My Account
× My Account Forum Buy Now

Last Epoch Forums

Powerful uniques should have a tradeoff so that there is a choice to make - worst offender IMO is Herald of the Scurry

When searching item databases for possible unique items for my Wolf Beastmaster I came across the item “Herald of the Scurry”. The item is undoubtedly powerful - MUCH too powerful in my opinion. That got me thinking.

I always thought that unique items that powerful should have a compensating downside or tradeoff, so that there is an actual choice of whether or not a build might use the unique. With Herald of the Scurry existing in its current state there is absolutely no choice involved - it just straight up far more than doubles the dps effectiveness of wolves and on top of that gives the wolves/squirrels AND the player quite a chunk of survivability. There simply is no competition.

I would welcome it if there would be a (possibly thematic) impactful downside to the item stats, so not every Wolf Beastmaster is shoehorned into using that specific item for the simple fact that there is absolutely no better item to choose as a helmet.

I think designing unique items to be a choice instead of a must-have is generally a healthy approach for a game that revolves about creating and finding items. Otherwise (IMO at least) it feels like the game is forcing you to wear one specific item, reducing build complexity and customizability.

(I am too new to the game to know whether or not this problem also applies to other uniques, but HOTS stood out as quite problematic in that way to me.)

They do, it’s usually the rarity and likelihood of getting LP (more powerful uniques will have a much lower chance of getting LP at all or higher amounts of LP).

For supporter uniques (which Herald is), any downside would be a matter of discussion between EHG and the supporter.



Hm, even if the likelyhood of getting high LP is low on Herald, for me that doesn’t solve the issue that there is no actual choice to chase a different unique. It is just more of a grind to obtain a high LP Herald.

What I would like to see is many different alternatives that make sense for a build, specifically for a Wolf Beastmaster and Herald i don’t think those alternatives exist at all.

I didn’t know that Herald was a supporter unique. Still, the same design philosophies for other uniques should apply to those as well.


Itemization is hard thing to do and in current state IMO there is good amount different uniques.

Herald of scurry is chase unique; very rare helm and gives that ”pump up build to next level” thing Wolf beastmaster build.

But end of the day i think every build has something to look for. If i theorycraft i have always those chasing items, they won’t always be uniques it can be just Rares/ Exalted with very rare affixes. Very rarely i have ” it doesnt matter what items i have”

So if it has some downside to split Wolf beastmaster builds what it could be? Just an example would help get feedback more value and can start interesting conversations.

One downside i see in this is that theorycrafting can be more time consuming and ’hard’ when you have more things to consider. I personally like that i can do viable builds and play the game without guides and i consider myself very casual when it comes to build planning.


Once again it is instructive to look at PoE and how they have created uniques, which are BiS across multiple builds.
If the answer to which item should be used is that one-sided the item is too OP. Does it help that the item is ultra-rare ? Not really in my opinion. Case in point, bastion of honour.

You’ve brought up a really good point in the larger and much more complicated issue of balance. One thing is for sure is that as the game has more “stuff” in it, it will be harder to balance and this problem will become more common.


As an example, squirrels could have much less health than wolves or not have any armour, only dodge rating. Both would be thematic (a fitting difference between wolves and squirrels) and would make wearing Herald a choice: Do I want wolves, who can survive on their own with decent damage, or do I want squirrels, which will deal much higher dps but have to be revived more frequently.
This is what I had in mind when looking at Herald. Another possibility would be just creating a completely different helmet that would be equally attractive for a Beastmaster, so one could choose between Herald and that other item.


Maybe this will become less of a problem with more different unique items.

Right now, there is no doubt that the only chase helmet for my Beastmaster will be Herald. If there was another different, strong unique helmet fitting my build there would be an actual choice for me again.

yes, that works, especially as you say, if you are trading off downsides. However, I would say that an exalted rare should also be a viable candidate. I think the idea of LP was brilliant since, even though it can’t give you “unique affixes” it can give you support affixes that can make the item quitet powerful.

maybe there needs to be LP affixes that are “unique”… e.g. an affix that gives you +1-3 additional squirrels :wink:

Having a choice in uniques and not feeling that specific ones are mandatory - Yes

Accomplishing that through sticking people with downsides that make the item feel more shitty - No thank you


Welcome to the forums.

What concerns me about your idea is that barring a handful of very good uniques that everyone uses, generally uniques are pretty much “Meh”. Of the 260 odd uniques & set items, perhaps 60 are used regularly… the rest are either very niche or ignored due to the fact that they are better on paper than they are in practise.

imho, there are a lot more weak uniques that need dealing with. and thats not even speaking about sets.

There are already items that have negative stats - like boots that reduce your physical resistance by 75% in favour of massive crit multiplier boost - but I dont really like the negativity inherent in designing a build around uniques like this. There are also very specific uniques like the Squirrel ones that are so specific to one build that they cannot be used anywhere else and are pretty hard to find. Adding negative stats to something that is specifically build enabling seems harsh.

Sure there are OP items that will likely need a balance (and dare I say nerf) because they are too good and then there is the counter argument that they should boost poor uniques instead. But then the whole concept of power creep comes into play.


When I compare early LE (the version of EA release) with today’s version, I see that there’s a lot less tradeoff in skills and items than before. This is my impression. And I like it that way.

Tradeoffs seem to provide more meaningful choices, because you can’t just blindly pick something but have to think about and weigh the consequences. For me this always feels bad. When I find a nice item, it should be a power increase for my toon. I don’t want to choose the lesser evil. I want to progress forward and become more and more powerful without any downsides.

This may seem “boring” for others, but for me it is how I want a game to treat me.

So no to downsides on unique items (and skill nodes!).



I think that in principle it is ok that there are chase uniques that are unambiguosly BIS for a particular build (without being mandatory). This gives them a strong identity.
Note that this is distinct from a build-enabling unique. Reign of winter is a cool bow, that enables a cool build, but without it you cannot make the build in the first place.
On the other hand, for BIS uniques, you can still make the build without them, but you also have a clear upgrade path.
Of course, there are degrees to things, Bastion is definitely too good with respect to its alternatives, but good BIS items that dominate in certain archetypes of builds are fine.

Now, onto herald.
I will preface by saying that I have not personally dropped a herald, so this is interpolation from what people are saying.
From my understanding, if you have a wolf build, you always want a herald.
However, by functionality alone, herald is a build-enabling unique.
It’s not like the cinder song wand, which gives a bunch of buffs to fireball, but does not significantly alter the behaviour of the skill itself.
Herald is the only way of making a squirrel build and makes the build very visualy distinct.
If you consider squirrels and wolves to be two distinct builds (Which I think is reasonable), then the problem is not that herald is too strong, but that the build that herald enables is too similar to wolves, while also being much stronger.

1 Like

Welcome, welcome!

There’s some food for thought for you - why is Herald the chase helmet for wolf builds? For that matter, what makes a “wolf build”? You’re right, the Herald of the Scurry helm is very powerful for builds that rely on building up bleed, shredding physical resistance, and hitting quickly - but Wolves as a skill have more than those as aspects to them.

For example, wolves have a major conversion on their tree - to Cold Damage - which makes other helms like Call of the Tundra or Artor’s Legacy attractive. And all of these unique helms have the dual-axis chase of “good rolls” and “high LP” - with chances of getting both decreasing rapidly as the initial power of the helm itself is increased. (More powerful Unique effects will reduce the likelyhood of getting LP, and tend to have wider roll ranges by design).

Now, I can see the point that having it be more difficult to obtain a high-powered version of what you’re wearing doesn’t actually increase the chase for other items; but imagine the scenario where you’re wearing a 0 LP Herald, and you craft your 2LP Artor’s with Increased Life, and Level of Summon Wolf - in the real game, you’re much more likely to get a 2 LP Artor’s Legacy than even a well-rolled Herald of the Scurry, so this isn’t that far of a stretch for a hypothetical - you’re given the chase of the unique you have, with better rolls, versus a different unique with better customization.

1 Like

An easy solution would be to make the other summons as good as wolves. Very few people want to mix summons. I think every summon should have a (or many) unique items that lets them summon them up to the summon limit. Like Summon Scorpion could be “can summon scorpions up to summon limit. Summon limit is -1”. Could even have one similar to Scurry. “Summon Scorpion becomes Summon Bee, etc.”

People that go bear or raptor (does anyone?) usually go with the one powerful companion nodes. I think there should be more itemization for that too.

1 Like

Yes, but that’s also what LP is for. Those weaker uniques are more likely to have higher LP.

1 Like

Dont really agree in all cases, for me the weakest uniques dont bring anything “unique” to the party and just mashing them with more affixes doesnt really do much more than just make them exalted items in disguise. Sure the resultant item is arguably more powerful - sometimes off a low base, but it didnt change the fact that its a poor unique that doesnt inspire something.

Or maybe I am being too demanding.


I personally feel a good mix is appropriate, downsides are fine as long as the upsides are worth it

I think Herald was in a fairly unique scenario, I think EHG was fairly accommodating with Ziz’s design due to being a popular content creator and being one of the first major uniques designed

This is probably my favorite PoE unique which has build enabling criteria and decent drawbacks: The Iron Fortress - Official Path of Exile Wiki

You stack Strength which gives 50 str per 1% attack block, makes your Spell Block unlucky (you need to roll it twice to block), gives a lot of STR and reduces movement speed. Increases your strength bonus to melee then you convert STRs bonus to spell damage and use a Warcry/unique helmet to convert Spell damage back to ‘generic’ attack damage

They are ?

I haven’t seen any mention of the fact that “weak” uniques are fine. There is a place for leveling uniques, and I like the fact that there are good leveling uniques in the game.

There are however uniques that appear to be completely useless, but that’s probably just my perception due to my lack of imagination.

I dont think its you. There are uniques that look fantastic but end up being generally poor when actually used. Sometimes the uniques are just crap. Other times, its specifically because someone was able to work out an imaginative use of NORMAL gear that blows the unique away when you look at a build in its entirety - e.g. a 2h unique that is tailor made for a specific skill fails miserably against a normal 1h/shield setup that creates a more well rounded capable build.