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Subject: How to make good use of a healing focused Spirit Speaker? rss

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Brian M
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I've got a Spirit Speaker in the current campaign, and I'm feeling a little underwhelmed. Partly this is my own fault; I misinterpreted a skill.

Interruption: Oh crud. I don't remember any of the skill names, but I really wanted to get some ideas as we're likely playing again tonight...ok, hopefully someone can fill in the names for me here...

Ok, so I was working towards what I thought would be a cool combo with the 3 cost skills.

Vigor (?), a 3 cost skills gives you: Surge: All heroes recover 1 fatigue.

Ancestor Spirits (?) lets you exhaust the skill and spend 1 fatigue to either poison a monster you are damaging with a class feature, or give an extra 1 healing and 1 fatigue to a hero that you are restoring fatigue or wounds to.

When I initially read it, I thought blush I could use it to heal ALL the heroes +1 fatigue and wound when I used Vigor.

But Ancestor Spirits will actually only work on one hero. A 3 cost, 1 fatigue skill to heal 1 fatigue and wound doesnt' seem all that hot.

Didn't realize this didn't work until partway into the first quest with it.

I've also got:

Healing Rain (?): Heal all heroes in 3 spaces a red die worth of damage.

Life Drain (?): Action: Make an attack. Heal a hero an amount equal to the damage caused by the attack (or something like that - this is my new ability that I haven't used yet).

So, how would you go about using all this? Healing rain is vaguely nice for keeping heroes healthy, but it's fatigue intensive and doesn't heal all that much. I can now restore 1 fatigue with it - but often I can do that just by attacking.

Thoughts? Tactics? Other good combos to use with the Spirit Speaker?
 
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Brian M
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On the topic, how do people feel about Spirit Speaker compared to Disciple? I've seen other people saying the Spirit Speaker wasn't as good, but at the time I was thinking that some of the Spirit Speaker skills seemed pretty awesome...now that I've realized some don't work like I thought they did, and others just don't seem to be coming into play often, I'm not sure what to think.
 
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Igor Pushkar
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Do you have an official answer from FFG that Vigor + Ancestor Spirits not working on all heroes in party?

I always thought that if you use Vigor's surge ability, then all heroes recover 1 fatigue at the same time and using Ancestor Spirits just in that time will work on all of them? (the same for poisoning monsters damaged by Shared Pain or Tempest).

Anyway I'll post this question on FFG forum.

As for Spiritspeaker, the main goal to be in range of 3 spaces from each hero. You can heal, you can energize... and you can protect. Move last, stand in middle of your party and cast Cloud of Mist, that will be huge bonus for a party.

EDIT. After carefully reading once again Spiritspeaker's skills I believe that Ancestor Spirits work on all heroes that get healed or all monsters that get damaged. You recover fatigue or health at the same time to all heroes as well as you damage all monsters at the same time (like in blast case). If I'm wrong and it works only on one hero or monster, then Spiritspeaker is useless in compare to Disciple.
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Brian M
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Quote:
I always thought that if you use Vigor's surge ability, then all heroes recover 1 fatigue at the same time and using Ancestor Spirits just in that time will work on all of them? (the same for poisoning monsters damaged by Shared Pain or Tempest).


The wording says you exhaust it when a monster or hero is getting hurt/healed, as opposed to when you are using an ability that hurts/heals, so it really sounds like it just works on 1 target.
 
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Ken Marley
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1 target I am afraid. The Spirtspeaker is the only class I don't like.
 
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If you want to be a healing healer, Spiritspeaker is the wrong way to go.

The disciple can heal a hero every turn for a fatigue, and with that ability get rid of conditions or give them extra armor and attack. And they have better healing specific skills. You play THIS guy to keep everybody healthy.

Spiritspeaker isn't that great of a healer, yet it's my favorite class. They focus of assisting heroes in a myriad of ways. He can give health when attacking, give everybody a fatigue from his surges (Great skill, highly underrated.) He can assist the heroes with defence and damage better than the healer, a grey dice for defence is much better than a brown, and tempest can clear/wound the area around him while healing you.


Play the Disciple for focusing on healing, play the Spiritspeaker for assisting heroes with monster kills and buffs.
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Ken Marley
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Grey is better then brown, but the Spirtspeaker's skill only works for one attack, where is the disciple's skill works for all attacks. If you get attack twice in a turn it is wash, and three or more favors the disciple.

I do like vigor. It is the only excellent skill the Spirtspeaker has in my opinion.

But I do like the challenge of the Spirtspeaker, so I am trying it again.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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youperguy wrote:
Grey is better then brown, but the Spirtspeaker's skill only works for one attack, where is the disciple's skill works for all attacks. If you get attack twice in a turn it is wash, and three or more favors the disciple.

I do like vigor. It is the only excellent skill the Spirtspeaker has in my opinion.

But I do like the challenge of the Spirtspeaker, so I am trying it again.


A buddy of mine and I, both very experienced gamers, played 2 player with a knight and a spiritspeaker. I was the Overlord and I creamed him constantly. He won the first scenario and he won a single encounter (on the first) but I won every scenario and few were close.
 
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Aswin Agastya
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dlhammond wrote:
A buddy of mine and I, both very experienced gamers, played 2 player with a knight and a spiritspeaker. I was the Overlord and I creamed him constantly. He won the first scenario and he won a single encounter (on the first) but I won every scenario and few were close.


Doesn't seem like a good combo. A defensive fighter, and an offensive healer. You have the toughness but lacking in damage dealing. You'd need the extra damage to crack the shell of some of the more hardy monsters.
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John DiMaggio
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Would like input on this question as well. While the disciple seems good at reactive defense, by healing, the spirit speaker seems better at preventative damage (stoneskin, mists) and has one of the few party-wide fatigue-heals.

The spirit speaker seems to want to be a paladin of sorts, attacking AND healing rather than one or the other. I'm yet convinced that this is better than just focusing on being good at one thing. While Cloud of Mists and stoneskin are nice, their effects seem rather "streaky" as compared to the direct healing of the disciple, i.e. Spending fatigue on a chance of avoiding damage (spirit speaker) vs. healing damage done (disciple).

I'm curious how people feel the healer classes scale in act II? The monsters seem to get quite a bit stronger, and any 8 hp class can and will die to bad die rolls or from overlord frenzied monsters.
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Gabriel B
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Quote:
EDIT. After carefully reading once again Spiritspeaker's skills I believe that Ancestor Spirits work on all heroes that get healed or all monsters that get damaged. You recover fatigue or health at the same time to all heroes as well as you damage all monsters at the same time (like in blast case). If I'm wrong and it works only on one hero or monster, then Spiritspeaker is useless in compare to Disciple.


Quote:
1 target I am afraid. The Spirtspeaker is the only class I don't like.


A small bump here, but what is the general opinion on this? One target only? And is that as useless as it looks?
 
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Brian M
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Quote:
A small bump here, but what is the general opinion on this? One target only? And is that as useless as it looks?

Still fairly sure it's just one target (unless it has been erratted). We decided to house rule it to not exhaust when used. You'd still have to spend multiple fatigue for multiple targets, but we figured this would make it a little better. However, we haven't actually played another campaign of Descent since then, so no idea how that would work out.
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E.M. Proc
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In Act I, the Spirit Seeker's "Shared Pain" has proven to be a great card for my group, especially against goblins and other weaker monster groups... Probably won't be as useful in Act II, but still not a bad skill...

Also, from a healing perspective, Healing Rain is pretty decent at healing the group. It's also worked pretty well that our Spirit Seeker has the Staff of Light, which has the added advantage of giving everyone back a fatigue...

Lastly, if you give your Spirit Seeker the Lucky Charm, then the Tempest skill becomes a pretty damn powerful card if you're in relatively tight quarters...
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Darren Nakamura
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Shared Pain would be excellent against an Overlord who likes using Kobolds. You could have your teammates kill the masters to spawn minions, then do double Shared Pain to wipe them off the map entirely.

However, what it would likely do is just make it so the Overlord favors large monsters rather than groups of small monsters. Also, the above tactic wouldn't work as well in Act II.

Drain Spirit actually seems better to me than Healing Rain. Both cost an Action, but Drain Spirit costs less Fatigue and you get an attack as well (though it has worse healing potential, and could miss entirely).

I also think Vigor is underrated. Gaining fatigue for everybody is awesome, since fatigue powers so many useful things. You could potentially avoid wasting an action Resting this way.
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Darren Nakamura
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Dexter345 wrote:
Drain Spirit actually seems better to me than Healing Rain. Both cost an Action, but Drain Spirit costs less Fatigue and you get an attack as well (though it has worse healing potential, and could miss entirely).


Just played a game as a Spiritspeaker and chose Drain Spirit and Tempest as my abilities. I sort of wish I had gone with Healing Rain over Drain Spirit, because there were many time when I wanted to heal but didn't have a valid target to attack in order to activate Drain Spirit. However, Healing Rain probably would have made Tempest a little redundant, so I may have wanted to switch that out as well.
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Mark McGee
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Vigor is the best. It is the reason to play Spirit Speaker.

I use weapons with the yellow die so I can get charges, and as long as I stay active in battle, I can almost completely prevent the whole team from needing to rest.
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Ken Marley
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I have warmed to the Spirit Speaker after all this time. Vigor is so awesome, that it makes playing a spiritspeaker acceptable in my changed opinion .

Edit: I also like Shared Pain.
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Darren Nakamura
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My current mini-campaign has one player using Jonas the Kind as a Spiritspeaker. It's a decent combo because the Spiritspeaker rarely attacks but rather spends actions healing and buffing, so Jonas gets his hero ability bonus frequently. He's also got the Aurium Mail so he rolls at least grey/black, and and most brown/brown/grey/grey/black for defense (with his hero ability, exhausting the Aurium Mail, and Stoneskin).
 
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Pietro Pomella
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I know this is an old post but still...
I am quite sure that Ancestor Spirits affects multiple targets, I think we have an official answer for that as well
It's definitely useful, but still the Spiritspeaker is much more challenging and difficult to use well compared to the Disciple.
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Brian M
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Pietro Pomella wrote:
I know this is an old post but still...
I am quite sure that Ancestor Spirits affects multiple targets, I think we have an official answer for that as well
It's definitely useful, but still the Spiritspeaker is much more challenging and difficult to use well compared to the Disciple.


If that's been errated, that would be cool! Well, I guess not all that cool since one could just play that way anyway.

Is it in the FAQ/Errata?
 
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Pietro Pomella
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Well it seems that I was partly wrong about it being in the errata... it is kinda official though: I found out that it happened to be just an answer from Justin Kemppainen, still I think it is quite a reliable source

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/863073/ffg-sez-thread-link-t...
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Brian M
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Thanks for posting that!

We'd considered houseruling it to do that, but were worried it would be too drastic an up-power. If it was intended to be that way, we'll definitely play that way though.
 
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Pietro Pomella
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You're very welcome
And no, it still doesn't make Spiritspeaker a "bomb", it only allows it to compete with Disciple (and in my opinion that skill really needed this "boost")
Still, my friends (the filthy band of greedy little so-called "heroes")hate and despise that class
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Kasuya Meshima
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I think Spirit Speaker is just underrated. Even for cure.

Let's just make a mind exercise: the Disciple cure is just one red die and the only one way to cure other than his main skill is blessed strike, that's not that good for him, since he needs a good weapon for a sure strike and even needs to be adjacent to a hero.Moreover, Disciple ALWAYS need to be adjacent to heroes to cure them (which means he's going to lose some move actions or fatigue-moves).

That said, look at the red dice: 3 faces with 2 hearts, 2 with 3 and 1 with 1. That gives a mean roll of 2.17 hearts. Let's say 2. So we're going to move adjacent to heal mostly 2 damage to one or two heroes in general. Ok.


Now let's take a look in Spirit Speaker's healing capabilities.

- First of all: most of his skills heals within 3 spaces (some of them, such as Vigor, reaches ALL the heroes, doesn't matter where they are). That means the Spirit Speaker is not in need of wasting much movements to heal, like Disciple.

- Drain Spirit and Tempest: These skills heals 1 damage of all heroes in area. You just lose one heart in the mean result for cure just to heal every one. Ok, that's not a sure cure, since you will need to fulfill a requirement (strike someone hard enough to hit at least of one damage, or passing in willpower test). BUT, you can mitigate this problem with a good weapon (especially with pierce and yellow dice to often recover fatigue, like crossbow) and avoid hitting large monsters (with high defense) for Drain Spirit; and using a 4 willpower character and lucky charm (having around 92% of chance to pass) for Tempest.

- Tempest: You can complain about Tempest spend 2 fatigue, but you still are giving an automatic 2 damage for each monster in the area! Lord, Wildlander's Black Arrow gives you 3 sure damage just to one f*cking monster, costs 3 XP and everyone agree that its one of the best Wildlander's skills. So, you have a massive Black Arrow plus a massive heal, just sacrificing 1 heal point (on the mean) and 1 automatic damage point. If you use it with Ancestors Spirit, it's even better: +1 heal and +1 fatigue heal makes tempest a very good heal skill and poisoning monsters is effectively giving them +1 damage for a full massive Black Arrow - and, even if 3 automatic damage is not good enough, they all will have an ongoing automatic damage - just run and wait they die.

- Drain Spirit: It's not just a heal skill, it's your main attack. Very often all the heroes are going to have at least 1 or 2 damage (just because a OL card or a monster power). So you are going to give them some kind of regeneration aura, especially if you have a good weapon with yellow dice (giving you enough surges to heal your own fatigue to bring more regeneration).

- Healing Rain: It's a massive heal action with the same mean result of 2 points of cure. Ok, you are not going to use it that much, especially considering the 2 fatigue + 1 action spending, but it's a really solid refresh for the group in a critical time. But it should not be your main heal.

- Vigor: Awesome! You don't even need be close to the other heroes! Just spend your surge to give them all a very nice refresh on stamina (don't forget that it can stack with Ancestors Spirits for an additional 1 heart and 1 fatigue heal - 2 fatigue heal for ALL heroes is invaluable). This skill makes Spirit Speaker insanely better at fatigue healing than Disciple, and you *really* should keep that in mind. I've played a lot of games that just 1 fatigue point made ALL the difference between winning and losing.


In summary: it's just a healer that sacrifice something to do more in other thing. He usually spend an attack/special action instead of moving, and usually sacrifice one mean damage heal (and 1 extra fatigue) to heal in group, heal extra fatigue, do group damage.


About the defense skills:

- Stoneskin is not that good, BUT, it's somehow a lesser Prayer of Healing. You also do once an round, you also spend no action, you also may mitigate the effect of up to 3 damage in a roll. To compensate the huge access to the group heal, he can mitigate 0 to 3 damage, mostly 1 (against 1 to 3 damage, mostly 2, for Disciple) and you must announce the skill before any result.

- Cloud of Myst is a hugely useful skill, since the best source of monster damage is the surges. With it, you are very likely to make impossible for the dragon making a fire breath with +3 damage (which can very often destroy the heroes formation, some times killing more than one hero). You cannot evaluate how many damage you can avoid with it in the game, effectively doing much more effect than healing with disciple (assuming that damage avoided is just like healing the damage you are just about to take).


So I really understand that people keep choosing Disciple as healer and keep thinking that Spirit Speaker is a bad healer, but I must argument that he is not bad: he's a solid healer, a very good defensive class and can be an awesome damage adjuster (oh my God, we need just one damage to kill the red dragon, we don't wanna spend another runemaster action, just use Tempest and kill it along with other monsters close to death, while damaging the others for an sure kill with runemaster).

There is a really bad counter for Spirit Speaker: if the OL was tending to use more large monsters, he is REALLY using only large monster when it's possible, since Spirit Speaker is a very solid minion killer.
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Pedro Rosmaninho
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Agreed. Just wanted to add one other weakness of the Spirit Speaker: Condition Removal.

It really depends on the type of overlord you're playing, but if the Spirit Speaker is the only *healer* in the group you can be severely punished with those nasty conditions effects. This is especially important if you don't take that into consideration during hero selection and end up having a weak/unbalanced group in terms of attributes.
 
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