Marksman Mastery Leveling Build for Last Epoch (Patch 1.0)

Last updated on Feb 24, 2024 at 00:00 by GhazzyTV and Lavender

This is the perfect leveling guide for new players wanting to start with Marksman! 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 Marksman's leveling build excels at critical strikes and high-mobility. The build is extremely beginner friendly and can be used all the way to level 70 without any issue.

The main skill used in this build is Cinder Strike Icon Cinder Strike, functioning as our main damage source for both single-target and map clearing. Shift Icon Shift will play an arguably more important role, as you will rarely, if ever, cast either Acid Flask Icon Acid Flask or Shurikens Icon Shurikens yourself. Both skills are tied to Shift, with Acid Flask being used on both departure and arrival when dashing, and Shuriken used both as both an offensive and defensive action when Shift is used. Meanwhile, Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb, while not getting points put into it until level 50, is used to bump up our damage output, elevating our Critical Strike Chance to near 100% and offering the build a sort of burst window.

Decoy Icon Decoy has been placed on the hotbar as a way to taunt enemies if you get overwhelmed. You will not specialize this skill.

Decoy Icon
Cinder Strike Icon
Cinder Strike Icon
Shift Icon
Smoke Bomb Icon
Skill row background

Marksman Leveling Passive Trees

Class Passives Skill Passives
Rogue Marksman
Cinder Strike Shift Shuriken Acid Flask Smoke Bomb

Rogue Passive Tree

Rogue Passive Tree

The Rogue Passive Tree only has a few nodes that we actually want. Everything in this kit scales off Dexterity, making Steady Hand an easy choice. Likewise, Agility has a chance to grant Haste on hit, which will make walking through maps that much faster.

We've taken more than the necessary 20 points to unlock Mastery Trees, with Critical Precision removing 8 points from our Passive pool. While this node is extremely important, don't feel the need to put points into it immediately. Especially at low levels, the increased Critical Hit Rate may not be noticeable and nodes in the Marksman Tree will likely provide something more useful.


Marksman Passive Tree

Marksman Passive Tree

The remainder of our points will be placed directly into Marksman, ignoring Bladedancer for the sake of the leveling experience. This Passive Tree provides a substantial bonus to our Critical Strike stat through the nodes connected to Assassin's Quiver, as well as augment our Mastery Bonus by adding Critical Chance and Critical Multiplier to Bow Mastery.

Very rarely will you be in harms way, but to provide a bit of sustain, 10 points are placed into Thief's Quiver, allowing Cinder Strike Icon Cinder Strike to leech health as damage dealt.


Cinder Strike

Cinder Strike Passive Tree

Cinder Strike Icon Cinder Strike will be your most used skill in this build. Due to the combo system on it, with the first hit being AoE and dealing extra damage, it works extremely well for both single-target and AoE. Pathing towards Inferno and Cauterize are fairly self explanatory. Extra Fire Damage and extra Critical Multiplier synergizes well with the build. For the late leveling experience, we have opted to take Burning Daggers. These have the ability to hit critically, triggering the unique effect from the bow that is suggested to be used with this build. If you do not have the bow, you should still use these nodes, as the extra damage is still worth it.



Shift Passive Tree

While at its core, Shift Icon Shift is a Traversal skill, this dash will be responsible for a large portion of both this build's damage and survivability. Both Shurikens Icon Shurikens and Acid Flask Icon Acid Flask are auto-cast off this skill, so you'll be using it frequently to both get around maps quicker, but also demolish mob groups before they even notice you're there.

Other than the nodes taken to synergize with other skills, the selection above ensures Shift Icon Shift will be more readily available by reducing its cooldown and reducing the Mana requirement on it. Prioritize Sleight of Hand first, then path towards Arrival Gift, as Shurikens Icon Shurikens has more value defensively than Acid Flask Icon Acid Flask.



Shurikens Passive Tree

When you think of throwing stars, you may not think of the application they'll be used for with this build. Rather than throw them at our enemies, every time we use Shift Icon Shift, we'll be throwing them around our own character! The throwing stars will circle our character for roughly 4 seconds, providing a boost in Armor, as well as damaging any enemy they touch. With the timer being extended on Shuriken, and the timer on Shift being reduced, it's possible to have full uptime on this skill and reap the defensive benefits permanently, so long as you're comfortable dashing around the map during fights.

Focus the nodes on the pathing for both Floating Blades and Bladed Armor, while maxing Jagged Edges last. All 4 points should be placed into Ethereal Blades before the next node is touched, as you don't want the throwing stars disappearing instantly every time you Shift Icon Shift into enemies.


Acid Flask

Acid Flask Passive Tree

Acid Flask Icon Acid Flask is not, and should not, ever manually used by the player for this build. It gets auto-casted off Shift Icon Shift, dropping a flask both at the starting and ending location of using the dash. It deals a decent amount of damage in a moderately sized AoE, and applies Fire Resistance Shred to all enemies hit. If enemies haven't died from the initial burst of damage, you'll now be in a prime position to finish them off with Cinder Strike Icon Cinder Strike.

Focus on taking the nodes dealing with Fire Damage first, prioritizing specifically Smoulder. Move back to the left side and take Tempered Glass for the extra Fire Resistance Shred, then continue taking the Fire-based nodes on the right.


Smoke Bomb

Smoke Bomb Passive Tree

Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb has a dual purpose for this build, first and foremost providing a substantial amount of Dusk Shroud stacks for our own survivability, but also ensuring out hits deal critical damage when you strike.

Prioritize Shadow Hunter before anything else, then head over to Rapid Concealment. Cleansing Steam should be taken last, as the nodes over on the right side merely provide a bit of extra Dodge and the ability to self-cleanse, which will not be entirely important while leveling.


Damage Rotation

This build feels extremely natural to dish damage out with. Due to the nature of the skills used, you can either choose to attack from range, or get up close and personal. For maximum damage output, you'll want to be up close to enemies, using Shift Icon Shift to get up close to them, activating both Acid Flask Icon Acid Flask and Shurikens Icon Shurikens, dropping your Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb to debuff them with Frailty and Blind, while also buffing our Critical Hit Rate, then finish off whatever is left with a bombardment of Cinder Strike Icon Cinder Strike explosions.

If you find yourself in a pickle, using Shift Icon Shift to get out of a sticky situation will also turn out to benefit us, as you'll shred a bit of Fire Resistance on your escape as long as you were close enough to enemies, being in a prime position to turn around and unload a barrage of arrows at your foe.


Gearing and Affixes

The Cinder Strike Molotov leveling build is meant to be scaled off of Critical Hits, so the early-accessible Birch Bow Icon Birch Bow is a good choice to start with. Otherwise, as you level, you'll want to aim for the Affixes listed below that suit the playstyle of this build:

Attributes Offensive Defensive
Dexterity Fire Damage
Bow Damage
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Strike Multiplier
Bow Attack Speed
All Resistances
Damage Leeched as Health

Useful Uniques

The creation of this build centered on a single thing: creating a leveling build that was capable of running useful uniques very early on. With that in mind, the unique bow Hell Reach Icon Hell Reach is usable from the very start at level 1. It scales perfectly with the baseline of the build, increasing Fire Damage and Fire Penetration, while also providing a bit of Attack Speed.

At level 36, it is encouraged you swap to Dragonsong Icon Dragonsong. This bow does everything that Hell Reach Icon Hell Reach does, but better. However, the main reason to use this is for access to Dragonfire Icon Dragonfire. This will shoot a cone of Spell Fire Damage towards the direction your character is facing, proccing off of Critical Hits you land from any source. It deals an insane amount of damage, and scales at 900% of your Spell Damage. While Spell Damage isn't exactly common on Rogue gear, it can certainly make a huge difference in your output if you're able to scale it up. Dexterity also scales Dragonfire, but at 200% rate instead.

If you don't have luck finding these items from a natural drop, you can instead opt to use a Rune of Ascendance Icon Rune of Ascendance on any normal drop you find and hope for the best!


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. Below are the options available for Marksman.



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