[] Nidalla's Bastard - Melee WPS/SS WH [1.7] - Now With 4/6 Celestials, SR75+, CR 170


This particular build’s been gestating since way back in the early beta days, before we had even the Arcanist to play with and all because Blood of Dreeg synergises really well with Pneumatic Burst and the Dual Blades skill line with Nidalla’s Justifiable Means. To the point, that before AoM Acid/Poison WH were one of the top tier builds, capable of getting up to round 150 and taking on just about everything in the vanilla campaign. And then AoM and some nerfs hit and it faded away into sad obscurity.

Until now, where changes with made WH are bit more viable without having to rely on more than 2 GD Stash bits of gear. And after looking at after looking at thejabrixone’s Scream Queen ABB build I finally got the inspiration to go back, copy over the old build and tweak the fluff out it.

And as of the 1.2 version of this, it’s very capable, only deaths came from a) insomnia meaning I’m slow with the “oh poo” buttons b) forgetting how much X hurt, where X stands for Reaper’s wraiths, Gargabol’s fire shotgun and Alex’s fluffing meteor.

1.6 - Rune of Murmur’s Kiss boosts the survivability of this build significantly, other disengagement glyphs/runes will also work, but Kiss ties into the build’s damage type and debuff’s enemy OA in a large area :3 Expect to die in SR if you over extend yourself though.

1.7 - Slight rework of skill points to provide more RR and alterations to augments and components. Now less reliant on Cursed Tincture for highly acid resistant bosses.


Bringing Poison/Acid Witchhunters back to semi-glory without using the full Venomblade set and melting everything along the way. Mainly by meleeing everything in your way to death and poison shadow striking anything you can’t facetank. Only Crucible remains to be tested now, and Lokkar, but fluff that guy.

The Build

>>Grim Tools Link v1.7<<

>>Crucible 100+ Version<<
Swaps boots for more safety.

1.6 build

Alternative SS focused one for Callagadra - needs a rework + testing of the 1.7 version.

Pants component can be swapped out for more armour, but more health and health regen is how I prefer it


  • all points allocated, finally :stuck_out_tongue: Patches buffed it a bit it seems as can now facetank Ravager of the Lost easily, plus some formatting. 1.6 - altered skill point distribution to softcap Dual Blades and now use Rune of Murmer’s kiss.
  • 1.7 After stuffing around in Crucible and SR + some more feedback from ya1 and tqfan went for more attack speed and %RR over raw dps. Trade off seems worth it since Cursed Tincture’s are no longer absolutely needed, they just help speed up killing highly acid resistant bosses a bit.


  • Good Sustain from PB and BoD + devotions and life steal.
  • Highly flexible, as SS allows you to hit and run anything you can’t facetank, like Reaper of the Lost while the up to 180k/tic poison DoT kills them.
  • Legendary gear is mostly easy to find and some can be crafted.
  • Decent single target damage from both Shadow Strike and Execution which is at 14/8, with other WPS supporting
  • Carves through the campaign like a hot (poison) knife through butter, except for Gargabol…
  • Effective DA of 3000 and 3200 with Justicar rings proc means you rarely get crit’d
  • Combined effective OA of 3600 (CoF + Arkon’s) means you can crit nearly everything.
  • Did I mention it melts most Nemesis’s? Because it generally does. Can fight most without any pots, recommend health+ and healing increase for Alexander though.
  • May melt GPU due to all the poison procs.
  • Semi-decent poison resist reductions from a nice 94% RR from all skills/procs.
  • Rune of Murmur’s Kiss allows for quick escapes, making SR a fair bit easier.


  • Not overcapped on elemental resistances as much as it could be.
  • Can die to burst damage if you’re not careful. But that’s what Mythical Golemborne boots are for if you need them.
  • No slow resistance due to devotion path/lack of gear, but base speed is enough that you can usually get out of danger or hit Blade Barrier to save your butt.
  • Fantasy Greens, in theory you can work around ones you find with the right resistances and sacrifice some health for different components, but otherwise, GDstash is your friend, especially as the amulet only drops in the campaign. The shoulder’s can be found in Shattered Realm as Zantarin show’s up often-ish.
  • SR 70+ you’re going to want to bring Cursed Tinctures, because at that level enemy acid resistance gets even higher, enough that time to kill on certain enemies (Kaisan is the biggest offender in SR) can drag out. Fortunately the iron income is more than enough to pay for a stack.


This is what I was able to theory craft and test out, coming to the current 1.2 version gearing. Though pants and boots are perfectly replaceable, particularly if you get a good roll on MI pants (i.e. anything with Thunderstruck, or Mythical Final March for boots etc). Personally though, if you don’t have the time, Grim Stash it :stuck_out_tongue: Medal wise - any Basilisk Mark with the right resistances will work.

And of course Mythical Golemborne boots are great for boosting survivability. Trade off is a slight drop in DPS and increased cooldown of Shadow Strike per the Crucible spec.


Firstly - If you have Lokkar’s set, use it, it makes levelling a breeze. Also a nice roll of the MI Putrid Necklace with resistances will be very useful as it’ll convert cold damage into acid.

Anyhow, basically dump points into Amarasta’s Blade Burst, investing 2 points in it to 1 point in the mastery bar. Get Pneumatic Burst once ABB is softcapped + it’s modifier for healing and then invest points into the mastery bar until you can unlock Night’s Chill and invest 1 point in Veil of Shadows and softcap Night’s Chill since it’s your main source of resistance reduction at the moment. Once you’ve done this, push into the Occultist mastery bar to unlock Blood of Dreeg and then put 1 point in it, the other in Curse of Frailty and the last in Vulnerability. Then invest points 2:1 in BoD vs Vulnerability until softcapped. With 1 point in Shadow Strike for mobility. And invest in Dual Blades as you find weapons etc that give +Skill points to it, since you can proc them while ABB is on cooldown and increase your DPS significantly. More so once Execution is unlocked.

If you get a Rift Scourge Slicer early you can invest more into SS and Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends, since that kills bosses very nicely. But otherwise work with what gear you have available and slowly spec out the build until it’s set up. But otherwise you’ll find one in the Mountain Deeps or at Dreeg’s Shrine. Anything with attack speed is good until you can get good legendaries.

Devotion Guide:

  • Put points in primordial and chaos stars on Crossroads
  • Get Rat, Eye of the Guardian (bind to Curse of Frailty, then Bloody Pox later), and Ghoul
  • Complete Manticore and assign to Ring of Steel for almost guaranteed chance to proc it.
  • Grab Eel, Viper, Lizard and Solemn Watcher, take points out of Lizard
  • Now you can put points into Murmur and complete it, which is bound to Curse of Fraility which is great for proc’ing it
  • Complete Toad, followed by Arekon’s Scorpion, bind it to Amarasta’s Blade Burst.
  • Get Tainted Eruption, left branch only followed by the first two nodes of Ulzuin’s Torch
  • Single point in first node of Empty Throne for some stun resistance.

Nemesis/Boss Tips:

Fully geared out nearly everything can either be facetanked or melts from the poison DoT on Shadow Strike, however certain bosses/Nemesis’s can be a pain (now if rough order of appearance):

  • Mad Queen is facetankable with Bloodthirster or Ghoul on, just make sure to back off when she triggers her red aura if neither of those are up, otherwise dies easily.
  • Salazaar - very high poison resistance makes him slow to kill, but relatively safe.
  • Gargabol - hit and run wins the day, since while he can be facetanked with Ghoul and Blood Thirster active, it’s very risky. 6-7 Shadow Strikes though will usually load him with enough poison that he’ll drop. In SR leave till last due to the space he can take up with his fire plants
  • Shaper of Flesh - beware the 2nd stage, otherwise use aether pots etc and you can pretty much facetank stages 1 and 3.
  • Morgoneth - Hit and run when Blood Thirster isn’t active, and use resistance pots + healing ones to make it easier.
  • Fabi-kins - due to not being heavily overcapped on pierce, health/energy+ along with +healing and cold/freeze pots come heavily recommended. Especially since he can spawn with some seriously stupid weapons.
  • Reaper of the Lost - can be done without pots now, though you need to kill his wraiths sooner rather than later and occasionally hit n run to deal with his Savagery charges
  • Archmage Alexander - high poison resistance + that fluffing meteor and the new nova attack he has make him not a nemy to be taken on while half awake. Stay mobile constantly and only engage him after he uses his meteor if you don’t have terrain to block it. Highly dangerous in SR 70+ especially with the right mutators that allow him to cast his meteor more often.
  • The Iron Maiden - facetank’s with ease now with the current medal, at least from SR testing
  • Kaisan - Can facetank with Blood Thirster active, just remember to reposition when he spawns his crystals. Biggest threat once you hit SR 70+ as he gains high acid resistance in standard shards and hits like a tank too. Less of a threat in boss rooms though. So bring Cursed Tinctures
  • Zantarin - With the increases in resistance reduction Zantarin is fairly easy now to take down, just avoid his shotgun attack and in SR70+ use a Cursed Tincture to make him die quicker.


  • Avatar - Switch medal to Myth. Mark of Divinity for the 3% overcap to lightening damage, can use Cursed Tincture too, but otherwise mostly facetankable with only a lightening resistance pot, just watch your cooldowns and health and back off if you’re overloaded with electrocution damage. All his summons guarantee Sealed Fate will have 100% uptime. About 6 minutes all up.

  • Reaper - Can’t do due siding against Barrowholm, will test via GDstash manipulation eventually :stuck_out_tongue: Definitely doable via hit and run SS for the 2nd stage or with the alt. SS build.

  • Lokkar - Fairly easy with resist pots and health ones, just remember to disengage to avoid getting ganked by the fire tornadoes.

  • Bourbon - Surprisingly easy actually, resist pots + health ones and focus on one clone at a time until the ultimate clone emerges. Didn’t die once on the first go in ages.

  • Callagrada - Use this build: SS Version and the evidence, took about 10 minutes. Any Acid+ Rift Slicers will do frankly, Mythical Undying Oath can also be used for the medal to give you a bit more healing. Not recommended for regular Cally slaying as 1 serious mistake and you will die.

  • Crate - Nyet Comrade, too much AOE. A better pilot might manage, but as per usual melee with Crate = extremely painful. May be doable with the above SS build though, but don’t have the energy to test it myself.

The Shattered Realm Guide

  1. You will die, for this build is slightly glassy until you learn it’s gameplay properly. Like when to run away and let your poison DoT’s and Black Plague thin the horde. And the best times to use your heals.
  2. To avoid dying, do not stand in damage over times pools and retreat when necessary and let your DoT’s thin the horde. Gargoyles are the worst for it, but so are fire damage type atherials from AoM.
  3. Kasien and Zantarin are your biggest nemesis threats in the stage 4 sections and shards, always try and leave them for last. Iron Maiden can also be painful if you draw her in with more than one mob in SR65+ Most other nemesi will die pretty quickly up until SR70.
  4. Same for Grava, you need space to avoid their fumble vortexes of chaos. And speaking of Cthonic nemesi - Benn’Jhar’s chaos clusters will absolutely wreck you on higher shards if more than 2 explode at a time
  5. And when it comes to boss rooms, always draw them 1 by 1, as in latter shards, you will die.
  6. Also, there’s a yellow Chthonian hero that is annoyingly good a healing, if you fail to deal with them you will run the risk of dying, so either avoid their mob or assassinate them.
  7. Minimal pharma is needed, health regen+ works very well, and freeze resist potions are needed for shards 60+. Once you hit SR70 recommend boss/nemesis damage type specific pots to give you some breathing room. Though definitely bring a big stack of energy pots, you will need them.
  8. In terms of shrines, you only need two really, Vire and Rattosh, though for deeper shards Death can also be useful if you have Rattosh already, as can Azrakaa. Do not recommend Oleron due to the physical resistance debuff it gives.
  9. Suspect this build can go past SR80, but I’m a bit poop at piloting (and my stashes need clearing lawl) so SR76 is where I’ll stop.
  10. In terms of mutators, Poisonous is the the most annoying, but that’s what a stack of Cursed Tincture is for. Afflicted is also a pain as less health = a lower chance of Ghoul proccing in time to save you, but there’s pots for that. Aethermarked and Tainted together are probably grounds for a reset, as lower attack speed cripples this build a bit too much, but I still managed SR70-75 with them.

And the SR75 clear evidence + loooooot


Can do up to 170 with the Crucible build, but you will need all blessings, resistance potions and upgraded Stormcaller Beacons to make it easier to do. Okay for 100-150 farming with freeze and health regen pots, but SR frankly gives more for less investment of resources from my point of view. Especially when it comes to rare rolled MI’s.

Teh Evidence.

Credits - thejabrixone for inspiration and feed back, the usual suspects for all their past Acid/Poison WH builds and Crate for their awesome work on Grim Dawn and dedication to getting the balance right, eventually :stuck_out_tongue: 1.2 credits - ya1 for his really useful gear pointers and devotion suggestions. 1.6 - Crate for the balance changes that made this build even better. 1.7 ya1 and tqfan for helpful criticism, even if I’m not going to make yet another ABB Venomblade Witch Hunter like they want me to :stuck_out_tongue:

Stuff needed, 2.0:

  1. pictures, still needed.
  2. run though SR (done), CR, try celestials (done).
  3. Alt. gear set ups not using fantasy greens.
  4. Edit the wall of text to hide things and make it easier to navigate…

I just have one little question:

does having 100% cold converted to Acid on both helm and Venomlash do anything?

I would just wield double Mad Queen Claw tho <3

PS: my toxic reaper’s devotion is kinda like yours. Just post it here for reference. Also, would love to receive feedback on him as well

Interaction is basically that only one of the 100% conversion applies, but the added acid damage are both add. And the single Mad Queen’s Claw is just due to the skill+ bonuses Venomlash gives to Blood of Dreeg so I can push it out to 26/16.

I’ll look at the devotion later, since running late to mow some very evil, overgrown lawns, where afterwards my back will be too fluffed to do anything else…

I don’t know much about acid but have you considered Riftscourge Slicers for total SS? Or giving up on hardcapping SS second node for more wps and capping things like Aspect of the Guardian, Veil of Shadows, Dual Blades?

Why one Judicator Ring? Doesn’t make much sense… Also, blue Beronath amulet would be better, I think, especially with MQ Claw.

Now there’s a lot of things out of place here and half of it comes down to “how crazy do you want to get with greens”

First we’ll start with the things that are off for a DW acid auto build

  • You haven’t pushed lethal assault as high as it can go (including adjusting gear to max it)
  • You didn’t softcap night’s chill
  • Circle of slaughter is a 1 pointer
  • Solael’s witchfire -> 12/12 for attack speed
  • Veil of shadow up to 10/10 is better for DA than overcapping shadow dance
  • Belgo shears goes to 5/8 and then you don’t care about it
  • Investment to shadow strike is main skill > NJE, who cares what the cooldown is if it does minimal damage
  • You need shard of beronath for its auto attack replacer if you are going to focus heavily upon auto attacks
  • You’re not even trying to hit 100% armor absorb and you don’t have enough physical resist to handwave this
  • Health regen is an irrelevant stat, no clue why you’re getting it on augments
  • mutated scales is a bad choice for gear component, there are superior arrangements that will net more health and more of other stats if desired
  • Massive overspending in cunning
  • Overspending in spirit

Beyond that… gearing adjustments and subsequent devotion adjustments

Putrid necklace: you have a lot of flat cold, this converts a big portion of it for more flat damage on everything you do.
Viloth Rings: simply put these end up with the most everything for acid builds. It’s GLHF on getting the specific rolls, but for theorycrafting they are the ideal.
Dreadguard blade: the vit conversion turns second rite into another big juicy source of flat damage, it also makes affliction a potent devotion choice.
undying oath: you’re converting most of the cold and about half the vitality, this is just a ton of flat damage

Heapheaus served up a acid WH suggestion last week with a focus on SS with auto support that pulls <10s dummy times https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YZeq6dQZ .

1 Like

Main reason for not doing that is to try and maintain balance between Dual Blades WPS and Shadow Strike. But yeah, if I’d built this to do purely SS or Melee I’d have gone down those routes. Also the resistance reduction this packs is more than enough it seems from testing with this and the build it was developed from.

10% resistance reduction + elemental resistance is why :stuck_out_tongue: It’s suboptimal I know, but with trying to restrict it to 2 MI’s my options were pretty limited. Probably a well rolled rare Living Ring MI (or Vine Ring) would do, but reference wise I figured Open Hand of Mercy would work and it seems to do.

I mean use both open and closed rings. Using one without the other makes no sense. Finish up murmur, drop the charriot, get the tower and your da is fixed (and pierce res too). At the cost of 100% acid. Your BoD was over-hardcapped. All I did was change the ring and the ammy and your BoD is intact.

Oh, and Night’s Chill at softcap is imo a priority.

Thanks! I missed that overcap completely and yeah, probably better to go with those rings sadly, despite the +2 to execution Deathguard gives. As the boost to OA it seems to give is a bit too much to ignore

I’ll do some work once I’m less deads, as overgrown back lawn + depression symptoms + reduced fitness + sleep fun = very deads. And thanks again for the feedback ya_

The problem is, is that I want to restrict the number of crazy GD Stash crafted stuff it requires, while maintaining both viable melee and make Shadow Strike good enough to deal with anything it can’t facetank. Which is why I haven’t hit the soft cap on some skills at this point and used the current medal rather than Undying Oath. Though there is some flexibility there to potential use it. Oh and the build this was adapted from had 5 GD Stash greens, leading to it being slightly insane and fairly tanky once I’d optimised it a bit.

And yes, if I were going the full melee route, I’d be using that axe and upping investment in Second Rite for the extra damage. But the aim is for a hybrid that ends up good enough at both to be fun to play. And can take on pretty much everything bar the super bosses, as long as you know what not to do. Which testing so far points to it being able to do, though current sleep fun means I f*ck up a bit too much mistakes wise…

If you’re aiming for a hybrid that’s decent at both it’s going to be some combination of Dreadguard Blades and Mad Queen’s Claws.

Double deathguard and reducing the MI count yields https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4NOAGWOV . 18-20k acid and 189% AS vs. 11-12k acid and 168% AS is hardly a competition. If so desired the above build can be tweaked - swap revenant points into ghoul if its circuit breaker is desired.

I don’t see how what you posted is a hybrid when the only non melee skill is bloody pox which itself is a minor debuff and serves to proc a devotion. Shadow strike builds are melee builds and I’ve demonstrated it’s a simple matter to build to the benefit of both.

How’s this look?: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/xZy4LgkV

Redid the devotions, moved skill points around and changed some of the components and augments, though the change of amulet probably isn’t needed due to already having 10%+ overcap on elemental resistances with that devotion path. Missing the added ADtH from Toad though, but can’t fit anything else in and the reduction in stun resistance is going to hurt against the Iron Maiden :confused: Tempted to take the 2 points in Ulzuin’s Torch out to stick one in the first node of Empty Throne and the other where it gives the most benefit.

@Xervous - eh, personally I consider SS to be less of a melee skill given how loaded it is with non physical/pierce damage types, but w/e. As for the build you linked to - main issue with it is the lack of DA, it’s going to get critted hard by high OA enemies. And the lack of Eye of the Guardian misses out on a good source of damage and sustain from the 22% weapon damage it has if using ADtH.

Right, going to try and summon the energy to do some testing, stupid sleep fun (basically can’t sleep in past 7am) has me stuffed despite xmas chocolate noshing.

Devotions can be adjusted to preference, I merely wished to demonstrate the impact of gearing choices and their interaction with skills and skill choice.

What effective DA are you targeting, are you taking into account Veil of Shadow and Rumor?

Missed the attributes and there’s some juggling to be done, https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62a4A8bN . 2800 effective before rumor proc (Veil of Shadow can be relied on 100% uptime). Judicator seals would put DA even higher still (and rather consistently in crucible).

Updated to 1.2, need to add in pics, but too damn tired, also need to test moving Rumour to ABB as when using hit and run tactics current binding makes proccing it a bit difficult. And add in Rumour’s -OA effect, which I also didn’t notice :derp:

[edit] would be nice if editing the thread title actually worked as well /sigh

Have you considered binding something to blade spirit? Vs. enemies that you kill instantly the proc probably won’t matter, vs. enemies that take a bit of time to kill it’s a guaranteed proc.

I did try it, but came to the conclusion that it’s easy to proc stuff with all the other skills and so that single point that I could have put into Blade Spirit was better used elsewhere.


Finally remembered I needed to update this… Only took 3 years /cough But that’s depression and ADHD for you.


Celestials done 5/6, well sort of, haven’t killed Cally yet due to piloting errors and SS targeting jank, but she’s doable with a shift of points to Shadow Strike Line. Which isn’t ideal, but lets face it, this build is more than adequate for farming the best Celestial to farm, which is Lokkar lawl.

In theory Ravager is completely doable with the base build, but would take 10 minutes-ish I think. As he hits no where near as hard as Cally.

Anyhow, I need dinner, finally killing Cally can wait until latters.

Right, so slowly chipping away at Shattered Realm - I’ll hit 50-65 tonight, then push for 75 tomorrow.

Have adjusted the build a bit by soft capping Dual Blades and so far the trade off is acceptable dps wise + ran Morgo’s Tomb and it went pretty smoothly. But need to hit SR70-75 to properly test if soft capping Dual Blades pays off.

Also added some stuff to the main post and did some formatting for readability. Need to look at further formatting stuff and should have reserved a post at the start for how-to-build this guide.


SR75 done! Edited to add the revised build, some more tips, edits and the SR stuff. Now to clear the stashes for the Crucible runs to add that to the list of things this build can do.


Whoops, missed an overinvested skill point, will fix it latter. Needs sleeeeep.

kinda curious if you dont’ mind
why no 1pt blade spirits? amazing devo proccers if nothing else
since you’re going full ham on NHH, why no AQC, you’re far from 100% wps anyway ?
why mutated scales and not AoM components, for that matter why not a scaled hide to bump armour absorb?
same with head, you’re overcapped on stun resist, why not a high quality component?
leaving 3% phys res on the table not softcapping Aspect of the Guardian ?
such and such minor puzzlings :thinking: