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Old 03-15-2017, 11:37 PM
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Mournslayer Mournslayer is offline
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Default [1.0.5.1 UPDATE!] Beginner-Friendly 2H Lightning Elementalist: "The Storm Bolter"

1.0.3.1 UPDATE (Nov 19, 2017): It's equal parts sad and amusing that my own "updated newbie friendly" build is now woefully outdated I Took a stab at updating some parts of it today and I'll continue updating it over the next while. The build's core concept is still fine, but things like the devotion tree and grimcalc links were (obviously) in need of some tweaks. Grimtools link is updated for a guideline at this time!


There's an alarming lack of 2 types of builds in the Build Compendium, in my highly-biased opinion:

1) Newbie-friendly builds. A lot of what I've seen in the Compendium focuses entirely on min/maxing at endgame, offers little in the way of leveling advice, and needs very specific gear to even consider attempting the builds. Let me be perfectly clear that I think this is totally fine and showcases some of the awesome items at our disposal in the world of Cairn. Additionally, endgame is the "true start of the game" for some players and there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting a super-strong farming character! However, this seems to be the direction most build guides take, and personally I feel that our Compendium is lacking in beginner builds.

2) Updated builds. An alarming number of the links are several builds outdated by now; We're in 1.0.0.9 as of today, and some of these were created more than a year ago at this point. Some of the mechanics and skills that these builds rely on may have changed drastically, and new players run a much greater risk of choosing an outdated build than a more experienced player who can work around any potential shortcomings. It is true that a lot of these "older" builds are still sound in concept and can easily work with a few minor tweaks, but this still seems like a huge potential risk for newer players IMO; if they don't ask the community for help, they might wind up with a drastically weaker build than they anticipated...



The following build attempts to partially rectify this situation by providing an updated easy-to-play fairly-gear-independent leveling-focused guide for newer players, so that their first character might be less of a trainwreck than my first several toons were


WHAT THIS BUILD IS
  • Ultimate-viable.
  • Fairly gear independent; Most of the few essential items we have can be picked up from Faction vendors.
  • Fun (in my highly biased opinion) and easy to play.
  • Very forgiving of mistakes.

WHAT THIS BUILD IS NOT
  • A HC faceroller that will solo clear Gladiator Crucible with ease and down the Mad Queen in under 10 seconds.
  • Meticulously fine-tuned and min/maxed to be absolutely perfect.
  • Friendly towards older graphics cards; We have lots of lightning-tastic effects and procs, and this many particle effects might fry older GPUs!

WHY PLAY THIS BUILD
  • It's a very forgiving and beginner-friendly build that has several powerful leveling tools, solid defensive and offensive capabilities, and can clear the AoM Campaign on Ultimate difficulty using all vendor-found gear.
  • Can be played as a melee OR as a ranged character. I recommend staying ranged personally
  • Easy to play without being mind-numbingly boring.
  • Has Zeus-like bolts to throw.


With that out of the way, the base end build (plus devotions) to aim for before +skills taken into account can be found here:
Starter Campaign-Clearing Build (updated March 25 2018). This requires the Ashes of Malmouth expansion for the devotions and faction gear, but does NOT need any components from the expansion to hit the main resistance caps to keep the build more accessible. While this build does use solael leggings, note that they have no affix - you can hit the res cap with any pair of lv72 solael legs which are easily farmed in Elite even for a brand new player. These go a long way to helping our resists and, since they have no specific affix requirements, I consider them "budget" since they shouldn't take more than a few minutes tops to find!

The "fancy pimped out" version of the build can be found here:
Finalized Endgame Build (updated March 25 2018). This version of the build does make use of various AoM components and mythic legendaries to unlock the true potential of this build. It also uses a couple well-rolled monster infrequents for maximum stat gain. A well-rolled sparkthrower is a definite must-have for endgame content, but one can probably find alternatives for the ring choices.


ACTIVE SKILLS
  • Primal Strike with Thunderous Strike will be our primary LMB attack. It is a great skill that handles crowds extremely well and single targets reasonably well. In the past it used to lose potency in the later game, but this has changed with the Ashes Of Malmouth expansion and it will be our primary attack through the game. We put as many point as possible into it since it's our main source of damage.
  • Savagery will be a backing ability for proccing Tenacity Of The Boar once we acquirethe Ultos set. Once upon a time, Savagery beat out Primal Strike at endgame in this build, but this is no longer the case in the expansion. Again, keep Primal Strike as our primary attack!
  • Wind Devil is primarily used for Raging Tempest to reduce enemy elemental resistances so our Lightning attacks do more damage. Its AI is slightly dodgy and it has a nasty habit of chasing random lone enemies, so it is not wholly reliable for crowd control, but it still very useful.
  • Thermite Mines also reduce enemies' resistance to Lightning damage. They also can mess up enemy pathing routes so they're solid CC by themselves. Also quite useful for proccing devotion skills.
  • Flashbang is another great crowd control skill that confuses enemies and reduces their DA. Reduced enemy DA means we can crit more easily, taking advantage of the huge crit damage bonuses we'll be getting. With a point in Searing Light, it will also make enemies fumble attacks which is wonderful since this also applies to bosses and helps our survivability by a huge margin.

PASSIVE/AURA SKILLS
  • Stormcaller's Pact is crucial for our build. The conversion from physical -> lightning damage is key for making our build as effective as it is, plus we get an enormous amount of crit damage (which scales extremely well and is highly desirable) to boot. The other bonuses are minor by comparison but still nice to have.
  • Mogdrogden's Pact Line is taken in just about every build using Shaman mastery, and for good reason - the bonus health from Heart Of The Wild is wonderful, plus we get a bit of extra pierce resistance to boot!
  • Brute Force adds flat lightning damage to our attacks, which helps Primal Strike hit even harder! Unfortunately, the rest of the skill line (Feral Hunger and Upheaval) don't apply if we're not using a "real" LMB replacer - Thunderous Strikes explicitly mentions it doesn't work with these passive skills. Still, the damage from Brute Force helps and we want this as high as possible to get as much damage as possible since it scales well.
  • Flame Touched is another key skill for making our lightning damage more potent, and gives us more OA so we can get even more crits.
  • Blast Shield is an automatically-triggered "panic button" that gives us a huge survivability boost when our health drops low. As previously mentioned, we generally like staying alive, so this is good.
  • Vindictive Flame gives us total speed, some health regeneration, and a chance at stun retaliation against enemies who get too close. I keep this as a one-point-wonder since we have higher priority skills elsewhere, but there are a few nice bonuses here - especially the total speed - we like to see boosted up via +skills.
  • Electrifying Weapons (from the Hell's Bane Ammo component) is something we'll also use if you choose to level using ranged weapons. Hell's Bane Ammo is excellent for this build and should be used all the time if you decide to use rifles/crossbows!

DEVOTIONS
Take devotions in the order presented here:
  1. Green Crossroads
  2. Hawk (Bonus OA, bonus crit, helps us equip better ranged weapons, builds towards several key later devotions including Kraken and Ultos)
  3. Quill (High-tier new constellation; the DA and aether resist alone make this great, plus we get flat elemental damage and a bunch of devotion points to boot!)
  4. Buyback Green Crossroads
  5. Blue Crossroads
  6. Eel (Good defensive bonuses, movespeed, and 5 devotion for only 3 points - arguably the best early Blue constellation)
  7. Kraken (If you use 2-handed weapons, you take this constellation. End of discussion. Gives several very strong bonuses)
  8. Purple Crossroads
  9. Rhowan's Crown (We primarily get this for the wonderful Elemental Storm proc, but the additional resistances from maxing it are decent as well)
  10. Widow (The main benefit here is the lightning resistance reduction from the Arcane Bomb proc. We also get some Aether resistance, which is a fairly tough resistance type to find, in addition to lightning damage and more OA which are always nice)
  11. Chariot of the Dead (Wayward Soul is a great defensive proc. More OA is always nice, and we get vitality resistance to boot. Also gets our last green points needed for Ultos)
  12. Jackal (Gets us the final red we need for Ultos. The total speed is also nice)
  13. Ultos, Shepherd of Storms (Allfather Ultos gives us a ton of bonuses: chaos resistance, health, more OA which is always nice, and even more flat lightning damage. The proc is fantastic and will help a lot when clearing crowds)
  14. Solemn Watcher (Gives us a bunch of useful defensive stats with more DA, physique, and resists. Probably one of my favorite constellations)
  15. Red crossroads
  16. 5 points of Revenant, stopping before the Raise The Dead proc (The proc is only of marginal use of this build so we don't bother with it. The other nodes of revenant - particularly the attack speed and ADCtH are all incredibly useful and go a long way to keeping us alive)
  17. Your last devo point goes in the first point of Empty Throne (Gives us some much-needed Stun resistance, which is a great pickup for the low price of 1 devo point)

Bind our 5 devotion skills in the following way:
  1. Wayward Soul (Chariot of the Dead) bound to Mogdrogden's Pact. A defensive proc that has a chance to heal us when we take damage. Not particularly interesting or flashy, but highly useful.
  2. Arcane Bomb (Widow) bound to Thermite Mines. Spawns a bomb that deals a bit of AoE damage, which is kind of useful versus trash swarms. What is extremely useful is the fact that the bomb detonation reduces lightning resistance and stacks with the resistance reduction from thermite mines. We want this to proc as often as possible on priority targets, so we put it on the mines since they will spawn a bunch of arcane bombs as we kite things over them.
  3. Elemental Storm (Rhowan's Crown) bound to Wind Devils. Like Arcane Bomb, deals a bit of AoE damage and reduces enemy resistances. We put this on Wind Devil so they do an even better job of reducing enemy resistances as they roam around the battlefield.
  4. Hand of Ultos (Ultos, Shepherd of Storms) bound to Primal Strike. Helps a lot versus crowds and reduces enemy resistances a little on a pretty short cooldown. We want this to proc as often as possible versus crowds, so we put it on our primary attack to maximize the number of procs.


ATTRIBUTES
Typically, you want as many points in physique as possible while putting just a few points in cunning/spirit for endgame gear requirements. We pick up a decent amount of Spirit through our devotion path, so we won't have to invest any points there at all, so we will focus on Physique (for equipment requirements) and Cunning (for equipment requirements).. Also remember that Hawk reduces our cunning requirements for ranged weapons by 10% which further reduces our need for Cunning investment and allows us to support more points invested in Physique while still being able to equip endgame ranged weapons.

Shoot for about 16 points in Cunning by endgame, prioritizing Physique early on and putting everything else there. However, be sure to save 5 stat points for end game, just in case. This will ensure that if you ever stumble onto a piece of gear you can't quite equip but desperately want, you can easily fix the situation.


FACTIONS
Kymon's Chosen is much better than Death's Vigil in this build. The Chosen have some crucial pieces of gear that buff lightning damage, including the weapon this build is named for!

Keep the Outcast alive, as her late-game augments are very good.

Duncan or Angrim doesn't matter too much. Duncan is probably marginally better since we focus on lightning damage which his elemental smithing can buff, but there are much better smiths than either of them later on in the game.

If this is your first playthrough, I suggest allying with Barrowholm so you can access the useful blueprints, recipes, and augments they provide. Scummy as that may feel...


NOTEWORTHY GEAR
  • This build was named after the Chosen Bolter and its Elite counterpart, both of which are great for this build and easily purchased from the Kymon's Chosen faction vendor.
  • However, THE MUST HAVE WEAPON in this build is an Ugdenbog Sparkthrower hands down. Finding a few of varying level requirements with the "of alacrity" suffix will greatly reduce any and all difficulty from leveling...I was using an extremely well-rolled lv55 sparkthrower all the way through the end of Elite where it still was dropping bosses in under 5 seconds! You can farm these in the Ugdenbog or consider checking out the plant vendor in the Tainted Grove to see if he has any for sale.
  • Extremely early on in the game, a Hevill's Greatsword from the Lower Crossing area is a fantastic pickup.
  • Other ranged lightning 2-handers (such as Raka'Jax) are honestly mediocre at best when compared to a Sparkthrower. Accept no substitutes and get yourself one ASAP!


NOTEWORTHY COMPONENTS
  • Hell's Bane Ammo, as mentioned above, is great and should go on all of our ranged weapons.
  • Riftstone helps a ton if/when we switch to melee, since it gives us the incredibly useful Chaos Strike skill which lets us teleport straight to enemies for faster killing and better positioning.


NOTEWORTHY AUGMENTS
  • Potent Outcast's Bastion is highly useful if you need to get more aether and chaos resistance. You probably won't need the DA but it also helps a little if you're below the cap.
  • Potent Creed's Cunning is great if you're already resistance-capped, especially since the added energy regeneration helps the rapid rate at which Thunderous Strikes nuke our energy pool.
  • Survivor's Ingenuity is great in just about any build due to the boosts to damage, OA, and DA all together.
  • Sylvarria's Essence is another augment that's great in nearly any build thanks to the OA boost (as in Survivor's Ingenuity) and the huge poison resistance on each one.
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Currently leveling: Storm Bolter. http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52296

Last edited by Mournslayer; 04-11-2018 at 03:43 PM. Reason: update item links and skill suggestions
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:38 PM
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Mournslayer Mournslayer is offline
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LEVELING GUIDE

As a general rule of thumb: Put 2 points into a Mastery bar and 1 point into useful skills at each level up, until both your Mastery bars reach their final positions (50 for Shaman and 32 for Demo). Then work on filling out the remaining skills.




(Under construction for 1.0.5.1 at this time!!!)


General starting guideline: Start Shaman, pick up the biggest baddest 2-handed weapon you can find, get Primal Strike ASAP, pick up Kraken, and smash faces. Work on the Primal Strike line, ignoring the transmuter and taking the base skill up to about 10 points before maxing out Torrent. Sink a few points into Wendigo Totem for sustainability as you work up the devotion tree to Stormcaller's Pact. Honestly - Wendigo Totem + Primal Strike + Kraken should carry you through Normal or Veteran difficulty with ease.
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Currently leveling: Storm Bolter. http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52296

Last edited by Mournslayer; 03-28-2018 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:38 PM
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<Reserved #2, out of paranoia>
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Current main: C R A B C O M M A N D O
Currently leveling: Storm Bolter. http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52296
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:27 AM
Dioarchet Dioarchet is offline
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Hey, nice effort.

A few suggestions:

Alternative Early Leveling
Devotion Setup (Allows dumping Wind Devil)
Arbiter Relic
All Physique; no ranged weapons necessary during leveling
Max Feral Hunger. It is not a one point wonder.

One of the key focuses of this build is to pump up OA and crit damage to make the most out of the electrocute damage that Storm Touched and Stormcaller's Pact provide.

Last edited by Dioarchet; 03-16-2017 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:47 AM
claudius claudius is offline
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Thanks for the newbie friendly guide! I have a question about where to find what the changes to GD were going from 1.0.0.9? The question is where to go to look to find what changes are when there are changes. Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:18 AM
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Mournslayer Mournslayer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dioarchet View Post
Hey, nice effort.

A few suggestions:

Alternative Early Leveling
Devotion Setup (Allows dumping Wind Devil)
Arbiter Relic
All Physique; no ranged weapons necessary during leveling
Max Feral Hunger. It is not a one point wonder.

One of the key focuses of this build is to pump up OA and crit damage to make the most out of the electrocute damage that Storm Touched and Stormcaller's Pact provide.
This looks like an interesting approach, but a very different one than what I'm going for here. Dying God really has no place in a lightning build, though I see why you took it in yours.

I thought about taking Rhowan's Crown instead of Wind Devil since elemental storm is great, but this build lacks a really reliable way to proc it (since thermite mines are using tempest) and it was tough to add it in along with Obelisk. So I take wind devil instead for more RR of the same type.

The points for wind devil had to come from somewhere, so Tenacity of the Boar it was - really doesn't seem to do much for a 12 point investment here frankly. Flame touched gives a bunch more OA for the same skill point cost, and with both Solemn Watcher and Obelisk we have a crapton of DA already.


Quote:
Originally Posted by claudius View Post
Thanks for the newbie friendly guide! I have a question about where to find what the changes to GD were going from 1.0.0.9? The question is where to go to look to find what changes are when there are changes. Thanks.
My pleasure! This thread has the 1.0.0.9 changes listed out.
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Current main: C R A B C O M M A N D O
Currently leveling: Storm Bolter. http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52296
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:34 AM
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Stupid Dragon Stupid Dragon is offline
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Pretty much what I wanted to write back in february, but with Chosen Bolter instead of Legion Warblade. Didn't like it because damage felt rather low. PS damage, I mean. And I cant switch to Savagery because lightweight builds don't have enough procs to cover AOE. Tempest Mines will cover AOE somewhat though, I was building a Warder.
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Old 03-16-2017, 05:12 AM
Dioarchet Dioarchet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mournslayer View Post
This looks like an interesting approach, but a very different one than what I'm going for here. Dying God really has no place in a lightning build, though I see why you took it in yours.

I thought about taking Rhowan's Crown instead of Wind Devil since elemental storm is great, but this build lacks a really reliable way to proc it (since thermite mines are using tempest) and it was tough to add it in along with Obelisk. So I take wind devil instead for more RR of the same type.

The points for wind devil had to come from somewhere, so Tenacity of the Boar it was - really doesn't seem to do much for a 12 point investment here frankly. Flame touched gives a bunch more OA for the same skill point cost, and with both Solemn Watcher and Obelisk we have a crapton of DA already.
Dying God in this case is all about OA, crit damage, and attack speed. The vitality and chaos damage bonuses help somewhat when using Riftstone and Haunted Steel. If you don't like Dying God, you can go Eel + SotH (4/6) instead and remove the Crossroads/Order node.

On my build I attached Elemental Storm to Savagery and Tempest to Upheaval. I only use mines against tough champions, heroes and bosses. I attached Arcane Bomb to Gavel of Justice although it could just as well be attached to BWC w/High Potency. I attached Hungering Void to Flashbang.

I think you will have too much DA. Remember that Arcane Bomb reduces OA already and it can be further reduced by BWC. The points from Wind Devil can be put in Tenacity of the Boar if you want. Feral Hunger is a higher priority. You should be using 3x Survivor's Ingenuity in the endgame.

Last edited by Dioarchet; 03-16-2017 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 05:17 AM
Keawen Keawen is offline
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Hi,

First of all. Thanks for nice written guide. I like the looks of it and going to try it soon.

Quick question / suggestion for early leveling. Would it be better to use briarthorn max level and compliment him with Searing ember and later with Flintcore bolts and Fire aura from Enchanted Flint ? I mean Briarthorn basicly one shots everything and using empowered fireblast to mow down elites and bosses.

Also rushing kraken and using ranged two-hander for crazy damage or widow for arcane bomb.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:23 AM
Dioarchet Dioarchet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keawen View Post
Quick question / suggestion for early leveling. Would it be better to use briarthorn max level and compliment him with Searing ember and later with Flintcore bolts and Fire aura from Enchanted Flint ? I mean Briarthorn basicly one shots everything and using empowered fireblast to mow down elites and bosses.
Yeah you can do that if you want. Beware of aggro though.
Quote:
Also rushing kraken and using ranged two-hander for crazy damage or widow for arcane bomb.
Personally I would go for something like this:

Crossroads Eldritch
Scholar's Light
Remove Crossroads Eldritch
Hawk
Crossroads Ascendent
Empty Throne
Remove Crossroads Ascendent
Rhowan's Crown
Crossroads Eldritch
Remove Hawk
Crossroads Primordial
Eel
Remove Crossroads Primordial
Kraken
Viper
One point in anything*
Remove last point
Jackal (2/3)
Remove Jackal
Remove Eel
Widow
Remove Viper
Tempest
Viper (2/4)
Remove Crossroads Eldritch
Finish Viper
Jackal
Sailor's Guide
Crossroads Chaos
Dying God (6/7)
Crossroads Eldritch
Temporarily remove 3 nodes from Dying God
Hawk
Remove Scholar's Light
Restore Dying God (6/7)
Crossroads Order

*This weird sequence exists because the first 3 nodes of Widow are largely useless for this build. We want to get Widow all at once.
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