[Something Completely Different and Clever about Stomping]: Lightning Callidor's Tempest Druid (SR80, Controller Friendly)

And now for something completely different, part nineteen of my controller friendly build series: Callidor’s Lightning Druid.

With 1.1.9.8, and the changes to Callidor’s Tempest, I thought this build would be pretty strong. Exactly like my chaos variant, I levelled it to 94 with Lokarr’s set and Explorer’s Trousers (I normally have to replace them around level 60 to 65), and then as soon as I hit 100 I cleared SR80 on my first try.

Since this is my third Callidor’s Tempest build (after Something Clever about Stomping and Something Else Clever about Stomping, I’m going to put a three way comparison in its own section. All three are very strong.

grimtools link. The MI prefixes and affixes are just the best I had, not what is theoretically optimal. In fact, there’s a lot of room for improvement there.

Playstyle: cast Wind Devil, throw down a Wendigo Totem against elites, then stand and smash with Callidor’s Tempest until your enemies are dead. Use Mirror of Ereoctes in a pinch.

Three Way Comparison

All three are rated for SR80, and I’m pretty sure they all can go much higher.

Lightning pros:

  • By far the most damage: in addition to the sheet DPS, (and while it has a bit less OA), it has a massive crit damage bonus from Stormcaller’s Pact, and it has extra cast speed for -speed mutators.

  • probably the most room for improvement, as it has 3 Mis and fully-offensive-focused devotions. It cleared SR80 on the first try lacking overcaps on bleed, acid, and pierce.

  • lightning has very fun visuals, especially if you’re a fulmomaniac like me (a word I just made up for someone who loves lightning).

  • defense doesn’t require managing the uptimes on Mirror of Ereoctes and Mark of Torment.

Lightning cons:

  • 3 Mis can make rounding it out difficult.

  • doesn’t have the defensive uptime of aether’s MoE and MoT

  • have to cast Wind Devil and Wendigo Totem (which I don’t enjoy)

Chaos pros:

  • only 1 MI

  • most lifesteal

  • more damage than aether, much less than lightning

  • defense doesn’t require managing the uptimes on Mirror of Ereoctes and Mark of Torment.

Chaos cons:

  • 1 MI

  • much less damage than lightning, but more than aether

  • Requires Conduit of Arcane Whispers with the right prefix and a useful affix, which can take a lot of farming.

  • Offensive performance varies as Dying God, Abomination, and Arcane Will (with its buffs from Spark of Reality) go on and off.

  • Defense relies on Blackwater Cocktail, which isn’t ideal, especially on a controller.

Aether pros:

  • should have the most defense due to MoE and MoT

  • no Mis

  • cleared SR80 before the massive buffs in 1.1.9.8

Aether cons:

  • lowest damage
Video proof of clear

https://youtu.be/_UfQqHUpZgg

Fight tips
  • Offense: make sure you have at least 1 Wind Devil on your target

  • Defense: can be a little finicky, since you lose the healing from Wendigo Totem when you start to kite. Other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. Just try to make good decisions about when to use Mirror of Ereoctes.

Gear

As usual, the resists are overcapped to deal with resist reduction on high SR. Except that my MIs didn’t let me overcap Poison, Piercing, and Bleed.
I’m going to start calling “Callidor’s Tempest” “CT” now.
I tried running this build with Fateweaver’s Raiment and Ascendant Pauldrons, and it wasn’t as strong against bosses. (And this build never has trouble with hordes.) I think it still could clear SR80, but it was definitely harder, and I doubt whether that variant could climb much higher.

Essential Gear:

  • Maw of Despair: it doesn’t offer lightning damage bonuses, and actually decreases the natural lightning damage of CT. However, it gives 6% damage to health. I found this to be absolutely essential; I struggled at SR65 with Ascended Diadem, but with Maw of Despair I was much much much stronger. It also let me replace the Fox devotion with Hawk. It also gives +3 and 40 flat damage to CT, and +1 to all skills in Arcanist.

  • Stormseer Sapphire: it’s made for lightning CT, and I don’t think there’s anything that comes close. You need the conversions it offers, although they can also be obtained from Kymon’s Badge.

Stuff I’m pretty sure is best in slot:

  • Kymon’s Badge: it’s also made for lightning CT. The conversions are duplicated by Stormseer Sapphire, so if you’re lacking a decent Kymon’s Badge, you can probably run Tempest Sigil.

  • Temporal Arcblade: I tried other 2H weapons, and nothing came close. I looked at 1H + source, but there didn’t appear to be anything with enough synergy to make up for the loss of Brute Force and Kraken. It’s possible that there is; after all, there are a lot of possible 1H + source combos.

  • Glyph of Kephat’Zoth: the pet stuff is wasted, but the rest of the stats are terrific. The passive has about 66% uptime, and gives around 10k DPS each, so that’s an average of over 12k dps on top of the sheet DPS from running 2, and they give the most sheet DPS to begin with.

  • Eye of the Storm: for lightning Shaman builds, there really is nothing that comes close. I looked at other options, and the damage loss was overwhelming. If I needed more defense, I would get it from Devotions, not by replacing this relic.

  • Inscribed Bracers: +2 to Inferno caught my eye, but the disruption protection also enabled me to use Stormcage Legguards.

  • Stormcage Legguards: I was able to get disruption protection elsewhere, and the +2 to Maelstrom and Raging Tempest made this appear stronger than my constant Arcane Harmony Leggings. Those could still work too.

  • Storm Shepherd: fits very well, even if you don’t need the conversion. Arcanoweave Cord also looks viable. Phantom-Thread Girdle could work if you need the OA.

Other stuff:

  • Haunted Vestment: on paper, Fateweaver’s Raiment looks good here. In practice, it wasn’t quite as strong.

  • Incendiary Shoulderplates: I think, all else being equal, Ascendant Pauldrons may superior. Due to the variable nature of Mis, I had better Incendiary Shoulderplates. I just found a Tempest Ascendant Pauldrons of Readiness, which may possibly be very slightly superior to my Incendiary Shoulderplates, but testing it with Fateweaver’s Raiment proved the weaker combination. Non MI options include Divinesteel Shoulderguard, and Cyclone Mantle.

  • Stormbearers: I normally choose boots based on CC resist, but this build didn’t need any CC resist, so Stormbearers looked ideal. Spellsage Boots look similarly strong.

Devotions

The way I do devotions is to start with full offense, than redistribute points into defense until I stop dying at my target SR. I didn’t have to do that here. If you do need defense, Tempest is probably the first one that should go.

Core:

  • Widow: RR. It has to go on CT.

  • Elemental Storm: RR. Since Arcane Bomb can’t go on Wind Devil, Elemental Storm went there instead.

Not Core

  • everything else: I just tried to max offense.

Korvaak, the Eldritch Sun was interesting, but I didn’t think it would be stronger than Spear of the Heavens. Also, it would have to go on Storm Totem, which I don’t enjoy in general, and would weaken this build in kiting situations.

Skill Choices
  • Callidor’s Tempest: the point of this build.

  • Maiven’s Sphere of Protection: 26% damage absorption.

  • Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange/Overload: normally I don’t max these, but this build had many points to spare.

  • Mirror of Ereoctes: without CDR, this doesn’t have good uptime. But it’s this build’s only defensive option aside from running away and using health potions.

  • Wind Devil: huge RR from Raging Tempest. I don’t know if the damage and debuff chances stack, but I try to keep 3 up anyway. I don’t actually enjoy casting this, even at 200% cast speed, but it is too important to ignore.

  • Stormcaller’s Pact: the crit damage here makes this build awesome.

  • Mogdrogen’s Pact/Heart of the Wild/Oak Skin: similar to Iskandra’s, these skills get a lot of points because there isn’t anything better to put them on. The defenses here are more important than the damage from Iskandra’s.

  • Brute Force: great for 2H lightning builds, which this build is.

  • Wendigo Totem: at SR80, the healing from this pushes total healing safely past total damage from most bosses. Despite the low values, when it’s down against bosses it’s very noticeable. Also is good for proccing Reckless Tempest.

Leveling

Max Callidor’s Tempest, and make sure you have some lifesteal, and it should be pretty straightforward. Make sure to get any Kymon’s Badge ASAP. You won’t need it before middle levels, so don’t worry too much if you don’t have one. Remember to get Spear of the Heavens ASAP, since it takes the most XP to max.

My chaos CT was the easiest levelling I had ever done. I think this was slightly easier (once I got Kymon’s Badge). I made it to level 94 with the gear shown below:

5 Likes

Thanks for another cool build idea, been wanting a 2H Lightning build for a while and this is fun so far.

For devotion, is tempest that much better than ultos? I know the 20% reduction is the same as from Viper, but the hits themselves seem better than those from tempest, and the overall damage looks a bit higher in ultos. Doesn’t look like you can get both tempest and ultos without sacrificing defense, but you can pretty easily trade one for the other.

Alternatively or perhaps simultaneously, do you think there is any value in taking back the manticore/crossroad points and getting tsunami?

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If you find Ultos on Storm Totems more fun, it’s pretty reasonable. If you’re looking for the maximum capabilities, I’m inclined to think that the Ultos option is inferior.
Ultos would provide around 17k DPS with max proc rate, according to brief and rough calculations. The exact number isn’t that important, since it’s going to account for well below 10% of the sheet damage, and significantly less when other sources (devotions, Wind Devils, item skills) are taken into account.
It’s also important to remember that this build excels against multiple enemies, whether they’re trash, elite clumps, or a multi-enemy boss. This build is limited by its performance against bosses, even more so than most builds, so I judge things by their potential against bosses.
If you want to use Storm Totems, which I don’t recommend, you could try Tsunami. Storm Totems are good at proccing devotions, but they would make the build significantly less mobile, which would weaken you against bosses. I don’t think Tsunami would increase damage that much, and the 14% fumble/miss chance probably provides less defense than the freeze resist alone from Sailor’s Guide. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it would probably still work.

Now for Ultos: In short, I think the Tempest path I chose is a little stronger, but not “that much better” than Ultos. Ultos may be fine if you find it more fun.

Long-winded Ultos explanation follows:
If the lightning damage on Tempest triggers once per second, it should average to 3.7k lightning and 8.1k electrocute. I’ll round that to 12k, so it’s not too far off Ultos anyway.
Ultos instead of Tempest is a little tricky, since Ultos requires more green than anything I used, so you would have to make significant changes. You could get it by something alone these lines: Druid, Level 100 (GD 1.1.9.8) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator, but you’d be losing a lot of good stuff. Perhaps you could fiddle with it and find a few more points, but all the good options I see would you harm you defensively; that example loses 500 health and 250 armor.
Additionally, Wendigo Totem is not great for proccing devotions. With the 10s recharge on Tempest, you still get good uptime, even if it takes 4 hits on average to crit (like against bosses), it would go from 6 active per 10s (60% uptime) to 6 active per 14s (43% uptime), which is still more than 2/3rds of its potential damage - 8.5k, if my calculations are correct. With the 1.5s CD on Ultos, 4 hits over 4s would give you much lower uptime than the devotion is balanced around: the 17k DPS was assuming instant proccing every time, which obviously isn’t realistic against bosses, or against elites once the trash is dead. On Wendigo Totem, I think it would be every 4s on average, which is not much more than a third of its potential damage (~6k dps against bosses). And it wouldn’t reliably trigger the elemental resist reduction. For that, Viper is better, because it gets fully applied on your first CT every time. Even on non-elemental builds, it’s sometimes a good chioce: it also gives 3% OA, and gives 5 affinities for 4 devotion points, which is a great ratio. Here, you definitely wouldn’t want to replace it, even if you had Ultos. And against bosses, my calculations indicate that Tempest actually does more damage. It has slightly lower passive bonuses than Ultos, but this build already has a 2500% lightning bonus, and a lot of sources of flat damage so the sheet damage shouldn’t matter that much. Ultos is definitely better for clearing trash, but this build clears it so quickly anyway, that I don’t think Ultos makes a noticeable difference.
Realistically, you’d need to put Ultos on Storm Totem for it to make any sort of sense. Otherwise I don’t think it will increase your damage when it matters. Even if you used Storm Totem+Ultos, I’m not sure it would significantly increase you DPS, it would cost defense, and you’d lose mobility.
You can certainly try Ultos, I don’t think it’s a particularly bad idea, but I don’t know if this build would be strong through SR80 with it. That said, if you find it more fun, then go for it.

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Appreciate the long explanation. I like the ultos visuals so I’ll use it for-fun while leveling, but I see what you mean about mobs vs bosses.

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