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Hey Fellow POE Gamers,

 

I am currently in a pretty good run (so far) in a POTD/Iroman party run I just beat Motare O Kozi boss at level 9.  I wanted some advice on the party comp as I feel my damage is lacking a bit.

Party Tank/Offheal: Crusader Unbroken/Goldpact (building towards a Bronlar's Phalanx Build), does his job extremely well even with a large shield and Gladiator Sword the damage to be honest is not bad because he has max PER and good PEN.  He will lock down an extreme amount of enemies for a long time and kill a few in the process.  This guys saved my butt a TON in the Motare O Kozi boss fight he locked down a ton of dangerous enemies like the Tigers and trolls that would of stomped everyone else and I was able to focus down the boss with my monk and scout.

Party Heals/buffs: Xoti: Priest does the job well and debuffs pretty well too.

Damage Dealer: Custom SC Monk max damage dealer, the damage is great even at level 9, my only complaint is that even with a Res of 10 on POTD you really have to baby sit her or she will die., not super fast but if she gets focused its lights out.

Damage Dealer:  Custom Scout Ghostheart (I did not take Maia because I will lose her late game so I just made an effective scout), ranged damage is extremely good, no complaints except she is soft when range hits her but she usually wins those duels.

The Last spot is where I have an issue:

 

I am using Aloth SC Wizard:  his damage is OK, and his CC ability is good.  Honestly so far it seems the best thing to due is to summon Maura's Tentacles so that they do damage debuff and buy keep heat off of my monk.  He does have damage dealing spells like Necrotic Lance, Kalkoths Minor Blights and Noxious Burst which are good when they hit.  That said I feel like this where my party is weak, Aloth is a good CC Wizard but due to his low might the damage is not great.  What would you guys do?

 

Edited by Torm51

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3 hours ago, Torm51 said:

Aloth is a good CC Wizard but due to his low might the damage is not great.  What would you guys do?

I'm not using him as damage dealer. :)

Usually I summon Concelhaut's Draining Touch and then the Essential Phantom, then do cast Misama of Dull-Mindedness on the enemies (followed by other CC/debuff. most often Ryngrim's Enervating Terror because it's supereffective and targets Will which Misama just lowered by 40 points...).

That way the Phantom can do some nice melee damage while Aloth casts his CC/debuff stuff. Especially the combo of Draining Touch (targets Will defense instead of Deflection) + Miasma is pretty satisfying. If I give Aloth some engagement gear (for example Kapana Taga for the offhand +2 and Reckless Brigandine +1) the Phantom will also have 3 engagement slots. If you then cast Ryngrim's Enervating Terror on the enemies they will not only be taken out temporarily due to the terrify effect, they will also suffer -50 Will (Misama + Terrify) which makes the Phantom crit a lot with Draining Touch AND they will disengage the Phantom often which leads to nasty disengagement attacks from the Phantom.

Takes some casting time but can be very effective.

Not against all enemies (there's enough with resistance to Resolve afflictions) - but a Wizard is so versatile you can do something else which is also good in those cases.

Once Aloth gets Caedebald's Blackbow I nowadays retrain him as Blackbow user. He and his Phantom can wreak havoc on enemy groups with lowish Fortitude (Blackbow targets Fortitude instead of Deflection) because two Blackbows will hit up to 4 enemies with terrify (12 m jumping projectiles). Even on graze... 

Of course he will still cast other spells then - unless I feel like using Citzal's Martial Power with the Blackbow (e.g. against single strong targets).

Edited by Boeroer
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Posted (edited)

Thanks Boer, funny thing is I selected all of those spells..I just did not combo them like you lol i stink!  Thanks for the help.  I have also been using Terror on my tanks targets and he crits them super hard for disengagement, overbearing guard and terror might make a good combo.  The party tank is currently using  Reckless Brigandine for action speed which speeds him up but sometimes when I cast terror he will get slowed down because he hits with the disengagement attack and has to re-engage(no big deal really just micro)  but what you are suggesting sounds really good too.  I am currently building the Unbroken/Goldpact Knight towards the Bronlar's Phalanx build with a shield, currently gladiator sword because it has the highest PEN and gives me deflection (it has exceptional quality right now).  

 

For the Crusader I am unsure if to upgrade his stance to mob stance..the damage reduction of defenders stance helps a lot and he engages A LOT of enemies and POTD even with super high DEF you will get hit.    In fact I was thinking of Putting the Death Runes helm back on once (if i make it that far) I get the INT buff from Bronlars shield, I currently have the 2 INT Hylea helm on for a bigger Aura and longer buffs.

Edited by Torm51

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Some great wizard tactics from Boeroer here.

One classic combo spell that most folks take for granted I guess, but you didn't list is Combusting Wounds. It might seem humble and is often not that easy to land due to targeting Fortitude (Chanter debuffs and a morningstar user with Body Blows modal would go a long way here), but is a great force multiplier against enemies not resistant to fire. As each damage instance will provide a stacking damage trigger on each enemy afflicted by the Combusting Wounds. Wall spells, like Wall of Fire are particularly nice with this, as they tick every second. Same deal with ray spells (from wizard or cipher). And if someone fires a blunderbuss at that enemy, that's 4 damage ticks right there (or 8 if dual wielding and using a Full Attack ability). Or shoots Frostseeker: 3 ticks (plus potential aoe for 4th). 

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Agreed.  Combusting Wounds is good and I definitely under utilize it.  In POE1 It was super powerful and it’s still good in POE 2.

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Whenever you lack damage, tick damage is always a great answer.

Combusting Wounds was already mentioned, later you get both Malignant Cloud and more importantly Freezing Pillar, so you won't be locked into only fire damage anymore.

Combining all your Aoes with a nice little Pull of Eoara makes them very effective and ofc also helps your party aoe as long as they stay in friendly fire zone.

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Posted (edited)

Crushed the Poko Kohara double Engwithin Saint fight this way on POTD. I’ve never seen so much engagement on a tank..there were so many attack rolls that even grazes were hurting (Vigorous Defense saved me) when the undead came out of the walls I charged the rest of the party at the saints as there were only 2 and my scout and monk crushed them while Aloth AOEed everything stuck to the Crusader, then Terrified the entire pack and they got cut to pieces with Ubroken disnegagement crits it was glorious. Xoti layed down the buffs of course.    
 

So at least my tactics are in line with what you guys are saying.  Since I picked up everyone’s advice on the Wizard Aloth has picked up a lot.

Edited by Torm51
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Outstanding. Keep it tight mate!

Ryngrim’s Enervating Terror is so good. Everything about it is neat: duration, radius, targeting Will which combo with Miasma, double affliction, lowers RES, triggers Disengagement….. So good it can possibly make you forget that some of Deadfire’s tougher customers are resistant or straight up immune to RES afflictions. Just sayin’ 🙂 I’ve made the mistake of over-relying on it against powerful crowds.

 

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Posted (edited)

Agreed @Not So Clever Houndthe disengagement attack fear is just for extra damage there are actually times I don’t do it because I rather not have enemies running around if if they are being disengaged. Maybe it’s worth it always do it when/if you have overbearing guard dunno.  


So right now as is the Crusader tank does his job snd he’s got a TON of INT when he started with a flat 10.  While buffed with the shield or the disc barrage upgrade he’s at 19 INT. Bronlars shield provides you 5 INT for a LONG TIME (36 seconds with 14 INT from gear).  I’ve been using the shield INT and THEN hitting disc barrage for a much longer buff uptime.  
 

This gets me thinking since I have the upgrade from barrage that gives you plus 5 INT and 1 PL, if I get sun and moon and or the magranic axe you have a PL 9 Sacred Immolation  while disc barrage is up ya? With Unbending, LOH, Rapid Recovery, Practiced healer and items to reduce the hostile effect + good resolve.  believe you could made a good immolater which gives a normally tanky but passive class good  AOE offense when/if needed.  Also if the immolation is good can also take scion of flame.  Thoughts?  

 

I mean what else are you doing with the Crusader? He’s already tanking well as a shield user, I guess you could make him a much better auto attacker? If you took Last Word, weapon spec/mastery and mob stance (I already have armored grace) he would swing pretty fast for a tank and connect a lot hitting hard since warhammers have crush/pierce and good PEN despite their lower damage.

 

PS this guy is so tanky plus I have the refund zeal upgrade for sworn enemy (Goldpact Knight for the armor and it’s my POE 1 order with this char) that he often has a lot of zeal to use.  

Edited by Torm51

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11 hours ago, Torm51 said:

if I get sun and moon and or the magranic axe you have a PL 9 Sacred Immolation  while disc barrage is up ya?

Yep, they should stack. Both will also boost Flames of Devotion and benefit from Ring of Focused Flames IIRC. I would personally go with Magran's Favor because it is less hassle (you don't care about the nighttime effect of Sun & Moon) and because Magran's Favor is a better autoattack/FoD weapon with the modal on. Then of course there is Eternal Flames + Clear Out etc. for extra juice but I don't know if you have any room for that of if it fits your char. 

Anyway, just remember to ideally equip something else against fire resistant enemies.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

Yep, they should stack. Both will also boost Flames of Devotion and benefit from Ring of Focused Flames IIRC. I would personally go with Magran's Favor because it is less hassle (you don't care about the nighttime effect of Sun & Moon) and because Magran's Favor is a better autoattack/FoD weapon with the modal on. Then of course there is Eternal Flames + Clear Out etc. for extra juice but I don't know if you have any room for that of if it fits your char. 

Anyway, just remember to ideally equip something else against fire resistant enemies.

Agreed, you know so far at level 15 I have not taken FoD (I think for the first time ever) I probably should, I have a lot of zeal most of the time and I do have the points to spare. That said I feel like most of my zeal will go to SI once/if  I pick it up. I just feel like one handed weapon + shield and FoD is a pretty big MEH.  That said with ring of focused flame and maxed PER plus devotions of the faithful it will crit a lot…it’s better than in POE 1 though where a one handed+ shield with FoD was USELESS lol.  They did a better job if making  auto attack/special attack damage count in POE 2 for one handed+ shield characters as long as you have the PEN.  I just feel ill use FoD against trash mobs in fights I’ve already won anyway lol.

Edited by Torm51
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6 minutes ago, Torm51 said:

so far at level 15 I have not taken FoD (I think for the first time ever)

True, true, and true! I love that you haven't taken FoD so far - very refreshing :). I agree with your analysis. If you want to do some single target damage, Magran's Favor with the modal is fine. If you want to truly make a difference offensively and do some AoE damage, SI will be a better use of Zeal. Net, you can probably make a greater impact by spending this ability point elsewhere than in FoD at this point, as FoD would be more in the "win-more" range.

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33 minutes ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

True, true, and true! I love that you haven't taken FoD so far - very refreshing :). I agree with your analysis. If you want to do some single target damage, Magran's Favor with the modal is fine. If you want to truly make a difference offensively and do some AoE damage, SI will be a better use of Zeal. Net, you can probably make a greater impact by spending this ability point elsewhere than in FoD at this point, as FoD would be more in the "win-more" range.

Ya definitely. You know playing the Crusader shield tank so far I see why people don’t like it, most people don’t like to tank in general, I do lol.  That said in a POTD party I find the value in it maybe I’m wrong.  Mobs are sticky to his engagement it locks down a large part of the battlefield. It has saved my Ironman twice I can think of so far in Poko Kahara the double saint fight and Motari O Kozi against the tree boss.  It let’s the damage dealers and buff/debuff breathe.  There have been times where I play it wrong and my monk is under focus fire and it takes every heal I have to barely keep the monk up.  What do people do who don’t run shield tanks on POTD, if I have that type of damage pressure on 2 characters one will go down.  Maybe it’s style? They disable before that can happen?  I feel like in early part of the fight having a tank come out of stealth and take on a bunch of bad guys is great. Obviously since the party is so small i run only one tank. Or maybe they do run a tank like that but they run a swashbuckler who has more damage potential.

PS if you didn’t notice I like tanks ;) I took almost two years off posting on these boards (I still lurked haha) because I was main tanking for my friends guild in classic WoW (although classic wow tanking is more of a duel wield damage dealer who switches to a shield when he starts taking too much damage it was fun, I did it back in 2004 and again in 2019/2020 lol)

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Posted (edited)

Oh also In big boss fights I don’t find tanks that good in POE 2 but maybe they are?  All the boss has to do is disengage.  The Engwithin Colossus would not disengage even though my Unbroken disengagement attack would not of killed him lol. 
 

In POE 1 I would set up my Paladin tank as an Alpha striker with quick switch,  FOD and two Arbalests so he had two huge hits per fight plus SI at lvl 13.  the rest of the time he healed, provided support with Exhortations, added melee accuracy to allies and tanked.  So it felt like he could make a difference by immediately slaying a dangerous mob that fought alongside the dragon or two shot the dragon itself (Alpine dragon gets owned by FoD and SI in POE 1) There was less HP bloat for bosses in POE 1 which I liked because they could be gibbed but they could also one shot you (dragons). I felt that was cooler than WoW/MMO type bosses of deadfire (I still love deadfire it’s overall a better game IMO ).

Edited by Torm51
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55 minutes ago, Torm51 said:

I was main tanking for my friends guild in classic WoW

That sounds fun! Never played it, oddly enough. My MMO experience begins and ends with Star Wars' The Old Republic. I agree that being an effective Tank is very rewarding especially as soon as you experiment higher difficulty areas/modes in a game, personally I've always gravitated towards Mage archetypes, the Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple D&D archetype being very dear to my heart.

55 minutes ago, Torm51 said:

What do people do who don’t run shield tanks on POTD

A very popular option is to bring a Chanter along and let the summons do the tanking (oh boy, they can do it well) and/or the likes of Wizard's Phantoms, Monk's doubles etc. as distractions. Frankly, my experience with both PoE's is mostly Solo but in any case I do think there's a big place in the game for shield tank archetypes - the strongest ones being Arcane Knight and Herald. Those can carry an entire team for the most part.

28 minutes ago, Torm51 said:

There was less HP bloat for bosses in POE 1 which I liked

Amen to that! Stat bloating is never fun, but I can also understand that in such a complex game, devs can't have the same flexibility to invent elegant difficulty mechanisms as an experienced DM in a tabletop campaign. But I agree on that particular point... I preferred the bosses in PoE1. EDIT: actually to me the most annoying bloated stat in PoE2 isn't HP, it's AR. PEN issues are very limiting in Upscaled PotD.

Edited by Not So Clever Hound
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

That sounds fun! Never played it, oddly enough. My MMO experience begins and ends with Star Wars' The Old Republic. I agree that being an effective Tank is very rewarding especially as soon as you experiment higher difficulty areas/modes in a game, personally I've always gravitated towards Mage archetypes, the Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple D&D archetype being very dear to my heart.

A very popular option is to bring a Chanter along and let the summons do the tanking (oh boy, they can do it well) and/or the likes of Wizard's Phantoms, Monk's doubles etc. as distractions. Frankly, my experience with both PoE's is mostly Solo but in any case I do think there's a big place in the game for shield tank archetypes - the strongest ones being Arcane Knight and Herald. Those can carry an entire team for the most part.

Amen to that! Stat bloating is never fun, but I can also understand that in such a complex game, devs can't have the same flexibility to invent elegant difficulty mechanisms as an experienced DM in a tabletop campaign. But I agree on that particular point... I preferred the bosses in PoE1. EDIT: actually to me the most annoying bloated stat in PoE2 isn't HP, it's AR. PEN issues are very limiting in Upscaled PotD.

I played SWOTR as well and obviously a Guardian ;)  But I was also into playing a caster as a Sage lol for some reason I thought SWOTR did caster well. 

 

im with you on PEN issues at max difficulty really throws balance to a wonky state IMO.

 

Herald is great and I love tanking and healing as the MC if only I didn’t hate bards so much ahaha.  Herald is perfect for what I like in this game. Healing tanking support. I’ll play one one day I have to.  Although SC Paladin for pure support is not bad at all and his LOH is stronger plus the huge heal you get at PL9.  The problem is zeal costs( @Elric Galads mod helps here) for all that so you have to put a summoner 100% in your party to make it worth  to get zeal back from divine retribution.  Maybe that’s not a problem but I feel like having to have a class to support another classes short coming stinks, you might as well multi the class that has the short comings. Chanter covers the Paladin weakness of high zeal costs for stuff by having unending resources. It’s legit perfect. 

Edited by Torm51
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3 hours ago, Torm51 said:

if only I didn’t hate bards so much ahaha

It's legitimate. You want a guy in full plate who makes sure everybody's OK and who stops the enemy dead in their tracks with sword and broad before they can do any harm to his squishy friends. You don't want a dude with a guitar who sings his a** off while everybody else is going to war. But, in Deadfire that can confusingly be the very same character, all in one. :) 

TBH I've played very few Chanters compared to other classes I really like, because I don't dig the bard vibe. But I do acknowledge that 1) they make a powerful, versatile and fun combo with virtually any other class and 2) this is to me the most innovative character class implementation that Obsidian did. Sure there is Cipher etc. but it is very much like psionic-like classes in other universes. PoE's version of the bard archetype is truly unique IMHO.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

It's legitimate. You want a guy in full plate who makes sure everybody's OK and who stops the enemy dead in their tracks with sword and broad before they can do any harm to his squishy friends. You don't want a dude with a guitar who sings his a** off while everybody else is going to war. But, in Deadfire that can confusingly be the very same character, all in one. :) 

TBH I've played very few Chanters compared to other classes I really like, because I don't dig the bard vibe. But I do acknowledge that 1) they make a powerful, versatile and fun combo with virtually any other class and 2) this is to me the most innovative character class implementation that Obsidian did. Sure there is Cipher etc. but it is very much like psionic-like classes in other universes. PoE's version of the bard archetype is truly unique IMHO.

LMAO correct! But you are 100% right I think they did great with the Chanter.  Funny thing is my SC is never a chanter but I do have one the large majority of playthroughs ;) (not this one) because they are so damn good in both POE 1 (LEL dragon thrashed you lose) and POE 2 (LOL I always have resources) so good.  In POE 1 I had a 3 man crew double chanter and a Paladin on an POTD/ Ironman run and lol was that fun.  Dragon thrashed, Dragon Wailed X2 plus Sacred Immolation.  Everyone in plate with super high defense....lol un-killable and nuclear AOE damage it was nuts.

Edited by Torm51
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PoE has the best iteration of bards.

PoE has the best iteration of Paladins/"Dark Knight".

PoE has the best iteration of druids.

PoE has the best iteration of rogues.

PoE has the best iteration of barbarians (more in PoE1 maybe, carnage has lost a bit of uniqueness).

PoE has the best iteration of monks (though I like them more in PoE2, more ways to get wounds).

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50 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

PoE has the best iteration of bards.

PoE has the best iteration of Paladins/"Dark Knight".

PoE has the best iteration of druids.

PoE has the best iteration of rogues.

PoE has the best iteration of barbarians (more in PoE1 maybe, carnage has lost a bit of uniqueness).

PoE has the best iteration of monks (though I like them more in PoE2, more ways to get wounds).

100% agree.

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Yeah, personally I prefer Swashbuckler tanks. Besides doing more damage per hit, they can also trigger a lot of passive Riposte attacks. My Eder with Tuotilo's Palm was sometimes doing Riposte crits in the range of 200 total damage from both hands and weapon and shield specials triggering (PLUS applying Bleeding Cuts with Magran's Favor).

 

I did also use Pallegina herald as support and offtank, though (with Willbreaker).

Edited by Haplok
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6 hours ago, Haplok said:

Yeah, personally I prefer Swashbuckler tanks. Besides doing more damage per hit, they can also trigger a lot of passive Riposte attacks. My Eder with Tuotilo's Palm was sometimes doing Riposte crits in the range of 200 total damage from both hands and weapon and shield specials triggering (PLUS applying Bleeding Cuts with Magran's Favor).

 

I did also use Pallegina herald as support and offtank, though (with Willbreaker).

Agreed, they are softer than crusaders though. That said the Crusader probably has too Much defense with a shield on.  So swashbuckler is at the end of the day better. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I wouldn't say that. Once you reach SSS you will most likely be happy about your Crusader who can endure very long fights. ;)

Lol very true. I’ve done SSS with a pure Paladin in the group haha I’m such a clown. Indeed I’m sure a Crusader will be good in those long fights.  I did the boar the first time, maybe I will try the more aggressive one this time I don’t know.  The spider is  risky because I’ve never done it and you have to think a lot lol and this Ironman/POTD so I have one shot lmao.

Edited by Torm51
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1 hour ago, Torm51 said:

Lol very true.

TBF that's a running joke in Deadfire:

"Gosh, I really overdid it piling up all these defenses, now I'm a quasi-god and any additional defense would be essentially useless".

5 minutes later "oh damn, those nagas can reach an ACC of 150 ! And that dragon too! and that one.. and.. I need more defenses for the next run."

And then you forget the next time :). The only useful mantrathere is no such thing as too much defense on PotD.

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