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Greeting People,

I'm new in PoE, just finshed the game in the Hard Difficult in my first playthrough and now i'm preparing myself for a new game to be played in PotD Difficult.

Overrall, i find the game somehow easy in Hard Difficult with 2 (two) exceptions: 

Adra Dragon Fight at level 10 with 4 characters (Extremly hard from my perspective. Until lvl 12 i keep my party with the max of 4 characters all the time).


Albine Dragon Fight at level 13 with 5 characters (a little difficult).

Based on that i'm making preparations before i embark in PotD difficult and the party i have in mind is the following below (and i will be extremly grateful to any insight on those builds):


2° Game PoE: PotD
Evil playthrough (primary behavior: Agressive, Cruel / secondary Behavior: Clever, Stoic / acceptable exceptions: Honest, deceptive)
Main Char:
- Name: Nemesis
- Race: Human
- Background: Aedyr
Bleak walker paladin - Tank 
Str 12
Con 9
Dex 9
Int 16
Per 12
Res 18+
Ability / Talent per level (Reorganized by KDubya Suggestions).
1 - Flames of Devotion
2 - WF: Ruffian
3 - Zealous Focus
4 - intense flames
5 - lay on hands
6 - Remember Rakhan Palace
7 - Liberating Exhortation
8 - Great Lay on Hands
9 - Aegis of Loyalty
10 - Weapon and Shield Style
11 - Healing Chain
12 - Hold the Line
13 - Reviving Exhortation
14 - Critical Focus
15 - Sacred Immolation
16 - Deep Faith
Weapon - Steadfast (SB 1HS) + Sabres (bittercut; Resolution) Armor - Saint's War Armor (stolen from Éder, Early) / Argwes Adra (later)
Shield - outworn buckler, Ilfan Byrngar's Solace and Litte Savior (in order of game progression).
+ res, per, Str and dex for combat related issues. Keep + int at hand for metagaming.
- Devil of Caroc:
Archer rogue
Weapon - Estoc (White Spire and The Grey Sleeper) and War bow (Borresaine and Sabra Marie).
Armor - Self
Items: Atk speed, crit., Int, Dex, Per.
Ability / Talent per level
1 - Crippling Strike
2 - WF: Adventurer
3 - Escape
4 - Marksman
5 - Dirty Fight
6 - Penetrating Shot
7 - Adepted Evasion
8 - Shadowing Beyond
9 - Fearsome Strike
10 - Shot on the run
11 - Deathblows
12 - Graceful Retreat
13 - Coordinated Positioning
14 - fast runner
15 - Shadow step
16 - Interrupting Blows
- Durance
Main Buffer / off Healer
(option 1 - off tanker build)
Armor - Hand and Key (early) / The colored Coat (later)
Weapon - Whispers of Yenwood (early and later) / Sheathed in Autumn 
(Later / situational)
Shield - Any non used by the paladin, or with luck, a duplicated shield made with "The Helwax Mold".
Ability / Talent per level (option 1 - off tanker build - Reorganized by K Galen B suggestion)
1 - 
2 - Arms Bearer
3 - 
4 - Interdiction
5 - 
6 - Inspiring Radiance
7 - 
8 - Painful Interdiction
9 - 
10 - Inspired Flame
11 - 
12 - WF: Knight
13 - 
14 - Weapon Style Sword and Shield
16 - 
Ability / Talent per level (option 2 - Ranged Arquebus + Nightshroud in later game - Reorganized by K Galen B suggestion)
1 - 
2 - Interdiction
3 - 
4 - Inspired Radiance
5 - 
6 - Empowered Interdiction
7 - 
8 - Painful Interdiction
9 - 
10 - Inspired Flame
11 - 
12 - WF: Soldier
13 - 
14 - Sword and Shield Style
16 - 
- Zahua
Main DPS (the entire build is based on my previous main char monk, some from that build and some from regret of not using in that build).
Weapon: None (i just finished my first game on hard with a main char monk, played with bare hands the entire game except against immunes, when i simply put something in my hand. PoE as i see don't require the monk to be bare handed, so any insight will be helpful).
Armor: Angio's Gambeson or Jack of Wide Waters (early, or anything by the way) / Ryona's Breastplate (later)
Accessories: Mantle of excavator (or lower per bonus early), Ring of Thorns, boots of speed, Siegebreaker Gauntlets and other stat, skill raise items.
Ability / Talent per level Long Stride
1 - Torment's Reach
2 - WF: Peasant
3 - Force of Anguish
4 - Two Weapon Style
5 - Stunning Blow
6 - Savage Atack
7 - Rooting Pain
8 - Outlander's Frenzy
9 - Enervating Blows
10 - wound binding
11 - Flagellant's Path
12 - fast runner
13 - The Dichotomous Soul
14 - lesser wounds
15 - Skyward Kick
16 - interrupting blows
- Custom Mage (I have really high doubts when the subject comes to wizard class)
- Name: Havoc
- Race: Death Godlike
- Background: Old vailia
Str 18 (Recalculated by K Galen B suggestion)
Con 3? (Despite K Galen B suggestion, i believe 18 Str will keep the odds even for fortitude save, so i lowered con to the minimum)
Dex 15+ (fast recovery time = fast spells, i believe)
Per 16+? (By K Galen B suggestion, Perception is one of the few things that affect spell accuracy)
Int 19+
Res 6+ (As this mage is intended to be a cohot, not main char, neither is a solo game, and partially based on K Galen B suggestion, i reduced this status)
Weapon: The lady's Hand (Scepter - i'm under the impression that an weapon accuracy is used when determining if a spell hit or not, if i'm wrong, please someone correct me)
Armor: Gwisk Glas (if another suggestion is given, i will appreciate)
Items: Ring of Selonan, Telda's Ring, +10% spell damage, +10% area effect, +int.
Ability / Talent per level  (Changed and Reorganized by K Galen B suggestion)
1 - blast
2 - 
3 - Penetrating Blast
4 - 
5 - Arcane Veil
6 - 
7 - weapon focus: Noble
8 - 
9 - Dangeours Implements
10 - 
11 - Secrets of Rime
12 - 
13 - hardened Veil
14 - 
16 - Spirit of Decay
SPELLS: I really have no idea. Gonna do an Bleak Walker (evil) run here, if that helps what are the spells per level better to chose that i will not find early in grimories?
- Custom Barbarian (don't know if it's the best, but here we go)
- Name: Khan
- Race: Moon godlike
- Background: Slave
Weapon - Tall Grass
Armor - something heavy to compensate 5 Res
Focus - At least 1 second chance item, perception and dexterity.
Str - 10
Con - 6
Dex - 20
Per - 18
Int - 19
Res - 5
Ability / Talent per level 
1 - Frenzy
2 - Greater Frenzy
3 - Savage Defiance
4 - Acurrate Carnage
5 - Brute Force
6 - Stalwart Defiance
7 - Threatening Presence
8 - Barbaric Blow
9 - One Stand Alone
10 - WF:
11 - Heart of Fury
12 - Savage Attacks
13 - Eye of Storm
14 - Bloody Slaughter
16 - Barbarian Retalitation

Thx for the time and the help people!
Edited by kamuizin
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You tend to leave +accuracy talents until later levels - I wouldn't. PotD enemies have higher deflection and the extra accuracy helps most in the early game before you have a ton of buffs and debuffs available from your casters and scrolls.


Inspired Flame gives more accuracy for both Sword and Arquebus than Weapon Focus - you're probably better off taking it first.


Don't dump Strength on a wizard - it is very nearly the only way to increase spell damage except critting. Dumping both str and con means you'll have awful Fortitude defense, which is overall the most important one in the game.


Spells don't use weapon accuracy and perception does increase spell accuracy. In a 4+ person party you can leave res at 10 or less. Use the level 1 spell Spirit Shield for extra concentration if you get in a situation where you need it.


The Spell Heuristics stuff isn't in the game at all, Scion of Flame is very poor value for wizards compared to Secrets of Rime (wizards' fire spells are weak overall, while their frost spells are amazing and corrode spells quite good), and mental fortress & body control, while nice, are better for tanks. Grimoire Slam is also weak compared to lots of other talents.


I would try to get Blast, Weapon Focus (Noble), and Penetrating Blast at low levels, while leaving whatever elemental talent(s) you choose for later. This allows your wizard to continue adding significantly to the party's damage while conserving spells per day. Arcane Veil is a good 1st or 2nd talent, though, and Hardened Veil is nice, too.

Edited by K Galen B
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Hmmm, i see.

Thx @K Galen B, i will adapt the mage build to these new infos. It's a bit hard to accept that Might give damage to anything, even spells and bolts of crossbow. A misjudge of the devs maybe (in not link magic damage to int and ranged damage to dexterity), or maybe they did it on prupose, who knows. i will also adapt my durance for this run with your hints.

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General suggestion

  •  Add in Veteran's Recovery early, it greatly enhances your survivability.
  • Fit a Chanter in the team if at all possible. They are just great and make everything better. Their two regen auras combined with Veteran's recovery make you heal faster than the incoming damage (mostly)
  • Like K Galen B said above I'd take the +accuracy talents early. Missing at low levels is what makes PotD difficult.
  • For the Paladin
    • I'd drop Resolve and add to Might for better heals and damage
    •  I'd take Lay on Hands first. The two massive heals will help the team a lot more than two FoD, especially before you have arquebus.
    • I'd take Sacred Immolation at the earliest possible, level 13 it is the best ability
    • I'd drop Reviving Exhortation for anything, Reinforcing Exhortation is useful for Devil to help her survive in melee without a shield. Your team should not be getting KO'd and if they do there are scrolls. Not worth a talent in my opinion.
  • For Zahua
    • I did not see Lightning Strikes in there. I find the +25% attack speed and +25% lightning lash to be very useful
  • For the Mage
    • I'd make everything a ten and then add the rest to Perception, Intellect and then if you are going for damage add to Might, if mainly crowd control ten is enough.
    • I'd look to make him a blaster mage with implements, very useful early when spells are limited. There is a good template in the builds section, by Boereor I believe.
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Hi KDubya!

I'm in doubt about the barbarian, thought of make him later and play 5 members party until lvl 6 or 7.


Chanter ==>In overral, seeing this party is composed of 1 tank (bleak walker main char), 1 main DPS (Zahua WHEN i get him in WM), 1 off DPS (Devil of Caroc in her dirty ranger role, maybe not the best role for her, but i have difficult to see her stat structure adapt to a dual hand daggers sneak thief), 1 buffer (Durance) and 1 crowd control / AoE damager (mage), do you think a chanter will fit beter here than a barbarian? I can trade the barbarian for a chanter (beside my lack of knowledge of how to play chanters).

Veteran's recovery ==> is that good for PotD? From my experience on hard, Pallegina didn't benefit much of that skill, the fight always ended fast except special ones (dragons and archmages for example). What really make a difference on these fights, was normally a triple combo from Hivarias: Moonlight - Garden of Life - Cleansing Wind. Maybe early game it's a must, then? After middle game i reset the char and change the skill?


Edit: Early game it makes difference, real difference.


Zahua, with his 17 con, maybe can gain some more wounds from this skill to keep cleaning the enemies.


For Zahua ==> My first gameplay was with monk main char. I made just that, got Lighting strikes before even take torment's reach, but in ondra's temple i saw how useful those per encounter hit attacks are, and i don't know what to call off to put lighting strikes in the build (and his upgrade from normal talents).


For the Mage ==> I found an balanced stat distribution, i think. Gonna stick with it for now and see what happens. About the implements, indeed, that suggestion i already followed. I only put Aloth on party in my first game after lvl 10, so i didn't relent much in weapons.

For the Paladin ==> High resolve is half power game, half roleplay. some harsh answers from the game banters require high resolve stats.
I already started the game and got Flames of Devotion First, i will reshape the talent/ability tree, but now is a bit late to put lay on hands on level 1. I dropped Liberating Exorthion from lvl 5 to lvl 7, and so i will w8 a bit before i engage spirit fights, so my party isn't overrun with confusion / domination abilities. Critical focus i dropped to lvl 14, as the 5% early critical isn't so important as a good lay on hand.
Revive Exortation is a must have for me, it cast fast and revive a character in full life. Saved my ass many times in my first gameplay. it's really a shame to not be able to take it soon. Specially when you have monks in the party, what will gain instant wounds after RE start to expire (playing until the end with a priest can change my perspective for future games, but atm i really like this skill).


Edited by kamuizin
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Personally I much prefer Chanters to Priest so that's where I'd make room but both are good. Early game I take the two Chanter regen auras straight away, when stacked with Veteran's Recovery you'll hardly need healing. Add in Shod in Faith on the Monk and you have Wolverine :) 


Fair enough on the Paladin choices for Resolve, I agree that that gets the best 'hard ass' responses in dialogue.


For Zahua maybe drop Rooting Pain for Swift/Lightning Strikes. It's not a deal breaker either way, mainly just preference.


If you like to get the reviving exhortation might as well get some use out of it with a "Dirt Nap" Barbarian. Take all the talents that help with getting KO'd and make a 'Spiteful Bastard' who dies, gets back up swinging, dies, gets back up swinging .... I think there is a build in the sticky based on this premise.

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Definitely take blast for the wizard, and make him use Gyrd Hawenes... It is extremely useful. Extremely useful are also the minor blights with blast.


For a barbarian frenzy, greater frenzy, savage (or even stalwart) defiance are amongst the best early talents. If you go for a damage dealing barbarian, you can even drop con a bit... The barb has a huge health pool, do it can handle that easily. Early on, low deflection and accuracy will be problems but it balances out very well.


Heart of Fury is one of the best barbarian abilities. It attacks every enemy that is standing around you, and every attacked enemy triggers a carnage attack. In a large mob, this leads to huge damage numbers. Because HoF is a full attack, it also makes dual wielding a popular choice for barbarians since it means two HoF attacks on everyone and everything (except for allies). The sabers Bittercut and resolution are still some of the best barbarian weapons. Dragon leap also has a nice synergy with HoF: jump in the middle of the mob + HoF = Profit


For the devil you could give her a small shield (I like using the supper plate on her) and a one hander (I like using nightshroud) to make her a riposte-centred rouge tank. She is especially useful as a tank due to vessel immunities.

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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