Runemaster Mastery Leveling Build for Last Epoch (Patch 1.0)

Last updated on Mar 29, 2024 at 00:00 by GhazzyTV and Lavender

This is the perfect leveling guide for new players wanting to start with Runemaster! 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.



This version of the Runemaster's Leveling Guide focuses around dealing Fire Damage with big hits through Critical Strike Chance. The main skill used in this build is Frost Claw Icon Frost Claw, or rather for this build, Fire Claw, as we will be converting the damage type to Fire. Elemental Nova Icon Elemental Nova is then automated through Frost Claw, causing huge explosions at the target location.

Defensively, this build ties together Frost Wall Icon Frost Wall, Flame Ward Icon Flame Ward, and Flame Rush Icon Flame Rush to create an extremely sturdy and mobile caster that will burn their enemies to a crisp simply but dashing into them. Ward generation is how we maintain our survivability.

Flame Ward Icon
Elemental Nova Icon
Frost Wall Icon
Flame Rush Icon
Frost Claw Icon
Skill row background

Runemaster Leveling Passive Trees

Class Passives Skill Passives
Mage Runemaster
Frost Claw Elemental Nova Flame Ward Frost Wall Flame Rush

Mage Passive Tree

Mage Passive Tree

The Mage Passive Tree is useful for two things; Arcanist, which provides a ton of Intelligence and Resistances, and the Ward Retention from Warden. Otherwise, the Cast Speed from Mage Flurry is taken to increase the cast rate of Frost Claw Icon Frost Claw.


Runemaster Passive Tree

Runemaster Passive Tree

Every other point at our disposal will be placed into the Runemaster Passive Tree during the leveling process. This Passive Tree is mainly used for nodes that increase Critical Hit Chance (Runeword: Cataclysm), Ward Gain (Arcane Focus), and nodes that synergize both of these aspects at the same time (Jagged Veil). Due to the limited amount of points in the leveling process, we're abuse the Point Bonus system on certain nodes, gaining the added modifiers and moving on to the next node.


Frost Claw

Frost Claw Passive Tree

Frost Claw Icon Frost Claw will be our spam skill in this build, and while it does decent damage on its own, the main purpose of this skill is to automate Elemental Nova Icon Elemental Nova casts, filling your screen with giant, fiery explosions. Frost Claw also acts as a cleanse. Since this skill is used constantly, it ensures we are able to remove any negative ailment extremely fast.

While pathing Frost Claw Icon Frost Claw, path towards Lava Talon first to convert the damage into Fire, then head towards Celestial Conflux. Its important to note, Frozen Reign must be taken in order to activate the bonus effect on Unsealed Mana. This should happen around the time Frost Claw hits level 11.


Elemental Nova

Elemental Nova Passive Tree

Elemental Nova Icon Elemental Nova is how we clear groups of mobs. Outside of very early levels (before gaining Celestial Conflux on the Frost Claw Icon Frost Claw tree), you will never manually cast this. It should be noted that Elemental Nova does consume Mana when automated, and it will not cast if your Mana is negative.

The pathing for Elemental Nova is meant to increase the area of the spell, as well as its overall damage output. Start by taking Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova, then path back up and take 4/5 nodes on Arcana Elementorum. The next priority should be Infernal Nova. The cooldown increase on this node can be completely ignored, as it does not apply to the automation of the spell. Melting Nova will boost Critical Hit Rate by a whopping 200% and should be capped before taking the final node, Fiery Destruction.


Flame Ward

Flame Ward Passive Tree

Flame Ward Icon Flame Ward does a lot of the heavy lifting in the background of this build. The main purpose of this spell is to act as a defensive layer, providing Ward and Damage Reduction, but it also provides Mana Regeneration, Fire Damage, and access to Fire Aura, dealing damage to all nearby enemies when active. Until you unlock Frost Wall Icon Frost Wall and specialize in it, you will need to manually active this skill to get it to work. It is perfect for running through low health mobs to quickly make your way around maps, as it will kill them on contact.

With all of that in mind, make sure to max Dilation for the Mana Reduction first, followed by grabbing Fire Aura Icon Fire Aura. From here, path the right side of the tree and cap the nodes Shrewd Shielding and Warmth before heading back to take Through Flames on the left.


Frost Wall

Frost Wall Passive Tree

For pathing, rush towards Prepared Wards to kick off the automation for Flame Ward. Once this is grabbed, head towards Pyroglass for the Fire conversion. From here, the choice is yours. There's two options; pathing towards Runic Conclusion will provide a bit of extra damage for the build, while pathing towards Shelter of the Chef will provide with a generous amount of extra Ward Gain, specifically when dealing with mobs of enemies. Brand the Invaders should be taken very close to last, as it is meant to synergize with Celestial Doom after you have placed 7 points into the node.


Flame Rush

Flame Rush Passive Tree

Flame Rush Icon Flame Rush should be the final skill you unlock. It may seem weird that we're taking the traversal skill last, but it requires set up from other aspects of the build to work properly. Prior to scaling Flame Rush, feel free to add unscaled Teleport Icon Teleport to your hotbar for quicker movement around maps as you do the campaign.

Gas Powered is the powerhouse of this skill, and ultimately the reason its taken. Prioritize that, then focus on quickly pathing to Lunar Protection. All other skill points are up to the discretion of the player and what they feel they need immediately.

Image courtesy of Last Epoch Tools

Damage Rotation

To start dealing damage with this build its simple; place down your Frost Wall Icon Frost Wall near a group of enemies, but not directly on top of them, since we need 0.2 seconds to pass for the extra Ward generation to proc off Shelter of the Chef. With your wall placed, dash towards and through it with Flame Rush Icon Flame Rush. This will activate Flame Ward Icon Flame Ward along with generating a ton of Ward, as well as dealing a ton of Fire Damage to all nearby enemies. If anything is still left alive, spam Frost Claw Icon Frost Claw to finish it off, which will set off a multitude of Elemental Nova Icon Elemental Nova fire explosions.


Gearing and Affixes

The Fire Claw Leveling Build is meant to be scaled off of Critical Strike Chance, Fire Damage, and Spell Cast Speed. As you level, you'll want to aim for the Affixes listed below that suit the playstyle of this build.

Attributes Offensive Defensive
Intelligence Spell Damage
Fire Damage
Casting Speed
Critical Strike Chance
Critical Multiplier
Ward Retention
Needed Resistances

Useful Uniques

This build is very effective without a single unique. However, if you happen to run into any of the following, you shouldn't hesitate to equip them.

The Mad Alchemist's Ladle Icon Mad Alchemist's Ladle will scale Cast Speed by 1% for every 2 Intelligence, on top of boosting our damage by 8% per active ailment on an enemy. Not counting ailments coming from our skills, the Ladle has five ailments on it as is, coming out to an extra 40% Spell Damage. Keep in mind, due to Inscribed Instruments, we want to use a Wand in this build no matter what. You can equip the Ladle as early as level 17.

Calamity Icon Calamity boosts everything we scale with except Critical Hit stats. It provides Fire Damage, Fire Cast Speed (effecting everything in the build), and even grants a slightly larger Mana pool. The best part is this helmet can be used as early as level 7!

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 Runemaster.



  • 29 Mar. 2024: Updated for Patch 1.0.
  • 30 Nov. 2023: Guide added.
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