My Account
× My Account Forum Buy Now

Last Epoch Forums

The Perfect Storm || Spell-triggering Spellblade with Mana Strike

Quick introduction

Spellblade is a Mage mastery that focuses on a melee playstyle. However, this build chooses to use that melee playstyle to trigger a flurry of lightning spells, using those as primary source of damage. That being said, the melee attack we choose to trigger our spells, Mana Strike, still deals a decent amount of damage on its own.

Build planner

Link to Dammitt’s build planner. Note that this is just a snapshot of my character, it’s not perfect, and every item/mod isn’t necessarily required. (Read the guide if you have a doubt on an item or mod, or ask in the thread if you can’t find your answer in there :slight_smile: )


Build mechanics

As I said in the introduction, we use a melee attack, Mana Strike, to trigger a lot of spells. This means that we fight in melee, and focus on attack speed rather than cast speed, but we still focus on spell damage, with stats like adaptive spell damage being very valuable. Also, the fact that we trigger lots of spells mean we land a lot of hits, which makes it very easy to inflict many stacks of ailments, like Shock.

As for the triggered spells themselves, they come from a variety of different sources. Here’s a diagram that sums it up, that I spent waaay too long making:

(As a reminder, “Passive trees” are the trees of your class and mastery, and “Skill trees” are the trees of your skills, like Mana Strike.)

Though I think it’s important to know what is happening behind the scenes, you don’t need to know this when playing. Every arrow is an automated trigger, and all of this functions by itself just by using Mana Strike and Surge.


Gear

There are no required unique items for this build. I do like using Oceareon for the shock effect (which is a very strong stat for us, since is increases the lightning damage shred on the enemy and makes it even easier to stun) and the chance to chill, which is always a nice defensive layer, especially considering how many hits we land per second, but it’s by no means necessary.

For what affixes to use, please refer to the build planner above. If you don’t have a given affix, or any shard for it, that’s fine! No affix is build-defining, though some (notably the “+X to level of […]”) are very strong and should be looked out for when looting.

One stat that is not to be underestimated is chance to stun on weapons. Since we inflict lots of stacks of shock, which make it easier for us to stun the enemies, an extra chance to shock goes a long way, and can allow us to reliably stun rare enemies, even in most level 100 areas.


Skills

Quick note: I specialise Lightning Blast, but do not bind it to my skill bar, since it’s always triggered; in its place, I use an un-specialised Enchant Weapon for more Mana Strike damage.

🗲 Mana Strike


The far left branch of the skill tree is the Lightning spell (“Lightning” is the name of the skill) which is triggered every time you hit an enemy. It does cost mana every times it triggers, though, so we grab the “Explosive Flurry” node to reduce its mana cost. Mana Strike itself does grant mana on hit, though, so it’s sustainable.

In fact, we invest a lot into mana gained, to the bottom right of the tree with the “Critical Mana” and “Mana Drain” nodes, and convert 75% of the mana gained by Mana Strike to Ward, through the “Transfusion” and “Mind Warden” nodes (top left of the tree).

This helps compensate the fact that, since Mana Strike costs no mana and the Spellblade mastery grants you the mana cost of your attacks as ward, we would otherwise generate way less ward than a Spellblade who uses their mana for attacks (like Shatterstrike or Flame Reave).

The “Spark Charges” node allows us to apply a Spark Charge on hit, a spell which triggers 1s later.

Finally, we grab the “Mana Spark” and “Celestial Precision” nodes to give Mana Strike itself a bit more punch.


🗲 Surge

Surge is the movement skill we will be using. While it has a shorter range than Teleport, it has the advantage of dealing damage. We grab the “Longstrider” node (bottom) to make its range longer. We make it apply a Spark Charge on hit with the “Charged Movement” node (top left) for more damage.

The interesting part is the right part of the tree, Stormbringer and Electropulse, which makes Surge trigger Lightning Blast a total of 4 times during the travel. We specialise Lightning Blast to deal decent damage, chain so it helps us clear, and grant us Lightning Aegis, a buff which increases our damage and decreases the damage we take - all just by using Surge.


🗲 Static

Static builds up charges, up to maximum that we increase to 200, while we move, attack, or get hit. The sole purpose of these charges is to trigger Lightning Blasts every second while we are above 80 charges, thanks to the Unlimited Power node (bottom right). We also invest one point into Unstable (far right of the tree) to trigger two Lightning Blasts instead of one (those cannot target the same enemy, though), which helps us clear, but increases the charge cost drastically (by 40%). More points than one, and it becomes too hard to sustain Static charges.

I do enjoy running one “X Static charges gained per second” idol, which helps with the sustain of Static charges while clearing.


🗲 Lightning Blast

Lightning Blast is never cast by us directly - in fact, we won’t have it in our skill bar. It’s only triggered by Static (once every second) and Surge (four times per Surge). We invest in “Arching Power” (top left) to allow it to chain and “Closed Circuit” to allow it to chain to us, granting us a damage and crit buff.

The “Lightning Attunement” nodes (bottom) grants us Lightning Aegis 10% of the time on Lightning Blast use, which ends up giving us the buff almost permanently.

Then, the “Frontloaded” node increases the damage considerably, and the “Cloud Answer” nodes behind it applies Spark Charges for even more damage.


🗲 Flame Ward

This is a defensive spell, but that doesn’t mean it’s only a ward generator. We do invest into some ward nodes, to the bottom right of the tree, culminating in “Dual Aegis” for an extra Flame Ward charge, but we also invest in damage nodes, to the left, “Retribution” and “Telepyrosis”, as well as “Lightning Ward” to convert the damage to Lightning. What these nodes do is violently retaliating against any enemy that hits us, directly where the enemy is. If you are being shot by a pack of archers, pop Flame Ward, let them hit you, and they’ll get blasted to oblivion. If a huge pack of monsters is in front of you and you’re scared that you’ll get one shot, Flame Ward will take care of whoever attacks you in the pack before you’re even attacking. This spell’s damage is deceptively high, and its counter-offensive value is, in my opinion, underestimated.



Videos

Level 100 Elder Gaspar fight, with several hard modifiers

I don’t have any other videos so far! Maybe I’ll record more if people get interested in the build. :slight_smile:


My generic item filter

I was asked to share my filter, so here it is: Main Filter.xml (111.1 KB)

You need to adjust it to your needs, though. Here are the main things to adjust:

  • The item bases (recolored in yellow): choose the item base you want, as well as the affixes, and the total tier of said affixes (the lower the total tier required, the more items you’ll see).
  • The rare-affixes items to be shattered:
    In emphasized light green, the affixes you want to see even if they’re only tier 1 (I recommend only the “+1 to […]” affixes for your main skill if you don’t have any shard yet);
    In regular light green, the very important affixes (I recommend all “+1 to […]” of useful skills, as well as useful class-specific affixes);
    In dark green, the other useful affixes you want to target (usually, all the class-specific affixes, as well as penetration affixes).
    Similar to the item bases, you can adjust the total tier required to choose how many of those items you see; the lower the total tier required, the more permissive the rule is, and the more items you will see. And the other way around, the higher the total tier required, the stricter the rule is, and the fewer items you’ll see (but they’ll be better).
  • The common-affixes items to be shattered: recolored in white, you only need to turn the rule on if you need some common shards, like resistances, movement speed, etc.
  • Idols: change the rule that emphasizes idols with good affixes and list the affixes you’re mainly looking for.

How far can it go?

Let me start by saying that I never run the Arena, so I don’t know how far it can go there. It’s just not my cup of tea, no matter the build.

That being said, I have been running Empowered Timelines (lvl 100) without much difficulty. It does help to avoid mods that add too much damage, since we are, at the end of the day, a melee character; but I haven’t been dying much, and everything melts quickly.


Overall opinion about the build

This is one of the strongest Spellblades I’ve built. It has very high damage, a unique playstyle, and (though this is completely subjective) feels very fun to play. The only drawbacks I can think of are its short range (though most Spellblade builds are short range anyway), and its ward generation which can be a bit lower than other Spellblades, though the high stun chance and the ranged Flame Ward retaliations help a lot with both of those.


Thanks for reading! If you have questions that are not answered in the guide, feel free to ask me and I’ll answer. Special thanks to @Crylios who helped me with a bunch of stuff in the build <3 Have a nice day!

3 Likes

I’ve been trying this build until LVL 65/70, really easy to understand and smooth to play. Would recommend this to any beginners or experimented players!

Gg for the build guide bro :heart: à tes souhaits

1 Like

Build looks fun.
Would you mind sharing a loot filter for this ?

I don’t have a specific filter for this build, but I could share my “all-purpose” filter that can be adapted to this build if you like. :slight_smile:

No it’s ok. I must learn to setup a loot filter anyway :smiley:

I’ve done a similar build like this & it was fun. Have you thought about the following passives:

  • Shattered Aegis, 5 points takes the damage reduction up to 16%, gives you 80% increased armour (at max stacks)
  • Blade Weaver, gives you a % more damage modifier where you build up stacks with Mana Strike & consume them with Surge which then buffs your Surge & anything proc’d by it (though the “anything proc’d by it” bit is currently bugged & doesn’t work)
  • Awe Strike might be useful for the increased shock effect from Mana Strike & Surge
  • Mage Flurry for more attack speed

+Lightning Blast as a help prefix instead of mana spent gained as ward might be more useful, or Lightning crit multi, or spell crit.

1 Like

Hey! :slight_smile:

  • Shattered Aegis: I tried it, but ended up not liking it this much. When I think about it, it’s more of a personal choice, but I sort of like having only the one stack. I also didn’t get any armour at all, but it might be interesting to get a bit of armour here and there when possible and get the Shattered Aegis node. I’ll try to mess around with it.

  • Blade Weaver: I do like that node, but it’s quite a heavy point investment (4 points to reach Blade Weaver; the nodes behind aren’t completely useless, but they aren’t that good either). That being said, when it’s fixed and the Blade Weaving stacks affect the triggered spells, I’ll definitely give it a try.

  • Awe Strike is interesting, and I originally had it for a very long time; I ended up refunding it for a bit more defence when I saw how strong the damage was in level 90 echoes. Also, we apply shock with attacks, but with way more spells than attacks, so I’m sure it would be that worth to grab in the end. I guess it also depends on how ailments stacks are treated when they reach their maximum; if there is a system that keeps the strongest shock instead of replacing a shock stack with a new, weaker one, it would be way more attractive, but I don’t know if it’s the case.

  • Mage Flurry is a very good, generic node. Same as Awe Strike, I had it for a long time, but ended up refunding it when I saw how good the damage was, but if someone wants to invest a few points in more offense, I think that would be the safest bet. :slight_smile:

  • The “+X to Lightning Blast” mod is great, and I swapped back and forth between that mod and lightning crit mult on my helmet until level 95-ish. Like the two other points, I changed it for some more ward generation when I saw the damage I was putting out, but it’s a very good damage alternative.

Thanks for the ideas! I’d love to hear any other idea you might have. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Shattered Aegis, I bodged in some numbers to your build & 80% increased armour would give you an additional 5% DR from armour (at best), in addition to the additional 6% DR from arcane shield & and additional 12 ward/sec.

From memory, shock doesn’t have a cap but lightning shred does, so while having stronger shocks from melee hits would be a good thing, if most of your shock is coming from spells that would reduce the benefit from Awe Strike.

Mage Flurry’s not just about the increased dps from attacking faster, it’s also about generating ward from Arcane Warden & Essence Duel.

1 Like

Right, that makes Shattered Aegis way more attractive than I thought. I’ll consider adding it to the guide. Thanks for crunching the numbers :slight_smile:

Shock does cap at 20 stacks, which is why I’m wondering how they are counted. The two most likely ways are

  1. Have a queue (FIFO) of shocks that caps at 20. When you reach 20 shock stacks, the first shock that was added is taken out to stay at 20, without comparing the effect of any shock stack.
  2. All shock are recorded and kept track of, and, at any moment, the 20 strongest stacks are counted.

If it’s 1., then Awe Strike wouldn’t be that attractive, but if it’s 2., it would be way more interesting, since all the “strong” shocks from melee attacks would always be given priority.

And you’re right about Mage Flurry, I had forgotten that attack speed also grants more ward generation. I’ll see if I can squeeze it in :wink:

2 Likes

Fair enough, I was probably thinking of Frostbite.

The devs are the only ones who could say which is counted if you apply more than 20 stacks.

Personally, I’d probably get rid of 4 of the points in Warden’s Echo.

According to Trasochi, the oldest stack is removed.

1 Like

I would hate to get rid of those, as Elemental Burst is one of the triggered spells (and if I remember correctly, it dealt very decent damage too), but I can’t really think of another node to take back from, sooo…

Alright, thanks a lot for asking directly :slight_smile: Then I guess Awe Strike isn’t as interesting as we thought it was.

1 Like

Hey there, just wanted to post here to say thanks for putting this build together, been a lot of fun as a first timer here in LE. Having a lot of fun with it and really interested in seeing anymore gameplay you might be willing to record, but not obligated of course. Thanks for making my dive into the game easy to understand, and a fun experience. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

I’m so glad to hear that! ^^ It means a lot. I’ll try to find something else to record today or in the coming days. Is there something in particular you’d like to see? (In the monolith, I still don’t want to run the arena :P)

1 Like

Based on the reviews I am gonna start this build. I had a system crash so I have to start all over again so I think this might be fun enough to help me rebuild. Looks good and I did play Mana Strike as a starter skill and had fun with it.

1 Like

Since I’m still super new I guess I’m not 100% sure, but after playing more, I don’t think it’s all that important. I’ve wrapped my head around things for the most part, I think I just need to get a hang on crafting and setting up loot filters at large, which I won’t put on you- plenty more guides out there for things like that. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Can i get a loot filter for that build? :slight_smile:

I don’t have a specific filter for this build, but I could share my “all-purpose” filter that can be adapted to this build if you like. :slight_smile:

Yes, please :slight_smile: And how do we dual wield ?

We can dual wield thanks to the Spellblade talent “Gemini”.