Builds types and styles in GD


Grim Dawn have diverse skills, so you can select the style that suits your taste. In the big variety it takes time to test different skills and to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to see how exactly they work. My guide is showcase of different play styles with links to end game builds and short description.


Casters are one of the biggest groups in GD, they can have different range, one dominant spell or more. Their damage can be directly scaled with your cast speed or it can just help you with QoL. Here are the different types of casters:

Spammable spell casters:

These are casters that have one strong spell without Cooldown and it’s usually the main source of damage. These spells are meant to provide with both single target and area damage. These spells heavily depend on cast speed.

Some examples are:

Lightning Panetti Mage Hunter

Vitality Phantasmal Blades Reaper

Fire Forcewave Commando

Channeling Spells:

There are few channeling spells in the game, they have different style, Flames of Ignaffar and Drain Essence have cone type of attack, while Albrecht’s Aether Ray pierces through enemies in straight line with it’s beam. Very important to have good cast speed and energy regen.

Also channeling spells are provided by the off-hand Tome of Arcane Wastes and Acid Purge granted by component Seal of Blight. Examples:

Cold Flames of Ignaffar Infiltrator

Arcane Tome build collection

Aether Albrecht’s Aether Ray Spellbinder

Piano Casters:

Some casters count not one main spell but heavy rotation of skills, they are called piano casters. They can either count on one big nuke on CD or stack damage over time like burn and cooldown reduction to use their skills more often. Some of them have spammable skill from component, some are full piano.

Without spmming skill:

Vitality Dark One Conjurer

Burn Shieldbreaker

With spamming skill:

Dark One Ritualist with Biting Blades

Lightning Wind Devils Vindicator with Chain lightning


Melee combat style is fighting in short range and trying to close the gap. Often they are focused on auto attacks and their interaction with weapon pool skills.

Dual Wield Melee:

Blazing attack speed chars, often with strong single target damage. Nightblade is the class that suits the DW melee style the best. Some examples:

Acid DW Dervish

Chaos DW Witch Hunter

Fire DW Shieldbreaker

Two Hand Melee:

2H melee builds have lower speed but they hit harder. Some skills like Primal Strike and Blade Arc are really suited for this style of play. Shaman class have nice weapon pool skills, exclusive for two handers.

Ultos 2H lighting Vindicator

Bleeding 2H Warder

2H Blade Arc Witchblade

Melee Hybrids:

Some melee builds have auto attack but it’s mixed with casting spells. Also some Nightblade builds don’t have typical attack and do on CD skills like Shadow Strike and Amarasta.

Stromreaver Savagery/Totems Vindicator

Shadow Strike Dervish


Ranged builds in GD are either pistol/shield or dual wield pistols for 1H weapons. Or Gun/Crossbow for 2H. It’s hard to keep your range against the charging enemies, but ranged style and sound effects are pretty distinguished. Inquisitor is the class with best support for ranged playstyle. And Inquisitor pairs nicely with Demo class for Fire Strike+Inquisitor Weapon pool skills.

Dual Wield Ranged:

Two pistols, high attack speed, average damage. Some examples:

Deviltongue DW ranged Purifier

Dagallon DW ranged fire/lightning Purifier

Darkblaze DW pistols chaos Pyromancer

Two Hand Ranged:

Guns or Crossbows work well as auto attackers, especially if they have pass-through.

Desolator 2H ranged fire Purifier

Valdun 2H pierce Purifier

Lightning Primal Strike 2H Vindicator

Ranged Hybrids:

Cool mix between auto attack and spells. The Runebinder set for example is created to support that style. Also:

Physical Righteous Fervor/Rune of Haggard Paladin

Harbinger chaos Deceiver


Tank builds are usually chars with heavy armor and shields, meant to take all hits and survive.


Sorta of speak counter-attacking builds. They need to be hit to deal damage. Often they are focused around Counter-Strike skill from Soldier’s mastery.

Retal physical Witchblade

Acid Retal Warlord

Retal hybrids:

Builds utilizing the mechanic of retal damage added to attack.

2H ranged hybird fire Paladin

Eye of Reckoning hybrid Warlord

Non retal tanks:

Builds without retal damage. This guys are focused around shields blocking and heavy defense, using Soldier mastery.

Markovian Warlord tank

Physical Mortars Commando


Pet masters count on their minions to dish out the damage, why they focus on surviving. Building pet/player hybrid is tricky, you usually go heavy in one style and it feels like you are making handicap build. So typical pet builds:

Carnival all pets present there

Summonner builds collection


There are few types that don’t fall in neither of these categories and are hard to be classified. Most of them are based on Oathkeeper’s skills.


Whirlwind attacks, either with Eye of Reckoning skill or Yugol relic’s granted attack. Also known as Spin2Win.

Physical EoR Warlord

Pierce EoR Dervish

Yugol 2H Blademaster


Builds focused around Vire’s Might skill as main attack. Maximum CDR allows you to skate around, cause walking is so boring :smile:

Skater Vanquisher Templar

Shield Thrower:

Aegis of Menhir is a skill, which can be described as throwing your shield and watch it bounce around like boomerang and come back to your hand.

Aegis Templar

Crowd Control:

Builds exploiting crowd control attacks, usually with Mageslayer set for freeze or Rimetongue for trap.

Rimetongue Blade Trap Infiltrator

Mageslayer freeze Sorcerer + fire AAR

All of the above :D:

Freeze, Skate, Throw Templar

Pseudo Pets :

Pseudo pets are minions scaling with player bonuses and not pet. They can be either support skill or main focus.

Pseudo Pet Dervish

Pseudo Pets Oppressor

Other guides

Check some of my guides:

How to choose a build?

Recommended stats for end game

Mechanics guide with Sir Spanksalot, PlagueMirth and Sigatrev. External link.


Thanks for creating this wonderful game and variety to Crate’s team and Zantai in particular, to moderators and of course all builders out there. Keep posing your creative builds and may the Empyrion light guide you!


Guide is up!

Thanks for the approval! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Well, I don’t see any mention of battle mage build. Looks like it needs special group. :wink:

P.S: Nice guide. :ok_hand:

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Oh, thanks!

I couldn’t fit all classes, sorry your favorite class is missing.

Nice guide, Nery.

I would add Pseudo Pets hybrids that use steroided Blade Spirits or Guardians of the Empyrion. They can be casters or melee.

Another thing is rotation or “piano” casters can use non-focused spells - like Cyclone Vindicator or focused ones - like Fire Shieldbreaker.

I would also put dot-builds in separate category as they have distinctive gameplay.

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Thanks for your input. Later will edit it.

Nice post :smiley:

Under spin builds you have my 2h nadaan yugol build listed as dw. A nice dw option would be my targo yugol dervish

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You have Mageslayer Sorcerer there but Templar is linked instead of it. I have both versions. I would suggest Sorcerer because of heavy CDR - fun.

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tfw you see only fluffy squishy instead of your pet build collectionUntitled-2%20-%20Copy%20copy

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OK, you have a point, full carnival is now on!


Ah yes, my bad, corrected.

Both are fun builds, Sorcerer looks strong, that was my initial idea, so edit it.

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