Critique my Venomancer Cabalist (Veteran Build)

I’m not really showing this off so much as I am wanting advice from the wise ones of the forum.

GrimTools Link:

This character has only completed Veteran and before I tackle higher difficulties I thought I’d get some feedback on what to expect on Elite+

My general experience with GD has been that most characters can steamroll Veteran with a little bit of common sense, and this character has been no exception to that. My only deaths were due to me not paying attention to terrain damage.

With previous characters, I’ve found Elite to be challenging but fair, and Ultimate to be insane to impossible. So I love leveling characters but I’m not the best at getting them to be viable at high levels/difficulties.

Character Overview
I hope you get the idea of what I want this to character to be. I want to make a caster, whose focus is on Acid/Poison damage. I don’t try recreate builds and I didn’t pick Vitality as my focus because I felt that once I headed down that road, I would end up abandoning Acid/Poison and just be another Vitality Cabalist.

This character uses self-found gear, with the exception of components. That’s not a self-imposed rule, I just don’t have anything good in stash to give him. No cheats, mods, etc. just plain ol’ Grim Dawn + AoM.

My playstyle:
First, I’ll say I switch between my two weapon sets depending on whether I’m going up against Aetherials/Chthonians. You can see one weapon set has Void Ward, the other has Aether Ward. If I’m going up against neither, I’ll tend to use whichever set I was using last.

I open up with Curse of Frailty to keep enemies slowed and with lowered resistances.

I then get Ravenous Earth erupting underneath the mobs. I will continue by spamming Dreeg’s Evil Eye on the target(s), focusing especially on those who might break away from RE’s area of effect. I also continue to Curse any stragglers/newcomers.

I use Dreeg’s Infinite Gaze as an “oh shit I got surrounded” button. I try to kite and keep enemies away, but it’s not a big deal to get surrounded in Veteran, so I’m semi-lazy with kiting unless it’s an elite/boss.

I try to keep the 3 temp buffs (Blood of Dreeg, Call of the Grave, Blight) up as much as possible during fights. Sometimes I will use Blood of Dreeg for tactical healing if potion is on cooldown.

I don’t direct the Blight Fiend to attack specific targets, I just set him to aggressive and let him do his thing. I love his acid nova that causes confusion. It’s good crowd control and good damage.

My Concerns
For one, I don’t have any defensive devotions. I just picked every poison/acid thing I could see and tried to bind the Celestial Powers to skills that made sense. As such, I’m a wee bit squishy and I know it just gets so much worse in higher difficulties.

Second, poor ol’ Blight Fiend is starting to die. A lot. I’m worried that pets will need to be an all-or-nothing kind of thing. I have a very meager amount of pet gear and devotions going. Fiend did perfectly fine until Ashes of Malmouth content, when it seemed like every other pack of enemies would kill him. If I have to choose, I’d rather give up the Blight Fiend than try to become a pet master.

Third, is there any kind of damage conversion to Acid/Poison that I could use to my advantage? So far I only found the Leafmane horn that converts RE’s Vitality to Acid, which is awesome.

Fourth, I worry sometimes that I don’t fully understand which modifiers (especially on components) only affect weapon damage. So there’s the possibility that I have some modifiers I think boost my poison/acid damage but actually don’t because I never swing my weapon.

Thanks for the feedback! :slight_smile:

EDIT: I also forgot to say I don’t play Crucible or care about fighting super bosses or even Nemeses. I’d just like to be able to complete as much story content as possible.

You can do veteran with just yellow items etc so what is there to get critique on?

There are plenty of guides how to make ultimate viable chars on a budget here you know.

In particular, there is a cabalist guide

What I’ve seen is people post builds on GrimTools and then more charitable players will alter it and/or offer suggestions on how to make it more effective.

Yes, he’s only made it through Veteran thus far, but I didn’t intend to just stop there. This is like a preemptive strike on his weaknesses, before I take him all the way to level 100 and have to potentially respec a bunch of stuff because he can’t handle bosses in Elite for example.

I would just find the cabalist guide and study it

anyway two tips: get bonespike weapon and basilisk crest medal. Farm them and save ones with many defensive stats

You will have to choose between getting gear that improves your own damage or your pet damage. Hybrids does not even work with BiS items. You have to decide caster or summoner at some point.

You had some solid tips here:

Thanks! I know there’s lots of good info on the forums, even just getting pointed to it is a big help!