Darkest Dungeon II – The Occultist Hero Paths

Those of you who like your healers unreliable but stylish might want to check out the latest Hero Paths preview for Darkest Dungeon II. This particular one is dedicated to the Occultist and his Warlock and Ritualist paths. Here’s what they bring to the table:

The Occultist.

“Witness the infernal and blasphemous power of the void!”

Warlock or Ritualist?

The Warlock path takes advantage of the Occultist’s ability to wield occult energies, allowing him to keep his distance from enemies while dealing increased damage. However, he must be wary of any incoming ranged attacks, as his focus on conjurations tax his health.

Warlock Occultists lean into the glass cannon role, having significantly reduced HP and an excellent boost to their ranged – Abyssal Artillery, Daemon’s Pull, The Burning Stars – attacks. Their curses count as ranged attacks as well but 50% of nothing (or nearly nothing) is still nothing.

The 33% chance to gain Unchecked Power at the start of each turn presents an opportunity to make frequent, repeated use of The Burning Stars, particularly if you feed the Combo token it generates to Sacrificial Stab or Binding Shadows, though the latter may move you out of the safer back ranks. With a little luck, you can roll out The Burning Stars on every other turn. If you add Chaotic Offering to the mix, there’s a chance you can use it several turns in a row!

If you haven’t unlocked The Burning Stars, Abyssal Artillery still gains a reasonable back row damage boost on this path and it can use the Unchecked Power to become a double Stun.

Did You Know: The Burn DOT associated with Unchecked Power cannot be resisted, so letting unused Unchecked Power accrue can become a serious issue! Try to keep at least one skill equipped that can easily consume it before your already limited HP pool goes up in self-inflicted flames.

Raven’s Reach Trinkets are an obvious pick if you want to focus on maximizing damage but that low HP and chance of self-immolation means you might want to consider something like the Hint of Home or Befuddling Sundial to reduce the odds of your Occultist’s life reaching a sudden and fiery conclusion instead. The Buttressing Band will help him weather some attacks if you don’t have a Hero who can Guard him. Sparkleball is a solid pick if you’re focused on Abyssal Artillery, while Adrenalizing Ash can drive that first strike of the fight (turn 2 Burning Stars?) to even greater heights.

With The Ritualist path, the Occultist turns to incantations, simultaneously increasing curse damage and healing skills. The Ritualist Occultist’s flexibility makes him a valuable addition to the team, but unfortunately this also makes him more vulnerable to oncoming attacks.

Whereas the Warlock Path focused on ranged attacks, the Ritualist Path is all about the strength of your blade at first glance. Sacrificial Stab gains a staggeringly large enhancement, making it all the easier to generate Unchecked Power off of kills, which conveniently feeds into Wyrd Reconstruction’s buffed healing.

If you’re the type that likes to run your Occultist as a primary debuffer, his curses – Weakening Curse and Vulnerability Hex – can provide useful Tokens. While Strength will only have value if you’re weaving in damage skills, CRIT Tokens will allow his debuffs to penetrate resistance and Dodge+ Tokens are excellent for keeping him out of trouble, particularly if he’s further forward in the ranks to make use of skills like Anamnesis.

Did You Know:Effects that further buff the damage of Sacrificial Stab, such as Strength Tokens, will provide their buffed damage based on the original base value of the skill. This means that a Strength Token on base Sacrificial Stab has 8-15 DMG (3-6 [base] + 3-6 [100% Path buff] + 2-3 [50% Strength Token]) rather than the 9-18 (6-12 + 3-6 [50% for Strength Token]) that you might have expected. This is currently applicable to all similar buffs.

Vulnerability and Block Tokens like to cancel each other out, so the negative side of the Ritualist Path can potentially be avoided through use of Trinkets like the Bouncer’s Belt. If your Occultist is a debuffer, Wolfsblood Trinkets will keep him in prime initiative order.

Gnarly Knuckles Trinkets are clear picks if you just want to land Sacrificial Stab damage but the Unchecked Power you produce can also fuel Anamnesis, which is an excellent skill to use in conjunction with any Trinket that applies additional effects – the Dead Ringer would get 4 chances to roll Stun!

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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