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Lost Ark Arcanist: Build Guide

Lost Ark Arcanist Build: Guide

The Arcanist was introduced on July 20th, 2022 with the release of the “Spells in Spades” update for Lost Ark. The Arcanist infuses magical powers into cards that she launches at enemies to deal damage. With a wide variety of attacks and a unique random card system, many players may initially find it complicated. That being said, having an optimal build and a thorough understanding of the class can make playing the Arcanist a very rewarding experience.

Arcanist Gameplay

The first thing to take note of when you first start playing the Arcanist is the 3 different types of skills available in the skill book:

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  • Normal (Yellow)
    • Build Identity Gauge to fill the 2 slots of the Card Deck.
  • Stacking (Blue)
    • Applies Stacks to enemies (also shown around the player when attacking a boss; the boss will glow magenta at max stacks). Some Tripods provide self-buffs.
  • Ruin (Red)
    • Consumes Stacks on enemies and grants additional effects based on the number of Stacks an enemy has.

Card Deck System Explained

The Arcanist’s Identity Gauge, the Card Deck, fills with successful hits to enemies. Once full, 1 of 12 cards will appear in one of the two slots. You can use that card immediately or continue filling the Identity Gauge until the 2nd slot draws another card. All twelve of these cards provide something beneficial to the player. It is not important to memorize every single card, but there are certain cards that benefit from being used in the right situations. The main cards to remember are these:

  • Cull: For 4 seconds, 100% Crit Rate and +50% Crit Damage when attacking 1 target
    • Best used before casting your heavy-hitting abilities such as Celestial Rain, Secret Garden, and your Awakening Skill.
  • Judgment: For 4 seconds: Ruin skills always act as if the target has 4 stacks applied.
    • Pairs well with the Cull card for a big damage boost.
  • Royal: Instantly fills empty card slots.
    • Use this card when the other card slot is empty to refill both slots.
  • Wheel of Fortune: The next skill used has no cooldown.
    • The best use of this card is right before casting your Awakening Skill to have it available for repeated use.
best arcanist cards and their in game tooltips

Class Engravings

The 2 class engravings that can be equipped narrow the gameplay of the Arcanist into two different playstyles:

  • Empress’s Grace Class Engraving:
    • The Empress’s Grace playstyle enhances the damage of Ruin Skills. The overall gameplay involves building four stacks on the target with Stacking Skills, using Normal skills to draw more Cards and provide synergy buffs, and finally consuming the four stacks with a Ruin Skill.
  • Order of Emperor Class Engraving:
    • Adds an additional card to the deck that deals big Area of Effect damage. The main gameplay now shifts the focus to generating and drawing as many cards as possible in the hopes that the new card can be drawn more often for increased damage.

Both playstyles are viable in all forms of content if you have a good understanding of the class mechanics. Empress’s Grace performs better at early content, but Order of Emperor eventually outperforms Empress’s Grace in higher content with the 6-piece Relic gear set: Dominion Fang. The Order of Emperor performs extremely well in Chaos Dungeons and Cube.

Arcanist Builds Guide

Lost ark arcanist skills to choose for empress's grace build

Let’s provide you with a breakdown of the most common skills used in each build.

Empress’s Grace Skills

This table displays the best skills to choose when using the Empress’s Grace Class Engraving. Also note that we’ve indicated the Tripods, Runes, and a brief description of what the skill is used for.

Skill Tripods Rune Description
Call of Destiny Nimble Movement
Quick Draw
Chain Attack
Bleed Builds Identity Gauge; Has a chance to draw a card.
Return Weakness Exposure
Concentrated Card
Exposed Darkness
Rage Builds Identity Gauge; Applies Crit Synergy buff to the party, Applies Crit Damage buff to self
Counter Skill
Quadra Accelerate Nimble Movement
Card Draw

Accelerate Concentration
Galewind Applies Stacks
Scratch Dealer Excellent Mobility
Weak Point Attack
Safety Device
Galewind Applies Stacks; Attack and movement speed self-buff
Spiral Edge Quick Prep
Ruthless Shot
Quick Pace
Galewind Applies Stacks; Brief movement speed self-buff
Stream of Edge Card Draw
Dark Edge
Perfect Stream
Galewind Applies Stacks; Brief Crit Rate self-buff
Celestial Rain Vital Point Hit
Enhanced Strike
Weak Point Detection
Protection Consumes Stacks; Highest Damage skill
Secret Garden Quick Prep
Blitz
Final Decision
Protection Consumes Stacks; High Damage
If you don’t have enough skill points, Blue Stacking Skills are a lower priority

Order of Emperor Skills

This table displays the best skills to choose when using the Order of Emperor Class Engraving. Also note that we’ve indicated the Tripods, Runes, and a brief description of what the skill is used for.

Skill Tripods Rune Description
Call of Destiny Mind Enhancement
Quick Draw
Chain Attack
Bleed Builds Identity Gauge; Has 2 chances to draw a card.
Return Weakness Exposure
Concentrated Card
Exposed Darkness
Rage Builds Identity Gauge; Applies Crit Synergy buff to the party, Applies Crit Damage buff to self
Counter Skill
Dark Resurrection Piercing Strike
Intense Card

Furious Blow
Focus Builds Identity Gauge, Moderate Damage
Evoke Quick Draw
Conc. Magick Circle
Overlap Magick Circle
Focus Builds Identity Gauge; Has 3 chances to draw a card.
Dancing of Spineflower Intense Dance
Night Bloomer
Fatal Thorn
Judgment Applies Stacks, Moderate Damage
Checkmate Piercing Strike
Conc. Darkness
Deadline
Galewind Applies Stacks, Moderate Damage
Stream of Edge Card Draw
Dark Edge
Galewind Applies Stacks
Celestial Rain Vital Point Hit
Enhanced Strike
Weak Point Detection
Protection Consumes Stacks; Highest Damage skill
If you don’t have enough skill points, Blue Stacking Skills are a lower priority

Skill Rotations

Here are the basic rotations you can use for each build. Some variations can be made depending on how cooldowns line up. Always remember to use your cards when they appear and weave them into the rotation. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the previously mentioned important cards, Cull, Judgment, Royal, and Wheel of Fortune, and use them accordingly.

  • Empress’s Grace Build
    • Stream of Edge > Return > Scratch Dealer > Quadra Accelerate > Call of Destiny > Awakening: Deathbound > Spacebar Dash (to cancel the casting animation) > Celestial Rain > Spiral Edge x2 > Secret Garden
  • Order of Emperor Build
    • Awakening: Prismatic Mirror > Spacebar Dash (to cancel the casting animation) > Evoke > Stream of Edge > Dark Resurrection > Return > Dancing of Spineflower > Evoke > Celestial Rain > Checkmate (stop casting after 0.5s) > Celestian Rain

Stat Allocation Priority

Stats are acquired via Accessories (NecklaceEarring, and Rings). Choosing the correct stats for your build is an integral factor in optimizing your damage output. When deciding which stats on your gear are worthwhile for your build follow these guidelines:

  • Empress’s Grace Build
    • Specialization is the most important attribute for this build as it directly increases the damage of Ruin Skills. A good secondary stat after specialization is Swiftness.
  • Order of Emperor Build
    • Swiftness is the primary stat to reduce Normal skills’ cooldowns in order to generate more cards. Crit is the better secondary stat for higher damage.

Engravings Priority

Engravings are obtained from 3 sources: Accessories (Necklace, Earring, and Rings)., Ability Stones, and Imprints. You can get more Engravings nodes from better gear and from learning higher rarity Engravings books.

  • Empress’s Grace Build
    • #1: Empress’s Grace Class Engraving: Level 1 only as further levels aren’t as beneficial.
    • #2: Barricade: Increased damage while shielded. Shields are provided from Protection runes on Ruin Skills.
    • #3: Adrenaline: Stacking attack power buff. Many skills have low cooldowns ensuring a high uptime on the buff.
    • #4: Hit Master: Increased Damage to non-frontal or back attacks. When Ruin Skills consume stacks, the additional damage doesn’t have a front or back attack condition.
    • Grudge* (Flat Damage Increase)
    • Cursed Doll* (Flat Damage Increase)
  • Order of Emperor Build
    • #1: Order of Emperor Class Engraving: Level 1 only as further levels aren’t as beneficial.
    • #2: Empress’s Grace Class Engraving: Still benefit from this engraving, but should be capped at Level 1.
    • #3: Keen Blunt Weapon: Increased crit damage. Many Tripods provide bonus Crit rate and damage.
    • #4: #3: Adrenaline: Stacking attack power buff. Many skills have low cooldowns ensuring a high uptime on the buff.
    • #5: Raid Captain: Increased damage based on movement speed. High uptime on movement speed buffs from Tripods and Cards.
    • Grudge* (Flat Damage Increase)
    • Cursed Doll* (Flat Damage Increase)

* For more experienced players, Grudge and Cursed Doll are the highest priority after the class engraving(s). These should only be obtained when you can guarantee equipping Level 3.

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Gem Priority

Gems provide a big boost to damage at later stages of the game so you don’t want to miss out on equipping the right ones for your build. Please note that in the current version of the game the *Emperor Gem is not yet available. Once the balance patch is added it should be prioritized only in the Order of Emperor Build above all others and Stream of Edge Cooldown should be removed from the list.

  • Empress’s Grace Build
    • #1: Celestial Rain – Damage
    • #2: Celestial Rain – Cooldown
    • #3: Secret Garden – Damage
    • #4: Secret Garden – Cooldown
    • #5: Quadra Accelerate – Damage
    • #6: Quadra Accelerate– Cooldown
    • #7: Return – Cooldown
    • #8: Call of Destiny – Cooldown
    • #9: Scratch Dealer – Cooldown
    • #10: Spiral Edge – Cooldown
    • #11: Stream of Edge – Cooldown
  • Order of Emperor Build
    • #1: Celestial Rain – Damage
    • #2: Celestial Rain – Cooldown
    • #3: Dark Resurrection – Damage
    • #4: Dark Resurrection – Cooldown
    • #5: Checkmate – Damage
    • #6: Checkmate – Cooldown
    • #7: Dancing of Spineflower – Damage
    • #8: Evoke – Damage
    • #9: Evoke – Cooldown
    • #10: Return – Cooldown
    • #11: Stream of Edge – Cooldown*
lost ark arcanist using the awakening skill: deathbound

Final Tips

When faced with a stagger mechanic, Ruin Skills provide a stagger when there is at least 1 stack on the target. Additional stacks do not grant higher stagger amounts.

Cards in the Card Deck can be used simultaneously (pressing both Identity skill keys, Z and X at the same time) as well as during other casting animations.

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