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The Close combat Wizard

 

The idea always intrigued me and I figured that, with all those self buffing spells the wizard has in stock, there must be a way to make a close combat wizard work. This build is sort of an off-tank/damage dealer, depending on which buffs are being used. I will only take spells into consideration that only affect the caster, because those are fast and I want to spend as little time as possible casting, so I can whack people with my staff instead.

I'm close to Defiance bay with a party of six (the premade companions) around level 5 in hard Mode. So far the build has been a lot of fun and very flexible due to the different ways to approach each battle. Other fighters usually have a fixed approach, but the Wizard requires a bit more finesse and attention.

 

Human - I like fighting spirit

 Aedyr  - not important if not min/maxing

 

Might 17  - to bring the pain

Constitution 10 - no real impact anyway

Dexterity 3dump stat because the spells I'll be using are either instant or fast

Perception 16 - deflection and reflex

Intelligence 16 - buff duration and bigger aoe for Arcane Blast

Resolve 16 - deflection, concentration and will

 

 

Talents:

 

Arcane Veil: 

Albeit not a spell, this second core ability is also limited per rest (2x). When upgraded, it gives a whooping +45 instant deflection, which is desperately needed for the squishy wizard in order to survive face to face battles. Only downside is the duration (13.5s base with 17 Int). Use this wisely, because it will make the difference. 

 

Hardened Veil: Upgrade to Arcane Veil

 

Arcane Blast: This one comes for free and is a nice way of putting out some damage whenever you are not hitting stuff. I usually send my main tank ahead, wait for things to clump up on him, blast everything twice with Arcane Blast and switch to close combat. This Talent is fastper encounter and has 8m range, so use it often.

 

 

 

Spells (LvL1):

 

Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff (fast, 60s): 

This and Arcane Veil are the core of the build. With this you get an Exceptional, 21-30 dmg crushing weapon with x1.8 weapon reach and draining that also happens to look amazing. The inherent Accuracy buff is vital for the Wizard and the weapon reach keeps you out of harm's way for the most time. Draining is just the icing on the cake. Only downsides are the limited uses and the fact that you can't enchant it any further.

 

Eldritch Aim (fast, 13s): 

The Wizard has terrible base accuracy, which is already mitigated by Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff. With + 15 Accuracy for 13s, this spell allows you to push it even further and hit those pesky Shades that will otherwise drive you mad with their 60 some deflection. Downside: In the same category as our weapon spell, so use it sparingly.

 

Spirit Shield (fast, 60s): 

+3 DR and +30 Concentration for 60s. Decent defensive spell that also shares the same uses as Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff and Eldritch Aim. Good alternative for when Arcane Veil is not aveilable, otherwise I usually don't use it. 

 

Wizard's double (fast, until broken): 

+ 20 Deflection agains a single hit. I'd rather be hitting things with my staff instead, but it can be useful in a pinch, buying time for support to come in

 

 

Spells (LvL2):

 

Infuse with Vital Essence (fast, 60s):

+50 Max Endurance and Health - a no brainer, really. Great buff for most situations

 

Mirrored Image (fast, 60s):

+20 Deflection that gradually decreases with each hit taken - A better version of Wizard's Double. It lasts longer and doesn't contest with our core spell.

 

Bulwark against the Elements (fast, 81s):

+15 DR against Burn, Freeze, Corrode and Shock - Situational but live saving against certain enemies.

 

Spells (LvL3):

 

llengrath's Displaced Image (fast, 45s):

Another upgrade for the deflection-tree. This time around the spell will last, no matter how often you get hit - Invaluable.

 

Deleterious Alacrity of Motion (fast, 40s):

x1,5 Attack Speed, +2 Movespeed and -12 Endurance. Im not convinced that this spell has any use apart from kiting. The endurance drain is small but unnecessary, in my opinion. Attack Speed is nice, but I'd rather have one more llengrath's Displaced Image.

 

That's as far I've gotten. At Level 5, with Arcane Veil, llengrath's Displaced Image, Eldritch Aim and Infuse with Vital Essence active, my Wizard has 109 Deflection and 127 Endurance. This way I can tank fairly easily if need be and, If not, I can always push my accuracy to 55 instead, shoot Arcane Blasts and hit things from behind the main tank.

 

I will probably get Weapon Focus: Peasant and Two-handed Weapon Style at some point, as they both synergize with Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff.

This thread will be updated as soon as I have made further progress. 

 

Feel free to comment and make suggestions. I know that this build is not perfect and there's probably a lot of room for min/maxing, but this is supposed to be a fun build, first and foremost. I was kind of surprised how strong it turned out to be and I can only recomment trying it out yourselves, if you are looking for a slightly different close combat build.

Edited by Molcho
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I was thinking less a mage who can hit things in melee, than a mage who can survive melee so it's easy to use the cone spells.  Give him a large shield and a hatchet, spirit shield and arcane veil, give him some gear with + deflection. Do let the tank engage first, but then wander on up and let lose those cone spells.

 

Not sure it's worth it, especially that they've increase the range on a lot of Wizard spells, but it's at least theoretically viable and it reduces what happens to Aloth in open areas where the tanks can't control overwhelming numbers -- near instagib as every mob swarms the squishy.

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One might think that, but those spells are all either instant or fast, so that's not a problem. You get one action for free at the beginnig of the fight and by the time the enemy closed the gap, you're all set up.

Edited by Molcho
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Would be useful if they turned level 1 spells to per encounter at level 5 or so and Eldritch Aim had much longer duration. As it is you'd have to save your spells for the important battles and I can't see battlemage being more useful than a spell slinger mage at those situations.

 

Pity, really, I love battlemages too. They don't seem to be useful though, apart from a proof of concept kind of way.

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Would be useful if they turned level 1 spells to per encounter at level 5 or so and Eldritch Aim had much longer duration. As it is you'd have to save your spells for the important battles and I can't see battlemage being more useful than a spell slinger mage at those situations.

 

Pity, really, I love battlemages too. They don't seem to be useful though, apart from a proof of concept kind of way.

 

It's not a big thing, really. The first few maps are littered with free camp material, so you're never forced to go and rest at the inn anyway. You have to be a bit clever in choosing when to use which skill, but that's the cool thing about it. It's not like a Cypher spamming spells without repercussions, it requires thought and planning and is immensely rewarding if done right.

 

This build is definitely not more useful than others, but that is not the point - It is different, demanding and fun to play/experiment with.

Edited by Molcho
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Happy to see Another Close Combat Mage.

I've done one myself, and it's pretty cool.

 

I've start like you lowering dex, but in fact, you can dump con to 3 without any incidence and put that point in dex.

Even if the spell are instant, better dex = fast action, and way more fun.

10con or 3con for melee wizard is really not a big difference (even 18con is useless)

 

Parasitic staff is fun. But try shield+hatchet and "Weapon and Shield" talents.

 

I love how you can have great choice in buff spell, but look for crafting potion and scroll, and you can replace some of your spell with that( survivability to have long potion effect.)

 

ps: take a look at this post (but never lower migth to 10 like i've post in this topic, you need damage bonus you're not a real tank, long fight is painfull for you) 

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dex influences GCD, so 3 is not very wise, 2h wep makes it even worse.

I see the dreams so marvelously sad

 

The creeks of land so solid and encrusted

 

Where wave and tide against the shore is busted

 

While chanting by the moonlit twilight's bed

 

trees (of Twin Elms) could use more of Magran's touch © Durance

 

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I've tried it. It's not bad, quite doable. But theres some major issues:

 

1. You can't cast while the Staff us summoned (Which looks amazing btw). :( You're betting off using a real weapon.

 

2. Per Rest Spells. This means you aren't even going to be able to play as Melee Wizard every encounter, unless you like to back track A LOT. This issue actually limits all 3 caster's potential builds.

Edited by Dongom
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2. Per Rest Spells. This means you aren't even going to be able to play as Melee Wizard every encounter, unless you like to back track A LOT. This issue actually limits all 3 caster's potential builds.

 

Ahhh please stop with this argument.

 

Yeah wizard, have per rest spell, but until we are not speedrunning no problem if we sleep a lot. 

And after lvl9, spell lvl1/2 became per encounter. 

Then a craft system is pretty cool in the game, you have lore as wizard, add a little surv, and you can have a lot of scroll /potion when you lack of spell.

 

But, i'm ok with 1. Real weapon could be really better, and moar dex less con too.

Edited by Kakudou
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I've tried it. It's not bad, quite doable. But theres some major issues:

 

1. You can't cast while the Staff us summoned (Which looks amazing btw). :( You're betting off using a real weapon.

 

2. Per Rest Spells. This means you aren't even going to be able to play as Melee Wizard every encounter, unless you like to back track A LOT. This issue actually limits all 3 caster's potential builds.

 

1. What do you mean exactly? Of course you can cast spells just as well as with any other weapon. You just want to be hitting stuff instead.

2. That's a misconception. You never need more than two camps for each of the initial instances and if you do, there is free camp material everywhere. In later stages you have plenty of spell uses available, so that's not going to be an issue anymore.

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Tanking as a wizard works, but it's gimmicky at best and will be incredibly frustrating on higher difficulty levels because you're going to be going back to get campfires extremely often. 

 

You're much better off taking twelve out of perception and resolve and putting it into dexterity. By going full wizard tank, you're relying on a lot of per rest abilities, and while you might think Dongom has a poor argument, I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to have to go back and rest more often than I already do on PotD or did on hard. Hardened Veil is great, yes, but you should be relying on it for emergency "oh crap I got targeted I might die" moments, not using it in every fight in order to have some semblance of tankiness for 26 seconds and then being squishy again.

 

Ideally, you should be using a quarterstaff or pike early on and sticking behind your tankline to avoid having something go wrong. Two-handed style is great, but I've never liked taking both a style and a weapon focus because it forces you into using a certain weapon. If you take weapon focus peasant, your strength diminishes in the late game because the exceptional quarterstaff is really bad.

 

Alternatively, using a spear and one-handed style helps make you and your spells more accurate, which helps a lot with the wizard's naturally low melee accuracy. And with one-handed style, wepaon focus peasant is a lot better -- being able to choose between spear and hatchet is much more ideal.

 

If you only take buff spells, you're really crippling yourself but not utilizing what makes a wizard a wizard. How can you have a wizard in melee range and not want to spam fan of flames instead of something like eldricht accuracy?

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@ Lasci:

 

Did you read the op? 

 

You will be using the summoned staff all the time, hence the quarterstaff specialization. It's easily the best weapon you can get in the whole game for a very very long time.

It has inbuilt reach, so that's covered. Getting a spear + shield takes away all your damage - there is no point in doing that.

 

As I described, you don't want to be tanking by default. Since you do have range on your melee weapon, you can safely sit behind your tank hitting stuff. You can, of course get fan of flames or any other spell to supplement your build, I just didnt include them in this guide because everyone knows these spells and how to use them. 

 

The point of this build is to be flexible: You can tank as well (in early levels even better) than dedicated tanks due to 100+ deflection on demand while still putting out ridiculous damage with your summoned staff. You can't do it all the time, becuase you're on a time and spell limit, but you don't have to do it all the time. You can sit behind and hit things, or use spells and Arcane Assault, if necessary. Your tank is in trouble? Get him out of there and put a 110 deflection wizard in his place for 14 seconds. Your tank is in a chokepoint? Sit behind him and deal out damage that is comparable to a specialized fighter. Your Wizard is low? Use Arcane Assault and other spells from a distance to support your crew. There is a myriad ways of approaching each fight, which can be subtly adjusted according to which spells you get (and buy from other grimoires).

 

You can fulfill multiple roles depending on the situation, which is what makes this build so much fun. It works on Hard mode, I've done it, and comfortably.

 

@ Dongom: 

 

It shouldn't be this way, since the summoned staff is essentially a quarterstaff. Why wouldn't you be able to cast with a quarterstaff? There is something wrong with your character.

Resting in the beginning is hardly a chore because, as I explained, the early maps are full of lootable camp materials. You won't need to rest more than 2 times per map anyway, but if you do for some reason, there is free supply on the streets.

Edited by Molcho
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One might think that, but those spells are all either instant or fast, so that's not a problem. You get one action for free at the beginnig of the fight and by the time the enemy closed the gap, you're all set up.

Using either instant or fast spells and having really good resolve all adds up to dex being a harmless dump stat.

 

I'm torn on the build itself though. Thing is, you can absolutely have a whole grimoire loaded with aoe nukes and just default back to this one on fights against ranged enemies, spellcasters, or incorporeals. 

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I hesitaited at first and found you can make it work. I am happy to see other folks trying it.

 

I'm with Prestidigitator!!! Not being able to play in Melee in every encounter is about the same as playing from Range. You have to rest and micromanage them regardless how you play them.

 

 

I slapped Hatchet and picked up Retaliation Shield for my Wizard Tank! It's been really fun so far! I open up with Crackling Bolt(Can't wait for Chain Lightning), pop a shield (Minor Arcane Shield is pretty awesome), and let my ranged Rogue and Cipher wreck havoc!

 

 

 

I did make the same mistake by dropping Dex to 3,....I have the game saved at the point I created my level 7 Wizard so I will go back and fix it.

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I hesitaited at first and found you can make it work. I am happy to see other folks trying it.

 

I'm with Prestidigitator!!! Not being able to play in Melee in every encounter is about the same as playing from Range. You have to rest and micromanage them regardless how you play them.

 

 

I slapped Hatchet and picked up Retaliation Shield for my Wizard Tank! It's been really fun so far! I open up with Crackling Bolt(Can't wait for Chain Lightning), pop a shield (Minor Arcane Shield is pretty awesome), and let my ranged Rogue and Cipher wreck havoc!

 

 

 

I did make the same mistake by dropping Dex to 3,....I have the game saved at the point I created my level 7 Wizard so I will go back and fix it.

Lol, Prestidigitator is the forum title for people at 5-50 posts, it's not someone's name.

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Instant spells? Recovery bar will disagree and that is where Dex comes to play. Its basically question of how many % attack speed and recovery is worth how many points of deflection? To answer that we would need some numbers. Personally, I prefer recovery over deflection for my play style.

Action speed and recovery are two different things. 

 

Don't think I'm disagreeing with you, though, all my casters have dex and are in clothing.

Edited by Infares
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I hesitaited at first and found you can make it work. I am happy to see other folks trying it.

 

I'm with Prestidigitator!!! Not being able to play in Melee in every encounter is about the same as playing from Range. You have to rest and micromanage them regardless how you play them.

 

 

I slapped Hatchet and picked up Retaliation Shield for my Wizard Tank! It's been really fun so far! I open up with Crackling Bolt(Can't wait for Chain Lightning), pop a shield (Minor Arcane Shield is pretty awesome), and let my ranged Rogue and Cipher wreck havoc!

 

 

 

I did make the same mistake by dropping Dex to 3,....I have the game saved at the point I created my level 7 Wizard so I will go back and fix it.

Lol, Prestidigitator is the forum title for people at 5-50 posts, it's not someone's name.

 

Oh, wow....i'm still out out of it! I'm with what that guy said....lol!

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Dropping Per and Res to min results in - 14 Deflection. Sure Wizard has low inherit deflection. To compensate Wizard has magical means. I said compensate, not buff, because that is how I understand it. IMO Wiz does not make good tank because of prep and lack of talents. But when in melee Wiz can leech and debuff well enough to be able to take few hits and/or not have phenomenal deflection. Following from here Con becomes of value.

Edited by knownastherat
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