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


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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

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.
 

Never tried a SC Psion cause i was sceptical too.  I'm afraid to be be  stuck with "only" low lvl spell for frequent use (at least before getting reaping knives) and to be heavily targeted (not very tanky) causing an heavy loss of psion's regeneration... 

Glad to know that it can be way better i think as a SC.

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14 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

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. 

Yes, this is what I was worried about. Even playing an SC ascendant early game it felt so strong. I remember reading this about Kitchen Stove somewhere in the forums, so thanks again for reminding me! Perhaps it was you? 

9 hours ago, Haplok said:

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....

 

1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

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. 😄  

You Both have great points, Haplok and Boeroer and thanks for the insights.  I like to be strong for boss fights, so I might lean towards a Psion, or heck maybe even a vanilla cipher. I dislike not having focus on hand, so a Psion could be a fun class for that reason. 

Or perhaps I can play a vanilla cipher and use Kitchen stove, along with some chanter support to ensure fast reload times. 

For the subsequent build , I will have to look into a beguiler/beckoner like you mentioned before, or a beguiler/rogue! 

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You can either use the Community Patch which moves the focus generation stop from gettig hit to getting crit or you make sure your Psion doesn't get attacked (a lot).

For me it was surprisingly easy to do: if you play a ranged caster and put him/her into good armor and/or give a shield (don't need weapon anyways) you won't get targeted. It's always the more squishy party members left and right who will get shot. Then make sure most enemies are no able to attack you (Mind Control for example). 
I gave my Test-SC-Psion Deltro's Cage because I wanted to maximize the dmgoutput of Soul Shock and I also didn't want to cast too quickly. ;)  

You can of course also cast high level powers. Then you'll have to wait a bit before having accumulated enough focus for the next big cast. The good thing about the low level stuff is that some of it scales really well with Power Level (e.g. Mind Blades and Soul Shock) but also that you can spam it really non-stop. Psions get +0.5 focus per second for every Power Level so make sure you stack as many as you can (Prestige + Stone of Power = 1 more focus per second). If you have a Druid in the party give the Lance of the Midwood Stag to the Psion and cast Woodskin or Form of the Delemgan on him: he gets another +1 focus per second because of "Lord of the Forest". And so on. It's not outlandish to get to 7 focus per second at the highest levels.  That way you can spam tier-3-powers non-stop (with normal casting speed). You can cast Disintegration or Amplified Wave every 10 secs or so. I think that's pretty cool given the fact that you don't need to "harvest" focus.

If you are casting stuff like Soul Shock or Whisper of Treason with a focus generation of 7 focus per second you actually don't need to wait for anything. You're generating focus so quickly that you'll reach max focus eventually despite spamming low level stuff. 

Last not least the Telekinetic Burst is an ability which is good in hard fights because you can spam it nonstop (because 10 focus) and it interrupts on graze vs. Will (?) which is great against annoying stuff like Neriscyrlas and her Lengrath's Safeguard and other caster stuff. 

Psion is not the fastest mob killer but it's great in those tough, long fights you will have later in the game with the DLCs, some bosses and also Megabosses.

As I said: I had lots of fun with Psion/Troubadour right from lvl 1 on. SC Psion wouldn't be my favorite pick but it works well.

    

Edited by Boeroer
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17 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

You can either use the Community Patch which moves the focus generation stop from gettig hit to getting crit or you make sure your Psion doesn't get attacked (a lot).

For me it was surprisingly easy to do: if you play a ranged caster and put him/her into good armor and/or give a shield (don't need weapon anyways) you won't get targeted. It's always the more squishy party members left and right who will get shot. Then make sure most enemies are no able to attack you (Mind Control for example). 
I gave my Test-SC-Psion Deltro's Cage because I wanted to maximize the dmgoutput of Soul Shock and I also didn't want to cast too quickly. ;)  

You can of course also cast high level powers. Then you'll have to wait a bit before having accumulated enough focus for the next big cast. The good thing about the low level stuff is that some of it scales really well with Power Level (e.g. Mind Blades and Soul Shock) but also that you can spam it really non-stop. Psions get +0.5 focus per second for every Power Level so make sure you stack as many as you can (Prestige + Stone of Power = 1 more focus per second). If you have a Druid in the party give the Lance of the Midwood Stag to the Psion and cast Woodskin or Form of the Delemgan on him: he gets another +1 focus per second because of "Lord of the Forest". And so on. It's not outlandish to get to 7 focus per second at the highest levels.  That way you can spam tier-3-powers non-stop (with normal casting speed). You can cast Disintegration or Amplified Wave every 10 secs or so. I think that's pretty cool given the fact that you don't need to "harvest" focus.

If you are casting stuff like Soul Shock or Whisper of Treason with a focus generation of 7 focus per second you actually don't need to wait for anything. You're generating focus so quickly that you'll reach max focus eventually despite spamming low level stuff. 

Last not least the Telekinetic Burst is an ability which is good in hard fights because you can spam it nonstop (because 10 focus) and it interrupts on graze vs. Will (?) which is great against annoying stuff like Neriscyrlas and her Lengrath's Safeguard and other caster stuff. 

Psion is not the fastest mob killer but it's great in those tough, long fights you will have later in the game with the DLCs, some bosses and also Megabosses.

As I said: I had lots of fun with Psion/Troubadour right from lvl 1 on. SC Psion wouldn't be my favorite pick but it works well.

    

Thank you for these insights! It sounds like SC Psion would be a fun choice for a SC Cipher. Having constant focus regenerations means have to worry about running out of focus during tough fights where my weapons wouldn't generate enough focus.  Lord of the forest buff sounds like a real boon. One last thing I'd ask if how would you choose race/stats for a SC Psion? I would prioritize INT , DEX and PER, keep RES / MIG at 10ish,  and then I guess dump CON some.  I guess heath orlan would be a good choice, or maybe a nature godlike. 

 

 

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I personally dumped CON and RES. Since I really don't like getting terrified and also getting frightened against dragons and such is annoying I often pick Wild Orlan.

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What about a Corpse eater/ascendant witch multiclass? I suggest this only because you'd get a really big PL boost (+2) from foods like Forbidden Flesh Pie as well as the +3 PL for cipher powers when ascended. If you went with Nature Godlike you really could get a serious PL boost, which would mean better ACC, etc. when you spam powers. The +1 rage for barbarian abilities is a bummer, but you'd mainly rely on barbarian passives for a witch build I think. I've never played a Corpse Eater so I have no idea how well it would work, but I think I might try it. Should be fun at the very least. [Edit. I just noticed Boeroer's reply to another recent post, and saw that the +2 PL from kith meat food only works with barbarian abilities. I guess this is not as good a combo as I initially surmised.]

Edited by dgray62
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On 12/25/2020 at 12:43 AM, AndreaColombo said:

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)

Just out of curiosity, are you planning a melee run again with your planned Streetfighter / Ascendant run, AndreaColumbia? If so, will you go the two-handed route again, or dual wield?

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if you like solo and casting trobadour/psion is open to very different fight styles, e.g. you can use pain linked (at high speed from stealth) kamikaze summons and finish the enemy with disintegration (hauani no divide), you can use the sabre of paralyzing chillfog with chant spamming skeletons and spam cipher spells on paralyzed enemies. You just need high stealth to lure enemies on traps and start chanting/filling focus unseen (especially with Vela)

Edited by abot
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Hey you know what? I played Troubadour/Psion and really liked it - but I didn't think about using summons with Pain Link. That's a fun idea! :)

Now I'm thinking about a Wizard/Psion who uses retaliation gear like Ragged Cloak, Magran's Blessing etc. and Pain Link on an Essential Phantom... 🤔

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8 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Hey you know what? I played Troubadour/Psion and really liked it - but I didn't think about using summons with Pain Link. That's a fun idea! :)

Now I'm thinking about a Wizard/Psion who uses retaliation gear like Ragged Cloak, Magran's Blessing etc. and Pain Link on an Essential Phantom... 🤔

i think you can target only controlled summons (e.g. from chanter/priest/druid/ranger) with cipher spells,  else keeping Vela alive would be easier too. Maybe with monk summons?

Edited by abot
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Ah right. Too bad. Well - I didn't think about Pain Link on summons at all before so it's still a gain for me. :)

Maybe I didn't think about it because in most cases cipher spells which need an allied anchor don't work with summons (like Amplified Wave and so on).

Edited by Boeroer

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3 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Ah right. Too bad. Well - I didn't think about Pain Link on summons at all before so it's still a gain for me. :)

Maybe I didn't think about it because in most cipher spells which need an allied anchor don't work with summons (like Amplified Wave and so on).

amplified wave works at least with chanter/priest summons, but what I really love is some cast of screaming souls on many lives pass skeleton ( 30-50 base raw on huge area + distracted, I use it to replace phantom foes opener when I have enough focus), you can target also ancient weapons but many lives is easier as you can start casting safe from afar as soon as the skeleton appears and the skelly will auto run to the enemies)
[EDIT] and about kamikaze pain linked summons, wurms are great as they are
1. cheap enough
2. 3 better than 2
3. sturdy enough to survive the time pain link is active
4. very mobile/not slowed by water
5. can hit nasty ranged enemies with fire attack while soaking damage from melee
6. if you like micro they can get 2/3 good crit damage from disengaging causing 30% of that damage automatically to a tough auto engaging attacker e.g. dragons or multiple attacker (e.g. 3 heavily armored melee warriors all engaging a single wurm, nice let me disengage 🙂 )

Edited by abot
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I like tricks like Spark the Souls (Priest) + Beckoner's Ancient Brittle Bones. ;)

And of course the completely OP Berserker/Beckoner with Ancient Brittle Bones and Many Lives Pass by wielding Grave Falling/Chilling Grave. 

I don't use summons that often though because they are just too impactful in general. Like with scrolls and other consumables I mostly avoid them.

Nice summons trick by the way: play a Chanter/Streetfighter, summon whisps and let them shoot you (preferable also wear Deltro's Cage Helmet). Use the Red Hand with Sure Handed Ila. You'll get reload time bonuses: -50%, -20% and -20%. Fun! :)

Edited by Boeroer
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10 hours ago, Boeroer said:

And of course the completely OP Berserker/Beckoner with Ancient Brittle Bones and Many Lives Pass by wielding Grave Falling/Chilling Grave. 

I can attest that this build is insane, but don't try it unless you have a really good graphics card. If you don't, your game will slow to a snail's pace due to the many, many procs of foe-only chill fog.

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On 1/29/2021 at 8:53 PM, dgray62 said:

Just out of curiosity, are you planning a melee run again with your planned Streetfighter / Ascendant run, AndreaColumbia? If so, will you go the two-handed route again, or dual wield?

ROTFL @ AndreaColumbia 😄

I'm taking a bit of a rest from Deadfire at the moment. I may or may not go back to the Streetfighter / Ascendant concept but, if I do, it'll be with an estoc again.

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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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That Troubadour/Psion build sounds kind of fun. Might go for that next play. I'm torn between that and some kind of Paladin. How do you handle the Troubadour/Psion, Boeroer? Do you wear a shield with Sasha's Scimitar? I suppose that + the Blood Armor would probably make a decently tanky caster that can just spam invocations and cipher spells all day? 

Right now I'm playing a SC Ancient and it's really strong. With Spine of Thicket Green the dots are really powerful, and the summons are really useful too. It can also heal and dish out decent melee damage when needed with Spiritshift. It's pretty badass. 

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I used the Sasha's Singing Scimitar and for some time Lethandria's Devotion but also Griffin's Blade. Weyc's Wand is the goal obviously but that comes very late. I wasn't in the front line though because Psion's focus generation will stop when you get hit - and you don't want that.  

Exported Weyc's Wand would be cool I guess. But generally you don't need any special items to make Psion/Troubadour work. It's fun out of the box. :)

Ancient is cool. I also use Lance of the Midwood Stag because the PL bonus is only 1 less but works for all spells, including Decay ones which otherwise don't know any PL bonuses. See Infestation of Maggots and so on.

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9 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Ancient is cool. I also use Lance of the Midwood Stag because the PL bonus is only 1 less but works for all spells, including Decay ones which otherwise don't know any PL bonuses. See Infestation of Maggots and so on.

I'm playing a nature godlike SC ancient right now, its pretty fun. I'm wondering though why you prefer the Lance to the Spine of Thicket Green, considering crushing damage is a little more flexible i find and the +20 % dmg to vessels comes in real handy.

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25 minutes ago, dukeisaac said:

I'm playing a nature godlike SC ancient right now, its pretty fun. I'm wondering though why you prefer the Lance to the Spine of Thicket Green, considering crushing damage is a little more flexible i find and the +20 % dmg to vessels comes in real handy.

I think it's like he said: because the PL bonus applies to decay spells too, whereas Spine of Thicket Green only applies to plant/beast spells. I actually didn't know the Lance worked that way. The +pl to decay would be handy for touch of rot and maggots. 

I do agree with you that the crush damage is nice on the staff. I've actually been surprised how hard I can smack enemies with that thing, though meleeing is rare for me to need to do with all the aoe spells I can dish out. 

 

Edited by masterty66
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Yes, crush damage is preferrable to pierce. If I'm mostly casting spells though I like the Lance equally well because of universal Power Level bonus. But you need to cast Woodskin or Form of the Delemgan to unlock Lord of the Forest which is a bit of a disadvantage comared to the "always on" bons the Spine grants you. 

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