Lost Ark Wardancer Guide (Builds, Engravings, and Tips)

Lost Ark Wardancer Guide (Builds, Engravings, and Tips)

Wardancer Class Guide – Lost Ark

The Wardancer is your stereotypical female fighting character that brings up Street Fighter vibes to Lost Ark. You’re going to be focusing on packing decent bursts with fast punches and high kicks, but most importantly provide a variety of great synergy buffs to your party, earning you the title of the hidden “aggressive” support class in Lost Ark. To see how powerful Wardancer is relatively to other classes, visit our Lost Ark tier list.

The basic playstyle of the Wardancer is using your skills and high mobility to reposition and easily attack a target from behind as it’s a class focused on back attacks.

While attacking, you can either choose to generate a gauge that looks like chakra and is referred to as your Elemental or Esoteric meter (same as Striker) that will allow you to use strong DPS Esoteric skills,
OR you completely choose to disable your entire Esoteric identity meter to gain immense damage buffs on all your normal skills instead.

This gauge lock and the ability to play around your down-time as your skills come with high cooldown, makes the Wardancer a special Martial Artist that’s not as easy to play.

On top of being a decent resource of damage though, Wardancer have good stagger and are also known for providing extremely good buffs to the group such as attack speed and movement speed enhancing, as well as any form of crit chance buffs.

So if you are looking for a hybrid melee class that can effectively buff herself and the entire team while still packing some punches, then the Wardancer class is for you. You can also check out our Wardancer leveling guide.

Comparisons to other classes

When it comes to your advanced Martial artist classes – the Wardancer might not be the strongest, damage wise, but far more versatile than his often compared male Striker counterpart or the Soulfist class.

Like other Martial Artists, the Wardancer comes with high mobility and good damage, but a huge advantage for playing her over any other Martial Artist is that they’ll provide the most buffs to the party, making you relevant all the time by being the first choice between all Martial Artists when it comes to group content like abyssal dungeons in the endgame.

Class Mechanics

Wardancer, just like Striker, can be a burst oriented class by building up her Esoteric meter to consume all the gained meter while making use of empowered Esoteric attacks.

But as you probably know, the Esoteric playstyle of the Wardancer isn’t played a lot as it’s kinda underperforming right now, which is why you want to play around your second class engraving, that will get rid of the Esoteric skills and meter entirely.

In case you do enjoy the more burst-oriented, orbs consuming playstyle, we highly recommend you to check out the Striker guide.

A Wardancer’s core-mechanics though are always build around the same 3 skills:

  • First, you always want to activate Energy Combustion before any engage, since it lasts for 20 seconds which means you can basically keep it up all the time, but more importantly, the damage reduction from the Combustible Armor Tripod makes us a little bit tankier before we jump right into action.
  • The next two skills in Wind’s Whisper and Roar of Courage are meant to be used together to grant attack and movement speed buff to yourself and your party, while also increasing everything Crit. Try to play around these 3 skills as they pretty much sum up the key elements of a Wardancer.

PvE

Wardancers have two pretty distinct playstyles and can focus more on a faster and straightforward playstyle with their First Intention build. You can also focus more on AoE with your Esoteric Skill Enhancement playstyle that needs you to position more frequently and time your skills better.

Due to their insane buff-kit and high mobility, Wardancers lack some DPS, which is why you’ll spend most of your time running around, dishing out some auto-attacks while waiting on your cooldowns and grouping up mobs to make sure you use your few burst skills on the biggest mob-group possible.

As a back attacker, you also want to use your mobility to get behind a single target like a Boss and release your harder hitting skills like Flash Heat Fang from behind.

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PvP

Moving on to PvP, the Wardancer keeps her role as an aggressive type of support, by engaging enemies first and using skills like Energy Combustion for some sustain and Winds Whisper to immediately buff the entire party.

This is important as it’ll help your team deal the most damage from the get go. You then want to dash out and play around your cooldowns as you want to ensure your safety and that your team is constantly buffed up to the max while skills like Roar of Courage minimizes enemies crit resistances at the same time.

Core Abilities

Wind’s Whisper

This is your main synergy skill that provides movement and attack speed by default, but will also provide lots of additional crit rate and increased damage for 6 seconds, which is why you want to make sure that you and your party use all your damage in this small buff period. Run this skill regardless of which type of Engraving you take.

Roar of Courage

This battle cry is your second main synergy skill that provides not only good orb generation but also additional crit rate by dropping your target’s crit resistance for 6 seconds as well. Run this skill regardless of which type of Engraving you take.

Energy Combustion

This skill makes a difference between a good and a bad Wardancer. As its name suggests, Energy Combustion creates an energy field around you that deals constant damage to anyone touching the radius, but then explodes after 20 seconds for a much bigger damage outcome.

It is somewhat of a passive skill as you can use other skills while it’s active but the most important note here is to always make use of your final energy explosion, or else you’ll lose tons of damage.

Moon Flash Kick

Moon Flash Kick lets you close the gap by kicking your way to your target to then perform a back kick that deals amazing damage. It’s either used as as main orb generation skill or as another main DPS skill regarding your chosen class engraving, so make sure you run this skill regardless.

Flash Heat Fang

This is a Wardancer’s key DPS skill, which will make you throw a series of painful punches, followed by a heavy finishing blow. While using this skill, you’ll stay at the position of casting, so make sure you are in a safe spot, preferably behind your targets, before landing your hits.

Esoteric Skill: Blast Formation

This is your main DPS Esoteric Skill that causes 3 forward advancing explosions, knocking back anyone in their ways. Use it after filling up your meter with Moon Flash Kick.

Awakening Abilities

Flash Rage Blow

This awakening has a small dash forward built into, before delivering vicious strikes that are followed by a huge shockwave that knocks back foes in its way. Note that you want to hold the hotkey of this awakening and let go as soon as the casting meter is filled up to maximize your shockwave and damage outcome.

Fist of Dominance

This awakening releases an energy field that’s kind of a Hexagon where you gain 80% damage reduction while flying through and damaging foes inside the field up to 6 times. You’ll then absorb all the energy created in the field, to strike down to the center, dealing insane damage while knocking back all survivors inside of it.

In terms of playrate, most people use the Fist of Dominance though, as it’s not a holding skill and the damage reduction can help you survive in heated situations.

Advanced Class Engravings

Every Lost Ark class has access to engravings that will focus your playstyle in one particular direction. For Wardancers, you will choose between Esoteric Skill Enhancement and First Intention:

First Intention
first intention wardancer engraving

Image from Maxroll

This engraving is kinda atypical but the more popular playstyle amongst Wardancers, as it ignores everything that has to do with the Esoteric meter, you or the male Striker counterpart share and would normally use. In fact, with First Intention you’ll effectively lose the ability to fill up your Esoteric meter, but gain insane damage buffs on all your other skills, making you want to use normal skills only.

That being said, this trade-of want you you to run 0 Esoteric skills in your build, as you don’t generate orbs to spend on

When you choose this Engraving, you want to focus on the Swiftness stat first, to keep cooldowns low and have increased Attack and Movement Speed. After that, you want to focus on Crit to enhance your already buffed Crit rate, making you become a literal Crit powerhouse.

Besides faster animations when using your skills, another advantage of high Swiftness is the ability to reposition yourself to constantly deal that extra damage from back attacks.

Esoteric Skill Enhancement
esoteric skill enhancement wardancer engraving

Image from Maxroll

This engraving grants you an additional orb, exactly the same as the Striker’s Esoteric Flurry Engraving. The only additional difference is that it also enhances all your Esoteric skills damage by the amount of orbs you have before casting. For example, on level 1 you’ll deal 32% (4 orbs x 8%damage/orb) more damage on your Esoteric Skill if you use it after filling up all your 4 orbs.

That being said, you want to run 1 or 2 Esoteric Skills as orb spenders, which are: Blast Formation and Call of the Wind God

The additional Esoteric Meter allows a more high DPS type of playstyle making it ultimately better against solo targets like Guardian Raids or Bosses in general, as you’ll be able to use Esoteric skills that are meant for burst.

When you choose this Engraving, you want to focus on the Specialization stat first, since your damage relies on your Esoteric skills solely and it’ll boost your orb generation. After that, Swiftness is your second stat to build upon.

The downside is that you need to know the boss mechanics because in case you miss your burst window upon activation, you will not only lose a lot of damage but also need to refill your Esoteric meter before dealing a decent amount of damage again. Since you want to keep up the party buffs all the time and use your strong DPS skills at the same time, this build can run into mana issues as well.

Build

Esoteric Skill Enhancement Build

esoteric skill enhancement build wardancer

Image from Lostarkive

The Esoteric Skill Enhancement build grants your Wardancer an additional 4 Esoteric orb, while also increasing the damage of your Esoteric skills. For this reason we want to run 2 Esoteric skills with Blast Formation and Call of the Wind God as core.

Your aim here is to constantly ensure that you use up all your meter to make use of your Esoteric skills as much as often for better damage consistency as you ideally want to use them as soon as their cooldown runs off.

Using this build requires your timing and to re-position often, as you want to have the maximum damage output by attacking from the back.

Here are some of the skill explanations and tripods you will take (Make sure you have 4 points in every spell and then max them out in the following order:

  • Esoteric Skill: Call of the Wind God
    • 3-1-1
    • Main DPS skill with high stagger built into, that summons a tornado that’ll pull foes together to make it easier for you to burst them down all at once at the end of your skill rotation.
  • Esoteric Skill: Blast Formation
    • 1-3-2
    • Second main DPS skill that causes 3 forward advancing explosions, knocking back anyone in their ways. Make sure to always use it after Winds Whisper and Roar of Courage and as first Esoteric orb spender.
  • Energy Combustion
    • 1-3-2
    • Another part of your main DPS that creates an energy field around you, dealing constant damage and then explodes after 20 seconds. Due to its good uptime it’s also a reliant Esoteric meter generator and also keep in mind that you always want to land the final explosion as it deals the most damage. Use this skill whenever it’s up.
  • Winds Whisper
    • 3-3-:1
    • Main synergy skill that provides movement and attack speed and also lots of crit and increased damage for 6 seconds, which is why you want to make sure that you and your party use all your damage in this small buff period. Use this skill as soon as you close the distance to your target alongside Roar of Courage.
  • Roar of Courage
    • 3-3-1
    • Second main synergy skill that provides not only good orb generation but also additional crit rate by dropping your target’s crit resistance for 6 seconds as well. Always use it with Winds Whisper together.
  • Moon Flash Kick
    • 3-3-2
    • Main source of Esoteric meter build up that you want to use right after Energy Combustion as gap closer or engage to immediately build up enough meter.
  • Flash Heat Fang
    • 2-3-1
    • Another part of your main DPS that makes you throw a series of painful punches, followed by a heavy finishing blow. Make sure to use this skill in a safe spot, as a back attack behind your target in best case. Use it after Sky Shattering Blow or Moon Flash Kick.
  • Sky Shattering Blow
    • 1-3-2
    • Another good skill that helps with building up meter, which is also a counter with an increased damage buff, provided by the Ready Attack tripod taken here. Use it right after Moon Flash Kick.
Stat Priority
  • Prioritize Specialization first to help generate enough Esoteric meter and Swiftness second
Runes
  • Galewind runes on your core DPS Esoteric skills (Call of the Wind God, Blast Formation)
  • Wealth on your meter generator skills (Moon Flash Kick, Sky Shattering Blow)
  • Conviction on Energy Combustion and Judgement on Flash Heat Fang
  • Focus runes on your main synergy skills (Winds Whisper, Roar of Courage)
Engraving
  • Esoteric Skill Enhancement lvl 1 is your highest priority, or else it’ll be impossible to make good use of the different Esoteric skills taken
  • Master of Ambush as your class is a back attack class but requires you to re-position often.
  • Raid Captain has a great synergy with your focus on the Swiftness stat and your Winds Whisper skill, granting you more DPS
  • Keen Blunt is dependent on how much crit you have, which you will additionally gain with your Winds Whisper skill as well, making this Engraving a strong synergy as well.
  • Grudge and Cursed Doll lvl 3 make great skills once you are an advanced player and can slot them in
Gems
  • Prioritize Damage and Cooldown on all your core damage skills (Esoteric Skills, Flash Heat Fang, Energy Combustion)
  • Cooldown on your meter generator and synergy skills (Moon Flash Kick, Winds Whisper, Roar of Courage, Sky Shattering Blow)
  • Everything else is a bonus

First Intention Build

The First Intention Build is the complete opposite as it disables your Esoteric meter generation entirely, making it impossible for you to use heavy hitting DPS Esoteric skills.

To make up for that, your playstyle becomes much more simple and your entire damage is buffed by 15%/20%/25% depending on your engraving level.

first intention build wardancer

Image from Lostarkive

  • Lightning Kick
    • 1-1-3
    • Primary mobility skill with great DPS to help you engage or re-position. It’s low cooldown paired with our focus on high Swiftness allows you to use this skill extremely often. Use this skill at the start of your rotation or if you need to escape a heated situation quickly.
  • Energy Combustion
    • 1-3-2
    • Part of your main DPS that creates an energy field around you, dealing constant damage and then explodes after 20 seconds. Keep in mind that you always want to land the final explosion as it deals the most damage. Use this skill whenever it’s up.
  • Flash Heat Fang
    • 2-3-1
    • Another part of your main DPS that makes you throw a series of painful punches, followed by a heavy finishing blow. Make sure to use this skill in a safe spot, as a back attack behind your target in best case. Use it after your engage or re-positioned with Lightning Kick.
  • Moon Flash Kick
    • 2-3-2
    • Staple main DPS burst skill. Make sure you switch the first tripod to Intense Shock as you won’t be able to use this skill as a meter generator anymore. Use it at the end of your rotation.
  • Sweeping Kick
    • 2-1-1
    • Another staple main DPS burst skill that makes you perform 1 extreme kick that knocks down foes. Use it right before Moon Flash Kick at the end of your rotation.
  • Winds Whisper
    • 3-2-1
    • Main synergy skill that provides movement and attack speed and also lots of crit and increased damage for 6 seconds, which is why you want to make sure that you and your party use all your damage in this small buff period. Use this skill as soon as you close the distance to your target alongside Roar of Courage.
  • Roar of Courage
    • 1:-3-1
    • Second main synergy skill that provides additional crit rate by dropping your target’s crit resistance for 6 seconds as well. Make sure you switch the first tripod to Magick Control as you won’t be able to use this skill as a meter generator anymore. Always use it with Winds Whisper together.
  • Sky Shattering Blow
    • 1-3-0
    • Another DPS skill which is mainly used as a counter but also comes with an increased damage buff, provided by the Ready Attack tripod taken here. Use it whenever your target is becoming vulnerable to counters.
Stat Priority
  • Prioritize Swiftness first for a faster playstyle and lower cooldowns and Crit second as the Wardancer has naturally enough Crit built into her kit.
Runes
  • Galewind runes on your core DPS skills (Moon Flash Kick, Sweeping Kick)
  • Conviction on Energy Combustion and Judgement on Flash Heat Fang
  • Focus runes on your main synergy skills (Winds Whisper, Roar of Courage)
  • Bleed on Sky Shattering Blow and Quick Recharge on Lightning Kick
Engraving
  • First Intention lvl 3 is ideal for the build, since you want to deal as much damage as possible
  • Master of Ambush as your class is a back attack class but requires you to re-position often.
  • Raid Captain has a great synergy with your focus on the Swiftness stat and your Winds Whisper skill, granting you more DPS
  • Keen Blunt is dependent on how much crit you have, which you will additionally gain with your Winds Whisper skill as well, making this Engraving a strong synergy as well.
  • Grudge and Cursed Doll lvl 3 make great skills once you are an advanced player and can slot them in
Gems
  • Prioritize Damage and Cooldown on all your core damage skills (Lightning Kick, Flash Heat Fang, Energy Combustion, Sweeping Kick, Moon Flash Kick)
  • Cooldown on your synergy skills (Winds Whisper, Roar of Courage)
  • Everything else is a bonus

Thanks for reading! To learn more about the other classes, check out our collection of Lost Ark class guides.