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 Tectonic Sage, and explaining just how it works.
Tectonic Sage – Mage Build
The Tectonic Sage is a pure mage Build that focuses on Geomancer Skills to disrupt the movement and positioning of enemies. By Slowing, Entangling, Crippling, Blinding and Petrifying the opposition, these mages ensure their party always has the upper hand. Earth and Poison Damage spells make up the better part of their repertoire, allowing them to deal significant damage because of the heavy focus on one skill line. In addition, they boast some of the strongest Physical Armour buffs in the game, allowing them to use Dual Wands without concern.
The best way to start this Build is by picking the Wizard Class, removing the point from Constitution and placing it in Intelligence. Next remove the point from Pyrokinetic and place it into Polymorph. Then select Fossil Strike, Contamination and Fortify. I highly advise Elf for this Build because of you can convert the pool of Blood beneath you create by Flesh Sacrifice, into Poison for 1 AP which will give you Elemental Affinity.
Tectonic Sage Attributes and Equipment
As far as Attributes go, you’ll be placing most of your points into Intelligence to increase the damage of your Geo spells but some Wits will not hurt. Because you can have such a profound impact on the battlefield, ideally you would go first or second with this Build, so Wits can help with that while also boosting your Critical Chance.
Armour-wise you’ll want to use Intelligence-based Armour to try to keep your damage 100% maximized by sparing points that could be placed into Strength. In addition you will have extremely strong Physical Armour buffs because of the high Geomancer, so you will want more Magic Armour to help keep your Armour balanced. On your Armour you’ll look for Geomancer, Intelligence and Critical Chance. If you cannot get these then looks for Wits or Scoundrel for increased Critical Chance/Damage.
Tectonic Sages can use a Wand and Shield, Dual Wands or a Staff if they wish. I personally find that Dual Wands seems to work best, where one is Fire and one is Poison. This tends to set the Burning Status Effect on top of Poison on enemies you target with Wand attacks. In addition, you will blow through your spells quite rapidly with this Build, so having 2 Wands will help increase your overall damage if you have no spells available to cast.
Tectonic Sage Abilities and Talents
Tectonic Sages will begin the game with 1 point in Geomancer and 1 point in Polymorph. They will then place 1 point into Huntsman in order to acquire Throw Dust, followed by a point into Scoundrel to acquire Adrenaline. Next is a second point into Geomancer, and after that it’s one more point into Polymorph to obtain Medusa Head. Then place one more point into Huntsman in order to get Tactical Retreat, and then it’s max out Geomancer. After Geomancer is maxed, pump Polymorph until Intelligence is maxed. If you have any other points left they should go into Huntsman for elevation damage, or Scoundrel for Critical Damage.
As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:
Elemental Affinity – This Talent allows you to cast many Geo spells from the very beginning of combat. Use Flesh Sacrifice and then Contamination to create a Poison surface beneath you, granting this bonus.
Torturer – This Talent will allow your Contamination to set Poisoned through Magic Armour, but more importantly, it will allow Worm Tremor to Entangle enemies through Armour. This will prevent enemies from moving at all, and reduce their Dodge Chance by 70%, as well as deal Poison Damage over time.
Savage Sortilege – This Talent will allow your Geomancer Skills to critically strike. Consider taking this one when your Critical Chance hits about 20% around the beginning of Act 2.
Hothead – This Talent will give you +10% Critical Chance when at full health, which you will be often due to high Armour values. Use this to help improve your damage, and make you more effective overall.
Far Out Man – Nearly all your Skills with this Build are targeted and affected by this Talent. Consider taking this one in order to be able to reach more enemies, while staying outside of their attack range.
Tectonic Sage Skills
The Tectonic Sage deals a mix of Earth and Poison Damage to strip Armour and disrupt enemies. Below is a list of Skills you will use and I will put them in the order you should obtain them in.
Contamination – This skill makes it possible to get Elemental Affinity on turn one when combined with Flesh Sacrifice. In addition, with the Torturer Talent, it will set Poisoned on enemies in a large AoE. This AoE also does not hit friendlies, making it even more valuable.
Fossil Strike – This is a great AoE that Slows enemies through Armour, and reduces Dodge Chance by 30%. This spell is good for preventing melee units from getting to you, from the very beginning of the game.
Fortify – This skill will allow you to buff your Physical Armour or another party member’s for 1 AP. Because you will have high Geomancer it will be much more effective than is typical, particularly later on in the game when things start scaling more exponentially.
Character Levels 1-3
Throw Dust – This crafted skill will allow you to Blind a target while dealing Earth Damage from 13m away. Blinded characters cannot attack or cast spells very far, so this will help to prevent damage your party takes.
Adrenaline – This skill will give you 2 AP this turn, at the cost of 2 AP next turn. Because you will have Elemental Affinity and Flesh Sacrifice, this skill will allow you to cast Contamination, Worm Tremor, Dust Blast, Impalement and Fossil Strike all in the same turn. That’s 5 Geomancer spells, all of which are AoEs, on turn 1.
Character Levels 4-8
Impalement – This skill has a reasonable sized AoE and does decent damage for its cost of 2 AP, and can Cripple targets with no Physical Armour. This skill will only cost you 1 AP with Elemental Affinity, making it super cheap for what it does.
Worm Tremor – This skill was almost never used by Geomancers before the Definitive Edition, but the changes made to the Torturer Talent makes this skill godly. Being able to Entangle targets through Magic Armour is invaluable and allows you to control a huge portion of the battlefield from turn 1. Costs 3 AP, but with Elemental Affinity this is reduced to 2, which is manageable.
Medusa Head – This skill will grant you +1 Geomancer, as well as Petrify enemies around you in a small AoE. In addition, it will give you access to Petrifying Visage which deals Earth Damage and Petrifies enemies in a HUGE AoE if they have no Magic Armour. Petrifying Visage does scale with Strength, so it won’t deal as much damage as other Geo spells, but the CC is invaluable.
Tactical Retreat – This skill will allow you to jump to any location that makes sense for the encounter you are facing. Getting up high will increase your damage, and you’ll also gain +1 AP on the next turn, which is an added bonus.
Character Levels 9 and up
Earthquake – This skill gives you a huge AoE that will help to strip Magic Armour from many enemies at once. It can also Knockdown enemies with no Physical Armour, which makes it very useful in mixed damage parties.
Dust Blast – This Source Skill will allow you to Blind enemies from 13m (for 2 turns), while dealing a good amount of Earth Damage to each. Because Blinded enemies have shorter attack and casting ranges, if you combine this with Worm Tremor, you can render them ineffective for multiple turns. You and your teammates can unleash devastating attacks from afar, while they cannot reach you or move.
Skin Graft – This Source Skill will allow you to refresh all your cooldowns once per encounter for 1 AP and 1 SP. This will allow you to pull off your Worm Tremor/Dust Blast combo back to back, making 4 turns affected enemies can do nothing but stand there and look cute.
When combat begins you’ll use Tactical Retreat to position yourself in the best possible location. Once there, use Flesh Sacrifice in order to gain +10% damage and gain +1 AP. Then use Contamination in order to turn the Blood beneath you to Poison and set several enemies Poisoned as well. Then cast Worm Tremor on as many targets as you can, preventing as much movement as possible. Then either use another AoE to further strip Magic Armour (if needed), and then cast Dust Blast to Blind as many of the Entangled enemies as you can. If you cannot Blind them with this skill because of remaining Magic Armour, save it for when you can.
Geomancers have many great AoEs, however, you’ll need to be careful not to hit friendly targets with them. Not only can Impalement, Fossil Strike, and Worm Tremor hit party members, but you have to be careful when using them around Fire surfaces. Pay attention to your teammates and your surroundings and be sure to aim your shots precisely. Additionally, It will be very hard to have a Physical Damage melee character in your group because it will be in harms way damaging a different Armour type. Either use a Battlemage, use a Rogue with high single-target damage that can pick off other targets, or don’t field a melee unit instead.
This Build works exceptionally well when paired with mages that deal either Air/Fire or Air/Water, but not both. Fire mages will help to increase your overall damage, while water and air mages will help to increase your overall CC potential. Just be sure to choose spells that have longer reach, because you want to stay out of Blinded enemies’ range if possible, preventing you from taking damage.
Lastly, you can make this into a DoT Build by adding Raining Blood and Ignition. You can cast Ignition for 1 AP, then cast Flesh Sacrifice, and then Raining Blood for 1 AP. Then use Contamination and go into your rotation. This will place 4 DoTs on your enemies while they are Entangled!
Geomancers, since the Definitive Edition have become much more powerful because Torturer is a game changer, and really allows Geo Builds to shine. Very few mage Builds can outperform them early on in the game, because they have so many damaging Skill available to them by Level 4. This allows them to focus solely on one school of magic with very little down time between cooldowns, which is something both Hydro and Aero mages struggle with.
As always, be sure to check out our other Build Guides, and good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!