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Psion with Community Patch: Single Class or Multiclass?


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Pretty much the title. In Community Patch Psion would halt focus generation on Crit. 

I have heard psion / troubadour and psion / wizard, but I don't know how well they stand against a SC Psion (since PL is more important to a psion than other ciphers). 

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The nice thing about psion troubador is you have infinite, constantly regenerating resources, that you can use to periodically cast cipher powers and chanter invocations. So you can just alternate between casting cipher and chanter powers. I've never played a SC psion, but I imagine it wouldn't be as versatile. Even though your focus regeneration would be a bit faster, you wouldn't have a second set of abilities to fall back on. The nice thing about chanter is that you can summon meatshields, and then cast cipher powers on them. Soul shock is particularly good since it only costs ten focus, has a decent AOE, and does pretty good damage.

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The Soul Mind focus generation of SC Psion is better due to Power Level - but you will still have more casting downtime compared to Psion/Troubadour. The (not that much) better focus generation cannot compete with the dual resource generation. Also phrase generation doesn't stop on getting hit (or crit) which is a nice backup - and unlike chanting Soul Mind doesn't stop after invocations. 

I played Psion/Troubadour and it was one of the most entertaining classes I used because it was so versatile: damage, CC, debuffing, summons, healing, support - he can do it all and is also his responsiveness is great if you invest into DEX and you're not armoring up like crazy.
I had almost no "waiting" time. Weapons can be pure "stat sticks". It also helps that a lot of the Troubadour's invocations are 0.5 sec casts which makes it all more dynamic.
Another plus of the Troubadour: 1 empowered invocation per encounter via Sasha's Singing Scimitar. Late game: combine with the Weyc's Wand. chefs_kiss.gif?dl=1
The good thing about he Psion/Troub (always something to do) can also be a bad thing for some people: because he won't work with AI so well he needs attention. For me that's okay if it's the MC and I'm fine with micromanagement in general. And I even a SC Psion would need that anyway so maybe in this case it doesn't matter when it comes to comparing the two. 

I'm usually an advocate for Single Classes because I think they are underrated in party setups - but in case of Cipher in general I'm not that much. The high level abilities aren't as impactful imo as the ones of Wizards, Priests and Druids for example. Time Parasite can be very cool - but it doesn't help the focus generation of the Psion like it would do with the other Cipher subclasses so there still would be more downtime where you wait for more focus. And SC Psion's weapon attacks are really nothing to write home about (no Soul Whip bonus for example).

I haven't played Psion/Wizard so I can't say how nice it is - but I would assume it would be more fun than SC Psion, too. 

Speaking of Wizard: If I were playing with a party and did another Psion/Troubadour, this time I would bring a Deboniare/Wizard along. Nice synergy: the first mass-charms (Ring Leader or The Lover Cried Out - doesn't matter) while the latter already prepares and then fires off a friendly-fire AoE spell on the charmed enemies with 100% crit conversion. No PEN issues, good dmg. Also a nice thematic fit imo. :)

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3 hours ago, dgray62 said:

The nice thing about chanter is that you can summon meatshields, and then cast cipher powers on them.

That is indeed nice. Iirc this only works with summons that are not on auto-AI right? So for example normal skeletons will work, but skeletons from Many Lives Pass By (great phrase with Brisk Recitation for a Psion/Troubadour by the way: enemies will not come at you because you're throwing skeletons at them without even blinking) cannot be targeted.

By the way: combining mass-charm with multi-summmons (e.g. Ancient Weapons + Many Lives Pass By) lets you create an army of flipped + summoned allies that can gang up on few remaining hostile enemies - which can be extremely powerful. And right before the charmed ones flip back you shower them with an AoE from the Debonaire/Wizard. :) 

Perfect synergy: an SC Paladin with Divine Retribution who then gets +2 Zeal for every summon that gets killed (by enemies or your own spells). ;)

 

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35 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I'm usually an advocate for Single Classes because I think they are underrated in party setups - but in case of Cipher in general I'm not that much. The high level abilities aren't as impactful imo as the ones of Wizards, Priests and Druids for example. Time Parasite can be very cool - but it doesn't help the focus generation of the Psion like it would do with the other Cipher subclasses so there still would be more downtime where you wait for more focus. And SC Psion's weapon attacks are really nothing to write home about (no Soul Whip bonus for example).

What's your opinion on SC Ascendant vs MC Ascendant (such as Psyblade, Inquisitor or Seer)?

I'm not that averse to the idea of generating focus by weapon hit, but I am having serious weapon PEN and accuracy issue against harder bosses.

And I often find my character run out of (martial class) resources in boss fights (like Nemnok) on MC ciphers, since he can't give himself brilliant, and using two ciphers in a party seems quite redundant.

Edited by xxxxd
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4 hours ago, xxxxd said:

What's your opinion on SC Ascendant vs MC Ascendant

Ascendant/Helwalker is supergood imo. Tops SC Ascendant easily for me. 

32 minutes ago, xxxxd said:

What are some good phrases and invocations for spiritualist to pick?

Offensive phrases are great in combination with "The Champion" invocation because you can interrupt enemies via chants then. With Brisk Recitation that means interrupts in an AoE every 3 secs (on crit). Yet the best phrase to run all the times is Many Lives Pass By imo. It comes late though.

I mainly used Killers Froze Stiff as invocation. Its duration can be so long on crits that you can perma-paralyze enemies. Because Cipher's Lingering Echoes (+20% affliction duration) also works with the invocations. Her Revenge is also very good at all times. Ben Fidel's Neck stacks with nearly all other debuffs so that's a good alternative when enemies are immune or resistant to Killers. The Charming invocation is also good. 

In the early game I could spam Killers + Soul Shock all the time nearly non-stop without enemies being able to do much - except die. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Ascendant/Helwalker is supergood imo. Tops SC Ascendant easily for me. 

Offensive phrases are great in combination with "The Champion" invocation because you can interrupt enemies via chants then. With Brisk Recitation that means interrupts in an AoE every 3 secs (on crit). Yet the best phrase to run all the times is Many Lives Pass By imo. It comes late though.

I mainly used Killers Froze Stiff as invocation. Its duration can be so long on crits that you can perma-paralyze enemies. Because Cipher's Lingering Echoes (+20% affliction duration) also works with the invocations. Her Revenge is also very good at all times. Ben Fidel's Neck stacks with nearly all other debuffs so that's a good alternative when enemies are immune or resistant to Killers. The Charming invocation is also good. 

In the early game I could spam Killers + Soul Shock all the time nearly non-stop without enemies being able to do much - except die. 

 

On Transcendent: Is the Essence Interrupter a good weapon for this? Because I reckon with thunderous blows and Hammered Thoughts, the Penetration problem with hunting bows might be rectified a bit...

Also, is the dichotomous soul a good summoning skill?

What about other subclass of the monk? For example the Shattered Pillar? (With Community Patch)

On Spiritualist: I thought active penalties does not stack?

Thanks for your detailed answer!

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16 minutes ago, xxxxd said:

On Transcendent: Is the Essence Interrupter a good weapon for this? Because I reckon with thunderous blows and Hammered Thoughts, the Penetration problem with hunting bows might be rectified a bit...

Yes, very good. The shock damage also helps to circumvent a lot of PEN issues, too. Look at Iron/Steelclads. :) The modal + Enduring Dance to counter the acc loss is bonkers. Very viable setup. Also achievable so early. Once you get Borrowed Instincts you rarely need to turn the modal off even. Just go full speed all the time. 

Stuff like Kitchen Stove (Thunderous Report usually ascends you right away if you hit a few enemies with it) or mortars (AoE blunderbusses from Serafen) are also very good (dual damage, target reflex).

Watershaper's Focus + Blast also great if you can hit multiple crowded enemies. The AoE jumps one time, too and Ondra's Wrath generates focus when it procs, ascending you at once. Rod + Bmast also usually suffers from PEN issues but Hammering Thoughts + Thunderous Blows do help a lot. 

 

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The ranged weapons you and Boeroer discussed are very nice indeed.

But personally on my Transcendant I loved using Grave Calling (saber) + Kitchen Stove (blunderbuss, mentioned by Boeroer) combo. Kitchen Stove Thunderous Report offered instant Ascension, while Grave Calling was used to melee a bit, particularly with vessels present, but mostly to manually kill skeletons summoned by Herald Pallegina (preferably summoned in front of the party and weakened with Aloth's Fireball or some such, when the enemies reached them). This generates party friendly aoe paralyzing Chillfogs, that even provide focus as they tick aoe damage on enemies!

Going melee usually wasn't a big problem, besides those paralyzing Chillfogs, I've also used quick Mental Binding quite a bit (duration is solid with Turning Wheel boosted Int).

Eventually I moved to Seeker's Fang rapier main hand. Seeker's Fang creates a raw mini-disintegrate effect whenever it crits an enemy. And its Spider's Flurry per encounter cone attack is another method to instantly Ascend - and potentially mini-disintegrate 3+ enemies at once (3 attack rolls per target, so decent chances for multiple crits).

Also zooming across the battlefield with Flagellant's Path and instantly destroying squishy enemies with Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming boosted full attack on arrival (with no Recovery!) is a lot of fun! So do not discount melee entirely....

 

Edit: As for Dichotomous Soul, these are nice summons. But you sacrifice action time and 4 wounds to summon... I like being at max wounds to maximize Int (and burning lash). So it wasn't for me.

Edited by Haplok
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12 hours ago, Haplok said:

The ranged weapons you and Boeroer discussed are very nice indeed.

But personally on my Transcendant I loved using Grave Calling (saber) + Kitchen Stove (blunderbuss, mentioned by Boeroer) combo. Kitchen Stove Thunderous Report offered instant Ascension, while Grave Calling was used to melee a bit, particularly with vessels present, but mostly to manually kill skeletons summoned by Herald Pallegina (preferably summoned in front of the party and weakened with Aloth's Fireball or some such, when the enemies reached them). This generates party friendly aoe paralyzing Chillfogs, that even provide focus as they tick aoe damage on enemies!

Going melee usually wasn't a big problem, besides those paralyzing Chillfogs, I've also used quick Mental Binding quite a bit (duration is solid with Turning Wheel boosted Int).

Eventually I moved to Seeker's Fang rapier main hand. Seeker's Fang creates a raw mini-disintegrate effect whenever it crits an enemy. And its Spider's Flurry per encounter cone attack is another method to instantly Ascend - and potentially mini-disintegrate 3+ enemies at once (3 attack rolls per target, so decent chances for multiple crits).

Also zooming across the battlefield with Flagellant's Path and instantly destroying squishy enemies with Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming boosted full attack on arrival (with no Recovery!) is a lot of fun! So do not discount melee entirely....

 

Edit: As for Dichotomous Soul, these are nice summons. But you sacrifice action time and 4 wounds to summon... I like being at max wounds to maximize Int (and burning lash). So it wasn't for me.

What about fist? IMHO the coolest weapon in POE2 is the fist, but multiclass monk has suboptimal power level, so it seems a little less viable. But I still want it to work (along with other piercing / slashing melee weapons)

Ironically it seems a devoted fighter with monastic unarmed training is a better unarmed striker than multiclassed monk.

Come to think of it, the fighter's ability is actually quite compatible with a melee (ascendant / soulblade) cipher. The penetrating strike and tactical barrage are both extremely good abilities which only cost 1 discipline, and unbending trunk combined with rapid recovery could provide the cipher with self-healing if things start to goes down. Armored Grace would also allow us to don a medium armor without sacrificing too much on the recovery time front...

Vigorous Defense will not stack with borrowed instincts, but the disciplines is too stretched to consider that anyway.

On the ACC front, fighter wins out with tactical barrage (enduring dance and conqueror stance also do not stack with borrowed instincts) 

But we miss quick inspiration and action speed bonus from Swift Strikes (there is mob stance for fighter with -5% recovery time for each threatening enemies), Tenacious with Thunderous Strikes (there is a +2 pen with devoted passive which stacks with everything, though), +10 INT from Duality of Mortal Presence, and Blade Turning.

What's your opinion on this?

Edited by xxxxd
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I love playing transcendents, and fists are one of the best weapons in the game, which you have from beginning to end. You are right that on multiclass monks fists are a bit weaker due to the loss of 2 power levels. However, you can make up for this by quaffing a potion of ascension, which adds +2 PL and lasts the whole battle. If your MC is nature godlike, you'll reach 10 PL, which gives you post-mythic fists, arguably the best weapon in the game.

My favorite combo is a melee transcendent, using the forbidden fist and soul blade subclasses. Both give you really powerful attacks (the forbidden fist and soul annihilation abilities) that you can use right from the beginning of the game, and get more powerful as you go along. Like Haplok, I'd probably keep Grave Calling and the Kitchen Stove in my first weapon slots, opening with thunderous report and then using Grave Calling to fight vessels. For most fights, however, I switch to fists, using the Tuotilo's Palm shield in the offhand. With high resolve which you'll need for forbidden fist and the shield, you'll be tanky, shrugging off most attacks while dealing devastating DPS. For the cipher abilities, I tend to pick the important passives, like Hammering Thoughts, (de)buffs like Borrowed Instincts, and of course Disintegration, which hits like a truck when the enemy is already enfeebled by the forbidden fist ability.

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Fists are a VERY potent weapon. But kinda boring...

I enjoy the various weapons and their interesting and sometimes synergistic (or outright broken :) ) effects more.

Of course, fists are always a nice blunt backup weapon, if you focus on another type.

Plus I agree Forbidden Fist is great - he may wield a different weapon&shield / dual weapon combo and still use the Forbidden Fist attack whenever he wants 😄

Edited by Haplok
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27 minutes ago, Haplok said:

Fists are a VERY potent weapon. But kinda boring...

I enjoy the various weapons and their interesting and sometimes synergistic (or outright broken :) ) effects more.

Of course, fists are always a nice blunt backup weapon, if you focus on another type.

Plus I agree Forbidden Fist is great - he may wield a different weapon&shield / dual weapon combo and still use the Forbidden Fist attack whenever he wants 😄

What about Transcendent vs Psyblade (Devoted)? Which combination do you think is more powerful?

On the weapon front, I think I am going to use the Essence Interrupter Bow as primary ranged weapon, Fist + Tuotilo's Balm as primary melee weapon. They have three distinct damage type and the lightning damage type would really help against soul reapers in Rymrgand's realm, I reckon.

Problem with this set is incompatible styles. One benefits from weapon and shield + dual wielding, another benefits from two handed style.

Dual Pistol maybe another valid choice, Scordeo's Trophy + Kitchen Stove, though I may have to replace one gun with another of the same type if I am going down the devoted route.

 What say?

Edit: I have read your post on steam. Setting up conditions for tacticians' condition in deadfire seems a little bit... hard to me.

Edited by xxxxd
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Well, Transcendant vs Psyblade is pretty clear.

Transcendant is far stronger offensively (particularly in melee), has far longer (even moreso if FF) / bigger / stronger (even moreso if Helwalker) cipher power effects and is much more synergistic IMO. Helwalker multiclasses are rather squishy, but mighty and certainly a Transcendant can effectively stay out of harm's way OR instantly paralyze/stun/otherwise disable threatening enemies. Forbidden Fist makes your debuffs/DOTs last forever and disables all enemy healing, making even the tankiest enemies easy pickings. Plus a max Res FF with Tuotilo's Palm and Borrowed Instinct can be rather tanky.

Psyblade is very durable. Has a nice Crit conversion. But that's about it, as far as synergies go. Personally I wouldn't think twice. Well, a Devoted/SoulBlade could be a decent frontliner, not afraid to trade blows and eventually Clear Out would be fun. But in general there is far less class synergy IMO.

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1 hour ago, Haplok said:

Well, Transcendant vs Psyblade is pretty clear.

Transcendant is far stronger offensively (particularly in melee), has far longer (even moreso if FF) / bigger / stronger (even moreso if Helwalker) cipher power effects and is much more synergistic IMO. Helwalker multiclasses are rather squishy, but mighty and certainly a Transcendant can effectively stay out of harm's way OR instantly paralyze/stun/otherwise disable threatening enemies. Forbidden Fist makes your debuffs/DOTs last forever and disables all enemy healing, making even the tankiest enemies easy pickings. Plus a max Res FF with Tuotilo's Palm and Borrowed Instinct can be rather tanky.

Psyblade is very durable. Has a nice Crit conversion. But that's about it, as far as synergies go. Personally I wouldn't think twice. Well, a Devoted/SoulBlade could be a decent frontliner, not afraid to trade blows and eventually Clear Out would be fun. But in general there is far less class synergy IMO.

Well, as I have tested, the forbidden curse duration does scale with INT, which is vital to a cipher, so I guess that option is off the list 🙁

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Is it, though? You're not exactly forced to spam the Forbidden Fist.

It IS the best attack early on, since you have it for free since level 1, but eventually using stuff like Stunning Surge, Flagellant's Path or cipher powers may be more advantageous. And you mostly use it to debuff the select more dangerous or more tanky enemies.

Edited by Haplok
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Curse with maxed INT isn't a problem if you also max RES and focus on items and food with -x% hostile effects. Because maluses are far more impactful than bonuses in Deadfire the effects of 10 INT vs. 30 INT aren't that far off IF the maluses to hostile effect duration are big enough. Especially when combined with a high-INT Clarity of Agony. If you solo you can also use the Ring of the Lone Survivor which adds another big malus to hostile effect duration. 

High INT is only a "problem" in the early-ish game. But there you don't need to spam FF that much imo because less enemies. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Curse with maxed INT isn't a problem if you also max RES and focus on items and food with -x% hostile effects. Because maluses are far more impactful than bonuses in Deadfire the effects of 10 INT vs. 30 INT aren't that far off IF the maluses to hostile effect duration are big enough. Especially when combined with a high-INT Clarity of Agony. If you solo you can also use the Ring of the Lone Survivor which adds another big malus to hostile effect duration. 

High INT is only a "problem" in the early-ish game. But there you don't need to spam FF that much imo because less enemies. 

 

Alright...

Is enduring dance worth it on a forbidden fist / ascendant? The only remaining function of it seems to be regenerating wounds, and as a melee character it will get hit A LOT...

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I wouldn't take it. It does provide an instant wound and +3 ACC on activation but that doesn't warrant the 2 Mortification imo. 

You could retrain once you get Instruments of Pain though because that often leads to getting hit a lot less. But the ACC still wouldn't stack with Borrow. Instincts so I don't know...

Edited by Boeroer
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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

Works well with melee weapon + Tuotilo's Palm.

Why doesn't it work with a melee/ranged setup (never tried)?

Well, I don't remember how exactly it acted. But I think at range it would still default to the ranged weapon, while close by use the melee one. Also melee+ranged Full Attacks, like Stunning Surge, were not possible at range, even with IoP. I remember I couldn't make it work in such a setup.

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18 hours ago, Haplok said:

Forbidden Fist makes your debuffs/DOTs last forever and disables all enemy healing, making even the tankiest enemies easy pickings. Plus a max Res FF with Tuotilo's Palm and Borrowed Instinct can be rather tanky.

I was sold on Forbidden Fist in one of my first ship battles with a Valian ship a few levels higher (2 or 3 skulls). In the past, I would avoid fighting them despite the excellent loot because of the fighters, who seemed indestructible with their incredible healing. But all you have to do is land one FF attack and they crumble like straw men. Enfeebled is a really powerful affliction. As Boeroer noted, all you need is high RES and you're set.

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