hello! most here, with a build that i can confidently call my favourite after thousands and thousands of hours playing grim dawn. i decided to start from scratch with this character, so i’ll go into detail about the levelling and gear acquisition process. also i didn’t see anything similar in the build compendium, so sorry if this has been done before!
i’m a terrible pilot and am extremely lazy, so i wanted to find a build that could do everything while also doing next to nothing. it also doesn’t use any gear, skill or devotion swaps!
grimtools is telling me that i’m missing 8 skill points and 5 attribute points, so maybe i should get those??
here’s the character sheet. i moved sigil of consumption to rmb for the screenshot so you can see its dps. note that with a .8s cooldown and a 13s duration, we get about 16 sigils active at once. that’s a lot of circles!!
resists are all overcapped by 40% or more, except aether which is only overcapped by 15%, which is probably why anasteria almost killed me in the crucible. 63% phys resist, 3k armour, 3k DA and almost 20k health makes us nice and tanky. with all the leech we get from sigil, our health bar never really moves except against ravager and scary crucible comps that feature anasteria.
also i just realized that i don’t actually have any sources of % target damage reduction, which is pretty silly. i’m currently farming morgoneth for his ring, which would give us some more OA, healing % (which is quite impactful for this build), and a juicy 12% reduced target’s damage. until you get that just use attuned lodestone in place of one of the bloodied crystals i guess?
the gear in general is nowhere near perfect, as i’m still using a garbge ring, a middling rylok crest, and the first semi-decent boots/gloves that i managed to craft. with BIS gear we’d have another 300+ OA and more survivability too. mythical signet of the fallen is maybe worth considering, as it’s 5% more resist reduction than cursebearer and it has some very helpful cast speed, but you have to crit to proc it whereas mythical cursebearer’s proc is always up. the latter also has -24% attack and cast speed on said proc, which works well with our 20% slower attack from the rylok mark.
here’s the ravager kill, i didn’t use any consumables. i’m not sure how long it took, i think like 8-10 minutes? you just stand there and hold your sigil of consumption button, using blood of dreeg whenever you want (i didn’t bother timing it for the heal), and reapplying curse of frailty as often as you need to.
i had curse maxed out for the duration and aoe (i wanted the build to be somewhat balanced for all content), but if for some reason you’re struggling you can take points out and put more into safeguard for a bit of extra armour. you can also drop the ugdenbog leathers for more enchanted earths, since we don’t actually need the resists.
his first phase is super easy, and probably won’t even proc your resilience. when he gets grumpy at 50% he’ll start proccing resilience pretty frequently, so you’ll want to time your sanctuary while resilience is on cooldown. not that 130 damage absorption matters against hits for 5k+, but i pretend it helps.
and here’s the crucible completion. i wanted to try out a skill on a weapon that dropped, and forgot to turn my second seal of might back on when i swapped back. oops!
i don’t usually play crucible because i play hardcore and it’s pretty rippy, but this character felt so strong that i wanted to give it a shot. 150-170 gladiator took 11 minutes, which i know isn’t impressive, but that was with me just standing in one place the entire time and not chasing anything down. resilience procced once when anasteria and friends chunked me. maybe it would have been easier if i moved around a bit, but who has the patience for that?
i just stood in the left semi-enclosed area, near the ghost friends, and spammed sigils on top of myself until everything died. none of the nemeses were very threatening, with comps like double reaper of the lost not even moving my health bar. i just stood in aleksander’s meteors too, and they didn’t seem to do anything. kubacabra would have been a lot quicker if i moved out of the blood pools, but you already know how i feel about that. it’s really just anasteria that’s threatening. remember that a full stack of existing sigils is sixteen times stronger than a freshly started stack, so don’t expect to tank everything if you move somewhere new.
as i mentioned, i started completely fresh for this character. here’s a pic of our lone champion!
levelling was surprisingly smooth. here’s a rough outline of what i did:
the journey begins. i play on veteran because i’m weird, but normal is probably a lot easier. spec into bloody pox at level 3, clear kyzogg (don’t complete the devotion shrine though) and do the aether crystal and faldis quests. this should put you at level 6 or 7, which lets you swap out of bloody pox and into sigil. make sure you bind it to a button you enjoy pressing, because it’s your only damaging skill for the entire game. at this point i swap over to crucible, and i usually have enough iron for a couple of energy potions which will get you through the first 10 waves. max out sigil and put the rest of your points into the mastery bar. collect your rewards, use whatever seems useful, sell the rest and buy more potions. do this 4 more times, then turn your 15 tributes into 5 devotion points. i stop at 5 because the cost increases after that (this is why we didn’t do the shrine near kyzogg), but i guess if you really enjoy the crucible you can keep going? i’m not going to stop you. oh also spend your iron on enough scrap to complete the barnabas quest.
at this point you should be about level 13, and should be very close to unlocking destruction, which is where your next 12 points are going. go and do kyzogg’s devotion shrine so you get your 6th point, and put your points into bat and bind it to sigil. do barnabas’s scrab quest, go and kill viloth, then you can start actually moving through the campaign. you should be around 20 by the time you get to krieg, just run around casting sigils at him until he dies. at this point you can craft an equilibrium (you can craft it earlier if you got a brain matter to drop from the crucible). i used equilibrium from level 18 to level 100 (until i found eldritch pact and its materials), since occultist relics suck for levelling. maybe you can use deathchill at 35 for some more damage if you find it, but i liked the resists on equilibrium.
this section was a bit of a slog for me because i didn’t want to press any more buttons, so after maxing destruction i put all my points into the oathkeeper mastery to unlock guardian of empyrion, then bound wendigo mark to it, but it seems like the leech doesn’t apply to you if your guardians trigger the mark, so that was kind of a waste. even though we don’t use mark in the endgame, it’s great for levelling so you can probably still take it and use it with doom bolt or something. i’m sure if i just put points into doom bolt the levelling at this point would have been faster, but like i said, minimal button pressing. act 2 is straightforward, you can even facetank nicolas balthazar with sigils, which is kind of impressive.
once you beat cronley, i recommend rushing through old arkovia and ignoring the wraiths, as well as skipping steps of torment at first, just to get to the mountain deeps so you can find a vampiric bonewall. this more than doubles your dps, and things get a lot smoother from there. i recommend spending a few minutes farming one with the durable prefix, as the 20% phys resist is huge for that point in the game, but you can get by with anything. after that you can go back and do arkovia/steps of torment for the quests. the rest of act 3 is really easy, put points into blood of dreeg so you can ignore poison resist for the rest of the game (even though it’s a second button to press). for devotions, work your way down to rattosh as quickly as you can. act 4 is straightforward too, take advantage of occultist’s plethora of free resists to make the chthonic stuff easier. i barely changed my gear at all while leveling, but you probably want to equip a rhowari cord at 35 for the much-needed +skills. you should beat the loghorrean around level 40
act 5 is a noticeable difficulty spike, but you have a lot more tools at your disposal. sigil still deletes everything. once you get to the coven’s refuge, go hard right to enter mogdrogen’s ancient grove for a free skeleton key and a devotion shrine. work your way up through the bog, killing janaxxia and sylvarria along the way, choose to help barrowholm and complete their first two quests. you should have found a leafmane alpha horn and a venomgaze bile, so once you get the ugdenbog fetish you can return to the coven’s refuge and complete a ton of quests at once.
in act 6, your damage really spikes. farm the chthonic zone in mourndale for a rylok mark, as it gives an insane 100 flat vitality damage to sigil (for reference level 12 sigil deals 121 vitality damage at base). you can farm an ascendant source from the myrmidons here, or you can wait and buy one from the malmouth shop once you unlock it. at this point i farm the council chambers for rep to get revered with malmouth and the black legion, you don’t need to do this if you don’t want to but the access to experience potions makes elite much smoother. i also don’t bother with the korvan stuff on normal (or elite for that matter), but you can if you like? also before moving onto elite you can farm a better vampiric bonewall, as the dungeon scales up to a strangely high level.
acts 1-2 on elite are a joke compared to 5-6 on veteran, so this should not be very difficult for you. do the slith necklace quest and equip the ring unless you were lucky enough to find something better, i used it with the normal version for the rest of the campaign. honestly act 3 and 4 are pretty straightforward too, i don’t remember having any trouble. upgrade gear as you see fit, resists become really easy once you hit 70 and get access to augments, assuming you did the aetherial vanguard grind for black legion rep. it’s important at this point that you start collecting and selling all the rare/epic gear that drops, as if it’s your first character you will be very desperate for iron when you start farming ultimate, and any nest egg you develop during elite will save you time. you can farm a decent bolvar pendant here if you want, or you can just use whatever you have.
i think i was late 70s when i beat elite loghorrean. i skipped acts 5-6 here, as well as the korvan stuff, and jumped right into ultimate. act 5 has a ton of experience from quests though, so maybe i should have done that?
survivability isn’t a problem, but your damage really drops off on ultimate, so be prepared for some slow-but-steady gameplay. it’ll help your damage if you jump back to normal act 6 and farm the malmouth vendor for a good level 70 ascendant source. act 1 is straightforward, you can still facetank everything, it just takes a while. at this point you should be honoured with devil’s crossing, so buy the writ before completing act 2 and killing cronley. then, assuming you’re also honoured with homestead (which you should be just from regular gameplay), hop back to normal and elite and complete the food questline. with the writ active, this should put you to revered with devil’s crossing, letting you buy some much-needed survivor’s ingenuity augments.
at this point you can either progress through the campaign, or farm monster totems for gear/exp. i did a bit of the latter before doing the former, and my preferred spot is the one by the arkovian foothills rift. from the rift, move northeast and see if the totem spawns along the way, if it doesn’t keep moving northeast until you reach the crumbled remains of a building, and you should be proximal enough to the second spawn point that you can see if it’s there or not. if it’s not, move south, and you’ll find the totem to the right of the spined cove entrance. your sigils last 13 seconds so preload 3-4 of them before activating the totem, and you should be able to facetank everything even with trash gear.
progressing through the campaign isn’t technically necessary, but i did it because i wanted to farm the dark one set as a stopgap, since i wasn’t expecting to find radaggan’s set for a long time. the only difficult parts of ultimate were zaria and, surprisingly, karroz/thalnosh. your damage probably won’t be high enough to facetank him, and this was the only time i came close to death in the campaign. once you get to act 5, start lokarr’s secret quest, and try not to get too irritated with flameond bleu, he really tries his best ok. the edge of reality is actually pretty difficult with bad gear, so farm more monster totems if you’re scared of dying, otherwise apply double imbued silver to your weapon and shield to make it a bit easier. farm a better rylok mark here too, though don’t bother trying for an exceptional one until much later, when you have the radaggan set. collect all dark one pieces and you’ll have no trouble at all with the monster totems. also you can farm a bolvar pendant to use until you find radaggan’s, or you can get to revered with barrowholm to get the sigil amulet. i did the former but the latter is probably a lot more damage.
now the real gear farming begins! as i mentioned, this is very iron-intensive so you should be picking up all rare and epic gear to sell. my route was mountain deeps for the treasure trove and vampiric bonewall drop, plus the potential monster totem, then i portal to the arkovian foothills to clear the aforementioned monster totem. start in homestead, port to prospector’s trail, enter the mountain deeps from the back-end and check the 4 possible treasure trove locations. i start by moving to the devotion shrine then going south to check for the first spawn point, then head directly east along the path to check for the second spawn point. if it’s not there then i move northeast for the third potential spot (this is where the monster totem can spawn too), and if it’s not there then we take a rather annoying route east, north, then west to find the final spawn point. kill troggs along the way and you’ll eventually get a decent bonewall. then i portal to arkovan foothills and do the totem, then i reset!
the troves serve two purposes: first, they’re a great source of blueprints (if you have the spare iron, make sure to buy all possible low-level relic blueprints from the malmouth shop to reduce the pool a bit), and they give crafting materials. your eventual goal is to find the radaggan’s mask blueprint (note that helmet blueprints are classed as legendary items in the drop table, not actual blueprints, so you’re more likely to get them from killing monsters than from the troves), which you’ll craft 4 of. you should have enough wendigo spirits from the troves, but if you don’t you can always dismantle epics. then you pop over to the crucible and transmute 3 of the masks until you hit the full radaggan set. you should have enough eldritch essences for this from troves too.
at some point you’ll find the stoneplate greaves and emberforged grips blueprints, and other than the 1.2 million iron it costs to craft 4 radaggan’s masks, this is where most of your iron will be going. dismantle epics for scrap if you need to. it took me about 20-30 of each to get passable rolls. i kept my dark one’s grips on until i got the radaggan’s set as the 4piece bonus is fantastic, and iirc i used mythical desecrator treads until radaggan’s as well because i needed the sigil of consumption bonus.
that’s about all i can think of, i’m happy to answer any questions though! i’ll upload some videos in the future too