Puncture in endgame?

So I just got the Longshot bow and I’m wondering if any LE experts can weigh-in and tell me if an endgame Puncture build is possible?

I’m currently playing Blast Rain and loving every second, but in early game I started with Puncture. As amazing as Blast Rain is, Puncture has a much more genuine Archer-archetype feel to it in my opinion. So at some point I’d like to roll another Rogue just to push Puncture. How far would I get? Where would I start to see the build plateau or really struggle? Is Longshot the best option for this experiment?


The best way to do it is probably by proccing Shadow Daggers with it (far right passive). Shadow Daggers is a ton of damage. Either that or bleed stacking using Puncture as a spam skill and Rain of Arrows as a set it and forget it skill for bosses and rares for extra DPS. It’d work well.

If you went the Shadow Daggers route, using Umbral Blades → Bladestorm w/ Shadow Daggers on hit would be a good set it and forget it skill for bosses and rares (or even just as your basic clear for monos). And then you spam puncture on bigger targets as necessary.

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I try to build my char around the Troaka’s Teeth quiver to freeze the enemies mostly with Puncture. I’m level 88 and not so happy with the damage in empowered monos at the moment, so I’m not sure if it’s going to work well or not.

Cold is a very tough damage type to make work on rogue. Not enough support for it for most things. Best way to do it with a bow would be to use Explosive Trap, turn it into a bow skill, and convert it to cold damage. Otherwise, you just aren’t getting enough flat cold damage to scale to make it work, nor are you getting a high enough base freeze rate to actually freeze things.

Couldn’t you just stack dex & Mourningfrost?

This is another options.

I dont think puncture is viable as an endgame skill. In order to be an endgame skill one needs to have the ability to scale, and puncture sucks so hard at scaling, it has bad base damage, no bonus added dam effectiveness, no crit multi bonus, pretty much zero attack speed in its skill tree
The only half-decent way to play puncture i’ve tried is to use puncture+net as shadow dagger applier in combination with umbral blade, but then you only have 2 skills slot left which severely limit your choices.

That’s not quite true, it can get Frenzy (30% AS?) on hit & it does have the node that gives up to 3 attacks every 4s 150% as, though that does kinda feel a bit off.

It is a bit sad that it doesn’t get normal attack speed rather than the Rapid Strikes node given it’s a skill devoted to ailments, but that ailment focus is likely why it doesn’t have any crit multi & given it’s a cheap spammable skill (along with the ailment focus) is why it doesn’t get added damage effectiveness.

Also, all spamable melee skills have “bad” base damage.

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Well that’s why i say “pretty much”. Frenzy is not Puncture’s exclusive anw, you can always get it from other sources

Yes, but it’s nice to have it guaranteed on hit.

if they reduced mana cost on mirages id say it was possible to do enough.

Puncture is viable in endgame with the right build. The key enablers are the nodes in Net that allow you to throw out multiple net traps at once that all trigger your Puncture.

Melee probably works best as you can lean into shadow daggers harder that way and combo it with other sources of shadow daggers.

Puncture is a very weird skill
It’s pulled in every direction you can imagine but it sucks at all of them.

I’ve tried Bleed puncture but couldn’t get enough bleed stacks to be worth a dang (by bleed falconer went from applying ~4 bleed stacks to ~17 when I switched from Puncture to Net at ~58 (I was stubborn) and it has gone up to like 30 per cast since)

I’ve tried Poison Puncture and I run out of mana after 4 shots so far applying only around 20 stacks with that whole barrage… which is enough for mobs and most rares but bosses ain’t even tickled and I have to keep using Flurry to regen mana in between barrages of Punctures

So I’ve tried going the other route, instead of rapid fire I went for the charged, physical crit Puncture. Which is nice in theory until you realize JUST HOW LONG 1 SECOND IS IN AN ARPG. This build basically requires 100% dodge chance just to survive getting the charged Puncture off without losing half your damage (Concentration is just plain bad, as most enemies are too damn fast to shoot them before they reach you).

That’s not even mentioning the fact that mobs have very high chance to dodge Puncture unless you have the Puncture unique bow (ain’t that unfair? I haven’t seen mobs dodging any other abilities on any other class and I’ve played a lot of them. Maybe 1-2%. Mobs just don’t get hit by Punctures that clearly hit them like 15-20% of the time. Which is not a big deal usually but when you spend a second or more charging a shot, IT DARN WELL BETTER HIT).
It also has a maximum range, unlike literally any other shot in the game. The arrows continue to fly, but they only hit targets till about screen radius - which means that if you’re trying to shoot in a diagonal direction, you won’t reach mobs in the edge of the screen. Meanwhile Flurry or Multishot snipe mobs that are not even on your screen…

Puncture just needs a lot of fixes, QoL and buffs.

  • make the charging 0.5 sec by default, and make Dark Arrow interaction instead give it a 100% chance to stun and return 80% of it’s mana cost on hit
  • give charged Puncture 3 stages (0.0-0.199s - normal Puncture, 0.2-0.499s 50% bonus, full 0.5s chage 100% of the bonus), and change Cadence of Death to count stages of Puncture for the bonus, e.g. at full charge, give it a bonus as if it’s the 3rd cast of it
  • Mind Piercer needs to be buffed to 2 mana per mob and 1% phys pen per 5 mana
  • Scalebane also needs to convert Armor Shred to Poison res Shred (and Armor Shred duration/effectiveness to Poison Shred duration/effectiveness) because literally ALL of rogue idols give you armor shred instead of literally anything you need as a poison archer
  • charged Puncture needs to scale with attack speed - proportionally increasing the effectiveness of all “on hit” effects. Preferably inversely but whatever floats your boat. But this game has it’s scaling designed in a way that ONLY rewards attacking FAST, so any build that attacks slowly does FCK ALL damage in empowered monos thanks to being absolutely unable to get any reasonable number of armor/res shred stacks in. This means that while a fast attacking build can easily stack 100+ stacks within a second or two, charged Puncture gives you like… 2 or 4 at best. With charged Puncture, this means nodes like Splinter and Shatter do literally nothing (5 points to get 1 stack of shred per cast? wtf) Not to mention, mind you, that you kinda need that penetration BEFORE you shoot your charged shot, not after (which is why I suggested the Mind Piercer to give a 3x more phys pen than it does currently)
  • Rapid Strikes need to be a dead end node and not block connection to Seized Prey, as the alternate route requires at least 5 points which literally give you nothing as you shoot too slowly to get any stacks. Maybe it works with charged Puncture, never tried it because it seems so counterintuitive to pick. But unless it does active harm I guess wasting 1 point is better than wasting 5.

Rogue also needs a whole overhaul of idols because they make NO SENSE whatsoever. Like rolling poison chance and armor shred chance/duration/effectiveness on the same idol. Or constantly rolling a combination of sword/dagger/bow bonuses on the same idol. It’s nuts. My poison archer literally has no idols larger than 2 tiles because there’s literally nothing to use - all poison idols give you dagger bonuses or armor shred, bow bonuses can only get phys damage over time (so bleed) or shred, etc. Currently the best idols I have on my poison marksman are 2x1 idols that give me like 13% poison chance and the same amount of poison damage… which is laughably bad.


As a standalone, direct-cast skill, Puncture is not very good in the endgame.

If you want Puncture to work then it is best as the delivery system for debuffs and shadow daggers, and you want to trigger it multiple times at once with net traps.

One of my favorite builds right now is a Puncture/Dive Bomb build using the Valkyrie node to dive in with the bird. In this build, Puncture does a crapton of damage by taking every “more damage” passive and skill node I can find regarding slows and ailments, and then triggering it from Net and using it to stack armor and physical resist sheds. Big enabler of this build is a Dragonslayer glaive with +crit chance, increased crit chance, and stun chance.

Stack dex and physical damage and pass some of that scaling and crit chance on to the bird. It is a ton of fun and can be pushed well over 1k corruption.

Key here of course is that Puncture itself is never hard-cast, because casting one single dinky little Puncture at once is unfortunately not going to get you very far.

Just like the Acid Flask/Explosive Trap deal, Puncture is just flat out better when you trigger it from Net. I am a big fan of the trapper style, but it is a shame that the bow style is nowhere near as powerful as other playstyles right now.

Here is my testing with Charged Puncture from 0.9.0 Charged Puncture Marksman build(Failed build) and a few thoughts as seen, it has potential but is a very weak build.

The problem with charged puncture is it is reliant on one of the worst skills in the game Dark quiver(black arrows) to halve the charge time(which essentially doubles the already low dps).

I think there is a good potential to rework this build with Falconer emphasizing on Falconer’s Mark huge damage multiplier and using the bird’s hits to shred/ slow/ gain some life and mana. Possibly ditch Shurikens(since its hits remove mark) for DoT Net and ditch shift to use Smoke bomb as a movement skill. Main problem is the lack of leech as there really aren’t sources of Bow damage leech and the damage will mostly be mixed. I have only one high level Falconer (Bleed) right now though and respeccing to test this seems too tedious (levelling new char seems even more since the exp tome nerf).

Kind of an ideal planner for the Falconer idea Incase anyone wants to try it out : Falconer, level 100 (Release / 1.0.5) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Tankiness should also be better than a marksman since Falconer can cap GB with a well rolled Arrowguard. Pinnacle helm kinda solves leech? I personally find relying on Dusk shrouds from black arrows sketchy but it can allow to replace with a rare quiver for more flat damage and armor shred. The ~50% Crit chance becomes 100% cap by Smoke bomb which is not ideal for clear but should hold up since movement smoke bomb has good uptime.

Attack speed is king. therefore, every ability that by design can’t be spammed, needs to be OP AF. There are 3 main problems with charged Puncture

  • Puncture doesn’t deal enough damage. Unlike other “nuke” skills that range from 550% to 850% (from what I saw so far) bonus damage effectiveness, Puncture is stuck at 100%. Which is fine for a filler, but NOT for a nuke. So the talent that makes it a charged skill needs to also give it some ~500% more bonus damage effectiveness at least.
  • Puncture doesn’t scale into endgame, like, AT ALL. You simply can’t get any reasonable amount of armor/physres shred to be able to do monos, let alone empowered monos (except a hard MAYBE if you’re a falconer specialized in shreding with Falcon Strikes and use the mark to reset CD… but if you’re doing that you’re really better off just going full minion instead of gimping yourself with Puncture).
    Which is why I suggested changing MIND PIERCER talent to give you phys pen per 5-10 mana instead of 15, which gives you an actual way to scale into the late game without focusing just 100% into mana stacking (which robs you of weapon prefix you direly need for many other things and much more on literally every other gear slot).
  • Puncture just doesn’t work as a charged skill. It’s not charged, it’s CHANNELED. And it’s not even a good channel like Warpath, it’s a death sentence channel. Just give it a ~2 second cooldown instead. It being a channeled skill also breaks a multitude of talents and passives and doesn’t really give you much in return (as the affixes to “while channeling” are lame and mostly only make sense with Warpath.
    Changing Puncture to a cooldown skill instead of channeled would only break 2 talents… so let’s say Thrill of Anticipation would set your max bleed stacks to 1 and no longer scale with DoT damage, but make it deal damage based on Puncture (let’s say 10% of Puncture’s damage per tick, and reduce it from 5 point to 2 point - 20% Puncture damage per tick). And picking up Black Arrow would make all your active shadows shoot Puncture too (because shadows are cool and it’s thoroughly unfair they only get to copy melee and thrown skills).

AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, LET US SHOOT MOBS WITHOUT NEEDING A UNIQUE TO HIT THEM. I’ve never seen another skill that mobs would dodge as often as then do Puncture (in fact I hardly EVER saw a mob dodge until I tried Puncture). Yeah making us stand still and act like a training dummy for mobs is clearly not enough, we also need to have like 15% of them DODGE it!? Unless we use a unique bow which has some weird elemental flat damage bull going on which only has 1 special gimmick of removing that artificial mob dodge chance? What kind of bull is this?

It does scale, but only if you don’t actually cast Puncture. Same as Acid Flask.

Acid Flask is easier to push with than Puncture, but both can work when you are basically blasting them out 5-10x at a time via traps. When that happens you can finally scale some of their effects the way you need to for actual endgame content.

That is the only way I have found to get Puncture to work, and while it is a lot of fun that way, it would still be nice if some of these abilities could be more viable on their own.

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I agree! I’m using Puncture with Nets in my Van Helsing build but it’ll be nice to use it on its own. Personally, I’d like us to have 1 more ability slot that allows us to equip a proc ability, thus making more space for useful abilities and more button play. I’ve a couple of 5 button builds and they are so much more fun to play than my 1 button Necromancer, which incidentally I stopped playing as I got bored with it.

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