Unchained - Constructive Criticism

This post aims to provide constructive criticism for Sienna’s third career, Unchained, whilst exclusively discussing her career skill, talents and passive abilities as I do not have the necessary insight to comment on the effectiveness of weapons(both melee and ranged) available for use. Unchained’s ineffectiveness is hard to take note of on Recruit, Veteran and Champion as enemy health values are low enough that her talent related short-comings are over-shadowed by the lack of challenge presented, hence performance on legend and cataclysm will be taken into account.
Most, if not all, of the people I have spoken to agree that unchained is under performing. I believe this is due to her talents not supporting a front-line(debatable) melee-focused wizard play style.


Blood Magic - 50% damage taken transferred to overcharge.

Getting smacked for 60 means the player takes 30 points of damage and the other 30 goes into overcharge. The problem here is that any form of damage mitigation(Barkskin, Walk It Off and Protective Presence) is calculated after the split. So, smacked for 60. With 40% damage reduction the player takes 18 points of damage while 30 goes into overcharge, unaffected by damage reduction. Strangely enough, Numb to Pain, seems to work exactly as I outline how the system should work in general.
A Possible Improvement: Apply damage reduction before the damage is split into two halves. Boinked for 60 with 40% damage reduction would mean that 36 points of damage is split equally between overcharge and hp, 18 to each.

Slave To Aqshy - No overcharge slowdown

Unstable Strength - Increased melee power on high overcharge by up to 60%.

Personally, I have no quarries with her other passives. Her career skill is discussed at the level 30 talent section.


Level 5

Burn-Bloom - Healing yourself with a First Aid Kit or a Healing Draught also heals your nearby allies for 20% of their maximum health. Clears any wounds.

This talent supports a play style this post does not discuss.

Soul Quench - Staggering an enemy with a melee attack grants temporary health. Health gained based on stagger strength.

Currently the go-to talent and works well with the mace, flail, dagger and fire sword. The dagger and fire sword lack armour damage on most of their attacks whilst the flail fares relatively well against hordes and damages armours on all of its hits meaning it can make greater use of Unstable Strength. The mace just insane stagger on all swings apart from the first light and heavy attack.

Reckless Rampage - Damaging multiple enemies in one swing with a melee weapon grants temporary health. Max 5 enemies.

Works well with the mace, fire sword and really well with the normal sword. The normal sword simply does more damage per swing than the fire sword so whatever % increases is gained through Unstable Strength will result in an overall higher dps for the normal sword.

While these talents work well, Unchained cannot trade hits with anything as she has no thp on kill talent. For example, Ignoring an attack from a slave rat in order to finish off an elite. Also, a talent like this would allow players to use the crowbill, because it currently sees no use on Unchained since neither of the thp talents can accommodate its sole strong point, high-armour damage to a single target. Soul-Quench should not be switched as that would invalidate the use of both the flail and flaming sword. Leaving us with Reckless Rampage.
A Possible Improvement: Switch out Reckless Rampage with a thp on kill talent. The mace and fire are already good on Soul-Quench. The normal sword performs rather well with regards to thp on kill, this can be tested with pyro’s thp on kill talent. The same goes for the crowbill. Over all this change would allow players to add another weapon to their arsenal while keeping the rest just as relevant.


Frenzied Flame - Increases attack speed by 15% while at or above high Overcharge.

Little to be said. Best talent in the row. Works well. Needs no change.

Searing Grasp - Push attacks ignite enemies with a light damage over time effect.

This talent is useless. All melee weapons apart from the dagger use one shield(2 stamina) for one push. There is also no talent that increases stamina, stamina regen or push/block angle. Has no synergy.
A Possible Solution #1: Change the talent to ignite enemies whose melee attacks are blocked. This would be down-right awesome with Dissipate and Enfeebling Flames.
A Possible Solution #2: Change the talent to ignite enemies who are hit melee attacks.

Chain Reaction - Burning enemies have a small chance to explode on death.

Explosion does little damage. Small chance is far from small, around 10% or so. Easy to proc with attacks which apply a burn DoT to multiple enemies. Does NO damage. Applies 1 stack of stagger to surrounding enemies. Elites are only staggered if the explosion catches them between attacks. Far too few melee weapons can apply burn for this talent to be effective on a melee focused career.
A Possible Solution: Change the talent so that any enemy killed by a melee hit has the chance to explode. Increase chance to proc to about 15%(If my earlier assumption about it being 10% or so is correct then this increase is warranted as an entire build could be based around this talent working and 10% on its own is too small as you cannot kill as many enemies with a melee weapon as with a staff hence your overall number of chain reaction procs per mission would decrease). Apply a weak DoT to surrounding enemies. Chain reaction could be swapped with Numb to Pain(LEVEL 20) and this idea would mesh rather well with A Possible Solution #1 for Searing Grasp as blocks would ignite enemies, melee attacks(with Chain Reaction) could possibly ignite multiple enemies and Enfeebling Flames(LEVEL 25) would reduce the damage they can do.


Bulwark - Enemies that you stagger takes 10% more damage from melee attacks for 5 seconds. Deal 20% more damage to staggered enemies. Each hit against a staggered enemy adds another count of stagger. Bonus damage is increased to 40% against enemies afflicted by more than one stagger effect.

Mostly used on shields as those are the ones that can stagger a lot of enemies for the rest of eternity.
A Possible Solution: Melee weapons with high stagger but no shield are more suited for Smiter instead of Bulwark.

Mainstay - Deal 20% more damage to staggered enemies. Each hit against a staggered enemy adds another count of stagger. Bonus damage is increased to 60% against enemies afflicted by more than one stagger effect.

Enhanced Power - Increases total Power Level by 7%. This is calculated before other buffs are applied.

Mainstay is good for elite-hunting whilst Enhanced Power is used for ranged builds or to reach specific breakpoints.


Dissipate - Block cost is reduced by 50% when Overcharged and blocking attacks vent Overcharge.

The talent does not offer enough for the player to consider taking it instead of Conduit.
A Possible Solution #1: Just as before, blocking dissipates overcharge. Blocking at or above critical overcharge costs no stamina. Now that right there, would be beautiful. This change would allow for an aggressive melee grinder experience as the player could just hack-and-slash their way to victory because any damage taken is healed with a thp talent(hopefully thp on kill) and the moment their overcharge is too high they can just block a few hits and hop back to slaughter some ratties.
Playing Unchained at high overcharge is a high-risk high-reward play style. This talent lowers the risk of blowing up due to a single mistake but simultaneously forces the player to watch their step because slashing your way into the middle of 10 skavern is only fun for the rats.

Numb to Pain - Reduces damage taken by 5% for 15 seconds after taking damage from venting Overcharge. Stacks up to 3 times.

Possible Solution: Double the damage reduction. Change it so that the talent procs regardless of damage source. Perhaps reduce the 15 seconds to 10? This one really delicate one of my previous suggestions swaps this talent, Numb to Pain with Chain Reaction(LEVEL 10). If that were to happen venting damage reduction would be increased to 65% at max stacks of Numb to Pain.
Doubling the damage reduction would push this combo to 80%, effectively removing ventilation as a damage source. If this swap were to happen, I recommend nerfing conduit.

Conduit - Increases rate of venting overcharge by 30% and reduces damage taken from venting by 50%.

Overall, this talent is great, no need to change.
Possible Adjustment: Swapping Numb to Pain with Chain Reaction would allow players to reduce ventilation damage by 80%. To counter this, while still making the swap happen, venting damage reduction from conduit should be change from 50% to 35%. Maybe increase rate of venting to 35%? Doubt that’s needed. With this hypothetical nerf this talent is still amazing and a viable choice on this row or so I believe.


Enfeebling Flames - Burning enemies deal 30% less damage.

The other talents on this row are much better, hence there is no reason to pick this. With the previously proposed changes however, this may change.

Burning Dregs - Dropping below 50% health vents all Overcharge. Can only trigger every 60 seconds.

A very useful possibly life saving talent. Not seeing an overhead because three elites are almost stacked on top of each other is a common enough occurrence. I’d say this talent sees more use as the difficulty increases.

Natural Talent - Reduces overcharge generated by 10%.

Another good choice on this row allowing for more damage to be tanked and increased number of ranged attacks before ventilation. Natural Talent with Thermal Equaliser is a potent combo easily deleting hordes on legend with hardly any ventilation required.
Interesting to note is that this talent increases the value of each tick of ventilation(self-damage) as ventilation dissipates overcharge on a % basis.


Living Bomb - Sienna explodes, dealing damage to surrounding enemies and clearing her overcharge. 120 second cooldown.

That cooldown needs to be reduced. No questions about it. At least down to 90 seconds. Mercenary’s Career skill gives 25 thp to allies and a knockback big enough to revive 1 person. All that for 90 seconds. Living bomb in comparison gives 0 thp to allies, in the presence of a monster the knockback is too insignificant for a revive to be safely pulled off and clears her overcharge. Not to mention the negligible damage, 1300 with a SINGLE tick of 500 afterwards. The only(if I’m not mistaken) other career skill with a 120 second cooldown is IB and that is a game changer, Living Bomb isn’t.
At legend and above, Unchained’s career skill by itself is probably the least effective ultimate in the entire game. It’s saved by Bomb Balm, if that talent didn’t exist, Unchained player count would be in the double digits.

Flame Wave - Increases the radius of Living Bomb explosion by 50%.

The increased radius means that Living Bomb is not handicapped anymore because it now has the same radius as the career skill for WHC, Merc, IB and RV. This talent is not good enough.
A Possible Solution: This talent could focus on the damage side of the career skill.

  • Radius from 50% to 70%

  • Damage dealt by 200%

  • Number of ticks and damage dealt by the ticks

I know that this looks pretty crazy but there is a lengthy cooldown attached to this relatively big damage. So I think it’s scarcity of use balances out the damage potential.

Fuel for the Fire - Each enemy hit by Living Bomb increases power by 5% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.

Ten seconds is far too short. Numb to Pain lasts longer than that. For a maximum of 25% power? Level 30 talents for Career skills should be substantial.
A Possible Solution: Increase power cap to something like 40-50% for 15 or 20 seconds then I’d say yes. This is viable. Because with that increase to power and time frame the player could go ham on anything, it would be like a berserk skill or something along those. Powerful, but long cooldown, once again, not 120 seconds though.

Bomb Balm - Living Bomb restores 30 temporary health to allies.

The only thing keeping this Career skill floating. A good talent. Not for this career skill though. Unchained cannot afford to activate her ultimate for healing others. The cooldown is too long and if the player does not have Burning Dregs(LEVEL 25), then it’s game over because she may need it to empty her overcharge because a mino showed up with 2 banners and an assassin. Just like IB cannot afford to ult for 10 skavern slaves.

To sum up the career rant. Reduce the cooldown timer to a base value of 90 or something. If the talents seem too powerful for that time interval, then give the talents their own unique cooldown timer.

In Conclusion, I have given my take on how Unchained could be improved. What I have written is not fact, only an opinion and is no way an exhaustive list of changes. I have also tried to keep balance at lower difficulties in mind which is why I focused only on improving already existing talents instead of importing new ones. I hope that what I have written will at the least be considered. I’d like to think that I have kept any and all in-game related information true to the fact and should anything be amiss, let me know.


I appreciate the point that you are aware that we all are only providing opinion. In my opinion, - reading just the level 30 talents - your proposed changes would make Unchained basically overpowered. The cooldown reduction alone is a no-go but you can make your points in another recently opened thread here:


As for the remaining points I will copy my opinion from another thread where we have discussed Unchained before:

Here the copy of my last answer in that thread:

Well, wanted for this to disappear actually. But since it got bumped anyway I can add some additional info. Went the extra mile and installed mods just for this as I wanted to explain the difference between my and @OenKrad’s observation concerning Living Bomb.

As it seems OenKrad did not use any equipment or talents which adds bonus damage which is okay and makes sense but it should be mentioned somewhere (apology if I just overlooked it). This means Living Bomb raw does not killing anything. However, by adding of just one bonus damage for Infantry you can kill already Slave Rats. If you add more or less everything you can for bonus damage you can kill Slave Rats as well as Ungors and Ungor Archers which is still a bit lackluster but it is a begnning during hordes. Also, it damages most other horde enemies far enough that they get more or less one shotted by most weapons. So you can power up Living Bomb quite a bit.

Now the question: What is everything for bonus damage?

  1. Obviously the first one is the charm with Power Vs. Power vs Skaven is mostly useless in this scenario. So picking Infantry and Chaos is a normal choice.
  2. The second part is a bit interesting because it is the properties from the melee weapon (and not the staff/range which would make more sense). So if you add another Power vs Chaos on your melee weapon it increases again.
  3. Probably Enhanced Power although the effect appeared quite small to me.
  4. The fourth part is interesting too because it is Fuel to the Fire. The bonus damage caused by the talent is apparently calculated after the enemies are counted. This alone makes for a difference of up to 25 % in damage. Which means that Fuel to the Fire not only increases your power for 10 seconds, no it also enhances your active skill (far more than Flame Wave does although that should be the one which does it). All of this bonus also adds to the stagger power. If you add enough you can blast away Skaven Slave Rats. Not that it does matter as they are dead already. But the increase in stagger power may help against Chaos horde. I still stand to my conclusion that Fuel to the Fire is far superior to Bomb Balm.

Back to the basics again: Living Bomb does damage twice. One direct damage and one tick of fire. Looking at this and the remaining health after my tests I came to the conclusion that just one tick of fire more might enable Living Bomb - in combination with Fuel to the Fire - to kill Fanatics and Clan Rats as well.
So after playing Unchained more and more, I can only repeat that she is fine for the most part. But a change to three talents would make her various builds more wholesome:

  1. First change still goes to Searing Grasp. Looking at the damage numbers of a full conflag and Living Bomb with Fuel to the Fire show that just one tick more would make a stark difference. As such Searing Grasp should get in addition to its current state an increase for all DoT effects of the Unchained. It would help Enfeebling Flames, Living Bomb, all Staves and most importantly it would help Searing Grasp. Because my test showed that it is one laughable tick for pushing. This would actually a kinda powerful ability on any character with a shield weapon where you can push a lot with high push radius. Sadly, Sienne is the only character without a shield or ANY weapon which could make use of it. Just one tick is enough for many breakpoints.
  2. Second change goes to Chain Reaction. Tests showed that it DOES damage. But it is ridiculous low so that it doesnt much difference. And the stagger effect while fun to watch is not that helpful. So like proposed before, make Chain Reaction enemes explode if they drop below 80 % health and also let the Chain Reaction cause a bit more damage.
  3. Flame Wave. Just … just rework it. Seeing that Fuel to the Fire increases Damage AND Stagger of Living Bomb while Flame Wave just adds radius, there is no reason to pick it. Fuel to the Fire just wins hands down. At least Bomb Balm gives some consolation Hp although it is still the lesser choice.

So yea. Just one minimal change to Searing Grasp, one medium change to Chain Reaction and one large change to Flame Wave. Then Unchained would be in a very good spot. She is already in a good spot. Don’t see the need for more overcharge concerning that even in the low red state most horde enemies do need two hits to overheat you.

Are you seriously making the argument that living bomb does decent damage? A 2 min CD with a smaller radius and less damage than one cast of conflag staff. Really?

1 Like

Doing damage is not Living Bomb’s primary function. Primary function is the increase of your ammunition. In addition to this it has two other effects with staggering enemies and damaging them (in contrast Mercenary’s active skill has only two effects). Without the active skill talents it gives enough space to either cast or to revive someone.

And if you chose Fuel to the Fire and avoid the Bomb Balm trap you, then yes, you actually get good damage and stagger values. It doesn’t need a buff. A small one to damage doesn’t necessarily hurt but it certainly doesn’t need one. And it does especially not need a cut on the cooldown time.

Also Living Bomb is instant and undisrutable while Conflagration spell does take time, can be interrupted, increases your heat even more and while it staggers enemies, it does not push them away. It is like comparing … wait, comparing those two is actually pretty dumb.

Again, we have this discussed up and down in the posted links and you can read all opinions there. And then you can read the suggestions here and you will realize how off the charts they partially are.

I disagree. I think your assessment of UC is incorrect. With any amount of pressure she becomes very squishy. She has less effective hp than either of the other 2 wiz careers and less damage output. Her ult is not even close to as effective as merc. Less stagger, less range, less utility.

This is incorrect. The primary function is to be a safety valve. To “increase your ammunition,” you simply vent. However, the cooldown is far to long to make up for how squishy UC is in any pressure situation. A hit from a slave rat will put you at full overcharge.

There is a reason that players of all skill level all think UC needs a major rework. Even in melee, pyro does more damage with almost every melee weapon. Even BW does way more damage with fire sword or dagger. They also have much better toolkits for ranged damage as well as a flat 10% damage passive.

The only reason to bring UC over either of the other wiz classes is for bomb balm. However, Bomb Balm is a severely discounted merc ult in its current state.

1 Like

I have played both classes Pyromancer (only Legend or Champion Deeds) and Unchained (Cataclysm and Legend Deeds) extensively. And by no means is Unchained squishy. I don’t know what it is that people insist on this. Maybe they have gained some bad habits by other classes (like hits trading) but she can tank strong hits like no other classes (minus IB’s Gromril’s Armor). She has issues with multiple small damage hits in short succession like the Ratling Gunners. But if you receive multiple small chip damages other than those two or three specials than the issue is with one’s playstyle and not with the class. Actually you can even take a hit by horde enemies regularly without exploding cause you have a safeguard function for high overcharge (like other Wizard classes too).

And no, the statement is not wrong. Her overcharge works as both - ammunition and damage sponge - so if it resets her ammunition it also resets your safety valve again. This is also a matter of playstyle. You can cast in the horde until you reach overcharge, fight a bit in melee, use active skill for place and reset of overcharge and use your 25 % increase in power to drown everything around you in a blazing fire. And this with very minor risk.
And I also feel far more comfortable with Unchained in melee as with Pyromancer because Unchained is harder to down.

If you read the linked posts you will notice that players of all skill range in the thread come to very few changes for Unchained actually. Something around 3 to 4 depending on opinion. And also just minor to medium changes and no major rework. I remember just one point where everyone agrees and that is the increase of living bomb radius is absolutely useless.

Again, read what he proposed here: After active skill you increase power for 50%! for 20 seconds! Do you realize how broken that is? Do people realize how long 20 seconds actually are. Even in the 10 seconds we have right now you can cast 3-4 FULL conflgration spells. Than you have an increase in damage to 200 %, increase radius to 170 % and even more damage by ticks. Even without equipping for it, this will kill (nearly) all horde enemies in a a large vincinity. And then Bomb Balm stays the same although it is the one talent in the row you actually never need unless you vent a lot.
Then you have the reduction of cooldown to 90 seconds. This means that you can use it every minute as you have to consider the damage received will shorten the time too and it is used as safety valve. Also with Fuel to the Fire the skill is a game changer. Problem here is that most players don’t use it because they are trapped in Bomb Balm. And this covers only the active skill suggestions.

Again, read the linked posts, especially the second one. You will see that most people agree that only some minor changes are necessary for the Unchained. I am more or less alone with Fuel on the Fire. But I assume it is due to people not using/experimenting with the skill. You have in another thread videos by Oenkrad which provide only an half-correct assessment of the active skill at all and no one discussing in the thread has even realized that Fuel to the Fire increases the power (stagger and damage) of the active skill itself, noone. If people do not test out, it is no wonder that they reach a wrong assessment.

Is Unchained weaker than BW? Probably, but so far I have avoided playing BW. Is Unchained weaker than Pyromancer? No, not in my opinion. She may deal less damage but she is a lot safer to play.

The only time UC is tankier than pyro is if you’re talking about eating overheads. That should be the first thing you learn to avoid. You’re allowed to have your opinion. Unfortunately, the math simply doesn’t agree with almost any of your arguments. If you’re able to avoid getting hit by hordes, why are you catching overheads? If you’re not catching overheads, why do you think UC is tankier than classes that can take chip damage without exploding? It just doesn’t make any sense.

I’m a bit shaky on the exact numbers, so if anything is wrong just correct it. Unchained has what, 150 Health points? A slave rat does 40? damage per hit on Cataclysm? With her always active passive this means she can take 7 hits and the eight hit will down her. Pyromancer has 100? health? and no damage reduction? This means she can take 2 hits and the third will down her.

If you take grims into consideration it will be 50 versus 33. So Unchained can still take two hits while Pyromancer will be downed by the first hit. Even if the damage the slave rats do is not 40 on Cataclysm, the relation stays the same. Unchained has 50 % more health and takes 50 % less direct damage. How can that not be safer? And please don’t say that all of this wondermath is based on the absurd situation that the damage will overload her charge-meter without actual overcharge being reduced inbetween those hits. Again, on Cataclysm you can be in the red overcharge state, you can take a slave rat hit and you don’t explode by overcharge. There is a considerable puffer.

Edit: clearly this is going nowhere. Just not going to bother explaining.

No. Unchained will take 2 hits and be at max overcharge, and if something breathes on her she explodes, because she has max 40 overcharge.
And that’s assuming her overcharge bar was empty. You don’t go around empty on unchained, you go around with half a bar if you’re being careful, 75% of a bar if being risky, and almost full if you have the ult ready to fire.

With half a bar or more, one hit maxes your overcharge and another makes you explode. This means that Unchained will always die in 2-3 hits from a slave rat, most likely 2.

That’s what people mean by saying she’s squishy, man. She explodes in a heartbeat. The overcharge bar takes 40 points, half of all damage taken goes into overcharge, and it goes into overcharge BEFORE applying damage reduction to it, too. So, in a way, it’s like you can’t even use damage reduction, because let’s face it, your actual health is the overcharge bar.

Yeah, damage reduction should apply to overcharge, and Unchained should also maybe get a base bigger overcharge pool too. That and some better talents, since there seems to be only 1 real choice per tier, and that needs to get looked at. Wouldn’t mind her ability being reworked a bit either.

1 Like

And that was exactly the point I was making. In these math calculations you are assuming consecutive hits which is just one extreme scenario. If between each of these hits just 20 seconds pass, then she can take these seven hits because the overcharge depletes by then enough that you will not explode. And then I will refer back to the beginning: If you take so many consecutive hits it is not a problem of the class.

It is not a class where you can take 5-10 hits from a surrounced horde like the other tanks, that is right. But you can take several times damage if just some seconds pass between. But saying that she is squishier than a Pyromancer which actually dies from those single hits if you have both Grims is wrong.

Also you have the puffer. You have played Unchained. If you are at the second line (beginning of red zone) or closely after then you are at 80? % overcharge. You get hit by a Skaven rat and you do not explode. This means 12 overcharge damage is just vanishing into Nirvana. You can play her near the red zone with a manageable risk (although I assume few will do this without the active skill ready) as long as you don’t get consecutive hits. However, if our career analysis are based on the scenario “Yea, Im playing purposefully badly.” then yes, she is “squishy”.