Went for a metallic look this time.
Stats are with self-buffs only, incl. Deadly Aim and Glyph rings that don’t have 100% uptime. Wayward Soul not pictured.
You may have seen some of my posts about Lightning and ranged itemization, when I first saw Storm Spread I fell in love with it and I wanted to make a build around it.
I was mad with glee when Crate decided to change the Evoker of Elgoloth from a Primal Strike weapon to a Savagery one, and it’s a good one as well.
So I finally got this build off the ground and here it is.
This build is very simple, it stacks Lightning damage which is multiplied by Savagery and then also the WPS.
It also gets some extra damage from converting the physical damage on Steel Resolve and Mogdrogen’s Pact at 60-70%.
With 110%+ Crit damage bonus, you can reach 2.9+ multipliers and 350k+ crits.
Attack speed is also quite good for a 2h rifle build: it has 183-189% permanently, which can be boosted to around 195% with Battle Cry from an Of Kings item.
Feral Hunger and Brute Force are some of the boons that DW gun builds lack and the former makes you quite tanky.
It uses many +mastery items since it’s a build that has many desirable skills.
Three items give +1 to both masteries and you have an additional +2 to Inquisitor and +1 to Shaman.
A main goal I had set for this build was that it had to be easy to play—I didn’t want to mess around with clunky Thermite Mines and be forced to keep foes walking through the flames or crap like that.
I just wanted to hold down the mouse button and shoot lasers.
Bursting Round shoots only once but it has an AoE and it also has the highest weapon damage of the three. This is your best pack clearing skill.
Chilling Rounds fires three times quickly, that’s why it’s viable to bind a Devotion skill to it.
Normally binding skills to WPS isn’t great since you end up with like 4-5% trigger chance per shot. But with these WPS they trigger often enough to make it viable.
Similarly, Storm Spread shoots twice the amount of listed projectiles, but you need to be close for all of them to hit.
The amount of hits makes it excellent for triggering Devotions, so the other RR skill goes on this.
And Elemental Storm is bound to Savagery itself so it’ll go off very often and give you some more AoE coverage.
-Supreme ease of use
As said above, this build is easy to play: you hold down the attack button which automatically applies 3 of your 4 resist reduction abilities at a high rate.
No clunky skills like Mines or refreshing ABB every 3 seconds are used and most of the time you don’t even need to do anything except shoot.
-Extreme single target damage
This char excels at offing single targets.
Test dummy times can go as low as 16-17s. Heck, I never had melee chars that could get it this low and they can use far better weapons.
-Relatively easy to start gearing
The Evoker weapon is the best you can get and luckily it’s a very common Legendary.
The belt and amulet are blue and the helm and rings can be crafted if you have the blueprints.
Also, no double rare MIs, but as with my other builds I tend to have MIs with one good rare affix and a desirable Magic affix.
-No Energy issues
In AoM with the extra power you can attain, not an insignificant amount of builds either fail or aren’t fun to play because you constantly have to mind your Energy or you can’t even sustain while using potions.
This build uses mostly cheap abilities and it has a lot of regeneration, so you’ll never run out of Energy normally and not even when you’re being drained.
Being ranged has several advantages: you point at things and they die without needing to walk over there.
And it allows you to kite some enemies that are dangerous and render them completely harmless.
-No gap closer
For me this is one of the biggest drawbacks of playing a ranged character: you have no mobility skill.
You can put a Riftstone in your melee weapon switch, but its CD does not move while it’s inactive so it’s not great.
Plus, every time you do that it turns off your Hell’s Bane Ammo toggle so you’ll have to change to something else instead.
Where this build somewhat struggles is its AoE potential.
Builds that are better than this one at that such as Fire Strike or Cadence based builds with pierce through have a much easier time with high HP packs.
This is only a problem in Crucible but in the campaign your damage output makes up for it and you can clear entire screens quite fast anyway.
-No circuit breaker
Despite needing a breather sometimes in dire situations such as Mad Queen charging at you while you’re rooted in place, this class combo doesn’t have an ability that makes you immune to damage like Blade Barrier or Mirror.
If you want to go out of your way to get it you can use Mark of Divinity.
Being ranged has many disadvantages as well. The weapons you can get are much worse than their melee counterparts, many abilities don’t work or work at reduced effect, you pay Piercing Tax on physical builds, almost every enemy has like 10-14% Deflect, Fumble cripples you, and so on.
The Fumble/Deflect combo absolutely ruins you if you let it—your damage output goes close to zero and a gunner that doesn’t leech will die faster than you can blink.
126.96.36.199 removed Deflection and made Fumble less effective so the above doesn’t matter as much anymore.
Grimtools (click me) Main build tailored for campaign
This build is the one I prefer: it’s light on defense and goes all out on offense.
In the campaign you don’t need more defense than this, you can even tank a pack of Oppressors & friends in Edge of Reality without too much trouble.
Big L can be safely tanked 100% of the time as well since he seems to do many small instances of damage with his non-melee attacks which the Seal covers.
Also, massively overcapped Elemental resists.
I was very happy with the devotion setup: this build has almost no waste and it turned out better than I thought. At first I went for Torch, but then I realized Hydra is pretty much as good and it saves me ~6 crucial points that could be invested in key value nodes like the flat damage on Tempest and the stun resist on Empty Throne.
Grimtools Crucible build 1
I don’t like playing this char in Crucible but this is one of the builds I used should you want to replicate it.
The items are mostly the same but swapping out Hell’s Bane Ammo for Haunted Steel makes it safer, not 100% necessary though. Feral Hunger and Ghoul are generally enough since your problem in Crucible isn’t not having enough leech, it’s not being able to leech because you’re disabled or missing.
Since the items give a lot of bonuses to Storm Totem, you can bind Hand of Ultos to it as well for a small increase in AoE potential.
The build uses Aura of Censure instead of Stormcaller’s Pact because I think the former is slightly better in Crucible.
The aura lets you melt resistant targets like Valdaran faster, and killing fast is important so you don’t get mobbed.
The difference is not super big though since Stormcaller’s is just so good for this build so if you don’t want to respec you can just leave it on that.
Grimtools Crucible build 2
This build is slightly different from the above one, it uses a 26/16 Storm Box for extra AoE and Hand of Ultos is bound to it since it can hit many targets and the Tether ability hits several times per second apparently so the proc rate is very high.
You need to find a new target to cast it on every few seconds though. The nice thing about it is that you can cast it through obstructions so you don’t need to walk all the way around something to get a clear shot with your rifle.
Equipment choices explained & alternatives
Light’s Defender set
This is one of the best sets in the game even after the minor nerfs it got last patch so no surprise there.
Its main weakness is that it’s a bit low on OA and I really wish the gloves would still have the non-Mythical ability.
The set has very high armor and also % bonuses to it, which lets you tank better compared to Ultos.
It doesn’t have any physical resist though, so strong foes in that type can hurt.
If you really want to you can replace one piece of it since the 4 set bonus isn’t useful for this build. The helm could be replaced with a Ravager one for example.
The gloves are mostly unbeatable with what’s available and the shoulders are very hard to beat too unless you have like Thunderstruck MI of Kings.
The chest armor can be replaced if you wanted to for some reason. Something like Divinesteel Hauberk could give you some better tanking capabilities if needed.
This build uses the blue Beronath amulet instead of Peerless Eye, despite being a Crit build and being somewhat low on OA.
The reason for this is that you have a lot of weapon damage and the WPS are very strong, so you’ll want to shoot faster to trigger them more often.
That’s not to say Peerless Eye is bad though, it’s actually about as good. What you lack in speed you make up for with better crits.
I just like shooting faster for quality of life and since it’s also much easier to get, it’s a no brainer.
These rings are quite good: they have a lot of flat damage and a proc with a high uptime. The skill bonuses fit the build very well too.
I use a green ring because I had it lying around, but you can easily use 2 of those Glyphs, the extra flat damage is huge.
This slot is very flexible, I think the Kuba Chausses are great for this build: it’s low on Pierce res so it covers that quite well.
Try to get a good suffix on it (Kings or Flesh Hulk for the stun resist) and any good prefix.
If you don’t have 40%+ stun resist with the pants, you need to put a Leathery Hide in your helm and Scaled Hide in the pants to get high armor absorption.
It’s blue but it’s one of those rare items that gives +1 to both masteries in a slot that normally doesn’t get that.
Doesn’t have Crit damage but who cares, this thing is great and easy to find.
I used this medal for the speed mainly. Tempest Sigil is probably just as good as it and the non-Myth. version is craftable.
You can also use Direwolf Crest for the stats, the extra OA and Pierce res on that fills a gap good.
For Crucible you can also use Mark of Divinity for a safety net, it’s not necessary though.
Stonehide or Thunderstruck is good. Since boot crafts always come with 2 affixes now, try to get one with a good suffix even if it’s yellow.
If you’re rich roll the Stoneplate Greaves, otherwise do the cheaper heavy armor boots.
For legendary you can use Runeguard Greaves too.
The weapon is the only endgame weapon for this build so it should be gotten eventually. Luckily a lot of your damage comes from your abilities so even with a bad weapon you can do a lot of damage. I think I already had 90k+ crits even around level 80 still using the Lokarr set and a green lv. 40 MI rifle from Ugdenbog.
For the augments I chose to go with some overcap safety but should you wish to do so, you can forgo that and go for the 3% health ones instead.
One of your jewelry slots should have the Kymon’s Will augment, but if you’re daring or don’t set foot in Crucible, you can easily use another 2% OA / 2% DA one.
Hold down button and watch stuff die.
Against hard stuff, roll your fingers over 1234 or whatever you got them set to to trigger all your abilities. That’s it.
For the Inquisitor’s Seal it is deployed where your cursor is aimed, so you may have to aim the cursor at your character.
I really wish it would just automatically drop at your feet when the key is pressed, it would make the skill much more convenient.
For some enemies you might have to kite, in the campaign it rarely happens though.
Word of Renewal is not really used for the healing part but for the buffs it provides, so always keep that up.
Everything in the campaign is probably fair game. I haven’t seen some bosses like Aleksander or Grava’Thul but I have no doubt that the build can beat them.
I wouldn’t do Ravager with this build—it’s really boring and you’d probably have to kite him for like an hour since you can’t tank him.
It’s possible though if you have good kiting skills, but it’s just smarter to do him with a dedicated build.
Lokarr isn’t a problem for this build, as mentioned in the intro he can be tanked easily due to Seal and Feral Hunger and he dies in about 20 seconds, so this build makes for quite a good Edge of Reality farmer.
As for Crucible, I would not make this character for that. Crucible is basically Dodge The Fumble Pools: The Game and you always have to be mindful of them to the point it’s annoying.
I mostly play Nightblades and another thing I miss is the Shadow Strike that can be used as a pseudo escape skill.
And since this build has relatively bad AoE and no circuit breaker, you need very good player skills to beat Crucible with it.
You always have to be on your toes: even though most waves you can just facetank on top of your seal, some waves you get fumbled and your damage goes to 0 or you get trapped by Chthonians at the same time and can’t run away which means you’re probably dead.
It’s not that you can’t beat Crucible with it though. With easy waves and/or mods I’ve done it in as fast as 4 minutes and a few seconds, usually it takes around 5 mins though and slow runs are 6+.
Success rate is 80%+ but as said it highly depends on your experience.
- As always, the build is flexible and many of the points can be moved around.
If you want a capped Word of Renewal for the heal and DA you can take the points from Arcane Empowerment, Mogdrogen’s Pact or Steel Resolve for example.
Especially for HC this is a good idea.
- The items add a lot of points to Storm Totem as well, so you could put a point in that and use it along with Storm Shard for extra AoE.
You can also put a point in Rune of Hagarrad for extra DA debuff, I’m lazy though.
- Reflect isn’t a problem, Feral Hunger + Ghoul will always keep you alive.
- Shamelessly stole the layout from my previous guide.
- And yes, the pew pew sounds probably will eventually drive you crazy.
- You can take the Horn of Gandarr skill for some crowd control when you get mobbed.
It confuses your foes in a moderate AoE which can give you some time to recover.
Naturally it doesn’t work against bosses and heroes but sometimes even large packs of white/yellow enemies are dangerous.
- This char makes for a good Edge of Reality farmer because the majority of enemies there are either Chthonic or Eldritch, and guess what?
The Word of Renewal line gives like 7-12% less damage from those types and 20% more against them, which absolutely shreds them.
Mad Queen, Edge of Reality, Cronley
Showing kill on MQ, you can’t always tank her like that though, sometimes you just die.
In the Edge of Reality part, you can see how even the offensive setup has no problems tanking a pack of Oppressors and other things. The first Rift Adherent took a long time to kill, probably either had extra resists or the lack of crits did it. He normally goes down in seconds though, like the other ones did.
I added the Cronley run since I wanted to show what normal gameplay looks like. Plus, I like Cronley.
Two 140-150 Gladiator runs using rifle + Storm Box & Stormcaller’s Pact
Run 1: Loxmere, Alkamos/Archon/Lucius/Thalonis, Benn’Jahr x2/Valdaran.
Run 2: Mad Queen, Archon/Krieg/Lucius/Malkadarr/Thalonis, Fabius/Zantarin x2.
The Storm Box skill is actually quite good, I like it more than Storm Totem. In narrow paths its AoE really comes in handy and you can see how it does decent damage during kiting segments like in 149.
Zantarin is actually quite hard now. Unless I’m crazy, you can’t leech off him anymore but you used to be able to, which makes him dangerous.
You can leech off his minions but they die pretty fast. The guy himself can RR you for -50% Vit too, so he can burst you easily if you’re not careful.
Two 140-150 Gladiator runs using rifle only & Aura of Censure
Run 1: MQ, Alkamos/Archon/Krieg/Lucius, Fabius/Valdaran/Zantarin.
Run 2: Loxmere, Alkamos/Boris/Krieg/Sentinel/Shar’Zul, Benn’Jahr/Valdaran x2.
Both these runs have the +40% life buff on enemy, and -life % on me in the 2nd run so not really good representatives of fast clears, but at least they show what hard runs can be like and both have a good chunk of tanking 2-3 Nemeses at the same time.
Mad Queen in Crucible is quite hard for this build and must be kited since you can’t tank her red aura + everything else at the same time.
It usually takes 3, sometimes 4 uses of her red aura until you can down her.
Wave 149 can be mostly tanked if you don’t start with Cronley, especially if you use Haunted Steel. Shar’Zul + Alkamos can wreck you though so it’s safer to kite those too.
In 141-142 of the first run you can see how badly fumbling ruins this char, it took like 90 seconds just to pass those 2 rounds.
Run 2 has that 149 round with the hardest combo, but even with 40% life enemy buff you can see it’s not that hard to do for a ranged char if you can kite.
I actually almost got killed at 150 though, I should’ve just stayed still on top of my seal.
Full Gladiator 150-170 run, 19m30s
160: Grava, Reaper, Zant
165: Reaper, Vald
170: Grava, Reaper, Vald, Zant
Mutators weren’t too bad but Reaper is really hard.
Build used was “Crucible #2” with Storm Box with a few alterations: I used Aura of Conviction for the PDR and Ravager’s Eye augment in the weapon for extra DA.
I removed the Devotion points in Wraith, Tempest and Jackal and put them in Sailor’s Guide (slow resist is needed, extra PDR) and Wolverine for extra DA.
188.8.131.52. full Gladiator 150-170 run, 15m45s
This build could already farm Glad 170 reliably in 184.108.40.206, but after the patch Crucible is much more lenient: you don’t feel like you have to be on your toes all the time, some Nemesis combos don’t feel brutally unfair as much as they used to be and facetanking feels a lot safer as well.
Clear times seem better too, this run was a bit under 16m for the entire thing even with -AS mutator.
Ancient Grove full clear
A first run through the new roguelike dungeon.
As said before, I wouldn’t make this for Crucible—it’s like putting a sniper in the ring with Mike Tyson in his prime.
Unless you really like the gameplay or you’re very skilled, you’re probably going to be disappointed there since this build just isn’t made for that.
I only did it and added the videos to prove that I could.
With the Deflection removed and Fumble reduced in effectiveness, the above is no longer true and this char has no real glaring weaknesses anymore.