TPOM's Grimarillion Build Compendium, Featuring Pets


Attention all citizens of Cairn!
For all pet lovers, it’s a day of rejoicing!
For the enemies of Cairn, THE DAY OF REKTONING IS AT HAND!

To complement my Grimarillion guide, I have been field testing builds that can serve as a jumping point for players who like to see concepts that work before jumping in. As is my style, the theme of this compendium is pets! Pet armies, small companions, debuff pets, and mercenary pets; the more the merrier. I have tested nearly every class and every damage type in an effort to see how certain skills synergize with the generous gift of classes Grimarillion provides us. All in all, I have around 20 builds (thank GDStash for the ability to quickly test certain ideas) that I have outfitted and tested. For those who like to whack enemies themselves and not have minions doing your dirty work, I also have multiple player-scaled pet builds that combine pets with major damage skills; Elemental Seekers, Raise the Dead, and Unknown Soldier can be a lot of fun when you combine them with a player focused build, not to mention the juicy player-scaled pets from the mod classes!

Summoner builds (the ones that are scaled to pet damage) are built differently from standard main skill builds in that in addition to focusing on survivability and resists, you have an additional column for pet stats: pet Health, pet damage, pet Crit, pet Speed, and pet Resists. Neglecting pet stats in favor of player resists leads to Campaign slog where pets have trouble bursting through boss heals. Neglecting pet resists in favor of damage kills off your pets before major damage can be done, leading to the player running like a headless chicken. It is a very delicate balance, but with new pet equipment, much more +All Skills options, and the ability to equip weapon components to jewelry (Imbued Silver and Purified Salt are some of the best components for pet builds - pound for pound - in the game), pet builds are more than capable of handling the extra difficulty Grimmest throws at you.

As I do want to give each and every build its proper explanation, I will order my builds by featuring classes. Grimarillion features multiple classes that give bonuses above and beyond what vanilla Grim Dawn gives us, and their skills are perfectly aligned to provide new pet opportunities, or even take a traditional pet build and take it to heights they have not seen before! The OP will serve as a table to contents - if there’s a build in particular you want to see without going through pages of posts, follow the links in the intro.

So far I have all of my builds parked around Act 4 of Ultimate. Ultimate AoM is a gigantic slog, and getting 20 builds through it is tedious work. My job is to highlight the realm of the possible, but if you would like for me to bring any of my build concepts through the ringer that is called Malmouth, I’ll take the plunge, though it will understandably take me some time to get through it all.

Links to Pet Builds:

Summoner Builds:
Witch Doctor + Storm - Zunimassa’s Elemental Pets
Damage Type: Cold, Lightning
Pets - Tiki Warriors, Burning Dogs, Gargantuan, Summon Wisp

Nature + Riftstalker - Grimarillion’s Witching Hour
Damage Type: Chaos
Pets - Kodama, Summon Wolf, Summon Nymph, Force of Nature, Will of Bysmiel Voidfiends

D3 Necromancer + GD Necromancer - Skeleton Overlord
Damage Type: Aether
Pets - Command Skeletons, Raise Skeletons, Bone Golem with Blood Transmuter, Dirge of Arkovia

Nature + Necrotic - Sapping of the Thorns
Damage Type: Acid + Poison
Pets - Kodama, Thorn Sprites, Summon Nymph, Summon Wolf, Force of Nature, Poison Blight

Nature + Arcanist - Devotees to the Morning Sun
Damage Type: Elemental
Pets - Kodama, Summon Wolf, Summon Nymph, Force of Nature, Primal Instinct

Rogue + Nature - Vats of Pure Poison
Damage Type: Acid
Pets - Kodoma, Summon Wolf, Summon Nymph, Force of Nature, Primal Instinct

Hybrid Builds:
Riftstalker + Necrotic - Scourges from the Void
Damage Type: Chaos
Pets - Black Scourge (X2), Will of Bysmiel Voidfiends, Raise the Dead

GD Necromancer + Spirit - Dark Divination
Damage Type: Aether, Vitality
Pets - Reap Spirit, Bone Fiend, Lich King, Summon Outrider, Bound Spirits, Soul Prism

Witch Doctor + Occultist - Insect Invasion
Damage Type: Vitality
Pets - Spider Queen, Corpse Spiders, Summon Hellhound, Primal Instinct

Rogue + GD Necromancer - Bright Friends
Damage Type: Vitality
Pets - Summon Blight Fiend

Occultist + Earth - Dracarris Incarnate Embraces Chaos
Damage Type: Chaos
Pets - Summon Core Dweller, Summon Hellhound, Summon Raven, Primal Instinct, Bound Spirits [FG Set-up Only]

Player-scaled Pet Builds:
Champion + Storm - Army for All!
Damage Type: Aether
Pets - Army of None

Outrider + Riftstalker - Turrets of Shrapnel
Damage Type: Pierce
Pets - Arcane Assault I + II, Raise the Dead, Unknown Soldier

GD Necromancer + Terror Knight - Knights out for Blood
Damage Type: Vitality
Pets - Blood Knight Pendant, Soul of Narzan, Raise the Dead, Ethereal Veil

Witch Doctor + Nature - Soul Gatherer of Peace
Damage Type: Cold
Pets - Slaved Soul, Manitou, Kodoma, Ethereal Veil

Demon Hunter + Elementalist - Rain of Beasts
Damage Type: Cold
Pets - Elemental Seekers, Tongue of Flame

Elementalist + Hunting - Apollo’s Hydras
Damage Type: Fire
Pets - Elemental Seekers, Hydra (X2), Spectral Archers, Tongue of Flame, Manitou

Rogue + Outrider - Sentient Eyes
Damage Type: Acid
Pets - Quillthrower of Dreeg, Amulet of Dreeg, Summon Epalios (with Transmuter), Deathstalker

Crusader + Demolitionist - Fervent Holy Warriors
Damage Type: Fire + Lightning
Pets - Phalanx, Heaven’s Fury, Flame Tongue

Crusader + Arcanist - Smiting from the Heavens
Damage Type: Physical
Pets - Heaven’s Fury, Deathstalker

Nightblade + Demon Hunter - Blades from the Shadows
Damage Type: Pierce, Bleeding
Pets - Blade Spirit, Nemesis Relic, Unknown Soldier

Wizard + D3 Necromancer - Black Mirror
Damage Type: Cold
Pets - Mirror Image, Bone Spirit, Hydra, Furies, Ethereal Veil

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First class feature is Storm!

Storm has a huge number of benefits for pet builds as well as players seeking advantages in other ways. Storm has two sources of full damage conversion: 100% Cold to Vitality and 100% Lightning to Aether. Unlike most group damage conversions, these abilities affect pets as well. I would advise against running a pet build with Lightning to Aether conversion because the only group pet that specializes in Lightning [Occultist’s Raven] has a large Electrocute component that can’t be converted and Occultist is much better suited for Elemental than Aether anyway. The Cold to Vitality conversion, however, is a huge gold mine. Necromancer’s Reap Spirit and Bonescavenger Grips both contain pets that have dual Cold and Vitality damage, and converting all of the Cold damage to Vitality turns these pets into powerhouses. Storm also helps pets that primarily deal Physical damage: Storm provides at least 25% Physical to Cold or Lightning damage, assuming you at least soft cap its respective abilities. Cold conversion works wonders with the Winter King sword, and we all know the wrath of Lightning builds with Spark of Ultos and Glyph of Kelphat’Zoth rings. You can even take both skills and combine them with the Black Pendant rings (easily crafted at the Satyr in Devil’s Crossing) to get a full Elemental conversion build focusing on Cold and Lightning. With generous RR in not only Cold and Lightning, but Vitality and Aether as well and you have a wealth of possibilities to choose from.

The Storm Wisp is used largely as a defensive buff-bot. Its damage is Lightning, which helps Lightning pets even more, but its real utility is in its second ability which grants Elemental daamge and a large Elemental damage boost. Unfortunately, it makes the Wisp underwhelming if you’re going for Vitality or Aether, but considering there are already a good number of buffs / passives / RR to invest points into, leaving the Wisp out for these types of builds is not a big deal.

Even if you’re not playing a Summoner build, Storm has multiple passives which will greatly help you out. Storm provides a great Spirit boost for builds seeking an off-hand, and if your build’s main skill consumes a lot of Energy, its passive instantly replenishes part of your Energy once it reaches a threshhold. It’s the equivalent of using a potion without needing to use potions at all! The second ability is nearly just as good, as softcapping it gives you 10% DA as well as 30% Pierce resistance. The bottom skill provides an Energy shield that drastically raises your Elemental resistance on a short-term basis. It’s excellent if you’re going up against enemies that relish in their own RR abilities.

Storm is part of the GQ club, which means that players can roll for +1 to class bonus at the Satyr. If you’re not playing Beastcaller’s Lightning pets, this is a substantial boon as medals amount to a free class skills boost. For nearly all instances where I do a Satyr roll, I prefer the suffix “of the Wild;” Elemental Resistance and DA are highly coveted bonuses even for non-Summoner builds. Of course, with enough rolls, you’ll find a medal that gives you the class bonus and a suffix that sufficiently helps your character.

My builds focus on more interesting aspects, but if you’d like a standard pet build that can easily tear through content, standard pet builds in Vanilla can easily be outfitted to feature the Storm class.

Cold Pets: Nature + Storm: Winter King Sword for 50% conversion, Storm buff for 25% conversion, and 2 Black Pendant Rings to bring the total conversion to 82% Physical to Cold. Frostdread Curiass adds additional flat Cold damage to pets and make sure you craft a medal with Nature prefix to get additional pet %OA.

Lightning Pets: Shaman + Storm: Spark of Ultos for 25% conversion, Storm buff for 25% conversion, and 2 Glyph of Kelphat’Zoth rings to further increase pet Lightning damage. Voidmancer’s Cord is necessary as it provides a chance for huge Lightning damage. Shaman is more suited for this combination as the two rings give bonuses to Primal Spirit and you won’t have the luxury of bonus skill points like you would have with the Black Pendant rings. Nature can do this job as well - use Mantle of the Patron for Shoulder equipment if you’re not using Beastcaller’s.


Build Objective: Turn Witch Doctor and its Zunimassa Set into a veritable horror.

Source of RR:
Flame Wall - 30 flat Elemental RR
Witch Doctor Paranoia - 30 Fire + Cold RR
Storm Finger of Boreas - 30 Cold + Lightning RR
Total RR - 90 Cold RR, 60 Lightning RR

Equipment
Weapon: Kwan Yin’s Mercy or Earth-Shaker
Components: Seal of Might
Off-Hand: Mythical Zunimassa’s String of Skulls
Component: Purified Salt
Head: Mythical Zunimassa’s Helm
Component: Sacred Plating
Shoulders: Mythical Fiendflesh Mantle
Component: Sacred Plating
Hands: Mythical Zunimassa’s Gloves
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Mythical Fiendflesh Greaves
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Mythical Voidmancer’s Cord
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: Mythical Zunimassa’s Chausses
Component: Ancient Armor Plate
Chest Armor: Mythical Zunimassa’s Chest
Component: Living Armor
Amulet: Polaris or Black Pearl Pendant
Component: Aether Soul
Rings: Black Pearl Rings
Components: Royal Topaz + Imbued Silver
Medal: Satyr Craft with +1 to Storm Skills and suffix “of the Wild”
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Bysmiel’s Domination (3% DA bonus)

Devotions
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/w26PBv8Z Mogdrogen + Whirlpool + Rumor (More consistent Pet Speed + RR)
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/gZwPbj8N Ishtak + Tree of Life + Blizzard + Tsunami (More Healing with Regen + Protection against burst damage)
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/DV9XboP2 Ishtak + Tree of Life + Widow (if you want Lightning RR to match Cold RR)

Zunimassa’s Off-hand provides 35% Physical to Elemental conversion for pets, so this build focuses on getting as much Physical conversion as possible. Between 25% Physical to Cold and 25% Physical to Lightning from Storm class, and around 42% Physical to Elemental conversion from dual Black Pendant Rings, you are able to get a great amount of flat damage all focused around Cold / Lightning. Witch Doctor and Storm do have the drawbacks of not matching their RR; Paranoia grants Fire and Cold RR, while Storm grants Cold and Lightning RR. The extra chance for 1,300% Lightning damage easily makes up for the lost RR, and Storm’s conversion gives much more of an emphasis on Cold and Lightning damage, so you are not losing out on too much damage by missing out on Fire RR. Firewall is an excellent debuff, as it provides both damage reduction and flat Elemental RR. Witch Doctor’s weakness- as well as the set’s weakness as a whole- is that there is barely any pet Speed, so Bysmiel’s Domination is the perfect relic to use with this build.

Pierce the Vessel gives you and your pets 25% OA and a 1.25 total damage buff after RR, but it comes at a steep cost of 240 Energy / second. Storm is the perfect class to mitigate this Energy Cost, as it has a passive that drastically increases Energy gain after you drop below 30% Energy. Combined with multiple Energy Regeneration buffs and -Energy Skill costs, you can keep Pierce the Vessel up 100% with no worries of having to sustain yourself with potions. Harp can assist your energy upkeep just by itself, and there are multiple Cold Devotions that can take advantage of your pets’ high Elemental damage.

I’ve done multiple runs using both the Tree of Life set-up and the Mogdrogen set-up. As I’m a stickler for stability, I like the Ishtak set-up slightly better, but both have their uses. A commonly-overlooked feature of Leviathan constellation is the node that grants %Energy and %Energy regeneration, which synergizes perfectly with Pierce the Veil’s high Energy consumption. The Mogdrogen set-up has much less Health regeneration and no Tree of Life proc may hurt when you have 0% Stun Resistance, but with both Fiendflesh pieces giving me 5000 damage absorption apiece, I have not felt any danger that couldn’t be worked around with Witch Doctor’s Heal + 3 sec invincibility. Pets are certainly less sturdy with the Mogdrogen set-up, but since you summon all 4 dogs at once, you can tactictly use the dog’s sacrifice and get your dogs up to speed. I have used the Mogdrogen + Bysmiel combination in other pet builds and I like spacing them to the best of my ability to keep the increased pet speed (40% for Mogdrogen and/or 60% for Bysmiel relic) as consistent as possible.

Build Objective: To make the most of the Champion’s Army of None ability. Full pet uptime and maximum damage by converting most of its damage into one damage type.

Source of RR:
Manticore - 28 flat RR
Storm Finger of Boreas - 30 Aether RR
Champion Aura - 40 Aether RR
Arcane Bomb - 35 Aether RR
Total RR - 133 Aether RR

Equipment
Weapon: Aetherfire Fleshwarped Core with Attack Speed Suffix
Components: Seal of Corruption
Head: Clairvoyant’s Helm
Component: Living Armor
Shoulders: Krieg’s Shoulderguards
Component: Living Armor
Hands: Krieg’s Gloves
Component: Consecrated Wrappings
Feet: Krieg’s Boots
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Phantom-Thread Girdle with +1 to Storm Skills
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: Mythical Chausses of Barbaros
Component: Ancient Armor Plate
Chest Armor: Satyr Craft with +1 to Champion Skills and suffix “of the Flesh Hulk”
Component: Living Armor
Amulet: Necklace of Harmonia
Component: Bloodied Crystal
Rings: Black Pearl Ring + Signet of Hope
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Medal: Satyr Craft with +1 to Champion Skills and suffix “of the Wild”
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Menhir’s Bastion with +1 to Champion Skills

Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/dVbDYy8N

If the previous build attempts to make a hybrid concept work and ends up poorly (compared to my other pet builds), this build does the opposite where not only are your pets player-scaled, but we’re actively building it towards one of its damage types. Army of None is an example of what a proper pet Army looks like: it rewards you for putting as many points in the ability as possible, the cooldown is reasonable and the summon duration really gives you the effect of training a real army. As Champion is a master of on-hit passives, I decided to focus on Aether and get the Time Dilation + Spear devotion combination for even more tanky goodness. Storm’s 100% Lightning to Aether conversion makes the Lightning portion of Army of None easy, while your weapon and components provide a good amount of Physical to Aether conversion.

You can’t spell Sturmkrieger without Krieg, so I went with 3-pc Krieg’s to get the 6% OA. The green weapon is Fleshwarped Core, taken as it has an innate 15% Physical to Aether conversion, so an Aether prefix like Aetherfire gives you a much-desired 50+ Physical to Aether conversion. The chest equipment takes advantage of Satyr crafting to get an additional +1 to Champion skills, but if you are worried about the number of greens, substituting full Krieg’s Set and Mythical Wrathmore / Mythical Soulsplitter for the weapon will suffice just fine.

2H is much preferred over sword and board because not only does Kraken strike again, but Champion’s passives get absolutely crazy if you stuff +All Skills in Champion (definitely go for +All Skills for both the amulet and rings, and go for +1 to Champion skills for the medal). I’m talking massive amounts of Crit damage, racial damage, and on-hit abilities that go for over 500% Weapon Damage if you max them out, so take that 2H and smack those enemies. Storm again is the passive standbyer, taken for the 100% Lightning conversion and the RR, but not much else. Being able to pump so many points into the Champion Mastery allows the duo to stand out much more than a Champion build that has to share most of its points with another class.

Second class feature is Riftstalker!

The above two screenshots sum up Riftstalker’s potential for craziness: when you have a 25% to have your next crit have 150% extra Crit damage, you throw as many bodies at the enemy as possible and have the Crit damage add up. The buff that grants that Crit damage is great on its own, as it grants the player (and pets) flat OA, DA, and Total Speed. In fact, the buff is only one of three abilities that grant Total Speed: Riftward totems + Warp autoattack (if you’re playing a Melee build) also grant Total Speed.

Riftstalker’s damage capabilities are in three damage types: Pierce, Aether, & Chaos. Chaos immediately conjures up images of Witching Hour destruction + Voidwhisper Band, and essentially replaces Occultist as the Chaos pet support of choice (assuming you’re not making use of double Ravens, that is). Aether grants a new world of possibiitiy to pet builds, as there were no ways to give pets Aether damage in the vanilla game; Grimarillion, however, does have a few classes where pets specialize in Aether damage, and I’ll show a brief sample of one in the example builds at the bottom of this post. Pierce damage is essentially limited to player-scaled builds, where the potential for conversion - and with it, the number of pets available to you - is much greater.

Riftward Totems are a treasure of boosts to both player and pets, as for a mere 24 Skill points, you and your pets get the gift of a massive amount of flat damage (75 Chaos damage at 12/12 is the same as Hellfire’s 75 Chaos damage at 22/12), great percentage damage boost (120% at 12/12, 180% if you’re playing Pierce), and Total Speed. These totems are like Wendigo Totems in the sense that they need enemies near it to activate and grant the abilities, so make sure you are built tanky enough to reap the benefits. To compliment the totems is the level 1 skill Detach, which grants -34% stackable RR to the three damage types at 12/12. At Mastery level 40 is a great passive that grants Aether + Chaos resistance; there is nothing that pet builds need at Mastery level 50, which grants the player necessary skill points to invest in the other class.

Zenith classes - thanks to the wonderful Grimarillion devs - are represented in the Satyr craft, and you can craft jewelry + Chest piece that grants +1 to Riftstalker. The bonus that comes with the craft? CDR! That’s right, CDR - one of the most highly sought-out bonuses to get - is packaged with the Riftstalker class, which means you can stuff even more CDR in your rings + medals that you couldn’t get in Vanilla. You thought the fun ended there? The Zenith mod - crafted by Ceno - stuffed additional bonuses in Mastery leveling, and no points for guessing that Riftstalker grants even more CDR just by leveling your character. Just by getting to level 40 Mastery and making one Satyr craft with + Riftstalker skills and you have as much CDR as an off-hand. If your other class has a main-skill nuke that does major damage in one of these three types and has a long cooldown, Riftstalker is sure to help that class enormously.

An example build template to follow for easy playing is Riftstalker + D3 Necromancer. D3 Necromancer has a Level 50 buff that gives pets 100% Physical to Aether conversion, and Riftstalker compliments the pets wonderfully through the above skills. D3 Necro has Frailty to provide flat RR, so you have the freedom to build around Aether damage as you’d like. 2-pc Rathma set grants your pets 100% to all damage and 20% Crit damage. I’d probably go Chest and gloves as the Chest piece gives you 5% DA and there’s not nearly as much competition for pet builds in the glove department. Shoulders and Boots can be Fiendflesh for the nice damage absorption, Head is Beastcaller’s Cowl as the Physical damage is converted. For relic I’d go with Menhir’s Bastion for the nice AoE Heal + flat damage boost. Amulet, Rings, and Weapon I’d go all out and get as many +All Skills as you can get while maintaining your resistances, as the amount of Skeletons you get increases while overcapping the skill. Medal I’d go for either Satyr craft with Riftstalker bonus or Mythical Combat Medic’s Mark depending on whether I think the pets need more heals or not.

Devotion Set-up for Riftstalker / D3 Necro Aether pets

I’d highly recommend the above devotion set-up as you get Tree of Life for healing you and your pets, Ishtak for survivability and flat Physical damage (and the CDR you have lets you proc this often), and a good smattering of Health, DA, and resistances so you can breathe a bit easier with your equipment.

Flat damage, Total Speed, Flat OA, great RR, a passive that grants rare resistances (including Stun resistance), passive CDR just by leveling the Mastery and the chance to get massive Crit damage, all within a reasonable amount of skill point allocation? Let’s get some pets and blow this baby wide open.

Build Objective: Make the best use of GQ Witching Hour and it’s +2 to Nature skills

Sources of RR:
Witching Hour - 24 flat RR
Detach - 34 Chaos RR
Eldritch Fire - 35 Chaos RR
Symbol of Solael - 10 Chaos RR
Total RR - 103 Chaos RR

Equipment
Weapon: Witching Hour with +2 to Nature Skills
Components: Symbol of Solael
Head: Mythical Beastcaller’s Helm
Component: Eldritch Mirror
Shoulders: Mythical Rathma’s Spikes
Component: Sacred Plating
Hands: Mythical Rathma’s Macabre Vambraces
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Stonehide Stoneplate Greaves of Kings
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Mythical Shadowfiend’s Cord
Component: Spellscorched Plating
Pants: Mythical Chausses of Barbaros
Component: Silk Swatch
Chest Armor: Mythical Fiendmaster Raiment
Component: Titan Plating
Amulet: Will of Bysmiel
Component: Aether Soul
Rings: Mythical Voidwhisper Band + Eurydice’s Wedding Band
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Medal: Satyr Craft with +1 to Nature Skills and suffix “of the Wild”
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Bysmiel’s Domination with 3% DA bonus

Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62a41mbN

This build is the Grimarillion equivalent of the Witching Hour Conjurer; similar number of pets and piles of flat damage, but Riftstalker brings a variety of different perks to a Chaos build compared to the Occultist, including more RR, better passives, and free CDR. Combining the 25% of 150% Crit Damage with Hungering Void is nearly unfair, but who lets fairness be the judge of anything? Equipment is standard stuff - Beastcaller’s Helm for Call of the Beast, regular Will of Bysmiel for Voidfiend pets, Voidwhisper rings for conversion, 2-piece Rathma for over 25% Crit damage, and Barbaros pants + “of Kings” boots for for maximum Battle Cry uptime (if you are turned off by MIs, switch pants, boots, and even belt if you need to cover resistances. Your pets have plenty of OA so no worries about losing too much damage). The devotion set-up is nothing people who play Witching Hour pet builds haven’t seen before; even though we have Refresh, we take Time Dilation to ensure we get maximum Voidfiend uptime. Before anyone asks: no, Time Dilation does not lower the cooldown of Refresh, so it doesn’t matter which order you cast them. Bysmiel’s Domination is taken over Primal Instinct because the faster your pets hit, the more chances for crazy Crit damage. With over 400 flat OA and 75% pet OA, your pets will crit often.

Only source of healing is Nature’s Briar patch, but this build packs so much heat that it’s rare that you will lose your pets often. Having great CDR + Refresh + Time Dilation ensures maximum pet uptime, so having more squishy pets isn’t a concern for me. Make sure you use all your debuff and RR skills, and make sure you use your pet buffs when your have conversion proc ready. Otherwise, this build is not much different from a vanilla pet build, so there’s little else I can add.

Build Objective: To reliably summon Black Scourge on Enemy Death and give them enough oomph that they can feel like a viable addition to the build.

Source of RR:
Manticore - 28 flat RR
Detach - 34 Chaos RR
Primordial Transfer - 20 Chaos RR
Eldritch Fire - 35 Chaos RR
Symbol of Solael - 10 Chaos RR
Total RR - 117 Chaos RR

Equipment

Grimtools below has almost everything covered for equipment. The only things missing are Persephone’s Ring & Eurydice’s Wedding Band for rings and Royal Diamond for amulet component. The rings are taken for the extra DA and Elemental Resistance - both rings definitely need Elemental Resistance, as can be seen by the amulet component selection.

Equipment and Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RZRGoP9N

A Mastery with innate CDR alongside a Mastery with innate ADCTH: combine the two and you have all of Cairn’s power in your hands. Necrotic’s innate ACDTH is pretty crazy; even at only 40 Mastery, it has 24% which is more than most builds get with full emphasis on leeching. I decided to take full advantage of this by using a main skill that emphasizes Weapon Damage: Warp. Warp is a Shadow-Strike like skill that hits with 150% Weapond Damage with both weapons and has no Cooldown, so the lack of initial Attack Speed is hardly relevant. Warp also comes with a nice %All Damage and flat Aether damage boost, and with Riftstalker’s innate Aether to Chaos conversion, you get full benefits of using it. The Aether to Chaos conversion is also why I took Raise the Dead constellation - I bound it to Warp to ensure that they will rise as you’re in the heat of battle. Dying God’s Health drain is no issue with as much ACDTH as you have, but make sure you’re only using it if you have a lot of enemies to replenish your Health; otherwise it will be a mere Constitution drain.

Necrotic class is mainly taken for its ADCTH, but it also has multiple great passives worth taking up. Situational Awareness grants the player 15% CDR at softcap. Foreknowledge gives the player 100% All damage and flat OA at softcap. Unadulterated Power gives over 100% Chaos damage, 4% OA, and 15% Physical damage converted to Chaos, making good use of the flat Physical damage from Beastcaller’s Helm. Necrotic Shade doesn’t just give 15% Physical Resistance, it gives 21% Armor Absorption as well. All this, for much fewer skill point investment than the Occultist example shown in the Grimtools.

Now for pets: Black Scourge is an item that really is only worth investing in if you can dual-wield it to get double the pets on death. The scourges are not strong enough to take out enemies with only one scepter, but having two gives it more of a Chaos killer type of deal. Riftward totems grant total speed for you and your pets; add Beastcaller’s helm and Bysmiel’s Domination in the mix and your pets will be plenty charged to take advantage of the 25% of 150% Crit damage. Regular Will of Bysmiel Voidfiends are here to join in the party again.

To show how much both player and pets benefit from the mutual equipment and devotions:

  • Riftward Totem: 63 flat Chaos damage, 120% Chaos damage, 15% Total Speed
  • Call of the Beast: 250% to All Damage, 30% Attack Speed
  • Inhuman Reflexes: 176 flat OA, 16% Total Speed, 25% to get 150% Crit Damage
  • Battlecry (from Barbaros Pants and “of Kings” boots): 150% to All Damage and 10% Total Speed
  • Hungering Void: 289% Chaos Damage, 40% Crit Damage, 10% Total Speed and even more for pets
  • Bysmiel’s Domination: flat Chaos damage and 30% Physical Resistance for the player + flat Chaos damage, 200% to All Damage, and 60% Total Speed for pets

If you’re looking to make a similar build that’s not a meme, you can always replace the Black Scourge scepters with Fangs of Chthon and replace the pet gear with Chaos gear; 100% Pierce and Aether to Chaos will load up in flat damage, and the amount of ACDTH you’ll have is nothing short of bonkers.

Build Objective: Use the Riftstalker + Outrider combination skill to summon maximum Riftward totems. Thanks to conversion, this build maximizes the player-scaled pets from the Devotion map.

Sources of RR:
Blessed Steel - 18 flat RR
Detach - 36 Pierce RR
Rimetongue Amulet + Bladetwister Ring - 20 Pierce RR
Assassin’s Blade - 32 Pierce RR
Total RR - 104 Pierce RR

Equipment
Weapon: Mythical Silverbolt
Components: Seal of Blades
Head: Mythical Valdun’s Hat
Component: Living Armor
Shoulders: Rimetongue Shoulderguard
Component: Living Armor
Hands: The Shadow’s Grasp
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: The Shadow’s Heels
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Mythical Pack of Treacherous Means
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: The Shadow’s Coils
Component: Scaled Hide
Chest Armor: Mythical Valdun’s Jacket
Component: Royal Amethyst
Amulet: Rimetongue Pendant
Component: Blessed Steel
Rings: Bladetwister Signet + Eurydice’s Wedding Band
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Medal: Satyr Craft with +1 to Outrider Skills and suffix “of Shadows”
Component: Tainted Heart
Relic: Effigy of the Panther with 3% OA bonus (The screenshot currently has the 3% DA bonus, but you’ll likely benefit more from the %OA bonus)

Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrqDe1V

Silverbolt was the original “+2 to all Skills” weapon, and it’s nice that old weapons have the versatility to flourish in Grimarillion. Valdun’s Hat and Chest each give passive bonuses for 2H ranged weapons, and the 2-pc Valdun bonus and Rimetongue amulet boost the weapon’s Armor piercing in order to maximize the Pierce damage coming from conversion. Mythical Pack of Treacherous Means gives us a triple bonus; the Acid and Elemental bonuses are nice enough, but it also comes with an additional 2H ranged passive bonus. Having 50% Acid and 75% Cold converted to Pierce makes Outrider guns turrets of shrapnel, not to mention the absolutely massive flat damage you get from Outrider’s Engine of War. The devotions are aligned just right in that you can grab both Raise the Dead and Unknown Soldier. Raise the Dead, thankfully, is a universal devotion with ADCTH and racial bonuses, but why take the pets?

Zenith classes - when combined with each other - give access to bonus skills on the bottom left side of the Mastery. Riftstalker and Outrider have a great bonus passive where 100% of Vitality is converted to Pierce when you softcap the skill. The skill also turns the player into a Totem-hoard; 100% chance on hit drops additional Riftward totems that grant extra Pierce damage and Total Speed. If having Acid, Elemental, and Vitality converted to Pierce wasn’t enough, Riftstalker’s passive provides 37% Aether damage converted to Pierce (this number doesn’t change when you add / take away skill points from it, it just stays at 37%. Sounds like a bug to me). Combine Riftstalker’s totems with Outrider’s 2H ranged passives and speed boost, and you are capable of sending a sea of arrows into anyone who dares stand in your way.

Healing comes from Outrider’s Pneumatic Surge (level 40 Mastery), 18% ACDTH (with nearly capped Attack Speed before Battle Scene / Calculated Assault), fully Pierce Bat devotion, and 2 circuit breakers in Ghoul and Outrider’s Ravek’s Will. Between Outrider’s passive Heightened Reflexes and Riftstalker’s passive CDR, you’re looking at 35% CDR, which is amazing for getting abilities done in quick succession. Effigy of the Panther is a new relic from the Satyr - although it’s listed as an Empowered Relic, the requirements are fully in line with a Mythical Relic. Not only does it grant 5% Physical Resistance (which both classes sadly lack), but it gives you a 3-target AoE attack with 400% Weapon Damage and full Armor Piercing. My relic bonus is %DA because I typically default to it, so if you get a %OA one, your stats will look slightly different from mine.

Third Class Feature is Grim Dawn’s Vanilla Necromancer!

Introduced in the expansion Ashes of Malmouth, Necromancer is touted as one of the most powerful classes in the vanilla game. A high-weapon damage ability in Bone Harvest that comes with a temporary flat damage buff, a passive RR ability with a great OA buff in Spectral Binding + Spectral Wrath, tankiness in the form of Ravenous Earth + Mark of Torment, it’s been seen in the center of many destructive builds. The Blood Knight set was specially designed to bring player-scaled pets into the fray, but Necromancer is - above all - the master of pets!

And pets here are plentiful. Blight Fiends are known for their exceptional AoE abilities and flat DA reduction, Reap Spirit is a great hybrid ability that combines 100% Weapon Damage with 3 Wraiths with Cold + Vitality damage, and the AoM relic Dirge of Arkovia grants us a Skeletal Monstrosity tank pet with a nice trap ability and Physical + Vitality damage. The pets that grant the title of one of the best builds in the game, however, is Skeleton pets. The ability to have 10 Skeletons at once does not only multiply all flat damage bonuses ten-fold, but spreads low-cooldown Devotion abilities to a degree most builds don’t have access to. When combined with abilities that AoE packs down to manageable numbers (such as Blight Fiends or Occultist’s Ravens), Skeletons can rip through enemy armies before they have the chance to do anything.

With all this damage potential comes with a steep cost. Necro Skeletons are notoriously fragile and require extensive investment in either resistances or damage mitigation in order to keep them alive against tough enemies. Skeletons are not recommended as a first pet build to take on Grimmest as Hero packs will make quick work of them when early-level gearing does nothing to help pet resistances. No healing abilities make the Necromancer reliant on support classes like Occultist’s Blood of Dreeg or dedicating equipment / Devotion selections on survival to stay alive. Thankfully, the multitude of support classes and new equipment allows the Necro abilities to shine, even in the face of new and difficult adversaries.

The Hybrid Guardian of Death’s Gate build shown in the Storm showcase demonstrates the power of pets who convert 100% Cold to Vitality. I was going to showcase a similar concept with 26/16 Reap Spirit to take advantage of the skill’s Weapon Damage + the power of 2H transmuted Bone Harvest. However, the 1.0.7.0 patch killed the weapon it was built around, rendering the build moot. However, Zantai mentioned changes ready to be applied to various pet items in future patches, and I will be testing them in these pages to demonstrate their worth.


Urobruuk’s Guardian: Resurrect!
Rest of Cairn: ResurREKT!

Build Objective: Raise the best Skeleton Army imaginable!

Sources of RR:
Diviner’s Helm Reap Spirit Modifier - 25 flat RR
Frailty - 30 Aether RR
Spectral Wrath - 35 Aether RR
Arcane Bomb - 35 Aether RR
Total RR - 125 Aether RR

Equipment
Weapon: Mythical Ashbringer
Components: Purified Salt
Head: Diviner’s Mask
Component: Living Armor
Shoulders: Diviner’s Mantle
Component: Living Armor
Hands: Mythical Aethereach
Component: Restless Remains
Feet: Mythical Inarius’ Preserverence
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Mythical Spiritseeker Cord
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: Mythical Golemskin Breeches
Component: Ancient Armor Plate
Chest Armor: Diviner’s Raiment
Component: Living Armor
Amulet: Cerberus’ Collar
Component: Black Tallow
Rings: Wendigo Conjuring Seal + Mythical Spiritbinder Glyph
Components: Wrathstone + Imbued Silver
Medal: Mythical Combat Medic’s Mark
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Kanai’s Cube - Scarlet

Devotions: Ishtak’s Guardians [Currently Shown]
Time Dilation [If you prefer to cycle bursts faster]


Permanent buffs only

Skeletons! This build has been completely revamped from its original state; why settle for 18 Skeletons when you can have over 25! Thanks to the new changes to the Diviner’s Vision set, wearing 3 pieces converts 100% Cold damage to Aether; now we can invest points in Skeleton Archer. Necro and D3 Necro have innate synergy between Commander of the Risen Dead and Master of Death: while one gives large %DA, the other gives nice flat DA, and Commander’s large pet %Health helps keep the frail Skeletons alive. It does come at a cost of converting 100% of pet Physical Damage to Aether damage, but with Necromancer’s passive Aether RR, it’s easy to build around this concept. D3 Skeletons take Aetherfire since all of them are Melee Skeletons, while Necro Skeletons bind Twin Fangs to take advantage of their extra Vitality damage while giving themselves some health in return.

Since the first iteration of this build, Frailty has changed from a flat RR targeted to the mouse to a stackable RR centered on the player. This ends up being a great buff to us as we now use Diviner’s Mask and its flat RR modifier to Reap Spirit.

As Ashbringer is a sword instead of a staff, it does not provide CDR bonuses, so our burst availability is not as potent. Call of the Grave is reduced to a 1-pointer, while Frenzy is still soft-capped as it has much better uptime. One other thing about Ashbringer: it has a Raise the Dead proc, but it procs “10% on Enemy Death.” This has to be a typo; “On Enemy Death” procs only take place when the player kills an enemy (meaning pet kills don’t count), so not only will it rarely happen for the summoner to kill things in a pet build, but have it only happen 10% of the time? I’m guessing you either meant 10% on attack or 100% on Enemy Death.

As neither Necro or D3 Necro have the ability to heal their pets, we go for Tree of Life to give some sort of healing. Since Nature’s Guardians is right around the corner, we take that in addition to the Armor nodes to better bolster ourselves against tough Physical hitters. You might want to bind Nature’s Guardians is bound to Call of the Grave or Frenzy so that it only activates when you’re unleashing against a dangerous foe, but this build is sturdy enough not to worry too much about it. In place of a green medal, we add Combat Medic’s Mark to give extra healing to our pets. If you think your opponent is going to wipe your pets, explode your Blood Golem - Golem with the Vitality transmuter - to heal everything around it, including you.

Thankfully, D3 Necro’s Bone Armor keeps giving extra Physical Resistance after softcapping it, so make sure you invest fully into the skill to get the most out of it. Invest in RE + 12/12 decay for further Damage reduction and a great proc for Shepherd’s Crook.

If anyone was worried about this build causing the game to crash, the Blood Golem transmuter was fixed in Grimarillion version 63.


The build was revamped since the picture was taken, but how often do you see the whole gang bundled together like this?

Build Objective: Make the best use of a Diviner’s Set hybrid possible.

Source of RR:
Diviner’s Set Helmet - 25 flat RR
Ill Omen (Diviner’s Helmet Mod) - 10 Aether RR + 10 Vitality RR
Weapon Proc - 20 Aether RR
Spirit Aura - 26 Aether RR + Vitality RR
Spectral Wrath - 36 Aether RR + Vitality RR
Arcane Bomb - 35 Aether RR
Veilwarden - 25 Vitality RR
Total RR - 142 Aether RR + 112 Vitality RR

Equipment
Weapon: Wrath of the Ascendant with +Spirit Skills with Diviner’s Codex
Components: Seal of Corruption + Seal of Blades
Head: Diviner’s Helm
Component: Sacred Plating
Shoulders: Diviner’s Mantle
Component: Living Armor
Hands: Mythical Bonescavenger’s Grips
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Mythical Greaves of Ill Omen
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Mythical Spiritseeker Cord
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: “Aetherfire” Bysmiel Pants “of the Flesh Hulk”
Component: Scaled Hide
Chest Armor: Diviner’s Raiment
Component: Hallowed Ground
Amulet: Obolus
Component: Black Tallow
Rings: Mythical Spiritbinder Glyph + Eurydice’s Wedding Band
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Medal: Satyr Craft with +Spirit Skills and Suffix “of the Wild”
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Soul Prism with 3% DA bonus

Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/q2Mk1Y7Z

Diviner’s Set is a weak set for pet users as it only provides 90% Pet Damage among all 4 of its equipment pieces [Pet damage with Dark Covenant + Call of the Grave is still lower than the Skeleton build with zero temporary buffs activated]. In addition, the off-hand converts 50% Vitality to Aether, despite Reap Spirit having a large Vitality Decay component that cannot be converted and yet Reap Spirit’s Wraith damage is Cold + Vitality. Additionally, there are very few equipment pieces that grant both Aether damage and pet damage that aren’t already covered by the set. Spirit class has its share of issues as well. Between all of its pets, Spirit pets use Physical, Bleeding, Elemental, Vitality, and Aether damage. That makes it very difficult to take full advantage of their abilities.


With Dark Covenant + Circle of Power Active


With Dark Covenant + Call of the Grave Active

So what makes this build compete with the standard Skeleton build? As Spirit provides stackable Aether and Vitality RR along with a few hybrid abilities, I went for full-out Reap Spirit + 2 equipment pieces that summon pets on death. Combine that with lots of flat damage from soft-capped Soul Harvest + Diviner’s Set bonuses and you feel like you’re constructing an 10+ pet army with the bones of your enemies! One of the high points of the set is that the helmet grants 25 flat RR just from using Reap Spirit, so devotions can focus on going all-offensive. What the build lacks in Crit damage, it makes up in RR - lots of RR. Spirit weapon is very much BiS - there’s nothing that can surpass grabbing an additional 20% Aether RR while giving points in Spirit (a much hungrier Mastery than Necro, if you’re wondering why I’m choosing it over the Mythical version). Dark Covenant is a mini-Hungering Void that grants total damage and speed to both player and pets; the health drain is not that significant, especially when you have 2 100% WD abilities alongside 18% Life Leech RR. Circle of Power also grants both player and pets Vitality and Aether damage- make sure you use it ahead of the other buffs to take advantage of the CDR bonus within the circle.

Bonescavenger Grips and Soul Prism relic grant multiple pet-scaled pets that spawn from player-caused deaths. Sadly, Soul Prism pets only do Physical Damage (considering the relic itself grants flat Vitality Decay damage for pets, the pets summoned On Death should also have Vitality damage), but Diviner’s flat Vitality bonus makes 12/12 Soul Harvest feel almost like 22/12 Soul Harvest!. Both the amulet and Eurydice’s Wedding Band are grossly OP, but the build has enough wiggle room in stats that even if the two items are nerfed, the build shouldn’t drop that much in performance.

Hi TPOM,

Really enjoying your compendium! Quick question, how did you get your blood golem to work in the D3 Necro + vanilla necro build? The current D3 Necro build in Grimarillion 62a causes a crash to desktop when the blood golem transmuter is used and you summon the blood golem (D3 mastery author has it fixed in the update this week, but it’s not incorporated in Grimarillion yet). I’ve been wanting to try a similar build as yours, but with Spirit.

Build Objective: To combine a tremendous set in Blood Knight with a tremendous class in Terror Knight.

Source of RR:
Well of Souls - 35 flat RR
Spectral Wrath - 32 Vitality RR
Rattosh - 25 Vitality RR
Soul of Narzan - 15 Vitality RR
Ethereal Veil - 18 Vitality RR
Total RR - 125 Vitality RR

Equipment
Weapon: Mythical Spirit Cannon
Components: Haunted Steel
Head: Blood Knight’s Visage
Component: Sacred Plating
Shoulders: Blood Knight’s Scolls
Component: Living Armor
Hands: Mythical Iceskorn Talons
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Mythical Greaves of Ill Omen
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: “Thunderstruck” Lunal’Valgoth’s Girdle “of Shadows”
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: Mythical Chausses of Barbaros
Component: Scaled Hide
Chest Armor: Blood Knight’s Armor
Component: Kilrain’s Shattered Soul
Amulet: Blood Knight’s Pendant
Component: Black Tallow
Rings: Mythical Lifegiver Signet + Eurydice’s Wedding Band
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Medal: Mythical Dreadchill Mark
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Ethereal Veil with 3% DA bonus

Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2EQBPP2


DPS is Banish Auto-attack with Hungering Void, Soul Harvest, and Lust for Carnage

The Blood Knight set opened to much fanfare in build 1.0.6.0 - the amulet providing 4 mini-pets to throw Vitality orbs at enemies, and the whole set summoning the Soul of Narzan and its Vitality RR aura. The Necromancer and it’s hyper-charged Bone Harvest ability is back for another go, but what class would it pair with, and what weapon would it take on its rampage?

Enter the Terror Knight. A cruel slayer of demons, the Terror Knight enjoys inflicting its namesake onto its enemies. Aptly enough, the GD Necro + Terror Knight combo is referred to as the Horror. Terror Knight’s great flat RR ability compliments the Necro’s Vitality focus well, as it allows the player to run for Dying God + Rattosh without having to worry about missing out on RR. Add in the Soul of Narzan and additional Ethereal pets that have their own RR and you have enough RR that you don’t have to worry about dedicating other equipment slots to make up for monsters’ high Vitality resists. Rounding out the pets, Raise the Dead is back at it again, and Bone Harvest is one of the best skills I’ve personally experienced to reliably summon the Skeletons, especially since Mythical Iceskorn Talons has a chance to reset the cooldown of the skill.

Terror Knight’s default attack is Banish, which comes with 150% Weapon Damage alongside two nice damage buffs. The third node of Banish doesn’t just give ~200% to all damage, but it converts 25% Physical to Vitality which is fully suited to this build’s capabilities. Banish’s WD is further multiplied by the WD of the Horror’s 80% for one of three WPS: Lust for Carnage has 114% WD, Reaping Strike has 134% WD, and Necrotic Edge has 160% WD. As much as I want to use a Melee weapon to take advantage of Terror Knight’s two massive WPS as well as hard-capped Necrotic Edge and its 10 targets, there aren’t any good 2H Vitality Weapons that give bonuses to either class. If you want to see a 2H Melee build that covers these WPS, I have a Terror Knight + Necrotic that is incredibly busted, though it’s not in place in this thread due to no pets. Mythical Spirit Cannon’s +2 to Necro Skills - as well as its 45% Physical to Vitality conversion - give it a solid edge over other weapons that have better bonuses but no class skills. The one benefit of choosing Ranged over Melee is that Terror Knight’s Lust for Carnage fully pierces the enemy giving it good AoE capabilities.

New to 1.0.7.0 is the Lunal’Valgoth girdle, and with it, 50%-60% of Fire Damage is converted into Vitality. With up to 60% Fire and 95% Physical converted to Vitality in your auto-attack, there is few left-over damage. Also new to 1.0.7.0 is a buffed Raise the Dead that benefits from Blood Knight’s Aether to Vitality conversion, and Bone Harvest is one of the best abilities to proc it. There are no active healing abilities, but 52% base ACDTH (lol), Bloodthirster, and Ghoul makes up for Hungering Void and then some. To avoid running out of Energy, use only Bone Harvest for trash mobs and save the rapid fire for Boss-level and highly resistant enemies.

Forth Class Feature is Nature!

If you want Summoner pet builds, look no further than GQ’s Nature. Nature has a high concentration of pet skills; on its own, Nature has 3 Wolves, a Nymph, a Kodoma Spirit, Thorn Sprites, and Force of Nature. It is the most self-sufficient pet class that is not reliant on items to bring about extra pets; the first build that will be shown will demonstrate the power of having all of the pets working together - no need for Primal Instinct or other multiple pet-granting items. The Kodoma is an invincible pet who you can invest into 5 skills; the only skill that’s worth investing full points into is the Level 50 ability. With it, the Kodoma blesses you and your pets with Elemental and Poison / Acid damage, flat OA, and additional damage + %OA for pets. Adding to the blessings, Heart of Oak gives 70% Health not just to pets, but to the player as well. It’s the largest source of %Health out of all classes in the game, so you have little to fear from Health-reducing Auras. Investing points in the ability also gives you and your pets %Total Speed, so there is little reason not to invest 13/12 points in the ability.

Onto the pets themselves: Investing 16/16 in the Wolves ability gives you 3 Wolves, making it an ideal skill to bind devotion abilities. The wolves also have a temporary buff that grants extra %Physical damage, %Total Speed and %Physical Resistance. The Nymph is an underperforming pet that has Physical and Piercing damage in the initial abilitiy, and by investing into its other skill, 30% of its Physical is converted to Elemental and its Piercing is converted into Acid. There is a bow that provides a second Nymph as a modifier, but the weapon is very underperforming for builds that benefit from the Nymph’s Elemental or Poison damage. Thorn Sprites have varying degrees of duration depending on how many points you put in the transmuter: you can either have them as instant cast pets that live for only 3 seconds, or 4 pets on a 30-second cooldown that live for 30 seconds. Force of Nature is a Grimarillion addition to the GQ Mastery, and it is what the name suggests. It has the highest damage of all pets in the game, but its lower attack speed balances it compared to a pet like Shaman’s Primal Spirit. The tree spirit has two stomp-like abilities and a root snare that gives stackable OA and DA debuffs.

Nature has few abilities that aren’t pet-related, but the skills it does have it universally beneficial to all builds, limited only by how many skill points you can invest in them. Plague is most known for its stackable Physical, Poison and Elemental RR, but the second node grants the bonus of reducing enemy damage - a highly sought-after debuff for squishier Mastery combinations. Briar Oak heals the player and any surrounding pets for 20% regardless of the number of points you have in the skill. Finally, you have access to the most universal skill in the game: Refresh and its Time Dilation-like reduction in cooldowns. Investing in the abilitiy increases the number of seconds brought down, but at the cost of increasing its cooldown. Most classes don’t need longer than 6 seconds or so, so if you have enough bonus points in +Nature and good Cooldown Reduction, you won’t need to invest any more than 1 point. Just to reiterate, though it is an active skill, Time Dilation does not reduce Refresh’s cooldown, so no worries about broken invulnerability abilities.

Build Objective: Find a way to incorporate Thorn Sprites into a Nature build

Sources of RR:
Manticore - 28 flat RR
Plague - 37 Poison RR
Primordial Transfer - 21 Poison RR
Rumor - 23 Poison RR
Total RR - 109 Poison RR


Equipment
Weapon: Spear of the Dryads with Catacylsm’s Eye
Components: Seal of Might + Vitriolic Gallstone
Head: Circlet of the Great Serpent with +Nature Skills
Component: Titan Plating
Shoulders: Mythical Fiendflesh Mantle
Component: Sacred Plating
Hands: Mythical Rathma’s Macabre Vambraces
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Mythical Rifthound Leather Boots
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Satyr Craft with +Nature prefix and “of the Wild” suffix
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: Really Great Pants
Component: Scaled Hide
Chest Armor: Mythical Rathma’s Ribcage Plate
Component: Hallowed Ground
Amulet: Mythical Sovereign Ruby of Domination
Component: Black Tallow
Rings: Mythical Rotmender’s Ring X2
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Medal: Mythical Rotdrinker’s Crest
Component: Runebound Topaz
Relic: Spirit Blight with 3% DA bonus

Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/bVAOPBBN

Thorn Sprites - the mischevious little elves that prick enemies with Poison damage - are at the forefront of this build. To get as many Thorn Sprites as possible while giving them appropriate time to reach enemies before they expire, we take 2/3 of the transmuter and stack as much CDR as you can get. ~42% CDR gives us a ~11 second cooldown for our sprites while the 6 sprites live for 20 seconds; with Refresh for some quick recasting when necessary, and you have plenty of opportunity to stack your sprites when the battle requires them. From where do we obtain this CDR? Thankfully, there is a class that provides Poison RR, CDR, and passive bonuses for few skillpoints: Enter the Necrotic. Instead of abusing its innate ACDTH, we take this class to provide the essential CDR and defenses while leaving as many skill points as possible for Nature. This is as close of a Nature pet zoo as you can get without simply going solo-class.

Though we invest into at least the softcap into all of our pets, only Thorn Sprites and Nymph are capable of providing Poison damage of their own volition. To ensure all pets are capable of at least some Poison damage, +Nature Circlet of the Great Serpent and Poison Blight relic give a chance for pets to inflict flat Poison. Poison Blight also provides a pet-scaled Poison Pet, and coming alongside it is the Eldritch Hound from the Bysmiel devotion. There is not much room for healing in this pet build, so watch your UI for disappearing dogs and make sure you use your Briar Patch heal before you use Refresh.

While Poison pets love to take Hungering Void and its massive Crit potential, the lack of wide-ranging AoE heals and no DA between neither the two classes nor the mandatory Poison Pet jewelry means that you must work your devotions for maximum DA potential. The Quill / Wolverine / Attak Seru combo - alongside Mogdrogen - gives the max DA that also has a T3 pet devotion, and Mogdrogen’s Speed boost multiplies the chances of your pets hitting with their %Chance of Poison. Rathma chest + gloves gives a great 20% pet Crit bonus while also taking advantage of the Chest’s 5% DA, and Spear of the Dryad’s high Cunning requirement and Cataclysm’s Eye Spirit requirement give us good justification to wear the greatest of pants.

Damn!

Thank you so much, TPOM, you’ve put a lot of work into this.

(Must shout out to all the devs for the work they’ve put in to the various mods).

Do you think these builds are viable WITHOUT the equipment you’ve listed?

P.S. Did you ever do anything like this for DAIL?

Do you think physical based build of nature+occultist would work? There would be sources of RR from plague, cof, and manticore at least. Since i don’t have items for all these fancy full conversion builds in this mod. I’m not sure about rest of the devotions though.

Build Objective: Create a pet build with Arcanist that makes good use of 22/12 IEE and combine Star Pact with Refresh for near-extreme CDR possibilities.

Sources of RR:
Elemental Storm - 32 flat RR
Plague - 42 Elemental RR
Eldritch Fire - 23 Fire RR
Total RR - 74 Elemental RR, 95 Fire RR


Equipment
Weapon: Kuan Ti’s Sorrow
Components: Seal of Might
Head: Mythical Clairvoyant’s Hat
Component: Eldritch Mirror
Shoulders: Elite Wendigo Spellweaver Spaulders
Component: Scaled Hide
Hands: Mythical Overlord’s Iron Grip
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Mythical Footpads of the Grey Magi
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: “Subjugator’s” Malmouth Arcane Girdle
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Pants: “Taskmaster’s” Bysmiel Pants “of Soulwarding”
Component: Scaled Hide
Chest Armor: Fateweaver’s Raiment
Component: Eldritch Mirror
Amulet: Mythical Sovereign Ruby of Domination
Component: Aether Soul
Rings: Black Pearl Ring X2
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Medal: Satyr Craft with +Nature skills and suffix “of the Wild”
Component: Black Tallow
Relic: Primal Instinct with +Nature Skills

Devotions: https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4qr7B2 [Mogdrogen + Magi]
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62a4gdBN [Ishtak + Amatok]

Arcanist is often delegated to sub-standard support category: not enough resistances for the player and only one skill suitable for pets. Then again - 25-30% Crit damage is amazing no matter the source. Vanilla pet builds incorporating Arcanist were mainly Lightning based builds, whether that’d be dual Raven Warlock or Beastcaller’s Druid. Grimarillion, however, multiplies the number of good concepts a pet build can take advantage of. The much more varied ways to get +All Skills is essential to getting the essential Arcanist skills down while grabbing the major pet skills, but the biggest addition to Arcanist builds is the Black Pearl Rings, which grant up to 24% Physical to Elemental and are craftable at the Satyr. You can get a full 100% conversion if you use the Zunimassa’s Set Off-Hand, but a staff that provides +2 to All Skills is much more valuable, especially as it cuts down on the amount of equipment neessary to get 22/12 to IEE.

AoM was kind enough to grant two pieces of equipment that give bonuses to IEE as well as pet bonuses, and best of all, they are faction items. Black Pearl rings used to provide +1 to All Skills, but despite the nerfs, you only need Footpads of the Grey Magi in addition to the AoM faction items in order to get to 22/12 IEE, and with it - 114 Elemental Damage when Manifestation is taken. The other major benefit of choosing Arcanist as a pet Mastery is that the chest piece Fateweaver’s Raiment gives relevant skill bonuses, and equipping it grants 15% to All Resistances for you and your pets. The +All Skills is very helpful in getting the other skills as well: Inner Focus allows you to get the Spirit neccesary to equip the Staff. Mirror and Nullification are the staple Arcanist skills where placing points into the ability allows you to use it more often. Maiven’s Mirror + Conversion provide free damage absorption (it’s not as if you’re doing any damage for the penalty to matter) and Stun Resistance. Mental Alacrity gives you good Energy Cost reduction for just 1 point + bonuses. Finally, Star Pact is the original CDR Exclusive, and since Nature has no Exclusive ability, you feel no guilt in choosing it.

The weakness of Arcanist Mastery is that you have no RR avilable for your use. OFF is much more useful in Grimarillion than in Vanilla as the amount of trash mobs susceptible to freeze is jacked up by orders of magnitude - more trash to freeze means more Fire RR stacking. As Tri-Elemental RR is hard to obtain and you only have a few skills that can even proc the abilities, I stack towards Swarmling’s Fire Damage: Eldritch Fire for the RR, Magi for the Wolves to provide nice AoE capability, and Mogdrogen + Attak Seru for the T3 pet devotion + high DA stacking. While Mogdrogen is traditionally seen as weaker, I take it to take good advantage of the build’s innate Crit damage potential while using the swarmling’s temporary status to fish out as many attacks with them as possible. Due to the last of abilities to proc Mogdrogen, especially against bosses, I put up a Ishtak + Amatok build that provides similar numbers for pet Speed and OA. If you are thinking of using Hand of Ultos for additional RR, the multiplicative nature of the RR is far less useful when you are not stacked with multiple sources of stackable RR, so it is out.


This build is made to glorify our little Nymph, as having 17/12 Nature’s Wrath along with an additional 188% Elemental damage and flat OA thanks to the Kodoma is a big boost that you won’t see in your stat sheet. In terms of flat damage, however, the Nymph still lags far behind Swarmlings, so I’m not sure whether Nymph is too underpowered. There is a bow that provides a second Nymph, but it is unsuitable for Elemental or Poison builds - it appears that it was meant to be used for Nature + Hunting Physical + Pierce pets. Still, with 41% CDR between Star Pact, Helm, Staff, and Amulet and Refresh to keep Force of Nature and Sovereign buffs up, you should be able to keep your focus on damage.

Fifth Class Feature is Witch Doctor!

Witch Doctor was given a hearty introduction with my first build in the Compendium, using the Zunimassa Set that gives +2 to Witch Doctor and makes Tiki Warriors quasi-permanent pets. Sadly, before D3’s ultimate update that introduced the Kanai’s Cube, the Zunimassa Set was the only way to get +All Skills in Witch Doctor, which is a shame since Witch Doctor is a heavy, heavy skill-point hungry Mastery, and that’s true whether or not you make a pet build with it. Witch Doctor has multiple buffs, a passive to help with Energy Regeneration, 2 flat RR abilities - one for Elemental RR that gives Damage reduction and the other a standard RR ability, stackable RR that only unlocks when you have 12/12 invested in it and usually needs more than that for the uptime to match the cooldown, and Pierce the Veil- the great offensive buff featured in the Zunimassa build that grants an amazing Damage and OA boost in exchange for a massive Energy Drain that requires you to build around it. Thankfully, there are plenty of classes that grant passive Energy Regeneration and the devotion Harp - and if you need even more than that, Tree of Life - is a universal way to keep your passive Energy at manageable levels when in the heat of battle.

Let’s dive into the abilities themselves: Burning Dogs is largely invested because 16/16 increases the number of Dogs summoned from 3 to 4, and unlike most pet abilities, they are all summoned at once. A neat strategy with this is that if you see any of the Dogs weakened, direct them towards a target and re-summon all of them to pile on their Sacrifice damage. The damage is Physical, so you have to find a way to convert that damage, whether it be Cold through Winter King Sword, Elemental with Zunimassa + Black Pearl Rings, or Acid when FG comes out and you have access to Ghol’s Malice set. You can summon even more Burning Dogs by killing enemies with Grasp of the Dead, but that requires heavy investment in Hybrid gameplay, and the Dog’s mainly Physical damage does not sync well with Grasp of the Dead’s Poison / Vitality damage. Gargantuan has a Poison cloud when you invest 16/16 in it, and Tall Man’s Finger ring + Kunai Relic allows you to summon multiple Gargantuans at once. Tikis are usable even without the Zunimassa Set, but they are then used as a temporary pet similar to Conjure Primal Spirit.

Even if you don’t like looking for pet Stats, player-scaled Witch Doctors can summon multiple pets thanks to the Jade Harvester Set and its emphasis on Soul Harvest. The second node of Soul Harvest is the afore-mentioned flat RR ability, and the last node lets you summon Cold / Vitality pets if you kill enemies with the ability. Additionally, Corpse Spiders are also player-scaled, and you can summon many spiders to swarm the field as long as you have reasonable cooldown reduction. Phantasmal Blast and its second node are low in damage, but amazing for proccing devotion abilities due to the split projectiles. Mass Paranoia is a long uptime + long cooldown ability that grants Fire, Cold, Poison and Vitality stackable RR. Lastly, it’s hard to mention Witch Doctor without promoting its great survivability. Walk the Plane is a Mirror-like invincibility ability that grants a small heal when you soft-cap the skill, and Spirit Vessel is a circuit breaker that heals you for half your health when you reach 30% Health. Overall, Witch Doctor is a great class that’s slightly hampered by the sheer number of skill points and +skill bonuses that are required to make its abilities worth it, but amazing when you pair it with a less-hungry Mastery that helps with more RR capability.


For those who are tired of seeing Pet stats and want to see builds that whack enemies on their own volition, Witch Doctor is the last of my class features that focus on summoning. With the exception of one unrevealed pet build, all builds after this class feature will emphasize on good old-fashioned no-nonsense player-focused builds. There will still be pets, as is the nature of my compendium, but they will all scale with player damage, so you don’t have to go out of your way to build around them, for when they benefit, you benefit as well.

Build Objective: Use the Mythical Queen’s Scepter to get valuable contribution from both player-scaled Corpse Spiders and pet scaled Eldritch Webweavers and Primal Instinct critters

Source of RR:
Ghol’s Set modifier to Mogdrogen’s Pact - 28 flat RR
Ghol’s Set modifier to Devouring Swarm - 20 Poison RR
Ghol’s Set completion Eldritch Aura - 10 Poison RR
Mass Paranoia - 30 Poison RR
Rumon - 30 Poison RR
Total RR = 118 Poison RR

Equipment

Weapon: Dual Mythical Spider Queen’s Grasp
Components: Purified Salt + Imbued Silver
Head: Mythical Circlet of the Great Serpent
Component: Living Armor
Shoulders: Ghol’s Mantle
Component: Living Armor
Hands: Ghol’s Gloves
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Feet: Mythical Fiendflesh Greaves
Component: Ugdenbog Leather
Belt: Mythical Pack of Deadly Means
Component: Spellscorched Plating
Pants: Mythical Golemborn Breeches
Component: Ancient Armor
Chest Armor: Ghol’s Raiment
Component: Living Armor
Amulet: Mythical Blightshard Amulet
Component: Royal Topaz
Rings: Double Mythical Yugol’s Ichor
Components: Double Ectoplasm
Medal: Ghol’s Mark
Component: Tainted Heart
Relic: Primal Instinct

Devotions: Centered on Harp, Tree of Life, Twin Fangs bound to Corpse Spider, Rumor, and Shepherd’s Crook Grimools coming soon

After much debate as to whether it would even be possible to use Corpse Spiders effectively in a pet build, Ghol’s Malice provides an unlikely solution. For completing the full set, all pets apply flat resist reduction through Mogdrogen’s Pact; that allows me to focus my devotions on Energy Regeneration for a total of nearly 150 Energy/sec to keep Pierce the Veil running and healing to keep me and my pets alive. Additionally, the belt Pack of Deadly Means was recently buffed to enable dual-wielding; as it converts 50% of Vitality damage to Acid, it focuses Corpse Spider’s damage toward acid while allowing the player to dual-wield the scepters. Not only is that great for getting Corpse Spiders to 22/16, it allows you to summon two pet-scaled spiders where 50% of its Vitality damage and 25% of its Cold damage is converted to Acid.

In perfect thematic form, Ghol’s Gloves allow you to summon Elditch Webweavers on Critical Hit, and this build can keep Pierce the Veil long enough to maintain 3,000 OA and reliably summon the Webweavers. Continuously applying Devouring Swarm for the RR also summons Primal Instinct insects for the perfect insect-themed build.

As with other iterations of the insect build, it’s limited by lack of +all skills in Witch Doctor. There are multiple Witch Doctor passives we have to softcap for their additional bonuses, and we have to account for player’s damage bonuses and additional damage and resistances for your pets as well. As we have no CDR and no relevant bonus points in the skill, Conjure Primal Spirit is not much of an option. Instead, we use Summon Briarthorn as the set provides large bonus points and Emboldening Presence provides a great flat OA boost and Physical resistance. Primal Bond is the perfect Exclusive to use, as it provides a good %All damage boost and an excellent 50% pet Crit that goes perfectly with Pierce the Veil’s pet OA boost.

All in all, this is the best performing Insect build since the nerf to Zunimassa’s set removing the +skills bonus to Witch Doctor. Nemesis-level enemies can wipe your pets and Queen Spiders are not very durable. However, you have Spirit Walk to provide healing and invulnerability so you can re-summon your pets and throw Corpse Spiders continuously. There is no shame in retreating and toggling Pierce the Veil to recover your Energy for a second round.