Rriests are one of the 11 Classes in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, and in this Guide we’re going to take a look at how they work in order to not only help you make a better Priest, 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…
Priest Builds and How They Work
Priests in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire are a casting class that has a wide variety of spells, but has a focus on healing and buffs of party members and debuffs of enemies. In addition, they have a few damaging abilities, and since most of their spells have casting times that are not suited to close combat, they will generally fulfill a ranged support role. Because many of these spells have rather long Durations, 60 seconds or so, they can buff first and then engage in melee and still be effective.
Priests have 5 different types of spells, generally. These are: Condemnation, Restoration, Protection, Inspiration and Punishment. Condemnation spells debuff enemies with negative status effects. Restoration spells heal the player or allies. Protection spells prevent the player or allies from taking damage. Inspiration spells buff allies, giving them positive status effects. And Punishment spells deal direct damage to enemies.
Priests are somewhat unique in that they don’t have Subclasses that give any sort of negative effect, making them and Paladins the only ones, however these two Classes have some restrictions when Multiclassing with one another. Priests also gain some Abilities of other Classes, which is something few Classes do. These Abilities are gained automatically at each Power Level, and just exactly what they are depends on the Subclass.
Priests also have a unique ability called Holy Radiance which they can use once per encounter. Holy Radiance does Burn Damage and Weakens enemies, as well as heals friendlies for a mild amount in a huge AoE around the Priest. It also reduces the Power Level of enemies, which can be a lifesaver. It’s strength increases or decreases based on your reputation to your chosen deity’s alignment.
Priest Subclasses, Which to Choose
In this section we’re going to take a look at the Subclasses of the Priest and see why you might choose one of them over another. You must choose a Subclass as there isn’t a No Subclass option, however as mentioned above, there are no penalties for doing so. Priest Subclasses only affect the Abilities you gain automatically at each level, so knowing what these are and what they do is very important when making a Priest. Let’s take a look at what the Subclasses are, and talk a bit about what sort of Builds you can make with them.
Berath Priests follow the God of Death, and gain a handful of Druid spells which follow the main theme of Decay and Corrosion. Take this Subclass if you wish to have more debuffs and deal more Corrode damage.
Berath Priests gain a Great Sword for their Spiritual Weapon, as well as a number of Druid spells. The central theme of these spells are Decay and Death and they mostly debuff in an area or deal Corrode Damage in an AoE. However, they do gain Holy Meditation and Salvation of Time. The Great Sword does considerable damage that scales with your level, as well as +50% Corrode Damage. Consider taking this Subclass if you wish to be more of an offensive Priest or plan to use Great Swords.
Many of the spells you gain as a Barath Priest have short range, which means when Multiclassing you’ll likely want to pick something that works well in closer proximity. I would suggest Fighter, Paladin, Monk or even Wizard.
Fighters give many bonuses that work well to both defense and offense. Disciplined Strikes will increase your Hit and Crit chance, and works with spells and weapon attacks. Warrior Stance can also increase your Accuracy with spells.
Paladins have access to an ability called sworn enemy that increases your damage against the target by 20%, and this includes damage by both weapons and spells. They also have increased Accuracy from Exalted Focus, and have many good abilities. Note that you can only Multiclass with the Goldpact Knights or The Shieldbearers of St. Elgca if you choose this Subclass.
Monks have Swift Strikes which increases the speed of attacking with weapons and casting with spells. Helwalker Monks also gain Might when they are Hit, further increasing the effectiveness of any healing you may do.
Wizards have many Enchanting spells that have short cast times, that drastically increase Defenses. This works well here because it allows you to buff and then focus on CCing and Corroding without fear of being killed quickly due to your closer proximity to enemies.
Eothas Priests follow the God of Renewal and Light, gaining many spells that heal, protect or revive their party members. Take this Subclass if you wish to be more of a support class.
Eothas Priests gain a Flail for their Spiritual Weapon, as well as lots of healing and protection spells, placing them squarely into the support role. The Flail does excellent damage and adds +50% Burn Damage. Be sure to pump your Might some if you play an Eothas Priest to take advantage of its effect on healing. You’ll also want the Practiced Healer passive to further boost your effectiveness.
Since Eothas Priests will spend a considerable amount of time casting, it is recommended that if they Multiclass they choose another class that doesn’t. Chanter and Ranger would make good choices. Chanters can chant Phrases while casting Priest spells, further buffing their group, and they can add a few more spells to their library if they really want. Rangers can buff ranged combat, and have an Animal Companion that can be effective while the Priest casts.
Magran Priests follow the Goddess of War and Fire, and gain many spells that deal Burn Damage. Select this Subclass if you want to focus on dealing damage.
Magran Priests gain a Pistol and a Sword for their Spiritual Weapon, as well as many spells (including some from Wizard) that deal Burn Damage. The Pistol and Sword both do +50% Burn Damage, making them considerably powerful. This drops Magran Priests into the DPS role, focusing on Burn Damage. Be sure to take Scion of Flame if you select this Subclass, to further increase your Penetration with Fire attacks.
When Multiclassing a Magran Priest it’s a good idea to look for Classes that can facilitate better casting or perhaps mesh with the Burn Damage theme. Paladins, Wizards, and Rangers all work well. Paladins also focus heavily on Burn Damage, so can benefit from Scion of Flame. Wizards can provide buffs that are quick to cast, so the Priest is free to cast more Fire spells. Rangers have an Animal Companion that can help Engage enemies while you reign fire. Note that if you choose Paladin, you can only select the Bleak Walkers Subclass.
Skaen Priests follow the Quiet Slave (Skaen) the God of Hate and Violence. They gain many rogue-like spells that conceal the caster or debuff the enemy. Select this Subclass if you intend to use Weapons as a main source of damage.
Skaen Priests have a Stilleto and Club for their Spiritual Weapon, and gain a few Rogue Abilities, as well some damaging ones that also debuff enemies. The Stilleto and Club deal +50% Pierce Damage and scale with the Priest’s level. Minor Avatar not only gives +20% Damage with Weapons, but it also increases your max Health and ALL Attributes by +5 for 30 seconds, making it one of the best buffs in the game. Consider Multiclassing if you choose this Subclass to pick up some Active Abilities that are weapon related.
When Multiclassing a Skaen really any martial class will do, but there is some synergy with Rogue because of the Rogue Abilities you gain. Because you get Shadowing Beyond, Skaens are the only other class that can reliably go Invisible, which allows you to spend the Rogue’s Guile on it’s attacks rather than stealth. The downside is that you don’t gain this ability until much later in the game, so you cannot use this combo for some time.
Wael Priests follow the God of Dreams, and gain several Illusion spells from the Wizard class. Select this Subclass if you wish to focus on Crowd Control and debuffs or wish to fulfill the tank role.
Wael Priests gain a Rod for their Spiritual Weapon, and gain many Illusion spells from the Wizard class. Many of these spells buff the caster with serious defense, such as Llengrath’s Displaced Image, which makes this Subclass suitable for tanking. The Rod does +50% Shock Damage and again scales with the Priest’s level. Consider Multiclassing the Wael with another tank class in order to gain some Active Abilities and passives that it would benefit from.
When Multiclassing a Wael Priest consider taking Paladin, Rogue, Fighter or Monk for their tankiness.
Paladins gain many abilities that give incredible defense, such as Exalted Endurance, Mental Fortress, Clear Head, Reinforcing Exhortation and Righteous Soul. This makes for an extremely resistant character which is really tough to kill. Note that you can only choose Bleak Walkers or Darcozzi Paladini if you choose this Subclass.
Streetfighter Rogues gain benefits from being Flanked and Bloodied, so are an ideal choice for a tank. They can counter-attack enemies with the Riposte passive if they dodge attacks, which works nicely with the high Deflection Illusion spells give.
Unbroken Fighters can Engage 1 extra enemy, gain +1 Armor for using a Shield and gain tons of Penetration on Disengagement attacks. They have lots of abilities that increase their defense, and some that increase their offense as well, like Overbearing Guard.
Monks gain Wounds when taking damage, which gives them an extra resource pool with which to use abilities from. They can also increase their Action Speed, which benefits attacking as well as casting.
Attributes and Races
The last thing we’re going to cover here is Attributes and Races and how they affect the Priest. The game recommends Might and Dexterity and highly recommends Intellect and Resolve. Might increases Damage and healing, while Dexterity increases Action Speed, which affects casting. Intellect increases the Duration and AoE radius of many of the Priest’s abilities, and Resolve helps keep them alive because, although they are not in melee range necessarily, they will need to be much closer than other casters to use their spells effectively.
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:
Berath – Prioritize Intellect, Might and Resolve. Intellect will increase the Duration of the negative effects of the Berath Priest as well as widen their AoE, so it’s top priority here. Might is just good for straight up Damage and Resolve will help keep you alive. Human or Godlike or Elf all work here.
Eothas – Prioritize Might, Intellect and Resolve. Since Eothas Priests have a higher focus on healing than other Priests, they will benefit more from higher Might values. Intellect helps with Duration and AoE size. Human, Godlike or Elf are solid choices.
Magran – Prioritize Might, Perception and Intellect. Magran Priests are going to be slinging Fire spells with regularity so will want to focus on Might for Damage, and Perception to make sure they connect. Intellect helps with AoE radius. Godlike or Aumaua both work well here.
Skaen – Prioritize Might, Intellect and Resolve. Skaen Priests want to Hit hard, so need high Might. Intellect helps with duration of their buffs and debuffs and Resolve helps keep them alive. Human is a good choice here.
Wael – Prioritize Resolve, Constitution and Intellect. Wael Priests are more likely to tank than other Priest Subclasses, and so need Attributes that help them survive. Intellect helps with Durations. If you can spare points Might doesn’t hurt either, as it boosts both damage and healing. Dwarf works well here.
Each Priest has a different Spiritual Weapon which does considerable damage vs a normal one of the same type, and they scale with your level. Pay attention to what these are, and use them to best results. Although you can swap to a different weapon set, you cannot change out your Spiritual Weapon(s) with your normal one(s) while active. This means if you want to get the most from them you’ll need to pick the passive that benefits the weapon’s style: One-Handed, Two-Handed, Two Weapon or Weapon and Shield (you can use a Shield with the Flail).
Several Priest Subclasses have spells from other Classes, which allows the Priest to have abilities from 3 different ability trees when Muliclassing. This is one of its biggest strengths because some combinations are available to you that would not otherwise be possible. For example, because you can get Llengrath’s Displaced Image and Mirrored Image on a Wael Priest, you could select this Subclass instead of Wizard to tank with. This allows for you to use other Priest buffs that are really good, but still get some of the best buffs that Wizards have.
Positioning is very important to Priests because many of their buffs, and damaging abilities, have a range of around 5m. This means they generally won’t be on the back lines, but somewhere between melee and your other ranged units. Because of this it is likely they will take more damage than other ranged characters, which is why Resolve is highly recommended. You might want to consider wearing some heavier Armor as well, just to ensure they don’t get beat up too much.
Lastly, Intellect is very very important to the Priest because most of the spells they cast have an AoE that goes with it, and you want these to be as effective as possible, by being as large as they can. Make sure you invest a considerable amount and look for equipment that not only increases Intellect, but also boosts AoE radius.
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.