So, I want to make a Cipher/martial multiclass as my main character primarily for RP reasons (I love the idea of a character that can get into others' heads and do incredibly devastating damage to their souls) and was considering a couple of different options. I really want a Cipher that's allowed to make full use of their powers, including some of the DPS powers like Soul Ignition and Mind Blades. Right now, it's seeming like the best way to do that is through playing a Cipher at range. So, my two options for that are...
1. Mindstalker (Ascendant/Trickster): The issue I run into with this one is that there's way too many good Rogue powers and passives to take that work equally well at range as compared to melee. Otherwise, it's a really solid choice - Soul Whip and Sneak Attack go together really well, and there's obvious thematic synergy between Rogue and Cipher (One's a thief of your worldly possessions, the other's a thief of your secrets).
Pros - Sneak Attack and Soul Whip synergize really well, even if I go with Trickster. Access to Trickster gives me some Wizard Illusion powers to supplement my Cipher toolkit.
Cons - Aside from the Trickster "Domain" spells which I get for free, there's a load of really good Rogue options to take at different levels, which makes the choice between them and Cipher powers a lot harder. They can also be used at both melee and ranged for the most part. Squishier, by a degree, than the Transcendent too.
2. Transcendent (Helwalker/Ascendant): This build would focus a lot more on Cipher powers, but using Swift Strikes/Flurry to reduce cast and recovery times and Dance of Death for accuracy and wound generation, as well as Stunning Blow/Surge as a Full Attack. The biggest downside to this build is that, while it would allow me to use most of my favorite Cipher abilities, I'm really limited on choices from the Monk side when I'm forced to pick something, because so many of their powers require melee range.
Pros - Absurd Intellect and respectable Might with Duality of Mortal Presence, 20% burning lash to Ranged attacks, solid boosts to Dexterity/Attack Speed, allows for me to more freely pick Cipher abilities.
Cons - Lose out on a lot of really good Monk powers because they're melee only.
Weapons: Xefa's Imperial Explication/Kitchen Stove (Blunderbusses... Blunderbussi?) Scordeo's Trophy/Thundercrack Pistol (Pistols... if it weren't immediately obvious). I like the idea of dual wielding both for the aesthetic and for the action speed boost, but I've also considered Spearcaster, especially if I decide to go with the Sharpshooter's Garb.
Equipment: Garari Cuirass/Miscreant's Leathers (7% Recovery Time with Cutthroat Cosmo)/Sharpshooter's Garb (For Return Fire)
- Ring of the Marksman (Pickpocket from RDC sailors. This character is pro-Rauatai, so I can't kill them) and Chameleon's Touch
- Acina's Tricorn
- Cloak of Greater Protection
- Bracers of Greater Deflection
-Belt of Eoten Constitution
Pros to Ranged Cipher:
- Don't have to micromanage the Cipher as much
- Similar to the character I actually played in the first game, so that's a plus
- More of a flow between attacking and using Cipher powers
- Blunderbusses deal Slash/Pierce damage
Cons to Ranged Cipher:
- Pistols deal pure piercing damage which, against Pierce immune/Pierce resistant targets, equals low Focus
- Low Focus means I can't Ascend, and if I can't Ascend I deal significantly less damage
- Blunderbusses deal low damage and have low accuracy
There IS something to be said for melee multiclass Ciphers, especially now that a lot of their powers have gotten some much needed love. That being the case, I've played around with mixed melee/spellcasters before, and it seems like, unless the spell you're using has a 0.4 second cast time, there's a bit of a disconnect with attacking, then casting a spell, then attacking again. For this, I would go with the Soul Blade class. Aside from the Rogue/Monk multiclasses I've discussed previously, which would work equally well in melee, I think, with some adjustments, I've considered Paladin as an option. Paladins can get pretty good defensive buffs as is, and can be outfitted with Cipher spells to steal more defenses from enemies. The only issue with this is being bound to a Paladin order RP wise.