"Ice, Ice, Baby" - Vanilla Ice, poet, circa 1990
Foreword (some mad murmur you probably want to skip to Grimtools and videos below)
Maaan, spellbreakers. Beautiful creatures, hated so much by Crate and loved by veteran Grim Dawn gamers. Nerfed so many times yet still powerful. I waited for quite some time before I dared to assemble one of my own. After all, it’s the most expensive character to assemble. Here it is, by the way. Cold beauty. Green items to kill for. Fine tuned under the supervision of Sir Spanksalot himself and with wisdom of an old forum sage Jajaja. So nimble yet so deadly. Yet I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t my child, it was someone’s else. “But Mad Lee, you gotta be mad not to play this char, it’s awesome!” you might say. Yes, I am mad. And I bashed my head against the wall playing with different build concepts inventing the wheel for the millionth time, but I made it. People’s spellbreaker.
Massive AoE and top-tier single target damage
It’s a spellbreaker after all, and it’s gotta deliver. This one can rival Soulrend’s breakers performance easily. Hero packs melts in seconds. Single targets get dealt with swiftly thanks to massive shotgun damage. Delivering massive air-to-surface nukes from distance. Your graphics card gonna love it.
I usually try and make a build with items that are in my possession. Can’t make myself use GDstash. And with spellbreakers it’s painful, oh yes it is. Yet this build has 3 craftable legendaries besides helmet and relic and requires zero (0) green items or legendary monster infrequents. It’s very easy to gear compared to other top builds, especially if you trade on these forums.
Nimbleness and Dexterity
This is what you love spellbreakers for. Because they are so elegant. Circuit breakers/massive cc-resists/dodge/damage absorption/best mobility skill in-game/nullification/huge cdr. All this comes from the mastery combo. You have buttons for all sticky situations, it is so fun and satisfying to play it.
22.214.171.124 patch update
Redesigned this good old spec. It’s still not easy to play, but once you master it it’s pretty rewarding. Tested Iskandra’s amulet versus new cdr Starfury and damage-wise they are similiar but Iskandra has much more desirable resists. Added a video of 9 seconds Mad Queen kill and 6:58 Crucible run.
126.96.36.199 patch update
Iskandra’s amulet back on the menu. Build is not easy to pilot but still fun and as powerful as Trozan build can be. Build now has one Grimtools link and requires 0 greens to function.
188.8.131.52 patch update
Decided to update this build one day before Forgotten Gods come out since it’s one of my main characters and there are no items/devotions/augments in Forgotten Gods this build could really use.
New iteration does 8 minute Crucible Gladiator runs pretty consistently with decent piloting so now you can do 3 runs during the duration of 3 blessings with a help of Vanguard banner. Energy should be managed somewhat, probably some minor investments into Mental Alacrity won’t hurt. Added two videos, did die on a third run when I felt too brazen on wave 169 and decided not to kite at all.
Overall, very happy this build is on the lower end of top-tier builds.
184.108.40.206 patch update
Since Iskandra’s amulet has been nerfed (6% cdr has been removed), but now requires Mythical Invoker’s Shard. Updated Grimtools link and added new videos.
Build utilizes two massive offensive skills - Trozan Sky Shard and Phantasmal Blades. Former requires [COLOR=“DarkOrchid”]mythical Trozan set[/COLOR], latter can be done with just one item: [COLOR=“darkorchid”]Mythical Speaker for the Dead[/COLOR]. All other gear pieces support our skills and add synergy to our build (pants and belt for melee dodge stacking and Maiven’s Sphere of Protection overcap, etc.). Everything gear choice is obvious. Craft everything at Angrim, get one or two gear pieces with Pierce Resist, everything else %armor or %physique will do. You need maximum cdr roll on helmet and decent Chaos Resist roll on [COLOR=“darkorchid”]Band of Eternal Haunt[/COLOR], try and get an off-hand with at least 17% cdr and high vitality to cold conversion.
Skills and Devotions
Here is where I struggled a lot, testing different devotion setups and min-maxing skill points in masteries. This build can actually be played with Dying God proc (with our cdr it’s permanent). But I wouldn’t recommend it for Crucible tho, for Main Campaign it would work just fine. I finally came to the setup where I ditched Solemn Watcher for Ghoul (felt like DA wasn’t doing much for this build) and everything started clicking, Ghoul’s additional ADCtH + a proc that gave us Physical Resist that we needed so much + very short cooldown (thanks to all the cdr we are stacking) is what this build utilizes so well. You can tweak and add/remove point or two from Phantasmal armor and/or Elemental Awakening, depending on what resists you need the most. Anatomy of Murder is there for faster human targets kills, especially for Fabius whose huge cold resistance is a bit annoying.
Leveling and Attribute points distribution
Leveling as Arcanist is pretty easy, granted skill from Searing Ember or from Flintcore bolts coupled with Olexra’s Flash Freeze can take us very far (to the point where we can start equipping mythical gears).
Put all attribute points into physique. No wheel invention here.
How to Play
Despite what I do in the video below this build is a king of mid-range. Yes, it’s pretty tanky, but there is absolutely no point to facetank dangerous targets, you have to stutter-step and shoot and avoid getting stuck in debuff puddles or brawling with bosses with high physical damage. Use mirror and nullification GENEROUSLY. We can stack up to 50% (!) CDR, which is pretty insane. Our main skills cooldowns (PB and Skyshard) are 1,3 seconds each, keep changing position and spamming them, spam Chillspikes to proc Blizzard. Nullify hero packs for faster kills. Use mirror when fighting bosses and big packs, with Iskandra’s Amulet modifier your damage skyrockets during mirror uptime. Shadow Strike yourself into safety anchoring white mobs and wage your war from distance like it’s the future. Use your Pneumatic Burst frequently, don’t be a scrub and stop saving those health potions for later either. All this is for Crucible 150-170 of course.
In Main Campaign just facerape everyone while laughing maniacally and sipping Stoli on the rocks.
Pneumatic Burst on (100% of the time):
Build’s pros and cons
- Requires time and skill to learn how to pilot it to reach its full potential (although it’s mega fun when you master it)
- In Main Campaign Energy Potion is sometimes required
- Low Physical Resist and armor. Despite 44% dodge and 15/12 Maiven this build is still somewhat prone to bursts of physical damage, so try to keep that health bar full and use mirror frequently
- Super fun to play. You wreak so much havoc bringing the sky down on monsters again, again and again. Plus a huge shotgun skill that heals you. Mobile, agile, deadly.
- Easy to gear, no greens/m.i’s.
- Massive AoE and top-tier single target damage (already mentioned that somewhere).
(I still kinda suck and did spend a horrible amount of time on wave 160 because I didn’t see that one of the mages was left alive and managed to heal Alexander few times)
Crucible 150-170* OLD
*(Spoiler, I die at wave 170. I honestly just suck as a Crucible pilot, forgot to lure out High Council at wave 163 so arcs above them ate a lot of damage, didn’t put health potions in the inventory, and messed up mirror timings at last wave. Should I mention I did not record it while sober or is it enough excuses already).
Mad Queen OLD
Grava’Thul - 25 seconds kill (don’t take chances with him, stay in mid range, use mirror and nullification) OLD
Kubacabra (stay in Night’s Chill range and don’t be afraid when your hp goes down, abuse mirror/ghoul/nullification, beast can still leech of us, so stutter step of puddles) OLD
Thanks to all the creative builders on these forum I now can’t play a build untill it’s my own and at least is half as good as theirs. Your creativity (and abundance of time to test stuff apparently :)) pushed me to create this beauty.