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An Exercise in Tankiness pt. II - the 3.08 redux (Class Build WIP)

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In part I of this topic, the goal was to more or less get close to 200+ in as many defences as possible, in light of the +20 Deflection +20 Reflex/Fortitude/Will introduced by the pirate outfits in 3.07 as part of the Deadfire item pack. This was to be achieved by using Wizard's Double, which offers +40 Deflection and so long as you're not hit/critted by any attack roll (not just those targeting Deflection). As mentioned in the previous thread some attacks seem to break Wizard's Double whether they hit you or not, but these are very unique circumstances from what I've seen and for the most part Wizard's Double works as intended.


Buutttt... in 3.08 these uniforms are now going to get a nerf to +9/+9 in the respective defences. This is significant, as this now means the best possible Deflection granted by clothing is by the Cape of the Master Mystic at +12, meaning an 8 Deflection loss from the build due the +20 originally offered by the outfits. Bummer.


This prompted me to re-evaluate what the goal of the entire build should be (rather than just looking to hit arbitrarily high defences as I was doing before) and see whether, with the loss in defences due to the pirate uniform nerfs, if I could still meet this specific goal. So here we go:


What's the point Jojobobo (of the build, of course)?!?!


So I decided the new underlying goal of the build should be it is now to obtain grazes/misses only, in all defences. As Boeroer pointed out in the previous thread, Wizard's Double is broken by a hit/crit with any attack roll no matter what defence it targets - so if you want to maintain it graze/miss only is a must.


On an attack roll where your defence minus opponent's accuracy = 0, on the 1-100 attack roll 1-15 results in a miss, 16-50 results in a graze, and 51-100 results in a hit. Every point of defence you have over an opponent's accuracy is subtracted from the attack roll, broadening that miss chance and reducing the hit chance. As the standard window for a hit is from 51-100, you need defences 50 higher than the accuracy of the opponents attack to ensure graze/miss only.


Naturally this means I need to know how accurate boss monster attacks are in order to ensure I'm 50 defence over them, which I've tested out and will get onto in a little bit.


What was learnt in the 3.07 test of the build




  • Per encounter Wizard's Double is really, really good. There's a lot of situations where even when the build was flanked (at -10 Deflection) there was still no chance of the opponent hitting me, and it made clearly up melee enemies at the end of an encounter extremely trivial. It also means you can comfortably bee-line to casters and take them out - as the accuracy bonus from breaking engagement also doesn't tend to break it. The more defensive talents you start to slap on (Bear's Fortitude, Snake's Reflexes, Bull's Will and Weapon and Shield Style), the more difficult it becomes for it to break from targeting of other defences (e.g. the druids at Stormwall Gorge were a cakewalk and failed to disable Wizard's Double with the Reflex targeting storm attack). I'd say it's a highly overlooked spell.
  • The situations where Wizard's Double can break through graze to hit conversion With graze to hit conversion from the likes of a Fighter's Confident Aim, if you have 50 more points in defence than they have accuracy they have a 35% chance to graze, and a 7% chance therefore to hit. However, you're Deflection usually isn't just 50 points better than the Fighter's accuracy, it's usually 60 or even 65, and so this window for them to score a hit becomes smaller and smaller. Even if it does score a hit, you can just cast again or fall back on Llengrath's Displaced Image for only 15 less Deflection.
  • Likewise, attacks which auto-hit in some way and also disable Wizard's Double seem extremely rare, with the only instance I noticed being Flesh Constructs (who break Wizard's Double with their Knock Down attack even on a miss). As that was the only instance where I noticed this problem, I don't think it's a significant issue for the build at all.
  • Wizard's Double + Llengrath's Displaced Image (for the Reflex) + Citzal's Martial Power + Llengrath's Safeguard makes you practically untouchable, and when you are hit the DR from the Safeguard means you take little damage at all. Llengrath's Safeguard can be activated at any time when you're below 50% Endurance, so you can hold off on your defensive boosts until that point - or it's a good safety net if your opponent is particularly savage. It's also extremely long lasting and a great way to access a + all defences buff without using Scrolls of Defence.
  • The Noble's Stay rest bonus at the Brackenbury inn offers large Defence boosts (+10 Will, + another 4 Will from +2 Intellect, for +14 total) and also lasts for two rests making it compatible with Survival boosts. Comparatively the Golden Whale resting bonus offers +18 to defences in total by boosting attributes (+8 Fortitude from Might and Con, +4 Reflex from Dexterity, +4 Will and +2 Deflection from Resolve) but it only lasts for a single rest, so you can't use it with your survival bonuses.
  • Citzal's Martial Power + Ring of Changing Heart Dominate/Munacra Arret Charm is a great way to deal with Adragans (I've detailed a build around these charms in my provisional builds thread elsewhere). The massive boost to Fortitude seems to de-prioritise their Petrify attack (they will cast it, just not immediately) and the accuracy boost from the spell makes Dominate and Charm great ways to make your enemy kill the Adragans for you. I would highly recommend abusing this for anyone who uses a Wizard in their party.




Attribute Spread, Race, Talent Choices and Spells


In terms of designing the attribute spread, what I did was assume max Resolve and reverse-engineer the levels of the other attributes to hit the levels of defence needed to get grazes and hits from boss monster attacks (with is done with simple algebra like I did in the first thread, taking opponents accuracy +50 - what I would need in a particular defence for graze/miss - then subtracting all the bonuses I would get to leave me an amount of defence that had to be made up from innate attribute scores).


However, that's not exactly presentable, so instead I thought I'd lay down the attribute spread and show the work up to specific defence scores in the next section. So...




Race - Wild Orlan. This is a must, as with the Fear Aura of dragons Defiant Resolve can be considered always on for the purposes of those fights. This is vital to hit the defence scores needed.


The attribute scores (Aedyr background), as mentioned all pitched to hit particular defence values. I'm looking at talent bonuses as equipment and rest bonuses change according to what is needed from the build:


M 17 -> 18 (Gift from the Machine)

C 14 -> 14

D 8 -> 8

P 11 -> 12 (Song of the Heavens)

I 8 -> 8

R 20 -> 21 (Berath's Boon)




2 - Weapon and Shield Style

4 - Envenomed Strike

6 - Superior Deflection

8 - Bear's Fortitude

10 - Bull's Will

12 - Snake's Reflexes

14 - Gallant's Focus

16 - Mental Fortress


Rationale: While I've mentioned that the +9/+9 change in the pirate uniforms is a big shift in terms of Deflection, it also takes 11 points out of another defence as you're fallbacks are a Ring/Cloak of Defence at a +9 level as opposed to the v3.07 +20 boost from pirate uniform. To shore this up, Mental Fortress is needed to ward against the dragons' very accurate fear effects. Envenomed Strike is there to give this build teeth when using Citzal's Martial Power, helping for a quick dispatch on enemies, and it's taken early to give the build an early offensive edge. Superior Deflection is bumped up the list from v3.07 to account for not having access to a high Deflection item early like you could do before.




Level 1


Chill Fog

Eldritch Aim (Mastery)

Fleet Feet

Wizard's Double (Mastery)


Level 2


Infuse with Vital Essence

Combusting Wounds

Curse of the Blackened Sight

Bulwark Against the Elements (can be learnt from Maerwald)


Level 3


Llengrath's Displaced Image (Mastery)

Deleterious Alacrity of Motion

Your choice


Level 4


Iron Skin (Mastery)

Essential Phantom

Pull of Eora

Ninagauth's Shadowflame


Level 5


Llengrath's Safeguard

Ryngrim's Enervating Terror

Torrent of Flame (or choice, it's mainly chosen as it's easy to use on Expert which I play on)


Level 6


Citzal's Martial Power

Arcane Reflection

Gaze of the Adragan

Death Ring (Leaves of Essence)


Level 7


Substantial Phantom

Wall of Draining

Delayed Fireball

Concelhaut's Crushing Doom (from the Ironclasped)


Level 8


Llengrath's Superior Elemental Bulwark

Wilting Wind


Rationale: Eldritch Aim is mastered so that you can active it and drop some offensive spells on the opponent's heads (particularly Chill Fog + Combusting Wounds + Essential Phantom), before using Citzal's Martial Power. The focus of the spells is defensive buffing, accuracy debuffing (Curse of the Blackened Sight, Ryngrim's Enervating Terror) and some good old fashioned AoEs for damage (with the reflex targeting spells working wonders with Blind from Chill Fog or Curse of the Blackened Sight). Mastery of Wizard's Double, Iron Skin and Llengrath's Displaced Image gives you a solid defensive background in every encounter.




Defensive Benchmarks


In terms of defence, I checked my saves just before a few key fights on a old character to see what the enemy was hitting. I didn't have a save before Magran's Faithful, but I think if I'm a good match for Thaos I shouldn't be too troubled by that particularly bounty. Here are the accuracy benchmarks, and the required defence therefore to get a graze/miss:


Alpine Dragon wing attack 154 accuracy vs. Reflex. 204 Reflex needed.

Turisulfus attack 134 accuracy vs. Deflection. 184 Deflection needed.

Turisulfus Wing Slam 150 accuracy vs. Fortitude. 200 Fortitude needed.

Turisulfus Fear Aura 150 accuracy vs. Will. 170 Will needed with Looped Rope and Mental Fortress.

Thaos Cleansing Flames 141 accuracy vs. Deflection (his pesky Symbol of Woedica gives him +30 acc). 191 Deflection needed.


I also checked the Kraken and Concelhaut, but the accuracy of their attacks weren't as high as the benchmarks set above.


Defiant Resolve procs all the time against dragons, and so can be factored in there, but not against Thaos. From here I wanted two separate defensive modes...


Deflection/Reflex/Fortitude/Will - 184/204/200/170 (at least) for the Alpine Dragon/Llengrath fight, and...


Deflection - 191 for Thaos without Defiant Resolve (buffing the other defences as normal).


Alpine Dragon/Llengrath mode:




Attribute scores are what is listed above.


Armor and equipment:


Siegebreaker Gauntlets (+4 Resolve)

Viettro's Formal Footware (+4 Dexterity)

Maegfolc Skull (+4 Might)

Iron Circle (+4 Con)

Mantle of the Excavator (+4 Per)

Ring of Defence (+9 Reflex/Fort/Will)

Pirate outfit of choice (+9 Deflection, + other defence suppressed)

Superb Little Saviour (+25 Deflection, +25 Reflex with Weapon and Shield Style, a further +5 to Fortitude and Will)


Using Lyrinia's Boon (+2 Might and Con), Dragon Egg Dish (+3 Resolve), White Leaf + Mind Grub (+4 Int and Per), Wit Dyr Jerky (+5 Fortitude) and the Noble's Stay resting bonus (+2 Int, +10 Will).




10 (base)

+45 (level 16)

+11 (Resolve)

+6 (Weapon and Shield Style)

+5 (Superior Deflection)

+4 (Siegebreaker Gauntlets, +4 Res)

+9 (Pirate outfit)

+25 (Superb Little Saviour)

+3 (Dragon Egg Dish, +3 Resolve)

+40 (Wizard's Double)

+20 (Scroll of Defence)

+10 (Defiant Resolve)


= 188




20 (base)

+45 (level 16)

+4 (12 Perception)

-4 (8 Dexterity)

+6 (Weapon and Shield Style)

+10 (Snake's Reflexes)

+8 (Mantle of the Excavator, +4 Per)

+8 (Viettro's Formal Footware, +4 Dex)

+9 (Ring of Defence)

+25 (Superb Little Saviour)

+8 (White Leaf/Mind Grub, +4 Per)

+20 (Llengrath's Displaced Image)

+16 (Citzal's Martial Power, +8 Dex)

+20 (Scroll of Defence)

+10 (Defiant Resolve)


= 205




20 (base)

+45 (level 16)

+16 (18 Might)

+8 (14 Con)

+10 (Bear's Fortitude)

+8 (Maegfolc Skull, +4 Might)

+8 (Iron Circle, +4 Con)

+9 (Ring of Defence)

+5 (Little Saviour)

+8 (Lyrinia's Boon, +2 Might +2 Con)

+5 (Wit Dyr Jerky, +5 Fortitude)

+32 (Citzal's Martial Power, +8 Might +8 Con)

+20 (Scroll of Defence)

+10 (Defiant Resolve)


= 204




20 (base)

+45 (level 16)

-4 (8 Intellect)

+22 (11 Resolve)

+10 (Bull's Will)

+8 (Siegebreaker Gauntlets)

+9 (Ring of Defence)

+5 (Little Saviour)

+14 (Noble's Stay, +10 Will +2 Int)

+6 (Dragon Egg Dish, +3 Res)

+8 (White Leaf/Mind Grub, +4 Int)

+20 (Scroll of Defence)

+10 (Defiant Resolve)


= 173 (with +30 against fear effects from Looped Rope + Mental Fortress)




Thaos mode:




Attribute scores are what is listed above. I'm only giving the rundown of what is needed for Deflection, when I do a full class build I'll go into details on the other Defences but Thaos seems mainly keen on Deflection targeting anyway.


Armor and equipment:


Legendary Old Gerun's Wall (+31 Deflection and Reflex, it's after Llengrath so Legendary is now possible)

Cape of the Master Mystic (+12 Deflection)

Siegebreaker Gauntlets (+4 Resolve)


Using Big Durmsey's Boon (+2 Resolve, +1 Might), Dragon Egg Dish (+3 Resolve), the Chapel resting bonus (+3 Resolve).


10 (base)

+45 (level 16)

+11 (Resolve)

+6 (Weapon and Shield Style)

+5 (Superior Deflection)

+4 (Siegebreaker Gauntlets, +4 Res)

+12 (Cape of the Master Mystic)

+31 (Legendary Old Gerun's Wall)

+3 (Chapel resting bonus, +3 Resolve)

+2 (Big Durmsey's Boon, +2 Resolve)

+3 (Dragon Egg Dish, +3 Resolve)

+40 (Wizard's Double)

+20 (Scroll of Defence)


= 192 (as mentioned, I don't think Defiant Resolve will proc much, so it wasn't factored in).






Overall this post demonstrates how on solo a Deflection/Reflex/Fortitude/Will spread of 188/205/204/173 can be obtained for the Llengrath fight, which with buffs against fear effects (+20 Looped Rope, +10 Mental Fortress) means that for most of the fight the dragons will only be capable of grazes or misses (predominantly misses) and Llengrath herself will outright miss you all the time (or close enough to it, her accuracy is way lower than the dragons). Likewise it demonstrates that 192 Deflection is possible for the Thaos fight, 51 points higher than his Cleansing Flames accuracy (I know his grazes with that still hurt a lot, but again he should be predominantly missing, and one or two grazes are do-able).


I also wanted to address the nerf to the pirate armor coming in 3.08 and how that effected the build concept from the previous thread. With working out the necessary Deflection needed for Thaos, and throwing in Mental Fortress to keep my defences up against Turisulfus's Fear Aura, the answer is not very much. With the addition of Envenomed Strike, this build should work as an extremely tanky front-liner with some heavy hits to boot (you can go for Plate with this build and with Second Skin, Iron Skin and a DR survival resting bonus hit 30+ DR - on top of the already massive defence scores).


Naturally, I'll be restarting this character and avoiding the pirate armor to ensure it's solo Expert PotD viable, so it'll take me quite some time before a full class build surfaces, but the bare bones of it are all here for anyone wanting to play it a little earlier.


Hope someone enjoyed, I thought the drilling down into enemy accuracy in this thread added a lot in demonstrating how Wizard's Double is maintainable even in the hardest of fights. Have a nice day!

Edited by Jojobobo
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Thanks very much! I probably won't get round to playing this now for a little while, as mentioned with the v3.08 changes I would want to re-start the build and seeing as I already got most of the way through that's a little disheartening - particularly with tank builds that don't really pop so much in the first place. I have something new in mind I'll probably character build first.


Still, even pacing out in theory an only-graze-or-less build I think is pretty neat. While you can do better with other characters using Wizards Double potions and such, the key draw of this concept is it's all innate and almost entirely per encounter. This play style forms an intuitive and simplistic tank, that can drop some good CC before going full Citzal, plus as I skirted on it the thread the DR can be pushed to 30ish (on top of the very high defences) too. Should be gooood stuff, and was in the slightly tankier 3.07 playthrough that I got a good chunk into anyway.

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Jojobobo, do you think you can keep up those truly impressive numbers during the whole fight when soloing?


I played a melee solo wizard in an ultimate attempt (given my unpatient nature I failed in WM II in a random encounter of course ;)) and while the self buffing (and the awesome summoned weapons) are truely great I often had problems to uphold the high defenses during longer bounty fights (for example the WMII bounties have some guys with very high deflection + reflex defenses that are hard to hit reliably and take some time to pin down).


What do you think?


Granted: in a party this wouldn't be an issue at all and make this guy a very effective tank. What I always like about non-paladin and non-fighter tanks is that they not only withstand most things that get thrown at them but also can contribute in some/several other ways. Wizards can do so much cool stuf during a fight even if you skill them completely for defense. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Jojobobo, do you think you can keep up those truly impressive numbers during the whole fight when soloing?


I played a melee solo wizard in an ultimate attempt (given my unpatient nature I failed in WM II in a random encounter of course ;)) and while the self buffing (and the awesome summoned weapons) are truely great I often had problems to uphold the high defenses during longer bounty fights (for example the WMII bounties have some guys with very high deflection + reflex defenses that are hard to hit reliably and take some time to pin down).


What do you think?


Granted: in a party this wouldn't be an issue at all and make this guy a very effective tank. What I always like about non-paladin and non-fighter tanks is that they not only withstand most things that get thrown at them but also can contribute in some/several other ways. Wizards can do so much cool stuf during a fight even if you skill them completely for defense. 

For some encounters yes, for others it's hard to say. No one's ever tried, so that's kind of the point in looking into it - as while in may look shaky on paper it might be fine in practice.


I don't think there's much of an issue keeping the Deflection up against Thaos. Anything else apart from Deflection should be more or less always maintainable I would say in other fights, and Deflection in some fights isn't as important as the other defences (probably against Llengrath it's less important than Reflex and Fortitude for example).


In any case, I would say regardless of whether or not the defences can be maintained at optimum levels while your Citzal's Martial Power lasts, I think the build is still more than tanky enough to take on a lot of encounters. Elements of tanky gear can easily be swapped out for CC gear if pure tanking isn't working well enough (as mentioned in the provisional builds thread, all the Dominate gear and Charm gear works with Citzal's Martial Power and benefits from it's accuracy bonus, and I'm pretty sure that one of Llengrath's dragons is susceptible to Dominate and the other to Charm).


As mentioned I'm putting a pin in this build for now, as I would want to restart it for 3.08 given that the build was benefitting from the pirate Deflection and Fortitude bonuses that the devs have now deemed over-powered - and back-to-back solo tank playthroughs can be a bit much to bear! I'm going to focus on a Citzal Charmer similar to what I stated in the provisional builds thread, but with a lot of other stuff thrown in. Part of the idea behind these threads was the mental exercise of working out what can be possible anyway, and if it works even only 50% of the time in practice I would be happy - as that still makes it all a worthy concept.

Edited by Jojobobo
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  • 1 month later...

Jojo- really digging the build! I’m not a solo player so I’m curious how you’d run this build with a party in POTD. (Keep in mind that I’m not near as good as you please ! :) )


My concern would be the lack of damage might make him be a weak overall character. Perhaps he should focus on debuffing?

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