Sacred 2:Scaredy-cat Inquisitor build

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Ok, ok, I think I went too far with that title :D

But still, why scaredy-cat?

The answer is quite simple. We all know that Inquisitors actually like to take damage, in order to inflict much more in return. The build I will propose does just the opposite - this Inquisitor is actually afraid of taking damage and does his best to refrain from doing so.

BUILD SKILL SETUP:

Offense:
Dual Wield - 1 point here
Astute Supremacy Lore - mastered by level 113 (!)
Astute Supremacy Focus - mastered by level 75 (or stop at 31, then master it)
Gruesome Inquisition Focus - mastered by level 75 (or stop at 31, then master it)

Defense:
Armor Lore - mastered by level 95 (or mastered at 75 if you stop foci at 31)
Constitution - mastered by level 78 (or swap for Ancient Magic )
Toughness - mastered by level 131 (or mastered at 75 if you stop foci at 31)

Support:
Concentration - 1 point or mastered by level 166 - for extra defense (!)
Combat Discipline - mastered by level 148
Ancient Magic - mastered by level 148, if you choose to swap it for Constitution
Bargaining - mastered by level 75 and kept at char level

Weird mastery and skill selection, to say the least :) However, all of these choices are based on creating a fighting machine that shrugs of most damage and inflict a lot in return.

Obviously, the Astute aspect is the main source of offense, which means outright that we will utilize Clustering Maelstrom, Levin Array and Raving Thrust. Gruesome aspect is the support one, and a very important one actually, as it provides both offense and defense with a solid main and mini-buff. Dual wield acts as a support pick and provides the ability to carry around 2 weapons, which will boost the offense greatly.

Defense is comprised by all the skills that pretty much any char needs - Armor Lore, Toughness and Constitution.

The support picks are bargaining, concentration and combat discipline. Bargaining is extremely important here, and we'll keep it at char level. Concentration may stay at 1 point throughout the game and serve as an opener for the second buff. Combat discipline will boost the damage and reduce the regen times of all combat arts in a combo and that of our combos.

Keeping the build in mind, there are several very valid questions that arise:

- Once again, why scaredy-cat?
--> We take Purifying chastisement buff as a defense/offense booster, effectively modding it for Eradicate and Inure. We also take an abnormal amount of defensive skills for an Inquisitor, aiming at having BIG damage mitigation in the late game that will keep him safe and sound.

- Why bargaining? This build can do better with a skill like Ancient Magic instead!
--> Bargaining is essential. So essential, that we are going to keep it at char level in order to have an effective shopper. It's usefulness lies in the ability to make this build self-sufficient, along with the ability to shop for important rare torso and shoulder armor. Torso and shoulder armor may show up with very decent all channel damage mitigation - something all of the set items of the Inquisitors are deprived of.

- Why Astute Lore mastery is taken so late:)
--> This build has bargaining, which makes it self-sufficient. Its core is based on playing with as much + All Skills items that you can find/shop. This will boost even the 1-point skills to very, very respectable values. It is more important to ensure high CA level through mastering the focus first, as this way we can mod Reverse Polarity - one of the best buffs around. The reduced chance to crit provided by Astute Lore is compensated by Purifying Chastisement's Eradicate mod.

- So what are we playing for, really?
--> In short: mass destruction, great damage mitigation, quick level gain, and immortality. One thing I hate about Inquisitors is that, unless built properly, they are wickedly squishy, dangerous to play in hardcore and have really poor set items. Built like this, you can play with very high combat art levels, and a lot of free sockets for all skills/xp per kill to speed up the level gain after 125. You can also enjoy very serious immunity upon entering Niobium (and before that stage as well): the mastered toughness skill will provide at least 22% damage mitigation, the purifying chastisement buff will provide at least 20% damage mitigation, and the shopped torso/shoulder armor will provide at the very least 22% damage mitigation. That's a whopping 64% damage mitigation upon entering niobium - along with the nice reflect chances provided by Reverse Polarity and it's nice exploit mod, which, along with the Zealous Doppelganger buff/combat art, can boost it even further - somewhere along the lines of 75%. Really, really nice, huh? And it will get even higher as the levels go by and more + all skills stuff is equipped!

Another very important thing for this build is the use of buff suits to reduce the buff penalty on our offensive combat arts. We will need to have 2x 3-socket duals (can be spawned as well), filled with niobium level runes for each buff - Purifying Chastisement and Reverse Polarity. Along with those, we will need a complete set of armor with as much sockets as possible, in which both buff runes are split 50/50 among its sockets. Doing so will greatly help our offensive combat arts - effectively using them at very low regen time and very high CA level.

The combat arts to mod are: Gruesome: Purifying Chastisement (Mystic - Eradicate - Inure), Frenetic Fervor (Fanaticism - Resolve - Relentless), Ruthless Mutilation (last, in case we make a suit with significant reduction on opponent's chance to evade and go boss hunting with a nice LL% weapon) Astute: Reverse Polarity (Rebound - Counterblow - Exploit), Clustering Maelstrom (Chaos - Vortex - Vortex), Levin Array (Disperse - Hesitation - Dynamic), Raving Thrust (Bedaze - Vehemence - Tumble) and finally, Zealous Doppelganger (Vigor - Equal - Determination/Companion)

Based on the proposed Combat arts modding, Concentration can become a defensive skill if we master it. That's both a boon and a curse. By mastering it, we will start using the Zealous Doppelganger buff, which will need a 3rd pair of 3-socket weapons to maintain at a respectable level without destroying the regen times. With the exploit mod on Reverse polarity, we can obtain further damage mitigation. If we don't plan on mastering concentration, then the Determination mod on the Doppelganger CA should be picked - it will be a little bothersome to recast ZD so often, but still, it can be a good thing - this way the doppelganger will be here when you need it and gone when you don't.

GAMEPLAY:

In my playthrough, I swapped a skill. Since I expected the guy to become relatively immortal, I swapped constitution. You don't need this skill when many HP will mean just as much as few. This is why I chose Ancient Magic and played with only 2 defensive skills - armor lore and toughness.

The levels from 1 till 75 were a royal pain. I was pumping vitality like no tomorrow, to compensate for the lack of constitution. I also revamped the masteries by using the "stop at 31 points in focus" trick. I kept Astute Focus and Gruesome focus at char level till 31 and then started working on the skills that will eventually make him invulnerable - Armor Lore, Toughness and Bargaining. By stopping the 2 foci at 31 (Astute Lore is at 5 points), you have just enough points to master all the 3 skills necessary with your very last level 75 skill point. Now that's perfection! Yep, perfectly planned build.

So, from level 1 till 75 I decided to turtle. I started striking a 50/50 socket balance between + all skills and XP per kill, and I was doing mainly quests - with a few niob runes, even the cursed forest till the 10 eyes to kill point. Further in was a death sentence if more than 3 eyes were to swarm me and start leeching off my poor Inquisitor. It was not a slow going at all - Clustering + Raving combo is great even at low level, and the buff suits were keeping his regen times very low, which allowed me to eat a lot of runes (at level 60, upon entering gold, I ate around 16 runes in each CA). The damage output was a little low, but that could be easily compensated by herding a bigger mob, which in areas like the orc lands, desert, human lands, swamp and the blood forest is no problem at all, so the kill speed was high regardless of the lower damage.

I was always on the lookout for several set items:
1. Ilgard's judgment (arms) - provides Chance to Reflect: Combat arts. Outstanding synergy with the Reverse Polarity buff.
2. Saraki's Intuition (gloves) - provides chance to reflect: close combat, which also has great synergy with Reverse Polarity.
3. Insignia of Deference (head) - 2 sockets, physical damage mitigation. The third item to make the Inquisitor immortal.
4. Saraki's Demise (belt) - 2 sockets, has about 1% more physical damage mitigation than Deylen's belt. Combined with other buffs, items and toughness, does wonders.
5. Kuan's or Catharsis pants (lower armor) - 3-socket, the more sockets, the merrier.
6. The boots were a matter of preference - whatever was available.
7. Torso and shoulders - 3-socket ones, until level 75. As soon as level 75 is achieved, it's shopping time.

After I hit level 75, I went on extensive shopping spree. I was looking for torso armor and shoulder armor with all channel damage mitigation unlocked by armor lore mastery, and if possible, stacked all channel or all channel + physical mitigation. It took lots of hours in shopping, and most of the attempts were futile. Eventually, I took off with shoulders with 2 sockets (silver and bronze), all channel + physical damage mitigation and a torso with low grade all channel damage mitigation unlocked by armor lore (no mastery needed). It appears that it's really hard to find a plate-type armor for the inquisitor with damage mitigation even with close to 4x char level in bargaining. Sheesh. So I guess one should arm him/herself with a lot of patience when doing the equipment revamping part.

In the end, I ended up with these stats at level 75:
Close combat reflect: 42% + 8% set part (50% total)
CA reflect: 42% + 7% set part (49% total)
Ranged reflect: 42%
Toughness: 23.8% damage mitigation
Purifying chastisement buff: 15.3% damage mitigation (could be much more, but I need to use buff suits to keep the regen times low)
Armor: 45% Physical damage mitigation, 20.1% fire/ice/magic/poison mitigation

Total: 59.2% fire/magic/ice/poison mitigation and 84.1% physical damage mitigation

This result alone makes the tough leveling up to 75 worthwhile!

The next breakpoint was level 100. I went on to master gruesome focus (!) to improve the max PC buff level and after that mastered the astute focus. I kept my damage output a bit low on purpose - I really wanted to get to the high invincible status asap. Since I was playing with lots of All skills, it wasn't that much of a problem - there was nothing that 2-3x Clustering + Raving + Levin combo couldn't kill.

At level 100, the increase was relatively negligible, mainly because I wasn't very lucky with the set items and had to keep some of the lower-level ones. Still, the progress was easily noticeable:


Reflect Close: 56.7%
Reflect CA: 54.3%
Toughness mitigation: 25%
Chastisement mitigation: 16.8%
Armor mitigation: 46.7% physical, 21.7% fire/ice/magic/poison

Total: 88.5% physical, 63.5% fire/ice/magic/poison, along with increasing reflect

This calculation made me confident that if things go my way, by level 120-125 I can achieve physical immunity - and that's what happened. As soon as I hit 125, I logged my 140 shopper in and got him some nice +6/7 all skills socketables. I couldn't find better shoulder/torso armor for now, so I postponed it. The good news was that I had all the set equip I wanted, and at relatively decent level.

After I revamped the equip, this is what happened at level 125:


Close reflect: 65%
CA reflect: 62.3%
Toughness mitigation: 28.6%
Chastisement mitigation: 17.7%
Armor mitigation: 59% physical, 23.5% fire/ice/magic/poison

Which means: 105.3% physical mitigation (IMMUNE!), 69.8% fire/ice/magic/poison mitigation, and about 2/3 close and ca attacks reflected!

Now how about that? I don't really need to get him to level 140 to know that very soon, he will shrug off almost all the damage and hunt everywhere he pleases. This also allows for some leeway - I can switch some more sockets to XP per kill and speed up the level-ups even more without worrying that I'll lose the physical immunity. This also allows for almost free leveling in orc lands/desert/wasteland/human lands/elven lands. The blood forest remains a little dangerous, because life leech can't be mitigated, even though it can be reflected, as the eyes' attacks are CA based - at least by my observations.

CONCLUSION:

If you feel like you can survive 75 levels that will shape up the next 125, this build is for you :)

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