Rejoice, pet users! Version 184.108.40.206 has graced us with powered-up pets, and I devised this build to showcase that even unconventional pet builds can take on the endgame content of Grim Dawn. Do you love being in the thick of things with your pets as you both dish out damage? Do you love lightning bolts everywhere? Maybe you just like hitting things in the face with a mace while your pets watch in awe? Then this is the build for you. This is a hybrid build, meaning at least a sizable portion of the damage comes from both player-based and pet-based sources. I further define a hybrid build as a build which is capable of killing Nemesis-level enemies consistently with solely player damage and solely pet damage.
+Gladiator 170 viable: https://youtu.be/5SRBDr_9b3o
+Extremely tanky - I typically only have to kite on wave 170
+Over -100 resist reduction for enemies
+over a dozen dual buffs (player+pet) for you and your birdies
+Reliable and adaptable - can be easily transformed into a full-fledged pet build by moving around a dozen or so points
+Doesn’t require much precision
+Play out a live action re-enactment of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, except with more lightning
-Requires some specialized gear to function at max strength (can likely still clear gladiator 170 with lots of patience with less optimal gear)
-too much lightning?
2 pieces of Light’s Defender (chest and hands) for great survivability, DA, resistances, and offensive player stats.
Skybreach Bulwark for some nice defensive bonuses, a decent proc, and more skill points
Spark of Ultos, Voidmancer’s Cord, Glyph of Kelphat’Zoth - for a spicy mix of pet/player offensive stats
Mogdrogen’s Ardor, Ravager’s Dreadgaze for a huge chunk of skill points and decent overall bonuses. Dreadgaze gets a nice support skill as a bonus
Will of Bysmiel to enable the ability to summon 2 Ravens. This is the keystone of the build
Mantle of the Patron, Wendigo Conjuring Seal and Occultist’s/Warlock’s Wendigo Gaze for pet bonuses and skill points to Summon Familiar
Solael Sect Legguards, Rare Stoneplate Greaves to fill out gaps in resistances.
I tested Mogdrogen the Wolf and wasn’t impressed by the pet speed increases (ravens seem to benefit from this stat less than other pets), so I aimed for Primordial/Order affinity. Shieldmaiden, Solemn Watcher, and Obelisk of Menhir give nice shield and defensive stats. Widow gives much needed resist reduction. Ishtak and Bard’s Harp give 2 buffs which provide both player and pets boosted OA, DA, and survivability. Shepherd’s Crook, Raven, and Panther give great pet bonuses.
Skill Point Summary:
Max ultimate ravens allow the ravens to fire 5 projectiles, each dealing about 6,000 damage before devotion buffs, debuffs, or crits. This means 30,000 damage per Raven if they manage to shotgun, before crits and resist reduction. Max Lightning Strike deals 10,000 damage (pre-debuff or crit) in a large AoE. After debuffs, this number can easily exceed 100,000 with crits. Some points in Storm Spirit gives a noticeable chunk of flat damage to you and your birds both.
Vulnerability and Raging Tempest are taken for a combined -65% elemental resist reduction. Blood of Dreeg = fantastic flat OA for you and pets, and its modifier gives you great physical resist. Heart of the Wild and Wendigo Totem make you virtually immortal against all but the toughest enemies. Bonds of Bysmiel with Manipulation are both 1-point wonders; as I mentioned previously, the ravens don’t seem to scale as well with total speed as other pets, and I didn’t observe a noticeably faster clear time with maxed Manipulation.
One point in briarthorn and its last modifier gives even more survivability alongside a nice little OA boost, and Primal Bond makes you more survivable while allowing your ravens to crit extremely hard (crits hovering around 3.0x multiplier). Savagery and Tenacity of the Boar give the player some offensive potential while boosting OA and DA.
Other ways to build
I’ve also had success in gladiator 170 by removing most points in Savagery to invest in Manipulation. I’ve also successfully dropped Bard’s Harp to pick up Rhowan’s Crown for another source of elemental resist reduction. I’ve tried to test the Mogdrogen devotion, but this significantly impairs my survivability due to being unable to invest in some defensive devotions. This in turn forces me to abandon facetanking in favor of kiting, after which the build essentially becomes a traditional kite-while-your-pets-kill-things build and ceases to function as a hybrid. While this is likely a perfectly viable pet build, my goal was to create a hybrid build based around Summon Familiar.
I initially built around the Primal Instinct relic, but the little buggers die too quickly to all the AoE damage in the crucible. You could also choose to use more pieces of the Light’s Defender set, but my primary aim was to get that sexy 5% DA boost without giving up too many pet bonuses. You could choose to use a Riftstone component if you want to gap-close a little more quickly, but I found the over-capped aether resist to be extremely helpful for taking down Aleksander and other Aetherial nasties like Anasteria.