[ -] AARMAGEDDON: Spellbinder


(all buffs, no on hit buffs - no Arcane Will, no Ghoul)




After some tweaking to get the lost dmg back I ended up with this setup: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2Eb17bV. Here’s save files: _Marvalias.zip (1.1 MB) in case someone wants to take it for a spin and maybe improve it. To be completely safe with energy take a few Arcanum Dusts instead of Irrah’s Soulfire on the jewelry.

But because of the nerfs to all three items that made this build stand out (Outcast Secret, Fleshwarped Tome and Dawnshard Pauldrons) BUILD IS DEAD as in there is no longer any reason to pursue this concept over the generic full Clairvoyaint that almost matches its dmg but is way safer. Here’s an example of full Clairvoyant: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/Q2zmAMRN or no-green https://www.grimtools.com/calc/m23gJrn2


(including Arcane Will)


GT (no rare affixes default offensive setup) and Crucible of Death with 3 blessings and Vanguard Banner in 5:43 and Mercymaker’s 5:21 Run

GT (tweaked for slightly more defense)

GT (GDStasher’s) and SR75 failed aggro abuse with Reaper and Benn


There was a lot of discussion and theorycrafting after the penetration change to Albrecht’s Aether Ray. Opinions were divided. Some builds were posted. No minds were blown.

Mage hunters are still ok and warlocks are still meme-tier. Spellbinders, once the strongest class in the game, are now stripped of most of their defensive potential and much of their offense as well. But they are not dead. Only asleep.

Time to wake them up from their slumber.


This build is my personal vision for a binder. DPS machine walking on the edge. Build that rewards expert piloting with neon green carnage of death. Build that requires you to actually learn. To up your piloting game.

This is Sekiro of Grim Dawn. You will die, not once and not twice. But once you master it, you will thrive…


HELMET: Outcast Secret. No-brainer. New Clairvoyaint helmet is plain terrible. There’s a hidden -170 aether to AAR on it. :wink:

OFF-HAND: Flashwarped Tome vs. Pulsing Shard is like Windows vs. Linux. Pulsing Shard is the popular choice. Looks neat and everything. But if you look closely Flashwaped Tome represents a total of whopping 250 aether to AAR. That includes the aforementioned 170 from its lightning to aether conversion. Vitality to aether conversion empowers Bat, making up somewhat for the loss of 6% adcth.

CHEST and MAIN HAND: Occupied by Clair.

SHOULDIES: Dawnshard Pauldrons vs. 3pc Clairvoyant is like Napoleon vs. Duke of Wellington. Clairvoyant seemed to have it all, and Dawnshard kicked his ass. Phys res and the PROC that saves precious seconds, allowing to skip casting Ravenous Earth.

RINGIES: Eternal Haunt is set in stone. Albrecht Duality vs. Screams of the Aether is like Mayweather vs. McGregor. 15% racial to Aetherials is strong and all. But this is GD. 100+ oa with all the crit dmg from Disintegration and Elemental Balance is undefeated. And then there’s more dmg from Agrivix relic. And then there’s terrify on the Screams that adds 15-20s to your clear times.

Magelord rings would seem like an upgrade due to even more lightning to aether on AAR and some lightning to aether on Spear of the Heavens. But because we have no Wrath of the Ascendant with it’s rr, letting go of Haunt is problematic. Plus Magelords screw up resistances and core stats.

MEDAL: Anathema. MoD is for pussies. :wink: kidding, MoD is a viable option for more survival

AMMY: Tough one. Essence of Grim Dawn vs. Conduit of Arcane Whispers is like AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol. I quietly rooted for the conduit. But it turned out it just didn’t have enough juice to compete. Even with maxed Fabric of Reality the conduit mod still gives less flat than Essence of GD. And with no Pulsing Shard we need that 4% adcth. But this build could really use the defensive stats of the conduit. SR oriented setups should set up for the conduit.

PANTS: Wraithborne Legwraps 4ever.

BELT: Violent Decay. Even without much fire to convert (100% fire to aether form Clair) it’s still the best belt for arcanist due to the resistances. And there’s some fire in Devastation.

RELIC: Agrivix’s Malice vs. Eternity. Way more damage vs. slightly less stress with Mirror-MoT-TD cooldowns.

BOOTS: I wanted Wraithwalkers which are overall better but Krieg’s got pierce res. No ranks to Spectral Binding but 4 other relevant ranks are also good.

GLOVES: Aethereach. Self-explanatory.

COMPONENTS: Due to Reaper being the biggest threat for binders double Sanctified Bone was in my initial setup but I settled for just one. The rest is self-explanatory. Worth noting is Arcane Spark - it’s energy leech is not entirely wasted with 60% weapon damage from Spear of the Heavens.

AUGMENTS: Outcast’ Wrath is the best weapon augment for aether due to racial dmg to aetherials. Aetherials and Reaper are the most resistant enemies. Sadly, cannot use two.


This is a variation of a classic binder devotion setup minus weakened now Fiend, redundant for AAR Ghoul and the last two nodes of Dying God, and plus newly superbuffed Revenant.


There are two main ways to level a binder efficiently: caster and summoner.

CASTER: Start with arcanist. Pick up Olexra’s Flash Freeze. Put Searing Ember and later Flintcore Bolts on your off-hand. Fireblast/Greater Fireblast is your main weapon. OFF is your main debuff. Except the arcanist essentials, pick up transmuted Calidor Tempest + Inferno for some extra damage if you feel like you have too many points. Stack %fire and %casting speed.

SUMMONER: Start with necromancer and put all you got into Skeletons and then Blight Fiends and then some Reap Spirit. Except the necro essentials, pick up Call of the Greave and tehn Master of Death. Stack pet stats mainly total speed.

Once at a high enough level start thinking of respeccing to aether. Unstransmuted Calidor Tempest is a good start before you collect endgame AAR gear. Here is a guide by courtesy of malawiglenn.

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Very nice take on the build! Also, +1 for the Go reference. :wink:

After going through a lot of lightning and chaos AAR setups, I have yet to try a full-on Aether-binder one, so I will definitely be testing this out! The spears and meteors crushing down enemies look very very fun lol!

I like your comparing of items,very reasonable selection.But I saw your posts claiming Spellbinder is not worth it,but your time is monster.Well done creating and piloting this build!Binder is still one of my favorite classes:p
Edit,Malawiglenn guide is blank.

Good old aether Spellbinder is back, ladies and gentlemen.

Nice one! Spellbinders are back indeed.

Edit: also proving that full clairvoyant set is a noob trap and devastation is still super strong in crucible.

Beautiful, what do you think about the Phoenix devotion ? with the CDR it’s almost always up, boosts aether and critical damage, its like a free crappier inquisitor seal that moves with you :D.

I tried it and bat on my AAR and my survivability was much better with the phoenix.

good one ya… pretty much what i played yesterday except boots… i just hate krieg set lul
clairvoyant meme LUL

spellbinder was dead:eek:? good to know ahah forum is funny and golden sometimes…

Thx. Devastation is binders’ bread and butter. Full Clairvoyaint… completion bonus is godly. Stats on the helmet are great. Except that one that makes it a crap item. I tested it, and even though returns on investment in oa are great with this crit dmg and set completion gives a stunning 10% of it, it’s not worth it to lose such an enormous amount of flat dmg on a channeling skill that ticks many times a second.

And the energy from 3pc is not needed with the right choices made elsewhere. I tested 3pc for a long while, too. Looks much better on paper. But nothing competes with Dawnshard’s dmg reduction without having to cast anything (except Censure ofc).

I tested some Phoenix before the changes to Revenant. It’s a very good devotion that’s worth it even for non-aether and non-fire builds. But with Revenant I saw no way to viably fit it in.

For survivability best is Pulsing Shard and MoD (which is more health and better adcth) like in some other setups that were posted before. But in the end it’s a glass cannon with incomplete active defense - it all comes down to the right threat assessment, timing of Mirror and MoT, keeping an eye on cooldowns, knowing when to debuff and when to keep channeling, positioning so that AAR and Dawnshard proc hit most targets, etc.

Since i was already testing mad_lee’s sabo earlier i thought i might as well try out this build too while i’m at it. I’m real happy to see an AAR build finally shine in crucible. That said it’s no faceroll and you do need to time your mirrors and MoT right, especially on the nemesis waves.
Of the 5 runs i did (died twice, really rusty with spellbinders) this was the fastest one (5:21mins):


Others were 5:40 something and ~6mins. I’m surprised how fast everything melts. I wonder what kind of times the build would do without devastations damage, might do a few runs later and see.

Well done ya_

HELMET: Outcast Secret. No-brainer. New Clairvoyaint helmet is plain terrible. There’s a hidden -170 aether to AAR on it.


Thanks for the comments and for the tests. Really good vid. And educational. I learned I moved too much instead of just channeling.

Yeah, it took me 4-5 deaths to readjust to binders. Haven’t touched them since Agrivix was still good. But after that it’s pretty much 100% consistency.

I didn’t test dropping Devastation. I guess it would be something like with CT. No Devastation Maw of the Damned build was like 1-2 minutes slower than classic Agrivix+Anasteria.

Hell yeah, I like everything about this build. Well, almost. Good devotion map (although we both know real builders use Korvaak instead of Spear). Great gear choices (never paid attention to the stats on those shoulders and I think I used them in one of my theory crafts, what a smart move), that Clair hat is indeed trash, for some reason Crate thought converting part of Clair to Vitality is a good idea.

Good job, man!

I would recommend just a couple of small things, first, Prismatic Diamond in the helmet is actually more damage then the scull. First of all, that damage modifier when it procs is massive, secondly, it lets you get in better more agressive positions. I have tested scull vs diamond on some of my builds and Diamond was always better. Just try it.

Not sure if you really need energy leech from Arcane Spark (if you do, it kinda sucks and forces you to use Eternity), but if you don’t, I would just plug Black Tallow in there, also lets you play more reckless against Grava. And not sure how valuable is Outcast’s Wrath in this build. I would prefer Ravager’s Eye, build is already fast af, bit more consistency from additional DA will only make it more solid and maybe lose you ~5 seconds on the completion timer.

Damn Ya, just saw this!
Looks really good! Surprise on gear choices but when we really think about it, using full clairvoyant set should be inferior.
Although I will never play static channeling skill, Love this! Congrats!

@ Mad_Lee

Thanks. I agree in 95%. Your advice would bring the no-rare-affixes setup a little step closer to SR viability.

Double Ravager Eye is probably the right move but you know dmg greediness…

Lol I actually thought about Korvaak. I’m familiar with the discussion, too. I like Korvaak - oa shred and all - but it’s not compatible. Let alone missing 4 green and nothing to proc it (needs as good a proccer as Ultos) even without global lightning to aether Spear is better. It’s actually the highest weapon dmg to use at least some energy leech from Arcane Spark, Viper and Revenant. And to me there’s no such thing as “enough %dmg.” In my experience Korvaak is only good for chaos. Two reasons: 1) huge weapon dmg, 2) nothing else to take.

Prismatic Diamond + Black Tallow vs Sanctified Bone + Arcane Spark. Also good advice. Very close. More defense at the cost of offense. Leech and %regen from Spark is mostly QoL. Oa is golden, though. Even though I’d take Prismatic over Bone in 90% builds, here, I feel like 12% to Reaper&Grava at all times is better than 10% to all sometimes. Especially Reaper the Binder Killer.

@ thejabrixone

Thanks a lot. Full Clairvoyant is ok for Pulsing Shard + no global ele to aether. Actually, without that vit conversion, it might be op if paired with Flashwarped Tome.

So maybe Diamond + Black Tallow + Eternity + Ravager’s Eye? 10-20 seconds of the timer for the best runs but much higher conistency which results in better overall build? I don’t know, that gotta be tested, maybe my suggestions will be totally shitty in tests.

Once you get the hang of it consistency is pretty much 100%. I only died a lot at first. And even with much more defensive setups than this, with Eternity, Golemborn boots, etc. The best defense for binders is not in stats.

It’s piloting, ofc, but also key binding. I spend a lot of time figuring out if it works better for me to bind MoT to key 4 or 5, etc. Back in the Agtivix days, I used to have MoT on the key I recently started using for mobility runes exclusively and I died a lot because of this. What’s great about binders is that they make this game a little more arcade.

But you’re right. I should at least add an optimal defensive setup to make this build more accessible.

It should be a crime for not using illusion feature for a build like this.

Damn ya! Mind your fashion please!

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Just out of curiosity, that helm is a strict anasteria drop or it’s possible to find a schematic elsewhere?

Just’ll write, that you found interesting and effective solutions here and made strong binder one more time.
Gratz, really strong build!

ps AAR is really difficult to play after CT for me :o