This is my collection of builds for beginners. These guides are different than end game, because they contain much more information, leveling guide and gear is easier to get.
So no random purple gear and fantasy greens. Farmable set like Dark One or Krieg, faction gear, yellow affixes monster infrequents, with sprinkle of blues.
First we will start with The Sentinel. It’s acid build with option as caster with off hand or tanky build with Shield. It has some leveling guide and budget build with Dark One set and Biting Blades from Seal of Shadows component
- Status: As first build in this list, it’s pretty outdated. I hardly suggest using it (some pointers might still be helpful ofc). TqFan have newer guide about Acid Sentinel using Dreeg Evil Eye skill.
Next is my Vindicator guide. Two versions-Storm Totem caster or Thunderous Strike Vindicator. It has leveling tips and ok budget items.
- Status: Everything about Storm Totems version is updated for 18.104.22.168 patch, including budget build, leveling guide and guide itself of course. In 22.214.171.124 patch, changes of Wind Devil behavior (should be helpful a bit) reduction of physical resistance in off-hand suffixes, potential minor nerf for this build, everything else is intact. Pretty good build for leveling.
Next is my double pistol Tactician. It uses Stupid Dragon’s old build as leveling guide. It has budget build focused around Pistols with faction recipe.
- Status: Budget build and topic were both updated for 126.96.36.199 patch. Leveling guide is pretty old. For end game there’s new set - Goredrinker, so not a bad build idea.
My Oppressor guide is my most popular beginners one, also is thorough. It’s based around Malawiglenn’s ideas. It has leveling guide with videos from different levels, also super cheap end game working setup. Cabalist version was added later.
- Status: Budget build was updated once, since original guide was posted. Vitality Oppressor pre-Dark One set have now more options and end game setup with Blightlord set is still pretty good. Leveling guide might not be optimal for 188.8.131.52 patch but guide is still useful and leveling with Ravenous Earth skill is still easy.
My latest guide. Is cold Trickster. Leveling guide with faction end game version by TomoDak. Also semi budget very fast and with high damage version by me. End game is with similar ideas and style as leveling and faction gear versions.
- Status: Trickster lost it’s DW cold melee crown long time ago for end game builds and also tend to be glassy. Budget build was pretty decent for it’s time but it’s slightly outdated. Use with caution for 184.108.40.206 if you want Trickster.
This is link to build diary from my DW melee Infiltrator. It has tips and also link to my updated semi budget end game Infiltrator, which is pretty viable, even in Gladiator Crucible.
- Status: Some of the tips can be helpful in 220.127.116.11 patch but lot of things changed since build was posted. Use with caution in 1.1.9x patches.
My PRM Mage Hunter guide. Caster with lots of crit bonus doing elemental damage. Added on 2nd of July 2019.
- Status: Pretty old guide, also my leveling wasn’t optimal at the time. I would suggest for this class Lightning AAR, multiple good budget items for this class. For early levels Pain is good clearer.
My FG update of classical DW lightning pistols Purifier by x1x1x1x2. Added to the list on the 16 of July 2019.
- Status: Old guide, leveling guide is even older. I can’t recommend it, unless I redo both the leveling part and budget build.
- [18.104.22.168] Budget cold DW melee Blademaster DW cold melee, this time a Blademaster. It uses Cadence as main attack+Nightblade WPS skills. Build is budget for end gama transition. Added here on 17 th of July 2019.
- Status: Pretty old guide, some of the points should be still true. Use this if you want cold Blademaster. Or use Stupid Dragon’s guide if you want pierce damage.
- [22.214.171.124] Budget AAR Mage Hunter Aether and Chaos budget versions of AAR Mage Hunter. Added on 31st of July 2019.
- Status: For aether there’s new Spellbinder guide and for chaos Warlock is perhaps better than Mage Hunter. Move along stranger.
This is guide for fire spinner builds. It’s start to shine when you can equip dual melee weapons, can work as 2H build as well. Early leveling with Stun Jacks. Not the strongest build I would say, compared to classical Shieldbreaker.
- Status: Leveling guide was updated by Ulvar, so it’s still good for 126.96.36.199 patch. End game version is pretty old, might update it in future.
- [188.8.131.52] Beginner's vitality caster Conjurer guide, how to build monster build from the scratch! Suitable for first character
Perhaps my strongest one. Very straightforward, leveled the same way as played end game.
- Few minor changes and nerfs since guide was posted but nothing major. This guide is still really good and doesn’t require any major changes (except for Bonespike weapon might be better than Boneblade) to steamroll. Recommended for 184.108.40.206 patch.
New guide for 220.127.116.11, nice leveling build, easy to gear budget version and monster end game build. Blade Arc also is suitable for 2H melee style of play.
- Status: Budget weapon focus is now shifted to Death Knight class but end game purple is still for Witchblade. With changes to physical damage mechanics, this damage offers way more viable builds but if you like Blade Arc skill, this guide is recommended for 18.104.22.168 patch.
Again Cold DW melee build, this time a Saboteur. Not the best possible class but DW Sabo can be fun build none the less.
- Status: Funny enough with cold melee builds being not in a best position end game, Saboteur class is trying to take the crown for best cold DW class. Guide should be viable for 22.214.171.124 and unless some of the items will be severely nerfed, for next patches as well.
- [126.96.36.199] Beginner’s 2H melee Lucius Battlemage - Grim Dawn / Classes, Skills and Builds - Crate Entertainment Forum
One of the weakest classes in the game but with dedicated build, which makes is pretty decent. Farmable Krieg set and Lucius boss weapon.
- Status: Since build was posted, Lucius weapon was nerfed but nothing major, guide/build are viable.
- [188.8.131.52] Beginner’s Albrecht’s Aether Ray Spellbinder - Grim Dawn / Classes, Skills and Builds - Crate Entertainment Forum
Build focused around AAR skill and Pulsing shard green off-hand. Spellbinder class also is really good, so this guide is excellent stepping stone to end game monster builds.
- Status: Since this build is from 184.108.40.206 patch, should be decent for at least few more patches (when/if have them).
- note, some of them all little outdated.
Desolator Purifier 2H ranged, fire damage:
Purifier, Level 100 (GD 220.127.116.11) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Canister Bombs Sorc, fire damage, green items are without affixes:
Sorcerer, Level 100 (GD 18.104.22.168) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Bleeding 2H melee Warder using Savagery/Blade Arc combo:
Warder, Level 100 (GD 22.214.171.124) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Vitality Phantasmal Blades Witch Hunter:
Witch Hunter, Level 100 (GD 126.96.36.199) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Physical 2H Forcewave spam Warlord:
Warlord, Level 100 (GD 188.8.131.52) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Lightning Thunderous Strike 2H Vindicator:
Vindicator, Level 100 (GD 184.108.40.206) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Fire Flames of Ignaffar Purifier:
Purifier, Level 100 (GD 220.127.116.11) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Righteous Fervor physical dual pistols Paladin:
Paladin, Level 100 (GD 18.104.22.168) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Physical S&B Cadence Warlord(real monster):
Warlord, Level 100 (GD 22.214.171.124) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
Q: Which guide you recommend?
A: If I start the game I would go with my vitality Conjurer, easy for leveling, abundance of cheap gear and straightforward enough.
Q: Which of other players guides you would play as beginner?
A: Stupid_Dragon’s guides are well made and thorough. I like in particular the Dervish one. And if you like pets, Maya’s written the Bible for that style of play
Q: Are your guides up to date?
A: Some of them needs updating, the older the patch version is, the more likely they require some changes to function better.
Q: Are you planning to update your guides?
A: Yes. I would eventually update most of my budget builds. Leveling progress though will require more time re-leveling same builds, that’s unlikely to happen.
Q: Why beginners builds are different than end game?
A: You are limited of using sub-optimal gear. So you need more effort of covering your stats, adding more defense from devotions, etc.
Q: Are all end game builds possible to level same way?
A: Most players prefers to level their end game build with same skill/damage type. But sometimes is impossible. Rule of thumb, if end game build contains conduit mod or relies on legendary piece of gear for conversion, it’s not suited for leveling or guide in that matter.
- Link to the beginners compendium featuring builds from multiple authors. It’s better to use newer builds but also you can ask the OP if build is still viable for current patch.