[] Blade Arc + Word of Pain pierce Tactician (cr 5:00) (SR75+)

A guy meant to be a 2H melee warrior is contemplating his existence. Update

Never say never but this is likely to be the final version of the build. It was my first, my dearest one so i needed to update it.

Sadly i couldn’t complete a “full circle” with it because 2H Cadence is just really, really bad. But in a way it kept its hybrid intergrity with WoP+Rend combination and most of the items being easily obtainable. Update

The Crucible timer went up to 5 minutes and you have to play more cautiously now. Collecting everyone at the center is too dangerous. No changes for SR though. 75-76 are still walk in the park.

<<< GRIMTOOLS >>> Update
the Crucible timer with new tribute spending and a more << aggressive build >> went down from 5:46 to 4:41

To think that my first ever build i started with 10+ mins turned into smth that got me my fastest run… What a dumbass waste of time an incredible journey it was! Update
the Crucible timer went down from 9+ mins to 5:46. SR75+ chunks can be completed without the main attack

Hello, folks!

Wanted to update my first ever build after almost 4 months of playing the GD endgame on and off. It is as much a new patch update as it is an update to exemplify what happens when you methodically waste your time in a videogame.

I wont scrap my old silly text because as a journalist i prefer facts untouched even if they hurt!

Quick summary:

The general idea is a skill hungry Tactician built around skill- and conversion rich Nadaan’s Reach for some funky pierce action. It stayed the same but the whole lot of “piercing elements” in the original build is replaced by a single skill, until recently concidered as one of the worst in the game, - Word of Pain. If nothing more, in this small guide you’ll learn that WoP is not trash anymore.

The build:


<<< Grimtools >>>

dps is in Blade Arc, permabuffs. Common MIs are single rare, Kaisan Eye is magic (can be replaced by purple Beronath), the helm isnt required and can be swapped for Fettan Mask but is easily obtainable by this char (the instruction is in the old post). When played in SR or Cruci without RR beacons, move 3 points from Word of Renewal to Terrify

The odd choice of seemingly suboptimal items has a sole goal of maximizing WoP AoE and dmg. In the end, we have a skill that within a couple of clicks applies 874 peirce/bleed dps with 32% RR, DA and OA shred to an area of 1.5 of your screen (Rend has no cooldown and proc consistently for mob packs).

Basically what happens: you agro the whole map with huge amount of dmg and RR applied and wait for the mobs to come to your seal to meet your 26/16 augmented Blade Arc.

If you want to buff your defense, there are plenty of ways - migrate some points from cunning to physique, swap some of the items meant for WoP for better ones. But the build is tanky as it is. In fact, i completed Crucible with 3lvl Vanguard, 2x1lvl Storm and Ulo + Amatok buffs (sustainable) which can give some exceptionally fast clear times.

Crucible 151-170 - 5:00 mins

(outdated) Crucible 4:41 with 3lvl1+1lvl2 beacons and 3 buffs:

(outdated) Crucible 5:46 with 4lvl1 Storm. Even though the agro from WoP is good as it is, constant Storm agro and 18 RR makes it faster.

SR limit is unknown. But i used shard 75 as a stress test: completed chunks with WoP alone and the boss room with yolo rushes into the middles, with multiple deaths but within timer. When played safely it certnatly wont die.


Original text, highly outdated:


I’ve always been a fan of pure melee when it comes to ARPG. And i’ve always tried to minimize the number of active skills cause piano type of play was not for me. Yet here i am, with my first build as a semi-caster and 7(+2) active skills… I guess this is what Grim Dawn does to you.

Anyway. The original idea was very simple: to make a good melee char with a 2H sword and non-magical type of dmg (phys/pierce/bleed/trauma). I found Nadaan’s Reach with my starter char and settled on tactician for the first actual build, it seemed like a perfect fit: the weapon has +2 to all skills for the platform and it also allows to obtain almost full ele to pierce conversion to make use of inquisitor ele dmg.

But then i found out that melee tactician is barely supported by the game gear. As well as 2H pierce melee. No matter what i tried with my gear and traditional pierce devotion paths i was miles away from blademaster or DW meta builds in terms of dmg output as pure melee. And i thought to myself: ok, if my build is a joke to you, game, it might as well be a complete joke.

The build:

<<< Grimtools >>>
(Dps: 16/16 Cadence in the seal, with Momentum, Word of Renewal and Deadly Aim up. Res overcap: ele/bleed 85, pierce 14, rest - 28-29. Up to -380 DA debuff, -210 OA debuff. Can swap chest component for Chains of Oleron for more trap res. at the cost of more skill points needed in absorption)

The start was to attach Blades of Wrath to Rune of Haggard and max the rune. With 8 projectiles of the fully converted rune you get almost guaranteed crit proc on the blades for a total of up to 1mln+ single target nuke every two seconds. So despite relatively low tooltip dps on Cadence the build kills dummy in under 30 secs.

But what about AoE? Shifting Sands couldn’t handle AoE alone, especially against several tough targets. So i took… Hand of Ultos (the path also gave more OA). At that point i didn’t stop and took the Flame Torrent as well. You don’t get the full benefit from the constellations, of course, but the way they work kinda makes up for it. Kinda. Mostly it just looks funny and kills hordes of trash mobs and heroes extremely fast.

Devotion path

The devotion setup is optional and hardly optimal. As for the requirements there are three:

  1. Inquisitor as one of the masteries with preferably 22/12 on the seal
  2. (Almost) full ele -> pierce conversion
  3. Tolerance for piano play

The core of the build is inquisitor. The second mastery, i think, is optional. What i can say is: Fire Strike and Primal Strike in “this” build have similar dps to Cadence and greater AoE (but no match for Deadly Momentum).


More defensive setup would be maxing Word of Renewal and Cadence instead of the rune.

For the gear, the absolute BiS weapon is Nadaan’s Reach. It’s pretty common from what i can tell and ele conversion is not exactly the primary stat people are taking it for so it should be relatively easy to get. The obvious complementary item is Bladetwister Signet ring. But for leveling purposes there are easily farmable Chosen Epaulets (any good magic affixes will do).

The best all around gear setup features… SR set :unamused: Dmg output and OA/DA are a bit lacking but secondary resists and +health outweight the drawbacks. For getting the set (reaching SR60) i used Justicar set + Ravager’s Deathgaze + Eye of Beronath. It actually has more armor, leech and OA/DA than SR set but for such a potato that is me it was unreliable even with 22/12 seal.

note about killing the Ravager
  1. respec and regear into OA and max out the rune and attach Assassin’s Mark to the Stormbox
  2. place 5 runes on one spot between the trees, place the seal somewhere under it
  3. aggro the boss with Stormbox -> Word of Pain -> War Cry (up to -80% pierce res with the Bladetwister)
  4. be on the seal when the boss walks into 5 runes and takes his 1mln dmg
  5. run down the stairs and repeat from step 2.

Takes about 15-20 mins. Cheesy but not GDstashed at least. You can also kill the boss with “fair” kiting but that would take more time and several obligatory f*ck-up deaths.


There is a very good leveling setup featuring easily farmable MI’s and faction gear. Also Runebinder’s set and Rimetongue set provide more dmg and OA (up to 4k with Deadly Aim up). But their defences is a suicide.


The best way for devotion attachements that i’ve found: Mark to Cadence, Blades to the rune, Sands to Word of Pain, Torrent to the seal, Ultos to Stormbox

Rush into the pack with Blitz/blink, place the seal (torrents start spinning), place the rune (if no boss, if boss - wait for him to aggro and settle with the position), use Word of Pain several times (at least 2 with ~0.5 sec interval), attach the box to some beefy guy (or to one of the group of ranged/casters), use War Cry (terrified monsters go out and into the seal again triggering Torrent several times more). Somewhere on the way you might wanna start hitting folks with your sword but there is a good chance everyone is already dead. Yeah, and there is also the stomp from the boots in case you like to stomp…

When facing a chunky pack try to keep them all on one side to make the full use of the sands. Sands on Word of Pain destroy everything in gateway and bridge areas.


Sorry for no vids. My current rig is pretty bad, the piloting is even worse. So any vid i could’ve taken now would’ve been nothing but bad advertisement.

SR 75 completed

Every regular map in SR is a breeze (except Grava on a map with crystal towers). You can handle two bosses trigger at the same time in the boss room. All 4 is rough. 11% adcth isn’t enough to tank 3+ heavy hitters even in the seal. Your bet is to kill the weaker one with burst dmg using all the defenses and then kite for some time with the spells.

In the room with Ravager, Benni, Gabal Thun and Commander (70 shard) triggering all at the same time i had to pop two aether clusters (also worth noting i collected awful mutators: -dmg, -a/s, +en. crit, +en. health…). Putting that outlier aside, SR75 (although with 2 buffs) didn’t feel like the build’s limit at all. I just couldn’t bear the gamemode anymore.


Honestly, i was expecting the build to be better in crucible but it is what it is. My piloting is still pretty bad (only completed to mode 3/4 times with this build with ~9 minutes being the best run) and all the fireworks from the mobs and myself absolutely destroy my fps. I focus wrong targets and spend too much time on clearing random skeleton archers scatered across the room.

I’d be happy if some experienced player could give this build a go. It should be able to do 3 runs easily but as i didn’t whitness it myself i can’t place the (c+) tag in the title.

That’s about it. I hope someone will like the build and I appreciate any tips for improving it.

EDIT: added GT links


“I hope someone will like this build” I like it definitely. Especially funny concept with all the elemental constellations. But it’s fair to say you have good procing skills.

As gearing, what do you think about Unchained might as gloves, Chains of Oleron as belt?


that and dropping Cadence for Blade Arc? It’s going to be much better.

You mentioned having a rig that isn’t good enough to record vids, and that you’re clearing around 9 mins. This could easily be c+ at 7 mins on a better rig. Which is really 8mpressive considering this is cadence (which is known to be lacklustre on 2h).

I always thought Nadaan’s Reach is one of the coolest weapon in the game but didn’t have time to make a build around it, well done.

You wordings made your build look worse than it actually is, replacing the lengedaries with proper MIs and you will find farming 75/76 much more comfortable. Some builds just need greens to shine, it was the way in the old days, now I come back and in the compendium people just avoid greens like plague, maybe I missed something.

Chains of Oleron belt sure is tasty but I was shooting for 22/12 seal and recently buffed Scales of Beronath gives a little too much to pass on it. Also Unchained Might (without Blade Arc) gives less than Justicar gloves.

I tried Blade Arc and the absence of Deadly Momentum was very noticeable. It gives a lot of dmg to all the weapon dmg based proc. But yeah, perhaps I need to give Blade Arc with Unchained another chance.

Yeah some MI greens with proper affixes can bump the build to another level (like well rolled Kuba pants with +3 Deadly Momentum). But I just like the idea of an accessible build so other people could easily try it.

While you are at it, change Targo to full Bloodrager too :slight_smile:

Targo? I’m wearing SR set. Not sure Bloodrager will give me enough skill points. And I kinda don’t wanna turn the build into a shadow of a blademaster.

I suspect @mad_lee is talking about that Blade Arc Build with Nadaan that was posted with full Bloodrager. He’s joking, but your build is different btw.

Yeah, sorry, missed the fact that you have Shattered Set. Full Bloodrager is just so good with Pierce Blade Arc despite lack of skill points because of all the juicy attack speed procs. Btw, I recommend using two belgothian sigils. Bladetwister is honestly a bit of a garbage ring.

Belgo sigil is better, but maybe one Bladetwister and one Belgo or Belgo+Blackwatch?

Nah, man, I am telling you, double Sigils is where it’s at :slight_smile:

Double Sigils = tonns of attack speed, flat, two monster procs, 80 physique that actually translates into 80 cunning on Pierce builds. And very decent res too.

EDIT: For DW pierce one Sigil is enough usually.

A lot of dmg comes from ele spells. Word of Pain ticks are 8k each for a very small investment, seal ticks are 10k, rune projectile is 12k dmg. 3 out of 4 procs live off conversion… ele dmg is every which way you look. Signet is the cheapest way to reach full conversion and if i am to drop it i need either the belt (to lose 22/12 seal) or very good Epaulets. At that point it would be another build.

Looks like between Nadaan’s reach and 1x Bladetwister he’s got 100% ele -> pierce conversion with good rolls, and the build milks that hard with elemental procs. Bladetwister is probably BiS since no belt slot.

Now that Grimtools are back, would you mind posting a link to the build there? I’m new to the game, and was looking for fun pierce builds for inspiration, but I don’t know a lot of item names, so can’t tell what they are just by looking at a picture.

Sure! I’ll update it today, with links to other setups as well as the leveling one

Also still need to try he Blade Arc suggestion but i got carried away with another tactician build, now elemental forcewave built around Arcanor sword

ty so mush loving this build

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Blade Arc is different build. But you should know that Cadence is inefficient for 2h builds, it’s better for DW or S&B. Blade arc is exactly the opposite, 2h is monster good.

I think Cadence itself is about 30% of dmg on this build. Maybe less. It is only used because of Deadly Momentum (which is why several setups with 22/12 DM and sacrificing some defence have huge dmg output). Going from Cadence to Blade Arc will free some skill points and raise the main attack dmg output but i’m not sure if it’s worth losing DM. Need to test it.