Old 11-03-2017, 02:36 PM
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Zhuugus Zhuugus is offline
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Default [] Powerful builds of AoM era

UPDATE 13/04/18:
I've tried 13 dual-wield builds in the past few weeks. What can I say? They are overall in a pretty bad shape: the damage is too low so the rule "kill before being killed" is executed poorly. But there is one type of weapon that can bring joy to hearts of dw razor-sharp action enthusiasts: Ugdenbog daggers! Cold, lightning or fire - with the right prefix and suffix they deliver. Already had cold ones here, so added dw lightning vindicator and dw fire purifier. Enjoy!

When you invest dozens of hours of leveling and farming you want to feel powerful, want to be able to beat all end-game content game has to offer.

The hardest game content by far is gladiator crucible. It is also very rewarding:
for 100-150 waves of gladiator crucuble you get 8 legendaries and other stuff (including rare MI items). This takes less than 30 min for these builds. And how much legendaries do you farm in the campagn in 30 min? One or two if lucky.

You can take a build from Build Compendium, but there are actually a lot of weak ones there and you will be very disappointed dying over and over again. Also, you won't find some of these masterpieces there.

The builds below are checked by myself in gladiator crucible to ensure that they are powerful and you won't be disappointed.

Builds to clear lvl 150-170 gladiator, in no particular order:
[Times are with 2 standard blessings (+damage, +health), no banners]

My first impression on 150-170 was something like this.
It took some time to adapt to the huge spike of difficulty in 150-170, but more and more builds keep coming.
However, gladiator levels 150-170 are bad for farming. If you start with 100 tributes at 150 and buy just 2 blessings then after completing 170 you will end up with just 82 tributes, so it doesn't maintain itself.
Then, for gladiator 150-170 you get measily 5 legendaries on average, that's strictly worse than 8 for 100-150.

Major tip: always kill Kubacabra first, no matter what. Otherwise this annoying piece of shit masterpiece of gamedesign will just heal everybody else and they will never die. Use hit-and-run tactics not to stay in his healing pools.
Aleksander is suprisingly annoying as well, his aether meteors are very dangerous, try to avoid them at all costs. 40+ aether overcap is welcome.
Generally, overcapping all resistanses is the way to go because literally in every wave someone will shred your resists.
On wave 169 Theodin Marcell has 2 phases, do not kill his first phase last, otherwise wave 170 will start and you will have to deal will additional boss.
You can also check a thread where people share their opinions on the new crucible.
Categories are nominal, all builds have very strong defensive skills and high DA. "Tanks" facetank all the time and "casters" don't.

Full Metal Tanks

1. S&B physical DoubleBlitz Commando by Jajaja
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/eVL3JzG2 [my version for waves 150-170]
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4ZDDWpWZ [new improved version, 20min clear instead of 30]
I was not able to clear with the original version (build 7) at all. The problem was survivability. A tank with permanent overguard simply can't survive in 150-170 (isn't it sick?). So I started to seek solutions and I found them! I completely changed all devotions to the ones Eddie_Alucard has in his witchblade (build 15). And took Judicator's Seals rings for hp regen. And Flashbang.
This works, it clears gladiator 150-170 reliably in about 30 min with 2 buffs (+damage, +health). Reaper+Grava+Valdaran+Kubacabra=no problem (damn, am I really saying that?!) You can see yourself how stupidly many defensive mechanics you should posess to survive that misanthropic fiesta.
Update: Yeah, a few months passed since I adapted this build for crucible. Comparing it to the others, 30min seemed too much, so I made another version, utilizing the DA mechanic. Now you clear in 20 min. Could be faster, but you gain energy only through Arcane Spark and it doesn't work on bosses since they have stupid energy leech res, so on boss waves you sometimes kite waiting for the energy potion to come off cooldown...

2. S&B physical cadence witchblade by Eddie_Alucard
This is the build where I took devotions from to make previous tanks. It needs absolutely no tuning for 150-170, clears pretty reliably in less than 25 min. Damn, this devotion setup works with every physical set: Markovian, Octavius, Warborn. Take that, fancy aether Krieg builds!

3. S&B aether battlemage & death knight by Zhuugus
Krieg boiz are back in business! You liked that fancy Hourglass or maybe Spear? Kiss it goodbye! Hug your new best friends now: Menhir, Empyrion and Targo. I put battlemage and death knight here both at once, since they are twin brothers sharing the same gameplay, same gear and nearly the same devotions. Both can do 150-170 reliably under 25min with 2 blessings.

4. Bleed warder by WShepherd
Now this is a special one, our chinese friends presented a few builds that they play. Pretty unique ones I should say! They utilize the way that defensive ability works in GD. When you look at your character sheet and see: 'Last hit by: Fabius, Chance to be crit: 0%, Chance to be hit: 3%' - then you realize what it's all about! This obvoiusly had to sacrifice much to achive these numbers, but it compensates with facetanking, no time lost in kiting. Clears 150-170 in about 20-22 min. However, it is pretty slow in 100-150, took me around 40min, so it is pretty much aimed at 150-170.
I think we can learn from this unique approach and make more builds viable this way. Let's thank chinese guys for sharing these wonderful builds, bravo!

5. S&B physical tactician by Superfluff
At first glance, inquisitor is inferior mastery for a physical build compared to occultist for example because it doesn't provide physical RR. However, the author somehow managed to overcome this with the help of deadly aim for damage and inquisitor seal for defence which allowed him to make more aggressive devotion choices. This just stands on seal and facetanks everything, including waves 160 and 170. Under 20 min clear time.

6. Gun'n'Shield purifier by Superfluff
Don't think that this is a ranged build! Your pistol is in fact a shotgun and it should be used at point blank, this is how Aegis set works. The defenses are high to match this style of play, so you basically facetank everything, including waves 160 and 170. It resembles the purifier by actuanpanda from the shooter section but has considerably better durability. Clear times about 20 min.

7. Burn BWC purifier by blingi
...and another one! We've already seen burn casters here and strong purifiers too and very tanky casters as well. Well, this one has it all! I must admit, the recent buff to Aura of Censure was really big one. Because of the huge amount of DA and debufs from Censure, Flashbang and Searing Light this build can facetank even waves 160 and 170 with no sweat. And fire builds never had trouble with damage. Also we all know: when you don't kite you kill faster! 14min on average with 2 blessings and extra spawn. The is an excellent time on it's own, but then you remember that this build is nearly impossible to kill, so... yeah!

8. Two-hand physical forcewave tactician by Danko
This is important! Forcewave soldier is probably the easiest most friendly build for beginners, which is also very strong and not gear-dependent. But two-handers had problems in 150-170, this is the first adaptation I saw that solved all the issues and made a forcewave build a reliable 150-170 farmer (17 min average). So now you can finish all game content even with your first build! If you ask why tactician instead of occultist (who has physical RR) I can answer that inquisitor seal provides extra defenses to be able to facetank absolutely everything and Deadly Aim and Arcane Empowerment compensate for the lack of physical RR. Plus if you want to build elemental forcewave version, tactician is better.

9. Internal trauma tactician by Autentist
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/d2jO9L4V [my version]
This is a tactician version of IT witchblade from the caster section. I added lifesteal, physical RR and DA. Despite being mostly DoT build it facetanks pretty reliably standing on the inquisitor seal. Compared to witchblade it is slightly more gear-dependant and slightly easier to play. Clearing time is the same as witchblade - 18min.

10. Elemental forcewave tactician by Mator + fire forcewave tactician by Autentist
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/eZPoLLPV [by Mator]
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/bVA8Yx42 [by Autentist]
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/mN4Qa0l2 [my version of the fire one]
Here comes another couple of tacticians! These authors had a dispute in the comments which one is better. I made some little changes to both builds, for example added Arcane Spark to elemental one to be able to use sword's unique skill more often, plus put last 10 points from the mastery tree into Fighting Spirit. Changes made to the fire one I linked, there is another medal there + little changes in devotions.
Both builds survive great, standing on seal and butchering everything. Fire tactician clears in 13 min, elemental one - in 16 min. However, fire one has big problems with mana on boss waves because bosses have stupid mana leech immunity. In conclusion: both are good and easy to play in my opinion.

Beefy Casters

1. Fire/aether triple-meteor sorcerer by JoV
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/r2BoBjzV [author's new version for waves 150-170]
If it was the first build I tried in 150-170 I would think "Well, these new levels are fairly balanced, slighly harder, but no problems for a top build". But I already know how ruthless and misanthropic new waves are to everything that has other gameplay than this one. This is a tanky kiting caster, it just throws spells, runs around and everything dies in the process. This style of play helps to mitigate immeasurable shares of incoming damage, so it doesn't have to sacrifice damage for defenses like the previous build. Under 25 min clear time of 150-170 gladiator with 2 blessings and no sweat at all. It's inconceivable how casters are favorable for these new levels compared to everything else.
Author suggested to subtract last 10 points of demolitionist mastery and put them into Inferno for more dot.

2. S&B internal trauma witchblade by Zhuugus/Actuanpanda
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrEEzLV [my first version]
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/62a650DV [budget version by actuanpanda]
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/4VxGwOJ2 [final version by actuanpanda, I only added other rings]
So kiting casters are good so as superdefensive tanks. Why not make a fusion of these? The idea is to be tanky but still be able to kite waves 160 and 170 without losing too much damage. And internal trauma build does all that. I used ideas from builds 3 and 15, thanks to the authors.
At first I tried Anvil and Vire constellations, but it turned out that Ishtak and Light of Empyrion provide much, much more durability and the damage differense is negligible. So this exact devotion setup is the most consistent for physical builds (thanks again, MortalKombat!).
Also includes massive overcap to almost all resists, that's very recommended.
Under 25 min clear time with 2 blessings.
This can be made as a death knight as well, all you need in necromancer mastery are Spectral binding, Spectral Wrath and Decay, but I like witchblade version more.
You can obtain green weapon from vendor, so just refresh him many times, and in the end you'll be rewarded.
Update: Actuanpanda continued his work on this build and his final version is a lot faster. For my taste Judicator's rings are better (than Mythical Ring of the Black Matriarch and Bladetwister Signet) - yes, you will loose a few minutes but they are much safer, they guarantee you won't die even to most nasty boss/mutators combos. Average clearing time decreased to 18min.

3. Burn BWC sorcerer by x1x1x1x2
This is another great example of a kiting caster. You just run around in circles while your huge burn damage (because of increased duration) melts everything down. Maybe a riftstone would be nice here to get out if surronded, but it's kinda hard to cap resists to be able to allow it. Can clear under 20 min if mutators aren't too nasty. Also I found arenas without big open spaces (like crucible of sands) safer, it's harder for monsters to hit you all at once.
In general: dot is great, BWC is great, Warpfire is great, I'll definitely make a BWC commando as well.

4. Poison DEE witchblade by Drizzto
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/vNQRvbv2 [up-to-date version by Pyroscar]
Look, a reverse witchblade! Instead of going full soldier with only 3 skills in occultist is does the opposite! I had my own version with Aeon's Hourglass and Black Star of Deceit instead of Manticore, but after testing I concluded that Pyroscar's version is better than mine because it is cheaper, has Mark of Divinity and generally survives easier. He posted like 10 versions of it in the comments, I chose the one with devotion setup I like most. What I don't like in his version is the helm, I think helm from Dreeg set is better (for +2 to skills) and I find Haunted steel and Restless remains useless, I use Seal of Blight (and Arcane spark to be able to use seal's active skill sometimes). Btw, the rings are a major part of your damage, without them you will lose 25-30%. Clears under 25 min.
Update: with Dreeg's full set bonus was finally made properly, so now you should use full Dreeg.

5. Bleed witchblade by x1x1x1x2
"My blood thunders within me!" (c)
I played a bleed warder long time ago and it was a real PITA. This one, however, is so easy, so smooth. The sight of Kuba and Reaper bleeding to death while I'm just running around fills my heart with warmth and joy. Add Arcane Spark or you'll have some mana issues. Just 25 min of hanging around with this one and you can get away with your puny reward of 5 legendaries.

6. Burn commando by Zhuugus
The concept of a bwc burn commando is very old, many people made their versions of it. I like mine! I thought it would be kiting 100% of the time in crucible, like dot builds usually do. But it turned out that it just facerolls everything until wave 150 and has zero problems in waves 150-170 with some kiting. Last time on wave 170 I encountered double Aleksander+Maiden+Fabius, crushed them like insects. Under 20 min clear. Today we're having some crispy nemesis for dinner!

7. Lightning warder by Pyroscar
This tanky caster is the reincarnation of Pyroscar's vindicator which was good at farming 100-150, but is not that good in 150-170 (can't tank even standing on seal). Warder is much more defensive as a mastery combo (Menhir's Will, Overguard) plus the author used the massive DA approach of chinese guys. With 4700 DA it can facetank almost anything (waves 160 and 170 are not facetankable obviously) and even though duration of electrocute damage is short it doesn't take long to melt down 160 and 170 while kiting. Average time of 18 min with 2 blessings and extra spawn.

8. Physical battlemage by Superfluff
Spellscourge always seemed garbage to everyone - physical devastation does not provide enough damage by itself and if you support it with weapon-based skills like Cadence or Blitz it feels clunky and meh. But Superfluff has found an elegant solution to this - Beronath sword with its conversion and Stormfire which becomes full physical this way. This is a perfect choice, now it works just right! Thanks to Time Dilation you'll sit in permanent Overguard and also be able to use Mirror very often. This is the only battlemage I know that can compete with aether Krieg one. About 20 min clear. Physical damage is goooood.

9. Mortar purifier by Cmak414
Incredibly strong build. Even after months since AoM release people still come up with such great concepts, I'm amazed. I thought mortar was a useless skill, boy I was wrong! When built properly all these mortars tear everything into shreds - with some help from Stormfire. In Aura of Censure got a buff, it allowed author to make a better devotion points distribution. It can clear 150-170 in 14 min average and thanks to 5k DA and inquisitor seal it is super durable - your life is easy and relaxed, facetanking nearly anything. You have to do some kiting on 160 and 170 though - just to step away from dots and multiple boss focus - you're not a full tank after all. Btw, capping resists can be hard, I even had to sacrifice some DA and take Sylvarria's Essences.

10. Trozan druid by HoneyBadger
It's pretty mysterious, but I've never seen a really strong druid before. Yet here is one! Completely facetanks everything in 100-150. However, after 150 you have to be careful and kite all the time. The key mechanic to surviving is abusing cooldown reduction with Mirror and Time Dilation (surprise, surprise, huh). You can spend a TON of time hiding in invincibility from mirror. In 160 and 170 your tactics would be: kite - stop and pop mirror - facetank the crowd for 3 sec - kite again right until mirror is off cooldown again. Another thing that helps you a lot is Ishtak devotion, which also synergises greatly with your CDR. About 20 min clear time. Btw, I tossed 2 Ravager's Eyes in there for more DA.
P.S.: these handguards look really badass, love 'em!

11. Physical mortar defiler by Zhuugus
I've had this dream for a long time: making a defiler for 150-170. I've made one that can farm 100-150 (in the second post), but 170 only teased and beckoned me. But time passed, I learned new Crucible better and also chinese guys showed us the way of massive DA. And now it is done!
Most of the credit should go to Cmak414, because the core is his mortar purifier. I noticed that Inquisitor mastery doesn't give anything indispensable and can be easily changed to Necromancer, thus making a Defiler! Hard to cap resists (one Incorruptible prefix is essential), you will use mana and health potions on cd and what is most important - this is a defiler, leveling it is PITA, don't even try it if you don't already have Beronath sword. But still, this sucking mastery combo that received zero love from devs with this particular build is now on par with the tough guys and clears 150-170 in 16 min.
Defilers still need massive support from devs, this one is pure exotic, it represents words "overcoming" and "despite" in GD.

12. Vitality decay cabalist by THT
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/RZRnRXOZ [my version for 150-170]
I noticed that there are no builds with Dark One's Gift set in 150-170 section, so I decided to fix that. This is the old vitality decay build by THT adapted to the new conditions. Cabalist and this set do not allow you to gain high DA, but since it is a vitality build it compensates by having very high life leech through vitality devotions and skills. Clears in about 20min.

13. Cataclysm elemental deceiver by Superfluff
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrrEAMZ [my first version for 150-170]
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/a2EjOqmV [my second version, same clear speed but safer]
Freshly buffed Cataclysm set is awesome if you know how to cook it! Original version destroys 100-150 in 25-27min, but unfortunately it lacks defenses to clear 150-170 safely. However my adjustments fixed that, now it finishes reliably in 16 min. Second version is even safer and is based on Chthon's vindicator (next build), cause I liked his gear and devotion choices more. Btw, my respect to Superfluff for making it a deceiver, which is one of the weakest classes, so strong.

14. Cataclysm elemental vindicator by Chthon
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/O2GpP4JV [my version for 150-170]
Chthon made his own cataclysm build. I liked his devotion and gear choices a lot, 100-150 took 20-22min. But still had to make adjustments for 150-170: these add you more OA, which fully compensates for the ring procs (even better if you ask me) and massive extra 600 DA, which is huge in crucible. This build finishes even faster than Superfluff's deceiver - in 13 min, but let's not forget that vindicator is far stronger class than a deceiver.

15. Trozan druid by veretragna
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/pZrrqk5Z [my version]
This is another approach to trozan druid. It uses DA instead of chaining MoE. This is more passive way of playing, for those who don't like to press buttons a lot. In my version I took Seal of Skies for its great skill and maxed Storm Totem and Maelstrom for more damage. Plus Ravager's Eyes. 16 min clear as a result.

16. Cataclysm sorcerer by mad_lee
A good example of a class that doesn't need super high DA nor super rare green items to be very effective. CDR, Mirror, Warpfire, burn damage, kiting - a well-known reliable recipe of success. Also accompanied by not-so-long-ago-buffed Cataclysm set, which proved to be very effective. 16 min clear time.

Weird Stuff

1. DW aether spellbinder by Suede Lee
Hey, what is this, a dual-wield build? Yes it is! So how does it survive the carnage? Well, it is half-immortal. That's right: it chains Mirror of Ereoctes with Mark of Torment to have either complete immunity or 50% damage absorbtion. And Aeon's Hourglass devotion resets the cooldowns, so if you're careful enough you can have almost 100% uptime. This requires some practice to get used to, I can't say it's very hard but not for new players. I've tried other spellbinders that use this mechanic, but they were kiting casters. I found this one easier to play because it also has another upside - huge lifesteal. Fiend devotion bound to Ravenous Earth gives great AoE and sustain. Don't forget, half of chaos damage becomes aether (from ring), all fire damage becomes aether, half of elemental damage from Iskandra Elemental Exchange becomes aether, there are also huge flat aether bonuses from Fabric of Reality and Reckless Power. All together these make our damage output right out gigantic so my average clear time was 13 minutes. That's incredible!

2. DW acid/poison blademaster by hjmj02
https://www.grimtools.com/calc/d2jOqgxV [my version]
At last! Once blademasters were proud members of OP vanguard, but were flushed down into ch'thonic abyss by relentless celestial interference. This one crawled back from nonexistence to reclaim blademasters' former glory. This chinese guy didn't call it poison for no reason: a big part part of it's damage is DoT poison and this is the part that helps it pass through waves 160 and 170. You poison them and kite: pretty simple but also pretty unique, considering it is made in a dw blademaster shell.
My version clears in 16 min and I found it 5 times easier to play and survive than the original.

3. DW cold korba trickster by Zhuugus
Ugdenbog daggers: DW razor-sharp action, Part 1
In the ages nearly buried in sands of time, Jajaja came up with a korba trickster. That was a fearsome damage machine but also a glass cannon. That creation had zero chance in the new ruthless crucible, but then the light of chinese wisdom of high DA enlightened our way!
Even so, it took time and effort to put this one together, cause this is probably the squishiest class in the game with zero good defensive skills. Now I finally present you a reliable variant which clears in 13min. It is pretty easy on all waves except 160 and 170: there it is really hard. I recommend crucible of the legion, kiting there is very effective, bosses won't hit you all at once.

4. DW cold infiltrator by Zhuugus
Ugdenbog daggers: DW razor-sharp action, Part 2
Blue items meta strikes once again This is very similar to korba trickster, but it is noticeably safer thanks to such great defensive tools as Inquisitor Seal and Aura of Censure debuff. You can facetank wave 160 and 170 with this (including double Reaper for example), kiting only when there is too much DoT on the ground. Clears in 12 min.

5. DW lightning vindicator by Zhuugus
Ugdenbog daggers: DW razor-sharp action, Part 3
Another one in the proud DW Ugdenbog vanguard. Same ability to facetank double Reaper and other nemesis, 13min clear, etc, etc. This one is heavily supported by Storm Totem, so some purists would call him a hybrid. Whatever! You're on the frontline, you eviscerate and you are basically a Zeus. Neat, huh?

6. DW fire purifier by Zhuugus
Ugdenbog daggers: DW razor-sharp action, Part 4
...and another one! I didn't explain why Ugdenbog daggers are so good. Well, they have nice core (especially cold ones), alacrity suffix gives so much needed attack speed, but the right prefix is the key. "Infernal" for example launches 3 fireballs that can shotgun and this is why nemesis melt so fast. Cold version also has shotgunning projectiles and lightning doesn't, but its proc is still good.
14 min clear. Keep in mind that all these times are for builds, adjusted to have near 100% success. If you swap defence for offense you can push for records, but obviously that won't be safe anymore.

Crucible guide

I want to stress 2 bosses in crucible who can tear ANY build in 1 second if you don't know the tactics.
Rashalga the Mad Queen
Appears on wave 147. When she glows red (like 50% of the time) she has her ridiculous aura on, which amplifies her damage like 10 times IF you use any projectile-based skills. Even tanks can be blown into pieces. So you either kite or don't use any skills/devotions with projectiles.
He is very weak, but has a mindblowing charging attack. When he raises his weapon and starts glowing red your have 2 seconds to get your ass out before you will be inevitably one-shot. Damage is insane because it is a shotgun attack. Watch out!
And here is a great Crucible guide done by Drizzto (in the end of the build):

I'm so glad that I started this thread, people gave me a lot of great builds to try. I couldn't even imagine that so many builds can provide that sweet sweet sense of power and satisfaction!
Feel free to post powerful builds you know.
My special thanks to all the authors of the builds.
I also say thank you to all people who shared builds in the comments.

More builds are on their way, stay tuned!

Last edited by Zhuugus; 04-13-2018 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:58 PM
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Zhuugus Zhuugus is offline
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Builds to farm lvl 100-150 gladiator, in no particular order:
[Times are with extra spawn, 2 standard blessings (+damage, +health), no banners]


1. DW pierce blademaster by Superfluff
You are melee glass canon and you concentrate on DAMAGE. Killing things before they kill you is your ultimate goal.
Sadly, the patches chopped off about 20% of your damage, which is a big deal. With same build version I still managed to cut through disgusting things like +40% monster health mutator with double Valdaran + Moosilauke trio (and Rashalga was a kitefest), all under 30min. The author suggested a new medal+fighting spirit combo to compensate for the damage loss, I tried it. With it you can chop off 2-3min clearing time, but staying with mark of divinity is a safer choice. It's up to you to decide.

2. Two-hand electrocute warder by Jajaja
Again, one of the fastest clearing speeds. You have a lot of lifesteal to keep you alive + wendigo totem which heals a lot since you have big hp pool. Storm totems are very useful since they do damage even when you are forced to kite a bit (Rashalga, wave 149). Also, Warder is an extremely strong mastery combination even with mediocre gear and levelling guilde is included, so I can recommend this one to beginners.
This got a hit in [], hard to tell how much damage actually lost. In terms of single target it's about 10%, according to my dummy kill times. Still clears waves 100-150 under 25 min (on one purchase of blessings), so nerf was just a tickling.

3. S&B forcewave tactician by herites
Internal Trauma... Sounds painful! And believe me, it will be - for your enemies. Reliable and tanky brawler with good damage. You can also kite with it if needed (almost never needed actually, unless Rashalga and wave 149), because you inflict internal trauma damage, which is a dot.

4. S&B aether death knight by EIO AU
http://www.grimtools.com/calc/YZe9zbdZ [original version aimed at killing Ravager]
http://www.grimtools.com/calc/4NOQqzXV [my variation for crucible]
Ok, so what happens if you take tier 1 build and buff it even more? This one! They buffed the Krieg set, buffed Reaping Strike, buffed Spectral Wrath, even buffed Seal of Corruption! The most important buff is Spectral Wrath, because it's a lot easier now to level this build, Necromancer mastery now gives a significant support to a phycical-based Soldier. And when you finally recpec into Krieg set and aether damage you become a monster! My additions to this build are: reaping strike, markovian's advantage, Dying God proc (the downside is negligible), Seal of Corruption and Wrathstone, I also replaced Haunt relic with Mogdrogen's Ardor since I use seal of corruption active skill instead of haunt now (too lazy to use both).
As a result, build has more durability and much, much more damage. It is near the very top builds while also being very tanky. Feelsgoodman.

5. S&B pierce blademaster by Chthon
This is a solid build capable of reliable crucible farming. But among it's rivals - typical s&b brawlers - aether death knight and doubleblitz commando perform better (clear crucible 30% faster). However, this one has one huge advantage - gear requirement: it does not rely on specific end-game sets, thus needs no respecs and works from the beginning. Leveling tips included, so I can recommend this to beginners.

6. DW vitality cabalist by THT
Cabalist... You probably thought this is a caster, right? Wrong! This is a dual-wield blademaster-style crucible crusher with probably the fastest clearing speed I have experienced (edit: not anymore, but this is still super fast and not a glass cannon). Slaughter.
This was hit a bit in [], due to Ravenous earth and SoB nerfs, but still remains the same top killer. Easy clearing, easy life (25-27min).

7. S&B DoubleBlitz Commando by Jajaja
One remembers times long long ago when Overguard was like 8sec duration with 10sec cd (and no transmuter at all) and Markovian set gave much better cd ticks. Well, they are back! Mythical Markovian shield and Colossal Grasp give such big bonuses to Overguard that you can take transmuter for permanent Overguard and do not loose any damage! And the best part is that the author found an incredible damage source achieved via damage convertion to make this a real beast! There are builds here that deal more damage and can clear 2-3 min faster, but this one surpasses them by far in durability, so you will almost never fail (if you follow crucible guide ofc).

8. Two-hand burning commando (blitz version) by Pyroscar
Strong fire build. The author has 2 versions: with blitz and with blackwater coctail. He claims they are equally powerful. Hell, no! BWC version sucks. Period. Blitz is like 3 times better, it gives incomparable amount of sustain (build lives only on lifesteal), while also providing more damage. I also took Seal of blades purely for lifesteal, didn't attach any devotions to it (yes, you need lifesteal that badly).

9. DW vitality apostate by THT
This had some trouble and needed changes after []. I made it, it's wrecking again! I basically took ideas from THT's cabalist. Changes: rings: Mythical Signet of the Fallen, Voidheart for vitality RR, relic: Scourge, because we need that active ability, it rocks! Components: Blessed steel for active ability (damage+RR) and Seal of Resonance. Devotions: ghoul instead of Fiend, bind Time Dilation to Scourge and use it as your left mouse attack, bind wendigo to word of pain. With this I finished under 30min, feeling pretty safe even when facetanking Valdaran+Fabius. You need to stand in inquisitor seal when facing tough enemies and dangerous hordes.

10. DW acid witch hunter by Jajaja
The author messes with us, claiming it's just an ordinary melee in a cruel world which belongs to casters. Yeah, right! His own clear times expose the truth. This is a top build with a very good balance of survivability and damage. I managed to finish in 25min feeling pretty safe.

11. DW acid reaper by Superfluff
This is the glassiest glass cannon of all local melee builds. Extremely fast-paced gameplay. Not to be so glassy I took second seal of resonance and changed Affliction for 4 point Ghoul, 3 point Behemoth (ah, much better now). Also you need arcane spark not to run out of mana. Know that such a masterpiece of gamedesign as Rashalga is your main enemy. And prepare to use Blade Barrier and Mark of torment a lot. Wait a minute, but why should I bother - you would ask. Well, there is an upside: you can clear in 20 minutes with this.

12. DW fire saboteur by Jajaja
Quoting the author: "I would have liked to cling to honor and tradition of our ways, but in the end i still had to resort to voodoo magic of BWC for help." It worked! This is the second author's DW build (for AoM) and it pretty much resembles his WH with balace of damage and durability. Kvadratisch, praktisch, gut.

13. DW cold infiltrator by Weyu
Ok, I think that not maxing out Inquisitor seal should be illegal. Why would you choose not to use such a strong defensive tool at its full power? Inconceivable! Max it out and enjoy your 25-27min clear (or perish in agony without maxing).

14. DW cold trickster by Jajaja
This is the third author's DW build for AoM (he loves melee) and this time he has chosen a path of glass cannon (similar to DW pierce blademaster). Yes, you can clear in 25 min, but you can easily die from one mistake, so I personally prefer more durable builds.

15. S&B physical cadence witchblade by Eddie_Alucard
The King is back! All hail the King! Yeah, this demolished crucible back in []. And nothing has changed! This is an easy to play nearly immortal tank which also clears pretty fast (under 30min). Not enough for you? It's also very easy to level up and it doesn't require green MI items. Gloves+shield allow it to use overguard permanently practically without damage loss. When facetanking Iron Maiden+Fabius+Bennjarr all at once your health bar does not even move! Recommended to all beginners and those who prefer easy clears and stability.

16. S&B aether battlemage by Zhuugus
I present you my own build and assure you it's a good one! I won't advertise it much, I'll just note that it is s&b with all defensive benefits coming from this and the damage allows to clear under 25min. And absolutely no green MI items. Nuff said.

17. DW physical witchblade by JoV
An outstanding example of a DW build. Why? Well, this is probably the only DW build that can can tank and kill Ravager (special gear needed)! Despite that in crucible I didn't notice any exceptional survivability - it is good for a DW build (definitely not a glass cannon) but far from s&b builds. Thanks to damage added via converting chaos and elemental into physical this achieves great clearing speed - 25 min and less.

18. DW vitality deceiver by Zhuugus
I've made another build, this time a hybrid melee caster. Again, for a very unpopular mastery combination. And it's good! Not the very top, but tanks double Iron Maiden+Fabius and clears gladiator in about 30min. Take a look!

19. DW vitality defiler by Zhuugus
This has the same concept as the previous build - deceiver. But this one is significantly harder to gear. Survives on huge lifesteal, I have 26%. I won't make a guide for it probably, it is here to prove that defilers work. About 30 min clear time for waves 100-150.


1. DW physical gunner tactician by JoV
A gunner in Grim Dawn? Unbelieveable! But yeah, addition of inquisitor mastery finally allowed JoV to create this masterpiece. Gameplay resembles melee build however (who could have thought, right?): you don't kite and shoot from a distance, you stand on inquisitor seal and tear everything into shreds! Lifesteal and seal itself combined with high DA and armor allows you survive easily (just run away from heavy dots).

2. Two-hand rifle fire purifier by Superfluff
A shooter again! Seems like inquisitor mastery (and particularly seal) works wonders making ranged builds competitive. Gameplan is the same as for previous build: stand on seal, shoot everything to death. Clear time about 27min, do not equip mythical version of medal (messes up dps). Shooting and having fun at the same time - that's exactly what we need in Grim Dawn! So good.

3. Gun'n'shield fire purifier by actuanpanda
This one is similar to previous purifier but here the author uses Aegis of the Legion set, which includes a shield. Yeah, crucible is the place where wearing a shield isn't a disgrace even for a gunner! I tested the version with Justicar Guard set, it clears around 30min. The truth about ranged builds in crucible, quoting the author: "I'd suggest you to stay as close as possible to bosses, even closer than melee range if you can."

4. DW chaos pyromancer by korsar
http://www.grimtools.com/calc/q2MMO142 [crucible version by BladeAndShadow]
This is triple rare! First, it's a strong gunner. Second, it's a strong gunner without inquisitor mastery. Third, it's a pure chaos build! Chaos part was the most attactive for me, I was looking for a strong chaos build for a long time. After a lot of requests devs finally buffed the Darkblaze Garb set and here we go! I tested the version for crucible, it clears around 30min (and has 27k hp with crucible buff and a ton of regen and overcapped res - that's why it does not need inquisitor seal to survive).


1. Aether spellbinder by Ptirodaktill
Technically, you are a caster. You even have a wand and an off-hand! But as a playstyle you manly run right into mobs and smash their faces with spells (spells are fun!). Very fast clearing speed (25min) and if you don't become greedy with pressing invincibility button you'll be nearly unkillable.

2. Fire/aether triple-meteor sorcerer by JoV
Meteors, meteors, meteors! Meteors for everyone! You have a downpour of meteors from permanent Devastation, supported by devotion meteors and the ones from legendary helm. So much power! You are not supposed to facetank hordes (however you can facetank single Iron Maiden for example), but your survivability is great, just kite a bit.

3. Poison/acid DEE witchblade by Drizzto
http://www.grimtools.com/calc/lNk1AmDV [my crucible version updated for AoM]
The author hasn't updated it for AoM yet, so I'm putting my up-to-date version here. I took Murmur devotion for RR and upgraded everything to mythical. Also very important to use Acid Purge (skill from seal of blight component), you will need 2 ectoplasms and arcane spark for it. Clearing speed is slower than most other builds presented here (about 35min), however it's safe enough if you don't facetank and just hit-and-run, letting the dots do the job.

4. Vitality ritualist by Vallenhael
To farm gladiator crucible with this distinctive caster I made some improvements to proposed gear: Dark One's Gift set (mainly for damage reduction), 2 scaled hide components (IronMaiden-proof) and... a shield! Yeah, shield helps A LOT in crucible, survivability realy matters there. Remember, dead heroes do not deal damage! Nor bring you fun. Vampiric Bonewall rare shield with physical res is BIS.
So, after [] it lost damage, hard to tell how much, but clear times are more than 25min now. However, my shield version still has no problems with survivability, just spamming Devouring Swarm and using Ravenous earth and totem on cd.

5. Chaos/vitality warlock by THT
Have you ever dreamed of playing a manifestation of evil, a chaos incarnate? This is it, with sigils of consumption covering all the ground and doom bolts raining doom from the skies, supported by some devastation.
Patch has given it a kick right in the balls. Unnecessary and unfair nerf to legendary helm swallowed damage and SoB nerf decreased survivability, so we have to go for more defensive devotions (more damage loss). But still it lives and facetanks Valdaran+Fabius with no issues so it stays for now. My changes: 2 seals of resonance, respec devotions: Aeon's Hourglass, Eye of the guardian, Empty Throne, Gallows and Eel. This gives us 19 points. We put them into: crossroads 1 point (order), Lion, Panther, Solemn Watcher and Scales of Ulcama. Don't expect clear times faster than 35min thanks to that brilliant nerfs.

6. Chaos witch hunter by THT
You have 1,7 cd on Blade Spirit, so you have 5-6 of these cute fluffy pets all the time. This obviously requires some spamming. Also you fight in melee and survive on lifesteal and sigil of consumption.
After [] I changed SoB to Blessed steel and seal of resonance and changed eye of the guardian devotion to hawk and lantern. Be warned, after patch it's not a easy build to pilot, I'd recommend it only to experienced players.

7. Poison/acid witch hunter by JoV
The author assures us that it's not squishy despite being a witch hunter. Damn, he is right! However, do not try to facetank hordes, your main gameplay against tough enemies is kiting. The main zest of the build is Doom Bolt, which is transmuted into poison and has tainted eruption devotion attached to it.
And so the [] unnecessary and unfair nerf to legendary helm has swallowed minimum 20% damage of the build, affecting clear times. However, the build still works and probably performs better than poison witchblade, presented above.

8. Vitality phantasmal blades-based witch hunter by janodal
Phantasmal blades are back in business! Amazing damage, very fast clearing speed. What I liked most is that PB is a spammable projectile attack, so this feels like a shooter and we heavily lack these in Grim Dawn. The only thing I suggest replacing is gloves, pick ones with +cast speed, in this build cast speed=dps.

9. Vitality drain essence cabalist by JoV
First surprise is that it's a channeling build that actually works great. Second: this is based not on legendaries, like all other top builds, but on a epic set! Blue items meta! It drains, it survives, it kills - what else do you want? Ah, mobility - it has Riftstone to get out of dots and dangerous situations.

10. Aether drain essence spellbinder by Chthon
This is an aether brother of the prevoius build. Instead of DE+Ravenous earth is uses DE+Devastation, instead of passive healing it has Mirror of ereoctes. The builds are quite similar in damage and survivability, tanking Iron Maiden+Fabius is not a problem, clearing times under 30min. Important: changing Siphon souls to 6 points Ravenous earth (for fragments) and 12 points Decay (for damage reduction) is a must. You will also need Arcane spark and Seal of resonance. Btw, notice that neither of builds uses Uroboruuk set - that's because it is weak, these do twice the damage.

11. Two-hand forcewave witchblade by MortalKombat
Two-hand caster?! Why? Because it's basically a Soldier spamming Forcewave. And it works! Mythical Stonefist Rebuke is Bis weapon and you'll probably want a green ring with cast speed and chaos res (Incorruptible Bloodsworn Signet of Attack). It has good survivability due to overcapped res and whopping 60% physical res. The damage output will be great too (25-27 min clear), just don't put on mythical version of gloves - it messes up your dps.

12. Vitality decay cabalist by THT
This one is a ranged blood brother of DW vitality cabalist by THT. Just like it's brother it crashes and smashes everything, allowing you to enjoy you fast 25 min clearing (this includes kiting Rashalga btw).

13. Lightning vindicator by Pyroscar
A caster with a shield! This man sure knows how to survive in crucible, I like it! Seriously, this one needs it because we only have passive healing and Wendigo totem. The key to clearing crucible is to stay on Inquisitor seals all the time (except for Rashalga and wave 149). Never fight outside the seal. Never! I defeated double Valdaran+Fabius with +crit and +40%health mutators because I was doing it the right way. Build uses zero green MI items btw.

14. Two-hand elemental forcewave tactician by Valinov
Gameplay similar to regular 2H forcewave: spam it, kill everything. Second author who didn't max out inquisitor seal, ridiculous! Max it, it will let you have much less trouble in your 27-30min runs.

15. Aether melee sorcerer by mad_lee
This one resembles aether spellbinder, but is not based on cooldown reduction. Good lifesteal, great aoe damage, blast shield and mirror of ereoctes will make you feel pretty confident. Do not be greedy with that mirror and enjoy your 27-30min runs. Btw, no green MI items used.

16. AAR aether spellbinder by Ptirodaktill
I was amazed that such clunky thing as Albrecht's Aether Ray is viable in gladiator crucible. Yeah, it's a glass cannon, it's not easy to pilot, but it works! I would have never thought that you can survive in crucible just on chaining mark of torment, MoE, siphon and heal pot! Finished under 30 min with original version. Then I took 8 points off necromancer mastery (leaving it with 32) and some points from inner focus to max devastation. With this I was able to finish in 25min! Know that build is for experinced players, you must have excellent knowledge of the crucible and good reaction to be successful.

Honorable mentions:

- Cold Infiltrator by Superfluff
This is a solid build, capable of crucible clearing. But it's kinda fragile (in comparison with listed above) and you have no health regen or lifesteal at all. You will heal with 3 skills and health pots which requires permament concentration. It completely denies to forgive your mistakes. For experienced players only.

- Pet/Fire Hybrid Pyromancer by DaShiv
It really struggles in Crucible. It can clear it, but can't farm it efficiently. However, people really love pet bulds, so here you go. #petfriendlythread

- Unimaginative Skelemancer Cabalist by reapersgaze
Again, pets. Same as for prevoius bulid. It can clear crucible, but can't farm it efficiently. For pet enthusiasts. #petfriendlythread

- panetti-based mage hunter by janodal
This is a solid caster, capable of crucible clearing. However, during my runs I didn't feel safe at all, even standing in maxed inquisitor seal. Mark of divinity also procced constantly, so it's kinda of a must. Though this build has satisfying damage, it clearly lacks survivability in harsh enviroment such as high levels of crucible. Good build, just not the top one.

- DW cold spellbreaker by InkOsk132
I've tried so hard and got so far, but in the end... Well, I really tried to turn this into a reliable crucible farmer. I put on MI items, got my lifesteal from 4% to 23%, raised DA to 2700, even binded skills to SoB auras! Nope. Don't get me wrong, this is still a great build, better than 99% outside this thread. But its survivability still suffers. As we rely on shadow strike and executions the damage is very spiky and so is the sustain. You have to play extremely cautious, never get caught in the middle of a crowd, kite and so on. Though clearing succsess is good I simply can't call this easy nor reliable.

- lightning conjurer by scruize 0079
Pikachu army is on the loose! As you've already guessed: yes, it's pets, now with lightning flavor. I don't play summoners, so I'm far from perfect at piloting this one, however I managed to clear crucible on my first try. I find this very strong build, but it doesn't solve summoners' problems in crucible: you have to be very cautious, position yourself well, do not let mobs surround you, etc, etc. Valdaran+Fabius duo nearly got me, so I can't imagine how this can pass 2 Iron Maidens for example. Still, pet enthusiasts will have a lot of fun with this build. #petfriendlythread

- cabalist "The Night King" summoner by DaShiv
Probably the strongest pet build for now. Recommended to all pet enthusiasts. But know this: it is hard to pilot, you have to get used to it, the better your skill the better it performs. I personally performed pretty poorly because I am bad with pet builds (and despite that I did gladiator crucible hundreds of times). I can't recommend this build to anyone who doesn't play pet builds all the time, you will probably suffer. Also this has the largest and most detailed guide I've ever seen, my respect to the author. #petfriendlythread

Last edited by Zhuugus; 01-20-2018 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:09 PM
Phlegethonyarre Phlegethonyarre is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 18

i want to add my Spellbinder build, i want to say its perfect but i will let other to judge it instead, for me its the undying life drainer
Originally Posted by Zhuugus View Post
I'll definitely check this out. I've seen the idea of drain essence build via uroboruuk set and wondered if that's viable. Nice!
its OP, the only bad thing about it is that you are nearly useless befor you get the set and you will have to change your skills and devotion few times befor that so you can survive, right now i dont even have the Sphere protection, i drain life far beyond any dmg i take

Last edited by eisprinzessin; 01-20-2018 at 07:38 PM. Reason: merged two posts, so that OP can have two consecutive posts at the top
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:28 AM
silic silic is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 293

Superfluff's cold infiltrator,
Unimaginative skelemancer cabalist,
The various autentist tacticians.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:33 AM
Ensgnblack Ensgnblack is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 105

I am not sure I see a need for a separate thread than the build compendium at the top of the page.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:13 PM
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Zhuugus Zhuugus is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 312

Originally Posted by Ensgnblack View Post
I am not sure I see a need for a separate thread than the build compendium at the top of the page.
I will rewrite my initial post to clarify this. Now, I'll answer you personally.

I'm fully aware of Build Compendium. It just takes builds from popular threads. So, a lot of them are plainly weak. So a person takes a build, invests dozens of hours of farming and leveling into it and then gets killed over and over in end game content, often not even being able to clear gladiator crucuble at all. That is the opposite of fun in my opinion.
This is a small thread I made just to maybe help at least someone to choose wisely and not to get disappointed.
Also, Build Compendiums are sticky and my post will eventually drown in the depths of the forum.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:18 PM
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Zhuugus Zhuugus is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 312

Originally Posted by silic View Post
Superfluff's cold infiltrator,
Unimaginative skelemancer cabalist,
The various autentist tacticians.
Superfluff's cold infiltrator is on my checklist with a couple of other builds.
Author of Unimaginative skelemancer cabalist stated in his post that he has 50% clearing success. These builds have 99%. So, it's for pet fans, exchanging power for pets is not for everyone.
Two great tacticians already added, haven't seen more of the same power level.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:55 AM
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Zhuugus Zhuugus is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 312

added moar stuff
[] Powerful builds of AoM era http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61983
[] Faceroll Battlemage http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65663
[] The Great Deceiver http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?p=592403
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:46 AM
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reapersgaze reapersgaze is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 834

You should really consider Dracarris build by DaShiv if you are basing this on reliable solo gladiator clearing.
Is it too much to ask for Crate to give us what we really want? Dual wield skeleton.

The Fermi Paradox is God nerfing Civilization: Reality Edition.
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:11 AM
silic silic is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 293

Jajaja's new build, doubleblitz commando, seems really stronk.

http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62107 THT's builds here have extremely fast clear times, they're on hardcore too.
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