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What build next? 4th run POTD Upscaled. Inspire me!


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Hello Everyone,

I really enjoy the forums. I lurk mostly, but i post sometimes too. Just finished a FF monk run (POTD , 5 man party). I learned a lot about how to play FF from the forums. Now, I want to try a different build. I might do solo bloodmage, but I really like multiclassing.  I want to focus on unique builds which are NOT available to companions or sidekicks some ideas:

1) Firebrand warrior: druid/fighter - what subclasses? vanilla/devoted? 

2) Bloodmage (maybe try a solo run)

3) Ranger/cipher (Ghost heart for sure, i have pets dying usually, causing bonded grief

4) Chanter+????

Thanks!

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I’ve had a lot of fun with a melee Ghost Heart / Ascendant build (even though this multiclass combination is more commonly played ranged with Frostseeker.) It can be crazy from a number crunching perspective as well, reaching Accuracy peaks of 192 (!!) with 18 Pen when using an estoc.

Devoted / Ascendant, which I’m playing now, sacrifices some Accuracy in exchange for slightly better speed and 20 Pen with estocs.

Next up will be Streetfighter / Ascendant, which should be the fastest of the three, with the highest damage numbers (Accuracy similar to Devoted / Ascendant; same Pen as Ghost Heart / Ascendant)

 

One of the perks of playing a Cipher yourself is that you don’t need to take Ydwin or Serafen for the ride in order to do Ancestor’s Memory / SoT shenanigans (which I do in every playthrough without fail.)

Edited by AndreaColombo
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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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I recently liked to play the following (which go a bit in OP's direction regarding class choice) :

  • Psion/Troubadour
    • nonstop casting
    • use empower per encounter (Sasha's Singing Scimitar)
    • endless resource pool (passively regain focus and phrases)
    • very versatile (dmg, CC, summons, support, healing)
    • zero need for weapon usage
  • Steel Garrote/Bloodmage
    • Whispers of the EP with Offensive Parry
    • tanky via self buffs nd paladin passives
    • offensive parries will daze enemies and then heal you while you cast at the same time
    • can usually cast all the time (only interrupted by the use of Blood Sacrifice)
    • not a melee build per se - the weapon is there for draining life passively mostly while casting
  • Bloodmage/Helwalker
    • Concelhaut's Draining Touch: very high base dmg, targets Will defense, drains life, causes weakened. You can keep it in encounters if you cast it from a grimoire (e.g. Blood-Soaked Grimoire) and switch to another grimoire (without Draining TOuch in it) after summoning it (also never learn it at level up).
    • Miasma of Dull Mindedness: lowers Will by 40 points
    • Kapana Taga + modal in the offhand: gives +2 engagement and lowers WIll by 25 points
    • Swift Flurry/Hearbeat Drumming: chain crits because Will is at -65 points
    • Reckless Brigandine: +1 engagement, good AR boost when low on health
    • Essential Phantom: gets +3 engagement from club and brigandine
    • Rmygrgand's spells (terrify enemies): enemies flee and this will trigger Disengagment attacks from you and the Phantom. Disengagment attacks get huge dmg bonus which works exremely well with Draining Touch.
  • Beguiler/Beckoner or Troubadour
    • call forth some summons to buy some time
    • Use Whisper of Treason/Ring Leader/Puppet Master etc. to mind control enemies until only one enemy is still hostile
    • gang up on that one enemy (mind controled and AI summons like Many Lives Skeletons will automatically do that, the rest simply select all and attack)
    • rinse and repeat
    • very easy in the early game - still great later on
    • still very versatile (dmg, CC, healing is all still possible)
  • SC Arcane Archer
    • Driving Flight
    • single handed Hand Mortar with Blinding Smoke in one setup, Fire in the Hole with Chain Shot in the other
    • Use Fire in the Hole for imbue shots, especially Imbue:Web after luring enemies to a spot and later also Imbue:Eora in order to pull enemies together to a very tight group.
    • use Hand Mortar for Twinned Shots
    • max Arcana --> craft scroll of Avenging Storm and/or use Heaven's Cacopohony
    • Avenging Storm + Twinned Shot with Hand Mortar will produce a ridiculous amount of hitt rolls (! like hundreds or even mor than thousand) rolls on the tightly packed targets. Blinding Smoke triggers Avenging Storm although Blinding Smoke does not deal damage itself --> unbelievable amount of AoE dmg with one Twinned Shot
    • Not especially wow in the early game though
    • you can keep the pet out of it (just use it as occasional body guard).

With Firebrand it's better to just use the scroll and not pick the Druid class - but it also works with a Druid. The "problem" is that the Druid class itself isn't particularly great when looking for non-shifted melee fighting with Firebrand (except Scion of Flame and Taste of the Hunt). You can use healing, buffing and CC though. Maybe I would go for Druid/Rogue or Druid/Helwalker instead of Devoted.

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Some fun combos:

  • ghost heart/monk with Frostseeker and Helm of the White Void spamming Stunning Surge
  • soulblade/rogue with Sun and Moon & Tuotilo's Palm or Whispers of the Endless Paths spamming Soul Annihilation
  • devoted/berserker with Lord Darryn's Voulge using Clear Out
  • troubadour/priest with Sasha's Singing Scimitar, Least Unstable Coil, Weyc's robes and wand spamming invocations
  • paladin/nalpazka using Sacred Immolation with Sun and Moon and Magran's Favor
  • helwalker/streetfighter with mortars and Helm of the White Void spamming Stunning Surge
  • devoted/monk with Whispers of the Endless Paths using Clear Out
  • steel garrote/rogue with Modwyr and Watcher's Blade
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I really enjoy my sorcerer :

conjurer / fury nature godlike with the lance of the midwood stag , generic +4PL all the time (upon casting the conjurer familiar, fleet feets, and Woodskin or form of the demelgan), great CC build dammaging  in the same time ;

forbidden first / skald with aldris blade and tuotilos palm, very fast tanker able to great dammages and control

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8 hours ago, AndreaColombo said:

I’ve had a lot of fun with a melee Ghost Heart / Ascendant build (even though this multiclass combination is more commonly played ranged with Frostseeker.) It can be crazy from a number crunching perspective as well, reaching Accuracy peaks of 192 (!!) with 18 Pen when using an estoc.

Devoted / Ascendant, which I’m playing now, sacrifices some Accuracy in exchange for slightly better speed and 20 Pen with estocs.

Next up will be Streetfighter / Ascendant, which should be the fastest of the three, with the highest damage numbers (Accuracy similar to Devoted / Ascendant; same Pen as Ghost Heart / Ascendant)

 

One of the perks of playing a Cipher yourself is that you don’t need to take Ydwin or Serafen for the ride in order to do Ancestor’s Memory / SoT shenanigans (which I do in every playthrough without fail.)

Thank you! Yes it seems that Ghost heart ascendant is the preferred meta in some other posts. I am a stats nerd, so I like the idea of 192 accuracy . I haven't delved into Ancestor's Memory / SOT much, and I usually do not run with a cipher, so I would like to have one in my party. It seems that multiclassing cipher is better ,since SC cipher spells are not very good on PL 8 and 9. 

 

6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I recently liked to play the following (which go a bit in OP's direction regarding class choice) :

  • Psion/Troubadour
    • nonstop casting
    • use empower per encounter (Sasha's Singing Scimitar)
    • endless resource pool (passively regain focus and phrases)
    • very versatile (dmg, CC, summons, support, healing)
    • zero need for weapon usage
  • Steel Garrote/Bloodmage
    • Whispers of the EP with Offensive Parry
    • tanky via self buffs nd paladin passives
    • offensive parries will daze enemies and then heal you while you cast at the same time
    • can usually cast all the time (only interrupted by the use of Blood Sacrifice)
    • not a melee build per se - the weapon is there for draining life passively mostly while casting
  • Bloodmage/Helwalker
    • Concelhaut's Draining Touch: very high base dmg, targets Will defense, drains life, causes weakened. You can keep it in encounters if you cast it from a grimoire (e.g. Blood-Soaked Grimoire) and switch to another grimoire (without Draining TOuch in it) after summoning it (also never learn it at level up).
    • Miasma of Dull Mindedness: lowers Will by 40 points
    • Kapana Taga + modal in the offhand: gives +2 engagement and lowers WIll by 25 points
    • Swift Flurry/Hearbeat Drumming: chain crits because Will is at -65 points
    • Reckless Brigandine: +1 engagement, good AR boost when low on health
    • Essential Phantom: gets +3 engagement from club and brigandine
    • Rmygrgand's spells (terrify enemies): enemies flee and this will trigger Disengagment attacks from you and the Phantom. Disengagment attacks get huge dmg bonus which works exremely well with Draining Touch.
  • Beguiler/Beckoner or Troubadour
    • call forth some summons to buy some time
    • Use Whisper of Treason/Ring Leader/Puppet Master etc. to mind control enemies until only one enemy is still hostile
    • gang up on that one enemy (mind controled and AI summons like Many Lives Skeletons will automatically do that, the rest simply select all and attack)
    • rinse and repeat
    • very easy in the early game - still great later on
    • still very versatile (dmg, CC, healing is all still possible)
  • SC Arcane Archer
    • Driving Flight
    • single handed Hand Mortar with Blinding Smoke in one setup, Fire in the Hole with Chain Shot in the other
    • Use Fire in the Hole for imbue shots, especially Imbue:Web after luring enemies to a spot and later also Imbue:Eora in order to pull enemies together to a very tight group.
    • use Hand Mortar for Twinned Shots
    • max Arcana --> craft scroll of Avenging Storm and/or use Heaven's Cacopohony
    • Avenging Storm + Twinned Shot with Hand Mortar will produce a ridiculous amount of hitt rolls (! like hundreds or even mor than thousand) rolls on the tightly packed targets. Blinding Smoke triggers Avenging Storm although Blinding Smoke does not deal damage itself --> unbelievable amount of AoE dmg with one Twinned Shot
    • Not especially wow in the early game though
    • you can keep the pet out of it (just use it as occasional body guard).

With Firebrand it's better to just use the scroll and not pick the Druid class - but it also works with a Druid. The "problem" is that the Druid class itself isn't particularly great when looking for non-shifted melee fighting with Firebrand (except Scion of Flame and Taste of the Hunt). You can use healing, buffing and CC though. Maybe I would go for Druid/Rogue or Druid/Helwalker instead of Devoted.

Great ideas!  Psion/Troubadour looks fun to play a debuff / CC role. I just did a FF monk, so I feel I want to play a different role besides flanker/off tank/ striker. 

In particular, I like your chanter multiclass builds. Chanter is such a versatile class. I like troubadour a lot, though I like having vanilla chanter to having no penalties. I admit I still cant decide whether or not use brisk recitation .  It seems like chants (skele summon PL 7) are really good, but for buffs it is better to have the extended linger.

SC Arcane archer sounds like something very different and fun! 

I might go in the cipher direction to utilize charm- I usually do not use it, and it is a real game changer (albeit not as strong as it was in PoE 1) 

 

3 hours ago, Kaylon said:

Some fun combos:

  • ghost heart/monk with Frostseeker and Helm of the White Void spamming Stunning Surge
  • soulblade/rogue with Sun and Moon & Tuotilo's Palm or Whispers of the Endless Paths spamming Soul Annihilation
  • devoted/berserker with Lord Darryn's Voulge using Clear Out
  • troubadour/priest with Sasha's Singing Scimitar, Least Unstable Coil, Weyc's robes and wand spamming invocations
  • paladin/nalpazka using Sacred Immolation with Sun and Moon and Magran's Favor
  • helwalker/streetfighter with mortars and Helm of the White Void spamming Stunning Surge
  • devoted/monk with Whispers of the Endless Paths using Clear Out
  • steel garrote/rogue with Modwyr and Watcher's Blade

Nice! these all sound very fun. I might try steel garrote / rogue for a new experience. I love Modwyr. 

Trobadour/priest would be fun too. It would be fun to have a support role MC!

18 minutes ago, Constentin Lévine said:

I really enjoy my sorcerer :

conjurer / fury nature godlike with the lance of the midwood stag , generic +4PL all the time (upon casting the conjurer familiar, fleet feets, and Woodskin or form of the demelgan), great CC build dammaging  in the same time ;

forbidden first / skald with aldris blade and tuotilos palm, very fast tanker able to great dammages and control

Great! The conjurer fury + 4 PL sounds great!  that is a huge boost. nice builds! 

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Some multiclass i really loved :

 

1) Soulblade  / Trickster . Build evolve around Wotep (offensive parry) + riposte. Use cipher's spell to buff your accuracy/deviation and debuff ennemy + trickster mirror image and kill them passively while casting spells/do whatever you want. Be carefull of arcane dampener, it will ruin you.

 

2) Berseker / Druid (ancient or shifter, depend of your taste). Build evolve around spreading Dot and using Wotep AOE to chomp ennemy in (many) pieces at lightning speed (recovery on kill, even from dot). Use taste of the hunt for fun. You need something to counter confusion or you will chomp both ennemy and allies. You can play it with wotep, shifted druid or firebrand (bonus point if you go fire godlike with firebrand for style).

 

3) Tactician / Skald. Build evolve around crits and brilliant. Infinite ressource + phrases stacking really fast. Bring a cipher for phantom foe. You can replace tactician by a berseker, they have good crit generation too (but no ressource recovery). Use the community patch to cast "the dragon trashed..." and the concentration removal chants.

 

4) Fury druid / stormspeaker (need a mod) : RP favor for an elemental conjurer. 

 

5) Psion / bloodmage : RP favor by using mostly decay/dot spells & CC.

 

6) Debonnaire / beguiler : charm, crit, charm, crit, charm, crit.. while standing in the shadows....

 

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1 hour ago, Exanos said:

Some multiclass i really loved :

 

1) Soulblade  / Trickster . Build evolve around Wotep (offensive parry) + riposte. Use cipher's spell to buff your accuracy/deviation and debuff ennemy + trickster mirror image and kill them passively while casting spells/do whatever you want. Be carefull of arcane dampener, it will ruin you.

 

2) Berseker / Druid (ancient or shifter, depend of your taste). Build evolve around spreading Dot and using Wotep AOE to chomp ennemy in (many) pieces at lightning speed (recovery on kill, even from dot). Use taste of the hunt for fun. You need something to counter confusion or you will chomp both ennemy and allies. You can play it with wotep, shifted druid or firebrand (bonus point if you go fire godlike with firebrand for style).

 

3) Tactician / Skald. Build evolve around crits and brilliant. Infinite ressource + phrases stacking really fast. Bring a cipher for phantom foe. You can replace tactician by a berseker, they have good crit generation too (but no ressource recovery). Use the community patch to cast "the dragon trashed..." and the concentration removal chants.

 

4) Fury druid / stormspeaker (need a mod) : RP favor for an elemental conjurer. 

 

5) Psion / bloodmage : RP favor by using mostly decay/dot spells & CC.

 

6) Debonnaire / beguiler : charm, crit, charm, crit, charm, crit.. while standing in the shadows....

 

Nice build ideas! Skald sounds like a fun build , so I might try that one!

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I would highly recommend giving one of the newer post-4.0 subclasses a try in some shape or form if you haven't already. A lot of them are really interesting and some of them very transformative to the class play experience (like psion, where you could do psion/caster and unlike a normal cipher it really works well).

Interesting post-4.0 subclasses of note that I can vouch for: Furyshaper, Debonaire, Psion, Ancient. Blood mage and tactician obviously, but they strike me more as straightforwardly "powerful" rather than "intriguing"

 

edit - very recently I did a Furyshaper/Stalker companion that I just threw in on a whim that ended up surprising me with how effective it was. Interrupting blows + carnage with ranger accuracy is very nice, and the stalker +1 AR plus barbarian thick skinned on a fire godlike meant that I was surprisingly tanky even with frenzy active. Having fury totem and fear totem at hand was real nice, too.

Edited by thelee
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I personally had a lot of fun with a Streetfighter/Forbidden Fist multiclass (if you have the community patch, it fixes the forbidden fist ability to actually be a weapon attack that benefits from sneak attack). The idea is that Forbidden Fists have the unique ability to deal self damage extremely fast; a Streetfighter multiclassed with anything else can sometimes run into the problem of not losing health fast enough before his allies go down and therefore needs to cheese the subclass mechanic with blunderbusses, sparkcrackers and cinder bombs.

 

Anyhow, you can go the safe route by being a Nature Godlike for consistent +1 PL, or you can take the fun route and be a Death Godlike which encourages not just being Bloodied, but actually Near Death, at which point you more or less ascend to godhood and have one of the highest single target damage potentials in the game (Mythic tier fists, Tenacious inspiration, chain attacks when you crit, -50% recovery time, ridiculous sneak attack damage, deathblows). You'll probably want to bring a priest with BDD of course. That said, you're fairly tanky too, so even without a Priest you won't die immediately even at low health as long as you don't have a ridiculous number of FF stacks.

 

Stat distribution: neutral might and dexterity. Dump Intellect, you want FF debuff to be as short as possible so you can quickly acquire wounds by repeatedly gaining only a single stack and letting it expire. Max out Resolve, then Perception (you want crits for chain attacks from Heartbeat Drumming and Swift Flurry), then put the rest into constitution.

 

On the rogue side of the tree Ring the Bell and Toxic Strike are useful in conjunction with the Enfeebled you apply through FF. Escape is obviously good for repositioning and getting out of dangerous situations. On the monk side of the tree you take Swift Flurry, Enduring Dance, Thunderous Blows and Turning Wheel. That's it, since FF has problems with generating sufficient wounds, and I like to save up Mortification to reuse SF/Enduring Dance when they expire. All your other skill points go into passive abilities, since both trees have lots of good ones.

 

As for how far you should push your Forbidden Fist ability, you'll have to figure it out yourself. 3 stacks hurts a lot but only gets you to around Bloodied. 4 stacks will pretty much drain all your health. A fun fact is that if you have your negative effects suppressed by a Priest or Paladin, you can spam FF like you have no stacks as well. It will cost 0 wounds, but the debuff stacks will still accrue and eventually activate when the suppression wears off. With Xoti in tow, I started a lot of fights with Devotions for the Faithful - Dire Blessing - Suppress Affliction, and then when it was about to wear off, use BDD because the debuff would otherwise OHKO you with a single tick.

 

For gear, I steal Tuotilo's Palm when I have ~10 ish mechanics on one of my party members. The Skaen Robe you find in the Hanging Sepulchres is really nice, as Might Affliction immunity prevents you from losing Tenacious, and the low health effect constantly triggers since you're often Near Death.

 

Out of the 6 or 7 PotD upscaled runs I've done, this build had one of the highest damage outputs. Great fun.

 

Josh Sawyer tweeting my screenshot of this build I posted on Reddit:

 

 

 

His courage thick as steel:

20201119001423_1.jpg

Edited by NotDumbEnough
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I played FF/Streetfighter and it was really cool, indeed, but it was mortar focused. Firstly i dumped Con and Mig (with perma buffs it was above 10 anyway, so no negative modifier) - sneak attack and deathblows do the job for weapon dmg. Max Res, Dex, high int for mortar AoE and Deep Wounds- forbidden curse ticks when applied, then after every 3 sec, so making it last less than 2.9 is unnecessary.

Powder Burns distracts to activates streetfighter bonus and wears off after ~3.5sec with buffed Int (giving wound, healing and activating Crucible of Suffering), so one can rotate stunning surge and forbidden fist.

Toxic Strike, Stunning Surge and Confounding Blind on AoE are insane, especially with Fire in the Hole jump and Kitchen Stove 4 hit rolls on single enemy.

I picked Human instead of Godlike, to put Helm of the White Void which works with all core abilities. Mach it with Guardians Plate and Frostfur Mantle - it's one of the few classes, that use it effectively, and get bonus for stylish look👌

 

 

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Forbidden Fists are cool (also check out Steel Garrote + FF which is very good in the early game due to enfeebled + Garrote ability) - but I have a slight hunch that OP doesn't want to play another one after having completed his last run with a Forbidden Fist as initially stated... :)

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12 hours ago, thelee said:

I would highly recommend giving one of the newer post-4.0 subclasses a try in some shape or form if you haven't already. A lot of them are really interesting and some of them very transformative to the class play experience (like psion, where you could do psion/caster and unlike a normal cipher it really works well).

Interesting post-4.0 subclasses of note that I can vouch for: Furyshaper, Debonaire, Psion, Ancient. Blood mage and tactician obviously, but they strike me more as straightforwardly "powerful" rather than "intriguing"

 

edit - very recently I did a Furyshaper/Stalker companion that I just threw in on a whim that ended up surprising me with how effective it was. Interrupting blows + carnage with ranger accuracy is very nice, and the stalker +1 AR plus barbarian thick skinned on a fire godlike meant that I was surprisingly tanky even with frenzy active. Having fury totem and fear totem at hand was real nice, too.

Yes, I think cipher looks fun. i haven't run with a cipher yet besides some megaboss fights. I like the subclass aspect; I just played FF and it was so fun! 

11 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

I personally had a lot of fun with a Streetfighter/Forbidden Fist multiclass (if you have the community patch, it fixes the forbidden fist ability to actually be a weapon attack that benefits from sneak attack). The idea is that Forbidden Fists have the unique ability to deal self damage extremely fast; a Streetfighter multiclassed with anything else can sometimes run into the problem of not losing health fast enough before his allies go down and therefore needs to cheese the subclass mechanic with blunderbusses, sparkcrackers and cinder bombs.

 

Anyhow, you can go the safe route by being a Nature Godlike for consistent +1 PL, or you can take the fun route and be a Death Godlike which encourages not just being Bloodied, but actually Near Death, at which point you more or less ascend to godhood and have one of the highest single target damage potentials in the game (Mythic tier fists, Tenacious inspiration, chain attacks when you crit, -50% recovery time, ridiculous sneak attack damage, deathblows). You'll probably want to bring a priest with BDD of course. That said, you're fairly tanky too, so even without a Priest you won't die immediately even at low health as long as you don't have a ridiculous number of FF stacks.

 

Stat distribution: neutral might and dexterity. Dump Intellect, you want FF debuff to be as short as possible so you can quickly acquire wounds by repeatedly gaining only a single stack and letting it expire. Max out Resolve, then Perception (you want crits for chain attacks from Heartbeat Drumming and Swift Flurry), then put the rest into constitution.

 

On the rogue side of the tree Ring the Bell and Toxic Strike are useful in conjunction with the Enfeebled you apply through FF. Escape is obviously good for repositioning and getting out of dangerous situations. On the monk side of the tree you take Swift Flurry, Enduring Dance, Thunderous Blows and Turning Wheel. That's it, since FF has problems with generating sufficient wounds, and I like to save up Mortification to reuse SF/Enduring Dance when they expire. All your other skill points go into passive abilities, since both trees have lots of good ones.

 

As for how far you should push your Forbidden Fist ability, you'll have to figure it out yourself. 3 stacks hurts a lot but only gets you to around Bloodied. 4 stacks will pretty much drain all your health. A fun fact is that if you have your negative effects suppressed by a Priest or Paladin, you can spam FF like you have no stacks as well. It will cost 0 wounds, but the debuff stacks will still accrue and eventually activate when the suppression wears off. With Xoti in tow, I started a lot of fights with Devotions for the Faithful - Dire Blessing - Suppress Affliction, and then when it was about to wear off, use BDD because the debuff would otherwise OHKO you with a single tick.

 

For gear, I steal Tuotilo's Palm when I have ~10 ish mechanics on one of my party members. The Skaen Robe you find in the Hanging Sepulchres is really nice, as Might Affliction immunity prevents you from losing Tenacious, and the low health effect constantly triggers since you're often Near Death.

 

Out of the 6 or 7 PotD upscaled runs I've done, this build had one of the highest damage outputs. Great fun.

 

Josh Sawyer tweeting my screenshot of this build I posted on Reddit:

 

 

 

His courage thick as steel:

20201119001423_1.jpg

Nice! I didn't know suppress affliction / Paladin's version allows you to spam FF. That being said, I will have to try it in the future. Great strat!

4 hours ago, Powerotti said:

I played FF/Streetfighter and it was really cool, indeed, but it was mortar focused. Firstly i dumped Con and Mig (with perma buffs it was above 10 anyway, so no negative modifier) - sneak attack and deathblows do the job for weapon dmg. Max Res, Dex, high int for mortar AoE and Deep Wounds- forbidden curse ticks when applied, then after every 3 sec, so making it last less than 2.9 is unnecessary.

Powder Burns distracts to activates streetfighter bonus and wears off after ~3.5sec with buffed Int (giving wound, healing and activating Crucible of Suffering), so one can rotate stunning surge and forbidden fist.

Toxic Strike, Stunning Surge and Confounding Blind on AoE are insane, especially with Fire in the Hole jump and Kitchen Stove 4 hit rolls on single enemy.

I picked Human instead of Godlike, to put Helm of the White Void which works with all core abilities. Mach it with Guardians Plate and Frostfur Mantle - it's one of the few classes, that use it effectively, and get bonus for stylish look👌

 

 

Streetfighter sounds very fun. I really like the syngery i've learned about mortars ability to apply an effect to an AOE from reading the forums @Boeroer 

A lot of people seem to like streetfighter/priest, so this one has some nice variety. !

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So, I am going to to something with a cipher or chanter. I want to focus on CC, defbuff, and a little support. 

Is there any real reason to SC cipher? It seems most people prefer a martial class+cipher to maximize focus gain. The downside of a multiclass, however, is fewer points to spend on the cipher tree (which is expansive if you consider the passives); also, the powerlevels will suffer, meaning accuracy s Alot of cipher passives are really good, and I like having a large arsenal of cipher skills for given situations (albeit, I tend to take too many skills at times, so I don't want to overload my active skills economy)

 

What I am concerned about is the term action economy @thelee, meaning will I have too many skills to use for a fight.  By the way, i LOVE the Game FAQ guide. 

The way I see it, it depends on how I build it, which is not inherent to the classes/subclasses themselves:

For instance, for synergy,  let's look at Cipher+ranger: two variations

1) DPS build. Focus on accuracy buffs ,crits, and damage, using the cipher tree to augment the ranger's skills. Minor role = debuffer CC

2) CC build / debuff: action economy is spent on spell casting, using ranger passives and skills to maximize focus generation. 

 

If I go the chanter rote, I want to focus on CC /debuff, and light heals.

I am thinking of:

1) troubador/fighter - able to hold the off tank position . buff, and cc up close. Probably summons too. 

2) beckoner/ ranger: range focused and CC/summons from range. Party support

3)  Troubador / rogue - DPS combined with upclose CC / DMG. 

  

 

 

 

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Action economy is a thing when you have plenty resources but only that much time to execute your abilities. With Cipher and Chanter it's often the other way round: not enough resources  (yet) to cast something (at least the expensive stuff). :)

Hence my Psion/Troubadour dude which I really liked because: if focus is down you'll have phrases - and once those are down you'll have focus again. With the help of cipher's Lingering Echoes and decent INT I could paralyze-lock most enemies with Killers Froze Stiff and squeeze a cheap Soul Shock in between - and so on. 

For me there's two main motivations to go SC Cipher (mostly applies to Ascendant because he has max focus while ascended - but also Beguiler because he can cast stuff without actually losing focus): Shared Nightmare which leads to a huge, huge AoE increase and Driving Echoes which turns a good fellow nuker caster into an awesome one (for example). Stuff like Missile Salvo is just so much better with +8 PEN.

Shared Nightmare is also fun when you use AoE weapons like mortars, WotEP, rods etc .: the AoE of those will also grow with Shared Nightmare.

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1 hour ago, mjo2138 said:

If I go the chanter rote, I want to focus on CC /debuff, and light heals.

A really nice CC/debuffer can be the Skald/Furyshaper with a Morning Star (Willbreaker).
You will lower Will via Fear Ward (-10 terrify) + the Willbreaker (-3 per hit, stacks) and Fortitude via The Long Night's Drink (-10 from weaken) + Body Blows (-25) + Spirit Frenzy (+10 from stagger). With Brute Force and the significantly debuffed fortitude the crits come easily, giving you good phrase generation. At the same time stuff like Killers Froze Stiff and Ben Fidel's Neck (the -10 to all defenses stacks with the aforementioned debuffs) are really cheap for a Skald (and target Will mostly). 

Such a guy is a blessing for every party member that has abilites that target Fortitude (Cipher with Disintegration for example or some great Wizard spells) or Will (like Priest, Cipher with Deceptions or other Chanters). 

Also don't underestimate the Fear Ward: it's very impactful. If you also have a guy in the party who can abuse disengagment attacks (like an Unbroken/Trickster for example) you will smile. 

Losing wards is no problem if you have a Priest: cast Withdraw on the ward. It will still work but will be untouchable.

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2 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

Is there any real reason to SC cipher? It seems most people prefer a martial class+cipher to maximize focus gain

boeroer mentions driving echoes, but also i would argue reaping knives and death of a 1000 cuts are real fun powers, but a little niche or require quite a bit of setup to really take advantage of it.

 

i think SC psion is the best argument for an SC cipher, because the extra power levels increases psion focus generation quite a bit over multiclass. it's not hard to get PL11 (PL9 normally, +1 from prestige, and +1 from numerous possible sources) which gives you +50% focus generation over an equivalent PL8 (PL7, +1 from same source) multiclass psion (6/sec vs 4/sec). at the same time though, psion/caster multiclass is just extremely effective/efficient with action economy and resources. so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I would also add that Thunderous Report from Kitchen Stove fills your focus almost instantly if you hit 2+ targets which makes multiclassing with a martial class greatly redundant. On Ascendants in particular I feel that it is somewhat abusive. You start every single fight ascended and with Time Parasite and Borrowed Instincts you quickly start spamming Amplified Wave faster than enemies get back up.

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On 12/26/2020 at 2:49 PM, Boeroer said:

A really nice CC/debuffer can be the Skald/Furyshaper with a Morning Star (Willbreaker).
You will lower Will via Fear Ward (-10 terrify) + the Willbreaker (-3 per hit, stacks) and Fortitude via The Long Night's Drink (-10 from weaken) + Body Blows (-25) + Spirit Frenzy (+10 from stagger). With Brute Force and the significantly debuffed fortitude the crits come easily, giving you good phrase generation. At the same time stuff like Killers Froze Stiff and Ben Fidel's Neck (the -10 to all defenses stacks with the aforementioned debuffs) are really cheap for a Skald (and target Will mostly). 

Such a guy is a blessing for every party member that has abilites that target Fortitude (Cipher with Disintegration for example or some great Wizard spells) or Will (like Priest, Cipher with Deceptions or other Chanters). 

Also don't underestimate the Fear Ward: it's very impactful. If you also have a guy in the party who can abuse disengagment attacks (like an Unbroken/Trickster for example) you will smile. 

Losing wards is no problem if you have a Priest: cast Withdraw on the ward. It will still work but will be untouchable.

Furyshaper sounds fun; i havent played that subclass yet.  I need to focus on weapon modals to debuff enemy stats more; I haven't been doing that . I might do a beguiler/beckoner for a full support/ CC build

23 hours ago, thelee said:

boeroer mentions driving echoes, but also i would argue reaping knives and death of a 1000 cuts are real fun powers, but a little niche or require quite a bit of setup to really take advantage of it.

 

i think SC psion is the best argument for an SC cipher, because the extra power levels increases psion focus generation quite a bit over multiclass. it's not hard to get PL11 (PL9 normally, +1 from prestige, and +1 from numerous possible sources) which gives you +50% focus generation over an equivalent PL8 (PL7, +1 from same source) multiclass psion (6/sec vs 4/sec). at the same time though, psion/caster multiclass is just extremely effective/efficient with action economy and resources. so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Nice. Yeah I think i wanan do a SC cipher to really 'see' what the class offers, before doing a multiclass. Also, the post below mentions that a cipher with kitchen stove can get full focus, so I wonder if a multiclass is even needed. Considering most fights end in 60 seconds or less, I wonder if I really wanna spend my action economy using martial skills and spells.  

10 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

I would also add that Thunderous Report from Kitchen Stove fills your focus almost instantly if you hit 2+ targets which makes multiclassing with a martial class greatly redundant. On Ascendants in particular I feel that it is somewhat abusive. You start every single fight ascended and with Time Parasite and Borrowed Instincts you quickly start spamming Amplified Wave faster than enemies get back up.

That is great to learn! I will have to make a choice now. 

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On 12/26/2020 at 3:40 PM, thelee said:

boeroer mentions driving echoes, but also i would argue reaping knives and death of a 1000 cuts are real fun powers, but a little niche or require quite a bit of setup to really take advantage of it.

 

i think SC psion is the best argument for an SC cipher, because the extra power levels increases psion focus generation quite a bit over multiclass. it's not hard to get PL11 (PL9 normally, +1 from prestige, and +1 from numerous possible sources) which gives you +50% focus generation over an equivalent PL8 (PL7, +1 from same source) multiclass psion (6/sec vs 4/sec). at the same time though, psion/caster multiclass is just extremely effective/efficient with action economy and resources. so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well I am gonna do a new playthrough, and I might try Psion. I tried to do SC Ascendant, but it felt like it was going to be too strong, and reliant on SoT to really make it worthwhile. In my style, I'd rather be able to cast spells once battle starts, and not suffer any minus power level.  That being said, I am not sure the -1 PL is that noticable, even on POTD (plus it can be offset through food bonuses from wraps) 

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1 hour ago, mjo2138 said:

Well I am gonna do a new playthrough, and I might try Psion. I tried to do SC Ascendant, but it felt like it was going to be too strong, and reliant on SoT to really make it worthwhile. In my style, I'd rather be able to cast spells once battle starts, and not suffer any minus power level.  That being said, I am not sure the -1 PL is that noticable, even on POTD (plus it can be offset through food bonuses from wraps) 

well, that's the way it always is with any incremental change. it's not going to overpoweringly be obvious, but it will matter over the long term. same with with a random +1 PL here and there, or a +1 stat here and there, each individual won't be blindingly obvious, but will incrementally make fights easier, until you have enough of them and *then* it becomes obvious.

 

on POTD though you might notice 1 PL a lot more, because -1 PL might be *just* enough to make you miss full penetration and get a -25% damage penalty, or worse, go from -50% penalty (sucks but you can try to knuckle through it) to -75% penalty (basically not worth doing, a further halving of your damage from -50%)

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52 minutes ago, thelee said:

well, that's the way it always is with any incremental change. it's not going to overpoweringly be obvious, but it will matter over the long term. same with with a random +1 PL here and there, or a +1 stat here and there, each individual won't be blindingly obvious, but will incrementally make fights easier, until you have enough of them and *then* it becomes obvious.

 

on POTD though you might notice 1 PL a lot more, because -1 PL might be *just* enough to make you miss full penetration and get a -25% damage penalty, or worse, go from -50% penalty (sucks but you can try to knuckle through it) to -75% penalty (basically not worth doing, a further halving of your damage from -50%)

Thanks for the feedback! Yes,  I was thinking the same thing actually. A small boost in penetration can mean the difference between avoiding underpenetration esp. on POTD.  What's interesting is that the cipher's passive have  some boosts to penetration and accuracy across the board, so Imagine that those, along with the +2 PL food item, would negate Ascendant's penalty once mid game starts (maybe even earlier, using BB's 50k). That being said, I can imagine not landing deception spells as easily with the global -PL. 

Just before I took a nap, I was thinking about this options too.  Mainly, I'd like to play a SC Cipher to really get a 'feel' for the cipher class before moving onto multiclassing. It is great how much variety and replayability this game has!

It sounds like Psion is a great fit for SC cipher as a spellcaster/debuffer/CC'er . The focus generation would be great, and fit the playstyle of a 'backline' caster. 

SC Beguiler seems like battle changing character who is a load of fun! I imagine using other party members (Teheku, for example) It'd be easy create 'Vulnerable to sneak attack"  on mobs. Heck, even Phantom Foes would do the trick! Plus, I really like charm spells, and this seems like a great to utilize them since they have been 'debuffed' since POE 1. 

SC Soulblade seems out of the question, since it appears to have a better synergy with a martial class. 

SC Ascendant would be so powerful, but again I like to start battles off casting. Maybe I am just impatient, however, since I bet this character would benefit from the X amount of seconds casting all the high level spells once I hit the more difficult content in DLCs and endgame. Playing with it early game, it's great to have that time where you spam spells, but then it is a bit anticlimatic to have it drop back to 0. I just am trying to vary my party composition. I ran with a priest last time, so I want to do things differently. 

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I played an SC ascendant to about level 19, then quit. It's ridiculously broken to the point that it drains the fun out of the game. Hint: you can use Thunderous Report on Kitchen Stove to instantly fill your focus almost to max. It deals 100+ damage in a large AOE and gives you focus, and better yet it's per encounter. Every single fight ended up being Thunderous Report - Borrowed Instincts - Time Parasite (until I reached 7 or 8 stacks), then spam Amplified Wave until everyone is dead (with 8 stacks of Time Parasite, you Prone them faster than they can get back up), while Xoti just drops two Salvations of Time on me. 

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I think Psion is a bad choice for a SC Cipher, actually.

On a SC you want to cast a lot of Cipher powers - something a Psion can't enable trough most of the game. Meanwhile a Beguiler, Ascendant, or even a Vanilla cipher will be able to spam their powers a lot more with a strong weapon (a Beguiler doesn't even need one most of the time).

A Psion is actually a MC material - for casters. Cast some spells from another class, meanwhile charging Focus, then some cipher powers, than again spells from another class....

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A Psion can be excellent as SC Cipher.

Soul Mind scales with Power Level which means an SC Psion gains a lot more focus per second than a MC Psion at any time.
You can spam low-level powers like Soul Shock non-stop (if you want) because your focus generation will be higher than your focus spending.
With Shared Nightmare you will have very big AoEs for your powers. Your low level ones you can cast without actually losing net focus - so you are spamming those powers with ridiculously big AoE sizes at all times (after some warm-up-phase). And you don't have to do anything to gain that focus.
Another nice synergy is Death of 1000 cuts + Antipathetic Field or Mind Blades. Those two are so cheap that you can spam them nonstop - and Do1000C will get prolonged with every shred hit so you don't have to recast it. That's really nice in fights against tough dudes. The damage of APField/Mind Blades doesn't even matter.

As most people know I think Beguiler is great - but in boss fights the Beguiler will struggle to generate a high amount of focus like all other ciphers do - especially if the Beguiler wants to cast something else than Deceptions. Against mobs prone to deceptions he absolutely rules of course. But the Psion is way better against bosses and high defense targets imo.   

I also like that you can withdraw a Psion and he will emerge from it fully healed and loaded with focus.

Another thing is Reaping Knives: Psions get 5 focus from every knife hit - like any other Cipher.

At first I was very sceptical of the Psion - but now after really toying with him and playing one it's actually my favorite Cipher subclass on par with Beguiler.

---

However! You are absolutely right that a Psion/caster multiclass is ALSO very good. :) I played Psion/Troubadour and it was great one of the most fun experiences for me (AFTER mortar Monk of course... of course... <Fat Thor vs. Starlord meme>). You will always have some resource (focus or phrase) to use and Killers Froze Stiff + Lingering Echoes, combined with for example Soul Shock is great. Paralyze - shock - paralyze - shock [...] paralyze - shock- win. 😄  

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