V1.1.9.8 Discussion

If i remember correctly, good Vire’s Might builds stack as much flat CD reduction for Vire’s Might as possible, so they can spam it every 0.5 sec or so (essentially without CD considering animation and running time). Without massive CD reduction, Vire’s Might isnt qualified to be a main skill, Aether or not. At best, it would just be a secondary nuke.

As for counduit-affected skills, i have mixed feeling about them. Some are really bonkers, like no-CD Aegis or +8 projectile Phantasmal Blades. And others are pretty meh, they only change the element on the skill into another one (usually unsupported by gear) and that’s it. Often, it’s not even the main DPS skill, but a secondary one like Guardian of Empyrion or Judgement. It’s simply not worth it, then.

I agree on that. It’s fine when 12-button build is just a bit stronger than 3-button one (or has the same power). But when 12-button one is clearly superior, that’s a balance issue, and you cant shrug it off just because it’s “harder to play with”.
IMO, pet playstyle needs a LOT of tweaks ATM. Not pure “buffs” or “nerfs”, but both (and properly performed) to make it more consistent. Though that would require a LOT of work too, to keep balance at bay.

Not disagreeing with you opinion but I think you’ve picked bad examples. Guardians can be the main skill but even besides that it’s about having them be Cold with a different appearance. I’ve seen 3 builds with Cold Guardians by various players so far. The Judgment conduit on the other hand has damage reduction which can be useful for Oathkeeper.

Having only 2 pet builds, which are also recently made, in my entire life (although they are pretty good) i agree with your points of Pet build weaknesses.

The reason i didn’t bother, or maybe afraid to make a pet build all my GD playthrough until recently is, that for quite a few years, im only playing pre-planned end game builds -like many veterans here- and having not one, but several weak points of Pet builds i’ve tried to plan out scared me.

Like they always miss a lot of Resists (im not even talking about CC res), i skip Armor Absorb cause i have to use that damn 10% total speed component on both helm and chest, capping all Pet resists are near impossible (maybe not that important though) and movespeed is usually a problem. Did i even talk about player sustain? Not just these, but also, often 1 skill bar is not even enough when i dream of somewhat passive playstyle you usually expect in ARPGs.

I’m not saying they are weak by any means though, they are just damn hard to optimize (which you most likely will fail even) and maybe could use some Player-side buffs like resists.

Hi Zantai, can i make a few suggestions to rework certain MI’s.

Ragrathar’s Horn. This MI is just…weird. I highly doubt anyone uses this while levelling since Ring of Steel is usually used in a dual-wielding builds. May i suggest to rework this entire MI to something more useful, maybe converting Sigil of Consumption to Cold damage? This will open up a levelling path for Warlock.

Aetherscorched Cleaver. This MI is being outperformed by a few other items, such as Aetherwarped Cleaver, Bargoll’s Root, Sandclaw Slicer and Totally Normal Shield as these are the go to weapons for levelling up on the physical side of damage. May I suggest changing the base damage to Aether, change the conversion to “Physical converted to Aether” and add some skill points to Cadence and/or deadly momentum. This will allow temporary levelling up an Aether Deathknight or Aether Commando, since Theodin Marcell’s MI is not in base game and it takes awhile to reach AOM DLC.


Wanted to get this one in under the wire.

Fleshwarped Carbine Aether Battlemage

Still a bit of a work in progress. I wanted to do something with the carbine for awhile and finally got around to it. Results are ok. As with most things Battlemage, lack of RR is always the hurdle. Playing around with racial modifiers is about all that can be done.

Here’s a 5:35 run where I was using Slithscale legs just for the beast damage. Best run I’ve managed was a 5:21 with Arcane Current legs. With some more tweaking and better piloting, might be able to squeeze out more but usual runs are in the 5:45 - 6 min range. Only thing I could reasonably suggest is buffing the “20% chance of %aether damage” mod to 25% chance, or keep the 20% and increase the average spread. I don’t think it would make the build overpowered by any stretch. The way I see it, this is a one-class MI anyways and Battlemage is only really known for two signature builds, both physical damage.

edit: ha, just realized that I must have forgotten to remap Korvaak’s eye on this run, so perhaps the Slithscale setup could be even better in the long run.

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I am not the best min-maxer, so usually refrain from making suggestions regarding end game balance. I have recently played multiple builds, so will write some stuff down.

  • Noticed that there’s no way to fully convert physical to lightning on Ultos set. And yes, you need global anyway for Torrent but it’s strange that the canon Primal Strike build lacks it. On the same note physical to lightning on Stun Jacks is present only on full Light Defender set and nowhere else, making the possible itemization pretty narrow. Also no way for converting Stun Jacks while leveling, although this might be on purpose to avoid SJ being OP. Light Defender set itself have few issues. You need 1035 physique but doesn’t give any physical resistance, while blocking pieces with it. Also neither of the three classes supported or lightning maps have way to stack physical resistance. SJ is also pretty exotic skill outside of lightning and maybe cold. Both chaos and aether have low damage and can’t stack DoT’s and without LD set you have extremely small radius. So, I suggest boost of radius of the skill, move conversion from LD to other set piece and add physical res on full set bonus instead. Also Storm Totem is really outdated and need boost. Reference builds for LD Purifier and Vindicator :Purifier, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator
    :Vindicator, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

  • PRM. Boy for 4 node skill boosted by one of the strong masteries isn’t that good. Single target damage is really low on every variant (I’ve played them all) and you can’t be saved by the huge crit damage. AoE is fine and defense is OK. OK isn’t that impressive given you always have tanky masteries for main PRM builds - Spellbinder for aether and MH for elemental based. There’s serious problem of defense vs burst damage of any PRM build and combined with low single target damage makes it far from great build for SR and superbosses are plain impossible (or at least hardly doable) even when packed with good gear on good classes. Most PRM builds perform somewhat similar but there’s one bad outlier in Crucible - cold (without counting meme vitality). Cold is extra sensitive against resistant nemeses. And that’s common problem for cold casters, especially with single RR and Kuba in particular is ridiculous. Without beating a dead horse there’s already nice topic HERE But for any PRM there’s the common problem. I suggest boosting WD modifier on Spellgaze and increase damage on main node and maybe increase Distortion passthrough at 100% at max rank. Reference builds: Spellbinder, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)
    Mage Hunter, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)
    Mage Hunter, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)
    Mage Hunter, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

  • Callidor’s Termpest. I’ve recently made (somewhat) successful lightning and cold versions and struggle with fire. The problem is that the builds I’ve made worked despite CT and not because of it. Actually outside of full Agrivix set there’s one thing common for every CT build and that’s the good 2H weapon. And CT is cast and synergizes well with Devastation and off-hand, oh well. For cold I’ve used Bane and for lightning Temporal Arcblade. Arcblade version in particular is quite fun but performance is the bare minimum given weapon is quite potent. Also lightning version have 22/16 CT with no way too cap the main node, despite multiple items with +Arcanist mastery. CD version is also pretty mediocre outside of Vanquisher set. I can suggest increase target area and WD on spam version and reduce CD/increase WD on transmuter. If something is too strong, there’s always an option to increase CD via set/item mod like Vanquisher set. Cold and lightning builds mentioned:
    Spellbreaker, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)
    Druid, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

  • Virtue. I feel most of mono class 5pcs sets all have some problems being competitive in modern eco-friendly environment driven by green MI items. I want to talk about Virtue set. It have few issues. Just like many rotation casters, it have problems with sustain vs burst damage (esp Paladin for some reason) and it takes lot’s of time to actually deal damage to single target. Full set is also beaten by MI shield and there’s the problem of what skill to supplement Aegis. You don’t have CS for Stormfire (or conversion in that matter), you can’t sneak Fire Strike due to lack of skill points and no way to convert RF with standard gear. Also Aegis need lot’s of OA to use the % crit multiplier and you can’t have that even with handpicked OA affixes.I suggest adding % total speed as set bonus, add 6% OA and DA instead of just 4% DA on 3pcs set and increase damage or CDR on full set to make it worth your time. Also side note, I think game diversity can benefit from physical to fire conversion to RF on forgotten Ignaffar’s Gloves. Here’s my Virtue Sentinel and Roman’s Shieldbreaker:
    Sentinel, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)
    Shieldbreaker, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (grimtools.com)

  • Sustain/devotions. Considering current end game state with lot’s of incoming damage and constant showers of debuffs not all sustain devotions have same impact. Nowadays it’s better to have lot’s of damage and skill with high WD and leech through global life steal and have ways to absorb/mitigate damage. The thing is both health regen devotions and Ghoul feel subpar options. Health regen can use (slight) buff but I want to talk about Ghoul. Experienced builders often don’t pick Ghoul on melee builds!!! Devotion proc is outdated. In current Crucible/SR your health is constantly moving up and down and you waste your precious Ghoul too often. Also it have long CD and melee builds often lack CDR, so it have very small impact on melee builds. I can suggest decrease CD on the skill and change activation point from 45% health to lower value. Ghoul is actually pretty fascinating example. Something that used to really good fall out of grace despite not being nerfed. In everchanging Grim Dawn’s biosphere and buffs to multiple stuff, just staying at same values, means lot of things aren’t competitive anymore and might need slight nudge. But that’s just my opinion…


tbh it always puzzled me why SJ have half of their damage phys but have no phys support at all. this may be some ancient days’ relic but it looks a bit stupid nowadays.
also I’d like to say about the transmuter, as it seems weird for me that it not reduces but INCREASES manacost of spam skill. this may also be an overlook or design flaw.
about LD set - just yes. heavy armor set that gives no phys res, no cc res, only some armor that tbh won’t save you. also full set skill is crap. you can’t have more than two of those crystals and their damage is nothing to write home about. I don’t remember when I saw or used it myself as it’s just an extra cast with very small benefit.
I suggest buffing it drastically. like make it summon only one crystal but for 20-25 seconds and buff its damage and area. otherwise it’s a useless skill.


Just stack more HP then! Sure, when you have ~13k HP pool, you’ll waste its procs all the time. On other hand, when you have ~26k HP pool (before Crucible buff), it procs only when you really take overwhelming damage (on multi-nemesis waves, etc) and saves you butt. I say that from my own experience with my Vitality EoR Archon, who has 26k HP pool. Ghoul DOES matter for him.

Sure but how many builds have 26k health? Don’t think I have played one. Usually stacking health means you make sacrifices and if you have low damage, Ghoul won’t perform that much better. Furthermore Archon is a class with access to two skills with huge % health boost. Cold DW Spellbreaker for instance would have hard times reaching even half of your 26k values. So even if assume stacking health, this is still hard/impossible for most builds and my suggestion for Ghoul still stands.


Why stop there?
My advice: Just be super tanky and damaging at the same time!

Dammit. Now that I spilled the super recipe: Tankiness and Damage will be nerved now, right?


It is sad to see Ulzuin’s Torch constellation upper-right node ignored in most cases. Maybe we should make it more important? Just swap it with that juicy lower node (flat and %Fire Damage), so that in order to take it you need to have Burn one first. Would not be hard to implement, am I right? :thinking:

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Why is there a Mutator (Drained, -75% Hp Regen) that completely destroys some builds/playstyles sustain?

It’s additive to your similar bonuses not multiplicative.

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Can we please change the fire damage from Aldanar’ Vanity to elemental damage and adding frostburn and electrocute damage to it.

You had to have sacrificed damage and other stats for 26k hp on Archon because i always get around 18k to 20k with it and that’s on 2H builds with maxed Brute Force. And Archon is one of the classes with the highest hp potential because of Heart of the Wild and Haven, so classes with lower hp potential can afford even less to lose stats for hp since their damage goes lower but their hp is not exactly high to make up for it.

After ages, i wanted to mess around at Low SR’s. Here, im playing with a build that easily can clear SR75 :

Question : Can anyone tell me why the F this thing in SR 10 is stronger then anything i’ve ever saw in SR 80 ?


Latest suggestion before going playtest;

Steward’s Halberd - The setup I used Warlord, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

VM damage is lower than some movement runes. Internal Trauma stacking is not good, duration is almost non-existing.


  • Add some %increased duration of internal trauma damage to the weapon.

  • Increase WD mod/ or change it to total damage modifier to Vire’s Might and increase it’s cooldown as compensation.

  • Change Cadence points, it’s very unstatic build I even can’t hit enough with RF sometimes. Ofc adding some cooldown to VM would make it more QoL but Cadence usage is still non-sense. Replace it with Presence of Virtue, Break Morale or even Field Command. Maybe add a second modifier with Judgment or something for more trauma stacking since there is already some global fire>phys.


I sacrificed some OA and DA, but such a build doesnt need high OA anyways. As for other stats - look yourself: Archon, all required stats are there (he shares the “absent” ring with my Vindicator).
And although other classes classes might have lower HP pool, they have other defensive tools to make for it. For example, Arcanist’s Maiven’s Sphere is no weaker than Brute Force+Heart of the Wild combined. Inquisitor’s Seal is also very strong defensively, and my Vindicator has 20.5k HP too (as well as lvl22 Inquisitor Seal).
When i wrote “26k” i mean it as a reference, for a build like my Archon, the one without % damage absorb or something.
And both those builds are SSF, so gear isnt 100% optimal. With better gear i would probably get even better stats.
You should probably use MI’s more often. Legendaries tend to provide low HP.

Its a 2 handed weapon that only boosts a mobility skill. I don’t think a total damage modifier warrants an increased cooldown.

Could support a low Cooldown with high trauma spear-charge playstyle.

In any case, i agree the weapon either should support something else, or giga buff Vires Might.

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