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[CLASS BUILD] The Backlash Beldam (melee multiretaliation cipher tank)

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So, this build uses the known fact that retaliation generates focus. There are some builds that use Sura's Supper Plate and another retaliation item for double retaliation. I used that tactic and tried to stack as many retaliating effects as possible. I tried a lot of skills and items for that.

Turns out that you can stack up to 6(!) different retaliation effects when you get hit/crit in melee combat. Three of them generate (tons of) focus while the others are for dealing damage only. This cipher is quite tanky because of high deflection and DR. Grieving Mother can be used for this build.

 

So here it is:

 

===================================

The Backlash Beldam

===================================

Difficulty: PotD, Version: 2.03

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Class: cipher

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Race: Fire Godlike

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Stats:

 

MIG: 14

CON: 10

DEX: 10

PER: 15

INT: 15

RES: 14

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Skills: boost survival a bit, the rest is up to you

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Abilities/Powers (that matter, rest as you like):

 

Battle Forged

Soul Whip

Antipathetic Echo

Psychovampiric Shield

Ectopsychic Echo
Pain Link

Body Attunement

Mind Lance

Borrowed Instinct

Amplified Wave

Time Parasite

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Talents:
 
Biting Whip
Draining Whip
Weapon and Shield Style
Savage Attack
Vulnerable Attack

Apprentice's Sneak Attack
Veteran's Recovery or Scion of Flame or Spirit of Decay

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Items:

 

Weapons: Bittercut (exceptional, durgan refined, corrosive or burning lash) & Sura's Supper Plate (durgan refined, exceptional)

Armor: Coat of Ill Payment (durgan refined, crush proofed)

Arms: Ryona's Vambraces

Rings: Orlan's Bramble Ring, Ring of Searing Flames

Belt: Sentinel's Girdle or Maegfolk Might or Trollhide Belt

Boots: Echoing Misery

Neck: Mantle of Wreathing Flame

Quick Slots: Carow Golan, Potion of Flame shield

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So... this way you stack the following retaliation effects (*f=focus generation, *dm=melee dmg mods like savage attack etc. work. Ryona's Vambraces 3DR bypass included):
- Battle Forged *dm

- Sura's Supper Plate *fg, *dm

- Coat of Ill Payment *fg, *dm

- Wreathing Flame *fg, *dm OR

- Flame shield *fg, *dm (supresses each other)

- Pain Link

- Ray of Pain (kind of retaliation)

 

You see that we can have 3 retaliations at the same time that generate focus when we get hit in melee combat. All of them are affecte by +% damage modifiers and also DR bypass from Vuln. Attack and Ryona's Vambraces - so they all negate 8 DR of the target.

 

Now let's say that you get hit by three enemies, each one grazes you (happens a lot because of your high deflection) for 2 or 3 damage. You will receive focus from 9 retaliation hits. While the normal retaliation has not very high damage output (like Wreathing Flame, both are quite weak) the Flame Shield from the potion deals solid damage. Anyways you will get good focus while casting or just standing around. It also works if you are prone, paralyzed, stunned and so on.

After two seconds of combat (when you are surrounded by enemies) your focus will jump from 40 (at lvl 14) to 100, two seconds later you will have reached your maximum focus of 160. And you had to do nothing for it. You can now use your powers while regaining focus. You will lose a bit of endurance, but since your DR is very high and you mainly get grazes, that's really negligible. That's why I added Veteran's Recovery and a Tollhide Belt. It's enough to counter the loss of endurance most of the time.

 

In tough fights the Battle Forged kicks in and does a lot of burn damage, but doesn't generate focus. But you could also use a moon godlike if you want powerful aoe healing instead. Now if you add Pain link to the mix it gets interesting in terms of "doing good dps while hanging around". While you're casting your cipher powers, foes not only get hit by (focus generating) retaliations, but also suffer 25% of the damage they do to you - and that's aoe damage, not single target damage. Sometimes also Ray of Pain from the boots kicks in. All these little injuries start to add up pretty fast, you can watch your foes losing endurance while you get focus.

 

If you want a total focus overflow, eat some Carow Golan. That means +4 per *fg-retaliation or with other words you will gain +12 focus for each hit you will receive. If three guys hit you it's +36 focus on top just with Carow Golan. You will hit maximum focus before you can even use a power if you get attacked by a mob.

 

But that's not all. Let's also use these retaliation effects that don't generate focus. Use your Ring of Searing Flames and cast Combusting Wounds on your surrondings. It does 5 burn damage each time the target gets hit by something. Since we have 4 to 5 (with Battle Forged) reliable sources of retaliation (I don't count Ray of Pain) - one of them is aoe - each time we get hit the foes not only suffer from our retaliation damage, but also get burned for >30 damage from combusting wounds. That's why Pain Link's aoe damage is great although it doesn't do anything for our focus: every time an enemy hits us for some damage, all enemies around us receive 25% of that damage. The damage itself is not superhigh, but every time it triggers Combusting Wounds. So one hit from an enemy means several hits for him, they all trigger Comb. Wounds, but it also means that his friends get hit by Pain Link plus Comb. Wounds. They kill themselves quickly. The mob melts like ice in the sun.

 

You need some consumables and per-rest abilities to go really crazy, but even without this the build is working perfectly well without them in normal encounters.  If you want you can use up your charges of Wreathing Flame (three per rest, there's more than one mantle in the game) and then use Potions of Flame Shield. I think you willl always have enough charges and/or potions. Carow Golan can be bought, but the insane focus gain that it provides is only needed in very tough fights with very high DR foes.

 

Ok, had fun - hope you too! :) Good night! 
 

Edited by Boeroer
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So in some ways, Pain Link acts like a reverse Carnage and Combustion Wounds is the dmg multiplier? Very nice! Reminds me of a previous discussion of the synergy between CW and Bunderbluss. Even better yet, there is some flexibility in setting this up on other classes.

 

Any idea of the interaction of CW with DoTs like Deep Wounds or Wounding Shots?

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It works. Every tick of the triggers CW. Also works with wounding weapons like Tidefall, Drawn in Spring and so on. Same with chanter's lvl1 and lvl3 dot phrases. Barb with Tidefall and a Ring of Searing Flames is a nice Combo.

 

Well, it used to work. Maybe the dot thing got nerfed.

 

However, it's difficult to add up as many hits per second on a group of enemies like the Backlash Beldam does.

Edited by Boeroer

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Yeah, it might be nerfed.

 

This and the other thread gave me an idea of something involving Pain Link. I have to see if it works (or most likely not) after I knock off from work.

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Brilliant build! A must try for one of my next play through.

 

You think this could work decently with GM? Can't recall her RES score; her MIG is 12 and her INT is 17, so minor change there. Got decent PER though not 18 AFAIR.


"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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GM will work. Stats are not  very important for this build. CON and RES shouldn't be too low because you're supposed to walk into the fray and get hit a lot.

I only took high PER because I wanted my powers to hit as often as possible, but you can absolutely use a value that's lower. Retaliation itself (from the items like Supper Plate and so on) always hits, never crits or grazes or misses. It's an autohit, so PER/ACC is irrelevant - same with Flame Shield I guess. If Pain Link hits, its aoe retaliation damage or chance to be applied is also not influenced by PER or ACC and also MIG soes nothing for it. So GM is totally fine.
 

The good thing about this build (and the fact that you don't need to min-max your stats) is that you don't have to wait for all the good retaliation gear that comes fairly late (e.g Coat of Ill Payment) to be a good melee cipher. You can always play her the normal way and use a potion or the mantle (if you find it early) for the retaliation effect. You can use a good small shield and a sabre for solid focus build until you get all the fancy retaliation stuff.

You could dump DEX and PER and max out MIG, CON and RES - but it's not needed. The build would only be fun to play when you have all the gear and that's not the way I like to plan my builds. Of course you could always retrain from normal stats to min-max stats when you got your good stuff - but I also don't like to retrain a lot. It breaks immersion.

 

I always keep in mind that you might want to use this builds with the official companions. So I try to avoid min-maxing stats. Like your Lady of Pain works with Eder (although he lacks a bit of MIG and can't get the special. story related talents - but it works ok). My incoming monk build also works with Zahua by the way. Although it's a bit hilarious to put Zahua into Vailian clothes, let him use Rapier and Dagger and toss him the Dandy Hat of the Diseased Yak. :D

 

The retaliation items that you can get quite early are Sura's Supper Plate and Garod's Chorus (if you don't want to be godlike) - and you don't need the Coat of Ill Payment then. Put on a plate and a blunting belt and  you're perfectly dressed for the spanking party. Sometimes, when you push your Stronghold's prestige, you will be offered Hiro's Mantle early. That's also nice. But you cant't use the Mantle of Wreathing Flame then and will have to rely on the potions if you need extra focus. 

 

The only thing with this build is: if nobody hits you in melee you don't get focus. That's another reason why I didn't drop DEX and why I use a sabre like Bittercut: you can always go and just hit people with it to gain focus. The corrode damage plus Vuln. Attack and Ryona's Vambraces will result in a lot of focus just after one sucessful hit. Or you use a second weapon set for Stormcaller (if you don't use a ranger) or a Blunderbuss like Lead Spitter. Lead Spitter with Ryona's V. has 10 DR bypass without Penetr. Shot. With Carow Golan you will have a lot of focus after just one shot.

I have to say this is one of the most powerful builds I experienced so far. And it is fun to play throughout the whole game. It's also good for solo I think.

Edited by Boeroer
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I'm actually too lazy to install a capturing software and do all the fuzz. I can tell you that I just did the Thorfen bounty solo. I just walked in there, set up Pain Link, drank my potion and let them surround and hit me. I managed to cast Combusting Wounds before I went prone and stunned for about 5 seconds - and when I got up I had 160 focus, lost like 20% of my endurance and the guys that struck me where nearly dead. Then I picked the one with the lowest endurance and cast detonate on him. End of story.

 

The longer I play her solo the more I wish I had taken more spammable aoe dps powers like soul shock or mind blades that work in an area around you (besides Pain Link).

Maybe that's a tip for solo players. If you have a party it's totally ok to concentrate on CC and do damage with Amplified Wave. You need a friendly target for that. You can use Tenous Grasp to confuse an enemy and then cast Amplified Wave on him - but that takes a long time and you will get interrupted. But once they lay on the ground it's just "spam the wave". With 160 focus you can cast a lot of amp. waves. 


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Btw Boeroer, CW isn't nerfed and should work with DoT as you mentioned. I just checked with Tidefall. But there is no log entries on the tick dmg so it is difficult to show the results.

Edited by mosspit

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Yep - it's only visible by the red numbers that pop out of the enemies' heads. :)


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Thanks for sharing this build Boeroer, I think I'm going to give it a go.

 

I particularly like the fact you don't min-max and the fact that it's a viable build even before you get the requisite items.

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Before that it's just a regular, sturdy melee cipher build. Nothing special to be honest. :)

Edited by Boeroer

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Does it happen to you as well that when you equip Bittercut on your Fire Godlike, it gets a red tint? It looks positively fugly; Bittercut's original color is a much better match for Coat of Ill Payment :p

 

How did you get your attributes so high without modifiers? You've got a good 3 extra points in the OP.


"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Does it happen to you as well that when you equip Bittercut on your Fire Godlike, it gets a red tint? It looks positively fugly; Bittercut's original color is a much better match for Coat of Ill Payment :p

 

How did you get your attributes so high without modifiers? You've got a good 3 extra points in the OP.

I'm so sorry - still had a resting bonus from the stronghold when I looked up the stats (+3 PER). I corrected that. Now you see that the Grieving Mother can indeed adapt this build without problems. No wonder she's grieving - all that spanking she gets. ;)

 

Made the same mistake while posting Fulmineo - damn. Embarrassing... 

 

No - my Bittercut is glowing green and dripping green stuff - but I put on a corrosive lash, maybe that's why?  Buit when combat starts and soul whip is activated it all gets violett/green... urgs. ;) Maybe you accidentially equipped your secret weapon Buttercut? That has a burning lash as far as I remember. Cuts through butter like a hot knife... through butter...?

I'm using Ubuntu by the way - some things look different for me. E.g. I can't see capes.

Edited by Boeroer
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I haven't applied the corrosive lash yet; just equipped the sabre. I'm not really going for a play through so I just created the character on the fly to see it (and to see what it looks like with the equipment, being the aesthetic bitch that I am.) Indeed violet and green makes me want to avoid the lash altogether and give up on the extra damage ahah

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Just use another sabre. Purgatory would be nice - I mean the name alone fits like chalk and cheese.

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A whip would be so nice. Why don't we get whips in PoE? Could be handled as flails. I want a whip for my soul whip! With a shocking lash! But not a whimpy one! A whopping soul whippin whip with a withering lash - sounds fair. New build coming: Whiplash! Of course. And meet his enemy Iron Man (basically a monk with Iron Wheel in plate and with Iron Skin Potions). And then comes the priest who casts Ironic Projection... 

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This might be getting out of hand... :p

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Great build. If the effectiveness remains constant when WMII is released, I'm gunning for this!

 

I also love the idea of Whips functioning as a Flail. The Mace/Flail skill in Wizardy 8 applies to Whips as well, just saying  :biggrin:

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This looks like a lot of fun - thank you for sharing. 

 

Could I ask what your starting stats were? It looks like I'm about 5 stat points short at the beginning :-)

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I'm a little sleep deprived - but I'm also glad that you like my idea. :) But honestly: I also would like to see a unique whip (flail) in WM part II.

 

 

 

Aaaaand I have a name for it: "The Gay Weeper"... ;)

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Before that it's just a regular, sturdy melee cipher build. Nothing special to be honest. :)

 

Huh! All the usual cipher melee builds I see seem to suggest you need to max might and intellect. If nothing else thanks for opening my eyes to the fact non min-maxed characters are viable  :)
 

Could I ask what your starting stats were? It looks like I'm about 5 stat points short at the beginning  :-)

 

 

With racial bonuses and a background you should be able to start off the game with 14-10-10-15-15-14 I think. You start with 10 in all attributes and have 15 additional points to spend. On top of this your race effectively gives you 2 extra points and your background gives you 1 for a total of 18.

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I made a mistake while copying the stat points from game to the forum: I still had a +3 PER resting bonus. I edited the first posting - the stats should be correct now. Sorry for the confusion.


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I made a mistake while copying the stat points from game to the forum: I still had a +3 PER resting bonus. I edited the first posting - the stats should be correct now. Sorry for the confusion.

No worries! Trying out the build now solo PotD - had started a paladin but got bored :-) This looks like much more fun.

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