Go Back   Grim Dawn Forums > Grim Dawn Gameplay > Classes, Skills and Builds

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-24-2017, 02:59 PM
Vindhjaerta Vindhjaerta is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 12
Smile [] Valdun's Cadence Shotgun Commando

Valdun's Cadence Shotgun Commando


This is not a broken build by any means, but ranged Cadence looks cool and shotguns are fun.

Shotgun! Super fun and very useful.
Clear speed and AoE is surprisingly good.
Very good for multiplayer where your teammates can tank for you.

Chargers and super tanky enemies are a pain in the posterior. Time spent running is time not spent shooting.
Somewhat squishy. Careful play required.
Not a tier 1 build.



Physique: 45
Cunning: 40
Spirit: 5

Main hand: Valdun's Rifle (Vicious Spikes / Potent Ulgrim's Guile)
Head: Valdun's Hat (Leathery Hide / Outcasts Warding Powder)
Shoulders: Stonehide Iron Maiden's Shoulderpads of Menhir's Wall (Mutated Scales / Mankind's Vigil)
Chest: Valdun's Jacket (Chains of Oleron / Mankind's Vigil)
Hands: Grasp of Unchained Might (Restless Remains / Mankind's Vigil)
Waist: Reforged Chains of Oleron (Antivenom Salve / Mankind's Vigil)
Legs: Chausses of Barbaros (Antivenom Salve / Outcast's Warding Powder)
Feet: Windshear Greaves (Antivenom Salve / Mogdrogen's Touch)
Amulet: Valdun's Bounty (Focusing Prism / Survivor's Preserverence)
Rings: Dread Lord's Cronley's Signet of Shadows (Corpse Dust / Survivor's Preserverence)
Rings: Belgotian's Signet (Frozen Heart / Survivor's Preserverence)
Medal: Mark of Divinity (Dread Skull)
Relic: Oleron's Wrath (bonus: Deadly Momentum / Squad Tactics)

(images of skills will come soon)

LMB: Cadence (Living Shadows)
RMB: Fragmenting Round (Falcon Swoop)
Mouse up: Flashbang (Dryad's Blessing)
Mouse down: Blackwater Cocktail (Assassin's Mark)

To make this build work you need Valdun's Rifle and at least one more piece of the Valdun set for the pierce conversion. That's.... basically it. All I've done after that is optimizing the damage with just enough survivability to make it work. You can basically use any gear, but the more of the pieces in my build you have the more optimal it gets. Also, max Cadence is preferable, but you can get skill points to Cadence from many sources.


So the way this build goes is you Flashbang everything you see and just shoot at it until it stops moving. If you see a lot of things in a group you produce your shotgun and blast them to pieces, and if something actually survives all of that then you throw a cocktail at it and shoot some more.
The fun part about ranged Cadence is that you need some careful positioning to line things up for maximum damage, which gives it a tactical feel. And the shotgun is AMAZING. 6-8 shots with 90% weapon damage is a lot of damage at close range. Here's a list of all the uses:
1) AoE clear.
2) CC. 1 second knockback might not sound like a lot, but don't forget that it includes both a drop-down animation and a get-up animation, and the effect is in a huge cone. As long as an enemy can be knocked down they usually don't get close enough to touch you unless you get surrounded.
3) Burst damage. Some larger mobs folds to just one burst up close. And it's absolutely glorious for kiting, since all that damage lost from running gets instantly refunded with one blast.
4) Additional DPS. The shotgun doesn't actually interrupt your attack animation that much, compared to say.. throwing a flashbang (which takes away precious seconds from your auto attacks). So if you feel like draining your energy pool you can spam it as much as you like between Cadence shots and thus significantly increase your DPS. Very good against bosses.

The most important thing you need to remember about this build is that it's best used in tight corridors. Cadence just melts anything in a line and your Living Shadows blocks any passage or tight space (they actually mess up the pathfinding sometimes, and I've been kept safe from many bosses by 3 shadows. This is the reason for putting Living Shadows on Cadence. You want lots of them). Catacombs, caves and areas in general with a lot of obstacles are your best friends.

Level guide:

You won't get a lot of % pierce damage until later in the game, so for the first 30-40 levels or so you'll be focusing on physical damage. Once you start to get more piercing damage you'll always want to pick a rifle or crossbow with as much pierce conversion as possible, preferably 40% or more. Rovers have some nice crossbows if you can't find anything descent yourself, or you can pick up Ghavlin's Crossbow in Wightmire (in a corpse to the east). The Sharpshooter epic set is a good stepping stone while farming for the Valdun pieces.
Any gear with attack speed takes precedence, put Dread Skull on your medal/amulet and Consecrated Wrappings on your hands. Mark of the Traveler on your boots.
At least one ring with the Vampiric/Dread Lord's prefix is a must, but the other should contain attack speed. The Dryad Constellation can be taken early to help with the lifegain until you get enough scrap to craft yourself the lifegain ring. Restless Remains on your hands can also compensate until you get enough lifegain.

I highly recommend siding with Kymon's Chosen for the resist powders, and then farm Iron Maiden for the shoulderguards with another character.

Skill points:

Start with a few points into Cadence (maybe 8-12), one point into Flashbang and then max Fighting Form. Max Cadence as soon as you have the energy to support spamming it, use Ectoplasm if you have to.
Next, go for 1 point into Flame Touched
1 point into Searing Light.
1 point into Blackwater Cocktail
5 more points into Flashbang
11 points into Vindictive Flame
Max Squad Tactics
1 point into Ulzuin's Wrath
Max Temper
Max Deadly Momentum
Max Oleron's Rage
Max Military Conditioning
Max Scars of Battle
Max Decorated Soldier
1 point into Blast Shield
Max Agonizing Flames

From here on you will hopefully have gotten some +skills on your items and can start remove points and aim for the finished build.


Ascendant crossroads
Falcon (Flashbang)
Primordial crossroads
-Primordial crossroads
Order crossroads
Tortoise (Vindictive Flame or any aura)
-Eel crossroads
Chaos crossroads
-Chaos crossroads
Dryad (Valdun's Treachery or Markovian's Advantage if you don't have it. If you pick it early you can attach it to Cadence until Unknown Soldier)
Assassins Blade (Blackwater Cocktail)
Empty Throne
Unknown Soldier (Cadence)

(Switch Falcon Swoop to Fragmenting Round as soon as you get Valdun's Rifle. Possibly switch Dryad's Blessing to Flashbang instead)

NOTE: Tortoise and Dryad can be taken earlier if you feel that survivability is an issue. I would highly recommend Falcon first though, as it is good for clear speed and AoE in the early game.

Build options:

Legwraps of the Tranquil Mind will lower your damage a bit, but you'll get more resists and it slows your enemies which helps with kiting. Also, they are perfect if you for some reason lack the physique requirement for Chausses of Barbaros or the spirit requirement for your rings (namely if you put your points wrong during the leveling).

Your shoulder slot is very open, I picked the Iron Maiden Shoulderguards for the plus to Cadence which makes it maxed out with the rest of the gear. For prefix/suffix you should farm for something that gives you good defense/resists.
Warborn Pauldrons would be my secondary choice for shoulders since they give you good defense and plus to Cadence.
Fleshwarped Pauldrons with +3 to Cadence could also work, but compared to Iron Maiden Shoulderguards you'll lose 30% elemental resist which you'll have to compensate for.

Golemborn Greaves are a solid option, but the build is open on this front. Basically any boots with good defense works.

One of the rings should be defensive and the other offensive. The former should absolutely include some sort of lifegain, so any Dreadlord's prefix is good (A Dreadlord's Cronley's Signet with your suffix of choice is probably BiS), as is Lifegiver Signet. As for the former I think Belgothian's Sigil is BiS.
If you're in a team you could possibly skip the lifegain and go for another Belgothian's Sigil, or perhaps an Open Hand of Mercy. If you lack points in Cadence an Empowered Goliath Signet is a reasonable choice.

I picked Oleron's Wrath for the extra skill points and damage. We really need those skill points. Plunderer's Talisman might be a possible choice for the total speed, but whenever I test it out it always feels inferior.
When it comes to completion bonus on Oleron's Wrath you want Deadly Momentum and Squad Tactics.

Tinker's Ingenuity is a solid choice for the resists, but I think Reforged Chains of Oleron is superior thanks to the massive damage increase and the +1 to Soldier skills.

Mark of Divinity is basically BiS for the incredible durability it gives you, but if you for some reason don't want the shield there are a few options. Black Star of Deceit would be my secondary choice due to lifegain, good resists and the incredible resist reduction. Empowered Combat Medic's Mark would probably be my tertiary choice since it gives lifegain, energy regen and bleed resist.
Badge of Mastery with plus to Cadence is okay if you're short on points there.

I've picked the Focusing Prism over another Dread Skull mainly for the reduced energy cost, but also for the crit damage. If you don't mind drinking a mana potion every 5 minutes you should absolutely go for the Dread Skull though.
Likewise, I've skipped the extra attack speed on the hands for some more lifegain. Consecrated Wrappings are otherwise very strong here and I might actually go back to it eventually.
On the chest you could go for a Kilrian's Shattered Soul for the extra attack speed as well, but although the trap resist is reduntant on Chains of Oleron I prefer the extra OA and damage.
Vicious Spikes on the weapon is the option with the highest damage (it also buffs your living shadows). Haunted Steel would give you more lifesteal but lowers your damage by a noticable amount. It's up to you whether you prefer survivability or extra damage. If you get a second Valdun's Rifle you could use both and just swap between them as situation demands.
Leathery Hide and Frozen Heart were chosen for the stun/freeze resist, and they could absolutely be swapped out if you don't care about them.
All other components are just basically there to cap resists and get above 10k health, feel free to swap around to compensate as your gear demands. Note that this build assumes perfect resist rolls, if you get bad rolls you'll end up with less than 80% resist even with the exact same items, so you might want to switch around some stuff to compensate. Blast Shield gives you 4% max resist, so aim for close to those 4% above cap on as many resists as possible.

You could possible remove 4 points from somewhere and put them into Concussive Bomb for an extra stun, but otherwise it's pretty well optimized.

Last edited by Vindhjaerta; 05-30-2017 at 01:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 06:13 PM
Superfluff's Avatar
Superfluff Superfluff is offline
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 6,023

Nice build. Wanted to try one for a long time. Nice capping resists with oleron Pants.

I think all you need is to increase life steal to kite less. It's how i handled FS rifle commando. You lose a bit of dmg but gain so much by not kiting
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 06:27 PM
Thrasheur's Avatar
Thrasheur Thrasheur is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 370

Nice build indeed, have a similiar one and yeah its damn fun, that shotgun skill from the set is just pure fun !!
Thanks for sharing it, you should add it to compendium , a valdun build would be a nice addition if you didnt already added it
you can check my profile for few builds.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 11:24 PM
Strigvir Strigvir is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 774

Why only one point in Blast Shield?
Kymon's Chosen in a nutshell:
Aetherials in a nutshell:
Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2017, 11:35 PM
Norzan Norzan is online now
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 4,176

Flame Touched and Field Comand not being maxed and Blast Shield not being at least level 10 kind of confuse me. Vindictive Flame only scales nicely until level 11, then the scaling gets bad. Oleron's Rage scales like crap after level 12.
List of my characters is too large to fit in this box.

Last edited by Norzan; 05-24-2017 at 11:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 03:30 AM
Kaljurei Kaljurei is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 619

Nice build, I'd have probably made such a thing if I hadn't quit GD some time back.

Consider Thread of Mortality or maybe Revenant for Life steal, like Superfluff said. Or Haunted Steel, since it can be used on all weapons and it doesn't reduce damage so much.

Resists might be a problem if you consider Thread of Mortality, but Revenant does add attack speed as well, you'd just have to look at maybe ditching some of the other constellations like Tortoise and Dryad for maybe Ghoul? Probably too much lifesteal lol, but offensively it'd be much better and gives you a lot of Lifesteal.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 04:31 AM
korsar's Avatar
korsar korsar is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,039

Never be lazy to post character pic.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 08:57 AM
Vindhjaerta Vindhjaerta is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 12

Originally Posted by Strigvir View Post
Why only one point in Blast Shield?
When it activates I get +4% max resists I don't have enough points to max it out, so the shield is too small to matter anyways. +4% max resists is absolutely worth a point though.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 09:06 AM
Vindhjaerta Vindhjaerta is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 12

Originally Posted by Superfluff View Post
Nice build. Wanted to try one for a long time. Nice capping resists with oleron Pants.

I think all you need is to increase life steal to kite less. It's how i handled FS rifle commando. You lose a bit of dmg but gain so much by not kiting
Some more lifesteal would absolutely make the build work better. I don't have time to try it out at the moment, but will do so in a few weeks and see if things can be improved a bit. I've mostly run this build in a team, so the lifesteal part has been unnecessary and thus not been tested enough.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2017, 09:13 AM
Vindhjaerta Vindhjaerta is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 12

Originally Posted by Norzan View Post
Flame Touched and Field Comand not being maxed and Blast Shield not being at least level 10 kind of confuse me. Vindictive Flame only scales nicely until level 11, then the scaling gets bad. Oleron's Rage scales like crap after level 12.
Just because things scale bad doesn't mean they are useless Oleron's Rage from 12-19 gives you 2% OA and 50% Pierce damage, not too bad. Flame Touched only gives OA for this build, and I'd rather put the points into Flashbang since that gives more CC and lowers DA (which amounts to the same thing as better OA for you).
Field Command has been considered, but I still prefer the extra attack speed in Vindictive Flames since I've chosen to take away some attack speed components (dread skulls and such). You could absolutely lower Vindictive Flames to 11 and put the points into Field Command, the build is not set in stone by any means

I'll swap some points around in the coming weeks and see how it goes.
Reply With Quote

cadence, commando, rifle, soldier, valdun

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Grim Dawn ©2018 Crate Entertainment, LLC.
vBulletin® 3.8.4 ©2000-2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.