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[BUILD GUIDE] The Bleeding Arcanist - Solo Single Class Blood Mage

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[BUILD GUIDE] The Bleeding Arcanist

Subclass: Blood Mage

Concept: Sturdy, impossible to interrupt, versatile, no rest solo Blood Mage who can win 99% of fights with the most explosive and rewarding barrage of high level spells (thanks to Rekvu’s fractured casque + Vaporous Wizardry Grimoire), but can also enter cheesy god mode for Mega Bosses and such (through his Blood Mage abilities + Wall of Draining + potion of final stand etc). He also has tons of skills & utility so it doesn’t feel like a very restrictive power-build, and scales nicely throughout the game.

Works with latest update as of Dec 2020.

POTD Solo: YES, completed with a lot of flex/forgiveness on how you want to play (upscaled: untested but probably OK with all the no-rest buffs and an optimized spell list & strategy at all times).

Companion: Nope




For lots of veterans this will likely be a no-brainer and sorry if I sound like Captain Obvious, but I wanted to post this build as I haven’t seen this one consolidated anywhere, and I’m having so much fun with it. Really brings back the feeling of power and adaptability that a solo Sorcerer could give in BG2, or solo Mage in Arcanum for example. It also plays a bit differently than your typical SC Wizard in POE 2 because you have a lot more spells to cast and you don’t take the Empower abilities… which is liberating. You can really approach each battle differently while keeping a nice feeling of power (until a random Nemnok acolyte transforms you into a piglet).

After experimenting and reading a lot of different posts about wizard builds, I settled on the single class Blood Mage because it is very straight forward: maximum class power/ability levels, no empower, blood sacrifice hurts, bloodied enemies are a pain, but if you work around those issues you have virtually unlimited spells which is really strong. Then I tried to mitigate the tradeoffs:

Go for low Might = you will hurt yourself a bit less, without much impact to your damage output + you can spend the points on more relevant attributes. (for Might lovers, believe me… dump it here). On the other hand, pumping CON a bit brings some nice sturdiness/peace of mind to this build, which also bolsters experimentation (you're not a glass cannon, just a cannon :) ). 

Rekvu + Vaporous = 50% more spells, no interrupt :), turning most fights into a total spellfest! Very little opposition can still stand after some crazy self-buffing, 3x back-to-back Wilting Winds (of Abi Dalzim or whomever) + 2x Missile Salvos (possibly Combusting Wounds augmented).

Your Vaporous Grimoire comes with the answer to the Injury issue: chain-cast necrotic lance outside of combat on your toon (spell comes with the book) and you will inflict the Acute Rash which has very little impact on your combat readiness (can use Voidward to mitigate, not needed at high level).

Cherry on the cake, you can exploit the different buffs available to a no-rest run for your full benefit, and end up with insane stats and permabuffs (more than making up for the Acute Rash minor injury). If any other injury comes up: pop a luminous adra potion/bath, cast necrotic lance, done.

Finally when you need even more firepower, you can still rely on high-level, matured cheese strategies:  wall of draining, potion of final stand, Brilliant proc from shroud of phantasm, blight proc from belt of magran’s chosen… and other shenanigans. Immortality and chain-casting Missile Barrage until the end of times.

I won’t detail neither the benefits of a no-rest run nor the top spells/abilities for a solo generalist wizard because all those have been explained in a better way in other threads on this forum. Combusting Wounds is still your friend with many spells especially Minoletta’s and especially early on. You shall always buff yourself to oblivion at the beginning, queuing spells or using the AI (pick all your buffs, just because you can). Pick spells + Shield style, Scion of Flame, Secret of Rime, Farcasting, Rapid Casting, Tough, Prestige. Medium Shield modal, Flail modal (reflex debuff).

On spell strategies, the fun of this build is to be able to experiment with different synergies. Happy to answer any question. Couple of key things: don’t go 100% fire or whatever, diversify (elements + what defense you attack and what synergies you have with other spells). Example High Level Rotation for a big group: self-buff (Infuse, Arcane Veil, Deleterious, Displaced, Eldritch) + 2x Chill Fog to group everybody + Combusting + 2x Wilting Wind back to back + 1x Kalakoth Rake + 2x Missile Salvo on your own face = oh wait everybody already died 10sec ago :) . If things are going to drag on, throw in a wall of draining, carefully aimed parallel to your flank (usually) to hit most enemies. Maura’s tentacles are awesome too and can completely replace figurines (never used a single one with this build). Sometimes in melee heavy fights I just pop buffs + Piercing Sigil + Cloak of Death with the occasional Piercing Burst and Torrent of Flame. You don't even have to aim at anything. If someone is casting something nasty, pop Thrust of Tattered Veil to interrupt (or a good ol' Killing Bolt :) ).




Berath’s Blessings: in the end it doesn’t matter, but I like to take some that help in Port Maje which is basically where you struggle the most and where you have the least options in PotD if you want to avoid 100% sneak. Mix with some that are better in the long run e.g. reduced enchanting cost. If you like pure power, +2 attributes is a must.




Race: Human (maximize accuracy and damage output when it really matters / when you have to cheese)
Background: The White That Wends.




Key Stats:

MIG 4 base (+ Berath + Gift from Machine +Alchemic Brawn + Items)
CON 16 base (+ Berath + Alchemic Brawn + Items)
DEX 16 base (+ Berath + Alchemic Guile + Items)
PER 19 base (+ Berath + Effigy: Sagani + Alchemic Guile + Savage Cunning + Cauldron Brew + Items)
INT 15 base (+ Berath + Alchemic Wits + Items)
RES 8 base (+ Berath + Alchemic Wits + Rikuhu’s Blessing + Eviee Pet + Items)





If you exploit the no-rest bonuses to their fullness you will have free extra points everywhere, plus the free Berath ones if you enabled them. It will be BOTH a spellfest and a skillfest! I typically spread around a bit for skill checks, with a focus on Mechanics, Athletics, Diplomacy, History (giftbearer cloth) and a bit of survival. Mix of story stuff and power play.




Important Gear:

Rekvu’s Fractured Casque: crucial with Vaporous!

Grimoire of Vaporous Wizardy: crucial, +50% spells per encounter! Keep Illuminating Discoveries, Iron Clasped, and Nina’s Teachings grimoires close, if only for a change of pace.

Miscreant’s Leather: great action speed which drives DPS, great style. Contributes to making you eventually invulnerable to Reflex attacks (even your own :) )

Firethrower’s Gloves: perfect

Kuaru’s prize: perfect

Griffin’s Blade + Nerian’s Ward: my go-to set for versatility + power + survivability, but Magran’s Favor and Sun & Moon are of course really good (don’t help Minoletta’s spells though).

Potions: Major Healing, Final Stand, Ascension, Compassionate Soul Essence, Deftness… nice mix. 

Rest of gear: whatever floats your boat. Boots of Stone, Ring of Prosperity, Sandals of Waterlily, Burglar’s Gloves, Ajamuut+Lover’s Embrace+Rakhan Field Boots if you run out of ideas… Just keep the uniques to have options, especially if you haven’t played PotD a lot. If you come across items with immunities, hold on to them.

+ Captain's Banquet/Hylea's Boon, Trainings, Dawnstar Blessing etc




Let me know if you have a different experience somehow, but I guarantee that you will have fun if you roll this build, if only for taking advantage of the wizard's roster of spells to its fullest extent. Now I'm starting to play an Ascendant + Priest of Skaen (legit Brilliant + BDD + SoT, without procs or weird mechanics) so if anyone has any tips, please shoot! Cheers.



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