[] Thor, the Strongest Avenger: 4:20 Crucible Gladiator 150-170, Shard 90, Celestials, the ultimate melee - physical Archon; last build by mad_lee + unreleased builds

*When your Judicator set procs

**Credit for the picture goes to Brightstar2003 on DevianArt


Hey everyone, this is going to be my last build guide post before retiring. Making endgame builds in Grim Dawn has been my hobby for almost five years now and while my journey here had its ups and downs I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since it’s indeed my last build guide, I thought of telling a little bit about myself - a person behind the controversial forum personna you know as Mad_Lee. I am a Russian-Israeli filmmaker, based in Berlin, Germany. I am 36 years old, married, I love books and movies and good music. Besides computer games my second favorite hobby is boxing (which I’ve been doing for over 10 years now) and of course I love traveling whenever I get a chance.

Well, enough about me, let’s talk a bit about this build. Avenger Archon is far from something original and new. @banana_peel made his version quite some time ago, as I am sure many other builders did too. Even I fiddled with the concept in the times of “magical” physical damage meta. Lately I have been coming back to Avenger Archon trying all different kinds of specs, even the one that had Storm Totems for more aoe. While all the specs are more than viable (because of how strong the set and physical damage are), they all fell a bit less than fully optimal. Well that was before I tried using good old Judicators.

The Build Update!

No need to farm for new items or anything, but we are changing our devotions to answer the challenges of the new patch. Build feels much tankier and smoother than before with the same damage output.

<<<< GRIMTOOLS >>>>*

OLD Grimtools Patch

OLD Grimtools Patch

*craft for slow resistance, stun resistance and armor

**For the Ravager fight you can use 3x Steelbloom Powder augments in jewelry

Hammering down important questions

Judicators rings are bis here? Really? Why?

Well, it allows us to skip Scales (because we have flat RR on the ring set bonus) and go full damage in devotions. It also has in-build damage reduction and huge OA bonus that synergizes really well with crit damage from Divine Mandate. Even health regeneration bonus synergizes really well with our build.

But how can you say it’s the strongest Avenger build if Avenger Warder by @RektbyProtoss is obviously tankier.

His Avenger Warder is indeed tankier (and a great choice for super safe Hardcore play), however, you would only really feel this extra tankiness if you choose to go into Shards 90+ or facetank Callagadra. For 95% of the game content Avenger Archon has more than enough tankiness and damage wise it’s in a different league altogether (no disrespect to rekt’s Warder, it was built with different goals in mind).

Why aren’t you stacking armor on it? Surely it will synergize well with such high physical resistance.

Unfortunately, Archon doesn’t have means to stack armor (unlike Warder) without sacrificing too much damage. And in the end, having racial damage components yields a higher overall damage output and a higher sustain which ultimately gives build more survivability than armor stacking. You can of course make a high armor version of this build but the only part of the game content it will help with is facetanking Callagadra. For literally everything else this setup is better.

Gear/Skills and Devotions/Leveling

When it comes to gear all items are pretty much set in stone here. You can get by with different affixes on greens, but for optimal results try to replicate my grimtools as closely as possible.

Devotions are enabled by Judicators ring set. However, if you are missing the ring set, you can use a more conservative devotion map with Empyrion instead of Bear and Oleron.

Skill distribution is also pretty standard, going for Divine Mandate allows us to max out recently buffed Mogdrogen’s Pact as well as Haven and Rebuke. Primal Bond spec is also quite viable but, in my opinion, less optimal than Divine Mandate + Judicators spec.

For leveling check beginner guides, this is an endgame build


In Crucible

Build facetanks everything in buffed Crucible. “Naked” extra spawn Crucible is also quite doable, but positioning and targets prioritization will be crucial.

In Shattered Realm

Build smashes everything until Shard 90 where you have to be a bit more careful when fighting packs and dangerous Nemeses like Fabius. In SR 75-76 DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use Vire Might against Mad Queen - Volcanic Stride triggers her machine gun bullet hell which can destroy even this tank.I did Shard 100 with it couple of times, but died quite a few times while doing so, so it’s possible but requires mutator fishing and extra careful approach.

Celestial fights

Ravager is easy with pharma. Chugging Lifestealer and Hungerer Oils while having Aether Cluster on your panel just in case will also help.

Callagadra is doable with hit and run tactics. Don’t overstay your welcome tho and be sure to only fight her during Ascension.

Mogdrogen fight is very easy since he helps us by spawning adds and proccing Judicator proc. Just don’t forget to overcap Lightning resist by ~80% with the use of augments and Lightning resistance potion.

Just watch the videos to learn how to play the build.


All screenshots are taken with Savagery charges, Ascension and Judicator and Avenger set proc up

General (with all the procs up)

Defense (with all the procs up)

Videos SR 75-76 (4:59 run, short rooms) Ravager 1:26 kill SR75-76 6:25 run (no short rooms) Ravager kill 1:22 Crucible Gladiator 150-170 LUCKY 4:15 run run SR 75-76 6:20 run Crucible Gladiator 150-170 “naked” extra spawn 5:28 run Shard 90 full run one death Ravager kill 1:11 kill with OA augments Shard 100 boss room with multiple deaths Callagadra 3:14 fight Mogdrogen 1:33 kill

In Conclusion

Thanks everyone, it’s been fun! I will probably update some of my old guides once is out but overall it’s the end of my journey here.


Those are the builds that I created and tested but weren’t good enough for me to post them as separate guides.

Find the b-sides here


Good bye Mad Lee. Your builds were always welcome. Wish you all the best and see you in GD2.

PS: Played that build a year ago, but not nearly with these achievements.

Thank you for your hard work. But you can always come back whenever you want. :crying_cat_face:

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Thank you Mald_Lee, inventor of vitality damage and :bat: and 🧟‍♂ in every build.
Cairn shall remember your deeds for a thousand years.


The legend is retiring, this is offically a #deadgame now.

May the :bat: be with you!

PS: Great build btw :stuck_out_tongue:


The man. The myth. The legend. Cutter of cookies. Tamer of bats. Criticizer of the eyes. THE LOATHSOME DUNG EATER. Queen of dramas. Martyr of the battle against the dutchman. Defier of death. Lord of Beasts. Speaking through a dragon. THE ONE AND ONLY mad “guy who names a non lightning build Thor” lee

Edit: added pets


So long Mad Lee and good luck. I don’t post much but I always enjoyed seeing whatever monster build you came up with next. See you in GD2, hopefully!


Nice tour for ovations, unless Lee decides to come back from retirement, it’s modern these days. :slightly_smiling_face:

As for build itself, Avenger is obviously pretty good set and Judicator rings are fitting like a glove. Also worth mentioning last few patches did some serious boosts to Archon class.


Goodbye and thank you for your builds. Cheers

So @mad_lee was promising you a bit of an extra in the guide - a list of his builds that he didn’t bother with a separate thread for. The list is done now, you can find it here:

Find the b-sides here


This link is worth it’s own separate topic

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This build is a monster. But unfortunally I cant spend the attributes like in this build because the pants are kinda requiring itself. Got about 570 physique without pants and they need 662 and give about 100. Is there an item that I could use as a “filler” to get required physique so I can equip the pants and unequip the filler afterwards? This is the first build where I got this difficulty. So how did you manage it?

Buy some yellow item(s) that boosts Physique from a vendor

Wow the vendor items are pretty usefull … for the first time :smiley: Now I can use the full potential of my Heidi :heart: thank you


Hey guys, new to the game so sorry for the noob question.

How does he get that Amulet on when it requires 410 Spirit and he only has 406?

Stats on items can roll higher than their average value. Grimtools only calculates the average.

Ohh I see! Thank you so much :slight_smile:

Does anyone any how squeeze in +2 more savagery? The build capped at 20/16 savagery skill level. I can get +2 from a rylok crest to make it 22/16 but 2 more seems impossible.

I’m certain the build is optimized and you’re not supposed to get 24 Savagery

Ye, main damage is hard hitting WPS