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[CLASS BUILD]: The Big Game Hunter, Massive Single Target Ranged Damage (Wanderer, Ghost Heart / Helwalker)


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The Big Game Hunter

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Difficulty: PotD v.2.0

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Class: Wanderer (Ghost Heart + Helwalker)

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Race: Any.  Hearth Orlan is probably optimal here.  I played with a human.

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Background: The White That Wends (Explorer)

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Stats: Blessings in parantheses if you play with them.

 

MIG: 19 (20)

CON: 9 (10)

DEX: 18 (20)

PER: 19 (20)

INT: 10 (10)

RES: 03 (10)

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Important Skills: Stealth, Athletics, Survival

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Abilities, by level

 

        MONK                  RANGER

 

1 Swift Strikes     | Marked Prey

Swift Strikes is foundational to the build.  Achieving a 0.5 second activation time and 3.0 second reload time with an arquebus requires Swift Strikes.  Marked Prey is a nice +10 to accuracy, which is the Ranger's forte.

 

2                   | Wounding Shot

Honestly, there's not much worth taking other than Wounding Shot.  This will eventually upgrade to Accurate Wounding shot with a +20 accuracy bonus.  We love accuracy.

 

3                   | Resilient Companion

Anything that helps our beloved Ghost Bear last longer helps.  The bear is mostly useful as a meat shield and this builds on that.

 

4 Two-Handed        | Gunner

At level 4, PL2, we begin stacking more damage and reload % improvements.  Both of these are useful throughout the game, all the way to level 20.  

 

5                   | Marksman

More accuracy for our big game hunter is always welcome.

 

6 Prot. Companion   |

Protective Companion is helpful as a pre-req. for Stalkers Link, which comes with a +10 accuracy.  Also helps your Ghost Bear be a teeny bit more tank like, with +1 Engagement.

 

7 Lightning Strikes | Marked for the Hunt

15% shock damage and Marked Prey that is no longer useful just once?  Sign me up!

 

8                   | Evasive Roll

I initially took this for ship-to-ship combat, to avoid getting whacked in the opening volley by enemy gunmen and archers.  Settle in on the left side of your ship and proceed to devastate anyone that jumps over the railing.  Also come with the Quick inspiration if you're out of Mortification but have Bond to spare.

 

9 Dance of Death    |

Taken in preparation for Enduring Dance.  You will get hit from time-to-time, so this power by itself is kind of "eh."

 

10 Duality of MP    | Stalker's Link

PL4 is like a cornucopia of fun Monk powers to fill out the build.  Duality gets you bonus Intelligence, which prolongs the duration of Swift Strikes and later on Thunderous Blows.  Stalker's Link is a +10 to accuracy.

 

11 Enduring Dance  |

This will dramatically help boost your accuracy and wound count at range.  Three hits to eliminate the Dance helps massively.

 

12 Thunderous Blows |

I occasionally ran into armor rating 15+ against Pierce; this helps put us over the top against those enemies.  

 

13 The Long Pain    | Driving Flight

Long Pain lets you stay at range against evil Pierce Immune enemies, instead of flanking them with monk fists.  Driving Flight doubles your projectiles.  Wonderful stuff.

 

14                  | Accurate Wounding Shot

Extra +20 accuracy is hard to turn down.  A crit +40% damage over time?  Tasty.  Optional power if you prefer something else at this level.

 

15                  | Evasive Fire

Fun to watch that mean bad guy take a blast as you rapidly retreat.  Has a 10m range, while your gun has an 8m range, so doesn't always work in my experience.  Don't retreat to max range.  Optional power if you prefer something else at this level.

 

16 Turning Wheel    | Survival of the Fittest

Pretty straightforward: More damage and accuracy bonuses.  

 

17                  | Concussive Shot

+10 accuracy and interrupt vs. spell casters.  Also nice if you're about to get whacked.  Interrupt!  Optional power if you prefer something else at this level.  You might consider filling out the pet's powers or going for Bull's Will.

 

18                  | Concussive Tranquilizer.

Optional power if you prefer something else at this level.  You might consider filling out the pet's powers or going for Bull's Will if you didn't take it at 17.

 

If I'm being completely honest, I haven't gotten past level 18 with this build.  I made it to Ukaizo at level 18, and I'm doing the bonus content now. 

 

19 Dichotomous Soul | Superior Camouflage

Generally the best powers at this level for a ranged monk, I think.  Open to feedback.

 

20 Graceful Retreat |

I found myself running a lot, and this helps.  

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Items (!=important):

 

Weapon set 1: The Red Hand  (!)

Upgrades: Legendary, Twin Slugs [aka, GET AWAY FROM ME!], Guilty Conscience

 

Weapon set 2: Monk Fists

 

Chest: Sharpshooter's Garb (!)

Upgrades: Legendary, Low Profile

 

Helmet: Acina's Tricorn (!)

 

Amulet: Precognition

 

Cloak: Cloak of Greater Deflection

 

Gloves: Mortification Bindings or Firethrower's Gloves

 

Ring: Ring of the Marksman (!)

 

Ring: Chameleon's Touch

 

Belt: Upright Captain's Belt or Girdle of Mortal Protection

 

Boots: Boots of the Stone

 

Pet: Cutthroat Cosmo

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The general idea behind this build: Massive damage at range with an arquebus.  I love the arquebus's animation, and the Obsidian team did a great job at including unique arquesbuses in Deadfire - POE 1 didn't have a wide variety in my opinion.  I've seen a number of quality blunderbuss / pistol builds out there - Teesinz did a wonderful one for a Maia / Scout build on reddit that helped inform this build.  But I haven't seen arquebus builds that really caught my eye.

 

From a role-playing standpoint, I used to play Arcanum [WAY back in the day] with a "Big Game Hunter" - someone that used an elephant gun to take down the biggest threats that faced Arcanum.  Gunners were kind of "meh" in Arcanum, but are much more in line with other classes in Deadfire.  I felt like a Monk / Ranger was a good fit - Ranger obviously and Monk for the deprivation / ascetic aspects of living for a long time in the bush.

 

So, how does this work?

 

- High accuracy via perception, supporting equipment (Acina's Tricorn, Ring of the Marksman), Ranger abilities (Marked for the Hunt, Stalker's Link, Marksman, Survival of the Fittest, Accurate Wounding Shot, Concussive Shot) and the Monk ability Enduring Dance.

 

- Very fast reload via Gunner from the Ranger tree, Acina's tricorn, Sharpshooter's garb and Swift Strikes from the Monk tree.  At level 7, activation is at 0.5 seconds and reload at 3.0 seconds.  Heck, yeah.

 

- Massive damage via stacking damage bonuses on top of the already high arquebus base damage.  When fully up in combat - which doesn't take too long - we're looking at +65% Might (+10 Base, +10 Helwalker, +5 Thunderous Blows), +60% Legendary, +15% Two Handed Style.  Extra bonuses from The Red Hand's Guilty Conscience and Cuttthroat Cosmo. 

 

- The Red Hand fires twice between reloads.  So for every 4.5 second attack sequence [0.5 activation * 2 + 3.0 second reload], you're getting two shots.  At level 7-8, I was dumping ~50 point attacks every 2.25 seconds.  At high levels, with higher crit rate, better weapon upgrades and Turning Wheel, the damage is very respectable.

 

- This takes a little bit of micro-management at times.  The Ghost Heart pet needs to have it's AI activated at summoning which is annoying.  At times you'll have to use Evasive Fire to get the heck out of dodge.  But to be honest, with the right companion setup [i.e., some melee tank types], this is very smooth to play.

 

- I ran through the Principi content on this and it was generally very smooth.  

Edited by bigwillystyle
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Two handed style works with ranged now? I seem to remember in POE1 it was melee only?

Yes in PoE 1 it was melee only but in this game it works with two handed ranged weapons. Just as one handed style work with single pistol/blunder and two weapon style work with dual pistols/blunders. And the wands and scepters too ofc

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wasn't some monk skill been nerfed for range attack or that was false?  would bow work with this build?

 

War Bow should work fine.  I would probably swap out Sharpshooter's garb for something else, maybe Fleshmender or Miscreant's Leathers.

 

A handful of Monk skills were nerfed for range attack.  The most notable I can think of is Swift Flurry, which is now melee only - this build uses Lightning Strikes instead.

 

Edited to add: If you're looking for a good bow build, the "Frostyboy" build is very, very cool.

Edited by bigwillystyle
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wasn't some monk skill been nerfed for range attack or that was false?  would bow work with this build?

 

War Bow should work fine.  I would probably swap out Sharpshooter's garb for something else, maybe Fleshmender or Miscreant's Leathers.

 

A handful of Monk skills were nerfed for range attack.  The most notable I can think of is Swift Flurry, which is now melee only - this build uses Lightning Strikes instead.

 

Edited to add: If you're looking for a good bow build, the "Frostyboy" build is very, very cool.

 

so lightning strike is not Melee only?  

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I'm having a lot of fun with this build. I'm playing a duo with Eder as my tank, only on veteran, and the big game Hunter hits hard as advertised. I'm finding I have so much accuracy I may Respec and drop the pet talents and get the Monk stun instead as i find myself rarely summoning my pet. I would probably stick with your build if I was playing party based on POTD. The big damage with the Red Hand along with the lighting lash (it's a bummer turning wheel is melee only, that would be overpowered with this build!) does a serious amount of damage with high accuracy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Best subclass for generating wounds is Nalpasca. Best subclass for keeping wounds is Helwalker. You can generate wounds with Dance of Death which gives you +1 wound every 3 secs and also via Mortificaton of the Soul which has no costs and simply trades raw self damage for wounds (doesn't stop Dance of Death).

 

So - plenty of wound generation for a wounds keeper like the Helwalker.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Another nice weapon for this build would be Watershaper's Focus because Driving Flight, the shocking lash from Lightning Strikes, Tenacious and the massive MIG and INT boost as well as Turning Wheel's burning lash work with the Blast and also Ondra's Wrath. The AoE of Blast gets huge with Duality:INT.

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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...or dual mortars (particularly against enemies with weak reflex, as they roll against reflex). If you can fit Stunning Blows/Surge somewhere in there, with rod aoe or dual mortars you can stunlock large enemy groups - for a long time with Duality. Also if you crit (and you should with multiple attacks vs multiple targets), you refund the skill cost.

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How's this work with generating wounds? Do you need to get hit? As playing at range I presume the aim is not to get hit.

 

Not played much monk so unsure. And for safety reasons shattered pillar seems best subclass (just from glancing at subclasses)

 

With Dance of Death / Enduring Dance, it works fine.  

 

Shattered Pillar would be kind of useless with this build.  Most of the point of going Helwalker is to get the extra point of might per wound, to maximize damage output of the Arquebus.   It's also capped at 5 wounds.  I'd probably go ordinary no subclass before I went Shattered Pillar.

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...or dual mortars (particularly against enemies with weak reflex, as they roll against reflex). If you can fit Stunning Blows/Surge somewhere in there, with rod aoe or dual mortars you can stunlock large enemy groups - for a long time with Duality. Also if you crit (and you should with multiple attacks vs multiple targets), you refund the skill cost.

 

I think that for running dual mortars, I'd probably prefer a Shadowdancer for the afflictions.  Scout Maia also work well for that type of build.

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That's true of course. Scouts would deal a lot more damage. And yeah, Rogue can applied more varied afflictions... but a Monk can entirely disable vulnerable groups in a single attack. It'd be a nice crowd control option, with long duration due to monk Int bonus. 

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