Hey everyone this is Thyworm with a new build for Last Epoch, the Shadow Dancer, for patch 0.8.1E.
Rogue’s been out for a while and I played this in Patch 0.8 already, but never got around to creating a guide. Yesterday though, CuteDog_ asked me for a poggers build, I sent some screenshots of this build, and people were very enthusiastic on his stream. So, for all of you, here’s an actual guide.
Let’s start with the build philosophy.
This build is all about dancing around the enemies, creating a bunch of shadows, which are basically clones, and after we got a bunch of those, we proc them to deal massive damage. The build is fun to play, pretty fast, does decent damage, dodges most attacks, and I’ve made it until the empowered timelines at least. Then I started writing this script.
The build works with average gear and really starts to dish out good numbers once you get the synergies going. With the new reworked affixes, getting res capped and crit avoidance isn’t that difficult anymore and there’s plenty of room for the new cool gear that got released. My builds never have broken gear, and this one is no exception. Still, it performs really well.
This build is very good at running the monolith, because it has nice clear speed and mobility. Single target isn’t the best, but definitely enough to kill all the bosses. You spend the majority of your time in the echoes however, so boss killing characters are just not very effective. It doesn’t really matter if it takes 2 minutes longer to kill the boss, because the next hour you’re running echoes anyway.
The build is pretty easy to play, although timing all the skills and generating the shadows and proccing them at the right time, that takes some practice. The DPS is bursty, not continuous. Once you get the hang of it however, it’s not difficult.
So, what do you need in terms of stats? Here’s the wish list.
In the defence department, you want to get res capped. You need to be crit avoidance capped as well. Get dodge where you can, because that synergizes well with the passives.
In the offence department, we’re going crit and physical damage. And later, +skills and a bunch of shadow affixes. So get base crit on weapons, get crit multiplier where you can, stack flat phys on weapons and get some phys penetration on the amulet. It acts as a more modifier.
Let’s look at the skill specialization and skills we’re using
Dancing Strikes is the main attack and movement skill. It does okay damage, but the main point of Dancing Strikes in this build is to generate shadows, proc them and provide some buffs. That’s why we don’t take attack speed on our gear or anything like that.
We move to the right first, taking 2/3 broad dancing, to reach 2/3 cutting corners, to reach 2/3 Sophisticated Stabs, to reach the Shadow Steps node. All the armor shred along the way is nice, but Dancing Strikes itself doesn’t do much damage. The shadows do the damage, and we generate one now by using dancing strikes. Alright, now we take 5/5 Rhythm, which is a buff when you start hitting enemies. Each stack of rhythm provides 10% global damage, and we can stack it up to 10 times. You need to keep shadow dancing though, at least every 2 seconds, that is very important. This way you keep refreshing the buffs. Take 3/3 Elegance, for 300% dodge in total, and then 2/2 Art of Blades, for 20% crit multiplier per rhythm stack. This is 200% crit multi, if you can manage to keep the stacks up. Which should be possible, honestly. If you have the mana, you can go Perfect Choreography, which increases mana cost, but also provides a massive buff. The final part of the Dancing Strikes is a bit of defence, the 2/2 Eluding Steps. 150 flat dodge is just very decent.
All these shadows and procs don’t do much without our main damage dealer, Shadow Cascade. Shadow Cascade does a circular attack which is replicated by your clones, or your shadows. This is why you want as many shadows as you can get. This single, circular attack, is what this build is built around. You can cast the skill yourself, but the whole idea is to proc it using other skills.
First, go south, the crit route. Take 4/4 Rapid Expanse, the more area you cover, the better. Then, 2/2 precision, bringing that base crit% up to 4%. Be aware this isn’t counted in the stat overview, so if you want to know if you’re crit-capped, hit a dummy, or calculate it yourself. Then, 4/4 Carnage, for that sweet 60% crit multi, and then go 2/2 Gloomstalker, which lets you create more shadows after you’ve consumed them. Because whenever you proc Shadow Cascade, you consume the shadows. You want to get some mana back maybe, at least I do, so go ½ Fight in the Shadows. After all this, move north, and take 4/4 Shadow Torrent, giving multiplicative damage to the attack. Take 1/3 Battle trance, for some dodge, Take 1/1 Crushing darkness, which kills any attack speed modifiers, but does give you 30% more damage. And we’re not self-casting this skill, but we’re proccing it, so attack speed doesn’t matter. And finally, flow state, another 30% more multiplier. If you get more than 20 skill points, you can get more mana back, or take some armor shred. Both are nice.
Then we move to our third skill, Shift. It is our dash and mobility skill, and our main proc skill too. We specialize Shift in such a way that it can proc all our shadows to cast Shadow Cascade. First, we go to the right, taking 4/4 Velocity, giving you a damage buff after Shift ends. And after Shift ends, we cast Shadow Cascade, at least in theory, so this should buff shadow cascade. Take 3/3 Momentum, giving you a nice movement speed buff after shifting away. Then take Lasting Presence, creating a shadow at departure, and then the big node, Dancing Shadows, which casts shadow cascade after using shift. This is how you proc all the shadows you just created. As soon as you have this, you will see the playstyle emerge. It takes a little while, but then you’re all set to go. I take one point int eh Emergency flask, which has saved my mono runs more than once, consuming a potion when in need. Then, some mana recovery, take 4/4 swift recovery and being invincible is always nice, so take Shadowslip. The last part of the skill grants culling strike, go to Unseen strike, which turns your shift into an attack, and then take 3/3 Consumed by Shadow, which gives you 15% culling strike. This is very nice for bosses. Increase the range of the swipe a bit by taking 1/3 Broad Sweep.
Then, we move to our 4th skill, Smoke bomb. This skill grants a lot of defences, and a lot of shadows. Shadows are the most important though, so go left to 5/5 lingering fumes, having the cloud last longer. Then take 5/5 smoke blades, giving you more damage while in the cloud. And then take 4/4 umbral assault, which creates a shadow in the cloud every second, up to a maximum of 3. This is pretty nuts. Take one point in concealed carnage, so that you take less damage over time. We round off the specialization with shrouded in darkness, which gives you Dusk Shroud. This is a defensive buff we will cover in a bit. And then take 4/4, proccing more Dusk Shrouds.
The final skill is not mandatory, but I’m using Decoy. It generates another shadow, it debuffs enemies, it takes some aggro, and I can put it on autocast and not think about it, if I have the mana. You definitely take this skill last though. You start by going right, taking 3/3 efficient construction, reducing mana cost by a ton. Then, 3/3 sonic detonation, which applies tripe frailty and triple armor shred. These are great debuffs to put on enemies, having them deal less damage and taking more damage. We got one point left in the end, which goes to Ear Shatter, increasing the duration. Then, go north, to Boom, having the decoy explode. Take 5/5 short fuse, to decrease the time until explosion, which is what you want, because you get a shadow by picking Shrouded Core. That shadow only appears after the decoy explodes however. Go south, take 1/5 embedded spikes, to get to 1/5 lasting presence, to get to ¾ into the shadows, to get to Ambush. This is quite nice, giving you a decent crit multiplier when the decoy explodes.
Time to look at the passives.
I’m level 86 currently, and the passives are really good for a rogue. I may have missed a few points in the campaign even.
At the start the passives are somewhat slow, but around level 40 or so the whole build comes together, with all the shadows, all the crit, and all the multipliers. Levelling is fine, but the build pops off later.
It’s important you balance your passives so that you crit 100% of the time. The only reliable way to figure that out is by dummy testing. If you crit 100% of the time, don’t invest in more crit chance and maybe even take some away and put it in other stuff. Don’t look at the stat sheet, it’s not accurate. You need to test this on the dummy.
Alright, that being said, let’s look at the base passives. I take 8/8 swift assassin, for levelling, and for the flat phys damage. Attack speed doesn’t do that much for our build. Take twin blade as soon as you can and equip 2 weapons, this build is all about dual wielding. Take 8/8 Guile, for the flat dodge and poison res, 5/5 Evasion is really good, because dancing around enemies counts as moving, and you take less damage that way. And 5/5 agility is very nice too, with the haste procs. I would take this around late game however. The same is true for critical precision, which adds crit chance. Just balance this and take or remove points to get to 100% crit.
Then, the blade dancer mastery. Take 5/5 Cloak of Shadows. Take 8/8 Once, for the flat phys. Take 6/6 Skiasynthesis, which synergizes really well with the shadows. Take 1/8 shroud of dusk. Remember those dusk shrouds from the smoke bomb? Those things give you 50 flat dodge and chance to receive a glancing blow, which only deals 50% damage. Take 5/5 Veil of Night to generate dusk shrouds while attacking. It’s a very solid defensive node. Then, to the right, 8/8 Flash of Steel, for increased damage, and then go 8/8 weapons of choice. This node is bonkers and what you want to equip here is a sword and dagger, giving you 160% crit chance. Take 1/5 Critical Eye, just to get to 5/5 all-in, granting 75% crit multi. You regular hits deal less damage, but you shouldn’t have any regular hits anymore by now, you should be critting 100% of the time, or close to that. 5/5 Shadow Master is obviously great for our build, giving another shadow and 100% shadow damage. And then we go left, with 6/6 Asuvon’s Pact, for dodge and increased damage at full health, which we usually are. Take 5/5 Perfection, which is a stacking buff granting even more damage. Take 1/5 Confidence, just to get to Exuberance, and this is something you can max out at higher levels too. I took one point for additional perfection stacks.
Then, also very important, Gear
You need to make sure you’re crit capped with crit avoidance, and res capped as well. Take dodge where you can. This combined with the various defence mechanics we got going in this build, like Dusk Shroud, lets you take and avoid most damage.
Offensively, you want items with high base crit, which you can craft. I’m taking flat phys as well, because there is a lot of scaling usually. By far the strongest affix you can get on helm and chest is the increased damage with Shadow Cascade per Active Shadow. This really adds up fast. Also crit multiplier on gear is a good choice. And if you need more crit chance, get that as well.
Make sure you wear a sword and dagger, for the passive synergy. I’m using the Shard of the Shattered Lance, a set item dropped by God Hunter Argentus, in the Monolith. It gives you a multiplicative movement and damage buff for 15 seconds, which feels super nice when clearing the monolith. While bossing, you could swap out this weapon if you want, but I don’t do that.
As always, my gear is not that impressive. I don’t want to farm out perfect gear. The build however still works very well. There’s a link to the tunklab gear overview in the description.
For idols, you want the cascading huge idols, which give that sweet increased damage per active shadow again, really driving home the shadow scaling in the build.
In terms of blessings, there are a few good ones, but nothing major. I got void resistance, all resistances, chance to chill on hit and fire resistance. I don’t do the Lagon timeline, because that boss sucks, so I don’t have that blessing.
I have one end game loot filter that’s pretty strict, but does have everything you need. I would activate that from level 50 or so. It shows all uniques, set items and exalted items. It makes the +1 skill affixes Yellow, it makes tier 4 plus movement speed green, it makes great T4 affixes for the build Red and shows around 25 other useful affixes of tier 4 and higher, stuff like resistances and dodge and crit avoidance.
On to levelling
Levelling a rogue is rather easy. I would suggest you take the skills I’m presenting here in the skill list as soon as you can, because the sooner you get the synergy going, the better. The longer you play, the better everything starts to feel as well.
Let’s talk some Monolith modifiers
Generally, I don’t mind giving enemies a bunch of damage in this build, because we dodge a lot and we don’t want tanky enemies, mostly. You never take a lot of damage, or you shouldn’t at least, because then you’re either playing the build wrong, or you’re not res capped.
You can give enemies chill and slow as well, because we’re fast regardless.
Never give them dodge or resistance, it’s by far the worst you can do.
And that brings us to the playstyle of the build.
Here’s the build in action.
The whole idea here is that you enter the combat dancing. You dance around the enemies, creating shadows. You can put your decoy on autocast if you have the mana. You can throw down a smoke bomb too, if you have the mana. And as soon as you have created a few shadows, you dash out using Shift, which casts Shadow Cascade and that is repeated by all your shadows. Afterwards, they disappear and you rinse and repeat. Usually, this kills a pack in the monolith, even at the highest levels, unless you make them really tanky for some reason.
During bosses, using the smoke bombs and decoys at the right time is more important. Your damage comes in big bursts, whenever you trigger the Shadow Cascades. So make sure the boss is around and not flying off somewhere. It’s not a great boss killed, but it does the job.
I personally have a lot of fun with the playstyle. It’s fast, nimble, agile and offers a lot of freedom. It’s a bit harder than it looks I think, but with some practice it’s definitely fine.
I had a lot of fun creating this build, all the way from start to finish. It took a lot of time as well, but I hope it was worth it. Finally, I wanted to bring the Nexus to your attention. Nexus offers content creators their own store to sell games, and then content creators get a little bit of the profit as well. I’ve partnered with these guys and curated a small selection of games for you, all games that I’ve covered on the channel. It’s a great way to support me, so, if you’re thinking about getting Last Epoch, consider getting a Steam key over there. Link below in the description.
I hope you have fun with the build and that the guide was useful. Thanks for watching and making it to the end. See you all soon! Bye bye.