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I'm debating wether to use a mage or a cypher as my 5th member of my party. I don't have that much experience with cyphers, at the moment I have 2 i can chose from, and 1 mage - mages seem less overpowered than PoE1, because of the spell-system change, so maybe it's as good with a cypher?

 

I'm not sure how to even use a cypher, really - melee and medium armor, ranged and light armor?

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Hum..can't really help since I never found cipher fun . But this may help : https://fextralife.com/pillars-of-eternity-2-class-guide-cipher/

 

You could also google cipher build from the previous game . While this game have changed from back then , it can still give you pointer . 

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Elderly Hive Dweller

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Ciphers are more weapon and Will-attack oriented. They do more damage than wizards with weapons thanks to biting/draining whip, and have access to really cool powers like mental binding (very cheap paralyze/immobilize), Ringleader (25+ sec AoE charm? Yes please), and phantom foes (pretty much every enemy is flanked, like heaven for rogues in your party) and more. And you can cast the spells over and over and over so long as you do damage, so they are pretty good at long fights.

 

Lighter armor is usually better for them since they need to attack and cast fast. Keep the enemy blinded/paralyzed etc and hit them a bunch, then repeat etc. High dex and perception are useful to get the abilities stick and be quick. That's how I usually play them.

Edited by Teacher

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i have both aloth and serafen in my party as damage dealers(pure cipher and pure wizard). Serafen dealt 7k damage so far while Aloth only 5k damage

 

I also havent played ciphers much. All I did with Serafen is gave him 2 pistols and made AI behavior to use only 1 level 2 spell: I think its called "mind blades". It basically bounces through enemies

 

I am waiting to unlock level 6 spells before wasting a perk on another offensive spell.

 

I think ciphers have more realistic dps potential and possibly easier to set up behavior AI (you probably really only need to setup the casting of just 1 spell of your choice)

 

Wizards require more attention but have more cheese dps potential (like web+fireballs). Alot of their good spells seem to be AOE that can hurt your party so you cant really just rely on AI behavior . Wizards are also more flexible because essentially you dont have to invest into a specific spell: you can use grimoires, whereas the cipher is restricted to the spells you waste skills on and you really should be trying to spend as little skill points as possible on active abilities and focus on passives so in the end the cipher has a choice of just a few spells while the wizard has dozens

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Wizards have some of the best bursts in the game later on.  Empower+a strong spell would often just wipe out a portion of your enemies instantly.

 

Cipher on the other hand, I believe is meant for multiclassing in deadfire.  Cipher provides the power soulwhip to greatly boost damage, while the other classes have passives and other self-buffs to make them generate focus far faster than what "cipher alone is supposed to get".

 

Cipher is probably better early game, as wizard just cast a spell or two then just use their auto-attack.  Once a wizard gets a few spells under their belt (like, fireball).  They will start to really shine.

 

At level 4 you get Pull of Eora which pulls enemies into a vortex where you and other casters can just go nuts on.

Edited by Irori

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