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Armorbreaker
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Difficulty: PotD v. 2.01
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Solo: untested
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Class: Devoted(Estoc)/Streetfighter
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Race: Human, Hearth Orlan (party play) or whatever, preferably not Godlike, as there are 2 good helm picks for this
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Background: Old Vailia - Dissident
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Stats:
MIG: 14 (you'll have plenty of other additive damage bonuses; still moderately important, it modifies aoe "spell-like" effects of some weapons and healing done)
CON: 10 (don't really need more, don't really want to risk less)
DEX: 14 (to be reasonably fast even without Streetfighter special active)
PER: 18 (to hit & crit stuff, duh)
INT: 17 (to keep that sweet Unbending + Disciplined Strikes + Refreshing Defence active as long, as possible; you only have so many resources)
RES: 03 (with Unbending you'll survive anyway and kill any threats fast)
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Abilities | Proficiencies
01. Disciplined Barrage + Crippling Strike | Estoc!
02. Knockdown
03. Escape
04. Fighter Stances (usually use Cleaving) + Dirty Fighting
05. Two-Handed Style
06. Confident Aim
07. Disciplined Strikes + Finishing Blow
08. Rapid Recovery
09. Mule Kick (optional: Penetrating Strike which targets Deflection rather then Fortitude and provides even more Penetration)
10. Vigorous Defense + Persistent Distraction
11. Charge
12. Determination
13. Unbending + Deep Wounds
14. Devastating Blow 

15. Armored Grace

16. Clear Out + Adept Evasion
17. Refreshing Defense

18. Slippery Mind (note it can disable some Streetfighter special trigger methods!)
19. Unbending Shield (optional Trunk) + Deathblows
20. Weapon Specialization (optional: Fearless or another defensive ability) or the recently buffed (but still expensive) Power Strike

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Items (!=important, r=recommended)
Weapon Set 1: Estoc: BotEP -> Eager Blade (!) ->Engoliero de Espirs (!)
Weapon Set 2: Some blunt(s) for skellies

 

Alternative: Devoted to Battleaxes with Amra Axe. The playstyle is similar, it's an "in your face" aggressive melee that melts enemies around. It's a really good weapon. You'll face Penetration issues much more often though (2 lower Pen, no bonus Pen modal), so no longer an "Armorbreaker".  Or you can go with generic Fighter and switch between estocs and axes, depending on enemy, but you'll loose Devoted 2 Pen (you'll have trouble penetrating some high armor enemies, but probably can manage with foods), 25% Crit bonus (Swashbuckler crits often) and frequent 30% Overpenetration on estoc crits.

Head: Helm of the Falcon (speed) ® / later Heaven's Cacophony - for Avenging Storm 1/rest, which has good synergy with Clear Out ®
Back: Giftbearer's Cloak with high History skill or Nemnok's Cloak for "On the Edge" playstyle or simply Greater Cloak of Protection
Neck: Precognition or Claim and Refusal
Armor: Devil of Caroc Breastplate (class resources! + good protection and speed) ®
Waist: Gwyn’s Bridal Garter, optionally Undying Burden for more survivability or Upright Captain's Belt if you like to use Pull of Eora (the more interesting picks, like Nature's Embrace and Ngati's Girdle have sadly been nerfed to the ground)
Hands: Gauntlets of Discipline ®, alternatively Woedica's Strangling Grasp or Boltcatchers, 
Rings: Entonia's Signet Ring ® + Ring of Greater Regeneration or Chameleon's Touch 
Boots: Boots of Stone, alternatively Rakhan Field for another active aoe ability 
Pet: Abraham (speed and heal) ®

 

It'd be good to play with a history where Devil of Caroc from PoE1 spares Harmke/dies. Her Breastplate then becomes available in Marihi's Shop in Neketaka and offers good protection, speed and additional class resources for ability spam (very valuable).

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The build was created as a part of my journey to design a melee build that will:

1. Deal respectable aoe damage,

2. Deal high melee damage,

3. Use two-handers (my preferred weapon type since, well, always),

4. Work well throughout the game, not just at cap,

5. Be survivable and efficient even without much party support. It's probably solo-capable, but I don't test it for this criteria.

 

I've tested various adventurer builds, mainly with berserker, at my own criteria: level 13 against tough Xaurip encounter on the Nekataka island with party present, but acting mainly as distraction, control over that char only, almost no AI scripts. Wasn't too happy with the results. Finally a Swashbuckler - Estoc Devoted with Eager Blade / Streetfighter aced the test.

 

Why Estoc Devoted?

An Estoc in the hands of a Devoted has high Penetration (10 base, goes up to 14 at Legendary quality), you get +2 Devoted Pen bonus and with a Fighter multiclass you can freely use the modal, which gives additional +2 Pen at the cost of some Deflection. With a Fighter you can soon outheal most damage (just not at the start), so tanking Resolve and Deflection is a non-issue. You end up overpenetrating a lot of the time for +30% damage (particularly that your bread & butter rogue move - Crippling Strike, also provides +2 Pen and crits multiply Pen by x1,5). And generally there are very few enemies who you have trouble penetrating.

Advanced/elite skeletons are one such group, as they are immune to piercing damage. Well, eat that 10 Accuracy penalty and switch to another weapon for them. You'll still do more then respectable damage.

 

Also there are very cool Estocs in this game, with some of the best available very early - and Eager Blade and Engoliero de Espirs effects greatly support the aoe damage playstyle I was aiming for.

-> Blade of the Endless Paths depends on imported/set history from PoE1 and can be reforged as soon as you reach the main city for cheap. BotEP is Exceptional has nice speed, Accuracy and Critical damage bonuses. Might be best for single targets.

-> Eager Blade can be bought from pirates in Dunnage - which can happen even before visiting the main city, if you know your way around. 

And it's even better. It's Superb, provides a random bonus at start of combat (+8 Deflection, +1 Armor or +10% damage) and stacking Accuracy and Speed bonuses on Crit. More importantly it's upgrade has 10% chance to negate recovery on hit (so basically double-attack) and, last but not least, attacking Near Death targets causes an attack aoe in frontal cone (which is not very small, with good Int I've seen it affect 3rd enemy row).

Together with Cleaving Stance, this can lead to a cascade of kills and obviously works well with the likes of Avenging Storm.

 

-> Then there's the Legendary Engoliero de Espirs. Not sure it's significantly better then the earlier pair. The Accuracy and Recovery bonuses on them are pretty sweet, but the quests and lore behind Engoliero are top notch and badass factor is trough the roof. Plus after you down an enemy, you get +2/+3 Might, Con & Dex (rather then -2/-3 before first kill, so not too good vs single opponents) and the Dex part kinda partially compensates for lack of other speed bonuses. The Ghost Blade procs (modified by the various damage variables) are very sweet vs large mobs due to the fairly large cone (but will nicely soften up even moderetely tough enemies). The raw lash is also very nice and makes Engoliero pull ahead in terms of damage done.

 

Streetfighter likes to live dangerously. He's a fair bit slower then other rogues in his idle state, but when flanked by enemies or Blooded (below 50% Health), he becomes a meatgrinder. Blazing speed and additional +50% sneak attack damage vs vulnerable targets (on top of regular 30-60% of other Rogues and potential +50% from Deathblows). When both of the above criteria are met and when his Accuracy allows him to achieve a decent crit rate, things just explode (additional +100% crit damage on top of all the earlier bonuses). Of course this means he likes to engage multiple enemies, get hit and possibly stay damaged and Fighter abilities are just the perfect fit for that. In my opinion, Streetfighter with Heating Up or On the Edge abilities active is the best class to use two-handers and not feel slow and/or inferior to dual weapons.

 

Some playstyle for tips for early party play:

Recovery (+ later Rapid upgrade) you get from the get go is a nice healing stream, but often not enough to keep you alive, particularly on the first island, particularly when surrounded by enemies. If you have a Priest (you can recruit one in the first town you reach), at Power Level III he/she learns Consecrated Ground, which will temporarily help when you stay in the effect circle. Once he/she reaches Power Level IV, can cast "Triumph of the Crusaders", which heals for a LOT when you down an enemy - that should make you much more survivable already. New Power Levels are reached much earlier by pure classes btw. - level 7 for PL IV). Otherwise if you have a Druid, he can provide plenty of healing also.

You still have to be careful for some time, but can afford a more daring playstyle. At your Power Level V (so multiclass character level 13) comes the bomb: Unbending, which makes you nearly unkillable for its duration. Just watch out for enemies casting Arcane Dampeners.

 

Your signature Rogue moves are the trusty Crippling Strike, Finishing Blow for Blooded targets (up to +200% damage, eventually upgraded to Devastating for up to +300%), Escape for battlefield mobility, Persistent Distraction to make everyone you engage Sneak attack vulnerable. Dirty Fighting for extra crit rate.

Later you'll pick Deep Wounds and finally Deathblows. Adept Evasion for defence.

On the Fighter side you'll use Knockdown to interrupt nasty enemy skills, later upgraded to Mule Kick. Later Charge for cool mobility multihit and finally Clear Out to make mobs your bitches. The last 2 would work very well with Heaven's Cacophony Avenging Storm. Fighter Stances -> Cleaving Stance for extra attacks on kill. Disciplined Barrage-> Strikes should be always active. On the defensive side you'll want Rapid Recovery, Vigorous Defence (+Refreshing upgrade), Determination and, most importantly, Unbending. Also Armored Grace will be nice.

 

With Fighter's Refreshing Defense (bonus to all defenses) and Determination (bonus to Intellect, Perception and Constitution affliction defense), Rogue Adept Evasion (negate Reflex Grazes - and we have high Reflex) and Slippery Mind (immune to Perception, Intellect and Resolve afflictions when Blooded - as a Streetfighter we like to be Blooded), as well as equipment: Gwyn's Bridal Garter (Dex affliction Resistance) and Boots of Stone (Might affliction Resistance), you will be well protected against most debilitating effects.

Fighter's Disciplined Strikes, Vigorous Defense and later on Unbending Shield provide Concentration to ensure that nothing can stop you from demolishing your targets.

 

 

Any comments are appreciated.

 

Edit: Updated 02.09.18 to re-arrange some abilities and add info about Engoliero de Espirs.

Edited by Haplok
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Waist: Gwyn’s Bridal Garter

 

I always wonder about this in your builds. 

 

Otherwise? Looks like a well written, very solid build. If you have a party, I'd perhaps argue against picking Knockdown and Mule Kick, since someone else could do the interrupting, and it's not like wizards can survive against you in melee for long. You can almost perma juggle some tough enemies, however. It's a personal choice, I've never like it on straight fighters, though love it with Spirit Lance, but well, aoe.

 

For Fighter/Rogue I also pick Crippling Strikes and Escape and never upgrade them. Escape is simple, since the upgrades make it cost way too much Guile and you don't need the stealth, but Crippling Strikes is often upgraded. However, if you just wait a few levels, you can get the distraction from a passive, and the bleed of the other upgrade is weak, and does nothing if the enemy's not moving, and since you can only attack in melee range... yeah, it feels useless. So why not just save the point for something good.

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In my builds? That's the  first one I have officially published  ;)

 

Gwyn's belt is nice, since being paralyzed is no fun and being immobilized or hobbled is annoying on a melee. You can Escape, but then you're waisting resources you could be using to Crippling Strike. This build has high Reflex and Adept Evasion, but some effects are applied as Fortitude checks. And even with Reflex added safeguard in case of bad rolls is nice.

 

Reasonable point about Mule Kick. But apart from almost guaranteed Interrupt, I also sometimes like to use it as a cheap damage booster. It's +25%, so same as Crippling Strike. No added Pen, but +10 Accuracy, which is sometimes even better (and means more crits).

Regarding Crippling Strike, as you may have noticed, I did not pick the upgrade ;)

 

Anyway, thank you very much for your comments.

Edited by Haplok

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Espirs is one of the best weapons in the game for me: it's Ghost Blades proc on kill - and it doesn't matter how you kill the enemy - DoT, AoE, whatever. You don't need to kill with the Blade but can also do it with a spell - as long as you are holding the blade. That also means that the Ghost Blades will proc more Ghost Blades if they kill something.

And it also heals on kill. The more enemies around the more healing.

A stat bonus (Ravenous Soul Hunger) of +3 to certain stats on kill can be achieved easily by a Devoted/Streetfighter who can usually kill his first enemy very quickly. It stays until combat ends.

 

That weapon is very nice for melee/caster chars, but I guess a Devoted/Streetfighter also works very well. Since the Ghost Blades have a cone-shape it's best to attack from the flanks (like a Monk with Torment's or a Chanter with cone invocations) and not get surrounded. Else it's difficult to hit additional enemies with them.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Hmhm, I must have been confused, I recognized your name and seen the belt on a few builds. My bad.

 

I tend to get Penetrating Strikes, then you have cheap 1 resource spam attack from both Rogue and Fighter sides. But with the build's high penetration, perhaps getting Mule Kick over Penetrating Strikes is better... I think slightly better of the idea now.

 

I did notice that you didn't upgrade Crippling Strikes. I was expressing my approval of the idea, and how its upgrades are kinda bad. My apologies if I was unclear.

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Penetrating Strike is a decent option, thank you. Could be good vs some Steel Golems I suppose. I will note this option. If this was a dual-wielder, I'd be mandatory :)

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This is a very solid melee combo - very good dps and survivability.

 

Yeah and Espirs is great but too bad you get it basically right before you finish the game. 

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Yes, that's a pity. I mean you can rush the main quest get the thing and then do all the side content - but that feels a bit awkward.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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In my initial tests Eager Blade was very good also. I'm really fond of the aoe attack it does when striking a Near Death target. I'm not sure Espirs will actually be better. Definately cooler though :)

Edited by Haplok

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For a pure melee single target character they may be equally good.


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The enemy armor in PotD made me love devoted estoc builds. Truth on that devoted weapon type switch on pierce immunes. Just eat the accuracy hit, it's not the end of Eora.

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Filthy Chanter Main  :dragon:   :skull:  :skull:  :skull:  -_-

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Or pick a Morning Star and use Mule Kick all the time. The dual damage, the +2 PEN, Disciplined Strikes and the -25 fort often lead to lots of crits which solve most PEN issues. And Mule Kick is so cheap. With Devil of Caroc Breastplate and Bracers of Discipline I can kick like a mule forever it seems.

 

Seriously: for me they are the stars of two handed weapons - even if there are no jawdropping uniques. Pun intended. Also because there are so many enemies with stellar fortitude that prevents so many awesome spells/abilities to land. :(

 

I like Devoted/Monk or Devoted/Berserker best because of the additional PEN and the attacks that target fortitude (Force of Anguish, Brute Force etc.).

 

Estoc has better uniques and you don't need to think about PEN again - which is also nice. ;)

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Or pick a Morning Star and use Mule Kick all the time. The dual damage, the +2 PEN, Disciplined Strikes and the -25 fort often lead to lots of crits which solve most PEN issues. And Mule Kick is so cheap. With Devil of Caroc Breastplate and Bracers of Discipline I can kick like a mule forever it seems.

 

Seriously: for me they are the stars of two handed weapons - even if there are no jawdropping uniques. Pun intended. Also because there are so many enemies with stellar fortitude that prevents so many awesome spells/abilities to land. :(

 

I like Devoted/Monk or Devoted/Berserker best because of the additional PEN and the attacks that target fortitude (Force of Anguish, Brute Force etc.).

 

Estoc has better uniques and you don't need to think about PEN again - which is also nice. ;)

 

LOL, that's a good candidate for a "Roll Safe" meme where, "You don't need to worry about PEN if you can crit all the time."

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Filthy Chanter Main  :dragon:   :skull:  :skull:  :skull:  -_-

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Yeah, I like Morningstars. Always switch to them against skellies ;)

But as you wrote, the Estoc uniques are way cooler. If I were making a build for morningstars, I'd probably feel obliged to include Barbarian there for Brute Force. Although Monk with his primary attacks against Fort and Enervating Blows would be nice as well, I suppose.

 

I have the problem that I feel obliged to include a rogue subclass (who am I kidding, a Streetfighter, alternatively Trickster for more tankyness) in every martial build. Otherwise I feel the damage output is lacking. The combo of high passive Sneak bonuses (with potentially powerful boosts) and awesome active abilities, like cheap Crippling Strike with extra damage and penetration, Devastating Strike with huge damage bonus and extra Accuracy, Deep Wounds for added DoT and eventually Toxic Strike for a situational deadly DoT is just hard to beat. IMO default Rogue is already strong. And Streetfighter bonus just puts the kit into overdrive - and right from level 1.

Edited by Haplok

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Dunno. I tried Brute with devoted to estocs or 2h swords. It was fine until i didn't try same with duals. Mob stance under frenzy with duals is completely different speed of killing everything around you compared to 2h WoEP, for example.

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Duals are good, no doubt.

However I don't think there are any melee one hand weapons that deal aoe damage? Apart from some elemental blasts on crit, like what can be enchanted on the Acolyte's Frostbite Axe, Magran's Favor and probably some more. Eager Blade does an aoe attack every time you strike a Near Death enemy. Engoliero the Espirs casts aoe Ghost Blades everytime you score a kill. Also the damage base is higher on two-handers and, particularly Estocs with the modal and other bonuses (like Devoted), those weapons are significantly more likely to Overpenetrate resulting in additional +30% damage. Then you add +15% damage from the Two-handed style... and those weapon styles are not that far apart. Trigger Streetfighter speed or stack other speed boosts and two-handed weapons will be better then duals for auto-attacking. Full-attack ability spam is a different story, but with an optimized build those are still not too far apart IMO (and you loose additional aoe potential). IMO only thing duals always have going for them is the double status affliction/effect trigger chance.

Note that some good Fighter moves (Mule Kick, Clear Out) are Primary only, so they work well with 2handed weapons.

Edited by Haplok

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Yes. This is all theory. But in practice duals still kill faster. While you swing you 2h, your comrade already hit and killed target, then proced mob stance with bloodlust and carnage on top ready to finish rest of enemies.

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Theory? I've tested the build. Not extensively and under my own criteria, mind you. But I did.

 

Speaking of which, Mob Stance OR Bloodlust with Carnage? The build I described was a Swashbuckler. Or do you mean a Brute? If so, I can guarantee a Brute will NOT kill faster then most Rogue multiclasses prior to level 19.

 

P.S. How did the WotEP appear in this discussion? For such a melee in-your-face build I consider it a novelty side arm to MAYBE apply Toxic Strike to a group once in a Blue Moon, but that's it. Here I didn't even forge it, as the build is focused on ESTOCS, so I have picked Blade of the Endless Paths instead.

Edited by Haplok

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Theory? I've tested the build. Not extensively and under my own criteria, mind you. But I did.

 

Speaking of which, Mob Stance OR Bloodlust with Carnage? The build I described was a Swashbuckler. Or do you mean a Brute? If so, I can guarantee a Brute will NOT kill faster then most Rogue multiclasses prior to level 19.

 

P.S. How did the WotEP appear in this discussion? For such a melee in-your-face build I consider it a novelty side arm to MAYBE apply Toxic Strike to a group once in a Blue Moon, but that's it. Here I didn't even forge it, as the build is focused on ESTOCS, so I have picked Blade of the Endless Paths instead.

 

My bad. Wanted to share my 2h experience, but got carried away :(

I just played to level 16 with brute and 2h. Consoled devoted to have 2h swords and estocs to test things out. And everything was good until level 12 or so. Then i started to see that i am behind on tempo. Switched to dual and it was completely different story.

Now checking berseker streetfighter. "Higher dmg" number are way higher, but i do much less explosions, because of less crit chance + lack of mob stance, which led to chain killing spree.

Edited by Sifjar

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Going devoted on a peirce only weapon and playing potd?

 

Um......yeah not to sure about that one. Its the most resisted weapon type.

 

Each for there own but i wouldnt do it. Warhamers are good for devoted

 

Warhammer prof gives +2 pen plus u get crush and pierce

Edited by Teclis23

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Going devoted on a peirce only weapon and playing potd?

 

Um......yeah not to sure about that one. Its the most resisted weapon type.

 

Each for there own but i wouldnt do it. Warhamers are good for devoted

 

Warhammer prof gives +2 pen plus u get crush and pierce

While I agree that it's a better idea to go devoted with a dual dmg type weapon as far as I know only skellies and bog lurkers are immune to pierce and then u can either use monastic unarmed training or roll with the acc malus vs those particular enemies it's no biggie. Devoted with estoc get so much pen that even high pierce resist enemies can be dealt with, as with the 17 pen spear from kraken area

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Estoc modal also provides +2 PEN (at -15 Deflection, which Fighters can freely tank). I never turn it off. Devoted another +2. And Estoc has the highest Penetration rating available. Base 10, 14 at Legendary. With the above bonuses at Legendary that's 18 before Crits (+50% PEN) and Crippling Strike (+2 PEN). You can also pick Penetrating Strike (+4 PEN), but it's not necessary IMO. I prefer the Mule Kick Interrupt and Accuracy bonus.

I don't know what is the highest pierce Armor Rating on an enemy. Steel Golems have 18 on PotD, so with legendary gear you penetrate their armors just using passives. Don't know if something is higher. If you play in a party, you can have your Priest buff you with Tenacious for another +2 PEN (so 20 before active abilities and Crits) in case you meet such extreme AR monsters. So far I have no issues penetrating enemies casting Woodskin or Stoneskin either.

 

I think the only issue is enemies who are outright Immune to Pierce damage. Advanced/Elite skeletons come to mind, maybe some Blights. Not sure if there's something else? Edit: So, Bog Lurkers. Thank you, Dorftek.

As I wrote above just switch to a blunt for those enemies - a morningstar or quarterstaff will work nicely. You'll eat the -10 Accuracy penalty, but it's not the end of the world - and it's not like you'll meet those enemies often.

Edited by Haplok

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In the unlikely chance that you run into an enemy with higher than 18 pierce armor,  you could also carry along some hot razor skewers to get you up to 20 PEN even before your active abilities.

 

And yeah, for pierce-immune, switching weapons for a -10 ACC penalty isn't that bad. My devoted builds switch weapons all the time and I've never noticed it being a problem.

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Going devoted on a peirce only weapon and playing potd?

 

Um......yeah not to sure about that one. Its the most resisted weapon type.

 

Each for there own but i wouldnt do it. Warhamers are good for devoted

 

Warhammer prof gives +2 pen plus u get crush and pierce

War hammer's Piercing Blows gives you +2 PEN which in the best case means +50% damage while it gives you a +50% recovery penalty. Due to double inversion it's actually more than 50% if you have any speed bonuses. This leads to a situation where even against high armored foes it doesn't matter if you switch the modal on or not. Exception: Full Attacks. With those the modal is bearable - especially if you are using a war hammer in the main hand and something else in the offhand.

 

The dual damage type and the base PEN of 8 are nice though.

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Estoc modal also provides +2 PEN (at -15 Deflection, which Fighters can freely tank). I never turn it off. Devoted another +2. And Estoc has the highest Penetration rating available. Base 10, 14 at Legendary. With the above bonuses at Legendary that's 18 before Crits (+50% PEN) and Crippling Strike (+2 PEN). You can also pick Penetrating Strike (+4 PEN), but it's not necessary IMO. I prefer the Mule Kick Interrupt and Accuracy bonus.

I don't know what is the highest pierce Armor Rating on an enemy. Steel Golems have 18 on PotD, so with legendary gear you penetrate their armors just using passives. Don't know if something is higher. If you play in a party, you can have your Priest buff you with Tenacious for another +2 PEN (so 20 before active abilities and Crits) in case you meet such extreme AR monsters. So far I have no issues penetrating enemies casting Woodskin or Stoneskin either.

 

I think the only issue is enemies who are outright Immune to Pierce damage. Advanced/Elite skeletons come to mind, maybe some Blights. Not sure if there's something else? Edit: So, Bog Lurkers. Thank you, Dorftek.

As I wrote above just switch to a blunt for those enemies - a morningstar or quarterstaff will work nicely. You'll eat the -10 Accuracy penalty, but it's not the end of the world - and it's not like you'll meet those enemies often.

Agree, only one thing tho, Pen modals don't stack with Tenacious or Potion of piercing strikes or any other active pen increase. But food works

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