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 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.