[] Gunner of Empyrion - setless DW ranged paladin [SR85] [Ravager, Mogdrogen]

Hi, all! I’ve been looking forward to presenting this build for a long time… it has gone through many (probably way too many) adjustments and tests as I tried to figure out what worked best. Then, hit and made the final version even stronger :partying_face: So without further ado, here is my dear pistol pally.

The basic idea behind the build - to take advantage of the natural defenses that a paladin has by building as tanky as possible (hopefully without sacrificing TOO much in the way of damage)… while dual-wielding pistols at the same time. Because why the heck not.

:gun::gun::gun::gun: Grimtools Link :gun::gun::gun::gun:

Build stats

Stats with just permanent buffs + word of renewal

Stats with all self-buffs: word of renewal, RF, ulzaad’s decree, deadly aim, and ascension


  • 100% elemental-to-physical conversion on the guns with good rolls
  • 100% passthrough(!) and +crit damage to RF, again thanks to the guns
  • Huge defenses: ~4k armor and 40% physical res
  • pew pew paladin

Notes on gear choices

All my craftables were crafted for armor and physique.

  • Weapons - Viper Sandspitters. Core of the build. Farmable from the vipers in the FR expansion; I found that the best farming path was running south from the Korvan Sands rift towards where the Forlorn Bastion path is, then resetting.

    • The one big downside of these pistols is that the base stats don’t include any attack speed! As such, I’d highly recommend finding some with attack speed on the prefix and/or suffix, you will need it.
  • Head/Chest - You can also use 2-piece Octavius, though there is technically no need since all the conversion happens on the guns. Azragor was chosen for the extra lifesteal… and Gaze of Empyrion cause it’s cool and thematically appropriate :sunny:

  • Shoulders - Fleshwarped Pauldrons are the choice here for the +RF points, innate %physical damage, and an innate armor boost. An alternative is Zantarin’s Shoulderguard, which comes with +Ascension and attack speed. Also, Elite Coven Combatant’s Spaulders as an easy-to-get option with great mods. (thanks Norzan)

  • Gloves - Now these convert 100% of the pierce damage on Aura of Conviction to physical instead of just 50%. :sunglasses: Would not use anything else.

  • Belt - Picked this instead of an Ugdenbog Waistguard with +1 to all skills in the other class because it interfered with the aether damage conversion on the medal proc. Either’s fine, I don’t think it makes that big a difference. If you’re using a more conventional setup with Bat, I’d recommend Mythical Gladiator’s Distinction for total vit-to-physical conversion.

  • Necklace - the extra RR from the Conduit prefix helps a LOT. If you can’t obtain it, I’d use something with +1 to skills in both classes (e.g. Mythical Azrakaa’s Sands) as this build is tight on points.

  • Rings - Combustion Band is here because now in, it also buffs %physical damage! So, now we have 2 nice RR rings. Alternatives include a Mythical Ring of Astral Ruminations (attack speed, +Storm Spread) or a Gargabol’s Ring (+RF).

  • Medal - Turns out, the proc on this is actually really really nice. The petrify effect has helped me a lot in high SR, mainly by helping to keep Arcane heroes stunlocked until I can kill them. Alternative: Mythical Mark of Kalastor


As I mentioned, for this build in general, I have opted to go for a more defensive/armored feel as I think is thematically fitting for a paladin. Thus no Hydra even though it’s wonderful for a ranged build because it’s too out of the way and drops your defenses a lot if you go that direction.

Notably, in this version I dropped Bat entirely because I wanted to see if buffed Dire Bear (now in, the proc has no cooldown) could serve as my main sustain devotion instead. So far, it turns out… yes!!!

Kill screenshots

SR 85:

For SR, the build can farm SR 75-76 consistently and easily. It is quite relaxed if you don’t do something insane like grabbing 2 nemeses and the entire screen at once.


The health difference in the screenshot is due to the fact that Mogdrogen was killed during an earlier, and slightly weaker, iteration of this build. Should be even easier with the current setup, he isn’t too hard.

Ravager of Flesh:

Final notes:

While I have played for a long time, I’m pretty new at buildcrafting from scratch, so please be kind. XD Thank you for reading!


Gorgeous defensive stats ! Offence looks solid as well.

Might try ranged pally in the future when will have more time to play :slight_smile:

Also nice editing - was nice to read!


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My suggestion: find a Tyrant prefix gun so you can change devotion path to massive dmg output. Same as of Fevor. Or spend points to HoG. Compare to M.Combustion band, Gargabol ring is a better option
Gladiator belt is a must for fully coversion from chest.

Good evening. I would suggest that you try this option, attack speed and lifesteal should cover the loss of health, I am sure that the assembly will play better.

Do it, ranged pally is a lot of fun! And the kind words are appreciated :orange_heart:

I looked at the Tyrant prefix, but stuck with what I have because both my prefixes and suffixes have +attack speed. The guns can surely be improved further over mine if you GDstash double rares (for example, Relentless of Fervor, etc etc) but I did not want to do that. I am also not sure how the Tyrant prefix would allow you to “change devotion path to massive dmg output,” could you please elaborate?

I disagree with Gargabol ring being the better option here. RF points are already hardcapped so we don’t need that, and that is basically the main thing it offers. Combustion band innately offers more %phys damage and also attack speed (not to mention RR), which you don’t get from a Gargabol unless you are very lucky with affixes. :woman_shrugging:

As for belt, yes you lose the converted flat damage from the chest, but gain +1 to all skills in a class instead. That is huge considering that skill points are scarce for this build.

Hi, thank you for the input! That is certainly an option for a more offensive setup, thank you for sharing it.
Compared to my build however, it has not just lower health but lower DA, armor, and does not take Light of Empyrion which provides damage reduction. All of those things are totally fine if that is your playstyle preference. But as I said I was going for a more overall defensive setup here (and I feel like Light of Empyrion is almost thematically required here, I would be sad to drop it XD).

The increased lifesteal is what I like best about the build you provided, but I wanted to play with the new Dire Bear and I think it actually does the job of Bat fairly well. More lifesteal would always be nice, but actually with Bear I feel like my setup already has enough lifesteal for everything except superbosses, which you normally use pots for anyway.

I would just add something to this thread …
This build kills fucking ravager !!! I think we could stop making sugestions as the build seems to work quite well.

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These are also a very nice alternative if you don’t care for the aether to phys on Fleshwarped Pauldrons.


Yes, true! That is indeed a nice option with good mods (and is a faction item to boot), I will edit it into my post, cheers.

Hey just wondering what the skill/devotion priority is while leveling with this build? I leveled using WoP til I was able to get my Viper Sandspitter’s and am now trying to respec (at level 28) and trying to figure out what skills and devotions to prioritize. Thanks!

Hi, and welcome! You would prioritize Righteous Fury and then use that as your leveling skill the rest of the way, should work pretty well.

As far as devotions, it is a physical damage build, so you would focus around that. Assassin’s Blade first, then something like: Blue > Sailor’s Guide > Eel (nice to have those early on for movement speed while leveling), then Hammer > Dire Bear > Ulzaad > Solemn Watcher > Panther > Scales > Light of Empyrion.

Gotcha! So far I have this but dunno if its good a start or not. Paladin, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
After that I planned on finishing range expertise then rushing over to AoC to max that. Dunno if that’s a good path so far or not!

Looks solid :slight_smile: I like to start going for resist reduction early to get it out of the way, i.e. the Guardians of Empyrion, but that’s just a matter of preference. Your way will work fine. Make sure to plop some points into Seal along the way too, will help survivability.

The illusion is Harvest Greaves, the Homestead faction item :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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awsome dual pistol build,just what i was looking for!

dont have the rings,but im using 2 gargabol rings,they seem pretty good,a bunch of physical dmg,+6 to RF and one rolled with 10% cunning and a ton of OA

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Sounds good! :smiley: Yeah it’s ideal to have at least 1 RR ring, but Gargs are def nice alternatives for the RF points too.

Hello, started leveling this build and loving it. I noticed that with dual vipers the ranged attack skills are saying 200% chance to pierce, (bursting round, storm spread, etc.) and Smite even says 300% chance to pierce. That got me thinking, would you be able to use just one Viper for the 100% chance to pierce and then use a different pistol for other bonuses and get the rest of the conversion elsewhere, such as from 2-piece Octavius like you mentioned? Death Dealer’s or Havoc come to mind, and Havoc even has pierce and elemental to physical. Or is double Viper optimal regardless of the 200% chance to pierce on RF?

Yes, you only need one Sandspitter to get 100% passthrough.

And yes, with the 8% total damage penalty Sandspitter has in RF, i think just using one is better than using two. The total damage penality mod will stack with two and 16% is quite a bit of lost damage.

Is there some kind of leveling build for this aswell? Like what skills to take while leveling, what items to look for. How to set the loot filter, what devotion path etc.

thanks in advance.