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What are Lichs supposed to do/build?

So I started off using mainly harvest, skeletons and bone curse. This worked okay until Chapter 5 or so when my skeletons started to get destroyed constantly and my golem would also fall over but they tend to be okay except against bosses. Then I hit one boss who just destroyed me, a particular patriarch and matriarch.

One problem is that I just don’t do much damage and can’t stand to be in melee. One issue is that Harvest doesn’t seem to do damage even if someone is cursed. Trash mobs are fine, but bigger targets are a real problem. The issue I’m seeing is that I’ve been going around with a 2h weapon and boosting phsyical damage, but Harvest doesn’t have any physical scaling, it only has necrotic scaling, even though there’s a deep passive tree that makes the damage necrotic. It also has dexterity scaling, even though there’s no dexterity passives in either Acolyte or Lich tree, so you have to put it on items.

Another problem is that Reaper form seems to be the only button to avoid death (besides transplant) but it doesn’t actually get you out of the situation as it starts you at whatever health you had when you pressed the button, so you can use it, run out immediately and then get smacked all over again. It also doesn’t seem to improve damage at all. Reap seems to have the same issue as Harvest, it doesn’t scale with physical and only necrotic.

Curses also seem to have the same issue Bone curse doesn’t do damage. I’m not sure if it’s better suited to Necromancer’s who’d have the minions proccing the damage or if there’s something else I should be doing?

Be interested in any pointers as to how you’re meant to build a Lich. Also wonder if my playstyle (curse and hit things) would be better suited to the Warlock when it comes out?

Harvest is very strong. Many players run through empowered monoliths with Harvest.
The Wengari couple is among the most difficult bosses of the campaign, in my opinion. It’s relatively usual to be in trouble with them.

As a Lich, you can run the campaign with Wandering Spirits, Spirit Plague and Transplant. These three skills, along with Rip Blood (specialized, but you don’t use it, it’s proc’ed by Transplant) and Bone Curse can bring you through the whole campaign and to early endgame.

Then, you may want to explore Death Seal. It’s a good utility skill that can maintain you at low life and boost your damage, but it’s also a very good DPS skill.

With Lich, you can have lots of leech, which gives you a good sustain. In fact, Lich can be a very tanky class.

For your minions, you may want to add Minion affixes to your gear, mostly Minions flat Health Regen and Minions Health. But as a Lich, I’d recommend dropping the minions, or keeping only a Golem that will aggro the mobs.

Okay, what’s the deal with Spirit Plague? Never used it much and am I supposed to build physical, necrotic, dot?

Spell or DoT. DoT is the best option, I’d say. It doesn’t stack, but its effects stack, so you can apply it multiple times, it deals more and more damage.

As Shtrak already pointed out, that particular boss fight is pretty tough.

Harvest does not have the greatest singletarget damage yes, but it has baseline AoE as a Melee skill, that is pretty strong.

Harvest can further boost the AoE or has insane crit support.

One particular part here i don’t understand:
What do you mean Harvest does not have physical damage scaling?
Harvest is a melee skill and get’s all the base damage from your weapon.
So any % increased melee or physical damage would work for your base weapon damage.

Lich also has Physical Penetration Passive.

The Int scaling on harvest is definitely stronger than the dex scaling, but most of the dex would come from gear anyway.

Reaper Form is really weak early on, since you can’t keep it active lon enough, but even early on you effectively double your HP pool, which can avoid alot of 1-shots.

Reap does little to no damage, even if you try to scale it, but it is still a movement skill with very low cooldown, so it’s kinda ok to not deal damage.

From what i gatherd you are playing with a 2H melee weapon?
Do you use a Staff or a regualr melee weapon?

Because Bone Curse is a Spell and does scale with adaptive spell damage, which you don’t have, if you don’t use a base weapon that has it.
The only other source of flat base spell damage would be from Lich Passive Tree.
But that’s not enough on it’s own.

If you want to deal alot of damage with bonecurse you defintiely want to either go staff or scepter with as much atack speed as possible or play a summoner.

But even if you don’t use Bone Curse as a damage skill, it has incredible defensive and utility options (12% kill threshold, bone armour on enemy death etc.)

Lich is probably one of the most versatile classes, you can literally do everything with it, Summoner, Hit/Crit, DoT, Ailments.

Warlock will most definitely bring even more diverse curses, but for the time being both Spirit Plague and Bone Curse are both incredible versatile and strong.

The Patriarch / Matriarch fight is more about your own resistances than any other factor.
When I first started playing I struggled with them but once I paid attention to stacking cold and physical resistance for that fight as close to 75% as I could it becomes a much, much easier fight,

Or just not standing in the telegraphed damage.

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The skill doesn’t list Physical as a scaling component on it’s tool tip. So I read that as physical scaling doesn’t apply. I can see that Melee bonuses would still apply, but physical shouldn’t up the damage of the skill.

I realised after I posted this thread that I had taken the passive on Harvest to be Necrotic. Rather than go back, I actually made everything necrotic and now Spirit plague can just wipeout waves somehow.

I still find aspects of the Accolyte / Lich confusing but I have a better understanding of what was intended. It’s just odd because the Accolyte tree is focused on Tank Stats (Str and Int, health and ward) but it’s a caster and it has this single melee attack and then you get to the Lich Tree and Reaper seems terrible and I think you’re meant to go tank but that’s not what I expected at all

Any kind of flat added damage (like +X melee physical damage or even +X spell physical damage for spells) will scale with their damage type, if not being converted.

There are some skills that convert added damage, but harvest does not, unless you take “Elements Of Death”

And since every melee weapon has base physical damage, basically all melee skills will have some physical damage scaling.

Acolyte and especially Lich are very versatile, they only “theme” is “Health focused sacrificial”.

Also neither acolyte, lich nor nerco have Strength in the passive tree.

I wouldn’t call Lich a “tank mastery”, it does have pretty many health modifiers, because health and sacrificing health is it’s theme.

Also just being a “caster” doesn’t mean you have to be glass cannon.

Some people say so because Lich has tons of health and leech. Trouble is that you only leech when you’re alive, so Lich has a huge capacity to regenerate, but she’s not really a tank.

best lich builds so far id say is poison lich and crit hungering souls lich