Divinity: Original Sin 2 is in full swing, and one of the major issues players are having with the game is Builds. What Build do I use? What’s a good Build for a Warrior? Ranger? Mage? etc. Since the game is rather difficult this has come much more into focus than one would expect. In this Build Guide were going to cover the explosive: Battlemage. Let’s jump into this Build and see just how it works.
Battlemage – Mage/Warrior Build
The Battlemage is a front lines Mage Build that focuses on Pyrokinetic Skills to deal massive damage to its enemies. Battlemages focus on pure Intelligence and get in close and unleash devastating Fire attacks on all nearby enemies. The Battlemage also uses a couple Warfare Skills and Polymorph Skills for mobility, resistance and some extra AoE, because they want to get in close and blast the hell out of foes. Players using this sort of Build will wreak havoc on the battlefield quite frequently so be sure the rest of your party is positioned accordingly and doesn’t take more friendly “fire” than is necessary. I like to run this Build in a party with an Elementalist who then doesn’t have to take any Fire Skills.
Battlemage Attributes and Equipment
Batllemages focus primarily on Intelligence, but do drop points into Wits and Constitution as well. Intelligence increases the damage of all of your Skills, Wits will increase your Critical Chance and Initiative (both of which are important), and finally Constitution will make sure you don’t get killed while in the firefight. You shouldn’t need to allocate any points anywhere else unless you need just another skill or two on your bar, in which case drop a point into Memory. Just be sure to remove the point and reallocate it when you gain that slot naturally from leveling.
Battlemages wear Armour that is Intelligence-based, so they will have tons of Magic Armour. This is great because you will be walking in fire quite a lot and you don’t want to take damage. The downside is that you will have rather low Physical Armour, making you susceptible to Knock Down. It’s always a good idea to buff your Battlemage near the beginning of the fight with Fortify to prevent this from happening. Deflective Barrier is also a good choice if you use a Shield.
Battlemages will use a Staff for their Weapon of choice, and ideally a Fire one. This will not only allow you Attacks of Opportunity on your nearby foes, but will allow you to utilize the Warfare Skill: Whirlwind to good effects. Since Warfare Skills scale with Intelligence when wielding a Staff, this is a non issue. You can of course use a Wand and Shield with this Build to gain more Armour, but there are a couple drawbacks. Firstly, you won’t be able to do Attacks of Opportunity with a Wand, so don’t take the Opportunist Talent. Second, you won’t be able to utilize Whirlwind, which isn’t that big of a deal because you have tons of AoEs anyway.
Battlemage Abilities and Talents
One of the hardest parts about making a Build in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is getting your Abilities distribution correct. It’s easy to get spread too thin, and often people make the mistake of not spreading points around enough. The bonuses you gain from Abilities in this game are somewhat different than the original, so it’s easy to see why people can get confused. Let’s take a look at what Abilities and Talents you need for a Battlemage.
When playing a Battlemage you’ll want to max out Pyrokinetic at 10 and have 2 or 3 points into Warfare for skill unlocks. All other points should be placed into Polymorph to get extra Attribute Points to place in Intelligence as well as unlock Flaming Skin and Skin Graft. Once you cannot place anymore points into Intelligence you’ll want to place points into Two-Handed for extra Whirlwind/Attack of Opportunity damage and higher Critical Multiplier on all Skills. Again you can place one point into Geomancer to get Fortify. Note: when choosing gear, you’ll want to prioritize Intelligence/Pyrokinetic, then Critical Chance, then Two-Handed and finally Scoundrel.
As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:
Elemental Affinity – This Talent shines so hard in this Build I’m not sure you can put enough emphasis on it. Since you’ll be standing in Fire pretty much constantly you will get a shit ton of attacks per round, second only to a Tidalist (which I’ll cover in another Build Guide). Get this one early and never look back. Note: that it cannot reduce the cost of a skill below 1 AP.
Opportunist – This one is really good for this Build if you’re playing with a Staff. If you went the Wand and Shield route you won’t want to take this because you cannot get Attacks of Opportunity without using a melee weapon.
Executioner – I cannot decide if Elemental Affinity or Executioner is better for this Build because they both give you about 2 more AP to spend per turn, however, when mixed together they turn your Battlemage into and absolute powerhouse! Take this one 2nd or 3rd.
Savage Sortilege – Very useful later on in the game when you start to focus on optimizing your gear and your Critical Chance starts to rise above absolutely disgraceful levels. Take this one as your 3rd or 4th Talent.
Far Out Man – You have many mid-range Skills with this Build and this Talent can help push the range out just a bit more, improving their effectiveness (AoEs especially).
Torturer – You might get more use out of this Talent then just about any other Build. Not only does extend the duration of your Burning and Necrofire Status Effects, but it also increases the extra damage of Sponataneous Combustion by about 25% per Status Effect.
Demon – Having extra Fire Resistance is never a bad thing for a Battlemage so this Talent fits here. If you decide Torturer is a no go, then take this one instead.
Now that you’ve decided which Talents and Abilities you want, you’ll need to identify just which Skills work best with this kind of setup. Battlemages will use a mix of Pyrokinetic and Warfare Skills to deal massive amounts of Fire damage. Since Builds evolve over the course of the game, I’m going to put the Skills in order from earliest obtainable to latest, because you won’t be able to get them all right way.
Ignition – This is your early game Fire AoE that deals ok damage for 1 AP. It doesn’t hit friendlies, but will hit objects near them, setting them ablaze. Take this early and consider dropping it later on.
Fireball – A great AoE that deals decent damage and can help control the battlefield. Don’t be afraid to cast this exactly where you are standing to trigger Elemental Affinity if there are enemies around you.
Spontaneous Combustion – A great ranged skill that not only deals decent damage, but also consumes the Burning and Necrofire Status Effects of an enemy into instant damage. Try to use only on Burning or Necrofired enemies.
Supernova – This might be the skill that makes the best case for this Build. It costs a hefty 3 AP, but deals incredible damage! Be sure you are standing in Fire when you use to reduce its cost by 1 AP, and be careful not to damage your party members!
Flaming Tongues – Probably the second best skill for this Build, this will essentially gives you multiple Attacks of Opportunity if anyone comes near you for 3 turns. Between this and Opportunist, I can’t see why you’d play a ranged Pyromancer.
Laser Ray – A great damage dealing skill that can hit multiple targets. Be sure not to hit your own party members and try to be standing in Fire when using to reduce its heft cost of 3 AP by 1. The smoke from it can hide you from ranged attacks.
Epidemic of Fire – This skill requires 3 AP and 2 SP, which makes it a once per encounter type skill. What’s really good about it is that it uses Cursed Fire, meaning you can set the Necrofire Status Effect with it.
Whirlwind – Will deal damage based on your Staff type and has decent AoE, especially eary on in the game. You’ll find you don’t use it as much later, so consider unslotting when you find that to be the case. Disregard if you use a Wand.
Deflective Barrier – If you went with a Wand this skill is a great way to buff your Physical Armour, as well as return some damage to the enemy. Disregard if you went with a Staff.
Phoenix Dive – This is your means of jumping into the fray, literally. The fact that it does some Fire damage is just an added bonus. You can replace this with another skill that does the same thing, but you’ll have points in Warfare already anyway.
Thick of the Fight – If you decided to put 3 points into Warfare, I recommend taking this skill. It boosts damage by 10% for each character around you, both friendly and hostile, and it applies to any type of damage.
Flaming Skin – This skill is a great way to mitigate Fire damage against your character if you have poor Fire Resistance. You may not need it later on depending on how well geared you are, but it’s worth having on your bar just in case.
Skin Graft – Because you have some extremely powerful Skills, being able to reuse them quickly will drastically increase your damage. Also removes Burning and Necrofire, which you may need!
Consider adding a point into Geomancer to take Fortify. You’ll have low Physical Armour with this setup and having this skill can address that issue. It also removes Burning, which is useful. If you don’t want to allocate the point, then I advise having another party member buff you at the start of combat or use the belt An Mey Falin (sold by Eithne the Trader near Cloisterwood) to get access to Deflective Barrier without needing a Shield.
Finding a good Staff for this Build can be quite difficult, so your melee damage may suffer. I say that because you should always prioritize a Weapon with better bonuses than better damage for this Build because the majority of your damage will come from non-weapon Skills. Praise the Sun if you ever get one with good damage and good bonuses, because they are rare!
This Build is very one dimensional and will under-perform in fights where the enemy has Fire Immunity or very good Fire Resistance. This is the one downside to this Build, but luckily it’s not often. Be sure if you are playing this Build that your party has a wide variety of other damage types to compensate. My Elementalist runs the 3 others just for this reason. You can also use Flay Skin to help reduce Resistances, although it scales with Strength.
Finally, I recommend that you play as a Lizard or The Red Prince when playing the Battlemage. Lizards gain 10% extra Fire Resistance as well as the Dragon’s Blaze skill which does excellent damage for 1 AP, and will increase in damage as you add points into Pyrokinetic. You can of course play as any Race you wish, but I think there is a natural synergy there and is my recommendation.
Be sure to check out our other Build Guides! Good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!