Edit Guide

Facetanking with DoT Lowlife Warlock Build Guide

Posted by Arqwart on February 21, 2024
Last updated on February 27, 2024



With confirmation of final numbers in the 1.0 patch, this build is in the clear for being ready for liftoff on release as my starter. Let's take a look at everything at a high level.


  • 20-30% armor mitigation at all times
  • Upwards of 75%+ armor mitigation while channeling Ghostflame
  • Additional %more armor from Soul Feast stealing poison stacks from enemies, allowing us to potentially reach armor mitigation cap if being hit often
  • 15% less DoT damage from enemies due to Anguish
  • Thousands of Ward generation passively
  • Drastically reduced damage taken from enemies while channeling Ghostflame
  • Extremely high eHP for Poison damage with Aura Of Decay
  • Enfeeblement 2/3 for Frailty stacks
  • Easy ailment management
  • Potential to cap "Reduced Bonus Damage Taken from Critical Strikes" in the endgame
  • Necrotic Resistance doubling as offense and defense


  • Generic DoT scaling and Warlock's multiple sources of %more DoT / global damage on enemies
  • Multiple sources of consistent "fire and forget" DoT damage
  • Immense levels of Damned stacking, lots of Ignite stacking, and decent Poison stacking with a focus on Necrotic / Damned damage
  • Ailments on you providing damage
  • Necrotic Resistance doubling as offense and defense


  • Traversal skill in Transplant
  • Easy Haste generation via Fleeting Crone 2/5
  • Autopilot mana management with Usurp 1/1 and Soul Stealer 5/8
  • Extremely simple skill use rotation along with two automatic skills. Many skills won't be necessary while clearing, just saved for beefy rares and bosses
  • Ward build so no need for stacking Endurance / Endurance Threshold, freeing up gear slots and blessing options

Pros & Cons


High potential eHP for all damage types

Obscenely tanky while channeling Ghostflame

Easy to build and level

Easy to target farm the needed uniques, and none of the uniques need each other to function appropriately

Multiple forms of defense double as offense

Great cycle starter despite unique item dependence


Unique item dependence puts a strain on rare item Suffixes to obtain resistances

Defenses are heavily dependent on Ghostflame channeling

Poor crit damage taken management without using Legendary Potential

Stacks lots of ailments on itself to help scale damage so Ward generation is impacted constantly

Gameplay / Mechanics

General Gameplan

Put down Chthonic Fissure, cast Bone Curse, Transplant around as needed, channel Ghostflame. If it's a weak group of enemies, Chthonic Fissure alone works well enough on its own with no other skills used.

Chthonic Fissure acts as the #1 core damage output skill for the build. It has a slew of damage multipliers we're stacking, including via crit multi with Grim Tide 1/1, via Necrotic Resistance stacking with Twisted Waves 3/3, Tombgorger 3/3, 5% more damage per curse as Warlock (we'll have 5 for larger targets), via self ailment stacking with Aspect of Death 5/5, DoT to cursed with Spiteful Decay 5/8, DoT with Vessel of Chaos 5/7 and 3 overloads (Poison, Damn, Ignite), while channeling with Doom Herald 8/8, and DoT taken on enemies with Decrepify. That's just all the more multipliers that will be drastically increasing Fissure's damage output multiplicatively, especially with 500%+ uncapped Necrotic Resistance applying one of the most powerful single %more multipliers in the game in Twisted Waves 3/3.

Everything else in the build acts as utility, defense, or complementary damage.

Bone Curse has been swapped in in favor over Spirit Plague for a few reasons. 1) kill threshold, 2) manual application of Marked For Death, 3) consistent bonus damage as each spirit from Chthonic Fissure hits. This does mean, however, that we've swapped Frailty for Chill meaning it's advised we get Frailty on Hit on our Wand if possible as that's a very potent defensive mechanic.

Aura Of Decay acts as our most consistent ailment application to ourselves for helping cap out Aspect of Death 5/5 bonus damage, poison applicator for armor and resistance stacking via Toxic Craving 1/1, extremely high poison defense with its 50% less poison damage taken and Inoculation 4/4, and automatic Soul Feast casting with Feast of Souls 3/3.

Soul Feast is a tremendous passive Ward and Mana generator. It's also our only source of Withering for additional DoT damage scaling on enemies, and potentially provides us with a large amount of poison resistance and %more armor as noted above with Toxic Craving 1/1. However, we don't have it on our actual skill bar for usage as we want to have access to Transplant for on demand traversal. If you find you're fine without using Transplant and would prefer to manually cast Soul Feast, feel free to do so.

Ghostflame is less about its potential damage and more a "I don't feel like taking damage at the moment" button. The combination of Doom Herald 8/8, Disdain 4/4, Enfeebled Prey 2/2, Wraith Form 3/4, Ethereal Blockade 1/1, and Spectral Menace 5/5 makes this skill a one stop shop for insane amounts of damage reduction, armor, and Ward generation. This is also our source of Decrepify which is a fantastic boost in damage, both with its direct effect and it being another curse to apply. This is our only main skill that we'll have any need to use regularly during fights on big enemies as Chthonic Fissure and Spirit Plague are fire and forget for seconds at a time. With it being itself a DoT with its channeling damage and a good source of applying lots of Damned and Ignite, it won't be too shabby as a complementary damage option while making us borderline unkillable.

In addition to the build's active skills, it applies the following for extra layers of damage: Ignite, Damned, Anguish + Duskbringer 3/6 (Chthonic Fissure spirits count as hits), Decrepify, Poison, and Witchfire. While our main focus is on Necrotic Damage and Damned stacking, these other sources of DoT damage are also scaling with our large number of DoT / general global damage bonuses. We're also looking to scale Witchfire's damage decently well via Grimhilde's Domain 5/5.

We're also utilizing two overloads for bonuses:

  • Ignite Overload: 1% more fire damage to ignited enemies per 20% global ignite chance for fire skills. Not generally that potent as it focuses just on fire damage, but it does help Witchfire, Chthonic Fissure's rift, Ignites, and Ghostflame channeling.
  • Damned Overload: 1% more damned damage to enemies per 2% missing health on you and on the target. Immense damage increase for our immense amounts of Damned stacks as we're a lowlife build. This means that on average, we'll be getting a 40-48% more multiplier to Damned just from us being constantly at low life, not to mention the passive ramping as enemies get weaker.

Core Build Aspects

This is a lowlife build that utilizes Exsanguinous, Last Steps of the Living, and Twisted Heart of Uhkeiros to generate plenty of Ward through health sacrifice. As Warlock is so very happy to overcap Necrotic Resistance, we are of course also using Boneclamor Barbute for its lovely stats and fantastic Ward per second potential. As we're always aiming to be at low life, I've slotted in Lich's Dance with Death 8/8 for a permanent global 120% increased damage. If it turns out the build does just fine on damage output, I plan to put those 8 points into Lich's Apocrypha 2/10 instead to hit the 10 point threshold for unlocking Aura of Decay.

This is also a self-ailment build that utilizes Aura Of Decay and Immolator's Oblation to poison and ignite ourselves for bonuses, namely the 45% more global damage multiplier available from Warlock's Aspect of Death 5/5 passive. Aspect of Death also applies Damn to us on kill and when we're hit, further making getting to 90 ailment stacks on us that much easier. The combination of these three provide a large amount of damage, defense, and utility; and Immolator's Oblation allows us to have an on-demand panic button to remove all ailments with a Potion if things get out of hand.

With Ward stacking comes a need for Ward Retention which we predominantly get from stacking Intelligence. Other sources include Unnatural Preservation 5/5, Ward of Malevolence 5/5, the new Ward Decay Threshold stat, and an Opulent Focus off-hand. Intelligence stacking also doubles as a source of maximum Mana via Warlock's Occultist's Mind 5/8. This better helps us generate Ward from channeling Ghostflame and just generally feeling better to play.

Cast Speed is generally a non-factor for this build as our main skills affected by them don't need them (Chthonic Fissure + Spirit Plague), and channeling skills don't benefit from Cast Speed in Last Epoch so Ghostflame couldn't care less.



Stat Priorities


Gearing is relatively simple and is just a matter of filling out resistances and stacking Intelligence everywhere we can, especially as T6/T7. Other modifiers to look out for:

  • Armor / Reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes - unfortunately difficult to slot in as we're using unique body armor, belt, and boots. I recommend attempting to apply these with LP as noted below in the item showcase
  • Critical Strike Multiplier - scales Chthonic Fissure damage with Grim Tide 1/1
  • Increased Damage over Time - globally increases the damage of the laundry list of DoT sources we apply
  • Chance to Chill on Hit - fantastic defensive layer that we don't have access to otherwise
  • Chance to Ignite on Hit - scales Witchfire damage and allows more Ignite stacks

If you'd prefer to opt out of an "Increased Damage over Time" prefix on gloves, the prefixes PrefixExperimental Armour applies to Damage over Time & PrefixExperimental Ward per Missing Health are both fantastic options defensively. As we skyrocket our armor when channeling Ghostflame, having upwards of 14-18% of our 70-75%+ armor mitigation also applying to DoTs will heavily increase our eHP and further help mitigate our self-ailment damage. Ward per Missing Health is self explanatory on a lowlife build.

Resistances noted below are not set in stone for each individual slot. Fill in your resistances on varying items as needed based on what you find and craft. If you ever end up without any need for a Suffix, always opt to aim for Necrotic Resistance to better scale Ward generation and damage.

NOTE: because this build is focused on Ward, you do not need Endurance nor Endurance Threshold. Endurance is not applied to Ward. Anything involving Endurance is a dead stat entirely.



All idol slots are set to scale Twisted Waves 3/3 as hard as possible alongside some life via Vitality and global DoT damage. However, this is predominantly for the endgame build once your non-unique items are appropriately covering all your resistances. I recommend using your idol slots on Health, %Health, and resistances until the rest of your gear is stabilized.


The Black Sun: Grand Emptiness of Ash. Helps to scale Grim Tide 1/1

Ending the Storm: Grand Light of the Moon or Grand Grace of Water. Mana helps build Ward from Spectral Menace 5/5 while Ward Decay Threshold helps push up the floor of our Ward retention calculation. Both are great options.

The Age of Winter: Grand Bulwark of the Tundra. There's nothing else here we want.

Spirits of Fire: Grand Body of Obsidian. Severed Wards 2/3 will already max out necrotic resistance shred easily. I recommend raw armor over armor while channeling as we're already getting so much armor from Wraith Form 3/4 and Ethereal Blockade 1/1 that we're better off having better armor when caught not channeling. Frailty on Hit is also an ok option if you don't get a Frailty on Hit suffix on your wand.

Reign of Dragons: Grand Resolve of Humanity. Because of course.

Ending the Storm
Spirits of Fire
Fall of the Outcasts


The Stolen Lance


Blood, Frost, and Death


Fall of the Empire


The Last Ruin


Build Variants


Go for a typical Acolyte leveling build of either phys damage (Rip Blood, Marrow Shards, Bone Curse) or necrotic DoT (Wandering Spirits, Spirit Plague, Hungering Souls). You will want to respec one of your specializations into Chthonic Fissure as soon as it becomes available to have this as your core damage skill for the rest of the character. Chaos Bolts is also a fantastic early game damage option that can also help sustain health / mana when specialized. Use this until you eventually swap to lowlife Ward mode + Aura Of Decay.


The goal of the build is to smoothly transition one piece at a time from generic caster to lowlife Ward monster. Thankfully, every single unique utilized in the build is not necessary to have on hand before they're used. The transition is a simple one: slot in each unique as you find them (and as the rest of your gear allows for resistance management), farm monoliths to find the other uniques, and farm for specific gear slots with Exalted modifiers for your defenses & Intelligence stacking.

Once the full suite of uniques has been acquired and the rest of your gear + blessings have filled in your defenses, upgrading gear is simple as well: farm for craftable bases on rare item slots, farm and craft LP sacrificial Exalted items (Helm, Body Armor, Boots, Relic), and farm for more copies of the needed uniques with LP. The difference between not having and having just a T6/T7 Intelligence modifier on each of your uniques is staggering for both your damage and your Ward retention, and your defenses can also skyrocket with Reduced Extra Crit Damage Taken filled in via LP.

Modifier sealing can be a wonderful tool to help fill in your resistances to alleviate Suffix slots on your rare gear or to lock in Health modifiers to better scale your %Health as Ward mods on uniques. For your wand, there are a number of other good mods available that sealing can help get you access to, including: PrefixNecrotic Damage, PrefixSpell Damage, PrefixMana and Mana Regen, and SuffixNecrotic Penetration and Minion Necrotic Penetration.

The transition over to Aura Of Decay should coincide with your transition to lowlife Ward as that's when your sustain will be able to easily outdo your self-poisoning. I also recommend having Immolator's Oblation or a belt with PrefixWard and Ailment Cleansing on Potion Use before using Aura.

Loot Filter

No loot filter is provided for this guide. You can generate a loot filter for this build in the Build Planner or create one using Filter Wizard in the Loot Filters section.




  • Updated skill spread (Spirit Plague -> Bone Curse). Minor item mod changes. Notable skill tree changes (losing Poison Overload to instead max Fleeting Crone and Malefic Body).
  • Forgot to update Spirits of Fire timeline blessing to Armor in the build planner
  • Build guide was published


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