Reasonably powerful builds

UPDATE 26/08/18:
Added 3 builds: 2H fire purifier, 2H elemental cadence tactician, DW vitality DK.

Need your help with crucible maps. If anyone knows how to do this please write to me. Info under the spoiler:

I’m really really tired of restarting over and over again to get the crucible map I need. As far as I know, devs said they won’t add an option to select crucible in any near future.
I know that someone found a way to choose crucible map (switch off all cricibles except crucible of the dead for example). But the guide was deleted for some reason.
If you know how to do it, please write to me!

Here is what I’ve done so far:

  1. Using archivetool.exe I decompiled Maps.arc from the folder survivalmod1/resources and got a folder [maps] with 6 crucible maps:

  2. Need to figure out which of these is the map I need (crucible of the dead), but that’s not a problem, first I need to make any map work to know the method.
    So I chose
    I deleted all the others and compiled folder [maps] with only this one map into Maps.arc
    I used special .exe from this video to do it:

Then I changed the original Maps.arc with my new one - in folder [survivalmode1] and in folder mods/survivalmode

The result is that the game starts, but when I try to start crucible it won’t work, just throws me back into the start menu.

  1. I decided to try another approach: I renamed the files like this:

Then compiled them into Maps.arc and changed the original files in folder [survivalmode1] and in folder mods/survivalmode.

Still doesn’t work - throws me back into the start menu.

  1. Made 6 copies of "’ and named them like this:

So these are all the same map with same size, just copied 6 times with different names.
Then compiled them into Maps.arc and changed the original files in folder [survivalmode1] and in folder mods/survivalmode.

Still doesn’t work - throws me back into the start menu.

So if you have any ideas please wtite to me!
I even made a specilal thread about this issue, no result.

When you invest dozens of hours of leveling and farming you want to feel powerful, want to be able to beat all end-game content game has to offer.

The hardest game content by far is gladiator crucible. It is also very rewarding:
for 100-150 waves of gladiator crucuble you get 8 legendaries and other stuff (including rare MI items). This takes less than 30 min for these builds. And how much legendaries do you farm in the campagn in 30 min? One or two if lucky.

You can take a build from Build Compendium, but there are actually a lot of weak ones there and you will be very disappointed dying over and over again. Also, you won’t find some of these masterpieces there.

The builds below are checked by myself in gladiator crucible to ensure that they are powerful and you won’t be disappointed.

As I am frequently asked about best build for new players, here are some tips:

Probably the easiest start has soldier with 2h transmuted forcewave (with Tremor). It combines well with occultist and death knight because they have physical RR and inquisitor - because it’s a incredibly strong mastery in general. Not only 2h forcewave is a beast itself, you can very soon get Kraken devotion for +170% all damage, which is absolutely insane in the beginning. Even if you do not go for forcewave, leveling with a two-hander with Kraken is good.

Put first 11 devotion points like this, 170% all damage from Kraken is unmatched in early game (only works with 2 hand weapons):

More tips:

  • this game is focused around Reducing Resistances (RR), skills and devotions with RR are a must in any good build. So after Kraken go for Assasin’s Blade and bind it to Forcewave.
  • your own resistances also matter a lot, they are your main source of durability early on. So search for them on gear. Most important are elemental (fire/ice/lightning) and poison.
  • Forcewave is considered a spell, so attack speed does not matter anymore, you search for Casting speed now - on a weapon and on rings.

Check this MortalKombat’s thread:

You can go for witchblade as he did, go for tactician version which is more suited for tanking (and in late game you’ll have options to switch into fire or elemental forcewave that do more damage).
Also you can do it as a Death Knight, then you’ll have an option to get Krieg Set (very easy to farm since every piece drops from exact boss) and go for s&b aether krieg build which is pretty versatile and strong.

This is my own DK, started with zero items in both stashes, was able to beat 150 waves of aspirant crucible:
This wil give you idea how a forcewave build should progress.

Builds to clear lvl 150-170 gladiator, in no particular order:
[Times are with 4 blessings, no banners, Crucible of the Dead]

“Great tacticians learn that consistency often trumps potential.” ©

Arpg fans should know where this quote comes from. I added this quote to describe my way of playing/testing builds: I go for 90+% success rate in clearing crucible. If you feel like you are fine with less defenses of you’re pushing for records you are free to make builds more offensive.

MATHS about PTH formula and new cap of effective DA:

“The Probability to Hit Formula (PTH) has been adjusted. It is now capped at a minimum of 60%, meaning that excessively high Defensive Ability values can no longer reduce an opponent’s chance to hit below 60%. This change applies to both monsters and players, but will have little impact outside of the high-end gameplay in the hardest waves of the Crucible or hunting super bosses.”

In this new reality let’s find maximum efficient DA for a player, meaning that above this number all additional DA is wasted because PTH is now limited to 60.

So, here is PTH formula, from official page ( ):
Probability To Hit (PTH) = ((((Attacker’s OA / ((Defender’s DA / 3.5) + Attacker’s OA)) * 300) * 0.3) + (((((Attacker’s OA * 3.25) + 10000) - (Defender’s DA * 3.25)) / 100) * 0.7)) - 50

Attacker’s OA here is monsters’ OA. According to grimtools all Nemesis on lvl 109 (this is their lvl in gladiator crucible) have 2653 OA and no buffs to it, except:

  • Iron Maiden who has 2996 buffed
  • Kuba, who has +200 OA buff, so 2853 total OA
  • Reaper, who has 12% buff, so 2971 total OA

PTH is now limited to 60. So we must find such Defender’s DA (our DA) that all this formula equals 60.
So, for most nemesis I figured this:
((((2653/((3719/3,5)+2653))300)0,3)+(((((26533,25)+10000)-(37193,25))/100)*0,7))-50 = 60

And special cases:

  • Iron Maiden ((((2996/((4084/3,5)+2996))300)0,3)+(((((29963,25)+10000)-(40843,25))/100)*0,7))-50 = 60
  • Kuba ((((2853/((3932/3,5)+2853))300)0,3)+(((((28533,25)+10000)-(39323,25))/100)*0,7))-50 = 60
  • Reaper ((((2971/((4058/3,5)+2971))300)0,3)+(((((29713,25)+10000)-(40583,25))/100)*0,7))-50 = 60

Conclusion: to reach the hardcap of 60% for most cases we need 3719 DA. If we want to include Kuba this raises to 3932 DA, also include Reaper - 4058 DA, also include Iron Maiden - 4084 DA.
As for me, I am totally comfortable with most builds at 3700 DA, some need even less.

DA also gives damage reduction. It is now also restricted, as it is tied to PTH (1-PTH/70), so with PTH equal 60 at max, damage reduction can be 14,3% maximum.

Thanks to Dioarchet for helping with this.

Warning! Very serious picture under the spoiler!

Tips and thoughts about speed clearing. Gotta go fast!

[spoiler]Now that most builds are getting peeled off excessive DA, people are thirsty for speed clearing.

4 blessings:
Quite a lot of builds already can clear in 12 min or less on 4 blessings. As blessings last 25 min, this means that these builds can finish 150-170 2 times on one set of 4 blessings and not run out of tributes that quickly. Start with 100 tributes, 4 blessings cost 48, 25 is the price to start from wave 150 + 10 to restart on wave 150 on the second run. For one run you get 37 trubutes back, so 100-48-25+37-10+37=91.
12min first run, 12 min second run and 1 min left to open the chests (don’t waste time picking up loot - it won’t disappear, wait till your second finish.)
This is a reasonable way.

Now, 4 blessings + Vanguard banner:
Many people upload videos with 4 blessings and Vanguard banner. Vanguard banner is insane, last time I tested it added something like 13% damage multiplier and 13% OA to the build. That is totally nuts, that equals 25-30% increase in damage output and thus the same decrease in clear times.
But the banner costs extra 25 tributes (and 60k iron bits)! So you will run out of tributes after 3-4 runs and then what? Back to farming tributes? That would waste 10 times more time than you saved using the banner.
Vanguard banner is also able to give glass cannons such a boost that they would be able to kill before being killed and so they may seem powerful. But what’s the point if you run out of tributes after 3 runs and are forced to slowly farm them back losing time? Better to pick a build that does not rely on Vanguard banner.
There is a option however - you can do 2 blessings (Amatok + Ulo for example) + Vanguard, this is roughly the same amount of tributes as 4 blessings. However, this is significantly less reliable than 4 blessings and does not suit everybody. You can go for it if you desperately need to decrease your clear time to 12 min - to be able to do 2 runs on 1 set of blessings.

Best crucible for fast clearing is Crucible of the Dead. No matter what your build is, it will always be 1-2 min faster in this crucible. If you’re using a banner it’s better to place it in bottom left, that’s where AoM nemesis always spawns (only true for Crucible of the Dead).

P.S.: I know that some outstanding personalities are able to do 3 runs on one set of 4 blessings +Vanguard. This is possible, but very hard, so I won’t recommend it to majority of players. If you feel you’re pro in this game, go for it :slight_smile:

Categories are very nominal, as all these builds breeze through crucible. New standard is under 12 min run on 4 blessings, no banners.

Full Metal Tanks

1-5. Forcewave Squadron.
If you ask me what is the best skill in the game, I’ll easily answer: this. So hold on tight, kids, the cavalry’s here!

  1. Elemental forcewave tactician by Superfluff [updated for] [my version]
    Superfluff loves to play fragile builds! Luckily, this one can be easily changed into carefree tank, what I did in my version and still 11 min clear on 4 blessings. Nearly doubling effective hitpoints, but losing like 5% damage? Yes, please! Unless you’re after every single bit of damage ofc! :slight_smile: Note that like in all forcewave builds “of Insight” suffix helps a lot with mana sustain.

  2. Fire forcewave tactician by Autentist [updated for] [my new version]
    [] update: Still great as expected, 11 min on 4 blessings. I optimized my version, now it’s better than ever! Note that like in all forcewave builds “of Insight” suffix helps a lot with mana sustain.

  3. Fire forcewave commando by Zhuugus [updated for]
    2H forcewave commando is best commando! Seriously, this is 11 min on 4 blessings, which is far better than any other commando type I know. I even deleted my kiting dot commando, cause nobody needs his 20min runs now and sorcerer or purifier are a lot better at being burn casters.

  4. Physical forcewave witchblade by MortalKombat [updated for] [my version]
    One of the first forcewave builds I’ve played back in the day, with proper adjustments still excellent. 12 min on 4 blessings in Crucible of the Dead.

  5. Physical forcewave death knight by Zhuugus [updated for]
    I’ve made this based on my version of MortalKombat’s build right above. Just because DK also has physical RR, just like Occultist, and we all know this game is based around RR. 12 min on 4 blessings in Crucible of the Dead.

  1. S&B death knight by Zhuugus [updated for] [new version]
    After the DA nerf DK can now be more offensive and feel absolutely comfortable with it cause monsters were nerfed too. 12min is the new clearing time with 4 buffs (in Crucible of the Dead). Waves 160 and 170 are now not meant to be facetankable 100% of the time, kite a bit when you face nasty stuff like Reaper+Aleks+Maiden+Fabius.

  2. Vitality Blood Knight DK by Superfluff [updated for] [my version]
    Here comes the new set! Death Knights received a third very strong build for lategame (in addition to Krieg and phys forcewave). This outheals tons of damage, Counter Strike is doing wonders. But I still find my version with more DA better - just to play safe and don’t worry about anything. 12 min on 4 blessings in Crucible of the Dead.

Beefy Casters

1-4. RoH Division.
If there is a spell in this game that can rival Forcewave it is Rune of Hagarrad. It is so good because it shotguns: all its projectiles can hit the same target. That means it is literally a nuclear bomb!

  1. DW RoH cold Infiltrator by Crabcakes [updated for]
    This is a caster. A melee fighting, dual-wield, in-your-face caster. Rune of Hagarrad explodes like a nuclear bomb and kills nearly everything and what doesn’t die immediately rots from our frostburn radiation. 11 min runs. Pretty easy to get the gear. From grimtools’ stats you may think he has too much DA, but no, DA there is with temporary buffs, average DA is a lot lower.

  2. DW RoH cold Infiltrator by Ptirodaktill [updated for]
    I’ve already had the concept of cold RoH infiltrator here, but this one has another approach: gear, devotions, etc. This concept is simply so strong that I felt it definitely should be here. Under 10 min on 4 blessings even NOT in crucible of the dead. Great players can achieve exceptional times with it, others will also have fun for sure cause it’s easy to pilot.

  3. DW RoH fire purifier by x1x1x1x2 [updated for] [my version]
    Double Warpfire for total cold to fire conversion. Neat, huh! So it is a full conversion build, plus it uses Rune of Kalastor too. In my version I added DA as always, but also invested in such skills as Flashbang and Biting Cold for -500 enemy DA. The criteria is matched easily - under 12 min on 4 blessings even not in Crucible of the Dead.
    Edit: DA debuffs from Flashbang and Biting Cold don’t stack, so I put points into Rune of Kalastor instead.

  4. DW RoH cold Infiltrator by Zhuugus [updated for]
    This is my own RoH build. The point of making it was finding a place for Rimetongue set. I thought it could raise saboteur class from non-existense, but no. This set adds zero points to RoH, but as RoH has immense power its all right. Basically, it shows you don’t need a full set at all to rock with RoH.
    Under 12 min on 4 blessings even not in Crucible of the Dead.

  1. Cataclysm elemental vindicator by Chthon [updated for] [my version for 150-170]
    Chthon made his own cataclysm build. I liked his devotion and gear choices a lot, 100-150 took 20-22min. But still had to make adjustments for 150-170: these add you more OA, which fully compensates for the ring procs (even better if you ask me) and massive extra 600 DA, which is huge in crucible. This build finishes faster than Superfluff’s deceiver (which ended in the archive) - in 12 min on 4 blessings.

  2. Burn BWC purifier by blingi [updated for] [my version]
    As the author didn’t bother to update the build after DA nerf, I did it myself. I changed a few things, so instead of having 5k DA that doesn’t work anymore (the effective cap is 3700), this now has a lot more damage and crits. Shield gives great phys res, DA stops at 3700, heals from pot and Word of Renewal are enough. Remember, this is a kiting build, do not facetank waves 160 and 170. I had no trouble even against double Reaper+Maiden+Fabius. Under 12 min.

  3. Physical mortar defiler by Zhuugus [updated for] [new version]
    I’ve had this dream for a long time: making a defiler for 150-170. Main problem was that defiler is probably the worst class in the game and is nearly unplayable. So you should imagine this is a very exotic build! I should thank Cmak414, because I took idea from his mortar purifier.
    After DA was nerfed in [] this needed a reliable source of sustain. And I found one! I use Gladiator’s Distinction belt to convert all vitality from Scales of Ulcama devotion and Kilrian’s Soul component into physical so they can provide a good healing source. It works! I also made this much more damage-oriented, which definitely helped with clearing times. 12 min on 4 blessings, 10 min on 2 blessings + Vanguard banner. Since patch [] Mortar Trap has projectile speed increased by 33%, so now you are able to kite in circles around monsters and mortars won’t miss every shot anymore.
    Remember that this is a defiler, leveling it is PITA, don’t even try it if you don’t already have all the items, particularly Beronath sword. In other words: absolutely new-player-unfriendly. But still, this sucking class that received zero love from devs with this particular build can be on par with the tough guys. Defilers still need massive support from devs, this one is pure exotic, it represents words “overcoming” and “despite” in GD.

  4. Aether spellbinder by Ptirodaktill [updated for]
    This guy makes a glorious comeback! It was #1 caster in builds for 100-150, but when new waves came out in december 2017 it became a glass cannon. Piloting it before [] was a job for perfectionists and/or masochists. But now it is great for everyone once again! Author has a dozen versions of it, I chose this particular one because it has the most DA of them all and additional 15% phys res from the amulet - these help A LOT. Most of the time you will be casually facetanking using MoE and MoT, but there is one situation when things get complicated - double Reaper spawn. They build up their attack, so they can eventually oneshot you even through MoT. So do not tank them more than 5 sec of MoT and 3 sec of MoE, immediately kite afterwards and repeat only when these are recharged. 13 min with 3 blessings, and it means you can buy all four and finish under 12 min, thus you can do 150-170 twice on the same set of blessings!

  5. Radaggan vitality deceiver & cabalist by Superfluff [updated for]
    Both guys here are very fast and strong, I can’t choose my favorite. The amount of life leech is amazing. The best way to pilot both is to buy all 4 blessings and go to Crucible of the Dead as this way you finish under 12 min, so you are able to do 2 runs on one set of blessings. We’ve got ourselves a new awesome set.

  6. Blood Knight bleed warder by Excelsiar [updated for]
    Bleed incarnation of Blood Knight is a kiting DoT caster. Try to make bleed as many targets as possible and the huge bleed duration will take care of them while you run away in safety. This is also very fast, 12 min on 4 blessings in Crucible of the Dead, so you are able to do 2 runs on one set of blessings and not run out of tributes. Note that main attack is Cadence, Savagery should only be clicked once every few seconds just to maintain the OA/DA buff.

  7. PB vitality reaper by sir spanksalot [updated for]
    This Reaper truly stands for his name: he reaps! Reaps everything and the carnage can’t but fill your heart with joy. The author has 2 variants, always choose the DPS one, it still has very good durability, plus offense is best defense! Under 11 min on 4 blessing even NOT in crucible of the dead. Bloody. Juicy. Fun.

  8. Vitality Ritualist by Weyu [updated for]
    You know how I like 3,5k+ DA, right? Well, this one doesn’t need it, it’s healing through skills is enormous! And very fast too, 150-170 under 12 min on 4 blessings. As weapon-based builds are on the rise how (especially 2H ones), this one stands proud, defending caster’s glory.

Moar stuff in the next post!

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i want to add my Spellbinder build, i want to say its perfect but i will let other to judge it instead, for me its the undying life drainer :slight_smile:

Dual-Wield and 2H Stuff

  1. DW aether spellbinder by Suede Lee [updated for]
    Hey, what is this, a dual-wield build? Yes it is! So how does it survive the carnage? Well, it is half-immortal. That’s right: it chains Mirror of Ereoctes with Mark of Torment to have either complete immunity or 50% damage absorbtion. And Aeon’s Hourglass devotion resets the cooldowns, so if you’re careful enough you can have almost 100% uptime. This requires some practice to get used to, I can’t say it’s very hard but not for new players. I’ve tried other spellbinders that use this mechanic, but they were kiting casters. I found this one easier to play because it also has another upside - huge lifesteal. Fiend devotion bound to Ravenous Earth gives great AoE and sustain. Don’t forget, half of chaos damage becomes aether (from ring), all fire damage becomes aether, half of elemental damage from Iskandra Elemental Exchange becomes aether, there are also huge flat aether bonuses from Fabric of Reality and Reckless Power. All together these make our damage output right out gigantic so my average clear time was 13 minutes. That’s incredible! update: nerfs to MoE/MoT/Hourglass don’t really matter because we don’t need that much defenses now. Everything remains the same, including clear times. As it clears in 13 min on 2 blessings, it also is able to clear under 12min on 4. That’s a more optimal way, 2 runs on 1 set of blessings.

  2. DW cold korba trickster by Zhuugus [updated for] [new vervion]
    In the ages nearly buried in sands of time, Jajaja came up with a korba trickster. That was a fearsome damage machine but also a glass cannon. That creation had zero chance in the new ruthless crucible, but then the light of chinese wisdom of high DA enlightened our way!
    Aeons passed. DA era has ended. Now I run a damage-oriented devotion setup, new time is 9,5 min on 4 blessings no banner. Feels powerful! And don’t think this is a glass cannon, it has pretty good DA as well.

  3. DW cold infiltrator by Zhuugus [updated for] [new version]
    Blue items meta strikes once again :slight_smile: This is very similar to korba trickster, but it is noticeably safer thanks to such great defensive tools as Inquisitor Seal and Aura of Censure debuff. You can facetank wave 160 and 170 with this (including double Reaper for example), kiting only when there is too much DoT on the ground.
    Update: new devotion setup allows us to be on par with korba trickster doing 9,5 min runs on 4 blessings no banner. Nice.

  4. DW “ranged” chaos pyromancer by korsar [updated for] [my new version]
    Chaos! I’ve tried several chaos builds with all possible gear and relevant class combos like pyro, purifier, deceiver, even witchblade. Chaos builds suck! Seriously, wtf is Abominable might proc from devotion, wtf is Harbinger set full bonus, why the hell Darkblaze belt does not have %chaos damage?! Triggered!
    So, the only chaos build that does not suck is ranged chaos pyro with Darkblaze set. Melee version of it sucks even with great MI weapons, Harbinger version of it also sucks.
    This version of mine is pretty good and competitive though, clears in 14 min average. Brimstone and %WD procs from Seal of the Void provide great AoE, very delightful to see all this chaotic carnage on the screen. update: no need for high DA now, so clearing times improved. Under 12 min now on 4 blessings, so 2 runs on 1 set. Also increased lifesteal, since this build has a lot of WPS, 16% lifesteal is doing wonders here.

  5. DW bleed trickster by Rhylthar [updated for] [my new version]
    So, the blademaster above used both flat and DoT types of damage, this one however is fully DoT! At first look I had doubts that it would have enough damage output but it turned out to be pretty good, 16 min clear. The upcoming patch will probably significantly affect our defenses, but we are full DoT after all, we can always kite like crazy! update: this axe heals A TON! But nevertheless, facetanking is a bad idea now. You have so much DoT, why put your life at risk? Just cut them a bit and they will bleed to death while you happily run in circles nearby! As we can afford more damage now, clear times became 12 min. (4 blessings, Crucible of the Dead)

  6. 2H physical Blade Arc witchblade by Poisonman2 [updated for]
    Spamming physical Blade Arc as a two-hander in a Bloodrager set is not that obvious. I somehow always considered this set only as a bleed one (maybe because coat strangely does not have %phys dmg?), but it actually works great in pair with Blade Arc. I would never think that. Moreover, it satisfies modern thrirst for speed, finishing under 12 min and thus being able to clear 150-170 2 times on one set of 4 blessings.

  7. 2H physical Cadence witchblade by Tora and JoV [updated for]
    Right when you think Cadence is obsolete and there are far better options now, it strikes back! This was born right on the pages of this very thread, I like that! Again, it satisfies modern thirst for speed, finishing under 12 min and thus being able to clear 150-170 2 times on one set of 4 blessings.

  8. 2H lightning Primal Strike conjurer by Superfluff [updated for] [my version]
    Boy, Ultos set was shit for such a long time! Massive changes were needed to fix that, and they arrived. Still, I find original version pretty glassy. The amount of DA you see in grimtools for the original is with Judicators’ buff and it generally doesn’t work on boss waves. So I turned to good old Stalwart of Readiness. My version has about 600 more DA right when you most need it - on boss waves. Finishes under 12 min and thus being able to clear 150-170 2 times on one set of 4 blessings.

  9. 2H cold trickster by veretragna [updated for] [my version]
    So after [] shaman weapon-based builds are rising! This one is doing great, 11 min on 4 blessings no banner. Stiil had to add DA-based rings to it, with 4 blessings it has 500 more DA this way. As before, I still think that trading a small portion of damage for a huge chunk of survivability through extra DA is a no-brainer.

  10. 2H fire vindicator by veretragna [updated for] [my version]
    This weapon though! Is is the core to the build if you didn’t notice. Luckily, it’s easily obtained through buying recipe from Coven of Ugdenbog! Fire vindicator: who knew, right? Vindicator was always associated with lightning. But not this time! My version comes with more DA (hmm, that reminds me something!) and still under 12 min on 4 blessings.

  11. 2H fire purifier by Ptirodaktill [updated for] [my version]
    This one utilizes the Archon Warmaul - a weapon specifically designed to make Fire Strike great again! Pretty simple build. Its AoE allows to clear quickly and match current speed demands. Much better than my DW fire purifier with great MI weapons.

  12. 2H elemental cadence tactician by Veretragna [updated for]
    22/12 Inquisitor Seal! Oh yes. I remember how people were convincing me in 2017 that seal is useless. Needless to say: they didn’t succeed :slight_smile: Seal is such a great defensive tool, allows to have less DA, focus on damage instead and still survive. I must mention the gloves: 55% weapon damage to Cadence is HUGE. But if you don’t have them, you may use Discord and Deadly momentum instead, that’s just not optimal as it requires a lot of skill points.
    Elemental damage is great in GD, each constituent of it - fire, lightning or cold - is great and combined together they allow to bypass some heavy resistanses on monsters. Fast and furious!

  13. DW vitality DK by Veretragna [updated for]
    Yep, DK is one of the top classes. This build is another proof why. Just look at his juicy lifesteal! From main attacks, Reaping Strike, Counter Strike: he basically bathes in blood of enemies (or whatever liquids they have).

Crucible guide

  • Reaper: probably most dangerous enemy in crucible. He has “Charged attack that becomes more efficient with each charge” ©. So if you don’t kill him in 5-7sec, you better kite back and wait for his attack to reset.
  • Aleksander: can compete with Reaper for the 1st place, his aether meteors are EXTREMELY dangerous, try to avoid them at all costs. He throws them every 7 sec, so eventually you will learn to dodge. 40+ aether overcap is welcome. Arches can fully protect you from meteors, a very good one in located in Crusible of Sands in south-east. On wave 161 he spawns with a bunch of healers who can heal him to full in split second multiple times, so always kill healers first.
  • Kubacabra: always kill this nemesis first, no matter what. Otherwise this annoying piece of shit masterpiece of gamedesign will just heal everybody else and they will never die. Use hit-and-run tactics not to stay in his healing pools.
  • Generally, overcapping all resistanses is the way to go because literally in every wave someone will shred your resists. New Ulo blessing helps with that a lot.
  • Theodin Marcell on wave 169 has 2 phases, do not kill his first phase last, otherwise wave 170 will start and you will have to deal will additional boss.
  • Anasteria: appears on wave 169, 137, 104. Why is she dangerous? She has Projectile burst which applies “50% Reduced target’s Resistances for 5 Seconds”. Insane resist shred, everyone will suddenly deal A LOT more damage to you. Overcapping resistances helps against this (new blessing of Ulo for example).
  • Rashalga the Mad Queen: Appears on wave 147 and 162. When she glows red (like 50% of the time) she has her ridiculous aura on, which amplifies her damage like 10 times IF you use any projectile-based skills. Even tanks can be blown into pieces. So you either kite or don’t use any skills/devotions with projectiles.
  • Zantarinn: He is very weak, but has a mindblowing charging attack. When he raises his weapon and starts glowing red your have 2 seconds to get your ass out before you will be inevitably one-shot. Damage is insane because it is a shotgun attack. Watch out!

I’m so glad that I started this thread, people gave me a lot of great builds to try. I couldn’t even imagine that so many builds can provide that sweet sweet sense of power and satisfaction!
Feel free to post powerful builds you know.
My special thanks to all the authors of the builds.
I also say thank you to all people who shared builds in the comments.

More builds are on their way, stay tuned!

i want to add my Spellbinder build, i want to say its perfect but i will let other to judge it instead, for me its the undying life drainer :slight_smile:

its OP, the only bad thing about it is that you are nearly useless befor you get the set and you will have to change your skills and devotion few times befor that so you can survive, right now i dont even have the Sphere protection, i drain life far beyond any dmg i take :slight_smile:

Superfluff’s cold infiltrator,
Unimaginative skelemancer cabalist,
The various autentist tacticians.

I am not sure I see a need for a separate thread than the build compendium at the top of the page.

Archive part 1. Builds to farm lvl 150-170 gladiator, in no particular order:
[Times are with extra spawn, 2 standard blessings (+damage, +health), no banners]

These are good and get the job done. Unfortunately, they are too slow by today’s standards, they can’t finish under 12 min on 4 blessings only.


  1. S&B physical DoubleBlitz Commando by Jajaja [updated for] [my latest version]
    This build has been with me since autumn 2017 and it has seen a lot. Now its an easy to play working horse with lots of defenses. 17 min clear. Facetanking everything, except Kuba. Kuba is by far the worst enemy, not because he can kill us, but he heals too much, so we have to use both blitzes on him and then kite. Also “of Insight” suffix is a must on gear, otherwise you will run out of mana because mana leech does not work on bossses. Alternative - using Harp devotion, but that would make devotion points distribution suboptimal.

  2. S&B physical cadence witchblade by Eddie_Alucard [updated for]
    Ok, this is old. Very old. Clears very reliably, but the last time I did it on 2 blessings it took 25 min. So yeah, all his durability is kinda wasted nowadays, we don’t need that much, modern builds are much faster.

  3. S&B physical tactician by Superfluff [updated for]
    At first glance, inquisitor is inferior mastery for a physical build compared to occultist for example because it doesn’t provide physical RR. However, the author somehow managed to overcome this with the help of deadly aim for damage and inquisitor seal for defence which allowed him to make more aggressive devotion choices. This just stands on seal and facetanks everything, including waves 160 and 170. Under 20 min clear time.

  4. Gun’n’Shield purifier by Superfluff [updated for]
    Don’t think that this is a ranged build! Your pistol is in fact a shotgun and it should be used at point blank, this is how Aegis set works. The defenses are high to match this style of play, so you basically facetank everything, including waves 160 and 170. It resembles the purifier by actuanpanda from the shooter section but has considerably better durability. Clear times about 20 min.

  5. Two-hand physical forcewave tactician by Danko [updated for] [my latest version]
    This is important! Forcewave soldier is probably the easiest most friendly build for beginners, which is also very strong and not gear-dependent. But two-handers had problems in 150-170, this is the first adaptation I saw that solved all the issues and made a forcewave build a reliable 150-170 farmer (17 min average). So now you can finish all game content even with your first build! If you ask why tactician instead of occultist (who has physical RR) I can answer that inquisitor seal provides extra defenses to be able to facetank absolutely everything and Deadly Aim and Arcane Empowerment compensate for the lack of physical RR. Plus if you want to build elemental forcewave version, tactician is better. update: works even better now. Still facetanks everything and clear times improved to 15min because we don’t need that much DA anymore.

  6. Internal trauma tactician by Autentist [my version]
    This is a tactician version of IT witchblade from the caster section. I added lifesteal, physical RR and DA. Despite being mostly DoT build it facetanks pretty reliably standing on the inquisitor seal. Compared to witchblade it is slightly more gear-dependant and slightly easier to play. Clearing time is the same as witchblade - 18min.

  7. Elemental forcewave tactician by Mator [updated for] [version by Mator]
    This comes from DA era, now you don’t need that much DA, so Superfluff’s version of elemental forcewave tactician (can be found in post 1) is much faster.

  8. DW acid/poison blademaster by hjmj02 [my version]
    At last! Once blademasters were proud members of OP vanguard, but were flushed down into ch’thonic abyss by relentless celestial interference. This one crawled back from nonexistence to reclaim blademasters’ former glory. This chinese guy didn’t call it poison for no reason: a big part part of it’s damage is DoT poison and this is the part that helps it pass through waves 160 and 170. You poison them and kite: pretty simple but also pretty unique, considering it is made in a dw blademaster shell.
    My version clears in 16 min and I found it 5 times easier to play and survive than the original.

  9. DW fire purifier by Zhuugus [updated for] [new version]
    …and another one! I didn’t explain why Ugdenbog daggers are so good. Well, they have nice core (especially cold ones), alacrity suffix gives so much needed attack speed, but the right prefix is the key. “Infernal” for example launches 3 fireballs that can shotgun and this is why nemesis melt so fast. Cold version also has shotgunning projectiles and lightning doesn’t, but its proc is still good. 14 min clear. update: so now we clear in 12-13min, with blessing of Ulo it’s safer, but not necessary.
    Edit: 2H version with Archon Maul is a lot better so this is outdated.

  10. DW cold apostate by veretragna [updated for] [version by Chthon] [my version]
    A hybrid caster built around double Mythical Dreadweavers. Bone Harvest becomes a huge nuke this way plus it noticeably buffs autoattacks through Soul Harvest. And that nice epic cold set again! My version clears in 16 min. It doesn’t outperform builds with Ugdenbog daggers, but these weapons are way easier to get.


  1. Fire/aether triple-meteor sorcerer by JoV [author’s new version for waves 150-170]
    This one is pretty old, haven’t touched it since december 2017. I think it still gets the job done, but there are stronger and easier to play builds now. I’ll update it when I have free time.

  2. S&B internal trauma witchblade by Actuanpanda [updated for] [my version]
    Boy, haven’t touched it for so long! Originally, this is a kiting caster. But I thought: what the hell? - and turned it into a tank :slight_smile: I use Gladiator’s Distinction belt to convert all vitality from Scales of Ulcama devotion and Kilrian’s Soul component into physical so they can provide a great healing source (just like in my mortar defiler). This means we don’t have to kite anymore, everything is facetankable. This is not that fast on it’s own, so you need 2 blessings and Vanguard banner to reach modern standards of clearing under 12 min.

  3. Burn BWC sorcerer by x1x1x1x2 [updated for]
    Finally I’ve tried the new version of this build, after like 6 months or so. Still a kiting caster, still gets the job done. However, to reach modern standards of clearing under 12 min it definitely needs 2 blessings and Vanguard banner. This build is totally fine if you like playstyle of a kiting caster, but overall there are stronger and easier to play builds now.

  4. Poison DEE witchblade by Drizzto [up-to-date version by Pyroscar]
    Look, a reverse witchblade! Instead of going full soldier with only 3 skills in occultist is does the opposite! :slight_smile: I had my own version with Aeon’s Hourglass and Black Star of Deceit instead of Manticore, but after testing I concluded that Pyroscar’s version is better than mine because it is cheaper, has Mark of Divinity and generally survives easier. He posted like 10 versions of it in the comments, I chose the one with devotion setup I like most. What I don’t like in his version is the helm, I think helm from Dreeg set is better (for +2 to skills) and I find Haunted steel and Restless remains useless, I use Seal of Blight (and Arcane spark to be able to use seal’s active skill sometimes). Btw, the rings are a major part of your damage, without them you will lose 25-30%. Clears under 25 min.
    Update: with Dreeg’s full set bonus was finally made properly, so now you should use full Dreeg.

  5. Bleed witchblade by x1x1x1x2
    “My blood thunders within me!” ©
    I played a bleed warder long time ago and it was a real PITA. This one, however, is so easy, so smooth. The sight of Kuba and Reaper bleeding to death while I’m just running around fills my heart with warmth and joy. Add Arcane Spark or you’ll have some mana issues. Just 25 min of hanging around with this one and you can get away with your puny reward of 5 legendaries.

  6. Lightning warder by Pyroscar
    This tanky caster is the reincarnation of Pyroscar’s vindicator which was good at farming 100-150, but is not that good in 150-170 (can’t tank even standing on seal). Warder is much more defensive as a mastery combo (Menhir’s Will, Overguard) plus the author used the massive DA approach of chinese guys. With 4700 DA it can facetank almost anything (waves 160 and 170 are not facetankable obviously) and even though duration of electrocute damage is short it doesn’t take long to melt down 160 and 170 while kiting. Average time of 18 min with 2 blessings and extra spawn.

  7. Physical battlemage by Superfluff
    Spellscourge always seemed garbage to everyone - physical devastation does not provide enough damage by itself and if you support it with weapon-based skills like Cadence or Blitz it feels clunky and meh. But Superfluff has found an elegant solution to this - Beronath sword with its conversion and Stormfire which becomes full physical this way. This is a perfect choice, now it works just right! Thanks to Time Dilation you’ll sit in permanent Overguard and also be able to use Mirror very often. This is the only battlemage I know that can compete with aether Krieg one. About 20 min clear. Physical damage is goooood.

  8. Mortar purifier by Cmak414
    Incredibly strong build. Even after months since AoM release people still come up with such great concepts, I’m amazed. I thought mortar was a useless skill, boy I was wrong! When built properly all these mortars tear everything into shreds - with some help from Stormfire. In Aura of Censure got a buff, it allowed author to make a better devotion points distribution. It can clear 150-170 in 14 min average and thanks to 5k DA and inquisitor seal it is super durable - your life is easy and relaxed, facetanking nearly anything. You have to do some kiting on 160 and 170 though - just to step away from dots and multiple boss focus - you’re not a full tank after all. Btw, capping resists can be hard, I even had to sacrifice some DA and take Sylvarria’s Essences.

  9. Trozan druid by HoneyBadger
    It’s pretty mysterious, but I’ve never seen a really strong druid before. Yet here is one! Completely facetanks everything in 100-150. However, after 150 you have to be careful and kite all the time. The key mechanic to surviving is abusing cooldown reduction with Mirror and Time Dilation (surprise, surprise, huh). You can spend a TON of time hiding in invincibility from mirror. In 160 and 170 your tactics would be: kite - stop and pop mirror - facetank the crowd for 3 sec - kite again right until mirror is off cooldown again. Another thing that helps you a lot is Ishtak devotion, which also synergises greatly with your CDR. About 20 min clear time. Btw, I tossed 2 Ravager’s Eyes in there for more DA.
    P.S.: these handguards look really badass, love 'em!

  10. Vitality decay cabalist by THT [my version for 150-170]
    I noticed that there are no builds with Dark One’s Gift set in 150-170 section, so I decided to fix that. This is the old vitality decay build by THT adapted to the new conditions. Cabalist and this set do not allow you to gain high DA, but since it is a vitality build it compensates by having very high life leech through vitality devotions and skills. Clears in about 20min.

  11. Cataclysm elemental deceiver by Superfluff [my first version for 150-170] [my second version, same clear speed but safer]
    Freshly buffed Cataclysm set is awesome if you know how to cook it! Original version destroys 100-150 in 25-27min, but unfortunately it lacks defenses to clear 150-170 safely. However my adjustments fixed that, now it finishes reliably in 16 min. Second version is even safer and is based on Chthon’s vindicator (next build), cause I liked his gear and devotion choices more. Btw, my respect to Superfluff for making it a deceiver, which is one of the weakest classes, so strong.

  12. Trozan druid by veretragna [my version]
    This is another approach to trozan druid. It uses DA instead of chaining MoE. This is more passive way of playing, for those who don’t like to press buttons a lot. In my version I took Seal of Skies for its great skill and maxed Storm Totem and Maelstrom for more damage. Plus Ravager’s Eyes. 16 min clear as a result.

  13. Cataclysm sorcerer by mad_lee
    A good example of a class that doesn’t need super high DA nor super rare green items to be very effective. CDR, Mirror, Warpfire, burn damage, kiting - a well-known reliable recipe of success. Also accompanied by not-so-long-ago-buffed Cataclysm set, which proved to be very effective. 16 min clear time.

  14. Mage Hunter by Zhuugus
    Nothing too fancy here, just a good reliable mage hunter. Very safe thanks to Maiven, AoC debuff and DA. Clears in 17min.

Archive part 2. Builds to farm lvl 100-150 gladiator, in no particular order:
[Times are with extra spawn, 2 standard blessings (+damage, +health), no banners]

Please be aware that most of these are pretty old builds. Some of them evolved and can be found in the posts above, some got outshined by other sets and mastery combos. Still, they should do the job and if you’re making your own build you can get ideas from here.


[spoiler]1. DW pierce blademaster by Superfluff

You are melee glass canon and you concentrate on DAMAGE. Killing things before they kill you is your ultimate goal.
Sadly, the patches chopped off about 20% of your damage, which is a big deal. With same build version I still managed to cut through disgusting things like +40% monster health mutator with double Valdaran + Moosilauke trio (and Rashalga was a kitefest), all under 30min. The author suggested a new medal+fighting spirit combo to compensate for the damage loss, I tried it. With it you can chop off 2-3min clearing time, but staying with mark of divinity is a safer choice. It’s up to you to decide.

  1. Two-hand electrocute warder by Jajaja
    Again, one of the fastest clearing speeds. You have a lot of lifesteal to keep you alive + wendigo totem which heals a lot since you have big hp pool. Storm totems are very useful since they do damage even when you are forced to kite a bit (Rashalga, wave 149). Also, Warder is an extremely strong mastery combination even with mediocre gear and levelling guilde is included, so I can recommend this one to beginners.
    This got a hit in [], hard to tell how much damage actually lost. In terms of single target it’s about 10%, according to my dummy kill times. Still clears waves 100-150 under 25 min (on one purchase of blessings), so nerf was just a tickling.

  2. S&B forcewave tactician by herites
    Internal Trauma… Sounds painful! And believe me, it will be - for your enemies. Reliable and tanky brawler with good damage. You can also kite with it if needed (almost never needed actually, unless Rashalga and wave 149), because you inflict internal trauma damage, which is a dot.

  3. S&B aether death knight by EIO AU [original version aimed at killing Ravager] [my variation for crucible]
    Ok, so what happens if you take tier 1 build and buff it even more? This one! They buffed the Krieg set, buffed Reaping Strike, buffed Spectral Wrath, even buffed Seal of Corruption! The most important buff is Spectral Wrath, because it’s a lot easier now to level this build, Necromancer mastery now gives a significant support to a phycical-based Soldier. And when you finally recpec into Krieg set and aether damage you become a monster! My additions to this build are: reaping strike, markovian’s advantage, Dying God proc (the downside is negligible), Seal of Corruption and Wrathstone, I also replaced Haunt relic with Mogdrogen’s Ardor since I use seal of corruption active skill instead of haunt now (too lazy to use both).
    As a result, build has more durability and much, much more damage. It is near the very top builds while also being very tanky. Feelsgoodman.

  4. S&B pierce blademaster by Chthon
    This is a solid build capable of reliable crucible farming. But among it’s rivals - typical s&b brawlers - aether death knight and doubleblitz commando perform better (clear crucible 30% faster). However, this one has one huge advantage - gear requirement: it does not rely on specific end-game sets, thus needs no respecs and works from the beginning. Leveling tips included, so I can recommend this to beginners.

  5. DW vitality cabalist by THT
    Cabalist… You probably thought this is a caster, right? Wrong! This is a dual-wield blademaster-style crucible crusher with probably the fastest clearing speed I have experienced (edit: not anymore, but this is still super fast and not a glass cannon). Slaughter.
    This was hit a bit in [], due to Ravenous earth and SoB nerfs, but still remains the same top killer. Easy clearing, easy life (25-27min).

  6. S&B DoubleBlitz Commando by Jajaja
    One remembers times long long ago when Overguard was like 8sec duration with 10sec cd (and no transmuter at all) and Markovian set gave much better cd ticks. Well, they are back! Mythical Markovian shield and Colossal Grasp give such big bonuses to Overguard that you can take transmuter for permanent Overguard and do not loose any damage! And the best part is that the author found an incredible damage source achieved via damage convertion to make this a real beast! There are builds here that deal more damage and can clear 2-3 min faster, but this one surpasses them by far in durability, so you will almost never fail (if you follow crucible guide ofc).

  7. Two-hand burning commando (blitz version) by Pyroscar
    Strong fire build. The author has 2 versions: with blitz and with blackwater coctail. He claims they are equally powerful. Hell, no! BWC version sucks. Period. Blitz is like 3 times better, it gives incomparable amount of sustain (build lives only on lifesteal), while also providing more damage. I also took Seal of blades purely for lifesteal, didn’t attach any devotions to it (yes, you need lifesteal that badly).

  8. DW vitality apostate by THT
    This had some trouble and needed changes after []. I made it, it’s wrecking again! I basically took ideas from THT’s cabalist. Changes: rings: Mythical Signet of the Fallen, Voidheart for vitality RR, relic: Scourge, because we need that active ability, it rocks! Components: Blessed steel for active ability (damage+RR) and Seal of Resonance. Devotions: ghoul instead of Fiend, bind Time Dilation to Scourge and use it as your left mouse attack, bind wendigo to word of pain. With this I finished under 30min, feeling pretty safe even when facetanking Valdaran+Fabius. You need to stand in inquisitor seal when facing tough enemies and dangerous hordes.

  9. DW acid witch hunter by Jajaja
    The author messes with us, claiming it’s just an ordinary melee in a cruel world which belongs to casters. Yeah, right! His own clear times expose the truth. This is a top build with a very good balance of survivability and damage. I managed to finish in 25min feeling pretty safe.

  10. DW acid reaper by Superfluff
    This is the glassiest glass cannon of all local melee builds. Extremely fast-paced gameplay. Not to be so glassy I took second seal of resonance and changed Affliction for 4 point Ghoul, 3 point Behemoth (ah, much better now). Also you need arcane spark not to run out of mana. Know that such a masterpiece of gamedesign as Rashalga is your main enemy. And prepare to use Blade Barrier and Mark of torment a lot. Wait a minute, but why should I bother - you would ask. Well, there is an upside: you can clear in 20 minutes with this.

  11. DW fire saboteur by Jajaja
    Quoting the author: “I would have liked to cling to honor and tradition of our ways, but in the end i still had to resort to voodoo magic of BWC for help.” It worked! This is the second author’s DW build (for AoM) and it pretty much resembles his WH with balace of damage and durability. Kvadratisch, praktisch, gut.

  12. DW cold infiltrator by Weyu
    Ok, I think that not maxing out Inquisitor seal should be illegal. Why would you choose not to use such a strong defensive tool at its full power? Inconceivable! Max it out and enjoy your 25-27min clear (or perish in agony without maxing).

  13. DW cold trickster by Jajaja
    This is the third author’s DW build for AoM (he loves melee) and this time he has chosen a path of glass cannon (similar to DW pierce blademaster). Yes, you can clear in 25 min, but you can easily die from one mistake, so I personally prefer more durable builds.

  14. S&B physical cadence witchblade by Eddie_Alucard
    The King is back! All hail the King! Yeah, this demolished crucible back in []. And nothing has changed! This is an easy to play nearly immortal tank which also clears pretty fast (under 30min). Not enough for you? It’s also very easy to level up and it doesn’t require green MI items. Gloves+shield allow it to use overguard permanently practically without damage loss. When facetanking Iron Maiden+Fabius+Bennjarr all at once your health bar does not even move! Recommended to all beginners and those who prefer easy clears and stability.

  15. S&B aether battlemage by Zhuugus
    I present you my own build and assure you it’s a good one! I won’t advertise it much, I’ll just note that it is s&b with all defensive benefits coming from this and the damage allows to clear under 25min. And absolutely no green MI items. Nuff said.

  16. DW physical witchblade by JoV
    An outstanding example of a DW build. Why? Well, this is probably the only DW build that can can tank and kill Ravager (special gear needed)! Despite that in crucible I didn’t notice any exceptional survivability - it is good for a DW build (definitely not a glass cannon) but far from s&b builds. Thanks to damage added via converting chaos and elemental into physical this achieves great clearing speed - 25 min and less.

  17. DW vitality deceiver by Zhuugus
    I’ve made another build, this time a hybrid melee caster. Again, for a very unpopular mastery combination. And it’s good! Not the very top, but tanks double Iron Maiden+Fabius and clears gladiator in about 30min. Take a look!

  18. DW vitality defiler by Zhuugus
    This has the same concept as the previous build - deceiver. But this one is significantly harder to gear. Survives on huge lifesteal, I have 26%. I won’t make a guide for it probably, it is here to prove that defilers work. About 30 min clear time for waves 100-150.[/spoiler]


[spoiler]1. DW physical gunner tactician by JoV

A gunner in Grim Dawn? Unbelieveable! But yeah, addition of inquisitor mastery finally allowed JoV to create this masterpiece. Gameplay resembles melee build however (who could have thought, right?): you don’t kite and shoot from a distance, you stand on inquisitor seal and tear everything into shreds! Lifesteal and seal itself combined with high DA and armor allows you survive easily (just run away from heavy dots).

  1. Two-hand rifle fire purifier by Superfluff
    A shooter again! Seems like inquisitor mastery (and particularly seal) works wonders making ranged builds competitive. Gameplan is the same as for previous build: stand on seal, shoot everything to death. Clear time about 27min, do not equip mythical version of medal (messes up dps). Shooting and having fun at the same time - that’s exactly what we need in Grim Dawn! So good.

  2. Gun’n’shield fire purifier by actuanpanda
    This one is similar to previous purifier but here the author uses Aegis of the Legion set, which includes a shield. Yeah, crucible is the place where wearing a shield isn’t a disgrace even for a gunner! I tested the version with Justicar Guard set, it clears around 30min. The truth about ranged builds in crucible, quoting the author: “I’d suggest you to stay as close as possible to bosses, even closer than melee range if you can.”

  3. DW chaos pyromancer by korsar [crucible version by BladeAndShadow]
    This is triple rare! First, it’s a strong gunner. Second, it’s a strong gunner without inquisitor mastery. Third, it’s a pure chaos build! Chaos part was the most attactive for me, I was looking for a strong chaos build for a long time. After a lot of requests devs finally buffed the Darkblaze Garb set and here we go! I tested the version for crucible, it clears around 30min (and has 27k hp with crucible buff and a ton of regen and overcapped res - that’s why it does not need inquisitor seal to survive).[/spoiler]


[spoiler]1. Aether spellbinder by Ptirodaktill

Technically, you are a caster. You even have a wand and an off-hand! But as a playstyle you manly run right into mobs and smash their faces with spells (spells are fun!). Very fast clearing speed (25min) and if you don’t become greedy with pressing invincibility button you’ll be nearly unkillable.

  1. Fire/aether triple-meteor sorcerer by JoV
    Meteors, meteors, meteors! Meteors for everyone! You have a downpour of meteors from permanent Devastation, supported by devotion meteors and the ones from legendary helm. So much power! You are not supposed to facetank hordes (however you can facetank single Iron Maiden for example), but your survivability is great, just kite a bit.

  2. Poison/acid DEE witchblade by Drizzto [my crucible version updated for AoM]
    The author hasn’t updated it for AoM yet, so I’m putting my up-to-date version here. I took Murmur devotion for RR and upgraded everything to mythical. Also very important to use Acid Purge (skill from seal of blight component), you will need 2 ectoplasms and arcane spark for it. Clearing speed is slower than most other builds presented here (about 35min), however it’s safe enough if you don’t facetank and just hit-and-run, letting the dots do the job.

  3. Vitality ritualist by Vallenhael
    To farm gladiator crucible with this distinctive caster I made some improvements to proposed gear: Dark One’s Gift set (mainly for damage reduction), 2 scaled hide components (IronMaiden-proof) and… a shield! Yeah, shield helps A LOT in crucible, survivability realy matters there. Remember, dead heroes do not deal damage! Nor bring you fun. Vampiric Bonewall rare shield with physical res is BIS.
    So, after [] it lost damage, hard to tell how much, but clear times are more than 25min now. However, my shield version still has no problems with survivability, just spamming Devouring Swarm and using Ravenous earth and totem on cd.

  4. Chaos/vitality warlock by THT
    Have you ever dreamed of playing a manifestation of evil, a chaos incarnate? This is it, with sigils of consumption covering all the ground and doom bolts raining doom from the skies, supported by some devastation.
    Patch has given it a kick right in the balls. Unnecessary and unfair nerf to legendary helm swallowed damage and SoB nerf decreased survivability, so we have to go for more defensive devotions (more damage loss). But still it lives and facetanks Valdaran+Fabius with no issues so it stays for now. My changes: 2 seals of resonance, respec devotions: Aeon’s Hourglass, Eye of the guardian, Empty Throne, Gallows and Eel. This gives us 19 points. We put them into: crossroads 1 point (order), Lion, Panther, Solemn Watcher and Scales of Ulcama. Don’t expect clear times faster than 35min thanks to that brilliant nerfs.

  5. Chaos witch hunter by THT
    You have 1,7 cd on Blade Spirit, so you have 5-6 of these cute fluffy pets all the time. This obviously requires some spamming. Also you fight in melee and survive on lifesteal and sigil of consumption.
    After [] I changed SoB to Blessed steel and seal of resonance and changed eye of the guardian devotion to hawk and lantern. Be warned, after patch it’s not a easy build to pilot, I’d recommend it only to experienced players.

  6. Poison/acid witch hunter by JoV
    The author assures us that it’s not squishy despite being a witch hunter. Damn, he is right! However, do not try to facetank hordes, your main gameplay against tough enemies is kiting. The main zest of the build is Doom Bolt, which is transmuted into poison and has tainted eruption devotion attached to it.
    And so the [] unnecessary and unfair nerf to legendary helm has swallowed minimum 20% damage of the build, affecting clear times. However, the build still works and probably performs better than poison witchblade, presented above.

  7. Vitality phantasmal blades-based witch hunter by janodal
    Phantasmal blades are back in business! Amazing damage, very fast clearing speed. What I liked most is that PB is a spammable projectile attack, so this feels like a shooter and we heavily lack these in Grim Dawn. The only thing I suggest replacing is gloves, pick ones with +cast speed, in this build cast speed=dps.

  8. Vitality drain essence cabalist by JoV
    First surprise is that it’s a channeling build that actually works great. Second: this is based not on legendaries, like all other top builds, but on a epic set! Blue items meta! It drains, it survives, it kills - what else do you want? Ah, mobility - it has Riftstone to get out of dots and dangerous situations.

  9. Aether drain essence spellbinder by Chthon
    This is an aether brother of the prevoius build. Instead of DE+Ravenous earth is uses DE+Devastation, instead of passive healing it has Mirror of ereoctes. The builds are quite similar in damage and survivability, tanking Iron Maiden+Fabius is not a problem, clearing times under 30min. Important: changing Siphon souls to 6 points Ravenous earth (for fragments) and 12 points Decay (for damage reduction) is a must. You will also need Arcane spark and Seal of resonance. Btw, notice that neither of builds uses Uroboruuk set - that’s because it is weak, these do twice the damage.

  10. Two-hand forcewave witchblade by MortalKombat
    Two-hand caster?! Why? Because it’s basically a Soldier spamming Forcewave. And it works! Mythical Stonefist Rebuke is Bis weapon and you’ll probably want a green ring with cast speed and chaos res (Incorruptible Bloodsworn Signet of Attack). It has good survivability due to overcapped res and whopping 60% physical res. The damage output will be great too (25-27 min clear), just don’t put on mythical version of gloves - it messes up your dps.

  11. Vitality decay cabalist by THT
    This one is a ranged blood brother of DW vitality cabalist by THT. Just like it’s brother it crashes and smashes everything, allowing you to enjoy you fast 25 min clearing (this includes kiting Rashalga btw).

  12. Lightning vindicator by Pyroscar
    A caster with a shield! This man sure knows how to survive in crucible, I like it! Seriously, this one needs it because we only have passive healing and Wendigo totem. The key to clearing crucible is to stay on Inquisitor seals all the time (except for Rashalga and wave 149). Never fight outside the seal. Never! I defeated double Valdaran+Fabius with +crit and +40%health mutators because I was doing it the right way. Build uses zero green MI items btw.

  13. Two-hand elemental forcewave tactician by Valinov
    Gameplay similar to regular 2H forcewave: spam it, kill everything. Second author who didn’t max out inquisitor seal, ridiculous! Max it, it will let you have much less trouble in your 27-30min runs.

  14. Aether melee sorcerer by mad_lee
    This one resembles aether spellbinder, but is not based on cooldown reduction. Good lifesteal, great aoe damage, blast shield and mirror of ereoctes will make you feel pretty confident. Do not be greedy with that mirror and enjoy your 27-30min runs. Btw, no green MI items used.

  15. AAR aether spellbinder by Ptirodaktill
    I was amazed that such clunky thing as Albrecht’s Aether Ray is viable in gladiator crucible. Yeah, it’s a glass cannon, it’s not easy to pilot, but it works! I would have never thought that you can survive in crucible just on chaining mark of torment, MoE, siphon and heal pot! Finished under 30 min with original version. Then I took 8 points off necromancer mastery (leaving it with 32) and some points from inner focus to max devastation. With this I was able to finish in 25min! Know that build is for experinced players, you must have excellent knowledge of the crucible and good reaction to be successful.[/spoiler]

Honorable mentions:

[spoiler]- Cold Infiltrator by Superfluff

This is a solid build, capable of crucible clearing. But it’s kinda fragile (in comparison with listed above) and you have no health regen or lifesteal at all. You will heal with 3 skills and health pots which requires permament concentration. It completely denies to forgive your mistakes. For experienced players only.

  • Pet/Fire Hybrid Pyromancer by DaShiv
    It really struggles in Crucible. It can clear it, but can’t farm it efficiently. However, people really love pet bulds, so here you go. #petfriendlythread

  • Unimaginative Skelemancer Cabalist by reapersgaze
    Again, pets. Same as for prevoius bulid. It can clear crucible, but can’t farm it efficiently. For pet enthusiasts. #petfriendlythread

  • panetti-based mage hunter by janodal
    This is a solid caster, capable of crucible clearing. However, during my runs I didn’t feel safe at all, even standing in maxed inquisitor seal. Mark of divinity also procced constantly, so it’s kinda of a must. Though this build has satisfying damage, it clearly lacks survivability in harsh enviroment such as high levels of crucible. Good build, just not the top one.

  • DW cold spellbreaker by InkOsk132
    I’ve tried so hard and got so far, but in the end… Well, I really tried to turn this into a reliable crucible farmer. I put on MI items, got my lifesteal from 4% to 23%, raised DA to 2700, even binded skills to SoB auras! Nope. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a great build, better than 99% outside this thread. But its survivability still suffers. As we rely on shadow strike and executions the damage is very spiky and so is the sustain. You have to play extremely cautious, never get caught in the middle of a crowd, kite and so on. Though clearing succsess is good I simply can’t call this easy nor reliable.

  • lightning conjurer by scruize 0079
    Pikachu army is on the loose! As you’ve already guessed: yes, it’s pets, now with lightning flavor. I don’t play summoners, so I’m far from perfect at piloting this one, however I managed to clear crucible on my first try. I find this very strong build, but it doesn’t solve summoners’ problems in crucible: you have to be very cautious, position yourself well, do not let mobs surround you, etc, etc. Valdaran+Fabius duo nearly got me, so I can’t imagine how this can pass 2 Iron Maidens for example. Still, pet enthusiasts will have a lot of fun with this build. #petfriendlythread

  • cabalist “The Night King” summoner by DaShiv
    Probably the strongest pet build for now. Recommended to all pet enthusiasts. But know this: it is hard to pilot, you have to get used to it, the better your skill the better it performs. I personally performed pretty poorly because I am bad with pet builds (and despite that I did gladiator crucible hundreds of times). I can’t recommend this build to anyone who doesn’t play pet builds all the time, you will probably suffer. Also this has the largest and most detailed guide I’ve ever seen, my respect to the author. #petfriendlythread[/spoiler]

added moar stuff

You should really consider Dracarris build by DaShiv if you are basing this on reliable solo gladiator clearing.

Jajaja’s new build, doubleblitz commando, seems really stronk. THT’s builds here have extremely fast clear times, they’re on hardcore too.

you mean this build?

It’s really impressive for a pet build to even clear crucible. I don’t play pet builds, all I know is that they are fragile as hell. In the video you can see that he is struggling, by no means it’s a cakewalk.
Anyway, it should definitely please pet enthusiasts.

It seems like the goal post keeps moving…

as a newer player, mind explaining which of these are the “weaker” builds you’re referring to?

Agreed. The guy stated that these are powerful AoM builds, but he completely missed some of the great ones, like yours or that Pyroscar commando one, not to mention big changes are coming with the patch, and some of them will be heavily reshuffled.

Yeah. List should really be renamed to “asleep at the wheel gladiator builds that aren’t always better for campaign content, enjoyable to level, possible without twink gear you’ll have to farm (perhaps even with a crappy self-found pet build gasp), and half of which may not survive the next patch but are still somehow subjectively better time investments for newbies because reasons”.


This is just a feast of juicy builds! Thank you very much, I will try them all!

Well, some builds struggle in end-game content, some don’t. This is just the way the game works. There are official Build Compendiums, which include all popular builds, no matter how strong they are. In this thread however I’m trying go collect the ones that can beat the strongest content game has to offer - gladiator crucible. The reasons for this I stated in my initial post.

Except the gladiator builds can stomp the vanilla content. Since they have extra defenses all one needs to do is focus on a little extra offense for better kill speed (even w/o tweaks they’re good for vanilla)

And what is this about the next patch hammering stuff? Outside a few builds not everyone relied on binding devotions to offensive auras. I never did cause it seemed shady af they let us do something like that and after zantai’s comment about the nerf I don’t bother with it at all :stuck_out_tongue:

On the topic of pet builds, OP they’re not easy to play with and DaShiv’s summoner does deserve a spot. Pet Cabalist last time reaper told me it still struggled so he’s probably tweaking it for gladiator purposes.
I suggest you to add DaShiv’e Pyro cause I recall one instance when a chinese player’s pet build stomped Mog in 3 minutes and people tried to replicate it. While they managed to make an OP build but not everyone was as good as he was handling the build. Pet builds are tricky af

What’s your point? Of course I haven’t collected them all, I doubt it’s even possible. Therefore in my initial post I suggested to share builds in the comments.
Patches will always be coming, something will always be getting nerfs. So what? I don’t think it is a valid reson to stop sharing good builds.