Hi. Im fairly new to Grim Dawn. I have the Ashes of Malmouth DLC. What is a good starter caster build?
Any specific preferences?
Welcome to the game and to the forum.
You can look here for a few beginner builds for AoM.
They might need a bit of adapting since a lot of items have had changes made since AoM released, but in general they should be good.
i just dont know where to start. Its all overwhelming. Im new to the whole ARPG scene.
Try starting with Demolitionist, get Blackwater Cocktail (with High Potency), Canister Bomb and Thermite Mine. Devotion-wise beeline Magi first then slowly work your way towards Ulzuin’s Torch. That should carry you up to high levels. Second class is probably Inquisitor, but it’s mostly for some extra support.
Alternatively you can start with Inquisitor and play with Rune of Hagarrad with Artifact Mastery. Second class is usually Nightblade, Occultist or Shaman.
Lightning I won’t recommend because after many nerfs I don’t know how it performs at the moment.
There are also easy vitality/acid casters based around Necromancer’s Ravenous Earth. Second class is usually Occultist.
Maybe just play however you feel like and read forums if you have problems. That’s probably the best start. You can always respec if needed. Relax and don’t get into paralysis by analysis. I know, easier said than done.
GD has a lot of moving parts, mechanics etc and it can be a lot to take in all at once if you are new. My advice would be to play and learn what you can as you go along. Hit the H key in-game to read thru the various tutorial tips, read the Game Guide as you get time, browse the official Wiki for a large variety of information covering all aspects of the game, eventually familiarize yourself with GrimTools - most especially its Build Calculator as it is extremely invaluable to anyone serious about learning how to piece together a proper build.
Further useful reading would be:
🤯 malawiglenn’s guide on game mechanics for beginners
and take a browse thru the guides and tutorials section:
Keep chipping away at it bit by bit if you find the game interesting and fun to play. It takes awhile to soak in all that GD does but if you find yourself coming back to play over and over it all just sinks in naturally.
I wouldn’t start with demolitionist like some others suggested. Nothing wrong with demo casts, some of the strongest in the game in fact, it’s just that they aren’t very strong till close to endgame to make up for their clunkiness.
Best caster build for starters is imo anything with lightning shaman. You got two of the 3 best passive dmg casts in the game (Totems and Devils, the third one would be demo’s Mortars) that got excellent returns for early investment (unlike Mortars where you only get a second one at 17/16), and you can very comfortably level with Primal Strike till you get lvled up to invest more in casting. You can go with inquisitor or occultist. Going with occultist is great because conjurer is imo the most versatile class with many top-tier builds - you got best vitality casters or you can go lightning or pets.
In fact, I’m leveling a conjurer on legit hardcore aiming at vitality but lightning Primal Strike is so good for leveling that I can’t let go of it.
Conjurer is good class but best vitality leveling skill is Ravenous earth, I would start either Cabalist or Ritualist.
Lightning Vindicator is pretty easy to level, it’s my second favorite caster for leveling. You have multiple skills options.
For a beginner caster, I’d not go for a lightning build. It’s good at early game and leveling, but pain in the butt to get gear for once you hit the budget ceiling, and has been nerfed several times (on all levels).
On the other hand, you can go for dark one (not very hc friendly to get due to the rocks in the area), or Morgoneth’s for cold because those pieces are also target farmable.
Why sentinel? Two things: Bloody Pox and Curse of Frailty. Those are proc machines. You also get RR on your end of the deal from vulnerability, and the usual suite of heal + resist from Blood of Dreeg. You also get a few juicy damage conversion options rather easily by the time you get to the point where you might want it.
For aether to fire, there is the Chains of Ordas belt available in port valbury until you get your set and the blueprint for mythical crimson lotus. Despite not having the relevant +skills (It’s a sorc/defiler belt), the conversion will help out with aetherfire damage. Port Valbury is coincidentally where you can farm the Vanquisher Helm, which reduces the cooldown of Vire’s Might by 0.2 seconds, and gives +1 to all skills in oathkeeper.
You can also drop single target nukes with Doombolt, using the bloodsworn sigil medal and Blazeheart (guaranteed reward) to get all the damage conversions in place, with an incendiary shoulderpads. I imagine it’ll best be dropped in favor of sigil of consumption when you get a mythical grim fate, but until then its a flavor option.