Eagle Eye’s Hunter Ranger True Archery Build(PVE) MOD 14
I run an archery and a combat build. after seeing these so-called “archery” builds. that clearly don’t work, i decided to put in my build that does work and brings out the full potential of this path. you think archery is outdated and inferior? use my build and you will see that archery is not dead or terrible. people have it wrong on how to truly use it. My build never failed me, so in turn you won’t fail 🙂
If you wish to add me ingame via pc my handle is: @time2011
Paragon Path: Stormwarden or Pathfinder?
Stormwarden is overall the best paragon you can take for both an archery build and a combat build. I can’t speak for trapper because that varies but for archery, Stormwarden is king in all situations.
- with stormwarden you have access to an encounter called split the sky which does incredible aoe and ticks more often if allies are being hit including yourself,
- then there’s the melee form called throw caution which if maxed out gives you 15% buff to your dmg but makes you15% more vulnerable to attacks. contrary to the power the buff is worthwhile if you can self-heal on a dime and are cautious to avoid being hit while under this buff.
- even in a single target situation like boss fights, split the sky is still viable as it will still do a great amount of dps and you can bring out throw caution because since you’re always up close you can maintain the 15% dmg buff
Primary Stat Focus: Power, crit, armor pen(at least 50-65% before bondings activating), Lifesteal, deflection, and health points.
Power: more damage you dish out
Critical Chance: not much needed to say here. the more often you crit the better the results. and with this build maintaining constant crit means a perm. power/crit severity boost.
Armor Pen: you need to be able to ignore all the resist because in places like FBI/MSP/TONG/CR and etc. if you can’t ignore their defense your basically just tickling them. (currently, you need at least 85% defenses ignored*armor penetration%* but with the next mod this could be subject to change) *For castle Ravenloft you need 100% armor ignored for the final boss but overall 85% is enough for all content.*
Lifesteal: you need at least a 20% chance no more than that, self-healing is ideal for all classes, that means less work on the support so they can focus on buffing the group. (join a guild that has the lifesteal boon helps a bunch)
Deflection: you don’t need a whole lot but around 15% is enough coupled with an aspect of a lone wolf. our defense isn’t exactly great so being able to deflect some damage is a nice plus.
Health Points: you will get hit and often since the DPS will pool aggro, the more hp you have the better you can survive both solo and in dungeons. But it doesn’t mean you cannot die. it also factors into the paladin’s feature Aura of courage which scales to player hp towards its damage.
Recovery: it is not crucial but you should have a fair amount, 30-40% recharge speed is enough. you want to knock out your powers as quickly as you can and some ap gain to recover your meter back to full.
Regeneration: it is a useless stat but i’d say 1.5k regen is fine, you can get regen from campaign boons(but don’t take it if increases a critical stat or bonus damage). helps to have outside healing so you don’t need to carry around potions.
Primary Secondary Stat: Combat advantage
Combat Advantage: since the changes it proc’s more often and with the power aspect of the pack feature which basically gives you permanent CA so long as you are near an ally(pets count as an ally except for augment pets) is perfect. you want as much dmg bonus you can get so you want this as high as you can get it.
But how can i tell if i have combat advantage?
it is very easy to tell. if you see a sword icon next to the damage numbers you are doing, that tells you currently have combat advantage(with aspect of the pack you basically always have as long as an ally is with 25′ of you when maxed out)
Race: Wood Elf is ideal for the crit and deflects chance but you can go with a dragon born for the extra power or damage it gives. you could go half-orc for crit sev boost but it isn’t necessary with the actual explanation.
Why isn’t distance important as an archery? isn’t it about fighting a far?
you’d think that’s the case but it really isn’t. I play this build just like I do with combat and I do more damage this way.
- I get all the buffs the clerics/op’s give for being in close range
- I’m careful during combat
- I analyze dungeons and anticipate the monster’s reaction
when you read how I run my hr, you won’t play a far again.
Primary rolls: WIS and DEX.
as a ranger, you build up armor pen pretty easily so having str is pointless. the more damage buff the better as well as crit chance.
Mount insigs & Bonus: you want all dominance and skill insigs preferably epic but the blues are still just as good just slightly less in stats
power and crit but the dominance grants companion influence if I’m not mistaken and this grants them more stats(i can be wrong or close to it at least) skill grants you more critical strike chance.
the bonus mount insigs you want:
cavalry’s warning: when activating a combat power you gain 10% of power/crit/armor pen/deflect/defense/lifesteal/regeneration based on 10% of your power), getting a legendary power takes time but if you get one you def want this.
protector’s camaraderie: pet grants 3% of your power and defense to you when they attack and this stacks 4times) again a power boost you want.
Wanderer’s fortune: you have a 4% chance to have a refinement item to land in your bag. very helpful for getting refinement to convert into points.
Combatants Maneuver: whenever you control an enemy(s) you increase your combat advantage damage by 5%. (since split the sky causes a slow effect that counts as a control power).
Assassins Covenant: you lose 10% of your lifesteal, deflection, defense. but you gain what you lost as 10% more power
this last one is optional but I personally run gladiators guile for the extra movement speed buff.
- Weapon mastery- 3/3 (self-explanatory)
- Toughness- 3/3 (more hp more survivability)
- Agile Combatant- 3/3 (damage buff for swapping stances? yeah baby)
- Battlewise- 1/3 (only just to advance to next tier)
- Endless Assault- 3/3 (primary DPS comes from encounters)
- Lucky Skirmisher- 2/3
- Scoundrel Training- 2/3 (most times mobs don’t target you especially with a tank holding aggro, plus buff to at-wills is a must)
- Disciple of Dexterity- 3/3 (damage boost? yes please)
First Stage: this is for when you first start out and are working your hunter ranger. but when you reach the requirements for the second stage that is when your DPS really takes off 🙂
Paragon Feats: Archery
- Keen Eye- helps with cranking out your ap since all ranged powers gain 5% more ap.
- Longshot- your critical hits deal 25% of your weapon damage as piercing damage(damage that ignores defenses and cannot be deflected or dodged) your encounters gain this benefit for double the amount and your dailies gain this benefit for triple the amount. it might seem little but it does a lot more than it appears.
- unflinching aim- again more dps for ranged powers and aimed shot reduces the cooldown of your encounters by 1sec per shot. pretty much spam this to make them come off cooldown faster.
- rising focus- your critical hits give you 5% more power and critical severity and this stacks 3 times and stays this way till the target dies or if you stop dealing critical damage(which is never lol)
- Bottomless quiver- 30% shorter cooldowns on ranged powers.
- broadhead arrows- 5% crit chance for being in ranged stance(when you change maps or instances you have to switch from melee to range to gain the 5% crit its bit of a glitch but easy to fix.
- now unless your crit is very low take stillness of the forest but it won’t do you much good with my build and with crit being a must to cap out first practically eh. but an another can be taken from hasty retreat to give more movement speed.
- predator- bread and butter the paragon as your range powers deal more dps but to one target until it expires or it dies.
Second Stage: At this stage is when your critical chance is above 80% and you can knock out your powers quick enough.
(this will not work if you do not meet the requirements for this stage of the build.)
*to reach the full potential of an archer ranger. the following feats you will no longer take from archery are as follows: broadhead arrows, bottomless quiver, the stillness of the forest, ghostwalker, hasty retreat.*
- Keen Eye- some action point gain helps so you can get your seismic shot quicker(don’t stress too much on filling faster its just an added bonus)
- Longshot- your critical hits deal 25% of your weapon damage as piercing damage(damage that ignores defenses and cannot be deflected or dodged) your encounters gain this benefit for double the amount and your dailies gain this benefit for triple the amount. it might seem little but it does alot more than it appears.
- unflinching aim- again more dps for ranged powers and aimed shot reduces the cooldown of your encounters by 1sec per use. pretty much spam this to make them come off cooldown faster.
- rising focus- your critical hits give you 5% more power and critical severity and this stacks 3 times and stays this way till the target dies or if you stop crittin(which is never lol)
- Stormcaller’s arrow- 5sec longer duration on split the sky(most of our dps comes out of this power so having it last longer is very nice plus you get the additional five seconds of cloud time while knocking out your powers before you re applying it.)
- predator- bread and butter the paragon as your range powers deal more dps but to one target until it expires or it dies.
Paragon Feats: Combat
- Bloodletting- it was either this or serpent weave. you gain 5% more lifesteal chance while in melee stance
- Wardens Courage- increase the damage bonus and reduce the damage resistance penalty by 5%. basically, this means throw caution is now after max rank 20% more dmg and the penalty you normal suffer is 10% down from 15% defenses reduced.
- Skirmishers gambit- this reduces your critical chance by 10% but increases your critical severity by 50%. this is the equivalent of having a perfect vorpal weapon enchantment. with this, your options can be wider than sticking to crit sev enchants
- Fire, earth, air archons(active bonus)
- siege master/owlbear cub(optional)—–> the reason for the cub is if your crit is at least 85%-90%(100% crit rate isn’t something you have to have, IF you want to run owlbear cub or can afford to get it, 85-90% crit rate is plenty.) because having the off chance you don’t crit with your encounters deal 50% of your power to the target(s).
- *Chultan Tiger*/Con artist/sellsword/rebel mercenary-summoned pets(these pets defense-shredding/damage from outside sources stack with other pets of the same type.)
Mount Equip Power: Arcane Whirlwind or black ice warhorse for the 4000 power or if your crit is low go for 4000 or 2000k crit chance. if you can’t afford at the time. a mount that gives you a split power/armor pen or crit armor pen or a mount that gives 2k power/pen is still good as well.
Mount Combat Power: Tensers disk would be ideal if you can get ahold of it as it boosts ur attack dmg and raises your dex by +2. the new swarm mount is perfect since the age of mod 14.
Artifact Weapon Set: as a starter the new vistani set you get for starting barovia map(talk to king neverember to get the intro quest), end game you want tyrant set or primal set from seal of brave shop.
Artifact class feature Offhand: you want the one that grants 8% bonus damage for the aspect of the pack as it will never leave your tray. or the extra 2% damage on twin blade storm. personally, I prefer aspect of the pack as it gives combat advantage buff immediately and if you have around 1.3k combat advantage that’s about 8-18%( if you have under dark boon for 10% extra ca) damage you are doing.
Artifact Main Hand: electric shot dmg buff or aimed shot. but its better for aimed shot as it gives a speed buff which is nice. electric we use but the speed buff is more practical.
Artifact set bonus: personally I don’t find any of the arti sets to be ideal not even the new ones, while Demogorgon set looks great it doesn’t really compliment dexterity at all. I strongly suggest stronghold company duelist cloak and dexterity belt. they both amp up dexterity and wisdom as they are your primary stat rolls. but if you feel you don’t need your wis up cause you maxed out crit you could go for a sash of charisma for the extra combat advantage %.
primary should always be the eye of giant or wheel of elements, Soul Sight Crystal for Bosses
Secondary are artifacts that grant you power/crit/combat advantage/hp
Now to get into the powers and rotation:
At-wills: aimed shot and electric shot no possible reason to use anything else. aimed shot is a powerful and fast casting single target and an electric shot is reliable and quick aoe hits and deals a fair amount of dps despite its appearance.
Rain of Arrows, Split the sky, Cordon of arrows for AoE. Melee form primary use is throw caution for the 15% dmg buff worth the risk, and plant growth is just purely amazing.
*note*: just because our paragon feats specialize in ranged stance doesn’t mean that’s all you should use. remember to be a true archery hr and bring out the best potential this paragon has you have to use both stances. for instance plant growth boosted with throw caution makes the ticks 15%-20%(if you are in the second stage of this build for the additional 5% dmg buff) stronger when cast. the same principle goes for combat builds they do use ranged powers besides their melee forms.(just not as often since combat is heavy into melee form.)
Rain of arrows, Split the sky, cordon of arrows for single target.
HUH? why keep the same rotation? wouldn’t longstrider shot be better?
here’s the thing about the longstrider shot you have to be a certain distance from your target to gain the dmg buff. on top of that it is a constant running back and forth with boss fights which just a hassle, but with throw caution, all you need to do is hit them in melee form and since my build is for close range. you can maintain that buff and if you reached the requirements for the second stage of my build to increase the dmg buff from throw caution by 5%. that means you are now doing 20% more dmg(that is 5% more than longstrider maxed out) without having to move to any distance.
Why split the sky in both situations?
the reason for it is it does great dps all around but what’s special about is it occurs more frequent the more allies are being struck under the cloud so more dps it does. and in large maps like Demogorgon or big bhe’s like the tyrant in omu you could nuke a mob almost instantly with allies being attack and mobs being targeted.
Why not use fox cunning or commanding shot?
first as an hr your not there to help support anyone, only to buff yourself and melt the mobs. secondly, fox cunning doesn’t do any damage and takes up a slot. thirdly commanding shot takes too long to cast and not worthwhile unless you’re a support hr that only buffs and debuffs. you are there to rain down hell and butcher everything in sight you can’t afford standing on the sidelines and it isn’t even fun if your not the one bringing the pain.
Daily powers: we do use seismic shot but most of our dps is in the encounters and at-wills
- Forest ghost- if you need to make a hasty escape from death or rush ahead(if you know you can)
- Seismic Shot- a very powerful daily especially with archery buffing dailies to do 25% of your wep damage is piercing damage by triple the amount which equates to 75% wep dmg as piercing(does alot more than it sounds)
Class Features: To use
- The aspect of the pack- grants CA(combat advantage) no matter what position you are in and if you have the offhand bonus for each ally within 15′ of you gain 2% damage bonus up to 8%. the bonus no longer stops if you max out the pack feature.
- twin blade storm- you basically deal 16% more damage when hitting more than two enemies when maxed out. can’t go wrong with that. (but if you are hitting one target. well obviously you won’t get the bonus lol.)
- The aspect of the Serpent- we don’t switch that much but we do when it comes to laying down plant growth and throw caution. so you could use during boss fights instead of twin-blade since that feature is purely for aoe and in boss fights depending on the kind is virtually useless as it requires 2 more targets to be hit to gain the benefits. this feature grants 9% extra dmg to the next stance attack*when maxed out*. basically, this means when you use two ranged powers which include your at-wills and encounters(not daily power) your melee stance deals 18% more damage and in vice versa. *you can stack two times per stance and it clears out the buff icon once used in a different stance.*
- Seeker’s Vengeance- if you are attacking directly behind a target(bosses) upon maxing this power you will deal 19% extra damage BUT if you are on the side or in front you immediately lose the buff. it is only good in boss fights where the tank has complete aggro control.
- Aspect of the lone wolf- essentially this grants you a 20% boost to your deflection and an additional 2% for each target you are engaged with up to 10%, basically if you face 5 targets you gain 10%. in combat you are looking at a free 30% deflection boost for a feature like this, it is good in solo content or in dungeons where the tank doesn’t do his/her role that well and you get hit. (doesn’t mean you avoid all the damage but atleast half of it.)
Class Features: Don’t use
- the aspect of the falcon- contrary to most archers think distance is the best, it really isn’t at all. what good is a buff if you miss out on the buffs in the front lines.
- bladestorm- you do go into melee for a buff from throw caution from the split sky and plant growth but it is only to use those two abilities. for a combat hr this would be ideal but not for archery.
good gear to aim towards is getting eyestalk wraps from beholdere 3star hunt in omu or terrored grips if you have enough recharge speed that it won’t impact you that much to increase your range % dmg. but barovia has an array of options especially with hags rags from ras manca hunt that increases your range % dmg by 3%
Bondings: it’s safe to say bondings are the best things you can have, focus on getting your bonding runes to at least 12 or 13, go for 14 if you can but you don’t have to. Aim to get a pet that has ring slots so you give them chultan rings. the rings benefit the pet more than you, the more stats your pet has the better the benefits from your bonding runes(they do stack)
- I highly recommend a feytouched once you reach the point you now can maintain your crit and have no issue with knocking out your powers. at transcendant rank and above it becomes a 3 target aoe attack. it will convert 18-20%(varying on rank) into dmg towards you and when you hit 3 targets with your encounter(which you will) it will convert 54-60% more dmg for 20sec.
- Lightning Enchantment- good enchant for reducing cooldowns and pretty decent overall damage.
- Negation/Barkshield Enchantment- now you’re wondering why these two? your going to be in the fight often if you want to be a real archer who can fight from any position, you are NOT limited to just range I want to emphasize this. this helps you become tanky so you don’t have to be afraid to fight in the frontlines but that doesn’t mean you’re immortal there is a limit to what an hr can take and a powered attack isn’t one of them lol.
- Soulforge/shadow-clad- soulforge, in my opinion, is for those who die easily and need that handicap. shadowclad boosts deflection based on getting hit and if you have this at a pure rank and beyond you can enter stealth briefly and stun. but a perfect shadowclad is enough in my opinion.
I won’t go screenshotting my boons. you know what you’re after. anything that boosts your primary stats and secondary. any boon that gives you extra healing go for it. the dmg boons don’t help a whole lot and its good to have back up healing should you get into a tight spot as it can literally save you if you got reckless or your support goofed up or isn’t doing their role properly.