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
. 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: 3/1-4-1/3-5Generic 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: 3-5-5-0Prodigies
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 rotationsGeneral:
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
. 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
. 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
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!