Ritualist v Conjurer v Cabalist

Good Morning!

Not a complete newb, but pretty inexperienced with Grim Dawn. Can anyone give me the current strengths and weakness of the masteries listed above for pet builds.

Thanks much!

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Conjurer first and foremost; not sure whether Ritualist is slightly better than Cabalist or not these days.

Have a look here

Pretty much all you need to know about pets is in there.

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To expand upon what Medea said and to give you a more compact answer since my guide seems to just increase in pages every time I look at it…


Strengths -

  • Easy to Level due to being innately tanky and having various Auras and Healing options to keep yourself and your pets alive.
  • Pierce and Aether aside, every single damage type is possible and a ton of conversion exists.
  • Once you set everything up properly, is incredibly forgiving to mistakes.
  • Can be fairly Lazy interms of gameplay (if you want it to be).
  • Plenty of Bleed, Vitality and Elemental Resistance Reduction (RR).

Weaknesses -

  • Can be fairly Lazy as there isn’t much to do other than casting your buffs and debuffs while occasionally using the pet attack command to move pets out of AoE or to make them attack specific targets.
  • Either you focus on Briarthorn (Beastcaller Set) or Familiar (Bysmiel’s Trinkets). While variety exists in the form of conversions and other items you can include to differentiate between builds, one of these two pets will be Core that you build around.
  • Bleed Pet builds are a bit weird since you cannot convert from or into Bleed Damage and it has no Non-DoT counterpart.
  • I am adding weaknesses here just to make it seem like they have legit weaknesses and aren’t awesome all around.


Strengths -

  • Easy to level since you have everything Occultist has to provide and Skeletons do a decent amount of damage early on to get you started as an added bonus. Later on Blightfiends + Reap Spirits make up for the loss of Briarthorn & Primal Spirit.
  • You get the option to Combine Reap Spirits with Familiar using both their full Sets which is unique to Cabalists.
  • The potential for damage is theoretically higher than Conjurers.
  • Can be Lazy mode depending on how you build it, even with Skeletons in the mix.
  • Reap spirits, while temporary pets cannot be killed by enemies (more or less), so you don’t need to worry about Pet defense too much if going for those.

Weaknesses -

  • Elemental aside, damage conversions don’t make much sense or conflict with each other.
  • Master of Death is a much worse Pet Exclusive compared or Primal Bond.
  • RR on Spectral Wrath requires you to get hit which is not ideal on Pet build.
  • No free stats from Auras on the Necromancer side of things, although you could consider the DA reduction from Blightfiends to be extra OA for your Pets.


Strengths -

  • Can make a pure Reap spirit only build that gives you immortal Pets (still temporary, but will stay alive for the duration) capable of taking on all content ingame. Also lets you experience the feeling of playing a Hybrid or Caster while being a pure Pet build.
  • Most active class for Pets regardless of the build although this can be a weakness depending on how you look at it.
  • If you can keep your pets alive, Currently has the potential to output crazy amount of damage.
  • If you want Pet builds that do not play like Pet builds Ritualist has you covered, but that can be a good thing or a bad one.

Weaknesses -

  • Hardest to level due to lack of all the supportive skills from Occultist mastery.
  • Lack of RR except Vitality.
  • Pets will be Fragile throughout and needs great care against tougher content.
  • Could easily become piano-ish interms of buttons to push and pets to resummon.
  • Most of the build defining items are endgame oriented.


The above are my personal experiences and should be taken as such. Your might vary and hence feel free to dive into anything that strikes your fancy. Every single mastery and class combination can be a Viable Pet build if you want it to be (Personally guarantee you that), so in the end, I would say pick one that you fancy based on the theme, looks, etc.

If you have something particular in mind and can’t find anything similar on the forums, I can tailor make one to your specifications or atleast try, so feel free to let me know on that front also, if needed.

But if you want suggestions on which one to go for or how I would personally rate them, then all things considered I would say Conjurer > Cabalist > Ritualist. Do note that a fair amount of bias is present there as I have an obsessive hatred regarding the fragile nature of Skeletons rivaled only by my obsession over Laziness. Also to note is that I generally test my builds against superbosses rather than Crucible or even Shattered Realms, so my builds tend to be built around that.

But generally, after all the recent buffs, nerfs and changes, what I have written above should also hold true for shattered realms and may only really be in doubt when it comes to the Crucible in regards to their ranking interms of overall strength.

All three are however viable start to finish and you will find atleast 1 build in all 3 combinations capable to handling all content ingame, so whatever you choose to go with, it should not cause any grief or concern.


Thank you my friend for providing that link!

Awesome info. Thank you! When you say Ritualist can be hybrid or caster oriented, I assume you mean it can have some damage skills ie dreggs eye, or panettis missles, etc, correct, although of course it would be Necro or Shaman skills not Occultist or Arcanist.

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No, no…

I am saying that it feels like you are playing a caster or hybrid. Pets will still do the damage and you won’t be using any damage skills.

But to give an example of what I meant: Ishtar - Pet Ritualist has Devouring Swarm, Bone Harvest and ill Omen to repeatedly cast for the buffs+debuffs, Wendigo Totem for heals + a little but of extra dmg for pets and the only Pet used being Reap Spirit which itself is a Spell that spawns a Pet.

That in practice feels much different from a traditional pet build.

Ah, I gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.

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