There are currently two Temporal Warden guides that say many things that I strongly disagree with (skipping Fate Weaving is ridiculous). With this build I beat Insane without much difficulty; one of my two deaths was a Saw Butcher randboss kill from max life in Dreadfell and the other was another kill from max by a randboss when I was messing around in High Peak for fun and loot, so the build definitely works. First off, here's my Insane winner
and the build for those too lazy to read the whole thing.
Stats: Mag > Dex until level 20-30, then Str > Mag > Dex > Cun (Mag > Dex > Cun > Str/Con if you don't have EoR)
Category points: Fate Weaving -> Threaded Combat -> Stasis -> Inscription
Prodigies: Pain Enhancement System -> Arcane Might (Arcane Might -> Flexible Combat or defensive prodigy if you don't have EoR)
Inscriptions: Regeneration, Movement, Heroism, Shielding/Movement
1/3/1/2 Blade Threading
1/1/1/2 Bow Threading
1/2/1/1 Temporal Combat
5/3/3/1 Temporal Guardian
1/1/1/3 Threaded Combat
0/0/0/0 Spacetime Folding
0/0/0/0 Speed Control
5/3/3/0/0 Combat Training
1/1/1/5 Fate Weaving
3/1/0/0 Spacetime Weaving
You may have noticed that this build only uses 41 class points and 38 generic points. That's because this is enough to win on non-Madness difficulties. I actually had two less points in Vigilance but that was unwise since bad luck could have cost me a life in the final battle. Any talent points not listed here are somewhere between helpful filler and useless filler in terms of how good they are, but really it doesn't matter what you take as long as you take this core set of talents.Races
Shalore is the best race because Timeless and Grace of the Eternals work wonders on TW. You max Dex and Mag and get them really high with PES so Grace of the Eternals gives a massive speed boost and is essentially a much better version of Haste. Timeless is great with Invigorate and Webs of Fate and cleanses statuses which TW needs slightly more than the average class due to having only four Inscriptions and not having innate stun or confusion resistance.
Other Shalore that there are no notable synergies so the good races are still good and the bad races are still bad. I feel like every time I write a guide I have to explain why Ogre is good and why Dwarf is bad and really you can just look at my or other good players' posts on races.Class CategoriesBlade Threading
This category is actually pretty bad. You really want Warp Blade to stun which it only does 25% of the time so don't bother using it for anything but the damage. Late game this talent is a waste of paradox. Blink Blade is pretty great since it hits twice. 3/5 is enough for a nice range break point since the damage doesn't scale that well. Later when your ranged attacks start outdamaging your melee attacks, the teleport is actually often a bad thing since you don't want to be close to enemies so be careful about using this talent. Use Warden's Focus beforehand so you end up where you want. Note that this applies Dimensional Shift twice so it can be a nice situational status removal. Blade Shear hits multiple enemies, not much to say about it other than that but it's nice for clearing multiple weak guys. No need to get more than 1/5 in this talent since it isn't worth the paradox against single targets late game. Blade Ward is pretty neat since if you're hitting enemies in melee, you're probably getting hit too. Since my melee set is my defensive set, I sometimes like to switch to melee to tank melee hits, though ranged is still usually safer.
Core: 1/3/1/2Bow Threading
This category is pretty bad too. Arrow Stitching does barely more than your regular attacks and is only good for breaking Bone Shields. Singularity Arrow does a nice AoE early but its damage falls off very quickly. It's a nice place to float early points since TW struggles a lot in early levels. Arrow Echoes is one of your few good damage talents, since it attacks the target four times without costing ammo. Note that the arrows will aim for the target enemy and not the tile so don't worry about your target moving a little as long as it isn't fast enough to dodge all the arrows. Even though Arrow Echoes is great, its damage doesn't scale that well so I suggest leaving it at 1/5. Arrow Threading prevents your paradox from going too high and blowing you up. 2/5 is the perfect investment in this talent from my experience.
Luxury: Another point in Arrow ThreadingTemporal Guardian
This category has three of your best talents. Strength of Purpose is basically Weapon Training plus Dagger training plus Bow Training and also changes your damage to use Mag instead of Str which is huge since this means PES and Arcane Might get pretty crazy. Guardian Unity makes you take less damage, not much to say here. Vigilance is like a universal Unflinching Resolve, so that's pretty cool. I got by with 1/5 but 3/5 is probably ideal. Warden's Focus mainly exists to increase damage against bosses and control your Blink Blade teleports. It's a good place to put extra points but 1/5 is fine too.
Luxury: More points in Warden's FocusSpacetime Folding
I think this tree is pretty underrated...on Paradox Mage. You don't have the spellpower to make this category work so don't bother. 3/5 Warp Mines can be pretty nice on lower difficulties where you can reliably beat spell saves.
Luxury: 3/5 Warp MinesSpeed Control
Speed Control is pretty overrated, but there are worse places to spend your extra points. You don't need this category at all since it doesn't do much except let you use basic attacks faster. Celerity lets you get the first strike more often when autoexploring which is cool but not that important. You don't actually use non-instant talents often enough for Time Dilation to be good. Haste is decent because it's instant but it's really underwhelming with its poor duration, cooldown, and speed boost. One thing Haste does have going for it is that it stacks with Grace of the Eternals/Blinding Speed/Eden's Guide. Time Stop is pretty neat if you get into a bad spot but it doesn't do a whole lot that a Movement Infusion can't and it costs a very large amount of paradox which you usually cannot afford. Time Stop is really good with Contingency if you put 4/5 points in both of them.
Luxury: 1/1/5/4Temporal Combat
This category is pretty awful aside from Invigorate. Weapon Folding does next to nothing but it helps early when your weapon damage sucks so that's something. Invigorate is great, especially with Timeless, since it lets you use Inscriptions and key talents like Dimensional Step and Webs of Fate more often. Weapon Manifold sucks because it's unreliable, it checks spell save, it has a long cooldown, and the effects and damage aren't even that good when they do work. Breach is good against super tanky enemies with low enough spell save for you to be able to apply the debuff. This situation rarely comes up but when it does you'll be happy you put that one point in Breach.
Luxury: 4/5 Invigorate, 3-5/5 BreachStasis (locked)
This category has Time Shield. It has some other stuff too but you're really in it for Time Shield which beats an Inscription slot since you have the points to spare. Go play Paradox Mage if you want to use the other talents because you don't have enough spellpower for Stop and you don't care enough about paradox for Spacetime Stability and Static History.
Luxury: Maybe get 1/5 Static History if you invested in Speed ControlTemporal Hounds (locked)
These are pretty similar to Shadows from the Doomed class, but with a seriously bad respawn time. If this sounds like the type of thing you want, go ahead and take it since it certainly isn't bad, but it just isn't that good either.
Core: Don't unlock
Luxury: Probably 5/2/4/0-1Threaded Combat (locked)
You're really in this for Warden's Call but the rest isn't that bad. Use Thread Walk to get out of melee range. The problem is that you have to already have your melee weapons equipped to do this. You could also use it to get into melee range when using your bow but I don't know why you would want to do that. Thread Walk passively improves your Out of Phase buff which is pretty neat, especially if using a Phase Door Rune. Blended Threads is pretty good and a major reason to not use your Blade Threading and Bow Threading talents other than Blink Blade and Arrow Echoes since they'll take Blended Threads procs away from these two. No need to put multiple points in it though. Thread the Needle is another AoE, which is nice as always but not game changing. Warden's Call is a simple damage increase and a horrible lag causer. 3/5 is a good amount since the last two points don't do that much.
Luxury: More points in Thread Walk and Warden's Call.Generic CategoriesCombat Training
Armour Training and Thick Skin are pretty great and you will want to get them to at least 3/5 and 5/5 respectively. Combat Accuracy isn't that important if you get a Perfect Strike pick but there are worse places to put your spare points than this, 2-3/5 is solid and you shouldn't need more.
Luxury: 5/5 Armour Training.Chronomancy
Pretty lame category overall. Precognition is Track but worse, which is still okay. As far as passives go, Foresight is pretty bad, no reason to invest past 1/5 into this one. Contingency which is great with a Shielding Rune. You could invest heavily in it and use Time Shield or Time Stop if you are so inclined but 1/5 with a Shielding Rune is good enough. You can use See the Threads for scouting but since it costs a turn I see little reason to use it in combat and since Precognition exists this is a little redundant. Could be nice for opening chests though haha.
Luxury: More points in Contingency (for Time Shield or Time Stop) or 1/5 See the ThreadsSpacetime Weaving
Dimensional Step is an instant teleport so it's obviously super good. Dimensional Shift used to be super OP and now it's only kinda good. It's worth noting that Blink Blade will proc it twice so it can help you remove debuffs faster. Wormhole isn't reliable but it can be cool in hallways against melee opponents, super niche but not useless. Phase Pulse might be okay on PM but TW doesn't have the spellpower for this to help.
Luxury: More points in Dimensional Step and Dimensional Shift, 1/5 Wormhole.Fate Weaving (locked)
Spin Fate and Fateweaver are nearly irrelevant. Seal Fate is amazing on PM because of Attenuate and Stop but TW doesn't have a reliable stun so you don't actually have debuff you particularly would like to extend on enemies so it's not great. However if you take Vital Shot or Windblade then Seal Fate becomes excellent. Webs of Fate is a 33% damage reduction that gets redirected to enemies. If I recall correctly, this works before your damage shields absorb damage which gets hilarious. I killed Grushnak by reflecting damage to him with Webs of Fate and Rune of Reflection until he killed himself. This talent is one of the main reasons I am writing this guide, since for some reason neither of the other guides here give Webs of Fate the credit it deserves.
Luxury: More points in Seal FateSurvival (locked)
Great category that is sadly locked. 1/5 Piercing Sight and the rest into Charm Mastery is nice when you can get it from escorts, but it's not something worth a category point on this class.
Core: Don't unlock
If you have the Embers of Rage expansion, you will want to start putting all your stat points in Strength around level 20 and get Pain Enhancement System at level 30. If you have 40 Strength at level 30, it will give you 20 to all other stats with about 50% uptime which is absolutely massive since you're a weapon-based (and thus stat-based) class. After that Arcane Might is the obvious choice since it has incredible synergy with PES and with your class in general since you will max Magic and have a fair amount of spellpower. If you don't have EoR then go Arcane Might -> Flexible Combat or a defensive prodigy. Arcane Might will still be good, just a bit less good. Alternatively you could take Vital Shot or Windblade for the CC. These prodigies work well with Seal Fate.Inscriptions
As always, Movement and Heroism are absolutely necessary. TW doesn't have built in healing so Regeneration is needed too. Since TW has good mobility, you don't really need the second Movement Infusion and can afford to go Shielding instead which is good for preventing oversaturation despite being an overall inferior Inscription. Rune of Reflection is very strong on TW and you should keep it for the entire game if you find it. Since you will probably spend three category points on categories, you will should usually just have four Inscriptions, but if you pick Ogre or Cornac then you should probably get Shielding or Movement, whichever one you didn't pick for your fourth slot. Phase Door is another solid choice for your fifth Inscription slot, especially if you skipped the Shielding Rune, since it will never saturate and greatly boost your defensive stats with the help of Thread Walk.Equipment
Prioritize armour, stun resistance, confusion resistance, and weapon procs. Prioritize defensive stats on melee weapons over damage, but prioritize damage on ranged weapons. Use massive armour because your biggest threats are melee foes. TW has enough damage with Warden's Call and its prodigies that you don't need to use too many damage items. Keep in mind that Strength is a more important stat than Dex or Mag when selecting items. Read this
for more equipment advice and general advice.Gameplay
Early game you will struggle and Singularity Arrow will be your only reliable source of decent damage. Buy a good Regeneration and/or Movement Infusion immediately if available in shops and also good heavy or massive armor as soon as you can get the Strength to equip them. Make sure to always use Webs of Fate and Time Shield/Shielding Rune as soon as fights start. Once you get PES or Arcane Might and actually start dealing damage then you will quickly notice that ranged attacking outdamages melee attacking. The issue with this is you have no built-in reload, which is one of the reasons why Movement Infusion is so great; each step you take refills one arrow so you can reload over 10 arrows over the duration. Another trick is to have a backup quiver in your inventory so you can spend the one turn to switch to it. This is good for short to medium duration fights but it isn't ideal for very long battles because each time you do this you will use an inferior quiver, so in those cases just walk around to reload or pass turns to reduce paradox as well. I recommend using a defensive melee set that prioritizes armour and/or useful procs over pure damage so you can safely fight difficult melee foes in melee range. Usually you should try to fight melee foes from a distance though, since you will go down faster than you'd expect, but if your mobility is on cooldown your melee set should be specialized for handling melee foes. This is because melee foes are a greater threat to you than ranged foes due to their relatively high armour and life total
These recording are both from my Insane winner linked above.Grushnak kill.
This video shows how to destroy challenging melee foes that you cannot hurt through conventional means by using damage reflection, Rod of Spydric Poison, and lots of mobility. I had 10 less accuracy than he had defense with my bow equiped, and his armour reduced my weapon damage by about half when I did manage to hit. Also his spell save was too high for me to ever be able to apply Breach. An anomaly ended up teleporting me near a very strong Gunslinger rare at some point but otherwise I had no trouble winning this fight thanks to Webs of Fate, Rune of Reflection, and Rod of Spydric Poison.Final battle.
This is my first attempt at commentary so feedback would be appreciated. This wasn't a particularly hard fight since Elandar went down very easily and the only issue I had with Argoniel was Burning Hex. It's worth noting that I only had 1/5 in Vigilance in this video when I should have had 3/5 to make Burning Hex and other statuses less troublesome. I made some mistakes like not closing the portals as early as I should have, using the wrong lite for most of the battle, and unequipping my Disperse Magic gloves early but it went alright overall. My luck with Spelldrinker procs was pretty bad, since it never got Argoniel's Bone Shield, but it didn't matter much in the end.