Expeditions: Viking Guide - Best Character Builds to Survive and Thrive

The best Expeditions: Viking character builds, including melee builds, ranged builds and support builds. Also the best abilities for each class, plus a few combat tricks.

As a CRPG (classic role-playing game), Expeditions: Viking involves creating a main character to lead your party of Vikings in adventures and combat, spanning land and sea. Like in most CRPGs, creating your main character is all about picking stats and abilities at the beginning of the game that will stay with you for the duration.

Perhaps more than your standard CRPG, Viking makes it easy to build a character that, to put it plainly, will make it very difficult to play through the campaign. There are a few premade builds to choose from that are mostly viable, but if you're trying to go custom with your character at all, Viking doesn't do much in the way of explaining what stats and skills are the most powerful or which are even vital to surviving battles.

In order to maximize your fun in this game, and avoid a lot of reloading and extra hours slogging through with underpowered characters, here are some viable builds that will have you smashing Viking skulls and living to fight another day.

A Note on Perception and Sense

Before we get into the builds, there's an important issue to be aware of for character creation.

Unlike in other CRPGs, you can't switch to other party members when out of combat in Expeditions: Viking. This becomes important to know when picking whether or not to put points into the Perception and/or Sense categories, because the game will always use your Perception/Sense stat when it needs to check those stats, and it will never use the stats of your other party members.

Why does that matter to you? Well, like you might see in other RPGs, certain stats allow you to make better choices in conversation or when some events occur. In Viking, the stats that allow you to successfully make those choices are Perception and Sense. Typically in an RPG, there would be a way to get around a situation or conversation without those stats (such as the brute force method), but in Viking, it is tremendously more difficult to play the game without at least some points in either Perception or Sense.

Not having some points in them can at best make it much more difficult to complete certain segments of the game, and at worse, it can outright break the game. It's recommended to pick at least one of the two for every character you create and put a minimum of 5 points into it.

Melee Builds

Rock Thrower Heavy

This is a damage dealer that maxes out Strength and Endurance in order to be able to rush into combat and pull off combos. These combos involve using a trick with the Throwing and Backstabber abilities on a character with low Perception.

With one point in Throwing, you get the Throw Stone ability, which is free to use every turn. Since your character has low Perception, they'll miss most of their throws (that's what you want), which automatically makes your target Harried. Backstabber gives you an automatic +50% damage on Harried enemies, so you can use this to hit very hard. Throw Stone also works great with Charge and your Dane Axe's Reckless Strike, and you can use these different combos to hit for over 100 early in the game.

  • Strength: 10
  • Endurance: 10
  • Finesse: 1
  • Perception: 1
  • Sense: 7

Weapon skills: 3 Dane Axe

Offensive skills: 1 Charge, 1 Throwing [+ Interrupt]

Support skills: [+ Tactical Move]

Utility skills: None

Passive skills: Backstabber, Lone Wolf

Balanced Hitter/Leader

What you get out of this build is a well-rounded hybrid melee/ranged fighter that will do all the right things to help your team as a whole, whether it's dancing through conversation choices, buffing the team in fights or filling in as an archer or a sword-and-shield fighter as needed.

Upgrade the weapons skills as soon as possible in order to give this character more "oomph" in battle, and then focus on Galder, Leadership and Diplomacy upgrades. If you want to make this build a little stronger on combat and a little less of a buffer, you can skip either Galder or Leadership and put one more point in Shield.

  • Strength: 8
  • Endurance: 8
  • Finesse: 1
  • Perception: 5
  • Sense: 7

Weapon skills: 1 Bow, 1 Shield, 2 Sword

Offensive skills: [Interrupt]

Support skills: 1 Galder, 1 Leadership [+ Tactical Move]

Utility skills: 1 Diplomacy

Passive skills: None

Danish Monk

A staple of CRPGs, the unarmed monk is always a unique class, ditching weapons for skills that specifically boost unarmed combat and buffs that focus on damage boosting and resistance. In the case of Viking, you're going to be grabbing three crucial Passive skills that make your punches harder and give you two new ways to harry enemies that get close to you.

You'll have two points left over here; you can either save these or put them into one of the cheap Utility skills to give the Monk a boost in helpfulness outside of combat. When upgrading from this base character, spread your points between the last two levels of Unarmed (this is your bread-and-butter, so get it as high as you can as fast as you can), Galder buffs and Passive skills that give combat bonuses, like Strider or Evade. You could also try Leadership with or instead of Galder for this character.

  • Strength: 10
  • Endurance: 8
  • Finesse: 3
  • Perception: 1
  • Sense: 7

Weapon skills: 3 Unarmed

Offensive skills: Rebuke [+ Interrupt]

Support skills: 1 Galder [+ Tactical Move]

Utility skills: None

Passive skills: Opportunist, Powerful Kick, Stone Fist

Viking Assassin

Doing a combat-heavy but Endurance-light class is always a risk, but there may be nothing sweeter than sneaking up to an enemy and driving a dagger between their shoulder blades for a beautiful critical hit.  In this build, take advantage of the stacking damage and critical chances that come with dual-wielding knives, then add in combat bonuses with the Passive skills to boost the chances for a mean hit.

This is another great place to use the Throw/Backstabber combo, as this version of a rogue-style character eschews all ranged weapons in order to hit harder with melee. That, plus Backstabber already being a great fit for the class, means you should definitely take that first point in Throw to get Throw Stone, and then miss with it liberally to hit even harder every turn.

  • Strength: 9
  • Endurance: 3
  • Finesse: 10
  • Perception: 1
  • Sense: 6

Weapon skills: 2 Knives

Offensive skills: 2 Dual Wield, 1 Throwing [+ Interrupt]

Support skills: [Tactical Move]

Utility skills: None

Passive skills: Backstabber, Fortune Favored, Sneak Attack

Ranged Build

Viking Sniper

Possibly the best class for Viking is the Sniper. This is a game in which you will often not be close enough to hit who you want to, and in which enemies will often take a turn or two to get close to you as well. While tanky characters are definitely a must, you will probably get more kills with your archers than with any other class, especially when picking off enemies that are close to death.

There are quite a few Passive skills that work for ranged attackers, so grab these strongest ones first. Point Blank is absolutely great for causing enemies to regret charging your archer corps, and with Backstabber and the fact that shooting arrows at enemies tends to cause them to become Harried, you'll have essentially the same combo as Throw/Backstabber for a few points cheaper. Upgrade the Bow skill above all others, then stack on some bonus damage with Passive and even Support skills.

  • Strength: 1
  • Endurance: 3
  • Finesse: 10
  • Perception: 10
  • Sense: 5

Weapon skills: 2 Bow

Offensive skills: [Interrupt]

Support skills: [Tactical Move]

Utility skills: None

Passive skills: Backstabber, Keen Eye, Point Blank, Walk Your Shots

Support Builds

Combat Witch/Conversationalist

Take advantage of this build's focus in Perception and Sense to create a character with a ton of helpful spells, accurate if not brutal ranged attacks and pretty much every conversation option in the game available to you.

You don't want this character getting anywhere near the enemy physically, but with their impressive spells and buffing abilities, they'll make their presence known in every fight in a big way. Make this character even better by upgrading Sling abilities alongside Witchcraft, which should be maxed out fairly early. An alternative to this build would be to leave the points off of Galder and save them for a very early-game upgrade to tier 4 of Witchcraft.

  • Strength: 3
  • Endurance: 1
  • Finesse: 5
  • Perception: 10
  • Sense: 10

Weapon skills: 1 Sling

Offensive skills: [Interrupt]

Support skills: 1 Galder, 3 Witchcraft [+ Tactical Move]

Utility skills: 1 Diplomacy, 1 Repair (or other

Passive skills: Low Profile

Healer Witch

This character isn't going to be dealing out a lot of deathblows, but they will absolutely be the backbone of your party. Designed around the Healing and Witchcraft abilities, this character is made to have decent enough Endurance to stay alive and enough Finesse to hit at times (meaning when you upgrade the Sling later, they might actually get some good hits in), but primarily this character is there to keep everyone else alive and buffed with dangerous Witchcraft spells.

As an added bonus, this character will breeze through conversations, and you can boost that leadership aspect by giving them Diplomacy later. Buy Heavy Sleeper plus Preserving, Hunting or Crafting (choose one), and you'll get a character that's immensely useful when camping.

  • Strength: 1
  • Endurance: 4
  • Finesse: 4
  • Perception: 10
  • Sense: 10

Weapon skills: 1 Sling

Offensive skills: [Interrupt]

Support skills: 2 Healing, 2 Witchcraft [+ Tactical Move]

Utility skills: None (Variant: Take the points from Sling and Good Patient and get Heavy Sleeper)

Passive skills: Good Patient (optional, makes up for lower Endurance), Low Profile

Abilities to Avoid at First

As in all games, not all stats in Viking are created equal. Avoid these stats at first, and if you want them later, consider putting them on your other support characters and not your main.

  • Cooking (Easy to level on other characters by the time you need it)
  • Feint
  • Spot Traps
  • Guarding
  • Night Owl
  • Sexist

Try One of These Out, But Feel Free to Tweak!

With the builds above, you should be able to jump into a game of Expeditions: Viking quickly and with the confidence that your team will survive the (fairly difficult) early game. That said, a lot of the fun of a CRPG is to create your own custom experience, so while it's not suggested in this particular title to stray too far from the class stats above if you're looking for the particular archetypes listed, a few points here and there can be moved to optimize the character the way you like. You also have a bit more leeway with abilities, especially when it comes to which Utility skills you choose.

Whatever character you pick, good luck in your adventures as a mighty Viking, and may Odinn smile on you and your party!



Published May. 5th 2017

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