Rifle fire strike build help

I’m quite new to the game (Have a level 62 Warder so far) and I have started a Demolitionist. I haven’t picked up my second mastery yet. I would like to make that a Rifle build with fire strike as the main attack (tried dual pistol, didn’t like it). I’d like it to be pretty tanky if possible. Also, since I’m just getting started, something not too gear-dependent would be great.

What second mastery do you recommend, and why ?
What should I be looking for ?

Edit: I don’t have the expansion yet, so Necro and Inquisitor are out for now

If you want to be tanky, Soldier and Arcanist would be better options. Soldier has solid HP and physique (therefore Defensive Ability is high too), and arcanist has lower HP, but has a skill that reduces 20% incoming damage but reduces your damage by 8% (which can go up to 25% incoming damage reduction for enemies and 0 for you if you overcap it to the max).

With soldier, you would be little weaker than with arcanist (in defense), but your damage will be much higher. I’d personally recommend Soldier because it supports every damage type, while Arcanist supports aether and fire (with a touch of chaos). You can also use grimtools.com build calculator to check how your build could look (remember the site scales to level 100, and you get 2 skill points from level 50 - 90 and 1 point from level 90+).

You could also go Shaman, but it only provides health and a bit of damage reduction if we talk about tankiness. Wendigo Totem sometimes helps going through normal and elite difficulty with no gear. Shaman also provides elemental resist reduction to your enemies, which increases your damage tremendously.

Thanks for the reply

Would that make sense ?


Hey Chuck, welcome, I was wondering when you’d start posting here. :slight_smile:

One of my alts is a dual-pistol sorceress, which should work with a rifle as well. I prefer the rapid fire rate = more/faster devotion procs, but I can see the value of a rifle in kiting situations. If you only have a moment to stop and fire, better make that shot count… The build I’m following is mad_lee’s People’s Gunslinger.

Another possibility would be to go pyromancer (occultist, used just for a handful of great support skills) and focus on chaos damage. A quick look at Build Compendium V turned up JoV’s tanky 2H ranged build.

A general point about builds in this game - one should focus on one, maybe two damage types, and pile on as much resist reduction as you possibly can to support it. RR is not “nice to have” (as I initially thought), it’s essential. So a fire strike demolitionist-based character almost certainly needs Thermite Mine (and Hellfire Mine if going chaos). Unless you go physical damage and use Soldier. If you haven’t seen it yet, the debuff cheat sheet google doc is extremely helpful to understand what different wordings of RR do and do not stack.

Another “we’re not on Pandora anymore” realization was that percent damage in this game isn’t nearly as awesome as it looks. If you look at page 2 of your character sheet, you’ll see your Physical Modifier, Pierce Modifier, Fire Modifier, Chaos Modifier, etc. for all different damage types. And the one(s) you focus on will be in the few-hundred percent range pretty quickly. So if your thinking is “Searing Might = +18% damage for 3 skill points, great!”, eh, it’s something but it’s not actually very much (maybe it’ll take you from 500% damage modifier at level 50 to 518% damage modifier). The crit damage from Searing Might is decent though.

And for planning things out in grimtools, FYI there are a lot of endgame items that give +skills so you generally won’t need to spend 12 skill points to get a skill to 12/12, if that’s where you want it to end up (Explosive Strike, for example). Also, grimtools is based on the AoM cap of 100, so we have to leave those last 20 skill points and 5 devotion points unspent (unless you figure you’ll pick up AoM before your characters hit 85).

Apologies if you already knew most of this! :slight_smile:

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Well i guess thisbuild won’t help you

Made thisguy with Ulzuin set pre AoM. Was good.

You can also make a commando instead of purifier, use different gear like the purifier I posted. Desolator/ Justicar end game. Level with Fleshwarped MI rifle from act 3 onwards:)

I thought “+% Total damage” was actually pretty good, whereas “+% all damage” was the lackluster one you described.

Skill distrubution without items is hard, but in general, for Fire strike demo (any 2nd class) go 12/12 Fire strike, 12/12 Explosive strike and as many points as you can in Brimstone. The rest is RR (thermite mines, very useful in ultimate even though it’s so clunky) blast shield for survival and just covering up weaknesses.

By any chance, are you the same Chuck on Borderlands 2? The one with deputy Sal?

Thanks everyone for the quick replies. I will definitely have a look at the builds you linked. :slight_smile:

Thanks! I knew I would see a few familiar faces here.

I knew a few of theses, though I guess I didn’t know how important RR are in this game. But i’m starting to get a feel for the mechanics. Thanks for the pointers, and for welcoming me :slight_smile:

Yes that’s me :slight_smile:
Do you have a different handle on the gearbox forum ?

My love for Diablo 2 brought me here, and Grim Dawn seem to be very much like what I loved of it.

I’ll be cutting my teeths on this great game and I’ll be posting builds here in a few months hopefully (deep mechanics, I will probably be posting more questions than answers for a long time :stuck_out_tongue: )

Had the same handle, but wasn’t so active in the forums and I quit late 2015/early 2016 cause Civ 5 claimed my life. You, Derch and MOLMF were pretty much the only ones I remember from that forums for your builds.

Have fun with GD. Mechanics are certainly deep, but once you get the gist of resistances, skill distribution and RR you’re good to go. There are always people willing to help at almost any time of day if you have questions.

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