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How to make a viable Wizard Slayer

SeveronSeveron Member Posts: 214
Greetings.

I have a character that I really want to try out, possibly in multiplayer. A quick brief background on the character below:

Aliora is the daughter to a powerful wizard of Thay. Whilst growing up, her father realised her mother had Wild Mage tendencies which she had kept secret until discovered. He then captured and tortured her to death in order to extract whatever it is red wizards want from wild mages. Aliora finding out the truth of her mothers death, fled Thay and began her training as a wizard slayer hoping to return to Thay to get revenge.

At some point in her story, I want her to dual to a mage either she comes to terms with her mothers death, accepting her magical inheritance and / or after killing her father with an arrow shot through the eye. (This would be done off-screen either before BG or BG2 for example.)

So from a gameplay point of view, I've never played Wizard Slayers. They've always felt far too restrictive than what you gain. Even at the end of trilogy, the benefits imo don't outweigh the restrictions.

- If you had to dual a Wizard Slayer to a Mage, at what point would you think it beneficial to do so?
- Do you think it unreasonable to EEKeeper some sort of innate ability or something a little extra for the character to make up the shortfall and still be considered ok for use in multiplayer?

For example: Would it be too OP to EEKeeper +2 bonus to all saves and maybe provide an initial Magic Resistance by 25%.

Post edited by Severon on
JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,200
    Severon said:

    - If you had to dual a Wizard Slayer to a Mage, at what point would you think it beneficial to do so?

    Mechanically, 9 is the best choice for sure (with the entire series in mind). Level 7 is when Fighters gain +0.5 base APR, so you could dual there if you like, but going to 9 for all Fighter hit dice, more THAC0 and Grand Mastery in one weapon is quite easy to do considering the low cost (XP brackets don't change to BG2 values until lvl 10 for Fighters).

    You could also argue it fits thematically, because it's after a profound experience with magic (Irenicus).
    Severon said:

    - Do you think it unreasonable to EEKeeper some sort of innate ability or something a little extra for the character to make up the shortfall and still be considered ok for use in multiplayer?

    Personally I'm always in favor of creative use of EEKeeper. I see nothing wrong with using it to reinforce RP, and there are many ways to do so. Ultimately, it's up to you and the people you play with.

    semiticgoddesslunar
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,603
    Ah, "A very good question" I thought, and one to which I'd very much like to know the answer!

    Rightly or wrongly I believe that the best mage killer is another mage, but with an edge. So I initially thought "Yes, that could work" but then, on reflection, decided that the benefits you would get from dualing from WS wouldn't outweigh those you get from dualing from Assassin (which is my favourite mage killer style and would sort of fit with your backstory). But that's just my opinion and very much tailored to fit the way I play the game.

  • RobertMcDuckRobertMcDuck Member Posts: 133
    edited April 2016
    dunbar said:

    I believe that the best mage killer is another mage

    In a non-rp perspective, a fighter/mage casting breach and true sight, followed by hacking and slashing his body apart, is probably the deadliest threat to a wizard.

  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    Wait, if you start with a base of the Wizard Slayer, will you ever be able to equip things like those nice jewelry that give you more spell slots? I know the reason a Kensai -> Thief is popular is because of the Use Any Item ability that lets you ignore the Kensai restrictions and wear armor and bracers again, I assume the Wizard Slayer restrictions would stay through Dual Classing as well, which means a Mage would never have any bracers, belts, etc that could turn them from simple mage to living god.

    It just doesn't seem worth it to me.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,200
    edited April 2016
    dunbar said:

    the benefits you would get from dualing from WS wouldn't outweigh those you get from dualing from Assassin

    Certainly two very comparable setups. However, there are some very notable advantages to being a WS. First and foremost, you get more APR and better THAC0; both from being a Fighter and from having Grand Mastery. That can be quite crucial if you base your interrupts on hitting things often. Secondly, the WS Miscast Magic practically cannot be resisted - whereas the arguably most dangerous spellcasters in BG (Liches) are naturally immune against poison.

    You do get some nice perks for being Assassin, of course. Weigh the pros and cons, and decide for your own specific setup.

    semiticgoddess
  • SeveronSeveron Member Posts: 214
    @JumboWheat01 The thing with Kensai/Thief is you have to wait an extraordinarly long time to get to HLA's to use any items that you will have played through most of the game.
    Yes even a Wizard Slayer/Mage would still have the restrictions. Wouldn't even be able to use wands. :'(

    semiticgoddess
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,603
    @RobertMcDuck Agreed, but you did rather take my quote out of context because I did qualify it by saying "with an edge" and I simply prefer the dual class option because of the time it takes to gain access to (amongst other things) Breach.

  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    First off I like your back story idea.

    However I would never dual a wizard slayer as they peak late when they gain high MR and fighter hla's. Nothing about them duals well when compared to any other type of warrior and they're a pretty bad class in the early game, plus the inability to use magical items all game would suck as a mage.

    Berserker might fit your story nicely and would dual so much better.

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,265
    My advice? Always go ranged with a wizardslayer. Preferably something with a naturally high APR, like darts or short bows. Elves are great wizardslayers thanks to 19 DEX and bonuses to bows. Halflings also work well.

    Wizardslayer/mage is a horrible, horrible dual. Don't even think about it unless you really want a difficult challenge since you cannot use any extra spell-slot items or protection items to make up for lack of armor. Wizardslayer/thief isn't that bad.

  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    Also, only you can answer your eekeeper question... I do not use it for anything other than the occasional respec or cosmetic change but even bioware have been known to create slightly impossible characters (haer d weapon profs, kaigan constitution).

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,265
    edited April 2016

    Wizardslayer/mage is a horrible, horrible dual. Don't even think about it unless you really want a difficult challenge since you cannot use any extra spell-slot items or protection items to make up for lack of armor.

    This I *strongly* disagree with. WS->Mage is at least the second-best WS dual (after or on par with WS->Druid). The main reason for that is Melf's Minute Meteors, which work INCREDIBLY well for a Wizard Slayer, with their 5 APR high-THAC0/high enchantment level attack and elemental damage (same goes for Fire Seeds as Druid dual, but better). Also, you can easily compensate for the lack of protective items by using protective spells, which in BG2 at least are much better than items at protecting you anyway. Sitting behind layer upon layer of Stoneskin and Mirror Image (not to mention things like PfMW etc.) and shielded from almost any form of magic conceivable... hardly a better spot to set out from on your mage-slaying quest.
    I disagree with MMM on most fighter/mage builds. On thief/mages, cleric/mages and bards it makes sense because of their limited APR but a fighter can easily reach 4-5 APR simply via using darts/Tuigan Bow, grandmastery and a Haste spell. As for items, you're not just losing protective items, you're missing out on Amulet of Power (-1 casting time), Rings of Acuity and Wizardry for more spell casts, wands, etc. While arcane spells tie in well with being an anti-mage your prowess as a mage is gimped and, since you're progressing as only a mage, that is not a good thing.

    I probably should've elaborated on wizardslayer/thief. In my opinion, UAI is just the cherry on top. Thief levels allow the wizardslayer to perform hit-and-fade with backstab for bonus damage + to-hit bonus from stealth, and because the wizardslayer is best as a ranged fighter they'll naturally aim for a high DEX which goes well with being a thief. Traps are also extremely helpful.

    I think UAI's greatest strength is not in allowing more weapons but in allowing the wizardslayer/thief to use scrolls. Then you have the spells you need while having all the tools that being a thief provides.

    semiticgoddess
  • magisenseimagisensei Member Posts: 316
    From a role playing perspective I can sort of imagine starting as wizard slayer to get revenge and then finally becoming a mage to fulfill your mother's arcane heritage.

    A wizard-slayer > mage is really an unusual dual as it brings some difficulties when you get back your ws class - no ability to use potions, rings, amulets, wands, boots etc - all those fun things that add to being a mage. Although in BG2 you can still use some of those amazing staffs - considered weapons - so make sure you have a few points in staff as a ws.

    Being a mage will allow you mostly to overcome not being able to use items.

    If you decide to dual at 7 or 9 - it really depends on what you are looking for in a ws - how much is his magic resistance and how many attacks (melee) will be given if you go to level 9.

    If you dual at 9 - then you will be mage for at least the first 1/3 of BG2 - which is fine if you have a team to support you.

    I would consider instead of bows try using darts (very fasts and great APR) - although you will miss out on some of the amazing bows - your NPCs can use them instead and darts can be fun and have a good variety as well - a few points in them as well.

    The thing with a wizard slayer > mage is how you plan to play him - if you are thinking another melee fighter with some added mage abilities - that would probably not be the best choice - make him more a 3rd melee fighter instead and use the ws>m as a mage with some unique abilities to disrupt casters by firing a ton of darts. There is no need for a ws>mage to actually engage in regular melee.

    Using Keeper to add things or increase things is a personal choice - but remember to keep it balanced as well -- Viconia has a 65%MR because she is a drow and you can achieve high MR through items to some degree - as long as it is not game breaking then it should not be a problem - you after all have divine blood and it should act differently for different characters and not just the bhaalspawn powers you get for a different alignment.

    As for the thief dual -- wz>thief - is a mighty combo like kensai>thief or anything >thief when they reach epic levels - personally I find UAI a bit too cheesey for my taste.

    JuliusBorisov
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Imo the WS=>Mage dual is a lot stronger than its Thief counterpart. As @Lord_Tansheron pointed out, magic can emulate nearly everything an item does.

    Being a Mage is so powerful, you don't need any additional spell slots or anything else, especially as a WS: one RRR here, one Breach there, throw two darts and that's it, you have incapacitated the enemy caster.

    Any physical fight can be solved with a combination of buffs (Prot from evil + Blur + Mirror Image + Stoneskin + Spirit Armor + Improved Invisibility + PfMW + Improved Haste etc) from the Mage.

    JuliusBorisov
  • SeveronSeveron Member Posts: 214
    Some good feedback, thanks guys.
    Yes Aliora will be using the Longbow and will likely grand master it. I haven't meta gamed her stats as I want to try and create an actual character like an NPC which I want to use to join someone's multiplayer game as if they picked up Aliora as an NPC.
    Thus she only has 15 strength and low constitution, but has high enough dex and int that she can dual to either thief or mage.

    Also I figure if she's shooting Arrows of Dispelling, it really makes mince meat of mages

    Gotural
  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,265
    Try Arrows of Detonation. You will apply spell disruption to everyone caught within the explosion.

    GoturalPteransemiticgoddess
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    @Lord_Tansheron

    I'm aware of the pros and cons of warriors and dual classing, but the main thing wiz slayer has going for him is his MR and gimping that doesn't seem like playing the class to its strengths.

    Sure mages can mitigate not using magical items a bit, but its still a disadvantage compared to a dual with any other warrior.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,200

    I'm aware of the pros and cons of warriors and dual classing, but the main thing wiz slayer has going for him is his MR

    It seems we have a fundamental disagreement, then. For me, WS is all about the Miscast, the MR is just some random bonus you happen to get (or not get). You don't really need MR when no spells are cast. A WS->Mage or WS->Druid in the unmodded game can completely lock down even liches.

    semiticgoddessGotural
  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    The miscast is great too and has great synergy with gww. I've always been a big fan of MR though as it's entirely reliable (bar a few very specific spells) but only when you take it to high enough levels.

  • jesterdesujesterdesu Member Posts: 373
    Thinking more... a straight wiz slayer will take out a lich even easier than one dualed to mage, (unless imprisonment is the liches first spell) walk up to lich, use gww. Any other class will just use a protection from undead scroll (wiz slayer or wiz slayer dual can't use these iirc).

    Until at the point of using a speed weapon in off hand for 5 natural attacks and then casting improved haste, a wiz slayer dual is not actually going to be able to apply their miscast as effectively as the straight wiz slayer, not to mention the fact that they'll have to buff thoroughly and use a restrictive choice of weapons and style to do it (all the straight wiz slayer needs is one cast of gww per caster).

    What not using magical items tends to weaken is defence (ac, saving throws and immunities) more than attack, which is perhaps why I'm so into the idea of full MR for the wiz slayer... After all, 100% MR is less labour intensive than spell trap, spell immunity combos etc.

    Compared to any other fighter dual I still really struggle with the notion of a wiz slayer one.

    JuliusBorisovGozeta
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,833
    GWW isn't really necessary. Although the description was only recently updated to reflect the fact, WS spell failure is 25%, not 10%. You only need 4 strikes for 100% spell failure. A level 7 Wizard Slayer with Vhailor's Helm can make that happen with using Seeds, bypassing all weapon immunities (if you target something right next to the enemy mage), and whenever that is too costly because Fire Seeds aren't party-friendly, you can just use darts instead.

    You really only need 7 levels as a Wizard Slayer (for the extra 0.5 APR) to shut down all enemy mages in the game, in one round. And a Wizard Slayer gets very, very little MR, at 1% per level for most of the game. The spell failure effect doesn't scale, so most of the benefit of the WS kit comes at level 1, not level 20.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,200

    Until at the point of using a speed weapon in off hand for 5 natural attacks and then casting improved haste, a wiz slayer dual is not actually going to be able to apply their miscast as effectively as the straight wiz slayer

    [...]

    all the straight wiz slayer needs is one cast of gww per caster

    I'm not sure how that comparison is supposed to work. What do you think you'll get more quickly, a +APR weapon and IH or GWW?

    Not to mention the whole Druid thing, which due to how strange Druid levels work out means an incredibly quick setup (even more quickly if you dual at 7 but imo going to 9 is well worth the very small cost).

    semiticgoddess
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,068
    I summon @Blackraven , a master of all wizard-slayers, whose WS character survived from Candlekeep to ToB with the SCS mod. Blackraven is the one who knows them inside-out, I guess.

    GrumEnialusMeliamnesemiticgoddess
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,032
    edited April 2016
    If you're playing with SCS it's easy to overestimate the value of miscast magic. Opponents have a lot of options that are not affected by that, e.g. contingencies/sequencers, scripted spells, wands, special abilities. That is true in vanilla as well, but to nothing like as large an extent.

    I would have to agree that WS dualled to mage would provide better all-round protection and be significantly more capable than a straight WS for most of the game. I'm not convinced though that it would be easier to win a solo no-reload game for a dualled build - a level 7 or even 9 fighter won't find it easy to hit some of the later game opponents and would need to rely more on spells (which is a finite resource). A straight WS with 100+% MR though is a fearsome opponent in ToB.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,200
    Grond0 said:

    If you're playing with SCS it's easy to overestimate the value of miscast magic. Opponents have a lot of options that are not affected by that, e.g. contingencies/sequencers, scripted spells, wands, special abilities. That is true in vanilla as well, but to nothing like as large an extent.

    While that's certainly true, Miscast ist still extremely powerful even in SCS. The issue is usually just getting that first hit in (the eternal WS dilemma) but even if you just lock a caster for a few rounds instead of forever it can still be a very potent tool indeed. LoB particularly is all about control, taking Mages out of the equation for a while as you rush down their support can often times make or break a fight.

    Reminds me: does anyone know if WS Miscast is supposed to only affect arcane casters, and not divine ones? My game is modded and I can't check myself if that is the vanilla behavior, I could've sworn it locked clerics, too...

    semiticgoddessGirewan
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,032


    While that's certainly true, Miscast ist still extremely powerful even in SCS. The issue is usually just getting that first hit in (the eternal WS dilemma) but even if you just lock a caster for a few rounds instead of forever it can still be a very potent tool indeed. LoB particularly is all about control, taking Mages out of the equation for a while as you rush down their support can often times make or break a fight.

    Reminds me: does anyone know if WS Miscast is supposed to only affect arcane casters, and not divine ones? My game is modded and I can't check myself if that is the vanilla behavior, I could've sworn it locked clerics, too...

    I agree that miscast magic is useful, in fact extremely so in a party. For a solo WS though just locking down a mage's spells is not enough in a no-reload - particularly in the long period before MR is maximised. Mages can still effectively cast spells, e.g. through sequencers and scrolls and they only need a status effect to bite once for a victory. And to answer your question the WS only affects arcane magic, which means there are some enemies where MR is clearly more useful.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,200
    edited April 2016
    If you're going solo, not having a mage is a big liability imo. It's much easier to just proactively guard against whatever bad effect you expect (and you you pretty much always know, barring Wild Surge) than to hope you have enough MR and actually block it.

    I think solo I'd always go WS->Mage (if I had to go WS in the first place), but in party I'd likely go WS->Druid. Pure WS just does too little.

    Note that these distinctions won't matter much in an unmodded game. Vanilla has been beaten by any class imaginable, including naked characters and unleveled ones.

    semiticgoddess
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,833
    In SCS, sequencers, contingencies, and triggers are important, but a mage cannot survive with them alone. A Wizard Slayer inflicting 100% spell failure will take down any mage, even in SCS. And contrary to common misconception, almost no SCS spells bypass spell failure.

    GoturalJuliusBorisov
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,032

    If you're going solo, not having a mage is a big liability imo. It's much easier to just proactively guard against whatever bad effect you expect (and you you pretty much always know, barring Wild Surge) than to hope you have enough MR and actually block it.

    I agree with that for most of the game, but I don't think it holds true once MR is past 100%. In a party where spells can help others as well the situation will be different, but for a solo character you can only provide an absolute defense for a finite period of time anyway and with a pretty limited number of spells (and no scrolls) you can't be concerned only with defense as spells will be needed to kill some opponents.

    In SCS, sequencers, contingencies, and triggers are important, but a mage cannot survive with them alone. A Wizard Slayer inflicting 100% spell failure will take down any mage, even in SCS. And contrary to common misconception, almost no SCS spells bypass spell failure.

    I think that's overstating the case. I agree that a WS would have a very good chance against a bog-standard mage in any given encounter, but there are a lot of such encounters and you only need to fail a saving throw once to end a no-reload (of course as referred to above many casters are not affected by spell failure at all and therefore a solo WS needs more of a strategy than this anyway).

    It's not the spells themselves that bypass spell failure, but the method of delivery - scripted spells are not affected. SCS uses those a lot, though I agree that the vast majority relate to buffing (depending on your installation options). However, there are a few scripted spells/abilities that could directly affect an attacking character.

    JuliusBorisov
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