[]-[Spellbinder] Essence Drain , pure offense (in work)

Hey everyone!

This is my first guide on here and also, the use of this format help is new for me, i will do my best to make it as comfortable as possible for you to read it.

Grimtools Link:


(Selfbuffed, no proccs, just standing lazy in town)

Why Spellbinder? Why Arcanist? Why so offensive?

  • Permanent bonus to Spirit+Offensive Ability
  • Permanent bonus to Energy Regeneration
  • Permanent bonus to Critical Damage Multiplier
  • Permanent bonus to Casting Speed
  • Permanent bonus to Skill Cost Reduction

Grim Dawn offers so many interesting interactions. I know of the Inquisitor and its potential on the offense and the defense side.
But, i tested and played Inquisitor quite a lot the last weeks and it was time for another jump into the Arcanist-Tree.

The Inquisitors “Deadly Aim” is a 50% Skill… if you don’t modify the skill via Items it has roughly a 50% uptime, which cuts its potential by a lot.
Everything we get from that massive proc, we can get as a permanent boost from the Arcanist tree.

As you can see in the Build-Link, i don’t use “Maivens Protection Sphere”… i maxed out “Siphon Souls” and boosted “Ravenous Earth” quite a lot. If you think, you need some more defense on the cost of a bit damage, you can, of course, play with your available skill points.

This Setup is meant to be offensive. This build, due to its basic Cooldown Reduction, has allways the full potential of power. We have no temporary effects and “Hungering Void” is active almost allways.

Rotation - How to deal damage:

  1. Cast “Ravenous Earth” --> Reduce target’s HP --> Reduce their damage --> Reduce their resistances --> decent damage

1.a. Cast “Aether Corruption” (granted by Component) --> Reduce target’s resistances --> tiny damage (Worth for heroes/bosses)

  1. Cast “Siphon Souls” --> Lower target’s “Offensive Ability” --> Grants “over time healing” --> great damage --> proccs “Hungering Void”

  2. Cast “Drain Essence” --> Lower target’s “Offensive Ability” --> massive damage & healing (Healing gets dramatically improved by “Riftwarped Gloves”

That’s pretty much it.

There are no buffs to maintain, there is no “Seal” where you have to stand in. In my opinion this is more of a “Comfort Build”. It’s pretty much straight forward and doesn’t need any specific timings etc. And i think, this aspect makes the build so fun and “mobile”.

For heavier fights you can help yourself with a “Mark of Torment”, but more or less, everything that is not a boss, dies very very quick and with this gear and “stat setup”, you heal yourself very quick.

Who can use this build? What content can you do with it?

  • This build is meant to be for overyone. It is also hardcore viable. Replace offensive components with defensive ones, get your “Maivens Protection Sphere” skill and boost your physique. Change your devotions or switch between Items.
    There is plenty of room to individualize the “Drain Essence - Spellbinder”

  • Depending on what you want to do with this character and how you set up your character, it can do everything. Cruicible, Nemesis hunts and Superboss fights.

Again… keep in mind that this setup is an offensive one, the focus was mainly: Reach high Spirit, Offensive Ability and high Crit Damage.

For the Main Campaign and its “normal bosses and heroes”, the build is perfect and has ionsane clear speed. And for my part, that’s all i do with him.

Gear Choice:

You need:

Uroboruuk’s Guise - Set

Mythical Cord of Violent Decay - Belt

Mythical Mark of Anathema

This is basically the “must have setup” you should allways have. The Set for the power, the belt for the “Hungering Reach” and Arcanist bonus and the medal for the “Offensive-Reduction” to help out your survivability.

Devotion Binding:

  1. Wayward Soul --> Any permanent Aura
  2. Hungering Void --> Siphon Souls
  3. Arcane Bomb --> Drain Essence

Why do i use “Arcane Bomb” instead of “Aether Fire”?

Lets do a small “Weakening the Enemy Calculation”

Offensive Ability: 272 +225 = 497 OA
(Malus for enemy hit by "Arcane Bomb"plus while under the effect of "Drain Essence)

Total Damage: 20%
(Ravenous Eearth- Decay modifier)

Aether Resistance: 34%/36%/8%
(Arcane Bomb, Spectral Wraith and Aether Corruption)

Vitality Resistance: 36%
(Spectral Wraith)

(Keep in mind, those numbers can differ from your values, because of Devotion-Level, Skills and Skill-Levels.)

What i like about the “Arcane Bomb” setup is, that it support your survivability AND the damage output for possible group members. “Arcane Bomb” + “Aether Corruption” means 44% lightning resistance reduction for group aswell.

The heavy targets are allways Bosses & Nemesis. In general those are the enemies you prepare for. and a heavy Restistance/Offensive-Reduction is my choice here.
Siphon Souls & Drain Essence deal enough damage, there is no need for “Aether Fire” in my setup.

Offense wise:

Widow -->Imp

Devotion - Allocation

If you want to build as offensive as i did, use the following step by step guideline, this includes a step backward to gain back points.
This click-through should be as easy as possible, without many claculations, some points might look wasted in the first place.

  • All Crossroads
  • Viper
  • Jackal
  • Hawk
  • Scholar’s Light
  • Empty Throne
  • Chariot of the Dead

- Remove Scholar’s Light

  • Sailor’s Guide
  • Gallows
  • Widow
  • Panther

- Remove Crossroads - Keep Blue & Red

  • Spear of the Heavens
  • Dying God (do not use the “flat damage-one” located in the end of this star sign)
  • Spider, 2 points


Bloodlord Thalonis + Loghorrean

Malmouth Outskirts

Ransacked Lighthouse

Temple of the Three

The Infestation

Port Valbury - Full Run
(A long time ago… since i’ve been here the last time, i kinda lost myself in one place xD

Cruicible + Statements will follow!

Congrats on your first guide. I have to say that in inquis Tree there si also Death sentence with 30% aetehr RR. “Permanent” if you are not lazy to cast:p

Thank you for this guide! I’m following it now and I’m enjoying it. It’s beginner friendly. However, I’m confused with the devotion part.

Glad you like it.

Iam working very much these days and didn’t have time to finish this build.

I defenetly intent to make a full “How to Devotion” list to get to my final build.

Again, i remind you and the rest… it is a fully offensive devotion setup, mostly to get a high multiplier on %offensive Ability and crit damage.

I got some time later on to bring more details into this guide. :wink:


  1. Added Devotion - Allocation
  2. Updated Skill tree due to overcapping Drain Essence–> now higher "Decay modifier for “Ravenous Earth” 14%–>20% target’s damage reduction.

Thank you very much for the reply and adding the steps for the devotions. I really appreciate it. As I’ve played I’ve kept in mind that it’s an offensive build and I appreciate you stating that as many guides don’t tell you that, but to be fair the player should know more or less on their own whether or not it’s more offensive or defensive. Personally I prefer defensive builds because I’m actually quite terrible playing any other way but this is a fun build with a class and skills I haven’t tried before. So I welcome the challange and the learning that will come from it. Thanks again, friend! :slight_smile:

Videos have been added to the entry post.

Cruicible + Statements will follow the next days! :smiley:

I wanted to make a Drain Essence build, and while I was making it, I came across this thread. So I used what you had done as a starting point, and I changed it to my liking.

Here’s my more defensive version of the build.

Compared to your build, my tanky version has:

  • ~200 OA
  • ~175% Aether Damage
  • ~70 DA (not really sure how that happened lol)
  • ~55% Crit Damage
  • a bunch of % damage on non important damage types
  • ~800 Health, ~900 Energy, +Turtle Shell devotion
  • ~50% Stun Resist, 74% Petrify Resist, ~60% Freeze Resist, ~40% Slow Resist
  • A bit more base damage on Drain Essence
  • 80% Energy Absorption, -10% Skill Energy Cost
  • ~15% Cast Speed
  • some life leech resist and some damage reflect

I think the main trade-off is OA and Crit for a lot more resilience against CC, plus a more forgiving health pool (with turtle shell, it’s basically 5000 health more in total).

Personally I like mine better (duh, everyone likes their own better :stuck_out_tongue: ) because the basilisks with their petrify can get really annoying. I don’t like CC causing me to die, it feels helpless.

Anyway, I just thought I’d comment this here to show a tanky version of the build since the OP made a more offensive version of the build. :slight_smile:

i’m curious, why do all these builds with necromancer tree use master of death over harbinger of souls? there are never pets with these builds.

Usually the oa and da is more useful than cast speed / %damage.

Why No maivens sphere? What AM I not getting?

The build is called “pure offense”

it does not have MoE either

Hey great build,I finnaly managed to get the full set for this,the main difference so far is that i dont have this weapon so I am using https://www.grimtools.com/db/items/9320 ,but I have a few questions if you dont mind,what is the benefit of using hungering void?and are there any better alternatives for the last 2 points?or is spider the best,thanks again!

Btw @deen with this build you gonna die constantly cause of low DA and no defense. Plus it’s outdated. I tried different version and it’s working, maybe will post it. I don’t recommend Dying God proc. Spear if heaven and Aeon combo is better.

Hey,thanks a lot for the fast reply Nery,so far the build has felt fairly safe,just did port valbury no problem on ulti,ofc I dont know how good it will do in real endgame,and yeah if you can find the time to do an updated version with this set and drain essense it would be awsome!

Hi, @deen this is the Spellbinder I am playing https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RZRQ7y0V

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Thnx! :hugs: