[Physical Caster] 2h-Forcewave Pure Physical Commando

This is a Forcewave guide meant to present the concept of a Physical variant of the skill using a Death Knight and a Commando. I also have grimtools links or build links to other variants of Forcewave including Lightning, Elemental and Fire.

Since we are going the Physical route it makes our build extremely newbie friendly.


Commando - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2Ej1wJV

*Screenshot with permanent auras only

Death Knight - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/Q2z6kjL2

*Screenshot with Soul Harvest

Faction Gear for new players (except pants and weapon) -

Commando - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4QpOl2

Death Knight - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/dVb4QpmN

Videos (Credits to PrinceXavier) -


PrinceXavier’s Setup - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/eVL3xKM2

Alternative versions of Forcewave -

  1. Fire Forcewave Commando by Thrasheur - www.grimtools.com/calc/Q2zby1j2
  2. Fire Forcewave Commando by BladeAndShadow - http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65865
  3. Fire Forcewave Tactician by Shoppinh - http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69854
  4. Elemental Forcewave Tactician by Valinov - http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64245
  5. Lightning Forcewave Warder by Strannik - http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?p=615855#post615855


Which is better b/w the Death Knight and the Commando?

Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Commando is suited for those who don’t like more than one button, while Death Knight is good for those who can handle two or three buttons.
Both have high QoL

Is Falcon Swoop usable on the Commando version?

Sure it is, the devotions are interchangeable. But you’d need a good trigger for it on Commando and the only one I can recommend is Gaze of Beronath. Death Knight has it easy thanks to Siphon Souls

What makes this newbie friendly?

Focusing on physical damage type makes it easier to gear since enemies aren’t very resistant to it. We have a lot of gearing options at out disposal. Physical damage type is also usually associated with Heavy Armor and Physical Resistance making this one fairly tanky.

Which is the best version of Forcewave?

For a beginner Physical wins hands down, but end game you won’t feel the difference. Personally I prefer the Fire version purely for the aesthetics but I’d say from an end game POV Physical, Fire and Elemental are very comparable.

Is Octavius Set usable on the Commando?

Sure you can, like I said gearing is flexible.

Where to find an Obsidian Cleaver and what rolls to look for?

The faction version’s weapon of choice can be found in Chthonic rifts, make sure to farm it with affixes that have cast speed but no physical to “x” damage type conversion

What devotions should a new player get while leveling?

During leveling,you get Falcon Swoop first and rush to get Behemoth, Assassin’s Mark should be next on your list. These constellations help out with leveling, your constellation choices wary mostly on the basis of the gear you find while leveling.
Also refer to this - http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56243
For specific doubts post here and I can help you out.

In Closing-

Firstly, thanks to JoV and korsar for clearing up ADCtH mechanics and to PrinceXavier for taking the time to do videos of this build.

Forcewave has come a long way since I made this guide and its nice to see its rise in popularity. I personally prefer the Death Knight version but the Commando is also pretty fun to play with. Overall this build was pretty fun to play with. Hopefully you guys enjoy it as much as I did.

1 Like


(Reserved for future use)

OK, I’m currently leveling an identical build. Tbh, I’m slightly upset about you posting it first. :confounded:

Does forcewave hit properly now?

I never used forcewave before so I don’t know what do you mean by “now” but it melts through thrash mob.

Very interesting, I had something like that in mind on the very far backburner. Was thinking of something like: http://grimcalc.com/build/1007-FWMbAc with +5 soldier and +2 demo to see how it would compete against Obsidian Tremor.

edit: does it suicide on reflect mobs as hard as I expect it to?

To be honest, the only reason people usually take Arcanist is because Forcewave scales with %casting speed. If it used %attack speed instead, I’m sure we would see more forcewave builds florish.

I mentioned in the guide Commando is better for this. You get more Cast speed from Vindicative Flame and one would be stupid to take Reckless Power taint this pure physical build with Aether.

Hmm reflect trash doesn’t affect you much but be careful when facing reflective heroes in big packs. Its not life threatening normally but sometimes they spawn in a big pack and there you can feel reflection’s effects but since DoT aspect of the skill isn’t a major focus here reflection still doesn’t hit to heavily.

Interesting devotion setup, i had something similar in mind but in the end i went extra defense by giving up on Kraken and going for Scales proc. If i understand how Scales proc works correctly then if i reduce boss resistance to life leech then Scales is very effective versus bosses correct?

Updated the guide

Nice, tho phys dmg is not even close to be the strongest.

Also I agree there is not much point in going kraken as a must with this build, you are not gaining anything with attack speed. FW is casting speed influenced.

And one more thing, I urge you to try FW with Temporal archblade batlemage to see what a bad as batlemage would that be.

Arcanist has more cast speed available then demo. Granted you wouldn’t go physical damage as battlemage as you would take reckless power, IEE and the passive that grants flat aether and chaos (at work don’t remember off top of head).
Also as Arcanist you get to benefit from 3 piece Iskandra set bonus defensively.

Either version is pretty strong and so is the lightning warder version

Cool. I wanted a build like this for a long time. Have you Tried it with Empowered Massacre? Although that is fire/phys really and has that stupid 10% pierce

-Hmm, if i wanted to choose what is the best damage type in the game then i would probably go for pierce. But physical is also up there.

-Temporal Arcblade? Been there done that, physical beats it and feels much easier to play with.

-Physical forcewave is better than conversion forcewave builds in my experience.

-And i already mentioned why physical forcewave isn’t good on a battlemage.

-And btw, Kraken isn’t just about AS. If you go Kraken you’ll gain around 200% extra damage and some nice crit damage. I don’t mind sacrificing it.

-Tell me one thing, my understanding of Scales is correct right? The 85% ADCtH gets applied to all %weapon damage skills right? And since i am using BSoD i can life leech bosses, am i wrong?

Nah i started with leviathan
Also you’ll miss out the cast speed on massacre

Call me crazy but i’m tired of seeing Iskandra Set builds. Also there exist plenty of aether casters, cold caster, fire casters, chaos casters, vitality casters, poison casters, lightning casters, bleed casters. I thought i’d add a physical caster to the list

As of, I noticed what seemed like Z level issues on the outside half of the animation range leading to inconsistent hitting even on flat ground. Didn’t see anything in notes to say it was adjusted but haven’t tried it long term yet as I don’t have enough supporting gear in the stash.

The 85% ADCtH from Scales applied only to the vitality damage from Scales and nothing more.
And Black Star of Deceit doesn`t reduce Life leech resist of bosses, because this is effect of control.

On flat ground i noticed no issues, but on uneven terrain there seem to be some issues which causes me to re-position.


You sure about this?

It`s sad, but yes… Only relic Haunt can reduce this resist. And ADCtH on skills applied only to their source skills, as on devouring swarm or sigil of consumption.

Added the link to the poll (to help Shield Spam Forcewave builds) on the main page