Poison is a special Rogue ability that must be selected in the attack box of the enemy target. Poison is resolved like a duel. In general, your chance to succeed at poisoning a target is about the same as to win a standard duel against that target. If you succeed at applying poison, you also deal damage as though you won a duel, however, you do not get the benefit of a rogue’s bonus damage. You earn battle activity points as you would when dueling, earning 160/200/240 when you succeed and 100 points when you fail.
Since it is treated as a duel, you can Poison an opponent as long as they have 1 or more battle health.
A poisoned player takes an additional 35 damage plus 10% of the opponent's damage rune for each of the next 5 attacks (whether the target attacks or is attacked). For each battle, the 10% is based on the damage rune of the opponent for that battle, not the rogue who cast poison. For example, if a player with a Damage rune at 100 attacks a poisoned foe, Poison will do 35 + 10 = 45 damage, regardless of the damage rune of the rogue who did the poisoning.
Using the general Aethyx (see below) to poison an opponent will increase both the damage done by poison each round and the number of rounds poison applies.
Poison damage occurs even when the target is stunned, although taking extra damage when already at 0 does not matter.
Poison effects interact with other abilities as follows:
When attempting to poison a Rogue, if the attack is successful, the poisoning occurs, even if Evade triggers on the Rogue being attacked.
When attacking a Rogue who is already poisoned, the poison damage always occurs, even if Evade triggers on the Rogue being attacked.
If your target is Polymorphed, you automatically succeed when applying poison, and the polymorph is removed.
If the Rogue trying to use poison is currently polymorphed, the polymorph triggers, causing the poisoning attempt to fail.
If the Rogue trying to use poison is currently Confused, the Confuse may trigger. If it triggers, it causes normal Confuse actions and the poisoning attempt fails.
A Mage's innate ability to cause gate splash damage does not cause the additional poison damage to occur, nor does it knock one off the poison “counter”.
A Cleric’s innate ability to heal everyone in the same gate upon a victory is applied after poison damage is applied.
A Warrior's Whirlwind cleave does not use up Poison. If the adjacent enemies are poisoned, it will not be used up by whirlwind and they will still receive the extra whirlwind damage, but not any poison damage.
A poisoned target does not suffer poison damage when using a special ability such as Heal or Polymorph, but the use of such a special ability doesn’t knock one off the poison “counter”, either.
A poisoned target can have other buffs and debuffs cast on them, which do not cause the poison damage to occur. However, the use of such a special ability doesn’t knock one off the poison “counter”, either.
Poison does not stack. If an already poisoned target is poisoned again, the new application of poison supersedes the old one. On that application, the poison damage from the previous application of poison applies as in a normal attack.
When Resurrection/Revive occurs on a poisoned character, the poison remains in effect for its remaining rounds.
A Rogue under 200 health (i.e., Defeated or Stunned) cannot perform Poison on an enemy.
Hero powers that apply when dueling also apply when using the poison ability. For example,
Gabrielle will deal an extra +30 damage if you have Deianira as a hero as well.
Deianira on her own will deal up to +20 damage if she is your active hero when applying poison.
Deshara's power is not used when applying the poison, since the rogue’s bonus damage is not applied when applying poison.
Poison automatically goes away after the specified number of rounds of attacks.
Poison can be removed prior to that if a Cleric casts Dispel or Cleanse on the poisoned person.
Aethyx increases the base damage done by poison and the duration that it is active. Using Aethyx to cast poison can significantly increase the damage done by poison. For example:
At level 4, Aethyx increases base poison damage to 45 per round and the duration to 7 rounds. The potential cumulative damage increase of an Aethyx-boosted poison over a regular poison is +140 (+10 for 5 rounds + 2 extra rounds at 45).
At level 5, Aethyx increases base poison damage to 46 per round and the duration to 8 rounds. The potential cumulative damage increase of an Aethyx-boosted poison over a regular poison is +193 (+11 for 5 rounds + 3 extra rounds at 46).
At level 20, Aethyx increases base poison damage to 68 per round and the duration to 9 rounds. The potential cumulative damage increase of an Aethyx-boosted poison over a regular poison is +437 (+33 for 5 rounds + 4 extra rounds at 68).
At level 35, Aethyx increases base poison damage to 89 per round and the duration to 10 rounds. The potential cumulative damage increase of an Aethyx-boosted poison over a regular poison is +715 (+54 for 5 rounds + 5 extra rounds at 89).
Poison is a very useful ability for increasing a rogue’s damage output, especially against other rogues that may evade damage from a duel. Although you are giving up as much as +140 damage when applying poison (assuming +100 rogue bonus damage and +40 damage from Deshara), poison will deal up to 175 damage and possibly more (based on General when cast and damage rune when attacking).
Example: If a level 5 Aethyx applied the poison, and the attacker has +100 damage rune, then the total extra damage over 8 rounds would amount to an extra 448 points of damage.
After Poison is applied to the enemy target, the additional Poison damage will be dealt once a direct attack is initiated upon that enemy, or when that enemy attacks.
Just as every rogue should seriously consider adding Deshara to their inventory of generals, any rogue with poison should seriously consider adding Aethyx to their inventory. If you use Aethyx (level 4) when applying poison, poison will deal up to 315 damage. Considering that normal attack damage is dealt when applying poison, that adds up to a phenomenal amount of damage for the use of a single token making it a better swap than a straightforward attack.
Using poison against a target already low in health is generally not advisable, since much of the poison damage will end up being wasted once the target is stunned or nearly stunned. However, it can be a good strategy when used against an active target in a tower with clerics doing gate heals, as it then serves to reduce the target's health faster when they subsequently attack or are attacked.
You are also losing the base damage of a win when applying Poison. Therefore poison is most effective when the number of winnable targets have decreased and/or to save the attacker's remaining health.