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BLUF: Hung up on the decision to go Vaniila Wiz/Helwalker or Blood Mage/Helwalker and optimization choices (POTD, all DLC content, with a story companion party) I've looked at some of Cyrus_Blackfeather's and Whimper's builds on the list but they are somewhat dated so don't know if they are viable. I have also seen Waski's solo mega boss fights with a Sage (BM/HW) but don't know if that will work with a party or if it's better to just go vanilla wizard with a party. ***I understand the different playstyles and have messed around with them in some old saves.*** Context: I played through POE 1 a long time ago as a Cipher and recently revisited it as a Wizard. I am now looking to play through Deadfire on PoTD as a similar character with a full party of my team from POE1, plus extras (Eder, Pallegina, Xoti, and Ydwin) . I've played through on Veteran difficulty and PoTD with other classes to include Votary, Arcane Knight, SC Wizard, and Transcendent (with other party combinations), but never as a Sage. I found some of the Paladin multi-classes fun, but "safe" and I tend to like the higher risk/reward play-style better. I also am a big fan of versatility and typically gravitate to casters, but fast paced melee is also appealing. With that said, and after reading through many of the topics on these boards I am finding it difficult to decide between between blood mage or vanilla mage for the xxx/Helwalker as the optimal choice. From what I understand for Solo runs the Blood Mage is optimal but would it still be fun and viable with a party or would vanilla wiz end up more powerful with party support? Any other tips or advice regarding race, culture, etc are also welcome. Thanks in advance!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msDbqaDD75Q&t=101s Blood Sage is making fight against Belranga ridiculous.