[] Korba's Stratagem: 5:35 150-170 Crucible Gladiator - 0 greens melee Trickster[g3][c+][vid]

Today’s favourite number is:

*Deathmarked pieces or Inquisitor masteries needed to assemble the Best Melee Build


Old man was examining his dusty fur chestguard: it was covered with countless weapon and fang marks as well as some old blood stains origin of which he couldn’t even remember. Kids who usually laughed at his weird furs and his old hat made from a skull of an ancient beast were playing outside of his rickety small hut. They were each holding two sticks and apparently having a heated argument trying to decide in a shouting match which warrior is the greatest: Malakor or Olexra who is rumoured to be back from the dead. Those names meant nothing to an old man for he could barely remember his own. Dog, they called him, for his weird hat and his old rugged fur coat and a distinctive poor man’s stench. “Dog”, he mumbled to himself finishing his rice bowl. His memory was blurry but he used to have dream-like flashbacks when he was dozing off after a meal that he once had a great following and all of his students were either murdered or recruited by the growing clan of Deathmarked assassins.He couldn’t tell if it was a real memory. He looked at his own old and rusty axes gather dust in the corner - he only used them for chopping some wood nowadays to sell it on a market on Sunday. Something stirred in him. Suddenly, kid’s voices outside ceased and he heard a light knock on his door. Outside he found a big wooden box, one that was used by old Imperial guard to carry precious ceremonial weapons. Big “O.” was engraved on it. Suddenly his head started to clear like a sky after a midday shower and he felt his strength slowly starting to come back to him. “Korba” he said. “My name is Korba.”

This build is a result of joined efforts of me and another Russian builder John Smith.

The Build


*in-game pierce resist is capped, you can cap it with a different augment setup if your gear rolls are different

The Power

We appreciate it. True King of melee (for real this time).

Green free

And really inexpensive to assemble, plus a lot of craftable pieces for that juicy %armor bonus.

Might dodge the incoming melee nerfs

Because it’s not Deathmarked.


Nex and Ortus swords coupled with Elemental Harmony ring set seem to be all the buzz right now. Helmet choice is obvious, chest and shoulders buff Savagery and give us relevant resists, and we don’t need Pierce to Cold conversion from Chilling Grip Haggarad gloves, because with swords set bonus hard capping Lethal Assault yields more flat then pierce to cold conversion. Relic could be Nemesis for even more damage but a glassier spec too. Craft everything at Angrim for armor bonuses.


Just murder everything. Shadow Strike even with minimal investment is still a nuke, especially if you choose to bind Blizzard to it, so press it frequently.


With Lethal Assault and Savagery charges



John Smith’s 5:35 3 blessings/1 banner run (no Aetherward Oil or any steroids)
6:34 run on my slow PC (with hilarious Alex shenenigans on wave 160)

8 seconds Mad Queen kill

In Conclusion

Korba stood still while blood slowly dripped from his new swords. Before him were three slaughtered warriors wearing the same set of armor and weapons. He thought he recognized his old student in one of them or maybe it was just his memory playing tricks on him. Those were the last of the Deathmarked clan. He thought his swords were talking to him, in whispers, asking for more bloodshed, saying something about Witch Gods urging him to go East. But all Korba felt was weariness. He could use a rice bowl by now.


Jesus. Well bannered is significant but still yikes.

All Hail the King!



I’m getting increasingly concerned that these recent Crucible clear speeds are going to end up tearing some kind of hole in the spacetime continuum.

It’s weird to see a clear time that fast without using Witching Hour. Good job.

Crazy to figure this out. Very nb.

I just wanna put in a general commentary here. Top tier meta seems to be so counter-intuitive these days. Here’s the best melee result in history. It’s pure cold. So far nothing’s out of place. Now, it’s achieved using 2 sets that are supposed to be hybrid fire and half the gear is for lightning. Not gonna talk about that’s a demo set. I’m not saying anything is wrong. It’s great that someone’s figured out this brain twister. But here’s part two of my commentary: pretty much all AoE here is procs. How come it’s faster in Crucible than all but the best AoE caster? Just some food for thought…

Just wanna ask about the reasoning. All you got mod-wise is the unsupported, if extensively generous, fire… Is it the elemental rr from the set and devils that’s making it so… nukey?

All those infidels using Nex & Ortus just for its proc!!

These recent builds just show how powerful its proc can be. It might be readjusted by the dev in the next patch.

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Nex and Ortus swords coupled with Elemental Harmony ring set seem to be all the buzz right now.

It also again highlights the power of the Elemental Harmony ring set. But …it was hashed out in suggestions prior to the last patch: EH ring set OP discussion thread and there was much resistance to adjustments.

However, as pet power seems to be a blind spot for Crate, it is nice to see a current competitor.

Had a good laugh at this one.

For real though, seeing Nex Ortus working makes me happy. I tried to make those work for so long and couldn’t make it work or look good, probably because I’m more of a pet build player myself – this is impressive to see with 0 greens. And no bullshit like a badge of mastery which I was really used to seeing on savagery.

No it’s not. Nex&Ortus is. You can try to Replace the sword with frostborn malkadarr sword of ferocity and it will still not be as fast as N&O.

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Well, here is the damage breakdown:

I think Execution proc is definitely stronger, but Shadow Strike is stronger than Shears or Whirling Death proc.

Build wasn’t that much of a brain twister as some of my other builds are. Trickster is naturally very strong cold attacker, and those swords are insanely oupie as well. I got an idea to combine them with Korba after I tested John Smith’s Rimetongue Nex and Ortus Trickster (which can do ~6:30 runs pretty consistently). Swords are so good that you can make an insane devotion map without taking Rhowan’s Crown, because you already have that type of RR from swords proc.

I can already see nerfs coming. It would be a real shame though, those swords are very fun to build around.

Maldakkar who? That’s one of the Old Man Korba’s past life, he got gifted the gift of Nex and Ortus from mighty Olexra and he is unstoppable now.

You should make novels instead of builds :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously, Malakor was fun, but now it grows into prominent series with epic plot.

N&O has always been my favorite set and I’m glad it’s finally in a good place. All these builds utilizing them worries me that they’ll knock it back down a few pegs. Nonetheless I like the cold savagery and I’ll be leveling this after I finish John_Smiths sabo :stuck_out_tongue:

The main thing that pushes them over the top is the rr allows elemental builds, which were already strong, to avoid routing in rhowans crown in devotions. The simple fix is lowering the rr by half or maybe to like 20 that way there is a choice involved. IE take crown for better rr or give up something else in devotions.

I could get behind that. It still keeps the theme and doesn’t break the build.

Thanks, man, but maybe I should stop procrastinating with making builds in Grim Dawn and start doing creative shit I am supposed to do :slight_smile:

I would still drop Crown in a blink of an eye if flat RR on swords was even as low 16. I honestly thing crown’s RR is a bit overrated. Swords are just insane because of their stats and their huge flat bonus as well as procs. I think they are supposed to be strong like that, and if Crate nerfs them into the ground they will be old Nex and Ortus - meme-tier swords that noone even considered for top builds. Tone them down a bit, boost Korba’s main weapons, don’t destroy N&O builds completely.

The show must go on.

You gotta hand it to 'em though, Crate sure know how to buff the everloving shit out of something. :stuck_out_tongue: Nice to see them finally seeing some use at least, they always were a cool pair of swords.

But yeah, I’ll be very surprised if they don’t get toned down at least a little next patch.

Now someone gotta make a blademaster so we go full circle. N&O has been a fan fave ever since pre AoM days. People sure are happy now.

Amazing build! I’ve always loved DW WPS build.

btw, why no Alkamos rings?