[] Conjurer Pet Retaliation Build

This thread is a replacement for my Witchblade pet build I had posted a few weeks ago; I asked the webmasters to delete the old thread so my posts don’t clutter the forum. The core concepts of the build remain the same, but having three additional permanent pets plus the vastly improved Primal Bond exclusive makes the Conjurer the only proper choice for a build such as this.

No pet build thread can be created without thanking DaShiv for his undeniably amazing work in meticulously detailing pet build strategies and for his incredible Gladiator-farming builds. My build is by no means a Gladiator 170 farmer, but it’s great to see more pet builds run through the old Gladiator 150 gauntlet, which is more than enough for most players who enjoy pet builds.

[u][v. EDIT]The new Crucible blessings are unbelievable for this build. With the current set-up, this build reaps the maximum benefits of the Celestial blessings, as our pets were never in any danger from dying. But a Stormcaller Banner for the RR, run 100-130 with banner only, then buy Ulo (resistances) + Amatok (damage) buffs from 130-150. It’s a surefire 100-150 farmer, and if you’re looking to get Legendaries, it’s much more worth it to run 100-150 and keep your blessing health high than it is to go 150-170.

As the above illustrates, this build is Gladiator 170 viable. I used the 4 buffs + Stormcaller banner to see how fast I can do this. Looks like around 20 minutes or so, though some of that is due to low run speed and the stragglers at the end of a wave taking up to 30 seconds to hunt down and finish for the new wave. For Legendary loot purposes, I’d much rather farm 100-150 with one banner + 2 buffs, but here’s to show it can do it.[/u]

Grimtools link for Version (use Ctrl+Shift to see skills without bonuses)

Maximum Pet Retaliation (with 50/50 Shaman/Occultist for 1 point Manipulation)

The concept of this character is to take advantage of the Shaman’s Pet Retaliation skills as well as our extremely defensive constellation set-up to keep all of our pets alive while waiting for the 1-in-3 chance for a monster retaliation strike (20% for either the Wildshorn Legguards and Briarthorn Band to activate). The build has three fully invested flat OA bonuses (Blood of Dreeg + Emboldening Presence + Harp/Ishtak procs) and mitigates pet build’s weakness to being surrounded and swarmed by investing in Ground Slam (with 2 Briarthorns using it) and taking the Light of Empyiron constellation for a nice Knockdown and damage reduction ability.

Weapon Set 1: Mythical Valepiercer + Stonehide Fleshwarped Bulwark of Imposing Presence
The Cunning and Spirit requirements are very high for my tastes, but allowing the Hellhound to reduce the enemy’s RR without having to spam attacks is well worth it. Even more importantly, this dagger allows our pets to overcap 80% Aether Resistance, which is indispensable for the Aether-dominated expansion. The shield grants your pets an additional 25 Physical Damage, and the prefix/affix combo is incredible - Stonehide takes care of your Pierce Resistance and Stun Duration while pushing your Physical Resistance near 60%, and Imposing Presence gives extra Shield Block Chance and your pets additional OA.

Until you get the Mythical Veilpiercer, a Salazar’s Sovereign Blade with good pet stats (especially pet OA) would be BiS, as you gain an additional pet-scaled pet who has an aura with -15% Physical RR. The unfortunate side-effect of that is that not only do your pets lose the valuable Aether RR, but you have no way of inflicting flat RR. In that case, replace your Imbued Silver with Blessed Steel as you are tanky enough to handle enemy hits.

The shield is an open slot depending on what you have equipped at the time. Mythical Ravna’s Guard gives you stats that best match the MI Shield, with nice Health Regeneration to boot. Mythical Final Stop also gives you Stun Resistance, a huge amount of armor, flat Retaliation damage (can’t let the pets have all the fun), bonuses to Oak Skin, and a granted skill that reduces your opponents DA, a very nice thing if you feel your pets are lacking OA. While you are leveling, Empowered Defender of Devil’s Crossing has the best DA bonuses you’ll find, and the knockdown proc, resistances, and Aether damage reduction makes this shield great to use. The shield is craftable, so seek out the Black Legion smith to obtain extra Aether resistance.
Components: Purified Salt and Imbued Silver
Head: Mythical Beastcaller’s Cowl
The added physical damage, the 250% damage increase, and 30% total speed proc, what else can you ask for? Craft this through Algrim at Devil’s Crossing for the Increased Armor bonus.
Component: Runestone
Shoulders: Mythical Beastcaller’s Shoulderpads
Version added new Poison and Acid Resistance to these shoulders, meaning we can switch around our components to make our resistances even more secure.
Component: Sacred Plating
Hands: Mythical Overlord’s Iron Grip
Provides some much needed pet Crit Damage and %OA bonuses, while the DA modifier to Bonds of Bysmiel fits our build mold perfectly.
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Mythical Fiendflesh Greaves
Not only do these greaves provide more pet bonuses, but 10,000 damage absorption, since flat damage absorption comes after all the other reductions due to armor and resists, is a greatly appreciated boon.

You can also consider the Mythical Grim Harvest Boots if you are too low on DA and your pets can use the Elemental Resistance.
Component: Mark of Mogdrogen
Belt: Mythical Shadowfiend Cord
Nice pet damage, pet OA% bonuses, and valuable pet resistances with free skill points coming from the +Occultist skills. If you do not have this item, a crafted Malmouth Arcane Girdle or an MI Lunal Valgoth Girdle with Taskmaster’s prefix would be the next best bet.
Component: Spellscorched Plating
Pants: Mythical Wildshorn Legguards
The equipment that sparked the idea for this build, these pants are simply irreplaceable. 600% Retaliation Damage all in one place. With update, you only need to use Ancient Armor plate to get your Armor Absorption to 100%, which means you get much more use out of your armor.

Until you get this piece, Bysmiel pants with some sort of pet Resistances (most notably Taskmaster’s) is an alternate idea.
Component: Ancient Armor Plate
Chest Armor: Mythical Beastcaller’s Shroud
Gives us valuable bonuses (Health, DA, Elemental Resistances, pet resistances), so it doesn’t feel like a waste simply to give us the set bonus
Component: Living Armor
Amulet: Mythical Heart of the Mountain
This was the hardest choice to make, especially since Mythical Sovereign Ruby of Domination is extremely good considering our comparatively low crit damage. I personally find that +2 to Shaman skills between all of my equipment is important for all-around purposes, and having Vitality Resistance, pet Armor, and a fifth permanent pet that provides good freeze crowd control allows me to breathe a bit easier.
Component: Seal of Ancestry
Ring 1: Mythical Spiritbinder Glyph
A ring that gives a great amount of pet OA, while also granting bonuses to Primal Spirit and Mogdrogen’s Pact as well as a nice proc that gives an extra 10% Pet Crit
Component: Runebound Topaz
Ring 2: Mythical Briarthorn Band
Health Bonuses, Elemental Resists, +Summon Briarthorn skill bonus and Pet Retaliation damage. This is the other centerpiece of the build,
but it only makes sense to equip it if you also have the Mythical Wildshorn Legguards. If you do not have them, Mythical Ring of the Black Matriarch is BiS for valuable Pierce Resistance, Vitality Resistance, 2 extra skill points at your disposal, and a very nice Physical RR proc.
Component: Runebound Topaz
Medal: Mythical Beastcaller’s Talisman
Chaos Resistance and bonuses to our Pet’s Physical Damage make it an easy choice to add to the Beastcaller set bonuses.
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Primal Instinct
Gives additional Piercing Retaliation, Pet Health and Speed, and +Skills in Shaman. The critters aren’t the main focus like other builds, but you can’t say no to extra damage. Dirge of Arkovia is another alternative that gives you a permanent pet and shores up some resistances, but you would need to replace the Shaman skills to keep it from becoming outclassed. Malmouth Stormcaster is a nice weapon that can serve if you feel like using the Dirge Pet.
Augments: Mogdrogen’s Blessing for the jewelry, Ravager’s Eye for the weapon slots, & Mankind’s Vigil for the armor. If you feel your pets need additional Aether/Chaos resistance, replace one of the jewelry augments with Mender’s Powder.

Pet Bonuses
The OA vs DA factor is found in the main website under this website: http://grimdawn.com/guide/gameplay/combat.php#q19

Using the Swarmlings’ pre-expac value of 1833 OA- to provide an example- their OA has multiple additive multipliers that function just as well as the pet %OA bonus in the character sheet. Blood of Dreeg adds 144 OA, while Emboldening Presence adds another 102. Add this with either Ishtak’s or Harp’s OA bonus (130 and 110 respectively) and that comes to a flat OA of 2189 if we just take Harp’s bonuses. Multiply this total by the character sheet %OA bonus (55 in the above Grimtools) and you have a Swarmling OA of 3393. I have found this to be more than adequate for the Briarthorns to consistently apply the Assassin’s Mark proc on enemies.

This build also stacks pet retaliation, taken from the following sources:

Flat Retaliation:

  • Wildshorn Legguards - 4000 Poison Retaliation over 5 seconds
  • Wildshorn Legguards - 4000 Piercing Retaliation
  • Briarthorn Band - 3000 Piercing Retaliation (1-in-3 chance of having one of these two activate)
  • Primal Instinct - 995 Piercing Retaliation
  • Briarthorn’s Natural Retaliation - 585 Piercing Retaliation

Retaliation Bonuses:

  • Wildshorn Legguards - 600%
  • Briarthorn Band - 150%
  • Shephard’s Crook - 300%
  • Stone Form - 220%
  • Emboldening Presence - 128%
  • Oak Skin - 100%
  • Hound - 30% (lol)

NOTE: This is the definition of a lazy pet build, all I did was kept the Wendigo Totem and Blood of Dreeg on cooldown while having my hand over the keyboard to take screenshots to show the build’s Retaliation damage potential. Thanks to the constant healing, Fabius barely scratches me. 87K Retaliation, get rekt, Fabius.

Character Stat Sheet (UPDATED FOR VERSION

Character stats [permanent buffs and Blood of Dreeg active]

Pet Stats [Includes all permanent aura + Blood of Dreeg buffs]

If you’d like, you can pick up Turtle Shell in the beginning and use it until around late Elite where the ability will no longer be as useful. If that’s the case, I’d respec the points when you have 40 Devotion points (after you complete Harp) so that you can respec it + Order crossroads to fully complete Ishtak the Spring Maiden. You can choose to keep Turtle Shell later or respec it earlier (so you can fully complete Harp sooner) depending on your taste for the ability.

Devotion Order:
One Point in Order Crossroads
Complete Assassin’s Blade (6 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Shepherd’s Crook (11 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Panther (15 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Eel (18 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Ulo, grabbing the skill as soon as you can (23 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Solemn Watcher (28 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Harp (34 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Ishtak, the Spring Maiden (40 Devotion Points Total)
Complete Hound (43 Devotions Points Total)
Remove Order Crossroads

Depending on what you need to begin Ultimate, either go for Light of Empyiron or Obelisk of Menhir. If you need more Resistances, go with Empyiron; if you need more DA and Armor, go with the bottom three nodes of Obelisk, then go with Empyiron, then go back to Obelisk to get the proc (ignore the node above the one on the bottom right)

Complete Light of Empyiron (49 Devotion Points Total)
Obtain Obeslisk of Menhir bottom three nodes, then go up to the Stone Form Skill (55 Devotion Points Total)


  • Assassin’s Blade to Summon Briarthorn
  • Shepherd’s Crook to Curse of Frailty
  • Cleansing Waters to Dreeg’s Evil Eye
  • Inspiration to Aether Ward / Chaos Ward / Blood of Dreeg
  • Stone Form to Mogdrogen’s Pact
  • Light of Empyiron to Bonds of Bysmiel
  • Nature’s Guardians to Primal Bond

Defensive Bonuses

Our pets obtain the following defensive bonuses:

  • 134K Health for the Briarthorn (and remember, there are two of them)
  • 105 + 38% Armor, along with 23% Physical Resistance
  • 25% Reduced Bleeding and Poison Duration (goes up to 75% with Stone Form procced)
  • 400 Damage Absorption with Stone Form procced
  • Healing from Wendigo Totem, Blood of Dreeg

With the PTH bonuses having a hard cap at v1.0.6.0, there is no point in investing much in DA - the pet damage and offenses are much more important than your survivability. As such, I’ll leave my old section on defenses in the spoilers below for those who want to take the old DA route.

[spoiler]Crate’s method of determining defense is found at Order of Defense. Going over each item line by line and how it affects our build:

  • Fumble, Dodge and Projectile Deflection - Not Applicable to this build
  • Chance to hit via Offensive Ability vs. Defensive Ability - Thanks to our substantial DA, monsters have a significantly lower chance of hitting the summoner, and due to how PTH operates, any time a monster does hit the summoner, it does (PTH/70) less damage. Most chargers in the expansion content hit a PTH of ~60, meaning they hit for 15% less damage every time they hit.
  • Shield - 39% Chance to block ~900 damage. This is not a high priority, though having a chance to proc Stone Form more often is nice.
  • % Reduced Damage from Monster Types - 22% Reduction from Beasts
  • Armor - 2460 Armor with 100% Absorption
  • Resistances - 58% Physical Resistance, the rest shown in the stat sheet
  • Flat Reduced Damage from Monster Types - Not applicable to this build
  • % Damage Absorption - 18% from Primal Bond, ~50% with Nature’s Guardians procced.
  • Flat Damage Absorption - 10,000 points from Mythical Fiendflesh Greaves. Turtle also provides 4,200 points in an emergency, and note that damage absorption from Fiendflesh Greaves takes priority over Turtle Shell, so you have multiple Fiendflesh Greave procs absorb damage before Turtle Shell is drained.

Assuming all of the reductions follow the order of operations listed in the Game Guide (treating the percentage based calculations - such as damage absorption - as multiplicative and subtracting the remaining total from flat damage reductions - such as Shield Block), this summoner can remove up to 80% of physical damage from creatures such as charging Aetherial Titans, and smaller hits are swallowed up completely.[/spoiler]

Skills Progression Guide (no respec):

Choose Occultist Mastery
1 Point in DEE and 1 Point in Raven
Occultist Mastery up to 10 Points
1 Point in Summon Hellhound, 1 Point in Raven’s Heal
Fill up points in Curse of Frailty and Vulnerability until level 10 (equipping a Searing Ember for Fireblast in the meantime)

After choosing the Shaman dual-mastery, level up the mastery until level 10 and max out Summon Briarthorn
Put a point in Mogdrogen’s Pact when you have enough devotion points to get Turtle Shell (Approximate Level 18)
Go back to Occultist Mastery and fill up the Mastery bar until you get Blood of Dreeg while maxing out Curse of Frailty
Put 8 Points in Blood of Dreeg

Put 10 Points in Shaman mastery to reach Wendigo Totem
Put 9 Points in Wendigo Totem (Approximate Level 30)
Advance the Shaman mastery bar two points per level, use the remaining points each level for Heart of the Wild (5/10)
Approximately level 40 will be when you reach Emboldening Presence
When you get to Emboldening Presence, place points in that (about 4-5 points) while leveling up the Mastery Bar until you complete the Shaman Mastery Bar.
After you reach that, put points in the Occultist Mastery bar to reach 32 by level 50.

At level 50, you only have two points per level, so place 6 points in Aspect of the Guardian for your pets’ Poison and Acid Resistance
For levels 50-60, focus on maxing out Primal Spirit after placing the points in Aspect of the Guardian (you’ll know when you reach the areas with large amounts of poison).

For levels 60-70, focus on maxing Primal Bond, while placing points in Emboldening Presence, Oak Skin, and Storm Spirit to patch up whichever resistances you need.

For levels 70-80, place points to max out the three skills above, Vulnerability (up to 8/10), and Ground Slam

For levels 80-100, finish up your skill tree until it matches what’s listed in the Grimtools. You want to focus on patching all your resistances first before going for further pet offenses (like maxing Mogdrogen’s Pact)

Equipment Priority:
This section is taken straight from DaShiv’s “The Night King” pet build. Clicking on the arrow next to his name will take you to his build guide:

Best pet items to level with:

Since this build largely uses Physique, it won’t have many opportunities to use an off-hand, so hunt down the Warden when you’re comfortable defeating him to get a shield with nice resistances. Likewise, farm the Depraved Sanctuary until you get a nice Salazar’s Blade to have an extra pet.

Fight Fleshwarped Commanders in the Gruesome Harvest, Withering Fields, and Conflagration as they have roughly a 5% chance to drop a Fleshwarped Bulwark. You can feasibly complete the quests in that area and come out with a nice Shield, and giving your pets 25 extra Physical damage early on will come out nicely.

When you get to Homestead, side with Death’s Vigil every time. Complete their quests as soon as you are able to and obtain every bounty that involves hunting Kymon mages that you can (don’t bother with any of the other bounties unless they require you to go to the Warden’s lab and you don’t have a Warden’s shield you want to use). Not only is Kymon reputation a pain to farm, but their cannon fodder drop medals with great Chaos resistance, so a prefix with good resistances will take you very far.

When you’re comfortable beating Karroz (be careful of his convert/fear on your pets), farm him for Bloodsworn signets with good resists for prefix/suffix. Between the four of those, you should be fine with covering your resists while using faction gear / store-bought equipment with the remaining slots.

When you go into Ultimate, if you haven’t maxed out your Reputations yet, get the Black Legion bounties that require you to kill Swarm Queen Ravna so you can farm for her shield. In addition, if you feel like you have enough pet damage, you can fight Gollus while you’re there and try to farm for a nice Ring. The Outcast also calls for 2 bounties that require you to kill Heros in the Conflagration, which is a great reason for you to go out and kill Fleshwarped Commanders to get a better Fleshwarped Bulwark.

Early items that grant pet OA include Wraithcaller’s Mantle, Rhowari Cuirass, Dreadguard, and the Relic Mortality.

Rovers, Devil’s Crossing, and Homestead are great factions to increase your standing with as soon as possible because they contain multiple pieces of equipment that help out with resistances and other defensive priorities.

As you level up towards Ultimate, the best faction items that will hold you over until you obtain the Mythical pieces are: Coven Tamer’s Hood, Coven Lifebinder Mantle, Wendigo Spellweaver Spaulders, Elite Rhowari Shoulderguard, Coven Lifebinder Vestments, Wendigo Mace, Legion VoidCutter, Malmouth Stormcaster, Wendigo Oppressor Seal, Malmouth Stormbinder Pendant, and Legion Mark of the Void.

Legendary items that grant nice resistances are Mythical Meat Shield for the huge Health + Vitality Resistance, Mythical Greaves of Ill Omen for Reduced Stun Duration, Mythical Golemborn Greaves are great if you need more Pierce Resistance, Vanguard of the Legion gives you a lot of resistances, as do items like Mythical Legplates of Valor and Mythical Mark of Fierce Resolve. Mythical Fiendflesh Mantle is great as it not only gives pets Aether + Chaos resistance while you wait to fill up the Beastcaller’s Set, but it gives you 10,000 points of flat absorption. Mythical Fiendmaster Raiment gives your pets valuable Chaos Resistance and nice +Pet Damage. Stronghold Defender great for giving +All Skills - even if you’re not using a pistol, and something like Mythical Wreath of Souls is great for +All Conjurer skills if you don’t have the Beastcaller’s Cowl yet.

How has no one else commented on this beautiful pet build?

Stunning work and thank you!

Nice :cool:

Wow very nice

The defensive aspects of your char are mindblowing

No joke. I vote to nominate this the first tank pet build.

What about going Necro instad of Occultist?

I wanna see retaliation standard melee skeles, Wraith and Blight Fiend

You’re lucky when melee skeles are at least 1/3rd of what you summon… Don’t know why so many mages & archers every time.

Skill needs a transmuter, should be only giving melee skeles by default

Working on a HC (possible crucible) version of Skelemancer today, directly because of this cool build’s inspiration.

I won’t be going the retaliation route though as I think that is a conjurer strength. We’ll see how it turns out.

You make too many sacrifices going from Occultist to Necro, so I personally wouldn’t use Ritualist with this route.

Occultist gives the Summoner:

  • Curse of Frailty provides 25% Physical RR, which gives our pets more damage as they primarily deal physical damage.
  • 144 flat OA with Blood of Dreeg - flat OA bonuses are huge for getting enough OA for the Briarthorn’s to activate Assassin’s Blade and take advantage of the pierce retaliation RR.
  • Aspect of the Guardian gives +10 Physical Resistance and well overcap on Poison and Acid Resistance, the last one is especially required for several areas /dungeons.
  • Bonds of Bysmiel, with just a single point investment before bonuses, gives our pets an additional 76% Health, not to mention an additional 4% DA thanks to the skill modifier on the gloves.
  • Bloody Pox and Wasting shred opponent’s OA by 195, making it even harder for opponents to hit us and reducing their total damage if they do hit us.
  • Dreeg’s Evil Eye reduces the target’s Physical Damage by 18%, which helps against our pets’ weakest damage protection.

All of that is for a mere 32 Mastery Points. A Necromancer doesn’t have half the benefits that an Occultist brings to this set-up.

Amazing work.

I loved this build. I’m just wainting for the level guide to try it. Yes, i’m that lazy :stuck_out_tongue:

Nah, just messing with you, I put up a rough sketch of a leveling guide, it’s been over a year since I leveled up my Conjurer, so it’s hard to remember what’s more effective at the earlier levels.

I’m sure I botched something out of that memory, so let me know how your experience goes.

Why Shaman over Necro?

WAY better support for pet retaliation.

Just get to lv 2, max out Devouring swarm and start in crucible and farm 6 devotion points, about lv 16, and switch back to vanilla
Swarm will carry you for a while

then get into the Pet, etc

Well that’s what I did last week, very smooth and easy

Since any build with even a remote reliance on retaliation sees red at the sight of the Valbury bros, I figured it would be significant to let you know how this build fares against them:

No need to worry, they’re easy.

You have more than enough DPS with the Primal Spirit active to take them down. Make sure you time your Primal Spirit cast after your target (Aldritch -> Garl -> Hallos, one of the other members here has a pretty detailed guide on why you should attack them in that order) does the heal/damage absorption shield so that you can burst for maximum effectiveness. Garl has poison pools that lower your resistances and causes fumbles all over the place, so when you start seeing fumbles flying on the screen, detach and find a better area to fight them.

thanks for the great post. I have been trying to make my conjurer work and had been failing till now. still need to get all the mythical pieces together though