Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition arrived a little over a 2 weeks ago, and with it came some interesting changes to the game. While most Builds remain untouched, there are some tweaks to a few of them. Players have been asking me to not only update these Builds, but also create new ones. In this guide I will be introducing the Radiant Battlemage, and explaining just how it works.
Radiant Battlemage – Warrior/Mage Build
The Radiant Battlemage is an Aerotheurge variant of the fiery Battlemage Build I made back in October of last year. It aims to be an alternative melee Magic Damage dealer, while at the same time avoiding Aerotheurge spells that may harm other melee units. The drawback of this Build is that it does not Shock or Stun targets, which is the primary function of Aero mages (besides killing things). However, it does have a decent amount of controlling effects via Skills like Vacuum Aura and Medusa Head, making it a much safer addition to any group which already has 1 or more melee character. In short, if you’re having trouble playing a Stormchaser or Battlemage in your party, try giving the Radiant Battlemage a try.
The best way to start this Build is by picking the Enchanter Class, removing the point into Constitution and placing it into Intelligence. Then remove the point in Hydrosophist and place it into Polymorph. Next deselect Electric Discharge and select Blinding Radiance, Bull Horns and Chameleon Cloak. This will give you a good AoE, a great charge ability, and a way to reduce your damage taken.
Radiant Battlemage Attributes and Equipment
As far as Attributes go, you’ll be placing most of your points into Intelligence to increase the damage of your spells and weapon attacks. Once you’ve maxed Intelligence start pumping Wits for increased Critical Chance. You may need a few points into Memory in Act I, but you should be able to pull them out as you get higher in level.
Armour-wise you’ll want to use primarily Intelligence-based Armour in order to protect yourself from spells, which will be your biggest threat. Uncanny Evasion, and Chameleon Cloak should prevent much of the Physical Damage you would otherwise take, but you can use some Strength-based Armour if you feel you need it.
Radiant Battlemages will wish to use a Staff for their weapon and specifically an Air Damage Staff. This is because Aerotheurge will increase the damage you deal with it, maximizing the damage you deal with each swing. Bonuses you’re looking for are Critical Chance, Aerotheurge and Intelligence, in that order. All of these things will increase your damage with both spells and melee attacks, but if you cannot get them look for ones with a Rune Slot or Two-Handed for more melee damage. Ones that Set Blinded may help as well.
Radiant Battlemage Abilities and Talents
Radiant Battlemages will begin the game with 1 point in Aerotheurge and one in Polymorph. They will then want to place 1 point into Necromancer in order to obtain Vacuum Touch, followed by 2 points into Warfare in order to gain Whirlwind. Then another point into Aerotheurge to obtain Uncanny Evasion, and another point into Polymorph to acquire Medusa Head. If no other party member has Rain, then you’ll invest one into Hydrosophist here to get it. Otherwise, you’ll pump Aerotheurge from this point forward until maxed out, followed by Polymorph until Intelligence is maxed, with the only exception being 2 points into Necromancer once you hit Reaper’s Coast. Once Intelligence is maxed out, you’ll place all remaining points into Two-Handed to increase Critical Damage and damage with your Staff. Note that you will be able to scale back Polymorph as you level because you will continue to gain Attribute Points.
As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:
Opportunist – The first Talent I recommend on any melee Build, it boosts your overall damage significantly if you can place yourself next to ranged units frequently. Take this one during Character Creation.
Executioner – This Talent is a solid second choice because you will be hitting multiple enemies often with Bull Rush, Whirlwind, Blinding Radiance, and later Vacuum Aura. This should ensure some extra AP nearly every encounter.
Savage Sortilege – This Talent will allow your Aerotheurge Skills to critically strike. Consider taking this one when your Critical Chance hits about 20% around the beginning of Act 2.
Hothead – There is a lot to love here. +10% Critical Chance applies to both spells and weapon attacks and the +10 Accuracy will help so you don’t miss with Whirlwind and other melee attacks. I’d recommend it earlier, but you will lose Vitality often in Act 1, making it less useful.
Radiant Battlemage Skills
The Radiant Battlemage does almost exclusively Air Damage, but has many methods of dishing it out. Below is a list of Skills you will use and I will put them in the order you should obtain them in.
Bull Rush – This skill will allow you to close the distance between yourself and your target(s) nearly every turn, which helps to boost overall damage. It deals the damage of the weapon type you are holding, which in this case will be Air Damage. Since it doesn’t scale with Strength, but rather the Attribute of your chosen weapon, we can use it here to great effect.
Chameleon Cloak – This is a great way to prevent damage to yourself while on the front lines if you have no other options. Use it only when things will be bad if you don’t, and try to prioritize Uncanny Evasion first once you get it in order to make enemies waste attacks on you.
Blinding Radiance – A decent sized AoE that can also set Blinded on enemies with no Magic Armour while they remain in the Aura. Since enemies lose Blinded if they move out of it, it doesn’t tend to prevent as much damage as you’d think. However, enemies will move out of it often, prompting Attacks of Opportunity.
Character Levels 1-3
Staff of Magus – This one will come from equipping a Staff and is a nice addition to your skill set. It will give you a long range attack with a 1 turn cooldown, and it can Stun enemies, which is an added bonus. Use this one when you cannot otherwise reach an enemy.
Vacuum Touch – This crafted skill will give you a decent damaging option for 1 AP, which is nice. The icing on the cake is that it sets Suffocation and Silence on the target, destroying Magic Armour and preventing the use of spells, if the target has no Magic Armour. It has very poor range though, so use it when you are already near a foe.
Character Levels 4-8
Whirlwind – This skill is a staple of any melee Build and allows you to connect with many targets at once. Staves have the same range as Two-Handed Weapons, so try to position yourself where you can hit the most targets possible (ideally 3 or more at once).
Medusa Head – This skill is not compatible with Bull Horns, but you can override Bull Horns with it. You’ll use this one after you’ve stripped all Magic Armour from enemies near you in order to Petrify them. Petrified enemies gain +30% Air Resistance which isn’t ideal, but when playing in a party you will have multiple damage types helping you out.
Uncanny Evasion – This skill is excellent at preventing nearly all Physical Damage by increasing your Dodge Chance by +90%. Since spells cannot Miss, you’ll need solid Magic Armour to help protect you from those attacks, even while this is active.
Rain – If no one in your party has Rain, it’s a good idea to pick it up because the Wet status decreases Air Resistance by -20%, which is a LOT for 1 AP. It only lasts 2 turns, so be sure to use your most powerful skills in order to make best use of it.
Character Levels 9 and up
Pressure Spike – This skill does decent damage to multiple targets, in an AoE, at range. What’s not to like? Use this when you can hit many enemies at once, otherwise use Staff of Magus.
Vacuum Aura – This will be your first Source Skill and it deals solid damage in a rather large AoE, inflicting Suffocation and Silence. Suffocation destroys Magic Armour and Silence is only applied if the target(s) have no Magic Armour. What’s great about it is that it’s an Aura, so it will Silence enemies that lose their Magic Armour, even after you’ve already cast it. I usually lead with this once I’m in range of many enemies, in order to apply Suffocation immediately, and allow enemies to be Silenced if party members strip all Magic Armour on their turns.
Phoenix Dive – This skill is simply here for mobility. Although you have Bull Rush, which will be used the bulk of the time, sometimes you need to jump up or down. Since you’ll have 2 Warfare already, this is the natural choice.
Skin Graft – The second Source Skill you will obtain, it will allow you to reset all of your cooldowns once per encounter, which is fantastic. Because both Skin Graft and Vacuum Aura only cost 1 SP each, you can potentially get 2 uses of VA and 1 SG per encounter (with max SP).
Silencing Stare – This is a great skill for this Build because it destroys Magic Armour in a cone and Silences enemies. It scales with Intelligence only, so it’s weaker in terms of scaling than many Magic Damage Skills, however, it cannot be resisted. This means it will always destroy the Magic Armour listed, despite the resistances of enemies, making it a powerful tool against enemies with high Air Resistance.
Challenge – This skill costs 0 AP an will increase your Armour, Vitality and damage for 2 turns if you defeat an enemy within 3. It’s a must have for any Build that has 3 points into Wafare, no matter what type of damage they deal. This will be the last skill you acquire.
These aren’t all the Skills you can use, but the minimum ones I would recommend. For example Bone Cage is not a bad choice if you need more Physical Armour, which you may. And Teleport can also be useful for grouping enemies up for AoE damage and CC.
Elf is a solid choice of Race for this Build because you will not be using a Shield, so the Constitution penalty from Flesh Sacrifice does not hurt. This gives you an extra AP and a small damage boost, helping you to kill enemies faster. Beast is also not a bad choice because of his skill Blinding Squall, which also does Air Damage, and the extra Dodge Chance he gets (+5%).
Positioning is very important with this Build because you will be using two Auras: Vacuum Aura and Medusa Head. You want to affect as many enemies as you can when using them, so being in the middle of many enemies is ideal. You will also get better use out of Blinding Radiance and Whirlwind by doing this, so Bull Rush to get into the middle of packs of enemies, or Phoenix Dive if you can’t with Bull Rush.
When starting combat you always want to use either Vacuum Aura or Silencing Stare first, once positioned, and once you’ve obtained them. This is because Suffocating and Silencing Stare destroy Magic Armour, and once Magic Armour is gone these Skills become much less useful. Don’t waste them if you can’t hit many targets, but if you can, unleash them ASAP.
Because this Build is chocked full of AoE Skills, many of which Crowd Control, consider adding Equalise to this Build. This will allow you to lower the Magic Armour of enemies that have higher values, by raising the Magic Armour of ones with lower values. This works well here because you have Skills that strip Magic Armour, and because you want to Silence anyone with no Magic Armour.
Lastly, you can actually improve the damage of your Air Staff by combining it with a Poison source (for Poison Damage), or with an Eternal Artifact for more Air Damage. Poison is much more common earlier on, so you can do that when you are lower level. However, Eternal Artifacts are much more rare and you will only be able to do this much further into the game.
As always, be sure to check out our other Build Guides, and good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!