Dancing Strikes Bladedancer Guide

Last Updated: October 4th 2023

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This build is a variation of the Shadow Daggers Bladedancer. When compared to its counterpart, this build offers a more Melee Bruiser playstyle. Where the other build wants to jump in and out of the fight, this one wants to stay in, using Dancing Strikes to move about quickly and apply Shadow Daggers while also gaining huge buffs in the process. Choose this build if you want a more Melee focused and engaging playstyle with a greater challenge.

Damage from this build comes from ramping up our buffs through Dancing Strikes and Smoke Bomb to deal huge Shadow Daggers Crits. Getting the most out of the build is not easy to pull off, but when everything clicks the result is very satisfying.

Overall, Dancing Strikes Shadow Daggers Bladedancer is a challenging build that will reward skilled players. It is capable of doing the hardest content but it won't be as easy as some other builds. The build is strongest in the Monolith of Fate, but with good gear can also tackle Dungeons. Due to the inherent danger of Melee playstyles It is not a good option for competitive Arena.

End Game Gear Planner

Smoke Bomb

Dancing Strikes



Shadow Cascade

This build guide assumes you have a Level 70 Character. Reach Level 70 with our Bladedancer Leveling Guide.
If you are looking for a different playstyle, check all our Build Guides!

Unique Playstyle
Solid Monolith Farmer

Tanky With Good Gear
High Movement Speed
Very Good Damage With Buffs Up

Vulnerable When Not Moving
Buffs Are Difficult To Manage
Melee Playstyles Are Dangerous
Dancing Strikes Is Hard To Control
❌ Dual Wield Setup Takes More Damage


Dancing Strikes

This skill keeps you in movement while performing a series of Melee attacks. The attacks themselves apply Shadow Daggers stacks and also build up buffs on you through Rhythm. Mastering this skill is the key to playing this build.

Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression


Passives provide powerful effects that dictate the playstyle of a Class and its Masteries. Remember that you can allocate Passives on the first half of all Masteries regardless of the one you chose.

  1. Since we're almost always moving Evasion is a huge damage reduction buff.
  2. With the right gear and the Haste buff from Agility we can spend a lot of time well over 100% Movement Speed, making the damage buff from this node strong even without a full investment.
  3. Blood Dance and Melee Damage Leeched as Health from gloves are our primary sources of sustain so get this passive as soon as possible.
  4. Crit Multi is hard to come by so All In is a huge damage buff. Shadow Daggers always crits so there's no downside here.
  5. Swift Assassin and Once provide extra benefit since Shadow Daggers has both Melee and Throwing tags.
  6. While Pursuit is a decent damage buff, the main benefit it provides is Movement Speed.
  7. Thanks to Focus Fire and Wound Maker we don't need to worry about taking Dodge or Critical Strike Avoidance modifiers in the Monolith of Fate.
  8. Perfection stacks provide large buffs to damage as well as Armor and Dodge from Confidence. We also take one point in Exuberance to double our stack generation.
  9. If you play hardcore, investing in Death's Door is always an option for additional DR. Note that unlike stamina the DR from this node only kicks in once you're already at low health. This means it won't protect from potential one shots when you're above the low health threshold.
Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Passive Tree Progression

Make sure to complete the Campaign to get all your Passive Points.


To maximize both our damage and defenses we want to keep moving as much as possible. We also need to be hitting enemies with Dancing Strikes as much as possible to maintain Rhythm.

Skill Usage/Rotation

  • Stay on the move and use Shift on cooldown
  • Use Dancing Strikes against tanky enemies and packs. Weave in Shift but try to stay in Melee range by going through the enemies. This will also maximize Shadow Daggers stacks.
  • In extended fights cast Smoke Bomb. Use it in between Dancing Strikes attacks. Do not use it directly before or after Shift or you will lose Rhythm
  • If the enemies become overwhelming, use Decoy to taunt them and buy some time.


  • Run to the objective using Shift on cooldown. Most of the enemies nearby will be killed from Shadow Cascade and Umbral Blades. Shifting near enemies will make it easier for Umbral Blades to find its target.
  • Use [Dancing Strikes on Rare enemies along the way.
  • Upon reaching the objective:
    • If it's a single enemy cast Smoke Bomb then continuously cycle between Dancing Strikes and Shift until they are dead.
    • If it's a group follow a similar strategy by using Smoke Bomb on cooldown near large groups or tanky enemies, then target enemies with your Dancing Strikes/Shift rotation. If you start to feel overwhelmed at any point use Decoy.


  • Use Smoke Bomb on cooldown as long as it's safe to do so.
  • Shift through the boss and then move into your Dancing Strikes/Shift rotation.
  • Use Decoy in emergencies when you need a breather or to keep adds off of you.

Advanced Skill Tips

Learn more about how to maximize your gameplay in the Build Scaling section of this guide.


Gearing in Last Epoch revolves around finding Items and then using the powerful Crafting System to enhance them. As long as an Item has Forging Potential left, players can upgrade or modify their Affixes up to Tier 5. However, the powerful Exalted Tier Affixes are drop only and can't be modified by players.

Using the correct Item Bases allows you to make use of their amazing Implicits, this is fundamental for gearing efficiently. Combine Implicits, Passives, Idols and Blessings to cap your Resistances and other defensive layers, while fitting as much Health related Affixes into your gear as possible. Plan ahead for your next upgrades and consider the final Empowered Blessings of your build while gearing. Finish up by farming Uniques with Legendary Potential and Sealing Affixes into Exalted Items to unleash all of your build's power!

Here are the Stat Goals for this build:

  • Capped Resistances
  • Capped Critical Strike Avoidance
  • 50-60% Endurance
  • 2000 - 3000 Health
  • 50 - 60%+ Dodge Chance (Pre Buffs)
  • 1500+ Armor (Pre Buffs)
  • 50%+ Armor Shred Chance
  • 175+ Flat Phys Damage
  • 100%+ Physical Penetration with Shadow Daggers
  • 125%+ Critical Strike Multiplier
  • 50% - 75%+ Movement Speed (Pre Buffs)
  • 60%+ Increased Mana Regen

Gear Progression

Starting Gear
Advanced Gear
End Game Gear
BiS Gear

Milestone 1
Aim for good Item Bases with two valuable T5 Affixes. The Defensive rolls on T5 Suffixes are very important at this stage as they can easily cap all your Resistances when combined with Item Implicits, Idols, Blessings or Passives. Get a Weapon with double T5 offensive Prefixes as soon as possible.

Milestone 2
Make sure your Critical Strike Avoidance is capped. Remember that Woven Flesh is always an option early on. It can be farmed by killing the Abomination in the Fall of the Outcast Monolith Timeline.

Milestone 3
Get a good pair of boots with Movement Speed. Fit as much Health into your gear as possible. Hybrid Health and Increased Health are extremely valuable, but can be hard to find early on. Use regular flat Health until you find them.

Starting Gear Planner

Milestone 4
Fit any Increased Shadow Daggers Effect wherever you can without sacrificing too much defense. If you have any Large Shadow Idols with Increased Shadow Daggers Effect and don't need your idol slots for resistances, or were lucky enough to find one that also has Elemental Resistance use them.

Milestone 5
While you look for this basic set of gear, start farming your Empowered Blessings and continue to look for any Idols that can help you cap all of your Resistances momentarily or increase your Damage output. Be on the lookout for Stout Lagonian Idols with good rolls of Increased Health and Added Health. Use them as soon as you no longer need those slots for resistances.

Learn the basics for crafting gear with our Beginner Crafting Guide.
Check our Unique Item & Set Farming Guide and learn how to get them!
Want to know more about Legendary Items? Check our Legendary Guide!


Completing a Timeline in the Monolith of Fate lets you choose one of several randomized Blessings from its unique pool. Their benefits are permanent and persist even outside of the Monolith of Fate.

Empowered Blessings are a fundamental part of all builds, so getting the correct ones for each is key.

The sooner you reach Empowered Monolith, the faster you can start farming your desired Blessings!

End Game Blessings
Normal Blessings
Empowered Combat Blessings
Empowered Drop Rate Blessings

Normal Blessings are not important as they are eventually replaced by Empowered Blessings. However they can still be a great source of Resistances, Critical Strike Avoidance or Life Leech for your build early on.

Pick up these Normal Blessings on your way to Empowered:

  • Echo of Solarum
  • Bastion of Divinity
  • Survival of Might
  • Persistance of Will
  • Protection of Heorot
  • Resolve of Grael
  • Heart of the Caldera
  • Body of Obsidian
  • Bones of Eternity

Note: Don't target farm Normal Blessings. Get to Empowered Monolith as fast as you can.

Learn how to farm Blessings fast with our Advanced Monolith Strategies.


Idols grant your character bonuses when equipped in the dedicated Idol Container. Unlock all the slots of your Idol Container by completing the Campaign and some of its Side Quests. Remember that some Idols are Class specific and you won't be able to equip them with other non-compatible Classes.

These are the Idols recommended for this build:

  • Look for Large Shadow Idol with Increased Shadow Daggers Effect or %Health and Elemental Resistance or Increased Armour Shred Duration. Use Shadow Dagger Prefixes If you need damage, otherwise go health. For suffixes take Elemental Resistances until capped then go with the Armor Shred.
  • You also want four Stout Lagonian Idols with %Health. Look for flat Health Suffix or Resistances if needed.
End Game Idols

Other useful Idol Affixes

Make sure to complete the Campaign to get all your Idol Slots.
Learn how to be efficient with Idols with our Advanced Idols Setups Guide.

Build Scaling

This build is focused around consistent movement with lots of large Shadow Daggers crits clearing everything in our path. The playstyle needs high Dodge because when we're going not getting hit we're at our best with all of our buffs up. We also want to ensure that we're taking the right stats to scale Shadow Daggers so Flat Damage, Crit Multi, and Physical Penetration With Shadow Daggers are what we push for.

  • Flat Melee/Throwing Damage: With 450% Added Damage Scaling from Shadow Daggers we can never have too much Flat Damage. Thanks to Shadow Daggers having both Melee and Throwing tags the Passive nodes Swift Assassin and Once will provide a double benefit. Try to get Melee Physical Damage on a Legendary Smoke Weaver to really boost your damage!
  • Physical Penetration With Shadow Daggers: Since we don't get Physical Penetration anywhere else in our build and we're only scaling Physical Damage, this stat effectively works as a multiplier for all of our damage. Prioritize your helmet and get as much as you can on your idols without sacrificing too much HP. If you're incredibly lucky and get a Wings of Argentus with LP, see if you can get insanely lucky and put a tier 7 Increased Shadow Daggers Effect on it to effectively double your damage!
  • Cooldown Reduction: Unlike most builds, Dancing Strikes doesn't scale off of Attack Speed. Instead it scales from Cooldown Reduction, making this stat far more effective for this build than most. Get it wherever you can.
  • Increased Mana Regeneration: While Dancing Strikes isn't crazy expensive baseline Mana Regen isn't enough, so get as much Mana Regeneration as you need to make the build feel good. Generally two tier 5 affixes should be enough.
  • Critical Strike Multiplier: Increases the Damage your Crits deal. We get 75% for free from All In. Stack the rest on gear.
  • Chance To Shred Armour on Hit: Each stack of this Ailment reduces enemy Armour by 100 for 4 seconds and stacks infinitely. Enemies have 0 Armour by default and it can go into the negatives. At -1000 Armour a target takes 23.7% increased Physical Damage, while at -4000 Armour it takes 57.2%. With the amount of hits the build has, the stacks ramp up quickly. We get a lot of Armour Shred from our skills, so with some Increased Armour Shred Duration on Idols and 50-100% Chance To Shred Armour on Hit on our gear we can easily shred a lot of Armour.
  • Dexterity: We get both Increased Damage and Dodge Rating from this stat. It's not a priority in gearing and we can get most of our Dexterity from passives, but fitting this in wherever we have room is a nice bonus.
  • Increased Damage: We get so much of this from Passives, Dexterity and Smoke Bomb that we don't really need it on our gear. Physical Damage on our Belt is nice to have but other stats take priority.

Our Damage Explained Article covers all you need to know to scale Damage.
Learn all you need to know to scale Defense with our Defense Explained Article.

End Game Activities

Last Epoch has multiple end game activities with completely different roles and rewards. All the builds at Maxroll.gg have been tested and are designed to complete all available content. However, not all builds excel at doing the same activities. Make sure you are familiar with the end game strengths and weaknesses of your character.

Endless Arena

The Monolith of Fate is the main end game system. Most of your character gear upgrades are found here. Once you get all of your desired Empowered Blessings, you can start pushing Corruption to increase your chances at finding incredible Exalted Items. The Monolith of Fate rewards speedy builds that are able to target farm Echo Reward Nodes or stack Timeline Stability as fast as possible.

This Bladedancer is very solid for Monolith of Fate farming. It has good survivability, solid AoE, and has excellent speed to rush objectives. Single target damage good enough to defeat Bosses in a reasonable timeframe to farm their Unique drops and Blessings.

Monolith Goals

Monolith Timelines

Your goals in the Monolith of Fate will differ greatly depending on what build you play and what stage your character progression is at. Here are the objectives you should aim at when playing this build:

  1. Reach Empowered Monolith as fast as possible.
  2. Farm your Combat Empowered Blessings. Prioritize gaining Timeline Stability and fight the Timeline Bosses as often as possible. Once you are done with one Timeline, move to the next one. Reach 200 Corruption to farm your desired Blessings faster, as it unlocks a 5th option to choose from after you defeat a Timeline Boss. Defeat the Shade of Orobyss to gain and transfer Corruption between Timelines.
  3. Get your Drop Rate Empowered Blessings. Start with Grand Binds of Sanctuary at The Stolen Lance Timeline since the boss also drops Wings of Argentus, allowing you to farm both at the same time.
  4. Farm for key Uniques.
  5. As you farm for Uniques, stack Corruption as high as your gear can handle. The higher Corruption you do, the more Items you find. Get your character ready for the other end game activities.

Monolith Modifiers

Every time you choose an Echo a Modifier comes attached with it, adding difficulty and changing how enemies behave. These Modifiers stay active for a maximum of 6 Echoes and stack with each other. Some Modifiers can handicap your build immensely while others can almost be ignored. Monolith Modifiers scale with Corruption and increase the Item Rarity of Echoes. Ideally you want to do the hardest content possible, without delaying your clear times. Keep up Item Rarity as high as you can without it slowing you down.

Easy Modifiers

  • Enemy Critical Strike Avoidance (Ignored thanks to Critical Strike Vulnerability).
  • Enemy Critical Strike Chance (Once you have 100% Critical Strike Avoidance).
  • Enemy chance to Dodge (Ignored thanks to Focus Fire).
  • Enemies heal if they have not been damaged recently.
  • Rare enemies have high speed and crit chance until approached.
  • Rare enemies regenerate health.

Avoid these Modifiers

  • Enemy chance to receive a Glancing Blow.
  • High health enemies take less damage.
  • High health enemies deal increased damage.
  • While bossing: enemies Enrage at half health and enemies gain Frenzy and Haste when hit.

Learn more about the Monolith of Fate with our Empowered Monolith Guide.

Loot Filter

Loot Filters are critical in Last Epoch. Making sure you highlight all the related valuable Item Bases, Affixes, Uniques and Idols is crucial to ensure your character's progression. As your gear gets better, remember to hide the rules that are no longer useful to avoid screen clutter.

Here is the Endgame Loot Filter for this build:

Learn how to load and make Filters with our Loot Filter Guide.

Video Guide


Overall Dancing Strikes Shadow Daggers Bladedancer is a good build that can deal with all the content in the game. It offers a unique playstyle that's heavy on Melee while maintaining a high level of agility.

  • Dancing Strikes offers a Unique playstyle for those who are looking for something different
  • Be a Rogue, but also a Brawler!
  • Fully embrace the playstyle of the build and enhance it with every component, making full use of the Evasion, Asuvon's Pact, Perfection and Confidence Nodes that reward you continuously moving around and not getting hit.
  • Use Decoy to distract and group your enemies. Take advantage of this to reposition and DPS.
  • Take advantage of Smoke Weaver, Wings of Argentus and Siphon of Anguish to really turbocharge the playstyle.
  • Shift can save you from incoming Damage. Time it perfectly for the Damage Immunity!


Written by McFluffin.
Reviewed by Lizard_IRL, Facefoot

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