RANK 1 Arena (8.1) - Shadow Daggers

Here is my build guide for the Rank 1 Arena Pusher Build with Bladedancer (1157 Waves)

This build is NOT intended to be used while leveling or progressing through the monolith. The gear requirement is steep, and it may take some time for this to come online. I would recommend using a standard hit shadow cascade build or poison shurikens while farming for the necessary items.


The rotation is fairly simple, you will want to shift on cooldown to maximise your armour from the shurikens thanks to the blade shield node. This is one of the main reasons to run dual Smoke Weavers, as it allows you to accumulate 15 shurikens total resulting in a massive 450% increased armour. In between each shift you’ll generally aim to use one ability to keep your mana healthy. At minimum, every second one will be Sync Strike to maintain 3 crimson shroud stacks. You can opt to use more than just Sync Strike between shifts and also use decoy or smokebomb, but note that you may need to create some distance between enemies and buy some time to recover that mana.

Despite Shadow Daggers doing an incredible amount of damage, Decoy may still be the unsung star of the show. While you wont be specialising into this skill, correct Decoy placement will be necessary funnel mobs, provide you with openings, and get you out of sticky situations. Try to place this towards the outskirts of the map so you can flank high damaging ranged mobs.

Smoke Bomb in my build does a lot more work than your standard set up. Since we are running apostacy and have no need for additional glancing blow, we can take the dusk shroud package out and put that in duration and area. Same said for additional shadows, it does not benefit us any further as we are always capping on shadows when we Sync Strike. This means that we are going to have screenwide Smoke Bombs that rapidly apply Shadow Daggers, Armour Shred, and Slow.

Mana efficiency and regeneration will be a balancing act. At minimum, you will look to have Tier 5 Global Mana efficiency on your neck and Tier 5 Sync Strike Mana efficiency on your helmet or chest.

This will make your Sync Strike cost around 52 and your Shift cost 17. You will recover 16 from Shift’s node Swift Recovery, and 24 from Shadow Cascade’s node Fight in the Shadows. Shift will have a 1.8 second cooldown (with dual Smoke Weavers). At 10 mana per second, this will give you 18 mana passively between each shift, and this value increasing with any delays to shift. All up

(52 +17 – 16 – 24 – 18) will leave you 7 mana short per Shift cycle if you continue to use Sync Strike every time. Just keep and eye on it and skip the odd Sync Strike here and there to make sure you don’t OOM.

Shadow Daggers – Further Information

Shadow daggers is an ability that is proc’d from both Shadow Cascade and Synchronised Strike. It scales with both Melee and Throwing, as well as physical. Shadow Daggers always crit. From testing, it does not seem to inherit any bonuses from the skill that activated it, such as the more damage modifiers within shadow cascade.

Shadow daggers will generally require 4 procs on the same target before actually dealing damage, however using ‘increased shadow daggers effect’ you can reduce the amount of procs required for it to plunge. These breakpoints are at 50%, 150% and 250%. This increased shadows daggers effect also seems to act as a more modifier instead of increased which drastically increases the damage. I would not recommend pushing this build until you can reach 150% increased shadow daggers effect. If you wish to push this build to the very top of arena you will need 250%. This can be difficult as it requires at least one T6 shadow daggers affix on your helm or chest, so keep farming those monos!

Build Planner

This Build Planner is meant to show you the key affixes you will be aiming for on your gear. I have left affix slots open for you to fill in with your own defensives. Your priority will be:

100% Critical Strike Avoidance>Resistance caps>Health>Armour>Endurance

Bladedancer, Level 100 (LE Beta 0.8.1e) - Last Epoch Build Planner

Loot filter

Thank you to Heavy for the base template. Additional good affixes recoloured red.

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Smoke Bomb



Shadow Cascade

Synchronised Strike

Rogue Passives

Bladedancer Passives


Q. Why aren’t you #1 on the leaderboard currently?
A. My run was falsely flagged as being illegitimate and the rank was removed and I was issued a ladder ban. EHG have since reversed the ban and are investigating both if its possible to restore the run and what initially triggered it. I will most likely try to redo the run at some point prior to 8.2.

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At last :slight_smile:

Good to hear!

Mad respect from me.

Everybody that knows me, knows i absolutely despise arena, but your accomplishment does earned you some attention from me :smiling_imp:

Just a few questions, out of curiosity:

  • How long did that 1157 Run take?
  • At what point did you knew that your build was doing soooooo much better than any other rogue on the ladder?
  • Do you come from any other competetive aRPG background?

Which part of the accomplishement is due to your personal skills and which to the build?
I mean, is it a build that most people can play, or is it something that requires good reflexes, good positioning and a long experience of HnS games?

  • Took me about 7-8 hours over 2 sessions. Was lucky that I didn’t get a dc/crash between those sessions
  • Once I really saw the potential of both smokebomb and decoy into high waves I felt it could really stand above the the current builds I had seen so far. That being said I like to experiment a lot and arena is a good way on testing my theorycrafting
  • Played a lot of aRPG’s in a somewhat competitive setting but generally kept my competitive pushing to mmos and mobas. Currently playing in a top 40 WoW raiding guild and play LE during farm but I might swap that around and make LE the main focus once it
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This is very much a duck and weave playstyle, post wave 300 things will hurt if you and can easily get you stun locked and killed. Post 500, you definitely need to know how to handle every type of mob in the game so you don’t get caught out such as the Osprix, lightning eye bois, spooki eye bois, skullen pyros etc

OK, thanks.
Very good build and very good player. ^^


First of all thank you for your post and explanation of the build.

I just have one question, why do you pick lethal mirage instead of shurkiens in your spell bar?

Lethal mirage is probably for the invulnerability.

Shurikens only get used by shift. It’s the only way to get the huge stacks of armor. Normal shurikens won’t stack like that.

Shurikens from Shift don’t stack like that either. The only reason you use Shurikens via Shift is that it’s an easy way to keep your Blade Shield up in a mode that requires a lot of movement.

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I have seen his video and he doesn’t seem to cast lethal mirage at all. Maybe an autocast from another spell or node.

Are you sure? He shouldn’t be able to get 15 shurikens unless they’re stacking. Could’ve sworn I read you could briefly double stack blade armor with two Smoke Weavers. Can’t test it myself.

None of the other skills can cast it and it’s a lot more useful than skills that don’t get cast at all.

Shurikens from shift stack. It’s one of the main reasons I run smokeweavers to get the 450% increased armour

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I really don’t understand why and when you want to use lethal mirage in this build.

I tried the build and it’s very powerful and mostly very tanky. I still need to increase the “shadow dagger effect” to get the max potential of it.

Lethal Mirage gives a brief amount of invulnerability, I believe it should be used to dodge some attacks instead of shifting away from some monsters. It is on the bar for defensive reasons.

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Hi, thanks for putting your build up. Looking at the gear planner last night the gear doesn’t have 4 affixes, what am I missing there?

I only put the needed affixes in, it’s up to you to fill in your defensives based on gear available to you. Check what i wrote in below the link

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8.2 Update.
Build is likely to be less effective than just regular hit shadow cascade.

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