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The Damnation | Necrotic DoT Map Farmer | Last Epoch 0.8.5C | Lich Build Guide

Definitely not the best build out there, but it’s fun to play, and it works well until at least 140 corruption, probably until 200-ish corruption. After that, mehh, not so much I think. Totally fine for me, I don’t see the point of high corruption anyway.

Loot Filter: The Damnation.xml (32.4 KB)

Start of monolith level 51 - Lich, Level 51 (LE Beta 0.8.5b) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Mono level 60 - Lich, Level 60 (LE Beta 0.8.5b) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Mono Level 70 - Lich, Level 70 (LE Beta 0.8.5b) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Mono Level 80 - Lich, Level 80 (LE Beta 0.8.5b) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Mono level 85 - Lich, Level 85 (LE Beta 0.8.5b) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Mono Level 90 - Lich, Level 90 (LE Beta 0.8.5c) - Last Epoch Build Planner

Intro

Hello lovely people, Thyworm here with another extensive and honest build guide for Last Epoch Patch 0.8.5c. A guide where I level a character from scratch, without cheating, and give you a fair take on a build. If you enjoy Last Epoch content, consider subscribing, it really helps me out, and I’m making a lot of Last Epoch content for you to enjoy. I have a second channel too, with indie games, so check that out. You can find the written guide, this script, on the forum. The loot filter is there too. Timestamps are available. And the build is available in the Last Epoch Build Planner. See the description for all of this.

This build, the Damnation, comes with a fair warning. It’s not as strong as my 2 previous builds and requires quite some investment to do well. It is a necrotic damage over time build and uses several synergistic Lich mechanics. I didn’t want to go low-life, but you definitely could for much more damage. I mainly wanted to test out a few of the new uniques, so I slapped on Marina’s Lost Soul, the Chronicle of the Damned and the Twisted Heart of Uhkeiros, for a fun interaction. The build is good at mapping, okay-ish at bossing, very tanky, and overall I like the playstyle.

I levelled this character from scratch and made it to level 90 in the monolith. From the start to the end of the monolith, I made save games and you can see the items and blessings I get over time, starting at level 51, with snapshots at 60, 70, 80, 85 and level 90. I recommend looking at the items only, not so much at the skills, because I was experimenting a lot until I landed on the build I will present here.

Pros

Here are the pros

It’s a fast mapper, with enough DoT damage to kill tons of monsters and get that bonus instability

It has smooth levelling with just Spirit Plague and Wandering Spirits

It has good survivability with tons of leech and a double health bar

It has Good performance in terms of framerates

There’s only 1 autocast, which you can self-cast too, making this controller-viable

Cons

Then the cons

The build isn’t amazing at killing bosses

I think there’s a cap to scaling damage, especially if you don’t go low-life at some point, which I didn’t want to do with this build.

All the DoT damage means all the loot in maps drops 1 or 2 screens behind you

Uniques

Let’s start with the build requirements

This build is made around 3 uniques, and I guess technically you don’t need any of them, but I think they work really well together, and it makes the build much more fun, so I would try to get these uniques before you start. Marina’s Lost Soul is a great wand with tons of necrotic damage, curse damage, and increased hungering souls DoTs. The downsides aren’t really downsides, because damned on you doesn’t kill you, and 10% reduced health isn’t great, but it’s manageable for sure.

The chronicle of the damned gives skill points to wandering spirits and hungering souls, but more than that this is typically designed as a ward generator. The ward gained per active wandering spirit incentivizes you to turn wandering spirits into a ward generating skill, and then you’re double dipping. I did this for a while, which you can see in the snapshot saves, but ultimately I found that I really needed wandering spirits to do damage on bosses. Still, I think it’s cool to highlight that by just this item and speccing wandering spirits focused on ward by creating as many spirits as possible, for as long as possible, gave me easily 700-800 ward, from this item alone.

Another option that is definitely viable for an off-hand, is Life’s Journey, the shield that drains health, but applies Spirit Plague on hit. You would melee hit with the reap ability from Reaper Form, and then automatically apply spirit plague, which would make for an even smoother mapping playstyle. I really wanted to stick to the ward and the new uniques, but you can take this for a spin.

Another ward generator we find in the Twisted heart of Uhkeiros, a rare drop from the emperor of Corpses. It’s more points for necrotic spells, health, and converts health to ward every time we cast a spell, which is fairly often. Because we leech back up immediately, this is a very consistent way of getting ward on top of a topped off health bar.

Another unique to consider here is Mortality’s Grasp, if you can fit it in and still figure out resistances and crit avoidance. Or maybe you can make a nice legendary version. Another source for mark on death is huge, and the ward gain is significant as well. Something to consider.

Build Philosophy

Then, the build philosophy

I just wanted to use the new uniques and create something viable. I feel this definitely is viable. It turned out to be fast, tanky, leechy and fun. I don’t think you’re going to have a great time at 300 corruption, because I already have quite beefy items for the content I’m doing, and damage scaling might be an issue down the line. Low-life is always an option, but that’s not what I wanted.

You can get 10-12k dot ticks in the empowered timelines, which is plenty for bosses, and DoTs are good DPS uptime, so while you don’t see huge numbers, it’s a steady source of damage.

Wish List

So, what do you need in terms of stats? Here’s the wish list.

In terms of defences, make sure to get res capped of course, and get 100% crit avoidance. Early on, you can use the woven flesh for easy crit avoidance. The blessings in the monolith can help a lot here too, as well as idols. Furthermore, you want health and leech, because we get drained a lot. Intelligence and ward retention are nice as well.

In terms of offence, we’re scaling intelligence and necrotic spell damage, as well as damage over time. It’s very straightforward.

You don’t care about mana, because we’re not spending much mana

Skill Specialization

Let’s look at the skill specialization and skills we’re using

I will not discuss each point invested, but instead focus on the most important nodes. You can see everything in the build planner yourself.

Wandering Spirits

Let’s start with Wandering Spirits. I turned this into mainly a lot of damage, because I felt I needed it for bossing. Lingering Souls, bottom right, makes souls last longer, and reap the damned and tethered existence are big damage multipliers. We damn enemies with various sources, like drain life. I path towards Locus Mortis, for another 15% more damage. Targeted spirits are completely fine as well, especially when self-casting. I take 2 points in souls of rage, and finally we go towards false courage for yet another damage multiplier. Because bosses are fairly large, the spread of the ghosts or their movement speed isn’t really relevant, in my view.

Hungering Souls

Up next, Hungering Souls. I found a +4 helmet, which is why I have so many points, but honestly, this skill serves 1 purpose, and that is to do culling strike. To do that, you path towards vengeful souls, and you take the other 2 nodes behind it as well, and now you have 25% chance to cast hungering souls when you’re hit by an enemy. Then you take reaper’s gaze for culling strike, meaning you instantly kill anything below 15% health, which is great for bosses. You take inspired hunger as well, for global damage over time. Everything else in the tree is a bonus and doesn’t add much, because this isn’t an actual damage source.

Spirit Plague

Then, our bread-and-butter skill, Spirit Plague. Start with pestilence, which gives you stacks when spirit plague kills something. In maps, this happens all the time. 13 stacks times 15% global DoT damage, that’s 195% increased global dot damage, which applies back to spirit plague. Rotten to the core is great, more damage, and concentrated rot is another damage multiplier. Reduced spread isn’t much of an issue, as enemies tend to be grouped up quite a bit. Then, we path towards Plague of Eyes, turning intelligence into flat damage. We have a lot of intelligence, so this is a great node. And finally, you take quality of life, like duration, cast speed, etc, all at the bottom. If you find Spirit Plague slow, then path here first, that’s completely fine as well.

Reaper Form

It’s hard to get away from Reaper Form in a lich build, because it basically gives you another health bar. In our case, it adds a lot of mobility to the build as well. First we path down, to Haunting, to get a 30% chance to cast mark on death when we use the reap attack. Then take swift harbinger, reducing the cooldown on reap, so we can spam it to move quicker across the map. I’m pathing towards Phantom Restoration for ward retention and ward gain, which synergizes well with our uniques, and it’s some more defences. Finally, I put some points in Reaper’s Curse, but that’s just increased damage, not more damage, so the effects are minimal. And one point in Death comes Quickly is enough to get a bunch of movement stacks, because we’re killing so many monsters in the map.

Drain Life

Finally, Drain Life, our single target DoT skill when all other DoTs are applied. You first path towards eternal servitude, which prevents the wandering spirits from disappearing as long as you’re draining life. This is a great node, but we’ll get to this in the playstyle. Take 4/4 condemnation, applying damned, which makes wandering spirits do more damage against the target. Talking about more damage, Unholy Mass is pretty good for that. And the rest is full damage as well, because this is single target DPS. Empowered drain, 25% more damage. Lay Waste, 40% more damage. Please note that the text only applies to the leech health part of the drain life skill. You can still leech health from other sources, like the passive tree, or uniques. And blood pact makes the skill free to cast, because now it costs health, but by this time drain life does so much damage, you’re not actually losing health anymore. You can infinitely cast drain life, and in theory your wandering spirits will stick around infinitely. And they do. Sometimes though, you will need to move in a boss fight. Still, pretty cool and fun mechanic. And remember that from the off hand unique, this generates a ton of ward as well.

Passives

Time to look at the passives.

I will highlight a few interesting decisions, as most of this is rather straightforward.

In the base tree, take Forbidden knowledge, for intelligence. Mania of mortality I like, because so many enemies die around us, but you could pick something else. Unnatural preservation is a must I feel, with ward retention and more resistances.

The lich tree, it’s important to note you take the leech nodes later, like around level 65 maybe. And after that, once you have good leech, you take the health drain nodes. At level 75 or so. And before that, you take the more neutral nodes without massive downsides. If you take health drain nodes without leech, you’re running around with 100 health all the time, which isn’t a great situation. There’s not much else to tell honestly. I think Three plagues is good, for penetration. It’s not easy to get necrotic penetration otherwise. The base spell damage nodes work really well with how much increased damage we get on gear, so you take those. Otherwise, not much choice here honestly.

Gear

Then, also very important, Gear

This time, my gear is definitely more on the OP side, which should give you an idea about the strength of this build. It’s not as strong as previous builds, and it requires significant investment. I don’t think all builds need to be strong though, because this does have an interesting playstyle and a very satisfying kit, but ye, my gear as a result at level 90 is quite good. We talked about the uniques already, and furthermore it’s a mix of good rares with spell damage, necrotic damage and damage over time, plus health and resistances. The gear still isn’t completely optimized, with random crit rolls on it, which are completely useless, because damage over time cannot crit. But this is what I managed to find, and what I had laying around in my stash. Check the saves for the gear progression though, because I didn’t start out completely OP, I just ended like this.

Idols

For idols, I went all out on damage, as I felt I needed that the most. As you get more resistances from blessings, you can start swapping out resistance idols for damage ones. There are amazing low-life idols, if you go that route. I wouldn’t fall into the trap of getting ward on hungering souls kills, or more hungering souls projectiles. That’s really inconsequential, so please take overall damage that applies to all skills, rather than something super niche you’ll hardly ever use.

Blessings

For blessings, I’m taking all the resistance blessings, because I don’t want to deal with resistances. It’s really nothing special, check the builder. I’m not even capped on grand resistances, because I can’t be bothered to grind all of them.

Loot Filter

I created a loot filter from scratch, once more, specified to this build. I used this thing myself from the start, meaning I’m quite confident in it. I levelled all the way to level 90 using this filter. Let me walk you through it. I recoloured idols for you with affixes you want. I made flashy green all the affixes that give you levels for the skills you’re using. The loot filter shows normal items till level 10, it hides all non-acolyte gear except uniques, set items and exalted items, and it shows mostly weapons with spell damage, necrotic damage, or damage over time. And then there are more colors for all your other loot, starting at the bottom with yellow and gradually getting stricter all the way to purple. At some point, I put a level cap on most of those rules, so yellow items will show up until a certain character level, and then not anymore. Should be smooth sailing.

Play Style

Here’s the build in action.

Because of massive health drain, you always start with like 80 health in a map. Make sure you do some damage so the leech starts kicking in, and then you swap to Reaper Form. You can take a potion as well to help at the start. Apart from that, mapping is a piece of cake, you cast spirit plague and run.

For bosses, it’s a little different. The idea is that you try to get as many stacking DoT bonuses as you can, so the 75% from hungering souls, the 13 stacks on Spirit plague, the bonuses from Reaper Form, the marked for death from Reap, and the wandering spirits, and then you start channelling drain life. With all of this going on, and all of this synergizing, the damage starts to add up. Wandering spirits keep attacking the boss, you keep leeching health, you keep generating ward from the uniques, and you are surprisingly tanky and you can take massive hits like this. There’s a limit, depending on your level and gear and corruption, but it’s fun and feels good to stand there and take the pain, instantly healing yourself.

Levelling

Talking about Levelling for a bit. Levelling is super easy, barely an inconvenience. You get wandering spirits real soon, and you put that on autocast, and then you walk to the monolith. As soon as you have spirit plague, it gets completely ridiculous. Some of the smoothest levelling out there.

Monolith

Let’s talk some Monolith modifiers

You can honestly take anything. I would give the mobs in general rather more offensive stats, than defensive stats, because our damage isn’t super high, and our defences are very good. Other than that, anything is completely fine.

I spent a good chunk of time on these guides, which is why I don’t release many of them. If you appreciate the effort, consider liking or subscribing, it really helps me out. Thanks for watching. See you soon, love you all, bye bye.

10 Likes

Thanks for the guide! It’s very interesting, I might give it a go. Something that might help the single target damage here is a focus on non-channeled Drain Life, like in this video: Arborus's Necrotic DoT Lich 572+ Corruption Meta Monolith Farmer, Last Epoch Build Guide Patch 8.3 - YouTube

I’m playing a version of this build right now and Drain Life does seem to do a pretty good amount of damage, especially if you can get 3+ going at the same time.

ye I played non-channeled before, it was pretty good indeed. I like channeling because it keeps the wandering spirits going, but should be fine either way.

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Leveled with this build all the way to empowered monos (hit them at lvl 80) and it felt OP the whole way, but now I’m getting my ass handed to me. Keep getting deleted out of reaper form, which results in death about .5 seconds later lmao. My leech just isn’t holding up against mob swarms anymore.

Gear (I do have 100% crit avoid):

normal empowered should still be fine. Just getting levels gives you more health and damage, plus get some more gear. For me, like I said in teh description, it went well until 140-150, and I would expect based on that it works until like 200 corruption, but then it falls off.

also grand blessings help a lot with resistances, and more damage.