Last Epoch Ward and Ward Retention stats
Image via Eleventh Hour Games

What is Ward in Last Epoch?

You're going to want to get some Ward on your character soon.

If you’re new to Last Epoch since the 1.0 full release a few weeks ago, you’re not alone. Many players have picked up the ARPG and love it, but a few things are a bit confusing to understand. One of the most prominent character stats in the game is called Ward. It shows up in Affixes on gear, passive abilities, and idols, and can be extremely useful. But you should know what it is to truly optimize your character’s build.

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Ward is a temporary shield

In Last Epoch, Ward is a character stat that provides a temporary shield. It protects your health from incoming damage. In other words, it takes the initial hits your character faces before allowing enemies to damage your actual health pool. Furthermore, it’s a very useful stat for survivability, especially as you get higher in level and face tougher enemies. By default, a player has no Ward, so every last bit of it needs to come from somewhere.

Ward also has its own stat, Ward Decay, which makes it deplete over time. One of the best comparisons I have that many people recognize is an Overshield from the Halo franchise. If you’re not in battle and gaining Ward, your Ward will slowly disappear until it’s gone. However, you’re not going to just let that happen.

Ward Retention and regeneration

Ward Retention stat in Last Epoch character sheet
Screenshot from Destructoid

Ward Decay is a Last Epoch player’s worst enemy. Your precious shield will disappear, leaving your health vulnerable to everything the world has to throw at it, pretty quickly. Additionally, your Ward will decay at a higher rate based on the more Ward you have. That’s why if you stack a ton of Ward on your build, you’ll need to stack Ward Retention to go along with it.

Ward Retention is a separate character stat, found on gear, passives, and idols that slows the rate of Ward Decay. To be more specific, your character’s Ward, Ward Decay, and Ward Retention use the following formula:

Ward Decay = 0.4*Current Ward / 1 + 0.5*Ward Retention

To put it a little more easy to understand, if your Ward Retention is 200%, your Ward will last twice as long. Without any Ward Retention at all, half of the character’s Ward will deplete every 1.73 seconds. Items can also provide the player with Ward regeneration, which passively increases the base level. For example, the base, or resting, Ward level will be higher than zero when you’re not taking damage.

If you’re getting into the endgame, or even just over level 50, in Last Epoch, Ward could be your best friend. Adding this stat and retaining it can be the difference between life or death. Additionally, many players have reported builds with absurd amount of retained Ward being completely overpowered. It’s the best way to be a true tank in the game right now.


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Author
Tim Harding
Tim has been playing games for over 25 years and tries to play as many as possible to completion. From FPS games, survival horror, RPGs, and platformers to soulslikes, he likes to dabble in everything. He's also played every Call of Duty title since Call of Duty 2 came out in 2005. His favorite games of all time include Banjo-Kazooie, Gun Star Heroes, Bioshock, God of War Ragnarok, and far too many more to choose.