Best Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Subclass & Multiclass - Bright Rock Media (2024)

This Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher class guide will teach players what the best subclass and multiclass options are for the Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher.

If you’re playing Pillars of Eternity 2 (POE2) as a Cipher, you’ll want to know what the best Pillars of Eternity 2 Ciphere subclass and multiclass options are, or else you’ll be stuck on the character select screen for hours.

This guide has you covered by letting you know which Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher subclasses and multiclass combinations are generally considered the best.

Pillars of Eternity 2 Subclass & Multiclass Guides:
Monk Fighter Rogue Ranger Barbarian Chanter Cipher Druid Paladin Priest Wizard

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Best Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Subclass & Multiclass - Bright Rock Media (1)

Table of Contents

Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Subclass Options

Pure Cipher

There’s nothing wrong with a pure Cipher, but in general it’s not as optimal as choosing the appropriate subclass for your intended playstyle.

Want to go melee? Roll Soul Blade. Want to play a caster? Ascendant is the way to go. Focusing on crowd control? Beguiler is what you want.

Pure Cipher can generalize and do all of those things but, then again, so can the other subclasses; pure Cipher just loses out on those extra bonuses that make each subclass particularly effective at what it does.


Ascendant is probably the most interesting of the Cipher subclasses and arguably the most powerful. Power is reduced while not at full focus, but once you hit full focus, your power dramatically increases and the focus cost of all spells is reduced to 0.

The trick with this build is to A) build focus as quickly as possible and B) keep the Ascendant state active as long as you can. Intelligence increases the length of the ascended state, so you’ll want to max that out, and building focus using a ranged weapon shouldn’t be that difficult overall.

Because this allows you to spam your abilities at zero cost, it’s usually best (though not required) to single-class an Ascendant so it can chain-cast all the most powerful level 8-9 Cipher spells.


Basically the Beguiler subclass allows you to chain cast charm, domination and other deception spells if you’re casting them on flanked or afflicted targets. Each successful cast on an afflicted target returns a bunch of focus.

The downside is that your soul whip damage is decreased against targets who aren’t susceptible to any sneak attack afflictions (for instance, flanked). This is… alright. It’s just hard to justify this subclass when Ascendant is capable of chain-casting any spell and doesn’t have to deal with the affliction requirement.

Soul Blade

Soul Blade is ready-made for multiclassing with any melee martial class. It gives a “Soul Annihilation” special ability that basically amounts to a melee finishing move that eats all your focus and deals damage proportional to the focus it takes.

Every enemy you kill increases max focus by 10 as a Soul Blade, so if you mow through a couple of enemies you might be able to one-shot the next target with a powered-up Soul Annihilation.


Psion passively generates Focus over time and has an AoE knockback that other Cipher classes don’t have access to. As a penalty, it loses the Soul Whip ability entirely. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this class is.

The passive Focus generation is slower than the Focus generation you gain from any other class, the AoE knockback is redundant on a class with a ton of crowd control options, and it loses Soul Whip, which is Cipher’s main damage-dealing ability. I’d skip it.

Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Multiclass Options


Especially if you’re looking to go with Ascendant, single-class is a strong option for Cipher. Defensive Mindweb, Time Parasite and the rest of the level 8-9 Cipher spells are all insane, so giving them up for a multiclass is a huge drawback.


Monk provides a huge synergy with Ascendant because of its ability to grant +10 intelligence. You can go ranged or melee, but that intelligence bonus means that Ascendant state lasts that much longer.

If you’re going with ranged, you can somewhat safely select the Helwalker Monk subclass for a huge bonus to damage output.

Bleak Walker

Bleak Walker is sort of the go-to “offensive” Paladin option, and it’s a great partner for a Soul Blade because Soul Blade grants Bleak Walker a powerful physical nuke it otherwise doesn’t have access to.

Bleak Walker also grants the Soul Blade consistent damage and defense buffs that it otherwise has no access to. It’s a win-win.


Assassin / Soul Blade tends to be a very strong combo because Soul Annihilation is an incredible move to partner with Backstab/Assassinate. You can put out some huge damage numbers by backstabbing targets with a powered up Soul Annihilation.

This isn’t the only combo, though: any Cipher subclass tends to partner well enough with any Rogue subclass. Ascendant / Streetfighter, for example, also works pretty well if you use the Blunderbuss modal to keep yourself flanked for the Streetfighter bonus.

Conclusion – Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Class Guide

In Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher is a powerful class and it’s arguable Pillars of Eternity 2’s most interesting and unique class.

The Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher class comes with a lot of different subclass and multiclass options. The best of them, in my opinion, is Ascendant.

For my own personal Cipher, I think single class Ascendant is the most fun and effective. However, there are a lot of potential multiclass options for a Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher that are not only viable, but powerful.

That about covers it when it comes to best Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Subclass & Multiclass options. Check out thegames sectionfor more game guides and other game-related content, andclick herefor more articles related to Pillars of Eternity 2.

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Best Pillars of Eternity 2 Cipher Subclass & Multiclass - Bright Rock Media (2024)


What is the best cipher class in Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

The dual-wielding melee Cipher is one of the strongest classes in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. It provides a very flexible class that can provide a lot of damage in addition to some very useful and powerful spells. It is the best crowd control class in the game.

What is the best race for cipher deadfire? ›

Within the list of playable races, the Elf, Orlan, and Godlike are the best for this class. Like in other RPGs, these races with their subraces can build up the class even further with their inborn stats. Elves as a race start with a plus one in dexterity and perception.

What is the max focus in Deadfire cipher? ›

By default your maximum focus is 20 plus 10/character level (for a maximum of 30 at level 1 to a maximum of 220 at level 20).

What is a cipher in Pillars of Eternity? ›

Ciphers are casters able to directly manipulate the souls of others. They have the following characteristics: Roles: Crowd Control, Striker. Primary attributes: Intellect, Might, Dexterity.

Which is the strongest cipher? ›

AES 256-bit encryption is the strongest and most robust encryption standard that is commercially available today. While it is theoretically true that AES 256-bit encryption is harder to crack than AES 128-bit encryption, AES 128-bit encryption has never been cracked.

Does race matter in Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

Aside from the stat adjustment, races come with various racial bonuses of varying quality. Godlike tend to get stronger bonuses, but also come with the permanent drawback of being unable to wear anything on their head (which deprives you of a potentially powerful item slot).

What is the godlike race in Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

The godlike are children of the kith ("civilized" races) who have been blessed with physical aspects associated with the gods (though some do not consider it a blessing). These aspects may take many forms and often come with mystical powers.

What subrace is human in Pillars of Eternity? ›

Though not as large as the towering aumaua, humans are known for their strength and willpower. There are four sub-races of humans: Meadow, Ocean, Savannah, and Storm folk.

What is the best rogue class in Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

One of the best subclasses for single-class Rogues in Pillars of Eternity 2 is the Trickster, which adds a splash of Deadfire's Illusion magic to the Rogue's Abilities. Although they deal less Sneak Attack damage, a Trickster Rogue can guarantee their Sneak Attacks much more often by providing their own debuffs.

Which class is best in Pillars of Eternity? ›

Pillars Of Eternity 2: Every Class Ranked From Worst To Best
  • 8 Druid. ...
  • 7 Paladin. ...
  • 6 Fighter. ...
  • 5 Barbarian. ...
  • 4 Rogue. ...
  • 3 Chanter. ...
  • 2 Monk. ...
  • 1 Wizard. This is arguably the strongest class in the game right now and is primed for nerfs in upcoming patches so enjoy it while you can.
Jan 12, 2020

How long to beat Deadfire? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Ultimate Edition is about 47 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 131 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Which cipher is unbreakable? ›

There is only one known unbreakable cryptographic system, the one-time pad, which is not generally possible to use because of the difficulties involved in exchanging one-time pads without their being compromised. So any encryption algorithm can be compared to the perfect algorithm, the one-time pad.

Is Pillars of Eternity based on D&D? ›

Pillars of Eternity has a lot going for it. Its high difficulty, tactical combat, and compelling worldbuilding help it feel like a Dungeons & Dragons campaign turned into a video game. It doesn't use the same mechanics or a recognizable D&D setting, but the familiar elements are all there for fans to appreciate.

Does Pillars of Eternity use D&D? ›

Now, the Pillars of Eternity games aren't explicitly based on any D&D ruleset but by the looks of it, it uses a certain percentage of the 4th edition rules. The first game is closer to D&D than the second but both are worth any CRPG player's time.

Is cipher good Pillars of Eternity? ›

At that point you're essentially a rogue with spells. Enjoy. The Cipher is one of the most powerful and fun classes (if not the most fun and powerful class) in Pillars of Eternity. You will build Focus fast with this character so be ready to spray spells all over the field.

What is the best subclass for the barbarian in Pillars of Eternity 2? ›

When it comes to picking the best subclass for the Barbarian, the best options available are the basic Barbarian (No-Subclass), the Berserker, and the Fury Shaper. The Berserker Subclass upgrades the Strong and Fit inspirations given by the Barbarian's Frenzy into Tenacious and Hardy.

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