Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire Builds Guide: Ravager (Unarmed)

Last updated on October 22nd, 2018

In this Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Build Guide we’re going to be taking a look at the Ravager Class, which is a mixture of Barbarian and Monk. I’ll be providing information on AttributesWeaponsArmor, and most importantly, what Abilities to take and how to use them. Please keep in mind that this is my Ravager Build, and there are plenty of ways you can build this class, and this is not the only one. If you’re new to Pillars of Eternity 2, or you just love creating characters as much as I do, then this Guide is for you.

Ravager Build Guide

The Ravager class has extremely fast attacks that deal Raw Damage to all enemies around them via the Barbarian’s Carnage ability. Monks gain increased Damage, Accuracy and Penetration with Unarmed attacks, and we put that to good use in this Build. In my testing with the Ravager, I found that Fists out perform other Weapons in nearly every scenario I faced, particularly if you are poorly geared. Bare Fists for the win!


Ravagers need high Constitution and Dexterity, and decent Perception and Intellect.

Ravagers buff their Action Speed with Swift Strikes, and then go to town pummeling away at their targets. They can use their Wounds to Interrupt targets, clear Hostile Effects, or simply let them pile up and deal extra Burn Damage because of it. The mantra of the Ravager is simply swing fast and hard, and don’t stop until everything is dead. They sacrifice defense for pure offense and are extremely fun to play.


We use Swift Strikes to boost our Action Speed, making us attack lightning fast.

Ravager Subclasses (No Subclass Monk and No Subclass Barbarian)

I chose No Subclass Monk for a couple of reasons. First, Barbarians and Monks don’t have a whole lot of survive ability, and taking Helwalker (while tempting), would make them even less so. Second, Shattered Pillar has only a maximum of 5 Wounds, which really hurts the damage and Intellect that you gain from Turning Wheel later in the game. You can take Nalpazca if you’d like though. They will perform incredibly because they gain Wounds no matter what you do in combat, as long as you are under the effects of a Drug. I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle.


One of the reasons we don’t take Shattered Pillar is that you can only have 5 Wounds, which cuts the effectiveness of Turning Wheel in half.

My choice for Barbarian was again also No Subclass. Berserker would fit perfectly here, but it deals damage to itself and you cannot see your own Health, making it harder to manage, and we’re already weak in the survive ability department. I really wanted to play this as a Corpse-Eater and tried really hard to make it work, and you will see me playing as such in the video footage of this Build. However, you lose out on the heal in about 50% of combat scenarios where you can’t eat a corpse. And, if you make a body explode on the last hit (even if it is wicked to look at) it destroys the corpse and you cannot consume it.

Ravager Weapons and Armor

Ravagers can use any weapon they like, however, Unarmed seemed to perform much better than anything else I used, when experimenting. Fists not only dealt more Damage on average, compared with other dual-wielded weapons, but they attack much much faster and have better Accuracy, due to Transcendent Suffering. Since Transcendent Suffering only gets more powerful as you gain Power Levels, it only gets better and better through out the course of the game. If you’re going to play a Ravager, you’ll definitely want to play Unarmed.


This will be boosted to +50% Damage, +14 Accuracy and +4 Penetration at level 20 as a Multiclass character.

Ravagers can really use any Armor they wish because they have incredible Action Speed, and even wearing Heavy Armor isn’t that bad. I would recommend that lightest Armor you can get away with though, because Ravagers prevent damage to themselves by killing enemies quickly, not by outlasting them. There are some situations where having heavier Armor can save your life though, so it might be a good idea to keep some handy in your inventory in case you need to throw it on for a particular encounter. This choice might also depend on whether or not you have a dedicated healer in your party.

Ravager Abilities

In this section we’re going to cover the “must have” Ravager Abilities for this Build. You are free to pick and choose which you want outside of these because everyone’s style of play is different and there is no perfect way. However, these ones will be needed for this Build to work effectively.


Swift Strikes – This buff gives you +5 Dexterity and +15% Action Speed for 10.0 seconds. The speed bonus doesn’t stack with Frenzy, and we gain many of the benefits Frenzy provides with other buffs later in the game.

Mortification of the Soul – This ability gives you Wounds, and is a great way to gain them if you aren’t being hit, which is why we take it. You will not need this if you Solo, however.

Lightning Strikes – This upgrade to Swift Strikes adds +15% Damage dealt as Shock. This is huge because it adds this after all other damage calculations have finished, making it a very strong buff.

Two Weapon Style – This passive reduces your Recovery Time while Duel-Wielding even further, which is great. Take this one as soon as you can in order to help increase your DPS.

Combat Focus – Monks and Barbarians have very few ways to give themselves Concentration, so this is a must have for this Build. Interrupts are one of the weak spots of the Ravager, so take this without question.

Duality of Mortal Presence – This toggle ability allows you to gain Constitution or Intellect for each Wound you have, which is fantastic. This will give you an additional +10 Intellect if you have 10 Wounds, for example.

Thunderous Blows – This buff gives your +5 Might and +2 Penetration for 12 seconds and only costs 2 Wounds. This is another reason we took Swift Strikes instead of Frenzy.

Rooting Pain – This passive does damage around you, that Interrupts each time you gain a Wound. Between this and Carnage you will be weakening enemies constantly, making them easier to finish off when you focus them down. I cannot stress how much this ability can save your life.

Tough – With the amount of Constitution you’ll have with this Build you’ll want to be sure to take the Tough passive in order to put it to good use.

Turning Wheel – This will add +2% Damage dealt as Burn for each Wound you have. 10 Wounds = +25% Burn Damage. This makes you an absolute powerhouse, and hit like a truck.

Flagellant’s Path – This gap closer allows you to get to your target instantly, which you will need to be able to do in order to take down casters in the back before they nuke you. Because it is a Full Attack you will strike with Both Fists, which is another reason we take it.


Blooded – This passive increases your damage when you are under 50% Health. Because we have such a big Health pool, you’ll benefit from this often without dying.

Thick Skinned – This passive is important because it increases your Armor values against martial enemies by 1. As a Ravager you’ll have low Armor if you want to attack fast, so you’ll need all you can get from other sources.

Barbaric Blow – This ability hits like a freight train, and strikes with both fists back to back, which rewards our dual-wielding style of play, and once upgraded it can refund the cost if you kill the target.

Bloodlust – This passive increases your Action Speed by 20% after killing a target, which further increases your damage output. Take it when you can, and enjoy even faster attacks!

One Stands Alone – This passive increases the number of enemies required to be Flanked, and also gives you +20% Melee Damage when near two or more enemies. Um, yes please!

Savage Defiance – This ability gives you even further Constitution as well as +2 Armor and 10 HP every 3 seconds. This is such an important ability for this Build, that I cannot understate it. You need the Armor and healing sorely, as you depend on Second Wind or other party members for most of your healing generally. Be sure to get it asap at level 10.

Unflinching – This is hands down one of the best passive abilities in the game and gives you resistance to Dexterity, Constitution and Might Afflictions for 1 Ability Point! This is essentially the racial bonuses of Coastal Aumaua, Wood Elf and Mountain Dwarf all rolled into one!

Barbaric Smash – This version of Barbaric Blow refunds the Rage cost if you kill the target which you will badly need. Use it to kill a target that is weak, and then do it again, and again.

Savage Courage – The upgraded form of Savage Defiance gives you Concentration, which again is something Ravagers lack. Use this as soon as combat begins, between it and Combat Focus you will be protected from 2 Interrupts, which isn’t so bad.

Ravager Attributes

In this section we’ll cover Attributes for the Ravager, and explain a bit about each and why we need it or why it’s important. This Ravager Build needs Constitution, Dexterity, Intellect and Perception in order to do well. Might would be nice to have, but we don’t put many points here because the damage upgrade is minimal and this is an Attribute hungry Build as it is. We dump Resolve in order to get all we need.

Normally I wouldn’t put Constitution near the top of the list for a non-tank Build, but you really need a lot of Health when combining these two Classes. We have poor defenses and poor healing, meaning if we don’t pump this Attribute to some extent we will often go down before we can kill more than one target. Get this up to 15 at least during Character Creation.


Stats on my level 10 Ravager. You can see we have terrible Deflection, which would be even worse if we used Frenzy. This is why we need high Constitution.

Next up is Dexterity and it’s pretty much a toss up between it and Constitution when it comes to which is more important. You want to attack quickly in order to kill targets fast and get as much Carnage damage out as you can. I would make sure you have at least 15 Dexterity as well, and more if you can spare it.

Next up in order of importance is Intellect. Intellect helps not only with the AoE size of your Carnage attacks, but also the Duration of all of your buffs. These are Lightning Strikes, Savage Defiance and Thunderous Blows. The less time you spend buffing the more time you have for killing. You don’t need to spend many point here during Character Creation, because you will get a ton of Intellect from Duality of Mortal Presence once you hit level 10. One or two points is more than enough.


We have a few buffs that have rather short Durations, so we want to extend them as long as we can with Intellect.

Last we come to Perception, which is mildly important because we want to connect with our attacks. It is harder to Hit when dual-wielding, particularly earlier in the game, so, we place a few points here in just to increase our Hit chance a little bit. You can get away with none here if you really want, but you might find you miss often early on, or against high Deflection enemies. You may want to put 5 or more if you plan to use Swift Flurry over Lightning Reflexes, to help you get Crits just a bit more often.

Final Tips

As far as race goes I’d recommend either Nature Godlike or Death Godlike. Nature Godlike will give you +1 Power Level while under the effects of Swift Strikes, which should be 99% of the time. Death Godlike does increased damage against enemies under 25% Health, which is where we want to use Barbaric Smash to refund it’s cost, so there is some good synergy there. It also gives you +3 Power Level when you are under 25% Health, which will happen often. These two are your best bet, or you can take Moon Godlike for a bit extra healing.


Power Level increases the effectiveness of Transcendent Suffering, which in turn increases your Accuracy, Damage and Penetration while Unarmed.

Stride is very important to this Build because until you get your gap closer, Flagellant’s Path much later in the game, you’ll have to run to the priority target manually. You don’t want to be caught by enemies on the way and take Disengagement attacks, so having faster movement really helps out. There are plenty of items that grant bonuses to this, or you can take the Long Stride passive.

Barbarians and Monks have almost no healing to speak of and the Ravager will rely heavily on Second Wind because of this. You will need to spend several points into Athletics in order to make the most of this heal, because you will have a rather large Health pool, and it will almost never top you completely off. Taking the Laborer Background might not be a bad idea, but take one that gives you at least some Athletics.


Because we have such high Constitution, we have very high Health, this makes Second Wind extremely useful as it almost never tops us off. Pump Athletics to further increase the healing it does.

As mentioned above, we don’t use Frenzy for this Build because the Action Speed bonus doesn’t stack with Swift Strikes (it actually overwrites it because it’s a bit faster). You still gain the Might and Constitution bonuses, but we will get these from Savage Defiance and Thunderous Blows anyway. This frees up Rage to be used on Barbaric Blow and Savage Defiance, which you will really want. We also already have low Deflection and there’s no sense in making it any lower.

A note about Lighting Strikes and Swift Flurry. I decided to take Lighting Strikes here because it is more reliable, especially earlier on in the game when you have lower Accuracy and are much less likely to Crit. However, there is some synergy with Barbarian and Swift Flurry. For instance, Barbaric Blows gives +30% Hit to Crit chance, and strikes twice if you dual-wield, making it likely it will Crit at least once when used. The passive Bloody Slaughter also increases your Crit Chance another 20% on Near Death Targets. If you decide to go with Swift Flurry, be sure to pick up Bloody Slaughter and Heartbeat Drumming, and look for gear that benefits from Crits.


If items like this don’t want to make you switch to Swift Flurry, I don’t know what will.

Lastly, I didn’t list every good ability in the Abilities Section above because there are just too many to count. This is a very ability point hungry Build and you will feel as though you never have enough ability points. You will have to pick and choose what you want and most likely won’t get everything you’d really like to have, and you might need to respec several times before you get your Build exactly how you want it.

Stay tuned for more Pillars of Eternity 2 Build Guides through out May, as we make some more specific Guides covering some of the most fun and interesting combinations we could find. If there is a specific combination you would like to see, please post in the comments and we will do our best to accommodate!


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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One comment on “Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire Builds Guide: Ravager (Unarmed)”

  1. ParadoxPrince says:

    Love your guides man ^^ they’re very detailed and raise a lot of good points.
    I was curious if you can create a guide for a holy slayer but 2 different versions of it.
    Assassin/Bleak Walkers as a one-shot build
    Streetfighter/Goldpact Knights (or any other more Tanking focused Paladin subclass)
    They are based on the same classes but different subclasses but are used completely differently from each other which I find fascinating
    anyways love your guide and hope you make many more amazing ones

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