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I find Pillars of Eternity one of the best team RPGs. It has many interesting classes, which provide a great variety of abilities, so the funniest way to play PoE is IMO to go full-party. The good thing about PoE is that there is no any "best" party composition, so almost any party composed of characters with reasonable builds is viable. But not every party is funny. I think that parties like "6 chanters" or "6 wizards" are boring and tedious. We need different classes to make their skills work together in synergy. And our party also should be healthy and powerful. Moreover, I like to rely on per-encounter abilities and damage made from weapons, not from spells, in order to rest as seldom as possible.

 

So that's my experience and suggestions.

 

1. PC - Wild Orlan Goldpact Paladin main tank (Old Vailia - Aristocrat) 17/15/3/5/19/19 - I've took him for abusing RP reasons. Goldpact Knights are not penalized from being Cruel and Deceptive, so I can take the Gift from the Machine and the Effigy Resentment talents, but I'm not stricted to be evil, so the option to be Benevolent is also available (it's important in some situations). The goal of this character is to tank, to support, to have the highest defences in the party (Mindweb-wise) and to burn the enemies with Sacred Immolation. I use only generic paladin and common class talents and don't take Goldpact-specific talents. After all, 95% or even 99% of paladin's power is just paladinish and not order-specific.

 

2. Coastal Aumaua DW saber Fighter (The Living Lands - Colonist) 21/16/18/10/3/10 - damage dealer and off-tank. Also a subject for cipher's Reaping Knives late in game. I used to take a monk with similar race and stats for this role, but while the monk is extremely good with his fists, nothing from his skills benefits the Reaping Knives. But fighter, on the other side, has Weapon Mastery and Specialization and also Armored Grace, so he'll be dishing out more damage with the Knives than a monk. Of course, one can take a rogue for this role, but the rogue is quite squishy, he tends to die rapidly and needs a lot of precise micromanagement, so he doesn't fit in the philosophy of this party. Although fighter doesn't shine in damaging like a rogue, he is very sturdy and reliable source of damage, so that's our choice.

 

3. Boreal Dwarf 2H Barbarian (Old Vailia - Colonist) 19/10/10/10/19/10 - a very simple and straightforward genocide machine. That's Hitler and Pol Pot mixed together. Just give him Tidefall or Redeemer (depending on situation), put on Sanguine Plate, Shod in Faith, Berserker's Belt, and let him rush upon the enemies. And watch the dealt damage rate skyrockets. No need for min-maxing, no need for Savage Attack or Vulnerable Attack. Must-have abilities: Frenzy, Savage Defiance, One Stands Alone, Blood Thirst (heavy and slow 2-handers benefit from this ability the most). Nothing can stop him except for really high defences of some bosses. But for those ones we have other weapons

 

4. Mountain Dwarf Chanter (Old Vailia - Merchant) 20/16/2/18/19/3 - light support off-tank. Buffs the party with Sure-Handed Ila and Aefyllath songs (the latter quite helps the barbarian to dish out the damage). Sometimes summons ogres or casts other invocations. He uses an implement, but can switch to 1h and shield. Low Res doesn't stop this character from being a good off-tank covered by other heavy tanks in this party ("Sword and Shield" talent is mandatory; chanters have innate high deflection, so we can sacrifice some Res without losing decent tankyishness, high Con also helps). That's my utility character, he is used to disarm traps and open locks. After maxing Mechanics at 13, I put skillpoints into Lore in order to use scrolls in battles.

 

5. Moon Godlike Priest of Wael (Old Vailia - Colonist) 18/9/18/10/20/3 - this build is very close to a Fire Priest described on this forum, but I took the deity of Wael in order to use Pretty Pretty's Rib as a main weapon.

 

6. Wood Elf Cipher (Old Vailia - Colonist) 18/10/11/17/19/3 - a simple CC/damaging cipher. Phantom Foes, Amplified Wawe, Detonate, Desintegration, Reaping Knives, Mindweb etc. Uses Rain of Godach Fields.

 

 

This team is very powerful and doesn't need to rest often. It rushes through the game from the very beginning till the end and doesn't need a lot of micromanagement. Moreover, all 6 characters are of different classes and different races, so it's a lot of fun. All of them have their own class and race abilities, every character has it's unique role.

 

But this team doesn't satisfy me completely. It lacks one of the most interesting characters in PoE, a wizard. I think, a blasting wizard could've fit in this party very well (blasting in trash encounters, helping with spells during tough battles - I experienced some lack of wizard's debuffing abilities in several boss fights, especially dragons; nevertheless all battles are viable), but the party is very well and tight suited. Whom to change for a wizard? The most boring character here is a fighter. Also, even blasting wizard in PoE is a good damage dealer, so we can swap these two guys. But who'd be a subject for the Reaping Knives? The barbarian? But I'm happy with my 2H variant, he's extremely powerful and almost unkillable while he's swinging his Tidefall being surrounded by enemies. And the Redeemer devastates the vessels. Also, those DW barbarians with on-hit/on-crit weapons are complete garbage IMO: give the barbarian a heavy weapon and let him kill, and let the casters bother about debuffs and disables. Of course, I can just give my barbarian the DW talent at lv 14, and bestow him the Knives from time to time, when it's nescessary. I've read that a barbarian with Reaping Knives is very strong, but I'm afraid this strategy would weaken my variant of barbarian, he'd become less durable and damaging. Or it would weaken my cipher, when, for example, I fight vessels and the barbarian uses the Redeemer.

 

What do you think? How to modify this party in order to add a wizard? Will the party be even more powerful or not?

Edited by Moneo
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I like this set-up, and I like parties without a lot of micro as well. There are two concerns for me here though. In my experience, having 3-4 melees causes congestion, and you need to micro them to ensure they don't run into each other and idle. This for me is a huge annoyance - though it does not seem to be for most folks. At any rate, to avoid the congestion problem, I always give the 3rd and 4th (if I run 4 melees) melees reach weapons. Second, you don't have much in the way of instant CC; so I would miss a Wizard a lot.

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In my experience, having 3-4 melees causes congestion, and you need to micro them to ensure they don't run into each other and idle.

That's not an issue, just give your melee guys (at least two of them) a ranged weapon in the second slot. For example, my fighter wields dual sabres in the first slot and a pistol in the second. In case of congestion, just switch to ranged, retreat if needed, and shoot the enemy. Not too much micro. BTW I have dedicated ranged weapons enchanted for slaying Primordials for all my melees, 'cause those nasty mushrooms are really nasty, and the best way to kill them is to shoot one by one.

 

There are a lot of narrow places in Act II, and before that I usually pick up the Tall Grass pike for my barbarian, and he wields it during the whole second act. At lv 8 or 9 I kill that fire drake and finally pick up Tidefall.

 

And my chanter is ranged by default, but have 1h+shield in the second slot for those cases when he (actually, she) is oppressed. But this doesn't happen often, foe AI tends to focus on my cipher, hehe. So, cipher and priest also have 1h+shield and switch to it, if the enemy focuses them, this helps a bit (although I don't give them the "Weapon and Shield" talent, but this is an option for this party, see below).

 

 Second, you don't have much in the way of instant CC; so I would miss a Wizard a lot.

Yes, that's an issue a bit. That's why I bother about wizard. But it's a matter of playstyle. This party is designed for being able to rapidly buff themselves (with priest spells, scrolls and consumables), withstand enemy's pressure and dish out a ton of damage quickly. So in tough battles use scrolls of defense, of protection, "prayer against" scrolls and spells. I train in Lore all characters except fighter, so pally, barb and late in game chanter can buff the party while enemy's approaching. Then the cipher opens the battle with "Phantom Foes" cast, and this makes a whole screen of enemies flanked. Assuming survival bonus which I use on my three damage dealers by default, "Apprentice sneak attack" talent and Glanfanthan Stalking Boots on fighter and cipher, this means x1.35-x.1.45 damage boost against bad guys from the dedicated damage dealers. That's a great debuff with no immunity.

 

Moreover, I use a special party formation - in a form of an arrow, or a cross. The pally stands in front, right behind him, the chanter stands. He can shoot or switch to melee if nescessary. To the left and to the right of the chanter, the fighter and the barb stand. They cover the wings of my formation and can move forwards and backwards rapidly, if needed. Right behind the chanter, the priest stands. And behind the priest, there is a place for the cipher. So the latter shoots from behind and can comfortably utilise the Wood Elf's racial ability. I have the second custom formation - just the same, but reversed; I use it for the cases, when I need to retreat keeping my formation, where the tanks are oriented to the enemy.

 

So, while my frontliners meet the enemy and engage them, other chars usually have enough time to raise up party's defenses and prepare their own CCs. Of course, this party needs to withstand and endure, but the practice shows it is able to bear that. The damaging potential of this party is very high, and the faster your foes fall, the less you need CCs. Battles with dragons can be hard without a wizard, but just buff your accuracy via survival bonus and try to stack all of the boni to it during the fight. Cipher can successfully debuff and even damage dragons, just don't underestimate the "Fractured Volition" spell, it's a rare source of lowering Fortitude (without a wizard, again).

 

About paladin's aura. Early on, low accuracy is an issue, so I recommend starting up with Zealous Focus. Later, high enemy's damage and subsequent harm to health become an issue (the party usually has enough healing to sustain even fragile chars in battle). So at lv 8 I usually take Gallant's Focus with my chanter and respec the pally into Zealous Endurance. This aura helps a lot, especially with its hit->graze conversion, that's not only direct damage, but also debuffs.

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So, while my frontliners meet the enemy and engage them, other chars usually have enough time to raise up party's defenses and prepare their own CCs. Of course, this party needs to withstand and endure, but the practice shows it is able to bear that. The damaging potential of this party is very high, and the faster your foes fall, the less you need CCs. Battles with dragons can be hard without a wizard, but just buff your accuracy via survival bonus and try to stack all of the boni to it during the fight. Cipher can successfully debuff and even damage dragons, just don't underestimate the "Fractured Volition" spell, it's a rare source of lowering Fortitude (without a wizard, again).

 

About paladin's aura. Early on, low accuracy is an issue, so I recommend starting up with Zealous Focus. Later, high enemy's damage and subsequent harm to health become an issue (the party usually has enough healing to sustain even fragile chars in battle). So at lv 8 I usually take Gallant's Focus with my chanter and respec the pally into Zealous Endurance. This aura helps a lot, especially with its hit->graze conversion, that's not only direct damage, but also debuffs.

I share the sentiments on Cipher's Fractured Volition. Lowers Fortitude, but targets Will. I like Ciphers because they have quite a number of abilities that are not covered by immunities like Wild Leech, Borrowed Instinct, Pyschovampiric Shield etc

 

Agreed on Paladin's aura too. The debuff conversion for ZE is not brought up enough.

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In my experience, having 3-4 melees causes congestion, and you need to micro them to ensure they don't run into each other and idle.

That's not an issue, just give your melee guys (at least two of them) a ranged weapon in the second slot. For example, my fighter wields dual sabres in the first slot and a pistol in the second. In case of congestion, just switch to ranged, retreat if needed, and shoot the enemy. Not too much micro. BTW I have dedicated ranged weapons enchanted for slaying Primordials for all my melees, 'cause those nasty mushrooms are really nasty, and the best way to kill them is to shoot one by one.

 

 Second, you don't have much in the way of instant CC; so I would miss a Wizard a lot.

Yes, that's an issue a bit. That's why I bother about wizard. But it's a matter of playstyle. This party is designed for being able to rapidly buff themselves (with priest spells, scrolls and consumables), withstand enemy's pressure and dish out a ton of damage quickly. So in tough battles use scrolls of defense, of protection, "prayer against" scrolls and spells. I train in Lore all characters except fighter, so pally, barb and late in game chanter can buff the party while enemy's approaching. Then the cipher opens the battle with "Phantom Foes" cast, and this makes a whole screen of enemies flanked. Assuming survival bonus which I use on my three damage dealers by default, "Apprentice sneak attack" talent and Glanfanthan Stalking Boots on fighter and cipher, this means x1.35-x.1.45 damage boost against bad guys from the dedicated damage dealers. That's a great debuff with no immunity....

 

About paladin's aura. Early on, low accuracy is an issue, so I recommend starting up with Zealous Focus. Later, high enemy's damage and subsequent harm to health become an issue (the party usually has enough healing to sustain even fragile chars in battle). So at lv 8 I usually take Gallant's Focus with my chanter and respec the pally into Zealous Endurance. This aura helps a lot, especially with its hit->graze conversion, that's not only direct damage, but also debuffs.

 

 

Actually, constantly switching between a melee weapon set and a ranged weapon set would be too much micro-management for me. You are talking to an extremely lazy old man here! ;)

 

But I do like the emergency Spore-busting ranged weapon set suggestion. I hate those Spores with a passion myself, and I am terrified every time I have to go through Cliaban Rilag myself, so I end up stalling before I finish Act II all the time. So I will start packing a ranged weapon set on my melees just for these rare occasions.

 

Yes, I realize that having lots of CC scroll users can to some extent obsolete the need for a Wizard. I was going to begin to run multiple scroll users myself in future playthroughs per MaxQuest's suggestion. But at this point I still do not think I can get rid of the Wizard, even if I run multiple scroll users. I will experiment and see.

 

 

So, while my frontliners meet the enemy and engage them, other chars usually have enough time to raise up party's defenses and prepare their own CCs. Of course, this party needs to withstand and endure, but the practice shows it is able to bear that. The damaging potential of this party is very high, and the faster your foes fall, the less you need CCs. Battles with dragons can be hard without a wizard, but just buff your accuracy via survival bonus and try to stack all of the boni to it during the fight. Cipher can successfully debuff and even damage dragons, just don't underestimate the "Fractured Volition" spell, it's a rare source of lowering Fortitude (without a wizard, again).

 

About paladin's aura. Early on, low accuracy is an issue, so I recommend starting up with Zealous Focus. Later, high enemy's damage and subsequent harm to health become an issue (the party usually has enough healing to sustain even fragile chars in battle). So at lv 8 I usually take Gallant's Focus with my chanter and respec the pally into Zealous Endurance. This aura helps a lot, especially with its hit->graze conversion, that's not only direct damage, but also debuffs.

 

 

Agreed on Paladin's aura too. The debuff conversion for ZE is not brought up enough.

 

 

Oh, I know how useful Zealous Endurance is, dude. I've had to deal with full two Acts worth of formerly mind-controlled enemies who retained my auras and buffs even when they reverted! ;(

Edited by Lampros
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Hmmm I think that is not the point I was trying to make, but to each his own.

 

Weren't you talking about Zealous Endurance's conversion of hits to grazes, so you take less damage? I meant I didn't realize the impact of this until it worked against me via formerly mind controlled enemies ;)

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Not really. The point is about the debuff conversion - it can also affect CC effects, so not only dmg. I can't remember if I tested this before but this aspect of ZE is not new, just not brought up often. A subtle yet significant effect of ZE and it not being brought up often was my point.

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Your party/builds are very close to my own optimal team, but I use a rogue instead of a fighter with the barbarian being my off-tank. I use the rogue as the second ranged attacker (while later under Defensive Mindweb he becomes also a melee beast) with the cipher. My second line are the tanky chanter/priest - used for support/assist. I hate resting in PotD and since I don't like too much micro either I stay away from casters as much as possible (with the priest I limit myself to per encounter spells, unless it's a tough fight :grin: ). And once you have Sacred Immolation, Dragon Trashed and Heart of Fury who needs CC anymore?  :p

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Actually, constantly switching between a melee weapon set and a ranged weapon set would be too much micro-management for me. You are talking to an extremely lazy old man here! 

;)

 

But I do like the emergency Spore-busting ranged weapon set suggestion. I hate those Spores with a passion myself, and I am terrified every time I have to go through Cliaban Rilag myself, so I end up stalling before I finish Act II all the time. So I will start packing a ranged weapon set on my melees just for these rare occasions.

 

 

Yes, I realize that having lots of CC scroll users can to some extent obsolete the need for a Wizard. I was going to begin to run multiple scroll users myself in future playthroughs per MaxQuest's suggestion. But at this point I still do not think I can get rid of the Wizard, even if I run multiple scroll users. I will experiment and see.

 

Practically, that's not "constantly", but occasionally. I'm an old man too, so I prefer to play strategically rather than use micro a lot :)

 

Considering Spores. They are usually surrounded by tough hitting minions. Lure theese minions out of the range of the big ones and kill, then return with ranged weapons and shoot those bastards. If you have a wizard, cast a Chill Fog upon the Spore, that'll cause Blind and lower its Acc and Def. You'll be surprised how toothless it'll become and how quickly it'll go down. Chill Fog is a super OP debuff by a wizard. 

 

Considering scrolls. There are several types of them. First, the ones that buff your party. To cast them, you need only high Int (and high Mig for the healing ones). Then, some scrolls that do CC. To cast them effectively, you need high Int and high Per and Acc. Even low Mig chanter or wizard can cast them. At last, there are some damagins scrolls, the best one becomes available at Lore lvl 10. You need high Int and high Mig and Acc to cast them.

 

So, my pally and barb cast protective scrolls. My chanter and cipher concentrate on CC-ing scrolls - actually, the most useful is the Paralyze scroll. Even if you run a wizard, just spam paralyze scrolls instead of spamming paralyze spells and keep theese spell slots. Finally, my priest casts damaging scrolls. Among protective scrolls, a very useful is the "Prayer against treachery" one, it requires 12 Lore and grants immunity to Dominate and Confusion. That's the reason to have at least one char with 12 Lore in your team alongside with a priest. Usually, that's my main char who has 12 Lore, this also helps in dialogs.

 

Considering all this, and also a high damage dealt by the DDs, the absense of a wizard is not a great issue. I think, running through PotD without a priest is much more challenging, but that's not a "power gaming" IMO, at least until late game, when your chars become really powerful. Personally, I can't stand without my damaging barbarian butcher. I tried several runs without him, but in that cases I started experiencing pain below my back... eeeh... a serious lack of damaging power, the enemies just didn't want to die quickly and were overwhelming me.

 

 

Your party/builds are very close to my own optimal team, but I use a rogue instead of a fighter with the barbarian being my off-tank. I use the rogue as the second ranged attacker (while later under Defensive Mindweb he becomes also a melee beast) with the cipher. My second line are the tanky chanter/priest - used for support/assist. I hate resting in PotD and since I don't like too much micro either I stay away from casters as much as possible (with the priest I limit myself to per encounter spells, unless it's a tough fight :grin: ). And once you have Sacred Immolation, Dragon Trashed and Heart of Fury who needs CC anymore?  :p

 

Yes, having a rogue is a good option damage-wise, but a fighter is more durable, so I like him more :) In my party, both the fighter and the barb are offensive off-tanks, while the latter is somewhat more squishy during the beginning of the game. BTW, what ranged weapon do you use with your rogue? I think, having a ranged rogue with durganized weapon who can switch to Nightshroud/Unlabored Blade/Reaping Knives is not a bad idea.

 

And what reason is in using the Dragon Thrashed? After the nerf? IMO, 13 pierce/13 fire dmg with 20 Mig, considering this is before DR, is rather underwhelming. I didn't do exact math, but I feel that If your party does considering damage, Aefyllath is much better, unless you fight some fire immunes. Especially if you run a ranged rogue, then Sure-Handed Ila+Aefyllath would be great. IDK whether Aefyllath's damage boosts the cipher's focus generation, but an Amplified Wave or a Sacred Immolation buffed by a chanter are quite devastating. Not to mention barbarian's carnage attacks with Tidefall...

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Your party/builds are very close to my own optimal team, but I use a rogue instead of a fighter with the barbarian being my off-tank. I use the rogue as the second ranged attacker (while later under Defensive Mindweb he becomes also a melee beast) with the cipher. My second line are the tanky chanter/priest - used for support/assist. I hate resting in PotD and since I don't like too much micro either I stay away from casters as much as possible (with the priest I limit myself to per encounter spells, unless it's a tough fight :grin: ). And once you have Sacred Immolation, Dragon Trashed and Heart of Fury who needs CC anymore?  :p

 

Yes, having a rogue is a good option damage-wise, but a fighter is more durable, so I like him more :) In my party, both the fighter and the barb are offensive off-tanks, while the latter is somewhat more squishy during the beginning of the game. BTW, what ranged weapon do you use with your rogue? I think, having a ranged rogue with durganized weapon who can switch to Nightshroud/Unlabored Blade/Reaping Knives is not a bad idea.

 

And what reason is in using the Dragon Thrashed? After the nerf? IMO, 13 pierce/13 fire dmg with 20 Mig, considering this is before DR, is rather underwhelming. I didn't do exact math, but I feel that If your party does considering damage, Aefyllath is much better, unless you fight some fire immunes. Especially if you run a ranged rogue, then Sure-Handed Ila+Aefyllath would be great. IDK whether Aefyllath's damage boosts the cipher's focus generation, but an Amplified Wave or a Sacred Immolation buffed by a chanter are quite devastating. Not to mention barbarian's carnage attacks with Tidefall...

 

The rogue uses Persistence. I don't think there's a clear winner between Dragon Trashed and Aefyllath. Dragon Trashed can stack with itself and against multiple enemies it starts adding more dmg than Aefyllath.

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Especially when you look at Brisk Recitation. It doesn't do much for Mith Fyr itself (only speeds up phrase collection in this case) but is very benefical for Dragon Thrashed (stacks more instances).

 

Also, you can reach nearly all enemies with high INT, Voice of the Mountaintop and an overseeing item - while this, again, does nothing for Mith Fyr (usually you are in range of your party members without such things).

 

Dragon Thrashed is a DoT which benefits from crits more than normal damage does. Its duration gets increased by 50%. This is a multiplicative damage boost instead of the usual +50% to base damage. If you have high MIG you will boost the base damage (additive dmg bonus) and if you have high INT you will boost it again (multiplicatively). If you crit with it you again add an multiplicative bonus. 

 

High MIG and INT don't do anything for Mith Fyr - nor does your accuracy. It's the perfect phrase for a chanter who has bad MIG, not too much INT and low PER. You can't stack it so you have to put a shorter phrase in between.

 

As far as I know Dragon Thrashed didn't get nerfed for a long time. Only the description got changed from "does 70 slash and 70 burn over 16 seconds" into "does 13 slash / 13 burn per tick over 16 seconds" (or words to that effect). Also each tick as to overcome oly 1/4 of enemies' DR. So to completely nullify the damage an enemy would need 52 slash/burn DR...

 

You would need a very offensive party with a lot of AoE in order to beat optimized Dragon Thrashed with Mith Fyr (which you can't optimize with the chanter). And even then you would be better off at some point to alternate between Mith Fyr and Dragon Thrashed (you can have continuous Mith Fyr then with some Brisk Recitation and high INT).

 

Obviously Dragon Thrashed is the better alternative if you have a more defensive party that doesn't dish out a lot of dps but favors a save and steady approach.

Edited by Boeroer
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Most powerful 6 man party to steamroll POTD?

 

In my opinion:

 

Two completely dedicated tanks maxed deflection as high as you can go:

 

1. Chanter maxed def with shield, and dragon thrashed (I personally don't like this build because i think dragon thrashed is too cheesy). Take talents/ items to buff will to stop mind control

 

2. Fighter maxed def with shield, max intelligence to make the most out of unbending, also take unbroken. Again prevent mind control.

 

Then absolutely no rogues or barbarians. They are completely not needed. You can do what they do from a distance but better.

 

3. Fire priest, abydons hammer, maegfolc skull, minor avatar. The strongest build in the game.

 

4. Wizard. Built anyway doesn't matter.

 

5. Either another wizard or ranger

 

6. Another wizard or ranger

 

This would be the most powerful 6 man party that would beat the game the easiest i think.

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For the trashy stuff, get a priest with Inspiring Radiance and Devotions, then a wizard with Shadowflame, add a dw barb with Heart of Fury.

Buff ACC, cast Shadowflame, jump in and trigger Heart of Fury - clean up with a Barbaric Blow, sped up by Frenzy + Bloodlust. Everybody will be dead in seconds. Only two spells needed (both of them can becomem mastery spells). You can amplify the damage with Combusting Wounds and also pull together the enemies for Shadowflame and HoF with a Pull of Eora. 

 

For dragons and such bring a paladin tank with Zealous Focus, marking weapon, Inspiring Exhortation and Coordinated Attacks and also bring a cipher with Tactical Meld, Whisper of Treason and Desintegration. Boost ciphers ACC with +86 (Zealous Focus + Radiance+Devotions+marking+Coordinated Attacks+Liberation+Tactical Meld) and crit with Desintegration to one-shot the dragon. Cast Whisper of Treason on the dragon to charm him while Desinterate works (takes some time). The dragon will fight for you while he dies.

 

Then invite a tanky chanter optimized for Dragon Thrashed. Give him the Little Savior and Blaidh Golan (preservation of those two stacks to +100 to all defenses when prone or stunned). Place him in a doorway or in the thick of it and cast Withdraw on him. He will be untouchable and get +100 to all defenses but will not stop singing. Use Defensive Mindweb to give everybody those defensive values and walk around in god mode while the chanter still sings, slashing and burning. Sometimes preservation doesn't trigger. Still great that the chanter will sing along while "gone".

Edited by Boeroer
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Actually, constantly switching between a melee weapon set and a ranged weapon set would be too much micro-management for me. You are talking to an extremely lazy old man here! 

;)

 

But I do like the emergency Spore-busting ranged weapon set suggestion. I hate those Spores with a passion myself, and I am terrified every time I have to go through Cliaban Rilag myself, so I end up stalling before I finish Act II all the time. So I will start packing a ranged weapon set on my melees just for these rare occasions.

 

 

Yes, I realize that having lots of CC scroll users can to some extent obsolete the need for a Wizard. I was going to begin to run multiple scroll users myself in future playthroughs per MaxQuest's suggestion. But at this point I still do not think I can get rid of the Wizard, even if I run multiple scroll users. I will experiment and see.

 

Practically, that's not "constantly", but occasionally. I'm an old man too, so I prefer to play strategically rather than use micro a lot :) ...

 

So, my pally and barb cast protective scrolls. My chanter and cipher concentrate on CC-ing scrolls - actually, the most useful is the Paralyze scroll. Even if you run a wizard, just spam paralyze scrolls instead of spamming paralyze spells and keep theese spell slots. Finally, my priest casts damaging scrolls. Among protective scrolls, a very useful is the "Prayer against treachery" one, it requires 12 Lore and grants immunity to Dominate and Confusion. That's the reason to have at least one char with 12 Lore in your team alongside with a priest. Usually, that's my main char who has 12 Lore, this also helps in dialogs.

 

 

Your party/builds are very close to my own optimal team, but I use a rogue instead of a fighter with the barbarian being my off-tank. I use the rogue as the second ranged attacker (while later under Defensive Mindweb he becomes also a melee beast) with the cipher. My second line are the tanky chanter/priest - used for support/assist. I hate resting in PotD and since I don't like too much micro either I stay away from casters as much as possible (with the priest I limit myself to per encounter spells, unless it's a tough fight :grin: ). And once you have Sacred Immolation, Dragon Trashed and Heart of Fury who needs CC anymore?  :p

 

 

And what reason is in using the Dragon Thrashed? After the nerf? IMO, 13 pierce/13 fire dmg with 20 Mig, considering this is before DR, is rather underwhelming. I didn't do exact math, but I feel that If your party does considering damage, Aefyllath is much better, unless you fight some fire immunes. Especially if you run a ranged rogue, then Sure-Handed Ila+Aefyllath would be great. IDK whether Aefyllath's damage boosts the cipher's focus generation, but an Amplified Wave or a Sacred Immolation buffed by a chanter are quite devastating. Not to mention barbarian's carnage attacks with Tidefall...

 

 

When I said "constantly," I was actually referring to those folks who in fact switch constantly between ranged and melee weapon sets in literally every encounter. But your mode is indeed more occasional, so I will definitely try.

 

As for pushing to Lore 12 to get the Prayer against Treachery scroll usage, Lore 12 is really hard to get. And there are no really good Lore gear I know except maybe the Dexterity slippers in WM 2? I don't know if the trade-offs make sense.

 

Finally, on Dragon Thrashed, I think you need to download MaxQuest's mod that registers DoT damage to viscerally understand just how much damage it adds in PotD. Or look at the numbers we have both charted. Here's a small vignette, and this is while not running Dragon Thrashed all the time but mixing it with a utility Phrase. This damage accumulated just from level 9 to 10:

 

Pre-level 9:

 

Paladin MC (1st line/main tank) (Shame & Glory/Outworn Buckler): 22,511

Fighter (1st line/off-tank) (Shatterstar & Sura's Supper Plate): 32,561

Chanter (2nd line/DPS) (Tall Grass) 28,143

Rogue (3rd line/DPS/CC?) (Borresaine) 34,978

Wizard (3rd line/DPS/CC) (Gyrd) 33,320

Priest (3rd line/buff/DPS) (Grudge Keeper) 15,983

 

Pre-level 10:

 

Paladin (1st line/DPS) (Tidefall): 33,485

Fighter (1st line/DPS) (Shatterstar/Hearth Harvest): 43,631

Chanter (2nd line/DPS) (Tall Grass) 56,880

Rogue (3rd line/DPS/CC?) (Borresaine) 41,581

Wizard (3rd line/DPS/CC) (Gyrd)  42,291

Priest (3rd line/buff/DPS) (Grudge Keeper) 19,915

Edited by Lampros
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Most powerful 6 man party to steamroll POTD?

 

In my opinion:

 

Two completely dedicated tanks maxed deflection as high as you can go:

 

1. Chanter maxed def with shield, and dragon thrashed (I personally don't like this build because i think dragon thrashed is too cheesy). Take talents/ items to buff will to stop mind control

 

2. Fighter maxed def with shield, max intelligence to make the most out of unbending, also take unbroken. Again prevent mind control.

 

Then absolutely no rogues or barbarians. They are completely not needed. You can do what they do from a distance but better.

 

3. Fire priest, abydons hammer, maegfolc skull, minor avatar. The strongest build in the game.

 

4. Wizard. Built anyway doesn't matter.

 

5. Either another wizard or ranger

 

6. Another wizard or ranger

 

This would be the most powerful 6 man party that would beat the game the easiest i think.

 

I generally think this is a good set-up, except I still like a mid-line Tall Grass as a 3rd melee to pick up the leaks. Though I run 2 tanks early-/mid-game and see how it is very effective, I don't think I can run it the whole game out of boredom. I like my Fighters and Paladins to be "hybrids" who will take a more offensive approach once they gear up and level up. Finally, I don't like the Chanter tanking on PotD. He's a bit too squishy and the effort to toughen him up leads to the dilution of his Dragon Thrashed potential. That's why I have him as a Tall Grass mid-liner.

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I just had a really good think about what the strongest 6 man party would be and I've come up with a surpassing result. Say if you had to bet your life on it what would you say the strongest possible six would be?

 

I reckon as long as your not facing huge numbers, say less then ten enemies, I reckon 6 rogues would be the strongest if you did this.

 

1. As soon as combat starts all 6 rogues enter invisibility.

2. Each rogue individually targets a seperate enemy

3. Then unloads its afflictions on each enenemy, blinding strike, crippling strike, wounding strike, stun, crit, deathblow ect....

 

I can't see any other combination doing better then that purely because rogues are the only class that can go invis (at will), then they can lock openents down. Casters especially would get killed easily.

 

Against large numbers it wouldn't work as well. If at all

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For the trashy stuff, get a priest with Inspiring Radiance and Devotions, then a wizard with Shadowflame, add a dw barb with Heart of Fury.

Buff ACC, cast Shadowflame, jump in and trigger Heart of Fury - clean up with a Barbaric Blow, sped up by Frenzy + Bloodlust. Everybody will be dead in seconds. Only two spells needed (both of them can becomem mastery spells). You can amplify the damage with Combusting Wounds and also pull together the enemies for Shadowflame and HoF with a Pull of Eora. 

 

For dragons and such bring a paladin tank with Zealous Focus, marking weapon, Inspiring Exhortation and Coordinated Attacks and also bring a cipher with Tactical Meld, Whisper of Treason and Desintegration. Boost ciphers ACC with +86 (Zealous Focus + Radiance+Devotions+marking+Coordinated Attacks+Liberation+Tactical Meld) and crit with Desintegration to one-shot the dragon. Cast Whisper of Treason on the dragon to charm him while Desinterate works (takes some time). The dragon will fight for you while he dies.

 

Then invite a tanky chanter optimized for Dragon Thrashed. Give him the Little Savior and Blaidh Golan (preservation of those two stacks to +100 to all defenses when prone or stunned). Place him in a doorway or in the thick of it and cast Withdraw on him. He will be untouchable and get +100 to all defenses but will not stop singing. Use Defensive Mindweb to give everybody those defensive values and walk around in god mode while the chanter still sings, slashing and burning. Sometimes preservation doesn't trigger. Still great that the chanter will sing along while "gone".

 

I see your point, but again, a "power party" is, for me, a party with high innate damaging potential in order to eliminate the stuff quickly. And a good thing is to have this potential before level 9 as well. What can a chanter add to this party, is a good boost to it's DPS. So please don't compare Dragon Thrashed to Aefyllath, compare the first one to Sure-Handed Ila + Aefyllath. Sure-Handed boosts all your ranged attackers, not to mention that it hastens some spellcastings (several priest's buffs, cipher's powers, it helps a blasting wizard to hit and interrupt etc). It's a great combo, I'd taken it for the only reason that it empoweres my cipher. Of course, there is a small gap between one Sure-Handed lingering expires and the second one starts, but we can cope with it. And this combo helps the chanter to stack his chants a bit faster in comparison to single Dragon Thrashed chant.

 

Second, on a barbarian. I think, a DW barb is an interesting, but somewhat a "fun" build. He can do a lot of useful stuff, but consider one thing: the goal of the battle is not to interrupt, to debuff etc, the goal is to kill the enemies. A DW barb would go unless there were two totally OP 2H weapons: Tidefall and that Redeemer. A 2h-barb hits slow, but hard and can deal enough damage by hit to overcome enemy's DR. The 2H talent adds even more damage. Then, there is Blood Thirst ability: it adds rather little for a fast hitting DW barb, but it quite boosts a 2H barb shod in Sanguine Plate (+ Bloody Slaughter talent, hehe). This barb just kills, and the more he kills, the more he kills. Pick a Boreal Dwarf, give him a lashed Tidefall with "Slaying Beasts" enchant and switch to the Redeemer when needed (+ there is the Bartender's Ring). Thus, most types of the nastiest enemies will be covered by innate abilities and weapons.

 

You describe a cool and powerful combo, but realize, that you need to make one or two casts, then position your barb precisely and activate his ability. For me, it's a lot of micromanagement. A 2H barb with Tidefall can do the same things just by autoattacking. And when he activates HoF... well, he makes less hits than a DW one, but again he hits hard.

 

 

That's why I can't go PoE without this cool guy. Seriously, without him I feel a strong lack of damage, foes die too slowly and hit me too hard. Yes, it's a very simple and perhaps a "noob" build, but it's too damn effective.

 

 

 

I reckon as long as your not facing huge numbers, say less then ten enemies, I reckon 6 rogues would be the strongest if you did this.

 

 

Perhaps, you haven't read my first message. Personally, I favor parties which consist of 6 different classes. And parties like "6 chars of one class" are just dull and boring.

Edited by Moneo
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Finally, on Dragon Thrashed, I think you need to download MaxQuest's mod that registers DoT damage to viscerally understand just how much damage it adds in PotD. Or look at the numbers we have both charted.

 

 

Yes, it's quite obvious to see, how much the Dragon Thrashed adds to chanter's damage. But what exactly do Sure-Handed Ila and Aefyllath add to party's power is much less apparent. And it depends on the party, of course. If you run a party with 3 or 4 heavy hitting ranged units, you can suggest picking a low Mig / high Res tanky chanter and use a mix of Sure-Handed with a 1st level chant, this combo would boost your party drastically anyway.

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@moneo: you have no idea how Heart of Fury works when you say that a barb does better damage with Tidefall.

I like a barb with Tidefall, the wounding + draining is amazing with Carnage - but once you pick Heart of Fury it can't compete with dual wielding + Combusting Wounds. You wanted powerful stuff, not "pretty cool stuff with low micro". :)

Again: Barb with Tidefall is very nice, but not the best option once you get HoF.

 

You will generate twice as much hits with dual wielding when using Heart of Fury. Even woundig can't compete with that although it's the strongest enchantment for damage (besides that barbs usually have high INT and Tidefall's dps drops when used with high INT - I really like it on a dumb rogue to quickly take out squishies in the backline).

 

If you combine DW HoF with Combusting Wounds and attack 5 foes you will generate 50 hits (instead of 25 with a two hander) which will trigger 50 instances of Combusting Wounds. Every instance will do around 30 burn damage with decent MIG and INT. It will add 50 * 30 burn damage over time which has to overcome 1/4 of DR. You can see where this is going. When only looking at auto-attacks then Tidefall is better, especially with Frenzy, Bloodlust and Blood Thirst. There is no discussion.

 

Redeemer is very nice with Blood Thirst in particular because destroy vessels triggers Blood Thirst. But you don't need Two Handed Style for the Redeemer on a barb. Because destroyed is destroyed and that can't be buffed any further. So you can totally use the Redeemer against vessels while you dual wield against other enemies.

 

Bloody Slaughter is completely useless. It triggers at 10% endurance - usually your barb will kill nearly every enemy who's left with 10% endurance with one strike - with or without Bloody Slaughter. I call it a wasted talent point for every build except maybe boss killers (so... not barbs). If one wants such a mechanic then he/she should use a Death Godlike. Death's Usher at least triggers at 25% endurance left.

 

Sure Handed Ila is nice and all, especially because it stacks with everything, but it's effect can't compete with the damage output of Dragon Thrashed if you do it right. At lvl 16 you will dish out around 80 slash + 80 burn on hit (and a lot more on crit: 120/120) every 4(!) seconds to everybody in that huge range (usually all enemies) - just by standing around. This has to overcome 1/4 of DR, sure, but there's a lot of damage left. I would like to know which party setup can improve it's weapon damage by such an amount just by adding 20% ranged attack speed and adding a 25% burning lash. I don't think there is (except spell spamming in every encounter with +25% lash), but maybe I'm wrong.

That setup is better against bosses, but since I explained how you can one-shot then with a cipher very safely you don't need that.

And of course you would completely ignore invocations with a Dragon Thrashed Chanter - because invocations will stop the chanting and result in a recovery phase and that means no Dragon Thrashed damage (and also no Mith Fyr and no Sure Handed Ila) for some time.

Also the neat and very powerful trick with preservation Chanter + Withdraw is less cool with Sure Handed Ila + Mith Fyr.

The only situation where I hate Dragon Thrashed is when my Chanter gets mind controlled... ;)

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I like a barb with Tidefall, the wounding + draining is amazing with Carnage - but once you pick Heart of Fury it can't compete with dual wielding + Combusting Wounds.

My current barb dual-wields bittercuts (with Spirit of Decay and stuff). The total damage is #omgwtf levels of high. But damn do I hate when the main target dies between OH and MH swings of HoF, because in this case barbarian will not deliver the second strike.
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Right. Bittercut is the best pick with HoF as far as I know. There is no one hander with higher damage per hit (on average).

 

Yes, that's why you always should attack the toughest target with HoF when dual wielding. But it's also really annoying if you miss. ;)

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Based on my experience, having a lots of casters is the easiest way to powergame, especially endgame, so :

 

A - 2 chanters (dragon trashed specialized, sword & board) : enough for tanking. A bit of tanking makes life more confortable. Chanter + Paladin perform the same role with more defenses/healing and less AoE DPS.

 

B - Triplet of vancian casters (Wizz, Druid, Priest), so you can access al the buffs, crazy CC, crazy everything. Druid is the least essential of the trio but Druid's buff over pirest's ones are awesome, and storm spells are too convenient to ignore.

 

C - "bonus slot" : I used ranger for her single target DPS and pet's infinite healthpool. A good early game Martial character might be good, or maybe cipher for even more spells. Ciphers are especially convenient early game, but I didn't feel there were so powerful for endgame even if Mindweb deserves a powergaming mention.

 

 

Other stupid ideas :

 

A party with a lots of priests. Priest is arguably th best class, and playing a lots of them will free them from their buffing machine fate.

Rising skyhigh defense quickly, then burning everything sounds good.

Something like 3 chanters frontline + 3 priests backrow, maybe good enough to ignore Crwd Control.

 

6 Druids. Druids have probably the most well-rounded early game. Then the storm spells come into play and you can mindlessly steamroll everything.

Maybe not very fun to play.

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Yes, that's why you always should attack the toughest target with HoF when dual wielding. But it's also really annoying if you miss. ;)

True and true.

And even then sometimes it's hard, as I have two ciphers spamming stuff and competing for the kills)

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@Boeroer:

 

I've done some tests. First, the "Dragon Thrashed" in-game description is a bit vague. It says like "13 slash, 13 fire dmg for 3 sec", but practically it turns into like "59 slash dmg over 11 sec" + "59 fire dmg over 11 sec". A weird game mechanics, okay. I agree, that's considerable amount of damage, yes.

 

Then, Aefyllath:

1. It takes 25% of all damage done, not only direct weapon's (i.e. 25% of weapon's + weapon's lash damage). So, if you have a burn lashed weapon and Scion of Flame talent, then with Aefyllath you'll inflict roughly 70% of direct weapon's additional fire damage. That's why a barbarian with fire lashed Tidefall and Scion of Flame talent is a real cheese.

2. It DOES generate cipher's focus. Yes, baby, yes.

3. It doesn't add damage to the Reaping Knives. A pity :( Perhaps, it's a bug? Even so, I don't think, it would be yet corrected...

4. I don't have a wizard in my current team, so IDK whether the chant adds damage to Blast attacks. I'm too lazy atm to generate him via cheats, sorry, guys.

 

Thus, while the Dragon Thrased adds a decent amount of direct damage, the Sure-Handed + Aefyllath combo is more tactical one. Assuming this, you can't compare theese two with only mere numbers. I like to start the battle with Sure-Handed song, it hastens your cipher and priest, that means faster priest's buffs in the crucial first seconds of the battle. Don't forget that +%% to attack speed has additive returns until 0 recovery. This combo at least empoweres your cipher, but that's not all, a barbarian, too, not to mention already aforementioned Sacred Immolation. Since I don't run a wizard, I rely heavily on cipher's powers, so boosting the cipher is rather important for my team.

Edited by Moneo
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