[] Beginner's Lightning Vindicator caster


Vindicator (Shaman + Inquisitor) is class available since AoM expansion. Shaman is primary lightning class and can be used as caster, melee or ranged. Inquisitor is great support class, providing passive - resistance reduction (RR) and damage reduction, healing skill and other goodies. Vindicator used to be really powerful class but since my initial build have lose some positions, same thing applies for lightning as damage type. Still one can build strong lightning caster. In this guide I will show you build with budget gear and also leveling guide and tips.

Both the budget and the leveling guide are remade for patch version!

Main Build

  • pic with permanent buffs, damage listed for Chain Lightning. *Items are crafted with stun.

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Storm totem - Our damage dealer, weapon+off-hand will increase the summon number. Try put as many as possible. Totems are so called ‘‘pseudo pets’’, they scale with your stats.

Storm box - Very fun skill to use. Can’t stack on same target, can affect up to 3 seaparate targets at same time. Main skill should be maxed, other than damage it gives DA shred for more crits, second node 1 point only.

Chain Lightning - Granted skill from Seal of Skies component. It’s great filler skill to spam, having weapon damage also helps with sustain. If you don’t have this component yet, you can spam the skill from Amber’s component or charge Savagery (bit clunky).

Inquisitor Seal - Defensive skill, staying inside provide you with fortitude, soaking small hits from enemies. Arcane Empowerment will give some small offensive bonuses. Main skill, put as many points as possible, second node can be left with just single point in it.

Wind Devil - Again lightning pseudo pets, all three nodes have value, so should be maxed. Raging Tempest is the priority, since it provides much needed - RR.

Wendigo Totem - Healing skill, damage part is small. Put 12 points and one in blood pact (optional).

Word of Renewal - Healing spell , also grants DA, racial bonus and other benefits. Main node sits well at 11/12 or 13/12, Steel Resolve at soft cap eg 10/10.


Most of these items are easily farmed or recipes are bough from faction vendors. For end game build you want the level 94 version of Light Defender set, it supports both of our classes and boost damage of Totems and Storm Box.

Weapon - Stormstrife, farmed from bosses Janaxia and Laria in act 5 ,it’s not mandatory ,used mainly for storm totem + skill bonus

Off-hand - Groble Sky Effigy, farmed from groble enemies, there is hero in burnwith outskirts with guaranteed drop, it’s super good item for this build It’s my only item wit rare affix. Farming one with physical resitsance prefix - Thunderstruck or Sandstorm is really important.

Amulet- Aetherbolt pendant, faction recipe from Coven. Nice % lightning damage, +1 Inquisitor and RR to Box.

Rings - Coven sky seals, from Coven reputation, cheap and decent rings. Best end game rings are Storm Witch.

Helm - Fettan mask, guaranteed drop, map https://www.grimtools.com/map/markers/chests/11734
Provides +1 all classes and slow resistance. For end game build Light Defender set have helmet.

Chest - Valaxteria’s robe farmed from the boss in late AoM expansion area. Lightning damage, conversion from aether, slow and bonus to Raging Tempest are all nice perks.

Shoulders - Elite Bysmiel Stormshroud Mantle, obv from Bysmiel reputation. Nice stats overall and bonus to Maelstrom.

Gloves - Emeberguard - crafted yellow gloves, look for resistances and cast speed.

Legs - Solael Pants, farmed from hiddend quest line and Solael’s guardian. These pants have very nice stats even before we take into account the affixes.

Belt - Chains of Brandis, from boss in Valbury, +1 to Shaman skills and conversion from vitality to lightning are the reasons of using it.

Medal- Mark of the Shadow Queen, recipe from Bysmiel, great amounts of OA and damage mod to Censure.

Boots - Elite Legion from Black Legion rep, physical resistance and stun are the key stats here. IF you can cover stun from other sources use legendary elemental/lightning boots. OR craft Stoneplates. Ideal scenario is ‘‘Thunderstruck’’ of something.

Relic - Eye of the Storm is good low level relic, usually BiS for lightning Shamans. Quite expensive to craft but is worth the prize!


Usually for lightning builds your main goal is to combine Ultos + Spear. Other than that Ghoul and Bat for defense, Widow is must for - RR and also decided to use Elemental Storm as my flat RR source (other option is Revenant). It’s also possible to use Tempest+passive heals like Behemoth or Chariot but this is very good offensive map. Assign devotion procs to skills always. Attacking on damage skills and passive to permanent buffs like Mogdrogen’s Pact. Here are the devotions in order:

  1. Green crossroad affinity node
  2. Bat, remove green
  3. Quill
  4. Purple
  5. Rhowan Crown, remove purple
  6. Ghoul
  7. Viper
  8. Sailor’s Guide
  9. Widow
  10. Hawk
  11. Ultos to the proc
  12. Tsunami
  13. Eel
  14. Spear of Heavens


For end game build you need quite a bit physique for Light Defender set and some spirit to wear off-hand. Spirit boost the damage, as well as energy regen but for leveling/budget build 3:1 of ratio in favor of physique is solid idea.


I suggest siding with Kymon over Death’s Vigil, Solael from Witch Gods factions and also friendly with Anasteria and Barrowholm.

Leveling guide:

This time I would start my build with Shaman mastery and will focus fully on it, until start to invest more points in Inquisitor’s skills. Click change difficulty in upper left corner to adjust.


GT link for 10 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/r2Br7jD2

Start with Shaman and put 5-8 points in Devouring Swarm attack. If you have energy problems, try using components and off-hand/rings with energy regen. After that unlock Devils and put few points there. Also one point in Mogdrogen’s Pact and Heart of the Wild. If you have serious energy issues you can’s solve, invest more points in Mog’s.


GT link for 20 -https://www.grimtools.com/calc/lNk7nA4N

Progress in Shaman’s mastery, putting more points in attack skills, your next priority is Raging Tempest, also one point in Wendigo for healing. Also one point in Oak Skin. Start using components, since they start to drop and some can be crafted with blacksmith. Also you should find your first groble off-hand.


GT link for 30 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RZRdDY92
GT link for 40 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/O2Gg5bl2

Between 20-30 level max Raging Tempest and unlock Totems, which should be the next priority for maxing, also one point in Blood Pact and Maelstrom. Take the needed points from Swarm, remove all of them with Spirit guide. Use Amber component’s granted skill. Make sure all of your gear have components. You can also use your first relic, either Bone Talisman from Rover’s elder’s quest or craft Squall.

Between 30 and 40 reach end of Shaman’s tree and max Stormcaller’s Pact, it will serve as exclusive skill… for now. Some more points added in Heart of the Wild for bigger health pool. Then start with Inquisitor’s mastery and reach Word of Renewal/Deadly Aim and put one point in each of them.


GT link for 50 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/1NXa18P2
GT link for 60 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/b28OR83N

Between 40 and 50, continue with Inquisitor’s mastery bar and reach Seal, put point there and in Vigor. More points in Devils and other defensive skills. Craft Solar belt, reputation from Homestead.

Between 50 and 60, more points in Inquisitor mastery bar, one point in Steel Resolve and Arcane Empowerment. Put few extra points in Seal for better defense. Farm for Stormstrife weapon.


GT link for 70 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YZe8Xl6V
GT link for 80 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/bVAanewV

Build should start looking more and more as the end game setup. Reach end of Inquisitor’s mastery bar and max Censure, remove all points from Stormcaller’s Pact. You should do this maneuvre around the time of starting elite difficulty. Then at some point remove last 10 points from Shaman’s mastery bar via spirit guide. Star using Storm Box and try maxing all nodes of Wind Devils. Then Inquisitor Seal and Deadly Aim. At level 75 you can use Seal of Skies granted skill - Chain Lightning, big improvement over Lightning Nova. Also you can use augments, armor for covering resistance, as well as jewels and weapon s Good early ones are Creed’s Cunning (Black Legion) for weapons and Survivor’s Ingenuity (Devil’s Crossing) for jewels.


Use whatever good legendary/Mi items you can find and work towards main build. More points in Renewal line for defense and also in Oak Skin. Increase your armor absorb ratings and physical resistances, since in Ultimate enemies hit harder.

End Game builds

[] Totems of strength! Light Defender Vindicator - Grim Dawn / Classes, Skills and Builds - Crate Entertainment Forum

[] Light’s Defender Vindicator ( 5:30 Crucible, SR 95, Crate, Callagadra, Ravager of Minds) - Grim Dawn / Classes, Skills and Builds - Crate Entertainment Forum

Both builds use Light Defender set and are somewhat similar. You can check them out to see end game gear and stats/skill distribution.

Ranged 2H (outdated)

*pic with permanent buffs,DPS is for Thunderous Strike


Little bit different build, This one is ranged 2H, using Thunderous Strike (Primal Strike transmuter) We need attack speed for quick attacks. We have Weapon Damage, so our damage will heal us through life steal.

Original Leveling Guide (outdated)

Usually the best way is to play first 40 levels or such with just one mastery and to focus in one skill,but that’s boring.Here’s another way:p


GT LINK for 20 https://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNY46RXZ
*set difficullty to normal in upper left corner

Start with Inquisior,take 6 points in pain,put some points in box and work your way to renewal.At level 10 pick Shaman,push to devils.Put more points in pain.Just watch out for energy problems.If you do remove some ranks.Is good to use off hand with energy regeneration.

Devotions are basically the same as caster version,they are in order,start with bat,put it on pain and later to different skill.


GT link for 40 https://www.grimtools.com/calc/bVAzA81Z

We put Shaman tree to Raging Tempest and max it,remove pain.After that we focus solely on Inquisitor mastery.Put points in bar,but also in WoR line and Inquisitor seal.Reach Censure,aura that grant us with damage reduction and RR.
Devotions,we gonna ride the elemental storm.Wind devil for proc skill for example.

GT link for 60 https://www.grimtools.com/calc/JVlPX3oV

Skills start to take shape,we max Censure.After that route is to storm totems,we dump a lot of points there.Wendigo totem for sustain.
Devotions-Widow for lightning RR,Storm box can proc it well,especially with tether.Each tick will have seperate chance to trigger it.


Two options,follow either caster route or ranged.At 70 you can use armor augments.Level suggestions for difficulty level-around 65 start elite,at 85 ultimate.You will find some purple items,use ONLY suitable ones,not all are upgrades.


-Priority are resistances,that’s the key for not dying
-We don’t have much OA from tree,unless Boar is used,so we need it from gear
-DA check it,bosses should not crit you
-Items,most of the MI have different versions depending of your level,chec them
-Faction,Side with Kymon,Outcast,Barrowholm,Cults depending of your taste.


Reserved,idk will use it :slight_smile:

Nice one!

I actually made a FG variation of my old lightning caster vindicator here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Kr6hwbWGCz6DWY2BY9NohP3Ng7rUcwGm/view

Nice with the Primal strike version, I never had the time to make such variation actually

Ok, build stolen for my Budget Shaman :cool:


Sadly,I haven’t see that you out your thread in doc.That was gonna save me some time:)

Primal Strike is not bad actually,but depends on attack speed rolls.I have around 170%,which is not bad for 2H Gunner.

You play a build without pets,no way:D

Um… Shaman has pets :undecided:

I meant using this as a level up guide for my pet build : https://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84649 :stuck_out_tongue:

But you said I stole it from you and I haven’t use pets;)

Ahh,got it :smiley:

No, no. I am stealing it from you, for my build.

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Thanks again for your beginner/budget build! :smiley:

Is the build from Chthon still viable? It seems quite outdated.

Yes,it’s outdated,but I wanted to put a link for end game version for Primal Strike Rifle build.

One can use my devotions and Chton items.Also there"s the thread and people can ask questions:)

Feel free to steal as much stuff as you want from it (only applies to you though :wink: )

Yeah but “of alacrity” suffix is pretty common on those guns. I have a few “thunderstruck of alacrity” already actually I do not pick them up.

But if Nery steals from you and I steal from Nery…

Hm… this is soon going to be a Stealception.

Then Malawiglenn has to steal from you,to close the circle:D

Then I have to make my concepts more original!

1 Like

Then I bust Nery’s Krieg spellbinder to melt your unholy ravens to charcoal

Ha I actually asked Maya if I could borrow some of his pet stuff for some guides.

I guess the circle is closed

Wow, didn’t expect you to make it so soon! And I actually misunderstood you, thought you’d make totem + PS hybrid somehow. :rolleyes:

Looks good enough, but:

  1. Any crafted boots would look better due to the difference in armor rating at least, and many affix combos would easily top what these boots provide. The argument “it’s cheaper” doesn’t work since you’re already using emberguards.
  2. Don’t get your shoulders, if you aren’t using any of the provided skillpoints then MI or even random crafted one are likely to be better. And there are Elite Bysmiel Stormshroud Mantle that provides almost the same, but boosts your electrocute and gives you +3 maelstrom freebie.
  3. You forgot to put a rune on your medal :rolleyes:
  4. It’s really strange that you decided to ignore tether. I mean I don’t like Stormbox so I don’t know for sure, but I was told that most of Stormbox damage is actually in Tether.

That was about caster version. Ranged version:

  1. You’re using mythical (!) White Lotus belt, which is a random drop. Faction one is non-mythical.
  2. Same as before about shoulders and boots and lack of mobility skill.
  3. Not getting Word of Arms transmuter? :rolleyes:
  4. I don’t know if you felt like you’re short on skill points, but if yes you could cut Shaman to 32 and invest elsewhere.
  5. Also pretty sure you don’t need Bat in this kind of a build. It’s reasonable for kiting casters, but that’s an attack damage build. You can remove it and fill the points by just investing 1 more into Hydra, free-ing up 4 points for something else.

Perhaps there’s something else but w/e, I’m not into studying these kind of builds under the loupe. Just the most glaring things :stuck_out_tongue:

Will be adding link to this to my builds asap.

My direction was “all in Maelstrom”


I mostly use Stormbox for the DA shred

Now when I think of it, I should get more damage from tether than the actual wind devils.

You could cut 10 points off the Shaman bar as well, reinvesting them somewhere else. :rolleyes:

Yup,it seems that I have made some mistakes:undecided: But…


1.I will have too many random items,I want more stability and faction gear.Also Stoneplate greaves are better,I am aware

2.You have point

3.I haven’t forgot,just leave the slot open for personal preference,maybe will put that in OP

4.Tether should be one pointer,it stacks with cast speed,it will be rubbish here.Main skill offer DA shred,that’s better


1.I didn’t notice,will correct that,mythical is pointless if it’s not faction

2.Same answer

3.Oops,will change OP,that’s a mistake,when change the build from caster to range

4.I kinda need mastery points and it’s not that point starved build

5.I can do that and take jackal for example,but my life steal and damage is low,bat is useful here,surprisingly.

If that’s the most glaring things only,it’s shocking:D
Thanks for input and that you are adding my builds:)