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Completely changed my mind again: Trickster (off-)tank. SC vs martial-MC?


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Reading up on the potential secondary classes for a Shifter, I am now inclined to make a Trickster build.

I would like to stay in the fray all the time, work my damage up with sneak-attack enabling and Riposte. Dual-wielding Rapiers for flavor.

Freezing Rake was one of my favorite high-level spells in poe1, so that alone draws me towards SC a bit...

On the other hand, as easy as it is with 3 sources of flanking to trigger Brilliant Tactician, I also consider having essentially 2 Swashbucklers (me and Eder) in the party, 1 Tactician, the other Unbroken or Devoted.

Aaand another one would be Shadowdancer, simply because monks are epic.

Last but not least would be Pathfinder-Shifter after all. Huge spell-selection, Shifter-forms on masse.

Edited by SirMirrorcoat
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  • SirMirrorcoat changed the title to Completely changed my mind again: Trickster (off-)tank. SC vs martial-MC?

Thanks! That was an interesting read :)

As you have played that build as well, how does it fare at the frontline alongside 1 Tank?
Because I would prefer a melee unit for flavor.
A Swashbuckler or Holy Slayer (which I just looked at before seeing your post) would be a lot sturdier afaik while still dishing out great damage. Of course, missing out on the lovely Freezing Rake, which would be a bummer.
I just checked how 
Ryngrim's Repulsive Visage works in triggering Disengagement attacks, and that seems really great for an Unbroken/Trickster. Relatively reliable DA-on-demand.

Though for some reason I cannot find any info on whether DA count as FULL or PRIMARY attacks. The former would make a dual-wielding Unbroken quite interesting.

And MonasticUT gets into MYTHIC quality at PL12??? So, even on a non-Monk, fists are great 😄

And is there a list as to what items boost engagement slots? Shields or course, Kapaha Tanga or whatever the name, spear modal, what else? If I can get a decent amount of engagement slots, Holy Slayer is a lot more appealing than Swashbuckler. Spear and Rapier could also look really cool together...

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I played it solo as Not So Clever Hound recommended. It's not exactly a tanky build, but relies more on stealth and smoke cloud when the aggro gets too tough. You could use this build in a party as an off tank, however. As for the trickster/FF shadow dancer, that is much more tanky. The trick here is using both the trickster's defensive abilities and also to have high RES, which you need to keep the FF curse to a very short length. You can also use Magran's Favor in the main hand and tuotilo's palm in the offhand, with both modals on. You'd want the weapon and shield style as well. The idea here is you would rarely auto attack, and instead mainly use the FF attack, which when you crit can proc swift flurry or heartbeat drumming using your mainland weapon.

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So, DA is good on a shield/2handed char, while Riposte is always better than DA. More reliable, higher damage on DW. And Cleaving Stance is great on DW as well. Nice.

Leaning towards Holy Slayer now with Riposte build, only, I fear that it is quite difficult to manage Engagement without the Stance bonus of Fighter... 
From my experience, Eder can keep aggro easy, Monk or Barbarian are often ignored and have to work hard to avoid my squishies from being targeted...

Is Whispers otEP good for a Retaliation build?

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1 hour ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

So, DA is good on a shield/2handed char, while Riposte is always better than DA. More reliable, higher damage on DW. And Cleaving Stance is great on DW as well. Nice.

I wouldn't say that Riposte is better. It's a completely different thing.

Besides that Disengagement Attacks have big inherent ACC and damage bonuses that Riposte doesn't have. Those bonuses stack with everything else (Sneak Attack, Deathblows etc.). Unbroken even has absurd +10 PEN on them. With Overbearing Guard they become truly devastating (especially with a Two Hander).

You can combine all three. Of course enemies who are terrified won't attack you (so no Riposte) and enemies who attack you in melee won't trigger Disengagement Attacks. But having the ability to deliver Ripostes when enemies attack you while being able to deliver disengagement attacks as soon as they flee is cool.

  

1 hour ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Is Whispers otEP good for a Retaliation build?

The best imo. One of the few weapons that grants deflection. Offensive Parry and Riposte stack (both can get triggered by the same miss). Offensive Parry works with Swift Flurry/Heartbeat Drumming, it generates wounds for a Shattered Pillar (Riposte and Cleaving won't) and also focus for a Cipher (iirc Riposte and Cleaving won't). 

You need to lean into deflection though. +Defl.-bracers, -armor, -cloak, Entonia Signed, max RES and so on. The more the better. Defenses have increasing returns - you are lacking a shield and must compensate.

Unbroken/Trickster with WotEP/Offensive Parry is one of my favorite (off)tank melee builds because it deals god damage while recovering (via Offensive Parry/Riposte), while attacking (obviously) and on Disengagement (trigger terrify as soon as you don't need to keep the mob together or once you get pressed too hard). The auto-daze of Offensive Parry helps a ton with survival. 

Bloodmage/Steel Garrote also great - but more as a very sturdy casting machine (Offensive Parry leeches health automatically because it dazes - which can be used for Blood Sacrifice all the time).

Even Shattered Pillar/Soulblade which gains focus and wounds just by parrying which can be dumped into stuff like Raised Torment and Soul Annihilation all the time - while Offensive Parry triggers Swift Flurry Chains often enough.

If you use Nomad's Brigandine (also gives deflection bonus) and enchant it with immunity to Disengagement Attacks you can break engagement deliberately and trigger a 100% miss (immunity just turns all disengagement attacks into misses) which will proc Offensive Parry (and potentially Riposte). That's why it's my preferred armor with most WotEP/Offensive Parry builds.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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17 minutes ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

That sounds really neat. I will go for an Unbroken/Trickster main with Great Swords. Switching to Shield if I feel like I need the bonus engagement slots. Thanks @Boeroer ❤️

Keep in mind that in order to get sufficient engagement you either need Guardian Stance (no Cleaving) or stuff like Hold the Line + Persistent Distraction and items (such as Reckless Brigandine and/or Blackened Plate Helmet etc). I often enough settled for the easier Guardian Stance because Cleaves are not great with WotEP in the first place (low base damage). With another Great Sword that might be different (because higher base dmg where the Cleaving becomes more interesting). One can also switch stance + weapon as soon as only few enemies remain.

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Dunno if off tanking while dualwielding melee + aoe mortar can be a thing with riposte/cleave being full attack. Marux amanth (with modal on) + hand Mortar (disorienting cone attack on crit). Pirate vibe.

Get a priest for triumph of crusader (+3 engagement & heal on kill).

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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

I believe Triumph of the Crusaders gives Strong and +80 health on kill while Champion's Boon gives +3 engagement (and other stuff)? 

But yes, that would work as well. 👍

Yeah my bad^^

Can't remember if weapon modal (dagger -> + def) stack with mirror image ?

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1 hour ago, crdvis16 said:

Does anyone know off the top of their head if Clear Out triggers disengagement when they get knocked back?  Or if spells that push back could trigger disengagement?

The monk’s Force of Anguish triggers disengagement when knock back, maybe it works the same 

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2 hours ago, crdvis16 said:

Does anyone know off the top of their head if Clear Out triggers disengagement when they get knocked back?  Or if spells that push back could trigger disengagement?

Nothing but actively moving out of engagement (which includes moving while terrified) will trigger disengagement attacks. There is no way to directly force them on the enemy. Not even with more sophisticated stuff like pulling enemies away from a party member with Into the Fray or whatever. :)  I tried it all...

34 minutes ago, Manu22 said:

The monk’s Force of Anguish triggers disengagement when knock back, maybe it works the same 

Don't know where you got that info but this is not correct (tested in game right now to be 100% sure). 

33 minutes ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

Seriously?

Nope :) 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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12 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

 

Don't know where you got that info but this is not correct (tested in game right now to be 100% sure). 

 

My bad, you were talking about disengagement attack and I talked about break engagement only.

When I use it, I got wounds for Parting Sorrow. It breaks engagement, but doesn’t trigger disengagement attack. Or I may just confused it all and be wrong.

 

Edited by Manu22
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Ah - right, right.

Parting Sorrow gives wounds as soon as an engagement ends - for whatever reason. Afaik anything that ends engagement works for Parting Sorrow. It even gives wounds when an enemy you engaged dies (because engagement ends then, too 😄 ). I guess it should also work if engagement ends from afflictions (hard CC of an enemy ends your engagement, too).

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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