Acid Reaper and Acid Witch Hunter lacking

I have recently started using the grim dawn forums and one thing I have noticed is that just about everyone who has played these builds (at an attempt to be even close to competitive) has encountered the same glaring issues.

  1. lack of any satisfying default attack replacer. It seems that just about any build or class combo that can use fire strike savagery or cadence has become the “go to” or standard for these types of builds and for good reason; because they simply outperform and outclass builds that do not have access to an acceptable default attack replacer such as acid/poison builds like reaper and witch hunter. The damage potential of classes such as blademaster, purifier, saboteur etc is just so much higher and why should it be?

Going off of that point is also amarasta’s blade burst. Shockingly, some people refer to this as something similar to a default attack replacer, however, more informed and knowledgeable players understand that this is nothing of the sort. ABB for EVERY (especially acid/poison focused) dual wield build is a severe dps loss and is ONLY used once every 3.8 seconds to upkeep the lethal assault buff. How an ability which is not a default attack, where dw builds only invest 1 point into, and only trigger once every 3.8 seconds can be compared to “pseudo default attack replacer” is beyond me but that is another story.

  1. An absurd amount of gear and devotions supporting these builds will randomly just give poison/acid resist on basically everything. It is not uncommon for a witch hunter to accidentally and unwantingly be over capped on acid/poison resist by over 100%. There is seriously a limit to how much “lore” you can shove into these items/devotions.

  2. For how uncompetitive the damage is, the builds arent exactly that good in survival either. Reapers often get cc’d very easily and pop. Soldier based similar variants have hilariously less problems in survival while doing more damage as well.

  3. Also mentioned in other threads, Harbinger of souls is extremely lacking as an exclusive skill. While other exclusives can be found to support many damage types and bring many benefits, harbinger of souls only affects vitality and aether while also offering very little benefit for non spellcasters. People are ACTUALLY taking the Master of dead PET based exclusive over harbinger of souls for every build.

  4. Reaper set bonuses and well as gear support in certain slots is a joke. Deathguard is a great idea and definitely has great items but currently people dont even care to complete its 4 piece bonus. This is not necessarily a bad thing to have variety in some situations but it is highly questionable that there is currently no situation where one would take the deathguard hood over the other nightblade hood (forgot its name) which converts 30% of cold to acid. Certain slots such as belt and medal have almost no option at all for reaper. This could be fine but it seems the other more competitive classes mentioned have no such problem.

Others have also suggested to combine the deathguard sigil into the set for a 5th set bonus to possibly solve some problems.

I do not know how seriously crate takes these types of posts to implements atleast minor solutions but I still thank everyone for their time reading.

  1. Why shouldn’t it though? Not every build is meant to be equal
    Also, even though we lack dedicated acid default attack replacers for WH and Reaper, Beronath solves this and is more than enough
    Acid Nightblade hybrids also have Shadow Strike to rely on as their main ability

ABB is good for Ranged Builds but shouldn’t even be considered for melee (besides LA buff)

  1. The overcapped resistance part bugs me as well, I hope they eventually look into it

  2. Their damage is more than competitive, Witch Hunters and Reapers are among top tier class combos
    Their survivability is a little worrisome, but Witch Hunter HP regen is almost unparalleled. Gear can help one deal with CC.
    As for Reapers, Mark of Torment generally solves any problems

  3. Harbinger of Souls is not well designed. I agree. The current DA requirements for end game require Master of Death. I have seen very few builds that actually use HoS

  4. Reaper iirc only has one dedicated set. Deathguard completion is meant for Poison based Bone Harvest builds, although Acid Reapers can easily use this.
    Venomblade Hood probably is a better choice for Acid Route but the set itself is fine the way it is.

Thanks for the response. However, I strongly believe you should also add ABB to your list of poorly designed abilities. Its really just awful and SOME people seem to be… tricked by the fact that its cd is so low but fail to realize it could be a .5 second cd for all i care and it will not change the fact that the ability provides extremely marginal dmg increase (compared to all the other skills in grim dawn) for a 2h and a dps LOSS for 1hs.

And I bring that up again because i find it ironic that there is an acid based 1h legendary which adds some worthless poison dmg to ABB which is funny cause it clearly seems to be a design intent for a dw ABB but just fails.

As for your comment on Beronath, I dont think it is as good as you say. When you compare what you gain from a beronath which is a simple 115% and really nothing else for acid to the crazy total damage and crit multipliers fire strike has … just doesnt come close. You are better off going any other elements and rolling a sab. You could prolly go acid sab and do better than reaper / witch hunter.

That being said I am not saying there should be an acid default attack replacer that beats out or goes even with fire strike cadence etc, all i am saying is the gap shouldnt be this large.

And yea fix harbinger of souls asap
EDIT: I forgot to comment on your 5th point. What you say is actually not true, there is currently NO reaper build that uses deathguard hood which would beat out the other 30% conversion hood. You can play this “poison bone harvest reaper” if you find it fun but it will never come close in terms of damage to any reaper build using the 30% conversion. Infact people are realizing its not even optimal to invest points into bone harvest at all aside from the first point (for the standard acid reaper build). I am usually a pretty open minded guy but in this particular issue you are really gonna have to prove to me with math that ANY build utilizing deathguard hood can beat out the 30% cold conversion hood. It cannot.

This is the crux of the issue IMO.

Lethal Assault is excellent for dual wield and there are 1H melee weapon weapons and even dual wield sets that buff ABB.
This makes it seem to me that the game actually wants you to use ABB with melee dual wield.

On one hand the skill sucks for melee dual wield while on the other hand the game actually seems to wants you to use the skill with melee dual wield.

Also currently only 1 out of the 4 active attack skills of the nightblade mastery use melee dual wield damage despite being a mastery focusing on it.
Sure you can just use SS or WPS + shard but compared to say soldier or shaman melee builds Nightblade builds melee lacks variety.

I wanted to ask you regular posters the question of how often does Crate give attention to these types of posts? How often do their balance patches come? If there is really obviously awful stuff like Harbinger of souls, does it usually get a fix?

They read them all I believe, or try to.

I would be surprised if harbinger of souls does not get tweaked in which should arrive in 2-3 weeks.

2-3 weeks O.O

Well thanks for letting me know

About your 2. point, it’s somewhat good to have wastly overcapped poison resist for poison builds, because of reflect, since your -rr debuffs can be reflected too and you most likely have a lot of that (or doing something wrong).

Imagine that you only have only 80 res and cof+rumor+acid spray’s debuff gets reflected on you alongside your massive dots :).

For acid builds it’s a little redundant but acid and poison builds share a fair number of devotions and equipment so it wouldn’t be so easy to solve a problem without creating another (well this last part could be the epigraph of such a complex system like GD’s anyway :)).

I am fine with ABB the way it is, but the fact they give us ABB bonuses on 1h melee weapons really bugs me

I went with Acid Pyro at some point, Fire Strike is no doubt very good but Beronath isn’t too far behind. In vanilla I saw 50k-60k DPS on Beronath Witch Hunters, not to mention sheet DPS of Fire Strike will be higher because of all the flat fire damage on it (that doesn’t add too much to the Acid builds)

And default attack replacers aren’t an issue as Shadow Strike serves that purpose, Acid WH are played similarly to Cold Spellbreakers by building around Shadow Strike

Have you actually tried the set and skill before making this comment? If it’s math you want then simply trying out the set would give you your answer
The 30% conversion only benefits the Acid Melee version, if you go Poison Caster with full DG set and Bone Harvest it’s one of the strongest Necro builds atm. I’d still advice you to try it

If enough people get behind it then a change might come

The fact that Reapers and Witch Hunters miss a attack replacers is hugely emphasised by, like you say, the fact that ABB is very unintuitive for them to use. What I can’t grasp is why ABB doesn’t use both weapons. With NB heavily supporting DW, why would the proposed left-click attack of the mastery not? Hell, even Lethal Assault looks handmade for dual wielders, while being paired to a skill that is not.

It’s all very contradicting, to me. If the devs are reasoning that ABB might be too strong if it hit with both weapons, why not make a skill modifier that tweaks the numbers while also making the skill support dual wield? I’m thinking something similar to the Harvester of Death-modifier to Bone Harvest. Let’s say the it modifies total damage, lowers the radius and doubles the cooldown of the skill while dual wielding.

This should make ABB much more attractive to use for Dual Wielders. Hitting with both weapons would make the DPS-loss from ABB less apparent, even if you don’t pump lots of skill points in it. The longer cooldown also means it has a smaller influence on your autoattacks.

Would also give the NB mastery additional flavour, with another DW-specialized skill.

EDIT: Having such a modifier also effect ranged DW would be fun. My ranged cold Infiltrator would be all over it. Please Crate.

You Forget that it looks similar with Soldier/Shaman there.

Soldier has only Cadence + Markovian advantage das actually counts dual wield.

in shaman there is only savagery counting both melee weapons.

But atleast those classes have something to work with when goin dualwield to support some more builds

what me bugs with nightblade is the rather Meh looking 2H melee side while there are alot of 2H weapons giving + to nightblade skills like this one :rolleyes:

so Shadow Strike on a 2H build has still the same weapon damage factor and no transmuter to actually make it more valueable to 2H builds like blade arc or savagery have it.

and then there are the necro attack procs: reaping strike and necrotic edge which don’t use both weapon’s when dualwielding making necro a somewhat wierd class to pair with nightblade.

not a fan of acid Witch hunter either feels waay too soft for melee and as DEE based caster the Blood burst skill of DEE only factors in maindhand weapon damage aswell so i prefer cabalist there to add some more vitality damage/OA/HP to the build aswell as MoT for the absorbtion.

vitality based Witch Hunter feels a lot better though even without having a special attack replacer for meleeform.

I was not comparing the dual wield potential of the masteries. I was comparing how many 2h builds you could make with shaman and how many shield builds with the soldier mastery to the dual wield builds you could make with the Nightblade mastery.

If you’re just comparing the skills of the masteries:

All 3 masteries have decent WPS skills so these can be ignored.
For shield melee builds the soldier has Cadence and Blitz
For 2H melee builds the shaman has Savagery and Primalstrike
For dual wield melee builds the Nightblade only has shadowstrike

I agree about the 2H nightblade part, shadow strike should really have a 2h mutator. Still it should not be so strong that it deals more DPS then the dual wield version.

Actually, normal SS from 2H could deal much more dmg than DW, but DW has Belgothian’s Carnage to get closer dmg output. 2H is more suitable for any high %weapon skills themselves(cuz they has high weapon dmg, but slow attack speed). Shadow Strike is the only nuke skill for DW exclusively.

From my top dmg, my DW SS have around 750k(50% crit dmg 2200% cold, with all-in offense might be around 1M). My 2H reaper have 1.22M(46% crit dmg 2600% cold)

For how uncompetitive the damage is, the builds arent exactly that good in survival either. Reapers often get cc’d very easily and pop. Soldier based similar variants have hilariously less problems in survival while doing more damage as well.

Lol, show me soldier that deal 1.2Mil crit without survivability problems.
Dmg come with a price, in curent meta you can easily push your Reaper/WH above 20k HP 2700 DA and feel save and tanky, you just wont be able to deliver these juicy 1.2 Mil crits on regular basis.

It’s just a number. Overall dmg output from good soldier builds(which is in the compendium) are close to these builds, but far more defensive and safety.

100% of soldier mastery are useful and 50% of them were often used. Most armor are heavy and don’t need 2 scaled hide to get full armor absorption. No doubt why they’re so popular and EZ to kill everything with ease.

it’s getting a little too offtopic here.

Back to topic: Reaper in general lacks a bit of synergy in my opinion not just Acid/poison but is most feelable there. (2H only side of necro with little 2H support of nightblade)

for Acid/Posion Witch Hunter: the nightblade skills that can be used to make him somewhat caster variant do not support it all to well and if you go SS + Nidalla’s hidden hand melee it feels way inferior compared to vitality

Our of 3 Nightblade weapon Atack ability 3 support twohanders and 2 of them are clearly superior with 2handers.

Easily above 20k HP with a witch hunter? Have you even played one? Even with all your points in physical + plenty of health from gear and constellations you won’t go much higher then 15k.

Perhaps you could barely reach 20k by getting health from every gear slot + going full defensive on constellations. This would mean no(or barley any) legendary gear appropriate for you build or only rares and no T3 constellation appropriate for you damage type
This would result in abysmal dps, way worse then any normal soldier build.

WH can have around 14-15k HP. Reaper can have a little under 20k hp (without over emphasis on defense). Pretty sure you’re the only one who hasn’t played a WH if you think WH damage output is low.

Acid SS, DEE WH, Poison BH Caster, Acid/Cold Witch Hunter are all top tier builds.
Also Reaper doesn’t lack synergy. Reaper, especially Acid/Poison Reaper is very good.

Have you actually tested this stuff against the end game before posting? If you have then post your build’s grimtool link you must be doing something wrong

Isn’t that what I said :undecided:.
Notice how I was only talking about Witch Hunters and not Reapers

I never said that Witch Hunter have low dps. I only said that if you aim to have above 20k HP with a Witch Hunter then you will you have low dps as it cost way to much to get that much HP on a Witch Hunter.