Weapon switch builds. Who's got 'em?

Actually, good point… I haven’t explicitly tested that… That would make sense, but I’m not sure!

i did this


weapon swap is just way too clunky

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Great idea @WyreZ! I have tried this in the past and unfortunately…

In my experience, it’s just too clunky as @Gnomish_Inquisition mentioned. More often than not, the weapon swap wouldn’t switch for me. I’m not sure why, but perhaps the priority for the command is very low, so you can interrupt it very easily? :thinking: Either that or the game takes too long to do the actual switch…

Not sure, but it was very hard to get working correctly and honestly it was just too many buttons to push. Just my experience though!

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I’m beginning to disagree :smiley:
I’ve just made this build and have tested it in SR 75 - https://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNY0zv7Z

I’m still getting used to the new piloting style for sure, so I did make some mistakes, but weapon switching as a mechanic felt quite fluid. I was still getting used to which circumstances called for melee vs ranged ‘stance’ as well. The build has a lot more damage in ranged format, and a lot more tankiness in melee format, but is 100% functional in either, and it was designed so that there’s no component buffs to deal with when swapping weapons, so as to maximise fluidity.

As you can see, there were times when fighting certain enemies was hard - I kept trying to fight Kaisan in Melee, but it was no good - I ended up standing in AOE too long. But, switching to ranged there meant I could kite and kill him eventually. Kiting Gabal’Thunn was a breeze in ranged, and fighting Alkomos in Melee was much nicer than trying to kite him. A mix of ranged and melee for Zantarin worked nicely. Ranged against trash mobs was really fun until you got surrounded, so you’d switch to melee until the field had cleared up a bit. Once the pressure was off you could switch back to ranged for damage to finish them off, or to finish off any distant lingering mobs.

I think there is STRONG POTENTIAL for interesting, fun and functional builds using weapon switch, but I think it will take a bit of creativity to get the best out of them. The main questions to ask while trying to build for weapon-switch are:

In what circumstances would I want to switch weapon? What does switching weapon allow me to do?
: Boost a skill before casting it (+100% regen to Blood of Dreeg before casting it?)
: Allow you to use a skill that requires a weapon type (Devastation? Upheaval? Shattering Smash?)
: Complete a different set bonus momentarily (in my build above, ranged stance completes Darkblaze set, melee stances gets 3pc Sentinel of the Three set, so each stance provides different set bonuses)
: Tactical advantage - Ranged for kiting? If so, is there any reason to swap out from ranged? Can we come up with a reason to need to switch to melee ever? What about switching to a different ranged weapon, maybe to boost Grenado or something?
: Stacking dot damage from multiple procs off different weapons?

How do I want the build to flow?
: Do I want to have to leave combat every time I switch weapons? I could have a disengage combat rune assigned to my pistols stance right mouse, and Blitz assigned to my melee stance right mouse button. That way as I switch, I can move in or out of combat fluidly.
: Do I want to switch weapons mid-fight without leaving it momentarily? Do I need knockdowns/stuns/freezes to help? (That said - I didn’t have any trouble switching mid fight, without leaving combat. It felt very easy to switch to melee as I got surrounded to keep fighting).

How do I minimise piano playing with weapon switch? Useing left/right mouse accordingly.
: Are some of my skills best used in one stance but not the other? Can I assign them to left/right mouse button?
: Are some skills ones which I could technically use in either stance, but are strongly favoured by one (like if you had that 2he rifle to buff Grenado)? In that case, do you only want to use a skill in one of your stances? In that case, assign that skill to left/right mouse button in that stance, so it only becomes practically available to you when it’s best to do so.
: Are there component based skills on a weapon? They are only available when you switch to that weapon, so put them on Left/Right mouse.

This is a very different way of building characters, and I think will yield very different results because of it. For those experienced builders who are looking for a challenge to try, join me in exploring this concept :smiley:


Fascinating stuff as always, @WyreZ!

My own experience with weapon swap is mostly melee<->ranged primal strike leveling and a bit of the same in endgame, so I don’t really have much to add here except a couple of questions:

  1. At least a couple of items like Wendigo Barb and Alkamos’ Warsword offer conversions to duration buff skills. I think you established that these conversions don’t apply to teammates (see [] Reverence | Dedicated Support for high SR and Superbosses - #5 by WyreZ), but do the conversions apply to the player who casts them and then swaps weapons? It seems like they should if other item skill mods to the buff are retained after weapon swap.

  2. I don’t mean too veer too far off-topic (so feel free to ignore), but it seems like other gear swaps are a natural next item to consider after weapon swaps. Since they can’t be done as easily on the fly, the only endgame application I can think of is dedicated prep for particular SR bosses, though I struggle to think of examples where you might carry around an extra pair of boots, for example, just to fight one boss a bit more easily. Do you carry around any such items?


because the build is crap in melee?
make am actual melee pyro and it would have no trouble dealing with kaisan in melee
you’re doing a darkblaze dw build for dps, yet use a retal shield set, that offers nothing to the build than some phys res and wasted stats (in melee mode)
obviously you’re gonna feel more tanky with more than double the phys res (and lifesteal)

i maintain my stance weapon swap is clunky and there is little to no benefit that an actual dedicated build wouldn’t overcome and do better at - if anything that pyro highlights a dedicate build would be better

wouldn’t surprise me, if weapon swap builds started to get a little traction with buff exploitation use, Blood of Dreeg fighting spirit etc, that it would simply be patched out :confused:

… given how pilot coasting was just removed after being discovered :confounded:


Yo! I don’t know this yet, I haven’t checked it, but this is my current presumption based on how casting other buffs works with weapon swap. I’m keen to try it - There are a couple of items that give damage conversions to Word of Renewal (100% pierce to Chaos or 100% Aether to Elemental), so that might provide for some interesting opportunities.

Not usually, because it definitely can’t happen fluidly mid-fight, but there are circumstances where I absolutely do. There is an item (Brawler’s Distinction) that significantly reduces an enemy’s ability to heal itself. This is integral for deep SR when fighting Kubacabra, and it’s carried by some of the DPS builds and tanks in the Knights of the Eternal Realm SR team who swap out to it if required.

It depends on what you’re looking to achieve, right? Very rarely am I trying to make “the best build” in terms of tankiness or damage output. If I wanted a build stronger than this one I’d just make a pet build. Or a ret tank or something. There are other people here working diligently towards the goal of super-powered solo build, like yourself, and I do find such minmaxed builds inspiring. However, the few times I go looking for such specialty in a build is usually when building for super deep SR, support builds or team synergy. Instead, my goals with building are usually to explore things like diversity in gameplay, build concept (meme or theme builds), and the over all ‘play style experience’. The playstyle experience of “owning everything on screen as quickly and comfortably as possible” is the obvious one that most people are building toward, and one I enjoy from time to time, but is by no means the only one I care about.

The build above is the first attempt I’ve made at a weapon switch build, and for a first attempt I think it shows potential. Even if this particular build isn’t as strong as a well built melee build could be, I think it shows that weapon switch as a concept is functional.

I could argue that the build above is simply a “ranged build with the option of tankiness when needed”. You could counter argue “why not just build a tanky ranged build with less piano playing?”

So instead, I’ll argue - “I find it fun and interesting to be able to dart in and out of melee and ranged combat. For me it brings a freshness of playstyle that I haven’t spent much time doing in this game”.

Even if the build above doesn’t meet your standards of what you feel a ‘good build’ should be, I still think that it shows mechanically that good builds MAY be viable with more exploration of the concept.

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thing is, at least on that one, in order to utilize the weap swap buff benefit you are using an item that is boosting the ranged side more, if all you did was buff switch
the build (obv) punches out more dps in gun version, so the benefit of the weapon swap would be +6% phys res on swap every 30secs or so
but then changing to actual melee fight, “in that setup” just hinders it a bit, because the dmg output is much lower, can’t really leech enough despite over double the lifesteal, and all it gains is a chunk of phys res. Which means there is no actual advantage to the weapon swap fight stance itself, since whatever the melee version could kill, gunner format could kill too, and gunner can kill stuff that melee can’t; ie there is no reason to utilize melee stance for fighting
which then means that mainhand could(/should?) be swapped to something that could be utilized on weap swap, buff exploit or whatever
or the build “needs” to be as capable as gunner format in actual fighting, through either equal or circumstantial dps, or tankyness that allows it to survive tougher fights that gunner format can’t dps its way through
^the last 2 points i just see that type of weapon swap “hard”, if not impossible, to come up with, since it would probably requires more items than merely 2 weaps slot swaps could offer

think what i’m trying to say is, that a weapon swap build that uses weapon swap for fighting in both stances, needs to both be equally “strong”/useable in one way or another, otherwise there is no need or use for the 2nd stance (if 1st stance can do everything and the other can’t where is the purpose?), and all it would be is buff mod utilization
(if that makes sense)


It absolutely does make sense - Essentially and in a broad sense, you’re saying “the pros of weapon switching need to clearly outweigh the cons”. In this, I agree, and I think exploring that balance is what I’m excited to try. But you might also be right in that, it might end up being fruitless: There’s a chance that whatever “best weapon switch” build I can come up with might still not be as effective as a dedicated, non-weapon-swap build.

I guess that’s what I’m hoping to find out - Is there ever a (very niche perhaps) circumstance where weapon swapping IS better/stronger/preferred?

In the above build I conceptually like being able to double the phys res/lifesteal when cornered/surrounded or unable to kite (fast enemies, CC etc). But again, why not just make a build that is never fussed about being cornered/surrounded/doesn’t need to kite?

*le ponder *

i think the part of weapon swap that is potentially universal and clear in its benefit is stuff like the buff exploit, “passive gains”, - it’s also my concern that that’s the part that would be potentially patched out if utilized/“used too much” :sweat_smile:

the idea of having ex a dmg version in stance 1, and then a tank version in stance 2 in theory seems good; have a pew pew version that takes down nemesis and chonk boi that can face ravager (obviously extreme end of the scope in exaggerated comparison term)
i just think that type of “yin yang” fight format is gonna be heckuva difficulty to get with the change of just 2 items/weapon slot (partially because shield by default in itself doesn’t offer that much defensive advantage)

the idea to hunt down those diff potentials is good tho :+1:, then we just have to cross our fingers that the hammer of Zantai doesn’t strike :sweat_smile:

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Yeah, agreed on all fronts. :slight_smile:

I’m also wondering about just using offhand+devastation as a massive damage booser. Of course this means spec’ing for spirit a bit in a build that otherwise might not use it… I haven’t started looking into it at all, I just had the idea. This is in a similar playstyle vein to swapping stance just to cast a skill before quickly swapping back to go about what your normal playstyle would be.

The other things that I’m keen to explore are swapping out for added dot damage or specific nukes or something, like getting added fire dot damage on Callidor’s Tempest. Switch to those Callidor-boosting
weapons as enemies draw near, then slam them all with Callidor’s (plus the addon), switch back and keep fighting. Or something. Idk, there’s a lot to think about :stuck_out_tongue:

a potential benefit in such case could be RR weapons Mythical Herald of Blazing Ends - Items - Grim Dawn Item Database, since resist is calculated on first attack/dot hit, one could ex have RR boosting weapons and cast a (long) CD dot skill, then swap back to main weaps, and the DoT should keep rolling with the increased RR in effect for however long the duration is with dot duration increase
(true dots not pseudo dots)

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Huh. Yeah. Interesting thought: Weapon switch to max debuffs to enemies, then weapon switch to max buffs to self or something. :open_mouth:

Weapon swap with dual Bloodlord’s Vengeance (And Virtue’s Gaze). Yes, there are uses… though I would pick a better weapon swap than a yellow from Devil’s Crossing :slight_smile:

The problem remains, however, that any active skills, in my case, Burning Weapons, will reset, so that must be taken into account, but with passives only…

Clunky, as @Gnomish_Inquisition said;
Use @tqFan’s GD Autocaster?

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Yes indeedy! This had been on my mind too :slight_smile: Same with the scepter that adds 2s to Call of the Grave for necros etc…

This is not true, the only thing that is preserved on a weaponswap is duration, cooldown and the skill level. Skill modifier buffs are not preserved. If you don’t believe me, take any reaper. dualwield bargol’s core, open your third character page (to see physres), cast call of the grave (you will see your physres increase), then swap and see bonus physres drop. What’s interesting that the moment you swap back the physres will increase again.

I’ve played some builds that utilise weaponswap, but in my experience it’s important not to be full overboard with it. I think the only builds that actually get better by having weaponswap are some of the arcanists that swap for mirror duration.

The best example is this build by mad_lee [] Green Lantern: 5:45m Crucible Gladiator 150-170, easy SR 75-76 Aether Lightning caster Spellbinder [vid][c+][sr+].

The build already has a lot of bonus skillpoints in devastation that it can’t use because of a 2hander and almost has permanent mirror-mark uptime and it doen’t use any permanent auras. If you want, you can turn it into a weaponswap build, for example doing something like this Spellbinder, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator . Now it will have permanent mark-mirror cycle and capped devastation.

This is interesting because I tried it with a putrid necklace’s crit chance to blood of dreeg… Maybe it only applies like this to team buffs?

Might be the case. It makes sense that team buffs should preserve all their stats (since if you die or log off your team should still have the buff for its duration).

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Other thought is, maybe it only applies it to non-weapon boosts. Putrid necklace isn’t a weapon, so maybe it wasn’t coded in to take it off the buff when it’s ‘switched out’? I’ll double check it…