1.7.4 Insane Drem Staff Writhing One Guide

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GrayStillPlays
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1.7.4 Insane Drem Staff Writhing One Guide

#1 Post by GrayStillPlays »

So, the last Writhing One guide was done about 3 and a half years ago, and was more focused on the traditional sword than staff. Noting the cons section of that guide, most specifically the low damage for a melee class, the inability to maintain insanity at range, and being limited by cooldowns I decided to negate most of those weaknesses by going Drem. After completing the run...my god, Drem were truly made to be Writhing Ones. This character was absolutely insane. More on that later, I've got a lot to say about Writhing One. Here's my guy.

Build TL:DR

Class Talents
Demented/Tentacles: 5/1/5/1
Demented/Path of Horror: 2/3/5/5
Demented/Friend of the Worm: 5/3/4/4
Demented/Horrific Body: 5/2/4/5
Demented/Controlled Horrors: 3/1/1/3-5

Generic Talents
Race/Drem: 1-5/1/2/3
Technique/Combat training: 5/0-1/0-1/2-4/0/0
Spell/Staff Combat: 1/5/2/0
Cunning/Survival: 1/1-5/1/0-1
Wild-Gift/Harmony: 1/5/2/1
Demented/Beyond Sanity: 5/2/2/1

Writhing One Thoughts

Have you ever wanted to forgo any type of tactics and simply walk through enemies with both of your middle fingers up in the air, one shotting everything from close and afar as gigantic numbers feed your insatiable lust for blood? That's the Writhing One. If you haven't played one, I'd give it a shot, this class is a real hoot to play. Since the last WO was a more traditional weapon oriented build, I decided to go full staff/darkness, which means I took a grand total of nothing in Disfigured Face since it dares not feed completely into the darkness damage focus. I've had a couple of WOs, all with Disfigured Face and this one without and I hate to say it but...I didn't miss Disfigured Face at all.

So, why is WO so unbelievably good? I think it's less of a matter of being plainly OP like say, Possessor, and more of the fact that EVERYTHING in the class synergizes so well. 75% of it's abilities focus on one single damage type, which is amazing because that means you can just stack Darkness to the moon, and it's abilities generate incredible value. Shed Skin is a great example. The previous build put 1 point in it, I went for the full 5 and I think it was a great investment. It's instant, it crits, it goes into pustulent fulmination (ANOTHER instant, are you sensing a pattern?) which then moves into the absolute ridiculousness that is Defiled Blood. Overgrowth? Incredible as well, straight up damage increase, a taken damage decrease, and again it's INSTANT, so it's very valuable.

In insane, I've found you don't want to ever feel like you're "wasting your turn" trying to set up your alpha of death, and WO is really good at just getting in there and obliterating everything because of these instants, instead of say...Stone Warden, where damn near everything takes a turn.

I think the thing about WO is it really "does it all". Tendril Eruption has great range, a gigantic radius, ridiculous damage, an excellent rider, and doesn't cost insanity...it GENERATES it. It has Writhing One (the talent) which gives the class incredible durability. It's temporary summons are unbelievably good, I'll go more into that in the actual talent section on WHY they're so good. The Worm bro is, like many have said, what the Alchemists Golem should have been. Honestly I think the Alchemists Golem should be BETTER than the Worm, but right now it is what it is. Anyway, if you're looking for a fun, STRONG class to do Insane with, I can whole heartily suggest the Writhing One.

Index

1. Cheat sheet
2. Build rationale and analysis
3. Change log

Cheat Sheet

Stat distribution priority
Magic and Cunning, then Constitution. Leftover stuff in Dex.

Category Point Order
Friend of the Worm, Inscription, Harmony, Inscription

Inscriptions
Heroism, Movement, Dissipation, Shatter Afflictions, and whatever else, probably a Stormshield but I went with another Heroism. I wouldn't focus on healing, you're going to have a metric ton of it.

Prodigies
Flexible Combat, then Arcane Might. You could also swap these around if you really wanted. Make sure to keep some Dex gear around for Flexible Combat.

Equipment priority
Darkness Damage, Crit Multiplier, Global Speed Boost, Magic, HP, Spell Crit, respen, healing mod.

Alchemist Quest priority
+2 generic, +2 class, +4 Spell Crit

I missed the class points quest!
+4 stats

Analysis and Rationale

Welcome to literal hell on wheels...or tentacles I guess. The Drem Writhing One will typically open up combat with a Frenzy, an activation of your speed ring/item if you have it, a Tendril Eruption which will generate 20 insanity and probably kill 95% of the entire game, a Shed Skin for the shield, then Foul Convergence for a big 30 insanity gain and at this point it's really up to you. You've got 40 insanity to spend, and because you're a drem using Frenzy, Tendril Eruption and Foul Convergence are still there. More than likely the Tendril Eruption killed everything except for whatever randboss is in the group, so it's time to Overgrowth, Constrict, and then Tendril Eruption through the Constrict. That will pretty much obliterate literally anything.

For longer combats where stuff just keeps coming even after you got done nuking their friends for 13k damage each, you'll Pustulent Fulmination, which is a titanic radius 4 soup of death that leads into Defiled Blood, one of the most powerful and hilarious abilities I've seen in this game. You need to understand, at the end of the game, when you're going through the Prides and you've been stacking Darkness damage and crit multiplier, you've got some nice busted Gauntlets or Daktun's, and you have Flexible Combat and Arcane Might, Defiled Blood is going to be hitting EVERYTHING in that radius 4 pool of death for 4k-16k darkness damage each. Every time. Every turn. And you're going to get healed for any damage that you actually do take. I'll have some pictures of various stupidity at the bottom of the Guide.

Weapon Choice

One handed staff and....that's it. Your Worm buddy is a Reaver, so he can use whatever he wants, but oddly you can't seem to buy Staff Combat for him, so typically you'll end up with an axe or sword and a dagger like life drinker. Weapons that proc stuff work great on him, since he has a bunch of inherent penalties to damage, speed, and healing.

Class Talents

Demented/Tentacles: 5/1/5/1

[5] Mutated Hand: The very first thing on the path to ultimate power. It honestly doesn't seem like much at first...until you realize the damage is 100% darkness, it gets the benefit from Arcane Might giving it 150% Mag, and it allows you to get an extra hit on various Flexible Combat procs, which will lead to further ridiculous numbers. To give you some idea, at level 50 on the dummy with 0 armor/res, the tentacle hits for about 5-6k on it's own.

[1] Lash Out: Lash Out is honestly a good ability, you're going to be using it a ton in the early game because it generates fantastic amounts of insanity early on before you start getting your other cool abilities. You could honestly put 5 points into this and not feel bad about it, there's just a lot of other stuff and you'll really be nuking most stuff in the end with Tendril Eruption.

[5] Tendrils Eruption: This ability is absolutely amazing. Normally the 18 cooldown would be pretty brutal, but as a Drem we can use this twice before it goes on cooldown, and TWO tendril eruptions are typically enough for completely obliterate anything in the game. Tendrils eruption gets especially crazy when put through a constrict, as the tentacle damage goes up to 475% on that one target you just need to nuke down.

[1] Constrict: A fantastic 1 point wonder. It's amazing at what it does, it's a range 10 (nuts) spell...thing that isn't body blocked, so you can pick and choose who you constrict. That creature is then potentially yanked to you, but even if it's not, it's still "constricted" and you can use Tendril Eruption for the nutty single target nuke that constrict turns Tendril Eruption into.

Demented/Path of Horror: 2/3/5/5

[2] Carrion Feet: A neat little movement bonus/teleport/insanity generator/enemy damage reducer all mashed into one. In the previous guide it was mentioned that it's best saved as an escape spell...but we're Drem, so you can Carrion Feet into combat if you want, potentially generate up to 30 insanity, and still have it to get out later. 2 points for the range 7 jump.

[3] Horrific Evolution: Just a simple, valuable ability that increases your accuracy and spellpower. 3 points for diminishing returns.

[5] Overgrowth: Sweet jesus max this. Titanic bonuses to damage and ALL resistances for 8 turns at level 5. It IS instant, so you can't Frenzy it up with Drem...but...it's INSTANT, so you're not wasting time setting yourself up to become a death machine. Walking is a bad idea while doing this because it shuffles the terrain, but you can Foul Convergence, Carrion Feet while you're overgrowthed.

[5] Writhing One: Stun immunity, critical chance shrug, darkness and blight damage increase. All awesome stuff, another easy 5.

Demented/Friend of the Worm: 5/3/4/4

[5] Worm that Walks: A sweet perma-summon that you can outfit with armor, a trinket, two weapons, a belt, and FOUR rings. He's got sweet talent options too. Throw the Scale Mail of Kroltor on this guy if you find it, he'll put that flame thing down all the time and you'll always have the 35% global bonus from Harmony. Here's what I ended up with for the Worm:

Plague: 1/2/1/1
Scourge: 1/1/0/0
Reaving Combat: 1/2/5/1
Rot: 3/1/5/1

[3] Foul Convergence: 3 points brings this cooldown to 13, although as a drem you'll probably be doing this under frenzy, so you'll have it twice anyway. You can put 2 points in here if you want just straight value from the talent.

[4] Shared Insanity: As long as you and your worm are within a radius 3 of each other (and you should be all the time thanks to Foul Convergence) you both get a crap ton of resist all. Oh, and the Worm gets more inscription slots. 4 points for 2 inscription slots and diminishing returns on the res all.

Note: While the Worm that Walks gets a big penalty to healing, there's a lot of cool runes that he can do well with. He takes no penalty for shields, but I also found the Mirror Rune and putting that on the Worm generated tremendous value, since he was casting it and making stuff target those mirrors.

[4] Terrible Sight: A gigantic radius, long term stun if you and the worm are within a radius 3 of each other. Oh, and as a rider, everything loses spell save and defense just because. 4 points for a 6 radius and a 7 turn stun.

Demented/Horrific Body: 5/2/4/5

[5] Shed Skin: A sweet instant shield that can crit and it's cheap. For the low low price of 10 insanity, I was getting around 1.7k in shield at the end. The real value though is it sets up the tentacle blender that is Defiled Blood. I think it's worth the 5. I used it ALL the time. It was literally the second thing I cast after a tendril eruption pretty much 100% of the time.

[2] Pustulent Growth: 2 points just to make growing a pustule a bit easier.

[4] Pustulent Fulmination: So, on it's own this splashes everything in a radius 4 with your gooey...stuff which causes damage and heals you. 4 points for the 4 radius, but the REAL power of this talent is that it works with...

[5] Defiled Blood: ...this right here. So, when you Pustulent Fulmination, your goo stays on the ground for 5 turns. While standing the stuff, all opponents get smacked by a melee tentacle attack for 10% of your normal tentacle damage. Stuff in your blood ALSO heals you for a huge percent of all damage they do (which is modified by heal mod, so you can actually negate a tremendous amount of damage). The real destruction here is each thwack is a MELEE attack, which can proc flexible combat...which if you have something like, oh you know, Daktun's Gauntlets or cripple or whatever, will proc your REAL tentacle damage. Because of this, defiled blood will routinely hit for thousands and thousands of damage. Just screwing around on the training dummy to see how absurd it can get, I've gotten about 21k damage one a single target from one tentacle thwap. And remember, this is everything in a radius 4...for 5 turns...and you're getting healed if anything dares damage you.

Demented/Controlled Horrors: 3/1/1/3-5

[3] Decayed Devourers: So I used these a lot in the early game to body block stuff, and they do a great job. They never really did great damage so I kinda forgot about them for a while. But MAN don't sleep on these guys. These summons, although immobile, are basically better than Summoner Summons. Why? Because they get not only your damage pen and damage mod, they get two things Summoner summons DON'T get (which drives me crazy), your CRIT MOD and your CRIT MULTIPLIER. Yes, if you've been stacking crit multiplier like you should, these things will get that 300% crit multipler...and they'll probably have a 100% crit rate. These little psychopaths will put out TREMENDOUS damage, upwards of 600-1k damage PER devourer PER hit. They also get high global speed thanks to frenzy (which also helps them easily get 100% crit chance) and they're VERY meaty. Typically having around 2k hit points each thanks to Frenzy allowing them to fight into negative health. They do physical damage, which you probably won't stack as hard as darkness, but Painweaver ego stuff effects both darkness AND physical, so it's easy to at least get some bonus. With Call of Amakthel rank 3 you get 7 of these maniacs, which is...it's really good. Oh and just because, if you cast them while under the effects of Overgrowth and/or the Chaos Orbs, they get that damage bonus TOO, so you know, why not.

[1] Decayed Bloated Horror: He's ok, he just pales in comparison to the sheer number and value of the Devourers, still though, there's no reason not to use him in the beginning, he's good for more body blocking and just keeping stuff off of you. Again, you're a drem, so you can actually summon the devourers and this guy during frenzy and then still be able to summon them again later.

[1] Horrific Display: This ability is strangely hilarious. So, you turn something into a horror and other stuff can attack it. Kinda cool to do to get packs of enemies to fight each other since it has a range of 10 and you can track/premonition and then select something. As a bonus haha though, if you cast it on something and nothing is in range to attack it, and you're outside of it's visible range...it will attack itself. Yes...it will kill itself. Haha.

[3-5] Call of Amakthel: Makes the devourers and horror do more damage, but for special breaks at level 3 you get 4 additional devourers if there's other enemies nearby, and the bloated horror learns Agony. At range 5, the Horrific Display victim will pull everything in a radius 10 one space toward it each turn. I'm not sure how good that is, but I went for it for the extra damage and for the haha of the Horrific Display causing general havoc.

Generic Talents

Race/Drem: 1-5/5/2/3

[1-5] Frenzy: This is so unbelievably good for WO just because you can front load so much stuff, so being able to do it all TWICE is obscene value. It allows you to generate a massive amount of insanity, use it all, and then generate it AGAIN if needed.

[1] Spikeskin: You get a ton of ways to increase your resists. Trust me, you're going to have max resist in everything at the end of the game. As a plus side though, the damage this causes is darkness damage, which we're stacking, so it'll do some extra damage.

[2] Faceless: Mental save and confusion immunity. WO doesn't get any confusion immunity talents, so this is good to have. 2 points for diminishing returns, could put more to taste.

[3] From Below it Devours: Just a really nice summon with a mountain of HP that yanks stuff toward it. Nice to body block or yank stuff to you while you're Overgrowthed if needed. Anywhere from 1-4 points in here is probably good, depending on how much you find yourself using it.

Technique/Combat Training: 5/0-1/0-1/4/0/0

[5] Thick Skin: It's universal damage reduction. Just put as many points as you can spare into it.

[0-1] Heavy Armor Training: Mostly to taste here. You'll probably end up in robes though. Float as needed.

[0-1] Light Armor Training: For when you end up in robes.

[4] Combat Accuracy: I ended up with 4 points in here, but honestly you can get away with less thanks to Horrific Evolution. If you float right, you could probably be fine with 1-2.

Spell/Staff Combat: 1/5/2/0

[1] Channel Staff: You won't be channeling.

[5] Staff Mastery: Now here we go, you will be using your staff as a bludgeoning weapon now and again...so that your tentacle can one shot stuff.

[2] Defensive Posture: Extra defense and armor which is sweet. It gets very diminished returns after the first point, so you could go 1 here if you wanted to.

Demented/Beyond Sanity: 5/2/2/1

[5] Chaos Orbs: Extra damage and you can use them for Anarchic Walk (meh) or Disjointed Mind (amazingly good). Might as well put the 5 points in here for the 7 orbs, they'll then be VERY easy to make with a WO.

[2] Anarchic Walk: A really trashtastic teleport. You could get away with 1 point here because you'll probably only use it as an absolute last resort, but 2 points will get you a minimum of 3 tiles of movement instead of 1.

[2] Disjointed Mind: Now THIS is a much better use for your orbs. 7 turns of up to a 50% confusion effect. That's a big deal.

[1] Controlled Chaos: Meh, I put a point in here. Could also go 2 for a better benefit against the maximum negative insanity effect.

Wild Gift/Harmony: 1/5/2/1

[1] Waters of Life: As tentacly and disgusting as the WO is...they have no way to deal with disease and poison, so this is welcome.

[5] Elemental Harmony: You can put points in here to taste, but if you get a way to reliably do fire damage to yourself (like giving your Worm the Scale mail of Kroltar) then this is an easy 5.

[2] One with Nature: Useful all the time because you'll probably have a Heroism or a Movement or something. Can put more points in here to taste, I ended up with 2.

[1] Healing Nexus: A good way to reduce your equilibrium if you find yourself using WoL a lot. It also provides extra heal mod if nothing else, so it will make your defiled blood even more stupid.

Cunning/Survival: 1/1-/5/1/0-1

[1] Heightened Senses: Just to get to...

[1-5] Device Mastery: If you end up with some awesome devices, you can 5 this. I didn't so I put a 1 in it.

[1] Track: Super important on insane.

[1] Danger Sense: I'm still trying to decide how much I value this on whether it's worth a point or not.

Prodigies

Flexible Combat: Incredible for this class, even better if you find some sweet gauntlets. It basically doubles your damage. Pretty much EVERYTHING is a melee attack for this class, Tendril Eruption, Lash Out, Defiled Blood, Foul Convergence, and your tentacle can proc off of weapon attacks like Daktun's Wave of Power, making for some nutty extra damage.

Arcane Might: This is one of those talents that's just good all the time, forever. It has a 100% up time, adds that sweet 50% mag to your tentacle making it even more stupid, and in my testing, added another 40-70% damage.

Inscriptions/Runes

Dissipation: Needed since it's your only way to clean magical effects off people.

Shatter Afflictions: We don't really have any cleanse outside of natural high stun/confusion resist so this is nice to have.

Stormshield: Nice extra defense layer when stuff starts hitting extremely hard.

Heroism: In the end, you're going to be generating a boatload of healing, but despite all of the resistance and crit shrug this class has, it doesn't have any one shot protection. Heroism can nearly double your effective health pool, so it's nice to have.

Movement: Pretty much useful on every character all the time. You've got some ok mobility, but it's nice to have that extra positioning/escape option.

Changelog

1/5/22: Guide created.

Notes

I loved this class. It felt incredibly powerful the whole way through, and if you play like a nutcase and just love jumping into packs of enemies and burning them down, it's a great class to use. The drem truly turns it into easy mode, making insanity management a non-issue and effectively DOUBLING it's mobility potential.
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visage
Archmage
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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Drem Staff Writhing One Guide

#2 Post by visage »

GrayStillPlays wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:23 am Darkness Damage, Crit Multiplier, Global Speed Boost, Magic, HP, Spell Crit, respen, healing mod.
I believe I've seen claims that spell crit controls whether tentacles crit, not physical crit, but I've not found support for that in the code. Do you know if that's actually the case?

Klootje
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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Drem Staff Writhing One Guide

#3 Post by Klootje »

Aren't single-handed staffs rare enough that you can hardly count on getting a good one early on, or even at all?

Just a dood
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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Drem Staff Writhing One Guide

#4 Post by Just a dood »

Klootje wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:40 pm Aren't single-handed staffs rare enough that you can hardly count on getting a good one early on, or even at all?
That depends a lot on difficulty. On insane, it shouldn't be too tough to get one, and you can always use a regular weapon for as long as it takes to find one.

Zizzo
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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Drem Staff Writhing One Guide

#5 Post by Zizzo »

Klootje wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:40 pm Aren't single-handed staffs rare enough that you can hardly count on getting a good one early on, or even at all?
I personally favor Werekracken's More 1H Staves addon for that sort of thing.
"Blessed are the yeeks, for they shall inherit Arda..."

Caliginosus
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Re: 1.7.4 Insane Drem Staff Writhing One Guide

#6 Post by Caliginosus »

Klootje wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:40 pm Aren't single-handed staffs rare enough that you can hardly count on getting a good one early on, or even at all?
Just check the shops at the beginning of the game, it's actually not too hard to find one there. The add on linked in the previous post is great too.

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