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[class build] "big game hunter" - beastmaster (fury + stalker)

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This build started off b.c. after playing Wrath of the Righteous I really wanted to play a druid with a pet. By standards these days, this is a pretty "fair" build, but it has a pretty big trick up its sleeve in being able to completely petrify-lock bosses (long-time observers will have noted I talked about this minor tech for taking down dorudugan some time back, this is the first build I designed intended to do exactly that).

Race: Hearth Orlan

Stats: 10 might, 7 con, 17 dex, 20 + 1(white that wends), 15 intellect, 8 resolve

Class: fury and stalker (as pet, I picked deer, but antelope or wolf are also fine)

Skills: i recommend explosives, and as secondary it doesn't really matter but you can pick up religion to give a wee boost to your final weapon (though you won't really use it)


  1. Marked Prey, Sunbeam
  2. Resilient Companion
  3. Vicious Companion
  4. Protective Companion, Firebrand (optional in endgame, see notes at end)
  5. Takedown
  6. Heal Companion (respec to Merciless Companion after you get Revive Companion)
  7. Marked for the Hunt, Spreading Plague
  8. Loyal Companion
  9. Revive Companion (optionally respec this to 2h style if you pick up Play Dead)
  10. Hunter's Claw, Calling the World's Maw
  11. Stalker's Link
  12. Scion of Flame
  13. Takedown Combo, Rapid Casting
  14. Farcasting
  15. Spellshaping
  16. Play Dead (optional, if not, you can pick up 2h style here, or something else, doesn't matter), Embrace of the Earth Talon
  17. Hunter's Fang
  18. Improved Critical
  19. Survival of the Fittest, Rusted Armor
  20. Lasting Empower (not as useful if you're using a mod that fixes this so it doesn't grant +10% affliction durations everywhere, replace with something else)

Weapon proficiencies: flail, great sword are most important

Important Items: Boras (pet), Obsidian Wurm (pet), Bone Charm (necklace),  Helm of the White Void (helm), High Harbinger's Robes (robes off Vatnir), Keeper of the Flame (flail) enchanted with Sweet Aroma, Sun & Moon (flail) with fire enchants, Ring of Focused Flame (ring), Vithrack Silk Slippers (feet), Potion of Ascension for megaboss fights, Ajamuut's Stalking Cloak for megaboss fights

Additional important items: I play with extra challenges on, so I also used Drunkard's Regret (ring) with tons of Rum, though outside of this challenge you can rely on other items in pursuit of action speed bonuses.

Story choices: find all the items in Beast of Winter and swear to become Rymrgand's hero; in SSS destroy all the souls at each checkpoint for a total of +8 acc vs vessels. In the Alchemist's Retreat, craft the recipe that gives you permanent +1 Perception.

Party support: strongly encouraged to have someone with maxed survival with Ngati's Tusk, someone with morningstar proficiency, and someone who can cast Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment (wizard or priest of wael merc)

How this build plays

This build is basically a fire-based nuker for much of the game. Ring of Focused Flame and huge accuracy bonuses from Marked and Stalker's Link will help you land most of your hits, frequently critting. The spell echo chance on Sun & Moon isn't that great, but every once and a while getting 2x sunlance to finish off a target in one blow is sweet, so always try to fight during the day. After you get Vithrack Silk Slippers your spell echo goes up a bit (remember, they're not additive) and those sweet doublings will occur a bit more often for fire spells (and a tiny bit for everything else, including explosives).

Early on, Firebrand gives you staying power after you run out of spells. Remember: ring of focused flame works for this sword, as does scion of flame. Later on, you have so many spells and in really big fights you'll be doing something else other than trying to nuke, so you can respec Firebrand out if you want, though it's nice to have as a backup plan or in really long fights *cough* SSS.

Sunbeam is a workhorse spell for this build, and I highly recommend stays in the Bathhouse or even Nemnok pet for the mid-late game just to get extra casts of it; you get +20 accuracy from helm of the white void and ring of focused flame, a chance to echo with sun & moon, and you blind enemies, which significantly improves you survivability and helps you land other reflex-based spells.

We pick Stalker just to give our pet extra survivability, since that's a huge problem with pets on PotD. It does mean you have to run along with your pet to new targets, but it's worth it just to not have our pet get knocked out as quickly. I picked Deer in the hopes of getting some decent extra damage from crits, and while Deer carnage is quite a bit better than you'd think, in the end it wasn't game-changing and you could probably do better with Antelope (stack on extra defense) or Wolf (for knock down).

Fury is nice because extra PEN is always nice if subtle. The shapeshift form helps us get out of trouble with its teleport if an enemy grabs us while we're following our pet, or if we somehow got pulled too far away form the pet. The lightning bolt on that shapeshift form is useful for the entire game, even though it never scales (at least in vanilla). In a pinch, we can also use the shapeshift form to get rid of Firebrand; the need does come up every once and a while.

What's really great about the Fury is the extra range. We also pick up Farcasting to stack it on. The massive flexibility in targeting is fantastic and underrated - being able to Sunbeam casters or ranged enemies from across the battlefield in order to blind them and force them closer to the fight is great, and you'll never have targeting problems with Call and Embrace. Pretty much obsoletes the fact that as Stalker we need to stand by our pet.

Takedown Combo requires a bit of work to get full advantage of, but works great as a single-target boost for Call and Embrace, and is really fun to coordinate with Firelance - easily doing ~250 damage in one hit combined with other damage bonuses this build gets. With two Firelance combos in a row you can annihilate single targets in a "fair" way. In mid-game you can also spam Takedown Combo while you're alternating hits with Firebrand - doing big hits of damage while keeping an enemy locked down with interrupts.

Hunter's Claw stacking is really necessary for this build to shine, and it really isn't hard to build up, just a bit of metagame knowledge to have an idea of what enemy types are common in an area. Between dual-wielded flails, one of which is Sun & Moon, you can easily max to +20 against an enemy type in two encounters, plus an empower point (late game, you can even do it in one thanks to you getting an extra stack of hunter's claw if both parts of sun & moon crit during the attack). The bonus damage from Hunter's Fang is particularly sweet because it's pretty hard to otherwise get a +20% damage bonus on spells.

A few misc spells - Rusted Armor to give us a damage option against tough foes. Spreading Plague because, well it's actually quite better than you might think. Helps us land our spells, but also ensures Merciless Companion for very long periods of time across the entire battlefield, and in any fight with enemy healers that Weakened is fantastic.

Also, this build suggests explosives. If you go that route, craft and keep supplied stunning grenades - between your high, perception-independent accuracy (since bombs don't count perception; remember you can have up to +60 vs a generic character thanks to helm, marked prey, stalker's link, hunter's claw, and survival of the fittest) and ~20 pts in explosives stunning bombs are basically an instant-cast guaranteed ~10s+ stun in the late game.

This build also suggests Bone Charm. Even though it is an anti-vessel accessory (used to ensure Dorudugan triumph), I recommend just keeping it on because it also provides a nice +2 intellect bonus, and the summons are extremely powerful plan Bs for much of the game.


This build is also meticulously calculated so it can do something like this:


that's a paralyzed dorudugan, and with a net accuracy adjustment of +40, there's literally no way Embrace the Earth Talon can miss.

In fact, it turns out this build was a bit conservatively calculated, because I discovered in this run that Hunter's Claw "suffers" from that bug where active rest bonuses become passive bonuses after area transition or save/load cycle, so it stacks with Devotions for the Faithful (neat!). 

Actual immunity to body afflictions is rare. Instead you face down resistances. And Petrify, in case you don't know yet, will get resisted down to "only" a Paralyze, which is still hard CC. With all your accuracy and a party that can churn out some dps, 2 embraces + 1 from self-empower is pretty much all you need to wipe out many bosses (with a cipher or other source of brilliant you can obviously do it in perpetuity). Someone who can cast Arkmery's Wondrous Torment will wipe out enemy resolve and last for a while itself and can also help the petrify/paralyze last even longer. Against megabosses you need a little bit more work to achieve the same thing, due to extremely high defenses and resolve in particular:

  • potion of ascension for +2 PL
  • someone (preferably a fighter due to the many ways they can improve their % chance to hit) with a morningstar modal
  • someone with a club
  • Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment
  • some source of resource regeneration
  • Ngati's Tusk on someone with max survival (though with the stacking "bug" you can just use this or Devotions)

If you can get all that together, you can literally just let your characters run on AI script (the beastmaster just had a script to cast embrace when available, and my priest of wael merc just had a script to refresh arkmeyr's wondrous torment every 20 seconds and otherwise spam salvation of time for the resource generation) for dorudugan, for big chunks of hauane o whe (you'll need to manually target the embrace when the oozes start splitting to make sure you get them all), for belranga (after knocking down enough spiders), and for the guardian of ukaizo. (auranic is just too much of a technical fight to cheese outside of the standard spell-reflection approach I use).

In terms of making sure you get to 20 stacks of hunter's fang - I purposely kept a few areas untouched (the bar in the shimmering isles for vessels [dorudugan/guardian], motare o kozi for primordials [hauane], since these two types have the roughest defenses [fortitude, reflex] for embrace) just to help easily boost to +20 right before the fight without having to replay a possibly-dicey SSS arena.

Anyway this is where the build gets its name - with everything in place (incl potion of ascension and ajamuut's stalking cloak) along with a morningstar and either ngati's tusk or devotions, this build is designed to have exactly enough accuracy to always land embrace the earth talon without needing to spellshape for the additional +1 PL (hence AI scriptable). It is specifically a hunter of the biggest game. And every other boss, having lower fortitude, will succumb all the easier.


edit: Psychovampiric Shield will also sap Resolve like Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment does, but ciphers also need to generate focus. Even with a psion, Arkmery's Wondrous Torment lasts a long time (longer than Miasma - the base duration really matters when you're facing down high resolve) and the other stat reductions really helps land refreshes of Wondrous Torment (since enemy also gets intellect penalty) and Embrace (since enemy also gets perception penalty), so I don't suggest trying to sub in Psychovampiric Shield instead of the recommendation for Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment.

Edited by thelee
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Nice one, thanks. Embrace always looked cool but I rarely use it because Lv. 5 spells are crowded with Plague, Relentless Storm, and Nature's Terror. What do you think of Embrace vs. those spells? Do you/would you frequently choose it over them on any Druid or only when you build around it?

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Yeah Early on I pretty much only use the free Relentless Storm spell the fury gets. The survivability boost of disrupting even uninterruptible (either because of concentration or lame passive boost) foes in a huge area is just way too good. Late game I split it up 1-1, starting off relentless storm, and then as the fight goes on using embrace to lock down a couple foes. Boss fights I reserve exclusively for embrace.

vs other spells for other druids I guess it depends. “Do I really need the extra crowd control?” Frequently I already have good other options from party members so I can pick up Plague or Natures terror instead. Embrace happens to fall into a particular boss niche that works for this build because it has such a huge base duration (beats out Gaze of the Adragan, can cast it more and in a multi class vs Petrify). For other druids I think as a second spell pick it’d be good.

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It's worth noting that Amaeliora or whatever you call that scepter you get from Splintered Reef, provides universal bonuses against vessels. As in, it is not just bonus accuracy and damage with that particular weapon against vessels, but all spells and weapon attacks as well.

I also think that Farcasting is not necessary at all on a Fury unless you plan on using some of the close range plant spells like Venombloom. There's no real reason to go beyond 15 range with your spells.

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9 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

I also think that Farcasting is not necessary at all on a Fury unless you plan on using some of the close range plant spells like Venombloom. There's no real reason to go beyond 15 range with your spells.

Agree to disagree, especially with a stalker in tow, which will inevitably sometimes force your hand positioning-wise. In particular, getting the super extra range on Call can be very nice.

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  • 11 months later...

Necroing a bit here but just wanted to say I imported a Ranger into Deadfire and opted to go with this build and it has been pretty fun @thelee. Thanks for putting this together.

Party I've been running is PC, Priest of Wael SC Merc (dual wielding Wael Scepter + Stalker's Patience), Aloth as Battlemage using summoned weapons, Eder Swashbuckler Kapana Taga/Cadlu Scalth tank, and the last slot is a rotating one depending on what quests I'm doing or what I feel like. Potd/upscaled. It's been going well.

Being able to snipe enemies from across the map with Sunbeam is a lot of fun and quite useful for forcing them closer to my tank. I'm only midway through the game (level 14, haven't done DLCs yet) but I am liking this. Now that I've unlocked Relentless Storm I feel like the build has really come into its own.


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  • 8 months later...

Just want to say my appreciation again, as I didn't realize it is possible to perma-CC Dorudugan at all before reading this post for the first time.

My party didn't have a constant source of STR/CON affliction, so my Tactician/Illusionist was looking at 180-155. Conquerer Stance and an affliction are identical, so it's possible to do this with literally any druid or wizard watcher, SC or MC, with no rest bonuses and siding with Rymrgand. Even Maia has enough ACC, although because Gaze of Adragon has a shorter duration and she has only 10 INT I doubt it can work in practice.

Psychovampiric Shield is almost good enough for Dorugudan. I was using SC Serafen, who lacks any optimization. With Miscreant's Leathers and Eccea's Arcane Blaster he could generate just enough focus for Borrowed Instinct and Psychovampiric Shield, nothing more. It would be a trouble if I needed Ancestor's Memory from him

Edited by yorname
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