The Zookeeper 2.0 | 500K+ DPS | 170+ Corruption | T3 Dungeons | Beginner-Friendly | Full Written Guide | 0.9.0f

The Zookeeper 2.0

Loot Filter - The Zookeeper 2.0.xml (53.5 KB)

Levelling & End Game Build Links:
Level 10 - Primalist, Level 10 (LE Beta 0.9.0) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Level 20 - Primalist, Level 20 (LE Beta 0.9.0) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Level 30 - Beastmaster, Level 30 (LE Beta 0.9.0) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Level 40 - Beastmaster, Level 40 (LE Beta 0.9.0) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Level 50 - Beastmaster, Level 50 (LE Beta 0.9.0) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Level 60 - Beastmaster, Level 60 (LE Beta 0.9.0) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Level 70 - Beastmaster, Level 70 (LE Beta 0.9.0) - Last Epoch Build Planner
Level 96 (full build) - Beastmaster, Level 96 (LE Beta 0.9.0f) - Last Epoch Build Planner

Intro

Hello lovely people, Thyworm here with a build guide for Last Epoch patch 0.9. This is my Zookeeper 2.0, the new iteration of an old build I made. Not much changed, honestly, but people have been asking about this one a lot. All useful links are in the description.

This character is my take on a zoo build, it has a lot of companions, critting for a decent amount of damage. It’s fairly tanky, I completed around 150+ corruption with ease, and cleared T3 dungeons. With better gear, you can do even better, although Tier 4 dungeons may be a stretch. This is my honest build guide on this character, something fun to play, so let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros

Here are the pros

It’s just a very smooth play style

Fun build if you like minions

You’re participating in the fights too, making it a more active summoner

Does very decent in end game and scales well

You can autocast everything, if you want.

Cons

Then the cons

It’s not very fast, so it’s not the best mapper in that sense

It doesn’t have a movement ability

It’s fairly slow while levelling as well, this build takes a bit of time to ramp up

Uniques

Let’s start with the build requirements

This is my first character since Last Epoch went online, so my stash was empty. In terms of unique items, you’d like to have the claw or the fang amulet, so summon wolves up to the companion limit. And Artor’s Legacy, for plus 1 companion. Both of those uniques have good drop rates. Eterra’s Path are great boots to use, but not mandatory. And that’s it, I kept it simple and of course I still need to find a heap of uniques myself.

Build Philosophy

Then, the build philosophy

My build philosophy in general is just that I want to play fun builds. I don’t have end-game requirements per se, I’m not too aware of the meta honestly, right now. This build to me is just fun, it has a bunch of minions, it’s an active playstyle beastmaster, and it does very well even though my gear is still quite bad. Just don’t expect this build to compete with S-tier McFluffin builds out there, it won’t. But if you like what you see, then give it a go.

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, some leech and some minion health so they don’t die. Mana and mana regen are useful too, for auto-casting

In terms of offence, we’re scaling flat added crit damage for minions, that’s an affix on a chest and idols. Then crit chance and crit multi for minions, with the goal of making them crit 100% of the time. We take some armor shred on the tree, that’s always solid, and that is really about it.

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.

Summon Wolf

Let’s start with Summon Wolf. If you don’t have the unique amulet the claw or the fang yet, you need to take Safety in Numbers, as this allows you to summon wolved up to your companion limit. That limit should be 6, unless there’s a new unique out there I don’t know about yet. Then we travel to the opposite direction picking Pack Hunters, for +1 companion and plus 1 wolf. And then we set up the howling of the wolves, providing the wolves, other companions and us buffs. You take Snarl, Call of the Wind, and Battlecry, and you max those out. If you manage to get more than 20 point, like me, Howl of Might is a good node, and Savage hunters as well, for just more damage.

Shift

Up next, Swipe, our own attack. This serves as a tool to leech, get mana back for our companion abilities, and it has culling strike as well. Duality of Nature turns Swipe into a mana battery, which is pretty good. Culling gives you 14% culling strike. Then we take Aspect of the Panther, with Feline hunter for the attack speed, and Lion’s Strength, for added melee damage. That’s not for us, but for the bear, which uses swipe and uses this skill tree. More on that in a bit. And finally, 3/3 Wild Calling, I think this is a new or reworked node, and it gives you 45% chance to call forth spirit wolves, out of your wolves. You have 4 wolves, they do 1800 tool tip DPS, they can crit as well, so it helps in terms of damage. But mostly, it looks cool, and that’s important too.

Summon Raptor

Then, let’s go into Summon Raptor, one of our big hitting companions. I’m making some questionable choices maybe, but hey, feel free to make your own decision of course. I first went into Scent of Blood, giving raptors more damage against bleeding targets. And then Ravage, for the crit. I’m only taking 4/5 Razor wings, which could be a mistake, but ok. Then I path left, to thrill fo the hunt for haste, and adaptation, making your raptor larger and deal more damage, after he kills 10 enemies. He typically does that pretty fast, on the monolith. This node is useless on most bosses, but when do you fight bosses. Not that often, so I think this is a decent node while mapping. Then another set of questionable choices, with 2/2 cornered and broken tooth. The idea here is that the raptor hurts itself, and with missing health, it deals more damage. This is good on bosses, where companions typically take damage from AOE, so I kept it in. You can replace these for something else too. This setup does mean, also for the bear in a bit, that we need to make the enemies bleed. The raptor does that, the bear does too, but I tend to get a bit of bleed chance on gear, just to help out.

Summon Bear

Summon Bear is our other hard hitter. I first took the crit nodes, with primal precision and unstoppable force. You may not even need full points in primal precision, just test that on a dummy. Then more bleed synergy, with lacerating claws for more damage and bleed chance, plus wounded prey for more damage against bleeding targets, 1% for every bleed stack, up to 30%. This is very reliable 30% more damage, because our companions have a lot of attack speed and apply a lot of bleed stacks. I round it out with Swipe and Vicious Strikes. The thing about Swipe here is that it scales with its own stats, but uses the Swipe Tree. After a bit of testing however, it doesn’t seem like he uses the entire tree. Culling, at 14%, doesn’t seem to apply. It’s sort of hard to figure out if aspect of the panther does. If you know more about this, feel free to put it in the comments.

Summon Frenzy Totem

Finally, Frenzy Totem. This buffs our companions further and makes them crit 100% of the time, except maybe the wolves. First we set up the crit, with 3/3 rabidity for buff effect, bestial frenzy for flat damage, and lead the pack for 250% increased crit when our wolves howl. As we have 4 wolves, and they have a ton of attack speed, and their howl can proc also on attack, plus we autocast it, that means howl has a very high uptime. And so this 250% crit is active most of the time. Especially on bosses, where it matters most. This synergy works super well. We’re travelling south to Symbol of Selflessness, because I don’t need that frenzy buff, but my companions do, plus an additional 30% buff effect. I’m rounding it out with Reckless Frenzy, but once again, hard to know if this then also applies to companions. In my mind it should, but I’m not 100% sure it does.

Passives

Time to look at the passives.

When I was levelling, I mostly took damage nodes, but now that we’re doing higher corruption timelines, I opted for health instead. Gift of the wilderness and Hunter’s Restoration just help you stay alive. Survival of the pack with the leech is good sustain.

In the beastmaster tree, there’s a lot I’m taking. Apart from generic nodes that are just very good for companions, there are a few specific choices I’m making. The first is Boar Heart and Porcine Constitution, the tried and true defensive, which has you take 30% less damage when the buff is up, which it is a lot. We take the aspect of the shark, specifically the Lamprey Teeth for leech, the rending maw for armor shred, and hunter’s of the deep to grant the buff, 10% attack speed and 75% damage, to companions. Plus that armor shred. Further right, we take ocean maw, increasing the effect by 120%, which should mean 165% damage and 22% attack speed. Our final aspect is that of the lynx, Serrated claws give 60% crit multi, which is pretty big. The other nodes are just more strength scaling, companion stats and health.

Gear

Then, also very important, Gear

I already told you about the uniques. There is currently an issue with uploading builds into any build planner, because since Last Epoch is now online, the character isn’t saved locally anymore. So I can’t upload my save file, because there is no save file. I’m just going to hover over my gear, so you can see what’s going on here, and you can laugh a bit at how bad the gear still is. I could do a lot to improve this, but the character already did fine, and if I’m able to do 150+ corruption rather easily with the build, plus T3 dungeons, I’m sure with more investment, this build goes a long way. Notable gear is the chest, with a nicely rolled +added crit chance for minions, which is super important to reach 100% crit chance. The Dragonbone Axe is nice too, with flat minion damage on there, plus a tier 6 minion melee damage roll. Otherwise, it’s minion stats, health, strength, and that’s pretty much it. +levels on skills help too of course, but you can see I don’t have many of those.

Idols

For idols, I am taking minion crit, resistances and crit avoidance. Minion melee attack speed is also good, because that applies more bleed stack, more armor shred, and more howling. But just fill out the idols to your own needs.

Blessings

For blessings, I’m taking all the resistance blessings, because I don’t want to deal with resistances. It’s really nothing special. You’ll get these by naturally progressing through the monolith and as you get more, you can replace gear as you go.

Loot Filter

I created a loot filter specific for this build. I used this thing myself from the start. I levelled all the way to level 96 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, plus some really good affixes. The loot filter shows normal items till level 10, it hides all non-primalist gear except uniques, set items and exalted items, and it shows other classes tier 4+ class affixes, so you can shard those if you want. Those are grey. 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. You can also enable more rules hiding certain low level base items, making the filter even stricter.

Play Style

Here’s the build in action.

First some dummy gameplay, with damage numbers. You can see some crits are over 140k, but more than that, it’s just so many attacks. For bosses especially, this build is very smooth, because the minions focus a single target, they get easily up to 200+ armor shredding stacks, 40+ bleed stacks, I’m applying frailty and chill, and they crit all the time, making most bosses a piece of cake, also on higher corruption. You can participate in boss fights, but your minions take care of business too, so you can focus on the mechanics.

And then some mapping and bossing. It’s just for me very fun to play, kind of no nonsense, not the fastest, not the slowest, but the damage output is more than decent, you are pretty tanky as well, and there is a lot of room for improvement. I typically play without damage numbers btw, it’s very distracting and you can’t see boss mechanics anymore with this many attacks. But you saw the dummy.

Levelling

Talking about Levelling for a bit. It’s pretty slow. I feel primalist in general levels rather slow, but what I do like about this build is that it works from level 1. You pick wolves, swipe, and slowly grow the zoo animals, until you’re full build. There will be times that minions are squishy, but that just happens. Don’t forget minions scale with your level, so they get stronger and tankier. Also, give them some health, and they shouldn’t die anymore unless you do 300 corruption orobyss and he summons that meteor stone thing that slowly descend. That stuff kills your companions, but otherwise you’re completely solid.

Monolith

Let’s talk some Monolith modifiers

I would avoid crit avoidance if you can, as this is a 100% crit build. Without crit, your damage is severely hampered. I would also take mostly defensive modifiers, and not damage. You’re not the tankiest, but you do deal tons of damage, so making enemies tankier is preferred and much safer, than giving them 200% damage.

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.

12 Likes

Does your Bear summon Spirit Wolves when it Swipes, if you have points in Wild Calling or Lupine Attunement?

Nope, it says in the spirit wolves node’s description that other minions can’t trigger spirit wolves. :slight_smile:

Bummer.

Maybe you know the answer to the question I put in the other thread about Swipe… what is the interaction if you take Wild Calling AND Lupine Attunement? Can you summon 6 wolves from a single Swipe?

Hi there! First, thanks a lot for the guide :slight_smile:

I saw your previous zookeeper guide before the 0.9 launch, and I started with a modified version of it. I’m now level 87, breezing through empowered monoliths, it’s a lot of fun. Here are a few suggestions for modifications that I ended up making:

  • Last Epoch, and beastmaster in particular, gives a lot of opportunity for dealing damage yourself, even on minion builds. You can get melee attack speed / melee damage / melee physical damage / etc on prefixes of your weapon, and with all the shared bonuses in the beastmaster tree (including Aspects, which you get too), your Swipe will actually deal decent damage. As an added bonus, it will also increase your health leech.

  • Endurance is very strong on this build. It synergises very well with leech, giving you time to start leeching when you get stunned or take a big hit; synergises very well with beastmaster, since your minions get your endurance and endurance threshold, making your minions incredibly tanky when it matters most and giving them time to leech in crucial moments, and you can get a lot of endurance threshold in the beastmaster tree with the Life in the Wilderness and Avian Shelter node (the latter also grants physical res, which is always amazing to get and allows you to grab more life / endurance threshold on gear).
    If you play with endurance, you can absolutely afford to play with a 2 handed weapon. Obsidian Axes are an amazing candidate, and allow you to get higher values of very valuable affixes (minion melee physical damage, but also offensive affixes for you, as well as all attributes / less bonus damage taken from crits / etc).

  • Since you already invest in Aspect of the Panther in the Swipe tree, you can invest one point in the node that makes it apply to your Sabertooth, and replace the Bear with it. With endurance and leech, none of my companions have ever died, even against buffed up timelines bosses and Julra up to T3 (I haven’t tried T4 yet, but let’s be real, I’m not sure any minion at all can survive her), so the Sabertooth replacement means no tankiness loss, and a lot of damage gain. The loss of the Bear taunt isn’t a big deal, either, since we are so tanky with endurance and leech.

  • Frenzy Totem doesn’t do that much for us. We already get the Frenzy buff from our wolves. The only bonuses we get are from the Totem’s skill tree. In my opinion, Fury Leap is a great replacement, allowing you to move through monoliths quickly, dodge boss attacks (great for Julra, especially with the “immune to damage while leaping” node!), and has strong buffs for both us and our minions too through its skill tree (like added damage, healing, cleansing ailments, etc.)

Some general remarks on passive and skill trees:

  • Passive tree - You don’t really need to invest all 4 points in Hunters of the Deep, you already have full uptime of Aspect of the Shark by far with only one point in that node (thanks to Ocean Maw).
    Like I mentioned before, Avian Shelter is amazing, especially is you use endurance.
    Boar Heart is great for having Aspect of the Boar up when it matters, and gives strength on top of it.
    I invested 5 points in Cry of the Lynx, which allows me to have full uptime of Aspect of the Lynx without the mana generation nodes of Swipe.
    I personally don’t invest in Call of the Pack (Avian Shelter’s endurance threshold alone makes up for it) or The Chase to be able to grab the above nodes.

  • Skill trees:

Swipe: I invested one point in Sabertooth’s Endurance to have Aspect of the Panther apply to the Sabertooth.
Since Aspect of the Panther applies to the Sabertooth - and to us, since we’re dealing damage too -, I invested the full 5 points in Aspect of the Panther (the node, not the buff :p).
I grabbed the full 4 points in Rending, as physical res shred benefits the whole zoo - us included!
Like I mentioned before, I dropped Duality of Nature, since it’s not needed any more.
I also dropped Culling and Wengarian Reach to make space for the above points.

Wolf: My tree is closer to your old tree, since the Wolf is tanky enough with endurance, which means I was able to go from the start to Pack Hunters through the top, grabbing Savage Hunters and Legendary Bite on the way.
I did take Snarl, like you, which is amazingly strong for the build.
I didn’t grab any of the nodes to the right, though, as they seem less strong to me than the offensive nodes I took.

Sabertooth: I basically grabbed all the crit nodes, as well as the “chance to trigger Flurry Swipes on hit” node.

In terms of items, on top of getting a 2 handed Obsidian Axe, I’m using a Ribbons of Blood. Pretty much all the stats on it are amazing for us. Those are pretty much the only two differences.

In terms of affixes, I cap my endurance, and get endurance threshold wherever I can, even instead of health when needed (when you’re below your health threshold, every point of health counts for 2.5 effective hit points, which means endurance threshold is better than health when you’re capped in endurance; and on top of that, leech is effectively 2.5 times more effective when below endurance threshold, which means in practice you just outleech all the damage you take even more easily).

And I think that’s it! I’m sorry for the wall of text, but I think that was useful information. Thanks again for the guide, I’m having a blast with this build :slight_smile: Let me know if you have any question or if you want a planner of my version. Take care! ^^

2 Likes

Well now you don’t summon three wolves, only one from each of your wolves. But I don’t know if you can trigger the effect twice and summon two spirit wolves from each of your wolves, it would be interesting to try :slight_smile:

Been thinking long on this suggestion… is the Sabretooth worth it, given I thought the whole point of taking the Bear was because it used your Swipe tree?

I like this.

The Bear only uses your Swipe tree every few seconds, all the Aspect of the Panther nodes affect your Sabertooth all the time. :wink: The Bear has the advantage of being overall tankier, but like I said, with the endurance and leech, the Sabretooth is more than tanky enough, and has more damage. It can come down to personal preference though, if you prefer how the Bear looks and feels, go for it!

Is there anything to be said for dropping Wolves and going with Bear, Sabre and Raptor? This would mean I do not need to gimp my amulet with a Claw or Fang.

Or even drop the Totem and go with 4 companion types and settle for only 2 Wolves?

Or Raptor, Bear, Sabre, Scorpion?

hi
can we have a d3planner of your fork buid ?
would be easier to see cahanges

thx

The thing with wolves is, it’s an amazingly efficient skill, since you get up to 4 companions for 1 skill, so I don’t really see myself replacing them. On top of that, their howl is super strong (frenzy, which means attack speed for everyone; move speed, which is great for clearing; and a total of 150% increased damage for everyone). So I think the Fang is here to stay :slight_smile:

If you want to replace the totem (or Fury Leap) with another companion, go for it, but I don’t think it’s the best idea personally. First, I personally really enjoy Fury Leap, both for the movement and the utility it provides. On top of that, adding a minion would take away one wolf, which means the minion should be noticeably stronger than a wolf for it to be worth it. That being said, fun is always the most optimal choice, so if you like another companion and want to add it, go for it! :slight_smile: But personally, I think 4 wolves + raptor + sabertooth is the best.

Sure, here’s the link: my version’s planner. Let me know if you have any question :slight_smile:

Will it would be. I take the point that Howl is excellent, but other than that, Wolves are crappy compared to the other companions. One Sabre/Bear/Raptor is surely worth at least 3 wolves in terms of a pure combat machine?

1 Like

I don’t have numbers to back it up, but I highly doubt that one bear deals as much damage as 3 or 4 wolves (whether the sabertooth and raptor do is irrelevant since we already use it), especially with spirit wolves. An added bonus of wolves is that since there’s 4 of them in the final build, and that they trigger spirit wolves regularly, it’s very easy to reach ~150 stacks of armour shred on bosses, which is enough to reach around 95% of the maximum possible increased damage taken that negative armour causes (which is around 80% increased damage taken), and that’s still without mentioning the howl. I don’t mean to sound negative or to shut down ideas, I love hearing ideas about how to improve stuff, I just think the wolves are super strong for one skill slot :slight_smile:

And I am perfectly happy listening to advice and questioning. Always questioning. :slight_smile:

I currently lack the helmet that gives +1 Companion, so my view of things is biased by that unhappy fact.

1 Like

how do you feel about the same exact build but using squirrel helm instead of artor’s and still running saber and raptor (6 squirrel + 1 raptor +1 saber)? I’ve been finding through emp monos that squirrels are just demolishing everything with the armor shredding and bleed chance.

NOTE: I took a point in “IN FOR THE KILL” for raptor with this build to give raptor huge 12-16k crits. whatchu think? wolves just makes my clears seem a lot slower.

Oh yes, the helmet is going to be a huge upgrade. :slight_smile: I hope you find it soon! :crossed_fingers:

I’ve never been lucky enough to find a squirrel helmet, so I can’t really answer, sorry. But it could be worth a try for sure.
That being said, we already “cap” the enemy in armour shred with 6 companions, and this build is playing crit (which I chose over damage over time because of all the sources of melee leech that beastmaster has access to), so I don’t know if it would be the best build to add squirrels to. But it’s worth a shot for sure :slight_smile:

As for “In for the kill”, I personally don’t think it’s worth it on this build, since only we can make enemies bleed through Swipe, and while we have enough chance to make bosses reliably bleed, it’s not enough to make enemies reliably bleed during clear, which is when In for the kill would be the best (since it’s a damage buff per nearby bleeding enemy).
So during clear, we don’t make a lot of enemies bleed, so the node isn’t very effective, and against bosses, we only make one enemy bleed, which means it’s only 4% more damage. I personally don’t think it’s worth one point on this build.

That being said, if you decide to go with squirrels and do a bleed version, it could be worth grabbing. The main issue I have with the bleed version is that all of our sources of minion melee leech wouldn’t work with bleed, so our companions wouldn’t be able to leech, which is the core of their survivability.

Hellos… I clicked on each planner link and they all (except for 96) is completely empty. Did the planner break recently?

No, it’s just supposed to be the passives & skill points. Gear is whatever you can get.

1 Like

aaaah! I somehow missed those :frowning: Thank you.

Has anyone tried single companion builds? I was playing builds using scorpion only. The venom nova is extremely powerful with the primal resonance node in the swipe skill tree. With some damage over time nodes and passives, the DPS is crazy.