Part two of my controller friendly build series: Rah’zin’s/Harbinger Witchblade
7/12/2020: Major Edit: updated for SR80 clear, plus changes to guide format.
3/20/2023: updated with Crate of Entertainment kill.
4/04/2023: updated with Callagadra Kill.
11/22/2023: updated for 220.127.116.11, reworked to clear SR90.
Don’t be fooled by the low sheet DPS. This build hits like a truck dropped off a skyscraper. Doom Bolt more than lives up to its name.
It also should be said that this build isn’t entirely controller friendly. It clearly works with a controller, since that’s all I use, but using a controller results in plenty of missed Doom Bolts, errant attack targeting, and wasted WPS.
Update for 18.104.22.168: with SR>79 now giving rewards, this build had room for growth. Since this was one of my first builds, it turned out that there was room for improved defense without losing damage.
Update for 22.214.171.124: this build has received a few direct buffs, none of which affect the playstyle. Doom Bolt has a slightly larger radius, which is nice. More importantly, however, the change to projectiles on WPS means that it’s stronger, and can substantially benefit from Pyroclasm Mark.
126.96.36.199 grimtools link. Get one stun and two physical resist crafting bonuses, or 3 physical resist and put a runebound topaz into combustion band. [I’m actually running 3 armor, but that’s because my luck is awful]
Screenshot with Blood of Dreeg active, Abominable Might inactive (would bring DPS to 137716)
Playstyle: cast Curse of Frailty, cast doom bolt, shoot until you’re in danger, back up and repeat.
After getting frustrated with purifier builds, I started looking for a ranged build that could kite freely - neither relying on inquisitor seal for defense (and offense!), nor thermite/hellfire mines. Not finding one, but seeing the synergy between Rah’zin’s, The Harbinger, and Witchblade, I made this build. Later I found out that there was a deceiver version of this build, but although it looks similar, it actually plays very different: when doing hard content (such as high SR), the deceiver is only strong when it’s inside inquisitor seal. Enemies which are fast and strong will pose a tremendous threat, whereas the Witchblade version can safely kite away, using its health regen and the lifesteal on doom bolts to stay alive in the process. This allows the Witchblade to defeat extremely tough (IE unlucky) enemy combinations, which would simply steamroll a deceiver. With Pyroclasm Mark, the WPS gets to 90%, and the build has some mild multi-target damage.
I was able to do SR90 with only a single consumable on shard 3, but I felt like this build was approaching its limit. That said, I think that this build could clear SR95, and perhaps I’ll try it at some point. It will take some luck with mutators and bosses, and possibly better micromanagement than I’m capable of with my controller.
As for Mad Queen, this wasn’t anything special; it was just the first clear with neutral mutators. <5s should be possible.
I don’t do crucible, but I can’t imagine this having trouble with it. This build frequently does 1,000,000 damage in a single frame, thanks to doom bolt.
Crate of Entertainment
Obviously wasn’t my first attempt, but that only makes it harder since the fight started with crates spawned around the map. Wasn’t thrilled about the mutators either. Only used one consumable though.
The build as modified for Callagadra: Witchblade, Level 100 (GD 188.8.131.52) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator, back in 184.108.40.206
No consumables required. Took me only two tries. I would’ve gotten it the first time, but apparently Callagadra can heal 50% of its health if you kite it next to a monster pack. That happened twice, and, more than 50,000,000 damage in, I eventually made a mistake. Once all the monsters were cleared out, it just took a while. I only have my computer set up to record 2 minutes at a time, but the final two minutes aren’t very different from all the ones before.
Fight tips: clear the area BEFORE summoning Callagadra. Kite like crazy. The area has a few dead ends, so make sure you avoid those. You can be at the edge of melee range and be OK, but don’t let Callagadra get on top of you. Calla’s teleport has limited range, so if you need to you can just run far away until your heals are back up. Avoid the minions Calla summons. They don’t look like much, but they will kill you. And be patient. It will take a while.
Offense: if you’re using a controller, make sure doom bolt goes where you want it to go.
Defense: a good doom bolt gives a ton of healing, so don’t underestimate that. Unlike inquisitor ranged builds, you don’t need to stand in inquisitor seal for your defense. That’s what makes this so strong. For survival, the best thing to do is almost always to keep moving and trust your health regen, using doom bolt on cooldown, but only shooting when absolutely safe.
As usual, the resists are overcapped to deal with resist reduction on high SR.
- Rah’Zin’s: core
- Harbinger: core
Stuff I’m pretty sure is best in slot:
- Voidheart: Chaos RR, +2 to posession, bleed resist, and up to 30% fire converted to chaos (which affects combustion band and seal of the burning void)
- Combustion Band: Chaos RR, and much needed attack speed, defensive ability, and elemental resist, and the health and casting speed aren’t bad either.
- Pyroclasm Mark: I was using Black Star of Deceit before the changes to penetration on WPS on one of the big patches. With that change, Pyroclasm mark is stronger. It may not give you important lifesteal, but the build can lack in multi-target damage, and Pyroclasm mark makes a substantial difference there.
- Serenity: I was torn between this, Solael’s Decimation, and Eldritch Pact. Ultimately, for SR90+, the defenses from Serenity are crucial. The build is more fun with one of the other options though.
- Demonbone Legplates: has a lot of great stats, and the chaos nova should help clear swarms, which is where this build struggles.
- Footpads of the Grey Magi: has a bunch of good stats, but anything with trap resist would work. Windshear greaves are tempting for the attack speed buff. That said, trap resist is essential, since this build needs to keep moving to survive.
- Rune of Murmur’s Kiss: gives damage reduction and OA reduction, so it’s great when your back is (literally) against a wall, espcially during the downtime on War Cry’s debuff. It does, however, sometimes fail to cast, when I don’t appear to be crowd controlled. I don’t know if that’s my game, or my character, or my computer, but it is a problem.
There is a ton of room for flexibility in these devotions, but these choices work.
Ghoul: pretty much necessary for defense
Solael’s witchblade: obvious chaos RR
Kraken: necessary for attack speed.
Everything else is optional, but I highly recommend abomination since it gives about a 20% damage boost, and increases health regen.
more questionable choices:
Hydra: lifesteal, damage, and slow resist. You could probably get by without this to be honest.
Chariot of the Dead: switched to this for 220.127.116.11, and I like the result. The OA and slow res are a pretty big deal, and the uptime on the ability is good.
I leveled this a while ago, so I don’t remember too many details on how it went.
For devotions, get solael’s witchblade ASAP, and then get Abomination ASAP so you can get to work on leveling it, since it requires so much xp to max.
For skills, you can do pretty well with cadence + zolhan’s + markovian’s, putting points into defenses as necessary
For items, the level 75 harbinger set should be pretty good, but anything with chaos damage will work. Aside from the hydra and kraken devotions, there’s nothing that necessitates using a 2h ranged weapon until you have the harbinger set. If you want to use melee there are a ton of good options, though Servitor’s Corruptor strikes me as particularly strong. If you want a shield, Obsidian Defender stands out. For ranged, Curse of Burrwitch looks like the best 2h option, while Witchstalker and Exterminus look like the best 1h options, with Bloodsworn Repeater an alternative once you have doom bolt.
Final note: If you get a good crucible or SR clear, let me know and I can update the build. Suggestions are welcome.