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"Grim Dawn": Arcanist Build Guides for Beginners

Arc is a self-help author/speaker and AI thinker. He also make apps as a side hustle.

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The Arcanist is your typical mage-like mastery that wields different forms of magic skills. They are basically masters of aether and elemental damage, but they can also wield chaos and vitality damage as well. This class is skilled in devastating the area with powerful magic. They also excel in energy regeneration and conservation.

Note: The recommended Devotions are not in order here. It is up to you on which constellations you should learn first. Just in case you don’t know, Devotion points can also be re-assigned 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 difficulties.

1. Cold Caster Spellbreaker (Arcanist + Nightblade)

This build can cast a 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 defend itself.

Attributes

Your first priority is pumping up your spirit until you can wear the best caster off-hand. You can then put your points on your physique afterwards.

When it comes to cunning, your mastery bar can provide enough numbers. It’s alright not to put points in this skill.

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 seven remaining Devotion points at this rate. My recommendation is to distribute them 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 a caster off-hand with high cooldown reduction. This will let you have as many Blade Spirits as possible on 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. This is for enemies that are immune to Olexra’s Flash Freeze.

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

2. Storm Caster Druid (Arcanist + Shaman)

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

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Attributes

Prioritize cunning here since Blizzard, Reckless Tempest, and Hand of Ultos can only trigger when you land a critical attack. Put points on spirit 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

Focus on 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, having a 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 attacking you.

3. Aether Elemental Warlock (Arcanist + Occultist)

This is a 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 your caster off-hand.

How to Play

Max out Olexra’s Flash Freeze and Panetti’s Replicating Missile as early as possible. Doing this allows you to 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.

4. Aethermancer Spellbinder (Arcanist + Necromancer)

This caster build specializes in unleashing variety of aether damage.

Attributes

Same as the 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 two remaining Devotion points.

Equipment Priorities

Same as the 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. Be sure to use these skills when you're surrounded.

5. Aethermancer Mage Hunter (Arcanist + Inquisitor)

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

Attributes

For the sake of not wasting your Deadly Aim skill, invest 20 or 30 points on cunning first. Then go for spirit until you can wear the best caster off-hand. The last priority will be on 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 the Aether Elemental Warlock. 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 skill can take out trash mobs easily by casting it on a tougher enemy while moving around. Don’t forget that you can nuke an area using Devastation and focus target a single enemy with Albrecht’s Aether Ray.

As I mentioned earlier, this build is a glass cannon. You should focus on always moving away from danger and keeping your distance from enemies.

6. Fire and Blast Sorcerer (Arcanist + Demolitionist)

This build utilizes fire spells as your primary damage dealer. Bombs are mainly used for crowd control.

Attributes

Same as the 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 a 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 your 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, which can negate damage.

7. Melee Aethermancer Battlemage (Arcanist + Soldier)

This is a two-handed weapon build that uses Callidor’s Tempest as a 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 first priority to put attribute points on since this melee build is prone to take damage. Invest 20 or 30 points on cunning for an increase in offensive ability. This will let you land more critical hits, which triggers Aether Conduit from Temporal Arcblade and Phoenix Fire from Alladrah’s Phoenix.

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)
  • Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points) – Conversion (10 points)
  • Mirror of Ereoctes (9 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)
  • Menhir's Will (16 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 a two-handed weapon, I recommend Temporal Arcblade. The build has a high chance to land critical hits, which can trigger your weapon’s Aether Conduit. Then attach Seal of Corruption to your weapon 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, which can serve as your normal attack.

Don’t forget to always soften enemies with Aether Corruption.

8. Melee Aethermancer Spellbinder (Arcanist + Necromancer)

This is an alternative version of the Melee Aethermancer Battlemage.

Attributes

Same as the Melee Aethermancer Battle Mage.

Arcanist Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Callidor’s Tempest (16 points) – Inferno (12 points)
  • Reckless Power (12 points)
  • Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points) – Conversion (10 points)
  • Mirror of Ereoctes (1 points)
  • Arcane Will (10 points)
  • Mental Alacrity (10 points)
  • Fabric of Reality (12 points)

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Siphon Souls (12 points) – Sear Souls (1 point)
  • Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)

Devotion

Same as the Melee Aethermancer Battle Mage.

Equipment Priorities

Same as the 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 whenever it is available. You also have Reap Spirit for a long-range aether damage attack.

9. Melee Elemental Battlemage (Arcanist + Soldier)

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 two remaining points here.

Equipment Priorities

Wear equipment that can boost elemental damage 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 can be used for defense later in the game since it has the ability to freeze large mobs.

Copyright Crate Entertainment

Copyright Crate Entertainment

© 2018 Arc Sosangyo

Comments

totozzang on February 06, 2020:

Cool

longfellow on July 03, 2019:

Not sure how devastation works with 2 handed melee in your battlemage and/or spellbinder builds....

Cheers

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