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Xan or Dynaheir

Hi!

I'm about to finish the Nashkel mines and I'm wondering if I should take Xan instead of Dynaheir. I have a good-aligned party made of me (fighter), Imoen (NOT dual-classed), Ajantis, Kivan, Branwen and Dynaheir. The fact that Dynaheir doesn't have access to sleep or blindness is bothering me. Should I replace her with Xan? What do you guys think? I'm open to other options as well but I prefer not to have evil characters in my party. :)

Thanks!

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Comments

  • ChowChow Posts: 1,107Member
    Sleep loses its effect rather quickly in the game, Blindness I never used, and Xan can't cast the best spell in the game, Fireball.
    Teflon
  • masterdesbaxtermasterdesbaxter Posts: 51Member
    In my experience, sleep and blindness are not that essential. Fireball is far more so. Personally, I would opt for Dynaheir.

    Then again, Xan is quite funny, and as I recall there are more wands of fire than you can shake a stick at, which I think he can still use, despite being opposed to the school.

    You could also go for Neera, as she is good-aligned. Wild mages are a little dodgy, though, so make sure you save a bunch! :)

    (If you're looking for raw power, Edwin is the best mage in the game, hands down. He's evil though, so you'd need to be of average reputation, which I don't like to do.)
    Teflon
  • ZahemaZahema Posts: 5Member
    edited December 2012
    Thanks for the answers. I'm playing on the Ipad so Neera is not an option (unless I buy her but I'm sure it's worth it)
    Post edited by Zahema on
  • MadhaxMadhax Posts: 1,416Member
    I find it much easier to adjust to Dynaheir's downsides than to Xan's. Plus, Xan's only upside is the moonblade, which is hilariously useless in his weak, pessimistic hands. Dynaheir has slow poison, if memory serves, and that has been remarkably useful to me on numerous occasions.
  • swnmcmlxiswnmcmlxi Posts: 297Member
    I find Xan very effective when it comes to crowd control and disabling enemies, and, as was said above, his lack of damage-inflicting spells is easily compensated for by wands. I never used him much in days of old, but now I actually find him more interesting to play than Dyna and just as effective. His is a more subtle approach to magic, but one which perhaps requires a little more forethought on the players part. If you prefer to nuke your enemies into oblivion - which, I admit, is also pleasurable - then, I guess, Dyna is your girl.
    QuartzStormvessel
  • MattysekMattysek Posts: 24Member
    Xan all the way. Onward, to futility!
    badbromance
  • atcDaveatcDave Posts: 1,394Member
    I mostly like Dynaheir, she's sort of spunky and fun. While Xan strikes me as tiresome. Obviously that's all a matter of taste.

    I would recommend Neera. I think she is easily the most fun Mage in the game. But of course, wild magic brings with it a unique set of challenges; like possible reloads after she accidentally kills you (or herself...)
  • OgaburanOgaburan Posts: 83Member
    Edwin eats them both for breakfast.
    moopyOxford_GuyStormvessel
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member
    edited December 2012
    swnmcmlxi said:

    I find Xan very effective when it comes to crowd control and disabling enemies, and, as was said above, his lack of damage-inflicting spells is easily compensated for by wands. I never used him much in days of old, but now I actually find him more interesting to play than Dyna and just as effective. His is a more subtle approach to magic, but one which perhaps requires a little more forethought on the players part. If you prefer to nuke your enemies into oblivion - which, I admit, is also pleasurable - then, I guess, Dyna is your girl.

    This post really sums it up, OP.

    Dynaheir - Nuke shit into oblivion.
    Xan - More subtle magic approach.

    Dynaheir lacks such spells as Sleep, Blindness, Hold Person, Confusion, Charm spells, Chaos, Hold Monster, Greater Malison, and Emotion: Hopelessness. Some of these spells are very useful indeed. I have found her 4th level spells to be rather underwhelming; some of the most useful ones are Confusion, Greater Malison, Emotion: Hopelessness, Spirit Armor, Fire Shields and Stoneskin ... and she can't use any of those first three! For her 5th level spells, you will likely end up only using Cloud Kill. A formidable spell, but the loss of Chaos, Domination, and Hold Monster is a shame. On the other hand, you can count on Dynaheir to blow stuff up. So from my perspective: Dynaheir is pretty good. Her lore is good (17 Int and 15 Wis), she has plenty of HP (16 Con), 12 Strength means she can actually carry things (90 lbs), and overall her stats are just pretty high. Her Dexterity is severely lacking, which is her biggest issue. I see you have Ajantis on your team, so I'm positive you have the Gauntlets of Dexterity on him. So basically: I find her 1-3 levels of spells to be completely satisfactory, although I miss Sleep at times. Her 4th and 5th level spell selection is highly lacking, but plenty of people just enjoy throwing around Cloudkill for all their 5th level spells anyway sooooo most people don't consider her at a loss, hah!

    Xan lacks such spells as Magic Missile, Stinking Cloud, Web, Aganazzar's Scorcher, FireBall, CloudKill ... Basically the big damage spells. Magic Missile is his biggest loss, easily. I would suggest loading him up with Sleep, Blindness, and maybe some Larloch's Minor Drain for 1st level. Spook is a good spell as well. For 2nd level, he is perfectly capable of hurling Melf's Acid Arrows around, and Horror is a good spell as well. Of course, Mirror Image and Blur can be very useful for him, as you can send him second (after your tank) into melee combat with minimal worries. Overall, his 2nd level spells aren't really all that lacking. Melf's, Horror, Mirror Image and Blur are plenty useful. I find myself missing Stinking Cloud/Web once in a while (random tidbit, I prefer Stinking Cloud as Spiders/Ettercaps still fall to it), but that's it. 3rd level spells ... as people have been saying, he lacks FireBall. This isn't really a huge problem. There are tons of Wands of Fire around, and Oils of Fiery Burning and Potions of Fiery Explosions around to boot. Hand him your Wands of Fire whenever you find them, honestly unless you throw Fireballs at every group of 5 kobolds you find you really shouldn't have any conservation issues there. Seriously. Furthermore, GIVE HIM SKULL TRAP INSTEAD. Skull Trap fulfills the same purpose as FireBall, except for two things: One, it explodes in a smaller radius. Two, it is a Save vs. Breath Weapon instead of Save vs. Spells for the half damage, and almost all creatures have a lower Save vs. Spells so you will get the full damage in MORE often, thus making it essentially a better spell anyway! It may drop somewhere, or go buy it from Thalantyr in High Hedge. Also, I found Wraith Form in BG:EE and it actually works properly. This spell goes with Xan like milk and cookies. (It makes you immune to non-magical weapons and gives you +25% Magic Resistance, but makes you unable to cast spells until it wears off) Furthermore, he can totally use Flame Arrow. A lot of people enjoy forgetting that fact. Onto 4th level. Xan has no issues with 4th level spells, he has all the goodies there; Fireshield, Stoneskin, Emotion, Greater Malison, Confusion. 5th level spells ... Xan lacks the ability to cast CloudKill. That is admittedly a shame as it is a very effective spell. Throw around the spell Chaos for great justice.
    As far as Xan's stats go: 13 Strength means decent carrying weight (90 lbs), 16 Dexterity is pretty decent, 7 Constitution is really low but JUST short of a Hit Point penalty, so 7 Constitution is really the same as 14 Constitution in the end sans the Claw of Kazgaroth use. 17 Intelligence, he's tied with Dynaheir. 17 is good. His Wisdom is just short of a bonus to Lore, ahh well. 16 Charisma can make him useful if you give him a Nymph Cloak and have him talk to people for best results (and cheaper store prices). His Moonblade is easily the second-best sword in the game, after Drizzt's Twinkle (+3 Scimitar, -2 AC). It is a +3 Moonblade, -1 AC, +50% Fire Resistance. A popular tactic with Xan is to have him throw around Sleep, Emotion, Hold Person, all that kind of disabling stuff and whoever falls to it, have Xan beat them to death (+3 Moonblade and no chance to miss means he'll actually be throwing around boatloads of damage) and whoever doesn't fall to it the rest of the party deals with.

    Dynaheir is a nuker and Xan is disabling and finesse. That is it in a nutshell. They are both good characters, and I think you will do great with either of them. In the end, I typically prefer Xan as he really only misses Magic Missile and CloudKill, but since you don't have a second arcane caster or even a bard, Dynaheir is not a bad choice either. Up to you. Enjoy yourself, hope my post helps your tactics with whoever you pick.
    Post edited by Quartz on
    badbromanceStormvessel
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member
    Ogaburan said:

    Edwin eats them both for breakfast.

    Congrats on the most useless comment of all time.
    AedanTeflon
  • moopymoopy Posts: 933Member
    Quartz said:

    Ogaburan said:

    Edwin eats them both for breakfast.

    Congrats on the most useless comment of all time.
    It is 100% accurate.

    Also, Xan nukes great. Two words. Skull Trap.
    Stormvessel
  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Posts: 1,389Member
    edited December 2012
    @Chow

    Considering Fireball has a Necromancy equivalent at literally the exact same level that actually scales better into the end-game AND is a damage type that isn't resisted by any enemies as opposed to the most resisted damage type in the game, Fireball is far from the "best spell in the game."

    Also he can still cast Fireball. Wands are your friends.

    Xan is my favorite wizard in the game. He's the only one who's capable of inflicting decent melee damage.

    Step 1) Buff self with "Strength"
    Step 2) Crowd Control
    Step 3) Gleefully attack without missing
    Post edited by sandmanCCL on
    Quartzbadbromance
  • OgaburanOgaburan Posts: 83Member
    Well i do hope i will get an award then!
    One of them cool forum badges!

    Sheesh, whats with the hostility.
    "You are so irritating."
    - Most powerful mage in the game.

    I do think allot of new players were not giving Edwin a chance because it was basically him vs Dynaheir & Minsc.

    To the point, "If i must".

    I usually kept Dynaheir for the dialog, if OP is really a new player... try keeping characters that entertain you rather go for the powerful. Xan has some of the funniest dialogs imo, if you into cynical humor. But if you already have Minsc in the Party i would keep Dynaheir. I always liked the interaction dialog between them two.

    I hope this passes the bar of "usefulness" for a post.
    QuartzStormvessel
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member
    edited December 2012
    @Ogaburan Yes thank you, that's a much better post lol.

    I mean he really said three things:

    Xan or Dynaheir

    I have a good-aligned party

    I'm open to other options as well but I prefer not to have evil characters in my party. :)

    Which kinda means saying something along the lines of "LOLOLOL EDWIN IS SOOPAR POWERFUL EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS" is not exactly helping the topic at hand. I won't sugar coat it, you looked like a total noob with that first post, but now that you have elaborated yourself you sound great. I especially like your point, "try keeping characters that entertain you rather go for the powerful." That is always true, well said.

    Btw, trust me plenty of players give Edwin a chance ... he's freakishly powerful and fairly entertaining to boot. A lot of people pick him just for his raw power though, which makes me kinda sad. I enjoy his personality, even more so in BGII.

    Also, if it's ever a Edwin or Minsc/Dynaheir question ... Edwin, without a doubt. Dynaheir is okay but Minsc can burn in the seventh layer of my anus.
    moopy said:

    Quartz said:

    Ogaburan said:

    Edwin eats them both for breakfast.

    Congrats on the most useless comment of all time.
    It is 100% accurate.

    Also, Xan nukes great. Two words. Skull Trap.
    I love how obvious this post makes it that you didn't even attempt to skim my wall of text.
    Post edited by Quartz on
  • ChowChow Posts: 1,107Member
    @sandmanCCL
    Fireball has a lot more style than Skull Trap, which is why I like it better. Also Skull Trap requires something to be close to it, and even more importantly, has much less range, meaning there's a very good chance you end up in your own blast range when it blows up.

    The scaling thing doesn't matter much either, because BG1 doesn't get to those levels anyway.
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member
    edited December 2012
    @Chow More style ... okay lmao, kinda subjective don't you think?

    Skull Trap's range *is* its biggest decrement, I'll admit. I actually prefer the smaller exploding radius 'cause I'm less likely to hurt my party.

    I stand with sandman on this one. Skull Trap > FireBall.
    Post edited by Quartz on
  • ChowChow Posts: 1,107Member
    edited December 2012
    Well, maybe I've just gotten traumatized after all the times Skull Trap got my own wizard killed, or the times the enemy just plainly walked past it without it exploding.

    And anyway, I can't even remember too many enemies that would resist Fireball, especially in BG1. It's always worked just fine for me. It blows up instantly, respectively far away, and burninates absolutely everything it touches, apart from like three or four things.

    If both the resistance and damage scaling only come up in BG2, and we're talking strictly about BG1, the only things for Skull Trap's "favor" are it's harder to blow up and easier to murder your own party. Edit: And more difficult to find - there are Fireballs everywhere but I don't remember ever having found a Skull Trap in the first game.
    Post edited by Chow on
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member
    @Chow Opinionated much? Sounds like you've tried the spell a few times, made some common personal mistakes (I have made the same mistakes, so I understand your issue) and then proceeded to blame it on the spell rather than yourself (this is where we are different). I don't have much else to say, sandman gave the facts and you are great at ignoring them. I'm done with this aspect of the thread, peace.
  • Kick Ajantis out of your party and take Xan...
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member

    Kick Ajantis out of your party and take Xan...

    Much as I like Ajantis, since you have Kivan and a PC Fighter, this isn't a bad idea.
  • ChowChow Posts: 1,107Member
    @Quartz I've tried the spell a fair amount, and even once we can use it properly, the fact remains that it's got less range than Fireball and sometimes doesn't blow up when an enemy comes near. The fact also remains that there's no way to cast it right to the edge of your vision, where all the enemies are, happily unaware of you and then BOOM!

    Sandman gave only some of the facts, which I am not ignoring. He said that Skull Trap is harder to resist and does greater damage in the long run, both of which I am acknowledging. I merely added some facts that he either chose to ignore or simply forgot: it's much harder to use, can't be thrown into a group of enemies that can't see you, and that neither the fire resistance nor higher maximum damage, the biggest benefits of Skull Trap, ever come up at all in BG1.

    Perhaps that makes you think I am "opinionated" and drives you out of the discussion, but I assure you that was not my intention.
  • MattysekMattysek Posts: 24Member
    edited December 2012

    Kick Ajantis out of your party and take Xan...

    "It seems our resident suicide monger, Ajantis, lives in a black and white world."

    Post edited by Mattysek on
    Quartz
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member
    Bhaaldog said:

    The one issue I have with Xan is that he has a cool moon blade but you need to avoid getting him in close combat due to a very low constitution.

    Yeah, that's why you only send him in close combat after throwing out Sleep/Hold Person/Emotion/Hold Monster/whatever.
  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Posts: 1,389Member
    edited December 2012
    They pretty much have the same range.

    From the manual:

    Skull Trap -
    Range: 20 yards
    Casting Time: 3
    Duration: Until triggered
    Saving Throw: None
    Area of Effect: 30

    Fireball -
    Range: Visual range of caster
    Casting Time: 3
    Duration: Instant
    Saving Throw: 1/2
    Area of Effect: 20
    Post edited by sandmanCCL on
  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Posts: 1,389Member
    @Quartz: Don't you love how people see Xan's weapon and instead of thinking "Cool, I have something that can help keep him alive due to the resistances and +1 AC!" they think, "I should go hit things with this!"?

    No one is sending Edwin or Dynaheir into melee combat unbuffed. I don't know why they do with Xan.
    QuartzChowbadbromance
  • QuartzQuartz Posts: 3,310Member

    @Quartz: Don't you love how people see Xan's weapon and instead of thinking "Cool, I have something that can help keep him alive due to the resistances and +1 AC!" they think, "I should go hit things with this!"?

    No one is sending Edwin or Dynaheir into melee combat unbuffed. I don't know why they do with Xan.

    This post reeks ... of perfection.
    Eadwyn_G8keeper
  • OneAngryMushroomOneAngryMushroom Posts: 429Member
    Ogaburan said:

    Edwin eats them both for breakfast.

    and then complains about the taste
    QuartzStormvessellolien
  • ChowChow Posts: 1,107Member
    edited December 2012

    They pretty much have the same range.

    From the manual:

    Skull Trap -
    Range: 20 yards
    Casting Time: 3
    Duration: Until triggered
    Saving Throw: None
    Area of Effect: 30

    Fireball -
    Range: Visual range of caster
    Casting Time: 3
    Duration: Instant
    Saving Throw: 1/2
    Area of Effect: 20

    It's a world of difference if you're trying to blow up a bunch of bandits without them knowing you're there. With Fireball, you can just aim it right at the end of your vision range and get them all. With Skull Trap, it goes a little more than halfway, after which you will have to take a few more steps for the bandits to see you - potentially blowing up your own spell! - and for them to spring the trap, at which point it's perfectly possible not all of them are even in the spell range, especially if they decided to fire arrows at you instead - or, more importantly, since you had to go deeper in to get their attention, you might be in the range of the spell instead of most of the bandits.

    It was of longer range in Icewind Dale, and indeed I used it a lot more in that game than in BG, but then again, that game had even less fire resistant monsters (what with being set in the north).
    Post edited by Chow on
  • moopymoopy Posts: 933Member
    edited December 2012
    I prefer the spell skull trap over fireball, because if for no other reason. I can cast as many fireballs as I want without using a spell slot with a wand of fire, but to cast a skull trap I have to use that spell slot.

    So I use my 3rd level spell slots with skull trap, and every mage has a wand of fire, now I can take my pick on which one to use.

    @sandmanCCL
    Why bother trying to keep Xan alive though? Trying to keep him alive is in vain, as he is doomed anyway.
    Post edited by moopy on
    badbromance
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