[] Beginner's DW ranged physical Warlord A.K.A How to grow a banana yourselves!


  • Warlord (Soldier+Oathkeeper) is an extremely popular class and there are a number of viable builds for this particular mastery - tanks, 2H melee or caster, retal chars and yes, ranged builds. This is a build using 2x target farmable monster infrequent green pistols - Viper Sandpitters. This guide will show you how to level a ranged character from the start (not that this is a bright idea), budget build and there’s the prospect of building a very strong end game farming build. *This build is made for, but should be viable for next patch as well.

  • Why this concept works? Well, for ranged auto-attacking build you need… ranged attack, this function is fulfilled by Righteous Fervor. You need WPS (weapon pool skills) and both masteries can provide that. Oathkeeper also have - RR (resistance reduction), and Soldier have overall excellent support for a physical based build.

Main Build

  • pic with permanent buffs only

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Since this build is ‘‘budget’’, you can’t expect same results of abuild with BiS gear. And I don’t want to give this build a score. It’s capable of doing SR 65/66 but you should take Nemeses only 1vs1. I was able to tank foes like Kaisan, Maiden and Fabius with this setup. Video demonstration from SR. GD Beginner’s physical DW ranged Warlord SR 65 - YouTube

This build is also pretty solid for farming campaign content, like monster totems and dungeons. This is video from a fight with Morgoneth, facetanking. GD Beginner’s physical DW ranged Warlord vs Morgoneth - YouTube


  • Righteous Fervor - Main attack. Scales with attack speed and can trigger WPS. Max first node, Consecration sits well at 11/12 or 13/12 and single point in third node.

  • Ascension - Nice skill with damage absorb, but build don’t have cooldown reduction to utilize it fully. Few points in first node and single one in second.

  • Vire’s Might - Mobility skill to escape from dangers and proc devotions. One point per each node.

  • WPS - Ideally you want to have 100% counting all weapon pool skills. Plunderer talisman have 25% chance to proc, if used. That means 75% coming from Smite, Markovian and Zolhan. Zolhan and Smite takes priority. Zolhan is boosted pretty hard by the weapons and Smite is pretty good on its own, even without modifiers.

  • Exclusive skill - You need exactly one exclusive skill (it wouldn’t be ‘‘exclusive’’ otherwise ofc) and Divine Mandate seems the correct one, flat and % damage, but also slow resistance and nice crit modifier. Oleron extra chunks of OA seems very appealing as well, but it’s generally better to secure OA from other sources and take Mandate. Also, Mandate is a natural fit for physical Warlords, since you need to reach the end of OK’s mastery bar in order to take Celestial Presence.


  • Weapons - Viper Sandspitters - The build defining weapons, dropped from Viper enemies, also sold by Morgonenth’s dungeon vendor (something, something Lost Oasis). Look for a suffix with attack speed and possibly physical damage prefix. From all of my gear used, only rare affix is Tyrant prefix on one of the weapons. It’s superb for damage reduction. If you don’t have it, you need either War Cry skill or at least an Attuned Lodestone component in the amulet. Do note, that end game builds usually have 1x Sandspitter and 1x other weapon like Deathdealer or Havoc. But 2x of this weapon is more than viable!

  • Relic - Plunderer’s Talisman Build needs a way to wear 2x ranged weapons and this was my solution, since the other options like Gunslinger Jacket and Korvaak’s Brand medal are random drops. End game builds are usually using the Jacket, paired with Oleron relic or Honor.

  • Rings - Coven Storm Seals From Coven reputation, cheap option. For end game, MI Gargabol ring with good rolls is BiS and also Black Matriarch is pretty good.

  • Medal - Rylok Crest Farmed from Chtonics winged enemies. It’s just green medal to cover stats, mod is pretty ‘‘meh’’. For end game build, especially with different relic, BiS is random purple Markovian Stratagem.

  • Amulet - Bloodsurge Crafted amulet, recipe is faction bought. It has +1 Soldier skills and nice proc. For leveling Mogara is also pretty good choice and for end game Kaisan amulet is perhaps BiS.

  • Belt - Stoneplate Waistguard Crafted yellow crafted belt with +1 Soldier and innate crowd control resistances. For end game build is tough to build well rolled Gargoyle Girdle, since it does have +1 Oathkeeper skills. For levelling, Ugdenbog Girdle is pretty good and drop in abundance.

  • Helmet - Fettan’s Mask Helm with +1 all skills and slow resistance, guaranteed drop from FG content area. For end game build, the best item is perhaps Okaloth’s Visage with its strong mod to Smite. Item is farmed from FG area boss with same name. Markovian’s helmet is also very strong, especially with different relic, you need to inject steroids in Markovian’s advantage.

  • Chest&Shoulders - Coven Combatants from Coven reputation, yet again. Thank you, Coven gals for sponsoring this build! Shoulders are particular nice for budget build with +3 RF bonus. For end game build Gunslinger’s Jacket is an excellent item and for shoulders slot, Nemesis MI item or Korvan Spaulders.

  • Gloves - Plagueguards crafted gloves. Plagueguard or Emberguard with attack speed should do the trick. The main appeal is the base physical resistance.

  • Pants - Solael green pants, they are very good way to cover your resistances, and also they have bonus to life steal and freeze resistance. End game builds seems to take random blue Bladeguard pants, because they have bonuses to Markovian/Smite WPS.

  • Boots - Dreadnoughts random blue boots, excellent fit for this build, they to drop pretty often, it seems. You know, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when life gives you shoes, you make… soup, GJ Charlie Chaplin. If you don’t have them though, you can craft Stoneplate and hope RNG Jesus loves you today.

  • Movement rune - I used Bull Rush for levelling, low level charging rune. For end game, Violent Delight. Next patch, you will have the option to use a new Dodge skill, we will see how it will impact builds in GD.


Every build needs to take its - RR option in devotion tree, for physical it’s Assassin’s Mark. One source of flat RR is also needed, physical builds usually take Scales, also this constellation is a nice source of sustain, the energy leech is also helpful. Maul is also great devotion for any physical build, armour shred and extra dosage of sustain. Turtle and Crab were buffed, and they are valuable defensive devotions. Here are the devotions in order of taking them during the levelling phase.

  • Yellow crossroad affinity
  • Assassin’s Mark, attach proc to RF + remove yellow
  • Turtle, assign proc to a skill like Virtue and not like Resilience
  • Red crossroad affinity
  • Jackal + remove red
  • Green crossroad affinity
  • Fox + remove green
  • Hydra
  • Crane
  • Scales, attach proc to permanent passive skill
  • Stag+remove Crane
  • Wraith
  • Maul, attach proc to Vire’s Might
  • Crab, assign proc to permanent passive skill
  • Ulzaad, assign proc to your secondary movement skill + remove Fox
  • Azrakaa to the proc WITHOUT the uppermost node. Proc should go to Zolhan.


You will need few points in spirit to wear jewellery, maybe few points in physique to wear armour. But all other points should be invested in cunning. More cunning=more OA and more physical damage. For levelling, I tried splitting points between phys and cunning in 50/50 ratio. When you reach max level and have clear idea, what items you will use, you can use a potion to reset your attributes and fully commit to cunning.


  • Tried to level this character as ranged as similar as possible to the end game build. Since this isn’t Inquisitor, you can’t DW ranged weapons from the start, I started with 2H ranged weapon. Tbh, it’s pretty miserable experience early on, low single target damage and virtually non-existent AoE. Build is massively improved around level 25 with DW guns and starts to shine, when you can max Divine Mandante and Celestial Presence. If you are not obsessed with playing the build in similar fashion from the start, please level with different skill. Preferably, follow a generic Soldier guide, like Forcewave or Blade Arc. But my dedication (mixed with masochism) required me to play with RF from the start.

  • 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 - Warlord, Level 10 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

  • Start with Oathkeeper and RF skill, put few points there. You should advance in this mastery. More mastery points=better stats early on. One point in other skills like Virtue, Smite and Vire’s Might. At level 10 you can unlock Soldier (optional) and put 1 point in Markovian for an extra WPS.


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

  • At this point, you should max RF main skill. If you have energy problems, more points in Virtue main node. Virtue also increases offensive ability, you need that anyway. If energy is still a problem, use components like Ectoplasm/s. More points in OK mastery bar and 1 point in skills like Ascension, Resilience and other secondary skill nodes. More points in Smite for better chance to trigger and extra damage. At that point area damage is pretty limited, so Smite is needed. You should have item in every slot (besides the relic) and aslo don’t neglect components.
  • GT 30 - Warlord, Level 30 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

  • More points in OK mastery bar, my idea was to reach Mandate ASAP. Max Smite, invest points in Consecration for better attack speed. After you defeat (crush) Warden you can chat with the Emissary and start doing FG quest line. You need to farm 2x Sandspitters. DW these guns and craft your first relic - Gunslinger’s Talisman. These items will significantly increase your damage output! Also you can craft Oleron weapon component and use granted skill versus tough bosses for gigachad damage reduction.

  • GT 40 - Warlord, Level 40 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

  • Max Consecration and Virtue and you should reach the end of OK’s mastery bar. You need just a single point in Guardians of Empyrion first node, so you can unlock Celestial Presence. Also take Mandate for exclusive skill. Check Rovers and Devil’s Crossing quartemasters, they sell some decent level 35/40 gear. At this point, your resistances shouldn’t have gaping holes. Ideally, you should have 80/close to 80 in all of the main ones. Gear with physical resistance is also helpful. Watch out for reflect heroes, they can be pretty nasty!


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 armour augments on all slow slots and focus more on damage, unlike earlier levels.


Common question among new players is, which factions should be selected. It’s not really that important, except of course, you should be friendly with Barrowholm and Outcast.

  • Kymon or Death Vigil? For this build doesn’t make big difference, decided to pick Kymon.

  • 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 % physical/trauma damage. Flat damage is important for any auto-attack build. You need lot’s of OA to crit and proc Assassin’s Mark devotion, for level 100 you need at least 3k. Life steal is important for your survival, luckily you can get some of it from devotions. You need good amount of physical resistance for this build, ideally paired with decent levels of armour with 100% armor absorb for level 100 character. Slow is important for any auto-attacker and stun for any character. High healh pool is needed to overcome unlucky crits and burst damage. Warlords have good HP by default. For max level, you need at least 16-17k, but if you can reach 20, even better.

End Game Build

For the end game build with optimal gear, you should check this build by @mad_lee, inspired by the award-winning Banana build!

[] THIS WARLORD IS BANANAS! 4:20 Crucible Gladiator 150-170, Celestials, SR 90 easy one button endgame destroyer Physical gunner Warlord - Grim Dawn / Classes, Skills and Builds - Crate Entertainment Forum


Great guide - I would likely have used a gun / shield build early to use the Safeguard flat damage (and the armor surely does also help) - e,g. something like this Oathkeeper, Level 10 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

And now, we have a ranged dw Cadence and a ranged dw RF Warlord for levelling - nobody should say, that we don’t provide “options” her :slight_smile:

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Ty! Yes, we have more variety for ranged guides now. DW Ranged Cadence and RF and also your Desolator Purifier and my lightning Vindicator for 2H.

As for why I haven’t used gun and Safeguard, it would’ve complicated the guide and after going DW, had to remove points from Safeguard. 2H ranged, before going DW is more straightforward to follow.

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I have about 300 hours in GD but have never managed to see the endgame and the high level itemization I see in builds. I’m going to try to push for it with this build. Thank you for providing a guide for me to follow. =)

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I love this guide!, I can reach to lvl 26 (force wave 2h to reach 25, then respec) but my current problem is where to farm the viper guns, I try to look at internet without success, con you bright me some light with that?
Thanks got your job

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Weapons drop in FG area from viper enemies. You need to talk with emissary and start FG quest line. Here’s the weapon in GT. Click on dropped from, then you can check spawn locations from each monster dropping it. Viper Sandspitter - Items - Grim Dawn Item Database (grimtools.com)

Also sold by merchant in Morgonenth’s dungeon. But since it is kinda of a quest line, didn’t want to spoil it. You can find information online, how to access it.

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