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"Grim Dawn": Occultist Build Guides for Beginners

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

The Occultist is capable of using dark powers.

The Occultist is capable of using dark powers.

Occultists are the casters and summoners of the masteries in Grim Dawn. They wield dark powers such as chaos, vitality, and poison type of damage. They also excel in summoning skilled pets that can engage enemies and support allies.

Note: The recommended Devotions are not in order. It is up to you what constellation 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. Skilled Pet Cabalist (Occultist + Necromancer)

This is a pet type build that focuses on the skills of your summoned creatures. Your main pets here are Summon Familiar and Summon Hellhound, which have different arsenals for both offensive and support skills. You also have an army of Raise Skeletons that will greatly benefit from the support aura of both your Familiar and Hellhound.

Attributes

Put points on Spirit until you can wear your desired equipment, like a caster off-hand. Most of your attribute points should be put to Physique in order to gain enough defense.

Unless you are planning on wearing equipment that relies on Cunning, it is not recommended to put points on Cunning.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Summon Familiar (16 points) – Mend Flesh (16 points) – Storm Spirit (12 points) – Lightning Strike (12 points)
  • Summon Hellhound (16 points) – Ember Claw (12 points) – Hellfire (12 points) – Infernal Breath (12 points)
  • Bonds of Bysmiel (12 points) – Manipulation (12 points)
  • Curse of Frailty (1 point) – Vulnerability (1 point)

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery bar (20 points)
  • Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (12 points)

Devotion

  • Lion
  • Fiend – assign Flame Torrent to Raise Skeletons
  • Raven
  • Shepherd’s Crook – assign Shepherd’s Call to Curse of Frailty.
  • Crane
  • Empty Throne
  • Eel
  • Panther
  • Hound
  • Bysmiel Bonds – wear equipment or component that grants an active skill where you can assign Bysmiel’s Command.
  • Staff of Ratosh
  • Ishtak, the Spring Maiden

Note: At this rate, you still have two remaining devotion points. It’s up to you where to assign those points.

Equipment Priorities

Your priority here are items that provide bonuses to your pets. It’s also a great opportunity if you can find equipment that can increase the summon limit of your pets, like the Will of Bysmiel amulet or Shepherd of Lost Souls set.

Since you don’t have enough active skills, equip any gear or component that can grant that.

How to Play?

Set Summon Familiar and Summon Hellhound’s behavior to aggressive and let them fight the enemies for you, together with your Raise Skeletons. Use Curse of Frailty and any active skills attached to your devotion skills to trigger their proc.

2. Pet Conjurer (Occultist + Shaman)

This is a pet build with a different line up of summons (Familiar, Hellhound, Briarthorn, Primal Spirit). It may not have the quantity advantage of Raise Skeletons, but it does have the power of Summon Briarthorn and Conjure Primal Spirit.

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Attributes

Same as Skilled Pet Cabalist.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Summon Familiar (16 points)
  • Summon Hellhound (16 points)
  • Bonds of Bysmiel (12 points) – Manipulation (12 points)
  • Curse of Frailty (10 points) – Vulnerability (10 points)
  • Blood of Dreeg (16 points)

Shaman Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Summon Briarthorn (16 points) – Emboldening Presence (12 points)
  • Conjure Primal Spirit (12 points)
  • Primal Bond (12 points)

Devotion

  • Lion
  • Fiend – assign Flame Torrent to Summon Hellhound
  • Raven
  • Shepherd’s Crook – assign Shepherd’s Call to Curse of Frailty.
  • Crane
  • Empty Throne
  • Eel
  • Panther
  • Hound
  • Bysmiel Bonds – wear equipment or component that grants an active skill where you can assign Bysmiel’s Command.
  • Staff of Ratosh
  • Ishtak, the Spring Maiden

Note: Just like the Skilled Pet Cabalist build, you still have two remaining devotion points. It’s up to you where to assign those points.

Equipment Priorities

Same as Skilled Pet Cabalist.

How to Play?

Set Summon Familiar, Summon Hellhound, and Summon Briarthorn’s behavior to aggressive and let them fight the enemies for you. If you think your pets are not enough, you can also summon Conjure Primal Spirit for help.

Use Curse of Frailty and any active skills attached to your devotion skills to trigger their proc. Then cast Blood of Dreeg to heal the wounds of your whole group.

3. Vitamancer Cabalist (Occultist + Necromancer)

This is a Cabalist build that specializes in casting a variety of vitality damage skills.

Attributes

Invest in Spirit if you are planning to use caster off-hand. Invest in Cunning if you want more chances to land critical hit or if you're planning to use a range weapon. All the remaining attribute points should be put on Physique.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Sigil of Consumption (12 points)
  • Doom Bolt (12 points)
  • Solael’s Witchfire (12 points) – Second Rite (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Curse of Frailty (1 point) – Vulnerability (3 points)
  • Blood of Dreeg (16 points) – Aspect of the Guardian (12 points)

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery bar (40 points)
  • Ravenous Earth (16 points) – Decay (12 points) – Foul Eruption (12 points)
  • Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)

Devotion

  • Chaos Crossroads
  • Order Crossroads
  • Lion
  • Gallows
  • Bat
  • Toad
  • Wendigo
  • Typhos, the Jailor of Souls
  • Revenant
  • Behemoth
  • Affliction
  • Rattosh, the Veilwarden

Equipment Priorities

Equip items that grant bonuses to vitality damage.

How to Play?

Plant Sigil of Consumption on enemy positions while using Ravenous Earth on approaching mobs. For tough enemies, soften them up first with Curse of Frailty, then cast Doom Bolt.

Finally, always use Blood of Dreeg for buffing and healing your character.

4. Vitamancer Conjurer (Occultist + Shaman)

This is a a variant of the Vitamancer build that makes use of Shaman’s Totems.

Attributes

Same as Vitamancer Cabalist.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Sigil of Consumption (12 points)
  • Solael’s Witchfire (12 points) – Second Rite (12 points)
  • Doom Bolt (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Blood of Dreeg (16 points) – Aspect of the Guardian (12 points)

Shaman Skills

  • Mastery bar (40 points)
  • Devouring Swarm (16 points)
  • Wendigo Totem (12 points) – Blood Pact (12 points)
  • Storm Totem (16 points) – Corrupted Storm (1 point)
  • Mogdrogen’s Pact (1 point) – Heart of the Wild (8 points)

Devotion

Same as Vitamancer Cabalist.

Equipment Priorities

Equip items that provide bonuses to both vitality and bleeding damage.

How to Play?

Immediately learn and max out Devouring Swarm first. This skill lets you wipe out mobs in the early game quickly, letting your character level up in no time.

Once you have every skill in this build, the best playstyle is to plant Corrupted Storm Totem and Sigil of Consumption on enemy positions while keeping your distance from them. Stay close to your Wendigo Totem for buff and survivability while also damaging nearby enemies. Cast Doom Bolt on tough enemies and never forget to always reapply Blood of Dreeg.

5. Vitamancer Witch Hunter (Occultist + Nightblade)

This is an assassin type of Vitamancer that can continuously throw vitality based Phantasmal Blades.

Attributes

Same as Vitamancer Cabalist.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Bloody Pox (12 points) – Fevered Rage (1 point) – Wasting (12 points) – Black Death (12 points)
  • Sigil of Consumption (12 points)
  • Doom Bolt (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Solael’s Witchfire (12 points) – Second Rite (12 points)
  • Blood of Dreeg (16 points) – Aspect of the Guardian (12 points)

Nightblade Skills

  • Mastery bar (20 points)
  • Phantasmal Blades (16 points) – Frenetic Throw (1 point) – Heart Seeker (12 points)
  • Anatomy of Murder (12 points)
  • Blade Barrier (8 points)

Devotion

Same as Vitamancer Cabalist.

Equipment Priorities

Same as Vitamancer Conjurer.

How to Play?

Phantasmal Blades is your bread and butter skill here. Transmuting it with Frentic Throw lets you continuously cast it, essentially making the skill your basic attack. Combine it with Sigil of Consumption and you can melt mobs quickly.

Bloody Pox and Doom Bolt is your heavy hitter skill here. Just take some extra caution when you use Bloody Pox since Fevered Rage makes your enemies aggressive.

6. Venomancer Witch Hunter (Occultist + Nightblade)

This melee assassin attacks with deadly venomous (acid and poison damage) blades.

Attributes

Cunning is your first priority here until you have enough to equip high level weapons. Since this is a melee build, the majority of your points should be put on Physique. Then it’s up to you if you desire to put points in Spirit

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Dreeg’s Evil Eye (12 points) – Blood Burst (12 points) – Focused Gaze (1 point) – Terrifying Gaze (12 points) – Vile Eruption (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Blood of Dreeg (16 points) – Aspect of the Guardian (12 points)

Nightblade Skills

  • Mastery bar (32 points)
  • Dual Blades (1 point) – Belgothian’s Shears (8 points) – Nidalla’s Hidden Hand (8 points) – Amarasta’s Quick Cut (8 points) – Whirling Death (8 points)
  • Amarasta’s Blade Burst (1 point) – Lethal Assault (12 points)
  • Shadow Strike (1 point) – Nidalla’s Justifiable Ends (12 points)
  • Merciless Repertoire (12 points)
  • Blade Barrier (2 points)

Devotion

  • Eldritch Crossroads
  • Empty Throne
  • Tortoise
  • Rat
  • Akeron’s Scorpion
  • Eye of the Guardian
  • Wretch
  • Chariot of the Dead
  • Manticore
  • Murmur, Mistress of Rumors
  • Abomination – only learn the path to Tainted Eruption.

Note: It is up to you where you want to put the remaining two devotion points.

Equipment Priorities

Equipping this character with dual-wield melee weapons is your first priority. When it comes to damage types, poison and acid damage is obviously your major choice.

How to Play?

Initiate the battle with Shadow Strike, followed by Dreeg’s Evil Eye and Amarasta’s Blade Burst. Then continuously strike with your basic attacks. A more convenient way to do this is to assign Amarasta’s Blade Burst on your left click.

7. Venomancer Witchblade (Occultist + Soldier)

The Venomancer Witchblade is a blade and shield wielding venomous (acid and poison damage) build.

Attributes

The only reason to put points in both Cunning and Spirit is for equipment requirements for pieces of jewelry and weapons. The majority of your attribute points should be in Physique.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Dreeg’s Evil Eye (12 points) – Blood Burst (12 points) – Focused Gaze (1 point) – Terrifying Gaze (12 points) – Vile Eruption (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Blood of Dreeg (16 points) – Aspect of the Guardian (12 points)

Soldier Skills

  • Mastery bar (32 points)
  • Cadence (1 point)
  • Blitz (1 point)
  • Field Command (12 points) – Squad Tactics (12 points)
  • Fighting Spirit (12 points)
  • Military Conditioning (10 points)
  • Overguard (12 points)
  • Menhir’s Will (13 points)

Devotion

  • Same as Venomancer Witch Hunter.
  • Assign Tainted Eruption to Cadence.

Equipment Priorities

This is a tank type build, so you should be equipping a shield to this character. Then choose gear that increases your acid and poison damage.

How to Play?

Charge the battlefield with Blitz, then follow up with Dreeg’s Evil Eye. This build has multiple ways to survive heavy punishment from enemies, such as Overguard, Blood of Dreeg, and Menhir’s Will.

8. Chaos Warlock (Occultist + Arcanist)

This caster build can unleash a variety of chaos magic to its enemies. It is also aided by a hellhound that can also deal chaos damage as well as support your character with its aura.

Attributes

Spirit will be your first priority to put points on until you meet the requirements to equip a high level caster off-hand. Then put the rest of the points to Physique after.

There is no need to put points on Cunning, unless you are planning to increase your offensive ability.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Sigil of Consumption (1 point) – Destruction (12 points)
  • Doom Bolt (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Summon Hellhound (16 points) – Ember Claw (12 points) – Hellfire (12 points) – Infernal Breath (12 points)

Arcanist Skills

  • Mastery bar (40 points)
  • Albrecht’s Aether Ray (16 points) – Tainted Power (1 point)
  • Maiven’s Sphere of Protection (12 points)
  • Arcane Will (10 points)
  • Mental Alacrity (10 points)
  • Fabric of Reality (12 points)
  • Mirror of Ereoctes (4 points)

Devotion

  • Fiend – assign Flame Torrent on Summon Hellhound.
  • Turtle
  • Wretch
  • Lizard
  • Sailor’s Guide
  • Panther
  • Solael’s Witchblade
  • Oklaine’s Lantern
  • Behemoth
  • Dying God
  • Aeon’s Hourglass

Equipment Priorities

From the name of this build itself, wear equipment that increases your chaos damage.

Since this build is a caster type, and you have an Oklaine’s Lantern in your devotion, equipping a caster off-hand is required for this build to work.

How to Play?

Albrecht’s Aether Ray and Summon Hellhound are your bread and butter skills here. Consider it as your normal attack while your more powerful skills are on cooldown. Speaking of more powerful skills, use Doom Bolt on tough enemies, especially the elite ones and bosses. Don’t forget to plant multiple Sigil of Consumption on strategic grounds for melting group of enemies, as well as converting a percent of attack damage to health.

By the way, since this build has Hungering Void from Dying God devotion, always watch out for your health when the buff procs.

9. Chaos Deceiver (Occultist + Inquisitor)

This is an alternate version of Chaos Warlock. Compared to that build, this one is using a transmuted version of Flames of Ignaffar instead of a transmuted Albrecht’s Aether Ray. The build’s raw damage may not be as powerful compared to Chaos Warlock, but its critical damage is more formidable. Plus it has better survivability thanks to Word of Renewal and Inquisitor Seal.

Attributes

It is required to invest in Cunning in this build to increase the chances of dealing huge critical damage. Spirit is also needed until you can wear a high level caster off-hand.

Finally, put all remaining points on Physique.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Sigil of Consumption (1 point) – Destruction (12 points)
  • Doom Bolt (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Summon Hellhound (16 points) – Hellfire (12 points) – Infernal Breath (12 points)

Inquisitor Skills

  • Mastery bar (40 points)
  • Flames of Ignaffar (16 points) – Tainted Flame (1 point)
  • Word of Renewal (12 points) – Vigor (10 points) – Steel Resolve (1 point)
  • Inquisitor Seal (12 points) – Null Field (1 point) – Arcane Empowerment (12 points)
  • Deadly Aim (12 points)

Devotion

Same as Chaos Warlock.

Equipment Priorities

Same as Chaos Warlock.

How to Play?

You can play this build like the Chaos Warlock when it comes to offense. The only difference is that you are using Flames of Ignaffar instead of Albrecht’s Aether Ray.

When it comes to survivability, make sure that you are always inside the Inquisitor Seal. The buff can also make your attacks stronger. Don’t forget that you also have Word of Renewal to both heal and buff your character.

10. Chaos Gunner Pyromancer (Occultist + Demolitionist)

This build uses guns loaded with chaos ammunition. This build doesn’t only rely on casting chaos magic. It can also perform basic ranged attacks. Yes, the basic ranged attacks also deal chaos damage.

Attributes

Put points on Cunning until you have enough numbers to equip a high level two-handed ranged weapon. As usual, the rest of the remaining points should be put to Physique.

You may choose not to put points on Spirit anymore since the mastery bar from both Occultist and Demolitionist can provide enough numbers.

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Solael’s Witchfire (12 points) – Consecrated Blades (3 points) – Second Rite (12 points)
  • Sigil of Consumption (1 point) – Destruction (12 points)
  • Doom Bolt (12 points)
  • Possession (12 points)
  • Summon Hellhound (16 points) – Hellfire (12 points) – Infernal Breath (12 points)

Demolitionist Skills

  • Mastery bar (50 points)
  • Fire Strike (1 point) – Searing Might (3 points) – Brimstone (12 points)
  • Thermite Mine (1 point) – Hellfire Mine (12 points)
  • Blast Shield (11 points)

Devotion

  • Fiend – assign Flame Torrent to Summon Hellhound.
  • Wretch
  • Lizard
  • Eel
  • Spider
  • Raven
  • Kraken
  • Solael’s Witchblade
  • Behemoth
  • Dying God
  • Abomination – only assign devotion points until Abominable Might. Do not invest points on Tainted Eruption path.

Note: You still have two remaining devotion points. Assign it on Ascendant Crossroads then Empty Throne, which is limited to reduced stun duration and pierce resistance.

Equipment Priorities

This build is using Searing of Might and Kraken, so you should be using a two-handed ranged weapon to benefit from its damage bonuses.

Of course, choose equipment that grants bonuses to chaos damage.

How to Play?

Play it like your typical gunner build. Attack enemies from distance while also planting both Thermite Mines and Sigil of Consumption around you, where your enemies will move to.

Do not forget that you have a powerful Doom Bolt in your arsenal. Use it whenever the skill is available.

The available skills for the Occultist.

The available skills for the Occultist.

© 2018 Arc Sosangyo

Comments

Arc Sosangyo (author) on May 25, 2018:

@david400 - thank you

david400 on May 25, 2018:

cool

Arc Sosangyo (author) on May 24, 2018:

@Gabriel - Thanks for dropping by.

Gabriel McClain on May 24, 2018:

Hi everyone just joined

Arc Sosangyo (author) on May 23, 2018:

Thanks Philippe for proof reading. I appreciate that.

Philippe from Fribourg on May 23, 2018:

Heya ! I Might try the Chaos Warlock ! I hope i'll be good enough to do it :D . Btw it's 16 points for Summon Hellhound not 12 .

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