[][HC] Chaos Shadow Strike Witch Hunter: DW Bloodlord’s Blade + Conduit of Night Whispers [Callagadra, Lokarr, SR76, Cr170][vid]

I played Chaos Shadow Strike Witch Hunter in non-HC.
It’s TIME to try it in Hardcore!


I had a dilemma when I was deciding on how to present this character’s leveling. On one hand, I thought about doing the usual start in Normal difficulty and with nothing at all. That is to maybe help beginners that might read the topic. On the other hand, there’s speedleveling with Lokarr set which can even start in Ultimate. I could do that since I’ve played HC before but this time I didn’t want to. I needed to stop overthinking and chose to do somewhere in the middle: Start in HC Elite difficulty Level 1 and no Lokarr set.

For beginners, you might think “The campaign run cannot be done by first character, this is not for me.” There are some “overexplained” parts here so you might still learn a thing or two especially in the Main Campaign Leveling section.

I hope this post will be interesting to everyone regardless of their current knowledge of the game.

Colored text guide:

Masteries Skill names Rarity
Nightblade from Nightblade mastery Magic
Occultist from Occultist mastery Rare
MI (same color with Augments)
Legendary MI


What makes up this build’s identity?
Low CD Shadow Strike max level with many chances of skill CD resets. Also, it deals Chaos damage.

  • Shadow Strike 1.8s CD
  • Level 26/16 Shadow Strike
  • 20% Chance of +100% Skill Cooldown Reduction to Shadow Strike
  • (2x) 12% Chance of +100% Skill Cooldown Reduction to Possession
  • % chance of -1 Second to All Currently Active Skill Cooldowns
  • % chance of -6 Seconds to All Currently Active Skill Cooldowns
  • 100% Piercing Damage converted to Chaos Damage to Shadow Strike
  • 100% Cold Damage converted to Chaos Damage to Shadow Strike

In-game character sheet (with temporary buffs)

Character sheet with permanent + temporary buffs (Pneumatic Burst and Blood of Dreeg)

“Timelord Ekkhrono will assassinate Bloodlord Thalonis numerous times as he hunts for Bloodlord’s Blade with specific affixes. Proven by what he did in an alternate world [Apparently, he was a female in the non-HC world], it is by his judgment that Celestial bosses die. Can he do it again? Now, he only has one life but maybe that’s all the TIME that he needs.”


Elite and Ultimate difficulty campaign (Normal was skipped)
Callagadra, Scion of the Sands
Ultimate SR 76
Gladiator Crucible 170


Time Assassin play style!
Shadow Strike is a gap closer and also like the main attack because of CD resets. Use Pneumatic Burst and Blood of Dreeg before fighting as these skills buff up some offensive stats and give health regen. These are also used as healing skills. Upon Rylok Wings (Rune of the Dark Progenitor granted movement skill) can be used as gap closer, monster OA and DA reducer, and it is another way to reset Shadow Strike because it is bound to Time Dilation. WPS such as Burning Void, Belgothian’s Shears, Amarasta’s Quick Cut, Whirling Death, and Execution are used on default weapon attacks while Shadow Strike is on CD. Area damage is decent enough because of Nightfall and some WPS hitting multiple targets.

Fighting :skull:Bosses :skull: or :star:Heroic monsters :star:
Shadow Strike in as gap closer, Upon Rylok Wings directly to reduce OA and DA of the monster, then continue holding LMB where Shadow Strike is assigned. Either Shadow Strike keeps on resetting or WPS will be used if Shadow Strike goes on CD. Maintain the uptime of Upon Rylok Wings’ debuff. It lasts for 3s and the base CD of the skill is 3.5s. If ever the skill’s CD got reset because of Time Dilation, don’t use it again right away. Check the debuff icons under the health bar of the boss then use the debuff again at the last second before it expires. OA and DA debuff icons look like this:
If you don’t see these icons, you can enable the option if you want to:
Options → Health Bars → Display Debuffs on Target

SR bosses
Grava’Thul, the Voiddrinker Don’t catch the nullify orb! When the boss flexes his arms posing as if it’s a Super Saiyan :rofl:, charges an attack, and then a red orb comes out homing towards you, better stay away from that.
Zantarin, the Immortal Avoid the projectile burst shotgun Sunder attack.
Moosilauke, the Chillwind Make sure Hoarfrost Ointment is active for reduced freeze duration.
Kaisan, the Eldritch Scion spawns Eldritch Shards that can put -10% Health debuff. You either get out of their range or destroy them right away.
Benn’Jahr, the Colossal spawns Obsidian Clusters that detonate on death [Sould I call it “death-onate”?]. You can tank a few clusters while fighting but not too many.
Fabius “the Unseen” Gonzar When the boss uses Blade Barrier (Visual cue: immobilized, being surrounded by blades, and does not take any damage), stop attacking until it expires. If you attack while the skill is ongoing, you’ll take reflected damage and Piercing retaliation damage.
Archmage Aleksander In case you get hit by a big projectile from the sky, you’ll survive the hit. If there are no other threats, you can continue fighting. But if there are, retreat for a while, let the Sunder debuff expire, then go back in the fight.
The Iron Maiden You can fight head-on.
Other bosses seem manageable enough.

Target selection/priority while fighting
When fighting large groups of monsters, you should look out and try to immediately eliminate the following:
Heroic monsters with Arcane modifier
Any other Heroic monsters

Arcane monsters are top priority because getting Nullified is arguably the 2nd worst thing for this character (1st is of course Death :skull:). Nullify is a huge nerf to both defense and offense. Losing important defense stats such as 25% Damage absorption, 14% Physical resistance, 100% Poison & Acid resistance, etc. There will be no % chance of skill CD reset from Bloodlord’s Blade because Possession is disabled. Some OA, flat and % damage, etc. are also temporarily gone. The debuff only lasts for 5 seconds but the point is try not to get Nullified because the 2nd worst thing might even lead to the worst.

Healers for obvious reasons. Any other Heroic monsters because it’s possible for them to have modifiers that buff up other monsters within its range.

You’ll be using Shadow Strike a lot. You might encounter a very rare instance wherein you Shadow Strike to a monster but then your character bugs out (character disappears, can’t move or use skills). To solve this: open your inventory, left-click any item in your current gear (weapon for example) to unequip it, then click it back to equip it. The character will appear again and can now move or use skills. Works for me everytime it happens. It’s so rare I haven’t had the chance to video record it as demonstration.


The Grimtools devotion progression recording feature was used. See Grimtools Updated Link above.
Click on the progress bar then you can either drag it or use arrow keys to move it.

If it’s a hassle to follow the recording in Grimtools, here is a guide for my devotion progression:

  • Yellow Crossroads
  • complete Tortoise (bind to Veil of Shadow)
  • remove Yellow Crossroads
  • Red Crossroads
  • complete Jackal and Sailor’s Guide
  • Green Crossroads
  • complete Hawk and Behemoth (bind to Solael’s Witchfire)
  • remove Green Crossroads
  • complete Solael’s Witchblade (bind to Shadow Strike), Wretch, and Revenant
  • remove Wretch
  • complete Lizard, Eel, and Aeon’s Hourglass (bind to medal augment movement skill)
  • 4 nodes of Dying God
  • Purple Crossroads
  • complete Empty Throne
  • remove Purple Crossroads
  • 2 more nodes of Dying God which includes the skill node Hungering Void [can’t reach the last node]

For skills bound to Revenant and Dying God, I chose the WPS with the highest % chance to be used.
While leveling: Revenant (bind to Amarasta’s Quick Cut)
With end-game gear: Dying God (bind to Execution), Revenant (bind to Belgothian’s Shears)
The priority of where to bind higher % chance to be used WPS should be Dying God. It just so happened that 2 WPS tied for highest.

Priorities for choosing devotions
Aeon’s Hourglass
[This devotion choice is for playstyle purposes rather than for min-maxing. This character is said to be a “Timelord” so of course he’ll get Aeon’s Hourglass.] :grin:
Time Dilation grants % chance on attack to -6 Seconds to All Currently Active Skill Cooldowns. The CD of main skills are 1.8s, 3.5s, 3.5s, and 10.6s. So if all skills go on CD but then Time Dilation triggers, almost all of them will be back up and can be used again. Time Dilation has its own CD which is 14.1s with my current build at max level.

Resistance reduction devotions
Solael’s Witchblade
Eldritch Fire grants % chance on attack to deal Fire damage, Chaos damage, -36% Movement speed, -23% Fire resistance, and -35% Chaos resistance.

Raise the Dead grants % chance on attack to summon Skeletons that apply 24 Reduced target’s Resistances for 1 second.

Survivability devotions
Defensive devotions such as Tortoise and Behemoth are needed because I want to survive monster attacks while also dealing with the active health cost per second of Hungering Void.
Turtle Shell is a life saver! You might not notice it but in near-death scenarios, sometimes a lot of characters survive because of Turtle Shell. In my humble opinion, Tortoise should be named the “GOAT” and Turtle Shell should be named “GOAT in the Shell”. The devotion is just so great especially in Hardcore. Aeon’s Hourglass is still “my GOAT” though. Okay, moving on. [Just some exaggerated humor here and there, nothing to worry about. I’m just having fun.] :laughing:

Empty Throne
This was picked mainly for the Stun resistance and Freeze resistance. This can arguably be replaced but without it Stun resistance will go below 80%.

Chaos damage devotions
Dying God
Hungering Void gives a huge Chaos and Crit damage buff for 20 seconds when it procs but it also has 308 Health cost per second for the whole duration at max level. Some other builds can get Dying God together with Abomination for more Chaos damage but not my build because of priorities stated above.


Using the recording feature in Grimtools might become confusing because skill bonuses (e.g., +2 to Possession) from items may vary depending on affixes. So, here is a guide for my skill progression:

  • Start as Nightblade
  • 1pt Dual Blades, Veil of Shadow, Belgothian’s Shears, Pneumatic Burst, Shadow Strike, and Breath of Belgothian
  • Shadow Strike + Nightblade mastery bar
  • 1pt Amarasta’s Quick Cut and Night’s Chill
  • Shadow Strike + Nightblade mastery bar
  • 1pt Ring of Steel and Shadow Dance
  • Shadow Strike + Occultist mastery bar
  • 1pt Solael’s Witchfire
  • Shadow Strike + Occultist mastery bar
  • 1pt Consecrated Blade and Blood of Dreeg
  • max Shadow Strike and Consecrated Blade
  • Pneumatic Burst + Occultist mastery bar
  • 1pt Second Rite
  • Pneumatic Burst + Occultist mastery bar
  • 1pt Aspect of the Guardian
  • max Pneumatic Burst
  • soft cap Aspect of the Guardian
  • Dual Blades + Occultist mastery bar until level 8 Dual Blades
  • Occultist mastery bar
  • max Possession
  • 1pt Blade Barrier, Phantasmal Armor, and Anatomy of Murder
  • Nightblade mastery bar
  • 1pt Whirling Death and Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends
  • Nightblade mastery bar
  • 1pt Elemental Awakening
  • Nightblade mastery bar
  • 1pt Circle of Slaughter
  • Nightblade mastery bar
  • 1pt Execution, Nightfall, and Blade Spirit
  • max Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends
  • soft cap Blood of Dreeg, Solael’s Witchfire, Nightfall, Dual Blades, Second Rite, Shadow Dance, and Execution
  • When I switched to end-game gear by Level 94, Ring of Steel and Circle of Slaughter were removed.
  • Dual Blades 19/16, Solael’s Witchfire 16/12, Blood of Dreeg 17/16, Shadow Dance 18/12


Bloodlord’s Blade (DW)
% Skill CD reduction, 12% Chance of +100% Skill CD Reduction to Possession, skill bonuses, Chaos damage
Prefixes to look out for: Demonic or Void-Touched
Suffixes to look out for: of the Abyss, of the Cabal, of Solael’s Malice, or of the Void
Current affixes I have are Void-Touched __ of the Abyss and Void-Touched __ of the Cabal
THE DREAM affixes are Demonic __ of the Abyss and Demonic __ of the Cabal

Conduit of Night Whispers (crafted)
Chaos damage Shadow Strike, 20% chance of Shadow Strike CD reset, +3% max all resistances, +1 to all skills in Nightblade, Health, skill bonus
Blueprint can be sold by Yurrith (Morgoneth’s Folly)

2 Mythical Sigil of the Depraved
Skill bonuses, overall stats fit well with the build, granted skill is a nice extra

(Accessories) Osyr’s Temper Faction: Cult of Dreeg (Revered)
(Weapons) Outcast’s Riftstorm Faction: The Outcast (Revered)

Belgothian’s Carnage
granted skill (33% Chance on Critical Attack) -1 Second to All Currently Active Skill Cooldowns, +1 to all skills in Nightblade, OA
Completion bonus to look out for: +1 to Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends and +1 to Night’s Chill
Getting a different completion bonus is not a big deal for the build.

Armor set:
Ember’s Calling (Helm, Chest Armor, Shoulders, and Medal)
skill modifiers particularly the -28% Chaos resistance to Veil of Shadow (-8% from Helm, -20% from 4/4 piece set effect) +1 to all skills in Nightblade and Occultist, skill bonuses, OA, DA, Chaos damage

Mythical Voidrend Talons
Chaos damage, attack speed, skill bonuses, Belgothian’s Shears Physical damage converted to Chaos

Mythical Mageguard Legguards
Physical resistance, skill bonuses, Health, granted skill [sometimes helps when overwhelmed by group of monsters, sometimes annoying when your target gets knocked away from your attack range]

Demonic Malmouth Bladed Girdle (crafted)
+1 to all skills in Nightblade, OA, Stun resistance, Chaos damage

Mythical Boots of Primordial Rage
Physical resistance, Stun resistance, Health, OA


Self challenge: start in HC Elite difficulty campaign from Level 1 and no Lokarr set (skip Normal)
[This is not my first HC character.]
Started Crucible just to access stash, got Savior’s Merit, got some Potion of Clarity, got some Medal augment movement skill, used Mandates, then exited to main menu.
Started Normal difficulty, used Savior’s Merit to unlock higher difficulties, then exited to main menu.
Started HC Elite difficulty campaign.

Here’s a list of what I generally did in the campaign. If nothing else in the list applies, I go back to #1.

  1. Questing, questing, questing. Complete quests.
  2. Level up! Put ALL attribute points to Physique.
  3. Potion of Clarity is expiring or is not active so use another one.
  4. See a shrine, restore the shrine. Update devotions.
  5. See a totem, clear the area around the totem, click totem, fight, loot.
  6. Inventory bags are full. Upgrade gear, keep important items in the shared stash, and sell unnecessary stuff.
  7. Go to Blood Grove, check Benevald if he’s offering better weapons. (applicable until Bloodlord Thalonis is reached)
  8. Farm Bloodlord Thalonis (Act 4 boss before Loghorrean) to get higher item level versions and/or better affixes.
  9. Reputation level on a Faction increased. Go to Faction quartermaster and look for anything that would improve current gear. It could be items, augments, or blueprints.
  10. Go to the blacksmith (Angrim usually), look for anything that would improve current gear, then craft.
  11. Update components and/or augments on current gear.
  12. Not enough crafting materials so go get some more.

During leveling, the character gameplay is similar. It just depends on the skills you currently have. In addition, you’ll have Ring of Steel and Circle of Slaughter for group clearing and boss fights.

In Ultimate difficulty:
Order of Death’s Vigil VS Kymon’s Chosen
I chose Order of Death’s Vigil but choosing whichever of the 2 factions is fine.

The Outcast
Friendly for Outcast’s Riftstorm weapon augment

Friendly for Ravager access

Forgotten Gods cults
Augments from the cults are helpful. It does not matter which Faction you choose for quests.
Mandates + Elite all quests + Ultimate all quests = Revered on the 3 cults
But if you don’t have mandates and really need a priority list, it can be Dreeg for Accessory augments > Solael for Armor augments > Bysmiel.
Gearing-wise, Bysmiel is the least priority. But if we’re talking about game immersion/role-playing, my first priority is Byscilla— I mean Bysmiel, right? And for 2 BIG reasons: Vanish and Leap (movement skill augments offered by Bysmiel). Y-yep, valid reasons for sure. :eyes:

Level Progression

Level 25 (Elite Act 1. 3 devotion points)


High single target damage with Shadow Strike and decent group clearing with Ring of Steel. Good survivability with Pneumatic Burst and Blood of Dreeg. Damage and attack speed buff from Solael’s Witchfire that also converts Physical damage to Chaos because of the Consecrated Blade transmuter.

DW Bloodsworn Scepter whenever available. These are either dropped from Bloodsworn monsters or bought from Benevald.
Prefixes to look out for: Demonic or Void-Touched
Suffixes to look out for: of the Abyss, of the Cabal, of Solael’s Malice, or of the Void
Prioritize prefixes because they have Physical damage converted to Chaos.

“You have a Double-rare MI weapon?!” Yes, thanks to Benevald. Our good sir just offered me a weapon with perfect affixes. Unbelievable but we take those.

Putrid Necklace (dropped from Primordian) +2 to Blood of Dreeg, +15% Crit damage to Blood of Dreeg, Health
Bladesworn Talisman Faction Blueprint: Devil’s Crossing (Respected) % All damage, OA, additional WPS

As early as Level 7, assuming you already learned the blueprint and you have enough crafting materials, consider using Scaled Hide on Pants and Shoulders because Armor absorption is really helpful. When you hover your cursor over Armor rating (found in character sheet, tab I, Combat stats), you’ll see your current Armor absorption. By default, Armor absorption is 70% as long as there is something equipped in the armor slot (0% Armor absorption if the slot is empty). Meaning, even if you have a high Armor rating it will be only 70% effective if you don’t utilize items with Armor absorption. Armor absorption maximum is 100% but getting close to that value is good enough. For example, you’ll have 98% Armor absorption when you use 2 Scaled Hides. Even if it’s usable in the chest armor slot, you might want to reserve that slot for other components. Another option is to look out for Helms with Overseer’s prefix as they have Armor absorption stat. They start to appear on items with “Required Player Level: 22” and above. Overseer’s Helm with at least 23% Armor absorption + 1 Scaled Hide = 100% Armor absorption. So, instead of a 2nd Scaled Hide, you can use a different component to fix your resistances instead.

Wardstone can also be used as early as Level 7 on Amulet and Medal. The best part about it is the 6% Movement speed (12% if you use 2) especially early game wherein you explore a lot and you don’t have movement skills yet aside from Evade. Elemental and Bleeding resistances from the component are good too.

For Rings, Corpse Dust and Soul Shard are good options.

By level 15, consider using Antivenom Salve on Belt. Why on the Belt specifically? Again, when you hover your cursor over Armor Rating, you’ll see text that says bonuses on non-armor pieces are added to all armor slots. Belt and accessories are non-armor pieces so when you use Antivenom Salve on the belt, the Armor value you get is higher. Also, the component gives Poison & Acid resistance and health regen.

Health, Resistances (max 80%), Armor, and Armor absorption are your layers of defense. And as you can see, components help a lot in improving this. So don’t just store components in the stash; feel free to use them in your playthroughs. :+1:

By level 20, you can use Mark of the Traveler on Boots for +8% Movement speed.

For components with offense stats, you can use Consecrated Wrappings on Gloves and Riftstone on Weapons. Be mindful when deciding to use Riftstone though because the granted skill needs 150 Energy reserved. There might be a case wherein your max energy is still low and the energy cost of your main skill Shadow Strike is high because it’s max level. You’ll have energy issues if you suddenly use 2 Riftstones that need a total of 300 energy reserved. This becomes less of a problem when you put more points into the Occultist mastery bar as you are getting more Spirit and Energy.

For components on Head and Chest armor, it depends on what stats you are looking for. One way to help you decide is to check which type of damage resistance you need.

Suggested components:
Silk Swatch
Kilrian’s Shattered Soul
Sanctified Bone
Unholy Inscription

Level 45 (Elite Act 2. 13 devotion points)


Run speed is getting over 135% thanks to Pneumatic Burst, devotions, and items/components. So, Wardstone can now be replaced with something else if needed.

Flat damage absorption from Turtle Shell if it triggers. % Physical resistance from Aspect of the Guardian, Dual Blades, devotions, and items with Formidable prefix. % Damage absorption, Chaos damage, and Chaos resistance from Possession. Both offense and defense are improving.

Putrid Necklace (Item Level 32 and above) now has +1 to all skills in Occultist instead of +2 to Blood of Dreeg
Rhowari Void Seal Faction: Rovers (Honored) overall stats are good for the build
Rhowari Cord Faction Blueprint: Rovers (Respected) +1 to all skills in Nightblade, Chaos damage, granted skill is a nice extra
Terror +1 to all skills in Occultist, % Reduced target’s Damage for 3 seconds, Chaos damage, granted skill is powerful
% Reduced target’s Damage and % Reduced target’s Resistance from of the Abyss weapon suffix and from the Relic do not stack (higher value takes effect). But you don’t always get lucky finding a weapon with of the Abyss suffix so I let it be.

For components, it’s still a choice between Corpse Dust and Soul Shard on Rings depending on stats that you need. By Level 27, you can consider using Mark of Mogdrogen on Boots but it’s expensive to make in terms of crafting materials.

Suggested components:
Black Tallow
Aether Soul
Chains of Oleron
Hallowed Ground
Mark of Mogdrogen

Recommended augments:
(Accessories) Rotbloom Powder Faction: Rovers (Honored)
(Weapons) Voidbeast Powder Faction: The Black Legion (Honored)

Level 60 (Elite Act 4. 24 devotion points)


2 Skill Points per level from Levels 51 to 90. Circle of Slaughter’s % chance for target to Fumble attacks for 5 seconds is good especially against bosses. A lot of health, health regen, and a powerful proc from Behemoth devotion.

Transition to DW Bloodlord’s Blade upon reaching and farming Bloodlord Thalonis.
It’s the main weapon of this build. Power spike!

Gollus’ Ring (dropped from Gollus) overall stats are good for defense
I went for a 2nd ring and called it a day regardless of affixes rolled. The base stats of the ring were good enough for me.

Belgothian’s Carnage will be the relic used from this point onwards.

Chains of Oleron on Chest armor for OA since my resistances were looking good already except for Bleeding. Prismatic Diamond on Head armor.

Level 83 (Quests in Elite difficulty done; went to Ultimate difficulty right after. 48 devotion points)


Aeon’s Hourglass, Solael’s Witchblade, and Revenant are completed. Shadow Strike now has lower CD, deals damage to the target area, and has a chance to proc Eldritch Fire because of Nidalla’s Justifiable End’s, Nightfall, and the Solael’s Witchblade devotion. Execution for additional WPS.

Malmouth Bladed Waistguard Faction Blueprint: Malmouth Resistance (Respected) +1 to all skills in Nightblade, OA

Level 75 is a huge power spike in terms of components but crafting these is also getting resource intensive.
Seal of the Void Chaos damage, % Physical damage converted to Chaos, attack speed, granted skill (WPS that deals Chaos damage)
Seal of Annihilation -10% skill energy cost, granted skill is powerful
Tainted Heart solid stats
Bloodied Crystal +Armor on non-armor pieces. Same explanation as earlier.

Suggested components:
Living Armor
Ugdenbog Leather
Spellscorched Plating
Sacred Plating

Level 94 (Before switching to end-game gear. 55 devotion points)


1 Skill Point per level from Levels 91 to 100. TIME to finalize the build. See updated build above.


Portal to Necropolis Interior rift, enter the Tomb of the Watchers, then zoom all the way until you reach Bloodlord Thalonis. If you see a glowing fire on his weapon, that means he is wielding Bloodlord’s Vengeance and he will drop that upon death. If that’s the case, he won’t drop Bloodlord’s Blade. Sometimes I restart the game session right away whenever I see that glowing fire indicator.

The Hunt for Double-rare Bloodlord’s Blade

★ The Dream Weapons
□ Acquire a Demonic Bloodlord’s Blade of the Abyss (0/1)
□ Acquire a Demonic Bloodlord’s Blade of the Cabal (0/1)


Callagadra, Scion of the Sands
(Consumables used: Ugden and Royal Jelly pots, OA, and Bleeding resistance)
I defeated this boss on my very first encounter with it in non-HC. So, this fight should be winnable. Right?

[Insert sound effect] “It was at this moment that—”
—I thought I was already going to create the next character named HC Timelord Ekkhrono Jr. :rofl:
If I did not use buff consumables here, this character is probably dead by now. :skull:

Try to position between Lokarr and a wall so that the projectiles break instead of coming back.

SR 75 to 76

Gladiator Crucible 150 to 170
This character’s first Gladiator Crucible run went from 1-170 but only 150-170 was video recorded.


Belt, Pants, Boots
I’ve been mixing and matching items for these slots.
The stats I’m looking for from the 3 armor slots in total:
+1 to all skills in Nightblade
+2 to Shadow Strike
will make Stun resistance 80%
% Physical resistance
Chaos damage

My current gear satisfies all of the above. Pants and Boots have good defensive stats (% Physical resistance, Health) but they are not contributing to Chaos damage. For Belt, Gargoyle Waistguard can be considered because it can have 2 affixes but Vitality damage converted to Cold is not so good for this build. I thought of crafting Stoneplate Greaves; maybe Angrim could give me one with Demonic __ of Vitality affixes.

Items used to be part of the build but were replaced:
(Belt) Malmouth Bladed Girdle of the Gildam Arcanum
(Pants) Mythical Slithscale Legwraps
(Boots) Mythical Voidwalker Footpads, Morgoneth’s Step

Armor set (Ember’s Calling)
-28% Chaos resistance to Veil of Shadow, +12% Health to Phantasmal Armor, +1 to all skills in Nightblade and Occultist, and more damage are useful stats but maybe Ember’s Calling is not being utilized to the fullest. Some skill bonuses and skill modifiers were not used in the build (mostly Dreeg’s Evil Eye related). Chaos Witch Hunters can either use Ember’s Calling or Rah’Zin’s Torment.
Rah’Zin’s set has an Amulet piece so it will be either:
Conduit of Night Whispers and 3/4 Rah’Zin (missing RR from Amulet and 4/4 set piece effect)
4/4 Rah’Zin and no Conduit of Night Whispers (missing 20% Chance of +100% Skill CD Reduction to Shadow Strike)
I can’t make a better Chaos Shadow Strike spam build if Rah’Zin’s set was used instead. I also think Rah’Zin’s set is focused more on Touch of Chaos default weapon attack. Maybe Ember’s Calling is the better choice for my build after all.

Resistance Reduction
22% Reduced target’s Resistances for 5 seconds (of the Abyss weapon affix)
-28% Chaos Resistance to Veil of Shadow
-35% Chaos Resistance (Eldritch Fire)
24 Reduced target’s Resistances for 1 second (Raise the Dead)

Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends is Level 17/12 only. (12+5 with current build)

Health ≈16800
Armor Rating 1949
Physical Resistance 35% (49% with Aspect of the Guardian)
Freeze Resistance 55% (80% + 41% overcap with Hoarfrost Ointment)
Life Steal 6%
Chaos Modifier ≈2260% (≈2630% with Hungering Void proc buff) ≈240% Bonus magical damage from Spirit not yet included

  • What’s the difference between this and the non-HC build?
    [This will be removed if this HC build version gets more significant changes]
    Conduit of Night Whispers has several possible stat combinations. I was looking for the Chaos damage Shadow Strike skill modifier but the % Resistance that comes with it varies.
    Here in HC, my amulet rolled Pierce resistance (Poison resistance in non-HC).
    So, there will be differences in armor augments used and the resulting overcap on resistances.

  • Is this build possible only for Witch Hunter class?
    Yes, I think so. Bloodlord’s Blade and Conduit of Night Whispers are major parts of the build’s identity: Chaos damage Shadow Strike with chances of CD resets. These items have skill modifiers to Shadow Strike and Possession which are skills are from Nightblade and Occultist masteries combining into the Witch Hunter class.

  • How does the “12% Chance of +100% Skill CD Reduction to Possession” of Bloodlord’s Blade work?
    While Possession is active, any mastery active skill (i.e., any Nightblade and Occultist active skill for this build) has a 12% chance of CD reset. Possession is always active unless Nullified or if the consumable Yugol’s Ichor was used.

  • How to get the Ember’s Calling set?
    Possible reward in Shattered Realm. I got mine in Ultimate SR.

I played this build but I still have some interconnected questions about it. I hope someone will enlighten me. Thanks in advance.

  • How is total % Chance of +100% Skill CD Reduction being calculated?
  • If my build has 20% Chance and (2x) 12% Chance of Shadow Strike CD reset, what’s my total % chance of Shadow Strike CD reset?
  • If The Korvan Dunefiend’s 24% Chance of +100% Skill CD Reduction to Shadow Strike is combined with 20% Chance from Conduit of Night Whispers, is the total % chance of Shadow Strike CD reset the same with my build?


Time Assassin enjoyer here. [Expanded “About me” checks out]
The character power fantasy is satisfying. Low CD Shadow Strike max level with many chances of skill cooldown resets. I’m so happy that I was able to create a character with a play style that I like.

I thank :crate: Crate Entertainment for making this phenomenal game. Oh, did I mention that Grim Dawn is “my GOAT” game? It is.

This is my 2nd created topic. I think it’s safe to say this post is presented better than my 1st ever topic which is the non-HC one. Is this the 1st Hardcore topic created in 2024? I didn’t see any yet as I checked before posting this.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed and somehow gained something out of this. Any feedback is very much welcome. It may be about the build, formatting of the post, or the existence of author side comments scattered throughout the post. :smile:

I’ll continue playing this HC build; any additional milestones reached will be added in this post.


Just stumbled upon this.
This solution referrs to the good old charge attack bug, where you get stuck in a corner, still trying to move, do I read this correct?
Only help I knew (and the whole forum for what I know) was to use a rift gate.
Gonna try that one out - if this rly works, it would be amazing !!