[] What The Hell(Hound) - Lost Souls Double Hellhound Occulist + ? Gladiator viable builds

The Shepherd of Lost Souls set allows you to summon 2 Hellhounds at once. I generally consider Hellhounds to be one of the least useful pets, so I naturally wanted to see if I could manage to clear Gladiator with a build that used them as the main source of damage. I’ve long suspected that Hellhounds had the potential to be decently powerful, through their speed and skills, but most pets are not really worth investing heavily in if you can only have one of them and Hellhound is no exception. Shepher of Lost Souls is really inconvenient to use because it blocks weapon, helm, and amulet slots which prevent the use of a lot of items that seem like they would pair nicely with Hellhounds, but I was determined to do it anyway.

I initially tried this with the Conjurer and it wasn’t too bad. I then tried with the Necromancer, first using Skeletons which failed horribly, and then using Blight Fiends which worked okay but wasn’t great. Since Necromancers offer almost nothing to pet builds outside of the pets themselves (compared with Occultist and Shaman which both have much more useful passives/buffs), I figured that I could probably do it with every class combo, so I did!

There is very little variety in terms of equipment and devotions. You could make some adjustments but there is not a lot of room for optimization. I tried to focus my gear entirely on Hellhounds, as that was the point of the build, but did use Primal Instinct because I thought I’d need the extra kick from the swarmlings.

Hellhound Conjurer
Gladiator 151-170 - 11:10
Unsurprisingly, the Conjurer did the best of the bunch. Originally I took Primal Spirit instead of Infernal Breath and used more defensive devotions and had a clear time of 13:35. I revisted this build playing the Witchblade and realizing Infernal Breath was pretty good.

Hellhound Cabalist
Gladiator 151-170 - 18:10
I’m a little disappointed by how poorly this went, but it is not entirely clear to me how to improve this, aside from not using Hellhounds.

Hellhound Deceiver
Gladiator 151-170 - 13:40
I switched my devotion setup at this point, because I no longer had a third permanant pet to trigger Acid Spray. Overall the Deceiver build worked really well, as far as Hellhounds are concerned. This first time I tried this I used Word of Pain for the Chaos RR instead of Aura of Censure, but that didn’t work out very well.

Hellhound Warlock
Gladiator 151-170 - 16:50
IEE goes pretty well with Hellhounds, and having Mirror and Maiven’s helped a lot with the defense. Overall this wasn’t too bad.

Hellhound Pyromancer
Gladiator 151-170 - 20:00
I honestly expected this to go a lot better than it did, but I found the Pyromancer really struggled.

Hellhound Witch Hunter
Gladiator 151-170 - 25:00
I was really excited to get to use Veilpiercer along with 2 Hellhounds, but I found rather quickly into the second half that I really needed the cooldown reduction and ended up swapping it out.

Hellhound Witchblade
Gladiator 151-170 - 21:30
I tried this initially using Stronghold Defender, Overguard and Menhir’s Will, but like the Witch Hunter I found that once the hounds started dying things got way too slow. On my first attempt, I reached wave 170 with less than a minute left on my buffs, and lost shortly after they ran out. I got unlucky with modifiers on that run but decided to try something different, and invested in Infernal Breath. The skill is actually much better than I had initially thought, specifically against single targets.

You’re a fanatic :rolleyes:
Nice overview of hellhound-centric builds. Surprised about pyromancer since I thought Primal Instinct + Drakkaris is how you do it with hounds.

I know you don’t like using MIs, but did you ever think about using Fleshwarped Archive to use the explosion damage on death? It hits really hard – it’s also farmable through vendors in act 6, I can imagine a Houndmaster’s shouldn’t be too hard to get but I’d test it with crap affixes first. With Fleshwarped Archive + lost souls amulet you end up with a base of 2 second cooldown on hellhound.

Impressed you managed to get something under 12 minutes with hellhounds. I’m still of the opinion Lost Souls set needs a rework/buff.

I tried to make the dual wield lost souls/veilpiercer work, but I couldn’t really. Not to my satisfaction anyway. Bit of a shame, it has potential.

The problem is probably more with hellhound itself. Takes too many points to make it work on its own I fear. Briarthorn has one less node to fill out and so does familiar in practice, nobody sane puts anything in mend flesh after all.

And take a look at the auras of these three pets. Briarthorn has a very useful one that gives you pretty much everything you want in an aura and then some, familiar gives flat damage and resists and hellhound gets just damage. Weak.

And their auras don’t stack, so if the pet is just useful for the fact that it has a damage aura, what’s the set really doing by giving you 2? It’s basically just a veilpiercer that takes up 4 slots and disables your ability to use something like sovereign ruby

Better yet, why does the set give pet % vitality damage then give +levels to a pet that does fire + chaos???

That sounds more like a Primal Instinct build that uses Hellhound. Also the useful bonus from Dracarris requires you to kill things, and due to the general lack of offensive power on most of these builds pack you really need to avoid generating threat to give your pets enough time to kill things.

I shop-farmed a Houndmaster’s Fleshwarped Archive from Steelcap District a long time and I did try using that with the Conjurer setup to see if it worked but found that it wasn’t even remotely as effective as keeping the dogs alive, even ignoring the loss of crucible buffs. The damage from Blazing Death is good but the area is fairly small, the location hard to control especially using it once every 1.6 seconds, it reduces uptime of Hellfire Aura, prevents most uses of Ember Claw and Infernal Breath, and limits their ability to trigger Flame Torrent.

It’d probably be more effective if you build specifically around the idea of using that, but realistically I think unless the AoE is increased significantly, to 10 meters or so, it’s never going to be a particularly useful effect.

That said, the lower cooldown by itself might have been a significant bonus to some of the weaker class pairings which had trouble keeping 2 dogs alive at once, specifically Witch Hunter, Witchblade, and Pyromancer.

Me too. I’d really like to see the +1 summon limit to Hellhound split to something less restrictive/more useful. Hellhounds could easily become an awesome pet if that happened.

Oh duh, I forgot completely about losing crucible buffs. Yikes.

Such a shame that one of the coolest looking pets suck that hard.

You reminded me my recent attempts to revive Drakkaris Pyro, well dats failed miserably unfortunately. But concept is so cool that you and your pets doing something together and your char not just here to debuff and run around in circles like a headless chicken.

Well that`s was quite off-top, sorry OP, thank you for creating and testing all of those builds tho.

Am I missing something or is the stat distribution impossible to equip that tome?

I didn’t both changing the stat distribution when setting up the GrimTools from one build to the next. That said, keep in mind you only need 652 spirit because of the Crane Constellation.

I agree. In particular I think a pyro/warlock combo would be really good if you could use the non-myth will of bysmiel, pyro in particular due to having better skills for proccing Aldanar’s Vanity to keep up permanent will of bysmiel (BWC, and flashbang to lower DA so you can crit more). Though it’s really annoying that they lose buffs and they have to come out of the ground when you summon them, they proc Fiend an unbelievable amount. Finally got one of these, the hardest part is you have to keep track of your pets and make sure you only summon them when they’re dead otherwise you’ll only have 1 for some time. If they got rid of the animation time and made the resummon better it’d be great. As a side note, these guys have really misleading stats on grim tools - they only use the 15% weapon damage chaos flame from what i’ve tested in game and they dont use any of their attacks, which also scales off cast speed which is rather hard to get for pets in comparison to attack speed. But the fact that you’ll be losing the buffs on the will of bysmiel pets is enough for me to say “eh, this is gonna be irrelevant in crucible but maybe it’ll be interesting in FG…”

On top of that Dracarris is an on-kill proc. So basically, the proc doesn’t exist… Otherwise it’d also be good for pyro/warlock…

Doesn’t help that both will of bysmiel and dracarris are slots that lost souls takes up anyways… and the other chaos pet that could be good is salazar, also a weapon… basically nothing synergizes with the 2x hellhounds on lost souls, which is why I hate the set, the hellhounds are completely out of place.

That said, did you go back and try the pyromancer with infernal breath at all? Also mines, but I know you don’t like mines and for good reason… Probably hits the “too many skills at once” threshold i’d imagine. Same thing with Flashbang.

I believe you should post about it in the feedback section. I know Crate peruses the forums regularly but that’s probably an area that gets a lot more attention. I definitely agree, hellhounds could use more build viable love. At the very least, I’d post in support <3

I’ve been working on a big write-up of my feedback on all pet, it’s mostly done but I have a little more testing to do to make sure I get everything right.

This is a wild necro move but I recently started Grim Dawn this build looks really fun. Would you say this is still viable or was there a horrendous nerf in the passing years?

I am looking at Maya builds for single button / Toggle(or pet) aura builds but the fire breath dog looked good on conjurer.

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Speak of the Maya and it shall appear :ghost:

The build(s?) have only been buffed if anything, although small changes would be necessary like a different off-hand since Cat’s Eye lost its +1 to skills for eg.

Anyway, while waiting on Sig’s official update, this might interest you for the time being: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62ab8dmV (I tried to stay faithful to the original build)

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3 years since this was posted.

Multiple Hell Hounds still locked behind a Skeleton Set. Here is me still hoping for a Hell Hounds focused set.

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