[ -] The Light Show - Vortex of Souls Primal Strike Druid | SR75+ | CR ~4:15 3 is here! Vortex of Souls has been kneecapped! We must adapt!

VoS lightning druids had quite the roller coaster during the public test period. VoS had damage reduced twice which definitely hurt this setup to the point SR75-76 was not especially fun. But then lightning flat was added to a few sources, Tempest devo got betterer again, and things got close to evening out from One the big complaints of the setup was low DA, in the 2200s. Also all the crit damage with about 3k OA was a shame as well. So we’re gonna change some gear to try to address both!

The big change in the helm. We drop very hard to farm with this build Ravager helm for the buffed Ascended Diadem. This drops from a ton of mobs so farming shouldn’t be too rough. Now gives 6% OA and DA to Stormcaller’s Pact which covers both of our wants. A +3 to torrent or storm surge would be super sweet but I went with generic Celestial for % and CDR.

Shoulders go to Ascended Epaulets, another common drop. You can still run Ultos if you like here or don’t have a good set of the MI shoulders. You gain phys res but lose overall res overcaps and OA with a tempest roll.

Finally gloves change to Cindertouch. I wish Purging Touch had an OA roll like this, or flat, but despite the latter having a fully converted proc, Cindertouch wins out.

You have some flexibility on the rolls for the 3 greens. I’ve gone with a balanced slow res, OA, and CDR spread, but we still have 4 crafts for slow res if you want more damage or OA. I do like a vitality roll to give us more buffer with the % health we carry as well. Or just find OA everywhere and push it to the moon. Higher potential for double rare drops to boot.

Grava still sucks something awful. In 75-76 you can’t facetank, so get use to stutter stepping away from his attacks but not far enough to trigger a charge. Playing ghoul and mirror well you can still drop him after one null bolt cycle, two if you get sloppy or need to run away.

SR75-76 ~8:15 run, not my best showing

Crucible 3:58 courtesy of @nofika4u . Obviously this is pushing the high end of performance potential but whatevs

So basically we’re back where we started, maybe a touch better due to OA grab. Amazing crucible runner, decent if somewhat fragile if playing reckless SR runner, and non-starter for superbosses unless you just really like kiting for 10 minutes. Should it be nerfed? Probably! But not the do everything well/fast that a bunch of physical options have turned out in so fingers crossed for a gentle touch :laughing:


Passthrough PS be like

Sam liked traveling the countryside as a child, tagging along with his father as a merchant before the grim dawn. Sam especially liked the Rhowari as they would often tell him wonderful tales of old. Thunderstorms fascinated Sam as a child, so the rovers told him stories of Ultos and his great storms of Cold and Lightning. Sam thought it would be quite fun to run off with the rovers when he grew up.

Instead Sam found himself in jail years later, thrown into Devil’s Crossing unjustly in order to feed more bodies to the warden’s experiments.

Lucky for Sam, he was able to hide out in the prison during the grim dawn and helped with the rebuild. He had mostly forgotten about his childhood obsession with Ultos until the prison was attacked after the fall of the Loghorrean. But on that day the memories of those childhood stories of a mighty Ultos wielding Cold and Lightning came rushing back, and Sam realized something.

Ultos was a fat nerd. Lightning should be paired with Aether, not cold.

And later that day Sam took to the Devil’s Crossing workshop and made a rifle using bits of the fallen titan that attacked Devil’s Crossing, looking far and wide for shamans that were willing to explore the arcane blended with nature. This is the druid that delivered Sam’s epiphany. Update! Druid, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
We blatantly ignore OA increases in SR by diving DA even lower. GT is just shy of 2200 but you’ll have 4 crafts to add another 100 or so DA on that. No changes in gear to keep this easy to equip, but the devo map is overhauled. Hydra is a hard need now with attack speed nodes even if we only partially leverage the flat physical damage. We don’t have as much CDR as I’d like for reckless tempest, but after testing the peak potential with the extra 250% damage node + the proc was beating out ultos+spear or korvaak+spear in SR. Latter probably still needs testing in crucible to be sure. May be worth changing diamond for skull at this point, the cooldown is brutal and Grava is still a butthole.

@romanN1 1.1.9 CR run, 4:09
1190 Eard's PS Druid - YouTube

GT Screenshot w/ perm buffs: Druid, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
In Game Stats, Both Ring Procs Up

I heard playing chicken with Defensive Ability is the new meta, which is great cause only a fat nerd like Ultos would weave savagery. You’ve got 4 crafts, burn them all on physique % to gain ~100 DA and some HP. We’re gonna be using a delete button on trash anyway. They can’t hit us if they’re dead.

Quick Backstory: Vortex of Souls primal strike is one of my Grim Dawn white whales, much like obsidian juggernaut. For the last six months that I’ve been playing pretty consistently, it’s the item and build that my mind keeps coming back to. I’ve hit on an assortment of builds that land in the 5:30-6:00 crucible range and shaky SR75 performance, anywhere from too many buttons elementalist to 3 piece chillwhisper set trickster. But it wasn’t until the latter, when @Crittrain finally understood why I was obsessed with the magic erase button that is passthrough primal strike, did we get to this breakthrough. Druid was the combo I had tried the least, getting stuck on single RR, thinking 4 piece ultos set with storm witch rings was the only path and frankly not using arcanist support like I should. Crit dove in, came up with some strong cold options that used CT or TSS as supporting nukes, and then I realized most of it could be ported over to lightning as well. Finally going back to all in on Primal Strike focus thanks to lightning item focus, crit broke the 5 minute barrier and SR75-76 is extremely manageable.

Special callout for Grava. Single RR source lightning? Yeah, he’s a legit nemesis for this build. If you’re speed running crucible, consider alt-f4 time unless he’s balls deep in a pack of trash where the passthrough burst will put in work. I kite him around in SR when mirror is down but you’re not face tanking him any day soon.

You can run 4 piece Ultos, but you’ll have tough to cover resist holes to deal with and even lower DA with no real gains. Plus, while Ultos is nice, it’s also amazingly boring.

Weapon: Myth Vortex of Souls. Duh. Has innate passthrough, nice racial damage, +2 to both classes, and we’re gonna convert almost all of it. It’s a piggie of a weapon, don’t expect to see capped attack speed here. Leave the MI farmed rifle at home, we want a full rave. Craft for phys%

Helm: Ravager’s Dreadgaze. We’re light on ADCTH and +1 skills helps the support side. Also extra RR on a single RR class. Ultos helm would get us crit on skill but skill bonus isn’t nearly as helpful here. Last time @Valinov tested torrent had some weird mechanics on passthrough PS and wasn’t worth going above 4-5 targets.

Necklace: Fine, we’ll take a couple Ultos pieces. Gets us 2 piece set for more % damage, which we lack somewhat due to no lightning % on the weapon. Everything else is nice as well, especially chaos res as it’s tight here. Alternatives are stormseer sapphire and starfury emerald.

Rings: Here was a tripping point in my previous builds, as I always went storm witch. Since we’re skipping Ultos chest to complete our aether conversion instead, we can use Kelphat’Zoth. We’re totem free so the skill bonuses are better and the proc is way better. If you’re missing the MI chest for some reason, you could do 1 storm witch ring here. Astral ruminations is also an option, as it gives AS to make up for the lack of flat. We don’t actually need the + primal strike though. Final bonus for Kelphat’Zoth, they’re crafted. Phys% on both

Shoulders: The other Ultos piece we’re gonna use. OA/DA/phys res/primal strike, everything we want. Only other consideration here is Light’s defender if you pair them with the gloves because you’re worried about DA. After playing a few runs I immediately dropped that concern.

Gloves: Purging touch gets us most of what light’s defender does, while covering chaos resist and getting us a converted proc to boot. Bonus skills are a lost cause in this slot.

Boots: Stormtitan Treads. Only downside is no physical resist on these boots. Also serves as our reduced damage proc. Stormbearers or Wyrmscale if for some reason you’re lacking a pair.

Medal: Mark of the Farseer adds dot to PS, hard caps storm surge, caps freeze resist, and is craftable. Our final phys% bonus

Belt: Storm Shepard. Originally tried arcanoweave here and storm witch rings to complete conversion, but ultimately ended up back here. Aether → Lightning, +1 shaman, attack speed wins the day. Prioritize high conversion roll

Relic: Eye of the Storm. Back when this build was playing with using CT as a lightning nuke, it carred Iskandra’s Balance here instead. You could use that, but the inconsistency due to the 25% + proc is noticeable. Stick with Eye and don’t look back

Pants: Arcane Currents. Damage, DA, resists we need and useful + skills

Chest: Valaxteria’s Skytorn Robes. Our only MI farming need. Grants our slow resist, finishes our conversion. Ideally Consecrated prefix as it’ll cap our slow resist and give some bonus racial. Id go high conversion roll → slow resist → damage or +skills as pecking order if you’re farming. Thankfully most useful mods are inline with damage and Valaxteria is a quick campaign farm.

Devotions: Relatively standard lighting + aether conversion focus. I’ve spent minimal time experimenting here. More attack speed, flat + ADCTH on hydra, or other options would be nice, but didn’t feel was worth breaking the path. No S C A L E S here folks.

Gameplay: Pick an angle with the most mobs and shoot. If mean looking stuff is in the pack, dash up, lay wendigo totem, use deathgaze, then shoot. Most stuff goes kablooie. If Grava, put your running shoes on. Keep wind devils up and cycle in your dash on rotation offensively. No storm totem stacking or savagery weaving here, so button pushes are at a minimum.

Crucible: 5 minutes with potential for sub 5 when Grava stays home and mutators play nice. Run by @Crittrain, includes Grava and resistant Eards PS Druid (4B3SB - 5:00) - YouTube

SR: Attack speed down and +res mods obviously suck. The former is the only one I really don’t like running with though, I tend to just deal with what SR gives me. Except that Mad Queen. I will hard reset and not even care. I don’t move the camera, she auto aggros on the small SR map, and using passthrough ranged around her is the biggest death wish I’ve encountered in this game.

SR75-76 video. 2 deaths, first from getting greedy anticipating mirror availability, second cause don’t charge into multiple physical bruisers and not expect to get put on your ass occasionally. Vortex of Souls Primal Strike Druid SR75-76 - YouTube

Thanks: Major thanks to @Crittrain for getting me out of the PS rut after improving the cold trickster version and setting the template for this via cold druid, this build wouldn’t be here without that poking and this is really a joint affair. @Valinov for mechanics and reminding me ravager’s helm exists and literally having a version of every concept I’m considering in his notebook.

And finally the O.G. jajaja thread, back in a pre-GrimTools world: [v1.0.0.2] Piercing Primal Strike Conjurer - 8min BoC Full Trash Clear, 15sec Fabius kill etc..^_^


GJ on solid build man, super fun and simple - No piano here.

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@romanN1 runs trolling @Crittrain with 4:3x results


I had a aether primal strike vortex ritualist In the planning stages, but this seems better in every way. The cascading lightning is soo pretty!

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Damn, can’t believe it works so well and on Druid of all classes. Great job.

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Aether / vitality ritualist both work… Not quite as well as this build, but I’ve done both in the past. The vitality one is pretty funny using full rotgheist, the new primal strike medal, and desolator for the weapon

@eardianm I see what you did there, when you wanted Vortex of Souls to support Shaman :stuck_out_tongue:

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Haha, to be fair I did not expect this level of results when that request went through. I’m bracing for either a damage cut to VoS or a reduction on the proc bonuses on those rings. Not convinced PS needs any more tuning or that the +2 shaman itself broke anything, this seems like a corner case. The +2 is still a very helpful addition for non-lightning damage types to get PS line near hard cap

Yes, even with the total damage % mod and + flat on the conduit the aether ritualist version of this build is in the 1:30 - 2 minutes slower in crucible with much lower crit numbers.

How does the Vindicator version of this compare? (and what would it look like if it does?) Thanks!

Vindi version would probably need some gear changes and +skills start to become very tight on the inquisitor. You don’t have a good way to convert pierce flat to lightning so base damage is lower and crit damage also takes a hit assuming you go aura of censure for extra RR. It can still work fine but I don’t believe it can push the same results if you’re going for speed.

So, it’s on my list to take a crack at again but don’t have a modified gear layout offhand right now. I believe most of the other ranged PS vindi forum builds use the green MI gun, but aether -> lightning is a pretty universal shaman setup between the belt and storm witch rings so you could potentially just swap the gun for VoS and see how it goes.

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I have done vindicator in the past. It wasn’t anything to write home about honestly. I believe @John_Smith dabbled with it as well

Awesome druid :cool:. Gratz for sick build.
Anyone know if Torrent is affected by %WD reduction of transmuter?

Hi, thanks for the great build! One question, with storm shepherd and valaxteria robe you can get around 90% aether to lightning. I was thinking of switching ultos shoulders for good ascendand shoulders with resists (approw 30% aether to lightning and +3 for PS). I would give up ultos gem as well for good lightning rolled kaisan for +skills and one glyph for a stalwart ring with 6% and 80 DA for gaining more survivability. Do you think in first place its worth it to go for 100% aether conversion instead of 90 in first place? Thanks!

Just upfront, the swap on the shoulders will not get you to 100% aether conversion. Single element conversion goes SECOND, so with the example 90% aether->lightning on chest and belt, you now have 10% aether 90% lightning. Elemental conversion then triggers, meaning you get up to 12% (1/3rd of the max 36% elemental conversion) of the remaining 10% aether damage to lightning, or about 1.2% more aether damage as lightning at max. So the conversion itself is lackluster imo.

Ignoring conversion and looking at the gear itself, if you’re sitting on a seer’s kaisan of <lightning%> with say, +storm surge, and a well affixed ascended epaulets, then absolute go for it and make sure you let Ultos know his utter failure. I mostly don’t sweat greens in builds, especially after the great affix droprate buff, but I do avoid specialized kaisan necklaces if possible. If you’ve got it or don’t mind stashing it up, then there are decent benefits. Slightly increased damage/crit/OA as long as you can still cover your resists. Slightly less phys res but I don’t see it breaking the build.

However, if you put a stalwart :mi ring: of protection on this build I will find out where you live and make Ultos take a dump in your oven. It doesn’t need the DA and doesn’t have the life steal/sustain/single target damage to do anything crazy to Ravager, for example, that would be the catalyst for looking at more DA. It’s a snooze through SR75-76 and safe enough in Crucible that even my poor playing skills don’t have an issue. If you really want to swap from the glory that is 2x Kelphat’Zoth, I’d try to shoehorn in a charged cronley’s signet of alacrity, as attack speed is the most glaring opportunity area.

is the DA too low for endgame content?

The whole build post is showcasing your answer buddy.


Thanks a lot for the clarification, especially regarding the conversion part! Clear :-).

I have some good rolled Kaisan and Ascended’s in my stash and I feel like I could use the additional skill points. Been stashing good greens way too long to avoid them, but wanted to see your idea on this. Thanks.

Hahaha alright. Indeed, no need for Ravager or so. I want it to be SR ready. But found out that eg Morgo can be pretty tough already as well, that’s why I was experimenting with the MI ring in order to gain 2800 DA~ in total , which is not high but does make me survive some hits. I will switch for Kaisan and Ascended’s and go back to 2x Kelphat as the damage on these is indeed ridiculous . Thanks a lot for your good explanation!

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Will update for 1.1.8 tonight, but looks like just minor changes. More dot on the medal and DA added to oak skin, lose a bit of OA and Crit on arcanist side

edit: No GT update yet for any potential tweaks, but still feels the same. DA over 2600 now too for those concerned

Thanks for this build! Level 57 and working towards it! Druids are super-fun!

One question though … why Raise the Dead as a devotion?? I assume Primal Strike is bound to Arcane Bomb … what would you bind Raise the Dead to??

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