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BG2's "Ascension" is a troll mod

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Spellstrike, Pierce Shield, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Khelben’s Warding Whip, and more.
He dimension-doors away every 5 seconds. Very hard to catch with any spell that's not instant.

If Irenicus is not targetable, it’s because he’s using greater invisibility and Spell Immunity: Divination.
So how do you dispell that?

When he’s striking you with Flaming Arrow, it’s multiple casts from a sequencer. Very deadly, but when you’re literally battling for an Abyssal Throne, you should be immune to fire or warded against Lvl3 spells in some way.
He will dispell you. He will target random people with it, so you can't save yourself with rings.

And I did win that fight. It's the fight after this one, the second phase, that's impossible to me. I arrive to phase 2 absolutely wrecked, and am supposed to defeat 4 buffed demons and slayer that stops time and wrecks everyone. I wonder how much cold resistance would help. Probably not much.

  1. You have the advantage of starting the fight. Traps are recommended. The amount of cold damage from the Slayer form is extreme. You will want 100% resistance. If you're having trouble with being dispelled, use potions when your spells are removed. I can't say I remember him casting time stop in Hell. Even still, you'll want to focus on removing his protections, because it will cause him to spend his efforts putting them back up. The demons, while tough, should be adequately handled by your fighters. I also highly recommend Cone of Cold against most demons. Mazing them is also a good method to take them out of the fight for awhile, if you can't take them all simultaneously. Same applies with Otiluke's Resilient Sphere.
  2. Getting through Improved Invisibility + Spell Immunity: Divination can be accomplished in various ways:
    1. Thief Detect Illusions, Dispel Magic, Remove Magic, Arrows of Dispelling, Insect Plague, Creeping Doom, Wand of Spell Striking, Glitterdust (if desperate). Summoning a Nishruu or Hakeshar puts alot of pressure on mages (SCS will recognize the summon and flee), but they will likely have a death spell memorized, so you'll need to follow up with another one.
    2. If you have Spell Revisions installed, most of your removal spells will work, because they target the effect, not the user.
 

Silly Germans

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Spellstrike, Pierce Shield, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Khelben’s Warding Whip, and more.
He dimension-doors away every 5 seconds. Very hard to catch with any spell that's not instant.

If Irenicus is not targetable, it’s because he’s using greater invisibility and Spell Immunity: Divination.
So how do you dispell that?

When he’s striking you with Flaming Arrow, it’s multiple casts from a sequencer. Very deadly, but when you’re literally battling for an Abyssal Throne, you should be immune to fire or warded against Lvl3 spells in some way.
He will dispell you. He will target random people with it, so you can't save yourself with rings.

And I did win that fight. It's the fight after this one, the second phase, that's impossible to me. I arrive to phase 2 absolutely wrecked, and am supposed to defeat 4 buffed demons and slayer that stops time and wrecks everyone. I wonder how much cold resistance would help. Probably not much.

You can also try using your own Slayer transformation, if you have installed the components
with the mod. It is actually very powerful and has many resistances.
Also use all forms of spell sequencers and check your equipment for resistances and immunities.
Check if normal attacks from enemies always hit your tanks. If this is the case, armor class is
pointless and you are better of equipping stuff that gives you resistances/immunities. The same
goes for your own weapons. Having a weapon with the proper resistances in your offhand might
be better than a shield even if you don't have two-weapon fighting skilled. Your fighters should
hit anyways.
 
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garren

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Spellstrike, Pierce Shield, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Khelben’s Warding Whip, and more. If Irenicus is not targetable, it’s because he’s using greater invisibility and Spell Immunity: Divination. Also, he is not immune to dispel or turn magic, but you better be doing it with a very high level caster. When he’s striking you with Flaming Arrow, it’s multiple casts from a sequencer. Very deadly, but when you’re literally battling for an Abyssal Throne, you should be immune to fire or warded against Lvl3 spells in some way. The only spell I can think of that he has which is not available to the player is a combo Fire/Cold Shield. If you’re using SCS, he’s definitely tough, but plays entirely by the rules. His slayer form can be a bitch, but see above. You’ll also want to be immune to cold.

The Shadow Dragon is actually one of the weakest dragons, but encountered earliest. The level drain is rough if you’re unfamiliar with what a shadow dragon can do. I killed him by lowering his saves/resist and petrifying him with a Chromatic Orb. I was a bit under leveled for the fight, and it was grizzly. The victory was awesome. You’re going to want kill it with magic. Melee will be a challenge.

Mordenkiden’s Sword can be dispelled, killed with death spell, death fog, mazed, or with Horrid Wilting and Magic Missile.

When you fight The Five simultaneously, there are some important notes. Bhodi I can be brought to your side if you haven’t teamed up with Balthazar. I suggest you opt for Balthazar. Irenicus is a pain, but the real threat is Illasera. She has Arrows of Dispelling which will wreck your day. Kill her first, Jon Irenicus second. Also, Yaga Shura cannot be killed until the other Five are dead, I believe. His immunities will diminish proportionately as each of them are slain, but he is always vulnerable to cold.

Sarevok should be small potatoes for you now. Just have one of your fighter chop him up. He’s not immune to anything, and his resistances can be peeled off like any other foe.

Elder Beholders and Hive Mother’s are some of the most significant threats in the game. Spell Reflection, Spell Trap, and gated demons are going to be your best friends here. Power World Blind and Glitterdust are also very valuable. With SCS, their AI is outstanding, so you;re going to ha e to throw everything you’ve got at them. Bows + Whirlwind are great, but here’s a pro-tip. Deathblow and Greater Deathblow with instantly killed Beholders and many other monsters. Not sure if it works on Elders or Hive Mother’s, but It’s worth having.


JUST MADE SURE THAT YOU ARE USING STRATEGEMS, NOT TACTICS. Tactics is the absolute worst and makes exploits and cheese mandatory. If your game is truely that awful, verify that you do not have the “tactics” mod installed.
I once installed the tactics AND stratagems at the same time to have some challenge (dunno if having them both messes something up but it seemed to work), any harder fight had all my characters explode into gibs in like 5 seconds, shit was insane.
 

ghostdog

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BG2's "Ascension" is a troll mod
I agree, at least in conjunction with SCS. I used it in my recent playthrough and it's fucking tedious. I had used it before along with SCS but I think now it's even harder and I don't think I'll ever use it again, SCS is enough to make things tactical and hard enough to be interesting. And even SCS needs a lot of attention and tweaking since aside the core rules, a lot of the optional components can be frustrating. Ascension has basically the same mentality as Tactics; edgy, stupid difficulty.

There is no way to beat Irenicus with this mod.
There is. I managed to beat him --after some tries-- but it's really fucking hard.

The very last fight in ToB with Ascension, is harder than Irenicus.
THIS. Fuck this shit. I had played this mod before and I knew it was stupidly hard and with the current SCS and my settings it was gonna be a nightmare. Thankfully ToB has such decreased quality compared to BG2, that I got bored with it around the monastery, so I dropped it.

Spellstrike, Pierce Shield, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Khelben’s Warding Whip, and more. If Irenicus is not targetable, it’s because he’s using greater invisibility and Spell Immunity: Divination. Also, he is not immune to dispel or turn magic, but you better be doing it with a very high level caster.
I can't recall exactly what I did but it's more or less what Magniloquent says. Wands can be very helpful.

Also use all forms of spell sequencers and check your equipment for resistances and immunities.
This. AC doesn't matter that much in this fight. Resistances are much more important. Sequencers with secret world and lower resistances and spell thrust can also help. Contingencies with protections when health drops below 50% could potentially save your mages since they can trigger even when Irenicus has time-stop on. Also I think Irenicus can be blinded and slowed (power words).
 

Chippy

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[Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.]
If I look hard enough I can probably find solo videos for ascension fights. Here is a solo of Irenicus with tactics (not ascension, but one probably exists) for example:

But yeah, mods which have increasing their difficulty as one of their primary objectives are definitely not aimed at everyone. I found a Mellisan solo insane ascension quite quickly, but it was with cheesing skull traps so I don't really count it.


Another thing for me is that I never play by accessing the inventory during combat. If you read the original BG manual, they state that they intentionally unpaused the game during combat. Players like the guy in the video spends about as much time in the inventory as fighting.

I suppose it's my autism. I can't stand the thought of my party juggling items and swapping boots, cloaks, weapons and all that shit between each other like a bunch of court jesters during battle.
 

Roguey

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An Ascension that changes BG2 content, huh, where is this???

Oh, never mind. Anyway for Ascension as Gaider intended you want to get it from https://weidu.org/

Though it should be noted that Gaider is good at tactical combat and made it as tough as possible for him to beat.
 

mekhet

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  1. Getting through Improved Invisibility + Spell Immunity: Divination can be accomplished in various ways:
    1. Thief Detect Illusions, Dispel Magic, Remove Magic, Arrows of Dispelling, Insect Plague, Creeping Doom, Wand of Spell Striking, Glitterdust (if desperate). Summoning a Nishruu or Hakeshar puts alot of pressure on mages (SCS will recognize the summon and flee), but they will likely have a death spell memorized, so you'll need to follow up with another one.
Another trick is to load up a Chain Contingency spell with Kelbens Warding Whip, Ruby Ray of Reversal etc. and choose "see enemy" and "nearest" as trigger condition and target. The Chain Contingency when triggered will ignore invisibility and hopefully get rid of Spell Immunity: Divination.
That is pretty much standard procedure in the Tactics mod
As for Wands of Spell Striking, you can in theory create unlimited of those if you have a high Wisdom spellcaster (via natural ability or potion) who can cast Wish.

Also a good combo to know is Improved Haste + Shapechange:Illithid + Timestop. That will get rid of the Shadowdragon in one go by devouring his brain. I think the brain devouring effect even ignores Stoneskin, unless that was modded out.
In the TOB final if you don't have Bodhi, you can try to summon a hoard of vampires with a low Wisdom Limited Wish and then dominate them with an evil cleric.

This is the beauty of BG2 cheese and one of the main reasons to even bother with hardcore mods. If you haven't already known a single of the above mentioned "tricks", Ascension is probably not for you.
 
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mekhet Yes, (Chain) Contingency is a great spell for lots of shenanigans.

I am amazed that OP didn’t bring up Draconis. That guy was difficult enough in Vanilla, but SCS AI...whew. Hardest fight in the game outside of The Throne battle. Hold on to your no-reload challenge. Not sure if ascension alters him, like it does with The Five’s individual encounters. They go from push-overs, to worthy fights.
 
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octavius

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I am amazed that OP didn’t bring up Draconis. That guy was difficult enough in Vanilla, but SCS AI...whew. Hardest fight in the game outside of The Throne battle. Hold on to your no-reload challenge. Not sure if ascension alters him, like it does with The Five’s individual encounters. They go from push-overs, to worthy fights.

Hmm...I killed Draconis on first try with no buffing (I didn't have Improved Abizigal installed, so maybe he was weakened).
 
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I am amazed that OP didn’t bring up Draconis. That guy was difficult enough in Vanilla, but SCS AI...whew. Hardest fight in the game outside of The Throne battle. Hold on to your no-reload challenge. Not sure if ascension alters him, like it does with The Five’s individual encounters. They go from push-overs, to worthy fights.

Hmm...I killed Draconis on first try with no buffing (I didn't have Improved Abizigal installed, so maybe he was weakened).

He's respectable in human form, but once he turns into a dragon...ouch. Gurellia tactics with invisibility and acid dragon breath. Equal mixture of spells dragon melee, and HLA. He's always been one that I clench up for.
 

Piotrovitz

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SCS + tactics + ascension is a combo for masochist aspies who are replaying bg2 for last two decades and crave more challenge.
I can see the appeal of it, I mean you can feel like a fucking Kasparov against Deep Blue, but for me it's just too much.

SCS alone is good enough, though it has some bullshit encounters, like the lich in Edwin's nether scroll quest - quest is timed, so if you've picked up Edwin too soon and party lacks the firepower, then good fucking luck.
 

DraQ

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SCS + tactics + ascension is a combo for masochist aspies who are replaying bg2 for last two decades and crave more challenge.
I can see the appeal of it, I mean you can feel like a fucking Kasparov against Deep Blue, but for me it's just too much.

SCS alone is good enough, though it has some bullshit encounters, like the lich in Edwin's nether scroll quest - quest is timed, so if you've picked up Edwin too soon and party lacks the firepower, then good fucking luck.

Agreed. I tried Tactics once, and think I actually got through SoA before terminating it. Whereas SCS useless sophisticated AI routines to play smarter, Tactics is just stat bloat, immunities, volume and out of place monsters. Avoid like the plague.
 

ga♥

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Just finished Ascension+SCS on insane NO CHEESE NO EXPLOITS AMA.

Don't even try the last fight solo, it's impossible.

Party:

F/M elf (bad choice, gnome would have better)
Keldorn
Jaheira
Viconia (transformed to a dual class fighter/cleric, to avoid getting Anomen; if you can stand him he's the better choice)
Jan
Edwin

The key is to be GOOD and refuse all the best shit at the end of bg2 so you can recruit Balthazar, also redeem Sarevok so he won't betray you.
And I would argue to not even try if you can't get Balthazar on your side, that mofo is impossible to kill, while if you get him he gets replaced by grommir which is quite weak.

Also he's a beast and while 3 of my party members were killed by the end of the battle (edwin, jan and jaheira) he did like half of the dmg to Melissan
 
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Anthedon

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
If I look hard enough I can probably find solo videos for ascension fights. Here is a solo of Irenicus with tactics (not ascension, but one probably exists) for example:

But yeah, mods which have increasing their difficulty as one of their primary objectives are definitely not aimed at everyone. I found a Mellisan solo insane ascension quite quickly, but it was with cheesing skull traps so I don't really count it.


That's already an impressive level of autism on display.

Here's Melissan with Ascension and SCS. The enemy abilities alone, hahaha.

 

VentilatorOfDoom

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There is no way to beat Irenicus with this mod.
This fight is pretty tame compared to the SCS or even better, the Tactics version of it. And there are ways to beat even that.

Cheese with rogue/bard traps is always an option.
Or use a wizard.

Project Image
Improved Alacrity (removes the cast time of your spells so you can unload a lot of spells in quick succession)
Spell Immunity Divination (so the image is protected from true seeing)
Spell Immunity Abjuration (so the image is protected from being dispelled)
stoneskin + mirror image (so you don't get interrupted)
summon planetar x 5 (images dont have a summon limit)
unload the rest of your spell book to destroy whatever is there, once the image of your wizard gets destroyed or expires cast Project Image again and repeat. Have several mages in the party so you can do this process will all of them. Your army of planetars alone will make the fight much easier.

use sequencers and the like.
Minor sequencer Magic Missile x 2 destroys a Mordenkainen's Sword.
Death Spell removes almost all summons incl. Mordenkainen's Sword.
Sequencer with Remove Magic x 2 + Malison as debuff.
trigger with breach, lower resitance, lower resitance
Contingency with Protection from Magical weapons health < 50%
Chain Contingency Enemy Sighted Horrid Wilting x 3
buff up the party maximally then use Wish to wish for rest and restore all spells, you can even adjust the spell book before you wish for rest

As for the slayer you should re-equip your stuff first. This form isn't that hard and Protection from Magical Weapons should stop his damage. After all you should still have a full spellbook with only a few Project Images being used. You can also use slayer form yourself.
 

Brancaleone

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Party:

F/M elf (bad choice, gnome would have better)
Keldorn
Jaheira
Viconia (transformed to a dual class fighter/cleric, to avoid getting Anomen; if you can stand him he's the better choice)
Jan
Edwin
Thumbs up for Jan, I remember I always thought the annoying little shit was a really crappy choice until I first installed SCS and Ascension and learnt the importance of Detect Illusion (and of the Jansen Spectroscopes).

(Jesus, it's been some 15 years already...)
 
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Bester

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summon planetar x 5 (images dont have a summon limit)
Looks like an abuse, like pressing CTRL+Y on a creature. Why would you do that? It's clearly a bug.
 
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Anthedon They must have changed Ascension when the EE came out. I don't remember their abilities being that crazy. They're up there in Ascension, but that looks more like Tactics mod, particularly with all the regeneration, immunities, and both Bhodi and Yaga-Shura's abilities. Amelyssan too. She's normally hit-able by +4 and greater. In that video it says +5. When I played this mod, I would even select the "tougher" variants of The Five & Demogorgon, but I don't remember them being this over-the-top.
 

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