In this Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Build Guide we’re going to be taking a look at the Tempest Class, which is a mixture of Barbarian and Druid. I’ll be providing information on Attributes, Weapons, Armor, and most importantly, what Abilities to take and how to use them. Please keep in mind that this is my Tempest 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. Please note that this Build Guide was updated for the 5.0 version of the game, as well as 1.02 on console (as of January 25th, 2020), and works with both Real Time with Pause and Turn-Based.
Pillars Of Eternity 2 Deadfire Builds Guide: Tempest (Berserker’s Fury)
The Bersker’s Fury is a Mage Build that focuses on casting spells quickly while dealing maximum damage with maximum Penetration. The extra +2 Penetration that a Berserker’s Frenzy provides is added to the extra +1 that the Fury deals while transformed, for a total of +3 Penetration on Druid Elements spells. Getting enough Penetration is one of the most challenging parts of being a spell caster in Pillars of Eternity, and with this setup that will no longer be an issue. When you Over Penetrate you will gain +30% Damage. This makes for an especially deadly mix.
Once combat begins you’ll cast Spirit Shift Stormblight to get the extra Range and Penetration, then pop Frenzy for increased Might, Action Speed, Armor and Penetration. You do Spiritshift first to avoid the penalty to Intellect from Frenzy, which would reduce the time you remain Shifted. Then you go to town with your favorite single target or AoE damage spell, killing targets as quickly as you can in order to remain in Stormblight form. Each kill will extend your Duration, so it’s imperative you kill things quickly.
For Barbarian I chose Berserker for the increased Penetration. We miss out on the Crit Chance in melee, and we also have the Confused status, take damage over time and cant’ see our Health which are all drawbacks. However, most Druid spells are not Foe AoE, meaning they would hit friendlies anyway, so this isn’t so important. The damage we take over time only helps to trigger the Blooded passive of Barbarian, as well as the Fighting Spirit of Human, and does tip us off that we are at 50% Health even though we cannot see it. These boost damage by a further 40% combined, which adds up to a total of 55% when you add Frenzy’s Might boost. That’s a lot! And that’s not including the extra 25% damage we do to Wilder!
For Druid I took the Fury Subclass to gain the extra Penetration on Druid Elements spells and extra Range. We won’t be able to heal with this setup, but that’s a good thing because most Druid spells are AoE, and healing in an AoE when Confused will heal enemies as well. The biggest concern with Fury is staying Shifted, so you’ll need to focus on damage to get this done. You’ll hit hard with this setup, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
Tempest Weapons and Armor
For this Build Weapons are not overly important, as these will be replaced by the Stormblight Shift anyway, so you can select whatever you’d like to use when you aren’t Shifted (which is hopefully never). I would suggest something ranged though, since ideally you’d never get completely in melee range with this Build. Some spells have shorter range than others, but you should still be able to avoid melee if you play smartly.
Armor-wise you’ll be in the same boat. Stormblight has its own Armor values so you don’t have to worry about what to use as it will be replaced once combat begins. It’s not a bad idea to use Heavy Armor when playing Turn-Based, that way if you get attacked before you Shift you will likely take less damage. If you’re playing Real Time with Pause though, you’ll Shift immediately so it doesn’t matter one bit.
In this section we’re going to cover the “must have” Berserker’s Fury 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.
Frenzy – This ability increases your Action Speed and increases your Damage, via Might, as well as your Penetration. This applies to spells as well. You’ll buff with this at the beginning of combat and reapply as necessary.
Blooded – This ability will increase the damage of your spells by 25% when you are at 50% Health or lower. Since you will take damage over time from Frenzy, this will happen often.
Thick Skinned – This passive gives you a bit extra Armor vs. a few damage types that you’ll face regularly. Since you won’t have a huge amount of Armor, this is a nice to have.
Wilder Hunter – This passive will grant you an extra +25% damage vs. Wilder enemy types. These include: Xaurip, Trolls, Ogres, Lagufaeth, Nagas and Eoten.
Bloodlust – This ability will reduce your Recovery Time when you get a kill, which will help you cast more spells faster. Another reason it’s important to get that first kill ASAP. Not very useful if playing Turn-Based, however.
Wild Sprint – A good way to spend your Rage, and even better when upgraded. Will allow you to move freely and avoid Engagements.
Blood Frenzy = This ability puts a Raw Damage bleed on enemies you Critically Hit. Since you attack in large AoEs you will get good use out of this, helping to ensure you kill enemies and stay in Shifted form.
Uncanny Luck – Not the greatest ability in the world but more Crit chance is always good, so we take it.
Lion’s sprint – This ability will give you +15 Accuracy, which will help with getting more Hits and Crits.
Tough – Since you rely on being Bloodied for increased damage, having a larger Health pool prevents you from dying while remaining so.
Blood Storm – This final upgrade of Frenzy allows the Duration to extend when you get a kill. Since that’s what this Build is all about this works perfectly for what we are trying to do. Take this so you can save Rage for other things.
Blood Thirst – Possibly the best Barbarian passive there is, this ability clears your Recover Time instantly when you kill an enemy. This will in turn help you stay in Shifted form longer, which should help you get more kills.
Touch of Rot – This ability hits in an AoE and does tons of damage over time, and is an excellent early game spell to take out many enemies at once. It doesn’t gain the benefit from Fury, but it’s still worth getting.
Blizzard – A great AoE that is boosted by the additional Penetration. Deals Frost Damage and reduces that Action Speed of enemies Hit, which reduces the overall damage your party will take. Use often.
Wicked Briars – Another great AoE DoT spell. This one does Pierce Damage over time and Hobbles enemies, reducing their Dexterity by 5, and making the unable to run. This helps keep enemies in your AoEs.
Spell Shaping – Lets you increase or decrease the AoE size of Spells at the cost or benefit of Power Level. The smaller the AoE, the bigger Power Level bonus you get. With a bigger radius, Power Level is decreased. Just be careful not to hit allies with your Spells.
Calling the World’s Maw – Another AoE that does substantial Pierce Damage, giving you another great AoE at your disposal.
Embrace of the Earth Talon – This spell will Paralyze enemies and deals Slash Damage in an AoE, which is win/win. Paralyzed enemies have a 25% higher chance of being Critically Hit.
Rapid Casting – Adds +10% Action Speed with Spells. Very useful since we cast a lot of them.
Farcasting – Adds +20% Range to spells. Useful for this build because some spells like Wicked Briars have short range.
Improved Critical – Increases Crit Damage by 10%, making it a must for any damage dealing Class.
Note that you will be able to deal virtually every damage type in the game with this Build and depending on what you find yourself using the most, you’ll want to take some passives that boost Penetration with those type of spells. You will have enough points to take all 4 passives if you wish, but it’s really up to you, and you don’t have to.
Berserker’s Fury Attributes
In this section we’ll cover Attributes for the Berserker’s Fury Build, and explain a bit about each and why we need it or why it’s important. Berserker’s Fury needs Perception, Intellect and Dexterity. They can dump Resolve if needed, but Constitution and Might should be left untouched if possible, so that you aren’t too squishy and your damage doesn’t suffer. If you’re playing Turn-Based then you will exchange Dexterity with Might since turn order is not as important.
Perception is important for hitting enemies with your spells and Critting them as well. Spells don’t get increased Accuracy like Weapons do, and that is why you must max Perception during Character Creation.
Intellect increases the AoE size of your spells, and you want them to hit as many targets as possible. But more importantly, it will extend the Duration of your Shifted Form, Frenzy, Lion’s Sprint, and the DoT spells that you cast. You want to stay in Shifted Form as long as possible, so investing heavily here is a must.
Dexterity is important for Casting quickly, improving the speed at which you deal damage. Since you want to burn things down quickly from behind your front line, you want to Cast as fast as you can. Dexterity helps with that, so you want at least 15 points here during Character Creation. If, however, you’re playing Turn-Based then swap this for Might, since you can only cast 1 spell per turn anyway, and Might will help with damage.
You will be weakest to Crush and Fire Damage when Shifted so selecting Pale Elf can help fill in this gap, but you will miss out on the Fighting Spirit bonus of Human if you take it. The choice is up to you. Additionally, be on the look out for items that increase your Crush Damage resistance to help round you out. Keep in mind that Armor & Weapons will be replaced when Shifted, so you’ll want to look for Accessories and Clothing with this bonus.
You can play a more hybrid version of this Build if you select Shifter Druid instead of Fury. You’ll lose the extra Penetration, but you will be able to melee in addition to casting spells. You simply cast spells before Shifting, or after, and when in Shifted form you can use Barbaric Blow and Wildstrike for incredible damage. This will allow you to take advantage of the Berserker’s Crit Chance in melee as well.
If you have a Priest in your party, have them begin combat by casting Litany of the Spirit on you to remove the Confused status and increase your Power Level. This will give you more Intellect, which helps with Duration and AoE size. It’s not a must, but definitely helps out.
Lastly, remember that you can attack things for decent damage while Shifted with your weapons. They bounce one time, allowing you to hit 2 targets, and you attack with both by default in Turn-Based mode, which is great. Sometimes AoEs are not warranted and a simple attack can be enough to extend your Shifted Duration. If you find you are using the default attack in Shifted form often, be sure to add Barbaric Smash to this Build. You will have the Ability points for it.
Stay tuned for more Pillars of Eternity 2 Builds as we celebrate the Ultimate Edition launch on PS4 and Xbox One.