The Carnival - A Guide to Pets

So, with all the forum changes and stuff, I decided to roll all my builds into a single thread + include guide of sorts and make it a pdf for easier viewing.

First, the link to the guide itself:




List of my best Builds:





A Pic on how I do Crate of Entertainment:

The trick here is to fight the boss where the crates are not. If needed, try to herd the crates somewhere and then lead the boss to an opposite corner and fight him there. Rinse and Repeat as necessary.

Also, make sure not to get stun locked by his meteor shower (well… crate shower, since it spawns crates rather than meteors), since that is more or less a death sentence.

Aether Clusters help tremendously, but do note that their cooldown is fairly long.


Where to Farm:


Shattered Realms –

Ever wondered what do to after hitting level 100 with the budget builds?
The usual response would be to do Skeleton Key Dungeons on Ultimate and maybe Crucible once you can.

But personally, I would advise against all that. Instead, what I find easiest and at the same time efficient is to do Shattered Realms Shards 65-66 on Normal. You do need to grind your way to there first before you can Craft Celestial Waystones and start on Shard 65, but that is a one time thing and we are talking about doing it on Normal difficulty. So that shouldn’t be a problem.

If you are worried about dying, then don’t be. Unless you are playing on Hardcore where death is permanent ofcourse. Because on Normal, even in Shattered Realms, enemies do not heal their health upon your death. It makes the entire thing much easier compared to Skeleton Key Dungeons and the Crucible.

If you are wondering about what the reward looks like, here it is with my Budget Occultist:

If you are wondering what the reward looks like if you cannot complete it in time:

Now, you might be wondering, why 65-66. Why not say 75-76, maybe.
Well, the answer is simple. It is just easier and there isn’t much of a difference interms of reward.



Monster Totems –

I just advised to use the Shattered Realm for Farming.
But what if your build isn’t strong enough yet? Or what if you find it boring or taking too long or are simply not interested in it?

Fret not, for we have Monster Totems as an alternative. Monster Totems are a feature designed to make the Corrupted Shrine mechanic a repeatable experience.

Similar to Corrupted Shrines, Totems can be activated by the player to spawn a wave of enemies. When all monsters have been defeated, the Totem will collapse and explode with loot, and grant Experience points.

Unlike Corrupted Shrines, however, the Totems will not grant Devotion Points. Totems can spawn in most areas of Grim Dawn, with locations partially randomized - they will typically spawn in one of three possible places within an area.

And with Pet builds, farming them is easy on any difficulty. While the loot you get from farming these Totems tend to be less than what you get from Shattered Realms, given how easy Totems are, you don’t need to wait till you have a good build to start farming.



Mini-Guide with the most important info Ripped from the full Guide:

How to level

In the guide, you will find build diaries chronicling my journey through the world of Grim Dawn, but I will be writing down a basic Skill & Devotion path here, for you to follow just in case. No information regarding items will be given here though, since that will take too much space.

However do note that it is intended to be used when you have both Ashes of Malmouth and Forgotten Gods expansion or at the very least, Ashes of Malmouth. In other words, it is not for those who only have base game.

Another thing to note is that this section will only contain information on Single Mastery Occultist, Necromancer and Shaman. That way, I can cover pretty much all Viable Pet mastery combinations.

Note that if you find yourself not having the exact number of skill points at particular checkpoints (eg: at level 50), it is because you need to factor in the additional points you get from secret quests in each difficulty.

Now without further delay, let us move onto the stuff you are reading this for, unless you are here for my personal stash of Ice Cream. If that is the case, know that I will defend it with everything I have!

. . . .


We will be focusing on Hellhound, Familiar and Elemental Damage. If you are going for a Conjurer, it is recommended that you put enough points in Shaman early on, to get a 16/16 Briarthorn before going back to focus on the Occultist Side.

If you are going for a Cabalist, it is recommended that you put enough points in Necromancer early on, to get a 16/16 Blight Fiend before going back to focus on the Occultist Side. However, do note that it is optional and not necessary for success.


Purple Crossroads > Shepherd’s Call > Remove Purple
Green Crossroads > Raven > Rhowan’s Crown > Remove Green
Blue Crossroads > Eel > 4 points in Amatok (for Blizzard)
Yellow Crossroads > Tortoise > Remove Yellow
Sailor’s Guide > Crane > Panther > Solemn Watcher
Ishtak + 4 points in Tree of Life (for Healing Rain)


Lvl 10 – 16/16 Familiar, 1/16 Mend Flesh.
Lvl 20 – 16/16 Hellhound, 1/10 Curse of Frailty, 7/10 Vulnerability, 1/16 Blood of Dreeg, 1/12 Storm Spirit.
Lvl 30 – 5/10 Curse of Frailty, 10/10 Vulnerability, 1/12 Ember Claw, 16/16 Blood of Dreeg.
Lvl 40 – 12/12 Lightning Strike, 1/12 Aspect of the Guardian, 7/12 Bonds of Bysmiel.
Lvl 50 – 12/12 Manipulation, 1/12 Infernal Breath.
Lvl 60 – 12/12 Bonds of Bysmiel, 12/12 Possession.
Lvl 70 – 12/12 Storm Spirit, 12/12 Aspect of the Guardian.
Lvl 80 – 12/12 Ember Claw, 12/12 Infernal Breath.
Lvl 90 – 10/10 Curse of Frailty, 16/16 Mend Flesh.
Lvl 94 – Respec as needed, according to the build you are going for.

. . . .


We will be focusing on Skeletons first before respec’ing halfway through, into Blight Fiends & Reap Spirit and then going back to invest points in Skeletons later on. The reason for this is that Skeletons struggle Mid-game and hence the shifting of focus for a bit helps make things a bit easier.

If you are going for a Ritualist, it is recommended that you put enough points in Shaman early on, to get a 16/16 Briarthorn before going back to focus on the Necromancer Side. However, do note that it is optional and not necessary for success. For a Cabalist, starting Occultist first is recommended.


Purple Crossroads > Shepherd’s Call > Remove Purple
Green Crossroads > Raven > Blue Crossroads > Eel
Red Crossroads > Viper > Murmur > Remove Red
Scholar’s Light > Remove Raven > Remove Green
5 points in Manticore (for Acid Spray) > Sailor’s Guide
Yellow Crossroads > Crane > Panther > Stag
Ishtak + 4 points in Tree of Life (for Healing Rain)


Lvl 10 – 16/16 Raise Skeletons, 1/12 Undead Legion.
Lvl 20 – 14/16 Summon Blight Fiend, 12/12 Undead Legion, 1/16 Ravenous Earth (RE).
Lvl 30 – 16/16 Summon blight Fiend, 12/12 Rotting Fumes, 6/12 Will of the Crypt.
Lvl 40 – Remove points from RE, Raise Skeletons and its nodes, 12/12 Blight Burst, 1/1 Unstable Anomaly, 16/16 Reap Spirit, 11/12 Master of Death.
Lvl 50 – 1/12 Spectral Binding, 1/10 Spectral Wrath, 16/16 Raise Skeletons, 1/12 Undead Legion.
Lvl 60 – 12/12 Master of Death, 12/12 Undead Legion, 8/10 Spectral Wrath.
Lvl 70 – 10/10 Spectral Wrath, 12/12 Will of the Crypt, 8/10 Call of the Grave.
Lvl 80 – 10/10 Call of the Grave, 10/10 Mark of Torment, 1/16 Bone Harvest, 1/12 Dread, 6/12 Soul Harvest.
Lvl 90 – 12/12 Soul Harvest, 1/16 RE, 12/12 Decay.
Lvl 94 – Respec as needed, according to the build you are going for.

. . . .


First things first, let me say that I am not a big fan of focusing on Shaman early on while leveling and rather take it as a support mastery. For a Conjurer, starting Occultist first is recommended and for a Ritualist, I prefer to start with Necromancer. The reason is that Shaman only gets 1 permanent Pet and also forces you to focus on physical / bleed unless you get damage conversion for your pets.

Because of those reasons, it is also highly recommended to get as many item based pets as possible (like Og’Napesh, Hysteria / Savage Relic Pets, etc) and farm up a Korvaak’s Burning-Blade (Forgotten Gods DLC content) with a 100% physical to fire conversion for pets, as soon as you can.

Also, Shaman doesn’t really have many useful skills to invest points into if you are going for a pet build. So, at a certain point, you will find yourself with more skill points than you actually need as a solo - Shaman build. Feel free to take up a second mastery at this point or if you wish to stay as a single mastery build, you can invest them in the likes of “Tenacity of the Boar” or any other filler skills.

Also note that the skill and devotion setup we are going for here assumes that you have multiple item based pets to bind devotion procs to and that you have a Korvaak’s Burning-Blade for damage conversion of pets from physical to fire. You can also go for an Ishtak & Tree of Life based devotion setup, but I wanted to show an alternate path you can follow, especially as a Pet Shaman or Bleed based Pet builds in general.


Purple Crossroads > Shepherd’s Crook > Remove Purple >
Falcon > Nighttalon > Green Crossroads > Red Crossroads >
Huntress > Yellow Crossroads > Stag > Panther >
Staff of Rattosh > Remove Panther > Remove Green >
Remove Red > Raven > Bysmiel’s Bonds > Typhos >
Remove Yellow > Mogdrogen the Wolf >
Behemoth (3 points for Giant’s Blood)


Lvl 10 – 16/16 Summon Briarthorn, 5/16 Devouring Swarm.
Lvl 20 – 16/16 Devouring Swarm, 9/12 Ground Slam.
Lvl 30 – 12/12 Ground Slam, 7/12 Emboldening Presence.
Lvl 40 – 12/12 Emboldening Presence, 12/12 Mogdrogen’s Pact, 12/12 Wendigo Totem, 1/12 Grasping Vines.
Lvl 50 – 1/10 Oak Skin, 12/12 Primal Bond, 12/12 Conjure Primal Spirit, 6/12 Wendigo Totem (-6 points).
Lvl 60 – 12/12 Wendigo Totem, 1/16 Wind Devil, 12/12 Raging Tempest.
Lvl 70 – 10/10 Oak Skin, 10/10 Heart of the Wild.
Lvl 80 – 12/12 Blood Pact, 1/12 Maelstrom, 1/16 Savagery, 5/12 Tenacity of the Boar.
Lvl 90 – 12/12 Tenacity of the Boar, 1/12 Storm Touched, Free Skill Points.
Lvl 94 – Respec as needed, according to the build you are going for.

. . . .





Everything into Physique, except for when you need to invest into Cunning or Spirit to meet the required stats for equipping items.



Items :

What items you may find on your journey through the world of Grim Dawn is something neither of us can predict. The future is uncertain and so we shall simply manipulate it to our advantage rather than waste time trying to prophesize it.

And so, we will focus on what you are guaranteed to find and ignore chance. For example, Fettan Mask is an Epic level Head Armor that provides +1 to all skills. It can be found inside an Urn Cluster near the Maw of Apesh, in a secret area of the Korvan Sands, west of the Riftgate. But when it does come to chance, there are certain guidelines you can follow.

o. Resistances are important. That of the summoner and that of the minions.

o. Anything that improves the Pets in any way or form is good.

o. Anything that provides extra Pets is also good.

o. Anything that provides “+# to Skills” is also good.

o. Anything that Converts Pet damage into the intended type is great.

o. Since the summoner will not be fighting alongside their minions, anything that only improves offensive capabilities for the summoner is bad and should be avoided.

Early Monster Infrequents (MIs) to look out for:

Korvaak’s Burning-Blade (Weapon) [Elemental Pet builds]

Salazar’s Sovereign Blade (Weapon) [General Use]

Warden’s Judgment (Weapon) [General Use / Skeleton Pet builds]

Scorpius Pummeler (Weapon) [Poison Pet builds]

Bargoll’s Core (Weapon) [Cabalists]

Bloodsworn Codex (Off-Hand) [Briarthorn]

Bound Wraith (Off-Hand) [General Use / Primal Spirit]

Bloodsworn Signet (Jewelry - Ring) [General Use]

Wendigo Gaze (Jewelry – Medal) [General Use / Briarthorn]

Bysmiel-Sect Legguards (Pants) [General Use]

Chosen Visage (Helmet) [Occultist]

Spectral Crown (Helmet) [Necromancer / Skeleton Pet builds]

Ascendant Cowl (Helmet) [Briarthorn]

Zaria’s Pendant (Amulet) [Briarthorn / Hellhound / General Use]

Halion’s Crest (Medal) [General Use / Hellhound / Primal Spirit]

Some low level components to look out for:

Wardstone, Aether Soul & Black Tallow - Amulets & Medals

Soul Shard - Rings, Amulets & Medals

Imbued Silver & Purified Salt - Weapons & Off-Hands

Silk Swatch - Shoulder, Chest & Leg Armor

Runestone - Head Armor

Antivenom Salve, Dense Fur, Rigid Shell & Molten Skin - Armor

What stats to look for in Items:

One of the frequently asked questions I come across is about which stats to prioritize when it comes to deciding between 2 items and choosing which to keep and which to discard. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to that. It depends upon what you have, what you don’t have & what you need. And yes, I know that for someone just starting out, that is not exactly helpful either.

So instead, I will answer the question like this;

  • Prioritize the Summoner’s Defenses first and foremost. The reason is that if your pets die, they can be resummoned. If they are not doing much damage, it only results in taking longer to kill stuff. But no amount of pet survivability or damage will matter if their Master has a hard time Surviving. Also, since pets will be doing all the damage, Offensive Stats for the Summoner is not needed.

  • So, going by above, you should be looking for Resistances, Defensive Ability, Health & Armor (with decent Armor Absorption too).

  • Once the Summoner has enough to Survive without trouble, you should look towards your pets. Here too, your priority should be Defenses first. But for pets, that comes from Resistances. So the rest of the defensive stats can be ignored without consequence.

  • Then comes Pet Damage, Speed, Offensive Ability & Critical Damage.

  • One more thing to keep in mind is that certain items provide damage conversions for your pets, either globally which affects all your pets, or to a particular pet. Depending on your build, specific items that fall into this category might prove either useful or harmful (if the damage conversion is undesired or conflicting). So this should never be ignored.

Now while all that should prove to be a decent enough guideline to follow, there are still a few issues with that answer.

For example, you almost always want extra Pets over everything else as one of the strengths of Pet builds lie in their numbers.

But things are seldom that easy. See, Quantity without Quality is worthless. So numbers alone aren’t enough. You need those Pets to be Individually Strong too. And that means you need +X to Skills, for no realistic amount of stats from items will compare to maxing out the Pet and its respective Skills.

Also, Pet builds tend to be Skill Point heavy. So you need every single extra point you can get so that you don’t need to make compromises and cut corners. But still, if all those pets have zero resistances then they are going to get shredded like paper.

So the trick is to find the Balance between everything. Fortunately, Grim Dawn can be rather forgiving when it comes to making mistakes and Respec’ing is rather cheap and easy provided you do not overdo it like crazy.

So in the end, do not be afraid to experiment. After all, that is half the fun and fiddling about until you find a build that feels perfect for you can be quite rewarding.



Faction choices:

Ally yourself with The Outcast (Anasteria) and with Barrowholm. The Rest don’t matter as Kymon’s vs Vigil is irrelevant and you can go with any of the Witch God Cults as choosing one does not lock you out of the other two.

Pet Stance:

Most pets have three stances; Normal, Defensive & Aggressive. To toggle it, right click on the pet health bar, on the top left, after summoning it. The default stance is Normal. If you want to use a different stance, you have to set it manually for every pet you have and re-set it each game session. I prefer to put everything on Aggressive since the “Leash” range on pets is otherwise too short. You can experiment with it to see which works best for you. Note that for pets that do not display a portrait with health bar, you cannot manually set their stances.



Recommended Stats for Endgame –

  • For Pets, this is what I personally like:

150%+ HP
1000%+ Total dmg
90%+ attack speed
50%+ cast speed
100%+ Crit dmg
40%+ OA

  • As for the player:

2600+ DA, Capped primary resistances, 40%+ Phys res.
You can get by without overcapping Aether/Chaos and without focusing on armor.

But ofcourse, builds vary a lot and the required amount of stats and how much you can actually get depends on your build and what your goals are. The above should still be a decent amount to aim for, however.




If you want Pet builds without going for a Pet Class:


Classless Pet build: The Fat Fwuffy - Classless Pet Build



Hybrid Pet/Player builds:





Older Carnival PDF Guide


I find google drive useful for that, just create “shared link” to the file and if someone clicks on that link they will be able to download it. Like my fire paladin guide :


Need a google account for that. I have taken a vow never to make one ever since they added the phone verification requirement. I had an older account but ended up losing it somehow.

But yeah, war with google acounts :stuck_out_tongue:

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Dropbox is nice too but it costs money.
I think looks nice too.

EDIT: I saw you added more links now, great!

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You forgot about swarmy bois :worried:

Very impressive work though, I admit I didn’t know a few things before.

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Dropbox is just as ‘free’.

Dropbox Help Article

To prevent abuse, Dropbox accounts have the following limits:

  • Basic (free) accounts: 20 GB of bandwidth and 100,000 downloads per day
  • Plus, Professional, and Business accounts: 200 GB and unlimited downloads per day

If it’s bandwidth you’re concerned about I think a GD pet .pdf isn’t
in any danger of exceeding 20GB’s of bandwidth in a day.

As far as ‘storage size’ is concerned, I suspect Dropbox is in the
same ballpark (2GB’s?) as your WeTransfer. One isn’t anymore
‘free’ than the other from what I can see.

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I didn’t exactly forget :stuck_out_tongue:, I didn’t include it for the same reason I didn’t include things like Webweavers. That you need to attack to summon them. Not really hard when You have things like Curse of Frailty, but I would then have to add in the rest of item based pets.

Hence the thing about “without requiring any special conditions”. Exceptions only made for Eldritch Hound and Reap Sprit because Devotion pet and Mastery one.

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Updated some stuff. Skills section done. Build Dairy in the works. :cow:

Also, if you have something particular in mind that you’d like to see in the guide, let me know.

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That is of course true, the basic dropbox is free. Thanks for pointing that out!

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I can’t seem to pass the human verification on DropBox apparently…

Will get someone else to do it for me :joy:

EDIT: Nvm, it asks me to install it first before I can use it. No Dropbox links then :rage:

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Impressive writing !

I find reliable host, I’ve used it for > 10 years, all links are stil alive after that

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Ty ty :heart:

As for mediafire, that captcha thing though…

(I have a hard time with those, I am starting to think I am not human)

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That’s kinda funny 'cuz I have -


- as my wallpaper right now :scorv::scorv:


An accurate portrayal of me when I am met with those image Captcha things :space_invader:




Linked every single one of my FG Pet builds to the OP :yum: