View Full Version : Alchemist reactions: Is there a good semitank build in here somewhere?

02-25-2020, 12:36 PM
Ran a heroic life of alchemists with the vile chemist/vistani thrower approach which was decent. Not the even kinda overpowered state that most classes start in, but decent.
However I noticed that the orchidium reaction spike is pretty hardcore, being like +70 PRR and extra elemental resist. Added to the +40 PRR you already get from orchidium and some more from the various trees and you're getting into really tanky territory. Saving throws being a one-stat wonder are going to be good.

Typically if orchidium is your desired state, you find yourself leaving it whenever you want to heal, which is yellow. I know a lot of alchemists prefer to use heal scrolls and wands for that reason. But the 12 seconds of hyper PRR is pretty nice. Consider:

Orchid spike ends with casting of an AE heal of some description. You're left with yellow primer.
You cast a wave of poison (cheap, and blue). This gives you a green reaction spike. maybe you use the green spike to heal a little more. or maybe you
Use a red spell or ability (the poison shot or strike thing is free, and red, or you could just nuke something, using a red poison nuke will even make use of your green spike and you have several of single or AE type. Red gets you ready to get back into orchidium with a blue use
Cast another wave of poison---now back in orchidium.

so to get back to orchid and spike you need blue/red/blue. You can probably do this most of the time in 3 seconds or less.
Perhaps a rotation where you
<do blue/red stuff while in orchid spike state>
<when spike runs out, toss a heal somewhere, if don't need a heal, smoke a yellow nuke or CC or utility, but honestly, somebody probably needs a heal or while by the time the bottle arrives>
Punch a wave of poison on the stuff you're tanking. If for some reason you don't need or want to do that, you can use another blue spell. Thing is most blue spells have fairly high mana costs. A defense bottled boost might be good here.
Do a poison nuke here like poison breath. Did you notice that you removed poison immunity for most everyone in the area of effect at the previous step? If economizing mana you can do a poison shot or strike here instead.
Now smoke your other poison wave or do something else blue if you don't have one, you're back in orchid spike, do blue red stuff for 12 seconds and return to the beginning of the rotation.

Doing this I reckon you could be in orchid spike state 2/3 of the time pretty easily, You're also briefly in green spike which you can make decent use of. Overall mana consumption of these isn't bad.
There's a build in here somewhere, probably with at least 15 alchemist levels, maybe even 20. Anyone care to try and spot it?
It probably involves light armor, since anything more would sacrifice evasion. That could be had as simply as burning a feat on it. Or it could take a splash from arty or bard or rogue.

02-26-2020, 01:19 PM
Nice point. Your question, is there semi-tank hiding in there, was my question as well. So a buddy of mine and I need Alch for completion, and I came up with a couple builds that focus on melee and poison damage. I'm not going to answer your main question, are there builds that try to maximize orchidium benefits, as I thought you already did a pretty good job of it. But I realized yours may be a missing piece in what I'm trying to accomplish: better defenses.

Vile Ravager
First build I call the Vile Ravager. It tries to stack as much poison damage via melee as possible:
Barbarian 6 / t5 Ravager, Alch 12 / t4 c4 Vile Chemist (remember: we need Alch PLs, so that's why many levels of Alch), and Rogue 2 / t2 Assassin.

Why assassin? Venomed Blades scales with 200% melee power, and this build will focus on building up melee power in addition to poison damage. And besides, he's our trapper.

I picked Ravager and not FB because of Cruel Cut/Festering Wounds stacking poison damage DOT. BUT, it has a 30 sec cool down and it does not scale with melee power. So I'm not confident it's better than FB, but I want to test it out.

It's a Strength build, and the weapon should be Falchion for the critical range boost from Imp Crit, Critical Rage at t5 Ravager, Tail of the Scorpion (https://ddowiki.com/page/Item:Tail_of_the_Scorpion), among other reasons. THF line obviously.

Race? HOrc is obvious, but APs are very tight, so going Wood Elf for Arcane Fluidity.

Sting of the Alchemist
The second build is the one I'm using on my toon, which I've named Sting of the Alchemist. It may be the only place in this game in which Ninja Spy and its poison attacks are actually worthwhile. I base it on the Poison Master (https://sites.google.com/site/bookofsyn/class-trees/ninja-spy/poison-master) build from a few years back. This job for this toon is to enhance poison damage (up to 100%) using Ninja Poison, Sting of the Ninja and Deadly Exploits.

Monk 6/Ninja t5, Alch 12/VC t4 c4, FvS 2 (or 1)
- I put 12 points into Falconry for WIS to damage
- I may replace t5 Ninja with t5 VC, but need to test it
- FvS Divine Will is essential. The Ninja's DC is based on class level, so multi-class hurts those DCs. Divine Will helps make up for that. Combine that with both toons taking Toxic Augmentation from t4 VC + Contamination overcomes the loss of monk levels and DCs when spamming Ninja Poison.

Race is Aasimar since it's a Wis build and everyone loves the Good Hands people. It uses short swords and 2WF (although SWF may be superior), Tiefling Assassin's Blade (https://ddowiki.com/page/Item:Tiefling_Assassin%27s_Blade) then Envenomed Blades (https://ddowiki.com/page/Item:Envenomed_Blade), obviously.

Anyway, it's fussy and requires a lot of teamwork as these two builds are designed to work together. It may be a complete failure. But on paper it looks doable. If it works, I'll probably write it up.

05-07-2020, 08:42 PM
I had originally just responded to ValariusK with a couple melee builds for alchemist, and I finally got around to running them. Once they got to level 10 they got all the poison vulnerability debuffs, which are really nice. It has worked great for a number of reasons, including some I didn't expect. But of course, that's heroic, typically R2-4, 2 man runs.

But I have an answer to the original question: what is a good color and spell rotation? As people realize by now, you can get your PRR pretty high in Orchidium/purple.

I prefer something simple while I'm learning a class, and my routine is pretty much that. I've been playing the Ninja-Vile Chemist, and go into combat in purple, sitting at around 80 prr at level 14. That's in robes. Dodge is over 25, AC around 60, conceal 25% and incorporeal 10%, plus stoneskin, and it feels fairly robust.

Then at some point I'll throw a heal pot which knocks me out of purple, followed by Poisoned Strike (t2), which acts like a Crimsonite spell. This puts me into Pyrite/orange Reaction Spike. I'm now getting a 50% boost to my poison spell power (10 + 6xAlch level), which the core Vile Chemist Poisoned Coating toggle depends on. Poison damage increases.

As soon as the spike ends (12 seconds) I cast the Stiffen Skin SLA (8 sp, t1), Displacement, or an Action Boost buff. Then Poison Strike again, and I'm back in Orchidium/purple with its Reaction Spike bumping my PRR up to 120.

To summarize:

start purple
when needed throw heal pot
poison strike/shot => Pyrite spike
fight for 12 seconds
cast a Crimsonite/blue spell or enhancement
poison strike/shot => Orchidium spike
fight for at least 12 seconds
Rinse and repeat as needed

That's it.

I don't use Verdanite/green spikes because I'm doing a melee build, not a spell caster.

05-09-2020, 11:59 AM
A quick update/revision to what I posted yesterday:

start purple
when needed throw curative pot
poison strike/shot => Pyrite spike
fight for 12 seconds
cast Wave of Poison (I forgot this is Ceruleite/blue)
poison strike/shot => Orchidium spike
fight for at least 12 seconds
Rinse and repeat as needed

Another revision/option: I list purple/Orchidium for the first step because I run around in that reaction state, but if you're buffing for a set fight, you can prep yourself to start in an Orchidium Spike immediately.

Clear your current color reaction.
Prep with red "on deck" in the small circle and nothing in the large circle, i.e., no reaction state.
When mobs are closing hit them with Wave of Poison (a Ceruleite spell) => Orchidium spike (extra PRR for 12 sec).
Or oppositely, have blue "on deck" and hit incoming mobs with a red attack, typically Poison Strike or a ranged Vial attack => Orchidium spike.

Again, the goal here is to be in reaction spikes as much as possible, and the way I do that is alternating between gaining enhanced spell power and enhanced PRR.

It sounds clunky but once you get used to it it's no different than having any other spell or attack rotation. An advantage unique the Alchemist's attack rotation is you have these visual color cues that are lacking for other spell casters or melees.