Welcome to the Complete Build & Leveling Guide for the SIR BLOODYDOTS Vitality Bleed Conjurer. This build is great for new players, a top starter build, can complete all campaign content with self-found gear, is hardcore viable, has a Damage over Time (DoT) playstyle, and is solid for farming Ultimate. If you’re looking for a fun DoT-based caster build that is strong from the start and scales very well, and also allows you to beat on bosses with a gigantic club, this is the place!
The GrimTools link is available at the bottom of the guide.
I’ve always loved DoT builds and have been a fan of Bloody Pox for quite some time, but it just wasn’t strong enough for end-game. While Grim Dawn features numerous DoT types, I wanted to pursue a combination that had solid leech, great damage, and was fun to play. And with the recent update to Grasping Vines, it looks even better than before.
Featuring great crowd control, vitality leech and bleed damage, additional supportive healing (Wendigo & Blood of Dreeg) paired with resistance reduction, this build is a DoT powerhouse that loves shredding everything to pieces. And while everything is bleeding to death, you get the beat on larger targets with your giant 2-handed weapon. The build has excellent AoE and solid single-target damage, and once your devotions are complete, it rips through all of the core content with ease. Oh, and it’s fun!
This build is Hardcore viable! But because our Defensive Ability (DA) isn’t very high, we must rely on life leech from vitality damage and kiting tougher bosses for survival.
The initial inspiration to make this build came from Beoron’s Carmilla; Bleed and Vitality Conjurer. It was after posting the first version of this build that Valinov came along, sharing his similar build (with a different devotion structure and a few items, but the same sets). His build also utilized Savagery to buffer damage and leech. Not only is his build rock-solid (I’ve switched over and it’s fantastic), he’s personally cleared SR89 with it, showing great end-game viability. The thread for his initial build can be found here. I asked him if I could integrate his build into this updated guide and he gave approval. So, a big thanks to Valinov for his support!
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!
Once you get Grasping vines and Swarm up, this build levels very quickly. There can be energy management issues in the beginning (just throw Ectoplasm in your jewelry), but with Grasping Vines being your main damage during leveling, you just need to strategically place and cast it every few seconds (at most) because all of the mobs that run into it will get shred to pieces. Curse tougher mobs and even RR them with Swarm, you can also add Bloody Pox on top of all that, but most trash dies long before you have the chance to stack the damage. The Vitality Storm Totems also provide great leech support, and if you need it, Wendigo Totem and Blood of Dreeg are at your disposal. It’s great to cast Grasping Vines once and kill the entire screen full of trash. For bosses, you can whack on them with Savagery to cause additional weapon and bleeding damage.
The General Play Technique focuses on Grasping Vines as your main damage dealer. It alone will often kill most trash (and it has a VERY large AoE). For tougher trash, just GV and Curse of Frailty (CoF) to proc Wendigo’s Mark. Rarely will you need to do more than this, but some trash in Ultimate (when you get to AoM or bleed/vitality resistant mobs) can require a 3rd cast of Bloody Pox, which spreads beautifully through a large group. Mobs rarely even reach you as they die of gushing wounds running through your AoE damage.
It’s important to mention that the damage from Grasping Vines stacks, so be sure to keep those 3 stacks up on tough targets whenever you can!
Survival is all about killing most targets from a distance and if necessary setting up the Vitality Leech paired with the regeneration of Blood of Dreeg (which should always be active) and healing of Wendigo Totem. But the great thing is we can get up close and personal with Savagery, which also increases our leech and health regeneration. The build can actually be quite tanky with the right gear and leech damage, but some bosses just hit too hard and you’ll have to kite them – but a DoT build is perfectly built for this gameplay style.
Rotation for Trash: BoD always up. GV on the edge of the group you want to shred, and they’ll die running to you. For tougher trash, add CoF and BP on top of that. They’ll never reach you.
Rotation for Bosses:: BoD always up. GV on the target, CoF, Swarm, BP, and lay down your Storm Totem, Wendigo Totem and then BEAT THEM MERCILESSLY WITH SAVAGERY! Cycle through the same as cooldowns are made available. The goal is to keep all DoTs, Devotions, CC and RR on the boss at all times while you whack them over the head. Most bosses can be facetanked with BoD, Wendigo Totem (with the leech of Swarm and Storm Totem) and Savagery, but when you need to kite, just follow the above and .. RUN! Cast behind you and try to loop around to keep the boss in the GV field as long as possible. You can also whack them twice and run away. Some bosses will stun you as they rush; these are the most dangerous (for any build) and can be mitigated with stun resistance. For really tough bosses, make sure you get your armor absorption as high as possible (90% or higher recommended) so you can take the hits better.
Final Level 100 Stat Distribution: 98 Physique, 9 Spirit Faction of Choice:Order of Death’s Vigil
This build utilizes bonuses from two sets: the first is the Wildblood set (3 items: 2H, Shoulders and Belt). This set focuses on enhancing Grasping Vines and provides both Vitality and Bleed damage. The second is the Valguur set, which provides more Vitality and Bleed damage with Storm Totem support. The good news is there are plenty of green and blue drops that focus on Vitality and Bleed damage during leveling, and the Wildblood set is very common (I believe Valguur’s is more rare to find).
Remember: with the Kraken devotion providing great damage enhancement, and using Savagery to whack on bosses, we always want to be using a 2H weapon!
While leveling, you’ll find these items to be very helpful:
20: Gargoyle Vistage (Helm)
25: Gluttony (Relic)
35: Torment (Relic)
50: Sacrifice (Relic)
50: Empowered Revenant’s Edge (2H)
50: Wendigomane Leggings (Legs)
50: The Guillotine (2H)
58: Bloodfury Spalders (Shoulders)
58: Boneweave Girdle (Waist)
58: Thorn Girdle of Misty Glave (Waist)
58: Deathlord’s Band (Ring)
58: Mark of the Forbidden (Amulet)
65: Empowered Locust Gem (Amulet)
65: Wendigo Dread Mask (Helm)
70: Necrosis/Solael’s Decimation (Relic)
We first focus on Shaman leveling, damage with Swarm and Grasping Vines, rushing to Storm Totem and Blood pact. We then build out Occultist while mixing some Shaman, rushing to Possession to add solid support (including Blood of Dreeg, etc.). Finally we add Savagery and then touch up the final skills.
Note: You can pursue Phase III at this point if you want to get Savagery and its supportive skills before pursuing Possession, but the build performs just fine at this point without it, and rushing Possession is important. If you are having single-target damage problems (due to self-found items) go ahead and take Phase III before Phase II and start beating on bosses.
Phase II (Mix) Curse of Frailty (1) → Entangling Vines (4) → Swarm (Max) → Bloody Pox (1) → Solael’s Witchfire (1) → Vulnerability (4) → Blood of Dreeg (1) → Wasting (6) → Second Rite (1) → Aspect of Guardian (1) → Possession (Max)
Phase III (Mix) Savagery (1) → Might of the Bear (3) → Brute Force (1) → Feral Hunger (3) → Tenacity of the Boar (6) → Storm Touched (1)
Phase IV (Mix) Heart of the Wild (6) → BoD (Max) → Cof (6) → Vulnerability (Max) → Second Rite (Max) → Aspect of the Guardian (9) → Wasting (4) → Storm Totem (Max)
As covered above, this build utilizes both the Wildblood and Valguur’s sets with additional legendary items for support. There are many alternatives that can be used as Jewelry, but the most important thing to focus on end-game is defense since the damage is solid. Make sure your resists are capped and get that armor absorption up as soon as possible.