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"Pillars of Eternity": Blunderbuss Cipher Build Guide

Arc is a self-help author/speaker and AI thinker. He also make apps as a side hustle.

Copyright Obsidian Entertainment

Copyright Obsidian Entertainment

Glass Cannon build sacrifices defense to focus mainly on offense. This is all about dealing huge amount of damage and sustaining it by recovering focus as quick as possible.

The play style is as simple as using your focus to deal heavy damage or to gain strategic advantage. Then attack with Blunderbuss if you run out of focus.

Just a friendly reminder. No matter how powerful the damage that this Cipher build can unleash. It will not be effective without the help of melee tank ally.

Note: I am playing this game with expansion White March 1 and 2. Both expansion increases the level cap of characters by 16.


  • Godlike – bonus attributes to Dexterity and Intellect complements well with Cipher.
  • Death Godlike: Death’s Usher – has increase damage against enemies with low endurance. This makes your Cipher both heavy hitter and killer.

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Copyright Obsidian Entertainment

Copyright Obsidian Entertainment


  • Might: 18 For dealing huge amount of damage.
  • Constitution: 3 – This is a glass cannon build so you won’t be needing this. Just make sure you always stay away from harm.
  • Dexterity: 19 – High dexterity means you can damage quickly, cast powers quickly, and generate focus quickly. By the way, did I mention quickly?
  • Perception: 15 – For better accuracy and interrupt.
  • Intellect: 19 – Another important attribute for Cipher. A must have to increase AOE (Area of Effect) and duration of your cast powers.
  • Resolve: 3 – Again, this is a glass cannon build. I will remind you, stay away from harm or your Cipher is dead in no time.


  • Deadfire Archipelago – I choose this culture for the bonus Dexterity.


  • Drifter – I just choose drifter for the sake of maximizing Stealth and Mechanics. Since Cipher has bonus to both.


Level 1

  • Soul Shock – This is one of the best damage dealer in your arsenal for its low resource cost and high damage output. The only downside is, you need an ally to leverage this power. Tip: for maximum efficiency, used this while your enemies are too busy with your tank ally.
  • Mind Wave – Your bread and butter power. Who doesn’t like cheap raw damage?
  • Whisper of Treason – Cipher’s basic charm power. Turning your enemies against their own.

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Level 2

  • Mental Binding – Your basic crowd control power.
  • Mind Blades – Just like chain lightning but deals slash damage instead.
  • Psychovampiric Shield – Use this either to weaken the defense of your enemy or to increase your defense when you need it.

Level 3

  • Ectopsychic Echo – Effective when used on a well positioned party.
  • Puppet Master – A better version of Whisper of Treason. Turning your enemies against their own while making them combat effective.
  • Soul Ignition – This power can deal heavy fire damage to your enemy.

Level 4

  • Body Attunement – Just like Psychovampiric Shield. But this one is better since it steals your enemies damage threshold.
  • Pain Block – Grants your Cipher endurance and suitable amount of damage reduction.
  • Silent Scream – This power has high chance of interrupting your enemies. Best used on enemy spellcasters.
  • Wild Leech – Randomly stealing 10 attributes from your enemy is a huge advantage.

Level 5

  • Borrowed Instinct – Stealing Intellect and Perception may not be big deal to some enemies but gaining huge bonus to all defense is a big bonus.
  • Detonate – Just like Soul Shock, but you use your weaker enemies as leverage. And it also deals raw damage but the power cost more resources.
  • Ringleader – Puppet Master on steroids. Dominating your target and charming the others.
  • Tactical Meld – Another power that makes use of your ally as leverage. Tactical Meld increases your accuracy on enemy when you and your ally is attacking the same target.

Level 6

  • Amplified Wave – Soul Shock on steroids. This is your most destructive damage dealing AOE (Area of Effect) with crowd control power. High Damage, Large AOE, plus it knocks down enemies leaving them prone. That is how you describe Amplified Wave. Used it just like how you use Soul Shock.
  • Disintegration – Deals huge amount of raw damage over time.
  • Mind Plague – A crowd control power but works like Chain Lightning. Jumping from one enemy to another.

Level 7

  • Statis Shell – Use this power strategically. Example, isolating the most annoying enemy for a while so that you can take care of your opponents one at a time.
  • Time Parasite – Steals speed from multiple enemies.

Level 8

  • Defensive Mindwave – This power is one of the reason why you don’t need defensive attributes as long as you have an ally with excellent defensive capability.
  • Reaping Knives – Just another power that uses your ally as leverage. Cast this on an ally with high attack speed and you won’t have any problems generating focus.


  • Biting Whip – Increases the damage of your Soul Whip.
  • Greater Focus – Increases the maximum focus of your Cipher.
  • Draining Whip – Increases the draining power of your Soul Whip.
  • Psychic Backlash – Stuns enemy who dares to target Cipher’s will defense.
  • Brutal Backlash – Adds damage to your Psychic Backlash.
  • Gunner – Improves your reloading capability so that you can fire your Blunderbuss faster.
  • Marksman – Provides better accuracy when attacking target from distance.
  • Weapon Focus: Ruffian – Enhances the accuracy for your Blunderbuss.



Obviously, Blunderbuss is the weapon of choice for this build. The weapon doesn’t only deals huge amount of damage but also lets you generate suitable amount of focus.

Below are my 3 recommended Blunderbuss:

  • Lead Spitter – Has better DR (Damage Reduction) bypass.
  • Silver Flash – Can cast Divine Mark and Blind on hit.
  • Scon Mica’s Roar – Enchantment wise.


Use any Robe or Padded Armor of your choice.


  • Mantle of the Excavator – Generously increases Perception.


  • Gauntlets of Swift Action – Improves attack speed.


  • Gathbin Family Signet – Enhances AOE (Area of Effect) of your powers.
  • Gwyn’s Band of Union – Generously increases Intellect.


  • Sentinel’s Girdle – This belt increases might.


  • Viettro’s Formal Footwear – Generously increases dexterity.

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