First time giving up on a build; can it be saved?

Don’t let your dreams be dreams ! :stuck_out_tongue:

Farm for a crossbow another hour and you may be surprised.

Or lower your expectations (I know it’s hard)
SR 75 - 80 is relatively high stake.


Well, on that note I did actually GDStash the ideal weapon just to see if that’s what I need to save the build. And frankly, it wasn’t even that different. The damage only went up by about 10 %, which, yeah it’s not nothing, but it’s not revolutionary either and with a build performing this poorly, revolutionary is kinda what you need.

The matter of expectations is a bit of an issue for me cause I have yet to do a build that failed this bad. Or rather, a build that failed, period. I’ve done some actual factual memes and made sacrifices on the altar of flavour on builds and they still pulled through respectably. There was a total of three builds in all where I had to sacrifice some aspect of the concept (one of those you know of, the Chaos Deceiver) but the overall flavour remained on all of them and they did perform in the end. So the fact that a build this straightforward with some decent gear support fell this flat on its face makes me determined to make this happen. I’m just kinda running out of ideas so I’m throwing this out there to see if maybe some of your guys’ suggestions rattle something loose in my head.


I get your point on multiple damage sources. Being tied to Cadence alone to do all the clear and single target is quite limiting and I do wish I had more options to end boss fights quicker or clear crowds more efficiently. But (heh, butt!) I’m not sure the half-caster route is the way to go.

To be more specific on what the problem with the build is or how it feels to play: due to the absence of -% rr, the build is not fast. It doesn’t exactly fold to anything because it’s not tied to a single damage type and most nemeses aren’t supercharged on more than one elemental res. But because the build is slow on clear (no Brimstone splash like FS or AoE like BWC to sweep away trash mobs while you focus bosses) and doesn’t particularly excel on single target (no enemy is hyper resistant to your damage but nobody is particularly vulnerable either) the end result is about zero margin for error. On many builds I can afford to die and have a decent chance to still have timer left to finish the shard. Since my damage output isn’t oustanding against anything, I’m not resilient to things going wrong, and because fights take longer there are more opportunities for things to go wrong. Fabius is going to land a chonky crit on me eventually in the minute it takes me to kill him. I can’t just stand there and lifesteal it all back while he continues to attack me. I need to Mirror to lifesteal back up or pop a potion. And then I won’t have those for the next time something goes wrong (like I overlook his Blade Barrier in the middle of the elemental mayhem, happens a lot).

To circle back to your suggestion, the reason I’m hesitant to go half caster is precisely because of this lack of resilience to things going wrong. If my attack DPS already just about keeps up with enemies’ average damage output, weaving in spell casts I cannot lifesteal from will both reduce my lifesteal even further and most likely force me to make sacrifices on my attack damage/speed to support the casting. So while my overall DPS might go up in the end, the essential part of the DPS, the one I can leech from, will go down, so my sustainability tanks below the current already middling level.


Your build looks very optimized, I can only think of Haunted Steel for more leech and Bloodthrister mini ghoul for 32% LL in total in those tough situations when mirror is on cooldown. It’s great and saved my Fire shooter build in Crucible once. But it will lower your damage slightly, but I think it will be a tiny decrease of DPS. Or lifesteal pots but they are far less potent


That’s a good idea. I’ll be missing out on the conversion and flat ele but the Arcane Resonance effect is really there just for show cause I’m golden on CC res. I’m also thinking of maybe scrapping Attak Seru (ouch though!!) and taking Ghoul for the lifesteal and circuit breaker. Even though I already have 17 % leech maybe going just really ham on it might do the trick.

It also just randomly popped into my head while looking at your suggested gear that I wanted to try messing around with a Fleshwarped Casque and then never did… The extra uptime and %WD on War Cry might be exactly what I need for resilience and AoE (the DoTs on Overload especially might finally do some good on the clear)! It will cost me the Shattered Guardian set though so there goes all that phys res…I’m gonna have to find that somewhere on the devo tree probably.

Your devo looks really good, I wouldn’t change it.
Those T3 devos have great stats and small constellations you chose are useful as well.

1 Like

Weird Idea I know but maybe Runebinder crossbow with phys to ele conversion and not bad AA would you save a lot of points ?

Probably bad but could be worth trying out

1 Like

I think the only thing holding this build together is the guaranteed 100 % passthrough on the chonky Cadence hit. If that goes I think my days are numbered in chunks cause my clear disappears. Also, while yes Cadence does eat a ton of points, I honestly have more points than I know what to do with (hence the extra points in Military Conditioning). There just isn’t that much in the Battlemage tree beyond what I have that helps me much. All the Exclusive Skills are just halfway useful.

True about exclusives. It’s quite sad that there is no exclusive with elemental damage %.

But if you could swap somehow relic for wps one then around 50% shots would have passthrough. You would be missing cadence shots but in exchange all of the rest would be stronger.

Also even stats in Arcanist line would help a bit.

Edit: IEE would lost points and bonuses and that’s seem like a big drawbag

You could experiment with the Mageslayer set and include OFF. OFF would add some fire/cold RR for many things. It might not help with bosses, but it could help AoE clears.

Or (although I get the impression that you want to maintain elemental - but your ground rules don’t clarify) you could switch to a physical damage build/itemization, where you can profit more from soldier RR and one dev RR. I suspect you could keep the Blind Sage proc and juggle some of the dev around.

1 Like

I’ve pondered Mageslayer as an option but I think it would be best as a Fire build to really take advantage of that massive native rr. That’s a major build overhaul though, so I haven’t tested that one yet, my attempts to fine tune the build have generally all circled around a few minor variations of the same Tri-Ele shell.

I’m gonna do some testing on a version using the Fleshwarped Casque first, see what good affixes I can realistically get on those, then build my defenses around what I found. I’ll also try dropping Attak Seru and try Ghoul, cause if I’m gonna drop Shattered Guardian I’m gonna need some other form of circuit breaker and the extra lifesteal wouldn’t hurt. I’m also thinking of looking through what Kaisan amulets I got stashed way to see if I can get a general boost from there, cause all the amulet options I’ve been messing around with are honestly just embarrasing to look at. The medal and ammy slots are really weak on this build so maybe I can cook something up there. I’ll post an update once I’ve put it together and done some testing, it’s gonna take a while to get the pieces in place. If that doesn’t pan out I’ll try a Runebinder crossbow variant and a Mageslayer variant and see what’s what.

1 Like

Is changing damage type out of the question, or are the only requirements are “2-handed ranged battlemage” ?

Since you’re stuck without RR anyway, you might as well go for a damage type that is less resisted, such as bleed, chaos or Aether

Bleed especially, would work well since Cadence has very high %weapon damage. With a good Ugdenbog boltthrower, and you could get RR on warcry from a conduit, or support for cadence with the Goredrinker set.

Arcanist wouldn’t contribute much directly to damage, but a lot of OA, CC resist and damage absorption helps anyone.

I put this together in like 5 minutes, it’s probably bad as-is, but it gives a rough idea of what it can be (I didn’t change all augments either)


Holy lifesteal batman! Honestly would have never even thought of going bleed on a Battlemage. Doesn’t quite match the arcane archer flavour but deviation to Aether might fit the bill.

Looks like I’m gonna be busy with this build for the next week XD So much to think about already, thanks guys!


well, if you skip the 2h approach, dw phasebreaker allows to boost ZA (so beside Cadence, there are two WPS with passthrough - and one of them is rather strong) - beside the dw cadence boost (more cadence strikes while dw). Obviously, I prefer more RR and have taken all three RR devotions, even at the cost of damage (from the T3 devotions)

edit: of course - giving up elemental damage completely, e.g. going physical - would allow other builds

1 Like

That Aether idea could be interesting. Your comment about Fleshwarped casque got me wondering if it could be worked into a 4-piece Krieg’s and compare it to 5-piece + Magelord rings.

Profit off CT for extra AoE/proc. Use Reckless instead of Oleron’s.

And perhaps maybe even get some value from Fleshwarped Carbine if you had some superb suffixes that could compare to the Dreadscorcher % damage and + skill. That would be tough finding that, though.

I’m curious to hear how this one goes, if you work something out.

Did some brief messing around with dual Phasebreakers with Korvaak’s Brand. The sheet DPS was sheet (like, less than half) but dummy kill time was pretty much identical between Arcaneweaver and Phasebreakers (that was without changes to devotions though i.e. I still had Kraken on DW). So my damage would be very low on average but very spiky on Markovian procs. Could be worth pursuing further, but I worry the spikes could lead to issues with reliability of sustain in the downtimes.

But I think the Fleshwarped Casque experiment is bearing fruit. My best outcome after farming half an inventory was Magi’s of the Boar. Suffix could be better but the CD on Magi’s is very helpful for War Cry and Mirror uptimes. Sadly got an average roll of 4 %. Looked through my stashed up Kaisan’s Burning Eyes, had a Magi’s of Vitality (also sadly a 4 % CD so my War Cry has a 0.1 s downtime). Put that together, replaced the chest and shoulder since the Shattered Guardian set was now, well, shattered. Tried an SR run but it still wasn’t doing the trick on sustain, with a death at early 77.

So I tossed the Seal of Resonance for a Haunted Steel, redid some other components, most notably adding Prismatic on head cause I just couldn’t bring myself to drop Attak Seru to get Ghoul for the circuit breaker. Haunted Steel plus Diamond will have to do their best Ghoul impression. And voila, beat an SR75-80 within timer with -15 % health and -10 % total damage mutators on first try. Final room was hairy with IM and Fabius (who at one point had me at 700 hp, thank you movement skill for getting me out of that damage aura range in time for Constitution to save me). But I made it. This is the current build Battlemage, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

WD has gone down very slightly compared to the Shattered Guardian version, my phys res is 8 % down and armor, max res and health have dropped, but I’ve got more lifesteal, two new circuit breakers (Diamond and Bloodthrister), pretty much full uptime on War Cry (stronger too) with %WD on it and my DA has gone up by 200+. Down 1 % absorb on Maiven but up 2 % DR on War Cry

Gonna test how reliable it is across 5 SR runs but if I can manage at least 3 wins, I think I’ve got the final version.

Might theorycraft an alternative for the Aether variant and Runebinder variant after I’m done with testing.


Coincidentally, a couple weeks ago I did a GT doodle of a 2H Fleshwarped cadence Krieg battlemage. Looks ok on paper and only a couple buttons to push but no idea how it will perform. Was planning on testing it out eventually, but here it is if somebody wants to run with the idea.

Note: energy regen looks like a problem now that I look at it again.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Finished 3 out of 5 SR75-80s within timer. Possibly could have been 4, had a run with pretty nice mutators…but ran into a Keynen Burntheart right out of the gate at 75 who was taking damage in the order of hundreds. By the time I realised why my health wasn’t going up, I was down to half. Said screw it, popped a potion and charged onward to shake the bastard…and ran into 3 fire traps blocking a corridor. Got shotgunned by them as I tried to squeeze through XD

It’s not a super comfortable build by any means and I would not go around recommending it. You have to be careful about positioning, create separation if you start getting swarmed but up until around 78 you can be fairly confident you have some breathing room and can most definitely facetank a lot of stuff.

Relinking the final version from my previous post (no changes) for convenience in case you like having to sweat for your SR runs: Battlemage, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

Thank you all for your suggestions and feel free to keep discussing whatever funky Battlemage varieties you’ve been playing. I might theorycraft a few of the options that have been suggested here and post them here later. For now, I need a bit of a break from looking at the Battlemage skill tree XD


Something I’ve noticed consistently in the original build and in many of the theorycrafts is too many points in Fighting Form. Fighting Form gives nothing to this build (unless you change it to be a bleed build), except for passthrough on the 3rd cadence hit, and it gives you that with only 4 points.

The game tells you it gives 51% chance at 4 points, as does grimtools, but ingame, you get passthrough every time at only 4 points.

GD is full of weird surprises. But have you confirmed that any Cadence passthrough = 100%? If you can have absolute passthrough at 1 pt due to the [new?] mechanic…

Also - while your point about the bleed being pointless is valid -the node does provide some % damage support to the physical portion of Cadence primary only (not DM afaik) and increases the maximum for number of targets. I typically considered the small %bonus increment not worth extra points when scarce, but the # target breakpoint is a consideration.

(or is # targets also irrelevant now?) I haven’t played in a while.