[] Korvan Reaver - Pierce Cadence/RoS Shattered Blademaster

This is my first real melee build post

I don’t really play melee. Part of it is because I generally like casters more (tho in GD I like ranged just as much) and another part is because I played with a shit laptop for a very long time that melee is almost impossible in cruci due to my inability to pick up individual targets - something that I still struggle with until the present time.

Pierce Cadence Blademaster isn’t exactly a new concept. This has existed since the earliest days of Grim Dawn, but it’s not exactly the most popular build even among pierce builds since Belgo exists. I wanted to play melee but I don’t exactly like charging Lethal Assault (cold/acid) and Belgo is like, overused. Safarel inspired me to make this build with his Pierce Cadence Tactician: strong, tanky and it doesn’t require charging other skills just for buffs so it’s kinda perfect for me. Gave it my own spin on a blademaster and here we are.


The Build

Char sheet with all permanent buffs and deadly momentum

GRIMTOOLS > Updated Version

Old version/font color>[GRIMTOOLS](https://www.grimtools.com/calc/wV1mdKMV) - Offensive version with belgo relic and double skull.

Offensive version with belgo relic easily clears below 6 mins. Video (on gameplay section) with 5:53 clear was my only recorded run, but I can feel it can still do a lot more. You can die with it but consistency is like 85-90%. If you want a 100% clear rate char use the defensive version courtesy of @mad_lee (tho I did some modifications from what he gave me) but it’s gonna be slower, still a solid 6:30 average farmer with the defensive version. Pick your poison.

GRIMTOOLS - Defensive version with diamond and serenity. Use if you play while sleeping and don’t wanna die even if you just stand there. Still a solid 6:30 farmer that doesn’t die. Credits to @mad_lee for this one.

Build Explanations
  • Swords - Usual swords for pierce cadence. Won’t max out your Pierce Ratio but there’s no better weapon, and it enables us to add RoS as secondary attack too which is neat.
  • Realm Set - I feel like this is flavor of the patch for non set builds nowadays. The build enabler is the weapon so everything is very customizable. Realm set just sets up our defense quite nicely, enabling the build to have more offensive options in other slots. Also, other options for pierce aside from Belgo suck, and if we go Belgo armor, we might as well go full set with the AA.
  • Devotions - Honestly this is Safarel’s devotion setup which inspired me to make the build since I like Oleron proc. I just removed Living Shadow cause it makes big bosses like Reaper run to the other side of the arena at the start of the wave which loses time. I tried Blades of Wrath setup but it was just the same performance. Oleron setup has the advantage of not having the possibility of unlucky MQ shotguns when Blades of Wrath activates (tho that never happened to me). No Ghoul cause you don’t need it Oleron route with pierce is dead. We no use standard pierce route.
  • WPS layout - That’s 97% WPS with Direwolf, and WPS kinda accelerates Cadence charging - all the WPS hit with both hands with count as 2 hits for Cadence charging, which means we need 2 hits instead of 3 to charge Cadence 97% of the time (or whatever the math says :stuck_out_tongue: ). AQC and Zolhan are not taken cause they’re the two least useful of the bunch (no DA shred, ZT hits with 1 hand IIRC and AQC just deals no damage compared to the others). Also more than 100% WPS makes the good WPS weak cause less chances to proc.
  • Greens? - I know I usually post builds with greens but the non green setup performs the same on average. Also my best run is with non-green. Dunno if it’s just me sucking with melee cause other melee builds perform significantly better with greens (see Superfluff’s belgo and ya’s venomblade). If you do decide to take greens then pants, boots, green ring are the most replaceable ones. Take greens with a shitton of cunning bonuses for damage.
Cruci Performance and Video


Improved the build by removing Ghoul and relying on Scales for sustain, both in health and energy. The previous version from felt the nerfs a lot and is now an inconsistent 6:30 build. This current version facetanks everything (well, almost. I never full facetank MQ on any melee build) and still clears in 6 mins average.

6:00 clear, which is a bit above average. I did some sub 6 (5:50ish) runs but I won’t upload any more of them cause my internet is shit. Notice that I never had any trouble tanking everything. I always dodge Dravis RE tho, but I do that no matter what play.


Offensive version with belgo relic easily clears below 6 mins. Video above with 5:53 clear was my only recorded run, but I can feel it can still do a lot more. You can die with it but consistency is like 85-90%. If you want a 100% clear rate char use the defensive version courtesy of @mad_lee (tho I did some modifications from what he gave me) but it’s gonna be slower, still a solid 6:30 average farmer with the defensive version. Pick your poison.

Cruci cleartime is kinda inconsistent from less than 6 mins to around 6:40. What’s sure is that on my part I never go above 7. My best run is 5:42, which is shown in the vid. Green builds might have more potential for speedclearing but I haven’t been able to replicate it (my fastest with green cunning dump pants and boots is 5:56). I’m still not confident at my melee piloting skills so maybe the timer can be more consistent or faster.

This build is very safe for cruci farming even without ghoul. Realm set and being a soldier gives so much defense. Out of the 20 or so runs I did with different variants I only died like twice (or was it thrice?).

Other Stuff
  • Dummy Killtime - Only tried once, it’s around 20s
  • Realms - I don’t like realms. I did have some spare realm sets back when I played it last patch tho. There’s a shitton of them drops before it was moved to vendors so it wasn’t a problem finding good rolled parts.


Thanks to @Safarel for the Tactician build, @Superfluff and @mad_lee for previous pierce builds I used as reference to making this build. @Zantai for the game balance and to the community that came from numerous other ARPG’s for endlessly suggesting an endless mode, if not for you realms and realm set won’t be possible :stuck_out_tongue:, and of course to you who are reading this. Thanks for reading!


DW melee build from you! Welcome to the party :partying_face:

Sheet DPS doesn’t seems that high,but time is really good.Also SR set adds defense and armor is also high.

Tried a lot of melee builds and this was the smoothest. Others needed LA charging or whatever. Dunno how you guys manage to love those kinda builds :stuck_out_tongue:

Anywho sheet dps has always been untrustworthy, moreso in the case of Cadence when it’s not a straightforward calculation due to the three hit mechanism. Also with the WPS the three hits is reduced to two so dps should be a lot higher than sheet dps.

I actually tried pierce Trickster with LA charging.

The conversion from Bladetwister rings and treacherous pack belt.

As for LA charging,is super inconvenient on 1-0 button,but is not a problem for mouse.

Yes,the DPS can lie,because WPS and procs add effective damage,which can’t be seen.So time looks great and since it’s safe build,I would say,that really like it.

Everything looks great except resist overcaps and DA. I understand that build is offensive to the max because it’s already super tough, but if it doesn’t do consistent 6 minute or less runs I would maybe balance out its defense a bit. But that’s just my personal preference, I tend to make my build bit more balanced towards defense since I am not a very good pilot and I like “safer” gameplay.

Great build otherwise. I would look into points distribution tho, is Ring of Steel dump worth it as opposed to overcapping Night’s Chill and capping Fighting Spirit?

Update: Video added

Hey, in my runs the real reason why cleartime is as spread as it is isn’t because of lack of defense. It’s because AoE isn’t the best. Blind Fury, Azrakaa, RoS and even Blades of Wrath are good at evaporating groups of mobs but they lack reach, unlike caster builds or even other popular melee archetypes where the AoE covers a larger area (say Tainted Eruption on acid venomblade having that hugeass area, or Ultos proc on cold builds being able to reach enemy backlines due to chain lightning effect). If the stars line up and you don’t have to walk a lot then you clear really fast. If you do then it’s not really a loss. Anything below 7 mins is top tier, and as I mentioned I don’t really get above 7 mins with this build. Defense is already very good, unless you think the occasional hp hiccup is not okay. I measure the defensive capabilities of a build via deaths, and I died like twice in 20 runs with this build. All of those runs are with Korvaak/Theodin ignored at 169 and 170 so I have 1 additional guy to tank. The only dangerous scenarios are alex meteors on 160/170 and if you somehow don’t kill fast enough that annie/dravis/korvaak can gang up on you.

On RoS vs Night’s chill/Fighting Spirit - capped RoS is better than night’s chill. Haven’t tested capping fighting spirit but I’m not too positive about that one.

this is almost the exact same setup ive been using on bm for months. but glad someone has put it into a guide.

Do you play it on realms? Cause I’d love to know the performance there but just can’t bear grinding through 65-75.

Hail Mamba!

Yeah i could solo s75-s76 with it some of the time depending on boss combos. My gear was almost exactly what you are wearing except a different devotion layout and different components. Ive switched to belgo now but the shattered guardian spec was definately alot sturdier.

Doesnt do too well in shards when there is alot of magic flying around like if you get duskreaper and kaisan combos etc. due to no real flat absorb and i kinda wonky warcry damage reduction.


i think my sheet dps with perma buffs and deadly momentum was at about 110k but it went up more when fighting. my devotion and point spread is just personal choice, probably could get more steal etc by taking ghoul and lose a bit of armor and DA by taking points out of obelisk and putting them elsewhere.

I like that you went with oleron though, that definately does some really nice aoe damage.

Hail Mamba!

Yeah, it’s pretty much the same as Blades of Wrath in terms of average cleartime but I like Oleron more.

To run SR effectively you just need a bit more focus on defense. This is what I run for SR farming for the past month & a half:

nice setup! some of the time though it doesnt matter how tanky you make yourself if you get a bad combo of bosses its curtains even for the tankiest of blade master specs.

Well, for the 50ish runs I’ve done with this builds nothing seem to be entirely impossible. At least for SR75-76.

So just bought this game on the steam summer sale and since I played PoE and D2/3 before know it’s always a good idea to go build shopping before playing and getting overwhelmed and quitting.

I figured this build looks enjoyable to play and [no greens] tag makes me believe it’s quite beginner friendly, but I can’t figure out why the buildsheet shows Pneumatic Burst doubleslotted in the hotbar? Is this an error or is there a logical explaination for why I’d want to doubleslot a skill in this game?

Check out Dragon’s beginner guide for blademaster: [DW melee] Beginner's Forgotten Blademaster

And do not be fooled by this “no green” non-sense. Some greens are trash, some greens are good. In fact, many “random green” item can be used as temporary items until you get BiS legendary for instance.

I double bind skills now and then just in case in miss button or have different rotations that fit my muscle memory better.

1 Like

[quote=“ReznoV, post:15, topic:82432”][no greens] tag makes me believe it’s quite beginner friendly,

This goes against the principle of self promotion but no greens doesn’t mean it’s beginner friendly. Real beginner builds are filled with greens. This is more like middle of the pack when it comes to gear requirements. Also this requires you to have a previous char that could beat shattered realm level 50 (or 60? i forgot, been a long time since I played realms. It’s pretty boring imo).

The no greens tag isn’t really meant for beginners. It’s for older players who play totally legit (no cheats) and don’t have the luck to find “impossible greens”. Legendaries aren’t easy to farm on your first char.

For a beginner blademaster, please refer to Stupid Dragon’s posts, then start transitioning to this build once you get both swords and the realms set.

There’s nothing to put beyond those slots. You don’t need to put in pneuma, I just like putting double of the last skill in my hotbar so it’s easier to press when I’m panicking.


Yeah, I do that, too. Especially for the two buttons I got bound to mouse wheel.

As for no-greens, it’s more like self imposed limitation or just a standard. Building no-green is in most cases infinitely more difficult. Certain green affixes like Stonehide or Thunderstruck make it trivial to cover resistances.

Addressing legit audiences? I don’t know… I mean yeah but… In the compendium builds with conduits with exact res affix, BoMs or purple MIs are all at the same level of beginner friendliness. It’s still not like dropping Thunderstruck Kuba pants of Kings but even if I used up all my mats gathered in my 1k hours of legit gamechances of crafting BoM or even an exact conduit would still be bey low. I think those things should counted as “green”

It really all depends on RnG I think. I got warborn chest after 1.2k hours. Also after all that time, I haven’t even gotten doom relic blueprint and couple of conduit blueprint.

Getting all purple is by no means easier than legit greens. You can actually get a couple of good nemesis pants and shoulder from cruci. Green weapons are another story, especially off hand one when you want maximum CDR as much as possible.

On topic. I am surprised that this build can get below 6 minutes with banner. I made this kind of thing before with similar itemization, but I am not taking oleron. It seems that azraaka cannot compete with oleron’s damage and AoE.

Well I have both Azraka and Oleron :stuck_out_tongue: