Disclaimer: This build uses several mechanics that might or might not be fully intended this way. It might get changed in the future. Thank you @boardman21 for the inspiration from several of your druid guides, to give credit where credit is due.
Build planner and eyecandy
If you just want to get to the build quickly, here is my current setup:
And here are two short clips of the build:
- Dummy bashing: Last Epoch 2021-04-04 23-58-17
- Empowered dragon bashing Last Epoch 2021-04-04 23-42-30
This build doesn’t come as a glass cannon though, we got the following forms of defenses:
- About 1.8k ward
- Permanent 30% less damage taken
- 18% less damage taken from nearby enemies
- 15% damage reduction from Aspect of the Boar
- Some armour
- up to 40% less void, necrotic, and poison damage taken for 4 seconds on potion use - we try to keep this up as much as possible
- Capped resists and Frailty can be squeezed in thanks to Monolith blessings
The detailed written guide starts here. I realize that most guides in here are shared through video but I personally like written guides (and I’m not a Youtuber) so I hope this form is fine too.
Passives & Skill interactions
All skill passives as well as mastery trees can be found in the build planner link above.
We specialize in the 5 following skills:
- Werebear - This form is gained once we specialize into the Druid mastery. We try to never drop out of this form as it gives us tons of damage, defense and utility. This isn’t all trivial as the Werebear cannot regenerate mana and we drop out of it once our mana is empty. We work around that through a unique, more on that later. The way we spec into it makes it so that spell damage is a very strong stat for us despite being melee. We also spec into basically doubled damage against stunned enemies, meaning stun chance becomes an important stat for us. We use Charge to deal damage and Swipe and Roar to buff ourselves. Roar gives us crazy amounts of damage because we are always at a very low health percentage!
- Earthquake - A Shaman ability that is unlocked after investing 10 points into the Shaman mastery. We basically never cast this directly but trigger it through a unique item. We also spec into a 150% more multiplier against chilled enemies, which will affect our mastery passive choices. More on that later.
- Swipe - This ability can be used in Werebear and is utilized for global damage buffs.
- Ice Thorns - This ability doesn’t really do much except giving us about 80 armour most of the time. We simply use it because it is one of the few abilites that can be reliably procced within Werebear.
- Thorn Totems - Same as with Ice Thorns - we trigger this using an ornate idol. It’s purpose is to look cool and shred some armour.
Short summaries of why and what we take out of the mastery passive trees:
(In general: try to avoid life regeneration as much as possible, as that impacts the low health status negatively.)
- Primalist: Aside from a few resists and some damage we are mainly interested in Berserker, which doubles our damage as we are always in the low health state, as well as the whopping 50 flat cold damage from Ancestral Weaponry.
- Beastmaster: Some damage and a lot of defense through Ursine Strength and Aspect of the Boar. Sadly we cannot really max the damage reduction on Boar (Porcine Constitution) as we don’t want the life regeneration.
- Shaman: Some resist and damage again. But what we’re really interested in is the chill chance in this tree. We need this to get a 150% more damage multiplier on Earthquake. Overall we get a 75% chance to chill, which I felt is enough. You could also max it out at 100% if you want.
- Druid: Nothing in here is really relevant. I took the resists and some defense. I had tried going deep into Druid before but felt it wasn’t really worth it.
Gear & Items
First things first: How do we reach the low health state in Last Epoch?
To be put into the low health state and turn ward into our health pool instead of life points, we need 2 specific items that will drain our health and grant us ward (some kind of energy shield) in exchange:
- Body Armour: Exsanguinous - Unique Noble Raiment - Body Armour - Last Epoch Item Database
- Boots: Last Steps of the Living - Unique Arcane Boots - Boots - Last Epoch Item Database - these come with the side effect of chilling (slowing) us but we don’t really care about that because our main damage output is dependant on the cooldown of our charge ability, not our attack speed.
And how do we sustain mana despite being unable to regenerate any?
- This body armour: Kermode's Cage - Unique Nomad Garb - Body Armour - Last Epoch Item Database - we put it on before turning into a Werebear and after that we put on our regular body armour (Exsanguinous, see above). This makes it so that our skills cost more mana but we regain 2 mana on killing a mob. You will notice that your Werebear is white instead of brown, meaning it worked. These bonuses stay on until we drop out of Werebear (or log out). While clearing, it is almost impossible to drop out of mana this way, as Charge, our main damage ability, costs 0 mana. We only pay for the buffs through Swipe and Roar. Those we will need for bosses, so we can theoretically run out of mana in a purely single target boss arena. I have yet to encounter a boss that can outlive my manapool though.
- Weapon: Bhuldar's Wrath - Unique Barbed Mace - Two-Handed Blunt Weapon - Last Epoch Item Database - this is a build enabler, letting us use Earthquake while in Werebear
- Gloves: Boulderfists - Unique Iron Gauntlets - Gloves - Last Epoch Item Database - these give us massive chance to stun. The cannot leech mod actually benefits us, as we don’t want to leech to keep our health low all the time. There is currently no way to convert health leech to ward leech.
- Belt: Strands of Souls - Unique Leather Belt - Belt - Last Epoch Item Database - great defensive belt for a ward build. Alternatively we could use Chains of Uleros - Unique Noble Sash - Belt - Last Epoch Item Database and skip the need to get health from potions converted into ward in our rares - more on that later. However, this one comes with less defense potential and only 3 potion slots.
- Relic: Grimoire of Necrotic Elixirs - Unique Stained Tome - Relic - Last Epoch Item Database - As with our gloves, we turn the downside of this item into our advantage. The drained health after potion use actually benefits us, pushing us into even lower health percentages. The 40 flat damage is a great offensive boost. Because of this item, we try to use a potion every 4 seconds.
Rares, Relics and Blessings:
- As we are playing a low life build that is constantly using potions, it is mandatory to convert the healing provided by potions into ward gain. This can either be done by simply equipping the Chains of Uleros belt (see above) or through stacking the prefix stat on multiple items. The stat can be found on rings and stout idols.
- The helmet slot can be used to greatly boost our damage by providing more points for the skill trees of Earthquake and Werebear
- Crit multiplier (amulet) and spell damage (amulet, rings) are other desirable prefixes
- Item suffixes and Monolith blessings can be used to cap our resistances. There is one blessing that also greatly improves stun chance.
- We need one ornate idol with as high as possible Chance to summon Thorn totem on hit to be able summon them at all in Werebear
Thank you for reading. I probably forgot something, but I’ll try to answer questions if you have any and maybe edit this post further.