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[build] Witch "The Banshee Build" -very high damage berserker/ascendant rdps caster

cipher berserker witch build

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#1
1TTFFSSE

1TTFFSSE

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I personally consider this the "strongest" in terms of damage output of the cipher/multiclass rdps builds at level cap. In tests it out-dpsed mindstalker, transcendent, pure ascendant, as well as even an aoe dot bleed streetfighter blunderbuss scout who was using avenging storm every encounter and spreading aoe dots like crazy,  *tested builds were complete with bis equipment and at level 20. Pure priest of magran was easily out-dpsed. The only other build that held relatively close/neck-and neck with this build I tested was Woedica Priest/Berserker (ha another "serker build"- ranged/melee hybrid build that gets insane bonuses to unarmed attacks through woedica spiritual weapon. 

 

The reason is that at level 19 you get the barbarian passive skill "blood thirst" which eliminates recovery time after each kill for 10 seconds and works with spells. Cipher is one of the better classes to multi because really your best spells are at level 5 and level 6. And Ascendants benefit from "no recovery" especially because that way you can spam as many spells as possible in the ascendant state time window.

 

I've built this character around items and skills which play into its strengths and it becomes a very efficient dps machine. 

 

Of course, if you are playing the game without modded health/defense values on enemies the sustained damage output of this berserker/ascendant may literally be "overkill". Even so, as you will see it has formidable aoe burst seconds into a fight which is a plus in any situation as well as some great sustain because it is partially a cipher. It definitely thrives with level scaling on and high hp mobs to burn through though. 

 

Cons: you are literally tissue paper, but that is somewhat mitigated by a few items and some defensive abilities. And unlike a rogue variant, you have to be careful because you have no cheap "escape" talent - but items help in that regard. Pros: you will outdps that mindstalker etc/ whatever easily if you stay alive. 

 

"The Banshee Build"

post-211561-0-63629700-1533949936.jpg

Difficulty: Any, but this is not designed for solo at the moment. 

 

Class: Ascendant Cipher + Berserker Barbarian Witch

Race: best is Human, Hearth Orlan or Death Godlike

Background: I recommend "The White that Wends" +1 to perception

Skills: this build does not rely on any particular skill. Alchemy is useful though as you may want to take Svef not to murder your team, also history is nice because of "the cloak"

Stats base without any bonuses: 

14 Might

7 Con

14 Dex 

18 Perception

18 Intelligence

3 Resolve

Pose: Sickly (goes well with the low con and resolve)

 

Good extra talents to game for:

-Infamous captain

-Effigies Resentment

-Gift from the Machine

 

Abilities:

 

Level 1: Frenzy/ Whispers of Treason or Tenuous Grasp *you will never be using lvl 1 cipher damage spells late game at least not as multiclass

Level 2: Blooded

Level 3: Penetrating Visions

Level 4: Barbaric Blow/ Draining Whip

Level 5: Two Weapon Style

Level 6: Recall Agony

Level 7: Bloodlust/ Hammering Thoughts

Level 8: Secret Horrors

Level 9: Bloody Slaughter

Level 10: Wild Sprint

Level 11: Blood Frenzy/ Silent Scream* 

Level 12: Either Body Attunement or Savage Defiance

Level 13: Barbaric Smash/ Borrowed instinct

Level 14: Rapid Casting

Level 15: Uncanny Luck

Level 16: Lion's Sprint/ Amplified Wave

Level 17: Disintegrate

Level 18: The Empty Soul

Level 19: Bloodthirst/ Echoing Horror or Accurate Empower

Level 20: Bloodstorm

 

With some compromises, I feel this is the best ability selection, one can say though that Accurate Empower would be more useful against bosses than Echoing Horror. Mindblades get replaced by recall agony to help your single target (boss) dps because quite frankly at high level if there are a bunch of enemies you just cast amplified wave or silent scream. If there are 1 or two left of decent hp you cast disintegrate on them. If they are low hp barbaric blow them to death. Also in itself savage defiance/ body attunement may not be that great but combined with defense bonuses from Borrowed Instinct it becomes decent and then you are not a complete tissue paper thing anymore if you set up those defenses -and these are very fast and sometimes instant casts.

 

Blood Frenzy works with ranged weapons to cause bleed on crit, this is significant because I use Kitchen Stove for my opener and it is is an aoe and it can apply bleed in aoe attack with its special 1/encounter attack. 

Barbaric Smash does apply +50% crit damage to ranged weapons as well. 

 

Items:

 

Weapon slot 1:

Frostfall + Kitchen Stove

 

Weapon slot 2:

Scordeo's Trophy + Currents Rush 

 

Weapon Slot 3 (in case you use Giftbearer's Cloth)

Adaptable according to the situation - I like Ecea's Arcane Blaster + Xefa's Empirical, Aamina's Legacy and The Red Hand here from time to time, all these weapons have good uses in the game

 

Weapon slot 1 is used during your opener for thunderous report from Kitchen Stove and the affliction extension from Frostfall. I like using it during casting. Very useful given how Frostfall extends affliction durations. More useful than a flat +10% spell dps increase from griffon's blade.

 

weapon slot 2 is during the majority of the fight as you normal attack weapons as those two weapons have both increased crit damage. Also, Current's Rush can increase the crit damage from your spells. The Scepter modal is useful to get you to bloodied even faster. 

 

weapon slot 3 is situational. 

Ecea's Arcane Blaster can still cause you to "split" your cipher spells into multiples, Xefa's Blunderbuss is overall a very good single target damage blunderbuss, and the Red Hand is useful too boost overall damage and has the best penetration in some fringe situations. When I run into pierce immune enemies thunderous report can actually carry me a long way but it is good to have a second backup scepter or the "slash" damage bow Aamina's Legacy which by the way when enchanted still does more dps than Essence Interrutor even at max metaphysics. 

 

Armor:

High Harbinger's Robes with +10% damage done/taken enchant

 

Helm:

Helm of the White Void (+10 accuracy to a lot of attacks like Silent Scream) or

Black-Blade's Hood

Acina's Trihorn

are all good choices

 

Neck:

Precognition

 

Cape:

The Giftbearer's Cloth (extra Protection and an extra weapon slot)

 

Gloves:

Gloves of the Dungeon Warden or Bracers of Accuracy (both +3 accuracy)

 

Rings:

Kuoro's Prize+Ring of the Marksman

 

Boots:

Bounding Boots or better Slipper of the Assassin (need those of an extra escape ability)

 

Belt

Belt of Magran's Chosen

 

 

Combat

Standard opener:

1.) Blood Storm->Lion's Sprint->Thunderous Report (Kitchen Stove) for max focus and to apply bleed on crit/ chance of paralyze in aoe->borrowed instinct->spam amplified wave->->switch to weapon slot 2 ->cleanup near death targets with a barbaric smash which usually refunds costs when attacking low hp targets. 

 

What's devastating about this is that bloodstorm (extra penetration/damage), lions sprint (bonus accuracy) are insta casts so the opening burst happens in 1-2 seconds, crits and paralyzes and leaves you free to spam amplified waves and anything else which further prone targets. Pretty soon you have your first kill and can ignore recovery on your next cast or attack. It is a  faster "damage ramp up" than a mindstalker cipher streetfighter or time parasite pure ascendant. 

 

The Problem with bosses is that they have immunity to basically everything that is cc - but everything else you can "chain stun" with silent scream - like a real banshee. Helm of the White Void gives +10 accuracy to attacks like silent scream on top of The Empty Soul talent and Lion's Sprint or Borrowed Instant (the last 2 do not stack alas).

 

 

Now as for Frenzy - blood or spirit? You can's go wrong with either. "Spirit" is the more cc oriented while "Blood" will result in better dps especially on bosses and frees up barbarian resources for barbaric smash and savage defiance should you need it. Personally, I get a 30sec "stagger" in aoe from Thunderous Report in the opener which can be extended on kill thanks to Frostfall in the other hand. 

 

A ranged barbarian build also frees up ability points as you don't need thick skin, one stands alone etc but the "blood" passives still give a great boost to any dps build. Focus generation to begin the "frenzied" killing is solved via Thunderous Report (Kitchen Stove). Once it gets going, which is very quick through that opener it has a nice flow as your amplified waves kill or leave enemies near death and you can easily finish them off when ascendant wears off ai command target near death ->barbaric smash. That is also why this build was so efficient in putting up some really nice dps numbers in my test runs.

 

 

Test 1 (first run perfecting scripts):

damage per combat hour

dps numbers are relative to each other ie - the stronger the overall group the less outlier numbers - for instance, a scout aoe bleed build for me felt  much more powerful than a pure priest of magran which out-dpsed the scout slightly by virtue of being in a different group

Everyone used same food (hot razor skewers for +1 powerlevel and +2 penetration on weapons) and had same stats and same gear except weapons sometimes as noted

 
Witch Banshee 10,046 dph - Scordeo's+Kitchen Stove
Shaman (Woedica/Berserker) 8,846 dph - Magran's Favor+Marux Amanth when casting storm of holy fire, then summoned woedica fists when attacking
Mindstalker (Streetfighter/Ascendant) 6,855 dph - Scordeo's+Kitchen Stove
Cipher asc single 3,837 dph (the Red hand)  dph
 
Test 2 (scripts fine-tuned from start and gave single class cipher better opener with Kitchen Stove)
 
Transcendent (Helwalker/Ascendant) 12,057 dph Scordeo's+Kitchen Stove
Cipher asc single 13,426 dph (Scordeo's+Kitchen stove)
Witch Banshee 21,079 dph (Scordeo's+Kitchen Stove)
Magran priest single 10,935 dph (Magran's+Marux Amanth)
 
Test 3 the redux
 
Scout (Streetfighter/Sharpshooter) aoe bleeder 9,844 dph Kitchen Stove + Fire in the Hole (performed overall better than dual hand mortars)
Shaman woedica/berserker 12,853 dph*
Witch Banshee 13,510 dph Scordeo's+Kitchen Stove
Mindstalker (streetfighter/Ascendant) 6,208 dph Scordeo's+Kitchen Stove
 
*non woedica priest would probably be a bit lower because +20% raw damage lash to fists on woedica is awesome on frenzied berserker. 
 
tests were run up to the first toon reaching 100K damage total. 
 
Melee vs ranged witch: at range you wear lighter armor and generally can achieve better dps efficiency given that carnage melee aoe is not that large in PoE2. Now a single class barbarian is something I cannot really imagine as a ranged toon though I think it is possible to find an unorthodox ranged pure barb build. but I digress.
 
In a party setting this is would be my go to pure damage cipher now - though I find pure cipher and minstalker super fun they are not as efficient as a bloodthirsty witch, I'll probably be working on getting it into a state that can solo at least vanilla PotD. Witch screams pure "aoe" damage though - you have little healing abilities and no summon abilities so that could prove an interesting challenge - might involve a lot of respecing during a run and metagaming though. 
 
post-211561-0-55380400-1533970210.jpg
 

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Edited by 1TTFFSSE, 13 August 2018 - 05:15 PM.

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#2
Boeroer

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I think you could improve damage output while ascended even more if you switch to the Espirs Estoc or Oathbreaker's End. Because the AoE dmg on kill gets triggered by spells as well and gets all bonuses from the weapon and weapon skills.
May not be intended, but still.

By the way: Blood Thirst's 0 recovery "option" stays for 10 sec. That means your next attack that will have 0 recovery must be within 10 seconds. Then the effect ends. Blood Thirst does not give you 0 recovery for 10 seconds straight for all attacks that you might be able to squeeze in (that was the case when I tested it somwhere prior to 2.0). This is usually no big drawback because with every cast there's someone dying, triggering it again.

Edited by Boeroer, 10 August 2018 - 11:17 PM.

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#3
thundercleese

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I think you could improve damage output while ascended even more if you switch to the Espirs Estoc or Oathbreaker's End. Because the AoE dmg on kill gets triggered by spells as well and gets all bonuses from the weapon and weapon skills.
May not be intended, but still.

By the way: Blood Thirst's 0 recovery "option" stays for 10 sec. That means your next attack that will have 0 recovery must be within 10 seconds. Then the effect ends. Blood Thirst does not give you 0 recovery for 10 seconds straight for all attacks that you might be able to squeeze in (that was the case when I tested it somwhere prior to 2.0). This is usually no big drawback because with every cast there's someone dying, triggering it again.

While you can trigger Found Guilty with spells, the DoT is only applied by crits with the weapon itself.

 

Bloodthirst will make you recover instantly on kill, but only once as you say. No changes made in 2.0 that I've noticed. Not sure why they put the 10 seconds in there, as you would have to go out of your way to stack increased recovery time to need more than 10 seconds to recover. Kind of like how chanter chants have "x effect for 10 seconds" when none of them last 10 seconds.

 

Glad to see a build using Frostfall, probably the most interesting weapon added by the DLC imo. One of the most broken things about it is that if you crit with Dispersed Suffering, it can apply the paralyze, and mobs don't even need to have any current hostile effects to be hit by it. What could be quite funny is you get up close to the pack, use Spirit Tornado then Thunderous Rapport. Assuming you kill something, which you should, you will basically be able to keep the entire pack cowering as you pick them off. :) Sadly it won't extend prone, as for some reason it doesn't apply an effect. Many bosses can actually be proned, the issue is breaking through their high concentration stacks (Scordeo's Edge and Rust's Poignard are great for this). Maybe the DD mod changes this though, I don't know.



#4
Boeroer

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However, with Espirs you trigger Ghost Blades on every kill. Imagine Amplified Wave triggering Ghost Blades killing an enemy triggering Ghost Blades and so on...

And since holding a two handed weapon doesn't slow down your casting...

Edited by Boeroer, 11 August 2018 - 02:44 AM.


#5
1TTFFSSE

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I think you could improve damage output while ascended even more if you switch to the Espirs Estoc or Oathbreaker's End. Because the AoE dmg on kill gets triggered by spells as well and gets all bonuses from the weapon and weapon skills.
May not be intended, but still.

By the way: Blood Thirst's 0 recovery "option" stays for 10 sec. That means your next attack that will have 0 recovery must be within 10 seconds. Then the effect ends. Blood Thirst does not give you 0 recovery for 10 seconds straight for all attacks that you might be able to squeeze in (that was the case when I tested it somwhere prior to 2.0). This is usually no big drawback because with every cast there's someone dying, triggering it again.

Glad to know that is why I always opt to take extra weapon slots somehow,,,either talent, cloak or fleshmender. Thunderous Report really nice, Frostfall really nice and it looks like a egoliero is really nice. 

 

If that is the case with egoliero and the Oathbreakers end, on a pure melee witch I would not go soul blade anymore either go ascendant. Spamming amplified wave in between hits whenever you have focus is probably better than soul annihilation. 



#6
1TTFFSSE

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If you take Spirit Tornado instead of Blood Storm (understandable considering both abilities are great and Tornado looks for well rounded and useful to be honest-it's hard to pick) I would take Puppetmaster instead of Secret horrors as a level 3 cipher spell than as Secret horrors and Spirit Tornado effects kind of overlap and you would have a strong "charm" at your disposal. The funny thing is that all these abilities on the two classes are thematically very consistent and most "siren/Banshee" type enemies you encounter do just that - terrify in aoe, silent scream stun/damage and also dominate as a reserve if they have to. The only thing missing is "abduct" which would be a fun ability to have. 

 

And then there is always the question of Uncanny luck or Two-weapon style vs Mental Binding. In Deadfire cc as I said is no big deal as bosses are immune except for prone which is inconsistent on bosses because of the concentration, so you are better off improving damage output efficiency rather than cc but otherwise mental bindings is a nice choice because you get more hits to crits on paralyzed enemies. 


Edited by 1TTFFSSE, 11 August 2018 - 08:52 AM.


#7
Haplok

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Its a nice build... but for me there is one problem. It reaches its true potential at level 19 with Blood Thirst. Prior to this I'm pretty sure that playing a pure Ascendant, Mindstalker, Scout and probably even Transcendant is more powerful - and probably more fun too. In case of Transcendant, more satisfying at least (due to long durations and poweful, might boosted effects).

 

For me an important aspect is not only power at cap, but when the build feels more-or-less complete - or at least efficient. I like some skills and combinations in theory, like Fighter's Clear Out, but avoid them in practice, as with PL VI, the game is already nearing the end.

This blooms even later. While Streetfighter/Ascendant owns from the get-go, Ascendant is always almost 2 PL ahead with powers (and gets strong speed boosts too) and Scout should feel almost-complete/efficient at level 13 with Driving Flight.


Edited by Haplok, 11 August 2018 - 01:46 PM.

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dunehunter

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Every boss in this game can be chain knocked down tho.

#9
mosspit

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By the way: Blood Thirst's 0 recovery "option" stays for 10 sec. That means your next attack that will have 0 recovery must be within 10 seconds. Then the effect ends. Blood Thirst does not give you 0 recovery for 10 seconds straight for all attacks that you might be able to squeeze in (that was the case when I tested it somwhere prior to 2.0). This is usually no big drawback because with every cast there's someone dying, triggering it again.


So that's what the 10secs meant...

#10
Boeroer

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Its a nice build... but for me there is one problem. It reaches its true potential at level 19 with Blood Thirst. Prior to this I'm pretty sure that playing a pure Ascendant, Mindstalker, Scout and probably even Transcendant is more powerful - and probably more fun too. In case of Transcendant, more satisfying at least (due to long durations and poweful, might boosted effects).

 

For me an important aspect is not only power at cap, but when the build feels more-or-less complete - or at least efficient. I like some skills and combinations in theory, like Fighter's Clear Out, but avoid them in practice, as with PL VI, the game is already nearing the end.

This blooms even later. While Streetfighter/Ascendant owns from the get-go, Ascendant is always almost 2 PL ahead with powers (and gets strong speed boosts too) and Scout should feel almost-complete/efficient at level 13 with Driving Flight.

It reaches it's peak with Blood Thirst, yes - but alreay Frenzy and Bloodlust (which come pretty early) improve the casting times a lot. The "problem" with Streetfighter is that it lowers your recovery a lot but does nothing for the actual casting time. At the same time Frenzy + Bloodlust do lower casting times AND recovery times.

 

Since most damaging spells you want to span have a rather long casting time...

 

Streetfighter is awesomest for everything that has shortish action time and longish recovery (e.g. each weapon attack but also Mind Blades. Mind Lance etc.), but I find Barbarian better for casters who want to use spells with 3+ seconds casting time. Add Blood Thirst at lvl 19 as bonus and it's truly awesome of course.



#11
Haplok

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Well on a cipher the first long cast damage spells I'd want to use are Amplified Wave and Disintegrate. Level 16 on multiclass,so also too late to really matter for me (pure Ascendant already has Time Parasite I think). Earlier pretty much all worthwhile powers have 0,5 second cast.
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#12
1TTFFSSE

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Well on a cipher the first long cast damage spells I'd want to use are Amplified Wave and Disintegrate. Level 16 on multiclass,so also too late to really matter for me (pure Ascendant already has Time Parasite I think). Earlier pretty much all worthwhile powers have 0,5 second cast.

The best cipher damage spells are 3sec casts as Boeroer pointed out so at high levels witch get better boosts to speed and dps than streetfighter mindstalker. 

 

getting to high levels even in a party is very fast in the game because you can turn in all the major quests in example the first isle digsite investigation, hosango or poko kohara solo. What i mean is that you clear the dungeons with a party but leave them behind and go solo to turn in the quest and get a bonus to xp that way. This works for bounties as well. And in Nekataka you can run around and do all the non-violent quests alone through talking too. Before you fight anything even in a party you can be already level 13/14.

 

Priority is to get Kitchen Stove and upgrade it on any cipher. 



#13
Dr. Hieronymous Alloy

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Interesting that Kitchen Stove outperforms Red Hand so dramatically. I've been cruising along just fine with red hand / quarterstaff but yeah it's definitely not "optimized."

#14
thundercleese

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I may be wrong, but I believe that Kitchen Stove is mainly/only for the Thunderous Rapport opener.



#15
1TTFFSSE

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I may be wrong, but I believe that Kitchen Stove is mainly/only for the Thunderous Rapport opener.

Yeah I would not use Kitchen stove as my attack weapon just something to gain max focus at the start of an encounter quickly. After that I would probably on a cipher/x build switch to something else. Aamina's Legacy bow is a good choice on witch because of the +2 penetration from Frenzy and may be even better than red hand considering you can stack enough accuracy to leave the fast hunting bow modal on. The Essence Interruptor looks cool and will get the job done too.

 

The Issue is that even though you have less full attacks than cipher/rogue, barbaric blow still works better with dual weapons - the extra shot from the red hand does nothing in a full attack. 

 

Scordeo's Trophy + Currents rush are good choices for barbaric blow attacks because both weapons have enchants that up the crit damage. 



#16
1TTFFSSE

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I now changed overall weapon proficiency to two-handed style and attack weapon of choice to Aamina's Legacy (with modal on as long as you have 60%+ to hit chance). In a future patch if the Red Hand does not boost all weapons and abilities even when not equipped that might change but for now the bow outperformed everything else or was basically even with The Red Hand - the reason is for the Red Hand you have to wear Sharpshooter's Garb for it to attack fast enough to keep up with the bow, and if you wear that armor you miss out on Harbinger's Robes which give you 0 recovery overall and +10% to damage on everything. Anyways having played gun users for a while I forgot a bit how good that bow is and tested it anew again. Modal on the Hunting bow can generally be used reliably during lion's sprint (+15 accuracy) or better yet borrowed instinct (+20 accuracy) which lasts a good 30+sec. 

 

For aesthetics, the Essence Interrupter is a more witchy weapon though and will get the job done although enchanted Aamina's Legacy is probably 10-15% better in the damage it can put out. 



#17
Clerith

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A cool and thematic build, but... you just take drugs for confusion? I suppose that's best for optimal play, even if annoying.



#18
1TTFFSSE

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A cool and thematic build, but... you just take drugs for confusion? I suppose that's best for optimal play, even if annoying.

Thank you for your interest.

 

You are correct svef is the easiest way to get around confusion on this build and you can also set ai on a priest in the party to cast suppress affliction on someone confused.

That being said before you get Frostfall you can wield Modwyr in one of your weapon slots and switch to it after hitting Frenzy and it will also cleanse confusion. You don't actually have to use modwyr (that is why I recommend it in the slot with Kitchen Stove instead of Frostfall) just have it equipped or switch to it when you go into Frenzy at the start of the fight and it will clear it.

 

Another option is the Devil of C armor+a pet that reduces armor recovery but I think that may look funny for rp reasons.

 

And finally, there is food like captain's banquet that blocks confusion all together and is not a bad food of choice for a spellcaster either-and something that towards that is easier to craft once you have access to Dunnage and Sayuka (ingredients can be found at vendors there). I would say at the early stages of the game confusion is not a problem until you get stuff like Kitchen Stove and have enough focus to use silent stream and later spells but there will come a point where aoe spell damage will disrupt/cleave friendly party members too much. 



#19
Clerith

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Captain's Banquet is definitely amazing, for the other bonuses too, and should be used for any tough fight, but it's expensive and limited. Drugs for regular fights. I just find that playstyle annoying (using consumables in general - I've beaten the game on PotD without using a single consumable, just because). But that's my personal problem.

 

Modwyr offhand is probably the second best option, just as a anti-confusion stat stick? Caroc armor gives up speed and damage, and priest has other things to do or will run out of casts in a long fight.


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#20
1TTFFSSE

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Added a video fight demonstration in the original post with the full Ai setting to make it clear how to optimize the damage output. cheers happy gaming!







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