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Lich & low life

Liches deal more damage when they are at low life. That’s why Exsanguinous exists: it keeps the Lich at low life and gives a bit of ward to compensate. But the compensation is not one for one and we lose a good amount of hit points. Is there another way to permanently stay low life, but having max ward?
I’m not thinking about a Death Seal Lich. Currently, she is in the campaign, mainly going with Wandering Spirits, Spirit Plague, Bone Curse and Drain Life. A bit of Harvest also, but I use it very few. With such a build, is there a way to stay low life and safe? Or can it be good to give up the low life thing and stay full life (I feel not)?

Exsanguinous & Last Steps of the Living are the easiest way to stay low life while also getting a good amount of ward (if you stack HP on your build). I’m not quite sure what you mean about it not being 1:1, since ward retention means you’ll end up with numerically higher ward than HP.

You could potentially try to balance the poison damage from Aura of Decay with the heal node, but it’ll probably be tricky (it it won’t give you ward).

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I mean you don’t gain 1 ward for losing 1 hp. You’re gaining as ward 20% of your missing life, which is a huge loss. And true, it’s partially compensated by ward retention, but I’m not sure we have a total pool that high. Does it really work like for Mages, with whom you can have 1000 hp and more than 2000 ward?
My Lich is all new (level 29 currently), but I don’t feel her safe with so many hit points and ward, in fact. But maybe it’s because I did not have yet a situation where she generated mass ward.

I’m not really an Acolyte player, but yes, you can get a decent amount of ward. Just putting some numbers into Dammitt’s build planner, you can get at least 280 ward retention from passives & gear pretty easily & I’m sure you could get at least 1k (-> 2.2k ward), if not close to 2k (-> 4.4k ward) hp on an Acolyte if you focus on it.

Edit: You might even be able to get close to 3k if you ignored resists & everything else & just took hp suffixes.

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The ward builds really start to shine once you get last steps of the living + exsanginous, just having one is a bit risky.

I’m not a math guy but with both of those I always end up with nearly double ward than total hp, a great tradeoff in my mind. You do need a decent amount of ward retention but it’s not hard to meet.

If you go low life with just the chest you still need good ward retention to break even

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OK, then I’ll have to wait a bit, my Lich is too low level to wear the boots at the moment. Thanks! :slight_smile:

This is gonna sound bootleg since LL builds do such good dps and I hate running a campaign more than once I generally pitstop at the end of time after mastery and grind level 55 mono a bit, at least until next skill passive

Some builds crush 55 mono even at 20-25, I do this for LL so I can get passives and next skill to bolster myself so I can cruise through campaign with exsanginous

I do things weird though and each to their own

I get where you’re coming from. At first if you take on Exang, you end with less ward + remaining life than your max life is without Exang. This only changes after investment into ward retention and int in your passive trees as well as some cool items. The Lich has a node on the left side of the passive tree that grands ward whenever you’re life sinks below a threshold. As you are low life this ward boost procs whenever it is off cooldown. Max this.

In general you should use Aegis in offhand for ward per second and int and Arcane Boots for additional war retention.

Here are some additional chase items for LL ward builds

I have the helmet, but this Lich is too low level by now. She’ll wear that later. And I am unable to get the belt at the moment, my highest hero is struggling in Reign of Dragons. She did the first to Quests but she keeps dying while trying to reach the third.

To be honest I often do the same when I level a new hero. As soon as I have the Mastery, I go for several waves in the Arena and I try one or two Echoes, in order to get some levels. I like to have some advance when playing the rest of the campaign, so from time to time I come back to level a bit. I try to be level 55 when I reach Liath and Lagon