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Spellblades - Only good for Wizard buffs or Assassin/Evoker carnage?


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Conceptually, Spellblades are a class combination that really speaks to me. Crowd control, trickery, sneakiness, then deleting a target with some delicious combo of melee and precision spellcasting alpha strikes from the shadows etc. A toolkit of a character, but always a threat when the time is right to strike.

But for all the research and pondering, I'm unsure as to if this fantasy is actually feasible in PoE2.

Searching through other builds on this site and across various other resources, the consensus seems to be that spellblade comes in 2 viable flavours:

  1. Buff up with Wizard spells and hack away in melee
  2. Go Assassin/Evoker and use stealth to enhance your spell accuracy (+maybe take advantage of certain spell/stealth interactions to make the most of any guile spent on sneaking)

Beyond that, there seems to be an agreement that any other variety of Spellblade is likely to be unsatisfyingly inferior. I understand why to a degree - Wizard buffs are crazy good, and if you're not constructing a build around them, then what's the point of being a wizard?

But is there an enjoyable and effective way of putting the Wizard side of this multiclass to good use without filling your grimoire with the same defensive buffs, or relying on stealth fireballs? Is there a viable and satisfying build that could see your Spellblade manipulating the battlefield with things like Pull of Eora, Wall of X, Phantoms, before diving into the backline and hacking a target down in a flurry of melee rogue abilities and Precision Bursts, or picking distant targets off with Necrotic Lances in between bow shots? 

What are your experiences? Have any of you come across any fun Spellblade variations that don't fall into categories 1 + 2? Is it possible to do something different that doesn't just feel hamstrung? 

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I played a Streetfighter/Wizard, sometimes with dual daggers and using wizard buffs, other times I used Chillfog+Combusting Wounds and a pair of Blunderbuss with modal on. Really fun combination, good damage AoE, and could fill with some other spells while the streetfighter passives on.

Edited by freddfranca
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1 hour ago, Jrllo said:

What are your experiences? Have any of you come across any fun Spellblade variations that don't fall into categories 1 + 2? Is it possible to do something different that doesn't just feel hamstrung? 

1) Assassin + Bloodmage doesn't mean you are stuck nuking Shadow Flames from stealth, even if that is of course kinda fun. It is very versatile.

Here are just a couple of combos for example that don't involve constantly resetting the fight:

  • Pull/group enemies with Dazzling Lights and apply Enervating Terror on the group from stealth. With high INT/PL You have a group of Terrified enemies for a long duration that you can mow down in whichever way you like. You can continue the fun with casting Repulsive Visage and attack in melee with unique weapons, summoned weapons, Monastic Unarmed training - total Deathblows fest. Finish the remains of your poor Terrified foes with Precisely Piercing Burst.
  • Pull/group enemies with Dazzling Lights, apply Arterial Strike in AoE with Hand Mortar from Stealth, Immediatly follow with a well aimed Pull of Eora, and another one. Maybe another one. Throw in a Delayed Fireball, Writhing/Grasping Tentacles, Chillfog, Freezing Pillar....
  • When you find enemies with a vulnerability to INT afflictions, casting Confusion from stealth will Crit 99.99% of the time and give you a huge, ridiculously long Charm AoE. Very fun but of course a bit more anecdotal.

2) You might also consider a SC Trickster. I did a solo playthrough recently and had a lot of fun with it. I posted about it if you want to have a look. It's also versatile and is the only way to have PL8 spells on a caster Rogue.

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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In fact Evoker is a rather inferior subclass to pair with an Assassin. Sacrifices too many great spells, his special proc can be suicidal if you're using Deltro's Cage Helmet (and you should, IMO!).

Blood Mage is so much better IMO.

Edited by Haplok
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1 hour ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

1) Assassin + Bloodmage doesn't mean you are stuck nuking Shadow Flames from stealth, even if that is of course kinda fun. It is very versatile.

Here are just a couple of combos for example that don't involve constantly resetting the fight:

  • Pull/group enemies with Dazzling Lights and apply Enervating Terror on the group from stealth. With high INT/PL You have a group of Terrified enemies for a long duration that you can mow down in whichever way you like. You can continue the fun with casting Repulsive Visage and attack in melee with unique weapons, summoned weapons, Monastic Unarmed training - total Deathblows fest. Finish the remains of your poor Terrified foes with Precisely Piercing Burst.
  • Pull/group enemies with Dazzling Lights, apply Arterial Strike in AoE with Hand Mortar from Stealth, Immediatly follow with a well aimed Pull of Eora, and another one. Maybe another one. Throw in a Delayed Fireball, Writhing/Grasping Tentacles, Chillfog, Freezing Pillar....
  • When you find enemies with a vulnerability to INT afflictions, casting Confusion from stealth will Crit 99.99% of the time and give you a huge, ridiculously long Charm AoE. Very fun but of course a bit more anecdotal.

2) You might also consider a SC Trickster. I did a solo playthrough recently and had a lot of fun with it. I posted about it if you want to have a look. It's also versatile and is the only way to have PL8 spells on a caster Rogue.

Some very interesting combinations here (And from everyone else so far too, of course!) The first 2 suggestions in particular seem to offer a decent blend of both classes, which seems (anecdotally) to be a tricky balancing act to master.

A lot of builds I've seen in the past tend to naturally fall into the trap of relying on, say, Rogue for 1-2 abilities and simply passives beyond that. I suppose that's a bigger problem to do with rogues - in particular assassins, and their overreliance on stealth skills over attacking abilities. 

That said, it is good to so quickly see some other playstyles being suggested. Summoned weapons seem like a fairly common piece of the puzzle too for obvious reasons. While it may not be best practice, is it possible to summon weapons and stay stealthed?

@Not So Clever HoundNow you mention it, I do recall reading your SC trickster build and enjoying the concept of it. In practice, did you find yourself able to spend guile on a nice mix of the wizard spells and rogue abilities, or did you tend to find those points getting spent on one or the other?

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17 minutes ago, Jrllo said:

While it may not be best practice, is it possible to summon weapons and stay stealthed?

Good question: I just fired up the game and tried with Llengrath Warding Staff and Nannasin Cobra Strike: casting the spell reveals you but of course if you use Smoke Veil again you stay invisible - until you strike someone. Note that using melee weapons with an invisible rogue can be tedious in some fights because enemies move around when they don't see you - so you can get the annoying "miss - out of range".

 

19 minutes ago, Jrllo said:

In practice, did you find yourself able to spend guile on a nice mix of the wizard spells and rogue abilities, or did you tend to find those points getting spent on one or the other?

It was actually quite balanced, it depended very much on the fight. But I definitely found a lot of uses for Repulsive Visage, Freezing Rake and Wall of Many Colors. Of course "free" Dazzling Light to lure enemies in one spot, it gets refunded before combat starts. This spell is so fun and really powerful with high PL/MIG/INT. It can melt a surprising amount of tightly grouped foes and it feels very Trickster-y. The defensive buffs I didn't use much but that's because on Upscaled PotD they barely make any difference on this build. You will get hit, and hard, unless you disable enemies.

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40 minutes ago, Jrllo said:

Some very interesting combinations here (And from everyone else so far too, of course!) The first 2 suggestions in particular seem to offer a decent blend of both classes, which seems (anecdotally) to be a tricky balancing act to master.

I found Spellblade multiclass very versatile (though i will rank beastmaster a better jack of all trade). Not the best at everything bug more fun in the long run.

A streetfighter/bloodmage using draining touch trick (cast it from a grimoire and swap grimoire right after) in a riposte build was a lot of fun as an offtank. 

- assassin : will shine for heavy CC (the accuracy boost is so sweet on POTD) and burst. It will probably be better to play it "at range"

- streetfighter can either be turned in : a spell turret at range (use whisp from a chanter to flank and trigger passive) or a melee beast (wizard buff for survival ang go to town)

- trickster : double illusion for more cc. Give this guy an aoe weapon and spread DOT while keeping ennemy pinned down.

 

You should maybe try an arcane archer/trickster (not a spell blade i know but can be built in a similar way), you will have acces to :

many wizard spell from trickster and AA (don't forget scrolls ;), you will up arcana as an AA);

- many ranged tool for lot of fun (driving flight is just that good with the right weapon)

- good mobility from ranger and rogue class.

Edit : fight will probaby be :

1) lure with dazzling light,

2) wearing watershaper focus : web and pull of eora (so 3 web and 3 pull of eora in less than one sec)

3) paralyze the group 

4) Nuke as you want (DOT from rogue, fireball from AA, scroll..., Aoe weapon...)

5) swap to melee and use finishing blow if someone managed to survived

6) grab a beer 

Edited by Exanos
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14 minutes ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

It was actually quite balanced, it depended very much on the fight. But I definitely found a lot of uses for Repulsive Visage, Freezing Rake and Wall of Many Colors. Of course "free" Dazzling Light to lure enemies in one spot, it gets refunded before combat starts. This spell is so fun and really powerful with high PL/MIG/INT. It can melt a surprising amount of tightly grouped foes and it feels very Trickster-y. The defensive buffs I didn't use much but that's because on Upscaled PotD they barely make any difference on this build. You will get hit, and hard, unless you disable enemies.

Interesting. I'm still new enough with the game that I'm still making use of companions for story purposes, so the defensive element may be less of an issue. But I'm certainly intrigued. If nothing else, I welcome a build that allows me to mix things up from fight to fight if need be. I'm no fan of using 'one size fits all' tactics. 

Quote

You should maybe try an arcane archer/trickster (not a spell blade i know but can be built in a similar way), you will have acces to :

- many wizard spell from trickster and AA (don't forget scrolls ;), you will up arcana as an AA);

- many ranged tool for lot of fun (driving flight is just that good with the right weapon)

- good mobility from ranger and rogue class.

Another very intriguing idea @Exanos. I have contemplated trying to work an AA into some combination of classes in the past. I guess my one hesitation has been that it seems to be too heavily weighted towards ranged combat. I'd love a build that makes fair use of both bow and swords, but there are very few combinations I know of that benefits equally from using both. (For example a build that plinks away from distance before leaping into the fray for some melee devastation. I guess sorta similar to a Soulblade that builds focus from range). 

Do Arcane Archer's imbue abilities require a ranged weapon to work? I mean, from the name alone I'd assume 'yes', but I know that's no certainty in this game.

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5 minutes ago, Jrllo said:

Another very intriguing idea @Exanos. I have contemplated trying to work an AA into some combination of classes in the past. I guess my one hesitation has been that it seems to be too heavily weighted towards ranged combat. I'd love a build that makes fair use of both bow and swords, but there are very few combinations I know of that benefits equally from using both. (For example a build that plinks away from distance before leaping into the fray for some melee devastation. I guess sorta similar to a Soulblade that builds focus from range). 

Do Arcane Archer's imbue abilities require a ranged weapon to work? I mean, from the name alone I'd assume 'yes', but I know that's no certainty in this game.

Imbue spells does require a ranged weapon. Never tried but you can probably play around it while dualwielding Fire in the hole (AOE mortar with build in jump for more Imbue trigger) and a melee weapon : CC and spread DOT at range, close in for a finishing blow when they are low, should work without needing to swap weapon.

Or go trickster/shifter! 😄 Wizard are (not) overrated anyway....

Edited by Exanos
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35 minutes ago, Jrllo said:

Interesting. I'm still new enough with the game that I'm still making use of companions for story purposes, so the defensive element may be less of an issue. But I'm certainly intrigued. If nothing else, I welcome a build that allows me to mix things up from fight to fight if need be. I'm no fan of using 'one size fits all' tactics. 

Cool! You've got lots of good options then :). One clarification re-reading my post: when I wrote "This spell is so fun and really powerful with high PL/MIG/INT. It can melt a surprising amount of tightly grouped foes and it feels very Trickster-y." I was of course referring to the Wall of Many Colors, not Dazzling Lights (my note was confusing). Dazzling Lights is very useful but is not going to melt anyone :).

EDIT: one last thought, you might want to check out this thread if you haven't already:

 

 

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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