One of the most common questions among new players is “Help me choose a build”, Grim Dawn indeed has wide variety of class combinations, styles and other. With them is real challenge to select a proper build for you. My guide is meant to help players choose what they like but also to choose wise!
I will use some terminology, if you are unfamiliar with it, you can ask or check the acronyms list https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/gd-acronym-and-abbreviation-list/29433
NOTES: If you want to experience the thrill of self made build,please don’t read the details.So the keys to select builds, according to the synergy!
Topic is revised lastly in 220.127.116.11
Style of play
It’s good to decide, what kind of style you want to play and choose accordingly. To name them: DW(dual wield) melee, 2Hmelee, DW(dual pistols) ranged,2H(Gun) ranged, S&B(Sword and Board) ,Caster(spells), retalitation and pets.
So, when decide it’s easier to choose a class. Note that some classes are better for one of the styles and average in other, even if they support the specific damage. For example Inquisitor can be used for chaos ranged build, but if you want to support chaos melee, maybe will be bad option.Also Nightblade is almighty in DW melee, but if you have Panetti caster, it’s not the optimal secondary class, you want Inquisitor here.
Ease of Gearing
It’s important not choose some gear dependent build to follow that work only with super rare conversion items. Also leveling option in case of failing is plus. And some rare and unused classes can be harder to play. There are also sets with guaranteed drop chance and drop from specific bosses, named Dark One and Krieg. They can get you going in end game. Pretty versatile sets, but same ideas for combinations are: Krieg-Death Knight and Spellbinder, Dark One: Cabalist or Opressor. Every other sets are either random drop or crafted items with random blueprint drop. Vanquisher or Shattered realm are also semi-targetable ,since SR set is from Shattered realm mode and Vanquisher have 5% drop from dungeons and each part is located in one of the 4 dungeons-Steps of Torment,Bstion of Chaos, Port Valbury or Ancient Grove.
Common term is,that resist reduction is key. Usually to build good character you need RR source from both classes. Some can use one and be fine, but usually two are better. If you both classes don’t have RR,usually build is gonna suck. For example if you want good vitality let’s say Ravenous Earth build, you will choose support class with vitality RR, not universal like Soldier or with some vitality damage,but no RR like Nightblade.
Also is important how easy your RR is unlocked. Curse of Frality has duration and will be applied to enemy with every tick. But there’s even better way, passive proc Inquisitor Aura of Censure will debuff all enemies in radius,so it’s better. Necromancer Spectral Binding have passive RR on hit, it’s useful for melee, but useless for pets.
Damage, same way. Look for common support damage. For example both Demo and Inquisitor have aether RR, but they don’t have basically aether damage, so it will be hard to create aether Purifier. Also it easy to focus on only one damage type, since you have to reduce monster resistances and find gear with same damage support. For example Nightblade can support both pierce and cold damage,but will be hard to use them on same build, since Murmur is constellation for cold RR and Assassin’s mark for pierce. Also Ultos or Elemental storm proc are working only for Elemental damage and not pierce. There are few exceptions from the rule, like cold/lightning Druid or tri-elemetal builds like Arcanor Forcewave.
It’s good if you are inexperience to choose sturdy class and not glass. In general builds with Oatkeeper, Soldier or Inquisitor tends to be more safe ,also vitality casters are beginner friendly as well due to built in life steal.
We want to focus on one main damage skill or two. Also exclusive skill and support and defensive. Spreading points among many offensive skills make the build harder to manage and pilot. Please don’t create skills and pets hybrid, unless you have knack for that.
Note that skills for leveling can be different from end game.
Some examples early leveling :
- Arcanist - Olexra Flash Freeze+Fireblast from component,Trozan
- Oathkeeper-Vire’s might+Aegis
- Nightblade - Veil+Night’s Chill, Amarasta
- Occultist - Dreeg’s Eye+ Blood of Dreeg
- Demolitionist - Fireblast,Blackwater cocktail
- Soldier - Forcewave +Internal Trauma or Blade Arc
- Shaman - Devouring Swarm, or Wind Devil
- Inquisitor - Word of Pain+Word of Renewal
- Necromancer - Ravenous Earth+Spectral Binding
If you are melee you want ghoul as circuit breaker and life steal. For caster you want maybe damage absorb and/or healing procs. You need with any build,good RR form devos.
First, here is list of all character combinations,with build compendium links
- Apostate (Inquisitor + Necromancer)
- Battlemage (Arcanist + Soldier)
- Blademaster (Nightblade + Soldier)
- Cabalist (Necromancer + Occultist)
- Commando (Demolitionist + Soldier)
- Conjurer (Occultist + Shaman)
- Deathknight (Necromancer + Soldier)
- Deceiver (Inquisitor + Occultist)
- Defiler (Demolitionist + Necromancer)
- Druid (Arcanist + Shaman)
- Elementalist (Demolitionist + Shaman)
- Infiltrator (Inquisitor + Nightblade)
- Mage Hunter (Arcanist + Inquisitor)
- Purifier (Demolitionist + Inquisitor)
- Pyromancer (Demolitionist + Occultist)
- Reaper (Necromancer + Nightblade)
- Ritualist (Necromancer + Shaman)
- Saboteur (Demolitionist + Nightblade)
- Sorcerer/Sorceress (Arcanist + Demolitionist)
- Spellbinder (Arcanist + Necromancer)
- Spellbreaker (Arcanist + Nightblade)
- Tactician (Inquisitor + Soldier)
- Trickster (Nightblade + Shaman)
- Vindicator (Inquisitor + Shaman)
- Warder (Shaman + Soldier)
- Warlock (Arcanist + Occultist)
- Witchblade (Occultist + Soldier)
- Witch Hunter (Nightblade + Occultist)
So here’s the cherry on top, what classes are good according to all criteria.
NOTE:this is my personal opinion, you are not obligated to support it! Choices are in order, but not in strict sometimes
NOTE 2: May contain spoilers
Good classes are based around Soldier or OK. Warlord is really good, so does Opressor, Death Knight,Witchblade, Sentinel.Tanks, 2h melee and maybe DW melee are good, retal is god, caster is hard to make.
For DW melee choices are Infiltrator,Trickster,Blademaster,Dervish.
For 2h melee, similar maybe. For caster I will add Druid and Mage Hunter as solid classes. DW melee recommended, tank or ranged not so much.
Good combos are Shieldbreaker, Paladin, Purifier. Basically three classes have excellent support. Occultist and Shaman have RR,but not really skills. Caster can be Mage Hunter, Sorcerer or Elementalist .Recommended are Caster,Tank, Ranged, not really the Melee builds, but there are few decent ones.
Shaman supports that damage really well, is viable in almost every category. Vindicators are kings of lightning. For non Shaman option is ranged Purifier or Sorcerer/Shieldbreaker caster. Archon is gear dependent,but can be good as EoR build. Also Warder has some qualities.
Many options,really good as caster, some decent 2h melee. DW melee or ranged is really mediocre. Classes are closer, many possible combos. Necromancer have excellent vitality support and is used as Opressor, Ritualist, Cabalist. Phantasmal blades use Nightblade as main class and Necro or Occultist, usually.
DW melee is blazing quick or ranged. Other options are no that good or require gear.Classes Infiltrator, Blademaster, Tactician, some gear dependent options like Purifier or Trickster.
Dervish…Sentinel or Witch Hunter. DW melee, tank, caster are solid options. Retal can be cheap and reliable build.
Spellbinder, Death Knight, Mage Hunter, maybe Apostate.Caster is classic aether build.
Chaos, usually is under performing damage or gear dependent. Deciever is probably popular. Pyromancer or Witchblade have easier gearing. Ranged chaos is decent, but other are options also.
Choices are DW or 2h Melee.Classes-Trickster, Warder, Archon, Warlord, Witchblade. Very interesting damage, since is full DoT.
Pets and other.
Conjurer are tanky, Cabalist deal tons of damage, option is Ritualist. In general you want double pet support classes, instead of single, unless you know what are you doing.
Conclusion of Classes
Some classes fail to have mentions, like Defiler, Warlock or Battlemage. There is reason, they don’t have much synergy outside of specific items or sets, it’s maybe good idea to avoid them.
Some easy classes for starters in order
DW melee-Infiltrator,Blademaster, Dervish, Trickster
2H-Warlord, Death Knight, Vindicator, Witchblade
S&B-Warlord, Death Knight, Paladin, Sentinel, Witchblade
DW ranged-Purifier, Paladin, Tactician, Vindicator
Caster(not in order) Cabalist and Opressor (Ravenous earth), Reaper (ravenous earth, then phantasmal blades), Mage Hunter (Words of pain or Olexra flash freeze, later Panneti), Vindicator (storm tottems, Wind Devils, Storm Box, Spellbinder(little tough early levels,later is nice)
Retalitaion-Warlord, Opressor, Sentinel, Paladin, Warder
Subject is open to suggestions,I cherish each player ideas.Have fun!