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"Grim Dawn": The Tank Warder Build Guide for Beginners

Arc is a self-help author/speaker and AI thinker. He also make apps as a side hustle.

Copyright Crate Entertainment

Copyright Crate Entertainment

Your typical tank build. Investing on defense as much as you can and enemies will find really hard to kill your character. In a party, this build is the first one to charge the battle so that damage dealers are safe to do their job.

To some, tanks are boring since their basic role is to handle the punishment. But in Grim Dawn, tanks can also deal a lot of damage by means of Retaliation and Reflect. So in the most basic explanation, this build is all about tanking and retaliating.

Why Warder as Tank?

First of all, both Soldier and Shaman are the two masteries that can provide massive defense boost when you invest skill points. Soldier grants 5 Physique and 28 Health. While Shaman grants 4 Physique and 26 Health.

Now when it comes to skills, soldier has a lot of defensive skills in it's arsenal from increasing health to boosting resistance. Shaman’s defensive skill also compliments well with Soldier’s defensive skill.


Invest most point in Physique since you need the highest possible defense that you can get. Put some on Spirit and Cunning to meet the requirements of your desired items such as amulets, etc… But if you don’t need those things, just put everything on Physique.

Below are the recommended Constellations that I believe suits well for this build.

  • Tortoise
  • Hound
  • Crane
  • Wolverine
  • Messenger of War
  • Targo the Builder
  • Scales of Ulcama
  • Shield Maiden
  • Obelisk of Menhir

Item Stats Priority

Below are your stats priority for items in order:

1. Retaliation DamageThis will be your main priority so that you can deal massive damage even as tank.

2. Reflect

3. Retaliation Proc – A good amount of Retaliation Damage is nothing without a good amount of proc.

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4. + to Skill Level

5. Resistance

6. Armor

7. Health Regeneration

8. Health Increase

9. Shield Damage Block

10. Shield Block Percentage

11. Weapon Damage


  • Soldier Mastery (50 Skill Points): No need to explain further that maximizing this is a must. For obvious reasons, this will unlock all the skills that you need for the build especially the ultimate one.
  • Military Conditioning (10 Skill Points): Passively increases your Physique and Health.
  • Menhir’s Will (16 Skill Points): This skill makes you hard to die in combat. It lets you passively recover suitable amount of health when your life drops on a certain threshold.
  • Blitz (1 Skill Point): Use Blitz to quickly dash to you enemies. 1 skill point is enough to meet it’s function for this build.
  • Shield Training (10 Skill Points): It boost up your defense by increasing your Shield Block Chance and decreasing your Shield Recovery Time.
  • Overguard (12 Skill Points): Use Overguard whenever surrounded by lots of enemies, especially if your defense is not enough to take more punishments.
  • Veterancy (10 Skill Points): You mainly need this passive skill to increase your health regeneration per second. The other stats are just bonus.
  • War Cry (1 Skill Point): Use it to taunt your enemies, which means you will force them to attack you. The skill can also weaken them.
  • Break Morale (1 Skill Point): I put a single point modifier so that your War Cry can also disrupt your enemies skill.
  • Field Command (12 Skill Points): This skill can increase your Defensive Ability and Armor. And the best part of Field Command is that both you and your allies will benefit from this buff.
  • Decorated Soldier (8 Skill Points): Decorated Soldier increases your Elemental Resistance and Slow Resistance. Plus, the skill also increases Physical Damage.
  • Scars of Battle (8 Skill Points): Another defensive passive skill. Now this one increases Armor Absorption and Bleeding Resistance. It also reduces Stun Duration and Freeze Duration.
  • Menhir’s Bulwark (12 Skill Points): The ultimate defensive skill buff of soldier. Once you toggle it, you get additional Health Regeneration, Damage Absorption, Constitution, and most importantly, increase in Retaliation Damage. Don’t go without it.


  • Shaman Mastery (25 Skill Points): Invest points here until you unlock Oak Skin.
  • Savagery (1 Skill Point): The main purpose of this skill is just for activating constellation skills (If you use one).
  • Mogdrogen’s Pact (12 Skill Points): Activate this skill for increase in Health Regeneration per second.
  • Heart of the Wild (10 Skill Points): Modifier that increases your overall health. Plus, it reduces Bleeding Duration and Poison Duration.
  • Oak Skin (10 Skill Points): The best modifier that you can have. Increases Health Regeneration, Armor, Pierce Resistance, and Retaliation Damage. This skill complements well with Menhir’s Will.
  • Wendigo Totem (12 Skill Points): Heals you and your party. Suits well in this build since the skill heals by percentage. So the more health you have, the better healing you receive. Nice!

Note: You still have 2 skill points remaining. You may freely invest it on Shaman Mastery, War Cry, or Break Morale.

This is just a guide. In the end, you make your own variant of this build.

© 2017 Arc Sosangyo

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