[] Bleeding Trickster/Archon...everything bleeds [Part II] (Updated to, SR 89, Crucible 170 6:11)

This is the sequel to my first build (and a new one for Archon), which can be found here. The build there is still viable, you just have to tweak some things for the Forgotten Gods expansion.

After the new content was uploaded in Grimtools, there was a little disappointment because there aren´t many new things for bleeding builds (especially my Trickster), so I decided to change a few things with augments, skills, etc. These are the results.

(take the DPS Screenshot with a grain of salt; lucky shot vs. Fabius when he was nearly down…)

Although her father was a fighter in his time (till he was crippled in combat), she never thought she would be like him. But then the Grim Dawn come…and everything changed. She had to fight, seeing her people killed by monstrous creatures.

First she was afraid and the nightmares came to her…all this blood…everywhere. But then the shadows came, too, and she willingly embraced them, dived into them. She became a shadow herself, waiting unseen for her enemies, killing them before they even knew she was there. She wasn´t afraid of the blood anymore…it never was hers.

After freeing Malmouth, she hoped for peace and came back to her family. But looking at the horizon, she knows she will need her trusty swords again…to cause fear in the heart of those who will fight her. A storm is coming…and she will give it a red tinge…with blood.

With FG, even with nearly no changes to gear or devotions for bleeding builds, Cunning got a really nice boost. So the new “magic number” is 1035…this we need as minimum to use our pants. If we have enough DA, then put the rest into Cunning for nice OA and bleeding damage boost.

Now for Grimtools-Links. I made different setups (and tried them all). The changes between are minor, take what you like most.

Update for
Grimtools (still
Some changes will be seen when Grimtools is updated, new skills and devotion path is up-to-date.
Made it to SR 80 this morning, timer ran out because of deaths in non-boss-shards.

It was already tested in Crucible by @romanN1, thank you very much. 6:37, 4 Buffs, 1 Banner.
Slight changes to setup, Wendigo Totem instead of Vines.

Old Stuff

Current Setup (including Mouse/Keyboard-Setup) (
No-MI Setup:

Old Stuff

Update to
Let´s not talk about damage on Bloodrager´s Set, the nerf was deserved. Let´s talk about new Nightblade support, which is really nice and worth a lot more than the loss of some skill points to Tenacity of the Boar and Savagery. And, not to forget, Physical Resistance and new resistances which makes capping them a lot easier, especially with new Aether Resistance for Oak Skin.

I chose to skip Wendigo Totem; it´s no longer needed. The addition of Stun Resistance to Chariot and a little Bleeding to Huntress is good, but most important: NO MORE MANTICORE!

Revenant has better nodes and the “Little Buggers” (aka Skeletons) do as I want (unlike Blade Spirits…). I put “Pet Attack” on Thumb Button, works well.

Some changes in skills, components, augments; just to fun to play it. With the new defense, I made it to SR 76.

Old Setups:


Setups with Owl (and no Wolverine):
(one with capped Stun Resist, second with more raw damage)

Setups with Wolverine (and no Owl):
(one with capped Stun Resist, second with more raw damage)

• High Mobility (Shadow Strike, Movement Speed, Rune)
• A lot of HP, Physical Resistance and 16 % Damage Absorption
• 100 RR
• Crowd Control against nearly everything
• High Damage Output
• Fast Kill Speed
• Circuit Breaker with Blade Barrier
• Healing with Pneumatic Burst and Chariot of the Death Devotion

While you can see the itemization including augments/components and the devotions including bindings, I will only add a short Q&A.

1. Why Grasping/Entangling Vines?

Simple: Crowd Control. With Rend bound to Grasping Vines we can split up whole groups and soften them up or kill them right away. Very useful in Shattered Realms, even in Boss fights with kiting (using Devouring Swarm, too).

2. Why this Epic Gloves?

Well, I think they are great. Nice stats, nice skill modifiers…and a lifesaving procc in Shattered Realms which will also affect Heroes.

3. How good is this build against bosses?

What do you want hear? You can kill every Boss in campaign minus the Super Bosses without any greater problems. Didn´t try Callagadra; perhaps I can kite her to Vael´s room (;)), maybe I will try her sometime.

As for Crucible and Shattered Realms:
I don´t play Crucible. I am an old man with not-so-fast reactions and a bad pilot. Just for fun I played it once to 150 with no problems.

In Shattered Realms I completed everything to Shard 75. Everything is fine except strange combinations or this awful small Chaos boss room (charging bosses with Benn´Jhar rooting the toon and everything full with his traps…nice one).

Many, many thanks to SirSpankalot. I asked him to test this build in (new) Crucible and these are the results; his specc was this.

There will be no videos from Shattered Realms (currently at 60); if I beat 65, there will be a screenshot and I will ask Veretragna to add this to Build Compendium.

Shattered Realms Shard 76 (updated: Shard 80)


Bleeding Archon

(Now the journey has begun…)

When her sister left, she cried. She wanted to fight, too, but her father forbid it be-cause she was too young. But every time her sister came home, she listened…and learned. She even eavesdropped when her sister and father talked about these things she shouldn´t hear. She was fascinated…though she was afraid with all the fighting, the description of the killings didn´t bother her.

But she saw how her sister has changed: The shadows seemed swirling around her and the light was dimmer wherever she went. She couldn´t follow this path her sister has chosen, so she made a decision: One day she took the trusty axe (the family heir-loom) her sister used (before she switched to her blood-dripping swords) and went to the Holy Order of the Oathkeepers and joined them.

She immediately started training and she learned quickly. But she better be fast…the Forgotten God is awakening!

When Oathkeeper was uploaded to Grimtools I saw the chance for another Bleeding build. There a really good new items which support it sadly no new set so we will stick with Bloodrager´s.

I have some possible builds in mind which I will test. I want to play complete Grim Dawn Ultimate again, starting at Level 94 in Devil´s Crossing.

The possible builds (some use Mythical Gorefeast instead of double Scion of Crimson Wakes; you can change that if you want but Mythical Gorefeast is one of the best Bleeding weapons in game with the godly procc and the +1 to Shaman) are:

Update to
While playing main campaign, I skipped Wendigo Totem because always rolling out of range. I died a few times due to lack of healing, so I finished it with Bat devotion (and Twin Fangs Procc), which was very smooth. Now, I changed devotion setup again, it is like her sisters (Trickster).

She suffered from the collateral damage from Warlord nerf. Ascension, etc. Well, we got Bloodrager´s Set, so no complain.

This is no “High Damage, fast clearing Crucible, going deep shards!”-Build. I finished SR 50 with a little difficulty (this small rooms…), but it was okay. It´s still really fun to play and I will finish FG campaign with it and then move on to my next project.

Current Setup (

Older builds:

My preferred build: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/eVLvKnON
Without Ghoul: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/vNQJgmM2
With Dryad: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/JVlynQXZ

• High Mobility (Vire´s Might, Movement Speed, Rune)
• A lot of HP (up to ~19.500) and 16 % Damage Absorption
• 127 RR
• Crowd Control against nearly everything
• High Damage Output (lesser against Undead and some Cthonians)
• Really nice cooldowns (I strongly recommend GrimInternals for this build!)
• Spin2Win!
• Smooth gameplay

• No overcapped resistances

Congratulations, if you´ve read to this point you are perhaps one of these seemingly few people who wants to play a Bleeding build.

Why are Bleeding builds less popular than other damage types? I suspect this has something to do with the lack of one “fun factor” for a lot of builders in Grim Dawn: Conversion. Right, there is no conversion. A skill or item provides damage/support for Bleeding or it is for capping resistances. Straightforward, no left, no right. Another factor might be, that Bleeding effects have nothing flashy. Neither skills nor proccs have a special animation the only thing you see are nice numbers constantly coming out of your victims.

And the third reason is: Bleeding can be PITA to level. Therefore some advices how to make life easier:

Start leveling as Shaman. Get Devouring Swarm and Grasping Vines and you are relatively safe. If you want to go Melee, get a point in Dual Blades (Trickster) or wait till Level 22 (Archon) to get the relic which provides the use of two weapons. Use Savagery as LMB.

Get Bloodsworn Talisman at Level 22. It gives a nice skill which helps (and you need the relic later for crafting). Use components on your weapons (and armor). Serrated Spikes are cheap and if you can afford, use things like Bloody Whetstone.

Use whatever you find on gear. If you read “Gorefeast”…Jackpot. 3 Versions of this axe (23, 58, 82), all great. But there are more of really good epic weapons in game, just look out for bleeding damage. Boris always drops one of his Pit Master´s axes e. g…

Don´t give up in Old Arkovia. Yeah, Undeads really suck without a lot of RR but just go through it and go to the next stage. I strongly recommend not to play Step of Torments. You will hate it.

If you see items even “Redeemer” or something like that with the “Bloodletter”-Prefix…take it. It´s worth it for leveling.

On Devotions:
I always take these devotions, which proccs need leveling, first. So starting with Falcon (though Bat might be even better for leveling…) with great Falcon Swoop (bind it to Devouring Swarm or Savagery for a shotgun in their face!) to get to Huntress and Rend as soon as possible. Rend is the most important procc you want to have. On the way to Huntress, take Ghoul for Chaos points and perhaps Fox for Eldritch…and then you soon will have enough for Mogdrogen (just some more Ascnedant :wink: ). The rest can wait for later. :wink:

Builds, I´m thinking of for possible future considerations:

Bleeding Caster:
While playing Shattered Realms I was thinking about a Bleeding Caster for kiting. After some thoughts there are a few possible ideas.

a) Trickster (“Did he say Trickster? Why?”)
Nightblade doesn´t seem an obvious choice for a Caster Build but Nightblade has nice survival skills and: Blade Spirit. And this was buffed (via itemization) with FG. Take this shield e. g. Scarab Shell. Or, as an alternative for the other spells Devouring Swarm and Grasping Vines: Mythical Bramblevine and Mythical Scion of Crimson Wakes. Nice RR/CC with Devouring Swarm, Grasping Vines/Rend and Blade Spirits/Manticore. Something like that (rough sketch): https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YNnjdPgN or https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4Mgql2

Sadly (and I will suggest this to Crate), there are no rare Pre-/Suffixes which support Bleeding…

b) Conjurer
Obvious choice. CoF plus Bloody Pox plus Devouring Swarm and Grasping Vines. Superb RR.

c) Archon
Guardians plus Devouring Swarm plus…you know it already. Add 1 or 2 Mythical Scions of Crimson Wakes, perfect RR.

There is even a new Off-Hand (Groble Sand Effigy) which would be good…sadly same as with shields, no Bleeding support with Pre-/Suffixes.

Bleeding Warlord:
No clue if this build is viable. I would give it a try: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YZen57YN

(Never played a Shield Build before, so every hint what to make better with soldier skills is strongly appreciated).

Last, but not least:
Credits go to TZ Tz for his inspiration with the “Bloody Assassin” for Vanilla. This build is just an expansion of that build.

Special thanks to Superfluff, Jaegermeister, Adoomgod and Mad Lee (yeah, still love you, mate ;)) for giving me some feedback and advices.

Not to forget Zantai; I don´t know if it was my input which let to positive changes like with Mythical Scion of Crimson Wakes or Mythical Windshear Greaves…nevertheless thank you for listening to the community and keep up the good work at Crate! And yeah, I will still annoy you with more suggestions in the future! :stuck_out_tongue:

I can see you still don’t want to take devotion map that I made for this build for some reason as well as very obvious Grasp of Unchained Might gloves. Oh well.

You could at least use Bloodied Crystals for more armor and more Bleeding overcap since you have no reflected damage reduction.

Did you push Shattered Realm with it?

No, I don´t go Unknown Soldier because I want more RR. I got 15 % Reflected Damage Reduction from Owl plus 25 % from HotW.

2 Bloodied Crystals give me 205 more Armor and less DA/Health. I have already overcapped Bleeding Resistance by 55 %, no need to do more.

As I wrote:
Shard 50 with no greater problems.

I was just looking at your no-mi setup, my bad.

Unknown Soldier + Grasp of Unchained might is superior to Manticore to those gloves you use, I think it’s kind of obvious.

My spec with some modifications (Blade Spirit investment) pushed 75 (but with great luck ofcourse, in no way it can consistently farm 75-76 or even 65-66 I think). But obviously it’s not a build for deep Shards.

I am just saying you are avoiding an obviously better setup and I can’t understand why. Charriot is a really bad devotion choice too and not taking beast damage on huntress is also suboptimal.

I beg to differ on several occasions:

  • Manticore: 10 RR are 10 RR. Your setup has 10 less and especially enemies like Undead/Cthonians need every RR one can get. I really wished Manticore would stack with Graps of Unchained Might but they don´t.
  • Unknown Soldier gives flat bleeding, Crit and a nice procc. But I would have to give up Chariot (more to that later), Viper and Manticore for Crane and Lion. After the buff Lion is not a bad choice but Crane is not really needed.
  • Every single (taken) node in Chariot supports the build, either with OA or with damage. The procc is always up at the start of a fight which imho is the most difficult part in SR Boss fights. Can´t see why this should be a bad choice.
  • last node in Huntress can easily be taken (just take the node from Scarab) but it is not necessary imho because Direwolf Crest already gives a juicy 18 % against Beasts. Sure, Reaper + Kupa would be awesome with + 33 %…

Perhaps investing in Blade Spirit in deeper Shards might be a good solution. Use pet attack while kiting and shooting Devouring Swarm.

On the Archon you put a lot of points into savagery and EoR, isn’t that suboptimal? Or do you just spin every few seconds to reapply the dot? Also, you miss out in the bleed rr from celestial presence.

Nice to see bleeding Archon,you’re talking about!How good Dervish is gonna be-I know small RR,but RoS with pierce support and unchained might will hit like truck.Also gloves provide flat RR,so you can drop acid spray,Bloodsong have increased piercing,so you can leech a lot better.

Have to try. :wink:
Savagery will be LMB, EoR as you said (have to see about energy issues).

No points for Guardians…:(…but Devouring Swarm already has 67 plus Rend and Manticore. 127 should be enough.


Nice to see bleeding Archon,you’re talking about!How good Dervish is gonna be-I know small RR,but RoS with pierce support and unchained might will hit like truck.Also gloves provide flat RR,so you can drop acid spray,Bloodsong have increased piercing,so you can leech a lot better.

You see me confused…what about Piercing? :confused:

So it seems like bleeding tricksters are straight forward and decently strong. That’s nice to see, but also a bit boring - we need new bleeding stuff! :stuck_out_tongue:

Have you guys tried more bleed stuff? For example the buffed blade arc for Warder. Or bleed spin to win, which seems bad at first, but after seeing myself spinning away from enemies in high SR, I get the feeling that dot s2w has a place…

Nightblade have natural pierce damage an I think without transmuter RoS centered build will restore big chunk of health,when you used it.In that matter am saying that armor piercing of Bloodsong is helping.

Maybe a possibility. But 2.8 sec CC is huge.

Rhyltar, I think we already had this discussion. The setup that I created (with Shoot2033) is just better. We can compare Crucible clearing times or Shattered Realm results or whatever, it’s just better. You can agree to disagree, but at least provide some videos or something.

Grasp of Unchained Might gives +3 to Circle of Slaughter, that’s huge already. RR from RoS is smaller than Manticore but is applied instantly. Living Shadows heal you and also stack some bleeding damage on top of yours. Beast damage makes Kuba and Reaper melt much faster.

Charriot is just a waste of points on any build, especially on a bleeding one where you have so many bleeding devotions to grab. But again, if you provide some videos that would be great.

You want the medal for best Bleeding Trickster? Here, take it…never wanted it.

But suggest that someone who despises Crucible, never really played it in earnest and never played an ARPG before Grim Dawn should provide videos to prove anything is laughable.

I won´t supercharge Blade Spirits to prove anything. If you know a good pilot he or she could try it if he or she beats 7:50 in Crucible with my specc.

What I do have is numbers.

+3 CoS is +3 % Crit and 223 Flat Bleeding every 3 seconds. My Gloves gives 1015 Flat Bleeding every 3 seconds plus 42 flat every hit.

You claim Acid Spray is bad because it only has 15 % Chance and RoS is instant. Well, 2 Blade Spirits can provide it…it would be a very odd chance that it is not on target from start. This argument is even more strange because Mercymaker (in his video) puts Rend with a 20 % chance on them…

On Chariot…strange argument because I got every Bleeding Devotion minus Nighttalon and Unknown Soldier…

Right, Living Shadows provide healing. Enough worth roughly 5.000 Health? Can´t say.

If you have a pilot to try Crucible, tell him or her to take 6 points from Storm Touched and put them somewhere else. With permanent adds and kills in Crucible it isn´t needed because Burst of Speed and Bloodrage will have a nearly 100 % uptime.

Hiya Rhylthar, I really like your guide (I especially liked your little story at the beginning :p)

I have a couple of dumb questions though because I know nothing about bleed based builds:

  • So a belt I’ve never seen on any build is the lacerator girdle. What do you make of it?

  • Have you ever tried the whisperer of secrets helm?

EDIT: One last question I’ve always been meaning to ask, why the fascination with bleeding builds? :stuck_out_tongue:

Lacerator Girdle isn´t bad but all others are better. :stuck_out_tongue:
In earnest, it doesn´t provide flat bleeding and no +1 to any mastery. Most belts I see do exactly that and therefore nobody takes it. It´s for 2H Warders…seldom seen since Vanilla.

Can´t use any other helm (or amulet, chest or shoulders). Set Bonus of Bloodrager´s Set is too good to pass.

Why a Bleeding build? Easily explained: Grim Dawn has no Chaos DoTs.
When i started Grim Dawn I wanted to build a DoT-based toon like a Warlock in good old WoW-Times (DoT-Lock). Not possible.

Then I saw the picture of Nightblade, read something in forum about bleeding builds…and stuck with it.

I would have figured your next go to would’ve been vitality, not bleed. :stuck_out_tongue:

Didn´t like Occultist picture…:rolleyes: