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[CLASS BUILD] Rygmrand's "Artist" (Soublade/Chanter)

Soul Blade Chanter Troubadour Beckoner Skald Cipher Grave Calling Soul Annihilation POTD Solo

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#1
Metaturtle

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Rygmrand's "Artist"
 
Class: Spiritualist ( Soulblade/Chanter )
Difficulty: PotD+ 
Version: 2.1
Solo: Hel Yes
 
 
DESCRIPTION:
A powerful build that snowballs early into a biawac of destruction and test the power of your gaming contraption!
Kill your enemies with ice and decay.
If you thought Grave Calling/Hel Beckoning's imp route was neat, you're in for a real big treat.  
Soul annihilating summons all day! 
 
RP: A character I imagined who would rise up to be Rymgrand's top agent.  
 
(EDIT) Patch 2.1 - Soul Annihilation's killing blow now has been fixed, but the skeleton and chillfog synergy is still going strong.  Difference is now you can either dump SA on enemies or spam cipher spells during chillfog bursts kind of like a semi-ascendant that has Soul Annihilation.  I also recommend trying out a Berserker Howler (skeleton nukes) or Harbinger multiclass (deathblow passives) for damage output if you can make do without the cipher utility to increase accuracy or weaken enemy fortitude defenses.
 
There are 2 things that make this build work:
 
1. Soulblade's Soul Annihilation (SA) despite saying "Primary Attack", will trigger any weapon "on kill" effects if the target dies from the raw damage portion of the attack even if the weapon with the effect is equipped on the offhand. Apparently it also ignores the type of creature it is when it is killed, which will fulfill any "on kill" effect that requires a certain monster type (kith, etc). 
CAUTION: I am sure this is unintended so enjoy it while it lasts. D:
 
2. Most abilities that are activated or procced from a weapon will usually calculate damage and special effects using the weapon and any passive abilities the character has.  In the case of the cipher, it will generate focus for them.  There are some exceptions, but it is usually the case.
 
Technically you could use SA's agnostic killing blow on any soulblade multiclass, which would probably make soulblade/rogue into an insane force of destruction on trash, but the chanter multiclass was the safer choice in order to supply your own "easy fuel" for SA kills and to default back to a chanter summon line on harder fights. Using the raw damage hit of the Soulblade's Soul Annihilation, I am able to 1-2 shot my low HP summons and able to proc the on kill effects of Grave Calling and Hel Beckoning regardless if they are a vessel or spirit.  
 
For Grave Calling I have enchanted it to cast chill fog on a vessel kill which will be my skellies. This will result in a free AoE non-hazardous chillfog spell when I kill my summon that blinds and pulses damage to enemies that ALSO contribute to my focus gain, which means I can then use soul annihilation immediately again on an enemy or spam cipher spells.
 
This also stacks my ice lash buff and with the paralyzation on crit enchant, many of the enemies caught in the chillfog spam become blinded and paralyzed as they get torn apart.  The afflictions will still persist even if they are immune to freeze damage.  The even nastier thing is that if a vessel dies from chillfog it will spawn another chillfog because it is still benefiting from Grave Calling's passives.  You will want to cull near-death non-vessels with SA to take advantage of their deaths. 
 
POST 2.1 - While this still can work when fighting spirits, it now requires a bit more micro of what blade does killing blows.  The other styles seem a lot more viable now and even weapon/ranged can work since the build has no full attacks.
In the case for Hel Beckoning, which has procs on a spirit kill and behaves similar to Grave Calling, the two options are a corrode AoE or a corrode imp summon.  Although the AoE option is definitely the higher damage option on normal fights, the single aoe cast can miss since it is after all going against fortitude defense, can be resisted by poison immunes, and it doesn't pulse like chillfog does.  So for this weapon in solo mode I opted to turn it into a imp summoning tool though in a party you can opt for the AoE instead since you won't have to worry about resistances and survivability as much.  The main benefit is to gain ranged cannon fodder separate from the chanter's summons that will also leave usable bodies for "The White Worms AKA Corpse Explosion," which will give a crush damage vs reflex option.  Note: The bodies still have the summoning timer and will disappear when it expires. 
 
 
Also of course, the white worms can be used aggressively to unload even more damage on top of the chillfog deathzone to end encounters even quicker without needing focus to spam amplified wave. Hel Beckoning may not always be your main offhand since there are options like Resounding Hammer that gives a free Might+PEN inspiration when killing your summons.
 
Now the obvious weaknesses of the 2 weapons is that the major damage abilties go against fortitude, chillfog is only freeze damage,  and maintaining an imp army can only go so far with their pitiful corrode damage PEN.  In these specific situations, we can then fallback to the summon meatshield wall of chanters while we pick off targets to gain focus and grind them down via cipher spells or switch to another weapon with another kill effect (although not as strong as Grave Calling but they are "good enough").  We also still have the options from chanter and cipher abilties to lower defenses for the weapon's abilities to land.  Some freeze immunes like rime constructs still are vulnerable to the paralyzing effects of chillfog so even if you do no damage, the enemy is prepped to be killed via other means.
 
POST 2.1 - Auto skellies instead and dump SA on enemies while chillfog taps them for focus.
While the fire lash chant is great for focus gain, the build does not use it because SA gets countered if your summon is benefitting from the fire lash chant for some reason.
 
In this build, I've opted to use 2 chants:
1. Life Leech Chant: Since you will be doing a lot of damage on trash and hitting your weak defense summons, this chant works great as a healing option.  In times of desperation you can back away and "tap" your minions to recover.
2. Skelly Summon Chant: This frees up phrases that would have been used to initiate battles with summons to allow different invocations to be used. Unlike the invocation skellies, the bodies of these skellies can be used for corpse explosion if you are fast enough to trigger it before the body disappears.
 
 
OTHER NOTES:
You do not gain focus from hitting your own summons even with confuse just to be clear with it.  There is also a bit of mental micro of needing to know, which blade is being used when auto-attacking your summons.
 
This build also makes use of the Magran belt.  While the additional burn damage is nice for minor focus gain, the primary reason is to gain a chance to summon a fire elemental whenever you hit, which is a lot when you have several weapon aoes hitting mobs.  The elemental will then serve as easy focus fuel in the midst of tougher or dwindling enemies.
 
There is one really interesting caveat you need watch out for and that is the confused affliction.  With the affliction, your aoe zones will damage you which will result in death if you don't have the defenses to get out or survive it if you happen to be in the thick of it.  For this reason, INT and DEX resistances are recommended to have. It also serves as an amazing mechanic since now you can just summon your skeletons directly into the chillfog and have them blow up into a nuclear chillfog, which is pretty amazing to watch honestly if your computer can handle it.  In a party, have some berserker caster or rogue put a controlled confusion on you for skelly chillfog bombs that would violate the Geneva Convention so hard.  Having said that, a howler (berserker/chanter) can do this all by himself using Grave Calling normally. :o
 
With the SA trick, you could also go double imp enchants for 2 imps for the price of one body.  Keep killing your imps to generate more imps as long as you alternate hitting an enemy in between since hitting your own summons does not generate any focus for you.  Using this trick, even a non-chanter can build up a ton of imps really quick that can fuel other types of mob builds, but chillfog is too good to give up for an imp.
 
SUBCLASSES: 
Each chanter subclass has its perks in the build.
 
Skald - Skeletons and wisps have really low defenses so hitting them will generate phrases really quickly, which then can be spent on discounted offensive invocations.  Unfortunately it does not generate any phrases from chillfog or noxious blast.
 
Troubadour -  Not as bursty as skald's phrase generation, but a lot more consistent than beckoner for rapid phrase generation and helpful when retreating after enemies ripped apart your summons really fast.  A skelly every 3 seconds from the skelly chant is also amazing for lazy summon fuel.
 
Beckoner - The lowered HP of the summons helps for initial kills with SA. Even with the lowered duration of summons, a high INT build is still sufficient to be able to have summons constantly up and there is usually enough time to kill a few. It is however, tighter on resources on tough fights until level 19 where the skelly chant will free up some room to use phrases on non-summoning invocations and a bit difficult to use on lower INT builds.  It also is the strongest nuclear chillfog subclass when using confuse affliction.
 
Ascended - If you prefer autoattacking summons with just Grave Calling, Ascended works just as well, but this guide will be about Soul Blades since ascended builds perform similar to each other once hitting the ascended buff.
 
 
 
RACES: 
Pale Elf - I chose pale elf to be more in line with the lore of being Rymgrand's BFF, but the real benefit of it is that the fire and freeze AR is extremely helpful when finding several summoned fire elementals chasing your character around or a sudden intellect affliction has the character in the middle of a chillfog deathzone.
Wood Elf - Same stats as Pale Elf, but gives a free dexterity resistance.
Human - Can be useful in a party since the accuracy boost and damage boost from being bloodied is easier to maintain and control, but you will have to forgo using the life leech aura.
 
 
CULTURE & BACKGROUND:
The White that Wends for perception since accuracy is the highest priority in the build.  Matches with the whole RP thing too. You're free to choose whatever though.
 
 
ATTRIBUTES:
 
Spoiler
 
 
SKILLS:
Spoiler
 
 
WEAPONS & MODALS:
 
Spoiler
 
 
ABILITIES:  +Good / ?Notable / -Bad
 
Spoiler
 
 
 
EQUIPMENT: +Good / ?Conditional / -Bad
 
 
Spoiler
 

Edited by Metaturtle, 20 September 2018 - 12:03 AM.

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#2
Boeroer

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Oh wow... nice find with the Chillfog etc.

Nerf incoming! ;)

#3
dunehunter

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1. Soulblade's Soul Annihilation (SA) despite saying "Primary Attack", will trigger any weapon "on kill" effects if the target dies from the raw damage portion of the attack even if the weapon with the effect is equipped on the offhand. Apparently it also ignores the type of creature it is when it is killed, which will fulfill any "on kill" effect that requires a certain monster type (kith, etc). 

CAUTION: I am sure this is unintended so enjoy it while it lasts. D:

 

Does this means any raw damage will work, or only SA? Because I'm pretty sure I test with Grave Calling + Hel Beckoning and I killed the boars I summoned with Arterial Strike, both proc on kill effect is not triggered.



#4
mant2si

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Man, you posted Grave Calling build before DLC release, shame on you, I only hoping that Obs skip this topic and don't limit proc rate to 1/per rest ;)

I like mix Grave Calling with Blunderbuss on Streetfighter/Chanter, you proc Blunderbuss modal, Troubadour passive start summon skeletons, you kill your own skeletons and spam Chill Fog, Chill Fog receive ALL Streetfighter bonuses, i.e get 150% DM bonus from rogue and +100% on crit, you cast Life Leech Chant and just stay in Fog and watch how enemies DIE ;D


Edited by mant2si, 10 September 2018 - 01:32 AM.

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#5
Metaturtle

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1. Soulblade's Soul Annihilation (SA) despite saying "Primary Attack", will trigger any weapon "on kill" effects if the target dies from the raw damage portion of the attack even if the weapon with the effect is equipped on the offhand. Apparently it also ignores the type of creature it is when it is killed, which will fulfill any "on kill" effect that requires a certain monster type (kith, etc). 

CAUTION: I am sure this is unintended so enjoy it while it lasts. D:

 

Does this means any raw damage will work, or only SA? Because I'm pretty sure I test with Grave Calling + Hel Beckoning and I killed the boars I summoned with Arterial Strike, both proc on kill effect is not triggered.

 

 

I've tried it with a few other attacks and it seems to only work with SA. I'm guessing it has to do something with how the raw damage is calculated since that is the only part of the attack that seems unique compared to other attacks.


Edited by Metaturtle, 10 September 2018 - 02:18 AM.


#6
Metaturtle

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Man, you posted Grave Calling build before DLC release, shame on you, I only hoping that Obs skip this topic and don't limit proc rate to 1/per rest ;)

I like mix Grave Calling with Blunderbuss on Streetfighter/Chanter, you proc Blunderbuss modal, Troubadour passive start summon skeletons, you kill your own skeletons and spam Chill Fog, Chill Fog receive ALL Streetfighter bonuses, i.e get 150% DM bonus from rogue and +100% on crit, you cast Life Leech Chant and just stay in Fog and watch how enemies DIE ;D

 

Yeah, streetfighter harbinger was one of the first combos I definitely went straight for since rogue passives make any weapon triggered effects so strong.   I just had to share a soul blade spec since the soul annihilation trick is pretty neat to share as well. ;)


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#7
Metaturtle

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So 2.1 has landed and now the task of updating these builds come.  Major change to this build is that Soul Annihilation triggering offhand and any "monster type" killing blow has been fixed and possibly partially bugged in a new way.  The build is still effective with its chillfog farming and now functions where you just dump focus on enemies rather than to constantly gib your summons with SA.  A bit more micro, but it still is strong.


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#8
Boeroer

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Major change to this build is that Soul Annihilation triggering offhand and any "monster type" killing blow has been fixed

 

What does that mean?



#9
Manveru123

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SA kills used to proc on-kill effects from the offhand regardless of monster type.



#10
Metaturtle

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Ya, what Manveru123 said. SA allowed the build to proc both equipped weapons' on-kill effects from a killing blow on any type monster.  I am thinking it shared a similar bug with essence interrupter, which was related to how weird the kill effects could be when abilities resolved themselves. The new "bug"? It now does the opposite and not even proc the on-kill effects with a killing blow complete with a missing string! wooooo


Edited by Metaturtle, 12 September 2018 - 02:37 AM.


#11
Manveru123

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Sounds cool. I'm glad they have (again) thoroughly tested the change before implementing it ^_-



#12
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Ya, what Manveru123 said. SA allowed the build to proc both equipped weapons' on-kill effects from a killing blow on any type monster. I am thinking it shared a similar bug with essence interrupter, which was related to how weird the kill effects could be when abilities resolved themselves. The new "bug"? It now does the opposite and not even proc the on-kill effects with a killing blow complete with a missing string! wooooo


Obsidian should get some kinda award for this stuff. Can you fight the final boss yet?

Edited by Verde, 12 September 2018 - 02:55 AM.


#13
Metaturtle

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Ya, what Manveru123 said. SA allowed the build to proc both equipped weapons' on-kill effects from a killing blow on any type monster. I am thinking it shared a similar bug with essence interrupter, which was related to how weird the kill effects could be when abilities resolved themselves. The new "bug"? It now does the opposite and not even proc the on-kill effects with a killing blow complete with a missing string! wooooo


Obsidian should get some kinda award for this stuff. Can you fight the final boss yet?

 

 

Ukaizo? The boss has like 160+ fort with decent AR so it takes a bit of dancing until you can line up enough accuracy buffs for chillfog to do decent focus farming, but anything is possible with a skeleton wall lol.  I found it way easier just going gravecalling for trash and ecceas for focus gain then just targeting reflex with cipher ectopsychic.


Edited by Metaturtle, 12 September 2018 - 04:20 AM.


#14
Haplok

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That's pretty sweet.

I'm thinking of playing this (or maybe a Mindstalker with a Chanter in the party), but am somewhat worried about penetration issues. On PotD do you think that Penetration is sufficient? I guess you can get Tenacious from the Chanter's buff or from a Priest and you can also use Hel-Hyraf to lower enemy armor (but then you don't use skelly invocation or white worms). Do you find that's sufficient?

 

I tried using upgraded White Worms a few times, but it seemed to do next to nothing. I guess maybe due to Penetration issues.



#15
Verde

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Ya, what Manveru123 said. SA allowed the build to proc both equipped weapons' on-kill effects from a killing blow on any type monster. I am thinking it shared a similar bug with essence interrupter, which was related to how weird the kill effects could be when abilities resolved themselves. The new "bug"? It now does the opposite and not even proc the on-kill effects with a killing blow complete with a missing string! wooooo

Obsidian should get some kinda award for this stuff. Can you fight the final boss yet?

Ukaizo? The boss has like 160+ fort with decent AR so it takes a bit of dancing until you can line up enough accuracy buffs for chillfog to do decent focus farming, but anything is possible with a skeleton wall lol. I found it way easier just going gravecalling for trash and ecceas for focus gain then just targeting reflex with cipher ectopsychic.

I mean I literally can't fight him. He is invisible and talks then there is no fight. I know this was a common issue before not sure if it was fixed.

#16
Haplok

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I loaded up an old save, where I haven't visited Crookspur/enchanted Grave Calling with imps yet, got the sabre and went to the catacombs below temple of Berath to get the tables and maybe (locked) Engoliero. There were lots of weak skellies in the first encounter (with some elite skellies mixed) and... oh boy... that was crazy!

 

Of course Grave Calling's huge Accuracy bonus vs vessels certainly also helped, because there were lots of crits.

 

Like it a lot so far. Might continue playing with that char (a level 11, now 12 Helwalker/Ascendant), although he was supposed to be ranged. But always having more options is nice and he can snipe primary targets/stun enemy groups/spam cipher spells such as secret horrors/mental binding/mind blades/mind lance and now also create deadly, blinding/paralyzing hazard zones.

Helwalker seems also a nice wielder of Grave Calling due to the high might bonus, easy access to Penetration bonuses, long durations, large aoes :)

If the going gets hot, he can mental bind annoying enemies (or the fog might paralyze them). If he's mobbed in melee... I suppose I could try to fit Blade Turning... somewhere... That could be pretty cool, particularly with SoT from Xoti.

 

I will retrain Pallegina to get the skelly invocation and also to try white worms again :)


Edited by Haplok, 17 September 2018 - 10:17 PM.

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#17
Metaturtle

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That's pretty sweet.

I'm thinking of playing this (or maybe a Mindstalker with a Chanter in the party), but am somewhat worried about penetration issues. On PotD do you think that Penetration is sufficient? I guess you can get Tenacious from the Chanter's buff or from a Priest and you can also use Hel-Hyraf to lower enemy armor (but then you don't use skelly invocation or white worms). Do you find that's sufficient?

 

I tried using upgraded White Worms a few times, but it seemed to do next to nothing. I guess maybe due to Penetration issues.

 

I usually use white worms with Sasha's empower and with energize up which should bring me up to around 14-15 PEN, which is decent for a first wave of dead bodies.  With just energize it middles around 13ish PEN, but since it's supplementary damage the phrases are prioritized to summons and buffs first.
 

 

 

 

Ukaizo? The boss has like 160+ fort with decent AR so it takes a bit of dancing until you can line up enough accuracy buffs for chillfog to do decent focus farming, but anything is possible with a skeleton wall lol. I found it way easier just going gravecalling for trash and ecceas for focus gain then just targeting reflex with cipher ectopsychic.

I mean I literally can't fight him. He is invisible and talks then there is no fight. I know this was a common issue before not sure if it was fixed.

 

 

Never had that happened to me before :o
 

 

I loaded up an old save, where I haven't visited Crookspur/enchanted Grave Calling with imps yet, got the sabre and went to the catacombs below temple of Berath to get the tables and maybe (locked) Engoliero. There were lots of weak skellies in the first encounter (with some elite skellies mixed) and... oh boy... that was crazy!

 

Of course Grave Calling's huge Accuracy bonus vs vessels certainly also helped, because there were lots of crits.

 

Like it a lot so far. Might continue playing with that char (a level 11, now 12 Helwalker/Ascendant), although he was supposed to be ranged. But always having more options is nice and he can snipe primary targets/stun enemy groups/spam cipher spells such as secret horrors/mental binding/mind blades/mind lance and now also create deadly, blinding/paralyzing hazard zones.

Helwalker seems also a nice wielder of Grave Calling due to the high might bonus, easy access to Penetration bonuses, long durations, large aoes :)

If the going gets hot, he can mental bind annoying enemies (or the fog might paralyze them). If he's mobbed in melee... I suppose I could try to fit Blade Turning... somewhere... That could be pretty cool, particularly with SoT from Xoti.

 

I will retrain Pallegina to get the skelly invocation and also to try white worms again :)

 

If you have a party, then a lot of great combos can be done as long as you have a chanter or chanters to bring the fuel and  armor debuff.  I personally like the craziness of a berserker since all vessels become fair game in the chillfog and with a few chanters the PEN on super high armored targets isn't so bad when they are perma-paralyzed and being whittled down by like 20-40 chillfogs.  


Edited by Metaturtle, 17 September 2018 - 11:27 PM.

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#18
Faustus2

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What starting perception do you recommend?



#19
Metaturtle

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What starting perception do you recommend?

 

Usually I just max it out since my watcher is usually my cache/trap spotter especially if I am soloing.  More perception is nice just so you have as much of an edge when it comes against high defense enemies when the chillfog rolls around and you don't have your skellies shrugging you off when you miss them.


Edited by Metaturtle, 20 September 2018 - 12:01 AM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Soul Blade, Chanter, Troubadour, Beckoner, Skald, Cipher, Grave Calling, Soul Annihilation, POTD, Solo

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