Do you want to go dual sword like the famous Miyamoto Musashi? Do you want to go dual axe like a viking? Do you want to go dual cat claws like a female ninja? Or maybe you prefer dual daggers, dual maces, dual anything really? Then you are at the right place. I have played over 40 hours with the designated dual-wield class, the Calligrapher. Here, you will find some valuable information and insights to get you started.
Guide to Dual Wield
Differences Between Melee Classes and Ranged Classes
By design, melee classes are much much harder to play than ranged classes.
If you are new to the game, you might want to start with a ranged class because it is far easier to play. You can check Spellshaper Guide for more information.
If you still want to go melee, then expect the following:
- You are heavily gear dependant. You will need to grind various (legendary) gear.
- Summons will block your way. You will need to rely on mobility skills to get to the summoning boss.
- You will take in a lot of damage since you are in the front line.
- As such, you will need to heal far more often than a ranged class.
- Some spells are devastating to melee characters such as Ice Tortoise (massive ice damage) and Blinding (-50% accuracy). You will need to work around them.
- Your attacks will often miss compared to spells which hit 99% of the time.
Are you still up for the challenge? Then keep reading.
Starting Feats, Class and Basic Stats
I highly recommend the following two feats:
- Toughness for extra HP and as such survivability.
- Food Lover for 18% higher food effectiveness. You will be healing a lot with food. Outside and inside combat. So might as well maximize the usage of it, especially since food will be often sparse
The class we are picking is called Calligrapher. It is the designated dual-wield class in this game as it gives bonuses to dual wielding with any weapon.
However, if you want to go dual dagger, you are probably better off picking the Brigand class because of the overall synergies. For this, I can recommend you to read the Assassin build from Doom Cookies:
On level up, there are two possible focuses:
- Maximize strength to increase weapon damage.
- Maximize guile to increase critical chance.
This depends on the style and main weapon you want to go. There are 3 possibilities:
- Strength is focusing raw weapon damage and as such enables various abilities. This is because abilities do damage based on weapon damage.
- Guile focuses on critical chance. So, it is less focused on damage from abilities but rather from critical damage and from triggering critical effects.
- Guile also focuses on parry chance, if you want to go down that road.
Guile and Claws Build
This guide will focus on one of the many possible builds because it is more about the strategic approach with dual wielding rather than a specific build.
This example build will be focusing on Guile on level-up and Claw as main weapon.
- Criticals help us trigger special effects such as cooldown reduction and 5% max HP healing from claws.
- Claws help reducing the dual-wield penalty.
- Claws have strong mastery skills.
This is a late game build you could aim for:
Skills bar 1:
- Devastation (Claw ultimate): Leap to an enemy (such as a boss with tons of summons) within a massive radius and hit everything around it for 230% damage each. In addition, get a strong heal buff. It costs no stamina / energy and it is perfect for initiating a fight / moving around the battlefield
- Inkstorm (Calligrapher class): One of the most damaging skills ingame. It is increased by Calligrapher Tier 3 passive bonus, Combat Biography and Skill Orb: Inkstorm.
- Any damage skill you like. E.g. Frenzy (Claw mastery skill).
- Retort (Calligrapher class): gain a 100% dodge and seal the attacker for several turns.
- Shadow Evocation Aura (Spellshaper class): Use Spellshaping to activate Spellshape: Aura and then remove Spellshaping from the hotbar. Shadow Aura grants +35% dodge for 15 turns.
- Glitterskin (Wild Child, copy it from monster Monarch): -50% accuracy debuff for attackers.
- Neutralize (Wild Child, copy it from monster Neutralizer): Remove buffs from enemy bosses and increase your defense.
Skills bar 2:
- Fortify and 2. Runic Crystal (HuSyn class): Buffs your offense and defense. Enemies focus the crystal and as such it helps you by absorbing enemy damage and debuffs
- Ice Spit (Wild Child class), 4. Photon Cannon (HySyn class), 5. Lightning Scroll (Calligrapher class): strong water, fire and lighting element skills for various situations.
The rest are escape skills that you prefer. I use Straddle Monster (Wild Child class), Rocket Charge (HuSyn class) and Spiritwalk (Soulkeeper class).
Early and Midgame
- Focus on surviving and leveling up.
- Money will be short. Focus on buying all available food as priority.
- Only plant verdant fruit leaf trees and mighty grainshade trees. They will provide you with additional food.
- Always heal at 66% HP with e.g. chicken dinner, leg of turkey, banana or apple. Items are meant to be used and you will have lots of them later. Also, you do not want to die just to save a cheap meal item.
- Use the strongest weapon of any type you find until late game. You can even go weapon + shield instead of dual-wield for now.
- Get all needed abilities, masteries and Calligrapher silver emblem (do not go for gold emblem for now. It is very hard).
- Always check all vendors when they have new items. You look for items with certain affixes that you can use and legendary items.
- Get the HuSyn class crystal asap. It helps you with damage and tanking.
- When you have like 20 to 30 rose petals, get a mythical monster and start breeding a stronger corral pet. It does not have to be perfect but with more HP and higher stats, It will die less and it will help you kill and tank stronger enemies.
Late Game (Farming Dreams)
- Do not go to dreams that are marked as hard, very hard or impossible. You need very high resistances for that.
- Do maximum trivial / easy and later maximum average or above average (drops items with level 9, 10, 11 and a good amount of gold).
- Use water protection scrolls to protect yourself from Ice Tortoise bosses.
- Use abilities / damage potions to kill Monarchs. They have a very strong blind ability that makes melee attacks useless.
Items and Affixes
- Early / Midgame: Just use the strongest weapon you find. Especially an axe is recommended for AOE damage.
- Lategame, put on it the affixes Darkness (Shadow damage), Lethal or Grandmaster ( 35% critical damage or 50% strength as critical damage). If you go dual-wield, put Lightweight affix on it to reduce the penalty.
- Also consider spare weapons with Fire and Lightning damage. Reasons: Bosses have immunities, lava tiles intensify fire weapon damage, water tiles intensify lightning weapon damage.
- TODO test affix Ricochet. It spreads critical hits.
- Get a heavy armor. Put the affix Bubble on it. It will help you in critical situations.
- Any accessories with affixes Cunning (+20 Guile) and Might (+20 strength) until you have legendary accessories (see below).
- Get Calligraphers silver emblem (job trials mid-game). Choose "Basic attacks deal +15% damage when dual wielding" and "Shadow damage pierces +75% of enemy resistance".
- Do not get gold emblem until you feel strong / safe enough because it is very hard trial. When you successfully do it, go for "Dodging reduces all cooldowns by 1 turn(s)".
For the very late game, you should aim to have various legendaries:
- Rujasu's Marked Cards increases critical chance massively and as such qualifies as a strong offhand weapon.
- Snow Panthox Claw is a good claw weapon to put Water affix on.
- Dragonscale armor: you cannot be pushed or pulled. One of the reasons we went for heavy armor mastery.
- Armillary Mirrors: Your mainhand attack cannot miss. Even if blinded (TODO: needs confirmation).
- Davalimar's Phoenix Pendant will help you survive a deadly hit.
- Denalind's Amulet accessory: massive increase in critical chance and damage.
The penalty can be reduced in steps of 10%.
Without Calligrapher class, claw or affix Lightweight:
- Mainhand: -14% damage, -14% accuracy.
- Offhand: -39% damage, -50% accuracy.
With Calligrapher class only:
- Mainhand: -4% damage, -4% accuracy.
- Offhand: -29% damage, -39% accuracy.
With Calligrapher class and mainhand is either a claw or a weapon with affix Lightweight:
- Mainhand: no penalty.
With Calligrapher class and offhand is either a claw or a weapon with affix Lightweight:
- Offhand: -19% damage, -29% accuracy.
Best reduction possible at the moment:
- Mainhand: no penalty.
- Offhand: -19% damage, -29% accuracy.
TODO: does Claw and Affix Lightweight stack? It would help reduce the offhand penalty to -9% damage, -19% accuracy.
It is a mix of minimizing the risk of dying, cooldown reduction on criticals and increasing damage:
-  Steel Resolve (Budoka class).
-  Blood tracking (Hunter class) or Panthox Skin (Wild Child class).
-  Deadly aim (Hunter class).
-  Cheat Death (Gambler class).
- [free] Heavy Armor Mastery (side quest).
- [free] Ink Collector (Calligrapher class).
- [free] Iron Grip (Claw mastery).
- [free] Razor Step (Claw mastery).
- [free] Ferocity (Axe mastery).
- [free] Overpower (Axe mastery).
How Will This Build Play Out When It Is Done?
Let us sum up what we have:
Calligrapher reduces penalties for dual-wielding with any weapon types.
Calligrapher provides us with the following emblem:
- Bronze: Basic attacks deal +15% damage when dual wielding.
- Silver: Shadow damage pierces +75% of enemy resistance.
- Gold: Dodging reduces all cooldowns by 1 turn(s).
- Guile and legendary items provides us with high critical chance.
- Claws provides us with dual-wield bonus, gain HP on critical and amazing mastery skills.
How Do We Maximize On and Profit From These Factors?
- Dual-wield weapons because we have lots of penalty reductions. Also, each weapon can trigger effects and critical hits individually.
- Do shadow damage with these weapons. This will penetrate bosses that are usually resistant to all elements and even have 100% immunities. Note that in addition to the Silver Emblem effect, these weapons can stack a Shadow Vulnerability several times on the enemy. So, it is possible to reduce a 100% immunity to 0%.
- We do have at least 2 main skills with high cooldowns: Claw Ultimate Devastation (25 turns) and Glitterskin (24 turns). Reduce these cooldowns by Deadly Aim (Reduce 1 CD when you critically strike) and by dodging with the skills Retort, Shadow Evocation Aura and Glitterskin which enable the Gold Emblem effect (TODO need confirmation: enemy missing a hit because of Glitterskin counts as dodge).
- Critical hits with claws gain us 5% max HP.
- Critical hits increase the Brushstroke count for the skill Inkstorm. This works already on trivial monsters (unlike other affixes / skills that require a non-trivial enemy as condition to trigger).
- Use the claw ultimate Devastation to close gaps to bosses. Before you activate it, tell your pet to follow you and it will jump with you to the boss. Together you can focus and kill it.
- Note: the cooldown of Devastation only ticks down if you have a claw equipped.
- It is useful to have spare axe weapons and axe masteries for AOE damage when needed.