Ultimate Hardcore Dual Gargabol Cabalist- The Crimson Death

Build Intro:

Death and Decay onto the forces that wrought destruction throughout the lands. The Crimson Death unleashes a hail of entropic fury in her path, snuffing out even the sturdiest of opposition who have fallen victim to her litany of vile curses. The stranglers are left with only with their final breath to ponder the folly of a brazen assault, as their mangled & bloodied corpses eventually go limp atop a sea of jagged bone spires that had suddenly burst forth violently from underneath the battlefield. Just as they took everything you held dear, Your fire will become what they would fear.

Source: Sister of Slaughter - Art by SirHanselot - 40K Gallery

Pros & Cons


  1. Consistently high Single Target and Area Damage
  2. High Mobility
  3. High sustainability due to life steal (More than 25%)
  4. Many methods to Achieve Resist Reduction
  5. Has limited tanking potential (Life Steal + Mark of Torment)
  6. Easy Skill Management/Rotation
  7. No energy issues


  1. Items are time consuming to farm
  2. Very average health pool and Defense Ability
  3. Offensive Ability could be better
  4. Uses ‘Dying God’ constellation (It is currently the only constellation with a noticeable drawback)
  5. Susceptible to Damage over Time effects (Poison & Vitality Decay in particular) as the ‘Hungering Void’ celestial power negates most of the character’s health regen from ‘Blood of Dreeg’. ALWAYS have spare healing potions to negate this, or risk death.
  6. Playstyle can be somewhat more reckless and aggressive than most range classes, since the build depends on life steal to top up hit points.
  7. Needs to sacrifice one item slot to enable dual wielding (Small drawback, but annoying nonetheless)


Four Important things to note before reading on:

  1. This guide assumes that this is not your first character (If it is, then please refer to this link instead: Beginner build guides Compendium (for AoM + FG expansions))

  2. You should have some Potions of Clarity inside your shared stash

  3. You have at least completed the campaign on ultimate once or multiple times (Preferably)

  4. You already have farmed up every single gear for this build in advance

Both links below are ideal for leveling up this character to lvl 94 and hardcore viable. The first focuses on the Ravenous earth skill and the second uses pets:

[] Beginner's vitality Ravenous Earth Oppressor with leveling guide

The Carnival - A Guide to Pets

Once level 94 is achieved, reset your skills/ attributes / devotions as needed and follow the rest of this guide.

  1. Green Crossroads
  2. Bat (Bind ‘Twing Fangs’ to Soul of Nazaran)
  3. Spider
  4. Vulture
  5. Yellow Crossroads
  6. Crane
  7. Rattosh, The Veilwarden (Bind ‘Will of Rattosh’ to Curse of Frailty)
  8. Blue Crossroads
  9. Lizard
  10. Sailor’s Guide
  11. Wendigo (Bind ‘Wendigo’s Mark’ to Bone Harvest)
  12. Gallows
  13. Dying God (6 Nodes only, Bind ‘Hungering Void’ to Reaping Strike)
  14. Eel

Why bind ‘Hungering Void’ to a Weapon Pool Skill (WPS) like Reaping Strike: The short explanation is that you want Hungering Void to proc when you need it, but not as often as possible.

It bears repeating again that Hungering Void negates most of your health regeneration, meaning that Damage over time effects hurts this build A LOT especially on Ultimate.

Binding it to reaping strike means that Hungering Void will trigger less during short fights, and repurposes it as a celestial power that is more likely to kick in when a giant mob is attacking or while your character is fighting multiple heroics/a boss type monster.

Since each attack the character makes has life steal, health can easily be topped up as long as there is something to shoot at ; but not so much when everyone else is dead. Any DoTs inflicted upon your character is outhealed with each successful hit on an enemy, but health will start to drain if the duration of the negative effect continues to last after the battle while Hungering Void is active.

Proper usage of healing tonics or royal jelly / Ugdenbloom consumables whenever needed is enough to counteract this flaw, so keep this in mind while playing.

  1. Cabalist, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator : Build 1 (Original concept build)
    Attribute points- Physique /77** Cunning** /30 Spirit /0

  2. Cabalist, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator : Build 2 (The build that was discussed in the comments. Has a more straightforward and simpler playstyle, with increased damage output. However, good luck hunting for the appropriate MI items with the desired prefixes/suffixes; It’ll take forever.
    Attribute points- Physique /60** Cunning** /47 Spirit /0


-Gear Breakdown-

Head: Blood Knight’s Visage

Amulet: Blood Knight’s Pendant

Ring 1: Mythical Signet of the Fallen (Chance for -15% Vitality RR. + Attack Speed, +Vitality Damage)

Ring 2: Voidheart (Chance for -10% Vitality & Chaos RR, Fire to Chaos Damage Conversion, +Vitality Damage)

ALTERNATIVE: Mythical Cursebearer (Chance for -10% Vitality RR, +2 to Vulnerability / Spectral Wrath, +Vitality Damage)

Weapon 1: Corruption of Gargabol (Fire to Vitality Damage Conversion, +1 to Necromancer, + Attack Speed, Aether to Vitality Damage Conversion for harbinger of Souls, +Vitality Damage, Chance for basic attacks to Pass through enemies)

Weapon 2: Corruption of Gargabol (Fire to Vitality Damage Conversion, +1 to Necromancer, + Attack Speed, Aether to Vitality Damage Conversion for harbinger of Souls, +Vitality Damage, Chance for basic attacks to Pass through enemies)

Chest: Blood Knight’s Armor

Shoulder: Blood Knight’s Scrolls

Pants: Mythical Wraithborne Legwraps (+2 Spectral Wrath, +Vitality Damage)

Gloves: Morgoneth’s Grip (+ADCTH, +Vitality Damage)

ALTERNATIVE: Valguur’s Touch (+Vitality Damage, Chaos to Vitality Damage Conversion, +2 Spectral Wrath)

Boots: Mythical Rift-Torn Greaves (+Vitality Damage, +2 Bone Harvest)

Belt: Mythical Girdle of Stolen Dreams (+Vitality Damage, +1 to Occultist skills, +1 to Vulnerability, +2 Bone Harvest)

Medal: Mythical Pyroclasm Mark (Mostly to enable Dual Wielding, Fire Damage can be converted to additional Vitality Damage, +Attack Speed)

Relic: Eldritch Pact (+Vitality damage, Improved Health Regeneration, +1 to Occultist Skills)

Final Words:

This was my attempt at a Vitality damage build, but ranged. While it is common knowledge that most would pick the cabalist to maximize their vitality damage or to add valuable resist reduction into their attacks, very few would consider the possibility of a ranged cabalist.

As I learned more about items, it somehow occurred to me that the thought of a dual wielding cabalist would be a fun idea to entertain. The results were better than I had hoped for and justified the amount of time spent in terms of item farming.

While I haven’t tested it in Crucible and Shattered Realms, this build was an absolute ‘S’ rank in terms of campaign performance- Completing the entirety of Ultimate Hardcore felt somewhat easier than actually leveling the character, which should make a strong enough point by itself. A Majority of monster Totems were also decimated in record time on sight so it would be ideal for intensive farming.

But despite the build’s high sustainability, its overall health is not all that generous so take advantage of your character’s high mobility to navigate out of harm’s ways. Apart from that, avoid particularly dangerous zones (Tomb of the Heretic, as a good example) and leave any farming work in high risk areas to your tankier characters while playing on Hardcore.


I have a few questions.

  1. Why not use Shard of Beronath as auto-attack replacer and then its elemental damage with Bonewraith Pauldrons, Namadea’s Eye, Luna’Valgoth’s Girdle and Ring of Basti (pick enough items to get 100% conversion)?
    This way you convert all elemental damage on you auto-attack replacer. If you use Plunderer Talisman you can get another WPS.
  2. Did you consider Dark One or Valguur set to convert chaos damage to vitality and make Burning Void WPS deal more damage? Blood Knight doesn’t seem necessary here. Tbh, I wouldn’t use any full set here - just enough pieces to convert all elemental and chaos damage on your WPS to vitality and use Korvan Helm which is perfect item for vitality auto-attacker Cabalist.
  3. You don’t have xx Reduced targer’s resistances devotion - why not scrap Wendigo and pick up Revenant?
  4. Necro’s WPS skills not maxed on a ranged build?

Overall, I think it would be better to focus on WPS if you want vitality dual-wielding gunner. Currently you have Bone Harvest build that shoots guns occasionally. You don’t do anything optimally because Bone Harvest builds have better options both for weapons (Korvan Reaping Halberd) and filler skills (Oblivion or Uroboruuk Reaping relics) and ranged auto-attack builds focus more on auto-attack replacers and WPS.

IMO you should decide what you want to do and focus on it. Do you want Bone Harvest build or a gunner build? Because you can use Korvan Reaping Halberd, Oblivion, Ghol’s Reach and Death’s Whiper Hood and your build will be still ranged but with melee weapons… tbh with 16 m range of Oblivion and 11 m range of Bone Harvest it would be even more ranged than it currently is.

This is a rough sketch how I would see a ranged, dual-wielding Cabalist based on your idea:

Components and augments on armor should be adjusted depending what affixes/suffixes you get on green items.

  1. I tend to not use green items in my builds since it can be more trouble than it is worth to actually roll a really good one for your character. I’ve put close to 4,000 hours in grim dawn and this is just how I feel. Epics and Legendaries just respect my farming time more, and I’d still recommend those to most people since there’s no promise that a green item with a suffix/prefix you want will have good enough values all across the board. I do have green items as ‘BiS’ for some of my characters, but that is only because I truly believe that there are no close substitutes. This choice was pretty much down to personal preference, I would say.

  2. This build was really made because I liked the theme of the Blood Knight set honestly. Arguably, I would have been better off by just going for other classes, but I really was curious to see how a ranged approach would work on a cabalist as the class does have massive potential in terms of Vitality damage.

  3. I just felt that this build has plenty of Reduce Reduction already from my playthrough. In fact, I would say that this is the only class which I wasn’t desperate for sources of RR. Hence, I made the decision to give Bone Harvest some form of lifesteal. Also, just a slight correction in terms of playstyle- This is a character that shoots & uses Bone Harvest in tandem- I’m always shooting and hitting Bone Harvest whenever it has gone off cooldown, hence why this class excels at not only single target elimination but also at taking out larger groups of weaker enemies.

  4. The WPS are actually meant to be ‘one point wonders’ here since I only intend to hit that 20% proc rate for added damage. From practice, I can vouch for the strength of Eldritch Pact as Chaos Surge is scrubbing mobs out of existance. Besides, as mentioned earlier, Bone Harvest is always a huge damage spike since that is a part of my attack rotation, so crowds weren’t even a problem.

I do appreciate your suggestions and agree that they could even be more suitable, but I believe that if you have found most of my choices weird then that is mostly because thematics are a big part of my build. I knows a lot of users here want to break the ceiling in terms of raw damage output or raw character strength, but I am not shy to sacrifice excess damage if it means that I get to play a character with a distinct flavour or try another playstyle that is just being overlooked in general. After all, I am happy enough with fast killers who don’t necessarily have to be the best at what they do.

Also, I should mention that I tend to ‘test’ my builds in the field. The requirement for me to post a build onto the forum is for that character to clear Ultimate Hardcore by defeating all act bosses. This isn’t a build that was copy pasted from grim tools, but one that I actually completed the game with so it is tried and tested in terms of campaign performance. That ‘S’ rank was not an estimation, but a certification I gave out because this build genuinely did not run into any issues if played accordingly and with care.

All in all, I’m glad that you found a lot to discuss from my build and it does put some interesting ideas in my head. I hope that that you are satisfied with my answers so far, since this build was an attempt to try out a new method which I felt was fun. While there is theorycrafting involved, I have spent a lot more time in-game with this character than actually holding it back as a concept, which is why you might have found it under tuned in some regards. But that also means that users such as yourself now have a solid base which can be worked upon for the future :slight_smile:

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Well, I agree since I’m a part of “no greens” faction, too. But this doesn’t answer my question: why not use auto-attack replacer and then convert its damage? I suggested 2 legendaries and 2 MIs without specific affixes to enable proper conversions.

Then why not go fully for Blood Knight with proper weapon, equipment and filler skill? It’s technically still a ranged build - you just throw a wave of energy instead shooting guns :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, but they are different types of resistance reduction and you need both types - flat and percentage, especially for vitality damage which is heavily resisted damage type by many monsters.
This means you need either Revenant, Scales of Ulcama or 3rd node of Ravenous Earth necromancer skill.

Thematic builds are fine. I just think that there are two ideas in your build that are clashing with each other and if you’d focus on one, the build would be simply better without loosing its theme.
Honestly, I was excited to see a Cabalist with guns and then kinda disappointed because it’s a Bone Harvest build that just uses guns as filler. It would be interesting the other way around - focusing more on guns and using Bone Harvest only for a buff.

I’m not criticizing, especially since you are going for some theme build. I’m just asking for your motivations and reasons behind your decisions, because as you said yourself - you made some weird choices here and there.


I’ve taken a longer look at your proposed build, and I’d say it is good enough to be suggested as an alternative.

I’ll update it into the guide if I have the time, though I’d have to modify it a bit (Bleeding and Aether Resistances are not capped in the example you gave, but I think It would suffice if I assign the appropriate prefix/suffixes to the MIs).

Though in the case of your suggestion, I’m happy to even strip all points from the ‘Bone Harvest’ line to be used elsewhere :slight_smile:

Hey, I wanted to try out the second build but most constellations are not bound to any skill. Could you please tell where to bind them to?

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Here, I binded the constellations to the skills: Cabalist, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

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