I have put this build together based on my experience building (and rebuilding more than a couple of times!) my Ranger through Closed Beta and now again in Open Beta.
I believe this build mixes offence and defence effectively and is a fundamentally an attacking build, but without being a glass cannon. This is not a quirky build. It’s basically a cookie cutter build – albeit with a Blood Magic lemon twist. It is not geared around any single unique (I’m looking at you Moosi) but can survive on most semi-decent rare gear.
The basic premise is that it relies heavily on elemental damage for offence, via Lightning Arrow/Ice Shot or Split Arrow. Defence is via Iron Reflexes (which converts Evasion into Armour), Blood Magic/Life Leech and Unwavering Stance (cannot be stunned). I’ve shown a few different options below to allow people to suit a build to meet their own style. There is untold – major and minor – variation possible, so feel free to adapt as you see fit of course, there is no “one size fits all”.
I believe Unwavering Stance is important for the new maps system, where you may have to be less choosy about which environments you want to farm. For example, with mazes and underground maps, it can be relatively easy to get swarmed. This build relies on dishing out damage to stay alive (life leech) when you get swarmed. You can’t dish out damage/leech life if you’re stun locked!
This is not really a kiting build – you can still kite if you want to…you just don’t have to. You can get up close and personal with big groups without worrying too much about dying.
The monsters I get most concerned with are ranged chaos dealers (eg vipers) and sometimes skeleton archers, or suped-up shield charging mobs (eg rare rhoas).
In terms of where you go to first – make a beeline for Blood Magic while you grab any life nodes along the way. After that it’s up to you depending on how much life you feel you need versus your dps. You will need to farm for gear or beg your mates for their hand-me-downs.
All these builds I’ve shown are based on 100 points which, if you take the Oak +life and then two skill point rewards, represents a level 80 build.
1. The “all out DPS – shock stacking” build (0.10.0):
2. MOST POPULAR: The “tankier + shock stacking + inner force” build (0.10.0):
3. The “inner force + traditional DPS” build (0.10.0):
4. The “old Closed Beta” build (0.10.0):
Petrov’s Elemental Bow Ranger “old Closed Beta” Build (0.10.0) Note this build does not use Resolute Technique and is therefore a fundamentally different build that can make use of diamond flasks when they get reintroduced.
5. The “iron grip and resolute technique elemental” build (0.10.0):
These builds have lots of flexibility to trade more or less DPS for more or less life – feel free to adjust as you see fit and according to your play style/gear.
The beauty of Blood Magic is that you dish out so much damage that firing off a 5L Lightning Arrow doesn’t consume life, net of life leech. You can also have 3 bubbling/seething life flasks (that also dispel frozen/chilled/burning) and [2 diamond flasks for when you need to kill a boss/rare super quickly EDIT: not until diamonds are back in]. You don’t have to waste any flasks slots on mana obviously.
As for gems, I suggest a few possible combinations:
1. Lightning Arrow/Ice Shot + Weapon Elemental Damage + Faster Attacks + Lesser Multiple Projectiles + Life Leech/or Life on Hit (or Culling Strike if you have sufficient Life on hit/kill from your gear). I don’t really think you *need* Chain with LA given it’s LA’s inherent AoE attributes, but give it a try as many people rave about it!
2. Split Arrow + Faster Attacks + Weapon Elemental Damage + Fork/Chain (or Culling Strike/Added Chaos/Added Lightning Damage depending on your life cost tolerance) + Life Leech/or Life on Hit.
3. (for bosses) Elemental Hit or Frenzy + Faster Attacks + Weapon Elemental Damage + Culling Strike (or Item Quantity).
As for auras, I run Grace for the Evasion boost, and Wrath and Anger for dps given their relatively low life cost. Anything that reserves a % of mana is a no-go. Speccing into Inner Force (30% aura buff) give great bang for buck in later levels (when the auras get to their late-teens in level). Also, after level 80, where this guide stops, you will probably want to get both the Inner Force and Perfect Aim passives.
For curses, my choice is a quality Projectile Weakness (excellent quality bonuses!), alternatively an Elemental Weakness curse. Projectile Weakness is an often overlooked curse, but it synergises well with Lightning Arrow. Not only does it provide a “more” multiplicative damage modifier on cursed mobs, it also gives a very high % pierce chance – hence why I feel LA in particular synergises well (give LA’s own AoE effect). Conductivity is also a popular curse if you stack lightning damage.
You should also try to get your hands on a decoy totem or a rejuvination totem – or even a spell/ranged attack totem with something like Ice Spear or Ice Shot linked to it. Bow users benefit greatly from the use of totems which distract or slow down mobs!
I also like to level a Bear Trap gem to help immobilise and kill bosses that like to chase poor pewpew rangers like me.
For gear, I suggest you focus on:
– Flat elemental damage modifiers
– + life modifiers
– elemental and chaos resistance modifiers
– attack speed modifiers
For bandit rewards I suggest you help Oak in Normal to get the +40 base life increase, and then kill all bandits in Cruel and Merciless to get the skill point(s).
Many of you have asked about where to buy better gear – after all, these builds are quite gear dependent. I will post some in-game shops I’ve had good experiences with:
I hope this is interesting for you, dear reader.
PS I don’t believe Arcing Blows is worth the skill points it takes to get it, even for my LA focused build.
PPS I recommend levelling Lightning Arrow (as with all other gems) to max now, as it’s mana cost progression has been flattened since OB and it gets “increased projectile damage” bonuses of 3% per level as you level up – pretty nice.