This guide covers the Defensive traits in “Remnant: From the Ashes” which benefit the player with damage reduction, better armor, increased healing and stealth. Traits are passive bonuses your character has that can be leveled up, increasing the strength of the effect up to their max level of 20. These bonuses can grant a variety of buffing effects that make your character more powerful and increase their abilities.
Defensive traits are passives that help you survive longer by working in one of three ways. The first of which is directly buffing your damage reduction like Guardian’s Blessing and Mother’s Blessing. The second is buffing damage resistance by increasing your total armor or elemental resistances like Bark Skin or Keeper’s Blessing. Finally there are the more unique traits that have secondary effects life extending effects outside of actually reducing damage when you are hit, by increasing your healing powers with Triage, life-steal with Siphoner or keeping less enemies aggressing you with Shadow Walker.
Last Updated for Patch: Subject 2923 DLC (August 20th, 2020)
Defensive Traits By Importance
Note: Traits are listed in terms of my own analysis of their overall importance and impact, starting with the best Trait to max out first (Keeper’s Blessing) and ending with the least important or impactful (Shadow Walker). If you disagree with me or have a reason why this order should be changed, I would love to hear your opinions in the comments section below!
Keeper’s blessing takes the top spot priority wise thanks to the elemental resistance bonuses granted by it’s effect. This is a particularly strong effect once maxed out, and considering that armor, your only other main source of permanent resistance, can often be lacking in one or more damage types. In addition, armors do not seem to upgrade their elemental resistance, in the same way that their armor values increase with further upgrades, thus Keeper’s blessing is important to give you a decent base level defense against elemental damage, something that tends to hit very hard early on. The added bonus of working to reduce status buildup, which is part of the resistance’s innate effects, is an additional welcome contribution to your survival.
Bark Skin gives a flat bonus to your armor values, which makes it another very important skill, though second to the elemental resistances granted by Keeper’s Blessing. The 15% bonus at level 20 can make light armors feel more like mediums, and mediums more like heavies, while heavy armor itself becomes incredibly powerful in terms of shrugging off otherwise devastating hits.
Guardian’s blessing and it’s companion, Mother’s blessing, are great defensive traits to have once you have maxed out the Armor and Elemental resistance bonuses from the traits above. Both of these flat damage reduction traits are near equal in their usefulness, however having the damage reduction to melee seems to be slightly better to have first, especially when it comes to a number of boss fights with their hard to avoid melee attacks.
Right after Guardian’s, Mother’s Blessing is the next best thing to keep you alive, and the last of the significant damage reducing traits. You will actually unlock Mother’s blessing before Guardian’s in the natural story line progression of the game, but points should be prioritized in the melee reduction of Guardian first, unless you feel like ranged damage is what’s giving you the most grief. Personally, I always found ranged damage either easier to shrug off (in most cases) or dodge entirely.
Triage is a powerful bonus to healing effectiveness, basically doubling the amount of healing received from all sources. This means mods like Mender’s Aura, equipment that grants life regen, like the Blood Font ring, or effects from Blood Wort potions, Dragon Hearts and any ally casted effects that also heal you. With the prior defensive traits maxed out, your effective hitpoint pool will be pretty significant, thus the fact that your base healing is also doubled, means that you can really start to create builds that are near juggernaughts when it comes to tanking enemy damage.
Vaccine is a big quality of life trait, and only loses spots on the priority list because all the other traits before it are just also so damn good in their own rights. Vaccine does less to directly keep you alive, since their is no actual reduction to damage taken, however when hit with elemental attacks, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding the status effect, like the dreaded Root Rot (Coughing effect) that can often inadvertently lead to your demise, or just annoy the hell out of you.
Keep in mind, base elemental resistance, like that granted from Keeper’s Blessing, also reduces status buildup. As far as I can tell, each point of resistance translates to both a 1% reduction in status buildup received and elemental damage taken, thus Vaccine will add to the 10% status reduction from a maxed out Keeper’s Blessing.
Siphoner is the only situational trait in this category, since all the other traits offer benefits that are always of benefit, and Siphoner only helps if you have some life steal granting equipment already equipped. If you are using life steal as a primary aspect of your build, you may want to move this up a few spots, but it would still seem that the other defensive traits are more imperative, since taking less damage in the first place, means needing to steal less life back to stay alive.
Shadow Walker is definitely the least useful of the defensive traits by far, to the point where it kinda should be in more of a “utility” category. I haven’t seen many people opting to focus on stealth play or stealth builds in Remnant, and doing so seems like it would make it much harder to grind xp and items faster as you progress. Eventually, you’ll still have to shoot, or melee the enemies in the face, so them hearing you from shorter distances is probably more of a nice quality of life feature for those who want to be able to run past more enemies without drawing aggro.