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Disclaimer: This will be long. Very, very long.

This is not quite a build guide but rather a more in-depth look at the Fury Druid and all its components. Most of it comes from my own personal testing and experiences playing it and the game, as well as some other sources, such as the Pillars Discord and C.LE's An Almanac for the Deadfire. As such, I'll be discussing a lot of things in more detail, so if you wanted a short concise guide, this won't be it. I'll be giving my opinion on pretty much everything about the class, from creation, to leveling, to gameplay, to itemization. Of course, my opinion isn't infallible, so if I do get something wrong, or you have any other form of suggestion or criticism, I'm always open to hear it.

With that out of the way, let's get into it. First up, a bit of an introduction, I guess. I've been playing Deadfire since 1.1 when I sped through Pillars 1 so that I wasn't lost in the story of Deadfire. Since then Deadfire has been a game that I regularly come back to when I just want something comfortable to play. I'm by no means the best player there is, though I would like to think I'm at least quite decent at it by now. One more thing, which will come up in the guide quite a lot, I really dislike playing "meta" builds and using some of the, for me personally, more exploity interactions in the game. While I will mention them in the guide if they have a place in it (looking at you, Brilliant), I do not regularly use them. I also do not enjoy playing solo, so I have no clue if anything written here is solo viable. I usually play RTwP, on PotD with only the Critical Path quests upscaled and Galawain and Ondra's challenges active, which is what all the gameplay and tests were done on. This is, of course, still a very personal thing to my style of play, so I am neither encouraging people to play like I do, or chiding them if they don't. It's a your own game, after all, so you're free to play it as you see fit.

So why even write this guide then? Well, first off, I really like the Fury druid. It was the first thing I picked when I started Deadfire, and then promptly abandoned since I didn't understand a thing about the game and how to play it. Since then, it's been one of those classes in the back of my mind everytime I open up the game, but just never got around to it until recently. Plus, I really wanted to write a guide, and there aren't that many on the Fury, so, hey, two birds with one lightning bolt. So, pleasantries out of the way, let's get to the actual guide.

 

What is a Fury?: The Fury druid, from what I've seen, is an often times overlooked subclass of the Druid. Which baffles me, honestly, since I find it one of the most unique subclasses there are. In it's essence, the Fury is the full-on damage dealing subclass of the Druid, trading a lot of utility for just dealing more damage, which is clearly reflected in the bonuses it gives:

Bonus 1: Elements Fury spells have +20% range and +1 penetration. From the get go, 1 penetration to some of your most damaging spells is great. The range bonus regrettably only affects cast range and not AoE, so spells centered around the caster, like the Storms, won't see a big benefit from this. Still, it lets you stay comfortably further back from the thick of the fight, which also plays into the second bonus.

Bonus 2: Storm Blight. I'm going to be quite honest here, this was the sole thing that drew me to the Fury in the first place. The whole idea of just transforming into a big angry storm cloud sounded really cool (though it probably helped that I was coming in from playing a Balance druid in WoW and this was the closest to it). The Storm Blight form is quite different from all other spiritshifts. The first, immediately obvious difference is that it's a ranged form instead of melee. Which just enforces the basic idea that the Fury is supposed to stay at a safe distance and fling spells at people. Your attacks while shifted, in addition to being ranged, also bounce one time to a nearby target within 4m. This is just a nice bit of extra AoE in most cases, and actually quite thematic still, because, as we'll see in the spells section later, Fury is all about AoE damage. While at launch, the Storm Blight "claws" were a two-handed weapon, they've now been changed to two one handed ones. They also deal pure shock damage, which is something to keep in mind for certain ability interactions and enemy immunities (to my knowledge, only rain blights are shock immune, but admittedly I haven't checked every single enemy).

In addition to altering your attacks, the Storm Blight form also provides a few other passive and active abilities. Any kill you make while spiritshifted will increase the duration of the spiritshift. This is quite a strong effect that other druids can only get if singleclassing from the Wildstrike Frenzy passive. It is actually stronger than Frenzy, since it adds 5 seconds to the duration instead of 4, and also triggers on any kill you make, be it by spell or attack, whereas Wildstrike Frenzy only works on kills you make with autoattacks. Oh, and if you do decide to singleclass the Fury (more on that later) the two effects stack, so a kill with an autoattack can potentially add 9 seconds to your spiritshift.

The first active ability you get, Shifting Storm, is basically your own little Rogue Escape. In essence, it's a repositioning tool. You break engagement and zap to the target location. It doesn't trigger disengagement attacks, has a tiny 0.5 cast time and no recovery, so it's very handy to use to get away from enemies. It is however a once per encounter ability, so you can't freely zap around the battlefield. As you can see, the theme of staying far away from enemies continues.

The second active ability, Storm's Rage, is again a once per encounter spell that damages a single target and stuns them. It deals a very respectable amount of damage early on (32-48 Shock) and the stun lasts a rather long 8 seconds. Unfortunately, it has quite a few issues accompanying it to make it a less than desirable spell to cast. First things first, it has a huge combined cast time and recovery time, 4.5 sec cast and 3.0 sec recovery, siphoning out a decent chunk of your spiritshift duration. Second, the two effects target different defenses, the damage targeting deflection, while the stun targets fortitude, so it is completely possible for one to not apply if you can't debuff both. And third, and by far the worst, it has absolutely no PL scaling whatsoever. At first I thought it was a bug on my end, but doing a completely clean install on the game confirmed it, the spell does not scale with PL at all, in fact, it has a permanent -1 PL on itself somehow, which reduces all of its PL scaling effects, permanently giving it -5% damage, -0.25 penetration, -1 accuracy and -5% duration on the stun, as you can see here (apologies for the link, I couldn't manage to get an image to attach...):

Storm's Rage

I honestly have zero idea why it's like that. My best guess is that since they made spiritshift not scale with PL, Storm's Rage also became non-scaling. But the actually negative one, I have no answer for. The lack of scaling hurts the spell badly, and later in the game it loses both damage and penetration to the point that it's just not worth the lost spiritshift time to even cast it.

As for the maluses, well here comes the big one. A rather large reason I've seen why people dismiss Fury is the penalty it gets: you can not cast Rejuvenation spells. It's a bummer, I know, especially since Druid Rejuvenation spells are some of the best heals in the game. But it just enforces the role that the Fury has, which is to deal damage and only that. I personally do not view it as that much of an issue. Sure, you personally can't heal, but that doesn't mean that no one else in your party can't heal, or that your class is dead. It just means you're shoehorned into being a damage dealer, which, let's be honest, if you didn't want to be, you wouldn't be playing a Fury.

Apart from the issues with Storm's Rage, the bonuses are pretty consistent and thematic, making the Fury a "stay at range and fling spells and attacks" character. This is exactly how I chose to play it, and how I think it's supposed to be played and function. Why is this important, you ask? Because of the next part:

 

Creating a Fury: This will probably be the most in-depth portion of the guide, as I will go through all the steps of making a Fury druid, give my thougts on the various aspects of Character Creation and the benefits and negatives of certain picks. This will not be a "pick this thing at this level and have these exact stats or else" kind of runthrough. I will mostly be commenting on usefulness of different aspects, as well as giving a sample in the form of what I chose while making my Fury. So let's get started.

Firstly, before we even get to have a nice chat with Berath while we look at cards, gameplay mode. As I said at the start, I play in RTwP. It does not mean that you can't play this in turn-based, but there is just no guarantee that things will work like they're written here. I do not find TB enjoyable myself and I don't plan on making a TB Fury guide, so sorry about that.

Secondly, Magran's Fires and Berath's Blessings. God challenges are, IMO, personal preferences. I play with Galawain's and Ondra's on in all my runs since they just flawlessly integrate into the base game. As for Berath's Blessings, once again, up to personal choice. I play with them, and there's quite a few really good bonuses from them. +2 to all stats is insane, +50k starting gold, which admittedly I've never spent in any run, just makes early game economy easier, starting at level 4 with Fine weapons and armor is really damn good, Reduced enchanting costs really comes into play late game when enchanting Legendary quality on items, and Infamous Captain, even though the fear doesn't work at all if you upscale your game, still gives +3 Intimidate and +5% damage across the board. Those are all generally really good to have, though I will also mention two others. If you're planning on keeping Eder in the party for most of the game, giving him a pet slot is actually really nice, as pets can have some amazing bonuses for the party. The Mythical Adra Stone, on the other hand, is a lot less useful. As we'll see in the items and gameplay sections, we rarely want to attack with weapons or take hits, so we don't really have anything to use the stone on ourselves. Still good for putting it on other companions, like making a mythic Red Hand for Maia. It is however a lofty 30 points, so it's up to you. I personally didn't take it.

Race: With those pre-creation choices out of the way, it's time to finally create our Fury Druid. The first major choice we're given is what race to pick. Honestly, the choice of race won't make or break your build, so I'd advise to just play what you want. But then again, you can say that about everything, and this guide would serve no purpose if that were the case, so let me give a few suggestions.

The biggest choice in race is whether you go Godlike or not. Godlikes, Death and Nature specifically, have rather good bonuses for us, so they would be the prime picks, with Death technically giving you the most damage you can squeeze out of a race choice, not only giving you more damage against low health targets to increase the chances of you getting a killing blow and extending your spiritshift, but also giving you 3 extra PL if you yourself are low on health. While the latter effect is rather easy to abuse, I myself don't like doing so. Nature Godlike gives you a much more easily available +1 PL while you have a body inspiration active. I personally went with Nature Godlike in my run.

Godlikes do suffer from being unable to equip helmets though, and one helmet is incredibly good on this build in particular: Heaven's Cacophony. The helmet is the earliest that you can get an on-demand use of Avenging Storm. While it sadly doesn't benefit from the +1 Elements PL that the class passive gets, the spell is nevertheless amazing, plus you also get a cone AoE Stun with Shout of Hosts and +2 Int and 1 Religion. Both spells are per rest, but with them being so strong, it's little wonder that they are. There are some other good helms for the build that I'll go over in the itemization section, but this is in my opinion the best one. If you do decide you want to wear a helmet, your choice of race will not have that big of an effect on your overall performance. Hearth orlans with the hit-to-crit conversion are probably the most impactful, followed by humans, and, versus certain enemies, Boreal dwarves.

Class: Now we're getting to the fun part. Obviously, this being a Fury guide, we'll be picking Fury, duh. But here comes the biggest decision of character creation: to multiclass or not? I can't give a definitive answer on that, and will instead go over all possible combinations and rank them based on a few criteria. Before we get to those criteria, I'd like to do a little jump to the future of the guide and discuss the gameplay that I'm going for with the character creation and itemization choices.

My intention for playing the Fury, and writing this guide, was to utilize all the bonuses that the subclass gives, meaning both the buffed up spells, and the spiritshift. Which, simply put, translated into laying down the druid's long lasting AoE spells before shifting into the Angry Cloud form and flinging lightning at them from my fingertips. With that gameplay plan in mind, this is what I'll be judging the class combinations on: Gameplay compatibility, including fitting the role of the Fury, action economy, and synergy of gameplay styles, how much it helps your spells, and how much it helps your attacks in Storm Blight. I will be ranking them from worst to best, but do keep in mind that these are my personal opinions from my experience, and it doesn't mean that the lower ranked ones are unplayable, I just wouldn't recommend them. So, let's start.

Ranf F: Nahhh, just don't.

Wizard, Priest, Cipher - collectively just too incompatible with the gameplay I'm going for

The very bottom. Unfortunately, these three just don't fit the gameplay we're aiming for. It's my belief that Caster/Caster multiclassing is quite, ehh, bad, if for nothing else than for pure action economy alone. Adding more long casting abilities to your repertoire just means you get to spiritshift even less often, and in some cases, like the priest, it detracts from your purpose of doing damage to instead give you back the utility the Fury takes away. Wizard is in much the same boat, though when you discount the damaging options, you're left with self buffs that other classes do better, and debuffs that other party members can cover instead. And lastly, Cipher struggles due to lack of focus while casting spells, then lack of opportunities to cast while spiritshifted, since you want to be attacking more than casting in that form. There's a case for Psion, but it's rather small, since it takes a rather long time to regenerate enough focus for a big spell, and you lose the one big bonus you get to your spiritshift, Soul Whip.

Rank D: Giving utility where it wasn't needed

Paladin - The Best attack skill in the game, and that's it

Yes, Flames of Devotion is incredible. Getting it to bounce is even more incredible. But that's really it. Everything else that the paladin provides just isn't what we're looking for. Absolutely no bonus to your spells other than Inspired Beacon, which requires you to go against your core principle of staying the **** away from enemies. The defense bonuses are also rather wasted when we're playing to not have to use them. We got rid of our utility and healing when choosing Fury, and paladin brings some of it back, along with the auras, but they can easily be handled by another party member.

Chanter - If paladin auras were a class

Alright, so chanter multis well with everything. it's true. It's not even that bad here either. It's just that all the bonuses the chanter gives can easily be given by another teammate who is a chanter. The only effect that is completely exclusive to it is Energized, given by Their Companion Braved the Horde Alone. Energized, however, isn't all that big of an improvement over Tenacious, and there are multiple better ways to get Tenacious. Just bring another Chanter with you if you want one so bad.

Rank C: Doing one thing really damn well, but we need two

Rogue - Attacks for days, single target damage for days, but what about our poor AoE spells?

Here is where things start picking up. Rogue is probably the single best pick you can choose if you want to focus solely on your Storm Blight form. You have a wide variety of attacks to choose from, and a huge amount of bonus damage from passives. However, you get absolutely nothing to buff your spells up. No inspirations, no buffs, nothing. Also, their subclasses involve a lot of gimmicks to make them work, and I really don't like doing that. And some passives don't work, like Deep Wounds, since your claws deal shock damage.

Ranger - Gods of single target accuracy bonuses. We do AoE.

Ah, ranger. I love ranger. It's one of my absolute favorite classes. If we were any other class, it would've been a great combo, just the sheer amount of accuracy buffs you can get on a single target from effects like Marked Prey and Stalker's link. Later in the game, Survival of the Fittest does work for AoE, and it's another 10 accuracy, but it's just not enough to carry the class. Add to it that some people really dislike having to micro the pet, and it's unfortunately the epitome of C rank.

Rank B: Big Angery Storm Cloud

Singleclass - Higher PL, more on-demand spells, no self buffs at all

Finally, the pure Fury. I originally had this as a Rank D, but further testing bumped it up quite a bit. The immediately obvious bonus you get is just more spells to cast. Unfortunately, apart from Avenging Storm, they aren't that great. The even more unfortunate part is that you can get every single PL 8 and PL 9 druid Elements spells in scroll form. That's right, Avenging Storm, Great Maelstrom and Tornado all have scroll versions, meaning that you can technically get the same spells as a multiclassed Fury. Which ****ing sucks for the exclusivity of the spells. Priest and Wizard don't get all their spells available in scroll form, but Druid gets aall of the big nukes available? Hell, with proper investment, you can actually cast them more as a non-singleclass, just from scrolls alone. Still, it's not all bad. You do get access to Wildstrike Frenzy, which is a decent amount of really good effects when it procs, despite only proccing on autoattack kills and being centered around you rather than the enemy you killed. And, when combined with Prestige, you get +3 PL to your spells, which is really nice. There's just other classes that provide more, and they can still use your strongest abilities.

Rank A: Now we're talking

Barbarian - Amazing self-buffs for both spellcasting and attacking, poor Attack skills

FRENZY!!!!! Honestly, I could just leave it at that and it would be enough info on why this is such a good combo. Frenzy is just overall an amazing buff. Might, Constitution and Action speed for 1 rage, daaaamn. Couple with it things like Bloodlust and Blood Thirst, and even more mobility with Wild Sprint and Leap, and you have a really good package. Areas where the Barb struggles are attacks however, with Barbaric Blow really not being all that good, especially since Carnage doesn't work with ranged attacks either. Barbarian does however open up an interesting itemization option that will be discussed more in-depth later in The Slayer's Claw, allowing you to transform any Strong inspiration (like say, the one that you get from Frenzy) Into Tenacious, which gives you 2 pen to all your attacks and spells. You could also get it from choosing Berserker, but then you'd also be screwing your entire party with your spellcasts. Furyshaper, however, is a really decent pick, with the wards being really useful in all stages of the game. Plus, it even has Fury in the name! Furyshaper or no subclass if you decide to go the barbarian route.

Fighter - Great selfbuffing, decent attack skills, poor passives

While not as flashy as Frenzy, Dsiciplined Strikes is an absolutely amazing buff, giving you Intuitive for a decently long duration at a very cheap cost. You also get a really good and cheap attack in the form of Penetrating Strike, and, with Conqueror Stance, a sizable accuracy bonus, as well as a lot of defenses from Unbending and Vigorous Defense if you're ever in a tight spot. There's nothing really too flashy about the fighter, just solid useful things. Unfortunately, you don't have proficiency in your elemental claws, so a decent chunk of the fighter's passives are worthless to you. You do get Armored Grace though, which opens up the ability to use one of the best armors for the build without having to gimp your recovery speed too much or forcing you to use a select pet. Since we have no proficiency, Devoted is worthless, and Black Jacket doesn't really come to that much use. Unbroken is also out since we won't be tanking. Tactician is an amazing choice if you can manage it, and is probably the single iteration of Brilliant that I'm kind of okay with, though I still don't really use it. Tactician or no subclass would be go-to.

Rank S: The absolute best

Monk - Insane buffs to both spellcasting and attacking, covering pretty much all you could ever want. Mediocre, but situationally really powerful attack skill

Well, it was the only one left, and holy ****, is the monk an amazing combo with Fury. In fact, it's so good that I'll get the bad things out of the way first, and then go to the good ones. Of which there are so damn many. Turning Wheel, Heartbeat Drumming and Swift Flurry don't work with ranged attacks. Force of Anguish and Torment's Reach do, but their range is melee. You'll be extra squishy if you go with Helwalker (which you should, more on that in a bit). That's it. That's a lot, I hear you say? Yeah, maybe. But here comes the really damn good stuff. The buffs. Oh. My. God. The buffs. I'm usually a big fan of using your wounds and not hoarding them but in this case, naaah, hoard them away. With 10 wounds, you get 10 Int from Duality of Mortal Presence, and if you're a Helwalker (You really should) 10 might too! Which stacks with the Tenacious inspiration you can get from Thunderous Blows. You don't even need to get hit, Enduring Dance has your wound generation covered, and even gives you 12 accuracy to both your attacks and spells! And did I mention Lightning Strikes as well? You get everything you could ever want, speed, damage, accuracy, penetration, a lightning lash, aoe, duration, everything. it's absolutely insane. Sure, the only attack you can cast is Stunning Surge which costs Mortification but ehh, with all them buffs you're not complaining for attacks. Plus, if either your main target or your bounce target gets crit by Stunning Surge, the cost gets repaid. And if both crit you actually gain 2 Mortification on top of that. If it wasn't obvious, I picked Helwalker monk in my run. The rest are decent-ish, but just don't come up to the sheer bonuses of 10 might to all your spells and attacks. Especially since you don't want to be spending wounds at all.

This is where the guide also becomes a build of sorts. Going forth from this point, I will be discussing things from the viewpoint of making a Fury/Helwalker Ascetic. Most of the things apply to any other combo, however, and when we get to spells, I'll also discuss the PL 8 and 9 spells in case you want to singleclass instead.

Starting skills for level 1 will be discussed in the Abilities portion later on, so now it's time for stats.

Attributes, Culture and Background: First, and second most important choice after Class, attribute distribution. I'll be honest with you, I dislike completely minmaxing my stats. I've played the game with a 13/13/13/13/13/13 (technically one of them was 12 but it got bumped to 13 with the appropriate culture choice) stat spread, which the +2 stats Berath Good Boy Reward bumped to a 15/15/15/15/15/15. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. And it worked amazingly. Did I need all that res, especially since I played it on a Sharpshooter/Beguiler? Absolutely not, but it worked. What I'm trying to say is that absolutely perfected stat spreads aren't necessary, and if I was to give you one, you don't have to follow it exactly or the build just won't work. It will. So instead, I'll give you a guideline of important stats to get, then what I went with in my run, then the optimized stats if you do want them.

Per and Int are your two most important stats. Per is a no brainer, Accuracy is king. With all the AoE, long duration spells and self buffs you have, Int is also obvious. After that, Dex and Mig are quite close to each other, with Dex maybe being slightly better since it allows you to get your casts out faster and attack more while spiritshifted. Plus you get +15 Mig from Helwalker and Thunderous Blows. Res isn't really useful, and you can dump it if you wish. Same for Con, though with it it's more keeping it at a comfortable for you level. For me that's 8, bumped to 10 with the blessing.

Stat Spread I went with: 15 Mig, 7 Con (8 with Rauatai Culture), 15 Dex, 18 Per, 19 Int, 3 Res

Optimal Spread: 15 Mig, 3 Con, 19 Dex, 18 Per, 19 Int (20 with Old Vailia Culture), 3 Res

Both spread were done on a Godlike, so just remove 1 Int and 1 Dex when changing race.

Speaking of cultures, honestly, choose whichever one you like. They are way more for RP than for basing an entire build mechanically around them, and one stat point won't completely make or break your game. I chose Rauatai for RP purposes. There is a miniscule incentive to pick a few of them which I'll cover in the next section.

Background. Pretty similar to culture, really. Pick whichever one you want for your character and RP. Will not make or break the build. The miniscule incentive I mentioned comes into play here. A bit further into the guide I'll be recommending putting all your skill points into Arcana. There are only 3 backgrounds that have a bonus to Arcana, and they are faction specific. So if you really want that single extra point of Arcana, the choices are: Mystic (The White that Wends), Scholar (Ixamitl Plains, Rauatai) and Scientist (The Living Lands).

And we're almost done. All we have left is weapon proficiencies, and suprising no one, they don't matter at all. You will generally never be attacking with your weapons to ever make use of them. However, the proficiencies you pick at character creation affect what weapons you're given in the locker at the start. Since you'll always be given the two weapons you selected, you could pick a flail and a morningstar. Not for you to use, but to hand them over to a squadmate that you make proficient in them. Why those two? Because their modals reduce Reflex and Fortitude respectively. And those are the two defenses your abilities target the most. This is especially good if you're using the BB to start with Fine weapons and armor. Eder early on can make great use of a flail, and Pallegina can make rather good use of a morningstar. But neither are required, and you can still pick what you wish for proficiencies. Picking those two will just save you a bit of money from having to buy them.

 

Playing a Fury: Right, this might seem a bit strange and out of place, but we're going to discuss the gameplay before we dive into what abilities and passives to pick. This is actually rather important to mention, because I'm going to be basing my choice and recommendation of skills based on how they fit into the gameplay.

Gameplay isn't hard. The core idea is to utilize both aspects of the Fury: spellcasting and spiritshifting. Which basically means, we'll be laying down long duration AoE spells before shifting into angry cloud form and attacking. Simple as that. What spells we use depends on the situation and encounter, however. I'm going to go over the options at each PL for both Fury and Monk, as well as PL 8 and 9 for Fury, giving my thoughts and ratings on the things you can get, and then at the end, I'll give an example build (might not be the exact same I went for, I don't remember exactly what i picked at every single level).

PL 1: Druid: Some really good spells to start off, expect to be using them constantly.

Touch of Rot: Decent damage, but low penetration, cast range and AoE, and no other effects. 2/5

Sunbeam: Solid damage, cast range, penetration, decent lasting aoe Blind. Overall really good. Tied for best spell in this PL. 5/5

Vile Thorns: Damage is on the low side. Incredibly short range, but very long-lasting Sicken. If you can make get into range to use it, it's amazing. Doesn't work on poison immune enemies. 3/5

Nature's Mark: Incredibly long-lasting and quite hefty Deflection and Reflex AoE debuff. The second candidate for best spell. 5/5

Winter Wind: Suffers from the same issues as Vile Thorns, while having less useful effects for marginally more damage. 2/5

Tanglefoot: Basically, an AoE Hobbled hazard. There's better sources of Hobbled, and better characters to apply it. 1/5

Charm Beast: Incredibly situational, plus costing you a spell slot that could be spent on a better spell. 1/5

Talon's Reach: Same issues as Touch of Rot, though with more penetration and upfront damage. 2/5

Dancing Bolts: What we get for free. Same issues as Touch of Rot and Talon's Reach, but with even less damage but more cast range. 2/5

Monk: Force of Anguish doesn't work with ranged attacks. Swift Strikes is amazing, Dex inspiration and even more Action speed on top.

Passives: Neither Fast Runner or Lesser Wounds are much use. Arms Bearer has situational usefulness in very long fights where your Spiritshift ends and the fight is still going. Will be explained in itemization section.

PL 2: Druid: Only one really good spell, but a few situational ones as well. Overall on par with the previous PL.

Insect Swarm: Huge duration, decent AoE raw damage, the big bonus is the immunity to Concentration, great vs enemy casters. Best spell in this PL 5/5

Hold Beasts: Marginally more useful than Charm Beast, with the exact same issues. 1/5

Woodskin: Yes, it's utility. But it's really damn good utility. Especially for buffing Pierce armor vs most ranged attackers. 4/5

Taste of the Hunt: Melee. Single-target. The heal doesn't really matter. 1/5

Firebrand: Incredibly good on pretty much any other build but this one. You will never use it. 0/5

Blizzard: Good AoE, decent duration, but low Pen and can hit allies. If you can only hit enemies with it, the debuff is quite strong. 4/5

Autumn's Decay: Difficult to target since it's a short cone, no additional effects, Insect Swarm does just as much damage. 2/5

Conjure Lesser Blight: Summon one of your younger cousins. Unfortunately, they don't really know how to fight since they're so young. 0/5

Burst of Summer Flame: What we get for free. Incredibly fast cast time, but that's about it. No other effects, but it is Foe only. Still, Blizzard is just better. 2/5

Monk: Clarity of Agony is just not what you're looking for. Dance of Death is amazing, and vital to wound generation, as well as providing you with up to 12 accuracy. Mortification of the Soul is a good backup to have in case you run out of Mortification, though won't see use all that often. Also good for a starting burst of wounds before activating Dance of Death.

Passives: Let's get the generic and monk ones out of the way first. Neither Graceful Retreat nor Long Stride matter for the build. Pick Two Weapon Style for faster attacks during spiritshift.

Wildstrike: The thing that makes your Spiritshift attacks actually hurt. If multiclassing, the element does not really matter that much. Fire and Frost are more often immuned by enemies than Shock and Corrode are. Thematically, Shock is the obvious choice. If singleclassing, pick Corrode, specifically for its Wildstrike Frenzy effect later on.

PL 3: Druid: Very similar to the previous PL, one amazing spell and one that just lags behind it, but both will see frequent usage.

Returning Storm: What we get for free. Finally a good spell we get for free. One of your core spells, in fact. Makes sense, given that we're a walking storm cloud. Huge AoE and duration, like all storm spells. Good damage and stuns enemies. Biggest issue is that it targets two different defenses for its effects. Still, often one of the first spells you'll be casting. 5/5

Spreading Plague: Potentially incredibly strong. Unfortunately, does no damage on its own, and Weakened is only slightly stronger than Sickened, which you can apply with better spells. Still, can really **** over groups of enemies. 3/5

Twin Stones: Really cool to look at, but a nightmare to aim and just doesn't offer enough to see frequent use. Combine it with its low Pen and it just doesn't stack up to the other options. 1/5

Stag's Horn: Easier to aim than Twin Stones, still rather impressive visually. The debuff is quite substantial, but it is single target only, and if you miss somehow, it's a wasted spell slot. 3/5

Infestation of Maggots: The second long-lasting Raw damage AoE. Much bigger area than Insect Swarm, but only does damage without having other effects. Still, it's a sizable amount of damage, and the second spell from this PL that you're very likely to cast at the start of a fight. 4/5

Beetle Shell: It's not a bad ability per se, just wasted on this specific build. Any more supportive build would make much better use of it. 1/5

Monk: Lightning Strikes is even more damage on our spiritshift attacks. Blade Turning has no place in the build. Torment's Reach doesn't work with ranged weapons. Stunning Blow does, but you won't see much use of it until you get Stunning Surge. Still, pick it up at some point before PL 5.

Passives: Soul Mirror is the only unique one this tier, and it's not something you're looking for, and neither are the defenses ones. Combat Focus, however, is something you really want. Free concentration at the start of the fight could easily mean getting a spell off that you wouldn't be able to otherwise.

PL 4: Druid: This is one of your worst PLs for spells, if not the worst one.

Hail Storm: What we get for free. Unfortunately, unlike the previous PL, this isn't as amazing. The damage is decent for the level, but the penetration is not. Combine with it having a huge AoE, you're almost certain to be hitting your own party members as well as the enemy. It does have two damage types, so at least it won't get immuned. 2/5

Wicked Briars: Hey, remember Tanglefoot? It's the same spell but now also deals a small amount of Pierce damage. Gets the same score, though. 1/5

Overwhelming Wave: If you can position it to only hit enemies, it isn't that bad. You have plenty of other sources of stun, but this will at least reliably hit everything in its path. Tied for best offensive spell on this PL, which unfortunately isn't worth much. 3/5

Calling the World's Maw: And the award for most epicly named spell goes to this one. As for effects, it's not bad. Prone is kind of ****, but the damage it deals is solid and has good penetration. Having less area than Hail Storm also makes it much easier to aim. Runs into the issue that it's basically just a good burst of damage, which means it gets pushed really far down on the priortity of spells to cast, to the point that you probably won't use it in most encounters. The other contender for best offensive spell on this PL. 3/5

Boiling Spray: This is basically the exact same thing as Winter Wind, except it targets Reflex and deals Fire damage. Gets the exact same score too. 2/5

Form of the Delemgan: Woodskin's bigger, stronger brother. Everything that was said about Woodskin is just as true here, plus it also gives Stride and immunity to Dex afflictions. The best spell on this PL, which really speaks ill of the offensive options. 4/5

Conjure Blight: Summons another cousin of yours, this time a bit more adept in combat. Unfortunately, still not enough to warrant casting it, even with how bad the other spells are. 0/5

Monk: While the druid spells on this PL are less than ideal, the monk abilities you get are absolutely stellar. With the exception of Enlightened Agony, since we don't make any use of Clarity of Agony to begin with, you want all the rest. Duality of Mortal Presence, Thunderous Blows and Enduring Dance. Hell, you'll be pressed for which one to get first.

Passives: None of the monk side passives matter. The druid ones, however, do. Greater Wildstrike is your priority, get it immediately. Heart of the Storm does wonders for your Storm spells, same with Scion of Flame for Firebug and Sunlance (more on that later), though if you have party members like chanters that can reliably reduce enemy armor, they become less important, as you'll be able to easily reach up to 14 Pen on your storm spells without it, and with a chanter reducing enemy armor by 2, you'll very rarely find yourself underpening. Heart of the Storm does increase the Pen of your Storm Blight attacks, however, so it's still a good investment on that front. As for Spell Shaping, ehhhh, it's not really a priority. If you have a point later on that you can spend, get it. As a rule of thumb, you'll never be using it to increase the AoE of spells since that reduces PL by 5. You can use it to lower the AoE, on boss fights for example, but even then, that will only increase PL by 1.

PL 5: Druid: This is, by far, your best PL for spells, which is a welcome change after the last one. In fact, you have so many good spells to choose from, it actually makes the overall PL worse since you're strapped for choice and how many of them you can cast.

Plague of Insects: The third, and strongest long duration huge area Raw damage spell. Deals slightly less damage per tick than Infestation of Maggots, but also sickens all targets hit and lasts longer. And it has the effect of Insect Swarm that makes targets hit unable to gain Concentration. The only downside to it is that it's countered by Antidotes, which means that poison immune enemies are unaffected by it. It's a weird interaction but eh, what can you do. 5/5

Relentless Storm: What we get for free. Hey, remember Returning Storm? This is it but even better. Sure, less damage per strike, but more frequent strikes. Just like the other storm spell, a mainstay in your spell priority, to the point it will often be the very first spell you cast. 5/5

Wall of Thorns: If you can aim it so that it won't hit your allies, it's a long line that weakens things. Unfortunately, as was the case with Spreading Plague, Weakened isn't that huge of an upgrade over Sicken, and you have ways to apply SIcken much easier. 2/5

Nature's Terror: On any other build, this would've been really good. Unfortunately, you want to be as far away from enemies to make any use of it. 0/5

Embrace of the Earth Talon: Damn, druid earth spells really go all out with the names, eh? After a few less impressive spells, we're back to the big dogs. This thing is ****ing amazing. It pains me to even admit that I completely ignored it in my run and only realized how great it was when I went back for additional testing. Great range, great Pen, decent AoE that's easy to aim, damage is a bit on the low side for the level, but that Petrify effect is just so damn good, that you can remove all the others and I'd still consider it a contender for best druid spell. Paralysis and Petrify are very rare, and very potent effects, and especially on this build, with the +10 Int from Duality of Mortal Presence, this can easily double its base duration. That's 16 seconds of AoE petrification. The only downside is that it's a ground effect, so it can't affect flying enemies. 5/5

Firebug: So, what are you supposed to do if you run into a group of, say, Rain Blights, that are all immune to Shock damage? Simple. Throw a Firebug at them. Hell, throw two. Great backup damage spell, or if you want to change things up in a fight. Pen is a bit low, which, this late into the skill tree, regrettably means that it can only really be fixed with Scion of Flame or directly reducing enemy armor. 4/5

Monk: Ah, how the tables have turned. Last PL, druid had barely anything to offer, while monk was packed with things we wanted. This PL it's the opposite. Stunning Surge is the only thing that you want to take, and since the passives are also not that vital, it should be the only thing from the monk side that you'll take until the next PL.

Passives: Speaking of passives, the only unique monk one, Enervating Blows, doesn't work with ranged weapons. Uncanny Luck also isn't really all that useful, as the chance for it to proc is incredibly low, but it's still better than nothing if you really have nothing else to pick. On the druid side, however, we get Rapid Casting. It should be self-explanatory why you want this. Farcasting is honestly not needed, as we already get a range boost on our elements spells, which are our most used ones. Tough is a safety pick, if you feel you're a bit too squishy, by all means, take it when you have free points. It will generally help you survive at least one additional hit, which can make all the difference.

PL 6: Druid: Unfortunately, not as good as the previous PL, though nothing really is. You still get some good picks, so it's not as bad as PL 4.

Rot Skulls: Same issue as Firebrand. A really good summoned weapon that you will never use. 0/5

Conjure Greater Blight: Heeey, they grow up so fast! And you're still not going to ever use them! 0/5

Venombloom: If you can get this behind the enemy's lines and plop it down so that it only hits the enemy, it's absolutely insane. Unfortunately, the cast range is abysmal. Use at your own risk. 2/5

Sunlance: Massive ****ing spear made of pure sunlight. Big damage, check. Great penetration, check. Insane cast range, check. Dual damage type, check. Is an Elements spell, check. Oh, and we get it for free when we reach PL 6. 5/5

Monk: Unfortunately, nothing you can make use of. Turning Wheel does not work with ranged attacks, and Flagellant's Path will usually leave you in a worse position after the cast than before. Plus it costs Mortification, for which you have a better use.

Passives: Rather bad as well, the only one you should ever consider is Improved Criticals. This is the PL to go back and take things from earlier levels that you still haven't got.

PL 7: Druid: Nothing too groundbreaking, but some situationally very powerful spells.

Rusted Armor: Really good when fighting bosses and tough enemies to strip them of their armor. That's about it, it does exactly what it says in the description and does it really well. Since it isn't competing with any big damage spells, it'll probably be your most used spell of this PL. 3/5

Lashing Vine: It's a good summon, but you only get one spellcast as a multiclass, and the alternatives are better. On singleclass it's much better and you can afford to cast it. 2/5

Call to the Primordials: This on the other hand, isn't that good, both in multiclassing and singleclassing. 0/5

Weather the Storm: What we get for free. Situationally can turn the tide when faced with really high elemental damage. It's incredibly likely that this will raise your team's elemental armors until enemies start underpening them. Still, it's only situational, and won't see use every fight. 3/5

Monk: Again, nothing that you really need. The Dichotomous Souls is a good option to have, and it's the best summon you can get, but using it will cost you 4 wounds, which, if you want your spells and attacks to be at max effectiveness, will mean you need to wait 12 seconds before casting anything else.

Passives: Absolutely nothing of note. Heartbeat Drumming doesn't work with ranged attacks, and you'd be much better off empowering for spell slots rather than single spells. Pick up some things you still haven't instead.

PL 8: Druid: This is the PL that makes it worth playing singleclassed.

Entropy: Too much setup and management to be effective. It only affects the next three attacks, from any target, so it's easy for them to get used up by mistake. 1/5

Avenging Storm: What we get for free. The granddaddy of all storm spells, and it lives up to all the expectations. Use it right before spiritshifting and become a lightning bolt machinegun. Unfortunately, it's also available from a helmet and scrolls, so not exclusive enough to make singleclass the prime choice. 5/5

Fire Stag: Honestly, I've never found a use for the spell. Enemies don't really focus it enough to make it worth it, and there are just better summons and better summoners than you. 0/5

Passives: Wildstrike Frenzy, the other thing in this PL that makes it worth singleclassing. Regrettably, only triggers on autoattack kills, and is centered around you, so you'll need to get in closer. Corrode is the best one bar none, while shock is the weakest.

PL 9: Druid: Big damage that anyone that invests in Arcana can also get.

Aspect of Galawain: Cool name, horrible summon. 0/5

Great Maelstrom: Massive AoE and damage. Terribly low Pen for the level, and an extremely long cast time. Did I mention anyone can get it from a scroll? 2/5

Touch of Death: You finally get an execute. Since you only get one PL 9 cast, you better make damn sure it doesn't miss. But if it connects, nothing can resist it. They just go poof. 3/5

Tornado: Massive AoE and damage. Terribly low Pen for the level, and an extremely long ca... this sounds familiar. Hell, it's available on a scroll, too! 2/5

Passives: I singleclassed a Fury and all I got was 1 additional PL from Prestige. Not bad, actually.

Well, we got to the end. As promised, here's an example build for Fury/Helwalker:

Level 1/Char Creation: Sunbeam/Swift Strikes

Level 2: Nature's Mark

Level 3: Arms Bearer (will get explained in itemization)

Level 4/PL 2 unlock: Wildstrike Shock/Dance of Death

Level 5: Insect Swarm

Level 6: Two Weapon Style

Level 7/PL 3 unlock: Infestation of Maggots/Lightning Strikes

Level 8: Combat Focus

Level 9: Stunning Blow

Level 10/PL 4 unlock: Greater Wildstrike: Shock/Duality of Mortal Presence

Level 11: Enduring Dance

Level 12: Thunderous Blows

Level 13/PL 5 unlock: Embrace of the Earth Talon/Stunning Surge

Level 14: Rapid Casting

Level 15: Plague of Insects

Level 16/PL 6 unlock: Firebug/Improved Critical

Level 17: Form of the Delemgan

Level 18: Tough

Level 19/PL 7 unlock: Rusted Armor/The Dichotomous Soul

Level 20: Spell Shaping

Before we close this part of the guide (yes, there's more), a brief word on what skills to pick when leveling up. In general, I find Arcana to work best on most offense focused characters, and this one is no exception. I'd say get it to at least 13 to be able to use Avenging Storm scrolls, but you can take it even higher to buff your scrolls even more. As for conversation skills, do whatever you wish, those are RP based 99% of the time. Plus we don't use any gear that scales with them.

 

What to wear as a Fury?: Finally itemization. I do mean finally, this is the last big part of the guide. There will be a bit about spell priority after it, but that won't be as long. I'm also not going to cover fights and encounters as this is more of a guideline how to build a Fury rather than completely hold your hand through an entire run. So with that out of the way, items!

Itemization will be explained in a very similar way to skills. I could just tell you wear this this and this, but what are you supposed to do until you get those items? Pretend the game doesn't exist? Instead, I'll go over slot by slot, give some notable mentions and the item I went with in my run. Won't cover all available options like with spells as that would take forever. Let's get the big ones out of the way first:

Weapons: In general, you don't want to be using your equipped weapons to attack, but rather to buff your spells while you're casting them. In essence, they're just stat sticks. Until you get the recommended items, use whatever, as it won't have an impact really.

The obvious choice, and for all the right reasons, is Lord Darryn's Voulge. 3 PL to all your storm spells is an amazing bonus. However, it only benefits Storm keyworded spells, and you won't be casting just those. My recommendation is to have a second set with Griffin's Blade, enchanted with Hound's Courage for extra damage with spells. Do note that it is only 10% damage, which is less than what Lord Darryn's Voulge gives to Storm spells, so always swap to it when casting those. If multiclassing with a paladin, fighter or barbarian, you can also dual wield Griffin's Blade with Slayer's Claw, which would make all Might inspirations you receive upgraded by one tier, essentially always giving you at least Tenacious. As for that Arms Bearer in my example build, here's the deal. There will be fights where spiritshift just runs out. Nothing you can do about it. In those cases, you still want something to attack with, but you don't really want to be in melee if you're using the recommended stat sticks. Having a third weapon set with a ranged weapon for those cases is quite handy. My personal pick would be a pistol, any of the three unique ones will do the job. The reason being that you can interrupt your reload with firearms and crossbows/arbalests to cast a spell if you need to.

Body Armor: Again, this is a big stat item for you. While spiritshifted, none of the effects of the body armor will carry over, so we want armor that buffs the spells we cast before shifting. As an additional note, I absolutely hate armor variety, or rather the sheer lack of it, in this game, to the point that I consciously avoid using Miscreant's Leathers and DoC armor. I'm just so tired of seeing them every single run and knowing that there isn't really that much better options.

Straight away, Aloth's armor can give you a decent boost to your area of effect, though with your huge intelligence, it's already massive for most spells. To my distaste, DoC is readily available, and gives you +2 mortification, which gives you a lot more freedom in how you spend it. Another option, and the one I personally went with, is the Cabalist's Gambeson, enchanted for beneficial effects duration, to increase the duration of all your self buffs and spiritshift as well. If you, however, want direct damage increases, there's only really two armors. One is Deltro's Cage, giving you an additional 2 PL to your storm spells. The downside is that it's a plate armor, and will **** your recovery, unless you multi with a fighter, or use one of a few select pets to somewhat combat that. Oh, and you need to kill Ezzali Bardatto to get it, and i really like making the two families get along. The other option is High Harbinger's Robes. Taking more damage really doesn't matter that much, considering you're already taking 50% more from being a Helwalker. The downsides are that they're quite late game, unless you rush BoW, and that they probably really smell of decaying flesh. Vatnir wears them, after all.

With those out of the way, it's time for accessories. We have a bit more wiggle room here, since accessories still give you bonuses while spiritshifted, though in general items that buff your spells are still better than those that buff your attacks.

Helmets: Only used if you didn't pick a Godlike. Honestly, as previously discussed, there isn't much that can beat Heaven's Cacophony here. And it's available incredibly early, just got to get to Neketaka to buy it. If, for some reason, you don't want to use it, the only really good alternatives I can recommend are Contender's Helm for another Concentration on combat start or Thaos' Headdress. The conditions on it are incredibly easy to meet as long as you have a cipher in your party to cast Phantom Foes. It does require a specific choice in Pillars 1, however, and not everyone wants to make it.

Amulets: There's only two really standout options here. The first is Strand of Favor, giving you +1 Int and +10% beneficial effects duration, making everything you do last even longer than before. It's available quite early as well, at Hasongo. The second, available much later, is The Third Eye, with its 10% hit-to-crit for spells. Honestly, I'd still pick the Strand of Favor over it. Other alternatives include Charm of Bones and Stone of Power.

Cloaks: There's unfortunately only one big option here, and I really hate it. Shroud of the Phantasm. I really dislike Brilliant in any of its forms, and this is by far the worst. But the cloak, even without the Brilliant inspiration, is still really damn good. One thing to note is that you don't have access to a mind inspiration as an Ascetic, so you will need allies to provide one (more on that at the end). There really isn't any alternatives to it either, and nothing to really wear before it.

Handwear: A few decent options that won't make or break your build, nothing too flashy here really. If you don't plan on having an evocation focused wizard in your party, Firethrower's Gloves with their 2 Dex and 1 Arcana are a great option that you can get incredibly early with the Well-supplied merchant Berath's Blessing. You'll probably want to aim for Woedica's Strangling Grasp, which is what I wound up using, but in all honesty it is only marginally better than the basic Gauntlets of Ogre Might. This is one of the slots where the non-unique items are really good, and you can get a lot of mileage out of the aforementioned ones, or things like Mortification Bracers. If you want a large bonus to your Arcana, The Left Hand of the Obscured gives +3, but the other effect it has only works with melee weapons.

Rings: Surprisingly, not that much choice, despite being the slot that you're going to need to fill the most of in your party. There's really only one standout ring that you definitely want to aim for, Kuaru's Prize. Absolutely no reason to not use it. For the other slot you have a few choices. If you find yourself using Firebug and Sunlance often, Ring of Focused Flame gives both +10 accuracy. later into the game, Whispers from the Depths can also work really well. Unfortunately, my favorite ring, Chameleon's Touch, isn't that useful, since you get Res from being a druid. If none of those sound too appealing, you can just go for a basic Ring of Overseeing.

Boots: Unfortunately, not that many options at all. There are Vithrack Silk Slippers, but those are all the way from FS. Before that, honestly, just wear what you have available, there really isn't a lot of variety. Pathfinder's Boots and Boots of the Stone both grant +1 Dex so at least it's better than nothing, I guess.

Belts: Unfortunately, much the same as with boots, though at least you have marginally better options. Sash of Judgment is an interesting option to get a bit more damage out early. i personally went with the Upright Captain's Belt, for one more concentration at the start of combat.

Trinkets: I'll be honest, I routinely forget that trinkets are even a thing. No clue really which ones to suggest here as I just haven't used them, and since I came out just fine, I don't think they'll make that big of an impact.

Pets: Yup, pets. Pets often get overlooked but they can provide you with some great bonuses to round out your build. Unfortunately, you're a bit screwed when it comes to pets, as there is a pet that boosts every other element except shock. There's still some great options however. Peter is a cat you can get incredibly early that boosts both your area of effect and area of effect damage, and it can easily last you the entire game. You can buy Milx in Neketaka, which gives +1 Int and 5% hit-to-crit with spells. Later on, you have Nemnok, who gives you an additional cast with PL 1 spells, and Boras from FS, giving 5 accuracy with spells. And then there's Ooblit. Ooblit gives a flat 3 seconds increase to all beneficial effects. This includes all self buffs and spiritshift. If you want to wear Deltro's Cage, I'd recommend using a pet that reduces armor recovery penalty. There are a few options, though the best is probably Nalvi from Junvik Village, only because the recovery penalty reduction is the party wide effect, which means you can put it in Eder's pet slot and still benefit from it.

Consumables: Honestly, these are not required at all, they're just optional things you can use to give your character another bit of oomph. Potion-wise, you have two big options: Potion of Ascension for +2 PL, which lasts for the whole fight too, and Potion of Perfect Aim for the hit-to-crit conversion. If you choose to only go up to 13 Arcana, you can use the leftover points in Alchemy to increase the duration of Perfect Aim potions. Drugs on the other hand, aren't quite as useful, especially since we're not a Nalpazca. As for scrolls, have I mentioned Avenging Storm scrolls anywhere in the guide? I can't quite remember...

Food: Last but not least, food. Damn, how I hate that food counts as an active bonus and therefore doesn't stack with a lot of things. It really should have been a passive bonus instead. Anyways, food is less of a necessity and more of a useful bonus to have. The end all food you'll probably want is Captain's Banquet, but quite honestly, it's time consuming and expensive to craft, so I'd just reserve that for facing fampyr and Sigilmaster Auranic. In the meantime, you can do perfectly fine with just eating Oysters for that sweet 10% damage with spells.

 

Fury tips: Just a few closing points on the Fury druid. First up, to finish up on gameplay. You'll be starting fights by activating your 3 big buffs from monk: Enduring Dance, Thunderous Blows and Lightning Strikes, after which you'll start laying down your spells. Depending on the length of the encounter, you might not need to use all spells at your disposal. Good spells to consider opening with are Embrace of the Earth Talon, Plague of Insects and your Storm spells. Do keep an eye on what enemies you're facing. If they're flying, or immune to Dex afflictions, there's no point in casting Embrace of the Earth Talon. If they're immune to poison, ditch Plague of Insects in favor of Insect Swarm and/or Infestation of Maggots. If they're immune to shock, cry silently as your bread and butter gets taken away from you. All other spells, you can cast depending on the situation: if you need single target burst, Sunlance to the face, really dangerous damage dealers can eat a Sunbeam, fighting a big, tough boss, throw down all your Raw DoTs and Storms, Rust their armor and get ready to shift.

When to spiritshift and what to do during it: In general, you wan to spiritshift after you're done casting your initial spells. Once you have the storms and at least one of your Raw DoTs, you should look to refresh Lightning Strikes and Thunderous Blows, read an Avenging Storm scroll if you have any and spiritshift. During the shift, you want to mostly focus on autoattacking, though at times you may need to emergency cast something, most often Shifting Storm, Sunbeam, Form of the Delemgan or Weather the Storm. There are also times when you should completely ignore spiritshifting, namely when facing shock immune enemies, as your attacks deal pure shock damage while in the Angry Cloud form.

Your best friends: AKA party composition. I personally don't stick with the same party all game long and regularly swap companions out, so, just like the rest of the guide, I can't exactly give you the optimal party comp. I can, however, recommend some options:

A cipher. Yes, I hate it. Yes, Brilliant is amazing. Yes, ciphers are the only class that can spam out Brilliant. You get the idea.

A priest. Dire Blessing is an amazing buff to your overall performance. Later on, you can use Salvation of Time to extend a lot of your buffs, including your spiritshift.

A paladin and/or a chanter. Best if both at the same time, the almighty Harold. Auras for days.

A buddy with a morningstar. The morningstar modal reduces fortitude by an absurd 25. A lot of your abilities target fortitude, so such a huge debuff is a massive help. Unfortunately, since morningstars aren't sabres or swords, and therefore are just not pirate-y enough, the selection of unique ones is rather poor, only two unique ones, in fact. Of the two, The Willbreaker is flat out better, though Saru-Sichr is available earlier. Works best on a tanky frontline support like a paladin. Of the base companions, Pallegina, in any of her three class options, makes a good morningstar wielder.

Another buddy with a flail. Much like the morningstar, but it debuffs reflex. Your storm spells, except Avenging Storm, target Reflex for their damaging component. Unlike morningstars, flails were apparently a symbol of the pirate world, as there are 5 total unique ones, which is tied third for most unique one handed weapons of a type, and tied fourth for most unique weapons of any type. None of the unique flails are really standout in their stats so just use whichever one you like. Keeper of the Flame can be enchanted to reduce will, which can be useful for the rest of the party. Straight off the bat, Eder can make great use out of a flail, and in general so can anyone that ends up tanking.

 

Closing statement: If anyone actually made it all the way to here, I salute you for your dedication, and probable insanity. Any feedback is welcome. Now go play a Fury, nerds.

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Wow, you've put a lot of effort into this - definintely will be a good resource for anyone interested in Fury! This may be somewhat common knowledge but I just wanted to emphasize that Ascetic is an incredible class generally. Put a Helwalker with any Druid subclass and you'll get something greater than the sum of the parts. Personally, I'm somewhat obsessed with Shifters and that makes for an awesome, dynamic experience:  cast your aoe spells, shift, Flagellant's Path into a squishy and it will explode; if there are other threats around you can switch to Iron Wheel to heavily mitigate your squishiness since you'll get basically post-mythic heavy armour without penalty (more on Bear). The Shifter free spells also work great with Helwalker. Damn, this is making me want to play that build again...

Anyway, I think a powerful Ascetic tech that I haven't used yet and you don't mention is using Slayer's Claw (should still work in basic form without being binded, right?) to get Energized from Tenacious blows and then use pulsing spells. Every crit you get with a spell pulse will interrupt (including something like Tanglefoot, which now becomes a massive CC tool). I'm doing something similar right now with a Berserker/Shifter and it's very impressive. My feeling is that an Ancient/Helwalker with Claw in one weapon set and Spine of Thicket Green in the other who doesn't shift at all would be the strongest Ascetic, but you can't really go wrong with the class (once you pick Helwalker- as the synergy is in how absurdly Druids benefit from both Might and Int).

The Fury looks great but it's a real bummer to lose access to healing spells since the Ascetic is arguably the best healer in the game. A Moonwell taking up half the screen pulsing for massive heals is amazing. A party with a Lifegiver/Helwalker would be immortal without some serious burst damage coming in, I think.

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I noticed that you gave Wicked Briars a 1/5 saying it's just a Tanglefoot with "a little" pierce damage. That's a bit strange to me since it does more damage than Plague of Insects. Easy access to Tenacious helps with penetration issues. Briars and Venombloom are great spells for boss killing and otherwise stacking damage against enemies that you can't just blow up immediately, especially for a character with massive INT, because that increases the total damage of these spells. Maybe you don't want it all the time but I think it deserves more than a 1, especially since you complain that PL4 doesn't have good damage options. I also think Venombloom deserves more than a 2 - it's not that hard to get into a good position to cast it, especially on a nuke-focused party (as opposed to one that likes to mix in with the enemies). How good it is against bosses alone should give it at least a 3 imo.

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For weapon,you should consider the pike which grant lord of the forest (from biakara bounty, so very early weapon) : +2pl as long as you have woodskin or form of the delemgan on. Easy to trigger as druid, and is universal pl.

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Wicked Briars is an awesome spell imo. But maybe a matter of taste. 

I personally like Furies a lot but I won't use Spiritshift. The base dmg is rather low. The jump doesn't stack with Driving Flight. And a Fury gets its best bonus (+1 PEN on elemental spells) whether you are shifted or not. But if you shift you lose access to bonuses you might get from armor (e.g. Deltro's Cage) and weapon (e.g. PL buffers like Chromoprismatic Staff, Lance of the Midwood Stag, Sun & Moon, Magran's Favior or Lord Darryn's Voulge and so on). So - for your casting capabilities the Spiritshift form does nothing. The basic idea that kills can extend the duration might be nice - I just don't have the wish to shift in the first place. ;)

I agree that Helwalker is awesome. Especially if you really do want to stay away from foes. By the way: some spells work with Instruments of Pain - for example Sunbeam which already has a range of 12. It gets a 500% range increase with is... hilarious. 

But honestly the Barb/Fury is more appealing to me (especially when going for Lord Darryn's Voulge). Especially Berserker/Fury is really good early on bc. of the +3 PEN right away - but you MUST keep an eye on health. :) Blood Thirst with Storm Spells and/or Nature's Terror is just so much fun. And Lord Darryn's Voulge is like it's made for a Barb/Fury. On one hand you can use the Static Thunder with Carnage even if you bind it to the Druid class and on the other the PL to storm spells is cool and thematically fitting. I think often it's not the sheer power of a character that keeps me playing but the overall fitting "package" - and that includes thematic coherence. And I mean Fury + Frenzy... come on. ;)

Also Slayer's Claw + Berserker Frenzy will give you Energized. And that will interrupt foes with any kind of crit roll. Suddenly pulsing spells like Wicked Briars and whatnot become awesome tools for interruptin in an AoE. If you cast several of those enemies won't do a lot. 

AND you can combine Blood Storm or Spirit Frenzy with spellcasting, either applying a raw DoT with every spell crit or cause staggered with every spell hit. 

Last not least you can trigger Blooded with your own Berserker Frenzy self damage. Sure, it's tricky - but can also be fun to play around with. 

I just love Berserker/casters in general. :)

 

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18 hours ago, NuclearCookie said:

One thing to note is that you don't have access to a mind inspiration as an Ascetic, so you will need allies to provide one (more on that at the end). There really isn't any alternatives to it either, and nothing to really wear before it.

Enlightened agony?

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It is good to have a guide but at least 2 of your spell evaluations are really weird.

Greater Maeltstorm is arguably the strongest offensive spell of the game. It has tremendous damages and enormous AoE. Tier 9 spells come with +4 intresic PEN, and 3 out of the 4 elemental talents can add +1 PEN to it, so you can work around PEN issues (even if you don't pick the 3 talents). (and fury is also +1 PEN). Also dual damage type does help. All these Keywords synergize extremely well with any +PL items. With a "Brilliant" buff from Cipher, you can cast a Maelstorm every 6s, which is one of the most broken combo of the game. You can't do this with scrolls (which are also expensive).

Call of the Primordials is the best druid summon (I'm not even saying "arguably"). Lashing vine may hav its use (14 PEN attacks is nice) but is overall inferior. One of the 4 types of Oozes as an infinite cast of Plague of Insects. Even if you don't get it, you will still have 3 summons with 300-400 hp each at your disposal.

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Greater Maelstrom is awesome. It's cool to build around it  because it can get a lot of PL bonuses from different "directions".

For example +7 with Magran's Favor + Sun & Moon + Otto Starcat + Deltro's Cage. Or +6 when using Lord Darryn's Voulge or Chromoprismatic Staff. Even with Watershaper's Focus or Lace of the Midwood Stag you still can get to +5 (which is like an empowered version of the spell). 

And as Elric said the combined multiple PEN passives of Scion oF etc. + Fury are great as well. All that because Maestrom has so many PL-relevant keywords. 

But your Druid will turn into a one-trick pony once you have it. ;) 


Another good spell with a Fury is Avenging Storm: if you use Hand Mortar + Fire in the Hole you will trigger a TON of Lightings because Hand Mortar's Blinding Smoke cone does trigger Avenging Storm (and you can produce a bazillion attack rolls with Blinding Smoke if there are enough enemies in the cone). Fire in the Hole has a build-in jump which means Avenging Storms proc in the AoE twice (sort of). It's fun because it's a completely different approach to SC Fury than anything else. Of course you could have that even better witch another class using scrolls. But I don't like using consumables too much, so... ;)

 

 

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great work! personally i tried a SC fury for a while and got a little bored of it - i think it's mostly because for much of the game it's just the same damage-spell casting that i could just script it all so it was very uninteractive. a few comments:

 

On 2/20/2021 at 5:00 PM, NuclearCookie said:

I honestly have zero idea why it's like that. My best guess is that since they made spiritshift not scale with PL, Storm's Rage also became non-scaling. But the actually negative one, I have no answer for.

way back in the day every ability and item had some sort of native ability level, and if you were below that you got negative scaling (with inversions). they re-normalized everything at some point so there's no negative scaling. they must've forgotten about storm's rage.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 5:00 PM, NuclearCookie said:

Burst of Summer Flame: What we get for free. Incredibly fast cast time, but that's about it. No other effects, but it is Foe only. Still, Blizzard is just better. 2/5

the ring of focused flame imo is a vital item for a fury and it would give burst of summer flame a good alternate use vs blizzard for a tier two spell.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 5:00 PM, NuclearCookie said:

Fire Stag: Honestly, I've never found a use for the spell. Enemies don't really focus it enough to make it worth it, and there are just better summons and better summoners than you. 0/5

imo the fury is so lacking in repeatable options at PL8 that fire stag can become decent. the explosion can be useful, but i think the PEN is pretty low on it.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 5:00 PM, NuclearCookie said:

Great Maelstrom: Massive AoE and damage. Terribly low Pen for the level, and an extremely long cast time. Did I mention anyone can get it from a scroll?

just to second what elric said: abilities at higher tiers get an inherent PEN bonus at +.5 per tier above 1 (better than PL scaling). tornado also has a high inherent PEN because of this (but not as easily boostable as great maelstrom due to fewer keywords).

 

On 2/20/2021 at 5:00 PM, NuclearCookie said:

One is Deltro's Cage, giving you an additional 2 PL to your storm spells. The downside is that it's a plate armor, and will **** your recovery, unless you multi with a fighter, or use one of a few select pets to somewhat combat that.

deltro's cage is great. the fury is more weighted towards wanting to cast slow spells (6s cast, 2s recovery) they are not as badly affected by hulking armor recovery than other casters. even 4.5s/3s recovery is managable with a decent dex and some coral snuff. it's the 3s/4s casts and the autoattacks that can be really brutal (i disabled auto-attacking for my sc fury in fact). i found it to be well worth the +2 PL bonus to electricity spells.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 5:00 PM, NuclearCookie said:

and Boras from FS, giving 5 accuracy with spells.

boras is great. it comes late, unfortunatley. the obsidian wurm (might be a deluxe/backer item only pet) gives +3 acc vs flanked targets, which is a great early pet if you have party members that can blind or flank easily.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 5:00 PM, NuclearCookie said:

Consumables: Honestly, these are not required at all, they're just optional things you can use to give your character another bit of oomph. Potion-wise, you have two big options: Potion of Ascension for +2 PL, which lasts for the whole fight too, and Potion of Perfect Aim for the hit-to-crit conversion. If you choose to only go up to 13 Arcana, you can use the leftover points in Alchemy to increase the duration of Perfect Aim potions. Drugs on the other hand, aren't quite as useful, especially since we're not a Nalpazca. As for scrolls, have I mentioned Avenging Storm scrolls anywhere in the guide? I can't quite remember...

Food: Last but not least, food. Damn, how I hate that food counts as an active bonus and therefore doesn't stack with a lot of things. It really should have been a passive bonus instead. Anyways, food is less of a necessity and more of a useful bonus to have. The end all food you'll probably want is Captain's Banquet, but quite honestly, it's time consuming and expensive to craft, so I'd just reserve that for facing fampyr and Sigilmaster Auranic. In the meantime, you can do perfectly fine with just eating Oysters for that sweet 10% damage with spells.

depending on your party, a fury can benefit a lot from drugs because there's not a lot of self-buffing outside of specific multiclasses. in particular, coral snuff (for the action speed bonus), svef (for the perception bonus), or one of the stat boosters (+3 might/con/dex or +3 per/int/res) are great assets and can last a long time.

for food--this goes along with a possible ring choice [drunkard's regret]--alcohol is very useful. rymsjodda lager gives you -15% recovery time bonus and is easily accessible after BoW; rum is OG though at +15% action speed bonus. (brew battered ysae is very good, but may be hard to sustain because of all the ingredients; in addition i tend to play with rymrgand challenge so prepared foods become less viable for me)

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1 hour ago, Elric Galad said:

Chromoprimatic is only +2 for Maelstrom. Maelstrom does not have Frost KW unless using Community Patch mod. The +1PEN Talent does work because it also apply to Water spells and Maelstrom has Water KW.

Heh - of course I'm using the Community Patch. ;) 

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By the way - the Fire Stag had (maybe still has) some hidden gem mechanic: If you put Barring Death's Door on it you could let it explode over and over again and it wouldn't die. Don't know if tht got fixed.   

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38 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

By the way - the Fire Stag had (maybe still has) some hidden gem mechanic: If you put Barring Death's Door on it you could let it explode over and over again and it wouldn't die. Don't know if tht got fixed.   

Ney,

But was corrected by... You know... Balance Polishing Mod

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On 2/21/2021 at 2:00 AM, NuclearCookie said:

You do get access to Wildstrike Frenzy, which is a decent amount of really good effects when it procs, despite only proccing on autoattack kills and being centered around you rather than the enemy you killed.

Gotcha.
This was the description of the bug I was looking for.

Thank you sir, I have been reported something strange about Wildstrike Frenzy with my mod, and I couldn't figure what I did wrong.

I will address this for the ones who care.

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Thanks for all the comments people. Apparently, some of my scores haven't been as accurate as they could've been, but then again, it might have come down to personal taste or just not being as thorough in testing.

On 2/21/2021 at 3:27 PM, Jayd said:

I noticed that you gave Wicked Briars a 1/5 saying it's just a Tanglefoot with "a little" pierce damage. That's a bit strange to me since it does more damage than Plague of Insects. Easy access to Tenacious helps with penetration issues. Briars and Venombloom are great spells for boss killing and otherwise stacking damage against enemies that you can't just blow up immediately, especially for a character with massive INT, because that increases the total damage of these spells. Maybe you don't want it all the time but I think it deserves more than a 1, especially since you complain that PL4 doesn't have good damage options. I also think Venombloom deserves more than a 2 - it's not that hard to get into a good position to cast it, especially on a nuke-focused party (as opposed to one that likes to mix in with the enemies). How good it is against bosses alone should give it at least a 3 imo.

Well, it seems I slept on Wicked Briars. I never really used the skill much, and my score kinda reflected that, but upon testing it a bit further, I agree that it's definitely a really good spell, and I'll update the post to reflect that. Still probably wouldn't want to put it down in every fight but definitely not deserving of a 1/5.

And you're right, looking over the list, I was a bit unfair to Venombloom. Range can be overcome, and the damage on it is definitely great.

On 2/21/2021 at 6:01 PM, Exanos said:

For weapon,you should consider the pike which grant lord of the forest (from biakara bounty, so very early weapon) : +2pl as long as you have woodskin or form of the delemgan on. Easy to trigger as druid, and is universal pl.

Ooh, that's a good shout, I'll have to make sure to put it as an option.

On 2/21/2021 at 6:31 PM, Boeroer said:

Wicked Briars is an awesome spell imo. But maybe a matter of taste. 

I personally like Furies a lot but I won't use Spiritshift. The base dmg is rather low. The jump doesn't stack with Driving Flight. And a Fury gets its best bonus (+1 PEN on elemental spells) whether you are shifted or not. But if you shift you lose access to bonuses you might get from armor (e.g. Deltro's Cage) and weapon (e.g. PL buffers like Chromoprismatic Staff, Lance of the Midwood Stag, Sun & Moon, Magran's Favior or Lord Darryn's Voulge and so on). So - for your casting capabilities the Spiritshift form does nothing. The basic idea that kills can extend the duration might be nice - I just don't have the wish to shift in the first place. ;)

I agree that Helwalker is awesome. Especially if you really do want to stay away from foes. By the way: some spells work with Instruments of Pain - for example Sunbeam which already has a range of 12. It gets a 500% range increase with is... hilarious. 

But honestly the Barb/Fury is more appealing to me (especially when going for Lord Darryn's Voulge). Especially Berserker/Fury is really good early on bc. of the +3 PEN right away - but you MUST keep an eye on health. :) Blood Thirst with Storm Spells and/or Nature's Terror is just so much fun. And Lord Darryn's Voulge is like it's made for a Barb/Fury. On one hand you can use the Static Thunder with Carnage even if you bind it to the Druid class and on the other the PL to storm spells is cool and thematically fitting. I think often it's not the sheer power of a character that keeps me playing but the overall fitting "package" - and that includes thematic coherence. And I mean Fury + Frenzy... come on. ;)

Also Slayer's Claw + Berserker Frenzy will give you Energized. And that will interrupt foes with any kind of crit roll. Suddenly pulsing spells like Wicked Briars and whatnot become awesome tools for interruptin in an AoE. If you cast several of those enemies won't do a lot. 

AND you can combine Blood Storm or Spirit Frenzy with spellcasting, either applying a raw DoT with every spell crit or cause staggered with every spell hit. 

Last not least you can trigger Blooded with your own Berserker Frenzy self damage. Sure, it's tricky - but can also be fun to play around with. 

I just love Berserker/casters in general. :)

 

Wouldn't Berserker Frenzy also make Storms and Insect spells also hit allies though? I know that it can be overcome, but it does sort of lock you either into Modwyr or eating a lot of luminous lobsters. And I know shifting isn't a big deal for some people, but I did want to use all bonuses of the fury, and the storm cloud form is a big part of it.

On 2/21/2021 at 9:54 PM, Waski said:

Enlightened agony?

I completely missed that, thank you! I'll have to update the spell listing, you do get a few free points anyway.

On 2/22/2021 at 4:30 PM, Elric Galad said:

It is good to have a guide but at least 2 of your spell evaluations are really weird.

Greater Maeltstorm is arguably the strongest offensive spell of the game. It has tremendous damages and enormous AoE. Tier 9 spells come with +4 intresic PEN, and 3 out of the 4 elemental talents can add +1 PEN to it, so you can work around PEN issues (even if you don't pick the 3 talents). (and fury is also +1 PEN). Also dual damage type does help. All these Keywords synergize extremely well with any +PL items. With a "Brilliant" buff from Cipher, you can cast a Maelstorm every 6s, which is one of the most broken combo of the game. You can't do this with scrolls (which are also expensive).

Call of the Primordials is the best druid summon (I'm not even saying "arguably"). Lashing vine may hav its use (14 PEN attacks is nice) but is overall inferior. One of the 4 types of Oozes as an infinite cast of Plague of Insects. Even if you don't get it, you will still have 3 summons with 300-400 hp each at your disposal.

I was not aware of the intrinsic PEN bonus, my bad. Unfortunately, I won't really be focusing on the Brilliant spam casting, as I did say in the post that I really dislike that interaction and don't use it. It's incredibly boring for me.

I admit to not using Call of the Primordials enough before giving it a rather poor score, but since I don't make use of Brilliant in my runs, I only get one cast and usually found Rusted Armor or Weather the Storm more useful.

23 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Greater Maelstrom is awesome. It's cool to build around it  because it can get a lot of PL bonuses from different "directions".

For example +7 with Magran's Favor + Sun & Moon + Otto Starcat + Deltro's Cage. Or +6 when using Lord Darryn's Voulge or Chromoprismatic Staff. Even with Watershaper's Focus or Lace of the Midwood Stag you still can get to +5 (which is like an empowered version of the spell). 

And as Elric said the combined multiple PEN passives of Scion oF etc. + Fury are great as well. All that because Maestrom has so many PL-relevant keywords. 

But your Druid will turn into a one-trick pony once you have it. ;) 


Another good spell with a Fury is Avenging Storm: if you use Hand Mortar + Fire in the Hole you will trigger a TON of Lightings because Hand Mortar's Blinding Smoke cone does trigger Avenging Storm (and you can produce a bazillion attack rolls with Blinding Smoke if there are enough enemies in the cone). Fire in the Hole has a build-in jump which means Avenging Storms proc in the AoE twice (sort of). It's fun because it's a completely different approach to SC Fury than anything else. Of course you could have that even better witch another class using scrolls. But I don't like using consumables too much, so... ;)

 

 

Ooooh, great shout on the blunderbusses, knew that but completely forgot about it while writing. And yeah, I dislike one tricking the game.

21 hours ago, thelee said:

great work! personally i tried a SC fury for a while and got a little bored of it - i think it's mostly because for much of the game it's just the same damage-spell casting that i could just script it all so it was very uninteractive. a few comments:

 

way back in the day every ability and item had some sort of native ability level, and if you were below that you got negative scaling (with inversions). they re-normalized everything at some point so there's no negative scaling. they must've forgotten about storm's rage.

 

the ring of focused flame imo is a vital item for a fury and it would give burst of summer flame a good alternate use vs blizzard for a tier two spell.

 

imo the fury is so lacking in repeatable options at PL8 that fire stag can become decent. the explosion can be useful, but i think the PEN is pretty low on it.

 

just to second what elric said: abilities at higher tiers get an inherent PEN bonus at +.5 per tier above 1 (better than PL scaling). tornado also has a high inherent PEN because of this (but not as easily boostable as great maelstrom due to fewer keywords).

 

deltro's cage is great. the fury is more weighted towards wanting to cast slow spells (6s cast, 2s recovery) they are not as badly affected by hulking armor recovery than other casters. even 4.5s/3s recovery is managable with a decent dex and some coral snuff. it's the 3s/4s casts and the autoattacks that can be really brutal (i disabled auto-attacking for my sc fury in fact). i found it to be well worth the +2 PL bonus to electricity spells.

 

boras is great. it comes late, unfortunatley. the obsidian wurm (might be a deluxe/backer item only pet) gives +3 acc vs flanked targets, which is a great early pet if you have party members that can blind or flank easily.

 

depending on your party, a fury can benefit a lot from drugs because there's not a lot of self-buffing outside of specific multiclasses. in particular, coral snuff (for the action speed bonus), svef (for the perception bonus), or one of the stat boosters (+3 might/con/dex or +3 per/int/res) are great assets and can last a long time.

for food--this goes along with a possible ring choice [drunkard's regret]--alcohol is very useful. rymsjodda lager gives you -15% recovery time bonus and is easily accessible after BoW; rum is OG though at +15% action speed bonus. (brew battered ysae is very good, but may be hard to sustain because of all the ingredients; in addition i tend to play with rymrgand challenge so prepared foods become less viable for me)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't food and drugs counted as active bonuses and therefore don't stack with other active abilities? So coral snuff and rum won't stack with swift strikes, nor will stat boosters stack with inspirations?

 

Overall, think I have a lot of work still left to do. Will try to update ASAP with the revised scores and additional suggestions. Thanks for all the feedback!

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40 minutes ago, NuclearCookie said:

Wouldn't Berserker Frenzy also make Storms and Insect spells also hit allies though? I know that it can be overcome, but it does sort of lock you either into Modwyr or eating a lot of luminous lobsters.

Absolutely. But you can use Svef (it's rel cheap), Potion of the Focused Mind, Devil of Caroc's Breastplate, Modwyr, Luminous Lobster, Captain's Banquet or an INT inspiration from a party member (e.g. Priest or Chanter) or scroll (Prayer for the Spirit). In the early game I will often use Svef. You could also use the Ring of Mule's Wit - but that's  bit suboptimal of course. ;) The easiest solution is the Breastplate imo. 

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1 hour ago, NuclearCookie said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't food and drugs counted as active bonuses and therefore don't stack with other active abilities? So coral snuff and rum won't stack with swift strikes, nor will stat boosters stack with inspirations?

that's right. i ended up juggling food/drug bonuses quite a bit to avoid stacking conflicts. i also was SC so was not concerned about swift strikes.

Example: if I had rymsjodda lager or koiki fruit, i'd use that and use some coral snuff. -15% recovery time bonus plus +15% action speed bonus = great. If I had rum, I'd use taru taru chew, for +15% action speed bonus and net +2 dex (along with other stats). 

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Others have voiced this before me, but Great Maelstrom is an absolutely insane spell. I would give it 6/5. It's so strong that I quit my Fury playthrough about 4-5 fights after I picked it up, since a single Great Maelstrom, not even necessarily Empowered, instantly annihilates anything that isn't a boss even though I was playing on PotD upscaled. Basically you drop Great Maelstrom from stealth and your enemies are dead before they can react. Incredibly boring.

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On 2/23/2021 at 9:56 PM, NotDumbEnough said:

Others have voiced this before me, but Great Maelstrom is an absolutely insane spell. I would give it 6/5.

Also as others have mentioned before, I think that the "curse" of the Druid/Fury is that his most powerful signature spells are available as scrolls and can in certain cases be more valuable to other classes than to the source class.

Insect Swarm, Plague of Insect and Embrace the Earth Talon can be good for anyone but especially with builds with inherently high accuracy buffs or ways to debuff FORT to land the spell effectively.

Avenging Storm is very strong for martial classes, of course especially broken with Monk SC builds.

Greater Maelstrom is a boon to all but seems like it was made specifically for the Arcane Knight:

  • Can get very high Arcana (in the 30s) and with some of the items Boeroer mentioned, reach very high PL on Avenging Storm.
  • Pulsing AoE spells fit well with a static, buffing/tanky approach. Stand your grown, buff, create hazard AoE, let the enemy close in and die.
  • Will work very well in combination with Combusting Wounds, Chill Fog, Freezing Pillar, etc.
  • Really enhances the offensive potential of a build that can be a bit soft on that side in late game encounters if focusing a lot on defensive abilities (i.e. instead of having to spam Blood Sacrifice)
  • Greater Maelstrom benefits from the Eternal Devotion fire lash.

Like many players, I try to limit my usage of scrolls to specific situations but the availability of these Druid scrolls has always felt a bit unfair to the uniqueness of the Druid IMHO, just as hypothetical scrolls of Whispers of the Wind, potions of Assassinate or Gloves of Disintegration would hurt the uniqueness of Monk, Assassin and Cipher :).

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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There are two things that work in favor of casting Great Maelstrom naturally:

1. It's main strength is more in dealing with trash fights. You cast Great Maelstrom, fight ends instantly. I wouldn't actually use it in boss fights where Touch of Death might be more powerful. Of course this isn't mutually exclusive with carrying scrolls. Scrolls, on the other hand, are a bit too expensive to spam every fight.

2. A good bit of the damage comes with high intellect leading to longer AOE duration (more damage ticks). Scrolls don't take into account any of your attributes aside from dexterity. That makes them useful on low might/perception/intellect characters, but compared to a high intellect character it is noticeably weaker.

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I agree with both of your points. I definitely don't want to be the advocate of scroll spamming :) but for the sake of argument I'll mention that:

Quantity can beat quality: if you unlock the 6 pocket slots, you can carry and spam up to 30 Great Maelstrom scrolls in a single fight. By end game those are also relatively easy to manufacture on an industrial level with your million coins and access to all vendors refreshing inventory in 24h.

Scrolls can scale off of other things: Arcana PL + item keyword PL + abilities like Assassinate can significantly boost scroll attacks. Maybe not to the level of a fully optimized SC Fury casting the same spell as a natural ability... but pretty good. On spells that target FORT, the +25 ACC from Assassinate is really good.

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Scrolls that impactful also have ridiculously short recovery times.

I actually hate it when consumables copy the effects of class abilities.

If I had to decide consumables would do something entirely different than abilities. 

Scrolls are way too good still. It's a pain to balance I assume, too. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 8:18 AM, NotDumbEnough said:

2. A good bit of the damage comes with high intellect leading to longer AOE duration (more damage ticks). Scrolls don't take into account any of your attributes aside from dexterity. That makes them useful on low might/perception/intellect characters, but compared to a high intellect character it is noticeably weaker.

It's important to remember though that unlike explosives, scrolls never got the down-nerfing to be PL1 effects. So arcana scaling happens *on* top of already pretty powerful effects (i forget if they are identical, but this is still true even if scroll versions are weaker) when the powerful effects are already gated by having a high arcana. So while at low levels it is definitely the case that you miss out by not having might/perception/intellect bonuses, by late game +10 PL or more purely from arcana, plus whatever else bonus PL is available is pretty good on a greater maelstrom scroll, or any other scroll for that matter. you don't get the bonus AoE size of intellect, but you get pretty much anything else.

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