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Hey, I am an old PoE 2 player who was lurking around, and playing a lot years ago when it came out. I am not that much of a gamer these days, so most of my fun is testing out builds on the highest possible difficulty, and then trying a new one with a new set of companion builds when restartitis kicks in (roughly 2/3-way into the main game) - but that is the most fun part of this game (I might prefer pathfinder rpgs as a powergamer and an occasional gamemaster of pathfinder, but there I have my set-in-stone builds). I never fully finished PoE 2, so I kinda want to at least once in this life ūüėĄ¬† I play with upscaled path of the damned, deadly deadfire normal, and community patch.¬†

What is set, this time, is that I want to play a blood mage who does three things, if not simultaneously. First of all, I want a frontline character who is tanky, one way or another, and deals a looot of damage in all "modes".  Gish mode: (1) wielding a one handed weapon with tuilo's palm, but that one-handed weapon is mostly a placeholder for concelhaut's draining touch. Gish mode (2) spirit lance, mostly for ship battles or when get bored of the draining touch. Casting: (3) well, using debuffs just like in the first 2 modes, but also putting down extreme ranged aoe's like freezing pillar. I am playing in a party, which is kind of an issue - my last character, a blood mage ascendant ran into the problem of trying to do too many things at once, and my surprisingly well built party and me wiped out everything too fast (I didn't reach the dlc's with her before restartitis :( ). So for my draining touch + ninagauth pillar caster, I have the following ideas:

Sage - either with helwalker, or, if community patch allows using forbidden fist attack with the lance, perhaps a forbidden fist with a heavier focus on the lance. Probably a helwalker. I already played sage a long time ago, and I know that it can be incredibly tanky with very high saves. It also has +12 accuracy, and a lot of might and tenacious for casting, but still needs a priest friend (kinda) for aware and barring death's door. I am not super high on the +10 int for casting alone, because it interacts weirdly with intellect buffs, and could not give myself brilliant back in the day due to it. Still, its a +25% duration/50% aoe over the "normal" +5 bonus int you'd have on other builds. The monk is bonkers in melee, however, and would interact nicely with the draining touch, and its tendency to crit a lot, not to mention the lance. 

Battlemage - tactician. I found that it is quite doable to trigger brilliant even in a party. It has 15 accuracy and 25% hit-to-crit with intuitive and conqueror stance, or instant melee refresh on kill with the other stance. It is unkillable from mid-game onwards even without the priest buddy, but would still need one for the tenacious. I really like this one as well, not sure if I like battlemage or sage more. I wonder if unbending gets triggered by blood sacrifice, and whether the fighter passive gubbins work with the draining touch, considering the latter is a "universal weapon" (so its either like fists, or not a weapon at all so no passives work). (...) I am also unsure how much spell damage can I squeeze out of this one, aside from being able to spam them endlessly under the correct circumstances. 

Warlock - I am more unfamiliar with this. Wouldn't go berserker, too much hassle for something a priest can give, the furyshaper looks better. Needs priest for accuracy, tenacious, bdd, and seems to revolve around being as fast as possible. Under 50% hp while killing some randoms, it could deal a lot of spell and melee damage, but doesn't have the melee moves monk or fighter has. My biggest concern is longevity, it seems to run out of martial ability uses too fast. I also wonder if bloodlust, at least, could be extended with wall of draining (I guess thirst cannot). 

Alternatives: druid, or chanter. With druid I would just sit at the front in cat form, using a "barbarian" 25% action speed, and mini "unbending" via healing spells, and just cast or claw - needs wall of draining badly, can't have it asap. No summoned weapons. I guess it is specific enough to run into less action economy problems than hierophant in a party. Chanter - this has a lot of potential, maybe less so with a blood mage, via the special energized buff, the on-demand paralyze, auras that interrupt, spells that interrupt, etc. Similar to the druid, sits in the middle with a sword and a shield, no summoned weapons (I guess it would be bad with this). 

 

I can't make up my mind to "full-clear" the game between the three martials, and I want to be able to use the two summoned weapons and the nuking alternative, because the game is long and you get bored. I am open to other combos as well, as long as they are varied and effective.

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I'm not a meta gamer with this but I'll comment with some stuff I know.

If youre set on using tuotilos palm then sage is always a good choice, helwalker makes it less tanky but deals more dmg, better suited for nuking imo, forbidden fist is good for extending cc effects and also providing some healing, requires more micro especially when buffing. I assume you'll be using the grimoire switch for draining touch to keep it up the whole fight, if not or you want an alternative then I think Sun and moon and stalkers patience work well with swift flurry/heart beat drumming. That being said if draining touch is your main weapon, it targets will, lower that with miasma and you'll be critting like crazy and ofc trigger swift flurry ect.

Won't comment on tactician, never tried it, but if you want an alternative I enjoyed black jacket. I liked instantly switching between flail / morning star / club to lower defenses and set up spells. But obv it also works quite well in melee between wizard buffs and fighter passives/stances/abilities. I also tried a battlemage that used bare fists with monastic unarmed training, with fighter it's relatively easy to get the +3 PL to upgrade the fists to the next tier. You could either combine these to get a **** tonne of weapon options between summoned weapons, fists, and weapons to lower defences and set up spells, or go devoted with pike and get the bonuses to fist and citzals.

Warlocks something I've been considering lately but I don't think it's at all tanky, it does have some sauce though. Brute force works with spells, so use a morning star and apply a fortitude affliction or two and any spell targeting deflection or fortitude gets a massive accuracy bonus. Self dmg from blood mage can help activate barb buffs too, can combine this with human or even death godlike. Berserker would be what I'd pick personally, it's easy to counter the confusion, hit to crit and penetration is nice, the self dmg obv isn't great on blood mage but voidward ring reduces the self dmg of both by 25% so that's something, id be stacking regen gear on top of that.

I was interested in loremaster for a bit, they can passively heal which is nice for blood mage, get access to more summons, heals, charms, one of their chants lowers fortitude by 14 which is ok, the multi def gives you a decent amount of variety in what you can do.

If you want to reconsider hierophant then maybe try psion or soul blade. I tried psion, the dmg wasn't great but tbf I dropped it before I got disintegrate. That being said it's amazing at cc, maybe the best multi in the game for it, the combination of miasma lowering will by 40 and so many of the cipher spells targeting will is an amazing synergy. A more dps friendly option could be soul blade, citzals building up focus by attacking in an aoe and then using soul annihilation in an aoe is also an amazing synergy. Hierophant is also pretty tanky.

Rn I'm trying trickster blood mage spell blade with a focus on using summoned weapons, havent gotten too far in but seems like there could be some interesting synergy. Some ideas i have are: Concelhauts staff with riposte to heal passively and use my turns to cast spells, citzals and kalakoths to use rogue attacks in an aoe, citzals and nannasins cobra strike with deathblows for pretty significant dmg (easy to set up with wizard's cc abilities), spider web and/or pull with concelhauts staff, citzals and cobra strike at a range where they can't attack back. Not particularly tanky but the fact you can just smoke bomb makes up for it, escape is also good for zipping to the back line to kill their priests/wizard's ect. 

Another honorable mention is arcane knight, they're very tanky and sustain well as blood mage casters with all their healing. Their spells get lashes, can play them at range with blight heart for more lash dmg or close up with a flail or morning star to set up spells. Woetp parry with woedicas subclass is cool, passively heal to endlessly launch spells.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, CeciliaPhoenix said:

Hey, I am an old PoE 2 player who was lurking around, and playing a lot years ago when it came out. I am not that much of a gamer these days, so most of my fun is testing out builds on the highest possible difficulty, and then trying a new one with a new set of companion builds when restartitis kicks in (roughly 2/3-way into the main game) - but that is the most fun part of this game (I might prefer pathfinder rpgs as a powergamer and an occasional gamemaster of pathfinder, but there I have my set-in-stone builds). I never fully finished PoE 2, so I kinda want to at least once in this life ūüėĄ¬† I play with upscaled path of the damned, deadly deadfire normal, and community patch.¬†

What do you like in WOTR? I'm playing an angel oracle atm, getting wrecked early game unfair. Played a sylvan sorcerer lich before, seemed a lot easier. Are you playing deadfire turn-based or RTWP? Most of us do RTWP and some builds work better/worse depending on this

I can't seem to separate your paragraphs with double <enter> like normally so I'll just respond with numbers.

You should try playing solo if the game is too easy. Or maybe a party of 2 or 3. Or add some magran's fire challenges. Like you I played Deadfire a bit when it came out, got bored, never finished the game, played other stuff, came back to it less than a year ago and started messing with solo builds and magran's fires. Well-built full parties are going to be overpowered in general. I've found builds that can solo everything with magran's fire challenges and deadly deadfire hardcore (even without cheese strategies), so if you add a full party to this type of character it could be overkill.

1) Why is tuotilo's palm a must? That shield is really only going to help you with a sage. Otherwise you're better off not using shields or if making a mage tank like arcane knight using akola's apex ward.

2) sage - you can use FF with the lance but the lance won't distribute the FF attack, it just works as normal single target FF, but if you trigger swift flurry or heartbeat drumming you do hit everyone. FF sages are best as tanks, using FF to heal themselves and wearing heavy armor while casting fast defensive wizard spells and using iron wheel. Helwalker sages are high DPS build, but you may need to deify yourself (potion of final stand + wall of draining) to not die given their squishiness. The lance is particularly good since it distributes monk abilities like stunning surge and skyward kick. In fact if you use it on a group and crit more than one enemy you can get back more than the cost of the surge. If your accuracy is high enough you can use stunning surge in this way to quickly rebuild mortification. Wounds build easily enough from blood sacrifices and damage, which is why it's best if you have a potion of final stand so you can really avail yourself of this incredible wound generation. Alternatively you could stay back and nuke things using dichotomous souls as fodder and +might for more spell damage. Shattered Pillar could possibly work okay with the lance since it hits multiple enemies, but I haven't really tried it. Any of these can solo the game once you get wall of draining, provided you use potions of final stand. 

3) tactician blood mage can easily solo the game. DPS isn't as high as helwalker/blood mage but you are infinitely more tanky and brilliant is trivial to achieve if you have on berath's challenge. Just going invisible triggers brilliant, so if you're down on resources just use arkemyr's brilliant departure. You also get back fighter resources interrupting spells and abilities so the lance is weapon of choice given its AOE crush interrupt-on-crit attack, and you can also use mule kick with the lance to mule kick groups of enemies, which is pretty fun since it only takes a graze to kick them into the air. Can also interrupt with slicken and chill fog, I like to use these spells a lot with tactician battlemage. To stay alive unbending + wall of draining will eventually make you effectively immortal the way unbended stacks with itself, and even pre wall of draining it is extremely effective with max INT. Should note there are other ways to get tenacious/energized, like using slayer's claw. If you cycle the weapon it upgrades might inspirations, so even a "strong" inspiration (e.g. from lover's embrace) can be upgraded to energized and extended via wall of draining. Lance already interrupts on crit though so there's not a huge advantage of energized over tenacious unless you're casting offensive spells, which you mostly wouldn't need to do with a battlemage. Because of easy procs of brilliant you can theoretically cast lots of spells, you just wouldn't want to because mule kicking things with the lance is much more effective. 

4) warlock - haven't played this one as much but it's interesting, would just go blood mage / barbarian personally (berserker if you use potions of final stand). Can theoretically do decent damage with lance + carnage, barbaric smash and crushing blow can be used with lance on groups to get back resources or recover very fast. Frenzy and other barbarian passives mean you attack very fast. Accuracy is not great. Savage Defiance can be extended with wall of draining for decent heals, but nothing approaching unbending so it's squishier unless you use potions of final stand. Should be noted with the lance though you can attack from behind your tank since it's a reach weapon, so you don't really need to facetank things. Can also do some casting with brute force and morning star but I pretty much always prefer the lance. 

5) blood mage / fury is a top tier elemental caster, but you'll find it rather squishy. I guess blood mage / ancient (or animist or lifegiver) could be interesting once you're able to extend animal forms, though you will won't be all that tanky. There's some interesting caster interactions like combusting wounds with infestation of maggots, and lance of the midwood stag makes a superb stat stick for +2 power levels and woodskin. I generally prefer straight druids for their amazing tier 8/9 spells but if you want a caster sorcerers are pretty versatile

6) bellower / blood mage is quite strong once you get wall of draining since you can extend the bellower bonus power level and spam her tears. Probably works better with a wizard though due to the weyc items, sasha's singing scimitar, and least unstable coil, and their interaction with empowering abilities which allows you to get all tier 3 inspirations. bellower/wizard reaches its full power very late though since these are mostly dlc items. If you want to just cast tons of high damage spells this is a good choice, not as good as the others for beating things with sticks. 

Others you didn't mention

7) blood mage / priest of skaen - can easily solo the game due to barring death's door, salvation of time, and wall of draining. Used in many ultimate runs. One of the most versatile builds, probably best suited for solo. 

8 ) blood mage / ranger - doesn't seem at first glance to have a lot of synergy but can give you a lot of accuracy bonuses and the pet makes soloing easier. @Boeroer has a geomancer build somewhere but I don't recall where it is.

9)  blood mage / rogue - blood mage / assassin in particular is quite powerful, since you can use shadowing beyond and assassinate over and over. Can easily solo the game though personally I find the combat a little reductive. Blood mage / streetfighter is also interesting. You'll probably need potions of final stand but does a great deal of damage with streetfighter buffs and lance, also you can extend escape with wall of draining to make it pretty tanky. And again the lance applies abilities like gouging strike to everyone in the AOE. 

10) arcane knights make top tier tanks. See this build for example a tank/caster (I'd probably go human not fire godlike unless playing with BPM) 

11) Hierophants are incredibly strong. Blood mage / ascendant can extend ascended stage with wall of draining and murder things with cipher spells or just use bonus damage and lance, though this comes late and I don't really know how well they play before WOD. Blood mage / psion is a great caster, and there's a build I made here, though I haven't played it nearly as much as melee hierophants

My favorite hierophant by far though is blood mage / soul blade. As far as I know this is the highest melee DPS build, possibly highest DPS period. I used it for an ultimate run. See this post I made and its links if interested

 

Edited by Shai Hulud
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I ran a solo Geomancer (Stalker/Bloodmage) - but it used Willbreaker as main weapon for the Geomancer himself. Draining Touch was used for the Phantom. The synergy was that Willbreaker + modal lowers fortitude which is great for the Animal Companion's Takedown Combo (targets fortitude) and also lowers Will (stacks with Miasma) which is great for the Phantom's Draining Touch (targets Will). That way the AC could apply Takedown Combo and the Phantom then smashes the enemy with Draining Touch crits and with a +100%dmg bonus. Takedown Combo also works for spells from the Geomancer of course. 

With thick armor the phantom + Draining Touch was pretty sturdy, the Bear companion was sturdy, too - and the Geomancer was also pretty sturdy because Stalker's passive + wizard's buffs. 

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My approach with Draining Touch as main weapon for the character (I often used it with Aloth):

I use it with Engagement-bonus gear like a shield or Kapana Taga (club, +modal) and Reckless Brigandine and then use Ryngrim's spells to cause terrify whenever possible. For those I use Whitewitch Mask (also looks decent with the Brigandine).

This will allow free disengagement attacks against the terrified enemies which are brutal with Draining Touch. The Phantom can use the same method because from its gear it will also have some engagement slots (usually 2 or 3). So enemies get into double disengagement trouble... ;)

Kapana Tanga can be better than a shield  because it not only provides +2 engagement but also lowers Will by 25 points with the modal - and that's the defense that Draining Touch does target. But I think it depends on the class combo you pick.  

You can then decide which second class is best:

Unbroken is cool because of the additional armor with a shield and the insane PEN bonus of the disengagement attacks and the additional engagement slots from Hold the Line and Defender Stance and so on. And of course a Fighter/Wizard can later use Unbending with Wall of Draining which makes you basically immortal. I'd go with a shield because of Shield Mastery (Unbroken passive).

Monk is nice because Club+modal+Draining Touch is a lot of virtual accuracy which works well with Swift Flurry and Heartbeat Drumming. And later Spirit Lance + Stunning Surge or Efficient Anguish is just great. For a Sage I would def. use Tuotilo's Palm. 

Rogue is also very good because the very high base damage of Draining Touch works nicely with the Rogue's damage bonuses such as Sneak Attack and Deathblows. I'd recommend a Streetfighter because ,out can easily become bloodied with Blood Sacrifice and then dish out truly jawdropping dmg numbers when doing disengagement attacks while heated up (because Sneak Attack will have a +50% bonus then). Debonaire is a no-go imo because: no engagement. I'd use Kapana Tanga here. 

Steel Garrote is another nice combo. The Draining Touch applies weakened which unlocks the Steel Garrote's life drain. It stacks with the one from Draining Touch, giving you nice healing when punching things. Combine with the other goodies any Arcane Knight can have and you will be a very tanky yet offensively capable character. I think I would use a shield in this caseto double down on the tankyness.

Furyshaper is the next option I enjoyed. You cannot combine Phantom and Wards (both summons) but the interaction of the fear ward with Barbaric Shout and Draining Touch and a club+modal is great. You drop a fear ward , summon the Draining Touch and then you will lower enemies' Will via shout and gain +3 engagement. You drop the Miasma and maybe even a Spirit Tornado. Most enemies will have their Will defense crushed and be terrified by now and you can engage them and punch them with good speed. Carnage is nice with Draining Touch because the base dmg of the weapon is high. When enemies disengage you punish them, too. Bloodlust, Blood Thirst, Blood Slaughter... This combo is also nice for your action economy because you don't have to cast Ryngrim spells that often.

I'm sure other combos with Draining Touch Bloodmage and Ranger, Cipher etc. can be cool, too - but I didn't really try those out enough to be able to make any meaningful recommendation. 

For all of those combos my final piece of headgear is the Helm of the White Void by the way. Before that I use Whitewitch Mask as I said. Since Draining Touch comes with the weaken effect the +10 accuracy of Rhymrgand's Influence always applies. Of course this comes rather late, but it's something to look forward to. :)

 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Thanks for the replies :)¬†@Shai Hulud¬†I tend to play arcane spellcasters in the pathfinder games, I finished kingmaker with an arcane trickster and a kineticist (that is cheat mode by the way), and played sword saint, sorcerer - eldritch knight, and the illusionist arcanist (forgot the name of the archetype) in wotr, have to finish it eventually with the new dlc. But of course, you multiclass a million times in that one except for the "real" full casters like the illusionist. (...) As for the hierophant, it plays quite okay before the wall of draining, and a bit of a one-man army in terms of spellcasting. Kitchen stove is boring but enough to gain ascended, and then you can cast whatever. I found that wizard aoe spells like the pillar are still better tho, despite the power level increase, but fast casting cipher cc and single-target damage (or two targets via mind blades, that is disgusting) is superb. But, as I said, I tried to do a bit of too much at the same time (which I still do with the other ideas, lmao) - I found/tried the draining touch while playing this, but I ended up using the kitchen stove and then casting most of the time, I want to experiment more with that summoned weapon (and ofc the lance)¬†@Boeroer¬†I really like your ideas about how to maximize the usage of the draining touch. I am still kinda unsure what character I want in the end, keeping in mind that I want to be flexible enough to use other "styles" of dealing with encounters, like the lance and pure casting. I am still debating between the sage, the warlock, and the fighter - the latter is less about blowing things up, but flexibility and immortality in several forms. I guess the main debate is between sage and warlock for me, like what can each provide on a meta level. Sage has extra accuracy, loads of stats (kind of pathfinder logic here, where the answer to most problems is more stats ūüėĄ ), endless resources (although harder-to-use blood sacrifice), and extra action economy in melee via crits (I wonder if disengagement crits also produce more crits, like feared target trying to run away from the draining touch and gets critted). Barbarian, on the other hand, seem to have interesting ways to gain action economy for everything, including casting, but I wonder how much of a constraint is the fact that their abilities are expensive, and they have no way to regain rage.¬†

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I personally think Sage is the most entertaining combo to play.

Yeah, Godlikes - or rather their racial abilities - are not really that great. But for thematic reasons it might be still nice to pick them. Also Death Godlikes get some special dialogue options in the game. 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, CeciliaPhoenix said:

Thanks for the replies :) @Shai Hulud I tend to play arcane spellcasters in the pathfinder games, I finished kingmaker with an arcane trickster and a kineticist (that is cheat mode by the way), and played sword saint, sorcerer - eldritch knight, and the illusionist arcanist (forgot the name of the archetype) in wotr, have to finish it eventually with the new dlc. But of course, you multiclass a million times in that one except for the "real" full casters like the illusionist.

(...) As for the hierophant, it plays quite okay before the wall of draining, and a bit of a one-man army in terms of spellcasting. Kitchen stove is boring but enough to gain ascended, and then you can cast whatever. I found that wizard aoe spells like the pillar are still better tho, despite the power level increase, but fast casting cipher cc and single-target damage (or two targets via mind blades, that is disgusting) is superb. But, as I said, I tried to do a bit of too much at the same time (which I still do with the other ideas, lmao) - I found/tried the draining touch while playing this, but I ended up using the kitchen stove and then casting most of the time, I want to experiment more with that summoned weapon (and ofc the lance)¬†@Boeroer¬†I really like your ideas about how to maximize the usage of the draining touch. I am still kinda unsure what character I want in the end, keeping in mind that I want to be flexible enough to use other "styles" of dealing with encounters, like the lance and pure casting. I am still debating between the sage, the warlock, and the fighter - the latter is less about blowing things up, but flexibility and immortality in several forms. I guess the main debate is between sage and warlock for me, like what can each provide on a meta level. Sage has extra accuracy, loads of stats (kind of pathfinder logic here, where the answer to most problems is more stats ūüėĄ ), endless resources (although harder-to-use blood sacrifice), and extra action economy in melee via crits (I wonder if disengagement crits also produce more crits, like feared target trying to run away from the draining touch and gets critted). Barbarian, on the other hand, seem to have interesting ways to gain action economy for everything, including casting, but I wonder how much of a constraint is the fact that their abilities are expensive, and they have no way to regain rage.¬†

1) Ha yeah, I put like 1300 hours into Kingmaker. I sucked at first but eventually soloed unfair with a couple builds. One was like sword saint 18 / don't remember (maybe arch 2?), used bloodhound dueling sword to great effect and stacked dex plus weapon finesse. Another vivi 14 / arch 2 / dd 4 I think, motherless tiefling with lots of bites and cloak of the white wolf or whatever it was called, serpent prince and then mastery fauchards. Both get pretty nutty but I cheesed through that door where the lich is to get all those awesome weapons while low level. I've never played a kineticist but I've heard deadly earth is just super broken. In WOTR I'm currently trying scaled fist 1 / seeker 16 / pal 2 / hellknight 1. Going angel this time but at some point I'd like to try legend so I can make a monk / seeker / paladin / stigmatized witch / hellknight / demonslayer or something lol. I really liked sword saints in kingmaker but they don't seem quite as good in WOTR. Vivisectionists either since no cloak of the wolf. The oracle is really annoying early on unfair. He's pretty untouchable but has bad damage output, only hits most things on crits...

2) You might have had a better time with blood mage / ascendant if you cheesed a little with scordeo's edge blade cascade. If you can remove recovery the cipher has tons of .5s casts so you can really machinegun wizard defensive spells and cipher CC. Also I tend to get like 1700 damage from a disintegration crit, if you just cast disintegration on everyone it tends to kill most things but it's kind of reductive I guess. 

If you want to be able to both fight and cast well then helwalker/blood mage is tempting, because you can wreck things in melee, then if you're too hurt fall back and cast with the +10 might bonus. Blood mage / soul blade also fights and casts but it's mostly cipher casts. Stats aren't nearly as important as in pathfinder though. Having enough resources and class synergy is what really matters (sage has both). Lance goes really well with monk abilities like stunning surge but even force of anguish applies through lance.

Warlock seems like he should be able to regain rage via barbaric smash, which says +2 of each barbarian resource per kill on kill, so I figured combining with citzal's spirit lance if you take out multiple enemies in one attack you could regain resources, but in my limited testing you just get +2 even if you kill more than one enemy. Still, you can do very high DPS as all you really want to maintain is blood storm or spirit frenzy anyway, which can be extended with wall of draining indefinitely so that just costs 1 resource once you're high level, and before that it has fairly long duration anyway. And once you have blood thirst you can effectively spam barbaric smash, and as long as someone in the huge AOE is near death you trigger bloody slaughter plus barbaric smash bonus damage / hit-to-crit / crit damage, and are very likely to regain the 2 rage with no recovery from blood thirst. A berserker/blood mage is particularly strong, albeit squishy, but can do extremely high DPS with the lance and barbaric smash in this way. Probably not quite as high as blood mage / soul blade but I haven't crunched the numbers. barbaric smash bonus damage + carnage + lance + lance crush AOE + blood storm DPS is a lot of damage, especially when you proc blood thirst.

But...if I were you I'd probably go with helwalker/blood mage, as it's pretty versatile and easy to keep up resources, or if you want to solo then tactician/blood mage. Blood mage/soul blade is my favorite but I don't think it's what you're looking for as it's almost pure melee build (can cast, it's just inferior to soul annihilation with the lance), so I don't use much more than pull of eora and wall of draining aside from defensive spells.

------

And to answer your question about mods buffing godlikes, there may be others but the one I'd recommend is @Elric Galad's balance polishing mod. It has a lot of cool buffs to various classes. Also has nerfs, but you can just install the buffs package. Makes godlikes substantially better and competitive with their helmet-wearing brethren. Boeroer mentioned one amazing helmet, the helm of the white void, but rekvu's fractured casque is also ridiculously good in some builds as it can prevent interrupts (necessary if you want to use grimoire of vaporous wizardry since that grimoire makes all received damage proc interrupts). You have to carry an injury but there are several injuries with minimal effects to gameplay like wrenched knee (from stepping on caltrops traps) or acute rash (just kill yourself with necrotic lance). 

https://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity2/mods/438

Edited by Shai Hulud
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Psion is one of my favorite class options. Very nice with all sorts of casters in multiclass I think, but I also enjoyed it a lot as single class (bc. notably faster focus generation). The one I liked best is maybe Psion/Troubadour.

However, I didn't really try Psion/Priest yet - so I cannot say how that plays. It should be good though, don't see a reason why it shouldn't be. 

Having said that: usually Xoti as single class Priest is fine for me. I don't like to bring too many "soulless" hirelings into the party. It makes the playthrough a little dull for me personally. Later Vatnir is a cool Priest alternative. He has an excellent spell portfolio because he brings some nice alternative damage spells to the usual priests' offensive fire spell monotony.

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An unorthodox Priest option that I did and enjoyed was Berserker/Priest (mine was Berserker/Priest of Wael, but the Priest subclass doesn't really matter). The reason to take Berserker was to become confused at will, which allows you to cast Withdraw on enemies. It is an auto-hit and a benefical effect. That means: defenses don't matter, high Resolve won't shorten the duration, no immunities whatsoever. Just *pouf* - gone for some time. ;)

You can use that trick very early in the game to shut down dangerous enemies in no time, finish the rest of the group and then deal with the withdrawn afterwards. There's a pair of shoes that grant you an additional spell of that Power Level, so iirc you can easily get 3 casts of Withdraw per encounter. That's three enemies taken out of the fight for a pretty decent amount of time. With Empower to fill up your spell uses again you can even take out some more. If you have a Cipher in the party who casts Ancestors Memory on you: just withdraw everybody but one. Very easy fights... ;)

Of course there's other little synergies between Berserker and Priest (casting speed with Frenzy/Bloodlust/Blood Thirst on kill, +2 PEN, Spirit Frenzy applying to spell hits and so on... if the Berserker/Priest is a good finisher then Triumph of the Crusaders + Blood Thirst is great), but the main reason was withdraw + confusion.

A thing that one has to keep in mind: If the Priest wants to buff the party a lot at the start of the encounter then one might run into action economy issues. Casting an Aware inspiration + Devotions ftF takes some time and you def. don't want to be confused while casting those. So maybe wait with the Frenzy until all buffs are cast - or have high RES so that the confusion only lasts a short while during the Withdraw cast - or use Modwyr to "unconfuse" with a weapon switch at will. 

A Tactician/Priest could also do this in theory, but I guess way more fiddly. 

Anyway - just one maybe interesting ability/spell combo that's not widely known and can be very impactful. 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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