This particular build came out as a nice surprise. At first I had my reservations because I choose to invest heavily in Callidor’s Tempest and honestly - It looked underwhelming once I rolled into Ultimate difficulty. However, that was when I learned not to obsess over big damage numbers or the fact that I was dealing poorly vs the training dummy & grew to love the fact that my character became a literal meteor shower that rained death and destruction everywhere he went.
Image Source: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/xJnZ5m
PS- Just thought I should mention that anyone who is sensitive to motion sickness, should probably turn screen shake off in the options menu because this build will cause that to happen non stop!
Pros & Cons
- Very consistent damage output
- Good crowd clearing speed
- Capped cast speed at 200%
- Can safely deal with meaty, single targets / bosses with decent kiting
- Moderate health Regeneration (600+ without consumables) to ensure survivability
- High mobility for easier kiting
- Rewards a safe and defensive playstyle
- No burst damage / damage spikes at all
- Only decent kill speeds vs tanky opponents
- Must be able to keep calm while kiting to ensure survivability
- No healing skills
- Can be difficult to keep track of character due to many effects going off at once
For leveling to 94, I would recommend this guide right here: [188.8.131.52][Guide] Trozan's Ice Shards - A cold Warlock Beginner Guide - #22 by Vermin13
Long story short- You will be leveling as a cold arcanist on Normal / Elite with mainly Trozan’s Sky Shard, Olexra’s Flash Freeze & Greater Ice Spike.
For a sorcerer- Follow the guide above and level the arcanist mastery accordingly. Focus solely on maxing out the TSS line and putting in the required points into OFF, then rush to max star pact.
In terms of attributes, I like to first raise physique to 41 points, then spirit to 18 points and put the rest into cunning. These values allowed me to equip the items in my final build at the time of writing this guide, so do be informed that the item requirements may change in future patches. If that happens, you might have to respec your attributes as well much later.
After this, I choose to allocate points wherever I pleased but I will always put a point into the Demolitionist Mastery bar per level up.
For the most part, demo skills are all ignored until I am either 94 or when the arcanist skill tree looks just like what is shown in the guide, then I’ll probably start leveling vindictive flame for the HP regen (You can even sink some points in earlier if desired)
Since we will most likely have an excess of skill points due to our single mastery focus, feel free to max absolute zero + OFF for smoother leveling.
For devotions, I referred to the linked guide as well.
Once you hit level 94, respec both devotions / skills and please continue reading.
Attribute points- Physique / 41 Cunning / 48 Spirit / 18
The most important skills of this build are Blackwater Cocktail and Callidor’s Tempest with the Wrath of Agrivix modifier.
With a maxed out cast speed of 200%, you can spam out BC like an absolute madman to coat a wide radius, effectively engulfing the battlefield in flames and granting a ton of Damage Over Time that devastates mobs and burns down more powerful foes.
A rather interesting thing to note is that the ‘Meteor’ Celestial power from Ulzin’s Torch devotion path has a 100% proc chance on attack instead of the usual 30% chance per attack, but only if the Wrath of Agrivix modifier is taken. This means that you will constantly cause the sky to rain down on your enemies for even more damage. You pretty much only need to worry about kiting to keep everything within the damage radius.
As mentioned earlier on, the main strength of this build is not centered around any active skills that you use in your rotation, but because of the many, many effects that proc due to gear and devotions picked. The effects that seem to happen every time are:
- AoE Flames (Blackwater Cocktail effect)
- Up to three summoned wisps (Rage of Agrivix set completion bonus)
- Up to three cinderwind summons (Cindertouch gloves skill)
- Meteor (Celestial Power)
From my playthrough, I can conclude that the above skills seem to have a 100% chance of happening due to the build’s quick cast speed and tick damages. It was all capable of overwhelming even the act bosses themselves (with a bit more kiting of course, but I certainly didn’t struggle to deal damage).
Though I can understand if most aren’t a fan of Callidor’s Tempest and would rather go with devastation, so here is a second build variation:
Sorcerer, Level 100 (GD 184.108.40.206) - Grim Dawn Build Calculator : Final Build V2
Attribute points- Physique / 37 Cunning / 52 Spirit / 18
This variation tosses Devastation into the mix, with only a point dumped into Callidor’s Tempest & its modifier. Main hand weapon was also swapped out, since the 45% Aether to Elemental conversion (Fire, in this case) felt more useful.
So this means that you can now pair meteor with devastation to turn that meteor shower into a flaming hail…maybe even toss in an Outcast’s Secret to create a molten deluge of biblical proportions. I don’t know if this is even practical or remotely good, but I’m just throwing the idea out there if anyone wants to try something out of the ordinary.
And regarding as to why I hadn’t maxed Maiven’s Sphere, Blast Shields or Nullification in either build scenarios, this is because I simply did not need them as far as Ultimate campaign is concerned. You are somewhat tanky vs mobs with this setup, and it is quite easy to say at range if required. I should also state that Flashbang is one of (if not the definitive) best debuff in the game which is effective even with a minimal point investment, so much so that I consider if another layer of defense as long as I keep spamming that off cooldown.
Head: Pyran’s Visage
Amulet: Mythical Arcane Shard of Agrivix
Ring 1: Mythical Combustion Band
Ring 2: Mythical Combustion Band
Off Hand: Mythical Codex of Agrivix
Shoulder: Mythical Mantle of Agrivix
Medal: Mythical Korvaak’s Brand
Relic: Korvaak’s Deception
- Red Crossroads
- Green Crossroads
- Solael’s Witchblade (Bind to Blackwater Cocktail)
- Scholar’s Light
- Magi (Bind to Flashbang)
- Ulzuin’s Torch (Bind to Callidor’s Tempest)
- Refund Green Crossroad
- Blue Crossroads
- Refund Blue Crossroads
- Behemoth, 5 nodes only (Bind to Arcane Will)
- Ghoul, 2 nodes only
- Revenant, 4 nodes only
This build felt unique to me in a sense that the final result differed greatly from what I intended, but it did answer a question I have held back for quite a while- Is it feasible for passive item skills and devotions alone to carry a character through hardcore? Turns out that it is possible. Yet it is irony considering I couldn’t have thought of this myself since I’m not even that good at theory crafting. Simply said, I completely lucked out on this build and had resorted to ‘just go with it.’
By extension, it wouldn’t be wrong to deem this as a ‘death of a thousand cuts’ playstyle or even one that relies on pseudo pets because both are technically true to a degree. While this wouldn’t be something min / maxers would like to try, and it certainly would be ignored by players who love big damage numbers ; It is a build that is functional and has a certain charm (or if you are like me and have a thing for thematic playstyles) because I don’t think anyone can really hate a one man apocalypse that walks on two legs.