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Blade Dancer - Shadow Cascade Build - 0.8.1c

Hello! My name is Reformed Donut, welcome to my Bladedancer guide for 0.8.1c. I stream semi-regularly on Twitch at Bladedancer is by far my favorite class because of its raw damage output, survivability, and mobility. I strongly believe that Bladedancer is one of the easiest classes to play for any new player, and a class that anyone can have fun with. Below I will outline the build that I used to reach rank 3 on the HC Solo ladder this patch, since the death of that character it has dropped to rank 5 at the time of writing.

This build takes Shadow Cascade and Bladedancer turning them into a hardcore viable critical strike machine that can clear wave 200+ in arena with gear close to the endgame setup below. Further into the guide you can find completed skill trees, passive trees, and links to 4 different LE planners to help gear your character and level your skills correctly as you go.


  • Decoy

    Decoy acts as one of our largest sources of defense, while also supplying us with utility in the form of haste, and damage in the form of critical strike multiplier when it explodes. This skill makes bossing a cakewalk as you have 6.6 seconds of free taunt on any boss.

  • Smoke Bomb

    Smoke Bomb serves a similar purpose to decoy, damage and utility, this skill also provides haste, but it also serves as a generator for Dusk Shrouds, which give us glancing blow chance along with dodge chance, shadow generation, as well as a physical damage steroid, and DOT protection. If you have the buff from synchronized strike up when this skill is up, which you always should, this skill will heal you for 290hp every second, through the shadow heal on creation.

  • Shift

    Shift is by far one of the best skills in this build. A 3.3 second CD dash which can be untargeted. Through our tree we also gain a debuff cleanse. Meaning we remove all stacks of negative ailments, slow, chill, ignite, etc… Every time we dash, while also having this skill be a 15% hp execute on any enemy.

  • Synchronized Strike

    We have 2 different trees for Synchronized Strike, this is because our endgame gear has the helmet mod +2 to level of Synchronized Strike, the first tree is the level 20 version, the second is the level 22. This skill serves as our main damage enabler, while also providing us with 200 bonus health every time we make a shadow within 4 seconds of using the skill. This skill also allows us to apply a debuff to enemies that drastically increases our chance to crit them while also shredding their armor.

  • Shadow Cascade

Shadow Cascade is the bread and butter of this build, with every other skill being built around enhancing its affects. Using this skill, either manually or through using Shift, will cause all of your shadows to repeat the skill, enabling you to hit extremely hard, extremely quickly, with Smoke Bomb and Synchronized Strike being used, you will be able to consistently one shot echo bosses, and dismantle timeline bosses in a matter of minutes. Our Shadow Cascade tree sacrifices attack speed for raw damage scaling, and crit chance/multi enabling us to hit over 50k crits without perfect gear.

  • Shurikens?

    As popularized in my eyes by the Boardman21 dancing strikes build, Shurikens has become a very popular defensive choice for Rouge’s through the blade shield part of the Shuriken tree. When compared to my Decoy tree I find that it has less defensive value, however it has 100% up time through a modified Shift tree that I have attached above. As for damage, Shurikens gives you physical resistance shred when in melee range, whereas decoy provides haste and crit multi. In my eyes if you decide that you want Shurikens over Decoy you should still not be barring the skill, meaning giving it a keybind to manually cast. The shift passive node sleight of hand will maintain 100% uptime of your blade shield and the extra slot on your hotbar allows you to use an unspecialized Decoy that will provide a 3 second boss taunt at the cost of more mana.


Without going extremely in depth about the passive trees, we prioritize grabbing all of the Glancing blow chance available to us. Along with shadow damage, crit, and dodge rating that we need to scale our defense and offense through the roof.

Unfortunately I do not have recorded videos or a YouTube video to attach to this post, I can say that 99% of gameplay is just shifting toward your echo objective and using synchronized strike with a manual shadow cascade or another shift activation whenever something crosses your path. This build feels really fluid and very tanky once you have your necessary damage and glancing blow chance, dodge rating will only further increase your survival and through the passive tree you will gain massive damage bonuses while on full life.

Level ~20
Bladedancer, Level 100 (LE Beta 0.8.1c) - Last Epoch Build Planner

level ~40
Bladedancer, Level 100 (LE Beta 0.8.1c) - Last Epoch Build Planner

level ~60
Bladedancer, Level 100 (LE Beta 0.8.1c) - Last Epoch Build Planner

level ~80
Bladedancer, Level 100 (LE Beta 0.8.1c) - Last Epoch Build Planner

~min max

These five links will provide skill and passive trees, along with some optional gear recommendations for each link. Use and edit these as you see fit.

Loot Filter
message (2).txt (9.7 KB)
This is a 10kb txt file which has the editable loot filter for this build. Enjoy!


  • Bladedancer
  • Shadow Cascade
  • Physical Damage Crit
  • HC Viable at Arena 200+

Ending Note
Thank you to anyone who made it this far, I am aware that this post is poorly formatted when compared to others on this site, and has a lot of text bricks. This was thrown together very abruptly at the request of some viewers from stream. I plan on making more guides in the future, that are hopefully better put together than this one. If you have questions about the build either reply to this post, drop a question in my twitch chat, or in the discord at (discord can also be gotten through twitch). Thank you again for checking out my build guide, I stream at thanks for the support! :slight_smile:


Hello, thanks for the build!
I’m new and have a few questions, would appreciate if you could help:

  1. Does “wave of darkness” under synchronised strikes help the build?
  2. Is dancing strikes useful at all here? to be used when out of mana or waiting for cooldowns
  3. How do you decide what rogue passives to choose? does this just come with playtesting and experience?
  4. Is the only way to generate shadows from synchronised strikes? I don’t see any other way to do it in my game
  5. Would like to create my own build one day - any advice on that? (e.g do I need at least 1 defensive skill on every build? How do I choose between passives?)

Thank you :slight_smile:

Hi Shalash thanks for checking out the build! To answer your questions one at a time…

  1. The “wave of darkness” (gonna abbreviate this as WOD) doesn’t really help us. WOD causes all existing shadows to use shadow cascade, with 15% increased area and we receive 25 ward per shadow consumed this way, however we lose 5 mana for each shadow consumed this way. The major issues with this node is that the ward gained will be gone after a couple seconds, and the biggest downside of this node is the mana cost. Without this node allocated whenever we use shadow cascade the Onslaught and Fight in the Shadows nodes on the shadow cascade tree will allow us to keep our mana pretty much full at all times except for some tanky bosses, allowing us to constantly use our Synchronized Strikes, Smoke Bomb, and Decoy without having to worry about our mana reaching zero. The only difference in actual gameplay feel between having WOD, and not having it is that after using Synchronized Strikes without WOD, we need to either use Shift or manually cast Shadow Cascade in order to consume our Shadows. So in short - WOD causes mana problems that can be otherwise avoided.

  2. Dancing Strikes isn’t a skill that is needed in this build, through the Onslaught and Fight in the Shadows nodes that I talked about above you will hardly ever have mana problems unless you are fighting against a timeline boss, or occasionally against Spymaster Zerrick and his block passive. If you follow my build and find that you are constantly running out of mana…

  • Use synchronized strikes before you cast shadow cascade

  • Shift activates your Shadow Cascades and also restores mana.

So in short - Dancing strikes not needed cause of mana sustain.

  1. My answer to your 3rd and 5th question are pretty similar, since I mainly play Hardcore most of my build are oriented on defenses, I would rather have my character do less damage, sacrificing clear speed for echoes, but gain the safety of extra defense. When it comes to all of my builds and build making in general my best tip would be to try and layer your defenses. What I mean by this is you need more than just one form of defense, dodge, hp, armor, etc. Because when you come across an enemy that has some counter or way to penetrate your one layer of defense you need to supplement with another layer if that makes sense. Taking a defensive skill is just reinforcing the idea of layered defense in order to stay alive longer. Now this doesn’t mean that I avoid all damage and just build a beat stick that can’t kill anything. In my opinion it’s a a lot about finding the right balance between offense and defense and for everyone that can be different, what works for me might not work for you, which is why experimentation and testing things is part of the process. The best way to get better at making builds is to just try out some ideas you have and see what works best. Dying is part of the process and while it sucks, dying is a really good way to evaluate what you need to differently both with how you pilot your character and what you build into. As for choosing passives, I usually try and invest my points into whatever defensive options I want to layer and then dump the rest into some damage nodes. Shifting passives around all the time is super fine and easy to do because of the respec system in this game.
    In short - Experiment and see what works for you - Every build can be improved and modified in a way that you like.

  2. This build has many different ways to generate shadows, 4 out of our 5 skills can be used for shadow generation. None of the ways we make shadows are particularly complicated so we can go through all of them.

  • Synchronized Strike - Activating this skill will give us 2 shadows, one on our left and right. This will also grant us 200% damage on all shadows we make in the next 4 seconds from the Foreshadowing node, and cause us to gain 200 additional hp for each shadow we create in the next 4 seconds from the Shadow Rush node, this effect is not limited to shadows made from synchronized strikes.

  • Our smoke bomb also causes us to create a shadow inside the smoke bomb once every second through the Umbral Assault node. It is important to note that while you do gain lots of buffs from fighting inside your smoke bomb, it is important to remember that sometimes you need to exit your smoke bomb so you do not “cage” yourself inside and die.

  • Shift causes us to create a shadow at the place we leave via the Lasting Presence node, however this shadow is instantly consumed at the end of our shift movement due to the Dancing Shadows node. The Dancing Shadows node causes all shadows that you have up to use Shadow Cascade , not just the one created through the Lasting Presence node.

  • Shadow Cascade also causes us to generate Shadows, however the creation is indirect, meaning we have no direct control over it. The Gloomstalker node on the Shadow Cascade tree gives us a 40% chance to create a shadow on kill with Shadow Cascade. We kill 99% of our enemies with Shadow Cascade due to the high damage output of the build. While we have an execute on Shift, it is mainly used for finishing bosses, smaller enemies will be mopped up very quickly from Shadow Cascade, and the damage of the actual Synchronized Strikes skill is very very low so the your chances of killing something with this skill are next to none.
    In short - we have lots of shadow creation from many sources.

I hope this answered your questions, this info is useful for anyone using this build so don’t be afraid to read it all. If you have any more questions feel free to ask away. If you haven’t joined the discord I would recommend it, or stop by a stream to see the build or something similar in action. Thanks again for your interest in my build, I hope these answers were satisfactory to what you were looking for. Have a good one -Donut :slight_smile:

Thank you Donut:)

Hello! Have u create a FIlter for this build ?

Yes, there is a loot filter attached in the post above it is the downloadable text file. Download the file and copy all to your clipboard, when looking at the filter screen in Last Epoch there should be an option to import from clipboard and it will auto make the filter for you. Hope that answered your question, sorry for the extremely late response. -Donut :slight_smile: