Over the course of the game, assuming you’re taking the time to scan every console when you can (make sure to scan them first for Blackstone then break them to roll back the Awakening), making good decisions on events and glyphs, and completing missions, you should earn between 25000 and 28000 Blackstone. This total is split between all of your TechPriests, but the amount that leveling up costs increases with each rank.
If you take only one TechPriest into missions and don’t bother ranking up any of the others, that single TechPriest can have the rank of almost 40 by the final boss. Given that full augment slots (4 armor, 9 weapons, 6 mechadendrite, 6 backpacks) are only 25, you’re losing out a lot buying that many ranks on a single TechPriest, because every even-numbered rank in a given path gives a redundant armor part (since you’ll only be using the 4 best ones for your build), and the augment slots given over 25 don’t matter. This is a highly suboptimal build but can be fun making a Secutor that relies almost entirely on troops for damage while having tons of support abilities.
If you rank up to two TechPriests, you’ll reach about rank 26 on each of them by end-game, which is almost enough to complete three skill paths and definitely allows full augment slots. Still, because the game is driven by an action economy, fewer TechPriests are less powerful, which is technically a minor challenge.
Ranking up three TechPriests yields an average rank of just over 20, which is enough to max two full paths and still have a couple of ranks to play with.
Ranking up four Techpriests yields an average rank of about 18, not quite enough to complete a second complete path, but solid for making a set of specialists that each max one path and have a scattering of abilities from other paths.
Ranking up five TechPriests yields an average rank of roughly 16-17, which is only slightly less powerful individually than four TechPriests while having 25% more actions due to having a fifth character. Unless you dig deep into Khepra’s missions, this is usually the max you’ll get and is honestly overkill by the time you get the fifth one unless you’re deliberately limiting yourself for the challenge.
Ranking up a full cohort of six TechPriests is worth a steam achievement and gives an average rank of around 14-15. You’re well into overkill by the time you get your sixth TechPriest, and you’ll probably struggle with making the last two TechPriests unique rather than just effective copies of another TechPriest you already have.
The most powerful combination to start from as a character build is as follows:
- Buy 2 ranks in Lexmechanic, selecting the Arms part.
- Buy 2 ranks in Dominus, selecting the Legs part.
- Buy 2 ranks in Tech-Auxilium, selecting the Torso part.
- Buy 2 ranks in Explorator, selecting the Head part.
- Evaluate how you want to build from there
The first levels in Lexmechanic give a much-needed boost to CP and reduce damage taken by 20% due to one in five enemy attacks missing outright, both of which are great for early survival and use of whatever good weapon you can get first. After that, the Dominus ensures that you can control the distance to an engagement by increasing your range by 4m as well as giving you the best leg augment available, letting you dart in, shoot a target, then back up out of range, or use that movement to cover the distance to scan a console then get back out, or to get in position to set up a crossfire. After that, you should start seeing more difficult enemies as the most difficult missions are generally Missions 4-6 because the number of enemies increases. At the same time, you still don’t have much in the way of good weapons. If you have at least one high-damage weapon that costs a lot of CP, the first rank of Tech-Auxilium makes that weapon much more economical to use, while the torso part gives a huge boost to survivability. You’ll want to focus on laying down as much damage as you can while avoiding return fire at this point because even if you build into EnginSeer, you won’t have much healing, and your ability to self-heal will be mostly limited to Curatio Claws and Curatio Mechadendrites. After that, a level in Explorator for even more movement speed and immunity to opportunity attacks rounds out the build while still leaving enough available ranks to complete one entire skill path even if you plan on ranking up a full cohort of six TechPriests – the head augment for Explorator isn’t even necessary, it’s just an easy spot to grab the last armor part and isn’t a bad option unless you already have plans to build into a different path that has a better head.