Here’s my latest build guide for Last Epoch: The Leech. A fun, Bleed DoT Beast Master in a very thorough guide. Not insane DPS, but a solid playstyle, capable of doing all content.
Hey everyone this is Thyworm with a new build for Last Epoch, the Leech. This is a beastmaster build that bleeds your enemies dry, while providing you with a healthy bunch of leech.
Thanks for watching another extensive build guide in which I’ll go over every aspect of this build, quite literally. If you are enjoying Last Epoch content, consider subscribing. Let’s start with the build philosophy.
I never really created a proper bleed build, because poison was always the obvious way to go. It may still be the way to go, but bleed received a buff, so I wanted to see what I could achieve with this. If you want to follow me along on those journeys, come hang out on YouTube, I stream quite regularly and I’m always trying out new builds.
The results for this particular build are pretty decent, actually. I took a beastmaster all the way to the emperor of corpses and killed him, at around level 78. The journey was pretty smooth overall, with a nice gradual increase in power, while being pretty tanky at the same time. It’s nothing crazy in terms of damage, but I found it an enjoyable playstyle and contrary to most minion builds, you play an active role.
I levelled in solo self found mode, so you can be sure there’s no overpowered gear involved either, although I did find a few very useful uniques. I never really struggled while levelling, only the final timeline was a bit rough which is to be expected, when you take on level 100 content as a level 75 character, and I died like 3 times overall. In 20 hours or so, that’s really not bad.
As with most minion builds, this is a very decent boss killer, as minions apply a lot of bleed stacks while you’re dodging stuff. It results in a high DPS uptime, and with our unique axe we increase the speed of applied bleeds whenever we hit an enemy. Not an awful lot of dodging skill shots is required either, with the amount of leech we have.
I looked for a way to reduce the defense tax on gear, because gearing to get resistance capped for 7 damage types is no fun. I found in Eterra’s blessing a node that covers all elemental and poison resistances, but there’s a catch. A pretty big one. This effect only lasts 4 seconds. So if you either forget to cast it, or it runs out, you have 0% fire, cold, lightning and poison resistance, and things can go wrong. It’s a bit of a high risk, high reward playstyle, which I’ll cover extensively later in the guide. We have a lot of leech to stay alive, but bosses can oneshot you with elemental abilities, particularly around the higher monoliths. I still feel it’s worth it, because of all the affixes I’m saving, which I put in damage, leech, health and minion survival, but it’s definitely a little risky from time to time.
I would therefore say that the build is easy to play, but does require a bit of game knowledge to truly master. Whenever you get big elemental or poison attacks incoming, be sure to cast Eterra’s Blessing. If you don’t want to deal with this, you can take another skill, maybe another pet, and stack the resistances on your gear. That does take a hefty toll on affixes, however. And I quite like the freedom I created on the gear, basically disregarding 4 damage types completely. Feels good.
So, what do you need in terms of stats? Here’s the wish list.
In the defence department, you want to get res capped for necrotic, void and physical damage. You need to be crit avoidance capped as well. And leech and health or vitality are important, to keep our big health bar topped off.
In the offence department, we’re looking for attack speed, damage over time and physical damage scaling, as bleed is a physical damage over time effect. Obviously, you’re looking for chance to bleed and bleed duration and bleed effectiveness as well. That last stat increases the base damage of bleeds, which is super good.
Finally, we have a bunch of wolves, which you want to give some minion health, as much minion dodge rating as you can find, and bleed affixes, once again.
Let’s look at the skill specialization and skills we’re using
A lot of the skills we use in this build are skills you’re getting very early on. You can therefore decide what you’d like to start with, but I’ll cover the skills in the proposed order that I would take them, starting with the wolves.
In the wolf tree, there are 2 interesting nodes. Safety in numbers lets you summon wolves to your companion limit, which means 2 wolves at the start, and up to 6 wolves near end-game. This is a very useful node, so I would rush that node from the start.
The other cool node is Pack Hunters, which lets you have another wolf and it increases the companion limit too.
For summon wolf, we first go to the right, taking ¼ canine agility, just to get to serrated claws, a very good node. Take 3 points at first, go to crippling wounds, for the bleed duration, and then take Safety in numbers. Then you should fill up all the bleed nodes over here. Patient hunters increase the bleed effect and DoTs of the wolves, which is very powerful. After spending 12 points in the bleed nodes over here, you move left. Take 2/5 Lupine Endurance, to get to 2/4 Wolfen Recovery, to get to 1/3 earthborn, to get to Pack Hunters. It’s the last node you’ll take, but once you’re here, the reward is very, very good.
I would take swipe as the second skill, as especially at the start of the game, you’re doing significant damage, compared to your wolves. As the game progresses, this becomes less and less balanced and in end-game, the wolves do way more damage than you.
You start with the bleed nodes, so take 5/5 blood beast, giving you 100% bleed chance. Take 4/4 rending, to shred physical resistances. This is useful, because bleed is a physical damage over time effect and lowering the physical resistances of enemies increases bleed damage. Then, take 4/4 Aspect of the Panther, which gives you up to 8 stacks that provide 10% increased global damage. This is pretty significant, 80% increased global damage. Take Feline Hunter, because attack speed is very good for us. More attack speed means more bleed stacks and more physical shredding. We want to turn Swipe into a culling strike as well, so take 2/8 Way of the Hunt, take 2/4 Wengarian Reach which is kind of useful actually, a bit of swipe reach, and then 2/2 Culling, which means our swipe attacks instantly kill anything below 14% health. For bosses, this is an amazing node, especially in end-game.
Our third skill is Eterra’s blessing, at level 19. By now, the defences it provides will come in handy. And it’s the main reason we’re getting this skill. Take 5/5 Safeguard, capping our elemental and poison resistances for 4 seconds. Take 5/5 Conservation, because there are instances where you’re casting this skill a lot, and it should be the cheapest it can be. Then, we take some additional utility. Take 4/5 improved healing, to get to Efflorescence, making the skill do a heal over time, which works well with leech. Regrowth heals us again after the Healing over Time expires. We take Purge, which is quite a useful skill, because this removes ailments like mark for death, slow and chill. Finally, take 3/3 ancestral renewal, which summons a bunch of healing totems. They’re not too bad actually, as they take some aggro and they heal you and your wolves.
Our fourth skill is Summon Frenzy Totem, which increases our damage quite a bit. The frenzy effect overlaps with the wolf howl effect, but that’s not really overkill, as frenzy is extremely powerful for bleed stacking, because it increases your melee attack speed by 20%, by default. You always want to have this buff available. Just like the wolf howl ability, we’re putting this on autocast.
Start with 5/5 Grounded, increasing flat damage, which is kind of nice, but mostly reducing mana cost. We’re autocasting this, after all. Take dig in, creating a tether, and if you’re in range, you do 100% increased damage. That’s a big buff. Take 4/4 totemic reach, increasing the tether range. Take 4/4 Rabidity, increasing the frenzy effect by 40%, making the totem do 28% increased attack speed. Take 3/5 Reinforced totem, so this thing survives a bit longer and lasts a bit longer, and take 3/5 Reach, increasing the totem reach effect.
Finally, we’re using a movement skill to get out of hairy situations, to dive into battle, and to manage our pack of wolves, as they’re jumping with us. Take 7/7 Warrior’s Entrance, increasing your, but primarily your minions damage, by 105%. That is pretty massive. 3/3 rage increases attack speed by another 30%. Pack leader makes your wolves jump with you, which is very useful. We got some points left without a real good purpose, so I just decided to summon more minions. Take 3/6 Crushing Impact, then take 3/5 Rise and 3/5 Poisonous thicket. You now have a 60% chance to summon 3 vines at departure and arrival. Those are minions and benefit from our stats, they do apply bleeds and they do take aggro, but of course this isn’t a reliable mechanic in any way. Every tiny bit helps though, especially when stacking DoT-effects.
Time to look at the passives.
I’m level 79 currently, and you can clearly see where I’ve focused my protections. Cast Eterra’s Blessing however, and it looks a lot better.
I decided to more clearly indicate the power nodes in the skill tree, and explain my decisions.
Looking at the base tree, it’s all defences. The beastmaster tree is a nice mix however. All of the nodes highlighted here are defensive nodes, which generally provide flat damage reductions and health. The nodes highlighted here are offensive nodes, providing bleed related stuff and attack speed, mostly.
There are plenty of stats I’m not interested in. Those stats are crit and flat melee damage. We’re a damage over time build. It doesn’t matter how much the minions hit for. It only matters how many bleed stacks they apply. Same is true for me.
On the base Primalist tree, we see a bunch of health nodes and some leech. This whole tree is pure defences, really. Take 6/6 Gift of the Wilderness, for that health. Take 3/6 primal medicine, because you need to spend the points, and then go 4/6 Ancient call, for more health. On the right side, we take one point in Primal Strength, just to get to 6/6 Survival of the pack. This is our first leech node and even though it’s only melee attack leech, which isn’t the best, the sustain is very decent.
Before we dive into Beastmaster, take a small trip to the Druid skill tree and pick up 6/6 Blood Claws, which grants physical damage leeched as health and physical penetration. Bleed is physical damage, and leech also works with damage over time effects, so 12% leech here is massive. With the health we got from the base tree, you’re already pretty tanky.
Now we move to the beastmaster tree and here your priority is to get to Viper Fangs and Force of Nature, as soon as possible. I levelled pretty tanky, so I took 4 points in Ursine Strength, because of the damage mitigation. I took 1 point in Savagery, just to get to Ambush, which grants Aspect of the Shark. Disregard the damage, it’s about the attack speed. 10% is a lot at low levels.
Then take 5/5 Boar Heart which gives aspect of the boar, a flat damage reduction of 15% which is massive. Take 4/8 Tusk warrior, for the bleed chance and because we need to spend points and because we need 4 points invested to progress that tree. Take 5/5 porcine constitution, increasing the flat damage reduction from aspect of the boar to 30%. And then take 8/8 deep wounds, granting 120% bleed effectiveness. This increases the base damage that bleed does, because that’s normally a static number. 120% is massive and because Aspect of the Boar is usually active, this is an amazing node. You can take Rending Maw and Hunters of the Deep, which grants the aspect of the shark to your companions as well, increasing their attack speed.
You should by now have enough points for Viper Fangs, a massive damage increase. This node works best with poison, but for bleed stacking it’s also insane. It increases chance to poison on hit to 100%, it increases the damage over time by 100%, and it increases your and your companions attack speed by 50%, whenever you proc the aspect of the viper. This happens 30% of the time on hit, but because you attack so fast, this buff is basically always active. Totally bonkers this node, and sorely needed to apply those bleed stacks in quick succession. Don’t forget to get Force of Nature when you can, because an additional wolf is an overall DPS increase of at least 20%.
By now, your build is pretty solid and it’s about finetuning really. I completed Ursine Strength, for more tankiness. That damage reduction is massive. Take 8/8 Life in the Wilderness which is just a lot of health. Take 8/8 The chase, making minions attack 32% faster. I do advise taking a few points in Primal Strength, so you don’t only proc the aspect of the boar when you’re being hit, but also when you hit enemies. 2 points worked for me, you might want more points. Primal Aspects increases every aspects duration, which is very useful. You might want a few points in that node, depending on how many aspects are up and how easily you can maintain them.
We’re only level 79, and this character has the potential to level much higher than this, as level 100 content isn’t much of an issue. I would invest in more tankiness, personally, plus rounding out the aspect durations, as that’s a very balanced way to increase your characters power level. The druid tree has more vitality available as well as some tanky stats. It’s worth your time, I would say.
Then, also very important, Gear
With the way we built our character, you’re specifically looking for physical, necrotic and void resistances. Eterra’s blessing covers the rest. Armour you will collect, as the gear has a decent amount of it, but you don’t need to go out of your way to get a lot of armor otherwise. We have a shield, which is another defensive layer, and it really helps. For the monolith, you want to be crit capped as well, and that brings me nicely to the actual gear itself. And getting a bit of frailty on hit, reducing enemy damage by 18% at 3 stacks, never hurt anyone.
A really nice item with a very high drop rate, from the Abomination in the Monolith, the first boss, is the Woven Flesh. It does all the right things for this build, health, leech and 100% crit avoidance. You won’t replace this piece for a long time.
The taste of blood is also an exquisite unique. It’s very common and drops all the time. Its damage isn’t impressive, but around 80% chance to bleed on it is pretty good. However, the power of this item lies in the last affix, which makes all bleed stacks double in speed whenever we hit enemies. This means that bleed damage applies twice as fast. You do not apply more bleed stacks by the way, it’s just that the ones you do apply, expire twice as fast and deal twice as much damage. Overall, this isn’t a DPS increase, but it does reduce the ramp-up time a lot of damage over time builds have, and bleed damage from all the stacks is basically applied instantly, making it a very good item. If you can’t find this unique, get a fast weapon with stats from the wishlist, like attack speed and bleed on hit. Like I said, the DPS is the same, the rampup time will just be a little bit longer.
Another great item is the wing guards, with a massive attack speed modifier. The drawback of not being able to crit isn’t a problem at all, for us. If you can’t find these, any gloves with attack speed will do. Your rings should be turquoise rings, for the minion stats. And apart from that you can look at my gear and see it’s really not that impressive. There is a tunklabs url of course for you guys, so you can check out the gear over there.
Aim for a nice mix of minion stats, some damage over time or physical damage, resistances, health, and that’s really about it. There are no fancy primalist affixes in here and by farming end game you can really scale this gear up a few notches. But it’s already sufficient, which is what I wanted to prove.
In term of honorable mentions, or if you’re levelling this as a twink, which should be completely OP by the way, the Doublet of Onos Tull is a great starter item, at level 5. Eterra’s Path I’ve used for a while and it’s quite good. Because the defense tax is low on gear, you can easily get away with wearing 3 or 4 uniques and still be res capped. Pebbles wand at early levels will make your wolves do massive on hit damage. The Fang and Claw are good as well, although not required with this build, as we just take the points in the tree. We’re there anyway. And of course, last but definitely not least, Artor’s Legacy, for that 6th wolf and even more additional attack speed. It’s made for this build.
In terms of idols, there are a lot of good ones. Minion chance to bleed, bleed duration, minion attack speed, some aspect idols, they’re all very viable. I found a very cute chilling idol, which chills nearby enemies whenever I spend more than 20 mana. Eterra’s Blessing costs 21 mana, so I took it.
With my loot filter settings you should have no issues gearing this character. All the gear you see I’ve found myself and crafted myself. I ran this character from level 1 to the end of the monolith, while creating these filters for you guys, and I never felt weak in any part of the game.
In terms of blessings, there are a few good ones. I got minion damage, Health regen and chance to bleed on hit. It’s okay, but really nothing special.
The Leech Loot Filters.zip (13.3 KB)
I have created 6 loot filters for this build, when I was levelling this character myself. As you can imagine, that was quite a bit of work. So, you know, if you enjoy this guide, give it a like. It really helps. These loot filters you can just import in the game folder, extract them over there and then select them from the loot filter menu. I created a video on how to do this, exactly, in case you don’t know how this works.
Head to the link in the description, which brings you to the forums of last epoch. There, I will upload the loot filters. You can also join my discord, to get the loot filters and of course we got a very nice community over there and you can ask all the questions you may have about the build.
The loot filters should be pretty self-explanatory, with a description and everything, so I think you’ll be fine.
On to levelling
This is one of those builds you can just level from level 1 all the way to 100, and no changes are really required. I personally really enjoy that, that you don’t need to gain 40 levels first, before the build comes online. It’s online right from the start, as you start out with 1 wolf, and as you and your pack of wolves grow stronger, you get more wolves, more bleed stacks, more tankiness and more damage output.
A big power spike is the frenzy totem, which really boosted my DPS significantly. And reaching the Aspect of the viper is also a massive increase in DPS, especially when you have 10 points invested. Levelling really is a breeze and it’s overall just super smooth.
Let’s talk some Monolith modifiers
Generally, I don’t mind giving enemies health, crit avoidance, crit chance (because we’re immune to crit anyway), or any of the healing modifiers. Those are all safe modifiers to take, because we do decent damage and damage over time builds generally take good care of larger health pools.
You could give them dodge, although that’s annoying.
What you really want to watch out for, is increasing their elemental damage. Unless you cast Eterra’s Blessing, we have 0 elemental resistances. That’s really not that big of a problem against packs of normal monsters in the monolith, but if you give them 100% increased elemental damage, you simply get oneshot. So avoid that stuff at all costs. In any other case, we have resistances from our gear, for other damage types, and our massive leech keeps us healthy. All you need to do is survive the oneshots and keep attacking the enemy.
And that brings us to the playstyle of the build.
Here’s the build in action.
You could say it’s a bit of a high risk, high reward playstyle, like I did at the start of this video. The risk is that you forget to cast Eterra’s Blessing, and get one shot by an ice blast or an avalanche.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should cast eterra’s blessing all the time. As a matter of fact, you hardly ever need to cast it, because you have enough leech to tank through enemy elemental attacks, even at 0% resistances. It’s really only for bosses that this becomes an issue. Formosis, Yulia, the frost dudes in the dragon level, the fire dragons and the elemental dragon trio. Those are instances where not casting Eterra’s blessing hurts quite a bit. It doesn’t straight out kill you, but you are a lot more vulnerable.
In many, many instances however, poison and elemental damage is nowhere to be found. Especially not in lethal quantities. And you figure out fast enough which enemies and monolith levels are dangerous and require a cast every now and then. If the whole world consists of ice, or the entire level is burning, well, there’s a good chance there are some elemental enemies, I’d say.
I personally find this play style very, very worth it. The reward is that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to your gear. You can wear like 5 uniques and still be res capped when it matters. You can take a bunch of other affixes on gear, in particular health and vitality, which offset a lot of the drawbacks of not having resistances on gear. It’s fun, it’s liberating, it’s something I hope the devs give us in more skills, because I feel the amount of required resistances and other defensive affixes is too much, currently.
I had a lot of fun creating this build, all the way from start to finish. It took a lot of time as well, but I hope it was worth it. Finally, I wanted to bring the Nexus to your attention. Nexus offers content creators their own store to sell games, and then content creators get a little bit of the profit as well. I’ve partnered with these guys and curated a small selection of games for you, all games that I’ve covered on the channel. It’s a great way to support me, so, if you’re thinking about getting Last Epoch, consider getting a Steam key over there. Link below in the description.
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.