Absolutely loving this build so far. It's super fun and the pet is amazing. I even managed to clear Ratnook Hill in Act 1(Jaethal absolutely obliterated them with Channel Negative Energy). Granted this is only Challenging difficulty. I played the first act(never further) a few times so far with different builds but I could never really find something that I truly enjoy, until now.
My current group currently is MC(Sylvan Sorc), Valerie(Your normal build), Jaethal(Cleric) and Linzi(Your normal build as well).
My party size is only 4 at the moment as I'm not sure who else to take. Smilodon kinda acts as a second tank right now. Amiri really felt weak in previous tries, even with your Off-Tank build but I guess that's on me not drawing out her full potential.
Any idea which companion would be a good addition to this group or can I keep this party at 4?
Also a huge confusion for me seems to be buffs. For now I just buff myself and my pet with Magic Armor. I also give Smilodon, Valerie and Jaethal Heroics but I'm not even sure if this does anything right now. I'm also unsure which mutagen Valerie should use.
My last inquiry: Do you think I can turn up the difficulty to Hard or should I not do this until I understand the mechanics better?
Thank You so much again for all your help.
OC doesn't provide lots of options for tanks. Guess, Reggie is the next best thing available. Or just use summons to cover the flanks. Not that bad. Given you already has sylvan sorc you could add another level of unfairness to your party taking Jubilost. But going as 4 will likely be fine. Jubi also can give out shield spell to the pet, bumping the effectiveness.
Amiri is a gimped character no matter what. 20PB, Bad stat spread(worse her PnP spread even). Pretty irredeemable, all things considered.
Buffs... Good hope is a nice one instead of heroism once you get that. Keeping 1 resistance/protection for emergencies is nice.
All you need to know about buffing is only dodge AC stacks with itself. Also There is transformation Natural AC and regular natural AC. The former is available through different sorts of transformations, like dragonforms and frightful aspect. The latter is everything else. Pretty much only mandatory buffs would be good hope and haste. Mirror images and displacement allows you to live longer. A lot longer. Improved invis you get through sylvan as a SLA to attack flat-footed AC. It's nice for rays.
Apart from that quirk Just stack bonuses with different sources and you will be golden.
Val should use whatever mutagen that allows her to cap on AC, So pretty gear-dependent. If you cap on Dex bonus from gear alone - use STR mutagen. If not - go for Dex. Hitting stuff is not her forte anyways.
You can always try hard if you feel the game becomes too easy. Difficulties are pretty much a check on how much you can abuse the game and stack bonuses. Hard is not that hard in the context. With mass stinking clouds you should be able to roll most things regardless.