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Look at Boereor's Golden Dragon barbarian build. He has a shield (Dragon Maw) and does an awful lot of damage. A Rogue with a shield can still do pretty good, I've had them with Starcaller and Balgdr's Barricade and they did pretty good plus they had a lot of crowd control.

 

Basically once you get Durganized equipment a durgan shield adds attack speed to the weapon. If you get to zero recovery a weapon and shield will do the same damage as a dual wielder as long as it's not a bashing shield.

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In my last game I used Devil of Caroc as a semi-tanky dps character as her stats leaned that way to begin with. With a saber, small shield and some defensive items she had no problem reaching defensive values comparable to Eder or my monk. Though slightly squishier with lower health, she was excellent for wrecking the backline of the enemies without fear and could easily handle a few mobs singling her out. I wouldn't necessarily say she outperformed my two-handed Eder or my Monk, but a rogue certainly lends some unique utility with mobility, disables and some spectacular finishing blows at times

 

Having a third sturdy character actually helped a lot and made this run more enjoyable, compared to my previous 2 tanks + 4 glass cannons setup.

 

I built her with Blinding Strike, Reckless Assault, Escape, Finishing Blow, Withering Strike, Deathblows and Sap.  In retrospect I probably didn't get enough use out of Finishing Blow, and could've used Coordinated Positioning instead.

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Generally speaking: a shield leads to lower DPS than dual weapons or two handed weapons. Bashing shields - due to their bad mechanics - are even worse. But there are three shields in the game which can lead to an increase in DPS compared to a usual shield:

 

- Sura's Supper Plate: it has retaliation which stacks with other sources of retaliation. While retaliation itself is not very powerful, you can use it to apply things like Deep Wounds (rogue) or stack so many retaliation hits that it works really well with Combusting Wounds. And against squishy targets with low DR retaliation is a great thing.

 

- Badgradr's Barricade:it procs Thrust of Tattered Veils every time the bash crits (unlimited times per encounter). This is not as unlikely as it may seem because bash is considered to be an ability and thus gets +1 ACC per char level. This means that the bash attack normally hasn't much lower ACC than you main hand. Additionally Thrust of Tattered Veils works with Penetrating Shot without slowing you down, it works with Driving Flight, too. And best of all: it's damage gets doubled by Deathblows. So you can imagine that a crit-focused rogue or ranger can make great use of it. It's also great for barbarians who use Heart of Fury and Vengeful Defeat.

 

- Dragon's Maw: this has a Spell Chance: Taste of the Hunt. It will trigger that spell with a certain chance when you hit or crit (not graze) with the bash. Taste of the Hunt adds raw damage and also heals you. It's not as offensive as Badgradr's Barricade but it makes you even sturdier and also increases DPS. It's very nice for defensive barbs in my opinion.

 

There is also Scath Gwannek, the shield that Azzuro sells. Basically it lowers your melee DPS, but it has spell bindings of Winter Wind which can be very useful and does some good AoE spell damage.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Is it possible to have a high DPS and weild a shield? What class, talents, and weapons?

Depends on what kinds of dps.

 

If you mean from auto-attacking, than yes you can have high dps with [1h+shield] if you have reached zero-recovery (so, late in the game).

If it doesn't matter, than there are few decent (per-encounter) dps options:

- chanter with [1h+shield] + Dragon Thrashed chant

- paladin with [1h+shield] + Sacred Immolation

- rogue with [1h+Badgradr's Barricade] if you can make it proc often, with deathblows condition.

- barbarian with [1h+Dragon's Maw] as already mentioned

 

And ofc there are vancian classes, that can wield [1h+shield] and dish astonishing amount of damage via spells:

- druid, wizard, fire priest; provided they have high might and int.

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Just note that shields which are larger than small will give you a malus to your spell's accuracy. So, a medium shield will give you -4 ACC and a large shield -8. A small shield makes you more sturdy (although not as much as medium and large ones) but doesn't lower your accuracy - it has no drawbacks to use a small shield while spellcasting.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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^ I.e. do chants and invocations suffer from accuracy malus of medium and large shields? Yes.

 

Also it's worth mentioning, that wielding [1h+nothing in offhand] grants a +12 acc bonus to some of chanter's abilities (and not just his auto-attacks). For example it works with Dragon Thrashed. Thanks to Boeroer for noticing.

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If I remember correctly the +12 from one handed wielding also works with the White Worms invocation and the Killers froze Stoff invocation, but no other invocations. It was some time ago since I tested this, so maybe that changed or I don't remember correctly.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I tried it so many times but sadly it's restricted to late game. Damage reduction is what hurts your one-handed DPS and some weapons & talents (maces, sabers, vulnerable attack) or spells (expose vulnerabilities) can soften it. The trade-off you get with a small shield early game IMO (with exceptions like outworn buckler) is not worth it compared to two handed weapons just because killed enemy mobs can't attack you anymore. Think about shades for example, or another earlier mobs with high DR. You literally do nothing with one-handed weapons if you are not a pure dps character.

 

The thing is on higher difficulties non-maxed characters get the worst of two worlds. Not enough survivability and not enough DPS to make difference. Once you get Durgan steel & proper equipment everything changes. I tend to use sword&board characters early game like off-tanks. You trade a bit of damage to improve your survivability and when you can afford it later you have also decent frontline DPS characters. You can rush certain items early if you have played the White March before.

Edited by indika_tates
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