[*] Beginner's/budget dual pistols pierce Tactician

Introduction: :wave:

In AoM era Stupid Dragon created wonderful guide for beginners dw pierce ranged Tactician https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/1-0-4-1-beginners-ranged-tactician/43913 and I wanted to create budget version with some new and updated items. Also since few patches ago this build have proper endgame set in Goredrinker, so it makes more sense to play
with this build and farm for it!

  • Guide and budget built are for version of the game.

Build: :building_construction:

  • image with permanent buffs, damage for Cadence with Deadly Momentum and standing on Seal.

GRIM TOOLS :arrow_right: CLICK ME

Build video from SR 65, bosses tend to be easier for this build than massive swarms of heroes/lesser enemies. Grim Dawn Beginner’s Tactician Shattered Realm 65, boss chunk - YouTube

Skills: :skier:

Cadence - Our main attack, put as many as possible points here and in Deadly momentum buff, Fighting Form sits well at 12/12.

Words of pain - Used for the death sentence, which gives pierce resistance reduction. Also this skill is good for procing devotion.

Words of renewal - Healing skill, but the line offers health,DA and resistances.

War cry - Used for it’s damage reduction properties.

Inquisitor Seal - Important defensive skill, staying inside grants damage absorption, second node gives flat damage, which is used by Cadence and weapon-pool skills.

Aura of Conviction -Our exclusive skill -Offensive ability, pierce damage and physical resistance. In this configuration is 22/12 but regardless, should put as many points as possible.

Budget Gear: :hammer:

Weapons - Bloodborers - recipe from Cult of Bysmiel. Pierce weapon with mod to Storm Spread, pierce damage and attack speed

Amulet - Nightsalker, recipe from Cult of Bysmiel. +1 Inquisitor’s skills and pierce damage.

Rings - Malmouth and Dreeg blade seals from respective factions.

Helm - Fettan mask, my standard choice for budget builds, guaranteed drop in FG area. It gives +1 all skills and slow.

Chest -Elite Coven’s Combatant Chestguard - faction Coven refugee, bonus to Conviction and Cadence, quite nice.

Shoulders - Coven faction again, nice skill bonuses and flat pierce damage.

Gloves - Mythical quick draws- crafted epic gloves, suitable for ranged build.

Legs - Solael pants for life steal and resistances. Kuba Chauses can cap Deadly Momentum skill.

Belt - Wendigo crafted belt, reputation from Barrowholm.

Medal - Gutworm boss monster infrequent, some bleeding damage to Cadence and skill point bonus to Deadly Momentum.

Boots - Stoneplate crafted boots.

Relic - Vendetta, again +1 Inquisitor skills, pierce damage and proc. Recipe is bought from Malmouth’s Resistance faction vendor.

End Game Gear: :hammer_and_pick:

  • For end game you really want the Goredrinker set, which support both classes, boosting Cadence damage and also Word of Pain. Is excellent for mixing pierce damage with some bleeding.

  • Other very important items are Jaxxon lucky Bullet ring for extra WPS skill and pierce damage, Pack of Treachorous means, which is THE belt for pierce ranged characters and Oathbearer pistol, which can be used instead of the one Bloodborer. For relic best one is either Azraaka’s Epoch or Vengeance, which is direct upgrade over Vendetta, used in the budget configuration.

  • For more information about gear, devotion and skills check the end game version made by @banana_peel, GT - Tactician, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

Devotions: :star:

For pierce damage you don’t have great T3 devotion but I’ve decided to use Azraaka. Also Huntress for some bleeding damage, especially useful with Goredrinker set. Scales is here for flat RR and healing. Hydra is used, it’s exclusive ranged devotion. Assassin’s Mark on Cadence for pierce RR.

*If you want to beef up the build more you can take Ghoul and Unknown Soldier, just like Banana’s build listed above.

Devotions in order:

  • Yellow crossroad affinity point.
  • Assassin’s Mark, assign to Cadence.
  • Harpy
  • Stag
  • Assassin, assign proc to Strom Spread (end game setup) or Pain/Seal
  • Eel
  • Ulzaad, assign to movement rune or War Cry.
  • Lion
  • Scales, remove Lion.
  • Red
  • Bat, if you do it in leveling, assign to Pain. For end game you can use Rat just for affinity points.
  • Hydra, remove Bat or Rat
  • Huntress, assign to Pain
  • Azraaka. You can take the upper node for defensive ability and attack speed or proc.

Attributes: :a:

  • You need certain amounts of physique to wear armor and spirit for jewels. everything else should go to cunning, since it gives both % pierce damage and offensive ability.

Leveling Guide (outdated) :arrow_up:

Leveling guide is old, done by Stupid_Dragon. I might redo the leveling in the future but this is for now.

Levels 1-10. With your first skill points gained on level 2 open with Inquisitor and put 1 point into Mastery bar and 2 points into Ranged Expertise. Each next level put 1 point to Ranged Expertise and 2 points into Mastery Bar.

Levels 10-30. At level 10 go visit the Spirit Guide and revoke all the points from Inquisitor’s Mastery Bar besides the first one (you can’t :D), leave Ranged Expertise on 10/10. Open Soldier, push the Soldier’s Mastery bar to 15 while putting 1 point into Cadence. Put the remaining points into Fighting Form. With next few levels you should max Fighting Form (your level should be around 14-15). After than just push the Mastery Bar again till 40, and max Deadly Momentum; and then yet again push the Mastery bar to 50 and get Oleron’s Rage maxed. With this your level should be around 32-33.

Levels 30-50. Focus on maxing Cadence (or at least getting it to 10+), push Inquisitor mastery bar to 10 and get Deadly Aim maxed. Get Field Command and Squad Tactics from Soldier.

Levels 50-90. Push Inquisitor mastery to 20, once you did respec Oleron’s Rage, Squad Tactics, Field Command and Soldier mastery bar to 40, use these points to push Inquisitor mastery to 50 and get Aura of Conviction. After this the core of your build is ready. Use subsequent skill points to restore Field Command, then get Vigor, Steel Resolve, Squad Tactics, Warcry, Inquisitor’s Seal. The order doesn’t matter much, try various things. I recommend getting Inquisitor’s Seal first because it’s another layer of your defense that’ll allow you to kite less.

Levels 90-100. That’s the time when you shape the build to it’s final form. Since you’ll probably get some skill points from gear a lot of your skills will be beyond maximum level. While ultimate levels of some skills scale well, a lot of them don’t. You don’t need Fighting Form above 12, so just remove a few points from it to keep it that way. Deadly Aim also doesn’t scale well above 12, so keep it at that as well.

  • There are also a few tricks to grow stronger quicker.
  • Once you get full Serrated Spike insert it into one of your guns and activate the buff, it’ll increase your damage a lot early on.
  • Craft Vicious Spikes and insert them into your other gun, and activate the buff as well. Buffs from Serrated Spike and Vicious Spike stack.
  • Best early relic to use is Guile. It requires a recipe, but if you happen to get it then craft asap – it’s very strong for this build, you wouldn’t want to switch it till very late into the game.
  • Some advises from me-leveling is important to keep your resistances high-that’s the priority.My rule of thumb is to replace the gear with lowest armor every few levels.You need decent OA throughout the game in order to proc Assasin’s mark.At level 70 you can use augments,so at that point is good if you reached revered with most faction

Other recommend beginners guides

By @Nery (me)

[] [caster] Beginner's/budget acid Sentinel
[] Chillstrifes Infiltrator on medium budget-mostly blues
[] Beginners/Budget Vindicator,lightning Caster/2h Ranged versions
[] Beginner's/budget project-DW pierce ranged Tactician
[] [Caster] Beginner's/budget vitality RE Oppressor,leveling guide inside,Cabalist version added

Builds by @Stupid_Dragon

[DW melee] Beginner’s Virulent Dervish
[DW melee] Beginner’s Forgotten Blademaster
[shield melee] Beginner’s pre-Krieg Death Knight
[2H melee] Krieg Death Knight on budget, the Soul Reaver
[] Beginner’s melee 2H Lightning Elementalist Old but still deserves a mention
[] Beginner's ranged Tactician Old but still deserves a mention

Builds by @malawiglenn
¤¤¤ Fire Rune and Aegis Paladin (Shield Throw) ¤¤¤


¤¤¤ Beginner Spinner "spin2win" - Eye of Reckoning Warlord ¤¤¤


¤¤¤ Lightning Caster Vindicator ¤¤¤


¤¤¤ Forcewave Spammer Warlord (2H tank) ¤¤¤


¤¤¤ Forcewave Spammer Death Knight (2H tank) ¤¤¤


¤¤¤ Primal Strike 2H melee Warder (and a Savagery version) ¤¤¤


no full purple set? L2P Nery :rolleyes:

Nice job transforming the build by stupid dragon to the FG era

weapon damage looks good on paper might miss some damage since there is not flat rr and of course hard to get 100% armor piercing on ranged builds in general

would you say its worth aiming for Valduun set endgame and give up dual guns for the rifle?

2-piece sharpshooter (helm + chest) is perhaps not worth to consider either even though they give some extra armor piercing bonus

I was considering Sharpshooter,but decide to stay away from set items.I theorycrafted the build before changes and idk how to change it in order to get some flat RR.Perhaps scales are possible?Valduun yes,I should add it as end game option.Btw full legendary set is not enough,you need some of kings and stonehide greens for proper beginner build:D

btw didn’t they change so that same buff can be applied more than once? e.g. Seal of might buff you can have two of and benefit from both auras at once. I am referring to serrated and viscous spike auras that you mentioned in the leveling section

For Seal of Might I am sure you benefit from both,for others idk,I was just copying shamelessly from Stupid Dragon:p.Sadly Seal of blades does’t affect other weapon,though.

I just tested in game

Electrifying weapons stack with each other (So I guess all the other “x weapons” auras stacks too like chilling weapons, burning weapons, aether weapons, void weapons, envenomed weapons stacks too)

Impaling weapons stacked too and so did Empowered impaling weapons

At least I saw damage boost in the game on the char tabs (dps under DA, above armor rating)

I should correct that later.For chilling weapons yes they stack,I failed to make the connection.Intersting thing is I read,that Armor piercing from the one weapon is add to the other weapon.

well that is not true, but for blessed whetstone the increased armor piercing will apply to both weapons (afaik)

I am not quite happy with the damage

Yeah, part of the reason I decided not to update mine are damage concerns. Your sheet dps is about the same I had in AoM, but since pistols are now faction ones it’s an improvement nonetheless.

Glad you decided to pick it up.

P.S. a bit embarassing to be mentioned thrice :rolleyes:

On Serrated/Vicious spike thing. I didn’t knew back then that they stack. :o

Thank you! Do you wrote other budget/beginner guides? The number of options in the game are overwhelming, so beginner guides are really helpful.

I wrote Beginners Opressor,start to write notes about leveling cold Infiltrator as well.I will try to post full guide next week.
@Stupid Dragon-the Dps is without the procs,with Ulzaad for example sheet dps goes to 110k.I decided to make the build after seeing the new faction bp for pistols.Also medal and ring are improvements.Lokkar fight was funny,full facetank,but almost minute and half.I killed Kraval,but can’t do Mad Queen.

Cool, I’m looking forward to it!

have you tried it ? I’m always curious about G&B possible builds.

No,I was thinking about 2 parts from the set.I haven’t play much with G&B,only little with Stronghold.

what are the items this build would progress into further along?

i am still looking for the most interesting damage type for ranged builds with the goal of modding the masteries to bring them in line with their melee counterparts, from a gameplay and visual standpoint.

(basically adding longer range options for RR, armor penetration, better kiting options and wps procs around the enemy hit by the projectile, not around the ranged character.)

really like the look of this build, but i wonder what it’s options will be with greens/mythical legendaries, so that i don’t overshoot the buffs :smiley:

Interesting which items are better.For starters relic,I like Azraaka epoch or Doom.There is pistol,forgot the name with 100% piercing,super good.Rings are Jaxxon bulet,super dope,also Belghotian sigil,Blackwatcher or Bladetwister.Belt-Pack of treacherous means or Oleron belt.Set parts from Valduun for example,Direwolf crest medal.Peerles eye of Beronath amulet,Barbaros pants,Stormtitan boots.

thank youuuu! :slight_smile:

something like this https://www.grimtools.com/calc/O2Gzz4GN

took out word of pain, because i intend to roll it’s RR into another ability, so there are a few points extra. those should probably go into the wps skills, i guess, if i turn their damage types into phys/pierce.

doesn’t look that much stronger tbh

Did you try this budget belt? https://www.grimtools.com/db/items/12208