Forge Guard Mastery Leveling Build for Last Epoch (Patch 1.0)

Last updated on Feb 23, 2024 at 00:00 by GhazzyTV and Lavender

This is the perfect leveling guide for new players wanting to start with Forge Guard! This page will cover everything and anything you could need to know about leveling the class, including which skills to use, what stats to prioritize, and what uniques are useful early in the game.


Build Introduction

This version of the Forge Guard's Leveling Build uses a full minion build in conjunction with the iconic spin-to-win playstyle to obliterate the campaign and early Monolith of Fate.

This build is perfect if you're looking for a low maintenance way to play the game. Warpath Icon Warpath is used to summon Forged Weapons at a fast rate, up to a maximum of 12 Forged Weapons. A 13th minion is added to the mix through Manifest Armor Icon Manifest Armor. Our main purpose as the player is to buff the minions through Void Cleave Icon Void Cleave and debuffing the enemy with stacks of Shred Armor.

Defensively, this build focuses on keeping the minions alive. Your job as a player is just to spin and avoid damage. Since Manifest Armor Icon Manifest Armor copies our stats at an increased rate and benefits majorly from Armor, we do have the ability to tank hits ourselves, however there is rarely a reason for this as the minions do all of the work!

Rebuke Icon
Manifest Armor Icon
Lunge Icon
Warpath Icon
Void Cleave Icon
Skill row background

Forge Guard Leveling Passive Trees

Class Passives Skill Passives
Sentinel Forge Guard Paladin
Warpath Void Cleave Lunge Forge Strike Manifest Armor

Sentinel Passive Tree

Sentinel Passive Tree

Sentinel is used primarily to provide a defensive boost to our character. Early Fire and Void Resistance (Juggernaut) is extremely helpful, as most enemies in starting zones will use these types of attacks. Armour Clad is great for this build considering we will want to be up close and personal with mobs while in combat. Valiant Charge will reduce the cooldown for both Lunge Icon Lunge and Void Cleave Icon Void Cleave.

Plan to only invest 20 points in this tree, as that's the minimum requirement needed to unlock the Void Knight passive tree.

This build will not utilize Void Knight passives at all. Instead, we prioritize almost every point into Forge Guard, with a couple points into Paladin for the Attunement gain and Penetration.


Forge Guard Passive Tree

Forge Guard Passive Tree

To begin, drop 10 points into Weapons Master to scale Warpath Icon Warpath and Void Cleave Icon Void Cleave. This is extremely important early on before our minions ramp up. Iron Attunement is great for scaling minions, but the big node you absolutely want to rush is Folded Steel. At a single point, we gain a maximum potential of two extra Forged Weapons. This node also boosts minion damage by quite a bit, and should be maxed at 10 points as soon as possible.

At the point of reaching level 70, and you've finished all quests, you should have a total of 20 points into Sentinel 49 points into Forge Guard, and 14 points into Paladin.

This build will not utilize Void Knight passives at all. Instead, we prioritize almost every point into Forge Guard, with a couple points into Paladin for the Attunement gain and Penetration.


Paladin Passive Tree

Paladin Passive Tree

The node here is pretty self explanatory. Defiance can be taken early as Attunement will scale both types of minions and the Resistance gain is always welcome.

At the point of reaching level 70, and you've finished all quests, you should have a total of 20 points into Sentinel 49 points into Forge Guard, and 14 points into Paladin.



Warpath Passive Tree

Channeling Warpath Icon Warpath is how we will be moving through maps 99% of the time. The only time you should not be channeling Warpath is when you need to recoup Mana. Spinning is how we generate Forged Weapons, but getting close to enemies is also a good way of applying extra Armor Shred stacks.

Capping out Unchained is extremely important, otherwise the build absolutely bleeds Mana. Once this is done, path to and max out the node Moving Forge. The remainder of the points in Quicksilver Wind and Molten Path will be grabbed late in the leveling process.


Void Cleave

Void Cleave Passive Tree

Void Cleave Icon Void Cleave's main purpose in this build is to buff all 13 of the minions we have summoned. While it does decent damage on its own, the amount of extra damage it provides to the Forged Weapons and Manifest Armor Icon Manifest Armor is huge.

For the sake of leveling, take every node in Dark Pathway first. This will lower the cooldown and allow us to deal burst damage prior to scaling our minion count. Once that's done, head towards Scorching Path. The nodes on Armor Sunderer can be taken last.



Lunge Passive Tree

While Lunge Icon Lunge is our main way of moving from group to group, it also makes is invincible while moving and heals us when used.

Prioritize grabbing Double Strike in order to have two charges of the movement skill, followed by Unstoppable Lead the Charge can be taken once you become more reliant on minions, as this node provides Haste to nearby allies.


Forge Strike

Forge Strike Passive Tree

Forge Strike Icon Forge Strike is how we will scale our Forged Weapons count. This skill will never be used manually. In fact, we don't even keep it on the hotbar. It is purely scaled to allow Warpath Icon Warpath to automate summoning Forged Weapons.

Scaling Well Forged Weapons is the most important thing here, followed by Forged by Fire. Unfortunately, a lot of the nodes here are meant to scale the actual hit from manually using Forge Strike, so our options here are limited. Once the previous nodes are taken, cap out Heavy Strike followed by Forgemaster. The Attack Speed from Lightforge is more important than the increased Area from Engines of War


Manifest Armor

Armor Manifest Passive Tree

While we take this last, it certainly is not the worst skill in the build. Manifest Armor Icon Manifest Armor can be scaled into being an absolute monster. For this build in particular, we will be scaling the summon's Health, Armor, Melee Fire Damage, and Chance to Shred Armor.

First things first, grabbing Titan Sword is a necessity. This mirrors your own weapon's stats onto the Manifest Armor. As far as nodes dealing with increased gear effects, prioritize Platemail into Force of Impact. Burning Armor will likely be the last thing you scale. It adds some base damage to the minion, which scales well once you have Increased Minion Damage affixes on gear.

Image courtesy of Last Epoch Tools

Damage Rotation

The rotation for this build may be one of the most accessible in the game. Prior to entering combat, ensure Manifest Armor Icon Manifest Armor is summoned. Then, all you need to do is spin with Warpath Icon Warpath! It is suggested that you summon the maximum amount of Forged Weapons (this will be higher or lower depending on where you are in the leveling process) prior to engaging in combat. Head into battle, and let your minions take care of your enemies. If you need the extra boost, Void Cleave Icon Void Cleave can be used to provide a substantial buff to your minions for a short time.

Unlike the endgame version of this build, we lack the ability to regenerate Mana while channeling Warpath Icon Warpath. While the channel costs nothing to maintain, Void Cleave Icon Void Cleave does cost Mana on each cast. With the proper affixes, even while leveling, you have a decent sized Mana pool, but depending on the length of the fight you may find 100% uptime on Warpath impossible.

For emergencies, Rebuke Icon Rebuke has been placed on the hotbar. It is unscaled, but still reduces damage taken by 80% when active.


Gearing and Affixes

This leveling build can only utilize two-handed swords or axes due to the requirement set by Void Cleave Icon Void Cleave. With that being said, aim for two-handed axes, as early on you have access to axes with the implicit Increased Minion Damage. Below is a list of Affixes you should aim for to better suit the playstyle of this build.

Attributes Offensive Defensive
Increased Minion Damage

Added Minion Melee Damage
Increased Minion Health
Chance to Shred Armor
All Resistances While Channeling

Useful Uniques

Early on, coming across the unique belt Thorn Slinger Icon Thorn Slinger is huge. +1 to Physical Skills affects Warpath Icon Warpath and Forge Strike Icon Forge Strike. This belt also increases Movement Speed, which is great for moving quickly through maps.

While you can't get this ring early, the unique Ribbons of Blood Icon Ribbons of Blood is a massive boost to minions. The drop rate is also extremely high, dropped from The Abomination in "Fall of the Outcasts" at 50%. You can equip this at level 53, and is useful all the way to level 100 and into higher levels of Corruption if you continue using a minion-based Forge Guard build.


Progressing to Endgame

This build will carry you all the way to the start of the Monolith, where you will need to decide on an Endgame build to follow. We have several options available for Forge Guard.



  • 23 Feb. 2024: Updated for Patch 1.0.
  • 30 Nov. 2023: Guide added.
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