Hey everyone this is Thyworm with a new build for Last Epoch, the Death Seal Lich. If you are enjoying Last Epoch content, consider subscribing. Let’s start with the build philosophy.
I will be explaining the skill Death Seal extensively, so you fully understand this skill. This is a build with a lot of variations, and I tried most of them by now, so I will give you my thoughts on that too.
Death Seal is one of the new skills in patch 0.7.8 and it’s probably the most complex skill in the game. It requires quite some testing to figure out how this should be used in an optimal way, without killing yourself, and I must say I’ve created a very solid build.
I ran over 30 timelines with it, reached wave 155 or something in the arena, so it’s very viable for end-game.
The whole idea of the build is simply to do massive damage with the Death Seal, which procs Hungering Souls, homing missiles, basically. We get transplant/rip blood as a support skill and we also have plenty of crowd control. If you’re looking for a good build to play Death Seal, then this guide is a great starting point.
Some of the pros of the build.
Massive Damage, because death seal scales with health loss, giving you a certain amount of control over how much health you want to lose, and thus how much damage you want to deal.
Very fun playstyle, because there are a lot of components involved. You can play this very straightforward, but mastering the playstyle takes many hours and offers a lot of advantages.
Easy levelling, with skills like spirit plague and death seal, because they do so much damage. I oneshot the entire campaign act 8 with this build
Viable for pretty deep arena runs and monolith, because you can play this as a kiting build, with the hungering souls killing everything around you.
Some of the cons:
Your character can be squishy, especially in between death seals.
It requires some time to get the hang of it, because death seal is a tricky skill to learn. You need to time it correctly, or you will die.
If you want to discuss this build in more detail, you can find me on my Discord. Feel free to join, link is in the description down below. I’m also streaming on twitch.tv/thyworm, every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, 8PM CET. We run a very beginner-friendly stream over there and I’ll answer all your questions about Last Epoch.
Then, the Wishlist. What stats do you want on this character?
Health, intelligence, crit chance and necrotic damage are really the only things you need, just to keep it simple. And I’m going to keep it relatively simple in this guide.
Let’s dive into the passives.
In the base tree, we take the three pretty standard damage nodes that you almost always take in a lich. It’s 8/8 necrotic knowledge, for the intelligence, then 7/8 blood aura, just damage, and 5/5 blood pact, for another 60% increased damage. It’s also very nice while levelling. If you haven’t reached the end of time yet for your mastery, spend points in eye of damnation, that’s a good node.
Then, the lich tree. This tree definitely has options and at the cost of health, you can do a lot of extra damage. I would advise you however to not take those nodes for now. The main reason is, you don’t need to do more damage. I’m critting for over 20k without these nodes. And while the nodes give you damage, they also make you lose control over your health total, because they drain life. And not being able to control your health total makes this build suddenly very difficult to play. That’s why I went another route. We’ll get back to this topic though.
For now, take 8/8 Dance with Death, for damage which is tripled at low life. We’re not a low life character, but we sometimes do get to low life, and then the 80% damage boost is nice, especially in the arena. 8/8 crippling insight is amazing, 16 intelligence. We don’t regenerate health, because of a unique, so there is no drawback. Grasp of Fate, 5/5, is great too, for necrotic damage. Take 8/8 apocrypha, for more intelligence and spell damage. Deathbringer brings us joy, with cast speed and crit chance. We utilize 5/5 clairvoyant insight, multiplying the crit damage. Necrotic energy is insane, 20 spell necrotic added damage, to which all multipliers apply. This is huge damage. 8/8 ageless ascetic is move, cast and health leech, very nice. And those are the points you want to invest in first. Then, later in end game, around level 70, health leech becomes more and more important. That’s why I took 8/8 Survival of the Cruel, leeching, but also giving me the flat health. Hollow lich is then a no brainer, multiplying all leech by 10 and turning that into spell damage. That’s around 100% spell damage for 1 passive point. And Soul Maw is something you can look in to.
Very late, around level 70 as well, I took elixir of hunger, for more flat health. It’s in the necromancer tree. You’ll soon find out why we need health so badly.
Time for the fun part, the skills.
So, ladies and gents, Death Seal. Here’s a breakdown of what it does.
It removes all your ward upon activation. So running ward is basically pointless, at least in this build.
It seals your health. That basically means that you health cannot go above the value that it has, the moment you activate death seal. If you active it at 800 health, it’s sealing your health at 800, you cannot go above 800 health for the duration of the spell, even if you have a 1300 health pool. It’s crucial therefore, that you activate death seal at the right time. If you don’t you seal your health at 200 maybe, and you will do a lot of damage, but also are likely to die. If you mess up, you can reactive death seal, press the button once more, and the spell ends.
the more percentage health you’re missing, the more damage the spell does.
Also, the more health you’re missing, the more damage reduction you’re getting. You get half the missing amount of health in damage reduction. So let’s say you activated the death seal at 20% health, that means you have 80% health lost, right? Half of that, half of 80%, is 40%, so during death seal you now reduce 40% of incoming damage.
Just rewind this a few times if you don’t get it. It took me around 4 hours of testing and playing and reading before I finally figured out how to use this spell properly without killing myself.
Okay, so we know now how it works, which is an achievement in itself. Now, let’s see what I did with it. I tried a lot of versions here, but what I would recommend is that you start this skill with 5/5 corrupted consciousness, increasing the damage of death seal per missing health. And then you take Mortal Pulse, creating death waves every second. This is amazing for levelling and just running around. You’re a walking death pulse and it’s super fun. Tachycardia is yet another very smartly named skill node. I used to study medicine, and tachycardia is an increased pulse, so it’s very fitting. Because you pulse those death waves twice as fast. This is amazing, it looks amazing, but I didn’t take it in the end, because we’re an end-game build. While levelling, this is recommended I would say.
I then went to Deaths Breadth, increasing the wave size. That’s just good for obvious reasons I would say. The quick and the dead is a life saver really, providing haste for as long as death seal lasted. In my case, that’s 7 seconds, as the spell has a 5 second timer by default and I’m adding 2 more seconds by taking moratorium, 2/3. Then, for the synergy, I took devouring release, which casts a single hungering soul every second. Please note, a single hungering soul. It doesn’t cast the skill, just the single one. However, that single one is taking all effects from the skill Hungering Souls. We soon get to that. Finally, take insatiable soul, 5/5, spawning 3 souls per second now when activating death seal.
I’ll tell you my reasoning here. The death waves are so strong in the end-game, and during levelling as well, that I felt I didn’t need to cast 2 waves per second. One was oneshotting everything anyway, on low life. So instead, I made the death seal more versatile by adding the hungering souls synergy and spawning more of those, as you can now run around and kite away, while all these skulls are homing missiles, and going for the targets chasing you. It’s also great for single target dps, as these skulls tend to do a lot of damage, also at high health. And I’m always activating death seal at high health, never at low health.
So let’s take a look at hungering souls
Because Death Seal only casts 1, the best route here is to make that one count. You do that in the bottom right corner, taking necrotic pact for base damage, then isolation for a very large, hard-hitting skull, and then you take everything over here to increase its damage. 5/5 piercing gaze for 15% base crit, which is insane by the way, and 2/2 hungering eyes, for that multiplier. Then 4/4 great soul, for even more hit damage. Because hungering souls is cast by death seal, it doesn’t cost mana. Top it off with 5/5 ravenous, more base necrotic damage, and then 2/3 reaper’s gaze, giving your souls a chance to finish off an enemy directly when they’re at 10% or lower. This works on bosses too, by the way.
We have the classic Transplant / Rip Blood synergy in here as well, for a specific purpose, which I will get to in the play style section.
With transplant, go right, to 1/3 acolyte’s fervor, just to get to dance of blood, casting 3 rip bloods. After that, go left, taking defences, 3/3 bone armor, for a 12% damage reduction, which is multiplicative with the damage reduction from Death Seal. Make it more effective by 2/2 plated bone, and make it last longer with 3/3 apostasy. Reduce the health cost of transplant a little by taking anaemia, another medical condition. Finally, turn the skill into necrotic damage, increasing the area by 60% with scarlet rain, ¾, then convert the whole thing with ethereal body and take Squeamish plus thanatophobia as well, for a double fear. It’s actually quite useful for crowd control, giving you a chance to escape. Once again, the naming of passive nodes here is just genius.
We cast 3 rip bloods, and they work like this. Take 4/4 arcane absorption, for global increased spell damage and then take rip spirit, converting the damage to necrotic. Every skill we cast is now necrotic damage, which is just super useful and easy for gearing. Then, make sure you get a lot of health from this, because you’ll need it. 1/5 hemomancer, just to get to 6/6 quenching, granting flat health and orb travelling speed. You want those orbs to reach you ASAP. Hematology provides more healing, and mana feast grants a bit of mana. I took splatter and a bit of AOE, but you can do whatever you want here really.
Finally, we’re running marked for death, for the increased damage, but mostly for the crowd control. Take 5/5 waivering resolve, destroying enemies’ necrotic protection. Then 5/5 desecration, increasing their damage taken. 3/5 long gazy gives some bigger AOE, and then take both icy manipulation, chilling enemies and terror, fearing enemies. Increase the duration of both by imposing will, 4/4. My last point went into lingering curse.
More on these spells in the play style section.
Time to look at the gear.
Let’s get the defences first. I’m only glancing blow capped and that’s it. You get so much damage reduction that I found protections simply unnecessary. This character made it to wave 150+, with the new arena system, so I’m confident in telling you that it’s not required, unless you’re a pro arena pusher but then you have good gear anyway.
Instead, focus on a few other things. Crit chance is just really nice. The crits get absolutely massive at low health, and you’d love to see that, so I took crit chance. The hungering souls also benefit from it.
I run a sorcery staff, because I’m not spending much mana, as death seal is practically free. So get as much adaptive spell damage as you can. And get necrotic and spell damage if possible, because it scales with everything.
Mostly, however, you need health. Lots of it. The reason is that death seal deals more damage the percentage health you’ve lost. Percentages. Not absolute numbers. So you want to stack health that you can lose 60% health, increasing damage output by many times that number, while still having around 500 health left. The more health you have, the more you survive while dealing damage. Add to this the reduced incoming damage, and health is extremely powerful. That’s why I took Titan Heart, a unique I recently said didn’t provide all that much useful stuff, but here it totally shines with 39% increased HP and no health regen. And more damage reduction. Heirloom of the last nomad is a metric ton of health too. And the hybrid health affix is amazing of course.
With idols, I went for healing effectiveness and crit chance. Crit chance I already explained. Healing effectiveness is nice for the rip blood healing.
I’ll link my gear in a tunklabs url as well.
I levelled using spirit plague actually. Leveling a lich is easy though, you can really do whatever you want. Transplant/rip blood levelling is pretty solid as well. And as soon as you have access to death seal, immediately pick it and start specializing in it. It’s game over as soon as you have the mortal pulse and tachycardia.
Finally, the play style during end game
Here’s the build in action.
It’s rather complicated actually.
I’m always activating death seal at 100% health or close to it. Then at least my health isn’t sealed at an annoying health %. After my health is sealed, I use transplant to bring my hp down. Because of titan heart, I’m not regenerating health, so transplant allows my to control my health %. I can choose to run around at lower health percentages, which I will do in the monolith. Or maybe I want to heal back up. Transplant costs a lot of health, and if you cast it when not around enemies, the rip blood doesn’t trigger, so you don’t heal. This way you can control your health. After death seal ends, you’re usually at lower health and you do want to use transplant around enemies, to get the health back, and then once you’re healed back to full, which only takes like 3 rip bloods, you can activate death seal again.
The skulls just fly out and seek enemies and kill them. That’s fun. And once you get surrounded, just cast marked for death, to fear them. I don’t use marked for death a lot. I do plenty of damage without it. As you can fear enemies only once, I keep it ready when I need it. Bosses are an exception of course.
That’s how everything works really well together, but it does take time to get proficient with the optimal timings and usage of death seal. It’s a lot more difficult than it looks. However, once you mastered the rotation, and there’s definitely a rotation in this build, it slowly becomes an automated loop and you’ll walk through levels, managing health % and destroying, absolutely destroying everything. It takes investment, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you have any questions guys, once more, easiest way is to hop in the Discord or the streams, twitch.tv/thyworm, every Monday, Thursday and Saturday 8PM CET.
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.