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Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds: Eternal Warrior (Death Knight Perfected)

Divinity: Original Sin 2 has been out for several months now, and I have made Build after Build Guide trying to come up with new and interesting ways for you all to play party members, trying to capitalize on the fantastic gameplay that Larian has designed. I have finally made the best “all around” Warrior Build you can make (I think) and ironically, as this will be my last Guide, I ended up where I began originally. How fitting that the Death Knight is where it all started and it’s what I’ve returned to, only this time I have made it so powerful it’s just downright game breaking. Let me explain how the Eternal Warrior came to be and give you the basics about the Build.

Stats on my level 16 Eternal Warrior.

Eternal Warrior – Death Knight Build

Back when I started making guides, I was fascinated with the Necromancer Skills line and wanted desperately to incorporate them into some sort of melee Build that could withstand tons of punishment while dishing out respectable damage. Unfortunately at that time, although on the right track, I hadn’t acquired quite as much knowledge about the game. Thus I made a Death Knight, while still good, was flawed. It was flawed not because it didn’t deal respectable damage or couldn’t take punishment, but because it didn’t take into account how very important Armour is in this game. With the Eternal Warrior Build, not only is that mistake rectified, but the Skills have been stripped down and improved to only the very essentials.

The Eternal Warrior makes use of a decent amount of investment into Necromancer in order to obtain the passive healing when dealing Vitality Damage. When combined with Living Armour, the Eternal Warrior can replenish Magic Armour offensively, allowing them to maintain their position on the battlefield and keep on swinging without fear of being crowd controlled via magical attacks. By having a very high Warfare ability, and by adding the Skill Vampiric Hunger to the mix, Eternal Warriors can boost this healing even further, allowing for increased Magic Armour replenishment should they need it. Bone Cage from the Necromancer Skills line and Challenge from the Warfare Skills line cover the Physical Armour, and both reward an offensive style of play as well, making for the perfect blend of offense and defense.

Eternal Warrior Attributes and Equipment

Eternal Warriors focus on Strength to increase their damage of their Warfare Skills. Eternal Warriors will also want 3 or 4 points into Intelligence in order to use both Strength and Intelligence based Armour. All other points should go into Memory for the Skills that you need only, and then Wits.

Eternal Warriors use a mix of Strength and Intelligence-based Armours to get excellent Physical and Magic Armour. Eternal Warriors want to find a balance between the two if possible, with enough Magic Armour to give yourself time to replenish it via damage. They should look for Armour with Warfare and Necromancer. Two-Handed and Wits are also ok and you’ll want to try to get some gear with a point or two of Aerotheurge, Hyrdrosophist and Scoundrel. I want to emphasize that Armour value is more important than the stat bonuses you get in 90% of the cases, so be sure you take whatever has the most Armour unless the bonuses are just too good.

Weapon-wise you’ll want a Two-Handed of some sort, trying to get one with a slot for a Rune. Bonuses you want to look for are Critical Chance, Life Steal, Warfare, Strength and Two-Handed in that order. Ideally it would have at least 3 of these bonuses listed in order to maximize your damage. However, just like Armour, prioritize damage above everything else, unless you get a Weapon with near perfect bonuses. Note: Life Steal on a Weapon is added directly to the total from Necromancer and Vampiric Hunger percentage-wise.

Armour of the Eternals is a sold choice for this Build, because it has very high Armour values. The stats are meh, but more often than not Armour > Stats. On the right you can see my Two-Handed weapon is nearly flawless. It’s level 14 but I still use it (at 16) because it’s bonuses are simply too good.

Eternal Warrior Abilities and Talents

The best way to start this Build is by picking the Metamorph Class, removing points from Finesse and putting them all into Strength. Then put 1 point into Warfare and 1 point into Polymorph and take Battle StompTentacle Lash, and Bull Horns. Then as you level up place 1 point into Scoundrel and 1 point into Hydrosophist in order to get Vampiric Hunger, followed by 1 point into Warfare in order to get some more Skillls there. Then place 2 points into Necromancer in order to get some more Life Steal and Bone Cage. Then from that point forward you will place points into Warfare and Necromancer in a 2:1 ratio until Warfare is maxed, only placing a 1 point or 2 into Aerotheurge when you get somewhere close to Act 2, and taking Polymorph up to 3 during Act 2.

Modifications I would make to the Metamorph Preset in order to start optimally for the Eternal Warrior.

As far as Talents go I’d recommend the following:

Opportunist – This will allow you to deal more damage when in melee combat and is crucial to any melee Build’s damage. You’ll want to take this Talent during Character Creation in order to get the most use of it during the game.

Living Armour – Combined with Vampiric Hunger allows the Eternal Warrior to keep on swinging, healing his/her own Magic Armour in the process. You’ll want to take this Talent when you reach Level 3.

Executioner – This Talent works very well with this Build because it is 100% optimized and allows you to kill targets quite often without having to waste needless AP healing or buffing. Take this when you hit Level 8.

Hothead – Because you are rarely below 100% Vitality, this Talent improves your damage by increasing your Critical Chance. Take this one when you reach Level 13.

Eternal Warrior Skills

The Eternal Warrior uses primarily Warfare Skills, but splashes a bit here in there into Scoundrel, Polymorph, Hydrosophist, Aerotheurge and of  course Necromancer. Below is a list of Skills you will use and I will put them in the order you should obtain them in.

Character Creation

Battle Stomp – A good source of AoE Knockdown with only a slight reduction to damage (10%) over a basic attack. Use this to CC enemies that have low Physical Armour, preferably 2 or more at a time.

Tentacle Lash – Does extremely good damage and sets Atrophy which prevents the target from attacking next turn. You will usually use this on your first victim to try to burst them down quickly.

Bull Horns – Gives you access to Bull Rush. Use to close the gap on your enemies over and over again as it has a 1 turn cooldown so you will never have mobility issues when in combat. As of February 1st, 2018 now deals physical damage.

Character Levels 1-3

Battering Ram – Does poor damage, but helps with mobility and is useful for keeping targets Knocked Down if you cannot finish them off just yet. Use Bull Rush to get in range and this Skill to Knockdown targets with little to no Physical Armour.

Adrenaline – A must have skill for just about any Build. Use this when things would go badly for you next turn without one more action. Keep in mind you can use it, then pop Skin Graft and then use it again. However, you will skip your next turn.

Armour of Frost – You won’t use this so much in the later half of the game, but it’s great early on when you don’t have quite as much Life Steal. Use when you need to replenish some Magic Armour, or boost a party member if they are low.

Vampiric Hunger – This skill will allow you to Life Steal early on which will replenish Magic Armour. Keep in mind you must do Vitality Damage to Life Steal, so pop this only after Physical Armour has been stripped.

Character Levels 4-8

Blitz Attack – This is a great gap closer that also deals damage to up to 2 targets. Deals less damage than Bull Rush, but targets don’t need to be in a straight line and can also go up or down in elevation. Use when Bull Rush won’t suffice.

Whirlwind – Deals 100% Weapon Damage to all targets around you in an AoE. Positioning is key, so use Teleportation if you want another target to get hit. You can pop Skin Graft and Adrenaline to get back to back Whirlwinds.

Phoenix Dive – A good gap closer that costs 1 AP and is excellent for the beginning of battles. Jump in, attack and then pop a defensive skill and hopefully get an Attack of Opportunity.

Bone Cage – A great skill for buffing up your Armour and the more dead bodies around the better. This skill rewards an offensive playstyle so don’t be shy about killing people.

Teleportation – A great all around skill both in and out of combat. You’ll use this during fights to move enemies into range so you can AoE more than 1 target (ideally 3 or more).

Uncanny Evasion – One of two defensive skills this Build uses that isn’t tied to offense in some way. Use this when you have left too many enemies standing or alive to help mitigate damage you will take during enemies’ round.

Character Levels 9 and up

Challenge – As of August 31st, 2018 this Skill now costs 0 AP, making it viable for nearly every Warfare oriented Build. Buffs Physical and Magic Armour in addition to increasing your damage by 20% for 2 turns. Also heals you.

Skin Graft – This skill works fantastically with this Build and it only costs 1 AP (since February 1st, 2018). Use this when you want a second Whirlwind, or you need another gap closer or if you can get another AoE Knockdown from Battle Stomp.

I wish to mention that you can of course add Skills to this list, but these are the minimal Skills I would take to make up the Build. If you were being really stingy you could even take out Phoenix Dive and/or Blitz Attack and possibly Teleportation/Uncanny Evasion (although they are very good).

I have not added Skills like Chicken Claw or Shackles of Pain to this mix, because while useful, they are not aggressive enough for this Build. Chicken Claw deals no damage, and you want to kill things, not just CC them once their Armour is gone. Shackles of Pain has the same issue, but also prompts enemies to attack other party members which is not what you want them to do.

If you would like to add Skills to this Build, I would suggest not taking offensive skills that only hit 1 target, unless they apply a Status Effect that prevents them from attacking. And I would suggest not taking any defensive or utility skills that cost more than 1 AP, since dealing damage is priority.

These Skills, while useful, don’t contribute to the aggressive playstyle of the Eternal Warrior so we table them.

Final Tips

This whole Build revolves around offense so learn to play aggressively and try to take out or CC targets as often and quickly as you can. The best defense is a good offense in this game, because when enemies are flat on their back they cannot damage you. For this reason I do not recommend playing the Eternal Warrior with a Sword and Shield, as you won’t deal enough damage to both sustain your Magic Armour and keep enemies Knocked Down.

Learn when to use your Skills and pay attention to your cooldowns. You might, for example, Whirlwind 2 people when you could use Teleportation to hit 3 instead. Or perhaps you can Battle Stomp 3 targets, but if you Phoenix Dive first you could hit 4. This is important because Living Armor gets more effective the more targets you hit, so you always want to be hitting as many as you can to keep your Magic Armour topped off.

The Eternal Warrior’s biggest weakness is that it cannot replenish its Physical Armour often, so when selecting targets keep this in mind and try to take out the ones that deal Physical Damage first if you can, or minimally CC them. Also, learn when to time Bone Cage for best results so that you get the most out of it when you do use it. Another good reason to use Teleportation in this Build is to bring targets to you because this will keep bodies piled up in one place for more Physical Armour from Bone Cage.

You want to try to create scenarios like this where the bodies pile up and you can Bone Cage for lot’s of Physical Armour.

Always, Always, Always try to save 1 AP at the end of each combat turn to use a defensive skill if you are in danger, or use a utility skill if you are not. Defensive skills include: Bone Cage, Armour of Frost, or Uncanny Evasion, while utility skills include: Challenge, Vampiric Hunger or Skin Graft. If you need more AP to finish your target before using one of these Skills then pop Adrenaline, finish your target and then use one.

Bull Rush is now the best gap closer in the game and you can use it every round, so don’t waste time with Blitz Attack if you can hit the same targets with a Bull Rush. Bull Rush not only deals more damage, but also can set Bleeding. However, keep in mind you can still use both of these Skills in the same turn if you wish, hitting both targets twice. Just remember to always prioritize Bull Rush if you can hit both targets with either skill.

Bull Rush was changed to deal Physical Damage in the February 1st update, allowing it to strip Armour. It outperforms Blitz Attack in terms of damage and can hit more than 2 targets and set Bleeding.

Just like the Death Knight you can play this Build as an Undead, as all healing from Life Steal will heal them and there are zero Skills here that negatively impact them. I would actually recommend playing one if it weren’t for the fact that Elves have the best Skill for this Build with Flesh Sacrifice. Getting extra AP and Damage in exchange for Constitution is a just too good, and keep in mind you can refresh this Skill with Skin Graft, so it just gets even better.

Lastly, and I mentioned this above, but I’ll say it again here: keeping your Armour values above zero at ALL times is of the utmost importance. This will prevent you from being crowed controlled and allow you to make the most of your Eternal Warrior’s turns. While it is unlikely that you will make it through the entire game without this ever happening, it should be the goal while in combat and should dictate what you do next. Remember to always save 1 AP at the end of each turn for a defensive skill if you need it, or a utility skill to setup your next turn if you are not in danger.

It’s been a wild ride these past few months and I have thoroughly enjoyed Divinity Original Sin 2, as well as making these Guides to share with you all. The feedback and discussion regarding them has been overwhelming and simply amazing and I cannot wait to see what Larian has in store for us next. Hopefully it’s a console release or a DLC!

As always, be sure to check out our other Build Guides, and good luck Sourcerers, Rivellon is counting on you!

About the Author



56 responses to “Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds: Eternal Warrior (Death Knight Perfected)”

  1. Hi Cas,

    Thanks for putting together these build guides. I would have stopped playing the game after the first month if you weren’t putting out new builds for me to try out! I’m going to miss visiting the build page every once in awhile and discovering a new concept you have put together. Anyway, thanks again and good luck on your future endeavors.

  2. >
    If you’re going to play Lone Wolf I’d take it 2nd or 3rd depending on how much of the game you want to play as Lone Wolf. Opportunist and Living Armour are the two most essential for the Build so optimally it would be 3rd.
    With Warfare maxed and about 6 or 8 points in Necro, plus the points in the various other Abilities like Aero and Hyrdro etc, then I would dump all remaining points into Two-Handed for more damage and more Critical Multiplier. It would look like 20 Warfare, 6-8 Necro, 4 Poly, 2 Aero, 2 Scoundrel, 2 Hydro and the rest into Two-Handed which should be like 6-8 ish.


  3. I am running a Juggernaut (Beast), Eternal Warrior (Fane), Elementalist (Red Prince), Ranger (Sebille) Party to simply decimate the opponents.
    I will try Terramancer build and I am thinking pairing Druid setup with a Scoundrel build.

  4. How well does Lone Wolf fit into this build, would I just take Lone Wolf as my first talent, then go through your list of talents in order, or would you rearrange them. Also where should I end up dumping excess combat ability points? I was thinking max out poly and then shove rest into summoning, but I’m wondering if there are better options, such as grabbing some scoundrel once warfare is maximised. Basically, what should an endgame stat set look like?

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