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First, i want to emphasize that i don't play the White March but "vanilla POE" on hard difficulty.


Sword of endless path, Tidefall, Firebrand, Citzal's spirit lance.... Who needs range weapons or even shield to begin with! :D


I got four dudes in the front, and they share all one thing: they do so much damage that they can dismantle a pack of ogres in a few seconds.


Char 1: Eder with sword of endless path, full plate, armored grace, specialized in estocs and two handed weapons

Who needs shield? He is already so tanky that making him a two handler doesn't affect too much his incredible damage soaking abilities. And with this specialisation, i can tell you he delivers quite a punch!


Char 2: Custom barbarian. Full plate as well, with a lot of damage reduction items, tidefall, frenzy, and ferocious attack. Maxed might, min resolution, high int. He deals a lot of damage and restores his endurance with the sword. One of his blows has the same range damage as a level 3 wizzard spell.  His high damage reduction from gear, buffs, and barbarian hard skin allows him to soak up in the frontline and end up the battle with only a few scratches.


Char 3: Custom cipher. Ah, ciphers... I got him a berathian robe (2 dr for 5% recovery speed seems nothing, but its a great ratio. Got it enchanted of course). Once you get body attunment (stacks with other armor buffs), DR isn't much of a problem.

I know theres a lot of controversies about cipher play but i see really it as a damage oriented spellsword, since 40% more damage to physical attacks is incredible. Further, might, dex, and per both beneficiate spells and physical damage. Why building a range cipher? Give him the biggest sword you can find and watch him cleave people in half. Don't bother with high time casting spells, as the raw damage output is more interesting.

I have firebrand with him, scion of flame, to hand training, specialisations etc. He deals an average 60 damage per hit. I alternate between cleaving people and spamming mind lance and silent scream.


Char 4: Aloth. Concelhaut parasitic staff and then Citzal spirit lance. His might is a bit lackluster but i make up for with equipment and once you get level 4 and 5 benedictions with your priests it become less important. Deleterious alacrity of motion really makes it a mage on steroids. Its still interesting to have his crowd control abilities, mainly at level 2 and 4. The damage output of citzal's spirit lance is ridiculous. Aloth and the barbarian alone can demolish a pack of adra scarabs on a chokepoint in a few seconds. Use hardened veil if you end up on the frontline, and deflection buffing abilities.


The two last chars are priests (including Durance), and their main job is to keep the buffs going. Armor of faith is always great, the level 4 benediction is extremely powerful and breaks the game at that stage, especially with 4 chars specialized in two handed weapons that hit like trucks. The benediction that gives crit damage is also great, and finally, strcngth of the champion on the Cipher or Aloth is like a super Sayan transformation.


The results are:


The cipher is on a league of his own regarding damage, but i must say that firebrand is an exceptional weapon as well. His tanking abilities however are really situational and spell dependant. Although i never had too much troubles playing melee cipher. On one to one, cast mental binding, and if he gets caught against multiple enemies, body atunement stacks with other DR spells. Also remember that with Firebrand, you take enemies extremely fast.  50k damage at level 9

The barb and the fighter are both between 35  and 40k, but the barb should be a bit higher due to an early specialisation in sabers that prove a bit less effective. They both tank amazingly well.

Aloth has something around 30k since he also drops a lot of crowd control spells, but i think he has his moment of glory when he summons Citzal's lance and martial power.


I will see how it works on path of the damned and keep you acquainted!

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