Saboteur journal - a different kind of journey

Okay, I thought what the heck. I did a journal of my Diviner tackling the M4ssboss3s mod in TQIT some years ago. And now here’s one for Grim Dawn. Meet Fire and Poison. It’s not an optimal build (it probably sucks big time compared to some builds out there), it’s a bit crazy but it’s not going to be tackling rogues/SR - just playing the main campaign. I’ll be doing most quests, but not using anything to speed up levelling - I don’t want to hit L100 too soon because last time I did it knocked me for 6 and I couldn’t play the character for some weeks. I’ll just be playing through the campaign as I normally do, using what I find along the way though I’ll probably GDStash my relics and make some components if I don’t have them in the transfer stash which is quite likely for the higher ones since I rarely venture out of Normal (bad case of alt builds here). Hopefully this might push me to get another character up into Ultimate and to the end of the campaign. This isn’t about optimal builds, BiS gear/devotions/etc, fastest clear times - it’s about the journey and having fun.

Here’s what I’ll be aiming for skills/devotion wise. I don’t plan gear choices since I never know what I’m going to find. And yes, I tend to end up with at least 2 types of damage, if not more.

Devotion path:

Ghoul (Flame Touched)


Witchblade (Fire Strike)

Fiend (Shears)

Scorpion (Execution)

Eye (Whirling)

Magi (Quick)


Torch (Canister Bomb)


Remove Crossroad points

Behemoth 3pts (Veil)

Here’s where Fire and Poison is at the moment - just defeated the Warden and ready to head into Act 2.

Will be running the game GD - AoM - FG for all difficulties as I haven’t yet done that since FG dropped (did I mention I suffer from alt builds? :wink:)


Ohh a kind of journal or updates on the journey of your char?? If so, make more, I wanna read :slight_smile:

Please keep this up, at least updates on each act bosses, looks fun and a different approach.
And poison/fire isn’t popular, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be strong, let us know!

Nice. I really like reading 0->end journals and the personal impressions for a play-through…and even better if the player is comfortable with the game.

Also skills - will you initially employ a leveling skill or are you kinda sticking to the overall build skill concept and gradually building on each skill from start? (I am guessing the second, which is a better story; I know that you’ve done the first difficulty a fair number of times, though).

No, I don’t use levelling skills. I climb the mastery bars putting a point into each skill I want to use and then once I’ve got those I start maxing skills out (old TQIT habit). I have maxed out Searing Strike and Concussive Bomb, but that’s all so far. Atm I’ll be maxing out Demo to finish off getting points into Fire Strike and Canister Bomb trees plus a point in Ulzuin’s Chosen. Once that’s done I’ll decide whether to just climb Nightblade or whether to go 1/2 to max a Demo skill while climbing Nightblade. At least that’s the theory! :smiley:

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Okay, managed to get to the Broken Hills riftgate yesterday. Fire and Poison is going okay, no real problems so far, a few health potions downed but that’s normal for me. He also started the Hidden Path (sorry forgot to take a screenshot of the death - out of the habit of taking them). Cronley wasn’t too bad. Since I couldn’t socket any aether resistance because he was only L19 I downed a Spiritbane Ointment for some help. Had to destroy a couple of his crystals pretty quickly to stop them spawning zombies, but otherwise the fight was pretty easy. Now he’s in the 20s I’ve socketed in an Enchanted Flint, Vitriolic Gallstone, Mark of the Traveller, Anti-Venom Salve and Unholy Inscription to help with damages and resistances. If I do manage to push through to the higher difficulties I’ll be able to use some augments as well - something I rarely do since my rep is never high enough to get them. Hoping if/when I get to L75 to add a Seal of Blades into the mix since many of the devotion procs are centred on giving him protection in the middle of mobs. Still, we’ll see. Will depend on how he’s performing and whether he needs something else in that slot.

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Got a bit further on Friday last, up to Homestead and then ran back to unlock the Pine Barrens riftgate so I could go down and do that area next. So far going pretty well, Zarthuzellan was the trickiest as there were already some zombies hanging out with him and then he summoned more so had to retreat back towards the door and deal with them before going after him again. Luckily those were the only spawns though so didn’t take too long to bring him down.

I’ve gone for the Guile relic atm, not sure what to use later on. Have started on Witchblade devotion - was going to put it on Fire Strike, but I’m wondering if it would be better on Canister Bomb. :thinking:

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Back to this character after a few days playing other ones. Still going pretty well, but had 2 deaths. One to one of the Viziers down in the Royal Hive and the other to Karroz, both times not downing a potion quickly enough. Decided to put Witchblade on Canister Bomb and it seems to be working pretty well on that. Also changed the devotion pathing a bit. Now going to be:

Scorpion - Shears

Ghoul - Veil

Witchblade - Canister Bomb

Fiend - Quick Cut

Eye - Whirling Death


Behemoth - Flame Touched

Torch - Fire Strike


Abomination - Execution

Remove Crossroads


Fire and Poison has reached the Asterkan Valley riftgate. Skipped going into Port Valbury for the shrine, just too annoying in there. He’s just completed Fiend so it’ll be interesting to see how that works with Scorpion when he’s close in fighting.

I have Shears and Quick Cut maxed and am working on maxing Ulzuin’s Chosen while climbing the Nightblade mastery bar at the same time.

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Fire and Poison is now as far as Barrowholm. Didn’t have too much trouble with the bosses, though the guy outside Loggy’s entrance killed him and he also had another death as well, can’t remember who it was.

Found a couple of Flamebrands which boosted his DPS nicely. Resistances are pretty good. Have got the Eye constellation finished now as well as Lizard so Behemoth will be next before getting Torch. Maxed out Ulzuin’s Chosen and almost maxed out Whirling Death before I climb the Nightblade mastery to reach Execution. Can’t make up my mind whether to rush to that, given he’s now at L44 and points will decrease at L51 or whether to go 1 into either Canister Bomb/Improved Casing and 2 into the mastery. :thinking:

Also trying to decide whether to ally with Barrowholm or not. Usually I don’t, but then again more quests for more XP so may be worth doing.

Still using Guile relic, not sure what would improve on that later on.

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Did a bit more today, ran up to Crown Hill and he’s now at L50. Died a few more times, now up to 8. Got surrounded by a mob with a hero and couldn’t get out, died in the Cinder Wastes to a hero there (not the one guarding Dravis’ stuff) and died twice to Galakros down in the Sewers before I was able to bring him down.

Eldritch Fire on Canister Bomb seems to be working pretty well, will be interesting to see if it improves as Canister/Improved Casing gets maxed since that’ll give it an even bigger radius.

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Have you considered dropping AQC, whirling death, and belg shears down to 5/8 and investing in lethal assault?

Nope. That would be an extra button I have to push. Might consider it later perhaps if I feel it’s necessary. It’s not a skill I’ve used before, though I do have another character who’s using it. But then I haven’t played Nightblade much anyway. One of those masteries I’m not that keen on really like Arcanist. I keep trying to play it though.

ok. regardless, you might want to keep the WPS’s at 5/8

but you do you girl <3

Soft cap or hard spanks?

I wouldn’t soft cap them, instead I’d leave them at 5/8 because that’s when you stop increasing the chance of proccing them (i.e. 20% is as high as it gets)

The only WPS worth hardcapping perhaps is execution because of how damn strong it is.

You’re better off investing into the FS line for better %WD

Well Fire Strike is getting maxed anyway, but it would free up some more points for the passives.

I’m suggesting reinvesting them skill points into FS before focusing on your passives :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, will probably do that since the passives don’t have many points planned for them anyway.

Finished off AoM and started FG content. Just needed to do the last part of AoM, destroying the vents and then going into the Infestation. Died 3 times down in the Heart and was really struggling to kill stuff in there, especially the Aetherial Colossuses. Was only when I’d been in there a while that I realised I was missing two auras that were on my weapons. Tried to put them on, nothing happened and that’s when I realised I must have hit weapon swap by mistake somewhere along the way in there. No wonder I couldn’t kill anything. Idiot. :woman_facepalming: Swapped back and put them on and finally managed to defeat Theodin.

Also died in SR going for the shrine in there and had another when I got surrounded in the Blackiron Docks by a mob and a hero.

Did the few side quests where my rep is high enough to get them then moved on. Chose Dreeg (who else for a poison build?) to ally with. Got as far as the Cairn Docks riftgate.

Have made a few changes to the build, dropped the WPS’s down to 5, thanks for the suggestion spanks. We’ll see how it goes. Also cut out the bit of lightning that I had from Static Strike and Concussive Bomb. Changing things around means the final set up should allow me to include Blast Shield and Merciless Repetoire at max.

Not entirely sure about having Merciless. I’d like the poison/acid boost it gives, but not really doing cold/frostburn damage except for what I get from maxing Dual Blades. Could use those points to boost Flame Touched, Vindictive and Veil perhaps. Also not sure I want Dual Blades maxed or just a point in it for the dual wield ability. Things to think about later.

Devotion-wise, have finished off Behemoth and working on Torch now. Need 3 more shrines to be able to reach the proc to add that to the mayhem. Once Torch is complete it’ll be Rat and the Abomination. Can get 4 points if I remove Crossroads, but can’t really decide where I’d want to put them if I do. More stuff to think about.

Oops, forgot to add this

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Being nitpicky here, but generally you want to leave dual blades at an odd # as that’s the breakpoint for phys res (though I would personally leave it at 5/16 as you get diminishing returns beyond that point)

Transmuted BWC should also be a great support skill here.

EDIT: Canister bomb’s second node also does IT damage, of which you’ll be unable to convert to either fire or acid.

I would personally try something like this:

Played with him again today and he’s now cleared the campaign as far as he can on Normal. Did die once to Kymon and twice to Korvaak, mainly because I wasn’t quick enough to either get a potion down or run! :upside_down_face: Other than that didn’t really struggle with anything much.

Decided that I didn’t like Canister Bomb that much so have swapped it for BWC instead. The greater area coverage should spread Eldritch Fire to even more foes. Also finished off Torch so have that proccing off Fire Strike. Rat will be next and then Abomination to go on Execution. Could have 4 points spare after that if I remove the Crossroads points so not sure whether I’ll go for something like Wretch or put them in a constellation with resistances.

I will be dropping Dual Blades down to 11 just to free up points for the changed again build. Neede a few more for BWC and to still keep Merciless Repetoire and Blast Shield maxed.

Must say I’ve had fun with this so far, but then my builds rarely venture into Elite, let alone Ultimate. At least my resistances aren’t negative, though I’ll need to look at increasing them as I play through the difficulty.

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