Build help

Edit: READ ME!
I’ve gotten some great responses to this thread, and have formulated some builds based off advice and other reading, but can’t decide which one is best. See the second page for them, this original post is pretty null now.

So, I’ve had Grim Dawn for a while now. I have two characters, and one of them I definitely need help with. The other is following Squib’s Hetzer retaliation/reflect build, and it’s going great there(how have I not died once yet???).

Anyway, my first character has some problems. I’m not good at optimization, but I try and use my common sense to find what and where to do things. He’s a Spellbreaker, currently level 52 on normal(yes, normal. Even Veteran simply annihilates me, I dread Loghorrean and Elite/Ultimate), currently focused on alternating between Callidor’s(max leveled with Inferno, Reckless Power, and basically all the buffs I can get, no Wrath of Agrivix) and auto attacks with freezes from Olexra’s(low level, couple points in Absolute Zero) and Phantasmal Blades(only a few points, no Frenetic Throw, Heart Seeker, or Nether Edge) for kiting. A lot of bosses and even heroes just erase my health bar, though. I’m using health potions with almost every fight, trying to farm Anasteria has probably caused me more deaths than the rest of the game put together.

After reading the forum here for a while and getting a little more info from reading what the veteran players have to say, I’ve beefed up my resistances a bit, added some components and tried to get at least something in everything. I have exactly one legendary item, Crescent Moon, and a whole bunch of blues and greens for the rest of my items(please before you criticize my items and suggest others to get, I’m playing on normal and have no characters on elite/ultimate yet. Getting legendaries is a one in a million chance, especially with my survivability. Suggest blues if you must, but assume legendaries are out of reach for the moment).

Before you all ask, just look at my postcount. It is very, very low, and I’ve read that very-low-postcount people can’t post links, so I won’t even try to get pics or a grimcalc link in here. I can answer questions about stats and whatnot through text, and I’m sure you have a lot to ask about all of this. If it fixes(or at least improves) my character, I’m willing to respec a lot out, but as we hopefully all know you can’t respec mastery points. I don’t have too many in Nightblade, but my Arcanist mastery bar is maxed out up at 50.

Couple of things that everyone will ask:

Health pool?
Elemental resistances, poison resist, pierce and bleed resist?

My guess: and all my opinion! :slight_smile:
Your health is low due to either underlevelling the mastery bars, and or overly offensive itemisation (no “of viatlity” gear).

The reason I think that is that you are using 3 offensive skills, which is a lot of points. Are you running maivens sphere?

Considering you are using callidors as a main attack, you need to be big and beefy.

I’d drop phantasmal completely.

I’d be getting lots of points in maivens

I’d be getting pneumatic burst and its second part that gives dodge and DA.

I’d leave callidors maxed with its econd part (not the transmuter).

I’d reduce some levels in OFF if I needed more points to pick up the defensive stuff I mentioned.

If I had less than 70 points in the master bar totals (ie some split like 50 20 or 35 35), then I’d be investing some points in that by reducing some of the passive skill I have maxed too early.

Without seeing more details, they are the broad brush strokes I’d be looking at changing :slight_smile:

I currently play pure arcanist lv35 in veteran with 1 death(I died at early lv20 in Depreaved Sanc with all monster and boss Salazar lv32+) and want to play spellbreaker later after late elite.

My build is simply use as much as +exp bonus (15-30%) and go PRM(missile) and trozan’s skyshard. I knew that what act and which area I should raise resistance and more careful. Plus playing a caster role is Ez and has least risk for beginning(it dont require many good gears too. So I can maximize exp bonus for rush playing)

Concept of playing range in vet&elite is simple. Kill as fast as you can and kiting sometimes. May invest in some durable and survival for not dying too fast than reflection at panic&potion button.

I have maxed Maiven’s, but no points in Conversion, a few points in Pneumatic Burst and no additions(that I should definitely get into). Fire and Lightning resists are capped and Cold resist is at 55%, but everything else is less than that. Poison/Acid resist is provided by a single Antivenom Salve, with 20%, Pierce is at 26% and Bleed is at 18%, and that’s after my recent gear/component upgrades(so I haven’t tested extensively how much a difference it’s making). My health is sitting at 3,589, which I have no idea how good(or more likely, bad) that is.

Also, my current devotions are Assassin’s Blade, Falcon, Imp, Widow, and Rhowan’s Crown. That’s a lot of devotion abilities to attach to stuff. Very offensive, yeah.

Your health is the major problem! :slight_smile:

And yeah, your devotions aren’t making up for your offensive gearing either :slight_smile:

At your level I’d be looking to have between 6-8k health! so with maivens maxed, if you double your health, you will be sooooo much harder to kill! If you don’t mind deaths, aim for about 100 HP per level as a rule of thumb. if you don’t want to die, try for 120 per level or so. by lvl 85 you want to be rocking 10k health or more if you can.

The other thing I am thinking of is you don’t have any sustain in your kit. therefore you need to be able to take ALL the hits in an encounter, as you won’t be getting much regen or leech to heal back up.

To counter this a bit, you could look at Giant’s Blood, and the big tree constellations. Remember you are an effectively melee spellcaster! :slight_smile: you can’t calidors them to death before they get to you :wink:

Your other resists are OK. when you unlock them start using the powders etc from the faction merchants to fill any holes in your resistances.

Good luck in your travels!!! find some @#%^ “of vitality gear” :slight_smile:

I think go Maiven’s 3 points is most efficient (the rest 9 is to get more 10%) and those 10% is one of many mechanics you use for survival. Pneumatic burst with max avoid atk is primary way for melee fighter. If you find that dealing dmg with melee is hard. You should go with some caster skills as a primary dmg instead. Playing melee is hard for beginning cuz you have to prepare more than you think.

Devotion with turtle is fine and very good. Rowan’s crown may important at later but not effective in early game.

The best way is to getting hit rarely. If not, build or use something to get out of tanking as fast as you can.
If you don’t have good item or focus on durability way. Tanking will ruin you. Remember that not every class and build design for facetank, but they have the way to deal with it.

Why do you have assassins blade devotion?? Isn’t that the one that give s you a proc to reduce physical and pierce resist?

Ignore that its a soldier, I’ve just redone your constellations. should give you better offensive and defensive situation than what you currently were running. from there you can either head over to the torch, or head up to the tree. Torch = offensive, tree = defensive. You can choose :slight_smile:

I’m kiting a lot with my current build, throwing Phantasmal Blades to harry bosses/heroes and darting in and out to callidor’s/basic attack. My original idea was to focus on Fire/Aether/Cold/Pierce damage, Fire and Aether provided through Callidor’s and Cold/Pierce provided through the Dual Blades skill. I was a very new player back then, and it made sense at the time, it sounded like enough variety to beat resistances but enough focus to keep damage up in all areas. I fully knew and accepted that I was going to be a glass cannon, but I had no idea how important health and resistances were, or how tough bosses can get. Also, for most of the earlier game I ran with Wrath of Agrivix, which was really cool as a nuke, but after much reading and lots of debate with myself, I removed it.

From my notepad, the intended plan continuing from where I am was Owl, Hammer, Blades, Crane, Harpy, and ending with Oleron(though I later decided that Unknown Soldier made much more sense, and I think after that I planned an alternate route that cut out hammer, but I don’t remember it). Right now I think I might try a Light of Empyrion/Tree of Life route, though I’ll have to plan it and make sure it’s possible in the first place.

Also possibly of note, being a new player I put 9 points in Cunning around the beginning of the game, which probably hurt my health/DA a bit since they weren’t in Physique.

  1. You should focus at one or two things first at beginning until you’re really good at it or completely understand it. You don’t have so much resource and experience enough to mix many things at it best use in the same time.

At least find your style, accept its concept like going dual melee and smash everythings->what you should prepare / going caster --> difference play style and focus in.

  1. Not getting hit > resistance > Hp > DA > def
  2. keep HP full by Instantly heal/regen/atk converted to health attack before using potion.

PS. About stats its ok to spend 10 points at cunning, spirit for further items in future. But put more points in physics for HP and DA as it’s safe for playing heavy armor and little survival

HP and DA come from good gears(including components&augment) and devotion about 30-50%. Other is from stats and class. Further than these from skills and auras of some classes(shaman and soldier)

If you’re intending to be a glass cannon, I’d drop calidors altogether and pick up a ranged skill.

I had a lot of fun using a cycling set of cooldown skills and dodging and weaving between things. althought I still did stack a ton more HP than you :slight_smile:

Hmmmm, you could max out the nether edge from pblades, and max trojans sky shard.

Focus on cold damage, secondary damage pick between lightning, bleeding, or piercing. which ever is easiest to stack after health and cold damage :slight_smile:

Then you can run around and cycle between trojans (16-1-12) and pblades (16-1-12) effectively nuking stuff on a timer :slight_smile:

The points in cunning don’t matter… you get 84 points, and you might find a gun that you want to use (there are spellcaster epic guns and legendary guns) that require some cunning. so don’t sweat it. I never do 100% phys builds… and I play on HC :slight_smile:

CT absolutely sucks with a single handed weapon (and I assume you’re dual-wielding)…

In which case, just drop CT altogether (the only class I’d use CT with would be a two-handed weapon damage conversion battlemage)

OFF is still good… max it and it clears trash before trash can hit you.
If you’re going to melee, then I suggest leave off casting altogether. Since you cannot do BOTH at the same time, your points are not efficiently used. If you want a fire-and-forget spell then bladespirit+leviathan devotion is a good place to start for a spellbreaker focused only on cold/piercing. It makes absolutely no sense to make a fire/aether SB simply because the NB mastery contributes absolutely NOTHING to those damage types.

If somehow you are going to have 4+ main damage types (let’s say elemental/physical builds) it’s better to get the devotions with +% all damage rather than getting the devotions with only one damage type (and hence all your points are scattered throughout all 5 colors, making it impossible to get a tier 3 constellation later on). On a SB I would not recommend it.

The AR and NB masteries are very poor source of durability, so you will be in sore need of physique and HP from gear or devotions… having less than 4000 hp at level 50 is unimaginable. I presume you’ve been dumping points in spirit/cunning. In any case go either blue/white for durability (those have lots of resistances and life) while you would be lacking in offense you can always get more offense from components later since your resistances are taken care of, conversely, for offensive firepower in cold/elemental/piercing damage go pink/green (leviathan and blind sage are what you are going to aim for if you choose this route).

Depending on how badly you did, you might not be able to wear any good endgame gear at all, because you neglected physique. At lvl 52 you have only 33 levels left (adding in points from quests), basically less than 300 attribute points. At this point, if your physique is, say, only 300… then you can kiss wearing any armor with 900+ physique requirement goodbye for example.

The only way noobs screw up their first character is basically neglecting physique. Everything else is reversible (skill points and devotion points can be refunded at the spirit guide). The best indication of whether your character is salvageable at this point is probably physique.

Everyone can make mistake at first, but that’s not the end of everything.

IMO. Having low HP and low Physics can fix at this points. It’s true that he’d say good bye to heavy armor which most of them provide for Soldier base or high physics base class. That’s not ruin that much because armor for arcanist and nightblade those +skill bonus and lead the main way of the char can be equip.

I’d say it screw you if you’re giving up at it. Or it will give you a lot of experience and concept in this game if you try your best at it and make it playable till you beats and solo farm nemesis.

I made mistakes once at first, but I fixed it in my way even it may not the best of it’s build (I played witchhunter bleeding cuz I can’t afford gears in poison and I have problems in stats too, my only last problems in that build is can’t solo kill ultimate nemesis yet.)

I put 9 points in Cunning and 11 points in Spirit in the early levels, which I hear is the maximum flexible spending amount, and everything else has gone into Physique. I think a lot of the problem with surviving at this point is my devotions, which are lots of + damage but only a little bit of + elemental resist and that’s it. White/Blue path to taking both Tree of Life and Light of Empyrion is possible and doesn’t seem to hurt damage too much, so I’ll keep hope there. If I respec out Rhowan’s Crown, fill out Scholar’s Light, then respec out Falcon, I can fill out Dryad and get the first point in Scales which will provide me with some much needed health and regen.

As for damage type to focus on, I honestly don’t know. Callidor’s just feels so powerful, it annihilates whatever it touches. But I do hear that Phantom Blades builds are quite powerful. I could also focus on Cold/Pierce, mostly standard attacks(thought Trozan’s Sky Shard sounds like a good supplement too), which could be pretty reasonably done.

Possibly part of the problem is that I’m really not getting much Nightblade/Arcanist gear. Most of the gear I find right now seems to be either general use, or for Occultists, Demolitionists or Shamans. The Demolitionist gear has some use, usually with +Fire damage, but other than that most of it is useless to me.

So, yeah, hopefully by now I have enough posts to put links up. Not sure what the link-posting requirement is, but if this posts successfully I’ve probably gotten through it.

I’ve got 4 paths in mind, and I’m honestly not sure which one to follow. The Callidors-focus one is probably out, because that just conflicts with most of the nightblade abilities, but supported by Devotions and Passives it could work. But once again, I’m not sure. So I’ll post all four here for people to review, tell me what to change and what to throw out because they’re complete crap.

Elemental damage path
In this build, I maxed out Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange to provide the maximum amount of %physical converted to elemental damage, along with all the +% elemental damage I could put on there. Standard attacks will still be a part of it, and in fact be the main damage source, with Phantasmal Blades as a waveclearer and Callidor’s as a nuke. Yeah, it might be better on a Battlemage, but I’m interested in seeing how it could work a Spellbreaker. Of note is that Reckless Power could be switched out for Star Pact, and Callidor’s or Phantasmal Blades(along with their upgrades) could be switched out for more points in better things.

Piercing + Cold path
In this build, the focus is once again on basic attacks using Phantasmal Blades as a waveclear and Callidor’s as a nuke. This is more Nightblade supported by Arcanist, rather than the Elemental path where they work together in frankenstein-esque harmony. After a second look, this might work better with the Devotions from the Standard+Trozan’s path, but I’ll let you decide that.

Callidor’s path
This is all about Callidor’s. Everything in this build exists to support Callidor’s and Callidor’s damage output and Callidor’s-user’s not-dying. This doesn’t even have Dual Blades or weapon skills on it, without Breath of Belgothian it might not have the ability to dual-wield and could use a two-handed weapon without consequence. Once again, might be better on a Battlemage or Sorcerer, but it’s an interesting concept.

Standard attack + Trozan’s Sky Shard path
Longest name of the bunch. This is the only path where the Nightblade mastery is maxed out, but even then it doesn’t provide a ton of health(did I hear correctly that Spellbreaker has the weakest path-provided health progression?). On paper, yeah, it has the highest base health, and that might be incentive, but I felt super constrained with assigning points to skills. There were never enough to go around, so many passives that had to be abandoned or put on the list of “give it one point if available”. Phantasmal Blades and Callidor’s are off the list entirely, replaced by TSS and supported by, to a lesser extent, Shadow Strike and Blade Spirit.

Once again, all input is welcome, just please try not to be too harsh with the new player, who(if I do say so myself) sucks at optimization and has grand ideas that often turn out sour.

Also, as of this weekend, I changed my Devotions around a bunch(I had 20 Aether Crystals, now I have 1) and my skills a little bit, Shadow Strike and the first three Behemoth points(including Giant’s Blood) seeming to be my main gain of the day. In a single session, I completed Rhowari Legacy, fought 3 bosses(Anasteria, Bane’Gargaroth, Bloodlord Thalonis), and the Loghorrean(hello Elite!), all without dying once. Honestly, I don’t know how much Giant’s Blood contributed, but my health dipped below 50% only a couple times, and with severe button mashing I surprised myself time and again by being able to wreck things so much faster and easier than I had before.