Grim Dawn – Character Class Analysis

I decided quite a while ago, after playing GD for a few months, that I would create every character combination and try a playthrough with each. Along the way, I recorded how far along they have gotten and how often they died. I hope this guide will help to show some of the differences in classes.


The results I have below are based on playing Grim Dawn (GD) for the past few years. I started, I seem to remember, on v1.4 and I almost never play multiplayer. My reaction speeds are not as fast as when I was younger, so my style of play might be different from many here. However, I think that the results that I’ve collected show a distinct characterization of the classes.

The 45 different characters that I analyzed have an average “age” of level 50.4. The minimum is 40 and the maximum is 90. (The geometric mean is 49.5 and median and mode are both 50).

Below are the levels (left axis) and dying rates (right axis) of all my characters.

Character Matrix

The full list of the class matrix shows the average level of the 9 characters in that class. Along the bottom, the dying “frequency” is also shown and along the right, the difference that the class has to the overall class levels is shown. So if for all my characters, their average is 50, then you can see the soldier class is a little higher than the others.

The dying percentage is just the number of deaths divided by the level of the character. So if I have a level 8 character that has died 8 times, it would be a 100% dying rate; had it died twice, it would be 25%.

Character Skills

Typically, my characters have one that is loaded to level 50 skills while the other skill tree usually stops about level 25 or so. But for those characters that are “purebloods” like a straight Arcanist or my PureDemo character, they have all their points in their single skill tree.


The list here shows that almost all my arcanists have died a few times. And the one that’s left is still level 40!


The Demo has been one of my favorite classes. In fact, you can see the skewing in the numbers due to the very first character that I created, Throwaway1, which to my surprise has been my highest level character. I usually play a new game and create such a throwaway, knowing that until I really understand the game, the first one is just my walk through character.

If you see the stats for Demos and Shamans in the lists, you’ll see that this character skews things greatly. Since she was the one who died so much, the dying rate is really high. And her level is by far the outlier, so she skews those values too.


I really like the Nightblades, too, because Pneumatic Burst is such a great skill and being able to Shadow Strike from across the screen is awesome.


Occultists are fun when you can get them up to level 40 and destroy fields of baddies with Black Death.


Again, the numbers skew for the Shaman class for me because of my ThrowAway1 character. She’s half Shaman, so her inclusion here is distinct.


For me, the soldier is by far the most resilient class. My play style rarely uses Overguard and I still have really low dying rates with the soldiers. In fact, I used this info to make one of my few Hardcore characters and he is already level 53. (None of these stats in this analysis includes any hardcore characters).


When I bought my first DLC, I created an Inquisitor and you can easily see which one it was. Sorry, this gets skewed from all the deaths I had on that single character, Inquito. But I really like them, now, especially Storm Box and Word of Pain. The deadly Horn of Gandarr is fantastic, but too expensive for several of my Inquisitors, since they are spent in their other skill trees.


Almost all my Necromancers have died once even though Reaping Strike is such a great way to keep your health up. But I love spending points on skeletons and blight fiends, so often I don’t give that one enough points.


Oathkeepers are one of my better classes. I usually spend lots on Aegis of Menhir if I can. And Vire’s Might takes out hordes with aplomb.


My builds, as I said, are usually with one class weighted fully to one class and about half way for the second class. So when you look at these groupings, realize that half of them only have about level 25 in their skill trees.

There are a few exceptions, like DocDerva who is a “dual 50” character but most are 50/25 split.

You can see that the Soldiers for me are the very lowest dying rates, even with a group level of 50.8 which is not a lot higher than my other classes.

My Arcanists are probably my hardest class since they are the lowest levels and they have one of the highest dying rates. Of course, lower levels will have a larger shift due to a single death, so keep that in mind, too.

Have fun playing Grim Dawn and try all the corner cases. Some are really fun. Enjoy.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2706 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.