With the release of Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition on both PC and console, some changes have come to the game. One of the biggest ones was to the Torturer Talent, which now allows for certain Status Effects to be applied on top of Armour. This change impacts Magic Builds far more that Physical ones, because it affects Burning, Poisoned, and Necrofire. Being able to apply these immediately means that you can strip the Magic Armour of enemies rapidly, allowing them to be killed more quickly. With the Scourge Wizard Build we utilize this mechanic to its fullest.
Scourge Wizard – Mage Build
Because of the Torturer change, this Build becomes extremely effective, especially in the earlier parts of the game. You can use Skills like Ignition and Contamination at the very beginning in order to deal significant Magic Damage to enemies around you. On top of that, the AoE radius is quite large, these 2 Skills both ignore friendly targets, and they both only cost 1 AP each. All of these things make this Build extremely efficient, and it just gets more devastating later on in the game.
The best way to start this Build is by picking the Wizard Class and removing the point from Constitution and putting it into Wits. Then select Ignition, Contamination and Searing Daggers. This will allow you to set just about anything on fire on turn 1 of early game fights, and Poison many enemies as well.
Scourge Wizard Attributes and Equipment
Attribute-wise this Build is quite straight forward. You want to increase Intelligence to improve the overall damage of your spells, you want to have enough Memory to have the Skills that you want, and you want to have enough Wits that you are the first member of your party to act (unless you have a Summoner). Constitution is only needed if you use a Shield, which I recommend, but the investment will be minimal regardless.
Much like the Stormchaser, Scourge Wizards want to stack Intelligence-based Armour in order to prevent as much Magic Damage as they can. They will rely upon Uncanny Evasion and and Chameleon Cloak to prevent Physical Damage, so they do not need to worry about Physical Armour as much. However, things don’t always go according to plan, which is why I suggest using a Shield anyway. This will help increase your Magic Armour as well.
Scourge Wizards will use a Wand in their main hand, as they deal exclusively Magic Damage. Look for Wands with Crit Chance and Intelligence to further increase your damage. If you do not wish to play with a Shield, consider playing with Dual Wands and taking the Parry Master Talent for increased Dodge Chance. Because you will be using Blinding Radiance, enemies will have a harder time hitting you, and even +10% can really help turn those Hits into Misses. If you decide to play this way, be sure to look for gear with Dodge Chance on it as well, to make you even harder to strike.
Scourge Wizard Abilities and Talents
In terms of Abilities you will start with one point each in Pyrokinetic and Geomancer. Then you’ll drop a point into Aerotheurge in order to take the Blinding Radiance skill. Next you’ll want to take Pyrokinetic to 2, and then Aerotheurge to 2. This will allow you to pick up some more powerful Skills, which you will really need/want. After that you’ll put a point into Polymorph in order to increase you damage with all your Skills, and to be able to pick up Chameleon Cloak.
After you hit Act 2 you’ll want to place 1 point into Geomancer for Poison Wave, and 2 points into Scoundrel in order to pick up Adrenaline and Cloak and Dagger. Every Build is enhanced by Adrenaline and Cloak and Dagger will allow you to jump into combat, or away after you’ve used Chameleon Cloak. Lastly, 2 points into Necromancer so that you can get the skill Vacuum Aura, and even Corrosive Spray if you want, since it causes Necrofire. All other points will go into Polymorph until you can acquire Superconductor at level 16, then you’ll place another point into Aerotheurge.
As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:
Torturer – This Build relies heavily on this Talent so you’ll take this one during Character Creation in order to get the most from it. Please note that you can’t set Burning or Poisoned on your party members through their Armour, even if you have this Talent.
Savage Sortilege – This Talent will allow your spells to Critically Hit, which is a must. You don’t need to take this one second, but if you don’t have a point in Scoundrel just yet (in order to gain The Pawn) then this is a solid choice.
The Pawn – You tend to soften up enemies more than kill them with this Build, so the Pawn may come in more handy than Executioner. You will use this to get optimal positioning for your AoEs, which makes all the difference in the world. However, if you’re playing Lone Wolf, consider swapping this for Executioner.
Living Armour – This Talent is a great way to replenish Magic Armour offensively, and you will have a few points into Necro later on in the game, causing you to heal yourself. It’s definitely not a must, but if you have 3 or more Necromancer (including buffs from gear), then it’s not a bad option.
Parry Master – If you decided to go Dual Wands, then definitely take this Talent at some point. Between Blinding Radiance and and this, enemies will have a -40% chance to hit you, without including gear.
Scourge Wizard Skills
Scourge Wizards use a mix of Pyrokinetic, Geomancer and Aerotheurge Skills in order to constantly apply Status Effects to their enemies. Below is a list of Skills you will use and I will put them in the order you should obtain them in.
Ignition – This Skill allows you to set Burning on enemies around you in a rather large radius, while ignoring friendlies. It only costs 1 AP, which is great, but be careful not to set things on fire (like oil) that might hurt your party members.
Searing Daggers – This skill is useful early on in the game for setting many enemies on fire (if not already by Ignition), because you can hit 3 different targets with it. However, you won’t use it later on when you have more Skills available to you.
Contamination – Works similarly to Ignition, but has a smaller radius. It only costs 1 AP as well, making it possible to Poison and set Burning on many enemies for only 2 AP, which is great!
Character Levels 1-3
Blinding Radiance – This skill should be your next pick once you hit Level 2, as it allows you to Blind enemies around you in a decent AoE, though smaller than Ignition and Contamination. This prevents team damage, and follows the theme of hitting many enemies at once.
Character Levels 4-8
Supernova – This skill hits extremely hard around you in a small AoE. Positioning is key to making it pay off, so be sure you are in the right place to get the best use of it. It has a hefty cost of 3 AP, so you won’t use it as often as you’d like to.
Fireball – This skill hits a group of enemies at decent range, setting them all on fire because of the Torturer Talent. Use this when it’s too risky to jump into the middle of enemies or it just makes more sense from a tactical standpoint. Much like Supernova, you won’t use it as much as you’d like to.
Uncanny Evasion – This skill helps to mitigate Physical Damage that you would otherwise take by making you virtually immune to weapon-based attacks for 1 turn. One of the best Skills in the game, so make sure to use it.
Chameleon Cloak – Although you can get this skill earlier, you won’t have the Attribute Points needed to do so, unless you have a piece of gear with Polymorph on it. We take it here to further improve our defense.
Character Levels 9 and up
Skin Graft – This skill allows you to refresh all of your cooldowns, which you won’t really need for your offensive Skills. However, it will also refresh Uncanny Evasion, Chameleon Cloak and Adrenaline, allowing you to avoid damage for several turns.
Flaming Tongues – This skill is a great pick up for only 1 AP and deals damage to anyone who walks into range. Because enemies will often be Blinded, reducing their range of attack, they will need to come closer to hit you. This will cause them to take damage from this and set them on fire, if not already.
Poison Wave – Works nearly identical to Supernova, but gives you immunity to Poison and Earth Damage for 1 turn. Great for hitting many enemies at once, and only costs 2 AP.
Adrenaline – This skill gives you the option to gain 2 AP this turn at the expense of 2 AP next turn. Every Build in the game can use this skill to great effect, and since you should be taking The Pawn, you’ll be able to pick it up.
Cloak and Dagger – This Build needs at least one “jump” skill in order to get positioned properly. The Pawn helps to alleviate some of this burden, but you will need at least one. In addition, Cloak and Dagger allows you to remain Stealthed, so if you Chameleon Cloak you can get away without breaking it.
Vacuum Aura – This skill has a devastating AoE range, and helps to strip Magic Armour by applying Suffocating. It also Silences enemies with no Magic Armour, preventing them from casting spells, which helps protect you and your party.
Superconductor – With Superconductor you gain another powerful AoE that can also Stun enemies. Again, positioning is key for this skill because you want to hit as many targets as possible. And, just like with Supernova, be careful not to hit your party members.
I wish to mention that you can of course add Skills to this list, but these are the minimal Skills I would take to make up the Build. Fortify can help to keep you from being Teleported and improves your Physical Armour, for example. And, Corrosive Spray will turn any Fire surface into Necrofire, but will only apply Necrofire to those without Armour. There are a couple of other Skills you could add as well, like Silencing Stare, but none are required.
Race is not particularly important with this Build and all have something to offer. Elf is probably the best all around because of the increase in damage and extra AP, but you can play it just as effectively with other Races. And, Undead isn’t as good as you’d think with this Build, because you never really hit yourself with Poison.
Try not to pare the Scourge Wizard with any sort of Water Mage or you will find things more difficult than you’d like. Any other mage type will work just fine, even though there will be some overlap, you just don’t want a mage that’s trying to put out your Burning enemies with it’s spells in order to Freeze them.
Just like the Elementalist, pumping Polymorph allows you to deal substantial damage while using 3 different schools of magic by taking the extra Attribute Points this provides and dumping them into Intelligence. Since it boosts all of your damage with spells, be on the lookout for gear that has this as it’s bonus, and don’t part with it easily.
I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but I’ll mention it again here for emphasis: Positioning is key for this Build. While Ignition, Contamination and Vacuum Aura have extremely wide radius’, Supernova, Supercharger and Blinding Radiance do not. If you don’t want to waste AP on Movement then you will need The Pawn or a jump skill like Cloak and Dagger, Phoenix Dive or Tactical Retreat. And while Phoenix Dive will apply Burning on targets you land near, it does require investment into Warfare which isn’t super helpful for this Build. If you do decide to go with it though, I suggest taking Executioner instead, and dropping Cloak and Dagger.
Lastly, although this is a mage Build and deals substantial damage, it is meant to fulfill what would be considered the tank role (regardless of party make up). It needs to be out front in the middle of enemies in order to be most effective, so you won’t play it like you would play traditional mage Builds. It plays somewhat similarly to the Stormchaser, but it has much more flexibility of damage types, at the cost of total damage and CC.
As always, be sure to check out our other Build Guides, and good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!