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It depends a bit at which level you are looking. 

Generally:

Berserker/Fury can be very strong - especially once you get Blood Thirst. Nature's Terror + Relentless Storm (supported by an initial cast Plague of Insects do all trigger Blood Thirst on kill. Also all your elemental spells will have +3 PEN (Berserker Frenzy + Fury passive). That makes the build very good on PotD right from the start (both obtainable at lvl 1).

If you go melee with Lord Darryn's Voulge and Deltro's Cage your Storms will have +5 Power Level and Nature's Terror still +2. Supported by Blood Thirst your Carnage will apply a ton of Static Charges in an AoE. It's an offensive beast but you have to heal him with party member (Berserker Frenzy hurts and Fury can't have Rejuvenation spells). And/or use Savage Defiance (but comes a bit late). This build would not spiritshift. DoT + Blood Thirst is a very effective combo.

You can also use Whispers of the Endless Paths + Taste of the Hunt. The healing is still only applied once but the DoT (which is quite potent) will get applied to all enemies in the cone. This can lead to even more kills which will trigger Blood Thirst. Just a variant to Lord Darryn's Voulge. Also works with Barb/any other Druid. 

Another nice alternative is Helwalker/Druid. Especially if you cast a lot of DoTs. Here I would pick a Nature Godlike Ancient on the Druid part and the Spine of Thicket Green as weapon with the +3 to Beast PL. The high MIG and INT from Helwalker boost your DoTs as does the +1+1+3 Power Levels. You will be casting DoTs mostly. But it's also a great healer.

If you want a superb healer you can use the same combo but with a Livegiver instead of a Ancient. Enchant the Spine with +2 PL to Rejuvenation instead, spiritshift right at the start of combat (+7 Power Level to Rejuvenation) to cast healing over time in advance. After the shift your PL will drop to -1 PL which is not too bad. You can also cast some Dots at the start of combat and only shift if you feel the need for healing. Choose cat form since it can cast very fast (Cat Flurry). The high MIG and INT of Helwalkers combined with the Power Levels do immense healing.

Another good healer+support is Livegiver/Priest of Eothas with the Spine again. You will have a ton on spells in general but the best part is: shift to Cat form and dish out +7 PL Rejuvenation. Once you shift back do +2 PL Restoration spells with the Priest side. The PL malus for Rejuvenation after switching doesn't apply to your Restoration spells.

If you are looking for a very sturdy melee druid based on Spiritshift: Goldpact Knight + Bear form is very sturdy due to the immense AR (Gilded Enmity +4, Exalted Endurance +1, Bear Form +2 + several paladin passives) and the healing. The damage output is good due to Wildstrike + Flames of Devotion + Sworn Enemy. Eternal Devotion also applies to spells by the way. And lots of support capability of course 

With the Community Patch you can combine Barbarian/Stag Form for dual Carnage. It's not super OP but great fun. If you pick Spirit Frenzy you can stagger opponents twice (double chance) per hit. The cumulated AoE dmg is nice. If you combine it with Blood Thirst (cast some long lasting DoT spell and then go melee) you can destroy entire mobs quickly. In an unmodded game the Stag form is crap though. 

For a Shifter of course the Rogue is another obvious option. Wildstrike + Sneak Attack and Deathblows is a good melee combo. Especially as a Cat you can do enormous melee dps. Don't forget to cast some supporting spells before going into melee.

Honorable mention goes to Arcane Archer + Fury. The jumps of the Fury attacks don't work with Driving Flight (you might want to skip that) but they are not affected by the accuracy malus. And every jump (so, basically two attack rolls) will trigger an Imbue spell. You can use that to apply damage + double Imbue:Web at the enemy (later also double Imbue:Pull of Eora) and then nuke the immobilized/cramped enemies with spells and attacks. The double appliance of web /pull makes sure that every enemy gets affected.

Also nice: Bleak Walker/Fury. With Scion of Flame, Spirit of Decay and Heart of the Storm you get +3 PEN for your FoD attacks which will pack a punch even against high AR foes. At the same time you can cast spells as usual. Eternal Devotion works with spells as I said. 

There are a lot more variants. It really depends on the role your character is supposed to play. Even a summoner centered Chanter/Ancient is very good in some cases because he can have summons on the field all the time and can boost several summons (Wurm, Drake, spores) with Wild Growth which makes them very sturdy (indef. duration of Wild Growth). A Bellower isn't the type of chanter that comes to mind when thinking about summons, but his PL bonus makes them last a long time and Wild Growth on then makes then tanky. Since he can't put out chanter summons as quickly as as a Troubadour he can fill the gaps with spores. If you like summons it's quite nice.

And of course there is single class: Fury with Dual Mortars and Avenging Storm is devastating. That's because Blinding Smoke on Hand Mortar triggers Avenging Storm, too and Fire in the Hole jumps (incl. AoE). Gun-Fury basically. Also a SC Nature Godlike Ancient with Spine of Thicket Green is very good with all Beast DoTs. So is SC Fury with Deltro's Cage, Darryn's Voulge and other elemental PL boosts with Maelstrom (and other elemental spells). Spiritshifting is not very great on its own as a SC druid though.

 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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It's ok but nothing I'm too excited about. The +5 PER and either +5 INT, +1 PL (Tactical Barrage) or +25% crit conversion (Disciplined Strikes) are nice for casting. Unbending and Clear Out are always useful of course.

It's too bad that there's no way to bring the Devoted and Spiritshift together. That would be interesting. 

Also Clear Out + Avenging Storm would be very nice if only Avenging Storm wouldn't be PL8. I personally think a lot of multiclasses awesomeness was prevented by that spell being in the SC-only tiers. They should have done a PL6 version and an upgrade at PL 8 maybe. 

Also Wildstrike Frenzy needs a boost. In it's current form it is not very tempting. SC shifters are not good. They would be better if their weapons scaled with PL rather than char level (see Transcendent Suffering) and if Wildstrike Frenzy either came with an additive or even base dmg boost and/or a bigger lash.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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41 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

How is fighter / druid ? I think the instant accuracy buff from fighters could be quite good especially with Relentless storm, and Armored Grace could be handy to mitigate Deltro's cage penalty.

I was just about to ask this...haha. Seems there's some anti-synergy with Warden: Claws aren't considered weapons so they wouldn't benefit from Devoted, Confident Aim, and the specializations; Unbroken is out due to shield focus; Black Jacket can't swap, obviously. Tactician could be an interesting choice though the Brilliant seems less impressive on DoTs and HoTs since they would simply get overwritten. Rapid Recovery and Robust stack, yes?

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6 minutes ago, Ophiuchus said:

I was just about to ask this...haha. Seems there's some anti-synergy with Warden: Claws aren't considered weapons so they wouldn't benefit from Devoted, Confident Aim, and the specializations; Unbroken is out due to shield focus; Black Jacket can't swap, obviously. Tactician could be an interesting choice though the Brilliant seems less impressive on DoTs and HoTs since they would simply get overwritten. Rapid Recovery and Robust stack, yes?

With a warden, I would give up Spiritshift fighting entirely (which savez 2 ability points from wildstrike). I would go Lifegiver and only use it as a last resort for Rejuvenation casts.

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I guess I would go Devoted/Fury with the Voulge (non-shifting) and use the Fighter part for more sturdyness and self-healing (since Fury can't). I think I would use Tactical Barrage instead of Disciplined Strikes. +1 PL is +5% multiplicative dmg in all cases (except auto-attacks) and in my books that's better than 25% crit cinversion (which - if we think about 100% hit chance at best, would only lead to 0.25*0,25 = roughly 6% additive dmg increase). In reality you don't have 100% hit chance, so... Besides stuff like PEN and ACC and also the higher INT. For me Disciplined Strikes is only the favored pick if you do somethung special that's dependend on crits. 

The Voulge is better on a Barb since Carnage applies Static Charge, but it's still good - especially once you get Clear Out (and can apply static charge to multiple enemies at once).

Another nice synergy between Fighter and Druid is with Clear Out and a Morning Star: you can apply Body Blows in an AoE which makes it a lot easier to land the next fortitude-based spells (like most DoTs). 

Same would work with Reflex and Will based spells and a flail or club of course. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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The rogue works well if you want to play a shifter.  For the caster version you have the monk which adds int, penetration, speed and accuracy to your spells.

The druid works also as a support (buffs, weapon summoning, heals, summons, CC) for the martial classes. Firebrand with the Ring of Focused Flame and Scion of Flame will increase greatly your melee dps and the heals/buffs your survivability. 

Edited by Kaylon
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Speaking of Firebrand: quick reminder that Scion of Flame + Spirit of Decay + Bleak Walker's FoD will lead to +3 PEN with Firebrand. And plenty of lashes of course. Eternal Devotion adds its lash to direct damage spells as well (not DoTs). Unfortunately Fury's passive doesn't work with Firebrand (the weapon).

Some smaller tricks for spell casters (including Druids):

  • using Griffin's Blade for enhanced spell damage (10%).
  • Chanter/Druid can use Shasha's Singing Scimitar to boost spell damage. It gives you +2% shocking lash per accumulated phrase (universally - also works for spells). The action speed bonus which stacks with phrases as well  is also universal and works for spells.
  • You can combine both in a dual wielding setup for more spell dmg and casting speed (Hound's Speed from Griffin's Blade only works for the weapon though ). I like Bellower/Druid for this. You tend to accumulate phrases with Bellower anyway and the PL bonus works well with the additive dmg bonus of Griffin's and then the added lash (up to 12% at 6 phrases). Troubadours and Beckoners can get to 14% (muticlasses) because they can collect 7 phrases due to their increased invocation costs. Troubadour's also nice because he can accumulate the phrases a lot faster.
  • Wizard/Druid can bind Blightheart and add 10% corrosive lash to ALL spells (not only Wizard's).
  • Paladin/Wizard can bind Blightheart and combine 10% corrosive lash + 10% burning lash from Eternal Devotion for their direct damage spells. Oops - no Druid involved. ;) 

Not really Druid-exclusive but also works with Druids. 

 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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  • 1 year later...
On 9/2/2019 at 10:16 AM, Boeroer said:

It's ok but nothing I'm too excited about. The +5 PER and either +5 INT, +1 PL (Tactical Barrage) or +25% crit conversion (Disciplined Strikes) are nice for casting. Unbending and Clear Out are always useful of course.

It's too bad that there's no way to bring the Devoted and Spiritshift together. That would be interesting. 

Also Clear Out + Avenging Storm would be very nice if only Avenging Storm wouldn't be PL8. I personally think a lot of multiclasses awesomeness was prevented by that spell being in the SC-only tiers. They should have done a PL6 version and an upgrade at PL 8 maybe. 

Also Wildstrike Frenzy needs a boost. In it's current form it is not very tempting. SC shifters are not good. They would be better if their weapons scaled with PL rather than char level (see Transcendent Suffering) and if Wildstrike Frenzy either came with an additive or even base dmg boost and/or a bigger lash.

 

I've modded some goodness already, mainly for monks.

If you describe your wish exactly (power scaling percentage, lash percentage...) I can try to make it come true.

 

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If we're talking about modding, I just did a SC Shifter run with the Deadfire Balance Polishing mod and I think @Elric Galad it makes them an awesome choice. Making Frenzy proc on Crit and buffing entropy gave enough goodies (along with high level spells) to make it very competitive with some of the best multiclasses. I still think Helwalker/Shifter is stronger but SC is no slouch with that mod.

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Two druid multiclasses that I've tried and have thoroughly enjoyed:

- a skald/animist theurge, i enjoyed it so much i even wrote a character build up on it (i have trouble searching the forums, so here's an alternate writeup)

- a [non-shifter druid]/psion oracle. probably any caster with psion would be fun, but from a flavor perspective it was fun to have a great healer that could also stunlock enemies with telekinetic burst/mental binding/silent scream when not buffing/healing. once focus gen got up past 2/sec, the oracle was a pretty big carry for the entire party.

 

I also like shifter, but in vanilla I worry that it might be too good in some setups. i think the community patch fixes its favorable boar DoT duration.

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3 hours ago, thelee said:

I also like shifter, but in vanilla I worry that it might be too good in some setups. i think the community patch fixes its favorable boar DoT duration.

Not sure about CP but BPM changed Boar DoT to fixed duration (4 10% ticks)
I do consider Shifter as almost a strict upgrade from Animist. Want to cast a spell while shifted ? Just cancel the stance, you have 5 of them anyway.
The spell list is also pretty solid.

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16 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

I do consider Shifter as almost a strict upgrade from Animist. Want to cast a spell while shifted ? Just cancel the stance, you have 5 of them anyway.

for me, shifter makes one very specific sequence of actions more annoying, which is to shift into cat form, activate cat flurry, and then cast spells.

with shifter, you have delay induced because you can't immediately re-use the shifting modal after shapeshifting in order to get back to spell-cast mode. i actually found it quite annoying in my early beastmaster shifter days before i unlearned the instinct to use cat form as just a spell dumper.

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Just now, thelee said:

for me, shifter makes one very specific sequence of actions more annoying, which is to shift into cat form, activate cat flurry, and then cast spells.

with shifter, you have delay induced because you can't immediately re-use the shifting modal after shapeshifting in order to get back to spell-cast mode. i actually found it quite annoying in my early beastmaster shifter days before i unlearned the instinct to use cat form as just a spell dumper.

Yup, that was the "almost" in my previous sentence 🙂 

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7 hours ago, thelee said:

I also like shifter, but in vanilla I worry that it might be too good in some setups. i think the community patch fixes its favorable boar DoT duration.

I use community patch, but I wasn't clear how it modified the boar DOT duration. Does anyone know how CP modifies it?

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1 hour ago, dgray62 said:

I use community patch, but I wasn't clear how it modified the boar DOT duration. Does anyone know how CP modifies it?

I might be mistaken. The big difference is that the shifter's boar form's DoT lasts the same duration as the spirit shift form, (which can be gigantic tens of seconds). Either the CP or some other balance patch fixes it to bring it into line with the other forms, because otherwise the boar is a monster DPS machine in vanilla against non-pierce immune folks.

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21 minutes ago, thelee said:

I might be mistaken. The big difference is that the shifter's boar form's DoT lasts the same duration as the spirit shift form, (which can be gigantic tens of seconds). Either the CP or some other balance patch fixes it to bring it into line with the other forms, because otherwise the boar is a monster DPS machine in vanilla against non-pierce immune folks.

I checked the notes to the Community patch, and there wasn't any mention of fixing the duration of the boar DOT. The only thing it fixed regarding shifting was stag carnage. It must be the balance polishing mod that does this, right?

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10 hours ago, thelee said:

I might be mistaken. The big difference is that the shifter's boar form's DoT lasts the same duration as the spirit shift form, (which can be gigantic tens of seconds). Either the CP or some other balance patch fixes it to bring it into line with the other forms, because otherwise the boar is a monster DPS machine in vanilla against non-pierce immune folks.

Yup, it was done by Balance Polishing Mod.

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Thanks. I checked in game (with CP installed) and found out that the boar DOT lasts the entire length of the spiritshift duration, which is 30+ seconds with high INT. And since it stacks, it really is OP, as noted in the thread above. So the Balance Polishing mod is clearly needed if you want to play a more moderate version of a boar druid.

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