[] DW Cold Melee Infiltrator: Icy Blades of Death Beckon (all content viable except Ravager)

That’s an Execution. :slight_smile:

Took me a while to get a character finished since I don’t trade and I started completely fresh in AoM, but here it is.
Not surprising if you’ve been following my builds—it’s a Nightblade that focuses on Cold damage. Yawn?
Anyway, AoM enemies do a lot of damage which makes DW builds like this harder to play than in the past but they can still dish out tons of damage themselves too.
Personally I just play them 'cause I like the playstyle, but shield and/or ranged builds are a lot safer in the current state of the game.

As for this build, it’s a variation on my old Cold BMs, trying out the new class.
Inquisitor is a very well-rounded class and fits the Cold melee builds better than Soldier did.
This should mean that it performs better than a BM, if Cadence wasn’t so all-powerful.
I’ll make one of those eventually and compare their performance, it’s probably pretty close though.

Build mechanics
It’s almost exactly the same as any old melee NB but this build has a few gimmicks added to it.
It uses four items to convert various damage types into flat Cold damage. With perfect rolls, you can convert 66% Piercing and 30% Acid damage into Cold.
This means the Piercing damage on Aura of Conviction gives you extra damage, and Lethal Assault gives around ~30 flat Cold from the Acid damage pretty much for free. Not too shabby.
Other than that, this build has a super overcapped 22/12 Biting Cold that gives a massive -350 DA to help land those big crits.
The other items are focused on stacking as much flat Cold damage as possible.

-High OA
3.1k tooltip with permanent buffs which spikes to 3.5k with Deadly Aim that has a 50% uptime.
An additional -420 enemy DA gives me an effective permanent OA of ~3.5k and 4k with Deadly Aim on.
-High DA
2.7k DA plus -300 enemy OA means you’re uncrittable by pretty much everything.
-Good single target damage
For a default attack build at least, good executions are in the 250k x2 range, with racial and Crucible buffs you can hit 350k+. My record is 404k or something.
-Layered defense
Besides the DA you have 12-14k HP, 15-25% physical resist, 30% dodge, freezes/slows, 20%+ enemy fumble and 2 separate heals.
Plus other stuff like Blade Barrier and Ghoulish Hunger to keep you alive.
-Good resist reduction
Cold builds have many options for RR, this build has around -110 flat and -15%. Most of it is either easy to use or automatic as well.
-Relatively easy to start gearing
This build uses 3 blue items that are all extremely common drops. The relic, pants and boots are crafted as well.
No double rare MIs in my builds, but it will take a while to get good rolls on the greens.
The Alkamos rings are a PITA to get though, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
-Can do all content except Ravager
To farm Gladiator you need a baseline of items though.

-Dual wielding melee means squishy
Compared to a shield character with 2.5k+ armor, you take a lot of damage. This build relies on high leech and killing before you get killed to survive.
Builds like this do require an amount of skill, knowledge and attention to play effectively. Without that you’ll probably die a lot.
-AoE is only passable
The build has 4 offensive devotions through which you can clean up foes in a small area around you but it has no wide AoE.
-Good MI weapons are hard to farm for
It took me a ton of runs and I got a barely passable weapon, to get a weapon with 2 good affixes is as good as impossible but this build doesn’t need them at all.

Grimtools (click me)
This is the build I used to farm Gladiator. HP is a bit on the low side, but with the life buff it’s plenty and I almost never died.
The build has some flexibility in it: you can move around some of the points to increase your survivability or damage output.
For example, you can take points out of Arcane Empowerment, Aura of Conviction, Veil of Shadow and put them in different places such as Dual Blades, Chillsurge, Circle of Slaughter, etc.

Equipment choices explained & alternatives
2 piece Silver Sentinel is surprisingly good. Both items have passable damage, resists and +skills for this build and the 2 set bonus gives a nice 26% Aether/Chaos res.
Since these items drop so frequently, try to get the chest with 5% phys res and as close to 30% Acid -> Cold conversion as possible on the shoulders.

Another blue that’s an extremely common drop. Gives +1 to both masteries and piercing resist.
The Hooked Net proc grants another -70 DA but I don’t think it works against bosses since it’s a trap type like Blade Trap.
Try to get 4% DA on it. Alternatively if you’re rich you can use a Ravager helm.

Peerless Eye, no surprise there. If you don’t have it yet, you can use Empowered Essence of Beronath too, I used that for a long time.
The 10% AS on that may seem attractive, but for endgame Peerless Eye is indisputably better.

I’m a big fan of the Really Great Pants. Very solid stats as the Cunning and Spirit give damage and OA, it also has a lot of life and dodge.
Plus it’s cheap so you can craft several times to get a good one. If you don’t want to use this you can farm a good green. Look for resists, life and stun res.

The new Ugdenbog Chillstrife daggers are very powerful but it’s also extremely hard to get good rolls on them. If you don’t have those yet, Malkadarr or Spectral swords with AS and flat Cold damage are fine too—these drop a lot in the Crucible so you’ll get a good one eventually.
For purples Nex is the best you can get: it’s fast and the heal from the proc shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s like a Dryad on a 0.5s CD, somehow it has gone under the nerf radar so far. :stuck_out_tongue: (Probably because no one plays builds like this)
Deathmarked Claws are decent too but not great. Avoid Crescent Moon as it’s far too slow and the build has enough RR already.

While this build mainly focuses on NB, the Inquisitor’s top relic fits this build much better than the NB’s does.
If you don’t have this yet, you can use Nemesis until you get it.

Alkamos rings are the best you can get but they’re really rare. I recommend trading for them if you aren’t prepared to do 100+ runs.
If you don’t have these rings yet, get a Kymon’s Will Augment on your jewelry for the enemy damage reduction.

Stonehide or Thunderstruck tend to be the best prefixes. Since boot crafts always come with 2 affixes now, it’s not that hard to get a good yellow suffix such as Attack or Vitality. If you’re rich roll the Stoneplate Greaves, otherwise do the cheaper heavy armor boots.
For legendary you can use Runeguard Greaves.

The remaining slots speak for themselves. If you don’t have those items yet, Arcanoweave Cord and Dreadchill Grasp are some good and very common drops.
As for the medal, there aren’t that many good legendary medals for this build but even green ones can have very high life, resists and OA/DA so don’t just vendor them.

Slice them until they’re dead. Really, it’s not rocket science.
A common routine is:

  1. Start with Shadow Strike which has Elemental Storm bound to it—this will land you up close and put RR in the right position.
  2. Use Ring of Steel after to freeze everything around you (position your SS to be in the middle of a pack) and this drops a Whirlpool.
  3. After that you have time to drop a Seal and Rune if needed, and use Amarasta’s Blade Burst for the damage buff.
  4. Go back to step 1 and repeat until foes are dead.

Always keep your heals up for their buffs and try to time them to cover for big hits.
Ghoul will keep you alive against almost anything if you have adequate items but when in doubt, use Blade Barrier or run out of ground pools and wait for your 4.5s cooldown PB or constitution heal.

This build can do anything except Ravager who is pretty much impossible for DW melee Infiltrator in the current state of the game.
However you can beat Ravager if you respec into a Rune of Hagarrad build and pick up a shield. It’ll prolly take like 90 mins of kiting though.

Aleksander is very easy for this build and explodes in a pile of gore when you charge him. All you need to do is dodge his meteor.

I haven’t run into the new Kubacabra yet but I’ve beaten the harder version.
This boss isn’t particularly hard: just wait for him to use his breath and run away, then you can attack for like 8 seconds before he uses it again.

Grava’Thul isn’t impossible for this build either. You take less damage from Chthonics with Word of Renewal and as long as you can survive one hit you can leech back to full instantly. You don’t need to move far from him so he’ll never use his death attack.

This build can farm Lokarr too and usually without dying if you time your heals right, but it requires mostly maxed items.
The most important stats are armor and phys res and to overcap fire res by about 70. He still hits like a truck though and he can kill you in 1 hit even with 15k HP and 25% phys res if he spawns with the wrong weapon or crits you.
Don’t try him on HC without a shield unless you like gambling.

This build can cut through Challenger Crucible like it’s butter with relatively cheap items, but Gladiator requires good items and for DW builds you need some player skill too.

Some notes

  1. One of your weapon components should always be Shard of Beronath, but the other one can be Haunted Steel (probably best allround), Coldstone (cheap and good), Seal of Night (for OA junkies).
  2. OA is very important for damage, there is a very big difference between 2800 and 3300+ OA. For a top build I’d want it to be in the 3500-4000 range.
    This is why the build uses Peerless Eye instead of Empowered Essence, even though you practically need the latter to cap your AS because Inquisitor doesn’t give any speed to melee builds.
    But even so, the AS is not as good as the extra OA and crit.
  3. The Arcanum Dust Augment from Malmouth is extremely well rounded though and can be a good alternative if you want more defense.
  4. This build already has quite good damage, but if you were to have 2 top MI daggers then it would be completely crazy.
    One of my rings has a bottom barrel roll and some other pieces aren’t close to a top roll either so improvement can be found there as well.
  5. The fighter MI weapons such as Malkadarr’s are much easier to get a good roll on since the caster daggers have a huge bias toward caster affixes.
    A Malkadarr with a simple Alacrity suffix and yellow flat Cold prefix will almost certainly beat a Chillstrife without attack speed, and the former is much easier to get than a good dagger.
  6. I like playing Cold builds but I actually think an Acid version is better right now. Why? Two words: Deathguard Blade.
  7. If you want more damage, take points out of Word of Renewal and Veil and put them in Dual Blades or Chillsurge.
  8. If you have good green pants or boots you can change some of the components for ones with extra armor and/or absorption.

Some videos
A Gladiator 140-150 run.
A bit over 4 mins, pretty good considering I had the -AS debuff. Loxmere in 147, Shar’Zul & Lucius in 148 and Fab/Iron Maiden/Zant in 150.

A farm run in the new secret area.
Potential spoilers, click at your own risk.

A battle against the secret boss, 35s kill
Another run, boss only. I have to get a bit lucky so I don’t need to move. Sometimes I end up using both heals and potion so I need to run away to recharge them.


Some more stuff
Why no Deathmarked/Korba set?
I was considering DM at first for the 3 set attack speed bonus, but overall the set is just not good for a default attack build like this.
DM was made for SS hybrid Cold/Pierce builds and defensively it’s weak as well until you get to 5 set which you definitely don’t want with this build.

As for Korba’s, which functions as the new melee Cold set—jajaja has shown that you can make a great build with it but the set has its own problems (no OA/DA, the Bleed axe is bad).
And in this build you’re missing the juicy 35 flat damage to Savagery and the Lightning -> Cold conversion is useless, which makes Silver Sentinel best overall for this build since it strikes the best balance between offense and defense.
Of course you can also use a monster green but the flat damage from Silver Sentinel shoulders is significant.

Different class combos
Here’s a Blademaster with the same overall build.
The items are virtually unchanged except for the Relic.
Overall differences are that BM has more armor and HP and has higher overall OA + Cadence, but Infiltrator has the juicy 4k+ spike OA with Deadly Aim and that Crit damage from it + Seal.
I haven’t tested the BM version but it shouldn’t be worse, just a bit different so if you prefer Soldier-based characters you can easily make that one instead.

Will add more if I think of it.

reserved asdf2

reserved asdf3

kudos for using legit weapons, keeping it classy:cool:

Hehe, even that Chillstrife took ages to farm, I’m pretty sure I did over 500 runs.
The best I got was that one and I have a fire one with Scorched Runes, not great but better than nothing.

Dumb thing is that I got a Loxmere dagger of Shattering from Crucible lol. It gives me a bit more tooltip DPS but I’m pretty sure the Chillstrife is better due to the -10 Cold res and better AS.
Wish I could get some Frostborn/Chilled of Shattering just to see how ridiculous the damage would be, but there’s no point in farming that.

All you can hope for is that when Janaxia/Larria are added to Crucible that you get lucky with a random drop, but specifically farming for it is just pointless.

It really reminds me of your old Spellbreaker build as you mentioned even the devotions are exactly the same except the new Murmur.
I loved that Spellbreaker btw.

Great build and you know how to make builds around Nightblade viable and sturdy :wink:

i’ve been doing alot of janaxia/larria post i’ve had some half decent ones, basically single affix frostborn / shattering with the wrong elemeent on the other.

anyway i find it reasonably doable to get one with a decent prefix of frostbite. such as inchanter’s etc. so far my best ones are glacial / enchanters of frostbite. spellweaving can spawn high cold dmg as well

i’d probably give up IAS for a frostborn of x. the proc is really strong along with freeze resist. still trying to farm a frostborn of frsotbite.

i’ve had some frostborn of aether and such :\

lox are more for SS. chillstrife even without IAS is quite good for melee LMB

That seems pretty cool to play.

Little question though: why not use Witch Moon instead of Ugdenbog’s Chillstrife and invest massively in Rune of Hagarrad (19/16 - 22/12 - 21/12) since you have a lot of %frostburn bonus and %pierce to cold? :slight_smile:


thanks for the build. Why is peerless eye mandatory? Because of the +10% Crit damage?

Thanks, and yeah the devos are pretty set since you take cold ones for cold builds, no surprise there. :slight_smile:
I want to make another Trozan build eventually too. With the new Eastern set added which is really strong and stuff like that Trozan scepter and Starfury Emerald too, I think it could be a lot of fun.

But like my last build, it’s probably better to just scale the frostburn from Frozen Core instead since you can get insanely high ticks with that with the 50% crit damage on it.

Yeah, Frostborn + 400% cold/frost damage sounds good too, I’ve not seen one yet though. I keep getting that Infernal and Conflagration really often somehow.
Maybe it’s a sign.

I started this build as a Rune of Hag main at first but later I switched to melee since I prefer that.
But yeah, RoH is really strong right now, especially after the buffs.
Chillsurge has like 1400 frostburn/3s which easily translates into 150k+ ticks at high levels.

As for this build, if interested one could take some points from the non-essential skills and put them in Chillsurge for those frostburn ticks.
I wouldn’t recommend leveling RoH itself though since the build doesn’t have enough CDR for that.

Rather make a whole different build completely focused on frostburn and the shotgun damage from HoR itself for such a playstyle.

It’s just the best all round amulet for a majority of builds.
As said you really want 3500+ OA in a top DPS build and this amulet has a lot of it and also crit damage on top of that. And then that +1 skills makes it pretty much unbeatable unless you want more defense or another amulet that has a killer skill modifier for your build.
But you can definitely use Essence of Beronath if you don’t have Peerless yet, it’s not a bad amulet at all.

can this work as a spellbreaker equally as good? i have one 70ish and dont wanna reroll

I wouldn’t make this as a Spellbreaker, they are much better suited as either full caster or Shadow Strike focused.
You can do it but it’d be squishier since you don’t get Aura of Conviction and Arcanist gives a lot less HP than Inq does.
In return you get some bonuses that aren’t really useful for this build like CDR.
You do get some stuff like Mirror/Maiven but that’s about it.

In short, probably not unless you want to make things hard on purpose.

Added some more stuff in the 2nd post that I forgot in the 1st post.

I tested the Ravager helm too, it’s pretty nice since it makes capping resists significantly easier.
You lose some DA but you gain some damage too. Overall the best one is the leech version: you can never have enough leech on builds like this.
Crit one is good too though if you want more damage, the extra life isn’t really needed since the build has enough defenses already to survive Glad consistently.

If enough demand I can add a leveling guide too, but doesn’t really seem like it. :wink:
I was surprised that DW builds seem to get so little interest on these forums since people tend to like the DPS type chars like Rogues in WoW, carry in Dota/LoL, etc.
Hell I know I do.

Great build.
Added it.

Impressive. Perhaps there is hope for you after all.


I’ve definitely been looking for a cold build. Do you have a rough leveling guide to this?

lol. :smiley:

adds more Scrap to the pile built from dismantled Lokarr set pieces

This was my first AoM char and I was just testing the skills. I started with Rune of Hagarrad which can pretty much one shot most bosses in normal so it’s a good leveling skill if you don’t mind the arming delay.

You can also level it as a melee character just by pumping Dual Blades and getting the fastest weapons you can find, plus Shadow Strike.
Both are effective playstyles so it’s up to what you prefer.

Got a leveling guide? Starting from scratch…

And how does it compare to this DW build you think: http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64311.

Pro/con defense, dps and such…

Leveling this, currently at 63 and now gaining some pace due to being able to use SoB.
Still baffles me how can you have such high burst damage just from SoB.