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The Frozen Lance is primarily a wizard that engages his opponents head-on. Should the need arise, he has access to an impressive repertoire of spells and is capable of clearing battlefields in short order.

 

This was my first solo attempt at PoE, and I am proud to say that this character killed all of the dragons, completed all of the bounties, and probably all of the possible side-quests (faction choice dependent of course). I would not recommend this build for TCS as he is usually in the middle of the action and without the targeting circles, I would probably have nuked myself more than once.

 

I respecced a couple of times to try new ideas or new strategies, but with the final build it should not be necessary. The toughest fights were Llengrath, the Alpine Dragon, everything on the Concelhaut quest and Adragans…damn, how I hate Adragans…

 

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The Frozen Lance

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Difficulty: PotD v. 3.02 – solo

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Class: Wizard

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Race: Any race will do – I used a Moon Godlike which is easier low-level but you miss out on nice helms later on.

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Background: Living lands - Background : Drifter (+1 Stealth / + 1 Mechanics)

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Stats:

MIG: 14 (Base 10 +1 Living Lands +1 Gift from the Machine +2 Vengiatta Rugia)

CON: 19 (Base 12 +4 Iron Circle + 3 Woodland Trails Resting Bonus)

DEX: 17 (Base 12 +1 Godlike +4 Viettro’s Formal Footwear

PER: 19 (Base 13 +1 Song of the Heavens +1 Hylea’s Boon +4 Mantle of the Excavator)

INT: 20 (Base 15 +1 Godlike +4 Gwyn’s Band of Union)

RES: 17 (Base 13 +4 Siegebreaker Gauntlets)

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Skills:

Stealth: 6 (Base 4 +1 Drifter +1 Blooded Hunter)

Athletics: 3 (Base 1 +2 Woodland Trails Resting Bonus)

Lore: 12 (Base 6 +2 Wizard +2 Hylea’s Boon +3 Viettro’s Formal Footwear)

Mechanics: 8 (Base 6 +1 Wizard +1 Drifter)

Survival: 10 (Base 8 +2 Mantle of the Excavator)

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Talents obtained at level-up:

Weapon and Shield Style

Weapon Focus Noble

Bear’s Fortitude

Body Control

Superior Deflection

Two-Handed Style

Secrets of the Rime

Beast Slayer / Sanctifier – Choose either although I think Beast Slayer is much more useful

 

Story Talents:

The Merciless Hand

Gift from the Machine

Blooded Hunter

Wild Running

Scale Breaker

Flick of the Wrist

Dozen’s Luck

Sever the Soul

Song of the Heavens

Hylea’s Boon

 

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Weapon Set 1: The Unlabored Blade / Litte Saviour (Superb / Durgan-Reinforced)

Weapon Set 2: Abydon’s Hammer or Steadfast / Aila Braccia (Exceptional / Durgan-Reinforced)

 

Head: N/A

Chest: Vengiatta Rugia (Superb / Durgan-Reinforced /+2 Might)

Hands: Siegebreaker Gauntlets

Ring 1: Iron Circle

Ring 2: Gwyn’s Band of Union

Feet: Viettro’s Formal Footwear

Waist: Arthek’s Cord

Pet: Concelhaut’s Skull

 

Quick Items: Scroll of Prayer Against Imprisonment / Scroll of Paralysis / Scroll of Maelstrom / Potion of Major Endurance *** I adjusted these based on certain encounters, for instance Scrolls of Prayer Against Fear are very useful before I got Steadfast.

 

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Spell Mastery

Level 1 – Eldritch Aim

Level 2 – Merciless Gaze

Level 3 – Deleterious Alacrity of Motion (“DAoM”)

Level 4 – Ironskin

 

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Tactics

 

 

 

The Frozen Lance tends to buff and then strike hard and fast, taking out opponents before they can do any real damage. He delights in engaging opponents in melee and is often found in the thick of the action engaging up to three opponents simultaneously. Where he cannot control the battlefield, he has access to high-damage spells that effectively end fights before they can even begin.

 

To maximize the buffs, high INT is needed. PER was raised in order to compensate for the wizard’s lower accuracy and RES was raised to ensure that my spells do not get interrupted. The other 3 abilities had points allocated based on how I envisioned the progression of the build.

 

In order to use spells more efficiently, encounters are ranked according to their difficulty and buffs are then cast according to this ranking. The rankings are Easy (one or two opponents), Normal (need to exercise some judgement here, but most encounters fall in this ranking) and Difficult (need to unleash all nukes or else you end up as chickenfeed).

 

With all encounters, I ignored all enemies, found a good place to make a stand (doorways or anything that limits the number of enemies you face – walls and rocks also work since you can’t be fully surrounded), cast my buffs and only then did I engage the enemies.

 

The order of the buffs is also chosen in order to maximize the time these overlap. It is no use casting Eldritch Aim at the beginning of the buff-sequence as its duration is too short to be useful. It should always be the last buff cast.

 

Once I had access to the resting bonus providing racial accuracy bonuses (Survival 4), I always used this to get higher accuracy against tough opponents.

 

 

 

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Endgame Tactics (Act 3, WM 1 & 2 and Level 16 onwards)

 

 

 

Difficult Encounters: Cast buffs in this order – Ironskin*, Llengrath’s Displaced Image (replace with Siphoning Image once you have it), Llengrath’s Safeguard, Flame Shield, Merciless Gaze*, DAoM*, Eldritch Aim*. You could also cast Citzal's Martial Power instead of Eldritch Aim and then use the Spells of Paralysis and Maelstrom - I did this for Llengrath. Used all 10 of my Maelstrom spells and one of the dragons was still standing.

 

For these encounters a good shield is very useful (deflection and reflex bonus) and Steadfast’s immunity to fear means that there is no penalty to accuracy – very useful when facing dragons. Once all the buffs are cast, I start to nuke everything in range. Paralyze opponents with Ninagauth’s Shadowflame and then finish them with Kalakoth’s Freezing Rake. High accuracy for crits is very important (paralyze duration and damage) and if you crit hardly any opponents are left standing after the third Rake. After the third rake, reevaluate whether to engage in melee or just blast off the rest of your spells. You will need to rest in any case after this encounter.

 

Normal Encounters: Cast buffs in this order – Ironskin*, Llengrath’s Displaced Image (replace with Siphoning Image once you have it), Flame Shield, Merciless Gaze*, Citzal’s Spirit Lance, DAoM*, Citzal’s Martial Power. Eldtrich Aim is not cast as Citzal’s Martial Power overrides its effect. Spells were chosen so that only 1 spell is cast from each level, thus enabling the Frozen Lance to survive 4 encounters before needing to rest.

 

Engage the enemies and just whack away. The high speed and accuracy cause frequent crits and the blast of the lance does pretty serious damage too. In WM2, I tended to use Unlabored Blade rather than the lance whenever I needed the higher deflection.

 

Easy Encounters: Just cast the spells you have mastered in this order: Ironskin*, Merciless Gaze*, DaoM*, Eldritch Aim* and whack away.

 

*Cast the spell using spell mastery

 

 

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Midgame Tactics (Act 2)

 

 

 

Difficult Encounters: Cast buffs in this order – Ironskin, Llengrath’s Displaced Image, Flame Shield, Merciless Gaze, DAoM, Eldritch Aim.

 

For these encounters a good shield is very useful for the deflection and reflex bonus. I used the Rotfinger Gloves a lot in combination with Crackling Bolt and Minoletta’s Missiles (both Bounding and Concussive) and Blast of Frost when enemies got close. I also used figurines to distract opponents while I cast spells and the Shades are particularly useful during Act 2. You will need to rest in any case after this encounter so no need to save spells or summons.

 

Normal Encounters: Cast buffs in this order – Ironskin, Llengrath’s Displaced Image, Flame Shield, Merciless Gaze, Concelhaut’s Parasitic Staff, DAoM and Eldritch Aim. If needed, debuff enemies with Curse of Blackened Sight before engaging. You want the accuracy bonus of Eldritch Aim to give you a better chance at crits.

 

Easy Encounters: Same spells and tactics as for Normal encounters.

 

 

 

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Early-game Tactics (Act 1)

 

 

Get your stealth to 5 as soon as possible, then sneak around and complete quests as non-violently as possible. I don’t wish to include spoilers, but it is possible to complete Act 1 with almost no fights. If you do need to fight, Concelhaut’s Parasitic Staff combined with Curse of Blackened Sight and Eldrtich Aim is very good. Also use the figurine to get flanking bonuses on your opponents.

 

Edited by grausch
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Survival Guide for the Frozen Lance

 

My early game (Act 1) was based on the paladin walkthrough provided by David Ashton on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgOrDfghilGH9712JmOGIhA). For Act 1, I followed the exact same sequence of quests as he did - however, my wizard dispatched of enemies a lot quicker with a combination of Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff and Curse of Blackened Sight. I did need to rest more than he did though, but in Act 1 the wizard was not any weaker than the paladin.

 

Since my goal was to play this wizard as a melee wizard, stats started of as MIG 18, INT 15 and PER 15 with the rest of the stats averaged. I do not like dumping stats preferring to have a character with no discernible weakness, but it also means there are no exceptional strengths. Since I wanted to clear out all the areas to get to level 5 before Caed Nua, I was engaged in melee quite often. The stats as presented here probably made the wizard a bit tougher at lower levels (compared to my end-game stats), but if i were to do it again, I would sneak past most encounters and return to complete them in Act 2, thus negating the need for a respec.

 

Difficult encounters - Act 1

 

 

 

Bear Cave - Did this at level 5, using the Obsidian Figurine, Curse of Blackened Sight and a couple of Fan of Flames spells. Once the big bear is down, the fight is effectively won.

 

Temple of Eothas - I kited enemies so that I could engage them one-on-one and worked my way through to the bones (and the flail) as directly as possible. Came back to clear the rest of the enemies later.

 

Raedric - Enter his keep through the top door. I needed to take out the guard and the archer as I could not reliably sneak past either of them. Pulled the guard first and then killed the archer later. Killing the guard was the toughest fight I did up to that point. It took multiple tries purely because I could not reliably hit him. Cleared the rest of the enemies in the hold, freed Purnisc and got the key to the throne room. Looted everything I could and only came back to finish Raedric at the end of Act 2.

 

Caed Nua - Snuck all the way to the throne room using the well-documented path. For this encounter I still had Hardened Veil as a talent and I wanted to get off as many Fans of Flames as possible, so I wore no armour. I snuck all the way to the door, got my stealth broken by the statue, positioned myself inside the room, got a Hardened Veil up and started casting Fan of Flames like crazy. All of the phantoms / shades died fairly quickly.

 

Maerwald - Snuck down to Maerwald without engaging any opponents. Lured him out to the beatles, got the spiders involved and the looters as well. Hid in the room across from the looters, watched the encounter and threw in some softeners every now and then. Only mopped up what I could, and then snuck out again to get to Act 2.

 

 

 

Midgame - Act 2

 

In Act 1, the game mostly comprised of luring single opponents out and killing them while they were alone. In Act 2, my gameplay changed more towards the usual wizard. I used Gaun's Snare with an exceptional small buckler for most of Act 2 and either the backer plate or the Sanguine Plate once I got it for armour. I got both of the figurines asap and bought the Rotfinger Gloves and Shod-in-Faith as well. With the Rotfinger Gloves and the typical spell complement, I could win most fights, but needed to rest after every encounter. Unfortunately Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff did not work that well anymore as encounters started to be more open, thus I got surrounded more often and enemies were tougher meaning that I needed all the deflection I could get. Completing Act 2 took much longer than it should have, as it was pretty frustrating to grind through encounters this way. David Ashton's paladin started having a much easier time than my wizard since he could survive a lot longer.

 

I also made the mistake of not taking the two Citzal's spells at level up as I knew I could get them in Od Nua. When I finally got them, and then realised how to utilise them, I realised that Act 2 could have been much easier if I had those spells available for it. After I got these spells I started figuring out the buffing sequence and this turned was really the point where the game became fun again.

 

Difficult Encounters - Act 2

 

 

Battle for the Sanguine Plate - I followed David Ashton's guide and approached the opponents from the outside of town and lured them into my traps. Luckily they tend to spread out when following me, so it allowed me some time to get off spells and get some summons involved as well. The shades were pretty crucial to this encounter as they could neutralise the wizards. I needed a couple of tries to get this right and still feel I was lucky on the successful attempt. Perhaps I should have tried this much later in Act 2 to have a better chance of survival.

 

Heritage Hill - To clear Heritage Hill, I needed to lure out most enemies, use summons to keep them away from me and even then taking on Dargul's was dicey business. It was very easy for fights to go wrong. Clearing the area in front of the tower took quite a while as I lured them out, blocked them with summons and the cast AoE spells to hopefully get one of the opponents down.

 

The Tower in Heritage Hill - Need to sneak through as much as possible and only engage where needed. Need to clear the area around the stairs on level 1 before you go up, otherwise when you descend you will end up with a much tougher fight.

 

The Crypt in Heritage Hill - Damn, I got by butt handed to me so many times with this encounter. Ended up doing this encounter right at the end of Act 2 and then it went ok. Still needed to use summons to control the enemies and Protection Against Fear scrolls to ensure that I could hit, but I did manage to win with a bit of luck.

 

The Man Who Waits - Here I already had both of the Citzal spells and literally just positioned myself correctly, cast my buffs and killed everything quite easily. As long as you do not get surrounded, most of the constructs can be killed quite easily. The Bartender's Ring also works wonders here.

 

Clandestine Cargo - A lot of pulling individual enemies and then taking them down either with spells or the lance. Depends on how the fight progresses, but these encounters can be extremely tough if too many enemies get pulled.

 

Cail the Silent - Wasn't too tough. Just followed the guide. Positioning and summons are key to winning this battle.

 

The Wailing Banshee - Scrolls of Protection Against Fear and then nuke with everything you have. Bartender's Ring is highly recommended.

 

Stormwall Gorge - It is not possible to avoid this fight, but I did not find it that tough with the wizard. Just lure the enemies up the narrow pass and then prod them with the lance until they die.

 

 

 

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Survival Guide Part 2

 

As can be seen from the way the I selected my spells, the Frozen Lance was quite efficient at poking most enemies to death. As long as I controlled my position on the battlefield, used summons to distract opponents and used my spell sequence most fights were a walk in the park. At this point, I had not done any of the bounties, but I had cleared all of Od Nua except for the final level. Trying to clear that led to many abrupt endings and I decided to focus on Act 3 and White March Part 1 instead. 

 

 

Difficult Fights - Od Nua

 

 

 

I cleared Od Nua piecemeal between other quests or whenever I felt I needed to advance to level 12 to get the spellbook. Since I did not have my super-poker spells, it was a pretty frustrating grind involving one fight / rest / one fight / rest / one fight / head to the surface to buy camping supplies and rest. If I ever replay the game, I will wait until I am strong enough to take out the ogres before I even attempt to go down to level 3.

 

Ogre Level - There are some ogres that can be pulled, but for the most difficult fights it can't be done. Strategy was to distract ogres with summons, run away, cast confusion, then AoE spells and hope to take down one or two. Run away then, rest and rinse and repeat. At higher level this would have been considerably easier.

 

Drake on Level 5 - Was actually surprisingly easy. Positioning is key. There is a point to the south, where you can get a decent position and just nuke away.

 

Fampyr Lord on Level 8 - Stood on the walkway, nuked, summoned and luckily managed to kill everything as I ran out of spells. Needed to take out the final two archers, but they were quite easy.

 

Once I reached level 12 and got the spellbook, experimented with Citzal's and got the buff sequence is place, the game became a lot more fun. Will discuss the Adra Dragon at a later stage. 

 

Level 14 - Guardian - Once I retreated from the main fight and used the doorway to channel opponents the fight became quite easy. If I recall correctly, I could not pull all of the enemies at once and needed several pulls to clear this area, but with the super-poker it was all quite straight-forward.

 

 

 

 

Difficult Encounters - White March Pt 1

 

 

 

I had done a few of the easier quests in Act 3, but decided that I really wanted the items available in WM1, so delved headlong into this. I had attempted clearing the ogres from Stalwart earlier, but I had not yet had the Citzal spells and gave up after a couple of attempts. Returning with my Citzal super-poker, I managed to clear all of the ogres in 4 battles which is the maximum number of fights I could buff before I needed to rest. I did need to use summons to draw more enemies to me though on a couple of occasions.

 

Stalwart - The final encounter with the ogre chieftain can be quite tough. I snuck up to them from the north, cast slicken on the closest cannoneers (when they recover from being prone they did not engage if I was out of range), retreated to the stairs at the north and poked everyone to death. Ran towards the two remaining cannoneers and poked them to death before my buffs expired.

 

The Thermal Pearl - Clearing all the Lagufaeth was a real pain. The most efficient way for me was to cast Confusion, and then cast Minoletta's missiles on whoever was not confused. I did not use scrolls at all, but if I were to redo this, I would use scrolls of Prayer Against Paralysis and attack them head-on.

 

Any other Lagufaeth battles - These can all be tough since you can be paralysed. I chose to pull a few at a time and the poke them to death. If I could not pull them Confusion was the next best bet.

 

No other encounters were really that difficult. The final encounter within Durgan's Battery was over in record time by just poking everyone. Even thigh I was fully surrounded, I survived almost unscratched. Concelhaut will be discussed in his own section.

 

 

 

Difficult Encounters - White March Pt 2

 

 

 

Iron Flail Fort - I could clear this out quite reliably as long as I kept the number of opponents low. By using the same tactics for Normal encounters above and just pulling opponents and positioning smartly, it did not take long to clear the Fort. I did not fight the Commander though as it would weaken me too much for the subsequent encounter with the Eyeless.

 

Eyeless in the Iron Flail Fort - They attack you even when in stealth mode, so it is best not to try and sneak past them, but rather just run until they stop pursuing. Then pull them individually and attack. If I recall correctly, they can be paralysed with Ninagauth's Shadowflame and then hit with St. Ydwen's Redeemer which has a good chance of destroying them.

 

Whitestone Hollow - Everything here was quite easy. Even the bounty where I just poked everyone to death.

 

Abbey of the Fallen Moon - I did not pick any unnecessary fights here and avoided the snuck around the monks in the Halls of Silence. They are pretty damn tough no matter what level you are at and it is quite easy to perish here.

 

Radiant Spore - You can persuade the Vithracks to leave which makes the fight significantly easier. I then moved as far away from the Spore as possible and dealt with the sporelings. Once those were taken care of, I took out the Spore with the remaining spells.

 

Caryon's Scar - Abydon's Hammer or St. Ydwen's Redeemer make short work of the Eyeless. DAoM, Paralyse and attack. The Kraken did not represent as much of a challenge as the Eyeless.

 

 

 

 

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Survival Guide Part 3

 

Dragons & Concelhaut

 

 

 

Adra Dragon - This is the first dragon I tried to take on and all my attempts made me realise that the super-poker was not going to work for tougher opponents. After dying from the tail sweep for the nth time, I spent a lot of time reviewing the Dragon wikipedia and coming up with a plan. The spell doing the most damage was Kalakoth's Freezing Rake, so I needed to maximise this. At this juncture choosing Secrets of the Rime seemed like a smart choice for the 25% damage bonus. Not sure if they stack, but combining Beast Slayer with Secrets of the Rime seemed like a sure-fire way to get more damage. Scoring a critical hit would increase this damage even more, so I respecced and upped Survival. Having an opponent paralysed further increased my odds of scoring crits, so Ninagauth Shadowflame was also added to my spellbook. Rounding it out was Blast of Frost.

 

I finally managed to take down the Adra Dragon sometime during the end of WM1. I did not yet have Steaddast, so Scrolls of Protection Against Fear were cast as soon as I got the buffs off. Paralysed the dragon (Shadowflame) and an Adragan and threw out three Kalakoth's Rakes. Dragon was still standing so Paralysed him again and finished him off with some Blasts of Frost. The Xaurip adds were all dead and the remaining three Adragans promptly petrified and killed me. Redid the battle, took out the dragon again and used a Substantial Phantom as bait for the Adragans. Took them out with Minoletta's missiles. Next time, I will use a Scroll of Protection Against Paralysis.

 

Sky Dragon - Same strategy as the Adra Dragon. Didn't take long too go down and then just mopped up the adds.

 

Alpine Dragon - As you may have guessed, cold based spells did not work that well. Confusion also did not work for me. The dragon got confused attacked his mates and somehow got healed whenever the confusion wore off. I respecced into a Fire Wizard, used his adds to keep him away from me, weakened him with the Rotfinger Gloves, petrified him with Gaze of the Adragan, hit him with all of my Torrents of Flame and swore as he was still standing and nowhere near death. I then started throwing Delayed Fireballs, Fireballs and Fan of Flames all while trying to keep him petrified. It worked and i then mopped up the adds.

 

Concelhaut - Every single fight here counts as a difficult encounter. For the mercenaries, I would position myself appropriately let them get close while I buiffed, and then I nuked. Rest, rinse and repeat. If I could have hired these mercenaries, I could just have let them kill everything while I sat in the jacuzzi in Caed Nua drinking beer. Getting to Concelhaut was moderately challenging with his Death Guard's being the biggest problem. I used Steadfast to combat the fear, but Steadfast doesn't really hit hard, so I burnt through spells too fast whenever I faced one of them. Thus, rest, rinse and repeat. Concelhaut was quite easy as you can pull opponents and he obligingly committed suicide when Aila Bracia reflected his spells back at him.

 

Llengrath - No matter which approach I used, I always got turned into a pig and then got crushed. Watched some videos and believe I saw @Kaylon post a video where he backed himself into a corner and thought from there. That approach delayed the inevitable, but I still got turned into a pig and crushed. At this point, a new strategy was desperately needed. So, I crafted 10 Maelstrom scrolls and 5 paralyse scrolls. Backed myself into a corner cast all the buffs for difficult encounters but replaced Eldritch Aim with Citzal's Martial Power. This disabled spell-casting, but I could still use scrolls. Paralysed everyone in range (the annoying apprentice as well) and started deploying Maelstroms. At this point Llengrath decided to join the fight and luckily for me the Maelstrom radius hit the 2 dragons and her. I could not keep her paralysed, but everyone else was paralysed. Summoned Concelhaut to take care of the apprentice and then let him summon his hammer to keep Llengrath occupied. Once all my scrolls were exhausted, only the larger dragon was left standing luckily my Citzal's Martial Power expired. Took him out with regular spells at that point and mopped up the adds.

 

 

 

 

 

Bounties

 

 

 

 

None of the bounties were really tough. I struggled to get past Nalrend the Wise's welcoming committee, but I did not have the Kalakoth method at the time. I just pulled 2 or 3 ogres and poked them to death. Due to everyone bunching up in the cave, by the time Nalrend got close to me, the damage from the blasts of the Spirit Lance left him badly injured. Once I targeted him, he was down in a flash.

 

I watched some videos of the final two bounties, but kiting just is not my style. I ended up positioning myself against a wall or a ledge, buffed, nuked and mopped up what was left. Granted, I was not playing TCS and dying would not be that disastrous, therefore my method worked. Both of these bounties were over before my first buffs ran out.

 

 

 

 

 

From the descriptions of the battles above, it should be clear that the Frozen Lance can deal insane amounts of damage when it is required. Very few enemies are standing after being hit by 3 Kalakoth's Rakes while they are paralysed. Average damage per rake on opponents that are paralysed seems to be close to 200. Average damage when buffed and attacking with Citzal's Spirit Lance is about 40, with the blast damage being slightly less, but it hits a lot of opponents. If you are backed up against a wall and surrounded, the blast can hit 6 opponents or more. Combined with the insanely fast attack speed, decent interrupts and AoE effect, I walked out of several fights hardly losing any health. Being fully surrounded was never good though and the Frozen Lance can die if too many opponents are attacking at the same time. I found 3 opponents to be a nice manageable number.

Edited by grausch

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Final Fight

 

 

 

Fighting Thaos was actually fairly straightforward and he went down on the first try. I just positioned myself so that the two statues could not attack me at the same time, summoned Concelhaut to keep Thaos busy, paralysed the statues with Ninagauth's Shadowflame, raked them with 3 Kalakoth's, blasted them with a couple of Blast of Frost, making sure to keep them paralysed in between.

 

Concelhaut did not survive very long, and Thaos was casting spells, but nothing affected me, so I was not too worried. When the statues went down, I was down to about a quarter endurance and needed to swallow 4 potions of major endurance to stay on my feet. Thaos had cast some DoT on me, but unfortunately I could not see what it was as the status effects bugged out. Whatever it was, there were at least 4 or 5 of those active on me. Luckily those wore off before I ran out of endurance potions. At that point, I just engaged Thaos and with a combination of spells and melee finished him off.

 

 

 

Haven't touched the game for at least a month after that, but am now planning a pacifist / no rest for the pro TCS playthrough. Might take a couple of months to do...

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Thanks for the write-up.

 

Playing solo meele Wiz myself at the moment, I find it curious there is no Veteran's Recovery and Apprentice Sneak Attack or Second Skin in melee build. I have Res 10 base, do not have Arcane Veil and do not usually use Deflection boosting spells, and still am able to do all content without much problems, usually first try. With max Mig and 16 Con base, Coastal Aumaua, + 25% healing item and high DR, I recover most what I get hit for usually through VR , CC Siphon and Shod-in-Faith.  That's running around with Kana estoc and Durance staff, because I am cheap, till level 8.

 

This said, while melee Wiz is now more viable than a year ago for example, its still far from most powerful Wiz build my opinion. Good job on sticking with it. 

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Hi @knownastherat,

 

Thank you for reading the write-up. I can try to explain the reasons for omitting certain talents, but I tended to choose my talents based on where I thought the build was weak. If I was getting destroyed by certain enemies, I would try and select talents that would help against those enemies. Regarding the specific talents you mention, I can note the following:

 

Veteran's Recovery

 

 

 

During Act 1, the racial healing from the Moon Godlike, combined with the regeneration from Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff and the DR from the backer plate, meant that I never really had issues with Endurance. During my playthrough of Act 1 & 2, I did have 18 MIG though and 10 PER, so while I missed a lot, when I hit, it did decent damage and I was healed for a decent amount. Once I got Shod-in-Faith in Act 2, Endurance was almost never an issue, although Health sometimes was. During Act 3 and thereafter, the biggest risk was enemies that did massive damage or petrified me. At this stage of the game, I was pretty high level and as long I could still act, there was always plenty of time to drink endurance potions. I still needed to use the terrain appropriately though - getting arrogant was a good way to get killed.

 

 

Apprentice's Sneak Attack

 

 

Was a very tempting choice, but once I got to the stage where I could consider it, I preferred to focus on my defenses instead. Body Control seemed like a much better bet considering the number of times I got destroyed after being petrified by Adragans. I was also doing very decent damage already by paralyzing opponents with Ninagauth's Shadowflame and then scoring mostly crits with Kalakoth's. So, except for dragons, nothing really survived a barrage like that.

 

 

Second Skin

 

 

2 DR is not that great when the biggest threat comes from opponents that do large damage. When you fight dragons, the extra 2 DR won't really make much of a difference. However, the 30% bonus damage to crits makes a huge difference to the damage output of Kalakoth's.

 

 

Melee Wizard vs other Wizard types

 

 

 

Below is a screenshot of my stats before the Thaos fight.

 

post-98913-0-21530800-1471086822_thumb.jpg

 

 

I did eat Dragon Meat Dish (+3 STR / +3 RES), Pearlwood Chicken (+2 CON), Rauatai Sweet Pie (+2 DEX), Stalwart Rabbit Stew (+2 PER), Casita Casserole (+2 Int), Farmer's Spread (+1 Move Speed) and White Yefner (+3 DR). Equipped Weapons are Unlabored Blade and Little Savior.

 

Below is a screenshot of me fully buffed.

 

 

post-98913-0-55498300-1471087681_thumb.jpg

 

 

Below is a screenshot of the combat log with everyone either dead or near death. It gives you a glimpse of the difference in damage output between a normal nuking wizard and a melee wizard.

 

 

post-98913-0-89925800-1471088450_thumb.jpg

 

 

Sometimes a wizard needs to nuke and if you play a melee wizard, you always have that backup in case things go wrong. All the nuking spells I used have fast casting time, so these spells just followed one another without pause. Had I cast 3 Kalakoth's Rakes, the fight would have been over. However, in normal fights, if you block a doorway, you usually hit 3 or 4 enemies with the lance, with almost no recovery time between hits. If you hit 3 opponents, for 40 dmg per hit at the speed he is hitting at, then most of them don't last long. If you are against a wall, you could potentially hit 6 opponents like this, but you take more damage doing so. With the high interrupts, some opponents can go down without ever getting in a hit.

 

Another thing that made this wizard nice, is that I could go 4 fights between rests, thus enabling me do to 12 fights before I needed to buy another set of camping supplies. I also found that I hardly ever need to worry about health, so going 4 fights in a row was never really a problem. Compared to Aloth in my normal playthrough, the melee wizard is much more robust and versatile.

 

 

 

Edit: Forgot to add, good luck with your playthrough. Act 2 can get a bit tedious, but once you get to the proper level, this build is immense fun to play. Who thought that a wizard could take on a couple of fighters in melee and win?

Edited by grausch
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  • 4 weeks later...

No explanation is necessary :) There is not one, let alone correct, way to play the game imo. As mentioned, I run with Coastal Aumaua with very high healing bonuses and INT so VR works well for me. btw I love Act 2. Its the part of the game I replay the most. Also I found Firebrand, from Forgemaster gloves, quite useful as it hits consistently for ~40-50 damage, with 21 MIG as base + bonuses. Though per/rest it saves the, excellent, parasitic staff for Eldritch Aim/Spirit Shield. Still in Act 2 as I re-rolled, have mental issues with respeccing druning run, for dumped RES in favour of PER. Not too happy with it though, very bad for Concentration even with Spirit Shield on, so might re-roll again. 

 

jagu.png

 

It works out that I take about half as damage as I do, which speaks for itself I think.

Edited by knownastherat
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Dump both agi & resolution is a thing i dislike in wiz. Your casting is both slow and easy to interrupt, if you doesn't manage to finish cast your spells doesn't matter how much strenght or per you have.

Anyway you can also see my coldhearth wiz build if you are interested in tanky wizards

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Yup, I have read all the recent Wiz threads and the build thread before deciding. Good stuff there. The stat distribution is possibly not optimal but I do not mind having weaknesses and strengths, to avoid/capitalise on. It kind of defines playstyle for me. I see WILL as the least useful save hence dumped RES while dumped DEX and relatively high PER keeps Reflex in check. Cant have it all, -21% action speed a Wiz can mitigate, while Accuracy is always useful.  Interrupts are indeed a problem, hence my remark about re-roll. Not sure yet. Trying to compensate with Llengrath's Displaced Image and large shield to cast buffs, last long enough in tough encounters, while trying to avoid Weapon and Shield style. Its still too early into the game to tell though I feel. Probably will not be able to do all content but at least will see what the limits are like. /shrugs

Edited by knownastherat
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If you are pseudo-soloing ( i mean recruit some companion just to do the caed nua advenures, while you actually play the game alone) you can aim for belt of chimes or celebrante gloves, they will boost a lot your concentration.

 

Anyway consider that accuracy is the easyest attribuite to pump, directly (gallant focus, eldicht aim, scroll of valor) or indirectly (blind from chill fog, ...).

Just to make a comparison: if you aim good a chill fog and blind the mobs is like to get +20 accuracy for all attacks vs deflecion or reflexes.

Get + 20/30 to concentration is more difficult or dispendious ( potions).

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Yes, I am aware, thanks for suggestions. However, as I said I do not mind having weakness(es). If I was able to walk anywhere and kill anything without much problem/effort, it would be boring to me. Challenge, overcoming weaknesses is part of fun for me. My playstyle for this melee Wiz is based on ability to deal lots of damage and heal lots of damage received. Hence stat distribution and talents. Some people do not like "cheese" playstyle. There is nothing more cheese to me than being able to kill anything easily. Since I do get interrupted a lot, I have to come up with approaches I would not have to come up with if I was not interrupted. Think of it as .. role playing :)

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I wouldn't recommend dumping Dex, spells that increase attack speed only increase your recovery phase (not the spell cast animations phase) and so you're actual cast times are going to be quite increased. In addition, the drop to your Reflex is significant with severe dumpage.

 

At most, I'd probably leave both Dex and Res at 10, which gives you another 5 points to play with which isn't insigificant. Concentration doesn't need to be super high for the game to be manageable on solo, but with a spell caster dumping Res doesn't seem to be the best idea, especially if dumping Dex which will increase your casting times in the first place.

 

While I'm sure the build would be perfectly doable how you're trying to play it, I don't you're not really making any improvements to it with your changes so you will have a needlessly tougher time.

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Haven't logged in for a while and it is great to see some activity on this thread.  :biggrin:
 
One of the things I like about PoE is that there are several ways it can be played and weaknesses addressed. My wizard evolved mostly through feedback I got from the game itself. I started off with a slower (although not 3 DEX), but harder hitting (not 21 MIG though) wizard. For Act 1 he was great, since Concelhaut's Parasitic staff hits hard and restores endurance. During Act 2 I started struggling and the build needed to evolve. I chose to become less tanky and more aggressive, but I also could have opted for a different approach.
 
Deleterious Alacrity of Motion can greatly improve speed (although based on the post above, it only affects the recovery phase) and all of the defensive spells I used are fast casting. With my final build I could string quite a few of them before opponents managed to reach me. The trick was to open combat by disabling stealth, thereby allowing me to a) be correctly positioned before combat and b) be able to cast spells immediately. Slower casting times would have negatively impacted me, but there will still be enough time to get some buffs off before the opponents can engage the caster.
 
Using Llengrath's Displaced Image and then Spirit Shield will make the caster both harder to hit and more difficult to interrupt and provide a nice platform for the rest of the buffs to be cast. To enable me to handle more fights between rests, I used Displaced Image, but another option would be to replace Displaced Image with Llengrath's Safeguard, then cast other buffs from there. The combination of a Llengrath spell and then Spirit Shield will compensate for the lower saves, lower concentration and lower deflection due to the low DEX and RES. Sure, I did not need Spirit Shield, due to my higher RES and these spells were used to boost defences and not make up for deficiencies, but my Fortitude save was lower and I would have dealt even more damage when nuking with such high might.
 
Something else to consider is that once opponents are paralysed with Ninagauth Shadowflame (another fast-casting spell), you do have a bit of time to get other spells off if needed. However, a buffed wizard may not always need to resort to spells as he can handle himself in melee quite well. Controlling where you are in the battlefield makes a much bigger difference than having a lightning fast attack speed. I was in the centre of fights quite often, but except for the Alpine Dragon fight, I could ill afford to be completely surrounded. If I used doorways to block enemies, I did not need to finish fights quickly and therefore less speed would not have affected me as much. If 3 or 4 enemies engaged me though, then I needed Citzal's Spirit Lance to hit much more frequently so that enemies would be interrupted more frequently (not sure if the interrupt works on the blast as well, but I believe it did).
 

Where things will get dicey are with the dragon fights, but scrolls of Maelstrom (for damage but mostly for Weakness) and paralysing spells / scrolls can help control the dragons quite nicely. Most bounties can be handled the same way, although it is not always necessary since dragons deal the most damage in single attacks. Would I play with @knownastherat's build above? Probably not since I don't like dumping stats, but I can see his wizard surviving most of the base game with the expansions being perhaps a bit more challenging.

Edited by grausch
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  • 1 year later...

Thank you for the good build grausch.

 

Following your guide faithfully, I've just completed my first POTD and POTD solo game, completing also the optional dragons. Prior to this, I've only done one normal game pre-WM, and did not attempt adra dragon. I guess I'm done with the game now.

 

I should mention also another reddit post which should be very helpful for others attempting a wizard solo game. It is very helpful to see exactly how to position and how to pull for some of the harder fights. (https://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/5pf5o6/beat_pillars_of_eternity_tcs_the_ultimate_as/)

 

I have few thoughts after the play through

 

- I think Drawn in Spring would be a better DPS dagger than the Unlabored Blade?

 

- Possibly taking Arcane Veil and Hardened Veil could be useful in some of the optional fights. Would help you tank some while unloading the DPS spells during the enemies' petrified duration

 

- Just a general thought and I don't have any constructive suggestions. The melee aspect of the character felt a little weak, in that I faced much difficulty tanking enemy attacks and CC despite stacking the defensive spells. Felt I had to resort to pulling tactics all through the game, and there's few opportunities where I can just buff up and face-tank 5-6 enemies together. 

 

But I guess it showed another of the build's strength, in that I could choose either the melee and DPS spells approach depending on  the encounter.

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@didntdemon,

 

Congratulations on your achievement! Glad you found this guide useful.

 

I also found that reddit thread. I may be mistaken, but it looks like both TegGet and TheTodWilkinson (reddit usernames) got the Ultimate achievement with wizards. A link to TheTodWilkinson's full run can be found here -

 

I watched it all and there are some tactics that I would incorporate into my Ultimate Run should I attempt it with a wizard. Definitely a lot to be learned from watching those videos and I really underestimate the usefulness of some spells. Some of these tactics and spells would have decent synergy with my tactics and make tough fights significantly easier.

 

Regarding your other comments, I can offer some of my thoughts.

 

Drawn-in-Spring vs Unlaboured Blade - You may very well be right. A fully upgraded and durganised DiS is pretty powerful. I switched between both blades frequently trying to decide which one to use. The final decision was made when Unlaboured Blade procced a Firebug 3 seconds into a fight with 2 humans and both of them died. Took me a while to figure out what happened, but thereafter I stuck with UB. From a pure DPS perspective DiS may be better depending on how frequently Firebug procs.

 

Arcane Veil and Hardened Veil - This would allow me to dump RES and possibly make for a stronger overall build. I just did not want to dump any stats so that I would have a balanced build. Dumping RES however, would allow me to boost MIG and CON to boost the Fort save and do even more damage, which would definitely be very useful. Looking at the YouTube links I posted above made me regret not having more MIG.

 

Melee - Using chokepoints or terrain to keep opponents from overwhelming me was key. The FL is pretty weak when surrounded. I needed to pull a fair bit during WM1 and WM2, but less than I needed to with my druid. You can also use figurines to block opponents and create temporary chokepoints. I used figurines quite often and they bought time. First move in combat would be to unstealth, summon figurines to block opponents and then work from there.

 

I now also have a better idea as to how recovery works, and I would probably use heavier armour to increase survivability. I ignored heavy armour believing that my spells would compensate for this, but in hindsight, I could have sacrificed some attack speed for better survivability. Combined with a dumped RES, the extra damage would probably have negated the slower attack speed quite easily and made my nukes even more powerful.

 

In any event, thanks for your post and I appreciate the feedback.

 

Edit - I wanted to add that I cleared Durgan's Battery using just my melee approach and no nukes. It was pretty easy as long as I could use chokepoints, and there are plenty of them there. Battery sirens were annoying, but once I got going they died pretty quickly.

 

There were plenty of parts in the game that I cleared just by going in with my melee character, but there were also plenty of fights where nuking or pulling were the only viable strategies. Magran's faithful required both nukes and then mopping up with melee.

Edited by grausch

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  • 2 years later...
15 hours ago, 1Lion said:

Hopefully I'll still get a reply on this old thread.
I'm a bit confused on what abilities I should pick. Do you have a list for that?

I am a bit confused by your question. If you meant talents then from the original post:

   Talents obtained at level-up:

   Weapon and Shield Style

   Weapon Focus Noble

   Bear’s Fortitude

   Body Control

   Superior Deflection

   Two-Handed Style

   Secrets of the Rime

   Beast Slayer / Sanctifier – Choose either although I think Beast Slayer is much more useful

 

Personally, I would change some stuff around, but overall looks pretty decent.

Note that this was posted as a solo build (no companions) which does affect the choices made (and is much harder overall).

Note also that you can change these choices (for a gold fee) except for race, so you can chose what you like and experiment. Or you can run an early build then separate builds tailored to each hard fight.

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On 8/3/2020 at 3:12 PM, 1Lion said:

Hopefully I'll still get a reply on this old thread.
I'm a bit confused on what abilities I should pick. Do you have a list for that?

You have some flixiblity on which talents to pick. I chose them based on where I perceived weaknesses and these were also very play-style dependent. For instance, I wanted to go toe-to-toe with everything in the game and only used different tactics if that proved impossible. I would say the list I provided is pretty accurate though, but I may reconsider the following:

Body Control - chose this to minimize the risk against Adragans, but there are other ways to accomplish the same like a scroll of Moonwell or Confusion.

Beast Slayer / Sanctifier -  I chose this to maximise damage against Dragons, but I don't think this works with spells which makes it much less useful.

Haven't had a second run with a wizard yet, but have several new strategies I would like to incorporate. Pity that the YouTube videos I linked got taken down as there were some additional tactics there I never used, but thought would be very useful.

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