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Old 11-16-2017, 02:51 AM
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ForgottenKane ForgottenKane is offline
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Post ForgottenKane's Grim Dawn Survival Guide: Ashes of Malmouth Edition

please forgive this awful title image xoxo

I - Introduction

Hello and welcome to my general game survival guide! Many of you may recognize me from my previous Hardcore Survival Guide, but thanks to many suggestions and encouragement from a lot of you, I've decided to update the thread into something that encompasses all of Grim Dawn and not just Hardcore. Now, just to reiterate that: this guide still applies to and very much so caters to the Hardcore crowd as well. It's just that many if not most of the stuff I put in the Hardcore guide was helpful for Softcore players as well - and since I didn't want to confuse anyone new to the game, I've dropped the particular "Hardcore" title to the thread and created a new one altogether. if you want to see more in-depth details of pre-Ashes of Malmouth content, then check out my old thread.

Some important notes and how this'll be organized: First of all, I've cut down on virtually everything, trying to get to the bare-bones of the purpose of the guide. I heard a lot of people complain about the length of the previous guide and I intend to remedy that and make it more accessible for newer players. The sections will be broken down into as follows: Useful Tools, Leveling Guide, Consumables List, Normal/Veteran Guide, Elite Guide, Ultimate Guide, Boss Notes, Nemesis Notes, and Skeleton Key Dungeon Guides (I'll finish this section at a later date). Hopefully this new layout will make it a much more pleasing read and easier to skim through to find exactly what you need.

One last thing before I start: A special thank you to everyone who replied to the last thread with ideas, support, special thanks to the GD Discord, the Cornucopia team, and finally and most importantly Crate for creating such a wonderful game that has lead to this fantastic community!

II - Useful Tools and Links

The Maphack

The Maphack has been updated for the expansion! Previously it didn't even have Port Valbury, that's been added in too now. The Maphack is the entire map of GD's world. This is incredibly useful for finding shrines and to make sure you don't miss any of the secret ones. Keep in mind not all the spawn locations for things are here and it doesn't show anything to do with random map generation that still occurs in GD.

Grimtools is a fantastic website that doubles as an item database and a build calculator. It has been updated for the expansion and it's creator, our resident user Dammitt, is still updating it with more features as time goes on. He's a great guy and I wouldn't know what to do with myself without this website.

Finally, GD Stash is a near-necessary tool after a few runs. You're going to run out of shared stash space, that is an inevitability. For your first run, this is unnecessary, but when you notice that you're trying your hardest to squeeze every last bit of space in your shared stash and have mules going, I highly suggest GD Stash.
Disclaimer: GD Stash can essentially be a cheat if you use it that way. If you do not trust yourself with the ability to dupe items or edit your characters do not use it.

Made by DraonCC, this list is surely helpful for newer players who might see themselves overwhelmed by a lot of the acronyms or abbreviations many users here use and I may inadvertently use without explaining in this guide. Just reference this when you go 'huh?'

Important Note about Grim Dawn Item Assistant:
Read this before using Grim Dawn Item Assistant (GDIA / IA)
GDIA logs extensive amounts of information about your computer and your program usage!

Example of the information gatherd:
---  Unique Computer ID   | Windows OS - version | IP Adress
---  90143FEBD82F6A9727C0 | Windows 7 - v0.123   |

Information is sent on execution, while running and on closing the program.
Allowing the creation of personal usage statistics.
More : http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showt...109#post387109
How to disable this : http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showt...916#post387916

III - Leveling Guide

Good Leveling Skills:
  1. Soldier:
    • Forcewave
    • Blade Arc (debatable imo)
    • Blitz (one point for mobility on Melee builds)
  2. Demolitionist:
    • Explosive Strike (max explosive with 1 point in Firestrike)
    • Blackwater Cocktail (with High Potency)
    • Canister Bomb
  3. Occultist:
    • Dreeg's Evil Eye (with Focused Gaze)
    • Bloody Pox (debatable imo, unless you bind Bat to it to something)
  4. Nightblade:
    • Amarasta's Blade Burst
    • Shadow Strike (one point for mobility on melee builds)
    • Night's Chill max (meme leveling choice, it's pretty funny)
  5. Arcanist:
    • Olexra's Flash Freeze (doesn't hurt bosses/pair with Searing Ember)
  6. Shaman:
    • Devouring Swarm (best leveling skill in the game imo)
    • Primal Strike (for two-handed builds)
  7. Inquisitor:
    • Rune of Hagarrad (can nuke bosses if placed well)
  8. Necromancer:
    • Bone Harvest (max first part, only one point in Dread, and non-casters max Soul Harvest too)
    • Ravenous Earth (max the first two parts, the third part stays at one point)

Now surviving early isn't a problem on veteran as nothing crits you for half your health (yet), but the reason you want to choose strong leveling skills early is so you can go to Hargate's Isle ASAP and clear out the Slith there for easy levels. This makes everything move along faster and smooth as butter. Don't forget the book that's in the shack at the back of the island, it's worth a LOT of experience!

After you get the first shrine and kill the Reanimator at Burial Hill, I suggest you go to the Crucible DLC if you have it. Once there, replay the first ~20 waves a few times till you have enough tributes to get some devotion points, then stop once they start costing 5 tributes and go back to the campaign. This way you're ahead of the curve and can have all 55 devotion points by the end of Elite (or start of ultimate if you ignore expansion content).

For those who have completed the expansion content on Ultimate at least once: the Malmouth Resistance faction has a revered-only +100% experience potion that will make your lives on newer characters a million times easier. This thing will let you powerlevel while zooming through game content, allowing you to beat the game at a speedy pace and stay at a healthy level while doing it! I HIGHLY suggest getting this, and god bless Crate for putting it in the game.

IV - Hardcore Builds Spotlight

These are builds that are not only viable in Hardcore, but exceed at suitability first and foremost making a smooth Hardcore experience. Keep in mind that basically any build with a shield can also generally be fine in Hardcore, so I'm going to prioritize casters here since a lot of people have the misconception that you just can't run them at all in Hardcore, which just isn't the case.

Reserved for the Vitality Caster update I'll post soon
HC CDR Aether Spellbinder Rei

Notes: This build has impressed me quite a bit. Not only is it's Gladiator time impressive, it's tankiness is out of this world. It plays just like a vitality caster yet does aether damage and has access to Mirror of Ereoctes and Hourglass. With that high CDR and Hourglass, Mark of Torment and Mirror are going to be up all the time and you're basically unkillable. This build is not just tanky, it's just flat out immortal.

Mastery: Spellbinder
Build Type: Caster
Damage Type(s): Aether
Build Creator: Ptirodaktill
Grimtools Link: http://www.grimtools.com/calc/L2JLB00Z
Thread Link: http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57552
The Night King

Notes: DaShiv has made a name for himself with his ability to consistently break pets. Any of his pet builds are probably Hardcore viable - but this is his latest, and since it's a hybrid with vitality caster, it's definitely tanky as hell.

Mastery: Cabalist
Build Type: Pet / Caster Hybrid
Damage Type(s): Vitality
Build Creator: DaShiv
Grimtools Link: http://www.grimtools.com/calc/gZwMe5j2
Thread Link: http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63153
BWC Sorcerer

Notes: An oldie but a goodie, BWC Sorcerer has been around a while and continues to be one of the most powerful Crucible-centric builds in the game. This isn't to say it's not campaign viable - it definitely is - but it exceeds most others in Crucible. Keep in mind Sorcerer is a bit squishy while leveling, but when you get to the later stages it starts to become incredibly powerful and tanky by virtue of Blackwater Cocktail and Mirror of Ereoctes. I chose JoV's version because he knows whats up.

Mastery: Sorcerer
Build Type: Caster
Damage Type(s): Burn
Build Creator: JoV
Grimtools Link: http://www.grimtools.com/calc/M2gaJnWZ
Thread Link: http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50230
DoubleBlitz Commando

Notes: While Commando is overall probably the best class to take on Hardcore for its extremely accessible survivability and damage, jajaja introduces the newest and most interesting take on Commando I've seen in a while. If you like smashing things with your whole body, this is the build for you.

Mastery: Commando
Build Type: Faceroll
Damage Type(s): Physical
Build Creator: jajaja
Grimtools Link: http://www.grimtools.com/calc/qNYzPb72
Thread Link: http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62184
More to be added later!

V - Consumables List

  1. Bloodbound Ointment
    • 25% Chaos Resistance
    • 450 Second Duration
  2. Deathwhisper Ointment
    • 25% Vitality Resistance
    • 20% Reduction in Vitality Decay Duration
    • 450 Second Duration
  3. Flamedrinker Ointment
    • 30% Fire Resistance
    • 20% Reduction in Burn Duration
    • 450 Second Duration
  4. Frostshroud Ointment
    • 30% Cold Resistance
    • 20% Reduction in Frostburn Duration
    • 450 Second Duration
  5. Hoarfrost Ointment
    • 100% Reduced Freeze Duration
    • 450 Second Duration
  6. Spiritbane Ointment
    • 25% Aether Resistance
    • 450 Second Duration
  7. Stormshroud Ointment
    • 30% Lightning Resistance
    • 20% Reduction in Electrocute Duration
    • 450 Second Duration
  8. Venomguard Ointment
    • 30% Poison & Acid Resistance
    • 20% Reduction in Poison Duration
    • 450 Second Duration
  9. Vilescar Ointment
    • 30% Bleeding Resistance
    • 30% Life Leech Resistance
    • 450 Second Duration
*more will be added to this list at a later date

VI - Boss Fights

Notable Bosses: Acts I II III IV V VI
Warden Krieg
Aether, pierce, and physical damage

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     / タ       {!!! _ ヽ、
    ,/  ノ        ~ `、  \  You are strong
    `、  `ヽ.  ∧_∧ , ‐'`  ノ   but now
     \  `ヽ(´・ω・`)" .ノ/    I will demonstrate
       `、ヽ.  ``Y"   r '       my true
        i. 、   ¥   ノ         poweeeeeeeeeeeeeer!!!!!
        `、.` -‐´;`ー イ

Darius Cronley
Aether, pierce, and physical damage

Kilrian, the Tainted Soul
Vitality and fire damage

Grand Priest Zarthuzellan
Fire damage

Mogara, the Prime Matriarch
Pierce and poison & acid damage

Bloodfeast the Ruthless
Bleeding damage

Herald of the Flame
Aether and fire damage

Gollus, the Deepdweller
Poison & acid damage

Swarm Queen Ravna
Poison & acid, pierce, and physical damage

The Amalgamation
Aether and physical damage

Bolvar, the Bloodbinder
Chaos damage (tons of it)

Karroz, Sigil of Ch'thon
Chaos and vitality damage

Ragrathar Rageblood
Physical and cold damage

Nacrathan, the Timeless
Physical, bleed, and vitality damage

Archon Barthollem
Fire and physical damage

Malkadarr, Champion of Death's Vigil
Cold and physical damage

Plagius, the Decrepit
Poison & acid, vitality, and physical damage

Bane'Galgalor, Guardian of the Gates
Poison & acid damage

Bloodlord Thalonis
Chaos and vitality damage

Loghorrean, the Voice of Ch'thon
Chaos, vitality, poison & acid, fire damage, and physical damage

Dralgar, the Keeper of Burrwitch
Aether and physical damage

Janaxia, the Betrayer
Vitality and bleed damage

Aether damage

Sylvarria, Queen of the Undergrowth
Poison & acid, pierce, bleed, and physical damage

Naxen Shade
Aether and cold damage

Ekket'Zul, Progenitor of Darkness
Chaos, fire, and physical damage

Galakros, the Mountain
Aether and physical damage

Bollag, Keeper of the Gates
Aether and physical damage

Elemental and aether damage

Fleshweaver Krieg
Aether damage

Rodalgar, the Flesh Collector
Aether, fire, poison & acid, vitality, and physical damage

Hagalvar, the Bone Monger
Aether, fire, poison & acid, vitality, and physical damage

The Master of Flesh ~ Theodin Marcell
Aether, lightning, fire, pierce, vitality, and physical damage
*I encourage more suggestions for this field if any of you are having trouble with other bosses / p.s. thanks to Dammitt for help with this section!

Important note about all this: this is simply organized in the order in which you see them, not in order of importance of toughness.

I also highly encourage you to seek out resistances and other damage mitigation effects against Theodin since he's actually tough as hell and dishes out tons of damage, completely unlike Loghorrean, who was actually pretty far from being a tough boss despite being the old endboss. I also encourage resistances against Log, of course, but not nearly to the same degree of wariness as Theodin, especially on ultimate. Anyways, this section will be getting a bit thicker with information on the bosses at a later date, for now it's just the most important part: resistances.

VII - Nemesis Notes

Valdaran, the Storm Scourge
Lightning Damage
Important Notes: Can "swap" positions with the player.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Overcap your lightning resistance by quite a bit. If you can do this and have a sizable HP pool, you're safe.

Aetherial Vanguard
Archmage Aleksander
Aether and Elemental Damage
Important Notes:
Auto-attack is fire/aether.
Suggestion(s) before fight: He has a ton of magical damage effects, come with tons of overcapped resistances handy.

Reaper of the Lost
Pierce, Physical, and Vitality Damage
Important Notes:
Has very powerful Savagery auto-attack. His spawns have significant resistance reduction.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Come with a lot of overcapped resistances to mitigate the reductions and try to wear out his Savagery charges if they go to be too much by weaving in and out of fighting him, if possible. Otherwise you're in for a hard time; he's not a pushover.

Kupacabra, the Endless Menace
Physical, Bleed, Vitality, and Piercing Damage
Important Notes:
When killed, spawns two more, which when killed, spawn two more again. Has extreme damage debuffs. Creates pools that lifesteal.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Don't fight this nemesis. It's not worth your time; it takes a billion years to kill Kupa compared to any other Nemesis and he still hurts like hell too.

Benn'Jhar, the Colossal
Chaos Damage
Important Notes:
Spawns chaos clusters. Can entrap. Slow.
Suggestion(s) before fight: He hits hard, so make sure you come with plenty of chaos and physical resistance, or be prepared to kite him a bunch.

Grava'Thul, the Voiddrinker
Chaos and Physical Damage
Important Notes:
Has an incredible amount of health reduction.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Have a lot of chaos/phys res, as well as either lots of health regen or lifesteal.

Cronley's Gang
Fabius "the Unseen" Gonzar
Pierce, Bleed, and Cold Damage
Important Notes:
High damage, very quick, typical Nightblade. Has Blade Barrier.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Load up on tons of physical, pierce, bleed, and cold resistances. He isn't the tankiest nemesis, but he has Blade Barrier.

Moosilauke, the Chillwind
Cold Damage
Important Notes:
Two-stage fight. Second stage summons ice crystals that freeze you.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Bring a Hoarfrost Ointment. You will be frozen forever without it. Also tons of cold resistance, obviously.

Order of Death's Vigil
Zantarin, the Eternal
Vitality Damage
Important Notes:
Significant shotgun.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Vitality resistance obviously, but also be wary of his shotgun if you're too close. Ranged players especially beware.

Kymon's Chosen
The Iron Maiden
Physical Damage
Important Notes:
High OA and crit damage. Tanky with burst potential. Has Menhir's Will.
Suggestion(s) before fight: Get yourself high DA or get whacked. She will Blitz into you and start wailing on you hard. Her Menhir's Will effect at ~30% life also significant buffs her damage, so beware. Shield recommended.

VIII - Dangerous Debuffs

Will be updated soon! Debuffs are probably the hardest thing to learn intuitively considering there is no damage log and you can't really hover over the icons easily in the middle of a fight - and they're gone when you're dead, leaving you confused with what exactly killed you. Malmouth is full of them and is honestly a hazard on Ultimate for anything that isn't tier 1. This is probably the most imporatant section of the new guide and I want to be comprehensive when I finally get it all ready this week.

It will probably take me more than a week to be honest here, as this information isn't readily available, so I'll add it in as I find it while I work on Cornucopia.

IX - Skeleton Key Dungeons

Also something I've been working on for a bit. Probably going to use the reserved post below to finish this.

To do list: Detailed Normal/Elite/Ultimate leveling guide, Dangerous Debuffs, and Skeleton Key Dungeons.

Current Patch as of writing:

Last edited by ForgottenKane; 11-16-2017 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:52 AM
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ForgottenKane ForgottenKane is offline
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Reserved post!
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:54 AM
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ForgottenKane ForgottenKane is offline
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Second reserved post, just in-case!
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:56 AM
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Ceno Ceno is offline
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:29 AM
Kentvb Kentvb is offline
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Storm box is awesome to level with for Inquisitor.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:47 AM
Ellweiss Ellweiss is offline
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Hey great guide thanks !

Just a small thing, the 100% XP potion is available as soon as you complete either normal or elite (or even as soon as you reach the required reputation level maybe ? I can buy it and I never finished the xpac content on ultimate).
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:58 PM
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Paavo Paavo is offline
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I'd add make sure you break the bookshelf in hargate's isle also. Drops a book 1/3 of the time but it gives a shitton of exp.
Work. Hike. Drink. Game. Repeat.
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:01 PM
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Paavo Paavo is offline
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Also, spawn locations for all the bosses/nemesis would be dope.
Work. Hike. Drink. Game. Repeat.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:32 PM
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MortalKombat MortalKombat is offline
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Zantarin the IMMORTAL (not eternal, lol) has "shotgun" that is deadly at close range, but it's telegraphed. Zantarin waves his hand for 2+ seconds without casting anything, and then releases his "shotgun". If you watch over him, you'll have enough time to run away a bit. "Shorgun isnt dangerous at longer range, and can be evaded by moving (projectiles have slow flight speed).
Also, Zantarin is immune to ADCTH, but constantly summons skeletons, which can be used to leech your life back.

Gravathul can dispel your buffs while dealing insane burst damage, if you're not close to him. You just should be insanely tanky to withstand his close-range attacks, because you cant kite him.

Also do note, that ALL nemesis bosses are DRASTICALLY more powerful than nemesises from "normal" game. Even if you faceroll Iron Maiden (the strongest non-AoM nemesis), be ready that AoM nemesises will make rags out of you and sweep the floor with it.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:10 PM
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ForgottenKane ForgottenKane is offline
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Originally Posted by Ellweiss View Post
Hey great guide thanks !

Just a small thing, the 100% XP potion is available as soon as you complete either normal or elite (or even as soon as you reach the required reputation level maybe ? I can buy it and I never finished the xpac content on ultimate).
You can get it the moment you hit revered with Malmouth Resistance, but most people don't hit that until Ultimate. The only way to get it before Ultimate is to farm reputation by doing bounties on Normal/Elite, which is a pain in the but and not nearly as rewarding as doing so on Ultimate.

I generally suggest completing up to Barrowholm on Normal, then not doing xpac content on Elite, and going straight to Ultimate and doing everything there if you already have the XP-potion and +100% rep with Malmouth Resistance Mandate already.

Keep in mind you can transfer XP-pots in your transfer stash, super important! It's the single best part about it.
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ashes of malmouth, expansion, guide, hardcore, ultimate

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