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Cipher Question

Cipher Build Powers DPS CC Crowd Control

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#21
MasterCipher

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That list is the order I take abilities :) I probably cast it just as much as Silent Scream. In addition to what Boeroer says, the other perk of Tenuous is that mobs can behave like they are charmed and other enemies will attack them as if they are alliance flipped, BUT they aren't green circled so you can still blast them with your foe only AoEs.



#22
dgray62

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I notice that MasterCipher recommends taking Psychovampiric Shield at level 4, while MaxQuest doesn't recommend taking it all. Is there any reason not to take it if you are playing a melee cipher? It seems like draining 10 res and gaining 25 deflection is a no brainer. However, I notice that the casting time is "average," which means you might take a hit or two while trying to cast it at close range. Just curious about whether those who have tried it find it worthwhile or not.



#23
bigwillystyle

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Psychovampiric Shield is just lovely.  I take it on ranged ciphers as well.  It's great if only for the will defense debuff from -10 res.



#24
dgray62

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That's what I thought too, but I've never played a melee cipher before, just a ranger cipher specializing in CC, so I wondered if there was some good but non-obvious reason not to take it.



#25
Boeroer

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The reason why MaxQuest doesn't recommend Psychovampiric Shield might be that its deflection bonus doesn't stack with Borrowed Instincts'.
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#26
dgray62

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That would make sense. Thanks, Boeroer. BTW, at your recommendation I tried Tenuous Grasp, which I have never previously taken since I always took WoT instead. You are right, it is fun to sneak up and cast it at the start of a battle, and watch the other enemies swarm the poor confused victim. However, whenever I do this the battle starts while I am casting, which means it is not a "free" cast for me. Do you need to have a certain level of stealth to pull this off? My cipher currently only has 2 points in stealth, which clearly is not sufficient.



#27
Boeroer

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Yes, that might be. It might also be that OBS changed that because it is (or was) a bit cheesy to be honest.

I also like WoT a lot. Tenuous Grasp just used to be my no. 1 opening strike "for free" and I liked just because of that. I didn't play a cipher with either WoT or Ten. Grasp for a while so please keep me posted if you discover if more stealth works. :)

Edited by Boeroer, 09 August 2017 - 09:32 AM.


#28
MaxQuest

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I notice that MasterCipher recommends taking Psychovampiric Shield at level 4, while MaxQuest doesn't recommend taking it all.

The main reason for that is: I was enumerating the list of powers I've found most used and useful on my ranged cc/dps cipher.
But I must confess that I rarely use it even on my melee ciphers. Sure +25 def would be great on a sword&board cipher, if it would increase his deflection from high to very high; such that you are never crit AND never hit. But if it is a 2H or DW cipher... I'd better use Mental Binding and avoid the damage from disabled enemy altogether.
 

Nobody favours Tenous Grasp?

From what I know, TG has average cast speed. And WoT has 'pseudo'-fast cast speed. E.g:
- Fast cast: 35 frames (base attack) + 29 frames (base recovery)
- Average cast: 60 frames (base attack) + 50 frames (base recovery)
- Pseudo-Fast cast: 74+10 frames (base attack) + 8 frames (base recovery) (i.e. recovery is calculated from those 10)
What this means is: WoT is slower than it could be; but it is still faster than GT; and additionally it cares little for the armor penalty, meaning that a cipher in plate can cast it almost as fast as the naked one.

Plus: a charmed target is a guaranteed extra body for your party, and there is a higher chance that it will get attacked by it's ex-buddies (which is great because it means less enemies to rush to your squishies). Partially because of it's lowered defences, and partially because charmed target is your "ally" for the full duration, while in case of confusion only in 1 or 2 out of 4 possible outcomes (if I am not mistaken):
- Behave normally, (confused target not considered your ally)
- Attack its allies, (confused target considered your ally)
- Move in a random direction, or (?)
- Do nothing. (?)
 

Best thing is that you get your focus back at once because encounter starts after you cast it.

Oh. Gonna definitely check it..

Edited by MaxQuest, 10 August 2017 - 02:40 AM.

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#29
MasterCipher

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I hardly ever cast psychovampirc shield during an encounter. The devs took away the ability to cast most Cipher and spell buffs outside of combat, but missed this one. If they ever nerfed this, I would likely remove it from the abilities I used unless perhaps, it was changed to fast cast or AoE.


Edited by MasterCipher, 11 August 2017 - 09:36 AM.


#30
dgray62

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I hadn't realized you could cast psychovampiric shield outside of combat. Indeed, it seems marginally useful cast in combat, given the relatively long "average" cast time. Thanks for the tip, MasterCipher.



#31
Natures Bounty

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I hadn't realized you could cast psychovampiric shield outside of combat. Indeed, it seems marginally useful cast in combat, given the relatively long "average" cast time. Thanks for the tip, MasterCipher.

And you can also cast Mental Binding outside of combat. That is almost cheesy in my opinion - whereas casting psychovampiric shield pre-battle sounds good, but not too powerful to me.



#32
Ensign

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I end up using Psychovampiric Shield a reasonable amount, as it's both fairly cheap once you get into the mid-game and applies a stacking -20 will debuff.  It also lasts long enough that even with a graze it has a reasonable uptime, and the -20 will from the graze translates into hits and crits on other, more important debuffs that carry from there.

 

It's really easy to overthink your power selections - I sure do, trying to optimize each one.  However there are really a handful of powers that are your workhorses, and everything else is just niche or stuff you'll barely, if ever, use.

 

Mind Wave, Whispers of Treason, Mental Binding, Ectopsychic Echo, Silent Scream, Amplified Wave, Disintegrate, Time Parasite, Defensive Mindweb - a good 80+% of my casts are one of those nine powers.  Eyestrike (early game), Tenuous Grasp, Amplified Thrust, Psychovampiric Shield, Puppet Master, Borrowed Instinct, and Reaping Knives are 90% of what's left.  Usage of anything else is a rounding error in my playthroughs.  That gives you a lot of extra powers to play with, many of which you'll barely ever use.



#33
Raven Darkholme

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Nobody favours Tenous Grasp? It's the only mind control spell that the cipher can use outside of combat at early levels and is has a long range (10m). If you use it from stealth usually all enemies will attack the confused one and you are totally save. Best thing is that you get your focus back at once because encounter starts after you cast it. It's a free confuse basically. I like it a lot. I think most people totally underestimate it.

I used to use it a lot but ever since WoT got faster it is my go to.

The out of combat is really cool tho.



#34
Boeroer

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Yeah - but you can use both. They are not mutually exclusive. But people treat them like they are.

Edited by Boeroer, 13 August 2017 - 02:50 AM.

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#35
Raven Darkholme

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Well for me it's a psychological thing I guess, because I use one I forget about the other or smth. :D

But tbf I very rarely use charm anyway Iprefer to mess up people with dual bittercuts. :D

edit:

And while that's not mutually exclusive either I'm just mostly busy spending my focus for stuff like Mindweb, BI and "Alacrity".


Edited by Raven Darkholme, 12 August 2017 - 11:21 AM.


#36
PangaeaACDC

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I'm far from as experiences as you guys, but I find I only use a few cipher power, with Grieving Mother with a blunderbuss. Usually Mental Binding early for crowd control, then a shot to get more focus (or a shot initially). Then Amplified Wave to mess up the enemies some more. Sometimes Silent Scream or Disintegrate. Occasionally I use Time Parasite too, but not very frequently. Amplified Wave seems stronger for CC.

 

About 80% of my powers are never used -- at least any more. Of course I used Tenuous Grasp and such at lower levels.

 

The beams seemed like strong weapons, but often they wind up a bit crap for me, because they depend on having your team in just the right positions.



#37
Boeroer

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Yes, it's because some cipher powers are really awesome and too good to not use them. Like you said: Mental Binding and Amplified Wave are two examples. But since mind control (confuse, charm, dominate) is one of the strongest CC effects in the game (and it's really cheap with ciphers) I use Whisper of Treason a lot - even at high levels.

In fact I find charm so useful that I value Munacra Arret and Spirit Spiral as some of the best items in the game. With a rogue, paladin or fighter you can crit-charm a lot and it makes tough fights a lot easier if you can spam that on a per-rest-basis.

#38
Raven Darkholme

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The reason I use charm sparingly is actually because it's too strong and takes the fun out of fights.

My last party with cipher was a trio and the whole purpose of the party was to make my cipher a beast in melee so it could go around and murder people with crits.

I used charm vs one of the 2 dragons in White March, because it was hilarious af to watch him murder his buddy and i charmed the priest in Magran's faithful bounty because I hate their guts but other than that I'm the kind of person to not kill an enemy group because my cipher hzhasn't got all self buffs refreshed and I want to watch my melee damage. :D

 

I did use Amplified Wave quite a lot tho because it's just too op not to use, even after the nerf.

The beam spells are not that hard to position, especially EE since it doesn't hurt your party.



#39
Dr <3

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Only thing i hate about amplified wave is that it target only ally. It Is useless in solo run, since charmed/dominated foes are not legal targets :(
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#40
dgray62

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1. frontline dps - plate (sanguine), dual-wield sabres (bittercut); pale elf or boreal dwarf; ~ 18/9/15/13/15/8
2. frontline (a bit tankier) dps - plate (sanguine), sabre + shield; pale elf or boreal dwarf; ~ 18/10/14/12/14/10
3. frontline cc - plate (sanguine), estoc (blade of the endless paths); boreal dwarf; ~ 9/9/18/17/17/8
4. ranged cc/dps - robe/hide/padded armor (early game), durganized robe (late game), Borresaine/Sabra Marie Warbow; wood elf; 15/7/18/18/17/3
5. ranged dps (with occasional cc) - robe/padded/hide armor (early game), durganized robe (late game), Persistence bow (early game), Rain of Goddah late game; 18/7/18/17/15/3
6. ranged dps (with occasional cc)- hide armor (early game), durganized robe or hide (late game), quick-switching blunderbusses; 19/7/18/17/14/3



As for powers, specifically for v4:
- Whispers of Treason (!), Mindwave (!), Tenuous Grasp ® and Eyestrike(~)
- Mental Binding (!), Amplified Thrust ®, Recall Agony ® (vs high HP enemies)
- Ectopsychic Echo ®, Soul Ignition ®, Puppet Master (~)
- Silent Scream(!), Mind Lance ®, Pain Block (~), Going Between (~), Wild Leech (~)
- Borrowed Instinct ®, Tactical Meld ®, Detonate ®
- Amplified Wave (!), Disintegration (!)
- Time Parasite (!), Stasis Shell (~)
- Reaping Knives (~), Defensive Mindweb (~) (Mindweb is quite situational, because it comes with heavy opportunity cost)

 

 

Maxquest, what powers would you recommend for your v1 frontline DPS build?







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cipher, Build, Powers, DPS, CC, Crowd Control

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