This is an alternate perspective to jenx's guide. jenx is a great player and his advice really helped me out, but after beating Insane with Paradox Mage myself I realize I strongly disagree with many of his choices. Most notably, skipping Flux is bizarre since it's probably Paradox Mage's most important class category. I'm not going to do a level by level guide, since Paradox Mage is very flexible and also because I tried to spend as few points as possible. Instead I'll give some advice as to which core talents to take, some good ways to spend your extra points, and general combat strategies.
Pick Ogre or Shalore. Cornac is worse than Ogre late but still acceptable if you want Stasis early. Doomelf is okay too thanks to Pitiless but I would not recommend it since it won't use your chronomancy spellpower when testing saves. Thalore is never awful but there's no synergy here. Higher is less bad than usual because Highborn's Bloom is basically Hidden Resources, but its cooldown is long enough that I would probably end up taking Hidden Resources anyway. I picked Ogre but Shalore would have probably been better in hindsight.
Mag > Wil > Cun > Dex/Con
Take at least one Movement Infusion unless you get 100% stun resistance somehow. Even then consider taking one. Other good Inscriptions are Regeneration, Wild (physical, mental, or physical/mental), and Phase Door. Only take Phase Door if you find a really good one, like an out of phase buff of at least 40% with a good uptime. Shielding and Heroism are pointless since you are essentially immune to burst unless someone deactivates your sustains and Webs of Fate. I played Ogre so I got four Inscriptions and I went double Movement, Regeneration, and Phase Door. If I was a different race, I would have probably dropped the second Movement or Regeneration, but that may be because my Phase Door Rune was really good.
x/1/0/0 Matter (put spare points in Dust to Dust but make sure you can refund it back to 1/5, its damage falls off later)
Unlock Flux at level 10 and go 1/2/5/1 immediately
3/1/0-1/0 Spacetime Weaving
1/1/1/0 Chronomancy only if you have a good Shielding Rune or if you got Healing Light from an Anorithil escort.
Buy Combat Training and get 1/5 Armour Training, and put points in Thick Skin as you get Con boosting items
Reality Smearing and Webs of Fate reduce incoming damage to 43%. Combine that with the armor from Matter Weaving and you should take very little damage when Webs of Fate is up. Attenuate with Seal Fate is your best source of damage. Dust to Dust and Echoes of the Past do two damage instances so they proc Seal Fate twice. Temporal Bolt's damage sucks but if you hit a bunch of enemies you can refresh your important cooldowns fast. Echoes of the Past is a great nuke, and the missing health damage is applied after the flat damage making it do more damage to full health enemies than you'd expect. Dust to Dust is okay damage but it's not that important compared to Attenuate. It's okay to skip turns instead of using weak spells like Dust to Dust and Temporal Bolt if your paradox is getting high, as long as you use Attenuate, Seal Fate, and Webs of Fate on cooldown. Use Induce Anomaly as soon as your fail rate gets noticeable, it's instant which makes it super good if you can get something like Invigorate, Temporal Clone, Stop, Haste, Slow, Gravity Well, Displacement Shield, Temporal Shield, etc. Twist Fate also lets you target anomalies, but it takes a turn. It's almost always worth it to take the turn to use Twist Fate rather than let the anomaly fire randomly, since you could otherwise get stunned or something.
Wear heavy armor to prevent melee enemies from killing you. Try to find an item with Track because Precognition sucks in comparison. Stat priority is pretty standard, should be something like: stun resist > confusion resist > armor > spellpower > life > temporal damage and pen > physical damage and pen> spell crit > crit mult
Unlock Entropy at level 20 and go 1/1/1/2 immediately
You already have everything important, so put points in stuff you think will be useful. Good choices are anything in the Matter and Timetravel categories, Reality Smearing, and Induce Anomaly. Gravity is alright since Locus will give many talents double the Seal Fate procs and Gravity Well gives a global slow with a very high uptime. Warp Mines are solid at 3/5, though some enemies will just disarm them so don't depend on them too much. Spacial Tether and Banish may be worth one point each, since anything that keeps enemies away from you is helpful. Speed Control is overrated so I recommend avoiding it, the only truly great talent it has is Time Stop which is really expensive at this point in the game. You mostly just wait for Attenuate and Echoes of the Past so you don't really need the global speed. For generics, Wormhole, Energy Decomposition, and Energy Absorption are pretty great, or you can max Seal Fate and Webs of Fate.
At this point you basically do the same thing as before, which is try to stack Attenuate damage as much as possible. Consider carrying an alternate spellpower gear set if enemies are saving against it often, or just increase your paradox. Entropy eats sustains but you don't want too many points in it because it'll mess with your Attenuate stacking; you don't want to extend it after removing all your target's sustains. 2/5 in Entropy is enough to extend with Seal Fate if needed, or to let expire if not. Thanks to Energy Decomposition, you take much less damage than before.
Take Hidden Resources at level 30
Unlock Stasis at level 36 and go 1/1/5/0 immediately. You could alternatively take Timeline Threading if you don't feel you need the stun from Stop.
You already have everything important, so put points in stuff you think will be useful. If you haven't taken Contingency yet, now is a good time to do so and set it to Time Shield or Time Stop. You can actually make good use of Time Stop now that you have Hidden Resources so getting it to 4/5 or so can be very helpful. Static History is very good with Hidden Resources, otherwise the same stuff as before applies. Getting Time Shield to around 3/5 can be okay but it is not needed, it's pretty overrated on this class since you don't take much damage anyway. Time Stop becomes a decent investment now that you have Hidden Resources, as does Temporal Reprieve. See the Threads can probably be good with Time Stop and Hidden Resources.
No major changes, except Hidden Resources and Static History will allow you to safely stay at very high paradox. By very high I mean 500+, which means spell saves are no longer an issue. Note that you will still gain Paradox from Reality Smearing when under Hidden Resources, so don't forget to use Induce Anomaly and pass turns when needed. On the last turn of Hidden Resources, I like to use Temporal Reprieve to allow my stuff to cooldown. I almost always use a Phase Door Rune on the last turn of Temporal Reprieve so I can get a bunch of resists coming out of it. Also Stop enters your damage rotation, and should usually be used right after Attenuate against hard enemies. Its a huge AoE nuke that has very high uptime on its stun. Note that the stun will mess with your Attenuate extending with Seal Fate, but the safety is usually more important.
At level 42, take either Cauterize, Eye of the Tiger, Spine of the World, or Pain Enhancement System. I don't think anything else is a good choice.
Spend your final category point on Timeline Threading, Spellbinding, or an Inscription. If Timeline Threading, go at least 1/2/3/3. I have not used Spellbinding so I can't give suggestions there, but I'd probably put Empower on Attenuate, Extension on Seal Fate, Matrix on Webs of Fate, and skip Quicken.
You already have everything important, so put points in stuff you think will be useful.
No major changes, just keep doing what you've been doing. If you took Timeline Threading, add Rethread to your damage rotation (mostly for Braid Lifelines, Rethread's damage is mediocre) and also use Cease to Exist a lot, it's really good. Temporal Fugue makes your near immortal thanks to Reality Smearing, Webs of Fate, and Energy Decomposition.
_________________My wiki page
, which contains a guide and resource compilation and class tier list.
Last edited by bpat on Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.