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Thorn Totem Build: Shaman or Beastmaster?


I have never played a totem build and I wanted to make one, I just can’t decide which mastery to take. I wanted to make a Thorn totem build (I know that Storm totem is probably much better). Since the damage of the totems is increased by “minion damage” items I suposse that also skills from the passiv skill tree that gives more minion damage do also increase the totem damage right? If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be much better to go for the beastmaster tree instead of the shaman tree, since the beastmaster tree has much more minion damage increasing skills?

self casting thorn totem is very hard to use unless you have the shaman’s mana benefits. It costs a ridiculous amount of mana!

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Yikes, are the mana costs that high? Looks like I will have to go with shaman then :slight_smile:

If you personaly proc the totems, yes it’s very high. I’ve seen it at more than 120 mana, I don’t know the limit.
If they’re proc’ed by an idol it’s free, but you lose control and the build is likely to become less efficient.

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Here is a sample build that does not have high cost to the totem, mainly because it takes a different path spec (cone attack instead of multiple-totem spec):

Ice Thorn Totems: Shaman, Level 100 (LE Beta 0.8.1e) - Last Epoch Build Planner


I have an other question :slight_smile: what about the skills from my passiv skill tree that increase minion damage? Do these skills from the passiv tree also increase the totem damage?

Ok good that you guys inform me about the high mana costs, I didn’t know about that, that’s something I have to consider for my build.

Not sure if I am going to use these idols, I prefer to auto-cast them :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for the build, I will check it out, this will give me an idea of how to make my build.

Look at the skill and see its tags, they say all or almost all.
Yes, totems have the “Minion” tag, so they scale with Minion affixes, nodes and passives.

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From playing both a Multi-Totem build and Single Totem build, I do notice that monsters tend to nuke all 3 totems at once on the multi-totem build, making me re-cast it (and thus costing a ton of mana), whereas when I play single totems, I do have to cast 3 times, granted. But, that lets me place them apart, and 1/2 second apart, and I notice the 1st totem takes agro while #2, 3, 4, etc. are able to fire for longer. In essence I tend to feel that single-totem builds are more efficient in DPS and mana than going up that 3-totems-at-once path in the tree.


Ahhh i see it says minion, haven’t paid attention in this lol.
Thanks for the reply.

Yea that is what I wanted to go for, just using one kind of totem, the thorn totem, I am not going to use the storm totem and I will place them one by one :), I prefer this playstyle. I have seen a video where a guy casted 5 totems at the same time in a cercle, I guess you mean this. Thanks a lot for the info about it, I can imagine that if all totems are at the same place that they get wrecked much quicker as being placed a bit everywhere.

I do not think beastmaster works well with totems.

The mastery bonuses do not really help as totems are ranged and are not considered companions. Half of the beastmaster tree is about aspects and companions and since totems are not companions, none of it would boost them.

I think shaman is almost mandatory with all the totem and minion adaptive spell damage(totem basic attacks are considered spells) and a whole lot of attunement.

Druid would be an interesting option as it does have some minion support, but its quite limited in my opinion and would not go that route.

Edit: I just remembered that you also NEED to be a shaman to even get access to the storm totem xD

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Yea I wasn’t sure, but there are a lot of minion skills in the beastmaster passiv which would also increase the totem damage, that’s why I thought it would maybe a good idea to go with that tree.

Right, druid tree is not a good idea at all for totem.

This is a good info, thank you.

I am not going to use Storm totem, I will use thorn totem :slight_smile:

I honestly don’t think thorn totem can be pushed far enough to carry your dps by itself. You can test it, but its so limited in both range and damage that I would strongly recommend doing lightning totem too, even just as a chill and slow generator. You can also get a good upkeep on haste too.

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Yea I admit that I am a bit worried about the thorn totem dps, if it doesn’t work out I will respec and make a storm totem out of it.

Well, not that it means a lot, but just wanted to share that I have decided to go and is working with a Primalist doing those Totems casting Ice Thorns.
So far Level 19. And hopefully coming to and can continue on to the Shaman Tree(s). And then I do wish for going for Earthquake and/or this Avalanche next to this Totem.

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Nice, I hope that it will work out for you. Playing with totems is a lot fun :slight_smile:

I’m playing a cold spec shaman build, with eterra’s blessing, thorn totem, storm totem, storm crows, and tempest strike.

It’s been going quite well, and it’s really fun. Thorn totem, storm, totem, storm crows, and tempest strike all have points which convert them entirely (or mostly for tempest strike) to cold damage, and they all sync together well with chill, freeze, and frostbite. Most mobs just short of bosses always get frozen. Most of the damage comes from storm totem (blizzard spec). Thorn totems and storm crows add more damage, but without storm totem the build’s damage would be much lower. Storm crows also have an activated ability (crowstorm) which can burst down tougher mobs and packs when you need it. For playstyle, I usually plop down a storm totem on one pack/area, and thorn totems in another, and dps where needed in melee with tempest strike. During bosses sometimes I just plop down totems, heal them to proc healing totems, and avoid AoE mechanics until I can get into melee range to supplement damage with tempest strike. You could also spec into avalanche to stay at range. With moderate mana regen investment in the tree and gear you never run out. The totems tank most of the damage and keep the mobs busy. In boss fights you can keep 100% damage uptime with your totems and storm crows while you run around avoiding AoE mechanics, since your minions do most of the damage. The one downside is having to resummon the totems every 8 seconds, but you get used to it.

I definitely recommend shaman for a totem build, and I would also recommend you also get storm totem if you do. Thorn totems don’t do enough damage on their own, and need to be supplemented by other companions/minions/totems for the build to work.

Another option would be a beastmaster/druid/primalist physical build, with thorn totem, other companions, swipe, and fury leap, which syncs together pretty well, but most of the damage in those builds would still be from things other than thorn totem.

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