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[In Depth] Bladedancer Poison Shurikens Build Guide | Endgame viable | Beginner friendly ( 0.8D)

I first created this build on Beta patch 0.8D
I’ll make sure to come back to the Guide after Patches and update it accordingly.
I will note Changes up here.


About me

My Background in ARPGs originates in Diablo. I later played some Grim Dawn and a tiny bit of Torchlight. But the most time (nearly 2k hours) were spent in Path of Exile (PoE).

I rarely come up with own builds, but rather take on preexisting Builds and tweak them to my liking and play-style. After returning to Last Epoch on Patch 0.8D in between PoE Seasons I found myself enjoying it much more then at the start of the Beta. So I decided to try and write up my first Build Guide to see where that takes me.


About the Build Idea

This is by no means my creation and I don’t want to take any credit for “inventing” or “discovering” this build.
Normally when I want to play something specific (in this case something with Poison & Shurikens) I look for inspiration in other guides and videos and follow them to a certain degree. At some point I try to reevaluate and make some changes to better suit my play-style and my preferences.
For this build I took the Poison Bladedancer Guide from StefTheDude and played it as is until around level 60. At that point I started experimenting with different Skill Setups and made some adjustments in the passive trees and all the specializations.


Pros and Cons

Pros

- Insane Boss Damage
- Decent Mobility, Movement Speed, Hit & Run
- Multi Layered Defenses (Great Healing from multiple sources, capped resistances, 100% crit avoidance, Dodge & Chance to receive a "Glancing Blow")

Cons

- Weaker Defense while not hitting
- "Dont' get hit"-Playstyle. You have to actively dodge
- Low Lifepool

How does Poison work in Last Epoch?


Poison has his own Damage Type which is dealt over 3 Seconds and can stack indefinitely. Additionally, Poison lowers the Resistances of affected enemies. Each stack decreases enemy poison resistance by 5% (2% for bosses and players). So the more stacks the Target has the lower Resist it has and the more Damage they take from Poison.
The following Section explains most Interactions and focuses on Mechanics which can be counter-intuitive for some people coming from other games in the Genre.

Poison Chance explained

Poison Chance can, same as Poison itself, stacked indefinitely.
Each Percent over 100% gives a Chance to apply more Poison Stacks at once.
Example:
Your Poison Chance is 534%
That guarantees the application of 5 Poison Stacks with your Attack (or Spell) and gives you another 34% Chance to apply a 6th Stack.


Which modifiers work with Poison and which do not

Poison Damage CAN be increased by the following Modifiers:

  • “Increased Poison Damage”
  • “Increased Damage over Time”
  • “Increased Damage”
  • Scaling with the Attribute that buffs the Skill that applies it:
    In our case Dex, since Shurikens are Dex based
    Any non-hit Damage Modifiers in the Skill Tree (e.g. “Chakram” = 30% more damage)

Poison Damage CAN further be enhanced by the following Modifiers:

  • “Increased Poison Duration”
  • “Damage Leeched as Health”
  • “Poison Chance per Equipped Dagger”

Poison CAN’T interact with the following Mechanics and Modifiers:

  • Anything with Critical Strikes - Poison Ticks can’t critical strike
  • “Chance to X on hit” - Poison Ticks do not count as hits
  • Throwing (Attack) Damage, Melee Damage, Spell Damage, Bow Damage and of course every other Damage Mod from the other Damage Types such as Elemental Damage, Void Damage and so forth.

We can use some other Modifiers to great effect to enhance our Poison-applying Attack, which is Shurikens in our case.
“Chance to Poison on Hit”, “Poison Chance per Equipped Dagger” & " Throwing Attack Speed"
are going to be our best friends.
Modifiers we are not using contain for example " Throwing Attack Damage", “Added Damage with Shurikens” and so on, since they only buff our Attack, which is only there to apply Poison stacks and not as a way to deal Damage.


Basic Play style


This is pretty straight forward: You use all your Skills on Cooldown and keeping Shurikens up while trying to dodge Enemy Skills and everything around you dies from your Poison.

Well, maybe there is a bit more to it, but not much to be honest.

While doing Arena Runs or Monolith Timelines you try to use Shift on Cooldown to jump straight into enemies and triggering a Poison Flask Drop. Then you only stop to attack Enemies for a short amount of time with your Shurikens before moving on and letting the Poison Ticks do the Job for you.
Versus large Groups of Enemies or Rares you use your Smoke Bomb and Decoys to strengthen your defenses.
Versus Bosses you setup your Decoys and Smoke Bomb and throw a Poison Flask at them. Then you attack as long as possible until you have to shift away to dodge telegraphed Skills.
Rinse and repeat until they’re done. Shouldn’t take long normally.

The mechanics and reasoning behind it explained in are “Skills and Specializations”.


Skills and Specializations


Usage & Specializations

Shurikens

Our Main Skill is used to apply as many Poison Stacks as possible. We aim to improve the Skill trough stacking Poison Chance, (Throwing) Attack Speed and more Projectiles.

Shurikens Skill Tree

Must have (maxed) Skill Points:
“Blade Shield” --> Makes the Shurikens circle around you to stack poison
“Fan of Blades” and “Thin Shurikens” --> More Shurikens per Cast --> More Poison Stacks
“Scintillant Steel” --> Needed to keep the Skill (Together Ring Prefixes) at Zero Mana
“Abrasive Arsenal” --> Good Damage Boost and great Synergy with Acid Flask & Smoke Bomb

Between “Alacrity”, “Ethereal Blades” & “Toxic Tips” you can invest to your liking. I don’t think going for other Points is worth.

Acid Flask

One of our most important Skills. We don't use it that often but rather trigger it with Shift and Decoy and benefit from it's Buffs and Debuffs. You always want to be standing in a Poison Pool created by Acid Flask when attacking.

Acid Flask Skill Tree

Must have (maxed) Skill Points:
“Contamination” --> Main Reason to play the Skill, huge Damage Boost through Resistance Shred
“Poison Pools” and “Hydrochloric Acid” --> Helps with our Goal to stack Poison Chance (+100%)

You can invest your remaining Points as you like, multiple good stuff to get.

Shift

Our Movement Skill. Gives us a way to travel faster and provides us with much needed Dodge Chance and some Healing..

Shift Skill Tree

Must have (maxed) Skill Points:
“Parting-” & “Arrival Gift” --> You drop an Acid Flask when you shift into Enemies, big QoL
“Momentum” --> Additional Movement Speed after Cast, QoL and Synergy with Agility

You can invest your remaining points as you like, there are other viable options. I went for the Healing Route.

Decoy

Utility Skill. It taunts nearby Enemies while providing some additional Damage.

Decoy Skill Tree

Must have (maxed) Skill Points:
“Acid Fumes” --> Decoy is originally a Fire Skill, so we want to convert Ignite into Poison and Explosions into Acid Flasks

You can invest your remaining points as you like. For example could you go for the additional Charge in “Backup Buddy” instead of the “Grand Diversion” Route.

Smoke Bomb

Defensive Skill. Blinds enemies and gives us Dodge Chance , Movement Speed & a Chance to get Dusk Shrouds. Debuffs Enemies with our Specialization on top of that.

Smoke Bomb Skill Tree

Must have (maxed) Skill Points:
“Shrouded in Darkness” & “Rapid Concealment”–> I run Smoke Bomb mainly for the added Defenses in the form of Dusk Shrouds and added Dodge Chance
“Lingering Fumes”–> For maximal Uptime

You can invest your remaining points as you like. I went for even more Resistance Shred.

Special Mention:
“Concealed in Carnage” --> The value you get for 1 Skill Point is pretty high here. Up to 15% reduced Damage over Time taken and with “Crimson Shrouds” another Source for “Cloaked Reaper” in the Bladedancer Passives.
For reference: On point invested in “Crimson Shroud” in the Passive Tree gives you 8% Chance to receive a Shroud, where you are guaranteed to get one on kill here.


Passives & Leveling Trees


Rogue & Bladedancer Final Trees (LvL 90)

I finish the Trees at LvL 90 to set a reachable Goal. If you enjoy the Build that much that you are going for LvL 100 you will know it inside and out at that point and are able to figure out where to put your remaining Points :wink:

The Reasoning in speccing into some notable Passives:

Swift Assassin
The Attack Speed let’s you cast more Shurikens which results in faster Poison stacking.
For reference: The 24% Attack Speed this gives are equal to a T6 Affix on an Item.
You can always go for “Steady Hand” or “Guile” instead, if you want to aim for more defensive options. Plus the additional Physical Damage helps us in the leveling process, before you can solely rely on poison, just as a little Bonus.


Twin Blade
Essential Passive to take and to equip 2 Daggers!
Enables the Passives “Blood Serpent’s Blades” & "Weapons of Choice in the Blademaster Tree and the Affixes “Poison Damage per equipped Dagger” on the Helmet and the Idols.


Agility
Nice QoL with the Haste on Hit Chance. But more importantly a huge damage boost.
We realistically can run double Movement Speed Boots with Implicit at 13% and T4 Suffix at 19% (you theoretically can go higher up to 30% with T7) and 2 Silver Rings with 8% each. This equals 50% Movement Speed which gives us 75% increased overall damage.
This is not counting the additional movement speed bonuses from “Agility” and “Shift”.


Shroud of Dusk, Argent Veil and Cloaked Reaper
Together with the Specialization Point “Concealed in Carnage” in Smoke Bomb we can get all available Shrouds with “Shroud of Dusk” and “Argent Veil” . Those all power up “Cloaked Reaper” which provides us with nice Healing versus Trash and Bosses alike.
The Dusk Shrouds are most important so we max them and additionally invest in them in the Smoke Bomb Specialization.


The Rest of the passives are all pretty straight forward and increase our Damage or strengthen our Defenses. For Defenses we aim for Dodge Chance, multiple Sources of Healing and Chance to receive a “Glancing Blow” (Glancing Blows deal 35% less Damage).


Leveling Trees (LvL 1 - LvL 80)
Explanations (Recommended to read first)

If you want to level with this build to already get a feeling for it during the story and don’t want to respec your Passives and Skill Specializations afterwards, here are some Passive Progressions I recommend. You can level with this setup pretty smoothly in my opinion, but you always have the option to go with some other Skill like Flurry for the Story.

I divide the Leveling Section in spent Passives rather than which Level your Character is at that Point. The Reasoning behind this is that some Quests give Passive Points as a reward and you can have a different amount of Points depending on which quests you do at which time.
With this Overview you should be able to quickly grasp where you are at any moment and what your next steps are.

The Leveling Trees are designed in a way that should make your leveling smoother while taking Key Passives and skipping other which become more effective in the later stages of the game.

These Progression Suggestions are made without the need to respec. You can always go to “Chronomancer Lerinne” and take some Points out of the Rogue Tree to sooner gain access to important Passives such as “Blood Serpent’s Blade” & “Weapons of Choice”.

Explanations of some Passives and our Reasoning in taking them is found in the Section above: “Rogue & Bladedancer Final Trees (LvL 90)”


10 points

25 points

Around this Time is when you get Access to your Mastery - Bladedancer, after the Quest “The Power of Mastery” at the beginning of Chapter 4.

40 points

55 points

No Changes in the Rogue Tree

70 points

No Changes in the Rogue Tree

93 points - LvL 80 with all Passive Points from Quests (0.8D)


Gear


Gear Examples

Craftable early Endgame Gear - Only T4 Affixes

  • (Over)capped Resistances with crafted Set Resistances.
  • 100% Critical Strike Avoidance through the Body Armour.
  • Only T4 Affixes, so good craftable.
  • Daggers only have the important Affixes.
  • Supported by non-empowered Blessings to help cap the Resistances.

Endgame Example without Unique Body Armour

  • (Over)capped Resistances with crafted Set Resistances.
  • 100% Critical Strike Avoidance through Affixes
  • T5 Affixes and some Exalted Items to alleviate some pressure on other Gear.
  • Dagger Affixes are full.
  • Supported by empowered Blessings to get the higher Leechrate & Elemental Resistances.

You should opt to get capped Resistances as soon as possible and also work towards 100% Critical Strike Avoidance. I went for all 3 Set Resistances and the Unique Body Armour “Woven Flesh” to reach those Goals. The Rest of the affixes can be either invested in additional Defenses like Dodge Rating, (Hybrid) Health or Armour. Or you can aim to get more offensive Stats on other pieces than your Daggers in Affixes like “Damage over Time” or “Throwing Attack Speed”.

How you reach the Resistance Cap and Crit Strike Avoidance Cap is totally up to you and can also be achieved through Single Resistances and is influenced largely by fitting Exalted Drops.

Below are desired Bases and options for every Slot of Equipment shown and explained:

Weapons

Desired Base

Implicit that matters and should be as high as possible: "Chance to Poison on Hit"

Desired Prefixes

  • Increased Poison Damage
  • Increased Damage over Time

Desired Suffixes

  • Increased Poison Damage
  • Free Slot, Suggestions:
    Chance To Shred Armour on Hit, Chance to Slow on Hit, Chance to Chill on hit

Amulet

Best in Slot

Provides the Affix "Damage Leeched as Health" which is the only way to leech off our Poison damage and is pretty rarely found elsewhere.

This Amulet can be obtained by Gambling a “Jade Amulet” at “Artem the Gambler” and is otherwise a Random Drop. (Gambling at your own Risk, the odds aren’t in your favor :wink: )

Implicit that matters and should be as high as possible: “Increased Throwing Attack Speed”

Craftable Rare Alternatives

Implicit that matters and should be as high as possible: "Increased Throwing Attack Speed"


Implicit that matters and should be as high as possible: Both

Desired Prefixes

  • Damage over Time
  • Healing Effectiveness
  • Set Resistances

Desired Suffixes

  • Resistances
  • Armour
  • Dodge Rating
  • Health

Rings

Desired Base

Additional Movement Speed is always a QoL improvement and has Synergy with "Agility" in the Rogue Skill Tree in our Case. "Gold Rings" are a good Alternative for early game or when you need more Elemental Resistances.

!Must Have Prefix!

  • Throwing Attack Damage and Mana Cost
    We need this Prefix on both of our Rings to be able to cast our Shurikens for free (together with “Scintillant Steel” in the Specialization) to interact with “Sapping Strikes” in the Rogue Passive Tree and to never have any Mana Problems at all.
    T1 on the Prefix is enough on both Rings.

Desired Prefixes

  • Damage over Time
  • Poison Damage
  • Throwing Attack Speed
  • Set Resistances

Desired Suffixes

  • Resistances
  • Armour
  • Dodge Rating
  • Health
  • Critical Strike Avoidance (If playing without the Unique Body Armour “Woven Flesh”

Relic

Desired Base

None of the Bases stand out particularly and don't offer great value. You can go for "Warding Tome", "Stained Tome" or even "Splintered Haft"

Desired Prefixes

  • Damage over Time
  • Set Resistances

Desired Suffixes

  • Resistances
  • Armour
  • Health

Helmet

Desired Base

Before reaching LvL 63 the Alternative is the "Verdant Hood" Base which has the same Implicit with lower Rolls.

Desired Prefixes

  • Set Resistances

Desired Suffixes

  • Increased Poison Duration
  • Increased damage while wielding a Dagger

Body Armour

Best in Slot Early

The Body Armour is outright amazing. Is gives us 100% Critical Strike Avoidance for which we would otherwise need to spend at least 3 Affix Slots on other Items. The Additional Leech and and increased Leech Rate have great Synergy with our Amulet and other Healing Abilities.

If that wasn’t good enough, you can farm the Body Armour since it drops pretty consistently from the 3rd Boss “The Abomination” of your very first Monolith Timeline “Fall of the Outcasts” at LvL 55.

The Body Armour doesn’t need to be replaced at all in my opinion and it is pretty hard to do so.
If you want to replace it, make sure to get you 100% Critical Strike Avoidance from elsewhere, as before mentioned. You can go for a “Scalebane Armour” or “Brigandine Armour” as a Base for Crafting.

Desired Prefixes

  • Armour
  • Dodge Rating

Desired Suffixes

  • Resistances
  • Increased damage while wielding a Dagger
  • Chance to gain Dusk Shroud When Hit
Belt

Desired Base

None of the Bases stand out particularly and don't offer great value. You can go for "Bronze Belt" or "Ranger's Belt" in the Endgame and use "Plated Belt" before.

Desired Prefixes

  • Set Resistances
  • Dodge Rating
  • Armour

Desired Suffixes

  • Resistances
  • (Hybrid) Health
  • Critical Strike Avoidance (If playing without the Unique Body Armour “Woven Flesh”

Early Game Unique Option

Provides good Damage and Dodge Rating while Leveling but has to be replaced later, since you need the Space for better Affixes.

Gloves

Best in Slot

Provides up to 130% Poison Chance and +2 Projectile with Shuriken which is a huge Damage boost together. On top of that you get some Armour and Physical Resistances in the Implicit.

These Gloves can be obtained by Gambling a “Engraved Gauntlets” at “Artem the Gambler” and is otherwise a Random Drop. (Gambling at your own Risk, the odds aren’t in your favor :wink: )

Craftable Rare Alternatives

Same Base "Engraved Gauntlets", just not the Unique Version.

Desired Prefixes

  • Throwing Attack Speed
  • Chance to Apply Frailty on Hit
  • Set Resistances

Desired Suffixes

  • Resistances
  • Armour
  • Dodge Rating
  • Critical Strike Avoidance (If playing without the Unique Body Armour “Woven Flesh”
  • (Hybrid) Health

Early Game Unique Option

Provides decent Damage while you can’t just yet only rely on your Poison and are relying on you Throwing Attack Damage from the Shurikens. Plus added Dodge Rating and a random Axe that flies out of you and hits Enemies.

Boots

Desired Base

None of the Bases stand out particularly. If you want the highest amount of Armour you can go for "Solarum Greaves", if you want reduced Duration of Stuns received you aim to craft with "Shrine Boots". Apart from that you can get every Base that has the Implicit with the high Movement Speed Roll (10-13%, starting at LvL 23).

Desired Prefixes

  • Set Resistances
  • Armour
  • Dodge Rating

Desired Suffixes

*Movement Speed

  • Critical Strike Avoidance (If playing without the Unique Body Armour “Woven Flesh”
  • (Hybrid) Health
  • Resistances


Idols & Blessings


Idols

Best in Slot for Damage is 4 of those:


The important Stat is the Prefix “Poison Chance per Equipped Dagger” which can give up to 140% Poison Chance with 4 Idols. The Suffix is just a very nice Bonus on top of that.

Until you have 4 of those or if you only want to run 3 you can fill the rest of the Slots with missing Resistances, Poison Damage, Damage over Time or smaller Poison Chance Idols.

Some Examples for decent Idol Alternatives:


Blessings

Fall of the Outcasts (LvL 55)

Should help you get your Poison Chance Idols.

“Mark of Agony” 30% to 50% Increased Adorned Idol Drop Rate

The Black Sun (LvL 68)

“Thirst of the Sun” has great Synergy with our Amulet. The others are decent Alternatives.

“Thirst of the Sun” 20% to 30% Increased Leech Rate
“Memory of Light” +(30 to 42) Health
“Echo of Solarum” +(10% to 14%) Physical and Void Resistance
“Shadow of the Eclipse” +(40 to 60) Dodge Rating

Ending the Storm (LvL 80)

Helps with getting capped Resistances.

“Bastion of Divinity” +(10% to 14%) Elemental Resistance

Reign of Dragons (LvL 100)

“Taste of Venom” is superior.

“Taste of Venom” +(40% to 80%) Chance to Poison on Hit
“Binds of Nature” +(50% to 80%) increased Poison Damage

The Stolen Lance (LvL 62), Blood, Frost, and Death (LvL 75) & Fall of the Empire (LvL 90)

Those only affect Item/Shard Drop Rates. Just get whatever you want or need.


My Item Filter


Explanations - Read before Use
  • Recolor Red --> Highlights Chitin Dagger & Scalebane Grimace so I can get Bases with (near) max Roll to craft with.
  • Recolor Orange --> Highlights Adorned Idols with the desired Affixes.
  • Recolor Yellow --> Highlights Items with rare Affixes to get Shards with “Rune of Shattering”.
  • Recolor Pink --> Highlights Items with T4+ Set Resistances Prefixes to craft with or to get Shards with “Rune of Shattering”.
  • Recolor Green --> Highlights Items with T4+ to several Poison and DoT Affixes to craft with or to get Shards with “Rune of Shattering”.

The Rest of the Rules hides some Stuff I personally do not want to see at the moment, such as Gear for other Classes or Weapons that aren’t Daggers while still showing all Uniques / Set- & Exalted Items. The “Hide 9 Types of Idols” Rule is there to hide all Idols i did not specifically marked to be shown above.

I am especially content with the recoloring of Item Bases and Affixes i need for Crafting.
I keep a stash Tab where I can just throw them in so I later can shatter them in Bulk when I want to make a crafting Session and have Bases ready.

A lot comes down to personal Preference. So feel free to deactivate some Rules or play around with it.

Use at your own Risk!
Poison Shurikens Late Game.xml (8.1 KB)



Feedback

This Is my first attempt to do a Build Guide.
So any constructive feedback concerning the Build or the Guide itself is highly appreciated.

Happy Poisoning!



Sources

Skill Trees, Images and some Icons are Ingame Screenshots.
Blessing Descriptions, Affix Stats, Item Base Pictures and other Icons are from lastepoch.tunklab.com.

4 Likes

I’ve been wanting to play a poison build, but have been putting it off because I’m expecting a massive nerf after Boardman21’s 11 mil poison shenanigans. :sweat_smile:

Your guide’s convinced me to give it a shot anyway. Love the format and the detailed explanations of choices and mechanics.

Thanks for the guide! :sparkling_heart:

1 Like

Excellent guide! However it’s missing a few points about poison (and ailment damage in general) scaling.

Ailments also scale with the attribute that buffs the skill that applied them. So if they were applied by Shurikens they’d also get 4% increased damage per point of Dex.

Any non-hit damage modifiers on the skill tree will also be inherited by poison, such as Chakram (30% more damage).

Additionally, poison has a 5% (2% versus bosses and players) reduced poison resistance per stack affect, so the more stacks the target has the lower resist it has and the more damage they take from poison.

1 Like

Thank you very much for your feedback.

I wasn’t quite sure how Dex interacts with it and couldn’t figure it our through testing.
Same goes for Added non-hit damage in the Tree, quite interesting.

Forgetting to mention the poison resistance debuff it applies is quite is a mishap. It was quite late when I was adding the finishing touches. :sweat_smile:

I will add your additions in the poison section, thanks for the correction, much appreciated!

very well written guide! @GiantPinkCupcake welcome back to LE :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
thanks for linking my guide.

1 Like