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You'd have to raise DEX and wear light armor to reduce the recovery after invocations (those can be long and also prevent you from chanting phrases). So if you want to cast invocations as fast as possible, you have to reduce your recovery time.

You can then for example use a reach weapon in order to stay behind the front line and don't get knocked out too often. Most invocations have a chone shape and their range is not too big, so you won't want to stand too far away from your friends and foes. Reach weapons seem to be good for that. Your Dragon Thrashed chant will also reach enough enemies that way.

 

I can also imagine a bow chanter with Sure Handed Ila. It stacks with his "Champion" Invocation and turns him into a gatling gun. This guy, too, shouldn't run too far away from the front line. With his very high attack speed he may also be a nice candidate for Stormcaller. It triggers a stunning invocation by chance with chanters and the faster you shoot the better.

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You can go for a "stun-lock" build where you just use level 1 chants and then use the first and second level invocations that stun/paralyze enemies. The second-level one is usually better because it has a longer duration, range, paralyze instead of stun (better debuff), and targets Will instead of fortitude (usually much lower). With high accuracy and intelligence, you can keep enemies paralyzed permanently since the duration often lasts long enough for you to cast again right as it wears off. It also gets better at higher levels because phrases take less time to complete (brisk recitation) and your accuracy is better. Against enemies immune to paralyze, you will have to fall back to summoning. Some tough "boss" enemies are either immune or have too high of defenses for paralyze to work very well. For example, the Alpine dragon.

 

For this type of chanter, your top stats should be Perception and Intelligence. Intelligence helps the paralyze duration and Perception helps spell accuracy, which is important since Critical and Grazes have a large effect on duration. My third priority would be dexterity since it helps with the invocation recovery time (and also helps your DPS with weapons). Paralyzed enemies have a -40 deflection penalty which will help you land better hits with your melee weapons and the "death" chant also targets deflection and benefits from it too. Because of the big deflection debuff, you might want to consider weapons with critical-hit effects (spell-striking, annihilation) which should allow for a decent melee DPS.

 

If you have any way to lower enemy will/fortitude (weaken, sicken afflictions), that will help you land your invocations. I think there is a hat that causes sicken status that can be found which lowers will and fortitude by 14. It is really important to avoid miss and grazes.

 

Because you probably will have a low resolve and constitution (defenses), you need to figure out how to survive for the first few seconds of combat while you wait for your phrases to complete. In a party, you can just stay in the back. For solo, easiest is to buff movement speed stay just close enough to avoid combat ending, but far enough to not get hit. Boots of speed, fast runner talent, and the 1st level phrase that increases movement speed is very helpful for this (and armor that can be found early in ACT 2 which helps movement and ranged deflection). Some encounters you will need to use figurines to distract enemy casters. A shield could also be useful for some encounters, particularly the one that reflects ranged grazes (useful for the expansion that has paralyzing dart throwers). Other items to look for are ones that grant defensive boosts or immunity to afflictions that stop your movement: Stuck, stun, prone, paralyze, etc. I am not sure if you can keep chanting while invisible, but that could make the Cape of the Master Mystic good for staying alive as a chanter, though that doesn't come until pretty late.

 

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A second build option is a pure DPS chanter. This is a traditional "tank" build where you plan to do all of your damage with either the higher level frost invocations or with phrases, or both. For this you want high Might, Intelligence, and Perception. All three of those increase the damage of your invocation and chanting. Of the three, might has the largest impact. Might/Intelligence also helps increase your healing abilities to keep you alive longer. Veteran's recovery and ancient memories are good talents to get early. Generally, you want to use a shield for maximum defense (given chanter's low endurance pool) and then just sit there while things slowly die. Interestingly, holding just one weapon and no shield also applies an accuracy bonus to chants and could be useful at the very early parts of the game when accuracy is paramount. Decent constitution is also good to compensate for the low endurance/health and to increase fortitude, the most important defense to avoid the worst afflictions.

 

The main damage chants are the level 1 phrase and level 3 phrase (dragon one). With a full party, the level 3 fire lash chant could also be very damaging. For invocations, the frost ones are best for damage, but they won't be available until later in the game. Probably best to use the stun/paralyze ones early on if you don't want to use summons. With your high accuracy/intelligence, they accomplish the same purpose as a summon (stop enemies from attacking you and increasing damage by lowering their deflection).

 

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Most of the other invocations are not very good. Some provide a tiny amount of endurance, others provide defenses to a particularly ailment, or a minor enemy debuff. The problem with those is that you can do the same thing much better by simply crafting a scroll for the few times when you need them. Why have a temporary defensive boost when you can have complete immunity with a scroll? Invocations also stop your chanting for a bit, so they do come with a price to use them.

Edited by Braven
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