[] Tree of the Three (Beginner)

Once a worshipper of Menhir, this shaman was forced to roam the land in search of new meaning after the Grim Dawn and the vanishing of the gods. The balance of nature has been upset, but perhaps new gods might have the answers he is looking for…

Post 1 (this one) -> Summary
Post 2 (below) -> Leveling
Post 3 -> Endgame variants (input welcomed !)
Post 4 -> idk yet

This is a build for a Conjurer using retaliation damage and the Grasping Vines skill. It is friendly to new players for many reasons:
-: no requirements
-: tanky
-: simple gameplay
-: easy to gear (can be your first character)

Grimcalc link =>-> Tree of the Three core <-<= =>-> Tree of the Three endgame project <-<=

This character is a classic druid in flavour and gameplay: you deal damage by summoning plants beneath your foes and you have a faithful animal companion.
But you also dabble in forbidden magic: your power over fauna and flora were not enough to survive the Grim Dawn. To support the maimed nature of Cairn, you had to turn to the Three witch gods: Dreeg, Bysmiel and Solael. While at first your abilities came from the raw strength of nature, tearing and slashing at your ennemies, the more time pass and the more you resort to curses, afflictions and eldritch powers. Even the plants you command end up corrupting and dissolving your ennemies rather than whipping them. You are… the Tree of the Three.
Are you still a servant of nature ? Or did you become a thrall of the Witch Gods ?

Main design
Grasping Vines is a 1.2 seconds cd spell that creates a lasting circular ground effect at your mouse. With the Forgotten Gods expansion, the modifier Entangling Vines gain the ability to add a fraction of your retaliation damage to the ground effect, which is what we are going to build upon.

1.2 second cooldown
Our main skill is not spammable, which is both good and bad. Bad because obviously we would do more damage by spamming it. But also good because we will spend less energy as a result, allowing us to wear gear with no energy generation (so… very heavy armour).
The cooldown is short enough that you can cast, move a tiny bit and re-cast it. It’s excellent for kiting if needed (which is rare).

Retaliation damage
x% of retaliation damage added to attack is a new stat. It takes ALL your retaliation damage on gear, skills and devotions, aplly your retaliation damage bonuses, and then x% of that damage to every tick of grasping vines. This damage is not further boosted by your ‘usual’ damage bonus like +x% physical damage.
This is where we will focus our efforts to gain more damage.

It’s no Canister Bomb, but it’s still quite big.

Duration= 4s+
Ground effects stack with themselves, they can exist on top of each other. This means that repeatedly casting Grasping VInes on the same spot makes you deal more damage.
HOWEVER ! Dots of the same type from the same source don’t stack. For us, it essentially means that the physical damage and the retribution stack, but not the dots. Since our main source of damage will be retributive, this doesn’t bother us.

Grasping Vines is your bread and butter skill.
Curse of Frailty is a good skill to cast second for packs. It’s more or less a +50% effective damage in one click.
Bloody Pox is a good skill to cast third.
Grasping Vines is a good skill to cast fourth, because it’s now off cooldown :stuck_out_tongue:

Once you reach heavy enough defenses, you can essentially Pox everything:
-: Against melee ennemies it’s a death sentence (for them)
-: Against ranged shooters it’s still very nice for getting more procs like Targo’s hammer
-: Against spellcasters… well… this is the weakness of the build. Boss spellcasters may take up to three times more time than other bosses to deal with. I still suggest to Pox them for increased chance to hit&crit.

Briarthorn is just there to look pretty. (Yes he does ! Yes he does !)

Leveling videos (lvl ~90):Dermpateran Queen (and a bug (nopunintended)), Random void area and Fabius

Hi there !

Basic guide structure done, leveling guide is next. The most daunting of readers may even start a character right now without too much trouble.

I remind you that the grimtool link currently presented is only one endgame gear configuration and is in no way representative of what your gear will look like while leveling and farming early. I thought the required lvl 94 would have given away that you can’t wear it from the get go.

Attachment: Char&Vines.jpg

1 Like

Leveling Guide

This suppose that you start your character with NOTHING. No gear, no mandates… nothing ! (you poor soul)

How to start: lvl 1-20
I suggest picking shaman first. At lvl 2, put 2 points in Devouring Swarm to carry you to level 4-5, at which point you can spec out of this skill and never use it again ! During this levels, grasping vines will easily carry you.
At level 20, your tree could be something like this: one possibility. Do note that you can freely invest in Mogdrogen’s pact if you feel you need more energy. If you find that you don’t need that big of a heal, feel free to invest more points into masteries for raw stats.

lvl 20-40
In this level range, most builds are in a weird spot. On one hand you start to find relevant gear for your build (for us, this is retaliation gear. Mostly greens with the affix “of Thorns”). But on the other hand, this gear you find is not yet potent enough if you don’t farm for it (and this level, you probably shouldn’t farm and continue leveling).
That’s why I suggest temporarily diversifying your build into Sigil of Consumption for a hefty damage and survivability boost while looking for random drops of gear with retaliation damage. Sigil deals double the damage of Grasping vines and leeches life, but also has double the cooldown.
Before transition
When to spec out of Sigil ? I suggest doing it as soon as in the skilltree of the game, the “retaliation damage” of Entangling Vines equals that of the physical damage of Grasping Vines. Your points can now go in Curse of Frailty.
After transition
Again, feel free to adapt on the go. Respecs are cheap.

How to gear yourself

Now that you are 40 or more, monsters can become a threat in certain conditions. This character is begginer friendly because of the sheer volume of gear you can wear efficiently. Here are your gearing priorities:
1: reach 40% in all elemental resistances and acid
2: find some gear with Acid, Physical, Fire or Lightning retaliation. Dot retaliation like burn and poison are not for you. Do not worry about mixing up damage types. While building other characters, you usually have to stick to one or two damage types. But typed retaliation damage bonus are actually rarer than % all retaliation damage so grab any type (physical is often the largest). In general, you will find green gear with flat retaliation damage but no +x% all retaliation bonus and blue gear with both.
3: reach 40% in all resistances except aether and chaos. It’s not that these damage types don’t hurt, it’s that these resistances are hard to find for you early in the game
4: More retaliation damage
5: Max out your resistances (80%)
6: Max out your retaliation damage

Green gear is good ! A Spectral shield or Colossal fortress of Thorns will most likely outclass every rare you could find in that level range.
Here is a collection of rare gear that you will find useful, even without set bonus:
Perdition set
Vilescorn boot, Vilescorn legs and Vilescorn gloves.
Crest of the Black legion

How to devote yourself

This part is actually very important since a good chunk of your early retaliation damage will come from devotions.
Step 1: Hound-> Anvil -> Messenger of War -> Bard’s Harp
For this, you will have to fiddle around with Order points. Lion is fine as a temporary constellation.
Messenger of War provides a large boost to your damage early on.
Bard’s Harp will solve all your energy issues for a long time, allowing you to wear heavy armour more easily.
Step 2: Shield Maiden, Tago the Builder, Solemn Watcher.
Step 3: Obelisk of Menhir, Eel, Tree of Life.
You can’t really expect to be called a Tree of the Three without having the Tree of Life in your devotion tree.

lvl 40+
Now you are all set on the right tracks ! Keep improving your gear with what you find: pay attention to your resistances and get more flat retaliation damage. The core of your skillpoints are already place and you can now move forward toward this CORE build as you see fit.
One thing worthy of note: putting 2 points for Bloody Pox and Fevered Rage will GREATLY speed up your pace. It’s a good investment at level 40 when you start to have a feel for the build. You are not forced to use it on every monster you encounter though !

Help ! I am at level XX and I need somebody, help ! Please I need someone !
Don’t panic !

First, use ["]this](https://www.grimtools.com/db/items/333[/url). It’s obtainable for cheap as soon as you reach normal Homestead and will be relevant until full gear endgame !
lvl 40

lvl 50

lvl 65

lvl 70




this is some kind of Pet Caster?

looks amazing!

I like that you did not react to the sheer amount of random drop legendariers :wink:

afaik only the helm is a farmable purple on this one.

But hopefully more budget options will be posted :slight_smile:

Taking down Callagadra on your first character isn’t an easy task.

I must ask, what is the use of Briarthorn at 18/16 when you have no pet support?

I understand using it for its aura, but that can be done without wasting so many points in the pet itself.

Also lol at Cally’s Helm on a beginner build :stuck_out_tongue:

Honestly I feel like for a retaliation build the Dreeg Defender Headguard is a perfectly viable beginner option. Good retaliation stats, a couple of resists, and a couple of fairly useful skill bonuses (though admittedly neither of them would help a conjurer).

I miss the days when a “beginner build” meant a build that was doable with just vendor trash and faction items, but that’s not a complaint with this build, more of the state of things in general.

Please people slow down and give me time :stuck_out_tongue:

This is still very much WIP and I only posted a grimtool link as an appetizer !

edit: currently uploading a tiny video of the leveling experience in ultimate.

I like the pic :slight_smile: Looks like he is out on a fishing trip

I will actually like to try to play your build when you are done with the guide

Okay, guide is good enough to read now. It’s still WIP though.
I still have the specific leveling tips to write and the 2 endgame variants to put in.

did you try it with ok instead of occultist? i’d assume that the retaliation support and RR through guardians might make this similar to DE oppressor in style

edit: something like this (didn’t change gear and devotions, just an idea) https://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNYMLE4N

No I didn’t try because I wanted to make a beginner build, which means that for honesty’s sake I started completely blank and as such, have no gear or the time to test as an Oathkeeper.

However, I see no reason to pick Oathkeeper over Occultist in theory. Occultist should scale much better with gear since it provides perks that can’t be covered by gear, whereas the perks of Oathkeeper are largely dispensable once geared.
You just can’t replace Curse of Frailty or Fevered Rage with what Oathkeeper provides. Not even taking into consideration the outrageous 115% of retaliation damage packed into Dreeg’s Evil Eye with Bramblevine, which should provide for very satisfactory crits :slight_smile: (probable 400K ballpark)

Fevered Rage is reason enough to pick Occultist in a retaliation build.
I choose to pick Shaman because it can be built into a massive AoE 1 second cooldown 90% retaliation damage skill.

Other retaliations build might fare better single-target. But I am pretty sure this build is unbeatable in terms of AoE (for retaliation).

Oathkeeper should work well enough though.

that’s fine, i am not very knowledgeable about the game and the mentioned advantages of occultist weren’t apparent for me, thanks for explaining!

i simply assumed that OK was the most advantageous class for retaliation, since it seems built around it :slight_smile:

total noob to the game, only played a few hours with my bud, decided to make a seperate solo play char too so it doesnt mess with our duo progress, only level 15 atm with this char but im having a blast, would deffo recommend to anyone new as its all easy breezy so far for me :smiley: thanks for the guide

a devotion list would be nice to show what order to get them in :o

See the “How to devote yourself” part of the guide.

oh, im blind haha, tyvm :slight_smile:

If you’re playing this as a non-noob, Perdition set is level 40.