ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
Hello and welcome to my Paradox Mage guide! This is a guide for Cornac PM who unlocks no less than six (6!) categories -and becomes almost unkillable on difficulties up to and including insane. Celestial / Light will be unlocked using a prodigy. This guide is meant for insane/madness. Some builds choices are marginally different regarding the difficulty. This build also destroys the lesser difficulties but so do all builds that skip spacetime folding and pick flux. I'll skip some of the basics in this guide since there are other guides out already for this class but if something isn't clear, feel free to ask!

I've won two PMs on insane with zero deaths and madness too with a different class (AM). Shesh has already won madness with his own PM build so it definitely can be done. The relevant character can be found here: http://te4.org/characters/121593/tome/6 ... 5ce087f7ca

The aim of this build is to get all the synergies of PM defence trees combined with the awesomeness that is Celestial/Light. How is Light good on a PM you ask? Well, it's not like providence is ever bad but what you might now know is that your clones can cast Bathe in Light and the effect stacks. So you will basically have three times the BiL. This means that my build can get thousands of points worth of shielding on ALL three clones, or about an 8 K shield on your main guy for a few turns -depending on how you will utilize them. Also, did I already mention that if you have Rune of Reflection this 8 K damage shield will actually be a reflection shield? Yeah.

This build uses attenuate and echoes from the past to deal damage combined with mercy procs especially if you play on madness. Melee strikes also increase the duration of negative effects while seal fate is active. This build has very good means of getting rid of excess paradox and incredible defences which are only really matched by AM.

The final fight wasn't really a fight at all even when a darkness demon made large part of the level dark. I didn't even have to use clones and their 66 % damage resistance once. At some point I did lose maybe like 400 health when I lost track of Elandar...and that's pretty much it :D. Stronk. Other example of how powerful this build is was the spider caves after I screwed up in there. Basically I ended up surrounded by a wall of monsters 1-3 tile thick in almost each direction on an uncleared level including rares and at least one unique. Not even encounter like this could trigger Cauterize -nor did it trigger at any point during the run.



The guide is arranged as follows:

0. Introduction
1. Talent point sheet, prodigies and stats
2. Build rationale and order
3. Clone interactions and possible defense rotations
4. Concluding comments.


1. Talent point sheet.

Class talents

If you see "/" mark the left side means a build for insane and right side means a build for madness

Chronomancy / Flux: 5-5-5-1
Chronomancy / Stasis: 3-2/4-3-0
Chronomancy / Spellbinding: 5-3-0-0
Chronomancy / Matter: 3/1-4-1-2
Chronomancy / Speed Control: 1-1-5-1
Chronomancy / Timeline Threading: 1-5-0-0
Chronomancy / Timetravel: 3/1-4-1/3-5

Generic talents

Chronomancy / Chronomancy: 1-1-1-0
Chronomancy / Spacetime weaving: 3-1-1-0
Celestial / Light: 1-5-1-3
Chronomancy / Energy: 2-1-1-3
Chronomancy / Fate Weaving: 1-5-3-3
Tecnique / Combat Training: 3-5-5-0

Prodigies

Cauterize
Worldly Knowledge

Stats

Mag
Wil
Cun
Str (or Dex)

2. Build rationale and order

General: You want to wear heavy or massive armour to take advantage of the great PM armour boost and also because armour + hardiness is really really good. On the other hand PMs really like spellpower too so that they can land attenuate and entropy so a voratun mail with like double thunder ego would be good for you. You have great paradox management from Flux and Stasis.

PM has exactly two talents that actually deal REAL damage: flux and echoes from the past. If you play on insane or lower it will be handy to have some investments in other beam spells too like temporal bolt and dust to dust. On madness "convenience" is thrown out of the window anyway so you will want other things. Time shield isn't actually very good on insane+ if you don't have Aegis boosting it but having clones makes it 3x better so it becomes worth investing in on a PM too.

Attenuate checks saves so you will need to use Empower on it. The extra damage does not hurt either! Extension will be used in Seal Fate and I put temporal fugue on contingency for that sweet 66 % damage reduction when push comes to shove.

Category points: Flux is an amazing talent category: damage resistance, great paradox management and a great attack spell but also potentially extremely good effects from induce anomaly like stone wall or temporal clone. Attenuate can be used to kite monsters out of LoS too. You are cornac so you can get this right away.

Next category points go to Spellbinding and the one after that to Energy. You can temporarily switch to empowering entropy instead of attenuate if you need some magic sustains cancelled by a high save fellow. The only real downside of this build that I can think of is that you get a stun only after hitting level 36 for you next cat (Stasis). The last category point will go to Timeline Threading.

Prodigies: I'm a little divided in this, PM has sustained 30 % damage reduction already from Flux +armour so at least on insane it's reasonable to pick Wordly Knowledge first. IIRC the damage gets really spiky only after you leave West on madness too. This is up to you, I'd try Light first regardless of difficulty.

Sustains: You can get Reality Smearing at level 4 on a cornac and honestly this is good to turn on right away. Matter Weaving would be next, stun res + armour is really really nice. After that comes disintegration for digging and anti-vitality/damage shields and I'd pick empower after that. Next up is Extension. Energy decomposition isn't very useful without clones and contingency is expensive paradoxwise and three talents deep on a tree that isn't the biggest priority early so those two will be last ones to get activated.

Inscriptions: You will have the minimum of three, use them wisely! I ended up with phys/mental wild, reflection shield + movement on my run, for a long time movement was replaced with heroism. Basically with this build you'd probably want three out of four of wild, reflection, heroism and movement. The exact set will depend on your gear too. If you find and can afford to wear Wintertide Phial, for example, then clearing mental effects with a wild suddenly becomes much less valuable. Here are the pros and cons for the four inscriptions I used.

Heroism
The largest one-shot protection. The stats are useful especially for gaining a couple of points of effective SP. Even the difference of a couple of points can be meaningful when trying to land effects. Doesn't care about silence.

Reflection
Makes your BiL shield turn into murder wall. This is hilarious but I'm not really convinced that this is actually better than heroism eventhough I used this the whole game. Reality Smearing shield only activates if you take damage anyways. Damage isn't really important anyways as long as YOU can stay alive and do enough damage to outpace healing.

Movement
Dimensional Step cannot be targeted on darkness induced by darkness demon or the smoke talents that at least archer and alchy have. This can be problematic for you! Also Dim Step and silence aren't friends. On the other hand, when you are NOT moving this doesn't help you much since you probably want 100 % immu anyways, especially on madness. Still, I'd pick this. On the final fight you may consider regeneration over this especially so if you are wearing Boots of The Hunter/Aetherwalk/Wanderer's Rest.

Wild
Even with 100 % stun immu you can still get stunned if you get hit with stun res reducing talents. And stun is bad! Getting pinned or crippled isn't that fun either. Providence can be unavailable due to stun and if you are confused it has the same chance to fail as other talents that take a turn. You already have a pretty complete toolset as a PM, let's not that get destroyed by status effects! The worst kind of PM with amazing talents is a PM who can't use those amazing talents because of confusion, stun lock, poison, etc. Probably phys/mental or if you use Wintertide Phial then phys/magical are the best options. You'll need something to able to cure Burning/Empathic Hex in the final fight too. Aim for the lowest cooldown.

Stats:MAG should be maxed on level ups since it helps with everything. You want some STR too early on so you can start taking advantage of your armour in Matter Weaving. Investing in DEX as a dump stat could be better endgame but little bit of STR is just so handy early. WIL is your secondary stat and CUN is your third stat. Not much to say about those, the first you'll need to deal with paradox and the second gives crit.

Items: Wrap of Stone is amazing for this build, for madness mercy off-hand will make deal more damage. Notice that BiL heals enemies too so you need to time your melee charges. On insane Spelldrinker is as solid off-hand as always. Elemental Fury makes one instance of damage proc Seal Fate four times instead of one. Abusable.

3. Clone interactions and possible defense rotations

General: It's probably worth noting right of the bat that the clones don't work like they are supposed to at all. You can control your clones directly or give them orders. Taking control takes a turn which is a pretty big deal. But we can live with that! However, we could also live with a less shitty clone interface and that the orders you give them would be actually followed. The clones seem to be unwilling to cast some spells at all even when they are set as only priority. On the other hand, my clones were eager to hit things in melee even though I had denied them of using all melee talents including "attack". At least they follow the leash distance set which is important. However, you need to set the leash distance EVERYTIME they spawn, so this is buggy too. Great. Setting leash distance to "1" makes so that your clones don't just ran away from your BiL area effect and all versions of you get the BiL cast by all versions! With clones you need to remember that your main guy only takes 66 % less damage as long as your clones don't take damage from other sources and that your main guy takes 33 % damage of what your clone takes.

Defenses and rotation With this build your main defenses/heals in addition to inscriptions are Temporal Fugue (TF), Bathe in Light (BiL), Reality Smearing (RS), Webs of Fate (WoF) and armour. Time shield becomes good with clones and even Energy Decomposition does something. In addition to these you will have Healing Light (HL) and Barrier. Barrier is basically a downtime shield that can soak up one hit from a trash monster on madness and couple of hits on insane. RS does not protect your damage shield so one point in Barrier is next to useless. HL fares a bit better because your HP is always protected by armour and RS so it gives much more EHP return.

In addition to defenses and heals you have utility like Materialize Barrier (MB), Temporal Reprieve (TR) and Time Skip (TS). Also you can wear Wrap of Stone/Earthrunes as good as any magic user.

RS does not trigger for shield damage. However the TF damage splitting does activate before shields are check. Also, when you cast attenuate while you have clones up it gets the 66 % damage reduction as does everything else. HOWEVER, when your clones disappear and your attenuate is still hopefully going because you have extented it properly, the damage of the effect becomes like the castings had been done without any penalties! This is very important since it means that you can now enjoy at least four times casted attenuate at full power! Also, apparently Elemental Fury damage splitting (possibly some other damage splitting talents too, like gravity locus) with Seal Fate make it so that one instance of damage now counts as FOUR different instances for the Seal Fate effect extension. Very abusable, possible unintented too. I didn't find EF on my run.

On insane, the "correct" rotation does not really matter but if you want to take this build for a spin in madness, this is one example of how it would work. Naturally you want to kite most monsters from out of LoS from your tunnels with Stop and Attenuate etc. but sometimes it's not enough (you need all the damage you can get) or possible (final fight). This situation is where I rush from the tunnels like Conan and try to do damage as well and not just survive. Obviously the exact order of talents depends on many things like monster threat level, speed, etc.

Basically you want to cast instant buffs first, this includes time shield, seal fate and WoF. Then cast TF, cast BiL, cast attenuate or Stop depending on what the other yous have casted or if you managed to get a stop from corner sniping, switch to clone, cast BiL, cast attenuate, switch to other clone, cast attenuate, cast the final BiL just when the last of the two previous BiLs ends. You will get about 400 points of BiL shielding per turn per one BiL effect per one you. Confusing, I know :D. But this is the basic idea: you switch between clones casting BiL+attenuate and using other spells at filler while maximing the duration of the BiL on your main guy.

After the BiL shield crumbles you have options: 1) retreat 2) time skip 3) activate next line of defenses. The next line consists of health pool tanking while WoF and RS reduce damage and heroism gives extra buffer AND your BiL has already come off cooldown by now for your main character so you can cast it again :D. The old shield will crumble at this point however because of too many refreshes. But now you will still have BiL + heroism up. When THIS BiL ends then you can cast WoF. After it ends you can use materialize barrier/stonewall/temporal reprieve. The first one you can chain the latter two you can't...and after their effect ends you have TF + BiL ready to go again :D Fun! You need maximum of 7 turns of LoS blocking (without cooldown reductions) (I'm assuming you couldn't land Time Skip, ofc you usually can). I'd advice using stonewall for emergencies since you can't chain it with this build. Temporal reprieve would be available every other rotation. If all else fails, you have free Time Stop on contingency for 1 turn and cauterize. Not bad! You want the to have 10 % cooldown reduction ego although I'm not sure it's 100 % necessary and it depends on what you get from Induce Anomaly too (Invigorate, Stone Wall, Quake).

Also with triple BiL Elixir of Invulnerability can last to up to 15 turns + the original duration.

4. Concluding comments

So there you have it! The purpose of this guide was to demonstrate the power of clones + BiL so I left much of the basic staff aside. This build is your chance to finally play a cornac build that isn't just a gimped ogre build ;). If you have any questions, even n00b ones, please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you for reading!

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Last edited by Mankeli on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:59 pm, edited 49 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:39 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 718
Thoughts on Hidden Resources over Cauterize? I really like the Hidden Resources + Static History combo since it lets you "safely" tune your paradox to 500+ making Empower potentially unnecessary and freeing up a category point for an Inscription or Light (saving a prodigy point).

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:04 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
bpat wrote:
Thoughts on Hidden Resources over Cauterize? I really like the Hidden Resources + Static History combo since it lets you "safely" tune your paradox to 500+ making Empower potentially unnecessary and freeing up a category point for an Inscription or Light (saving a prodigy point).
Depends on difficulty, you can get away without picking cauterize on insane but I would not pass it on madness. I consulted shesh who said that even with PM and all it's great sustained defences cauterize still procced a handful of times and on my run on AM cauterize procced maybe as many as 12 times eventhough I scouted constantly.

Crazy surprise burst is really like the only thing that can kill you on insane and cauterize give you immunity against it. I though about HR for sure but decided against it.

Also according to stunt, empower gives EFFECTIVE spellpower, meaning that if you have a guy with 100 SP and paradox at a level that gives no boni or maluses, your spellpower for empowered spell is 157 which is just nuts. And to me damage numbers seem to add up too. I do not think that even HR levels of paradox will give you nearly that much. On my latest insane PM, Elandar only had 84 spellsave which is incredibly low but I think (?) that I've seen him have like 120 even on insane, at least well over 100 and on madness it just gets worse.

Also you still gain paradox from Reality Smearing when HR is active AFAIK. I feel HR is still a little risky too, it doesn't have 100 % uptime even with shalore.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:12 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
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Hidden Resources doesn't demand 100% uptime since you tend to start fights off with many instant talents, but I can see how you'd want Cauterize and Empower over it since Empower uses effective spellpower. I still think Cauterize is unnecessary under Madness though, since Insane enemies usually don't burst you in a turn unless you're wearing a robe and you get particularly unlucky.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:41 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
My appreciation towards Cauterize grew when my poor skeleton corruptor was one-shotted while autoexploing from range by dispersion + lightning combo while having full bone shield, premonition and chant of fortress active. Weird corner case things happen but they are rare ofc. If you hide in a wall on all levels and don't autoexplore then it's even less likely. I can see some combination of corrupted negation/dispersion + flame of Uhr'Suck/essence of speed + some attack one-shots or maybe getting hexed with empathic hex while you are attenuating a late game boss be problematic even on insane. I have yet to see a player that is prepared for everything in a RL and cauterize helps when those errors or lapses in judgement happen. PM is quite sustain dependent. The added SP would mean more damage/duration/value and less switching between attenuate and entropy empowerment but the benefits aren't that amazing. And Light spells won't benefit from it. I actually used autoexplo with this build on HP even, can't remember the last time I've done that :D

Also I wanted my build to be as much madness-y as possible in case some one wants to slog through it using my build.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:48 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:16 pm
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Great guide. I've won twice on insane with PM but not yet madness. You have given me some new ideas.

It is a beautifully designed class.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:50 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
jenx wrote:
Great guide. I've won twice on insane with PM but not yet madness. You have given me some new ideas.

It is a beautifully designed class.
Thank you jenx, I gotta say the theorycrafting with this class is really really fun.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:09 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
I just received information that if cauterize procs while clones are up, YOU NEVER GET THE CONTROL OF YOUR MAIN CHARACTER BACK. Needless to say this can suck. Gotta test this tomorrow. I will report here and file a bug report too if need be.

EDIT. pls read below for more info.

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Last edited by Mankeli on Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:31 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:41 pm
Posts: 268
I guess Elemental Fury is super good to increase the duration of debuffs. Like I just cast Attenuate on a target and he was at 10 turns duration already.

In fact, Attenuate increases it's duration just by itself.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:16 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
I was unable to reproduce the cauterize/clone bug mentioned in my earlier post. I tested these situations:

1) Make cauterize proc on your main character and then cast clones

2) Cast clones and then let cauterize proc on your main character

3) Take control of a clone and let the clone proc cauterize while having control of the clone

It may be that the bug isn't consistent and doesn't appear the vast majority of the time just like when using Time Skip or that it has been already fixed. The first two I tried several times and the third one two times, it was pretty difficult to test. I'm going to leave my recommendations as is. If you have clones + BiL up cauterize should not be proccing anyways because you have such an incredible defence then. If a monster can hit through all that then I guess you'll die anyways.

(If you don't know about the Time Skip bug: Sometimes the time skipped monster never returns which is pretty bad if you need the monster dead in order to proceed in the main plot. The game seems to get especially angry if you put temporary terrain objects like walls in top of the Time Skip icon but I don't really know the details when it happens.).

To Mordy: Yes, this came up in chat yesterday, although I was practically sleeping at that point but I hazily remember the discussion. With Seal Fate, elemental fury gives your character 4 chances to extend attenuate instead of one. Then add clones :D. Too bad I didn't find it. Mental Tyranny might also work, stof26 said to do some testing.

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Last edited by Mankeli on Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:21 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:41 pm
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Mankeli wrote:
To Mordy: Yes, this came up in chat yesterday, although I was practically sleeping at that point but I hazily remember the discussion. With Seal Fate, elemental fury gives your character 4 chances to extend attenuate instead of one. Then add clones :D. Too bad I didn't find it. Mental Tyranny might also work, stof26 said to do some testing.

Yeah, I was the one reporting it in chat btw :p I never expected my ingame chat name to be my account name when I created it btw.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:00 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
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Mordy wrote:
Mankeli wrote:
To Mordy: Yes, this came up in chat yesterday, although I was practically sleeping at that point but I hazily remember the discussion. With Seal Fate, elemental fury gives your character 4 chances to extend attenuate instead of one. Then add clones :D. Too bad I didn't find it. Mental Tyranny might also work, stof26 said to do some testing.

Yeah, I was the one reporting it in chat btw :p I never expected my ingame chat name to be my account name when I created it btw.

Hahaha, oh, sorry about that.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:13 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
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I have added the defence rotation. I'll update it if I figure out something more.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:24 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
Added items section and finishing touches. Also I changed the madness suggestion so that you'd have 3 point in temporal reprieve. I think it's done now.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:10 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:41 pm
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For the items, I'm not sure how good fixedarts weapons are in Madness but I found the Rod of Sarrilon and I'm sure the included lower cooldown on Attenuate included is desirable :)


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