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Torchlight III - Guide to Melee Brawler Forged

Written by Mckuden   /   Jun 25, 2020    

This is your way to endgame.

How to Melee Brawler Forged


Stats follow this rule: defense>health>fire/poison defense>critical damage>damage


Most of the damage you are going to be mitigating is basic attacks and charges, and having a lot of mobs on top of you most of the time, means a lot of damage. You need to cut it out in order to have enough time to dish out your melee damage.


Boosting your health is a good way to enhance your heals. Most of the healings sources like pots or augmented Power Projection heals with a %health base. If you keep your defense and health stats high, you can withstand most encounters with no risk at all.

Magic Defense

Most of the damage of this source can easily be avoided with enough awareness, no need to invest on this stat. For example Blazing, this is a very annoying elite trait at first, but if you engage the mob while the trail is active and disengage when it is off, you can wait 2 or 3 seconds away to see where the next trails go, and then you engage again. You will have to repeat this max 2 times for very hard mobs.

Critical Damage

This build dish some absurd amounts of criticals, so if u want to increase your damage, +critical damage is way better than plain damage or +critical chance.


Go for +brawl skill damage on chest cannon, or just damage that enhance your main hand weapon damage.

Also, try to keep always your block chance around 40%. I would say, 5% block chance beats 5% damage reduction always. 

At fresh lvl 60, it should looks something like this:


Theres nothing special for this, just follow the stats chain to see if you need to change a equipment or not. On Torchlight you can get very different gear from one run to another, so theres no point in saying, get this or get that.

Anyhow, some considerations:

  • You need to use a 1 handed weapon and shield, no getting around this. First, there’s no reason to use a 2 handed when you can have a 1 handed with the same damage and 40% block chance. Rapid Strike will hit the same if 2 weapons have the same damage, theres no difference if it is a 2h or 1h.
  • Legendary items are not always the best choice; look always for most damage and/or shock proc on weapon and stat chain on the rest. Obviously Mountain King set is a exception to this rule; it is designed to go with a melee building, and its procs are absolutly amazing, just dont equip the legs (which gives you 25 heat each time you vent), it would just give you a dps drop, because you will reach critical heat before the VVB cooldown is finished.
  • Chest cannons currently are worthless for this build. The best stat you can get out of em is health on kill. This build would use the legendary cannon that proc an explosive nova for 400% weapon damage everytime you VVB, but I didnt get it yet. Kudos on you if you did.
  • Get a 1h that have shock procs. If I feel my weapon is behind the damage I should be doing, I just gamble until I get one. Shock procs on +30% and +critical damage it’s the best outcome you can get. Even if you have a weapon with more damage, go for the one with shock proc.
  • An alternative to a shock proc weapon, is a freeze proc weapon. On this patch, relic come with a skill that let you shock with a very small chance (8% with this build), but with the amount of hits we give per second, is enough if we want to rely on it for our lighting strike procs. Your aoe damage will go down drastically, but freezing enemies is insanely powerful on mobs besides bosses (which cannot be frozen). 


All brawler tree skills, no need to get ballistic ones. Brawler skills when augmented, usually gives you bonuses for the rest of your skills, like rapid strike in tier 3 gives you +% brawler skills damage, Power Projection gives you a 1sec invulnerability on cast and a heal over time effect, etc.

Your skill set is something like above.

This right here is your bread and butter. It hits for around half your weapon damage and hits four times in row at insane speed. This build was made around this skill, effects with small chance of procs get dish out just like that, by sheer brute force. Cyclone is a choice most people do, but for me, it generates way too much heat even when augmented (it reduces the heat produces in 30). This skills not only let yours procs go dry, but also have a nice synergy with Vent:Vortex Bomb, almost always when you are done getting enough heat, the vent is already out of cd. Is worth mention that it have a nice area of effect, even hitting enemies behind you. Its only downside compared to cyclone mode is that we cannot move, so certain mobs can punish us for that, like chargers (netherim are probably the most annoying ones, due to their crazy hitboxes), bombers and probably the most painful, spiders. Spider create a pool of magic damage when their missiles hit you, so you go from no damage, to have 8 pools on magic damage at your feets. When dealing with spiders, move alot and keep an eye on your health bar.

Best Vent for this build, it hits around you and boost your defense. It hits like a truck, and also very useful to get mobs out of area of effects like nether well or burning ground if u cannot tank the dot effect. It double your defense after venting, give you a passive melee damage reduction, and fully upgraded hits for almost 700% 5 times... oof, the pain train.

Another core skills, let you stay engaged way longer. It gives a %defense bonus, heal over time and invulnerability effect on cast. Time it well, either for staying in combat longer, as heal over time when disengaging or to mitigate a burst. Mobs have to hit you through this skill, your 40% block chance and the constant heal. You can get low on health, but is more rng than anything.

Save this as your utility skill, dont take it for the damage, use it to rush a fleeing mob, change position, or flee when low on health/out of defensive cds.And just like VVB, you can use to push mobs out of area of effects too. Upgrade it to tier 2 to get the + relic skill damage.

No use for this skills, they deal way less damage, and the whole point of this build is dishing procs with RR. Level it to get the tier 2 bonus (10% brawl skill critical chance).

It increased the damage mobs take by 40%, hmmmmm so good and tasty. Use it before venting for extra spicyness. The tier 1 bonus is a small 1 seg stun on cast, which give you a small window to vent without being interrupted.


To understand why electrode is such a good choice for melee build we have to understand the relic subclasses. Each of the relics is based on one type of the games procs, Blooddrinker is based on the bleed proc, Flaming Destroyer on the burn proc, and so on...

Electrode is based on the shock proc... so basically, why shock over the other procs?, well, shock make the mob shocked to release a group of damaging bolts around it which not only damage, but shock its new target, making it release more bolts... Its insane! The best part is that this mechanic in inherent of this proc, no %on mob kill, no %onhit, nothing... its how it works, and thats the reason behind its power.

As a melee build, we lack the range or reach of ranged build, but electrodes literally negate this downside and gives you ridiculous amount of aoe damage. You will mow down packs of mobs without even aiming at them, and the more there it is, like more advanced farseer dungeons, the more damage its produced... remember mobs can be hit by several shock bolts.

Oh, and if that is not enough, procs (like lighting strike) can be produced on hit with shock bolts... wew lad.

Your relic skill tree should look something like this:

Localized Storm

The main skill you are gonna take with this build, this is your "ok, im done here" button. We only take this active skill from the relic because it drains your relic power, so the more it have to its disposition, the more damage it would do, and it does a ridiculous amounts of it. And more importantly, it gives a 25%damage and 10% speed buff aslong as it is active, so the more time is active the better.

Its produces lightings which strike random mobs around you for 400% damage every second... but... fully upgrade:

  • It strikes more quickly.
  • It strikes twice.
  • Have 25% reduced relic energy cost.

I know relic skills are usually seen as powerful, this one right here... is insane.

Tingling Sensation

A passive that lets you shock mobs with a %onhit and make shocked mobs produce extra shock bolts (2 more at lvl 5). Its good for leveling, if you cannot find a good weapon with shock proc, or if you want to swap to another proc (only freezing is worth taking over shock imo).

Lighting Barrier

It doesnt cost any relic power, thats good. It gives you +block chance, and you release shock bolts as long as it is active. Good if you havent reach the hard cap of block chance (40%). With tier 2 you can pass through mobs while it is active, and you have 50% extra duration.

Lighting Strike

10% to call down a lighting strike on shocked enemy on hit, dealing 100% damage. This proc is dish just like that with Rapid Strike, and if that isnt enough for you, it can be triggered by shock bolts.

Pet Skill

Pet skill choice is very rng, it depends if you have unlocked all of them yet. I havent.

Still, the only choice you have to make really are on auras, the pet doesnt make enough damage to worth looking at its damage skills.

I change aura depending on my current stats:

  • If my block chance is around 30%, go block chance aura.
  • If defense mitigation is under 35% go defense boost aura.
  • If both defense mitigation and block chance are above 35%, go critical chance aura.

I have, besides aura, poison cloud, damage buff (when the pet active it at the same time with localized storm... phew, things go bananas... he, got it? because the icon is a gorilla, and bananas is wha- ... forget it.) and healing.

Who said Chakawary isnt best curvy bois friends?.


Just like pet skills, my choices arent based on the full list of possibles legendariums skills to pick from, a lot of rng, but unlike pet skills, heres a lot of farm and luck to overcome to get the choices you want.

My legendariums basically aims to burst the heck out of elites once I activate localized storm and use VVB. Im basically 2-shot'ng mapworks bosses.

If u dont have em yet, anything that powers your ventings are good, or just some procs on attacks legendarium, like wideload carver, are good too.

Written by Mckuden.