If you have just started playing Grim Dawn and are currently going through the first Act, moving through the Burrwitch Outskirts, chances are you will eventually have to decide between Duncan or Angrim.
If the fear of picking the wrong choice induces mild anxiety to you, as it does to me, fear no more and read on. I will explain the advantages of each smith and give you tips on deciding as well as a general answer.
Of the two, you will meet Duncan in the Burrwitch Outskirts first who will also tell you about Angrim. Talking to him will initiate the quest “Tale Of Two Blacksmiths” as Duncan tells you that his Master Angrim left the camp and took the forging hammer Malleum Menhir with him. Duncan will ask you to retrieve this hammer as it is required for him to make proper gear.
Duncan’s main forging skills are of the Arcane nature. He uses Arcane Forging to empower the crafted gear with one of the following stats:
- Increases Energy Regeneration by 8-16%
- +4-12 Defensive Ability
- +2-4% Physique
Additionally, you will be able to craft a few low-level Rare pieces:
- Adept’s Bladed Mace
- Glyphed Archive
- Double-Barrel Pistol
- Occult Horn
As the description already suggests, Arcane forging means that Duncan is more of a caster-friendly smith and as such, is more relevant for these types of builds.
As mentioned above, Angrim is the Master who has left to go towards the Burrwitch Outskirts and is seeking the Black Legion to become their armorer. He has the hammer that Duncan seeks and once you find him, you can decide on whether you take the hammer to bring it back to Duncan and thus have him as your smith in Devil’s Crossing, or if you choose Angrim instead.
You can either convince him to hand you the hammer peacefully or kill him for it depending on the dialogue options you pick.
Angrim’s main forging skill is the Practiced Skill. His crafted items have one of the following boons:
- 3-7% Pierce Resistance
- Increases Armor by 2-4%
- +2-4% Physique
Additionally, he will have the following low-level Rare items as crafting options
- Honed Longsword
- Brutal Great Axe
- Rotating Rifle
- Battle Shield
Angrim is the kind of smith that works best with physical builds like the Blitz Warlord Build. Additionally, he offers Pierce resistance which is quite useful in lategame because there are multiple situations where you might miss that last little bit on Pierce resistance. There probably aren’t a ton of situations where you would heavily rely on the crafted rares, but they can be an added bonus for your build if its physical.
Angrim or Duncan?
The short answer is: Pick Duncan if you lean towards a caster and pick Angrim if your build is more physical.
The long answer is a little bit more difficult but boils down to the choice actually not really mattering. You see, the way Grim Dawn works is that once you beat the whole story, you can start out at the beginning again, only in a higher difficulty (called Elite). This means you can take any choice you made before and just choose the different path this time. You can also switch between Norma, Elite and Ultimate difficulty effectively giving you access to both smiths if you really want to.
One more point, which probably might even weigh heavier is the fact that these two smiths are not the only smiths in the world of Grim Dawn and you will meet plenty of other blacksmiths who will give you other kinds of bonuses that often times are more impactful than the ones of Angrim or Duncan.
The XP choice
One other factor that you might consider whenever having to decide between Angrim and Duncan is if you favor a medium XP bonus over any other later smithing questions.
Once you finish the quest “Tale of Two Blacksmiths” you get a different amount of XP depending on who you side with on normal difficulty. While the amount is not gigantic, it can have a little bit of an impact and definitely be a deciding factor particularly if you do not need the blacksmith services in the near future. So if XP is all you care about, pick Duncan for the 450 XP bonus.
So while it does not actually matter in the end, it is good to know why exactly this is the case and how you can still derive some sort of value from choosing either Angrim or Duncan. Of course, there is also the RP element that is completely subjective and thus was not discussed in this guide. Ultimately, I urge you to simply try out both choices (which is applicable to all Grim Dawn quest choices) and simply see the difference for yourself, either with a new character or once you reach Elite difficulty.