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Dragonsong Marksman Guide

Last Updated: February 21st 2024

Patch 1.0

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Dragonsong Marksman is named after Dragonsong, a Unique that has a chance to proc Dragonfire on Critical Strikes. The recent addition of Harbinger of Stars, which procs Meteor from Crits, makes this a go-to build for players who enjoy proc based playstyles.

Previously the build revolved around taking advantage of Critical Strike Vulnerability in the Marksman passive tree to guarantee Crits, and because of this it could work out of the box as long as appropriate passives were taken. However, the changes to this ailment in 0.9 require us to invest in Critical Strike Chance in order to cap.

You need Dragonsong to play this build and also need to be at or near Crit cap! The bow is a common drop that can be most easily farmed through Rune of Ascendance and Bow Echo Rewards in the Fall of the Outcasts Timeline. Getting Crit capped is a much more substantial investment.

Overall the Dragonsong Marksman is a great Monolith of Fate farmer and capable Endless Arena pusher. If you are looking for a fast and ranged, proc based playstyle with a large toolkit then this build is for you!

End Game Gear Planner

This build guide assumes you have a Level 70 Character. Reach Level 70 with our Marksman Leveling Guide.
The build needs Dragonsong. Check our Unique Item Farming Guide for tips!
If you are looking for a different playstyle, check all our Build Guides!

Pros
  • Fast and Mobile
  • Great Gear Scaling
  • Fun Proc Based Playstyle
  • Multiple Defensive Layers
Cons
  • Requires Uniques
  • Must Be At Or Near Crit Cap To Play
  • Will Sometimes Be At Negative Mana
  • Less Range Than Other Ranged Builds

Skills

Cinder Strike

Cinder Strike is your main skill and the primary way to proc Dragonfire and Meteor due to its high attack rate and additional hits from Burning Dagger and Firebreathing. It also provides us with several major buffs to both damage and defenses.


Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression

Alternative Skills & Tips

Passives

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. Take the Dexterity, Bow Attack Speed, Glancing Blow, Critical Strike Multiplier and Critical Vulnerability Nodes.
  2. Sapping Strikes, Draining Arrows and Perfect Aim are crucial for sustain; grab them as soon as possible.
  3. Sapping Strikes anMana Warp are necessary to regen mana and maximize Meteor procs.
  4. Death from Afar can boost your Damage significantly. This also represents a great source of crowd control so don't underestimate it!
  5. If you want additional movement speed invest 5 points into Pursuit.
  6. All the points related to the Concentration buff are the lowest priority, so leave them for last.
Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Passive Tree Progression

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

Gameplay

Dragonsong gameplay comes down to looking for the balance between being too close vs too far away. If you're too close you take additional damage, but if you're too far away Dragonfire won't reach the enemy. Achieving this balance will take practice and a familiarity with enemy mechanics to know when to use your Support Skills to stay alive. Paying attention to the telegraphs of your enemies and staying out of their range while not wasting too much DPS being being too far away is critical with this build.

Skill Usage/Rotation

  • Spam Cinder Strike while you kite, stay within Dragonfire's range as much as possible.
  • Keep your Bladed Armor buff from Shurikens active by using Shift as often as possible when out of danger.
  • Smoke Bomb can be used as an extra gap closer that leaves a persistent Slow on the ground for easier kitting.

Mapping

  • Move quickly with Shift, Shurikens and Smoke Bomb. Remember, the latter two skills will make you jump away from the direction you're facing, so position accordingly.
  • When enemy density is high, use Decoy and redirect their aggro. Wait for them to group while you run towards your objective then attack them with [Cinder Strike. The bigger the group you attack, the more Dragonfire and Meteor procs.

Bossing

  • Use Decoy to distract the Boss. Take advantage of this window to reposition or DPS.
  • Shift can save you from incoming damage. Time it against dangerous telegraphed Boss attacks.
  • Hold Shurikens and Smoke Bomb to juke incoming attacks or until you need their defensive buffs.

Advanced Skill Tips

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

Gear

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 or Endurance Threshold into your gear as possible. Plan ahead for your next upgrades and consider the final 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
  • Capped Endurance
  • 2000 - 3500 Health
  • 30% - 45%+ Armour
  • 85+ Dexterity
  • 100%+ Attack Speed
  • 250% - 350%+ Critical Strike Multiplier
  • 50% - 100%+ Movement Speed
  • Chance to Slow and Chill on Hit

Gear Progression

Starting Gear
Advanced Gear
End Game Gear
BIS Gear

Milestone 1
Make sure you have Dragonsong. Prioritize high rolled Dragonfire proc chance over other stats on the bow. Also grab a Peak of the Mountain from Tier 1 Temporal Sanctum. 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.

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
Fit as much Health into your gear as possible. Hybrid Health and %Health are extremely valuable, but can be hard to find early on. Use regular flat Health until you find them. Increased damage while wielding a bow is really efficient at T1, so use it for an early Damage boost.

Starting Gear Planner

Milestone 4
Farm a pair of Mourningfrost. Maximize your chances at finding them by farming the Unique Boot rewards on the Spirits of Fire Monolith Timeline. After you have the boots start looking for a Harbinger of Stars at the Fall of the Empire Timeline. This belt isn't necessary but it represents a significant damage and clear boost.

Milestone 5
While you look for this basic set of gear, start farming your Empowered Blessings and look for any Idols that can help you cap all your Resistances momentarily.

Milestone 1
Once you cover your Void Resistance with a well rolled Grand Echo of Solarum Blessing, replace your Crusader Gauntlets with Engraved Gauntlets for their Endurance Implicit.

Milestone 2
Get Chance to Apply Frailty on Hit on your Antidote Vial to decrease the Damage enemies deal to you. This Ailment is really important and should always be kept in mind.

Milestone 3
When all your core Defenses are covered, start working on your Damage. Get Chance To Shred Armour on Hit on your Engraved Gauntlets to increase your DPS drastically. Bow Attack Speed is also amazing for this build.

Advanced Gear Planner

Milestone 4
As you finish up your Empowered Blessings, start stacking Dexterity to boost the damage you get from Mourningfrost. Keep a decent Health pool, capped Resistances and Critical Strike Avoidance. Your goal is to have items with 4 valuable T5 Affixes, also known as T20.

Milestone 1
Upgrade your T20 set up with Exalted items, high value Sealed Affixes or ideally both. Obtain the Affixes included in the Planner, but prioritize the indicated Item Bases for their Implicits. Make sure to Seal highly efficient low tier Affixes.

Milestone 2
Farm Mourningfrost, Harbinger of Stars and Dragonsong with Legendary Potential. Aim for the indicated Affixes in the Planner for each slot. If you don't like the mana management of Harbinger of Stars or want to boost the single target damage over clear, replace it with Immolator's Oblation.

Milestone 3
If you manage to get a piece of gear with T7 Exalted Endurance or can seal enough, farm the Grand Body of Obsidian Blessing. It has great synergy with the Bladed Armor buff from Shurikens.

End Game Gear Planner

Milestone 4
Farm Throne of Ambition in The Stolen Lance Empowered Monolith Timeline. It's a rare drop from God Hunter Argentus so it might take a few tries to drop. If you want a tankier option for Arenas you can also farm Arrowguard with LP. Damage and CC will be lower with this Unique but survivability at higher Arena waves will be better. To wear this you need to make up for the Chill and Slow chance lost with some combination of LP on the Quiver, Oceareon or Chance to Slow on Bow Hit on your Helmet. You also need to take Grand Bastion of Divinity over Grand Crash of the Waves,

Milestone 1
Keep upgrading your gear with Exalted Items with Sealed Affixes. Get every stat in the right place and in the correct Item Base. Min/Maxing your gear in Last Epoch can be pushed to the extreme as Items with multiple Exalted Affixes are technically possible.

Milestone 2
Get as close to perfect rolls for all your Empowered Blessings and find all your desired Idols with the best in slot Prefixes and Suffixes.

Milestone 3
Continue farming Mourningfrost, Harbinger of Stars and Dragonsong with the maximum Legendary Potential you can find. If you can get an Oceareon with Dexterity this is a sizable damage and CC boost. Remember that some of these Items are extremely hard to get with multiple Legendary Potential. Good luck with the chase!

BIS Gear Planner

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!

Blessings

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
  • Embers of Immortality

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

Reaching Empowered Monolith unlocks all the level 100 Timelines and the ability to farm Empowered Blessings. Unlike Normal Blessings, these need to be farmed until you get the desired ones for your build. It is extremely important to get this set up as fast as possible to free up affix slots on your gear. Remember, the more value you get from your Blessings, the easier it is to craft efficient gear!

These are the core Combat Empowered Blessings for this build:

  • If you are lacking Resistances, start with Grand Echo of Solarum.
  • If you are lacking Critical Strike Avoidance, start with Grand Survival of Might. A high roll on this Empowered Blessing can be combined with Heightened Senses or a single T5 Critical Strike Avoidance to completely cap it.
  • Once your core Defenses are sorted, grab Grand Rage of Winter for a huge Damage boost. Make sure you eventually get a high roll!
  • Combine a high rolled Grand Embers of Immortality with the Engraved Gauntlets Implicit to cap your Endurance.

Consider these Combat Empowered Blessings once your gear allows it:

  • Grand Body of Obsidian can be hard to fit until you have a super optimized setup. However it has way better value than Grand Embers of Immortality and great synergy with the %Armour buff from Shurikens and Throne of Ambition.

These Empowered Blessings are flexible and depend on your current needs and goals.

These are valuable Empowered Drop Rate Blessings for this build:

  • Grand Sight of the Outcasts helps you get Health Idols which are so important to the build. If you're good on those, consider switching to Grand Winds of Fortune to help farm the many Unique Items this build uses.
  • Grand Slumber of Morditas helps you find an exalted Level of Cinder Strike.
  • Grand Binding of Ruin and Grand Vigilance of the Damned helps you find more Exalted Belts and Bows to make your Legendaries.
  • Grand Safety of the Labyrinth is in a low value slot. We choose this because there are several high value Affixes on Amulets, but this Blessing can be skipped with little downside.

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

Idols

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:

  • Use as many Idols with Elemental Resistance and Cold Resistance as you need, depending on your total Dexterity while wearing Mourningfrost.
  • Once Resistances are sorted, prioritize %Health. Stout Lagonian Idol and Large Shadow Idol can have both %Health and Resistance related Suffixes.
  • Fit in a Throne of Ambition. You can farm it in The Stolen Lance Empowered Monolith Timeline. It's a rare drop from God Hunter Argentus.
  • You can also grab Large Shadow Idol with %Health and Increased Armour Shred Duration or Stout Lagonian Idol with %Health and Health.
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

Dragonfire is a Subskill and has no access to the usual "More Damage" Nodes in regular Skill Trees, and while Meteor is a skill that has a skill tree we can't access it on rogue so it has a similar problem. This makes scaling Damage more complex than your usual "stack as many More Damage Nodes as possible". Even with these limitations, the Dragonsong Marksman can still reach very high DPS and AoE while also being surprisingly tanky.

Dragonfire Spells are the main Damage are for this build, with Meteor providing secondary damage and greater access to clear. Anything not related to enhancing the Damage of these two skills is not valuable. Stats like Bow Damage are mainly useless for the build.

Damage
Defense
  • Dexterity: The Dragonfire Spell scales with Dexterity, gaining 4% Increased Damage per point. Plus we get 1 Cold Damage per Dexterity from Mourningfrost, making this an offensive juggernaut of a stat for us. Additionally it grants 4 flat Dodge per point, which ads a nice defensive layer for the build. Note that Meteor only gets the Flat Damage and no Increased Damage from Dex, but that won't stop us from stacking this stat to the moon.
  • Mourningfrost: Since the build stacks Dexterity, it can make use of these amazing Unique Boots. They grant 1 flat Cold Damage to all Attacks and Spells per point of Dexterity. Mourningfrost come with a downside of also reducing your Cold Resistance and Physical Resistance per point of Dexterity. A finished build has around 85 Dexterity, so keep an eye on your Resistances as you gear up and make sure they stay capped.
  • Bow Attack Speed: The faster you attack the more Dragonfire and Meteors you proc! Thanks to Sapping Strikes and Mana Warp mana gain isn't a concern, so stack this as high as you can.
  • Grand Rage of Winter: Since the build attacks so fast and has so many hits, it is extremely easy to apply 10 stacks of Cold Resistance Shred to your targets. 10 stacks increase the Damage enemies take by 50% (20% for Bosses). This Blessing plays a big part on your Damage output, so make sure you roll it nicely (45%+) and as early as possible. The Fire part of our damage is covered through Kindling and Combustible.
  • 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 16.5% increased Cold Damage, while at -4000 Armour it takes 40%. With the amount of hits the build has, the stacks ramp up quickly and we can easily Shred well over 10k Armor quickly which provides a massive boost to our damage.
  • Throne of Ambition: Especially important while Bossing. The Cold and Fire Damage plus Armour Multipliers are insanely powerful for the build.
  • Critical Vulnerability: Unique to the Rogue, this Ailment helps the build to reach crit cap without fully investing in Crit gear. This Ailment adds 2% flat Critical Strike Chance to your targets per stack and caps at 10 stacks. 5 points in Wound Maker is enough to cap our stacks.
  • Critical Strike Chance: The two main damage sources for this build rely on Crits to proc, so we need to get our Critical Strike Chance as close to cap as possible. Thanks to Crit Vulnerability the effective cap is 80%. It's still a substantial investment but well worth it.
  • Critical Strike Multiplier: Increases the Damage your Crits deal. Fully stacked Perfect Aim provides 75% on its own. Build as much as you can on your gear.
  • Increased Damage: We get so much of this from Passives, Dexterity and Oil Coating from Cinder Strike that we don't need it on our gear. The only exception to this is Increased Damage while wielding a Bow which provides a lot of Damage for little investment.
  • Smoke Bomb: Can be used as an extra gap closer that leaves a persistent Slow on the ground for easier kitting. It provides Dusk Shrouds while standing on the fog. Additionally it has a Cleanse and gives Silver Shrouds on use.
  • Silver Shrouds: As long as you have one up, the next hit you take is Dodged instead. You also gain 100 Ward per Silver Shroud once they proc to Dodge the incoming attack. Since they last 10 seconds each, you can time Smoke Bomb and Covering Fire apart to make sure you always have one Silver Shroud active, or quickly recover them if they proc. If you do this properly you can always have this protection against hits that can be Dodged, including some major Boss mechanics!
  • Dodge: Dexterity, Dodge, %Dodge allow you to reasonably reach between 30% and 40% permanent Dodge without buffs. Thanks to Elusive we end up around 60% any time we're using Cinder Strike. The Elusive Node on Shift (both nodes unfortunately share the same name) provides a massive Dodge boost for 1 second and can provide up to 80%+ Dodge for the duration, making even objective rushing a relatively safe process.
  • Glancing Blows: You take 35% less damage from Hits with Glancing Blows. We take every point from the Passive tree and use Dusk Shrouds to push it further. If you're considering competitive Arena, use Arrowguard to get 80% permanent Glancing Blow chance, and reach 100% chance when using Smoke Bomb thanks to the Dusk Shrouds it provides.
  • Dusk Shrouds: Each grants 5% Glancing Blow Chance and 50 flat Dodge.
  • Shift: This dash gives immunity frames while it's used thanks to the Shadowslip node. Time this Skill properly to avoid incoming damage or potential 1 shots. It provides a massive boost of Dodge and procs 5 Shurikens on use.
  • Shurikens: Can be used as an extra gap closer for a total of 3 different dashes on this build. They also grant a ton of %Armour while active thanks to Bladed Armor.
  • Armour Mitigation: Surprisingly this build can get a ton of Armour too. Just with the implicit Armour from your gear, the Grand Body of Obsidian Blessing and Shurikens your Armour easily reaches 35%+ Mitigation. Thanks to Throne of Ambition this Mitigation increases to 45%+ while Bossing. This is huge on top of all the other defensive layers the build has.
  • Decoy: Crazy support skill. Aside from its multiple temporary buffs, it Taunts. While Taunted, enemies focus the Decoy instead of attacking you. Additionally you can instantly Fear anything inside its AoE on use.
  • Health: Rogue has access to Large Shadow Idols with %Health. Not all classes have access to these amazing Idols, so take advantage of it.
  • Health on Hit and Crit: Sapping Strikes, Draining Arrows and Perfect Aim provide the build with insane sustain. With the amount of hits and how easy it is to Crit thanks to Critical Vulnerability, the build can recover all of its HP instantly.
  • Evasion: The Damage Reduction while moving is great while escaping from threats.
  • Chill and Slow: Are Ailments that greatly reduce the Action and Movement Speed of your enemies. They are must haves on most builds, specially once you reach hard content with insane speed modifiers.
  • Frailty: This Ailment reduces the Damage dealt by enemies by 6% for 4 seconds. Stacks 3 times.
  • Ward and Ailment Cleansing on Potion Use: If you can manage to get this on your Harbinger of Stars great. Otherwise, take advantage of the Cleanses provided by Shift and Smoke Bomb. Do not prioritize this prefix on your belt over Health and Hybrid Health.

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.

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

Summary

Overall the Dragonsong Marksman is a build that has all of the tools with great damage, clear, and defenses. It can do all of the content in the game and looks incredible doing it!

  • Spam Cinder Strike while you kite. Look for groups of mobs to maximize the amount of Dragonfire and Meteor procs from Dragonsong and Harbinger of Stars.
  • Stack as much Dexterity as possible with Mourningfrost while keeping your Resistances capped. Don't gear more Dexterity than you can handle.
  • Use Decoy to distract your enemies. Take advantage of this to reposition and DPS.
  • Find the range where enemies can't hit you but Dragonfire can still reach them whie stacking the defensive buffs that Smoke Bomb and Shurikens provide.
  • Shift can save you from incoming Damage. Time it perfectly for the Damage Immunity!

Credits

Written by McFluffin.
Reviewed by Lizard_IRL

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