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I'm close to finishing my first play-through with an Assassin/Paladin and am thinking about starting again. I almost always play rogues and want to play another assassin, but I really want to focus more on stealth, assassinate, invisibility--which has been a disappointment with my current game.

I've been reading these forum and doing a lot a searches for build tips, but I think I'm missing something key. Can anyone help me with:

1. How does salvation of time create unlimited invisibility? No, I haven't play tested this, but the description say that SoT adds 10 second of beneficial effects. What am I missing here?

2. I've seen several comments about something being Brilliant. How does this create longer/better invisibility?

3. Is there some way that a solo character uses Vanishing Strike with SoT, or am I misreading some comment?

What are the best ways to maximize the Assassin subclass? I especially am interested in pure Assassin or multiclassed with a Priest or Blood Mage.

Thanks.

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1. I don't think there's such a thing as unlimited invisibility. Even if this were possible. Striking breaks this and there's no point in just sitting somewhere being invisible.

2. Brilliant adds 1 PL so if duration of the skill is linked to PL it would automatically increase if you have this inspiration. SoT is a cleric spell that adds 10 seconds to all beneficial effects (buffs) to all friendlies in the AoE.

3. You can't.

There's a rogue skill that allows you to strike from stealth without breaking it. This is acquired at PL IX and is called Vanishing Strike. You can also take PL VIII version of Shadowing beyond and turn it into Enduring Shadows which makes the invisibility last 20 seconds. This does require pure rogue. I think this is preferable over going multi with priest. I don't see the two synergize.

I think multi assassin is ok, but it's possibly best to go pure as you get access to Enduring Shadows and Vanising Strike. Makes for a whole different playstyle when you get to PL IX. 

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The trick is to become Brilliant (an inspiration which will give you new spell uses every 6 seconds) and combine it with Salvation of Time. You basically cast it over and over again until you have build up a very long duration of everything (including Brilliant itself). The hard part is to become Brilliant. You can do this by hitting yourself or getting hit while wearing the Shroud of the Phantasm, if you have a single class Cipher in the party (Ancestor's Memory) or if you have a special version of the Watcher ability (Wits of Death's Herald) which you need to unlock through conversation with the gods. The easiest way it to use a Cipher. 

There is (kind of) unlimited invisibility. You can gain unlimited invisibility on several routes. You can simply combine an ability that makes you invisible with either SoT+Brilliant or Wall of Draining:

  • Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure: has nothing to do woith the actual Brilliant inspiration. It creates a long lasting invisibility that will not break if you are not casting direct damage spells (like e.g. Fireball) on enemies. So everything that only does CC will keep you invisible. ALso pure DoTs will not break it (e.g. Concelhaut's Corrosive Skin). Only direct damage. Funnily enough all Wall spells also don't break it, so you can prolong it endlessly via Wall of Draining and also use Wall of Many Colors etc. to deal assassination damage.
  • Shadowing Beyond: the invisibility will break on all offensive actions, but it can be prolonged with Salvation of Time + Brilliant. However this isn't really useful for an Assassin 'cause it break easily.
  • Smoke Veil: same
  • Vanishing Strikes: the invisibility will not break at all until it runs out. If you prolong this with SoT+Brilliant you have an Assassin on god mode.

Be aware that the SoT/Brilliant trick is extremely tedious to do. You can write an AI script that does the pre-buffing for you but it still takes a lot of time to reach a long duration. For me personally: boooring. But of course it's very good once it's set up. 

Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure + Draining Wall is more fun by far since it doesn't need a ton of pre-casting buit can be done during a normal encounter. 

Anyway: the way I play Assassins you don't need all that prolonging though. An Assassin usually is a very effective hit+run class: you sneak in, strike woith very high PEN and ACC, maybe strike a second time (goal is to kill at least one target or to apply Gouging Strike, maybe stacked with Bleeding Cuts or True Love's Kiss and Shadow Fang), vanish and repeat but leave combat with your last invisibility use. Repeat. You can do this solo or with a party waiting in the backround, ready to rush in if you fail. And it can be big fun like that (thinking about the original "Thief" game).

Using a stealthy "strike with weapon from stealth/invisibility" Assassin in a normal "walz in and pummel everything to death" party setup doesn't make much sense. 

However, with stuff like Arkemy'r Brilliant Departure or Vanishing Strikes you can play an Assassin differently even without using the SoT-Brilliant trick. As you can imagine a Wizard/Assassin with Arkemy'r Br. Departure can stay invisible for a long time (virtually forever with Wall of Draining) and cast CC spells with +25 ACC. 

A SC Assassin with Vanishing Strikes can boost his INT and use items (+INT items, Strand of Favor), pet (Ooblit) and consumables (Mari Crudia, Roe, Meppu, ) which prolong benefical effects and during the fairly long period of invisibility attack all targets with Assassinate and Backstab. If you have a Priest with SoT even better, but you don't necessarily need to do the endless SoT+Brilliant loop to be effective. Also a Cipher with Ancestor's Memory can give you Brilliant so you can cast Vanishing Strikes over and over again. Bot both is not necessary for it to be effective and fun. The items and high INT should be good enough.

I personally like to play an Assassin as the "scout" of the team that's somewhat build around that playstyle: sneak in, check enemies out, kill the most dangerous ones one by one and keep the party in the background until they can easily overwhelm the remaining enememies or if my Assassin screws up or if I simply don't want to sneak around anymore.

Edited by Boeroer
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8 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

1. I don't think there's such a thing as unlimited invisibility. Even if this were possible. Striking breaks this and there's no point in just sitting somewhere being invisible.

2. Brilliant adds 1 PL so if duration of the skill is linked to PL it would automatically increase if you have this inspiration. SoT is a cleric spell that adds 10 seconds to all beneficial effects (buffs) to all friendlies in the AoE.

1. There is. And there are invisibilties that do not break, see my post above. Mainly Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure (only breaks on direct damage) and Vanishing Strikes (never breaks while it's active).

2. Right, but you missed the important part: Brilliant restores spell uses every 6 seconds. So you can cast SoT over and over again which itself prolongs Brilliant (among all other benefical effects).

Edited by Boeroer

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The viable possibilities in a party are:

- single class assassin - at high level you can use Vanishing Strike and stay invisible while attacking (high intellect+Ooblit and brilliant buff can help you stay invisible the entire fight) - best played with 2 weapons and spamming Gambit

- assassin/bloodmage - at high level you can use Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure and then Blood Sacrifice to restore it back (use a weapon with draining to heal you back or have Old Siec chant from a chanter)

Restoring guile with brilliant isn't viable in a party because you need 12s to gain back 2 guile, which is very long.

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3 hours ago, Boeroer said:

1. There is. And there are invisibilties that do not break, see my post above. Mainly Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure (only breaks on direct damage) and Vanishing Strikes (never breaks while it's active).

2. Right, but you missed the important part: Brilliant restores spell uses every 6 seconds. So you can cast SoT over and over again which itself prolongs Brilliant (among all other benefical effects).

I'm not sure how brilliant works with spell regen. Isn't spell regen randomly per level?

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@AeonsLegend: Yes, but it's only random over the spells you used. It wouldn't try to refresh a spell tier you still have 2 uses left in. So if you are only casting SoT then that spell tier will get refreshed every 6 secs.

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31 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

Just to make it clear : SoT doesn't work with vanishing strike itself cause you're untargetable while invisible, including by AoE and Friendly effets.

Ah, good point. 

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But you'd spend more time casting that spell than doing anything else... I mean sure you can cast buff and debuff spells without getting spotted and with extra accuracy true. But you could also beat the encounter before then with another build. I might try it, but it doesn't sound efficient.

How much damage have you done with an alpha assassin strike btw?

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1 hour ago, Kaylon said:

Restoring guile with brilliant isn't viable in a party because you need 12s to gain back 2 guile, which is very long.

You need 18 seconds to refill Vanishing Strikes which is achievable with Ancestor's Memory. Since Vanishing Strikes can last over 12 seconds with enough INT, PL, items and consumables it's def. viable to use Ancestor's Memory on the rogue. It will not make you permanently invisible though.

However I would agree that it isn't a good use of Brilliant if you can give it to a caster instead. 

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7 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

But you'd spend more time casting that spell than doing anything else... I mean sure you can cast buff and debuff spells without getting spotted and with extra accuracy true. But you could also beat the encounter before then with another build. I might try it, but it doesn't sound efficient.

Yes, nobody objects to that. That's why I said that it's extremely tedious to do so. However, it's a big advantage to have when you are playing solo or even doing the Ultimate - or when you are facing an opponent you can't beat with your party otherwise.

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1 minute ago, Boeroer said:

Yes, nobody objects to that. That's why I said that it's extremely tedious to do so. However, it's a big advantage to have when you are playing solo or even doing the Ultimate - or when you are facing an opponent you can't beat with your party otherwise.

Unless you're extremely underleveled I wouldn't know what opponent that would be. I usually clear Magran's area and pick up Magran's Favor and such at level 12. Sure it's on Veteran mode, but these enemies are like 6 levels higher than me. What's the stat difference between Veteran and PotD?

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23 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

How much damage have you done with an alpha assassin strike btw?

That depends on the build and the weapon. The highest single target damage you can reliably do is with an Assassin/Soulblade and full (greater) focus. Something along the lines of 500-600 I guess.
Best weapon usually is Dragon's Dowry (not with a Soulblade obviously but with everything else).

Assassin/Bleak Walker with Dragon's Dowry can do very high alpha shots from 2 m away. Don't remember the numbers but significantly lower than Soulblade. But a lot more sturdy and reliable.

Assassin/Ranger can do pretty hefty alpha strikes with Takedown Combo and Dragon's Dowry or even Run-Through from WotEP.

Assassin/Monk can trigger Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming on the alpha strike and do tremendously high damage that one-shots nearly everything (non-boss) - but you never know if it will trigger or not. 

Assassin/Berserker can do pretty big numbers with Barbaric Blow + Lion's Sprint (+15 ACC stacks with the Assassinate). If it crits you'll get the +20% + 50% crit damage from BB - not as good as the aboves but the triggered Blood Thirst can be really great after that in order to follow up.
 

Edited by Boeroer

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2 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

Unless you're extremely underleveled I wouldn't know what opponent that would be.

Megabosses for example.

Look, I don't say you should use it. I never do. Not SoT (not supereffective without Brilliant) nor Brilliant itself (broken).  All I said was that it's possible and how you can do it.

Assassin/Wizard with Arkemy'r BD can be fun though. It doesn't require that hassle and is a bit more limited (so not as obviously OP).  

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8 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

That depends on the build and the weapon. The highest single target damage you can reliably do is with an Assassin/Soulblade and full (greater) focus. Something along the lines of 500-600 I guess.
Best weapon usually is Dragon's Dowry (not with a Soulblade obviously but with everything else).

Assassin/Bleak Walker with Dragon's Dowry can do very high alpha shots from 2 m away. Don't remember the numbers but significantly lower than Soulblade. But a lot more sturdy and reliable.

Assassin/Ranger can do pretty hefty alpha strikes with Takedown Combo and Run-Through from WotEP.

Assassin/Monk can trigger Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming on the alpha strike and do tremendously high damage that one-shots nearly everything (non-boss) - but you never know if it will trigger or not. 
 

Can you show me a rough calculation of this? I calculate Dragon's Dowry with all passives and such from cipher and Assassin will deal 227 damage on crit with overpenetration. In your example that would mean that soul annihilation deals close to 400 damage? I think the max you can deal with SA is like 200 or something similar as that is the max focus for Soul Blade. SA can't crit right?

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Cipher? Why would you use a Cipher with Dragon's Dowry? I mean you can if it's not a Soulblade. But as an Assassin/Cipher(non-Soulblade) I would maybe try to cast a Disintegrate from stealth with the +25 ACC and then vanish.

A Souldblade would use some heavy melee weapon with a lash like Voidwheel for example. Soul Annihilation profits from all the dmg bonuses (Sneak Attack, Backstab, Deatblows etc.) so the raw dmg part really takes off with a full focus pool.

Dragon's Dowry on a Assassin/Bleak Walker with FoD at PL 7 would do something like (without consumables etc.) :

23 base *  1.35 Power Level * (1 +0.3 MIG + 0.6 legendary +0.5 crit +0.6 Sneak + 0.5 Deathblows + 0.25 Pregognition + 0.1 Sash of Judgement + 1 Backstab + 0.1 Improved Crit + 0.1 Killer's Gloves) * (1+0.2 FoD + 0.12 Black Flames+0.3 Volatile Runelock +0.03 Linked in Flames ) = 260 or so? Without Overpenetration but that's likely to happen of course. On top would come stuff like Deep Wounds, Mith Fyr from a fellow chanter and so on. Also there's a pet for increased ranged dmg (that also works for spells) if I'm not mistaken.

I even forgot Two Handed Style and stuff like Bushwack...

Another good option is Assassin/Wizard with Zandethus Draconic Fury and Concelhaut's Draining Touch. Also very high dmg per hit. But again a bit of a hassle to set up. I like Assassin/Bleak Walker because it requires no setup at all and it is very forgiving. ALso useful for the non-stealth party of combat (because Lay on Hands and auras and stuff).

Edited by Boeroer

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20 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Cipher? Why would you use a Cipher with Dragon's Dowry? I mean you can if it's not a Soulblade. But as an Assassin/Cipher(non-Soulblade) I would maybe try to cast a Disintegrate from stealth with the +25 ACC and then vanish.

A Souldblade would use some heavy melee weapon with a lash like Voidwheel for example. Soul Annihilation profits from all the dmg bonuses (Sneak Attack, Backstab, Deatblows etc.) so the raw dmg part really takes off with a full focus pool.

Dragon's Dowry on a Assassin/Bleak Walker with FoD at PL 7 would do something like (without consumables etc.) :

23 base *  1.35 Power Level * (1 +0.3 MIG + 0.6 legendary +0.5 crit +0.6 Sneak + 0.5 Deathblows + 0.25 Pregognition + 0.1 Sash of Judgement + 1 Backstab + 0.1 Improved Crit + 0.1 Killer's Gloves) * (1+0.2 FoD + 0.12 Black Flames+0.3 Volatile Runelock +0.03 Linked in Flames ) = 260 or so? Without Overpenetration but that's likely to happen of course. On top would come stuff like Deep Wounds, Mith Fyr from a fellow chanter and so on. Also there's a pet for increased ranged dmg (that also works for spells) if I'm not mistaken.

Another good option is Assassin/Wizard with Zandethus Draconic Fury and Concelhaut's Draining Touch. Also very high dmg per hit. But again a bit of a hassle to set up. I like Assassin/Bleak Walker because it requires no setup at all and it is very forgiving. ALso useful for the non-stealth party of combat (because Lay on Hands and auras and stuff).

Ah sorry I got confused by you mentioning soulblade and then referencing Dragon's Dowry right after. Kind of forgot Soul Annihilation doesn't work with ranged weapons.

I'm thinking Devoted/Assassin with Karabörü would deal more damage due to the +35% crit damage. That outweigh's Bleakwalker I think in terms of damage output. DD also has -15% crit damage, but it does get a good lash. you'll need a 50% lash to break even with devoted and Karabörü.

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No, because Flames of Devotion/Black Flames (20% + 12% with a Bleak Walker) is a lash and lashes are multiplicative dmg bonuses while +35% crit damage is only additive. In case of Great Sword it only means 21 * 0.35 = 7.35 damage pre Power Level and lashes - while Black Flames will multiply all the damage with 0.32. And of course Arquebus has the higher base damage which it multiplicative in itself. Also Power Level bonuses are multiplicative and FoD gets more PL bonuses than Penetrating Strike because it's a PL1-ability.  

Also FoD can be used with Ring of Focused Flame which gives the attacks additional +10 Accuracy, stacking with the +10 from FoD itself and +25 from assassinate. More crits = more assasination damage. 

Best two handed melee weapons for Backstabs are Voidwheel (two lashes and a chance to trigger Necroitic Lance which gets all the Sneak Attack bonuses etc.), Chropmoprismatic Staff (dmg bons via skill and several smaller lashes) and Oathbreaker's End (because Bleeding Cuts). Karabörü isn't bad as well. 

 

Edited by Boeroer

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

You need 18 seconds to refill Vanishing Strikes which is achievable with Ancestor's Memory. Since Vanishing Strikes can last over 12 seconds with enough INT, PL, items and consumables it's def. viable to use Ancestor's Memory on the rogue. It will not make you permanently invisible though.

However I would agree that it isn't a good use of Brilliant if you can give it to a caster instead. 

Yes, you don't refill completely Vanishing Strikes but you lose 1 guile every 10-12s and with a pool of 10-12 guile you can remain invisible for 80-120s which is enough for the great majority of fights. Also you have always empower at your disposal to replenish resources for more extreme fights. 

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1 hour ago, AeonsLegend said:

It isn't based on the base damage of the weapon like normal damage boni as far as I know.

Unfortunately you are wrong in this case.

Critical damage bonus is an additive damage bonus like the ones from Two Handed Style, MIG over 10, fine/exceptional/super/legendary quality, overpenetration and so on.

It has been like that since PoE even. In PoE it was 50% of weapon base damage, in Deadfire it's only 25% (but often gets stacked with overpenetration because crits do 1*5 times PEN for +55% damage then).

The only multiplicative damage bonuses (aka "all damage times x%") are lashes of all kind and the 5% per Power Level for all damaging abilities. 

I could make some tests and screen them for you or post the code - but I think you can also see this when you look up the detailed dmg calculation in the combat log (use shift on the attack roll). If it doesn't contain any maluses (like from underpenetration - they mess up the calculation a bit) you can calculate the displayed dmg mods yourself and see that I'm right.

   

Edited by Boeroer
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That sucks then. If you want to increase damage by a lot then the lashes are the way to go. Using +2 Mig gloves (+6% damage) is then more lucrative than the +10% from the crit gloves.

 

The way it was set up and how small the crit boni were I always thought it was multiplicative.

I never used Voidwheel because of the raw damage to self. How does this interact with Voidward? Does it remove the 10%? Or does it reduce the 10% to 7.5%?

How do you feel about Willbreaker? Deals 8 Raw damage per 3 secs for 12 secs. Don't know if it stacks though. I wanted to go with a bleed build at one point, but couldn't really decide on a class/weapon combo. I also wanted to go with Ranger because I simply never play one because I never ever play ranged classes for my PC. Pick ghostheart and then use melee with Wounding Shot. Not sure if Wounding Shot stacks either as I never paid attention to it.

 

Edit, just did a test with Voidwheel and Voidward. Voidward does absolutely nothing and Voidwheel deals about 12% of the damage dealt as raw damage to self. Weird. Unless the damage is based off of the base damage including the lashes, but excluding the raw lash. Then it's about 9-11% something still not 100% right, but it comes close to 10%.

Willbreaker bleeds don't stack. Wounding Shot doesn't stack either.

Edited by AeonsLegend
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Not really seeing the benefit of bleeding cut from Axes. It's 10% of all damage dealt spread out over 60 seconds. You take a 50% hit to recovery which is insane to deal 0.5 damage per 3 seconds extra if your attack did 100 damage... Am I reading that wrong? Sounds utterly useless. Or is it 10% every 3 seconds? It states "over" 60 seconds. That sounds to me like it's spread over 60 seconds.

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2 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

I never used Voidwheel because of the raw damage to self. How does this interact with Voidward? Does it remove the 10%? Or does it reduce the 10% to 7.5%?

It reduces all raw dmg you receive by 25%. So the latter basically. Although the calculation is a bit different (as with all dmg reductions- it's going through double inversion) so effectively it's more than 25%.

2 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

How do you feel about Willbreaker?

 It's one of my favorite weapons, but not my favorite for an Assassin.  

By the way: the Assassin/Bleak Walker with a great sword has the additional benefit that the Ring of Focused Flames, when used with FoD, can counter the ACC malus of the Great Sword modal. That way you can squeeze in 30% more damage without having a huge drop in ACC.

Still arquebus at point blank is the best assassination weapon unfortunately. Works very well from the early game on (due to the very useful modal).

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