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Reign of Winter Bowmage Marksman Guide

Last Updated: February 20th 2024

Patch 1.0

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The Reign of Winter Bowmage is one of the most iconic builds in Last Epoch. This Marksman can cover the entire screen with deadly Cold Spells, making it one of the most visually pleasing builds the game has to offer.

The build revolves around proccing an insane amount of Icicles from Reign of Winter thanks to the explosion of Detonating Arrow and its Lightning Tendrils.

You need Reign of Winter to play this build! It can easily be obtained by defeating Heorot in the Age of Winter Monolith Timeline. It has a 50% drop rate on both Normal and Empowered Monolith.

This Marksman has incredible mobility and utility thanks to Smoke Bomb, Shift, Shurikens and Decoy. This is a Unique heavy build and benefits greatly from Mourningfrost and Arrowguard.

Overall the Bowmage still shines as a great build for speed farming the Monolith of Faith. If you are looking for a ranged build with a fast, active and rewarding playstyle, the Bowmage is perfect for you!

End Game Gear Planner - Click To Open Full Planner

This article assumes you have a Level 70 Character.
Reach Level 70 with our Marksman Leveling Guide.
This build needs Reign of Winter. 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
  • Visually Pleasing
  • Massive Range & AoE
  • Multiple Defensive Layers
Cons
  • Requires Uniques
  • Can't AFK Facetank
  • Min/Maxing is Difficult
  • Low Single Target Damage

Skills

Detonating Arrow

Use Detonating Arrow and its Lightning Tendrils to proc tons of Icicles from Reign of Winter. Group enemies and line up the cone shaped AoE from Detonating Arrow to increase the amount of Icicles procced.

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. Draining Arrows and Perfect Aim are crucial for sustain; grab them as soon as possible.
  3. Death from Afar can boost your Damage significantly, don't underestimate it!
  4. We highly recommend investing 5 points into Pursuit for the bonus Movement Speed.
  5. 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

The Bowmage wants to position itself far away from its enemies while raining down its deadly projectiles. Make sure you are familiar 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 is critical with this build.

Skill Usage/Rotation

  • Spam Detonating Arrow and line up the explosion with mobs to maximize the amount of Icicles procced.
  • 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.
  • 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 Detonating Arrow. The bigger the group you attack, the more Icicle.

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 stack as many other defensive layers 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
  • 80% - 100% Glancing Blow
  • 300%+ Critical Strike Multiplier
  • 50% - 100%+ Movement Speed
  • Chance to Slow and Chill on Hit on your Gear

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.

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 some Mana Regeneration to spam Detonating Arrow and 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.

Milestone 4
Use the Unique Boot Echo rewards on the Spirits of Fire Monolith Timeline to farm Mourningfrost.

Starting Gear Planner

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 or increase your Damage momentarily.

Milestone 1
Once you cover your Void Resistance with a well rolled Grand Echo of Solarum Blessing, replace your Gloves for the Endurance Implicit.

Milestone 2
Get Chance to Apply Frailty on Hit on your Relic 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 Gloves and Amulet to drastically increase your DPS.

Milestone 4
Start stacking Dexterity to further boost the Damage you get from Mourningfrost while keeping your Cold and Physical Resistances Capped. Bow Attack Speed, Cold Penetration and Critical Strike Multiplier are also amazing for this build.

Advanced Gear Planner

Milestone 5
Farm a Peak of the Mountain with high Legendary Potential by killing The Mountain Beneath in the Lightless Arbour Dungeon. This item is great to scale your Icicle's Crit Chance.

Milestone 6
As you finish up your Empowered Blessings, 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, like Ward and Ailment Cleansing on Potion Use on Belts.

Milestone 2
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.

Milestone 3
Farm Reign of Winter with Legendary Potential and try to get Crit Chance and Bow Attack Speed on it. This is especially important to be able to cap the Icicle's Crit Chance.

Milestone 4
Get Mourningfrost, Arrowguard and Peak of the Mountain with Legendary Potential. Aim for the indicated Affixes in the Planner for each slot.

End Game Gear Planner

Milestone 5
If you manage to get a piece of gear with T7 Exalted Endurance farm the Grand Body of Obsidian Blessing. It has great synergy with the Bladed Armor buff from Shurikens.

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, Arrowguard, Reign of Winter and Peak of the Mountain with the maximum Legendary Potential you can find. Remember that some of these Items are extremely hard to get with multiple Legendary Potential. Good luck with the chase!

Milestone 4
Feel free to experiment with any crazy Unique, Legendary or Experimental Items that you might craft, trade or find! The possibilities are endless!

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 or Grand Bastion of Divinity.
  • 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 Resolve of Humanity has insane value for this build. It helps cap Resistances and offsets the downside from Mourningfrost if your Dexterity gets super high. Grab it once your Critical Strike Avoidance is sorted.
  • 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 Winds of Fortune since this build uses many Unique Items.
  • Complement it with Grand Apex of Fortune or Grand Right of Conquest depending on what specific Unique you are farming for.
  • Lastly Grand Vigilance of the Damned helps you find more Exalted Bows.

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 damage while wielding a bow 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

The Icicle Spells are the main Damage are for this build, hence the name Bowmage. Anything not related to enhancing the Damage of the Icicles is not valuable. Stats like Bow Damage or Frostbite Chance are mainly useless for the Bowmage.

Damage
Defense
  • Reign of Winter: The build revolves around proccing an insane amount of Icicles.
  • Dexterity: Luckily for us, the Icicle Spell scales with Dexterity, gaining 4% Damage per point. Additionally it grants 4 flat Dodge per point, which ads a nice defensive layer for the build.
  • Mourningfrost: Since the build stacks Dexterity, it can make use of this amazing pair of Unique Boots. They grant 1 flat Cold Damage to all Attacks and Spells per point of Dexterity, that includes the Icicle! 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 Icicle you proc! The goal is to spam your skills without ever thinking about mana. Detonating Arrow has a cost of 8 mana, so make sure to have enough Mana Regeneration on your gear to spam it. Depending on how fast your Bow Attack Speed is, you need between 14 and 18 Mana Regeneration to be able to spam non-stop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Throne of Ambition: Specially important while Bossing. The Cold Damage and Armour Multipliers are insanely powerful for the build.
  • Critical Vulnerability: Unique to the Rogue this Ailment adds 2% flat Critical Strike Chance to your targets per stack (max 10 stacks). Get it from Wound Maker and Weak Spot. Since Marksman's don't have easy access to Flat Spell Critical Strike Chance, Critical Vulnerability is a great way to get some Crit early on.
  • Peak of the Mountain: This item is great to scale your Icicle's Crit Chance. Combine it with a Legendary Reign of Winter with Exalted Crit Chance and Bow Attack Speed.
  • 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.
  • Glancing Blows: Thanks to Arrowguard and the Marksman Passive Tree, you can easily get 80% permanent Glancing Blow chance, and reach 100% chance when using Smoke Bomb thanks to the Dusk Shrouds it provides. You take 35% less damage from Hits with Glancing Blows.
  • Dusk Shrouds: Each grants 5% Glancing Blow Chance and 50 flat Dodge.
  • 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 and the extra Dodge provided by Dusk Shrouds, allow you to reasonably reach between 20% and 40% permanent Dodge, on top of Silver Shrouds. The Elusive Node on Shift provides a massive Dodge boost for 1 second and can provide up to 80%+ Dodge for the duration.
  • 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. Thanks to the Stagger node they also Root anything that gets close to you. This is an amazing last resort defensive layer against melee enemies that rush the player. 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 this amazing Idols, so take advantage of it.
  • Health on Hit and Crit: Draining Arrows and Perfect Aim provide the build with insane sustain. With the amount of hits it does the build can recover all of its HP almost 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: Cleanse all Ailments on Potion use.

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 Bowmage is a very complete build that can deal with all the content in the game. It rewards skilful gameplay, looks awesome and is super fun to play!

  • Spam Detonating Arrow while you kite, line up the explosion with as many mobs as possible to maximize the amount of Icicle procs from Reign of Winter.
  • Stack as much Dexterity as you can handle for Mourningfrost while keeping your Resistances capped.
  • Use Decoy to distract your enemies. Take advantage of this to reposition and DPS.
  • Stay far away from your enemies and stack 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 Lizard_IRL.
Reviewed by Facefoot, Raxxanterax, McFluffin

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