[] The Desert Dragon: Korvan Wyrm Builds

UPDATE : So with the latest patch, the Wyrm got another buff including Soldier skills support. I’ve decided to revamp this as a general build thread instead of just a single spec. I’ll reserve a couple posts for future ideas but if anyone wants to share their own build, please do!


“And though she is the cruelest of lovers, starving and burning those who seek her pleasures, I shall return to her. For the desert calls to me and I shall always answer.”

Hello again. This is a themed primal strike build based around an item that most people probably have gathering dust in their stash somewhere. The Korvan Wyrm doesn’t have much of a favored history in the game. Other than the nice aesthetic of yellow seals and lightning strikes, it’s remained more of a novelty weapon until recently.

I posted a prototype build last year in The Great Ranged Balance Discussion Thread as a way to contribute (lots of neat builds in there, btw). I also took some inspiration from this thread by @tqFan. Anyways, the build could do 75-76 runs but was kinda slow. Then I took another game break and promptly forgot about it. Now with the latest buffs to the Wyrm and physical damage changes, I figured it was time to pull this guy out of retirement and stalk the wasteland once again.

>>>> GrimTools <<<< Changes: Build picked up more life and dps overall!

So after some retooling of the original and testing, I’ve come up with this. I’ve posted two vids below, one a 75 run with some clear footage and boss room. Then an 85 boss room clear. The only difference between the two is swapping Deathstalker relic for Azrakaa’s, which I’ll go into more next.


Our Korvan Wyrm, of course. Shattered Realm set for defenses and the +2 all skills. Grasp of Unchained Might converts all piercing into physical. These represent the core pieces. Basilisk Crest is our one green item and is easy to vendor farm a decent one from Vinelton. Although it lacks attack speed, the mods to Word of Renewal make it ultimately superior, imo.

Ring slots, belt, boots and relic are somewhat flexible based on what you have available.

Example: You can use Ring of the Black Matriarch in place of Astral Ruminations, but then you’d need to swap in Feralmane Legplates to still achieve a 26/16 Primal Strike. I’ll list some more examples of “flex” gear that I’ve used but I’ve found the linked combo to be the most reliable in terms of all-around offense and defense.

Legs: Feralmane Legplates
Boots: Mythical Windshear Greaves
Belts: Mythical Gladiator’s Distinction, Mythical Storm Sheperd, Avenger’s Girdle
Medal: Mythical Sigil of the Bear King, Mythical Beast Slayer’s Mark
Relic: Deathstalker, Azrakaa’s Epoch, Eye of the Storm

Attack speed is an obvious drawback. It’s tough to get over around the 175% mark without sacrificing too much OA.


-Crossroads yellow
-Assassin’s Blade
-Crossroads blue
-Eel (then refund crossroad blue)
-Lotus (then refund crossroads yellow)
-Sailor’s Guide
-Crossroads green
-Crossroads purple
-Hydra (then refund crossroads purple)


Pretty simple. For lower-tiered content, charge into stuff with movement skill of choice and drop seal and wendigo. Cast storm box on tougher enemies which gets Eye of Korvaak procs going. Then start raining down that pretty gold lightning. You can play around with a different skill binding setup but I’ve found storm box w/ tether to be the best for it. Word of Renewal has a long uptime with Basilisk Crest, so you can save it for heals.

If you prefer a slightly lazy version you can bind Korvaak to Deathstalker. He’s not terrific at proccing it due to his slow attack animations but it’s fine for 75-76 farms.


SR 75 run with some clear footage and boss room. Deathstalker relic used.

SR 85 boss room with Azrakaa’s.

As you can see, both Deathstalker and Azrakaa’s perform similarly. I kinda like the latter for thematic purposes. You know, ancient desert warrior and all that. But, use whatever you like. SR 90 can be reached as well but it’s hard to do deathless. Bad mutators, especially attack speed debuffs will ruin the day. ADCTH just can’t keep up with big damage.

I don’t play much Crucible because I’m bad at it, but the build should do ok with it. So that’s about it I think.

See you out there, among the burning sands.



Build #1: Physical/Bleed Cadence

:dragon: :dragon: :dragon:GrimTools :dragon: :dragon: :dragon:

*Small Update: Changed devo map to reflect Jackal instead of points in Wendigo. Also switched chest component to Chains of Oleron. This fixes the low move speed + bit higher OA value.

Build Explanation

At first, I tried a direct copy (more or less) of the Vindicator and worked backwards from there. The lack of damage reduction from the seal and racial modifiers was immediately apparent, so I tried different setups and found that Cadence & Primal Bond works surprisingly well with a Mogdrogen devotion route to make a durable hybrid. Solid OA & DA shred from Rend & Howl procs. Combined DoT’s from Rend, bleeding and trauma sources can get over 300k in the right circumstances.

  • Core pieces are similar to Vindy. SR set is still a solid choice here for defenses, CC resists and +skills boost.
  • Rings: Black Matriarch and Goliath for Physical RR and +cadence bonus.
  • Gloves: Crimson Claws’ mods work well here. Sandreavers perform well too.
  • Boots: Windshears are just great all around for any physical build.
  • Pants, Belt and Medal: Some variations can come into play depending on what rolls you have. DA is on the low side, as well as aether & chaos resists so rolls had to cover those.
  • Relic: Deathstalker is BiS here. The aura is just too good.
Skills & Devotions

It’s pretty straightforward but I’ll mention a few notes.

-Primal Bond vs Oleron’s Rage: I went with PB mainly because of the damage reduction. The Warder can’t absorb stupid amounts of damage like Vindicator so it helps compensate for that. Oleron can certainly be taken over PB if you’d rather have more OA and don’t mind the build being squishier. Just remember to plan for having 50 points in Soldier and 40 Shaman.

-Empty Throne can be taken over Owl if resists are too low.

-Grasping Vines can be dropped if you want one less button to push. One of the WPS or Totem can be used in its place for Rend, however I prefer Vines because they are excellent at applying it.

Devotion Map

  • Crossroads yellow
  • Assassin’s Blade
  • Panther (then refund crossroads yellow)
  • Falcon
  • Crossroads red
  • Jackal (then refund crossroads red)
  • Eel
  • Ulzaad
  • Hydra
  • Kraken (then refund Eel)
  • Huntress
  • Hawk
  • Crossroads purple
  • Mogdrogen

SR75 run

SR85 boss room

Build #2: Primal Strike

:dragon: :dragon: :dragon: GrimTools :dragon: :dragon: :dragon:

Build Explanation

I thought I was done with Warder but not so fast! Originally, I tried swapping the bleeding hybrid concept to primal strike and… it was bad. I mean, not terrible but lackluster enough that I abandoned it. After finishing up the Tactician, I decided to revisit Warder again with some lessons learned.

Basically I took the Tactician devo map and applied it to Warder along with the SR set and it works very well. The best part is no greens needed! Doesn’t have the damage reduction like the other builds, however consistent maul procs + life steal keep it rolling along.

Energy does become an issue in this more offensive setup. Using a Soul Shard component on a ring for the 30% absorb helps out a lot, but chugging energy potions will still be necessary. If you watch the SR75 boss room vid, I still run into energy trouble against Fabius and Alkamos, so some kiting here and there might be needed while potion is on cooldown.

  • Gear: Sandreavers are better for primal strike. Higher potential AS roll as well as some lightning>phys conversion. Guthook belt again since we need the +shaman over soldier, more AS, and the great racial modifier to human. Astral Ruminations ring to finish our max PS. Everything else should be self-explanatory by now.
Skills & Devotions

Since we don’t need any points in wps skills or Devouring Swarm, there are plenty of extra skill points to work with here. I chose to soft-cap Wendigo totem and the rest went into overcapped Break Morale and Oak Skin for a bit extra DA and armor.

I left Grasping Vines in the rotation as a proc trigger and a bit of crowd control.

For devotion map, just copy the Tactician’s below. It’s the same.


SR75 run


AKA “The Korvan Railgun”

High single target cadence

Idle with WoR and Seal up

:dragon: :dragon: :dragon: GrimTools :dragon: :dragon: :dragon:

Build Explanation

I was having fun with the Cadence Warder but I wanted to see how I could push that single target dps further, so it was time to drop the SR set. The Tactician suits this purpose well. Racial damage and max attack speed make it an effective nemesis/boss hunter. It’s quite satisfying to repeatedly obliterate Grava and Reaper whenever they show up. Revenge for years of torture and keyboard smashing, ya know? AoE does suffer as a result, so lining up mobs whenever possible is key in order to take advantage of cadence and wps passthrough.

  • Two-piece Octavius boosts physical & IT damage as well as providing 100% conversion to physical.
  • Iron Maiden Shoulderguard are perfect here for +cadence and resist buffs.
  • Conduit of Runic Whispers for more -RR%
  • Mythical Beast Slayer Mark is an underrated medal for its nice buff to racial damage.
  • Hellforged Legplates are a solid choice here, but depending on how resists work out, it might be necessary to go with nemesis legs of choice. I think I was using Solael-Sect Legguards in one of the vids, as an example.
  • Mythical Grasp of Unchained Might for gloves. Like with the Vindicator, this converts pierce and boosts Aura of Conviction.
  • Deathstalker is BiS again as usual for the aura.
  • Rings, boots & belt same as the Warder.

Craft for armor bonus & slow resist. Try to get “%damage to humans” as a bonus on the relic.

Skills & Devotions

Soldier skills are similar to the Warder, except Break Moral is taken instead of Terrify since this is fully physical. Inquisitor side is pretty standard. Soft caps for Ranged Expertise, Deadly Aim, WoR and Steel Resolve. Points in the Seal can be adjusted accordingly, depending on how much absorb you need out of it.

One point each in the WPS skills. For what it’s worth, I did some dummy kills with and without Zolhan’s Technique and noticed no real difference either way, so I dumped it.

Devotion Map

  • Crossroads yellow
  • Assassin’s Blade (then refund crossroads yellow)
  • Panther
  • Crossroads red
  • Jackal (then refund crossroads red)
  • Crossroads green
  • Hawk
  • Empty Throne
  • Eel
  • Ulzaad
  • Hydra
  • Kraken (then refund Eel & crossroads green)
  • Dire Bear
  • Lion
  • Crossroads purple & crossroads blue
  • Azrakaa
  • Last 2 points in Spider (attack speed node)

SR 75 - 76 run (@ 4:42 for a Grava beatdown :slightly_smiling_face:)

SR 85 boss room


I’m going to clean up the Vindy & Warder sections a bit and maybe post some grimtools doodles for other ideas, but I’m mostly done now with my KW building. I think I’ve burned myself out and need to finish other builds that have been collecting dust.

So after all this “work,” the question might be… is it worth building around the Wyrm and two-hand ranged physical? Eh, not really. Just make a dual Sandspitter gunner and be done with it. :sweat_smile:

Joking aside, with all the buffs in the latest patches, I think the wyrm can hold it’s own and now with the addition of Soldier skill support, there’s a number of new combinations that should work out, at least in theory. Conjurer & Witchblade are options. Archon might be a good candidate for Savagery & CD Primal Strike since it doesn’t have attack speed support from either tree. Or how about a converted Fire Strike Purifier?

Anyways, again just some ideas for somebody to run with.


I’m sure there is a good CD primal strike bomb focused entirely on Internal Trauma to be made too :slight_smile:

Go have a look at [] Solo Soldier - Easy Crate ; Calla ; SR80 to see what I mean.

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Absolutely! You wind up with a decent amount of IT naturally. I messed around with a gd-stashed warlord just for kicks and it could hit 500k ticks but couldn’t survive worth a damn. This was going down the Oleron devotion route. Perhaps a CD primal would be a much better way to do IT, like you said.


Valinov played Korvan as CD PS but with more Bleed than Trauma focus: Vindicator, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
[] Vindicator of the Korvan Sands - Physical Primal Strike - CR 170 fail run - YouTube


Oh nice, I didn’t see that one before. I’d be interested to see how that would perform now after the change to the PS skill line.

Thank you for this build by the way, I’m having so much fun! Thankfully enough I found this forum post since I was looking for a lightning stuffed Vindicator build and what do you know, I’m enjoying the game even more!

Oh and by the way, I’m still lacking the belt and the boots. However, I just want to ask what do you think is the best relic for this build? Will it be the Deathstalker or Azrakaa’s Epoch? I already crafted Deathstalker and just got the blueprint for the Epoch but I’m not sure if it’s worth crafting. Although maybe I will still craft it to test out the differences.

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Glad to hear you’re enjoying it.

Objectively speaking, Deathstalker is usually the best choice for physical builds because of his aura.

This reminds that I need to update the Vindicator section with a newer setup:

Vindicator, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

Same core gear but with reworked skill distribution & devotion map for more offensive focus. Give it a try if you want. Just note that I dropped storm box entirely in this setup. You can always keep it if you enjoy using it though.

As for the belt & boots, Guthook and Stormtitans aren’t super rare, so if you keep plugging away you should drop them soon enough.

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Thanks @Uncle_Mac! Yup this one’s way better, I can tell. Would you recommend any other Vindicator builds aside from this one? Or maybe the best/strongest vindicator build?

There’s a Vindicator here ⭐ Top 20 Softcore builds in Grim Dawn (An Opinion)

Light’s Defender is a classic. You could prolly make some good Vit caster too. There are some others as well.


Thanks again @tqFan! I was looking at the Compendum post for Vindicator builds but somehow those are not enough and I’m pretty sure there are other posts here as well which could potentially be my type. So thank you so much for providing this post.

It’s hard to go wrong with @eardianm’s Evoker build, listed in the link from @tqFan.

It’s got gobs of power and lots of lightning effects. Can also reliably take on the harder celestials, if you want to eventually take them on. It’s the strongest ranged Vindicator build out there, unless there’s another one kicking around that I’m unaware of.

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Yup I’m planning to build that one now! Although I’ll still keep the build that you’ve made so that I’ll have a lot of options :smiley: