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Haven't played for a bit but got that itch again so planning the next build: Barbarian (SC)!  The main thing I want to try is combining the Battle Axes Proficiency (10% damage per 3s for 60s) and Heart of Fury with high intelligence to apply it to as many enemies as I can, maximizing that 4 Rage cost.  Then turn off the proficiency and get hacking away.  Would be surprised if not done by someone before but I have a few questions.

Weapons
Duel wield axes to potentially apply 2 bleeds or would a two handed axe like Amra work better? As its a percentage of the damage done i'm not sure.

Subclass
I've used Berserkers a lot but prefer them when multiclassing.  With the Confused (INT) penalty on Frenzy it goes against the idea, I'd have to Frenzy after using HoF but then won't get the extra might, pen, crit etc for HoF and the bleed.  I did consider just making the Barbarian a drug user, Svef to remove the Confusion, that wouldn't remove the raw damage though.  If I remember correctly Confusion + Svef is a bit buggy? Maybe it was due to Arcane Dampener...

Second option is Corpse Eater which I've never played before so could be new and fun.  Whilst it adds 1 Rage to everything, with high INT spending 2 for Frenzy and 5 for HoF doesn't seem too bad and can gain Rage back via Blood Surge and eating corpses.  If I take Barbaric Smash then it refunds the full 3 Rage if the target is killed or just the base abilities 2?

Sprint or Leap or Neither
If I use Leap that applies Dazed for 3 Rage but could use Dazing Shout for 2 Rage for a more static tank style.
Does the Accuracy bonus of Lions Sprint work with HoF? Might be better for 2 Rage plus the Dexterity to cast Frenzy and HoF quickly.
Save the rage and use neither? Just stand/run in first, with the Low Deflection enemies will likely just surround the Barbarian right?  I will probably just have a Priest (Xoti) or Cipher (Ydwin) do Tactical Mind.

Attributes
Max INT and MIG. 
Default DEX
Min RES.
Raise PER and CON with remaining points.

Thinking more about late game but low RES might make it painful early on.  HoF doesn't come till late game and at least until Blood Thirst Barbarians seem to just get smacked more/harder than they smack others.  Just use shield and heavy armour until late game?

 

Any other tips to aid my idea would be appreciated.

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I'd recommend maxing INT and PER. You don't need high MIG as a barb unless you want to use Amra, and lower STR will also help mitigate the berserker fury damage. Flat DEX and STR is fine, and you'll definitely want to raise CON a bit for a berserker. You can dump RES for a party build, but not for solo IMO. Regarding dual axes vs. Amra, Amra is really great for barbs since you'll get basically double carnage. If you use carnage, you'll need to boost STR enough to be able to use it effectively.

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The Battle Axe modal is so good that you should keep it on and not deactivate. Especially once you got Blood Thirst and Barbaric Retaliation. 

The best subclass for SC Barbarian is Furyshaper imo. The Blood Ward works with all kinds of damage you deal, including the DoT from Bleeding Cuts - but also Barbaric Retaliation, Dazing Shout and so on. It helps a lot with survivability and works for everybody in the aura range. 

The best damage tool of a SC Barb is either Driving Roar or Dazing Shout. They are both better than HoF - but they won't apply Bleeding Cuts of course (Barbaric Retaliation will though).

Edited by Boeroer
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10 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

The best subclass for SC Barbarian is Furyshaper imo. The Blood Ward works with all kinds of damage you deal, including the DoT from Bleeding Cuts - but also Barbaric Retaliation, Dazing Shout and so on. It helps a lot with survivability and works for everybody in the aura range. 

The main thing that puts me off Furyshaper is the -Will when most of the time I minimize RES.  Though thinking about it now INT gives Will which would make up for the Furyshaper penalty.  Never used that subclass before so am tempted to try it.  Maybe don't max MIG and don't min RES so avoid a bit more damage and have more Will?

Any other things to minimize getting Charmed cos of low Will? 

Quote

The Battle Axe modal is so good that you should keep it on and not deactivate. Especially once you got Blood Thirst and Barbaric Retaliation. 

Against very resistant enemies I guess so?  Once I have a few bleed effects on a target I feel like there's no point adding more since i'll only get a few seconds of the bleed and having a quicker attack/action speed to finish them would be quicker.

Edited by summatsupeer
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As Boeroer pointed out, Heart of Fury is actually not that great. What you want to do is to just spam the shout that dazes and damages in a large AoE. Turn on your battleaxe modal and wear heavy armor, and just stand there and let enemies crit you. Hopefully they'll underpenetrate due to being dazed, and Barbaric Retaliation simply bypasses all of the recovery time maluses you have. In case you didn't know the retaliation attacks also have a massive accuracy and penetration bonus so they're really really good.

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You can protect your Barbarian vs Charm with the Harmony ring, weared by himself or another character. For confusion, switching for Modwyr clear the effect, and you can back to your primary weapon set. Food can also prevent Intellect afflictions.

13 hours ago, Boeroer said:

The Blood Ward works with all kinds of damage you deal, including the DoT from Bleeding Cuts

By the way @Boeroerthat work also with the chant Old Siec, but without the healing green numbers ! In the combat log, you can see that Old Siec return some health on DoT Tick.

13 hours ago, summatsupeer said:

Against very resistant enemies I guess so?  Once I have a few bleed effects on a target I feel like there's no point adding more

In fact, Bleeding Cut (and other stackable DoT) apply every instance in progress on a new apply (so on hit), like a big lash increased on each attack. This is very strong.

13 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

What you want to do is to just spam the shout that dazes and damages in a large AoE.

An other really quick and funny spammable ability is Spirit Storm (0.6s cast, 0.0 recovery). With skellies around you, you can refound rage, and the freeze AoE is not bad! 

I like HoF with Wohai Pogara, but it is not super effective as like Driving Roar or Dazing Shout.

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14 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

As Boeroer pointed out, Heart of Fury is actually not that great. What you want to do is to just spam the shout that dazes and damages in a large AoE. Turn on your battleaxe modal and wear heavy armor, and just stand there and let enemies crit you. Hopefully they'll underpenetrate due to being dazed, and Barbaric Retaliation simply bypasses all of the recovery time maluses you have. In case you didn't know the retaliation attacks also have a massive accuracy and penetration bonus so they're really really good.

Yeah I understand the power of the  shouts but I'd like to make HoF work as best I can.  I've done the retaliation thing before, though didn't understand penetration so probably why I struggled with it then.

With 10% bleed per 3s for 60s, with two weapons or a two hander that's not bad damage over time, with a bit of carnage on top.  I'm sure shouts would be better with front loaded damage, im just not sure how much better.  I'll probably take one line of shouts and HoF so have choice between slash+bleed of HoF or crush of shout.

1 hour ago, Constentin Lévine said:

In fact, Bleeding Cut (and other stackable DoT) apply every instance in progress on a new apply (so on hit), like a big lash increased on each attack. This is very strong.

Oh yeah I get that, but there must come a point where your better off just attacking since the additional bleed won't get many ticks of damage.

I'm completely forgetting the instant attack reset on kill that won't be affected by the action penalty!  And they could be bleeding whilst I'm doing other things like shouts... I was Iremembering my last barbarian who 2 hitted enemies with amra so was no time to bleed, though they were probably weaker enemies even on POTD and scalling.

1 hour ago, Constentin Lévine said:

You can protect your Barbarian vs Charm with the Harmony ring, weared by himself or another character. For confusion, switching for Modwyr clear the effect, and you can back to your primary weapon set. Food can also prevent Intellect afflictions.

I forget about that food.  My usual go to is the chant to resist INT afflictions. Drugs is another I could make use of that I typically forget unless I'm the druggy monk.

I don't think I've seen the Harmony ring... nothing coming to mind.

Edited by summatsupeer
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14 hours ago, summatsupeer said:

Duel wield axes to potentially apply 2 bleeds or would a two handed axe like Amra work better? As its a percentage of the damage done i'm not sure.

The battle axe Slayer's Claw is also a good option, you can upgrade the strong inspiration from Frenzy to tenacious in a first time, then Energized when re-switching to Slayer's Claw. 

On top, the upgrade Stelager's Rage, giving at max +3pen, is not limited to the Slayer's Claw attack, but everything. So, to Spirit Storm, Dazing Shoot, or spells (via arcana for SC barbarian). The effect stack with other pen bonuses, to at less penetrate, at better overpen (+30% damage). 

Because Bleeding Cut, contrarely to Carnage, take into account all the attack (including might bonus etc) that can make a little difference. 

 

Because battle axes deal slash damage, a backup weapon set can be useful for you : Morning Star deal crush/pierce damage, have a modal that low the fortitude by 25 on hit (not stackable) and Saru Sichr's DoT work at the same way that Bleeding Cut do : on hit, all the instance are applied.

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20 hours ago, Boeroer said:

The Battle Axe modal is so good that you should keep it on and not deactivate. Especially once you got Blood Thirst and Barbaric Retaliation. 

nit: i would adjust this and say that you *shouldn't* turn it on all the time until you get the higher level stuff.

kinda depends on your party, but i remember some quick math I did where there's a point where the extra damage from the battle axe modal finally makes up for the massive recovery penalty, and i was surprised to find that even in potd upscaled, i was not actually hitting that point very often with everything else going on, unless it was a boss or a particularly beefy enemy.

all bets are off once you get blood thirst though, you can really start snowballing.

 

edit: the calculus is probably different if you multiclass with another martial that has a better full attack option than barbaric blow

Edited by thelee
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to op: i had a SC barbarian build that was HoF + retaliation + axes. I did have dazing shout, but I only used it for survival and engagement, not to spam.

i still had retaliation, and i think you're going to need that because HoF is just so expensive so you won't have it too much. but even w/out spamming shouts, this can be extremely effective - konstentin (whom i built this way) went from weak-sauce in party damage, to #1 damage dealer. and konstentin isn't particularly optimized for this setup (i would put way more intellect and might).

retaliation is good here, even if you're not deliberately optimizing it, because with blood thirst you will randomly get free instant attacks with your axes from killing enemies with retaliation. this means more bleeding stacks, which means higher likelihood of more blood thirst triggers, etc. it can really spiral out of control. it's a massive payoff for single-classing and just one ability point.

and yeah while HoF is expensive, it does work well enough with axes. it lets you spread bleeding debuff very quickly, and getting extra bleeding stacks gets you to the "Break-even" point I mentioned in my previous post much faster.

 

edit: also used the blood frenzy one in this setup, not the spirit one. staggered/terror from the spirit frenzy are anti-synergies/redundant with this setup, whereas extra bleeding stacks is A+

Edited by thelee
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1 hour ago, thelee said:

to op: i had a SC barbarian build that was HoF + retaliation + axes. I did have dazing shout, but I only used it for survival and engagement, not to spam.

i still had retaliation, and i think you're going to need that because HoF is just so expensive so you won't have it too much. but even w/out spamming shouts, this can be extremely effective - konstentin (whom i built this way) went from weak-sauce in party damage, to #1 damage dealer. and konstentin isn't particularly optimized for this setup (i would put way more intellect and might).

retaliation is good here, even if you're not deliberately optimizing it, because with blood thirst you will randomly get free instant attacks with your axes from killing enemies with retaliation. this means more bleeding stacks, which means higher likelihood of more blood thirst triggers, etc. it can really spiral out of control. it's a massive payoff for single-classing and just one ability point.

and yeah while HoF is expensive, it does work well enough with axes. it lets you spread bleeding debuff very quickly, and getting extra bleeding stacks gets you to the "Break-even" point I mentioned in my previous post much faster.

 

edit: also used the blood frenzy one in this setup, not the spirit one. staggered/terror from the spirit frenzy are anti-synergies/redundant with this setup, whereas extra bleeding stacks is A+

I was thinking of going the the Spirit Frenzy/Tornado because I tend to struggle to get tanky enough to let them all attack me at will, even when wearing the heaviest armour and damage reduction items.

I'm not sure what i'm doing wrong on the defensive side, maybe I don't pickup the best armour early enough or didn't lower enemies penetration enough?  I tend to rely on companions way to much then think i'm being too defensive and just need to kill enemies quicker to reduce incoming damage.

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28 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

I was thinking of going the the Spirit Frenzy/Tornado because I tend to struggle to get tanky enough to let them all attack me at will, even when wearing the heaviest armour and damage reduction items.

I'm not sure what i'm doing wrong on the defensive side, maybe I don't pickup the best armour early enough or didn't lower enemies penetration enough?  I tend to rely on companions way to much then think i'm being too defensive and just need to kill enemies quicker to reduce incoming damage.

super heavy armor + dazed (-4 PEN) can really help with survivability. add in hard/robust from another source for an additional +2 AR (not from barb, because you probably want to save those resources on HoF), or drinking/crafting potions of spirit armor for +3 AR. in the best case, having enough difference between your AR and enemy PEN means enemies get their damage quartered (it's almost as strong as multiplicative effect, so even enemies with tons of damage bonuses will do piddling damage). even if it doesn't always help with crits (crits getting 1.5x PEN is really hard to bring down), it at least means that the normal hits aren't hurting you for that much anymore.

w/ konstanten iirc i ended up wearing magnera's chain (which is A+ armor due to it being only medium and covering its weaknesses really well) and dazed was good enough for most fights. i would occasionally drink a potion of spirit armor if there were *lots* of baddies. the funny thing is, the damage output becomes so huge at higher levels that survivability becomes less of a problem because you're just able to run through enemies a lot faster.

 

in terms of outside assistance, a lone priest--mc or sc--could probably help a lot - just cast barring death's door if you're getting hit with way too much burst damage, and hopefully your barbarian has cleared some breathing room before it runs out. a pet that restores health to party on kill (or self, if this is your mainchar) can help with sustain a lot. (edit: also said priest could drop triumph of the crusaders on the barbarian and in any fight with more than like two bad guys your barbarian is basically immortal from the massive health gain) 

Edited by thelee
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11 minutes ago, thelee said:

super heavy armor + dazed (-4 PEN) can really help with survivability. add in hard/robust from another source for an additional +2 AR (not from barb, because you probably want to save those resources on HoF), or drinking/crafting potions of spirit armor for +3 AR. in the best case, having enough difference between your AR and enemy PEN means enemies get their damage quartered (it's almost as strong as multiplicative effect, so even enemies with tons of damage bonuses will do piddling damage). even if it doesn't always help with crits (crits getting 1.5x PEN is really hard to bring down), it at least means that the normal hits aren't hurting you for that much anymore.

w/ konstanten iirc i ended up wearing magnera's chain (which is A+ armor due to it being only medium and covering its weaknesses really well) and dazed was good enough for most fights. i would occasionally drink a potion of spirit armor if there were *lots* of baddies. the funny thing is, the damage output becomes so huge at higher levels that survivability becomes less of a problem because you're just able to run through enemies a lot faster.

 

in terms of outside assistance, a lone priest--mc or sc--could probably help a lot - just cast barring death's door if you're getting hit with way too much burst damage, and hopefully your barbarian has cleared some breathing room before it runs out. a pet that restores health to party on kill (or self, if this is your mainchar) can help with sustain a lot. (edit: also said priest could drop triumph of the crusaders on the barbarian and in any fight with more than like two bad guys your barbarian is basically immortal from the massive health gain) 

I really don't use consumables enough, I'm one of those people who want to save them for "harder fights" and then even when I'm struggling I forget they exist.

I think that crit bonus to pen made me not focus too much on adding AR or lowering pen.  But it would minimize non-crit damage and as you say help not adding even more damage onto the crits.

Definitely got some stuff to try out this run thanks 😁

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Would you recommend SC furyshaper or Multi? If multi wich one?

- Priest of Rymgrand (mod) for dual spirit axe, minor avatar and other priest goodies (but can't attack while casting and priest have slow cast spells)

- Fighter for clear out, regen, lesser armor recovery, free attack on kill. Fear ward and Unbroken retaliation should hurt

- Monk for all the goodie and chance on free attack on crit?

Is barbaric retaliation good enough to SC?

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2 hours ago, Exanos said:

Is barbaric retaliation good enough to SC?

Barbaric Retaliation is good - but it alone would not be enough for me personally. However an SC Furyshaper also has access to

  • Blood Ward: awesome - drains health from all damage from all enemies in the AoE even from DoT-ticks and so on). It is very useful for the whole party, especially for everybody who gets attaced frequently obviously. You can withdraw wards with a Priest and make them invincible - and they will still work fine for you. 
  • Driving Roar or Dazing Shout: two of the best single class abilities imo. Foe-only, very cheap (1 Rage), enormous range/AoE, cool debuffs included and great damage. Only downsides: targets Fortitude and does crush damage only.
  • Blood Surge: in combination with cheap damage dealing (Retaliation, Driving Roar or Dazing Shout) this is very convenient to get a meaningful refund every now and then. It is extremely useful if you "accidentially" kill party summons like Many-Lives-Pass-By skeletons because those kills count, too (which is more the domain of a confused Berserker and not a Furyshaper, but still possible to harvest Rage and Bloodlust and Blood Thirst procs).

Blood Ward is an auto-pick so you can get it and still pick Barbaric Retaliation, Dazing Shout or Driving Roar (mutually exclusive) and Blood Surge. You'd have to skip Prestige but I'll say any of these is worth that sacrifice. Heart of Fury is too expensive imo (but can be pretty impactful with the right AoE weapons) and so is Instrument of Boundless Rage compared to Roar/Shout (although you can boost it a lot with Ring of Focused Flame and fire related bonus PowerLevel gear such as Magran's Favor+Sun&Moon+Otto Starcat etc.). Both are generally not as good as  three or even four uses of Roar or Shout in comparison imo).

Anyway: that collection makes it totally worth it for me to go SC Barb, even more so SC Furyshaper. Because the Blood Ward adds so much survivability I even did a successful PotD solo run with a SC Furyshaper - no Megabosses though, it's not suited for some of their "special needs", esp. Huani.  

Edited by Boeroer

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8 hours ago, Exanos said:

Would you recommend SC furyshaper or Multi? If multi wich one?

I wouldn't go MC furyshaper as you lose access to the blood ward (life steal).  The fear and action speed wards are good but Frenzy offers similar whilst the lifesteal is unique.

8 hours ago, Exanos said:

- Priest of Rymgrand (mod) for dual spirit axe, minor avatar and other priest goodies (but can't attack while casting and priest have slow cast spells)

Barb + Priest is good combo, can self buff things the barb can't as SC.  Id prefer to use with Beserker subclass.

8 hours ago, Exanos said:

- Fighter for clear out, regen, lesser armor recovery, free attack on kill. Fear ward and Unbroken retaliation should hurt

Another good one for Beserke4r, can buff crit, accuracy, passive heal the Frenzy self damage and have other abilities to get enemies low quickly to get your barb on kill buffs triggered.

8 hours ago, Exanos said:

- Monk for all the goodie and chance on free attack on crit?

Another that if combo with beserker, the self damage Frenzy giving your monk side Wounds.

8 hours ago, Exanos said:

Is barbaric retaliation good enough to SC?

The shouts are the real prize but target Fortitude so need a bit of setup and only crush damage.  HoF is expensive but I really like it. It can be out damaged but HoF can apply weapon effects to everyone in the AOE and change damage types.

Barbaric retaliation just makes me feel less bad about the poor deflection especially if minimising RES.

Edited by summatsupeer
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An other weapon that could interess you is Wohai Poraga : the damages are small but this is the only weapon that proc Carnage multiple time in the AoE. The +3 additional target attack is treated as Weapon where the other AoE are -spell like- effect. 

So against multiple enemies (4 I mean), everyone take 1 attack + 3carnages.

In the case of HoF, each target trigger the +3enemies attack and 4* carnage. 

That can be a good alternative to Lord Darryn's Voulge - Avenging Storm.

Sun and Moon also trigger 2 carnages, but the base damage is /2 compared to Wohai Poraga.

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For me it always only hits 2 additional targets (despite the decription). In the unmodded game I mean. 
It works quite nicely for a non-Berserker, unconfused Barbarian who wants to utilize Blood Thirst in combination with skeletons - because the "AoE" of Whai Poraga does friendly fire you will absolutely also kill summoned skeletons with it which leads to 0 recovery. And since it only hits 2 additional targets around you no all skeletons get "wasted" at once but one after the other feeds your Blood Thirst. 

But it's a bid sad that a "smart" Barbarian doesn't boost the AoE size: because it's fixed. A 1-INT char has the same radius with Wahai Poraga as an INT-35 character. 

Edited by Boeroer
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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished this playthrough, was fun but I would change so just in case anyone is thinking of doing the same style here is my feedback:

  1. Sub Class. I tried Corpse Eater because i'd never used them before, but really it hurt me more than helped.  It just made things harder earlier on when Rage was limited and no way to gain more.  Then in late game the fight would be over by time I could eat a corpse (if there was one).  Really it goes against what my Barbarian was doing, setting up crowds to tick down, then one kill something, get the resets and attack speed buffs to chain kill everything.  Once you get to the point of killing something, which you need to do to get a corpse, the fight is pretty much over.  Berserker (with method of removing confusion such as drugs) or just no subclass would of been better.  I think Fury Shaper would of been better, I avoided because of -Will and couldn't see myself spending 3 Rage on the summon, but really I spend 3 extra rage to cast 3 abilities as Corpse Eater.
  2. Race - I went Death Godlike, mainly for more damage when enemies are low to try and ensure my Barbarian was the one who gets the kill for the resets.  I think it helped but its hard to tell, it is a valid option but there are some very good helmets you lose access to. Many that would add damage to get enemies low in the first place.
  3. Weapon - 2 Handed.  I started with Lord Darryn's Voulge since you can get it early and kept it as a spare to switch to when needed Shock damage type.  I switched to Oathbreaker's End with the battle axe modal on (Bleeding Cut) with Saru-Sichr as backup and they were a great combination.  I think 2 weapons would of worked better, since you get 2 chances to hit with abilties (and apply both weapons effects) but I just liked the Barbarian swinging a massive battle axe aesthetic and it still worked.
  4. HoF - It worked really well putting bleeds on everyone and weapon effects.  I had so many bleeds because of Bleeding Cut + Oathbreakers End (bleed on crit).  Perception is really important due to effects on crit.
  5. Barbaric Retaliation really helps get that first enemy low so you don't want to AOE paralyze enemies.  Once you get Nemnoks cloak the automatic Baring Deaths Door helps so much, forget about healing and get hit as much as possible.  Lowering resolve, which shouts do, is best to help you get crits.  Can save some points from CON to put into PER.  Nemnoks Cloak also gives extra DR stuff.
  6. Stack DR as much as you can.  Heavy plate, pet, items, potions etc, use Savage Defiance / Pain Block / Greater Lay On Hands early for the extra DR, less likely to miss a Baring Deaths Door.  I'm not totally sure what stack together though and what cancels each other out.
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4 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

Once you get Nemnoks cloak the automatic Baring Deaths Door helps so much, forget about healing and get hit as much as possible.  Lowering resolve, which shouts do, is best to help you get crits.  Can save some points from CON to put into PER.  Nemnoks Cloak also gives extra DR stuff.

Those effects are only per rest though. They used to be per encounter - but it was nerfed. 

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