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Has anyone made a viable Melee Cipher build?


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Specifically for 2.0 and preferably for POTD although not necessary since I understand how underpowered this particular class and role are together.  I've looked everywhere for a decent build, but everything I can find on the subject is pre-2.0 and basically irrelevant due to all of the changes.

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There are guys here that did triple crown solo with a melee cipher. So I would think it's very viable. One trick is to use heavy armour and retaliation, since retaliation from battle-forged, shield and armour/neck stack. Together with the meal that gives +2 focus per hit you will always have plenty of focus.

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There are guys here that did triple crown solo with a melee cipher. So I would think it's very viable. One trick is to use heavy armour and retaliation, since retaliation from battle-forged, shield and armour/neck stack. Together with the meal that gives +2 focus per hit you will always have plenty of focus.

Yeah but in 2.0?

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There are guys here that did triple crown solo with a melee cipher. So I would think it's very viable. One trick is to use heavy armour and retaliation, since retaliation from battle-forged, shield and armour/neck stack. Together with the meal that gives +2 focus per hit you will always have plenty of focus.

Yeah but in 2.0?

 

https://youtu.be/wdAfnEqgdQU

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I tested a retaliation cipher, and it was pretty good in White March. It's sort of like a monk. If you get hit and you're near enemies, you're golden. If nobody is hitting you, well, you just can't do dps as fast as a ranged cipher, since their recovery times are lower as they use light or medium armor whereas the melee cipher needs heavy armor for the DR and the retaliation on that plate sanguine.

 

But the focus gain is ridiculous if you do get hit and you're near a lot of enemies. It's ridiculous. Game breaking with ento and anti ray spells even, if you can keep the cipher healed.

 

I would have thought some of teh faster weapons to get mroe focus quicker was good.

 
The issue is generally DR. If your hits are weak and DR stops them. then your focus gain is nullified. So lighter weapons attack faster, but you still need to punch through the enemy's DR to get focus. Saber got buffed, so it has the dmg range of a two handed weapon but is still considered a medium one handed weapon for speed purposes. There's also a special sabre that always drops in Caed Nua dungeons.
 
Or you can just use blunderbuss at point blank after debuffing the enemy's DR.
Edited by Ymarsakar
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I had GM do melee once, had her use Cladaliath with the bonus that adds accuracy and damage when attacking the same target as an ally, between that and the default accuracy bonus of spears, she was pretty reliable hitting things and gaining focus.   The ability that gives bonus damage against prone, stunned or flanked enemies might be good instead, as cipher have ways of causing those effects.

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I once had a melee cipher with Tall Grass. That also worked well. He did not need to get into the fray and still got some nice focus and damage. With Tactical Meld and Borrowed Instinct (stacks for +40 ACC) on top of the Predatory enchantment (+10% hit to crit conv.) you get crits all the time that trigger the prone effect. Maybe Hours of St. Rumbalt would also be nice in such a setup because it not only has an Overbearing enchantment but also Annihilation, what would make your crits truly devastating and would give you tons of focus. Mind that you can cast Tactical Meld before combat for free - meaning that focus regenerates in less than 1 second after casting.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Another point for Tall Grass and Hours of St. Rumbalt: you can get them very early - after Maerwald if you like. You just need coin. Tall Grass is Exceptional and Rumbalt has Accuracy 3 enchantment. That's a big leap in Accuracy right after Maerwald. You can also get Tidefall very early, but the fight is quite tough when you are of to low a level and impossible to find if your mechanics skill is under 10.

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How would you build a melee cipher?  I assume max might and INT would be mandatory, but would the remaining points go into PER for accuracy, DEX for faster attack speed, or CON for greater durability?  Would you use mental binding and ectoplasmic echo like a ranged cipher would, or would you mainly opt for some of the cone-shaped attack powers since you are on the frontline?

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Jsaving, heavy armor with DR buffs. Although that is less of an issue once a cipher is high enough level to steal DR from enemies. High ish deflection 80+ just to be safe. Tanks have 100+. The higher your deflection, the longer your health pool lasts.

 

So Constitution is after getting your deflection. CON and food buffs help compensate for when your low deflection somehow ends up with you taking chunks off your health pool and then the cipher becomes a crippled ranged person.

 

Spell wise, you use pretty much the same thing as a ranged cipher, you just acquire focus differently. To compensate for the heavy armor, dexterity or attack speed buffs are good. Math wise, I heard -50% recovery from plate is about the same as -33% attack speed. So with attack speed buffs from potions, wizard spells, and various priest buffs or paladin exhortations, you can attack as fast as if you didn't have armor on. Which helps with focus gain.

 

Retaliation mods are also a good way to get focus gain for a melee cipher. It's a bit unpredictable, but it's pretty funny since interrupts work too for the backlash damage from retalation, and if you debuff the enemy's DR, the retaliation attack does a lot more effective applied dps.

 

DPS wise, dexterity and perception are more important than might. Because perception prevents misses, converts grazes to hits which is 2x the damage, and converts some hits to crits (another +50% something chunk of dmg). Might merely adds a few percentage points so it doesn't scale as much at the end. Perception + Dexterity gives good results.

 

Generally the same paralysis combo will work with a melee cipher. Get some good focus hits, use the ray dps spells. Ecto is more controllable than the antipathetic one since you can control where your party is. Work with another melee tank, stick to his back so he can't be flanked and neither can you, and then cast ecto on him and then run around the enemies. They will all get hit. A ranged cipher can do the same, but he sometimes gets stuck when someone engages him.

 

INT wise, apart from dialogue reasons, can be reduced heavily. From 18 normally to 16 or even 10-13. This is compensated by having 18 perception and a high dexterity, since it allows you to gain focus faster. It's also points that might go into resolve, to stop interrupts and to buff up your deflection. The higher your deflection, the longer the health pool lasts and the less crits you take.

 

Equipment wise, sanguine plate and tall grass. That way the cipher can buff up his accuracy, get more focus, do paralysis and debuffs, do damage and mind wave attacks, and then also crit people to control them with that special weapon proc. A belt that either reduces damage or increases your might, dex, per. A cloak that is deflection defense or a retaliation one. Rings that are deflection or saving throws. Gloves may be accuracy or attack speed and movement buff.

 

Talent wise I usually take the two focus whip abilities, a focus weapon group, the apprentice sneak attack, and maybe 1-2 defensive talents to up deflection. I use the retaliation shield, so shield/sword talent is useful. A melee cipher that wants to do dps like a rogue, may be taking two handed weapon or dual weapon wielding talents instead for that extra dps.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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the melee cipher needs heavy armor for the DR and the retaliation on that plate sanguine.

 

Equipment wise, sanguine plate and tall grass.

 

Sanguine Plate was changed a while back from Retaliation to Frenzy (up to 2X/encounter) when receiving a crit. That still makes it an interesting option for a melee cipher I'd think. You can still wear Sura's Supper Plate (small retaliation shield) and Hiro's Mantle (if the rare goods vendor happens to offer it on your play through). These effects stack because bonuses from weapons and shields are an exception and won't suppress bonuses from other items you wear.

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