Tips and tricks for build in Divinity: Original Sin 2 help you on dagger, shield, build, envasion, heals, invisibility.
Tips and Tricks for Build
Dagger and Shield
There’s nothing wrong with a dagger & shield rogue focused on survivability. It’s not going to be as ‘optimal’ as dual-wielding, but it will work fine. Let’s see if we can help you find something you’ll enjoy.
First thing’s first: ditch you focus on CON. A heavy investment here is a waste, except in some very specific builds. Once your armour is down, you’re going to get CCed and become useless to your team.
Beyond that advice, here are some defensive options. I’ll let you pick and choose between them rather than suggesting a full build. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a balance that works for you.
Here are some skills and tricks that will help your rogue avoid getting hit. A lot of these I end up taking on most of my dagger users anyway. Your defensive focus may just mean you take more of them and earlier on.
One point into Poly will get you Chameleon Cloak. Use at the end of a turn and then postpone your next one to prolong invisibility. There is a substantial cooldown on this skill so also consider buying chanterelle mushrooms for invisibility potions as often as your budget permits.
There’s also Smoke Cover, which you can get by combining Aero and Scoundrel skillbooks, but I haven’t personally found that to be very effective for melee units.
Two points in Aero will get you access to Uncanny Evasion, making you almost unhittable by weapon attacks. Magic attacks can still damage you though, and watch out for archers from Act Two onwards—some of them can cast Glitter Dust, which cancels out your dodging and prevents you from going invisible.
The two-point Aero investment is worth it IMO, as you also get Teleport and later Netherswap, both of which will help you with backstab positioning.
If you do decide to go the dual-wielding route, there’s a talent that increases your dodge, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. Points into dual-wielding will also increase your doge, though in terms of damage Warfare is a better investment.
You might also consider a point in Huntsman. For 1 skill point, you can unlock the ‘Duck Duck Goose’ talent that allows you to avoid attacks of opportunity. Some may think it’s a waste of a talent point, as there are so many other ways to avoid these attacks, but with rogues, the positioning for the backstab can be a bit annoying, and taking this talent early on has always saved me a lot of frustration.
You’ll also get a heal and access to Erratic Whisp (1 Aero, 1 Hunt; you move somewhere else whenever hit).
If you take it to 2 points or are playing Lone Wolf, you could also consider Tactical Retreat (a leap and haste) and from Act 2 the AoE source skill version of Uncanny Evasion.
Besides Tactical Retreat, your jump options are Pheonix Dive (Warfare 2) and Cloak & Dagger (Scoundrel 2). The Huntsman and Scoundrel ones are available from Level 4 onwards. Also take a look at Blitz Attack (Warfare 2), Battering Ram (Warfare 1) and Bull Rush (Poly 1).
Using a Shield
As I said, it’s not ‘optimal’ damage-wise but is perfectly viable. Invest just enough CON to equip a shield of the appropriate level. May as well pick up ‘Bouncing Shield’ (Warfare 1) for a hard-hitting ranged attack.
Be aware that if you are playing an elf, the Flesh Sacrifice ability will lower your constitution for its duration.
The enemy can’t hit you if they’re knocked down or turned into a chicken. As you’ll discover, the scoundrel skill tree offers an intimidating toolkit of nasty things to do to your foes.
With a more damage-heavy build, you’d mostly be focusing down a target, before ending your turn by trying to CC anything you can’t kill just yet.
But if you’re going the dagger & shield route, I’d go even more CC-focused. Just make sure the rest of your team is really good at stripping the armour for you.
This isn’t a game in which you need a dedicated healer, so you can absolutely put any heals you want on your rogue. Don’t forget armour recovery too: 1 Geo for Fortify and 1 Hydro for Armour of Frost.
Of course, everything’s a trade-off. Those are 2 points you can’t now spend elsewhere. My compromise is usually to only have Fortify and AoF active on those who need to invest in those skill trees anyway or happen to have the points from armour.
Health potions are also viable until at least mid-game. It’s a penny bun mushroom combined with a potion bottle. Two smaller health potions make one bigger one.
I see you’ve got some points in Necro already. I guess you’re after passive heals for all vitality damage you do (aka ‘life steal’). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this approach as the best thing ever—I think of it more as a ‘flavor’ build— but it’s perfectly do-able. You can either get your Necro up high (as in the popular ‘death knight’ strength-based build) or make situational use of the Vampiric Hunger skill (sets ‘life steal’; 1 Hydro, 1 Scoundrel; there’s an AoE source version available later).
You’d probably also want the Living Armour talent, which will replenish your magic armour every time you heal.
Of course, since these passive heals are damage-dependent, this may be another case of ‘the best defense is a good offense’ etc. etc..
So I guess you could be a shield-wielding rogue who bounces about the battlefield chloroforming, knocking over, and terrifying enemies, or a high-evasion high-damage dual-wielding rogue who heals themselves by stabbing people in the back, or any other combination of the above elements.
Tanky Support: Shield and Dagger
A tanky support character would work great in just about any party, and scoundrel skills would give you a lot of mobility to get where you need to on the battlefield.
The shield and dagger setup is actually likely the best armor you can get, due to finesse gear giving a mix of physical and magic armor, and a shield giving more on top. You would technically get more by mixing together strength and intelligence gear, but then you’d be spending more points to use them, so finesse works just fine. I would suggest getting 2 points into scoundrel and 1 into warfare asap for skill usage, and a point into hydrosophist and polymorph after that. Then, pump warfare for more damage, as ALL physical damage is buffed by it, and this character will be doing primarily physical damage. You’ll want finesse to be your main stat, and only put points into con or memory as needed for your shield requirements and skill memorization.
I mentioned warfare for a battering ram, battle stomp, and bouncing shield. The first two for knockdown to keep enemies from attacking, and bouncing shield to get some more ranged attack options and solid damage. Scoundrel will allow you to use backlash, which gets you into critical hit range, and you can also throw the daggers for a ranged attack that is up every turn. Polymorph allows you to take chicken claw, which is fun but also bull horns, which sets bleeding and provides constant battlefield mobility. The hydrosophist point is for combining a scoundrel book and a hydro book to get vampirism. This will allow you to heal from all vitality damage you deal, and eliminates the need for more points into necro, which I assume was for the same purpose. This will make the sawtooth knife skill a great healing tool since it ignores armor.
Eventually, you can get 2 points into geo a grab the torturer talent for worm tremor, which is a great cc tool, locking foes into place for 3 turns, and torturer will also allow you to set bleeding with bull horns through armor. If you keep the points in necro, a third point will allow you to get black shroud at level 9, which means worm tremor + black shroud will effectively take a group of enemies out of the fight for about 3 rounds of combat, making the whole encounter much easier for the rest of the party to deal with.