Could use some feedback for Rutnick Templar

Recently returned and found this pistol. Looked for builds and didn’t see a Templar build for it, so that’s what I went with. Had no real plan, just general ideas. I usually don’t delve too deep into end game before getting an itch to roll a new character, so I could use some help on improvements. Just hit 94 and threw this together.

The idea was to buff Fervor through retribution and retaliation. It’s possible this could be done better with another class combo, but I think it turned out pretty good so far and it’s pretty fun to play.

Not sure if I’m missing anything. OA/DA look decent to me, but I’m not sure. Devotions could use some adjustment, I think. I’ve spent so much time on it, I figured I’d just leave it and see what others think. Probably something better to do between targo, messenger and stag. (yes, I know I don’t have shield wall.)
Played with devotions. Realized I didn’t need manticore RR. Up to 88k dps. Better OA. Is 11k hps a problem? Templar, Level 94 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

Screenshot is permanent buffs. Retaliation is about 35k total, mostly split between aether and physical at 13k each. Righteous Fervor at about 36k. I’m sure there are some small improvements to be made, and some of it might be a little messy. Thanks!


  • I think -Aether Res on Guardians doesn’t work if you don’t get at least 1p in Celestial Presence.
    I was corrected on that when I was making Aether Guardian build.

  • I recommend updating your Grim Dawn to public beta because of:
    “Phoenix Fire: fixed an issue where the Absorption effect was not applying”
    (more info here: Public Testing FAQ)

1 Like
  • Shattering Smash doesn’t work on ranged weapon.

  • Rutnick’s Gun and Bonemonger don’t support retal so you may have a difficult time with end game content, especially since you don’t have any way to convert most the retal damage you have to aether. I would move away from retal on devotions and gear and only 1 point Retribution. (Spend points in Oathkeeper to reach Celestial Presence and max ascension)

  • You should try to get Hourglass in devotions for Mirror+Ascension reset. This also holds if you want to keep the retal part. Maxing Ascension should be your priority for flat and % retal damage. Also, retal doesn’t scale with spirit

  • Unless you have full magelord ring set, you could use double Veilwarden Band to get 24/16 RF.

  • Best shield here is Watcher of Erulan. If you don’t have it, maybe use Mythical Will of the Living, or even a well rolled Colossal Bulwark.


Are you talking about the bonus on the Flames of Wrath amulet? I’m not using it. Think I have one, but using the bonemonger amulet for the set bonus which adds RR to Smite. No idea if that’s a good trade off, but smite is hitting pretty hard and is good aoe clear.I also ditched Phoenix.

You made me realize, I don’t currently have a proc on guardians, which makes them a little useless, maybe? Might be back to the devotion drawing board for the 20th time.

Thanks for the post!

1 Like

Bonemonger’s helm has a -15% aether resistance modifier to guardians. It doesn’t work if they don’t have their aura.


Thanks for the catch on shattering smash. I was worried about bonemonger and retal, but it seems to be working out with what I have. I could be missing something, but every time I try to move away from retal, I end up losing out, including in the aether department. I also wanted to convert more phys retal to aether, but it’s proven difficult. I’d have to look at it again, but adding the other magelord signet is a loss in dps, and I unfortunately need that other ring for resists atm…or needed at the time.

I’m pretty sure rutnicks is converting the phys retal to aether. If retribution is adding 11% retal to fervor, and rutnicks is converting that phys to aether…Am I stupid here, or is that not the way it works? Fervor shows no phys on the tool tip, so I assume it is.

I’ll take another look at shields. I know Will of the Living is one I was comparing at one point. Not sure I have the others. Good call on hourglass. I’ll see if I can get there.

Maxing Oathkeeper is something I’ve been wanting to do. I just needed someone to tell me to do it. Thought I would at max level.

I did feral thicket last night and ran into kubakabra. Was able to facetank him. I don’t know if this is a good test, but it all went pretty smooth.

Thanks for the help!

Bah! Knew about it, forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

Edit: Just an update on the shield. It’s providing another 2k aether to Fervor over Will of the Living.

1 Like

Just checked in game, you’re right about physical retaliation being converted. Just keep in mind it will be hard to balance defensive stats if you’re trying to get both retal damage and aether damage on skills gears and devotions since aether and retal gear have very little overlap. In my opinion, the character would be easier to balance by moving away from retal entirely, but in the end it just depends on where you wanna take it. I can throw a GT doodle of what I would change if you want to, but I don’t wanna take away the fun of solving the puzzle yourself!


Yeah, I realized at the start there was going to be problems in the gearing department with retal and aether, although there are some odd synergies, like the 4 seconds of 7k retal from mirror, although it’s lightning, some of it is converted. I thought it could end up somewhere between disaster and really good. lol.

I’m with you in thinking it would be much easier and probably better to go another direction, but I’m not done with this experiment yet. My knowledge of the game and gear isn’t the greatest, so I threw it at you guys. I’m going to continue playing with it for now. If you want to draw up an alternative, I’d take a look at it and consider it if this becomes too much of a headache.

One other idea I had is wearing acid retal gear and converting it to aether, although I don’t know of the conversion options, or if there are any. From the start I knew it would be easier to just use a different class combo, or just use other skills and gear, but I’m compelled to do it unconventionally lol.

1 Like

I memed about it once: Fashion Dawn - #1184 by tqFan

Something like this, mostly self plagiarized from my own Rutnick Paladin :sweat_smile: but with Hourglass devotion because Arcanist.

Defensive stats from shield may not be necessary with the Hourglass combo, in that case just go dual wield since Rutnick’s gun provides that option. Note that the physical resist from the shield is bugged in GT character sheet, it only shows a 10% increase where it should be 18%.

Key points:

  • Belt provides +1 to arcanist and converts fire to aether. Maybe Imp devotion is better that Korvaak in that case, idk.

  • Legplates of valor fixes bleed and pierce resists as well as DA

  • 24/16 RF with rings for 9th charge level

  • Now with Ghoul and Serenity circuit breakers

Just gotta swap augments to balance elemental resists.

I respeced to 95% of your build, then went back again. I think the only difference was serenity and 1 constellation. I grew to like the honor relic ability and don’t want to give it up. Helps clear packs and shotguns large bosses. I know I’m bound to get squashed. Honestly, it’s difficult to tell the difference between them. Yours hits a bit harder initially, but I think mine catches up and makes up for it with a proc or two. There’s also a bit of retal to account for, and maybe a little more built in survivability with mine, not counting the circuit breakers. Some small differences, but they feel like they perform very similar. Then again, i haven’t tried any other content besides running thicket once with each of them. Even that was difficult to judge because of zone buffs. Anyway, I’m no pro at this, but they feel relatively the same to me.

My build changed a bit since hitting max level. I’d post it but I respeced yet again to play around with a 2 hander that fit well with some minor devotion changes.

I’m surprised you came to the conclusion your build was more durable, considering the one I suggested had 4k more hp, double the physical resistance and lifesteal + the cdr for mirror and ascension. Shield talents and Giant’s Blood can’t really make up for those.

One thing you can try to measure damage and durability is Lokarr and high SR shards (say 65+), maybe even Ravager. You’ll truly feel the difference in performance with those. Feral Thicket isn’t really a challenge for any competently put together build imo. But maybe retal route is better than I expected, idk. I’m interested to see the results!

1 Like

Try to tested the build in high SR shard like 65-66 or CR 150-160. If the build is durable and dont die much ( let say 2 or 3 times) then you are good.

Going off memory, I think yours had 9 more phys resist (some of this was made up from simply switching to the pants of your build), while mine had 300 more armor. I did pick up some leech. Yours had about 3k more hps which I felt could be a problem. I may have switched out giants blood, I don’t remember. DA was only 20 difference going one way or the other. I don’t know, I think I felt block stats were the largest difference outside hps. If that doesn’t answer the question, I did say “maybe”, and I think my idea of “built-in defense” didn’t include relying on a proc, though I wouldn’t argue it if you want to. Not arguing either way, just answering the question.

I’ve respeced this character countless times, all done in game because GT doesn’t calculate anything. I’m burned out on it. Ravager would have motivated me to do it 20 more times, but I murdered them rather than do their quests for the 9th time in a couple weeks. I now have the squishiest character in grim dawn with the most nonsensical devotions running around with a 2 hander because I just didn’t care to put the least bit of effort into it. Maybe I’ll pick it back up in a couple of days.