[HC][Witch Hunter] Hobbit's "Emerald" Poison Hunter

aka “Green Sanic”

As featured on twitch.tv/sfhobbit

NOTE: I am somewhat rushing this guide as I’m about to start the PoE 2 week and I promised I’d get the guide up before then. I’ll definitely add more to this and fancy it up a bit after that race ends but I just wanted to get this out there as it’s an incredibly fun build and a lot of people have been asking for this.


This is my Poison Witch Hunter build that focuses exclusively on scaling Poison damage while retaining high survivability and mobility. There is some Acid damage that comes along with abilities/gear/devotions, but the primary focus of this build is stacking Poison dots.

This is my favorite build out of everything I’ve tried in Grim Dawn by far. Unlike a lot of other builds that seem to be desperately lacking in either single target, AoE, survivability, or some other department, this is a very well rounded build that is a lot of fun to play. The AoE potential is quite high and single target dots can quickly stack up to 150k.


The true backbone of this build is in fact not Dreeg’s Evil Eye, but the T3 Abomination Devotion proc called “Tainted Eruption.” This is a PBAoE poison-only (no Acid) DoT that also has a short confuse effect attached to it. As over half of our abilites are PBAoE, we want to Shadow Strike into the middle of packs for maximum effectiveness and and the confuse is what lets us do this without suiciding. The recent devotion changes to proc chance were enormous for this build’s consistency and made the “charge into packs and Taint” playstyle much safer in a HC environment, as before there was too great a chance you would fail to proc and wind up in a prickly situation.

While we use different constellations for leveling (Levelling Guide below) the primary three endgame sources of Poison are Tainted Eruption, Dreeg’s Evil Eye, and the Dreeg’s Afflicted Spines relic. The Amulet, Viperfang, Manticore, Mark of Dreeg, Tome of Nar’Adin, Nidalla’s Hidden Hand, and Scorpion all provide supplemental sources of Poison, although Manticore and Scorpion are there primarly for their debuffs. For single target you simply stack everything including Shadow Striking to keep Nidalla’s up.

Note: Viperfang grips will only proc if you’re in melee range, so usual playstyle on bosses is to Curse, Shadowstrike in (proc Scorpion), hit everything (Mark of Dreeg, Dreeg’s Evil Eye, Dreeg’s Afflicted Spines), and drop a pool (offhand ability) as you move back out of melee range and let the dots do their work. Essentially you’re only in melee range for short periods of time after shadowstriking in, but in that second is when you want to spam everything so Viperfang will actually proc.

Album: http://imgur.com/a/3nmQL

Mark of Dreeg - Tainted Eruption
Shadow Strike - Scorpion
Manticore - Dreeg’s Evil Eye
Turtle - Night’s Chill
Giant’s Blood - Possession

Attributes are 61/0/22 (4 left over) in order to meet requirements although you want to read the rings/gearing section below before comitting.

I went Kymon’s as I do on all my characters but on this build it doesn’t really matter what you choose.

VID: Ultimate Log: https://www.twitch.tv/sfhobbit/v/64399334
You can also find more gameplay in the past broadcasts on twitch here:
I’ll try to add more highlights later.

Weapon: Runed Dagger of Dreeg (Purified Salt)
Offhand: Wretched Tome of Nar’Adin (Mark of Dreeg)
Hat: Hood of Dreeg (Leathery Hide)
Chest: Shroud of Dreeg (Chains of Oleron)
Shoulders: Mantle of Dreeg (Mutated Scales)
Pants: Empowered Legplates of Valor (Mutated Scales)
Gloves: Viperfang Grips (Unholy Inscription)
Boats: Footpads of the Grey Magi (Mark of MogDog)
Belt: Tinker’s Ingenuity (Rigid Shell)
Amulet: Black Gem of Dreeg (Corpse Dust)
Medal: Mark of Divinity (Corpse Dust)
Rings: Rares (Corpse Dust) w/ Incorruptible, Harmonius prefixes and Boar/Shaman’s, Oleron’s/Basilisk suffixes. More on this below.

Armour Augments are literally pierce in 6 slots, aether in the last slot. Jewellery augs two of the %HP/Vit ones and one 180HP/12eleres one. This build has a nightmare with pierce resist. It is extremely difficult (but possible) to completely cap your resists in Ultimate while retaining high HP, the rings are what make everything happen.

Despite being a Occultist/Nightblade, the build is a lot more resilient than it appears via solid mitigation/avoidance. We have Night’s Chill, Possession, Shadow Dance, Aspect of the Guardian, and two seperate 30% heals in Pneumatic Burst and Blood of Dreeg. On top of all this if things get dicey we have 1 point in Blade Barrier to hide behind while the DoTs do their dirty work. Turtle, Tinker’s Ingenuity, and Mark of Divinity round out the defensive procs as well as raising some max resists. At endgame this build is nearly immune to reflect thanks to 95% poison resist and 80% (capped) poison duration reduction from the offhand. While early levelling, reflect is a completely different story and insanely fucking dangerous (more on this and how to defend in the Levelling section)

We absolutely destroy enemy resists with Vulnerability, Night’s Chill, and Manticore. Enemy DA is also reduced through Scorpion. Note: In Grim Dawn, unlike PoE, DoT damage is calculated at the instant of initial application and NOT recalculated on each tick. This means we can Shadow Strike in, Curse, stack the hell out of everything and then back out without worrying about DoT damage being reduced due to Night’s Chill no longer being on the boss. This is, however, a double edged sword when it comes to reflect while levelling.

Our mastery tree is set in stone at 50/32, and given the number of solid legendaries available we want to get as many of them in as possible. Unfortunately these legendaries come with relatively low HP and resists, which means wearing all your fancy gear plus acquiring sufficient survivability for HC can be quite the challenge.

THE PROBLEM: You need 970 physique for Empowered Legplates of Valor and 715 spirit for your BIS offhand.

The Dreeg set can’t be swapped out, and if we are going to swap anything it would be the amulet for the Pestilence of Dreeg with the poison plague. Weapon, Offhand, Gloves are all too good to swap out. There is a +1 Occultist belt but since it’s absolute shit for a Poison build so this is why we go Tinker’s, which helps make reflect a non-issue and helps with the pants problem as well as giving us bleed resist and some nice melee dodge. Pants now require 825 physique.

We also go Crane on the devotion tree, which helps with resists but is primarily gotten for it’s %Spirit/-Spiritreq node, which makes the offhand easier to equip at 644 spirit.

Problem is that even with these reduced requirements and perfect allocation, you simply do not have enough stat points even at 85. This is why Footpads of the Grey Magi become our BIS. With 30+ spirit, resists and DA they are a very solid choice. In addition they singlehandedly cap us on reduced entrapment duration as well as freeing up two mastery points with the +2 to vuln.

This brings us to the rings. You NEED stat rings in order to wear all the gear I’m using, and if you do not acquire them you will have to compromise the build in some way. How you compromise depends on what you’re missing.

Obviously you can switch the prefix/suffix pairs, but you more or less need these four. Incorruptible for the Aether/Chaos, Harmonius for the Health/Eleres, Basilisk for the Pierce and DA, and Boar for the stats. The first three are Rare affixes, Boar is a magic but is stronger than any rare for pure stats.

Basilisk can be replaced with Oleron’s Wrath, which gives a bit of OA instead of DA. Matter of preference. The others have no substitutes. If you cannot get these affix combos you will have to compromise. How you compromise affects the build.

You MUST get Harmonius and Incorruptible prefixes. Getting just these with no suffix or a random bullshit suffix is easy.

If you can’t get the Pierce suffix: You will have to spec into Phantasmal Armour to cap your pierce, which means pulling points from somewhere. I’d reccommend dropping points in Blood Burst, and some people don’t mind lowering Vuln.

If you can’t get the Boar suffix: You’ll likely have to use two different stat suffixes (i.e. Eagle) on both rings, which means you won’t have the Pierce suffix and again have to take Phantasmal Armour.

If you can’t get the proper stat suffixes at all (i.e. can’t even get an Eagle) then you will have to drop Empowered Legplates of Valor for the regular version and likewise it will lose its Mutated Scales for a Silk Swatch due to the lower resists. TLDR: You’re going to lose about 1000 total HP.

You could do some weird shit where you get Shaman’s prefix for stats and then get Arcane Balance or some other Eleres suffix instead of Harmonius, but this is obviously less HP. Also when I did the math for a Shaman’s prefix there was literally zero room for error on stats - there are no points leftover whatsoever and spending 1 point wrong means you’re fucked. You may want to double check the math if you want to go Shaman’s instead of Boar. I wouldn’t reccomend this route but I’m only mentioning it for those who are up against the wall.

Best way to acquire these rings is Homestead blacksmith crafting. I’d estimate it took Odir and I about 1500 scrap total between the two of us to get these (obviously we got other good rings as well) and I’d still say we got pretty lucky. Good luck.

Don’t forget the Rigid Shell in the belt also adds 10 physique!

Start Occultist, rank up Dreeg’s Eye and as soon as you’re level 7 put the noxious poison bomb component in your weapon and grab the Dreeg transmuter so it starts oneshotting everything in a large AoE. Keep this up until 15, at which point put a Mark of Dreeg in each weapon (they have separate cooldowns). You will bind one to Scorpion and the other to Guardian’s Gaze and this will be the backbone of your build for all of Veteran.

Don’t forget to grab a Slithtongue from the Wightmire Cavern in each difficulty. It’s a solid levelling weapon you will use all the way until the Runed Dagger.

Towards the end of Veteran your tree should be approaching something like this:

There is one and only one reason behind the fast Aspect of the Guardian: Reflect. Poison reflect is not dangerous lategame when you have 95% poison resist and 80% (capped) reduced poison duration, but in Veteran it is by FAR what is most likely to kill you. Antivenom Salves can work but Aspect also increases our tankiness and our damage, and we’re going straight for Possession right afterwards anyways so it’s simply a good choice overall. You can also trim points here and there in order to get Possession by the end of Veteran, which is doubly nice because of the chaos resistance it provides.

Note: There are a number of random twink levelling pieces you can use to rice out your character if you’re established but the one that will make the biggest difference is Ring of Eternal Rot. This is however a double edged sword as it increases the duration of your poison reflects as well and I’ve had 25 second poison dots on me. It’s amazing because it lets you stack dots just once on a boss while levelling and the boss will usually die, just be aware of the danger.

The moment you hit 35 devotion points (sometime early Elite) you immediately get your ass to Devil’s Crossing and respec into this devotion tree:

This gets you Tainted Eruption which forms the backbone of the build. Bind this to one Mark of Dreeg, and at this point I usually dump the 2nd Mark for a resist aura and bind Scorpion to Shadow Strike. Strike into the middle of packs, proc an eruption w/mark, throw an eyeball at anything tanky, and repeat. At this point you simply smoothly transition into the endgame build by eventually dropping Spider and Vulture as you acquire points, and picking up Oklaine’s, Abomination, Jackal, and finally Manticore and Crane. Once you’re in your endgame gear and have your Mark of Divinity in, drop Turtle for Eel and pick up the first 3 points in Ulzuin’s Torch for the OA and crit damage.

That should be more or less everything, as said I’ll definitely be polishing this guide once the PoE 2 week ends or I die :^)


This seems oddly reminiscent of like 4 other builds that are almost exactly the same lol.

I haven’t come across this component, but being a new player I have yet to advance much beyond the mid 30s. So I look it up, checking multiple site links for the relevant info and each of them state the required level for this item is 20. So how is it possible for a level 7 to use it?

He means use “mutagenic ichor”. That’s the lv7 component for poison.

Yep I just figured it out, much researching, I was going down the Venom-tipped Ammo route. Thanks.

Really? Because out of the three other Witch Hunter builds I can find on the first couple pages (Inva’s, Dankrafft’s, Poisonman’s) none of them are similar at all to mine. All three of those are dual wield melee builds, for one.

I suggest working on your reading comprehension before posting. :wink:

I just glanced at the post and I thought you called this build “Green Slut”.

Edit: After checking out the build, it looks almost identical to my current Witch Hunter build and I couldn’t be happier with this character. Great work and some good points for devotions.

I’m doing it nearly the same but dual wield just for low cd PB to handle reflects and overexerted situations

Empowered DEE is such a safe way to kill nemesis

Really? Because there are many more pages than the first couple lol. I suggest you look at a larger sample size and inform yourself fully before you make a very thinly veiled sarcastic remark like you did. (See dreegs handmaiden, dreegs kiss). I wasn’t even trying to be combative I just hate when someone tweaks some small thing on an already popular and posted build, changes the name, and calls it a brand new, amazing and original build… At least do your research and give credit to the innovators that came before you

I created the entire build myself, from scratch, on my stream at twitch.tv/sfhobbit, and did not reference any other build whatsoever. I created this guide because I was being asked over and over on my stream as well as being PM’d on reddit for one. If there was such an abundance of high quality guides then I would have never received so many requests.

If you don’t like the guide, move on. Now kindly fuck off and take your shitposting elsewhere.

edit: Dreeg’s Kiss is another dual wield melee build. Dreeg’s Handmaiden is a completely different build that uses completely different gear. So congrats on proving your complete lack of reading comprehension, you clearly haven’t even read the builds you’re talking about!

Lol. That attitude in your own build guide definitely makes you super approachable and helpful for people… Maybe the people watching your stream should have read the forums more than you as well… Enjoy posting an “original” build.

I’m leveling a melee WH and here is something I don’t get about your setup. Why do you not use the Judicator’s signets? You have huge natural regeneration from Pneumatic and Blood of Dreeg, +100% regen seems worth the ring slots on it’s own (not to mention the set is amazing in general). I got a huge power boost at 68 from the set. They would seem even more valuable to you since:

A. You play HC so a massive boost in survivability seems even better.
B. You can’t rely on lifesteal even if you wanted.

I understand needing to fulfill the item requirements, but Empowered legplates of valor just isn’t as valuable to you as it is to most builds since you have high natural physical resistance. Any Stonehide of vitality legsa would do just fine, no?

settle down boys

Prime is it really so hard to believe someone came with a poison witch hunter build on their own? This shit isn’t exactly rocket science

When there are five other poison witch hunter builds on the forums? I run a poison witch hunter that is different than the posted builds but has taken pieces from them. I’m not posting a build like it is completely original. Also, any builds I do post give full credit to any previous people who who came before. It’s just common courtesy… My original post was not meant to be combative either, the OP took it and ran with it, deciding to be a giant tool in his own build post. I’m totally willing to let him have his delusion and let it go, however, he is not worth the argument.

I don’t get how you can assume someone did not come up with a build entirely on their own. Some people don’t look over all the builds in the Grim Dawn forum, nor do many people care. If he says he came up with his build, then great. Someone is doing their own thinking.

I watched one Blademaster video before I made my Blademaster. I was curious about Execution and wanted to see it in action before I made one. I made a build and will give credit to nobody on it and their are plenty of BM builds to look at.

I even tweaked and tried out different things a lot and improved it. I even posted updates and it is solid now. It destroys everything in the game.

I am sitting at a crossroads on another character looking at what I want to do. I used Jajaja’s build for a Saboteur and was not thrilled about melee and am loving the ranged pistols. I may make it a ranged Pyromancer. If I do, I will not give credit to someone who made a Pyromancer and wrote a guide when I barely looked at their guide and it was mainly for a comparison on gear and stats.

People come up with ideas all the time. I am looking at mine and trying to decide on life regen and more damage. Speaking of which, SFH suggested a small change to that I was looking at already for more damage. I was debating the change before he mentioned it and said his friend went that route in HC and it worked. If it works for me when I test it, fantastic.

This reminds me of people in Diablo 3 that claim they came up with 6 Raekor’s / 4 IK build. No, the gear is there for everyone. Those people are nothing special. People can build around what they want to without having to look at a guide. Then the new guy can post what he use, how he uses it and why he does it that way for everyone else to see.

Switching to Judicator Signets + Rare pants will cripple your resists even if the pants are very well rolled. I simply don’t need the life regen. I have more than enough already plus two active heals and this is not a melee build, so Judicator is in fact quite bad for this particular build. Empowered Legplates of Valor don’t just give phys resist, they give a LOT of health and resists. Also, phys resist doesn’t get anywhere near 80% - this build has more than most but it’s not “high” by any means.

It’s not a bad set, you just simply cannot fit it into this build without compromising something even more important. And yes, since this is effectively a caster build there’s simply not much point in bothering with leech when all our abilities are cooldown related. Lifesteal is literally waste of points/stats/etc.

If it’s the OA you’re after you could possibly drop the Valor legs and switch out the Boar suffix for Attack, but I simply would not do this in HC. You wind up at about ~2350 OA w/Blood up which is plenty given the nature of the build.

You said you’re playing a melee witch hunter - this is not a melee witch hunter build. As “discussed” in the thread, there’s a number of other guides for melee witch hunters already.

False ! See here:

And before you are going to laught at me and say : “OMG Noob, only 30% Aether resist”, I will say: what stops you from equiping Avenger of Cairn if you really want to do the Immolation on Ultimate HC ?!

Guess what, I am wearing the Judicator Signets…and it went pretty good for me:

Well that’s great that it works for you and it’s definitely an option but coming from PoE I wanted all my resists capped all the time hence the build I created. :slight_smile:

I’m aware that some people cater their resists to certain areas, even in HC, but it’s just not something I wanted to do at all. Technically what I said about “cripple your resists” is still true. It’s really easy to “cap” your resists if you neglect one.

It’s true because you put only 32 points or so in the nightblade mastery. At +4 physique / point you missed a lot of phisique. That’s why you needed specific and absurd rolls on the rings. I am not saying 50/50 both masteries is good - in fact it is very bad for 90% of the builds, but u really got yourself into a corner there.