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  1. THE THUNDERCAT 2.0 Class: Lifegiver / Blood Mage Concept: Fast, sturdy and fun Caster/Melee hybrid that relies upon strong synergies between classes to keep spiritshift, buffs and healing up forever, unleashing devastating combos of CC/Damage spells before optionally finishing up foes with claws. Optimized for a No-Rest run. Game Version: RTwP. Works with latest updates and DLCs as of v5.0.00040. I recommend the Full Community Patch and the No Forced Rests mod (otherwise just metagame around them, it’s fully viable but just a bit annoying). Upscaled PotD Solo Viable: Yes. Companion: Nope (meant to play solo by definition, no companion can use this template). As always, this is going to be a somewhat long post so please bear with me. I’ll explain briefly why I think this toon is interesting and illustrate how it comes together with a short video, then go over the key stats, equipment and abilities. -----INTRO------ The Thundercat is a beloved PoE1 Druid build by @L4wlight (I definitely won’t take credit for the original idea!). The idea: a very fast-paced and explosive Druid that loves lightning, using the Cat form for extra speed, being able to dish out lots of damage via spells and melee, inflict a lot of debuffs/CC and even healing and moderate buffing. My goal was to adapt the core idea to Deadfire minus the Britney vibe and to make it viable for Solo PotD. Multiclassing with a Blood Mage became quite obvious because of certain synergies: Lifegiver in Cat form has amazing action speed, stellar healing over time and some really cool offensive spells, but it can’t keep those up forever, its defenses aren’t great and it runs out of resources fast. Blood Mage uses healing as a resource to replenish spells at will, it can prolong beneficial effects forever with Wall of Draining (including Cat form, Flurry, Healing over Time…) and it has some of the strongest buffing, defensive and offensive spells in the game. Yay, the sweet smell of synergy! So far I totally realize that I’m not saying anything fundamentally new, so I’ll go in a bit more detail on each of the cornerstones of the build to explain why this toon has a special place in my little . Speed: This is a key enabler of this build’s playstyle. Action Speed has linear returns (thanks @thelee and others for the patient demonstrations) but with enough investment and the right build, I find that it can also somewhat alter your action economy and enable new combos, which is what Thundercat 2.0 is all about. It will all become clearer in a few paragraphs but at this point I’ll just mention that at the top of his game, this build reduces total action cycle time (Action + Recovery) by -55%. So a spell that would take 7.5s with a neutral-speed toon (4.5s + 3s) takes 3.4s (2s + 1.4s). Claws attacks have a total cycle time of 1.3s (0.2 + 1.1s)... How do we reach this speed? Cat Form has zero armor recovery, Cat Flurry is a huge speed buff, Captain Banquet stacks if you save/reload, we have lots of DEX, Fleet Feet, plus rapid casting and 2 weapons-style. Healing: Another key enabler for survivability and fuel for Blood Sacrifice. In Cat Form, we have lots of PL boost to Rejuvenation and we can stack outstanding HoT: Moonwell, Nature’s Balm, The Moon’s Light, the occasional Garden of Life… Not all of those HoTs get prolonged by Wall of Draining but Nature’s Balm and The Moon’s Light do (for Moonwell, only the +All Def bonus is prolonged). You also get some bonus from Dawnstar’s Blessing, Practiced Healer, Footprints of Ahu Taka, a bit of MIG). Net net, you can stack a consistent healing of ~60 health/3 sec, and easily spike over 100 health/3sec. Defense: The Thundercat 2.0 is no Arcane Knight, but he can still hold his ground. We stack bonuses with passives, accessories and buffs, in particular there is something nice with Captain Furrante’s breastplate “First to the Fight” effect not being removed by Spiritshift and extendable via WoD. (Doesn’t work with weapon effects like Sheltering Light and Drawing Parry). We can get REF and WIL over 200, FOR and DEF over 170 (non-veil piercing attacks). We have immunities or resistance to most problematic hard CC effects. Our AR is routinely at 17. We’re immune to Interrupt. Nothing stellar overall and we will get hit by high level foes, but we can take it, especially because we have other layers of active protection… Crowd Control/Debuff I think that the Thundercat 2.0 may be one of the best debuffers in the game. We can drastically reduce every single enemy offensive and defensive stat. Every stat. And easily inflict soft and hard CC. We have Afflictions across all stats, several Tier 3+ as well as Tier 1 & 2 with decent duration that are mostly attached to damaging spells in large pulsing AoE. And we can chain-cast those nasty effects very fast, potentially reducing literally everything on one sorry group of enemies. This enables to play very strategically on enemies weaknesses, or just to go bonkers throwing spells around that are randomly going to synergize with one another. Damage This is where I got really impressed. We have literally tons of casts of pulsing/ticking and DoT spells and we have 2 awesome force multipliers: Combusting Wounds and Infestation of Maggots. We also have a decent accuracy with most spells being around ~120 ACC and all those debuffs attached to help them land better. We also have a lot of INT so hazard areas and DoTs will last longer. If you combine all this with super-fast spell casting, you can very quickly get a snowballing, layering effect that overwhelms the enemy, creating an exponential stream of DMG that will leave all but the sturdiest of opponents standing. And when you’ve thinned the herd and supercharged your spiritshift duration, you can just go nuts in melee with one-second Greater Wildstrike Shock auto-attacks. Because you can’t swap grimoires when spiritshifted, unfortunately it is hard to use Zandethu’s Draconic Fury but hey, we can’t have everything all the time! Bringing everything together: Here is a small video that I recorded of the Sea-Lashed Crypt entrance fight where I am using all the mechanics described above. I know it is not a very hard fight by any means, the goal is just to show the different mechanics of the build easily, with a decent variety of enemies, some tanky enough to be able to show the snowballing damage effect. -----SPECS------ Race: Wood Elf (DEX Affliction resistance and +PER) Background: The White that Wends – Explorer FINAL STATS WITH ALL PERMABUFFS AND NO-REST BUFFS AS OF 5.0 (without combat buffs): MIG 13 (8 Base +2 Berath +1 Gift from Machine +2 Alchemic Brawn) CON 17 (8 Base +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Brawn +2 Konstanten Boon +3 Girdle of Eoten CON) DEX 24 (15 Base +1 Elf +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Guile +2 Amira’s Blessing +2 Footprints Ahu Taka) PER 28 (18 Base +1 Elf +1 White that Wends +2 Berath +1 Konstanten Boon +1 Effigy: Sagani +2 Alchemic Guile +1 Savage Cunning +1 Cauldron Brew) INT 25 (18 Base +2 Berath +1 Konstanten Boon +2 Alchemic Wits +2 Charm of Bones) RES 18 (8 Base +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Wits +2 Nature’s Resolve +2 Rikuhu’s Blessing +2 Eviee Pet) ADDITIONAL PERMABUFFS: Food: Captain’s Banquet Adratic Glow All Trainings Dawnstar Blessing Luminous Adra Potion Nature’s Resolve (Accuracy) Savage Cunning (Survival) Galawain’s Gift Magran’s Blessing Infamous Captain, Bonus Skills, Champion Stats, Port Maje vendor, Fully discovered Map, Bonus Money… invested all 105 Berath’s Blessing Points SKILLS: History at 20, Mechanics at 13, rest in Athletics and Survival. Diplomacy early on for quests. ----- ABILITIES ------ LIFEGIVER SPELLS Nature’s Vigor, Nature’s Mark, The Moon’s Light, Insect Swarm, Nature’s Balm, Infestation of Maggots, Moonwell, Wicked Briars, Cleansing Wind, Relentless Storm, Garden of Life, Venombloom, Nature’s Bounty. BLOOD MAGE SPELLS (optimized for Using Grimoire of Vaporous Wizardy) Learned: Chill Fog, Fleet Feet, Eldritch Aim, Combusting Wounds, Infuse With VE, Llengrath’s Safeguard, Freezing Pillar. From Grimoire: Thrust of Tattered Veils, Minor Missiles, Necrotic Lance, Binding Web, Expose Vulnerabilities, Fireball, Concussive Missiles, Confusion, Malignant Cloud, Call to Slumber, Gaze of the Adragan, Chain Lightning, Delayed Fireball, Wall of Draining. PASSIVE ABILITIES Wildstrike Shock, Greater Wildstrike Shock, Two Weapon Style, Bull’s Will, Bear Fortitude, Far Casting, Rapid Casting, Tough, Practiced Healer, Secrets of Rime, Heart of the Storm, Uncanny Luck, Improved Critical. -----GEAR------ Weapon Set: Duskfall (Drawing Parry), Lethandria’s Devotion (Sheltering Light). Doesn’t really matter, just in case you get targeted before Spiritshifting. Keep handy Lover's Embrace to cut some cheese. Grimoire: Of Vaporous Wizardy. Keep handy Illuminating Discoveries. Head: Rekvu’s Fractured Casque. (the Wrenched Knee injury is best here, you can get tons easily in the Poko Kohara dungeon if you don't disarm the traps). Neck: Charm of Bones. Chest: Captain Furrante’s Breastplate (First to the Fight, Vigorous Protector) . Cape: Giftbearer’s Cloth. Gloves: Bracers of Greater Deflection. Keep Burglar’s Gloves, Firethrower’s gloves and Woedica’s Grasp handy. Rings: 2 X Rings of Minor Protection. Boots: Footprints of Ahu Taka. Keep handy Boots of the Stone, Sandals of the Water Lily. Belt: Girdle of Eoten Constitution Pet: Eviee. -----THE END------ That’s it. It’s not a ground breaking build but it is quite powerful, versatile and very fun. Another strong Blood Mage + X to solo the game, and one of few Druid options that can solo as far as I know. Always happy to read your thoughts and potential for improvement or tweaking. I'm sure it can be steered in other directions, in particular for party play.
  2. Dergano Ploi was born in Aedyr - his parents are elven Aedyrean Ambassador Laxon Ploi and deceased human Aerdyrean fleet officer Lt. Leanna Andra Ploi. Although Dergano Ploi had little exposure to the military world of his mother, he attended the fleet academy as well as university and earned an advanced degree in "philosophy of mind". He then served as the captain's counselor aboard the Aedyrian flagship "Venture" before joining the Shieldbearers of St. Elcga and leaving active military service. He is also trained in diplomacy, beguiling, languages and linguistics, often making him a valued first contact team member. Again, it's his skills in interpersonal contact which can help to turn the tides in difficult encounters. He's also able to give valuabe advices which will protect his team members as well as using tactical positioning, confusing and marking the enemy so that his fellow team members can deliver the killing blow. Dessert is his favorite part of a meal, and one of his greatest favorites and weaknesses is cookies and cakes. Paraphrasing famous Aedyrian philosopher-humorist Wirt Hogas, he always says "I never met a pastry I didn't like" - Rauatai Sweet Pie is his very favorite. He also likes to trow the dices and once beat some cretin smug in a celler in Stalwart at "Dozens". "If you're looking for my professional opinion as counselor: he's nuts." - Dergan Troi to his comrades when meeting Lord Raedric - =================================== Counselor Ploi =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Paladin (Shieldbearer) -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wood Elf (alternative: Island Aumaua) -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Aedyr - Colonist -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats (char creation): MIG: 15 CON: 08 DEX: 08 PER: 15 INT: 17 RES: 15 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 2, Lore 6, Mech. 0, Surv. 14 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Intense Flames ® Shielding Flames (!) Scion of Flame ® Shielding Touch ® Weapon Focus: Soldier Weapon & Shield Style Deep Faith Arms Bearer (!) Abilities Flames of Devotion Coordinated Attacks(!) Distant Advantage (a) Faith and Conviction (a) Inspiring Triumph ® Lay on Hands ® Sacred Immolation ® Reinforcing Exhortation (or Aegis of Loyality if no priest) Sworn Enemy (!) Zealous Focus ® --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Cladhaliath (*durgan refined, *marking, *coordinating, *burning lash) & Outworn Buckler (*legendary, *durgan reinforced) Weapon set 2: arquebus Weapon set 3: arquebus Boots: Boot of Zealous Command Head: Munacra Arret Armor: Osric's Family Breastplate, then Ryona's Breastplate Neck: Cloak of Protection Belt: Coil of Resourcefulness Rings: Ring of Changing Heart, Ring of Deflection Hands: Spirit Spiral Quick slots: scrolls & figurines ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi! Another colaboration of Jojobobo and me. This time I evolved a char concept around Jojobobo's idea of having a Shieldbearer who is kind of a diplomat and using Sworn Enemy + Zealous Focus + charm to generate a lot of charm-crits (because Sworn Enemy's ACC bonus works with everything). With this a paladin could somewhat substitute a cipher (when it comes to mind control) and add even more usefulness to his class. Since it only takes two abilities (that you can always make use of with a paladin) I tried to spin this idea of a diplomat/supporter/mind controller further and make this paladin a jack of all trades when it comes to support besides the usual Lay on Hands and stuff. So I threw together some of the nice build ideas that are already out, namely the Darcozzi Forward Obrserver (buff ACC) by Torm51, Sh!t's on Fire (high FoD damage) by limaxophobiacq and the Rauatai Captain (buff deflection) by SImpleEnigma - kudos to the authors of those builds. Check out their stuff, too. Then I shook the whole thing and out came this whizkid: 1. Boosting party's deflection (and other defenses): 1.a. Shielding Touch (+12 single ally) The Shieldbearer can use several abilites and items to raise his comrades' deflection. First of all there's Shielding Touch. To my surprise, despit being a passive addition to Lay on Hands, it works like Reinforcing Exhortation - this means it doesn't stack with other non-passive deflection buffs like Cautious Attack, Shields for the Faithful and also not with Reinf. Exhortation. But it's still good because team members that need healing from Lay on Hands usually are under attack - and that deflection comes in handy then. It's also good that it works on yourself (Reinf. Exh. doesn't). 1.b. Shielding Flames (+10 AoE): This is even better. When using FoD you will provide +10 deflection for nearly all party members (with high INT the AoE is realy big). +10 doesn't sound like too much - but it stacks with everything, and that's great. 1.c. Outworn Buckler (+5 to all defenses AoE) Everybody knows it's one of the best shields in the game. The herald bonus stucks with everything - with high INT you'll cover the whole party - awesome 1.d. Inspiring Triumph (+7 to all defenses AoE) Another AoE deflection buff. On kill you will raise deflection by +7 in the same AoE as Shielding Flames and it also stacks with everything! So when you shoot somebody with intense FoD + Scion of Flame + Sworn Enemy and he dies the whole party will instantly get +17 deflection - nice. Later, with Sacred Immolation, it will be triggeres all the time. It's an awesome synergy. 1.e. Reinforcing Exhortation It seems to be better than Shielding Touch since both don't stack, but seriously you can't have enough deflections boosts because they don't last forever. Once a shielding touch expires or if you want to give deflection only without healing, this is good. If you feel it's too much redundance with Shielding Toch, use Aegis of Loyality instead - it beautifully fits the theme and is very useful if you don't have a priest (which I had). All in all you can pile up +47 deflection on a single target, +22 in a big AoE and +12 to all other defenses in the same AoE. This guy turns even squishy party members into (tiny) tanks. 2. Providing ACC for an ally 2.a. Coordinated Attacks (+10 single ally) It's like marking - if you attack an enemy and one of your party members does this as well, he will get +10 ACC which will stack with everything else. 2.b. Marking Weapon (+10 single ally) Like above. It's like Coordinated Attacks on a weapon. Stacks with everything 2.c. Zealous Focus (+6 AoE) What can I say - you know it. You will boost the ACC of a single ally by 26 points if you attack thge same target. If you flank, you will provide the equivalent of 36 points of ACC. This is extremely helpful against tough enemies which are difficult ot hit or to disable. With this guy, annoying dragons and such with affliction like prone, stun etc. is easy. 3.: Crit-charming or -dominating 3.a. Whisper of Treason With Munacra Arret you can get an early item with 3 uses per rest which has fast cast. It also has +10 ACC which is nice. I took Enigma's Charm first but retrained because it has this annoying 5 sec delay and is an average cast. I seldomly used it, so I took something else instead. Later you can buy Spirit SPiral which will give you 3 more per rest. 3.b. Sworn Enemy +15 ACC for your charms, fast cast, no hit roll, lasts for the whole encounter, has an awesome range and also will give you +20% damage when the time comes that your charms wear off - nice! 3.c. Zealous Focus: +6 ACC for your charms 3.d. Ring of Changing Heart: the dominate effect has no ACC bonus and it's only 2/rest, BUT it can be cast outside of combat, and that can be a big plus. 3.e. Distant Advantage: the main reason (besides the background) I took Wood Elf. +5 ACC for your charms. SInce Sworn Enemy has such a long range, most of the time the enemy you want to charm is far away so this works. And what most people forget: it also works with the edges of your Sacred Immolation if the AoE is big enough and also gives you +5 deflection and reflex against distant enemies. This is good against spells and arrows as well as wing slams or breath attacks. You can pile up +36 ACC for your Whispers and +26 for your Dominations. It nearly always crits. A crit with Whisper oT with high INT leads to a charm that lasts longer than 20 sec. By the way I insta-crit-charmed all dragons (which were not immune) right at the start of the encounter which makes those fights a lot easier. 4.: Killing Stuff 4.a. Distant Advantage: with your arquebus shots you will have +5 ACC as well as for enemies which are at the edges of your Sacred Immolation. 4.b. Zealous Focus +6 ACC for everything, including FoD and Sacred Immolation. 4.c. FoD +50% burning lash and +20 ACC with that two arquebuseses. 4.d. Intense Flames +25% lash for your FoD arquebuses 4.e. Burning lashes on all your weapons 4.f. Scion of Flame Boosts the cumulated burning lashes from 100% to 120% - most of the time your additional burn damage will be higher than the original damage from the arquebus. With this, killing a weak foe and triggering Shielding Flames as well as Inp. Triumph is easy. It also boosts yout Immolation of course. 4.g. Coordinating on your Cladhaliath Since you always want to attack a foes that another team member attacks in order to trigger marking and stuff (see above), coordinating is one of the best enchantaments for you. Sure, your spear is not a dps tool and you are fairly slow without any big dmg mods, but the high ACC and the +25% bonus damage are nice nonetheless. 4.h. Mob Justice or The Mercyless Hand or Second Skin (optional) Mob Justice not only adds to the ACC of spear and coordinating, but also lets you get Cladhaliath a lot earlier. Tkis also counts if the paladin is not the MC. The Merciless Hand can balance out the lower crit damage of arquebuses. Since your high ACC with FoD often leads to crits, this talent would be a good pick. Second Skin is not so superuseful here, but if you don't want to use Cladhaliath (or want if for a different char) then Shame & Glory is your only single handed melee alternative. This also works of course if the paladin is not the MC, like with Mob Justice/Dozens. 4.i. Runner's Wounding Shot (optional) When using an Island Aumua, you can take Runner's Wounding Shot and an additional arquebus. Skip Deep Faith then. This will deal similar damage than an FoD shot - instead of 90% burniung lash you will have 80% raw DoT. With the Coil of Resourcefulness your switching works well without any talent. 5.: Tanking Defenses are great (as always with paladins). With Ryona's Breastplate and Outworn Buckler as well as Weapon & Shield Style you can take over the role of the main tank or a second tank or play an offtank role, it doesn't matter much. Your defenses are good enough to tank dragons for a short time (until the charms or the disabling works). Alltogether you will have a very sturdy frontliner who can - boost deflection/all defenses up to +47(single), +27/+12 (AoE) - raise the ACC up to 36 (flank+single) and +16 (flank+AoE) - charm up to 6 times per rest and dominate 2 times rest - most of them crits - tank & kill Enjoy!
  3. WHAT THIS IS Trying to do something different here. I'm going to discuss a character build that I had a lot of fun putting together and playing on 1.1 PotD (probably the most fun I've had in Deadfire so far), but I'm going to use it as an entrypoint to teach-by-doing various game mechanics and how to think about them and use them for your own builds. People already comfortable with min-maxing their way through Deadfire might not get much out of this, but hopefully for everyone else there's something useful here, because there's a lot of information scattered through this forum, reddit, and the in-game cyclopedia and I hope to consolidate some of it here and put them to actual use. In fact, I would say something like 90% of this is just going to be talking about game mechanics, because understanding the game mechanics thoroughly is key to understanding this character build. I hope you find this useful! Oct 2018 - Updated stats, items, build for 3.0+, added alternatives, and god challenges notes July 4 2017 - Updated stats for patch 1.2. July 3 2017 - Partially updated for patch 1.2. TABLE OF CONTENTS - Introduction - What does this build do - The build itself - TL;DR playstyle - Detailed playstyle - Details - Armor - Details - Weapons - Details - Surviving - Details - Consumables - Details - Miscellaneous spells and abilities - Details - Stats - Conclusion/Putting it all together - Alternatives - Rejected approaches - Notes for Magran's Fires - Appendix: Linear returns INTRODUCTION "What the hell is an 'Umezawa?'" Well, while I don't play it anymore, I still follow and am a big fan of Magic: The Gathering. And with one of the more recent sets out (Dominaria), I got to thinking about a couple of cards that struck me as particularly flavorful: The latter card is actually from a set more than a decade old and is/was so stupidly powerful that it's banned in one of the super-powered tournament formats (banned in Modern). The former card is just a nostalgic callback to the latter that was in Dominaria (which itself was a set all about nostalgic callbacks). It's not particularly tournament-worthy.(*) (*) If you're a M:TG lore purist out there, yes yes I know that the Umezawa on the left is not the Umezawa that the Jitte on the right is named for. Even if you don't play Magic: The Gathering, the takeaway here is a fragile, weak, but elusive hero, and a stupidly powerful tool-kit of a weapon that the hero is lorewise linked to. I liked the idea of taking a very blue (crafty, subtle, evasive) approach to stupid levels of power, and decided to personify it in Deadfire as a Streetfighter/Wael multiclass that I'll just brand here as an Umezawa build. WHAT DOES THIS BUILD DO This character is very versatile and mobile, tanking on huge packs of enemies or jumping around behind enemy lines to assassinate troublesome foes. This character is not going to be great at doing burst or area of effect damage (at least until you have a steady supply of explosives), but it will do frankly a stupid amount of sustained damage, maximizing uptime for the Streetfighter's special (at least without resorting to just being a ranged blunderbuss dummy). While this is probably not the most powerful Streetfighter build you can make (a Streetfighter/Monk is probably better for pure damage) and is fairly micromanagement-intensive, it can nonetheless be a very fun and engaging way to play. THE BUILD ITSELF Before diving into the mechanics of it all, let's just lay out the build order. UMEZAWA CLASS: zealot - streetfighter + priest of wael RACE: wood elf BACKGROUND: living lands + scientist STATS: 10 (9+1 living lands) might, 10 constitution, 17 dexterity, 16 perception, 18 intellect, 7 resolve SKILLS: roughly 2:1 ratio between Explosives to Alchemy. For your secondary skill, shove as much as you can into Religion, though you can respec out of this after a certain point. Be sure to pay 3000g each to train both Explosives and Alchemy. STORY ABILITIES: be clever at the first summons to the gods so you get Wit of Death's Herald ABILITIES: (active priest abilities with arabic numerals, active rogue abilities marked with roman numerals for their power levels, automatic priest spells in angle brackets, weapon choices in italics) Updated for 3.0: some skills reordered, dropped Searing Seal for Champion's Boon, weapon proficiency recs changed 1. Restore (1), Escape (I) <Arcane Veil (1)>; hatchet, blunderbuss 2. Fast Runner 3. Arms Bearer 4. Holy Meditation (2), Smoke Veil (II) <Iconic Projection (2)>; large shield 5. Weapon and Shield Style 6. Two Weapon Style 7. Despondent Blows (3), Riposte <Mirrored Image (3)> 8. Deep Pockets; mace, sabre, or stiletto 9. Prayer for the Spirit (3) 10. Devotions for the Faithful (4), Dirty Fighting <Llengrath's Displaced Image (4)> 11. Persistent Distraction 12. Pillar of Faith (2); mace, sabre, or stiletto 13. Barring Death's Door (5), Tough <Confusion (5)> 14. Champion's Boon (5) 15. Uncanny Luck 16. Salvation of Time (6), Smoke Cloud (V) <Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment (6)>; dagger 17. Rapid Casting 18. Pillar of Holy Fire (6) 19. Cleansing Flame (7), Deathblows <Gaze of the Adragan (7)> 20. Smoke Grenade (VII); remainder of mace, sabre, or stilleto or your favorite end-game weapon here IMPORTANT ITEMS: Sparkcrackers and Cinder Bombs as explosives. Deadeye, Potion of Ascension, Potion of the Last Stand, Potion of Deftness, Potion of Impediment, and Potion of Piercing Strikes for alchemical goods. Mix in other stuff as desired. IMPORTANT FOOD/DRINK: Meppu, Roe, Forgotten Night IMPORTANT GEAR: Miscreant's Leather, Cutthroat Cosmo (the special pig pet), Xoti's Sickle (early on), Marux Amanth (soulbound to priest), Fair Favor, Nemnok's Cloak, Entonia Signet Ring, Shorewalker Sandals RECOMMENDED GEAR: Pukestabber, Frostfall Mace, Rust's Poignard, Animancer's Energy Blade, Bronlar's Phalanx, Wintertide Bulwark, etc or whatever else floats your boat. TL;DR PLAYSTYLE Early on (when your health is super low, like levels 1-4) you are going to dual-wield a hatchet and a blunderbuss with Powder Burns enabled. You'll attack at range with a blunderbuss to trigger the Streetfighter's Heating Up bonus, then run in for melee. When the Powder Burns self-debuff has ~3.5 seconds left (first reload) or ~1-2 seconds left (subsequent reloads), you'll shoot at an enemy or ally 3-5m away and refresh the Powder Burns debuff. (Early on you may just run out of range manually and shoot your current target.) Once you have a bit more health and a bit more abilities under your belt, the playstyle is very aggressive. Instead of relying on Powder Burns, you'll rely on one of: blindly charging in and getting flanked; blindly charging in and getting your health pummeled really fast; or manually triggering your Streetfighter special by hitting yourself with Sparkcrackers or, in a pinch, Cinder Bombs. So depending on the situation, you might be tanking for your entire party, or you may be dodging back behind enemy lines to take out important casters. For boss fights, you'll drink a Potion of Impediment and try to pin the enemy down with repeated interrupts. DETAILED PLAYSTYLE This character is a "build-around" on the Streetfighter's special. To reiterate here, when you are flanked or bloodied, you get a special buff (Heating Up) which gives you a whopping -50% recovery time, along with a +50% damage bonus against sneak attack-enabled targets (effectively it is a souped up sneak attack damage bonus). If you are both flanked and bloodied, you get a special buff (On the Edge) which not only grants you the same bonuses as Heating Up but gives you a further +100% crit damage bonus. Both the damage bonuses are additive with other damage bonuses, so while they are certainly very good, it's not insane. The real star here is the -50% recovery time. -50% recovery time is equivalent to a whopping +100% action speed for your recovery, or the equivalent of getting +33 dexterity during your recovery. Furthermore, contrary to what you might think or read elsewhere, speed bonuses offer linear returns(*), so you can add on a bunch more recovery time reductions or action speed boosts and get to really fast levels (translating to high damage output). This is especially important for maximizing Potion of Impediment, which can really shine with a "Heating Up" Streetfighter's very fast attack speed. (*) Linear returns may end up being one of the most controversial things I'll say mechanically in this entire post, but is mathematically true and I will fight anyone who says otherwise . There'll be an appendix at the end that will go through the ugly math and details of it. Notably, unlike Pillars of Eternity 1, Deadfire distinguishes between action speed adjustments and recovery time adjustments and they are very different and expressed in different ways, and is responsible for a lot of confusion about how action/recovery works. The Streetfighter's bonus only applies to your recovery, leaving the attack part untouched. This means this bonus heavily favors weapon attacks, potions, and throwing bombs, because weapon attacks, potions, and bombs have very short attack times and the bulk of the time spent using them is just recovery. By contrast, spell casting has significant attack ("cast') times that will be left untouched by the Streetfighter's special. (Scrolls sit in between, having slower attack times than other consumables, but faster recovery than spells.) But the way cast times work in Deadfire is that they generally follow a pattern where spells with faster cast times have longer recovery, and slower cast times have shorter recovery; this means that, ironically, a very slow spell cast (6s) will have a much shorter recovery time (typically 2s) than even a very fast cast spell (0.5s cast, up to 4.5s recovery). (The standard progression for spell timing is 3s cast/4.5s recovery, 4.5s cast/3s recovery, 6s cast/2s recovery so the total action time spent doing a spell cast monotonically increases with slower spells, even if the recovery is less.) This means that we can still get some benefit out of the Streetfighter's special if we focus on casting fast (3s) and some average (4.5s) spells, because shaving off 2.25s or 1.5s off your recovery is still incredible (shaving 2.25s off a fast spell cast is roughly equivalent to a +42% action speed or almost like taking three stacking copies of the Rapid Casting passive talent, even though it's all weighted towards the recovery phase instead of the cast phase). The major downsides to the Streetfighter are twofold, one explicit and one implicit. The explicit downside is that while you are neither flanked nor bloodied, you get a +20% recovery time penalty. The implicit downside is that to maximize the Streetfighter, you have to be at least flanked or bloodied which is generally a very dangerous situation to be in. This character focuses on letting you survive in those situations while trying to not take away from the Streetfighter's strengths. DETAILS - ARMOR A really important piece of gear is actually your pet. The cosmo pirate pet (unlocked by doing the deadfire scavenger hunt or special non-achievement-disabling console commands) gives your main character a reduction in their armor penalty. The effect varies on armor, but this variance is because of the weird way it's implemented (which is identical to how a Fighter's Armored Grace is implemented). Internally, the game stores armor recovery penalties of +20%, +35%, and +55% roughly as coefficients of .83, .74, and .65. (What these numbers mean is not important right now.) Instead of applying a consistent effect on the listed recovery penalty, the cosmo pirate pet adds a flat .1 to these internal coefficients, which means these coefficients become .93, .84, and .75, which means the armor recovery penalty becomes +7%, +19%, and +34%. This means that the armor recovery penalty reduction is actually strongest for heavy armor, but that's not the important point here. The important part is the interaction with Miscreant's Leather (a light armor you can get for doing the first Principi quest by killing Benweth). Miscreant's Leather comes with a special enchantment that reduces recovery time by -10%. Theoretically, this was supposed to have the net effect of mitigating a majority(*) of the of the +20% light armor recovery time. However, with the cosmo pirate pig, your base armor recovery time penalty is +7%, which means the -10% recovery time enchantment makes wearing Miscreant's Leather actually faster than wearing any +0% recovery time clothing. (*) one of the ongoing confusions that one might have about recovery time is that you can't just add up your various recovery time adjustments and expect to get a sane answer. In fact, the best way to think about adjustments to your action time is that there is a different "native unit of measurement" depending on whether it's a bonus (either a +X% action speed or -Y% recovery time) or a penalty (either a -X% action speed or a +Y% recovery time). For bonuses, the native unit is "action speed," whereas for penalties the native unit is "action time." This is a weird distinction but is important for understanding how modifiers are combined. You can read the Appendix for further discussion. Anyway, for our purposes here what you need to know is that the -10% recovery time bonus needs to first be translated into its native unit as an action speed adjustment, or +11% action speed. The +20% light armor recovery time is in its correct native unit so we don't need to change it. Now (and for you people who took science classes in high school and pay attention to your bases/units this might hurt your head but is how Deadfire does it), you subtract the recovery time from the action speed and get a unitless -9%; because it's negative the effect is considered a recovery time penalty, and so the net effect of the -10% recovery time adjustment is that the armor effectively has a +9% recovery time penalty instead of a +20% recovery time penalty. TL;DR: a +20% recovery penalty combined with a -10% recovery time bonus does not equal a net +10% recovery penalty. In fact, the -10% recovery time bonus is actually more powerful than an equivalent recovery time penalty. This will come up again later, and I will go into further detail about the math then. So, as one of the few mandated pieces of gear, you should really have a cosmo pirate pig pet, and you should prioritize getting Miscreant's Leather. It will give you extra protection than cloth and be faster than cloth. Plus, it has a really useful enchantment for this build (Kidney Guard, which reduces received flanked damage by -10%). For the early part of the game before you get the leather, you should otherwise be in +0% recovery time clothing. If you're struggling a bit too much in early game, you can equip other light armor and the cosmo pirate pet. 3.0+ Update We now also have Epsilon as a good pet choice (available in Dunnage). In addition to reduced armory recovery time, its party-wide bonus is extra stride speed, which can be a much more useful bonus than Cosmo's firearms damage obnus. DETAILS - WEAPONS A hatchet and a blunderbuss (along with their proficiencies) are your absolute #1 priorities early on, followed up by a large shield. A hatchet is important because it provides a stacking +3 deflection against melee and its weapon modal applies a -10 accuracy (regardless of attack type) to the enemy, both of which you'll soon see is very important for this build. The blunderbuss is important because Powder Burns applies the Distracted affliction on you every time you attack, and conveniently for the Streetfighter, all Perception afflictions also apply Flanked which will trigger the Streetfighter special. (In fact, I'm sure many people have discovered you can create a stupidly good ranged attacker by just making a Streetfighter equip at least a blunderbuss.) Early on, using a blunderbuss at the start of the fight is a good, safe way to trigger the special, and the powder burns aoe damage is generally so low that it's ok to occasionally hit armored allies with it. Later on, Powder Burns is still a useful way to trigger your special in small fights or when you're isolated by yourself against important targets away from everyone else. An important pickle with gun reloads is that any adjustments to their reload speed is delayed by one reload. This means that after you fire your Powder Burns blunderbuss, the immediate next reload will not benefit from the -50% recovery time bonus. However, subsequent reloads will. I believe this also works in reverse. If you start reloading your blunderbuss while benefiting from the -50% recovery time bonus and Powder Burns wears off, you still benefit from the faster reload until the next time you need to reload (though by then you will already have refreshed it). For this character, you will want to dual-wield your blunderbuss with a melee weapon (early on, a hatchet). Because of game mechanics (even if it doesn't make logical sense), dual-wielding a melee weapon with a ranged weapon means that outside of melee range you only use your ranged weapon, and in melee range you only use your melee weapon, but you do both as if you were dual-wielding, so you get the -30% recovery time bonus from dual-wielding (plus an additional -15% recovery time bonus from two weapon style), even though you're just repeatedly attacking with the same weapon. In fact, in some parts of the game, you may have a melee weapon that is so good that you don't want to switch off with a weaker second melee weapon, which makes it a perfect candidate for pairing with a blunderbuss. In practice, it also means you can blunderbuss, melee, and then re-blunderbuss a ranged target (to re-trigger Powder Burns) without having to switch between weapon slots, which incurs a costly 2s recovery each time. This is a relatively painless (if micromanagement intensive) way to get 100% uptime with your Streetfighter special. Note that blunderbusses have a low range (4-5m, depending) so when you are in this melee/blunderbuss mode you should be cognizant of viable blunderbluss targets, particularly since for a good amount of that range your character will want to melee or take a step in order to melee. It is actually worth shooting your own allies (and positioning them close to do so) because for armored tanky allies they will take negligible damage that is well worth the continued uptime of Heating Up. In the worst case (if you're not engaged by your target), you can just step away from your target and fire at range. This downtime of running back and forth will still be outweighed by the significant damage boost you get from having constant uptime on your Heating Up effect. Do remember that for your first reload you need to give yourself 3-4s of time (depending on stats and gear) though subsequent reloads will only need a little more than a second. At level 4 you pick up large shield proficiency because this build has two very large weaknesses. I'll go into the second one later, but the first and most common weakness is enemy gunfire. See, this build leans on Arcane Veil heavily for protection, and Arcane Veil unfortunately offers no protection against "veil-piercing" attacks, of which enemy gunfire is the most common type. In such a situation, the large shield modal gives you an astounding defense against ranged attacks, -50% to ranged damage, on top of the natively large deflection bonus (coupled with Weapon and Shield Style) that will work against gunfire. It's such an extreme survivability difference that in any fight involving guns (at least early to mid game), you should switch to using a large shield and prioritize taking out the gunners. The downside to the large shield modal is that you are immobile, but fortunately we pick up Escape at level 1, which will let us hop around the map without having to toggle the large shield modal on and off (in addition to providing a nice, gun-effective deflection bonus for a short time). Note that even outside of gunners, many ranged attackers in Deadfire have stupidly high accuracy bonuses for their attacks that it may still be worth switching to large shield in ranged-heavy fights in early-to-mid game, both for the extra deflection, and for the significant damage mitigation. As you go up levels, you'll need to pick up some blunt weapon proficiency for damage diversity. I prefer flails and clubs for two reasons: they are fast (3s base recovery) and their weapon modals let you reduce enemy reflex or will by -25, which is huge. Clubs in particular are good because two of your most important spells (Despondent Blows and Devotions for the Faithful) target will. If you don't want your weapons lots to be oversubscribed, you can give a party member a club to do the debuffing for you. 3.0+ update With some of the rebalancing that has occured since this guide was first written (especially PotD enemy scaling) a weakness that glass cannon builds like this have is penetration. On PotD enemies can sometimes have substantial armor, and if you can't penetrate their armor, a glass cannon can't do the high damage output needed to balance out its relative fragility, which means you're just a fragile character with little upside. As a result, I no longer recommend fast blunt weapons, which lack penetration weapon modals. Instead I recommend diving into maces (which have high inherent penetration and whose weapon modal debuffs armor for everyone in the party), sabres (for access to Animancer's Energy Blade, which does raw damage; you don't technically need the weapon proficiency to take advantage of this, but sabres are just a good class of weapon to have proficiency with early on), and/or stilettos (high inherent penetration, access to Rust's Poignard). Both stilettos and sabres benefit from the Fair Favor hat, which this build already uses. In addition, as I'll mention later, I recommend picking up Champion's Boon instead of Searing Seal for the extra penetration from the Tenacious inspiration. This character will also pick up dagger proficiency. For reasons that I'll elaborate on in a moment, the weapon modal isn't too important, but what is valuable is getting the Fair Favor hat and getting a Marux Amanth soulbound to your priest class. Fair Favor gives you hit-to-crit and bonus crit damage with daggers (among other weapons). Marux Amanth has very useful abilities for this character when fully unlocked: Worthy Sacrifice (which is an instakill against Near Death targets if you hit them), Corona of the Soul (10% chance for a decent burn aoe effect), and Echoes of Faith (10% chance to re-cast any priest spell a half second after the initial cast). Echoes of Faith is a particularly good ability; 10% isn't very common, but when it does happen can be a tide-changingly good effect. We actually pick up certain spells basically because they would be really good to have duplicated (Pillar of Faith, Pillar of Holy Fire, Cleansing Flame). Still others get good benefit (Salvation of Time), and at the very least you get double chances to afflict enemies with Despondent Blows or Devotions for the Faithful. Corona of the Soul is also a decent ability and works well with this character because we will be attacking so fast that we'll be close to maximizing the number of times we can proc the burn aoe (which does ~10-20 in about ~1.5m) in any given amount of time(*). As an extra plus, imagine that the Marux Amanth is the Deadfire equivalent of Umezawa's Jitte from above . (*) Funnily enough, while trying to test some Deathblows-related issues, I discovered that Corona of the Soul has its damage boosted by damage modifiers that affect any weapon, including Deathblows itself (and any lash effect). This appears to apply to any weapon-based proc. (See below screenshots--click to enlarge--the left is a Corona of the Soul proc in the combat log and the right is a Sungrazer proc in the combat log, though unlike Corona of the Soul it doesn't have a special name in the combat log. I also tested some other procs and verified those get boosted, too.) This is both a general thing to keep in mind for your own builds, especially rogues who can sneak attack and Deathblows, but is especially good for a Streetfighter who can easily get an additional +50% from Heating Up and a further +100% from critting while On The Edge. As far as other unique weapons go, steal Xoti's Sickle as soon as you can, you'll be able to put better use to it. Not only does it have the benefit of having two damage types unlike other hatchets (giving you much-needed damage diversity), but its power-up effect (additive +5% plus .5% per religion skill to sickle damage until end of fight, up to 4 stacks) is very good and likely to trigger since this character will be doing a lot of finishing blows. I highly recommend you enchant it to have Urgent Harvest, which gives you 15% plus .5% per religion skill action speed bonus to Xoti's Sickle the moment any enemy dies anywhere, regardless of whether or not you did the killing blow. Importantly, due to stacking rules (which I'll go into further later), this combines with the Streetfighter special, with Potions of Deftness, etc so you can get stupidly fast attack speeds with the sickle. Mid-to-late game better hatchet options will open up. Acolyte's can be straight up better than a Xoti's Sickle because its Freezing Lash is always active (whereas Xoti's Sickle needs to power up upon kills) and is a multiplicative bonus with the total damage you did, which means a +15% freeze damage lash is worth much more than a +15% xoti's sickle damage. The combination of sneak attack damage (up to +60% additive) and Streetfighter special (another +50% additive) and possibly the Streetfighter On the Edge bonus (another +100% additive from crits) can make that lash worth more than a fully-powered up xoti's sickle. Later on when you have more survivability tools at your disposal and the +3 deflection bonus from a hatchet (or +6 from two hatchets) is less important and the -10 accuracy weapon modal more redundant, you can start ignoring hatchets all together. I like pairing Marux Amanth and Pukestabber together; when Pukestabber is enchanted with Mad Drunk, while under the effects of alcohol, both daggers will have +20% additive damage and +20% action speed; plus, both of them will benefit from the Fair Favor hat. Regardless of what weapons you choose, you'll have three weapon slots each with an important role: one that has a blunderbuss/melee pair, one for dual-wielding, and one for a large shield. Your dual-wielding one will be your main slot past the early game, but you'll need to be ready to switch to one of the other slots as the situation demands. And be sure to have damage type diversity, because this character will lose a lot of steam if you're stuck in a 25% No Pen situation against most of the foes in an encounter. In fact, I recommend keeping your high penetration backup weapon as your blunderbuss/melee pair - this is essentially your "boss mode" set up where you can both do high penetration and trigger self-flank at will throughout a long fight without having to repeatedly weapon switch. 3.0+ update There have been some random changes to how dual-wielding a ranged weapon and a melee weapon work. First, you can no longer attack destructibles at range if you are main-handing a melee weapon; your ranged weapon must be in your main hand. Second and more relevantly for this build, you cannot actually engage enemies unless you are main-handing a melee weapon. This is important because a good crutch for this build was to main-hand the blunderbuss, so that the range indicator properly indicates the range of the firearm so you know how far away to go before it's too far when trying to trigger Powder Burns. You can still do that, but you can no longer engage foes if you do this. Since engagement can be pretty important, if you don't need the visual aid of the blunderbuss range indicator, you should main-hand a melee weapon and keep the blunderbuss in your off-hand. DETAILS - SURVIVING The basic point of this character is getting into dangerous situations to trigger the Streetfighter special and then surviving, which is a harder task when playing on Veteran or Path of the Damned. Before we dive into the many tools that we'll lean on, we need to talk about how effect stacking works in Deadfire. On the face of it, the rule is pretty simple, paraphrasing the in-game cyclopedia: all passive effects stack, but the highest active effect suppresses all other active effects. While the rule is simple, the devil is in the details and thinking through the implications of this is important for your own gameplay. A "passive effect" can be thought of as constant item effects (like a Ring of Minor Deflection), innately triggered item effects (like Xoti's Sickle's Urgent Harvest or its damage boost or Entonia Signet Ring's defense bonuses), and passive class abilities (anything in the passive column and always-on innate effects like the Helwalker's might bonus from wounds). Everything else is an active effect, including weapon modals, paladin auras, and stances. This is relevant because one of the ways that we'll lean on surviving in dangerous situations is by having a high deflection. Veteran min-maxers will know the finer points of getting your deflection to sky-high levels, but the important detail for us is that when it comes to defensive abilities we actually have a lot of redundancy, and surviving will involve avoiding that redundancy. Look at the following table for ways that we will make it harder and easier for enemies to hit us, and what active effects fall into each stacking category (this is not a comprehensive effect of all things in the game, just common ones relevant to this character): +Deflection | +Deflection from Resolve Arcane Veil (+50 vs non-guns)| Any resolve inspiration (+5) Escape (+50) | Ripple Sponge (+2) Mirror Image (+30) | Llengrath's... (+10) | dagger modal (+10) | Coral Snuff (+5) | ------------------------------------------------------------- -Enemy accuracy | -Enemy accuracy from Perception Despondent Blows (-15 melee) | Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment (-10, jumps to -5) hatchet modal (-10) | Any perception affliction (-5) Devotions for... (-10) | Blinded affliction (-10) | ------------------------------------------------------------- -Deflection | -Deflection from Resolve Flanked (-10) | Any resolve affliction (-5) This means that any given time, you can have around a 85-point net swing in your relative deflection to the enemy's accuracy. This is by combining Arcane Veil, a resolve inspiration, a Despondent Blows debuff on the enemy, and a perception affliction on the enemy, though you will likely also have a constant -10 from being flanked. Still a 75-point net swing after being flanked is still pretty huge and this is still ignoring stackable passive effects like the hatchet innate weapon bonus (+3 deflection against melee), Entonia Signet Ring (+2 all defenses per enemy engaging you [which is different from enemies that you engage]), a large shield with weapon and shield style (+12, +6, plus an additional +2 per large shield enchantment level), Cloak of Deflection (+7), Minor Ring of Deflection (+2), Shorewalker Sandals (+1 resolve), etc. However, this also means that if you have Mirror Image active, there is no reason to have your dagger modal active. If you've hit all the enemies nearby with a blinded affliction, there is literally no reason to have your hatchet modal active and casting Devotions for the Faithful could potentially just be a waste of time. Juggling all these various stacking effects will constitute a good chunk of the micromanagement of this character. You certainly could just leave your dagger or hatchet modal on all the time, but you'd be giving up a significant chunk of damage unnecessarily. Now, a big question is, say all enemies nearby are hit with Devotions for the Faithful (-10 accuracy); is it worth the opportunity cost(*) of casting Despondent Blows on top of that (it would be a net change of an additional -5 accuracy)? Similarly, if you are already protected by Arcane Veil, is it worth the time to get a resolve inspiration? The answer, my friend is that defenses offer increasing returns(**). Basically, look at the combat log. If the enemies don't have too much of a negative penalty to their attack roll, then it's probably not worth it. If they have a pretty huge negative penalty (but less than -75), then yes it's probably worth it. Even then, this guideline isn't perfect because if you're trying to get hit to get low enough health to trigger On the Edge or a perma-Heating Up (common later on in the game), then you may never find it worth it to cast even the hard-hitting stuff to begin with. (*) "Opportunity cost" is a crucial concept for this character, and an important concept for any other character. There's an idea that there's an "action economy" in games like Deadfire, that is, you only have enough time to do so many things before combat ends, one way or the other. You certainly could cast every single buff or debuff in your arsenal willy-nilly, but then you'll spend actually very little doing anything of import. When you eventually are able to attack about once/second for a significant amount of damage (40-50 a pop, with potential Corona of the Soul triggers), you'll have to judge very carefully whether it's worth instead spending 3-6 seconds (i.e. giving up 150-300 damage) by casting a spell or using an ability. (**) Defenses offer increasing returns because of the way attack rolls work in Pillars/Deadfire. The higher the relative defenses to an attacker, the more significant each additional point of defense becomes. A pair of examples illustrating this: let's say you have 0 defense against an attacker with 25 accuracy. What would the impact of 5 additional defense be? Well, with Deadfire's rolls, you'll go from being graze/hit/crit by the attacker 100% of the time to 95% of the time. Not much of a change in your total survivability. Now, let's say that you have 95 defense against that same attacker. What would the impact of 5 additional defense be? You'll go from being grazed 5% of the time to never being touched ever again. You will have gone from having finite--if huge--survivability to literally infinite survivability: that enemy could attack you until the heat death of the universe and they will never so much as reduce your health by 1 point, where with a 5% chance to graze they could probably kill you within an hour if you do nothing but stand there. This might sound like an absurd example, but for many types of "The Ultimate" runs for Pillars of Eternity 1 (beat the entire game solo on the hardest difficulty in iron man mode) some fights could literally last for more than an hour and the difference between being grazed 5% of the time and never being touched could be the difference between a successful run and one that fails after many hours of playing. Plus, when you are surrounded by enemies in melee and targeted by enemies at range, even a 5% chance to be grazed can be significant; when there are ten enemies on the battlefield one will be expected to graze you every other attack, which will quickly add up to something fatal if you aren't killing things quickly). You'll note that I list Escape as a source of deflection. And while it lasts an extremely short time (3s), with decent intellect and stuff like Meppu/Roe it can last almost 5s. Early on it can be a way to get some extra emergency protection without burning an Arcane Veil (especially since you don't have many other non-situational Guile-spenders you can potentially just chain together a bunch of Escapes to your current location since it has only a .5s base action time and no recovery), and at all points in the game can be used so that you can jump straight behind enemy lines and have a few seconds of unconditional +50 deflection protection to buff yourself or do something else. (If you want to be tricky, you can use Salvation of Time to extend the unconditional +50 defense of Escape by 20 seconds.) Now, it's important to highlight that this character is not intended to be an immortal riposte build. We could just leave a large shield equipped and stack on all sorts of bonuses to be untouchable, but frankly I find that playstyle boring (I did that for my own The Ultimate achievement run and while it was certainly impregnable it was also tedious). What we really just shoot for is enough defenses and debuffs to not be squished into oblivion within a few seconds of being flanked, so that we can go on a killing rampage. This character picks up riposte not because we are going to rely on it for as a centerpiece for our damage, but as an accent of some additional damage in certain situations (which we maximize by dual-wielding since riposte does a full attack). In fact, in the late game, we may just want to deliberately get to near death ourselves and not worry so much about defenses, which leads me to another aspect of the survivability equation: CAN NOT DIE EFFECTS If you played Pillars of Eternity 1 with a priest, you'll be forgiven for ignoring Barring Death's Door and similar effects in Deadfire, since the effect in Pillars 1 was pretty lame. All they did was prevent you from dying, and dying in Pillars of Eternity 1 meant getting knocked down to 0 health (as opposed to 0 endurance), which would have been a permadeath instead of just a knockout. What Barring Death's Door and similar effects do in Deadfire is prevent anything from reducing your health below 1 (even instant kill effects from something like Death Ring). Fortunately for the Streetfighter, one way to trigger Heating Up is to get Bloodied or lower, and the only way to get On The Edge is a combination of being Bloodied or lower and being flanked. Both Barring Death's Door and Potion of the Final Stand give us a nearly foolproof way to trigger Heating Up and sustain On The Edge. But both Potion of the Final Stand and Barring Death's Door have low base duration. It's for this reason why we pick up something like Prayer for the Spirit (+5 intellect means an extra +25% of base duration for Barring Death's Door), invest in Alchemy (+5% duration per point in Alchemy to Potion of the Final Stand), and love food/drink like Meppu/Roe (+15% beneficial effect duration, additively stacks with intellect and power level scaling) and importantly why one of our most important late-game spells is Salvation of Time (+10 seconds to beneficial effects but as of 1.2 actually grants +20 seconds at least the first time you cast it per encounter). This stuff also helps Arcane Veil--which has a fairly short duration as well--but is more critical for these "can not die" effects because the moment they wear off with you at 1 health, you are probably going to be knocked out. This leads to the second of this character's weaknesses, and it is Arcane Dampener. It's not too common for much of the game, but during the Paradise of the Mind quest and Nemnok the Devourer quest, literally every enemy wizard will try to hit you (and especially this character) with Arcane Dampener at least once; will Arcane Dampener temporarily suspend any current protections for a long time. You can try to hope that your will defense--which will be sizable thanks to a high intellect (buffed further by Prayer for the Spirit)--protects you, but this hope is dangerous because even a graze will dispel all your protections for a few seconds, which is more than enough time for you to be interrupt-locked to your death. You have two main approaches. First, you can try to use Smoke Veil to go invisible the moment you see the Arcane Dampener icon appear above wizards' heads (they tend to all cast it at the start of the fight, so if you see one you will probably see a lot) and let the enemy wizards re-target it to another member of your party who is less reliant on spell protection for survival. Second, you can try to use Smoke Grenade/Smoke Cloud or something like Grenades or Concussion Bombs to interrupt them while they are trying to cast it. This is very risky because if you miss you don't get another chance to interrupt them, so generally prefer the first approach. Either way, you should then eliminate the enemy wizards with extreme prejudice, because some of them will hang on to their third level spell cast to try again later. DETAILS - CONSUMABLES In addition to blunderbussing with Powder Burns or charging in to get flanked/brought to Bloodied quickly, an additional way you are going to get uptime with Heating Up and On The Edge is with explosives. Sparkcrackers is the way to do it for much of the game, since it will afflict you with Distraction and with a high explosives skill can last ~30s on a hit. The catch is that it needs to hit deflection first, so it will not work very well if you have already buffed your deflection or are in the middle of an Escape. A smaller catch is that your Intellect and possibly your Resolve are high, so your will defense will be high, making it hard for Sparkcrackers to hit, so only do this if you're desperate for a buff or are under the effects of Deadeye, Potion of Deftness, or something like Potion of Perfect Aim (all of which will give you a modest boost to accuracy). Do note that with a modest intellect, Sparkcrackers will attempt to hit you twice: one upon contact and once again a second later; its distraction effect triggers every second and Sparkcrackers actually has a base aoe duration of 1s.(*) (*) Note that patch 1.2 significantly weakened the effects of Deadeye and Potion of Deftness (no additional accuracy from alchemy) and somewhat weakened Sparkcrackers (no extra duration scaling from intellect). If all else fails, you can use Cinder Bombs (or rely on a friendly wizard to cast something like Chill Fog). Unlike Sparkcrackers, Cinder Bombs don't need to hit deflection first and instead of targeting will targets reflex which may not be as high if you have a perception affliction. Note that the blinded affliction is much worse for you than being distracted, because in addition to being flanked and losing 5 perception, you will also have an additional -10 accuracy penalty and a severe +50% recovery time penalty. However, even though the +50% recovery time penalty has the same magnitude as Heating Up's -50% recovery time bonus, the recovery time bonus is much more powerful than an equivalent magnitude penalty, and so you will still gain a significant speed up from being blinded(*). Cinder Bombs can also be used suicidally in a pinch if you want to lose some health to either trigger On The Edge or get into Heating Up in the first place, but do pay attention to that ongoing damage because it would be stupid if you ended up actually killing yourself. In higher-level fights, Cinder Bombs can also be a useful protection since if you're blinded you cannot be hit by Fampyr's Dominating or Charm Gaze. (Theoretically, blinding enemies also blocks them from using gaze attacks, but as of 1.1.1 this is bugged and doesn't work.) (*) This point comes up again and seems confusing, and is a minor disagreement I have with MaxQuest's otherwise excellent work on action speed; in the pinned post he asserts that all maluses (through something he calls "double-inversion") are stronger than their equivalent magnitude bonuses. This may be true for damage, but is not quite the right way to think about this in terms of action/recovery because action/recovery has different "native units" depending on whether it's a bonus or a penalty. The true complexity is left for the appendix, but for here it serves us just to remind you that because of the different "native units" a -50% recovery time bonus is not countered by a +50% recovery time penalty. Instead, if you are at all familiar with investing or finance, it's related to why if your investment loses 10% of its value one year, you actually need more than a 10% gain the following year to make up for it, because you're starting from a smaller base. In fact, let's stick with this investment analogy and swap in numbers from Deadfire here: imagine you had $1000 worth of stocks that lost 50% of its value one year. What return would you need the next year to make it back? If you lost 50% of your $1000, you are down to $500. So you would actually need a 100% return (doubling your money) the next year to get your money back. And in fact, this holds true for the blinded/Heating Up interaction. For the blinded affliction to cancel out the -50% Streetfighter recovery time bonus, it would need to be a +100% recovery time penalty. Sure enough, you can verify this in-game by looking at your weapon recovery time and then blinding yourself. Even though you have a +50% time penalty from being blinded your recovery time will go significantly down. To get the magnitude of the specific effect, we have to convert to our native units; -50% recovery time bonus is natively a +100% action speed during your recovery; a +50% recovery time penalty is already in its correct native unit; we take the +100% and subtract the +50% recovery time penalty; the answer is positive, so we treat it as an action speed adjustment of +50%, or a net recovery time bonus of -33% which is still significant. Yes, this math is weird. Other than those explosives, you should load up on whatever else floats your boat. Remember that, like weapons, explosives have a short action time and a longer recovery, so the Streetfighter with their special will be able to spam explosives like nobody's business. because of this Grenade and Concussion Bombs are a little less useful than others because spamming bombs is a little harder to do when Grenade and Concussion bombs are knocking everyone around. For alchemical uses, Deadeye and Potions of Deftness are mostly there as accuracy bonuses (though the action speed bonus from the potions of deftness is a nice plus), not just for landing Sparkcrackers but also because even with 17 perception there's a high likelihood that you have a perception affliction, so you are going to find that sometimes you need the accuracy help. Note that once you get Devotions for the Faithful, you can just use that for a powerful if slower accuracy boost (though it may be too slow for just trying to trigger Sparkcrackers early on since you'll have to go through at least one slow spell recovery from Devotions before attempting a Sparkcrackers).(*) (*) As of patch 1.2, Devotions for the Faithful's +10 accuracy bonus is the best active common accuracy bonus that I can immediately think of. This is because patch 1.2 significantly nerfed all consumables but in particular Deadeye and Potion of Deftness by no longer letting their accuracy bonuses scale upwards with your alchemy skill, so Devotions's +10 bonus got significantly better as a result. In addition, Devotions is special because most other accuracy bonuses come from being perception inspirations (like Fighter's Disciplined Barrage), so the +10 accuracy will stack freely with other perception inspirations and importantly for this build won't counter perception afflictions. Potions for the Final Stand are a good, if uncommon, supplement to Barring Death's Door (and your main option--aside from a friendly Shieldbearer Paladin--before you get Barring Death's Door). Potion of Impediment meshes extremely well with the Streetfighter's ultra-low-recovery rate for weapon attacks; as of 1.2 you no longer get effect scaling with alchemy but with a 30% interrupt chance and a fast attack rate you can still prevent a dangerous enemy from getting much done (interrupts, in addition to countering any active ability adds a little extra time to their current recovery). And lastly, a major weakness is that the Streetfighter/Wael lacks a lot of good ways to penetrate enemy armor (you won't be picking up any weapon modals that give you bonus penetration, and there are no armor penetration skills), so when you can, keep a Potion of Piercing Strikes ready to give you bonus penetration for big, hard fights.(*) For much of the game, you'll also want Potions of Minor Healing (nothing stronger) just to help you when your health gets too low. (*) Due to the fact that damage maluses are significantly stronger than damage bonuses due to double-inversion, under-penetration can lead to severe loss of damage. 25% underpenetration cancels out upwards of +300% worth of damage bonuses (it's a similar situation to a -75% recovery time bonus requiring an equivalent +300% recovery time penalty to cancel out), which is well more than what even a Streetfighter that is On the Edge and critically sneak attacking can put out. Even just going up to a 50% underpenetration (which only cancels out +100% worth of damage bonuses) can actually more than double your damage output. E.G. a neutral might, level 20 streetfighter/wael on the edge, sneak attacking, critically hitting, at 25% underpenetration would have a net damage adjustment of almost -40% (-3 + .6 + .5 + 1 + .25 = -.65 => 1/1.65 = .61 => -39%) whereas just managing to go up to even 50% underpenetration would have a net damage adjustment of +35% (-1 + .6 + .5 + 1 + .25 = 1.35 => +35%) which is a 2.25x increase in damage. Shows you how important penetration can be. DETAILS - MISCELLANEOUS SPELLS AND ABILITIES As mentioned before, we pick up Pillar of Faith, Pillar of Holy Fire, and Cleansing Flame just to do some extra damage and cause some interrupts (for Pillar of Faith), and hopefully trigger a Marux Amanth double-cast. Remember that opportunity cost is very important; make sure with all of these that you are doing something that, on its own, is worth giving up the melee damage you are foregoing by not auto-attacking instead. For Pillar of Faith, that means trying to interrupt several enemies in one go (remember that the prone itself targets Fortitude whereas the damage targets Reflex). Pillar of Holy Fire against groups of enemies (and potentially yourself if you're trying to trigger Bloodied). Cleansing Flame to eliminate enemy buffs and when it looks likely you'll get some good jumps off of it. Holy Meditation is just for some early resolve inspiration if needed, and later on as a way to cancel out a growing number of ways that enemies can Terrify your party. This character doesn't have many offensive abilities, so Frightened is not actually that big a deal, though the resolve hit can be a liability. Searing Seal is there as an additional source of blind and a way to lure enemies and blind them for free. That's because if you cast a spell outside of combat and you stay out of combat for a few seconds, you get that spent resource back. For many abilities this is not too useful. Seals, however, have a long duration. So you can cast it, wait for your resource to come back, and either lure enemies into it or wait for them to walk over and be hit by it. In fact, so long as you cast it a decent distance from enemies away, but still close enough to alert them by its noise, they will walk over the seal and be affected just after you get your 5th level spell cast restored. Because your 5th power level of spells is going to be oversubscribed (Barring Death's Door is just so good in this build), an opportunity for a free blind is too good to ignore. 3.0+ update I no longer recommend Searing Seal and instead recommend Champion's Boon. Champion's Boon solves several problems for us. First, it gives us +2 penetration from its Tenacious inspiration; this won't stack with a sabre or stiletto weapon modal, but will stack with the mace effect (because the mace gets extra penetration by implementing it as a debuff on the enemy, not as a buff on yourself) and importantly is the only consistent way we have to boost the penetration of daggers. In fact, for daggers this is better than a weapon modal because most other bonus penetration weapon modals give you a significant recovery penalty, whereas Tenacious gives us the +2 penetration without any drawback. The second and smaller perk is that Champion's Boon gives us +3 engagement. Combined with Persistent Distraction, this means up to four nearby enemies will be Distracted. Combined with the inherent Resolute inspiration Champion's Boon gives you, this is a net 10-point hit chance swing in your favor, in a way that stacks with accuracy penalties from Despondent Blows or Devotions of the Faithful or the hatchet weapon modal. It also means your Riposte attacks have an easier chance to hit on virtually anyone attacking you. The downside to this choice is that we no longer have a "free" spell like we did with Searing Seal. Because Barring Death's Door is so important for survival, you really should evaluate your combat situation carefully and weigh whether or not you are going to need the bonus penetration or you're going to need to prevent death/trigger On The Edge. We pick up Smoke Cloud solely as a prerequisite for Smoke Grenade. And we pick up Smoke Grenade for two reasons: as an additional fast interrupt, and as a way to help enable Deathblows. Persistent Distraction will take care of Deathblows for you automatically (the free flanked that perception afflictions bestow counts as a second affliction), but Smoke Grenade will be useful for triggering Deathblows on enemies you are not able to engage and for situations where the enemy is resistant to perception afflictions (you get the weakened effect from Smoke Grenade, and then rely on either manual flanking or some other explosive or party member to apply another affliction). If you have no problem with keeping near 100% Deathblows up-time without Smoke Grenade's help and don't mind the friendly fire, you can pick up Pernicious Cloud instead for the extra damage. 3.0+ update I added a story choice to the build--to be snarky at the gods when they first summon you after leaving Port Maje. This is because this unlocks the Wit of Death's Herald upgrade to your Death's Herald watcher ability (it also fits in with Wael's preferred disposition of being clever, coincidentally). Wit of Death's Herald adds on an intellect inspiration to the base effect, so is a "free" way to cast Prayer for the Spirit once/rest without using up a PL3 slot. DETAILS - STATS The last part of this is just the easiest: why are stats the way they are? Intellect is the only mandatory max-out, because you want to squeeze as much duration and area of effect out of everything you have. Resolve/deflection is an important stat, but after the consumable nerfs of patch 1.2, this build really needs the accuracy help due to perpetually being hit with a perception affliction (and no longer able to rely on Deadeye or Potions of Deftness with a high alchemy), so we actually skip resolve and invest in perception instead. We'll eventually get Shorewalker Sandals for its +1 Resolve to get up to 10, but we don't actually want more than that, because patch 1.2 also weakened Sparkcrackers' duration, so having too high of a resolve will negate many Explosives skill points. Basically we'll rely on deflection-boosting buffs, enemy-accuracy-penalizing debuffs, and Holy Meditation for our survivability instead of requiring a high inherent resolve. If things are too rough for you early game, you can put on a Cloak of +7 Deflection or some resolve boosting gear or some such, but as you get more tools you will generally want to dump some of that stuff just so that it can be easier to self-Sparkcrackers when you need to. (By contrast, we like Entonia Signet Ring because its defense bonus only occurs while you are actively engaged by enemies and you frequently are going to be doing Sparkcrackers while you aren't actively being engaged yet. Perfect for this build.) A lower resolve means we're going to get hit more regardless of what we do, so we don't dump constitution anymore. We don't have the spare points to invest in it, but we also don't want to make ourselves squisher than we need to be. In fact we pick up Tough later on for extra buffer room against high-impact enemy spells/abilities, but it's really a double-edged sword. More health means you can stay at Bloodied or below for longer, and there's more room for mistakes (like not paying attention to the fact that your Arcane Veil just ran out or that your Arcane Veil isn't doing anything because the enemy is using guns even while you melee them), but it also means it takes a lot longer to get to Bloodied. Whatever might adjustments you make here will be generally dwarfed by the huge amount of damage bonuses you'll get from a Streetfighter sneak attack (the base +30% plus power level scaling, plus the +50% from the Heating Up special). We opt for a neutral score to put the points elsewhere (and we want to avoid a penalty because damage penalties are stronger than bonuses). We put points into dexterity because action speed stuff has linear returns (see appendix) so we'll be able to be even faster, and importantly our spell cast times aren't affected by the Streetfighter special (just their recovery), so dexterity is the main way we'll make our spell casts a little more nimbler. (Picking up Rapid Casting later on will help, too.) Wood elf background is pretty important for its Dexterity affliction resistance. This character really wants mobility, and being able to shrug off hobbling, and convert a near-lethal Paralyze into a not-bad-at-all Immobilize is pretty valuable. You can find gear that provides Dexterity resistance, but this way you can reserve those inventory slots for more interesting stuff. CONCLUSION/PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Whew! That was a lot of text to read. If you made it this far, congratulations! And I hope you learned a thing or two. If this build still sounds really abstract to you, here are a couple typical examples of mid-to-high level encounters and how an Umezawa would handle it. SCENARIO: mixed group of melee 0. already affected by deadeye. 1. main tank charges in, unstealthed, while Umezawa is still stealthed. Targets self with a Sparkcrackers with ~70% accuracy (which is almost a guarantee to graze/hit, and the will effect will be likely to at least graze), if the main tank pulled right maybe an enemy gets affected too. 2. Escape towards the bulk of the enemies. While you still have the +50 Escape bonus active, make sure hatchet modal is enabled (in case Riposte procs you can debuff enemy accuracy), and then self-buff with Prayer for the Spirit and then cast Despondent Blows before disabling your hatchet modal and then casting Arcane Veil. 3. DPS everything down. Throw some bombs if you feel like it. Re-cast Arcane Veil if necessary. If fight is still going on and you're out of Arcane Veil, self-empower, chain Escapes together, use Mirror Image, etc. SCENARIO: high-level mixed group of melee and casters 1. Charge in. Notice that casters start casting Arcane Dampener. 2. Use Smoke Veil to go invisible. Continue to run Umezawa towards the back while the Arcane Dampener gets retargeted to your other party members. 3. Unstealth by throwing Sparkcrackers at point-blank range with one of the back casters, hopefully affecting yourself with Distraction. Cast Prayer For the Spirit, then Barring Death's Door as enemies reconverge on you. 4. Let them bring you down to 1 health and flank you while you DPS the caster down (you can also self-target with Pillar of Holy Fire to help bring your health down), and Escape to target the next caster. If you see another Arcane Dampener start getting fired, use Smoke Veil or Smoke Grenade. 5. When all the casters are gone, DPS everything else down. Use Salvation of Time for extra Barring Death's Door time. If you're in a situation where Riposte could be relevant and you're already at 1 health, go ahead and use Arcane Veil just for the added damage from your counterattacks. If you run out of Salvations of Time and Barring Death's Door, self-empower for another round of both. SCENARIO: "deal with it" nemnok fight. 1. Let main tank unstealth and trigger everything. 2. While stealthed, Umezawa either Powder Burns or self-Sparkcrackers. 3. Carpet bomb the area with Lightning Bombs and whatever else you got (Immolator, Frost Bombs, Blister Bomb) and mix in a couple of Smoke Grenades to lower enemy fort/reflex and reduce their ability to heal back from this hellscape you're creating. 4. Watch the entire enemy fight disappear under a hail of bombs exploding every other second. SCENARIO: single-enemy tough fight 0. Start off with deadeye already enabled. 1. Start off with your melee/blunderbuss weapon slot, the melee weapon being a fast (base 3s recovery) weapon. If you are able to land a non-graze self-sparkcrackers, switch to your dual-wield. Otherwise stay with this weapon slot and just find ways to keep Powder Burns uptime for the rest of this scenario. 2. Drink Potion of Impediment. (The interrupt chance from this and Deadeye are multiplicative with each other, so you'll have a net 40% [1 - .7 * .85] chance of interrupting with any given attack.) 3. Attack the enemy with a fast weapon. While as of 1.2 you won't completely interrupt-lock the enemy, attacking almost every second with a 40% chance to interrupt will turn down the danger level of any given tough enemy a lot. 4. Use Salvation of Time if necessary. Use Cinder Bomb, Pillar of Holy Fire, or other explosive to get your health down if you also want to be On The Edge while doing this. ALTERNATIVES After having dug up how monastic unarmed training works, I suggest two alternatives that rely on picking up Monastic Unarmed Training instead of Fast Runner. (You can pick up Fast Runner later in lieu of e.g. Holy Meditation or Pillar of Faith). TL;DR: Monastic Unarmed Training gives you potentially extremely fast, high-penetration weapons, but you need to find bonus sources of PL to really get mileage out of it (ideally at least +3, hopefully even +6). Option 1: Nature Godlike Until you pick up Champion's Boon you are going to a friendly party member who can buff you with a body inspiration, but you get +1 PL, and then you can get up to another +2 PL from either food (+1 PL) or a Potion of Ascension (+2 PL). +2 PL is enough to get you better-than-superb fists pretty early on, though not quite enough to get better-than-legendary, so you'd need to start crafting/buying Potions of Ascension on a regular basis to get to better-than-legendary scaling (at level 19). This is the "consistent" option, but is dependent on party composition. Option 2: Death Godlike For much of the game you won't get much bonus PL, but once you unlock Barring Death's Door, you can hover around Near Death for +3 PL, with the possibility of another +2 PL form either food (+1 PL) or a Potion of Ascension (+2 PL). +3 PL is enough to get you better-than-legendary fists by the end of the game (level 19), and conditionally +5 PL will get that for you by level 13. Unfortunately I don't think there exists another way to stack on another +1 PL to get better-than-mythic fists by the end of the game, at least without exploiting a bug(*). If there does exist another source, do let me know (it would have to be a non-class/keyword-specific PL bonus that comes from an item). This is the "spikey" option, but doesn't require you to have a body-inspiration-buffing-capable party member. (*) The Heart-Chime Amulet (reward for Pallegina's quest) is supposed to give you a variable bonus as a godlike or watcher, but is currently bugged to always give you the bonus that a Moon Godlike should get, which is a +1 PL stackable bonus. You can use it here to get +6 PL, but be warned that Obsidian will fix this bug and it's only a matter of time before this loophole goes away. In either option your main dual-wielding set of weapons will be your fists, which you can treat as fast blunt weapons with bonus inherent accuracy, damage, and penetration and a +30% damage lash. The weapon modal proficiency for fists is an additional +2 penetration, so you could theoretically re-drop Champion's Boon and bring back Searing Seal. You'll have a strong early game due to how the monastic unarmed training talent works, and the bonus PL will help ensure that you continue to scale at a reasonable pace. Though you need to be a Death Godlike comfortable with dancing with Barring Death's Door to really take advantage of it; fortunately for this build lots of good things happen at near death, so you'd be really leaning into that "glass cannon" philosophy. You're giving up a head slot, but this build was mostly using it for Fair Favor, which you don't need if you're busy punching everything in the face. REJECTED APPROACHES One immediate alternative approach to an Umezawa build you might think of is to pair a Streetfighter with an Illusionist, or at least a Wizard. You get a lot more opportunity-cost-worth-it damage spells and ways to afflict enemies. You also get Infuse With Vital Essence with is like a super-charged version of Prayer for the Spirit (since you are mostly using it as a self-buff in this build anyway). Plus, the Wizard has access to Wizard's Double, which, with a sufficiently high deflection, its duration-less unconditional +40 deflection is the best defensive spell you can use. The problem is that the Wizard actually has its defensive spells inefficiently distributed for our purposes. Both Arcane Veil and Mirror Image are at PL2, which means a Priest of Wael actually effectively gets twice as many casts as the wizard, since for the priest Arcane Veil is at PL1 and Mirror Image is at PL3. The fact that Arcane Veil is a PL1 is also a bigger deal than you may think. For one, early-game (Port Maje) 1.1 Path of the Damned is a fair challenge, and a wizard multiclass won't get two casts of PL2 spells until level 7, which is after when you probably most desperately need it. In addition, there are several resting effects in the game that give you a bonus +1 level spell cast (The Wild Mare and the Luminous Adra Bathhouse immediately come to mind). This is great for a Priest of Wael because it potentially means 3 casts of Arcane Veil, plus an additional 2 upon a self-empower. There's basically no equivalent for a wizard. And while Wizard's Double is good, it won't be that good for much of the early game because your deflection just won't be high enough to really milk it for what it's worth, and by the time you can take advantage of it, the Wael version will be picking up new tricks. Speaking of which, wizards lack the following spells that really help tie the Umezawa together: Despondent Blows, Devotions for the Faithful, Barring Death's Door, and Salvation of Time. It makes for some great general party utility and combat versatility. While I'm sure there is a great Streetfighter/Wizard build out there, I am fairly confident that for this specific playstyle (as opposed to an immortal high-deflection riposte build, which a wizard could do better) Streetfighter/Wael is the way to go. The Umezawa build as of now is also not a solo PotD build. A soloable version of Umezawa would be closer to an immortal, high-deflection riposte build, because the way this build is now the Umezawa is a team player. Frankly, without a lot of delicate pulling of enemies or just constantly equipping a large shield, there's just no way that the Umezawa can sustain all the enemy hate in the world because while your deflection is high to mitigate a significant portion of damage, it's not going to be high enough. Even with access to Barring Death's Door, encounters would probably just take too long and you'll be left out of steam with enemies still standing. Umezawa can work great in smaller-than-5 parties, but a completely soloable build would likely be unrecognizable to the one being presented here today. NOTES FOR MAGRAN'S FIRES Abydon: not recommended. This build leans hard on certain unique weapons and armor and you can really run up an expensive repair bill versus other characters that can use generics instead. Berath: nothing relevant to worry about. Eothas: nothing relevant to worry about. Galawain: be on the look out for Unstoppable and Bullish enemies. Unstoppable can't be afflicted, but they can be flanked; important to keep in mind for keeping your DPS up. Bullish enemies interrupt and knock back at will, so make sure you don't drop your best deflection bonuses (Arcane Veil or Escape) before trying to cast something at point-blank range. Magran: if you can pull off this build along with a party on this challenge you should probably quit your job and become a professional DOTA or Starcraft 2 player. Skaen: if you want to use this character to help illuminate things, the sabre proficiency is more important early on, and then you can use the sabre-torch. If you don't have access to the sabre-torch, well... *shrug*. Normal torches are still usable but represent a huge DPS loss. APPENDIX: LINEAR RETURNS I made the assertion earlier that speed adjustments offers linear returns. I've fought similar debates re: World of Warcraft and Diablo 3, and I'll fight it again now. But before we go onto my analysis and conclusion, we need to be clear what we mean by "linear returns." If you've taken calculus, then the easiest way to express what "linear returns" means is that for a given differentiable function f where f'' is the second-derivative and f consumes a stat x to yield a metric y, then if f(x) = y, ∃x₀: ∀x > x₀ f''(x) = 0. Putting it into words, we mean that after a certain point for x the second-derivative of f(x) is 0. Analogously, "increasing returns" is when f''(x) > 0, and "diminishing returns" is when f''(x) < 0. Put in less math-y speak, a stat has "linear returns" when for a given absolute change in that stat, the resultant metric always yields the same absolute change as well, regardless of what our starting point was. By contrast a stat has "increasing returns" when for a given absolute change in the stat, the resultant metric yields continually larger absolute changes the higher our initial stat was. Similarly a stat has "diminishing returns" when for a given absolute change in the state, the resultant metric yields continually smaller absolute changes the higher our initial stat was. A key point to this is properly identifying what the "metric" is. The poster child for this is resolve(deflection) and perception(accuracy). I've talked to and read posts by people who assume that because +1 deflection gives the enemy a -1 penalty on the attack roll and a +1 accuracy gives you a +1 on the attack roll that deflection and accuracy have linear returns. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because the actual metric is "effective health." That is, how much effective health do you have? And as this is the true metric it becomes very clear that deflection/resolve has increasing returns, because at very low deflection another point hardly matters, but at the top-end each point of deflection is so important that eventually it gives you infinite survivability. Accuracy, by contrast, has diminishing returns, because it's the flip side to that deflection equation. When you go from missing all the time to grazing some of the time, you just got an infinite increase in your damage potential (which was previously zero). However, when you already have accuracy so high that you are critting all the time, another point of accuracy will do literally nothing. With regards to action speed and recovery times, a lot of people get hung up on the fact that when it comes to speed adjustments, the more bonuses you have the smaller your reduction in your action time and recovery time, and they therefore conclude that therefore the returns are diminishing. This is wrong for two interrelated reasons. One, the action time/recovery time is not actually the metric. It is in fact just a mere component of our true metric, and is in fact the denominator. Two, because it is the denominator for our true metric, the smaller our starting value, the smaller the change needs to be to accomplish the same net effect. For example, reducing your recovery time by .1s when you're starting at 1.5s is way better than reducing your recovery time by .1s when you're starting at 5s. So just the mere fact that you get less recovery time reduction the more action speed you already have does not, by itself, mean you have diminishing returns. Instead, you have to look at the true metric. So what is the true metric? Basically, damage per second, or damage over time. More generally, it is "how many things can we accomplish in a given amount of time?" Now, does this metric get linear returns from speed bonuses? Or is it diminishing? Or is it increasing? Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario where you attack and on average do 15 damage to the target, and you do so every 5 seconds. Using the action speed equation, we can draw a graph of how much damage you are capable of doing for different levels of +action speed. See that smooth diagonal line going up(*) in the graph below (click to enlargen)? That's literally the definition of linear returns. (*) Note that for a game like Diablo 2 or Diablo 3, it's not quite this simple. At a certain point, because attack animations are connected to whole numbers of frames (frames as in "frames per second"; whole numbers as in no fractional frames) you start running into a "breakpoints" where you actually get 0 returns for a while until you get enough accumulated attack speed improvements to "round" down to the next lower number of frames per attack. So at a certain point it stops being a smooth diagonal line and starts becoming a steadily embiggening staircase. It averages out to be linear returns, but in truth it no longer really is any sort of well-defined returns because the function is no longer differentiable at that point, which was an important part of defining any kind of returns above. It is possible that at the extreme, Deadfire hits similar issues, but in truth it is clear that Deadfire retains recovery time to two decimal places (even if it rounds to one-decimal place in tooltips), and it is likely that it is impossible to accumulate so much action speed so as to hit "breakpoint" issues. Plus, if Deadfire allows for fractional attack frames, then breakpoints are a non-issue altogether. Now one hiccup here is the fact that the way Deadfire treats adjustments to your action time and recovery time is that it has different native units of measurement depending on whether it's a bonus or a penalty (malus). In effect, the native stat for bonuses is action speed. The native stat for maluses is action time. So when you have a -50% recovery time bonus, it is actually truly a +100% action speed adjustment. However, if you have a -20% action speed penalty, it is actually truly a +25% action time adjustment. Why is this relevant? Because it affects how Deadfire combines the numbers behind the scenes. When you're combining bonuses, you translate anything that's not an action speed into an action speed adjustment and then just add them up; you then optionally reconvert it into whatever unit (recovery time adjustment or action speed adjustment) the tool-tip requires; e.g. a -50% recovery time penalty and a +15% action speed bonus becomes a +100% action speed adjustment and a +15% action speed adjustment which becomes a +115% action speed adjustment for the recovery, which turns into a -53.5% recovery time bonus (and just a -13% action time bonus). When you're combining maluses, you translate anything that's not a recovery time penalty into a recovery time adjustment and then just add them up e.g. two -20% action speed adjustments become two +25% recovery time penalties that add to become a +50% recovery time penalty, which you can then reconvert back for display purposes into a -33% action speed adjustment if needed. When you're combining bonuses and maluses, you convert all bonuses into positive action speed adjustments and sum them, and then convert all maluses into negative recovery time adjustments and sum them, and then you subtract the latter from the former even though they are two completely different units of measure; so a -50% recovery time bonus and a -20% action speed adjustment becomes a +100% action speed adjustment minus a +25% recovery time penalty. The resulting number's unit depends on its sign. If it's positive, the resulting answer is determined to be an action speed adjustment. If it's negative, the resulting answer is determined to be a sign-flipped recovery time penalty. This is needless to say weird. Anyway, this is to say that yes, penalties can drag your numbers down because a -20% action speed is actually much more powerful than a +20% action speed. But unlike what MaxQuest says in his otherwise really useful action speed post, it's not just maluses that do this because of double-inversion (unlike damage penalties). For similar reasons, a -50% recovery time bonus is much more powerful than a +50% recovery time penalty. It's because you have to first convert to the "native units" at which point you see that a -20% action speed is actually a +25% recovery time penalty, which is more powerful than the +20% action speed; and the -50% recovery time bonus is actually a +100% action speed bonus which has a larger magnitude than the +50% recovery time penalty. Yes, again, this is weird and confusing. This odd use of native units of measurement also has an effect on the full understanding of our linear returns. When all you have are action speed bonuses, the linear returns are easy to see as a diagonal graph going up and to the right. When all you have are recovery time penalties, it is trivial to see that e.g. each +10% recovery penalty you add to your 5s recovery is a flat .5 second, which is also linear. But when you are combining bonuses and penalties, things get a little harder to compute and things don't add up as trivially. But if you remember about "native units" then it looks a little less weird that a -75% recovery time bonus can cancel out as much as a +300% recovery time penalty (which can make it intuitively feel like there's increasing returns to time/speed modifiers) or that a -20% action speed penalty outweighs a +20% action speed bonus (which can make it intuitively feel like there's diminishing returns to time/speed modifiers). And this is why it's so important that you get x and y right when analyzing whether for an f(x) = y, that f''(x) = 0 . Now, astute observers will note that with linear returns, the more you have of something, the less any further gain is worth relative to what you already have. MaxQuest has called this "intrinsic diminishing returns" for lack of a better term. I don't quite like the terminology because "diminishing returns" has a specific meaning, but I also don't have a better suggestion. Anyway, it is certainly true that if you have +500% action speed, another net +25% action speed is going to be a relatively less impact than when you had +0% action speed. This point is relevant if you're trying to decide between investing in damage or investing in speed, because to maximize total damage over time you want to balance out your bonuses as much as possible (for the same reason that given a rectangle with sides a and b with a fixed combined length of a + b = c, to maximize the area, a = b. In other words you get more area from being a square than from being an extremely skinny rectangle). But if you're not actively concerned about a tradeoff between damage or speed (such as when choosing how to allocate points between might or dexterity) the fact that the relative gain is less and less is completely irrelevant to whether or not you get linear returns, and sort of an orthogonal point altogether. Why? In general, a good way to think about increasing, linear, and diminishing returns is this: if something has increasing returns you generally want to invest a lot in it; if something has diminishing returns a little bit of investment might be worth it but it's definitely not worth it after a certain point(*); if something has linear returns, you're always going to get value out of it. If instead of this being Deadfire and us talking about speed bonuses, we were instead talking about Baldur's Gate and equipment that gives you bonus damage to weapons (like a pair of gloves that might give you +1 to weapon damage rolls), literally no one would be saying "oh I guess you have +5 total damage bonus now. Not worth getting more" unless it was some sort of tradeoff between equipment that gave you +1 damage or one that gave you +1 extra attack. In fact, everyone would probably be trying to stack on as much weapon damage bonus as possible after maximizing their attacks per round. It's the same thing here. When you're not trading off for damage, there's basically no reason to not get more speed if you can. (*) This is very simplified and glosses over a lot of nuance. Something can have such extremely slow increasing returns that it may never be worth investing in, and something can have such extremely slow diminishing returns that over a reasonable range of stats it may never not be worth investing in. Similarly, if every action speed and recovery time adjustment in Deadfire were suddenly decimated to literally one tenth of their current value, even though speed adjustment would still be linear returns, the gains would be so small that even though they would still be linear returns, you would be getting linear crap returns. The linear returns for investment in speed works out for us players in Deadfire because in large part Obsidian purposefully balanced speed with damage (see the Might/Dexterity correspondence). So that's it. What are you still doing here? Show's over! Hope you found this useful, entertaining, or at least educational!
  4. Hi everyone! I'm finally starting my first playthrough of POE II (with full party, planning to go with Veteran mode) and thinking about creating a CC-focused caster (with some nuking sprinkled in). Will be playing turn-based. After looking through multiple forum posts here I'm leaning towards trying out a blood mage/priest and even found this amazing FAQ with a Wael Thaumaturge build, written by @thelee as far as I understand: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/227477-pillars-of-eternity-ii-deadfire/faqs/76599/case-study-2-deadfire-lich I also sort of like the idea of cipher/rogue. I have some unresolved questions after my search, however: 1) Is the Priest class in the gameFAQs build worth it for extra healing or the blood mage would be better off with e.g. multiclassing it with paladin? Would the build still function well in the turn-based setting? 2) Stats for thaumaturge (and for blood mage in general) are a bit confusing to me. Some recommend to dump CON, others suggest a fair bit of CON investment. What would ideal stats look like for this build? 3) Would a cipher (beguiler..?) or a cipher/rogue be a more robust choice for a cc-focused build? Is it possible to make a good gunner-cipher who is also effective as a caster? What would be approximately good stats for this build? Sorry for the messy questions - it just seems like there is quite a lot of information on the builds but none of it is recent and in games like this I try to make a build that feels right from the start, otherwise I end up forever restarting... Any input on the topic is highly appreciated! Thank you!
  5. "Let's go to the Golden Dragon and ask for protection." "Why should we go to a fancy exotic restaurant? How are they supposed to... Ahhh - THAT Golden Dragon! Right!" - Two shop owners who got bullied by thugs - Menu of the day: Appetizer: a fresh shout served with an echo First course: fiercest barbarian yelly Main course: sliced heart of fury with a taste of hunt Dessert: sweet minor fatigue, served with a bit of anger - Menu card of The Golden Dragon - The Golden Dragon is the wild, unconventional, but also posh counterpart to a usual bodyguard – distinguished by his frightening and threatening presense and his recklessness and his predilection to substitute raw aggression for discipline, but also by his showy style and his bravado. Lacking the accuracy and strong deflection of a fighter, the Golden Dragon makes up for this through intimidation, savagery and abilities tailored for repelling groups of enemies. The Golden Dragon is a challenge to deal with on a battlefield, though he is vulnerable if his nice shiny armor gets splattered with gore too much. The Golden Dragon loves to show off and uses illeism - usually referring to himself as "The Golden Dragon". Some say this man wasn't even born, but created by two animancers who realized their ideas of a perfect bodyguard... =================================== The Golden Dragon =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Barbarian -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Pale Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Old Vailia - Colonist -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats (character creation): MIG: 18 CON: 03 DEX: 04 PER: 16 INT: 19 RES: 18 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 4, Lore 6, Mech. 0, Surv. 14 -------------------------------------------------------------- Abilities (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Elemental Endurance (a) Barbaric Yell (!) Heart of Fury (!) Threatening Presence One Stands Alone ® Dragon Leap (!) Savage Defiance (!) Thick-Skinned Echoing Shout ® Talents Veteran's Recovery (!) Weapon & Shield Style (!) Stalwart Defiance ® Superior Deflection ® Spirit of Decay Weapon Focus: Ruffian Accurate Carnage Bear's Fortitude ® --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Bittercut (*legendary, *corrosive lash, *durgan refined) & Dragon's Maw Weapon Set 2: Captain Viccolo's Anger (*corrosive lash) & Little Savior Boots: Fenwalkers Head: Liripipe of Thinking Armor: The Golden Scales (*Durgan Reinforced) Neck: Cloak of Comfort Belt: Binding Rope Rings: Ring of Deflection, Ring of Protection Hands: Siegebreaker Gauntlets Quick slots: stuff ----------------------------------------------------------------- First of all - the basic idea for this build popped out of Jojobobo's head in a threat about barb tanks some months ago. We discussed some things and afte a while agreed that I would post the build (if it's viable) while he wanted to follow some different build ideas in detail (look at his Silver flash chanter build!). So, thanks Jojobobo for all the input! Your ideas proved to be very viable: this was the best main tank I ever played so far. Some people may know that I absolutely loath those pure tanks who can only soak damage and do nothing else - well, this is not one of those. Thanks to Heart of Fury and Bittercut, ombined with certain bashing shields, this "tank" did TWICE as much damage as my dps wizard in the same party - while being VERY sturdy even with dumped CON (more on that later). The main idea of this build is not only to stack defenses, but also to debuff enemies' ACC values. This not only helps our barbarian to tank better, but it's also benefical for our whole party's survival. Although he's slow, he should also be able to dish out good damage per hit. This is important for carnage and esp. later for HoF (attack speed doesn't matter there). When thinking about lowering enemies' ACC, things like dazing (-10 ACC and also -2 PER which leads to -12 ACC overall), frightened (-10 ACC) and so on come to mind. A barbarian can lower enemies' ACC in an AoE with abilities like shouts & leap, via items with auras, via spell binding or scrolls and also via carnage: ACC debuffing abilities: - Barbarian Yell frightens in a faily big AoE (-10 ACC) - Barbarian Shout terrifies in a really huge AoE (-20 ACC) - Dragon Leap dazes in an AoE which size is comparable to carnage's (-12 ACC) - Echoing Shout dazes in a ridiculously long AoE line (-12 ACC) - Threatening Presence causes sickened in a quite small AoE when you don't move. PER gets reduced. (-1 ACC) ACC debuffing via carnage: - Glittering Gauntlets daze on hit (-10 ACC) - Captain Viccolo's Anger causes Minor Fatigue on hit (-10 ACC) - Lost Thayn's Reach causes interfering on hit (-5 ACC) ACC debuffing via aura: - Executioner's Hood's Intimidating Presence causes frightened in a quite small AoE and has reduced ACC (-10 ACC) - Redfield's Harbinger aura causes -3 ACC in a quite small AoE (-3 ACC) ACC debuffing via spells/scrolls: - Elryn's Jacket has a spell chance of Eyestrike that blinds (-29 ACC) - Stuck via Binding Web or Binding Rope (-5 ACC) - Forgotten Tear of the Beloved has a daze spell chance (-10 ACC) Maybe I forgot something. Of course you could also use a weapon with overbearig or stun to lower enemies ACC to 0 if you crit - because disabled foes can't hit you. Based on this, I developed the barb you see above. Of course not all the things I mentioned above stack. So I tried to develop a char which isn't too micro-intense, can stack a good amount of ACC debuffs without too much fuzz, who is sturdy and - maybe most important - looks nice. At the same time there are only two bashing shields that are good with carnage & HoF: Badgradr's Barricade and Dragon's Maw. This limits the style options significantly I'd say. Here you see the outcomings. Let's talk about how I do encounters with him at lvl 16: 1.: The barb enters combat and then casts Echoing Shout, prefarably if a priest buffed his ACC. Enemies who run towards him get damaged and dazed: -12 ACC. 2.: The barb casts Stalwart Defiance - I know, why start healing right from the start? Well, because it also gives you +10 to all defenses and the start of the combat usually is the time where a main tank needs defenses the most. Think about the opening salves of Lagufaeth, wizards and stuff. His defeses are now +10. 3.: Then he yells his finest yell and causes frighten all around him in a big AoE. Best thing, again, would be to yell after your ACC got buffed by a fellow priest or so. The enemies' ACC is debuffed by additional 10 points. 3.: He jumps into the place with Dreagon Leap where he will hit most enemies with his HoF. If there were enemies without dazing, now they usually are dazed and even more damaged. 4.: He triggers HoF with Bittercut + Dragon's Maw, dealing tons of damage with the high dmage of bittercut and Taste of the Hunt from Dragon's Maw, not only diond raw damage but also completely healing (if even neccessary). Most of the time this means death for all enemies in range. It's awesome. 5.: If enemnies survived, he switches to "full tank mode" with Captein Viccolo's Anger & Little Savior and causes Minor Fatigue via carnage while buffing his and fellows' defenses via herald enchantment: -10 ACC of enemies, +5 to all our defenses, add. +5 to deflection. If you want, you can take Brbaric Shout, too. It#s a very strong debuff and totally fits the theme, I also had it for some time. But I realized I seldomly used it because usually the yell was enough. It doesn't stack with frightened and is per rest - so thought I'd take something else instead. All the debuffs and defense buffs stack, meaning we will have the equivalent of up to +47 points to all defenses - on top of your already great deflection and other defenses (which are balanced). This can be buffed further by any deflection or defense buff: the things the barb does stack with everything which is a great plus. So, for example a Circle of Defense would lead to +62 to all defenses (if you add up ACC debuffs and defense buffs). YOu could even buff deflection further with Shields for the Faithful - stacks! This is also the reason why I could easily dump CON to 3: you seldomly get hit. And even if: survival bonus (+60% healing) combined with Veteran's Recovery and Taste of the Hunt lead to full endurance all the time. And even with 5 CON (3 base + items) this barb has as much endurance as a fighter with 10 CON. Of course the early game is a more challanging this way. And sure, fortitude is a bit low - that's why I took Bear's Fortitude so that my defenses may be balanced. Of course you will meet enemies that are immune to dazing of frightening - but it's not very common that enemies are immune to both. And even then those encounters are not the toughest ones, so it doesn't matter at all. By the time you get HoF you can have Badgradr's Barricade, which works perfectly well with this build. In fact I'd say for offense it's even better than the Dragon's Maw - so it's a matter of taste. Down below I will also add a variant of this build with Badgrad'r Barricade. I took it until I got Dragon's Maw. Before the WHite March I used a large shield without bash with a common sabre - and thanks to the high PER it worked quite well for me. Because Dragon's Maw has this special look, for me the only armor that fits to it are the Golden Scales. And since now everything's golden, I had to put on th Liripipe of Thinking, because it's the only headgear with an enchantment that looks cool with this outfit. Of course there are better helmets out there - but I can't play when I must always fear that the dyrwooden style militia may arrest me because of fashion crimes. --- Variant A: The Golden Dragon with Godansthunyr ------------------------------------------------------------------ When using Godansthunyr, you can skip Spirit of Decay and take Vulnerable Attack instead. It also works well with HoF and it looks really badass with the shield and armor. Variant B: Veildancer ---------------------------- When using Badgradr's Barricade until the end things get difficult with your outfit. You can either use a generic armor that can be dyed (crucible knights' plate looks nice) or you choose the monk's robes from the Abbot of the Abbey of the Fallen Moon. It's ok to have lower DR. Thick Skinned + Second Skin will give you +5 to physical damage and you will be faster. It's a bit more dps and a bit less sturdyness (while still being very sturdy). You could swap a bit MIG for CON if you want, but I tried it with the original stats and it works fine. Too bad there are only unenchatned helmets that look cool with this outfit - but on the other hand: the game is so easy later on that you can favour style over power, right? This doesn't look as a golden dragon at all - hence the alternative name. Also: Bittercut's green stain doesn't look so great with all that turquoise, so I took Resolution instead which also works really well - with Thrust of Tattered Veils you'll do crush damage, so the singe damage type isn't too bad. And annihilation with HoF is nice of course. Here you can also skip Spirit of Decay and use Vulnerable Attack or something else you like - Penetrating SHot works with Thirst of Tattered Veils without slowing you down in melee - this can also be a good pick. Or Gallant's Focus maybe?
  6. A witch doctor is originally a type of healer who treated ailments believed to be caused by witchcraft. The term witch doctor is sometimes used to refer to healers, particularly in the region of Old Vailia, who use traditional healing rather than contemporary medicine. In monks' societies, "witch doctor" is sometimes used derisively to refer to a warrior who hates magic and witchcraft which is not done by kith. this monk absolutley loathes all forms of non kith casters like Pŵgras, Ogre Druids, Vithracks, Cean Gŵlas and so on and tries to purge them from the face of Eora as fast as possible. =================================== The Witch Doctor =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Monk -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Boreal Dwarf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 21 CON: 10 DEX: 16 PER: 10 INT: 18 RES: 03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 4, Athl. 7, Lore 8, Mech. 0, Surv. 10 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Weapon Focus: Peasant Two Weapon Style Lightning Strikes ® Ghost Hunter ® Beast Slayer ® Wilder Hunter ® Primal Bane ® Apprentice's Sneak Attack Abilities Hunter's Instincts (a) Transcendent Suffering 4 (a) The Long Pain (!) Torment's Reach (!) Swift Strikes ® Force of Anguish (!) Skyward Kick ® Stunning Blow ® Second Whind (a) Knock Down (a - Girdle of the Driving Wave) Long Stride Flagellanth's Path or Resonant Touch --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Fists/The Long Pain Weapon Set 2: Danulya & Irfarn Byrngar's Solace Boots: Echoing Misery Head: Maegfolc Skull Armor: Maneha's Armor (*Durgan Reinforced, INT+2, Slash-Proofed) Neck: Cloak of the Frozen Hunt Belt: Girdle of the Driving Wave Rings: Ring of Thorns, Bartender's Ring Hands: Gauntlets of Swift Action or Mourning Gloves or Blood Testment Quick slots: Scroll(s) of Tanglefoot, Binding Web, Plague of Insects, Prayer against Restraint ----------------------------------------------------------------- After "The Long Pain" was introduced to the game I thought that soon there would pop up some builds around that in this forum. But until today, I saw none specific build. Nerdcommando did a video about this, but it had some errors and didn't point out some of the most amazing features of The Long Pain. So I went out and did some testing to verify what works with this awesome abilitiy and what doesn't. Here are my results and the character I build around that. But first of all I have to explain an important fact: The Long Pain is considered a dual wielded ranged weapon - but for whatever reason it also works with most (not all) melee abilities. This allows for some crazy and relaly powerful combinations, have a look: What abilities, talents and items work/don't work with The Long Pain? Abilities: + Swift Strikes (makes flying fists hit faster) + Stunning Punch (stunning at a range of 12m without using wounds? Aweseome! Also: Full Attack!) + Skyward Kick (like above, but only Primary Attack - still good when you have no wounds left and want to take somebody out of the game fast) + Force of Anguish (pushing enemies away - but keep on hitting them at a distance. So much fun!) + Knock Down (from the Girdle of the Driving Wave; works like in melee but at 12m range. Only primary attack, but +20% damage!) + Torment's Reach (it's so easy to hit a lot of enemies when you stay in the back row, firing off Full Attacks(!) that do great AoE damage - this is the most powerful thing you can combine with The Long Pain - however, you need wounds) + Flagellanth's Path (like with fists - range 10m - but great to escape a mob - works even if you're stuck) - Enervating Blows (don't work with The Long Pain) - Turning Wheel (no fire damage gets added) Talents: + Lightning Strikes (+25% shock damage - since the base damage of The Long Pain is very high, this is awesome) + Two Weapon Style (The Long Pain is considered dual wielding - you get faster with this, tested and confirmed) + Weapon Focus Peasant (and I guess every other weapon focus, too, because The Long Pain is "universal" as all the other summoned weapons) + Marksman + Runner's Wounding Shot + Envenomed Strike + Apprentice's Sneak Attack + All the hater talents like Primal Bane and so on + Penetrating Shot (but I think with that high damage per hit speed is more important than 5 DR bypass) - Savage Attack (no damage added, no ACC malus) - Dangerous Implement (nope - but worth a try ) Items: + Blood Testament (will add raw damage per wound - but you will spend your wounds fast) + all items that spped you up like Gauntlets of Swift Action or Mourning Gloves + Bartender's Ring (20% more damage against vessels and spirits) + Archer's Gloves or Cloak of the Frozen Hunt (+10% damage) - Sandals of the Forgotten Friar (although titled unarmed, those sadly don't work with The Long Pain) Genereal thoughts: As usual a monk doesn't have many things that can boost ranged damage besides MIG, Archer's Gloves, Lightning Strikes and the hater talents. The Long Pain have enormous base damage and you want to add as many dmg modifiers as you can get to squeeze the most out of them. So maxed MIG sounds good. At the same time you want to have them as long as possible, so high INT is also good. High INT is also great for the cone of Torment's Reach and for all the disabling stuff you can have - like from Force of Anguish and Stunning Blows and so on. Because of this I took all the hater talents except Sanctifier - because you will also have St. Ydwen's Redeemer in your party and maybe also a priest. Those are great against vessels so we can skip Sanctifier. Talent points are scarce. And there's also the Bartender's Ring which gives us +20% against vessels anyway. I didn't take Marksman because most of the time I was not fighting at max range. In fact I was running around a lot and fought at melee or mid range most of the time. Standing right behind the front line, intercepting rushing enemies, catching some wounds or just running past some mobs in order to eat disengagement attacks for wounds before firing at the enemy spellcasters with the Long Pain. Also, with the camping bonuses I didn't feel the need for +5 ACC. The Long Pain also has a huge ACC bonus that seems to scale with level. At lvl 16 they have +20 ACC. I chose boreal dwarv as race because of the same reason: I wasn't doing ranged combat exclusively, so it felt like a waste to take wood elf. +15 ACC against two creature groups seemed to be better. I chose the second weapon setup because the shield, combined with the Ring of Thorns, gives you +100 to all defenses when you are prone or stunned. THis can be a lifesaver when you get cc'd and surrounded. Just switch to the second weapon set then and you get nearly untouchable. Once the cc effect wears off, use Force of Anguish to break free. Flagellanth's Path is also good for this. I didn't take it but I consider it a better choice than Resonant Touch actually. Damage, ACC and Speed: The Long Pain's base damage is 24-36 at lvl 16. I can add +10% from the Cloak of the Frozen Hunt (or Archer's Gloves) and also +42% from 24 MIG. The result is 37-55 crush damage against every enemy I meet. When I add the hater talents, it's another +25% against all enemies except kith and vessels. Now add the Bartender's Ring with +20% against spirits and vessels. Apprentice's Sneak Attack will add +15% from time to time. My ACC will get boosted by my racial ability (+15 against wilder and primordial), Weapon Focus (+6), the Long Pain itself (+20) and by resting bonuses (+15, not kith) as well as the cloak (+6 against beasts). So my damage and ACC bonuses would look like this: ------------------------------ Wilder: +77% (42-64), +92% with Appr. Sneak; +56 ACC Primordial: +77% (42-64), +92% with Appr. Sneak; +56 ACC Spirit: +97% (47-71), +112% with Appr. Sneak; +41 ACC Vessel: +72 (41-62), +87% with Appr. Sneak; +41 ACC Beast: +77% (42-64), +92% with Appr. Sneak; +47 ACC Kith: +52% (37-55), +67% with Appr. Sneak; +26 ACC (here you could use to use the bonus damage against flanked targets) On top of that, add +25% shock damage with Lightning Strikes... so much damage... ------------------------------ With Mourning Gloves or Gauntlets of Swift Action and Two Weapon Style, combined with Swift Strikes you can reach 0 recovery. So imagine very fast hits at 12 m range with more than 50 damage. It's like a gunshot from an arquebus, but with 0 recovery - you're basically a gatling gun. Now add the fact that you can do Full Attacks with Stunning Blows and Torment's Reach and it really gets ridiculous. If you have wounds and are at range - just use Torment's Reach - Full Attacks with a huge AoE at 0 recovery against a horde of enemies (also debuffing them) is pure fun. I never - really never - saw anything that powerful in my entire PoE "career". Too bad it only works as long you have some wounds left. But your auto-attacks are also pure destruction. CC: I also put together all the CC abilities a monk can have. Because the all work at range you now have a perfect disabler. Another reason is you just don't need all the other defensive stuff at all. You are not a pore front liner like most other monks - you just go in, get some wounds and retreat in order to summon the Long Pain and the start the gatling gun. So who need Crucible of Suffering and stuff? Some othjer things like Enervating Blows and Turning Wheel don't even work, so all is left are those CC things - and the synergy is perfect. Not only is this guy a dps monster when he has lots of sounds - he also can CC when he hasn't any: 2 Stunniung Blows, 2 Skyward Kicks, 1 Knockdown - all without wounds at range with The Long Pain - awesome! And it also triggers Apprentice's Sneak Attack. Theme: I wanted high MIG and the Skull is best for this. Unbending is also good because you want to get hit from time to time in order to get wounds (but you can also shoot this monk in the back to get them of course) and Unbening prevents a knockout when you get surrounded. Together with Maneha's Armor your char will look like a Witch Doctor from Diablo and so I chose this theme. The Mourning Gloves and Unbending work quite well togeher with the armor and high MIG by the way. You will get healed by ~27 points each time you kill an enemy - which was enough for my "non-frontliner" playstyle. Unbending will do more healing. And it all looks funny of course. I added some druidic scrolls which fit into the theme and are also great for CC - Binding Web for example stop the enemies from chasing you. This can happen if you're out of CC attacks for the moment. All in all this is a very powerful combination of DPS and CC. When you let per-rest spells aside, I think this is one of the most powerful dps/cc combinations you can build at the moment. Because you don't have to move at all while you send them all to the ground or hit them with mighty force. And this guy's also not too flimsy. Another good thing is that all the abilities and talents also work with your normal fists. So you're never helpless even if you didn't have time or wounds to summon your Long Pain. Thanks for your time! I'm looking forward to reading your comments. edit: Whoo! Tons of typos! Will fix that later... Added Pen. Shot to the list of talents.
  7. -----Part 1 : Build Base----- Version: 5.0 Build Name: Druidian Grandet Description: She's the younger sister of Eugenie Grandet, basically a Windfury Shaman + Affliction Warlock... Class: Tempest (Solo: Furyshaper + Lifegiver) or (Party: Berserker + Lifegiver/Ancient) 1.What' new? Nothing, sorry... just love to build around less popular classes 2.Synergy? (1) Blood Frenzy adds raw DoT to every crit of Druid spell pulses, and Druid does a myriad of those attack rolls targeting Reflex/Deflection (Well, as you have expected, Berserker + Slayer's Claw grants Energized and will also enable you to almost interrupt-lock group enemies, but that self dmg from Frenzy can be devastating on Solo + Iron Man. So if you choose to play in party, Berserker is a solid choice) (2) Brute Force applies to Druid spells as well, namely Wicked Briars and Venombloom (Your main group dmg source). (3) Wards are regarded as summons, so you wont lose much being a Lifegiver since only one group of summons is allowed anyway (4) Yes indeed, your poor Wards can be used as precious decoy to separate enemies or to help you retreat and de-aggro. Druid creatures take centuries to summon (base 6s) , leaving you extremely vulnerable to interruptions, so..meh (5) Lifegiver provides cheaper Robust, various HoTs, and limited but good +AR spells to help Furyshaper build inner defense, since Barbarian has miserable Deflection and has to use AR and healing to stay alive when solo. (6) HoTs can help Barbarian remain Bloody a little longer than instant healing. Race: Pale Elf (Solo: +1 Dex and +4 Fire and Freeze AR) or Nature Godlike (Party: +1 Dex and +1 PL while Frenzy) Background: Deadfire Archipelago + Hunter Difficulty: Triple Crown A painful but rewarding experience... this build is a nuke in party(confirmed), but i have to admit that it lacks solutions to real threats when solo, i.e. 3 of the 4 megabosses. After some regrettable failure, i had to re-roll a full DEX character and picked up Scordeo's Edge, and eventually converted to Strand of Favor (which are usually banned from my list), making it another victim of Strand of Favor shenanigans. To make some clarifications, this build wont have any problem dealing with main game bosses, some DLC bosses and plain Guardian of Ukaizo (although you need serious micromanagements from time to time). To this end, it is a Triple Crown viable build. Solo: Yes But not recommended, drop Iron Man if you do want a solo run. 15 Required Bosses: Depends on your code If you do mind Strand of Favor cheats, then 8 only (5 main game + Neriscyrlas + Belranga + plain Guardian of Ukaizo) Or, all 15 if you dont. Below is a combat pic of Dorudugan WITH Strand of Favor cheating PoE1 Set Up: Hiravias for additional DEX and Slash AR(Apologize in advance) and Hylea's Bounty Stats: MIG: High. Healing and dmg bonus all together are so good for this build. CON: Low. Tempest has great inherent HP number, you wont suffer much lowering CON a little. DEX: MAX.. PER: High. You need crits to proc Blood Frenzy. INT: Medicore. To keep Scordeo's Edge effect a little longer. RES: 8. I dont have strong evidence to support that, because crits from high level enemies can easily tear your AR apart... My Game: iirc, 16/6/18/16/14/8 (You may need to increase RES a little) -----Part 2 : Abilities----- Watcher Abilities: Almost mandatory (1) No Time for the Lost (+10s Beneficial Effects) (2) Wit of Death's Herald (+Brilliant) Character Abilities: Level 1: Frenzy, Tanglefoot, Spiritshift: Wolf (Solo) Or Cat (Party) (Spiritshift will replace your armor and thus lower your AR, also as a Livegiver, you will suffer dramatic PL penalty (iirc, stacking with penalties from destroyed Wards)when Spiritshift is over. So, by the time you decide to spiritshift, it is the time you retreat and reset the combat,that's why +25% stride is really great when solo) Level 2: Fast Runner Level 3: Blooded Level 4: Thick Skinned, Two Weapon Style(*) Level 5: Autumn's Decay(*) Level 6: Accurate Carnage(*) Level 7: Bloodlust(*), Bear's Fortitude Level 8: Bloody Slaughter Level 9: One stands Alone(*) (Yep, you do that, but it doesnt work when enemies also stand alone..) Level 10: Blood Frenzy, Wicked Briars(*) Level 11: Spell Shaping Level 12: Woodskin(*) Level 13: Interrupting Blows, Nature's Terror(*) (Nature's Terror is personal preference,it always reminds me of that OP Nature's Beauty from Baldur's Gate) Level 14: Uncanny Luck Level 15: Practiced Healer Level 16: Brute Force, Venombloom(*) Level 17: Improved Critical Level 18: Rapid Casting(*) Level 19: Blood Thirst(*), Spell Resistance(*) Level 20: Blood Storm (*): Replace these abilities with Tough/Snake's Reflexes/etc. when facing certain bosses -----Part 3 : Equipment----- (Anything can help you solve your problem will be the best) Head: Helm of the White Void/ Pearlescent Rhomboid Helstone (+1AR)/ The Maw of Ingimyrk (Helm of the White Void applies to almost all your Druid spells) Cloak: Cape of the Falling Star/ The Giftbearer's Cloth Armor: Patinated Plate Necklace: Strand of Favor/ Sisyfo's Stone (Strand of Favor is good even if you dont use it to cheat) Gloves: Firethrower's Gloves/ Gatecrashers/ Corroded Vambraces Belt: (Depends on your AR requirement) Boots: Boots of the Stone Ring 1: Ring of Prosperity's Fortune (Keep your money MORE THAN 200,000 please.... no?) Ring 2: (Your Choice) Pet: Epsilon/Pes/Giftwrapper/Grog/Ooblit ---Weapon Set 1---Main: Scordeo's Edge Off: Animancer's Energy Blade (Personal Preference) ---Weapon Set 2---Main: Sungrazer/Scordeo's Edge Off: (Any ranged weapon) ---Weapon Set 3---Main: Oathbreaker's End (Boss Killer) /The Willbreaker (If you can benefit from Weapon Modal)
  8. "That old sorcerer has vanished And for once has gone away! Spirits called by him, now banished, My commands shall soon obey. Every step and saying That he used, I know, And with sprites obeying My arts I will show." From "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1797), translation by Edwin Zeydel (1955) =================================== The Sorcerer's Apprentice =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Rogue -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wood Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Old Vailia - Merchant -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 18 CON: 03 DEX: 19 PER: 16 INT: 19 RES: 03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 1, Athl. 3, Lore 8, Mech. 12, Surv. 4 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Weapon Focus Noble ® Runner's Wounding Shot Marksman Dangerous Implement Penetrating Shot (!) Deep Pockets ® Vicious Fighting Prestidigitator's Missiles Abilities Blinding Strike Crippling Strike Deathblows(!) Deep Wounds ® Dirty Fighting Distant Advantage (a) Escape ® Sap Second Whind (a) Sneak Attack (a) Withering Strike --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Engwithan Sceptre (*Exceptional, *Corrosive Lash, *Durgan Refined) or Pretty Pretty's Rib or Rod of Pale Shades or Puitente med Principi Weapon Set 2: Acuan Giamas (!) Boots: Boots of Speed or Viettros Formal Footwear (put only 7 points into Lore then!) Head: The Witch's Hat or Footpad's Hood Armor: Raiment of Wael's Eyes or Rundl's Finery (or any other robe) Neck: Glanfathan Adraswen or Cloak of Minor Missiles Belt: Girdle of Maegfolc Might Rings: Ring of Overseeing, Ring of Thorns Hands: Gauntlets of Swift Action or Ryona's Vembraces Quick slots: Scrolls, e.g.: Binding Web, Paralyze, Missile Barrage, Concussive Missiles, Bounding Missiles, Crackling Bolt, Rolling Flame, Maelstrom --------------------------------------------------------------- Hi again! This build is all about scrolls. You know I normally only use scrolls in tough encounters but even then I most of the time forget using them because... I really don't know why. Might be the feeling that I waste something when I use scrolls, maybe it's because it's not part of my "every encounter routine" - who knows. So I decided to make a build which main purpose is to use scrolls - very effectively. Most scrolls have a huge range and are best cast from a distance - so a glass cannon wannabe-wizard should be an appropriate build for using scrolls. Knowing that a rogue has amazing ACC and also some abilities that cause afflictions (like some spells do), I figured this would be a good class to use scrolls. And if you don't want to waste scrolls for easy encountes, a rogue can always dish out lots of single target damage via sneak attack. Also, there are some nice implements in the game that are either speedy or cause afflictions on crit - which is also a nice synergy with the rogue's afflictions, his high ACC and his hit-to-crit conversions. And on top of Sneak Attack (and later Deathblows) we can also use Dangerous Implement. This is quite nice in the early game because you do +75% damage if the target suffers from any affliction that qualifies for sneak attacks. And since we want to stay in the back row the self damaging part is not that much of a problem. But most important: scrolls and spells work with Deathblows! Not with Sneak Attack though (what?) - but with Deathblows. Since some scrolls have huge amounts of base damage (look at Crackling Bolt for example), Deathblows with those spells result in absurdly high numbers - especially if you also crit with them. Crackling Bolt easily surpasses 50 damage per "normal" hit. Most of the time my Crackling Bolts do more than 100 to 130 damage per foe. And remember that Crackling Bolt has a great range and also bounces. If you manage to line up some enemies (Boots of Speed are nice for this) and CC them, then one or two of those bolts should be enough to end the encounter. But also Rolling Flame and other damage focused scrolls do the trick. Another thing about spells that hit in a "line" like Crackling Bolt and Rolling Flame: they work with Penetrating Shot. Pen. Shot will give you 5 DR bypass with those spells without slowing down your casting. It only slows down your ranged attacks (aka implement shots). Other scrolls you should consider: Missiles. Those also work with Pen. Shot and Deathblows - and also with Deep Wounds! Here you can switch from devastating single target damage (Missile Barrage, Minor Mssiles, Prestidigitator's Missiles) to AoE-Deep-Wounds-damage (Concussive Missiles, Bounding Missiles). Deathblows with Missile Barrage is a death sentence! 9 Missiles with 8 DR bypass (11 if you use Ryona's Vembraces) will hit for 13.5 damage with +10 ACC. This means most of those missiles will crit, causing ~34 damage each. Against foes with 8 (or 11) DR this can mean 306 damage. Usually it's a bit lower because not every missile crits and some foes have more DR, but usually you'll cause over 200 damage (and also interrupt a lot). Concussive Missiles can also hit hard and apply Deep Wounds in an AoE. Bounding Missiles are great for two or three enemies that stand near to each other. Other good scrolls are Binding Web and Tanglefoot. Those are two easy ways to trigger deathblows in a big AoE. Because of your high ACC and the scrolls' ACC bonus, you will hit/crit a lot. COmbines with your high INT, the durations are great. Instead of using scrolls all the time you could also collect every spell binding item you can find. I wanted you use scrolls with this guy, so I didn't focus on that. Another good thing: You can still make this rogue your mechanics guy. He only needs 6 Lore to use most of the powerful damage scrolls. Give him 8 (or 7 if you plan to put on the formal footwear) to also be able to cast Maelstrom (very high base damage = absurdly high Deathblow damage). I only gave him 4 Survival for the +10 ACC bonus. That was enough for me. What I really wanted to do with this guy is to get that morning star that steals spells: Acuan Giamas. Once you have this and meet some casters it gets really funny: wait until your buddies engaged, run to a caster in the back row, hit him with sap or another affliction that prevents him from killing you, and hit him until you steal spells. Then immediately retreat with Escape (you could also use Shadow Step or Shadowing Beyond for this but I didn't feel the need. Escape just works fine). Be sure not to kill the caster you stole spells from - then all the stolen spells will vanish! Now you have a long timespan in which you can chain-cast the stolen spells without losing any resources. Those are "free" spells for the given timespan. Ogre Druids for example can give you Calling the World's Maw. I think I don't have to tell you how powerful this spell is if you can just cast it over and over again with very high ACC... aaand Deep Wounds... aaand Deathblows! This setup is very powerful - but since you get this Morning Star very, very late I didn't evolve the whole build around it. It just puts the icing on the cake. Now you could say: "But scrolls are always powerful - a fighter can also be a good scroll user!" - and you would be right. This is just a build which whole purpose is to use scrolls a lot and brings some nice synergies. The good thing is that this guy also (like most other builds) works without scrolls. Like a plain old ranged rogue. However - using this build I litrally forced myself into using scrolls. Before that I also used them from time to time - but at the end of the game I had tons of money, parts and plants and gems and a sh!tload of scrolls in my stash that I didn't use. I never visisted my stronghold's Curio Shop. With this "rogueish" wizard I fully unlocked the potential of scrolls. It resulted in an easy playthrough. Oh, and don't forget the traps! He also can do that. A petrifying trap (means damage*2) plus Deathblows plus Missile Barrage is... total overkill! Good when you have to deal with those nasty WM-bounties. Ok, thanks for reading and have fun!
  9. Sorcerer, Fury edition Wizard : No Subclass Druid : Fury Version : 3.0.1 Difficulty : PotD Solo : untested, unlikely. After my first sorcerer run I decided do away with the niceties, I realised that I was using only half the spells I had, some of them I had used about once in the entire run, and PEN was a real pain in the ass for the later third of the game. Race : Any, I played Aumauna Background : Rauatai & Scholar (or one of the other giving Metaphysics) Skills : Metaphysics and Athletics Stats : MIG : 16 CON : 8 DEX : 12 PER : 18 INT : 16 RES : 8 To be boosted with Gift of the Machine, Effigy Ressentment, Cauldron Brew, Savage Cunning (I wanted to go all PER but I forgot to change effigy, so it was DEX) Grimoire : Ninagauth’s Weapons : dagger and medium shield (start), Cadhu Scalth (Old City) & Griffin’s Blade (Random encounter Neketara), Chromoprismatic Staff (Nemnok) Armor : Aloth’s Leather Armor Rings : Kuaru's Prize (Huana Quest line), Ring of Greater Regeneration (Brass Citadel Shop) Gloves : Firethrower’s Gloves (Berath’s Blessing Merchant or Ashen Maw) Belt : The Undying Burden (Delver’s Row Shop) Boots : Leaping Boots or Footprints of Ahu Taka (Whenaru Cleft) Headgear : Horn of the Bleak Mother (or any +PER) Necklace : Protective Eothasian Charm (Gorecci Street) Cloak : Cloak of Greater Protection or Shroud of the Phantasm (Berkerna’s Observatory) Abilites: Free (f), picked upon leveling (p), Grimoires (g). Abilities I won't use are unmentioned. lvl 1: Dancing Bolts (f), Chill fog (p), Sunbeam (p) lvl 2 : Fleet Feet lvl 3 : ADL (p) lvl 4 : Infuse with Vital Essence (p), Burst of Summer Flame (f), Insect Swarm (p) lvl 5 : Weapon and Shield Style (p) lvl 6 : Automn Decay (p) I didn’t write in Burst of Summer Flame at the beginning, but that’s because I didn’t notice the cast time. It’s a great little instant damage button, sometimes Insect Swarm is not the right spell. lvl 7 : Returning Storm (f), Infestation of Maggots (p), Expose Vulnerabilities,(p), Ninagauth's Death Ray (g), Fireball (g) lvl 8 : Llengrath’s Displaced Image (p) lvl 9 : Combat Focus (p) lvl 10 : Hail Storm (f), Calling the World's Maw (p), Ninagauth's Shadowflame (g), Secrets of Rime (p) lvl 11 : Overwhelming Wave (p) lvl 12 : Heart of the Storm (p) Hail Storm is not great except for its massive AOE, I enjoyed using it as a out of stealth opener. lvl 13 : Plague of Insects (p), Relentless Storm (f), Rapid Casting (p), Ninagauth's Bitter Mooring (g) lvl 14 : Embrace the Earth Talon (p) lvl 15 : Llengrath's Safeguard (p) lvl 16 : Sunlance (f), Venombloom (p), Death Ring (g), Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar (g), Gaze of the Adragan's (p) lvl 17 : Scion of Flame lvl 18 : Spirit of Decay lvl 19 : Rusted Armor (p), Tayn's Chaotic Orb (p), Ninagauth's Killing Bolt (g) lvl 20 : Accurate Empower This is not a difficult build. Stay back, buff, throw a Stun/Blind/Paralyse, look for the smallest AR/Defense rating, cast, repeat. Plenty of room for adaptation, no grimoire/weapon switching, no PL to keep track of. The last quarter of the game was spent casting CC in a chain and watching every possible ennemy getting their ass helplessly handed to them by Eder and Maia, while still having the highest dps.
  10. Disclaimer: This will be long. Very, very long. This is not quite a build guide but rather a more in-depth look at the Fury Druid and all its components. Most of it comes from my own personal testing and experiences playing it and the game, as well as some other sources, such as the Pillars Discord and C.LE's An Almanac for the Deadfire. As such, I'll be discussing a lot of things in more detail, so if you wanted a short concise guide, this won't be it. I'll be giving my opinion on pretty much everything about the class, from creation, to leveling, to gameplay, to itemization. Of course, my opinion isn't infallible, so if I do get something wrong, or you have any other form of suggestion or criticism, I'm always open to hear it. With that out of the way, let's get into it. First up, a bit of an introduction, I guess. I've been playing Deadfire since 1.1 when I sped through Pillars 1 so that I wasn't lost in the story of Deadfire. Since then Deadfire has been a game that I regularly come back to when I just want something comfortable to play. I'm by no means the best player there is, though I would like to think I'm at least quite decent at it by now. One more thing, which will come up in the guide quite a lot, I really dislike playing "meta" builds and using some of the, for me personally, more exploity interactions in the game. While I will mention them in the guide if they have a place in it (looking at you, Brilliant), I do not regularly use them. I also do not enjoy playing solo, so I have no clue if anything written here is solo viable. I usually play RTwP, on PotD with only the Critical Path quests upscaled and Galawain and Ondra's challenges active, which is what all the gameplay and tests were done on. This is, of course, still a very personal thing to my style of play, so I am neither encouraging people to play like I do, or chiding them if they don't. It's a your own game, after all, so you're free to play it as you see fit. So why even write this guide then? Well, first off, I really like the Fury druid. It was the first thing I picked when I started Deadfire, and then promptly abandoned since I didn't understand a thing about the game and how to play it. Since then, it's been one of those classes in the back of my mind everytime I open up the game, but just never got around to it until recently. Plus, I really wanted to write a guide, and there aren't that many on the Fury, so, hey, two birds with one lightning bolt. So, pleasantries out of the way, let's get to the actual guide. What is a Fury?: The Fury druid, from what I've seen, is an often times overlooked subclass of the Druid. Which baffles me, honestly, since I find it one of the most unique subclasses there are. In it's essence, the Fury is the full-on damage dealing subclass of the Druid, trading a lot of utility for just dealing more damage, which is clearly reflected in the bonuses it gives: Bonus 1: Elements Fury spells have +20% range and +1 penetration. From the get go, 1 penetration to some of your most damaging spells is great. The range bonus regrettably only affects cast range and not AoE, so spells centered around the caster, like the Storms, won't see a big benefit from this. Still, it lets you stay comfortably further back from the thick of the fight, which also plays into the second bonus. Bonus 2: Storm Blight. I'm going to be quite honest here, this was the sole thing that drew me to the Fury in the first place. The whole idea of just transforming into a big angry storm cloud sounded really cool (though it probably helped that I was coming in from playing a Balance druid in WoW and this was the closest to it). The Storm Blight form is quite different from all other spiritshifts. The first, immediately obvious difference is that it's a ranged form instead of melee. Which just enforces the basic idea that the Fury is supposed to stay at a safe distance and fling spells at people. Your attacks while shifted, in addition to being ranged, also bounce one time to a nearby target within 4m. This is just a nice bit of extra AoE in most cases, and actually quite thematic still, because, as we'll see in the spells section later, Fury is all about AoE damage. While at launch, the Storm Blight "claws" were a two-handed weapon, they've now been changed to two one handed ones. They also deal pure shock damage, which is something to keep in mind for certain ability interactions and enemy immunities (to my knowledge, only rain blights are shock immune, but admittedly I haven't checked every single enemy). In addition to altering your attacks, the Storm Blight form also provides a few other passive and active abilities. Any kill you make while spiritshifted will increase the duration of the spiritshift. This is quite a strong effect that other druids can only get if singleclassing from the Wildstrike Frenzy passive. It is actually stronger than Frenzy, since it adds 5 seconds to the duration instead of 4, and also triggers on any kill you make, be it by spell or attack, whereas Wildstrike Frenzy only works on kills you make with autoattacks. Oh, and if you do decide to singleclass the Fury (more on that later) the two effects stack, so a kill with an autoattack can potentially add 9 seconds to your spiritshift. The first active ability you get, Shifting Storm, is basically your own little Rogue Escape. In essence, it's a repositioning tool. You break engagement and zap to the target location. It doesn't trigger disengagement attacks, has a tiny 0.5 cast time and no recovery, so it's very handy to use to get away from enemies. It is however a once per encounter ability, so you can't freely zap around the battlefield. As you can see, the theme of staying far away from enemies continues. The second active ability, Storm's Rage, is again a once per encounter spell that damages a single target and stuns them. It deals a very respectable amount of damage early on (32-48 Shock) and the stun lasts a rather long 8 seconds. Unfortunately, it has quite a few issues accompanying it to make it a less than desirable spell to cast. First things first, it has a huge combined cast time and recovery time, 4.5 sec cast and 3.0 sec recovery, siphoning out a decent chunk of your spiritshift duration. Second, the two effects target different defenses, the damage targeting deflection, while the stun targets fortitude, so it is completely possible for one to not apply if you can't debuff both. And third, and by far the worst, it has absolutely no PL scaling whatsoever. At first I thought it was a bug on my end, but doing a completely clean install on the game confirmed it, the spell does not scale with PL at all, in fact, it has a permanent -1 PL on itself somehow, which reduces all of its PL scaling effects, permanently giving it -5% damage, -0.25 penetration, -1 accuracy and -5% duration on the stun, as you can see here (apologies for the link, I couldn't manage to get an image to attach...): Storm's Rage I honestly have zero idea why it's like that. My best guess is that since they made spiritshift not scale with PL, Storm's Rage also became non-scaling. But the actually negative one, I have no answer for. The lack of scaling hurts the spell badly, and later in the game it loses both damage and penetration to the point that it's just not worth the lost spiritshift time to even cast it. As for the maluses, well here comes the big one. A rather large reason I've seen why people dismiss Fury is the penalty it gets: you can not cast Rejuvenation spells. It's a bummer, I know, especially since Druid Rejuvenation spells are some of the best heals in the game. But it just enforces the role that the Fury has, which is to deal damage and only that. I personally do not view it as that much of an issue. Sure, you personally can't heal, but that doesn't mean that no one else in your party can't heal, or that your class is dead. It just means you're shoehorned into being a damage dealer, which, let's be honest, if you didn't want to be, you wouldn't be playing a Fury. Apart from the issues with Storm's Rage, the bonuses are pretty consistent and thematic, making the Fury a "stay at range and fling spells and attacks" character. This is exactly how I chose to play it, and how I think it's supposed to be played and function. Why is this important, you ask? Because of the next part: Creating a Fury: This will probably be the most in-depth portion of the guide, as I will go through all the steps of making a Fury druid, give my thougts on the various aspects of Character Creation and the benefits and negatives of certain picks. This will not be a "pick this thing at this level and have these exact stats or else" kind of runthrough. I will mostly be commenting on usefulness of different aspects, as well as giving a sample in the form of what I chose while making my Fury. So let's get started. Firstly, before we even get to have a nice chat with Berath while we look at cards, gameplay mode. As I said at the start, I play in RTwP. It does not mean that you can't play this in turn-based, but there is just no guarantee that things will work like they're written here. I do not find TB enjoyable myself and I don't plan on making a TB Fury guide, so sorry about that. Secondly, Magran's Fires and Berath's Blessings. God challenges are, IMO, personal preferences. I play with Galawain's and Ondra's on in all my runs since they just flawlessly integrate into the base game. As for Berath's Blessings, once again, up to personal choice. I play with them, and there's quite a few really good bonuses from them. +2 to all stats is insane, +50k starting gold, which admittedly I've never spent in any run, just makes early game economy easier, starting at level 4 with Fine weapons and armor is really damn good, Reduced enchanting costs really comes into play late game when enchanting Legendary quality on items, and Infamous Captain, even though the fear doesn't work at all if you upscale your game, still gives +3 Intimidate and +5% damage across the board. Those are all generally really good to have, though I will also mention two others. If you're planning on keeping Eder in the party for most of the game, giving him a pet slot is actually really nice, as pets can have some amazing bonuses for the party. The Mythical Adra Stone, on the other hand, is a lot less useful. As we'll see in the items and gameplay sections, we rarely want to attack with weapons or take hits, so we don't really have anything to use the stone on ourselves. Still good for putting it on other companions, like making a mythic Red Hand for Maia. It is however a lofty 30 points, so it's up to you. I personally didn't take it. Race: With those pre-creation choices out of the way, it's time to finally create our Fury Druid. The first major choice we're given is what race to pick. Honestly, the choice of race won't make or break your build, so I'd advise to just play what you want. But then again, you can say that about everything, and this guide would serve no purpose if that were the case, so let me give a few suggestions. The biggest choice in race is whether you go Godlike or not. Godlikes, Death and Nature specifically, have rather good bonuses for us, so they would be the prime picks, with Death technically giving you the most damage you can squeeze out of a race choice, not only giving you more damage against low health targets to increase the chances of you getting a killing blow and extending your spiritshift, but also giving you 3 extra PL if you yourself are low on health. While the latter effect is rather easy to abuse, I myself don't like doing so. Nature Godlike gives you a much more easily available +1 PL while you have a body inspiration active. I personally went with Nature Godlike in my run. Godlikes do suffer from being unable to equip helmets though, and one helmet is incredibly good on this build in particular: Heaven's Cacophony. The helmet is the earliest that you can get an on-demand use of Avenging Storm. While it sadly doesn't benefit from the +1 Elements PL that the class passive gets, the spell is nevertheless amazing, plus you also get a cone AoE Stun with Shout of Hosts and +2 Int and 1 Religion. Both spells are per rest, but with them being so strong, it's little wonder that they are. There are some other good helms for the build that I'll go over in the itemization section, but this is in my opinion the best one. If you do decide you want to wear a helmet, your choice of race will not have that big of an effect on your overall performance. Hearth orlans with the hit-to-crit conversion are probably the most impactful, followed by humans, and, versus certain enemies, Boreal dwarves. Class: Now we're getting to the fun part. Obviously, this being a Fury guide, we'll be picking Fury, duh. But here comes the biggest decision of character creation: to multiclass or not? I can't give a definitive answer on that, and will instead go over all possible combinations and rank them based on a few criteria. Before we get to those criteria, I'd like to do a little jump to the future of the guide and discuss the gameplay that I'm going for with the character creation and itemization choices. My intention for playing the Fury, and writing this guide, was to utilize all the bonuses that the subclass gives, meaning both the buffed up spells, and the spiritshift. Which, simply put, translated into laying down the druid's long lasting AoE spells before shifting into the Angry Cloud form and flinging lightning at them from my fingertips. With that gameplay plan in mind, this is what I'll be judging the class combinations on: Gameplay compatibility, including fitting the role of the Fury, action economy, and synergy of gameplay styles, how much it helps your spells, and how much it helps your attacks in Storm Blight. I will be ranking them from worst to best, but do keep in mind that these are my personal opinions from my experience, and it doesn't mean that the lower ranked ones are unplayable, I just wouldn't recommend them. So, let's start. Ranf F: Nahhh, just don't. Wizard, Priest, Cipher - collectively just too incompatible with the gameplay I'm going for The very bottom. Unfortunately, these three just don't fit the gameplay we're aiming for. It's my belief that Caster/Caster multiclassing is quite, ehh, bad, if for nothing else than for pure action economy alone. Adding more long casting abilities to your repertoire just means you get to spiritshift even less often, and in some cases, like the priest, it detracts from your purpose of doing damage to instead give you back the utility the Fury takes away. Wizard is in much the same boat, though when you discount the damaging options, you're left with self buffs that other classes do better, and debuffs that other party members can cover instead. And lastly, Cipher struggles due to lack of focus while casting spells, then lack of opportunities to cast while spiritshifted, since you want to be attacking more than casting in that form. There's a case for Psion, but it's rather small, since it takes a rather long time to regenerate enough focus for a big spell, and you lose the one big bonus you get to your spiritshift, Soul Whip. Rank D: Giving utility where it wasn't needed Paladin - The Best attack skill in the game, and that's it Yes, Flames of Devotion is incredible. Getting it to bounce is even more incredible. But that's really it. Everything else that the paladin provides just isn't what we're looking for. Absolutely no bonus to your spells other than Inspired Beacon, which requires you to go against your core principle of staying the **** away from enemies. The defense bonuses are also rather wasted when we're playing to not have to use them. We got rid of our utility and healing when choosing Fury, and paladin brings some of it back, along with the auras, but they can easily be handled by another party member. Chanter - If paladin auras were a class Alright, so chanter multis well with everything. it's true. It's not even that bad here either. It's just that all the bonuses the chanter gives can easily be given by another teammate who is a chanter. The only effect that is completely exclusive to it is Energized, given by Their Companion Braved the Horde Alone. Energized, however, isn't all that big of an improvement over Tenacious, and there are multiple better ways to get Tenacious. Just bring another Chanter with you if you want one so bad. Rank C: Doing one thing really damn well, but we need two Rogue - Attacks for days, single target damage for days, but what about our poor AoE spells? Here is where things start picking up. Rogue is probably the single best pick you can choose if you want to focus solely on your Storm Blight form. You have a wide variety of attacks to choose from, and a huge amount of bonus damage from passives. However, you get absolutely nothing to buff your spells up. No inspirations, no buffs, nothing. Also, their subclasses involve a lot of gimmicks to make them work, and I really don't like doing that. And some passives don't work, like Deep Wounds, since your claws deal shock damage. Ranger - Gods of single target accuracy bonuses. We do AoE. Ah, ranger. I love ranger. It's one of my absolute favorite classes. If we were any other class, it would've been a great combo, just the sheer amount of accuracy buffs you can get on a single target from effects like Marked Prey and Stalker's link. Later in the game, Survival of the Fittest does work for AoE, and it's another 10 accuracy, but it's just not enough to carry the class. Add to it that some people really dislike having to micro the pet, and it's unfortunately the epitome of C rank. Rank B: Big Angery Storm Cloud Singleclass - Higher PL, more on-demand spells, no self buffs at all Finally, the pure Fury. I originally had this as a Rank D, but further testing bumped it up quite a bit. The immediately obvious bonus you get is just more spells to cast. Unfortunately, apart from Avenging Storm, they aren't that great. The even more unfortunate part is that you can get every single PL 8 and PL 9 druid Elements spells in scroll form. That's right, Avenging Storm, Great Maelstrom and Tornado all have scroll versions, meaning that you can technically get the same spells as a multiclassed Fury. Which ****ing sucks for the exclusivity of the spells. Priest and Wizard don't get all their spells available in scroll form, but Druid gets aall of the big nukes available? Hell, with proper investment, you can actually cast them more as a non-singleclass, just from scrolls alone. Still, it's not all bad. You do get access to Wildstrike Frenzy, which is a decent amount of really good effects when it procs, despite only proccing on autoattack kills and being centered around you rather than the enemy you killed. And, when combined with Prestige, you get +3 PL to your spells, which is really nice. There's just other classes that provide more, and they can still use your strongest abilities. Rank A: Now we're talking Barbarian - Amazing self-buffs for both spellcasting and attacking, poor Attack skills FRENZY!!!!! Honestly, I could just leave it at that and it would be enough info on why this is such a good combo. Frenzy is just overall an amazing buff. Might, Constitution and Action speed for 1 rage, daaaamn. Couple with it things like Bloodlust and Blood Thirst, and even more mobility with Wild Sprint and Leap, and you have a really good package. Areas where the Barb struggles are attacks however, with Barbaric Blow really not being all that good, especially since Carnage doesn't work with ranged attacks either. Barbarian does however open up an interesting itemization option that will be discussed more in-depth later in The Slayer's Claw, allowing you to transform any Strong inspiration (like say, the one that you get from Frenzy) Into Tenacious, which gives you 2 pen to all your attacks and spells. You could also get it from choosing Berserker, but then you'd also be screwing your entire party with your spellcasts. Furyshaper, however, is a really decent pick, with the wards being really useful in all stages of the game. Plus, it even has Fury in the name! Furyshaper or no subclass if you decide to go the barbarian route. Fighter - Great selfbuffing, decent attack skills, poor passives While not as flashy as Frenzy, Dsiciplined Strikes is an absolutely amazing buff, giving you Intuitive for a decently long duration at a very cheap cost. You also get a really good and cheap attack in the form of Penetrating Strike, and, with Conqueror Stance, a sizable accuracy bonus, as well as a lot of defenses from Unbending and Vigorous Defense if you're ever in a tight spot. There's nothing really too flashy about the fighter, just solid useful things. Unfortunately, you don't have proficiency in your elemental claws, so a decent chunk of the fighter's passives are worthless to you. You do get Armored Grace though, which opens up the ability to use one of the best armors for the build without having to gimp your recovery speed too much or forcing you to use a select pet. Since we have no proficiency, Devoted is worthless, and Black Jacket doesn't really come to that much use. Unbroken is also out since we won't be tanking. Tactician is an amazing choice if you can manage it, and is probably the single iteration of Brilliant that I'm kind of okay with, though I still don't really use it. Tactician or no subclass would be go-to. Rank S: The absolute best Monk - Insane buffs to both spellcasting and attacking, covering pretty much all you could ever want. Mediocre, but situationally really powerful attack skill Well, it was the only one left, and holy ****, is the monk an amazing combo with Fury. In fact, it's so good that I'll get the bad things out of the way first, and then go to the good ones. Of which there are so damn many. Turning Wheel, Heartbeat Drumming and Swift Flurry don't work with ranged attacks. Force of Anguish and Torment's Reach do, but their range is melee. You'll be extra squishy if you go with Helwalker (which you should, more on that in a bit). That's it. That's a lot, I hear you say? Yeah, maybe. But here comes the really damn good stuff. The buffs. Oh. My. God. The buffs. I'm usually a big fan of using your wounds and not hoarding them but in this case, naaah, hoard them away. With 10 wounds, you get 10 Int from Duality of Mortal Presence, and if you're a Helwalker (You really should) 10 might too! Which stacks with the Tenacious inspiration you can get from Thunderous Blows. You don't even need to get hit, Enduring Dance has your wound generation covered, and even gives you 12 accuracy to both your attacks and spells! And did I mention Lightning Strikes as well? You get everything you could ever want, speed, damage, accuracy, penetration, a lightning lash, aoe, duration, everything. it's absolutely insane. Sure, the only attack you can cast is Stunning Surge which costs Mortification but ehh, with all them buffs you're not complaining for attacks. Plus, if either your main target or your bounce target gets crit by Stunning Surge, the cost gets repaid. And if both crit you actually gain 2 Mortification on top of that. If it wasn't obvious, I picked Helwalker monk in my run. The rest are decent-ish, but just don't come up to the sheer bonuses of 10 might to all your spells and attacks. Especially since you don't want to be spending wounds at all. This is where the guide also becomes a build of sorts. Going forth from this point, I will be discussing things from the viewpoint of making a Fury/Helwalker Ascetic. Most of the things apply to any other combo, however, and when we get to spells, I'll also discuss the PL 8 and 9 spells in case you want to singleclass instead. Starting skills for level 1 will be discussed in the Abilities portion later on, so now it's time for stats. Attributes, Culture and Background: First, and second most important choice after Class, attribute distribution. I'll be honest with you, I dislike completely minmaxing my stats. I've played the game with a 13/13/13/13/13/13 (technically one of them was 12 but it got bumped to 13 with the appropriate culture choice) stat spread, which the +2 stats Berath Good Boy Reward bumped to a 15/15/15/15/15/15. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. And it worked amazingly. Did I need all that res, especially since I played it on a Sharpshooter/Beguiler? Absolutely not, but it worked. What I'm trying to say is that absolutely perfected stat spreads aren't necessary, and if I was to give you one, you don't have to follow it exactly or the build just won't work. It will. So instead, I'll give you a guideline of important stats to get, then what I went with in my run, then the optimized stats if you do want them. Per and Int are your two most important stats. Per is a no brainer, Accuracy is king. With all the AoE, long duration spells and self buffs you have, Int is also obvious. After that, Dex and Mig are quite close to each other, with Dex maybe being slightly better since it allows you to get your casts out faster and attack more while spiritshifted. Plus you get +15 Mig from Helwalker and Thunderous Blows. Res isn't really useful, and you can dump it if you wish. Same for Con, though with it it's more keeping it at a comfortable for you level. For me that's 8, bumped to 10 with the blessing. Stat Spread I went with: 15 Mig, 7 Con (8 with Rauatai Culture), 15 Dex, 18 Per, 19 Int, 3 Res Optimal Spread: 15 Mig, 3 Con, 19 Dex, 18 Per, 19 Int (20 with Old Vailia Culture), 3 Res Both spread were done on a Godlike, so just remove 1 Int and 1 Dex when changing race. Speaking of cultures, honestly, choose whichever one you like. They are way more for RP than for basing an entire build mechanically around them, and one stat point won't completely make or break your game. I chose Rauatai for RP purposes. There is a miniscule incentive to pick a few of them which I'll cover in the next section. Background. Pretty similar to culture, really. Pick whichever one you want for your character and RP. Will not make or break the build. The miniscule incentive I mentioned comes into play here. A bit further into the guide I'll be recommending putting all your skill points into Arcana. There are only 3 backgrounds that have a bonus to Arcana, and they are faction specific. So if you really want that single extra point of Arcana, the choices are: Mystic (The White that Wends), Scholar (Ixamitl Plains, Rauatai) and Scientist (The Living Lands). And we're almost done. All we have left is weapon proficiencies, and suprising no one, they don't matter at all. You will generally never be attacking with your weapons to ever make use of them. However, the proficiencies you pick at character creation affect what weapons you're given in the locker at the start. Since you'll always be given the two weapons you selected, you could pick a flail and a morningstar. Not for you to use, but to hand them over to a squadmate that you make proficient in them. Why those two? Because their modals reduce Reflex and Fortitude respectively. And those are the two defenses your abilities target the most. This is especially good if you're using the BB to start with Fine weapons and armor. Eder early on can make great use of a flail, and Pallegina can make rather good use of a morningstar. But neither are required, and you can still pick what you wish for proficiencies. Picking those two will just save you a bit of money from having to buy them. Playing a Fury: Right, this might seem a bit strange and out of place, but we're going to discuss the gameplay before we dive into what abilities and passives to pick. This is actually rather important to mention, because I'm going to be basing my choice and recommendation of skills based on how they fit into the gameplay. Gameplay isn't hard. The core idea is to utilize both aspects of the Fury: spellcasting and spiritshifting. Which basically means, we'll be laying down long duration AoE spells before shifting into angry cloud form and attacking. Simple as that. What spells we use depends on the situation and encounter, however. I'm going to go over the options at each PL for both Fury and Monk, as well as PL 8 and 9 for Fury, giving my thoughts and ratings on the things you can get, and then at the end, I'll give an example build (might not be the exact same I went for, I don't remember exactly what i picked at every single level). PL 1: Druid: Some really good spells to start off, expect to be using them constantly. Touch of Rot: Decent damage, but low penetration, cast range and AoE, and no other effects. 2/5 Sunbeam: Solid damage, cast range, penetration, decent lasting aoe Blind. Overall really good. Tied for best spell in this PL. 5/5 Vile Thorns: Damage is on the low side. Incredibly short range, but very long-lasting Sicken. If you can make get into range to use it, it's amazing. Doesn't work on poison immune enemies. 3/5 Nature's Mark: Incredibly long-lasting and quite hefty Deflection and Reflex AoE debuff. The second candidate for best spell. 5/5 Winter Wind: Suffers from the same issues as Vile Thorns, while having less useful effects for marginally more damage. 2/5 Tanglefoot: Basically, an AoE Hobbled hazard. There's better sources of Hobbled, and better characters to apply it. 1/5 Charm Beast: Incredibly situational, plus costing you a spell slot that could be spent on a better spell. 1/5 Talon's Reach: Same issues as Touch of Rot, though with more penetration and upfront damage. 2/5 Dancing Bolts: What we get for free. Same issues as Touch of Rot and Talon's Reach, but with even less damage but more cast range. 2/5 Monk: Force of Anguish doesn't work with ranged attacks. Swift Strikes is amazing, Dex inspiration and even more Action speed on top. Passives: Neither Fast Runner or Lesser Wounds are much use. Arms Bearer has situational usefulness in very long fights where your Spiritshift ends and the fight is still going. Will be explained in itemization section. PL 2: Druid: Only one really good spell, but a few situational ones as well. Overall on par with the previous PL. Insect Swarm: Huge duration, decent AoE raw damage, the big bonus is the immunity to Concentration, great vs enemy casters. Best spell in this PL 5/5 Hold Beasts: Marginally more useful than Charm Beast, with the exact same issues. 1/5 Woodskin: Yes, it's utility. But it's really damn good utility. Especially for buffing Pierce armor vs most ranged attackers. 4/5 Taste of the Hunt: Melee. Single-target. The heal doesn't really matter. 1/5 Firebrand: Incredibly good on pretty much any other build but this one. You will never use it. 0/5 Blizzard: Good AoE, decent duration, but low Pen and can hit allies. If you can only hit enemies with it, the debuff is quite strong. 4/5 Autumn's Decay: Difficult to target since it's a short cone, no additional effects, Insect Swarm does just as much damage. 2/5 Conjure Lesser Blight: Summon one of your younger cousins. Unfortunately, they don't really know how to fight since they're so young. 0/5 Burst of Summer Flame: What we get for free. Incredibly fast cast time, but that's about it. No other effects, but it is Foe only. Still, Blizzard is just better. 2/5 Monk: Clarity of Agony is just not what you're looking for. Dance of Death is amazing, and vital to wound generation, as well as providing you with up to 12 accuracy. Mortification of the Soul is a good backup to have in case you run out of Mortification, though won't see use all that often. Also good for a starting burst of wounds before activating Dance of Death. Passives: Let's get the generic and monk ones out of the way first. Neither Graceful Retreat nor Long Stride matter for the build. Pick Two Weapon Style for faster attacks during spiritshift. Wildstrike: The thing that makes your Spiritshift attacks actually hurt. If multiclassing, the element does not really matter that much. Fire and Frost are more often immuned by enemies than Shock and Corrode are. Thematically, Shock is the obvious choice. If singleclassing, pick Corrode, specifically for its Wildstrike Frenzy effect later on. PL 3: Druid: Very similar to the previous PL, one amazing spell and one that just lags behind it, but both will see frequent usage. Returning Storm: What we get for free. Finally a good spell we get for free. One of your core spells, in fact. Makes sense, given that we're a walking storm cloud. Huge AoE and duration, like all storm spells. Good damage and stuns enemies. Biggest issue is that it targets two different defenses for its effects. Still, often one of the first spells you'll be casting. 5/5 Spreading Plague: Potentially incredibly strong. Unfortunately, does no damage on its own, and Weakened is only slightly stronger than Sickened, which you can apply with better spells. Still, can really **** over groups of enemies. 3/5 Twin Stones: Really cool to look at, but a nightmare to aim and just doesn't offer enough to see frequent use. Combine it with its low Pen and it just doesn't stack up to the other options. 1/5 Stag's Horn: Easier to aim than Twin Stones, still rather impressive visually. The debuff is quite substantial, but it is single target only, and if you miss somehow, it's a wasted spell slot. 3/5 Infestation of Maggots: The second long-lasting Raw damage AoE. Much bigger area than Insect Swarm, but only does damage without having other effects. Still, it's a sizable amount of damage, and the second spell from this PL that you're very likely to cast at the start of a fight. 4/5 Beetle Shell: It's not a bad ability per se, just wasted on this specific build. Any more supportive build would make much better use of it. 1/5 Monk: Lightning Strikes is even more damage on our spiritshift attacks. Blade Turning has no place in the build. Torment's Reach doesn't work with ranged weapons. Stunning Blow does, but you won't see much use of it until you get Stunning Surge. Still, pick it up at some point before PL 5. Passives: Soul Mirror is the only unique one this tier, and it's not something you're looking for, and neither are the defenses ones. Combat Focus, however, is something you really want. Free concentration at the start of the fight could easily mean getting a spell off that you wouldn't be able to otherwise. PL 4: Druid: This is one of your worst PLs for spells, if not the worst one. Hail Storm: What we get for free. Unfortunately, unlike the previous PL, this isn't as amazing. The damage is decent for the level, but the penetration is not. Combine with it having a huge AoE, you're almost certain to be hitting your own party members as well as the enemy. It does have two damage types, so at least it won't get immuned. 2/5 Wicked Briars: Hey, remember Tanglefoot? It's the same spell but now also deals a small amount of Pierce damage. Gets the same score, though. 1/5 Overwhelming Wave: If you can position it to only hit enemies, it isn't that bad. You have plenty of other sources of stun, but this will at least reliably hit everything in its path. Tied for best offensive spell on this PL, which unfortunately isn't worth much. 3/5 Calling the World's Maw: And the award for most epicly named spell goes to this one. As for effects, it's not bad. Prone is kind of ****, but the damage it deals is solid and has good penetration. Having less area than Hail Storm also makes it much easier to aim. Runs into the issue that it's basically just a good burst of damage, which means it gets pushed really far down on the priortity of spells to cast, to the point that you probably won't use it in most encounters. The other contender for best offensive spell on this PL. 3/5 Boiling Spray: This is basically the exact same thing as Winter Wind, except it targets Reflex and deals Fire damage. Gets the exact same score too. 2/5 Form of the Delemgan: Woodskin's bigger, stronger brother. Everything that was said about Woodskin is just as true here, plus it also gives Stride and immunity to Dex afflictions. The best spell on this PL, which really speaks ill of the offensive options. 4/5 Conjure Blight: Summons another cousin of yours, this time a bit more adept in combat. Unfortunately, still not enough to warrant casting it, even with how bad the other spells are. 0/5 Monk: While the druid spells on this PL are less than ideal, the monk abilities you get are absolutely stellar. With the exception of Enlightened Agony, since we don't make any use of Clarity of Agony to begin with, you want all the rest. Duality of Mortal Presence, Thunderous Blows and Enduring Dance. Hell, you'll be pressed for which one to get first. Passives: None of the monk side passives matter. The druid ones, however, do. Greater Wildstrike is your priority, get it immediately. Heart of the Storm does wonders for your Storm spells, same with Scion of Flame for Firebug and Sunlance (more on that later), though if you have party members like chanters that can reliably reduce enemy armor, they become less important, as you'll be able to easily reach up to 14 Pen on your storm spells without it, and with a chanter reducing enemy armor by 2, you'll very rarely find yourself underpening. Heart of the Storm does increase the Pen of your Storm Blight attacks, however, so it's still a good investment on that front. As for Spell Shaping, ehhhh, it's not really a priority. If you have a point later on that you can spend, get it. As a rule of thumb, you'll never be using it to increase the AoE of spells since that reduces PL by 5. You can use it to lower the AoE, on boss fights for example, but even then, that will only increase PL by 1. PL 5: Druid: This is, by far, your best PL for spells, which is a welcome change after the last one. In fact, you have so many good spells to choose from, it actually makes the overall PL worse since you're strapped for choice and how many of them you can cast. Plague of Insects: The third, and strongest long duration huge area Raw damage spell. Deals slightly less damage per tick than Infestation of Maggots, but also sickens all targets hit and lasts longer. And it has the effect of Insect Swarm that makes targets hit unable to gain Concentration. The only downside to it is that it's countered by Antidotes, which means that poison immune enemies are unaffected by it. It's a weird interaction but eh, what can you do. 5/5 Relentless Storm: What we get for free. Hey, remember Returning Storm? This is it but even better. Sure, less damage per strike, but more frequent strikes. Just like the other storm spell, a mainstay in your spell priority, to the point it will often be the very first spell you cast. 5/5 Wall of Thorns: If you can aim it so that it won't hit your allies, it's a long line that weakens things. Unfortunately, as was the case with Spreading Plague, Weakened isn't that huge of an upgrade over Sicken, and you have ways to apply SIcken much easier. 2/5 Nature's Terror: On any other build, this would've been really good. Unfortunately, you want to be as far away from enemies to make any use of it. 0/5 Embrace of the Earth Talon: Damn, druid earth spells really go all out with the names, eh? After a few less impressive spells, we're back to the big dogs. This thing is ****ing amazing. It pains me to even admit that I completely ignored it in my run and only realized how great it was when I went back for additional testing. Great range, great Pen, decent AoE that's easy to aim, damage is a bit on the low side for the level, but that Petrify effect is just so damn good, that you can remove all the others and I'd still consider it a contender for best druid spell. Paralysis and Petrify are very rare, and very potent effects, and especially on this build, with the +10 Int from Duality of Mortal Presence, this can easily double its base duration. That's 16 seconds of AoE petrification. The only downside is that it's a ground effect, so it can't affect flying enemies. 5/5 Firebug: So, what are you supposed to do if you run into a group of, say, Rain Blights, that are all immune to Shock damage? Simple. Throw a Firebug at them. Hell, throw two. Great backup damage spell, or if you want to change things up in a fight. Pen is a bit low, which, this late into the skill tree, regrettably means that it can only really be fixed with Scion of Flame or directly reducing enemy armor. 4/5 Monk: Ah, how the tables have turned. Last PL, druid had barely anything to offer, while monk was packed with things we wanted. This PL it's the opposite. Stunning Surge is the only thing that you want to take, and since the passives are also not that vital, it should be the only thing from the monk side that you'll take until the next PL. Passives: Speaking of passives, the only unique monk one, Enervating Blows, doesn't work with ranged weapons. Uncanny Luck also isn't really all that useful, as the chance for it to proc is incredibly low, but it's still better than nothing if you really have nothing else to pick. On the druid side, however, we get Rapid Casting. It should be self-explanatory why you want this. Farcasting is honestly not needed, as we already get a range boost on our elements spells, which are our most used ones. Tough is a safety pick, if you feel you're a bit too squishy, by all means, take it when you have free points. It will generally help you survive at least one additional hit, which can make all the difference. PL 6: Druid: Unfortunately, not as good as the previous PL, though nothing really is. You still get some good picks, so it's not as bad as PL 4. Rot Skulls: Same issue as Firebrand. A really good summoned weapon that you will never use. 0/5 Conjure Greater Blight: Heeey, they grow up so fast! And you're still not going to ever use them! 0/5 Venombloom: If you can get this behind the enemy's lines and plop it down so that it only hits the enemy, it's absolutely insane. Unfortunately, the cast range is abysmal. Use at your own risk. 2/5 Sunlance: Massive ****ing spear made of pure sunlight. Big damage, check. Great penetration, check. Insane cast range, check. Dual damage type, check. Is an Elements spell, check. Oh, and we get it for free when we reach PL 6. 5/5 Monk: Unfortunately, nothing you can make use of. Turning Wheel does not work with ranged attacks, and Flagellant's Path will usually leave you in a worse position after the cast than before. Plus it costs Mortification, for which you have a better use. Passives: Rather bad as well, the only one you should ever consider is Improved Criticals. This is the PL to go back and take things from earlier levels that you still haven't got. PL 7: Druid: Nothing too groundbreaking, but some situationally very powerful spells. Rusted Armor: Really good when fighting bosses and tough enemies to strip them of their armor. That's about it, it does exactly what it says in the description and does it really well. Since it isn't competing with any big damage spells, it'll probably be your most used spell of this PL. 3/5 Lashing Vine: It's a good summon, but you only get one spellcast as a multiclass, and the alternatives are better. On singleclass it's much better and you can afford to cast it. 2/5 Call to the Primordials: This on the other hand, isn't that good, both in multiclassing and singleclassing. 0/5 Weather the Storm: What we get for free. Situationally can turn the tide when faced with really high elemental damage. It's incredibly likely that this will raise your team's elemental armors until enemies start underpening them. Still, it's only situational, and won't see use every fight. 3/5 Monk: Again, nothing that you really need. The Dichotomous Souls is a good option to have, and it's the best summon you can get, but using it will cost you 4 wounds, which, if you want your spells and attacks to be at max effectiveness, will mean you need to wait 12 seconds before casting anything else. Passives: Absolutely nothing of note. Heartbeat Drumming doesn't work with ranged attacks, and you'd be much better off empowering for spell slots rather than single spells. Pick up some things you still haven't instead. PL 8: Druid: This is the PL that makes it worth playing singleclassed. Entropy: Too much setup and management to be effective. It only affects the next three attacks, from any target, so it's easy for them to get used up by mistake. 1/5 Avenging Storm: What we get for free. The granddaddy of all storm spells, and it lives up to all the expectations. Use it right before spiritshifting and become a lightning bolt machinegun. Unfortunately, it's also available from a helmet and scrolls, so not exclusive enough to make singleclass the prime choice. 5/5 Fire Stag: Honestly, I've never found a use for the spell. Enemies don't really focus it enough to make it worth it, and there are just better summons and better summoners than you. 0/5 Passives: Wildstrike Frenzy, the other thing in this PL that makes it worth singleclassing. Regrettably, only triggers on autoattack kills, and is centered around you, so you'll need to get in closer. Corrode is the best one bar none, while shock is the weakest. PL 9: Druid: Big damage that anyone that invests in Arcana can also get. Aspect of Galawain: Cool name, horrible summon. 0/5 Great Maelstrom: Massive AoE and damage. Terribly low Pen for the level, and an extremely long cast time. Did I mention anyone can get it from a scroll? 2/5 Touch of Death: You finally get an execute. Since you only get one PL 9 cast, you better make damn sure it doesn't miss. But if it connects, nothing can resist it. They just go poof. 3/5 Tornado: Massive AoE and damage. Terribly low Pen for the level, and an extremely long ca... this sounds familiar. Hell, it's available on a scroll, too! 2/5 Passives: I singleclassed a Fury and all I got was 1 additional PL from Prestige. Not bad, actually. Well, we got to the end. As promised, here's an example build for Fury/Helwalker: Level 1/Char Creation: Sunbeam/Swift Strikes Level 2: Nature's Mark Level 3: Arms Bearer (will get explained in itemization) Level 4/PL 2 unlock: Wildstrike Shock/Dance of Death Level 5: Insect Swarm Level 6: Two Weapon Style Level 7/PL 3 unlock: Infestation of Maggots/Lightning Strikes Level 8: Combat Focus Level 9: Stunning Blow Level 10/PL 4 unlock: Greater Wildstrike: Shock/Duality of Mortal Presence Level 11: Enduring Dance Level 12: Thunderous Blows Level 13/PL 5 unlock: Embrace of the Earth Talon/Stunning Surge Level 14: Rapid Casting Level 15: Plague of Insects Level 16/PL 6 unlock: Firebug/Improved Critical Level 17: Form of the Delemgan Level 18: Tough Level 19/PL 7 unlock: Rusted Armor/The Dichotomous Soul Level 20: Spell Shaping Before we close this part of the guide (yes, there's more), a brief word on what skills to pick when leveling up. In general, I find Arcana to work best on most offense focused characters, and this one is no exception. I'd say get it to at least 13 to be able to use Avenging Storm scrolls, but you can take it even higher to buff your scrolls even more. As for conversation skills, do whatever you wish, those are RP based 99% of the time. Plus we don't use any gear that scales with them. What to wear as a Fury?: Finally itemization. I do mean finally, this is the last big part of the guide. There will be a bit about spell priority after it, but that won't be as long. I'm also not going to cover fights and encounters as this is more of a guideline how to build a Fury rather than completely hold your hand through an entire run. So with that out of the way, items! Itemization will be explained in a very similar way to skills. I could just tell you wear this this and this, but what are you supposed to do until you get those items? Pretend the game doesn't exist? Instead, I'll go over slot by slot, give some notable mentions and the item I went with in my run. Won't cover all available options like with spells as that would take forever. Let's get the big ones out of the way first: Weapons: In general, you don't want to be using your equipped weapons to attack, but rather to buff your spells while you're casting them. In essence, they're just stat sticks. Until you get the recommended items, use whatever, as it won't have an impact really. The obvious choice, and for all the right reasons, is Lord Darryn's Voulge. 3 PL to all your storm spells is an amazing bonus. However, it only benefits Storm keyworded spells, and you won't be casting just those. My recommendation is to have a second set with Griffin's Blade, enchanted with Hound's Courage for extra damage with spells. Do note that it is only 10% damage, which is less than what Lord Darryn's Voulge gives to Storm spells, so always swap to it when casting those. If multiclassing with a paladin, fighter or barbarian, you can also dual wield Griffin's Blade with Slayer's Claw, which would make all Might inspirations you receive upgraded by one tier, essentially always giving you at least Tenacious. As for that Arms Bearer in my example build, here's the deal. There will be fights where spiritshift just runs out. Nothing you can do about it. In those cases, you still want something to attack with, but you don't really want to be in melee if you're using the recommended stat sticks. Having a third weapon set with a ranged weapon for those cases is quite handy. My personal pick would be a pistol, any of the three unique ones will do the job. The reason being that you can interrupt your reload with firearms and crossbows/arbalests to cast a spell if you need to. Body Armor: Again, this is a big stat item for you. While spiritshifted, none of the effects of the body armor will carry over, so we want armor that buffs the spells we cast before shifting. As an additional note, I absolutely hate armor variety, or rather the sheer lack of it, in this game, to the point that I consciously avoid using Miscreant's Leathers and DoC armor. I'm just so tired of seeing them every single run and knowing that there isn't really that much better options. Straight away, Aloth's armor can give you a decent boost to your area of effect, though with your huge intelligence, it's already massive for most spells. To my distaste, DoC is readily available, and gives you +2 mortification, which gives you a lot more freedom in how you spend it. Another option, and the one I personally went with, is the Cabalist's Gambeson, enchanted for beneficial effects duration, to increase the duration of all your self buffs and spiritshift as well. If you, however, want direct damage increases, there's only really two armors. One is Deltro's Cage, giving you an additional 2 PL to your storm spells. The downside is that it's a plate armor, and will **** your recovery, unless you multi with a fighter, or use one of a few select pets to somewhat combat that. Oh, and you need to kill Ezzali Bardatto to get it, and i really like making the two families get along. The other option is High Harbinger's Robes. Taking more damage really doesn't matter that much, considering you're already taking 50% more from being a Helwalker. The downsides are that they're quite late game, unless you rush BoW, and that they probably really smell of decaying flesh. Vatnir wears them, after all. With those out of the way, it's time for accessories. We have a bit more wiggle room here, since accessories still give you bonuses while spiritshifted, though in general items that buff your spells are still better than those that buff your attacks. Helmets: Only used if you didn't pick a Godlike. Honestly, as previously discussed, there isn't much that can beat Heaven's Cacophony here. And it's available incredibly early, just got to get to Neketaka to buy it. If, for some reason, you don't want to use it, the only really good alternatives I can recommend are Contender's Helm for another Concentration on combat start or Thaos' Headdress. The conditions on it are incredibly easy to meet as long as you have a cipher in your party to cast Phantom Foes. It does require a specific choice in Pillars 1, however, and not everyone wants to make it. Amulets: There's only two really standout options here. The first is Strand of Favor, giving you +1 Int and +10% beneficial effects duration, making everything you do last even longer than before. It's available quite early as well, at Hasongo. The second, available much later, is The Third Eye, with its 10% hit-to-crit for spells. Honestly, I'd still pick the Strand of Favor over it. Other alternatives include Charm of Bones and Stone of Power. Cloaks: There's unfortunately only one big option here, and I really hate it. Shroud of the Phantasm. I really dislike Brilliant in any of its forms, and this is by far the worst. But the cloak, even without the Brilliant inspiration, is still really damn good. One thing to note is that you don't have access to a mind inspiration as an Ascetic, so you will need allies to provide one (more on that at the end). There really isn't any alternatives to it either, and nothing to really wear before it. Handwear: A few decent options that won't make or break your build, nothing too flashy here really. If you don't plan on having an evocation focused wizard in your party, Firethrower's Gloves with their 2 Dex and 1 Arcana are a great option that you can get incredibly early with the Well-supplied merchant Berath's Blessing. You'll probably want to aim for Woedica's Strangling Grasp, which is what I wound up using, but in all honesty it is only marginally better than the basic Gauntlets of Ogre Might. This is one of the slots where the non-unique items are really good, and you can get a lot of mileage out of the aforementioned ones, or things like Mortification Bracers. If you want a large bonus to your Arcana, The Left Hand of the Obscured gives +3, but the other effect it has only works with melee weapons. Rings: Surprisingly, not that much choice, despite being the slot that you're going to need to fill the most of in your party. There's really only one standout ring that you definitely want to aim for, Kuaru's Prize. Absolutely no reason to not use it. For the other slot you have a few choices. If you find yourself using Firebug and Sunlance often, Ring of Focused Flame gives both +10 accuracy. later into the game, Whispers from the Depths can also work really well. Unfortunately, my favorite ring, Chameleon's Touch, isn't that useful, since you get Res from being a druid. If none of those sound too appealing, you can just go for a basic Ring of Overseeing. Boots: Unfortunately, not that many options at all. There are Vithrack Silk Slippers, but those are all the way from FS. Before that, honestly, just wear what you have available, there really isn't a lot of variety. Pathfinder's Boots and Boots of the Stone both grant +1 Dex so at least it's better than nothing, I guess. Belts: Unfortunately, much the same as with boots, though at least you have marginally better options. Sash of Judgment is an interesting option to get a bit more damage out early. i personally went with the Upright Captain's Belt, for one more concentration at the start of combat. Trinkets: I'll be honest, I routinely forget that trinkets are even a thing. No clue really which ones to suggest here as I just haven't used them, and since I came out just fine, I don't think they'll make that big of an impact. Pets: Yup, pets. Pets often get overlooked but they can provide you with some great bonuses to round out your build. Unfortunately, you're a bit screwed when it comes to pets, as there is a pet that boosts every other element except shock. There's still some great options however. Peter is a cat you can get incredibly early that boosts both your area of effect and area of effect damage, and it can easily last you the entire game. You can buy Milx in Neketaka, which gives +1 Int and 5% hit-to-crit with spells. Later on, you have Nemnok, who gives you an additional cast with PL 1 spells, and Boras from FS, giving 5 accuracy with spells. And then there's Ooblit. Ooblit gives a flat 3 seconds increase to all beneficial effects. This includes all self buffs and spiritshift. If you want to wear Deltro's Cage, I'd recommend using a pet that reduces armor recovery penalty. There are a few options, though the best is probably Nalvi from Junvik Village, only because the recovery penalty reduction is the party wide effect, which means you can put it in Eder's pet slot and still benefit from it. Consumables: Honestly, these are not required at all, they're just optional things you can use to give your character another bit of oomph. Potion-wise, you have two big options: Potion of Ascension for +2 PL, which lasts for the whole fight too, and Potion of Perfect Aim for the hit-to-crit conversion. If you choose to only go up to 13 Arcana, you can use the leftover points in Alchemy to increase the duration of Perfect Aim potions. Drugs on the other hand, aren't quite as useful, especially since we're not a Nalpazca. As for scrolls, have I mentioned Avenging Storm scrolls anywhere in the guide? I can't quite remember... Food: Last but not least, food. Damn, how I hate that food counts as an active bonus and therefore doesn't stack with a lot of things. It really should have been a passive bonus instead. Anyways, food is less of a necessity and more of a useful bonus to have. The end all food you'll probably want is Captain's Banquet, but quite honestly, it's time consuming and expensive to craft, so I'd just reserve that for facing fampyr and Sigilmaster Auranic. In the meantime, you can do perfectly fine with just eating Oysters for that sweet 10% damage with spells. Fury tips: Just a few closing points on the Fury druid. First up, to finish up on gameplay. You'll be starting fights by activating your 3 big buffs from monk: Enduring Dance, Thunderous Blows and Lightning Strikes, after which you'll start laying down your spells. Depending on the length of the encounter, you might not need to use all spells at your disposal. Good spells to consider opening with are Embrace of the Earth Talon, Plague of Insects and your Storm spells. Do keep an eye on what enemies you're facing. If they're flying, or immune to Dex afflictions, there's no point in casting Embrace of the Earth Talon. If they're immune to poison, ditch Plague of Insects in favor of Insect Swarm and/or Infestation of Maggots. If they're immune to shock, cry silently as your bread and butter gets taken away from you. All other spells, you can cast depending on the situation: if you need single target burst, Sunlance to the face, really dangerous damage dealers can eat a Sunbeam, fighting a big, tough boss, throw down all your Raw DoTs and Storms, Rust their armor and get ready to shift. When to spiritshift and what to do during it: In general, you wan to spiritshift after you're done casting your initial spells. Once you have the storms and at least one of your Raw DoTs, you should look to refresh Lightning Strikes and Thunderous Blows, read an Avenging Storm scroll if you have any and spiritshift. During the shift, you want to mostly focus on autoattacking, though at times you may need to emergency cast something, most often Shifting Storm, Sunbeam, Form of the Delemgan or Weather the Storm. There are also times when you should completely ignore spiritshifting, namely when facing shock immune enemies, as your attacks deal pure shock damage while in the Angry Cloud form. Your best friends: AKA party composition. I personally don't stick with the same party all game long and regularly swap companions out, so, just like the rest of the guide, I can't exactly give you the optimal party comp. I can, however, recommend some options: A cipher. Yes, I hate it. Yes, Brilliant is amazing. Yes, ciphers are the only class that can spam out Brilliant. You get the idea. A priest. Dire Blessing is an amazing buff to your overall performance. Later on, you can use Salvation of Time to extend a lot of your buffs, including your spiritshift. A paladin and/or a chanter. Best if both at the same time, the almighty Harold. Auras for days. A buddy with a morningstar. The morningstar modal reduces fortitude by an absurd 25. A lot of your abilities target fortitude, so such a huge debuff is a massive help. Unfortunately, since morningstars aren't sabres or swords, and therefore are just not pirate-y enough, the selection of unique ones is rather poor, only two unique ones, in fact. Of the two, The Willbreaker is flat out better, though Saru-Sichr is available earlier. Works best on a tanky frontline support like a paladin. Of the base companions, Pallegina, in any of her three class options, makes a good morningstar wielder. Another buddy with a flail. Much like the morningstar, but it debuffs reflex. Your storm spells, except Avenging Storm, target Reflex for their damaging component. Unlike morningstars, flails were apparently a symbol of the pirate world, as there are 5 total unique ones, which is tied third for most unique one handed weapons of a type, and tied fourth for most unique weapons of any type. None of the unique flails are really standout in their stats so just use whichever one you like. Keeper of the Flame can be enchanted to reduce will, which can be useful for the rest of the party. Straight off the bat, Eder can make great use out of a flail, and in general so can anyone that ends up tanking. Closing statement: If anyone actually made it all the way to here, I salute you for your dedication, and probable insanity. Any feedback is welcome. Now go play a Fury, nerds.
  11. Welcome to the new and updated list of current builds from these boards. The actual list is down below (scroll down a bit). Each of the several classes and multiclasses in the game are listed below in alphabetical order (single classes first, then multiclasses), with each build listed alphabetically underneath. If there's no build yet for a class/multiclass then you won't find the class name/section. I will add those once class builds come flying in. I don't order by subclasses. If you think I should and can tell my why I will consider it. For each build you'll find a short descriptor, an indication of the game version it was built for and/or it uses gear and abilities from, and whether it has been meant or tested for solo play. --- DISCLAIMER: SOLO PLAY I assume solo play to be untested for all builds that do not explicitly mention solo play in the OP. If anyone tested any of these builds for solo play and would like their experience to be reflected in this thread, please PM me specifying the build you used, the difficulty you tried, and whether you could beat the game. Similarly, if you want your build's descriptor updated, contact us with the updated descriptor. DISCLAIMER II: THREAD NAMING/TAGGING Included in this list are only builds that got send via PM or posted with the "class build" or "build" tag or with [CLASS BUILD] in the title. Since there is so much info posted atm I can't search the forums for every untagged build/build idea that is floating around. If your build is missing, please PM me with the relevant information (link, descriptor, game version, solo play) and I will add it. DISCLAIMER III: LABELS Builds can get tagged with different labels. At the moment there are three: |HOT| marks builds that got a substantical amount of feedback from the community (in form of responses, currently 20+), |POPULAR| will be put on builds that have surpassed a certain number of likes (currently 10+). Unmaintained builds or builds that won't work anymore because of patches will get tagged with |DEPRECATED| until they get updated. If they don't get updated they might get removed eventually after some time. Builds that need a mod (for example to unlock certain subclasses that are otherwise only usable by NPCs or companions) to work will be labeled with |MOD| . --- FORMAT: Build Name [links to the build's thread] Subclass(es) Short descriptor of what the build does or specializes in. Author: The user who made the build. Game version: What game version the build was created for, and/or uses equipment and abilities from. Difficulty: On which difficulty level this build was played Solo: Whether the build is suitable or intended for solo play:"Yes [Difficulty]" - The build was either created or tested for solo play on the specified difficulty level. "No [Difficulty]" - The build was tested for solo play on the specified difficulty level and the game could not be beaten. "Untested" - The build wasn't born with solo play in mind, but for all we know it might as well work—except nobody's tried yet. Companion: Does this build fit any of the official companions or sidekicks? If "yes", just add the name of the companion/sidekick here​. Usually it's only one name I guess. If you are searching for a companion-build you can simply use the search funktion of your browser (ctrl+f) to search for a companion name. --- SINGLE CLASSES (bold=there's a build): Barbarian, Chanter, Cipher, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard MULTICLASSES (bold=there's a build): Arcane Knight, Ascetic, Battlemage, Beastmaster, Brawler, Brute, Cantor, Celebrant, Cleric, Contemplative, Crusader, Fanatic, Geomancer, Harbinger, Herald, Hierophant, Holy Slayer, Howler, Hunter, Inquisitor, Itinerant, Liberator, Loremaster, Marauder, Mindstalker, Mystic, Oracle, Pathfinder, Psyblade, Ravager, Sage, Savage, Scout, Seer, Shadowdancer, Shaman, Shepherd, Sorcerer, Spellblade, Spiritualist, Swashbuckler, Tempest, Templar, Thaumaturge, Theurge, Transcendent, Universalist, Votary, Wanderer, War Caller, Warden, Warlock, Wildrhymer, Witch, Zealot COMPANION & SIDEKICK BUILDS (bold=there's a build): Aloth, Edér, Fassina, Konstanten, Maia Rua, Mirke, Pallegina, Rekke, Serafen, Tekehu, Vatnir, Xoti, Ydwin Ok, fire away! ------------------------------ ----------BUILD LIST---------- ------------------------------ ---------SINGLE CLASS--------- Barbarian The Ultimate Suicide Bomb |HOT| |DEPRECATED| an offense heavy build that discards any defense to max AoE (shock) damage output Subclass: Berserker Author: dunehunter Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Cipher Dat Arsehole Ascendant A pure dps cipher build Subclass: Ascendant Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Fighter The Intelligent Captain a smart tactician and leader that has a lot of options and uses underrated abilities with great efficiency Subclass: - Author: Myrtillo Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Undying Titan Maximizing the effect of Unbending Subclass: Unbroken (any other works as well) Author: Esajin Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: Edér, Rekke ------------------------------ Monk The Flagellant A ranged dps monk who generates wounds through controlled self damage Subclass: Helwalker Author: ntavanga Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Priest The End Bringer A powerful offensive Priest of Rymrgand, unlockable through a mod or playable with Vatnir Subclass: Priest of Rymrgand Author: Stardusk78 Game Version: 2.0 (+mod) Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: Vatnir ------------------------------ Ranger The Arcana Archer An archer who combines certain scrolls with Frostseeker in a very effective way, dealing massive AoE damage Subclass: Ghost Heart Author: Dorftek Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: Maia Rua ------------------------------ Rogue The Duelling Corsair A veritable fencer without the need for stealthy tactics Subclass: Streetfighter Author: Myrtillo Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Wizard The Combusting Wizard Very high dps Wizard with lots of versatility for group or solo runs Subclass: - Author: eschu101 Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: Aloth The Master of Missiles <no description provided> Subclass: Evoker Author: knownastherat Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - Tormentor of Mind and Body excellent crowd controller and debuffer Subclass: Illusionist Author: Silvaren Game Version: 4.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ----------MULTICLASS---------- Arcane Knight (Paladin/Wizard) The Angel of Death A dual wielding, self buffing tank with great AoE dmg Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Evoker Author: Sarnael Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Archknight Goldmagi Dual-wielding, self buffing killing machine with tanking capacity and endless zeal resource Subclasses:Goldpact Knight/Evoker Author: Enurale Game Version: 4.1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Solo Arcane Knight |HOT| What happens when you have 210+ deflection? Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/- Author: Sfzrx Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Ascetic (Druid/Monk) The Fate Testarossa |HOT| |POPULAR| or: how to accidentally make your Watcher more anime than Ydwin Subclasses: Fury/Helwalker Author: Ascaloth Game version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Battlemage (Fighter/Wizard) Cuchulain Battlemage who focuses on Citzal's Spirit Lance Subclasses: Devoted/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Lightning Rod |HOT| Battlemage caster able to unleash calamitous amounts of lightning damage on self and foes Subclasses: -/Evoker (optional) Author: Elebhral Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Brawler (Fighter/Monk) Gypsy Thunder |HOT| a harbinger of storm, mowing enemies with her lightning machinegun Subclasses: Devoted/Nalpazca Author: Giftmefood Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Lady of Pain |HOT| |POPULAR| DEPRECATED due to patch 1.1 High-speed, medium-armored dps great sword user Subclasses: Devoted/Helwalker Author: AndreaColombo Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Tornado |HOT| A brawler who's standing in a pack of enemies and spinning like crazy in order to cause as much damage as possible Subclasses: Devoted/- (vanilla or any subclass) Author: BalkothTheFeared Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Brute Guts - Frenzied Berserker |HOT| Build with great tanking possibilities, good self healing, good damage against solo targets and devastating power against crowds Subclass: Berserk/Devoted Author: seed_ls Game Version: 1.0-1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Lady of Endless Whispers A relentless and tempered brute, good damage and area of effect Subclass: -/Devoted Author: Kenneth77 Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - Wiliiam "Will" Breaker A howling immortal one man army that smashes everything in its path with high hit-to-crit conversion Subclass: Berserker/Devoted Author: Vonmama Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Contemplative (Monk/Priest) The Fists of Vengeance |HOT| does excellent single target and aoe damage and is very versatile Subclasses: Helwalker/Priest of Woedica |MOD| Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 2.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - Skaen's Godsworn Ripping enemies to shreds with Skaen's blessed weapons or your fists Subclasses: Helwalker/Priest of Skaen Author: Wolken3156 Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Crusader (Fighter/Paladin) Bloodsail - The Pirate Paladin Crusader version: stand your ground, Devoted and Goldpact passives/heals make him very tanky; dps is good Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/Devoted Author: diamondsforever Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Fanatic (Barbarian/Paladin) The Brutish Knight |HOT| A tanking barbarian in light armor Subclasses: Berserker/Kind Wayfarer Author: Pharaun159 Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Imperial Fanatic Pumping out crits with the Last Word, silencing mobs while being resistant to every affliction Subclasses: Berserker/Bleak Walker Author: Theosupus Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Harbinger (Chanter/Rogue) The Cunning Duelist Subclasses: Skald/Trickster A hamstringing specialist capable of inflicting all types of afflictions Author: Ascaloth Game version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Harbinger of Berath A tank who's using key gear, Persistent Distraction and Chanter phrases simultaneously to boosts defenses an armor rating and to unlock Deathblows passively. Subclasses: Troubadour/Streetfighter Author: Ganrich Game Version: 1.1(beta) Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Sweeper Agent The Sweeper's main focus is an interrupt and utility build that is tuned more towards range, but it can handle well also as a midline melee. Subclasses: Troubadour/Streetfighter Author: Metaturtle Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Herald (Chanter/Paladin) The Fire-Breathing Drake Beathes fire with Dragon’s Dowry, summons an army of fire-breathing drakes to her side and buffs her allies with the Mith Fyr and Shared Flames Subclasses: Troubadour/Shieldbearer Author: TheMetaphysician Game Version: 4.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Pallegina The Healing Wall |HOT| A main tank who doubles as powerful endurance healer Subclasses: Troubadour/Shieldbearer Author: Climhazzard Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - Sir Sit-a-Lot What is the most effective but laziest way of soloing PotD? Subclasses: doesn't matter/doesn't matter Author: Marigoldran Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: Pallegina The Sword Singer (A) |HOT| Single or AOE tanky high melee DPS with extreme self healing, CC/offensive spells, summons, AOE healing/buffs and infinite Resources on Level 19 Subclasses: Troubadour/Kind Wayfarer Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - Tuono e Fulmine |POPULAR| how to make Pallegina hit like thunder and strike like lightning Author: Ascaloth Game version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Pallegina ------------------------------ Holy Slayer (Paladin/Rogue) Bloodsail - The Pirate Paladin Holy Slayer version: getting flanked an/or bloodied, utilizing Streetfighter bonuses to dish out great DPS while using Goldpacts Gilded Enmity to lessen damage Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/Streetfighter Author: diamondsforever Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Bleak Huntress |HOT| Sniper assassin with high initial burst damage, high accuracy and nice roleplay fluff Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Assassin Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Faceless Dancer |HOT| Solo retaliation tank Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Trickster Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Holy Hand Grenadier Lob explosives which debuff your foes with DOTs and afflictions. Paladin defenses let you safely self-afflict distracted with the blunderbuss modal and have constant streetfigther speed bonus. Subclasses: Goldpact||Bleak Walker||Kind Wayfarer/Streetfighter Author: arkane83 Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - Stop-N-Go extremely tanky high dps build that hovers in the Bloodied/Near Death zone while stacking stand-still abilities and teleporting around the battlefield Subclasses: Goldpact Knight/Streetfighter Author: whimper Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Howler (Barbarian/Chanter) The Lord of the Imps |HOT| |POPULAR| Summon small, squishy skeletons, smash them with Gravecaller, triggering Blood Thirst and generating an army of imps Subclasses: Berserker/Beckoner Author: Dortek Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Inquisitor (Cipher/Paladin) The Adra Infused Duelist Fast, deadly and can strip enemy defenses down to allow allies to pummel away Subclasses: Soulblade/Kind Wayfarer Author: dbarbarian14 Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Redeemer |HOT| 2h solo character built around the synergy between paladin (high defenses and survivability), cipher (high damage) and The Whispers of the Endless Paths (AoE, Riposte) Subclasses: Soulblade/Goldpact Knight Author: Kaylon Game Version: 3.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Three Aspects of the Inquisitor no FoD Inquisitor for solo PotD Subclasses: Soulblade/Goldpact Knight Author: Vonmara Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Loremaster (Chanter/Wizard) The Stress-free Master |POPULAR| The most stress-free PotD solo runner Subclasses: Beckoner/Evoker Author: ppscurry Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Marauder (Barbarian/Rogue) The Lightning Sphinx |HOT| self-buffing lightning lash Marauder Subclasses: Berserker/Assassin Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Mindstalker (Cipher/Rogue) The Company Man Roleplaying build for PotD Subclasses: Ascendant/Streetfighter Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Dishonored Play like Corvo: stick to the outskirts of combat backstabbing to build up focus then firing off cipher abilities. Subclasses: Soulblade/Assassin Author: Statis_Sword Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Ravager (Barbarian/Monk) The Furry Ravager Tmaximize the spamming of bonus attacks via crits and the right weapon choice. Subclasses: Berserker/Helwalker Author: thundercleese Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Slayer The Slayer is constantly trying to die, but is just too good at killing to have succeeded at his goal yet Subclasses: Berserker/Helwalker Author: Theosupus Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Tiny Smasher Tiny AoE damage dealer with the goal of maximizing Might and Intellect or Constitution Subclasses: Berserker/Helwalker Author: Belegc Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: Classic Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Sage (Monk/Wizard) The Burning Sage Capable of high damage magic and highly buffed melee dps Subclasses: Helwalker/- Author: Lokithecat Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Mirrorback Can shift between powerful AOE blasting, single target DPS and a "mirror mode" in which it reflects attacks and spells back at attackers Subclasses: Helwalker/- Author: whimper Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Lancer of Galawain Using Citzal's Spirit Lance to generate lots of wounds with autoattacks Subclasses: Shattered Pillar/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - Thougt and Memory Long range striker who carpet-bombs enemies with spells and pokes them from afar with Citzal's Spirit Lance + Instruments of Pain Subclasses: Helwalker/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Scout (Ranger/Rogue) The Deep Leap |HOT| |POPULAR| deceiving and evading AoE *booom* fake Assassin Subclasses: Ghost Heart/Trickster Author: Boeroer Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Seer (Cipher/Ranger) The Glanfathan Soul Hunter a defensive ranged build, puppet master, high acc Subclasses: Ascendant/Ghost Heart Author: mant2si Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - One-Eyed Jack Versatile dual-wielding melee and ranged striker with crowd control capabilities Subclasses: Soulblade/Ghost Heart Author: doggiep0op Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - The Will-Bender |HOT| Turns Whisper of Treason (and other mind control) into a highly accurate ability - and comes with a bodyguard! Subclasses: Ascendant/- Author: Braven Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Shadowdancer (Monk/Rogue) A Dance with Death A seemingly fragile glass cannon that can attacks fast, dodge everything, deal with mobs, and get out of the stickiest situations alive Subclasses: Helwalker/Trickster Author: Vonmara Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Drunken Master Wander around in an alcohol and drug fueled stupor lulling your enemies into surrounding you then suddenly explode into motion Subclasses: Nalpasca/Streetfighter Author: Theosupus Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Eccentric Scepter-Trick single target dps and good debuffer Subclasses: Helwalker/Assassin Author: Silvaren Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - The Fast Assassin the classical rogue: a dual wielding backstabber who attacks as fast as possible and is good in debuffing enemies Subclasses: Shattered Pillar/Assassin Author: Madscientiest Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: No Companion: - The Howitzer ranged crowd control/dps Subclasses: Nalpasca/Assassin Author: Dorftek Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Shaman (Barbarian/Priest) The Harbinger of Doom Dark Shaman build: Burn and sacrifice yourself and enemies for Skaen's sake Subclasses: Berserker/Priest of Skaen Author: mant2si Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Shepherd (Paladin/Ranger) Commander Shephard A sniper arquebus build with an insane amount of accuracy Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Sharpshooter Author: ppscurry Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Sorcerer (Druid/Wizard) Elemental Arsenal Stay back, buff, throw a Stun/Blind/Paralyse, look for the smallest AR/Defense rating, cast, repeat. Plenty of room for adaptation, no grimoire/weapon switching, no PL to keep track of. Subclasses: Fury/- Author: Beriel Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Spellblade (Rogue/Wizard) The Spymaster Makes use of Wizard's defensive spells as well as high Constitution to maintain Flanked and Bloodied status for the Streetfighter's speed/damage bonuses Subclasses: Streetfighter/- Author: Cyrus Blackfeather Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Spiritualist (Chanter/Cipher) Rymrgand's Artitst |HOT| snowballs early into a biawac of destruction and test the power of your gaming contraption Subclasses: Beckoner||Skald||Troubadour/Soulblade||Ascendant Author: Metaturtle Game Version: 2.1 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Solo Companion: - The Siren The Siren is about control - both of your enemies and of summons - with a good amount of debuffs on top. Subclasses: Beckoner/Beguiler Author: Toadbat Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: Veteran Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Swashbuckler (Fighter/Rogue) Armorbreaker |HOT| Sturdy two-handed striker, focusing on high penetration estocs and area of effect capabilities Subclasses: Devoted/Streetfighter Author: Haplok Game Version: 2.01 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Iron Hammer Fights defensively and outlasts his enemies by locking them down in engagement and picking his moment for devastating retaliatory attacks Subclasses: Unbroken/Trickster Author: Theosupus Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Queen's Executioner Heavy AoE alpha strikes with Oathbreaker's End with respectable single target damage to mop up Subclasses: -/Assassin Author: thundercleese Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Templar (Paladin/Priest) The Champion of Magran Mixes the best support spells and abilities with the strongest fire based abilities to make a strong flexible dps/support char Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Priest of Magran Author: Ansalon Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - The Dark Knight of Wael |HOT| High defense single-target damage dealer Subclasses: Bleak Walker/Priest of Wael Author: BalkothThe Feared Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Thaumaturge (Priest/Wizard) Effigy's Bombardement |HOT| Caster that combines both divine and arcane magic Subclasses: Priest of Skaen/- Author: araj123 Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Deathless Thaumaturge - no short description - Subclasses: <any Priest subclass>/Bloodmage Author: brasilgringo Game Version: 4.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Electric Dyslexic |HOT| Self-empowerment by taking in the absolute highest lightning damage you can generate through use of Maelstrom Scrolls Subclasses: Priest of Wael/- Author: Hulk'O'Saurus Game Version: 3.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Theurge (Chanter/Druid) The Healbot Party heal bot for heavy duty healing Subclasses: Troubadour/Livegiver Author: 1TTFFSSE Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Tekehu (minus the Troubadour perks) Tāwhirimātea, the God of Storms Shock, freeze, and heal in a single package Subclasses: Stormspeaker/Watershaper Author: Ascaloth Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: Tekehu ------------------------------ Transcendent (Cipher/Monk) The Transcendent A midline skirmisher that can debuff and charm enemies Subclasses: Soul Blade/Nalpasca Author: Climhazzard Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Universalist (Druid/Priest) The Keeper of the Wheel support/ healer as well as a consistent buffer/debuffer and reliable DOT dealer Subclasses: Animist/Priest of Berath Author: Stardusk78 Game Version: 1.1 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Votary (Monk/Paladin) Burn Baby Burn! |HOT| Gives Paladin both superb single target burst and a AoE nuking option. Subclasses: Helwalker/Shieldbearer Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Eternal Votary |HOT| A tanky yet potent damage dealer for soloing PotD Subclasses: Helwalker/Paladin Author: Sharp Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - No Pain - no Brains A retaliation based build where you also retaliate against yourself. Triggers rooting pain constantly while not dying. Subclasses: Helwalker/Paladin Author: Braven Game Version: 1.0.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ Wanderer (Monk/Ranger) The Big Game Hunter Capable of inflicting massive single target damage at range with an arquebus. Subclasses: Helwalker/Ghost Heart Author: bigwillystyle Game Version: 2.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Untested Companion: - ------------------------------ War Caller (Chanter/Fighter) The Sword Singer (B) |HOT| |DEPRECATED| Single or AOE tanky high melee DPS with extreme self healing, CC/offensive spells, summons, AOE healing/buffs and infinite Resources on Level 19 Subclasses: Troubadour/Devoted Author: Voltron Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - The Turbocharger |HOT| |DEPRECATED| A dual wielding melee crit monster, which recovers resources, enabling it to spam charge Subclasses: Troubadour/Devoted Author: Raven Darkholme Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - ------------------------------ Warden (Druid/Fighter) The Green Knight A frontline bruiser/support/healer Subclasses: Devoted/Lifegiver Author: ntavanga Game Version: 1.0 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: - ------------------------------ Zealot (Priest/Rogue) The Undying |HOT| High risk and very high dps by stacking near death enhancing effects Subclasses: Priest of Skaen/Streetfighter Author: Dorftek Game Version: 1.2 (beta) Difficulty: PotD Solo: Yes Companion: - Let's learn with Umezawa! |HOT| Versatile and mobile Zealot, tanking on huge packs of enemies or jumping around behind enemy lines to assassinate troublesome foes Subclasses: Priest of Wael/Streetfighter Author: thelee Game Version: 1.2 Difficulty: PotD Solo: No Companion: -
  12. After my keeper build, I was fascinated with the druid (a class that I have really underplayed) and tried to brainstorm some fun setups with it. It took some testing to make sure everything worked as I anticipated, but I'm happy with the results, which is a debuffing druid/chanter with some party utility that is so good at disrupting enemy plans in a zany way. How zany? Well, this build has yielded the first and only time I've ever been in a situation where it has been an optimal decision in a high-level fight to cast an empowered Tanglefoot (and yes, it wrecked the enemies!). Basic build outline: stats Hearth Orlan, 8 might/9 con/14 dex/20+1 (white that wends) perception/18 intellect/8 resolve. Classes: skald + animist[boar or cat] Skills: alchemy (try to get up to 10 with a combination of gear and buffs) and explosives (put the rest here); religion Level-by-level guide (with free spells in [] brackets, respec options in {}, respec points in <>, optional picks with an asterisk) Hel-Hyraf...; Come, Come | Tanglefoot [Sunbeam] Fast Runner Arms Bearer {White Wurms... => One Dozen...} | {Hold Beasts => Two Handed Style*} [The Moon's Light] Firebrand Two Weapon Style Reny Daret's... | Spreading Plague* [Returning Storm] <Respec "White Wurms..." to "One Dozen..."> The Shield Cracks The Fox... The Long Night's... | Wicked Briars [Conjure Blight] <Respec Hold Beasts => Two Handed Style, optional> Tumbling Form of the Delemgan Ben Fidel's... | Embrace the Earth Talon [Plague of Insects] Tough* or Uncanny Luck* Rapid Casting Their Companion... | Venombloom [Sunlance] Farcasting* Nature's Terror* Spellshaping* | Nature's Bounty* [Lashing Vine] Accurate Empower This build has you respec a couple times. The first is because White Wurms just gives you so much value early on, but as the build hits its theme it becomes less important compared to getting some chanter utility. The second is because beasts become significantly less dangerous later on in the game (with the late, small exception of SSS), so you respec out of Hold Beasts into a weapon style. I marked this respec as optional because you can hold onto Hold Beasts if you want, or you can pick up a different spell. Recommended chants: Song 1: One Dozen -> Come, Come... Song 2: The Fox... -> The Long Night's... -> Come, Come... edit: the justification for these recommended songs is that you start with the situationally valuable chants first, so if you switch your songs you get those going first (e.g. your party gets hit by terrified, switching to song 1 will quickly dispel it). beyond that, come come targets fortitude so having it come right after the long night's (-14 fort) helps it land/crit. Recommended weapon proficiency and order: flail|club, quarterstaff, greatsword, crossbow/arbalest, warbow, arbalest/crossbow edit: forgot to mention, I highly recommend getting the watcher ability that gives you a tier 3 perception inspiration. this build actually gets a lot more general utility out of being able to generate Intuitive vs Brilliant. Gear Weapon slot 1: Keeper of the Flame or Ondre's Flog of Obedience main hand, Kapana Taga offhand Weapon slot 2: Spine of Thicket Green with modal on Weapon slot 3: a crossbow, arbalest, or St Omaku's Mercy Armor: Changeling's Mantle Other items: Helm of the White Void, Ring of Focused Flame, Gloves of Accuracy, Boots of Speed, the Magnificent Escape Cape, Ring of Prosperity's Fortune Pet: Lucero for the -25% item recovery bonus and dex resistance, or Frau Nils or the Obsidian Worm for the bonus melee accuracy Misc: do the RDC quest to go into the underwater dungeon, and then do what Galawain asks of you to destroy the dungeon so that you get a +1 perception buff. Possible late-game alternates: replace of Ring of Focused Flame with Kuaru's Prize since action economy means you use less and less Fire-keyworded stuff. As another alternate, in end game if you have a consistent source of a mind inspiration, consider swapping Magnificent Escape Cape with Shroud of the Phantasm for the action speed buff - your defenses are extremely good against most threats at levels 19-20 and being able to interrupt easily makes it easier to disengage safely so the cape itself with its only +10 disengagement bonus becomes less useful. How the build plays Early on, you are just a general theurge. You should take advantage of the ability to get an early Ring of Focused Flame by making good use of Sunbeam and Firebrand. Use Tanglefoot to help soften enemies' reflex defense up against your own Sunbeam and the rest of your party. At about level 10, you become a premium debuffer. The Long Night's... chant will give you repeating afflictions against the enemies totalling up to -14 fortitude, which will help land a couple of your spells (Wicked Briars, Spreading Plague, and Returning Storm) in addition to helping your party members. Wicked Briars becomes a great utility spell doing damage and also adding a further source for reducing reflex. Your chanter invocations help soften enemies up even more with -2 AR from The Shield Cracks, and the general utility from Reny Daret's and especially its upgrade (which bestows -10 all defenses even if the enemy is somehow not affeted by the main frightened effect). But if you really want a preview of where this build is going, go rest periodically in Tikawara, which can give you a resting bonus that lets your abilities interrupt when empowered (this resting option goes away if you destroy the adra in poko kahara). Try it with Wicked Briars and watch in amazement as enemies can get very little done. Whenever you get the Helm of the White Void (shoot for level 13-15, depending on skill and difficulty), your power as a general debuffer and aoe damage dealer gets kicked up a notch. At level 16, the build takes off. Energized from the chanter invocation will let you interrupt on a crit (on top of a nice +2 PEN and +5 might), but the real magic is that your druid and chanter arsenal is full of stuff that ticks multiple times. Combined with up to +20 accuracy (+10 from ring of focused flame and +10 from helm of the white void) a high perception, tons of enemy defense lowering effects, you'll be critting a lot. In a typical non-trivial fight you can layer these effects (including bonus from helm of the white void): Venombloom, every 3s at +10 acc (each component can crit interrupt) Wicked Briars, every 3s at +10 acc (both the damage and the hobbling can crit interrupt) Tanglefoot, every 3s at +10 acc Cinder Bombs, initial hit and every 3s at +20 acc The Fox..., The Long Night..., and Come Come... chants will hit every 6s; The Long Night will do so at +10 acc In harder fights, you can empower any one of those abilities for an additional accuracy (and duration/pen/damage) from +5 PL bonus. (In end-game you get a further +10 from accurate empower). You can quaff a potion of merciless gaze for additional hit-to-crit, and don't forget to stockpile money to supercharge your ring of prosperity's fortune. All the while, try to mix in a Ben Fidel or Shield Cracks; Ben Fidel is especially great because the -10 all defenses will make ALL your effects more likely to crit. As a general debuffing effect, persistent frightened will make your enemies more harmless while also making your own debuffs last longer on them (on top of the other usual benefits to reducing their resolve). I recommend keeping the spine of thicket green equipped at the start of every fight so that your initial round of buffing and casting gets boosted (i chose the +3 PL upgrade for beast/plant effects since that covers the effects I actually want to cast). I recommend keeping the +20 deflection modal on as protection. After your initial surge of buffing/debuffing, I recommend switching weapons - the loss in PL will weaken your ongoing effects, but using the -25 defense modal on either your flail or club will more than make up for it. Club is generally the better choice (helps Venombloom, Ben Fidel..., The Fox...), but if you plan on dropping more cinder bombs or--better yet--have someone else in your party using a club, switch on the reflex penalty one instead. (In general I don't want to use both modals if I can help it, just as a matter of personal taste. Except for...) As an optional pick later on, Nature's Terror comes along. It, too, will tick every 3s with multiple components, and beneficially targets will and reflex, both of which you can lower quite easily with one of your weapon slots. Because it's not plant or beast-based, you don't have to worry too much about losing out on the +3 PL bonus from switching away from Spine. With Energized active, you are going to make it very hard for any enemy you're nearby to get anything done. However, the reason why Nature's Terror is an optional pick is because with poor positioning, you'll also make it hard for anyone in your party to get anything done. In fact, this is a general theme of the build - you have to be very careful with targeting and positioning of everyone, especially after you unlock Energized shenanigans. In the build guide I suggest picking up Tough at level 14, and this is mostly an artifact of me playing on PotD and loving the resiliency Tough adds. If you're having problems with positioning, pick up Farcasting or Spell Shaping earlier instead. Farcasting especially - both Venombloom and Wicked Briars have very small ranges (5m) and getting an additional 1m can mean a world of difference, especially when you're fighting in awkward or cramped indoor locations. You might be wondering just how effective all of this constant interrupting is. Well, here are two ways I can put it: Originally this build picked up the animated weapon summon (as is a pretty safe bet for chanters) at level 19. However, after actually playing with this build I dropped it in favor of some passives because I'd much rather be using the phrases on refreshing Energized and any Brilliant shenanigans on creating more interrupt effects rather than rapidly summoning new allies.* Normally I feel compelled to play a build all the way to the end to ensure its utility/viability, but levels 16-17 were so utterly convincing that I felt it was unnecessary to wait to see the build to its end. When you have an entire big boss fight shut down and there's very little the enemies can do about it except melt away, it's quite astounding to see. *That being said, your biggest weakness here is The Oracle, Memory Hoarder, and Dorudugan -- all of whom can't be interrupted. In such a case, however, I feel like as a general debuffing, aoe damage theurge this build is fine, since that's what it is for half the game. Though that being said, if you're more comfortable having all your bases covered, you can pick up the animated weapon summon and drop one of the later optional picks. There's a random sub-theme here: lots of disengagement bonuses. Between form of the delemgan, boots of speed, the magnificent escape cape, tumbling, the fox chant, you can give yourself a +70 swing in your favor against enemy accuracy against disengagement attacks (it's actually a +90 swing, but disengagement attacks get a +20 bonus); this is probably one of the most efficient ways to persistently stack on deflection. Switch over or keep your quarterstaff active for an additional +20 generic deflection and you'll find that this build is actually safer actively disengaging from attacks, which is good because Venombloom, Wicked Briars, and Nature's Terror frequently require you to get very close to the front lines. I don't recommend actively disengaging for your other party members, even with The Fox chant active, unless they also have tumbling and form of the delemgan at the very least, or if you have no other choice. Random notes Ring of Focused Flame boosts the following things this build might use +10 acc: sparkcrackers, cinder bomb, immolator, firebrand attacks, sunbeam, sunlance Helm of the White Void generously boosts this build at +10 acc: pretty much every bomb except {immolator, grenade, concussion bomb, the healing bomb}, tanglefoot, sunbeam, hold beasts, spreading plague, returning storm, wicked briars, embrace the earth talon, plague of insects, nature's terror, venombloom, reny daret/ben fidel... invocation, the long night's... chant. Note that even when there is a part of the ability that is on a separate attack roll from the actual mind/body affliction, helm of the white void still generously grants a +10 accuracy bonus. Venombloom is secretly keyworded as poison and won't affect poison-immune creatures. Wicked Briars is not poison-based despite appearing similar. Wicked Briars and Tanglefoot are ground-based effects, though Venombloom curiously isn't. So keep that weird rock-paper-scissors set up in mind against poison-immune and/or flying foes. Wall of Thorns does not work with this build. Hazard effects do not correspond their effects to you very well, so e.g. the crit interrupt doesn't work at all. The build recommends a boar or cat. Cat because they have a killer buff that boosts action speed. Boar because of the utility of having a self-heal, and the raw damage DoT can help you early on in cases where you have terrible PEN or AR mitigation. The main reason why this build doesn't go all-in on explosives is because you can get great utility out of supplementing your explosives with a few select consumables, especially potion of merciless gaze. The potions from nature's bounty also benefit from alchemy. Do a lot of drugs. This build loves Coral Snuff (+15% action bonus) and Deadeye (+5 acc, 15% interrupt). Eventually Nature's Bounty (if you pick it) will obviate the need for Coral Snuff. Potion of Impediment seems to only work on weapon attacks, however (at least I didn't see it get proceed in the one fight I used it except on melee attacks), but as a skald you'll love that anyway. Possible party members and variants The ultimate synergy here is a wizard that has access to conjuration and transmutation magic. Between the AR debuffing and general defense lowering (especially resolve), it is very easy to land a long-lasting Combusting Wounds at full PEN against even tanky foes. Add on all the ticking damage effects from the druid, and add on random conjuration/transmutation magic (wall of force, malignant cloud, chill fog) and you can do an absolutely stunning amount of damage. If you weren't aware, DoT or HoT effects that stack will immediately tick for damage/healing when another stack lands. At even level 14-15 or so, I've seen damage numbers from Combusting Wounds tick for 100+ damage every single time one of {Wicked Briars, Wall of Force, Malignant Cloud, any party member attack) lands. I didn't exactly go out of my way to to do this like I have in the past (bleeding modal for axe), but it sure made absolute quick work of the Beast of Winter DLC when bullet-sponge enemy/boss health is ticking away so quickly you can literally see the bar empty before your eyes, and this was before I got Venombloom and Nature's Terror to add in to the mix. (in this case, Fassina quickly became the unparalleled damage leader of the party because all combusting wounds damage is credited towards the wizard who cast it.) A priest is also always a good choice, in particular Xoti. Prayer/Litany for the Spirit is great on this theurge for the extra AoE and duration (and PL). Devotions is a wonderful +10 accuracy. Xoti in particular has Wicked Briars and Wall of Thorns, which can help extend The Shield Cracks (and further synergizes with the combusting wounds mechanic above, if you want to trivialize many boss fights in the game). Instead of a priest a paladin also works for zealous focus (+5 acc, +5% hit to crit). A barbarian with spirit frenzy is also a subtly nice choice, because the one main affliction you haven't got covered that you would really benefit from is a might affliction, and spirit frenzy will spread staggered everywhere very cheaply. The build here uses Skald because it really helps the lower level invocations be extremely cheap to use, and later on you're likely to crit a lot with melee attacks so it's not terribly hard to get up to the six you need to re-use Their Companion. However, Troubadour is also a good choice - for a slightly worse low-end behavior (Brisk Recitation gets you the lower invocations as fast as a skald but without linger or possibiliy of getting invocations even faster with crits), you get arguably much better high-end behavior (easier to generate Their Companion when needed, your chants tick every 3s, which doubles the interrupts you can get from chants, at the cost of no linger). The build here also uses Animist because the free spells helped cover a lot of bases and provide general utility (Sunbeam is an excellent tier one spell that works great in this build, The Moon's Light is great healing utility, Returning Storm goes great with all the debuffing, Lashine Vine is a powerful summon that scales). However, because so many effects that you want to use are plant or beast based, choosing an Ancient is also an alternative choice - though your ability points are going to be a bit harder to spend because you don't get as useful free spells (though you do get Form of the Delemgan and Venombloom, and the free Hold Beasts opens up space in the early game). If you don't want to run a theurge in particular, you can also try to sub in a wizard instead of the druid. However, pay attention to the Wall of Thorns notes - the same applies to all the hazard effects the wizard has. That still leaves Chill Fog (tier one, though you should probably just use Slicken instead), Binding Web (tier two), Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage (tier three), and Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar (tier six) as options that give you at least +10 accuracy (i'm excluding the beams because i don't find them as useful for this setup due to their particular aiming needs; YMMV). That's not bad, and you also would free up a couple skill points because instead of relying on disengagement accuracy/deflection shifts, you can just use Deleterious Alacrity of Motion or Fleet Feet to grant you engagement immunity. All the other principles of the build will stay true, but you lose a bit of general utility in the process (Nature's Bounty, Form of the Delemgan, and The Moon's Light are great party support spells and Embrace the Earth Talon and Returning Storm are great druid particulars) and the wizard equivalents all have a much shorter duration than the druid effects (the wizard effects are typically 10s with a few not mentioned here [no +10 acc] that can go up to 15s, whereas the druid effects start at base 20s and can go up to 30s [Nature's Terror]), which may result in some action economy issues in shorter fights (spending more time recasting effects) and spell resource issues in larger fights (blowing all your spells too early). This build doesn't go out of its way to recommend Least Unstable Coil, but because Venombloom and Returning Storm are in your spell roster, this theurge would make very happy work of Least Unstable Coil's tier 3 inspiration shenanigans. As a possible build alteration, instead of respeccing out of White Wurms, you can upgrade it, at which point it benefits from the +10 acc of helm of the white void. You might find yourself extremely constrained on phrases though, so this might be a better choice for a troubadour with brisk recitation active. Note that because you have so many ground effects, items that summon flying help are great because they are effectively immune to all your shenanigans. It might even be worth considering a variant that picks up the Drake summon at some point. (Though do watch out for Venombloom, which should affect flying foes as well) This build has a particular vulnerability to might afflictions, because it's expensive for you to re-cast Their Companion early than anticipated. A source of might resistance might be useful (though not enough to switch away from the hearth orlan's 10% hit to crit).
  13. When I was but a tween, addicted to the original Neverwinter Nights on our crappy family computer that could hardly run it, I refused to play anything but the Shifter prestige class. The idea of shapeshifting into different creatures to face my enemies was too exciting to even consider abandoning. Now that I’m much older and only very slightly less single-minded (sadly my computer can run Deadfire only slightly better than the old junker could run NWN), I’ve imported my love of shapeshifting to this game, resolving from the beginning to make the most of the Shifter Druid subclass. At this time, I believe I have some insights that are worth sharing for others who may be interested in this subclass. This post will be a bit long and unusual, because I will provide a brief analysis of the strengths of Shifters in general as well as my favourite class build to illustrate my points (it’s a Tempest build, so Barbarian fans, stick around). I hope that the post encourages others to give the Shifter subclass a shot, whether in the form of my Tempest build or otherwise. Let’s jump in. First Principles The biggest pitfall one may succumb to when planning a Shifter build is to think of the Shifter as an entirely martial subclass. Spiritshift has the benefit of two strong single-handed weapons in combination with armour as strong as superb Heavy Armor (when fully scaled) without any recovery penalty, and with no vulnerabilities (i.e. the armour has the same rating for all damage types unlike regular armours, which have weaknesses). This is a solid foundation to build on, but it is not equivalent to the martial benefits of an entire martial subclass like Fighter or Rogue. Shifters are still Druids, and Druids are spellcasters. Now let’s take a step back and ask what makes Druids special. What is their niche? I would provide two answers to this: healing and versatility. If there is one single thing a Druid can do better than any other class, it’s keeping a team healed. But that’s far from the whole story. Druids can also do significant damage, valuable crowd control, have some good summons, and a few very useful party buffs. And, of course, they have bursts of martial power from Spiritshift. No other class packs such diverse value in a single team slot, even though other classes will be better at most specific aspects. Druid subclasses leverage this versatility by offering specialization in one of the dimensions of the Druid kit, usually compromising another. This might lead one to think that a Druid subclass should be built to focus on that one specialist dimension and no other, but this is simply the general form of the pitfall that I mentioned at the beginning of this section. Versatility remains a core strength of the Druid class in each of its subclasses. The subclasses emphasize a dimension of the class – they do not invalidate all others. Your Lifegiver can still drop strong damage spells. Your Fury can still summon and do plant/beast DPS. Forgoing such versatility will always just make your Druid worse than they could be. This class is not supposed to just do one thing. Our first principle of building a Shifter follows easily: spellcasting must be respected as a core part of the character. Shifters are Druids, not furry warriors. And because Shifters lose their spellcasting when they shift, each battle must be divided between casting and martial phases if we want to benefit from all the character’s strengths. These are the parameters within which we will be thinking in what follows. Single Class vs. Multiclass I admit that I’ve never played a SC Shifter (I’ve had 3 Shifter playthroughs; a man only has so much time) but theorycrafting it is pretty straightforward. It would be decent. The main Shifter-specific benefits from SC would be Avenging Storm and Wildstrike Frenzy. Shifters will have good melee attack speed (especially cat form) and relatively low deflection, so AS is liable to put in some decent work (though nothing at the level of what can be metagamed with hand mortars, blunderbusses, Frostseeker, etc.). The Wildstrike Frenzy passives ought to be the #1 draw, but they are unfortunately lacklustre. Their effects only proc on kill with a shifted animal-weapon attack, not on spell kills (thanks to Boeroer for testing this). As we established in our first principle, good Shifter will be doing a lot of damage with spells, and Shifters will emphasize spells that do continuous damage while they are transformed. This means Wildstrike Frenzy will do nothing when the final blow comes from Avenging Storm, Nature’s Terror, Plague of Insects, Relentless Storm, or several other DPS spells you may have cast. Now, ‘on kill’ is an inherently weak trigger condition: the goal of combat is to kill enemies, therefore on-kill effects reward you for having already been successful and can’t help when you are struggling to get kills. On kill effects can still be very good for momentum (see the build below), but they need to be reliable with a trigger with such an inherent drawback. SC Shifters will be doing most of their damage from spells since they lack martial passives to help with melee, get higher level spells, and benefit from high power level (shifting doesn’t benefit from PL). That Frenzy doesn’t work with spell kills is therefore a major disappointment. A great thing about SC Shifter is that Shifters don’t lose access to any Druid spells (before they shift), meaning that you can enjoy the complete Druid spell list with the added benefit of sustained martial abilities. I would recommend SC Shifter to a player who primarily wants to play a caster but likes the idea of having a respectable melee presence without much fuss (i.e. no relying on buff chains or specific gear). Multiclassing is where we can get a bit more creative in drawing out a Shifter’s strengths, most obviously by giving our Shifter access to martial passives that will help their melee power. But if there is one thing you take from this post, let it be this: try to pick a second class that synergizes with the Shifter’s spellcasting as well as its melee ability. You’re going to be spending a significant amount of time casting spells and relying on spell damage so, ideally, you don’t want your second class to be irrelevant to that dynamic. A shifter has two major dimensions, two combat “phases” – you want to build for both. The class build below demonstrates what this looks like. Beast Tempest Shifter/Fury Shaper Dive into your enemies’ midst and thrash them to pieces with spells, claws, and teeth. Game version: 5.0 Difficulty: POTD (upscaled) Solo: Untested Overview: Perhaps most importantly from a synergistic point of view, Barbarians are most effective in melee when going after groups of weakened enemies. That’s because they get damage spikes against low-health enemies and massive action speed benefits on kill (see writeup on Blood Thirst below). This means that their damage per second increases significantly when they can crush multiple low-health enemies, back-to-back. Accordingly, compared to other possible martial multiclasses, you get significantly more value out of your Druid spell damage-over-time effects that you will have casted earlier in the fight. Making every enemy weaker before you start your melee phase therefore has a direct and noticeable effect on Barbarian power. This alleviates the inherent martial-caster action time tension whereby spell damage and melee damage compete with each other since time spent doing one is time not spent doing the other. With a Tempest, time spent casting damage feeds into your melee power directly. Note well that, unlike Wildstrike Frenzy, Barbarian on-kill buffs (Bloodlust and Blood Thirst) do indeed trigger on spell kills, so no need to worry about what gets the final blow (except for when a spell steals your Barbaric Smash kill and you lose resources), and you’ll find that when you have multiple spells going on against a large group of enemies, these buffs will pop up regularly when you didn’t even notice you got a kill. Finally, the action speed and Might benefits from Frenzy obviously help in your spellcasting phase. Furthermore, Barbarians have some tension in their design: with very low deflection, very high health, an armour passive, and more, they are meant to take hits. This screams, “get the highest armour value possible!” They also have multiple ways to increase action speed, so you want to build them them to swing fast. Unfortunately, heavy armour comes with a hefty recovery speed penalty, so if you try to maximize your armour, you action speed bonuses get eaten up compensating for it. You’ll recall, though, that Spiritshift armour has a high rating and no action speed penalty whatsoever. Therefore, while shifted you will fully leverage a Barbarian’s tankiness and action speed perhaps unlike any other context in the game. You can see that though Barbarian is traditionally a “martial” subclass, it benefits from the characteristically Druid form of spell casting (damage over time across a wide area) and it powers up spell casting as well. Add this to Spiritshift’s inherent speed and armour benefits and you’ve got yourself a beautiful set of synergies. I chose Fury Shaper because access to Fear Ward is worth the Will penalty, especially on a caster Barbarian because you can leverage Captain’s Banquet, which gives you immunity to most of the most dangerous stuff that targets Will. No subclass would work fine too, as the wards aren’t essential to the build. Mage Slayer is out because you’ll resist your own Druid stuff, and I find Corpse-Eaters looks pretty bad, but do your thing if you really want to be a man-eating werewolf. Berserker could do a lot of damage but Confused is particularly bad for a Druid with their dependence on Intellect and powerful foe-only AOEs, so you’ll have to constantly make sure you’re managing that. Also, this build uses high Might, which increases Berserker self-damage, making you significantly squishier. Attributes: I’m not going to give numbers because they depend on whether there are Berath’s Blessings, the player’s comfort with stat dumping, role-playing, and so on. Instead, I’ll give priorities. MGT: High DEX: Medium CON: Medium PER: High INT: High RES: Low Druids rely on a lot of damage and healing over time, so MGT is better than DEX for both (DEX helps you move through your casting phase faster, but it’s not going to make your spells tick faster; this is unlike burst damage/healing or buffs where getting a spell off a little faster can significantly change the flow of the fight). In addition, you’re getting a lot of action speed buffs as a Barb, so it’s better to give more weight to each swing than try to be the Flash. PER is a priority for anything that needs to hit enemies, and Barbarians have some nice on-crit benefits. INT is critical for all your many AOE radii and (de)buff durations (including Spiritshift). You want as much of this as possible. DEX and CON are good but should only be invested into when the priority three are maxed out. Having some RES can be nice so hostile effects don’t keep you down, and you don’t get crit against deflection to a ridiculous degree (crits give bonus penetration, potentially bypassing your high AR), but if you want to dump a stat this should be it (as per usual). Skills: I like a split between Athletics and Stealth. Athletics for some heals and Stealth so you can more reliably get a cast off while sneaking for the reduced recovery. Not super important. For non-active skills pick what you want. Abilities: I’m going to give brief writeups on key abilities so the reader can get a good sense of how this plays. The “no brainer” passives are Combat Focus, Blooded, Two Weapon Style, Wildstrike and upgrade, Thick Skinned, Unflinching, One Stands Alone, and Brute Force. Along with what is detailed below you will have a couple free points. Use them where you like. Frenzy: Blood or Spirit? – The Spirit line has great synergy here: spell hits cause Staggered as well as melee hits, and Might afflictions are valuable for lowering Fortitude, which synergizes with Brute Force and many strong spells. The AOE terrify can also be clutch in buying yourself casting time when surrounded. However, you may be using lots of Might Afflictions elsewhere on your team (I nearly always run Serafen spamming Dazing Shout) and find that you’re not getting much mileage out of Staggered, and would prefer the resource-saving Blood Storm over Spirit Tornado’s short terrify (especially if you’re packing Fear Ward anyway), in which case the Blood line works just fine. I personally find the Spirit line generally better because of the reliable Staggered, and Terrified lasts for about 10secs, which can save your skin and help you to cast in a pinch. I don’t think you’ll usually benefit that much from Blood Frenzy’s extra crit damage because melee targets don’t usually last long enough to experience all the DoT. Barbaric Roar: Your only command interrupt; always good to have. Especially nice as a quick-cast, foe-only, ranged attack. More valuable than the alternative upgrade – you’re not a main tank. Leap: Jump right in. Just do it, you'll be fine (usually). My playstyle usually involves tanks taking the initiative and diving at enemies to start combat, which effectively takes a lot of pressure away from the backline. This character isn't a main tank, but can and should certainly be right up in the thick of things with the tank. You want Leap to get around with no fuss and Daze enemies while you cast. You can take Wild Sprint as well as sometimes that's all you need and it's cheaper, but it's no replacement for Leap. Barbaric Smash + Bloody Slaughter: You can get some big damage numbers with these. A bunch of crit conversion, up to +100% crit damage, and increased base damage can save you a few attack resolutions (plus your animal form gives a little roar with each swing that sounds cool). Depending on the enemy, casting this around 40-30% usually reliably picks up the kill for no Rage cost, allowing you to continue your rampage. Don’t overlook the bonus penetration. Blood Thirst: better than I originally thought. Turns out not only does this cancel the recovery of your killing blow, but it also cancels the recovery of the next action you make within the buff’s duration. That means that after you kill an enemy, not only do you not have to recover, but your first attack against the next enemy doesn’t impose recovery either. I kept wondering why I seemed to be getting random Full Attacks in combat until I realized this. Remember, it triggers whenever spell damage gets a kill, too. Moonwell/Garden of Life: This character can be a primary healer. Insect Swarm/Plague of Insects/Infestation of Maggots: Core spell damage, and you get two for free! Stack these on enemies and watch them wither away. Do note that Plague does not affect Poison-immune enemies (and there are quite a few), but Swarm and Infestation do. Plague of Insects is absolute gold because apart from its good damage and stripping Concentration, the Sickened affliction increases your accuracy via Brute Force and lowers enemies’ max health (all the better for smashing). Nature’s Terror: A fantastic spell for this build. You want to be standing in the middle of enemies anyway. Having damage from this constantly wearing them away along with Carnage is great, and the Frightened affliction can block dangerous abilities and make them easier to hit (if you’re using Spirit Frenzy, it debuffs both Deflection and Fortitude). It’s friend-or-foe, so watch your step, but don’t let that make you afraid to use it. Having teammates with resolve affliction resistance can help (Wild Orlans like Serafen come with it, Fighters have a perk, etc.). This spell also seems bugged in that randomly it will sometimes do like 5 ticks of damage to a single enemy instantly. Not sure what causes it. Most important of all, the spell looks really cool (Tempest indeed). Relentless Storm: Of course. Depending on your needs for the fight you can and should cast any two of this, Plague, and Nature’s Terror. Cast all three if you get resources back. Venombloom: Must-have for any Druid, in my opinion. Does nothing against Poison-immune enemies but is devastating to anything else. And with Brute Force it will hit the lower of Deflection and Fortitude. Gear: Weapon: Spine of Thicket Green - unfortunately, your damage bonus on Beast/Plant spells will go away when you shift, but the duration and initial accuracy bonuses from power level are done deals at the time of casting. There's very little reason to use any other weapon. The crush damage and extra effectiveness against Vessels (who are often pierce immune or resistant and tend to be more vulnerable to crush damage) also means this is very occasionally worth using over shifting. Head: Helm of the White Void or Survivor’s Tusks – HotWV gives +10 to every attack roll involved in affliction-causing attacks (i.e. not just the roll for applying the affliction but also for dealing damage, etc.). For this build that means Barbaric Roar, Spirit Tornado, Plague of Insects, Nature’s Terror, Relentless Storm, and Venombloom (Fear Ward, being its own “creature” does not benefit). If you want to use this on another character, Survivor’s Tusks can give you survivability, though the Spiritshift upgrade is less valuable on this build because you will usually have Strong from Frenzy anyway. Neck: Strand of Favor – more INT and beneficial effect duration means longer shifts, etc. Armour: Garari Cuirass – any light armour can work here but I like this one because it gives you as much AR as light armour can so you can take hits before you shift. See also Miscreant’s Leather for the recovery bonus and Cabalist’s Gambeson for the extra effect durations, but remember your normal armour gets replaced when you shift. Feet: Rakhan Field Boots – always nice to dash around and get another interrupt. Footsteps of the Beast can be nice too since you tend to run around a bit. Cloak: Greater Protection Hands: Woedica’s Strangling Grasp – extra Might and AR Rings: Kuaru’s Prize + whatever you like Pet: Giftwrapper or Abraham – Abraham speeds your casting up but Giftwrapper gives you free AR when you get her. Both offer a bit of healing. Food: Captain’s Banquet – Immunity to half of the affliction types, including those which most often target your debuffed Will, is huge in itself. Extra spell damage is fantastic on top. Unfortunately, the action speed buff gets overridden by Frenzy, but with this you don’t need to cast Frenzy at the beginning of your casting phase just for the speed. Being able to wait without much drawback let’s you use Spirit Tornado when it’s most impactful. Closing comments: Embrace a Shifter’s versatility and you’ll be rewarded for it, in both power and fun. The build I’ve detailed has been my favourite to play in the game and is no slouch in power. I hope this post encourages more people to consider playing a Shifter and to play around with getting the most from the subclass. I can confirm that Ascetic builds are great, and I bet interesting things could be done with Wizard, Priest, or Paladin. Thanks for reading.
  14. The Thundercat - or 'crit me maybe on more time!' --------------------------------------------- Difficulty: PotD; Game version 3.02 --------------------------------------------- "The Thundercat is on the move, The Thundercat is loose, Feel the magic, hear its roar, The Thundercat is loose. Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercat! Thunder, thunder, thunder, THUNDERCAT!" Intro Pictures Race, Heritage and Background Attribute Scores Talents & Abilities Spell Mastery Skills Equipment Buffs & Party Composition Spell Guide
  15. "Your a cruel device your blood, like ice one look, could kill my pain, your thrill! I wanna hit you but I better not touch (Don't touch) I wanna smack you, but my senses tell me to stop I wanna smite you but I want it too much (Too much) I wanna hack you but your limbs are venomous poison You're poison running through my veins You're poison I don't wanna break these chains" - Arlise Pooper, Death Godlike wandering minstrel, after meeting Bilestomper - Nobody knows Bilestomper's real name. Nobody knows what he did before he became a drainer in Tâkowa. The only thing we know is that one day he emerged from the sewers in a really pissy mood and went of to the Dyrwood, mumbling something about his own patch of well mucked land... =================================== Bilestomper =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Wizard -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Mountain Dwarf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Rauatai - Laborer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 20 CON: 20 DEX: 02 PER: 10 INT: 16 RES: 10 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 9, Lore 4, Mech. 10, Surv. 5 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Spirit of Decay Weapon and Shield Style Bear's Fortitude Veteran's Recovery Arcane Veil Hardened Veil Superior Deflection Body Control Abilities Hale and Hardy (a) Arcane Assault (a) Second Wind Mastered Wizard Spells Mirrored Image Noxious Burst Pull of Eora Spirit Shield 1st Level Wizard Spells Eldritch Aim Slicken Spirit Shield Wizard's Double 2nd Level Wizard Spells Fetid Caress Mirrored Image Necrotic Lance Bulwark against the Elements 3rd Level Wizard Spells Concelhaut's Draining Touch Noxious Burst Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage 4th Level Wizard Spells Ironskin Pull of Eora Essential Phantom 5th Level Wizard Spells Llengrath's Safeguard Malignant Cloud Ryngrim's Enervating Terror 6th Level Wizard Spells Citzal's Martial Power Death Ring Minoletta's Precisely Piercing Burst 7th Level Wizard Spells Ninagauth's Killing Bolt Substantial Phantom Wall of Draining 8th Level Wizard Spells Llengrath's Superior Elemental Bulwark Wilting Wind --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Wodewys (*Exceptional, *Corrosive Lash), Little Savior (*Durgan Reinforced) Weapon Set 2: whatever Boots: Bilestompers Head: Iverra's Diving Helmet Armor: Argwes Adra (*Superb, *Crush-Proofed, *Durgan Reinforced, MIG+2) Neck: Father's Teeth Belt: Looped Rope Rings: Ring of Deflection, Ring of Protection Hands: Bracers of Spiritual Power Quick slots: Traps mostly --------------------------------------------------------------- So as some of you may have noticed OBS put a lot of the spells (and monsters' abilities) that do raw or corrode damage into the "poison" or "disease" category with the latest patches. That can be annoying because nowadays some foes have immunities against poison and disease - namely vessels and such. But it also means that the mountain dwarves' racial ability finally makes some sense. So I figured it might be a good idea to use this ability and build around it (I love to take an aspect of the game and take it to the limit and see where this takes the build - if it's viable, fun to play and so on). I mean piling up defenses against all kinds of corrosion, poison, disease and such things. This would allow me to stand right in the middle of such effects and just shrug them off while the enemy would suffer big time. So I thought about which class might get the most out of it. At first the druid came to mind but then I realized that the wizard has the most powerful AoE spells that fall into that category. Also, most of them are not DoT spells and therefore profit from Spirit of Decay (which I planned to use anyway because of the corrode DR bonus). Wizards can also make great short time tanks because of those great self buffs they can learn. You can't tank forever though and that means you also want to kill your opponents fast. Luckily spells like Noxious Burst, Malignant Cloud etc. are very potent. Especially if you don't care if they also hit you. The tactics with this guy are very simple: - lay a poisonous trap - stand right behind it - start encounter - buff - lure the mob onto the trap - cast all those nasty poison spells onto your own head while the monstes try to kill you - watch them all die while you remain unharmed Let's talk about stats and numbers. I went max MIG and CON because I wanted my fortitude defense to be very, very high. That's because most of those spells and effects (and also the most annoying other ones like paralyzing, stunning, prone and so on) target fortitude. So with the stats alone I get a bonus of +40 to my fortitude defense. My armor gives me +2 MIG, so that's +4 fort. Bear's Fortitude makes this +54. I also wear Father's Teeth (around my neck...) which give my another +18 which leads to +72 fortitude. I took the Little Savior because it's another item that gives a bonus to fortitude which stacks with the rest. +77 now! On top of that you can add the racial ability "Hale and Hardy" which adds +25 against poison and disease. I also wear that nice bulky diving helmet which gives my +20 (and +35 against dragon's breath - which is nice because our reflex defense sucks a bit) and the axe Wodewys which adds another +20 to that (and since it's a weapon it stacks with everything). Now... against poison and disease effects we have a defensive bonus of +142. At level 16 that means 207. Without any buffs, potions, scolls, food or resting bonuses. You can add spells to boost this even further if you need. But honestly it's more than enough to avoid that you hit yourself with your own spells. It will never happen. Well - never say never- but if you shoot yourself in the foot, you will have a very high DR against your own spells (28 without buffs, thanks to Bilestomper's boots). You can always cast Bulwark against the elements to boost that to 43. The other DR values are also pretty good, so with the bulwark you won't be one-shotted by dragons. Thanks high CON, too! But there's more: Funnily, most of the monsters' abilities that are considered poison or diseases also sicken, weaken or paralyze you. Since I took Body Control I gain another defense buff: +10. Aaand the Looped Rope adds another +20 to that (and to most toher afflictions, too). All in all, against attacks that are poisonous or a disease AND do sicken, paralyze, petrify, stun or weaken we will have a defense of 237. You can image how a Plague of Insects (poison, sickening)... never even grazes you anymore - while you're bathing in your own Malignant Cloud (after those baked beans). The most difficult and annoying fights suddenly become trivial if you're at this point. Of course it takes some time to get there. But since I didn't raise my ACC too high I started to avoid my own spell efffects quite early in the game. Your ACC gets better and better, and so do your defenses. Most of the time those defenses are way better than your ACC. It's a good thing to use survival in order to get an ACC bonus against certain enemies. That helps to crit them but miss yourself. I seldomly used Eldritch Aim when I wanted to cast Noxious Burst or Malignant Cloud onto my own head for that reason. Later on you can do that because your defenses will be so high that Eldritch Aim doesn't matter at all - for yourself that is. Of course it still helps hitting foes. Keep one thing in mind: this build ois very slooow. So make use of Spirit SHield. You don't want to get interrupted. With high RES and Spirit Shield this almost never happens - but just keep it in mind. If you think you are too slow there's always Alacrity. And last but not least: this build is fun to play. Micromamangement is quite low for a wizard, he's very sturdy - even against other attacks than poinson and so on. He just looks so adorable in his bulky helmet and his green suit, standing in the middle of the mob and melting them. The Devil of Caroc is a great addition to this build because she's immune to all that poison stuff anyway. So you can tank and she can flank while taking an acid shower together. Awesome! And kind of romantic in a weird way, too. Thanks for reading - good night my fellow builders! p.s.: THis build idea also works very well when you use ice/freeze instead of corrode/poison/disease. Use a pale elf and pick up different gear that allows for more freeze DR and feezing spells and such (Wyrwood Ring, Scath Gwannek shield and so on) and pick up the Crossed Patch that makes you immune to blind. Then stand in the midst of you own chill fog while you await the incoming mobs. Chill FOg targets fortitude so will will seldomly get hit. And if this happens the Crossed Patch will prevent you from getting blinded. Tested this and it also works great. I had to decide which element to use and I took the poison route because mountain dwarves got no love so far and I liked the corrode AoE spells better. But chill fog is a really nice spell throughout the whole game.
  16. INTRODUCTION An escaped slave from a Rautai saltpeter mine, The Effigy draws from a reservoir of pure hate for those that have harmed them. Tormented by the ghosts of their past, deaths they witnessed and those they caused, they lack the will to confront foes directly. Instead, they wait in silence, crafting bizarre and unnerving totems that resonate with power. When threatened they unleash a blood rage, surviving vicious wounds and lashing out in unbelievable speed against those who strike them. They reserve their most vicious attacks for those from the spirit world that have manifested among us. Their weak will makes them susceptible to all forms of mental manipulation and frequent changing alliances, though they resist the weakest forms of fear. When wounded, they become even more powerful - an unstoppable terror that shrugs off any assaults on their body and is fueled by torch and flame. When drunk they become immune to any attempts to stop them, short of pure physical violence. Truly a horrific creature to behold. Crowned in pure disdain Barely able to contain Now this will all end in blood Cleansing, lasting, murderous THE BUILD =================================== =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 5.0 -------------------------------------------------------------- Game Mode: RTwP (Not ideal for Turn-based, given the reduced number of auto-attacks and the reduced value of recovery reduction/elimination) -------------------------------------------------------------- Solo: No -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Barbarian (Fury Shaper) -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wild Orlan -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Rauatai (CON) - Slave (Survival, Athletics, Streetwise) -------------------------------------------------------------- Attributes: MIG 10 CON 19 (+1 Rauatai) DEX 10 PER 20 (+2 Orlan) - Divine Power: Skean sees all mistreatment and abuse INT 15 RES 4 (+1 Orlan) - Divine Flaw: Skaen is haunted and a coward and is easily manipulated by the strong willed -------------------------------------------------------------- Abilities | Skills | Proficiencies (a=automatic) (I) 01. Frenzy + Shape Ward: Frenzy (a) + Carnage (a) + Furyshaper (a) | Flail, Sword 02. Barbaric Yell | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise (II) 03. Thick Skinned + Barbaric Blow | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 04. Accurate Carnage| +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise | Battle Axe (III) 05. One Stands Alone + Two Weapon Style| +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 06. Bloodlust | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise (IV) 07. Barbaric Shout + Blood Frenzy + Shape Ward: Fear (a) | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 08. Savage Defiance | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise | Greatsword (V) 09. Barbaric Smash + Bloody Slaughter (III) | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise 10. Tough | +1 Athletics, +1 Streetwise (VI) 11. Brute Force + Bear’s Fortitude (III) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 12. Blooded (I) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff | Stiletto (VII) 13. Blood Storm + Stalwart Defiance | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 14. Blood Thirst | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 15. Two-Handed Style (II) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff (VIII) 16. Heart of Fury + Vengeful Defeat + Shape Ward: Blood (a) | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff | Club 17. Improved Critical | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 18. Threatening Presence or Uncanny Luck | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff (IX) 19. Barbaric Retaliation + Blood Surge| +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff 20. Dazing Shout | +1 Athletics, +1 Bluff | Dagger -------------------------------------------------------------- Items (!)=important, (r)=recommended Weapon Set 1: (!) Whispers of Yenwood (Whetted, Unfaltering), (!) Ball and Chain (Indomitable, Subjugation) Extra DMG against Spirits is on brand here, along with the boost in Crit DMG and CON. Our WILL is already so low, that we don’t care if it drops even farther. The CON buff stays for the whole fight, even if we switch weapons. One we have Barbaric Retaliation, we will switch on the Sword Modal and leave it for increasing our chance to be crit by enemies. Ball and Chain is on brand as a weapon of liberation and violent revenge. 10% chance to recover immediately on Crit feeds our DMG engine nicely. Reduced Action speed and Knock Down when we Crit them is also helpful to slow down the incoming DMG a little bit. It also means we can shut down single targets if given a chance to focus them. Flail Modal plus Heart of Fury means we have softened the group for AoE fire spells. Weapon Set 2: ® Sanguine Greatsword (Prepare the Offering, Greater Blood Gift) Mostly a fun item with a cool path to acquire it. Fits our blood theme, and adds some healing to the mix. Greatsword Modal is a waste here, as we really want to Crit with this weapon. Consider swapping over for a Heart of Fury. Head: (!) Rekvu’s Fractured Casque (This way we can replace wards while being wailed on by enemies) Back: (!) Rekvu’s Scorched Cloak (For pairing with a fire DMG party member(s), ideally a priest), Ragged Cloak (more retaliation DMG on crit) Neck: Precognition (fits both sides for us - we are gonna be Crit and we are gonna Crit enemies), Claim and Refusal (extra DMG reduction) Armor: (!) Effigy’s Husk (Armor of Flesh, Skaen’s Hatred) and The Bloody Links (Crimson Steel) or Magnera’s Chain (Staunch, Padded Underlayer) or Crimson Panoply Effigy’s Husk gives us MIG immunity, which paired with our boots and gloves & Wael’s Wind or Captain’s Banquet makes us immune to all afflictions, as well as a nasty healing reduction aura that should affect CON immune enemies, and a nice burst of DMG when paired with Vengeful Defeat. You can switch to one of the heavier armors for fights where you need more survivability. Waist: (!) The Undying Burden (extra heal, CON, and much needed DMG reduction - flavor text fits) Hands: (!) Rekvu’s Stained Grips (CON Immunity - keeps us alive in the midst of the fray) Rings: Ring of Overseeing, Greater Ring of Regeneration, Whispers from the Depths, Drunkard’s Regret Boots: (!) Sandals of the Water Lily (we want that -10 to DEF, and with Affliction Immunity, we don’t care too much about the other defenses) Trinket: Betrayal (On brand, plus a way to buy a few seconds of time for healing) BUILD OVERVIEW This build takes big hits and dishes them right back out. You will lose health quickly, and can either stay alive with focused healing or death denying effects, or let things run their course and explode with two AoE explosions of DMG. The risk is highest at the start of a fight when there are the greatest number of enemies smashing you. Even at Near Death you will have around 200 HP, which is plenty to take a few hits. With Robust, Shape Ward: Blood, and Second Wind, you can stay alive long enough to take quite a few enemies with you. Any other sources of healing are needed (Old Siec, Lay on Hands, Healing Aura’s, etc.). A priest makes an ideal pair with The Effigy. Resurrection, Barring Death’s Door and Salvation of Time can keep the Effigy alive long enough to decimate the enemy. Additionally, once injured, they can unleash fire spells on top of The Effigy, healing it and maximizing foe damage. Storm of Holy Fire and Pillar of Holy Fire are great for this. Divine Mark is a great spell here. It targets WILL (which is crazy low for us). It’s another option for a heal post injury, and a great way to pick up the best injury for The Effigy, serious burn. It also fits our theme, as it’s one of a Skaen Priests’ auto learned spells. For Drugs, use Mouth Char or Deadeye. For Food use Wael’s Wind or Captain’s Banquet. Alternatively, use Forgetful Night, Arrack, or Daibō o Osa.
  17. Checking the aggregated list of character builds, I've noticed there are unexpectedly no ranged priests. So, I've made one. [Difficulty: PotD; Solo: Untested] This build is focused on buffs, healing and is also capable of some serious damage when necessity comes. It also comes in 3 flavours; bound by the same idea, but using different races, deity and equipment: The Godhammer- Boreal Dwarf - sturdy fellow which prefers arquebuses and Abydon's Hammer. Follower of Magran. Mecwyn, the Slave Queen - Wood Elf. Makes great use of Ine Gyrd sceptre. An evasive follower of Scaen. The Falling Moon (aka Moonfire) - Moon Godlike. An altruistic priestess of Eothas. STATS: - Godhammer: 20/7/17/12/19/3 - Mecwyn: 18/6/19/13/19/3 - Moonfire: 18/7/17/13/20/3 or 18/7/19/11/20/3 STATS REASONING: - The idea is to buff for as long duration as possible. To heal for as high amount as possible. To deal high damage with spells over time. And to do all this stuff as fast as possible. ROLE IN THE GROUP: - This pretty much derives from the previous paragraph. But while it is obvious how well a priest can buff and debuff, I will briefly elaborate on his potential to deal damage. Thus: DPS: Priest has quite a few damaging fire spells. The first one to attract attention probably is his Shinning Beacon: 80 base damage over 9s, in a 2.5m AoE. Factor in 36 Might, 31 Int, and it becomes 254 damage over 18.5s, in a 5.6m AoE. And yeap, it also stacks with itself. The following spell is Cleansing Flame. It has 80 base damage as well, which ends up in 236 over 10.3s. But the cool thing about it is that it speeds up the tick rate of all other dots, basically doubling their damage in that 10s interval. Four beacons have potential to deal 1000 FoE burning damage, and that amount being doubled if not tripled on three cleansed targets. All in less than a minute. And than there are symbols, storm of holy fire, envenomed strike, scrolls and spell-binded items, to keep your priest's steady dps output. Of course if it's the only priest in the party he will probably have to contribute with the buffs first (and high DEX/INT really help at that), but once the buffing phase is over, it's FIRE time! Cose really.. why not? TALENTS AND ABILITIES: - Interdiction (!) - Painful Interdiction (!) - Inspiring Radiance ® - Inspired Flame (Godhammer) / Prey on the Weak (Mecwyn) / Aggrandizing Radiance (Moonfire/Anyone) - Scion of Flame ® - Envenomed Strike - Weapon Focus Soldier (Godhammer) / Noble (Mecwyn) / Adventurer (Moonfire) | or Bonus 4th Level Spell ® - Deep Pockets or Galant's Focus or Would Binding or Field Triage or Interrupting Blows or Beast Slayer or whatever SKILLS: - athletics: 4-5 - survival: 4 or 10 - lore: 8 or 10 | Recommended scrolls: Wall of Flame, Moonwell, Fireball, Valor, Boiling Water. If solo: Mass Confusion. MASTERY: 1. Barbs of Condemnation or Blessing 2. Divine Mark or Suppress Affliction 3. Pillar of Faith or Dire Blessing 4. Shinning Beacon or Devotions for the Faithful EQUIPMENT (COMMON): Rings: Gwyn's Band of Union; Ring of Thorns; Ring of Changing Heart; Pensiavi mes Rèi Head: Maegfolc Skull or Garodh's Chorus (3mig, preserve) or nothing in case of Moonfire (but will need to get that 3 might via other items) Gloves: Celebrant's Gloves/Gloves of Quickness Cape: Swaddling Sheet; Cape of the Master Mystic (invis); Shimmering Cloak; Shroud of Mourning Amulet: Necklace of Fireballs; Nîdhen's Finger(+3con); Marked Amulet(+3con); St. Borragia's Tears(+15% healing); Engwithan Adra Ban Amulet(+3 mig); Belt: Belt of Chimes; Sentinel's Girdle (+3 mig); Girdle of Maegfolc Might (+3 mig); Belt of the Stelgaer (+3 con); Girdle of Mortal Protection (-27% from crit) Boots: Patchwork Boots; Shod in Faith EQUIPMENT (GODHAMMER): Weapons: Pliambo per Casitàs, Abydon's Hammer (when in 'caster' mode) Armor: Wayfarer's Hide Reasoning: Extra defenses against status effects are always nice. Especially +15 against paralyzed. And ofc Nature's Vigor spellbind. Also it has sort of synergy with arquebus, which being a reloading weapon won't suffer from a bit of extra recovery. EQUIPMENT (MECWYN): Weapons: Gyrd Háewanes Sténes, Abydon's Hammer (when in 'caster' mode) Armor: Raiment of Wael's Eyes Reasoning: this robe, coupled with Gyrd sceptre, will give a nice +40 def / + 20 ref bonus on being crit. EQUIPMENT (MOONFIRE): Weapons: Curoc's Brand or Cgadob's Hazel, Abydon's Hammer (when in 'caster' mode) Armor: Starlit Garb or Angio's Gambeson Reasoning: extra athletics will increase the base value of Second Wind heal. And either +10 to defences against spells or DAoM will also prove useful. EQUIPMENT (ALTERNATIVE): Weapons: Persistance Reasoning: this build was thought for an NPC companion; but if you are going to solo with it, and stumble upon an fire-immune enemy, wounding will help to get past this limitation. Especially with such high Might as this build has. (because wounding dot benefits from this stat twice; first on main hit damage calculation and then on dot appliance) Some numbers from a priest with 36 Mig and 31 Int (just gear + Minor Avatar) Ring of Ancient Forge: 20.5s stun in 9m AoE Abydon's Labor: 80-107 crush dmg Nature's Vigor (Wayfare's Hide): 131 endurance over 24.6s; + 15% max endurance Exalted Hands (Patchwork Boots): 432 endurance over 10s; or 10s stun against enemy Fireball (Necklace): 45-62 Divine Mark: 71-89 Shining Beacon: 254 over 18.5s | 5.65m AoE radius Cleansing Flames: 236 over 10.3s Storm of Holy Fire: 43-53 every 3s for 18.5s | 11.3m AoE radius Symbol of Magran: 27-45 every 3s for 41.5s | 5.65m AoE radius Hand of Weal and Woe: 44.5 dmg/endurance per second Holy Radiance: 217 dmg over 6.2s | +71 endurance | 11.3m AoE radius Envenomed Strike: 150.2 raw damage over 18.5s Pillar of Faith: 53-70 crush dmg; prone for 20.5s | 2.83 AoE radius But that's ^ theory. And here is a dps test vs Alpine Dragon in practice: link to video In-combat time: 95s (including pauses and buffing) And one more test: solo naked vs Alpine Dragon: link to video In-combat time: 3m 30s (including pauses and buffing)
  18. "All right stop! Collaborate and listen: Chillfog's back with a soothing bliss, um... something pumps the heals of me nicely flows like pure essence daily and nightly. Will it ever stop? Yo, I don't know - turn off the lights and I'll glow To the extreme I rock the fight, blow their lights out Light up my stage and freeze d'mobs like a white-out!" - Chillfog himself in his genuine rythmical parlando - "You're as cold as ice you're willing to sacrifice our love you never take advice someday you'll pay the price, I know!" - A Foreigner - =================================== Chillfog =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Chanter -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Pale Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 18 CON: 10 DEX: 04 PER: 10 INT: 18 RES: 18 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 5, Lore 8, Mech. 0, Surv. 12 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Secrets of Rime Ancient Memory Beloved Spirits Weapon and Shield Style Bear's Fortitude Veteran's Recovery Superior Deflection Cautious Attack or Wound Binding Abilities Elemental Endurance (a) Second Wind Level 1 Chanter Phrases Come, Sweet Winds of Death Level 2 Chanter Phrases Nothing special Level 3 Chanter Phrases Seven Men The Silver Knights' Shield Level 4 Chanter Phrases Old Siec Level 5 Chanter Phrases Mercy and Kindness Level 1 Chanter Invocations The Thunder Rolled Level 2 Chanter Invocations At the Sound of his Voice Level 3 Chanter Invocations Seven Nights Level 4 Chanter Invocations So Singt Thy Biting Level 5 Chanter Invocations Called to his Bidding --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Sheathed in Autumn (*Durgan stuff) & Scath Gwannek (*Durgan stuff) Weapon Set 2: The White Spire - just for the spells Boots: Boots of Stability Head: White Crest Helm Armor: The White Crest (*Crush Proofed, *+2 MIG) Neck: Rymrgand's Mantle, later St. Borragia's Tears Belt: Belt of Bountiful Healing Rings: Ring of Deflection or Wyrwood Ring, Ring of Protection Hands: Bracers of Spiritual Power or Bracers of Deflection Quick slots: Scroll(s) of Moonwell, healing potions ----------------------------------------------------------------- Alright - so I made this Bilestomper wizard and was really satisfied how this whole "pile up defenses and then nuke yourself" principle worked out. I decided to do one or two other builds that emphasize on that. But none of them should be a wizard - that would be a bit boring. Well, the only other class that comes to my mind when I think about powerful ice spells is the chanter - just because of his "Seven Nights" invocation which is very powerful. "Hm, that's foe only - so no need for high defenses or DR against freezing attacks" I thought at first. But then I thought "maybe I'll stick to that because you might have a ranged wizard or druid in your team who would like to have a tank who doesn't give a shart if he's standing in the midst of a Blizzard or Chillfog". One reason to wear Rymrgand'S Mantle first. So I tried to make a (n)ice themed chanter tank who is very resistant to cold but can do good freeze damage via invocation and also can summon some aid from time to time. What I absolutely didn't want to do this time was using The Dragon Thrashed or the Aefyllath Ues Myth Fyr - because everybody knows those are powerful, right? In order to gain a lot of phrases quickly (to cast Seven Nights) I sticked to lvl 1 phrases only at first. Since I don't like any of the lvl 1 phrases too much except "Come Sweet Winds" I decided to use that phrase most of the time and combine it with one powerful high level phrase in order to accumulate phrases quickly. I will just pretend it's name is "Come, Cold Winds of Death" for this build. Since chanters can't raise their defenses as high as paladins, fighters or monks without losing a phrase slot and also don't have too much endurance or health, I also wanted to make sure he has some good regeneration. And then I played and tried a bit and finally came to the conclusion that I should really focus on that: So I raised MIG (+30% healing done) and INT to the max and I took Ancient Memory and Beloved Spirits and added Veteran's Recovery. Then I put on a Belt of Bountiful Healing (+25% healing received) and later also used St. Borragia's Tears (+15% healing done). I also tried to reach 14 survival temporarily in order to get the third rank of the healing multiplier (+60% healing received). Then, when I finally got the phrase "Mercy and Kindness" that does +100% to all healing, I took that, too. So alltogether my healing gets buffed by +230%, or in other words: *3.3. This not only works with my regeneration, but also with Second Wind, potions and scrolls like Moonwell or items like Shod-in-Faith. For my friends around me it's not +230% of course, but still +145% (*2.45) when I heal them - and obviously +100% whith all other heals from other sources. This is a really serious buff. It also works on draining from weapons or the draining phrase "Old Siec" and all other healing effects. To put it in numbers: My regeneration from Veteran's Recovery alone says is about ~135 points every 3 seconds at lvl 16 if I'm not mistaken! I didn't do excessive tests to verify the numbers but I have over 200 endurance and it jumps from nearly KO to nearly full after 3 secs. If that's not enough I can cast a scroll of Moonwell that does ridicilous amounts of healing over a long time now. Or I sip a potion of regeneration. And Moonwell does not only work for me of course but for everybody around me. Same goes for Ancient Memory and Beloved Spirits. With my good deflection I didn't even wear Shod-in-Faith because it would'nt trigger often (there's a more offensive "offtank" variant for that at the end of this build). With Brisk Recitation I can put together the following chant: 1*Healing + 5*Come Sweet Winds - then repeat Phrases build up very fast after the initial healing phrase. Every 2 seconds you can 1 phrase. It also makes Sweet Winds of Death more deadly because it stacks with itself. Stacking about 10 raw DoT every 2 seconds is pretty nasty. Also great for rangers' pets and Combusting Wounds. This results in a cycle where I can sing Come Sweet Winds five times in a row in order to build up phrases for Seven Nights and at the same time have uninterrupted +100% healing. Once I hit 5 phrases on the counter I walk to the next tough enemy and try to hit him with three bolts of ice while I also try to hit as many of his friends with the other bolts as possible. Normally you manage to take this one and some more enemies out - also because they got weakened by the Sweet Cold Winds before. At level 16 I normally do about 600 to 800 damage with one cast of this against 5 to 10 enemies with DR 10 to 15. I soon found out that this guy is nearly unkillable as long as he's not petrified and as long as his regeneration still works. But health really is an issue because chanters don't have a lot of it. Not like barbs or monks. Although his defenses and DR are good - in tough encouters like bounties it was not his endurance that caused problems - but his health. So for the first time since ages I tried Field Triage and Wound Binding again. Turns out that all the healing mods also work with those. Field Triage heals 66% of my health now instead of 20% - and Wound Binding gives me 132% instead of 40%. So it basically overheals me. That's ok because it's a healing over time and while it works you might get hit again. I finally chose Wound Binding and skipped Field Triage - but know that with this build both might be worth it. You will walk out of the toughtest fights with 100% endurance AND health. So, it is a very sturdy tank now who also heals his friends on the fly and does good damage with the Sweet Cold Winds plus Seven Nights. Secrets of Rime pays off here. Not only does it raise your freeze DR by 5 - 20% more of the huge damage Seven Nights deals is also not bad. But... "Mercy and Kindness" comes really late. What to do in the meantime? Well, that's the weak spot of this build: it is a quite normal chanter until you get Seven Nights and later on that special healing buff. Use Come Sweet Winds to accumulate phrases, tank and then use your common invocations like summons and so on. But even without those high level things his Ancient Memory heals your party and the Sweet Winds combine raw damage with fast phrase buildup. And you can hit him all the time with frost spells because his freeze DR is 36 (41 with Wyrwood Ring) - even 46 (49 Wyrw.) with the lvl-3-phrase "Seven Men" - or 51 (56 Wyrw.) with a potion of Bulwark. And what he also can do is use those freeze spells from his items. Getting the Winter Shield from Azurro can be difficult, but it's relatively easy to get the White Spire from Dunstan at Crucible Keep. Together you will have 6 ice good spells that also work with Secrets of Rime. I also decided to wear the White Crest armor. It's not strictly ice themed but fits beautifully. And look how aweseom it looks with the White Spire. In fact this is the only reason I added another variant to this build. The variant of the tank is a more offensive melee build who mainly uses the White Spire as weapon instead of weapon & shield: =================================== The Last Unicorn - imagine a fancy fairytale about a unicorn that became human and so on... =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Chanter -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Pale Elf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 18 CON: 10 DEX: 14 PER: 10 INT: 18 RES: 08 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 5, Lore 8, Mech. 0, Surv. 12 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Secrets of Rime Ancient Memory Beloved Spirits Two Handed Style Veteran's Recovery Weapon Focus Adventurer Wound Binding Savage Attack Abilities Elemental Endurance (a) Second Wind Chants and Invoc.: look down below. --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: The White Spire Weapon Set 2: some good Pollaxe Boots: Shod-in-Faith Head: White Crest Helm Armor: The White Crest Neck: Rymrgand's Mantle, later St. Borragia's Tears Belt: Belt of Bountiful Healing Rings: Ring of Deflection or Wyrwood Ring, Ring of Protection Hands: Gauntlets of Swift Action Quick slots: Scroll(s) of Moonwell, healing potions ----------------------------------------------------------------- Instead of Seven Nights all the time I used more summons and "The Champion braved" as invocations as well als Revival and other supportive invocations. You get pretty fast with that champion invocation - not to 0 recovery, but fast enough to take out swarming enemies quickly while also healing everybody around you with Shod-in-Faith like crazy. The healing with those boots, combined with Ancient Memory times 3.3 is insane. Your whole party becomes so much sturdier just because of this guy. I also used the Will'o Whisps because of the "Unicorn" theme - turns out they are not too bad in the mid game. This variant is all about the looks to be honest.
  19. Somewhere in Old Vailia, 15-year-old Dervide Riso gave his crush, Centa Enricis a carved rod with which she was supposed to scratch her back. A bully, Marco Zaurippi, took the rod and threw it onto a frozen river. While trying to retrieve it, Dervide fell through the thin ice and with him his beloved pet bear Frogfish. They were pulled away by the current. Dervide suddenly found himself in the local library and discovered his ability to "jump" from one place to another. Amazed with his new ability, he left his permanently boozed father and leaped away from home. Frogfish simply drowned that day but was too dumb to notice, so he followed Dervide as a ghooohoohoost. Booo! Eight years later, an adult Dervide lived lavishly on stolen money and fed his Frogfish imaginary golden currywurst nearly every day. One other day, he was ambushed in his home by Lolrand Capon, a member of the Goldpact Knight Paladins, who was hired to tracking down Dervide because of his habit to steal everything that's not nailed down. But Dervide escaped with some nice evasive leaps. Feeling that he needed to leave the hot zone, he returned to Old Vailia, seeking his old crush Centa. Unfotunately she turned out to be ugly like an Ogre Matron who regularly ate directly from the deep fat fryer without cutlery. When Marco attacked him again, Dervide leaped right behind him and hit him with a newly carved rod. A Blast got released and Marcos head exploded! Yikes! Dervide quickly cleaned up the mess and from that point on decided to turn off the gib option in his life menu. He then returned to Centa. After talking, they shared a kiss - brrrr - and "let the rod have a blast". Yikes again! Dervide then invited her on a trip to the Dyrwood because some wacko Rodriguez lord made a call for settlers. Dervide and Centa finally arrived in the Dyrwood by ship. But when they got on shore, Centa tripped over her greasy shoelaces and fell off the gangway and into the Dyrwooden mud. One half-unwitting leap later Dervide found himself amongst some people with a caravan and was a bachelor again. During some neat adventures that followed and which involved going on the nerves of some fake gods, killing a guy with two inbecile living statues with big noses, opening up an ancient forge and killing sevel dragons with magnificent Blasts from his rod he became the Lord of Caed Nua by killing some presumptuous smug. Lots of killing lately, really. Then onother imbecile statue emerged... Yikes! "See you later Watershaper far'well-ahoy fishy boy. I'll have to borrow your back scraper 'cause it will be my new toy." - Dervide Riso while stealing Tekehu's rod - =================================== The Deep Leap =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 1.2 -------------------------------------------------------------- Solo: untested -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Ghost Heart/Trickster -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Wood Elf (alternative: whatever) -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Old Vailia - Dissident -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 15 CON: 03 DEX: 19 PER: 19 INT: 19 RES: 03 -------------------------------------------------------------- Abilities | Skills | Proficiencies (a=automatic) 01. Marked Prey + Crippling Strike + Arkemy'r Dazzling Lights (a) | Rod, Arbalest 02. Escape | +1 Arcana (-> 1), +1 Diplomacy (-> 2) 03. Wounding Shot | +1 Arcana (-> 2), +1 Streetwise (-> 2) 04. Marksman + Dirty Fighting + Mirrored Image (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 3), +1 Bluff (-> 3) | Scepter 05. Blinding Strike | +1 Arcana (-> 4), +1 Diplomacy (-> 3) 06. Two-Handed Style | +1 Arcana (-> 5), +1 Streetwise (-> 3) 07. Evasive Roll + Arterial Strike + Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 6), +1 Bluff (-> 4) 08. Gouging Strike | +1 Arcana (-> 7), +1 Diplomacy (-> 4) | Pistol 09. Marked for the Hunt | +1 Arcana (-> 8 ), +1 Streetwise (-> 4) 10. Concussive Shot + Withering Strike + Llengrath's Displaced Image (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 9), +1 Bluff (-> 5) 11. Protective Companion | +1 Arcana (-> 10), +1 Diplomacy (-> 5) 12. Stalker's Link | +1 Arcana (-> 11), +1 Streetwise (-> 5) | Crossbow 13. Driving Flight + Deep Wounds + Confusion (a) | +1 Arcana (-> 12), +1 Bluff (-> 6) 14. Accurate Wounding Shot | +1 Arcana (-> 13), +1 Diplomacy (-> 6) 15. Finishing Blow | +1 Mechanics (-> 2), +1 Streetwise (-> 6) 16. Concussive Tranquilizer + Toxic Strike + Arkemy'r Wondrous Torment (a) | +1 Mechanics (-> 3), +1 Bluff (-> 7) | Arquebus 17. Survival of the Fittest | +1 Mechanics (-> 4), +1 Diplomacy (-> 7) 18. Devastating Blow | +1 Mechanics (-> 5), +1 Streetwise (-> 7) 19. Accurate Empower + Deathblows + Gaze of the Andragan (a)| +1 Mechanics (-> 6), +1 Bluff (-> 8 ) 20. Lasting Empower | +1 Mechanics (-> 7), +1 Diplomacy (-> 8 ) | Wand --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (!=important, r=recommended) Weapon Set 1: Watershaper's Focus (! - +Ondra's Wrath, +Legendary) Weapon Set 2: Spearcaster (+Pinning, +Missile upgrade) Head: Acina's Tricorn (r - for ranged ACC - also works with certain spells) Back: Magnificent Escape Cape Neck: Charm of Bones (for more Blast AoE and longer DoTs) Armor: Aloth's Leather Armor (+Superb, +Structurally Stable, Known Causality - for the Blast AoE) Waist: Spellkeeper (for the fun) Hands: Burglar's Gloves / Aegor's Swift Touch Rings: Ring of Overseeing (for the Blast AoE), Ring of the Marksman Boots: Boots of Speed Pet: Loki (because it's a Trickster and Loki is the trickster-god And because of Blast's AoE of course) --------------------------------------------------------------- Hi! The Dead Leap? What's that? It the combination of Deep Wounds with DoT afflictions, Blast with several jumps and leaping around to and fro on the battlefield. What's interesting about this build? It's the Watershaper's Focus! Believe it or not, but when you combine the Focus' inherent jump with Driving Flight and Ondra's Wrath (enchantment of the Focus) you can reliably produce a chain reaction of multiple Blasts jumping around and also multiple crushing waves rolling around so that everything is dead that can't swim. Only thing is: you want to have the enemies in one spot to make this happen - because recovery is so sluggish you can only afford to fire twice: out of stealth and then immediately after (because stealth reduces recovery by 85%). But honestly: two is all you need... So if there's let's say 5 enemies in a tight spot and I shoot them with Watershaper's Focus + Driving Flight, I theoretically generate 3*5 = 15 hits with one shot. Each hit would have a 15% chance to trigger Ondra's Wrath. This would mean a nearly certain proc chance of over 90%. Something weird is going on... But that's not all. Something else is going on. I suspect that the Wrath's crushing attacks themselves jump, too. Because I generate not 15 or even 30, but hundrets of hits with this setup as long as there are enough enemies. Ondra's Wrath usually triggers multiple times as long as there are more than three enemies. Combined with Deep Wounds and for example Arterial Strike I also add so much raw DoT that most mobs just explode in a wave of crushing water *booooom*. Even if some survive they get felled rather quickly by Deep Wounds + Arterial Strike (and/or Toxic Strike and/or Gouging Strike). If you manage to gather the enemy in one spot, encounter is over before it even starts most of the time. Single enemies are no problem as well: I shoot them with Spearcaster + Arterial Strike and leap here and there to make them follow me. They die like with any other rogue. Sneaky crowd control: Who's there? Now that we know that we have to cramp as many enemies as we can into a tight spot, how can we do that? Sparkcrackers? Meh... But doesn't Arkemy'r Dazzling Lighs work the same way? It does! That's actuall my no. 1 reason for picking Trickster And if you don't hit an enemy with it you even stay stealthed. That's important because the recovery bonus of stealth (85%) lets you fine two shots in very quick succession if you start shooting from stealth. So the huge recovery malus of Blast is not noticeable between the first two shots. But two shots of this caliber should be enough for most enemy groups, shouldn't it? It should. Even high level enemies with a lot of health (like Rathuns for example) nearly aloways get one- or two-shotted as long as you can get them to gather in one place. Additional stuff Besides the powerful AoE behavior I also found out that gaze spells like Gaze of the Andragan work with Driving Flight (=two chances to paralyze) and also work with the hat's accuracy bonus. Neat... The cons What are the weaknesses? Obviously enemy gunmen. Since this build is extremely squishy as long as you didn't cast Mirrored Image he can get screwed by ranged enemies pretty quickly. But to be honest I like the "all or nothing" approach. Plays like... This build basically plays like an Assassin without being one. The difference is that you assassinate the whole encounter if everything works smoothly, not only one single enemy. But what about... Now you might think: would a pure Ranger with Twinned Shot be even more devastating? I also thought about that and tested it - but funnily enough a pure Ranger with Twinned Shots doesn't perform half as good as the Scout. I guess it is because of Deep Wounds, Sneak Attack and all the DoTs you do apply. But to be honest I don't really know why the scout performs so much better. I only know that the Scout one-shots nearly every cramped group while a Ranger doesn't - even though the Ranger can generate six Blasts with one shot. If somebody wants to find out what really-really happens: be my guest! Variants (after a nerf...?) Another nice variant is to pick Sharpshooter/Street Fighter instead and use Fire in the Hole and Hand Mortar. The dps is better after the initial attacks because rod's Blast causes 50% recovery penalty. Vids I have huge problems recording the game atm. I get massive flickering blue bars when trying to capture a vid directy from the graphics card. I blame my drivers. What works is Peek (makes short animated GIFs). And if I'm honest I like those even more than Youtube vids for some unknown reason. Maybe because they remind me of Monkey Island? Enjoy (open tags to load animated gif)! --------------------------------------------------------------- Luring enemies to a spot with Arkemy'r Dazzling Lights: --------------------------------------------------------------- One-shot of a group of Rotghasts: --------------------------------------------------------------- Attacking a group of Rathun Raiders out of stealth with Empower: --------------------------------------------------------------- Attacking a group of Rathun Raiders from stealth without Empower: --------------------------------------------------------------- With Empower - without Empower - makes no difference, hehe. Edit: had to rewrite some text because of major forum formatting screwup that put links everywhere. Yikes!
  20. The "Stop-N-Go" or "The Jumping Fortress"* (Holy Slayer) [*Thanks to Dr <3 for this more evocative name.] Introduction: The idea behind this build is take advantage of several defense-boosting abilities that require you stand still (the large shield modal, Bronlar's Phalanx, Stoic Steel), combined with the fact that you count as "standing still" when you use Escape to teleport somewhere. In practice, this build has two modes. In the first mode we rush into the middle of your enemies with two weapons or a two-handed weapon and get ourself Flanked and Bloodied as quickly as possible. In the second "Stop-N-Go" mode, we shift to a heavy shield/weapon set-up, activate our stand-still abilities and spam Sworn Rival. This allows us to comfortably sit in the Bloodied/Near Death zone while enjoying a number of abilities that are conditional on being low health. And when we need to re-position to get flanked again, or need to move to take out potential threats, we use Escape to teleport there. In the latter mode, we're extremely tanky -- we have a high deflection, substantial damage reduction (especially against ranged and reflex-based attacks), multiple sources of regeneration, and a 20+ armor rating -- and we can pull out Lay on Hands in emergencies. And we also have an impressive array of offensive boosts that allows us to quickly obliterate targets around us. Difficulty: Solo PotD v.2.1 (with Berth's Blessing and level scaling) I completed my Solo PotD run using Berath's Blessings and level scaling. Berath's Blessings aren't necessary, but the 50k bonus blessing is recommended, as it will help you get some key equipment much sooner.Classes: Holy Slayer (Streetfighter Rogue/Goldpact Paladin) Rogue gives us a number of great offensive boosts (e.g., Deathblows) and Escape, which is crucial for this build. The Streetfighter specialty adds some fantastic offensive boosts while Bloodied and/or Flanked, which is most of the time. Paladin gives us a number of abilities that allow us to be very tanky, including Stoic Steel, one of the best "stand still" abilities. The Goldpact specialty allows our Sworn Rival ability to provide a temporary stacking armor boost whose cost is refunded when the target dies. And since we kill things very quickly, we can keep that armor bonus up pretty much all of the time. Race: Human The Human bonuses to accuracy and damage when Bloodied are great for this build, since it's built around being Bloodied or Near Death.Background: The White that Wends (Hunter, or anything else you like) The White that Wends gives a bonus for our most important stat, Perception. There are a number of reasonable choices for background, but Hunter probably provides the most generally useful skill bumps (Mechanics).Stats: Might: Very High Constitution: High Dexterity: Very High Perception: Max Intellect: Min Resolve: Medium Perception is our most important stat: since we'll frequently be seeing the massive Streetfighter bonus to critical damage kick in, we'll want to crit as much as possible. And we'll generally have a large shield accuracy penalty to overcome. Dexterity is our second most important stat; it's always nice to be able to do more, and do it quicker. Boosts to Perception, Dexterity and Might are DPS increases that are multiplicative with respect to each other, so in order to be a DPS machine we want to boost all three. Might is our third most important stat. It's nice -- it boosts our damage and our healing abilities. But the damage bonuses from the Rogue and Streetfighter abilities will quickly dwarf any bonuses Might provides, making this a lower priority than Perception and Dexterity. We want a reasonable amount of Constitution, to allow us to comfortabley stay Bloodied or Near Death most of the time. But this build gets so tanky that after the first third of the game, that a small boost to Constitution suffices. We want our Resolve to be flat. We don't want it to be too high, because we still want to be hit in our warm-up mode, and we don't want it to be too low, because we don't want to be hit in our stop-n-go mode. Intellect is the least important stat, since little hangs on it -- in a solo run we don't care about how big our aura is, we don't have any other interesting AoE abilities, and the only class ability with a duration we care about is Lay on Hands -- and that's partially a good thing, since it gives us more fine-grained control of how much health we have, making it easier to say in the Bloodied zone. For reference, in my run my starting stats were M16, C13, D20, P21, I10, R10. In hindsight this was a mistake -- M21, C13, D20, P21, I5, R10 would have been better. Skills: For the early game, this can be whatever makes things easiest -- I'd recommend starting with a point or two in Explosive and Arcana to provides some AoE options on the first island, and then some points in Stealth and Mechanics. After that you can retrain to take whatever you like. In my run I invested heavily in Explosives, but after level 10 I never bothered using them -- it was easier to just kill things the old fashioned way. Class Abilities: (Highly recommended abilities underlined.) Escape and Lay on Hands (You won't use Lay on Hands in 95% of your fights. But it's nice to have for the toughest fights.) Deep Faith Retribution Zealous Aura and Weapon and Shield Dirty Fighting Any (Crippling Strike, Flames of Devotion, Divine Purpose and Inspired Defenses are all reasonable choices.) Sworn Rival and Riposte Any (Snake's Reflexes, Bull's Will, Bear's Fortitude, and any leftover options from above are all reasonable choices.) Any (Ditto) Exalted Endurance and Persistent Distraction (Exalted Endurance is a little funny -- in a lot of fights you'll never even use it. But it's great in tougher fights, since you can turn it on and off as needed to keep you comfortably in the Bloodied zone.) Any (Any of the leftovers from above or Adept Evasion are decent choices) Any (Ditto) Any (Any of the leftovers from above or Uncanny Luck are decent choices) and Deep Wounds Any Any Improved Critical + Slippery Mind Any Any Stoic Steel and Deathblows Any Gear: (Highly recommended gear is underlined.) Armor: Bloody Links (early), Reckless Brigadine (later). You'll also want a set of legendary plate armor for fights against enemies with strong piercing or corrode attacks. Shield: Bronlar's Phalanx Weapons: ​(Initial Mode): Any nice 2-hander or pair of weapons will do nicely.A couple nice 2-handed choices: Lance of Midwood Stag (you can start wailing away, and when you get Blooded Woodskin kicks in and you can shift to Stop-N-Go mode, keeping the Woodskin armor boost for a while); Voidwheel (the self-damaging aspect of this sword is actually a perk, since it helps you become Bloodied more quickly); Wahai Poraga (you're often swarmed with enemies, so hitting several of them at a time is nice). If you go with two weapons, I'd recommend Rust's Poignard (with persistent distraction, enemies are usually flanked and you'll get the flanking bonuses) and Stalker's Patience (ditto). (Stop-N-Go mode): Kapana Taga (The Lone Champion enchantment gives you a stacking +4 deflection and +1 armor bonus whenever there are no nearby allies (i.e., always); and the Champion's Relic enchantment increases damage with # of people engaged and increases engagement limit, which is great when you're used to being swarmed.) You'll also want to have the Animancer's Energy Blade as a back-up weapon against high AR targets (which is about half of the fights in the BoW DLC). Neck: Protective Eothasian Charm (early): +1 to most important stat (perception) and hefty damage reduction and healing when Near Death? Perfect fit for this build. It's a decent choice for the entire game, or you can replace it with something like Bone Setter's Torc (+ crit chance and + healing for emergencies are both nice) or Claim and Refusal. Belt: The Undying Burden Rings: The Ring of Mule's Wit is fantastic with this build -- it drops our Int to 1, but we won't notice, and it gives us resistance to all Mind Afflictions(!). The Entonia Signet Ring and Ring of the Solitary Wanderer are also nice options. Hands: Firethrower's Gloves, Gatecrashers, Woedica's Strangling Grasp are all decent. Cloak: The Cloak of the Falling Star is great for solo play, and thus great for this build. (Violet Redemption would be perfect for this build, fitting nicely with the stand-still effects theme. Sadly, we can't get it until the very end of the game. ) Head: The Cap of the Laughingstock looks silly, but it's amazing for solo martial builds, effectively increasing our accuracy by +10. And since this build wants to get as many criticals as possible, to take advantage of the Streetfighter bonuses, it's especially good for this build. (It does make our enemies immune to resolve afflictions, but we don't care about that.) Feet: The Rakhan Field Boots are a nice choice, as they effectively give you an additional 1/encounter teleportation option, which also inflicts a full attack on anyone in the way. The Boots of the Stone and Footprints of Ahu Taka are also decent. Pet: Jules (+perception, and bonus to healing is nice for the toughest fights) and Nalvi (+resolve and reduced recovery) are nice options after you get to Neketaka. Avoid pets that give you healing after killing things, though, since you don't want them to force you out of the Bloodied zone! PROs of this build: It's great against single tanky enemies, since it can last forever and wear them down. Once you get the key equipment and your level 10 class abilities, the build really starts to take off, so we have a fun build to play for most of the game. It's really, really tough -- once everything comes together, we can beat every fight on upscaled PotD without having to pull mobs or use consumables. CONs of this build: Certain kinds of enemies can be a pain (e.g., spellcasters); in these cases we'll want to use Escape to teleport next to the most threatening opponents and take them down quickly. Since you lack AoE attacks, swarms can take a while to get through. You can compensate by investing in Explosives or Arcana, but I usually just hacked my way through them. You won't get everything online until fairly late (level 19). But most pieces of the build will be in place (and the build is fun to play) long before then.
  21. "Lash! A-ah Savior of the Universe Lash! A-ah He save everyone of us Lash! A-ah He's a miracle Lash! A-ah King of the impossible" - The Queen that was - <maybe I will insert backstory here... > =================================== Monksterlasher =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Monk -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Fire Godlike -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: The Living Lands - Colonist -------------------------------------------------------------- Stats: MIG: 19 CON: 18 DEX: 04 PER: 12 INT: 17 (maybe lower when not taking Veteran's Recovery, put it into PER then) RES: 08 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 6, Lore 2, Mech. 0, Surv. 14 -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important) Spirit of Decay Scion of Flame Heart of the Storm Lightning Strikes Savage Attack Two Weapon Style Apprentice's Sneak Attack or Veteran's Recovery (when solo or without healer) Weapon Focus Ruffian Abilities Turning Wheel Swift Strikes Torment's Reach Long Stride Crucible of Suffering Duality of Mortal Presence Iron Wheel Enervating Blows (or Flagellant's Path when solo) Force of Anguish (see above) --------------------------------------------------------------- Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended): Weapon set 1: Bittercut (!) (*durgan refined, *burning lash, *superb, *slaying(whatever non-kith)) + duplicated Bittercut (!) (*shocking lash, slaying(whatever else)) (you could also use Bittercut + any other sabre or Bittercut + Azureth's Stiletto or Bleak Fang if you don't want to duplicate Bittercut) Weapon Set 2: Azureith's Stiletto ® (=Jolting Touch on crit 1/enc) + Irfyn Brngar's Solace (r - switch to this when stun or prone occurs) Boots: Animancer's Boots ® (3*Jolting Touch/rest) or Shod-in-Faith (against hard hitting enemies) Head: nothing (Godlike) Armor: Blaidh Golan (r - after getting Iron Wheel) or heavy armor like He Carries Many Scars (great when health is low), even Vengiatta Rugia works ok, same with Wayfarer's Hide. Neck: Fulvano's Amulet ® Belt: Broad Belt of Power Rings: Ring of Protection, Iron Circle (r - lots on CON as well as increased DR when endurance is low) Hands: Blood Testament (!) Quick slots: Potions of Spirit Shield®, Potions of Major Regeneration, Potions of Flame Shield(!), Scrolls of Jolting Touch(!) ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hey! The Monksterlasher completely evolves around amassing and exploiting lashes using weapon attacks with Bittercut as well as burning retaliations like Flame shield and Battle Forged. I took a monk to do this because of several good reasons: 1. Monks can have very high endurance and health. If you want do use Battle Forged, you want to have those high. If you don't, you will have to rest a lot. 2. Monks can have three lashes besides weapon enchantments: Turning Wheel, Lightning Strikes and also a raw lash from Blood Testment Gloves (monk-only gloves). And of course, they can enchant their weapons with a lash, too. 3. Monk's Turning Wheel and also Blood Testment (not Lightning Strikes) work with retaliation! Not only the normal one, but also Battle Forged as well as Flame Shield. That means that with 10 wounds your Battle Forged retaliation will have additional +50% burn damage and + 20% raw damage lashes. Since Battle Forged starts pretty whimpy but gets very powerful at higher levels (scaling) this leads to very high damage via burning retaliaion. Flame Shields retaliation (+50%/+20%) adds to this if you drink a potion 4. Battle Forged + Turning Wheel profit from Scion of Flame. So you will get initial 120% burn damage. This is used to calculate the lash damage of Turning Wheel and Blood Testament. So they get increased, too. ON top of that Turning Wheels' lash damage also gets pimped by 20%. So alltogether you will get this: 120% burn damage + 60% (72%) burning lash + 20% (24%) raw lash (if you calculate the lashes with a base damage of 120% it's 72/24 instead of 60/20 - how you look at it). 5. Turning Wheel and Blood Testment work with Jolting Touch! It's amazing: you hit three enemies with high shock damage and do +50% burning +20% raw lash on top. It makes Jolting Touch so good. Also works with Scion of Flame so that Turning Wheel's damage is 60%. Add Heart of the Storm and not only your Lightning Strikes will do 30% lashes instead of 25%, but also Jolting Touch's damage will be boosted. This has the same effect as with Scion of Flame + Battle Forged + Turning Wheel. Only now it's Heart of the Storm + Jolting Touch + Scion of Flame + Turning Wheel That's the reason why I chose Azureith's Stiletto for my second weapon slot: It procs Jolting Touch on a crit. I also wanted to have 2 Lore of the scrolls. It's a good way to do some AoE damage without using wounds and stay at 10 wounds for maximum lash damage. 6. Torment's Reach adds a 50% crushing lash to the initial target. It's another lash and just awesome. Besides that it's AoE is superbig with high INT and adds a lot of AoE damage. 7. Monks can have unlimited Full Attacks as long as they have wounds. So a dual wielding setup doesn't suffer from low DEX and armor very much because... Full Attacks, you know. This allowed my to dump DEX altogether. I could then maximize MIG, CON and INT. MIG for myed self healing and damage, CON because it has a great effect on monks because of their heigh base end and health. I need a lot of endurance an health if I want to make Battle Forge worthwhile and not rest all the time. And INT to maximize the durations of self heling, buffs and Torment's Reach's AoE cone. 8. Monks can reach crazy high DR which can balance out the lower deflection I have with two sabres and somewhat low RES. But since I want to have a high wound counter and want to receive damage, Iron Wheel is pretty nice to add a lot of DR while getting hit so that only MIN damage comes through. Those are the reason why I combine the concept of lashes with a monk and not a... paladin or whatever. So why Bittercut? Because it has two damage types and because Bittercut's base damage gets buffed by Spirit of Decay. That's because it has the damage type corrode/slash (the order is important). In this case Spirit of Decay works as an +20% addition to base damage, EVEN if slash damage and not corrode damage is applied. I don't know why (I think the explanation lies somewhere in the structure of the code) but it's like that. So on top of things like high MIG, Savage Attack and whatever boosts your weapon damage, Spirit of Decay also adds +20% to that. Besides Stormcaller and the summoned weapons Firebrand, Cadebald's Blackbow and Klakoth's Minor Blights it's the only weapon that does this and is suitable for a dual wielding monk at the same time. Weapons like Durance's Staff don't work like this because they have crush/burn (like I said: the order matters). This makes Spirit of Decay a much better option than Savage Attacks by the way. So that's the reason I took Scion of Flame, Spirit of Decay AND Heart of the Storm. It sounds like a waste of talent points, but after testing this build a lot I don't have the feeling it is. I will just quickly list those talents and what they can influence on this build: a) Scion of Flame: - Battle Forged: +20% burn damage (which also influences the damage of all attached lashes) - Flame Shield: +20% burn damage (see above) - Turning Wheel: +60% lash instead of +50% - Burning Lash (Bittercut, if chosen): +30% lash instead of +25% - Chanter's Burning Lash (if in party): +30% instead of +25% b) Heart of the Storm: - Jolting Touch: +20% shock damage (which also influences the damage of all attached lashes) - Lightning Strikes: +30% shock damage instead of +25% - Shocking Lash (Bittercut, if chosen): +30% lash damage instead of 25% c) Spirit of Decay: - Bittercut: +20% corrode/slash damage (which also... and so on) - Corrosive Lash (Bittercut, if chosen): 30% lash instead of 25% So - because of this it doesn't really matter which lash you put on Bittercut. Shocking, burning or corrosive work equally well. If you have a Stormcaller guy in the party you might want to choose shocking lashes maybe. If you like burning lashes more go for that. If you want to hurt every enemy no matter what immunities you probably go for one burning and one shocking lash (so you have corrosive/slash + burning lash + shocking lash damage with one weapon setup). Let's see what additional damage and lashes we have when we use Torment's Reach: Two times weapon attack (Full Attack)... + 20% from Spirit of Decay + 20% from Savage Attack + 33% from 21 MIG + 45% from the "Superb" enchantment + eventually +15% from Apprentice's Sneak Attack (Enervating Blows help) + eventually +50% from crit this combined damage gets used when calculated: + 60% burnig lash from Turning Wheel + 50% crushing lash from Torment's Reach + 30% shocking lash from Lightning Strikes + 30% (shocking/burning/corrosive) lash from enchantment you put on the weapon + 20% raw lash from Blood Testament + eventually +30% burning lash from chanter this results in +118% weapon damage +220% lash damage against 0 DR. You could also use Vulnerable Attack to lower enemies' DR - it doesn't slow you down that much because of the Full Attacks (I did it first but later retrained - so it's not in the build now). Plus you hit a lot of enemies with Torment's Reach AoE. But you also lower your wound counter - so every hit will be weaker than the first if you don't get wounds while attacking. Luckily, whe have tons of endurance and health because of the Iron Cirlce and our base CON. So we can affort to get hit a bit. With Flame Shield we can do the following additional damage while getting hit: + 20% from Scion of Flame + 33% from MIG + 20% from Savage Attack + 15% from Apprentice Sneak Attack (eventually) + 50% from crit (eventually) this combine gets used when calculated: + 60% burnimg lash from Turning Wheel + 20% raw lash from Blood Testment + 30% burning lash from chanter's chant (eventually) Once we hit 50% endurance, Battle Forged kicks in which does the same as Flame Shield (they don't suppress each other) but with much higher base damage at higher levels. This is extremely powerful once you get pommeled so often that you might have to fear that you're getting knocked out. Suddenly you retaliate with more than 100 burn/raw damage with normal ret. hits and a lot more with crits. On top of that comes Flame Shield which is basically half that much damage. This melts foes who insist to hit you - while you use Torment's Reach or Jolting Touch to kill them even more quickly. As a side effect, your DR gets raised by 4, adds to the Iron Wheel (+10) and also to your armor. Your armor value might also be strengthened by Iron Circle. So, that's +14 to your armor, not bad. Enervating Blows also work with all of this - so a lot of foes will be weakened either by your weapon attacks or the retaliations which makes it easier for Apprentice's Sneak Attack to kick in and also makes it easier to send foes prone with Force of Anguish. I do this when I have the feeling that I get beaten too much. All this results in pretty insane damage while you can tank a lot of enemies because of high endurance, DR and great healing mods. I use Fulvano's Amulet with +25% and a +60% healing bonus from camping. This is great when you have any char in your party who heals. Down below I say something about self heals when you want to solo (or don't have healers). But a potion of Major Regeneration always works wonders with this healing mods. If you want to lob Fireballs or other elemental AoE spells onto your Monksterlasher you can do that, too: he has additional +4 DR against burn, shock and corrode damage because of the elemental talents. So it would be +14 or even +18 DR against such spells. Interrupts can be a problem if you send this guy first. So either you have a priest with you or you use potions of Spirit Shield. As i said: For healing I use my party members or potions. In a party that's totally cool. This build is also suitable for soloing. But you might want to get Veteran's Recovery instead of Apprentice's Sneak Attack and Flagellant's Path instead of Envenomed Strike or Force of Anguish (great for escaping when you're surrounded completely and your endurance drops too fast). Also, use an item which raises Concentration and also consider to use Shod-in-Faith. This way you will be near unkillable as long as your self heals work and you have health left. After that Battle Forged can help to clear up the rest of the mob. Also, more Lore is useful when you're solo. Skip Athletics and put more points into Lore when you're solo. He Carries Many Scars's regeneration has no time limit by the way and also adds a lot of DR when your health is low - ao maybe this is a good armor when you're solo. Another thing I discovered lately and which made me choose Force of Anguish: when you use Azureith's Stiletto and use it for Force of Anguish and it crits while doing that... all three enemies who get hit by Jolting Touch also go prone! Hilarious! I have no idea why and it's certainly a bug - but a nice one. OK, have fun. I liked this build a lot. It's tanky and does great dps at the same time, even when disabled (switch to shield setup then!). tl;dr: So the essence of this build is that Battle Forged, Flame Shield and Jolting Touch and of course Torment's Reach work with Turning Wheel and Blood Testament gloves, which makes it worthwhile to take three of the four elemental booster talents if you also use Bittercut as main weapon(s) Edit (24.06.2016): Corrected a thing about Vulnerable Attack - it was still in the text despite the fact that I retrained and skipped it. Thanks to sibakroum for pointing this out. Edit (18.09.2016): I wrote Envenomed Strike instead of Enervating Blows a few times - sorry for that, I corrected it.
  22. I posted this in another thread, but I would like to bring it up for discussion separately. One barbarian that I have had a lot of fun with for PotD is the stun-lock or excessive status effect barbarian. The idea is to have the barbarian use carnage to pile as many on-hit/crit status effects as possible on the enemy - stun and disorienting being the main ones, but also dazed - as well as using passive auras and effects from being hit, such as sickened, terrified and stuck. Attributes: - 10/8/16/18/18/8, or something thereabouts. We want accurate and fast carnage, over as large of an area as possible to proc those crits to shut the enemy down. Race: - Hearth Orlan, to get more crits. Could also bump perception further. Key abilities: - Threatening presence - Brute force (more crits if you target the lower defense) - Barbaric retaliation (does this proc dazed, stun and disorienting?) - Frenzy Talents: - Accurate carnage - Weapon focus (peasant or soldier, depending on weapon choice) - Two weapon style - Interruption (potentially) - Apprentice's sneak attack (what with stun allowing it) Weapons: - Here there is a choice. There are two combinations of weapons that will give you disorienting (-5 to all defenses), and stunning. Either spears (Cladhalíath and Vile Loners Lance), or warhammers (Godansthunyr and Strike Hard). - Each has its benefits - speed and two different damage types for the warhammers, and more accuracy from the spears - Of note is that both Godansthunyr and Vile Loners Lance have bonuses to their interrupt values - which is a nice bonus - Possible to mix and match, but then taking two weapons focus might be good - or take the weapon focus for the stunning weapon Other equipment: - Gauntlets: Glittering Gloves to apply dazed (maybe overkill with stun already - but why not?) - Head: Executioner's Hood to apply a passive frightened effect in AoE - Waist: Binding rope, so foes hitting you get stuck - Potentially Sanguine plate and Shod-in-faith, but that is a great combo for most frontliners. Swaddling sheet could also work, for more synergy when being hit by a crit. - Potentially additional retaliation items - assuming dazed, stun and disorienting triggers from retaliation strikes Total status effects applied: Applied as attacks: - Disorienting - Vile Loners Lance / Strike Hard - Stunning - Cladhialath / Godansthunyr - Dazed - Glittering Gloves (including from Barbaric Retaliation, I believe) Applied as passive AoE: - Sickening - Threatening Presence - Frightened - Executioner's Hood Applied on being hit: - Stuck - Binding Rope Of course, durganize everything to get the speed up there, pile on a Dire Blessing, Devotions of the Faithful, and Frenzy. Crowns of the Faithful or other intellect buffs also work great - get the AoE larger. Edit questions: Are there any more status effect items that could be piled on to this? Would more retaliation be beneficial - or does retaliation not proc the status effects?
  23. "He got a vision. Everything was in flames" =================================== The Boreal Thrasher =================================== Difficulty: PotD v. 3.0+ -------------------------------------------------------------- Class: Chanter -------------------------------------------------------------- Race: Boreal Dwarf -------------------------------------------------------------- Background: Living Lands - Explorer -------------------------------------------------------------- The dwarf inside Maegfolc Skull Stats: MIG: 21 CON: 19 DEX: 2 PER: 15 INT: 18 RES: 3 -------------------------------------------------------------- Skills: Lore 12, Rest on Survival -------------------------------------------------------------- Talents: -------------------------------------------------------------- Ancient Memory (!) Beloved Spirits (!) Weapon & Shield Style (!) Superior Deflection ® Veteran's Recovery ® Deep pockets (Optional) / Quick switch Secret's of Rime (O) Bull's Fortitude (O) - Phrases: -------------------------------------------------------------- - Come come soft winds of death - The dragon thrashed, the dragon wailed (!) - Invocations: -------------------------------------------------------------- - Reny Daret's Ghost (!) - At the sound of his voice (!) - White worms (!) (This gem when used properly can do insane damage) - Urdel and Gurdel (!) - Seven nights - Items: -------------------------------------------------------------- Weapon set 1: The Flames of Fair Rhian / Black sanctuary Weapon set 2: Abydon's hammer Boots: Echoin Misery Head: Maegfolc Skull Armor: White Crest (Exceptional, Pierce proof) Neck: Necklace of fireballs / Amulet of summer solstice / Swaddling Sheet (If you get lucky, this item is (!)) Belt: Belt of chimes Rings: Gwyn's band of union + Iron's circle Hands: Gauntlets of accuracy / Bracer's of deflection Quick slots: Every scroll you can spam (Paralisis, Fireballs, Healing, Scrolls of defense and so on) -------------------------------------------------------------- This is a simple chanter build, similar to other ones posted on this forum. This build is very simple, walk with your boreal thrasher into the middle of the combat, get surrounded and start spamming "Double Dragon" (because it stacks) until everyone dies. When you reach 5 phrases, either Urdel and Gurdel or Seven Nights depending on what you need. Boreal dwarf is a very strong choice for a chanter for two reason: the first one is +15 accuracy for wilds/primordial mobs. +15 accuracy means more dragon crits (last longer and deal more damage) and the second one is that you don't care of -1 dexterity. Wilds and primordial usually have high Fortitude defense. I'm going to explain why I choose this equipment. Echoin Misery (A guaranteed proc every encounter because mobs are going to crit you) Maegfolc Skull (Unbending keeps you alive, +4 MIG is nice) White Crest (Overwhelming wave & Dancing bolts is welcome). Another option is Ryona's Breastplate but It looks better on Pallegina. Swaddling Sheet (Another overwhelming wave if one is not enough). This is not a common adventure so before you get it, every item that allows you to spam spells is welcome. Belt of chimes (Concentration is horrible in this char, so it helps a bit. If you have a priest on your party, or you want to use celebrant gloves be free to put whatever you like here) Gauntlets of accuracy (This build is about Dragon thrashed, so landing it properly is the most important thing. You can't have enough accuracy) Flames of Fair for three fireballs/Bittercut. Three fireballs/rest and if you have no use for bittercut on your party infestation of maggots/thorns for more spells/rest. With this setup when mobs crit you there is a lot of pain for them. 2x Warding seal, 1x Overwhelming wave, 1 Ray of Pain. This build works better with a Wizard/Priest/Paladin on your party. Painful interdiction is the opener during the game (dragon thrashed is against fortitude, and mobs usually have this stat as the highest defense so lowering it is a must). Ryngrim's enervating terror is the second option to mass debuff mobs. Put a champion's boon on this character and enjoy massive dragon thrashed damage. A paladin zealous focus is also important because of +6 accuracy and +15% graze/hit conversion (which affect your chants also). If you are going to choose Scion of Flame as one of your talents be aware that it doesn't work with Dragon thrashed (It's a DOT) Abydon's hammer is for stun effect & quick switch before using scrolls. This character with food and spells can achieve a might of: - 21 (Initial) + 4 Maegfolc + 10 Champion's boon + 2 (Food) + 4 Abydon's hammer + 1 Gift from the machine + 1 Galawain's boon = 43 MIG With this MIG every scroll you can use is going to deal insane damage or healing to your party members/foes. The same applies to your crit/proc items. If you want more MIG/INT choose whoever you hate most to sacrifice being Kana the best candidate (+5 resist affliction). Have fun!
  24. PotD, Full party. Not fully tested yet. The Trashman is pretty much...for clearing "trash mobs". Cleaving through groups of the various run of the mill monsters and bad guys that are in no short supply. He does this in particularly barbarian-like fashion - with an Axe! Named after Frank's wrestling pseudonym in 'Always Sunny in Philadelphia'. Short, hairy, ornery... kind of like an Orlan Barbarian? This character takes advantage of several changes in the 3.03 beta, which I've noted in bold below. This is not the most durable character to have on the front line, but it's an interesting alternative to the usual Tall Grass/Tidefall/Forgemaster's barbarian that I've stuck to. Luckily there are some items to take good advantage of a lower deflection frontliner. I also like the concept of a one handed weapon w/no shield, and axes in particular, it's just never been particularly appealing as a weapon choice in Pillars... until now. The damage output is actually pretty high due to annihilation, and as a crit-build, it doesn't actually rely too much on high accuracy. I considered a Rogue We Toki build in light of these changes but this just felt like the better way to go and takes advantage of more new stuff. I'm really enjoy Heart of Fury as Per-Encounter with this build, I must say - with We Toki it's almost like your Barbarian has Slicken Spell Mastery. Relative to a two hander build, this is less flexible and lower survivability. I can't sell it as some kind of new amazing build. Knight / One Handed simply doesn't cover as many great weapons(and no reach weapon to hide behind tankier melee), and We Toki is accessed in Act III vs. Act II. Edge of Reason gives you an almost-Tidefall option but is also acquired later. But it gets points for style, I think, combines disables with damage a bit better than anything else(although...Hours of Saint Rumbalt has prone and annihilation too...dammit), and I enjoy the animation far more than watching my barbarian prod things with a pike for carnage. Anyway, here's the build - Barbarian Race: Hearth Orlan - Highly recommend over anything else. Attributes: 15 Might 10 Constitution 10 Dexterity 20 Perception 15 Intellect 8 Resolve ~You can min/max further, to taste. Perception doesn't necessarily have to be this high, you're turning many hits into crits anyway - the +interrupt is still nice though. Abilities(Odd numbers) and Talents(Even numbers): Barbaric Yell One Handed Style - Now converts 15% of hits to crits as of 3.03 Savage Defiance Apprentice's Sneak Attack One Stands Alone - Now only requires nearby enemies, as opposed to engaged enemies Savage Attack Frenzy Accurate Carnage Threatening Presence Weapon Focus: Knight Heart of Fury - Now Per Encounter Stalwart Defiance Dragon Leap Interrupting Blows Echoing Shout - Now foe-only Beast Slayer, or Bloody Slaughter Skills: Survival 12 is great for rank II of accuracy/flank damage Gear: Weapon Set 1: We Toki Weapon Set 2: Edge of Reason Armor: Aloth's Leather ArmorBelt: Binding Rope Gloves: Gauntlets of Swift Action (or Pilferer's Grip if you don't have it) Boots: Shod-In-Faith Rings: Ring of Protection, Ring of Thorns Neck: Swaddling Sheet Head: Garodh's Chorus (or Maegfolc Skull)
  25. -Used on Path of the Damned difficulty, version 3.02 -Not the most exciting or quirky build, but I figured I'd put it up anyway. Paladin Order: Darcozzi Race: Wild Orlan (Optional) Attributes: 15 Might 11 Constitution 3 Dexterity 15 Perception 16 Intellect 17 Resolve Abilities(Odd numbers) and Talents(Even numbers): Lay on Hands Weapon and Shield Style Zealous Charge or Zealous Focus Aspirant's Mark Liberating Exhortation Inspiring Liberation Coordinated Attacks Critical Focus or Bull's Will Aegis of Loyalty Deep Faith Righteous Soul Scion of Flame Sacred Immolation * * * * = Personal preference. I actually like Deprive the Unworthy for many tough encounters, but Reinforcing Exhortation is good too and gets more overall use since it's per-encounter. You can take more saving throw or deflection talents or grab preferred utility. Skills: Get 10 Lore for scrolls and bonus dialogue, and put at least two in survival for the healing bonus. I like decent stealth on all my characters, but not everyone cares for stealth. I found with a melee heavy group it helped with my opening strategies and bum rushing casters better. A few points in athletics are worth it for a bit better heal, Paladins get +2 to it so getting 4-5 isn't expensive. Gear: Weapon Set 1: Shame or Glory, Outworn Buckler Weapon Set 2: Engwithan Scepter w/Kith Slaying and Burning Lash Armors: Hand and Key / Argwes Adra / Ryona's Breastplate Belts: Girdle of the Driving Wave(grants knockdown) / Girdle of Eoten Constitution / Binding Rope Gloves: Celebrant's Gloves Boots: Malina's Boots Rings: Ring of Protection Neck: Lilith's Shawl Head: Lavender Wreath, great item and essential for my preferred portrait and character model - I know that's a Godlike vs. a Wild Orlan, but it kinda works. Role / Playstyle: Early game, you're a PC Paladin, so your defenses are crazy good and you're pretty much a door blocker(or whatever chokepoint is available) for all those melee mob encounters. Your damage will be terrible, but you can open with an Arbalest or something then switch to sword and board. You also have high mental attributes as the PC, and can reach 20 in all of them to pass pretty much all of the good dialogue checks. I recommend displaying the various [Passionate][Clever] etc. dialogue options - many are pretty much free defense boosts for you and don't affect much otherwise. You also don't want to pick stoic, and some stoic options are kind of arbitrarily categorized and placed IMO. Cruel is easy to avoid at least. Mid game, your support has developed and you'll be debuffing with aspirant's mark every encounter, healing, removing debuffs, and boosting the accuracy of your damage and/or control characters depending on encounter. You're also a good character to make use of scrolls and items with spells, since you don't do remarkable autoattack damage nor are you busy casting stuff most of the time. I used Pallegina(Dual Sabres), Zahua, and Maneha(Tall Grass) once I got them for my melee, with Aloth and Durance as my only casters. Zealous Charge and Coordinated Attacks worked well with this setup, allowing my melee to rush down casters. Attacking in unison on priority targets with a marking weapon was quite effective. For some fights I also just attacked Zahua with the Scepter to give him more wounds. You're also a solid character for using Watcher abilities, with high Int/Might/Perception. Later game, you're an excellent counter to some of the more annoying confuse/charm/dominate enemies. That's why you've got the Scepter, really, with the fast attack speed. You're also highly resistant to these effects yourself, and can equip the Hand and Key Armor for encounters where these get spammed. Finally, you pick up Sacred Immolation, and are a decent source of AoE damage while doing all of the above. Also, on those big dragon fights, you're a great "main tank" and since they spam will defense attacking stuff your Wild Orlan racial will be boosting your already crazy high defenses pretty much constantly.
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