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After playing hundreds of hours of Pillars, I decided my last POTD run would focus on the greatest level of efficiency (less micro, less resting), boss handling (straight-up, no pulling destruction), and thematic flair (team looked heroic). 

 

To achieve my efficiency goal, I developed a team that didn’t have any weaknesses (everyone could solo melee or defend), provided excellent synergy (little overlap), and maintained a sense of style (I couldn’t bring myself to utilize certain weapons or armor).  The result was a party that was joy to level at all parts of the game and dominated every encounter with ease.  This was "the best" party I personally ran, but there is always room for improvement, especially if you don't care what your team looks like in the end game. 

 

Please note: a) many of these topics have been discussed in the past and I thought it would be helpful to have one unified party build,  b) the party only has one temporary attribute buff (Tower Resting Bonus for +3 PER), and the Power Ratings (scale: 1-10) are simply an opinion developed through play time.

 

 

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NAME: Kylix

RACE: Coast Aumaua

BCKG: Aedyr - Slave

CLASS: Paladin (Bleak Walker)

Starting ATTS: MIG 17, CON 10, DEX 5, PER 16, INT 16 RES 13

Ending ATTS: MIG 20, CON 12, DEX 7, PER 23, INT 21, RES 15

SKILLS: Athletics 10, Lore 10, Survival 8

ABLTS: Faith and Conviction, Flames of Devotion, Inspiring Triumph, Liberating Exhortation, Healing Chain, Sacred Immolation, Watchful Presence, Litany Against Minor, Triggered Immunity, Reinforcing Exhortation, Second Wind, Sworn Enemy, Tower Physique, Zealous Endurance
TLNTS: Weapon and Shield, Weapon Focus Knight, Vets Recovery, Deep Faith, Black Path, Scion of Flame, Bloody Slaughter, Vulnerable Attack

WPS: Steadfast + Outworn (legend/durg) / St. Ydwen’s Redeemer

ITMS: Company Captain’s Cap (head), Ryona’s Breastplate (chest), Lilith’s Shawl (back), Ryona’s Vambraces (hands), Sentinel’s Girdle (waist), Longmarch (feet), Ring of Prot/Ring of Deflect (fingers)

ACC: 101 / 97

DEF: Defl 122, Fort 120, Refl 145, Will 133

PWR TEAM: 8

PWR INDIVIDUAL: 7

 

 

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NAME: Heldred

RACE: Coastal Aumaua

BCKG: Old Vailia - Colonist

CLASS: Barbarian

Starting ATTS:  MIG 18, CON 5, DEX 5, PER 16, INT 18, RES 17

Ending ATTS: MIG 21, CON 7, DEX 7, PER 19, INT 21, RES 17

SKILLS: Stealth 3, Athletics 8, Lore 6, Survival 14

ABLTS: Barbaric Yell, Carnage, Heart of Fury, One Stands Alone, Dragon Leap, Infestation of Maggots, Vile Thorns, Blood Thirst, Echoing Shout, Dragon’s Breath, Torrent of Flame, Firebrand, Savage Defiance, Second Wind, Thick-skinned, Tower Physique

TLNTS: Vets Recovery, Weapon and Shield, Weapon Focus Ruffian, Savage Attack, Stalwart Defiance, Bloody Slaughter, Spirit of Decay, Superior Deflection

WPS: Bittercut (legend/durg) + Dragon’s Maw / Blesca’s Labor (superb/kith) + St. Wygelts (superb/vessel/fire)

ITMS: Sanguine Plate Helm (head), Sanguine Plate (legend/durg/crush, chest), Marked Amulet (back), Guantlets of Swift Action (hands), Royal Deadfire (waist), Shod-in-Faith (feet), Ring of Prot/Ring of Deflect (fingers)

ACC: 96 + 91 / 102 + 102

DEF: Defl 116, Fort 96, Refl 121, Will 115

PWR TEAM: 4

PWR INDIVIDUAL: 7

 

 

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NAME: Cira

RACE: Moon Godlike

BCKG: White that Wends - Laborer

CLASS: Chanter

Starting ATTS: MIG 18, CON 10, DEX 5, PER 16, INT 18, RES 10

Ending ATTS: MIG 18, CON 10, DEX 5, PER 20, INT 18, RES 14

SKILLS: Athletics 6, Lore 10, Survival 8

ABLTS: Brisk Recitation, Dancing Bolts, Overwhelming Wave, Clarity, Clear Out, Recall Agony, Second Wind, Silver Tide, Chant 1-4

INVOCS: Reny Daret’s Ghost, We Would Not Rest, Thunder Rolled, White Worms, As the Sound of His Voice, Lover Cried, Gernisc’s Beast, Seven Nights, Champion Braved, Boil Their Flesh or Called to Bidding (I like Boil better, but both decent)

CHANTS: anything you like, just pick Dragon Thrashed at LVL 9 (this is your primary weapon going forward... and it hurts!)

TLNTS: Ancient Memory, Gallant’s Focus, Beloved Spirits, Weapon and Shield, Vets Recovery, Weapon Focus Adventurer, Bloody Slaughter, Scion of Flame

WPS: Starcaller (superb/durg) + Badgradr’s Barricade (legend/durg) / Grey Sleeper

ITMS: White Crest (legend/durg/pierce, waist), Swaddling (back), Siegebreaker (hands), Boots of Stability (feet), Looped Belt (waist), Ring Prot/Ring Deflect (fingers)

ACC: 94 + 92 / 98

DEF: Defl 118, Fort 95, Refl 119, Will 103

PWR TEAM: 7

PWR INDIVIDUAL: 8

 

 

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NAME: Malakai (main)

RACE: Nature Godlike

BCKG: Living Lands - Colonist

CLASS: Druid

Starting ATTS: MIG 16, CON 7, DEX 16, PER 10, INT 18, RES 10

Ending ATTS: MIG 23, CON 10, DEX 20, PER 18, INT 20, RES 10

SKILLS: Stealth 4, Athletics 8, Lore 10, Survival 14

ABLTS: Crucible of Soul, Dominion of Sleepers, Druid Boar Regen, Visage of Concelhaut, Nature’s Vigor, Withdraw, Carouse, Second Wind, Speaker Restless, Spiritshift Boar, Steps to Wheel, Wellspring Life

MASTER SPELLS: Form Delemgan, Returning Storm, Sunbeam, Woodskin

TLNTS: Wildstrike Shock, Greater Wildstrike Shock, Weapon Focus Peasant, Second Skin, Two Weapon Style, Gift from Machine, Flick of Wrist, Dozen’s Luck, Vets Recovery, Heart of Storm, Scale-Breaker, Effigy’s Resentment Maneha, Weapon and Shield, Sever Soul, Bloody Slaughter, Blooded Hunter, Galawain’s Boon, Song of Heavens

WPS: Cladhaliath (superb/shock) + Black Sanctuary (legend/durg) / Unlabored Blade + Captain Vic’s Anger (superb/shock/kith)

ITMS: Wayfarer’s Hide (superb/durg/slash/intellect, chest), Mantle Excavator (back), Glittering Gauntlets (hands), Vietto’s Footwear (feet), Girdle of Eoten Const (waist) Ring of Prot/Pensiavi mes Rei (fingers), Concelhaut (pet)

ACC: 96 / 106 + 91

DEF: Defl 118, Fort 115, Refl 154, Will 109

PWR TEAM: 9

PWR INDIVIDUAL: 9

 

 

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NAME: Sidra

RACE: Island Aumaua

BCKG: Old Vailia - Mercenary

CLASS: Priest (Berath)

Starting ATTS: MIG 15, CON 8, DEX 15, PER 15, INT 16, RES 8

Ending ATTS: MIG 19, CON 11, DEX 18, PER 20, INT 21, RES 8

SKILLS: Athletics 6, Lore 6, Mechanics 13, Survival 1

ABLTS: Holy Radiance, Blessing, Second Wind, Restore Moderate Endurance, Armed to Teeth

MASTER SPELLS: Armor of Faith, Consecrated Ground, Devotions, Dire Blessing

TLNTS: Interdiction, Pallid Hand, Vets Recovery, Weapon Focus Noble, Weapon and Shield, Painful Interdiction, Scion of Flame, Bloody Slaughter

WPS: Aimoranet (superb/burn/wilder) + Little Savior (superb/durg) / Hours of St Rumbalt (burning/kith) / Gyrd Hae Stenes

ITMS: Autumn Fire (exceptional/perception, chest), Maegfolc Skull (head), Cloak of Comfort (back), Mechanics or Swift Action (hands), Echoing Misery (feet), Eoten Constitution (waist), Gwyn’s Band/Ring of Thorns (fingers)

ACC: 103 / 97 / 112

DEF: Defl 104, Fort 105, Refl 152, Will 103

PWR TEAM: 10

PWR INDIVIDUAL: 9

 

 

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NAME: Tyrus

RACE: Death Godlike

BCKG: Old Vailia - Mercenary

CLASS: Wizard

Starting ATTS: MIG 18, CON 10, DEX 12, PER 12, INT 17, RES 8

Ending ATTS: MIG 20, CON 14, DEX 15, PER 15, INT 20, RES 10

SKILLS: Athletics 4, Lore 12, Survival 8

ABLTS: Arcane Assault, Death’s Usher, Minor Arcane Reflection, Second Wind

MASTER SPELLS: Deleterious, Eldritch Aim, Mirrored, Ninagauth’s Shadowflame

MEMORIZED SPELLS: (1st) Chillfog, Staff, Ghost, Double, (2nd) Bewildering, Blackened, Infuse, Merciless, (3rd) Expose, Blights, Displaced, Visage, (4th) Shadowflame, Physical, Confusion, Tentacles, (5th) Blast, Lance, Safeguard, Cloud, (6th) Hex, Martial, Gaze, Blunt, (7th) Doom, Image, Bolt, Orb, (8th) Rake, Bulwark, Wall, Wind

TLNTS: Arcane Veil, Hardened Veil, Weapon and Shield, Vets Recovery, Bloody Slaughter, Weapon Focus Knight, Savage Attack, Two Handed

WPS: We Toki (legend/burning/beast) + Little Savior (superb/durg) / Adydon’s Hammer

ITMS: Blaidh Golan (legend/intellect/pierce/durgan, chest), Master Mystic (back), Celebrant’s Gloves (hands), Boots of Stability (feet), Broad Belt of Power (waist), Ring Thorns/Iron Circle (fingers)

ACC: 91 / 94

DEF: Defl 108, Fort 108, Refl 131, Will 100

PWR TEAM: 8

PWR INDIVIDUAL: 10

 

 

 

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Observation #1: No weak links

By building everyone into a greater deflection, shield tank, the computer AI found it difficult to understand who really was a soft target.  I would chuckle when a mob would finally decide to attack my wizard and he would calmly cast a deflection buff (which stacks with Priest debuffs/Druid armor buffs).  Once in melee mode, my wizard would  simply slaughter targets and if required he could pull out the big guns (alacrity, citzals lance, llengrath’s shields, citzals martial power, etc.). Side note, for kicks I had my wizard solo the Kraken while everyone watched, discussing what to do with the freeloaders (Aloth, Durance, Eder, etc.) hanging out at Cad Nua.   Even better, was if someone engaged off my Druid, he would deploy delegman (if not already cast), unleash a storm, and spirit form.  The pali, chanter, barb and priest were also rock solid, capable of splintering from the party and safely soloing any mob(s).  After level 9, there was no fear of dying, regardless of the encounter and everything was upscaled. 

 

Observation #2: Twin scythes

At level 13, the paladin’s immolation and the chanter’s dragon chant trivialized most fights.  With a party full of buffers, using shields, most encounters died upon approach.  With this combination, the party simply becomes a fire and forget threshing machine for basic encounters.  Should you actually put some work into it, the combined buffing, de-buffing, cc-ing, nuking, and melee (really an afterthought) enables the team to literally pull entire maps on POTD without breaking a sweat. My Barbarian’s dragons leap was literally relegated to a double or triple pull tactic to clear maps.  Even bosses eventually succumb to the Twin Scythes.  For example, in the final “scaled-up” battle with Thaos, I was in the middle of buffing and I decided to move my Paladin into melee range to keep Thaos busy, while my casters finished buffing/debuffing. My Barb and Chanter took on the Statue Twins, but they were still close enough for party auras to be shared.  I looked over at my Paladin about 7 seconds into the fight and she wasn't doing anything… WTH?  That’s when I noticed Thaos was already dead.  Seriously?  I had to pause and check the combat log to understand what the heck happened. The combination of sacred immolation, dragon thrashed (with Priest buffs), combined with a lightning bolt or two from the druid’s storms, torched him before my wizard was fully buffed!  It didn’t help that Sunlance procced on my Paladin, but that was just overkill for poor Thaos.  Perhaps I should call it Triple Scythes if the druid chucks a storm into the mix. For the record, the statues only lasted 3-4 more seconds and were decimated when the fully-buffed/hasted/veiled wizard came on line with a summoned weapon. The final encounter melted in under 15 seconds, but I’m sure someone has done it faster.  It wasn’t the speed as much as the lack of trying that shocked me.  No potions, no food, no summons, no one-time skills… just one round of group buffs/master spells, self-buffed the wiz, and unloaded.

 

Observation #3: Lore is invaluable

My melee trio, the Barb, Pali, and Chanter each had Lore 6, Lore 10, and Lore 10 respectively.  Yes, I classify chanters as melee since they rarely have a chance to cast anything worthwhile in a competent party.  The reason for the Lore is because the melee classes (lesser mortals) can now do something useful while my Priest, Wiz, and Druid buff, debuff, and CC for the first 3 seconds of combat.  I use this tactic for boss encounters and the occasional map pull, but  for everything else it is not needed.  This enables my melee squad to have a purpose and cast protection scrolls to counter “most anything” the game can throw at you.  Nothing makes me happier to see five group buffs going off… while my selfish wizard just buffs himself.  By the time thee opponents are truly engaging the party, we are adequately buffed and can proceed to eviscerate all enemies (or just watch them miss with everything and die via the Twin Scythes, please see #2). Scrolls become so cheap to produce and plentiful by level 10, it is absurd not to utilize scrolls. To summarize, “every” difficult fight becomes a non-event if you just have your melee classes buff with your casters.  Think about it, with one round of 5 group buffs, the party could have immunity to the nastiest status effects, pump defensive numbers +15-20%, and improve targeting considerably within 2-3 seconds.

 

Observation #4: Spell mastery

There are obvious winners and losers, but full spell mastery, twin scythe (point #2), and periodic scroll use enabled me to handle 10+ fights without resting.  The key for me (and my play style) was to have my Priest fire off Dire (good), Devotions (unreal), Consecrated Ground (good) and Interdiction (good).  The Druid does Delemgan (great), Woodskin (ok), and Storm (good), while the Wiz does Llengraths (good), Alacrity (great), Eldritch Aim (good), and Shadowflame (unreal).  The order might change depending upon the encounter, but I tend to dump mastered spells unless I’m feeling lazy. The mastery buffs/debuffs/cc-s, combined with scroll buffs (if needed to counter fear, confusion, etc. of bosses) are invaluable.  Add in a barbarian shout, twin scythes (point #2), etc., and the party is prepped for anything.  Now, if you have a potentially challenging fight (Bog Dragon Party), you can continue to buff (actually use casted spells) and become completely unstoppable.  For anyone who can’t hit 180+ deflection (non-wizards), you can always drink a wizards double or displaced image potion to ensure complete domination.  Side note, I don't bother with food or potions after level 9, because I find consumables a clumsy mechanic that eats too much time (for me).

 

Observation #5: Healing overcomes all odds

Passive AOE healing abilities from a Chanter (+racial Silver Tide) and Paladin are helpful, especially if everyone in the party has a high MIG and takes Veterans Recovery to improve passive healing.  Add in one or two active healing spells (Priest and Druid), Shod-in-Faith, Survival 2, 8, or 14, and nothing can harm you.  I forget to use active healing spells sometimes, since passives are stabilizing anything that actually grazes/hits. I can’t believe I first played Pillars with no Priest and I never used a Chanter until my third play-through.  Wow…what a difference.  

 

Observation #6: Why take melee?

This final play through has made it abundantly clear that Priests, Druids, and Wizards are absolute deities, while everyone else is a mortal.  If we wanted to further refine the rankings, Priests are game-changing, Druids have incredible flexibility, while Wizards are one-man armies.  My fully-buffed wizard (in melee mode) decimated Llengrath, Concelhaut, and the Kraken.  It may take 5-7 seconds, but once buffed, an eldritched, alacrity-ed, citzaled, llegngrathed, Wizard makes any melee class look like a mediocre sidekick.  In short, I took melee for thematic reasons, but if I wanted to create the ultimate party, a Cipher would probably replace my Barb.  If I wanted to go for pure power (discarding pure melee classes entirely), I would make a strong argument for Priest, Priest, Druid, Druid, Wiz, Wiz.  The only reason I wouldn’t do this combo is because it is too micro intensive for me.  The classic melee fighters can contribute, but only through Twin Scythes (point #2), and the Barb sticks around since his yells are decent and  HoF is OK on trash mobs… but then again, what isn’t OK with trash mobs in this party?  Seriously, sometimes when my Wiz chucks Shadowflame a crit will incinerate the trash mobs on POTD.  In short, the melee classes are competent and fun, but they are not in the same zip code as the aforementioned power casters. Perhaps this is why Pillars 2: Deadfire is trying to make melee more powerful (opinion only, hardly a fact). To be clear, all classes can contribute and there are folks who Triple Crown Solo with Rangers or Rogues, but for me nothing will ever compare to a pure caster (level 9+).  Especially a party with 3+ casters... and Twin Scythe.

 

Observation #7: Damage dealers

My Druid finished with the most damage 220K+ while my Wizard was right behind him with 190k.  The rest of the party did fine, with the lowest damage being my Priest.  In ascending order, my Chanter, Pali, and Barb took the middle spots. To be fair, the Chanter is not being appropriately credited for chant damage (dragon thrashed), which would dramatically change the bottom rankings, possibly rivaling the Wizard. A good measure of the chanters contribution is that she had the most kills in this party. In addition, if I had to measure damage from levels 13-16 (end game), the paladin’s and chanter’s damage dramatically increased, while the barbarian cooled off significantly.  To make this clearer, let’s dissect damage dealing by levels:

 

Levels 1-6 

Druid > Barb > Wiz > Paladin > Chanter > Priest

 

Levels 7-12

Druid > Wiz > Chanter > Barb > Priest > Paladin

 

Levels 13-16

Wiz > Druid > Chanter > Paladin > Priest > Barb

 

To be fair, if I spent less time buffing/debuffing with my priest and more time nuking and entering melee, my priest could be at the top of the damage dealers after level 10. However, no one buffs or heals like a priest, and my personal analysis suggests I receive far greater efficiency when focused on augmenting the party (and/or debuffing the enemies).  However, the fact that the priest can unleash as much damage as my wizard is a testament to the classes otherworldly capabilities and unmatched flexibility.  For kicks have a priest, cast Dire, Devotions, Crowns, Shields, Shining, Sparks, Beraths, Minor Avatar and if anything is left standing, swing a weapon.  Or just debuff and launch the fire-spell artillery barrage.  The priest is an absolute titan, especially within a competent party.

 

In comparison, a wizard is equally deadly.  What makes the wizard so ridiculous, is that a wiz can become untouchable (stack Hardened Veil in a pinch), hasted (alacrity), status immunity (llengs), buff stats (citzals martial) and wield a summoned weapon (take your pick, but I still love citzals lance for looks and damage).  With decent MIG/INT/DEX (and light armor), the Wiz can easily transition between chain-nuking or CCing (confusion is borderline broken). 

 

Finally, the druid starts strong and finishes strong.  The priest definitely starts slower and the wizard suffers from a limited number of spells, while the druid just works right from the start.  Yes, the druid also has a low number of spells to start, but “beast mode” is available in every encounter.  In late game, with 2-3 storms active, including avenging storm, a Druid is second to none in my book (melee mode).  I truly believe, if I gave a priest, wizard, and druid 4-5 seconds to buff/debuff and then enter combat, I believe the following ratings (1-10) would be realistic (level 9+):

Wizard: Survivability = 10 /  Melee Power = 9   /  CCing = 10

Priest:   Survivability = 9  /  Melee Power = 8   /  CCing = 6

Druid:   Survivability = 7  /  Melee Power = 10 /  CCing = 9

 

My MVP for Pillars has to be the wizard, for both doing it all and better than anyone else (short of healing, but who needs healing when you really can’t be hurt… deflection buffs + safeguard is also borderline broken).  If this game had PvP, I would be a Wizard (solo), my second choice a Priest (team), and my third a Druid (either role).  If I had to pick a low-micro runner-up (level 9+), the Chanter would be my pick, but the power output and flexibility doesn’t come close to the prior choices.

 

Observation #8: No ranged weapons

After level 9, the concept of pulling seemed lame and I preferred my wrecking crew to take a more direct approach.  There are some nice ranged weapon builds, but they weren’t for me.  In a hard fight I would simply park my party at the edge of combat and "announce their presence" by jumping out of stealth.  When I needed range, my wiz, priest, or druid could bring the nukes, but most enemies died grinding on my shield wall.  

 

My standard operating procedure for boss encounters entailed: jump out of stealth (3x2 formation), combat begins, nobody moves (no AI), everyone buff, everyone buff again (if the fight is mildly challenging), debuffs away, activate twin scythes (point #2), melee engaged by this point, CC or nuke back line (if needed), melee opponents should be dead by now, move forward and clean up stragglers and enemy casters (wolf pack – all attack).  

 

Lazy mode on trash mobs consisted of: unstealth, combat begins, priest casts Devotions, twin scythes, auto-melee attack… yeah, no one is hurt. 

 

Observation #9: Items

I believe the game had a “nice” selection of weapons and armor, but I found myself wasting too much time considering what “end game” gear to use, since the choices were limited. Let's be frank, how many times do you see an end game build with Bittercut, Shod-in-Faith, Abydon's, etc.  If I could change anything about the system I would: a) Allow all weapons, armor, and items to be dyed, b) Create a random stat system on some items, this way there is something unique about each play through, c) Less junk items after level 9 and greater selection (more worthwhile drops/fixed treasure), d) Enable the option to suppress enchanted effects (fire, frost, etc.), and e) Provide a way to purchase some components (durgans, bog scales) at a high price, since there are times you simply ignore a cool item because you don’t have the resources to make it viable for the outer levels. 

 

Observation #10: Parting Thoughts

The game offered great tactical battles, grand adventures, interesting moral dilemmas, and enjoyable plot lines.  With experience the game became much easier over time, yet I found myself returning for multiple runs. There were no lame classes, but there was some disparity on the top end.  I know Pillars 2 will have similar issues, since the additional choices will make balancing a factorial nightmare.  However, I believe the Obsidian Team had the right approach in Pillars 1 and understood if you made all classes viable, players will be more forgiving of the overpowered options.  I would like to thank the developers and producers for crafting an excellent game.  In addition, the community has proven very helpful over the years and Obsidian should probably buy a free copy of the sequel(s) for several contributors on the forums!

 

Hopefully, this guide, which was long overdue, will benefit a new player or entice a veteran to take one more run. Cheers!

Edited by heldred
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Really nice stuff here.

One question, though.

You say you would replace the barbarian with a cipher for this party. How would you build such a cipher in terms of starting stats, items, etc.?

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There are a few different Cipher builds out there that are very effective.  For this particular party, I would try to keep the Cipher somewhat tank-ish.  Using same constraints above (Tower +3 PER resting bonus) I would recommend the following:

 

NAME: template

RACE: Human Meadow

BCKG: Deadfire - Mercenary

CLASS: Cipher

ATTS: MIG 19, CON 10, DEX 17, PER 17, INT 19, RES 10

SKILLS: Stealth 3, Athletics 8, Lore 10, Survival 8

ABLTS: Fighting Spirit, Second Wind, Soul Whip, Torrent of Flame, Firebrand, Harbinger

TLNTS: Vets Recovery, Weapon and Shield, Weapon Focus Ruffian, Savage Attack, Superior Deflection, Biting Whip, Draining Whip, Greater Focus

WPS:  St. Wygelts (superb/vessel/fire/durg) + Redfield (superb/durg) / Silver Flash or Scon Mica   (note: if limited enchanting resources, could use Blesca or Mataru clubs, and swap shield)

ITMS: Sanguine Plate Helm (head), Sanguine Plate (chest), Marked Amulet (back), Guantlets of Swift Action (hands), Royal Deadfire (waist), Shod-in-Faith (feet), Ring of Prot/Ring of Deflect (fingers)

SPELLS: Eyestrike, Tenuous, Whisper, Amplified, Mental, Mind, Psycho, Puppet, Secret, Soul, Lance, Between, Scream, Instinct, Detonate, Ringleader, Tactical, Wave Disintegrate, Plague, Stasis, Parasite, Mindweb, Reaping

ACC: 99 / 90+ (depends on enchants)

DEF: Defl 115, Fort 92, Refl 132, Will 92

PWR TEAM: 8

PWR INDIVIDUAL: 7

 

I would need to look through the parts bin to optimize the gear better, relative to the current party's inventory.  However, the identical equipment swap with the Barbarian is perfectly acceptable and works well with Ruffian weapons (saber, club, blunder, etc.).

 

In combat I would fire the blunderbuss once (unless buffing with a scroll for a boss fight) and then switch to club and shield.  For most battles your role is to unload CC through charm, paralyze, frighten, stun, or dominate.  All of the status effects listed can be unleashed without the need to gain focus.  You could easily forego the blunderbuss, just launch an initial CC attack and simply enjoy melee while listening to calming sounds of Twin Scythes.  For tough fights (bosses), I would save focus and hit Mindweb as early as possible. Overall, the build offers slightly more depth to the team (compared to the barbarian) and certainly makes early levels easier to clear (just my experience).  After taking the time to revisit the Cipher, it became clear that adding another Priest provides an measurable increase to the party's power.  However, if you're like me and you don't like have two of the same class in a party, the Cipher is the best option. 

Edited by heldred

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Thanks for the post!

 

I did not read through your builds, but I did see that they are all custom, and I do not doubt that they are very powerful. 

 

I quickly read through the conclusions. It's only because I'm the type of guy who (perhaps, still) enjoys his party to have weaknesses from that point of perspective. Then again, I barely hit my two hundred hour mark, haven't even entered the White Marches content(though I suppose I will do that later today or tomorrow), and am on my very first Trial of Iron/Tripple Crown run. Also, for some reason, I rarely use more than one extra custom character besides the Watcher.

 

But to be more on point. I, basically, came to the same conclusions as you, though I haven't used anything else than Durance and Hiravias for Priest and Druid and the only custom Wizard I have is my current Watcher--a hairy Orlan. I find Aloth to be quite flexible, although he just can't do the melee damage. All in all, when Durance goes through the buffs, the party becomes a wrecking ball, be it range or not, though I do not doubt that your results were far superior to mine. I currently don't play Durance in the party because of that. Didn't really find anything from Hiravias' arsenal to improve my party over all, and I also don't really enjoy the Druid spells that much, ao I also don't play him, although the various storms clearly performed very well and his Staelgar form is a raking machine. Aloth and my Orlan Wizard, though... I love them. The Orlan could handle melee, to be honest, but between the two of them they can do a lot, do it at range, do it quick, and with a substantial boost to accuracy if need be. My level two spell mastery is Merciless Gaze, which I like a lot. Deflection bonuses are still there if something passes through the frontline and focused missile barrage has shown to take care of every priority target out there. So yeah... I basically think that Wizard is top tier in this game, too. Though I still very much enjoy having frontline fighters.   

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I hope they will make canonical characters 100% adjustable (except for looks, of course). I very much prefer running with the fixed companions for their stories and banter amongst each other. My problem with Durance is that his DEX is dismal for a priest, so it takes a LONG time to get the buffs off, while a high DEX priest does it in under a few seconds.

 

Spellcasters are obviously the top dogs, but I like having "mortal" classes with me for flavor.

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This would be interesting if there were enemies that spammed Arcane Dampener on your party. Have fun with 0 buffs..

 

If there was a creature or encounter that spammed Arcane Dampener, you would simply lead with CC (this party has tons, even if excluding scrolls and items).  In addition, unless it is an auto-hit, Arcane Dampener still needs to land.  Finally, if buffs were removed, takes a few seconds to recast the 2-3 buffs you need to dominate most combats.

 

If there was an encounter that had Auto-hit, Multi-spammable, Arcane Dampeners it would be fun for this party, since everyone is built to melee (tank-like). This party also takes advantage of numerous contingency melee/crit items stacked on everyone: Swaddling, Ryona's, Shod, Drag's Maw, Black Sanct, Royal DeadFire, Echoing Misery, Autumn, Master Mystic, etc.   In the end, even if everyone's buffs were suppressed, they should be able to adequately handle the engagement.

 

Personally, I favor melee classes and I would enjoy an encounter that fully suppressed magic, even stripping item enhancements.  This would be an interesting challenge and make the melee classes shine a bit.  Maybe Pillars 2 has something up its sleeve... 

Edited by heldred
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heldred, this looks like a wonderful party. Thanks for sharing it with us. I had a few questions about your "Tyrus" Wizard build. I understand that you wanted a melee-oriented party, and as a result you did not take the blast talents. As a result, I wonder why you keep Kalkoth's minor blights in your grimoire, since this spell really shines when you have the blast talents. Do you keep it for the rare occasions that you want your wizard to attack from range with a summoned weapon? Also, am I correct in assuming that you don't need the blast talents for Citzal's Spirit Lance to have its blast-like AOE effect? I ask because I have never played a melee-oriented wizard who didn't take the blast talents.

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Exactly. Other than the Minor Blights (which simply hit in an AoE with burn/freeze/corrode/shock damage), Citzal's Spirit Lance will do an initial hit with pierce damage and that will automatically trigger a secondary AoE "Blast" which does crush damage (no talent needed). So it indeed works like a blast from an implement, but it's a lot stronger than that.

 

The talent "Blast" will add a crushing blast to every hit of the Minor Blights (creating multiple Blasts), but it will have no effect on the Spirit Lance.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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This would be interesting if there were enemies that spammed Arcane Dampener on your party. Have fun with 0 buffs..

 

If there was a creature or encounter that spammed Arcane Dampener, you would simply lead with CC (this party has tons, even if excluding scrolls and items).  In addition, unless it is an auto-hit, Arcane Dampener still needs to land.  Finally, if buffs were removed, takes a few seconds to recast the 2-3 buffs you need to dominate most combats.

 

If there was an encounter that had Auto-hit, Multi-spammable, Arcane Dampeners it would be fun for this party, since everyone is built to melee (tank-like). This party also takes advantage of numerous contingency melee/crit items stacked on everyone: Swaddling, Ryona's, Shod, Drag's Maw, Black Sanct, Royal DeadFire, Echoing Misery, Autumn, Master Mystic, etc.   In the end, even if everyone's buffs were suppressed, they should be able to adequately handle the engagement.

 

Personally, I favor melee classes and I would enjoy an encounter that fully suppressed magic, even stripping item enhancements.  This would be an interesting challenge and make the melee classes shine a bit.  Maybe Pillars 2 has something up its sleeve... 

 

There could be enemies that spammed Arcane Dampener AND Suppress Affliction with super high accuracy. Nothing is impossible to defeat, but that'd be a major pain.

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Great party! This party composition is exactly what I am aiming for.  

 

I am new to this game, are you able to post the starting stat allocations for your characters?  I was going through all your items and subtracting the stats to obtain the starting stat but my calculations are still off.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Great party! This party composition is exactly what I am aiming for.  

 

I am new to this game, are you able to post the starting stat allocations for your characters?  I was going through all your items and subtracting the stats to obtain the starting stat but my calculations are still off.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Heya, I updated my original post and broke out "starting" and "ending" attributes. 

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 I now understand why Heldred included Blights in the spell list. Thanks for the clarification on both points, Boeroer!

 

As always, Boeroer nailed it.   

 

Blights are helpful during the mid-stages of the game.  Blights provide a reliable offensive spell for when the wizard isn't quite ready to venture out, alone, on the battlefield.

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Great party! This party composition is exactly what I am aiming for.  

 

I am new to this game, are you able to post the starting stat allocations for your characters?  I was going through all your items and subtracting the stats to obtain the starting stat but my calculations are still off.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Heya, I updated my original post and broke out "starting" and "ending" attributes. 

 

 

Thank you for the extra work! I took your recommendations to heart and started a 3-man run with Druid, Wizard, and Priest.  I am using Boeroer's Boar Druid build utilizing a Shapeshifting focused druid with your priest and wizard build and am now level 6.  I am planning to include the Paladin, Barb, and Chanter in later on but right now I am having a blast.  This guide is exactly what I was looking for starting out and I am grateful that you took the time to write this guide!

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Your starting stats on the 6th character, the wizard I assume, don't add up right.

 

Good catch, I was definitely lazy on the copy/paste.  Updated above.  Thanks! 

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Observation #10: Parting Thoughts

The game offered great tactical battles, grand adventures, interesting moral dilemmas, and enjoyable plot lines.  With experience the game became much easier over time, yet I found myself returning for multiple runs.

 

Gread read in general, but I found this part to have a special resonance with my own feelings. Now I'm a bit bored with Pillars, and the only thing I regret is not spending enough time with the White March content.

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Did you create your 5 adventurers right off the bat at gilded vale? That pretty much depleted all your cash. Plus your party starts at level 1 with 0xp which keeps it almost 2500xp behind you.

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Did you create your 5 adventurers right off the bat at gilded vale? That pretty much depleted all your cash. Plus your party starts at level 1 with 0xp which keeps it almost 2500xp behind you.

Not if you start out selling _everything_ you have (except 1 weapon each) to Heodan, which leaves you with ~3000cp when you leave Cilant Lis. 

Yes, that includes Gaun's Pledge, but as Heodan pays 4-5 times the regular price it's well worth it. In solo playthroughs, you can afford to get the Adra Animat early on, which is a game changer if you don't have any summons already.

In a party run, you can afford 5 NPC companions lvl 2 easily.

Edited by Zoso der Goldene

the_ultimate.png
 

Done with Moon Godlike Wizard

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Right. It's fairly easy to get 2500 cp from Heodan. Besides Gaun's Pledge (which is the lion's share) do not forget to sell him the Disappointer and also all the potions you loot. Those are expensive...


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Right. It's fairly easy to get 2500 cp from Heodan. Besides Gaun's Pledge (which is the lion's share) do not forget to sell him the Disappointer and also all the potions you loot. Those are expensive...

Everything, including lock picks, ingredients, wolf hides. Even the beer is worth 2 or 3 coppers; everywhere else, it's 0cp.


the_ultimate.png
 

Done with Moon Godlike Wizard

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