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Is low-life lich a good idea? [new player]

Level ~40 Lich (1st character). I found an Exsanguinous and so leveled “Dance with Death” passive and stacked some INT for ward. Now have more ward than health, seems fun. Focusing on Necrotic damage with Spirit Plague, with a Golem to tank for me. Was excited for death seal - but now realize it not only seals your health it ALSO seals your ward (does say it removes ward, doesn’t say it seals it but I get the idea). So seems hard to use this ability with a low-life build, and it makes reaper form not really usable. So… is low-life something I should keep trying to make work or is a more usable death seal and reaper form just much better?

First and foremost: Welcome to the LE community!

There are two major ways to play Low Health as a Lich.

  • Low Health with Ward: Shroud of Obscurity or Exsanguinous plus Last Steps Of The Living (another item with the property, to convert missing Health into Ward)
  • Low Health + Endurance with Death Seal + Deadlock Node: Deadlock sets your health to 33%, if you are above that and 35% is the threshold for “low health”. And Endurance gives you massive DR for your health. (Endurance does not work with Ward)

Both ways are totally viable, but the first one with those uniques is not compatible with Reaper Form.

Thank you, Heavy! Seems like an amazing game and great community, good to be here.

With the first option and those uniques, is death seal also not really usable? (I assume so as no ward means dead…). If so, I may de-specialize death seal and find something else.

May also try second option for now, though game is very easy so far just spamming Spirit Plague.

There are some potentially very strong and good interactions, that would require a very well thought out build, which is absolutely not beginner friendly.

Death Seal has a Node, where it benefits from the ward it initially consumes and give it Necrotic Shred, with the follow up nodes buff you with massive armour and you can even extend the duration of Wandering Spirits.

The Necrotic Shred can be very strong and with enough ward could lead to just Death Seal applying all 20 stacks of necrotic shred on its own, which is crazy. (Getting max shred from “just one” ability).
But you would need to combine this with endurance threshold or just use death seal on bosses and enemies, where you are certain, you will not receive incoming damage after activating death seal.

So nothing I would recommend for you right now.

You should really experiment with everything, LE has so much different things to offer.
The difficulty generally speaking is very much on the easier side, so experiementing is really not that punishing and respeccing back into a setup, that works for you after trying something out is also very easy and quick.

One thing as a tip, if you want to pursue the Low Health Ward route with uniques:
The “missing health gained as ward” is based on your flat missing health, meaning, that scaling maximum health, does give you immense amounts of more ward.

As reaper form gives you a second life and death seal can prevent you from going above a certain life level. It should not be hard to do a Lich low life endurance build.

I saw that, “Leper’s Skin” gives 5 armor per 100 ward (wording a bit confusing) so I’d get ~30 armor. I have necrotic shred from wandering spirits too, but haven’t been able to find how much necrotic resists enemies have to see if worth stacking it. I also see “Desperate Shroud” and since I’m missing 90% of my health I get ~100 armor. I just haven’t seen how effective armor is when I have ~60 hp after ward is gone. Guess this is why it isn’t for new people.

THAT ties it all together. Yeah I’d still need enough effective HP to survive, somehow. Likely makes more sense once I’m far enough surviving is harder.

Thank you again!

Enemeis in LE do not have any armour or resistance, if not stated otherwise (some have affixes that give them those stats).

So every 1% of shred or penetration is 1% more dmg.

20 Stacks Of Resistance Shred is cap.
Only Armour Shred does not have a cap.

FYI, most death seal builds use leech and rely on either low life endurance or high life

They do not run ward

Oh wow, I had no idea shred and penetration worked the same way. I assumed penetration brought enemy resists negative but didn’t know shred did as well. That us huge.

Thanks! Ward has been sick [as with my armor I gain 20% of my health as ward per second] but learning it doesn’t seem to synergize well with Lich’s key abilities.

Just because Death Seal and Reaper Form are Lich exclusive abilities doesn’t mean they are “key abilities” or mandatory anyway.

Most exclusive abilities (for any mastery) are very thematically fitting and give the mastery a lot of flavour.

But they are really not mandatory and that’s how it should be IMO.


With Shred, Penetration and thigns like Mark For Death, you can brign enemies resistance even below negative 75%, there is no limit on how much into negative you can go.

Rebuilt passive tree and skills and I don’t know what I like better. The no health ward build is great because you don’t need any leech or life regen, your ward regens CRAZY fast. That really opens up some options. But guessing once I gear properly death seal will be fun. It is at least interesting to pop it and see bosses melt (or I do).

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