Elemental (Mostly Cold) 2H Ranged Infiltrator Theorycraft


Hi guys,

I have been having this game for years but never really play much til end game.
But now I am trying to build a ranged infiltrator with RoH as main damage while shooting as well.
Standing inside the Inquisitor’s Seal while hoping that i don’t need to kite except when I am against super bosses.

I preferred to go full cold build, but then I saw this very nice looking 2h weapon and I really like RoH (in between of wanting to maximise RoH for AoE but still have single target damage)

I have almost 0 knowledge regarding end game stuffs, so this is just theorycrafting for a build i will go for. Please let me know if I am missing anything, or if there are other ways to maximise the character.


Hi @ajeeeeeeeee !

Let me ask a few questions and point to some issues.

  1. This build is pure theorycraft from you, or you got inspired by another build and modified it more to your liking and playstyle?
  2. I assume you use ABB to enrich the attacks of Runic Bolts, while the Lethal Assault is (still) active, right?
  3. Your armor (the value itself) and armor absorption (78%) is kind of low.
  4. Your resistances - Acid (80+7), Pierce (80), Bleeding (80+5) especially are low capped.
  5. The weapon requires 552 Cunning, your value is only 432. At this setup, you are unable to wear the gun.
  6. Some augments, especially the one within the gloves should be re-considered. (If Cunning made to 552, I think your life will be properly compensated like with the +4% health augment.)
  7. Look into rings section, if you can find better rings than Alkamos’ ones, though I understand you picked the set ones for the Dreadfire.
  8. Your attack speed is on a low side (2,8 attacks per second). So, what is your main attack? Runic Bolts and ABB, or the Runes?
  9. I would like to see the build in action. I always test the builds on Ultimate, killing Krieg, Cronley, Valaxteria, Theodin, Korvaak, Morgoneth and Rashalga.
  10. I assume the build is not meant to kill the Celestials (Ravager, etc.) right?

Hello Sir, thanks for the reply.

  1. I actually wanted to do a build with Shadow Strike (with maximised Nightfall) and when I saw RoH, I tried to combine them both. But Shadow Strike in my idea is more of a hit and run (SS then escape), which in my own opinion would work better as a Reaper, not Infiltrator. And with RoH, would be better if we just tank them so we can put the run exactly beneath the stronger mobs (for multiple instances of dmg). Hence I think it would work best to combine RoH, Inquisitor’s Seal, and then have an auto attack while RoH is on cooldown (with Runic Bolts).

  2. Yes, I just want Lethal Assault as a buff for other skills.

  3. I compared to someone who posted of a build of pure cold infiltrator, posted by sir_spanksalot
    But I assume his main attack is like casting spell, not shooting hence I didn’t follow his guide. On the other hand, I got my physical resist up to 21% which I think is higher than his.

  4. I have never played ultimate before, should they be over 80% with components that increase the max resistance?

  5. Yes, I have just noticed this, suppose I can throw some points in cunning instead of spamming all in physique?

  6. I chose the 4% health as the other choices are for resistances and I thought I have maxed them.

  7. I chose the ring for the extra cold damage and also the set bonus for phantasmal armor and dread. Not sure if there are anything much better back then.

  8. This is also a thing for me to always wonder. How many maximised main damaging skills do we need? Is it enough if I just go with runic bolts for single targets and RoH for group of monsters?

  9. For this, I need to keep playing further as I accidentally deleted the character who has finished the main game. I am currently at lvl 35 on normal veteran mode.

  10. I honestly want a jack-of-all-trades sort of character. I played acid sentinel and I honestly think that is a very strong build with maximised Aegis of Menhir. But a character wearing a shield isn’t really my thing.

Examples for skill that I like (visually) are :

  • Grasping Vines (I really love that skill, but vitality build is too much for me (so many buttons to press and it not used as main skill, tried theorycrafting about acid grasping vines but doesn’t seem to work as well
  • Shadow Strike, really love the movement and effect, but not sure how to build a proper build with one that has maximised nightfall (the idea of aoe dmg is neat for me)
  • ARR, it looks awesome, tried playing a bit, but at some point it gets boring by just holding right click

I have only chosen Inquisitor job as well, so I am pretty flexible with the second mastery.
I just tend to have preference towards cold damage, or the cool looking vines (crazy aoe, also slows).


Thanks for the structured reply, @ajeeeeeeeee !

3] ; 4] ; 6] There are components for higher armor and armor absorption, which also provide resistances, so you can review them (Living Armor and Sacred Plating for armor absorp and resist) and Scaled Hide and Ancient Armor Plate for better armor and armor absorp). The resistances and the overcap should be 80% (or higher cap) plus 30% to 40% overcap to be ready to play on Ultimate without critical issues.

5] Yes, take enough points from Physique and put them in Cunning.

I have to say I have different approach, expectations and limitations, regarding Grim Dawn. I suffer from spasms, to I can’t play “piano builds”, with which you use a lot of skills at once. I need to play more of a “buff” approach with shooting…
I also don’t make my chars to kill Celestials. I don’t like the “so called” end content, I only play Shattered Realm occasinoally. My main focus is the main campaign…

I will try to come up with adjustments to your build from my “perspective”…
And here is my take on 2H ranged cold damage dealing build, it is Trickster (Nightblade + Shaman) - Trickster, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator end gear. Now it is level 64, Normal Ugdenbog, and doing quite okay.

So there is my take on your build. Resists are solved, Cunning is solved… Some aspects are better of the build, some are slightly worse…

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Thanks again for your responses sir!

The idea of me playing ARPG is to finish the contents for sure, killing end games bosses is just a bonus.
I assume their loots are good? Are they more of just like for satisfaction? And yes, I also prefer not to go piano builds.

Back to the main topic, one other reason I choose Nightblade over shaman is the passive RR, while with Shaman you have to keep your Wind Devil for RR (another button to push). Hence my next question, why don’t you have Wind Devil for extra RR on your trickster build? Is there a limit to RR? And with elemental RR, I think I read somewhere that it reduces the 3 of them equally as in, -30% elemental RR = -30% fire RR, -30% cold RR, -30% lightning RR?

I was in dilemma because my first idea was maximising Shadow Strike.
But now that I don’t see it works with the gameplay of runes, I was thinking of just getting both runes (feels like a waste if I use Runebinder’s set, elemental damage and also artifact handling) and also change my other mastery to Oathkeeper (just for the celestial presence).

What is your farming build?
I have secured some lv 75 items from my previous characters.
But I tend to delete characters I don’t feel like playing anymore.


Hi @ajeeeeeeeee !

Killing Celestials is similar to killing Über Bosses in Diablo 2 / Diablo 2 Resurrected. They are super hard, all of the Celestials can drop two unique items, one epic (blue one) and one legendary (purple one), this is unique drop from them. So their loot / drop is not good, it is unique. You can’t farm or drop them anywhere else.

If you want to fam as many items as possible,

  2. Crucible
  3. and foremost SHATTERED REALM is your best bet.

Good question about Wind Devils! Yes, another button to press and ! They have head on their own, so you can’t navigate them or control them in any manner. So that’s why I don’t use them :slight_smile: I try to make “sturdier” builds instead of “RR maxed”…

Elemental thing: If anything is stated as a standard number, e.g. 30 elemental damage, it means dealing 10 fire + 10 cold + 10 lightning damage (not all 30 and not the burn / frostburn and electrocute!), while if you see a precentage, -30%, it means -30% fire ; -30% cold and -30% lightning resist. If a damage is enriched by 30% elemental damage, it means +30% to fire dmg, +30% to cold dmg and +30% lightning damage (but not the DOT counterparts, they need to be boosted separately).

Another note on resistances:
A) easiest way to reduce a resist is the example of poison/acid resist. Curse of Frailty (its node Vulnerability), Veil of Shadow (buff) and Rumor (constellation). So the build is Witch Hunter.
B) lowest resist of them all among the monsters is chaos resist…

There is one tricky thing about Summon Guardian of Empyrion (SGoE). There is a modifier to them, changing their damage, but also resist reduction! Why? Because the “modifier” is linked with different pets, so in this case only the conversion is kind of “inappropriate term” for a different pet. So in the term of damage, you can make double conversion with SGoE.

Conversions are the trickiest thing about Grim Dawn. There are four general rules:
1] damage can be converted only once (with the exception of SGoE, as I mentioned earlier), so if you convert 100% Vitality to Cold and 100% cold to physical, it works this way: any NATIVE flat vitality damage is converted to cold and boosted as a cold by percentage. Any NATIVE cold damage is converted to physical and bossted as a physical by percentage.
1a] So damage, which is going to be converted, is not boosted by % of the original kind, but it is boosted by % of the target damage
1b] Vitality to Cold and Cold to Physical doesn’t mean that your original Vitality becomes Physical through the Cold step.
2] If there is a conversion, which is declared without a skill name, it is global conversion.
3a] If there is a conversion, which is declared with a skill name, the conversion is applied only with the skill itself, like Cadence, Ring of Steel, … UNLESS
3b] it is a global conversion, if the skill doesn’t deal any damage at all. E.g. Field Command is a buff, but it doesn’t deal any particular damage, so if there is 100% Physical to Lightning to Field Command, it is a GLOBAL conversion. So two different behaviours, two different things are worded the same.
4] If you apply 100% physical to cold and 100% physical to vitality, the 100% is divided by two new damage, so practically 50% physical to cold and 50% physical to vitality…

My farming build? I use two: My very first Physical dual wield ranged Tactician and Aether Albrecht’s Ray Spellbinder.

If you are interested in shooting builds, I made a thread about those of mine with the expert commentary done by @Gnomish_Inquisition here: When a ranged build is born…a proper constellations should be “worn”.

Hello hello Sir_Mac,

Thanks again for the reply in details.
I guess I’ll skip the big boss for now on and focus on playing ultimate first (I have finished normal in veteran mode a few times but never really done any ultimate)

I usually do Crucible when I am around lv 7 for the 5 cheap devotion points, but I guess I can consider doing it more often later on once my character has leveled up further.

Currently I am still hanging onto my Inquisitor but I chose to remove RoH for now and just venture by cursing and tasing the enemies (WoP and Stormbox). I may even consider going back to just shadow strike dual wield build, but not gonna worry about that for now, just gonna quickly finish the normal level for now.

Thank you for the conversion explanation!
Just a quick question, I think pierce and bleeding are not related in conversion. So when pierce is converted to cold, I assume bleeding doesnt get converted to frostburn?

I used to like AAR build, but at some point it gets boring for me, as we just stand and right click.
But it is indeed a easy but solid build thought.


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Hi @ajeeeeeeeee !

I suffer from spasms in my hands, if I play too much or too “extensively”, so I have to play the builds, which rely on buffs and auras (temp or permanent ones) and just a few skills. So that’s why I play AAR build or gunners.

The conversion and damage type:
some damage types are flat (imminent ; I) and DOT (damage over time, DOT). Let’s have a list
physical (I) + internal trauma (DOT)
cold (I) + frostburn (DOT)
lightning (I) + electrocute (DOT)
fire (I) + burn (DOT)
elemental (I) ; burn, frostburn and electrocute don’t have any collective group
vitality (I) + vitality decay (DOT)
acid (I) + poison (DOT)
pierce (I) ; no DOT counterpart
no imminent counterpart ; bleeding (DOT)
aether (I) ; no DOT counterpart
chaos (I) ; no DOT counterpart

If you convert e.g. physical damage to cold damage, it means also internal trauma is converted into frostburn.
If you convert e.g. physical damage to aether damage, it means physical becomes aether, but internal trauma stays, becuase aether damage doesn’t have natural DOT partner for internal trauma.
If you convert e.g. chaos damage to fire damage, it means only fire damage is boosted, but not the burn damage, because chaos doesn’t have any DOT to support burn damage.
If you convert ELEMENTAL damage into e.g. physical damage, the conversion is applied to DOT (burn, frostburn and electrocute) as well
If you convert ELEMENTAL damage into e.g. aether damage, it is converted as a whole (1 fire, 2 cold, 3 lighting becomes 6 aether damage
If you convert e.g. physical damage into elemental damage, the elemental is divided equally, 6 physical into elemental means 2 fire + 2 cold + 2 lightning damage and 6 internal trauma becomes 2 burn + 2 frostburn + 2 electrocute.
Rules for Pierce are the same like for aether or chaos.

Bleeding damage is a Cinderella of the game. Nothing is converted INTO and nothing is converted OUT OF bleeding damage.

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