Cultist Class Guide
- See also: Cultist Class Profile
The Cultist class is one of the most interesting to play. This is due in part to their relatively low initial stats during most of the mid-game, making item-hunting a lot more fun and valuable.
In Majesty, the Cultist was largely a supporting class who contributes by force of numbers - of charmed animals. As a result, the individualistic gameplay of Heroes of Ardania has made the Cultist a very unconventional class, with some traits resembling those of Priestesses. The Monster Charming ability is well-presented in HoA, which, when combined with stealing and high luck for gambling, allows the Cultist to perform quite well in the early game. The Cultist starts with relatively low combat stats and is only being able to wield daggers. Their very low strength prevents them from being very proficient in melee combat. This deficiency is somewhat mitigated by the unique combat system of the Cultist, in which their H2H stat is weighted against the opponent's dodge (rather than parry). Most enemies have lower dodge than parry, which benefits the cultist.
At low levels, cultist rely on the Power Shock spell for damage dealing. This spell is obtained at the Valmorgen library, and should be obtained as soon as possible. At level 7, Cultists get a significant boost in the form of the Change Shape spell, which effectively provides a +35 HP heal whenever it is used. Cultists are great in the early game's Valmorgen sewers and will destroy most of the hard low-level enemies either with their Followers, or by shear durability afforded by the Change Shape spell. However, this class suffers from a quick decline in power after leaving Valmorgen. During the mid stage, cultists suffer from their low combat stats, particularly H2H. As such, they have difficulty doing enough damage output to take on difficult encounters. Therefore, during the mid-game, cultists will need to slowly build up their stats by accumulating various items.
Later in the game, Cultists become very powerful for the following reasons. First, the Baldric of Feathers permits the cultist to damage all opponents (though only once in 5 rounds), which dramatically increases damage output. Second, cultists have one of the best lineup of class-specific items from Thallis, particularly the Varg Cloak, which adds an astonishing +30 to H2H, dodge, and parry, along with other bonuses. Third, late in the game, cultists are able to augment their damage output through the "Attack of Opportunity" skill.
To begin, check the attributes of your Cultist. Since the main five attributes are randomized within a range, it is preferable to have maximum INT (27) and STR (16+) or something close to the maximum. It also helps to have Vitality of 13 or 14 and Artifice above 19, or something close to these values. In the Valmorgen Sewers, cultists have a variety of strategies as outlined in the Beginning Strategy article. As mentioned above, once level 7 is reached, cultists are generally very powerful in the sewers. Until then, you will need to rely on followers to some extent. If you need additional followers, you may pray at the Krypta temple to obtain a few skeletons.
Before leaving Valmorgen, completion of the following is suggested:
- Completing the four Rat-Catcher Quests you find the Royal Rat-Catcher in the sewers.
- Learn both spells from the Library. Reanimate your Skeletons from the temple if they die.
- Obtaining the highest grade weapon and armor available in the Blacksmith, and enchanting both to +3.
- Obtaining the Ring of Protection.
- Completing the Gnome Collector (quest), if you have not yet gotten rid of the junk accumulated after exploring the sewers.
After leaving Valmorgen, cultists should obtain a Totemic Mask of Earth or Totemic Mask of Fire from Treldan Wood. After the mask is obtained, the Goblin Territory is an excellent location to gain gold and Goblin Beard Rings. Embedding 3x Goblin Beard Rings into an armor piece will permit the cultist to carry significantly more items, as well as increase a bit the damage output.
As noted above, cultists suffer from low combat stats at this stage. To remedy this deficiency, cultists should craft the Night Dagger, whose ingredients are relatively easy to obtain. The Holy Dagger needed for the Night Dagger can be obtained in the Witch King Ruins without a fight. The Black Stone and Black Claw can be obtained mostly easily in the Elven Valley. To reach the Elven Valley, you may explore HFM East until finding a lost elf to escort to the Elven Valley. Once the Night Dagger (+15 to H2H, Dodge, Parry) is obtained, along with an additional Carved or Black accessory, the cultist will have sufficient combat stats to take on gradually more difficult encounters.
After defeating the Paladins and Monks in the Dark Forest Keep, the best Aura choice for this class would definitely be the Aura of Might. STR for damage and weight carrying, WP for praying (since Cultists can't get additional willpower from the Vigilance) enchantment and some more INT for easier Crafting of schematics as well as a bit of help in the occasional spell casting (with Power Shock, Wind Storm, Bandanna of Frost, Amulet of Destruction or Ring of Mighty Devastation - if you dare to use it). The Aura of Victory is a good alternative for a Cultist.
Below are the optimal items for each category, as well as other notable items. See also: items usable by Cultist.
- Weapon: Lion's Dagger (Damage 13, H2H +20, PAR +20; Thallis item).
- Night Dagger (item) (Damage 10, H2H +15, PAR +15, DOD +15).
- Armor: Bear Armor (Armor: 9, STR +16, PAR +10, MGR +10; Thallis item); embed either 3x Skull DBRs or 3x Goblin DBRs. Craft two Armor pieces of each DBR combination for more flexibility.
- Mithril Studded Leather Armor (Armor: 6, DOD +10); embed either 3x Skull DBRs or 3x Goblin DBRs. Craft two Armor pieces of each DBR combination for more flexibility.
- Breechcloth of the Wilds (ART +8, DOD +10, PAR +10; Valmorgen Schematic) → Breechcloth of the Desert (Armor: 2, ART +10, DOD +20, PAR +15, MGR +10); upgrade at Imp's Workshop); Medusa Mail (Armor: 7, MGR +15).
- Cloak: Varg Cloak (VIT +1, ARM +1, Stealth, ART +5; Thallis item). Early on, Cultists can use a Sneaky Reinforced Cloak or Protective Cloak. Keep the Protective Cloak even after the Varg Cloak is obtained.
- Headgear: Circlet of Lycanthropy (item) (H2H +15, RNG +15, PAR +15, DOD +15, Werewolf Form) → True Werewolf Circlet (Adds modified ART to combat stats, ARM +1, MGR +10). Early on, Hero can also use various Totemic Masks that have different bonuses, depending on the type. The best are Totemic Mask of Earth (ARM +2) and Totemic Mask of Fire (DMG +2).
- Belt: Belt of the Dire Bear (Armor: 3, H2H +20, PAR +10, STR +22, RNG +10, MGR +5, ART +10; Thallis item).
- Belt of Brawling (item) (Armor: 1, H2H +10, PAR +5, STR +8) → Improved Belt of Brawling (schematic) (the Belt of Brawling embed a "Might" accessory); Belt of Rage (Armor: 0, STR +16, H2H +10, DMG +2, DOD -5, PAR -5) is useful early on, though its upgraded version could assist you to bear more weight than the Thallis belt.
- Footwear: Bearskin Greaves (Armor: 2, PAR +10, DOD +10, MGR +10, H2H +5, DMG +3; Thallis item); War Chargers (item) (Armor: 3, STR +4, H2H +10); Boots of Lunord (SPD +2, PAR +10, DOD +15, MGR +5, DMG +1).
- Glove: War Gauntlets; embed 2x Ratman Beard Rings.
- Armband: Mithril Bracers or Nevryl Bracers; embed 2x Ratman Beard Rings.
- Necklace: Ring Amulet (item) (ring values); embed either a Ring of Protection or Dark Band. Should also have a Rezzenthells Spellkiller or Dwarven Locket for special situations. Use the Amulet of Destruction for magic.
- Ring: Should use either Ring of Protection or Dark Band.
- Accessory: Baldric of Feathers (item) (Dark Forest Abandoned Library schematic) → Enchanted Baldric of Heavy Feathers (upgrade at Imp Workshop) - insert the Black / Carved Claw into it.