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Blackhearted Bellower

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War Caller: Chanter [bellower] & Fighter [blackjacket]

 

This is a Turn Based build. The premise of this build is to use the free action weapon switching offered by Blackjacket to rapidly change between passive bonus weapons that boost your invocations or defenses, then flip over to Blightheart to help build phrases when you're not casting.

 

Key:

® = Recommended. Not strictly needed but a fairly strong choice.

(!) = Important. You'll need this to actually achieve what the build sets out to do.


Abilities

PL1

Fighter

Disciplined Barrage ®

Arms Bearer

Chanter

And Hel-Hyraf Crashed Upon The Shield ®

Come, Come, Soft Winds of Death ®

The Thunder Rolled Like Waves On Black Seas ®


Disciplined Barrage is a very nice buff and the other Fighter active is melee range. I always grab Hel-Hyraf because its upgrade, The Shield Cracks, is extremely useful for PotD. You could skip it for Thrice She Was Wronged if you were planning on having another Chanter use it. Soft Winds is easily the best Chant at level 1, especially combo’d with another source of healing (even the weakened Blackjacket Recovery!). The Thunder Rolled is the best Bellowed Invocation at PL 1, so it’s an easy grab. Stuns can get you out of a few nasty situations.

 

PL2

Fighter

Confident Aim

Weapon and Shield Style ®

Chanter

Two-Handed Style (!)

White Worms Writhed In The Bellies Of The Dead (!)


No Fighter Stances?! Yeah, it's an odd choice but two of them are geared towards melee and the other doesn’t stack with the Arquebus modal. White Worms is amazing on a Bellower. It’s a cheap Invocation that excels as a follow-up. Remember to turn off gibs in your settings or you won't have enough bodies.

You can switch any of these out when you’re upgrading the first stage of Blightheart BTW, since Killers Froze Stiff will do it super quick.


PL3

Fighter

Tactical Barrage ®

Rapid Recovery

Penetrating Strike

Chanter

The Shield Cracks ®

 

Nothing too exciting at PL3. You find INT less useful than an average Chanter, so Tactical Barrage isn’t head and shoulders above Disciplined Strikes but +1 PL seems better to me then a few extra crits. Penetrating Strike is one of the few Fighter attacks that works with an Arquebus.


PL4

Fighter

Weapon Specialization (!)

Vigorous Defense

Chanter

Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr (!)

Spell Shaping


Mith Fyr and Weapon Spec are important for keeping your damage high to make it easier to get kills with Blightheart. Every bit counts here. Spell Shaping is fairly useful on TB but you’re also not going to be casting shape-able Invocations that often, so it’s quite replaceable.


PL5

Fighter

Combat Focus (Underlevel) ®

Chanter

Seven Nights She Waited While The White Winds Wept

Rapid Casting ®

Uncanny Luck


Combat Focus and Rapid Casting are both highly recommended for making sure your invocations actually fire off. Losing resources to interrupts is an Achilles Heel for this build. I take Combat Focus as an underlevel here because Seven Nights is the first Invocation that really needs interrupt protection. White Worms can be interrupted but it’s a faster cast and specifically doesn’t involve positioning yourself in the middle of everyone. You could switch its place with Penetrating Strike if you wanted it on level, since Pen Strike generally takes lower priority than buffs and so doesn’t get frequently used until you have more Discipline.

Uncanny Luck is easily switched out if you want something else at this level. It's just what I picked when I coudln't decide on anything else.


PL6

Fighter

Refreshing Defense

Reaping The Whirlwind

Chanter

So Singt The Biting Wind o’Eld Nary (!)

Old Siec Would Not Rest ‘til His Hunger Was Sated ®


Eld Nary is incredibly good and you should be doing in the 1000s of damage with a successful empowered cast. It can require a bit of luck to get it to kill things but that’s almost a benefit for you - softening up enemies instead of straight up killing them just gives you opportunities to proc Hymn of Decay.


PL7

Fighter

Weapon Mastery ®

Chanter

Called To His Bidding, The Ancient Instruments of Death

Her Tears Fell Like Rain


I rarely cast Ancient Instruments but instead treat it like a passive +1 max/starting phrases ability. You could replace it with Accurate Empower if you wanted - 5 phrases versus 6 phrases isn’t a big deal. Weapon Mastery is recommended because maximizing your damage increases the likeliness of Hymn of Decay procs.

 

Chants

  1. Soft Winds/Soft Winds

  2. Soft Winds/Old Siec

  3. Mith Fyr/Old Siec

  4. Mith Fyr/Soft Winds


Chant A is for the early game, and Chant D is your default Chant. 90% of the fights doing teeny chunks of raw damage is more useful than healing and the main phrase you want to be chanting is Mith Fyr. I switch back to A for easier fire immune fights, use B for harder fire immune fights, and use C for hard fights with no fire immunity.

 

Attributes, Race, and Skills

Attributes

MIG: 18 -> 21 (+1 Gift From the Machine, +2 Woedica’s Strangling Grasp)

CON: 5 -> 10 (+1 Effigy Durance, +3 Girdle of Eoten Constitution, +1 Baubles of the Fin)

DEX: 11 -> 12 (+1 Elf)

PER: 18 -> 22 (+1 Elf, +1 The White That Wends, +1 Cauldron Brew, +1 Kuaru’s Prize)

INT: 14 -> 16 (+1 Kuaru’s Prize, +1 Baubles of the Fin)

RES: 9 -> 10 (+1 Boots of the White)


Berath’s Blessing Attributes

MIG: 20 -> 23 (+1 Gift From the Machine, +2 Woedica’s Strangling Grasp)

CON: 5 -> 10 (+1 Effigy Durance, +3 Girdle of Eoten Constitution, +1 Baubles of the Fin)

DEX: 13 -> 14 (+1 Elf)

PER: 20 -> 24 (+1 Elf, +1 The White That Wends, +1 Cauldron Brew, +1 Kuaru’s Prize)

INT: 18 -> 20 (+1 Kuaru’s Prize, +1 Baubles of the Fin)

RES: 9 -> 10 (+1 Boots of the White)


I choose to max MIG and PER because this is a DPR build. You want to hit consistently and you want to hit hard. INT of at least 14 is necessary to get 3 rounds out of Disciplined Barrage right at level 1. Don’t dump DEX - you’ll need the action speed when you start casting. The rest is entirely based around not having dump stats after equipment, as I think having maluses to overcome is a more significant penalty than any benefit you get from maxing non-MIG/PER attributes.

 

If using Berath's Blessing, I'd lower CON and RES to keep them the same final score, and boost INT with the newly available points. Keeping up buff durations is helpful in conserving Discipline. 20 INT is the number for a 6 round duration on Tactical Barrage at pre-buffed PL.

 

Race

Race choices are pretty much up to you. I personally think that Pale Elf is the strongest race. The elemental armor bonus is very relevant and there’s good equipment you can stack it with. Godlike are the “worst” choice because you lose access to a beneficial item and the attribute boosts don’t help your primary stats.


Culture/Background

The White That Wends and The Living Lands are the best choices, as your prefered attributes to max here are MIG/PER. I chose The White That Wends, because I think PER is more helpful in the early game when you’re relying a lot more on attributes than class features and equipment. Background is anything that boosts Metaphysics or Athletics. I’d go with Laborer, since having a big Second Wind is very helpful in the early levels.

 

Skills

Max Athletics, and max Metaphysics for Cadhu Scalth. You could also use a Large Shield that isn’t Cadhu Scalth and take roleplay skills. Or just max Athletics for Cadhu Scalth and take roleplay passives. If you’d rather not dedicate your skills to items, I recommend Arcana to 15 for scrolls of Maelstrom, and the rest into Stealth. Stealth helps you resolve Empowered Invocations because enemies that haven't seen you aren't going to try to interrupt you. Passives don't really matter if they're not boosting an item.

 

Equipment

Weapons

Weapon Set 1: Blightheart (Bound to Chanter) (!)

 

Blightheart is used as your primary damage weapon and for the Hymn of Decay ability that generates phrases on kill. On kill isn’t the most ideal trigger but it works often enough that you can typically fire off an invocation a turn or two early.

 

Weapon Set 2: Sasha’s Singing Scimitar [Refreshing Finale/Shocking Prelude] (!), Dagger/Shield->The Weyc’s Wand

 

Sasha’s Singing Scimitar is completely unsurprising to see on a Chanter build. Blackjacket helps you use it quite effectively, though, by, well, not having to use it. Sasha's Unbloodied Scimitar. Pair it with a dagger or a shield to protect yourself while casting. I prefer a dagger, since it's occasionally useful to do full attacks. The dagger/shield gets upgraded to The Weyc’s Wand once you get your hands on it - the PL boost lasts just long enough that you should still have it for your second Invocation, giving you twice the bang for each Empower.

 

Weapon Set 3: Watershaper’s Focus [Master Shaper/Brackish Arc (Thematic choice, you're swampy!)] OR

Amira’s Wing [Master of Winds/Turning Winds] OR

Chromoprismatic Quarterstaff [Entropy Shield/Enthralled Blights]

 

Watershaper’s Focus, Amira’s Wing, and Chromoprismatic Quarterstaff are options there for primarily for giving your second Eld Nary +1 PL. They’re not bad as damage weapons, either. Chromoprismatic is the clear best choice because of its defensive potential and damage boosts. It’s also a late game item and probably fairly useful to at least one other character in your party, so you’re going to want to grab one of the other two at least for a bit. Watershaper’s boosts Seven Nights in addition to Eld Nary but Amira’s is a better defensive option. I took Amira's Wing because I gave Watershaper's Focus to Vatnir.

 

Weapon Set 4: Dagger, Cadhu Scalth [Luminous Harmony] ®

 

Dagger and Cadhu Scalth are your "pass the turn" weapon set. You won’t always have them up due to casting but it’s basically a free 25+ deflection bonus when you’re not casting due to Blackjacket’s free action weapon switches. The Large Shield modal is great here, as you can entirely avoid the drawback by just switching to a different weapon set if you need to move. I don’t have a unique dagger listed, since you won’t attack with it enough for it to matter. I used Pukestabber because it's fairly easy to get and begins already enchanted to Superb.

 

Armor

 

 

Armor (Offensive Option): High Harbinger’s Robes [Accelerated Decay] -> Robes of the Weyc (Bound to Chanter)

Armor (Defensive Option): Patinated Plate [Constant Rebound/Bronze Juggernaut]

 

Generally you don’t care about recovery because you’re DPR and don't do CC, so your initiative doesn’t matter. This means you should wear the heaviest armor you can, mostly. I’m a big fan of Accelerated Decay, though, so I’ll normally rock High Harbinger’s and just switch to Patinated when I need to be tankier.

 

Robes of the Weyc are very good but it's still appropriate to pull out Patinated for some fights. You'll probably spend most of the end game in the Robes, though, because freely handing out Brilliant every fight is off the charts powerful.

 

Accessories

 

 

Head: Acina’s Tricorn (!)

Neck: Baubles of the Fin

Shoulders: Cloak of Greater Protection

Hands: Woedica’s Strangling Grasp

Waist: Girdle of Eoten Constitution ®

Feet: Boots of the White

Ring 1: Ring of the Marksman (!)

Ring 2: Kuaru’s Prize

Pet: Harley or Sky Dragon Wurm

 

These are actually fairly flexible. Ring of the Marksman and Acina’s Tricorn as the important items are fairly self explanatory; your attacks are going to be ranged. Use ranged equipment. Girdle of Eoten Constitution is recommended because it pretty much single-handedly lets you dump CON. (Well, maybe not single-handedly. The other belts do their part by being underwhelming enough that boosting a dump stat is the most appealing thing to do with this slot.)

Woedica’s Strangling Grasp and Boots of the White are based on the Pale Elf race choice, bringing your bonus Burn/Frost AR to +6. Gauntlets of Ogre Might can replace Woedica’s and Shorewalker Sandals or Boots of the Stone can take the place of Boots of the White if necessary.

Kuaru’s Prize probably has a few characters in your party that want it. It’s nice on this build but not needed. I personally used Ring of Boundless Stars instead because my Kuaru’s was spoken for.

As for the Pet, Sky Dragon Wurm is better in a party but not always available. Harley is nearly as good and isn’t glitched to not show up.


Proficiencies:

 

 

1: Dagger ®, Arquebus(!) 4: Large Shield ® 7: Rod ® 10: Scimitar 13: Quarterstaff ® 16: Wand 19: Whatever


The Arquebus modal is totally OP in TB where you basically don’t care about the recovery penalty. Just +20 accuracy, right from level 1. Large Shield modal doesn’t have a drawback with Blackjacket, since you can free action switch out of it when you want to move. The rest is pretty much a list of weapons you might use - you’ll need proficiency to benefit from Fighter passives. Dagger is a great choice at level 1 for Blackjacket, allowing you to free action turtle up with a dagger and shield between Arquebus shots.

 

 

FAQ

Aren’t you worried that Blackjacket will get nerfed?

Kind of. There is some talk floating around about a nerf to free actions in TB. I don’t personally think a nerf is needed on the Blackjacket's quick switch because fast weapon switches is exactly what Blackjackets are supposed to good at. If it does, so be it. I already did my playthrough after all ;)


Solo? PotD upscaled?

Well, it’s a tanky Chanter so I’m sure you could make solo work if you tried. I don't like solo play, so that's not going to get tested by me.

As for PotD upscaled, I always play on that setting. The build works fine.


What sort of party should I use with this build, then?

A party that can do stuff that isn’t frost damage. It pains me to say it (because they’re normally such a good call), but probably also a party that doesn’t need a buffer priest because you don’t really benefit from some of their best spells. I’d say Herald Pallegina, Single Class Aloth, Brute Rekke, and [story companion slot]. Herald Pallegina for healing and Shared Flames, Aloth for debuffs and secondary DPR, and Rekke to use the Willbreaker.

I personally used just my favorites, though. Swash Eder, Priest Vatnir (against two pieces of my own advice!), Brute Rekke, and [story slot companion].


I prefer RTwP. Can I play this build in RTwP?

Not really. You lose the Dagger/Large Shield trick without turns and weapon switching is fast enough in RTwP that I'd also say you lose one of the strongest motivations to go Blackjacket.

 

Superb? On your primary weapon?

Well, you’re looking at 13 PEN with Ring of the Marksman, backed by Penetrating Strike and The Shield Cracks, so it’s not that bad. But the actual point of this pretend Frequently Asked Question is to bring up the FG Soulbound Upgrade mod! Besides improving Blightheart to top out at Legendary, it also gives it dual Pierce/Corrode damage! This is a massive upgrade to the build.

 

Does that mean your playthrough was influenced by that mod?

Yes. I did turn the mod off and run through the SSS challenges before writing this up, so the build is definitely still functional without the mod. Like I just said, you can get up to an effective 18 PEN pretty consistently, so the dual damage/Legendary upgrade isn't strictly necessary.


What about [scroll/potion/once per rest item]?

IMO the ingame economy is a bit too tight for consumables to be a valid part of a build. They’re great recommendations for individual fights, ofc. But I wouldn’t make or break a build on them.

1/rest items are amazing and if you’re suggesting one, you’re probably correct! I personally love using them and frequently did use them with this build. I’m not going to recommend them because a lot of people just won’t use them. I know it took me a looooong time to come around on them. I don’t want to post a build that people might not use because of clunky game design around resource management.


Is X really important for the build? Can I use Y instead?

Does it have a (!) next to it? If not, it's not important and use Y if you want to.


I think you should replace X with Y.

Great! I will probably agree if you back that up with numbers and/or some other fairly empirical explanation. I had a fair amount of fun playing this build and I’m sure I’ll play it again as a hireling at some point. I’d love to see it improved.

 

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