[] Beginners/budget DW cold melee Trickster


Trickster is one of the vanilla combinations.It is Nighblade+Shaman.Generally,since both classes have cold RR,is easy to build cold melee.DW is more suitable,because Nightblade have some strong DW weapon pool skills and Savagery from Shaman is excellent auto attack replacer.Tricksters are so called glass cannon build,they deal damage,but are not so tough.

So what are the goals of main build?

As often I provide tips for beginners,but also budget end game version.The goal is to have fast moving DPS machine.


This build was inspired from multiple DW Tricksters posted.So how end game build is looking!
*pick with perma buffs.Note this is pic from previous patch.Currently Stun resistance is much higher,because of Stormcaller pact changes

GRIM TOOLS LINK :arrow_right: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/w260eJbZ


Savagery :arrow_right: Our main attack.It has charges,that increased potency of attacks.Also triggers WPS skills.Put as many points as possible.Tenacity of boar is excellent nuff.

Amarasta Blade Burst :arrow_right: It’s used mainly for Lethal Assault buff.One point and max LA

Shadow Strike :arrow_right: Mobility skill,with Nightfall can proc devotions at good rate

Ring of Steel :arrow_right: Used y for freezing enemies crow control and fumble

Pneumatic Burst :arrow_right: Healing skill,with excellent defensive bonus from Shadow dance,must for any DW Nightblade.

Wind Devils :arrow_right: Used as RR source.Elemental means all three of them-cold,lightning,fire


Charge with Shadow Strike to close gap and apply Rumor debuff,use Ring of Steel for fumble in melee range.Attack with Savagery and charge Lethal Assault.Heal yourself with pots and PB.Keep Pneumatic Burst active all time.


Core set is Silver Sentinel,super common blue set,but also

Weapons :arrow_right: Best are Chillstrifes.They"re farmed from bosses Janaxia and Larria in act 5.Look for attack speed suffix and maybe elemental or cold prefix.Mine used here are one rare and one common affix and are farmed in legit way in campaign.Note,I used in all builds other than daggers only double common items.Chillstrifes RR is key.Good rolled Malkadar blade can be used.

Amulet :arrow_right: Crafted low level blue,it has +1 all skills.

Rings :arrow_right: Blue Alkamos rings.Super good,lots of cold damage and OA.Farmed from SoT ofc.Options:cheapest possible are Coven sky seals from reputation.Also eternal haunt+Reign of Ice and FIre,if you have the recipes.Blue elemental balance rings with recipe,or Nightscorn randm blue.

Medal :arrow_right: Dreeg faction rep,cheap and good with cold flat damage and DA

Relic :arrow_right: Nemesis,cold low level relic.Best is Nidalla,Serenity is good defensively

Belt :arrow_right: Not flat damage,but every other stats are king,random blue item.

Gloves :arrow_right: Any cold or elemental gloves with attack speed can be used.If you don’t have any of them,use random green with speed.

Pants :arrow_right: Kuba pants,so good with that LA and Boar bonuses.Hard part is kill Kuba with cold build.Maybe in elite? If you can’t farm them,settle for eastern legs or Solael greens

Boots :arrow_right: Stoneplate cradts,just to cover resistances.

Gear priorities and problems

The key is to cap all resistances.Cold flat damage is key stat for this melee build.Problem can be lack of damage reduction.I use in my ring Kymon Will augment for that,sacrificing some damage.Recommended stats-2.9 or 3k at least OA to capitalize on the crit bonus.2750 is min DA you need,since the build have OA shred.


There are few T3 cold constellations on the map.Leviathan isn’t impressive and Yugol route is too expensive.On purpose I don’t use Dying God,which will further creates defensive problems,so choice to take Amatok,Ultos+utility devotions.End game devotion path

2.Sailor’s guide
6.Hawk,remove green
7.Scholar’s light
10.Revenant,remove red
11.Amatok,remove blue
13.Watcher,remove Eel
15.Green,remove Scholar’s Light
16.Ultos to proc

End Game
Build can finish Gladiator 170,but is not reliable to farm.I manage to complete few runs,without even phoenix or aether cluster,but require some skills.I suggest 150,maybe even in Challenger in Crucible for items.Dungeons are easy.SoT for rings is my idea.SR is really not suited for the build.

Video from Gladiator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UaQBkgA15E&t=8s

*Note in my original version,I used viper instead of phoenix,but realize it’s not worth it,unless you struggle with OA

Leveling Guide

Idea is to level early with ABB and swith to Savagery

*notes change upper right level of difficulty in GT links.


GT for level 10 :arrow_right: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/O2Gz8lJN

Start with Nightblade,put few points in ABB,and one in dual blades to unlock ability to use two weapons.Woek your way to Pneumatic burst for heal,LA and start with Night chill for cold RR.
Devotions,standard treatment,green and then bat.


GT for level 30 :arrow_right: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/r2BzBoB2

Don’t rush with choosing Shaman.Put first points in LA and Night’s chill.Then at 18-19 unlock it.Goal is to reach Maelstorm for second source of RR.Put some points in Heart of the Wild.
Devotions,after bat go for Elemental storm proc from Crown devotion.Take Quill and purple nod.


GT for level 50 :arrow_right: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/M2glqWBV GT was sadly lost,this is just skill progression and devotions.To compenate for my mistake,here is video from Log fight in level 50

At level 35-40 you can switch to Savagery.Is good if you replace Spectral weapons with Malkadar ones.Take the points from ABB and leave it to 1,then pump Savagery and few points in Boar.Work Nightblade to the end of mastery,their is located Execution,the best single target damage WPS.
Devotions,Sailor’s guide for mobility and then Murmur for RR

50-70 GT for level 70 :arrow_right:

More points in Savagery and WPS.I left some blanks points for personal selection.Option is to go to stormacaller pact quickly or to use WPS heavy system.If you are dying,more points in shadow dance and PB.Items,you can use now augments to cover resistances.Survivor ingenuity is early option for jewel augments


You will start to find legendary gear,that and revered faction items will help you level deep in game.DPS will increase and you will have chance to use life steal from it to stay alive.70+ require also more armor and physical resistances to negate enemy physical damage.

Faction selections:
Side with Outcast and with Barrowholm.Kymon is MUST in order to farm for Malkadar blade.Dreeg is recommended faction in FG.

Faction Gear build

Here’s really cheap version courtesy of TomoDak

Here’s Malawiglenn take https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2dlbRL2

End Game prospects

Test Trickster for Crucible time,speed farmer ,By Nery(me) https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/1-1-2-5-dw-chillstrifes-cold-trickster-gladiator-5-25/81931
Hardcore and defensive bu @Lumina https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/1-1-2-5-korbas-dw-cold-trickster-hc-ravager/51236

Lightning Trickster


GT https://www.grimtools.com/calc/b28j4jLZ
*permanent buffs

Credits to @malawiglenn for the idea!

This is budget build with full Stormserpent blue set,which fully covert pierce to lightning.Also faction rings and shoulders.Medal Blueprint is faction,Solael pants and Stoneplate boots to cover resistances.Amulet is common blue one.Augments and components are BiS,but they can be substituted with cheap,without hurting the build much.

Weapons are guaranteed drop from Dalia’s Secret Quest https://grimdawn.gamepedia.com/Daila%27s_Secret_Quest

Video from SoT(Alkamos) :arrows_counterclockwise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhEub5ZMkF4&feature=youtu.be

Lightning Trickster in this configuration has good DPS,also life steal,but is little glassy and cold offers more resist reduction.

End Game prospect by Mad Lee https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/1-1-2-5-elektra-7m-crucible-tanky-no-greens-dw-melee-lightning-trickster-g3-c-sr-vid/51107

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) ¤¤¤



Reserved for no reason

I don’t think Alkamos rings are “budget” items.

1 Like


I have multiple blues.I will try to make GT with faction gear only.

Budget means items that are easy to get. Alkamos’ rings are very/super hard to get. Basically, I’d call budget items those that drop regularly (per mob/per 10 mobs) or craftable items.

Or I just have a messy mind. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe you are right.But Alkamos and SoT are excellent source of items and for newer players is the best spot for farming.So it’s natural to have it from time to time.I will make soon version with faction items and rings.

But blue Alkamos drops from specific boss and are not random,so I think they are easier to get then crafted Eternal Haunt+Reign of Ice and Fire.Too bad Elemental rings were nerfed,they are not worth here.

The blue rings have 5% drop-chance but yeah they are definitely the hardest set of items in this build to get.

Nice build guide as always!


Hmm,I maybe overestimated the chance for blue rings,but strangely to see them being the highlight of the build :sweat_smile:

Perhaps coven sky seal rings are good for starters?

EDIT: I added linkt to this build in my collection thread

not enough budget imo :smiley:

i could link you my super budget trickster setup if you want to include it, no blues just faction gea and some affixless craftable crap. 2x coven sky seals + 2x coven cleavers is p good. finding chillstrifes with attack speed is a bit of pita especially for new guys imo

Are you thinking about Coven cleaver
or Malmouth faction sword?

All yellow and green items have affixes, why not use them?

Got it,added more rings options.

@TomoDaK,please send the link to your version and will include it in the guide.Thanks in advance !

coven axe for sure. malmouth sword has that built in lifesteal and proc which is nice, but has no phys to cold conversion, stun res, or crit dmg

@Nery https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4anp52 this setup very beginner friendly, only craftables are relic/belt and they are super super cheap. no affixes on gloves/pants and no augments, just a suggested skeleton build here. id personally suggest different devos for super cheapo setup. i couldnt find mine, but i used chariot on mine iirc as oa is just too bad w/o it

first time I see someone else than me using this term in Grim Dawn :smiley:

I would use these items instead https://www.grimtools.com/calc/O2Gz8kjN

And I would not use all skills and attribute points

Latern will not work since we do not have dagger or off-hand so I took quill.

Added to OP. @TomoDaK in your build,you have lantern,but two axes,it’s not gonna work.

What you think about using this belt in your Trickster build? https://www.grimtools.com/db/items/7944 more acid to elemental damage conversion

Added budget Lightning DW Trickster budget build to the mix.Excellent damage using Stormserpent blue set.

nice work!
I was thinking about that I should probably do ranged stormserpent vindicator for beginners, and perpahs purifier too if you do not wanna do that :stuck_out_tongue: and I said to my self “no more guides” and then I started with game mechanics guide xD

One need two chars for the lightning vindocator, one for each Mythical stormheart. You think regular stormheart as 2nd weapon is better than any other budget weapon btw?

I should write credits for the idea,oops.

What weapon do you suggest?

I will examine your sketches and steal something for my next guide :stuck_out_tongue: