Battlemage or "How I got dissapointed by his skill sets"

First: Yes, I´m naive and stereotypical “romactic” flaired!

I was just creating my second character after reaching Ultimate (mid-progress 79) with my Witchhunter. I´m enjoying his playstyle, can vary a little bit, still a bit squishy but good movement and regen/oh-shit. Everytimee it makes “BAM!BOOM!YES, DIE!”.

So I thought, Grim Dawn advertises “play your hero like you want and you can succeed”. Thinking about a 2H swinging Battlemage. Wielding fierce slow weapons which are crushing enemy hordes while devastating them with magic in close combat. Freezing enemies with an ice shock and shatter them.

Yeees, sounds good, eh?
Nope, not possible!

Battlemage just offers common Soldiers skills paired with Arcanist “Oh Shit!” or common Arcanist skills paired with Soldiers “Hold on a hour longer buddy! Oh Shit just in serious moments but before that procc your DmgBuff!”.

Sure, it´s just my second hero and I´m just lvl34 but I already feel limited in my options.

Okay, Cadence offers one Transmute giving me 50% EleDmg on that skill but that´s it. Everything is just physical with Bleed and Trauma. Iskandra offers additional ElementalDmg with some DoT´s but that´s it!

I dont want to say Battlemage is bad. I dont know this combo enough to judge an endgame.

I just wanted to share my dissapointment about how limited this classcombo feels.

Good Night, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Edit: Grim Dawn is a great game! I love you for this, Crate!

I understand your feeling. Trying to build a “fun” build, plan accordingly to plan, then before reach Homestead “OMG MY BUILD IS CRAP” feeling :rolleyes:.

I think the problem here isn’t that Battlemage with elemental is crap. The problem is the progress before we got full potential from our skills, devotion, and equipment.

Maybe you can go to Calidor’s until you level 50 and respec back. :stuck_out_tongue:

I definitely see your point. Some classes-combo become viable mostly through a specific set of skills and items that synergies well together, but seems extremely awkward apart from it.

Battlemage is one of them, where stacking physcial to aether conversion throgh items, and using soldier skills for defensive buffs allows for a powerful combo, but the rest is more limited.

Which has never been an issue to me, and I might still try to beat the game through other builds within that combo. But I know that it will never be a build that kills fast or survive against anything that comes his way.

And it feels sad on the one hand, however it also offers some challenge on the other hand. Pushes oneself to try and find a way to push a character further and further through careful planning and optimization. Which makes the journey very enjoyable - if you are into that kind of things.

It helps to do some research (ie look at skills) before you try making a build. If the skills do not support the build you have in mind, then either try a different build or a different combo.

Sounds like Shaman would have been the better option for you.

@mamba: Problem is that just looking at those skills doesn’t give you what you need to judge if this or that skill is a skill that you like to use.
You have to use them first, have to invest some points in them, go with them for a while to see if they suit your needs and are fun for you to play with.

not sure what you mean by ‘like to use’, I base that on damage types dealt and weapon types supported more than anything else, and that you know just from the description already

His main complaint (imo) would be identified by simply reading the descriptions already

Here’s a possible build that might work with a 2h weapon. Just theory crafting though.

  • Skills would definitely help which could perhaps make putting 1 point into Counterstrike for procs/damage a bit more useful.

edit: Skills via itemization/devotion would make it more enjoyable if that’s your main concern.

I would differentiate between a skill being theoretically useful for my build and it having a mechanic that suits my style of play.
For example Albrecht’s Aether Ray sounded awesome to me when I looked at the tooltip, when I actually used it though I found that I didn’t like it’s attack animation at all; the fact that it’s channel animation and the way the ray travels make it hard to kite, to move between “shots” of the ray.

For me those things are actually much more important than simple stats, because they define if I find a skill satisfactory to use or not.

Plus - the tooltips are not very precise. You can’t see if e.g. a skill does damage in a cone or in a wave or a ray or whatever, you have to try it out first to see how it really works.

Battlemage is definitely the least synergistic class combo. Part of the problem is that Devastation is such a great Arcanist skill but it’s not allowed with a shield or 2H.

Playing cold based 2h battlemage with cadence and prismatic eviscerator (by now) and having 0 (zero) problems by far, and it isn’t even my final form, haven’t even got Whirlpool and maiven’s and top items (going to use nice Frostborn/Glacied Alkamos Scythe of Alacrity, need to farm for one though)

You realy need to figure out game mechanics dude, battlemage is ok for ele build (mostly frost due to Star Pact)

Tried this myself, it’s best done with +1 to all skills items/item sets and the two handers that give decent benefits. Though annoyingly the Temporal Arcblade should be really good for this, it’s lack of attack speed makes it less useful that the Empowered Prismatic Eviscerator despite the 2+ to Arcarnist skills.

As for where I went with mine - I use Callidor’s Tempest with the modifier as my crowd clearer, Cadence for single target dps, Avenger relic skill + Sacred Strike from blessed steel and it’s okay in vet. Got demoralised by how poo the Temporal Arcblade is though and haven’t pushed it forward sadly. Pretty good at clearing out content on Vet after some work and fairly good at not dying.

Another way of doing it is an Aether focused sword and board build, since there are items which suit this and devotion skills that are perfect for reducing aether resistance and plenty of other stuff that can work. Though for two handers I’d go with a Druid for aether/lightening synergy. And there’s also a two-hander sword that might be useful:

Yeah, Battlemage is probably the worst mastery combination in the game. Sorry bro, I hate it too; sword and board casters are my favorite style of play but they’re not really especially viable in Grim Dawn. Even Witchblades are primarily non-caster-focused.

Even if i fully agree with you, aside from skills you also must study both constellation and 50-75 level items (because it different difficulties your build perform very differently) suitable for your build. And even then you could found out that even your, f.e., constellation setup is great at damage makes your very vulnerable in latter difficulties (even if it’s unlikely with Soldier) and without it, your damage is mediocre.

That’s quite a lot of studying, before trying out builds.

Battlemage isnt that bad i have calidor one and cadence that conert all his dmg in aether and elemental and can easily finish all content of the normal game.

As some people stated that you can’t use devastation weapon swaping in tome of names can help with that and i think that tome was designed especially for that - psyhical and elemental resist on it.

As most people here i am also dissapointed with Archblade weapon look so cool yet is so bad crap skill no attack speed it should really have high level devastation on it or something like that only use i possibly see with that weapon is with winter king crown or something like that.

Force wave could work in theory but isnt like that even with almost all weapon converted in aether and elemental it still dont hit that hard because its upgrade dont support you much.

Try Iskandra set + Beronath reforged Cadence Battlemage;) with good devotion setup it wrecks.

You can also do Aeter Forcewave build with temporal Arcblade.

and of course Aether cadence build with Mindwarp

The problem with battlemage is that it doesn’t have a “signature” build that’s best in class.

Callidor? Sorcerer would be better, probably.
Cadence? Witchblade would be better.
Blade Arc? Hard to compete to bleed/phys Warders
TSS? Nah, Spellbreaker or Druid is probably the way to go
PRM? This one can work, but yet again - either Sorc or Druid have a better synergy. Heck, even Spellbreaker.

So what are we left with? Elemental Cadence, which is probably what could had been a signature build, but it’s just messed up. IIRC Discord only works on 3rd attacks, and considering how Cadence became meta just after Deadly Momentum buff I’d say you’re losing a lot of potential going Discord.

Another skills that sort of stands aside is Forcewave, and it would be cool if Battlemage was a go-to Forcewave build, but yet again - major portion of Forcewave’s damage lies within Internal Trauma, which is Trauma + Bleed. Bleed can’t be converted to neither elemental nor aether, Trauma can be converted to Elemental DoTs but what about aether? There’s no DoT counterpart to Aether, to be honest I don’t know how it would work. So as it is Warder looks better synergy-wise for Forcewave, but IIRC Forcewave gear is biased towards Phys/Fire instead, so Commando might be best here. Even if you use such a neat weapon as Temporal Archblade if you don’t have +skills it won’t be good.

I thought that this was the canonical 2handed BM

Basically just take Arcanist for Inner Focus and kick ass as pure Solider?

If playing Cornucopia, you could adjust to get OFF and just not max all the Solider skills. But the above build is great fun as mine is parked at lvl 70 and still has not chosen second mastery and he rips through everything, but someday I will probably commit him to Arcanist just for IF.

One of my first Legendaries ever was a big 2handed pole with a big fist on the end and that thing gives at least a 700 dps advantage over everything I have found since. I highly recommend that weapon for this build.

BM is kinda bad, no matter what you do. It used to be the best character build in the game, to the point where everything else was useless in comparison.

Many things changed in the mean time, but I guess the image of the insanely overpowered BM remained in everyone’s head, and it seems nobody screamed for a buff (every other class combination that used to suck, and some that didn’t, just got their own set to fix itemisation problems).

Another problem is that both Soldier and Arcanist are “toolbox” classes, providing a large amount of active skills skills for physical/melee and magical/ranged classes respectively. As such, they are a pretty weak combination since they focus on vastly different things, but at the same time rely on less skill-point intensive passive and (de)buff skills from support classes to shine (just look at how insane the Soldier becomes when you max only one buff and one debuff from the Occultist tree!).

Do not despair, however, there is one somewhat good BM build: Panetti’s spammer. Max PRM and all pick up all the caster skills from Arcanist, get the passive goodies from soldier (stop at lvl 40 mastery) and use a standard Tree of life + Behemoth + Widow devotion setup. It is slightly weaker than Calidor’s Sorcerer with perfect items, but it is much better without perfect items because it is tankier. PRM is also incredibly easy to level with.

I actually never study gear or devotions… devotions pretty much fall into place once you know your skills and gear is pointless to study, as the drops will be whatever they are. What gear is out there only really becomes relevant once you beat the game and decide to farm for the best gear, if you do that at all.

Sure, you can study all of this first, but as you said it is a lot to analyze and imo you are pretty much 90% there once you know the skills but only did 50% of the work, so the rest is just not that important to look into