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Priest of Berath spell choices? And Maia Geomancer vs Scout?


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Finally finished with POE1, turned from 'I finally need to finish this' to 'Imma have another run after this once I am done with Deadfire'. What a gem!

And now for a follow-up to my last post here...

Now, scrounging through some build posts here, it seems that is a severe lack of thorough spell choices for the priest builds, even more so for Berathians.
But considering I want to play PotD again, I would like at least some basic guidelines in advance, as to avoid respeccing 10 times during my run...
According to the answers on my last question, it seems that Berathian offers quite a lot of potent damage spells for free, so I would assume that I can savely pick the more support oriented spells when leveling up..?
Also, I couldn't find out for some reason, how many spells I can even pick each PL..?
So, I thought something like this in addition to the Berath spells (mostly more than possible - because indecisiveness) : 

PL1:
Interdiction - Holy Power - Barbs of Condemnation (even against Thaos, I still used it, so it has a special place in my heart) - Halt - maybe Blessing?

PL2:
W&S or 1handed style - Iconic Projection - Withdraw - Pillar of Faith - Prayer for the Body

PL3:
Prayer for the Spirit - Dire Blessing - Consecrated Ground - Despondent Blows

PL4:
Pretty much all spells seem useful... + Spell Shaping seems neat, and Spirit of Decay of course as well... This one I am at a complete loss...

PL5:
Rapid Casting - Farcasting - Barring Death's Door of course - all other spells seem useful too... tough choices...

PL6:
Pillar of Holy Fire - Salvation of Time - (never found a use for Minor Intercession before - still the case in DF?)

PL7:
I have absolutely no idea what I should prioritize here...

PL8:
Again, they all seem useful (as from my experience with PoE1) aside from Dismissal - Great Soul seems less relevant, as I can always just rest once more than I would with...

PL9:
Prestige of course :) - Incarnate I assume is pretty powerful for Berath?

 

Writing all this down, maybe I'll make Xoti not a Monk but a Priest as well and just take eVeRyThInG I listed... or at least a Contemplative..?

 

And Maia is pretty much a simple question compared to the big one...
Scout does supposedly a bit more damage, Geomancer has a lot more utility. I am leaning towards Geo for now, but am open to suggestions. I like micromanagement, so that is not an issue (also Rogue was more micro-intensive than Wizard and Priest combined in poe1, so...)
My party will only have Maia as a fixed unit, everyone else I may or may not switch out on a whim...

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Maia as scout IMO is better.

You can pick as many spells per tier as you want, but you are limited to 2 casts per tier per encounter. So for pure efficiency and not wasting skill points, I'd only take 2 per tier, 3 in a tier if the third skill is very good in a certain situation.  

I'm fairly new as well. I too wanted to roleplay a priest of Berath as my first characters. And as I was learning the game I kept rerolling. Note that I'm an RPG veteran, so normal difficulty was trivially easy. Veteran felt like normal, and PoTD just felt plain impossible. As a healer/support, any combination of druid, chanter and paladin is better than priest imo. 

- Druid is imo the best healer from a pure healing efficiency standpoint. They not only have many heals, but they are strong over time heals. Druid lacks instant heals and emergency heal / damage prevention. But a druid healer is the best classical healing archetype when it comes to healing overall. So druid gives lots of strong over time healing to your group.

- Paladin has lay on hands, which is a quick instant heal + heal over time. It is a very powerful heal and great for emergency healing, supplemented by a passive healing aura that helps top off and cover "random damage everywhere". Paladin have strong support spells from the midgame also, and resurrect.

- Chanter has a pretty good healing invocation. It has a CD so you can't spam it, due to chants, but the upside is that it never runs out. Chanter also have a passive 1 healing per sec AOE aura, with troubadour you can effectively have 1 healing and 1 support chant up at all times. While not strong enough at its own to support and heal a group, it exponentially increases the efficiency of a support/healing character when multiclassed with a paladin or druid. Because their aoe heal and support chant is ALWAYS ACTIVE. This means, the passive support/healing from chanter, is working at the same time you are using support/healing spells from another class. And if you are CC'd your support chant and slow healing over time is still active. Chanter also has a massive +50% healing done chant, which coupled with another healing class makes chanter the strongest healer no contest - the downside is that this skill comes WAY TOO LATE. The game is practically almost over by the time you get it, so unfortunately, while extremely powerful, it's only useful for like 5% of the game. 

So you want to play a support/healer? Here's the bad news and why I'm sharing all this - Priest sucks. Sorry to say. You have 2 minor heals, no heals at T2, and a mediocre AOE stationary heal at T3. Priest has inspirations for single target, but they are long recovery/cast, due to opportunity cost and actions taken over time and their impact to help you win, they are almost worthless. Priest has some AOE blessings which are decent. Mid-late game they get some more heals and support utility. But overall - IMO priest is the worst support and healing class. 

If you want to play a priest as support, but not healer. You can go a hybrid DPS/Debuffer priest. That would work. If you build a priest not around their helpful spells and buffs, but around damage and their debuffs, the priest class is worth the party slot imo. The debuffs and area debuffs + damage spells of the priest, actually makes the class a more efficient damage dealer and debuffer than a healer. So you can play a priest without it sucking, as support, if you focus your support on being a hybrid damage dealer and debuffer. So that you are supporting your team not by making your team stronger, but their side weaker. 

You can only do one action at a time. So that action needs to contribute and be worth it. Unfortunately, despite the priest having some strong spells for healing and friendly support, they are a failure as a support/healer overall because paladin, chanter, druid and any combination of those are better than a priest. You can combo priest with a chanter, druid or paladin though. 

 

Note that these are my opinions so far as an also fairly new player. Hope it helps you. Some people in this community will tell you priest is actually super strong, but those people are cheesing, exploiting or using very advanced metagaming knowledge to apply this - and is not relevant for us normal players. There are some extremely potent things you can do with a priest, but these strategies with the priest are things being abused to make anything trivial - and does not represent the average player who plays the game normally. 

Edited by Ouroboros226
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I always ran Maia as a scout , and if you are playing POTD for the first time, this is a good choice. I followed Sin lee's guides on steam / YT. 

 

That being said, I have not ran her as  Geomancer, but I plan to this time around. You could use the gun Blightheart which is a popular build in these forums.  

 

 

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I decided to go for a nuke focus spell selection and take Xoti along as my buffer.

Still the question about Maia stands, as I would like to hear some reasons for one over the other to fell a decision there. Scrounging through the web made me think that maybe even sc ranger might be an option, as I will probably only have 1 frontliner (Eder) at most times and thus a more sturdy pet bird could be helpful...

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If you have a Chanter in the party who runs Sure Handed Ila* I would use Maia as a Scout with the Red Hand. Use Gunner, Acina's Tricorn and her garb to speed the shooting futher up. The single target damage and the shooting speed will be very good - even with the arquebus modal she will be shooting quickly enough (and that's +20 ACC which is just great). The Gunhawk +20% range passive will counter the shorter range of the Red Hand. Use a rod as backup weapon for those pierce immune foes - later Eccea's Arcane Blaster maybe. 

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As a Geomancer you can go with the versatility that a Wizard brings and amp up the accuracy for your spells with the Ranger side - or you could try to amplify the Ranger side with some Wizard spells. Or both - it's not mutually exclusive.

For example the blunderbuss Xefa's Empirical Explication has an enchantment that increases the range of the blunderbuss by 50% (4m -> 6m) which gets further boosted by Maia's Gunhawk passive (+20% range). That way you'll have a rel. long range blunderbuss in the main hand (with not so nice initial ACC - but you are a Rager so what ;) ).

If you now put any other blunderbuss like Kitchen Stove (with only 4 m range) in the offhand - but use Full Attacks (e.g. Wounding Shot) - the game will execute both shots of the Full Attacks at the longer range... because your main hand weapon determines the max range of the Full Attack. Also the Xefa blunderbuss will knock back enemies on crit which can be very useful. 

With that setup you could then summons an Essential Phantom and then use Combusting Wounds (rage 10m). You and your Phantom will fire lots of projectiles on enemies with Combusting Wounds. Use Driving Flight to affect more than one enemy per shot. 

That way you can shred enemies pretty quickly from safe distance. And the other Gunhawk effect (5% interrupt on hit) triggers quite often. 

You can also combine Combusting Wounds with Infuse with Vital Essence (+5 INT) and Hand Mortar + Fire in the Hole. That will trigger combusting wounds on the whole AoE of enemies who got hit by Combusting Wounds. The range will be shorter though. 

You can also use Frostseeker and use the Essential Phantom to fire around with two Frostseekers. Stuff like that.  

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)* Sure Handed Ila applies both the 20% recovery bonus as well as the 20% reloading bonus to all reloading weapons (arbalest, crossbow, firearms) which makes it very good for all party members who use reloading weapons. It counters the arquebus modal easily. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Use Essence Interrupter (with modal) on a decently accurate character

hm, maybe I make a Maia replacement for that until I get her xD Essence Interrupter is expensive though...

Quick followup, how important is Brilliant Inspiration late game with a full party? Because I don't think I will have a reliable source for it in my prefered party... Roleplay would probably prevent me from getting Wit of Death's Herald (avoiding passionate like the plague), or is there an item with AOE Brilliant that I missed reading?

Also, Aloth as a pure Wizard can still work as a tank if need be, right? like in poe1? I know that there are finally enemies with Arcane Dampener, but outside of those. I read that the summoned weapons aren't as good anymore, but the defensive spells hopefully still are?

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With the Least Unstable Coil you will have a pretty reliable way of getting Brilliant if you are a Priest (or Chanter, Druid or Wizard). Cast an empowered Storm of Holy Fire (Her Revenge/Greater Maelstrom/Missile Salvo) and you should have all tier-3 inspirations on you (because with those spells every attack roll counts as a singular empowered spell). 

Then there's Ancestor's Memory from a Cipher, ne? ;) Forgot if you will bring one or not...

Also the cape "Shroud of the Phantasm" can get you brilliant - but it's a bit of a chore to trigger it. But doable (e.g. stand in a Wall of Flame with high burn DR). 

Afaik there is no AoE that gives you brilliant. But as soon as you have it (see Least Unstable Coil) you can have it forever (hello Salvation of Time).

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Thanks, so I don't need to worry too much for now.

Yeah, Cipher is a big question mark for me. Didn't like it too much in the end in poe1 after all (missing sucks - or maybe it was GM in particular), and I have yet to find a single Vailian person I like, thus I will try to work against them every chance I get, so Ydwin is a no. Serafen I don't know anything about aside from a Wild Mage style mechanic. Maybe I like him enough, I dunno yet xD Orlans and pirates are cool, so... Also Barb/Cipher could be cool, because less missing I assume

And Wizard can work as a tank?

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Wizard can be tanky if you gear up very defensively and give +engagement gear (for example Kapana Taga + shield + Reckless Brigandine = 4 slots). The missing engagement will be the worst part in the early game though. Tanks without engagement don't work so well imo. 

An essential Phantom can help tanking. Once you get Llengrath's Safeguard you can become very tanky (especially with the use of Wall of Draining). The universal defense boost stacks with all the deflection buffs. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Would Aloth, outside of spell spammage of course, make for a good Hunting Bow user? He has natural Metaphysics, so I thought of giving him Essence Interruptor once I have Maia...
Not that I ditch his Tank approach. Just because Wizards are so versatile, I thought to use him as whatever I need. Spell Spammer, low-micro ranged unit, tank.

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1 hour ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Would Aloth, outside of spell spammage of course, make for a good Hunting Bow user? He has natural Metaphysics, so I thought of giving him Essence Interruptor once I have Maia...
Not that I ditch his Tank approach. Just because Wizards are so versatile, I thought to use him as whatever I need. Spell Spammer, low-micro ranged unit, tank.

I don't see why not. I set up my Aloth with Arquebus. And set up a custom AI script so that he would buff himself with combat buffs, attack like any normal ranged dps, and throw spells occasionally. I made him a ranged/caster hybrid by changing spell CDs. That's a pure wizard Aloth.  Wizards are versatile yeah. CC focus only, CC+Damage, Tank, Tank+CC, DPS-Tank, etc. Though I feel that spreading a character TOO wide is bad. But making a companion fill 2 roles works just fine. 

 

Playing on PoTD now for the first time and the only must have wizard is chill fog imo. I never used it when I started playing. Then people saying "chillfog OP!". So I'm like... OP how? Looks bad... But the ability to instantly make the enemy's ranged backline useless is fantastic. And overlapping you can get their frontline too if you use natural chokepoints. Anyway I'm rambling again so I need to stop.

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I prefer Maia as a geomancer, myself, as I tend to already have a rogue type, and I don't think you can ever have too many casters.  Also, if you do have a pure caster, you can let Maia handle mage buffs and let the other caster nuke away.

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