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Hello everyone,

I recently finished PoE 1 playing rogue / assassin in Hard mode and I had such a great time that I decided to continue with PoE 2 but the differences (talent tree / multiclassing / etc...) are so overwhelming that I am really struggling making my first character for Deadfire. On top of that, I would like to play turn based and the scarcity of information regarding this mode and viable builds make it very it difficult for an undecisive person like me to make it past character creation. Therefore, I decided to join this forum to ask for your advice.

After some research, I had decided to go for a Holy Slayer with dual pistols and I was actually pretty excited about the RP aspect of the Bleak Walkers but when I created the character, I realized two main issues : this build uses only two abilities (Flames of Devotion and Smole of Veil) and the latter does not actually seem to work well with turn based (invisibility gone by next round). I then looked for single class assassin builds in turn based but if there is any information at all, I wasn't able to find it. Ideally, I would like to play a cannon glass rogue (dual weapons, melee or range) that uses multiple situational abilitie to move around and quickly takes down the most dangerous ennemies. My main goal is not min/max-ing my character but rather making the most out of us during each turn, positioning and setting up for maximum damage but getting one shot if a single mistake is commited. I don't have any single/multi class preference, but I would like to stay as roguish as possible. I plan on playing with a full party (tank, another melee, priest and mage).

Do you know of any build that would match this kind of playstyle? If you have any suggestion, I am all ears.

I'm really looking forward to my first playthrough of PoE 2!

Thank you for your time.

Edited by Amrath
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Shadowing Beyond is better in TB mode because it's a free action. Meaning you can turn invisible and attack in the same round. It's more expensive though.

Dual pistols is not the best pick for an Assassin/Bleak Walker by the way. At least if you want to get the most out of the Assassinate bonus. That's because the first pistol shot will lift the invisibility and the next one doesn't get any assassination bonus then. Arquebus is pretty good. That is if you're not using pistols for RP or aesthetic reasons - then just go with it. There are some cool pistols in the game no doubt. 

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Thank you for your explanation, Boeroer. I didn't know that Shadowing Beyond was a free action and that the arquebus was better. I'll definitely plan my build around these.

I still have a big concern about playing Bleak Walker / Holy Slayer though, that is the very small number of active abilities. I am worried to end up just spamming Flames of Devotion every single turn and getting bored of my main character. Are there other turn based assassin builds that would offer larger active toolkits? I am tempted to go single class melee assassin but I'm not sure it is viable in turn based.

Edited by Amrath
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Well, an Assassin pairs exceptionally well with (non-cipher) casters in Turn Based. They really benefit from +25 Accuracy, +4 Pen and +50 Crit damage on their aoe spells. With one wizard spell its even possible to maintain stealth while Crowd-Controlling and debuffing enemies. And they have very large active toolkits...

Not sure if that is what you wanted, though.

 

Edited by Haplok
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In terms of versatility and more interesting options I would also go for an Assassin/Caster. Most likely Assassin/Bloodmage. That you can use Arkemyr's Brilliant Departure to cast CC from invisibility (without breaking it) is cool. You can put a bunch of debuffs and CC on enemies without getting noticed and then finally strike with a perfectly prepared nuke. Or you can just use Ninagauth's Shadowflame from stealth and invisibility all day long. :) Lots of options.

Assassin/Paladin however can kill almost everything even if severely underleveled with stacked True Love's Kiss + Gouging Strike + Brand Enemy. First attack from stealth is with single handed Lover's Embrace + Gouging Strike. It gets +42 ACC (5 dagger + 12 single handed + 25 Assassinate) so you won't even miss bosses. And Brand Enemy is an auto-hit. You can do bounties with three red skulls easily and take on almost everything prematurely. It's kind of a two-trick pony though: either shoot your arquebus and kill the enemy right away, then turn invisible to flee and reset encounter - or apply endless DoTs and then turn invisible,  retreat and let them bleed out/burn to death. Don't know how well that works in TB mode though. You need Smoke Veil for the DoTs (Shadowing Beyond will break with DoTs) and I believe SV only lasts one round? Can you still retreat far enough then? No idea. 

 

Edited by Boeroer

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I'm now doing some reading to learn a little bit more about Assassin casters. The single handed Assassin/Paladin idea sounds really fun too. I'm gonna look into it. Thank you both for your suggestions.

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I'm new to PoE2 too and playing in turn-based the first time (veteran difficulty). I haven't really tried real-time, so I don't know how it compares, but here are my few impressions:

- The "everyone gets one action, except for wizards" mechanics are a bit usunual. I'm not sure whether a "quick rogue", or "quick" anyone is even possible in turn-based, because it doesn't matter how fast or slow a weapon is, you get one swing with it (or two if dual-wielding). It also doesn't matter that e.g. firearms are slow to reload, because in turn-based reloading happens immediately after shooting, meaning you'll have your pistol ready for the next turn.

- Wizards get an obvious advantage, because a lot of their self-buffs (such as mirror image) are free actions, meaning they can buff with everything they have in one turn.

- Scroll spellcasting is very powerful, because spells from scrolls are cast immediately, while most offensive spells cast from spellbook take some time to fire. And since you can increase damage of scrolls with arcana... I've ended up retraining my party wizard, filled his book with self-buffs and weapon summon spells, and just gave him a bunch of scrolls. Including druidic spells my druid doesn't even have access to yet. 🙃

I don't think I have enough of experience to recommend a build, but because of the above I'd not be surprised if a wizard/rogue is very powerful offensively in turn-based. You get a wide arsenal of abilities to use, provided you invest in arcana and craft scrolls. Whether you could consider them a glass-canon depends on whether you'd use wizard buffs, though.

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What you need is a cipher soulblade/ assassin. Keep Dex at 10-14, you will not be casting anything above "standard", keep Int at 10, Max Per and Str. 

Use the positioning and invisibility from rogue to get focus from backstab, then insta-kill anything with soul annihilation; does not get any more "assassin" than that. Highest single-target DPS in the game by far and well within the theme. Since both backstab and soul annihilation are "primary attacks" you get nothing from dual wield and since backstab works only within 2 meters of the enemy there is no point in firearms. Use single handed at early-mid levels (for accuracy and more criticals) with the option to go 2-handed later for maximum damage if you so choose. 

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Don't confuse dps (damage per second) with damage per hit. Dps in Turn Based isn't really working. Maybe something like dpt (damage per turn) would work.
The damage per Soul-Annihilation in combination with Assassinate, Sneak Attack, Deathblows and Backstab is very high thoug, that is true. Also fun to watch. :)

Backstab isn't a Primary Attack - it's a passive that gets applied to all attack roll you make during stealth or invisibility. But since a sucessful hit from stealth or invisibility usually lifts those you are right that the offhand attack will neither profit from Assasinate nor Backstab. On the other hand: when you are using stuff like Finishing Blow or Blinding Strike in order to load up focus then dual wielding will still be good: first hit will apply Assassinate and Backstab and also the affliction (or in case of Finishing Blow: just deal initial damage) and the offhand hit will then already profit from Sneak Attack and possibly Deathblows (and in case of Finishing Blow: from the yet lower health-->more dmg bonus). So it's not correct that you don't get anything from dual wielding as an Assassin/Soulblade. 

 

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5 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Don't confuse dps (damage per second) with damage per hit. Dps in Turn Based isn't really working. Maybe something like dpt (damage per turn) would work.

My (very limited) experience is that the best dpt is a scroll of great maelstrom cast with high arcana. 😁

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Well. Let me clarify a bit since my first post was short and I did not want to confuse a new player with technical information.

Soulblade assassin does not benefit from Dual Wield at all and here is why:

The character will never use any abilities that are "full attack", no finishing blow, no blind, no hobble. The reason is simple, it needs all the guile for shadowing beyond. After each shadowing, the build hits for assassinate + all the other bonuses you correctly mentioned, then it burns it's focus via soul annihilation before letting it reach maximum (so the whip keeps adding to the damage). There is no guile to spare for any other rogue abilities (which are not needed anyway).

As for the dual weapon attack from stealth that can hit with the offhand albeit without the assassination bonus even if the primary misses, yes, but if the primary misses the lowered damage with no assassin benefits will not make up for anything. The safest and best way is to use the accuracy buff of the single handed, where actually missing eventually becomes near impossible even on PotD.

And yes, "DPS" was just a term to be easily understood... I think everyone got that one ;)

And BTW (just to be a smartass) DPS is CORRECT. Each turn is 6 seconds, so take the total damage of your turn, divide it by 6 and there is your DPS. Ha!

Edited by Alkemides
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11 hours ago, Alkemides said:

Each turn is 6 seconds, so take the total damage of your turn, divide it by 6 and there is your DPS. Ha!

Tbh, this explanation is quite confusing to me. I'm not sure what you mean by 'turn is 6 seconds', considering the world, including npcs, is moving forward in real time during combat, while the combatants stand still.

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Besides that: the general statement of "highest dps in the game" is hyperbole and also misleading because first of all that's highly dependent on the situation you are in, then it's not very sustainable (it's just high dmg output for a rel. small amount of time/turns), it's single target damage and last but not least there's a lot of high level stuff that does extremely high damage that dwarfs Soul Annihilation (which is still great and very useful because see below). 

The combination of Assassin/Soulblade is great because you start with the good stuff right away and don't have to wait for some level for your character concept to finally come together: it just works right from the start. It's positively frontloaded. Also it is one of the contenders for potential highest single target damage per attack and those numbers can be really fun to watch. And useful to take out very dangerous enemies very quickly which can be a big tactical advantage. You know how bad it is if your healer goes down right at the start of battle. ;)

If you can get focus reliably it's also great against all sorts of high-AR foes which can be so annoying. In the early-ish to mid game it makes fighting Iron- and Steelclads so much easier for example (see the Katrenn bounty or Arkemyr's mansion). And once you get a weapon like Animancer's Blade or even Eccea's Arcane Blaster then absurdly high DR and several immunities I the late game are no issue at all either. Neriscyrlas cast Llengrath's Safeguard with a frickin' +5 AR? Well I don't care! ;)

So yeah: if you want to play an Assassin then Soulblade is a nice combination. Turn Based combat takes away the potentially annoying micromanagement that this combo has in RTwP. 

 

Edited by Boeroer

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@ frostling

The turn based mode is converting real time seconds into turns. Each turn is 6 seconds of real time, with all durations converted then rounded down. For example every duration that states 1 turn is anywhere between 6 and 11.9 seconds, every duration that states 2 turns is between 12 and 17.9 etc. The whole system is not standalone in a sense, but a direct conversion of seconds to turns. That is what my above semi-serious statement references. 

Hope this clarifies it a bit.

Edited by Alkemides
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2 hours ago, Alkemides said:

@ frostling

The turn based mode is converting real time seconds into turns. Each turn is 6 seconds of real time, with all durations converted then rounded down. For example every duration that states 1 turn is anywhere between 6 and 11.9 seconds, every duration that states 2 turns is between 12 and 17.9 etc. The whole system is not standalone in a sense, but a direct conversion of seconds to turns. That is what my above semi-serious statement references. 

Hope this clarifies it a bit.

It still doesn't make sense to me, because in turn based mode there is a real time clock ticking - for anyone not involved in combat. And this clock doesn't apply to combatants. So in those 6s an npc can walk up close and block my character from moving (happened a few times), but having to wait until that npcs moves again won't impact anything (beside my patience). Durations of spells might be standardized between real time and turn based modes using the 6s calculation, but unless in real time mode everyone gets only one attack every 6s, there is no such standardization for damage.

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In Turn Based mode I doubt its even particularly high DPS, DPR or whatever. As you're NOT sitting at max Focus all the time.

To land those big hits, you basically have to gather some big Focus first. And landing even a very big hit every 2nd round or so shouldn't win any consistent damage contests...

Edited by Haplok
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But he's alternating focus gaining auto attacks + Assassinate + Backstab which do rel. high damage and uses the gained focus for Soul Annihilation then. The result is a rel. high damage output with every attack - as long as you have Guile for Shadowing Beyond. Since it's very expensive you'll only get a few uses - unless you have a source of Brilliant (e.g. a fellow Cipher).

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Yes, but then the (single target) damage per round would be the average of a regular attack and Assassination attack (also 1 auto-attack might not be enough to actually max Focus to get a full power Assassinate).

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I tried an Assassin/Bleakwaler build, and got surprised by how underwhelming it was. Yes, it could one shot any enemy early game, but after your resources were exhausted it was just a weaker Maia. Also, enemies later on would have enough HP not to be killed with assassinate.

Even using the best setup for assassinate in the game (Dragon's Dowry with +30% lash and FoD) and critin the damage will cap around 250. With that if you follow this build many enemies and bosses would give you trouble later on.

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That's why IMO its better to spread the pain - use the Assassination boosts on multiple targets via aoe abilities.

Also the Deltro's Cage shocking lash is difficult to overlook. Having a 130% lash is... pretty good.

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I use Assassin/Bleak Walker for the Triple-Endless-Dot combo that is True Love's Kiss, Gouging Strike and Brand Enemy. The arquebus + modal+ FoD is very, very good in the early game - but it's true that this isn't enough to one-shot enemies later on. Can still be good against squishy but dangerous wizards and priests and so on.

But the real deal is the triple DoT which makes is very easy to kill everything even if you're severely underleveled. Because of the +25 ACC (Assassinate) + 5 ACC (Zealous Focus) +5 ACC (Dagger) + 12 ACC (single handed) + 10 ACC for Gouging Strike (and maybe even +10 from Helm of the White Void later) from stealth it's very hard to miss the initial attack - and Brand Enemy is an auto-hit with zero recovery. It's two extremely fast actions and then vanish. You can win every fight with ease. But you'll degrade your party to spectator rank. 

In top of that you have healing and support and rel. good sturdyness if you wish. 

The FoD + Assassinate combo isn't that exiting later on. 

Like @HaplokI prefer to use the Assasinate bonus with AoE stuff - not even necessarily with damaging AoEs. The +25 ACC is also really nice with an impactful disabling ability. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/6/2021 at 6:35 AM, Alkemides said:

Just to add that invisibility potions are free action on use and cheap to make. So in the fights that matter constant assassinate/backstab is not an issue.


Wow this is a great tip and definitely changes the game for me. 
 

if you mix assassin with wizard what wizard subclass, if any? 

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