[] Soul Piano: 9:30 min. Crucible Gladiator 150-170 immortal facetank Defiler [vid][g2][c+]

*Defiler setting up Aetherfires in Crate’s office (please don’t ban me for this joke, Crate)

Foreword (never an afterword, but just skip this)

Defiler is an ugly duckling in a huge family of mastery combos that Grim Dawn offers us. Even Crate themselves pretend like this particular class never happened. Demolitionist mastery is at its weakest point right now, and coupled with Necromancer it becomes as ridiculous as it might sound even weaker. Defilers have no resists (except vitality resist on Master of Death) or crowd control resists or any heals (Siphon Souls doesn’t count) or any DA. Moreover, skills from two masteries just don’t match. And all you have to “make them match” is a mediocre sword that drops just once for every character (and Defilers can’t melee effectively, I tried) and a ridiculous pistol with no attack speed that is a monster infrequent item you have to farm from the toughest rougelike dungeon boss in-game. Oh wait, you have to farm two of them.
So being stuck with that Defiler that I for some reason made as my 4th character quite some time ago I tried everything to make it into a decent character. Nothing worked. Untill this build. This build shreds. So if you are one of the few unlucky ones stuck with a defiler on character’s list, this build is your way to salvation.

Build Concept


This build refuses to die. And believe me I tried. You have several layers of defense, first comes a pretty decent DA (~3000 before Crucible blessings) + a massive monster’s OA shred (around 560 in total), so with that and 8% dodge/evade you don’t get hit a lot. After that you got quite a few circuit breakers: 15/12 Blast Shield + Ghoul + Mark of Torment which get their cooldowns reset pretty frequently thanks to Time Dilation + Clairvoyant set + Albrecht’s Duality ring. And a massive leeching from all the weapon damage spells and devotion procs and 12% adtch.


You can build this character without any green items and you don’t need any monster infrequents for it whatsoever.

Fast and consistent Crucible clears

That can be your go to Crucible farmer. It consistently farms 150-170 Crucible Gladiator in ~9:30 minutes with 4 blessings and no banner. And it doesn’t die.

The Build

<<<<<<GRIMTOOLS>>>>>>* (I used whatever green boots I had available, perfect ones would be Thunderstruck of Featherstep or better Stonehide of Kings)

*you can use any boots that have physical resist and pierce resist


Core of the build is Clairvoyant Set. Every other item is there to increase entropy of our universe and to reap as much souls as possible.

Skills and Devotions

Again, we are making everything to make a entropy a bit closer. But in all seriousness, it took a lot of testing to come to this setup.

Leveling and Attribute points distribution

Level as Necromancer with Ravenous Earth/Spectral Wrath combo. Get any kind of Bonespike and any kind of Basilisk Crest and you are golden.

Put enough points in spirit to equp an off-hand. Put rest in physique.

The Showdown

How to Play

It’s a piano build. You are mashing all the buttons. What’s important is to anchor a Nemesis or a big purple boss with a Mark of Torment in big fights and refresh Siphon Souls against Reaper. But your overall strategy is herding mobs together to deal as much damage as possible.


No temporary buffs

Build’s pros and cons


  • Still not a Spellbinder
  • Piano build!


  • Best Defiler build up-to-date
  • Immortal, huge damage, reliable


150-170 Crucible Gladiator test (4 blessings/1 banner ~8:25 run, I pause a video for 20 seconds somewhere in the middle).

Easily defiling Grava’Thul (~29 seconds kill)

Crucible Gladiator 150-170 4 blessings no banner run (9:20 minutes)

In Conclusion

Want to give some credit to Valinov and his idea to try Clairvoyant set on a defiler. And also thanks to idontwannaknow0 who persuaded me to use Imp instead of Bat (and build still couldn’t die afterwards).

I saw the character name and genuinely LOL’d. Freaky but cool build.

Nice build you got there. Have you tried the Arcanist mastery? Callidor’s Tempest and Devastation look like great additions for this build. Idk how much the loss of Blackwater Cocktail will affect the damage but it’s worth a try, imo.

Btw 1 pt in dread. The range is great, imo.

Are you telling me Defiler is not the optimal mastery combo for all things aether? Nonsense!

Thanks, man, I completely forgot Dread is adding range. Will correct that.

aren’t there already 30 or so Aether Spellbinder builds in the compendium? :stuck_out_tongue:

What? I believe you mistyped your reply and meant 30 aether defilers instead. Spellbinder is a really underrated class. Idk how no one has discovered it yet. I know AAR and PRM sucks but seriously guys, just try it. It’s not as as bad as Purifier that has zero viability.

Btw, to all new players who read this: I’m just memeing. The older players here know that but I just noticed mad_lee posted this on Reddit and there are a lot of new players there that might not have a clue.

Well it says “cons: not a spellbinder”, perhaps that could be elaborated a bit.

Soul piano, huh? Should’ve named it “Joe Binder’s retarded cousin” :stuck_out_tongue:

Kidding. Great build. Just that Thunderstuck of Featherstep being BiS… how would you cap your res without that Stonehide? Sides, I know I’m wrong and you’re right but I’ll still ask lol: wouldn’t double Albrecht rings be better, or Screams? That haunt proc is meh IMO - is like one random cast of aether corruption every SIX seconds… Also why no DEVASTATION??? :smiley:

Crate should buff Spellbinders and then add some more ways players can play Forcewave builds. I mean where are items dedicated to Vitality Forcewave? Chaos Forcewave?? They keep neglecting poor Tacticians and Spellbinders, and if they don’t nerf op Defilers in the next patch I swear I will quit Grim Dawn.

I like Eternal Haunt ring, its proc spreds, plus it offers a tonn of chaos resist as well as craftable bonus. And -15% RR stackable proc is a really powerful thing.

Here is an example where you can do this build with blue boots. Just slap Ugdenbog Leather on pants, sure, you will loose armor absorb, but at the poor levels of armor and physical resist this build has it won’t make any difference.

On a serious note. I really like to see if Forgotten God will give support to piercing forcewave or not.

BTW, really nice Madlee. We haven’t got more piano build nowadays as auto-attack build become more popular.

I see that clairvoyant can really support defiler as %aether damage from that set is really high.

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk

Love the name!

Nice job on guide.

(another potential aether Defiler build that might be worth your attention is full/partial kriegs DW pistol defiler. Might not have enough keys for you, though ;>)

I tried penetrating rifle + Krieg setup, but didn’t like it at all. DPS output is way too low .

You’re probably right. With TD that proc is more reliable. Clairvoyant makes the second Albrecht’s chaos conversion redundant. And Screams gives you nada. I choose Screams over Haunt, however, on a non-Clairvoyant binder any day - racial dmg and more Devastation.

its proc spreds

What is the mechanism of this and other “spreads” that don’t specifically list how?

Is it on death, a % chance, a per second thing? I don’t think I’ve found any specifics on this and seems like a good time to ask.

It’s the same mechanic as bloody pox.

Pierce FW Tactician would be pretty dank, but come on now, seriously, can other skills get at least half of treatment Forcewave receives? :slight_smile:

I have heard that top pet builds are the real grand pianist builds, but this one requires quite a bit of mashing. Good thing about it though, it’s very forgiving, it’s not like some builds that if you miss timings you die, on this one, I mess up rotation every second time (because I haven’t actually played it that much, just ~5 Crucible 150-170 runs where I died 0 times btw and that’s it).

And hell yeah, Clairvoyant Set is pretty f…ing insane, now I kinda understand why Ptiro’s Spellbinder looks so simple but deals so much f…ing damage.

What x1x2 said, like bloody pox, it jumps from one mob to another. So pretty great RR proc, unlike most ring procs that just mark one target.

Now we only need to do Clairvoyant Purifier (no aether support whatsoever aside from RR) and this gane is probably solved.

Edit: I might just do it. Opening grimtools…

I was about to dive into grimtools, lol, it’s sounds very possible actually.

Now we only need to do Clairvoyant Purifier (no aether support whatsoever aside from RR) and this gane is probably solved.

Well…imho, the last thing Inquisitor needs is any more support on anything, currently. There is a huge gap on many other combos that should probably be prioritized. :rolleyes:

I was about to dive into grimtools, lol, it’s sounds very possible actually.

Yes, even with the limited RR avail through gear via flames of wrath. Purifier can get some solid flat and ~ 2000%+ via gear/devotions with +1 pistols (lol) and a mix of clairvoyant + Kriegs and various %ele->aether gear, % choas->aether.

And the standard Purifier crap of Deadly aim, storm spr, chill r, etc. Should be reasonable even without a lot of RR gear.


Tried setup above and I’m getting a better result than my BWC sorc lol. That’s first draft so there’s a lot to improve. Did only 1 finished run (3 runs overall. 1st run died on 160 cause didn’t notice my devotions were level 1 then 2nd run had a power outage in the house lol). Run was around 9 min with banner (pretty good on my pc) but this is heavily dependent on spawns. Reaper takes too long to kill so this will probably require sanctified bones, maybe two of them. Otherwise it just obliterates everything.

A few weeks ago I was convinced Justicar is the absolute best set atm. I just changed my mind.