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I've compiled a list of spell ratings and some explanations that I might incorporate into a spell guide. I'd like some feedback, suggestions, and corrections. I haven’t rated all the spells yet, just a small selection.

These are after the latest patch. It’s from my experience playing Path of the Damned. Things might be a bit different at lower difficulties.

 

Note about defenses

When it comes to which defense is the best to target, the general rule is: Deflection > Reflex  Will > Fortitude.

1.       Deflection: The best defense to target partially because few enemies have it as a high defense, but mostly because tons of stacking afflictions decrease it, and they are relatively common. Here is a partial list: hobbled, stuck, prone, stunned, paralyzed, blinded, dazed, and flanked.

2.       Reflex: Second best, because although most afflictions that reduce Deflection also reduce Reflex, many monsters have high a high Reflex defense.

3.       Will: A lot less desirable than Reflex, Will is in third place because few monsters have a strong Will defense, and many have a weak one. Conditions that reduce Will are harder to find, but include: sickened, frightened, terrified, and weakened.

4.       Fortitude: The least desirable to target, many monsters have a strong Fortitude defense, and it’s also hard to de-buff.

 

Wizard

Level 1

Slicken: 7/10, disables tons of enemies in a large area, but the duration is really short.

Chill Fog: 9/10, durable AoE that inflicts blindness, a really nasty condition that slows enemies and inflicts heavy penalties. Also deals some cold damage. As enemies are blinded, it takes them longer to get through the area, thus taking more damage. It should be stacked with Tanglefoot for cumulative benefit. The fact it targets Fortitude makes it not quite enough for 10/10.
Fan of Flames: 6/10, deals quite a bit of damage, but you need to watch your positioning to avoid friendly fire.
Ghost Blades: 4/10, doesn't have the friendly fire issue, but deals a lot less damage, Hobble isn't very useful at close range, and enemies are probably already Hobbled due to Tanglefoot.
Minoletta's Minor Missiles: 4 to 7/10, good long-range damage-dealer at first, but becomes obsolete as DR increases.
Eldritch Aim: 5 to 8/10, this one is tricky. The bonus is large, and the duration is decent, but it’s not long enough to last an entire battle. It’s quick to cast, but it’s not worth a spell slot unless you have many other spell slots, or you already have first level spells on an encounter basis. Once the latter happens, you should cast it at least once every battle.

 

Level 2

Binding Web: 2/10, it's unnecessary due to Tanglefoot. You only need one Tanglefoot per battle, so you never have any reason to cast this.
Curse of Blackened Sight: 6/10, a lot worse than Sunlight, but Wizards don't have Sunlight, and it's not a once-per-battle spell.
Bewildering Spectacle: 6/10, it’s a strong de-buff, but the area is really small and the duration is short. In fact, with this duration, it just suffices to slow enemies down a bit.
Necrotic Lance: 6/10, a good damage dealer for Wizards. It’s just a shame it targets Fortitude.
Fetid Caress: 5/10, pales in comparison to Cipher's Mental Binding, and the sickening AoE is a problem due to its short range and Average casting time. Friendly fire is almost certain. However, paralysis is a really strong debuff, and while targeting Fortitude is normally a bad thing, some enemies have weak Fortitude.

 

Level 3

Crackling Bolt: 8/10, deals a ton of damage, targets Reflex, fast casting time, can hit enemies multiple times due to the jumping effect. A great damage-dealer, if you can position yourself to avoid friendly fire. The jumping effect is tricky to predict, but it can work pretty well.
Expose Vulnerabilities: 7/10, a solid debuff made more useful by the fact it’s unnamed, so it stacks with other conditions.
Noxious Burst: 5/10, good damage but targets Fortitude, and the casting time is Average rather than Fast. Use Fireball for most occasions. Sickened is nice, because it’s one of the few conditions that hits the Fortitude and Will defenses, but having to go through Fortitude to get it isn’t very nice.
Fireball: 8/10, deals less damage than Crackling Bolt, but doesn’t have the same friendly fire issues, and has good range. It doesn’t have the jumping effect, but it’s tricky to use anyway.

 

Level 4

Confusion: 9/10, amazing spell. Covers a large area and lasts for a long time. Makes enemies fight each other, even if some manage to avoid it, because even when inactive affected enemies become allied to you, thus becoming targets for other enemies. It would be 10/10, but it creates annoying targeting issues that seriously detract from it.
Wall of Flame: 8/10, awesome damage dealer. It looks a lot worse than Chill Fog, until you cast it and realize it triggers 10 times as frequently. It might seem situational, but enemies will not avoid the area, and it's really easy to keep them inside it. Oh, and it attacks Reflex.


Druid

Level 1

Tanglefoot: 9/10, cast this once almost every battle. Absurdly massive area, long range, fast casting time, slows down enemies by a decent amount, hits defenses, and stacks with Chill Fog.
Dancing Bolts: 6/10, large area and Foe AoE, but the damage is really low. It has its uses, but harder-hitting spells are usually better. 
Sunbeam: 9/10, strong burn damage, absurd range, targets Reflex, strong and lasting debuff. Puts Curse of Blackened Sight to shame.
Talons' Reach: 7/10, faster to cast than Sunbeam, and the damage is higher, but without the blindness. Rather situational due to its short range, but it’s really good for those situations. Oh, it targets Deflection, which is even better than Reflex.

 

Level 2
Burst of Summer Flame: 6/10, faster to cast than Sunbeam, but without the blindness, and also dealing less damage. Sunbeam is unquestionably much, much better, but it’s something to waste your second level spell slot on.

 

Level 3

Returning Storm: 10/10, this spell is overpowered. I mean, seriously. Stun is just as good as Paralyze, and it's one of the worst afflictions in the game. The damage is quite good in context, the area is huge, the duration is really long, and it targets Reflex. Also, the most annoying spell enemies can cast, period. 

 

Level 4

Calling the World's Maw: 8/10, good damage-dealer, giant area, and lasting Prone effect. The damage targets Reflex, which is great, but the Prone effect targets Fortitude, which is bad. Still a great spell overall.
Overwhelming Wave: 6/10, again, deals a lot of damage, large area, and a lasting Stun effect, but in this case both the damage and the Stun target Fortitude. Also, the thick line shape creates friendly fire issues.

 

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A guide would be great, but updating the wiki would be even greater, since it is far more user-friendly and practical. The days of the old-school guide are done, it'll be out of date before it's even finished.

 

Also, I think any proper spell guide should also list the exact damage/effects/speed/duration/range of the spells, so that people can judge for themselves by reading through it, rather than only seeing an arbitrary "this is 8/10 good, that is 9/10 good."

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Deflection is not the best defence to target. It may be the "best on average" since only a few enemies have absurdly high deflection. However if you look through the bestiary deflection is almost always the 2nd weakest defence of the mob, meaning that theres almost always one defence that is easier to target (but it varies). So if you adapt your spells per enemy it actually might be the worst defence to target. Also, reflex reducing afflictions are much more powerful than deflection reducing ones (since paralyse/petrify set dex to 0, which is a huge reflex penalty). You've also missed the best will (and a good deflection/reflex) debuff - miasma of dull mindedness. It needs to hit vs will first, but you only need to graze with it.

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Three notes:

 

First, Confusion does not turn enemies into allies. It makes them neutral. This is not readily obvious to those that play without the IEMod (...why would you, though?) since Obsidian decided (...again, why?) to not let you differentiate between allied NPC:s and neutral NPC:s.

 

Second, I think it's wrong to rate Web low on the argument that Tanglefoot is better and somehow replaces Web. Web is a Wizard spell, Tanglefoot is a Druid spell. It is very possible, maybe even likely, that a party does not have both.

 

Third, judging it on Path of the Damned isn't a good idea. PotD inflates all the base numbers of opponents, potentially giving a very skewed idea of how spells work or how they're supposed to work. If it's a general guide, stick to non-PotD. If it's a PotD guide, make sure to make it clear that it's a PotD guide and nothing else.

 

A guide would be great, but updating the wiki would be even greater, since it is far more user-friendly and practical. The days of the old-school guide are done, it'll be out of date before it's even finished.

 

Also, I think any proper spell guide should also list the exact damage/effects/speed/duration/range of the spells, so that people can judge for themselves by reading through it, rather than only seeing an arbitrary "this is 8/10 good, that is 9/10 good."

Guides in general doesn't exist for user review or as a reference tool, that's what Wiki's are for. Guides should focus on explaining what things are good and why they're good, not the underlying mechanics. 8/10 Good for X, sometimes Y is exactly the kind of information you want a guide to give you.

 

That being said, it would also be wonderful if the Wiki got some help, yeah. And if someone is going to go through all the spells one by one, I can't think of a better opportunity.

Edited by Luckmann

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Deflection is not the best defence to target. It may be the "best on average" since only a few enemies have absurdly high deflection. However if you look through the bestiary deflection is almost always the 2nd weakest defence of the mob, meaning that theres almost always one defence that is easier to target (but it varies). So if you adapt your spells per enemy it actually might be the worst defence to target. Also, reflex reducing afflictions are much more powerful than deflection reducing ones (since paralyse/petrify set dex to 0, which is a huge reflex penalty). You've also missed the best will (and a good deflection/reflex) debuff - miasma of dull mindedness. It needs to hit vs will first, but you only need to graze with it.

The sheer weight of extremely reliable and large area deflection and reflex debuffs means that it doesn't matter if a creature had even lower will or fortitude originally, unless it was 40 points lower, which is pretty rare. 

 

It's a good point that reflex debuffs can hit even harder. Reflex might be easier to target after all.

 

I was actually listing named conditions, rather than specific spells. Regardless, miasma is a powerful Will debuff, but it has a small area, isn't a continuous effect, and isn't that reliable in general (because it itself targets Will). It's not enough to offset things.

 

Three notes:

 

First, Confusion does not turn enemies into allies. It makes them neutral. This is not readily obvious to those that play without the IEMod (...why would you, though?) since Obsidian decided (...again, why?) to not let you differentiate between allied NPC:s and neutral NPC:s.

Oh, I didn't know that. Now I understand why I can't target them with ally-only spells like Ectopsychic Echo. The behavior is still the same though, in that enemies attack them, foe effects don't affect them, friendly effects do affect them, etc.

 

Second, I think it's wrong to rate Web low on the argument that Tanglefoot is better and somehow replaces Web. Web is a Wizard spell, Tanglefoot is a Druid spell. It is very possible, maybe even likely, that a party does not have both.

 

Thanks for pointing it out. I guess I should rate it separately, and add that it's useless if you have a druid in your party.

 

Third, judging it on Path of the Damned isn't a good idea. PotD inflates all the base numbers of opponents, potentially giving a very skewed idea of how spells work or how they're supposed to work. If it's a general guide, stick to non-PotD. If it's a PotD guide, make sure to make it clear that it's a PotD guide and nothing else.

Ugh. That's a good point. I don't see myself playing the game in something other than PotD because PotD is already pretty easy, so I guess the guide is PotD only.

 

Wizard's Spell X is unnecessary because of Druid Spell X , 

OP you are a moron , please if you are dumb**** casual dont write guides ty 

No, this argument only works in the case of Tanglefoot and Web. Tanglefoot is a once-per-battle spell that basically makes all your enemies hobbled. You can't hobble someone twice. Sunlight is also much better than Curse of Blackened Sight, but it's not a once-per-battle spell, so Curse is still useful.

 

If you don't have a druid, the spell does become useful, though it's still not very good.

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The sheer weight of extremely reliable and large area deflection and reflex debuffs means that it doesn't matter if a creature had even lower will or fortitude originally, unless it was 40 points lower, which is pretty rare. 

of dull mindedness. It needs to hit vs will first, but you only need to graze with it.

 

It's a good point that reflex debuffs can hit even harder. Reflex might be easier to target after all.

 

Yeah, and these debuffs all need to beat some save (almost never deflection and quite often fort) to work. There are large area fort and will debuffs as well. Ryngrim's enervating terror and Devotions of the faithful would be two good examples. I'm not saying that Will and Fort are easier, but it's pretty close overall for Will and say Deflection.

 

Max debuffs for various defences are:

Deflection: Paralysed/Petrified (-40) + Miasma of dull mindedness (-20) = -60

Reflex: Paralysed/Petrified (-40 -dex*2) + Miasma of dull mindedness (-20) = -60 - dex * 2 so say -80 on 10 dex creature

Will: Weakened(-20) + Miasma of dull mindedness (-40) = -60

Fort: Weakened (-28) + Devotions (-20, overrides -2 Might from weakened) = -44

(and spells that do -all defenses, but these apply to everything)

 

Spells that debuff deflection can target all saves, although rarely deflection itself (think stag's horn is the one exception, but it's quite weak in 1.05)

Same for spells that debuff reflex

Most spells that reduce will attack will or fort, with some exceptions like arkemyr's dazzling lights (-14 will) that attacks reflex

Spells that reduce fort all attack will or fort I think

 

So overall things you can't do (or that are quit limited):

Debuff fort vs reflex/deflection

Debuff will vs deflection

Debuff will vs reflex (limited)

Debuff reflex vs deflection (very limited)

Debuff deflection vs deflection (very limited)

 

Debuffs that are easy to land because of increased accuracy of hazard spells:

Wizard - hobbled, - reflex - wall of force

Cleric - prone, -reflex -deflection - repulsing seal

Cleric - blind, -reflex, -deflection - searing seal

Druid - weaken, -will - fortitude - wall of thorns

Chanter - hobbled, - reflex - rime and frost

 

Also cheese/bug - rotfinger gloves debuff fort, will and reflex with no save allowed.

 

Vs most mobs in the game this leaves enough options to debuff any save tbh. Reflex can be pushed the most, then will&deflection, then fort.

Edited by MadDemiurg
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Also 1 thing I forgot to mention - disorienting weapons apply -all defenses on hit which stacks up to 3? times. Haven't tested if it stacks with -all defenses spells, probably not. However this is an option to reduce any save attacking deflection, albeit single target one (unless barb) and it requires a disorienting weapon. This makes getting around various high defenses even easier.

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You forgot Arkemyr's Dazzling Lights, which stacks with Miasma. Heck, since it targets Reflex, its a great opener for Miasma too. With both Miasma and Dazzling Lights, spells that target Will become really attractive.

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At level 9, Wizards gain access to per-encounter spells, meaning that all level 1 spells can be spammed at your will. This turns Ghost Blades into one of the best damage options for a Wizard. Given the Cone AoE, it makes Arcane Assault way less useful, yet you rated Ghost Blades as 4/10, while I would rate it at least a 9/10.

To me, Deleterious Alacrity of Motion is way more useful than Fireball. Noxious Burst is better than Fireball as well, specially with the buffs to Corrode spells during 1.05. Yet you rated Fireball above everything else, along with Crackling Bolt, which was a spell that I NEVER USED during my PotD Run, yet I used Expose Vulnerabilities extensively.

To me, the best level 4 spell is Essential Phantom. I can cast it in EVERY FIGHT and the spell is still useful, making it 10/10, yet you didn't even mention it.

 

I could go on and go, but what is the point? To me, this show that this sort of guide is pointless. It's all a matter of taste, and there is no right or wrong choices. A good guide would describe the usefulness of every spell and in what situations they could be applied, instead of simply giving it a random value. For example: "Fan of Flames: Despite the nerfs during patch 1.05, it's a fantastic spell in the beginning of the game, when you have to face hard encounters against enemies vulnerable to fire, like Shades".

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Deleterious Alacrity of Motion applies to spell casting as well as physical attacks, right?

 

Also, "no wrong choices" is going way too far.  Someone's having difficulty with the concept of oppurtunity cost. Not to mention Grimorie size limits.

Edited by Manty5
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You forgot Arkemyr's Dazzling Lights, which stacks with Miasma. Heck, since it targets Reflex, its a great opener for Miasma too. With both Miasma and Dazzling Lights, spells that target Will become really attractive.

No, I explicitly mentioned it in my post if you reread it again paying more attention :). It does stack with miasma but not with weakened. An yeah, it's a good way to soften will of low reflex high will&fort creatures.

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Deleterious Alacrity of Motion applies to spell casting as well as physical attacks, right?

 

Also, "no wrong choices" is going way too far.  Someone's having difficulty with the concept of oppurtunity cost. Not to mention Grimorie size limits.

 

 I had tested in... 1.04 or 1.03, can't remember, but then it seemed to speed up both attack speed and recovery speed when attacking with a wand (don't remember if it affected gun reload speed), but only speed up recovery speed but not casting speed for spells. Things might have changed since or I might have been mistaken.

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You forgot Arkemyr's Dazzling Lights, which stacks with Miasma. Heck, since it targets Reflex, its a great opener for Miasma too. With both Miasma and Dazzling Lights, spells that target Will become really attractive.

No, I explicitly mentioned it in my post if you reread it again paying more attention :). It does stack with miasma but not with weakened. An yeah, it's a good way to soften will of low reflex high will&fort creatures.

 

Whoops, blew past me when I read it!

 

Uhhh.... pretend I meant the TC's first post in the thread ;o

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