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Grim Dawn: Arcanist Build Guides for Beginners

Updated on May 26, 2018
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Arcanist is your typical mage like mastery that wields different forms of magic skills. They are basically masters of aether and elemental damage, but can also wield chaos and vitality damage as well. As masters of devastating the area with powerful magic, Arcanist also excels in energy regeneration and conservation.


Note: Recommended Devotions are not in order. Meaning, it is up to you what constellation you should learn first. Just in case you don’t know, devotion points can also be re-assign in order to meet certain requirements.

When it comes to gear components, resistance to different damage types should be the priority for your character to survive on higher difficulty.


Cold Caster Spellbreaker

This build can cast variety of cold and frostburn skills that often freezes enemies, preventing them from attacking. Speaking of survivability, freezing enemies is not the only defense mechanism of this build. It also has different skills to keep itself from harm.


Attributes

Your first priority is pumping up your spirit until you can wear the best caster off-hand, then put the rest on physique after.

When it comes to cunning, your mastery bar can provide enough numbers. So it’s alright not to put points on it.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Olexra’s Flash Freeze (12 points) – Absolute Zero (12 points)

Trozan’s Sky Shard (16 points) – Frozen Core (12 points)

Start Pact (12 points)

Arcane Will (10 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (1 point)


Nightblade Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Pneumatic Burst (12 points) – Elemental Awakening (12 points)

Blade Spirit (16 points)

Blade Barrier (5 points)

Merciless Repertoire (12 points)


Devotion

Chaos Crossroads

Tsunami

Lizard

Vulture

Spider

Quill

Hawk

Owl

Harpy

Amatok the Spirit of Winter

Leviathan

Note: You still have 7 remaining devotion points at this rate. My recommendation is to distribute it on both Empty Throne and Ultos Shepherd of Storms.


Equipment Priorities

Wear equipment that can increase your cold and frostburn damage. It’s also recommended to wear caster off-hand with high cooldown reduction. This will let you have as many Blade Spirit as possible in the battlefield.


How to play?

At the start of your game, max out Olexra’s Flash Freeze first. This will let you level up quickly since the skill can nuke down enemies in a really wide area. Then the next skill to max out is Trozan’s Sky Shard for enemies that is immune to Olexra’s Flash Freeze.

As a reminder, don’t rush learning Absolute Zero and Frozen Core until you have Blade Spirit first.


Storm Caster Druid

Lightning, cold, frostburn, and electrocute is what I personally mean about storm. This build can unleash those mentioned damage types at the same time that can both shock and chill your enemies.


Attributes

Prioritize cunning here since Blizzard, Reckless Tempest, and Hand of Ultos can only trigger when you land critical attack. Don’t forget spirit too until you can wear the best caster off-hand.

All of the remaining points should be put on physique.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Olexra’s Flash Freeze (12 points) – Absolute Zero (12 points)

Trozan’s Sky Shard (16 points) – Frozen Core (12 points) – Shattered Star (12 points)

Star Pact (12 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (3 points)

Inner Focus (12 points)

Arcane Will (10 points)


Shaman Skills

Mastery bar (40 points)

Wind Devil (1 point) – Raging Tempest (12 points) – Maelstorm (12 points)

Storm Totem (16 points)


Devotion

Tsunami

Tortoise

Jackal

Owl

Tempest

Amatok the Spirit of Winter

Oklaine’s Lantern

Chariot of the Dead

Behemoth

Ultos, Shepherd of Storms


Equipment Priorities

Aside from equipment that can increase lightning, cold, frostburn, and electrocute damage. Wear gear that can increase your offensive ability too. It’s also good idea to grab equipment that can unleash lightning or cold skills when you land critical hit.

Since you have Oklaine’s Lantern in your devotion, caster off-hand is a must.


How to play?

The first thing to do when you encounter an enemy is to plant Storm Totem and cast Wind Devil whenever it is available. Prioritize dropping Trozan’s Sky Shard on enemies that doesn’t go down easily.

Whenever you are surrounded by mobs, immediately use Olexra’s Flash Freeze to prevent them from coming to you.


Aether Elemental Warlock

Warlock that focuses on dealing both elemental and aether damage while being boosted up by familiar and hellhound summons.


Attributes

As usual, go for spirit first until you have enough to wear the best caster off-hand. The rest should be put on physique.

Don’t bother putting points on cunning unless you want to pump your offensive ability.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Panetti’s Replicating Missile (16 points) – Distortion (12 points) – Supercharged (12 points) – Proliferation (12 points)

Olexra’s Flash Freeze (12 points)

Devastation (16 points)

Reckless Power (12 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (1 point)

Arcane Will (10 points)

Mental Alacrity (9 points)

Fabric of Reality (12 points)


Occultist Skills

Master bar (32 points)

Summon Familiar (1 point) – Storm Spirit (12 points)

Summon Hellhound (1 point) – Hellfire (12 points)


Devotion

Imp

Raven

Wraith

Quill

Scholar’s Light

Empty Throne

Owl

Widow

Oklaine’s Lantern

Blind Sage

Attak Seru, the Mirage

Rhowan’s Crown – you can only learn until Elemental Storm.


Equipment Priorities

Equip items that can boost both your elemental and aether damage. Due to Oklaine’s Lantern in your list of devotions, it is recommended to wear caster off-hand.


How to play?

About early game play, which is from level 1 to 50. Max out Olexra’s Flash Freeze and Panetti’s Replicating Missile as early as possible. Doing this lets you level up as fast as possible.

Your pet’s primary role here is just to support your character. Set their behavior to defense so that they won’t aggressively attack enemies.


Aethermancer Spellbinder

From the name itself, this caster build specializes in unleashing variety of aether damage.


Attributes

Same as Aether Elemental Warlock


Arcanist Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Albrecht’s Aether Ray (16 points) – Disintegration (12 points)

Devastation (16 points)

Reckless Power (12 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points) – Conversion (10 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (12 points)

Inner Focus (12 points)

Arcane Will (10 points)

Nullification (3 points)

Mental Alacrity (10 points)

Fabric of Reality (12 points)


Necromancer Skills

Mastery bar (32 points)

Spectral Binding (12 points)

Siphon Souls (12 points) – Sear Souls (1 point)


Devotion

Primordial Crossroads

Chaos Crossroads

Order Crossroads

Lion

Vulture

Imp

Raven

Hawk

Empty Throne

Toad

Owl

Typhos, the Jailor of Souls

Rattosh, the Veilwarden

Attak Seru, the Mirage

Note: It’s up to you where to assign the 2 remaining devotion points.


Equipment Priorities

Same as Aether Elemental Warlock


How to play?

Start the fight by always casting Devastation. Your main damage dealer here is Albrecht’s Aether Ray while Siphon Souls is used when surrounded.


Aethermancer Mage Hunter

A variant of Aethermancer Spellbinder. This one is more glass cannon compared to its counterpart. It can deliver tremendous damage per second through higher chance of landing critical hit with better output.


Attributes

For the sake of not wasting your Deadly Aim skill, invest 20 or 30 points on cunning first. Go for spirit after until you can wear the best caster off-hand. The last priority will be physique.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Albrecht’s Aether Ray (16 points) – Disintegration (12 points)

Devastation (16 points)

Reckless Power (12 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points) – Conversion (10 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (1 point)

Inner Focus (12 points)

Arcane Will (10 points)

Mental Alacrity (10 points)

Fabric of Reality (12 points)


Inquisitor Skills

Mastery bar (20 points)

Storm Box of Elgoloth (16 points) – Allagast’s Arcane Net (1 point)

Deadly Aim (12 points)

Word of Renewal (12 points) – Vigor (10 points)


Devotion

Same as Aethermancer Spellbinder


Equipment Priorities

Same as Aether Elemental Warlock, then put Seal of Corruption in your weapon or off-hand to get extra skills for your devotion.


How to play?

Practice how to position yourself carefully to maximize the potential of Storm Box of Elgoloth. The said skill can take out trash mobs easily, by casting it on a tougher enemy while moving around. Then don’t forget that you can nuke an area using Devastaion and focus target a single enemy with Albrecht’s Aether Ray.

As I mentioned earlier, this build is literally a glass cannon one. So you should execute double effort in always moving away from danger and keeping your distance from enemies.


Fire and Blast Sorcerer

Utilizes fire spells as primary damage dealer and bombs mainly for crowd control.


Attributes

Same as Aether Elemental Warlock.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Albrecht’s Aether Ray (16 points) – Disintegration (12 points)

Devastation (16 points)

Reckless Power (12 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection

Mirror of Ereoctes (1 point)

Arcane Will (10 points)

Mental Alacrity (10 points)


Demolitionist Skills

Mastery bar (32 points)

Canister Bomb (12 points) – Concussive Bomb (3 points)

Flashbang (12 points) – Searing Light (9 points)

Flame Touched (12 points)

Blast Shield (12 points)

Vindicative Flame (1 point) – Ulzuin’s Wrath (12 points)


Devotion

Chaos Crossroads

Fiend

Vulture

Tortoise

Owl

Empty Throne

Scholar’s Light

Raven

Magi

Oklaine’s Lantern

Ulzuin’s Torch

Blind Sage – Only put points on prerequisites to Elemental Seeker.


Equipment Priorities

Wear equipment that pumps your fire and burn damage. It is also required to equip caster off-hand to get the bonuses from Oklaine’s Lantern.


How to play?

Disable approaching mobs first with either Flashbang or Canister Bomb. Cast Devastation whenever it is available and use Albrecht’s Aether Ray to focus fire on desired enemies.

Aside from its bombs, this build also has other ways to survive such as Blast Shield and Ulzuin’s Wrath. It also has Mirror of Ereoctes that can negate damages.


Melee Aethermancer Battlemage

This is a two-handed weapon weilder that uses Callidor’s Tempest as basic attack in melee combat. The build also takes advantage of its melee situation to always trigger both Fighting Spirit and Arcane Will.


Attributes

Physique is your major priority to put attribute points since melee build is prone to take damage. Invest 20 or 30 points on cunning for increase in offensive ability. This will let you land more critical hit which triggers Aether Conduit from Temporal Arcblade and Phoenix Fire from Alladrah’s Phoenix often.

I’m not recommending to put points in spirit since your mastery bar can provide enough.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery bar (50 points)

Callidor’s Tempest (16 points) – Inferno (12 points)

Reckless Power (12 points)

Devastation (16 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points) – Conversion (10 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (1 point)

Arcane Will (10 points)

Mental Alacrity (10 points)

Fabric of Reality (12 points)


Soldier Skills

Mastery bar (32 points)

Blitz (1 point)

Field Command (12 points) – Squad Tactics (12 points)

Military Conditioning (10 points)

Fighting Spirit (12 points)


Devotion

Chaos Crossroads

Eldritch Crossroads

Order Crossroads

Imp

Tortoise

Viper

Jackal

Eel

Empty Throne

Alladrah’s Phoenix

Widow

Kraken

Spear of the Heavens

Aeon’s Hourglass


Equipment Priorities

Wear equipment that increases your aether damage.

For equipping two-handed weapon, I recommend Temporal Arcblade. The builds high chance to land critical hit lets it trigger the weapon’s Aether Conduit often. Then attach Seal of Corruption to it to gain the ability Aether Corruption.


How to play?

This is played like your typical melee character. Initiate the fight using Blitz, then continuously use Callidor’s Tempest that serves as your normal attack.

Don’t forget to always cast Devastation whenever it is available or soften enemies with Aether Corruption.


Melee Aethermancer Spellbinder

An alternative version of Melee Aethermancer Battlemage.


Attributes

Same as Melee Aethermancer Battle Mage.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Callidor’s Tempest (16 points) – Inferno (12 points)

Devastation (16 points)

Reckless Power (12 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points) – Conversion (10 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (12 points)

Arcane Will (10 points)

Mental Alacrity (10 points)

Fabric of Reality (12 points)


Necromancer Skills

Mastery Bar (32 points)

Siphon Souls (12 points) – Sear Souls (1 point)

Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)

Mark of Torment (5 points)


Devotion

Same as Melee Aethermancer Battle Mage.


Equipment Priorities

Same as Melee Aethermancer Battle Mage.


How to play?

Like its counterpart build, Callidor’s Tempest serves as your bread and butter skill. So use it like your basic attack. Then use Siphon Souls and Devastation whenever it is available.

When in great danger, either use Mirror of Ereoctes or Mark of Torment.


Melee Elemental Battlemage

Another melee build that converts its basic physical attack to elemental damage.


Attributes

You can put all your attribute points in physique without a problem.


Arcanist Skills

Mastery Bar (50 points)

Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange (12 points) – Overload (12 points) – Elemental Balance (12 points)

Olexra’s Flash Freeze (12 points)

Star Pact (12 points)

Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points)

Mirror of Ereoctes (1 point)

Arcane Will (10 points)


Soldier Skills

Mastery Bar (32 points)

Cadence (16 points) – Discord (3 points)

Blitz (1 point)

Fighting Spirit (12 points)

Field Command (12 points) – Squad Tactics (12 points)

Military Conditioning (10 points)

Menhir’s Will (13 points)


Devotion

Primordial Crossroads

Chaos Crossroads

Eldritch Crossroads

Ascendant Crossroads

Tortoise

Spider

Scholar’s Light

Hawk

Owl

Bard’s Harp

Crab

Rhowan’s Crown

Behemoth

Blind Sage – assign Elemental Seeker on Cadence.

Empty Throne – Put the 2 remaining points here.


Equipment Priorities

Wear equipment that can boost elemental as well as burn, frostburn, and electrocute damage.


How to play?

This build is really easy to play. Charge with Blitz, then attack continuously with Cadence. Olexra’s Flash Freeze main role is more of defensive side on later game since it has the ability to freeze large area of mobs.


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