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The following notes based on the character below:

Anin: Thalore Alchemist (normal/adventure)

This was the first character I played after a 7 year hiatus from ToME. The build was not optimized for winning, but to help me get acquainted with the game mechanics again. I chose this class just because I had an unfinished alchemist from before my hiatus.


The alchemist is a magic caster with a permanent pet golem.


  • Corner sniping and area attack specialist due to Throw Bomb
  • Low mana expenditure, can regenerate mana on demand, so can use high fatigue equipment
  • Has a dedicated pet for tanking
  • Can mess up enemy AI with Smoke Bomb


  • Low damage outside of Throw Bomb, resulting in lower overall damage, especially against single targets
  • Subpar defensive talents, very squishy once the golem falls or fails to grab aggro
  • Golem can be difficult to control, partly due to game interface issues
  • Golem does not scale well in higher difficulties and will require more micromanagement

The alchemist is widely regarded as one of the weaker classes in game, due to a combination of lower damage output, and the hassles of managing the golem. It is still possible to overcome these deficits, but there will be quite some effort involved.

Play Style

Short basic version:

  1. Use Throw Bomb around corners to take out most enemies.
  2. Hit-and-run tactics can defeat most enemies.
  3. Let golem tank approaching enemies as you attack from range.
  4. Cramped spaces can substantially boost bomb damage due to Explosion Expert.
  5. Use a staff and cast Channel Staff at enemies in between bomb cooldowns.

Longer detailed version:

  1. Use a wand of clairvoyance, Track, Precognition, or Arcane Eye to maintain contact with enemies.
  2. Use Throw Bomb around corners to take out most enemies.
  3. You can let the golem freelance most of the time and intercept tougher enemies that survive your bombs.
  4. Drop Caustic Mire to slow enemies. This prevents them from approaching quickly, allows the golem to take aggro, and reduces their damage output.
  5. Continue direct attacks with Dissolving Acid, Flash Freeze, and Channel Staff.
  6. As long as the golem holds the line, it is just a matter of time before the enemy falls.
  7. Against tougher enemies, you may have to take some additional measures.
    • Soften the enemies up with various Hexes. Both Burning Hex and Pacification Hex have radius 2 and can be cast around corners without drawing aggro from the targets. Domination Hex can be used on one enemy in a group to trigger a fight between them, wasting their cooldowns and doing a bit of damage.
    • Smoke Bomb can mess us enemy AI. You can drop smoke before the first attack, and enemies will not be able to locate you, giving you free reign to deal damage until the smoke dissipates. Otherwise dangerous bosses like Celia can be easily dealt with this way.
    • Keep close control of the golem so it does not get killed too quickly.
    • Healing totems with Device Mastery can provide frequent heals to both you and the golem.
    • Supercharge Golem can resurrect the golem.
    • If the enemy is very tanky, you can think about going in with PBAoE attacks. Try to make sure the golem holds aggro and that the enemies will not be moving around too much. Caustic Mire and Flash Freeze can help keep enemies in place. Move into position quickly then turn on Fire Storm and Body of Fire to up your damage output.
    • In longer fights it may be necessary to switch your bomb ammo type for various effects, such as mana recovery and healing.
  8. If the situation turn sour, then check your escape options.
    • The standard repertoire of movement infusions and blink runes can get you out of trouble.
    • Smoke Bomb can break line of sight, stopping many ranged attacks and often make enemies lose track of you.
    • Golem Portal allows you to switch places with the golem, and has a chance to transfer aggro.
    • Gem Portal allows you to teleport through walls.
    • You can adjust the golem's leash anchor and leash distance without taking a turn, allowing you to direct the golem forward as a decoy, or make it fall back if it would draw too much attention.
  9. If you encounter a stair trap (e.g. orc prides), dropping Smoke Bomb immediately will prevent enemies from becoming active, giving you the chance to sneak away, or start attacking from behind the smoke.

General Impression

  • Alchemist is very good at attacking around corners or from beyond sight range
    • Throw Bomb has very high AoE damage, particularly in confined spaces
    • Combined with some means of scouting, alchemist can sail through most of game tossing bombs around corners and never letting an enemy get in sight
  • Golem is a very average tank, but you can do some interesting things with it
    • The golem cannot solo tank enemy groups, or output any meaningful damage past the early game. It is great as a disposable decoy to soak up some attacks in battle, and for inflicting on-hit debuffs. On-hit global slow is particularly useful.
    • Make sure to bind a hotkey for controlling golem (party: give order to character 2), as it has to be repositioned frequently for best effect
    • Higher levels of Supercharge Golem can reduce the cooldown enough that the treants summoned by Thalore's Nature's Pride can tie you over in some battles. Probably will not work as well in insane+ difficulty however.
    • Healing totems can affect golems and help keep them healthy. Works on escorts too.
    • The golem's AI will make it charge it at ranged enemies. While this can be useful for intercepting enemies heading for the alchemist, it will also frequently attract more enemies to join the battle and make life harder. If the alchemist is using hit-and-run tactics around corners, then it will often be better to keep the golem on a tight leash and disable both of its rush attacks (set their talent priority to 0).
    • Golems do no activate invulnerable vault monsters. They can safely walk around the greater multi-hued dragons in the Vor Armoury.
    • Golems can wake up the sleeping dragons in a vault however.
    • Despite the golem being a somewhat lackluster individual unit, the ability to direct its action to some degree allows for many tactical maneuvers that are simply impossible with other classes. Some examples below...
      • Control a golem to open doors and activate objects. If a trap would normally move the player into a different zone (e.g. tentacle swallowing player, falling down into grave), then that effect will fizzle on the golem. If you actually want to get moved into a different zone however, you can still activate the trap yourself. If an enemy spawns next to you, Golem Portal can allow you to switch places with your golem, presumably parked a safe distance away.
      • Use the golem to block an escort, while you leisurely clear the path ahead.
      • Park the golem in a safe location while scouting ahead yourself. Use Golem Portal to switch places with the golem when you run into trouble, then Invoke Golem to recall the golem next.
      • Park the golem near a doorway while you explore inside. Run past the doorway after engaging the enemies, and the golem can intercept the first pursuer coming through the door.
      • When retreating from battle, don't leave the golem to hold the line. Order it to retreat in a different direction instead. If the enemies chase after you, this leaves you the option of escaping with Golem Portal.
    • When controlling the golem, remember to check the orders for your alchemist that is now under AI control. There is a bug where, under some unknown circumstances, the AI controlled alchemist will have their leash anchor set to a non-existent enemy (in my case, it was the rogue that last killed the alchemist). If this occurs, your alchemist will immediately run off screen when you switch control to the golem unless you correct that order, and this may have to be done every time a new level loads (bug eventually fixed itself in my game).
  • Alchemist has decent PBAoE attacks
    • Fire Storm plus Body of Fire actually yield pretty good sustained damage, but requires proximity
    • Body of Fire only shoots one fire bolt to each enemy, so its damage is really on the low side. It also has a very high sustain cost, so it's best to keep it off during normal play, and only turn it on for long boss battles, ideally after you have used up a bit of mana.
    • There are very strong cold damage unique items that can combo well with Fire Storm and Body of Fire for a PBAoE style of attack.
      • Frozen Shroud: a damage burst plus an incredibly strong lingering AoE
      • Frost Lord's Chain: has ice block penetration, and grants Shivgoroth Form, which gives you Ice Storm
      • Both items above can be tricky to use, since they will damage the golem. One must command the golem to move into safer positions, and it may be necessary to disable the golem's Knockback and Pound talents to prevent it from moving around too much.
    • High movement speed or infusions/runes/talents for repositioning can help one utilize PBAoE damage more effectively.
    • Flash Freeze is very helpful for a PBAoE play style, making it easier to position yourself relative to your golem and the enemy. The extremely long pin effect is very useful in general too.
  • What to do in between bomb cooldowns?
    • Bombs have a 4-turn cooldown, so a good alchemist should find something productive to do during that time.
    • The basic Channel Staff attack can always help increase damage output, and it is possible to build for it, particularly with prodigies like Arcane Might boosting staff damage. While this would no doubt be effective, it can also be a little bit monotonous.
    • It's always fun to have more buttons to push, and unlocking more generic categories will do just that. Extra talent categories also benefit a lot from the Adept prodigy, which is my new favorite in 1.7.4. See section on generic unlocks below for more details.
      • The alchemist has notably more generic points to spend than class points, so I sacrificed unlocking Energy Alchemy in preference for more generic unlocks.
    • One can always just move when bombs are on cooldown. This can be the standard hit and run tactic, or moving into position to use PBAoE attacks.
  • Smoke Bomb is incredible for blocking line of sight and messing with enemy AI
    • Smoke is most effective when it is deployed before enemies have first caught sight of you, so that you can attack from within the smoke. This will cause the enemies to start scampering about looking for you, but they will move around randomly and generally not head straight towards you.
    • The smoke will block line of sight for both normal vision and any type of heightened vision, so you will need some means of scouting to see through the smoke yourself. A wand of clairvoyance will be very useful. Track and Precognition can both be picked up from escorts too. The best option is unlocking Divination from escorts however, and putting a few points into Arcane Eye.
    • Stair traps can be easily dealt with because enemies will not have you targeted initially, so you can immediately drop smoke and prevent them from seeing you, and then start throwing out ranged attacks.
    • This tactic works in some of the most dangerous encounters in game, like Celia in the Last Hope Graveyard, and the post-Dreadfell Ambush fight.
    • Smoke will prevent the golem from chasing after distant enemies, but you can still order it to move through the smoke, or adjacent to enemies in the smoke to make it engage specific targets.
    • The fact that smoke bomb can interact with burning enemies is its greatest weakness. Thankfully this interaction is only checked on cast, so you can still burn enemies after the smoke is up.
  • The alchemist has too few class talent points and an excess of generic points. The Adept prodigy can mitigate this to some degree, but there are still too many talents that only check raw talent levels.
  • The alchemist class seems to be well balanced for normal/nightmare. It is probably viable on insane too, but likely to be very demanding in terms of micromanagement, due to the poor control interface for the golem. There really should be hotkeys that directly set the leash anchor and leash range of golems.



Stat priority is fairly simple for basic alchemists:

  1. Mag: Main stat for damage and spellpower to apply debuffs.
  2. Cun: More crit for more damage.
  3. Wil: The alchemist does not use much mana actively, but their sustains can get expensive, so this can be worth some points.
  4. Con: Spare points can go here.
  5. Str: Not normally needed except for equipping armor. Will be probably be 3rd priority after magic/cunning if going for a staff damage build however, since physical power improves weapon damage, even if staffs don't have a strength modifier on them.
  6. Dex: No need at all.

Category Points

The alchemist is a ranged attacker with a golem that can tank, so it can afford to use fewer inscriptions. This can free up a category point for unlocking more talent categories, and that is very useful because the alchemist also starts with only two generic categories unlocked.

For the three category points earned at level 10/20/34, I would suggest using them as follows, not necessarily in the order shown:

  • Add 4th Inscription Slot: This helps you survive. Most characters would take this at level 10, but the alchemist has the option to delay that a bit.
  • Advanced Golemancy: Really helps your golem survive, but not useful until level 18+ due to level requirements, so best to grab this at level 20 or 34.
  • Survival: Can actually substitute for an inscription slot on the alchemist. Device Mastery allows you to cycle healing totems quickly, which can heal both the golem and you. Track provides scouting information that makes it easier to attack at long range or around corners. It would be possible to take this category at level 10 if you can find a good totem, but low cunning at early levels will limit the usefulness of Track.

The final category point from Wyrm Bile has more flexibility. A 5th inscription slot to house the Rune of Dissipation can be very useful in boss fights on higher difficulties. One could also pickup Energy Alchemy, although class talent points may be tight at that point. Another generic category like Chants, Divination, Hexes, or Curses can be chosen for a better balance of class vs. generic talent point expenditure.

Class Talents

Some suggestions for class talents. Raw talent level in brackets, assuming Adept prodigy has been taken.

  • Explosive Admixtures
    • [5] Throw Bomb: The signature talent for Alchemists. Should be maxed due to frequency of use.
    • [5] Alchemist Protection: Checks raw talent level to prevent friendly damage, requires full investment given the large AoE of bombs.
    • [5] Explosion Expert: Gives bonus damage in confined spaces based on raw talent level. See this post for some nice graphs that illustrate how important the 5th talent point is.
    • [1] Shockwave Bomb: a low damage attack, but the knockback can be very useful in a pinch
  • Golemancy
    • [5] Golem Power: Golems need accuracy to hit enemies and apply on-hit debuffs. This is important because a global speed debuff can absolutely turn the tide of battle.
    • [1-5] Golem Resilience: Makes golem tankier. Not a high priority early on, but a good place to put spare talent points.
    • [1] Invoke Golem: One point is sufficient to summon the golem to your side. The melee power buff to the golem scales very poorly otherwise.
    • [1-5] Golem Portal: One point is sufficient to switch places with golem. Taunt chance depends on raw talent level, and more points can help the golem taunt enemies away more reliably.
  • Fire Alchemy
    • [1] Flame Infusion: Elemental infusion talents are very weak when compared to damage bonuses that can be accumulated from equipment, so it is best to save the talent points for other uses.
    • [5] Smoke Bomb: Completely messes up enemy AI, absolutely max this. This talent does not get the credit it deserves in existing alchemist guides.
    • [3-5] Fire Storm: Even if alchemists perform best at long range, having the option to turn on the hurt is very useful in longer battles, or when the local terrain makes it difficult to keep enemies at range. Unfortunately, this talent is not affected by the Range Amplification Device prodigy, since it is a 0-range PBAoE that moves with the player.
    • [1-5] Body of Fire: A relatively weak talent for the high sustained mana cost, but alchemists can spare the mana at higher levels if some investments are made in willpower. The fire bolts are very slow and will miss a lot. It's probably best to only turn this talent on when you need it for a long battle or the extra fire resistance.
  • Acid Alchemy
    • [1] Acid Infusion: This is the best infusion to use during the early/mid game due to the acid blind effect.
    • [1] Caustic Golem: Be aware that the reactive acid cone on your golem will damage friendly units.
    • [5] Caustic Mire: Creates a strong persistent area slow effect. The debuff seems to be reapplied to enemies in range every turn, so they can never cleanse it away. The only downside is the long cooldown, so one must be careful to apply it at the right time and location for maximum effect.
    • [3-5] Dissolving Acid: Three raw points plus Adept will allow this talent to remove three effects from enemies. The damage is also very good so this talent can be used to finish off an enemy when bombs are on cooldown.
  • Frost Alchemy
    • [1] Frost Infusion: Freezing enemies can make them waste their cooldowns on attacking the ice block encasing them, so it is still useful even if it slows down the battle a bit. The ice block will also absorb a substantial amount of damage from you however, so it is best to have some non-damaging actions queued up for the occasion (e.g. reposition, use tools, cast a hex).
    • [1] Ice Armour: Scales poorly with extra talent points.
    • [3-5] Flash Freeze: Excellent crowd control with decent damage and range, and it even casts instantly. The only downside is the relatively long cooldown.
    • [3-5] Ice Core: This is one of the few ways for alchemists to mitigate incoming damage with crit shrug. The cold affinity and physical resistance are both useful as well.
  • Advanced Golemancy: requires category point to unlock
    • [1] Life Tap: A rarely used talent. In a situation where the alchemist is low on health, it is nearly always better to opt for some action that will not get your golem killed and make more enemies target you. Even if enemies are already targeting you, the golem could still use Taunt to relieve some pressure. If the alchemist is fighting solo while using the golem to block an escort or set an ambush out of sight, then this is a decent heal to have on hand.
    • [1] Gem Golem: Gem level usable depends on raw talent level. The golem's attack element is determined by the gem in the first slot. The imbued effects of normal gems are generally too weak to make an impact on a golem. Even among artifact gems, there are only a couple of them that can meaningfully extend a golem's lifespan in battle, so this talent is usually not worth the class points.
    • [1-5] Supercharge Golem: Resurrect the golem and gives it a regeneration boos that should heal it to full in a few turns. Higher talent levels are actually pretty useful, particularly for reducing the cooldown, which varies from 16 to 11 turns with Adept. When the golem is resurrected, any talents or runes on cooldown will retain their original cooldown, but the golem will lose all temporary effects like runic saturation.
    • [5] Runic Golem: Rune slots added depends on raw talent level. The golem can have 6 rune slots with this talent maxed, which significantly extends its durability in battle. Because rune effects often scale with stats, its best to put all the runes that a golem might use into their inventory, and then examine them there while controlling the golem. You can also visit shops with the golem to see which rune might be worth buying.
  • Energy Alchemy: requires category point to unlock
    • [1] Lightning Infusion: Dazing lightning attacks are actually pretty nice at long range, because they can prevent the enemies from moving, allowing your bomb to come off cooldown and daze them again. Can add Pacification Hex for more effect.
    • [1] Dynamic Recharge: Scales poorly with additional talent points, but this can help the golem's runes come off cooldown a tiny bit earlier, and that does improve the golem's survivability more than the other infusions can. Adept would allow the 2-turn cooldown reduction bonus to be reached with 4 raw talent points, but that still feels a little bit expensive.
    • [3-5] Thunderclap: Decent damage, has knockback, and disarms. The disarm debuff will shutdown enemies that rely on weapon talents. Finding ways to make the enemy waste their cleanses before applying disarm will be important here, and will require some more testing.
    • [2,4] Living Lightning: Getting an extra turn upon taking big hits is nice and can save your life. 2 points with Adept will give the passive lightning strikes 5 range, and 4 points will give 6 range.

Generic Talents

Some suggestions for generic talents. Raw talent level in brackets, assuming Adept prodigy has been taken.

  • Combat Training: purchase at Last Hope
    • [1-5] Thick Skin: Damage reduction is always useful. First point with Adept is the most valuable, and extra points won't hurt either.
    • [1,3] Heavy Armour Training: Gear unlocks depend on raw talent level. 1 point is required to wear various heavy armor pieces. 3 points is required for massive armor. The alchemist's primary resource is mana, which takes double fatigue penalty. It is still possible to use massive armor however by putting stat points into willpower, using mana generating bombs, equipping fatigue reduction items, or just avoiding some high mana cost talents.
    • [0-1] Light Armour Training: Can float 1 point here during the early/mid game, before you find good massive armor or have the strength to equip them.
    • Other talents in this category are not useful for alchemist.
  • Stone Alchemy
    • [5] Extract Gems: Checks raw talent level. Must be maxed to obtain highest tier bomb ammo.
    • [1-5] Imbue Item: Checks raw talent level. Imbue effects on normally gems are generally quite weak, equivalent to about one greater ego. Artifact gems can have some more interesting effects, but spending 3 or 4 generic points to get one interesting effect is a bit pricey. Beware that items can only be imbued once, and the gem will be used up in the process. This talent could really learn something from Tirakai's Maul and make the gems recoverable.
    • [1] Gem Portal: Excellent escape option, particularly in cramped dungeons. You do not always have to teleport through a wall in the traditional sense either. Often times walls will be arranged in a jagged diagonal pattern, and you can just dodge into a little crevice then teleport a long distance along the walls that way (e.g. useful when trying to move quickly in the small lumberjack village).
    • [1] Stone Touch: A single point will bring the effective talent level past 3 and turn this into a beam. The range is still pretty short, so this talent will not see a lot of use, but it is a good option to have on hand. Make sure to check enemy immunities before casting though.
  • Staff Combat
    • [5] Channel Staff: Essentially a ranged basic attack for casters. Should be maxed since it will be used a lot.
    • [5] Staff Mastery: The partner passive for the above. Max it too.
    • [1] Defensive Posture: Not really all that useful, but one point gives a decent amount of armor with Adept, and it can act as a decoy for more important sustains when you face enemies that can remove sustains.
    • [3] Blunt Thrust: Melee range can be dangerous, but you cannot always prevent enemies from getting close to you. Having the option to deal guaranteed damage with a stun is therefore pretty useful. Adept will unlock the guaranteed hit with 3 points invested. Additional points will increase both damage and duration, but is luxury.
  • Survival
    • [1] Heightened Senses: Stealth/invisibility/trap detection are all pretty useful. Only one point needed due to good scaling with cunning stat.
    • [3-5] Device Mastery: More frequent heals for the golem is very useful. Golems can get pretty high healing modifiers from Golem Resilience, so you can usually heal them fully with each use of a healing totem.
    • [1] Track: Extremely useful scouting talent. Make sure you activate this talent before any level transition. The range scales quite high with cunning, but the duration is a bit short. You might want to complement this with a wand of clairvoyance for normal exploration.
    • [1] Danger Sense: Worth one point for a bit of damage reduction and extra save chance.
    • The thief escort can grant talent points in Heightened Senses and Track, so you might want to float your generic points in this tree to see if you can find this escort first to free up points for other talents.
  • Hexes: can be obtained locked after helping the Grand Corruptor attack Zigur
    • [1] Pacification Hex]: Best cast on enemies you are not actively attacking, but this situation is rare
    • [3] Burning Hex: One of the best debuffs against strong foes, but does require one to at least survive the first salvo of attacks (disposable golem is helpful here)
    • [1] Empathic Hex: Mostly useless due to asymmetry in player vs enemy damage/health ratios.
    • [1] Domination Hex: Can make big rooms of enemies fight themselves, try to target low spell save enemies with AoE attacks for this.
    • All hexes require a spell save check, so they can be much harder to land at higher difficulties. With a radius 2 AoE however, Burning Hex and Pacification Hex can both be cast around corners, so you can still try recasting them until they stick before engaging enemies.
  • Divination: can be obtained locked from escorts
    • [4] Arcane Eye: only need effective talent 5 to see stealth/invisible creatures, so 4 points with Adept is enough
    • [1] Keen Senses: a decent sustained buff, works well enough with 1 point and Adept.
    • [1] Vision: scouts terrain for better bomb placement, did not use this much due to finding Burning Star
    • [1-3] Premonition: more damage mitigation is always nice, especially since you will mostly be targeted by ranged attacks that tend to have more uniform damage types
  • Curses: can be obtained locked from escorts
    • [1] Curse of Defenselessness: The duration is very short, but it does help the golem land hits for debuffs. Generally not worth the turn to cast unfortunately.
    • [1-3] Curse of Impotence: this can actually extend the golem's lifespan quite a bit against lone bosses
    • [1-5] Curse of Death: a decent DoT spell, pales in comparison to the PBAoE sustained damage mentioned above, but this one can be cast at range and is not dependent on items
    • [1-3] Curse of Vulnerability: duration is a bit short compared to bomb cooldowns, but it could work well on a Shalore alchemist using Timeless to skip one bomb cooldown
  • Chants: can be obtained locked from escorts
    • [3-5] Chant Acolyte: this improves all three chants available, one can only wish the alchemist's elemental infusions worked in this manner
    • [1] Chant Illuminate: a weak talent for alchemists, but we need it for the next one...
    • [1] Chant Adept: allows the instant cast chants to also remove a debuff, can be life saving in some circumstances
    • [0-1] Chant Radiant: a little bit of bonus fire damage might be useful if you have spare generic points


My picks for this character...

  • Adept: A great prodigy for any character being played for the first time. Allows one to experiment with more talents to see how they perform with the character. The +1.5 talent points even affects item talents, and is further boosted by mastery, so it can have a very substantial impact.
  • Worldly Knowledge: Gives more buttons to push in between bomb cooldowns, and guarantees access to Divination. I would not recommend taking this prodigy on higher difficulty levels however, since you can always just unlock Survival to get Track as a weaker but passable substitute for Arcane Eye. Survival also gives you the very useful Device Mastery, which can help keep your golem alive with low cooldown heals.

Other offensive prodigies to consider:

  • Meteoric Crash: Not in the same league as Vital Shot or Wind Blade, but still does a decent amount of damage. Can have trouble targeting a specific enemy when using large AoE bombs. The main attraction here is that it allows you to collect damage/penetration gear in acid/cold/lightning and still get the bonus in fire. This is important for dealing with enemies that are highly resistant to your primary element. In retrospect, I would have liked to try out prodigy instead of Worldly Knowledge. My character ended up collecting a lot of ice damage gear that could have also boosted my Fire Storm and Body of Fire. The PBAoE play style I picked up also relied on making enemies stand still, which would also help the meteor's ground fire deal their full damage.
  • Arcane Might: Will provide a big boost to staff damage, allowing Channel Staff to deal significant damage.
  • Eye of the Tiger: Can be very good if you have the self-restraint to only use a handful of talents. Any cooldown reduction on Throw Bomb will translate into a big damage boost after all. May pair well with an Arcane Might bomb-n-staff build, using Body of Fire and/or Living Lightning sustains to trigger more critical hits.
  • Arcane Amplification Drone: There is is an alchemist guide that focuses on using this prodigy, but it feels very gimmicky and loses much of the flavor of an alchemist. Not my cup of tea (yet), but the option is there.

Other defensive prodigies to consider: (probably not necessary on normal/nightmare)

  • Cauterize: Very easy to satisfy this prodigy's requirements on an alchemist. Just remember to bomb yourself a few times before maxing out Alchemist Protection.
  • Ethereal Form: This prodigy relies on not being hit by weapons, which is fairly easy to do as an alchemist. The all damage penetration is a nice bonus on a primarily defensive prodigy.
  • Temporal Form: Grants immunity to a wide range of status effects that could otherwise kill you, and allows you to cast several useful anomalies. I would consider using this if I were not already using Shivgoroth Form from Frost Lord's Chain on this character.

Disrecommended prodigies:

  • Crafty Hands: Two extra gems to imbue is nice, but still not worth a prodigy, especially since your best gem would have gone into your armor already.
  • Blighted Summoning: Bone Shield on the golem will help its survival, and can be useful against enemies that only make simple attacks. One can get the same effect with stormshield runes on the golem however, so this is unlikely to be worth the prodigy point.
  • Range Amplification Device: Only works on talents that actually have a range value and are not melee/personal, so it will not work on Fire Storm, the one talent that could really use the extra range.

Golem Build

The primary use of the golem is a tank and debuff platform. Its damage will be negligible past the early game.


  • Massive armor is the tankiest. Tarrasca is worth highlighting as a good choice here. Unfortunately, the golem AI is incapable of using the item talent effectively, as it will spam it whenever it's off cooldown, even outside of battle. You will have to turn off the talent for normal play, and only turn it on for important occasions.
  • Shields allow the golem to use Block. One should keep several shields in the golem's inventory so the best one can be used for the situation.
  • One-hand weapon with global speed debuff. This is the best debuff to improve the golem's survival chance against tough bosses. Ideally the weapon would have some extra accuracy to improve hit chance, and some mindpower to improve the slow effect.

Keep an eye out for one-hand and off-hand weapons that can boost magic, as this can help save a lot of stat points.


Str > Dex > Wil > Mag > Con/Cun

  • Strength: Required for massive armor.
  • Dexterity: Improves accuracy so the golem can hit with its weapon and apply debuffs
  • Willpower: Improves the effectiveness of the global speed debuff ego on weapons, which scales with mindpower
  • Magic: Required to meet talent requirements, at a minimum for Reflective Skin, but getting the first level of Molten Skin can be helpful in certain situations. It would be best to do this with stat boosting items if at all possible.


Talent priorities can be adjusted in the right-click command menu, and this does not take any turns. To ensure that the golem will try to attack with weapons and land the attached debuffs, it is best to turn off the arcane talents during normal play. Knockback and Pound can also be turned off to prevent the golem from charging into the distance. While it can be very taxing in terms of micromanagement, turning talents on and off during battle can help control what talent gets used in critical situations.

  • Golem / Fighting
    • [1] Knockback: Be careful when using this talent. While knocking back enemies usually helps keep them away from the alchemist, it can also cause the golem to wake up more enemies if it chases after the knocked back target.
    • [5] Taunt: This is the most important golem talent. Maxing it hits the breakpoint for radius 3 taunt, and also reduces the cooldown.
    • [1-5] Crush: Can pin enemies. It is worth extra points for a longer duration.
    • [1] Pound: The daze effect will stop enemies from moving on their turn. That's helpful even if it will immediately be broken by damage on the alchemist's turn. One point is sufficient as longer daze duration is unlikely to have any impact.
  • Golem / Arcane
    • [1] Eye Beam: This adds a noticeable amount of damage to the golem early game, but is often a waste of a turn late game. It is worth floating some points here early on. Just remember to turn it off completely once your golem has a good debuff weapon.
    • [1] Reflective Skin: Free damage is worth one point.
    • [1-3] Arcane Pull: Allows the golem to pull enemies away from you. This talent can be very helpful if cast at the right time, so it is a good candidate to keep in reserve.
    • [1] Molten Skin: Mostly useful for the fire resistance. Best to keep it turned off until you need the resistance.

Deaths and Threats

Single death was due to walking into the Damp Cave and losing track of stealthed enemies. There were plenty of opportunities to retreat up the stairs, but I was trying to push the envelope, and the envelope broke spectacularly.

The primary threats to an alchemist are enemies that can quickly dispose of the golem and still hurt the alchemist afterwards, either due to sheer numbers, quick cooldowns, or very high damage basic attacks. The tremendous AoE damage of bombs and careful play should prevent one from getting outnumbered, Burning Hex can extend enemy cooldowns, but enemies with high damage basic attacks will have to be dealt with by bomb kiting or manipulating the AI with Smoke Bomb.


Siding with the Assassin Lord during the Trapped! quest is probably the better option for alchemists. Rerolling egos allows for a significant degree of customization that is important for stacking elemental damage bonuses. Furthermore, the best weapon combination for a caster is typically a short staff with an off-hand weapon like Life Drinker. The rarity of short staves makes it difficult to find a suitable one from random drops, but it is much easier to reroll for one, especially since the "short" property is available on a minor ego.

If I should play the alchemist again, I would try the following...


  • Movement Infusion
  • Healing Infusion / Regeneration Infusion
  • Shatter Afflictions Rune
  • 2nd Movement Infusion / Blink Rune / Shield Rune / Rune of Dissipation

Class talents: 68 points

Generic Talents: 36 points