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I’d argue that there are two distinct archetypes or strategies that you can employ when it comes to building the undead Dr. Reid in Vampyr. In this article, I'll be going over the stunner strategy and how best to use it.
You can also check out my other build guide and a general overview of the game’s skills here:
As always, feel free to recommend any additional strategies I may have missed in the comments.
The stunner build is all about optimising your playstyle so that you can take advantage of all that stun damage that the heavier weapons deal. This is primarily done by focusing on upgrading your bite ability but also involves simply making Reid better at dishing out damage and taking hits.
In contrast to a blood-based build, focusing on stun is really about making Reid tough and dishing out a lot of damage. It relies less on the synergy between the various skills on more on passive effects, investing in health and stamina, and upgrading a good weapon.
Autophagy – Healing
You’re going to need that healing. Do note that you will have more regeneration from the frequent biting you’ll be doing, so this kind of build doesn’t require Autophagy as much as other builds. It’s still an incredibly important skill, however, and shouldn’t be neglected.
I’d suggest the upper upgrade path for this kind of build. You’ll not have the blood reserves for frequent use of the lower upgrade path.
Claws – Offensive Skill
Claws is the least blood-dependent offensive skill and does serve a useful purpose. Since we’ll be using slower weapons, the fast start-up of Claws can cover the slower recovery animation on some of your heavier swings, allowing you to keep up the offence, or cover yourself from a miss-timed swing.
It makes sense to go for the lower upgrade path here. The stun add-on is nice and the damage boost from this route becomes significant later on.
Blood Barrier – Defensive Skill
Blood Barrier costs nothing to use, which is great when we’re not using blood, and provides vital protection in a pinch.
The bottom upgrade is the way to go. We don’t want to add a blood cost, and the additional protection that this path provides makes this skill really dependable. It actually allows you to be more aggressive in many cases, as you’re attacking more often knowing that the barrier will cover any counter-attacks.
Coagulation – Defensive Skill
Another freebie that’s worth picking up. Coagulation is just really good at what it does, very few enemies can resist it, and it’s great for tying up many of the game’s bosses.
Here, you want to go for the top upgrade path. This adds a substantial stun-time to the ability, allowing you to mop up weaker enemies whilst you keep the biggest threat at bay.
Abyss – Ultimate Skill
We don’t care about blood synergies so the strongest ultimate skill is the best one to go for here. Between an upgraded two-handed weapon, Claws and this, you’ll have substantial damage output. Abyss also helps cover the fact that all your damage is otherwise going to be physical-based.
Passives are much more important for a stunner build. Stamina is at a premium here, you’ll be swinging the heavier weapons and so want to make sure that Reid isn’t exhausted after only a couple of swings. It’s also important to regularly boost your health, you’ll be biting enemies a lot and the regeneration that will provide combines well with a bigger health pool.
For biting upgrades you want to focus on improved regeneration first and foremost. It might sound odd to ignore the damage boost, but I’ve found the damage to be rather underwhelming unless you constantly upgrade it. It’s far better to improve Reid’s survivability first and foremost by boosting the regeneration, and instead, rely on your weapons for damage output.
Don’t neglect the blood absorption upgrade either, Big Thirst. You’ll have no other way to recover lost blood reserves and so making sure you get the most out of each stun attack is worth it. Just a few upgrades here and there and you’ll find it’s enough to cover the cost of Autophagy and Claws.
You want a two-handed weapon here. My recommendation is the Barbed Cudgel, which fits this build perfectly. You’ll find it early on in Chapter Two simply by following the story. Make sure to snag the stamina reduction upgrades whenever you improve it, they’re by far the most important.
The Stunner build is great for players who don’t want to fret about using multiple different abilities in the middle of combat, and instead can rely solely on hitting things. It’s a great build for a no-kill playthrough as well as it relies more on weapon strength than upgrading lots of different abilities, making experience points less of a factor.
Get comfortable with the parry option you’ll have access to with two-handed weapons. It more than makes up for not having an off-hand option, and, better yet, gives you another stun opportunity so that you can bite at your foes.
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