[] Classless [HC] The Sentinel of Cairn

Hey Guys,

**** First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who supported me during this journey!
@medea_fleecestealer, @adoomgod, @Knife, @MikeHeydon, @CaiusMartius, @sir_spanksalot and others (sorry if I forgot to mention someone). You guys are amazing! If it wasn’t for you, I would have probably given up a long time ago…

Would like to share this build with you here. As the titles says, it’s classless. This build was created from scratch, untwinked or self-found. All the gear, mats, blueprints, was farmed with this particular char in HC from level 1 all the way to 100. It is achievable. Depending on your luck and RNGesus’ mercy, you may need less or more time. It took me over two months to get to this point. And while there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement, the foundation has been laid.

Meet the Sentinel of Cairn:

GT - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RVvxd8JN

Stats in game with permanent buffs:

Retaliation damage - bottom right

This build is resilient and [obviously] HC Ultimate ready.


Very tanky: high DA, insane armor, very high resistances (good overcap too), 3 circuit breakers in the form of the belt proc, tortoise, and medal proc, high regeneration and decent HP pool. With the right rolls on rings and pants it’s possible to reach 17K+, but I’m not there yet.

Decent damage [for classless] - Biting blades hit for 15k, total retaliation damage 90-120k.


Very difficult to balance the attributes, not enough points to equip weapons that require both cunning and spirit. Barely enough to use the endgame armor.

Slow against ranged mobs. Can’t use some of the BIS items due to the lack of toggle auras on gear to bind devotions.

Only ~60 RR (Rumor and Manticore)

Build Performance

Should be able to clear most of the MC and possibly even reach some low SR and Crucible. I’ll be updating this as I go. Still a lot of testing to be done.

But here’s the current state of events

Forward to 15:15 - Warden. This shows both the toughness and damage vs melee mobs.

Fabius using bis rings, no pharma - https://youtu.be/8s55MYBbl48

Moosilauke - https://youtu.be/Zr93k4LL1xw
Beware of those crystals. They got buffed at some point not long ago and deal a ton of damage and can perma freeze you.

Valdaran - https://youtu.be/YvlxpIYQxBo
He’s the worst with 4.5m HP and mostly ranged and AOE attacks.

I’m working on a story for this journey with some lore elements. Will post it here when ready.

Stay tuned for more…

Thank You


A quick levelling guide for HC Classless mode (Self found, untwinked)

This is not a purist untwinked version. Purists don’t revisit areas to farm gear, so if you are a purist, - your journey will be insanely more difficult.

This version is for those who want to start this journey from scratch. No stash transfers, no previously learned blueprints, no cash. It’s as if you have just installed the game and made your first character!

What damage type to use for leveling? Many choices, but I’ll focus on Fire/Burn here.

LEVEL 1-35

You will have to survive till level 7. Keep distance from mobs, your health is very low. I suggest using guns at first. Don’t engage large groups of mobs at once. At level 7 you can use Searing Amber - Fireblast as you primary damage skill. Grab a few easy devotion points. You must get Tortoise ASAP. By level 20 you should have it completed and assigned to Enchanted Flint - Burning Weapons aura.

TIP #1 - don’t sell low level guns! You will need a gun for Flintcore Bolts! This component gives a good starter skill at level 15 - Greater Fireblast. It will be your main source of damage till level 35.

TIP #2 - look for greens with the Insight suffix. One or two of these and your energy regeneration issues are solved! As a bonus, you get a hefty damage boost!

TIP #3 - now that you got the turtle shell - use it! Before each difficult fight, find a weak mob that doesn’t do a lot of damage and let it hit you a few times to proc the devotion! This essentially doubles your HP at the start of the next fight.

Your major goal is to get as many devotions as possible from Act 1. The next big milestone is reaching Rowan’s Crown. Your main RR and a good damage bonus that will be used till late game.

Gear wise, look for greens with flat health, % health, resistances. Pretty much every item should have a health bonus.

Once you have collected the shrines, time to repair that bridge and move to Arkovia towards Cronley. Don’t have to engage the Warden early on btw. Not sure if he is less scary later on, but I suggest getting decent gear and damage fist.

Cronley is your biggest challenge here. You can’t skip him so get ready. Get good boots with movement speed and slap a mark of the traveller on. You may wanna replace your Enchanted Flint with Purified Salt to max out your aether resistance. There’s going to be a lot of kiting in that fight.

TIP #4 - kill Cronley summons as fast as you can to avoid getting overrun.

This fight might take 5-10 min, so make sure to have plenty of health and energy potions.
If you beat Cronley, you just might beat Normal. Because your next leap forward occurs in the Mountain Deeps. Make sure to farm some dynamite in Arkovia. You will need a LOT of it. You could farm aether crystals instead and go to crucible to craft shards -> dynamite, but that’s a more cheesy method. Later on, you will be able to craft dynamite in Homestead. But for now, focus on Mountain Deeps. There’s a treasure trove in there with 4 possible spawn points. Easy to find, just look it up here - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/eZP5z8JN
This is where you stay till you hit level 35. You will get a lot of mats and blueprints here. A bunch of relics too. There are few great ones, but for Fire/Burn I highly recommend getting Conflagration. Yes, it’s energy hungry, and yes, it’s taking a slot where your could put a very good defensive relic. But it offers great damage source and RANGE + AOE! You will feel much stronger and safer overall. You can now drop the gun and start using a good green one-hander. Use a second enchanted flint to get another 100% bonus to Fire/Burn and a second aura to bind your devotions.

TIP #5 Don’t waste your points on cunning. There’s no way we can spread enough attributes to use endgame knives, swords, rings, amulets and armor on the same spec. You should focus on two of these and I suggest Physique and Spirit 2:1 ratio. Maces and axes are you primary weapon choices now.

The next big upgrade happens to be on your way to Homestead - https://www.grimtools.com/db/items/2675
You will need one of these for your regen boost. Look for one with flat health, % health, physical res.

That’s it! At this point you start refining your gear as you move forward. Normal should be fairly easy now. Just balance armor, resistance, HP and work on your devotions to reach the Tree of life and Obelisk.

TIP #6 Don’t sell greens with bonuses to attributes! You may need those to be able to equip some of the BIS gear later on.

That’s it. You should be able to beat Log and finish Normal. You will probably be around level 50 at this point. The next big milestone is at level 68. So advance to Malmouth but very very carefully. Don’t engage hard bosses like Avris Morrowill. Tread lightly. Your goal is to reach the Coven. Once there, head into the ancient grove (will need a skeleton key), find the plant vendor and look for blueprints. You are looking for two things here - the Justice set and Mark of Divinity. Now, this method is a bit cheesy because there’s no way you could beat the final boss with your current gear and skills each and every time you enter the grove. In fact, I’d encourage you not to engage the boss at all and just get the blueprints. If you think it’s too cheesy, then skip Malmouth, advance to elite and reach Tyrant Hold where Etram Fald will let your gamble for your items. Totally doable but will take longer. In fact, regardless of the route you choose, you will still need Etram to give you the BIS amulet - Avenger of Cairn. Why level 75? Because it has an aura and we are very low on those. You will need 3 auras in total for endgame.

Anyhow, your bis set at this point is Justice. Could also get by just by using great greens or some other set. There are alternatives.

Elite is where you need to perfect your rolls. Your HP should reach 9-10K here. Max resistances. Good regen. You should be able to survive till the end of Elite without too much trouble. But be careful, some mobs hit like trucks and are better to engage 1 on 1. Stay in Elite till the very end or around 85+. Can even hit 94 there I think. It will be slow but worth it.

TIP #7 Benevald is another friend of yours. He is a secret merchant in the Blood Grove. Can sell random blueprints. He can sell the Mythical Faceguard of Perdition! This is YOUR SET! Easy to craft 4 items and reroll at the inventor in Conclave of the Three. You will need the helm, chest, shoulder and hands. Don’t worry about the shield, a good green will give better bonuses. This is where you can respec from Fire into Poison/Acid and use the final devotion setup. Your primary attack skill will be Biting Blades (seal of shadows) or Acid Purge (seal of blight) whichever you find first, I guess.

This is where the real grind begins. You will need hundreds of mats, millions of iron bits to gamble for your endgame set - Sentinel of The Three. You best options are:

Bella Fald - can use rare mats in exchange for random legendaries (level 94) - can get the sceptre and armor pieces from her
Etram Fald - same idea but level only up to level 75. You can get your amulet here.
Algosia Fald - same idea, but more towards the end of Elite, level 95 legendaries.
Inventor - can transmute unneeded legendary set pieces into items from another random set (of comparable level! Can’t transmute level 75 to 94)

That’s how you get your gear self found. The only thing is… still need some luck.

Chances to get these items are around 1/80 to 1/100. Still much better than random drops. It’s basically like farming Shar’Zul’s Worldeater or Deathstalker relic. And if you are lucky, might even drop the set blueprint. I still haven’t got it.

So here it is Guys. I’ll be updating this summary as more questions arise.

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And some poison too…

Do you really mean that? I would have though it was created from scratch, untwinked, completely self-found. Or did you craft everything?

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I think you know how it was created. You were there all the way. Your support helped tremendously!


Urgh. Screw you and @aikimox for sucking me into HC. :stuck_out_tongue:


Man, myth, LEGEND!

Just finished watching the video. I will now proceed to genuflect, recite the All-AdoomGod litagy and to sing ten Hail Contragors.

Well done, man! Well friggin’ done!


Man, I’m excited about your journey now! You have given me so much support on this road! Hope I can be of help to you now. Thank you!

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Oh, yeah, I’ll be asking stuff for sure. But to be complete fair, mine isn’t going to be nearly as monumental as yours. I have run 3 HC characters in the past (2 deaths, 1 success) so I didn’t do entirely self-found. I’m using my shared stash, which has made a few things much easier - like having two pieces of the Empowered Guardsman set waiting for me and certain components and stuff. :smiley:

But your advice along with many of the others you mentioned has been instrumental in certain epiphanies I’ve had. Much thanks for that.

EDIT: Oh, and that DA/ARMOR is friggin SICK!

Congrats. Since you did it the more tedious way than me, you can be Zeus of Grim Olympus. I’ll be your Hades or Cronus. Cronus I guess. The position for the other members of the Pantheon are open to others who dare endeavor to walk Grim Dawn’s secret Path of Perseverance.

(Actually I can be Hades I suppose since it fits my motif and Cronus belongs to the person who inspired the devs to make this from something he did back on Vanilla.)


Congratulation and GG is all I can say, to tackle HC, classless and with such perseverance.

Moreso, totally legit, takes the time and the patience for such a feat.

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You are a god among men, sir.

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What an achievement :grim_dawn:

I do play masochistically as classless as softcore, but not in hardcore like you did here.
I think that is now going to change now seeing what you have accomplished and have shown me the way.

It is also a great eye-opener to all those whiners out there that moan that their class combo builds cannot finish ultimate.

Hell! - If it can be done CLASSLESS, then there is NO reason why any SOLO or DUAL class build cannot achieve this.

True classic RPG style in it’s finest. We do it the traditional and hard way.

There is no INSTANT god mode after 30 minutes of play (Diablo 3 introduced that).
Everything you earn is found within your game session and must be used to build you character.

Nuff Said - a true achievement of note!




Classless HC, you have quite the ability and patience sir!

Sentinel of the three done as Archon and now as classless. Guys, Sentinel is literally in the set’s name! :see_no_evil:


MAN this build is awesome dude, I cant stop coming back to look at it for direction. The devotions you used are most of my favorites in the game (Tortoise, Scarab, Menhir and Tree). The gear, my god, how long did it take you to farm for all this? I dont use stash and never have, so I have been going from scratch with my classless builds and hit a wall- Had to create a HC character for farming specifically because Ive been having such a tough time getting the gear these guys need.

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Same here. No stash. I’m gonna add a quick guide to farming gear. But in a nutshell:

Bella Fald - can use rare mats in exchange for random legendaries - can get the sceptre and armor pieces from her
Etram Fald - same idea, that’s where I got my amulet from
Algosia Fald - same idea, but more towards the end of Elite
Inventor - can transmute unneeded legendary set pieces into items from another random set

That’s how you get your gear self found. The only thing is… still need some luck.

Chances to get these items are around 1/80 to 1/100. Still much better than random drops. It’s basically like farming Shar’Zul’s Worldeater or Deathstalker relic. And if you are lucky, might even drop the set blueprint. I still haven’t got it.


Genius! I had forgotten about those smiths that do the rare mats for legendaries! Very clever way to circumvent the normal means of acquiring those items. I look forward to pouring over your guide- Trust me it will be much appreciated, an invaluable resource for the small community of HC classless players. They should make an NPC based on you in the next update, or an item. Ooo! Or a POTION, that converts all your unspent skill points into attribute points!


Congrats on this achievement !

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Check out the second post in this thread. Hope you find it useful.

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