Esoteric Skill Wardancer Build Guide for Lost Ark
The Wardancer is a super mobile melee class, that brings an arsenal of buffs for you and your party. Harnessing the power of the elements, you'll master quick burst windows to eliminate enemies in a matter of seconds. This build emphasizes the peaks of this high burst playstyle.
The Wardancer is a master of elements, utilizing their power to buff allies and deliver devastating blows. Typically this involves the building and spending of Elemental Orbs, also referred to as the Identity bar. With this build you'll be leaning into this mechanic, empowering the strength of these orbs to unleash huge damage. The Esoteric Skill Enhancement grants your Wardancer an additional Elemental Orb, bringing the maximum total to 4, while also increasing the damage of your Esoteric Skills by 8%/10%/12% per orb you have.
Esoteric Skill Wardancer Strengths and Weaknesses
- Consistent high DPS
- Synergy Buffs +++
- Quick counter and good stagger
- No true mobility skill
- Positional reliant (Back attack)
- Can be mana starved early on
Wardancer's that choose to invest into this engraving are choosing to really enhance the playstyle they grew to enjoy while leveling. Quick, low cooldown abilities are used to build your Identity Bar until you finish with frequent burst windows.
Early on in the gearing process you'll experience a bit of downtime waiting for cooldowns. You'll want to fill these holes with as many auto attacks as you can to maximize your damage. As you acquire more Specialization on your gear, the rate at which you generate Elemental Orbs also increase. This, combined with the cooldown reduction from the Swiftness stat ends up creating a much more fluid playstyle.
A typical burst window for this build looks like this:
As you acquire more skill points many players will choose to drop Esoteric Skill: Rising Fire Dragon in favor of Esoteric Skill: Call of the Wind God. In this case the order shift to:
Outside of these windows your call should be able to maximize your usage of your other skills to ensure by the time these burst cooldowns come back up, you have enough Elemental Orbs to full execute it.
When facing a new boss it is a good idea to at first take the time to figure out how the boss moves around. Some bosses stand still a lot and are easy to position around, but others move quite a bit. It is not mandatory to always land positional attacks, most of the time it is best to just do damage when your cooldowns are up while avoiding taking damage. Master of Ambush will eventually become a common engraving choice for Wardancers, so it is something you want to work on getting comfortable with. Unlike other MMOs, the amount of healing you can receive is extremely limited in Lost Ark so it is important to do damage while taking as little in return as possible. In endgame content even the number of healing potions that you can use is limited per encounter so you cannot count on healing yourself with potions.
In this Wardancer build you won't find you necessarily need any other class buffs to feel strong. In fact, you'll be the class other players LOVE playing with because of the buffs YOU provide. Wind's Whisper and Roar of Courage not only facilitate your burst windows, but your whole party's burst as well!
Every class has a wide variety of skills to chose from with Tripods that can change how each skill performs. The Wardancer is able to select eight skills to be on their action bar alongside their and Awakening skills. The Wardancer's Identity skill is simply the Elemental Orbs you use to empower you Esoteric Skills. Below we will discuss our picks for skills for general purpose and single target fights.
For most content you are going to want to bring massive area of effect damage to help you clear out groups of enemies, as well as good mobility to help get around quickly. Most of the Wardancer's strongest AoE abilities cost Elemental Orbs, which is a huge strength of this build for this type of content.
Early on in the gearing process, you may feel like you're unable to reliably play with 2 Esoteric Skills without a good bit of downtime in the playstyle. If that's the case you can choose to play with 1 spender instead. Those builds will look like this.
Wind's Whisper & Roar of Courage are the two true staples of any Wardancer build. The burst rotation is entirely centered around using them together, followed by high damage abilities. Focus on being ready to use them as close to on cooldown as possible. These are especially useful when fighting Elites or Bosses, as killing those grant big Cooldown reduction, allowing you to get back into your high damage abilities faster.
Esoteric Skill: Call of the Wind God is your bread and butter damage ability. Everything you do is a build up to the huge clearing power of this skill. The tripod Over Revolution really brings this ability online and lets you mow down any enemies in your path.
When playing with 2 Spenders Esoteric Skill: Blast Formation is your 2nd big clearing skill. Any excess Elemental Orbs should be dumped into this as often as you can. If you want a little more oomph when it comes to bossing feel free to swap over to the Weak Point Detection Tripod.
If your Esoteric Skills are the meat of this build, then Swift Wind Kick and Seismic Strike are the potatoes. These 2 skills are great for grouping and killing mobs in between your longer cooldowns. Swift Wind Kick in particular comes online with the Extreme Training Tripod making the skill feel much more fluid and responsive.
Lightning Kick serves as your primary damage source outside of your bigger cooldowns. The Sharp Movement Tripod makes this a great skill for bouncing around the map doing consistent damage to everything you find.
And finally Energy Combustion, commonly referred to as "fart cloud". This ability provides a decent source of passive damage, alongside the passive damage reduction that makes Wardancers so durable. Aim to keep this up as often as possible.
If you chose to play a 1 Spender build, the replacement ability is typically Sweeping Kick. However, feel free to try out something like Moon Flash Kick in its place. Essentially you'll be using this skill as a big Single Target ability that offers a little bit of area damage when needed.
It is important to note that most of your damaging skills are Back Attacks meaning that they will deal 5% more damage and have 20% more critical strike chance when hitting tougher enemies from behind. While this does not really matter against weak enemies, keep this in mind when facing bosses. Either Awakening ability is a fine choice, but once you unlock both you should favor Ultimate Skill: Fist of Dominance.
For single target focused content such as Guardian Raids you will want to bring a skill set that is focused on dealing the maximum damage to a boss. The build takes very efficient Elemental Orb generators to facilitate playing with 2 buff Esoteric Skill.
This build plays as a fairly simple builder/spender combat loop. Builders should be used as frequently as possible to ensure by the time your big cooldowns come back up you have 4 full Elemental Orbs ready to dump. Your dump sequence is fairly simple.
You will want to coordinate with your party as best you can with this, as the buffs and debuffs provided by Wind's Whisper & Roar of Courage benefit them too
As always you'll want to make sure you keep Energy Combustion up as much as possible. The damage reduction provided by the Combustible Armor Tripod is a huge piece of the Wardancer kit. This will make you feel much more tanky than you would be otherwise, while providing nice consistent damage and Identity gain.
Outside of your burst windows, Flash Heat Fang and Moon Flash Kick will generate the big chunks of Elemental Meter needed to get back into a burst window. Moon Flash Kick in particular when buffed by the White Flame Kick Tripod is extremely important to your rotation. You should aim to never miss a cast of this by letting it sit on cooldown.
On your first character while you're still earning more skill points, you may want to swap out Esoteric Skill: Call of the Wind God early on in favor of Esoteric Skill: Rising Fire Dragon. Wind God really comes on-line after unlocking the Raging Storms Tripod, which takes a bit to have enough skill points to facilitate. Either one is a fine option but worth thinking about while building your character. If you want to give it a try take Lucky Bubble and Focus Hit as your Tripods.
For this build the most important stats are Specialization and Swiftness. The big bulk of your damage comes from your Esoteric Skills. Specialization increases their damage AND the rate at which you generate Elemental Orbs. This, combined with Swiftness (primarily the cooldown reduction portion) leads to more frequent and stronger burst windows. This help you facilitate more frequent buffs for your party which is a massive increase to group DPS!
The most important Engraving is Esoteric Skill Enhancement. Gaining access to the 4th Orb allows for your core burst window to function. Most of the value comes from the first rank, so we keep this at Level 1 for now. Grudge is the overall best Engraving for damage across the board, so you'll want to invest in Level 3 of this as soon as possible. This is doubly important due to the way the Engraving scales. The positive effect (4%/10%/20%) scales at an increasing rate per rank. However, the negative effect (20% damage taken) is a fixed value across all ranks. What you with your remaining Engravings is a bit of personal preference.
Master of Ambush is a huge damage boost if you're able to land your Back Attacks consistently. Cursed Doll is perhaps the best overall choice, but can be a bit more punishing for progressing new fights. Keen Blunt Weapon and Raid Captain can also be nice options as you progress further and obtain higher item level gear. These Engravings start to really shine at high levels of Crit and Swiftness respectively.
Preemptive Strike gets an honorable mention as well. This is normally an overlooked Engraving, as it has essentially no value when fighting bosses, but it performs exceptionally in Chaos Dungeons and world content. Although it may be tempting to pickup a defensive Engraving like Heavy Armor or Fortitude we highly recommend you avoid using them because Engravings are a large source of increased damage that you would be missing out on otherwise.
Pets can have stats that boost your character and for this build we recommend using a pet that boosts your Specialtization and Max life.
There aren't any consumables that would be considered "best" for this build. Rather, there are a handful of consumables that are situationally very valuable. Major HP Potion & Panacea are commonly used to help survivability. While Clay Grenade (Stagger), Destruction Bomb (Weak Point), and Dark Grenade (Damage) are commonly used to help with their corrosponding fight checks if you are having trouble meeting the requirements. Adrophine Potion can also be used for a flat damage increase, but at the cost of some health. Your choices will vary depending on what your specific party or raid needs.
Card Sets are a rather late-game part of Lost Ark and can require significant time and investment in order to reach the leveled up benefits of any deck. This build does not require any particular deck to be effective but does benefit from any of the damaging increasing decks. Your end game goals for card sets should be either Lostwind Cliff (12) for the Crit Chance, or Light of Salvation (12+) for the Holy damage conversion and buff. Unless you have the aforementioned decks we recommend using anything that boosts your Max Health such as World Bosses or Armory sets.
- Lost Ark March Update Massive Release Notes
- Lost Ark Artist Subclass and 3 Special Events Preview - Coming March 15th
- Lost Ark Bot Banwave and Witcher Crossover Event
- Lost Ark December Update Release Notes: Wreck the Halls
- Join Us Live on Twitch for the Icy Veins Podcast
- New Lost Ark Skill Tree Tripod System Release Date, Transfer Details
- Official Lost Ark Reaper Class Preview
- Lost Ark Weekly Update, October 12th: Ark Pass Season 2 Arrives