Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds – Tidalist

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 Tidalist. Let’s jump into this Build and see just how it works.

Tidalist – Mage Build

The Tidalist is Mage Build that focuses on purely Hydrosophist Skills to deal Water Damage, heal and buff. Tidalists will unleash the fury of the tides by drenching and icing nearby enemies, hampering their Movement, Chilling and Freezing them. Since both Chilled and Frozen enemies lose 20% Water Resistance, Tidalists can deal increased damage by repeatedly striking the same target.

Because Hydrosophist has many heals and buffs in its skill line, Tidalists have fewer attacks Skills than other Mages. This is why Tidalists use Dual Wands in between cooldowns, to help keep their damage high. A Tidalist using Wands will deal slightly less damage per attack as that of a Two-Handed pure Warrior Build. The downside being that Tidalists cannot hit multiple targets and have a lower Critical Multiplier. However, they can strike from 13m (or further in some cases), and gain a damage bonus from Huntsman if elevated, which can push them over the top.


Stats on my level 16 Tidalist. The damage she deals with a Dual Wand attack is nearly the same as a pure Physical Warrior.

Tidalist Attributes and Equipment

Tidalists focus on Intelligence to increase the damage of their precious few damaging Hydrosophist Skills, as well as their Dual Wand attacks. Tidalists should start putting points into Wits once Intelligence is nearly maxed to help increase their Critical Chance because it is more important to Tidalists than just about any other Mage Build. Hail Strike, Ice Fan, Hail Storm and Dual Wand attacks all fire multiple projectiles that Critically Hit (or don’t) independently. What this means, is that it’s imperative that you increase your Critical Chance when you can because the higher it is the more chance that each projectile will Critically Hit.

Tidalists will utilized Intelligence-based Armour and a thus will have very high Magic Armour. This means their primary threat will be melee units and archers, because they will have low Physical Armour. Tidalists will want to look for Armour with Hydrosophist, Intelligence, Wits, Critical Chance, Huntsman and finally Scoundrel on it, in that order. This will ensure maximum damage one both Spells and Wand attacks. Slot Frost Runes of Power into your Armour for increased Water Resistance and more Intelligence and a Fire Rune of Power into your Necklace for more Critical Chance.


Frost Runes of Power can add damage when slotted in Armour by increasing Intelligence. Source Orbs can grant the Mass Cleanse Woulds skill which is really pretty good.

As mentioned a few times above, Tidalists will use Dual Wands to attack with when their damaging Skills are on cooldown. You will want two Water Wands because they will increase in damage from Hydrosophist and they will place Ice under the targets that you strike, allowing you to use Ice Breaker for one AP if you need. Ideally they will both have Rune Slots on them, as well as Intelligence and Critical Chance. You’ll want to place Frost Runes of Power into them to increase your Intelligence and Water Damage.

Tidalist 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 Tidalist.

Tidalists are a pretty straight forward Build in terms of Abilities. I like to get 2 points into Hydrosophist and then 2 into Huntsman to get Tactical Retreat. After that I pump Hydrosophist until it is maxed out and then I start placing points into Polymorph to be able to get a couple of Skills there. After that I recommend placing all further points into Huntsman in order to increase damage with Wands and Skills from up high. You can also place a point into Geomancer to get Fortify if you didn’t get a point in it from equipment.


Both of these Skills can make the life of a Tidalist much much easier.

As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:

Executioner – Although it requires 1 point into Warfare, this Talent can be very effective for this Build as you deal very high damage. Consider taking this one first or second.

Hothead – This Talent is really good with this Build because it will increase the Critical Chance of both Wand and Skills if you have Savage Sortelige. Consider taking this one first or second.

Savage Sortelige – This Talent is a must for any Mage Build and will allow your Skills to Critically Hit. As noted above, many Hydrosophist Skills have independent chances to do this, so it’s even more vital here.

Elemental Affinity – This Talent works ok with this Build because you can cast Rain for 1 AP immediately. Hydrosophist has only a few attack Skills early on though, so unless you find you are doing a lot of healing, you might get more benefit from another Talent.

Parry Master – I like this Talent for this Build because there is almost no reason not to use it if you Dual Wield. You certainly don’t need to have this one, but its one only a small number of Builds can utilize because most don’t involve Dual Wielding.

Far Out Man – This Talent will increase the range of Skills and Wand attacks, so it has very good synergy here. You will get even more use out of it if you are up high.

Tidalist Skills

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. Tidalists will use primarily Hyrdosophist Skills to deal damage and buff/heal their teammates. 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.

Hydrosophist Skills

Armour of Frost – The best way to buff your (or a teammate’s) Magic Armour and also removes a variety of Status Effects. You shouldn’t need to buff yourself with this often, but great for helping others out.

Rain – Use this skill to create wet surfaces to freeze with Global Cooling and to get Elemental Affinity if you took it. This will also reduce the Water Resistance of characters in its AoE by 10% which can help with damage.

Hail Strike – This is one of the few early game Skills that you will have that deals damage. Does decent damage in an AoE, but is pretty expensive at 3 AP. Try to use after you’ve cast Rain if you have Elemental Affinity to lower its cost.

Restoration – A good early game heal that can remove a couple of Status Effects. Can also be used on Undead to mess them up pretty good (deals damage to their Physical Armour).

Ice Fan – This is a decent damaging ranged skill that can strike up to three targets. Can Freeze enemies, so consider using it to CC multiple targets if they have no Magic Armour instead of trying to kill one.

Global Cooling – This skill doesn’t do a whole lot of damage no matter what you do in this game, however it can freeze multiple enemies that have no Magic Armour. Consider using turn 2 or 3 after many have been stripped.

Winter Blast – Deals really good damage for 2 AP in an AoE that ignores teammates and also Chills enemies. This skill hits like a truck from high up and can really help put pressure on a group of enemies.

Mass Cleanse Wounds – A great AoE heal that removes a ton of Status Effects and heals for a good amount. Can be acquired by dropping a Source Orb into your Armour.

Ice Breaker – This skill doesn’t gain any benefit from Intelligence or Strength, only Hydrosophist seems to increase its (non-critical) damage. Works well when paired with Global Cooling.

Deep Freeze – This skill costs 4 AP, and is one of the highest damage dealing non-SP skills in the game. It hits like a truck and Freezes targets with no Magical Armour, which they are pretty much guaranteed not to after being struck by it.

Hail Storm – This skill is absolutely devastating and what’s really great about this build is that because Deep Freeze has no SP cost you can utilize both of these Skills in one fight, which is something other Builds cannot unless they use Apotheosis.

Miscellaneous Skills

Tactical Retreat – This skill really helps to increase damage (and range) and I think is definitely a must have for any ranged Build. Also provides Haste which can help with Movement and extra attacks next round.

Fortify – This skill is useful in buffing your Physical Armour, which will be lacking in this sort of Build. You don’t need to take if it someone in your party can buff you. Only requires one point into Geomancer anyway and that can be gotten on gear.

Terrain Transmutation – Costs 1 AP to use and has a 2 turn cooldown. Because you don’t move hardly at all as a Tidalist, it’s useful for moving harmful effects from under you while at the same time placing Water to get Elemental Affinity.

Skin Graft – You don’t have many damaging Skills as a Tidalist, and this skill can help solve that problem by resetting your cooldowns. It does cost 1 SP though, so you won’t be able to use Hail Storm if you use it. Very good for early to middle of Act 2.

Final Tips

Turn 1 use Tactical Retreat if you can to get up high and buff your Armour if you need to. You can cast Rain to get Elemental Affinity at this point which will allow you to use either Hail Strike or Ice Fan, or you can cast Winter Blast and save 1 AP. Turn 2 Use whatever is left of these three skills, or Deep Freeze if you can pull it off. Turn 3 you will need to begin to use Wand attacks while you wait for Skills to come off of cooldown. Turn 4 you will mix a skill and Wand attacks and then repeat.

Finding two good Wands for this Build can be tough so check the vendors every hour or so and every time you level up to be sure you find them. If you find a vendor with a Wand, but terrible stats, you can save and reload to role different ones. Also, try changing the order you visit vendors as this can change the what they sell all together. Keep this in mind when looking for them, because they are vital to the Build.


The Wands I use on my Tidalist. You can see see both have Intelligence, Critical Chance and a Rune Slot, so they are excellent.

Instead of taking Fortify you can put a couple of points into Necromancer to get Bone Cage. This will also allow you to use some other Skills like: Raining Blood, Death Wish, Vampiric Hunger and Living on the Edge. This makes you more of a Cleric type Build (which I will cover in another guide) but can increase your damage and give you some extra Skills to use if you find you don’t like basic attacks with Dual Wands. I would suggest Blood Storm here, but it does Physical Damage and you already have Hail Storm anyway.

Consider adding Enrage to this Build for those times when your Skills are on cooldown. Since it lasts 2 turns, its very likely that a few of them will be refreshed by the time it runs out and you can get some good damage this way early on in the game (especially if you are already up high). It’s only 1 more point into Warfare if you took Executioner anyway, and you can probably get that from gear.


Normally you would NEVER use this on a Mage, but you can actually pull it off with this Build because you do about 30-40% basic attacks anyhow.

Finally, remember that healing Skills damage Undead and Decaying enemies and can be used as a weapon against them. Healing damages the Physical Armour of Undead, so it allows for some flexibility against this enemy type, because you can pick whichever Armour type is lower to attack and help your teammates. Just be sure not to use both healing and regular Skills/Attacks on the same target if they have both Armour types or you’ll waste damage. Healing can Critically Hit Undead if you have Savage Sortelige.

Be sure to check out our other Build Guides! Good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!


Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

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2 comments on “Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds – Tidalist”

  1. Avatar Castielle says:

    I think they are really only meant for Fire and Water Mages. I was surprised at how well it worked and I currently have one in my party.


  2. Link-Hero-1 says:

    Thanks, I’ve been waiting for this. A double wand build? I already wrote them off after using them (Non optimally of course). Interesting!

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