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Import the Helm or the Claw?

BanArdBanArd Member Posts: 60
Which item do you bring to BG2 and why? I'm going to import soon and I can't make my mind.

The Helm would invariably go to Korgan, the only warrior in my party.

The Claw should be best for CHARNAME (Swashbuckler with 18 CON) or Haer'Dalis (no penalties). The Claw is also one of the few rings Haer'Dalis can wear that increases AC while wearing the elven chains.

Import the Helm or the Claw? 54 votes

Helm of Balduran
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The Claw of Kazgaroth
MERLANCEGemHoundelminsterCheesebellyXavioriaWowoJuliusBorisovluskanGirewanArdultadancerabacusdockaboomskiAerakarNimranSharguildArunsunSampieroraeshiaGrimjackMV 24 votes


  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,236
    The Claw of Kazgaroth
    I always import the claw. It works well for characters that can afford to lose a few points in Con like Haer'Dalis and Cernd.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,908
    edited September 2015
    The Claw of Kazgaroth
    Nothing can be better than saving throws.

    And then I count how many bonuses/penalties each of these items give.

    Claw: +3 bonus vs. Wands, Polymorph, Breath, Spells. -4 penalty vs. Death Overall: +8 bonus

    Helm: +1 bonus vs Wands, Polymorph, Breath, Spells and Death Overall: +5 bonus

    After that, I look at items that can be put in the same slot, and I see Helmet of Defense which gives +1 saves, +20% fire, ice, electrical resistance. Of course, if your character is a mage then losing a ring place can be a problem, but for other characters it's not a big deal.

    Although in my solo Totemic Druid run I took the Helm of Balduran because I didn't plan to visit the Planar Sphere with the solo druid.

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
  • DurenasDurenas Member Posts: 505
    You can also get a +3 ring of protection from the deck of many things.

  • YamchaYamcha Member Posts: 484
    Helm of Balduran
    There's a great selection on good rings and Dalis can buff himself with some nice protections spells anyways.
    Deathspells gets much more prominent in BG2 too, so its probably not the best trade off .

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    Helm of Balduran
    I chose Helm for the simple fact it useful throughout the entire game. The Claw is good but there are many other great options.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,908
    The Claw of Kazgaroth
    Yamcha said:

    Deathspells gets much more prominent in BG2 too, so its probably not the best trade off .

    If your party has a divine caster then you should use the Death Ward spell. Actually, even without the penalty to ST against Death, this spell should more or less cover everyone when needed. It lasts long enough.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    The Claw of Kazgaroth
    The Helm looks stupid.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,009
    bengoshi said:

    Claw: -4 penalty vs. Death

    Cleric classes, as you well know, have the best save versus death statistic; even at first level their save is a 10. that I think about it, that isn't completely accurate--monks have the best save versus death. Dwarves and halflings with a constitution of 14 get a +4 save versus death, which will also counteract the Claw's only real drawback.

    Ideally, give the Claw to a dwarven or halfling cleric or monk with a con of 16, which would give them a saving throw of 3 even at the start of the game. That save also checks for paralysis and poison, so no more worrying about ghouls, carrion crawlers, and spiders.

    I have both items being available in the starter dungeon, along with a collection of items you would have found during your earlier travels along the Sword Coast. Unfortunately, some duergar have taken them and will gladly use them against you.....

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    Helm of Balduran
    Doesn't everyone use the 'no visible helmets' component from BG2Tweaks?

  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,860
    The Claw of Kazgaroth
    There are plenty of good helmets and rings, but only rings get two slots per character.

  • DregothofTyrDregothofTyr Member Posts: 229
    Helm of Balduran

    I have both items being available in the starter dungeon, along with a collection of items you would have found during your earlier travels along the Sword Coast. Unfortunately, some duergar have taken them and will gladly use them against you.....

    Is this a mod? It sounds interesting.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,009

    Is this a mod? It sounds interesting.

    It is but I don't have it available for people to use, mostly because I have never zipped the files and put them out there. Many people use other mods to skip Chez Irenicus, if I recall.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,330
    That sounds like an interresting mod @Mathsorcerer! If you ever make it available for others, please post about it 'cause I would prolly use it (and I use quite few mods, but I tend to "cheat" by importing old gear from BG1 since I think it's more fun for certain runs).

  • DregothofTyrDregothofTyr Member Posts: 229
    Helm of Balduran
    Yeah I would definitely use it too if you ever feel like throwing it up.

  • SharguildSharguild Member Posts: 186
    The Claw of Kazgaroth
    'The CRAW! All hail the CRAW...!"
    I personally enjoy utilizing the claw in BG2 for the same reason many have prescribed, saving throws beats armour class at this stage of the trilogy.
    Save vs death does not come into practice I find anywhere near the frequency of save vs spells or for that matter, wands later in game. Save vs death also has better counter spells than the others it seems.
    Other great helms are in the game and worthwhile rings, not so much.
    The Con hit I suggest most of my PCs can withstand without due effort as I recognize it as one of the most significant stats on creation to pump.


  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Sorry for the necro, just theorycrafting a bit over this one right now. Never used the claw before, but it looks rather interesting for my soon-to-be dwarf F/C who will completely and utterly focus on defense (so for example no dual-wielding, instead running around with the biggest shield he can get his hands on plus sword and shield style). The bonuses look nice enough, so just about the penalties:
    - Penalty 1: -4 vs death. Not sure how much this will hurt, but seeing how clerics seem pretty strong in saves vs death I guess that one might balance itself out in the long run? And on a related note: do I understand it right that save vs death has nothing to do with things like death spell or powerword: death (which would be save vs spell?), but only affects poison and disease?
    - Penalty 2: -2 constitution. Now that one really doesn't look too good, even if shorty saves remain unharmed after getting the constitution tome. But then again there's that Helmet of Dumathoin in SoD which could at least negate the penalty with its +2 constitution (dwarf only). But still, worth it?
    On the other hand the Helm of Balduran is of course just an all-around great (if not the best?) helmet one can get in all of the games...
    So I guess that at the end of the day it comes down to:
    Claw of Kazgaroth + Helmet of Dumathoin
    Helm of Balduran + Ring of Earth Control (or maybe Honorary Ring of Sune or Holy Symbol for some extra spells?)
    Any advice/ideas/corrections would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,048
    edited March 9
    Helm of Balduran
    Spells and death are the only saves that matter very much. The helm is the clear winner from that vantage point, providing a net +2 bonus compared to the claw's net -1 penalty. Not to mention the other benefits the helm brings to the table.

    I'm happy to use the claw on a caster in BG1, where careful positioning and strategy can mitigate the need to make death saves. But I wouldn't personally consider importing the claw over the helm in BG2.

  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    edited March 9
    Wow, haven't expected such an extremely detailed reply, why thank you thousandfold for that kind sir or madam!
    Okay, so save vs death affects a lot more things than I thought, especially paralyzation can really be a royal pain in the gulliver. Suddenly gimping that doesn't look too tempting anymore... (so Claw 0, Helm 1)
    And of course you're absolutely correct in regards to losing constitution, which is rather counter-intuitive for this specific character who will want all the hitpoints he can get, better regeneration probably wouldn't hurt either because Ring of Gaxx isn't exactly early-game content and no-stealing-allowed means no-picking-Ribald's-pockets, d'oh! (Claw 0, Helm 2)
    You do have another point in that extra fire resistance sure is nice, but then again I was under the impression that regular (melee) attack enemies are way more common at least for most of SoA than say fireball-slingers. So I think that for quite a while for example Keldorn might love some extra AC, THACO and HP if I go for the Helmet of Dumathoin instead. And when we face a dragon or so he could just quickly switch to one of the helmets with elemental resistances. (Claw 0, Helm 3, I guess)
    Hmm hmm hmm, I'm beginning to see a pattern here...
    Edit: only saw @jsaving 's answer just now, so thank you too! Seems like the final score is Claw 0, Helm 4. Looks like we have a clear and honorable victor (nope, not Bendak Starkiller), Helm of Balduran it is... well then curse that cursed claw, with some extra cursedy curse words #*&% @£+₩ ^!)¥ on top just to be sure!

    Post edited by LelandGaunt on
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,885
    Except ... in the long run, you have to look at what else you'll put in that slot. I checked an endgame save from a recent run of mine: five characters capable of wearing helmets, helm of Balduran in a bag. In all five cases, they wore elemental resistance helmets instead. Three helms of defense, the Helm of the Rock, and the Dragon Helm.

    Depending on your preferences, the helm of Balduran might well go obsolete. It's great early on, but you find a lot of good helmets. The claw of Kazgaroth won't, because you have so many ring slots to work with. And an item you're using is always better than an item you're not using.

  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Well, yet another perfectly valid point it seems.
    Oh decisions, decisions everywhere...

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,975
    @LelandGaunt I usually prefer the Helm myself for characters that have a choice, but it's a pretty close decision. For a clerical character focused on defense (so not worried about the THAC0 bonus from the Helm), the Claw looks a pretty good bet to me.

    It's true that death saves are relatively common, but still far less so than spell saves and a point that hasn't been made is that negative modifiers to death saves are unusual - whereas they're not for spell saves. A F/Cl also has such good death saves that, even wearing the Claw, you can get an undispellable guaranteed save against almost everything relatively early in BG2. Getting guaranteed saves against spells is far more difficult and the Claw helps a lot with that (for a F/M the balance on saves is different and the Claw is less beneficial to them).

    A large part of the concerns with paralysation effects are from ghasts & ghouls. Given you're a cleric though it's not too long before you can turn and later explode those with turn undead (and sanctuary let's you avoid them if you want right from the early game). Carrion crawlers can't be turned - but they're also helpless against your skeleton allies ...

    If you play no-reload, then breath saves are also pretty important. For most classes those are the most difficult things to save against (base saves are higher and modifiers for things like dragons are significant) - again the Claw is helpful there.

    If you are wearing the Helmet of Dumathoin the constitution penalty has little impact on HP survival. The difference between regeneration at 20 and 22 equates to just the occasional HP in most fights - and in BG2 you can quickly get hold of the Ring of Gaxx if you want to make even that moot.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,779
    unless i have a swashbuckler or blade charname i always use the helm of balduran, all the way to the end of ToB

    on insane difficulty where you take double damage, that potentially 23 HP difference is quite noticeable

  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Wow, you guys really give me lots and lots of food for thought here, thank you all, I think I'm gonna skip lunch today^^
    So the decision is really far from clear-cut or anything, and for example just some simple mid-to-late-game DUHMing up might completely turn the balance upside down once more, oh my...
    Another thing I only read about just now: not related to items' stats or anything, but wiki states that the claw comes with a visual effect of "blurred image, just like the Cloak of Displacement", is that so? I know I know, that's just cosmetic, but might still be another no-no for me or at least for charname him/herself, I'm absolutely no fan of that effect (except maybe on a thief character) or those other crazy cloak visuals for that matter.
    In the end I might just go ahead through BG1, pick them both up on the way and simply flip a coin to see which of the two will make the jump :smiley:

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,885
    Yes, the claw has that visual blur effect. It's easy to remove with a mod, of course, and I'm pretty sure you could find tweaks people have posted around here for that.

  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Hmm, sounds interesting, thanks. Now if only I knew how to pull something like that off on an android phone whilst being a complete illiterate when it comes to all dem fancy digital technology computery data thingies... like, picture a guy drooling all over his display while staring at some arbitrary point on the wall with unseeing eyes... yep, that's me ;)
    But that's okay I guess, I think I've more or less settled on the helm anyway. Because after all, helmets have the power of protecting brains from hurting (kinda). And rings on the other hand (or on any hand whatsoever, really) are more for... ehm... married couples and pimp types and such. But my nice little Lagr'in Lightbeer (name's not necessarily final yet) is highly unlikely to ever get married (because nobody loves dwarves + already kinda married to Lathander) or to ever take part in the pimping business (not exactly typical lawful good kind of enterprise + Athkatla's just sorely lacking in the clean-and-decent-brothels department). So hooray for Anti-Brain-Hurt-Thingies^^

  • VicissitudeVicissitude Member Posts: 23
    The annoyance of that blur effect should not be underestimated. You may find it stylish at first but after a while it can cause you eyestrain. It also prevents you from gazing at your character with his/her shining brand-new equipment. I've always thought it should trigger only while in combat.

    So the longer your playthrough is, the less I'd recommend the claw. Sure, you can remove that blur effect with mods but if you're like me you don't use mods as a matter of principle.

    Overall, the claw is a more complex item than the helm. You really need to max out its advantages which means you should know what you're doing. Otherwise, the helm is just a better all-around item.

  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 476
    edited March 28
    Helm of Balduran
    The claw is more exotic, and proves you worked your way through BG1 I guess...but the Helm protects against critical hits, and is worth more gold, so it’s the Helm practically every time.

    I don’t have that avatar, for nothing, after all...

    What about the horn, or Koveras’ ring BTW? They’re pretty useful too.

  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Koveras' ring, really, isn't that basically just a regular ring of protection +1 of which there are like a hundred all over the place?
    The horn does look interesting too, but 18 seconds sounds rather short for the effects...

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