2H physical Forcewave Battlemage - Dovahkiin misadventures in Cairn

This is my first guide here, hope it won’t be so terrible. I will update it and add more information/details later.

So meet, Dovahkiin - battle mage on physical Forcewave.


I use GD Stash to test build concepts and to find out how good it can be. So please keep in mind that the next build was posted with gear rolls pretty close to the best.



Note: Screenshot was made with permanent buffs


Build setup

Gear setup

You can use crafting bonusses on helm and medal to close the gap in stun resistance.

Devotions setup

Skills setup

Soldier mastery

Arcanist mastery

Damage: Physical
Active skills: Rebuke, Forcewave, Eldritch Instability, Ground Smash, War Cry, Nullification, Mirror of Ereoctes
Passive skills: Field Command, Oleron’s Rage, IEE
WPS: None

Build concept:
Battle mage as anlogue of Dovahkiin in GD.
The build is focused on using spam FW as main attack skill that can be considered as GD analogue of Unrelenting Force (FUS RO DAH). Mirror of Ereoctes can be considered as anlogue of Dragon shout “FEIM ZII GRON” and Nullification - as “LOK VAH KOOR”.


  • Good damage
  • Good physical resistence - 34% permanent (gear and devotions) and + 18% from Ghoulish Hunge
  • No problems with main campaign content
  • High armor
  • Saves: Mirror of Ereoctes and Menhir’s Will


  • No skills disraption resistence
  • Low crit damage - can be an issue for high Shards or for high waves in Crucible
  • Low energy regen - can be fixed for example by replacing bloodied crystal by ectoplasm on one of the rings
  • Didn’t test the build against super bosses - have no idea if the build can handle them or not


Build for AoM

Note: Screenshot was made with permanent buffs


The main difference with build for FG is in devotions setup, augments and using Blitz instead of movement skill from medal’s augment.

Devotions setup

Initial build with Octavius set

Build setup

Grim tools

Battle Mage - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/Q2zRpzL2


Note: Screenshot was made with Fighting Spirit, Battlecry, Wayward Soul and Inspiration active


  • High DA, good OA and Armor
  • Good physical resistence - 45% permanent (gear and devotions) and + 18% from Ghoulish Hunger
  • No problems to complete campaign content except some super bosses
  • Saves: Mirror of Ereoctes and Menhir’s Will
  • Nullification - useful skill in many situations and especially against enemies with reflection


  • No skill disraption resist
  • Can’t win Lokkar and Ravager on Ultimate

Gameplay (campaign)

1. Almost full faceroll

You can faceroll most stuff. In most cases Forcewave is enough to clear your way from crowds of enemies keeping the distance between you and them.

If you are surrounded by crowd with strong enemies like heroes or bosses use your battle arsenal to crush them:

  • Battle Cry - to reduce incoming damage and enemies physical resistence
  • Blitz - to activate Assassin’s Mark to deal higher damage against the strongest opponent by reducing his resistences
  • Ground Smash - to deal AoE damage to hit multiple targets
  • Forcewave - main attack skill to trigger Blind Fury and Earthquake
  • Rebuke - great single target damage and valuable reduction of enemy DA

2. Healing

Don’t spam Tonic and don’t hurry to use the Mirror when health drops. You have permanent 15% ADctH and healing devotion to restore the health. Also don’t forget about such saves as Menhir’s Will and Ghoulish Hunger. Tonic and Mirror are very useful so don’t waste it, last thing you want is it to be on CD when you really need it.

3. Nullification

Use it to remove debuffs casting on you as well as dispell buffs your enemies cast on themselves. This skill is extremely useful against enemies with reflection, pack of heroes and in fights against bosses & nemesis.

Gear setup

Head: Visor of Octavius. If you don’t have it, then a good alternative could be Mythical Faceguard of Justice. For a long time I didn’t have nor Visor, nor Faceguard of Justice (legendary and mythical versions), so Empowered Herald’s Mask turned out to be a good variant for me.

Amulet: Mythical Avenger of Cairn. Can’t think about other alternatives rather than Avenger of Cairn. This amulet seems to be BiS for me.

Rings: Bladetwister Signet and Allagast’s Stormgem. Alternative for the first ring can be Ring of the Black Matriarch or Mythical Ring of the Black Matriarch. The second one is used to cover gap in resistences, so you can use another one (rare/epic/legendary) with required resistences.

Shoulders: Pauldrons of Octavius. An alternative is to use Mythical Shoulderguards of Justice.

Chest: Platemail of Octavius. Use Mythical Chestguard of Justice as alternative. It is preferable to use together 3 pieces of Octavius set or 3 pieces of mythical Justicar set (except the gloves).

Hands: Mythical Grasp of Unchained Might. Depends on how lucky you are with gear (lack of bonus +x to forcewave or resistences) the following gloves can be used as alternative: Handguards of Justice, Grasp of Unchained Might or any other gloves granting casting speed and required resistences.

Weapon: Mythical Stonefist Rebuke. Planned to use legendary version as main weapon before AoM. The mythical version with pretty good skill mod was nice surprise and BiS for the build concept. If you don’t get it yet try Stonefist Rebuke or Obsidian War Cleaver with good prefix and suffix - boost for physical damage (flat or %) and casting speed.

Belt: Mythical Reforged Chains of Oleron. As an alternative you can try Reforged Chains of Oleron or non-mythical/mythical version of Gladiator’s Distinction.

Medal: Mythical Mark of Kalastor. Alternatives can be Badge of Mastery with bonus for Forcewave or Mythical Sigil of the Bear King if you have enough gear items to max out Forcewave.

Pants: Mythical Chausses of Barbaros. This pants or Chausses of Barbaros are really good for physical builds. If you have issues with gear - use good epic/legendary or MI pants instead. I would also recommend to consider Arcane Harmony Leggings or Mythical Arcane Harmony Leggings to get protection from skill disruption.

Boots: Mythical Earthshatter Treads. You can use as alternative Earthshatter Treads or other boots if you are able to max out Forcewave.

Relic: Citadel with +4% to DA competion bonus. This relic grants us solid HP and DA (+12%) bonus. You can try other relics for soldier.

Devotions setup

Must have devotions:

  1. Kraken - the best devotion to boost damage for 2H builds. Invest at least 3 points to get all “% to All Damage” bonuses.

  2. Assassin’s Blade - the devotion grants proc to reduce physical & pierce resistences.

  3. Oleron - in addition to resistences and attributes bonuses the devotion grants flat physical & IT damages and good AoE proc with physical resistence reduction.

Highly recommended devotions:

  1. Solemn Watcher - the devotion is not only valuable for resistences & solid DA boost, but more important it grants % reflected damage reduction. The last property is very useful to reduce critical IT damage reflected by enemies with reflection ability - natural, like Skeletal Knights, or granted by item(s).

  2. Ghoul - the proc Ghoulish Hunger can be considered as good save: it grants solid bonuses for ADctH and physical resistence.

Note: You can use Forcewave to bind one of the procs: Assassin’s Mark or Blind Fury to trigger it more frequently. Blind Fury & Forcewave seems to be better combination for me. However I would recommend to play around and find the most sutable setup for you.

In closing

At the begining it was just idea of fun build as close by spirit to Dovakin as possible. Then it turned out to be interesting and solid build. You can face tank almost all in campaign - bosses, nemesis, Mad Queen and etc.

I was not able to beat Ravager and Lokkar on Ultimate. The Raveger is really cruel beign and probably requires to change build concept and setup to win. As for Lokkar - it is stalemate situation: I can’t kill him and he can’t kill me (no face tanking).

I am not big fan of Crucible and did not test the build to say if it capable to complete Crucible or not. Before the AoM release I completed first two difficulties in Crucible and most likely you can do it now as well. I have no idea on build potential for Gladiator.


[] Herald of the Storm

2H Lightning Forcewave Battlemage

Grim tools


  • Screenshot with Fighting Spirit and Prowess active


  • High skill disruption protection
  • Not bad physical resistence - 20% permanent (gear and devotions) and + 18% from Ghoulish Hunger
  • No problems to complete campaign content except some super bosses
  • Saves: Mirror of Ereoctes and Menhir’s Will
  • Nullification - useful skill in many situations


  • Requred boots with certain prefix and suffix to close resistences gap
  • Can’t win Avatar, Lokkar and Ravager on Ultimate
  • Lightning RR is not high compared to other builds and as result you need more time to deal with enemies with high lightning/elemntal resistence.

Comments: The build is pretty cool - fun gameplay and no problems in closing campaign content. Max damage is 120K, but likely the build can deal more.


[] 2H physical Stormfire & Forcewave Battle Mage

Grim tools


  • Screenshot with Fighting Spirit, Battle Cry, Wayward Soul and Inspiration active

It is important to equip Octavius helm and chest armor along with Bladetwister signet with high rolls to get 100% elemental to physical damage convertion. The Stormfire is good spam skill reaching ~60K critical damage and is a nice trigger for Assassin’s Mark proc.

High DA, good OA and Armor

  • Good physical resistence - 45% permanent (gear and devotions) and + 18% from Ghoulish Hunger
  • No problems to complete campaign content except some super bosses
  • Saves: Mirror of Ereoctes and Menhir’s Will
  • Nullification - useful skill in many situations and especially against enemies with reflection


  • No skill disraption resist
  • Stun resistence is not maxed
  • Kill speed seems to be slower compared to the Dovakin build from the first post
  • Can’t win battle with Lokkar, Avatar and Ravager on Ultimate


Will update this post on other Forcewave builds during the testing.

2H Cold Forcewave Blademaster

Grim tools (AoM, Elite)


  • Screenshot with Field Command, Oleron’s Rage, Chilling Weapons and Pneumatic Burst active

Forcewave damage statistic (same buffs as above): https://s8.hostingkartinok.com/uploads/images/2018/03/3de74b00ff9413481ad246121595bab3.jpg

Comments: The build looks & feels Ok. Plan to test it on Ultimate and try to polish to get as high Forcewave damage/DPS as possible.
Wonder if there are any other cold Forcewave builds on the forum. Winter King’s Might is sweet, but I don’t think cold Forcewave build is weaker or less effective.

Credits: Inspired by the discussion on our Russian community forum.


2H Lightning Forcewave Warder

Grim tools (Act 5, Ultimate)


  • Screenshot with Field Command, Mogdrogen’s Pact, Stormcaller’s Pact, Stormcaller Aura and Fighting Spirit active

Forcewave damage statistic (same buffs as above): https://s8.hostingkartinok.com/uploads/images/2018/03/427284d188ec43da2df56f4a14b5a40e.jpg

Comments: The build completed Vanilla campaign content on Ultimate. Still feels pretty good - solid and dangerous. According to statistic max damage dealt is 216188 (on Elite, most likely in Ancient Grove)

Credits: Thanks to Chthon for the neat idea of the build concept and to Safarel for help with crafting the core build element - Myth. Wyrmbone Mask.

1 Like

Reserved just in case

It’s nice to see a build from you here.

Thank you!

glad to see battlemage forcewave work well. good job.:wink:

Thanks! Yeah, I enjoy this build. :slight_smile:

Great job with your first guide

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Why arcanist though? Witchblade has roughly the same stats but -25% phys res on top.
How good is the Oleron proc? It might be better to respec it and bind Assassin’s Mark instead. War Cry + CoF + Ass Mark = easy frontloaded -82% phys res.

Nice build dude

RIP preferred playstyle.:stuck_out_tongue:

Why Nullification? I thought the idea of the build was to convert elemental damage to physical damage?

Would be best kept at 1 point and reinvest

Nullification to remove debuffs people cast on you as well as buffs people cast on themselves. It’s a must in all arcanists, even more so than Mirror/Maivens. Easily one of the best skills in the game.

As I already mentioned at the beginning it was an idea to try fun build in Dovakin style: Forcewave as Fus-Ro-Dah, Mirror as Feim-Zii-Gron and etc. The witchblade is strong masteries combination and should be solid variant as well. However I got an impression that there too much good witchblade builds and wanted to try something less popular. :slight_smile:

Feels good to me. I used Assassin’s Mark with Forcewave on Elite and it was nice. However on Absolute I got an impression that Oleron proc + Forcewave is better combination or maybe it is my personal preferences. It is useful when face tank bosses, nemesis and Mad Queen or if clear the crowd with strong enemies. Just use Assassin’s Mark on the strongest one from time to time and continue the fight.

Nope. We sacrifice a little bit of physical damage to get solid % critical damage boost.

Well, x1x1x1x2 provided good justification to max Nullification. This skill is, IMHO, extremely useful and especiially against pack of heroes or in fights against bosses/nemesis with minions. Other build combination have to use Cleansing Waters proc that is just a pale shadow of Nullification with unpredictable behaviour.

Last but not least, it is pricelessly to make Mad Queen more mad and angry when remove here aura almost every time. :stuck_out_tongue:

P.S: Well, before getting all planned pieces of gear I was testing build setups to find optimal one. And the worst nightmare for me were bosses or nemesis, like Alkamos and Fabius, with items on reflect. The mirror and nullification, and sometime tortoise, helped me to avoid the death from reflected hight IT damage. You can find example of such intermediate setups below.


Thank you!

Updated the guide. Added the following sections:

  1. Gameplay
  2. Devotions setup

Updated my second post - the next one after the guide on 2H physical Forcewave build. Added cold & lightning Forcewave builds - take into account that they are in testing and could be not optimised yet.