2H Lightning Warder Min/Maxing Help

Hello community.

I’ve just recently started playing Grim Dawn, as as a fan of D2 and POE (before the casual fixes), I am loving every minute of it. I personally feel this game has been a lot more immersive compared to POE as far as my experience goes.

First off, I’d like to thank wonderful contributors to this forum. I have learned so much by soaking up the wealth of information shared in this section and theorycrafting on my own with GrimCalc/Tools for hours and hours, and of course, playing the game.

I’ve finally gotten my first real character to the min/maxing stage. He’s a 2H Lightning Warder. It has been a pleasant experience, tweaking my build several times on the way, and while I feel this guy will not become a 5 second MQ destroyer, or OP T1 Glad farmer, I want to find out where the limits of this toon lie.

I would love some constructive criticisms regarding where I’m headed, and if there’s any room for improvement for better min/maxing.

End Goal Grim Tool

Here is my end goal. I’ve gotten about 50% of the gears and started slowly farming and crafting the greens (and I don’t expect it to end soon. Just spent 2k scraps on crafting boots and oh man! =)) Aside from Ultos’ Gem, Black Matriarch, BoM and Ultos’ Spaulders, I’ve got the rest of the gear already, and as for the rest of the gears. I’m using Beronath ammy, Golemborn, invoker’s Shock, MoD and Emp. Leg of Valor with all res maxed.

For devotion, I changed from Behemoth to Chariot for OA, as I didn’t really feel going from 1.4k life to 1.5k made a huge difference in my survivability, while OA certainly did make a difference from my original setup.

I also gave up on Tempest and took SotH, as the value I receive from SotH constellation seemed to be a lot better than Reckless Tempest, although the proc skill was not so great. However, since I didn’t have an issue with mob clearing with Stormreaver active as well as Elemental Storm/Aether Bomb, I kinda thought that was a better choice.

I’ve spent hours to figure out a way to incorporate both of them, but there just wasn’t any way to do that. Also, with the last loose point, I took the Berserker starting devotion, but if you have any suggestion for a better one, that would be awesome.

As for the gears, I’ve yet to experience the strength of Ultos’ Set’s 5 piece bonus, but from what I’ve heard it seems people feel it’s quite underwhelming. Also, I chose Stormreaver for +2 skills and very useful active, as well as faster ASPD, but I still wonder if the flat damage and passive may prove to be superior (Although since I have Ultos’ weapon already, I can test it out later, but it would be nice for some comment from people that tested things out)

Anyway, any input and constructive criticisms would be highly appreciated!

Also, how big of a DPS/survivability difference would Druid/Elementalists have in comparison to Warder for 2H lightning Savagery build?

step 1: go elementalist
step 2: don’t use stormreaver

elementalist is squishier but has much-needed resistance reduction

stormreaver is just kind of bad since electrocute damage is bad

also swap out ultos’ hood for light’s defender helm when you swap from stormreaver to ultos’ stormseeker p sure

you’re also at 29/16 on Savagery, redistribute those points

I don’t comment on the gear, because gears only matter when you actually have them.

About the skills:

  • Points in brute force = wasted. You only need 1
  • With high OA, why are you not taking Upheaval?
  • Is there any reason you want maxed War Cry? 1-2 points should do it
  • I would suggest max Tenacity of the Boar, so you can swap Eel to Lizard and have much higher HP regen.
  • Take Markovian advantage, it produces a lot of damage

For devotions, if you are willing to forgo around 100 OA (which will be made up by Tenacity of boar), here’s a setup that can get you both spear and tempest http://www.grimtools.com/calc/r2BoQzVA

Thanks guys for your tips

I figured Elementalist would be superior in damage. Warder just doesn’t have enough RR for higher dps =(. How does Elem fare in survivability? It may be a cliche question but would she be Glad viable, as a measurement for defensive traits.

Why is Electrocute bad? Of course I’m sure flat lightning dmg is better but if you could explain why Electrocute is bad in general that would be helpful. Also, is Ultos superior even despite the fact that you have to forgo +2 to Shaman skills and better active?

Helm suggestion seems to reaffirm the point that 5 piece Ultos bonus is underwhelming =)

I thought I already took the points out thanks for pointing that out! they’re still kind of leftover points and I figured it’d be near impossible to craft +5 Savagery BoM

Brute Force is something that I really wanted some insight into. While Physical damage% bonus seems to be irrelevant, there’s not too many flat lightning damage available for grabs, and Brute Force seems to be one of the few sources available. Is it really not worth investing more than 1 SP for it? Currently, taking 1 point out gives me paper dps loss of 500 to Savagery. While I understand that paper DPS does not reflect actual damage, I wasn’t sure if losing 3000 paper DPS can be made up elsewhere by investing 6 SP. If you can give me some insight on this that would be great.

I didn’t take Upheaval mainly because I’ve read somewhere that it’s very counter-intuitive to use with Savagery, since it takes the base Savagery damage and applies multipliers, instead of the stacked damage, resulting in DPS loss. Please let me know if I have inaccurate information on how these 2 skills interact with each other.

About War Cry, I don’t really see the point of taking 1-2 points, as I’m taking it for the damage reduction. Although I don’t really see a need for it during Vanilla, it seems to be quite helpful for Crucible.

Tenecity of the Boar was the skill I would have liked to go for if I had extra SP for it. I also noticed that on your Grim Tool you went for overcapping Storm Touched. Which skill do you think would have more merit for SP?

Markovian’s Advantage, once again, I would really like to know how this skill actually interacts with Savagery mechanic.

I actually ran into that setup while I was theorycrafting but I was just little too scared to run the toon without heal proc XD. But I should definitely give that a run and see if that creates drastic change in tankiness.

Once again, I am very grateful for the wonderful comments and tips you guys are sharing with me!!!

As i’ve tried elementalist. conjuerer and Warder quite a bit i can tell you the following:


pro- highest damage, good tanking ability with BS and FB and good crits due to DA shred

Con- highest damage is not as high as it used to be. Thermites were nerfed and add to that the fact that they are a pain to use. You sometimes use them only vs bosses and do less damage vs mobs cause you get tired of aiming them all the time.


Pros: Very good damage, only slightly less than elementalist but with great quality of life, everything is instantly debuffed, good OA, good regen synergy with BoD and tenacity of the boar . Overall the smoothest gameplay.

Cons: Squishier than Elementalist but in Vanilla that should not be an issue.


Pros: The sturdiest of them all. If elementalist has bursts of huge tankiness then Warder has a consistent linear defense.

Cons: Damage is average compared to the above BUT, bare in mind, Savagery was designed to work great with wps procs. Warder can have foth Feral Hunger and Zolhan’s Technique (which has even higher %weapon dmg). Basically a 50% chance to rip heads off with having both procs. And i have to say 26/26 savagery + 12/12 Zollhan hits like a mother F####r! Crits will be as high as conjurer. Ofc the downside is that it’s not consistent. It’s IF zollhan procs and IF it crits. Conjurer is by far the most consistent in dmg and easy to use.

Edit: Sormreaver pales before stormseeker in terms of straight up melee fighting. Full set is very well rounded too. Flat damage added is allways good.

Storm touched is for the attack speed, which is nice for Savagery. Although it isn’t all that important, it’s my preference actually

Paper DPS is nice and stuff, but it doesn’t consider the DPS of extra proc.

Things like Markovian Advantage, Feral Hunger and Upheaval only use weapon damage, they are not affected by Savagery. Heck Savagery only affect itself, it doesn’t even affect Tenacity of Boar or Storm touched.

Also, again, if you are willing to accept some extra useless physical damage, here’s a setup that get you Spear, Tempest and Behemoth

But unlike the previous one, this one you definitely cannot have the Spear proc.

As one whose forst char was a 2H Savagery warder i’ll give some advice:

-WPS are affected by Savagery, that’s were you are wrong. Savagery cales up ALL your damage, because it has a %weapon damage… so every “on hit” attacks are scaled up with that %. It also procs Upheaval, Zolhan’s wtc, which are good, providing much neede AoE
-Ultos’ weapon over Stormreaver all life. Why? Simple. Ultos’ has attack speed which Stormreaver doesn’t. More attack speed = more savagery hits = more procs = more WPS/Devotion
-You’d have some resistances over the maximum. You don’t need that much. Try to cut some. For example, forgo silk swatch in either pants or shoulders and go with scaled hide. With that, you go to 100% armor absorption as you don’t need more pierce or bleeding resistance.
-Why no Falcon Swoop? One of the best devotions for 2H, and it gives you much needed AoE
-Try to find chaos resistance from other sources rather than augments from your jewelry. You’d want Survivor’s Ingenuity which gives you 2% OA, 6 in total if you don’t need kymon’s will (see below) which is A LOT
-You can consider cutting all points from War Cry and go with kymon’s will augment if you sided with Kymon (which all melees should btw). That augment gives you 10% phys damage reduction debuff to enemies, so it replaces war cry… that augment is one of the best available to melees and physical resistance is so hard to come by

So your build is aiming to use normal Lightning/Physical weapon attacks buffed by Savagery. Solid game plan. The stats that are most important to you in that case are…

  • Attack speed. Direct correlation with DPS.
  • WPS procs. They DO stack with Savagery. You could go the Feral Hunger/Zolhan’s/Markovian’s route, but that’s a LOT of skill points. When your OA is through the roof as it is though (2700+), you can just invest in Upheaval instead because you’ll be critting all the time and it’s a decent damage WPS proc with good AoE.
  • Flat Lightning/Physical damage. Directly buffs your weapon damage. Brute Force gives higher returns when it hits Ultimate ranks (past rank 12), meaning if you’re going to invest in it you should max it’s skill point investment.
  • Lightning RR. All you can really do is Elemental Storm/Viper/Arcane Bomb, so you’re covered.
  • Crit damage. Always good if you have high OA, and Stormcaller’s Pact makes it a huge modifier.

Stormreaver is made for Electrocute builds, and this build is not one of them. Ultos axe is better purely for attack speed.

Why no Falcon Swoop? One of the best devotions for 2H

Why FS is best for 2H?

  1. Any chance to make 2H-Savagery Phys/Lightning build through Autumn Boar?
  2. I found 2 epic 2h’s. I like lightnings. Making my shaman with Savagery (9 lvl). Don’t like many buttons (very lazy). I have to take second mastery. As I hate Occultist, it’s 1 of 2 - Elem or Warder?
  3. Pet (Briathorn). Does it help much on high lvls?
  4. Please give any grimcalc with skills and devotions with 1-2 active buttons. I’m very lazy, I’m not a pianist :slight_smile:

Thanks for the clarification and also wanted to take this time to thank you as I’ve learned quite a lot from your posts in the Forum.

I’m very confused about how Savagery interacts with WPS and Upheaval, as I hear very differing statements regarding the matter, even in this post.

So far what I’ve read from different sources

A) Savagery bonus affects WPS damage as multiplier
B) Savagery does not affect WPS damage as multiplier, but WPS damage gets added to Savagery damage
C) Savagery does not affect WPS damage as multiplier, nor is the damage added. It is simply replaced.
D) Savagery bonus affects all “weapon damage%” skills

What actually takes place here? Because if WPS simply replaces Savagery, that would simply be a loss in DPS. But if A/B/D is true, then there’s no doubt that WPS is way to go for more damage.

D does not seem to be true after testing with Dummy, but I’m curious to see how it actually interacts with WPS

I’m getting more confused about how Savagery interacts with WPS, as what you’re saying seems to be different from what Fluff and Biostaysis are saying.

I never even thought about that devotion route. I’ll try to run some numbers and take it for a spin. Thanks again!

Also, as soon as I get 1 more Ulto’s piece, I will definitely switch to Ultos’ Stormseeker. Sad thing is my friend had Ultos’ Gem drop during our cruicible run but it became unobtainable due to lag. He could not pick it up so we were waiting it out but then he disconnected =(


Thank you for your advice. I will definitely take them to heart. For me though, I don’t particularly feel that I’m lacking in AoE with Elemental Storm, Aether Bomb, SotH, etc. at the moment. Before getting enough AoE procs, I did level with PS.

Thanks for the insight into Scaled Hide. I will definitely try it out. However, I’m not sure if ingenuity is necessarily better than Vision. It was cool to learn that Will has proc ability similar to war cry.


Thank you for your input. I’m starting to get a feeling that to min/max this to the end, I’m going to end up with a lot more impossible MIs than I initially thought. =[

I’m really learning a lot so thank you and I will do away with Stormreaver soon!

I am wondering why people always talk about Falcon, but neither Bull nor Dire Bear. Falcon is good, no doubt about that (especially in a Bleed build), but Dire Bear have pretty good bonus IMHO while the Maul proc seems pretty strong: lower recharge, good damage, good AoE.

Could someone explain me why?

2H is better in Falcon Swoop because of the higher base damage 2H have over everything else. It’s a shotgun skill too and shotgun skills and melee range go quite well together.

FS can shotgun targets. But after all the nerfs, the damage might be near to similar with a Physical Damage build.
Star Stats are better on Dire Bear, that’s for sure.

Savagery itself and interaction with WPS have confused me as well for a while.

Savagery at 16/16 has 8 charges and 150% dmg. The attack grows in strength on every hit reaching 100% efficiency at charge 6. At charge 8 it’s 115% efficiency which means 150*115 = 172.5% Weapon damage.

WPS as far as I know stack with attack replacers like Savagery multiplicatively. So Feral hunger at lvl 10 is 130% wp dmg. 172.5%*130=224.25% weapon damage. Zolhan’s Technique has 175% at 12/12 so 172.5%*175=301.5% weapon damage…ouch.

Now 26/26 Savagery has 9 charges for 120% efficiency and 165% weapon damage. that is 165*120 = 198% weapon damage * 175(ZT)= 346.5% Weapon damage. Then all this stuff is increased by Might of the bear multiplicatively but that’s another thing. Anyway, it hertz:D

As for Upheval, Is still worth 1 point. Even though it will only proc if you crit outside of wps so just a normal savagery attack that failed to trigger wps.

If I made any mistakes some one please correct me.

So, what devotions to take in offensive-2H-lightning Elem?

That makes perfect sense. I actually had misconception about how Savagery worked, mainly thought it was better than it actually is, thinking that the multipliers were +bonus, not multiplied by xx%.

I don’t think I will take upheaval, as I fear it will definitely cause single target damage loss.

Thank you so much Fluff.

By the way, what did you think about the devotion layout I had and how would you map it if you were building a toon?


I would strongly recommend at least putting in some thoughts and effort yourself before asking questions and tips.

For one, that’s where, at least I feel, the biggest enjoyment of playing Grim Dawn comes from
Secondly, people on the forum are not your servants you use for your convenience. They are also users and players who are actually nice enough to share information for your better enjoyment. I’m sorry if I offend you, but I can’t see any efforts or thoughts behind your questions, nor appreciation when answered.

Also, I think I forgot to mention I felt there were way too many wasted devotions to take FS. While I know it’s a great skill, when I had to sacrifice either SotH or Tempest due to scarcity of nodes, there was no way of incorporating it in the build. I don’t think devs like lightning build, as there really seems to be no way of grabbing all lightning procs with RRs =(

What? No, Upheaval won’t cause single target DPS loss. It magnifies your normal attacks that crit by 130% at max level, adds lightning and bleed, AND makes them 3 meter AoE so you can clear mobs faster. With your huge OA there’s no reason not to take it.

Upheaval is also a WPS skill, with 100% chance to trigger. If you dont have other DPS skills, that every critical attack will trigger Upheaval. If you have other WPS, then on critical attack both Upheaval’s and other WPS’s chances to trigger will be downscaled proportionally, so the sum will be 100% (same mechanics as when you have several WPS skills with total %chance to trigger exceeding 100%). And since Upheaval now has 130% Weapon Damage multiplier, it wont hurt your DPS, but will substantially improve AoE damage.

Skill description says xxx% weapon damage, in which case, I assume it will take the base Savagery damage x bonus multiplier as the weapon damage. In which case, that would mean you would deal AoE damage with 1.25x multiplier(at level 10) plus lightning/bleed damage. I dont see how that would be more powerful than applying single target damage with crit multiplier of 2.xx.

If it actually took crit damage then multiplied it then of course it would be an easy choice, but I saw lower damage counter when I tested Upheaval, so that doesn’t seem to be the case, but it was just observation so I could be wrong.

Like MK said. upheval is also wps:) But it works a bit different. No dps loss. Worth a point. Sry i didn’t explain that part better