Tips for playing the swarm. A swarm mythic path guide.
Table of Contents
Guide to Swarm with Tips
After reaching mythic rank 8, you can cheese most fights with either Swarm Feast or Swarm Infest. You can further enhance this by using the Bane of Spirit ring.
For killing groups of enemies use Swarm Feast, go into stealth and move close enough to the enemies so that they are in range of Swarm Feast, then move your mouse over its icon so it starts damaging them out of combat. Wait it out in safety until enemies die.
For killing a single enemy use Swarm Infest, switch into turn based mode and move just close enough so you can see the enemy, then use the ability. Combat will start and then stop. Then wait it out until the enemy dies.
To bypass all damage resistances of enemies, such as enemy swarms, use the Bane of Sprit ring to transform the damage into irresistible force damage.
To cheese fights where you get ambushed, use the Happy Traveler’s Shirt from Act 3. It gives +10 movement speed and makes you invisible if you run for a few seconds, making it perfect for disengaging and then following up with cheese.
If your initiative is higher than the enemies, you can go into turn based mode, run away then switch to real time and keep running. Open the map after doing so, controlling your character while being able to see how far away the red dots are on the map.
Do not save until the enemies are back at their starting position, as loading that save causes them to spawn at the spot they were in when you saved.
You can create clones of yourself. These clones will have all the abilities the commander had when first activating this ability.
Since there are several books and passive upgrades you can get in act 5, such as the ability to summon an unlimited number of spider swarms, I would recommend delaying making clones until you learn these.
Swarm clones are not full party members, meaning you can’t assign them for camp duty or cooking. Only your main character is able to do one of those actions.
Your power grows with swarm size, which you get by consuming defeated enemies.
Always have Swarm Feast enabled, as it will automatically consume all corpses after you defeat them, saving you time. It will also consume incorporeal enemies, which I am not sure you can otherwise do.
If possible, delay playing through the Midnight Isles DLC until you become the swarm, as even the first set of islands can provide a few thousand swarm size.
Doing the first few low level islands is an excellent way to power up your swarm at the start of act 5.
You need to rush mythic rank 9. Once you reach rank 9 you will become nearly unkillable, as you will be immune to physical damage and barely anything will be able to hit you. Armor class will become almost irrelevant.
You can cheese your way to victory solo, avoiding using your swam clone. See the cheese section.
To unlock the rank 9 quest, travel to Iz. A few meters before you enter the city, you get an event which triggers the quest.
Back up and instead of entering Iz do the quest first.
There is one mythic feat that stands above all others – Magic Nullification.
A swarm is still susceptible to enemy spells, and nullification will completely remove that issue. No more baleful polymorph for you or your clones.
Also remember that you will loose access to all companions and hirelings, meaning you loose access to 24 hour buffs unless the commander was the caster. So the drawback of nullification is almost moot.
And you won’t need these buffs anyway after reaching rank 9, as armor class becomes obsolete.
There are several items that stand out.
- Bane of Spirit – turns all damage into force, bypassing damage resistance.
- Broken Trickster – gives you 20 damage resistance to spells and physical damage, significantly increasing survival for the few things left that can harm you
- Mask of the Most Worthy – +20 to all saving throws
- Mask of Nothing – +20 saves and true seeing, improved version of the above
- Happy Traveler’s Shirt – +10 movement speed, become invisible when running away
- Haramaki of Divine Guidance – +4 to all saving throws
- Purging Chains – become immune to ability damage
- Ring of Evasion – gives Evasion, removing damage from spells that can harm you
- Radiance – if upgraded, you can cast dispel magic (area) for free
- Divine Dismissal – you can cast dispel magic (area) and (target) for free
- The Undying Love of the Hopebringer – light aura of this shield blinds and slows enemies that critically hit you. also gives +2 to saves and skills. crits are not a problem once you reach rank 9, so the more you get hit the more you cripple your enemies
If you have the Inevitable Excess dlc and have beaten the Inevitable Darkness on Unfair and its your last dlc save, you can get these items.
- Flawless Belt of Physical Perfection +8 – +8 to Strength, Dexterity, Endurance and +1 critical thread range
- Flawless Headband of Mental Perfection +8 – +8 to Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma and immunity to mind effecting spells and conditions
Spider Swarm Summoner
If you get unlimited Creeping Doom via the crusade council upgrades, you can turn yourself or one of your clones into a summoner. For that, you can then use
- Ring of Summons – aura that increases damage and saving throws
- Belt of Demonic Shadow – summon an extra demon when casting spells
- Clemency of Shadows – when a summon dies, you get a spider. if the spider dies, you get a new one. a requirement against enemies that can aoe your summons in a single swipe
- Gloves of Monsters Protection – all summons gain 21 spell resistance
Creeping Doom uses your caster level for Distraction and Poison Swarm which can be increased by your Charisma. The Spider Swarm ability is not affected by your caster level.
There are other items that do not work on the spider swarm as they don’t actually attack, but boost others such as the Demonic Shadow and Spiders.
- Brazen Whip – extra attack for summons, drawback can be removed by free movement
- Boots of Free Rein – freedom of movement, removes drawback of Brazen Whip
- Source of Divine Power – summons will deal bonus holy or unholy damage. don’t forget to turn on via menu
- Stormcaller – all summons deal +1d6 sonic damage
Bonus Feats & Abilities
You will get several events at the Citadel in Drezden.
These events can give new swarm units for the crusade, but some of them can give you new perks and spell abilities for the commander.
As an example, you will be able to summon an unlimited number of Spider Swarms.
Choosing perks instead of crusade units is always the better choice.
You can get the events, and the perks, in this order:
- Sting of the Swarm – get +2d6 Sneak Attack damage
- Divine spell pack – Poison Breath, Creeping Doom, Cape of Wasps
- Arcane spell pack – Boneshatter, Plague Storm
- Countless Swarm – get 5 x mythic rank bonus HP
I do not know if these get triggered after a specific amount of time has passed or by advancing in the main quest. You can wait it out in Drezden for a few weeks to see if you can get these, as Creeping Doom effectively turns your commander into the ultimate summoner.
If going this path, don’t forget to equip items that boost your summons.
As a Swarm, you will loose access to most of your crusade features and you will not be able to upgrade it to rank 7.
Before finishing act 3, reach rank 5 in all aspects, explore the whole map and research and unlock all relics, especially the Bane of Spirit ring, as you will be unable to do so in act 5.
Any items, upgrades and crusade mode bonuses you gain in act 3 will remain in act 5.
If you play as a Lich, you will still get skeletons and zombies for winning fights in act 5.
You will get a few Rangers at the start of act 5. Split them up into a separate army then use Call to Arms on the world map to get a stack of 400. Keep using this ability ever 15 days until you have enough Rangers to one shot everything.
You will also get three Honor Guards. Keep them, as they provide an aura that empowers all nearby units.
Do not dismiss any non swarm armies you get. You will never get them again, so stash them away in case you need to boost them via Call to Arms later.
And the plus side, you will not be affected by morale, so you can play the crusade mode for as long as you like.
You only have one general, so don’t loose it. Recommend getting Heal as a spell for fights where you need to reduce losses.
Your Swarm will be weak to ability drain, level drain, holy and unholy damage.
- Ability drain weakness can be mitigated by wearing the Purging Chains armor.
- For level drain, you can choose the Dhampir race to become immune. Alternatively getting your saving throws high enough will reduce the chance if it happening, but it is not fullproof. You will need to get at least one point in use magic device and stock up on restoration scrolls or use cheese when fighting draining enemies.
- For holy and unholy damage, there isn’t anything that can mitigate it as far as I know. Focus fire down enemies that deal this damage, or spawn enough summons so they get distracted.
You also lack bonus fortitude saves and hitpoints, as your swarm size does not increase Endurance. And will saving throws are only increased at rank 10, which you get 5 minutes before the game ends.
- To mitigate this, get the Mask of the Most Worthy or Mask of Nothing, as they give +20 to all saving throws.