[] Uroboruuk - a build journal and guide for SSF Drain Essence Apostate

✣ Drain Essence Apostate from scratch ✣

build journal and guide

Hello! In a previous poll, this build was the winner (Poll) Which build(s) shall I do next? SSF - for "beginners" . So in this thread, I will document my journey towards making a “good” “budget” Drain Essence build from scratch (SSF : self solo found, only use items etc that this character will find, simulating how a new player would approach it).

I will also post some ideas and thoughts about this kind of build, and compare with similar skill (Albretch Aether Ray - AAR) that is just insane good. Drain Essence has kinda bad reputation, so maybe this thread can give it some love back.

The name of the character for this journal is “Uroboruuk” named after the grandmaster of the order of Death’s vigil https://grimdawn.gamepedia.com/Uroboruuk in lack of something more creative in terms of “roleplaying” :slight_smile: The “goal” set for this kind of build is also named after this dude Uroboruuk’s Guise .

Note, this is a build guide - I will assume you know about basics of game, quests and some mechanics. If not, then feel free to ask :slight_smile: There are other guides and places of information how to do quests and such. I will focus on what is important for this particular build.

Hope you enjoy thread, I wish you all best in draining the life out of your foes! :scorv:

✣ Structure

✣ Introduction to the Drain Essence skill and the class choice
✣ “Final” “budget” build that we made :slight_smile:
✣ Early leveling item list and skill progression
✣ Final build item list
✣ Build diary with tips and tricks
✣ Conclusions and prospects

Much text are hidden inside spoilers, click them if you wanna read certain topic.
These are marked with a ► and Turqouise text.

✣ Introduction to the Drain Essence skill and the class choice

Drain Essence skill info Drain Essence is a Necromancer skill available from the start. It is basically a channeling skill that has some AoE (chance to hit more targets) and life steal. Its damages are aether and vitality decay (do not contribute to life steal).


Drain Essence has a skill transmuter “Gravechill” that converts all aether damage to cold and also increases overall damage with 25%. We will not use this, only for the first 20 or so levels when our damage multipliers are still very low.

First skill modifier is “Hungering Reach” and gives additional chance to affect more targets. Breakpoints are 7/12 three targets with 16% chance, 14/12 four targets with 23% chance, 18/12 five targets with 29% chance. Modifier also give additional life steal, AoE and crit damage (when we crit we get even more damage basically).

Second skill modifier is “Decomposition” basically adds flat vitality damage and increases the vitality decay damage and duration. Finally it makes drain essence reduce targets offensive ability.

Because this is channeling build, we need casting speed and good energy management (and skill cost reduction).

We will make Aether Drain Essence build, this means two things. 1) we need to convert the vitality damage to aether somehow (via items) and 2) we will neglect the vitality decay damage it will be some secondary stuff (aether damage has not “over time” counterpart so vitality decay will be remaining non converted).

For conversion in the final build we will use faction caster-gun Hex Launcher from Coven faction. You buy blueprint when revered with them, then you craft it at your favorite blacksmith! This also converts around 50% of all other vitality damages to aether, meaning we can get bat and wendigo devotion for more life steal. Also the gun looks kinda fun when you wear it!

For more targets and reducing cost of drain essence in energy, we will get these Monster Infrecent items (MI’s) Spectral War Shield and Ilgorr’s Eternal Vigil these items get affix and suffix at random and can be farmed (shield also shopped) in the Step of Torment (SoT) dungeon.

Apostate class info Apostate (Necromancer + Inquisitor) is decent choice for Drain Essence aether (and cold) version. This is because Inquisitor has 1) skill to reduce target's aether resistances (word of pain skill line) 2) a skill that deals aether damage quick (transmutet stormbox) 3) heal button with nice nice stuff (Word of renewal) 4) Inquisitor seal for getting huge flat absorb and resistance when you stand on it, and this is channeling build we will stand still and deal damage!

With the faction amulet Aetherbolt Pendant we get very high max resistances, +1 inquisitor skills, casting speed and also resistance reduction on stormbox!

“Pros” at this game will prefer spellbinder which is necromancer + arcanist for the offensive measures arcanist gives in terms of offensive ability, spirit, +% damage, casting speed and its defensive skills Mirror of Erectoes and Maivens sphere of protection. I choose Apostate because it is kind of an underdog and Spellbinder would have been the “easy” solution :wink: If you wanna get ideas how to follow my build but as with Spellbinder instead, you can look in the “Conclusion and prospect” section.

But, arcanist has access to Albrecth Aether Ray, which is considered to be the “best” channeling skill so why would you even make Drain Essence Spellbinder in the first place? …

Another thing, spellbinder is also hard to play, you need to be very good at timing mirror and mark of torment. Apostate is somewhat more forgiving and casual, but at the expense of power. That is another reason why I consider apostate instead of spellbinder, more casual friendly!

✣ “Final” “budget” build that we made :slight_smile:

:hammer_and_wrench: Grim Tools - build for end of journal: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/Q2zQkPdN

:video_camera: Build showcase video - Step of Torment run: https://vimeo.com/482747123

This Grim Tools I made as some kind of “goal/map” build to have something to aim for: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62amGlO2

Just standing on inquisitor seal, no other proc.

SR 35 utlimate, pretty easy.

Explanation of the final budget build

Ok here I wanna explain the build in short as a whole. You have probably read the information of the drain essence skill already and the class choice apostate.

  • Necro kills: Get drain essence to 26/16 note you can not get more than +10 points “overcap” so make sure you do not use more points here (upload build to Grim Tools to see this or just count points yourself), Hungering reach aim for breakpoints, decomposition max. Spectral binding and spectral wrath max these. Mark of Torment, sweet spot is rank 7. Ill Omen rank 10.

  • Inq skills: Word of pain 1 point in main skill, maybe 2 or 3 in first node for area and then max the final one for resistance reduction. Word of Renewal 12-9-10 you wanna aim for. If you have more points to spare increase the main node for more DA. Inquisitor seal max main skill & 1 point in modifier. Storm box get main skill to rank 16, one point in modifier for better proccing. Dedly aim 4/12 is good, otherwise spend remain of points here, you need good offensive ability to start with to activate.

  • The end-game build enabler is the Hex Launcher faction recipe gun from coven. It will make your entiere drain essence skill deal aether damage. And in grim dawn, focus on one damage type is what you in most cases wanna do and conversion will help with that. Leveling though, there are items that you can use for vitality damage converted to aether, just search on grim tools what to look out for: https://www.grimtools.com/db/search?query=vitality%20damage%20converted%20to%20aether&in_description=1&exact_match=0 make sure to select green, blue (and purple) items.

  • Another important item is the monster infrequent (MI) shield Spectral War Shield that is not easy to farm because drop chance is very low, but you can buy these from vendor in steps of torment (SoT). We will do this from time to time (ab)using a vendor inventory re-set trick (you can read more about this further down in the guide). Look for physical resistances and secondary defensive stats like defensive ability (DA) and other resistances. Be prepared to pay a lot iron bit for it. Shield is good for drain essence for extra targets and skill cost reduced. NOTE they come in different levels.

  • Medal Ilgorr’s Eternal Vigil is also important I think. You can farm them on boss called Ilgorr (who can hit like a truck) with 50% drop chance. Gives dran essence more targets. NOTE they come in different levels.

  • Fettan Mask helmet free item (level 75 version is fine too) you can find it in an urn in a secret part of the korvan sands
    image The +1 all skills and slow res is very good.

  • Amulet Aetherbolt Pendant is also a faction blueprint from coven. One of the best faction blueprints if you ask me perfect for this build!

  • Gloves are blue print and should be quite easy to get just by farming totems. What is good about these, apart from the obvious bonuses, is its energy leech. However, will only work with weapon damage skills. In our case, we need to rely on devotion skulls with weapon damage for this to be of use… see further down for devotions.

  • Belt is faction blueprint from barrowholm. Can get one affix or one suffix. Not very cheap to craft. Make 10 and use the best one. Or just use another belt.

  • Chest and Sholder, faction ones. Coven and Dreeg, best faction pieces in these slots for the build. Make sure to side with Dreeg on all difficulties :stuck_out_tongue:

  • Boots and rings: random drop but common epics. Plenty of replacers, like Black Legion and Homestead boots, and faction rings from Barrowholm & Malmouth resistance faction. Or Greens with +% aether damage, casting speed and other good stats.

  • Relic: Mortality from Malmouth faction.

  • Components use what you have, good craftables are arcane spark (faction blueprint) for nice OA and energy leech and skill disrupt protection.

  • Augments, prio resistances, and then DA, OA and +%damage.

  • Devotions, we wanna get Widow for resistance reduction, scales for resistance reduction proc and and energy regen, bat for life steal proc, Tortoise for “shit hits the fan” proc, and Rattosch for the stats and the proc that makes us steal life more efficient. There is a devotion map further down in the guide.

  • CC resists; stun, freeze and slow are very important!

  • As usual, overcap most resistances by around 30%. Pierce and bleed not as important as the other.

✣ Early leveling item list and skill progression

Here you can get some tips on what items you should look for and get early on and how to progress skills in the beginning.

NOTE If you wanna level faster, choose Inquisitor and go with word of pain as skill. I level with Drain Essence from start to keep the theme of build intact and also because TqFan would call me a cheater otherwise! Select necromancer and switch to Drain Essence around level 30ish when you have a spectral war shield and Ilgorr medel for Drain Essence.

You can also start with the common “start in crucible leveling tips” but I consider that “cheating” :wink: Do it if you want, there are many guides on that just google it :slight_smile:

Items for leveling

NOTE even if you even have a crappy char already, consider putting ectoplasms, energy potions and bone talisman relic into shared stash from that char, and use them on our new Apostate char. This will save you lot of pain the first hours!

Any green weapon with “Essence Drinker” prefix, gives +2 Drain Essence.

Any green armor with “of insight” suffix, gives a proc that increases energy regen.

Weapon and gloves with “of celerity” suffix for casting speed.

The mentioned Ectoplasms for energy, also Emeralds are good for spirit.

Bone Talisman you get this if you do the quest “the lost elder” and select option “no I did not find the talisman” :wink: Good relic for starter, grants skill that you can use as damage booster and energy regen! Almost like a second energy potion. Almost mandatory I would say :stuck_out_tongue:

Items from Steps of Torment. In the first phase of the dungeon after the skeleton key door (suffering) you can find the boss Ilgorr. He has two phases. He can drop very nice medal with 50% chance Ilgorr’s Eternal Vigil if you do not get this on your first run, consider go back later when you get some Blood of Chthon and can craft more Skeleton Keys!

Another item from Steps of Torment is Spectral War Shield they drop from some monsters, but with very low drop chance! Best way is to get to final part of dungeon “Anguish”. There you can find a shop who sells these shields. I would just grab any one in the beginning. Later in late Elite and in Ultimate we will “farm” this shop. This is cheesy but hey this is what we need to do :stuck_out_tongue: After you have visitied shop, you just go back to the previous level and wait there for like 30 seconds. Then you go back to shop, and inventory will be rested! You need some patience for this and time allocated. Goal build will try to get a shield with high physical resistance and some other defensive stat like DA and/or resistances. A final pain in the a*s is that you might get a dungeon which require you to run a long distance back and forth the levels. If so, I would just make a new game and hope to get a better dungeon :stuck_out_tongue:

The final boss in Steps of Torment will just kill you, skip him (you need to save and exit and start a new game).

Needless to say, we need many skeleton keys for this build :smiley:

Amulet from Blood Grove! Find this shop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4A_RIzPVmA and then you can farm this vendor by rift gate to devils crossing. Once there, visit two of the shops there, then rift back to blood grove vendor and the inventory will be new! What do we want here? We want Death-Watcher Pendant an item we can NOT get if we are a necromancer otherwise. This is because these drops from order of deaths vigil dudes. And as necromancer you have to side with them… So shopping is our only option here. Final budget build will not use this, but +1 necromancer is powerful early on so make sure to get at least a decent one!

There are also some epic blue items that has bonuses to Drain Essence and its modifiers, if you drop them you will know which one is good to use :wink: I found and use this belt early on https://www.grimtools.com/db/items/7958

Otherwise, just try to get and use green items with good resistances, armor and defensive stuff like DA, stun, freeze, slow resistances.

Around level 50ish, you can look for some more items:

  • First is +1 necromancer skills belt Lunal’Valgoth’s Waistguard it is pretty akward path to run that boss and has low drop chance like 20% so only do this if you really want it :wink: We can run that boss in Elite when items are a bit more important!
  • Second is Galakros Dread Plating good armor for converting vitality damage to our main damage aether. Easy to run boss. I’d say get 3-5 of these and use the best one :slight_smile:
  • Third is this weapon Ascendant Source and can be bought from a dude name Hyram that you need to save and then he will set up a nice shop in steelclap district (they also drop pretty frequently in Malmouth regions). Shop can be reset with same trick as with the bloodgrove vendor, just rift to coven and vist their two shops and rift back to steelclap to see hyrams new inventory. When you reset Hyram inventory, also make sure to check if he sells some new blueprints for you :slight_smile: very good source for early blueprint farming!
Devotion map

Here is a way to get the “final” “budget” build’s devotion map. It is not 100% how I did it but nevertheless.

Blue Crossroad
Scales of Ulcama
Solemn Watcher
Refund Yellow and Blue Crossroads
Refund Crane
Green Crossroads
Red Crossroads
4 nodes in Dying God

✣ Final build item list
This section give some more information about getting items, make sure to read “Explanation of the final budget build” subsection first.


Shield. Spectral War Shield (note exists in different levels)

  • You can buy these from the vendor in steps of torment (SoT) skeleton key dungeon. You can abuse him to reset his inventory to “quick” get a shield that he sells. For this, you might need to actually wait until you get a dungeon map-layout that have a fast route back to the previous level. Also have some skeleton keys prepared, a good chunk of iron bits and some patience.

  • You can buy shields around your level regardless of difficulty, because vendors sell stuff based on your level. So if you think SoT is too hard, do it in a lower difficulty.

  • Ok you have gotten to the vendor, look what he sells, if he does not sell a shield with good (at last 15% phys res), go back to the previous level and stand there for around 30 seconds. Go back to the vendor and he has changed his inventory.

Cheesy, but it works and is way faster on average than trying to drop a good shield from a monster.

Monster Infrequents

The final build uses twoMonster Infrequent (MI) item (except for the previous mentioned shield) and the first one is the Ilgorr medal. It is 50% chance to drop from the boss Ilgorr in Steps of Torment.

He has two phases, and they can pretty hard with physical damage melee. Otherwise its kinda easy to kill him. You have probably figured out that we will run SoT many times :wink: Make sure to do the totems that spawns in there.

For the final boss Alkamos, do not stand in his blue pools too long and have good freeze and stun resistance and you will be fine.

The second MI is solael pants that drops from the second boss in the “Hidde path” secret quest. Think drop rate is around 40% and it is a fast run. Do not stand in her purple pools for too long and you will be fine.

Random drop items

The blue rings and the boots are not too hard to get blue items and there are several replacements like faction rings that has casting speed and +%aether damage. Also boots there are several faction boots that have good defensive stats.

Faction tems

Amulet and Gun are Coven faction blueprints. Belt is Barrowholm faction blueprint. Relic is Malmouth faction blue print.

Shoulder and chest armor are also faction items. No blueprint.

All the augments are factions, like always. Arcane spark and purified salt are faction blueprints.

✣ Build diary with tips and tricks

Level 11 (normal)

Grim Tools https://www.grimtools.com/calc/L2J1ggEN (select normal in upper left corner).

Just getting started. Slow as f**k because mostly single target damage at this point and almost no energy regen… Will become much better once we get spectral war shield, Ilgorr medal for drain essence, some ectoplasms and Bone Talisman relic.

For early leveling, I try to put one point in skill node and two point in a mastery bar every level up to about level 50. Then I do one point in skill and one in mastery bar (until both bars are full). You need mastery bar for stats.

If you wanna level faster, choose Inquisitor and go with word of pain as skill. I level with Drain Essence from start to keep the theme of build intact and also because TqFan would call me a cheater otherwise! Select necromancer and switch to Drain Essence around level 30ish when you have a spectral war shield and Ilgorr medel for Drain Essence.

Also, even if you even have a crappy char already, consider putting ectoplasms, energy potions and bone talisman relic into shared stash from that char, and use them on our new Apostate char. This will save you lot of pain the first hours!

Goal with devotion here was to get Imp first, and then get to Widow.

Level 20 (normal)

Grim Tools https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YNnmeE8Z (select normal in upper left corner).

Found some Ectoplasms, using emeralds to get cunning for that +2 drain essence sword. Also got bone talisman relic. Things are feeling a bit more manageable but still almost no AoE damage. Just keep pushing!

Level 31 (normal)

Grim Tools https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4mxvr2 (select normal in upper left corner).

Got rid of Drain Essence transmuter “gravechill” now that we have much higher +% aether damage. Still dps loss but more flat damage that we can steal life from so in the end it is better.

Did a quick step of torment run (was kinda hard) just to buy shield from shop (did not reset vendor, I did not have time just wanted to get a shield) also was lucky with Ilgorr that dropped an Drain essence medal! Otherwise I would just run dungeon again after getting a Blood of Chthon to craft skeleton key.

Damage and AoE is much better now, also energy management is under controll! Devotion wise will be to get Scales of Ulcama for its energy leech proc! This means some Yellow devotions first …

Level 42 (normal)

Grim Tools https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4ZDmgAwN (select normal in upper left corner).

Shopped for a Death watcher pendant in blood grove for +1 necro.
Otherwise, just try to make sure resistances and armor are ok.
Crafted wrathstones for aether weapon toggle skill.

Drain Essence dps is around 17k.

Level 50 (normal)

Grim Tools https://www.grimtools.com/calc/1NXL6APN (change to normal in upper left corner)

Removed some points from spectral wrath etc to get steel resolve for some resistances.

Gear wise we ran Galakros a few times to get armor Galakros Dread Plating that converts vitality damage to aether which is our main damage.

We also saved Hyram so we can buy these weapons Ascendant Source (they also drop pretty frequently in Malmouth regions). Shop can be reset with same trick as with the bloodgrove vendor, just rift to coven and vist their two shops and rift back to steelclap to see hyrams new inventory. We got one with some casting speed, extra +% aether damage and +2 to death sentence witch will be usefull later when we get word of pain line :slight_smile:

When you reset Hyram inventory, also make sure to check if he sells some new blueprints for you :slight_smile: very good source for early blueprint farming!

Next step will be to get bat on the devotions, and grab Word of pain skill to proc it. Also getting inquisitor seal and do some key-rebinds (transitioning into the final build skill rotations, minus ill omen).

Drain Essence dps is 23k.

Level 57 (ending normal)

With this spec we ended normal with: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4NO16mvV (Grim Tools, change to normal in upper left corner for correct resistances).

Also did Hidden Path quests and farmed a new higher armor version of Galakros armor. Changed ring, shoulder, pants and some components. Also hit honored with Black Legion so got some basic augments in shield and weapon.

Drain Essence dps is 36,8k

Level 62 (elite)

Level 62 (elite) update with some new gear etc

dps is for drain essence, without mana infusion and deadly aim.


Got new talisman relic, shoulder and shield (reset vendor in SoT 7times before I got this, found a niiiice double rare affix but decided it would have been too good :wink: and expensive lol )

Ilgorr dropped wrong medal, the amarasta blade burst one… will farm SoT more in Ultimate!

Devotions I got solemn watcher and next will be Lotus. After that I am gonna try to change devotions so they look like the “goal” builds.

Skills I realized I could get Hungering Reach 14/12 break point so I moved things around.

Focus prism in amulet. Buy blue print from devils crossing faction vendor. Also aether soul you buy from there too :slight_smile:

Now we are gonna continue and find Homestead in elite.

Level 70 (elite)

Level 70 update, got to barrowholm in elite


Changed shoulder to faction ones, amulet which I got waaay back, farmed a new Galakros chest in normal to get higher armor. Some new components here and there. Devotions I took some resistance points in Ulo and Dyrad. Crafted Mortality relic now that tip of scales proc is pretty high and works ok.

Changed some skills just to get closer to goal build in terms of skill rotation

Drain Essence dps is 47k.

Level 77 (starting ultimate)

Starting Ultimate https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RZR13OBV at level 77 (note this is without several armor augments).

Several gear changes. Fettan Mask, good for slow res and +1 all skills. Changed to a new Ilgorr medal, an updated belt and new weapon! Also weapon augments from Barrowholm that I have now done “the feast” and selecting sacrifice for Ravager in both normal and elite.

Drain Essence dps is 52k.

In Elite I have not done Father Kymon or Korvaak, will save them for later. Gonna do at least up to Loghorrean in Ultimate first.

Have reached revered with Homestead, Black Legion and Malmouth resistance. this means: access to level 70 armor augments for resistances and experience potions!!! :smiley:

Energy regen is ok, tip of scales is still only rank 12/20 and it seems like we either kill of most monsters before they hit us and thus run dry of energy or that it is just single boss and fight takes long time… But when we get swarmed, it does its job well.

OA and DA are getting too low, have to think about fixing them. Maybe after fixing resistances with armor augments I can get dying god nodes.

Level 88 (ultimate)

https://www.grimtools.com/calc/gZwl8b8N not that much has happened in terms of gear, just getting more skill points.

We are now at the broken hills rift-gate, meaning we can start to run steps of torment over and over again. I did one run, was ok, did not drop a good Ilgorr medal upgrade but we just have to make more runs :slight_smile: For crafting skeleton keys, you need blood of chthon. In order to get these, we will dismantle epic and purple items that we will not use. For this we need dynamite that can be crafted in homestead. Also we need aether crystals for the dynamite, you know where to farm those I hope :wink:

We also made hidden path on elite.

Goals for next update:

  • hit level 94 and craft faction amulet and gun and use faction chest from coven, also use highest level fettan mask.
  • get a new Ilgorr medal, and maybe shop farm a new shield (phys res, DA and some other resistance)
  • maybe fix attribute points, I realized that the theory build had too few points in spirit to wear caster armor…
  • make solael quests up to vanguard of the three in ultimate, and then go back to elite and finish of korvaak! Then just kill Eldritches in FG areas to get revered with Solael to get their faction stuff.
  • farm totems to get some good blues (like upgraded boots and belt) & blueprints.
  • upgrade pants and gloves :slight_smile: Good greens with resistances, and OA/DA + casting speed on gloves. Or maybe decent blues. Solael boss will be farmed I can promise that LOL

I can not stress how important it is to have high stun, freeze and slow res on this build. Also high casting speed.

Will get nemesis with beasts (kubacapra) and undead (moosie). Kubacapra we will have to avoid when we do quests in act 5, but moosie we wanna do because he can drop good shoulder for drain essence. He hits hard though and we might get one shot LOL so if you play HC try to avoid him. Moosie can spawn in SoT.

Ok time to farm!

Level 100 (ultimate, first snapshot)

First level 100 snapshot in utlimate: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/M2gm6rOZ

We crafted Hex launcher and aetherbolt amulet. needed to farm Kilrian souls for them. In addition I also crafted the blue gloves.

Also founddecent Solael pants, but I want one with slow res. Still no upgrade medal and shield, made some SoT runs but did not bother with shop reset trick and Ilgorr has only dropped ABB medal, one was DOPE but not for this build :smiley:

Also crafted 8 necromancer belts, blueprint from Barrowholm. Got one with rare affix and that is the one I am using right now :stuck_out_tongue:

Now I am gonna get Dreeg to revered, and get their faction shoulder. Then back to farm pants, medal and shield. Need a better ring as well, and finally change augments and components.

The farm continues! This is the part of the game I enjoy most, to farm for upgrades :slight_smile:

Drain Essence dps without mana infusion is 70k.

Level 100 (ultimate, end of journal)

End of journal!!!
This is the “final” “budget” build for this thread I think :slight_smile:

Manage to drop nice blue ring and a better Ilgorr medal.

Also made new Mortality relic - energy regen is now managable and no need of ivory talisman relic (gloves and arcane sparks energy leech will activate via weapon damage skills bat and tip of scales, at least to some degree)

Just standing on inquisitor seal, no other proc.
Improvements to be made are some more casting speed, OA and +% aether damage could be nice.

We are currently on our way to kill Loghorrean in utimate before we go to the Ashes of Malmouth stuff. And in Forgotten Gods we arrived at the Tomb of Eldritch sun rift.

We also did SR 35 just to get some more skill points. Was pretty easy.

I hope you enjoyed this journal as much as I did

✣ Conclusions and prospects

I was actually surprised how well this build went, I was expecting way more problems. It is slow to start with (please consider transferring over energy pots, Ectoplasms and Bone Talisman relic from an already existing char if you have one!). Around level 30 when you get shield and Ilgorr medal, things start to go well :slight_smile: When you are around level 85 or so, things starts to fall off again - you need to have some patiance before you can use Hex launcher and Aetherbolt amulet. After this you have a pretty good and cheap farmer which you can start farming for Uroboruuk set with (or if you find other cool items you can make another build!)

Comparing with AAR (Albrecth aether ray) I’d say the pros with drain essence is that you hit with a “cone” instead of beam and you have some more sustain. Otherwise if you are brand new and wanna play a channeler, I would advise you to first/also try AAR build from scratch, there are plenty of those in the build compendium in the beginner build section :slight_smile:

Another pro is that Drain Essence is available from level 2 basically, but then it has basically no AoE and cost lot of energy… if you wanna save yourself some trouble, consider start with inquisitor and word of pain skill for basically entire normal difficulty :stuck_out_tongue:

Theorycrafts of fully geared end-game variant Uroboruuk set apostate:

Some old builds one can use for inspiration as well:

As you can see, these builds have about double dps than the budget version I made. But only the first one is from Forgotten Gods “era”.

:vulcan_salute: Thank you for reading and I wish you luck with your build! Let me know if you have question and I can maybe help


Thanks to:
@fordprefect @Knife @tqFan @Nery @Stupid_Dragon @Monceaux
(reserved post just in case)


never saw drain essence - i am hyped

1 Like

you can already now read up to level 42 build journal :slight_smile: Have been playing since poll got closed lol

Damn dude! This is looking fantastic! Love the color scheme and overall layout, everything is matching and well organized. A pleasure to read through. Seriously, one of the best looking build guide/diary Ive seen.


Now we just need to fill it with good content lol

1 Like

It wont be hard. Drain Essence builds are rad, and I think much cooler than AAR builds. AAR is what everyone does because its super easy, you can be braindead and smoke content with it. Drain Essence requires more finesse! AAR can pierce, but Drain Essence can spread out and fan across mobs. I prefer this behavior. I also prefer Drain Essence because to me it just feels more bad ass- you are sucking the life out of your enemies. Feels more dramatic! I have done Vitality Drain Essence in the past and it was one of the more fun builds I have played. Never tried Aether Drain Essence!

Ill have to start mine up tonight. I really like how you are doing this full blown SSF, and playing with Drain Essence from the start instead of using Inquisitor WOP to level. This guide will be a great resource for new players to come and discuss this kind of build, learn about it, and enjoy the game! Thanks for starting this!


Great guide!

Now it’s time to make Drain Essence shine :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I really don’t like it but I really need tqFans seal of approval lol

Btw I took color scheme to fit the spell and the damage types, I had similar idea with the Fire Aegis build guide :slight_smile: (need to finish that guide at some point soon lol)

Thanks nery I will try my best!


I share your sentiment - op skills quickly become boring to me.

I’m not Maya - from me you can only get tqFan’s Seal of Disapproval ® but the guide is on the right track to not getting one :wink:


Perhaps I should just level this Apostate with Horn of Gandarr instead :thinking: Are you leveling your reaper with blade trap?


I am currently working on my Ambassador of Cairn Horn of Gandar build and leveling with it isnt bad, the radius is huge and most mobs just explode. Only trouble so far is bosses/heros.

how are you planning to deal with them? What class you go with?

1 Like

Im Paladin. Not sure how the build will pan out, im just improvising and figuring out what works as I go (my preferred learning method). I am looking to convert Pierce to Acid on HoG with the MI medal, and reduce its CD with other gear pieces/Path of the Three. Other than that sort of relying on random other shit for somewhat flavorful support like Inquisitor Seal and Ascension. But no real single target bombs. Its a meme build using “diplomatic” skills to win. I dont expect to handle CR or SR at all, but will be seeking to beat game on Ultimate at least.

https://www.grimtools.com/db/items/11578 Bleeding HoG!

1 Like

Now that would be interesting! It also pumps War Cry I see. Could go Tactician. That could be fun!

1 Like

Bleed tactician sounds awful! :smiley:

1 Like

It does, and I bet you anything no one is doing it for that reason, i wonder if theres any builds posted that are Bleed Tacticians. If not, ill be even more motivated to experiment with it. Ill have to do a search.

Better than Bleeding Paladin! lol :rofl: But atleast Paladin has more RR with Guardians. Guardians protecting a diplomat is more suitable to the theme.

1 Like

True lol. But we should discuss this in another post and not hijack this one to discuss that stuff. I will make a post for the HoG build soon and welcome all that discussion there. Dont want beginners reading this guide to get side tracked LOL

1 Like