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Lost Ark best builds: Engravings, skills, PvE, and PvP

Lost Ark
Lost Ark (Image credit: Amazon Games)

Just like with any other MMO, using an effective build is the best way to maximize your potential in Amazon Games' and Smilegate RPG's Lost Ark. Whether you want to overcome difficult PvE challenges or dominate the battlefield in PvP, having a good build will often allow you to succeed in situations where a poorly developed character would most likely fail — especially if you're playing as one of Lost Ark's best classes.

Putting together an effective build in Lost Ark can be rather tough since it's difficult to know which abilities and items are the best and which ones aren't worth using, but don't worry, because we have you covered. In this guide, we'll go over all of the best builds in Lost Ark for both PvE and PvP play, as well as what kind of playstyle you should use with them to maximize your effectiveness.

Lost Ark best Gunlancer build

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Engravings: Combat Readiness, Master Brawler, Barricade
  • Skills: Bash, Counter Gunlance, Guardian's Thunderbolt, Leap Attack, Shield Bash, Shield Charge, Shield Shock, Shout of Hatred
  • Awakening Skill: Guardian's Protection

The Gunlancer is the most durable of the three Warrior subclasses, making them ideal for Lost Ark's MMO PvE play since they fill the role of tank excellently. They also dish out good damage, too, and with the right Engravings and skills, a Gunlancer will become a near-unkillable damage sponge.

The best Engravings to use with the Gunlancer are Combat Readiness, Master Brawler, and Barricade. Combat Readiness boosts your damage by 20% and your shields by 30% while in a defensive stance, which is a position you should almost always be in while tanking. It also gives you a temporary 4% damage boost when you get hit in a defensive stance. Master Brawler further increases your damage by 25% when hitting an enemy that's facing you. Barricade improves your damage output while you're shielded, which you typically will be while on the frontline.

The skills listed above give you the tools you need to keep enemies focused on you instead of your allies, while also stunning them or interrupting their moves with various bashes and debuffs. Lastly, the Guardian's Protection Awakening Skill increases your shields by 100% and deploys a protective shield that will guard you and your allies from damage. The shield also stuns any enemies within its radius, leaving them open to attack.

Lost Ark best Berserker build

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Engravings: Berserker's Technique, Awakening, Grudge
  • Skills: Shoulder Charge, Wind Blade, Hell Blade, Strike Wave, Tempest Slash, Finish Strike, Chain Sword
  • Awakening Skill: Berserk Fury

Folks who want to play as a Warrior that focuses more on DPS than on tanking should look no further than the Berserker, which is arguably the best melee PvE class in Lost Ark. With the right build, Berserkers can tear through everything in sight without much trouble. The class is also very easy to play, making it an attractive choice for newcomers.

The best Engravings for the Berserker are Berserker's Technique, Awakening, and Grudge. Berserker's Technique enables large amounts of critical damage when you're using your Berserk Fury Awakening skill, which will skyrocket your DPS. Awakening allows Berserk Fury to recharge 50% faster, which is greatly beneficial. Grudge is a high-risk, high-reward Engraving that boosts your damage by 20% against bosses but also makes you take 20% more damage from them. Playing recklessly while using Grudge is dangerous, but if you play smart and have support from teammates, it's worth using.

Skills like Shoulder Charge allow you to jump into combat easily, while Hell Blade, Tempest Slash, and the other skills listed above will help you continue to dish out strong damage between your Berserker Fury ults.

Lost Ark best Sorceress build

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Engravings: Igniter, Cursed Doll, Grudge
  • Skills: Frost's Call, Blaze, Seraphic Hail, Esoteric Reaction, Explosion, Punishing Strike, Lightning Bolt
  • Awakening Skill: Enviska's Might

The Sorceress Mage subclass is Lost Ark's best ranged DPS in PvE content, and as long as a Sorceress has allies to distract enemies for them, they'll be able to obliterate foes with their deadly magic attacks. Their health is low, though, so make sure to stay out of melee range.

The best way to build a Sorceress is to use the Igniter, Cursed Doll, and Grudge Engravings. Igniter reduces your skill cooldowns by 50% and boosts your damage whenever you use the Sorceress' Magick Amplification ability, which will allow you to do even more damage than usual. Cursed Doll, meanwhile, improves your attack power but decreases your healing. Since you're not often going to get hit anyway if you have teammates protecting you, the reduction to your healing is worth dealing with in exchange for extra damage. The same goes for Grudge, as 20% more damage against bosses is valuable, and the 20% increased damage you take from bosses won't be a problem if you stay away from them and attack from afar.

Several of the Sorceress' Awakening Skills are strong, but the best one is Enviska's Might. When you use it, your character will send out a drone-like entity that damages enemies with area-of-effect (AoE) pulses before causing a massive explosion that does huge damage across a large AoE.

Lost Ark best Bard build

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Engravings: Desperate Salvation, Awakening, Increased Max HP
  • Skills: Guardian Tune, Rhythmic Buckshot, SoundHolic, Prelude of Storm, Heavenly Performance, Sonic Vibration, Wind of Music
  • Awakening Skill: Symphonia

The Bard Mage subclass is arguably the best class in Lost Ark, as they are extremely effective in both PvE and PvP and are often integral to success when raiding PvE dungeons or taking the fight to other players in PvP instances. Not only does the Bard heal teammates and buff them, but they're also capable of slowing and debuffing enemies as well. Like the Sorceress, they don't have much health, but that won't be a problem as long as you stick behind more durable classes while playing as a Bard.

The Bard's Desperate Salvation Engraving is integral to any good Bard build, as it boosts all healing abilities by 24%. Awakening is excellent for reducing your Awakening Skill cooldown by 50%, too, and using Increased Max HP is a great way to ensure you can take a few extra hits.

The listed skills above will give you many different opportunities to support your teammates with buffs or debuffs against enemies. In terms of which Awakening Skill you should use, we recommend Symphonia. It gives all nearby allies a shield that absorbs damage equal to 100% of your HP, and when enemies touch the shield, their attack damage, attack speed, and movement speed is reduced significantly.

Lost Ark best Gunslinger build

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Engravings: Time to Hunt, Cursed Doll, Spirit Absorption
  • Skills: Perfect Shot, Focused Shot, Dextrous Shot, Peacekeeper, Spiral Tracker, Spiral Flame, A02 Grenade
  • Awakening Skill: High-Caliber HE Bullet

Gunners are very powerful in PvP, and the Gunslinger is the best PvP Gunner subclass overall thanks to the class's high uptime and strong damage output. With smart positioning and clever usage of the Gunslinger's skills, you'll be able to pump tons of damage into enemy players.

The best Engravings to use with the Gunslinger class are Time to Hunt, Cursed Doll, and Spirit Absorption. Time to Hunt removes the Gunslinger's shotgun but boosts critical hit rates with the pistol and rifle by 30%, which is worth it since you'll want to stay away from enemy players as a Gunslinger anyway. Cursed Doll is a good pick since the reduced healing drawback won't matter much since Gunslingers fight from afar, and the increase to your damage is great. Spirit Absorption boosts your movement speed by up to 15%, which makes repositioning or getting away from melee opponents easier.

The above skills boost your DPS and give you extra mobility in combat, and will help you consistently deal strong damage while also enabling you to move to different firing positions when necessary. The High-Caliber HE Bullet Awakening Skill launches you backwards away from foes while also dealing a large amount of damage in an explosive AoE, making it an incredibly useful move in group PvP.

Lost Ark best Deathblade build

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Engravings: Remaining Energy, Adrenaline, Super Charge
  • Skills: Surprise Attack, Upper Slash, Spincutter, Maelstrom, Blitz Rush, Dark Axel, Moonlight Sonic
  • Awakening Skill: Flash Blink

The Assassin Deathblade subclass is Lost Ark's best melee PvP class thanks to its speed, incredibly high DPS, and ability to lock enemy players into large melee attack chains. A good Deathblade can often weaken multiple foes at once, leaving them open to being finished off by follow-up attacks from their allies. The class's Death Orbs further enhance the potential of the Deathblade by triggering the Deathblade Arts when used. The Deathblade Arts boost attack speed and damage and reduce skill cooldowns.

The best overall Engraving for the Deathblade is Remaining Energy, which extends the duration of the Deathblade Arts by two seconds and gives you additional buffs to your movement and attack speed as well as your attack damage. Adrenaline is also an excellent choice, as it gives you a stacking movement speed bonus each time you use a skill. Whenever you reach six stacks, you also get a buff to your critical hit rate as well. Finally, Super Charge makes skills that rely on charging charge up 40% faster, which is ideal for the Deathblade since the class has many charge-based skills.

Speaking of skills, all of the ones listed above will give you the tools you need to immobilize targets and rip them to shreds with melee chains. The best Awakening Skill option is Flash Blink, which launches you forward into enemies and heavily damages them with a flurry of sword swings.

Lost Ark best Paladin build

Source: Amazon Games (Image credit: Source: Amazon Games)
  • Engravings: Blessed Aura, Specialist, Awakening
  • Skills: Wrath of God, Holy Protection, Light Shock, Godsent Law, Heavenly Blessing, Executor's Sword, Holy Sword
  • Awakening Skill: Alithane's Judgement

One of the reasons Lost Ark is one of the best PC games is because every class and playstyle in the game is viable in PvP, which isn't always the case in MMOs. For example, the Paladin tank/support hybrid class is incredibly strong in Lost Ark's PvP, even though this type of character often isn't ideal for PvP in other games. With their high health, supportive abilities, and solid overall damage, the Paladin is one of the best Warrior classes you can take into battle against other players.

Blessed Aura is the Paladin's best Engraving, as it reduces all damage you take by 20% and passively heals 2.5% HP/second for everyone in your party. The Specialist Engraving is also incredibly effective since it makes all shield and healing effects used on you and your allies 24% stronger, which is further buffed by an additional 12% for party members who have less than 50% health. Lastly, Awakening is a safe and effective Engraving choice that lowers the cooldown of your Awakening Skill by 50%.

The skills we chose for the Paladin will maximize your ability to support allies and deal reliable damage to foes. Also, Alithane's Judgement is generally considered to be the best Paladin Awakening Skill since it gives everyone in your party a shield that's equivalent to 80% of your max HP, which is quite a lot of protection considering all of the Warrior classes have tons of health.

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.