Welcome to the Complete Build & Leveling Guide for the MR. STABBYBlind AssassinPierce Infiltrator. This build is great for new players, a top melee build, has great survival, 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 pierce build that uses a easily acquired blue item set and can do nearly all content including push SR50, 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 pierce focused. It has greater damage output than the Cold Version (which I posted recently), but performs just as good. While it would have difficulty pushing Shattered Realm, the included best in slot version of this build is SR50 viable. Properly outfitted, this build rarely gets big hit spikes because of the dodge, seal, and devotion procs. It’s also fairly easy to farm some great weapons one can use prior to the end-game best-in slot (BiS), and the Blind Assassin set drops fairly often, and it’s quite easy to get the helmet recipe (for transmutation).
Not only is this build fun to play, it’s great for hardcore and can push Shattered Realm level 50!
Once again, 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 visiting 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. And 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 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!
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!
This build actually levels rather quickly because pierce does fantastic damage. As with all melee builds, the biggest problem is usually ground AoE, which we have to stay out of. All you need to do is grab the best Dermapteran Slicers from those nasty bugs west of Homestead, and you’re solid! 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 Blessed Whetstone (Level 20) is great for this build, so use it in both of your weapons as soon as possible! Make sure to slot the Behead attack as your default left-mouse weapon attack when you get it!
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.
It’s important to note the complete set bonus from Blind Assassin is cooldown reduction, which allows you to spam Ring of Steel and Shadow Strike more often!
Survival is dependent on dodge from Shadow Dance (through Pneumatic Burst), Vigor from Word of Renewal, and Inquisitor Seal. While it’s not as tanky as the cold variation, the quickness in killing usually compensates for dangerous situations.
Rotation for Trash: Shadow Strike into the middle of the group, use Ring of Steel and move on. If you are using 2x Dermapteran Slicers or Willie’s Razors, the bleed from the Ring will be doing enough AoE damage that most trash mobs will simply die by being in your proximity.
Rotation for Bosses (Facetank):: Pneumatic Burst, Word of Renewal, Shadow Strike, Ring of Steel, Behead (x5 or so), then Shadow Strike, 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, RoS, Behead (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: All in Physique Faction of Choice:Kymon
While this build focuses on the end-game Blind Assassin set (5 items) the good news is the Blind Assassin items drop with more frequency than legendary set pieces, and it’s very easy to get the craftable helm to transmute. In the meantime, the build works great with self-found items, and farming green pierce is very easy. There is only one weapon to farm: Dermapteran Slicers. These will carry you to end-game. I recommend getting replacements for each difficulty (Normal, Elite and Ultimate).
As mentioned, the Blessed Whetstone Component is a key attack skill for this build. Make sure you use it immediately at Level 20!
While leveling, you’ll find these items to be very helpful:
17: Willie’s Razor (1H) (Best)
20+: Dermapteran Slicer (1H)
20: Blessed Whetstone (Component 1H)
25: Guile (Relic)
30/50/82: Steelheart Girdle
31: Duelist’s Sabre (1H) (Best)
35: Slaughter (Relic)
50: Bloodborn Sabre (1H)
50: Empowered Willie’s Razor (1H)
65: Empowered Duelist Sabre (1H)
70: Balgothian’s Carnage (Relic)
72: Blind Assassin Gear (All)
Our goal is to make Nightblade as efficient for leveling as possible before we rush Aura of Conviction in Inquisitor (Phase II). We also want these leveling skills to shine at end-game for bossing and ultimate farming.
Phase I (Nightblade) Dual Blades (3) → Veil of Shadow (3) → Balgothian’s Shears (5) → Pneumatic Burst (1) → Shadow Strike (1) → Breath of Belgothian (1) → Phantasmal Armor (1) → Amarasta’s Quick Cut (5) → Dual Blades (3) → Shadow Dance (6) → Night’s Chill (3) → Ring of Steel (5) → Anatomy of Murder (1) → Whirling Death (5) → Elemental Awakening (1) → Dual Blades (3) → Circle of Slaughter (1) → Execution (5) → Blade Spirit (1) → Dual Blades (Max) → Circle of Slaughter (5)
Phase II (Inquisitor) Word of Pain (1) → Deadly Aim (1) → Word of Renewal (6) → Vigor (1) → Death Sentence (1) → Inquisitor’s Seal (1) → Steel Resolve (1) → Arcane Empowerment (1) → Aura of Conviction (Max) → Death Sentence (Max) → Inquisitor Seal (5) → Arcane Empowerment (5)
Phase III (Custom Adjustment) Focus Areas (as needed): Ring of Steel, Inquisitor’s Seal, Word of Renewal, Deadly Aim, Arcane Empowerment, Vigor, Steel Resolve
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 unnecessary. For this reason, as experienced Infiltrator players progress and as they get BiS gear, they remove points from key skills to buff others. The goal is to keep the Proc skills (such as Balgothian’s Shears and Execution) to their 20% level at rank 5; but this can often be achieved with just a few points (since extra points come from gear). So as you’re leveling, make sure to remove points from: Balgothian’s Shears, Amarasta’s Quick Cut, Whirling Death and Execution to keep them at 5. Take those extra points and put them into the other important skills for survival, such as Inquisitor Seal, Word of Renewal, and so forth.
Important Note: you get Elemental Resist from Pneumatic Burst→Elemental Awakening, and Aether/Chaos resist from Word of Renewal→Steel Resolve. Since these two skills need to always be active, you don’t necessarily have to max your resists in Ultimate; you can compensate for the bonus difference these buffs provide while leveling! This is very important when you want to add Absorption and other critical Components to your armor, but seem deficient in resists.
Crossroads (Order) → Assassin’s Blade (Whirling Death/Inquisitor’s Seal) → Dryad (Behead) → Crossroads (Primordial) → Eel → Harpy → Assassin (Blade Spirit) → Crossroads (Chaos) → Mantis → Harp (Veil of Shadow/Aura of Conviction) → Azraaka (Ring of Steel) → Blades of Nadaan → [COLOR=”Red”] REMOVE Crossroads (Ascendant, Order, Chaos)[/COLOR] → Unknown Soldier (Shadow Strike) → Throne (1 point)
The final version of this build utilizes Mythical Blind Assassin’s set along with specific support legendaries. Note you can use the non-mythical version of the Blind Assassin’s set prior to the end-game version. The core version is great for nearly all content of the game, but for those who want to push Shattered Realm, the devotion tree needs to utilize Shield Wall. I’ve included a copy of this Grim Tools below in addition to the core recommended build.