Lightning Swarmblade Form Druid Build
Updated for Patch 0.8.5f
|August 26, 2022
Druis is a shapeshifter who can turn into an insectoid form called Swarmblade. While shapeshifted, he gains access to 4 new abilities that change the way he plays quite considerably. Of these four abilities, two are highly synergistic and can be used to deal tons of Lightning Damage by triggering Tornado and Maelstrom - these are Dive and Armblade Slash. The following build is based on this synergy.
Thanks to the Windfury Strikes mod available in the Swarmblade Form's tree, Armblade Slash can be used to trigger Tornado and the Tornado itself can be modified to shoot Lightning at enemies - this is where the first portion of this build's Damage Output comes from. The second portion of its Damage Output comes from Maelstrom, its ability to cast Lightning while stacked up, and the fact that it can be stacked up with Dive (Water Strider mod for Swarmblade Form makes each use of Dive add 4 Maelstrom stacks!). When we combine these 2 sources of Lightning, we will deal insane amounts of Lightning Damage to everyone around us, and all we need to do to do it is Dive while relocating (to stack up Maelstrom) and spam Armblade Slash in melee (to trigger Tornados). Yes, it's really that easy!
You can also view the full build on the Last Epoch planner here: Swarmblade/Tornado Druid Build
For the defenses, this build utilizes:
- High Life Leech with a large Health Pool
- Capped Endurance and very high Crit Avoidance
- Tons of Armor
You can also check our other Last Epoch builds and character guides
| Quite Tanky, even for a Melee-focused build
|| Heavily reliant on Life Leech
| Fun to Play
|| Can't Dodge Attacks
| Deals tons of Lightning Damage without actually using Lightning Skills
Passive Skill Trees
Primalist Skill Tree (20 Points)
- Natural Attunement [8/8] - +8 Attunement, +24% Lightning Resistance, and +24% Cold Resistance. Attunement is of high value to us, so we simply have to max this one out to start off with.
- Hunter's Restoration [5/5] - 10% Increased Health and 40 Health restored after we hit an enemy (this can occur once every 3 seconds and DoTs/minion attacks do not count).
- Wisdom of the Wild [6/6] - 42% Increased Spell Damage and 42% Increased Minion Spell Damage. Our main offensive skills scale off of Spell Damage, so this is great.
- Tempest Bond [1/8] - 4% Increased Physical, Cold, and Lightning Damage. This effect is doubled if you have a minion out. This is a great node to invest our remaining points in and we had to spend 1 point somewhere to unlock the Serpent Strike.
We need a total of 20 points in the Primalist Tree to unlock Serpent Strike. To do so in the most efficient way, we've chosen nodes that either increase our sustain, survivability, or damage.
Druid Skill Tree (60 Points)
- Chitinous Plating [7/7] - +14% Endurance, +105 Armor, and +300 Minion Armor (600 for Locusts). Higher Endurance = higher Survivability.
- Primordial Resonance [7/7] - +35% Increased Damage and +10% Elemental Penetration While Transformed. Elemental Penetration from this is very strong as it can potentially bring enemies below 0% resistance and make them take increased Elemental Damage.
- Druidic Powers [7/7] - +7 Attunement, +7 Strength, and +1 to all Attributes. Attunement is always nice as we scale with it very well.
- Bush Stalker [5/5] - 50% Increased Crit Chance and +4% Health Leech on Crit. This passive synergizes with itself, which makes it good, even in a vacuum.
- Harmonious Wisdom [10/10] - +10 Attunement and +1% Crit Avoidance per Attunement. With this passive, we can bring our Crit Avoidance to insane levels.
- Overgrowth [6/8] - 48% Increased Health Regen, +10 Health Regen, and 18% Increased Mana Regen. This should alleviate at least some of our mana-related problems.
- Rageborn [8/10] - 120% Increased Critical Chance and +2 Rage Gain on Crit. This is a very powerful offensive passive that will make us crit much more frequently.
- Hideskin [10/10] - +150 Health and 1-0% Max Health Gained as Endurance Threshold. This should easily let us cap our Endurance (the cap is 60%).
Druid Passives offer a solid mix of offensive and defensive modifiers. We get a lot of Critical Rating from them and they offer a solid boost to Attunement which we very much appreciate and take full advantage of. Hideskin, the end-row passive, allows us to cap out our Endurance at 60% and increase our survivability by a lot that way. Thanks to Harmonious Wisdom, we are also able to stack a lot of Crit Avoidance, which is one of the most valuable defensive stats in the game.
Beastmaster Skill Tree (20 Points)
- Ursine Strength [8/8] - +8 Strength and -16% Damage Taken from Nearby Enemies. This will increase our survivability by giving us Armor and a flat bonus to Damage resistance.
- Boar Heart [4/5] - Receiving a Hit triggers Aspect of the Boar for 4 seconds. Aspect of the Boar is a buff that reduces Damage Taken by 15%. The effect of this passive has a 2s Cooldown.
- Call of the Pack [3/5] - +36 Health, +36 Companion Health, and 60 Health healed on Companion Ability Use. We need these 3 points to get to the next row of passives - you can spend them elsewhere if you want.
- Porcine Constitution [5/5] - +15% Damage Reduction and +75% Health Regeneration granted from Aspect of the Boar.
Our chosen Beastmaster Passives are all about survivability. We gain a lot of Damage Resistance from them (16% all the time, and an additional 30% 2/3 of the time). This, combined with high Endurance makes our build extremely tanky and allows us to focus our gear around the offense.
Shaman Skill Tree (14 Points)
- Shamanic Infusion [8/8] - +8 Attunement and +8% Physical and Elemental Penetration. This offers a solid mix of offensive and defensive modifiers (Remember that Attunement increases our Crit Avoidance).
- Silent Protector [1/8] - 25 Armor and +3% Mana Regen with an Active Totem. We need this to unlock Totemic Fury.
- Totemic Fury [5/5] - 25% increased Attack Speed and 25% increased Cast Speed with an Active Totem.
Eary Tier passives from the Shaman Skill Tree allow us to increase our Attunement, Penetration, and Cast/Attack Speed by quite a bit with a relatively low point investment.
Note: Left-Clicking on any of the ability trees below will open the full-size version in a new window.
Tornado - Conjures a tornado that moves at random, pulling in nearby enemies and dealing physical Damage to them. With the featured setup, Tornados will cast Lightning at nearby enemies, dealing Lightning Damage to them. This Skill is one of our main sources of Damage, but we are not using it actively, instead, we're triggering it by stacking Howling Cascade through Armblade Slash.
- Charged Storm [1/1] - Tornados Cast Lightning every 2 seconds. Lightning is a spell that deals lightning damage to the nearest enemy and scales with increased spell damage and lightning damage, however, it does not scale with other mods of the Tornado Tree.
- Frequent Lightning [4/4] - +140% to Lightning Frequency. This makes the lightning strike much more frequent than the base frequency of 2 seconds.
- Overcast Skies [3/4] - +105% to the range of Lightning. This increases Tornado's AoE and makes it much deadlier as a result.
- Aspect of the Storm [1/1] - Casting Tornado now also grants Aspect of the Storm, which is a buff that increases movement speed by 10% for 2 seconds. This effect does not stack.
- Gust of Renewal [4/4] - +60% Mana Efficiency and +12% Mana Regen when Aspect of the Storm is active. This nullifies much of this build's mana issues.
- Storm Dervish [3/3] - With this node maxed out, Aspect of the Storm grants +21% Attack and Cast Speed.
- Swift Wings [4/5] - +120% to the duration of Aspect of the Storm. This brings the duration from 2 seconds to almost 5.
Swarmblade Form - This transforms us into an agile Swarmblade. While in Swarmblade form, we have increased melee capabilities and we gain access to 4 new abilities: Summon Hive, Dive, Swarm Strike, and Armblade Slash. We'll mainly be using Dive (to stack Maelstrom) and Armblade Slash (to create Tornados). With the featured setup, Swarmblade Form makes us very tanky and allows us to create Tornados through the use of Armblade Slash. Also, thanks to Viper's Call mod, our Armblade Slash benefits from Serpent Strike's Tree.
- Wasp Flight [3/5] - While in Swarmblade Form, gain +15% Attack Speed and +15% Cast Speed. This is amazing as it affects every skill used while in Swarmblade Form.
- Locust Agility [5/5] - +200 Dodge Rating and +200 Armor, while in Swarmblade Form, for us and our Locusts should we have any. This is a solid defensive mod that makes us visibly tankier.
- Water Strider [4/4] - With this, we will cast Maelstrom 4 times each time we use Dive. Triggering this effect will consume 80% of Maelstrom's mana Cost as Rage.
- Dive is a movement skill that makes us dash a fixed story distance in the target direction dealing damage to all enemies in our path.
- Ironclad Beetle [1/1] - Swarmblade Form Converts all Dodge Rating to Armor. Sometimes, putting all eggs into one basket gives strong benefits.
- Viper's Call [1/1] - With this, our Serpent Strike Tree will also apply to Armblade Slash, which is a Swarmblade Form Skill. Wielding a Spear is not required for this to take effect. Base additional Poison Chance and poison duration do not apply, however.
- Armblade Slash is an offensive skill that makes us slash enemies in front of us with a fast combo ability.
- Endless Pressure [3/3] - +6 Rage and Health gained when we or our Losusts hit a Boss or a Rare Enemy. This generates tons of Rage.
- Windfury Strikes [1/1] - Using Armblade Slash, and hitting at least 1 enemy with it, gives us a stack of Howling Cascade. Reaching 6 stacks resets the count to 0 and generates a Tornado. This effect consumes Tornado's Mana Cost.
- Army of the Tempest [2/2] - +80% to Damage dealt by Tornados created by Howling Cascade and Tornados are now created at 4 stacks instead of 6.
Maelstrom - This Skill surrounds us with a freezing Maelstrom that deals cold damage over time to nearby enemies. With the featured setup, it will also strike nearby enemies with Lightning, similarly to our Tornados. Moreover, it will increase our combat capabilities by giving us extra Movement Speed, Attack Speed, Cast Speed, and Dodge (which will get converted to Armor). We will mainly stack up maelstrom with Dive - one of Swarmblade Form's abilities. If you don't have any items that increase Maelstrom levels, run 1/3 Sleet-Footed.
- Turmoil [3/5] - Increases Maelstrom's Area of Effect by 60%.
- Whirlpool [4/4] - Increases the duration of Maelstrom's stacks by 40%. This makes stacking up Maelstrom much less tedious.
- Turbulence [1/5] - +8% Maelstrom Damage. This effect is doubled if you have 60 or more Attunement. We mainly need this one to unlock further nodes.
- Calm [2/4] - +30% Mana Efficiency.
- Windswept [1/1] - Stacking Maelstrom to 6 (or more) now grants a Haste buff. Haste increases movement speed by 30%.
- Windfury [1/1] - Stacking Maelstrom to 6 (or more) now grants Frenzy. Frenzy is a buff that grants 20% Increased Attack and Cast Speed. The Frenzy effect does not stack with other similar effects.
- Sleet-Footed [3/3] - +45 Dodge Rating per Maelstrom Stack. Because of the way we built our Swarmblade Form, this will grant us 45 Armor per Maelstrom stack.
- Power of the Storm [1/1] - While at 6 or more Maelstrom stacks, a Lightning will strike a nearby enemy each second.
- Strong Tides [3/3] - Reduces the number of Stacks needed for a Lightning to strike to 3.
- Energized [3/3] - Lightning generated by Power of the Storm will now strike 3 additional targets.
Ice Thorns - With the featured setup, this Skill will trigger passively when we get hit by enemies. It fires a burst of homing ice thorns that deal physical and cold damage to enemies on hot. Ice Thorns have a freeze rate of 18. Thanks to Thorn Barrier, and the on-hit activation, Ice Thorns will increase our Armor before being released without us doing anything.
- Anemophily [1/3] - This node makes Ice Thorns travel 15% Faster and Further.
- Thorn Barrier [1/1] - Makes Ice Thorns create a thorn Barrier that grants us 40 Armor for 1 second before Ice Thorns are released.
- Bark Shield [5/5] - Thorn Barrier grants 100 additional Armor.
- Eternal Protection [3/3] - Thorn Barrier lasts 90% Longer.
- Dagger Thorns [4/4] - Ice Thorns have a 4% higher base Crit Chance and a 40% increased Critical Multiplier.
- Bramble Armour [2/2] - 20% chance to Cast ice Thorns when Hit. This turns Ice Thorns into a passive skill, basically.
- Spell Thorns [4/4] - +20% chance to Cast ice Thorns when Hit (for a total of 40%), +4 Spell Physical Damage to Ice Thorns. This ensures that Ice Thorns will trigger almost constantly when we're in combat.
Serpent Strike - A Melee Attack that has a 140% Poison Chance and requires a Spear to use. We won't be using this Skill at all, but all of its mods will apply to our Armblade Slash. Thanks to the used Mods, our Armblade Slash will have a Crit Threshold of 18%, increased Crit Chance, increased Attack Speed, and Added Bleed Chance.
- Primal Reflex [6/6] - +60 Dodge Rating for 4 seconds after using Serpent Strike/Armblade Slash. This will give us a +60 Armor because of the Ironclad Beetle mod from Swarmblade Form.
- Blood Flurry [4/4] - With this, Serpent Strike/Armblade Slash will have +16% Attack Speed and +40% chance to chase Bleeding.
- Eye of the Viper [2/2] - +6% Base Crit Chance for Serpent Strike/Armblade Slash.
- Culling Point [3/3] - Serpent Strike/Armblade Slash now have a chance to instantly kill enemies that are below 18% of their maximum health. This is extremely powerful against tough enemies.
- Plaguebearer [1/4] - Serpent Strike/Armblade Slash has a 25% chance to inflict a Plague ailment on your enemies. Plague deals Poison Damage over time and spreads between nearby enemies.
- Spear Flurry [4/4] - Serpent Strike/Armblade Slash has a 20% increased Attack Speed.
This build mainly deals Lightning Damage, so we want to stack as much Increased Lightning Damage as possible. Crit Multiplier is the second-best damage increase, so we want as much of it as well. Spell Damage While Transformed is another worthwhile offensive bonus as we're using Swarmblade Form all the time. Items with Attunement on them will increase both our defensive and offensive capabilities, so Attunement has a very high value to us too. Health, Health %, and Life Leech are also worth stacking to increase survivability.
- Increased Lightning Damage
- Critical Multiplier
- Spell Damage While Transformed
- Life Leech
- Health and Health %
Recommended Unique Items:
There are actually not too many Uniques that support Lightning Damage-based builds. Below, you'll find Uniques that will greatly improve this build's power as well as those that will work well enough but aren't necessary and can easily be replaced.
- (5-15)% increased Cast Speed
- +(33-45)% Cold Resistance
- +(33-45)% Lightning Resistance
- +(33-45)% Chance to cast Maelstrom every 5 seconds
- This will use your Maelstrom tree and does cost you mana
- (6-8)% Increased Lightning Damage per Active Maelstrom
- +(10-18) Melee Lightning Damage
Eye of Storms - This amulet works extremely well with our ability to stack up Maelstroms quickly. Moreover, it gives us a solid chunk of Lightning and Cold resistance. Added Melee Lightning Damage is great for us as too, as we have a very high Attack Speed. The more Maelstroms we stack, the higher benefit this will give us!
- +(36-44)% Physical Resistance
- +6 Spell Lightning Damage for you and your Totems
- +12% Lightning Penetration for you and your Totems
- +(60-94)% Shock Chance for you and your Totems
- Grants a chance to Shock on Hit
- +(36-44)% Lightning Resistance for You and Your Totems
- +(60-94) Mana
- 12% Chance to summon a Storm Totem on hit (8-second cooldown)
- +6 Attunement
Stormcarved Testament - This is, by far, the strongest Unique Item you can have for this Build. It synergizes extremely well with Lightning Damage that we deal and provides some Attunement. However, the best thing about it is that it summons a Storm Totem that scales with all Lightning and Spell Damage increases that we have!
- +(5-18)% Elemental Resistance
- (1-3)% of Melee Damage Leeched as Health
- (1-3)% of Void Damage Leeched as Health
- (10-30)% Increased Leech Rate
- (3-8)% increased Movement Speed
- +(10-30)% Chance to apply Doom on Hit
- (10-30)% Increased Doom Effect
Siphon of Anguish - If you need some more Life Leech, this Unique Ring might be a solid option. Also, its "Chance to Apply Doom on Hit" works very well with Armblade Slash.
- +32 Armor
- (3-10)% increased Cast Speed
- 3% of Elemental Damage Leeched as Health
- 3% of Necrotic Damage Leeched as Health
- (30-39)% Increased Leech Rate
- +13% Elemental Resistance
- (13-19)% Increased Ignite Effect
Burning Avarice - We mainly deal Lightning Damage with this build, so this Gloves' Elemental Damage Leech is perfect for us. Also, they give a lot of Resistances. You can pick these if you're asking Life Leech - you shouldn't need any other Leech sources.
- +35 Armor
- (7-9)% increased Movement Speed
- 25% increased Movement Speed
- +(115-185)% Chance to Shock on Lightning Hit
- (10-15)% Increased Shock Effect
- You are shocked for 4 seconds when you stop moving
- Does not shock you if you are already shocked Your shock effectiveness does not apply to this shock
Stormtide - If you're after some more utility and a lot more movement speed, these Unique Boots might interest you. With them, you'll be able to stack Shock extremely quickly (and doing so will increase your DPS quite significantly). They are a great option if you plan on leveling with this build as they only require level 24.
We like to use offensively-oriented Idols for this build as we feel like we have enough survivability from other sources. Grand Heorot Idols are great for us as they provide both Increased Lightning Damage and Increased Spell Damage While Transformed. Ornate Heorot Idols are a more balanced choice as they can give us Vitality instead of Increased Spell Damage While Transformed. Another Idol that can give us Increased Lightning Damage is the Large Nomad Idol - if you decide to use these, put the Health prefix on them as well. As for the Smaller Idols, you can patch up holes in your Resistances with them or use them to improve your Health and Armor.
- The Black Sun: Grand Emptiness of Ash is the single most powerful Blessing you can have from this Timeline. It will provide you with anywhere between 27% and 40% Critical Multiplier.
- Ending the Storm: Resonance of the Sea, which you can get from this timeline, is a nice defensive option - it will give you up to +30 Ward per Second. However, the best one you can get here is, by far, the Grand Chaos of Lagon which increases Lightning Damage by up to +100%.
- Spirits of Fire: Dodge Rating, Fire Resistance, and Endurance are the only contestants in this timeline. We prefer Endurance as it gives us the highest value.
- Reign of Dragons: All Resistances and Critical Strike Avoidance are solid options. Choose one of them, depending on your needs.
- The Age of Winter: This timeline offers a range of solid defensive and utility passives. You should choose one that will give you what you're lacking the most. In our case, it's Endurance Threshold.
This is the beta version of our Lightning Swarmblade Form Druid Build for Last Epoch. We had a lot of fun testing this build, as it can breeze through hard end-game content in a spectacular way. If you're looking for a highly synergistic build that triggers abilities by spamming other abilities, you'll definitely like it. As the game gets new content updates, we will be updating this guide regularly, though it may be impossible to be done after each Patch.
Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Eleventh Hour Games