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[CLASS BUILD] Counselor Ploi (charming paladin supporter tank)

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Dergano Ploi was born in Aedyr - his parents are elven Aedyrean Ambassador Laxon Ploi and deceased human Aerdyrean fleet officer Lt. Leanna Andra Ploi. Although Dergano Ploi had little exposure to the military world of his mother, he attended the fleet academy as well as university and earned an advanced degree in "philosophy of mind".

He then served as the captain's counselor aboard the Aedyrian flagship "Venture" before joining the Shieldbearers of St. Elcga and leaving active military service.

He is also trained in diplomacy, beguiling, languages and linguistics, often making him a valued first contact team member. Again, it's his skills in interpersonal contact which can help to turn the tides in difficult encounters. He's also able to give valuabe advices which will protect his team members as well as using tactical positioning, confusing and marking the enemy so that his fellow team members can deliver the killing blow.

Dessert is his favorite part of a meal, and one of his greatest favorites and weaknesses is cookies and cakes. Paraphrasing famous Aedyrian philosopher-humorist Wirt Hogas, he always says "I never met a pastry I didn't like" - Rauatai Sweet Pie is his very favorite. He also likes to trow the dices and once beat some cretin smug in a celler in Stalwart at "Dozens".



"If you're looking for my professional opinion as counselor: he's nuts."


- Dergan Troi to his comrades when meeting Lord Raedric -





Counselor Ploi


Difficulty: PotD v. 3.03


Class: Paladin (Shieldbearer)


Race: Wood Elf (alternative: Island Aumaua)


Background: Aedyr - Colonist


Stats (char creation):

MIG: 15

CON: 08

DEX: 08

PER: 15

INT: 17

RES: 15


Skills: Stealth 0, Athl. 2, Lore 6, Mech. 0, Surv. 14


Talents (a=auto, r=recommended, !=important)

Intense Flames ®

Shielding Flames (!)

Scion of Flame ®

Shielding Touch ®

Weapon Focus: Soldier

Weapon & Shield Style

Deep Faith

Arms Bearer (!)



Flames of Devotion

Coordinated Attacks(!)

Distant Advantage (a)

Faith and Conviction (a)

Inspiring Triumph ®

Lay on Hands ®

Sacred Immolation ®

Reinforcing Exhortation (or Aegis of Loyality if no priest)

Sworn Enemy (!)

Zealous Focus ®



Items (*=additional echantments by me; !=important, r=recommended):


Weapon set 1: Cladhaliath (*durgan refined, *marking, *coordinating, *burning lash) & Outworn Buckler (*legendary, *durgan reinforced)

Weapon set 2: arquebus

Weapon set 3: arquebus


Boots: Boot of Zealous Command


Head: Munacra Arret


Armor: Osric's Family Breastplate, then Ryona's Breastplate


Neck: Cloak of Protection


Belt: Coil of Resourcefulness


Rings: Ring of Changing Heart, Ring of Deflection


Hands: Spirit Spiral


Quick slots: scrolls & figurines





Another colaboration of Jojobobo and me. This time I evolved a char concept around Jojobobo's idea of having a Shieldbearer who is kind of a diplomat and using Sworn Enemy + Zealous Focus + charm to generate a lot of charm-crits (because Sworn Enemy's ACC bonus works with everything). With this a paladin could somewhat substitute a cipher (when it comes to mind control) and add even more usefulness to his class.


Since it only takes two abilities (that you can always make use of with a paladin) I tried to spin this idea of a diplomat/supporter/mind controller further and make this paladin a jack of all trades when it comes to support besides the usual Lay on Hands and stuff. So I threw together some of the nice build ideas that are already out, namely the Darcozzi Forward Obrserver (buff ACC) by Torm51, Sh!t's on Fire (high FoD damage) by limaxophobiacq and the Rauatai Captain (buff deflection) by SImpleEnigma - kudos to the authors of those builds. Check out their stuff, too. Then I shook the whole thing and out came this whizkid:


1. Boosting party's deflection (and other defenses):

1.a. Shielding Touch (+12 single ally)

The Shieldbearer can use several abilites and items to raise his comrades' deflection. First of all there's Shielding Touch. To my surprise, despit being a passive addition to Lay on Hands, it works like Reinforcing Exhortation - this means it doesn't stack with other non-passive deflection buffs like Cautious Attack, Shields for the Faithful and also not with Reinf. Exhortation. But it's still good because team members that need healing from Lay on Hands usually are under attack - and that deflection comes in handy then. It's also good that it works on yourself (Reinf. Exh. doesn't).

1.b. Shielding Flames (+10 AoE):

This is even better. When using FoD you will provide +10 deflection for nearly all party members (with high INT the AoE is realy big). +10 doesn't sound like too much - but it stacks with everything, and that's great.

1.c. Outworn Buckler (+5 to all defenses AoE)

Everybody knows it's one of the best shields in the game. The herald bonus stucks with everything - with high INT you'll cover the whole party - awesome

1.d. Inspiring Triumph (+7 to all defenses AoE)

Another AoE deflection buff. On kill you will raise deflection by +7 in the same AoE as Shielding Flames and it also stacks with everything! So when you shoot somebody with intense FoD + Scion of Flame + Sworn Enemy and he dies the whole party will instantly get +17 deflection - nice. Later, with Sacred Immolation, it will be triggeres all the time. It's an awesome synergy.

1.e. Reinforcing Exhortation

It seems to be better than Shielding Touch since both don't stack, but seriously you can't have enough deflections boosts because they don't last forever. Once a shielding touch expires or if you want to give deflection only without healing, this is good. If you feel it's too much redundance with Shielding Toch, use Aegis of Loyality instead - it beautifully fits the theme and is very useful if you don't have a priest (which I had).


All in all you can pile up +47 deflection on a single target, +22 in a big AoE and +12 to all other defenses in the same AoE. This guy turns even squishy party members into (tiny) tanks. ;)


2. Providing ACC for an ally

2.a. Coordinated Attacks (+10 single ally)

It's like marking - if you attack an enemy and one of your party members does this as well, he will get +10 ACC which will stack with everything else.

2.b. Marking Weapon (+10 single ally)

Like above. It's like Coordinated Attacks on a weapon. Stacks with everything

2.c. Zealous Focus (+6 AoE)

What can I say - you know it. ;)


You will boost the ACC of a single ally by 26 points if you attack thge same target. If you flank, you will provide the equivalent of 36 points of ACC. This is extremely helpful against tough enemies which are difficult ot hit or to disable. With this guy, annoying dragons and such with affliction like prone, stun etc. is easy.


3.: Crit-charming or -dominating

3.a. Whisper of Treason

With Munacra Arret you can get an early item with 3 uses per rest which has fast cast. It also has +10 ACC which is nice. I took Enigma's Charm first but retrained because it has this annoying 5 sec delay and is an average cast. I seldomly used it, so I took something else instead. Later you can buy Spirit SPiral which will give you 3 more per rest.

3.b. Sworn Enemy

+15 ACC for your charms, fast cast, no hit roll, lasts for the whole encounter, has an awesome range and also will give you +20% damage when the time comes that your charms wear off - nice!

3.c. Zealous Focus: +6 ACC for your charms

3.d. Ring of Changing Heart: the dominate effect has no ACC bonus and it's only 2/rest, BUT it can be cast outside of combat, and that can be a big plus.

3.e. Distant Advantage: the main reason (besides the background) I took Wood Elf. +5 ACC for your charms. SInce Sworn Enemy has such a long range, most of the time the enemy you want to charm is far away so this works. And what most people forget: it also works with the edges of your Sacred Immolation if the AoE is big enough and also gives you +5 deflection and reflex against distant enemies. This is good against spells and arrows as well as wing slams or breath attacks.


You can pile up +36 ACC for your Whispers and +26 for your Dominations. It nearly always crits. :) A crit with Whisper oT with high INT leads to a charm that lasts longer than 20 sec. By the way I insta-crit-charmed all dragons (which were not immune) right at the start of the encounter which makes those fights a lot easier.


4.: Killing Stuff

4.a. Distant Advantage: with your arquebus shots you will have +5 ACC as well as for enemies which are at the edges of your Sacred Immolation.

4.b. Zealous Focus

+6 ACC for everything, including FoD and Sacred Immolation.

4.c. FoD

+50% burning lash and +20 ACC with that two arquebuseses.

4.d. Intense Flames

+25% lash for your FoD arquebuses

4.e. Burning lashes on all your weapons

4.f. Scion of Flame

Boosts the cumulated burning lashes from 100% to 120% - most of the time your additional burn damage will be higher than the original damage from the arquebus. With this, killing a weak foe and triggering Shielding Flames as well as Inp. Triumph is easy. It also boosts yout Immolation of course.

4.g. Coordinating on your Cladhaliath

Since you always want to attack a foes that another team member attacks in order to trigger marking and stuff (see above), coordinating is one of the best enchantaments for you. Sure, your spear is not a dps tool and you are fairly slow without any big dmg mods, but the high ACC and the +25% bonus damage are nice nonetheless.

4.h. Mob Justice or The Mercyless Hand or Second Skin (optional)

Mob Justice not only adds to the ACC of spear and coordinating, but also lets you get Cladhaliath a lot earlier. Tkis also counts if the paladin is not the MC.

The Merciless Hand can balance out the lower crit damage of arquebuses. Since your high ACC with FoD often leads to crits, this talent would be a good pick.

Second Skin is not so superuseful here, but if you don't want to use Cladhaliath (or want if for a different char) then Shame & Glory is your only single handed melee alternative. This also works of course if the paladin is not the MC, like with Mob Justice/Dozens.

4.i. Runner's Wounding Shot (optional)

When using an Island Aumua, you can take Runner's Wounding Shot and an additional arquebus. Skip Deep Faith then. This will deal similar damage than an FoD shot - instead of 90% burniung lash you will have 80% raw DoT.

With the Coil of Resourcefulness your switching works well without any talent.


5.: Tanking

Defenses are great (as always with paladins). With Ryona's Breastplate and Outworn Buckler as well as Weapon & Shield Style you can take over the role of the main tank or a second tank or play an offtank role, it doesn't matter much. Your defenses are good enough to tank dragons for a short time (until the charms or the disabling works).


Alltogether you will have a very sturdy frontliner who can

- boost deflection/all defenses up to +47(single), +27/+12 (AoE)

- raise the ACC up to 36 (flank+single) and +16 (flank+AoE)

- charm up to 6 times per rest and dominate 2 times rest - most of them crits

- tank & kill


Enjoy! :)

Edited by Boeroer
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Very, very nice - to be honest to me this seems like more or less the perfect Paladin, and in complete harmony with their party support capabilities. Again, one of the problems with solo play is that Paladins are pretty damn dull - sky high defences but little else to set them apart. Even if I had tried the charming idea solo that I recommended (something I was originally doing back when I sunk 50 hours into a Paladin Gunslinger build rather than a Chanter - basically, it doesn't work as well as the Chanter) it does seem there is something still wrong with pulling enemies and then Charming/Dominating for solo play as the effects can end instantly, and it's not something the devs are going to fix - so it's much better for this to be a party build.


Again (again), much kudos for the developing the idea far beyond the bounds that I would have. Really this is much more your build than mine, but I appreciate the nod nevertheless  :grin:

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I played this guy together with the barb tank "Golden Dragon", and the barb's defenses + ACC debuffs together with the paladin's defense buffs lead to an untouchable main tank and to a very sturdy party. Debuffing ACC and buffing defenses at the same time (also had a priest) is very effective. I later retrained the whole party to 3 CON. :)

Edited by Boeroer
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Because with his melee weapon he's only marking for a DPS or CC ally, that's more valuable than a bit more weapon damage - and that's only possible with either Cladhaliath or Shame & Glory. Both are no soldier weapons like the arquebus. Since his damage mainly comes from FoD shots and Sacred Immolation, taking WF knight or peasant won't do much for him. This build is not about melee dps.

Edited by Boeroer
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Because with his melee weapon he's only marking for a DPS or CC ally, that's more valuable than a bit more weapon damage - and that's only possible with either Cladhaliath or Shame & Glory. Both are no soldier weapons like the arquebus. Since his damage mainly comes from FoD shots and Sacred Immolation, taking WF knight or peasant won't do much for him. This build is not about melee dps.

Ops.... Well that should have been obvious
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Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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Huh? Maybe I mixed that up. I remember testing it after we talked about it. After that I didn't pay too much attention during the rest of my playthrough to be honest - I was already lvl 15 or so. And then it took me some time to sit down and write something.
I will edit the post then... Thanks for letting me know! :)

Edited by Boeroer

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Out of interest, is there any particular reason you picked a Wood Elf for this build, or was it just for aesthetics/lore reasons?

It's all written in the build description. I know: it's an awful lot of text. ;)

tl;dr: It not only works with the FoD arquebus shots, but also with Whisper of Treaon and Dominate as Ben No.3 said. It even works with enemies in range of your Sacred Immolation because your radius is bigger than 4 meters. And it also gives you deflection and reflex against distant enemies.


edit: eh, NinjaKruger! :lol:

Edited by Boeroer

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  • 3 months later...

 I'm going to use a version of this build for my next run. I love the build, because I always play paladins in RPGs (it fits what I like to imagine myself as in a fantasy setting), and I love the Sworn Enemy/Munacra Arret combo idea, together with the Darcozzi Forward Observer stuff with Marking and Coordinated attacks. I think I'm going to finally use Pallegina too, and use 2 paladins so I can skip a priest (which I've always found boring). I have a couple of questions I'd like to pick your brain on, though.


First, I'm trying to figure out party synergies for this build; what characters fit best with this? What are the best dps/cc characters to capitalize on the Marking/Coordinated attacks combo with? I'm planning to use Zahua as a Juggernaut-type monk with on-crit triggered gear (shod-in-faith, sanguine plate, nature's embrace, swaddling sheet - love that stuff), use IE mod to change Eder to a barbarian and build him like your Golden Dragon build, use Pallegina as you've suggested with Penetrating shot, missile spells/scrolls, blunderbusses, scion of flame and fire spellbind items, and I'm debating whether to build Aloth as a melee wizard or your Hurtstacker build. Do any of those seem like especially good recipients of the coordinated attacks/marking bonus accuracy? Or are there other build types I'm missing that would benefit more? I want to maximize my party synergy; your builds have really helped me think through synergies between abilities on individual characters, but I'd love to hear what you think through cross-character synergies too.


Relatedly, does marking/coordinating increase the accuracy of spells too?


Lastly, do you think it would be possible to build Aloth to be able to shift as the situation calls for it between the melee wizard playstyle and the Hurtstacker playstyle (with the Golden Gaze, Blast, missile spells etc.), or are those incompatible? I'm trying to add up the abilities that are really necessary for both, and I'm having a hard time figuring out whether I could combine them. I like melee wizards, but I want to try the Hurtstacker stuff (plus the great synergy with the missileer version of Pallegina), and I only want one wizard.


All PotD, upscaled content -- basically as hard as possible, without doing Iron Man.

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I used Ploi with a fighter with Tall Grass. It was my go-to team against dragons and it worked tremendously well. The fighter would Knockdown the dragon all the time, be it with Knockdown or crits from Tall Grass. He could combine Disciplined Barrage with Marking + Coordinated Attacks (and also Devotions of the Faithful from a priest) which let him knock over dragons pretty easily despite their resistance to prone.

A monk like Zahua could try the same with Force of Anguish. He will not have Disciplined Barrage, but Force of Anguish has an innate acc bonus (+1 per level) and is not limited in uses like Knockdown is. And the prone time is much longer. So - monk seems to be a good partner against bosses. To get even more acc you could have a second weapon set just for Force of Anguish which will give you +12 ACC and results in no damage loss (per FoA use) because FoA is a primary attack only. Try to combine it with Enervating blows because that will cause weakened which will make it even easier to cause prone. 


Marking+Coordinated attacks doesn't work well for barbs because the carnage hits won't profit from it.


To be honest I never tried if marking & co do work with spells, but I assume it does. I always used it combined with flanking - so two melee chars attacking from opposite sides. 


Since Aloth is a wood elf the Blast thing makes the most sense. But it's relatively easy to send him into melee though: pick Citzal's Spirit Lance and choose some defensive buffs for your grimoire and he will do great damage with the lance. But for most encounters it might result in better dps if you just cast Alacrity and fire away with the soulbound sceptre or Golden Gaze or Minor Blights + Blast and use Combusting Wounds before.  


Edit: don't you miss one more party member - or did I miss something? :)

Edited by Boeroer

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Yeah, I'm using Kana too. I wanted to do one more run that would be a kind of preparation for POE 2, that is would be my "head-canon" run. So I wanted to use my favorite RPG class for my main character (paladin), favorite characters (Kana, Eder, Aloth) and the ones that would show up in POE 2 (Pallegina). But I'm happy to use the IE mod for stuff, including the 25% xp nerf and changing character classes so that I can use the builds I want with the characters I want. I'm going to try out the new option in the IE mod that lets chanters start with enough phrases to cast an invocation at the start of the fight, and I expect that will make Kana a powerhouse. I might actually use some of those invocations I never use, like the attribute buffing invocations! I've always built him as a tank with Dragon Thrashed (kinda like your build, without the charming emphasis), but I think I'm going to build him this time as a scroll-using, quick-switching gunner focused mainly on the fire lash chant and (later) the healing chant.


I'm a little worried that I'm too heavy on support/tanky characters and light on dps, but that might be the best way to approach PotD anyway. I'm more worried that I'm light on intra-party synergy, which prompted my question.


I really like your idea of using a knockdown-focused fighter with the Counselor. That would allow me to leave Eder as a fighter instead of changing him to barb. I was thinking of changing him to barb just because, like you've mentioned some on these forums, I find straight fighters kind of boring to play. That Golden Dragon build sounded like a blast (Dragon Leaping into a crowd and using HoF with a bashing shield sounds awesome). You mentioned that you found a fun way to play fighters -- charging into the back lines, acting as a monk-style disruptor -- but it sounded like that playstyle depends on Charge, which doesn't come until level 13. How did you build a fighter like that, and was it fun to play before level 13? Was that the same party as the Counselor? How close is that build to the Lady of Pain build (low-res and associated on-crit items, high attack-speed)?


More generally, what have been some of your favorite, most fun multi-character (party) synergies in this game? The speed-character (monk/paladin/fighter) plus the cipher beam-spell is an obvious one. Others?


Edit: that question about favorite party synergies is for anyone reading this thread, not just Boerer. I'd love to hear anyone else's favorites.

Edited by TheMetaphysician
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Before I got Charge I used the cape of the cheat that can be achieved quite early if you're lucky. But you can also use Boots of Speed to reach the back line quickly. Reach helped to attack enemies that stood behind tanks.


My build was high MIG, PER and high INT with the rest quite balanced. At first I placed him in the second row and used Take the Hit combined with max self heal (hence the pike). But because Take the Hit is superbuggy I quit that and made him a disruptor and that was so much better. Max self heal was very useful for that, too. After I got charge I used Hours of St. Rumbalt, too. So, not very Lady-of-Pain-like.

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I like Clear Out very much. I'm not the guy who spares per-rest abilities for the tough fights. I simply use them when the opportunity i good. That has some impact on how you perceive Clear Out. I didn't use into the Fray that much because I don't use fighters as "hold the line guys" - it can deal good damage with high MIG and high ACC (if you crit a lot) and it's kind of a ranged attack which can be cool.


But yes: since I wanted that fighter to be a good disabler (with maxed Knockdowns and prone on crit) Clear Out came in handy. It also works with ranged weapons by the way. It's function & damage is not connected to your weapon damage.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not yet. She can't wear Munacra Arret - that's a drawback for the charming aspect of this build. On the other hand she can unleash Wrath of the Five Suns when she uses Sworn Enemy which is pretty cool. Maybe one yould substitute Munacra Arret with Enigma's Charm until you get the Ring of Changing Heart and Spirit Spiral.


Thanks, Torm51. Good to have you back! :)

Edited by Boeroer
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Boeroer :) Nice build as usual. In the character creation I noticed something. I was thinking on how to make the best of inspiring triumph. Since a paladin like this doesn't have awesome DPS skills until sacred immolation making him your scroll user is a good idea. You only have to bump tradition on this character and make use of some magical stuff. I'm going for the classical max MIG max INT paladin and there are nice items/scrolls to perma enable inspiring triumph for everyone. Specially single-targeting scrolls combined with sworn enemy.

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Yes - Sworn Enemy + scrolls is also a good approach.

I did my kills via kill stealing mostly. Because I flanked most of the time with this paladin it was easy to deliver the killing blow while the other party member went on to another enemy.

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