MR. ZAPPY Wind Devil Storm Totem Vindicator



Welcome to the Complete Build & Leveling Guide for the MR. ZAPPY Wind Devil & Storm Totem Vindicator. This build is great for new players, a top starter build, has great AoE and solid single-target damage, and can easily farm Ultimate with self-found gear. If you’re looking for a fun electrical zapping build of death that is solid even without best in-slot (BiS) gear and can do nearly all content, this is the place!

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

I recently leveled three different Vindicator builds to end-game to find a solid build that would allow any player to get to end-game on self-found gear. The previous two versions were too squishy to be considered top starter builds or even “fun” for most players. However, this build finally made the cut. It’s a solid combination of DPS and defensive capability, and I took this build to 100 with no deaths. It rocks.

Vindicators (Shaman + Inquisitor) are greatly loved by many players because of their high damage, but they can be quite squishy if attention isn’t focused on defense, especially prior to acquiring end-game BiS grear. With a focus on Lightning Damage, the Storm Totems have some of the best AoE in the game while Wind Devils provide great RR (resist reduction). This build also uses Storm Box of Elgoloth and Rung of Hagarrad for extra damage, support, and defense. You’ll fly through the content and delete bosses during the leveling process; and it’s quite easy to get lightning-supportive gear while zapping your way through the story.

This build is solid for Hardcore play to 100 (if you want to pursue the Achievement), but requires substantial Hardcore experience to complete end-game bosses.



I researched (and tried) a number of Vindicator builds, but this one stood out because of it’s defensive use of Rune of Hagarrad. The build reference that enticed me to create this build, take it 100, and make this guide was shared by Reddit User TheIraqiMaestro. I also want to say thanks to Sauroc on Twitch; he also provided feedback and support while creating this build.



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 (https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/tool-grim-internals/38773
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 (https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/tool-grim-dawn-item-assistant/30491)
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 (https://forums.crateentertainment.com/t/tool-rainbow-filter-item-highlighting/42765
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


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 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 one of the fastest leveling builds in the game. Your Totems and Wind Devils decimate everything around you, and the general technique is to drop them and run off while they murder the entire screen. Lightning equipment drops like crazy, so it’s easy to consistently raise your damage as you level. The build can be tanky as well with Word of Renewal, Inquisitor’s Seal and Windigo Totem all working in unison; but for those nasty bosses you just can’t keep up on the damage, kiting is a requirement (as is a movement Glyph). The good news is your Wind Devils love to chase every living thing, and your Totems will shock anything in their proximity all while your Storm Box continually zaps tagged targets.

I found you only have to start being careful when you reach Ashes of Malmouth on Ultimate (which is where most builds have to stop being so reckless and be more cautious). Prior to that time, I felt bad for my poor electrocuted victims. They didn’t have a chance.

For clarification, this build is not recommended for new Hardcore players because it can be very difficult to mitigate incoming damage from heavy hitting bosses or groups of bosses later in Ultimate.

The General Play Technique is to set up your totem and cast Wind Devil from a distance, stand in your seal within proximity of your Windigo Totem and keep your Totems and Devils up until all rushing monsters are dead. It’s that simple. And they die very quickly.

Survival is dependent on using your Inquisitor’s Seal, Windigo Totem and Word of Renewal. But in addition to that, we also have our Rune of Hagarrad (RoH), which applies cold damage, slows the target for 5 seconds, and also reduces their defensive ability (while also having a chance to freeze them). This is awesome for boss or large group control. In Ultimate, you’ll constantly be living in your seal, enjoying the warming pulse of your Windigo Totem while your Storm Totem and Wind Devils murder everything rushing your safe space as your Runes trigger every 5.5 seconds.

Rotation for Trash: Since we are a Vindicator, we are bit squishy, so it’s good practice to toss the Seal at your feet then throw down a Storm Totem and Wind Devil in the direction of the trash. Generally, that’s all you need to do.

Rotation for Bosses (Facetank):: WoR, Seal (at your feet), Windigo (at your feet), Storm Totem (direction of boss), Devil (direction of boss), RoH (at your feet), Storm Box (on boss), Storm Totem (direction of boss), Devil (direction of boss), repeat.

Rotation for Bosses (Kite): You will occasionally encounter bosses you cannot facetank. Since you’re a fairly squishy caster, you must kite these baddies. You want to get your Storm Totems and Wind Devils down as soon as possible while always having a Tethered Storm Box on the target. You can drop Runes of Hagarrad strategically account for the 1.5 second arm time. Sadly, Windigo Totems and Seals are rarely useful when kiting, so focus on damage and running in big circles to stay alive.



Final Level 100 Stat Distribution: All in Physique
Faction of Choice: Kymon

Items

While this build focuses on the end-game Light’s Defender set (4 items), it’s fairly easy to find, and in the meantime there are tons of green and blue electricity damage and defense self-found items that can be substituted until the player is able to craft a set, or finds the pieces. The Yeti Horn (found off Yeti’s as your go through the Asterkarn Road) is an easy to farm alternative offhand item that allows for an additional Wind Devil and lowers the cooldown time to cast. The Groble Sky Effigy is also a great offhand that allows for an additional storm totem and lowers the time to cast. New characters can obtain this from Narbargal, the Stormseeker, just south of Ulgrim.

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

  • 12-94: Groble Sky Effigy (OH) Storm Totem Support
  • 20: Yeti Horn (OH) Wind Devil Support
  • 25: Squall (Relic)
  • 25: Glyph of Arcane Insight (Medal) Escape
  • 30/50/82: Stormguard (Shield)
  • 30: Veil’s Edge (1H Axe)
  • 33: Sacred Hammer of Eteral Wrath (1H)
  • 42: Thundertouch Bracers (Hands)
  • 50: Valdran’s Mantle (Shoulders)
  • 50: Segarius’ Sacred Blade (1H) (L20 too)
  • 50: Desolation (Relic)
  • 58: Empowered Stormcallers Spellblade (1H)
  • 58: Crystallum (1H)
  • 60: Eye of the Storm (Relic)
  • 65: Empowered Cleansed Blade of Elgoloth (1H)
  • 65: Skybreach Bulwark (Shield)
  • 75: Light’s Defender Armor (All)
  • 90: Stormsurge Pistol (1H Blueprint Craft)
  • 90: Aetherbolt Pendant (Amulet) Coven Blueprint

 

Skills

We first get our Wind Devils and Storm Totems up and running; once Storm Totem is maxed out, we’ll plow through content as we add the support from Inquisitor and rush Aura of Censure. We’ll then touch up key skills for damage and survival.

Phase I (Shaman)
Devouring Swarm (9) → Remove Swarm → Wind Devil (1) → Mogdrogan’s Pact (1) → Heart of the Wild (1) → Raging Tempest (10) → Windigo Totem (1) → Oak Skin (1) → Storm Totem (Max) → Maelstrom (Max)

Phase II (Inquisitor)
Storm Box (1) → Rune of Hagarrad (1) → Word of Renewal (1) → Deadly Aim (1) → Biting Cold (1) → Lightning Tether (1) → Vigor (1) → Inquisitor Seal (1) → Steel Resolve (1) → Null Field (1) → Chillsurge (1) → Arcane Empowerment (1) → Artifact Handling (1) → Aura of Censure (Max)

Phase III (Mixed)
Word of Renewal (6) → Inquisitor Seal (6) → Wendigo Totem (Max) → Deadly Aim (6) → Storm Box (13) → Biting Cold (Max) → Steel Resolve (6) → Heart of the Wild (7) → Lightning Tether (9) → Deadly Aim (Max)

Touch up the rest as you see fit!

Devotions

Crossroads (Eldrich) → Bat (Wind Devil/Storm Totem) → Crossroads (Ascendant) → Throne → Scholar’s Light → Rhowan’s Crown (Storm Totem/Wendigo Totem) → Viper → Crossroads (Primordial) → Widow (Storm Box) → Tempest (Inquisitor Seal) → Remove Crossroads (Ascendant, Eldrich, Primordial) → Crossroads (Order) → Lotus → Harp (Aura of Censure) → Chariot (Mogdrogan’s) → Remove Scholar’s Light & Crossroads (Order) → Crossroads (Primordial) → Ultos (Wind Devil) → Dryad (single point)



The final version of this build utilizes the Light’s Defender armor set with additional non-set legendaries for sword, shield, pants, boots and jewelry. The only green is the belt, which can be quite flexible. I’m also including two alternative builds, but they are different skill and devotion (and even play style) setups from this guide, however I think it’s important to include them since they’re each Vindicator builds, showing the diversity of this class build as it relates to using Storm Totems, Wind Devils and Electrical damage. 




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

  1. Thanks for this guide, the build is very fun. Playing this game for the first time and it’s very helfpul.

    What should I be putting attribute points into? I’ve been going with spirit so far.

    Also, for the devotions… I’m totally lost. What is Crossroads (Eldrich)? When you say Bat, should I complete the entire constellation?

  2. You’re welcome – I’m glad you’re enjoying it!
    Under leveling: “Final Level 100 Stat Distribution: All in Physique”
    Crossroads are the center (starting) devotion points – each color represents a class (Eldrich, for example, is green). You can confirm this by moving your mouse over the legend on the left side. And yes, you want to complete the complete constellation unless it says [PARTIAL] then you want to follow what’s in the GrimTools.
    I hope this helps!

  3. Your guide and builds are awesome and a huge help for a beginner like me.
    But I dont understand “Locust (9) → Remove Locust “.
    I can´t find a skill with the name Locust in the Shaman tree and how can you remove points from a skill and also from devotions?

  4. This build was fantastic until the latest update. I got further faster than I’ve ever managed to get before. (I’m a relative noob to GD.)

    Yesterday, I was killing everything in sight. Today, I can’t go anywhere without the monsters kill me dead. I’m at level 46 and have just arrived on Asterkam Road.

  5. Thanks! Oops! Fixed. It’s Devouring Swarm; sorry – I always called it Locust since the image is a grasshopper heh. Sorry for the confusion!

  6. Thanks for the fast reply, thought as much but better safe then sorry. 😉

    Still don´t know how I can remove point from a skill tree and/or devotion?

  7. Still don´t know how I can remove point from a skill tree and/or devotion?

    The Spirit Guide in Devil’s Crossing or Coven’s Refuge (he moves there when you unlock the AoM content). He’ll let you take points out of your skills and devotions one at a time. He’s the guy with the little book above his head.

  8. I’m not sure if this is a mistake but can you explain the use of Censure over Conviction please. New to GD sorry.

  9. Not a problem! The strongest aspect of Aura of Censure is the resistance debuff (-35% at 17/12). This is a HUGE damage boost against all targets. Aura of Conviction simply doesn’t provide any debuff. I hope this answers your question!

  10. Hi there, thanks for the guide. I’m a little confused as to what the numbers next to the skills represent? Is that the amount of points we invest to that skill? Cause on top you say to max out Wind Devils and Storm Totems, but there’s a “1” next to Wind Devils. Thanks again.

  11. Ahh, thanks for the reminder! If I recall the initial version had Wind Devil maxed, but when I took it to 100 and looked at similar builds, it made sense to put the points elsewhere. With GrimTools down, I can’t look at the end-game build, but if I recall, we don’t max Wind Devil out (the damage just isn’t worth putting the points there, so we put them elsewhere). When GT is back up, I can check and see if the end-game version maxes WD – but if I recall, it’s just 1 point.

  12. Thank you for the guide! By the way, is this build viable for crucible and SR farming?

    Also, do you happen to know any Vindicator build which utilises the Ultos set?

  13. Thanks! I would think with BiS gear you could get to SR50 (perhaps 75?) and I believe I’ve seen people do Crucible 150+ with this (or similar) builds, but I haven’t personally tried with this build. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with any Vindicator builds that use the Ultos set.

  14. Can you reupload the grimtool build? It’s not working anymore and I would love to try it out in Forgotten Gods 🙂

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