The Carnival - A Guide to Pets

Cross posting from my Fluffy Squishy thread, just incase:

Do note that the stunts where Shepherd’s Crook is not taken on a Pet build were performed by a trained professional Ice Cream eater and should not be attempted in your kitchen or anywhere else while making your own pet builds.

Online and Downloadable Guides updated.

  • Added mention about Benevald having Empowered Black Grimoire of Og’napesh recipe (Thanks to @coredumperror)

  • Fluffy Squishy link in the PDF updated.

  • Decided to remove Solo Mastery endgame GT links from the PDF guide since they haven’t been tested or updated in a long time.

hi maya, thanks to your guide i was able to learn a LOT from grim dawn (first build ever), but i transitioned from SC to HC, so i was wondering which pet build is the tankiest? doesnt need to be full damage, i just dont wanna die lmao. thank you so much for this guide

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The Fluffy Squishy - Pet Conjurer - definitely the Fluffy Squishy.

While its name might make it seem, well… squishy, the name actually comes from the fact that it used to have Heart of the Mountain amulet’s Chillmane Pet, once upon a time. And I had always found Chillmane to be rather huggable and squishable fluffy thingy…

And when the build changed into a Familiar based one, the name still stayed. It is currently the most defensive oriented pet build that I have atm and very few things should even come close to killing you once you complete it :sunglasses:

So… which build has the best balance of maximum number of pets and effectiveness?

Number isn’t the best way to go about things. But if you want an army, strangely enough I wouldn’t recommend any of my pet builds and instead direct you to: [] KaosKats V2 Taking pets to the Darkside || EVERYTHING+++ 5.37 Cruci ||

You get to play with a mini Zoo while piloting one of the most powerful Pet builds in existence as of now.


Hi Maya,

First off, thanks for the guide, I’m new to the game and it’s been helpful for me both for leveling and as I get towards endgame (currently level 89 ritualist). I have a mechanics question that I’m hoping you know the answer to. I’ve been lucky enough to find a mythical bonescavenger’s deathgrips (which your build uses) as well as a mythical black scourge (which you don’t use). Both of those items have abilities that summon pets and trigger on enemy death, and I’m trying to understand how those triggers work. The wording of XX% chance on enemy death makes me think it would work if any enemy nearby dies, but the description texts say things like “recent kill by your hand” which makes me think that my player character needs to land the final blow, rather than my pets. The latter also seems to be consistent with my play experience, as I’m not noticing these special summons appearing (although admittedly, I’m still running 9 skeletons so it’s hard to tell which of my pets are what). Do you know what determines whether these “on enemy death” abilities trigger, and if they won’t work when my pets get kills is there any good way for me to get the killing blow for these triggers?


I am not Maya but will take a stab and say the proc works only if you score a kill and not the pets. Most procs work in this fashion, like critical hit or on attack.

Btw I am interested, do you keep Skeletons alive easy in ultimate and what do you think about Blight Fiends. If you happen to farm Ghol set in future, you can make your Ritualist dope.


Wait, I’m confused.

Why wouldn’t you want numbers?

I believe you, seeing as though you’re Maya, but I don’t understand.

Is it because too many pets splits your damage types too much? Or is it just too hard to keep them all up and fighting?

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Quality over quantity.

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I think you are right on the procs now that I’ve played with them a little more. That’s really too bad I was hoping for those extra pets and the -resists from black scourge.

As for keeping skellies alive in ultimate, I’ve had issues here and there but have mostly been able to solve them with build tweaks and the occassional need to micro them out of ground AoEs. I do have value points in both blight fiend and briarthorn to take some of the aggro, as well as primal spirit for an extra reasonably strong pet. Here’s my current setup:

I also am still doing the story on ultimate so I haven’t gotten to the real endgame stuff yet. I expect pet survivability will drop off significantly at that point. Also worth noting I’m playing coop with a friend playing an aether beam spellbinder, and he’s taking ill omen and spectral wrath, which frees up some skill points for me (my understanding is that those debuffs do not stack if we both have them).


First of all welcome to the forums and glad to hear that my guide has been useful :blush:

As for your question, apologies for the late reply, but as @Nery said and you yourself seem to have found out, “trigger on enemy death” only applies when you, the player score the killing blow.

However, if you must, you can proc them with a decent amount of success against weaker enemies if you have sufficiently level’ed Reap Spirit, since it also acts as a semi nuke due to the Spell component. While in a Pet build that won’t amount to much actual damage, you could still score a kill or 2 here and there if you focus on doing so.

But mostly it is not reliable and is more of a novelty :frowning:

As @Vinmar59 said, Quality over Quantity.

Now if you can get the numbers in and make all your pets strong individually, then there is no reason not to.

But that usually requires specific builds and most probably with Green (MI) items that I have come to avoid using in my builds. Not that there is anything wrong with using them, but everyone wanted builds without them to make it easier to farm the items without worrying about particular affixes.

Pet builds tend to be notoriously skill point hungry. And if you spread yourself too thin, you risk getting your entire army wiped out by a few AoE’s against stronger enemies.

Another albeit a personal aspect to this is that I don’t like to have too many buttons and like to keep them to a minimum. More pets = more buttons to keep track of and my motto is “Laziness is Love, Laziness is Life”
(You can also replace “Laziness” with “Pets” instead :stuck_out_tongue:)

So, all the above reasons combined, I tend to favour focusing on a few pets and go all in on them, making them as strong as possible and using that to overcome the lack of numbers.

But that is not without its downsides. While it provides more QoL and also enables me to beef everything up to be rather tanky, it comes at the cost of sheer damage.

Pet builds benefit more from Flat Dmg sources since it is multiplied by the number of pets. So if you can fit in a lot of damage and also a good number of pets, that will indeed be better provided you can keep them alive and also pilot well enough.

So it is more of a question of personal preference than anything.

…That and Callagadra doesn’t care for how many pets you have. It will wipe your entire army in a second. And I have declared that to be a personal enemy of mine and build around it these days. So having few but individually powerful pets gets me better kill times against Cally.


In the Necromancer leveling , i don’t get why should Remove the points from Skeletons and it’s nodes … at level 40 … then to Respec again into Skeleton at 50 ? why not just keep them ?

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Oh i see , i am playing with Duo so i don’t think i need the respec i can keep the Skeletons til later

Just another quick question , while leveling should i max the skill 1st then putting points into mastery bar when i need a new skill ?
or go like 2 points into the skill i need to max then 1 point into mastery bar ?

For Pet builds, Never put points into the mastery bar unless absolutely necessary.

For non Pet builds it works because you benefit from the raw stats that the mastery bar provides. With Pets, they are your bread and butter, your sword and shield. So beefing up the player (atleast by investing in the mastery bar) does nothing and only wastes points that could have been spent elsewhere.


Hey Maya.
First of all, i guess thanks for sharing your knowledge and spending time with that.

I’d like to ask if you could check my Character rq and maybe help me designing it more in the way to survive harder bosses on ultimate? I started to struggle first when i met Boris -_-

Ofc i know i have some lacks on resistances, but so far imo most enemies are no threat for me, i can even work around the lack of piercing resistance in most cases. When i tried to swap some augments for more resistances i felt i lost waaaay too much health.
I’m aiming on as much flat +dmg for pets so far, doing a good job for me so far. Bad thing would be, i can’t seem to find a way to see actual flat pet damage ;(

btw: I picked up doom bolt while leveling, and would rather swap to Reap Spirit. Also, i think i would rearrange some points from my Blight Fiend to Blood of Dreeg, for the extra flat Poison (or Acid?) damage -> tbh couldn’t be bothered so far to do it :smiley:
on another note im more or less playing SSF so my Itempool may leak alot.

Thanks in advance and sorry if you have answered it somewhere before. I LOVE to play somewhat complex mechanics ARPG’s without relying on a build and stuff :3

nearly forgot this lol

looked through the items i found yesterday, looks somewhat better to me

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I wonder if somebody has tried something similar, now that both Briarthorns AND Primal Spirit do full cold (Mythical Heart of the Mountain could be an option too if only all pets’ physical damage was converted to cold).

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First of all, welcome to the forums :blush:

Now, looking at the Grimtools links, you don’t seem to have put any augments on any of your gear. If you haven’t got enough reputation with the factions for it, I’d recommend grinding faction reputation in Elite if you can.

Pierce res is indeed your major problem atm and that Aether/Chaos res will also create issues.

You can keep your current components for now if you wish though. But unless your resistances are fixed, stacking health won’t do much good.

Now since I have often seen this coming up in Reddit, I must clarify just incase that you can have both components & augments on the same item and you should get both. So for eg: you can have Mark of Mogdrogen Component & Mankind’s Vigil Augment on Boots.

As for flat pet damage, unfortunately you need to manually calculate it :frowning:
No way around that ingame or in GT.

As for the rest of your build, if I start to tinker with it, the first thing I’d do is remove Skeletons. Mostly because I absolutely hate them. So I am going to refrain from makes suggestions skill wise :yum:

I was tinkering with a Cold Pet build, but it never actually got beyond the conceptual stage. But that was mostly because I just ended up going back to Bleed Briarthorn build.

Cold Beastcaller Briarthorns should definitely work well and would love to see the results if you are willing to test it :blush: