If you’re playing Pillars of Eternity 2 (POE2) as a Cipher, you’ll want to know what the best Pillars of Eternity 2 Ciphere subclass and multiclass options are, or else you’ll be stuck on the character select screen for hours. This guide has you covered by letting you know which Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher subclasses and multiclass combinations are generally considered the best.
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Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Subclass Options
There’s nothing wrong with a pure Cipher, but in general it’s not as optimal as choosing the appropriate subclass for your intended playstyle. Want to go melee? Roll Soul Blade. Want to play a caster? Ascendant is the way to go. Focusing on crowd control? Beguiler is what you want. Pure Cipher can generalize and do all of those things but, then again, so can the other subclasses; pure Cipher just loses out on those extra bonuses that make each subclass particularly effective at what it does.
Ascendant – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher
Ascendant is probably the most interesting of the Cipher subclasses and arguably the most powerful. Power is reduced while not at full focus, but once you hit full focus, your power dramatically increases and the focus cost of all spells is reduced to 0.
The trick with this build is to A) build focus as quickly as possible and B) keep the Ascendant state active as long as you can. Intelligence increases the length of the ascended state, so you’ll want to max that out, and building focus using a ranged weapon shouldn’t be that difficult overall. Because this allows you to spam your abilities at zero cost, it’s usually best (though not required) to single-class an Ascendant so it can chain-cast all the most powerful level 8-9 Cipher spells.
Beguiler – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher
Basically the Beguiler subclass allows you to chain cast charm, domination and other deception spells if you’re casting them on flanked or afflicted targets. Each successful cast on an afflicted target returns a bunch of focus. The downside is that your soul whip damage is decreased against targets who aren’t susceptible to any sneak attack afflictions (for instance, flanked). This is… alright. It’s just hard to justify this subclass when Ascendant is capable of chain-casting any spell and doesn’t have to deal with the affliction requirement.
Soul Blade – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher
Soul Blade is ready-made for multiclassing with any melee martial class. It gives a “Soul Annihilation” special ability that basically amounts to a melee finishing move that eats all your focus and deals damage proportional to the focus it takes. Every enemy you kill increases max focus by 10 as a Soul Blade, so if you mow through a couple of enemies you might be able to one-shot the next target with a powered-up Soul Annihilation.
Psion – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher
Psion passively generates Focus over time and has an AoE knockback that other Cipher classes don’t have access to. As a penalty, it loses the Soul Whip ability entirely. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this class is. The passive Focus generation is slower than the Focus generation you gain from any other class, the AoE knockback is redundant on a class with a ton of crowd control options, and it loses Soul Whip, which is Cipher’s main damage-dealing ability. I’d skip it.
Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Multiclass Options
Especially if you’re looking to go with Ascendant, single-class is a strong option for Cipher. Defensive Mindweb, Time Parasite and the rest of the level 8-9 Cipher spells are all insane, so giving them up for a multiclass is a huge drawback.
Monk – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher
Monk provides a huge synergy with Ascendant because of its ability to grant +10 intelligence. You can go ranged or melee, but that intelligence bonus means that Ascendant state lasts that much longer. If you’re going with ranged, you can somewhat safely select the Helwalker Monk subclass for a huge bonus to damage output.
Bleak Walker – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher
Bleak Walker is sort of the go-to “offensive” Paladin option, and it’s a great partner for a Soul Blade because Soul Blade grants Bleak Walker a powerful physical nuke it otherwise doesn’t have access to, and Bleak Walker grants the Soul Blade consistent damage and defense buffs that it otherwise has no access to. It’s a win-win.
Assassin – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher
Assassin / Soul Blade tends to be a very strong combo because Soul Annihilation is an incredible move to partner with Backstab/Assassinate. You can put out some huge damage numbers by backstabbing targets with a powered up Soul Annihilation. This isn’t the only combo, though: any Cipher subclass tends to partner well enough with any Rogue subclass. Ascendant / Streetfighter, for example, also works pretty well if you use the Blunderbuss modal to keep yourself flanked for the Streetfighter bonus.
That about covers it when it comes to best Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Subclass & Multiclass options. Check out the games section for more game guides and other game-related content, and click here for more articles related to Pillars of Eternity 2.