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[CLASS BUILD] Lady of Pain - High-speed, heavy-armored DPS Fighter


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#1
AndreaColombo

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This build has nothing to do with Planescape's Lady of Pain. It is called so because I usually like to play female characters in this game, but it would work equally well with a male character.

 

Hereby I present you with an off-tank DPS build that makes of maxing out MIGHT an art. I call this a 'preview' because I conceived this build with patch 2.0 in mind (i.e. with PER granting a bonus to Accuracy rather than Deflection); however, it works very well—and is very powerful—already in 1.06.

 

For readability, I will be dividing this post in paragraphs and hide the content of each paragraph with SPOILER tags, so you may expand and collapse them at your leisure instead of being faced with a text wall at all times.

 

Concept

 

Spoiler

 

 

Core Premises

 

Spoiler

 

Character Build Details.

 

As mentioned above, this character must be an Aumaua from The Living Lands.

Background is up to you; I chose Colonist for the bonus to Survival as I want my buffs to last as long as possible (hint: Flask of War Paint.)

 

Starting Attribute Scores

Spoiler

 

Final Attribute Scores

Spoiler

 

Talents & Abilities

Spoiler

 

Equipment:

Spoiler

 

So How Does It Work?

 

Spoiler

 

End Game Screenshots.

Having been taken with 1.06, these screenshots show an inflated Deflection score and a deflated Accuracy score by the same amount. Don't forget this build was created with 2.0 in mind (but as the screenshots show, it works already pretty well in 1.06.)

 

Fully buffed; ranged.

Spoiler

 

Fully buffed; melee.

Spoiler


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#2
AndreaColombo

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[Reserved to illustrate the pure-melee and pure-ranged variants of the build, which are Coming Soon™.]

 

Pure-ranged Variant

The pure-ranged variant revolves around a few core principles:

 

Spoiler

 

Your Accuracy and damage output when fully buffed won't change: 116 for the former; 60-90 for the latter. However, you will have 11 DR bypass instead of 6, and your crits will not only do full damage (The Merciless Hand talent offsets the -30% crit damage multiplier from the Arquebus) but 10% more (from the Dungeon Delver talent.)

 

Talents & Abilities

Spoiler

 

 

Pure-melee Variant

This variant is actually very similar to the "main" variant described in the OP, with but a few differences:

 

Spoiler

Edited by AndreaColombo, 18 July 2015 - 11:56 AM.

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#3
Torm51

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Sounds like a murder ball I Like it. I like playing Paladins and and am looking for a damage OT build for my next play through. Gives me good ideas
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#4
AndreaColombo

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Added the pure-ranged and pure-melee builds to my second post.

 

If you've read about my pure-ranged build earlier this morning, it might be worth going through it again as I've made a few changes and additions.


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#5
chickenhed

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This is great, AndreaColombo. What I like about it is that it's a good outline for any melee 2h weapon class. As Torm51 implied, the outline of your build can be applied broadly with good effect.


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#6
AndreaColombo

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Addendum

 

I forgot to mention that this build (in all its variants) makes extensive use of Rauatai Sweet Pie to further boost its DEX score (as seen in my screenshots, where the Lady of Pain has 22 DEX.)

 

The Rauatai Sweet Pie can be crafted from Cocoa, Sugar, and Fruit which are all fairly common, low-cost ingredients; alternatively, it can be bought in taverns; chances are you won't have a problem keeping some in your quick slots at all times. It provides a handy +2 bonus to DEX (which is what we're really after) as well as +10 Endurance which is a nice bonus since the Lady of Pain's CON ain't her strongest attribute.

 

It is worth mentioning that the pie also has a whopping 300-second duration. When I play the Lady of Pain I tend to pump its Survival skill to 10 (to which Sanguine Plate adds another +2 for a total of 12) which makes it last north of 400 seconds. So you'll be walking around with a DEX score of 22 more often than 20.

 

 

Errata

 

In the pure-ranged variant's description, I wrote that your level-12 Accuracy remains unchanged at 116 when fully buffed. That is incorrect: Because you'll also have the Marksman talent—and you'll likely be targeting distant targets over 90% of the time—your Accuracy is actually 121.

 

 

Attack Speed comparison (with a Great Sword)

 

I recorded a video (locked at 30 fps) of the Lady of Pain attacking the same target as a 10-DEX naked Fighter to compare attack speed. The Lady of Pain had a DEX score of 22 (36% attack speed bonus), she was wearing Sanguine Plate (50% recovery penalty reduced by 16% with Armored Grace), and she had the Vulnerable Attack modal active (20% recovery penalty.)

 

Both characters were almost perfectly synchronized; however, because DEX also affects attack animation speed, the Lady of Pain landed her hits a few frames before the 10-DEX Fighter.

 

A frame by frame comparison revealed the following:

 

10-DEX Fighter

Attack: 30 frames

Recovery: 50 frames

Total: 80 frames

 

Lady of Pain

Attack: 24 frames [30/(1-0.36)=22 ; 2-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Recovery: 60 frames [50*(1+0.5-0.16+0.2-0.36)=59 ; 1-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Total: 84 frames

 

How attack speed works is subject to debate, although frame by frame analysis suggests things don't work exactly as advertised in-game. I plan on running more tests in the future; these are just some results I got by running a quick preliminary test out of curiosity.

 

 

 

 

When The White March is released, I will post updated screenshots at level 14 and explain my talent and ability choices for levels 13 and 14. I will not, however, post any updates concerning the equipment until I've beaten the expansion (I don't want to spoil the loot for myself for the sake of the thread.) I will also probably post a new character build with a catchy name in a separate thread ;)


Edited by AndreaColombo, 27 July 2015 - 05:45 AM.

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#7
KDubya

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Nice guide with really good formatting and presentation.

 

 

Now a few questions/comments.

 

1.) Why go with a 10 intellect? With a 3 you'd have 7 more points to put somewhere, perception could be good for more interrupt currently or more accuracy after 2.0, more resolve would be good to reduce being interrupted or even more con to give you more hit points as you plan on getting hit anyway. knockdown goes from 5 seconds to 3.5 seconds which is long enough compared to the benefits of 7  more stat points. Is it for the duration of the shod in faith boots?

 

2.) The return on another +1 might is less than what +1 dex would get you. 37 might and 22 dex does less dps than 36 might and 23 dex, especially if you have the +25% from mastery and the +20% from savage attack. Going with the Dread Archipeligo for the dex boost might be better.

 

3.) Boreal dwarf would be a comparable substitute. The might would be the same, dex can still be a 17, 18 with Dread Archipeligo, and the +15 accuracy to two of the more common enemy types is a noticeable buff when it is in play. You'd lose out on a second arquebus shot unless you added in the perk that gets you another weapon slot that I can't think of the name. Plus you'd be a dwarf which is infinitely better than any other race. :) 


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#8
AndreaColombo

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1.) Why go with a 10 intellect? With a 3 you'd have 7 more points to put somewhere, perception could be good for more interrupt currently or more accuracy after 2.0, more resolve would be good to reduce being interrupted or even more con to give you more hit points as you plan on getting hit anyway. knockdown goes from 5 seconds to 3.5 seconds which is long enough compared to the benefits of 7  more stat points. Is it for the duration of the shod in faith boots?

 

2.) The return on another +1 might is less than what +1 dex would get you. 37 might and 22 dex does less dps than 36 might and 23 dex, especially if you have the +25% from mastery and the +20% from savage attack. Going with the Dread Archipeligo for the dex boost might be better.

 

3.) Boreal dwarf would be a comparable substitute. The might would be the same, dex can still be a 17, 18 with Dread Archipeligo, and the +15 accuracy to two of the more common enemy types is a noticeable buff when it is in play. You'd lose out on a second arquebus shot unless you added in the perk that gets you another weapon slot that I can't think of the name. Plus you'd be a dwarf which is infinitely better than any other race. :)

 

 

Hi KDubya,

 

1) I do not know whether INT affects the duration of the Consecrated Ground spell from Shod-in-Faith; if it does, it would be one more reason not to dump it as Consecrated Ground is an integral part of this build. However, the reasons why I chose not to dump INT are actually these:

  • In general, I don't particularly enjoy min/maxing; therefore I chose not to go for extreme min/maxing with this build. There is something about seeing an abysmal score in any given stat on my character sheet that just rubs me the wrong way. I dropped CON by 3 points because I knew I could wear a belt that would make up for it; likewise, I dropped RES by 3 points because I knew I could gain them back through a Dragon Egg dish or a Dragon Meat dish.
  • I like INT as an attribute and generally try to pump it when I can, and not to dump it in any case. For this build in particular, I wouldn't like to shorten the duration of my Knock Downs (in fact, I wish I could pump INT to 18 to make them last 7 seconds instead of just 5; in two seconds I could likely score one or two more crits on my prone target.)

Both points boil down to personal preference, and it is certainly possible to apply min/maxing to this build to further optimize its DPS.

 

2) For this particular build I really wanted to pump MIG as high as possible to see how high a damage figure I could get in my character sheet, but sacrificing a couple points in MIG to further boost DEX is certainly a good alternative (choosing Dead Fire Archipelago and/or sacrificing Hiravias instead of Edér to the blood pool.)

 

3) Indeed; I noticed dwarves also have +2 MIG shortly after posting this thread. I guess that's a testament to how little I play dwarven characters :) I would still go for Aumaua because I like the character model better and I'm big on aesthetics, but dwarves are certainly a viable alternative (if not an even better one due to the Accuracy bonus you mentioned.)



#9
L4wlight

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Interesting build! May I ask how you achieved this enormous amount of resolve? (32 with Base of 7)


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#10
Nobear

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Interesting build! May I ask how you achieved this enormous amount of resolve? (32 with Base of 7)

 

I'm guessing Crowns of the Faithful, crazy powerful priest buff spell. It also improves Per and Int, but not as much. Note those screenshots do say "fully buffed."


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#11
AndreaColombo

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It is indeed the Crowns of the Faithful spell (its +6 bonus to PER is overwritten by Champion Boon's +10 bonus.)

 

One thing I forgot to mention about those screenshots is that they do not show the effects of Frenzy, which adds +4 MIG [doesn't stack with Champion's Boon], +4 CON, and +33% attack speed (my character had not been critted when I took those.)

 

A good strategy is to cast Crowns of the Faithful on the Lady of Pain immediately after she gets critted, so she can reap the benefits of Frenzy while being protected from further hits/crits.

 

 

Attack Speed comparison (with a Great Sword and Frenzy)

 

I've run another attack speed test by recording a 30-fps video with Shadow Play. This time I wanted to check the impact of the Frenzy ability's +33% attack speed bonus (everything else is the same as in the previous video.)

 

As expected, the bonus only applies to recovery time, leaving the actual attack speed unchanged. Here's what I observed running a frame-by-frame analysis:

 

 

Attack: 24 frames [30/(1-0.36)=22 ; 2-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Recovery: 46 frames [50*(1+0.5-0.16+0.2-0.36-0.33)=42.5 ; 3.5-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior*]

Total: 70 frames [(70/84)-1=16.7% actual increase in total attack speed]

 

* The recovery bar over the character's head actually takes exactly 42 frames to go from full to empty, thus corroborating the math. However, there seems to be a 4-frame delay from the moment the bar is empty to the moment the character attacks again. This is consistent with what was observed in this thread I linked earlier.


Edited by AndreaColombo, 02 August 2015 - 01:31 AM.

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#12
AndreaColombo

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Attack Speed comparison (with an Arquebus)

 

One more attack speed test, this time with the pure-ranged build of the Lady of Pain. For this test I had the Lady of Pain don Sanguine Plate, even though for the pure-ranged build I suggest you wear lighter armor (how much lighter is for you to decide.)

 

So: 22 DEX (+36% attack speed which applies to everything); plate armor (50% recovery penalty reduced by 16% with Armored Grace); Penetrating Shot (20% recovery penalty); Gunner (20% faster reload).

 

10-DEX Fighter (w/ Gunner talent)

Attack: 53 frames

Recovery: 76 frames

Reload: 162 frames

Total: 290 frames

 

Lady of Pain

Attack: 44 frames [53/(1+0.36)=39 ; 5-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Recovery: 85 frames [50*(1+0.5-0.16+0.2-0.36)=90 ; 5-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Reload: 120 frames [162/(1+0.36)=119 ; 1-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Total: 249 frames

 

 

Measuring attack speed with firearms is a lot more tricky than with melee weapons; however, the overall mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior is 1 frame (249 observed; 248 expected.) which equals 0.033 seconds at 30 fps; not really something that would dramatically impact your DPS unless the fight was extremely long (which isn't often the case in PoE; much less so when using the Lady of Pain.)


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#13
Nobear

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Lady of Pain

Attack: 44 frames [53/(1+0.36)=39 ; 5-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Recovery: 85 frames [50*(1+0.5-0.16+0.2-0.36)=90 ; 5-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Reload: 120 frames [162/(1+0.36)=119 ; 1-frame mismatch between math and observed in-game behavior]

Total: 249 frames

 

Two things:

 

1) Doesn't Penetrating Shot reduce attack speed rather than recovery speed?

 

2) Are you certain that Dex is added to the other recovery modifiers, or might it be multiplied at the end after the recovery modifiers have been added? I don't know which it is. I'm curious. I just assumed Dex would be multiplied at the end to everything, but maybe not.



#14
AndreaColombo

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Hi Nobear,

 

1) I'm pretty certain everything that says "attack speed" in the game only affects recovery except DEX (which affects everything) and stuff that explicitly relates to reloading (e.g. Gunner talent and one of the Chanter's chants.) I can test it next weekend to confirm.

 

2) Quite certain. Generally, bonuses in Pillars of Eternity are additive, then multiplicative. DEX is an exception when it comes to actual animations (e.g. attacking or reloading), as in those contexts it is applied last with a X / (1+Y) formula. Not sure why that would be the case, but that's what makes the math return true :)

 

 

Next weekend I will probably open a new thread to run and discuss these tests.


Edited by AndreaColombo, 03 August 2015 - 11:02 AM.

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#15
AndreaColombo

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Quick update:

 

  • Ability choice for level 13 is Sundering Blow.
  • Talent choice for level 14 is Apprentice's Sneak Attack.
  • Sneak Attack works on Prone targets, so you're going to exploit it in combo with Knock Down. In light of this, Bonus Knock Down becomes the best talent choice for replacing Quick Switch in the pure-melee build.
  • Tidefall has been changed and no longer has the ability to drain life from targets. It does however have the ability to shorten the duration of beneficial effects on them and steal 10% from their attack speed (basically it speeds you up while slowing them down); if at all possible, it is even more powerful.

 

As far as soulbound weapons go, St Ydwen Redeemer will likely be a good substitute for Tidefall for this build (even though the change to Tidefall makes it very competitive); its ability to proc Pillar of Faith is awesome as that spell can inflict the Prone status, which works in combo with your Apprentice's Sneak Attack talent.

 

There's a fairly beastly soulbound Estoc too, whose name defies me, that is briefly shown in the trailer for the expansion. It is my understanding that it can be bound to any class but cannot be unequipped afterward. That makes it a perfect choice for the pure-melee build. It can inflict Paralyzed to the target, which would be insane in and of itself, but in this build it also works in combo with Apprentice's Sneak Attack. I was/am very keen on the main build, but this Estoc actually makes me want to try to pure-melee variant as well so looks like I have two play throughs to look forward to :)

 

I will review other equipment after going through the expansion (I'm going to start a brand new game so it's going to take a while.)

 

Note that there appears to be a bug whereby Weapon Mastery doesn't stack with Weapon Specialization. This effectively hinders this build a lot, so hopefully it will be fixed very soon.



#16
MasterCipher

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FYI, in beta 2.0 patch at least, food for different attributes and stack, so you can cheaply get +2 to all stats at the same time.

 

Prostitute boons, except for Serele who is once only anyway, don't stack with themselves, but they stack with resting bonuses. So you can add another +2 Mig from the female dwarf on the 2nd floor of the Salty Mast. Retrain your Dex and Con to 18s before hiring her for the first time. She enjoys your company she refunds your coin and she becomes an available stronghold hireling. You can still lay down with her in the stronghold, but no boon is granted :( Repeat with the other staff if desired then retrain back to your normal stats and they'll continue to buff you for free.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the food stacking is unintended and will be patched. 



#17
narkhen

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This build with the new Tidefall stat (steal 10% of atack speed on each atack) You dont need anything else, when fury (sanguine plate) is up, your recovery time falls to 0, attacking

all the time without stopping, I dont know if this is a bug, If you want can do a vid, but with this your fighter become a murderer machine,I doubt even if a rogue would do this damage, this is to much op and only has level 8 lol


#18
AndreaColombo

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Hi narkhen,

 

what you describe has been confirmed by QA as being a bug and it will likely be fixed in next week's patch. Basically these weapons are supposed to only steal 10% attack speed from the target but are set to steal a much higher amount.

 

Nevertheless, the stealing ability is still pretty good. Hope you're enjoying the build :)



#19
AndreaColombo

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So, after beating the game with The White March, here's a build update :)

 

Talents & Abilities

  • As mentioned above, Apprentice's Sneak Attack is an ideal talent for this build as it works in combo with Knock Down.
  • Bonus Knock Down therefore becomes the best replacement for Quick Switch if you're not opening the fight with an Arquebus shot.
  • Ghost Hunter is a good alternative to Weapon Mastery as you trade in +10% damage against everyone for +25% against Spirits, who are among the most annoying foes the game has to offer (and abound in Durgan's Battery, as well as in the Alpine Dragon fight.) Both choices are good, so it's really up to personal preference.
  • Sundering Blow is a great ability for this build to have as it gets you +20% damage as well as a nifty DR reduction. If you knock them down first, you'll increase your chances to crit with Sundering Blow, thus increasing its duration. Then you can disable Vulnerable Attack and enjoy an increased attack rate while the enemy is down and has -8 DR on top of that.

Additionally, there are two minor talents that can be acquired in Stalwart by playing the games at the local inn:

 

  • Dozen's Luck gets you a 4% Crit-to-Hit conversion that stacks with the same bonus from Durgan-reinforced armor. You'll still be critted in every encounter, especially if you play on POTD, but some protection from further crits is definitely welcome. After all, the only crit you need is the one that unleashes Frenzy + Consecrated Grounds.
  • Flick of the Wrist gives you +4 Accuracy with Dagger and Stiletto; it would be completely useless for this build if it didn't apply to soulbound weapons as well. This may or may not be a bug (they might have made it apply to soulbound weapons to give them an edge since they can't be enhanced with Durgan steel), but for as long as this is the case, it is worth taking.

 

Equipment

 

  • Garodh's Chorus in its "offensive" version (i.e. picking all the offensive dialog options) is a great alternative to Munacra Arret. Not only does it get you +3 MIG, thus freeing up Pensiavi mes Rei for another party member—it also gives you Retaliate, which is very good to have for a build that gets hit as often as this one.
  • If using Garodh's Chorus, I suggest replacing Pensiavi mes Rei with a Ring of Protection as the +9 bonus to your Will defense will partly make up for the +12 bonus you lost by giving up on Munacra Arret. +9 to Fortitude and Reflex is bonus, and you give up on Whisper of Treason which I never used anyway (but if you do, Munacra Arret + Pensiavi mes Rei remains a perfectly valid array.)
  • St Ydwen's Redeemer is a very good weapon to have when you fight Vessels, but is otherwise inferior to Tidefall. I therefore suggest you keep the latter as your main, switching to the former when fighting Vessels.
  • You definitely want to enhance Sanguine Plate and Tidefall with Durgan steel, as that gets you +31% attack speed (in total) as well as protection from crits and Hit-to-Crit conversion. Tidefall was already ridiculous and becomes even more so with this enhancement.
  • Pets are merely cosmetic, except for Concelhaut's Skull which actually lets you summon Concelhaut to fight for you. A no-brainer for any character, imho.

 

Consumables

 

  • In my play through I found Potion of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion to be much more valuable than Flask of War Paint, and sipping one at the beginning of combat to be an even better opening move than the Arquebus shot. With a high Survival score (which I usually go for when I play this build), the potion's duration is enough to outlast most encounters and the increase in DPS you get from the +50% attack speed is invaluable.
  • Scroll of Defense (cast by someone else in your party) is a must, so try to always have some handy for any fight that is tougher than a trash mob.

 

Buffs

 

  • Champion's Boon remains the main buff for the Lady of Pain—the one that makes her DPS skyrocket.
  • Devotions for the Faithful takes the second place, with its whopping +20 Accuracy. This is the best Accuracy buff in the game bar none and supersedes both Scroll of Valor and Flask of War Paint (even though the latter also comes with a +10% damage bonus.)
  • Blessing offers a damage bonus as well as a +5 Accuracy bonus that, for some reason, stacks with Devotions of the Faithful. Probably bug. Until it gets fixed, using these spells in conjunction for a total +25 Accuracy is a must.
  • Crowns for the Faithful is of course a no-brainer to buff your defenses.
  • Dire Blessing offers a Hit-to-Crit conversion that stacks with that offered by Durgan steel, so it's worth casting as your last Priest buff.
  • In my original draft I purposefully left out resting bonuses because of their "volatile" nature (you had to travel to specific places to get specific bonuses and they would only last for so long.) As of 2.0, however, resting in Caed Nua offers +3 to a single stat for a whopping three rests, and Caed Nua is in the middle of the map; basically, you can carry the bonus around all the time (not that it would be strictly necessary to have it on at all times, but it is definitely possible to have it for every boss fight including Thaos.) I usually go for +3 DEX, but +3 MIG is also good (and brings your total MIG score when fully buffed to a ridiculous 40.)

 

 

When fully buffed with the above, if you took Weapon Mastery your melee damage output is 41-59 (plus 20% when using Sundering Blow; +15% when using Apprentice's Sneak Attack) with 5 DR bypass. Your attack animation plays 45% faster (from 25 DEX) and your recovery time is 57% faster (-50% plate; -20% Vulnerable Attack; +16% Armored Grace; +16% Durgan-reinforced armor; +45% DEX; +50% Potion of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion) when attacking with St Ydwen's Redeemer (72% faster if attacking with a Durgan-refined Tidefall.)


Edited by AndreaColombo, 14 September 2015 - 09:35 AM.

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#20
Deus2015

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Greetings AndreaColombo,

 

I was referred here by your response in a thread I made, and after reading through all this I wanted to take a moment to say great format and great information - PoE can have such a wealth of depth, and your guide is helping to digest it all.


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