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Just got back to Deadfire once again and I'm having a blast playing this build, so I figured I share its more important outlines. I'm sure I'm not the first to come up with something like this, but it worked amazingly well for me through the entire game. I hit 20 with it but haven't finished everything yet. Easily blasted through all the SSS fights and Memnok and stuff though.

Not sure if it can be played solo, as I don't really enjoy solo runs, did one just for the heck of it, but I prefer playing with a party, and using all the shinies I find. Definitely can't solo megabosses.

So the idea is that I want my watcher to do the heavy lifting when it comes to both dps and tanking, and that can prove to be difficult in many cases (especially since I like to use a hired Seer advanterurer in POTD playthroughs, that can be hard to compete with, once he gets his desintegrates going on top of already amazing damage output).

I also stay away from wizard, cleric and monk for the most part. I like the cassic melee combatant feel. No super cheesy interactions, potions, scrolls, no no rest strategy, nothing like that. That's part of making the game harder for myself :)

With these restrictions for my 4th POTD playthough, I came up with this:

Race: whatever you prefer, I went for mountain dwarf, but works with any race.

Stats: might/dex/per maxed, rest into con, int and res dumped (+2 all BB, +1 might blood sacrifice, +1 cauldron brew, +1 mig living lands, +1 gift of the machine), make sure to pick Iron Will up early from cipher to compensate for the terrible will save

Skills: I maxed Athletics and History, but pretty flexible, if you want to go an other rout.

Build defining gear:

main weapon set: Sun and Moon + Magran's favor

this combo nets +4 power level for FoD (during daytime), and also hits 3 times for the Kind Wayfarer heal proc, which makes most fights trivial. The heal AOE could benefit from higher int, but I always managed to get the heals off when needed. I like to use a herald healbot, so my main tank, the watcher and healbot usually fight in tight configuration and become pretty impenetrable while the rest of the party picks off casters.

I picked up arms bearer and use Giftbearer's Cloak, and I fully utilize all 4 weapon sets (actually I'd even like 5th haha), PEN is nothing crazy, so I keep all kinds of setups handy for the watcher, Modwyr, if INT affliction immunity is needed. I also picked up two handed style too, and I use The Willbreaker against high AR targets, so my Seer can land desintegration easier, thanks to morning star modal. Dragon's Dowry is kept in the inventory too, in case if I want to go ranged.

Ring: Ring of Focused Flame - super OP (no news there), it helps landing FOD, and also buffs the acc on the fire half of Sun and Moon auto attacks. I think frost half hits first, so unfortunately it does not help landing Soul Anihilation though, so keep that in mind. Neat little detail is Sun and Moon start to recharge your focus on the same hit you used Soul Anihilation :)

Boots: Rakhan Field Boots - while I wouldn't say that it's essential, I really loved these pair of boots as Inquisitors have no mobility skills like Leap or Charge and so on, and it really helps getting in range sometimes for emergency FOD heals. Bounding Boots can be used too, but these can be picked up pretty early on.

Rest of the gear is pretty standard, you can use whatever you like. Hard to beat stuff like Devil of Caroc Breastplate early game (I changed it to Contender's Armor later, mainly for aesthetic reasons, plus I tried quarterstaff devoted/berserker after I beat Memnok that need it). Haeven's Cacophony clicky can make some otherwise hard fights trivial (again, no news), even on dumped INT, but I don't like to rely on /rest actives.

Gameplay:

Position yourself where other party members are taking damage, and spam Sworn Rival + FoD + Soul Anihilation, pretty simple. I did pretty much 0 spellcasting. Picked up only Desintegrate and Ancestor's Memory for megaboss fights.

The amount of healing (and damage) this build can dish out honestly surprised me. For the first half of the game, I played with a party of 3 (hired Seer + Herald), and even when the herald got KOd (or even both hirelings), I did not have to reload most of the time, just used Evasive Rolls on my seer to benefit from the FOD heals.

 

 

Edited by Zoda
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21 minutes ago, Zoda said:

Sun and Moon + Magran's favor

this combo nets +4 power level for FoD (during daytime), and also hits 3 times for the Kind Wayfarer heal proc, which makes most fights trivial.

sun and moon is the gift that keeps on giving. i loved dual-wielding to spam kind wayfarer heal FoD, but never once considered/thought that sun and moon would trigger a third! become a king/queen healer at that point

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I always want to try Steel Garrote for the passive drain (either with Spirit Frenzy or Persistent Distraction), but it is quite hard to beat Kind Wayfarer healing with Steel Garrote :)

I guess Steel Garrote could use a shiny two hander and doesn't get his healing cut in half.

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Sun & Moon does not proc White Flames Healing twice. Dual wielding does (each weapon strikes, doing one heal each), but not Sun & Moon alone despite its two attack rolls. You can test this when using Sun & Moon one-handed and execute White Flames: only one heal. 

It seems that the attack action/animation triggers the heal, not the attack rolls themselves.

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1 hour ago, Zoda said:

I always want to try Steel Garrote for the passive drain (either with Spirit Frenzy or Persistent Distraction), but it is quite hard to beat Kind Wayfarer healing with Steel Garrote :)

I guess Steel Garrote could use a shiny two hander and doesn't get his healing cut in half.

For Steel Garrote the most fun weapon to experience the draining is Whispers of the Endless Paths with Offensive Parry in my opinion. Offensive Parry applies dazed (affliction) and the damage it does will drain life. Since it has no recovery and triggers on 100% of misses it can be great fun to stand in an enemy mob and dish out parries that also heal you while the enemies miss you. And the entirety of the cone attack will draw life, too. 

Edited by Boeroer

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Posted (edited)

I actually made a Steel Garrote Trickster where I tried to do just that, but in my experience it exceled in the easy fights. I only took it to something like lvl 10-12, but I don't see it doing well against the real tough cookies, and then I'll just stand there with my maxed resolve, and probably lower might/dex.

I also tried a berserker/steel garrote that I never finished, but I might try something like that again, as if I understand correctly spirit frenzy + carnage + passive drain should all work together nicely. And paladin also gets int affliction resistance passive later on so I'm not locked into any kind of gear :)

Edited by Zoda
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Yes, it's not super useful against very good singular foes on PotD. But it's great against mobs.

The better choice than a Trickster is a Bloodmage imo - because you can later extend the effects of Mask of the Weyc and The Magnificent Escape Cape with Wall of Draining and stack up absurd deflection numbers (over 200 easily). On top of that you can also get endless healing from Lay on Hands + Wall of Draining erc. This allows for life drain with parries while casting spells and using Blood Sacrifice. 

At that point it's also good against bosses (if there are enough ads to make Wall of Draining work, you can create your own with Belt of Margran's Chosen). But with singular tough foes it's often best to just switch to another weapon - while Whispers of the Endless Paths is the most fun choice against the crowds in my opinion. 

---

Carnage does not work with Steel Garrote's life drain. It is not universal like Old Siec chant or Blood Ward but needs a melee weapon attack. Carnage (technically) is not a weapon attack but works like a spell so that doesn't work. 

Spirit Frenzy does work. It works on everything you do that does a hit roll (spells, chants, weapon attacks, whatever). 

 

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I don't use Wizard and Cleric. Extending buff durations feels so cheesy to me. Sad that I can't really create a great sword build that I'm happy with, WOTEP is not my style, and the modal makes them pretty bad, and there is no real lategame king great sword. I mean... I can create a GS build that's okay, but not one that wouldn't be better with other weapons. Maybe my knowledge is just limited.

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I only mentioned WoEP because I think it's one of the most enjoyable weapons with a Steel Garrote which makes it worthwhile compared to a Kind Wayfarer with a dual wieding setup.

If you count Estocs as well then there are several good two handed swords. Engoliero do Espirs is extremely powerful with Blade Feast because it procs on any kill (not just weapon kill). Voidwheel is very good in general, Twin Eels is great if you can kill-steal a lot (any kill works), Effort has Hemorrhaging which procs from any crit you do (not just weapon crits) which in turn counts as weapon attack (you can do some wild things with this), Blade of the Endless Paths is also very good.

The modal of Great Swords is not so great compare to other modals - but it can be worthwhile when you fight enemies with low defenses and/or gain some extra ACC to compensate for the modal's loss. For example a Paladin using Flames of Devotion and Ring of Focused Flames gains +20 accuracy for the FoD strike - which more than offsets the modal and grants you +30% damage. That's nice in combination with the multiplicative lash damage of FoD.  

 

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6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I only mentioned WoEP because I think it's one of the most enjoyable weapons with a Steel Garrote which makes it worthwhile compared to a Kind Wayfarer with a dual wieding setup.

If you count Estocs as well then there are several good two handed swords. Engoliero do Espirs is extremely powerful with Blade Feast because it procs on any kill (not just weapon kill). Voidwheel is very good in general, Twin Eels is great if you can kill-steal a lot (any kill works), Effort has Hemorrhaging which procs from any crit you do (not just weapon crits) which in turn counts as weapon attack (you can do some wild things with this), Blade of the Endless Paths is also very good.

The modal of Great Swords is not so great compare to other modals - but it can be worthwhile when you fight enemies with low defenses and/or gain some extra ACC to compensate for the modal's loss. For example a Paladin using Flames of Devotion and Ring of Focused Flames gains +20 accuracy for the FoD strike - which more than offsets the modal and grants you +30% damage. That's nice in combination with the multiplicative lash damage of FoD.  

 

Estocs just don't give me the same executioner vibe that great swords do, and also single damage type, but I agree they are nice. It feels like two handers really got short end of the stick in Deadfire, feels like there are more unique sabres than two handers all together. Obviously I'm exaggerating, but there is no true standout two hander to me before Chromoprismatic (and that's a staff... not really what I'm usually going for). Nothing like Tidefall in the prequel for example, that comes early and stays relevant till the very end. Barely any pikes, only Ngati's Tusk usable, and it comes super late. Only decent poleaxe caps out at superb. And greatswords... well, WOTEP is very niche use, there is no way in hell Effort is working as intended, Burden is unfortunately useless. Twin Eels and Sanguine Great Sword are okay I guess, but nothing to write home about, and they are still punished by the modal, if you want to use it. Voidwheel feels like it may be worked with but it's no walk in the park to get to begin with. Karabörü is at least there for the taking from the getgo. Rest don't even worth mentioning. On the other hand there are countless amazing one handers (which is cool), many many crazy combos, full attack synergies and so on. Kinda bummed out about it, because in other games, I'm a two handed hammer/axe/great sword guy haha

Morning Stars at least have amazing utility and great dual damage type, but again, super limited choices (only 2 uniques pop to my head).

Maybe I'm gonna try my hands at Amra/Oathbreaker's End, but they too feel subpar compared to dual wielding. I actually started a devoted/shattered pillar build a while back with Amra, but it didn't feel very engaging to play, and was also a bit squishy (nothing that Unyielding won't fix later on I guess...)

Edited by Zoda
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12 hours ago, Zoda said:

Estocs just don't give me the same executioner vibe that great swords do, and also single damage type, but I agree they are nice. It feels like two handers really got short end of the stick in Deadfire, feels like there are more unique sabres than two handers all together. Obviously I'm exaggerating, but there is no true standout two hander to me before Chromoprismatic (and that's a staff... not really what I'm usually going for). Nothing like Tidefall in the prequel for example, that comes early and stays relevant till the very end. Barely any pikes, only Ngati's Tusk usable, and it comes super late. Only decent poleaxe caps out at superb. And greatswords... well, WOTEP is very niche use, there is no way in hell Effort is working as intended, Burden is unfortunately useless. Twin Eels and Sanguine Great Sword are okay I guess, but nothing to write home about, and they are still punished by the modal, if you want to use it. Voidwheel feels like it may be worked with but it's no walk in the park to get to begin with. Karabörü is at least there for the taking from the getgo. Rest don't even worth mentioning. On the other hand there are countless amazing one handers (which is cool), many many crazy combos, full attack synergies and so on. Kinda bummed out about it, because in other games, I'm a two handed hammer/axe/great sword guy haha

Morning Stars at least have amazing utility and great dual damage type, but again, super limited choices (only 2 uniques pop to my head).

Maybe I'm gonna try my hands at Amra/Oathbreaker's End, but they too feel subpar compared to dual wielding. I actually started a devoted/shattered pillar build a while back with Amra, but it didn't feel very engaging to play, and was also a bit squishy (nothing that Unyielding won't fix later on I guess...)

Idk why you would think Amra is subpar?

The battle axe modal is the best modal in the game the only weapon type you can dualwield that feels equally good is .... one-handed battle axes.

There is also so many ways to reduce recovery and all dw gives you is less recovery.

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6 hours ago, Raven Darkholme said:

Idk why you would think Amra is subpar?

The battle axe modal is the best modal in the game the only weapon type you can dualwield that feels equally good is .... one-handed battle axes.

There is also so many ways to reduce recovery and all dw gives you is less recovery.

Maybe I just never took Amra far enough, always stopped my builds around level 8-10. It just feels like there are real standout one handers and ranged weapons, and the mods on unique two handers don't really compare. Like Magran's Favor and Slayer's Claw are both super amazing to begin with, compared to those, Amra feels (at least to me) subpar, as I said.

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27 minutes ago, Zoda said:

Maybe I just never took Amra far enough, always stopped my builds around level 8-10. It just feels like there are real standout one handers and ranged weapons, and the mods on unique two handers don't really compare. Like Magran's Favor and Slayer's Claw are both super amazing to begin with, compared to those, Amra feels (at least to me) subpar, as I said.

Well Amra doesn't really stand out that's true, it just does a ton of dmg.

One-handed weapons add a lot of flexibility, but personally I'd never call Amra subpar it's just a different kind of good.

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The Frenzy on Amra (like the Frenzy of Lover's Embrace) stacks with other action speed bonuses, including the original Frenzy. 

Amra with 25+ MIG, Bleeding Cuts and Riven Gore is extremely good with a confused Berserker/Troubadour chanting Many Lives Pass By. 

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