Grim Dawn - An ARPG from Crate (ex Iron Lore aka Titan Quest devs)


Calidor’s Tempest is pretty much that, a point blank area of effect that lets you just run in the general area of something to kill it. It has to be triggered, but you can keep it pulsing continuously. Note it’s a later game build, maybe even after all of veteran. But that battle mage would be an excellent vehicle for that and the game is so easy up to that point with flash freeze, fireballs, and devastation.

I was surprised how great it played with a controller.


I see a Spellbinder in the Build Compendium that focuses on that skill. Looks interesting. Wish I could set it to autocast.


I wanted to try this build after my Demo/Arcanist Calidor’s build.

Not sure how the Battlemage with cadence + calidor’s would play in practice but it sounds cool. I know with my build I just hold down a button and cruise around with a radius of death that got me all the way to the ultimate expansion parts and level 100 before I started outpacing my equipment.


Necro + Shaman is pretty ridiculous. Max skellies and devouring swarm early and you can make a sandwich while you play pretty much.


Oh, right. That’s because they just added “official” controller support, so it is more integrated into the game. Glad you figured it out!


I got jinxed from earlier. I just had my first crash during play.


I’m trying this build, as far as I understand it (using Forcewave + Tremor now, I guess someday you respec to Cadence but not sure when). Currently heading towards the Warden and haven’t had any issues yet.


The DeathKnight build on that page seems cool too. I hadn’t considered that combination before (Soldier + Necromancer), where the necromancer tree’s is only dipped into for Spectral Binding aura, Reaping Strike (chance to do a life-stealing strike when attacking) and Mark of Torment (damage absorption and reflection against a single target). And the Soldier tree concentrates on being a sword and board Soldier.

On that particular build, it really helps that the weapon he’s using converts part of his physical damage into Aether damage, since Spectral Binding aura’s helper skill, Spectral Wrath seriously lowers your opponent’s attack speed, Vitality Resistance, Aether Resistance and Physical Resistance. That’s a pretty badass skill for a soldier to have access to.


Yesterday I used this guide to get some devotion points through the Crucible, and got to level 18 with a new character:

At the end of it, I was level 18, with 10 devotion points, ready to start the main campaign.

This character was the result of a Legendary drop I’ve been seeing a lot with all my characters:

I figured the game was trying to tell me to create a Warlock, so I finally made a Warlock. My plan is to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: create a character that uses the Arcanist Death ray. And since my other class will be Occultist, I’m going to go with the Tainted Power modifier that changes the blue death ray into an evil Red Death ray. It changes Aether and Lightning damage into Chaos and Vitality damage, respectively. I’ve always been fascinated by the prospect of using the death ray, and also of having it be Chaos and Vitality damage one.

One nice thing about using the Crucible to get all these Devotion points up front is that I’ll soon have access to Eldritch Fire, which is a move you get from the Devotion tree, which lowers the Fire Resist and Chaos Resist of enemies. As for Vitality resist, I can lower that using Curse of Frailty + Vulnerability in the Occultist tree.

Hopefully this should make the Red Death Ray effective against all enemies, even with high resists to Chaos and Vitality damage.


My Warlock made it to the town where I will find the Warden.

So far I’m doing the regular Arcanist low level thing. (Flash Freeze + Greater Fireball). It’s a great combo for the early game. But I can’t wait to switch it up and finally start using Flash Freeze + Death Ray. I’m thinking I should be able to start doing that by the time I reach Homestead maybe.

At some point I’ll have to sit down and figure out the order of operations in Grim Dawn to figure out which things will benefit my death ray and which things will not.

For example, I think it calculates +%lightning and +%aether damage first and THEN applies modifiers like Tainted power that will turn 100% of lightning and aether damage into Vitality and Chaos damage.

But then what about +%vitality and +%chaos damage modifiers? Those will get wasted I think because if those get applied before Tainted power, then they don’t affect the death ray at all.


What made you change your mind about the Crucible, out of curiosity?


I’ve been playing a lot of different characters, and fooling around with grimcalc, trying to get the hang of making my own builds. I love playing alts, so this game is fantastic for that. Currently leveling a trickster (shaman + nightblade), focusing on vitality and bleed damage. Really fun so far, and something different :P




I played the “Faceroll Battlemage” build linked by @Gendal upstream, through about level 32 or so (did a couple of quests in Homestead). It’s pretty durable but I felt like the kill speed was a bit lacking. So I switched back to my pet build that I’d put down - he’s about level 38 and at Homestead still - and was amazed at how fast he’s able to kill stuff.

The Battlemage was using Forcewave as his main attack, with a little Blitz thrown in. And that’s pretty much it. Blitz seems cool but you can’t use it to move, only to dash to a target (that has to be in range) so it’s not a movement skill (sadly). Kill speed seems ok but you definitely have to work since Forcewave hits 2 mobs at most (I think).

I guess I’m saying the pet build felt much more powerful (level difference notwithstanding). Is this just the general issue with melee vs. ranged builds? In a game like Path of Exile, you work to get a good AOE attack, and I assume the same thing is true here - is there some trick I’m missing from this Battlemage build through my inexperience with the game?


What I linked was an end game build, something to work towards. They are pretty optimized but require most everything shown, including levels and skills. Usually those skills are pretty workable way before then, but sometimes not.

I don’t have soldier leveling experience but I do have quite a bit Arcanist experience with leveling up. Search the thread for me and @Rock8man talking about the flash freeze, fireball, and devastation combo. That is going to have a very fast clear speed up through veteran. Right at the time you start thinking ‘man, everything isn’t dying instantly’ you can probably respec to a more final build.

That may be a painful switch for you though given you can’t respec masteries.

Also look towards starter builds or those with detailed leveling instructions. Those can give you good insights towards what to do while leveling. Again, what I linked, is mostly meant for the end game farming of the crucible. I always like to pick something like that starting out so I know what to work towards, but I don’t use it much for leveling.


I think you need a conscious mix between AoE and single-target damage, at least for some builds. My Arcanist uses that snowy spell (Trozan’s sky shard, I think?) and devastation with some extra odds’n’ends as core AoE. But for high-HP mobs and boss fights in particular it’s all about burning them down with Albrecht’s Aether Ray.


@Gendal I understand that’s an endgame build (and for the crucible too) - and I am using other skills to level. So my issues could very well be attributed to a lack of understanding the leveling process in Grim Dawn (my highest level character is my level 38 guy). I will freely admit I would benefit from a build writeup that describes leveling in a bit more detail. So maybe I’ll pay around on this internet thing for some more ideas and tips. Thanks for the advice.


My char is the same. Currently at lvl60, I just arrived at Malmouth outskirts on veteran difficulty. It’s my third char and by far the strongest. I rarely died and when I did it was usually my fault. She can stand toe to toe with most bosses and can quite effectively kite the few exceptions using Devouring Swarm, Blade Trap and Blade Spirit.


I’m currently playing a character that I’ve just been making up as I go, but I’ve ended up liking it quite a bit. I’m going Demolitionist + Occultist and was planning on just focusing on Fire and Chaos damage. I just hit L52 last night.

My main attack is the Blackwater Cocktail, which is quite effective at melting packs of enemies. I also rely heavily on Sigil of Consumption. I’ve never been a big fan of this skill and really didn’t think it would work with a character who needs to move around a lot, but it’s been amazing. Once I got to the second tier of the ability and started added Fire/Chaos damage to the Sigil, the lifetap on it is just amazing. I’ve got the Fissure devotion ability tied to Consumption as well, so on top of its own AOE damage, it’s spewing out lava everywhere too. Meanwhile, the cocktail has a devotion which does damage and lowers Fire/Chaos resist.

While I was messing around, I started putting points into the Mortar. This is an ability I never liked when the game first came out, but what the hell? They must have buffed or improved it or something. This thing just absolute wrecks, especially because I tied the Meteor Storm devotion ability to it. Death just rains from the sky.

So here’s what we have: A blackwater cocktail gets throw out (I have the one-point skill that raises the cooldown but increases duration/radius). It spawns other pits of fire that burn and reduce resists. On top of this goes the Sigil, which also in turn opens up fissures in the ground that spews out lava everywhere and is constantly filling up my life bar. Then comes the mortar, which rains destruction down, and calls in Meteors left and right. Meanwhile, I use Curse of Frailty to greatly slow the movement speed of enemies, preventing them from getting out of all that devastation.

I swear, thus far the most challenging thing about this has been able to see monsters as they get blown to chunks. The whole screen is just one big scene of fiery death and destruction, it’s amazing.

I was originally planning on getting Doom Bolt, especially since I found a Legendary that converts all its Vitality damage to Fire damage, but I don’t know if I’m going to have the points. This mortar is just too damn lethal, and I worry a bit about Doom Bolt using the gamepad (you really want to pick your targets with that ability).


As am I. I’m using flashbang, blackwater, grenado, canister bomb, mortar trap. Witchfire toggle. Hellhound and raven. (Raven with heal.) Also Dreeg’s Evil Eye on right click. The game labels this a pyromancer. Okay, if you say so.

Lots of AOE, obviously. I use a rifle mostly. And switch to a 2 hand weapon for bosses. ~ lev 33. So far so good.