Ultimate Hardcore Pyromancer- Ch'thonic Blood Mage

Build Intro:

Had a crazy idea to utilize the ‘Active Health Cost Per Second’ mechanic in my build to create a character that sacrifices his lifeblood for more power. Sounded like a mistake at first to build a HC character based on this, but once again the build came together much better than I expected.

Image: Cult of the Lamb

Pros & Cons


  1. Extremely Good Single Target damage and Mob clear
  2. Respectable damage output while playing defensively (kiting)
  3. Has decent sustainability with a Physical resistance of 20%+ and life steal via Doom bolt


  1. Very fragile character (Defensive ability can be below 2k even on Ultimate, low armor rating)
  2. Run Speed is not capped in-game (grim tools says 135%, but you will have 125% on average)
  3. Only Doom Bolt can life steal ( Mythical Fang of Ch’thon gives it 60% Weapon Damage)
  4. Health Regen is obviously stunted due to build choices
  5. Requires above average piloting skills to be played well


With regards to leveling, I highly suggest this guide right here- [] [Pyromancer] Ruinous Apostle . I wish to stress that this build was by far one of the harder HC characters for me to level up. He gains significantly more durability once you can equip end game items… but before level 94, you pretty much need to manage mob aggro and kite like hell, because even average mobs have a fairly good chance of taking you down if you rush. The good news is that you can pretty much dominate the playing field on normal / elite with Sigil of Comsumption + Blackwater Cocktail + Hellfire Mine, but the bad news is that common enemies can wreck your progress if you stand still. Just remember to play defensively, while getting used the key you map your healing pot to and retreat when blast shield activates.

Skill point allocation is all done in accordance to the guide.

Gear wise, it is quite vital to get a decent Bloodsworn Scepter, Vampiric Bonewall & rylok mark since your survival and clear speed will be heavily reliant on Sigil of Consumption. Try to get the items with + chaos / vitality damage modifiers, but don’t fret too much if the affixes / prefixes screw you over because you only really need the skill modifiers for the sigil. In a pinch, just equip the first drop of each that you get and hope for something better. Every other item is whatever you feel comfortable with.

Here are some more gear alternatives which you can use:

  1. Soulcatcher amulet
  2. Avatar of Chaos Amulet
  3. Riftwarped Grasp

For devotions, you can either follow the pathing outlined in the above guide or scroll down for mine (Recommended since you can start leveling up your celestial powers sooner for the endgame)

Once you reach level 94, prepare to respec and read on.



Pyromancer, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator : Final Build

Attribute points- Physique / 82 Cunning / 25 Spirit / 00

For this build, keep in mind that your mobbing tools are Blackwater Cocktail + Thermite Mines + Curse of Frailty. You can also include Chaos Surge (From Eldritch Pact relic) and Tainted Eruption (From the Abomination devotion) as additional sources of crowd control.

Correct me in the comments if I’m wrong, but I read that poison damage is affected by “Acid Damage Converted to Vitality Damage” (From Mythical Blood Orb of Ch’thon) . So my intention was to convert the damage type of Tainted Eruption to something else. Though even if it doesn’t work as intended, it does confuse large mobs and makes them sluggish long enough for me to act.

Throw your Doom Bolt at the strongest opponent you can target, or when you need healing but don’t spam it too much since it will eat away at your energy. Instead, try to get in the habit of using the three skills I mentioned above as an attack rotation even on a single, powerful target to proc Hungering Void + Abominable Might and then Doom Bolt for massive damage once your energy regenerates substantially.

In terms of benchmarking, you can compare my build with:

  1. [ -] (Caster) Cloudy with a chance of DOOMBOLTS - Spam chaos DB pyromancer [c+] [sr+]
  2. [] Bamm-Bamm BREAKING SKULLS - DW Pyromancer / Dummy 10s / Mad Queen 4s

Find your ideal balance of Offense and Defense. Personally, I value offense more than defense, so if you think that the current build looks too fragile, then do make your own changes. But honestly, I feel that Doom Bolt Pyromancers are inherently squishy even while taking all three builds into consideration. I had to go the extra mile and scale back some of my damage just to bring it up to 2300+ DA (Before that, it was actually at a low 1900 from what I recall). You’d most probably need to get lucky on MI items to bring that close to 3000 DA (And even I don’t have time for all that farming without cheating and using GDStash to create them). My opinion is that you pretty much have to accept that this build would be OP if it were allowed to be more durable, so maybe going all in on the damage at the cost of even more defense can be a viable option ; might as well capitalize on killing faster if you are always going to be squishy, but only when you feel very confident with your piloting skills.

Devotion Pathing
  1. Red Crossroads
  2. Fiend
  3. Bat
  4. Soleal’s Witchblade (Bind to Doom Bolt)
  5. Spider
  6. Raven
  7. Viper
  8. Abomination (Bind Tainted Eruption to Thermite Mine ; Bind Abominable Might to Blackwater Cocktail)
  9. Gallows
  10. Lizard
  11. Sailor’s Guide
  12. Dying God (Bind to Curse of Frailty)

Final Words:

Worth nothing that this character has dealt the most damage (making my cold Shadow Strike Spellbreaker drop to 2nd place) in a single instance, out of all the characters I’ve made. It might have been a one off thing, but I did a double take when the stats said that the numbers went up to 500k. I’m aware that people have gone a lot higher and that amount might as well be a fluke, but for someone like me who usually builds based off themes or due to some new item obsession; That amount felt groundbreaking. Just to reiterate what I said earlier about going all in on offense, that was not said in jest- If someone had good manual evasion and game knowledge, going full damage by specializing in Doom Bolt is a viable (and very scary) way of experiencing the game.

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