ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

[1.5.5] Overclocked Chronomancer (Insane/RL winner)
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Author:  Effigy [ Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  [1.5.5] Overclocked Chronomancer (Insane/RL winner)

This build was developed to explore two questions:
1. How ridiculous can Chronomancy talents get with the right synergies?
2. How much spell cooldown reduction can you get?

My findings:
1. Things can get pretty ridiculous, and ridiculously fun!
2. It's possible to get 100% (or very close) cooldown reduction, meaning all spells without a fixed cooldown have 1 turn cooldown. This requires several items in addition to talents.

Given the aforementioned facts, it's not surprising that the build can win on Insane/RL. I'm fairly certain it can win Insane/RL bikini without much trouble. Can it win on Madness? I haven't tried, but possibly--probably with some modifications. I leave that question to the Madness experts for now, but maybe I'll try it sometime.

So, how does this work? Essentially, we pick the most delicious Chronomancy categories for our main talents, then supplement with cooldown-reduction and defensive talents from other classes. The result is an "overclocked" hybrid Paradox Mage/Temporal Warden with some external synergies (mainly from Archmage and Sun Paladin) bolted on to give maximum effectiveness and uptime for the baseline Chronomancy talents.

Insane/RL winner character sheet
NOTE: I took Chronomancy/Matter on that character, which was probably a mistake in hindsight. Matter Weaving is good and the digging is excellent, but Disintegration has an anti-synergy with Temporal Hounds because it removes their buffs. Consequently, I mainly just used Matter Weaving and rarely Materialize Barrier, with Disintegration just used for digging. If Disintegration didn't strip buffs from allies, or if I wasn't using hounds, Matter would be a strong addition to the build.

Build Overview
Shalore is the strongest option since Timeless can extend Suncloak and Hidden Resources, plus the crit and global speed are nice. Any race can work if you want to play something else.

Magic > Willpower > Cunning > Constitution or Dexterity

Hidden Resources

Chronomancy/Flux: 1+/3+/5/1+
Chronomancy/Temporal Hounds: 5/5/3+/4+
Chronomancy/Spellbinding: 5/1+/5/0
Chronomancy/Timeline Threading: 1+/1+/1+/5
Spell/Meta: 3/1/5/0+
Celestial/Sun: 1/2/1/5

Race/Shalore: 1/2+/1/5
Techniques/Combat Training: 0+/1+/0+/0/0
Psionic/Augmented Mobility: 1/1+/1/3
Celestial/Light: 1+/5/1/3+
Spell/Aegis: 2+/5/1/1
Steamtech/Physics: 4+/2+/1+/0
Steamtech/Chemistry: 1+/0+/0+/0
Wild-gift/Harmony: 0+/0+/0+/0+

The numbers above are the essential talent levels; there will be a handful of leftover points to distribute as you like. Look at my character sheet if you want to see the exact point spread I used.

If you want Seal Fate for extending Attenuate, you could optionally drop Spell/Aegis for Chronomancy/Fate Weaving: 1/5/1/3+. Unfortunately, there aren't enough generic points for both unless you go with Cornac race.

If you want a guaranteed tinker escort, I recommend the Select First Escort addon.

Category Unlocks
Level 1:
Psionic/Augmented Mobility
Level 10:
Chronomancy/Temporal Hounds
Tinkers (whenever you're able)
Level 20:
Level 36:
Chronomancy/Timeline Threading
Wyrm Bile:
Inscription slot (or whatever category you want)

You can unlock the 4th inscription or other category earlier if you want.

Embers of Rage
Category unlock order should be the same. You don't get the Wyrm Bile, but you can unlock tinkers without a category point. For race I'd recommend Orc, but play whatever you want. Yeti tissue rewards are up to you, but I'd get at least a couple levels of Device Mastery if you want to use salves. Chant of Fortitude is always good, and a level of Track is good if you don't get it from an item.

The most essential gear upgrades are items with spell cooldown reduction. By their powers combined, you are Captain Cooldown! To my knowledge, CD reduction can roll on boots and pickaxes. It also appears on the fixed artifact amulet Zemekkys' Broken Hourglass. If you find a CD reduction item, that takes precedence over anything else in the slot. If possible, you want to get CD reduction on all three slots.

Naturally, you'll want to wield staves (set to temporal damage) in your mainhand and telekinetic slot. If you have a short staff, use an offhand with good caster stats (dagger, mindstar, or Telos Bottom Half).

Heavy/massive armor are great, but this build starts to struggle with paradox in longer fights if you spam spells (which you will...let's get real, 1 turn cooldowns?!), so you'll probably want to wear robes or light armor. You could feasibly wear heavy armor once you have a decent Back Support tinker, but robes/leather armor typically have better damage stats anyway. You're a range-10 build with summons to tank for you, plus a great defensive toolkit, so high armor is not necessary.

Contrary to convention, you don't want to stack too much temporal damage penetration, since it will cause you to damage your own hounds. You will have Cease to Exist in the late game to debuff a specific target's resists. If your penetration is low, spells like Attenuate and Rethread will heal your hounds since they get 100% temporal resist and a good chunk of temporal affinity.

In general, you want to stack spell cooldown reduction, temporal/physical damage, Magic, Willpower, spellpower, healing modifier, spell crit chance, crit multiplier, status immunities, and life.

Weapons: Crystal Edge or Mana Coil
Head: Air Recycler
Body: Armour Reinforcement, Crystal Plating, or Ablative Armour
Cloak: Grounding Strap
Hands: Iron Grip
Belt: Back Support
Feet: Kinetic Stabilizer
Lite: none

Your generic points investment will vary from mine if you want Mana Coil and/or Ablative Armour. The points are available, though, if you want to go that route.

Runes are generally considered weaker than infusions. However, runes are affected by spell cooldown reduction. Having a strong Shielding rune on a short cooldown is very nice, and Rune of Reflection is arguably best in slot for this setup. Phase Door rune with high resist bonuses is another strong option. I didn't end up trying Rune of the Rift since I only had 3 inscription slots, but I suspect it would be good as a free attack that reduces paradox and banishes an enemy for a few turns.

You'll probably want something like this at endgame:
Shielding/Reflection rune
Movement infusion or Phase Door rune
Heroism infusion or Medical Injector
Rune of the Rift or Wild (physical/mental) infusion or Medical Injector

I used Dust to Dust from Chronomancy/Matter during the early game, but since I don't recommend taking that category, you could just float a point or two in Weapons Mastery and tri-wield melee weapons to bump things until you get Attenuate and Temporal Hounds going. You want to max out Attenuate as soon as possible, then start maxing Temporal Hounds.

Once you get Chronomancy/Spellbinding, you want to use Empower on Attenuate. Attenuate has very good damage potential since it stacks, but you need high spellpower to beat enemy saves. It also works as a great heal-over-time for you and your hounds. Extension is potentially useful, but I didn't see a good use for it and left it unsustained at 1/5. In the mid-to-late game, get Matrix and use it on one of your longer cooldown spells that you want to use frequently, for when Suncloak is down; I used it on Cease to Exist, but Temporal Fugue and the hound commands are also good candidates.

Once the hounds are moderately upgraded, Command: Blink followed by Command: Breathe will be your bread-and-butter damage combo, with Attenuate thrown in during cooldowns and for healing yourself and the hounds. Since the hounds will respawn with a reduced cooldown, and 5/5 Command: Blink will respawn a hound and also has reduced cooldown, you should have three hounds on the field almost all the time. Once you unlock Chronomancy/Timeline Threading, Rethread is another decent attack to throw in the mix, even at 1/5 talent level. Note that with Braid Lifelines, the area damage from Command: Breathe and Attenuate will effectively be multiplied because it hits multiple targets that share each other's damage.

The defensive talents are pretty straightforward if you're familiar with the related classes. Reality Smearing is great damage mitigation that also enables healing from Attenuate. The Spell/Aegis talents are great for making large damage shields, and Bathe in Light is extremely effective boosting your damage shields while also increasing healing from all sources. Providence is a good general-purpose status cleanse, especially with reduced cooldown. Temporal Fugue is a situational source of damage mitigation. Your main mobility talents are Telekinetic Leap and Path of the Sun, plus whatever you get from your inscriptions and items.

Cease to Exist adds an interesting wrinkle to combat, in that if you kill the target during the duration, everyone else (you, all other enemies, etc.) get restored to the way they were when you cast the spell. Notably, this will restore all your cooldowns to their prior state, including fixed cooldowns. Therefore you want to cast Cease to Exist before using talents like Suncloak and Timeless, since they could potentially be used again in a few turns. The cooldown of Cease itself doesn't get restored, but this is where Matrix comes in handy. The lower your cooldown is for Cease to Exist, the more often you get to use your fixed cooldowns, assuming you can get quick kills.

During the early and midgame, you'll be killing things before you have to worry about paradox failures. Eventually, though, the spell spam and numerous sustains will catch up with you. I consider Hidden Resources an essential prodigy for this build; you could get it level 30 if you want, but it's fine to wait until 42 instead. You will want to get in the habit of using Induce Anomaly/Twist Fate on cooldown in non-trivial fights to keep your failure chance low. Being able to target the anomalies is very useful in itself, since you can keep the beneficial ones and toss the annoying ones at enemies. After freeing up the points I previously had in Chronomancy/Matter, I think I'd go 2/5 in both Induce and Twist.

Spellcraft won't make Attenuate miss you when you have Reality Smearing, but it has the potential to spellshock your hounds when you hit them with Attenuate or Rethread; nevertheless, I left it sustained at 1/5 because spellshocking enemies is nice. Metaflow is a strong talent, but the build already has enough cooldown reduction that I didn't feel the need to level it. Generally, the cooldowns you have to wait for are fixed cooldowns anyway. I could see Metaflow being useful for getting your sustains back after they get stripped, but I'm not sure if it's worth the investment for that edge case.

That's all, folks!
This is one of the more unusual builds I've played, despite incorporating some favorite categories. If you're in the mood to test the limits of spellcasting, go mad with power, or just drown in a sea of temporal anomalies, you should check it out!

Author:  Effigy [ Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [1.5.5] Overclocked Chronomancer (Insane/RL winner)

Just a quick note on this build for v1.6+: Psionic/Augmented Mobility no longer grants Telekinetic Grasp since it was added as an escort category. You'd need to use a different Mindslayer category with this build, probably Psionic/Absorption or Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulation. Other than that, the build should still work fine.

I would also consider replacing Cauterize prodigy with Adept, at least on Insane and lower difficulties. Cauterize is the safer option, but Adept could save you some talent points and also just make you stronger in general.

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