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I can't find Witch or Wild Mind builds for Serafen. Advice?


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So, the first interaction with the Principi and Serafen made me think I will half-assed support them (primarily still RDC tho) and take Serafen along instead of Xoti, because anti-religious Watcher.

But I couldn't find any builds for him?

I would like him to be a support/CC build, of course still doing damage to generate focus (because how else), but I wonder if his WM mechanic changes much of the Cipher-base as to work around it. Wild Mage was never a problem for me in DnD games, so that is not the problem, I just wonder if - outside of this - he essentially plays like a normal Cipher or Barb/Cipher?

Any build advice for him?
Would a ranged Witch work? As I already have 3 frontliners (Monk, Eder Swashbuckler and Maia's bird) and can easily turn Aloth into another one if need be, I am not sure a fourth constant melee would make much sense?

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I really like Witches. Pick Spirit Frenzy (not Spirit Tornado!) and give him the Willbreaker Morning Star (use the modal). Its hits lower fortitude by 25 (once, no stacking) and Will by 3 (stacks per hit). Use Secret Horrors, it's just great. 

That way you will have applied Staggered (Spirit Frenzy), Frightened and Sickened (Secret Horrors). Even without hitting the enemy with the Morning Star yet you lowered the enemies fortitude by 20 and the Will by 10 with just one spell. Now attack with the Morning Star - the targeted enemy will get -25 fortitude and a Will debuff on top (-45 fortitude!). Not only is this cool for your party, but also with Brute Force it will be very easy to hit enemies (who didn't start with astronomical fortitude).

Resolve afflictions work well in combo with the Willbreaker. Also charming/dominating works well with a witch in general (can try to shake enemies with a yell to lower Will right a the start of battle - also here Staggered from Spirit Tornado gets applied).

Wild Mind can be very annoying. But imo it's less dramatic as some other players make it seem. It's unpredictable and that doesn't sit well with most players who like to have full control. 
From time to time I enjoy a little chaos so I'm fine with it. Though I would't be in an Ironman run I assume. ;) 

Edited by Boeroer
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a few people notably disagree with me, but i maintain that serafen as a cipher is a trap subclass. wildmind is nothing like wild mages. BG-style wild mages had plenty of upside to balance how much randomness they added*. Wild mind foolishly tries to equally weight the outcomes which--all things being equal--favors the enemy, not the player. (In general, the player is expected to the win every fight in deadfire. Adding more variance simply provides more opportunities for the enemy to triumph over the player.) And, all things are not equal. Some of the "beneficial" outcomes may instead be bad, depending on what ability they triggered off of (since they go off whatever targeting was used). It's fun to buff or invisibility your party, but you were expected to win that fight anyway. It's much less fun to buff or invisibility the enemy...

 

tl;dr: if you want a cipher go with ydwin. serafen is a good barbarian.

if you really want a principi-aligned character, pick up mirke. she's way better (and more fun!).

 

 

* people may forget, but wild mages weren't just about random outcomes. wild mages got extra spells per level as if they were specialized but had no opposition school. they also had plenty of abilities they could use to skew the results of their random wild surges to more beneficial outcomes. they also had one spell that let them cast any spell from their library (with a surge) and all they had to do was burn a level 1 spell slot. these are plenty of bonuses that function as upsides to all the randomness that are missing from serafen's wild mind in deadfire.

Edited by thelee
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One thing I noticed about Serafen as a witch was that his Wild Mind subclass means he sometimes "hits" himself and nearby allies when using cipher spells. When spirit frenzied he often staggered himself and others around him and I suppose it would be the same with blood frenzy. I'm sure there are ways to play around that, but I think I'll just go SC cipher with him in the future.

 

... or yes, sc barbarian. Guess I always simply thought of him as a cipher (because shiphunter).

Edited by Sanasu
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hm, now I am really unsure what to do with him.

The problem is, excluding Tekehu, all Vailians and all the 2 Priests, I don't think there is any char that would add party-wide buffs to my team (outside of scrolls), so I was inclined to go for Serafen for the few party buffs alone. Unless not having party buffs isn't as severe as it was in poe1? 

Mirke would be the obvious choice for a Principi char, as I like her pic and (by mildly spoilering) her voice as well. Or I just ignore that and go Rekke who is supposedly just as fleshed-out as a full companion.

OR I keep the last slot open for switchers and just work with Eder, Aloth and Maia and try to work around not having a party buffer.

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what's your party like?

party-wide buffs are not like a necessity and are more like class-specific advantages. Priests, chanters, and to a far lesser extent druids and paladins. Ciphers afaict only have individual buffs (though they can be real good). It's not terrible to miss out on them, because what that should mean is that you're simply filling that role in with a different class whose strength lies elsewhere outside of party buffs.

 

what about konstanten? not vailian, you can build em as a howler or chanter for the chant buffs (not as good at doing buffing invocations). they are a skald subclass so will heavily prefer being melee though and it sounds like you have a lot of melee already. (though a skald can still be decent at ranged, you still get cheap offensive invocations, you just miss out on the occasional free phrase)

Edited by thelee
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Konstanten is a lot of fun imo if you 

a) crit with him frequently (because he has such a contagious laugh during battle) - should be a goal anyway bc. of Skald.
b) bring Fassina as well (really nice interaction between the two)
c) do Seeker, Slayer, Survivor (he turns from Sidekick into Companion so to speak)

If you don't want to do melee with him (recommend Willbreaker again ;)) I'd suggest Blightheart as weapon. The combination of low cost offensive invocations (e.g. only 2 points for "Her Revenge") with Blood Thirst and the arquebus' "phrase on kill" which triggers on every kill - spells included - on top of your normal phrase generation lets you dish out offensive invocations very quickly which is fun:
infinite_revenge.gif?dl=1

This is a Berserker/Skald who also kills his skeletons - but the principle is the same with Konstanten + Blightheart (without the skeletons) : cast damage and get phrases for kills (instead of melee crits).

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4 minutes ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

I read Chanters in DF are exceptional singleclass because of their HLA stuff? Though Barb/Skald sounds interesting

SC chanters in DF are indeed exceptional, but so are MC chanters in their own way :)

(imo the biggest advantage of an SC chanter is getting the dragon summon for megaboss purposes, but you need a troubadour or bellower to really take advantage of it)

Edited by thelee
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11 minutes ago, thelee said:

SC chanters in DF are indeed exceptional, but so are MC chanters in their own way :)

(imo the biggest advantage of an SC chanter is getting the dragon summon for megaboss purposes, but you need a troubadour or bellower to really take advantage of it)

Wait, you have an actual DRAGON SUMMON??? Holy **** maybe I should go Watcher Chanter for that alone...

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16 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

You know what's even better than the dragon summon? The dragon summon with Wild Growth (from a fellow Ancient Druid). ;) 

Tanky Dragon Boi.

On a side note, I struggle so hard against the Young Drake with my Monk now that I actually consider going for a Chanter summoner now... Restarteritis strikes again xD

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1 hour ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Wait, you have an actual DRAGON SUMMON??? Holy **** maybe I should go Watcher Chanter for that alone...

for pure dps, the summoned weapons are better, but for pure Unstoppable Boi energy, dragon is great. literally a ton of health and various helpful immunities. and even if the summoned weapons can pelt out a lot more damage over their duration, the dragon can burst out a lot of damage and clear out a lot of trash mobs with their tail whip or fire breath right when it appears (easily mid-100s damage in a huge area).

with a troubadour or bellower to easily get >100% uptime on the summon duration, i've literally used the dragon to tank several of the megabosses.

 

1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

You know what's even better than the dragon summon? The dragon summon with Wild Growth (from a fellow Ancient Druid). ;) 

that might take up the entire screen 😮

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Its mostly a meatwall, though. Not sure its worth loosing the abilities of an entire second class for that...

 

Particularly when the 3 summoned weapons are plenty strong on a MC character already.

Edited by Haplok
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11 hours ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

How important would be Dex for a summoner ?

I thought of dumping it a bit (10 or even 8 ) to boost int to 18 and the rest into Mig for stronger invocations in between summons.

The summoning animation itself has a pretty log duration in general (6 secs etc.). Imo DEX is important to have as a summoner because of that. You really don't want to get interrupted while summoning and the smaller the window the better. 

What you don't need at all when focusing on summons are MIG and PER (and to a lesser extend also CON and RES). For summoning the key stats are INT (summons' duration) and DEX (summoning speed). This is also true for buffing support which also only needs INT and DEX. So a summoner/buffer can in max out INT and DEX and distrubute the rest how feels best.
If you also want to do healing (MIG), CC (PER), deal damage (PER & MIG) or even be in the frontline (CON & RES) that's a different story of course. 

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12 minutes ago, Haplok said:

Its mostly a meatwall, though. Not sure its worth loosing the abilities of an entire second class for that...

The Dragon does great anti-mob damage if you use its active abilities. The dragons auto-attacks are very weak, but the abilities get scaled up tremendously because of the creature's (power) level. Animated weapons only do (great) single target damage.
So... the dragon's not only a meatwall imo. A Beckoner with two dragons (which are less tanky of course and don't last as long) can wipe serious mob encounters away while still having reasonable tanking abilities (also because there's two of them).  If you want to be more flexible with single targets/mobs you can also pick 4 Ancient Weapons (or 8 with a Beckoner) which is better than 3 (6). ;) Also last longer bc of Power Level (unless you are a Chanter/Monk with Duality oMP's +10 INT).

The (small) problem with a multiclass summoner is that most Chanter's summons don't scale very well (unless you use @Elric Galad's mod). At least offensively they don't. So at some point they become too weak. Fortunately Animated Weapons do scale well overall so it's correct that you can do well with them as MC. However - the "road of summoning" will be harder because the MC summoner will pick/upgrade better summon abilites a lot later than a single class summoner can. There's not much "self-contained" multiclass synergy with summons imo. It's more advantageous to get the better summons asap. Summoning supprt is best done by somebody else then (party member).   

Another appeal might be that you can get Eld Nary's Curse which is so much better than the non-upgraded version. Of course then you couldn't concentrate on summoning only but would need to be a summoner/damage dealer hybrid (who needs PER and MIG, too).
 

Edited by Boeroer
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hm, okay, I went with 15/12/12/18/18/15 for now, but I think I will dump con to 8 then and boost Dex a bit.
So, 15/8/16/18/18/15

I watched RPG Division's (think he's also here? dunno the name tho) vid about dragon summoner (even if the vid is old) and went with something like this, but yeah, also dealing a bit of damage would be neat. And, without dumping Con completely, I can still work as a second line melee for better positioning with offensive/CC (stupid cones).

Res/Int/Per are must have stats for me always, simply for dialogues.

Is the summon path Wurms -> Drakes -> Dragon good or are the Drakes really that bad? I named her Tarakona (maori pronunciation of dragon), so that would be optimal.

Only, I am confused now about Beckoner. I thought it was a too heavily nerfed class now? But @Boeroer, you make it sound like it would be quite viable. Especially on top having only the summons cost more phrases...

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1 hour ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Only, I am confused now about Beckoner. I thought it was a too heavily nerfed class now? But @Boeroer, you make it sound like it would be quite viable. Especially on top having only the summons cost more phrases...

Beckoner has the highest damage output (via summons) of all chanter's because his summons are not weaker offensively but only have less health (and size). Also the durations are shorter and he pays +1 phrases (which is stupid tbh). That means he has a harder time to keep summons on the field at all times. But when they are there they dish out twice the damage and engage or block twice the enemies/space. Ancient Brittle Bones for example can become a total wall of engaging skeletons that are not tanky but stop all enemies through engagement (if you didn't opt out of that in the game options or brought the pet "Grog").

I personally would pick Troubadour because the versatility is just awesome and there are no other subclasses that can have such an easy time to keep summons on the field without a gap. Bellower is also nice because the summons get longer durations through PL bonuses - but I always feel the PL bonus is a bit wasted (better for damaging invocations imo). And the reduced chant AoE makes it harder to passively buff your summons and party members.

Wurms and Drakes are okay when you get access to them (actually Wurms are quite awesome at first) but they don't scale well offensively so you will need to pick the dragon later on (and maybe retrain then to use the ability points for something else than the now weak summons you formerly used). The second Drake that follows the death if the first one scales better and is good. 

So - both summon types are viable at the times you get them. No problem with a "Dragon Master" or something like that. :)

JIst make sure you can somehow harm fire-immune or -resistant enemies, too. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Short 'update' question to the topic.

I want to edit Serafen's subclass because he killed himself once and buffed the enemies once against the first bounty (which was pretty much a battle of attrition) and that is really a bad first impression, but I like his character and he gets along with Tekehu, so.

Would a Barb/Beguiler work well?
Beguiler mostly because it still fits his flavour. Otherwise I guess I would either go Ascendant or no sub.
Barb I am not finding any of the subclasses very appealing, aside from Corpse Eater - which just doesn't fit with Serafen.

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