Build Compendium Organized by Skill (Version 1.0 Released!)

Acknowledgments

There are far too many people to thank for making this endeavor possible; to begin, there’s @Zantai and his wonderful design team for all the tireless work that they’ve put into Grim Dawn for the past 5 years (not to mention putting up with our sorry butts). There are special thanks to @ABCBarbecue for sharing with us the collaborative efforts of China’s Grim Dawn playerbase – a good number of builds in this thread are due to what he has graciously shared with us. There’s also the Safrael Discord, the group of top builders with whom I’ve discussed this thread idea for a few weeks, and many, many other groups of people who have come up with some outstanding concepts. My thread is simply a repository of their work – please make sure you give them the clicks and the praise they most surely deserve.

A personal thanks to @banana_peel for reminding me that Conduit recipes could be bought in the most recent dungeon. I had not known that previously and will update my builds accordingly.

If you are looking for Beginner’s Builds so that you can transition from a fresh character into one of the builds below, please look at @Ulvar1’s Beginner’s Build Guides; the link also has references to other beginner’s guides as well, so you’ll have no lack of information for starting out.

To make this intro a lot less wordy, the purpose of this compendium is to provide a list of all the build-defining items and showcase them through end-game capable builds. This is especially geared towards the Legendary items that change the FX for particular skills - some of the new FX out there are outstanding.

Methodology (for those interested in the thread creation process)

This compendium is different from the standard Grim Dawn build compendium in that instead of organizing the thread by classes, I am instead organizing it by skills. Have you seen a streamer use a dual-ranged Purifier and said, “Woah, I want to use Ranged Fire Strike?” Have you seen one of Grim Dawn’s sets that provides a unique skill for completing the set and you want to build around it? This is the thread for you. The other thread has the weakness that all of the skills and buffs are presented as a list, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which of the skills are the true players and which ones are merely the one-pointer for devotion proccing or something similar. I want to remove that confusion for you and give you the builds that will give you the most bang out of the skill you’re looking for.

As I’ve collaborated with many of the top Grim Dawn builders, I now recognize that the optimal way to organize the thread is to differentiate between builds that can dominate content without too much reliance on a single item and those that have very specific requirements like exact Conduit combinations or very specific double-rare affix combinations before they could be ready. As there is already a thread for the best Crucible cleaners, I wanted to have a little separation between more standard builds and more “meme” builds. As for what defines a “successful” build, I consider all builds who have at the very least either completed Shattered Realm Level 75 or Crucible Gladiator 150-170 a success.

Links for further resources

For a more numerical ranking of classes based off end-game builds, please direct yourselves to @grey-maybe’s GrimSheet Endgame Table.

For finding the absolute top builds for those who want only the best of the best, please see ArchHeretic’s thread The Fastest Cleaners in the World

Without further ado, Version v1.0 is officially ready as of 2/17, which features a whopping 300 builds for players to enjoy. I’ll place version updates as people contribute build ideas, though my intent with this thread is not to fill the posts with multiple versions of practically the same build.

32 Likes

Soldier

Forcewave

Blitz

Untested in Crucible or high SR

Cadence (Melee)

Cadence (Ranged)

Blade Arc

Counter Strike

4 Likes

Demolitionist:

Fire Strike (Ranged)

Fire Strike (Melee)

Stun Jacks

Blackwater Cocktail

Grenado

Canister Bomb

Mortar Trap

Vindictive Flame

Untested in Crucible or high SR
3 Likes

Occultist:

Dreeg’s Evil Eye

Sigil of Consumption

Doom Bolt

Bloody Pox (Fevered Rage)

Summon Raven

Summon Hellhound

2 Likes

Nightblade:

Amarasta’s Blade Burst (Spam)

**Notes: The item that grants ABB spam status is the Amarastan Crusher & uses Ilgorr’s Eternal Curse MI to cancel out the weapon damage penalty.

Phantasmal Blades

Shadow Strike

Blade Spirit

Blade Trap

2 Likes

Arcanist:

Panetti’s Replicating Missile

Callidor’s Tempest

Trozan’s Sky Shard

Albrecht’s Aether Ray

Devastation

2 Likes

Shaman:

Savagery (Melee)

Savagery (Ranged)

Primal Strike (2H Melee)

Primal Strike (2H Ranged)

Primal Strike (1H Melee)
*Notes: Primal Strike with 1H is only possible using the Stormrend Legendary Weapon found through Monster Totems.

Grasping Vines

Wind Devil

Storm Totem

Summon Briarthorn
*Notes: All Briarthorn builds are reliant on the Nature’s Regalia Set & transmutations.

Conjure Primal Spirit

1 Like

Inquisitor:

Rune of Hagarrad

Rune of Kalastor

Flames of Ignaffar

Storm Box of Elgoloth

Word of Pain

Horn of Gandarr

Untested in Crucible or High SR
1 Like

Necromancer:

Drain Essence

Ravenous Earth

Bone Harvest

Raise Skeletons

Summon Blight Fiend

Reap Spirit

1 Like

Oathkeeper:

Righteous Fervor (Melee)

Righteous Fervor (Ranged)

Eye of Reckoning

Aegis of Menhir

Vire’s Might

Judgment

Summon Guardian of Empiryon

Untested in Crucible or High SR
2 Likes

Legendary Granted Items

Auto-Attack Replacers

Belgothian Strikes
*Notes: Obtained through the Belgothian’s Slaughter Set

Touch of Chaos
*Notes: Obtained through the Rah’Zin’s Torment Set

Fleshwarped Strikes
*Notes: Obtained through the Heart of Theodin Marcell MI weapon

Untested in Crucible or high SR
  • Vitality: Chthon’s DW Fleshwarped Strikes Cabalist https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/44107
    (I know the build almost 3 years old, but I have not seen anyone post anything regarding Fleshwarped Strikes since then, and the items do not appear to have any significant changes since then)

Shard of Beronath (Melee)

Shard of Beronath (Ranged)

Yugol’s Relic (Not an AA replacer, but spin-to-win as the main attack)

Granted Spells

Tome of the Arcane Wastes
*Notes: Obtained from the Tome of the Arcane Wastes off-hand

Oblivion Relic
*Notes: Obtainable from the Oblivion Mythical Relic

Aether Lightning (Arcane Tempest Set)
*Notes Obtained from the Arcane Tempest Epic Set

Obsidian Tremors
*Notes: Obtained from the Obsidian Juggernaut 2H Mace

Winter King’s Might
*Notes: Obtained from the Crown of the Winter King helmet

1 Like

Component Skills

Biting Blades (Seal of Shadows)

Chain Lightning (Seal of Skies)

Chillspikes (Seal of the Night)

Acid Purge (Seal of Blight)

5 Likes

Version Updates

Pre 1.0 Release

Version 0.5 (Originally 1.0): Initial Release
Version 0.5.1: Condensed the initial post to make it easier to leave, introduced the “Links for More Resources” section, and replaced the “Less Powerful Damage Types” with “More Exotic Damage Types” to show that just because a damage type is more unconventional, doesn’t make it weaker.
Version 0.5.2: Removed the separate sections entirely and instead, overhauled the presentation to show where how to obtain the equipment necessary for the build. Version 0.5.2 shows the completion of the Soldier class, and subsequent classes will have version updates.
Version 0.5.3: Completed a full formatting update of the Demolitionist class and fixed the two broken links in the Soldier section.
Version 0.5.4: Completed the formatting for the Occultist class as well as broken Shaman’s Primal Strike into 2H Melee, 2H Ranged, and 1H Melee categories.
Version 0.5.5: Completed the formatting for the Nightblade class as well as introduced better spacing so that the builds are not cluttered together.
Version 0.5.6: Completed the formatting for the Arcanist, Shaman, & Inquisitor classes as well as adding several builds from the Chinese Community’s BiliBili video host.
Version 0.5.7: Completed the formatting for the Necromancer class as well as introduced a request for updated builds (see below)
Version 0.6.0: Provided build-defining items for Oathkeeper as well as divided Savagery & Righteous Fervor into Melee & Ranged versions
Version 0.7.0: Revamped the Granted Skills section while dividing Shard of Beronath into Melee & Ranged sections.
Version 0.7.2: Thanks to the responses from my previous post, added Oathkeeper’s Judgment and Occultist’s Bloody Pox (with Fevered Rage) into the Compendium.
Version 0.8.0: Located more builds using the Chinese forums primarily to replace the outdated builds from the Community thread. Added several builds posted since the last update and learned how to spell Storm Box correctly.
Version 0.9.0: Added builds from the 1.1.9.0 patch and added Horn of Gandarr due to people finally deciding to play Horn of Gandarr.

*Version 1.0 (Feb 17, 2021): Official Release!

I am requesting the following skills / builds to replace the outdated builds currently in the Compendium:

Build Requests

Soldier: Any Blitz Builds, Ranged Cadence

Demolitionist: Lightning Dagallon, 2H Fire Strike using the Barthollem Mace for AoE Fire Strike, any Grenado build, any Canister Bomb build.

Occultist: I don’t have any nuke DEE builds from before 1.1.6.0. I know they’re out there, but I can’t find any videos with nuke DEE whether it’s from Youtube or the build threads themselves.

Nightblade: Shadow Strike has a whole of potential options. Is ABB nuke worth mentioning, or are the spam ABB builds the only notable ones?

Arcanist: None - looks like the skills are well-covered.

Shaman: More Ranged Savagery - I know this will likely increase once the new sets come about. More Grasping Vines builds are always a plus as well. Wind Devil builds that aren’t reliant on Cyclone set.

Inquisitor: Aether Storm Box, Chaos Word of Pain (I know Valinov had a Chillspikes + WOP Deceiver, but I don’t know if it’s relevant or not).

Necromancer: I know there’s a Physical Ravenous Earth build out there, but it’s a Spellscourge build and I wonder if RE does enough to warrant discussing it?

Oathkeeper: There’s videos of Bleeding Vire’s Might using the new set, but there’s no Grimtools associated with it, so I can’t use it…

Granted Item Skills: More Fleshwarped Strikes builds, more Yugol’s spinner builds.

1 Like

Good initiative but i just want to mention that the ranking as of now is way off, and the list isn’t fulfilling the goal stated in the OP: top builds for the skill.

I think you rushed it. Ranking GD builds is a very tough job for one person.

2 Likes

I couldn’t have said it better than banana, it feels extremely rushed.

The first post is a massive wall of text and it just says nothing.
I understand it’s meant for new players, it’s an honorable goal but then where are the beginner guides, the game guide(s)… ? Why only 1 build per damage type when the playstyle could be the same for 2 builds of different damage types but differ a lot within the same type.
Now for the controversial part : what the fuck is this ranking system, how do you judge the best damage types, and what’s your metric for choosing what build makes it to the list ? It’s not the most up to date build, nor the fastest from what I’ve noticed. The idea of having to choose exactly one build is just bound to fail, a single person could never be objective or omniscient enough to make the choice on its own, I think you should list every qualifying build, it’s a compendium after all, letting any build on the side will feel unfair to the builder.

4 Likes

My initial purpose in listing builds in two different sections was to separate those that are better supported by things like sets or better skill support and the Conduits / “Meme” sections that still technically work, but are more meant to be a build challenge. My initial idea had all the builds posted, but the private chat correctly pointed out that there should be separation for the meme skills, such as between Fire Blackwater Cocktail and Acid Blackwater Cocktail.

The purpose was to make sure that someone doesn’t see a meme build, begin to go with it, and then get frustrated that it doesn’t work as well as the videos show. I didn’t mean it to be a strict “ranking” system, that’s more for ArchHeretic’s “Fastest Cleaners in the World” thread (which I made sure to introduce in the first post for those who are more strictly competition focused).

It was my bad for calling it a version 1.0 when it’s really more of an alpha version. My goal is to have the real 1.0 ready for when Patch 1.8 comes around or whichever is going to be the final “Major Update” patch so when the game is more or less content complete (with no worries of introducing new equipment that may end up overhauling builds like the removing of Cold to Pierce conversion on the Nadaan sword), players may have this as a reference.

1 Like

What is your ranking system and build qualifications? Your sentences and your list doesn’t correlate with each other. And if you choosed from the main compendium then some people don’t have crucible videos so they can’t tag the 150-170 available term on the title. Most builds that can do SR 75+ can also do cr 170 if you don’t care about speedruns, and veteran players can adjust any SR focussed build into Crucible focused one easily since you have buffs and banners. Sorry but It seemed just a limited community compendium to me as it is right now.

3 Likes

I’m sorry but this doesn’t make any sense. Why conduit and modifier based builds are bound to be a meme? Why sets are better than custom builds? The fastest PS spam build is cold DW with Stormrend and Conduit and the strongest all around AAR build is custom phys Templar with off-hand modifier and zero skill support from phys items otherwise.

The build’s result is the only universally viable measure. One can also take into account the accessibility of the items used and the smoothness of gameplay. But any subjective recognition of select concepts as memes is arbitrary and undermining to the compendium.

Again, no idea why you rushed it after making a private chat with so many builders seemingly to take advice and reach consensus.

3 Likes

Yeah this is where it all gets messy. You have builds that look like meme but work so well in unexpected ways. And it’s not just PS and AAR. Spite is on par if not better than demonslayer and that’s one single item compared to an entire set. Acid SS isn’t that great compared to pierce even with 2 sets supporting acid.

I suggest just straight up removing the sub categories and just list the builds under a skill in no particular order. It still achieves the goal of grouping builds that highlight a particular skill together, while avoiding bad placements

That sounds interesting. Do you have a grimtools or guide for that?