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I beat the game on hard back in 2015 with a CC/Nuke wizard, she was pretty solid and lead the party in damage.  With the hype building for PoE II I decided to reroll for a cannon playthrough to import later.  Initially went with a druid as I remembered the npc druid impressed me and I wanted to do something different.  Selected PoTD and off I went.  So PoTD is tougher than hard, as in significantly more difficult, and I made some playstyle adjustments for that.  Namely I started having Aloth 2nd rank with the summoned staff and he was kicking butt.  Lead the party in damage in fact, and could tank fairly well for the durations of veil + mirror image + spirit shield.  So I'm rerolling again before I get significantly farther into the game on my druid.

 

I've tried to read up on 'melee wizards' and such but a lot of the info is either really old, ie perception giving deflection, or seems so centered around items that I don't remember or never found.  This will be my first playthrough of the expansions.  I plan on using either Eder or Pallagina for tanking and Durance for his buffs along with a rotating cast for dialogues.

 

I'm falling down on the stat spread tho.  Currently

 

Pale Elf  (I'm settled on this race)

19 Might

6   Con

16 Dex

16 Per

18 Int

3   Res

 

Planning around plate armor and summoned weapons exclusively.

 

Am I safe dumping resolve to 3?  I plan on using Durance's buffs and Spirit shield to fill in for concentration, I'll just deal with the loss of deflection I guess.  Con likewise, wizard's health and endurance bonus is so low compared to the bonus you can get from spells, do I dump this?  I really want max int to increase durations for quality of life.  Might increases damage done by melee weapons and damage of spells, but does it increase the base damage of summoned weapons?  Basically can I 'double-dip' with might on this build?  Any super relevant talent picks besides veil/hardened veil I need to be aware of?

 

Sorry for the litany of questions and thanks for any responses.

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Hi,

 

RES 3 is ok. With Durance's Holy Meditation or your own Spirit Shield it's not a problem at all.

 

CON 6 is low. As you said wizards have a very small endurance and especially health pool. Even with good healing sources like Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon and so on you might end up dead because your health pool gets drained too quickly (not your endurance), even with plate armor and Spirit Shield. You can counter this with a lot of healing bonuses (survival 8 or 14 for 40 or even 60% more healing + a Belt of Bountiful Healing or Fulvano's Amulet - each of them giving +25%, don't stack). Those bonuses also work with Infuse with Vital Essence which will heal a good portion of health. So you can make it work but you have to watch out.

 

I like Veteran's Recovery on a melee wizard. MIG and INT boost its healing and you don't have to fizzle around with healing spells all the time.

 

MIG does increase the damage of summoned weapons, yes. So it's good to hava a lot. But it does not increase the base damage. Nothing increases the base damage of weapons except very few special abilites and items.

MIG adds a damage bonus which is calulated with the base damage, but doesn't alter it. Base damage itself always stays the same. You add up bonuses on top of it instead. But enough of that.

 

Summoned work like regular weapons with two (or three) exeptions:

- they can't be enchanted (but they bring their own "enchantments")

- they work with any weapon focus, so you can pick a weapon focus that fits your "backup" weapon

- the usually have higher base damage than their normal counterparts - which makes them powerful because nearly all damage bonuses you can get via talents, MIG and crits are calculated with that base damage

 

Hardened Veil (+75) + Wizard's Double (+40) can make you untouchable to enemies who target your deflection. Wizard's Double will go away after a hit or crit you receive (not after a graze) - but who can hit you when your deflection is buffed by +115? Very good combo in the early game.

 

As for talents: summoned melee weapons of the wizard are all two handed and love damage bonuses because they have high base damage (as I said above). So things like Two Handed Style, Apprentice's Sneak Attack and Savage Attack will add some good damage to your attacks.

 

Use Alacrity + summoned weapon (preferably Citzal's Sprit Lance) and then cast Citzal's Martial Power.

 

You want to go teh Doemenel route and get the talent "Merciless Hand", it adds +30% to crit damage. Later you can pick Dungeon Delver as well (story-based talents) with another +10%. So you will not do +50% damage on a crit, but +90% instead. Again, summoned weapons love damage bonuses. You can improve your crit rate with priest's Inspiring Radiance (+10, stacks with everything) and Devotions of the Faithful (+20, stacks with most other ACC buffs like Blessing and Zealous Focus and also Eldritch Aim) and Merciless Gaze or Dire Blessing.

 

Arcane Assault and Grimoire Slam are actually not bad when you have cast Citzal's Martial power (those two abilites still work when Martial Power was cast). All spell binding gear is still able to release spells even with an active Martial Power, too.

 

Runner's Wounding Shot is a good attack ability for hard hitting weapons like the Parasitic Staff or Spirit Lance. 

 

Melee wizards are a lot of fun - at least I think so.

 

If you have more questions ask right away. :)

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So if I wanted 10 con would I be dropping per or dex?  Or is even more advisable?  I was aiming towards a more dps focused role but yeah, picking yourself off the ground isn't fun either.  And buffing infuse vital essence every fight would probably be needlessly tedious and increase the resting needed.

 

Nice to know I can pick something like weapon focus:soldier for maximum ascetics and still get the accuracy mileage out of it.  Since you're suggesting stacking crit multiplier I'm guess accuracy isn't horrible?  That was another concern I had when scaling into the late game.

 

Would I still hit max attack speed with self buffs and say 10-12 base dex?  My charname is always the item hog so gear could fill in some gaps I suppose.

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Well at lvl 1, the wizard has access to Concelhaut's Parasitic Staff. That reach weapon is amazing, exceptional enchantment at lvl 1 with Draining, last for long time (45s base). Not sure on what the base dmg is, but it has carried my wizard through the very start.

 

Try to compare it with the weapon dps your other melee martial characters is doing for the first 3 levels and you probably see what I mean

Edited by mosspit
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How do you get around the lack of spell casts for the first part of the game? I imagine many fights you are just stuck being a weaker fighter using a reach weapon

Concelhauts Parasitic Staff destroys anything a fighter can bring at the early levels. Exploding Raedrics Paladins is fun. I did this Aloth who has 12 Might.

Edited by Torm51

Have gun will travel.

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Sorry if I was unclear, I totally understand why the summoned weapon is stronger. What I meant was how do you get around only having a couple casts of it early on? You won’t be able to use it for even half the fights.

 

(Btw melee wizard should be a BLAST in Deadfire due to summoned weapons being per encounter spells!)

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On a per fight basis they should last for most of the fights. As mentioned the summoned staff last for 45s base. And the duration will scale with int.

 

If you are talking about consistency of managing spells fight after fight, it will be recharging via resting. Which is similar to how a standard Wizard is managed.

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Parasitic Staff has the same base damage as Firebrand which is 20-30 or 25 on average. The exceptional enchantment adds 30% or in other words 25*0.3=7.5 per hit. Every point of MIG adds 0.75 damage. Two Handed Style adds 3.75, Savage Attack adds 5. A crit adds 12.5, a crit with Merciless Hand + Dungeon Delver even 22.5 and so on. That's why those things are powerful despite lacking lashes and durgan steel.

 

Concerning crits: combined with disables the melee wizard will crit a lot if he wishes. Citzal's Spirit Lance comes superb and as mosspit said having an exceptional weapon with the staff in the early game is very powerful as well.

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So I've had some time to play today and respeced my wizard's stats a little to

 

19 Might

14 Con

10 Dex

14 Per

18 Int

3   Res

 

Hit level 4 on PoTD, taken weapon spec:soldier and arcane veil.  Wearing some plate mail and using a fine greatsword that was a lucky find.  Before that I used a single rapier for accuracy when I wasn't wielding that insane summoned staff.  Games been a breeze so far, usually I get 2 full buff fights out of a rest but I really don't need all the buffs most the time, for things like forest trolls I did fine just flanking with the greatsword.  MC has 2.5x the damage done as the next closest party member and I'm pretty sure I've never cast a direct damage spell.

 

So far I feel that dropping dex for more con was the right call, like Boeroer said it's health not endurance that is the main issue.  I'm getting way more mileage out of the leech from the staff and spells like Consecrated Ground now.  Also guns probably would have been out and out terrifying with such low con.

 

I'm critting quite a bit too thanks to Merciless Gaze.  Does this stack with Dire Blessing?  Because that might be a little insane if it does...

 

So far I'm glad I rerolled another wizard, plays completely differently to my previous one.  The only spells I remember casting a lot on my old one that I'm reusing are the blind and spirit shield.  Really makes me appreciate Obsidians take on them.

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I wanted to add that a normal two hander has an average base damage of 17 while the summoned stuff has 25(!). Since everything  besides lashes, wounding and Confident Aim is calculated on base damage you can see why this is so powerful. The more dmg bonuses you stack the better. Even taking all the hater talents (add 6.25 damage per hit) besides vessel and spirit (there's a Bartender's Ring for that) and using Gauntlets of Puissant Melee (+2.5 per hit) and Azalin's Helmet (+2.5 per crit) would make sense if you don't know what else to pick. ;)

Edited by Boeroer

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When I go for exotic builds, like any caster melee (I love exotic builds), they need some external tool to boost their new offtankish roles or cover the natural weakness of the class and usually is the gear the thing to check: a list of good designed items is done for this :p and luckily, PoE has a good list to make the unthinkable a viability.

 

Offtanks in general have a great combo gear in Sanguine Plate + Shod-in-Faith, it's what I use on my 2H Grieving Mother, and probably on Aloth in a different playthrough.

 

Maybe only Shod-in-Faith is the must, while any plate armor that suits you (for gimmicks, theme, cast per rest) can be used.

For any non tankinsh native characters the self sustain is the key point (fighters with their recovery are the hint to think about), they generally have less health so they benefits more by healing effects overtime.

 

Sanguine Plate is good because is one of the best plates you can get in early game: boost survival (you're going to aim the healing multiplier on rest bonus) and frenzy (boost constitution, something wiz needs, don't bother about the deflection malus, hardened veil is there and you don't need crits on deflection to triggers the effects :p, any crits on will, fortitude, reflex trigger).

CzSyX91.jpg

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Sanguine Plate on a melee wizard works fine of course - but I always feel that it is a bit wasted because a wizard can use Alacrity for +50% speed (without a fixed armor penalty) instead of Frenzy with +33% (and -50% fixed speed penalty). Both don't stack with each other.

 

With wasted I mean that Frenzy would have more impact on other melee characters who don't have any other possibility of gaining a speed bonus. If you don't have such characters then using Sanguine Plate for the wizard is no waste obviously. :)

 

What you might want to have is Gauntlets of Swift Action (stacks with Alacrity).

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Would I still hit max attack speed with self buffs and say 10-12 base dex?

 

More Dexterity always increases action speed so there is no true max action speed. That said, if you reach zero recovery (fairly easy to do as a Wizard with Deleterious Alacrity of Motion) then the extra speed from increased Dexterity becomes fairly minor. Personally I'd keep Dexterity at 10 for any Wizard: many of your spells as Fast casting and, once you get it, DAoM should always be the first thing you cast in combat (and you should almost always pick if for your level four spell mastery).

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Would I still hit max attack speed with self buffs and say 10-12 base dex?

 

More Dexterity always increases action speed so there is no true max action speed. That said, if you reach zero recovery (fairly easy to do as a Wizard with Deleterious Alacrity of Motion) then the extra speed from increased Dexterity becomes fairly minor. Personally I'd keep Dexterity at 10 for any Wizard: many of your spells as Fast casting and, once you get it, DAoM should always be the first thing you cast in combat (and you should almost always pick if for your level four spell mastery).

 

Hang on a minute... i thought that if you reach zero recovery then stacking more dex won't make any difference? Or is that only the case with casters? For example if I am playing a dual wield warrior with armored grace, durganized sabres and outlanders frenzy then I am already at 0 recovery, would stacking dexterity above 10 in this case allow me to get even faster???

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Hang on a minute... i thought that if you reach zero recovery then stacking more dex won't make any difference? Or is that only the case with casters? For example if I am playing a dual wield warrior with armored grace, durganized sabres and outlanders frenzy then I am already at 0 recovery, would stacking dexterity above 10 in this case allow me to get even faster???

 

Nope, Dexterity works differently to other action speed modifiers. Here's a rough explanation:

  • Every action consists of three (sometimes four) parts: delay, action and recovery (and sometimes reload).
  • The delay is about five frames (1/6th of a second) long and can't be sped up by anything.
  • The action can only be sped up by your Dexterity modifier, for example if an attack animation takes 1s with Dexterity 10 then with Dexterity 15 (+15% Action Speed) it will take 1/1.15 = 0.87s
  • Recovery is affected both by the various Action Speed bonuses/penalties and by Dexterity. The way you calculate it is complicated (see this thread) but basically you start with your base recovery, apply all Action Speed bonuses/penalties, then apply the Dexterity bonus afterwards.

The important thing to notice is that if your recovery reaches zero (doable with quite a few classes) then Dexterity only speeds up the Action Speed, whereas if your recovery is nonzero then Dexterity reduces it as well. The ease with which Wizards can reach zero recovery is the reason that, typically, Wizard builds tend to have fairly low Dexterity, whereas Priests (who don't have the pleasure of DAoM and have fewer fast casting spells) are often built with maxed Dexterity.

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If you are casting average or slow spells it still makes quite a visible difference if you have 10 DEX or 20.

 

Your casting animation will be 1/3 faster.

 

And in terms of percentage it doesn't make a difference if your recovery is 0 or 100 frames - a DEX bonus of 30% will shorten your whole remaining attack cycle (after appliance of speed buffs) by 30% (delay excluded).

 

Of course in flat numbers you will take away less and less frames the lower your recovery already is, but the percentage gain achieved by DEX always stays the same (if we let the 5 frames delay aside).

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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So I've had some time to play today and respeced my wizard's stats a little to

 

19 Might

14 Con

10 Dex

14 Per

18 Int

3   Res

 

Hit level 4 on PoTD, taken weapon spec:soldier and arcane veil.  Wearing some plate mail and using a fine greatsword that was a lucky find.  Before that I used a single rapier for accuracy when I wasn't wielding that insane summoned staff.  Games been a breeze so far, usually I get 2 full buff fights out of a rest but I really don't need all the buffs most the time, for things like forest trolls I did fine just flanking with the greatsword.  MC has 2.5x the damage done as the next closest party member and I'm pretty sure I've never cast a direct damage spell.

 

So far I feel that dropping dex for more con was the right call, like Boeroer said it's health not endurance that is the main issue.  I'm getting way more mileage out of the leech from the staff and spells like Consecrated Ground now.  Also guns probably would have been out and out terrifying with such low con.

 

I'm critting quite a bit too thanks to Merciless Gaze.  Does this stack with Dire Blessing?  Because that might be a little insane if it does...

 

So far I'm glad I rerolled another wizard, plays completely differently to my previous one.  The only spells I remember casting a lot on my old one that I'm reusing are the blind and spirit shield.  Really makes me appreciate Obsidians take on them.

 

When I did my solo playthrough the high MIG combined with a two-hander (well, Concelhaut's staff in my case) did pretty insane damage when I hit. It worked great for Act I where I just avoided fights that I could not reliably win.

 

During Act II, that strategy stopped working and I needed to revert more to a regular caster with summons and of course liberal use of the Rotfinger Gloves combined with spells. However, since you are playing in a party, you could use other characters to draw some heat away from your wizard.

 

During Act III, once I got all the buffs I needed, the melee wizard became the most impressive fighter build I ever played. Sure, I could probably replicate this with some other classes, but that is just one of the tricks my wizard had up his sleeve - when needed he could nuke most fights and he completed most of the high-level bounties (non-upscaled) without breaking a sweat.

 

If you wish, you can review some of my strategies and spell sequences in the Frozen Lance build.

Ultimate.jpg

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