The guides are very detailed and will show you how to make good end-game builds that can do some of the basic end-game content in Grim Dawn
The builds can farm the basic end-game areas such as the Rogue-like dungeons and thus works as good “stepping stone” builds before you start to “swim” in legendaries, blueprints and crafting mats - then you can start to make builds you see posted on the forums that eats Crucible and Shattered Realm for breakfast! But, we need to walk before we can run… and this is where my guides will come in handy!
The items used for the builds are faction items (that you can buy from vendor!) and items that are “farmable” meaning they are not random drops but can be obtained by killing a specific type of monster. Some Epic (blue) items are used since they have much higher drop chance compared to legendaries.
In other words, the builds do not rely on sick RNG to drop of / transmutation of Mythical Legendary items and/or insane affix combinations on Monster Infrequents (MI’s) (Sure you can drop the blueprint of a set helm and then start to transmute the entire set, but it took me around 700 hours before I dropped the Mythical Warborn helm blueprints so … )
In my guides you will see what kinda builds you can do with items that are mostly bought from faction vendors.
¤¤¤ Fire Aegis and Rune Paladin (Shield throw/ranged/caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Beginner Spinner - Eye of Reckoning Warlord (spin2win/cyclon/melee) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Lightning Vindicator (Caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Forcewave Spammer Warlord (2H melee-caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Forcewave Spammer Death Knight (2H melee-caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Primal Strike / Savagery Warder (2H melee) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Vitality Cabalist - an update of Nightmare’s cabalist guide (Caster) ¤¤¤ special thanks to @Nery
¤¤¤ Cold Rune Vindicator (Caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Acid Sentinel with Perdition set (Shield throw and Retaliation) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Pre-Vanquish “Skatebreaker” - Fire/Burn Shieldbreaker (Skater/Caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Phantasmal Blades Reaper - by Sir Spanksalot and me (Ranged/Caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Lightning Ray - Mage Hunter (Channeling Caster) ¤¤¤
¤¤¤ Totally Normal Warlord Twins ¤¤¤ (Still work in progress but you still might get some ideas from it)
- Link to Totally Normal Warlord - Dual Wield Cadence
- Link to Totally Normal Warlord - Sword & Shield Cadence
¤¤¤ Cheap Dual Wield Melee Ritualist ¤¤¤ (Guide not as detailed as the others)
Beginner/Budget build sketches (does not contain any guides)
They might give you some ideas in case of none of the other beginner builds seem to fancy you.
Click for sketches
2H Spin2Win Paladin & Shieldbreaker (Fire dmg) : Paladin & Shieldbreaker. Built around mostly faction items and the “Blazeheart” weapon that will serve as placeholder until we drop Mythical Infernal Brimstone
DW Ranged Purifier https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YZeonnQ2 (Lightning dmg) Built around mostly faction items and guns that we shop. See this guide/diary by x1x1x1x2 for more info: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/46086
Also you have another version of it here [220.127.116.11] Budget Lightning DW Ranged Purifier by @Nery uses different faction items, more epics and higher tier components.
DW Ranged Purifier https://www.grimtools.com/calc/m23g6J92 (Fire dmg) Built around mostly faction items and guns that we shop. Chest is MI that will convert Pierce to Fire. Similar as the build above but focus on Fire damage.
2H Ranged Purifier https://www.grimtools.com/calc/q2mldPzN (Fire dmg) similar as the build above but with 2H faction gun “Desolator”.
Lightning Caster Purifier https://www.grimtools.com/calc/q2M7pp0Z (Lightning). Built around faction items, MI weapon and Off-hand (that you can shop in Port Valbury).
DW Ranged Vindicator https://www.grimtools.com/calc/DV9zx4nZ (Lightning). Built around faction items and the 3-pierce Epic set “Stormserpent” that gives bonus to Savagery and converts pierce to lightning. Also uses blueprint guns.
2H Ranged Vindicator https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YVWlYY0Z (Lightning). Similar as above but with the faction rifle “Malmouth Carbine” instead.
2H Trickster https://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNYdRdAZ (Bleeding damage). Built around faction items, in particular the weapon “Rancor”. Improved version by @Rhylthar https://www.grimtools.com/calc/p25o37mZ
Elemental caster Deceiver https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4ZD6er82 (Elemental damage). Word of pain and Sigil of Consumption. Key item is off-hand which is common. Lacks some +% elemental damage. Fun to play actually.
Chaos channeling build https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrDjdG2 with new faction weapon and other faction items. I made this with Sir Spanksalot. High damage but can run dry on energy and has some health issues.
Scepter + Caster off-hand version of the build above https://www.grimtools.com/calc/d2j89QmZ not as high sheet dps but we grab the Revenant devotion for more resistance reduction. The scepter and off-hand are faction gear so this is a good budget build as well.
Drain Essence Spellbinder https://www.grimtools.com/calc/1NXWowWZ with devastation for air support (Aether damage). Krieg Set. Faction gun. Off-hand you shop from Hyram and will convert more vitality to aether on Drain Essence. Devotions includes Hourglass for quicker access to Mirror of erectoes, Mark of torment and devastation. Energy regen is an issue.
Doom Bolt “of Doom” https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2Eb5K3V chaos caster with plenty of faction items. Gun and chest are easy to farm MI. Helm is farmable from the Sentinel, you can use Fettan Mask or Elite Malmouth Dread Casque meanwhile. Fun and sturdy build. A bit button heavy with all the buffs/debuffs and taxing on energy. For one more button you can use Symbol of Solael. Original concept by @Evil_Baka. Dedicated to @USER_NAME_01 “of Doom”
Callidor’s Tempest Spellbinder https://www.grimtools.com/calc/nZodqMEN (Aether damage) Classic spam caster with Devastation air support and devotions that lowers cooldown. Faction items and two MI’s (one you shop from Hyram). Epic item focused version originally made by @ya1 that I made some changes for FG https://www.grimtools.com/calc/d2j89jrZ (Uses a set that you can get quick nowadays with set-transmutation). Here is also @Nery 's Krieg set version [18.104.22.168] Krieg CT Spellbinder Gladiator capable
Auradin Purifierhttps://www.grimtools.com/calc/vNQdrppZ pletora of passive skills and aura damage. Mostly Faction items, MI’s (weapon you can shop) and a few Epic items. This is the goal-build 22.214.171.124 Auramancer
Sword and Shield Stonefather https://www.grimtools.com/calc/8NK7zyWN (Fire, Shieldbreaker). Build around the Epic set the Stonefather, Blazeheart and faction items basically. Has potential to become a monster.
2H Melee/Caster Bone Harvest https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62aE18O2 (Vitality damage, Ritualist).
DW melee https://www.grimtools.com/calc/bVAqwxRV (Pierce, Tactician) a variation of the Pierce Blademaster, but with tactician for higher defense. We need to craft a medal that enable dual wielding which is not a problem since Devils crossing sell such blueprint early.
Cold Rune Caster Infiltrator https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrDPBL2 a somewhat sneaky version of the Cold Rune Vindicator in the guides section above. Here is a version with Fettan mask to push 15/12 Chillsurge for extra projectile https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2dYlD1V and here is a version with pierce > cold conversion using 2 Epic items https://www.grimtools.com/calc/lV7GGJ6V
2H Fire Forcewave Commando https://www.grimtools.com/calc/q2mlP7DN (Use a fire damage conversion based Obsidian War Cleaver to farm SharZhul MI mace). Original build by @Ceno: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/guide-for-helping-how-to-choose-your-build/83484/86 (Can do SR45-ish)
Elemental Dual wield Guns Tactician https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RZRQO4OV with the Epic Luminary set and other epics. Higher tier components on this one.
DW melee pierce Infiltrator https://www.grimtools.com/calc/b28jdRLZ
DW melee cold cadance Blademaster This is just a quick sketch: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4NODBkO2
no rolls on the gloves, belt or pants, no components in armor, no augments in armor.
Just to give an idea of a cheap Cold Blademaster. You can also use Chillstrifes with damage conversion and attack speed. Here is a more complete guide [126.96.36.199] Budget cold DW melee Blademaster
Mortar trap https://www.grimtools.com/calc/M2gGj872 (Fire, Purifier). MI off-hand and Chest mandatory. Rest is faction items and random craftables/greens. One could also use Blazeheart for vitality to fire damage conversion on Bat devo proc for more heal.
Vitality caster Conjurer click here for info
Fire Ray Sorcerer https://www.grimtools.com/calc/O2G7q6X2 similar to the Fire Ray Mage Hunter version I have in my Lightning Ray guide.
Retaliation Warlord https://www.grimtools.com/calc/8NK7oyJN we use shoulders and belt to convert fire/acid retal to physical. Many items do not have rolls/complete rolls, almost no augments or components - take whatever you find/get that fills resistances, health and OA/DA.
Dual Wield melee Ritualist Dark One’s set + faction gear + craftables click here for more details
Ritualist version of the Dark One Vitality caster https://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNYd6qAZ gear based on Nery’s Oppressor variant, just changed some thing here and there. Looks solid
Sketch of a budget dual wield Fire melee Shieldbreaker with the Blazeheart swords https://www.grimtools.com/calc/lV7Gk0vV
As you can see, its not that hard to make a build based around Faction items, basic MI’s and some epics. What does take time is to write the build guide, test play the build and so on.
Each guide above contains skill description, devotion tree breakdown, leveling guide (often 2 or more leveling options are included), list of suitable easy to get items, gameplay tips, videos, and suggested progression items / builds.
When it comes to patch changes, I can impossibly update all guides in great detail. I will comment on some of the most important patch chances in the dedicated thread for the builds now and then. So, have a look at what patch I made the build guide in, then if something looks weird, look at patch notes, the build thread, or ask questions. Here are my notes for 188.8.131.52 patch changes based on the patch notes
When it comes to Hardcore (HC) gameplay and if the builds above are viable or not:
Read about HC-viability here (click)
My standard reply is that HC is 80% player skills and 20% build. I guess all of the builds above can be made a bit tankier going for different devotions, overcapping resistances etc but all in all YES you can go HC with each but some might need some adjustments in devotions etc. Also some items provides extra saftey like Prismatic Diamond component, Divinity Medal, Avatar of Mercy amulet and so on which you should use if you drop them. Anyway, you should not need to look for build guides elsewhere for HC but instead focus on your playing skills.
Other Beginner build guides with similar philosophy as me
(click for links)
Builds by Nery
Builds by Stupid Dragon
[DW melee] Beginner’s Virulent Dervish
[DW melee] Beginner’s Forgotten Blademaster
[shield melee] Beginner’s pre-Krieg Death Knight
[2H melee] Krieg Death Knight on budget, the Soul Reaver
[184.108.40.206] Beginner’s melee 2H Lightning Elementalist Old but still deserves a mention
[220.127.116.11] Beginner's ranged Tactician Old but still deserves a mention
Pet builds by Maya
The Carnival - A Guide to Pets contains all you need to know about pets and contains several budget builds
Sentinel build by Udars
[18.104.22.168] Vanquisher Fire Sentinel, semi-beginner friendly and practically farmable Semi budget build around Vanquisher set
Spellbreaker by Xervous
Updated for FG: [22.214.171.124] BYOB (Build Your Own Breaker) (C+*)
I can in particular recommend Nery’s Vitality Oppressor, Stupid Dragon’s Death Knight and Blademaster and Maya has all the pet stuff you ever need to know about as a beginner.
- - - - Which build should I choose? - - - -
(click here to read about which build you "should" choose)
Try to define your preferred play-style first:
- Melee: with shield, two-handed, Dual wielding, or spinning,…?
- Ranged: dual wielding guns, two-handed?
- Caster: spamming or Dot, Single target focus or AoE, kiting or tanking?
- Summoner: many pets or a few strong ones? Summons that scale with player damage or pet damage?
After that, try to do some research about what other kinds of builds you can do with your selected class combo. Some classes supports several play-styles, whereas others are more streamlined/narrow. I think it is a good idea to start with something that has potentially many play-styles available, in case you get bored or simply just wanna try things out.
All in all, Grim Dawn will encourage you do make many many builds and respecs costs some resources so the most important thing for you as a new player is to have fun, learn about the mechanics and try to find out how you wanna play the game!
This is a nice guide by Nery: Guide for helping how to choose your build! about class selection
From this thread
Contrary to what that dude claims, I do not encourage that you start with the “most efficient” class, but rather pick a build that seems fun to play. I have made many guides, for different kinds of builds, class combinations, damage types etc so that you have a lot to choose from And I also warmly recommend the other beginner build guides that people have posted on this forum (see above).
- - - - Which build is your own favorite? - - - -
I like to play casters and melee chars, I am not that much into summoning or ranged builds.
So for caster I would pick my Lightning Caster Vindicator or my Lightning Ray Mage Hunter. Also the vitality casters are fun and easy to play, my Cabalist or Nery’s Oppressor.
Melee I would go with my Warder or Nery’s budget cold infiltrator or Stupid Dragons pierce Blademaster.
Otherwise I do like the Sentinel a lot since it provides a huge variation of playstyles and damage types, also with limited wealth:
My own guide (https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/collection-of-malawiglenns-beginner-friendly-builds/82353/146) that focuses on getting the epic/blue set “Mythical Perdition set” (Amnesty) for a tanky ranged shield throw build with acid and poison damage.
Acid caster by @Nery using the “Dark One’s” set (which is farmable as opposed to random drops) and the biting blades skill from “Seal of shadows” component. Though you need a decent build for farming this set and my own guide can help with that. Here is his guide for this kinda caster [126.96.36.199] [caster] Beginner's/budget acid Sentinel
Fire “skater” by @Udars using the “Vanquisher set” that only drops at the end of the rogue-like dungeons (steps of torment, bastion of chaos, port valbury and Ancient grove). Also uses an off-hand from the skeleton key portal boss in steps of torment. A fast bouncing ball of fire is what this build is all about! As with the build above, you need something to farm the set with and again my sentinel guide will help you with that. Here is the guide for the fire skater: [188.8.131.52] Vanquisher Fire Sentinel, semi-beginner friendly and practically farmable
So if you are looking for a class combination that is easy to level up and have many options for early end-game farming definitely check out the Sentinel class.
- - - - I NEED HELP - - - -
I would really like to help all of you in your progress and to answer all possible questions you might have - but I will not have that much time with that unfortunately (I can a handful of PM’s on a daily basis with questions). I feel the guides are detailed enough. If my guides are not enough: use google and search for your question, read other guides (like more general guides on game mechanics) see below.
I also have a full time job, partner, and other hobbies (like I also play this game at least 10h/week).
You can for instance ask questions here (official Grim Dawn discord - link ) Grim Dawn on Discord and I am sure people will help you.
You can also ask questions here in this thread: you need to specify what build/guide you are following and so on so that I and others can help you as good as possible.
From the guides-section on this forum:
🤯 malawiglenn’s guide on game mechanics for beginners explains some of the game mechanics that you need to know about.
GD Acronym and Abbreviation List good for reference usage.
A how-to on getting loot efficiently on solo play + advice on levelling
Farming Routes/Farming Guides Compilation
Devotions: A how-to on maximizing them
How to - Move your saves from Steam cloud to Grim Dawn's default location.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEASwrQ5C7k how to share char with grim tools.
https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/advanced-mechanics/29059 good guide about basic game mechanics but still not changed to fit the new forum’s formatting.
*I don’t care if you trade or not. But I do believe that trading early on can have a detrimental effect. Especially now when we have set transmutation mechanics - completing sets is easier than ever. Trade if you think that you can get a fair deal and if you do not think it will “ruin” the excitement of the game by finding your own gear later on.
Heck I do not even care if you GD stash your char or not - but again, I think it defeats the purpose of following these beginner guides.
If you trade or not is beyond the scope of my guides anyway - the goal of the guides is to take you to a position where you make a char with easy to get items that you can start doing some end-game farming with.
In a similar fashion, my guides are not meant for players who already have made several level 100 chars and have a decent loot pool to choose from. I.e. I do not suggest any kind of “twinked” leveling in my guides like “at level 50, equip this set” and so on. I will assume that you use gear only found by this char when leveling up and starting to farm / doing end-game content. There is of course nothing wrong with that, it is a viable option - I am just saying that my guides are not designed for twinked play or powerleveling in multiplayer Crucible/Shattered Realm.
I don’t have that much time to help you with gearing beyond the budget “goal” build that is presented in the guides. I work about 2 hours each days with maintaining the guides and making new ones and other guides. There are plenty of people here that can help you with improving your chars further. Just make a new thread, state you have followed guide x and give a link to the guide and a GT link to your char and people will come and help you.
I mean I could do a guide like this
- farm Ugdenbog flowers for a week, then trade them for gear
- join public games over and over again and ask for free loot because your are a poor new player
End of guide xD