[SR 65+] Pontiff Sulyvahn, from Dark Souls III (Nex+Ortus / Ember's Calling Fire Strike Saboteur)

Pontiff Sulyvahn of Irithyll, usurper of the Old Gods, faithful ally to Aldrich the Devourer, archivist of the Profaned Flame, and the thief of moonlight has finally found a new world to conquer. And he does not come lightly.

Striking resemblance, I know.

Grimtools Link


  • Not a leveling guide. I’m a fool. I just struggled with stuff I found on the ground until I hit 94. Lots of good resources on these forums for stuff like that, but you won’t find that here
  • I fantasy-green’d the pants from GDStash, in case that matters to anyone

Pontiff Sulyvahn, a midgame boss from Dark Souls 3, is one of my favorite characters in any video game. So, in Grim Dawn, a game with the ability to create melee dual-wielders, I felt it appropriate to recreate my main man. My home-slice, as it were. I had to sacrifice some game accuracy to make a competent build, but in the end I think I’ve still come up with something unique enough worth sharing (plus, I get to be a nerd about Dark Souls on the forums!!!)

From the outset I wanted to use Nex and Ortus. Sulyvahn himself is notable for wielding dual blades of opposing elements, and the support for a class called Saboteur - boosts Fire Strike and diversifies its damage types, gives some nice conversions and RR to many of the Nightblade skills I already enjoyed using - fit pretty perfectly for a character whose presence is defined by his sabotage of the kingdom of Irithyll. Hitch in the plan, though: Saboteur kind of blows. No matter what I tried, the auto-attack archetype always felt awfully squishy on this mastery combo. I certainly didn’t want to use the frankly bland Shattered Realm set, which appears pretty popular for the class, so I improvised and decided to go all in on… Vindictive Flame? With the full Ember’s Calling set?

I needed survivability. I needed sustain. I figured that this setup would provide both that and a small boost to damage, but go figure, maxing out a skill and equipping a set designed around cranking it up to 11 makes it pretty appealing. Vindictive Flame went from something I put some points into for the speed boost and a little bit of lifesteal from Ulzuin’s Wrath to a fully operational battle station, burning trash mobs to a crisp before I could even think about hitting them with my swords and acting as a nearly indefinite engine of HP as long as things were within the vague area of my blazing crusade. The freezes and AOEs proccing from N+O only serve to help keep things still enough to stay in my area of annihilation for longer. Boosting Demo and Nightblade skills, Ember’s Calling also ensured that I would have to make minimal sacrifices to allow my investment into Vindictive Flame to work. Fire Strike remains mostly maxed out, as do various other RRs and utilities across both masteries.

Devotions are pretty standard and could probably be done better. The system makes my brain hurt and I don’t put too much thought into optimizing it most of the time, to be quite honest. I’m not a deep SR pusher or Celestial farmer at all but this build wipes the floor with everything in the main campaign and with my average farming range of SR 65. I suspect it could be taken to the 70s if I put in the time.

Thanks for reading! Still not the best at posting here so sorry if I was overly wordy without explaining some of my build choices too well. Have a nice day.


Thank you for sharing your build, it always is nice to see how everyone takes a different approach at some builds and GD is the perfect ‘forgiving’ game for that!

One comment (but feel free to ignore it, you play as you want), you have revenant constellation and crown constellation, but the RR skills do not multiply. Additionally you have flat RR on nex and ortus set bonus. Perhaps you could take those out and invest it in eg Yugol for DR.

Oh man you’re right. I always forget about flat RR not stacking like %. Thanks for the suggestion