[] American dream: from 0 to beating endgame with scrap metal and bare hands (Blademaster, For beginners, Faction gear, Pure DW melee, SR75, Crucible 150-170)

beaten-up player ready to quit Grim Dawn

So you are near the endgame and your build just doesn’t come together, you are out of luck. In fact, you can’t catch a break: every big item you find is for someone else. The plan you had in mind (maybe you’ve been following some guide) falls apart because the game is almost finished and you can’t even farm lower shards or Crucible waves.

Maybe you feel like trading is cheating or maybe you are just shy? Maybe you don’t like any of the existing builds for beginners or you feel like some of them are outdated/not your type/too demanding?

Fear not! Today we are going to “beat” the endgame in a classical aRPG hack-n-slash fashion using the very basic items in the game.


The build will consist mostly of faction gear. What you see is nearly the most basic template that will be better in your variation because of the gear you already have. All considering, the results shown will be near the minimum of what the build is actually able to achieve.


  • Revered status with the main factions.
    First and foremost. If you want to approach the endgame you must have access to the strongest nonRNG items. Farming rep of the majority of the factions is very easy and doesn’t take too long. For instance, farming Tomb of the Eldritch Sun for MIs and purples will give huge amounts of FG factions rep. Coven rep is probably the easiest to farm naturally, just by playing the game. Malmouth and King’s Crossing have a relic bounty – basically revered status in exchange for money. Barrowholm can take some time though. Search for guides to farm rep if you need details.

  • Several common and very popular component recipes.
    This guide implies you have completed (or near the end of) FG ultimate and have already spent enough time to have some good rare and magic component BPs and basically all the common BPs. They aren’t make it or break it for the build but it’s unnatural to assume you don’t have any.

  • Some decent epic gear that fits the char.
    It’s basically impossible to complete the game and not have anything for pierce. In case you’ve sold everything you might wanna do 100-150 runs for the hidden Blood Groove merchant, he has blue recipes. Or farm Twin Falls/Broken Hills for a bit.

If you don’t have anything of the above, i don’t think it’s fair to expect to farm the endgame. Fill the gaps you have at your own risk.

The build
<<< Grimtools >>>
<<< Grimtools >>>

Blademaster is our class combo of choice: it has access to endgame viable weapons through faction and it’s probably the most basic platform GD can offer to the fans of the genre.

We will be focusing on dps because dps means survivability in today’s GD. For the sake of simplicity the amount of active skills is minimal: movement, one heal/buff, one debuff and a small AoE for producing skeletons.

Devotion choice: skeletons and Assassin’s Mark reach a satisfactory level very quickly, Sands don’t play a big part in the build.

Our journey consists of 2 parts: 1) a main campaign, SR60 viable setup to finish the game and acquire SR set 2) SR set build to show em who is the boss.

Don’t hesitate to restart SR if you run into impossible boss rooms. For the sake of the experiment i didn’t quit shard 61 with terrible mutators (-dmg and +monster crit among them), Fabius (we are pierce), Valdaran and Slathzarr all rushing at the same time. I died like 40 times but completed it with no pharma or clusters.

Update - more faction gear!
link to the build is above

Gear, stage 1:

(Pneumatic Burst and Deadly Momentum are down)

Stage 1 revolves around maxing Deadly Momentum. It’s an enormous gain for pierce dual-wield. In fact, it’s probably the single biggest dmg buff in the entire game.
To make that happen you need: Juggernaut relic crafted for DM, Kuba pants, +1 to soldier belt/amulet.

Kuba pants and the belt from the crabs are very easy to farm (our char easily tanks Kuba with random pants on). The farming locations are suitably scattered along the ugdenbloom :wilted_flower: farming route (which you’ll need a lot for the components).

For pants, take anything with decent res/DA rolls. It doesn’t even have to be rare. The ones in the build are the second pair i got in GD. They are a smidge better than the first pair i farmed with this char. Same goes for belt, but now you can afford to look for rare rolls. Ugdenbog is raining with the drops of this belt.


I chose to improve the faction pierce rings (they are already good) with very common epic rings. I had 5 of those by the end of the campaign. If you don’t have them, take other good pierce rings you have, there are several of them.

Gloves are very good for pierce in terms of dmg and are also very common. You can replace them with anything of +attack speed and +relevant dmg. Or just spamming crafted gloves can give similar results.

Other gear it trusty Fettan mask and faction stuff. Craft everything you can for stun res. Don’t forget to sharpen the blades with whetstones for 90% armor piercing.


Standard DW WPS gameplay: focus one beefy target, others die naturally from WPS. Btw I don’t recommend Zolhan’s Technique. For some reason dmg from it is pretty low and slow animation badly affects Cadence.

You have 2 movement skills to escape ganks and various shit on the ground. Jump healers and debuffers and don’t forget to renew Pneumatic Burst. Ring of Steel serves to apply fumble and proc skellies (everything else is unreliable for it, Cadence is occupied). High stun and slow res and low cd on the heal usually allow you to run away when things go bad.


Invest in Deadly Momentum and Oleron’s Rage asap, then WPS skills. First few levels might be rough, you need some devotion and skills meat on you to get things going. But once you do you’ll faceroll the MC with wooden sticks.

Performance, SR speedrun Update

For i’ve made even more user-friendly spec with almost all gear being faction and completed 151-170 Crucible in under 8 minutes with 3 buffs and i banner: you can make 3 runs within buff timer and replenish 100 tributes.

Although be wary, Crucible is now dangerous as ever and not really viable in terms of pure farm. It’s safer and probably faster to just do SR65-66 runs.

I didn’t do any new SR recording, nothing really changed for it. You’ll be able to farm up to SR65-66 in faction gear without too much trouble.

You can farm MC bosses and dungeons blindfolded. But that wasn’t our goal. Our goal is this:

You won’t run into any issues until shard 50. Just rush through the maps killing trash. Disregard strong guys, spending time on heroes will be inefficient.

Somewhere around 50 you can start seeing impossible boss rooms. Don’t be afraid to restart the SR, just make sure you have the waystones. Remember, your goal for now is beating shard 60 and getting full set. Alternatively though, you can farm aether clusters at prior to Warden’s Cellar. Ghoul+cluster+flask should buy you enough time to kill 1 boss from the pack at a time.

Gear, stage 2
<<< Grimtools >>>

SR set is the real deal. It fixes lots of defense gaps including health, CC res and phys res. Additionally, you are now capable of farming SR for some decent loot and well rolled SR set pieces.

  • The boots are a result of burning through 3 mln bits. Pretty bad outcome here, usually you’ll craft smth better (craft at Angrim).

  • Also i picked up a random blue movement rune with low cooldown.

You may notice our dps suffered a big hit compared to stage 1, about 10%. Reason is we’ve lost the max DM rank. But that’s the price of tankiness required to farm endgame.


Endgame performance:

So let’s find out if we are actually capable of farming Crucible. 130-150 run with one buff:


During the Crucible runs i have times with 10 fps. That almost cost me my life a couple of times in the present run. But overall it’s pretty comfortable: one single buff allows you to complete 130-150 two times, more likely 3 times if you get te dmg buff and your rig allows you to react to biggest threats.

Also notice the funny thing: i forgot to put a component on the freakin amulet. :man_facepalming:

And now the ultimate build’s measure. 150-170, 3 buffs, 1 banner:


I spent some extra time running around to show off that the build (namely SR set) is capable of running for your life.

Not exactly farmable but i don’t think many people do 150-170 for farming loot these days. 130-150 gives comparable amount of it and is much, much safer.

If Crucible is not your thing, no worries, you can farm Shattered Realm even beyond the reasonable mark:



Reserved a spot just in case.


As we’ve promised in the beginning, we achieved the status of farming the endgame in a reasonable timeframe without any RNG.

Enjoy farming loot for the character of your choice in a traditional hack-n-slash manner. Make your dreams come true!

– I pitty the fool who comes for my treasures in faction gear!
(famous last words of Kaisan before dying to a stock pierce build)


I have 5 things to say about this.

  1. The first thing I need to says is, “FIRST!”. Because that’s what the cool kids do.

  1. You want a theme song. Nay, you NEED a theme song! Especially while you jot down your Pass Key.

  1. We need pain! And motivation!


  1. We also need Adrian! Without Adrian we have nothing but a bad accent.


  1. We need stairs! Lots and lots of stairs. Without stairs to climb the Rocky metaphor falls flat



This is amazing. Really confirming that blademaster is good for 1st time build.

Redeemer of malmouth is also quite underated, it’s actually not that bad. Hope it can have its armor piercing rate increased though…

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Nice build and I particularly enjoy the formatting!

Hope that can help lot of new players.

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You forgot to bring a Rocky gif with you for your post. I didn’t make the rules… it’s just the way it is.



GIF of Rocky beating his meat. Classic!




@banana_peel Great starter build, guide and write-up! I think I might start over from scratch (after archiving my characters) to see how this works. Should really be fun to play from a fresh perspective and might be fun to play until the big update comes. Or it might be even better once the update comes with updated Faction/Epic gear! :sunglasses:

It’s excellent to see that a budget starter Pierce BM can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’!


Isn’t the point in Menhirs will useless as it needs a shield or a twohander?

Thanks for noticing. Not sure why i left it there. Cleaned it up.

I have no idea how I missed this.
Legit impressive work :ok_hand:

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I’m impressed, and saddened, that only @RxJunkie and I understand the laws of the universe and the need for Rocky gifs in every post in this thread. When the universe implodes on itself don’t say that I never warned you all.


I thought on this day of days, I would have hope for Humanity. Alas, I am also saddened by the lack of gifs in this thread…

Worry not @powbam, they will suffer in the end. My prediction is PAIN! :smiling_imp:



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Sadly that is diminishing in a more rapid pace than the melting of glaciers!..

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Hi - as a returning (essentially new - I dabbled pre-expansions, but not to Ult) player, I really appreciate stuff like this. There’s so much great end-game content out there, but what I’ve struggled to find is suggestions on first builds to farm all those fancy items for gear-dependent builds with.

I really like the idea of a Dervish though, and was wondering could the Oathkeeper be used instead of the Soldier to similar effect (with Righteous Fervour instead of Cadence and probably Poison/Acid instead of Physical) or would that be too gear dependent for a first farming character?

Glad it helped!

I’m pretty sure every class combo can be built for endgame (to some extent) using primarily faction gear. It was buffed recently. You just need to spend some time in grimtools to figure stuff out. Of course, it requires experience.

As far as the Dervish go, check out this topic:

I haven’t read it myself but the author is trustworthy.


Thanks - reading the Dervish guide now!

Dervish and Purifier are the two classes I’m having fun with atm so I think ideally I want to try and push one of those into a high-end gear farming unit before getting too stuck into other builds.

ZT is so low-damage is because it’s a main hand only WPS.