[] Burning Commando - Relaxed and Effective HC Gladiator Farming

These two builds focus mainly on HC Crucible farming and aim to be comfortably tanky while having enough damage and sustain to overcome the Gladiator difficulty.

The only new nemesis i have found was Kubacabra and it was relatively easy with the small kiting in Cadence setup.

Grimtools : http://www.grimtools.com/calc/L2JmxwEN (Current Setup)

With Blitz : http://www.grimtools.com/calc/4NOQemdV

Alternative Setup : http://www.grimtools.com/calc/RZRAe4jV

All necessary constellations minus last Revenant node : http://www.grimtools.com/calc/d2jepKmN

Why Commando and why a 2Hander

I have done Crucible with several characters, utilizing different builds but regarding HC the only build i used was the Lightning Totem/Devil Warder.

If HC is to be the main point then i can’t really help but leaning towards Soldier. Overall the best class to combine with everything, boosts any combination to emerge with immense survivability and tankiness.

Using Burn damage was my base interest and wanted to see how using a melee skill would perform in the light of people’s sentiment for generally using shield is better and being able to reach a satisfying attack speed with as a 2H without having to do unpleasant sacrifices in builds way too hard.

Also Blast Shield + Menhir’s Will…

Why Cadence for Burn damage instead of Fire Strike as it’s name suggests

I have tested this before expansion and Cadence always triumphs for several reasons.

  • Quite higher weapon damage compared to FS therefore ables us to blow chunky burn dots.

  • Deadly Momentum is impeccable especially converting the stacked physical damage is way easier instead of stacking Fire/Burn damage. We end up with higher Burn damage taking that path.

  • Doesn’t require deep investment in mastery bar compared to FS and performs way better with minimal skill point investment since we already deal with the issue of scarce points to distribute.

Gear choice

  • Starting first, i didn’t use any rares or MI’s since i didn’t felt the need for it. I didn’t feel any legendary is out of place in the setup.
    If anyone wishes to use MI’s instead, pants and boots are the first options for some MI’s with good combinations followed by rings.

  • Justicar as a 4 piece grants amazing bonuses in our direction. From resistances to %damage and flat damage along with tankiness.
    Completion bonus is quite good, total speed boost is immensenly needed for us since AS directly increases our Cadence procs.
    180% is the average AS with Burning Justice proc on and occasionally shoots up 190% when fighting wave after wave is a common sight.

  • There isn’t much of a choice for medal since our focus is HC and MoD is irreplacable for the tankiness it offers along with a precious cheat death against nasty surprises and sudden shotguns.

  • Mythical Infernal Brimstone has the highest flat Burn damage in the game which is exactly what we want, plus Rain of Fire when combined with Meteor Shower is the most satisfactory thing to behold.

  • Korvaak’s Deception is another important part in the build. Blazing Charge is another important source of Burn damage with high weapon and flat damage and frees a skill point off of Blitz although both can be used if demanded.

  • My amulet choice was mostly for the +4% to Max all resists along with capping resistances easier without having to do other unpleasant sacrifices in components/augments.

Amulet and Ring choices can be changed according to liking. Judicator rings, double Reign of Ice and Fire, Peerless Eye of Beronath, Thread of Mortality are good options.
Although i’d advise to have least 20% ADCtH either through items/components or constellations.

I will test other options and consider BiS choices when i have more time to spare.


Pre expansion i mostly tested defensive focused setups like LoE and ToL with single offensive proc but killing things faster is probably the safest and best way than trying to tank and sustain damage for a longer period time.

Stacking as many Burn/Fire nodes as possible for both AoE and damage should be the priority.

Behemoth and Chariot are secondary defense against shotguns and helps our sustain with their average CD’s.

Revenant was fully for extra ADCtH and AS. Current tree isn’t hindered if one wishes to spec out of it and get Magi or Solael’s Witchblade instead.

Skill Optimization

It is up to player’s preference to fully invest into either Blitz for more damage/bursting or BWC to mainly reduce enemy damage output. Overall build isn’t hindered if we chose to squeeze out points from couple skills to pour into those.

I would advise to pick either one of them to pour points into and focus seperately to utilize them in max efficieny.

UPDATE : I have tested both Blitz and BWC with High Potency, they both are phenomenal and advised to be used. I managed to beat HC Gladiator without using neither of them but now i can say it is a slight waste to not utilize any of them even though choosing not to use neither doesn’t hinder build’s capacity and power to beat HC Gladiator with relative ease.

I am leaning more towards the 17/12 BWC with High Potency in my current setup since it is another immense source of Burn damage plus debuff enemy OA and physical damage.

I would like to keep the original Grimtools link as it is but note that it is HIGHLY advised to use Blitz and BWC in the setup.


Our high survivability, defensive procs allows us to fight and sustain inside crowded, dangerous packs.
Initiate with War Cry and stack Burn damage in enemies with different sources we have.
Although it is not hard to stay inside massive packs when forming a minefield around us along with high ADCtH, kiting playstyle is one of our key points.

Blazing Charge --> proc Elemental Storm --> throw Thermite Mines --> proc Cadence and kite if needed, enemies easily burn to death while adjusting position and fighting other enemies.

HC Gladiator WITHOUT extra spawns, NO Elixirs or Aether Clusters

Was quite the easy, fast run and haven’t dropped less than 12k HP. 149th wave was a nasty combo comprimising of Thalonis, Sentinel, Shar’Zul and Lucius, thats when i lost the bonus with kiting just to be cautious.

HC Gladiator 120-150 WITH extra spawn NO elixirs and aether clusters : https://vimeo.com/240726830

I dropped Revenant fully and got Magi and BWC to test those together. Had some nerve racking moments and especially 140-150 had horrible mutators, i even stopped at one point to see what the hell are those.
Video showcases how strong the build is overall such as thick Burn damage, great AoE and the sheer durability and sturdiness.

(Sorry if there are moments of throttle and derping, had to use my laptop since can’t have access to my desktop atm)

Extra - BWC/Mine Burn Version

Grimtools : http://www.grimtools.com/calc/4ZDO0JYV


This version utilizes the High Potency transmuter of BWC and embraces a less active play style compared to the Cadence version.

Our main sustain and tankiness comes from Overguard and Menhir’s Bulwark’s damage absorption, mitigation and high HP regeneration bonuses. Flame Torrent is a major proc in this setup since it has weapon damage thus enables us to life leech with Lifegiver Signet. Using basic attack is also useful to leech while waiting CD’s.

General sequence is : War Cry --> Thermite Mine around us, simply form a minefield to proc Flame Torrent as much as possible --> Flashbang --> BWC --> Blazing Charge.

Use Overguard, it is a major reason of our tankiness but try to time it against important enemies. Don’t be shy to kite when needed and wait Overguard to go off CD. Dryad has a low CD and is a constant source of heal, bind it to a spammable, low CD ability like War Cry, Blazing Charge or Flashbang as advised.

Radiant Shield is incredibly useful against overcrowded packs and especially Nemeses that has high elemental damage like Valdaran or Moosilauke.

HC Gladiator WITH extra spawn, NO Elixirs or Aether Clusters

Had one or two close calls in that run and by that i mean where i dropped below 9k and proc’d Divine Light for once. Although i felt less relaxed throughout the run compared to Cadence version, it was way faster with this setup.

HC Gladiator 130-150 WITH extra spawn NO elixirs and aether clusters : https://vimeo.com/241236064

In Closing

I would ike to thank Zars since his old ‘Paladin of the Light’ build inspired me in the Cadence version and made me pin an updated version post expansion release.

Also JoV even though it was a different class combination/build, he showed people that BWC can be a top notch skill despite being labeled as weak and underrated at the time (he also showed everyone that shield + soldier wasn’t a necessity and casters can also be tanky but thats a different topic :rolleyes:)
And all the build makers that have contributed to the compendium, i can’t remember anyone’s name right of the bat i apologize.

I hope everyone can test these toons and have an enjoyable playtime in HC despite the stressful yet thrilling nature of it. These builds offers an enjoyable, relaxed HC session whether it be Crucible or vanilla.

I will definitely update with Crucible or nemesis fight videos when i have time…

Reserved for future use.

Great choice of weapon and relic;) Myth brimstone is boss

Very nice build I like the idea of melee 2H tanky.

One question, if you were to adapt this build to SC, what changes would you make to skills/gear/devotions in order to have more dps but keep enough tankiness to not die easily.


Nice, one and thx for mentioning :wink:

Think about lowering some investments in fighting spirit and termite mines, and taking blitz, chained with korvak relic ability it could be great source of burst dmg. Talking about 2h variation of build.

I want some crucible achievements so bad, and I only played HC.
Ive done only till wave 130 on challenger.

Some questions:

  1. Non Mythical Siegebreaker is better or u just dont have the mythical?
  2. What exactly is an extra spawn point? Just a restart from checkpoint?

Unstoppable Lord of the Crucible
Complete the Crucible on Gladiator Difficulty with the 6th Spawn Point active.

  1. Can this build the secret boss Lxxxxx? Lets not spoil anything. Just tell me if u tried or not. Or we can talk in private

  2. Does the devotion setup require you to spec and unspec somewhere for some color bonuses? You might wanna mention those for beginners.

Regards. I also like Zars builds. Too bad he tried the underwhelming Drain Essence first after the expansion and maybe lost time.

Do you mean like 6 points off each? And try max out Blitz+Blindside?

Do you think we can push the dmg a bit more without sacrificing much of tankiness?

It is possible to spec out of Revenant and get Solael’s Witchblade or Revenant plus 2 last nodes of Rhowan’s Crown and getting full Magi.

As JoV mentioned, we can squeeze some points out without deforming the general outlook of the build and achieve a 24/26 Blitz which would be an amazing extra source of damage especially when combined with either SW or Magi.

Item wise, one Lifegiver can be dropped for anything of choice such Reign of Ice and Fire or Matriarch or an MI of preference.
Although i like Hellforged Legplates and it’s proc, Chausses of Barbaros would be an amazing option to get more DPS.

I did try 16 point Blitz and its easy to get it to 24/26. I chose not to invest in it for making use of points in other places especially TM since RR was a concern of mine but i think i can update build to include 16/26 Blitz since it would definitely be a good addition.

  1. Actually i made a mistake while creating the Grimtools, it should be Mythical one sorry.

  2. Extra Spawn adds more density and champions and as a reward it gives 1 more chest when completed all 150 waves.

  3. I haven’t really pursued super bosses or extra stuff since leveled this mainly for Crucible but i’d like to try starting with Mog, Ravager then our brother L.

  4. I will add a leveling guide in time, thanks for recommending.
    Devotions are quite simple and would take only 4 respecs to achieve the full tree. Start with Quill and its openly simple afterwards. After finishing Viper we briefly get Eel to access Kraken and after getting it we can respec out of Eel and eldritch crossroads node and finish the tree with Ulzuin’s Torch followed by Behemoth.
    As i pointed out in the build i left 5 points to player’s decision which i utilized those in Revenant.

Question about Cadence transmuter Discord. does converting the physical damage to element effect the fire damage increment node u got from Devotion?

Very nice build. Fire everywhre! Couple of questions if you dont mind. Do you find phoenix fire worthy? 128 damage absorption may not seem much but my tests have shown that it really makes a difference. You wont tank shit while being afk, but it really helps. Also, why no BC in the 2h build? Last but not least, dont you think solael’s is quite mandatory? I mean 33 RR is huge dont you agree?

Would you still play this build without the set (as a 1st HC char)

For 3 points of investment, Discord doesn’t really add any substantial damage that you would notice at all, plus we barely have any damage bonus to other elements.

128 absorption is quite high if you do the math but it would be quite the hassle to fit Phoenix Fire into the current tree without doing worse sacrifices.

I left several paths open in the build for personal customization but i think i should be more specific about it, i will edit for it.
It is up for preference to get a 17/22 BWC with a transmuter to reduce enemy offensive efficieny, it would definitely be a really good option.

As i pointed out in the build, unfinished Revenant is open to respec into Solael’s if needed. I didn’t really feel the lack of RR except in rare instances where some champions with high fire res would take longer to kill when they come up with annoying buff heroes.
Viper + ES + TM are good enough to shred resistances but more RR would never hurt :smiley:

Weapon is the most important part in the build. I think it can be improvised to some extent with mainly rares but at the end of day nothing would really hold the set’s place for itemization.
Although if you play really carefully, you can make your way up to Gladiator but to be able to beat Gladiator you need to have your gear with above average rolls and know how to juggle through waves.

I would advise starting with the BWC version first rather than 2H if you aim to use it as your first HC char. I leveled with ranged FS until i could use the non mythical version of the weapon at level 65.
You can take several routes like BA, FW or FS as i did then when you have access to faction items at 50, can use Cadence onwards till you get more gear and feel comfortable at where you stand.

I think I will take solael’s and not spec into TM. I really can’t stand that skill. It rocks when AOEing, but I am seek and tired of trying to affect a boss with them spamming like an idiot for 10 secs while the boss hams on me:(

Thanks for the Build, its perfect timing actually as a friend just hit a wall with his fire commando build ( http://www.grimtools.com/calc/YNnMLkAZ still unfinished ) and this looks like it might be quite the improvement.

Do you really need the new crafting components on the items or are they optional?
And is the burn damage from Brimstone that much better then Shar zul?

Infernal Brimstone has the highest flat Burn damage in the game and is really the key point of the build. The weapon allows the dot damage kiting style and actually dealing considerable damage while repositioning between packs.
Which is essential since taking everything head on HC Glad would be too risky.

Also i wanted to test Shar’zul WE since CD of the item skill is quite okay to spam often.
I’ll need to farm BoC (i haven’t yet) and been thinking of using SW as a weapon swap option for an extra source of Burn damage and a quite useful hard hitting AoE skill.

Super-softcore devos?


Thoughts on SC-focused devotions that let you pick up Pheonix & Magi on the 2H version?


Opinion on SC-focused devotions that let you take Magi & Pheonix?


hello Pyroscar
Thanks for this build.
I’m a begginer, can you tell me the road of devotion to take and the capabilities without the additions of the equipment.
Sorry for my english.

Thoughts on alternate devotions for 2H build? Allows you to pick up Magi & Phoenix at the cost of Revenant.