[Concept in testing] Reaper hybrid pet (on acid) build

Not gonna make a long post. I would like to share a concept build I’m enjoying right now: a Reaper hybrid pet build focusing on acid pets.

I just finished Act 1 on Ultimate (going good so far). I’m a casual gamer in Grim Dawn – and really not an expert – so if people kind of like this build idea and want to tweak it/improve it/share their ideas, you are more than welcomed!

(And thanks to DaShiv for the precious informations on the Night King thread for pet/hybrid pet builds. For casual gamer like me, reading your guide saves tons of hours in terms of analysis and to fully understand game mechanics for pet/hybrid pet builds)

I’m level 82 at the moment and still miss a lot of gears. But this is something close to what I’m aiming for:

Grim Tool
I can’t post URL at the moment because this is my first post. So I invite you to add “/calc/L2JmEkaN” after your grimtools.com URL :rolleyes:

Approach and design

With the expansion, the love for cabalist is strong. So I wanted to make an unusual and maybe challenging hybrid pet build, going melee with a couple of them.
And with the new items that add “% acid damage to pets”, the acid version of the “Winter King build” is I think viable.

Of course Nightblade is really not a great mastery class for pet builds. The cabalist version of this build should be stronger (with items like the Mythical Blightstone invoker).
But still, you can make up for it:

[ul]You have three acid pets : two permanent (Blight Fiend, Blight Rift Scourge) and one on cooldown (Eldricht Hound from Bysmiel devotion – bound to Ravenous earth so you’re sure to summon the Eldricht Hound every time). I think I’ll go with the mythical bonescavenger’s deathgrips when I’ll get the item but I’m still not sure about it.

  • You don’t have blood of dreeg for your pets unfortunately… But you can use the Bard’s Harp devotion (flat OA and DA - on cooldown). And even if you have less health regen to mitigate Dying God cost, you can focus on life steal with a melee character (Ghoul devotion, Seal of the blades). The mix between Envenomed weapons and Venomancer’s aura also helps to have something close to Blood of Dreeg.
  • Nightblade is not great with pet builds in general. But Nightblade can shine with the Blight Fiend and his Rotting fumes ability (AOE DA debuff). You will land crits more often and Dying God not only improves your pet crits, it also enhances your crit damage by 40%.
  • Veil of Shadow (I think I’ll max it for the 6 meter radius) and Nightchill reduce the acid/poison resistance (%) of your foes. And there is Ravenous Earth for the 25 flat RR.

Notes on gear choices

  • Because you’re a pet build but you go melee as well, you really need a bit of everything when it comes to gear/devotion (except energy and energy regen).
  • Bysmiel domination seems to me the best choice for the relic. It adds survivability and I really need those 10% crit damage for pets.
  • This build has few pets and no skill cooldown reduction. Blight Fiend (18s cooldown) and especially the Blight Rift Scourge (60s cooldown!) are not as tanky as something like the Briarthorn. So those pets need to survive a bit. But the only pet skills Reapers have are offensive ones (Call of the Grave and Master of Death). That’s why items giving pet health and pet resistances are important.

This post is more a presentation than a complete guide or review. Hope you like it.
And sorry for my English, this is not my native language :slight_smile:

I like the enthusiasm of taking a new concept, but unfortunately, with the almost complete lack of any “On Enemy Death” procs that benefit pets, there’s hardly any reason to choose a hybrid summoner in the first place. In addition, pet Poison damage in general is severely under-supported; pet builds rely on stacking flat damage bonuses, but the only skill source of flat Acid is Blood of Dreeg, and there’s only once source of flat Poison damage, and that’s Mythical Viperfang’s skill modifier to Blood of Dreeg. That means even if a hybrid pet build would summon additional pets, none of them would benefit from Poison damage because they cannot inflict that type.

As interesting as your build set-up looks, it is completely obsoleted by Superfluff’s Deathguard Reaper: http://www.grimtools.com/calc/DV953pQV. Not only does player-scaled Poison damage come from many more sources (including conversion sources that pet builds don’t have access to) and provide much longer duration than pet-scaled duration (only the Vestments of the Great Guardian provide that bonus to pets), it incorporates multiple high %Weapon Damage skills that add additional Poison damage as well. Normally Pet builds make up for that by spreading out damage bonuses along multiple pets, but thanks to the complete lack of Poison auras, Pet Poison builds cannot take advantage of that.

Cabalist is the obvious choice for Pet Poison builds, but the summoner that takes the most advantage of Poison bonuses is the Ritualist. Both the Blight Fiend and Primal Spirit are the only pets that inflict Poison damage, and you can gear fairly easy to get 26/22/19 Blight Fiend and 20+/12 Primal Spirit thanks to the multiple gear options granted toward Ritualists.

Sadly, having 12 pets that do 10K DPS each does more damage as a whole than 1 pet that does 110K DPS, so unless there are additional auras that grant pets Poison damage (or at least enough pets to make sure of the multiple Poison-centered devotion procs), Poison is bound to lag far behind other pet builds.