How do I become.. not dead?

Dearest inhabitants of the Grim Dawn forums. I would like to know what I am missing. How do I get more tanky? What are the key items, components and stats in the devotion tree I should be looking for?

In other words what is the hierarchy of defensives I should prioritise.
Also if another similar thread exists, please link it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Lots of love,

I should have probably been more informative here, I am level 100 and so my build is looking “complete”.

This is how it’s looking so far, I’m still trying some things but yeah

What class are you playing?

resistances is your main dmg mitigation, and the nr 1 cause to players feeling squish
80 resist is softcap, you want this at minimum, for higher difficulties and end you want overcaps to deal with debuffs

armour rating and armour absorb(player starts at 70%armour effectiveness) reduces physical dmg too, and many/“most” enemies deal some portion of physical dmg, even if maybe their attack looks XY dmg coloured
^physical resist helps too and is very valuable, but also rare, so for levelling 10-15-20% is nice and fine, for end you will likely want 20-25% minimum
another mistake some players do is keep armours for too long time/not upgrade frequently enough, usually because they think rarity matters so keeping a blue or purple items for 30-40 levels can make sense to them, but it’s “wrong”
upgrading items/keeping somewhat level relevant armours ensure level relevant armour rating and stat interval upgrades, which includes resistances
a lvl 20 blue will have much lower resist than a lvl 40 green
^my personal rule of thumb is to upgrade armours every 15-20levels, usually fits with new level iterations of items and stat increase thresholds on ex affixes

Healing, yes it sounds silly but healing is kinda a defensive layer since it keeps bouncing your health back up, you want some sources of heal outside your heal pot. GD has 3 avenues for this, Lifesteal(attack dmg converted to health), regen and heal procs
Lifesteal is preferable for weapon attacker builds or builds that utilize some main skill with %weapon dmg in it
Regen is good but requires a dedicated focus to be useful
Heal procs is usually best paired in some combination of the other two, tho with the right rotation build and cooldown reducts it is somewhat doable to rely on them as main healing

Defensive Ability reduces enemy hit chance and crit chance, usually it’s nice to just stay below crit chance/where enemy has 89% hit chance on you
(you can see the hit chance of the last enemy that hit you by mousing over your DA in character sheet)
^Offensive Ability reduct/debuffs is basically equivalent 1:1 to player DA; with the caveat that it only applies once the debuff ihts and only for the duration it’s in effect

HP, good ol’ regular health gives you a nice soaking layer, and after a point the DA mentioned above loses some value/gets diminishing returns, so HP can be nice to stack

“reduced target’s damage”, also called Damage Reduct, this is a multiplicative debuff effect that reduces enemy dmg before your other mitigations, and as a bonus effect reduces some of their debuff effects on you

then you have flat absorb like Inquisitor Seal, Blast Shield etc, it’s good, since it’s a final layer dmg mitigation after all other stuff has been reduced, but also not something every class or build can just fit in
Circuit Breakers, like Blasst Shield mentioned and other defensive procs are nice utility too


Make sure your resistances are all capped. Number one problem we usually see when people are dying to easily, especially in Ultimate.

Now provided your resists are good, (and what I’m about to say depends on what type of char you’re playing, sorta) how much adtch (attack damage converted to health) do you have? Almost none at all? Well, that’s a problem.

Armour? Not really a a game changer but yes, more armour is better. Ask, try to get %absorb as high as possible. However, it’s not something to prioritize on certain chars (any, I would argue) simply because returns are diminishing for what you trade off damage wise to attain more armour. Usually; warlord can hit 4.5k armour without even trying. Pyro? Yeah he’s lucky to hit 1.8k.

And lastly; if your build sucks add damage wise just think, it’s more time for enemies to hit and kill ya. The best defense is a good offence, usually.

Edit: the gnome was typing at the same time as me and managed to put both more info and be faster than I. :sweat_smile:

and just incase you’d want it, here is the technical game mechanic “defensive layer” order:

1.     % total damage reduction
2.     Fumbles/Impaired Aim
3.     DA evasion
4.     Evasion/Deflect
5.     Low OA damage penalty
6.     Block
7.     Racial Reduction
8.     Resistances
9.     Armor
10.    Limited Absorb (i.e. Crab)
11.    % absorb
12.    Flat absorb (i.e Ascension)
13.    Health

edit couple other useful stuff

^using components can help with your defensive stats like resist, armour absorb (2x scaled hide is enough don’t need to go overboard), and HP or DA

1 Like

It’s a Pierce Blademaster

Wow, thank’s for all the info! A few things I didn’t realise for sure… I am missing any damage absorption but I don’t think I have access to any sadly :confused:

like i said, not all classes or builds get it, it’s not “essential”, it’s just helpful if available, so don’t sweat it
and Pierce Blademaster can be made plenty strong with the basics/tools available to it, no worries there

Somehow nobody mentioned the first thing that comes to my mind: RUN! If you keep dying with these stats, then I suspect you’re not moving enough. This skill is available from level 1 and can turn an impossible battle into victory.

Sometimes running works. But Sometimes you get trapped in a clusterfuck of enemies and can’t move; or you get trapped, or stunned, or frozen etc….

Ahaha yeah, I should probably move around more to avoid those ground pools but sometimes can be impossible. I do have a dash ability to escape with.

Have a look at this for some guidance.

[] Beginner’s Forgotten Blademaster - Grim Dawn / Classes, Skills and Builds - Crate Entertainment Forum

I just looked into your build. It looks fine except of 1 main crucial thing:
When you play as a pierce full cunning Blademaster you should be bloodthirsty murderer feeding upon your victims.
In other words, you should have ADCTH (Attack damage converted to health).
Something in range of 8%+ should be ok, the more the better.

What I would do with this build:

  • Change Enchanted Earth on gloves to Restless Remains, add 3% ADTH.
  • Try to squeeze Ghoul constellation in your build (that will require some respec). Another 4% ADTH + good Circuit Breaker with whooping 80% ADTH. Try to kill everything while it lasts, this is your ALL IN time. Try this devotion route (Assassin + Mantis + Hound → Solemn Watcher + Harpy + Ghoul).
  • Cap your attack speed (get 200%, it’s easy on a Belgo Blademaster)
  • You probably die being outnumbered. Throw in some AOE in form of
    • Whirling Death WPS (preferrable, instead of Amarasta's Quick Cut)
    • or Zolhan's Technique (it also uses both weapons since some of the recent patches so it’s viable, but less preferable since it has less support from the items).
  • Put on your main attack skill Assassin's Mark (faster MOAR DAMAGE) or Living Shadow (for faster procs, permanent 3 shadows leeching around, more survivability).
    • Living Shadow on AOE skill like Whirling Death Nightblade WPS. This will be good enough in crowds, but sometimes only 2 shadows on bosses will fight along your side.
    • Assassin's Mark on Blade Spirit is also ok, though not as fast as on Belgothian Strikes.
  • Also, there are 2 types of Belgo:
    • Belgo don’t cry. Get rid of War Cry, put it somewhere else to get more damage. This pitiful 3 points only eat your time, you could hit something instead. Nice variant if you have some other sources of reduced enemy damage (I get a lazy Belgo with Light of Empyrion constellation).
    • Belgo doing FUS RO DAH. Get your War Cry to 12, reduce damage by 25%.
  • Learn to time your Pneumatic Burst.
  • Time Blade Barrier. It’s your ‘Oh fu*’ button, when you see you can’t evade what is coming or when you’re suddenly 10% HP and everything is on cooldown
  • Try to overcap your Acid and Vitality resistances by ~20%. Some monsters also has resistance reducing attacks and it’s easy to die if your resistances are below maximum.
  • Ugdenbog Leather component (it requires to find the recipe) is really good for Acid & Bleed resistance and DA.
  • Health Regen is redundant on Belgo. ADCTH is your bread and butter. Swap this components to something more useful, like Ugdenbog Leather.

Best defense is offense should be your credo. Kill them faster than they kill you. You have tons of damage.
If you can’t kill fast, learn some patience (especially when fighting Grava Thul). Go in, hit as much as you can before dying, run away, then repeat :slight_smile: