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Currently I am having a bit of trouble deciding on a build and as my goto-Youtuber's builds are somewhat outdated I looked thorugh quite a bit of "5.0" build lists but I still can't figure it out so I'm asking the pros . I'm playing RTwP. Am somewhat experienced with CRPGs (played Pathfinder and one or two other CRPGs) and like to min max occasionally. However this time I'm planning to attempt to RP a bit more. These are the things I find important: PotD viable (if possible even PotD solo viable as I want to be able to perform independently from my party even though I plan to bring them along at least sometimes). No hardcore cheese (specificly the one where you spam reequip that one item (?) to extend buff duration). No insane amount of micromanagement required (unless it's not too tedious). Also preferably without too many consumables. Able to do megabosses (again best if solo but for this I dont mind if I have to bring the party as much). RP friendly? (dont know if there is a thing as "rp-friendly" builds). While looking through many posts I found these so far: SC Bloodmage: I played it until Nekataka but somehow it didn't "click" with me and the roleplay of "I'm an all powerful mage" got boring real fast . That is the reason I decided to restart. Herald build that is really tanky and regenerates a lot. For this I could not find any clue on if this is solo PotD viable. I really liked the Priest Brilliant+BDD+SoT strategy and as it needs quite a few levels (exspecially in multiclass variants) I feel it's ok to use it as you probably will be quite late into the story and thus I'm ok with being OP at that stage of a RPG. And if it gets too boring you could always try without. However here im struggling to find out whether these builds are viable without the mentioned strategy. Also wondering which variation of Priest or even which class to multiclass with is the most fun/best. So far i thought about SC/Assassin/Ascended Cipher. I would greatly appreciate any opinions on the priest or herald build. Furthermore if you have any other fun recommendations feel free to post them aswell (if you want to with RP ideas included as I'm somewhat unoriginal). Anyways thank you for reading and have a wonderful day. Should have probably made this a bit shorter
[CLASS BUILD] The Man of Mistery – SC Trickster Solo Upscaled PotD Class: Trickster Concept: Fun and Versatile Rogue that mixes spellcasting, ranged and melee attacks to adapt to each situation and tricks his enemies into certain death. 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). PotD Solo Viable: Yes. Of note, I think this is a Solo build that is particularly well compatible with party play because he can do so many things that will benefit others. Companion: Nope. -----WHAT IS INTERESTING ABOUT THIS BUILD?------ Why go with an SC Trickster? As an SC Rogue, it’s probably not the strongest Solo option (arguably it is Assassin). As a Trickster, multiclassing is usually the way to go as it pairs so well with other classes, in particular martial ones. I wanted to try out this build nevertheless to see how much mileage I could get out of its unique access to high-level Illusion spells, notably by stacking as much Illusion Power Levels as I could while achieving a really cool, nightmarish style (see this thread) fitting well the fluff of an Arcane Rogue who vanquishes his enemies with scary illusions and deadly, freezing tricks. I was especially curious about using Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake and Wall of Many Colors as a Rogue. These are spells that I’ve loved since PoE1, particularly for their utility against certain Adra/Alpine large beasts, but in Deadfire I haven’t used them so much as a SC Wizard because 1) there is usually another certain Wall spell that I want to keep up and 2) there is a lot of competition on PL8 spells and offensive spells in general. All in all, I’ve found this SC Trickster quite surprisingly powerful and very fun to play Solo, mostly for its versatility and because it’s a Rogue archetype that doesn’t play exactly like a typical Deadfire Solo Rogue. Here are some key highlights: We reach PL14 on Illusion spells (we can even reach PL16 on Freezing Rake wielding Sun & Moon at night). That is a lot of PL, which combined with high No-Rest stats make all Illusion DMG and CC attacks hit like trucks. Huge AoE, nice ACC, long duration, large damage… We can then supplement that with powerful ranged and melee offense depending on the situation. I would usually always start with Dazzling Lights to lure/group enemies but then every combat sequence can be totally different depending on the enemies and layout. I’ll detail key abilities and strategies below. Because it has so many options, this build is the opposite of a one-trick pony and can actually stay in most fights for some time before resetting the encounter or abusing Gouging Strike, if at all. Even if in many situations on Upscaled PotD you still have to go invisible/resest before the end of the fight, I have found that you might reset less often than Assassin for instance, and can take down a lot more enemies than you thought in one go (ah, the random power of Fyonlecg's Wall of Many Colors…). Of course, it should be also be said that as a SC Rogue with non-renewable resources, completing the harder DLC fights (non-resettable, small battlefield, lots of enemies with lots of health) without cheese requires Arcana. But that’s also true for an Assassin. Or you know... abuse Strand of Favor and remove all challenge (that is not what this build/post is about, but it is a possibility). -----SPECS------ Race: I went with Pale Elf for style and +PER Background: The White that Wends – Hunter FINAL STATS WITH ALL PERMABUFFS AND NO-REST BUFFS AS OF 5.0 (without combat buffs): MIG 22 (15 Base +2 Berath +1 Gift from Machine +2 Alchemic Brawn +2 Hot Razor Skewers) CON 12 (3 Base +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Brawn +2 Konstanten Boon +3 Girdle of Eoten CON) DEX 27 (18 Base +1 Elf +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Guile +2 Amira’s Blessing +2 Footprints Ahu Taka) PER 30 (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 +1 Ajamuut’s Cloak +1 Kuaru’s Prize) INT 26 (18 Base +2 Berath +1 Konstanten Boon +2 Alchemic Wits +2 Charm of Bones +1 Kuaru’s Prize) RES 11 (3 Base +2 Berath +2 Alchemic Wits +2 Nature’s Resolve +2 Rikuhu’s Blessing) ADDITIONAL PERMABUFFS: Food: Hot Razor Skewers 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 I just spent between Mechanics, Athletics, Stealth and Survival, Diplomacy. Max Arcana temporarily for certain end-game situations. ----- ABILITIES ------ ACTIVE Crippling/Arterial Strike, Blinding/Gouging Strike, Smoke Veil/Smoke Cloud/Pernicious Cloud, Withering/Toxic Strike, Gambit, Vanishing Strike. PASSIVES Key: Backstab, Fast Runner, Monastic Unarmed Training, Arms Bearer, Two Weapon Style, Dirty Fighting, Persistent Distraction, Tough, Uncanny Luck, Deep Wounds, Improved Critical, Deathblows, Prestige. Optional: Snake Reflex, Combat Focus, Adept Evasion, Wall of Flashing Steel. -----GEAR------ Weapon Set 1: Hand Mortar (Blinding Smoke), The Eye of Wael (The Hundred Visions, Shrouded Strike). Weapon Set 2: Kitchen Stove (Thunderous Report, Everything and Anything) single wielded. Weapon Set 3: Monastic trained Fists. Head: Whitewitch Mask. Neck: Charm of Bones. Chest: Pale Hide (Ghost in White, Dread Howl). Cape: Ajamuut’s Stalking Cloak. Gloves: Gauntlets of Accuracy. Rings: Kuaru’s Prize, Ring of the Marksman. Boots: Footprints of Ahu Taka. Belt: Girdle of Eoten Constitution. Pet: Harley. -----STRATEGIES------ I’ll just outline a few simple example situations but there are so many fun combos to create and you can mix depending on the situation and the resources you have left (I always start with Weapon Set 1): Melee Style: Lure with Dazzling Lights, get close in stealth, combat starts, cast Repulsive Visage to Terrify everyone, Switch to Fists, Use Gambit as much as you want (you have 11 Guile ), reapply Repulsive Visage, Gambit ad nauseam and other Rogue attacks or autoattacks. Can also use Dread Howl. Works surprisingly well! Mage Style: Lure with Dazzling Lights, Gaze of the Adragan, 2 or 3 Freezing Rakes, mix and match with Wall of Many Colors and Thunderous Report for fun. Dread Howl can help if survivors get aggressive. (EDIT: one Freezing Rake can do about 300 DMG per target on a Crit, on average definitely in the 200s). Rogue Style: Lure with Dazzling Lights, Fire AoE with Vanishing Strike from stealth > combat starts, all enemies are stunned and you’re invisible. Follow up with AoE Gouging Strike (you have reloaded instantly the shot from stealth), Pernicious Cloud, Smoke Veil. From there, you can try to add an Arterial Strike + Smoke Veil or simply just retreat to a safe location and wait it out. Won't be long . Weird/Wael Style: Lure with Dazzling Lights, Gaze of the Adragan, Wall of Many Colors to hit all enemies, see what happens then and what is best to apply next. -----THE END------ That’s it. Not the strongest Solo build but really fun to play, especially if the unique features of the Trickster subclass have triggered your curiosity. I also think it would be an absolute monster in a party. Let me know if you have any comment or question!
Preamble – Why Warlock? Edit: I forgot to mention this guide is intended for Real Time with Pause mode. I haven't tried it in turn-based, but judging from the way action speed works in that mode, it's not going to perform as smoothly. Over the last few months, I’ve been condensing ideas on Warlock into a guide. Berserker/Wizard has been my favorite multi-class since Deadfire launched over a year ago and I hope this guide highlights its strengths while providing options for the player to tailor it to their preference. Warlock is a powerhouse multiclass, which offers solid damage through both martial and melee abilities, and superb flexibility via grimoires, Action Speed bonuses, and Berserker Frenzy (a wonderfully consolidated set of effects we’ll get into momentarily). It’s also pretty resilient with Barbarian passives and Illusion and Enchanting spells filling in defensive gaps. For me, the biggest allure is in the multi’s presentation and synergy: bursting down front-liners with a Fireball and then speeding through the gibs, axes unleashed, towards a hapless wizard; Leaping into a cluster of disabled, clumped foes followed up with Torrent of Flame; tagging a mid-liner with Ninagauth’s Death Ray and running havoc throughout the battlefield. There’s a lot of cool tricks you can pull off with this one, and at ~80 hours using the combo, I’m still finding new ways to play it. Warlock has a few caveats worth mentioning before committing to the multiclass, most of which stem from Berserker’s Frenzy variant, which confuses, damages, and obscures the user’s health while active. Countering these negative effects regularly can be a bit daunting for new players. The specific build I’m covering in this guide centers on Burn damage, which is ineffective in some areas of the game and can be a hassle in PoTD. There’re a few ways to build an effective Warlock from either side of the aisle: you could, for example, load up on Wizard buffs and go to town with Citzal’s Spirit Lance and Combusting Wounds or devote your rotations to casting with enhanced PEN and speed. This guide will focus on a hybrid of melee and magic (Berserker/Evoker) to capitalize on both classes’ strengths – and of course, the fiery flavor and fun of playing a character who teeters between scholar and savage. Berserker/X Berserker is our go-to Barbarian subclass for its Frenzy bonuses to PEN and AR (+2 each) and bonus Hit-to-Crit conversion (30%) with melee and Carnage attacks. Berserker Frenzy has a couple drawbacks, which are easy for a Wizard to counteract - we’ll get to that in the abilities section. For Wizard, the choices are obvious: basic Wizard, Blood Mage or Evoker. Here’s a few considerations: A generalist Wizard gains access to Combusting Wounds, which when combined with the character’s out-of-this-world Action Speed and Carnage, can deliver a lot of damage packets in quick succession. Pull of Eora is a fantastic tool for clustering enemies, and with the Upright Captain’s Belt, you can jump right into the fray. Personally, I’d rather stick these abilities on an ally so the Warlock can stay devoted to dealing damage. Admittedly, I haven’t gone on a full Blood Mage Warlock run yet but there’s some nice benefits here, particularly in longer battles, if you can handle the randomness and micro-management. You’d have to be careful with this option: Berserker Frenzy already ticks down your health, and the -15 penalty to all defenses vs Bloodied opponents can be rough on a front-liner; since this build centers on Wizard buffs, the sacrifice effect may end up recharging unwanted spell tiers. Overall, I think this can be a great option with enough attentiveness. Having completed the game on PoTD/upscaling with both Berserker/Evoker and /Wizard, I prefer Evoker for its raw PL bonus (+2) to Evocation-type spells and 15 percent chance to echo those spells (meaning more opportunities to quickly trigger Bloodlust and Blood Thirst!). Evoker’s 10 percent recovery penalty to Illusion and Enchanting spells is moot when (most) buffs from those schools have little to no recovery anyways. The subclass also loses out on Transmutation and Conjuration spells, limiting its utility somewhat. Evoker loses access to Citzal’s Spirit Lance: a powerful summoned weapon that, while not integral in this guide, is something to consider when building a Warlock. Insofar as progression goes, the Berserker/Evoker starts off strong and bursts out of the gate around level 7. Around the mid-levels it plateaus for a time before returning at level 19 when Blood Thirst and PL7 spells become available. Acquiring critical equipment pieces early on can be a huge help. One more thing: I use mods from time to time, and I generally play with a modded PoTD that changes enemy AR from +2 to +1 and defenses from +15 to +8 along with Deadly Deadfire to balance those tweaks. When applicable, I’ll recommend a mod to make the experience a touch smoother. Races Human and Death Godlike are natural picks if you decide to pick up Blooded and/or utilize Salvation of Time/Barring Death’s Door shenanigans. Both provide bonuses while under low health. Pale Elf is a good option for its extra AR versus Freeze and Burn damage. The Freeze bonus is especially nice if you want your Warlock to use unique leather armor (Miscreant’s Leathers, Fleshmender) since that armor class suffers a Freeze AR penalty. Nature Godlike offers an additional +1PL (we’ll be stacking a lot of these) while under Wellspring of Life. Warlock features all three Body inspirations. Mountain Dwarf, Coastal Aumaua, and Wood Elf respectively bring resistances to CON, STR, and DEX afflictions, and will prevent tier 1 afflictions: useful for keeping your buffs operational. These choices aren’t bad, but I feel Unflinching and/or resistance-enchanted items somewhat lessens their value. Starting Attributes I don’t like to min-max. Feel free to adjust these to your preference. RES is roundly considered a dump stat and defensive Illusion spells should make up for the loss. MIG: 12 (14 BB) (+1 Gift from the Machine, +1 Potion of Mataru’s Strength) Remember the self-damage from Berserker Frenzy will increase along with your MIG so we’ll keep it a little on the low side early on. If you don’t use BB and/or GFTM stats and/or dump RES, I’d recommend starting with 14 base. CON: 12 (14 BB) DEX: 15 (17 BB) (+1 Effigy’s Resentment: Devil of Caroc) PER: 15 (17 BB) INT: 15 (17 BB) RES: 8 (10 BB) Gift from the Machine (+1 MIG, +5% Health) Effigy’s Resentment: Devil of Caroc (+1 DEX, +1 PEN with weapons versus Kith) Skills Active: Athletics (major), others for party assist Passive: Any I like placing 10 points in Athletics and dole a few into Arcana for RP. Investing two points into Mechanics and Stealth for party assist is helpful, too. The passive skill is what you want to make of it. I prefer Intimidate for the aggressive RP and synergy with Casita Samita’s Legacy. History’s a fine choice for the Giftbearer’s Cloth. Culture and Background: Again, pick this based on your RP preference. I’m fond of Mercenary or Dissident. Gear Our gear choices will largely depend on how the party is filled out. Typically, we want effects that increase our PLs and spell damage. Weapons The Magran’s Favor and Sun and Moon combo has been talked about to death, and unsurprisingly, it fits a Warlock. Both are Legendary quality by default, saving you precious materials. Magran’s Favor (Battle Axe) Burning Burst: +15% melee damage as Burn, weapon kills deal AoE Burn damage Blazing Core: +2 Fire PL, 15% of weapon Burn damage heals wielder Sun and Moon (Flail) Celestial Attunement (Day): +2 Fire PL during daylight hours Solar Excellence: 5% chance to repeat attacks after 0.5 sec with Fire attacks Golden Sun (Eothas): 25% Burn damage from weapon heals wielder Other choice weapons include Modwyr (immunity to INT afflictions), Slayer’s Claw (upgrades Tenacious into Energized, adding interrupts to weapon crits), Griffin’s Blade (+10% spell damage), and other assorted uniques you’ll find along the way. Amira’s Wing is an odd bird with a Wilting Wind per-rest cast. It’s a powerful spell for sure but it doesn’t seem to work with Doublecast (the spell is “activated” instead of “cast”). I’d pick it up for flavor since it’s a PL8 ability and Raw damage is always welcome. Head Horns of the Bleak Mother: +1 PER, resistance to RES afflictions (nice versus drakes and dragons), and +10 accuracy versus Beasts (great against cats, which have high Reflex or boars/bears and Fortitude) Thaos’ Headdress: +1 INT, +5 Will versus Mind afflictions in a 5m radius, +5 Accuracy and +10% damage (universal) against flanked enemies. This is the ideal piece since we’ll want to use PER afflictions to lower enemy defenses. Neck Wise Teeth Necklace: +1 INT, +1 History, +1 Insight Dragon Pendant: a DoT Fan of Flames and +1 to Slash and Burn AR Strand of Favor: get a little more juice (10%) out of your long-lasting buffs, -10% negative effect duration, +1 INT Elewys’ Locket and Charm of Bones include INT bonuses (+1 and +2) and 10 +ACC against spirits and vessels. Torso Casita Samita’s Legacy is my favorite armor for this build. I enjoy the extra Deflection with Intimidate, and the bonus (+5) to Will. It’s aesthetically pleasing, too. The Devil of Caroc Breastplate boasts resistance to INT afflictions, so it counters Frenzy’s Confused right out of the gate. It also offers -10% armor recovery, +2 Rage, and defensive reactive effects. It’s a superb choice if you have it in your world state. Miscreant’s Leathers and Fleshmender are both solid. Remember to increase your Freeze AR per leather armor’s inborn penalty. I haven’t tried it, but Contender’s Armor alleviates some recovery penalty based on Athletics. Cape Greater Deflection/Protection: +7 Deflection/+10 Protection Giftbearer’s Cloth: +1 Weapon and Quick Slot: ok for an extra slot for Amira’s Wing; Protection effect scales with History skill. Rekvu’s Scorched Cloak is an interesting choice that heals you for 10% of the Burn damage you would’ve taken so long as you have an injury. It has a niche appeal. Nemnok’s Cape is always there for Blooded/Fighting Spirit and Salvation of Time hijinks. Trinket Sea Weathered Grimoire Ninagauth’s Teachings Zandethus’ Dragon-Scale Grimoire Gloves Firethrower’s Gloves. Spend those Berath’s Blessings on the Port Maje vendor and grab these as soon as you can; never let go. Plus 2 DEX, 1 Arcana, and 1 Evocations is too good to pass up. Rings The Ring of Focused Flame (+10 ACC with Fire abilities) is a no-brainer. Make sure to swap it out before fighting enemies with high Burn AR. Voidward grants a 25% reduction in raw damage and +2 Corrode AR: useful for reducing Frenzy’s self-damage. Kuaru’s Prize: +5% damage with spells, +1 PER, +1 INT. Belt Upright Captain’s Belt: Another piece you’ll want to stick on and never remove. This one grants immunity to push and pull effects: outstanding when coupled with Pull of Eora and a good defense against Vine Lurkers and the like. The +1 CON and Concentration mesh well with the build. Boots Boots of the Stone: Unflinching devalues the boots’ resistance versus MIG afflictions slightly but it’s nice to have that effect unconditionally. The +1 Dex and +1 Resolve are alright. Pathfinder’s Boots: +5 Reflex, +1 DEX, +1 Athletics. Rahkan Field Boots: Offers a nice bursty teleport complete with a Full Attack; +2 Corrode AR. Pets Nalvi: +1 RES, party-wide armor recovery reduction Abraham: Single armor recovery reduction, party healing on kill Epsilon: Single armor recovery reduction, +10% party stride Otto Starcat: +1 PEN with Fire abilities, +5% Food Remember that food doesn’t stack with active effects and this multi has a wide spread of them. Look for bonuses to healing received, spell damage, AoE, and INT. Quick Slots You’ll want to use your quick slots on grimoires and the occasional scroll if you invest in Arcana. Glue some high tier healing potions to your last slot; antidotes are valuable versus dank spores and xaurip skirmishers. Abilities Before going into abilities, it’s important to consider which grimoires we’ll use and how they will veer our ability choices. Grimoires are flexible and for this build will be used solely for offensive spells. While there’s nothing wrong with choosing offensive spells on level up, I’d recommend picking universal buffs and swapping grimoires depending on the combat situation: you don’t want to be stuck with Fireballs against the Rathun. Our Barbarian points will be devoted to shoring up the multi’s speed, melee damage, and survivability; Wizard points will be allocated to buffs and offensive passives. With this foreknowledge in mind, the early experience can be a bit ropey and will largely be spent buffing and auto-attacking with an occasional Fan of Flames or Minoletta’s Minor Missiles tossed in. The starting tome, Weathered Grimoire, provides a few Evocations that’ll get us through Port Maje. I’d strongly recommend beelining to Neketaka and picking up our first important grimoire, Ninagauth’s Teachings, as soon as possible. Ninagauth’s will be our go-to book for most of the game since it’s packed with Evocations. Later, we can experiment with Zandethus’ Dragon-Scale Grimoire and Zandethus’ Draconic Fury (PL7), which add a PBAoE and unique offensive enchantment to the mix. It’s a bit expensive early on and I’d recommend holding off on this until at least level 13 when Torrent of Flame unlocks. Note that almost every spell in this tome is Burn-based (and many aren’t Evocations) and plan accordingly. Abilities PL0 As a Barbarian, we’ll gain access to Carnage, which applies a Raw-type AoE damage when hitting or critting an enemy with a melee attack, based on the amount of damage inflicted. The damage isn’t stellar, but it counts as a damage packet, meaning it will trigger stuff like Combusting Wounds. Evoker gives us +2 to PL with Evocation-keyworded spells along with the Doublecast passive, which adds a 15% chance to echo (recast) an Evocation spell after 0.3 seconds. Note that the effect triggers when the spell is cast and has no bearing on how many enemies are hit: it’s echoed all or nothing. Spells that channel such as Ninagauth’s Death Ray will simply be re-applied, though this can be useful if the first missed or grazed. Doublecast is unwieldly but when it triggers at just the right time it can quickly change the flow of battle, offering more opportunities for Barbarian passives to come online. PL1 – Starting Abilities Barbarian: Frenzy (Berserker) is the keystone of our build, providing a +25% bonus to Action Speed, Tenacious (+5 MIG, +2 PEN), Hardy (+5 CON, +2 AR), and a 30% hit-to-crit chance with melee attacks. The latter bonus is often dismissed when playing Warlock but I’m fond of sweeping up near dead enemies with melee attacks and Carnage so to each their own. On the downside, Frenzy reduces the user’s deflection by 10 so positioning off to the side or behind enemies is important, especially early on; Illusion spells and effects from party members can make up the difference. Berserker’s version of Frenzy adds more penalties, which should be addressed before we continue this guide. While under Frenzy (Berserker), the character suffers raw self-damage over time and their health is obscured (numeric values are replaced by question marks and the portrait is blanketed in fire). As I mentioned in the stats section, the self-damage on Berserker Frenzy is governed by MIG and PL. Balancing these modifiers to maintain powerful damage while keeping yourself alive can be tricky so pay close attention to the character’s well-being. There’s a couple ways to circumvent the Health concealment component by keeping an eye on the UI: the color of the question mark representing current Health (green->yellow->orange->dark red); effects that trigger at 50 percent Health (Bloodied, Fighting Spirit, Llengrath’s Safeguard); and auto-pause. The unique ring Voidward reduces raw damage taken by 25 percent. Berserker Frenzy’s worst impediment (at least in non-cheese builds) is its built-in Confused affliction, which lowers INT by 5 and forces all abilities to target friend and foe. As you can guess, this is a big no-no! There’s many ways to prevent or remove this effect (Modwyr sword, Devil of Caroc armor, luminous lobster/Captain’s Banquets/Wael’s Wind, Svef) and you should experiment with them to your liking. Ophiuchus prefers using the spell Infuse with Vital Essence, accessed at level 4 - feel free to wallop boars and wurms and ignore Eder’s complaints. Wizard: Pick Fleet Feet for the Quick Inspiration (+5 Dex and +100% movement speed) and +20 Defense while disengaging. Both effects will help you reposition during battle and rush to enemy back-liners. Fleet Feet lasts a solid 30 seconds by default, making it longer lasting (though weaker) than Barbarian’s Wild Sprint. PL1 Our choices here are limited but the full suite Frenzy provides makes up for this lackluster PL. Pick up Blooded (+25% damage while Bloodied or Near Death; works with spells) on the Barbarian side and a Wizard spell. I’d recommend Spirit Shield (+3 AR, Concentration) early on, then maybe dump it for Fast Runner (+15% Stride, +5 defense vs Disengagement attacks). Barbaric Yell (AoE Shaken for 20 seconds base) is a decent ability early on that can also be swapped out later. Eldritch Aim confers the Aware inspiration (+5 Per, 50% grazes-to-hits) but doesn’t last very long; I’d rather have a friendly Priest with Dire Blessing. Grimoire: Fleet Feet is something we’ll want on all the time and longer fights might require two casts. As a PL1 ability, Fan of Flames scales nicely with PL, and being a conal AoE, makes it a good choice for a multi that can reposition quickly and take some hits up close. PL2 PL2 is where we start to delve into core physical mechanics with Barbarian and finally gain a spell to counteract Frenzy’s Confusion. I’d pick up staples Two-Weapon Style (-15% Recovery Time while dual-wielding) and Thick Skinned for a passive +1 AR versus physical types of damage. I like using Crushing Blow as a flashy melee finisher but the nerf to full attacks while duel wielding sours it and it requires a two-point ability investment to be decent. I use Deadfire Tweaks to change Barbaric Blow’s Rage cost from 2 to 1, making it closer to equivalent martial attacks. By default, Accurate Carnage is not so hot (+5 to Carnage ACC), but Deadfire Tweaks improves the ability, changing it to +8 Accuracy, +15% Area of Effect, and +10% damage. It’s a change that adds value to a bland passive without being overpowered. For our solitary Wizard point, we’ll roll with Infuse with Vital Essence, which bestows the Fit (+5 CON) and Smart (+5 INT) inspirations. We take this spell to counter-act Berserker Frenzy’s Confused status and increase our opening buffing sequence. Cast Infuse, followed by Fleet Feet, a defensive spell (if needed), and Frenzy to get the most value out of the short-lived INT bonus. You can also follow up Frenzy with a second Infuse to increase the AoE of your Evocations and Carnage. This buff chain is easy to set up in the AI manager. Grimoire: Infuse with Vital Essence will typically be the only spell we cast at this level. Versus trash encounters, and when positioned correctly, Ray of Fire is an alright Evocation that allows us to attack or cast other spells while it ticks (superb when paired with Combusting Wounds). If you use an alternate means to prevent Confusion, pick up Mirrored Image for added Deflection. PL3 Power level 3 is where the meat of Berserker/Evoker comes together with core passives and spells. One Stands Alone (+20% melee damage when next to two enemies, +1 enemies needed to flank) and Bloody Slaughter (20% hits-to-crits and +50% crit damage versus foes Near Death) adds some oomph to our mop up. Bloodlust (+20% Action Speed for 10 base seconds on enemy kill) is a key ability in this build for obvious reasons. Defensive passives Combat Focus (1 Concentration) and Bull’s Will (+10 Will) are there if you want them. Llengrath’s Displaced Image is an alright choice for a time, but you’ll probably want to save those casts for your offensive grimoire. Grimoire: Fireball is one of our core damage dealers. It’s a simple spell with no real tricks or conditions. Have your party lower enemy Reflex (DEX and PER afflictions, Flail modal) and AR (Expose Vulnerabilities, The Shield Cracks) for maximum effect. Disabling enemy movement (tanking, Immobilize, Pull of Eora) is critical. Ninagauth’s Death Ray, exclusive to Ninagauth’s Teachings, is a stellar option when fighting heavy armored enemies as the beam deals Raw damage. Functionally, it works like a foe-only Ray of Fire: anchor it on a target and use good positioning to hit a cluster of foes. This one targets Fortitude so come prepared (MIG and CON afflictions, Morning Star modal). You can use Minoletta’s Bounding Missiles (found in your starter Weathered Grimoire) for situations where Burn damage is ineffective. Admittedly, I haven’t tried this one in a while so I can’t vouch its effectiveness in 5.0. PL4 This power level doesn’t offer a huge leap forward and is more focused on utility and defense. Spirit Frenzy adds a buff to all attacks (weapons, spells, scrolls, explosives, you name it) that inflicts Staggered (-5 MIG, can’t engage): a useful, easily accessible tool for lowering Fortitude. Unflinching grants resistances to all three Body afflictions if the Warlock’s health is at 51% or above: useful for freeing up equipment slots and preventing Tenacious, Hardy, and Quick from being dispelled by tier 1 afflictions. This is the one time we’ll pick an Evocation while leveling up and choose Minoletta’s Concussive Missiles. Ninagauth’s single Evocation at this spell level is Shadowflame and (later) Zandethus’ only offers Flame Shield (an ok ability that gels with Fire and Evocation PLs but you typically don’t want to get hit). At end game, with bonuses to Evocation PLs, this spell will fire six crush-based, AoE projectiles. Scion of Flame is a must for +1 PEN to Fire abilities. Spell Shaping is alright, but I’d only use it with the Deadfire Combat Tweaks mod. Grimoire: Ninagauth’s Shadowflame is the big Evocation here, and while it doesn’t measure up to its predecessor in PoE 1, its extra range and bonus Stun Paralyze effect are decent. Plus, it looks cool so who can argue with that? It’s a slow spell so consider casting it while under Bloodlust and Blood Thirst. PL5 PL5 is bland compared to others. I’d allocate most of these points to older PL abilities. Tough (+2 hp per level; +40 hp at level 20) is always welcome. Leap is a long-range teleport and Daze source. Its Rage cost (2) and hefty recovery time make it ineffective as a consistent mobility tool but it’s nice to have in a pinch. Leaping into a CCed group of enemies and following with Torrent of Flame is good fun. Grimoire: Speaking of Torrent of Flame, this is a spicy damaging spell nestled in both of our key grimoires. It synergizes well with Warlock’s good positioning through Fleet Feet and Leap: engage melee enemies with a tank, cluster casters and archers with an allied Pull of Eora, lay down some Reflex-lowering effects, and cast this tough customer between both groups. And if Doublecast triggers? Whoo boy. Zandethus’ contains Llengrath’s Safeguard: an amazing defensive spell that knocks back nearby foes and increases all defenses by 20 and AR by 5 when the user drops to 50 percent Health. It’s a fun one to mix into spell and attack rotations, especially with Blooded, Fighting Spirit, and the like. PL6 PL6 is also a bit lackluster for our build and we can use these levels on early abilities. Improved Critical is a +10% boost to crit damage, which applies to all sources. The Community Patch mod alters this value to 15, which is a welcome change. I haven’t tried Minoletta’s Piercing Burst much. It functions like Torrent of Flame but deals Pierce damage instead of Burn and has a high base PEN at 15. I’d slot it if you have a spare ability point. Arcane Reflection from Zandethus’. It’s not great but we don’t have much to work with at this PL. PL7 Now we’re in the final stretch. Thanks for staying with me. PL7 is where Warlock’s greatness really begins the shine. Was it worth the wait? That’s up to you. Blood Thirst is the ultimate ability in our arsenal. After killing a foe, the character receives a temporary buff that completely waves recovery on the next action. This power bestows us with huge momentum, allowing us to quickly breach through enemy groups. While Blood Thirst is active, make sure to gauge your options carefully: using a 0 Recovery buff will eat it the same as 3 second Torrent of Flame. Blood Thirst comes late in the game, so I hope you own Deadfire’s fine DLC trilogy: you want enough content left to experience its greatness. Pick up Accurate Empower (+10 ACC on empowered ability) to supercharge your arcane arsenal. An empowered, Doublecast Fireball is a thing of beauty. Grimoire: After a lull in Evocations, our offensive magic returns full swing with two Evocations and a spicy Enchantment. Delayed Fireball doesn’t get a lot of love for good reasons but when used under Stealth, it can be chained with a normal Fireball for a quick spike (have your tank start combat so you’re nice and buffed). Rarely, this combo can Doublecast, resulting in four Fireballs. It’s fun but niche and is included in both Ninagauth’s and Zandethus’. Ninagauth’s Killing Bolt, as you can ascertain, is contained in Ninagauth’s. It dishes out high raw damage to a single target, and if the foe is killed, summons an allied Spectre. The shadowy bolt is a nice flavor spell for Warlock and synergizes with our on-kill effects. Be aware that it targets Fortitude. Lastly, we have Zandethus’ Draconic Fury, which empowers our physical attacks: something we haven’t focused on in a while. It adds a +15% Burning and Slash Lash to melee and a nebulous chance to inflict Terrify when an enemy melee attacks the caster. Unlike our other buffs, this Enchantment has a hefty base recovery at 4.5. I’d recommend working it into your buff sequence (Infuse -> Fleet Feet -> Fury -> Frenzy) while Stealthed. Party Comp Considerations For party members, I suggest: A tank with high reflex and good engagement. Built sturdy enough, it can withstand your Warlock’s offensive salvo. Bonus points if it’s a Paladin with Shared Flames (Burn lashes on your spells, which also apply to Doublecasts!). Double bonus points if it’s a Herald with Fyr’s Burn lash (weapons only, though). A good tank should also be able to soak incoming Arcane Dampeners from enemy Wizards. A healer that can support the Warlock when the going gets rough. This build has fair Athletics but doesn’t use Stalwart Defiance or its upgrades. Herald is a natural. Priest is worthwhile for Dire Blessing, Barring Death’s Door, Salvation of Time, and a slew of other abilities. A single class Wizard or Blood Mage is superb at crowd control and lowering enemy defenses: Miasma of Dull-Mindedness, Expose Vulnerabilities, and both Reflex afflictions through Chill Fog/Curse of Blackened Sight and Ghost Blades/Curse of the Adragan. Like I mentioned throughout this guide, Combusting Wounds and Pull of Eora add a great deal of value. Tekehu can serve a similar purpose as a Druid/Chanter. Close I didn’t intend to be so verbose, but I ended up subclassing as Nalpazca while writing and just went with it. You dig? Groodalicious. Thanks for reading. I hope this guide has been totally copashesy.