My current build:
I run an offensive build focused towards buffing the Brim Smith as much as possible. Currently, my character level is 150 and the creatures in this party are all level 133. I do not have any nether creatures in this party yet. I am currently enjoying a lot of success and fun with this setup. However, there are certainly a lot of players out there who are a lot more knowledgable and progressed than myself, so criticism is welcome and encouraged.
Class: Life Mage.
I started as Chaos for the extra damage, but I spent some exalted emblems around level 50 to change over to Life. Holy Defiance is, in my opinion, the best perk in the game. At rank 17+, all of your creatures can take at least 3 hits from any opponent before dying, regardless of their maximum health or defense stats. Therefore, this perk allows me to focus on a more damage oriented creature and artifact roster without severely compromising the longevity of my team.
Creature Formation: Creature (Legendary Matierial Ability)
Brownie Captain (Topaz Focus), Stardust Amaranth (Pegasus Wings), Brownie Mauler (Emerald Focus)
Brim Smith (Strength of the World), Dark Brim Smith (Heaven Breaker), Brim Smith (Strength of the World)
The Brim Smiths are the primary damage dealers of the group, drawing 200% additional attack from their artifacts. The Strength of the World enchantment gives them an additional 20% damage for each living creature on the battlefield. The initial 240% buff at the start of the fight, congruent with splash, is usually enough to take out the entire enemy party in one hit, with the exception of bosses. Against the boss, even with the rest of the enemy team dead, the additional 140% damage from the enchantment is still superior to Berserk.
Brownie Captains grant 30% additional attack and luck as well as Multistrike to creatures in their column. They’re in the party to buff the Brim Smiths. Their damage is respectable as a supplement, though, in case the Smiths leave behind any stragglers. The legendary materials on their artifacts are focused towards utility; the Topaz Focus allows my party to start at the top of the action queue every battle and strike first, and the Emerald Focus grants substantial extra damage to the entire party while allowing the attackers to bypass the beneficial effects of provoking adversaries.
The Dark Brim Smith grants the attack and luck from his artifact to creatures in his row. Like the Brownie Captains, he is placed with the Brim Smiths to buff their damage. His legendary material, the Heaven Breaker, grants Splash to all surrounding allies. Placing him in the center gives the entire party splash.
The Stardust Amaranth revives on death, granting the party shell and mend. With his Pegasus Wings enchantment, he is almost always the first to die. Assuming the enemy party survives the initial Brim Smith attacks, the Stardust Amaranth with Pegasus in conjunction with the Life Mage’s Holy Defiance talent adds several full rounds of survival to the team.
I’ve found it to be important to plan ahead and select spells that help make up for the weaknesses in my build. After I got the spells in place, I used a ton of quills so that I would be able to use my spells as necessary without having to worry about running out. It’s really important not to overlook quills, as they allow spells to become a reliable part of your arsenal rather than a bonus effect that you can throw out here and there.
Since I am lacking the Unicorn Vivifier, two of my spell slots are devoted to resurrection spells. I use one single target rez, and one mass rez. In my opinion, this is a more effective strategy than using Vivifiers, as the Vivifier’s ability only has a 50% success rate. Since I rarely have to rez anything, I’m finding quills faster than I’m using my resurrect scrolls for the time being.
I also use a single target heal and a group heal, since none of my creatures have the ability to heal my party, save the Amaranth’s group mend on death. Since Holy Defiance only affects damage from attacks, heals are occasionally necessary to counter damage-over-time debuffs.
Haste is extremely useful, giving me an additional Brim Smith attack in case the opposition survives the initial attacks. Spells which send targets or the entire enemy party to the bottom of the action queue, such as Ice Bolt or Snow Storm are also fantastic. They function in a manner similar to Haste by manipulating the action queue.
Purgatory decreases the enemy’s sorcery defense by 90%, allowing the Brim Smith to hit nethers as hard as they hit ordinary monsters and handle enemies with Padsorc.
Suffocates and Bleeds are a significant and reliable way to damage nethers through crowd control, and an excellent way for the weaker creatures to contribute meaningful damage if no utility spells are necessary on any given turn.
I’m still looking for more optimal choices for this build. If only been playing for a little over a month, so my experimentation has been limited. Any feedback or correction is certainly welcome. Some things I’m considering:
Death Crafters may be superior to Brim Smiths depending on how their ability (White Knuckles: additional damage equal to 30% of their artifact’s total attack bonus) works. I’m not sure if this 30% is added as a percent multiplier, base damage, or additional damage on top of the attack. For example, assuming the Death Crafter’s sword carries a 1500 attack bonus, he would either receive an additional 450 base damage, 450 damage on top of the attack’s damage after other calculations, or 450% additional damage. If the latter is true, the 450% damage increase would definitely outweigh the Strength of the World, or perhaps even the Brim Smith itself, and would therefore merit either replacing Strength of the World with White Knuckles, or the Brim Smith for a Death Crafter. Edit: Zack explained the Death Crafter in another thread. The Death Crafter’s ability procs an additional attack after the primary attack is executed which deals unmitigated damage equal to 30% of the artifact’s total attack bonus. I’ll stick with the Brim Smith + %Damage enchantment for now, but I could see the Death Crafter being formidable at later levels with a high damage artifact versus enemies with exceptionally high defense.
Brownie Captains are awesome, but there may be more optimal utilities to have in their place. The raven ability that halves the HP of every creature on the battlefield is especially attractive; as the Topaz Focus allows my team to go first, halving the oppositions HP would significantly increase the level threshold of enemies that the Brim Smith can one-shot.
The Emerald Focus, while amazing, may also be overshadowed by more synergistic enchantments.
The Stardust Amaranth may be replaced by the Pegasus with the Afterlife enchantment if the Pegasus has better base stats. I haven’t come across a Pegasus yet, only the enchantment material, so I haven’t been able to test this. Edit: I finally found a Pegasus core about an hour after I posted this. His base stats favor health over defense versus the Amaranth, which would probably work better in congruence with his ability. Considering this, I would choose the Pegasus + Afterlife over the Amaranth setup that I currently use.