Best Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty builds — Early game, for beginners, and more

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty
(Image credit: Koei Tecmo Games)

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty and its fast-paced melee combat systems are incredibly satisfying to master, but it's also brutally difficult to do so. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to make the experience easier, such as upgrade your weapons and armor or start boss fights with a high Morale Rank.

In true RPG fashion, though, the best way to get an edge over your foes is to put together a strong build for your character. By intelligently taking advantage of the stat improvements and Wizardry Spells that Wo Long's five Phase Virtues offer when you level them up, you can enhance yourself and your weapon with powerful buffs, optimize your damage, inflict powerful status effects, and more.

Below, we've put together a list of the best builds we've played with in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty so far. We've also included explanations about the stats, weapons, armor types, and Wizardry Spells you should focus on using in order to maximize your effectiveness in combat.

Best Wo Long build for beginners and new players

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If you're just starting out in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty and want a solid build to rely on while Zhang Liang and other early bosses, I strongly recommend focusing on the Wood and Earth Virtues. The former raises your HP more than any other Virtue and the latter allows you to wear heavier armor, both of which will significantly improve your survivability and make taking damage considerably less punishing. There are also several easily acquirable weapons in the early game that scale with Wood, Earth, or both, including the Ring Pommel Sabre, the Polearm Podao, and the Great Club of Polaris.

Notably, Wood and Earth give you access to two of the best early game spells as well: Absorb Vitality and Enhanced Defense. Absorb Vitality makes each of your attacks slightly heal you, and Enhanced Defense raises your damage resistance. These spells are both quick to cast and will enhance your resilience even further, making them fantastic for beginners.

Best Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty early game build

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What if you're looking to maximize your combat effectiveness in the early game? For that, you should look to level your Fire Virtue and pair it with investment into the Wood Virtue. The Fire Virtue is ideal for dealing tons of damage on offense — something you'll want to do as much as possible, as this game emphasizes aggression — while the Wood Virtue will help you stay alive with a high HP pool and restorative Wizardry Spells like Absorb Vitality. Confident players can also cast Amplify Damage to give their damage output a big boost, though this will also make them more susceptible to damage as well.

Notably, Swords, which are one of the best weapon types in Wo Long, scale with both Wood and Fire and can be found very early in the game. This makes this build even more effective in the first few chapters of the campaign, as you can get a great weapon for it right away.

Something to keep in mind is that this approach is a little riskier than the Wood and Earth build we recommend for new players. If you're not comfortable with Wo Long's combat mechanics yet, I'd advise sticking with the safer and more beginner-friendly setup. If you do opt for an early game Fire and Wood build, make sure you at least check out our Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty beginner's guide so you have an idea of what to expect.

Best Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Wood Virtue build

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  • Primary stats: Wood, Earth
  • Weapons: Spears, Hammers, Ring Pommel Sabre
  • Armor: Heavy
  • Wizardry Spells: Absorb Vitality, Spirit Fervor, Enhanced Defense, Rock Toughness

The Wood Virtue increases your HP more than the other ones do and reduces the Spirit damage you take from enemy attacks, so it's best to build into the tank playstyle with it. That means pairing it with Earth, the Virtue that raises your maximum equip load and improves the Spirit you gain when deflecting. With lots of both Wood and Earth, you'll have a very high health pool and can wear heavy armor without consequence.

The best types of weapon to use with this setup are Spears, as they typically scale well with both Wood and Earth, have great range, and are fairly fast for their size. Hammers scale similarly, but despite their amazing damage output, they're more situational due to their slow speed. Ring Pommel Sabres are a great choice if you want to attack as quickly as possible, as they scale well with Wood. 

Spell-wise, Absorb Vitality and Spirit Fervor are great for keeping your health and Spirit up. The former makes each of your strikes slightly heal you, while the latter improves how much Spirit you get while attacking. Enhanced Defense and Rock Toughness, on the other hand, are buffs that will raise your Defense even higher and  reduce damage done to your Spirit Gauge when you get hit, respectively. Rock Toughness also stops Critical Blows from lowering your Morale Rank once per cast, which will help you maintain a Morale advantage over your opponent if you have one.

Best Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Fire Virtue build

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  • Primary stats: Fire, Wood
  • Weapons: Swords, Ring Pommel Sabre
  • Armor: Medium
  • Wizardry Spells: Absorb Vitality, Spirit Fervor, Amplify Damage, Flame Weapon

The Flame Virtue is all about constant offense, and as a result, you'll need to be even more aggressive than you'd be normally to take full advantage of it. That means you're probably going to take more hits, too, so I like pairing Fire with the Wood Virtue for lots of health and reduced Spirit loss when taking damage. Throwing a few points into Earth so you can wear decent medium armor without getting weighed down by it is a good idea as well.

The Ring Pommel Sabre starting weapon will serve you well throughout Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty with these stats, as it has a rapid attack speed that suits the Fire Virtue well. You should switch to a Sword as soon as you get one, though, because these weapons are almost just as quick and have strong scaling for both Wood and Fire.

This build is extremely melee-focused, but that doesn't mean you can't throw some buffing Wizardry Spells into the mix. Absorb Vitality and Spirit Fervor are just as good here as they were in the aforementioned Wood Virtue build, and while Amplify Damage is risky since it increases the damage you deal and take, the extra health you have from the Wood Virtue makes it less dangerous to use. By casting Flame Weapon right before a fight, you can also take advantage of your fast attack speed to inflict the Burn status effect on enemies quickly. This will damage them over time, improving your already high DPS.

Best Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Earth Virtue build

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  • Primary stats: Earth, Metal
  • Weapons: Glaives
  • Armor: Heavy
  • Wizardry Spells: Stone Weapon, Quakebound, Force Blow, Fiend Vanquisher

Pairing Earth with Wood is an excellent way to make a tank build, but a fantastic alternative approach is to use it with the Metal Virtue instead. Since Metal reduces the cost of Wizardry Spells and allows you to hold onto a high Spirit Gauge longer, it's a perfect fit for an offensive Earth build that emphasizes the use of the attribute's  powerful melee-focused magic. 

Stone Weapon and Quakebound are two Wizardry Spells that go hand-in-hand, as the former allows your weapon to inflict the Heaviness status effect while the latter increases the buildup of that effect when you deflect. Heaviness is one of the best status effects in the game since it increases the Spirit damage enemies take from your attacks, so building into it is incredibly rewarding. Force Blow and Fiend Vanquisher are also remarkably powerful melee spells that do lots of damage, and will have a huge impact against strong enemies or bosses if you're able to land them. 

For your primary weapon, you should stick with a Glaive, as these scale well with both Earth and Metal and offer a great balance of speed, reach, and damage. Make sure you take advantage of your higher equip load and wear heavy armor, too.

Best Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Metal Virtue build

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  • Primary stats: Metal, Fire
  • Weapons: Curved Sabre
  • Armor: Light
  • Wizardry Spells: Life Wither, Overpower Burst, Burning Flamewave, Scorch Comet

While it's impossible to get through Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty with nothing but magic, you can make a potent hybrid build that takes advantage of the Metal Virtue's low spell cost to cast some of the Fire Virtue's most powerful damage spells. The lack of lots of Wood and Earth means you'll be a lightly armored glass cannon, but your incredible DPS will make up for this.

Both Life Wither and Overpower Burst serve as "primer" spells in this build, as Life Wither increases the damage enemies take and Overpower Burst buffs the power of your next offensive Wizardry Spell. Then, you can cast Burning Flamewave (area-of-effect) or Scorch Comet (burst damage) to devastate your foes with flame. Anything strong enough to survive will become afflicted with Burn, taking even more damage for several seconds afterwards.

To get your Spirit back quickly between spellcasts, using a Curved Sabre is ideal. Like other sword-style weapons, its melee combos are very fast, allowing you to regain Spirit quickly when striking your enemies. Curved Sabres also scale well with Metal, allowing you to deal strong melee damage in situations where you can't rely on your magic.

Best Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Water Virtue build

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  • Primary stats: Water, Fire
  • Weapons: Dual Swords, Bows, Crossbows
  • Armor: Light
  • Wizardry Spells: Unseeable Form, Ominous Chill, Alacrity Haste, Amplify Damage

The Water Virtue is one of the most versatile attributes that you can build into in Wo Long. It makes you much harder for enemies to detect, which means you'll have no problem constantly opening fights with stealthy Fatal Blows. Bows and crossbows also scale with Water, and as a result, will do significantly more damage with a Water build than they will with any other class. Take advantage of this to pick off minor enemies or heavily injure stronger ones from afar with headshots.

Water truly starts to shine when you pair it with the Fire Virtue, though. This is because the Dual Swords weapon class typically scales strongly with both Water and Fire, and since these swords have an extremely fast attack speed, the DPS you can achieve with them is phenomenal. They're terrible for blocking, though, so your deflection game needs to be on point with this build, especially since you'll have to rely on lighter armor without much Earth Virtue investment.

For Wizardry Spells, I enjoy using Unseeable Form to guarantee I could open most encounters (aside from boss fights) with a Fatal Blow. Ominous Chill is a great spell to cast in the early stages of any fight, as it constantly assails your opponents with frost projectiles while you're battling them. These don't do much damage, but will quickly build up the Chill status effect that halts your foe's natural Spirit recovery. Alacrity Haste improves your movement speed and makes it easy to stay in an enemy's face, while Amplify Damage is a dicey, but rewarding option that can skyrocket your excellent damage even higher.  

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is available now on Xbox, Windows PC, and PlayStation systems. Notably, the game can be played via an Xbox Game Pass subscription, and as I said in my Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty review, it's absolutely worth playing if you like high-octane Soulslike melee combat. 


Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is Team Ninja's latest Soulslike, and may also be its best. Between its high-octane melee combat, stellar level design, and excellent presentation, it's a must-play for any fan of the genre.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.