Making a HE using Magic Coup as her main offensive CA. This is basically my planned build, but written more like a guide so others can easily get started on this fun and challenging build.
Check out the findings at Lightning Battlemage Study as this build is based on what the great people there have found out about Magic Coup. Below is a summary of things to know about regarding to Magic Coup from that thread:
Ancient Magic, Tactics Lore and Magic damage does not increase damage
Physical damage, critical chance and weapon base damage does increase damage
Attack Value determine chance to hit
Attack speed mod does not affect Magic Coup
My findings: Magic Coup damage does not increase with Tactics Lore. Initially I thought it did, but it was a mistake and the summary above is true.
The Attributes listed below directly improves Magic Coup effectiveness by increasing weapon damage.
Strength - For Sword Weapons. Probably the best choice for a Magic Coup build as it improves your Attack Value significantly. My findings: Not all swords gets a damage boost from Strength, some are from Dexterity. This is regardless of their size. The only sure way to know is to equip the sword and check the attribute bonus indicator to see if Weapon damage is listed.
Dexterity - For Ranged Weapons. A defensive attribute that boosts Defense Value and some Attack Value.
Intelligence - For Magic Staffs. Not as great as Strength or Dexterity because it will not increase Attack Value or Defense Value, but does increase your Spell Intensity which in turn helps with your other spells.
I have retired my Melee Magic Coup HE in favor for a Range variant. I strongly recommend checking out chattius threads for very well thought out Melee Magic Coup builds:
self sufficient melee elf - HC 2.40
Guide: Melee Elf, hardcore to level 75 (mainly PC version)
For reference, this is my own Melee Magic Coup build:
Delphic Arcania Lore
Delphic Arcania Focus
Tactics Lore **
Speed Lore *
Spell Resistance *
Enhanced Perception *
* Can be replaced with whatever skills are desired
** Use 5 Skill Points only to unlock Ranged Weapons
My findings: From what I have read, Bargaining is a useful skill to have especially at the end-game. Many players get the skill early and try to get its level to be at least the character level through items. I have changed the skill list to have Bargaining, but at a later stage.
Combat Art Modifications (Source: SacredWiki)
For tough single targets.
Heavy Damage - Increases direct damage output. (50% increase in magic damage, overall 31% increase to total damage)
Electrify - Increases the chance to reduce the opponent's attributes. (40% + 0.4% per CA level increased chance)
Critical - Increases the chance to land critical hits. (9.9% + 0.1% per CA level chance)
Target Focus - Increases the chance that opponents cannot evade or parry incoming hits. (30% + 0.2% per CA level chance opponent cannot evade)
Life Leech - Leeches life from the target and adds it to the caster's life. (5% + 5% per CA level lifeleech)
Critical - Increases the chance to land critical hits. (20% + 0.2% per CA level increased chance)
My findings: Area of Effect damage is less than half of Magic Coup damage. Triggers Life Leech on targets affected by Area of Effect, but not for Mana Steal.
Target Focus is a much better choice over Heavy Damage, especially for boss fights.
How much Magic damage does Magic Coup give?
Bare hands Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
---------- ------- ------- ------- -------
Total damage: 33 - 33 36 - 36 39 - 39 41 - 41
Physical: 22 - 22 23 - 23 25 - 25 26 - 26
Magic: 11 - 11 13 - 13 14 - 14 15 - 15
Sword (43 - 54)
Total damage: 99 - 127 106 - 134 115 - 142 122 - 153
Physical: 65 - 83 68 - 86 73 - 90 76 - 97
Magic: 34 - 44 38 - 48 42 - 52 46 - 56
% of total damage is Magic damage at Level 1: ~33%
% Magic damage increase per level: ~1%
How much extra damage does Heavy Damage mod gives?
Delphic Arcania Lore: 3 (Unlock Heavy Damage mod)
Bare hands Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
---------- ------- ------- ------- -------
Total damage: 39 - 39 (45 - 45) 40 - 40 (47 - 47) 42 - 42 (51 - 51) 46 - 46 (52 - 52)
Physical: 25 - 25 (30 - 30) 26 - 26 (30 - 30) 27 - 27 (33 - 33) 29 - 29 (33 - 33)
Magic: 14 - 14 (15 - 15) 14 - 14 (17 - 17) 15 - 15 (18 - 18) 17 - 17 (19 - 19)
Sword (47 - 57)
Total damage: 123 - 150 (144 - 176) 130 - 160 (153 - 188) 139 - 168 (162 - 197) 146 - 178 (170 - 209)
Physical: 81 - 99 (94 - 115) 84 - 103 (99 - 122) 88 - 107 (103 - 126) 92 - 112 (107 - 132)
Magic: 42 - 51 (50 - 61) 46 - 57 (54 - 66) 51 - 61 (59 - 71) 54 - 66 (63 - 77)
% increase in total damage: ~17%
What happens to Elemental damage when using Magic Coup?
Magic Coup: 1
Sword Weapons: 31
Delphic Arcania Lore: 16
Weapon: Sword (69 - 100)
Socket: Chunk of Lava (32.8%)
Normal Attack Non-socket Socket
------------- ---------- ------
Total damage: 98 - 142 123 - 151
Physical: 98 - 142 75 - 92
Magic: None None
Fire: N/A 48 - 59
Total damage: 247 - 357 308 - 380
Physical: 162 - 234 125 - 153
Magic: 85 - 123 183 - 227
Fire: N/A None
% of Total damage is Magic damage for Magic Coup (Non-socket): ~34%
% of Total damage is Magic damage for Magic Coup (Socket): ~59%
My findings: Elemental damage is actually being done with using Magic Coup, but the damage over time effect can never be triggered. The extra Magic damage is probably a display bug.
Use mainly to get out from difficult situations.
Escape - Chance to break all rooting effects while teleporting. (100% chance)
Vanish - The caster remains invisible for a brief period after the teleport. (9.9 secs + 0.1 sec per CA level)
Mend - Heals the caster during teleport. (20% + 0.2% per CA level healing)
Against mobs or spell users.
Strength - Increases banishing potential but maintain the same effective radius.
Pentagram - Reduces the duration and impact of incoming weakening effects. (50% reduction on debuffs)
Protection - Chance to block direct magical damage. (30% + 2% per CA level chance to block spell)
My findings: Some monsters are more resislent to effects of fear and some are even immune to it.
Activate it at all times.
Arrant Pyromancer Expertise - The regeneration time for the aspect Arract Pyromancer will decrease significantly. (10% + 1% per CA level decrease)
Life Energy - Additionally increases the hitpoint regeneration rate. (2 HP/sec flat increase + 1 HP/sec per CA level)
Resilience -Reduces the impact and duration of incoming detrimental effects. (30% + 0.3% per CA level reduction on debuffs)
* Note: Replace with Mystic Stormite Expertise if using Mystic Stormite Aspect. Either one if not using other Aspects.
If you want to get Incandescent Skin or Crystal Skin as a second buff:
Combusting Arrows - Chance that arrows may burn before they can inflict damage. (30% chance to block ranged attack)
Revenge - Chance to reflect close combat damage. (30% chance)
Arrant Pyromancer Expertise - Further decreases the regeneration time for the Arrant Pyromancer aspect. (20% decrease)
Freeze - Slows movement rate of opponents in close combat range. (19.8% slow)
Focalize - Increases the spell intensity of the aspect Mystic Stormite combat arts. (30% increase)
Mystic Stormite Expertise - Decreases the regeneration time for the Mystic Stormite aspect. (26.7% decrease)
Do side quests and kill bunch of monsters along the way to get loot and gold - This build is very gear depend to be survivable and effective, so do not speed though the campaign. Though it is possible to fight bosses thanks to the level scaling, it will be risky and long. Good equipment will make a big difference in boss fights.
Use bows only - Bows fire the fastest and have a longest range compared to the other range weapons, so make them your primary weapon of choice. Bows also can pull off hit and run maneuvers easily which is important for a this fragile build.
"One shot, one kill" - One shot normal enemies by boosting Magic Coup as much as possible. When sniping a distant group of enemies, killing an enemy with a single shot will not cause the group to attack you. This way you can safely take out most, if not all, of the enemies without retalition. Even if you get spotted by the enemy group, sometimes one of them will gesture the others to attack you. Take that enemy out first because this will delay the attack a bit longer thus allowing you more time to finish off the remainder enemies.
Cast Expulse Magic often when mobbed - Unless you are completely certain the mob cannot kill you, cast Expulse Magic before and during the fight. Always keep one active all the time. This will cause some of the monsters to run away in fear. Less monsters attacking you means less damage you take. Yes it is annoying to chase them later, but it is much safer.
azmodael - Teaching me something 'bad'.
StiCk_eM - Pointing out that Magic Coup does carry over Elemental damage.