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:
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!
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
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
22: Stormcaller’s Spellblade (1H)
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
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.
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.