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As much as I love two-weapon style, I don't appreciate that Deadfire all but requires me to play it if I want to maximize DPS for martial classes. The main problem is that full attacks are just too good — even abilities that provide resources or other bonuses on crit are typically full attacks and benefit more from the two proc chances and higher damage offered by TWS than the hit-to-crit conversion offered by one-handed style. 


Assassin is the one class that would really stand to benefit from OHS, but its weak innate passive and high combat stealth costs totally kill its DPS potential. Assuming Obsidian doesn't give it a much-needed buff, has anyone had any experience crafting one-handed builds that can compete with TWS? 

Edited by Purudaya
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I made a fighter build that dual wields pistol+melee, and therefore cannot benefit from full attacks. You can transpose the same logic and ideas to single handed. 


Just pick devoted (whatever weapon you like, sword is probably best due to mixed damage and availability of good uniques). You will recover a bit slower, but almost always crit, for increased crit damage.



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A build I really like is devoted/helwalker crit build. I recommend pukestabber. 


The stat line can be something like 10 18 18 18 10 4. The build makes great use of the devil of caroc armor as well. The talents are pretty no-brainer, (disciplined barrage, swift flurry, one handed style early gets the build going). I like the int/lash route more than the constitution/armor route but I use this build with a party not solo. If you went solo then it would probably need to be nalpazca instead with a different stat line. You end up being able to self buff to 25 18 23 23 25 9 (higher with items). You actually end up critting more often than you hit once you pass 70% accuracy. 


The build is funny at the very least.

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Either single or multiclassed monk should be the most obvious choice for a single weapon character. Swift flurry and heartbeat drumming are a huge multiplier on the overall effectiveness of your crits. The math on exactly how much damage they’re adding is too complicated for me to figure out without spending hours, since I think each of the two can’t proc off itself, but they can definitely proc off each other and I think they can both proc at the same time. But they add a lot damage if you can crit a lot once you have both. Use stalker’s patience for even more fun, since if you get a huge flurry of crits, you’ll likely also trigger mercy strikes and be able to attack again immediately. All those together should push single weapon style far past dual wield with normal attacks or primary attacks.


But there’s still a problem if you’re trying to make a single weapon monk. Swift flurry just by itself is pretty lackluster. It only becomes really strong once you get heartbeat drumming and the two can proc off each other. Heartbeat drumming comes at level 13 on single class monks, which is not too late, but the later tier monk powers like resonant touch and whispers of the wind really do better with full attacks. Still, with a single class shattered pillar, a single weapon might be a very solid choice if you can somehow manage to get enough accuracy and hit to crit to crit reliably. Since swift flurry and heartbeat drumming build wounds, when you spend wounds on attacks like torment’s reach, you have a chance each time to regain some wounds instantly. And whispers of the wind, while probably better with full attacks, has a synergy with stalker’s patience. Since you’re likely to crit a ton of times with it, you’ll probably build up a few wounds each time you use it and will have a good chance to trigger mercy strikes to eliminate recovery. I doubt a single weapon shattered pillar would get enough more uses of whispers of the wind per fight to make up for missing out on the full attack, but you would be able to use it more frequently.


You could also multiclass a monk with devoted for accuracy and hit to crit and crit damage, ranger for accuracy, or soul blade for accuracy and a powerful primary attack. But then heartbeat drumming doesn’t come until level 19, which is just too late to be important.


I really want to build that kind of character. I think transcendent, for soul annihilation, borrowed instinct, tactical meld and the ability to reduce deflection with psychovampiric shield looks quite fun. But I think I’m going to wait until the DLC comes out to try it, since that will hopefully make heartbeat drumming come at a more relevant time for multiclassed monks.


Edit: Another (better) option compared to stalker’s patience is scordeo’s edge. The large, stacking accuracy bonus alone probably generates more extra attacks through swift flurry / heartbeat drumming than mercy strikes. Blade cascade is very unreliable, but if it procs, single weapon style supports it the best, gives you a better chance to proc it again once it’s going and helps you massacre everything before it runs out. Scordeo’s also benefits from fair favor, which is a great piece of gear for a crit focused build.

Edited by grasida
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Single weapon DPS, here we go:


Let's discard classes that massively benefit from full attacks and dual wielding;

  • No Paladin
  • No Rogue

I'd also drop Monk as fists are better than a one handed weapon, I just feel bad trying to make a Monk without fists.


So we have these to choose from:


  • Barbarian - frenzy adds damage, attack speed, stagger (via spirit frenzy), extra armor, on kill attack speed, heal, Berzerker adds penetration, hit to crit, and armor, leap adds mobility. Has some on crit effects like interrupt
  • Soul Blade - Soul Annihilation is a primary attack, soul whip adds extra damage, extra penetration available from passive, useful Cipher buffs, charms and damage spells. Works well with a minimal investment into the Cipher class.
  • Fighter - Devoted adds penetration and crit damage, most fighter abilities are now primary attacks, armored grace is great, disciplined strikes is great, lots of good defensive abilities and passives, gets regen.
  • Skald - more crits = more phrases, gets regen, group buffs and spammable powers. Can work well with a very focused set of abilities; go with one main chant and one or two invocations to save the picks for the other class.


Pretty much any combination of the four classes above would make for a good single weapon DPS build. I wouldn't go for a Berzerker/Skald unless you have cleared the Confusion as the chants affecting both your team and the enemy is not a good idea, also most of the chanter invocations are foe only and making them affect everyone is a big malus. 


The problem is that unless you really need crits for something to proc, like a Skald, going with a harder hitting, soon to have more penetration, two hander works better than the single weapon style usually.

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Yeah, it’s pretty frustrating that monk has by far the best powers for a single weapon build, but has built in weapons that are superior to almost everything you can find and can’t be “single wielded”.


Of course in 1.2 monastic unarmed training gives tons of builds access to monk fists, so most melee characters optimally should avoid using any weapons for most or all of the game.

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