Divinity Original Sin 2: Which Build is Right for You?

In this Divinity Original Sin 2 article we’re going to explore what Build is right for you. While we wait patiently for Divinity: Fallen Heroes, which is due out sometime later this year, I thought it would be a good idea to sort of index the Builds I have made, and point players in the right direction if they are having trouble selecting one. The Builds themselves are rather straight forward, but it isn’t always easy picking the best fit for you or your party, regardless of whether you’re new or a veteran player. In this Guide we’ll cover just that.

Divinity Original Sin 2: Which Build is Right for You?

The first thing to establish when choosing a Build is quite obvious and that is whether or not you want to be a Melee or Ranged character. This is a decision you will make in just about any RPG, and it’s one you’re going to want to make during Character Creation, as it will be the basis of much of your Build.

Melee or Ranged?

Whether you enjoy playing a Warrior, Rogue, Battlemage, Ranger or Mage, there are a few things to know about Melee and Ranged Builds. Not only will they help you decide which is right for you, but also how to play alongside these archetypes in combat. First, let’s take a look at Melee.

Melee Builds

Melee Builds utilize Weapons to deal close combat damage, and generally have a much heavier focus on Physical Damage than Magic Damage. In combat they will need to move to their target, which can sometimes be problematic, but they have the advantage of dealing very high damage with basic attacks.

  • High Physical Damage
  • Less reliance on Skills since Basic Attacks deal substantial damage
  • Average to good mobility
  • Have decent crowd controlling effects
  • Have good Weapon variety

  • It’s much harder to deal Magic Damage, and requires more knowledge of the game to be successful
  • Have a tendency to get nuked by ranged characters, friendlies included
  • Some Weapons are much worse than others to use
  • Weapon attacks can Miss their target

Ranged Builds

Ranged Builds deal damage primarily with Spells or Bows from far away, usually keeping them out of danger. Ranged Builds have a slightly higher focus on Magic Damage, though Rangers and Necromancers do incredible Physical Damage. These can be more difficult to play earlier in the game when there are less Skills available to choose from.

  • Excellent Magic Damage and Physical Damage
  • Large variety of Builds to choose from, and damage types to use
  • Tend to get hit less, as they are usually far from the enemy
  • Can use multiple Elements for increased performance
  • Spells cannot miss their target

  • Can harm friendlies with AoE spells
  • Magic Damage can be resisted, making it less effective in many fights
  • Some Elements don’t work well together, making party composition relatively important
  • Spells cannot Critically Hit without the Savage Sortilege Talent

Melee Archetypes: Warrior, Rogue, Battlemage

After selecting Melee, you’ll then have to determine what is the best Melee Archetype for you: Warrior, Rogue or Battlemage. While all three of these are comprised of close range combat, they all have very different ways of doing this. Warriors, for example, focus mainly on Strength, dealing predominantly Physical Damage with Weapons. Rogues focus on Finesse, and will generally use dual Daggers, dealing Physical Damage with their Daggers. Battlemages focus on Intelligence, dealing Magic Damage of some type with their Staff and spells.

divinity-classes

Warrior Builds

Warrior Builds will usually use either Two-Handed Weapons or One-Handed and Shield to deal Physical Damage to enemies. Dual Wield is not typically used, because it does less damage on average vs. Two-Handed, and this is because Two-Handed provides a passive benefit of increased Critical Damage. Warrior Builds will mainly use Warfare Skills to deal damage, but can also use Polymorph Skills to help add further abilities to their rotation. They typically don’t do very much Magic Damage, because most Magic Damage abilities scale with Intelligence, and Warriors generally use Strength.

The following are some Warrior Builds I have created, with notes about each:

Blazing Deepstalker

The Blazing Deepstalker is a Warrior that uses Warfare and Pyrokinetic Skills to deal both Physical and Fire Damage to its enemies. Unlike many Pyro/Warrior Builds that focus on the use of Master of Sparks, Blazing Deepstalkers specialize in the use of traps. Traps deal Fire Damage, and only scale with Pyrokinetic and Character Level, much like Firebrand. This allows them to deal significant Fire Damage, while pumping Finesse, which increases their Physical Damage with Spears.

  • Two Damage Types: Physical and Fire
  • Can also be made into a Ranger variant
  • Can be used as a Strength Build
  • Great Build for a Lizard character

  • Harder to use for a new player
  • Requires some setup to use effectively
  • Doesn’t work well with Water-based characters


Death Knight

The Death Knight is a popular well-known Build around the community, and it uses a mix of Warfare, and Necromancer Skills. The reason Necromancer synergizes well with Warriors is because most of its Skills are resisted by Physical Armour. Characters who utilize this skill line will also be able to heal themselves for a good amount of Vitality quite regularly, which is great because you should be taking more damage as a melee character.

  • Both Warfare and Necromancer Skills deal Physical Damage
  • Gives you the ability to melee or cast spells
  • Hard to kill because of the passive Necromancer healing

  • Not optimized for the highest damage possible
  • Vitality healing isn’t necessary if you keep your Armour up, which you should be aiming to do


Eternal Warrior

The Eternal Warrior makes use of a decent amount of investment into Necromancer in order to obtain the passive healing when dealing Vitality Damage. When combined with Living Armour, the Eternal Warrior can replenish Magic Armour offensively, allowing them to maintain their position on the battlefield and keep on swinging without fear of being crowd controlled via magical attacks.

  • Very high damage
  • Great surviveability
  • Can heal passively

  • Less damage than a pure Warrior
  • Less Armour than a One-Handed & Shield Warrior


Frost Paladin

The Frost Paladin is a durable Warrior that buffs himself to unimaginable heights and then decimates his enemies with powerful physical attacks. Frost Paladins will utilize healing Hydrosophist Skills as well as a few other Frost spells to trap their enemies from moving before punishing them with Warfare Skills.

  • Great Surviveability
  • Excellent support and healing
  • modest crowd control and Magic Damage

  • Less damage than a pure Warrior
  • Doesn’t work well with Fire-based Builds


Juggernaut

The Juggernaut is a Warrior Build that uses a mix of Warfare, Geomancer and Polymorph Skills to flatten his/her enemies to a pulp or turn them to stone. Juggernauts focus on pure Strength, but deal a mix of Physical and Earth Damage to their enemies.

  • Deals both Physical and Earth Damage
  • Great AoE damage and crowd control
  • Very hard to kill

  • Less Physical Damage than a pure Warrior
  • Long cooldowns on Earth Damage Skills


Warden

The Warden is a hybrid Warrior & Ranger Build that uses Spears and Bows to vanquish its enemies. The reason Wardens can do this effectively is because both Spears and Bows use Finesse for their damaging Attribute, allowing Wardens to deal maximum damage with both weapon types.

  • Extremely versatile with Ranged and Melee combat
  • Spears have longer range than other Two-handed Weapons

  • Not as optimized as a pure Ranger or Warrior
  • Finesse means that you cannot use Tentacle Lash effectively
  • You lose 1 AP when you switch Weapons


Rogue Builds

Rogues are essentially Warriors that use Daggers and Finesse to deal damage to enemies. You must have at least one Dagger equipped in order to use many Scoundrel Skills, so this part at least is not optional, and is really what separates Rogues from Warriors. Daggers do less damage than other One-Handed Weapons, almost forcing Rogues to Dual Wield them in order to deal good damage. Rogues can still use Warfare Skills as well, but Warriors cannot usually use Scoundrel Skills, except for the few that don’t require Daggers.

The following are two Rogue Builds I have created, with notes about each:

Assassin

The Assassin is a hybrid Rogue & Ranger Build that uses Daggers and Bows to deal massive damage to its enemies. Assassins can pull this off because Finesse is used to determine the damage of both of these weapon types.

  • Versatility as you can switch between Ranged and Melee
  • Excellent Damage
  • Can also be played as pure Ranged or Melee

  • Weapon swapping consumes AP
  • Pure Rogue or pure Ranger will do more damage


Duelist

The Duelist is a high risk, high reward Build whereby the character focuses on high damage and Dodging. Because players are more inclined to Duel Wield when playing a rogue-like character (with Daggers) there is a natural synergy here with the Talent Parry Master which increases Dodging by 10% when Duel Wielding.

  • Can be very hard to kill
  • Good Damage

  • Very equipment dependent
  • Prioritizing defense over offense isn’t usually recommended


Battlemage Builds

Battlemage Builds are essentially Warriors that use Staves to deal Magic Damage, and generally use spells from their chosen school of magic as well. They are a bit of a hybrid between Ranged and Melee, but they usually select spells that work well at close range, making them skewed much more towards the Melee side of things. These Builds can be harder to play as a new player, but can be devastating if played well.

The following are two Battlemage Builds I have created, with notes about each. I have not added the Elemental Champion Build here, because it is the one Build that was gutted by the Definitive Edition changes.

Battlemage

The Battlemage is a front lines Mage Build that focuses on Pyrokinetic Skills to deal massive damage to its enemies. Battlemages focus on pure Intelligence and get in close and unleash devastating Fire attacks on all nearby enemies. The Battlemage also uses a couple Warfare Skills and Polymorph Skills for mobility, resistance and some extra AoE, because they want to get in close and blast the hell out of foes.

  • Excellent Damage
  • Makes use of some Fire Skills that don’t see much use otherwise

  • Can be hard to stay alive
  • Hard not to hit other melee characters
  • Doesn’t work well with Water-based Builds


Radiant Battlemage

The Radiant Battlemage is an Aerotheurge variant of the fiery Battlemage Build. It aims to be an alternative melee Magic Damage dealer, while at the same time avoiding Aerotheurge spells that may harm other melee units. The drawback of this Build is that it does not Shock or Stun targets, which is the primary function of Aero mages (besides killing things). However, it does have a decent amount of controlling effects via Skills like Vacuum Aura and Medusa Head, making it a much safer addition to any group which already has 1 or more melee character.

  • Decent crowd controlling effects
  • Much safer than a typical Fire-based Battlemage, since no friendly fire
  • Can be used with Water-based Builds in the group

  • Can be hard to keep alive
  • Less damage than a typical Aero Build


Summoner of Sparks

The Summoner of Sparks uses a mix of Summoning, Warfare and Pyrokinetic Skills in order to deal both Fire and Physical Damage. The skill Master of Sparks has long been used by many players to buff their own personal damage with each swing, however, with the Summoner of Sparks we take this a step further. By buffing an Incarnate and our own character we get 2x the fun.

  • Exceptional Damage
  • Physical and Fire Damage
  • Summoning is really strong
  • Very little friendly fire for a Fire-based Build

  • Doesn’t work as well with Water-based Builds
  • High investment into Memory early on


Ranged Archetypes: Ranger & Mage

Rangers use their Bow to deal damage with Huntsman Skills and Basic Attacks to pick off enemies from afar. They deal some of the highest single target Physical Damage in the game, and can also deal Magic Damage with Elemental Arrows, to a lesser extent. Mages usually deal a mix of Damage Types, because they don’t focus on the use of Weapons, allowing for very versatile Builds and setups. They will use a Staff for increased Critical Damage, but more often than not use One-Handed & Shield for increased Armour.

mages

Ranger Builds

All Rangers will use a Bow for a Weapon, allowing them to deal very high Physical Damage from range. They can also use Elemental Arrows, which can be crafted, to deal a decent amount of Magic Damage if they choose. This will be less than the Physical Damage they deal, but allows for versatility. Rangers, like Two-Handed Warriors, generally have the lowest Armour values, and so tend to be a bit squishier than other party members.

The following are some Ranger Builds I have created, with notes about each:

Assassin

The Assassin is a hybrid Rogue & Ranger Build that uses Daggers and Bows to deal massive damage to its enemies. Assassins can pull this off because Finesse is used to determine the damage of both of these weapon types.

  • Versatility as you can switch between Ranged and Melee
  • Excellent Damage
  • Can also be played as pure Ranged or Melee

  • Weapon swapping consumes AP
  • Pure Rogue or pure Ranger will do more damage


Magick Archer

The Magick Archer is a versatile damage dealer that takes its targets out from range using Bow attacks and Elemental Arrows. This Build is one hundred percent optimized to maximize Elemental Arrow damage.

  • Excellent Damage of any type
  • Easy to gear up
  • Very focused Build

  • Can be hard to stay alive
  • Elemental Arrows can be a pain to manage


Ranger

The¬†Ranger¬†is a hybrid¬†Build¬†that focuses on ranged damage with a¬†Bow¬†or¬†Crossbow¬†and¬†Summoning¬†some form of ‚ÄúPet‚ÄĚ. The reason it is advised that you use a ranged character when¬†Summoning¬†is because¬†Summoning¬†tends to take up the bulk of your character‚Äôs AP per turn, which doesn‚Äôt leave much for¬†Movement.

  • Excellent damage
  • Elemental Arrows allow for different types of Incarnates
  • No AP wasted on Movement

  • Split Ability Points means the Ranger itself will have lower damage as a character


Sanguine Bowman

The Sanguine Bowman uses a mix of Huntsman and Necromancer Skills in order to deal good damage to many targets, as well as give the character multiple ways to deal Physical Damage. The biggest weakness of Rangers and Necromancers is that they blow through their Skills rapidly, leaving them with gaps in their cooldowns. With the Sanguine Bowman, we not only rectify this by adding more Skills to use, but we also add versatility to both of these Builds.

  • Both Huntsman and Necromancer Skills deal Physical Damage
  • Gives you the ability to use your Bow or cast spells
  • Hard to kill because of the passive Necromancer healing

  • Not optimized for the highest damage possible
  • Vitality healing isn’t necessary if you keep your Armour up, which you should be aiming to do


Venomous Sentry

The Venomous Sentry is a unique Ranger. The general concept of the Venomous Sentry is to buff your Poison Damage through Skills like Venom Coating, Elemental Arrowheads and Siphon Poison, and then unload upon your enemies. This Build does a mix of Physical and Poison Damage, because of the use of a Bow, but focuses more heavily on the second one.

  • Deals Poison and Physical Damage
  • Very High damage

  • Not great for a new player
  • Requires some setup to use effectively


Warden

The Warden is a hybrid Warrior & Ranger Build that uses Spears and Bows to vanquish its enemies. The reason Wardens can do this effectively is because both Spears and Bows use Finesse for their damaging Attribute, allowing Wardens to deal maximum damage with both weapon types.

  • Extremely versatile with Ranged and Melee combat
  • Spears have longer range than other Two-handed Weapons

  • Not as optimized as a pure Ranger or Warrior
  • Finesse means that you cannot use Tentacle Lash effectively
  • You lose 1 AP when you switch Weapons


Mage Builds

Mages deal Magic Damage or Physical Damage at range, rarely if ever, using a Weapon to attack. They will more often than not use a combination of two or more schools of magic, because since they don’t use Weapons, have an abundance of Ability Points. Since not all schools of magic work well together, this makes for a variety of combinations that outperform others.

The following are some Mage Builds I have created, with notes about each:

Blood Mage

The Blood Mage is a Necromancer Build that relies on high Intelligence and Critical Chance to deal massive damage. Unlike other Mages, the Blood Mage deals Physical Damage, much like a Warrior or Ranger.

  • High Physical Damage
  • Very hard to kill

  • Very few good Skills early on
  • Less versatility than other Mages


Crystalline Cleric

The Crystalline Cleric is a hybrid Warrior/Mage Build that leans a lot more to the Mage side of things in the offensive department, only with the defensive capabilities of a Warrior. The Crystalline Cleric does a mix of Water and Physical Damage to its enemies and is especially deadly against Undead (as a Cleric would be).

  • Excellent vs. Undead enemies
  • Great healing and support
  • good crowd control
  • Deals Physical and Water Damage

  • Can take awhile to get going
  • Doesn’t work well with Fire-based Builds


Druid

The Druid is a Summoner who utilizes his Conjure Incarnate to the fullest by buffing him to extreme lengths that make the Incarnate extremely deadly. Druids also come equipped with many utility Skills from many different skill lines and this allows them to have a wide variety of spells for nearly every situation. Druids stack Armour up high so that they cannot be controlled and they force their enemies to deal with their Incarnate or face the consequences.

  • Summoning is very strong
  • Very hard to kill
  • Great for group support

  • Low personal damage
  • High Memory investment


Elementalist

The Elementalist uses all forms of Magic to destroy their enemies. Dumping only the minimum points into each Magic skill line, and the rest into Polymorph will grant you one extra Attribute point for each rank. This allows you to drop it into Intelligence, which increases the damage of all Intelligence-based Skills by 5%, regardless of skill line.

  • Exceptional versatility of Damage Types
  • Excellent crowd control
  • Hard to kill

  • Less damage than other Mage Builds
  • Need tons of points in Memory
  • Lots of Skill Books needed


Glacial Guardian

The Glacial Guardian uses a mix of Hydrosophist and Summoning Skills in order to control the battlefield in which they are fighting. One of the problems that water mages can have, is that they have to set: (Chilled + Chilled) OR (Chilled + Wet) in order to Freeze enemies. And, although several Hydrosophist Skills hit with multiple projectiles preventing this issue, often they run out of Skills to use. By adding Summoning to a Tidalist sort of Build, not only is this obstacle resolved, but Totems summoned on water or ice will hit for Water Damage. Water Damage makes targets Wet if they have no Magic Armour, which will Freeze Chilled enemies, or allow them  to be Frozen much more easily.

  • Great Damage
  • Excellent crowd control
  • Summoning is really strong

  • Doesn’t work well with Fire-based Builds
  • Glass Cannon is risky


Occult Flamewielder

The Occult Flamewielder is a Mage Build that utilizes both the Pyrokinetic and Necromancer Skill Lines to deal two types of damage: Physical and Fire. Most Mage Builds will be able to max out at least 2 schools of magic, and because they share a common Attribute (Intelligence), they lose very little effectiveness.

  • Deals Fire and Physical Damage
  • Great synergy between Fire and Necro in the form of Corpse Explosion and Mass Corpse Explosion

  • Doesn’t work well with Water-based Builds
  • Very Talent hungry, meaning you won’t have all the Talents you want until later in the game
  • Doesn’t work well with Water-based Builds


Scourge Wizard

Because of the Torturer change, this Build becomes extremely effective, especially in the earlier parts of the game. You can use Skills like Ignition and Contamination at the very beginning in order to deal significant Magic Damage to enemies around you. On top of that, the AoE radius is quite large, these 2 Skills both ignore friendly targets, and they both only cost 1 AP each.

  • Multiple Damage Types
  • Tons of damage over time
  • Hard to kill
  • Good Crowd Control

  • Needs lots of Memory
  • Less damage than other Mage builds
  • Doesn’t work well with Water-based Builds


Stormchaser

The Stormchaser is an exceptionally high damage build that relies on Air Damage to Stun its targets, and Dodging to avoid being struck by Weapon attacks. Stormchasers can also Silence their enemies, making them have no choice but to attack with their Weapons, which will be Dodged.

  • Very high damage
  • Very easy to build
  • Great synergy with Water-based Builds

  • Friendly fire can be an issue
  • Better as Lone Wolf than in a party
  • Some enemies have Water Damage resistance


Tectonic Sage

The Tectonic Sage is a pure mage Build that focuses on Geomancer Skills to disrupt the movement and positioning of enemies. By Slowing, Entangling, Crippling, Blinding and Petrifying the opposition, these mages ensure their party always has the upper hand. Earth and Poison Damage spells make up the better part of their repertoire, allowing them to deal significant damage because of the heavy focus on one skill line.

  • Excellent crowd control
  • High damage
  • Hard to kill
  • Works well with Fire-based Builds

  • Not great against enemies that have high Earth Resistance
  • When paired with Fire-based Builds, can cause friendly fire if you’re not careful


Terramancer

The Terramancer is a Mage Build that utilizes the devastating AoEs of Geomancer to deal tons of Earth Damage, while also making use of Necromancer Skills that hit for Physical Damage to individual targets. Sprinkle in a few Hydrosophist Skills and you have a Terramancer.

  • Great versatility with Physical, Water and Earth Damage
  • Good crowd control
  • Very hard to kill

  • Doesn’t work well with Fire-based Builds
  • Not as much damage as some other Mage Builds


Tidalist

The Tidalist is Mage Build that focuses on purely Hydrosophist Skills to deal Water Damage, heal and buff. Tidalists will unleash the fury of the tides by drenching and icing nearby enemies, hampering their Movement, Chilling and Freezing them.

  • Excellent damage
  • Great crowd control, some of the highest in the game
  • Can add healing spells if you need support
  • Works well with Aerotheurge-based Builds

  • Not great against Water resistant enemies
  • Doesn’t work well with Fire-based Builds



This should be the last Divinity Original Sin 2 Guide I will be making, because hopefully we will hear something about Divinity: Fallen Heroes soon. I’ve been in touch with Larian about it, and I will update you guys on its progress the second I know anything at all that I can share. God I hope there’s news at Gamesom! Until then, Good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!

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Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

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