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I'm planning my next run on PotD Upscaled and I'd love to play a ranged guy who dual wields scepters. As it was already pointed out, scepters have one of the best modal in game: + 2 PEN and + 20% Damage with no substantial drawbacks. But... how would you build a ranged character who dual wields scepters to maximize his DPS output? Has anyone tried such a character? I've seen the "Eccentric Scepter-trick Shadowdancer" build by Silvaren, but I'm not convinced about going Helwalker/Assassin (I've just played an Assassin and the assassinate bonus doesn't apply to the attack made with the off-hand weapon, so the ability seems kind of wasted). How about a Devoted/Helwalker? Would it be better to go Devoted/Ranger instead? Could a wizard+something multiclass build work with dual scepters? Any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated. 

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I mean, Rogue is the champion of weapon damage because of Sneak Attack + Deathblows among other stuff. Not picking Assassin doesn't mean to forget about Rogue. If you're willing to do potentially finnicky micro it might be worth going for a Streetfighter who plans to stay Bloodied via the sceptre self-damage. That'll certainly give you more DPS than anything else but you'll have to manage your health. If you multi with Devoted maybe you can get enough sturdiness to intentionally get your character flanked at times as well? Or stick with Monk and use Mortification of the Soul to get your health down and keep it down. You can also use Iron Wheel for a bigger health pool and extra AR, which can allow you to be pretty comfortable at low health. Stunning Surge works with ranged attacks too, right? I'd say a Streetfighter/Helwalker would definitely be the highest damage output you can get. If you're afraid of getting squished too easily another monk subclass would still leave you ahead of most competing builds, or you could try SC Streetfighter.

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I'd say that Assassin is a good choice in the linked build less because you're building around the bonus and more because the drawback doesn't hurt you much.  You're really in Rogue for Sneak Attack, Deathblows, and cheap Full Attack abilities.  Without making any special efforts, Assassin will benefit you often enough to be better than a base-class Rogue.  And, if you aren't interested in taking on micromanagement and risk associated with the Streetfighter playstyle that Jayd describes above, that's probably more than the other Rogue subclasses offer.  (That said, a Trickster giving up a little SA damage for debuffing utility is a nice tradeoff.  Being ranged, you won't get much out of the PL 2-4 abilities, but the rest can be fun.)

IMO, Helwalker is too natural a fit.  Makes good use of the feedback damage, the MIG bonus helps a lot, and the disadvantage is substantially mitigated by a ranged build.  I'd consider that a lock for half a mulitclass.

If you don't want the other half to be a Rogue, you're probably giving up some overall damage, but what you get in return can make up for it. 

  • Ranger gets you Driving Flight, a pet, and a suite of ACC-enhancers. A Ghost Heart make a neat thematic pairing with a Helwalker, too.  (Although note that the Ghostheart pet isn't compatible with Dichotomous Soul, due to the summons cap.)
  • Devoted adds even more PEN, easy access to Intuitive, and a damage boost on Crit.  Not sure how useful extra PEN is at that point-- between Desctructive Channeling, Thunderous Blows, Scepters being dual-damage, and the Ring of the Marksman, I suspect you'll be pretty solidly in the PEN-but-not-OverPEN category for Hits and at or near Overpen on Crits, even without the Devoted boost.  (Aside: does the Scepter modal stack with Tenacious?)  There is a cheap full attack (Penetrating Strike), but it's not as good as the Rogue options.
  • Paladin lacks great DAM ACC or PEN boosts, but but it does have an excellent spammable Full Attack, and contributes lots more party-support utility than the other options.
Edited by Enoch
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No drawback is not correct. Afaik the self damage scales with PL, does it not? With Helwalker at 10 wounds you can kill yourself pretty quickly with some Full Attacks with dual scepters.

Voidward would help I guess.

The nice thing about Monk surely is that you get wounds by simply attacking somebody. And Rogue is nice because you get high dmg bonuses. Assassin or whatever doesn't matter much.

Also Monk is nice because of Enduring Dance which doesn't break from self damage. So lots of ACC (and wounds). 

Keeping in mind that scepters have ****ty range, Turning Wheel only works for melee attacks and scepters have no AoE anyway I would go for a Nalpasca/Trickster and don't use Turning Wheel.

Use Iron Wheel to get a lot of additional health so the self damage doesn't bother you much, get more "free" AR so you don't need to watch out that much if you get attacked or not. Trickster gives you lots of additional deflection which takes you from the menu of a lot of attackers who like to focus on low deflection targets. The Sneak Attack Malus is only 10% which is a joke.

Do Riposte while running around with deflection buffs and bonuses against disengagement attacks

Lighting Strike combines with Rogue dmg bonuses is awesome. Rogue's Full Attacks are awesome. Monk+Trickster can combine Long Stride, Fast Runner and Graceful Retreat PLUS Tumbling in order to zip around freely, make enemies miss their disengagment attacks (you will have a tremendous deflkection bonus against that) and suffer Riposte eventually. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Thank you all guys for the many inputs!

The consensus seems to be that Shadowdancer is the best option. As for the Rogue, I'd say Trickster has also a nice synergy with The Hundred Visions upgrade of The Eye of Wael (even if, on the other hand, Form Phantasmic could someway fit a Streetfighter). Fact is that I played Trickster so many times already (one time as a Tank and one time multiclassed with Beguiler) that I'm afraid I'll be getting bored after a while. That's basically why I haven't even mentioned in the beginning the idea of multiclassing with a Rogue 😇. But if leaving the Rogue out of the equation hampers the build, I'll build a Shadowdancer anyway. 😎 

2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Do Riposte while running around with deflection buffs and bonuses against disengagement attacks

Lighting Strike combines with Rogue dmg bonuses is awesome. Rogue's Full Attacks are awesome. Monk+Trickster can combine Long Stride, Fast Runner and Graceful Retreat PLUS Tumbling in order to zip around freely, make enemies miss their disengagment attacks (you will have a tremendous deflkection bonus against that) and suffer Riposte eventually. 

Does Riposte work with scepters or do you have to swap to fist before starting to run around? That sounds funny, but if you have to swap every time it can become tedious. 

2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

No drawback is not correct. Afaik the self damage scales with PL, does it not? With Helwalker at 10 wounds you can kill yourself pretty quickly with some Full Attacks with dual scepters.

Voidward would help I guess.

Could the squishiness of Helwalker be mitigated enough by multiclassing with Devoted? 

2 hours ago, Enoch said:

 (Aside: does the Scepter modal stack with Tenacious?) 

Never tested it. But it shouldn't: modal are considered active abilities AFAIK.

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Another thought I had: this would be pretty legit with Vatnir as a Zealot because of his robes that give action speed on low health, Godlike bonus, and the fact that he gets the prime cheese of BDD+Salvation of Time.

You could make a custom Zealot with Streetfighter+preferred priest, Death Godlike, Vatnir's robes, and just go to town. Throw a Cipher in the party for Brilliant and you can go god mode pretty easily. Just a thought.

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Instead of Rogue you could go Ranger. Driving Flight and the even higher ACC (Marksman and stuff + Enduring Dance) would ensure a ton of crits and the jumping adds multiplicative dmg.

 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Rogue/Troubadour is also neat: Mith Fyr for the lash taht works very well with the Rogue's high physical dmg output, Sure Handed Ila gives you speed. It's basically like Monk's Lightning Strikes but with burn and for the whole party - and passive. 

Every now and then drop a nice invocation like Killers Froze Stiff or so.  

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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17 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Rogue/Troubadour is also neat: Mith Fyr for the lash taht works very well with the Rogue's high physical dmg output, Sure Handed Ila gives you speed. It's basically like Monk's Lightning Strikes but with burn and for the whole party - and passive. 

Every now and then drop a nice invocation like Killers Froze Stiff or so.  

In that case, I could make a Streetfighter/Troubadour and summon the wisps with the distracting attack instead of building a Trickster/Troubadour... 

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