[] Beginner’s 2H Ranged Lightning Savagery Vindicator (pre-Evoker)

Vind 0


  • Vindicator using ‘‘Evoker of Elgoloth’’ purple crossbow is one of the strongest end game ranged builds and very fun to play as well. But how to level it up in similar fashion? My guide can be helpful and also this is Evoker build without using… well Evoker since it’s a random drop.

  • Why this concept works? Savagery is pretty decent attack and also Inquisitor boost ranged characters by providing unique WPS (weapon pool skills) and in general is the ranged class in Grim Dawn. Also both Shaman and Inquisitor classes have - RR (resistance reduction) and Vindicator is good class for lightning damage.

  • What this build is not? Honestly I would start leveling ranged Savagery Vindi if I already have Evoker weapon is stash or just like the idea. Worth mentioning that in earlier portions of the game ranged auto-attackers are not strong and you damage won’t be high from the start, eventually would increase, especially single target damage. For complete beginner I would start with Primal Strike or some cookie cutter option like vitality Ravenous Earth Ritualist or physical Blitz Warlord. But if you made it past this sentence let’s continue with this topic…

Main Build

  • pic with permanent buffs only

GRIM TOOLS :arrow_right: CLICK ME

  • Savagery - Our main attack. It’s auto-attack skill, can trigger WPS (weapon pool skills) and scales with attack speed. It also is charged based, so every charge increase the potency of it’s attacks. First node (main) put as many points as possible ASAP. Might of the Bear is transmuter available if you are using 2H weapon and also is worth investing early on, since it boosts damage and provide physical resistance. Tenacity should eventually be maxed but for earlier levels isn’t top priority. Strom Touched gives some damage and attack speed.

  • Wind Devil - It’s here for -elemental (including lightning) resistance reduction (RR). Unlike casters isn’t the focus on this build, so 1 point in main node and Maelstrom and as many points as possible in Raging Tempest.

  • Storm Box - It’s not used in end game build but it’s worth one point in both nodes, since ‘‘budget’’ Sparkthrower weapon support it.

  • Inquisitor Seal - Defensive tool, which allow us to hold ground and shoot. Main node’s damage absorb is pretty good and worth maxing this skill. Arcane Empowerment is one pointer for this build, hard to justify more points in a skill point hungry build.

  • Word of Renewal - Healing skill with extra perks. First node have few breakpoints. For level 100 character it’s usually sitting at 11 or 13/12. Secondary skill is nice for health and crowd control resistances. Health value from Vigor is flat and can go to 10/10 but you can put more points (or less) depending how many skill points you can spare. Third node is providing aether/chaos resistances but also some racial damage and flat physical damage. 10/10 or 12/10 for level 100.

Passive skills - You can pick one exclusive skill, here’s Aura of Censure, it’s here for -RR. Secondary perk is damage reduction. You need to max it. Mog’s pact is one point skill wonder main node, then second scales well up to ‘‘softcap’’ territory (10/10) and max third node for useful resistances and defensive ability. From the other skills; Ranged Expertise provide nice bit of attack speed and some damage and sits well at 10/10. WPS skills are up for debate. It’s important to have Strom Spread at 7/10 for the extra projectile. I put one point in Bursting and Chilling.

  • Weapon - Sparkthrower 2H gun dropping from plant golems and similar in Udgenbog and also can be purchased from Ancient Grove dungeon’s vendor. Look for one with attack speed suffix. Weapon is designed for Primal Strike but it’s useful here as well. Look for weapon with attack speed suffix if possible. For end game the only worthy upgrade is Evoker weapon, which injects plane fuel to Savagery and Storm Spread.

  • Relic - Eye of the Storm Nice mid-level Lightning relic. Lot’s of damage and also attack speed and +1 Shaman skills, def worth crafting. Leveling wise Vendetta/Vengeance are fine too but I don’t think second one is worth crafting even as placeholder.

  • Rings - I am using Coven’s faction blue rings and they are pretty decent for any lightning build. Living rings farmed from Ashes of Malmouth content with lightning/elemental affixes are absolutely best in slot. Also great is purple Kelpath Zoth ring.

  • Medal - Mark of the Shadow QueenCrafted, faction recipe from Bysmiel. Nice placeholder until you can farm Korvaak’s brand random purple medal, which is one of the crucial items for this build, with it’s mod to Savagery.

  • Amulet - Aetherbolt Pendant crafted (with stun) recipe from Coven. Another item boosting Box and providing +1 Inquistor’s skills. For leveling you can use one of the green amulets boosting either class. For end game best in slot item is random dropped Stromseer Sapphire and it’s great mod to Strom Spread.

  • Belt - Bysmiel Lethal Girdle from Bysmiel rep and it’s crafted. Main appeal is the +1 Shaman class and chance to roll decent affixes. For end game Arcanoweave is random blue belt +1 both classes, great fit here. You can also use purple Storm Shepard belt, if you have it.

  • Helmet - Fettan Mask for Star Wars. And for +1 both classes. Great budget item for any build and it’s guaranteed drop in Forgotten Gods area. For end game build BiS is Horns of Korvaak, this helmet is one of the best items in the game (quote from Banana Peel) and boosts Savagery damage.

  • Chest&Shoulders - both are Coven Warder from Coven rep again… starting to see a trend. For chest there are few good options, end game is using Eastern chest and pants for 2pcs set bonus, Shoulders, you can use your most fitting green monster infrequent item here.

  • Gloves - Plagueguard crafted shoulders. The base have attack speed and physical resistance. Good item to cover resistances. If they have attack speed suffix is even better! Best item - Cindertouch gloves!

  • Pants - Solael green pants, they are very good way to cover your resistances and also they have innate bonus to life steal (much needed stat) and freeze resistance.

  • Boots - Elite Legion boots, since it was absent from the rest of my gear . End game build is using random purple Primordial Rage, which also have stun resistance and physical res as well.

  • Movement rune - I used Bull Rush for leveling, low level charging rune. For end game you have plenty of options. I like Amatok’s Breath for freezing enemies but also Rahn’s is option for lightning builds.


Devotion map for this build have few mandatory picks. Widow for - lightning resistance reduction, also Kraken is really crucial for any 2H build and Hydra boosting ranged chars. One source of flat RR is needed, here’s Revenant, which also increases attack speed and life steal. For defense I’ve picked Ghoul/Turtle combo. So, after taking these you have limited choice about he lightning devotions you can take. I’ve picked Tempest and Ultos. If you sacrifice Ghoul or Turtle is possible to take Korvaak or Spear for more aggressive map. I personally prefer safer route for chars with subpar gear.

Unlike most of my guides, the devotion map isn’t straightforward, so you need be careful with steps. There are few ways this map can be reached during leveling, I took early Ghoul/Toad/Hydra eg. devotions granting life steal. If you are inexperienced, having good life steal (passive defense) can help you avoid dying until you learn a bit game mechanics and other stuff. For more experienced players I can suggest rushing for Kraken/Widow.

  • Red crossroad affinity
  • Ghoul, attach proc to Mogdrogen’s Pact+remove red point
  • Purple crossroad affinity
  • Toad+remove purple
  • Quill
  • Blue crossroad affinity
  • Eel+remove blue
  • Kraken
  • Widow, attach proc to Savagery+remove Eel
  • Tempest
  • Jackal
  • Revenant, remove Ghoul’s lower right node (not the proc ofc)
  • Yellow crossroad affinity
  • Turtle+remove yellow
  • Ultos to the proc

You will need 500+ to wear ranged weapon, so you need few points in cunning. Physique, depending on your armor. You can also put points here for extra health and defensive ability. Rest can go in spirit for extra damage. I’ve put more points compared to end game build, since the damage without top gear is low. For leveling I don’t see point is spirit besides to use jewels and caster armor. Cunning to use ranged weapons and rest is in physique.


  • I will show you how I leveled this character, it’s not mandatory to follow it, but you can see which skill/stats to prioritize. If you find the logic behind them, you can level your next characters without guides.

  • If you prefer to watch leveling video instead check wonderful video(s) from RektbyProtoss in youtube!

  • In GT links click on upper left corner to change difficulty.

  • GT 10 - Shaman, Level 10 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com) *GT not showing all of my items for some reason

  • Start with Shaman mastery if you want to level it in similar way to the end game build. Mix progressing in mastery with putting one point in WInd Devil, Mog Pact, Brute Force and Feral Hunger. More points in Savagery and 3/3 Might of Bear. Filter out other weapons and use whatever 2H range weapon you can drop.


GT - Vindicator, Level 20 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

More points in Savagery and unlock Raging Tempest. Max it ASAP, since it’s your earliest source of - resistance reduction. One point in Tenacity, Upheavel, Heart of the Wild. You can unlock anytime now Inquisitor mastery bar. 1 point in Ranged Expertise increases attack speed, which is quite low at this moment. At this point, you should have item in every slot (well maybe besides relic) You need to update your gear and use/craft components. Prioritize armor components with resistances on them.


Savagery is maxed now (16/16) and also I started pumping Brute Force for flat lightning damage and extra health. Health is excellent defensive buffer. Also more points in Inquisitor’s mastery bar and 1 point in Renewal and Deadly Aim. My idea is to rush and max Inquisitor, because of the Aura of Censure. Extra mastery points provide stats as well. Hell Bane’s ammo, combined with decent weapon can increase your damage and you should be able to one shot trash mobs. Imperative to have component in every item slot.


Continue with Inquisitor’s mastery bar and put 1 point in every useful skill on your way - Seal/Renewal nodes and WPS skills. Look for faction items and components from Devil’s Crossing and Rovers. You can craft relic - Vendetta or Gunslinger’s Talisman. Also you should craft Solar belt for juicy +1 Shaman skills.


At this point you should have all 55 devotion points and start gearing towards main build. Some of the end game items are available at level 84. You should use armor augments on all slow slots and focus more on damage unlike earlier levels.

Factions selection

Common question among new players is, which factions should be selected. It’s not really that important, except of course that it;s be friendly with Barrowholm and Outcast. Outcast have few decent faction items for leveling btw.

  • Kymon over Death Vigil for Holy Inquisitor’s cosplay. And few faction items during leveling.

  • Cults, eventually should max them, not super important which one you pick.

Stats Priority
  • You should always focus first to cover your resistances. Early on prioritize that on all armor, later you can get help from components/augments and start progressively to use most of your slots for items with % elemental/Lightning damage. Flat damage is really important for this build. Every value (even tiny amount) is helpful. For this build you need lot’s of OA to crit and trigger Upheavel, so it’s fairly important. Then life steal is important for survival. Since build have low armor, you need good amount of physical resistance. Slow is important for any auto-attacker and stun for any character. Gear with ‘‘Thunderstruck’’ prefix is really helpful for both damage and stun. Health on this char is high by default and you shouldn’t prioritize in gear that much. Defensive ability is nice but not that important stat.

End Game Build

End game is prominent top 20 best builds entry by @eardianm . It have many variations and gear/devotions are versatile. Here’s the version I’ve played during top 20 tests.

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

If you have any questions regarding this build, go bother him. :rofl:

The end!


I like how balanced the build is. Massive amount of Life Steal, Word of Renewal second heal, Ghoul and Turtle. New players are going to have a great time. And a ton of information as always.

Don’t we want Malmouth Arcane Seal to get that 9th Savagery charge?



a guide for a 2h ranged build :champagne:

1 Like

MORE ADDED. Can’t believe I missed that! Left few of these, since I wrote the guide in the course of two days. Thanks for notifying me.

About Malmouth Arcane Seal, I like the combo of the two Coven seals, they give nice bit of stats but extra charge to Savagery is definitely appealing.

Yeah, these are rare. Outside of the Desolator I can’t think of other recent ones. Arcanoweaver Purifier should also be good, maybe in the future would try that. :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Nery, i’m newbie and i have a question!
Between this build and Desolator , which deal more dame

1 Like

Hi, Desolator have the advantage of being faction recipe crafted legendary weapon, so Purifier with it should deal more damage than improvised version with Sparkthrower. But if you already have Evoker, situation changes. For end game setup Evoker Vindicator is better than Desolator Purifier.

1 Like

I just played again for one day and i have no legend items
Should i try Desolator first or Evoker!

Both are good options. Desolator is fire and Vindicator is lightning. Choose whatever you like to play and don’t worry about results. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Many thanks!!! :grin:

1 Like

Thanks for posting this I wanted to try something for the “Community Season 4” standalone download, and since I am starting with nothing AND want something new, this could work!

It sounds like a lot of fun tbh, I havent done a “gun build” just a Deathknight Forcewaver, a Pet Conjurer, and a EoR Shieldbreaker! :open_mouth:

1 Like

A build with Desolator deals far less DPS. I’ve tried both, and Desolator is fine, has good AoE and is very flashy due to explosive fire procs all over the screen, but Evoker of Elgoloth is much better DPS-wise.
I think, even with decent Sparkthrower. Lightning Savagery it will outperform Desolator.

IMO, you shouldnt bind Revenant to Upheaval, it wont trigger often enough, because other WPS take priority over it. Upheaval procs only from non-WPS attacks, and only on critical hit, and then you have only 20% chance to summon skellies… Actually, you shouldnt get Upheaval at all. And why bind your devotion procs to stuff like Inquisitor’s Seal and Wind Devil, when you have Chilling Rounds and Storm Spread free?
BTW, why did you put so few points into other WPS? Does it feel good to trigger non-WPS attack so often? With several extra points you can get +10% WPS proc chance and much higher damage on them too. You can just get rid of Maelstrom and remove 8 points from Shaman mastery, it isnt as if you need them badly anyways.

That’s not how Upheaval procs devotions (it can proc them even if you have 0% crit chance) - more info here Upheaval devo proccing test results

so in this build Upheaval attempts to proc devo on 52% Savagery attacks
while Storm Spread will have 4 proc attempts on 20% Savagery attacks

so the first one will proc Skellies on 10.4% Savagery attacks
and the 2nd one on 11.8% Savagery attacks according to my math

so Storm Spread turns out to be slightly better in the OP Grim Tools at proccing assuming you hit with with with all Storm Spread projectiles

Even in that case, with 90%+ chance to trigger WPS it wont have a very good proc rate either. Vindicator has 4 WPS, not just 1 or 2. With all your WPS capped properly you have 27+22+21+22=92% WPS trigger chance, and only 8% trigger chance for non WPS attack eligible for Upheaval. Unless you intentionally underlevel your WPS and severely cripple your DPS (as you did in your build).

Have you missed Feral Hunger? Or did I looked at a different build?

[btw: Do you know if Upheaval is as “wave like attack” (each hit enemy has it own trigger prop) or a “one hit area attack” (only one trigger prob per hit, independent from the number of hit enemies)?]

Is there such a thing as “only one trigger prob per hit, independent from the number of hit enemies” in this game?

(this is what I meant)

Ok, but you should state it properly. As far as i know, Upheaval is a circular AoE that hits all enemies at once, so Assassin’s Mark will trigger only once per activation. Though you should care about that only with physical build, not lightning one. Procs with low % chance to activate (Aetherfire, Wendigo) still benefit greatly from hitting multiple targets (as it increases chances to trigger), and other procs with 100% activation on crit (Ultos, Tempest) have cooldowns and wont trigger more than once anyways.

yes, sorry, so Uphaveal is about 2 times worse at proccing than what I wrote

no, I don’t think so

However since Upheaval devo procs are kinda independent from the actual damage / visual / skill perhaps it doesn’t get any more proc chances when Upheaval actually occurs (and possibly hits more enemies) :thinking:

I’m levelling this build atm (SSF, lvl 96 right now) and can confirm that Upheaval triggers Revenant reliably, I always have like 4-5 Skellies with me. The only issue I have is that I couldn’t get the weapon as of now, but that’ll always be a problem with SSF builds ^^


Great guide! If let’s say you’re using Primal Strike instead of Savagery, what items/devotion would you change? Skills I can figure out by myself.

1 Like