Welcome to the Complete Build & Leveling Guide for the COLDYLOX Deathmarked Cold Infiltrator. This build is great for new players, a top melee build, tanky, is solid at killing bosses and mopping up trash, and can easily farm Ultimate with self-found drops. If you’re looking for a fun melee dual wield cold stabbing build that can do all content, this is the place! Note the GrimTools links are available at the bottom of the guide.
Infiltrators are some of the strongest yet most complex builds in the game. New players are often deterred from playing them because it’s confusing what order to take skills while leveling, and how to optimize the build at end-game. One of the reason Infiltrators are so highly rated is because they scale amazingly with the right gear, and are capable of dishing out some serious damage while also avoiding harm through a combination of methods. This build is cold focused, which helps with survival (if an enemy is frozen or slowed down, it can’t do the damage it would otherwise do), and it’s a lot of fun. It’s also very consistent. It’s rare to get big spikes (as one does with leech-only based builds) because of the dodge, seal, cold and leeching. Yes, Pierce does more damage, but it simply does not have the survival of the cold version. It’s also fairly easy to farm some great weapons one can use prior to the end-game best-in slot (BiS).
Not only is this build fun to play, it’s great for hardcore!
I’m going to extend all credit to Reinan22, probably one of the best (and most experienced) infiltrator players out there, and a great, patient and knowledgeable individual. I highly recommend subscribing to his twitch. He’s also fantastic at answering questions!
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:
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: 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
Transmutation 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 set, or of a random set. And it works with BLUE (non-legendary) set items! The quest to unlock Transmute is goven 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 Essence. Remember, 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!
This build can be a bit slow while leveling and there may be instances where you have to run away to escape AoE damage on the ground. There may also be issues with AoE damage, and it could feel like it takes forever to kill things. Don’t worry. It’s part of the growing process and once you approach level 60, the build really begins to shine. By the time you hit 80 or so, you’ll be destroying everything you come across and Shadow Striking into large groups just to slice everything up like a master chef. Just make sure you keep your resistances maxed (stun resist is very important with this build) and Pneumatic Burst up at all times (for Shadow Dance, which may be one of the best survival skills in the game).
The component Shard of Beronath (Level 55) is critical to this build and should be acquired as soon as possible! Make sure to slot the attack as your default left-mouse weapon attack when you get it!
The biggest nemesis of this build really is ground AoE. It can be very frustrating with many bosses, requiring you to retreat only to Shadow Strike back to them and run away again after a few whacks.
As mentioned, this build is great for Hardcore. Once you learn how to play and know when to run away, you’ll be very difficult to kill.
This build is designed to shadow strike into the middle of big groups and facetank bosses, but always have your movement glyph (I prefer Disorder) ready to get you out of tough situations.
Survival is dependent on dodge from Shadow Dance (through Pneumatic Burst), Life Leech on hit, Cold slowdown/freeze, and Inquisitor Seal. I never died leveling this character and only came close a few times due to AoE damage on the ground.
Rotation for Trash: Shadow Strike into the middle of the group, use Ring of Steel and move on. If you are using 2x Ugdenbog Chillstrife, your Veil of Shadow will be doing enough AoE damage that most trash mobs will simply die by being in your proximity. It’s quite entertaining!
Rotation for Bosses (Facetank):: Pneumatic Burst, Word of Renewal, Shadow Strike, ABB, Ring of Steel, Beronath’s Fury (x5 or so), then Shadow Strike, ABB, Ring of Steel, and such. Renew Pneumatic Burst and Word of Renewal as needed.
Rotation for Bosses (Hit & Run): You will occasionally encounter bosses you cannot facetank, usually due to ground-based AoE. With these baddies you’ll need to perfect the hit and run technique. Luckily, the Infiltrator is perfect for this due to Shadow Strike. The general technique (while ensuring Pneumatic Burst is ALWAYS UP) is: Shadow Strike, ABB, RoS, Beronath’s (x5) and then warp out (using the Disorder Glyph). Run around and then Shadow Strike back as soon as it’s safe.
Final Level 100 Stat Distribution: 77 in Physique, 30 in Cunning Faction of Choice: Order of Death’s Vigil
While this build focuses on the end-game Deathmarked legendary set (5 items) the good news is the build works great with self-found items, and farming green cold weapons is pretty easy (it can just take a bit of time to get the right drops). There are two main weapons to farm: 1) Spectral Longswords (which drop from ghosts, namely champions and nobles, and bosses), and 2) Ugdenbog Chillstrife, which are farmed in Ugdenbog from Janaxia or Larria. I personally prefer to use 2x Chillstrife Blades because of the damage they provide to the Veil of Shadow aura. With everything else, just focus on Cold Damage.
It’s also important to mention Chillheart, a fantastic Level 94 1H Cold Sword, which is acquired through the Crate of Entertainment Hidden Quest on Ultimate difficulty. Luckily it’s cake to get – you just go to the Vanguard of the Three, and if you stand in the green summoning circle for 15 seconds, the item drops on the ground. That’s it! Of course you have to get to this location in Ultimate first. Only one Chillheart can be acquired by a character, so to Duel Wield them, a player must do the quest on two characters and transfer between the two.
As mentioned, the Shard of Beronath Component is a key attack skill for this build. Make sure you use it immediately at Level 55!
While leveling, you’ll find these items to be very helpful:
20-94: Spectral Longsword (1H) Farm Ghosts
25: Rampage/Glacier (Relic)
35: Deathchill (Relic)
40-94: Ugdenbog Chillstrife (1H) Farm Janaxia or Larria
50: Crescent Moon (1H/OH)
55: Shard of Beronath (1H Component)
58: Beacon of the Winter’s Veil (1H)
60: Nemesis (Relic)
75: Seal of the Night (OH Component)
75: Seal of Annihilation (Amulet)
85: Empowered Crescent Moon (1H)
90: Ignaffar’s Combustion (Relic)
94: Chillheart (1H) Secret FG Quest
Our goal is to make Nightblade as efficient for leveling as possible before we rush Aura of Centure in Inquisitor (Phase II). We also want these leveling skills to shine at end-game for bossing and ultimate farming.
Phase I (Nightblade) ABB (5) → Veil (1) → Dual Blades (1) → Pneumatic Burst (1) → Shadow Strike (1) → Breath of Belgothian (1) → Phantasmal Armor (1) → Amarastas Cut (1) → Lethal Assault (6) → Shadow Dance (1) → Night’s Chill (6) → Ring of Steel (1) → Blade Barrier (1) → Anatomy of Murder (1) → Whirling Death (1) → Ring of Frost (1) → Elemental Awakening (1) → Circle of Slaughter (1) → Blade Spirit (1) → Execution (3) → Lethal Assault (Max) → Dual Blades (Max) → Whirling Death (3) → Amarasta’s (3) → Lower ABB to (1) → Shadow Dance (Max)
Phase II (Inquisitor) Deadly Aim (1) → Word of Renewal (6) → Deadly Aim (9) → Vigor (9) → Inquisitor Seal (6) → Steel Resolve(1) → Null Field (1) → Arcane Empowerment (1) → Aura of Centure (Max) → Arcane Empowerment (Max)
Phase III (Custom Adjustment) This is something very important to cover with the Inquisitor. While many builds are simple skill min/max (1 vs 10 or 12), the Inquisitor has numerous skills that need to be at a specific point to be efficient, and above that point it’s really unnecessary. For this reason, as experienced Infiltrator players progress and get BiS gear, they remove points from key skills to buff others. This includes the following skills: Amarastas’s Quick Cut (1/8), Whirling Death (1/8), and Execution (1/8). Deadly Aim also only needs 10. Vigor and Steel Resolve only need (8). So as you progress and your AQC, WD, and Execution are >6, start removing those points to put into Word of Renewal, Phantasmal Armor and Inquisitor Seal.