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Wo Long builds explained: How to craft great character builds

Wo Long is actually one of the most accessible action RPGs when it comes to build crafting and experimentation, but it's not always explained well.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty may look like it has a bit of an unusual setup when it comes to build crafting, point distribution, stats, and affinities but it’s actually fairly straightforward once you get past the convoluted way it’s presented.

As with any traditional RPG, you earn experience in Wo Long by defeating enemies. Here, that's called Genuine Qi, and it’s what you'll be spending to gain new levels the game. Genuine Qi can also be obtained through certain items that contain varying amounts of it.

You’ll come across those as you explore (and you really should explore), but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before in other Souls-likes.

Wo Long is not that hard, James.

Where should you invest your points in Wo Long?

The standard stat groups are referred to in-game as the five Phases, representing each of the five elements from Chinese myths: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each Virtue has its counters among the rest, as you’d expect.

But it also helps to look at them as just fancy names for what would have previously been labelled strength, stamina, and so on. Indeed, the level up menu already shows every individual stat affected by each of the different Phases, so there’s no mistaking what’s what.

By investing a point into any of the Virtues, you’ll see the affected stats highlighted with the same colour. You can do this without confirming your decision, just to see the potential gains you could be having.

The same screen even takes into consideration your equipped weapons, and it will show how much more damage you stand to gain from investing into the different Phases.

Invariably, you’re going to have a main stat where most points reside, maybe a secondary stat, and a few points spread across the rest. This is why it helps to have a look at the low-level Wizardry spells to see if there’s something you can get just by investing three or four points there.

Familiarise yourself with this screen.

How to create a build in Wo Long

Broadly speaking, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind when crafting a build in Wo Long, because the way you play the game will impact where you spend those points every level up the most. If you like to carry heavy, slow weapons, you’re likely to gravitate towards heavier armour. That, in turn, means you’ll be dumping a lot of points into Earth, which raises your equip load limit.

Different types of weapons in Wo Long scale with different elements, too, so invest in stats which synergize with your preferred pointy object of choice.

Wizardry is effectively Wo Long’s version of magic, and it’s the other major element that will steer your build one direction or another. That is simply because there are five elemental trees corresponding to the five Phases.

While you may be able to purchase all skills on those trees, many of them will be unusable until you reach a certain level in that Phase/Virtue. In other words, if you like fire-based spells, many of your points will be going straight into that Phase.

The same is also true for the effectiveness of each spell. Even starting spells will deal more and more damage the more invested in that Phase you are. This is fairly easy to test, as you’ll be able to see the damage dealt on enemies.

It’s important to figure out what kind of playstyle you’re working towards, and the sort of element you feel will complement it. The good news is that there’s no limit to the number of times you can try to craft a build.

Wo Long allows you to re-spec all your investments an unlimited number of times, without any penalty or the need for a special item. The ability to re-spec opens up shortly after you reach the hub area (Hidden Village), which happens in the first two-ish hours of the game.

Weapon scaling matters, but it's best not to worry about it until New Game+.

The five Phases of Wo Long, explained

Before you dig too deep into builds and point allocation, you need to first understand what each of the five Phases represents, the stats they affect the most, and the playstyle each of them is designed to support.

Wood is made for players who like to have the largest amount of HP. It’s the single most effective Phase for boosting your health. It’s also responsible for boosting Spirit Defence - making it harder for enemy attacks to fill up your Spirit Gauge and wind you. Think of Wood as a survivalist path.

Fire is sort of the Dexterity of this game. It’s designed for aggressive players who want to make the most of their raw weapon damage, as well as the power of the Weapon Skills (Martial Arts). Fire also brings a hefty boost to your Spirit Gain, which means you get to use your Martial Arts more often, so it all feeds into itself.

By contrast, Earth is a more defensive-minded Phase. It’s the one responsible for equipment load, so defensive/patient players who like to put on heavy armour or wield slow weapons should spec into it. Likewise, Earth rewards players who deflect with a solid Spirit Gain rate upon successful deflection, another thing that feeds right back into this style of play.

Metal is very focused on Wizardry, and debuffs. Speccing in Metal means your Wizardry Spells will cost less to cast, and your Spirit Gauge will hold onto any accrued blue/positive juice much longer. The debuff angle is thanks to poison being the element of choice under the Metal tree.

Water is quite unique among the Virtues, because it’s mainly designed for players who like to hang back, rely on ranged weapons, and be as stealthy as possible in close-quarters combat. Being harder to detect means you’ll land many more critical strikes and backstabs on enemies. But you may not even need to get close, because the power of your bows and crossbows will trump any of the other Virtues.

Always roll with the homies.

Companions/followers can kickstart your build crafting adventure

In an effort to make the game more accessible, Wo Long introduces the Reinforcements system, which allows you to hire up to two NPCs to accompany you all the way to the boss, and help you fight it as well. Most missions actually start with one already following you, but while the benefits of having an ally in combat are obvious, there’s another layer to this that feeds right into build crafting.

See, each follower has a certain bond level, which grows the more enemies you kill together. When that reaches ten, the maximum Oath level, you’ll be rewarded with their full gear set and weapon.

As you can tell, they’re each aligned with a certain Virtue/element, and you better believe their gear is made to complement said Phase. If you stick with the same follower(s), you can get their sets pretty quickly. Cups of Cordiality also boost their XP gain, so offer them to the followers you want their gear the most. All of their individual pieces/affinities etc. can be seen on the same page. You can think of this as Wo Long’s way of teaching you how to build craft.

Battle Sets

Considering the ease with which you can re-do your whole build in Wo Long, the Battle Sets feature creates a more practical use for that freedom. A Battle Set is essentially a loadout, but what’s stored is more than just your equipped gear and weapons.

In fact, all your stat investments, and your chosen Wizardry Spells are also saved. In other words, you can have an Earth build ready to go, with your chosen gear and weapons, and switch to it at any Battle Flag. There are more slots than Phases, meaning there’s plenty of room for builds that don’t cater to a certain Phase, experimental builds and the like.

You can easily swap between Battle Sets (as well as save/rename/overwrite) from the Battle Preparation option at Battle Flags.

For even more crucial, and helpful tips, we have plenty of those at the link.

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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

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Sherif Saed


Sherif (he/him) is VG247’s go-to shooter and Souls-likes person. Whether it’s news, reviews, or op-eds – Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He's one of VG247's most veteran writers, with 10+ years experience on the site.