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I've tried for a while to get into the Cipher class for a while but it never managed to capture my interest which was a damn shame since I really enjoy the spellsword/psychic warrior aspect of the class. I had a look at different guides for melee Ciphers but most of them tend to a) be very outdated or b) simply telling me to play as a ranged Cipher instead.

 

As some of you may have noticed I have made posts about playing as a melee Wizard and also as a high INT Fighter that uses scrolls, which has been fun but I'd like to ask for some help in how I should approach the challenge of building a melee Cipher that's fun to play. I'm playing on Normal/Hard and using the normal party compannions so I don't need to go for a min/max build with 3 RES and all that but I'd appreciate some pointers on what equipment, powers and feats I should go for.

 

Thanks in advance. 

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as you might already know, firebrand is a great melee weapon for ciphers early on because it fills up your focus very quickly. with forgemaster gloves plus that nrw soulbound belt you can summon firebrand 6 times per rest.

 

whispers of treason and mental binding can protect you early on. during midgame, I like to protect my melee ciphers with those turquoise cloaks that allow you to insta-cast mirrored image. you can also cast vampiric shield out of combat on one of your teammates with min RES, but that is a bit cheap imo.

Edited by Natures Bounty
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Borrowed Instincts is very good later on. I'd always use it. You can use it instead of Vampiric Shield once you can get it (because their deflection bonuses don't stack).

 

Veteran's Recovery helps in the early game to survive. Don't rush in and get attacked by everybody, but rather play more like a rogue.

 

Whisper of Treason is very good to deal with attackers. Just turn them from threats to friends.

 

Before getting Firebrand you can use Justice from Raedric and keep it as backup weapon (Firebrand does burn damage only). It has an additional crushing lash (10% on top of 25%) which also generates focus. With the help of Soul Whip, Biting Whip and Two Handed Style the smaller lash can make it through DR and give you some additional focus.

Once you got Firebrand and also Scion of Flame I would drop Justice and use Hours of St. Rumbalt or whatever two hander that you enchant with a burning lash.

 

Another nice trick you can do to get the best focus per hit via Firebrand is to stack flanking bonuses (Glanfathan Stalking Boots, survival 12, Apprentice's Sneak Attack) and use Phantom Foes to trigger flanked on a lot of enemies. +45% damage with Firebrand is devastating.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Thanks for the help, everyone. How should I allocate my stats at the beginning? Is PER more important due to the fact that you won't generate any focus if you are not hitting or should I go for more MIG and therefore more oomph in my hits?

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Both PER and MIG are important - as is INT and DEX.

 

You won't be able to max any of those if you are not willing to dump a stat completely. So I would go for something like

 

MIG 15

CON 10

DEX 15

PER 15

INT 15

RES 08

 

Since cipher powers usually have an ACC bonus and also enemies' defenses are not that high at normal/hard difficulty you could also lower PER and put more points into MIG, DEX and INT. YOu want to attack stunned/prone/flanked enemies anyways:

 

MIG 16

CON 10

DEX 17

PER 10

INT 17

RES 08

 

But I would prefer the first approach with more PER.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Best dual weapon setup for melee ciphers (when it comes to focus generation) is Unforgiven + Starcaller - because both get an additional +10% burning lash on top of the 25% burning lash. If you want to use the Helwax Mold then it's 2x Unforgiven (because of the speed). You can use Vulnerable Attack and still reach 0 recovery.

With Scion of Flame you will get +30% lash +12% lash. Both will give you additional focus if the lash goes through DR. Make use of Body Attunement.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Then I would go for the duelist style and use the Sword of Daenysis + March Steel Dagger (both obtainable in Defiance Bay early).

 

Ciphers have no full attacks, so they are best off with a combo that does the highest auto-attacking dps. Because the cipher has good dmg bonuses (Soul Whip, Biting Whip, maybe flanking bonuses and Appr.- Sneak) this class has no problems to overcome some DR even with light weapons - and light weapons have the best auto-attack-dps when utilized with some dmg bonuses. The speed of both weapons + Two Weapon Style can be used to have Vulnerable Attack and still retain low (even 0) recovery.

 

With this setup + Time Parasite you can finally wear undurganized plate, use Vulnerable Attack and no Gauntlets of Swift Action (instead get Ryona's Vambraces) and still have 0 recovery. WIth the Vambraces, Vulnerable Attack and maybe Devil of Caroc in the Blood Pool you will have 12 DR bypass with the Sword of Daenysis and 9 with the dagger which is plenty and powerful with that superb attack speed.

 

Without Time Parasite and no armor penalty you only have 3 frames of recovery and with 20 DEX only 15 frames of attack animation. It's lightning fast...

 

It's one of the best dps melee setups for ciphers. Drawn in SPring has more dps, but the wounding that hekps achieving this does not generate focus. 

 

Another plus is that both weaposn can be obtained very early and thus you can play through 80% of the game with your favorite setup. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Then I would go for the duelist style and use the Sword of Daenysis + March Steel Dagger (both obtainable in Defiance Bay early).

 

Ciphers have no full attacks, so they are best off with a combo that does the highest auto-attacking dps. Because the cipher has good dmg bonuses (Soul Whip, Biting Whip, maybe flanking bonuses and Appr.- Sneak) this class has no problems to overcome some DR even with light weapons - and light weapons have the best auto-attack-dps when utilized with some dmg bonuses. The speed of both weapons + Two Weapon Style can be used to have Vulnerable Attack and still retain low (even 0) recovery.

 

With this setup + Time Parasite you can finally wear undurganized plate, use Vulnerable Attack and no Gauntlets of Swift Action (instead get Ryona's Vambraces) and still have 0 recovery. WIth the Vambraces, Vulnerable Attack and maybe Devil of Caroc in the Blood Pool you will have 12 DR bypass with the Sword of Daenysis and 9 with the dagger which is plenty and powerful with that superb attack speed.

 

Without Time Parasite and no armor penalty you only have 3 frames of recovery and with 20 DEX only 15 frames of attack animation. It's lightning fast...

 

It's one of the best dps melee setups for ciphers. Drawn in SPring has more dps, but the wounding that hekps achieving this does not generate focus.

 

Another plus is that both weaposn can be obtained very early and thus you can play through 80% of the game with your favorite setup.

Are fists from novice suffering still a good choice like in your double mind bender build?

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Then I would go for the duelist style and use the Sword of Daenysis + March Steel Dagger (both obtainable in Defiance Bay early).

 

Ciphers have no full attacks, so they are best off with a combo that does the highest auto-attacking dps. Because the cipher has good dmg bonuses (Soul Whip, Biting Whip, maybe flanking bonuses and Appr.- Sneak) this class has no problems to overcome some DR even with light weapons - and light weapons have the best auto-attack-dps when utilized with some dmg bonuses. The speed of both weapons + Two Weapon Style can be used to have Vulnerable Attack and still retain low (even 0) recovery.

 

With this setup + Time Parasite you can finally wear undurganized plate, use Vulnerable Attack and no Gauntlets of Swift Action (instead get Ryona's Vambraces) and still have 0 recovery. WIth the Vambraces, Vulnerable Attack and maybe Devil of Caroc in the Blood Pool you will have 12 DR bypass with the Sword of Daenysis and 9 with the dagger which is plenty and powerful with that superb attack speed.

 

Without Time Parasite and no armor penalty you only have 3 frames of recovery and with 20 DEX only 15 frames of attack animation. It's lightning fast...

 

It's one of the best dps melee setups for ciphers. Drawn in SPring has more dps, but the wounding that hekps achieving this does not generate focus. 

 

Another plus is that both weaposn can be obtained very early and thus you can play through 80% of the game with your favorite setup. 

This sounds interesting, thanks a lot for the help, Boeroer.

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Im playing a dual weilding solo cipher atm and i use Misery's End and that Club u get from the quest in Catacombs. Both have +20% dmg against flanked and stunned wich is very easy to do with a cipher. I also use the survival bonus for dmg vs flanked. This all adds up very nicely and the dps is great. Mach steel and Danaesys is very nice too.

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