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Returning player build indecision (FF/Soulblade, FF/Trickster, Trickster/Soulblade)


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Decided to return to the game after a long absence and do another full playthrough.  Struggling to decide between playing a Forbidden Fist / Soul Blade, Forbidden Fist / Trickster, or Trickster / Soul Blade.  Playing PoTD all upscaled with Community Patch.  Playing with official companions (swapping between them all).

A few things considerations / things I am looking for:

  • Melee DPS focussed with good defences. 
  • On the Cipher MCs, casting will be limited to utility spells (Whispers of Treason, Phantom Foes, Secret Horrors, Psychovampiric Shield, Borrowed Instinct) and Disintegration as the only Shred spell.
  • Prefer weapon + shield (Tutilo's Palm) over WotEP.  Weapons will most likely be some combination of Sun and Moon, Stalker's Patience, and Seeker's Fang (on the Cipher MCs).  Visually I prefer the spear and rapier over Sun and Moon, but this is not a deal breaker.
  • Prefer classes not well covered by official companions (e.g. Monk, Cipher).
  • Prefer "fast" characters (e.g. whether that be through fast attack speed, good mobility, or both).

Things I like / dislike about each combination:

Forbidden Fist / Soul Blade

  • Infinite resources (other than mortification).
  • Cipher spells provide a bit more variety / utility.
  • Monks and Ciphers both not well represented among companions in my opinion - provides more class coverage / variety across the team.
  • Lacks the DPS of the Trickster MCs - Sneak Attack + Deathblows is hard to give up.
  • Lacks the mobility of the Trickster MCs (Flagellant's Path not as fun / useful as Escape IMO).

Forbidden Fist / Trickster

  • Love the mobility of Escape and Fast Runner + Long Stride.
  • I love the synergy of Stalker's Patience with this combo (Combine DoT effects, Persistent Distraction auto triggers flanking for the spear, 3 engagement slots with spear modal and Fast Runner + Long Stride counteract the modal penalty, extra engagement slots combine well with Repulsive Visage and Parting Sorrow).
  • Lacks the accuracy bonuses of the Cipher MCs (more reliant on Dance of Death which is less reliable if front lining)
  • Finite resources on the Trickster side - while in theory it sounds like fun to zip around the battlefield applying DoTs everywhere, it is extremely resource intensive and most Guile will probably go towards Mirror Image and Escape.
  • Rogue already covered by a lot of companions (assume Eder as Swashbuckler and Maia as Scout).
  • Mirror Image causes FPS stutter which is annoying (I have modded the game to remove the images but still get a small amount of stutter whenever Mirror Image is cast).

Trickster / Soul Blade

  • Probably the strongest combo from a DPS and defence perspective.
  • Lacks an attack speed boost, although may be able to make up for this by trading RES for DEX compared with the FF MCs.
  • Lacks the synergies with Forbidden Fist / Monk INT bonuses.  Doesn't feel as synergistic in general compared with the other MCs.
  • Weaker Tutilo's palm (from a defensive standpoint) - may be better to dual wield weapons on this combo?

Anything I might be overlooking here?  Appreciate any insights / opinions that might help me break this deadlock!

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Forbidden Fist - SB combo so powerful, especially in harder fights when it matters. You can also go with biting whip(%20 raw lash with Community patch) watchers blade combo which i found better than Stalkers patiance. 

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Yes, I agree with @Okkes, the FF/SB combo is very strong and sturdy so long as you max RES. If using CP biting whip is definitely the best choice. There's great synergy between the two subclasses since the cipher lingering echoes will extend all of your afflictions, and enfeeblement will extend all negative effects, including borrowed instincts. I also tend to take as many passives as possible. Crucible of Suffering is great for a near constant boost to defenses with FF. And with your high defenses you'll often reflect missiles and spells with soul mirror. And Hammering Thoughts is essential, of course. But I feel your pain regarding the loss of trickster. If triple classing were possible in this game, the first thing I'd try would be FF/SB/trickster.

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