Light Spell/Gift Barrage

Light Build

This is a player-created build, done on the latest patch of the game.
Created by Rashtor Nesmarck

Introduction  https://bit.ly/32JmJre

This build was made with the purpose of having a way for light-based builds to contribute some damage with gifts. Please take in mind that you will still engage at melee combat (explanation in the basics section), but your main source of damage will be with gifts, making you a close-combat caster. We will use the barrage-type gifts for this purpose. If you want to just skip to the setup, go to the bottom of the page. This build also puts you on course with the Normal or True End, in case you're worried about obtaining an specific ending.

There are actually two setups for this build, one suited out better for exploration and another for boss fights (which has two variants). Most of these gifts (and blood veils) are acquired mid-game or late-game, but luckily don't need any DLCs. But first, we'll cover our equipment and the basics behind the build.

Warning: Barrage spells flash whenever they hit a target, and they can hit up to 9 times. If you have seizure problems due to flashing lights, turn back from where you came.

Equipment

Weapon 1: Queenslayer Blade Devour/Iceblood, flexible transformation.
Weapon 2: Flexible. Maybe something for blocking if dodging isn't your style. Or Iceblood if you want both swords at hand.
Blood Veil: Noble Silver/Ivory Grace
Blood Code: Isis/Ishtar (Early-Mid game and Late game, respectively)
Primary Active Gifts: Barrage-line of spells (Flame, Ice, Lightning and Blood). These can hit up to 9 times to an enemy if used correctly.
Recommended Mobility: Quick

Basics

While any weapon with fast attacks is fine, Queenslayer Blade with Artemis (Devour) transformation is an option that you will have most of the game. We will want to be at melee with a fast attacking weapon because:

  1. We can regain ichor at a very considerable but controlled rate, tied to the amount of hits you can dish in.
  2. Consumes (relatively) small amounts of stamina, which goes great with low max stamina.
  3. Has fast recovery, allowing to de-engage or dodge when needed.
  4. Can stack up aditional damage over the course of the fight, specially when paired with buffs.

Noble Silver and/or Ivory Grace are late-game blood veil options for Light-based (Noble Silver) or Mixed (Ivory Grace) casters. They don't provide much in the way of defense, but they are very light, allowing you to reach quick mobility easily. Alternative options when starting out are the Queenslayer Thorn (which is more defensive-oriented) and the Prayer Shawl (which is more balanced).

The alternative weapon, Iceblood, is more lighter, which allows you to reach quick mobility when using the Noble Silver (Ivory Grace reaches quick mobility with both weapons). However, Iceblood can't be used by the Ishtar Blood Code (at least not innately), while the Isis Blood Code can. Whether you want to focus on drain rating, or weapon damage in this case is up to you.

Isis Blood Code can be obtained as soon as you finish the Cathedral of the Sacred Blood (with all the vestiges restored), and has a balanced statspread that allows for diverse gifts. Ishtar is found much, much later into the game, two areas before the end, but is marginally better since it has more fortitude (stamina) over Isis. The main difference would be that Isis has more Dexterity but less Strength than Ishtar, and has balanced Willpower and Mind.
You could also use both blood codes for similar variations of the setups listed below on the bottom, and change when needed/desired.

Our primary means for dishing out damage are the barrage-type gifts. Even when nerfed (apprently they hit harder before), these gifts deal good damage at close range, and scale with our Mind stat (being light-based gifts). More importantly however, is that this line of gifts can stagger and have low cooldowns, making it very spammable even without increased gift speed. Their downside is of course, their low range and wide spread, making them unsuitable for long distances (Long range combat options are available on the setup section).

Pasives

I will list all the options below, along the reason of them being there. None of these have priority over the other, it's just a comprehensive list.
Some of these pasives requieres you to be on the path to the normal end (these are the ones that are on italic letters). If you don't care about that and just want to build yourself the most optimized way possible, go ahead and grab them.

  1. Weapon Drain Rating Up: Increased drain rating on weapon attacks is a decent, solid option if you want to spam gifts. Since we have access to different buffs, including damage boosts and drain rating increases, this pasive has good synergy with them.
  2. Tirelessness: Increases your stamina recovery. May or may not be of use to you, depending of your playstyle. I always have it to attack and dodge more often.
  3. Swift Destruction: On quick mobility, increases all of your damage by 20%. Another reason to go lightweight.
    Most people see it as a must-have (specially so for casters), but I see it more as a nice aditional bonus for having quick mobility.
  4. Increased Gift SpeedPasively increases your casting speed for gifts, allowing you to buff and attack faster. A nice adition for any caster, and can be stacked further.
    Since faster casting time means less recovery on your animations, gift speed can be stacked as means of buffing mid-fight safely. In our case it makes our spells more spammely.
  5. Vow of Ichor: Now, less max hp in exchange for 6 more Ichor may not seem like a big deal, but having more max ichor from the get-go allows for more pre-fight buffs.
    Since this build dwells on glass-canon territory, having less Hp in exchange for more Ichor outweights the losses.
  6. Max Ichor Boost: An alternative to Vow of Ichor that does not reduce your hp, but only increases max Ichor by 4. Can be stacked together to get 10 max Ichor. Useful when dabbling on things like Communal Gifts and powerful 10-cost ichor gifts.
  7. Survival Instinct: Increases a wide range of stats when your Hp is at or below 50%. Your light and dark rating goes up by 200 aproximately, which can be significant. Usually not an option I would take, but there are counter-measures that makes it a powerful pasive to have.
  8. Focused Gift Speed: Like Increased Gift Speed, but only works on Focus state. The bright side is that using gifts doesn't reduce your focus state. The downside is that the only way to be consistent with focus is to dodge timely (or get hit). It also becomes less useful if you're low on ichor, since you have to attack to regain any, reducing your focus bar.
  9. One-handed Sword Mastery: 20% damage boost on your sword damage. If you feel like contributing some more with your melee attacks, this is the pasive for you.
    It also makes enemies with wide elemental resistances less problematic for this build, specially with damage boosting gifts.
  10. Revenants Ambition: This one isn't nearly as important unless you want to use Queenslayer Blade along Noble Silver. However, if you want your light-based rating to be as high as possible while regaining a good amount of ichor (because of the combined setup), this may be the pasive for you.

 Setups

Boss Killer Setup

 Gifts (In order from top to bottom)

Explanation

Recommended Blood Veil
Flame/Ice/Lightning/Blood Barrage Always choose the one that deals the most damage against the boss. You can test the elemental resistances yourself, or check the boss' resistances on their respective pages.
Flame/Ice/Lightning/Blood Barrage Always choose the one that deals the most damage against the boss. You can test the elemental resistances yourself, or check the boss' resistances on their respective pages.
Elementall Wall/Regenerator/Blood Sacrifice  This is more of a flexible spot. Elementall Wall helps against bosses with mixed damage attacks and Regenerator stacks with itself if casted by other companions (like Io or another player). Blood Sacrifice Helps you enter the HP treshold of Survival Instinct easier, while regaining any Ichor you need for other buffs.
Bridge to Glory Increases your damage based on your light rating, favoring more Noble Silver over Ivory Grace. Since the increase is a flat amount instead of a percentage, it has a better synergy with weapons that have a quick moveset.
Hunting Feast Weapon drain rating increased by 50%. A solid choice of long duration, even with Blood Sacrifice. Noble Silver
Adrenaline/Overdrive Depends wheter you use Isis or Ishtar. Adrenaline lasts longer, while Overdrive's effect is stronger.
Iron Will/Cleansing Light Both serve for enduring more, but in different ways. Iron Will straight up reduces damage, while Cleansing Light regenerates part of your HP.  Cleansing Light can also temporarily make you enter Survival Instinct if you've been hit hard enough in a single strike.
Feral Tenacity The only "cushion" we have with a fragile build like this is this gift. It is expensive (10 Ichor), but can help you avoid death with 1 hp. It's a must have especially on higher ng+ cycles, where oneshotting becomes quite common.

This setup takes in mind that you do not have any increase in gift speed, which allows for the cycling of two barrage spells, and attack or dodge once. This narrows the barrage choice of spells, which helps against bosses with multiple elemental resistances. The buff gifts helps you to deal more melee damage with a decent amount of survival, and favors more high light rating. Please take in consideration that unless you use Cleansing Light + Blood Sacrifice, you can't completely buff yourself , save alloting Vow of Ichor as a passive.

Max Gift Speed (Barrage Machine)

Gifts (In order from top to bottom)

Explanation

 

Recommended Blood Veil

Flame/Ice/Lightning/Blood Barrage Always choose the one that deals the most damage against the boss. You can test the elemental resistances yourself, or check the boss' resistances on their respective pages.
Flame/Ice/Lightning/Blood Barrage Always choose the one that deals the most damage against the boss. You can test the elemental resistances yourself, or check the boss' resistances on their respective pages.
Blood Awakening
Alternatively: Flame/Ice/Lightning/Blood Barrage
Now this may seem like a weird choice, and I explain why below. Since this requieres a partner, it can't be used if you go to help another player. In case you don't want to use the communal gift, but still stack gift speed, go for another barrage spell.
Gift Prowess No brainer. Reduces the time to cast your gifts, and stacks with other effects like itself. With two gift speed buffs (like this one and a pasive), you can cast three barrage gifts just in time for the first one to refresh it's cooldown, allowing you to cycle between the three. Ivory Grace
Bridge to Glory Has better synergy with Noble Silver, but Blood Awakening does not affect Bridge to Glory, since the increase is a flat amount instead of a percentage. As such your damage penalty isn't as severe with this buff active.
Hunting Feast Weapon drain rating increased by 50%. A solid choice of long duration, and we'll make use of it quite a lot without blood sacrifice.
Bloodsucking Blades Making use of the Ivory Grace's mixed gift rating, Bloodsucking Blades becomes a huge boost to drain rating on weapon attacks
Feral Tenacity The only thing that will make you not be erased from existence in one hit. Use it all the time you can if it goes off.

This setup is more specific, and doesn't leave much room for flexibility in pasives. You'll want to stack your gift speed and all the damage you can muster, since you'll be less durable than wet paper. A wet paper that has to go melee against all sort of Lost. You get the point, kill them before they kill you, and never get hit. Since Ivory Grace is so light, you will be hitting quick mobility with any of the two weapons I suggested above, which will help your fragility by having superior dodge capability. Sadly, this build is unsuitable for bosses with wide elemental defenses, as your damage will be greatly reduced.

Now, as for why I put a communal gift, let's cover the effects; Blood Awakening has many downsides: Reduces your max Ichor, needs a partner (Mia) to cast (and it must be alive), reduces your physical damage by 50% and costs 24 Ichor to cast, unlike the other Communal Gifts who need 20.
In exchange, all your gifts have their Ichor cost reduced by 2, your cast speed increases dramatically, and all your cooldowns are reduced by half. When stacked with other gift speed buffs, you character can cast most gifts faster than their cooldown can recover, even with Blood Awakening's cooldown reduction. This can essentialy stunlock enemies to oblivion by the sheer amount of gift spam that you can dish out, making it a suitable candidate for the barrage gifts. It's a situational but powerful tool that benefits casters who know how to use it.
This of course doesn't mean you have to use it. In some cases it can be more detrimental to use, since it depends on who are you facing.

Drain rating becomes an important factor here, since we do not have the means to gain Ichor without going at melee. Stacking it really makes a difference, and Bloodsucking Blades abuses of the Ivory Grace Dark gift rating, boosting it to well past 1.0 Drain rating on most weapons.This however puts you more at risk than the previous setup, since you need to always stay at melee to recover ichor, deal damage, and spam gifts.

Exploration Setup

Gifts (In order from top to bottom)

Explanation

Recommended Blood Veil    
Frost Spike Elemental spike with the least resisted element in the game. You can of course change it depending on your enemy, but unless you're on Ridge of the Frozen Souls, you'll rarely have a need to change it. Style point bonus if using Io as a partner.
Flame/Blood Spike
Alternative: Flame/Ice/Lightning/Blood Barrage
An aditional elemental spike in case you need to kill something quickly from afar.
Lighting Spike is DLC only (and as such isn't listed here), but there's rarely a need to use it specifically.
Alternatively you can use an elemental barrage for engaging in close combat.
Iron Will/Foulblood Barrier/Hasten Iron Will is a solid gift that reduces damage taken and lasts for a decent while (and has low cooldown). There's rarely a situation where you won't use it.
Foulbood Barrier needs of Stat-tweaking passives to be used, and can be an alternative if you want to reduce your damage by 50% once. Helps more in case of stray hits.
Hasten is just straight up mobility increase in case you need to change your equipment.
Restorative Offering/Chaotic Ash.
Alternative: Adrenaline/Overdrive/Bridge to Glory
Restorative Offering if you have a partner or are in co-op, otherwise Chaotic Ash helps your Ichor-related needs without reducing your HP. It's range is awfully short so beware.
The damage boost buffs are in case you want to get up close and personal, or don't have a need for Chaotic Ash.
Cleansing Light While Iron Will helps with overall damage reduction, Cleansing Light has better synergy with Blood Sacrifice for casting-related needs. It's Ichor cost is relatively high though. Prayer Shawl
OR
Queenslayer Thorn   
Blood Sacrifice In your exploring you can encounter a fair amount of enemies, so you may want to engage at a distance instead. Blood Sacrifice will help you gain ichor to cast away from distance. 
Regenerator/Elemental Defense Gift Regenerator is a cast-and-forget gift that increases your regeneration healed for a long time. Useful on extended stays or on Co-op, where your regeneration is limited, and this effect stacks with itself.
Elemental Defense Gift means something like Flame Protection, Elemental Wall, Ice Armor etc. They are more specialized, but can mitigate damage greatly on the right circunstances. A nice adition against some enemies and areas. Use if you're not a big fan of regenerator.
Vivification/Feral Tenacity  Vivification is just for returning to a mistle quickly. If you don't really care about that because Vivifiers/Mistle Root, you can just slot Feral Tenacity for extra survival.

This is a setup that will carry you through most of the game. Ranged gifts, defensive buffs and Ichor sustain all in one Blood Code. The defensive buffs may be less useful as you go on to higher ng+ cycles (where you reach a point everything oneshots you), but by that point you should have learned how to deal with all the enemies in your path.

Pasives here can vary wildly depending on your needs, so don't hestitate to try more beyond the passive gifts I listed above. They will help your flexibility in this setup, more so if dabbling on stat increasing pasives.
As for the Blood Veils, they aren't by far the best ones for this build, but they can be used by almost any Blood Code and are more tanky, making them decent options to consider.

The End




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