RamDF -> All you need to know about Pyromancers (6/22/2013 20:11:23)
1) Brief Introduction to the Class
2) Assigning Your Stats Efficiently
3) Skills, Explanation + How to Maximise Them
4) Strategy Section
5) Yonathan the Fiery Barber
6) Ending Notes
Let's start from the very basics - the meaning of the word Pyromancer. The suffix "-mancer" indicates someone with magical abilities and the prefix "Pyro" indicates that this involves fire. Simply put, this class about channeling your magical powers of fire on the battlefield. In our everyday lives, we hear people associate fire with destructiveness, talk of it as an aggressive and unstable element; we hear in the news that fire burns, damages, kills. So, in a battle-based RPG game where you need to pay real money to own a class which deals with fire, you'd expect it to go after the opponent with a bang, to destroy him with explosions and eruptions. And when the animations were released, it seemed that this cliche would be appropriately fulfilled, that this class would pack a punch and rival Kathool Adept for damage and people were waiting to do not just 100s but 1000s. And then we get quite the opposite. Reactions were (and are) mixed; why this surprise - why is there fire-based class going out with a fizzle and attacking for so little damage? Why is it so defensive - how is this a manifestation of the element's true nature? And this is where Tomix and the team have established a beautiful link to the storyline, to our own experiences and made this concept a resounding success in my opinion. I will now mention some of the explanations offered by fellow players, by Tomix himself and my own input for the class' nature. Afterall, to play and enjoy a class, one doesn't just battle with it but understands the concept associated with it and how it works; thus, I feel it's only appropriate to establish the thematic links and support them before we actually deal with the numbers.
1) Stopping a fire completely is hard. Up till the last, where there are just a few cinders and sparks flying around, a fire just is not extinguished - give it some air and some time and you may very well see a full-fledged fire again - it sustains itself and burns without ceasing. You can never completely write it off for it can very easily come back from any little spark into its full, amazing power.
Now let's relate this to another type of fire - inner fire. A pyromancer does not just play around with fire; he masters it. To control the external element of fire, one's heart needs to be filled with inner fire and determination too. A Pyromancer is one whose inner fire burns bright and never dies out.
Thus, the ability of Pyromancer to regenerate and rejuvenate and its self-sustaining nature forms the crux of this class.
2) Xan's Fire and the AleXANder Saga: Xan lives because of a healing fire - the fire does not just sustain itself, but in this case, he has absorbed its power and its essence into itself and it sustains him too. He has mastered it and he controls it and directs and guides its power. This poignantly ties in with the quests in the AleXANder Saga where Jaania talks about the use of unconventional elements for healing purposes - now, this quintessential flame is what grants Xan his lease of life (though it did turn him mad). So, we've already seen such examples where one does not merely toy with the destruction of fire but truly controls and masters it, with the help of the Pyronomicon (which, in my opinion, was an excellent touch to portray this mastery of an element)
3) The class does do damage similar to how fire actually does damage - not in one big bang then fading away but constantly eating at the opponent and burning him - it really is DoT (damage over time). And I like how they amplify the gravity of this DoT with skills that give the opponent a weakness to Fire. The DoT can actually make this class stand up to other DC classes in terms of damage, besides having a superior defence so you need to know how to use them well. Also, there are a lot of versatile skills, Blind, different types of stuns, buffs, a unique (sort of) shield etc. - the versatility in spells emphasises the latter part of Pyromancer (mancer, a magician). Here, a knowledge of spells is combined with a command of the elements and, thus, he is both skilled at controling Fire (Pyro-) and has sufficient knowledge of spells and magic to use it in a variety of versatile means and affect his opponent (-mancer). And the perfect symbol for the combination of both is the Pyronomicon, which every Pyromancer holds with him all the time. Hence, Pyromancer.
Assigning your Stats Efficiently:
A basic facet of every single class in Dragonfable is the assigning of Stat Points - every level, you get 5 of them and can assign them into STR, DEX, INT, END, WIS, LUK or CHA. If you use a sword or a mace, STR will boost your damage, if you use staves and wands, INT will and if you use daggers or knives, DEX will do so. Thus, the stats STR/DEX/INT are to be allotted according to the type of weapon you use. END gives you HP while WIS gives you MP. LUK increases your crit and your dodge rate by a bit while CHA increases pet and guest damage; these two also affect rolls. You can read up more about them here in this guide.
Just one thing to note though, that LUK isn't more useful for damage than STR/DEX/INT at any point in time, even after 150 so don't start assign too many points into that. Mathematically speaking, a crit point increases your damage by 1% because you've a chance of doing 100% more damage 1 in every 100 turns. You get a crit point from LUK every 20 skill points; at the same time, you get a 1% boost every 15 skillpoints even after 150 in STR/DEX/INT. Especially when you're a Pyromancer, LUK's crit boost doesn't help much as most of your damage comes from DoTs which are not affected by crit so do not add points to LUK.
OK, now to the major stat builds. Pyromancer is inherently a defensive class which focuses on DoT for damage. It consumes MP but because of the MP Recovery skills, running out of MP is never too much of a problem; thus, I recommend having VERY little points in WIS. As a Pyromancer, there are two ways to approach skill points; play up your defensive strengths further by dumping a lot of skillpoints in END or make up for a little less immediate, forthright damage by dumping points into STR/DEX/INT. Remember, you also have to take your equipment into consideration and how many stat points they give you. However, as your equipment would change as you level up, that shouldn't be a major factor unless you're already in the higher 60s or 70s (or 80) in terms of level.
STR/INT/DEX: 145 - 195
WIS: 0 - 50
I would suggest putting stat points into STR/DEX/INT when at lower levels (till maybe 30+) because you're really only going to be doing Hard/Extreme bosses at roundabout level 50+ where you'll need the END. Even in long quests at low levels, the HP/MP isn't really needed due to the awesome HP/MP Recovery skills.
END: 145 - 195
WIS: 0 - 50
The aggressive build really isn't that different from the defensive one - it's just a matter of 5 skillpoints since we're not adding any to LUK (for aforementioned reasons) or CHA (because it doesn't help you too much in battles)
Coming back to how much WIS to have, at higher levels, the MP costs aren't much and you will hardly ever run out of MP - furthermore, you can gain a good amount of WIS through your equipment. Thus, I would recommend keeping it as low as possible, adding it only if you really need it for some reason.
Skills and How to Use them Effectively:
I will list the skills and then explain these skills further and talk about if and when to use them.
Before that, in case some of you don't know or didn't notice, Pyromancer starts off with +5 Resistance against Water, Fire and Ice monsters. Just one more reason to equip Pyromancer when you're in a battle against opponents who deal damage with these elements. When it comes to facing big damage, this can really help.
1. "Attack!" Button
Does 110% damage and doesn't consume MP but it's useless because 1. you're never going to run out of MP if you know how to use the class 2. there are much better filler moves
So, yeps, this is a skill which exists for the sake of necessity and your viewing pleasure.
2. Magma Bubble
A very cool-looking version of your normal shield. BUT the unique thing is, like the Mage Shield, when your opponent hits through your shield, he takes tiny amounts of damage. Use it against lesser foes who won't smash through the shield most of the time because the damage isn't good enough to make it a good attacking move, it's just a little bonus. By the way, the answer to the question, "What happens when your opponent hits through your shield and both of you die in the same turn?" is probably that you will end up losing (this is in the case of mage's Thorny shield).
Overall, this could be rather useful against normal bosses to fend off a few turns but when it comes to some of the harder bosses and some on Hard and Extreme mode, its effectiveness is questionable. Reiterating, use it as a standard shield skill and not for the possibility of extra damage though because that damage doesn't help much.
Excellent filler move with just a cooldown of 2 (which means you can use it every other turn) and damage of 140% - a lot for Pyromancer while you're waiting for other skills to cool down. With buffs and Malcifer etc. this is a good filler move even if you're facing a single opponent for the simple reason that it does more damage than the "Attack!" button and is the best skill for damage other than Phoenix, Triflame and tied with Malcifer (which all have much longer cooldowns). Animation is nothing fantastic though, it's a Fireball coming from the Pyronomicon; could have more effects or have something other than a fireball popping out of a book.
4. Lava Fountain
Just your everyday stun skill with a nice little animation doing 120% damage? Not quite. The noteworthy feature here is that it has 5 times the chance of stunning as compared to an ordinary stun skill (such as the base classes') because it hits 5 times. Not as impressive as enTropy's 9 chances and 270% damage but considering that there's another stun skill in Triflame, I'll take it. A good skill to keep your opponent at bay, I'll talk more about the odds of stunning your opponent in terms of when it would be a good gamble to use it and when it's a simply hopeless move, in the Strategy section.
5. Fire Chains
A blind skill with the sort of animation that makes you want to use it just for the sake of the animation itself sometimes. Though it's simply marvellous, I find it to be ripped off from Soulweaver's stun skill, which had a similar animation except that it wasn't "runic symbols" but ghostly chains binding an opponent. Sadly, the skill's utility does not come near the animation's awesomeness. A blind skill is obviously good to have in your arsenal and a good defensive move (unless you're facing certain bosses like Dr When who almost never miss) but it works for 3 turns and has a cooldown of 8. Compare that to Kathool Adept or Frostmoglin or the base Mage and Rogue armours and a few other armours and you won't find it that impressive anymore. But considering the other defensive skills in the class, this didn't need to be that awesome anyways.
Coming to its utility as a filler move, it does 100% damage; you could do better with the "Attack!" button but, at the same time, considering the nice defensive edge it provides you, I use this rather frequently while waiting for some other skills to cool down.
6. Paper Cannon
Does 6 hits of 20% damage and applies 50% of weapon damage as DoT. Will talk about this together with Flamethrower and Flametongue; one of the essential skills of a Pyromancer and the DoT, when used in the correct combo can do great damage.
So much in one skill: a buff, a heal and weakening your opponent to the element of Fire as well as 140% damage. The Fire Weakness part can greatly aide your three big DoTs and will make them do 100% damage every turn, so you should use them immediately after this skill (it won't buff your DoTs at all if you use them even 1 move before Malcifer). The 140% is great damage too and this is one of Pyromancer's best skills which functions cohesively with the rest and epitomises the overall versatility of this class.
8. The Phoenix
I looked at the skill animation, I looked at the skill name, I prepared to see total annihilation. And then I do less damage than what I would do with Kathool Adept's attack skill most of the time (assuming 70 crit). 150% damage with all hits critting means 300% damage, which sounds great when you're lower level but as you reach more than 50 crit or so, you realise that it's really not as good as you expected it to be. This is another case of the animation being unbelievably jarringly different from the effects of the attack.
Does 7 hits of 17% damage and 50% DoT for 5 turns. Will talk about this together with Paper Cannon and Flametongue; one of the essential skills of a Pyromancer and the DoT, when used in the correct combo can do great damage.
10. Blaze Blue
Again, great animation with an "Avatar: The Last Airbender" reference; blue flames are also generally hotter, more vicious and involve more efficient and complete burning. An excellent move which can make your opponent do 75% damage for the next 5 turns and has a 5-turn cooldown; it is possible to make your opponent do just 75% damage throughout the whole battle by using this every 5 turns (but I don't think you'll be doing that from a practical standpoint). The damage doesn't deserve much of a mention though this is another excellent filler move which gives you a healthy defensive edge while you wait for your major damage-dealing skills to cool down and at least deals some amount of damage. At the same time, I've the same qualm I had with Phoenix, Fire Chains and Multi; the animation just does not fit the skill, even if the skill effect itself is alright. Phoenix's animation overwhelms the skill and so does Fire Chain's while Multi's does the exact opposite; this one just doesn't fit the animation in my opinion. So, overall, this is a skill that can be quite handy especially against hard-hitting bosses and one you would expect to use every once in a while .
Increases damage of skills for next 5 turns by 25% so remember to try and use your best skills except for Phoenix during these turns - Multi, Triflame, Multi and Malcifer (Malcifer preferably on the last turn so that immediately afterwards, DoTs can follow). The reason why you should not use your best move in this combination is because there's a better one with Malcifer where it pays off better when you're using a Fire weapon - so use Phoenix during that combo. If you're confused about this at this point in time, it's OK because I'll explain this in the strategy section in-depth.
Does 6 hits of 20% damage and 50% DoT for 5 turns. Will talk about this together with Paper Cannon and Flamethrower; one of the essential skills of a Pyromancer and the DoT, when used in the correct combo can do great damage.
The skill is just - WOAH! Full HP and MP heal, cooldown of 35 (but you have to play for 9 turns after equpping Pyromancer before you use it, though it's not a problem). Like fire, you burst back rejuvenated from a tiny spark and are reborn like a phoenix (hence, the animation with phoenix wings). But yet again, the animation is not satisfying. Such a grand move and you get this 1 second animation with the character sprouting phoenix wings briefly? The animation, while beautiful in its own right, just does not sync in my opinion (like quite a few other skills).
Perfect skill, perfect animation - the deadly combination of knowledge, mastery and raw firepower is visible here in the 1-turn stun which also does 150% damage. This skill is epic by many counts and, even when the opponent's immobility is super-high, can be a fantastic filler move due to its damage (and who knows, you may get very lucky!)
A class which thematically pulls the class together and is satisfying in terms of its effects. Here, we have a skill which cleanses by fire and shows that purity associated with fire - earth, water and air can all be impure but fire is always pure and lighting one's inner fire cleanses one's mind. The animation is well-suited to this skill that heals your HP for 300% of your weapon damage and heals your MP for 100% of it.
The DoTs - Paper Cannon, Flametongue, Flamethrower: They're seperated here to emphasise their importance. Most skills in Pyromancer do 100andsomething % and seem underwhelming but this is where the class gets a huge boost and where the class is so enjoyable and actually requires the player to think a fair bit about strategies and plan ahead when using it. DoTs do 2x damage when your opponent is weak to the element; in this case, it is Fire. Since Malcifer gives the opponent a weakness to fire, use it immediately afterwards, all three of them in succession. Not before because the DoT won't be affected even if you use Malcifer in the middle of the DoT. The DoTs can do up to 300% a turn. Considering that's in just DoTs and not your main attacks, that is amazing - at the same time, note that that is the maximum and not the average. More on handling these DoTs in the Strategy section but I hope I've emphasised their importance here.
Now, you know more about the skills a Pyromancer possesses; but that does not mean you've mastered them. Mastering the element of Fire and the art of controlling it takes years and years of practice. As a wise man once said, the greatest Pyromancers are not born but made (Xan being a prime example). But that's where the Strategy section of this guide comes in handy and simplifies all the mumbo-jumbo in the Pyronomicon into a few hundred/thousand words so you can become an infinitely better Pyromancer almost instantly!
So, first, before we dive straight into the numbers, some general guidelines:
1. If the opponent has 100 or more Fire Resistance, it may not be wise to use Pyromancer because its damage would be seriously hampered for its DoTs would do 0 damage (unless you apply Malcifer, and some of the DoT can do a feeble 50% damage).
2. Have a very good Fire weapon at hand and use it during boss battles. However, if the opponent has 25 to 50 resistance to Fire, then don't use a Fire weapon at all. If the opponent has 1 to 25 resistance to Fire, then equip the weapon on the turns that Malcifer is active and equip a non-Fire weapon on the other turns.
3. Do not follow the exact rotations that will be mentioned below. They are simply guidelines and should be treated as some of the various ways of managing one's cooldown effectively because Pyromancer is full of them.
4. Repeat/Re-iterate: Don't come here expecting OHKO moves. There is not a single move in the whole of Pyromancer, assuming 70 crit, that can even match Kathool Adept's attack button (this is excluding DoTs). If you want damage from Pyromancer, you've to patiently use the rotations and capitalise on the DoTs.
5. Repeat/Re-iterate: Defence is the key to Pyromancer. And the MP Regen ability. And many of the animations and how the armour looks and feels and Yonathan's hair cuts. Those are the reasons why you SHOULD be a Pyromancer.
Now, on to the number frying pan...
The Best Possible Rotation for Damage as a Pyromancer
First, we'll start off with the best possible damage rotation as a pyromancer and discuss it; of course, you'll hardly ever be using this because you also need defence against the bosses whom you're gonna use this. So, we'll discuss afterwards which off the moves in this sequence can easily be replaced by a filler move (and which you should try not to replace with a filler).
Assuming 0 crit and the use of a Fire weapon against an opponent who has no resistance/weakness to Fire,
Flametongue (370%) -> Paper Cannon (370%) -> Flamethrower (369%) -> Triflame (150%) -> Malcifer (140%) -> Flametongue (587.5%) -> Paper Cannon (537.5%) -> Flamethrower (485.9%) -> Phoenix (468.75%) -> Multi (140%)
Average - 361.865%
Assuming 70 crit and the use of a Fire weapon against an opponent who has no resistance/weakness to Fire,
Flametongue (454%) -> Paper Cannon (454%) -> Flamethrower (452.2%) -> Triflame (255%) ->Malcifer (238%)-> Flametongue (718.75%) -> Paper Cannon (668.75%) -> Flamethrower (616.1%) -> Phoenix (468.75%) -> Multi (238%)
Average - 456.355%
Thus, we can see that Pyromancer can dish out some serious damage in DoTs and can BEAT enTropy when enTropy does not use a Darkness weapon (but enTropy wins by more than 100% on average when it can use a Darkness weapon)! However, it can't beat Kathool Adept...
Now that we've got the best rotations, what are the moves which can easily be replaced with defensive skills as the situation requires?
Most Easily Replaceable: Multi; it does the least damage in the rotation, does not help any other skill in terms of its damage and so can be done without for the sake of defence
Next Most Easily Replaceable: Triflame; it is an immobility skill in itself but you can replace with the Blind, the other Stun, the Shield etc. as required without sacrificing too much damage.
Next Most Easily Replaceable: Phoenix, especially at higher levels, is the next most easily replaced with the skill of you choice
Least Easily Replaceable: Malcifer and the DoTs. If you really haaaaave to use a defensive skill, it's much better to replace the first three turns of the rotation (the ones which do 454%) rather than Malcifer and the DoTs following it because Malcifer + the DoTs in that combo is the most lethal combination Pyromancer has by far.
In fact, rather than replacing Malcifer and the DoTs, you can simply add a move to the rotation without replacing any other move. Add this move anywhere EXCEPT in between Malcifer and the three DoTs (and preferably not between the three DoTs and Phoenix either)
Now for What to replace these skills with:
Obviously, if you're looking to replace one of these skills, it is for a defensive purpose; else, it is best you stick with these skills for they provide the most damage.
Pyromancer has 8 healing/immbolising/defensive skills - 2 stunning skills, 3 healing skills, a Blind, a Shield and a Damage Reduction skill - that's a lot for one class and you need to know how to juggle them around effectively.
The most clear-cut would be Rebirth - use it when you absolutely have to, when you have very little HP and/or MP because it brings you back to full HP and MP. Amazing skill but obviously there's a long cooldown slapped onto it.
Another one which requires little discussion is Malcifer; its primary use is as an attacking skill and a way to make your DoTs hit a lot more than they normally do. It's already part of the combination.
Triflame also does not need much discussion for it's already part of the combination (because of its utility as an attack skill as well).
Besides these three (of which Rebirth is to be used in the case of an emergency only while Malcifer and Triflame are already part of the rotation for best damage), there are five other skills - a heal, a blind, a stun, a damage reduction and a shield.
The shield Magma Bubble is the least effective if you ask me because many of the harder bosses can hit through that frequently enough - it's like taking a gamble without much assurance of success when you have other skills that can assure you better defence. Furthermore, it lasts only two turns.
Fire Chains is not a bad skill by any means but the fact that it only operates for 3 turns and is, again, a gamble, reduces its reliability and I don't use it too much. Also, similar to above, some bosses have too high a Bonus for them to be significantly affected by Fire Chains.
Warmth is a decent healing skill to use to heal both HP and MP. Nothing much to say about it except that you should switch to a weapon which does the most damage (no matter the element) on the turn when you use the skill for it to be more effective. I won't say it's a great skill because of its cooldown though.
Lava Fountain has 5 chances of stunning in one turn, making it a cut above other stun skills (exceptions being enTropy's stun skill and Doomknight's). Unless your opponent has more than 90 immobility and/or you're in a crisis scenario, this is well-worth a gamble at three turns of no damage at all. Because it does 120% damage, I suggest replacing Multi with it whenever it is possible (especially against bosses who do good damage) because you won't sacrifice much damage and this is a great opportunity for defence as well. Only problem is, however, that even if it's a gamble with great odds, it's still a gamble.
Blaze Blue is a must-use in the place of Multi whenever stun isn't available. It's guaranteed to reduce your opponent's damage for 125% for the next 5 turns - so instead of doing 500%, he'll only do 375%. Especially if the boss is doing a lot of damage, I think this is an excellent trade-off for just 20% less damage being dealt to your opponent. Even if Multi would give more damage in the rotation, I suggest using this instead as far as possible.
A Sum-up for Rotations against Bosses
Most of the time, the moves you end up using against a boss won't even look remotely similar to the rotation suggested above and that's a very good thing because all this analysis exists purely in theoretical realm; when you're really fighting, go with what you think but keep this in mind as a template. Against most bosses, try to constantly keep your DoTs up and running, use Malcifer as much as possible and your three DoTs right afterwards. Also, from experience, Triflame, Lava Fountain and Blaze Blue are the defensive skills which I use most often against bosses in a practical context. Those are the essentials one needs to know about Pyromancer and juggling his skills when facing a boss.
So, finally, what about Doing Quests as a Pyromancer?
There are only two things to say in this mini-section.
First is, try not to use Pyromancer for quests because I personally find it really boring due to the lack of good damage upfront. In long quests, even if survival shouldn't be much of a problem, it can really annoy me sometimes. Dragonlord would serve you better in longer quests while Soulweaver and other armours will do fine for the rest of the quests.
Second is, even if it's not too good in terms of efficiency and how quick it can kill things, it's great for EXP. This is because, when paired with an Escelence weapon, the skill Phoenix can very quick 1-hit KO Voltabot in an eruption of damage. This is possible due to the fact that Escelence weapons' do 150% damage per HIT no matter what skill you use against elementals; because Voltabot's monsters are elementals and Phoenix does 15 hits of damage in a flash, this is the ideal armour for this quest which gives a lot of EXP.
With this, the Strategy section is over and I hope that this information will serve useful in your tests and travails as a Pyromancer...
Yonathan, the Fiery Barber:
Pyromancers can also get special haircuts which look amazing with the armour. Your hair looks like its on fire and there are many styles too. At Yonathan, you can also change your skin colour. This adds another dimension to the class compared to other classes - it's a new level of customisability to go with the class.
You have to go to Warlic's Zone from the Book 3 map and then head right (to where Cysero is standing), top twice and right to arrive at the location where Yonathan is. Yonathan is the NPC at the bottom right of the map.
While it may not have moves that can easily wipe off the opponent in one move, Pyromancer is a versatile class which requires practice and strategy to be optimised. At the same time, once you learn how to use it right, it's going to be very hard to lose battles against your opponents because its defence is just that good. Its damage is also very underrated as, in the long-term, the DoTs can stack up to do a great amount of damage, especially with Malcifer before them. The hair-cuts are also a nice perk. Now that you've seen this guide, I hope it's easier to decide whether you want to purchase Pyromancer or not and if you've already bough Pyromancer, I hope it helps you use it effectively.
Silver - for doing up the epic banner of this guide
Dragonman - for helping me answer a question abt Magma Bubble
Hopeful Guy - for helping me edit some phrasing issues, for helping me answer a question about DoTs and Resistances and for the idea to include calculations with 0 crit assumed
Tallion, Drcaoslash - for helping me answer a question about DoTs and resistances
Dragonfable - for being an awesome game
And finally, YOU for being patient and interested enough to read all the way here