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I’m a returning player probably coming back for another run through the game. What do you all think? I’m looking for fun, active, synergistic combos for PoTD, not necessarily the strongest possible builds. I’ll probably take Eder as a swashbuckler, Aloth as a wizard and Tekehu as a druid, maybe with a rotating slot for other party members.

Ranger or Assassin look like fun martials for the accuracy boosts, though I’m not sure how I’d be getting a lot of melee damage out of either. I’d tend to prefer to avoid wizard, shifter or summoned weapons since loot is good. I’ve played soulblade to death, so I’d rather avoid it as the caster component. I wouldn’t mind it as the martial side. Arcane archer with some kind of sword and pistol combo looks perfect, especially single class, but it also looks really hard to make the class work with melee.

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I'll be tempted to go Ranger/Priest of Skaen.

Pile up accuracy vs Single Target, add Divine Mark or Barbs of Condemnation on top of that and go for weapons that benefit from high accuracy (such Aldris blade or Thundercrack pistols).
Minor Avatar is nice on Tier VII too.

Skaen is not even mandatory but bring along a nice set of abilities, especially if you don't want to go support. All ranger subclasses should work, except Sharpshooter. I won't go Arcane Archer for such build.

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Without wizard, hm... I wanted to say Monk/Wizard but it's out. :)

Helwalker/Caster of any kind is always great. The +10 MIG and +10 INT (from duality of mortal presence) is very good for all casters. And Monks of all sorts are great martial artists, so...

I also like Barbarian/Caster a lot because both Spirit Frenzy and Blood Frenzy not only speed up casting but also apply Staggered/raw DoT with spells. Add Bloodlust for even more speed and Blood Thirst for recovery removal after any kill (doesn't matter if DoT or direct damage). I did a Nature Godlike Berserker/Ancient with Lance of the Midwood Stag and Spine of Thicket Green and it was great. Especially once Blood Thirst gets unlocked: you can cast Frenzy (+1 PL through Wellspring of Life) and then Woodskin to unlock the "Lord of the Forest" (+2 PL to everything), apply some raw DoTs (like Insect Swarm + Plague of Insects), then walk in and hit stuff with the lance. Carnage scales with PLs, too. Once the DoTs start killing the weaker enemies you will have a lot of Blood Thirst going which lets you attack the tougher foes with no recovery.
I also love Furyshaper/Beguiler. The terrifying ward is very strong and usually makes sure you don't get attacked to much. Use clubs + modal to hit enemies which come too near and they will certainly get terrified by the ward (because -25 Will). Meanwhile cast Deceptions and gain massive focus, then do Disintegrate and such which can trigger Blood Thirst... Furyshaper/Wizard is also good because Fear Ward + Miasma + Dazzling Light is gold. Terrifiying everything... 

Assassin/Wizard (I know, but no summoned weapons involved) : If you like the sneaky ways this is great. Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure (unique spell from Arkemyr's Grimoire(s)) will not break its invisibility if you only cast non-damaging CC and also any wall spells (Wall of Flame etc. - because they count as hazards which are not directly coupled to you as character). So you can vanish, apply all CC spells you like with +25 ACC from Assassinate. If you use Wall of Draining you can prolong the invisibility endlessly. If enemies are disabled for good you can attack "for real" or just let the party do it. I made an Assassin/Bloodmage with the Cap of the Laughingstock (its buff/debuff also applies when invisible and makes if possible to leach from every enemy via Wall of Draining) as the party's main debuffer/cc guy and the +25 ACC on cc spells is just awesome. And he can still dish out rogue-like damage with weapons if he wishes so. 

Trickster/Soulblade is also pretty fun.

    

Edited by Boeroer

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Thanks for the replies!

My first character when the game came out was Helwalker/Life Giver, so I might pick something else. It was fun and quite strong, though.

I was thinking about Barbarian/Ancient, but it didn't occur to me that Lance of the Midwood Stag would boost carnage and thus provide consistent help on the melee end.

Actually the last character I played was an Assassin/Priest of Berath, though I didn't get too far in before burning out on the game in general. I did enjoy it, though. I'll seriously consider Assassin/Wizard.

It seems like Ranger/Priest could do quite nicely with Cleansing Flame and Take Down Combo. I don't really enjoy picking cruel dialogue options, so I'll probably pick something other than Skaen, Berath might be the clear best for the DoT route, or maybe Stalker/Wael for tankiness. I could use Griffin's Blade and Sun and Moon to build up accuracy quickly with hunter's claw. The melee damage side might be weak, but Griffin's Blade should be nice for defense on a very accurate attacker.

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5 hours ago, Elric Galad said:

I'll be tempted to go Ranger/Priest of Skaen.

Pile up accuracy vs Single Target, add Divine Mark or Barbs of Condemnation on top of that and go for weapons that benefit from high accuracy (such Aldris blade or Thundercrack pistols).
Minor Avatar is nice on Tier VII too.

Skaen is not even mandatory but bring along a nice set of abilities, especially if you don't want to go support. All ranger subclasses should work, except Sharpshooter. I won't go Arcane Archer for such build.

I would also recommend a ranger/priest of magran. Any priest can cast Champion's Boon on their pet, which gives +3 engagement targets (among other things). With Stalker's Link, your pet can hold up to 4 enemies and grant you a +10 accuracy bonus on all of them (plus any other accuracy and damage bonuses from being a ranger). Magran has extra nukes it can use that would be great to get a +10 accuracy bonus to. (Other priests can also do this, but Magran gets the extra nukes.)

 

My favorite build still remains a streetfighter/wael multiclass, which is basically a glass cannon martial/caster (it's in the pinned build list as the "umezawa" build). There are plenty of ways to build glass cannon martial/casters, I just happen to like this one a lot because of its use of barring death's door and salvation of time in a way that doesn't involve a degenerate infinite combo.

 

A trickster is a way to get a martial/caster multiclass without actually having to multiclass (you don't get as many spells as a true multiclass, but you also can spam level 8 spells which no multiclass can do).

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If you like Ranger check out Ranger/Cipher: Takedown Combo does not get removed from the target if you apply "pure" raw damage like Disintegrate. Every tick of Disintegrate will get the +100% dmg boost from Takedown Combo as long as it lasts (and as long as you don't hit the target with direct damage which would remove TDC prematurely).

Also Soul Annihilation (Soul Blade) + Takedown Combo is pretty cool. 

 

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I’ve already played a Ranger / Soul Blade, as well as a Trickster / Soul Blade and Helwalker / Soul Blade, though I didn’t actually finish the game with any of them. I never got up to disintegrate with the Seer, for example. It is a nice combo though. Sure, you could use Takedown Combo with another character, but you won’t get the accuracy bonus from Ranger, and that’s the real meat of the combo. Not only is accuracy disproportionately valuable for Soul Annihilation, Cipher has a lot of high impact single target spells. Even your buffs typically need to hit the enemy to work. And even on top of that, your AoE debuffs, like Secret Horrors or Eyestrike, need to succeed their roll on the primary target or the whole AoE fizzles, which, again, makes accuracy extra valuable.

A lot of caster multiclasses have the issue that their synergies could be done better by two single class characters, but Seer’s synergy is legitimately strong. It’s just I’ve played soulblade to death already.

How is single class trickster? Would the high level spells be worth it over Gambit spam?

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I guess Kalakoth's Freezing Rake works with Murderous Intent - but Wall of Many Colors doesn't (since it's a hazard)? If it does work then I would totally pick Murderous Intent. Maybe an empowered Pernicious Cloud with Murderous Intent is good (never tried)? Toxic Strike with dual mortars and max INT + Murderous Intent IS pretty good though (not really casting but still).

Trickster could also make some use of Wall of Flashing Steel. It's a passive and stacks with every other deflection bonus (not with itself though). Maybe could even make good use of WotEP + all deflection bonus one can get in order to use Offensive Parry + Riposte? 

 

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5 hours ago, grasida said:

How is single class trickster? Would the high level spells be worth it over Gambit spam?

Gambit doesn't even strike me as particularly great.

One wall of many colors is probably better than several gambit hits.

Not to mention the built-in synergy that trickster has with mirror image (which it can spam better than anyone else) with riposte/wall of flashing steel. It strikes me that maybe Wall of Flashing Steel triggers on any crit (not just weapon crits) and Wall of Many Colors could theoretically give you many opportunities to get a passive +10 deflection at 100% uptime (would have to be tested).

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Since Wall of Many Colors is a hazard I guess it wouldn't even register as your characters' crits. But I didn't test it.

Gambit is very good if you use it with full Guile and crit reliably (like with multihit-attacks). As I showed before it calculates guile refund without cap during the execution which can lead to very high dmg bonuses before the refun gets cut back after the execution - because Gambit's attack rolls get a dmg bonus based on the current amount of guile.   

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What do you all think about skald multi classes? Is there one you generally consider most fun or effective? I was thinking of Helwalker/Skald or Ranger/Skald. Helwalker seems overall better for boosting invocations and doing melee damage, but ranger seems really good for generating crits and landing control. Either way I’d go for Sun and Moon with Sasha’s Singing Scimitar. 
 

How is Dragon Thrashed in the community patch? Could you make a decent Helwalker / Troubador going for Dragon Thrashed, melee damage and general utility from invocations?

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I like Skalds.

Youcan do some cool stuff like using Offensive Parry from Whispers of the Endless Paths to generate more crits in a given time (parry-crits and AoE hits can lead to phrases, too).
Offensive Party lets you shift parts of the "attack to gain phrases" process into the passive realm: you don't need to actively attack to use it and can concentrate on invocations. You just need the enemy to miss. I used a Steel Garotte/Skald for this since the parrying also drains life passively

then - and it was fun. 

Sun & Moon is cool for obvious reasons. It is also good with Swift Flurry and Heartbeat Drunning which might cascade a lot of crits, so Helwalker isn't a bad idea besides the +MIG and +INT. Sun & Moon is also good for Hunter's Claw (which can help enormously with the crits) - so a Ranger is also a good idea. 

But: note that there is a cap of 1 phrase to be gained per swing. So even if you crit with all attack rolls of a swing: max 1 phrase. But it still raises the chance of getting a phrase in the first place of course.

Dragon Thrashed is boosted in CP indeed - I believe it went from slash/burn to slash AND burn, so the potential damage is doubled. Don't know if this was enough to make it worthwhile though. I did briefly test a Herald with combined Sacred Immolation and Dragon Thrashed and it was ok, but that was a Troubadour - so no idea about Skald. I reckon since a Skald needs to attack with weapons a lot something like Mith Fyr might be better suited? 

 

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If I were to do a Dragon Thrashed chanter (I probably won’t), it would definitely be troubador. I’ve been away for a good while, so my recollection of game mechanics isn’t perfect, but doesn’t brisk recitation effectively have no downside for Dragon Thrashed, since the DoT isn’t strictly a linger? If so, that means troubador is effectively the only choice for building around that ability.

Does a Monk/Skald get enough accuracy to really get good returns out of swift flurry? Certainly you can stack impressive layers of defense debuffs on enemies with invocations, but will you be able to crit enough?

I also feel a little tempted by Kind Wayfarer, which I’ve always kind of wanted to try. I guess that would be better off dual wielding than with Whispers, though.

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Dragon Thrashed technically is a linger (or at least was in PoE 1) but I think Brisk Recitation is coded to remove the linger for effects on you (or smth like that), either way it helps the chant being less ****ty than it is, doesn't make it exactly awesome tho, because of deadfires pen system and multitude of fire immunes and even some healed by fire.

Monk/Skald get enough accuracy in melee, in fact IF you were willing to cheese with Wall o Draining/SoT and Scordeo in weapon swap any class will have plenty of accuracy, and even without that source hitting against deflection is quite easy in this game, fortitude is usually the hardest defense to attack.

A really fun martial combo I've been trying out lately is Ranger/Bloodmage.

It is really fun solo, but I imagine in a party it is a lot less useful compared to other ranger OR bm multis.

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If your're open to Wizard, a Paladin/Wizard Arcane Knight is very solid, if not the most imaginative option. In fact my Kind Wayfarer/Evoker is one of my favourite characters from any cRPG I've played. Melee, magic, tanking, self and party-healing, she can do it all. A great all-rounder that is fairly straightforward to design and play without being broken.

Edited by Rooksx
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3 hours ago, Raven Darkholme said:

A really fun martial combo I've been trying out lately is Ranger/Bloodmage.

I really like (solo) Stalker/Bloodmage with Willbreaker. Good AR, good deflection (both even awesome once you get Ll. Safeguard), good fortitude debuff for Takedown Combo + spells like Killing Bolt and a superstrong Essential Phantom with Draining Touch (which profits enormously from Willbreaker+Miasma since DT targets Will - and it lowers target's fortitude even lower through weakaning). It's like a party of three. Also Willbreaker can deal a DoT that unlocks Predator's Sense. And with the high ACC of a Ranger

But it needs some setup time at the start of every encounter and is not the fastest killer - so in a full party such a guy slows things down a bit. But can bring down stuff like Dragons solo easily. Didn't try Megabosses solo with it though.

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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

I really like (solo) Stalker/Bloodmage with Willbreaker. Good AR, good deflection (both even awesome once you get Ll. Safeguard), good fortitude debuff for Takedown Combo + spells like Killing Bolt and a superstrong Essential Phantom with Draining Touch (which profits enormously from Willbreaker+Miasma since DT targets Will - and it lowers target's fortitude even lower through weakaning). It's like a party of three. Also Willbreaker can deal a DoT that unlocks Predator's Sense. And with the high ACC of a Ranger

But it needs some setup time at the start of every encounter and is not the fastest killer - so in a full party such a guy slows things down a bit. But can bring down stuff like Dragons solo easily. Didn't try Megabosses solo with it though.

Against Megabosses I pretend the pet is Vela. 😄 (even called my pet Vela :P)

Hit it out of combat with blunderbuss till Blight from Magran's Belt pops, Draining Wall.

I have to look at Willbreaker, mostly used Battleaxes.

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7 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Only Brilliant (from Cipher for example) and Chanter's "His Heart Did Fill With the Light of the Dawn".

Cheers, I assumed Trickster would bring its own recovery atleast it sounded like it.

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