Lost Ark build guide, Skill Points, Stats, Engravings, and Cards

You want to find the best Lost Ark build, but where to start? Creating a proper Lost Ark build takes a lot more than just finding a class and choosing your attacks. You also need to assign Skill Points, unlock Skill Trees, find Engravings and Cards, and equip the right armour.

If that sounds a bit complicated, here’s a full Lost Ark build guide to help make the most of your Paladin, Sorceress, or Shadowhunter.

How to create a character build in Lost Ark 

Lost Ark build guide

(Image credit: SmileGate)

Before we get to the details, let’s start with an overview of all the steps involved in building your Lost Ark character:  

  • Pick your Class and Advanced Class
  • Choose Skills and assign Skill Points
  • Unlock Skill Trees and equip Runes
  • Find the best weapons and armour & get good stats
  • Upgrade your Engravings and Card Decks

Start your Lost Ark build with Classes and Skills 

Lost Ark build guide

(Image credit: SmileGate)

Want to create a Lost Ark build that you’ll absolutely love? Step one: choose a Class you like. Before making a final choice, consider overall playstyle, weapon type, attack type (front attacks or back attacks), positioning (melee or ranged), and combat role (full DPS or Support). If you need help with which Lost Ark class should you choose, we can help?

After choosing a Class and starting your journey in Luterra, the next step is to equip your first Skills. There are eight Skill slots in total. Drag and drop the ones you’d like to try, and remember: you can reassign Skills and Skill Points whenever you like, so feel free to experiment before thinking about the rest of your build.

When assigning Skills, keep in mind that there are different ways to trigger them (check the individual Skill descriptions). Lost Ark has Normal, Holding, Combo/Chain (press several times), Charge (choose the right direction), and Casting Skills.

Skill Points and Skill Trees  

Lost Ark build guide

(Image credit: SmileGate)

Whenever you see players sharing their Lost Ark builds online, it’s usually a selection of Skill Points and Skill Trees. As this gameplay feature is at the core of the build system, here’s a quick rundown of how it works: 

  • Every Skill has its own Skill Tree which allows for further modification. A new Skill Tree branch is unlocked when a Skill reaches level 4, 7, and 10, costing you 4, 20, and 48 Skill Points respectively.
  • After reaching level 50, you can earn more Skill Points by collecting Skill Potions from various quests, the Island Token exchange, Adventurer’s Tome rewards, and clearing The Tower. If you want to strengthen your Lost Ark endgame build, finding these additional Skill Points is the way to go.
  • Abilities can be further enhanced with Gems and Runes, which are rewards from endgame activities like Chaos gates, Guardian Raids, and Field Bosses.
  • In late-game Lost Ark, you will obtain two Awakening Skills. They tend to be more powerful and awesome-looking than your normal Skills, but they can’t be upgraded with Skill Points. 

How to get the best Skill Tree build in Lost Ark 

Lost Ark build guide

(Image credit: SmileGate)

And that leaves the big question: which Skills to choose and what Skill Trees to assign? Here are some general rules and strategies to keep in mind: 

  • Try to allocate your Skill Points in such a way that you unlock as many Skill Trees as possible (better to have them at level 7 and 10 than level 8 and 9, for example). 
  • Many Skill Tree effects change the damage to a certain elemental type. If you’re about to fight a Boss with a specific elemental weakness, changing your Skill Tree to match that elemental type is worth the effort.
  • When in doubt, go for effects like increased Attack Speed or increased Critical Rate/Critical Damage. Only use effects such as an increased area-of-effect radius or decreased cooldown if you feel that the skill is lacking in those areas. 
  • Match your Runes with the most suitable Skills. Bleed is a very powerful effect (causing damage over time), so use it on a Skill with a long active time to apply it as much as possible. Protection, which grants a shield while casting, is a great solution if you have a powerful skill that leaves you vulnerable for a few seconds.

Lost Ark stats explained 

Lost Ark build guide

(Image credit: SmileGate)

Lost Ark weapons and armour stick to the usual Common (white) to Legendary (orange) tiers. In that sense, it’s easy to see the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ equipment.

However, besides normal Attack Power and HP, every piece of gear comes with a special selection of ‘Combat Stats’ that are important to your build. You also need to assign Combat Stats if you want to join PvP matches. Here’s what every Lost Ark stat means:

  • Critical Rate (Crit). The chance of landing a Critical hit (beware: not the same as Critical Damage). It’s most useful if your chosen Skill Trees already offer Critical Rate and Critical Damage boosts.
  • Swiftness. Increases Attack and Movement Speed, and decreases Skill cooldowns. Important in almost any Lost Ark build.
  • Endurance. Increases Defense, Healing, and Shielding. Prioritize if you’re going for a tanky build. 
  • Domination. Determines the amount of extra damage dealt to debuffed, staggered, or pushed enemies. A good option if your chosen Skills can apply such effects.
  • Expertise. Increases effects of debuff on enemies, and decreases such effects on your own character. Also increases damage to staggered opponents.
  • Specialization. Increases a special type of damage based on your chosen class. Usually increases Awakening Skill damage and decreases charge times.

If you’re unsure what stats to focus on, try to maximize Swiftness. As it increases Attack and Movement Speed, it’s always a helpful stat to have. Domination and Expertise are also highly popular stats to prioritise.   

Equip the best Engravings and Cards for your Lost Ark build 

Lost Ark build guide

(Image credit: SmileGate)

Engravings and Card Decks are two separate build mechanics in Lost Ark, but they provide the same thing: character buffs. You’ll obtain your first Cards very early on in the game (quest rewards, Adventurer’s Tome, Boss drops), and Engraving will follow once you’re in Luterra Castle. If you need some extra help, take a look at our Lost Ark Engravings guide

It’s always wise to choose a build that matches your Class, but generally speaking, the following Engravings are often considered the strongest:

  • Cursed Doll: increases Attack Power at the cost of HP.
  • Grudge: increases damage dealt to9 Bosses, but also incoming damage.
  • Awakening: decreases the Awakening Skill’s cooldown.

And these are some of the best Card Deck builds: 

  • Forest of Giants: greatly increases Magical and Physical Defence, and also boosts the effectiveness of recovery items.
  • We’ll Meet Again: reduces incoming damage when you’re at 50% HP or lower. Also restores HP when you’re at 20% HP or lower.
  • Oreha’s Well: decreases damage from Abyss Raid monsters, and increases damage dealt to enemies at 30% HP or below. 
  • Farewell, Weapon and Field Boss: increases HP%, great for defensive builds.

Time to create your perfect Lost Ark build! 

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