SIR CRUNCHYBONES Skelemancer Cabalist

Welcome to the Complete Build & Leveling Guide for the SIR CRUNCHYBONES Skelemancer Cabalist. This build is great for new players, one of the best starter builds, destroys all campaign content, is hardcore viable, and can easily farm Ultimate with self-found gear. If you’re looking for a solid fun pet build that is strong from the start and scales very well, this is the place!

JAN 2020 UPDATE! Click here to see a detailed announcement by the Guide Creator about the issues he encountered with the Grim Dawn Community, Forum Moderators and why he moved his guides from the Grim Dawn Forums.

The GrimTools link is available at the bottom of the guide.

Quick Comment from K. Ross regarding the new Veteran Mode: I am really enjoying your guides, and I have found them very useful as a new player. I do, however, have one tiny suggestion. On Hardcore Veteran, because I haven’t unlocked Elite or Ultimate, yet, the Skeletons were getting wrecked in The Putrid Den. I found that a single point in Bone Harvest after the initial 6 in Skeletons solved that problem quite nicely.

I’ve wanted to do a Pet Guide for awhile now, but all of the pet builds I tried were either too slow and boring (many of which recommend leveling with some method other than pets) or too squishy (typical skelemancer where your pets die faster than you can cast them). Finally, I found what I was looking for. A Skelemancer build with great DPS, defense, survival and scaling. I took this build to 100 with no deaths, pretty much facerolled all story content (including Ultimate) faster than most other builds I’ve done, and I didn’t even have BiS gear (I was running off of self-found). This build is fantastic.

There are many options for pet builds, and with the release of Forgotten Gods, pet specialists have been pushing the limits with super bosses, crucible and shattered realm. The problem is nearly all of these builds are focused solely on complete legendary best in-slot (BiS) gear the majority of players simply do not have. This build is designed to be new player friendly and scales great with self-found gear. It’s also VERY easy to play, which is refreshing since my fingers are still aching from the Pierce Infiltrator.

What makes this build solid is the combination of defensive Devotions paired with the Skill Point Distribution during leveling, all producing a seamless and quick trip to level 100 and Ultimate farming.

This build is great for Hardcore!

A user named Michl Moriarty (who is a member of the Grim Dawn Facebook community) shared this build with the group. This provided the inspiration for me to create this guide and take this character to end-game. Thanks, Michl!

Before we begin, I recommend these mods to anyone playing Grim Dawn, especially new players. Note none of these mods cheat or change the core of the game – they just add quality of life:

GrimInternals (
This is hands down the best mod currently out for Grim Dawn. Automatic component pickup and monster name/labeling with legendary drop Sound FX are just a few reasons why every Grim Dawn player should have this.

GD Item Assistant (
This mod allows the player to store an unlimited number of items they find. This is fantastic because it supports “account building” with extending storage to be anything the player feels is important in the future or for another build.

Item Color Filter (
A fantastic visual modifier to the game that shows item prefixes and suffixes in colors based on their damage/resist/skill type. Extremely popular and valuable. Note this is for the WanezGD Tool, which auto-installs and manages the rainbow filter. Download the setup.exe for the Tool.

Resistances are everything in Grim Dawn. If you die, it’s probably because your resists were low. Below is a list of recommended components that are commonly used throughout the leveling process:

Components List

  • 7: Wardstone | 7% Elemental, 15% Bleed Resistance | Amulet & Medal
  • 15: Silk Swatch | 18% Pierce & Bleed Resistance | Shoulder, Chest & Leg Armor
  • 15: Imbued Silver | 20% Chaos Resistance & 15% Bleeding Resistance | Mainhand/Offhand (Toggled Item Skill)
  • 15: Purified Salt | 20% Aether Resistance | Mainhand/Offhand (Toggled Item Skill)
  • 15: Antivenom Salve | 20% Poison & Acid | All Armor
  • 15: Unholy Inscription | 10% Vitality, 15% Bleeding | Hand Armor
  • 20: Runestone | 12% Aether & 12% Elemental Resist | Head Armor
  • 20: Soul Shard | 20% Vitality Resistance | Ring, Amulet, Medal
  • 20: Mark of the Traveler | 8% Movement Speed & 10% Slow Resistance | Boots
  • 24: Sanctified Bone | 18% Vitality, 12% Chaos | Chest & Head
  • 24: Aether Soul | 16% Aether Resistance | Amulet & Medal

Augments are the most important thing for end-game and require honored or revered reputation with a faction to access them. Rule of thumb: as soon as you hit Honored with any faction (which will begin to happen in Elite mode), immediately buy the Writ (for 88,000 iron) that doubles your faction gain. This will help you get to Revered much quicker, and give you access to the necessary augments to help your resists in Ultimate.

Augments List
The factions a player gets Honored and Revered with first are generally: Devil’s Crossing, Rovers, Homestead, Black Legion, Order/Kymon, and Coven of Ugdenbog. I’m listing some of the most popular defensive Augments below for reference, which can greatly help in surviving both Elite and especially Ultimate.

  • 40: Arkovian Rose Powder | 10% Elemental Res | Rings/Amulet | Rovers Honored
  • 40: Slith Venom | 15% Poison, Acid & Bleeding Res | Rings/Amulet | Devil’s Honored
  • 40: Gazer Eye | 10% Aether Res | Rings/Amulet | Devil’s Honored
  • 40: Corpsefiend Tentacle | 10% Vitality Res | Rings/Amulet | Devil’s Honored
  • 40: Divine Flame | 10% Elemental Res | Rings/Amulet | Kymon’s Honored
  • 40: Blessed Ashes | 15% Fire & Lightning Res | Rings/Amulet | Kymon’s Honored
  • 40: Consecrated Silver | 12% Chaos Res | Rings/Amulet | Kymon’s Honored
  • 40: Necrotic Flesh | 15% Bleeding Res | Rings/Amulet | Order Honored
  • 40: Chillheart Powder | 15% Cold & Vitality Res | Rings/Amulet | Order Honored
  • 70: Venomguard Powder | 15% Poison & Acid Res | All Armor | Rovers Revered
  • 70: Nightshade Powder | 7% Pierce & 10% Cold Res | All Armor | Rovers Revered
  • 70: Bladeward Powder | 10% Pierce Res | All Armor | Devil’s Revered
  • 70: Mogdrogan’s Touch | 10% Poison & Acid Res, 7% Vitality Res | All Armor | Devil’s Revered
  • 70: Kymon’s Blessing | 15% Fire Res | All Armor | Kymon’s Revered
  • 70: Kymon’s Conduit | 15% Lightning Res | All Armor | Kymon’s Revered
  • 70: Demonbane Powder | 7% Vitality & Chaos Res | All Armor | Kymon’s Revered
  • 70: Mankind’s Vigil | 7% Aether Res, 7% Chaos Res | All Armor | Black Legion Revered
  • 70: Kingsguard Powder | 7% Pierce Res, 10% Poison/Acid Res | All Armor | Black Legion Revered
  • 70: Flameweave Powder | 7% Pierce Res, 10% Fire Res | All Armor | Homestead Revered
  • 70: Solarstorm Powder | 10% Fire Res, 10% Lightning Res | All Armor | Homestead Revered
  • 70: Wraithtouch Powder | 15% Cold Res | All Armor | Order Revered
  • 70: Spiritguard Powder | 10% Vitality Res | All Armor | Order Revered
  • 70: Spellward Powder | 10% Lightning Res, 7% Aether Res | All Armor | Order Revered
  • 90: Coven Warding Powder | 7% Elemental Res | All Armor | Coven Revered
  • 90: Coven Black Ash | 8% Pierce and Chaos Res | All Armor | Coven Revered

This is a new and critically important feature introduced with Forgotten Gods that allows the player to convert set items to another item of the same setAnd it works with BLUE (non-legendary) set items! The quest to unlock Transmute is given by Kargon in the Conclave of the Three. The quest unlocks after you’ve progressed to the Oasis area. The Tome is found on Canen’s Corpse. It costs 120,000 iron per transmute, and uses 1 Eldrich Essence (which is quite rare, so make each transmute count!). Luckily, a player put together a guide on Farming Eldrich EssenceRemember, if you can craft the helmet of a set, you can transmute those helmets to other pieces. This means you can craft an entire set just from the helmet recipe!

Another technique is to convert a set item to another random set item. This costs 30,000 iron, scrap and crystals (which is a lot cheaper than converting to the same set). A good example of this technique is if you want the Mythical version of a set item (but you have none, and don’t have the recipe to craft the helm), you can take another mythical set item and convert it to a random set item with the possibility of getting a mythical of the set you’re looking for!

I believe this is not only one of the fastest leveling builds in the game, it’s also one of the safest. Your pets (namely Skeletons) murder everything as you run through the content and pick up the juicy loot. Once the regeneration from Blood of Dreeg and the Devotions is established, you rarely have to recast your pets except during tough boss fights. As with most pet builds, ground-based AoE damage is the most dangerous and can quickly kill all of your little buddies, which is why resists are very important. The ground-based Aether damage from AoM can be quite challenging, but once you get the pet Aether resistances up, they do very well. It’s also important to remember when you summon skeletons, it’s random if you get an archer, warrior or mage. Many players will recast skeletons to get a balanced collection of all three while others prefer pure warriors or archers; but this can be difficult to achieve with the RNG-nature of the build.

For clarification, this build is GREAT for hardcore. If I were to start from scratch and wanted to pursue the level 100 Hardcore achievement, out of all the build guides I’ve done so far, I’d use this one.

The General Play Technique is to get all of your buffs up, cast your single pets, and then your army of skeletons. Once that’s done, ensure Blood of Dreeg (BoD) is always up, and just run through the content while casting Curse of Frailty (CoF) on the groups of mobs and stand back laughing as your little buddies murder everything. You can also activate Call of the Grave to give your pets a nice damage bonus. Always keep an eye on the count of your skeletons, and when you start to lose them, simply recast. Binding the right mouse button to Pet Attack is also very important because it serves not only as an attack order, but a “move to here” order. When fighting bosses that drop AoE (like Cronley) you can actually right-click on another part of the room and your pets will disengage and move away. This management can save your pets and helps mitigate damage you can anticipate.

Survival is dependent on your pets drawing aggro and surviving themselves. Only when your pets die do monsters generally come after you, but you’ll occasionally draw aggro. One great thing is in narrow corridors or doorways, you can actually use your pets to block a target from reaching you. It’s fun to use your movement Glyph to teleport to the other side of battle, behind your pets, only to watch the monsters struggle (and fail) to reach you while your army pounds them down. Always keep your enemies marked with CoF and ensure BoD is up up and you’re set.

Rotation for Trash: BoD is up. Run through. Everything dies. That’s about it. Only once you get into end-game Ultimate do you have to be more cautious about trash – and at that point you just curse and let your pets rush in. Your pets aren’t just DPS, they are also your shield.

Rotation for Bosses:: It’s really the same as fighting anything else, except you will be using your Pet Attack command to move your pets out of harms way when necessary. Always keep BoD up, Curse the boss, and use Call of the Grave when it’s on cooldown. Your pets will do the rest of the work.

Final Level 100 Stat Distribution: 97 Physique, 10 Spirit
Faction of Choice: Order of Death’s Vigil


While this build focuses on the end-game Lost Souls set (4 items), there are so many alternative items (including some easily farmable) that can be used prior to acquiring the BiS set items, the build really is a lot of fun to farm for (overall). The first is the Warden’s Judgment, which gives us an additional Skeleton and drops off of Warden Krieg at least 35% of the time. We also have Korvaak’s Burning-Blade which is similar to the above Warden’s item, but instead supports an additional +2 skeletons per summon. The blade drops in the Forgotten Gods content off of numerous Korvaak monsters. The Ascendant Cowl also drops from Ascended mobs in Malmouth, and provides +3 to Undead Legion in addition to Pet Bonuses.

Rifthound Salts are also very important and are acquired through becoming Honored with Devil’s Crossing. Tossing these on your rings and amulet will give your pets some great resistances and speed.

While leveling, you’ll find these items to be very helpful:

  • 12: Warden’s Judgment (1H) +1 Raise Skeletons
  • 20: Korvaak’s Burning-Blade (1H) +2 Raise Skeletons
  • 25: Hysteria (Relic)
  • 25: Deadbeater (1H) Skeletons
  • 26: Crown of Command (Head)
  • 30: Padala’s Will (Offhand)
  • 30: Whispers of Dead (Amulet)
  • 35: Deathchill (Relic)
  • 40: Rifthound Salts (Augments) Pet Bonus – Devil’s Crossing (Honored)
  • 40: Ascendant Cowl (Helm) +3 Undead Legion (Malmouth Ascended)
  • 40: Bramblewood Amulet (Amulet)
  • 50: Touch of the Everliving Grove (Gloves)
  • 50: Fiendflesh Greaves (Boots)
  • 58: Reaper of the Accursed (OH)
  • 65: Shadowfiend’s Cord (Belt)
  • 65: Solael Vile Cuirass (Chest) Cult of Solael (+2 Raise Skeletons)
  • 65: Corruptor’s Mask & Robe (Helm & Chest)
  • 68: Beastcaller’s Talisman (Medal)
  • 70: Dirge of Arkovia (Relic)
  • 90: Wendigo Conjuring Seal (Ring)
  • 94: Beacon of Lost Souls (1H)
  • 94: Mythical Bramblewood Amulet (Amulet)


Our goal is to get our Skeleton Army up first. They’ll be a bit brittle until we get some defensive support, but the DPS will be rock solid for leveling. Once we do that, we move to Occultist and rush Blood of Dreeg and Manipulation for speed, etc. We touch up Necro, then work on QoL and defensive support to bring it all together at level 100.

Phase I (Necromancer)
Skeletons (6) → Spectral Binding (1) → Undead Legion (6) → Skeletons (Max) → [OCCULTIST] Curse of Frailty (1) → Undead Legion (Max) → Blight Fiend (1) → Spectral Wrath (1) → Will of the Crypt (1)

Phase II (Occultist)
Familiar (1) → Vulnerability (1) → Hellhound (1) → Storm Spirit (1) → Blood of Dreeg (12) → Hellfire (6) → Bonds of Bysmiel (1) → Aspect of the Guardian (5) → Manipulation (Max)

Phase III (Necromancer)
Rotting Fumes (1) → Call of the Grave (1) → Blight Burst (1) → Master of Death (6)

Phase IV (Combo)
Curse of Frailty (5) → Vulnerability (5) → Aspect of the Guardian (5) → Storm Spirit (5) → Hellfire (5) → Spectral Wrath (5) → Bonds of Bysmiel (5)

Touch up the rest as you see fit!


Crossroads (Ascendant) → Shepherd’s Crook (Curse of Frailty) → Crossroads (Chaos) → Fiend (Skeletons) → Nighttalon → Crossroads (Order) → Crane → Lion → Panther → Sailor’s → Staff of Rattosh → Lizard → Ishtak (Bonds of Bysmiel) → REMOVE Crossroads (Order, Ascendant, Chaos) → Eel → Tree of Life (Master of Death) → Typhos (1 point)

The final version of this build utilizes the Lost Souls Scepter, Helmet, Amulet and Shoulders set of 4. The Dirge of Arkovia relic is also fantastic, supported by other legendary rings, gloves, and boots, etc. The Voidwhisper rings can be tough to get, but there are many alternatives that can be used while hunting for them. Many of the legendary items drop regularly, and there’s a good chance that by level 100 you’ll have a couple already.

Below are additional complete build guides you might be interested in!

  1. Thanks for this guide. I’m loving the build thus far and farming for BiS. You mention in your guide that you can transmute or convert items. I know how to transmute but how do you convert items from one set into a different set? I haven’t found anything on line for this. Thanks

  2. You can transmute a set item to another item of the same set, or another item of a random set. Sadly you can’t target a specific set, so the random transmutation is really a shot in the dark.

  3. Awesome guide. I’m having great fun with this build.

    In the Skills list, I understand the points in parenthesis to be snapshot status, as in, “have this many points in this skill” (as opposed to “put this many more points into this skill”). That said, I’m confused because in Phase II, you have Aspect of the Guardian (10), and the same in Phase IV. Were there supposed to be more points put in Aspect of the Guardian in Phase IV, or was a different skill supposed to be brought up to 10-pts? Thanks.

  4. Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying it! Oops – good find! It should have been (5) and (5). Updated! With the 10 points the items should adjust it to 12. Note you can put more points into this if you want (while leveling) for more damage; just make sure you don’t go over Soft Cap (12/12).

  5. Hello! I’m currently using this build and I am enjoying it so far. I have been searching about this game’s endgame and I kind of want to do SR75 and Crucible on Gladiator at some point. So I wanna ask if I can still use this build in those modes or do I have to use a different build at that point in time.

  6. I didn’t try it in SR; I’m confident it’s 50+ viable, but beyond that, it’s hard to say. Should be Crucible 150+ viable, but also hard to say. I recommend building it out to end-game and seeing how far you can push it – please let me know!

  7. Great guide David!

    I have a question about the component Seal of Might you are using on weapon and off-hand. Are you doubling up just for the 160 Health? Or am I misunderstanding the mechanics of Presence of Might? Because I was thinking that a single component gives the aura, but the resists would have no reason to stack when using two… or do they?

    Thanks again, This is the 3rd build of yours I’ve tried, each very fun and different!

  8. Thanks, Mark! It’s been awhile since I’ve played the Skelemancer, but if I recall, the Presence of Might bonus stacks from each weapon for both you and your companions. Should be easy to see in your resistance window as you activate each aura. I hope this helps!

  9. hey guide is working great so far! Just had a question about the skill section, in phase 2 you say to put 6 points into hellfire, then in phase 4 you say 5, does that just mean add 5 more points to it?

  10. A very nice guide. I am new to the game and had a couple questions.

    1) I am 39 ans doing the Homestead area. So far i have gotten Kriegs weapon after 5 tries. The 12 through 94 items are they must haves or just nice items to get?
    2) I have gotten drops with plus pet bonus and I do not upgrade till i get a piece that had plus pets on it. Is this pretty much how I should be doing it?

    Again this is my first play through so I am a real newbie at this game.

  11. 39 is nearly mid-level for the game, so don’t worry about BiS (Best in Slot) items just yet. Just use the best items you can find (from the Items list from Leveling guide) – for example, at 40 you can apply Rifthound Salts and pursue a few other items. Legendary gear doesn’t start dropping until you hit 50, and even then, the drop rates are very low until you get into Ultimate difficulty (which is a whole different experience). Just make sure you keep your resists (and the resists of your pets) as high as possible and you should be fine!

  12. BTW today’s GD patch buffed Skeletons!

    Raise Skeletons: increased base % Physical Resist by 10% and increased Health for Skeletal Warriors and Archers

  13. I’ve been following the guide and I just dinged 88. So far not much issue but a few things I’ve been curious about. Why are the skeleton’s health soooo low compared to all the other pets. They also seem to be the ones dying faster than the others. In elite difficulty I’m having to recast often during some boss fights.

  14. Skeletons are designed to be disposable – high damage and lower life (compared to more persistent pets like Briarthorn). Recasting often during boss fights is normal; just need to strategize and plan it out – also, remember you can help with their survival by commanding attack at a different location to get them to run out of any AoE damage, etc. Once you get the hang of commanding your legion to avoid damage (and also have high resistances) they are quite deadly 🙂 I hope this helps!

  15. the grimtools link doesn’t work. can you maybe make some screenshots from your own character?

  16. Hey Arcane, my apologies, but I deleted the character when the latest patch came out – I was going to rebuild him from scratch to see how skeletons performed with the bonuses, but haven’t gotten around to it yet (and GT being down will delay things more). My apologies, but it seems all of us are in waiting mode until GT comes back up 🙂

  17. Hello! I have hopefully a quick question:

    Nearly every skill chosen is a pet or pet buff, except “Spectral Binding” and “Spectral Wrath”. It seems weird/random to pick these, because they only buff the caster, correct? Or does some of that trickle down to the pets?

    I literally bought GD this past week, and while I was sooo sure I was going to be a Paladin/Oathkeeper (like every game I play), I found this skelemancer and it won me over! I’m only level 8 ( yes 8 ) but can tell the playstyle will be fun!

  18. Hey Craig! The Skelemancer is one of my favorite builds – I hope you enjoy it! Unfortunately, GrimTools has been down for days and from what I understand it’ll be down all week, so I can’t revisit the details as to why those where chosen (and I can’t remember their impact on our pets, if any). Unfortunately, I haven’t played CRUNCHYBONES for months, so it’s not fresh in my memory. When GrimTools comes back up, I’ll look into it – post a reminder this weekend and I’ll try to get a solid answer for you. Thanks for your patience!

  19. Hello there
    I have a question regarding stats for gear. Is there any particular stat we need for this build such as chaos, fire etc. or is it strictly just pets stats? Thanks again.

  20. Hey Roy! It’s all about the pet stats, with the most important being resistances – and also directing your pets during combat to stay out of AoE. I hope this helps!

  21. Hi David,

    Just thought I’d leave a little feedback. I started with this build and have been playing with all self-found gear. The build is a great beginner build using self-found gear (meaning: the gear doesn’t have to be especially great as long as it has good pet buffs along with personal health and resistances), especially now in

    That said, I’ve been personally finding more items with Reap Spirit skill buffs as upgrades to old, lower level items having Hellhound skill buffs, so I made the decision to adjust the pet line up. I don’t miss the hound’s fire aura as much as I thought. While most of my gear is not BiS, I find I’m still easily cruising through the main campaign … currently in Act II Ultimate. I’ll leave a GrimTools snapshot of my character below. As shown, I cruised through normal SR65, and now I can begin to farm better gear. Good thing I’m not playing Hardcore, because most of my character deaths were pilot error (but a few were due to overpowering combinations of bosses/nemesis in SR). As currently stands, my character is definitely not optimized (that is no reflection on your guide at all), and I expect I’m going to need to spend some time adjusting/tweaking skill distributions later for those areas where I went off track.

    Thanks again for the starter guidance. Very fun and relatively easy to play.

  22. Morning Ditch! Quick note, I Updated the URL in your main post with your follow-up comment URL. Thanks for sharing! Those who are following this build should find your feedback of interest, and a great example of customizing things per your play style (and the items that drop) as you level through the content.

    Are you able to farm Ultimate with ease? What areas are you currently running?

  23. Hi David,

    Yes. Ultimate is far less difficult than I remembered. I should provide a little context to that statement. I am a returning player who last played around the time Crucible came out. I played from the commercial release and had a couple max level characters (i.e., a conjurer and a pyromancer, IIRC) for which I farmed end-game gear (end game at the time was BoC). A computer crash and full system wipe lost all progress (and desire to play further – I generally don’t consider game saves important enough to backup). So here I am a few years later starting fresh again, except this time I have the full Grim Dawn experience with Ashes of Malmouth and Forgotten Gods.

    That said, I’ve taken my character through the officially endorsed path progression of Base Game -> AoM -> FG through Normal and Elite difficulty levels. So, as I led off with, Ultimate has been fairly straightforward and not difficult at all. I could say the same for all progressions from one difficulty or expansion to the next. I’m just not seeing much bump of difficulty except when gear (and resists) starts to drag performance. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.

    Since the last post, I rearranged some skills to boost Reap Spirit to 17/16 which allows up to two wraith summons. That came at the expense of the Familiar’s Storm Spirit and Lightning Strike which I bumped down to 6/12 each. I also took a better look at my gear and added augments and components where they were lacking. If anything, this has toughed my character and content is even easier. The greatest challenge thus far was getting up to and through SR65 (normal) boss rooms. But even then, unless I backed myself into an inescapable corner, I was pretty good to go by kiting while re-summoning my horde of pets.

    For reference, my character is post-Homestead and blazing a path through toward Fort Ikon; and when I say “blazing”, that includes fully clearing all maps along the way. Last night I cleared Blood Grove as fast as I could run through the area while hardly slowing down at all for to kill mobs (i.e., the pets did all the work, but some purple bosses did take a few extra seconds); I’m guessing the full Blood Grove experience, including clearing the Ashen Waste, Morton’s Claim, Gryver’s Mill, Stonerend Quarry, and Fort Haron took about 15-20 minutes. Very little challenge there.

    I am nemesis with a number of factions, and the only Nemesis boss who has given me much trouble was Grava’Thul, but then again, he is a usually tough one anyway. I have not yet attempted any of the super bosses in Ultimate, but I will say that the Mad Queen was a piece of cake in Normal when I was at that stage of development (i.e., prior to jumping up to Elite difficulty).

    Yes. This is a great starter build and as the player gains more familiarity and experience, it can be tweaked to fit item drops and play style. All of the above is written with a dose of humility – just the facts – because I don’t consider myself a ‘l337 gamer, and I’m too old to start sporting an e-peen (whatever). The positive results expressed in this post are a testament to the solid performance of the build.

    Thanks again.

  24. Hey guys,

    new to Grim dawn, the items mentioned through leveling. i know it’s not needed but want to know if there’s an option to farm them. ( i’m assuming some of them or most of them are random ) . But how can i know which ones i can farm and which one i cant.

    Is there a database that shows where the item drops ? ( the not random ones ) 🙂

    cheers and thanks for the assist !

  25. Also, you need the expansions for Nighttalon so if you just have the base game you still won’t find it.

    Great guide! This got me back into Grim Dawn again. I had a level 55 I didn’t care for so I respeced him with GD Defiler and followed the guide. I’m at level 70 so far and looking forward to end game. Will definitely check out your other builds too. I have a level 35 I will probably respec and try one of your other builds with.

  26. Interesting! I didn’t know not having certain expansions blocked some of the devotions. I’ll make note of that – thanks for the feedback, and I look forward to hearing how things go!

  27. “Shepherd’s Crook (Curse of Frailty) → Crossroads (Chaos) → Fiend (Skeletons) ”

    Forgive me for my ignorance, but what does the parenthesized information mean, in the case of the Crook and Fiend devotions. What does Curse of Fraility have to do with Shepherd’s Crook? I guess my question is – Do you max out every devotion listed? Or just get certain parts?

  28. The values in the parenthesis are the skills you load into the finalized devotions. So when you complete Shepherd’s Crook, you bind Shepherd’s Call to Curse of Frailty, which means it’ll be activated every time you curse a group of enemies. Skeletons are loaded into Flame Torrent (Fiend) to give them AoE damage. I hope this answers your questions!

  29. I just started playing so I’m not sure if this was changed or was always this way, but Korvaak’s Burning-Blade does not raise the summon limit by 2 (as the Warden’s Judgement raises it by 1). Rather, it increases the number of skeletons summoned each cast by 2 (so 5). So with the burning-blade (at capped raise skeletons) you’ll still only have 8 skeletons, not 10 as this guide suggests. But when you go to resummon, they’ll come back a 5/cast instead of 3, which is nice in it’s own way.

    Just don’t do like I did and destroy your Warden’s Judgement, thinking the Burning-blade was a straight upgrade. it isn’t. You may still prefer it.

  30. Sorry for my English.
    Congratulations to all your guides, they are very complete.
    I still have a question. I read other answers but still got confused.
    For example, in phase 2 you say to put 1 point into “Storm Spirit(1)”, then in phase 4 you say 5 points “Storm Spirit(5)”, does that just mean add 5 more points to it (6 total) or +4 (5 total)?

  31. Hey there, so I’m playing for the first time ever, literally 10 min into the game, so I’m sure this is a stupid question, but I wanna follow your guide. In your skills you have 6 skeletons then 1 spectral binding. Does this mean you do the 6 in skeleton then put points into mastery until you reach the necessary points to get spectral binding? I then assume this will be true of future skills. Thanks so much

  32. Yes – you need to put the points specified in each step into the respective skills and raise your mastery to unlock those skills. I hope this helps! Crunchybones is great fun to play – I hope you enjoy it!

  33. David,

    If I farm for wardens at my current level of 38 or so do I get an item of that relevant level or is it always at the base lvl?



  34. Nice build and guide thank you for that.
    Just one thing to say, watch out for items that increase your pets, and the items in this guide like the wardens judgement isn’t always the better weapon, i got for crappy dagger but it gives for pets a 9% to all damage and 8% attack speed, i don’t do much damage with it but then if each of your pets do like 17% more damage it is better then one stronger weapon with one extra summoning, 10 pets doing 17% more damage is better then one more skeleton.

    Your own damage will be crappy so don’t even try to fix that go for resistances and pet buff, i am level 24 and so far i found pet bonus on weapon and offhand and one ring. Since i playing HC i took a shield with 5% less pet damage over an other offhand item but then the block and 5% health and physique might be more worth in HC.

    About the skill points its working out great so far, but you might wanne spend 9 more skill points in curse of Frailty, before going to vulnarability and hellhound, when you have frailty at 10, take one more level after that, and then undo the skill points back to 1 for frailty, then you have 12 skill points to spend and you can make the 9 skillpoins jump towards vulnarability and hellhound, Its a wast leveling those 9 points with no inprovements and parking those points in Curse of Frailty cost you only 225 iron. At that time your probably killing the warden as the rest of that zone very savely.

  35. The Item will be around the level of the boss. If I recall, Warden scales. You can tell the level he is when you’re fighting him – however I can’t remember if the scaling is in Normal/Veteran or if it starts in Elite…

  36. Loving this build so far. Everything feels smooth yet you still have to watch out a bit where you are standing so you yourself dont get one shot.

    The DPS is great so far(lvl 70, in elite) and this is from a newbies perspective so I dont know if that counts.

    I’m having issue with bosses that do any kind of aoe atm and not really sure where I’m going wrong.
    Is there a recall summon pet skill that I’m not aware of? I’m sure aether resistance will help a ton but it feels like it happens with every boss no matter damage type. Any suggestions how I can improve?


  37. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the build! All you need to do is command your pets to attack the ground away from the AoE and they will run out of it – once you get that down, they’ll rarely die to AoE (also make sure their resists are as high as possible). I hope this helps!

  38. So I think I understand, but I wanna ask to make sure. For this build, damage types are not important. I’ve been a little overwhelmed by all the damage types but from what I understand we just need gear with pet bonuses and resistances for ourselves and our pets correct? All the other stuff on gear really isn’t that important. Am I getting this right? Thanks a lot I’m loving this build.

  39. Yes; my apologies, but I’ve played so many ARPGs and I haven’t played Grim Dawn recently, so the exact damage type isn’t fresh in my memory, but if I recall the core damage of Skeletons is Physical, but we also have augmented auras to give them some elemental damage. Ultimately, you are correct – focus on the pet bonuses and you’ll be solid. I hope this helps!

  40. This build worked well. I got to level 100 with relative ease. I have yet to find any of the BiS yet, so looking forward to the power increase when I do.

    Just a note. Ishtak (Bonds of Bysmiel) no longer exists. (Appears to be now called Bysmiel’s Bonds.) Seems you can use Ishtak – The Spring Maiden but it needs to be latter on in the sequence. Have not tried Bysmiel’s Bonds myself, so not sure if it would change much.

    I have come across the Mythical Witching Hour,, which seems to be really good. Is it worth using Attributes, though, to get to the 552 Cunning requirement? I am not sure how much it would impact the build to change it.

    Thanks again for all the work you put into this guide.

  41. It goes well this guide, i got one question, when you find an offhand item with like 6 fire damage or 11 physical damage for pets, is that better then a +20% all damage or an item like padala’s will that raises necromancer skills with one.

  42. Interesting, while I haven’t played GD in months, I am unaware of any changes regarding Isktak, and her constellation still shows just fine in GrimTools (upper right). Can you provide an in-game screenshot relative to what you’ve stated? If they did change this in the most recent patch, I need to update the guide.

    Honestly, use whatever best gear you can find while leveling, but getting 552 Cunning on this build really isn’t an option without a complete reset and possibly losing the ability to use other items, so I would look for alternatives to the Witching Hour. I hope this helps!

  43. Hard to compete with Padala’s Will while leveling; I would honestly stick with that unless you find something that really has better stats (prior to BiS). Remember, you’ll be replacing it anyway, so just use best judgment – as you continue to grow the build you’ll learn what item/skill benefits provide the best result.

  44. Not sure what to say – I just loaded up my L100 Crunchybones and it shows Ishtak just fine with Bonds of Bysmiel linked in Nature’s Guardian. 🙂

  45. I think it’s me misinterpreting the guide. I was looking for Bonds of Bysmiel and forgot that I already had it.

    Feel free to delete my previous comments 🙂

    Thanks again.

  46. That’s a VERY nice Axe! I’d have to dig into things to determine the differences – since you’re currently playing the build, you can probably run the numbers quicker than me – let me know what you find out!

  47. Hi,

    Thanks for your wonderful guide! Do you recommend hitting up the forgotten gods after killing the warden or should we just continue the game as normal? The reason why I ask is because of that one-hand weapon from the FG expansion.

  48. Thank you for the feedback; I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I play through the campaigns in order on Veteran->Elite->Ultimate. Just feels “right” that way.

  49. Thanks for the hasty response! Shall continue on with the campaign as normal then! So should I do the expansions after the normal play through or just play through the normal campaign three times and then the expansions?


  50. Do each campaign on each difficulty, so Normal Base->Normal Malmouth->Normal FG->Elite Base->Elite Malmouth->Elite FG->Ultimate Base->Ultimate Malmouth->Ultimate FG.

  51. Hey dude ! Thanks for the great build ! I’m missing FG DLC. Can i still play this build in someway ? (For example: Can i replace Nighttalon Constellation with a similar one ?).

  52. Unfortunately, I can’t make a recommendation at this time as I haven’t run the build in awhile and I’d have to conduct a complete review of the Ascendancies. Personally, I recommend getting FG. Is it still on sale?

  53. Great guide enjoyed it 100% while playing. Thank you.

    I encountered a super-boss called Callagadra on ultimate Forgotten Gods and she insta-wrecked me and my pets. Do you think this build can best her with right equipment and potions? Gonna be hard I guess.

  54. She’s one of the toughest bosses in the game; I’d guess less than 10% of all builds can solo her. I think you need a Tank pet build to do her as pets. I know Miss Meltycakes and Coldylox can do Callagdra, but those are probably the only two on the build guide that can (surely).

  55. What gear stats should we focus on? Pet stats? Vitality? This is one of my first builds any help would be appreciated.

  56. Always make sure your character resistances are as high as possible (maxed by Elite) but beyond that focus on your pet resistances and defenses so the skeletons can survive longer. So yes; pet stats. This build is great for a first time player as you can pretty much mow through everything without having to know exactly how to min/max the build. I hope this helps, and feel free to ask any additional questions!

  57. Hai. Just love this build. Almost 82 and having a blast so thank you for this guide. I do have some questions. Any reason Fiend should not be bound to hellhound? Was thinking about the extra fire dmg it will give. You mention aoe for skelletons, but was wondering what would be best bind of those two dmg wice. Also spectral binding dont seem to be a Pet buff skill. Saw some ask of this before if it affected pets somehow, but not been able to find an answer. Also wonder if bone harvest with points in soul harvest would be a better option seeing that buff Pet dmg?
    Again so love this build and playstyle. Played trough the game on elite with an oathbreaker, but this is the most fun i had in ages. Thanx.

  58. You are welcome – thank you for the support! It’s been a bit since I’ve run the build but let me see. Spectral Binding is really about the debuff that Spectral Wrath provides, which your pets take advantage of (-27% phys resist and more). This is much better than what Bone/Soul Harvest could do. You want Flame Torrent (Fiend) bound to skeletons because each one procs the devotion vs. just 1 hellhound. I hope this helps!

  59. Saudações Brasileira!
    Obrigado por este guia, estou apenas no level 30 mas estou me divertindo muito com essa compilação. Por ser um novato no jogo (primeira jogatina) a minha maior dificuldade está em achar os itens certos para build e ainda não peguei o ponto certo do craft então estou improvisando. Mas isso vou aprendendo jogando e lendo guias.
    Obrigado novamente!

  60. Following your build guide closely. Any thoughts on speccing into mogdrogen? I feel like the survivability of the summons is quite high already.

  61. You are welcome to try any variation of the build; I’m sure there’s some tweaks that could be made to make it more powerful, which may include some new 1.1.5 items (which I haven’t tested the build with yet). If you do create a solid alternative end-game version, please share the details here!

  62. Hello, following the guide, and feeling powerful (got me to stay in GD this time around!)

    I have a question about the Devotions, namley the Typhos 1 Pointer (3% Offensive Ability) vs Raven 1 Point (15% to All Damage) both for pets, wouldn’t Raven be a smarter choise or is it for some other reason I’m not seeing since I’m new to the game?

  63. Hey Kieron! If I recall, the 3% OA translates to more DPS at end-game (level 100 with BiS gear) than the 15% damage, however during leveling, the 15% may have more of an impact. I recommend testing the two prior to level 100 and see which one “feels” better. I hope this helps!

  64. Hi, time for a feedback 🙂
    I’m a new player in Grim Dawn and i looked for exactly this build to start with this game.
    Today i finished Ultimate FG and had much fun playing this build. Love this build and guide!
    I started farming for some BiS-Items and all the secrets i forgot to explore.
    Some days ago i also started the “COLDYLOX Deathmarked Cold Infiltrator”. lvl 70 now.

    So thank you for the guide but one thing is not clear for me and google could not really help me:
    Which other stats than “Bonus to all pets” on gear will affect my pets?
    I read something about OA? Anything else? Can you provide some further infos/links etc?
    Would be great.
    Thx and keep up the good work!

  65. Thanks for the feedback! The two most important stats for pets are damage and resistances, so anything in those categories that affects pets will work (for any pet-based build). OA/DA is Offensive Ability; for end-game it’s good to have both above 3,000 (if possible). Armor rating is also very important, but those numbers are for farming end-game bosses, etc. You can do Ultimate farming with less than 3K, respectively. I hope this helps – and feel free to ask any other questions!

  66. Ok, thanks for the answer. i think my question was not clear 😉
    Are there any stats for MY CHAR that affect pets?
    For example: Does my personal OA/DA/Crit/Casting speed etc. affect pets or only the stats that are explicitly “Bonus to all pets”?
    Hope the question is more precise now 🙂

  67. Is this correct?
    Final Level 100 Stat Distribution: 97 Physique, 10 Spirit

    New to the game but this does not seem right

  68. As far as I’m aware, in Grim Dawn, the stats affect either your character or the pets, but not both. Bonus to all pets doesn’t impact your OA/DA, etc. As such, DA is much more important than OA for a summoner – unless the summoner is participating in the damage. I hope this helps!

  69. just wanna say thanks for a skele build im currently playing this im lvl 85 atm on hardcore out of curiousty what other devotions are good for the pets?

  70. You’re welcome – thanks for the support! I haven’t played Grim Dawn in a bit (been focused on PoE) so I’m not sure offhand – you can look at some of the other builds, but if I recall the devotion tree is pretty refined for this particular pet build (Conjurers use different trees, for example).

  71. Howdy,

    Maybe I’m missing something, but you can’t take Ishtak (Bonds of Bysmiel) in the order shown. Something else needs to be taken first as you end up 2 points shy in Eldritch.

  72. Hey Baron! My guess is you may have missed a single node along the way (for example many people miss the left pincer of the scorpion to complete it for the next stage). I’d re-walk the tree in detail and see if there are any missing nodes. If not, feel free to post a GrimCalc of your character here and I’ll have a look.

  73. Hi.

    First of all I would like to thank these detailed guides, I am following several and the work is very good. My thanks.

    In this guide I have a question.
    I’m looking at GrimTools and I don’t understand how to use all the skills at once, I explain myself, there are more skills (to keep toggled and summon pets) than holes to assign in the bar.
    Is there any ability of an object that should not be used or something? (Some object that must be used for bonuses but the skill is not really used)


  74. You are correct – there is a second set of skills you queue and toggle on the 2nd page (but GT doesn’t show this). So you keep the active skills you use regularly on the first page, and then the toggled skills (Bonds of Bysmiel, Master of Death, etc.) on the 2nd skill page. I hope this helps!

  75. Everywhere I look people are saying skellys dont work like they used to and even that fiend got nerfed with them.
    Is this build still viable end game? I’m leveling just fine but I’m around 65 and all my pets are already dying pretty fast. Elite cronley fight I ran in circles for 3 minutes recasting anything that was on cooldown only for it to live maybe a good 3-5 seconds.

    Maybe you have some tips?

  76. They key is moving your skeletons out of ground-based AoE attacks by commanding them to attack outside of the AoE. That makes all the difference. So when you see the big puddles go down or a boss is about to do a large-scale attack, command all of your pets to run out of the way and you should be good. Made a huge difference in survival when I played. I hope this helps!

  77. Hey, I’m relatively new to the game. With this build I’m wondering if it makes sense to focus on finding gear that gives me any elemental damage? Or is bonus to pet damage the only thing I need on my gear to make more damage?

  78. Welcome! You want to focus on Pet Damage and Pet Resists. And remember you can command your pets to attack the ground to move them from one point to another so they avoid AoE/Boss Damage Bubbles – this makes a huge difference in their survival. Good luck, and feel free to ask any additional questions!

  79. One thing I can’t figure is what’s the reason/benefit to the Bramblewood Amulet and Mythic BW amulet? I’m using Deathward Amulet at level 40 instead, since it gives +1 to all Necromancer skills… just doesn’t seem to provide a lot of benefit to this build, unless I misunderstand.

  80. The end-game amulet is Shard of Lost souls; the Bramblewood is listed as an alternative in case you don’t have any others (for the +15% damage), but it’s definitely not best in slot. If I recall, having 15% more damage is stronger than +1 level to skeletons, but I’d have to re-familiarize myself with the numbers.

  81. You probably make the best Grim Dawn guides out there 😀 .

    One question though. Someone asked if the points in () are points added or points in total. You answered it’s the total points. After that answer you said: “It should have been (5) and (5). which means you added 5 points and then added 5 more points, even though you answered it is the total points xD. Did you mean (5) -> (10)? Or am I missing something?

  82. I think I found the source of confusion – Bramblewood Amulet no longer gives +15% damage to Pets – it has no pet bonus at all in the current build of the game… so it really is no good at all… I see that it used to have that attribute, but in now it only gives (from Grim Tools):
    +200 Health
    20% Poison & Acid Resistance
    Increases Armor by 6%
    72 Physical Damage Retaliation
    +2 to Mark of Torment
    +1 to all skills in Shaman

    Change the recommendation to Spiritstone Charm, maybe:
    +14 Spirit
    +30 Offensive Ability
    +2 to Summon Familiar
    +2 to Bonds of Bysmiel
    Bonus to All Pets
    +32% to All Damage
    +10% Health
    20% Elemental Resistance

    That’s what I’m using now, already changed from the Deathward I was using in the original post…

  83. Great guides!

    I have a question. Someone asked if the points in ( ) are added points or total points and you said total points. After that you said: “It should have been (5) and (5)”. You were refering to leveling aspect of the guardian, 4th comment from the top. Did you mean (5) -> (10) and not (5) -> (5) if its the total points. Or am I missing something?

  84. Hello again.
    I have another question, this time regarding pets.
    The game allows you to give 3 modes of behavior, aggressive, normal and defensive.
    What mode should be put to each pet?
    Or do they all go with the same? Then. Which one?
    Thank you and good work with the builds.

  85. It’s supposed to be the number of points you put into the skill at that time; my apologies as I think a few of the guides mix this up for a few of them; I’d have to track them down, but it should be number of points to put into them.

  86. Ahh dang I didn’t know they removed that; the problem with the Spiritstone Amulet is it’s for Shaman-focused pet builds; it really doesn’t provide much to a Skelemancer. I wonder if they adjusted another amulet to offset the change to the Bramblewood.

  87. My apologies for the confusion; the skill distribution is supposed to be the number of points you put into that skill at that time (since some skills aren’t maxed).

  88. Well, I’ll still say the Spiritstone Amulet is better than the Bramblewood, as they currently are in game now. I have a set of Fiendflesh Greaves ready to lace up on my hero’s feet as soon as I hit Level 50, and I’m also looking forward to wearing the “Bonescavenger’s Deathgrips” when I get to level 58… legendary gloves with a high pet bonus and ability to Raise up to 3 Spirits tht do cold and vitality damage.

    I think I’m level 48 now, so boots first…

  89. One item I tried that I really liked with this build was “Black Grimoire of Og’Napesh”. Overall pet damage bonus, plus summon a revenant that scales with pet bonuses…

    Currently trying out “Dreadguard” shield, although I’m starting to level away from its optimal range…

    I think they’re both worth considering, and the Black Grimoire has an Empowered and a Mythical version…

  90. I’m also currently using the “Savage” Transcendent relic, which gives good bonuses to all Pets and allows you to summon a Stormhound. So I now have 9 skeletons, 1 Familiar, 1 Hellhound, 1 Blight Fiend, 1 Revenant of Og’Napesh, and 1 Stormhound, which makes for quite a killing squad… I’ve still suffered an ignominious death twice in Port Valsbury, but by the time I reached this level (54) in other playthroughs (before I started following build guides) I probably would have died over 30 times by now…

  91. Since the grimtools calc only shows one page, I always set up my toggled skills on page two and use page 1 for the action skills. So just assume if a skill is toggled (component as well) that it’s set up on the second hotbar. I hope this helps!

  92. Does this mean they are just perma active or only on occasion ?
    Didn’t play for quite some time, eventhough buying all DLCs x)
    Still have to re-figure out what items to look for, next to resistances but I guess everything with stuff for minions is good.
    Playing on Vet on the first run is kinda tough. Would have already failed 2-3 times currently on HC

  93. So, this is a bit of a sticking point. They are permanent 99% of the time unless you die, however there are some very rare bosses that’ll actually disable your toggled buffs. I really wish they’d remove this from the game, but it’s there. You can visually verify the buffs are on with your interface. But perm buffs are pretty much perm buffs and just need to be recast after death. I hope this helps!

  94. Just wanted to say thanks for the guides, I started playing the game a few days ago and was getting destroyed and quickly getting bored, I found you guides and now having a blast and have a much better understanding of key mechanics.

    This Pet build is really simple to play but also fun to micro manager the pets correctly.

  95. Thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad the guide worked for you! Crunchybones and Bloodydots are my two favorite builds 🙂 Enjoy and Happy Hunting!

  96. Hi. Returning from long break. Used to play DK, but playing POE a ;ot fell in love with pet builds. Love your build. Works fantastic at hardcore veteran. I’m lvl 23 now. Following your Devotion leveling plan, i can’t find Nighttalon constellation. Was it removed from the game?

  97. Thanks for the support! Nighttalon is just below Crane – “southeast” or down right from the center nodes. I hope this helps! It looks like a screeching Velociraptor.

  98. At least temporarily trying the “Ancestor” relic for a while… Savage is great, but just experimenting… looks like it would make all my pets stronger in terms of their elemental damage, but of course I will lose the extra pet from Savage…

    Later the Ancestor relic will fit a Shaman type build better than this one, but I’ll try it for a little bit, then probably end up back at Savage… don’t have a blueprint yet, and am still 15 levels from the level 70 recommended relic

  99. Hey,

    I have played this game since the warden was the biggest boss around and sunk like 1200 hours into the game but never played a pet build. I haven’t played it for a couple of years but just recently bought Ashes of Malmouth and Forgotten Gods and decided I wanted to try a proper pet build and found this guide.

    The guide worked superbly! Easy to follow, good and healthy emphasize on resists makes this a surprisingly resilient build. Also it’s fun to play. The only downside is that the minions will stack on top of you which makes it difficult to see the ground when you are trying to click on a corpse or a chest but that’s not this guide’s fault.

    When I arrived in Homestead the first time on Ultimate I dinged 100, clad in mostly greens and 3-4 blues. Zero legendaries. Now I have finished the story part of the game by killing the old God in question. Now I’m about half clad in legendaries but the good ones for this build are few and far between but luckily the schematics for the Lost Souls helmet dropped so I could easily craft the set through transmution (what a cheat lol!).

    All in all, I really recommend this guide for anyone that want to try a pet build and feel they need some pointers.


  100. Thanks for the support! You can actually control where your minions go by attack clicking the ground location; that’s the technique that’s required to keep them out of harmful AoE from bosses, etc. and it would also keep them from stacking on you. Great to hear you got to L100 – this build is great for farming SoT and other dungeons for items. Enjoy, and happy hunting!

  101. I got a Death Knight to 100 after trying many, many builds and THEN I found your website. Prior to this Cabalist, the DK was far and away my favorite build. I still love my DK, but this build’s minions absolutely MELT trash and bosses. She’s 77 atm and I can’t wait to get her to Ultimate. I wish you still played and made many other build guides, but I understand why you’ve been soured on the game. I have tried several of your other builds (none as high as the Cabalist atm) and all of your guides have been superb – the best I’ve ever seen. I have some friends who bought the game around the same time as I did and I’ve shared your site with all of them. Thank you for all your hard work!

  102. Thanks a ton for the support! Death Knight is awesome; I was going to do a DK build guide, but just didn’t get around to it. If I were to come back, DK would probably be one of the first builds I’d do.

  103. Hi David, I see someone asked for changes above, and since you’re not playing GD at the moment I understand that you can’t comment. Briefly, there are done some changes to the Lost Soul set and the pet damage conversion is gone;

    Shepherd of Lost Souls Set: removed Conversion for pets from the various pieces of this set and its modifiers. These bonuses have been moved to other items to improve the set’s versatility.

    Beacon of Lost Souls: removed Conversion for pets, added 32 Defensive Ability

    Shard of Lost Souls: increased Vitality damage modifier for Summon Hellhound to 44, removed Conversion for pets and removed Conversion modifiers for Summon Hellhound

    I don’t think this “breaks” your build in any way.

    Ayways; thanks for replying to your GD builds even though you’re not playing the game 🙂

  104. hey! they changed voidwhisper band to vitality -> Chaos conversion – so I’d say they are not viable for this build anymore. They moved the physical -> vitalaty conversion to bonescavanger’s deathgrips (40-60%)and increased it on guardian of death’s gates ( 80-120 instead of 36-54)

  105. I know the author doesn’t play GD anymore, but I’m having a ton of fun with this build and was fortunate enough that someone gifted me a ton of BIS items listed in the Grimtools here. Just wondering though, why Touch of the Everliving Grove over Bonescavenger’s Deathgrips? Just for survivability from the heal?

  106. Thanks for the heads up, Ilumi! I’ll probably make updates in the near future to reflect these changes. If you find anything else out, please let me know.

  107. I believe they changed Bonescavenger’s Deathgrips in 1.1.6 (the person above mentioned it), so adjustments will need to be made to the build; but since I’m not playing anymore, I can only make the adjustments based on what others share.

  108. Hello David, thank you for the great guides. Im following the cabalist guide, and it’s good fun. I have almost reached the maximum devotion points, but it seems i’m two primordials short of having enough for the “tree of life”. Did I just distribute my points wrongly, or could there be some other obvious explanation?

  109. If I recall the devotion point limit is 55; if you’re unable to complete the grimtools build, my guess is you have a point or two distributed somewhere it shouldn’t be; possibly in a constellation marked as [PARTIAL] (which means don’t complete it; just put the points in as it shows on the grimtools). I hope this helps!

  110. Thx a lot David. There seems to be no partials in this particular guide, but I didn’t realize I could use your grimtools link to also see the devotions. So I will just compare your tree to mine. Very good, thx a again. Looking forward to see how powerful the build will be once i find the recommended items.
    P.s. have you ever considered going back to the official forums at some point in the future?

  111. Let me know how it goes! Remember, I was permanently banned without notification or reason; I couldn’t go back if I wanted (which I do not). The reality is Crate Employee Kamil Marczewski (Zantai) is a rotten unethical person, and as long as he runs the community, it’ll always be host toxic and terrible people. Additionally, some of the most active people on the forums have a personal vendetta to do everything they can to bury any comments or content I create, regardless of the quality or positive impact it has on the community (the core reason I left the forums in the first place). These people aren’t just toxic, their behavior reflects genuine mental disorders (sadly, our society has become accepting of such behavior, which still baffles me because of how harmful it is). Ultimately, the forums are just as toxic today as they were months ago, and it’s not going to change. There’s no reason to ever go back to such an environment.

  112. Bonescavenger’s Deathgrips have great stats, but the passive ability does NOT proc on deaths caused by your pets (trust me, I thoroughly tested it), which is a real bummer. I wonder if throwing a point into an AoE DoT effect could proc it.

  113. Hey, i just bought the game with All dlcs because i dont have Internet on my PC for the next two weeks+ and im having a hard time Finding the right Build (comming from poe). THIS Build is actually exactly What im looking for, im so sad its outdated, could someone recommend me What to adjust to make it work ? Thanks in Advance

  114. Actually, the build should be rock solid for the latest version. Also, it’s my favorite out of all the builds I put together 🙂 Let me know if you have any specific questions, and enjoy!

  115. Really? I thought someone above me said that the equip is outdated? Anyways, ill Play this for Sure as my first Character! Thanks for the Reply <3

  116. There are some minor changes to a few of the items, but nothing that breaks the build – and I believe replacement gear was introduced (per the comments). A quick look in the grim dawn database will help find what you’re looking for – but the build itself (stats/skill/devotion distribution) is still just as viable. Feel free to share any adjustments you discover here!

  117. Thank you for your time and effort in putting all of this content together, and continuously responding to everyone’s comments. Sorry you’ve been treated so poorly. Keep fightin’ the good fight 🙂

  118. Hi! Thanks a lot for the guide. It was the first build that made me push past Normal.

    I would like to know if you think it is worth to trade my Korvaak’s Burning Blade for a Black Hand of Sanar’Siin. I’ll lose a bit on skeletons and that’s why I’m not sure if it is an upgrade or downgrade.

  119. That’s great to hear! Unfortunately, I haven’t played the build in so long, I can’t recall which is the better choice – I recommend trying both and the going with the one that seems to perform better. Let me know which works out best for you! Good luck!

  120. Mr. Allen, if anything could entice you back to this game it just might be the Reign of Terror mod that is out now and that they are constantly updating. It’s a combination of GD and D2 and they’ve done a superb job of it. You can mix and match any of the GD and/or D2 classes. Currently playing a Classic Necro/Pally build which I’ve used your Cabalist recommendations for Devotions on. The only difference thus far was I completed Imp first and assigned Teeth to it. Prayer is OP as Cleanse and Meditate are part of its tree ala GD skills. They’ve a new follower from A4 – a Templar – which uses Crusader-like auras (read D3), so I currently use a defensive one w/Laws of Justice. Am in a Discord channel owned by another YTer and everyone there is friendly and helpful. I know this has practically nothing to do with your Cabalist build guide other than saying the Devotions are spot-on, but I wanted to let you know about this mod and how much fun it is.

  121. Thanks a ton for the recommendation! I hope people reading the comments give it a shot! Sadly, I will never return to Grim Dawn with the community as it stands; and given Arthur doesn’t care about addressing the community problems, I don’t see myself ever returning. There’s just better companies and communities to support 🙂

  122. Hi, i am new to this game and i am wondering why i cannot see Spectral binding assigned to any of your skill slots? do you still use it while youre lvl 100, ofc yea? Haha i feel stupid 😀

  123. Hi David

    Using 3 of your builds for a long time now, meltycakea, bloodydots and skelemancer and love them all!

    Just did mogdrogen and ravager on melty and ravager on skelemancer.

    Ravager on skele was super funny as i just had to run constantly and only resummon fire hound often haha. Took forever….

    Thanks for these builds and all dedication and hard work put into them!

  124. Im using the same build… but I thin the voidwhisper bands are converting 100% of your vitality damage to chaos and therefore you are wasting your vitality decay boots? Am I wrong?

  125. It’s been so long since I played this build, I cannot remember; but I don’t seem to recall this build running any type of chaos conversion – but I could be wrong. My apologies for not having a better answer. As the link references, I’m not playing Grim Dawn anymore, so I’m going off of memory.

  126. Voidwhisper bands are not usable anymore since they convert to chaos dmg.

    I searched for different legendaries for pet rings but only found rares or MI ones.

    Bought 1 good one from one of Forgotten Gods factions and another was common rare that had flat pet dmg increase.

    Rings are only gear problem here but i am sure wont kill it.

    This build has truly nice survival and synergy. Pity sekeleton ai is so meh haha

  127. Hi David-Thanks for your concise easy to use and “Normal” beginner and build guides. I read your post here regarding Crate and found it interesting-especially the part where the creator just wants to make games-not uncommon with talented people -not everybody is socially adept. However you absolutely should know what your creations are generating in terms of responsibility and attitude of those you put in charge of other parts of your creation.
    I agreed with everything you mentioned about creating guides for people to actually use as opposed to rambling min/max builds that appeal only to end game users to relieve boredom before they quit.

    Thanks for you great insights and this website! I have played Grim Dawn on and off since it came out-(and it to forever to create I was a Titan Quest guy)

    The forums are also pretty difficult to use now and not that user friendly-honestly yours is so comfortable and makes so much sense I don’t understand why people cannot take a lesson in organizing a forum and guide site.

  128. Hi-regarding Grim Internals addon-is there any particular setup you use or just the default in the configurator?

  129. Thanks for the feedback and support Bob! Sadly, I don’t think anyone will be able to post “the next evolution” in Grim Dawn builds in the forums because the rotten element (Malawiglenn, Maya, and a few others) are focused on control and self-gratification. They will drive out anyone who takes attention from them. Nothing will change as long as they are allowed free reign, and Zantai is in charge of things.

  130. You should make more guides, they’re simply amazing and super detailed and easy to follow.

  131. Heya David-thanks for replies. You don’t happen to remember what kind of weapons you use do you? I am thinking ranged but guns require Cunning and I see you are almost 90% in Physique when leveling. Better to use some sort od i Hannd and shield or some offhand combo of some sort? I understand you may not remember I’ll figure it out

  132. Thanks for the support! Sadly, due to Crate’s unethical community standards, I won’t support them or their game anymore (which is outlined in the post I made addressing the toxicity of their community). But I will always endorse people making good guides for other players – perhaps you’ll pick up the torch! 🙂

  133. Hey Zion! The Items Section under Leveling guide should have what you’re looking for; Warden’s Judgment is the first step. I do not recommend guns – they aren’t supportive of this type of build. Definitely stick with melee/shield. I hope this helps!

  134. Hello. I’m loving this build, currently lvl 50.
    Where do you farm for the end game items?

  135. They can drop from anywhere; the goal is to get to A1 Ultimate (and survive it for farming) ASAP to start getting some good gear and blueprints. I hope this helps!

  136. Hi, this build is awesome. Thank you for sharing. This is my first build following a guide and learning a lot along the way. Wondering if there is a Forgotten God I should follow to compliment this guide?

  137. Hello! I’m sorry to hear about the troubles with the GD community. Sadly from what I remember it’s been pretty thick with ego since beta, so it’s unfortunate to hear that things haven’t really improved. I mostly stick to lurking myself because of it…

    It’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve really played GD much at all, but lately I’ve been really feeling the need to play with forces beyond my understanding. 😛 I decided to try and dig up all the skeleton builds I could, and I came across yours early on. I did some updates on it based on the comments and what I’ve seen elsewhere. Obviously take these with a grain of salt, but hey, it’s something!

    * Sir Crunchybones – (only equip changes)
    ~ Everliving Grove > Bonescavenger’s
    ~ Voidwhisper Band > Spiritbinder Glyph

    * Sir Crunchybones – (equips + component/augment resist adjustments)
    Above, plus:
    ~ 4x Bladeward Powders > 3x Malmouth Soulguard Powder, 1x Dreeg’s Veilward
    ~ 1x Solael’s Voidward > 1x Mankind’s Vigil

    * Miss Crunchybones (personal theorycrafting customization)
    Above, plus:
    ~ Reaper of the Occursed > Black Grimoire of Og’Napesh
    Not a huge loss overall, and the extra pet may offset it. I like more pets! The elemental resist drop may be painful though.
    ~ -3 Undead Legion (see notes below)
    ~ +1 Ember Claw, +1 Infernal Breath
    Spiritbinders are converting most, if not all, of pet elemental damage to vitality. With the massive damage vitality damage bonus being granted to pets, and flat vitality damage being given to the hellhound/pets in general, the hellhound can be a bigger threat instead of just a retaliation aura.
    ~ +1 Reap Spirit
    With this build, 1 point equals level 8. Adding yet another pet to the equation is worth seeing if this will actually be effective on trash mobs at high level. Hopefully the player’s +vitality bonuses will carry the initial damage to a reasonable point.

  138. Thanks a ton for this! I’ll be curious to see if others who try this build make the adjustments you recommend and see how they turn out. Since I’m not playing GD anymore, I can’t test these changes to verify — so please keep me informed, and if a number of people concur, I’ll update the guide. Thanks again for the support and feedback!

  139. Thank you for the great guide.
    I’m Japanese and I play in Japan but I don’t have much information. So I’m really happy to meet this guide.
    At Lv40 right now, it’s really fun to be protected by many pets and adventure.(It’s easy to beat an enemy)
    I will continue to do my best to become this guide. Thank you very much!

    This English uses Google Translate. I can’t speak English…

  140. It’s ashame you won’t play the game anymore. But you have your OWN community!!! And it seems like a really nice community!! Maybe you will come back for ‘your’ community!! Would love to see you come back!

  141. Love the build! One question when it comes to following it – there are some sections (mostly around Phase IV) where you have numbers next to skills that we’ve already put points into. For example, you have Hellfire (6) in Phase II, and then Hellfire (5) in Phase IV. Is that a redundancy from an earlier version? Or are we meant to lower the skill from 6 to 5? Or is it the other way around, and we’re meant to put 5 MORE in (for a total of 11)? It’s there for Aspect of the Guardian and Hellfire, although it’s also making me question some of the other ones too. For example, Bonds of Bysmiel (5) – is that raising it TO 5, or putting in an ADDITIONAL 5 (total 6)?

  142. Thanks for the feedback, and glad you’re enjoying it! The number represents the number of points you put into the skill at that step, so (6) initially then another (5) to make it 11. So each step with (#) means put the # of points into that skill at that step. I hope this helps!

  143. Hi David,

    First off, I just want to say thank you so much for your guides. I bought Grim Dawn on sale about a month ago. I was about to give up on it because it’s not beginner-friendly at all, particularly the Mastery trees, but your guides help me get into the game.

    I started with your Mr. Thumpysharts build. I’m only just level 26 and I’m doing fine so far, but I do find myself dying quickly if I get outnumbered (like with apparitions or bosses that summon apparitions) or trapped/stunned. I’m considering starting a new character using this Sir Crunchybones build. Would you recommend that, or should I stick to Mr. Thumpysharts and use this first character to farm for future builds?

    Also, if you don’t mind, can you point me to a resource about using components for gear that I will eventually replace? Since I just started out, I don’t know if I should use components on temporary gear.

    Thank you so much again, I cannot stress enough how much you’re helping me. I’ve been trying to cut back on spending and Grim Dawn looks like it’ll keep me entertained for a long while, I just need to learn more about it.

  144. Thanks for the feedback, and I’m glad the guides are helping! As a brand new player, you’ll have to start building up your repository of components by just playing. Honestly, I recommend Sir Crunchybones or Sir Bloodydots as your first character; those two builds (one is pet and the other DoT) IMO scale the best with minimal investment, and will allow for top notch farming to build out your components, uniques, etc. Regarding components, you can just remove them from gear with the blacksmith and pop them into new items. I hope this helps!

  145. Thanks for the tips! Yeah, I started a new Sir Crunchybones character, and started out in the Crucible this time as I saw suggested online. My time in the Crucible really gave me a leg up this time. And you’re right, this build is soooo much more beginner-friendly than Mr. Thumpysharts. The time to kill is almost the same, but its survivability and pace is much more forgiving. I still die every now and then, but that’s on me. Also my Crunchybones is way luckier with loot than my Thumpysharts, I’ve gotten lots of rares already.

    Regarding loot, should I prioritize gear that gives +X% to pet attacks? The game just has too many parameters to keep track of that comparing gear is so difficult, especially in a class like this where I’m not the main damage dealer. Right now I prioritize gear that give +X% to pets, and I’ve also been holding on to gear that have a chance to proc Battle Cry when I’m hit, since in my mind a lower attack weapon is fine if it means I have a chance to boost my pets’ attack by +50% when I’m hit. I’ve also been looking at increasing my resistances as well. Am I doing it right?

    I’ve also been using an off-hand item instead of a shield, since off-hand items can have that +X% to pets stat. Is that fine or should I focus on defense?

    Also, do variations of the same loot exist in multiple levels, or are they level locked? In other words, is there a chance to get a higher statted version of the same gear?

    Sorry for the multiple questions, and thanks again for your help!

  146. It’s been more than a year since I played the build, so my memory is a bit foggy on the details. You definitely want to get max resists for both your character and your pets; and damage is very important. The Warden drops the mace that gives + to skeletons if I recall. And yes, items exist in multiple levels (Blue, purple, etc). Generally non-mythical, mythical, etc. Don’t worry too much about making things perfect as you level; the game doesn’t really start until you hit 100 and run Ultimate (for farming) anyway 🙂 Good luck and happy hunting!

  147. I had owned GD for four years before discovering your guides. The highest I’d leveled a character was an L42 Blademaster, and that was a slog featuring countless deaths due to poor skill and devotion synergies.
    My Crunchybones (Ostemandias) may be the single most fun ARPG pet build I’ve ever run, and your guide is the reason. Thank you for detailing the sequence of skills and devotions as you build; that alone has helped me understand the game’s mechanics and hypermagnified my enjoyment.
    In a just world, you’d be writing and creating your own ARPG. Your character names alone would be worth the price of admission.

  148. Thanks a ton for the feedback! I’m glad the guides are working out for you! I appreciate the kind words; and yes. Character names are VERY important! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  149. Thank you so much for your guides. I purchased Grim Dawn on Steam during the summer sale and haven’t been able to put it down. Your guides are a tremendous help to the fun I’m having playing this game.

  150. I’d also like to thank you. I too bought the game in the recent sale and have been fixated like nothing since WoW.

    I’ve tried your other hardcore builds to about 50 (where they often die) as I gain skill and understanding of the game but this is the first one I think will get to 100.

    I made a slight change to the devotions filling out Typhos at the cost of Nighttallon and one point of tree (having to sell Nighttallon after filling Typhos). I have so much pet damage that the 40% from Nighttallon didn’t do much so I was drawn in by the 6% Total speed in Typhos over the 5% attack speed. It is a net gain of 1% health, lots of resists (including physical) and 3% DA at the cost of some regeneration from the Tree of life node. Damage wise I estimated the 12 bleed per second at about 2% of my damage which would mean the 12 crit and/or OA pretty much made up for it, Total speed vs attack speed and 40% total damage is more complex but it isn’t going to be more than a couple of percent damage loss so it doesn’t look like a bad trade.

    I think the exercise was worth doing because as my gear changes I might change back or something, I’ve previously relied on your analysis but this is a really fascinating game to crunch mechanically.

  151. Thanks for the support! Yah, if I were to start GD again from scratch, I would definitely do it with the Skelemancer build. Very interesting thought on the change; I wonder if they made some adjustments since I last played. Thanks again for sharing this information – I hope others running the build consider your recommendation. Have a great weekend!

  152. Hi!
    First time writin´ here! And I realy like your build guides!

    I found the Coldstone component ( for weapons or offhand ) real good!
    It slows the enemy and in my experience its a “GOD” ;o) against Bosses!

  153. This build is definitely the most viable Ultimate farmer out of the bunch, all the rogue like dungeons are a cakewalk, and every nemesis boss I’ve run into has gone down easily, along with Lokkar and the clones of John Bourbon. I haven’t been able to beat Ravager or Mog with him yet, but I’m also not completely geared, still hunting down a few last items. I will say that so far this build benefits the most from getting their set, completing Shepard of Lost Souls gives 4 extra pets for a total of 18, and it makes a massive difference.

  154. Great to hear! Yup, it was one of my favorites, and when people ask which build out of the 10 I would choose to start with, it’s always Crunchybones.

  155. Your L100 GrimCalc is a bit out of date. I’m assuming the requirements changed, but your stat distribution can’t actually equip your offhand anymore. You’re also a point over max on Hellfire.

    Also, with the Cult Augments, you can now actually skip Blood Of Dreeg entirely and still manage to cap all resists without it. (Except Stun OFC) The freed up points can be used to max some things out, and still have some left to slap in Mark of Torment for big bosses/nemesis fights. Plus that just makes it less likely for you to suddenly die to poison because you forgot and let your BoD drop for half a second, and you’ve made clear you want this build Hardcore Viable.

    No, I don’t know about that from experience with other builds, why do you ask? Definitely wouldn’t have done that myself, nooooo…

    You may also wish to look at:
    For adding to the build, and:
    As a very handy leveling tool for bosses that can be obtained before Krieg with a little luck.

    On a seperate note, I was run off by Zantai as well, pre-AoM release. Apparently he’s got a habit of that. This time, I’m going to entirely ignore the community, and try not to feel bad about paying for the expansion because it was on a really good sale. It’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only one Zantai treated like crap though.

  156. Thanks for the updates – this should be helpful to those who are playing the build! Sorry to hear you had a similar experience. It’s quite sad actually, Arthur just doesn’t understand (or doesn’t care) if they had a better community, the game would be more popular. Kamil Marczewski (Zantai) is as rotten as they come.

  157. I’m just gonna leave a comment here to show my appreciation about this guide and how helpful and resourceful it gave me 😀

    Even though this build is kinda outdated right now since new recent patches, I’m still found this guide very helpful to help me get through and survive early stages in Hardcore mode

    Thank you very much Mr. Allen, you rock!

  158. I wanted to thank you for your very helpful guides. I took the plunge and tried this build on Hardcore. I’ve reached Lvl100, just finished ultimate Malmouth (easily) and secret quests 1 and 2 (probably should have farmed a bit more for those). The end-game equipment recommendations may no longer hold up after various patches, but your framework still provides decent damage with top survivability.

    I did wind up swapping nighttalon-lion devotions for lotus-crown (partial). This might change with different equipment, but the skeleton mages seemed to be throwing enough fire damage that a resistance debuff seemed like a good idea. Any thoughts on that change?

  159. Thank you, and congrats on 100! Sadly it’s been so long since I’ve played, I can’t make any recommendations beyond what’s in the guide. Definitely feel free to share any changes in the comments section so others who visit the build can see your experience and recommendations as well. Happy Hunting!

  160. You can swap Hellfire (6) and Bonds of Bysmiel (1). Bonds can be active already for 6 more levels while building up Hellfire.

  161. Uhmm … I dont have enough devotion points at 55 for the devotion recommended. Is there a mistake? I’m at 50 of 55 devotion points and Eel is 1 out of 3 complete. 5 points left and will be 3 after eel is complete. How do I get to Tree of Life skill with only 3 points left?

    There’s no mistake in my devotions that I can see. Didnt misplace any.

  162. Is there any chance to check on Nssheepster’s updated build? I love David’s work for sure, but it is getting old. I understand the reasons why David is playing no more, a sad story indeed.

  163. Maya is a horrible vindictive and narcissistic person and part of the “corrupt core” that has destroyed the community. Don’t be fooled by their “nice” posts. The second you question anything s/he posts, s/he gets venomous and rotten. And s/he is friends with the worst people in the community.

  164. Sorry Allen for corrupting your space with bad people. The task was clear: find some up to date pet builds. I wasn’t aware of other things.

  165. Not a problem at all! Shows the continued problem if that individual is still the #1 ‘pet build’ person in the GD community, reaffirming nothing has changed over there 🙂

  166. It seems so! If you have some other name I have to check regarding pet builds, let me know, please. PS: All the best in the new year Allen!

  167. This is a great build and I really enjoy playing it. That being said I have a noob question. I have accumulated enough Devotion points to complete Ishtak (Bonds of Bysmiel). Do I now use a Tonic of Clarity to remove all Devotion points from Crossroads (Order, Ascendant, Chaos) and then continue with Eel → Tree of Life (Master of Death) → Typhos (1 point)

  168. Thanks for the feedback! It’s been so long since I played, I can’t remember if you can only do a full respec or if you can remove one point at a time – I believe you can pay to remove one devotion at a time rather than pay for a total reset, but I may be wrong. My apologies for not remembering better 🙂

  169. @Ruggbsey: Pay a visit to a Spirit Guide, for example Sahdina at Devil’s Crossing, Novi at Coven’s Refuge, or Bagalla at the Conclave of the Three. In addition to refunding skill points, they can refund Devotion points for a cost of iron bits and Aether Crystals.

    @David Allen: I know you don’t play any more, but I have to thank you for these guides. They ease new players like me into GD with some fun character builds and some great suggestions on important things to pay attention to (resistances, components, augments). And thanks for providing leveling guides which most people posting builds don’t do. Devotions are especially overwhelming for a new player to choose from, so knowing an example path to take is very helpful. My suggestion on the build is to go ahead and max Bonds of Bysmiel at the end. I also specced into Reap Spirit, because who doesn’t like having another pet? Especially one you can lob at people’s faces!

    As of this writing my Crunchybones disciple is level 92 and utterly flattening everything around him. Here are some more gear ideas for people as they level up.

    In general, I focused on pet damage gear. That means looking out for the “Subjugator’s” prefix on Magic and Rare gear. “Of Binding” is the preferable suffix since it also adds points to Raise Skeletons. The “Wraithbound” prefix is something to look out for in later levels if you plan to spend some of your remaining skill points on Reap Spirit like I did.

    Another important facet for newcomers to GD to learn is that + Skills and special properties on gear are more important than raw +% Damage. This is why good builds eventually tear away from greens and go into specialty MI’s, blues, and purples as they get closer to level cap.

    Here is some more Epic / Legendary / Unique gear to look out for while leveling (and their Empowered / Mythical equivalents where applicable):

    17: Acolyte’s Cord (Belt)
    30: Ravager’s Barb (1H Dagger)
    32: Rifthound Leather Boots
    33: Spiritstone Charm (Amulet)
    40: Fiendblood Spellblade (1H Sword)
    40: Dreadguard (Shield)
    65: Mark of Forgotten Spirits (Medal)
    65: Solael Vile Headguard, Solael Vile Pauldrons, Solael Vile Cuirass (Head, Shoulders, Chest: FG Cult of Solael, Respected)
    75: Fiendflesh Mantle (Legendary Shoulders)
    84: Wendigo Mace (1H Mace: AoM Barrowholm, Honored)
    90: Bysmiel Mark of Manipulation (Medal: FG Cult of Bysmiel, Honored)

    Ring & Amulet Augments: Survivor’s Ally (Devil’s Crossing, Revered)
    1H, OH, Shield Augments: Beastlord’s Calling (Homestead, Revered)

  170. What will happen to the build now?

    Shepherd of Lost Souls Set: increased Vitality damage bonus for pets to 45 and increased % Health modifier for Raise Skeletons to 60%. Removed % Health and % Vitality damage bonuses for pets.

  171. Nvm: Increased % Health and % All damage scaling for all pets (with skill rank and/or level). This has been largely compensated by reduction of comparable bonuses in pet-themed sets. This change does not affect player-scaling pets.

    For this reason they modified Lost Souls Set.

  172. Hello there,

    Since I notice a lot of questions were posted recently and still are getting answered, I do have a question of my own to ask: isn’t it so that you can only have ONE exclusive skill active at any given time? How do you spec both master of death & manipulation at the same time?

    Other than that, great build, really enjoying it so far (lvl 55 now)

  173. Master of Death is an Exclusive Skill while Bonds of Bysmiel is not, which is why you can have both active at the same time. I hope this helps!

  174. Ahhh, because it is a buff to a previous skill and not a whole new skill on its own! Of course, that makes sense. Thanks 😀

  175. Getting no upgrades, no lost soul set pieces as yet. Wondering if it is better to farm high level elite areas or medium level ultimate areas?
    Lvl 100 but too squishy to get far in Ultimate level, thanks.

  176. Farming Ultimate is always better than Elite, so I would stick with Ultimate Act 1 for farming (Warden if you can farm him). Also do your best to max your defenses. I hope this helps!

  177. The first item in your equipment list is Wardens Judgement. I finally got the drop, but it looks like it requires level 32 to equip it. What is the 12 in your list referencing? I suppose it may be been ‘balanced’ in later patches by throwing the level upward?

  178. Apologies, but I don’t know the answer; they could have made changes since the build was originally released. It may also be you just got the next tier somehow. Was this in Normal?

  179. Yep, in normal, but I was like level 30 when it dropped, so maybe it’s the next tier. I have no idea what that means as I’m a noob. 😉

  180. This is so cool. I wanted something a little more chill than my other two characters. This is nutz. I had to turn on veteran because I was so lucky I found gear with a combined +8 raise skeletons and +4 blood of dreeg… Also hellhound and fient increases…. Just insane… Thanks for the Guide (s)

  181. Wow, this build is so awesome!! The best build yet I’ve seen. First time playing Grim Dawn and this guide made it so much easier. You are the best! Thank you so much for these guides man!

  182. Can someone explain why remove the 3 crossroad devotions?

    Also why no devotion points in Typhos, Toad, Wolverine? I don’t think I quite “get” the devotions system but I’ve only been playing GD for about a month

  183. Apologies Erik; it’s been so long since I played GD I can’t remember the specifics – but I know Crunchybones is one of the best builds out of the set and it’s still viable even today. I recommend just building the character out and I think the answers will present themselves. I hope this helps!

  184. I love the build so far. Not sure I’m playing it the greatest… Thanks for the quick feedback!

  185. This build is the real deal. Got my first L100 toon in GD with it, and in Hardcore no less. Had to restart twice due to my own stupidity (pro tip: don’t stand in ground effects while comparing loot drops in your inventory), but the third time was the charm! Now farming SR for that Lost Souls set. 🙂

  186. Thanks! Had a few additional thoughts from running this build 3x before hitting L100:

    (1) Skill progression for levelling was very smooth. After Phase IV in your guide, maxing Resist Reduction (Curse of Frailty, Vulnerability, Spectral Wrath) might go the furthest.

    (2) Devotion progression for levelling felt very good, especially in Hardcore. Ishtak and Tree of Life passives came in right about the time when my minions started taking more significant damage that Blood of Dreeg wasn’t quite keeping up with.

    (3) I hit two speed bumps around L60 and L80, when my minions started dying and clear speed dropped. Getting Raise Skeletons to at least 23/16 (i.e. at least +7 from gear bonuses) fixed the first one, and adding a few augments to raise my pet resistances fixed the second.

    Finally, thanks again for all your hard work putting this together. 🙂

  187. I don’t know if you still do builds, but I’ve been following yours religiously, adding a touch here and there if my playstyle differs slightly. But enough about that. I’d like to see more builds coming from you. I want to go into a Commando build, I’m a man of very little free time and I appreciate well thought builds that I can work on and figure out for myself without the extra time. If you can add one, it’d be awesome.

  188. Thank you for the build! I just beat the game for the first time with this character, and am having a blast running through it, gathering gear and all that 🙂

    The only thing that I think about changing at some point (but I’m not sure, since I can’t gauge the amount of actual damage it does) is getting rid of the Fiend devotion and putting all those points into Light of Empyrion instead (for extra pet resistances). On the other hand, that would lower the damage output, but I’m not sure, how bad that will be. And I’m afraid of making this step, since I’ve maxed out Flame Torrent, and if I want to go back, I’d have to level it all over again 🙁 (unless the game works differently and you keep your levels).

    Again, thank you and Sir Crunchybones for letting me farm gear for my first ever created character. I wanted to make a Retaliation damage Demolitionist + Oathkeeper without looking at builds and guides, but so far this build puts my efforts to shame. I’m going to try it one more time though, and thanks to this build I have plenty of nice epics and legendaries to play around with 🙂 The only issue is that the build was so fun to play, I overleveled (got to lvl 94 on Veteran, and now Elite is a cakewalk, but I’m not getting any material drops).

  189. Thanks a ton for the support and feedback! It’s been so long since I played Grim Dawn that I don’t update the guides anymore; but I believe those who use them often look at the comments, so hopefully players will review what you’ve written here and give it a shot! Have a great week and Happy Hunting!

  190. Hey there!
    So, great guide. Working great so far 😀
    I read the toxicity statement, and I understood you’d dropped activity in the official forums, but sad to read you stopped playing altogether. Still, I got some questions, so maybe either you’ll remember the answers or maybe someone else in the comments can help.

    First of all, do keep in mind I’m a new player. As in, NEW. Started yesterday. I DO like getting info beforehand about stuff I do, so I do know a bit more than your average newbie, but still, many mechanics are still unknown or confusing to me (plus many resources outdated).

    Okay, so.
    Question 1. I had been reading up a bit on soft and hard capping on skills, and I read that +10 was the absolute maximum a skill could reach. For this build, in the case of, say, Hellfire, that’d be 22/12. Except at level 100 in here it’s 23/12? Was that +10 thing changed in an update released after the guide I was reading or something?

    Question 2. This one I fear is for you, David, since it has to do (I think) with how the guide is written. Again using Hellfire as an example.
    [Actually, I just scraped 4 paragraphs of explanation and question cause I saw the comments already asked this…MULTIPLE times].
    “Hellfire (6) → Hellfire (5)” means “put 6 points, then put 5 points”. I mean, considering how many times it’s been asked, wouldn’t it make sense to update the guide to explain that? Even back in the day? Not sure how this website works, is it that difficult? Do you need to resubmit crap or something?
    Anyway, that makes Hellfire 11/12. I’m assuming it’s cause with final gear we get +12 to Hellfire, and so there’s no need to put more points? But that’s for when we DO have final gear. Maybe it’d be better to softcap it, and then respect as we get gear pieces, no?

    And Question 3. Regarding Divinations and Pet Bonuses, especifically ones coming from skills. Let’s say, Shepherd’s Call.
    The effect of the skill, when it procs, is “+85 Offensive Ability for 4 seconds (skill recharge 6 seconds)”. That’s what YOU get, right? But then there’s the Pet Bonuses. All Dmg, Crit Dmg, Retaliation. Are those Pet Bonuses always active (provided you’ve completed the constellation, and have the skill bound, ofc)? Or are those only active during the 4 seconds the skill is active?
    I’d assume the latter, but just to double check.

    Also, I’m not sure how this website works but I doubt we can ping people. Still, just in case. @Nssheepster , about your comment regarding…well, a bunch of things. I’m too stupid to make severe changes myself XD How did you go about stuff?
    Like the Spirit for the Offhand, or…skipping BoD (? Even without resistances, isn’t that a good healing skill?).
    I’m also not sure I understand the comments about the gear. Salazar’s is a “As a very handy leveling tool for bosses that can be obtained before”? Sure, in the map Salazar shows up earlier than the Warden… But Salazar’s is cLevel 24, Warden’s Judgement is cLevel 12. By the time you can actually equip Salazar you already have the Warden’s.
    Now, if you wanna say that Salazar’s is a better option…maybe? I’ve no idea. But “very handy until you get the other one”? You get the other one arguably sooner…

  191. Welcome Tatherwood – and thanks for the questions! Sadly, I haven’t played Grim Dawn in more than 2 years, so I cannot remember anything about the builds. I’ll try to recall to answer some of them.

    1. I’m not sure on the overcap, but pretty sure it can be higher than 10.

    2. Yes. That’s what it means. I think hahah – been so long!

    3. I cannot remember if Shepherd’s Call applies to you or your minions. Once again, I’m so sorry – been too long.

    Apologies for not being more helpful – it’s amazing how quickly knowledge of details can disappear over just a period of two years.

  192. Dude at this is all around just one of the most broad-based helpful guides and most articulate descriptions I’ve ever seen. Kudos

  193. I still reference new players to these guides, even if it’s 3yrs old. The game hasn’t changed enough to where these are irrelevant.

  194. Legit the only Guides i can use. The ones in the Forums are 90% : “here have a 100 Grimtools have fun figuering out how it works” :/ Its pretty hard to find a Good guide like yours that explains the leveling phase especially in which order to skill and put devotion points in.

  195. Im new to the game and I played it before the first expansion, but recently came back as I’m on a hunger for ARPGs and I know GD has gotten a lot better over the years. You made a guide telling me how to build my points, what gear to look for and where to find said items. I also see the community has hopped in with some tips and feats with a healthy discussion.

    Thank you kindly for keeping an active open forum for assisting new players even though you have quit so long ago, you are still here helping fellow grim dawnians in this grim world of the crate forums.

    I have seen very little of that maya person and if its the one with the carnival guides, I’m already annoyed by only seeing a few reddit posts, let alone seeing what they do on their forums.

    Thank you again for keeping up the good work and making good guides for us late-comers to this game to see.

  196. Why u suggest bramblewood ammulet, I don’t know if i’m missing something, but seems worst than a rare one that i use with +2 raise skeleton, +5 ias for pets, bleeding and piercing resistence (lv 32).

  197. Unfortunately it’s been so long, I cannot remember. Apologies. Feel free to share any recommended changes in the comments for other users to review!

  198. your guide is helping me on my first playthrough as someone who was completely overwhelmed by all the options in this game. Thank you for having a comprehensive and actually beginner friendly write-up.

  199. I used this guide when I initially played GD a few years ago. It was fantastic. I’m thinking of starting the build from scratch on my Steam deck and wondering how rough it might be without the 3rd party tools…

  200. Hey Brikker, I believe the guide should still work just as now well as it did years ago since to my knowledge, the core game hasn’t really changed since then. Good luck and Happy Hunting!

  201. Took this build to 96, it still works very well in the current patch (v1.1.9.7)! thanks

  202. Hey, I recently got into Grim Dawn and I’m really loving this build. I can’t figure out one thing, though.
    Namely, how do you get Blight Burst? For me it says I still need 15 points in the Necro tree despite following your guide point by point, I’m currently level 57.

  203. It’s been years since I wrote that guide; it looks like Blight Burst is unlocked after 40 points in the Necromancer tree after Rotting fumes. Sadly, I can’t provide any guidance on it beyond what’s written on the guide.

  204. It’s super long after all these have been posted, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for making all of these despite how you were being treated while doing so! I found a link to these from looking at a random (dead) grim dawn subreddit lol.
    I’ve struggled to get into grim dawn countless times cus of class adhd, but sir crunchybones has finally got me started. Thank you so much again for making all of these, and I hope your life is going well now!!! : )

  205. hi, this the third build of yours I have taken to 100. My skellymancer killed all the main bosses without dying to a single one. The last boss of the last expansion only managed to kill 2 skellies. Thanks for the effort you put in. I’m now looking for another build for a new char. I’ll look out for you on any different games in the future 🙂

  206. Apologies, but I haven’t played Grim Dawn in years, so I can’t be certain – but based on comments from other players, the build seems to be just as solid now as it was then. Only one way to find out! Let us know how it goes!

  207. Bjr je suis entrain de tester ce build et pour le moment ça arrache tout vrey nice

  208. Conversion: “Bjr I am testing this build and for the moment it tears everything vrey nice”

    Heureux d’entendre! J’espère que vous pourrez l’amener à la fin du jeu et que vous vous amuserez beaucoup. Bonne chasse!

  209. Have been playing this build using the current patch and I have to say I low key regret not doing the build on HC, haha. Shit’s awesome. Although I’ve been using items such as the Wendigo Gaze for extra skellies plus the Og’napesh OH is awesome cause the guy gives defense buffs to all. i have been farming lv78 crucible 150-170 using this build.

    Thank you!!! I now plan to use your other builds too cause they’re super viable, even tho I don’t follow it 100%

  210. Hi David!! I’m glad I found your guides years ago, I still use them and they are EXCELLENT! I recently played crunchybones again and it’s still totally cool and useful! I easily reached 100 in hardcore without dying with blues and the occasional green (I’m starting to farm the BIS)
    I want to ask you something, I know you don’t play Grim Dawn anymore because of the community (I deleted my account on the official forum because of the beautiful person Maya, wonderful person indeed) and I wanted to know what ARPG you are playing, and if I may know, did you make guides?! You create VERY good and high quality content, the Grim Dawn guides are the evidence.

    I wait your answer! I want to change the environment to another ARPG and I want to start another game with a guide from you!

    I wait your answer! I send you a big hug!! And again, thank you for all these years of making my life easier hahaha

  211. Hey Gustav! The comment system is moderated, so all comments have to be approved – it can just take a bit of time depending on how busy I am.

    Thanks a ton for the kind words – they’re greatly appreciated! I do miss Grim Dawn. It’s such a good game, but I just can’t bring myself to return. Yah Maya is a rotten and venomous vindictive narcissist. The fact that individual is still on the forums just emphasizes why I’ll never return to GD or support Crate ever again. They simply don’t care about their rotting community.

    Last ARPG I played was D4. Stopped a few months ago, but will be returning for Season 2. Last Epoch is a very solid game as well – it needs a bit more work, but I highly recommend it. I’m pretty much done with PoE. It was fantastic while it lasted, but just no draw to play it anymore.

    My recommendation is play D4 when Season 2 launches on October 17th. If you want something else to play before then or as an alternative – definitely Last Epoch.

    Happy Hunting!

  212. Oh! Sry for the doble message haha, u can delete the second and this one. I didn’t know that you moderated this forum yourself, I thought it was someone else! Big hug!

  213. Sorry to ask you again, but are you doing guides on another game right now? Or do you have in any game like Grim Dawn? 🙂

  214. Unfortunately, no other guides at this point other than the ones I’ve previously done for Valheim, No Man’s Sky, etc. I was thinking of doing D4 guides but there’s already so much good content out there, I just didn’t see the need. I made the GD guides because of the deficiency in platform and presentation for a solid leveling progression and end-game solution. Don’t really have that issue with other games.

  215. Just wanted to drop a note to let you know that I love your guides/builds! They are the best of the best and I still play them whenever I go back to GD!

  216. Hi David, I spent with Grim Dawn over 1100 hours and still counting, this Skelemancer Cabalist build is THE BEST one ever! I recently started to upload some stuff on my yt channel and I mentioned Your name and website in one of the descriptions, I hope it’s not a problem for You. Anyway, I know about the toxicity in the community, but I have one simple solution for that (and in life in general ^^) – f*** the idiots and do Your thing 🙂

  217. Not at all! I’m glad the guides are still helpful after so many years. Yup; moved on long ago. I don’t deal with toxicity or drama anywhere anymore. It’s quite refreshing 🙂

  218. Even though my yt still sucks, I will post some in-game vids, feel free to watch how Your build is being used 😀

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