Questions about battlemage

Hey guys,

So I have been playing an arcanist in multiplayer and I am almost to the point where there is nothing else in the arcanist tree for me to want to spend my points on. I find the arcanist to be really squishy at the moment and one misclick can see her dead in a very short time. I’ve been thinking about pairing her with the soldier because of all the passive stuff that can trigger to keep her alive.

I was looking at the compendium and I realised that there were no battlemage builds that were using Olexra’s or Albrechts. Both of these abilities seem very strong, at least in veteran. Olexra’s gives me lots of time to get out of positions where I am going to die and was very effective in the sealed dungeon in the steps and Albrechts is throwing out an insane amount of damage. Am I missing something? Is there a significant damage drop off in harder difficulties with these skills? I see quite a few builds using callidor’s. Is this a better skill than the aether ray or the flash freeze? Also is Maiven’s Sphere really worth it? I mean it absorbs a bit of damage but it significantly impacts your DPS.

One last question is about a devotion proc. I took scales of ulcama but the proc doesn’t ever seem to activate. I have it bound with reckless power which is always up so the devotion should be proccing when I get hit right?

AAR is great but there’s very little synergy in Soldier for it. Many of Soldier’s skills require a shield/2H which prevents you from using AAR (which requires a focus). AAR with anything else (other than maybe Nightblade) is just objectively better.

Olexra’s is often ignored because it doesn’t work on bosses and Soldier innately doesn’t have issue with killing trash.

Moreover, there isn’t really a great sample size to work with because Battlemages are largely regarded as the worst mastery combo due to a wide range of factors, so not many people play them.

Really appreciate the reply Ceno. Well I still consider myself new to the game as I am yet to get into elite on any of my characters. I know you said there are a lot of factor that make battlemage the worst mastery combination but wouldn’t combining soldier and arcanist make the arcanist much more tanky and viable? If soldier is not the best option for mastery combination what is a better mastery that will be fairly newbie friendly in a two player multiplayer game? I considered demo but I already have so many activated skills from the arcanist that I sometimes forget to use them, let alone adding more of them.

Demolitionist definitely has the most synergy in terms of different ways to build Sorcerers (the name of the combination for Demo/Arc).

Druids (Arcanist + Shaman) are probably the most generally powerful combination involving Arcanist. It has greater Elemental synergy than Soldier does but still features a large degree of tankiness due to Heart of the Wild and Wendigo Totem. Savagery and (Thunderous) Primal Strike are each fantastic sources of % Weapon Damage for attack-based Arcanists as well.

Of those two, if you’re just looking for passive abilities/buffs to augment your Arcanist arsenal, I’d recommend Demolitionist. Flame Touched (buff) to beef up your Fire/Lightning Damage and improve your OA; Vindictive Flame (buff) for a bit of health regen, a retaliatory AoE knockdown/stun, and movespeed which Arcanist sorely needs; and Blast Shield (passive) to help you out in tougher encounters.

It’ll make the Arcanist tankier, yes, but that’s mostly all the mastery offers your current build. Unlike every other mastery pair in the game there’s no actual skill synergy to be found. Granted, the combination can still work as both individual masteries are quite strong but you’ll likely be better off with a different combo, especially as you’re playing multiplayer where individual survivability matters far less.

If you’re feeling squishy at the moment, your first step should be Maiven’s - it is by far one of if not the most point effective damage reduction skills in the game. There’s a good reason you’ll see most endgame builds take it to 12/12. Your other option that you might be ignoring at the moment are your resistances - especially as you move up difficulties, these will be the most important defensive stat you have. Again, almost all endgame builds will be striving to max every resistance (80%). Don’t forget to put a point into Mirror of Ereoctes either, it’s one of the best utility skills available and is guaranteed to save your ass.

You can make a build tanky by devotions and some items. It’s powerful feature in this game. To fix your weakness or empowered your strength.

Demolitionist has very good skills for survival as well.

  • Blast shield : getting dmg absorption for about 800 means each single dmg tick on you will reduce 800 points. It’s like blocking incoming dmg.
  • Flashbang & Searing Light : At both skills max lv. 1/2 chance to make a mobs ran away. 1/3 chance to make all foes(even boss) land a miss attack on you.
  • BWC+High Potency : reduced enemies’ physical attack.

also with skills those can reduced enemies’ resistance to amp. your dmg too. This is why its popular and recommended. :wink:

I’ve an AAR Druid that’s pretty tanky so far, despite being incomplete. Still doing testing on it, as I grind the last few levels and things. It goes into Druid for JUST the Mog Pact line… The ENTIRE line. Add in Maiven’s line, and it’s pretty sturdy even before gear, and I’m not pumping Physique either. So Druid would certainly be an option. I did consider Soldier when I went to make a tanky AAR character… But honestly, there’s not much tankiness there with an Offhand. I’d have gone in just for that Phys/Health node, and maybe the free OA on Fighting Spirit, and that’d have been even less tankiness than what Demo offers.

Generally, AAR doesn’t NEED much from other classes for damage, though it can be nice. So whatever you pick, you’re doing it for the sturdiness it offers more than anything else. I went Druid both because I got tired of Demo being everyone’s choice, and because Flashbang is the significant defense boost if you don’t want to spend the points to get out to Blast Shield. Flashbang is great and all… But if you miss, or something attacks you before you use it, it’s done you no good at all. Mog’s Pact is always on, and thus always helping, without you having to do a thing.

To add on what Ceno said about the Druid, you can use Grasping Vines and its modifier for a skill that is at the same time a huge spammable crowd control, a very good devotion proccer, and a life leech that can save your skin (50 health/s from each mob and it’s easy to find +50%life leech damage nodes in the devotion window).

You can make some niche sword+board or 2-handed ranged/melee that focus on elemental or aether damage, possibly paired with Calidor’s Tempest etc. But if you want to use powerful casting skills such as Aether Ray or Devastation you’re better off with something else.

What I can recommend which helped out a lot when I first started to play Grim Dawn is to take a look at the build compendiums not to copy them but to research them. This would be to see why people go with various classes/skills to know what works well together and what doesn’t.

You can look at it with the idea of why should I spend countless hours researching something when other have probably already done this and most likely written a guide for it. If there is something new that you noticed and it’s not known well then by all means do try it out if the theory work is cool.

Another thing that I can recommend is to make one of every solo class and try every skill in that class to see it’s mechanics. Sometimes you might think a skill works one way but then a mutation down the line changes it into a skill that is 100 times better. One such skill is Dreeg’s Evil Eye.

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