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Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds: Glacial Guardian

Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition arrived a little over a 2 weeks ago, and with it came some interesting changes to the game. While most Builds remain untouched, there are some tweaks to a few of them. Players have been asking me to not only update these Builds, but also create new ones. In this guide I will be introducing the Glacial Guardian, and explaining just how it works. This is the first of two Summoner Builds this week, with the Summoner of Sparks coming in just a couple of days.

Stats on my level 10 Glacial Guardian.

Glacial Guardian – Water/Summoner Build

The Glacial Guardian uses a mix of Hydrosophist and Summoning Skills in order to control the battlefield in which they are fighting. One of the problems that water mages can have, is that they have to set: (Chilled + Chilled) OR (Chilled + Wet) in order to Freeze enemies. And, although several Hydrosophist Skills hit with multiple projectiles preventing this issue, often they run out of Skills to use. By adding Summoning to a Tidalist sort of Build, not only is this obstacle resolved, but Totems summoned on water or ice will hit for Water Damage. Water Damage makes targets Wet if they have no Magic Armour, which will Freeze Chilled enemies, or allow them  to be Frozen much more easily.

The best way to start this Build is by picking the Conjurer Class, removing the points from Constitution and placing them into Intelligence. Then remove the point from Leadership and place it into Hydrosophist. Then remove Dimensional Bolt and Conjure Incarnate and select Hail Strike and Rain. This will allow you to summon water totems from the very beginning of the game, but you’ll want to pick up the Incarnate as soon as you can. Race is not overly important with this Build, but Human is probably the best here because of Encourage. Flesh Sacrifice while good, lowers your Constitution (un-equipping your Shield), so Elf is not recommended.

glacial guardian starting class
By beginning as a Conjurer you’ll gain a wand and shield.

Glacial Guardian Attributes and Equipment

As far as Attributes go, you’ll be dumping most of them into Intelligence to increase your damage with water spells, but you’ll also need a few points into Wits to help you go first in combat. Because you will be using the Glass Cannon Talent, you cannot afford to go second, or you may not get a turn. You’ll also need a few points into Constitution in order to meet the requirements for Shield, and probably a couple into Strength to be able to use Strength-based Armour. Place points in Memory as needed.

Armour-wise you’ll want to use a mix of Intelligence and Strength-based Armour in order to get a good mix of Physical and Magical Armour. You’ll look for equipment with Summoning and Hydrosophist on it, in order to increase your totem, Incarnate and water spell damage. Wits or Initiative are also good, so take them as well if you can’t get these first two.

The weapon that Glacial Guardians use is not overly important, and they are best served by using one that provides the same benefits as listed above, as they won’t be attacking with it. However, Critical Chance is also nice to have because it increases the damage of your water spells, so look for that as well.

fang of the winter dragon
The Fang of the Winter Dragon is a great weapon for this Build. +10% Critical Chance, Intelligence, and Hydrosophist.

Glacial Guardian Abilities and Talents

Glacial Guardians will begin with 1 point in Hydrosophist and 1 point in Summoning. They should then invest 1 point into Scoundrel in order to obtain Adrenaline, before taking Summoning and Hydrosophist to 2 points each. This will allow you to gain nearly Hydrosophist and Summoning Skill you will need. From this point forward you’ll want to pump Summoning until you reach 10 and then start maxing Hydrosophist.

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

Elemental Affinity – This Talent allows you to cast many water spells in one turn, which is a must with this Build. Take this one during Character Creation and using Rain grants its effect.

Glass Cannon – This Talent gives you 6 AP every turn in exchange for Status Effects going through your Armour. This is a tough Talent to play with, but Summoners in general are AP monsters, and Glacial Guardians cast spells on top of Summoning. Because you will be Freezing many enemies you will not be in as much danger as you think. Substitute Lone Wolf for this Talent if you’re playing solo or with a friend.

Savage Sortilege – This Talent will allow your Hydrosophist Skills to critically strike, which you will need in order to keep enemies Frozen. Take this one at the end of Act 1 or beginning of Act 2 when your Critical Chance gets to be around 20%.

Living Armour – The only heal you slot with this Build is Vampiric Hunger Aura so you might think this is a bad choice, however, most water spells hit many targets, making you replenish Magic Armour easily.

Far Out Man – Nearly every spell you cast is affected by this Talent, so consider taking it if you find you just need a bit more range. It’s not a must, but sometimes it makes all the difference in the world.

Hothead – This will increase your overall Critical Chance by 10% and Accuracy by 10% when at Max Vitality. Accuracy isn’t useful for casting, but the extra 10% Critical Chance can help boost your damage, resulting in more Frozen enemies.

Glacial Guardian Skills

Glacial Guardians use a mix of Hydrosophist and Summoning Skills in order to deal substantial Water Damage and keep enemies Crowd Controlled. Below is a list of Skills you will use and I will put them in the order you should obtain them in.

Character Creation

Rain – Casting Rain before or right at the beginning of combat will give you Elemental Affinity and allow you to summon Water Totems and a Water Incarnate. It also makes enemies Wet, which helps to Freeze them.

Hail Strike – This will be your go-to damaging spell until you reach Level 4 and more Skills become available. Be careful not to hit other party members, but you won’t have to worry about your Totems or Incarnate as they will be immune to Water Damage.

Elemental Totem – You cannot have more than 3 of these out at a time, but it’s a good idea to cast one every turn (if possible), because they only last 3 turns each. Cast them in water in order to make them deal Water Damage.

Character Levels 1-3

Conjure Incarnate – This skill allows you to summon an Incarnate that gets progressively more powerful as the game advances. At Summoning Level 10 it becomes a force to be reckoned with and you can buff it for increased damage. You can summon it in water to make it deal Water Damage.

Farsight Infusion – This skill increases your Incarnate damage by +25%, provides it some Magic Armour, and gives it a ranged attack that has a 1 turn cooldown. You’ll need all of these things.

Armour of Frost – Armour of Frost will give you the Magic Shell status which increases your overall Magic Armour. Though it cannot prevent Status Effects, it will be useful in keeping you or a party member alive.

Adrenaline – Possibly the best non-source skill in the gain, it provides you with 2 AP this turn in exchange for 2 AP next turn. Summoners need lots of AP on their first turn to setup the battlefield, so this one is extremely useful.

Character Levels 4-8

Winter Blast – This skill give you some AoE Freeze capability and only costs 1 AP while standing in water. It also doesn’t harm friendly targets, so don’t be afraid to use it liberally.

Ice Fan – You can hit 3 different targets with this skill, allowing for multiple Frozen enemies. Keep in mind, that Totems will Freeze Chilled enemies, so you only need to Chill them if you have enough Totems. These also hit in a small AoE, so aim at the ground and not at an enemy directly.

Power Infusion – This buffs your Incarnate with Physical Armour, +25% Damage and adds Whirlwind and Battering Ram to its Skills. Probably the best all around Infusion there is, and you want to use it near the beginning of combat to prevent your Incarnate from dying quickly.

Character Levels 9 and up

Dominate Mind – You can use this skill to convert an enemy with no Magic Armour to a friendly for 2 turns. This is one of the most powerful non-source skills in the game, so use it when you can’t Freeze a target.

Global Cooling – A huge AoE that Chills enemies with no Magic Armour and Freezes water. Use this to Chill lots of enemies that will then be Frozen by your Totems, or Freeze enemies that are already Chilled.

Vampiric Hunger Aura – I have honestly never seen this skill used in any other Build…anywhere. However, it has insane range and affects all friendlies, including summons as well. In addition, it’s an aura, meaning it will affect any new summons! This skill is a great way to provide healing to your entire group offensively for very little AP.

Ice Breaker – This skill destroys ice surfaces, dealing Water Damage to any target standing on them, friend and foe alike. Since your totems and Incarnate should be immune to Water Damage, you only need to worry about other party members when using it.

You can use other Skills as well, but these are the ones I suggest. Soul Mate is great for removing terrible Status Effects from your Incarnate or other party members, and Rallying Cry can be and effect heal with this Build. Deep Freeze is also not a bad choice, but Glacial Guardians tend to move very little, so it may not be able to reach the target(s) you want.

Final Tips

As I mentioned above, Summoners are AP hogs and they need 6 AP just to summon their Incarnate, buff it, and summon a totem. If you use Adrenaline, that leaves you 2 AP to cast Rain and then Winter Blast or Encourage. For this reason, I strongly advise casting Rain, and then summoning and buffing your Incarnate before combat begins. This will save you 5 of the 8 AP listed above. This will allow you cast many more water spells, ensuring you Freeze at least a few targets.

By summoning the Incarnate outside of combat you can save yourself a lot of AP. You probably don’t need to do this in every fight, but consider doing it in the harder ones.

You will deal +20% damage from elevation by default, and so will Totems if cast higher than their targets. Consider starting combat from above if you can, or if you get some gear with Scoundrel on it, consider picking up Cloak and Dagger. You shouldn’t need to move often, but sometimes you’ll absolutely need to, and having a jump skill will save you lots of AP.

Consider adding Venomous Aura to your Skills, or have a party member take it. It nearly doubles the damage your Totems will do, and since it’s Poison Damage it helps to strip Magic Armour faster. It also has a huge range and because it’s an aura it will affect summons that come into play after it is cast.

You can see it nearly doubled the Totem’s damage, so it’s worth considering.

Lastly, it’s a good idea when using Glass Cannon to have other party members with Skills that can pick you up if Knocked Down, or un-freeze/shock you if Frozen/Stunned. Things don’t always go according to plan, and you don’t want to miss out on turns because of this. First Aid, Armour of Frost, Peace of Mind and Soul Mate are what you are looking for.

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

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22 responses to “Divinity Original Sin 2 Builds: Glacial Guardian”

  1. i’m planing on playing through the game with a Glacial Guardian,Crystalline Cleric,Elusive Enchanter and a Frost Paladin what skills should i drop if any as they have a lot of overlapping skill’s

  2. When you say “From this point forward you’ll want to pump Summoning until you reach 10 and then start maxing Hydrosophist,” do you mean until you reach 10 with buffs (enough to get the big incarnate) or until you reach 10 naturally (and buffs will just take you higher)? Is it worth it to put points into Summoning past 10 (with this build and in general) or should I just focus on Hydrosophist once I get there?

  3. >
    I would not suggest taking a Fire and a Water mage. Id sub out one of the for perhaps the Radiant Batlemage.


  4. Hey there, sorry if I’m spamming you comments, something is weird with my computer tonight.
    I discovered your builds tonight, and am blown away by the quality. Thank you for putting in the work!

    I really like ranged skills and necromancer in any game, but could you please tell me if the party I am suggesting below is viable at all? I’m doing it based off my research of what you’ve written here. I want to capture as many different types of magic as I can, want to have a bow person, and have someone who can melee. I’d appreciate your insight.

    Tectonic Sage
    Glacial Guardian
    Sanguine Bowman
    Summoner of Sparks

  5. Can Fane play this role? Or will he take too much damage from the water spells?

  6. I am curious as to why you do not suggest Shadow Infusion(or any of the other infusions) with any of your Summoners? It adds another 25% Damage.

  7. So if i take stormchaser as my melee char. Do I summon my incarnate in the resulting electric field, or in my own water field?

  8. I really like the Glacial Guardian Build. It doesn’t suffer from the same Cooldown issues the Tidalist does, and it doesn’t have much less damage per Skill used.


  9. I am currently running a slight variation of this build, splashing some air and earth for water-resistant fellows and I can tell it is amazing! Yesterday I lone-wolf soloed Alexander and the giant Worm in tactician and they didn’t even touch my health bar. I also single-handed Slane, despite his water immunity, although that was a very close one.

  10. @anon I would suggest for this Build using a Frost Paladin or Stormchaser for your melee role. If you went Frost Paladin then I’d suggest a Crystalline Cleric and Terramancer or Tectonic Sage. If you went Stormchaser, I’d recommend a Tectonic Sage and a Tidalist.


  11. yes you could play this as a Geo Summon if you wish. Might be more effective in some ways since Venomous Aura would be stronger.


  12. Would this work with Geo/Summon instead of Hydro? I was looking for something to pair with a Scourge WIzard & thought the Geo/Summon could work way better than a Hydro/Summon?

  13. Would this build work with Geo + Summon instead of Hydro? Looking to pair something with a Scourge Wizard, so the Hydro wouldn’t work well, but thought a Geo/Summon might?

  14. Glacial Guardian works pretty well as elf without Lone Wolf and Glass Cannon, if we will take Scoundrel 1 for Adrenaline and The Pawn.
    7 AP is enough to set things up, I think. Yes, you sometimes will need to skip totem summoning, but playing as non-GC variant is much safer.

  15. Thanks for testing this! I am still new to the game (only started playing with the definitive edition) and so tend to treat the wiki as god-speak.

  16. @ienkite I have just tested it to double check and I can confirm it does indeed restore Magic Armour with the Living Armour Talent. That comment is from over a year ago, so perhaps at that time it didn’t work with Living Armour, but it does now :)


  17. Thanks for this one… I enjoy Lohse’s character and personality but it’s tough to fit her in the party sometimes. I’ll make sure to put this to use after act one.

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