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Frostbite Frostclaw with Teleport - Introductory Runemaster Build Guide

Posted by philipov on March 30, 2024
Last updated on April 9, 2024



This guide will get you through the campaign and prepare you for empowered monoliths up to 300 corruption. It is not for those who have mastered early corruption and want to go farther. It will cover many variations for how to progress after finishing the campaign. Advice for both new players and alts.

Beginners can use the Leveling guide below as a step-by-step walkthrough: 1-100.

The basic idea is to use Frost Claw for everything. This spell automatically casts Elemental Nova to deal large area damage, and depends on Frostbite to kill bosses. The rest of the skills are chosen to support this basic combo, and don't need to deal damage.

You will use Freeze Rate Multiplier as your primary damage stat, and will be freezing things constantly. Exiled mages don't even get to move.

The build begins to show its potential at Level 20.

Core Skills

Flex Skills

Pros & Cons


Easy to play

No rune management

Freeze everything! (great support for groups)

No gear requirement to begin. (no +4 frost claw relic)

Teaches you how to make your own builds.


Doesn't stack Intelligence

Mana intensive without Wand or Spellslinger Sceptre

Tricky to remain standing on Glyph

Freeze runs out at very high corruption

Gameplay / Mechanics

Skill Order

Flame Ward | Glyph of Dominion | Runic Invocation | Teleport | Frost Claw

This build is based on the Frost Claw, Elemental Nova combo. Frost Claw is the swiss army knife for applying Frostbite, clearing waves of trash, regaining mana, and generating ward. Nova does not appear on the bar because it is automatically cast by FC.

The other 4 skills are chosen to support this central combo. Two of these are required, while the remaining two are flexible and can be altered according to user preference. These support skills offer defense or utility of some sort, and are not required to deal damage.


[Interface] In Settings->Gameplay, turn on Display Health Bars Over Players

[Keybinds] Try using Spacebar as the hotkey for Skill 4. Always put your traversal skill on it. Always have a traversal skill.


Be careful when you're just starting the map and haven't built up any ward yet. That's when you're most vulnerable. Make sure to warm up your ward before you engage. Fill your 3 runes and pretty much keep Runic Invocation held down; invoking Reowyn's Frostguard is effectively free.

Master the Shoot-and-Scoot with Frost Claw. Fire a burst of projectiles and move while they fly. Keep moving in between attacks, and try not to overkill on trash. This will not maximize your dps, but it will maximize your clear speed, and help conserve mana if you can't sustain.

Move constantly to make yourself less likely to be hit by stray projectiles. Let your damage over time finish off weak enemies without further investment. You often only need to fire a single volley to kill most of a wave.

Don't stop for small groups unless there's something valuable or deadly. Instead, run past all the enemies and get them to follow you. Bunch up a big crowd and kill them all at once to get the most out of Freezing Cascade. When you're done running and turn to fight, activate Flame Ward so you don't accidentally die before dealing damage. Focus your fire on the biggest threats while also making sure everything is Frozen.

Use Glyph of Dominion and Teleport to move through the level faster. Get in a rhythm so you can keep both Haste and 5 stacks of Momentum for Essence of Celerity at all times.

Accomplish your Primary Objective in a speedy manner and get out. Grab any chests, shrines, and mage prisons you come across, but do not full clear.

Monolith echoes include an Arena objective. If you don't like those because they take too long, you can see them on the echo web and avoid them. The echo name will always include Arena.

Map layout is not random. Learn the maps, many of which are from the campaign. Try to predict where the objective might be if you get one that starts hidden. Some maps might even start you directly next to the target you need to kill and can be completed in 10 seconds. I've had that happen in the sewers repeatedly.


Your primary source of damage is Frostbite. The first 30 stacks make it easier to freeze the target, but try to stack it as high as it will go to maximize your damage. Throughout the midgame you should find you can keep many bosses almost permanently frozen, as long as you don't run out of mana.

Stand on Glyph of Dominion for All Resists and Ward Per Second. You can use it to kite the Abomination boss with Slow.

Flame Ward isn't always available, so you'll need to learn to use it reactively when you realize you can't avoid an attack. It can take some practice to get a feel for it.

Keep Reowyn's Frostguard up at all times as usual. Warmage's Initiative can be used to hop out of boss mechanics at the same time as refreshing the shield. It's more likely to work than you might think!

Use Teleport to help you avoid attacks that would one-shot you. Sometimes all the damage reduction in the world won't save you, and you simply have to doooooodge!


Mages use ward as their primary source of Effective Health. EHP is the amount of raw damage it takes to kill you, with all your Health and Ward, Armor, Resist, and other sources of Damage Reduction counted in.

When you start seeing tick marks on your ward bar, each is equal to your Maximum Health. Ward has no hard limit, but it has a soft cap. The more ward you have, the faster it decays.

  • Ward Retention slows the rate at which ward decays, and is most important for raising your soft cap.
  • Ward Threshold raises your minimum ward by a fixed amount permanently. It's good to have idle ward.

Ward is primarily generated by using skills. Equipment Affixes, Passive and Skill Tree nodes are selected to grant your skills the ability to generate ward. It is possible to get Ward per Second for passive ward, but that's not how you get the big ward numbers.

  • When you are doing nothing, you are at your Idle Ward.
  • Your Mapping Ward is how much you can hold onto while moving through a map as quickly as you can.
  • When you have a huge crowd of enemies filling your screen, you will experience Peak Ward.
  • Finally, keep an eye on your Boss Ward. It can be harder to build it without any trash around.

This build generates most of its ward by casting Frost Claw and Elemental Nova. Particularly early on, Invocation and Flame Ward will dump a lot of ward at once, but they have hefty cooldowns. Only stopping for targets of opportunity, like elite enemies and large crowds, allows you to keep your mapping ward up without slowing down too much.

Some Vague Benchmarks:

  • 1,000 ward - Level 60
  • 4,000 ward - 100 corruption
  • 12,000 ward - 300 corruption

Scaling Tags and Damage

A skill has tags; damage has a type.

Skills will typically scale with modifiers that specify one of their tags, like Intelligence, Spell, Cold, etc. Press alt over a skill to bring up a Detailed Information tooltip for the skill's scaling tags.

Spell, Melee, Bow, Throwing, Damage over Time, and Channeling are examples of method tags.

  • Spell, Melee, Bow, and Throwing skills have their own types of Cast/Attack Speed
  • Damage over Time can not crit
  • Channeling skills only benefit from Cast/Attack Speed by letting you begin channeling faster. They do not tick more often.

Cold, Physical, Elemental are examples of resist tags. Elemental means either Fire, Cold, or Lightning. Although these tags hint at what kind of damage a skill does, they may not represent it perfectly. Damage modifiers affect matching damage, regardless of a skill's tags.

A skill will benefit from less specific modifiers, but not more specific ones. Increased Crit Chance and Increased Spell Crit Chance will be added together for a spell. A Poison Damage over Time effect will benefit from Increased Damage over Time, but not Increased Elemental Damage over Time.

Skill tags and damage types overlap, but there is a difference. You can add flat Void Spell Damage to a Cold spell, but that new damage will not benefit from your Increased Cold Damage. It will benefit from any Increased Spell Damage. A skill can have its damage split between different types, and each one will be treated separately. In this example, the Void keyword is not one of the tags used to match the skill; it is the effect. It is the type of damage that gets added.

Damage always has only a single resist type, so if a spell deals multiple damage types, its base damage is split between them. Each portion gets the appropriate multipliers. Increased Elemental Damage will not add 3 times its effect if a spell deals Fire, Cold, and Lightning damage.

Added, Increased, More

These three keywords are used to describe how a modifier to a stat will scale, either it adds a flat value or it multiplies it. Increased and More modifiers are both multipliers, but they stack differently. Effective builds are able to combine multiple modifiers to create better-than-linear scaling for their important stats, like damage and ward.

The calculation for any stat begins with a base value, which gets multiplied by several modifiers. Added stats like +10 Spell Damage (for a skill with the Spell tag) will add directly to the base damage. Damage gets its base values from the skill or effect that caused it. Crit's base chance is 5%. If a modifier begins with a + you are looking at Added scaling. It is very powerful; bases start small so improving them makes all your multipliers hit harder.

All the sources of Increased Damage will be added together before multiplying the base value once. If you get too much Increased Damage, it will start to feel like it has less and less effect. This is sometimes called diminishing returns, but it's really just linear scaling with the flat damage.

Every different source of More damage will multiply the result individually. Adding a new source of More damage is always better than adding the same amount of Increased Damage, and if you can keep finding new sources you get runaway exponential scaling.

  • Final = (Base + Added) x (1+Increased + Increased + Increased) x (1+More) x (1+More)

In a sense, all your Increased Damage is just another source of More Damage; it is the standard source.

If you have two multipliers you can stack at the same time, such as Increased Damage and a source of More Damage, that would look like quadratic scaling. Three would be cubic scaling. Cast Speed and Penetration stats behave like More Damage multipliers.

Achieving better-than-linear scaling is how people are able to master high corruption and other late endgame content.

Stat Conversions

There are Unique items that have modifiers that convert a stat into another stat. You keep the original stat, so this doubles its effectiveness! This guide makes use of two stat conversions:

  • Freeze Rate Multiplier -> Cold Penetration for Frostbite
  • Cold Resistence -> Ward Retention

The build's key item Snowdrift boots enables the first conversion, and later you can obtain Frostbite Shackles to enable the second one.

Freeze Rate Multiplier is this build's primary stat. Frostbite Penetration is More Damage. It allows the build to scale both offensively and defensively, and it takes the place of Intelligence at every opportunity. Your cold spells have a chance to Freeze equal to the Enemy HP / Freeze Rate. FRM improves a spell's base Freeze Rate, allowing you to freeze beefier enemies, even bosses.

It does not do quite as many jobs an INT can, so the build uses Cold Resistence to shore up on Ward Retention. The available itemization makes it easy to stack. It helps that FRM affixes often come with free Cold Resist on them!

Ailments Inherit Scaling

Ailments are not spells, and do not benefit from spell damage. If you look in your C menu and check the damage your ailments deal, it will appear that they do not scale from Intelligence either.

This is deceptive, because the C menu does not show conditional modifiers that are applied during combat. In fact, due to an obscure rule, ailments will inherit the modifiers of the skill that applied them.

If you apply Frostbite with a skill that scales with Intelligence (and your skills do), then the ailment will also scale with Intelligence, 4% Increased Damage per point. Because the modifier isn't applied until you use the skill, you can't see it in the C menu.

Technically, the ailment is also inheriting any Increased Spell Damage you have, but because it is not a spell, the modifier does nothing.

The inheritance rule applies to more than just ailments, and it is transitive. It applies to any ability that is triggered by something else. If you could summon a minion that could summon a minion, the minion's minion would inherit both yours and its parent's sources of Increased Minion Damage.



Stat Priorities



  • This item allows Frostbite to scale with 1/5th Freeze Rate Multiplier.
  • They are the engine for scaling your damage into empowered monoliths.
  • You maintain your ability to Freeze difficult enemies, which gives you a lot of active defense.
  • They are an uncommon world drop. You can get them from Rune of Ascendance with ~7% chance.

Frostbite Shackles

  • Your first target farming priority when starting empowered.
  • Not only does it have all the stats you want, this item makes Cold Resist into Ward Retention.
  • Uncapped means it ignores the cap.

Frozen Ire

Alt Early-game

Players who already have a high level character can get these with Legendary Potential. They will become strong items for leveling an alt. A Unique will never increase its level requirement when it becomes Legendary.

If you have an exalted donor with a base from a different class than your alt, you can still combine it with a unique as long as it doesn't have any of the wrong Class Prefixes.

Arboreal Circuit - Stats are overrated, this gives up to 18% Movement Speed at level 1, and creates a decoy if you get hit. The decoy is good at drawing aggro. <3

Firestarter's Torch - It doesn't matter that it's fire; it doesn't have a level requirement. Throw on T7 Cast Speed and T5 Spellslinger to melt everything.

Tome of Elements - Also no level requirement, and the life leach helps keep you alive before you have any ward.

Vial of Volatile Ice - Even though it looks like a rogue item, all its other stats are great. It's hard to find early sources of Frostbite Chance.

Snowblind - It has the stats you want. Get one with 2LP and smash the best prefices.

Urzil's Pride - These are common enough to get with 3 LP. Start using exalted items at level 15.

Honorable Mentions

The Cuckoo - When this procs, it keeps those implicits, which can make a great exalted offhand. Don't sit on these: fish for a good roll.

Always Good:

  • PrefixIntelligence - Begin with this stat, and eventually replace it with better ones.
  • Although you won't see it on your character sheet, Frostbite does scale with INT when you apply it with Frost Claw.
  • This doesn't make it worth continuing to stack Int. It's not a bad stat, but Freeze Rate Multiplier is better for this build.
  • PrefixMovement Speed - Sacrifice anything to get this.
  • PrefixCast Speed - More More. It's both offensive and defensive.
  • SuffixIncreased Cooldown Recovery Speed - This helps your utility skills.

Increased Damage:

Freeze Rate Multiplier:





Settle for Second Best:

  • For most of the campaign, you won't be high enough level to roll anything better than PrefixMana
  • PrefixMana Regeneration doesn't scale with cast speed, but sometimes it's all you have.

Some uniques may suggest a minimum Legend Potential.



During the Campaign: Get more damage.

During Monoliths: Cap your resistances.

Hunt the best-in-slot affix combinations for Mage idols to complete your build.


Special mentions here are Ending the Storm and Age of Winter - they give cold and freeze blessings.

You can take Frailty from Spirits of Fire if you don't have another source of it.

Use equipment blessings to hunt for items you need.

  • Fall of the Outcasts - Idols, etc
  • The Stolen Lance - Equipment
  • Blood, Frost, and Death - Weapon
  • Fall of the Empire - Crafting
  • The Last Ruin - Crafting

Build Variants


Mage's early game is pretty jank. This build's core combo uses Frost Claw to cast Elemental Nova automatically. Once you have that online, things really fall into place, and you can take Nova off your bar completely.

At first, you won't be doing a lot of damage over time; you start picking up more ways to apply Frostbite as you transition into the midgame. Frost Claw's direct hits will become a smaller proportion of your single-target damage as you progress.

When you specialize a skill, its rank begins at the Minimum Skill Level for your current level. MSL ranges from 1 to 10. You get a large bonus to Skill XP gain when you're below twice the MSL. As a result, it becomes increasingly easy to respecialize and experiment.

The most important steps are marked in Red below.

Step-by-Step Mage

Level 1 - You start the game with Lightning Blast. It is an amazing endgame skill but you won't be using it for long. Struggle with it as a puny mortal, and throw it away as soon as you reach the next level.

Level 2 - This is the part of the game where you try out all the spells you'll never use again. I'm going to tell you about them as you pass over them. Our next contestant is Fireball. You can use this for single target damage until level 12.

Level 3 - Finally a spell you're not going to discard immediately. Snap Freeze is a heavy duty utility spell that doesn't need to be specialized to be useful for us. This is your panic button. It works on bosses, and recovers cooldown when you freeze enemies. Keep this in your pocket for whenever you need a Cold spell for your flex skills.

Level 4 - Elemental Nova is the first of our core spells. Specialize this at Level 5, then walk right into a crowd of howling monsters wearing those flimsy robes and really let them have it! I'm not kidding; just use this spell for everything. Try to get as much movement speed as you possible so you can close in faster. Use the Freeze Rate on Ice Nova to protect yourself.

Level 5 - Now you have enough skills to fill your bar, butMana Strike is melee, not a spell, and you don't want it for this build.

5 Mage Passive - Between level 5-7, you'll get Glacier. You have no hope of having enough mana to use this. Replace Lightning Blast with it anyway. This can help you get close enough to spam Nova, but don't cast it more than once!

Level 7 - Flame Ward is important. It provides you with 30% Less Damage Taken when it's up. 30% Damage Reduction is a big deal, but the campaign doesn't hit that hard, so you probably don't need it yet. Its element will be important for giving you a Fire or Cold rune to use with Runic Invocation. You won't be specializing this for a while, but take it now and replace Mana Strike.

Level 8 - You get your second specialization, but you can't pick the skill you want yet. Specialize Glacier instead. You might as well try it out for the 4 levels you'll need to wait until you get your main skill. Take as much Breaking Point 4/4 as you can before you respec.

Level 9 - Teleport. Traversal! Now you're a real character. Use this to teleport on top of people and spam Nova. Smack Orian with your wand. I know you rolled a mage so you could charge into battle and rip them apart from up close! ... I'm going to be honest with you, I replaced Fireball to take this. If that doesn't sound kosher to you, you could give up Flame Ward for now. Enemies aren't a real threat yet; use potions if you take damage. You will not specialize this skill.

10 Mage Passive - Nothing happens here :stare:

Level 12 - Frost Claw. Change your second specialization to this immediately. This will be your main skill, but it doesn't start to feel good until you've got Volley of Glass 1/1 to turn it into a machine gun. Continue to rely on Nova for now, and use this when you have to stay at range... At this point, your skill bar could look like this:

15 Mage Passive - With another point, you'll have Rune of Winter 1/5, which will convert Volcanic Orb into Cold damage. You can try it as one of your two flex skills if you like.

Level 15 - I'll stop mentioning the skills that aren't relevant to this guide now.

20 Mage Passive - Save any additional passive points until you unlock Runemaster.

Early Runemaster

End of Time - Runic Invocation. Pick Runemaster as your subclass and get your new skill. You can not change your subclass later. Invoke will be your third specialization, but you can't do it yet. You're probably around Level 16 when you get it, so just chill for now.

Level 20 - Use your first 4 specialization points in Runic Invocation to immediately grab Immutable Order 1/1. You need to make space on your bar for it, so drop Snap Freeze. Until you remove Elemental Nova around Level 32, you will only have 1 flex skill, and it must be fire.

  • The skills must be in this order on your skill bar:
  • Elemental Nova | Flame Ward | Runic Invocation | Teleport | Frost Claw
  • This gives you the CFC runes you need to invoke Reowyn's Frostguard. It provides you with a lot of ward and damage reduction, doesn't cost mana, and has 100% uptime. You might as well hold the button down permanently.
  • By now you should have enough points in Frost Claw to take Volley of Glass 1/1. This is where FC starts outpacing Nova. Try to start relying on it entirely.

15 Runemaster Passive - We get access to a new utility spell for the flex slot: Frost Wall. You don't have room to put it on the bar yet, so keep it in your pocket for later.

12/20 Frost Claw - When you have Celestial Conflux 2/3, remove Elemental Nova from your bar and replace it with a Cold spell. This completes the transition to relying on Frost Claw for all your damage. You're back up to 2 flex skills again. Make sure you have one of each element and they're in the correct order:

Level 35 - Specialization #4 - Flame Ward. Go directly for the second charge with Dual Aegis 1/1. You will use this as your fire rune until you get Glyph of Dominion, when you will change it to a cold rune. Make sure you save a skill point as you approach Level 50 so you can take Frost Ward 1/1 immediately.

Level 40 - Minimum Skill Level 6 - It feels like these levels pass by like a flash. When you hit both Frostguard and Flame Ward, you should be seeing the ward build up a lot now. At high levels, the ward these abilities provide is outshone by the Damage Reduction they grant, but at this level, 400 is a lot! Make sure you're stacking Intelligence so you can retain it as long as possible. I was seeing it go over 2000.

Level 45 - Don't forget to be saving that last skill point for Flame Ward right now.

Level 50 - Specialization #5 - Glyph of Dominion - This is your new way to obtain a fire rune, so it's time to swap Flame Ward to cold to maintain your rune balance. MSL7. Your bar has now achieved its final form:


Campaign End - Now you begin the midgame.

  • Your next steps to progress are to begin doing the normal-mode Monolith of Fate, and to do dungeons and arenas with the keys you find there.
  • Don't try to max the stability for each echo; accomplish the objective, get out, and move on.
  • Do try to hit any chests, shrines, or mage prisons on your way.
  • Completing the first monolith timeline will unlock two new timelines. Try to unlock all the timelines quickly.
  • If you want to rush to empowered, keep going right until you reach the 3 level 90 timelines.
  • Don't worry about the level ranges. Your power level is going to become unhinged from the level of the zone as your gear outpaces the difficulty.
  • To unlock empowered, you need to finish the three Level 90 timelines.

5 Sorcerer Passive - Depending on how quickly you move through the campaign, you might get Static Orb earlier or later. This flex spell is only good if you specialize in it and make it cold. Its main job is to give you Lightning Aegis for more Damage Reduction.

15 Sorcerer Passive - The last flex skill featured in this guide is Ice Barrage. Great for applying frostbite stacks. It doesn't need to be specialized for a rune, but you'll want to do it to get access to another defensive layer using Ice Shield 1/1.

Level 60 - MSL8

Level 70 - MSL9 - As your Minimum Skill Level starts to approach the 10 point cap, you'll find it much easier to respecialize a skill if you want to try an alteration to your skills.

Level 80 - MSL10, the Maximum Minimum Skill Level. Starting now is the earliest level you can expect to begin Empowered Monoliths. They herald the endgame.

  • Monoliths become Level 100 and 100 Corruption, and things can really begin to kill you in there. Expect a significant jump in difficulty.
  • They're also one of the best places to farm items.
  • If you've been getting good drops and have done a quick job of unlocking all the timelines, give empowered a try and see how you fair.
  • Try to push the difficulty/rarity as high as you can handle, while still quickly clearing every echo.
  • Welcome to the endgame!

Level 100 - You win!


Level 100 content is endgame. This includes Empowered Monolith, Tier 4 Dungeons and Arena, and Endless Arena. These are your tools for getting the best items in the game.

Don't let your level stop you from progressing. You should be able to handle 100 corruption between level 80-90. The last 10 levels take forever to finish anyway, so don't wait.

You will get more Experience/Favor from higher corruption.

Since Dungeons and Arenas are a bit harder on average, you could count Tier 3 as well, perhaps. It's not an entirely clear dividing line, but there is a real jump in difficulty when you cross it. If you're keeping up on gear and build scaling, you'll feel the jump, and cross it without issue.


To unlock Empowered mode, complete the three Level 90 timelines, then visit the island in between them. On empowered, you can go directly to the Boss when you have enough Stability, and these timelines will commonly include an echo reward that grants a Unique or Set Item of a certain type. I've highlighted the most interesting options:

  • Fall of Outcasts - Bows, Quivers
  • The Stolen Lance - Wands, Sceptres, Staves, Catalysts
  • Reign of Dragons - Swords, Axes, Maces, Daggers, Spears
  • The Black Sun - Helm, Shields
  • Blood Frost and Death - Body
  • Ending the Storm - Gloves
  • Fall of the Empire - Belts
  • Sprits of Fire - Boots
  • Age of Winter - Rings, Amulets
  • The Last Ruin - Relics

Each timeline boss has its own loot table and blessing selection. Blood, Frost, and Death has the most important boss drop for this build: Frostbite Shackles. I suggest farming that one the most.

Once you're tired of bullying Formosus, you can spend some time at Reign of Dragons looking for Twisted Heart of Uhkeiros with legendary potential.

Another feature added in empowered mode is Gaze of Orobyss. Each time you kill the timeline boss, you gain a stack of Gaze. When you kill Orobyss, you get bonus corruption for each stack. If you die to Orobyss, you lose all your stacks.

When pushing, it is best to do Orobyss after every 2 stacks of Gaze. Bonus corruption begins to get diminishing returns at 3 stacks. The returns are (+10, +20, +27, ...) -- 2 stacks maximizes efficiency.

Try to find a corruption level that feels comfortable. You should be able to finish echoes quickly and cleanly. If it takes 10 minutes or you're dying frequently, the increased Item Rarity isn't going to be worth it. Don't worry about pushing too far. If you make it too hard, you're allowed to back down by doing the node next to the start location.

Dungeons and Arenas

Besides the boss loot, every Dungeon has a special reward. It is important to use them and not only grind echoes. Arenas aren't as good, but have some incentives.

  • Temporal Sanctum - Allows you to make one Legendary item. The most important dungeon.
  • Soulfire Bastion - Killing enemies gives you points you can use to buy randomized items from the Soul Gambler.
  • Lightless Arbor - The general-use gold dump: spend money to improve drop chances in the Vault.
  • Arena - Pauses every 5 waves. Every 10 waves you pick a modifier to improve the boss's drops and difficulty.
  • Endless Arena - This is what the Ladder Rankings are based on. You can choose to stop when it pauses on the 5th wave. It takes forever to get far.

Luxury Jewelry

Be on the lookout for these Extremely Rare Accessories that enable pushing into super high corruption. Not only do these items have very low drop rates, they're made even harder to find because you really want them with Legendary Potential. Exalted items can be very hard to beat, even for these.

  • Oceareon- Everything this does is amazing for you. It can drop anywhere, but Age of Winter has Ring rewards.
  • Julra's Stardial - 1 LP is easy, but this becomes valuable with 2 or more.
  • Red Ring of Atlaria - Extremely rare, and extremely endgame
  • Omnis - Requires 200+ corruption Orobyss

Next-Level Ward

No matter how tanky you are, there's a corruption level where enemies will one-shot you. Extending how long your defenses last is instrumental to pushing corruption, because it allows you to clear without serious risk of dying every second. Bosses might be deadly to you, but you should be able to handle trash fairly casually.

To enable this, you should get more Ward to improve your Effective Health. There are 2 broad approaches to this, supported by itemization. High Life and Low Life.



Unexpectedly, both of these options ask you to build a lot of health. Before this, Health was largely irrelevant. All the damage should only be hitting your ward. Both of the above mechanisms allow you to take your Ward Generation to the next level by scaling it with your health.

High-Life uses Twisted Heart to convert your Current Health into ward, then heals it back up using Life Leech. This doesn't improve your idle ward, and will drain your life without healing if you try to warm up without anything to leech.

Low-Life requires at least 2 items that give you ward based on your Maximum Health, but will remove as much as all of your current health. This allows you to always have active any effects that trigger at low life, and gives you a very large amount of Idle Ward. While the low-life effect on Last Steps looks appealing, this build can't use them because it requires Snowdrift :(

Loot Filter

Don't rely on downloaded loot filters. Your filters should be personalized, based on your current gear and shard situation. Take an hour and learn to make your own from scratch. It will be worth it. Here is a basic outline:

  • Show Unique/Set
  • Show Exalted - 1 Tier 6+ affix from List
  • Show Rare - 3 affixes with N total tiers from List
  • Show Experimental and Personal affixes
  • Show Class Idol - 2 affixes from List
  • Show Generic Idol - 2 affixes from List
  • Show Items for Shattering - see crafting below
  • Hide All

Use this guide's Stat Priorities section to decide which affixes to include in each list. Don't try to filter by most secondary stats. Simplify the problem to your most important, core stats that aren't shared by other classes. You'll be getting all the other stats coming along for the ride whether you like it or not.

For Rare items, N can begin at 3 and go as high as 15 (3xt5). Start small and raise it when you're getting too many items. You can start hiding all Rare items around the time you've replaced them with exalted or better.

Filtering Exalted items is easier than Rares, because you can choose to focus on a single affix. Don't mess around with items where the T6+ affix is sub-optimal. I wish it were possible to have multiple Affix conditions in a single rule, but under the current limitations, it's best to vet the lower tier affixes manually.

You could make a separate rule for every Item Slot, and make it specific to the affixes you want for that slot. Doing this allows you to filter by the specific Item Base whose implicits you want; do not do this. You can use exalted items regardless of implicits, as donors for making legendary items. It becomes a big headache to manage that many rules. Only do this if you're sure it's worth it.

When it comes to crafting, you should collect all types of shards, even ones you don't intend to use. They can be used for Glyph of Chaos. I start by showing all Class Affixes, and then remove each as I get it above 30 shards. I'll take an item with a very rare affix even if it only has Tier 1.

Use both Rune of Shattering and Rune of Removal to obtain shards, depending on the situation. Shatter is cheap but won't give you maximum shards, so use Removal if you absolutely must get them and have the required forging potential.


Is this the best build?

This is the best starter build. It provides power throughout the campaign and midgame, and smoothly transitions into endgame. It excels at low-to-mid corruption, where Freeze Rate is effective. Eventually, enemy HP will grow too high and freeze will give out. Until then, this build provides a platform to bootstrap yourself beyond the endgame.

Why am I always out of mana?

Make sure you took Gift of Winter 3/3. You need a Wand, or Sceptre with T6+ Spellslinger. Get Ornate Idols with Frost Claw Mana Efficiency. Frost Claw shouldn't cost more than 10 mana.

What about +4 Frost Claw Relic?

It doesn't exist in your timeline. Don't chase after unicorns.

Which Item Faction is best?

Although the Merchant Guild allows you to buy exactly what you need, prices are skyrocketing right now from rampant inflation. Do you have 100s of millions of gold to spend? If you're farming high corruption and selling the drops, you might, but how do you get there? Circle of Fortune's loot bonuses are intense, especially if you play with a small group of friends that can trade between themselves using Obsidian Resonances.


Visit the #Mage channel in Last Epoch Official Discord.

This guide would not be possible without help from the folks who hang out there.



  • Revised builds based on feedback
  • Fix Headers - Day 0 patch
  • Build guide was published


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