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======== Alistair ======== ~the Trickster Prince~ -------------------------- Class and Specialization -------------------------- MindStalker: Cipher (Beguiler) + Rogue (Trickster) Wood Elf: Resistance to Dexterity afflictions Origin: Old Vailia Background: Aristocrat -------------------- Stats: M/C/D/P/I/R -------------------- 16/10/15/15/17+1/04 Notes: ----- I prefer Beguiler since I'm more concerned with casting Control skills than with dishing out damage. Rogue on its own provides most of the damage needed and Arterial Strike (Crippling Strike upgrade) and then Killing Blow does most of the work damaging an opponent while the damage bonus from Trickster Sneak Attack (+20%, later Deathblows +50%) and Beguiler Soul Whip (+20%, +10% under Sneak Attack conditions) makes this unit's AA powerful enough on its own. The Rogue skill-tree exists primarily for its passives--'Persistent Distraction' is powerful in melee (-10 Deflection, +1 Engagement, no defense check) and the Trickster's class spells augment the Beguiler's power and flavor quiite nicely. I am aware that Beguiler is an unpopular pick at the moment, but I will make the distinction that, compared to the other three classes, Beguiler is useful and powerful as a function of volume rather than strength. Bear with me as I explain. For this purpose, I'd like to make a comparison between Ascended and Beguiler. Unlike Ascendant, Soulblade and especially Psion, Beguiler benefits not just from a better Soul Whip (+50% although it is locked behind a Sneak Attack condition), but also from being able to frontload its spells whereas the others have their power backloaded. Unlike Ascendant which needs to build up its focus painstakingly and with a massive disadvantage, the relative DPS of a Beguiler is much more consistent and with about 10~ focus resotred on Hit per Hit at level 15-20, it's easy to get enough Focus per cast in order to cast high-level spells consistently. The only time when Ascended does take over would be during through the Ascended buff and even then not by much. They get the full Soul Whip bonus and a +3 to power level but the amount of time to get there is much slower unless when taking advantage of AoE attacks. Trickster, on the other hand, is chosen both for the utility gained from their bonus spells and the offensive power of both the Rogue abilities and the bonus from Sneak Attack. With this last, the build gains at least (1 + 2.10)x damage to its Auto-attack from the collective benefit from Rogue's Sneak Attack + Deathblows (20% + 50% +x% from PL scaling), and the bonus from Biting Whip and the Bonus from Sneak Attack to Soul Whip (20% + 10%) not including any bonuses from items. Sadly, these bonuses only apply to auto-attacks and weapon-based attacks. I am unsure if the bonus from Soul Whip applies to the Rogue's Full attacks but it should not be too much of a problem considering the above par margin on damage these abilities gain simply from a combination of Sneak Attack and Dual Wield. On the utility side, the build gains bonuses not just from its free spells but also a plethora of other utility skills from Rogue Cipher such as Persistent Distraction, Hammering Thoughts, Gouging Strike, Cipher Afflictions, etc. These range from the extremely useful Llengrath's Displacement, to the powerful but niche Ryngrim's Visage. Alternatives: ------- Some of the better alternatives to this build involve exchanging Trickster either with (1) Assassin or (2) Debonaire, the first to take advantage of any invisibility the build might obtain through its abilities while the latter is best paired with double Blunderbusses in order to take advantage of the party-unfriendly modal available to the Blunderbusses ========= Synergies ========= The usual opener I'd suggest would be (Secret Horrors) + (Phantom Foes -or- EyeStrike) Blind is one of the most powerful afflictions in the game since it not only reduces a two defenses but reduces the enemy's max range and accuracy. Frightened does two things, the first is that it reduces the Will defense and lengthens the duration of Afflictions and similar status ailments. Since the Beguiler bonus works with Body and Mind Afflictions, Casting Secret Horrors first and then EyeStrike should net the Cipher a good bit of Focus for future casts. When going melee, the following is recommended (Llengrath's or Mirror Image) with Wael's Sceptre + (Borrowed Instinct) Based on this, https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/104896-the-big-post-of-stacking-rules/ it should be possible to stack the above for a total of +30 Deflection and +30% Hit to Graze conversion from both abilities. If one's defenses are sufficiently high, Mirror Images would be a better pick clocking in at +50 Deflection add in (Body Attunement) + (Tactical Meld) if Accuracy or Armor is insufficient. Body Attunement alone is pretty useful even when ranged while Tactical Meld is useful for engagement. That said, (Tactical Meld) + (Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage) + (Persistent Distraction) is a good way of getting free Disengagement Attacks for bonus damage if surrounded. It should be noted that I get almost no damage skills, but a few could be useful. Amplified wave should be easy to cast consistently with the Beguiler bonus and barring that, casting the lower level spells like Ectopsychic Echo and Mind Blades should be easy. There are others but these, I think are the best. ========== Equipment ========== --------- Weapons --------- Set 1: Rannig's Wrath + Tuotilo's Palm -or- The Best Defense Set 2: Watershaper's Rod -or- (Fire-in-the-Hole + Hand Mortar) -or- (Wael's Sceptre + The Best Defense) Set 3: Whispers of the Endless Paths Armor: Honor Guard Breastplate -or- Caroc's Breastplate -or- Miscreant's Leathers Notes: ----- (1) Weapon swap is recommended when using the Trickster spells--which, incidentally, is probably the most annoying aspect of this setup. The melee weapons are the main source of DPS; Hand Mortar has AoE for Focus generation and AoE distraction; Wael's Sceptre grants +2 Illusions Power Level and 10% chance to become invisible on crit (backstabs); Current's rush has y% Crit guarantee ramp and z% Crush dmg on crit. (2) The build can make for a very good off-tank since the Cipher spell 'Borrowed Instinct' (+20 ACC, +20 all defenses) and the Trickster access to Mirror Image (+30 DEF) and Llengrath's Displacement (+10 DEF +20 REF, 20% Hit to Graze) [these two spells don't stack] makes for a very durable off-tank. (3) There's an interesting interaction between Wael and Current.Current makes it so that both Sceptres trigger their on-crit effects. Try to get Backstab from Rogue to make the most of the free invisibility. Otherwise replace Hand-Mortar with Eager Blade (4) One important thing to note is that the Rogue afflictions will transfer using AoE weapons. This is where the double Blunderbusses come in. Using these Blunderbusses, you can transfer Gouging Strike to a large number of units so that they will suffer from AoE bleed. This usually helps clear out waves of enemies especially in PotD since Gouging Strike lasts until the end of battle. (5) Caroc's Breastplate would be the best armor to use on most occasions but I prefer Honor Guard just for looks. ------------- Accessories ------------- HGr: Heaven's Cacophony (+2 INT) Amt: Bauble of the Fin (+1 INT, +1 CON, +3% Damage Aura) Clk: Giftbearer's Cloth Blt: Sash of Judgment (+10% Damage above 50% Health) Bts: Footprints of Ahu Taka (+2 DEX) Glv: Aegor's Swift Touch (+1 DEX, +5% Action Speed) -or- Hylea's Talons Rn1: Chameleon's Touch (+1 INT, +1 PER) Rn2: Entonia Signet Ring -or- RIng of Clenched Muscle (random afflictions and random inspirations on hit) Notes: ----- These Accessories focus on giving additional Hit damage and utility instead of direct stats. The rest focus on improving defenses or Damage. =============== Level Progression =============== This section has a tier-system to facilitate the creation of a list of recommendations for the build. Recommendations are ranked according to priority starting from a rank of (1) onwards with (1) being the highest priority. Cipher is marked as (C) while Rogue is marked as (R). So a first priority skill from a Cipher will be indicated (C) while a second-priority skill from the same class would be indicated (C2). (1) Eyestrike (C), Crippling Strike (R) (2) Soul Shock (R) (3) Penetrating Visions (C) (4) Draining Whip (C), Two-Weapon Style (G) (5) Phantom Foes (C) (6) Blinding Strike (C) (7) Secret Horrors (C), Gouging Strike (R) (8) Hammering Thoughts (C) (9) Recall Agony (C), Weapon and Shield Style (esp. when using "Tuotilo's Palm" or "The Best Defense" as shields) (G2) (10) Body Attunement (C), Persistent Distraction (R), Riposte (R2) (11) Withering Strike (R) (12) Silent Scream (C) (13) Ringleader (C), Deep Wounds (R) (14) Borrowed Instinct (C) (15) Tactical Meld (C) (16) The Empty Soul (C), Toxic Strike (R) (17) Amplified Wave (C) (18) Improved Critical (R) (19) Ancestor's Memory (C) Deathblows (R) (20) Stasis Shell (C) Notes: ----- As can be seen from the distribution, there is an emphasis on getting important Crowd Control spells from the Cipher tree as opposed to the usual damage spells. Due to the benefits to resource-volume from Beguiler, Amplified Wave is sufficient in its role as main DPS source and combined with Sneak Attack and Deathblows by Rogue (+70% Sneak Attack damage to Spells) one would need little in the way of DPS in terms of spells. Feel free to take DPS spells along the way. Stats can always be re-specced so its no real burden on the build. One thing to look out for is the fact that this build specializes in single-target damage. AoE Damage is best delivered through weapons since these benefit from the bonus ailments and conditions made possible by Rogue. Otherwise, the build still performs well as an AA build with the combined effect of Deathblows, Biting Whip, Persistent Distraction and Borrowed Instinct. Take note that I don't take the lower level Charm spells. First, one can take them at lower levels then spec out of them upon reaching higher levels. Second, consider that Ringleader does most of the work of those spells only better and that you can opt out of any earlier build by paying the innkeep. Third, while those lower level spells are fun to spam and undoubtedly powerful (charm is powerful in general), one can easily do without them. There's the not-so-good reason that it would be a waste of a Charm spell if it stands in the way of your AoEs but by far the best reason is that there's already a higher level spell that does most of the lifting. Ringleader does for AoE what the others can only hope to achieve and with better range.
I can not seem to get the numbers to add up in testing. Even if AoE spells only count main targets hits I am coming up with weird numbers. Does being resistant(even though being hit) to affliction remove bonus trigger? I am hitting groups(6+) of enemies already afflicted by at least phantom foes(flanked) and at best I am getting in the 30s for Focus generation when my tool tip suggests +14 Focus on hit with deception spells. I also have complete self(+5 on crit with spells) and when I register 6 crits against foes with flanked I regained 22 focus. I don't know if the description is misleading or this is bug.
Hi, i would like to report an issue with the focus generation for the beguiler and ascendant subclass. The ratio between damage and generated focus does not match with the anticipated numbers. Here are my results testing the subclasses: no subclass cipher (draining whip): 1 damage point : 1 focus point Soulblade (draining whip): 1 : 1 Ascendant (draining whip): 1 : 1.25 Beguiler (draining whip + non-afflicted target): 1 : 0.5 Beguiler (draining whip + afflicted target): 1 : 0.75 As you can see the beguiler subclass is in comparison to no-subclass cipher and soulblade at a notable disadvantage. The ascendant subclass also gets less focus points than the 150% in the description would suggest. I hope this will be addressed in the future, because i really would like to play a beguiler at full power.
After playing BB4 for several hours, I'm sold on my Beguiler/Ghost Heart (Seer) Watcher. While the build certainly falls in the viable but not optimal category, it suits my character's backstory: a wandering neutral good type whose destiny is guided by spirits (often manifesting as wolves), and whose lack of enthusiasm and cosmopolitan skills are often overlooked for his grit, honesty, and kindness toward the downtrodden. This isn't set in stone obviously, as release and subsequent upgrades will probably shift it. That being said, I'd appreciate any feedback - with an understanding some decisions are RP. I plan on taking this Watcher through Hard Mode/upscaling on critical path with story companions. Seer (Beguiler/Ghost Heart) Race: Pale Elf Culture/Background: White that Wends/Mystic Pet: Ghostly Wolf Level: 9 Primary Active Skills: Alchemy, Stealth, a bit of Athletics (I may reverse the latter two). Primary Passive Skills: Metaphysics, Insight, Survival Mig: 15 Con: 8 Dex: 13 Per: 15(+1) Int: 16 Res: 10 (Again, these stats are for RP purposes. Even though the character is a backliner, I don't want to dump RES because I feel surviving in the White that Wends would require a degree of resilience. I didn't mind dumping CON a bit, though, since my character's physical development was a bit stunted, stemming from undefinable, haunting visions that kept nights long and friends fair-weather.) Weapons: War Bow, Hunting Bow, Rod (Blast), Arquebus (for alpha strikes), maybe Crossbow for interrupts. These choices will largely depend on unique weapons, but I would like to stick to bows if possible. Core Ideas: This build combines ranged damage and afflictions along with an upgraded, disposable pet that can easily move through the battlefield (immune to disengagement attacks) to disrupt enemy spellcasters and archers/gunners or help the backline in an emergency. Unfortunately, both Rangers and Ciphers are starved for ability points compared to other class combinations (no freebees beyond character creation), which can impede optimization. (Though you could also argue no point goes to waste like multi-class Fighter). Beguiler: Beguiler's range bonus (20 percent) to Deception Powers couples well with a Seer and often allows faster, safer opportunities to cast wide afflictions on mid and backliners. Ideally, enemies should always be covered in afflications (other party members like a Blast Rogue or Druid will offer redundancy), which generate Focus when attacking or casting Deceptions. This character will always initiate combat from Stealth, negating Beguiler's attack and Focus generation penalties when target is ineligible for Sneak Attack. Beguiler Abilities: Powers: Eyestrike, Whisper of Treason, Phantom Foes, Secret Horrors Eyestrike being a third level affliction right out the door is nice and Whisper of Treason offers some useful tricks with Stealth. While its effect is weak, Phantom Foes casts quickly and can cover a wide area, often hitting backliners when directed at stragglers racing to the frontlines; and since Mental Binding has fallen from grace, it gets tossed out for a passive or Ranger ability. Secret Horrors is a solid Power, which disables active abilities and lowers CON and RES, which helps Eyestrike and physical attacks land along with increasing affliction durations across the board. Passives: Beguiler, Biting Whip, Hammering Thoughts Since there's not a large choice of Powers, I picked Biting Whip and Hammering Thoughts for extra ranged damage. I skipped the 10 percent duration bonus to afflictions (name escapes me atm) since I felt having an INT at 16 and a good Focus flow was enough. Ghost Heart: A Seer Mystic summoning a fallen companion from beyond is appealing to me, and I never liked the Grieving Bond penalty, so Ghost Heart became my immediate choice. Calling the beast into Eora is quick and doesn't incur a recovery penalty, which lets the Seer immediately follow the ritual with Powers. Higher INT boosts the summon duration, extending the companion's use. Unfortunately, the skill has a short range, making timing an important factor in narrow encounters: before foes are bottlenecked but after they are engaged. (I try to time the summon into my Priest's rotation so the pet gets an inspiration while heading out.) The ghostly companion has its own set of properties, which makes it different from its living counterparts. It functions as a spirit-type with its associated strengths and weaknesses (afaik its not possible to actually see these effects) and is immune to disengagement attacks, which allows it to effortlessly swap between enemies when needed and bypass the opposition's frontliners. Ghost Hearts cannot learn the skills Heal Pet and Revive Pet, though this may not be such a sacrifice considering their hefty Bond costs and ability investment. When the pet expires due to death or duration, the Seer will not be affected by Grieving Bond, which will keep his Powers and attacks accurate. Side Note: Ghost Heart companions are handy at distracting, kiting, and blocking small side groups of enemies, and at one Bond point and short cast and recovery, can easily be summoned when necessary. A ghostly bear or antelope could make for a resilient (albeit temporary) tank. Ghost Heart Abilities: Bond: Wolf Companion, Takedown, Marked for the Hunt I chose the wolf (named 'im Volkhavaar) for my companion for RP and extra damage - lions make a good secondary choice for their increased attack speed. Takedown disrupts enemy backliners and can be upgraded for extra PEN or a damage boost. Marked for the Hunt deserves its own mention. Its baseline ability (Marked Prey) is far superior to Wounding Shot: the latter has been repeatedly nerfed, the Wounding effect doesn't generate Focus, and spending two ability points for a level one affliction or a selfish accuracy buff is a waste in a crunched build. Marked Prey and Marked for the Hunt never miss, cast fast, have no recovery, and last as long as the marked target; and Ciphers always appreciate more accuracy. Marked for the Hunt transfers the effect when the marked foe is killed, and combined with the Ghost pet's immunity to disengagement, allows the strange apparition to safely move to the next target - often messing up enemy pathing for a brief time. The ability's jump-on-death effect seems to have no limit, which helps cut down on Bond points in longer battles; however, it can vanish if its next target dies too fast. Passives: Ghost Heart, Marksman, Merciless Companion, Vicious Companion Marksman plus Marked Prey/Marked for the Hunt synergize, giving the Seer a +15 bonus to accuracy from over four meters away; and as mentioned earlier, Beguiler's ranged bonus to Deception powers lets him stay a touch back. The Companion passives are there to increase damage, add PEN, and apply a moderate Sneak Attack bonus, which will be triggered often. Rotation Example Start the battle in Stealth with an Arquebus (modal on). If possible, position your frontliners in a way that can open a path for the pet. Begin the frontline engagement/prep inspirations/shoot a long-range foe with your Arquebus to generate some Focus. By using an Arquebus, recovery is at 0. Follow the shot with Marked for the Hunt on a ranged foe (no recovery), then summon your pet (also no recovery). (Note: Marked for the Hunt breaks Stealth, which is why I shoot before using it. Casting Deceptions from Stealth can be useful, but recovery can significantly hinder the rotation.) Have your pet attack or use Takedown on the Marked foe depending on the circumstance, then cast Phantom Foes on an enemy that gives the most coverage. Follow this by swapping to a bow or rod, then work to cast Secret Horrors and Eyestrike. Follow Marked for the Hunt as it bounces through enemies and focus fire for the best effect. Continue casting Deceptions, attacking marked targets, and summoning when needed. --Will add other thoughts and variations after waking up. Thanks for reading.