[shield melee] Beginner's pre-Krieg Death Knight

True there is also deadly momentum and also markovian wps

Hi, thanks for the input. For some reason I totally forgot about Ravenous Earth existence. That might solve the problem.

It’s been a while since I farmed mine. Is it both? Now that you said it, when I did only SR 50 there were no SR gear pieces on the vendor. Glad you reminded me it would be tragic to finish SR 60 with budget build just to not get any pieces of SR set.

I soft capped III omen already (10/10) for 100% RR uptime. How many points would be enough? I might just ditch dire bear all together tbh. Not sure the increase in speed (I am expecting something like 5-10%) will outweigh the loss of tankiness I would get. I am using Stone Form from Obelisk of Menhir right now, which I would have to ditch to get Dire Bear.

One kill will hardly be statistically meaningful tbh. How strong is your build and how easy is it to kill Ravager? A better analysis would be kill it 3-5 times and get an average time for each one (maybe even standard deviation). I am sorry if I am being annoying with this much criteria, but it would be really cool to start seeing this kind of in-depth analysis in the forum. For SR and CR this would be really hard because you would need the same mutators (plus climbing SR if high shard), but it seems like a viable approach for Ravager. The problem with 1 run is that Ravager is quite hard for most builds, so, if you get one hard hit or you mess up your rotations, that run can be longer than the average run.

DK has less sources than Warlord, but usually phys builds have several sources. I guess it depends on the build. For example, Stupid_Dragon’s build has other sources on gear and devotions (Faction gear chest and shoulder, Faction amulet, Oleron’s relic, Turin’s Grips, Ulzaad devotion, Seals of might, Augments, and so on). His build also uses Menhir’s Bulwark, which would be heavely affected by armor too (one of the reasons I went for Oleron’s, but mainly the OA). The small sources on gear are the biggest problem though, because they are heavely reduced by armor and they inflate the dps tooltip, while maxed out safeguard and Menhir’s Bulwark are more meaninful values.

I meant I have killed ravager several times with and without dire bear proc, but still not enough “data” to give statisics maybe. Also I need to change to more safeguard for flat physical damage source. Also try with some gear that has flat sources as you mentioned. Will test again soon.

I do not think SR shop sells anything unless you complete at least two shards. If I remember rightly

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Oh, good to hear. That is gonna be some cool analysis to look at and I am hyped for it. Thanks for taking your time to test it.

I choose ravager becuase high armor and also same fight every time . also pretty long fight so any difference can be noted

I did it for myself to see if worth using :wink: fun if other can use result


ok ok ok
3 ravagers of flesh with and without dire bear proc
average with: 6:06
average without: 6:41
That is 9.6% faster average with dire bear proc.
Build: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RVvmx4G2 (helm and medal has physiq crafts)
It is a permanent overguard build which is of course not optimal but still …
I used to have 100% block chance too but not now


Nice results. My calculations were more like 8.7% faster, but still quite close to yours. Seems worth it if you are not giving up anything too important in devotions (in my case I would give up Stone form, so not sure).

I think the build is not that important here, is just a reference for the test. So no problem with your build tbh. What other devotions did you get when you tested without dire bear?

None, I just remove binding of skill.


That’s the best approach to isolate the contribution of the proc. Now that I think about it, that amount only for the proc is quite big. In my case, the difference would be even higher since the nodes from bear also give some damage.

I guess I will share my grimtools so that we can discuss what would be the best approach for my budget S&B DK specifically: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/M2gm787Z. This is the version that I am running right now, which did SR 50 deathless. The devotions, gear, and skills are quite different than the ones from Stupid_Dragon. I changed:

  1. Totally Normal Shield instead of Wendigo Axe due to +1 to soldier, nice block boost, and similar tooltip dps (Although should be less dps with deadly momentum up).
  2. Fleshwarped Casque for almost permanent War Cry with hard capped Break Morale for great flat RR.
  3. Fleshwarped Pauldrons instead of faction one for more aether conversion and nice boost to cadence as well. The tooltip with this one increase slightly, but the converted damage should be even better due to not accounting for armor.
  4. Final March is nice and pretty common, so SSF friendly. There might be better alternatives here though.
  5. Wendigo belt instead of the nightblade one. Both give % OA, but Wendigo has +1 to soldier skills.
  6. Pants are scuffed. Kuba’s or even Solael’s would be better, but got lazy.
  7. Deathstalker relic for nice RR, which should be better than +1 skills in end game builds (it looks like the current physical melee meta at least). I also think Deathstalker is more beginner friendly, since the craft is quite cheap for an endgame relic and the blueprint is target farmable.
  8. Medal is questionable too. Didn’t think I needed Mark of the Voracious One since the build is already really tanky and lack damage. I might be wrong though. My initial idea was actually a nice Mark of Harvoul for higher Break morale overcap, but didn’t farm it yet.
  9. Devotions, which might be questionable tbh. I went for Empyrion even though I already have 2 sources of damage reduction (war cry and omen). Dire Bear instead should be better, I would just lose some resists.
  10. Components and augments are scufffed. This is not supposed to be the final setup. Obvious changes would be Seal of Annihilation, Bloodied Crystals (or Runebound Topaz like Stupid_Dragon?) and maybe Tainted Heart. I am also way overcapped on armor absorption but will change it (e.g. get Chains of Oleron on chest for better OA). I hope to get closer to 3k OA and DA with changes here.
  11. For skills, got Oleron’s instead Bulwark and WPS instead of shield training/menhir’s will since the build is already very tanky.

Please feel free to suggest and discuss anything. I believe that a better optimized version of this would be a solid shield starter for beginners (although probably inferior to Warlord despite the Shield).

Decent alternative, didn’t exist at the time the guide was written. Not sure if I’d use it on DK. On Warlord sure since Warlord is hyperstarved for skillpoints, but for DK I’d stick with the axe.

I’d had used Fettan Mask, but this one is good enough too.

Yes, a well rolled Fleshwarped Pauldron would outperform the faction one, esp. with aether to physical (probably was just +3 to Cadence back then)

Lol these belts didn’t had a class bonus back then, and neither did MI ones. Guess it’s ok to use Wendigo one, but I’d had probably tried to farm Ugdenbog Girdles, esp since you’re farming Deathstalker as well.

Definitely Kuba’s.

It isn’t, because getting a +1 to all skills relic is trivial with totems, while Deathstalker will require about 15 runs on average to one of the most nasty locations on ultimate. You say cheap crafting but imagine the costs for skeleton keys it takes to grind it.

I actually was going to use it for my BA DK but after not getting it in a dozen of runs I just said fuck it.

Dunno, that 10% adcth to Overguard worked wonders for me, to the point I suspected it’s bugged at some point.

Initially it was an Oleron setup, but at the beginning of FG when I did the last review of this guide Oleron had a stigma of crappy constellation and the whole purple corner of the map was considered crappy too. After thinking for a bit I switched to Vire setup, but Imo it’s a mistake, should’ve made an Azraaka-Obelisk setup which would had aged much better.

I went for Runebounds because I assumed they should be better if it’s a shield build. Very likely I was wrong and extra armor would have had a better impact. I’d say if you don’t need stun resistance then get crystals.

Also no, not Chains of Oleron. Go Sanctified Bone.

Oleron was my main choice as well and Bulwark was for pushing limits. Currently I’d had probably went with Oleron myself.

WPS looks like a very bad decision to me since according to my tests back then literally every WPS on this build doesn’t impact your damage one bit at best and reduces it at worst. You may want to confirm it yourself though, there were adjustments.

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I like the cdr on War Cry way too much but fettan is also great.

True. I did indeed find some pretty good Ugdenbog Girdles. Didn’t use them because of resist issues, but will try to fix it.

Good point. It took me around 20 runs for deathstalker. The only reason I didn’t mind it that much is because Ancient Groove is a decent place for beginners to farm, so I ended up getting a lot of ugdenblooms and legendaries. Gargabol is nasty though, probably wouldn’t do it on HC.

What about Dire Bear? I made a sketch here https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4m7BY2, including Azrakaa, Bear and 2 points of Obelisk. I could go full Obelisk and ditch Ghoul though, but then I might need to fix lifesteal. Your DK build relied only on Overguard life steal from medal, but it did have quite a bit of regen as well.

I am going to test them. I know for dual wield they should be good with the new Zolhan, but not sure for S&B. Guess its time for some dummies.

Thanks for the ideas.

Dire Bear wasn’t a thing back then as well.
Yeah in your setup I’d get rid of Ghoul. If you really need extra lifesteal you can do it this way:

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I just tried SR 65 with suboptimal setup and underleveled devotions and managed to finish it. Damage increased a lot with Dire Bear and Azrakaa, even with them around lvl 1 (didn’t bother leveling them KEKW). I ended up going with Ghoul instead of Obelisk, but might try your devotions afterwards too. Printscreen (Notice Maul reaching rank 4 OMEGALUL):

Grimtools: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4m7BY2. Notice that there are some scuffed stuff still.

I am pretty happy with the build right now. Thank you very much for your inputs. Will try to get SR 66 too now, wish me luck. Zantarin on boss room was really cancer and I had to ditch some Nemesis on the previous chunks. I panic used one cluster on Zantarin btw, but with better kiting I could do without it (I am really bad pilot). I was also scared of running out of time, but finished with more than 1 min to spare. Also the objective was only to get SR 60-61 for set once, but didnt have waystone so went YOLO instead.


Congrats! :slight_smile:

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SR 66 was a lot harder and I got pretty unlucky with chunks. Time was running out, but managed to finish it with 15 seconds to spare. Had to tank 2 bosses instead of one to gain time, so had to use one cluster again. If I got Zantarin, it would be a fail for sure.

Meme S&B DK revived. I wonder what a Warlord can do on a budget. Maybe even ravager if you try hard enough.

Thank you again. :slightly_smiling_face:


If you wanna be more safe, try the overguard shield from colossals. You can shop them from hyram. It will allow you to have overguard up more and also give damage boost. But resistance removal on ill omen is also good. Or craft more of them to get some green affix (durable of valor could be nice)

Agree with belt, try get a good crab belt (ur just use gladiator as you said you found and start to use soul harvest)

Pretty sure you can do that actually, since you do not need to have all resistances covered.

congrat with SR66! That is not an easy thing, especially with this kind of self found no legendary build :slight_smile:

Yeah, I really like that colossal shield and considered it. If this was a Warlord, I would probably use it. The problem is that, if I ditch the shield with -15% RR to omen, it becomes even harder to justify DK over Warlord (the RR Shield is the “strongest” argument I could come up with). Yeah, I could easily craft a better shield. This was my best result after 13 tries (was short on scraps). I do have 2 rare ones in my stash, but I considered them inferior (mainly due to lower phys resist).

Yes, crab belt is better for sure. I have some good ones and could farm more too. If I made a guide, I would definitely recommend Ugdenbog Girdles. Using Gladiator is not an option for me because I want the build to be beginner friendly, minimizing the RNG needed for it. I kept two epics because they are really common and you should drop them while progressing elite/ultimate or while farming other stuff.

Thank you! Also thanks for the Dire Bear tests and for the inputs which helped with this achievement.

I only made this character because this guide helped me a lot when building my first melee characters a while ago and, despite the guide being outdated, I wanted to see how far an updated version of a S&B DK could go, even though now we have Warlord as the better option. I have most sets and legendaries on my stash, but beginners builds still interest me more than endgame ones for some reason. This and Ceno’s Blitz Warlord are the only options for S&B beginner guides currently on the forum, so I thought I could contribute to this one since Ceno’s is already quite updated. I believe Stupid_Dragon is not interested in updating it though since S&B DK is out of meta and that OP halberd exists for Blade Arc. Still, it was fun to test this and I learned quite a bit. I will probably test a warlord with similar gear soon to compare.

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I will look into it after I’m done with my next build (PB Reaper). Wasn’t going to but you’ve shown me that there’s still some interest in it. Not gonna redo the levelling though since levelling DK for the fourth time would be bad for my mental health.

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There’s only so much forcewave leveling a man can take. :rofl:

The leveling part looks really good though. The only things I would add would be Shambler’s heart MI and maybe Rhowari Handguards, but I never level Rovers early anyway.

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What’s the difference between this build and the updated/new build? Assuming the new one is better/well optimized than this one