Ultimate Hardcore Stronghold Set Shieldbreaker- The Siege Maiden

Build Intro:

Since Ranged Shield builds aren’t quite a common playstyle, I decided to give it a go. What I came up with was one of the most solid characters out of the dozen or so in my roster.

Artist- pencil1203.artstation.com

Pros & Cons


  1. A mix of Good Offense and Defense
  2. Effective at all attack ranges ; Can switch seamlessly between offensive & defensive playstyles
  3. Very generous health pool for a mainly ranged character
  4. High mobility
  5. A very safe pick for hardcore campaign progression
  6. Very simple skill rotation


  1. Less durability when compared to a warlord (Soldier + Oathkeeper) and does significantly lower damage than a ranged purifier (Demolitionist + Inquisitor)


In terms of leveling, I can suggest referring to this guide. To clarify, I have tried it while leveling other demolitionist characters on hardcore so it does work as of September 2022:

[] Budget 2-handed ranged "The Desolator" Fire Strike Fire Purifier

Your priority would be to rush the demolitionist skill tree all the way to mastery level to 50, as it is the easiest way to level. Along the process, invest in these skills:

  1. Fire Strike- 12 / 12
  2. Flame Touched- 12 / 12
  3. Explosive Strike- 12 / 12
  4. Vindictive Flame- 8 / 16
  5. Searing Might- 3 / 3 (Note that this is only applicable if you want to level with 2H ranged weapons)
  6. Temper- 12 / 12
  7. Static Strike- 10 /12
  8. Brimstone- 12 / 12

From here on:

  • Start investing one point per level up into Oathkeeper mastery until it hits level 50
  • Place one point per level up into Thermite mine until it is at 10 / 13
  • After TM is done, Place one point per level up into Flash Bang until it is at 5 / 12
  • After Flash Bang is done, Place one point per level up into Searing Light until it is at 4 / 12

Now you can fully focus on leveling the Oathkeeper skill tree. On the way to mastery 50, invest in these skills:

  1. Smite- 5 / 10
  2. Summon Guardian of Empyrion- 1 / 10
  3. Celestial Presence- 12 / 12
  4. Divine Mandate- 12 / 12

Don’t worry if you run out of points to sink into Oathkeeper skills while leveling, as Demolitionist skills will provide good damage provided that you keep your gear upgraded and stay on Normal / Elite (Personally, I don’t enable veteren on HC so I can’t really comment on that).

In terms of gear, refer to the guide included above.

Once you hit level 94, please continue reading and prepare to respec skills / attribute / Devotion points whenever applicable.


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


Note- Stun Resist is capped in the Grimtools link provided. I messed up my components in-game, so please follow the grim calc link since that is the correct one.

Attribute points- Physique / 67 Cunning / 40 Spirit / 00

The playstyle of this build should be easy to comprehend, so I won’t need to say much here. It is a functional Righteous Fervor auto attacker, who can throw down thermite mines to shred resistances and launch flashbangs to debuff + proc the meteor celestial power. The reason why meteor was binded to flashbang, is mostly due to the fact that it can be easily triggered during boss fights or while going up against more mobile foes since not all of them are cooperative enough to stay within the effective zone of Thermite Mines.

Ascension is always useful for more damage. The added damage absorption is vital during those clutch moments when the character is being swarmed or just needs to remain in the danger zone for a while to wipe out threats.

Timely use of the displacement movement skill allows for some very strategic repositioning around the battlefield and fast retreats while backed up against a corner.

Equipment wise, I suppose the rings can be substituted for +fire damage ones instead. The only reason why I used the Judicator set was because I ran out of appropriate end game rings for fire builds. All in all, it is not a huge loss since the seals are a great source of Offensive Ability, and I always try to push a character over 3K OA if I am able to.

Devotion Pathing
  1. Green Node
  2. Spider
  3. Red Node
  4. Jackal
  5. Solael’s Witchblade (Bind to Fire Strike / Righteous Fervor)
  6. Fiend (Bind to Smite)
  7. Magi (Bind to Thermite Mines)
  8. Purple Node
  9. Hammer
  10. Rhowan’s Crown, 3 nodes only (Bind to Summon Guardian of Empyrion)
  11. Viper
  12. Revenant, 5 nodes only
  13. Hydra
  14. Refund red node
  15. Ulzuin’s Torch (Bind to Flash Bang)

Final Words:

Unlike most of the other builds I worked on, this was the one which I had the least to talk about. However, that should not be mistaken as a bad thing because the strengths of this character are only apparent when put into action. On paper, it just sounds so mundane and feels devoid of any flashiness whenever I try to describe it - Yet it also lacks any sort of glaring weakness and was flexible enough to adapt to situations on the fly. All I can say was that I had a pleasant time clearing through the story content on hardcore. It is in every essence a solid character that was made solely to finish the game with little care about anything else. It is certainly something I would recommend to those who are struggling in hardcore, but there isn’t really anything I can say to sell it to players who like to kill with style or finesse.

  • An error in devotion tree (maybe wrong link because you have different head component in the screenshot provided)

  • If you put Seal of Blades into the shield for more Life Leech then know it doesn’t work for your gun.
    Grim Tools doesn’t display it correctly. In-game it’s properly divided into off-hand and shield.
    Seal of Might might be better here as your Phys res is not very high.

  • in GrimTools your Aether res overcapped is only 18% and could be higher and you’re using Bleeding res augments already having 44% Bleed overcap

  • Blast Shield is not only about absorption but bonus to Max Resistances. Blast Shield reduces damage taken by let’s say 15% - 20% (16% of damage taken instead of 20% for example after max res is increased so 4% / 20% = 1/5 = 20% less damage!) if an enemy doesn’t reduce your overcap and not for Physical damage of course for which damage reduction is far less. It really wouldn’t hurt you to pull 1/2 points from Demo mastery and put them into this skill. There’s always a chance someone may take your build into harder content. As for absorption, you said this about Ascension:

    Well Blast Shield has more absorption when procced and you don’t have Ascension permanently.


Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy in the devotions section. I had the updated version, but posted the wrong link earlier.

Also, swapped out seal of blades for seal of might since I didn’t know that it doesn’t work as I intended. Thanks for highlighting that.

Boosted Aether overcap and raised blast shields to at least 6/12 as well.

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Neat build. Curious as to why you chose RF over Fire Strike?

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Mostly due to Skill point allocation, since I was a bit starved for points.

Fire Strike needs more points invested into it. Also, I think the +chaos part of Brimestone isn’t able to be utilized on this build, so you can say that I wanted the damage bonus to match my output.

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Its great to be here

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Hey was wondering would this build be able to fight Lokarr after beating Ultimate campaign? Still Trying to get a feel for endgame builds so idk what a build should look like and what not by the end. :sweat_smile:

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Oh, I haven’t really tried this vs Lokarr yet. I’ll do more testing in the future if I can, since Gun + Shield is a relatively niche playstyle till today.

I can however recommend this list if you want a list of other builds that can reliably do things past the campaign on HC: [HC] Build & Guide Collection by RektbyProtoss

Ah ok, I just lost a level 90 from one of those builds cause I got cocky haha, ill try use your one and see how it goes for me as I really like the premise! Thanks for the response nonetheless :grin:

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well, at the very least you can use it for HC ultimate Monster Totem / HC Normal SR legendaries farming on shard 55 - 56 (IMO, not a good idea to do SR Elite or Ultimate on HC. I just use GD stash to make a softcore version of my characters for that. Though if you like the thrill of it, then I won’t stop anyone from doing it)

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