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Depends on what you like.

Single Class mages are strong and get access to all spells.

Monks, in particular Helwalkers greatly enhance the stats: Int & Might; improve Penetration and speed.

Rangers can greatly improve spell accuracy - mostly single target, though.

Barbarians can cast very fastand also can buff Might (plus Pen and crit rate, if Berserker).

Assasins get huge bonuses to attacks made from Stealth - including spells cast from stealth.

Edited by Haplok
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Fighter/Wizard is more offensive focussed. Especially if you're ok with focussing on a single weapon type you can choose devoted for the extra penetration and crit damage. Perhaps not as durable as a Paladin, but it's more effective at taking down multiple enemies in melee with the different stances. Able to wear very heavy armor and not be bothered by it as much. Good hit to crit conversion, lots of melee abilities and able to chain cleave attack enemies on kill. Synergizes well with wizard self buffs, but it's likely you will focus more on melee. 

With this build you can waltz into melee range, use Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage and massacre **** without enemies hitting you.

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There is great synergy in a steel garrote/bloodmage build. While it is probably one of the best builds for solo runs, you can have fun with it in a party too. I'd recommend that you focus on spells that cause afflictions, such as Chill Fog; you cast spells, and then strike out in melee to the afflicted foes, and drain health from them. It's a lot of fun. Generally I'd recommend that you mainly take Paladin talents, since you can get all the spells you need from grimoires. You can buff up at the start of battle with Llengrath's Martial Masteries and then switch to other grimoires, like Ironclasped, as needed. You can also cast Concelhaut's Draining Touch from a grimoire, and then immediately switch grimoires. If you do this, you can attack with Concelhaut's Draining Touch for the rest of the battle, weakening them and draining health from them. It's a fun build, if not the most optimal, DPS wise, for party play. But there is great synergy between the two classes. Steel garrote compensates for the weaknesses of the bloodmage, through boosted defenses and constant healing. Also, Flames of Devotion (FoD) is one of the best attack skills, since it scales nicely as you gain power levels, and can be also boosted by items or pets that give you bonuses to fire abilities, like Otto star cat, Magran's favor and Sun & Moon. Or you can go with two handed weapons, and use Weapons like the Whispers of the Endless Paths, which when upgraded will retaliate when missed and daze the opponent, setting them up for health draining, And later you can summon Citzal's Lance. Here it's great to cast Pull of Eora, web & chill fog on a group of foes, and then hit them FoD strikes that will devastate them and heal you massively.

One of my biggest quandaries with this build is whether it's best to go the dual wield or two-handed route. The latter seems much stronger with FoD, since it's a full attack, but once you get Citzal's you'll want to stick with two-handed. Be prepared for an evil play through. You'll need to avoid the "nice" dialogue options to maximize the Deep Faith defensive bonus.

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Steel Garrote/Bloodmage is very good if played with Whisopers of the Endless Paths and Offensive Parry (enchantment).

 oYou can reach very high deflection via Paladin passives and Wizard buffs which leads to a lot of misses in melee. Every miss will trigger Offensive Parry. Offensive Parry causes daze on hit which not only leads to severe underpenetration from enemies but also immediately unlocks the draining for Steel Garrote. Such an Arcane Knight can tank and dish out melee damage while healing and casting at the same time. The auto-healing part is good to counter Blood Sacrifice.  

It's also not correct that a Paladin can't enhance casting capabilities: he can raise ACC with Zealous Focus (although I think Exalted Endurance is better) but nore importantly he can add a 10% burning lash to all his damaging spells via Eternal Devotion which works with spells as well. Inspired Beacon can be used to increase some high-dmg spells like Piercing Burst for example. 

Such an Arcane Knight is hard to kill (since he's draining health while parrying) and can cast non-stop at the same time. With Inspired Beacon his parries also do significant damage. 
Here's a high-level Steel Garrote/Bloodmage:




HOWEVER: While Offensive Parry is very good in RTwP mode it is bad in Turn Based mode. That's because in Turn Based mode there's only a very little chance to miss. And Offensive parry only triggers on misses. 

But you can play a Steel Garrote with other weapon setups - for example use the grimoire switching trick to keep Concehaut's Draining Touch for the whole fight and use it with a shield. It will drain health by itself but because it also weakens it will also unlock the Stell Garrote's draining: double drain and very  high dmg. Even better if instead of a shield you use a club + modal which lowers Will by 25. That's because Draining Touch targets WIll and not Deflection. You can take Scion of Flame and Spirit of Decay and get +2 PEN for Flames of Devotion if used with Draining Touch and raise your ACC with FoD by 10 with Rig of Focused Flames. So if your club hits and lowers Will by 25, then you cast a Miasma and lower it further by 40 and then use Draining TOuch you attsck with the equivalent of +85 accuracy which leads to a lot of crits.

You could also use Spirit Lance - but that's indeed better with a Battlemage, for example Devoted/Bloodmage or so. Mostly because of Clear Out + Spirit Lance.   


Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I think Boeroer resolved my quandary. For a steel garrote/bloodmage, it's probably best to dual wield, with your best weapons in your main weapon slot. But in your second weapon slot, keep the main hand empty and put a club in the offhand with the club modal on. Switch to this weapon slot when you cast Draining Touch, for the reasons Boeroer indicated.

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I am not aware of a build posted for this multiclass. But you can look at some of the arcane knight builds posted on this web site and make some adaptations. I am playing an MC with this multiclass with stats of 16 STR/12 CON/18 DEX/18 PER/18 INT/8 RES, with Berath's Blessing. Generally you want to take Paladin abilities at level up, since you can get wizard spells you need from grimoires. This is what I have done.

PL 1: P (Paladin)-Garrote (automatic), Flames of Devotion, Deep Faith, Sworn Enmity; W (Wizard)-chill fog

PL 2: P-Zealous Aura, Inspiring Triumph, Two Weapon Style; W-Concelhaut's Corrosive Syphon

PL 3: P-Sworn Rival, Eternal Devotion, Lay on Hands; W-Combat Focus

PL 4: P-Exalted Endurance, Glorious Beacon; W-Scion of Flames, Spirit of Decay

PL 5: P-Uncanny Luck, Practiced Healer; W-Rapid Casting, Far Casting

PL 6: P-Improved Critical, Virtuous Triumph; for the other two, pick a Wizard spell of your choice, and another ability of your choice. Maybe Divine Purpose?

PL 7: Stoic Steel, Inspired Beacon; W-spell of your choice

This is just what I would do. I'm sure others will have different suggestions.

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It's a tankish nuker I would say. The beauty (or convenience) lies in the fact that you can deal weapon damage, cause dazed, heal (drain) and cast spells at the same time. You seldomly have to stop casting because of low health or because you get annoyed by melee attackers or so (I use Hands Of Light against interrupts). But maybe that feels less awesome in Turn Based Mode where timing/speed/recovery are handled very differently - I mean it's bad in TB anyway since Offensive Parry doesn't work well there (at all).  

Arcane Knight in general can be a rel. "hassle-free" combo. And works right from the start usually.

More damage and (way) less tankyness you can get with a Sage, most notably Helwalker/Bloodmage. Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming in combination with Draining Touch/Club/Miasma does very powerful single target damage - and Spirit Lance with Stunning Surge (especially when using Instruments of Pain) is a very effective, spammable CC/damage combo. Spells gain +2 PEN from Thunderous Blows and +30% dmg from Helwalker's passive at 10 wounds. And all AoEs and durations enjoy the +10 INT from Turning Wheel.
I believe it's the most recommended Wizard multiclass.

Battlemage/Clear Out: what also works with Clear Out is Minor Blights in the main hand and a bashing shield or melee weapon in the offhand. Clear Out uses Minor Blights then. Can be a nice alternative if you run into enemies who are especially vulnerable to elemental dmg (or especially resistant to pierce and crush).
Also Karabörü with Disciplined Strikes and Infuse with Vital Essence and Merciless Gaze can be real nice. The (bigger) AoE cone or Karabörü triggers fairly often then. Disciplined Strikes and Merciless Gaze don't stack their crit chances additively but still: you'll get a ~36% chance to convert all hits to crits which is decent. Maybe nice backup to Spirit Lance if your spell uses are depleted or so.
What is also really nice is Keeper of the Flame with Clear Out. Sungrazer (with both AoE enchantments), too. 


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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