Best Caster Builds?

Looking for some suggestions for a caster build, preferably direct damage (not DOTs or Pets). Doesn’t need to be top tier but preferably viable and fun to play.

The only “caster” class (that don’t rely on DoT damage) I like to play these days are a CT battlemage or a PB spellbreaker. The CT and the PB build are definitively very fun to play if you like fast gameplay with a lot of things happening on screen.

Other than this, you can try some “rotation casters” (that mostly use skills on cooldown following a specific order, hence the "rotation’), but i don’t know if you like these type of builds, since I don’t.

Are those melee builds? I’m looking for an alt to my Sabateur so would probably prefer something ranged.

PB Spellbreaker is not a melee build, no. CT Battlemage is within 5m range, so kinda melee.

A CT build is a close range caster/nuker… the PB is an AoE caster that attack from afar, but that can also “focus” his main attack on a single targed if he chose to close the distance.

If you don’t like any of these because they do not respond to your idea of what a caster is, you can try a PRM battlemage/warlock/something… I haven’t played this skill since 1.0.0.1, so I cannot guarantee anything, but it’s the most “classic” caster you can have in this game, i think.

Here are some different caster builds I play. They have some key components that are the same, since those components are quite strong for casters. There are also many more caster builds available maybe some others will share theirs also.

Grim Calc
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Grim Calc
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Grim Calc
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Grim Calc
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Grim Calc
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Grim Calc
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Grim Calc
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Grim Calc
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I second CT builds and PB builds, these are the only ones I found powerful and fun to play. CT is probably easier to farm and gear up if that’s the issue.

No-CD Dreeg’s Evil Eye had struck me as a pretty low damage build that’s also rather gear dependant. With the quality of gear he needs to reach 10k DPS Fire Strike will be 20k+. I think PRM is roughly the same, maybe slightly better because Arcanist has a lot of cast speed while Occultist has none.

As for rotation casters - I haven’t played them, but by monitoring this forum daily I got the impression that they mostly suck, except for maybe Sigil of Consumption.

EDIT: there’s also AAR, but after playing with the similar skill in D3 I find AAR rather clunky and not very fun.

Would you happen to have a link to a build and/or guide for the PB build? That sounds really interesting.

http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42572
something like this
The author here uses CD version of PB, but it’s still possible to play it with transmuter that way. Do keep in mind that the true potential of this build can’t be realized without Warpfire and 2x Albrecht’s Duality. You can play a PB witchhunter (no guides) that’s also fun but has less end game potential according to ETK.

Yes, mine.

http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42210

I agree with the AAR. It is very gear dependent to be efficient. You have to stand still and beam, which requires you to be kind of tanky. When you become tanky, DPS falls down. Especially at ultimate, with the high CC resist of bosses, it becomes impossible for AAR to be effective. For a skill that does not allow you to kite, damage output should be way more than what it is now.

I played an AAR sorceress till level 76. I do not recommend that build unless you have most of the required gear.

The damage is decent. I don’t know any other build that can do a 20+k dps in relatively crap gear by 55-60 lvls. Most other builds will have 8-10k with gear of such level.

But there are just so many annoying factors. First of all, the snowballing energy cost. Even though it was decreased recently, it’s still easily up to 1000+ energy per second. The thing is, you can’t proportionally raise your energy cost at such rates, basically you invest into DPS but the time you can channel the skill is decreased, therefore your total damage done before you need to wait your energy pool to recover remains give or take constant. That’s why the more you invest into AAR’s DPS the more bursty in nature it becomes. That’s not all, AAR is essentially a single target spell, therefore you have to consider options of AOE clearing, like warpfired OFF, canister+volcano or something else. There are also quick enemies that hit like a truck, but you still have to facetank them, because you can’t kite and there are no mobility skills like D3’s teleport. I also hate how it auto-clings to enemies. I tried to like this skill, but Disintegration wizard from D3 feels so much more smooth to play.

Edit: and I hate it’s slow propagation as well.

Only way I would use the AAR is if the transmuter would split the beam into 3 beams instead.

AAR is a tricky skill to balance. There needs to be enough damage done in those bursts where you can stop and shoot, but not so much damage that if you use mirrors and a cluster to maintain a focused beam that it becomes OP (I think the high energy cost is there to prevent the ability to maintain the beam, but the damage should be proportional if that is the case and it currently is not)…or if your playing multiplayer you can sit behind your tank and melt everything…

I view AAR as if it was a ray “gun”. So it is a ranged weapon where you’re not intended to constantly use it just like any other ranged build… That at least helps me with the “DPS loss” while running around… Rifle and pistol builds can’t constantly shoot their guns. They also need to stop shooting to run around. But a BIG difference between the two is the rifles and pistols shoot as soon as you click on your target…AAR has to build up before starting and if you can’t hold the button down long enough, it will stop before completes and you do zero damage…

I think if they would just make the beam instant as soon as you click on something it would help a lot. So many times I stop to try to shoot and something pops and I have to run again before the beam even finishes building up that I can’t get any damage out of it.

If they could just have it start as soon as you click something instead of that build it, it would help a lot! Gives a little more damage for those small burst while not really affecting times you can maintain it longer. Would make the game play more similar to ranged weapons that also have to stop to shoot. As ranged weapons shoot as soon as you click you can make a ranged build where you can run turn shot, run turn shoot… That is much harder with AAR due that build up time and I think that leads to the clunkiness.

The damage scaling late game compared to melee builds is another issue…but if the game play could at least be smoothed out some it would go a ways in helping.

I’ve always loved playing casters in any game. I still enjoy my AAR sorcerer too, but I’m currently leveling Jajaja’s saboteur (currently lv 57) so I’m just now fully realizing how far behind, damage wise, AAR is compared to a good melee build… My bleed/IT/physical warder was slightly better then AAR and a ton more tanky, but the DW firestrike saboteur…WOW!! And that is even after all of the nerfs to firestrike… can’t imagine what it was like before the nerfs…

Haha, I am also leveling up jajaja’s Saboteur and I can exactly understand how it feels to play with an AAR caster before that. :wink:

AAR + Devastation + OFF are decent against trash and some of the boss creatures. You occasionally die to reflective before you can even say “what…”, but that is OK too. However AAR is a real pain against swift bosses, or uber-bosses we have to fight in tight areas (= locked doors).