Bleed levelling?

How do you guys like to lvl when you play bleeding damage?

I was thinking of running a trickster with something like this

Think I will max devouring swarm to mince trash mobs in act 1 before going to FG for the shield. Then I will just grab 2 cronley rings hopefully +6 circle of slaughter can carry my damage for bosses early even if I just 1 point the skill and pump the mastery. How good are the blade spirits now? I’m going try to rush them ASAP but think they have been hit pretty bad last couple patches right?


I think the meta is levelling with Bleed-only is a PITA. I’d just go Vitality shaman until the low 50s then switch.

Only write-up or hints/tips for levelling as Bleed I recall seeing are some old (but should still be fairly relevant) ones from Rhylthar here:

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I leveled a bleed warden using bleed from level 1 and was actually really smooth, strong and fast. I started as shaman using bleed spells (I believe it is the fastest approach and shaman is also the best bleed mastery) and invested in bleed devotions right away. I don`t have the snapshots anymore, but I can create some fast snapshots on grimtools for you. Like levels 20, 40, 65, and so on.

Ok, so I did some very quick sketches to level as a bleed shaman from level 1. Start with devouring swarm, then grasping vines then primal bond. For devotions, start with falcon (bind it to devouring swarm or grasping vines at first), then bat, red crossroads, and huntress. Falcon and rend are very strong for clear, so clear speed will be great. Best proccer for rend is graping vines imo (because you get big aoe rend), then use falcon on devouring swarm or whatever you prefer. You also need a third skill for bat: I would use 1 point in savagery until you have a better option (if you get rend before phantasmal blades, for example).

Snapshots would be something like this:

Level 20 - Shaman, Level 20 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Level 30 - Shaman, Level 30 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Level 40 (Assuming you go trickster) - Trickster, Level 40 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

When I leveled as bleed, I did a similar setup and it was surprisingly smooth. Back then, I used troll bonecrusher with 1 point into savagery, but I changed the setup to devouring swarm and grasping vines MIs because they should be better early. After level 40, I would finish fox and rush two purple devotions of your choice (Owl and throne, for example) to get Mogdrogen as soon as possible.

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Is it really worth going for PB? Seems like you are already pretty point starved playing trickster as is.

I really want to focus on the nightblade skills not shaman; I am lvl 40 rn and I just pumped into maxing circle of slaughter, blade spirits and devouring swarm. I might drop the grasping vines I have one point in it still to proc rend.

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Groble sand offhand is much stronger than this shield, even it got nerfed.

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I am not sure if it is worth it for endgame, but it definitely is worth it for leveling since I am using viper MI gun (at least 1 level for the bleed bonus). Wendigo sword only becomes available at level 40 something, so the gun is worth it imo from 20 to 40 something. But if you are already level 40 with maxed nightblade skills, then I guess you don’t need it anymore. Did you go for nightblade skills + devouring swarm? I guess it works too. I just rushed shaman first because grasping vines is insane for clear speed and leveling fast.

You are probably right. I totally forgot that Groble sand offhand is also available in the beginning of act 7, so you could go for that instead of the shield. It is twice the bleed damage on the skill bonus, but you lose 10% bleed rr (could be a pain against ghosts in act 2, but it is still worth it). The stats on the offhand are also better and you get that very appreciated energy regen for early leveling. I will edit my snapshots to use the Groble offhand instead.

I leveled Bleed Nightblade on Veteran (with Ring of Steel + Lightning Nova early) and I Act sucked which was expected for Bleed and I enjoyed that (I fought all bosses and totems) .

But then after killing Warden, going for the shield to the desert, optimizing the build for Blade Spirit it felt worse than expected for me. Maybe it would catch up later (after putting more points in support skills and acquiring more %Bleed damage) but I dropped it at the beginning of Act 2. I didn’t have problems with progressing further I think but it felt like too much hassle. Perhaps Bleed focused caster should just level on Normal.

I think this was the guy Trickster, Level 27 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
I may have not been accustomed to Bleed so I’ll try this again some other time since I want a cool endgame Rancor trickster.


The way I understand it from Rhylthar and Stupid_Dragon’s levelling notes, you need maxed Devouring Swarm as soon as you start for the Bleed RR. Combined with Falcon Swoop, it makes for smoother clearing and allows you to move into taking secondary Bleed sources like Grasping Vines, Blade Spirit, Circle of Slaughter etc. while working towards Rend in devotion.

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I doubt DS + Falcon works on 1 Act Veteran and beyond (I assume more or less full clear not skipping everything). I think you actually need reasonable Damage sources before that for RR to be worth it (it’s not like I don’t have it - I have -25% on my char). That’s why I used Ring of Steel + Circle of Slaughter + Falcon (and switched to Blade Spirits after Warden to become a more ranged character).

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In tests I’ve done levelling between Normal and Veteran from 1-30 for other damage types/skills, you need more dps for Veteran because of the just above double health enemies get compared to Normal and need to be more careful with how you build your damage and balance against building any early defense/sustain. Maybe that’s the reason :man_shrugging: , I could see maxed Swarm + Falcon working for Act 1 Normal just fine.


I wonder how DS vs Viloth would look like. Even on normal :thinking:
Maybe there’s a video somewhere

I’ve found Rektos videos but he’s skipping side quests initially, comes back later and then uses also Pox and Fireball

Viloth has pretty predictable/dodgeable attacks for casters/ranged users so if he’s not going down quickly, it’s a matter of patience :sweat_smile:

Yeah but I’m thinking if starting from DS is the best strat not if it works if you’re patient :wink:

Pretty sure I’ve ran on maxed Swarm in Normal until Homestead just fine before, where it starts to fall off, but by that point you should be able to pick up another skill and maybe 1 or 2 devotion procs to keep up damage.

I’ve also heard of people getting the Level 11 Krieg kill achievement with maxed Swarm as well.

I only found 16/16 DS vs Krieg but on Veteran and Level 10 so it’s not a good marker.

Grim Dawn - Defeat Warden Krieg at lvl 10 on HC Veteran on any mastery! - YouTube

“Tactical retreat”. Love it :clap:.

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I am planning to try hybrid until Level 50 atleast.

I will invest points in Briarthorn’s skill tree instead of choosing a second class early on. Together with Heart of the Wild , Oak Skin , Wendigo Totem, Briarthorn should be pretty tanky between Level 40-50 atleast on Normal difficulty. Rush FG after killing Krieg for the shield (and maybe pistol) and then continue main campaign. I might farm gollum rings for bonus to health regen and mogdrogen pact. Zaria’s pendant also benefits both player(+1 to all skills in Shaman) and increases Briarthorn damage.

Certain devotions like huntress benefit both players and pets as well. Something like this : Shaman, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

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