The First Descendant Viessa build – skills and best loadout

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✓ At a glance
  • Viessa is a support character that focuses on ice attacks
  • Use abilities like Cold Snap and Ice Shards one after the other to trigger her Ice Shackle and Ice Sphere passives for more damage.
  • Focus on Frozen Reactors and modules that enhance her Chill skills.
  • Use close-range weapons like shotguns and submachine guns to maximise her potential.

Viessa is one of three characters that greet you at the start of The First Descendant. Each of them supports distinct playstyles and once you pick one, you’ll have to stick with it through the early game. While you can unlock new Descendants with unique elemental powers later on, Viessa’s ice powers and solid damage make her a reliable support character. We’ve spent a good amount of time testing her skills against all sorts of threats and objectives. Read on to learn more about Viessa’s skills, how they factor into combat, and how you can design a solid build.

A player checks Viessa's material costs in The First Descendant.
Unlocking Viessa requires a ton of materials. Image captured by VideoGamer.

How to unlock Viessa

If you select Viessa during the tutorial, she is unlocked permanently at no additional cost. But if you didn’t, you’ll need to collect resources and unlock her at Magister Anais. This lengthy grind will involve Void Intercept Battle and Fusion Reactor events. She sits at a decent spot on our character tier list so she’s worth the effort. Here’s what you need to unlock Viessa:

  • Viessa Enhanced Cells
  • Viessa Stabilizer
  • Viessa Spiral Catalyst
  • Viessa Code

Here’s how you can obtain these resources:

ItemSourceCrafting costResearch Time
Viessa Enhanced CellsIntercept Battle: Grave Walker
Intercept Battle (Hard): Dead Bride
Intercept Battle (Hard): Swamp Walker
White-Night Gulch: Void Void Fusion Reactor
200K Gold
422 Repton
290 Semi-Permanent Plasma
40 Fusion Plasma Battery
1 Viessa Enhanced Cells Blueprint
8 Hours
Viessa StabilizerIntercept Battle: Death Bride
Intercept Battle (Hard): Frost Walker
Vespers: Void Fusion Reactor
White-Night Gulch: Abyssal Void Fusion Reactor
200K Gold
239 Compound Coating Material
499 Monomolecular Extractor
14 Common Carbon Activator
1 Viessa Stabilizer Blueprint
8 Hours
Viessa Spiral CatalystIntercept Battle: Swamp Walker
Intercept Battle (Hard): Pyromaniac
Intercept Battle (Hard): Frost Walker
Sterile Land: Void Fusion Reactor
200K Gold
571 Superfluid
386 Hardener
99 Synthesized Artificial Biometal
1 Viessa Spiral Catalyst Blueprint
8 Hours
Viessa CodeIntercept Battle: Executioner (Amorphous Material Pattern 018)
Intercept Battle: Devourer (Amorphous Material Pattern 030)
Intercept Battle: Hard Swamp Walker (Amorphous Material Pattern 095)
Echo Swamp Hard: Abyssal Void Fusion Reactor (Echo Swamp Derelict Covert)
400K Gold
1 Viessa Enhanced Cells
1 Viessa Stabilizer
1 Viessa Spiral Catalyst
1 Viessa Code
16 Hours
Viessa's skills in The First Descendant.
Here’s how Viessa’s stats are arranged. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Viessa skills and abilities breakdown

Viessa might focus on support skills but don’t underestimate her. Here’s what you need to know about Viessa’s ice skills:

  • Ice Sphere: A passive move that creates a floating spherical drone when you use a skill on an enemy affected by Ice Shackle. It flies towards the nearest enemy and explodes to deal a moderate amount of ice damage. Use the right modules to improve its damage.
  • Frost Shards: Fire shards of ice that detonate on impact for burst damage to nearby enemies. This inflicts Ice Shackle on enemies. Modules can enhance shard blast radius and damage.
  • Frost Road: As Viessa moves, she generates sheets of ice that boost her movement speed and debuff enemies with Ice Shackle. Rely on modules to increase buff duration and ice sheet size.
  • Cold Snap: A wave of ice that damages enemies in a line. Ice Shackle is inflicted on foes hit by this ability. Boost wave size and damage with modules in The First Descendant.
  • Blizzard: Toss a sphere that generates a blizzard that deals continuous ice damage to enemies. They are also hit with Ice Shackle. Once the blizzard ends, it explodes and deals more damage to nearby enemies. Modules will let you increase the duration, size, and damage of this ultimate move.

By latching enemies her Ice Shackles and detonating Ice Spheres on them, she’ll be able to clear mobs fairly easily. You can pair this with Lepic’s Traction Grenade for maximum impact. And her moves can take on bosses as well. Even their invulnerability-granting orbs can be wiped out with her Blizzard move. But remember that Viessa is pretty fragile, with poor shield recovery and HP. So try not to run into every enemy with Frost Road. We’ve summed up her strengths and weaknesses here:

  • Strong crowd control ability thanks to Ice Shackle and Cold attacks
  • Abilities flow into each other thanks to Ice Sphere passive
  • Decent single-target damage for a starter
  • Poor durability makes her a bad pick for boss fights
  • Needs teamwork to pull off Ice Shackle debuffs
  • More complex than other starters

And here’s a neat table that summarizes all the key values of Viessa’s abilities:

AbilitiesMP CostCooldown (seconds)ConditionDamage
Frost Sphere0201.5-meter radius260% of Power as Cold
Frost Shards2273.5-meter radius770% Power as Cold
Frost Road2425 (duration of 17)+30% movement speed
1.6 m x 2 m ice sheet size
Cold Snap302010 m x 3 m area1104% of Power as Cold
Blizzard3860 (duration of 6)Blizzard radius: 4 m
Detonation radius: 6 m
1347% of Power as Cold, goes to 1746% on Detonation
A player lobs an Ice skill at an enemy in The First Descendant.
Lash out with Ice attacks as Viessa. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Tips to use Viessa’s skill combos in combat

Here are some tricks to making the most of Viessa as a support character who deals decent damage:

  • Use abilities one after the other in quick succession to activate Viessa’s Ice Shackle and Ice Sphere passives. This will let you dish out some serious damage to mobs and bosses.
  • While the slow debuff might not mean much at first, it scales well into harder opponents and bosses. And with teammates, it will let you make enemies easy pickings for more offensive abilities.
  • Use Frost Road to give enemies the Ice Shackle debuff right away as you start a fight. You can then chain this with Ice Shards or Cold Snap to lob Ice Spheres at them.
  • Opt for the right modules to enhance Viessa’s abilities in combat. While extending range might not sound like a big deal, it will let you trap more enemies for allies to wipe out.
  • Ice Shackle lowers enemy action speed, movement, and fire rate. You can have up to four stacks of them on an enemy, even a boss. So use this to your advantage while detonating Ice Spheres on your foes.

Viessa build loadout and recommended gear

As a support character that relies on getting close to deal more damage, here’s our ideal loadout for Viessa:

  • Modules: Storm Fist, Skill Extension, Skill Expansion, Chill Specialist, Energy Collection
  • Reactor: Frozen Mixture or Frozen Mechanics
  • External components: Boost Max Shield, Max HP, and DEF
  • Weapons: Thunder Cage, Nazeistra’s Devotion, The Last Knight

Best modules

The Storm Fist sub module is an orange mod which, when levelled up by Silion in Albion, boosts your max module capacity. So spend your Kuiper Shards there to optimise your module strategy in The First Descendant. Here are the modules we recommend for a levelling build of Viessa:

  • Skill Extension: Improves your Skill Durations in combat.
  • Skill Expansion: Considerably increases your Skill Effect Range.
  • Chill Specialist: Boosts the power of all your Chill Skills.
  • Energy Collection: You leech some MP from enemies.

Best reactor and external components

When it comes to reactors, here are the two items we recommend in-game for Viessa’s ice powers:

  • Frozen Mixture: Grants a boost to Chill and Fusion types
  • Frozen Mechanics: Grants a boost to Chill and Tech types

Remember to use the appropriate weapon mentioned in the reactor description to boost your Skill damage. As for the external components, here’s what you should focus on as Viessa:

  • Max Shield: This bar will be restored after you take cover for some time.
  • Max HP: You need health pickups to restore this so having more HP is better.
  • DEF: Take less damage with these enhancements.

Best weapons

We recommend close-range to mid-range weapons for Viessa. Since you’ll have to get close to enemies to debuff them with Frost Road, you can lean into this with SMGs, handguns, and shotguns. Assault rifles are a great pick too. Try having guns with multiple ammo types to ensure you don’t run out of ammo mid-fight. Here are some weapons we recommend for Viessa:

  • Thunder Cage submachine gun
  • Nazeistra’s Devotion hand cannon
  • The Last Knight shotgun

About the Author

Antony Terence

Antony Terence is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. While he is particularly fond of city-builders, shooters, and strategy titles, he won’t turn down a good JRPG or a turn-based roguelike.

The First Descendant

  • Release Date: 2nd July 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, RPG