Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (2023)

Breaking down the Lost Ark Classes and each individual advanced class available with their Awakening Skills, Class Engravings, and Playstyles!

This Guide has been updated for the release of the Destroyer Class.

If you’re New to Lost Ark and deciding on your first character, or even an experienced player looking to pick up a new class; this guide is for you! It focuses on the very basics of all classes and subclasses currently available in the Western Release of Lost Ark. We’ll be covering each class briefly including their Awakening abilities and playstyles.

Assassins (Main Class)

In general, both Assassin archetypes are classes that are highly mobile and deal high damage. Both are capable of high DPS and burst damage, which comes down to how you build up your character.


“Deathblade is an assassin class that uses a total of three swords that they wield alongside the power of chaos to swiftly slash their foes. The fast-paced combo attacks from the light dualswords and longsword overpower enemies, leading to death by a thousand cuts.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Deathblade is your typical flashy, showoff Assassin subclass. They focus around high and fairly consistent damage, charging their Identity Skill called Deathblade Arts. Using this activates an empowered state which enhances the class’ mobility and damage output.

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While dealing consistent DPS, Deathblades are also capable of buffing their allies as well as debuffing enemies making them a rather potent class to have in a group. Though these effects will require certain skills to be upgraded and may not always fit into your desired build, it’s good to keep them in mind.

Class Engravings take these playstyles a step further and focus on specific elements of your class’s kit, making certain aspects stronger. These function almost as mini sub-classes within each subclass.

Their first Class Engraving, called Surge, revolves around building your meter as quickly as you can to use your Identity Skill, Death Trance. While Death Trance is active, the goal is to build up a stacking buff that increases damage and refunds Identity Meter based on how many stacks are used. After the first initial build-up, this playstyle will heavily focus on getting as many uses of the Identity Skill as possible.

The other Class Engraving, called Remaining Energy, revolves around doing rotations to build their meter, and immediately using and dumping their Identity Skill. While this will not be as hard-hitting of an Identity Skill use, it ends up resetting your cooldowns and providing a buff to your movement and attack speed. This ends up creating a build that focused on sustained damage, rather than burst.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Blade Assault

“Focus energy to inflict 2251 Damage and pull in foes. Hold the skill to move forward while slashing at foes for 22496 Damage. Hit the Perfect Zone to cause 1901 Damage as you summon spiritual blades, then hurl them at once to inflict 11237 Damage and knock foes away.”

This awakening is pretty damage-heavy but also can make you fairly immobile. It has three parts to it; the pull on the initial cast, which pulls foes into range for the second part; the quick succession of hits while you charge the final part of the skill for up to 2 seconds; then the final burst, which deals more damage if you charged the skill for 1.1 – 1.8 seconds.

Flash Blink

“Dash 12m towards the target location, slashing through enemies in your path with all of your swords. Enemies in the path take 7581 Damage on impact, then take an additional 30311 damage and get launched into the air.”

This Awakening provides a decent mobility tool, while still dealing high damage. This skill charges for one second before performing the dash animation. The Dash damage is dealt on contact with an enemy, while the additional damage and air launch are delayed until the end of the animation.


“Shadowhunters prefer to beat the demons at their own game—they can shapeshift into powerful demonic forms to unleash chaotic power. When their inner demon is unleashed, Shadowhunters get access to incredibly destructive powers and increased health and movement speed.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

Shadowhunters are assassins with the ability to take on a powerful demonic form after charging their Identity Meter. Similar to Deathblades, Shadowhunters are also capable of dealing high burst damage or consistent DPS. When geared and played well, they do fairly consistent damage, even though it comes out in bursts most times.

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The first of the Shadowhunter’s Class Engravings is called Perfect Suppression. As its name may imply, this Engraving removes the ability to use your Demon Form that would come from your Identity Meter. In doing so, your skills gain additional damage and charge the meter faster. This enables you to use skill upgrades, which make certain skills expend meter, but greatly increase their damage output.

The second Class Engraving is Demonic Impulse, which does the opposite of Perfect Suppression and allows you to enter your Demon Form more often while also making it stronger. It does this by removing the cooldown period the Shadowhunter has by default when exiting Demon Form. This allows you to immediately rebuild your meter and re-enter Demon Form. This also strengthened Demon form by boosting your Crit Rate in Demon Form as well as resetting your Demon Form Cooldowns as you enter Demon Form.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Fallen Ruin

“Soar into the air and shoot an energy beam across the ground dealing 495 Damage. The Laser Causes an explosion moments later, knocking enemies away and dealing 1390 Damage. This skill can only be used in Demonic Form.”

While this awakening deals heavy damage and can be used in Demonic Impulse builds, it cannot be used in Perfect Suppression builds as you’re unable to enter Demon Form. Outside of raw damage, this particular Awakening doesn’t offer much else to make it worthwhile.

Gate of Eruption

“Unleash Demonic powers to open the gates of the demon realm, scattering demonic energy across an area that deals 64 damage and inflicts Fear for 4 seconds. Dark energy periodically rises from the earth dealing 495 Damage. The energy explodes at the end of the skill, dealing 546 damage and knocking enemies away.”

This Awakening is available in both forms, making it incredibly versatile. It can also provide a huge amount of your Identity Meter, allowing you to make sooner use of either Class Engraving. The only downside to this skill is that if your target leaves the zone, it loses out on some of its damage. Despite that, it’s still very reliable and useful regardless of your build.

Gunners (Main Class)

Gunners offer a strong mix of close to long range gameplay. Using pistols, shotguns, snipers, a bow, and even some heavier weapons; the Gunner classes offer a lot of options for play styles.


“Artillerists believe in firepower and lots of it, blasting their enemies with some of the biggest guns under the sun. They may not be the most mobile fighters, but they make up for their lack of agility with huge mechanical launchers and other hard-hitting weapons, heavy armor, and incredible destructive force.

Class Engravings and Playstyles

Artillerists are Gunners mostly focused on mid-range damage, with a bit of long-range damage mixed in. They have a lot of hard-hitting skills but aren’t quite as burst-oriented as you may think. They’re also the least mobile of the Gunner classes, but make up for this with extra durability and plenty of AoE Damage.

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The First of the Artillerist’s Class Engravings, Firepower Enhancement, is their most commonly used one for both its offensive and defensive effects. This Engraving reduces incoming damage by up to 30%, while boosting your critical rate by up to 35%. This allows the Artillerist to deal consistent damage as it’s primary focus.

The second and rarely used Class Engraving, Barrage, focuses on your Identity Skill. This is less practical to take as your Identity Skill makes you entirely immobile. While this can deal a ton of burst damage, it’s far from ideal in most situations due to total immobility keeping you from moving. With most bosses being fairly mobile, it leaves little room for this to be all too effective.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Missile Barrage

“Fire 20 rockets in the sky. The missiles fly to the target location and explode, inflicting up to 45286 Damage”

Missile Barrage can deal higher damage compared to the Heavy Turret, however, it’s less consistent against highly mobile targets due to its delay. This, however, is offset by the amount of damage and Identity Meter it can build, making a solid option for PvE DPS.

Heavy Turret

“Summon a heavy turret that lasts for 20 seconds, inflicting 12486 and 49995 Damage with Satelite Guided missiles and laser shots.”

Heavy Turret is a more stable and consistent damage option, as it will target enemies for you. It can still struggle with mobile enemies, but to a much lesser degree than the delay of the other Awakening. This typically tends to be used more in PvP, but its consistency is still great for new Artillerists.


“With their flexible triple-wielding playstyle and brash attitude, you might mistakenly suppose that this rough-and-tumble rogue has a death wish. They do, but don’t worry—it’s just for their opponents. They can choose the most effective weapon from an arsenal that includes a double handgun, shotgun, and rifle.

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Deadeye has a mostly close playstyle, cycling between weapons to deal their damage. Many of their skills have low range, outside of the Rifle skills, of which there are few. Unlike a lot of other ranged classes, the Deadeye will play similarly to a melee class and have to rely on their positioning to deal Back Attacks.

If you’d like to learn more about the Deadeye, you can check out our Deadeye Class Guide for more information on recommended stats and Tripods.

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The first Class Engraving for Deadeye is Pistoleer, which puts the focus on your pistols and pistol skills, increasing their damage while locking the other weapons entirely. This narrows the skills used by the Deadeye significantly, making it a simpler playstyle for most. With the focus on Pistol skills, this playstyle is able to play at a bit farther range.

If you want to learn more about the Deadeye Pistoleer Build, we have a guide that covers this build in-depth.

The second Class Engraving, Enhanced Weapon, instead focuses on rotating through all the stances to maintain a buff for the highest damage output. While this is a more complex set of skills, it does have higher damage potential when played well. With the main focus being on Shotgun Skills here, this playstyle is much more close range and will play similarly to a melee. This makes it easier to transition to or from a melee class if desired, with less hassle as they handle similarly.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Clay Bombardment

“Throw multiple explosives around then burst-fire your handguns to deal 1889 damage in addition to the 33995 damage from the explosions, which also launch enemies into the air.”

This Awakening is the one you’d consider if the flashy animations are the only thing you care about. It lacks a bit of the utility and range that the other skill carries but can be great when used well. Despite the lessened stagger effect, this is a very flashy skill and deals fairly consistent damage, as its damage is dealt quicker.

Bursting Flare

“Summon a large-caliber rifle and shoot 3 times. the first two shots deals 5163 damage with direct hits and also end with a burst that deals 1960 damage. The last shot deals 6052 to enemies hit directly, while the final burst deals 35603 damage and knocks enemies away.”

Compared to Clay Bombardment, this Awakening carries a lot more stagger power and has higher potential damage if you land all three shots. The additional range makes it a safer option to use as well, whereas the other choice is more focused on staying purely in close range.


“With a gun for every occasion and the ability to switch between them quickly, gunslingers are deadly opponents at any range. Light on their feet thanks to their catlike reflexes, gunslingers are hard to pin down—and quick to unload a flurry of shots on any unwary foe.

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Gunslinger is the female equivalent of the Deadeye class, sharing similar skills and play styles with some differences. They have the same weapons they can cycle through as well as skills that are more unique to them. Similar to the Deadeye, they also typically want to play at close range to take advantage of Back Attack skills easier.

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The first Class Engraving for the Gunslinger is Peacemaker, which works similarly to Deadeye’s Enhanced Weapon, providing a buff when switching stances that encourages frequent switching. However, instead of just a single buff, each stance has a different buff making it stronger in different situations. Handguns gain Attack Speed, Shotguns gain Critical Rate, and Rifle gains Damage, with a further bonus against targets under 50% health. These do not stack and only apply that that weapon, swapping out when you change stance. This also has the highest potential for DPS, but can be harder to play to start.

The second Class Engraving is Time to Hunt, which locks you out of using your shotgun stance while buffing the other two stances. This leaves a bit more focus on ranged play, rather than being almost another melee class. You still will end up with some positional skills to worry about, keeping you behind your targets. With one less weapon to focus on, it leaves a simpler playstyle, just how Pistoleer does for Deadeye.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Eye of Twilight

“Turns back and marks the closest foe in range as a Duel Target. Duel Targets have their Move speed reduced by 80% and their Attack Speed Reduced by 40% for 3.5 seconds. After 2 seconds, draw and fire your revolver dealing 39306 damage, with mid-high Stagger and level 2 part Break to the Duel Target. Targets that are not the Duel Target take 14723 Damage.”

This skill is a stronger option and the highest damage option for the Gunslinger’s Awakening Skills. It marks a target, which takes increased damage, a strong Stagger, and Part Break. For a single target, it’s easily the better one to use if you have a window to use it. It can be difficult to use on more mobile targets.

High-Caliber HE Bullet

“Aims at a foe in front of you, firing a powerful explosive round while being pushed backwards. The explosive round deals 32791 Damage to initial target and enemies in a wide cone behind them.”

This tends to be a weaker hit but is great against more mobile targets since it has a shorter wind-up time compared to Eye of Twilight. It has a slight bit less utility as a single target skill, as it lacks the part Break potential of Eye of Twilight, but has more mobbing potential with its larger AoE. Despite that, it’s still a strong and consistent option for your Awakening Skill.


“Sharpshooters are ranged attackers who use mechanical bows with special arrows that have custom effects. Their high survivability and agility keep them in the fight for the long haul, and their stealthy machinations are excellent for exploiting enemy weaknesses.

Class Engravings and Playstyles

Sharpshooter use a mix of ranged and melee attacks to deal fairly high burst damage, while not being reliant on their positioning. The Sharp Shooter typically uses melee skills to charge their Identity Skill quicker, while their burst window typically comes after using their Awakening Skills. Unlike most classes, the Sharpshooter can and typically will use both of their Class Engravings, which leads to a single playstyle that is very burst-centric. However, they can be used independently for slightly more unique playstyles.

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Their first Class Engraving is called Death Strike. This Engraving debuffs an enemy after using the Identity Skill and recasting it to use the finisher attack. Doing so refills your Identity Meter by 50%, allowing you to refill the full meter faster. This heavily compliments the Sharpshooter’s burst potential as this is often followed by your hard-hitting range skills being the choice of follow-up.

The second Class Engraving is called Loyal Companion. This heavily boosts your Companion summoned by your Identity Skill, granting it bonus duration and damage, while also granting you Move Speed. This also allows your companion to apply a debuff to the target or targets it hits. By itself, it can allow for fairly consistent damage by keeping your Identity Skill active and emptying the meter before using the finisher skill again. Combined with Death Strike, it allows for more frequent application of its debuff.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Golden Eye

“Summon Golden hawks that fly around and create a devastating whirlwind that gradually grows stronger, inflicting up to 40143 Damage as it launches enemies into the air. Become Stealthed for 7 seconds with the creation of the whirlwind. Stealth is not broken receiving damage and can allow you to move past enemies unseen.”

This skill deals its damage with much less downtime compared to Fenrir’s Messenger. While it’s more of a melee-ranged Awakening, there’s still plenty of good timings to use this well. Between the lack of charge time and high damage, it’s overall a more consistent Awakening Skill. This consistency of this Awakening often makes it a go-to option.

Fenrir’s Messenger

“Overcharge this skill to summon a hulking Fenrir’s Messenger and inflict 12594 Damage over time. Releasing the skill early to summon a small Fenrir’s Messenger that deals 6717 Damage over time.”

While this is more of a ranged option, it often falls short. The Charge time makes it slower and harder to use as well as much less consistent compared to Golden Eye. While it can still have some uses, they’re fairly limited, especially in later content that requires faster timings.

Mages (Main Class)


“Virtuosos of the Liane harp, bards can evoke soothing serenades to heal their team—or unleash a chorus of pain on their unfortunate foes. Their attack power is rather low, but their ability to support allies makes them a harmonious part of any team.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Bard is one of only two support classes currently available. They focus less on dealing their own damage, instead opting to protect allies or buff them to boost their damage. Bards, as well as other supports, are highly valuable for party play and very sought after.

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The Bard’s first and primary Class Engraving is Desperate Salvation. This Engraving boosts your healing Identity Skill, Serenade of Salvation, giving it an extra heal at the end of its duration. This adds to Bard’s supportive capacity, which is often how they are played. When you’re playing support in any content, you will always want to take this.

The second and lesser-used Class Engraving is True Courage, which boosts your outgoing damage and Critical Rate. This is helpful to use when doing solo content, content you are over-geared for, or if for some crazy reason wanted to play as a DPS. Just keep in mind that most people see and expect a support Bard, and isn’t recommended for random groups.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.


“Rise into the air and play an ensemble with angels, shielding allies within 12m with a shield equal to 100% of your Max HP for 10 seconds. This skill also deals 7850 Damage to enemies, while reducing their Attack power by 30%, Attack Speed by 20%, and Move Speed by 40% for 10 seconds. Grants one bar of your Identity Meter.”

This is the go-to support Awakening. This ends up being an insanely powerful shield that when used well can easily turn an encounter around when used well. It’s often used to make certain boss mechanics more forgiving and manageable. Good usage of this will come down to knowledge of an encounter and is highly recommended to learn for Raids.


“Play the harp and sing with angels, inflicting up to 14053 Holy Damage. The explosion deals an additional 6025 damage and reduces the target’s Crit Resistance by 12% for 6 seconds.”

This is more preferred for solo content for the damage it provides. If you don’t need the shield for the content, you can usually take this. Harder content you will never want to take this unless you’re trying to be a DPS, which is not nearly as strong.


“The Sorceress wields powerful magic based on three elements with spells that can deal area damage. They can easily handle multiple enemies helping them dominate the battlefield.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Sorceress is your typical mage class, capable of extremely high burst or consistent DPS. They wield the powers of Fire, Ice and Lightning; all with plenty of single target and AoE options. The Sorceress is a strong DPS class that doesn’t require any specific positioning, as they don’t have any attacks that are positioning reliant beyond their Counter Skill. Though, unlike a lot of other classes, they have quite a few animation cancels, which can make them tricky to play.

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The first Class Engraving for the Sorceress is Ignition. This is your burst-centric Class Engraving, as it greatly enhances your Critical Chance and Critical Damage while using your Identity Skill, Voice of the Exarchs. Upon activation of your Identity Skill, you also reduce your cooldowns by 50% which means you generally only need a few opening skills to be ready prior to using it without losing any burst potential.

The second Class Engraving is called Reflux. This Engraving locks your out of using the Mana Release state, but increases your damage and reduces your skill cooldowns to make up for it. This is a DPS orientated build, that focuses less on one single burst and instead uses a flurry of spells to deal consistent damage. With Mana Release being unable to be used, you’re free to use your other Identity skill which greatly boosts your mobility and makes this a much more forgiving Sorceress build.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Natural Disaster

“Release lightning energy from the rod, dealing damage to enemies in the radius. Pull enemies towards the center of that radius dealing 3 ticks of damage before releasing a massive burst of energy.”

Due to its quick animation, reliable damage, and easy burst of Identity Meter gain this is the go-to choice for Awakenings for the Sorceress. It’s far from lacking range, and while it may not cover nearly as large of an area as Incinerate can, there’s less randomness and delay to the damage


“Release a burst of energy, dealing Damage and leaving a rune on the ground. Channel a spell before releasing it with another burst of energy. The channeled spell calls down meteors, dealing damage over a wide area, with a large meteor landing in the rune.”

This Awakening is powerful but equally useless in most cases. It has a really slow startup animation combined. While it has a high area of effect, this is offset by most of its damage not being focused on a single target and spread far too thin. Outside of the initial meteor, the rest fall randomly making it incredibly unreliable.

Martial Artists (Main Class)

Martial Artist are strong Melee DPS that heavily rely on positional attacks to deal their damage. Unlike most other Classes, they do not use Mana as a resource, instead of using varying energy meters that are directly affected by the chosen subclass.


“The Glaivier has two distinct skill sets, each one is represented by one of her weapons, the spear and the glaive. The best way to leverage her eloquent, yet deadly form of martial arts is to find the balance between her two stances.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Glaivier has two stances that each focus on a different weapon. While using the skills of either weapon, you charge your Identity meter called a Dual Meter. Depending on how far the Dual Meter is filled when swapping stances, you gain an increasingly powerful buff for the weapon you swap to. Regardless of which build you opt to play, you’re going to be a DPS class, and not that much of a Burst class.

If you’d like to learn more about the Glaivier, you can check out our Glaivier Class Guide for more information on recommended stats and Tripods.

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The first Class Engraving for the Glaivier is called Control. The Control Engraving removes your ability to use the Spear and its Focus Stance. This leads to a single weapon playstyle that sacrifices the ability to gain a buff by swapping stances in favor of an easier to learn style.

If you want to learn more about the Glaivier Control Build, we have a guide that covers this build in-depth.

The Second Class Engraving, called Pinnacle, empowers the buff you get when you swap stances with a full Dual Meter. This leads to a style that has you dealing DPS with both weapons, and comes with some added safety from the Focus Stance’s Dragonscale Defense skill, which can block any single attack.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Yeon-Style Spear Technique: Spear Meteor

“Perform an attack at the target location. Leap 4 meters backward while facing forward, focus energy onto your spear, and throw it at the target area. The spear strikes the ground to inflict 4024 Damage, then causes an explosion that inflicts 8052, 8052, 5237, 5237, 4833, 4833 Damage, knocking foes back with the last hit.”

This is similar to Soulfist’s World Decimation Awakening, as there is a lengthy wind-up prior to releasing the skill. Despite this, it is typically the more consistent option of the two for most foes, as it hits a wide area which makes it hard to miss.

Yeon-Style Spear Technique: Storming Red Dragon

“Focus your mind and thrust your spear in front of you to inflict 2107 Damage, then pull it back, inflicting 2107 Damage and pulling foes closer. Afterwards, swing your spear and inflict 3374 Damage 5 times, followed by a series of thrusts that inflict 2107 Damage 8 times. Move 8 meters past foes and deliver a finishing blow, inflicting 4222 Damage and knocking foes back.”

This is the best overall option for damage and stagger power, but is a holding skill that can make it hard to get all of your damage out unless the target is staggered or otherwise immobilized. However, being a Holding skill also means it can be canceled early if needed without losing out on too much damage or being completely locked in place for a set duration.


“Armed with a heavy gauntlet, scrappers draw on two inverse forms of attack energy that feed off each other to deliver nonstop destruction. With excellent attack, defense, mobility, and lasting power, they’re well balanced enough to throw enemies off their guard.

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Scrapper has two different types of skills and corresponding meters they need to juggle by using their skills to deal their damage. They have Stamina skills that consume a yellow meter that and generate energy for their Shock Meter, or their green meter; while Shock skills do the opposite, consume green to recharge yellow meter. Both meters slowly regenerate over time, but you Class Engravings make this generally easier by allowing you to focus on one set of skills or the other, without really sacrificing any DPS.

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The first Class Engraving is Ultimate Skill: Taijutsu. This puts heavy emphasis on your Stamina Skills, or your yellow skills. This Engraving increases your Stamina regeneration by up to 600%, while increasing Stamina Skill damage by up to 60%. This however comes at a cost of your Shock Skills dealing 30% less damage. This sets you up for consistent DPS, but overall will lack burst and AoE.

The second Class Engraving is Shock Training, which plays similar to the Scrapper without any Engravings. This Engraving grants you additional Shock Meter recovery, up to 4% of your max every second, while increasing your Shock Damage by up to 20%. This recovery is much slower compared to that of Taijutsu, so managing your meters remains important. Due to longer cooldowns in this build, you become more focused on burst damage

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Undefeated Dragon King

“Concentrate energy throughout your body and inflict 40928 damage while moving up to 13m. Two black dragons fly alongside you and obliterate everything in your path.”

This Awakening is the go-to option for when you need to clear groups of enemies quickly, or if the ability to travel to your target is necessary. It’s not quite as strong as the peak damage of the other Awakening, but can be more consistent as its damage doesn’t fall off.

Mysterious Art: Blast of Ruination

“Focus your mind and reinforce your gauntlets to deliver a powerful strike. This strike releases a shockwave that weakens every 2m it travels up to its limit of 14m. This shockwave deals 46554 Damage down to a minimum of 18623.”

While this Awakening can punish you heavily if you’re positioned improperly. When used well it has higher damage potential, but definitely requires good timing and positioning to reach that potential. It’s the best choice when single target damage is all you care about.


“The Soulfist switches between melee and ranged attacks, which can be used together for explosively powerful combos. They channel a special energy called Adamance, which they can imbue into abilities or use to sustain themselves through fights.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Soulfist manages a single resource meter that acts similar to mana, preventing skill use if you’re at zero. All of your attacks fill your Identity Meter, which has a maximum of three levels, with each level of charge granting a stronger and stronger buff to Attack Power, Attack Speed and Move Speed. Each stage of this must be increased manually as it is charged.

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The Soulfist’s first Class Engraving is called Robust Spirit. This Engraving focuses on pushing you to Level 3 Hype Mode, or the 3rd and final stage of your Identity Meter; immediately skipping the first two stages. This results in a burst build that involves building your meter, then entering into your Hype State to deal high burst damage. After this, you’ll need to recharge before re-entering this state.

The second Class Engraving is called Energy Overflow. This Engraving allows you constantly deal damage and focuses on keeping your Energy meter under 30% to get the most damage. It also makes it so you cannot go below 1 Energy, meaning you can consistently cast your abilities as they are ready. This results in a setup that deals consistent damage, but lacks burst overall.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Annhilating Ray

“Gather and shoot an energy ray forward. Hold the skill key to hit up to 5 times, dealing 10517 over 1.5 seconds. Afterwards, a comrade’s soul appears to lend you energy and blast that deals damage up to 6 times over 1.2 seconds for an additional 15800 damage. If you do not max out the meter, the second part goes off instantly when the skill ends.”

This is very much a strong ranged option, as well as a pure dps option. While it’s not as bursty as the other Awakening, it’s still great in builds that use Energy Overflow for the consistent damage it provides. This Awaken is also good if you struggle with the World Decimation’s delay, which can often result in missed damage and burst very easily.

World Decimation

“Raise your hands above your head and concentrate energy for 3 seconds, then drop it on the target area inflicting 36890 damage to enemies in the blast.”

This Awakening has an absurdly long delay but is one of, if not THE hardest-hitting skill in the game. Using this skill well will rely on knowing when is the best time to use it. Due to the long delay, it can be unreliable if you’re not familiar with the mechanics of a boss and cause frequent misses. It goes without saying that this is your strongest burst option, if it lands. This is why this is often used in Robust Spirit Builds.


“Striker is a martial arts class that attacks enemies like a strong wind. Since he is equipped with a variety of physical skills with fast movement, he displays splendid aerial combos after hitting enemies quickly, and uses powerful elemental skills to turn the battle.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Striker revolves around building your Identity Meter to be able to unleash powerful Esoteric Skills. Unlike the previous Martial Artists, the Strike utilizes Mana as a resource. Depending on your choice of Class Engravings, these Esoteric Skills either hit hard or can be used often. Either way, you still want to build this meter quickly using your non-Esoteric Skills.

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The first of the Striker’s Class Engravings is called Deathblow. Deathblow increases your Identity meter to have an additional Elemental Orb. In exchange, using an Esoteric Skill will consume all of your Elemental orbs and increase the damage by up to 35% per Orb consumed. This creates a burst-heavy playstyle built on making each of your Esoteric skills hit like a truck.

The second Class Engraving is called Esoteric Flurry. This Engraving makes it so your Esoteric Skills only consume a single orb, allowing you to use them much more often. While this doesn’t provide any damage boosts, it provides much more consistent damage output. This ends up as a strong and consistent DPS build, that’s great at staggering enemies and bosses.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Ultimate Skill: Explosive Heat Awakening

“Advance forward and strike 4 times with explosive attacks that deal 12407, 6204, 6204, and 16539 Damage. If the first hit misses, the followup attacks will not occur”

Explosive Heat Awakening is a longer animation, but also comes with higher Stagger potential as it hits twice as many times as the other Awakening and has higher stagger power on it. This ends up being the more versatile option overall, even with a longer animation.

Ultimate Skill: True Heavenly Awakening

“Gather powerful energy in your legs and draw a wide trajectory before kicking 2 times to inflict 7581 and 30307 damage and knock enemies airborne.”

True Heavenly Awakening is a quicker animation but loses a bit of stagger power in exchange for a knock-up. Despite the fewer hits, there’s very little difference in the damage output between these two awakenings. This makes them both choices of comfort unless you really need the stagger from Explosive Heat Awakening.


“Not merely masters of martial arts, Wardancers augment their lightning-quick fighting skills with elemental power. They can store up elemental energy to unleash in devastating attacks and gravity-defying maneuvers.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

Wardancers are the female equivalent of Strikers, using the same Elemental Orbs and Esoteric Skills. Similarly they also use Mana, unlike the Soulfist and Scrapper’s unique resources. However, they have a unique Class Engraving which creates an entirely different playstyle that doesn’t focus on the Identity Meter at all.

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The first of these Class Engravings is called Esoteric Skill Enhancement. This works exactly like Striker’s Deathblow Engraving. This increases your Elemental Orb Capacity by 1 while increasing your Esoteric Skill damage higher for each orb consumed. Unfortunately for the Wardancer, this bonus is much lower, only going to a max of 12% per orb. With the bonus being lower, this still ends up as a consistent DPS build, not quite matching the burst of a Deathblow Striker.

The second Class Engraving is called First Intention. This Class Engraving disables your Elemental Orbs, and therefore your Esoteric Skills. In return, your non-esoterics skills gain bonus damage. This actually results in a bursty build that’s focused on your main skills in rapid succession.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Ultimate Skill: Flash Rage Blow

“Crouch, then dash 6m forward in a line. Holding the Skill key deals strikes that deal up to 28408 damage, followed by a shockwave that deals an additional 15508 while knocking enemies back. If the skill is not fully charged, the shockwave instead deals 11015 damage instead.”

With the Wardancer being more heavily focused on consistent damage even with their more burst-heavy build, this being a charge skill really doesn’t synergize with the Wardancer all too well. Even though it has higher damage and higher stagger power, it lacks the strong utility that comes with the other skill and is often too unreliable. It has some use in PvP, but is very limited.

Ultimate Skill: Fist of Dominance

“Use the power of elementals and release an energy field, pulling foes close. Fly past enemies and attack up to 6 times while absorbing elemental forces dealing up to 21664 damage. After the last attack, strike in the center of the field dealing 14448 damage and knocking enemies back. Incoming damage is reduced by 80% during this skill.”

While this skill doesn’t deal as much damage as the other, there are two things here that make it incredibly powerful: Instant-Cast and Damage reduction. That Damage reduction is huge and can allow you to deal damage during times where it may not usually be possible.

Warriors (Main Class)


“Berserkers are always powerful warriors, with their high-damage greatsword attacks and potent defense, but when they enter their burst mode, they’re all but unstoppable. In this heightened state, they gain increased attack and movement speed and unlock a special skill that delivers a world of hurt to their enemies.

Class Engravings and Playstyles

Berserkers play around their Identity Meter aiming to go into their Burst Mode and deal heavy damage while it’s active. Both of the Berserker’s Class Engraving manipulate this Burst Mode, enabling strong burst or consistent damage. By default, this Burst Mode is also followed by a debuff that prevents you from rebuilding the meter immediately.

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (14)

The Berserker’s first Class Engraving is called Berserker’s Technique. This Engraving removes the debuff when Burst Mode ends, allowing them to begin rebuilding their Identity Meter immediately. It also provides bonus Critical Damage while in burst Mode, providing even more burst. This leads to an incredibly strong burst play style that can be very satisfying if you enjoy large numbers.

The second Class Engraving is called Mayhem. This Engraving makes Burst Mode a toggle, which has some benefits, but also some drawbacks to it. This reduces your maximum health to 25% of its original value and provides a bonus of 65% Damage to compensate for the reduced health. In addition, Burst Mode loses its bonus Critical Rate and a bit of its Attack and Move Speed. However, this is a toggle which means you will stay in this state permanently. This is a risk vs reward setup that provides consistent damage, though the damage reduction makes it quite safe and beginner-friendly.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Chain of Vengeance

“Release chains of energy to inflict 802 damage, then pulls in foes hit dealing 8820 damage. Releases a massive blast that deals 30450 damage and knocks foes away.”

This Awakening works best in the burst-heavy Berserker’s Technique build. Since its damage happens quickly and doesn’t require a charge, it’s easier to use in general. However, due to the shorter range, it often makes it riskier to try and position for while running Mayhem.

Berserk Fury

“Infuse your greatsword with power to create Berserk Fury and deliver a powerful strike. The Damage and range of this skill increase the more you charge it; dealing 18600 when not fully charged, 27895 damage with a full charge, and 37199 plus an additional 9295 damage when overcharged.

While this skill is slower, it can deal more damage and from a farther range if needed. The Charge mechanic makes it awful to use with a Berserker’s Technique build but fits right as home with a Mayhem build. Since the Mayhem build often lacks raw damage, the extra damage this provides gives it a really good synergy.


“The Destroyer is a formidable character, with their ability to control gravity they are a great asset to any group. Part of a team or solo – their solid foundation makes them able to withstand a barrage of attacks, handle crowd control, and wield their deadly hammer inflicting damage.”

Class Engravings and Playstyle

The Destroyer is all about raw power, high stagger, and smacking your foes in the face with your massive hammer. In the process of dealing their heavy damage and stagger, they also get shields, allowing them to more effectively trade blows with most enemies. While not as beginner-friendly as the Gunlancer, they are quite durable and are a great asset to any team.

If you’d like to learn more about the Destroyer, you can check out our Destroyer Class Guide for information on recommended Stats and Tripods.

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The first of the Destroyer’s Engravings is called Gravity Training. This Engraving wants you to quickly build up your Gravity Meter, and highly favors burst damage over sustained damage. It greatly enhances your Hypergravity state allowing for very high damage potential when used well.

The Destroyer’s second engraving is called Rage Hammer. This Engraving is all about quickly gaining 3 Gravity Orbs to expend them and empower your skills with extra Crit Chance and Crit Damage. This playstyle ends up being a more consistent option for DPS, but there’s still no shortage of big numbers here.

If you want to learn more about the Destroyer Rage Hammer Build, we have a guide that covers this build in-depth.


“As the first line of defense, gunlancers take the brunt of enemy attacks with their defensive stance and battlefield shield to keep the rest of their party safe. While their gun lance is a formidable weapon, their true value derives from their ability to protect allies and absorb damage like a sponge.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Gunlancer is very durable, and could be considered a tank by the standard MMO Holy Trinity of DPS/Support/Tank; but Lost Ark doesn’t really follow that. While durable the Gunlancer can deal some serious damage while still easily shrugging off attacks. This makes it very good for new players or players that may struggle with mechanics that requires reflex actions.

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (16)

The first of the Gunlancer’s Class Engravings is called Combat Readiness, or “Blue Build Gunlancer”. Combat Readiness increases the damage of your normal skills, boosts the shield of Defensive Stance, and increases your damage when struck in Defensive Stance. This allows you to deal decent damage while also being highly durable. While not a high damage build, it doesn’t really need to dodge most attacks as they can shrug off all but the hardest hits.

The second Class Engraving is called Solo Knight, or “Red Build Gunlancer”. Solo Knight boosts your Critical Rate and Critical Damage. As a trade-off, Battlefield Shield is disabled and your Shield Meter is drained at twice the normal rate in Defensive Stance. The build around this Engraving is very bursty and position reliant while being less durable. Due to need for positioning, this ends up being the harder-to-play version of the Gunlancer.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Guardian’s Protection

“Upon using this skill, recover 100% of your Shield Meter and release a 10m protection aura that lasts for 10 seconds. Enemies in the aura take 14181 Damage and become stunned for 4 seconds. Party members in the aura take 40% less damage and are immune to pushes and debuffs.”

This Awakening doesn’t really deal much damage, but the damage reduction, push immunity, and debuff immunity can be huge if used properly. This also recovers your Identity Meter, which can be used to help you shrug off attacks, or increase your damage potential. This meter refill makes it a really versatile skill to use. Both are used equally, it just depends on the party which one works better.

Lance of Judgement

“Summon a gigantic Spear of light at a target location dealing 24939 damage and launching foes into the air. Creates an aura that increases crit rate by 10% to allies within 5m for 10 seconds.”

Lance of Judgement is all about the damage and making your allies deal more damage as well. It does more initial damage but provides a smaller aura that helps increase damage output. It’s a bit of a trade-off though as it takes away a defensive tool from the party as well as an instant Identity Meter refill, for what is often a small gain. Again which one you use, depends highly on what the party can benefit from more.


“Paladins have a direct line to the powers of the gods, channeling their ancient might into potent offensive and defensive moves alike: They can use holy skills and buffs with the holy book to support their team from behind, or wield a sword and bring punishing skills to bear on the frontline.”

Class Engravings and Playstyles

The Paladin is the other Support class of the lost Ark roster. They’re much easier to manage than the Bard, as most of their support is in the form of large auras that doesn’t require high knowledge of a boss or its mechanics. Much like Bards, as a Support, they’re a staple of every party for the healing and damage boosts they can provide.

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (17)

The first of the Paladin’s Class Engravings is called Blessed Aura. This Engraving boosts Holy Aura, their Supportive Identity Skill, healing allies for 2% max HP every couple seconds while providing them damage reduction alongside its initial benefits. This is the go-to engraving, for making your most common Identity skill even stronger.

The second Class Engraving is called Judgement. This increases the damage of the Paladin’s more offensive skills while doubling the Meter gain and the duration of Sacred Executioner, their offensive Aura. This is typically only used in solo content, or when trying to play the highly recommended against DPS Paladin. Blessed Aura is significantly better for party play, thanks to the additional bonuses it provides.

Awakening Skills

Awakenings are the iconic skills of any subclass in the game. Every class has two of them, and both can often be situationally good. However, only one of these can be active at any time.

Alithane’s Judgement

“Jump up an unleash a holy light that shines towards your target location, dealing 20220 damage to surrounding foes, while providing a 24% max HP shield to allies for 10 seconds.”

As a support, you will always take this Awakening. There’s no reason as a Support class to ever take the other Awakening. It still deals fairly decent damage while still providing the utility of a shield which can make many encounters easier.

Alithane’s Light

“Embue holy energy into your sword and unleash it forward. This deals 12917 as it hits, then explodes for an additional 30135 damage.”

You’ll only ever use this in solo content, or when trying to be a DPS Paladin. As support sacrificing utility for extra burst is only going to hurt you more than it will help you. However, in the situations where you’re by yourself, the extra damage does help a fair bit for clearing content. It’s still not necessary as the shield can help just as much with tougher fights and just keep you safer.

You can learn everything you need to know about Engravings in Lost Ark. Our dedicated guide breaks down this system and explains how it works, what you should look for and how to use it.

Next up you can learn the Tripods system in Lost Ark is and how it works. Also explore our Advanced Combat in Lost Ark guide. Don’t let the word “advanced” confuse you, these are both Beginner Guides! We have a number of those and that number continues to grow in time.

Here at VULKK.com we’re building a collection of useful Lost Ark Guides, with more and more are being published regularly. We also have all of the news and updates covered to keep you up-to-date with all things Lost Ark.

If you are wondering what to check out next, I’d suggest the Progression Guide for Lost Ark. It contains information to help you get from start all the way to EndGame.

Lost Ark Beginner Guides Collection

A collection of must-read Beginner Friendly guides for the MMOARPG Lost Ark. Learn the basics of the game, how to level up quicker and easier, how combat works, which perks to get first, what to do and not do as a new player in Arkesia!

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (18)

Lost Ark Progression Guide: From Level 10 to Tier 3 EndGame

This guide focuses on getting you to the Tier 3 Content in Lost Ark quickly from a fresh start, to give you the best start possible!

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (19)

How to use Advanced Combat Mechanics in Lost Ark

In addition to varied functionality, many skills in Lost Ark also carry additional effects with them. This guide breaks down those effects!

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (20)

Lost Ark Tripods System Explained

Tripods are an important part of Lost Ark's combat, letting you finely tune your abilities. This guide explains the basics, allowing for more effective skill tuning!

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (21)

Lost Ark Tips and Tricks: The DOs and DONTs for Beginners

New to Lost Ark? Looking for helpful information to help you with progression and learn game features fast? This is the guide for you!

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (22)

Lost Ark Settings and UI Guide: What Should You Change

Like in many MMOs, the Lost Ark settings and number of UI-related options are plentiful. Learn how to tweak them to get an edge while playing

Lost Ark Classes and Roles: a Beginner's Guide (23)

Lost Ark Gear Honing and Gear Transfer Guide: how it works

Most of Lost Ark’s endgame progression comes from upgrading your gear. This guide teaches you the basics and why it’s important!


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