is very dependent on crits for his dps and is more sturdy (especially the FF). The rogue delivers high dps against all enemies, but is a little more squishy (however the trickster has a few tools to increase his survivability). Both are good, but the monk helps more the caster part of the cipher (speed, might, penetration, intellect). If you want to use lighter armor then a solution is to use 2h weapons with increased range and stay behind your tanks.

    Another strong melee/caster combo is assassin/blood mage, but it's a different style of play.


    I never really know what to think about the Assassin subclass. Thematically it's awesome, but most of the time I see it used either as a means of facilitating uber alpha strikes from range (with classes like paladins), or as a means of boosting some spell damage - I've seen a good few comments on the interactions between Assassins + Evoker spells.

    There are obvious challenges with building one for melee... but I'm curious to learn more about your particular Spellblade setup @Kaylon. Is it largely to do with boosting spell damage, or is it more a case of 'buff rogue into oblivion and avoid getting hit altogether'?

  7. Also, more on-topic question, sparked by @Boeroer’s suggestion…

    X/Soul Blade or X/Beguiler?

    Obviously the soul blade has the SA dps potential… but how much damage does Beguiler the lose out on by comparison?


    I like having Soul Annihilation as an option, but it also feels like you’re expected to spam it. I wonder if the beguiler might open up a few more options; both in terms of CC, but also maybe the occasional damage spell.

  8. Thanks for the help and suggestions, all. Plenty of food for thought here.

    Having the pros and cons of a melee ascendant laid out like that has helped; at least in terms of ruling out that subclass in combo with FF.

    The WotEP idea has piqued my interest at points in the past too, @Kaylon.  Curious to hear whether you feel a monk or rogue would be the most fun to use it with (very subjective, obviously)!

    I certainly need to settle my mind on either a rogue or monk at some point. Everything on paper says ‘monk’, but for whatever reason I always seem to wind up bringing a rogue back into the discussion at some point…

    Actually as a complete aside, I stumbled across a suggestion of a Trickster/Druid (believe it was a @Boeroer suggestion actually, though I can’t recall the thread). It occurred to me that I don’t see many Pathfinder builds beyond the obvious Rogue/Shifter.

    Is there a way to build this combo to be both a capable spell caster as well as a decent melee combatant without relying on spirit shift forms?

  9. @Kaylon Thankfully I am using the Community Patch, so those combos are good to go. 

    On the Melee Ascendants - I had a feeling that'd be the case. The only thing causing me to second-guess that notion is that I've seen at least a few forum regulars advocate for the Ascendant + Monk/Barbarian mix before. Not frequently enough for me to have complete confidence in the concept though, hence this post. 

    Obviously a good reason the decision keeps coming back to the Soulblade though. I suppose the next question is - Transcendent or Mindstalker? 
    I've seen plenty written and theorycrafted about Soulblade/Trickster. Certainly more than the Monk/Soulblade anyway.

    Does that combo feel like it just offers a lot more synergy? No doubting the monk's strengths of course... just feels like the melee mindstalker hits upon a particular/popular niche.

  10. TLDR: Q1) Which build do you feel is the more fun, mobile, versatile melee/caster: Forbidden Fist/Ascendant, Forbidden Fist/Soulblade, or...something else?
    Q2) How would you build them for maximum versatility and entertainment?

    For the longest time I've been paralysed trying to decide which multiclass to commit with for a final, 'definitive' POE playthrough. I always err towards quick, 'gishy' melee playstyles, and have been trying to narrow down a build that hits the following criteria...



    • Mobile
    • Good melee DPS
    • Resilient (not necessarily tanky, but can take a hit)
    • Versatile, capable spellcaster 
      • Love the flavour and range of effects offered by spells like Mind Blades, Disintegrate, Phantom Foes etc
      • Don't want to be a "one trick pony", relying on a single interaction, gimmick, or spammable ability to function




    The Forbidden Fist Monk subclass seems to tick the melee boxes perfectly...


    Why Forbidden Fist?

    • I hear nothing but good things about them
    • A spammable (sort of) attack baseline that synergises well with cipher spells? Sign me up!
    • Tend to be built around Resolve, which makes for a tankier character on top of all the usual monk goodness.


    The problem is I have NO idea how to allocate stats on them, as it seems like everything has some degree of importance... but also some stats seem to work against each other:

    1. Need Resolve for FF to be useable at a reasonable rate
    2. Need decent Int + Might for damage - but too much of either seem to become an issue with FF self-damage or debuff time
    3. With 3 stats needing a decent balance between them, is there any room left for bumping your action speed, your accuracy or your health?


    think I've settled myself on trying one of the Transcendent builds listed below - FF/Ascendant or FF/Soulblade.

    I'd really appreciate some advice on how to build them around the FF subclass.

    I'd also love to hear from people who've tried either of these builds themselves - were they fun? Or do you feel I'd have more joy achieving the above playstyle with a different Multiclass/subclasses? (subjective of course, but I'm eager to hear stories all the same!)


    Build 1:  Forbidden Fist/Ascendant

    • Reasons
      • Part Monk = always strong
      • Forbidden Fist = decently tanky + (sort of) spammable attack that synergises well with Cipher spells
      • Ascendant = Interesting twist on the melee cipher playstyle; an ebb-and-flow between casting and melee
      • Anecdotally I've heard very fun things about this playstyle: ie. Flagellants Path and FF to rip across (and through) the battlefield + a variety of useful supportive spells to help out.
    • Questions
      • How the hell do you build one of these? Stats? Weapons? Armour? Legit don't know where to begin.
      • Is this more of a Caster than a Melee? Are you relegated to spanking something a couple times with your weapon/FF, and then spend the rest of your time casting? (Not seen too much written about melee Ascendants; mostly just in reference to Barb/Cipher multis)


    Build 2: FF*/Soulblade

    • Reasons
      • Soulblade = the melee cipher subclass... right?
      • Feels like it wouldn't be too hard to build with a decent combination of Monk and Cipher active abilities
      • Straightforward stats
    • Questions
      • *Is FF a good subclass for this? Or would I benefit more from a different one? (Excluding Nalpazca, as I have no interest in the drug micro management)
      • I only ever seem to see this built with Shattered Pillar, WotEP shenanigans, or Sun & Moon for maximum Soul Annihilation spam... I realise the point of Soulblades is to use SA as much as possible, but does this make it one of those subclasses that falls into the 'one trick pony' trap?


    What do you think? Have I landed on a fun, effective and versatile melee caster? Or am I better off looking closer at something like a Soulblade/Trickster Mindstalker instead?

    Any help with any of these questions + any practical build advice would be EXTREMELY welcome. Much love in advance!

  11. 14 minutes ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

    It was actually quite balanced, it depended very much on the fight. But I definitely found a lot of uses for Repulsive Visage, Freezing Rake and Wall of Many Colors. Of course "free" Dazzling Light to lure enemies in one spot, it gets refunded before combat starts. This spell is so fun and really powerful with high PL/MIG/INT. It can melt a surprising amount of tightly grouped foes and it feels very Trickster-y. The defensive buffs I didn't use much but that's because on Upscaled PotD they barely make any difference on this build. You will get hit, and hard, unless you disable enemies.

    Interesting. I'm still new enough with the game that I'm still making use of companions for story purposes, so the defensive element may be less of an issue. But I'm certainly intrigued. If nothing else, I welcome a build that allows me to mix things up from fight to fight if need be. I'm no fan of using 'one size fits all' tactics. 


    You should maybe try an arcane archer/trickster (not a spell blade i know but can be built in a similar way), you will have acces to :

    - many wizard spell from trickster and AA (don't forget scrolls ;), you will up arcana as an AA);

    - many ranged tool for lot of fun (driving flight is just that good with the right weapon)

    - good mobility from ranger and rogue class.

    Another very intriguing idea @Exanos. I have contemplated trying to work an AA into some combination of classes in the past. I guess my one hesitation has been that it seems to be too heavily weighted towards ranged combat. I'd love a build that makes fair use of both bow and swords, but there are very few combinations I know of that benefits equally from using both. (For example a build that plinks away from distance before leaping into the fray for some melee devastation. I guess sorta similar to a Soulblade that builds focus from range). 

    Do Arcane Archer's imbue abilities require a ranged weapon to work? I mean, from the name alone I'd assume 'yes', but I know that's no certainty in this game.

    • Like 1
  12. 1 hour ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

    1) Assassin + Bloodmage doesn't mean you are stuck nuking Shadow Flames from stealth, even if that is of course kinda fun. It is very versatile.

    Here are just a couple of combos for example that don't involve constantly resetting the fight:

    • Pull/group enemies with Dazzling Lights and apply Enervating Terror on the group from stealth. With high INT/PL You have a group of Terrified enemies for a long duration that you can mow down in whichever way you like. You can continue the fun with casting Repulsive Visage and attack in melee with unique weapons, summoned weapons, Monastic Unarmed training - total Deathblows fest. Finish the remains of your poor Terrified foes with Precisely Piercing Burst.
    • Pull/group enemies with Dazzling Lights, apply Arterial Strike in AoE with Hand Mortar from Stealth, Immediatly follow with a well aimed Pull of Eora, and another one. Maybe another one. Throw in a Delayed Fireball, Writhing/Grasping Tentacles, Chillfog, Freezing Pillar....
    • When you find enemies with a vulnerability to INT afflictions, casting Confusion from stealth will Crit 99.99% of the time and give you a huge, ridiculously long Charm AoE. Very fun but of course a bit more anecdotal.

    2) You might also consider a SC Trickster. I did a solo playthrough recently and had a lot of fun with it. I posted about it if you want to have a look. It's also versatile and is the only way to have PL8 spells on a caster Rogue.

    Some very interesting combinations here (And from everyone else so far too, of course!) The first 2 suggestions in particular seem to offer a decent blend of both classes, which seems (anecdotally) to be a tricky balancing act to master.

    A lot of builds I've seen in the past tend to naturally fall into the trap of relying on, say, Rogue for 1-2 abilities and simply passives beyond that. I suppose that's a bigger problem to do with rogues - in particular assassins, and their overreliance on stealth skills over attacking abilities. 

    That said, it is good to so quickly see some other playstyles being suggested. Summoned weapons seem like a fairly common piece of the puzzle too for obvious reasons. While it may not be best practice, is it possible to summon weapons and stay stealthed?

    @Not So Clever HoundNow you mention it, I do recall reading your SC trickster build and enjoying the concept of it. In practice, did you find yourself able to spend guile on a nice mix of the wizard spells and rogue abilities, or did you tend to find those points getting spent on one or the other?

    • Like 1
  13. Conceptually, Spellblades are a class combination that really speaks to me. Crowd control, trickery, sneakiness, then deleting a target with some delicious combo of melee and precision spellcasting alpha strikes from the shadows etc. A toolkit of a character, but always a threat when the time is right to strike.

    But for all the research and pondering, I'm unsure as to if this fantasy is actually feasible in PoE2.

    Searching through other builds on this site and across various other resources, the consensus seems to be that spellblade comes in 2 viable flavours:

    1. Buff up with Wizard spells and hack away in melee
    2. Go Assassin/Evoker and use stealth to enhance your spell accuracy (+maybe take advantage of certain spell/stealth interactions to make the most of any guile spent on sneaking)

    Beyond that, there seems to be an agreement that any other variety of Spellblade is likely to be unsatisfyingly inferior. I understand why to a degree - Wizard buffs are crazy good, and if you're not constructing a build around them, then what's the point of being a wizard?

    But is there an enjoyable and effective way of putting the Wizard side of this multiclass to good use without filling your grimoire with the same defensive buffs, or relying on stealth fireballs? Is there a viable and satisfying build that could see your Spellblade manipulating the battlefield with things like Pull of Eora, Wall of X, Phantoms, before diving into the backline and hacking a target down in a flurry of melee rogue abilities and Precision Bursts, or picking distant targets off with Necrotic Lances in between bow shots? 

    What are your experiences? Have any of you come across any fun Spellblade variations that don't fall into categories 1 + 2? Is it possible to do something different that doesn't just feel hamstrung? 

    • Like 1
  14. TLDR:  What build would YOU use to bring the best out of the Scordeo's Edge & Scordeo's Trophy set?

    The Scordeo set - pistol and saber - are pretty well known entities at this point.

    Separately, each offers a bunch of attractive use cases across a range of builds. But of course, some folks are still eager to put them to use as a set: shooting and slashing their way through hordes of enemies is unsurprisingly a pretty popular pirate-y fantasy!

    There have been a bunch of threads across these forums along the lines of "Is this viable" - to which the answer is frequently "Sort of. But we wouldn't really recommend it." Which is a fair assessment. It's certainly not an optimal way of playing, and comes with its own fair share of jank.

    But as this item set in particular seems to really capture the imagination, I wonder: What build would you use to bring the best out of Scordeo's Edge & Scordeo's Trophy?

    Do you optimise to squeeze every last bit of juice out of the combo? Do you combine classes to offset the weaknesses of the set? Do you go for subclasses combos that can uniquely benefit from ready access to ranged and melee damage. Optimisation or Playstyle?

    For example: I feel something like a Seer could put these to good use.

    • Constant source of auto-attack focus regen no matter where you are on the battlefield
    • Equipped to unload Soul Annihilations at will
    • Good mobility to help get in and out of melee as required
    • All the usual handy pet shenanigans you enjoy as a Seer

    I'm excited to see if there are some creative combos that can really make the best of this admittedly sub-optimal playstyle. I figure there has to be at least one blend of class features and actions that actually lends itself to a very fun use case for these items that so many seem so eager to put to use.

    • Like 2
  15. Hi all, very simple request incoming!

    TLDR: Want to add a melee ability to Soulblade subclass, but due to current condition I'm struggling to grasp the basics of modding

    I'm trying to figure out a way to add a simple melee ability (or two) to the Soulblade subclass; nothing too OTT, just something to try and make slightly more self-sufficient with focus generation (and perhaps something to add mobility too). Stuff like the less OP rogue strikes, or perhaps even some sort of tuned-down Flaggelant's Path.

    Now I'm well aware there are some fantastic tutorials and resources pinned to the top of this board. But tldr: I've recently suffered a bit of a mental breakdown, and the upshot of this is that for the time being, I'm really struggling to process and decipher even some of the simplest instructions. Even just the act of trying to follow the 'Basics of modding guide', understanding how to re-format code, and then trying to pick things up in subsequent tutorials has been beyond challenging. I've tried going it alone and struggling on, but I'm sad to say that it feels like the process of trying to find the right kind of file editors, locating the correct strings of code, and troubleshooting any problems etc. may be beyond me at this point in time.

    So (incredibly) greedy request - would anybody be able to help me with a clear, simple, step-by-step walkthrough from the very start of the modding process through to adding/modifying some of these skills? The simpler, the better tbh. (Heck, at this point even just explaining if there's a way to do this via Unity Console or something like that would be great!)

    At this point, any sort of help will be welcome... although I also appreciate that it's a big ask, and I absolutely recognise that the existing tutorials may already well be the simplest way of explaining the processes involved. Should that be the case, I'll just have to put this modding exercise to bed for the time being. 

    Many thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Like 1
  16. 13 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

    Let's also not forget that Wizards are so beloved (by me included) mostly because of the Blood Mage subclass which is a huge favor Obsidian did to their (IMO) flagship Wizard class. Roll an SC Druid on Solo Upscaled PotD and try to build towards high level DLC boss encounters etc without permabrilliant, perma-whatever... Maybe some geniuses can pull it off, but I've systematically failed because I can't extend my non-existent buffs, and because I can't regenerate my spells at will. And of course Spiritshift is over before you know it.

    I love casters in the Unity Engine. I love what Obsidian did with Wizards in PoE1 then in Deadfire, and how they implemented the Blood Mage for power playing and to answer the ridiculous challenges that the game can throw at you. I feel like Druids could have been amazing for Solo with the same kind of love from the developers. It's still a great class of course - but I have an itch for some kind of Blood Druid :).

    It does feel like Obsidian somewhat backed themselves into a corner with resource management in this game. Agreed that things like Blood Mage and Tactician make for some very compelling power play options, and also ask very interesting questions of the player (ie. burst vs sustain and so on) - but Megabosses for all the challenge and strategy involved do seem to automatically rule out certain subclasses or necessitate the inclusion of others.

    So yeah, the inclusion of something akin to a 'blood druid' in execution would be great! Perhaps a perma-wildshape form maybe - and really own that whole were-animal vibe! 😏

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  17. 25 minutes ago, Griffonheart said:

    Is it just me, or is every suggestion... not sneaky? As in, not stealth focused.

    I suppose this is likely because in a lot of the more popular setups, Tricksters’ strengths lie elsewhere.

    Not to mention you did specifically mention ‘tankiness’ in your first post. No need to be tanky when you’re sneaking and vice versa. 😛

    • Like 1
  18. 2 hours ago, Helz said:

    Wizards are versatile. Self-buffing into a melee monster is an option, but I rarely use because I've got a melee heavy team already. They've got interrupts, damage and afflictions for single target or aoe, summons, battlefield control... They can pretty much do it all and you can tailor their abilities to any particular fight, its just a matter of picking the right grimoire for the situation.

    I think I've done wizards a disservice too in how I've tried to cram too many elements into a single build and single combat encounters. In spite of my continuing hammering of them as being 'buff bots' for secondary classes, there's a damn good reason I keep looking at them: the ability to flip between grimoires and potentially change my whole playstyle depending on my mood. 

    That and - obvious effectiveness aside - the missile spells are damn cool. 

    Pew pew...

    • Like 1
  19. 31 minutes ago, thelee said:

    I mean, it's definitely that, but the itinerant build also took advantage of predator's sense + berath dots (rot skulls and touch of rot and shining beacon) and also an underappreciated synergy between stalker's link and champion's boon (+3 engagement = lots of +10 accuracy bonuses from your pet; also works with cipher)

    That's pretty cool. Stalker is one of the subclasses I've been curious to try out, and not only is the Berath dot angle a nice touch but I'd never given pause for thought on the link/boon synergy either. I might have to throw this combo into the mix.

    I completely understand why so many people are quick to turn to Ghostheart and eliminate a lot of problems people have with animal companions, but I really like the idea of finding ways to improve their worth - beyond just pumping the obvious health, resilience and damage skills of course.

    • Like 1
  20. I'll be the first to admit I am extremely guilty of sometimes overlooking the value of spreading some of these synergistic options across multiple characters in the party (hell, just look at my build help request thread...). The whole interaction with Grave Calling and vessels is absolutely one I have managed to miss while plotting out characters, dismissing it initially because summons didn't fit in with my character's vision. Amazingly never occurred to me that someone else could do the heavy lifting instead.

    With such a popular focus on solo builds that are entirely self-sufficient, I suppose it's all too easy to forget that some of the most fun and/or broken skill interactions probably come from very surprising places. 

    That being the case, what other clever combos are far more feasible to pull off using 2 or more characters? In particular ones that are far more impractical - impossible even - on one build alone. There's got to be some pretty outlandish stuff that perhaps hasn't been given the attention it'd get if it were doable by a Herald or something.

    • Like 1
  21. 8 hours ago, Haplok said:

    Also your look on Ascendants seems very limited. Sure, those are good spells and nicely spammable. But a IMO a cipher worth his salt will use lots of other active powers as well.

    You're right, I certainly did them dirty in my very simplistic description of them. To be honest, I have given them quite a solid look at various points throughout my endless search for a build, but kept finding myself put off by the same combinations being thrown up - namely Kitchen Stove > into power spam (granted more than 2 powers), or looking solely at Witches with their boosted action speed to make them even remotely viable in melee. That's primarily why I began to discount them as an option. 

    With that in mind...


    Late game rather them spam cipher powers, I often preferred to zig-zag between the enemies with Flagellant's Path (squishier - doesn't mean less dangerous - enemies pretty much explode on arrival), holding Seeker's Fang rapier which provides a mini-disintegrate (that scales damage with current Focus, so an Ascended cipher is great for that) whenever it crits. And it crits all the time with Borrowed Instincts, rapier modal for +20 Accuracy and +5 inherent rapier Accuracy bonus. Not to mention Spider's Flurry is a cone attack that hits each enemy in the cone 3 times... and only 1 crit is enough for most enemies.

    He was a Helwalker, but if I made him now, he'd have been a Forbidden Fist, since that's such a wonderful melee move/debuff right from level 1.

    This sounds extremely fun. Flagellant's Path looks like a great ability for starters, and with your earlier breakdown of useful cipher abilities, I'm actually quite convinced this is close to achieving the gameplay loop I'm craving. 

    The one hesitation I've had before about working Forbidden Fist into the mix is trying to get the stat balance right. High Resolve seems a given for the ability, but I keep seeing mixed advice for Intellect. But if I can figure that balance out effectively, I think this exact FF/Ascendant + Rapiers setup could be exactly what I've been looking for all along. 

    A big ask, but would you be happy to share some more detail on how you'd approach the stats, and perhaps highlight the skills you'd deem vital for the build? I'm legit excited by the prospect of trying this out! (And if nothing else, thanks for the inspiration @Haplok!)

  22. 8 hours ago, Helz said:

    Yes, I'd limit each character to ~2 roles. It's a party-based game, so you'll still get to play every role. For example, my party is Berserker/Fighter (DPS, offtank), SC Fighter (Tank), Illusionist/Rogue (DPS, afflictions), SC Wizard (DPS, crowd control), SC Priest (buffs, heals, fire).

    That's fair. I am aware I always tend to fall into the trap of trying to pile all the most exciting and engaging stuff on my MC, usually at a cost to the rest of the party. 

    After thinking on my question and your response for a while, I've come to the realisation that perhaps what I'm really searching for is an engaging, satisfying playstyle rather than simply a class that boasts everything. I sort of touched on some of my concerns with classes like Wizards, who tend to be used exclusively to buff up for melee; or monks who seem to almost exclusively be used for Helwalker stat increases, and stockpiling wounds rather than spending them on various active abilities. Same with Ascendant ciphers: hit focus cap, spam Mind Blades/Disintegrate... and that's it. 

    I suppose the obvious place to develop an idea would be to look back again at my inspiration: the FF14 Red Mage. It's gameplay loop is almost an inverse of Ascendant Ciphers: fling spells from range to build up resource, eventually leap into melee to spend that resource, then leap back out to start the loop over. 

    While I'm very aware that I'm not going to get exactly that in POE2, I'm convinced there has to be a way to transfer the spirit of that playstyle here. The ability to seamlessly switch from ranged to melee without having to buff myself up to the nines, but without also simply ignoring the mechanics of the classes I have or deliberately being inefficient.

    Perhaps a Paladin/Caster of some sort that is comfortable buffing and slinging spells from range could do the trick, augmenting mobility through equipment for when it's time to wreck face...

    • Thanks 1
  23. 46 minutes ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

    Exaclty, @Boeroer that's why I thought it could be an important distinction to make especially if the OP is looking for more potentially exotic builds - the difference party/solo may be even stronger.

    Agree 100%. I know this debate - and the distinction between solo and party - has been covered pretty thoroughly across these boards in the past; and I completely understand the hunger for solo-viable & min-maxed builds because they serve a very specific purpose. 

    I think as much as anything else I'm interested to learn of any entertaining playstyles or gameplay loops that people may have stumbled across in blending some unconventional classes together.

    I also find it interesting as well that in all my forum trawling I don't recall seeing masses of discussions around things like Thaumaturges in a casual play capacity; only to discover their dominance in the Ultimate challenge. Obviously this is down to very particular mechanics and propensity for cheese - but when stripping that cheese away and looking at the base mechanics of certain subclasses, I am curious about less conventional approaches like leaning on the rogue elements that Skaen priest boasts; something like a Cipher/Skaen Mystic that leans on casts Finishing Blow to generate focus (if that's mechanically possible) for example.

    Definitely interested in hearing more about your Itinerant build too @thelee. Ranger in particular is a class I don't often see considered beyond being used to pump accuracy for another class to do its thing. I mean, obviously that's its 'thing', but you know what I'm getting at...

    • Like 1
  24. By now we're all very familiar with super-powered Heralds, Sages, Arcane Knights and whatnot that can absolutely decimate the game. But what about the forgotten builds? The class combos that don't possess any obvious synergies or feature a traditionally 'unsexy' class (sorry Rangers...)

    Every now and again this board will throw up an unsung hero build that opens people's eyes to exciting possibilities - e.g. Takedown combo Geomancers, spell-turret Troubadour/Psions - that go to show that even the least popular combos have some merit. 

    A quick glance at the pinned build list (stuck in 2018 limbo) shows the following combos missing builds: Beastmaster, Cantor, Celebrant, Cleric, Crusader, Geomancer, Hierophant, Hunter, Itinerant, Liberator, Mystic, Oracle, Pathfinder, Psyblade, Savage, Tempest, Warlock, Wildrhymer, Witch. 

    Obviously some of those have been fairly well covered by now (Warlock), but I'm not sure I've ever seen discussion around Beastmasters for example.

    So what are you favourite, under-represented builds and why? Are there some you're keen to try? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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