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GREAT BEGINNER BUILD - Lightning Blast Mage Revisited - Last Epoch Build - Patch

Time stamps:
0:23 — Challenges
0:50 — Build Philosophy
1:41 — Wish List
2:19 — Passives
5:03 — Skills
8:42 — Gear ( )
10:31 — Leveling & Play Style

Hey everyone this is Thyworm with another revisited build guide, this time the beginner-friendly Lightning Blast Mage. If you are enjoying Last Epoch content, consider subscribing.

I am assuming that you watched the original build guide. You should, if you haven’t. If you go into this update without context, it may be hard to follow. Just a friendly heads up.


If you followed the previous build and logged in to patch 0.7.8, you will now face some challenges.

Primarily, ward was just completely nerfed. There are plenty of ways to gain ward still, however, to keep the philosophy of the build intact, we’re not really making much use of those options. You will have some ward, but that’s really about it. Other defensive mechanics have made their way into the build and we’ll get into that.

A challenge we used to have and don’t have anymore, are crashes. Lightning blast crashed the client previously, but that has been fixed. That’s excellent news.

Up next, the build philosophy.

[build philosophy]

It’s still a build very much aimed at beginners. Because of the overhauls in patch 0.7.8, we now need significant changes to this build to keep it viable. Skills have changed, passives have changed, gear has changed, but the philosophy of the build remains. It’s all about long-distance lightning damage and having a build that is easy to level and play with.

Actually, we went pretty much full bananas on the DPS, because it provides a lot of advantages.

Ward got hit hard with the nerf hammer. We invest therefore a lot less in ward and have implemented other defensive mechanics. Freezing enemies, distracting enemies, shocking enemies and stunning enemies are built in the kit. We swapped some skills as well, and overall I would say the build is a lot more streamlined than before, with skills that have a specific purpose, some good reactive defensive skills and overall good damage and survivability.


The Wishlist, a new section in the guide, was requested via my stream. You can find me on, every Monday, Thursday and Saturday 8PM CET. So, what do you really need for this build to work?

Mainly, lightning or elemental damage, crit chance, crit multiplier, cast speed and dodge rating. Intelligence is always good too, but less good than before, because of the ward nerfs. We do want to dish out a good chunk of damage. It’s fun and it’s good to kill enemies before they reach you. It’s a very viable defensive strategy. Dodge rating helps a lot. And we want to be glancing blow capped of course.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the passives


When levelling, don’t spend more than 20 points in the base tree. I’m level 85 however, so I put some extra points in here. You can take these temporarily, until you reach the End of Time where you get your mastery. Then, make sure to respecc and invest in the sorcerer tree.

We take 8/8 arcanist, for the intelligence. Take 1 point in Elementalist, and take 1/10 Reactive ward. Both aren’t good nodes, but you need to spend you stuff somewhere, to get to 10 points. Take 5/5 Mage flurry, because cast speed is really good. I still take 5/5 Warden, because it’s good value for your investment, and we still generate ward. When you have more points to spend, around level 70, You could return to the base tree and take 5/5 Sun and Storms, increasing lightning damage and providing 35 ward on using a lightning and fire skill. It has a 10 second cooldown, which we reduce by taking 3/3 Silver Rune, so now it’s only a 4 second cooldown and the ward gained is increased by 60%. This is a very steady source of ward. I took 1 point in Arcane current, for the memes.

Then, the sorcerer tree. Take 8/8 calculated destruction, because we want crit chance. 5/5 Arcane Momentum is insane, another 25% cast speed. 10/10 wisdom gives intelligence and mana. The latter isn’t important when levelling, but around level 80+, you want to aim for 300+ mana, to get synergy with gear and idols and increase bonuses those idols give. 30 mana helps. We are a lightning mage, so 8/8 Ceraunomancer makes a lot of sense. Shocking enemies reduces their stun resistance and elemental resistance, which is nice. Crackling precision, 8/8, is even more crit chance. Arcane obliteration increases the damage you do when you do a critical strike, which is very often by now. 50% is a lot. Take 10/10 arcane insight, for the intelligence and the constant buff, called insight. It grants another 20% elemental damage and ward retention for 4 seconds, on hit. This is always active. Spell Singer is a mandatory node in any mage build, 5 adaptive spell damage and 15% cast speed is way too good to pass up on. 5/5 arch mage grants another 5 adaptive spell damage and finally, take 4/4 recollection, for 20% cooldown recovery speed. This helps a lot with our abilities, like teleport, flame ward and snap freeze, which all have pretty long cooldowns. You can see that I currently have 1 point in mana shell. That’s just to reach 300 mana. I currently have 301 mana, thanks to this node. As soon as I find gear with a bit more mana on it, or I gain like 10 more levels, I will lose this node. It’s a nice node though, if you are short on mana.

Skills are up next

[skill specialization]

Lightning Blast remained the same, so for details check the original video. We still have multitarget chains, and of course the increased range. We strike multiple times, we do increased hit damage, and very importantly, the lightning aegis. 10% on cast means it’s always active, because we cast so often. 50% increased lightning damage and 25% less damage taken is very good. It also scales well with some of our idols, which increase casting speed when lightning aegis is active.

All our other skills changed or were modified.

Let’s start with the crows control skills, which is black hole and snap freeze.

Black hole is not here for the damage, but for controlling the monsters. Take the extra duration first, with 3/3 stability and after that 3/3 endless maw, for a total of 120% increased duration. We then increase the pull strength by 75%, taking 5/5 intensity and move on to massive, increasing the size of the black hole. Our final points to into 1/5 time dilation, for blind chance, but mostly to get to cascade fracture, giving black hole a chance to cast itself again. That’s a very long cc-timer.

Our other cc spell is snap freeze, which instantly freezes enemies. You start this with 4/4 Snow Flurry, for mana efficiency and recovery speed, so you can cast it more often. 2/3 Focused Frost reduces the mana cost by 20% and the node afterward, 7/7 wandering Fog, increases the spell size a lot. You freeze a lot of enemies this way. Finally, take 7/8 Adept, for that sweet cast speed. The whole point of this spell is to cast it quickly when things get tricky and then use the following spell, teleport.

Teleport underwent a few changes as well, it’s now more of a support spell. I would start with 4/5 plasma protection, for some protections and then get the clones. 1/1 unexpected copy, a clone on arrival, and 1/1 decoy position, another clone at departure. These clones are super useful in distracting enemies, as they taunt them. Then, add some knockback to this skill, using unstable arrival and 3/3 intense arrival. This knockback is super useful in case you accidentally teleport into a group of enemies in the arena or something. At least they’re not instantly oneshotting you. Then, you take some ward, with 5/5 ether barrier, and then 3/3 out of body, converting health to ward by a factor 2. It’s a really good node.

Our final skill is still flame ward, because even though it was heavily nerfed, it still serves its purpose. It should now be used reactively, whenever you expect incoming damage. We also built in another neat trick though. I still just went fully ward, because we don’t need the damage. Take 4/5 Stalwart Defense, for 160 ward. 4/4 concentrated shielding is great, another 200 ward. Fortification, another 150 ward. 3/3 fuel the flames, more ward. And dual aegis, provides another charge, which is super useful. You can now spam the button twice for a burst around 2k ward. That’s the ward, now we get some more utility out of this. Take 4/5 barrier, for flat damage reduction, 32%. That’s significant. We take Warden Pulse as well, knocking enemies back when using flame ward, super useful in tricky spots. And finally, we take 1/3 desperate defense, to get to Astonish. Flame ward is cast when you are stunned, and that’s pretty amazing. Enemies that stun you, tend to be harder hitting enemies, and that’s exactly when you need that little extra effective life. It has saved my life multiple times. Also, the damage reduction procs, so it works really well together.

Time to look at the gear.


Previously the focus was on getting ward. That has changed. The focus is now on getting damage. Lots of damage. And shock.

The gear has become a little bit less beginner friendly, but any unique can be replaced by a rare crafted items with just intelligence on it, or any stat on the wishlist. These are pretty common uniques, apart from the helmet.

I use a Sorcery staff with 119 adaptive spell damage. That turns into 119 added lightning damage to spells, and then on top of that all the multipliers from increased damage are doing their job. The damage output is pretty massive, which is nice. It feels good, and killing enemies fast is a very viable defensive mechanism. I put an emphasis on a bit of dodge, we are of course glancing blow capped. I have 0 crit avoidance. The barbute helm provides a nice amount of ward ond some great stats, like intelligence and dexterity, which gives dodge. The invoker’s touch is more added lightning damage and shock effect. The Stormtide Boots make you go really fast, have tons of shock effect, and the drawback is that you are shocked as well, lowering your own protections. I have close to zero fire resistance with this build, but still I survive fire just fine because of all the damage reductions. The only thing that kills you is a siege golem, but they kill characters with 75% fire resistance just as easily, so it doesn’t matter. I will create a tunklabs build link and post it in the description, so you can take a look at all the gear.

Idols: the increased cast speed while you have lightning eagis is very very strong if you find it. The other stuff is just crit chance, some ward generation, and increased lightning damage, which doubles once you reach more than 300 mana. I’m getting 88% increased lightning damage from this ornate glass idol. That’s some nice synergy.


Check the original video.

Finally, the play style during end game

[play style]

The playstyle has you at a safe distance. Once enemies are on their way to you and they are bigger, more difficult enemies, drop a black hole and keep shooting. If they get even closer, use snap freeze. Make sure to get out of harm’s way using teleport, leaving behind taunting clones. And when things get rough, spam the flame ward. Once you mastered the playstyle, this build can get you very, very far, with not much gear investment. Once again, my gear is nothing specials. It’s a great farming character, and also does well in the arena, until you encounter a siege golem, of course.

Let me know how you like this update. I hope it helped you out. Thanks for watching and making it to the end. See you all soon! Bye bye.


Leveling feeled great from level … 3? The second you get chain lightning you are a murder machine.

Almost finished the story sitting around 50% crit on lightnig if i calculated right and things still just die.

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Thanks for the build. I am giving it a chance and it suits my play style as a mage, which is run around like a chicken with my head cut off! I think I have died only a couple of times so far, but I am just on the second act, so I have a ways to go.

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Thanks for the guide! I love the look of this build and just created my first mage. I’ve played a few Arc witches in PoE and I’ve always loved “chain lightning” style abilities (CL/FO Sorc was my all time favorite D2 build) so this had me instantly interested.

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great to hear that @Katalaeia! Hope you enjoy :slight_smile:


Yesterday i finally found a dreamlike sorcery staff - droped with t4 Spellcrit, t2 spellhaste and 113 adaptive :slight_smile:

Staff now has:
t5 spellcrit
t5 spellhaste

What suffixes would you choose?
+mana to make hitting 300 max mana easier is the obvious suffixe i guess.

Second suffix?

  • all stats? (bit int, bit dodge, a bit protections) but +5 is really not impressive
  • shock chance? (i have around 500% shock effect with a good roll on the boots - is it worth it?)
  • any protection (my protections all suck - ele around 200-400, rest around 0-200 - would having some prots really save me from the occasional oneshot…)
  • health on kill (guess no?)

Did i miss anything?

i’d get shock just on the boots, that’s enough. Elemental protections are kind of nice on a 2-handed staff tbh, because you get so much of that. Mana is everywhere and not really required. That 300+ mana is more of a stretch goal, definitely not build-breaking if you don’t have it. health on kill i would almost never ever take. So go elemental prot I’d say.