2-h physical Forcewave Witchblade - "The Unstoppable Force" (Gladiator crucible farmer) 2-h physical Forcewave Witchblade - “The Unstopable Force”

Core skill of this build is Forcewave.
With Tremor transmuter and hard-hitting two-hander, it is spammable and has enough power to beat any crap Grim Dawn can throw at you (maybe, except “God-like” bosses aka Ravager and Avatar of Mogdrogen).
Forcewave is a spell, it scales with cast speed, so my build stacks cast speed for higher DPS. Attack speed doesnt matter for it.

Advantages of this build:

  • 1. Tankiness. Even without shield, massively overcapped resists, increased resist caps, insane physical protection (55% or more), high Life Steal and 2 Circuit Breakers will ensure your survival. Almost all enemies can be facetanked.

    2. Reliability. I’ve called my build “The Unstoppable Force” because it doesnt suffer from various form of crowd control (even skill disruption can be “fixed” with certain intent), nor from uber-nasty “Fumble/Impaired Aim” debuffs, that are bane of most attack builds. It’s because Forcewave is a Spell. Be sure, even with direst debuffs, my DPS wont suffer much.

    3. AoE/range. Forcewave has decent range, so it isnt neccessary to chase every enemy to kill him, saving your time. You can also kite enemies with that, if needed (Kupacabra, for example). Forcewave also has decent AoE and can hit multiple enemies at once (same for Blitz), extremely useful feat to deal with large crowds.

    4. Decent DPS. Even with all that tankiness and AoE, my build still has OK single-target DPS. Probably not as high as “glass cannon” builds, but good enough to push you through AoM content and Gladiator Crucible (23-27 min clear time for 100-150 waves when farming).

Itemization/character building:

Old setups:

[ul]Old gear/character setup:
Grimtool link: http://www.grimtools.com/calc/eZPzxed2
This setup is a bit experimental, tried to use Elemental -> physical conversion to squeeze some extra DPS from Elemental Storm and ultilize CoF proc potential. Had to grab every “cast speed” devotion i could, just to get somewhat decent cast speed. High tankiness due to 64% physical res and Menhir’s Bastion active skill, but vulnerable to skill disruption.

pre-AOM setup:
Craving for power, i tapped into the Void to empower my build, bringing chaos and mayhem to the enemies…
Using Possession instead of Oleron’s Rage, i made a proper response to my worst enemy - Skill Disruption. With 80% resistance to it, my build is now more unstopable than ever! It also provides nice portion of Chaos resist and damage absorbtion, to help with tankiness and get decent amount of chaos resist without using shitty augment from Kymon’s Chosen.
With Dying God constellation, i got very strong proc, that provides huge crit damage and speed boost.
Doom relic adds even more offensive power.

Do note, that in fact, most my items have higher rolls that average (used by Grimcalc), none of my resistance is overcapped less than 34, my physical resistance is 54, etc. I farmed Crucible so many times, that got 10+ copies of some items (lol).[/ul]

New (Forgotten Gods) setup:

Item choices (detailed):
I tried to mention at least 2 good items, that might fit my build. I tried to explain my choices, and mention all useful stats items have.

  • Weapon:
    Mythical Stonefist Rebuke - BiS DPS weapon because of cast speed. Also gives small bonus to Forcewave range.
    Leviathan - has higher damage, but less DPS due to lack of cast speed. Has higher physical resistance (top roll 19% VS 14% on M. Stonefist Rebuke), bonus to HP, freeze resist (though you dont really need it), freeze retaliation and +2 to Fighting Spirit. Craftable. Overall, it gives you less DPS, but a bit higher tankiness, and is easier to obtain/get high rolls.

    Do note, that it’s very important to have GOOD rolls on your weapon, and a well-rolled Leviathan can even match badly-rolled M. Stonefist Rebuke.

    Chest, Helm, Shoulders:
    Ardor of Octavius helm/chest - BIS.
    Mythical Titan Pauldrons - BIS now, i think.
    Ardor of Octavius shoulder - Very close to BIS as 3-rd set piece, high damage bonus from set, very strong physical resist, decent skill bonuses, etc.
    Justicar Guard set - lacks damage bonus and physical resist, though has better skill bonuses and HP. Helm is craftable.
    Mythical Warborn Visor - CD reduction for War Cry, +1 Soldier skills. Craftable.

    Handguards of Justice (NOT mythical) - BiS, cast speed, solid HP and skill bonuses. Fire damage will be partically converted to physical with Octavius set.
    Mythical Grasp of Unchained Might - has trap resistance, but no HP, and DPS-wise is worse than BiS gloves.
    Mythical Sandreaver Bracers - added in FG, nice option too.

    Mythical Chausses of Barbaros - BiS, damage, OA, phys and chaos resists, great proc (huge damage, total speed and armour), bonus to Oleron’s Rage (wasted with Possession setup).
    Mythical Leggings of Arcane Harmony - 80% skill disruption resist, decent damage, DA, elemental and Aether resists, spirit (to fullfill gear requirements). Craftable. Rather forced choice to get 80% skill disruption resist

    Mythical Earthshatter Treads - now BIS due to +2 Forcewave bonus, and i now get slow resist from shoulder slot.
    Mythical Boneshatter Treads - OA, damage, physical bleed and slow resists, bonus to Fighting Spirit.

    Mythical Sigil of Bear King - BiS, damage, cast speed, DA, HP, reflect reduction, skill bonuses, crit & IT damage bonuses to Forcewave, pierce resist and maximum pierce resist, strong proc. Everything in this item fits my build just perfectly.
    Mythical Mark of Kalastor - damage, OA, elemental and poison resists, armour, bonus to Forcewave, decent proc. Craftable.

    Mythical Ring of the Black Matriarch - damage, pierce and vitality resists, maximum vitality resist, cunning, skill bonus, great proc for -10% physical resist. Solid stats and great proc, that has very low CD (and thus, almost 100% uptime on bosses).
    Judicator’s Sels set - great for many builds, mine isnt an exception.
    Mythical Bladetwister Signet - damage, HP, pierce resist, skill bonus, decent proc (-10% physycal resist too, but with higher CD.
    Mythical Combustion Band - cast speed, HP, elemental resist, proc for -8% physical resist.

    Judicator’s Sels set - great for many builds, mine isnt an exception.
    An item with following mods (can be MI, many MI bases can fit in my build, but realistically, getting any MI ring with BiS affixes in legit way is near-impossible):
    “of Attack” - BiS, massive OA boost, BiS by far, other suffixes arent even worth mentioning!
    “Thunderstruck” - BiS, Stun, elemental, aether resists and a bit of OA.
    “General’s” - Stun and pierce resists, HP, a bit of OA.
    “Unyielding” - Stun and pierce resists, physique, a bit of DA.

Mythical Avenger of Cairn - BiS, +1 Soldier skills, +4 to ALL MAXIMUM RESISTANCES (hell, that bonus alone is incredible!), +4 maximum aether resist, HP, massive Aether and elemental resists, DA. Craftable. Incredibly strong defensive items that also has +1 to soldier skills! Non-mythical version is almost as good as mythical, BTW.
Spellscourge Deflector - damage, pierce, aether and chaos resists, CD reduction, +1 soldier skills and +8% maximum chaos resistance.
Mythical Peerless Eye of Beronath - + all skills, OA crit damage, a bit of ele res. Sucks defensively.

Mythical Gladiator’s Distinction - BIS now, high OA, damage, armor, resist boosts, vit ->phys conversion allowing to use Second Rite. Dont use Second Rite without it.
Mythical Reforged Chains of Oleron - Good damage boost, crit damage, +1 soldier skills, vitality resist.

Doom - massive damage bonus, +1 soldier skills, nice active skill, vitality resist. BiS offensive relic.
Menhir’s Bastion - physical and pierce resists, +1 soldier skills, incredibly strong defensive skill. BiS defensive relic.
Best completition bonus: +1 to Blindside, +1 Internal Trauma.


Old setup:
Crucible Gladiator (+extra spawns) with Vanguard Banner and Might of Amatok/Empyrion’s Guidance (140-150 waves):
P.S. Got Mythical Warborn Visor recipe on that run - yay!

pre-AOM setup:
Crucible Gladiator (+extra spawns) with Vanguard Banner and Might of Amatok/Empyrion’s Guidance (140-150 waves):

Killing Callagadra in Ultimate:

Start as soldier, learn Forcewave with Transmuter at level 3 or so, and it will push you through all GD content, from Normal to Ultimate. For energy management, get Bard’s Harp constelation as soon as possible.

“The Crucible and you” - a mini-guide on how to survive through Crucible (with explainations regarding my build).

Defences you need for Crucible:

  • 1. Damage resistances + overcaps. Fire, Cold, Lightning, Acid, Vitality, Pierce, Aether, Chaos, Bleed resistances. All of them should be overcaped by ~30-40 (because the strongest flat resistance reduction from enemy will reduce your resistances by 40). If one of your resistance isnt overcaped enough (or, god forbid, isnt capped even), you will notice very significant damage increase (2-3 times) from certain enemies, when your resistances are reduced. I managed to overcap them all by 30+ (most - by 40+), except chaos, which is 28 over cap ATM (with better roll on Mythical Chausses of Barbaros, it can be 30+ too). Overcaping resistances is especially important for my build, as it has increased caps on most resistances (88 Aether, 89 Pierce, 87 Vitality and 84 the rest). Increased resistance caps mitigate lots of damage, +4% to all caps is essentially a 20% damage absorbtion (except physical), and with 88% Aether cap (even 90% with consumable), final campain boss can easily be facetanked.

    2. Physical resistance & Armour. Those two together will protect you from physical damage. It’s very hard to obtain high values on physical resistance, but i managed to get 54% physical resistance ATM, supported by 2.7k armour (not counting bonuses from procs). It’s a VERY high physical resistance value in GD! Hard physical hitter (like Iron Maiden) are scourge of most builds, so i ensured, that my build wont suffer from it. Enjoy!

    3. Life Steal (or “Attack Damage Converted To Heath” - ADCTH). You will take damage, and to recover lost HP, you need some sort of sustain. Life Steal is exactly that! It heals you when you deal Weapon Damage to an enemy, so you must have a decent number of it. I recommend to have 12%+ Life Steal. My build has 18% Life Steal, which is gained through constellations and components, you can get another 8% using consumable. Do note, though, that some enemies are Immune to Life Steal (Zantarin, Banegalor, Heralds, etc). They usually deal low damage and often summon adds, that can be attacked to recover HP.

    4. Circuit Breakers. “Circuit Breaker” is a defensive ability, that activates when your HP falls below certain threshold, and saves your ass from trouble. My build has 2 Circuit Breakers - Ghoulish Hunger and Menhir’s Will. Ghoulish Hunger activates at 45% HP and gives you extra physical resist and insane Life Steal, enough to recover full HP with almost any hit. Menhir’s Will activates at 33% HP and instantly heals you for ~1/3 of your HP pool, leaves regen effect that can trigger Wayward Soul. Shit happens in Crucible, and Circuit Breakers will ensure your survival when things go bad.

    5. HP pool. Sadly, compared to other builds, our HP pool isnt amazing, so using Empyrin blessing is strongly recommended.

    6. Mobility skills. Using added in FG medal augment + Blitz for that. I prefer Ishtac’s Mercy due to vew low CD and it works well cause we can hit from good range.

Offences you need for Crucible:

  1. Raw Damage/DPS. You wont have success in Crucible if your raw damage is bad, period. My build has ~71k DPS with Forcewave, and could have more with better gear. Also, AoE damage is highly welcomed, and i have it in abundance

  2. OA/crit damage. OA is a must in GD, with low OA your DPS will be total garbage. Even worse, with low OA you wont trigger Assassin’s Mark on enemy, resulting into even lower DPS. I insist that you should have no less than 2700 OA, prefferably ~2900 (values without buffs). Too high OA (above 3k) isnt really needed in Crucible, as you’ll gain extra OA from buffs, and too high OA will give too small “real DPS” increase considering investments involved. For main campain, though, it can still be benefitial, as you dont gain OA buffs there.
    Dont forget to spam Blitz on tough targets, to reduce their DA by ~275 (it’s same as 275 OA gain).

  3. CC (Crowd Control) resistances (yes, i put them to OFFENSIVE part). Stun, Freeze, Slow, Trap, Skill Disruption resistances. Stun & Freeze resistances must be near-capped if you hope to have any success in Crucible, and capping all others from the list is highly recommended too. My build caps Stun, Freeze and Slow resistances, gets good Trap resistance during Inspiration proc, and can cap Skill Disruption resistance using Leggings of Arcane Harmony. All sorts of CC (except Trap, maybe) will drastically reduce your “real DPS”. You cant deal most of your damage when stunned/frozen/disrupted, and your Cast Speed can be decreased by ~25-50 by many enemies, dumpstering your DPS into the void. With CC resistance, all that crap gets reduced by 5 times.

  4. Resistance reduction. Although physical damage tends to be the least resisted by enemies, reducing it even more drastically improves your damage output. My build has several resistance reductions - 27 from Curse of Frailty, 32 from Assassin’s Mark and 30 from Break Morale (though it doesnt have 100% uptime, but skeletons from Revenant make up for that - 25RR on hit).

Notable waves:

Info is quite outdated ATM, so deleted for a while.

Watch out for skill disruption all the time, if you dont have 80% resistance to it! Being unable to use any skill and facetanking enemies for several seconds can be lethal, since you cant leech lost HP.
Watch out for ground AoE. If it gets stacked too much, your HP bar may go down quite quickly.
Watch for “shambler” enemies! They can throw rocks, dealing significant damage (ca be evaded by movement), and sometimes also causing skill disruption. If a whole pack throws their rocks at once at you, it can be quite painful!

Farming strategy:

  • 1. Get Crucible of the Dead (the fastest one, in my opinion)
    2. Place Vanguard Banner in bottom-left corner. (Optional) place Stonewall banner in bottom-right corner.
    3. Start Crucible from 100 wave, with extra spawns.
    4. At wave 120, use Might of Amatok and Empyrion’s Guidance buffs.
    5. When you finish 150 wave, collect all loot quickly and restart Crucible from 130 wave.
    6. After finishing 150 wave (buffs should still be up, almost ready to expire), sell/sort all loot you got from 2 runs.
    7. Use Might of Amatok and Empyrion’s Guidance buffs.
    9. Restart Crucible from 130 wave.
    10. After finishing 150 wave, sell/sort all loot you got from 2 runs.
    11. Goto 2 (till you get bored).

It’s my first build guide in GD, if something is lacking, i’m ready to listed suggestions.

1 Like

Reserved for future usage.

Nice build !
What do you think about 20% reduced attack and movement speed retaliation from Spider? Is it really useful?
Currently I am using it on my other builds, and combine it with Nightblade Veil of Shadow.
Need your opinion.

No, not really. It doesnt stack with similar reductions from other skills (for example, Curse of Frailty has much more powerful movement speed reduction - 50%+). And many strong enemies are simply immune to slow. It does stack with Veil of Shadows, though (Veil of shadows and similar slows stack with others).
However, 5% cast speed from node IS really useful, and i had to take it because my weapon doesnt have Cast Speed on it (BiS weapon -M. Stonefist Rebuke - is BiS exactly because of cast speed).

First MortalKombat’s build here, nice to see.
Mate, may you add some pics to the thread??

Will think about it. What exactly would you like to see?

Oh, and dont forget to watch the video :)!

I see, you take it for Cast Speed and Chaos Resist.
Forcewave needs that cast speed.

For Spider, I mean the attack speed reduction retaliation, so it doesn’t stack with NB Veil of Shadow -% Total Speed. Can you confirm this please?

It STACKS with “-X% … Speed”, and “-X% … Speed” stacks from different debuffs too (for example, Veil of Shadow and Spectral Binding).

My point was that many enemies are resistant to it, or even outright immune. Also, it wont reduce DPS from DoTs, ground AoE, abilities with CDs, etc.

Nice, I use it for slowing trash anyway, sometimes additional CC Skills like Blade Trap, Ring of Still, or OFF will take additional slot/button bar.
Sometimes it’s too much for me if I have more than 6 active skills.
CC from passive, gear, or devotion skill really help in this case.

nice phys res, whats the elemental storm for?

Just for extra damage/DoT.

66% of my elemental damage is converted into physical, with Octavius Visor and Platemail.

Why did you pick Rhowan’s Crown and Vulnerability? They make no sense to me on a pure physical build.

I take the opportunity of course to show off my setup, I think it is a bit more defensive and deals less damage, but it is fine.


Gloves: I like Mythical Grasp of Unchained might better because of the flat physical damage, and more armor of course. It has the same cast speed. To compensate the loss of +2 to Forcewave, I wear different boots, it has no OA but it is fine I think.

It hurts my feelings to use Seal of Blades instead of Seal of Might, so I replaced it. I did not regret it, we don’t need the adcth with this much defenses. And btw, if we deal more damage, we leech more. :slight_smile:

Helmets: Octavius is probably a bit better, but I don’t have it yet. :slight_smile: I even think it is fine to wear 3 pieces of the mythical Justicar set, except the gloves.

Double post sorry

Rhowan’s Crown - just for experiment, to convert most of its elemental damage into physical (there is nothing to bind to CoF anyway).
Vulnerability - to reduce enemy DA (those points can be put in other skills, wont make significant difference anyway).
Seal of Blades - for 5% lifesteal. Lifesteal is extremely important and valuable, for me it’s worth more than Seal of Might bonuses.

+2 to Forcewave/Blitz is quite significant bonus too, and dont forget HP and pierce resist too. I made my build to be tanky. For higher DPS, you first should replace Menhir’s Bastion with Doom.

If you dont have Visor of Octavius, you can use 3 pieces of Justice set, or 2 pieces of Octavius and Mythical Warborn Visor.

I’ve just made a video for comparison, 100-150 extra spawns, first 10 waves no buffs no banner.

Shar’Zul + Sentinel at wave 149, Iron Maiden + Fabius at wave 150, had some tiny struggles, had to kite a bit, but made it of course. :slight_smile:

(I play poorly I know. :slight_smile: )

The last 10 Waves took me 6:40 so a lot slower than yours.

after some theroycraft with a diff build here’s some srs ideas:

ur setup has ton of phys res = very tanky. however your dmg is mediocre as FW itself is kind of a meh skill.

to help your dmg, you should take advantage of ur 100% ele to phys convert and get physical meteors like in beronath setups. its extremely strong, at least much better than rhowans. the first few points in ulzuin is also huge for any build.

can even consider flametorrent as CoF is a very good proccer for it, altho there is no chaos conversion without beronath.

Nice Build :slight_smile:

Edit: Redited, didn’t read that you don’t yet have Myth stonefist

I should mention, when i capture video, my PC lags. I also struggled a lot before i could find proper program for capture and made it work. I’ve survived any combination of 3 nemesises at 150 wave when i was farming - 2 IM+Fabius, 2 Vadaran + Fabius, Fabius, Valdaran and IM, and so on (havent met 3 Fabius or 3 IM, though - i think it’s impossible). Sometimes has to use consumables, in very rare cases - Aether Cluster. It just takes too much time to “capture” all those shitty combinations, cause usually, they dont happen all at once. For example, i can meet Mad Queen but dont meet Sharzul+Cronley, etc. I could also capture full 100-150 clear, but it would be quite long (25 min), and i doubt that many players would enjoy watching video that long…

I also was lucky with Mutator, got reduced enemy HP, and it improved killing time. Usually, it takes ~25 minutes for me to clear Crucible from 100 to 150 wave (buffs are used from 120 wave), and ~60 minutes to clear Crucible 4 times (100-150 & 3 items 130-150, including delay required to sell/sort loot from first 2 clears).

That’s true, though lack of damage is somewhat compensated by its immunity to fumble/impaired aim, high slow resistance, stable damage output and nice AoE. After all, i clear Crucible relatively quickly, and with BiS gear, it will be even quicker. I have poor luck for weapons, i still have no Stonefist Rebuke (m), and no Stormreaver (m) for your Warder build too, btw.

Superior DPS wasnt my priority for this build, nor was faster clear speed, etc. I wanted to reach best possible balance between offense and defence, and create a very RELIABLE crucible farmer.

Even with this tanky build, even with buffs and circuit breakers, i dont feel myself really safe when farming Gladiator. Challenger? Yes, i feel i could beat it with burger in hand while watching TV show. But Gladiator feels completely different. I feel that incoming damage is VERY high. Stop for 1-2 seconds, relax a bit - and i’m almost dead. If that’s how it feels playing a TANK, i’m afraid to even imagine how it feels playing much less protected builds, that rely more on kiting and DPS…

edit sorry forgot u only got like 66% ele to phys rather than 100. meteors would proabbly still be a nice devo. at least much better than rhowan.

regarding the tanking comment. i forgot to look at ur DA, if ur DA is above 2800, and phys res is nearing 80% with ghoul up. u should be neigh invulnerable to nemesis dmg.

now the reason you may still feel squishy could be these reasons:

  1. no flat sorb -> standing in lots of ground AOE/eating lots of DOT which stacks quickly in cruci your health will still drop really quickly to these

  2. lack of consistent lifeleech, this is a problem with all 2H melee builds, because you hit slow and due to #1, u have to move alot, u can’t instantly recharge ur health every 0.3secs like DW can (esp during a ghoul proc), a DW’er with a ghoul proc up will refill full health pretty much instantly after every instance of damage as long as they aren’t 1 shot.

  • this is why shield builds can afk so much due to permanenet OG. and seemingly squishy DW builds can survive ok due to super high frequency of lifeleech.

i dont know if there is any solution to this, u can fix #1 by going inquis seal but u’d be giving up phys res and RR from wb.

not sure if theres any really good solution to #2, u can stack lots of life regen with giants and blood/dreeg and such, but i dont think WB has that much %regen to buff up the flat withoout going OG :
phoenix devo maybe worth a shot