[] [Conjurer] Howling Inferno

Stats shown above are with player/pet passives and Blood of Dreeg active.

Max Health Regeneration


Stats shown above are with player/pet passives, Blood of Dreeg, Giant’s Blood and Tree of Life active.

Temporary Pet Procs


Stats shown above are with player/pet passives, Shepherd’s Crook, Frenzied Devotion and Blood of Dreeg active.


Setup I use

The above also works as an affix-less setup. Just try to prioritise getting +% pet damage/OA on each item. Other stats like pet resistances or DA are welcome if they come along.

BiS Affixes

In both versions, craft your medal for more Slow or Stun resistance.


An idea I’ve wanted to experiment with for months now is making a full summoner-mage. That is to say, a summoner that largely ignores their pet’s defense in favour of building pet offense with the cruise purpose of sacrificing them like a bomb and recalling them repeatedly - something I would love to see explored more in depth in other ARPGs even with a full class built around the idea of not just sacrificing summons offensively but for defensive or utility purposes as well, or scaling some of the effects based on the number of active summons requiring the player to balance how often they summon versus how often they sacrifice, but I digress.

In Grim Dawn, we have 2 skills to accommodate this - the Hellhound and the Blight Fiend. I chose the Hellhound as it’s less DoT, all direct damage and more under our control.

My aim with the character was to see just how far the damage on it’s Blazing Death skill could be pushed compared to standard caster nukes like Doom Bolt or Grenado as examples. While some other pets are used alongside it, there aren’t many and they have relatively average investment in favour of piling as much damage onto the Hound as possible, so keeping this in mind, one may want to compare the presented character with standard casters instead of dedicated pet builds as it is a different beast despite appearance.

Build Concept

  • As mentioned above, the centre-point of the build is the Hellhound, blowing it up repeatedly and maximising the damage it deals with said explosion. Our amulet and off-hand facilitate this by lowering the cooldown on it to 2 seconds before % cooldown reduction.

  • To this end, several choices throughout the character are made in mind with stacking the following pet stats in no particular order:

    • +% Pet All/Fire/Elemental damage.
    • +% Pet Crit Damage and +% Pet Offensive Ability.
    • Raw Pet Damage which we convert using our Burning-Blade and Khonsar rings providing 100% Physical/Chaos/Lightning damage converted to Fire to our pets.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that I chose Bysmiel’s Domination for example as it provides all of these in addition to the potent player Physical resistance as we will be taking aggro often and pet Total Speed as a bonus. However, I want to make remarks on this decision as well.

Expert pet players will notice that I have not included +% Pet Total/Attack Speed in my priority list above - a highly valued stat for increasing total pet DPS, or additional pets which would also benefit from all of the flat Fire damage we are packing, and I agree with it’s importance generally. If someone were to try to push the total pet DPS on the character, swapping Primal Instinct in, shifting skill points around for Manipulation in Occultist and running Eldritch Mirror components as examples would unquestionably be the way to go, but we’re here for big booms for scientific curiosity. Speed doesn’t help us too much in that regard, though the Bysmiel relic proc does at least bring it up to average/ok values whenever it’s active.

  • For player defense, we have 50% Physical resistance going up to 80% under Frenzied Devotion, Primal Bond providing % damage absorption and double Fiend Flesh procs providing additional cushion for taking hits.

  • For player sustain, we push approx. 1k health regen going up to 1.7 - 3.1k with Tree of Life/Giant’s Blood active. Blood of Dreeg and Mend Flesh provide additional bursts if needed.


Summon Hellhound (Elemental Storm): Our main source of single target and AoE damage from the on-death explosion. It also provides a massive buff to Fire damage and +% Fire damage in Hellfire.
Summon Familiar (Eldritch Fire): Mainly taken for the pet Elemental and +% Elemental damage buff on Storm Spirit but also provides a nice amount of filler damage itself.
Blood of Dreeg: Acid/Physical resistance, health regen and an on-demand heal. All around useful.
Curse of Frailty (Shepherd’s Crook): Lowers our enemies resistance to Fire damage.
Summon Briarthorn: Mainly taken for the +% pet damage and Physical/Bleeding resistance on Emboldening Presence, though it does provide some nice filler damage itself.
Wind Devil: Lowers our enemies resistance to Fire damage.
Pet Attack: Useful for directing our Hellhound to key targets or into the middle of crowds. Also can help with directing our Wind Devils as well.

Bonds of Bysmiel: Provides some more health for our Briarthorn/Familiar and Defensive Ability for us through our gloves modifier.
Primal Bond (Tree of Life): Large amount of pet +% crit damage and +% all damage. The player % damage absorption is also helpful for surviving.
Mogdrogen’s Pact (Giant’s Blood): Large amount of pet Physical damage that converts to Fire and a myriad of nice stat bonuses.
Burning Weapons: More pet Fire and +% Fire damage.
Fiendmaster: Pet +% damage and Chaos damage on the chest itself that converts to additional Fire. Resistances are a nice bonus for our Briarthorn/Familiar.

Hellhound Damage Numbers

So just how much Fire damage and additional multipliers do we push onto the Hound’s explosion? This is where I’ll catalogue all of it for anyone curious what the spreadsheet-esque numbers look like:

Following numbers are taken from the BiS version above: Conjurer, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator.

Base Damage

Note: Damage numbers assume the following conversions:

100% Physical damage converted to Fire damage.
100% Chaos damage converted to Fire damage.
100% Lightning damage converted to Fire damage.

Equipment Fire Damage
Ring of Khonsar x 2 16
Chosen Visage 14
Chosen Visage (Hellhound) 50
Fiendmaster Raiment 5-16
Total 85-96
Skills Fire Damage
Hellhound Claw & Fang Attack 402-425
Mogdrogen’s Pact 64-82
Storm Spirit ~38
Hellfire 111
Burning Weapons x 2 16
Gaze of Khonsar x 2 26
Total 657-698
Blazing Death Fire Damage Multipliers
Equipment 85-96
Skills 657-698
Equipment + Skills 742-794
Blazing Death Weapon Damage Multiplier x1.75
Total Blazing Death Weapon Damage 1298.5-1389.5
Additional Physical/Fire/Chaos Damage 1868
Blazing Death Fire Damage 3166.5-3257.5
Fleshwarped Archive Total Damage Modifier x1.35
Total Blazing Death Fire Damage 4274.775-4397.625

Note: The 35% Reduction to Enemy Health is not included due to it’s nature of using enemy current health making it erratic/unreliable.

+% Damage
Devotion % All Damage % Fire/Elemental Damage
Panther 15%
Rhowan’s Crown 40%
Total 15% 40%
Equipment % All Damage % Fire/Elemental Damage
Korvaak’s Burning-Blade 66% 70%
Fleshwarped Archive 151%
Bysmiel’s Control x 2 50%
Chosen Visage 54% 40%
Fiendmaster Raiment 65%
Bysmiel’s Domination 45%
The Overseer 50%
Fiendflesh Greaves 72%
Fiendflesh Mantle 70%
Total 623% 110%
Passive Skills % All Damage % Fire/Elemental Damage
26/16 Hellhound 381%
Primal Bond 138%
Storm Spirit 199%
Hellfire 210%
Emboldening Presence 104%
Burning Weapons x 2 150%
Fiendmaster 75%
Total 698% 559%
Temporary Skills % All Damage % Fire/Elemental Damage
Shepherd’s Call 210%
Gaze of Khonsar x 2 160%
Frenzied Devotion 200%
Total 410% 160%
Everything % All Damage % Fire/Elemental Damage
Devotion 15% 40%
Equipment 623% 110%
Passive Skills 698% 559%
Temporary Skills 410% 160%
Total 1746% 869%

Total +% Hellhound Fire Damage w/o Temporary Procs: 2045%
Total +% Hellhound Fire Damage w/ Temporary Procs: 2615%

Resistance Reduction
-x% x reduced Application
Vulnerability -27% Provides -27% Elemental resistance to effected enemies.
Raging Tempest -30% Provides -30% Elemental resistance to enemies in proximity to a Wind Devil.
Eldritch Fire -23% Provides -23% Fire resistance to enemies that spreads like a contagion.
Elemental Storm 32 Provides 32 reduced enemy Elemental resistances inside the vortex.

In total, we are able to apply -80% Fire resistance and 32 reduced Elemental resistance, effectively -112% Fire resistance.

Crit Damage
Devotion Crit Damage
Panther 5%
Hawk 4%
Typhos 12%
Total 21%
Equipment Crit Damage
Overlord’s Iron Grip 10%
Bysmiel’s Domination 10%
Bysmiel’s Control x 2 8%
Mogdrogen’s Blessing x 3 30%
The Overseer (Hellhound) 33%
Chosen Visage (Hellhound) 10%
Total 101%
Skills Crit Damage
26/16 Hellhound 45%
Primal Bond 53%
Shepherd’s Call 28%
Total 126%
Everything Crit Damage
Devotion 21%
Equipment 101%
Skills 126%
Total 248%

Minimum Crit Hellhound Multipler: x3.58
Maximum Crit Hellhound Multiplier: x3.98

Offensive Ability
Flat Offensive Ability
26/16 Hellhound 2348
Blood of Dreeg 138
Emboldening Presence 168
Total 2654
Devotion % Offensive Ability
Panther 5%
Hawk 2%
Typhos 6%
Total 13%
Equipment % Offensive Ability
Korvaak’s Burning-Blade 6%
Fleshwarped Archive 7%
Shard of Lost Souls 5%
Mogdrogen’s Blessing x 3 9%
Runebrand Legwraps 7%
Bysmiel’s Domination 15%
The Overseer 8%
Overlord’s Iron Grip 6%
Total 63%
Everything Hellhound Offensive Ability -x Defensive Ability
Hellhound Before 2654
Total % Offensive Ability 76%
Hellhound After 4671
Vulnerability -85
Total 4756

In-practice Damage

Because the highest damage dealt isn’t recorded for pet damage…


…I’m gonna resort to dropping screenshots in for what I generally see. Hopefully no one minds.

Before then, I want to acknowledge some shortcomings with my own setup versus BiS. I have to make do with the below Khonsar rings as I don’t have any other legit ones and don’t want to spend days/weeks trying to farm for full conversion. My pet MI affixes aren’t perfect either.

In other words, the BiS setup will push higher detonation numbers than what I’m getting below.

My Rings


The bulk of campaign crits with RR are in the 400-600k area, though rarely can go higher with Shepherd’s Call + Bysmiel’s proc + Khonsar’s procs all active on a high crit range roll into the 600-700k area.

Campaign Shots

Shattered Realm

In SR, crits in normal shards are in the 600-800k area with max soul buff. Boss chunk crits are more or less the same as campaign.

SR Shots

Armoured helps for additional RR, Ignited/Resistant do not. Highest I’ve seen with Armoured while doing a few test runs is 841 855 on a mid-range crit roll.

Peak damage


  • Tree of Life and Behemoth are taken for the massive health recovery they provide as already discussed. The energy regeneration on Tree also solves each Hound summon taking 275 energy, though Tonics might be needed on anything with heavy Energy Leech.

  • While we could squeeze more pet crit damage out of Dying God/Hungering Void, I decided against this in the final build version as it is a hit to survivability and is hard to fit alongside Tree of Life and several other devotion-wide crit sources like Shepherd’s Crook, Typhos, Panther, Hawk etc…

  • Another alternate offensive devotion route I did consider involved binding the Hellhound to Meteor Shower which would full convert to Fire and would enjoy the +35% total damage modifier from our Fleshwarped Archive.


As much in Cunning/Spirit to equip our weapon and off-hand. Rest in Physique for as much health/health regen/DA as possible.


If you’re a new player that has stumbled upon this character and guide, do NOT try to copy it. I heavily recommend against it as it’s reliant on some of the equipment it uses at end game and doesn’t match a full pets playstyle 1-to-1.

If you want a pets character that’s easy to start out and follow, try following Maya’s guide to pets here: https://www.reddit.com/user/MayaGD/comments/qel59g/mini_carnival_pet_guide_reddit_edition/.


As soon as you load into a session set the Hellhound’s stance to Aggressive to extend it’s leash range further out. Keep up Blood of Dreeg for the buff and time it’s heal when needed.

Apply Curse of Frailty to enemies, cast Wind Devil into crowds and lead your Hound into enemies with Pet Attack and detonate. Ideally, aim detonations at Elemental Storms with nearby Wind Devils. Eldritch Fire should spread passively pretty nicely from the Familiar in the background.

If required, you can stutter step or kite without significant damage loss and rely on your passive regen, Tree of Life/Giant’s Blood and Blood of Dreeg to survive.

Most of the time you won’t need to resummon the Briarthorn/Familiar (except for concentrated ground AoE like SR floor traps or significant Boss AoE) but keep an eye on health for both, they provide strong offensive and defensive bonuses you want to upkeep.




Mark of Unlife was swapped in for +% max Lightning resistance. Mark of Divinity should also work. Stacking more health regen with Royal Jelly Extract/Balm/Salve would be safer but not required.

Ravager of Flesh

Stacking more health regen with Royal Jelly Extract/Balm/Salve would be safer but not required. For Ravager of Flesh, Energy Potions were needed due to his massive Energy leech.

P.S. If it hasn’t been done for a previous season already, can I humbly suggest something custom-made for Fire Hellhounds for the next league @Serious_Stan, even if I don’t plan on participating :sweat_smile:


Well,a hot dog

1 Like

Interesting build and a very well-written guide!


A certain someone pm’ed me on reddit asking me to post this here


Nice build!
I wonder if Pyromancer would work with similar setup.
You’d lose some %damage from Shaman, but gain some flat fire/burn damage from Flame Touched, modified by Chosen Visage, and Korvaak’s Burning-Blade.
RR on Thermite Mine is the same as on Wind Devil.