What are the best classes for Grim Dawn in 2020?
As a new player, you will quickly discover that with Grim Dawn’s engaging dual mastery system, you become a new class when you choose your second mastery, able to mix and match skills from both masteries to devise your own unique build!
With nine available masteries, there are thirty-six different combinations and many different ways to build each of those combinations. Let’s take a look at some of the best classes in 2020!
A Battlemage dispatches some Cthonians with Olexra’s Flash Freeze
The Battlemage is a combination of the Soldier and Arcanist masteries and is a great choice for a starter class. As a Battlemage, you have access to powerful passive and toggle buffs, as well as useful leveling abilities that are accessible early on in the skill tree, allowing you to have both respectable damage output, and survivability.
Why the Battlemage is Great
- Access to Forcewave makes leveling a breeze, and the Arcanist skill tree only further supports this with abilities like Mental Alacrity.
- Powerful passive and toggle buffs like Field Command, Maiven’s Sphere of Protection, or Oleron’s Rage can steeply increase your damage and survivability.
- There is a fair amount of Monster Infrequent support for Battlemages, like Shambler’s Heart, which adds flat physical damage to Forcewave, or Obsidian War Cleaver which adds 60% weapon damage to Forcewave.
- There is a lot of potential to switch to interesting endgame builds once you’ve reached level 94, like the Spellscourge set or the Krieg set.
Battlemage full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/11
A Druid faces off against a group of hero and boss enemies in the Crucible
The Druid is a combination of the Shaman and Arcanist masteries and makes for an okay choice to level up as if you choose Shaman as your first class. There is good synchronization within this class because both the Shaman and Arcanist skill trees have support for elemental damage. As a Druid, your damage output will be significantly higher than for example, a Battlemage, but you will be less durable and have to maneuver your character more often to survive.
Why the Druid is Great
- When starting out with the Shaman, you can use Primal Strike to level up. Primal Strike has high damage output, and the capability to excel in both AOE and single target damage.
- You have access to a wide variety of support for elemental damage with skills such as Wind Devil, Stormcaller’s Pact, or Ishkandra’s Elemental Exchange.
- Shaman spells like Storm Totem or Wendigo Totem can provide a lot of standing power.
- There are some powerful monster infrequents that can supplement your build, such as the Ugdenbog Sparkthrower which provides a very significant 40% crit damage to Primal Strike.
- There are a few very viable end game builds for the druid. For example, you can use the Trozan set along with a few other items to make a build focused on massive damage output with Trozan’s Skyshard while maintaining mobility.
Druid full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/19
A Ritualist faces off against Aetherial undead
The Ritualist is a combination of the Necromancer and Shaman masteries and is a great class for leveling up. There are strong supporting skills in both masteries for vitality damage, as well as pet-focused builds. When playing as a Ritualist, you will be both durable and yield high damage output. This is a very well rounded class.
Why the Ritualist is Great
- Access to spells like Wendigo Totem and Devouring Swarm allow you to do significant damage and sustain your health while staying mobile.
- There are a lot of monster infrequents that support this build, such as Bonespike, Lagoth’Ak’s Bloodbinding, or Ugdenbog Howler.
- Having pet spells in the Necromancer and Shaman skill tree allows you to summon a small army of minions to fight for you if you prefer a pet-oriented playstyle.
- Item sets such as the Dark One’s Gift, Beastcaller’s Regalia or Bysmiel’s Trinkets can make your Ritualist very powerful at the end game, capable of taking down very challenging bosses.
Ritualist full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/26
A Dervish attempts to kill the secret Crate superboss
The Dervish is a combination of the Nightblade and Oathkeeper masteries and is a solid choice for leveling up if you take Oathkeeper first. Both the Nightblade and Oathkeeper tree have support for vitality and acid damage, so you can choose to focus on either, but acid has a lot more support for it in both skills and items you can find. The Dervish is durable, has high damage output, and has great mobility.
Why the Dervish is Great
- The Nightblade skill tree has a lot of support for acid damage, and the Oathkeeper skill tree has a few ability modifiers that can, for example, change Righteous Fervor or Guardians of Empyrion to do Acid and Vitality damage.
- If you take Oathkeeper first, you can focus completely on Vire’s Might and blaze through the early levels until you are comfortable enough to switch to a different set up.
- The Dunefiend can convert Eye of Reckoning and Shadowstrike to do acid damage, as well as provide significant bonuses to both skills, making for a good feeling character with high mobility, fun abilities and huge damage output.
Dervish full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/3
A Vindicator prepares to continue his adventure
The Vindicator is a combination of the Inquisitor and Shaman masteries. It is an easy class to level with, whether you choose to start out as Shaman or Vindicator. Both skill trees have support for elemental damage, primarily lightning. The Vindicator is a well rounded class capable of impressive damage output while maintaining reasonable defenses.
Why the Vindicator is Great
- Access to powerful leveling skills in both the Shaman and Inquisitor tree such as Primal Strike, Storm Box of Elgoloth, and Word of Pain make for a smooth leveling experience
- There are useful monster infrequents such as Ulraprax’s Sting, Ugdenbog Sparkthrower or Korvan Storm Halberd that can give you an edge while leveling, and can be viable for some end game content
- Access to multiple ways to reduce elemental resistance with abilities like Wind Devil or Aura of Censure allow you to pump out some serious damage
- Defensive abilities such as Aura of Censure or Mogdrogen’s Pact make the Vindicator sturdy for a damage-oriented class.
Vindicator full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/33
A Warlord in the Warborn armor set prepares to resume his journey
The Warlord is a combination of the Soldier and Oathkeeper masteries. This class has remained powerful throughout the lifespan of Grim Dawn, persisting through the many patches that we’ve seen since the game’s inception. It is a great choice for leveling and has the potential to be one of the most powerful end game builds with the proper set up. The Warlord is a versatile class, able to focus on many different damage types, but I would strongly recommend that you focus on retaliation versions of those damage types for the end game, because that is the true strength of the Warlord class.
Why the Warlord is Great
- The Oathkeeper and Soldier are both great choices for a first class to level with due to abilities like Forcewave or Vire’s Might.
- The skill trees from both masteries heavily support retaliation damage builds, with abilities such as Righteous Fervor, Counterstrike, or Aegis of Menhir.
- There are many powerful sets that support the Warlord class, such as the Armor of Octavius, Stoneguard, or Avenger’s set.
- There are also many monster infrequents that can support you while leveling up, such as Shambler’s Heart or Zarthuzellan’s Archive.
- The Warlord is a very tanky class that feels great to play.
Warlord full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/9
An Infiltrator stands victorious over the corpse of a god, The Ravager
The Infiltrator is a combination of the Nightblade and Inquisitor masteries. It’s a decent choice for leveling if you take inquisitor first, and has support for both piercing and cold damage, but excels in piercing damage. If you’re looking to play a class that has huge damage output and sustain, while maintaining decent survivability, the Infiltrator is a great choice.
Why the Infiltrator is Great
- Inquisitor makes for a good mastery to level with first because of abilities like Storm Box of Elgoloth and Word of Pain.
- If you choose to use the Belgothian set, your Infiltrator will have the potential to deal impressive damage, trivializing some boss fights that may have given you trouble with other classes.
- There is some good monster infrequent support for leveling up as Inquisitor, like Ulraprax’s Sting.
- Spells like Inquisitor’s Seal allow you to have unrivaled standing power for a Nightblade based class.
Infiltrator full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/21
A Sorcerer uses Albrecht’s Aether Ray to disintegrate a Skeletel Monstrosity
The Sorcerer is a combination of the Demolitionist and Arcanist masteries. It is easy to level up with either Arcanist or Demolitionist as a starter class. There is heavy support for fire and lightning damage between the Arcanist and Demolitionist skill trees. The sorcerer is not the most resilient class, but it is capable of outputting huge amounts of damage while staying mobile.
Why the Sorcerer is Great
- There are some great Monster Infrequent options to support your build, such as Zarthuzellan’s Codex or Slathsarr’s Crest to boost strong starter skills like Blackwater Cocktail or Panetti’s Replicating Missile.
- There are some very strong item sets to support this class, such as Pyran’s Vestments.
- At the end game, you will deal a ton of damage while maintaining mobility, allowing you to take down challenging bosses.
- You can use the Granted Skills from components such as Fireblast or Greater Fireblast to carry your build and free up skill points for passive and toggle buffs until you reach a point where you want to redesign your setup for end game viability.
Sorcerer full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/28
A Spellbinder prepares to continue his journey and employ aether magic to destroy his enemies
The Spellbinder is a combination of the Necromancer and Arcanist masteries. It is a decent class to level up as, and has some versatile and potent end game potential. You can build a Spellbinder many different ways, but I’d say aether damage is your best bet. The Spellbinder is a resilient class with good mobility, high damage output, solid sustain, and high versatility in being capable of playing many different build types.
Why the Spellbinder is Great
- Although the Spellbinder is not the easiest class to level, it isn’t weak for that purpose either.
- The Spellbinder’s real strength comes in its endgame viability for so many different and powerful builds. You can play as a powerful melee character with the Krieg set for example, or take a more caster-focused route and use sets like Diviner’s Vision or Agrivix’s armor.
- The Spellbinder has access to passive and toggle buffs and skills that make it very durable with high sustain and damage, such as Maiven’s Sphere of Protection, Spectral Binding, or Devastation.
Spellbinder full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/29
A Conjurer faces off against waves of enemies in the Crucible
The Conjurer is a combination of the Occultist and Shaman masteries, and is one of the most powerful classes you can play, both for leveling and end game. The Shaman and the Occultist are both viable options to start out with for leveling, and the Conjurer class has some serious endgame potential, able to sustain itself, stay mobile, and deal high damage without sacrificing durability.
Why the Conjurer is Great
- The Occultist and Shaman are both great options for starting out leveling, with access to abilities such as Devouring Swarm, Bloody Pox, Blood of Dreeg and Sigil of Consumption relatively early on.
- If you want to play a strong pet build, the Conjurer can support that build effectively, with access to different minions such as Summon Familiar, Summon Briarthorn or Summon Hellhound, and buffs that affect them, like Blood of Dreeg.
- There are some strong sets to support a vitality Conjurer like the Dark One’s set, affording the class with further sustain and damage, and allowing it to compete with the very best builds for boss killing.
- Sets like Beastcaller’s Regalia or Bysmiel’s Trinkets can make your pet build top tier, capable of clearing almost any content.
- The combination of sustain, mobility and damage output can put you leagues ahead of many other classes.
Conjurer full build details: https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/build-compendium-x-forgotten-gods/49673/15