So, I wanted to describe the type of character I plan to play for my pro-Vallian or pro-Rauatai playthrough, then share the ideas I've had for classes thus far and get your feedback on them. I'm asking this here because I've tried asking this in the build subforum, and only really gotten responses from a "What's best optimized from a game design perspective" response.
"To describe the character as he appears elsewhere, he's an intelligence and counter-terrorist agent who's dedicated to gathering information on, undermining, and assassinating key threats to his nation's security; whether that be a kingdom or a country in the modern age. That said, he's not completely dispassionate - in fact, he's quite charming when you're not on his bad side. He has an interest in ancient history and modern day science and research.
In one canon, he's a Mesmer - that is, a spellcaster that uses illusion magic to disorient and devastate his foes and he follows that setting's goddess of illusions (Like Wael, but with less tentacles and mouths and eyes). While illusion magic isn't prevalent in every universe where i play him, he tends to be pretty slippery in combat, favoring the indirect approach which leaves him with the largest number of escape options open, rather than charging in blindly. He's competent, across mediums, with swords (Hand-and-a-half swords), rapiers, and various types of firearms and prefers lighter armor."
So, I'm looking for a character that has some proficiency in manipulating others, either through illusion magic or straight up destroying their minds and souls through Cipher magic. I've considered the following options, in no particular order.
1. Transcendent (Ascendant/Nalpazca): Kind of an inward and outward approach to soul manipulation. Ciphers focus on manipulating the souls of their enemies and allies, while Monks use mortification through pain or, in this guy's case, getting really really high to strengthen their own souls. There's a natural synergy there from a roleplay perspective. If I did this, I would probably see about modding Turning Wheel to do 3% lash damage per wound, as 20% at 10 wounds seems really rather low.
2. Zealot (Priest of Wael/Streetfighter): I got the idea in my head from a build on the forums - basically, it provides powerful Illusion spells to complement the Streetfighter Rogue's need to be in dangerous situations. I think it could be a bit of fun, but I'm really not a fan of the Priest of Wael's Domain spells. I'd like to see more offensive Illusion spells in general, perhaps projectile versions of Wall of Many Colors if possible.
3. Inquisitor/Arcane Knight/Psyblade/Holy Slayer: I put these all here because I have similar problems with each of them. None of the Paladin orders 100% suit the kind of character I'm wanting to play (Clever and Shady), and those that do, well... From a roleplay perspective, they work, but from a balance perspective, their bonuses aren't that good (Darcozzi and, should I enable it, Brotherhood of Five Suns). Psyblade is there because, while it circumvents a lot of the Paladin problems, it's also kind of unsubtle. Plus I just hate the name Psyblade. Like, a lot. Like, even Mindstalker and Holy Slayer sound better than Psyblade.
4. Harbinger: Saw a build like this on the forums a while back - basically using a Trickster Rogue with a Skald.
Curious as to your thoughts on all of these. Of the ones listed, I'm most leaning toward a Transcendent.