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Hey everyone,

I've been playing PoE 1 the last few days.  I wanted to see some thing storyline wise, to see if things I did early impacted the trial at the end of act 2.  I've been playing a barbarian, which is a class I've not really done anything with in either PoE before.  Never really used it in 1, and when I MC Serafen in 2, the barb stuff is mostly to make him less squishy while ciphering.

I've been having fun with barb, and especially with Heart of Fury.  I want to bring this Watcher into 2, and keep her a barbarian.  So, I have a few questions.

First, is SC barb worth it?  You need to SC to get HoF in 2, since it's PL8 per the Wiki.  Is SC barb viable and fun, especially pre PL8?

Second, what MC combo's can be fun for a basically all melee character?    What I've been thinking is Barb/Chanter (since I love PoE 2 chanter), Barb/Fighter (constant recovery and more melee options), or Barb/Priest (picking whichever God I side with in Act 3), more as a RP pick there.

What are pros and cons with those, or with other classes I didn't mention?  While I know you can make any two classes work, but what does barb seem to flow well with?

 

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Barbarian multiclasses extremely well in my opinion. It may not be clear based on tooltips, but passives like Blooded actually apply to spells too, as do abilities like Spirit Frenzy, so even doing something like casting a Fireball on a group of enemies can cause Staggered on them. And on-kill ones like Bloodlust and Blood Thirst trigger off of spells and even DoTs. So a casting class gets a lot out of pairing with Barbarian.

All the ones you mention are very good, but I am going to throw out a recommendation for in my opinion one of the most fun classes: A Tempest (Barbarian/Shifter Druid). Normally Spiritshift is just OK, something to use in a pinch but not amazing compared to a real martial class. However, combine them with Barbarian active/passive abilities and they become incredibly powerful. Cat form slices up enemies with great dps, boar form applies a stacking raw DoT on melee hits that last a long time and melts tough targets, bear form with Thick Skin passive is an incredible tank that can apply Frightened and Staggered in a big radius for free once a fight. The way I played is to slap the enemy with DoTs and cast storms, then turn into a Spiritshift form and start cleaning up.

You said you mostly wanted to stay in melee, so imo Priest might not be great…their spells take a long time to cast and wouldnt add too much to your melee game that another party member couldnt just give you. One exception is Priest of Woedica, whose summoned weapons are really powerful.

Since you love PoE2 Chanters I say go with them. Its a solid pick. If you go Skald, you can get free chants from melee crits, which shouldnt be too rare between your AoE paralyze, attack speed boosts and hit to crit passive. Also you get an ability later that lets you target fortitude over deflection if its lower, so debuffing the enemy with A Long Nights Drink and Spirit Frenzy can drop it by 20 points right off the bat. And your powerful damage AoE invocations (and damaging chants even) can help you keep up Bloodlust or Blood Thirst via finishing off enemies.

Edit: also a question for anyone else that comes by this thread: does the DoT from Blood Frenzy crits apply to chants that apply status effects, like A Long Nights Drink and Thick Grew Their Tongues? I usually go for Spirit Frenzy since I know you can get free Staggered application from the offense based chants, but could be interesting to get damage from a typically non-damaging ability.

Edited by Porkchopsandwiches247
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5 hours ago, Carys said:

First, is SC barb worth it?  You need to SC to get HoF in 2, since it's PL8 per the Wiki.  Is SC barb viable and fun, especially pre PL8?

SC Barbarian is good. One of the classes where it can be both great to multiclass or go single class. 

The reason why SC Barb is good are the abilities of Power Level 9:

  • Barbaric Retaliation: does a full attack when you receive a critical hit. This is very strong if you build a bit around it. It works with melee or ranged weapon, eve ones that deal AoE damage (like mortars for example). If you have a powerful but slow weapon (for example a two-handed Battle Axe with the Bleeding Cuts modal) this ability - in combination with Blood Thirst - can speed you up considerably.
  • Blood Surge: the only way besides Flesh Communion (Corpse Eater), Brilliant and Empower to regain Rage points. The funny thing is that it also works when you kill allies - for example cheap skeleton summons.
  • Driving or Dazing Shout: both are absolutely awesome: cheap and very powerful. It's worth to play a SC Barb just because of one of those:
    Driving_roar.gif?dl=1

 Heart of Fury is good (and you can to some cheesy stuff with it), but imo it's a bit too expensive. But if you employ the right weapon(s) it can totally be worthwhile. 

My pick would be Furyshaper when I was playing a SC Barb. The Blood Ward (Power Level 8) is absolute fantastic for you and your party because it drains health from any damage that you or your allies cause (excluded: seals, traps and wall spells). This includes damage over time, spells, weapon attacks and so on. You can combine this with Heart of Fury, Barbaric Retaliation and Dazing Shout for example to heal from the damage you dish out.
And also on the way to PL 8/9 a SC Furyshaper is cool because he gets to the Fear Ward a lot earlier than a multiclass Furyshaper. And the Fear Ward is very good, too.  

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IMO barbarian works much better as a MC. Berserker/devoted is a very powerful melee combo who can use Clear Out as a cone version of HoF and has some very good weapon choices (Lord Darryn's Voulge, Amra, Karaboru). Berserker/troubadour is also very powerful if you decide to use Grave Calling and spam Chill Fog by killing your own skeletons (however it's not really a melee build). Another great combo is rogue/barbarian - with a 2h weapon he can easily spam Barbaric Smash and also trigger Blood Thirst (if you have a priest who can cast BDD, then a berserker/streetfighter with Voidwheel is devastating).

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I'd argue that a dual weapon setup would be better with a Rogue/Barb since most Rogue Strikes are Full Attacks and so is Barbaric Smash (which raises the chance to really kill with it which is important for the refund), but it's not that important.

By the way: kill by DoT (for example Barbaric Smash + Blood Frenzy + Deep Wounds) will trigger Blood Thirst, but it will not trigger Barbaric Smash's refund, even if the DoT was the result of a Barbaric Smash. So if you used Barbaric Smash and the enemy barely survived, he will die with the next tick, but it won't refund your Rage unfortunately. Also often enough the DoTs would kill weak enemies that I planned to hit with Barbaric Smash right before the smash landed - which costs the Rage but does nothing. It can be annoying sometimes. One has to watch that and maybe sometimes just switch targets. It would have been cool if Barbaric Smash put a short-lived effect on the enemy so that the Barb would get a refund if the enemy died in that short period of time and not only from the direct smash.

But anyway: the combined DoTs in general are potent and cool. Like when you apply some DoTs to several enemies and then turn to some others - and when the first ones die from bleeding out you get Blood Thirst procs. Can even be used when fighting single tough enemies with weak ads. 

Back to single class Barb: I think players vastly underestimate the usefulness of either Driving Roar or Dazing Shout. I think a multiclass Barb is more interesting and often more potent to play to the way to the higher levels, but once you reach PL 9 with a SC Barb (PL 8 with a Furyshaper) it will pay off imo. Luckily, with all DLCs installed, you can play a fairly long amount of time after reaching PL8/9. 

Using both shout abilities in combination with Blood Thirst (and so on) is potent debuff/CC + great damage all in one piece - for only 1 point of Rage and short casting times. And when you are going against large mobs the combo of big AoE Daze/AoE knockdown + damage + potential refund via Blood Surge is so much fun imo. 

But... against single targets it's not that useful I have to say. Unless you use a Chanter with summons that you can kill for Rage (Blood Surge) and 0 recovery (Blood Thirsty).

So maybe one has to be certain about the role the Barb or Barb/something should play. Multiclasses can be a lot more versatile.

If the goal is indeed to use Heart of Fury then there's of course no alternative to single class. And in my experience single class Barb is good - unlike some other classes like for example Fighter or Paladin (when not using Devine Retribution with summons) - and it's worth playing.

One last though: as I said one can do wild stuff with HoF and Barbaric Retaliation, but it often involves weird combos. For example when using dual mortars and also involve Combusting Wounds and Avenging Storm. That's not a very stereotypical Barb setup of course. ;) However, it's fitting for some dudes - for example Serafen as SC Barb. But HoF is also nice for debuffing in an AoE - for example when using a Morning Star with Body Blows (and Spirit Frenzy): -35 fortitude in an AoE can be very useful. 

One can also combine HoF with club + flail and lower Will and Reflex by 25 in that AoE (cool for Furyshapers who are using the Fear Ward mostly). Or use Ngati's Tusk with maxed Survival and lower enemies non-deflection defeneses just by being there (Hunter of Hunters aura) and lower deflection with the pike modal + HoF.

What I personally really liked in my SC Furyshaper run was to combine Battle Axe + modal + Blood Storm with Barbaric Retaliation and the Blood Ward. I needed stellar AR (Patinated Plate and so on) to survive all the initial melee crits, but all the DoTs I placed on the enemies took over eventually and outhealed the damage. Dazing Shout helped a ton, too.

 

Edited by Boeroer
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  • 3 months later...
7 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

I am trying out a Furyshaper/Skald, so far so good.

What often lets me hesitate when combining Furyshaper with Chanter is the "collision" of summoning abilities. But then... Skald seems to be the best choice imo because a Skald usually doesn't use Chanter summons a lot since they are quite expensive - and at the same time the offensive invocastions (esp. the low level ones) are so cheap.  

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4 hours ago, Boeroer said:

What often lets me hesitate when combining Furyshaper with Chanter is the "collision" of summoning abilities. But then... Skald seems to be the best choice imo because a Skald usually doesn't use Chanter summons a lot since they are quite expensive - and at the same time the offensive invocastions (esp. the low level ones) are so cheap.  

Yes exactly!

I just finished the solo run of Bloodmage (Thanks @NotSoCleverHound) 

I have been researching the forums, and I might reroll and do an SC Furyshaper. I am trying to do thing differently. It would be fun to get the Fear ward earlier, and I will try to create a 'terrify' theme party that focused on using terrify to maximize disengagement chances for a melee heavy party: this is what I am thinking. I would welcome all your thoughts and feedback! 

1. MC (SC furyshaper) to CC, frontline, or flank. Will use 2h morning star for the fortitude debuff, and 2h pike for the accuracy debuff.  I have considered Arma (2h axe) but it doesn't seem worth pumping MIG for. In fact, I think MIG is a stat I would leave at 10. Thoughts? 

2. Eder (Swashbuckler) : so hard to pass up the benefits of having 2 resource pools. Will probably give him LDV for 2h attacks, and the sweet shock attacks (so few shock resistant enemies in deadfire, it is like the 'fire' of Skyrim!). Any real reason to go SC fighter? 

3. Aloth (SC Wizard, or Battlemage, or Spellblade?!?) 

If an SC wizard, will also focus on using terrify spellls, and turn him into a combat wizard who uses a shield and maybe Sun and Moon to debuff reflex. Would having two sources of Terrify be overkill? Otherwise, he would focus on using bows, and eventually the terrify blackbow. I am just trying to build him a different ways since I ALWAYS go SC wizard. 

4. ?? Someone to heal, CC, buff. Lots of choices (Tekehu fills his nicely) 

5. Offensive AOE caster (druid, wizard, ?)

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8 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

1. MC (SC furyshaper) to CC, frontline, or flank. Will use 2h morning star for the fortitude debuff, and 2h pike for the accuracy debuff.  I have considered Arma (2h axe) but it doesn't seem worth pumping MIG for. In fact, I think MIG is a stat I would leave at 10. Thoughts? 

Willbreaker! :) 

8 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

2. Eder (Swashbuckler) : so hard to pass up the benefits of having 2 resource pools. Will probably give him LDV for 2h attacks, and the sweet shock attacks (so few shock resistant enemies in deadfire, it is like the 'fire' of Skyrim!). Any real reason to go SC fighter? 

In a party that plays around with terrify I really like to give him a club (+modal) and Cadhu Scalth and use him like a tank.

8 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

3. Aloth (SC Wizard, or Battlemage, or Spellblade?!?) 

If an SC wizard, will also focus on using terrify spellls, and turn him into a combat wizard who uses a shield and maybe Sun and Moon to debuff reflex. Would having two sources of Terrify be overkill? Otherwise, he would focus on using bows, and eventually the terrify blackbow. I am just trying to build him a different ways since I ALWAYS go SC wizard. 

I love to use Miasma with him, put Kapana Taga in the offhand and Reckless Brigandine as armor and then summon Concelhaut's Drainng Touch + a Phantom. I will have 3 engagement slots and deal devastating disengagement attacks against terrified enemies with Draining Touch.

Later I like to use The Blackbow (and a phantom with the Blackbow), too.

 

Tekehu is a nice addition. And Cipher is cool (maybe a Psion/something) because lots of their spells target the Will defense. A combination of terrifying some enemies + charming/dominating the rest messes up almost all enemy groups very thoroughly.    

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8 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Willbreaker! :) 

In a party that plays around with terrify I really like to give him a club (+modal) and Cadhu Scalth and use him like a tank.

I love to use Miasma with him, put Kapana Taga in the offhand and Reckless Brigandine as armor and then summon Concelhaut's Drainng Touch + a Phantom. I will have 3 engagement slots and deal devastating disengagement attacks against terrified enemies with Draining Touch.

Later I like to use The Blackbow (and a phantom with the Blackbow), too.

 

Tekehu is a nice addition. And Cipher is cool (maybe a Psion/something) because lots of their spells target the Will defense. A combination of terrifying some enemies + charming/dominating the rest messes up almost all enemy groups very thoroughly.    

What a wonderful idea with Aloth. I know you are a fan of Miasama (as am I) it is such a strong debuff. And it targets will I think, which is usually a lower defense compared to reflex or fortitude.  So he ends up having draining touch in the mainhand, and Kapana in the offhand?  

I think a cipher sounds great. Maybe even a Psion/chanter, or a druid, or priest.  Lot of great options to debuff. For action economy, I bet a chanter would fill the role nicely. Thank you! 

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23 hours ago, mjo2138 said:

So he ends up having draining touch in the mainhand, and Kapana in the offhand?

Yes, and since the items give +3 engagement, the Phantom will have those 3 eng. slots, too - letting it dish out disengagement attacks as well (which target Will instead of deflection because Draining Touch just does that).

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On 5/28/2022 at 5:30 PM, Boeroer said:

Yes, and since the items give +3 engagement, the Phantom will have those 3 eng. slots, too - letting it dish out disengagement attacks as well (which target Will instead of deflection because Draining Touch just does that).

NIce!  I will try it

 

By the way, which battle axe would you recommend for an SC Furyshaper? 

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6 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

The Beast of Winter 2h battleaxe you get from the inquisition-themed realm.

Thanks! I will check that one out. I wanna try to do BoW DLC mid game; I always leave it for late game, after I finished all the base content, and it always feels like an afterthought. 

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