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Runemaster Leveling Guide

Last Updated: February 21st 2024

Patch 1.0

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This Runemaster leveling build overloads your foes with insane amount of DoTs. It uses Frost Claw to apply DoTs, starting with Ignites then transitioning to Frostbites later in the campaign. Then, Mana Strike is there get you back to full Mana.

The Runemaster plays at range to maintain distance from enemies while in combat, but has plenty of defensive options just in case. Flame Ward is an incredible Defensive Skill with tons of Damage Reduction that can mitigate even the most dangerous attacks. The build also has decent mobility thanks to Flame Rush which grants great defensive buffs.

Overall, the Frost Claw Runemaster is an amazing leveling build, as it provides enough damage to crush the campaign. It also scales well into the end-game. With its 2 charges of Flame Ward, the build is also quite tanky. This combination makes Runemaster leveling look easy.

Campaign Gear Planner

Check out the Campaign Guide for an in depth breakdown of the campaign.

Pros
  • Easy Gearing
  • DoT Playstyle
  • Very Good Damage
  • Multiple Layers of Defense
Cons
  • Mana Intensive
  • Has to Respec Skills
  • Defensive Skills Require Timing
  • Need Rare Affixes to Scale damage in End Game

Gameplay

As we level the power of skills evolve, with some becoming stronger while others get weaker. To account for this, we transition from a setup that is optimized for early game to one that is more suited to tackling endgame content.

Early Setup

Use this setup until you have 4 points in Frost Claw.

  • Glacier is your single target and clear.
  • When you are low on mana, use Mana Strike.
  • Use Teleport to move quickly through the chapters.

Final Setup

At 7 points in Freezing Point, switch to a two handed weapon with Chance to Shred Armour on Hit to apply massive stacks of Frostbite. Remember to respec Lava Talon in Frost Claw.

  • Frost Claw is your single target and clear.
  • When you are low on mana, use Mana Strike.
  • Use Flame Rush to move quickly through the chapters.
  • Use Flame Ward to protect yourself from danger.

Key Leveling Notes

  • Keep your character at the area level by killing monsters.
    • To use this guide, you need to maintain at most a 5 level difference with the area.
    • Press C to open the character sheet to find your level and TAB to find the area level.
  • Only collect loot that serves as an upgrade.
    • The loot filter reveals many items that might not be an upgrade for your character.
  • If your inventory is full, stick gear with high value affixes in your stash and sell the rest.
    • Don't sell gear that has high value affixes to a vendor.
    • Instead, keep it to use later or destroy it with a Rune of Shattering or Rune of Removal.
  • Always get the best weapon you can.
    • Weapons are a core part of your power and getting a higher level base boosts your damage significantly.
    • Early on, you can buy them at the Gambler NPC in the Council Chamber town and in the End of Time town.
    • After level 40, they don't sell you higher item bases.
  • If you want to enter the Monolith of Fate early, unlock all the passive points and idol slots from quests first.
    • By the time you complete chapter 7, you will be ready to tackle the Monolith of Fate content.
  • Crafting is powerful and important for enhancing your gear.
    • Press F and place your item in the crafting interface to level up its affixes and craft new ones!
    • Adding health or vitality on a few empty affix slots can increase your HP by a significant amount!

If you need help with crafting, check the Beginner Crafting Guide.

Skills and Passives

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

Click on the Arrows at the top and on the Bar at the bottom to see Passive and Skill Trees Progression

Gearing and Side Quests Step by Step

Itemization is a vital aspect of your journey in Last Epoch. While prefixes and suffixes matter, what sets Last Epoch apart is the power of item bases. Many items have potent implicit attributes that can rival or even surpass modifiers.

Level 1 to 10
Level 11 to 25
Level 26 to 40
Level 41 to 58
Early Monolith

Level 1 to 10

Items

  • On the Shade's Root Staff of Conflagration prioritize Spell Damage and Chance to Ignite on Hit.
  • Imbued Silver Ring of Deflection is the best source of movement speed early on.
  • Scholar's Runic Scroll of Deflection provides a substantial spell damage boost early on.
  • On Vital Leather Boots of Deflection, prioritize Movement Speed and Increased Cooldown Recovery Speed to enhance your mobility.

Side Quests

  • Storeroom Sabotuers for 1 Passive point.
  • Evacuation Quest for 1 Passive point.
Items at Level 10
Items on planner are for displaying item bases and affixes only. Ignore level requirements.

Level 11 to 25

Items

  • Start equipping Idols with Vitality, any type of resistance, Health, Health on Kill, Chance To Bleed On Hit, Chance To Poison On Hit and Chance To Ignite On Hit.
  • Mage's Weathered Crown of Deflection provides a great amount of increased damage at that level.
  • Rejuvenating Gold Ring of Deflection provide significant elemental resistances, outshining other options at this level.
  • Mage's Silver Grail of Deflection provides a lot of Mana, increasing the damage window.
  • Avarice gives you a decent chunk of elemental resistances and leech.

Side Quests

  • Erza's Ledger Quest for 1 Passive point and Avarice.
    • Don't talk to the Gambler NPC before completing this quest, otherwise you can't get Avarice.
  • The Upper District Quest for 1 Passive point.
  • An Ancient Hunt for extra Idol slots.
  • The Lesser Refuge Quest for 2 Passive point.
  • The Corrupted Lake Quest for 1 Passive point and extra Idol slots.
Items at Level 25
Items on planner are for displaying item bases and affixes only. Ignore level requirements.

Level 26 to 40

Items

  • Infernal Sapphire Ring of Deflection, Mage's Lunar Helm of Deflection and Mage's Opulent Robes of Life are going to be a great help to sustain the mana cost of Frost Claw.

Side Quests

  • Hidden Gems Quest for 1 Passive point.
  • The Sapphire Tablet Quest for 1 Passive point and extra Idol slots.
Items at Level 40
Items on planner are for displaying item bases and affixes only. Ignore level requirements.

Level 41 to 58

Items

  • Infernal Bone Amulet of Life is the best amulet base in the game as it gives a lot of resistances, which gives you more space for suffixes on your gear.
  • As we transition to Frostbite Frost Claw, Blighted Ice Axe of the Betrayer is going to be an insane damage increase.
  • Infernal Spidersilk Sash of the Giant is a powerful base that helps you fix your cold res when combined with Vital Heoborean Boots of Remedy.

Side Quests

  • A Heoborean Cure Quest for extra Idol slots.
  • Liberating the Nomads Quest for extra Idol slots.
  • After defeating the Frostroot Warden boss and completing chapter 7 quests, you have reached the cap of 15 Passive points and 8 Idol slots. You can dive into the Monolith of Fate or you can choose to finish the campaign for a reward of +1 to all attributes.
Items at Level 58
Items on planner are for displaying item bases and affixes only. Ignore level requirements.

Early Monolith

Items

Important At this point, you have access to most of the best item bases in the game. Your upgrades come from prefixes and suffixes on items instead of the implicits.

Here is a recap of the best item bases :

  • Weapon : Bardiche, Meruna Helm or Great Axe
  • Helmet : Runed Visage or Lunar Helm
  • Body Armour : Opulent Robes
  • Belt : Spidersilk Sash or Praetorian Belt
  • Boots : Heoborean Boots or Solarum Greaves
  • Gloves : Avarice
  • Amulet : Bone Amulet
  • Rings : Sapphire Ring
  • Relic : Scrivening Quill or Warding Scroll
Items in Early Monolith
Items on planner are for displaying item bases and affixes only. Ignore level requirements.

Monolith Progression

After beating the Abomination timeline boss and completing your first timeline, you have the choice to go between The Stolen Lance timeline and The Black Sun timeline. Go for The Black Sun timeline.

You want to do timelines on the right-hand-side of the Monolith progression as they provides more relevant Blessings for your character progression.

Level progression includes 1-10, 11-25, 26-40, 41-58 and Early Monolith, scroll to find the correct tab.

Runemaster Uniques

If you are lucky you might get a Rune of Ascendance while leveling. Use this first on a body armor to get a unique body armor such as Unstable Core, Fundamental Criterion or Prism Wraps.

Keep an eye out for useful Uniques such as Unstable Core, Fundamental Criterion, Prism Wraps, Prismatic Gaze and Arboreal Circuit.

Gear Stats Priorities

Best Prefixes

Damage
Defense
Utility
  1. Level of Frost Claw, Level of Flame Ward, Level of Mana Strike, Level of Flame Rush and Level of Static Orb
  2. Cast Speed
  3. Cold Penetration
  4. Elemental Damage Over Time
  5. Damage Over Time and Cold Damage
  6. Intelligence
  1. Vitality
  1. increased Area for Area Skills

Best Suffixes

Damage
Defense
Utility
  1. Chance to Bleed on Hit and Chance to Ignite on Hit until 4 points in Frost Claw.
  2. Chance to Shred Armour on Hit
  3. Cold Penetration and Minion Cold Penetration
  1. Health
  2. Hybrid Health
  3. Fire Resistance, Lightning Resistance, Cold Resistance, Elemental Resistance, Physical Resistance, Necrotic Resistance and Void Resistance
  4. Health
  5. Chance to Chill on Hit
  6. Chance to apply Frailty on Hit
  7. Chance to Slow on Hit
  8. Armour
  9. Dodge Rating
  1. Increased Cooldown Recovery Speed

Idols

Damage
Defense
  1. Chance to Bleed on Hit and Chance to Poison on Hit until 4 points in Frost Claw.
  2. Chance to Ignite on Hit, Chance To Ignite With Fire Skills, Fire Penetration with Ignite and Ignite And Spreading Flames Duration, Fire Damage Over Time until 28 points in Runemaster Passive Tree
  3. Cold Penetration with Frostbite
  4. Chance To Apply Frostbite With Cold Skills
  5. Cold Damage Over Time
  6. Increased Cold Damage (Doubled If You Have Over 300 Max Mana)
  7. Shared Cold Damage
  1. Health
  2. Health
  3. Vitality
  4. Ward Per Second
  5. Mana Spent Gained as Ward

Loot Filter

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

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

Summary

This Runemaster leveling build shines with great offensive and defensive capabilities. It kills bosses in seconds and makes you straight up immortal, making it one of the smoothest masteries to play during the campaign.

  • Use Glacier before you have 4 points in Frost Claw.
  • Frost Claw is your single target and clear.
  • When you are low on mana, use Mana Strike.
  • Use Flame Rush to move quickly through the chapters.
  • Use Flame Ward to protect yourself from danger.
  • Always change your Staff to the best base possible for your level.
  • Cap your Physical Resistance early to make the campaign look easy.

What's Next?

Congratulations, you completed the campaign and your first 3 Monoliths Timelines! What awaits you is unlocking Empowered Monolith after pushing through The Reign of Dragons, Spirits of Fire, The Age of Winter and The Last Ruin Timelines and activating the beacon in the middle of them. Then you can dive into dungeons, empower your character further and test your limits at the Arena leaderboard.

Check out our Runemaster Guides and find the perfect Runemaster Endgame build for you.

Explore the Monolith of Fate with our Beginner Guide and learn how to farm Dungeons.

Credits

Written by Terek.
Reviewed by Tenkiei.

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