Chanters are one of the 11 Classes in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. In this Guide we’re going to take a look at how they work to help you not only make a better Chanter, but also help you to determine if this is the class for you. If you are new to Pillars of Eternity 2 or just need a refresher when it comes to class selection and Character Creation, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Let’s get started…
Chanter Builds and How They Work
Chanters in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire are a Support class that uses Chants and Invocations to buff allies, debuff enemies and summon additional troops to the battlefield. Because Chants buff you and allies (or debuff enemies) passively while in combat, Chanters are a solid choice for Multiclassing. Consider playing a Chanter if you like summoning, don’t mind having lower DPS in exchange for buffs & debuffs, or if you plan to Multiclass.
Besides the typical Passive Abilities, Chanters have two types of Abilities: Chants and Invocations. Chants, for all intents and purposes, are a type of Passive Ability that the Chanter uses to apply buffs to party members or apply debuffs to enemies in an AoE around him/her. Chanters can pick from their selection of Phrases to create Chants that are automatically cast during combat, while the Chanter is free to attack, move or cast spells. What Phrases the Chanter has to choose from are determined by what they selected while leveling up. These range from healing allies, improving defenses, to reducing enemy damage or even damaging enemies directly.
Each Phrase takes 6 seconds to “chant” while in combat and players receive the effect from that Phrase during its “chanting”. Once the “chanting” of it is finished, the Phrase’s effect Lingers (lasts) 3 seconds on every applicable target in range around the Chanter. As soon as one Phrase has been “chanted”, the Chanter begins “chanting” the next Phrase immediately and continues through the Linger of the last Phrase “chanted”. Players can extend the Duration of each Phrase’s Linger effect via equipment or Intellect, making it possible to have several effects active at once, or even have one effect active permanently.
Chanters also have Invocations which they can cast in combat and there are 3 types of Invocations: Offensive, Non-Offensive, and Summon. Offensive Invocations deal damage or apply a negative effect to enemies, Non-Offensive Invocations buff allies, and Summon Invocations call creatures to the battlefield to help you and your party. Invocations require a certain amount of Phrases to have been “chanted” before they can be cast, however, Chanters will always gain Phrases equal to the highest costing Invocation in their repertoire at the beginning of combat. This means Chanters can cast at least 1 Invocation immediately, and possibly more depending on which Invocations they wish to cast. Also, unlike Chants, Invocations have much longer range and are not AoEs around the Chanter.
Chanter Subclasses, Which to Choose
In this section we’re going to take a look at the Subclasses of the Chanter and see why you might choose one of them, or not. Chanting takes time while in combat, although you are free to do other things in that time, and Invocations require Phrases to be “chanted” in order to cast. Subclasses affect both Invocations and Chants, so let’s take a look at what the Chanter Subclasses are, and talk a bit about what sort of Builds you can make with them.
Beckoners are the “Necromancers” of Pillars of Eternity 2, and specialize in summoning nightmarish allies to assist their party on the battlefield. They make excellent Single Class or Multiclass characters.
Penalty: The chanter’s summons are smaller and have reduced health and duration.
Beckoners focus on the use of Summon Invocations to aid their party by drastically bolstering their numbers. Beckoners double the number of creatures “summoned”, and Summon Invocations cost them 1 less Phrase than would be normal. Summon Invocations take a considerable amount of time to cast, and you don’t want to be interrupted anymore than necessary, so Beckoners are going to want to be positioned somewhere outside of melee range. This means that they will be using a Ranged Weapon and Firearms are the best choice here, due to the fact that they can buff Reload Speed and reduce Recovery Time with them.
Because Beckoners have “down time” in between each Invocation, they make a good case for Multiclassing. And since they gain Phrases no matter what they do in combat, they can Multiclass with just about any other class effectively. Classes I would recommend (in no particular order) are: Cipher, Druid, Priest, Ranger or Wizard. This keeps them out of melee range, while still able to contribute with other spells and abilities when not summoning.
The Skald Subclass of Chanters favor melee combat and Offensive Invocations, which have very short cast times and are ideal for hand-to-hand scenarios. Because Skalds have no melee abilities of their own, it is advised that they Multiclass.
Bonus: Offensive Invocations cost -1 Phrase. Weapon Critical Hits have a 50% chance to grant a phrase.
Penalty: Non-Offensive Invocations cost +1 Phrase to cast.
Skalds generally forsake the use of other Invocations in favor of Offensive ones. Not only do these Invocations cost less Phrases to use for Skalds than for other Chanter Subclasses, they also have a chance to gain a Phrase on any Critical Hit with a Melee Weapon. These two things combined prompt Skalds to cast Offensive Invocations much more frequently than other Chanter Subclasses. And, also because Offensive Invocations generally have short casting ranges, making them ideal for melee combat.
As mentioned above, Skalds have no melee abilities of their own so it is strongly advised they Multiclass to pick some up. Any melee class will work fine, but ones that increase the chance of Critical Hits while in combat will synergize better than others. I would suggest either a Barbarian or a Rogue here, because of Passive Abilities that do just that. However, Fighter is also a solid choice.
Troubadours make excellent Support characters because of the frequency with which they can cast Invocations. They also lend themselves extremely well to Multiclassing if you wish to have a stream of constant Passive buffs.
Bonus: Linger for Phrases is increased significantly. Gain “Brisk Recitation” modal that increases the rate that phrases elapse, but removes the linger.
Penalty: All Invocations cost +1 Phrase to cast.
There are really two different ways to play the Troubadour Subclass in Pillars of Eternity 2. The first is by Multiclassing and simply selecting Phrases with the Ability Points you spend in the Chanter Ability Tree, and placing none in Invocations. You won’t need to spend a whole lot of points here to get good results, and you should select the Phrases that best match your style of play, which will largely be dictated by your other class. For example if you chose Wizard, picking a Phrase that gives defense or healing could be invaluable. If you chose a Fighter, perhaps you want a Phrase that helps with damage in an AoE. Because of the increased Linger Duration that Troubadours have, their Chants will become more effective and it is easier to stack several Phrases or maintain one permanently.
The second way of playing a Troubadour is almost completely the opposite. By activating the Brisk Recitation ability, Troubadours will forfeit their Chant’s Linger effect in exchange for 50% increased Phrase speed. This will allow them to cast Invocations quickly, and faster than other Chanter Subclasses, even though they will cost 1 more Phrase to cast. Because Troubadours chant so much faster, they make very good Single Class Chanters.
No Subclass Chanters are a safe bet when Multiclassing with just about any other class, and are a good choice for players who haven’t yet decided just exactly how they will play their Chanter. No Subclass Chanters sacrifice specialization for more flexibility.
There are really no limitations on the way in which you can play a No Subclass Chanter. You can play as a Single Class, choosing a bit of each Invocation type if you wish, falling into the Support role. You can Multiclass with another casting class to get some more spells to use in between your Invocations. You can Multiclass with a melee class, adding damage with your Chants and Offensive Invocations or buffs with Non-Offensive ones. You can Multiclass with a Ranger, adding damage and a pet while keeping you in the optimal spacing for your Chants to hit your entire party. It’s all really up to you, but I’ll make some recommendations below.
The ideal weapon-type for a Chanter is some sort of Ranged Weaponbecause of the Phrase: Sure-Handed Iia Nocked Her Arrows With Speed, which increases Reload Speed and decreases Recovery Time. This means that the Ranger class has a natural synergy because of its affinity for Ranged weapons. Caster-wise, really any will do here because Chants will continue through the casting of any other spells. Priest is a solid choice, because many of their Abilities are also applied in an AoE around them, so there is some synergy there as well. On the melee front I would be inclined to choose a Paladin or a Monk because the defensive abilities of these classes combined with the Chanter’s Non-Offensive Invocations are quite formidable.
Attributes and Races
The last thing we’re going to cover here is Attributes and Races and how they affect the Chanter. The game recommends that all Chanters have Constitution and highly recommends that they have Intellect and Resolve. Constitution increases your Health, Intellect increases Area of Effect and Duration, and Resolve makes you harder to kill. All of these are useful to the Chanter, but Intellect is probably the most important because it extends the Linger duration of Chants.
Just exactly how much of these you should have depends on the Subclass you selected, and I will make my recommendations along with Race below:
Beckoner – Prioritize Intellect and Dexterity. Intellect will not only increase the Duration and Area of Effect of your Chants, but also increase the Duration of your summons, which is extremely important! Summon Invocations take a long time to cast and having high Dexterity is crucial to reducing this. The higher your Dexterity the more likely you’ll summon without interruption. Godlike are the ideal choice of Race because they come with both of these Attributes.
Skald – Prioritize Intellect, Resolve, and then Might. Intellect will increase the Duration and Area of Effect of your Chants, and the length of your AoE cone for most Offensive Invocations. Resolve will make you tankier, and Might will increase your damage. Human makes a great choice here because of the combination of Might and Resolve. Aumaua and Dwarf are also solid choices.
Troubadour – Prioritize Intellect, Resolve, then Constitution. Intellect will help with the Duration and AoE size of your Chants and Non-Offensive Invocations, and Resolve and Constituion will make you harder to kill. Troubadours will want to change the last two (if they Multiclass) to favor whatever their other Class needs are, however, Intellect will always remain a priority. Godlike again is the best choice here, unless you Multiclass, and then that’ll depend on the class you select.
No Subclass – Prioritize Intellect. Intellect helps with Chant Duration and Area of Effect, Offensive and Non-Offensive Invocation Duration as well as Summon Duration, so it’s at the top of the list here. What you choose for other Attributes will largely depend on the type of Chanter you wish to play, and whether or not you Multiclass. Race will very much depend on your playstyle.
Positioning and spacing play a large role in the effectiveness of the Chanter class. Chants buff and debuff in a fixed AoE around the Chanter, making where you stand the key to its efficiency. Intellect (and equipment) can increase the AoE area around you and is one of the reasons it is vitally important to all Chanters, regardless of Subclass. Try to stand where you can hit the most targets possible with your Chants.
Chanters make one of the best Multiclassing classes in the game because their Chants apply constantly no matter what else you may be doing. You can attack, move, cast, or even do nothing and you will still be helping your party via Chants. However, because they have such a huge focus on Intellect they may fit better with Classes that share this focus (like Druid, Priest or Wizard). If you are thinking about Multiclassing and don’t know which class to chose second, I highly recommend Chanter.
As mentioned above Ranged Weapons are the best type of weapons to use when playing a Chanter (unless you play a Skald of course), because of the specific Phrase: Sure-Handed Iia Nocked Her Arrows With Speed. This is the only type of weapon buff Chanters have, and you get it rather early on. If you decide to Multiclass with a martial class this may not be the case because of the Passive Abilities of that class, however, it would still be the best choice if you Multiclass with a casting type class that lacks Passive Abilities.
Lastly, Dexterity does not reduce the time it takes to “chant” a Phrase. You would totally think it would, but it doesn’t. So, don’t add points into Dexterity thinking it will and find out you were wrong, and be horribly disappointed. Currently the only way to reduce the Duration of Phrase “chanting” is by taking the Troubadour Subclass and using the Brisk Recitation Ability. All other Chanters will have the same Duration (6 seconds) to “chant” each Phrase. Remember that you can increase the Duration of a Phrase’s effect by increasing Intellect.
Stay tuned for more Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Class Guides as we cover all 11 Classes as well as Character Creation! What did you think of the Guide? Was it helpful? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.