Endgame: bleed or shred (forge guard)?

I know this question is not optimal, so just give your ‘feels’.

For those of you that play Lvl100 sentinels, what ‘feels’ better - stacking bleed or armor shred?
I have an issue where bleed/shred affixes are competing too much with armor and need to decide on either bleed or armor shred. I’m using ‘Undisputed’ which is a bleed 1H axe, i might be able to hit 100% bleed chance (1 hit = 1 stack), with ~3o ias, in case of armor shred 100% shred on hit, both shred and bleed with 2 inc effectiveness affixes, maybe some duration… you know… pretty much the same numbers in terms of stacks/duration. Any ideas on what does better sustained dps at lvl100? I have a feeling i should stick to bleed, but im following a guide for 100 forgeguard that used undisputed and shred… My main damage skill is double riposte (single + talent). Your thoughts please!

i have probably the least experience with sentinels of all the available classes, and i’ve never bothered getting a character to level 100, but i can tell you that if you’re focusing on an ailment you will want WAY more than 100% chance for that ailment. every percent over 100% adds that much chance to apply a second stack, 200% guarantees 2 stacks, and so on. with a fast hitting ailment build 500%+ is probably a decent amount, but you can push it much higher with some investment.

armor shred will not help you at all if you’re scaling bleed damage, since it only affects hits. if you go for the bleed route, you would need to use physical resistance shred to make your bleeds more effective. the nice thing about a bleed build is that you can somewhat effectively scale both your hit damage and your bleed damage with mods like “% increased physical damage” but ultimately you need to choose one to focus on for the greatest effect. it’s also worth noting that more specific mods, like “% increased melee physical damage” or “% increased physical damage over time” can roll higher values, further incentivizing you to focus on one or the other.

if you’re aiming to scale hit damage, armor shred will help a lot as well as physical resistance shred, and bleed damage will mostly be “bonus damage” that can take care of stragglers while clearing. if the bleed-related skills for sentinel are anything like the ignite-related skills for mage (a class i have much more experience with), there are likely some nodes that will grant you increased/more hit damage against bleeding enemies.

i think either could be viable, and it mostly comes down to a preference of playstyle. DoTs can let you be more mobile, letting you get in close to apply a bunch of bleed stacks and then back off to dodge big hits while your damage keeps ticking. if you prefer to try to facetank everything, scaling hit damage and damage reduction is your best bet.

as an afterthought it just occurred to me that you may be looking at a guide from before the recent patch. in that case it should be noted that armor used to serve the function that physical resistance does currently. therefore it would have been a good combo with bleed damage. just wanted to mention that in case you’ve been steered wrong by outdated info.

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Your reply is chock-full packed with mechanics i had no idea about, thanks!

Where is this ‘physical resistance shred’ you are talking about? i cant find it: Search - Last Epoch Item Database
Do you mean Physical Penetration? If so, then all cool, but i only found 1 affix on an ammy.

I cant get 500 chance for 5 stacks… im building TANK first, dps second… but i get your point.

One more thing i forgot to ask and its very important - most my sustain comes from melee attack life leech… Maybe thats why the guide went armor shred instead of bleed? Does leech benefit from melee life leech? Feels like it shouldnt? In that case its already decided.

Actually it seems there are no such nodes for sentinel/its subclasses (searching for ‘bleed’ gave no results, well except one - for 2Handed, which i don’t use).

This is actually exactly what im doing. My IQ is around 69 so this is perfect build for me :crazy_face: (I CRASH BOOM BOOM braindead mode).

Regarding the ‘build from prev patch’ - this is correct, but it still used armor shred, which got buffed by the way the new defenses work now, so it should be better now (i checked a tiny bit).

So i think i need to go armor shred route… because … im using ‘melee damage leeched as health’ - correct?

Now, tell me about this ‘physical resistance shred’.

No you do not leech with bleed damage.

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that’s a mistake on my part. i only assumed that physical resistance shred existed as an affix because resistance shred was specifically mentioned in the patch notes. with the change to the resistance system, shred became a viable mechanic. the way it worked previously meant it had virtually no impact on late-game mobs.

all types of shred have always been difficult stats to get in the game, so phys resistance shred probably doesn’t exist as an affix shard. if you can get it, it will likely be in the form of a node on an active skill’s tree or on the passive skill tree. phys penetration helps scale hit damage, while shred would scale both hit and bleed damage. penetration is a similarly difficult stat to get. i’m pretty sure it can only roll on amulets as far as gear goes, but there may be some nodes that grant it. again, i don’t play sentinel much and have never tried a bleed build so i’m not sure about that last part.

there are a few different life leech mods in the game, with subtly different effects. melee life leech will only leech damage dealt by melee skills, as the name suggests. generic life leech that doesn’t specify “melee” or “on hit” can leech via any source of damage, including DoT.

i had to look up Undisputed, because i’d kind of forgot what it did aside from being a meme reference to a zizaran clip. it seems like a very strong axe, and it has a few interesting mods. its life leech only applies to “overkill damage” which means any amount over the amount needed to kill the creature… overall a very weak form of leech. it can be pretty strong while clearing since you’re killing things in droves, but against bosses it’s completely useless since it won’t apply until the fight is over. as long as you have some other form of leech on the build, it should be fine, but if that’s your only source it won’t.

i also noticed that it has a mod similar to the idea i mentioned in my earlier post: 10% inc phys dmg for each recent melee hit against a bleeding enemy (up to 200%). that is an extremely strong mod. you will get the maximum increased damage from it most of the time since you’ll be hitting things constantly while clearing. it may not reach the cap on bosses, depending on how you play it, but it will still be a significant boost. due to the strength of that mod, i’d say you’re much better off just trying to scale your hit damage and ignoring bleed beyond making sure you have at least 100% chance.

i’m not sure if shred has an impact on leech, since it effects enemy “damage taken” instead of directly boosting the damage you deal. however, i’m not entirely clear on how the leech mechanic works in the game, aside from what’s stated on the wiki. it seems like it shouldn’t have an effect but i could be wrong.

edit: armor shred will do just fine! if you can find a source of phys resist shred, it’s also worth getting, but no need to go out of your way for it.

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Ye that 1H axe has really high melee phys damage mods also, so thats good with shred, but i was thinking exactly about the inherent bleed mod… should i build around it. Alas this tank wont be able to go full bleed with attack speed and all, just no space. So ill use your suggestion to use it simply as an additional damage source. Was contemplating of using +change bleed in idols for that 100% bleed is worthwhile, but it competes with the 'increased damage with vengeance’ idols that i use, and there simply is no space for going 100% chance bleed if i choose vengeance damage… and no sense in topping bleed chance if i don’t go full bleed (i guess). So i’ll drop bleed altogether. sad about not using the axe fully, but its still best 1H damage-vise that i can use.

Your suggestion on looking for more passive skill nodes made me double check and find an additional 16% phys pen/+32% phys dmg node (8/8) in paladin, which i should prob take!

You can leech from bleed damage, as long as the leech isn’t melee/spell leech or leech on hit. General leech (like you get from Rive’s 3rd hit with the Assassin’s Sustenance node) will leech DoTs.


All right thanks. It would be nice to have way to test leech, like with d2 when you hit something and get the swirl effect). I only use vengeance and the sustain is melee leech from void knight’s ‘world eater’ (12% melee leech).


You kinda can if you have one of the uniques that gives you ward per second & life drain.

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