Spellbinder ( Arcanist+Necromancer ) is one of the classes available since Ashes of Malmouth expansion. It’s considered to be top tier class. Classes have natural synergy for aether damage and their defensive abilities supplement themselves quite nicely. There are few ways to play and level this build. This is build based on Albrecht’s Aether Ray.
- pic with permanent buffs. Damage listed for AAR.
GRIM TOOLS https://www.grimtools.com/calc/r2BEJ9DN
Little demo of this build from Shattered Realm 65. Little glassy for this part of the game but can finish it even with this cheap setup. More DA/Stun resistance can help. And ofc better gear/mods.
Albrecht’s Aether Ray - Our main damage dealer, channeling type of skill with ability to pierce enemies in straight line. It scales with casting speed. Even with unconverted portions of lightning and fire damage both the main node and Disintegration need to be maxed (late when you have enough sustain). AAR is also pretty energy hungry skill, that’s the main challenge.
Aether Corruption&Haunt - Fire and forget type of skills, great for devotion procing as well. Seal of Corruption is level 75 component and it’s definitely worth crafting if you have recipe.
Mirror of Ereoctes - Skill to save you in tough situations. End game is usually left in 7/12 or 12/12. For leveling can be just one pointer.
Mark of Torment - Damage absorb skill, which also return damage to your opponents, making it extremely useful skill. For this build I have it as 15/10 but usually is 10/10 or 6/10.
Ill Omen Debuff skill with damage reduction, also suitable for devotion activation. I’ve maxed it. Other option is to use Ravenous Earth+Decay instead.
Nullfication Decent skill worth one or few points. Cast it on you to remove enemy’s debuffs or cast it on heroes to remove their auras. For end game you should have it at 10/10
Passive skills for maxing (put as many points as possible) are: Reckless power as exclusive skill for aether damage and cast speed, Maiven’s Sphere of Protection , Inner Focus from Arcanist side and Spectral Binding/Wrath in Necro’s.
Overload can be maxed as well or left at ‘‘softcap’’ position - 12/12.
Fabric of Reality, Mental Alacrity and Conversion are also softcaped. For weapon damage oriented builds Fabric of Reality can be maxed but here it reaps less benefits.
Iskandra’s base node, Elemental Balance and Arcane Will are all one-point wonders.
*If you like Devastation, you can use it as well but with no mods/conversion will not do that much for this build.
For end game setup your best bet is to use Clairvoyant set, level 94 random drop legendary set, which is focused on AAR skill and will also give some sustain and energy regen, all vital for this build. Other random gear pieces with AAR mods are Mythical Essence of Grim Dawn amulet, which gives life steal to the skill and Mythical Aetherreach gloves. It’s also possible for end game to do non-set setup and focus on converting fire/lightning damage to aether instead. Here’s my setup:
Weapon - Dreeg’s reputation, cast speed, energy regen, aether damage and +1 Arcanist mastery, all fine stats. Clair set already have weapon. I also like Wrath of Ascendant scepter.
Off-Hand - Pulsing Shard. Our main sustain method with it’s mod to AAR. Without Grim Dawn amulet is mandatory. Drops from Aether Amalgamation boss (main quest) Otherwise Fleshwarped Tome also have mod to this skill but it’s purely offensive.
Helm - Fettan Mask, dropped from FG area. There are few green helmets with Arcanist’s skills mods but +1 both classes is pretty valuable. Clair set also have that slot covered.
Chest - Chosen robe for lightning to aether conversion. Drop from FG zone enemies. Nice for AAR skill nodes bonus.
Shoulders are from Dreeg’s reputation. Log/Valdaran shoulders are also useful.
Gloves/Boots are Krieg’s set pieces. They provide 2pcs set bonus and physical resistance. It’s possible to even go full set if you can cap AAR nodes and have enough energy sustain. If you don’t have Krieg set, use crafted/aether boots and gloves with casting speed.
Pants - Crafted Leggins. Alex monster infrequent pants are also good fit here for +3 Disintegration but I didn’t want to use Nemeses apparel for this budget setup. Best in slot, either Wraithborne or Arcane Harmony.
Rings - Solael faction rings for Disintegration skill points. Best combo is 1x Albrecht’s Duality and 1x Eternal Haunt. For conversion setup - Magelord Rings duo.
Amulet - Aetherbolt Pendant. With Clair set it’s actually bad, since it converts fire damage to lightning. But we don’t have conversion anyway, so it’s useful. Obviously Essence of Grim Dawn is beast for this build.
Medal - Shadow Queen crafted medal from Bysmiel reputation. Best rune for this build is Fallen Kings.
Belt - Coven reputation crafted belt… For end game version purple Violent Decay belt or Chains of Ygraad belt (Port Valbury dungeon) are very good.
Relic - Haunt. Very nice low level aether relic. Best end game relic is Agrivix’s Malice. Other options are Eternity and Impurity.
- Items are crafted with physique and stun. USE Arcanum Dust augment on all jewels. (Malmouth’s Resistance)
For aether Binder your map is usually focused on Spear of Heavens/Aeon’s Hourglass combo. Spear is nice damage dealer on it’s own and have nice nodes as well. Aeon will refresh cooldown of your defensive skills but also to your devotions (Ghoul). Ghoul and Bat are also good defensive skills on casters, Imp have nice area damage proc. For - resistance reduction is used Widow of course, for flat you have two good options - Revenant or Scales. Revenant have better RR application and cast speed, so it’s good fit. Devotions in order:
- Green crossroad affinity point
- Bat, remove green
- Sailor’s Guide, remove blue
- Aeon (you can take it first if you need more defense earlier)
- first three nodes from Wendigo for cast speed/physical resistance
Best skill for procing is your main attack - AAR, put it on Widow. Ravenous Earth and Corruption/Haunt skills are also quite good. They can go on Imp/Bat. I used movement rune to reset Aeon.
Spirit is the most useful attribute, boosting both your damage and energy regen. Use physique to wear your armor (~30-35 points) and rest should go to spirit. Leveling early on I did my major investment in physique and then bumped spirit.
Tonic of Reshaping can reset attributes. CLICK to reset attributes, so be careful!
- I will show you how I leveled this character, it’s not mandatory to follow it, but you can see which skill/stats to prioritize.
For the purpose of this guide I leveled self found only, without Lokarr set, which grants huge boost for XP. My preferred difficulty to start the game is normal.
On this build decided to star with Necromancer class maxing quickly Spectral Binding/Wrath skills and use Ravenous Earth for AoE damage dealer paired with granted skill by component (Lightning Nova for instance) I switched to AAR, when I farmed my Pulsing Shard off-hand and was able to afford energy requirements of the skill (you need Ectoplasm components). Alternative route for leveling Spellbinders: [Caster] Beginner’s Nephrite Spellbinder - Grim Dawn / Classes, Skills and Builds - Crate Entertainment Forum
- In GT links click on upper left corner to change difficulty.
Start with Necro class, unlock Spectral Binding/Wrath and star putting points in these two skills. 1 point for now in Ravenous Earth. Also unlock Arcanist and put one point in Iskandra/Inner Focus. Use component granted skill and use whatever component you can find.
Progress down the Necro bar until Decay. One point in this skill and more in RE main nods (unless you can’t sustain it’s energy cost). Also Spectral Binding should be maxed… I used Attuned Lodestone component for damage reduction/damage proc.
After maxing RE/Spectral line, progress down the Arcanist mastery bar. Put one point in passive skills like Maiven/Conversion, Overload, Mental Alacrity and Fabric of Reality. Also point in Mirror for hairy situations. All of your items should have components, see for example the ones I am using in these GT’s. You can craft Haunt relic and use it’s granted skill. Since I was attacking with Ravenous Earth, used Bonespike weapon from Mountain deeps.
With Pulsing Shard farmed, time to switch to Albrecht’s Aether Ray skill. Take points from Ravenous Earth skill to power AAR. I later removed RE entirely and used Ill Omen for damage reduction/procing instead. AAR investment depend how much energy regen you can muster. Max Reckless Power for exclusive skill and 10/10 in Mental Alacrity for cast speed/sustain. I added slightly more defense by taking Nullification/Mark of Torment. Focus on gear with aether damage/useful skill points or mastery +1 like this belt. At this point you should unlock factions for nice gear and weapon augments, especially Outcast is crucial.
Albrecht Aether Ray can be maxed at this point. Also since you switch difficulties, you need more defense. Max Omen for damage reduction, Maiven for absorb and more points in Mirror/Mark of Torment, etc. When you reach level 70/revered in some faction, buy some armor augments and use it. At 75 you can craft Seal of Corruption component.
- At this point you will drop some legendary gear. Follow end game skill distribution. Also it’s helpful to unlock Spear/Aeon devotions as soon as possible.
It’s really important to side with Outcast. Be friendly with Barrowholm as well. You can’t select Kymon as Necromancer.
For this build take closer look at faction pieces, for leveling these are best possible items (chest, shoulders, helmet, etc.) especially Outcast but also Coven, Vigil and Black Legion.
- Stats priority -first to cover your resistances. Then aether % damage. For this build you don’t benefit from flat aether damage. Physical resistance is also fairly important, since this build can’t stack armor anyway. Especially important for ultimate difficulty and Shattered Realm. Cast speed should be 200% for channeling skill as usual. OA will naturally be high and DA… well lower (:D)
End Game Builds
You can check forum for AAR Spellbinders but they are outdated. I suggest looking for this newer build by @romanN1 Spellbinder, Level 100 (GD 184.108.40.206) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)
Here’s my defensive version (for Ravager) with different gearing/devotions. Spellbinder, Level 100 (GD 220.127.116.11) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)