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I really enjoy my Death Godlike Priest of Skaen and female Aumaua Maurader. Since I typically play a somewhat diplomatic char these would not work as MCs. But they are great as mercenaries :) The Priest of Skaen's Incarnate spell is especially horrifying.

 

Whatsa bout y'all?

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I mean you don't need custom companions ever even in a hardcore deadly deadfire run but I'd say the most useful are:

 

1.)Marauder (if you don't main one) - streetfighter/serker -  Like a pure rogue - the essential and best enemy wizard/ priest killer but faster. 

 

2.)Liberator (Pali/Druid) - if for some reason you feel like the existing companions don't fit perfectly a Liberator is a strong, flexible frontliner tank or off tank. You can choose Lifegiver from Druid and split it into druid defense (healing) and paladin (offense), you can do the inverse (though I think that is inferior), you can go overboard with defenses and make both Paladin side and druid side heal or the opposite and make a fire based or fire/poison (with bleakwalker) offensive juggernaut. A very flexible build. 

 

3.)Warlock (wizard/serker) - a very strong class combo with no option from existing companions to run it and an essential party member to experience at least once if you don't main one. 

 

4.)Thaumaturge (wizard/skaen) - a very strong "jack of all trades" that gets progressively more potent with higher levels until this class becomes self sufficient to solo the game. 

 

There are a few more but those stand out and you can't make any existing companion into the above classes without mods. 

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Other than my first playthrough, I always run with custom created characters. They're available very early into the game and I just generally prefer making my own characters.

 

As for my current playthrough I'm running:

 

Mountain Dwarf Paladin(Shieldbearer)/Chanter(Troubadour) - Party's main source of sustain with Ancient Memory, Two Fingers and Lay on Hands. Also the main tank of the group, boasting the highest overall defences.

 

Meadow Folk Fighter(Devoted)/Barbarian(Berserker) - The group's "off-tank". She isn't so much of a tank, but rather a wrecking ball who I just have the AI launch at key targets and rip them to shreds with her dual sabres. Her defences are pretty decent though and she has a lot of engagement slots so she does the tanking job decently when it comes to it.

 

Pale Elf Druid(Fury)/Monk(Helwalker) - My Watcher... yeah not a Priest. She's the party's nuker, launching plenty of flavors of AoE destruction. She also acts as a 3rd front liner in the rare situations its needed as shes pretty strong with her voulge.

 

Meadow Folk Cipher(Ascendant) - Ranged DPS and crowd controller. Shes the standard Cipher flair; using guns to hit Ascension and spamming Amplified Wave, Disintegrate or Mind Blades depending on the fight. Secret Horrors and Puppet Master are also used, sometimes even out of Ascension just to keep enemies under control. Didn't subclass her since I actually like a lot of the Cipher's powers in general. Ciphers also have plenty of excellent passives unlike the other casting classes so the ability to pick stuff from an extra class would only choke her choices even further.

 

Wood Elf Wizard - Pretty much emulates my Wizard back in PoE1. Sets up surface spells like Chill Fog or Malignant Cloud, and boosts the group's DPS with Combusting Wounds and Expose Vulnerabilities. In hindsight I probably could've ran a Priest multiclass on her since she does get a lot of downtime at the start of fights, since she's waiting for enemies to bunch up, but I wanted those delicious 5th-level spells much earlier. Early access to Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar and Gaze of the Adragan have also been very helpful.

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Hearth Orlan Wildrhymer (Troubadour/Sharpshooter(Boar)) named Kinslee. With firearms she makes an effective midliner.

Which firearms do you use?

 

I'm only an hour or two into Neketaka on this playthrough so I only have a fine arquebus; I'm planning on using The Red Hand.

 

Basing it off this build with a few modifications for Veteran + Upscaling difficulty: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1450681362

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I almost always take a sword & shield Herald, if not Pallegina then a hireling. With Ancient Memory, Exalted Endurance, and Lethandria's Devotion (sometimes assigned to my other tank rather than the Herald), that gives three sources of passive regeneration.

 

I don't like to depend on Lay on Hands for healing though, since the Herald is usually slow and surrounded by enemies, so I like to have a Priest for when someone gets too low to wait for the passive regen. I like Xoti just fine, but I'm getting kind of tired of having the same conversations over and over again, so I've tried out some hirelings. The Priest class is kind of underwhelming (particularly because I tend to play only the first half of the game before getting bored and switching characters). I tried Priest/Druid (Lifegiver) a few times, and it's fine as a healer, but it never really clicked for me. So most recently, I tried Rogue (Trickster)/Priest (Magran), with dual pistols/scepters, and that actually works pretty well as a support character, with rogue skills and priest spells and ranged full attacks, freeing up one slot for something else. Thinking about trying it as a main character, but priest combat buffs are so slow compared to wizard combat buffs, I'll probably end up with a rogue/wiz instead.

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Other than my first playthrough, I always run with custom created characters. They're available very early into the game and I just generally prefer making my own characters.

 

As for my current playthrough I'm running:

 

Mountain Dwarf Paladin(Shieldbearer)/Chanter(Troubadour) - Party's main source of sustain with Ancient Memory, Two Fingers and Lay on Hands. Also the main tank of the group, boasting the highest overall defences.

 

Meadow Folk Fighter(Devoted)/Barbarian(Berserker) - The group's "off-tank". She isn't so much of a tank, but rather a wrecking ball who I just have the AI launch at key targets and rip them to shreds with her dual sabres. Her defences are pretty decent though and she has a lot of engagement slots so she does the tanking job decently when it comes to it.

 

Pale Elf Druid(Fury)/Monk(Helwalker) - My Watcher... yeah not a Priest. She's the party's nuker, launching plenty of flavors of AoE destruction. She also acts as a 3rd front liner in the rare situations its needed as shes pretty strong with her voulge.

 

Meadow Folk Cipher(Ascendant) - Ranged DPS and crowd controller. Shes the standard Cipher flair; using guns to hit Ascension and spamming Amplified Wave, Disintegrate or Mind Blades depending on the fight. Secret Horrors and Puppet Master are also used, sometimes even out of Ascension just to keep enemies under control. Didn't subclass her since I actually like a lot of the Cipher's powers in general. Ciphers also have plenty of excellent passives unlike the other casting classes so the ability to pick stuff from an extra class would only choke her choices even further.

 

Wood Elf Wizard - Pretty much emulates my Wizard back in PoE1. Sets up surface spells like Chill Fog or Malignant Cloud, and boosts the group's DPS with Combusting Wounds and Expose Vulnerabilities. In hindsight I probably could've ran a Priest multiclass on her since she does get a lot of downtime at the start of fights, since she's waiting for enemies to bunch up, but I wanted those delicious 5th-level spells much earlier. Early access to Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar and Gaze of the Adragan have also been very helpful.

 

You know, this sounds awfully familiar.  :p

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Memorable combos...

 

Chanters

War Caller (fighter/unbroken and chanter/troubadour)

Herald (paladin/anything and chanter/troubadour)

This adventurer is never a main and simply a low-micro support tank with the ability to heal, buff, summon, and law down some nasty frost damage at point-blank-range.

 

Wizards

barbarian(berserker) and wiz

paladin(anything) and wiz

fighter(devoted) and wiz

monk(anything) and wiz

rogue(streetfighter) and wiz

All great, all deadly in slightly different ways, and to indicate how much I enjoy these combos, I had two full play-throughs with my main as pali/wiz and zerker/wiz. Wiz is always vanilla, unless envoker build.

 

Rogue

Holy Slayer (pali/anything and rogue/trickster)

Great fun, when played as a low-micro, tanky flanker that is perfectly comfortable moving rapidly to the rear casters and causing havoc. I always start sword and shield, cast Ryngrim’s and Deflection-buff, and eventually move to dual wield if chopping down a caster.

 

Druid

druid/shifter and monk/helwalker

druid/shifter and rogue/streetfighter

Wow... and I mean wow! Nothing destroys a back row of casters faster (outside of a pure caster throwing an empowered level 9 spell). Fun, fairly tanky, but if built correctly will put out the most efficient melee numbers... wow. My nod goes to streetfighter, simply because he can move to back-row faster with escape.

 

In summary, these combos were unreal for me, while I found (for my play style) other combos underwhelming (priest/pali, druid/fighter, etc.) or not as fun for whatever reason.

 

Lastly, pure, single class options are troubling. The pure melee classes are competent, but never shine... and certainly never outshine a multi-melee. Pure casters start slower, but by level 14, with the right gear and planning, most fights are one or two cast clears... which becomes old quickly. Here’s the problem, pure casters (wiz) can also become really tanky with buffs/gear at higher levels and still out DPS entire parties with the right, empowered spells. Pure melee just doesn’t compare... if you wanted the ultimate party, 5 single class casters would obliterate anything (because of empowered stacking dynamics)... and have no need for tanks/melee.

 

Multis strike the best balance between competent and fun at all levels. Yet no matter how deadly some multis are, a pure caster will always be better at higher levels. 1 second fully buffed, 3 seconds later, screen full of enemies disappears.

Edited by heldred
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Who are your favorite custom Adventurers?

I've tried and liked the following custom companions:

  • Goldpact/Lifegiver (18/18/16/3/20/3) - this one is tanky (with superb AR and decent defenses) and has lots and lots of heals. He's my main-tank that makes sure no one dies. Plus carries defensive and healing scrolls. (I was also considering a shieldbearer of wael, but that would require modding since the combo is locked)
  • Unbroken/Wizard (3/17/18/19/18/3) focused on cc - rymrgand vissage, charge, mule kick, and attacking with cudgel (or Shattered Vengeance with modal on). Basically a disruption machine. His role is to prevent enemies from using their abilities effectively.
  • Wayfarer/Skald (17/9/15/19/15/3) - Rännig's Wrath rapier (with modal on) in main hand, and Lovers Embrace / Pukestabber dagger in off hand, spaming Shared Flames and mostly 2-phrase-costed invocations (Thunder Rolled / Killers Froze). His role is to off-tank, off-heal and off-cc. At some point, was considering to take a trickster/skald instead, but atm I find wayfarer/skald versatility to have a larger impact in my high-AR party (and do appreciate White Flames, Shared Flames, 2nd aura and emergency LoH/Liberating Exhortation).
Edited by MaxQuest
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Yeah #1 is a good choice for MC or Companion. But as I said, I can't RP a Maurader as a diplomatic char.

There is nothing wrong with playing a noble savage type character

Nothing wrong with it but it doesnt make much sense to me :)

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4.)Thaumaturge (wizard/skaen) - a very strong "jack of all trades" that gets progressively more potent with higher levels until this class becomes self sufficient to solo the game.

This sounds intriguing and I've wanted a good Xoti replacement. Care to share more details?

 

There is a good "solo" thaumaturge build here in the forum builds list from araj. I suggest using it as a blueprint and modify it slightly for party play, like taking circle of protection and maybe despondent blows instead of llengrath safe wards. Basically, it is a midline support. You use Ninigath's grimoire ideally, take all the cool and useful priest party buff spells like level 1 aoe heal, withdraw, salvation of time, circle of pretection and the fire damage spells. Skip devotions for barring death door+shining beacon imo. In wizard you take defensive boosting spells at low level but maybe also combusting wound+expose vulnerabilities, definitely scion of flame and maybe secret of rime. 

 

At mid level (5+) wizard you take terrify spell and at high level pillar of flame and holy storm from a priest. In the end you basically get a more tradition backline/midline priest who uses utility spells to buff part and debuff enemies and do damage through cold+fire spells. Ideal weapons are Sun+moon and the soulbound dagger (or Xoti's sickle with speed buff). 

 

It's not a monster damage dealer until storm of holy fire but it has a nice toolkit of buffs and debuffs which are different in their nature from cipher or chanter buffs/debuffs. Basically also you make wizard/priest if you want a dedicated buffer/debuffer of that type in your party - one that does not need other resources to buff/debuff like chanter or cipher and can unload all the spells instantly without attacking. 

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4.)Thaumaturge (wizard/skaen) - a very strong "jack of all trades" that gets progressively more potent with higher levels until this class becomes self sufficient to solo the game.

This sounds intriguing and I've wanted a good Xoti replacement. Care to share more details?

 

There is a good "solo" thaumaturge build here in the forum builds list from araj. I suggest using it as a blueprint and modify it slightly for party play, like taking circle of protection and maybe despondent blows instead of llengrath safe wards. Basically, it is a midline support. You use Ninigath's grimoire ideally, take all the cool and useful priest party buff spells like level 1 aoe heal, withdraw, salvation of time, circle of pretection and the fire damage spells. Skip devotions for barring death door+shining beacon imo. In wizard you take defensive boosting spells at low level but maybe also combusting wound+expose vulnerabilities, definitely scion of flame and maybe secret of rime. 

 

At mid level (5+) wizard you take terrify spell and at high level pillar of flame and holy storm from a priest. In the end you basically get a more tradition backline/midline priest who uses utility spells to buff part and debuff enemies and do damage through cold+fire spells. Ideal weapons are Sun+moon and the soulbound dagger (or Xoti's sickle with speed buff). 

 

It's not a monster damage dealer until storm of holy fire but it has a nice toolkit of buffs and debuffs which are different in their nature from cipher or chanter buffs/debuffs. Basically also you make wizard/priest if you want a dedicated buffer/debuffer of that type in your party - one that does not need other resources to buff/debuff like chanter or cipher and can unload all the spells instantly without attacking. 

 

Nice. Thinking of going Priest of Rymrgand(modded)/Generalist Wizard for a new hireling. Thanks.

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<p>

 

Who are your favorite custom Adventurers?

I've tried and liked the following custom companions:
  • Goldpact/Lifegiver (18/18/16/3/20/3) - this one is tanky (with superb AR and decent defenses) and has lots and lots of heals. He's my main-tank that makes sure no one dies. Plus carries defensive and healing scrolls. (I was also considering a shieldbearer of wael, but that would require modding since the combo is locked)
  • Unbroken/Wizard (3/17/18/19/18/3) focused on cc - rymrgand vissage, charge, mule kick, and attacking with cudgel (or Shattered Vengeance with modal on). Basically a disruption machine. His role is to prevent enemies from using their abilities effectively.
  • Wayfarer/Skald (17/9/15/19/15/3) - Rännig's Wrath rapier (with modal on) in main hand, and Lovers Embrace / Pukestabber dagger in off hand, spaming Shared Flames and mostly 2-phrase-costed invocations (Thunder Rolled / Killers Froze). His role is to off-tank, off-heal and off-cc. At some point, was considering to take a trickster/skald instead, but atm I find wayfarer/skald versatility to have a larger impact in my high-AR party (and do appreciate White Flames, Shared Flames, 2nd aura and emergency LoH/Liberating Exhortation).

These are awesome! So you go with an extremely Tanky party with lots of healing? Who is doing your damage?

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4.)Thaumaturge (wizard/skaen) - a very strong "jack of all trades" that gets progressively more potent with higher levels until this class becomes self sufficient to solo the game.

This sounds intriguing and I've wanted a good Xoti replacement. Care to share more details?

There is a good "solo" thaumaturge build here in the forum builds list from araj. I suggest using it as a blueprint and modify it slightly for party play, like taking circle of protection and maybe despondent blows instead of llengrath safe wards. Basically, it is a midline support. You use Ninigath's grimoire ideally, take all the cool and useful priest party buff spells like level 1 aoe heal, withdraw, salvation of time, circle of pretection and the fire damage spells. Skip devotions for barring death door+shining beacon imo. In wizard you take defensive boosting spells at low level but maybe also combusting wound+expose vulnerabilities, definitely scion of flame and maybe secret of rime.

 

At mid level (5+) wizard you take terrify spell and at high level pillar of flame and holy storm from a priest. In the end you basically get a more tradition backline/midline priest who uses utility spells to buff part and debuff enemies and do damage through cold+fire spells. Ideal weapons are Sun+moon and the soulbound dagger (or Xoti's sickle with speed buff).

 

It's not a monster damage dealer until storm of holy fire but it has a nice toolkit of buffs and debuffs which are different in their nature from cipher or chanter buffs/debuffs. Basically also you make wizard/priest if you want a dedicated buffer/debuffer of that type in your party - one that does not need other resources to buff/debuff like chanter or cipher and can unload all the spells instantly without attacking.

Nice. Thinking of going Priest of Rymrgand(modded)/Generalist Wizard for a new hireling. Thanks.

It's not that special minus the high level spells. Considering its unique spells are mostly Wizard spells the combo above might be a bit redundant.

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4.)Thaumaturge (wizard/skaen) - a very strong "jack of all trades" that gets progressively more potent with higher levels until this class becomes self sufficient to solo the game.

This sounds intriguing and I've wanted a good Xoti replacement. Care to share more details?
There is a good "solo" thaumaturge build here in the forum builds list from araj. I suggest using it as a blueprint and modify it slightly for party play, like taking circle of protection and maybe despondent blows instead of llengrath safe wards. Basically, it is a midline support. You use Ninigath's grimoire ideally, take all the cool and useful priest party buff spells like level 1 aoe heal, withdraw, salvation of time, circle of pretection and the fire damage spells. Skip devotions for barring death door+shining beacon imo. In wizard you take defensive boosting spells at low level but maybe also combusting wound+expose vulnerabilities, definitely scion of flame and maybe secret of rime.

 

At mid level (5+) wizard you take terrify spell and at high level pillar of flame and holy storm from a priest. In the end you basically get a more tradition backline/midline priest who uses utility spells to buff part and debuff enemies and do damage through cold+fire spells. Ideal weapons are Sun+moon and the soulbound dagger (or Xoti's sickle with speed buff).

 

It's not a monster damage dealer until storm of holy fire but it has a nice toolkit of buffs and debuffs which are different in their nature from cipher or chanter buffs/debuffs. Basically also you make wizard/priest if you want a dedicated buffer/debuffer of that type in your party - one that does not need other resources to buff/debuff like chanter or cipher and can unload all the spells instantly without attacking.

Nice. Thinking of going Priest of Rymrgand(modded)/Generalist Wizard for a new hireling. Thanks.

It's not that special minus the high level spells. Considering its unique spells are mostly Wizard spells the combo above might be a bit redundant.

 

It would possibly work well with an Ice build with secret of rime - the problem is I think in the DLC ice is a nono and fire based damage is better. Also the guy used Skaen in the original build because it have stealth and a few full attack powers for solo and being able to do all the things ie cast spells, go invisible, use full attacks against single large target etc.

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I've tried and liked the following custom companions:

  • Goldpact/Lifegiver (18/18/16/3/20/3) - ...
  • Unbroken/Wizard (3/17/18/19/18/3) - ...
  • Wayfarer/Skald (17/9/15/19/15/3) - ...
These are awesome! So you go with an extremely Tanky party with lots of healing? Who is doing your damage?

 

The damage is dealt a bit by the wayfarer/skald, but mostly by the last two team members :)

 

My 4th party member is a helwalker of Berath. The main selling point is Shining Beacon and Cleansing Flames that deal massive damage when MIG, INT and PL are high enough.

But before she gets access to those spells:

- I let her auto-attack from distance with Keybreaker Scepter in mainhand and Tuotilo's Palm in offhand (you still benefit from dual-wielding, but attack only with main-hand while at range). Lightning Strikes and Dance of Death are always on.

- also there are a few spells at her disposal: rank 1: Touch of Rot / Restore / Suppress Afflictions; rank 2: Iconic Projection; rank 3: Consecrated Grounds (which is quite effective when you have 30 MIG)

Note: going for helwalker of Wael is also an option. The reason I've chose Berath was to check Touch of Rot and Rot Skulls.

 

And my 5th party member is my MC - an ascendant streetfighter - my main dps'er. Atm the party is level 8, and she is responsible for 60% of total damage done. Mostly it is: open up from stealth -> max focus in 1-2 full attacks, and nonstop spam Soul Shock (if can hit 4+ targets) or Mind Blades (otherwise). Later, the routine will shift towards: Devastating Blow into Amplified Wave ad infinitum ^^

 

P.S. As for tankiness - yeap, that's a quite high-AR party.

In PoE1 my preferred way was to go for high-dps/high-cc team. In Deadfire through I don't find that as effective as AR-sturdiness.

Being permanently underpenetrated reduces incoming damage by x4 and makes the impact of healing that much stronger. Additionally, terrifying or frighting + dazing is usually enough; and there is little incentive for hard cc \

Edited by MaxQuest
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