When back in 2017 I heard of multiclassing in the then upcoming PoE2, I wanted to combine my two favorite classes in the game: Cipher and Paladin.
I thought the synergy between the two would be monstrous: Faith and Conviction and the defensive arsenal of the Paladin would make a squishy Cipher more than capable to dish out all the damage possible without dying. At the same time, Cipher has renewable resources, so, yay, great for solo. You never wanna run out of fire.
In my first playthrough, I didn't go solo, and because of the tooltip warning against multiclass, I opted for pure Cipher.
By the time I did multiple playthroughs to know the game better, Paladin got nerfed to death:
- increased cost to Greater Lay on Hands
- 100% to 25% Virtous Triumph proc chance
- FoD nerfs left and right
In light of these changes, I deemed any Paladin tank build inferior to any Fighter multiclass, having Unbending become better compared to GLoH, and not having "infinite resources" by killing enemies anymore. Boy, was I wrong.
Cipher, that to many is considered one of the most boring and underpowered classes - and the rationale behind their opinion escapes me, having this class access to all types of affliction and a whopping 300+ raw damage nuke - got nerfed, most notably with:
- Body Attunement from -4/+4 to -2/+2 armor
- Borrowed Instinct (literally single best spell in the game) from 30s base duration to 20s.
- Time Parasite from -50% to -25% (note: this is one of the few way that allowed to achieve ~0s recovery at lvl 20)
I recently decided to prove myself wrong, and tried an Inquisitor. I've always been a great fan of the Ascended, which for many (party, mostly) builds is insanely good, thanks to its ability to get max focus and then spam the best single target nuke in the game on literally everyone. Alas, Ascend got nerfed, too (from 20s to 12s base duration).
What was I left with?
Base class, meh.
Beguiler, definitely not good for non-Rogue multiclass.
And Soulblade. The latter can be surprisingly good when combined with Whispers of the Endless Path, as one can Soul Strike on multiple targets, recover focus at the same time by hitting the secondary ones, thus never actually being starved of focus. The counterattack on top, allows you to keep focus high. I would like to say that this is the best weapon for this build, but what I discovered by going through all the SSS challenges, is that it is not.
The best weapon for a character with all the afflictions, with high defenses but excelling in none of them (compared to Tricksters, Skaen Priest, Wizards) is versatility.
This build will not point out (except for a few slots) a fixed equipment. What we aim to achieve is the best Armor against every encounter. Therefore, we will focus on boosting Armor. Similarly, the other side of the coin is having good Penetration alongside with it. We plan to have a versatile arsenal.
And since we decided that versatility is the name of the game, we will save all the unnecessary ability points from the Paladin tree, and invest them to get the Cipher spells that really matter.
To be continued... https://goo.gl/Eq12FG