Despite Torchlight’s naming, the Vanquisher is basically a rogue. She is a fast fighter who can be specialized to do a great amount of damage either up close or from afar, or a combination of both. Compared to the Destroyer she is weaker and needs to make more use of speed, although she isn’t as fragile as an Alchemist (with the exception of some Battle Alchemists).
This guide will go through the skills available to the Vanquisher so you can decide how to specialize your character.
The Marksman Tree
If you decide to play a Marksman Vanquisher you’ll need to be prepared for a play-style which is very agile. Going heavily down this path does not result in many defensive abilities. Later in the game, as groups of enemies become larger, you’ll need to be quick to stay away from the ten or so melee opponents who will be chasing you. This is certainly viable, but some players will not like the idea of retreating and stay around to duke it out instead - something which means death for a Marksman.
Ricochet is the first Marksman skill and, unlike many skills, it requires some skill to use properly. The projectiles fired with it will bounce around, and the direction in which you fire it does have an impact on how many opponents it will hit. It is powerful and doesn’t cost a great deal to cast, so it quickly becomes a bread-and-butter skill.
Frost Pilum sounds nice because it can freeze enemies. The problem is that freezing opponents simply does not do as much in Torchlight as it does in other RPG’s. Frozen opponents are only barely hampered - and you’ll sometimes run into enemies who are resistant. As a result, I do not recommend this skill.
Seeking Shot fires three projectiles which seek out targets. It is a good compliment to the Ricochet skill, as the Ricochet skill can become somewhat less useful in wide open areas where there is nothing for a projectile to bounce on. In those situations Seeking Shot is can be a better option.
Explosive Shot is probably the best skill the Marksman has. It is basically an AOE attack which does significant damage to one target and moderate damage to targets in the immediate area. It is very powerful against groups of foes and should be kept at maximum rank by any Marksman.
Arrow Hail is also a very powerful AOE attack, even more powerful than Explosive Shot. The only problem is that it uses a lot of mana. I also find it to be somewhat redundant with Explosive Shot. I’m not sure a Marksman needs two powerful AOE attacks. Still, if you’re aiming to be a pure Marksman you will want to pick this up - it is hybrid characters who should be most skeptical.
Here we have it, the classic big-damage rogue tree. If you’re into getting up close and personal with opponents and going absolutely berserk on them, this is the skill tree for you. Be aware that there are no defense boosts in this tree, however, so you really will be a glass cannon.
Needle Arc is a very basic ability in which the Rogue throws needles at enemies. The damage is nothing to talk about, but the real advantage is that any enemy hit with this will take more damage from the Vanquisher in subsequent attacks and will be slowed. This is a must-have.
Stab is self-explanatory. Using this talent shanks your opponents, doing a lot of damage and potentially stunning them as well. What’s not to love? Another must-have.
Wind of Justice incapacitates nearby enemies by stunning them. To an extent it can be used defensively as it will give the Rogue the ability to make a get-away. It can also be used offensively to set up attacks. It isn’t very useful in the early game, but once you’re into the later levels it becomes very handy because you’ll constantly be encountering large groups of enemies.
Venomous Dirks creates two dirks which do a moderate amount of poison damage to opponents. It is the weakest overall skill in the Rogue tree, but it still isn’t bad. It is simply thrust aside by the other wonderful skills in this tree.
Hamstring caps the Rogue tree and does so very well. This ability applies a slow and a powerful DOT to multiple opponents. It can do huge amounts of damage to a group of opponents and can also be used to escape from a mob which is too powerful.
The Arbiter is…well, I’m not quite sure. One would think that an Arbiter would be more into conflict resolution than vanquishing, but whatever. The Arbiter’s kink is traps. They love them. The Arbiter requires planning, but can be used well with either ranged or melee weapons.
Lightening Bomb is basically a small nuke which is thrown at opponents. The damage is never incredible, but then the mana it uses is never insane either. It can be used in all sorts of situations, so I suggest picking this one up.
Flame Trap hits enemies nearby fire damage and also reduces their resistance to physical and elemental damage. The damage it does outright is not that great, but the resistance debuffs can become impressive in later levels. It isn’t a must-have early on, but as you approach level 20 or so you should start seriously looking into it.
Flechette Trap does AOE physical damage. Because most enemies don’t have a big resistance to physical damage this is a very useful trap which I recommend to any Arbiter.
Devouring Trap does no AOE damage but does incapacitate enemies in the area. Perhaps more significantly it reduces enemy armor. At higher levels the armor reduction is huge. However, that doesn’t necessarily help the Arbiter. It does help if you’re mostly specializing in the Marksman or Rogue trees, however.
Shock Trap is yet another AOE damage trap, except this one helps increase electrical damage. You also should have Lightening Bomb maxed out at this point, so I think you can see where I’m going with this.
If you’re thinking of being a hybrid, rejoice! There are many good options for the Vanquisher.
The Arbiter tree itself screams hybrid. Nothing in it is overly reliant on anything else (except for Lightening Bomb and Shock Trap). You can easily just take one or two traps while specializing in a different tree. I recommend Devouring Trap most highly, although Marksmen who use Explosive Shot a great deal will love the Flame Trap.
The Rogue tree doesn’t lend itself to hybridization with the Marksman tree, but Marksmen might find Winds of Justice useful for making a quick getaway. Venomous Dirks can also be useful as a defense against enemies who get in your face.
This post is part of the series: Torchlight Guide
Enter Torchlight, a dungeon full of wonders. It is also a dungeon full of enemies ready to skin you alive. This guide will help you master each of Torchlight’s classes.