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This build is a chanter + druid combo, though technically a monk or wizard with Greenstone Staff could replace the druid. The backstory for it is that I had been getting bored of playing a tank chanter and decided I wanted to play a more aggressive style on PotD. I've known about the "exploit" with chanters still chanting while withdrawn for a while, and figured it  might also apply to the other stasis spell in the game: Beetle Shell. Short story is that it does, long story is that with the right setup it's hilariously broken, and far more effective than withdrawing your chanter due to the fact that a character in Beetle Shell can still draw aggro.

 

The basic idea is to run into a group of enemies and have your caster put Beetle Shell on the chanter while they chant the phrases Winds of Death and The Dragon Thrashed. The key to the build is in how Beetle Shell's status effect is programmed. The little stun symbol next to your character while in Beetle Stasis is not just window dressing, the game is treating you as if you are literally stunned while under its effect. Which leads us to the key insight: equipment that boosts defense while stunned and prone (and they just happen to be the highest base defense boosting equips in the game) work while inside the Shell. The only pieces of equipment truly required to run this build is (Blaidh Golan OR Malina's Boots) + (Ilfan Byrngar's Solace). With this combo you have an extra 100 in every defense. Beyond that you would just want as much INT, MIG, and PER as possible, almost everything else is personal preference.

 

In fact you could get this setup up and running at level 5 (when druids gain access to Shell) with only minor difficulty given how early you can acquire Blaidh Golan and Ilfan Byrngar's Solace (having them both at level 5 is pretty reasonable, even with a small party on PotD). Now, the build does not truly shine until level 9 with The Dragon Thrashed, but even before then you could have an untouchable tank inflicting slow, steady aoe raw damage who doesn't even become vulnerable in a fight until the druid runs out of level 3 spellcasts. For the druid's part, you just want as much INT as you can get your hands on, what they cast or do after the Beetle Shell is active is entirely up to you. 45-50 seconds of a 200 all defenses chanter drawing aggro and dealing massive aoe damage is not to be underestimated.

 

Talent wise you don't actually need anything, but Weapon and Shield plus Superior Deflection is always nice. Later in the game Secrets of Rime is excellent because as soon as you come out of Beetle Shell you can cast one of the chanters high level freeze invocations, then go right back into a Shell if needed.

 

This is my first post here so I figured I'd post something that I haven't read or seen anywhere before that's a lot of fun and might get people more interested in an underappreciated spell.The only real caveat here is that you don't want any CC on you before you enter the Shell because it will override the stun defense bonuses you would ordinarily receive and maintain upon entering the Shell, I suppose because the game is still giving precedence to that initial cc when determining whether or not to apply the stun defense bonuses. Enjoy :)

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  • 4 months later...

Bumping this to say that Obsidian has patched this "exploit" out as of the most current patch 3.7.0.1318 (according to in-game info). This was quite saddening to me because I felt it was as niche as niche gets and rewarded some clever use of easy to find yet unused equipment and a very underused spell with a strong result that still isn't as powerful as many high-level Wizard spells.

 

Overall I am extremely disappointed with this change given that being withdrawn while chanting is an even more "broken" and well-publicized mechanic that remains in the game to my current knowledge. This change only further solidifies my desire not to comment on anything "unique" I might find in Pillars II for fear that it will be patched out while much more egregious things remain in, a la Pillars I traps still being UP or OP (due to a coding error) with no middle ground for people that actually want to use traps with any semblance of balance...

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Can't edit a post that hasn't been approved yet, realized I wasn't specific enough. The BONUSES from wearing the extra defense while stunned or proned equipment does not work when the wearer is under the effects of Beetle Shell, afaik a Beetle Shell'd chanter can still chant while under its effects but now there seems very little reason to ever use this strategy instead of the far more documented one of using the Withdraw spell to accomplish the same thing.

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