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Hey Pillars dudes - I’ve decided on Corpse-eater for my next run for the flavor <rim shot>, and could use some help making this guy powerful! I know this subclass is one of the least powerful, so can you help me juice him up a bit? I’m fine going single class or multiclass, melee range caster whatever.  I’ll grab whatever companions I need to round out the rest of the party. Just thought it’d be fun to have an evil/cruel playthrough while gnawing on kith meat! 

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It's not really least powerful on avererage - it's just so that it's a good class in prolonged kith, beasts and wilder fights but not good against all others (since no Flesh Communion then). 

Luckily there's also kith meat that stacks its barb-only PL bonus with all other PL bonuses. It only works with Barb abilities though.

Since the drawback of the class is the +1 to Rage costs this means that the very cheap abities suffer most snce they get a 100% cost increase. If you tend to use very expensive abilites then it's not that bad (like Heart of Fury: only 25% increase).

Since you can pile up a lot of Barb Power Levels with a Corpse Eater I would suggest SC Barb. Usually for a SC Barb I recommend Driving Roar since it's so cheap and powerful - but here the costs of this potential go-to ability would be doubled - so you could only use it half as much in non-Flesh-Communion fights. 

I would still propse one route that uses SC Barb though because there are some nice passives involved which cost no Rage at all and some high-cost abilites where the increased cost doesn't hurt as much:

  • Carnage scales with PLs which includes the kith meat PLs.
  • Frenzy costs 2 Rage which is darn expensive - but we can upgrade it to Blood Storm later which makes it last for a longer time (on kill) so the double costs hasn't that much impact anymore. In order to profit from the Blood route more we want to focus on crits and kills.
  • Monastic Unarmed Training: kith meat PLs won't scale fists unfortunately, but still the combination of higher PL (due to Prestige) that scales with fists, the high base damage with high attack speed is pretty unique and best for Carnage damage (which is based on weapon base damage and fists have the best base dps). It's even great as backup crush weapon if you'd prefer other weapons later.
  • Blooded: +25% dmg on everything once blooded is not bad, especially if we are looking at late(r) game stuff like Heart of Fury (which we can't use often so we better make sure it's worthwhile) and since our higher PLs will help us scale up the base damage of abilites and Carnage.
  • Two Weapon Style
  • Thick Skinned: AR is king in Deadfire and it costs no Rage
  • Bloody Slaughter: we need crits and kills for Blood Storm so we might as well take this to speed up the killing a bit.
  • One Stands Alone: no-brainer for a melee Barb imo.
  • Bloodlust: killing faster after killing in order to kill faster? Okay... ;)
  • Savage Defiance: it's expensive but a good emergency button - especially in those cases you can't use Flesh Communion. Upgrade to Stalwart D.
  • Interrupting Blows: we might crit a lot since we will attack quickly. We want to crit a lot because of Blood Frenzy/Storm. Interrupting as a side effect is neat.
  • Improved Critical: it's not much but since it costs no Rage and we want to crit often anyways...
  • Threatening Presence: nothing's more annoying than wanting to engage in a Fleh Communion but getting disengagement attacks in the process.
  • Blood Thirst: obviously. Although we are fast because of fists + Two Weapon Style + Frenzy + Bloodlust we won't be superfast because we will be wearing thick armor. Blood Thirst also triggers off of DoT kills from Blood Frenzy etc. 
  • Heart of Fury: expensive but effective. Especially with a lot of stacked Power Levels and Empower.
  • Great Soul: we want to use Empower with Heart of Fury as soften as possible. I didn't check if you an actually take all those abilites (if there's enough points). If there are you shoul alos invest in Accurate and Penetrating Empower.
  • Barbaric Retaliation: having high AR and being able to regain health via Flesh Communion or Stalwart Defiance is great for this. As soon as you get this you can use Battle Axes + Bleeding Cuts instead of fists and use the fists as backup weapon vs. crush resistant/immune foes. Since recovery doesn't matter much when retialiating but the Bleeding Cuts still get applied, killing off foes quickly which triggers Blood Thirst (and so on)... It's also nice to be able to retaliate while using Flesh COmmunion.
  • Prestige: we want more Power Levels. With this, Power Level 9, Stone of Power (see below) and Willspring of Life you will have fists that get +65% damage, +18 accuracy and +5 PEN (+7 with modal on when using HoF and when cathcing crits with Barb's Retaliation) which is better than legendary quality. And it costs you no enchanting resources. 

I would go Nature Godlike (+1 PL while Frenzied or Robust). You are a flesh devouring tree. ;) That's because you need the extra PL to lift the fists from post-superb to post-legendary status. Grab Hylea's Talons for the lashes. The DoT is great on enemies. Watch your health though... 
As armor you might want to aim for Kāhako Nihi since the 10% piercing lash is great for your dps. Also the enchantments are nice. Until then use Nomad's Brigandine (no engagement - great for running to a Flesh Communion event). Bloody Links with the +2 AR enchantment on bloodied is also good. Patinated Plate is the best armor for Barbaric Retaliation - but I don't think it fits the whole cannibalistic theme very well. Use a Blunting Belt. A Ring of Greater Regeneration is nice. Get two Stones of Power so you can stack and unstack them after each fight (gives you +1 PL in every encounter). I like Three Trolls Stiched as a cape for this one. Ragged Cloak would alse be nice to substitute Barbaric Retaliaion. Use potion of Ascension to lift your fists up one complete tier (e.g. from post-legandary to post-mythic quality which would be +80% dmg, +22 ACC and +6 PEN).

It's an approach with rel. little use of active abilities so it's good for AI usage, too. You'd only have to decide when to use Flesh Communion and when it's best to unleash (an empowered) HoF. 


The other route would be a Warlock (Corpse Eater/Bloodmage) with focus on Concelhaut's Draining Touch. This is the one handed weapon with the highest base damage (great for Carnage again). It also drains 20% dmg as health, causes corrode dmg, causes Weakened on hit and targets will instead of deflection(!!!). You mission will be to lower enemies' Will defense and crit-kill around with the Draining Touch while draining health. I'm just mentioning the most important feats here. You don't need to take them at level up if you can have the spell in a grimoire of course:

  • Arkemyr's Dazzling Lights: besides the Dazing it causes -10 Will directly which stacks with Miasma
  • Frenzy: we are going the Spirit Tornado route this time. Not only does it stagger on all spell-hits but also it terrifies. This build not only wants to lower enemies' Will in order to wreak havoc with the Draining Touch but also in order to easily frighten and terrify them to increase its survivability.
  • Barbaric Yell --> Barbaric Shout: this will give us +3 Engagement and shake foes (for the times we can't lower their will otherwise, this will do, too). We want to stack engagement because of the items I have in mind (see down below).
  • Miasma of Dull-Mindedness: drops Will by 40 points due to -10 RES and -10 INT. So -50 with Dazzling Lights.
  • Weapon Proficiency Club: use a club + modal in your offhand. This will not do tremendous dmg but lower enemies' Will by another -25 points. That's -75 after all. You can guess your Draining Touch (which targets Will) might crit often. ;) If you have a party member with a club you could skip this and either use another weapon or go with Draining Touch as single-handed weapon. I like to use Kapana Taga since its enchantments are awesome. It works especially well with the item setup I want to suggest later on which is based on engagement as I already said.
  • Concelhaut's Draining Touch: do not take this ability! Wait what? Yeah - do not pick it at level-up. There's a little cheesy trick that makes your Draining Touch stay for the whole fight and not go *pouf* after one hit. And it works like this: use a Grimoire with Draining Touch in it. Summon it. Then - before attackng anybody, switch to a Grimoire which has NO Draining TOuch in it. Go fight! :) Your draining fist will be with you till the end of the encounter. Maybe you can even skript the AI like that (never tried).
  • All Ryngrim's stuff: terrify them while punching them to corrosive pulp!
  • all self buffs: they are just awesome.
  • Essential Phantom: it always retains the Draining Touch. It wil not go away after a hit. So instead of one guy punching terrified enemies to pulp you now got two. Also the Kapana-Taga engagement slots will work with it.
  • Lion's Sprint: you can boost a spell's ACC by 15 with this. This can be very valuable.
  • Blood Lust + Blood THirst: obviously
  • Bloody Slaugter: why not. Improved Critical: also nice. 
  • Two Weapon Style
  • Brute Force: Draining Touch weakens and Spirit Frenzy staggers. That's -20 fortitude just like so. So taking Brute Force can help to land more hits with your club and Carnage. Not essential but can be nice.
  • Barbaric Smash can be nice. It's rel. easy to kill an enemy with the high dmg of Draining Touch, especially since Barbaric Smash has increased dmg bonus hit and crit (they stack). You will get only 2 Rage back (it costs 3) - but still not bad. 

Use the Reckless Brigandine asap. It will give you +1 Engagement. Together with Kapana Taga you'll have 3 already. If you yell around you can get to 6 engagemnt slots for a long time. This means the Reckless Brigandine can lift you up to +30% Action speed (stacks with Frenzy etc.). Also you will be keeping enemies away from your party members. Also use Whitewitch Mask in order to have an emergency plan and terrifiy enemies if you get bloodied too quickly. The +1 Illusion also helps of course. Now start to summon Draining Touch first of all. Yell and then use Miasma, Dazzling Lights etc.  to lower enemies' Will and get them engaged. Hack around a bit until you feel it's too much. You might have up to 6 engagements now. Use a terrify. It will most likely hit or crit. Enemies will want to leave and due to the buggy disengagment mechanics some of them will eat your disengagment attacks from the Draining Touch which are very nasty. Follow them and hit them hard with the Draining Touch. Feed on them after you kill them. The terrify will often make sure that you don't get bothered. Use regenertion gear and Corrosive Siphon to heal. Blood Sacrifice will take its toll if you use it so better make sure you have a good source of healing. Using Blood Sacrifice for refilling Corrosive Siphon in combo with Blood Thirst and Spirit Frenzy can be a very smart move. Do NOT use Threatening Presence. 

This is a nice combo of tanky enemy sponge + CC + damage.



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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Bo - thank you for generosity and wisdom!!! Now the only difficulty is deciding between those two awesome builds. A few quick notes:


  • first build reminds me of an unarmed Barb build that you made work for Pillars 1 ! You must enjoy this sort of thing (I love finding ways to make fists work in this game and in others 
  • Concelhaut's touch is awesome - im finishing up a run in Forgotten Sanctum right now and Fassina has been conjuring that with a phantom and the two of them have been punching people's faces off. love that trick. wasn't aware of the grimoire swap trick!
  • Fighting with fists - do you not get the bonuses of items taht say 'get X with weapons' - like belt of magran's chosen - +3% damage dealt as burn with weapons ? 
  • i've ALWAYS gone spirit tornado on barbs, excited to try out blood storm 

Again thanks for this! Excited to play an evil bastard this go around and see some of the reactivity for being a famous cannibal. If my companions or crew piss me off i'll probably eat them too. will report back and let you know how it goes! 

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Tuotilo's Palm works fine (with Monastic as well as with Transcendent Suffering - except the Inward Spikes of course).

I'd go dual fists though and focus on AR as defensive stat since your deflection will be abysmal anyway (starting value is low and Frenzy puts it down another 10. If you get flanked -10 deflection on top). Also once getting Barbaric Frenzy you want to catch crits. Try to pile up enough AR so you don't get damaged a lot. It's not that easy to stay at enemyPEN-barbAR = -3 because crits do PEN*1.5. But if you manage to daze (-4 PEN) the enemies around the barb it's a lot easier. Once getting punished too hard you can try to break out with an empowered HoF. 


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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3 hours ago, Ascaloth said:

Wait. Boeroer recommends Barb builds that aren't the Brute Force Morning Star type? 🤣

Could do that here as well. But I thought bare claws are a bit more fitting for a Cannibal. ;)

Obviously the Warlock with Draining Touch/Will debuff route is something similar - only with a Club instead of a Morning Star. It works extremely well but requires more setup. 

Always Morning Star for a Brute or a Ravager though. Or nearly always...
By the way (I mentioned it before but will repeat it here since it's barb/monk related) : If you use Force of Anguish with a Ravager you will hit the initial target with Carnage as well. Usually only bystanders get hit by Carnage. That's because you will push the enemy into the Carnage AoE right before Carnage gets rolled. This means your single target damage goes up quite a bit with FoA. Since Force of Anguish also targets fortitude a Morning Star with Body Blows (and later Brute Force to make Carnage target fortitude as well) would be best. Best used in tandem with Spirit Frenzy and Envenomed Strikes in order to bring down Fortitude even more. 

A kith eating Barb/Ancient with the Spine of Thicket Green and who uses the synergy of DoTs like Plague of Insects etc. + Blood Thirst is also very fun to play. Can even be played with Whisper of the Endless Paths if the focus should be more melee oriented - since Taste of the Hunt's DoT get applied over the whole cone of WotEP and that's quite the potent DoT that would stack with stuff like Insect Plage, Plague of Insects etc. Once the DoTs start killing weaker enemies your recovery will be 0 often which lets you cast more DoTs more quickly etc.  Also here Spirit Frenzy is the better pick since most DoTs target fortitude. You can combine with a weakening spell.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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