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Something I realized while messing around with my Brawler is that the Dichotomous Spirits you summon actually inherit all your gear except your weapons along with all the properties they have. They can't use active abilities attached to them, but all the passive abilities seem to be fair game. 

I'm wondering whether it would be possible to make a goofy build where you deliberately hit your own monk and his summons with friendly fire. The other upside to Dichotomous Soul is that it only costs wounds which you have an infinite source of, and unlike Chanter phrases accumulate quite quickly. 

My initial guess at making this work would be to pick a non-godlike race. Some of the helmets are fairly strong and I think they work on the spirits too. Unfortunately that means you can't be a nature godlike so you're missing that +1 PL for your fists. My second impression is that you should probably multiclass with a Fighter. Several reasons:

 

1. Since you're going to use your summon a lot, not having WotW and Resonant Touch doesn't particularly matter that much (I also despise playing as single class monks due to how boring and broken these skills are). You'll be spending your wounds on mostly just Dichotomous Soul and Thunderous Blows, and otherwise hold them for Turning Wheel.

 

2. Devoted get a cool +2 pen to their fists. Helps make up for your weaker fists compared to single class monks. Intuitive is also fairly powerful with Swift Flurry and Stunning Surge since you'll still be punching enemies for most of the game.

 

3. Turning Wheel+Unbending makes even a brawler with dumped RES nearly immortal due to your super high intellect. In my current brawler playthrough I often solo the easier fights with my Helwalker/Devoted if I'm feeling lazy due to how insane Unbending is.

 

4. Mob Stance and Refreshing Defense is also fairly nice.

 

In short, a Helwalker/Devoted would probably suit my purpose best. Unbending effectively nullifies all the extra damage you take as a Helwalker and the extra starting wound/+might is nice too. 

 

Of course choice in gear is also extremely critical. I think there are two ways to go about this:

 

1. Straight up suicide build, where you want the summons to die asap and trigger on knockout effects. This means Effigy's Husk/One Dozen Stood as your armor, Mantle of the Seven Bolts/Cape of the Falling Star as your cape, and the Whitewitch Visage you buy from the Spindle Man to trigger at least one tick of Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage whenever your clones reach low HP. The idea is to have your wizards and druids hit your Brawler and his summons with all the friendly fire they've got. Since Unbending is OP your Brawler will be fine and will comfortably have infinite wounds from all the damage. Hopefully your summons will die about as fast you can summon them.

 

2. A Deltro's Cage Helm build where you don't want the clones to die super fast. Deltro's Cage Helm, Nemnok's Cloak for Barring Death's Door, maybe Effigy's Husk for armor or High Harbinger's Robes for the attack speed. Unfortunately there's not a whole lot of friendly fire shock damage in the game, and the best source of it only turns up very late in the form of Great Maelstrom (remember to maintain high burn AR so you get hit by shock damage instead). Hopefully both you and your clones get a very large lash from Deltro's Cage Helm from incoming shock damage, and the clones will survive a decent amount of time thanks to Nemnok's Cloak.

Edited by NotDumbEnough
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Surprised no-one has responded to this yet, sounds like a fun build (I've mainly heard of Essential Phantom or Shroud of the Phantasm shenanigans, but at will 2x summons seems good if you metagame a bit to exploit it). Do you know whether the health of your duplicates are affected by your own character stats?

Personally going with the suicide build, I would consider mixing Helwalker (for the Might bonus to spells) or Nalpazca (for wound generation - more spamming of Dichotomous Soul) with a caster - this would be to reduce constitution and other defensive stats of your character (and thus summons?) and simultaneously join in on nuking your own summons for those lovely Knockout effects, does anyone know whether revive on KO effects also work?

Of course the most important thing to note is that Dichotomous Soul is a power level 7 ability - so you will spend a good part of the game without the keystone of your build.

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5 minutes ago, SArgentus said:

Surprised no-one has responded to this yet, sounds like a fun build (I've mainly heard of Essential Phantom or Shroud of the Phantasm shenanigans, but at will 2x summons seems good if you metagame a bit to exploit it). Do you know whether the health of your duplicates are affected by your own character stats?

Personally going with the suicide build, I would consider mixing Helwalker (for the Might bonus to spells) or Nalpazca (for wound generation - more spamming of Dichotomous Soul) with a caster - this would be to reduce constitution and other defensive stats of your character (and thus summons?) and simultaneously join in on nuking your own summons for those lovely Knockout effects, does anyone know whether revive on KO effects also work?

Of course the most important thing to note is that Dichotomous Soul is a power level 7 ability - so you will spend a good part of the game without the keystone of your build.

The spirits' attributes are independent from your own. See:

Also while you don't have access to them for most of the game Helwalker+Devoted is powerful enough that you can just punch your way through most fights. I would also use Helwalker over Nalpazca as you already have functionally infinite wounds by having allies nuke you or enemies attacking you. Nalpazca is a lot more useful when your build doesn't have infinite healing from Unbending. If you multiclass with a caster you can't just stand there and let enemies have at you in the same way as a fighter. Your fists will also be much weaker early on.

Edited by NotDumbEnough
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5 minutes ago, NotDumbEnough said:

The spirits' attributes are independent from your own. See:

Also while you don't have access to them for most of the game Helwalker+Devoted is powerful enough that you can just punch your way through most fights. I would also use Helwalker over Nalpazca as you already have functionally infinite wounds by having allies nuke you or enemies attacking you. Nalpazca is a lot more useful when your build doesn't have infinite healing from Unbending. If you multiclass with a caster you can't just stand there and let enemies have at you in the same way as a fighter. Your fists will also be much weaker early on.

Damn, would have been nice to create extra fragile summons..

It's true that the monk multiclass will be strong throughout the whole game anyways, just a long time to wait for the souls combo! Yeah, Nalpazca would mainly be for spamming summons with a glass cannon build that couldn't handle being nuked itself (and thus needing an alternative way to generate wounds) but knowing that duplicate HP is independent from your own certainly makes this idea less interesting.

Sage builds (especially with Helwalker) are still quite strong, you just won't be using your fists that much 😉

 

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I agree, this sounds like a fun build. While I have played monks and monk hybrids many times, I never took Dichotomous Soul, because I read posts indicating that the Dichotomous Soul clones do ridiculously low damage with their unarmed attacks because they do not get your abilities, including, most notably, Transcendent Suffering. Has this bug been fixed?

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2 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Does anybody know if the Necklace of Unlocked Possibilities works with the Monk's summons? I know that it works on Essential/Substancial Phantom - but it's not super interesting there because those can have the Wizard's weapons.

It does work: both summons get a random unique weapon. :)

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3 hours ago, dgray62 said:

I agree, this sounds like a fun build. While I have played monks and monk hybrids many times, I never took Dichotomous Soul, because I read posts indicating that the Dichotomous Soul clones do ridiculously low damage with their unarmed attacks because they do not get your abilities, including, most notably, Transcendent Suffering. Has this bug been fixed?

They don't attack with "real" fists so they don't need Transcendent Suffering. Instead they have unique fistlike weapons which scale with level. The ice summon has a weapon called "soul freeze" and the fire one has "soul burn". They have the same base dmg as fists (14-19) and it's correct that the dmg they deal is not very high because the summons have no special ability to make good use of those weapons. Usually they deal around 30-40 dmg per strike at lvl 20 (legendary + MIG bonus + some crits eventually). ACC is 108, PEN is 11. That's not superb but yeah well - it's okay. 

As I wrote above you can use the Necklace of Unlocked Possibilities to give them unique weapons - but that's not necessarily better. 

Like Essential Phantom they can't be controlled but run on AI.

Their deflection is pretty bad (49 88 at lvl 20) so you can use stuff like the Ragged Cloak or Sysipho's Stone to profit when they get hit or crit. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Imo summons are always worth it. Summons nearly always have a big impact because you add additional bodies to the battle. Think about them as "living" CC effects that take out enemies who attack them for a very long time compared to other effects.

Even if their dmg is not super good Dichotomous Soul twins are still very useful because they are rel. sturdy dudes and you get two for one cast. 

Necklace doesn't make their dmg better on average. It's just fun but unreliable. If they both get a ranged weapon they can't even tank properly. I guess giving them some +engagement gear could be useful maybe?

Edited by Boeroer
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You could feasibly equip Reckless Brigandine or One Dozen Stood for engagement slots. Chanters can sing Silver Knights' Shields. Later on you have Maura's belt as well from FS. Throw in a Whitewitch Mask and you can do something similar to Trickster disengagement attack cheese from the terrify effect.

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