Guild Wars 2 Ranger Comprehensive Guide


Guild Wars 2 Ranger Comprehensive Guide by Sycthrex

1. Introduction

Hello fellow Rangers!

Welcome to my little guide for everything Ranger related.
This guide will be mainly looking at the Ranger from a PvP point of view but I am sure that some information here could be used across all content of Guild Wars 2 and there is a possibility that i will add a more PvE/WvW section at a later date.

I will try to cover everything you need to know to play a Ranger in a competitive environment but also within a more casual Hot Join way, which mostly means viable builds and how to play them, the roles you can cover with them and how to be viable in the current Meta when it comes to Team Fights and general Team play. This guide will always be a work in progress and I?ll update it regularly. When playing a Ranger, here?s what you can expect:

? ?? You can deal a lot of Burst damage when running Power builds, or ?Glass Cannon? builds but don?t expect to last long that way, you can also deal quite a lot of Condition Damage when built correctly but if you want to see higher numbers then look more towards?. no wait Rangers can spike pretty gooooood. (CRIT!)

? ?? You will need to be able to control your pet in fights and not just let it die needlessly, there are some builds which are very Pet reliant and in those cases, keeping your little critter alive is key, but I will also be going over some viable builds that focus more on your own skills over your Pet?s.

? ?? The Ranger has quite a lot of support skills which can be vital in any team fight or giving that little extra speed for that first cap/creature kill of the game, these skills will make you feel loved by your allies.

We have seen quite a few changes since BWE in regards to our skills (don?t forget we are still missing 3 Utility Skills, Stress Test 10th August 2012) but one thing I keep hearing is that the Ranger is the ?easiest? profession to play but I personally would say that it is up there with the likes of the Thief & the Elementalist just because of the positioning needed to deal the most damage (Shortbow/Longbow Flanking) and the ability to try and predict your opponent?s movements for ground targeted skills, but I feel this whole perception stems from everyone thinking the Ranger will attract those ?I wanna be Legolas? players, which I am sure the profession will indeed do that but it doesn?t mean we should disregard them as being a hard profession to play well.

You are a strong profession with the ability to bring Crowd Control, Burst, Conditions and you are also very strong in 1v1 fights with the right build vs your opponent, oh and don?t forget that you can be quite mobile for the ?Roamer? role, but don?t be put off if your team asks your Thief to play that role as they are superior in this department and are becoming more popular thanks to the work of Super Squad?s Lowell.

2. About Me

Hey guys, my IGN is Sycthrex and I am part of a casual guild made up of some older RL friends called Darkveil, you can find us on the Gandara server doing pretty much everything GW2 has to offer.

As for myself you are probably wondering, ?why should we listen to this guy?? well to be honest I have nothing to back it up with, I am currently looking for a Team to play with but I have not really stuck my ?feelers? out there yet but I can tell you this, i am a very competitive player and I enjoy trying to help others with information and I try and answer any question I get, there is nothing better than to knock skulls together to come up with better or more fun ways to play your profession or class in any game so don?t think I am trying to tell you how to play your profession, this is merely a guide to help ?guide? you towards some information. Seewhatididthere

Being a QA Tester for a large company has also helped me gain this mind set and figuring out how to squeeze every last drop out of a profession/class is what I find most fun.

I am no math geek so don?t expect anything like that, there are plenty of theory crafters out there that have already thrown some math down on to paper but I do like to throw stuff out there and see what others have to say, with this being said you can stop reading now or carry on.

Useful links;

My Livestream
My Guild Website
My Youtube Channel
My Facebook Page

I will be streaming as much as possible once the game launches and if I manage to find a Team then I will be uploading more videos to my Youtube like strategies and builds.

3. Gamer Mindset

The Gamer Mindset, this is something so simple yet so important and comes before anything and not only in GW2, it should span across all games you play, it?s the ability to be well mannered, kind, helpful and anything else that will help the community of the game.

Be mannered! Do not insult your fellow players! This is something that should never be done, it breaks up teams and can cause dis-trust within your team, and if your own allies can?t trust you then how do you expect other to do so? Raging is fine when it is within context and aimed at yourself, not your team mates because it usually means you did something wrong, understanding this can be a key skill to have when bringing your team together as a unit.

Play to win, even if you are losing! I can?t explain how many times i have seen a team clutch a win after being dominated the entire game and not only GW2, I have seen this in other games such as DOTA 2, LoL, SCII etc so you should never back down because you don?t know if the tide will turn any moment and secure that victory for your team.

Play with your team, even if you decide to join a PUG, try to communicate with them through chat channels or any possible public comms channels such as Teamspeak or Mumble and communicate with them, the team might lack Support or a Roamer, and if you know this then speak up and let them know but try not to seem to dominating as you might get some stick for it. Even if you manage to get new players on your team, try to direct them in right direction, this can be done by giving them a certain role or task.

Be humble! Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can teach you something. You need to be on the lookout for information; tricks you may have not thought of, builds that could work in very specific situations. If you think of yourself as a high and mighty gaming king who does not have to care about other people, you will miss a lot of good stuff and make other people sad/angry. If you make it to ?pro-level?, remember that you have not always been there and that helping other people is by far more useful and rewarding than being a jerk to everyone. You think you are talking to a ?14 years old noob?? You may be talking to a future pro gamer that might make e-sports bigger than they are. Respect everyone!

4. Combo Fields

Knowing how a Ranger?s combo field?s work will greatly increase your skill as a player, here is a wonderfully crafted image I found on the internet (Thanks to Gelroller)

Combo Fields / Combo Finishers

Posted Image

Projectile Finisher chance to proc = 20%
Blast, Whirl, Leap chance to proc = 100%

Combo Basics

Combos, also called cross-profession combos or skill combinations, happen when skills interact with each other to create an additional effect. A skill must be a combo field or a combo finisher to be combined, which is an effect which is included in the skill description. For a combo to occur a combo field skill is used creating an area effect and then one or more combo finishers can interact with the field to create a combo. The largest number of combos are available through two characters of different professions working together but combos can also be created with two of the same profession or a single character.

The combo field, or initiator, is a skill that creates an area effect of a particular type. The type is a recognizable element or characteristic which determines the effect they cause on a finisher; for example, a Flamewall will allow some eligible finishers to inflict burning. Fields are either a circular field or a linear ?wall?. For circular fields, all finishers will combo if they activate while the character is inside the field. For linear combo fields, leap and projectile finishers will combo so long as they pass through the combo field on the way to their destination.

The combo finisher is a skill which causes movement through or within the initiator?s field such as creating a projectile or spinning or jumping the player. An eligible initiator augments the finisher by adding damage or creating other effects. For example, using Cyclone Axe near a Flamewall throws fire projectiles in different directions. Finishers can only interact with one initiator at a time.

Whenever a combo is created, a notification will show on the player?s screen, indicating the effect that was generated by the combo.

Combo Field Effects

Posted Image

The best way to learn about it is watching this video by Haasth.

Now that you have a slightly better understanding of the ?Basics? to Combo Fields we will look at what a Ranger can provide. (excluding pet skills)

Combo Field/Skill/Used by

Fire ? Bonfire ? Off-Hand Torch
Flame Trap ? Trap Utility

Fire Combos

  • Whirl
  • Physical Projectile (20% chance)
  • Physical Projectile
  • Blast
  • Leap
  • Blast

Ice ? ??Frost Trap ? Trap Utility

Ice Combos

  • Whirl
  • Physical Projectile (20% chance)
  • Physical Projectile
  • Blast
  • Leap
  • Blast

Water ? Healing Spring ? Healing Skill

Water Combos

  • Whirl
  • Physical Projectile (20% chance)
  • Physical Projectile
  • Blast
  • Leap
  • Blast

(Please note that the Ice AOE Skill Combo is labeled incorrect and in fact gives Regeneration/Restoration for Water Combo Fields.)

Combo Finisher/Skill

Leap ? Monarch?s Leap ? #2 Chain Skill from Hornet?s Sting
Swoop ? Greatsword

Leap Combo Finishers

  • Water
  • Fire
  • Poison
  • Light
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Spectral
  • Ice
  • Dark

Projectile ? Concussion Shot ? Shortbow
Crippling Shot ? Shortbow
Crippling Talon ? Off-Hand Dagger
Cross Fire ? Shortbow
Hunter?s Shot ? Longbow
Long Range Shot ? Longbow
Path of Scars ? Off-Hand Axe
Point Blank Shot ? Longbow
Quick Shot ? Shortbow
Rapid Fire ? Longbow
Ricochet ? Axe
Splitblade ? Axe

Projectile Combo Finishers

  • Water
  • Fire
  • Poison
  • Light
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Spectral
  • Ice
  • Dark

Whirl ? Whirling Defense ? Off-Hand Axe

Whirl Combo Finishers

  • Water
  • Fire
  • Poison
  • Light
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Spectral
  • Ice
  • Dark

5. Traits

In this section i will explain all the Traits available to us and talk a little bit about each Trait. Things keep changing between tests and will most probably change come launch so i will try my best to to keep it up to date. Please feel free to PM me with any changes.


+10 Power for each point
+1% condition duration for each point

Minor Traits
(5) Opening Strike: Place vulnerability with your first strike upon entering combat

(15) Alpha Training: Pets gain Opening Strike

(25) Precise Strike: Opening Strike always crits

Minor Traits are gained at the 3 milestones above and come automatically as you invest points into the MM Line, as you can see they are orientated towards ?Opening Strike? which causes vulnerability to your foe, as you invest more points you can see that your pet gains ?Opening Strike? and then at 25 points in your Opening Strike will always crit which is handy when you want that burst or alternatively want a chance to stack that extra bleed with the Sharpened Edges trait in the Skirmishing line.

Major Traits
(10) I: Steady Focus: Damage increased by 10% when Endurance is full

(10) II: Malice Training: Increases duration of conditions applied by your pets (supposedly 50% increase)

(10) III: Keen Edge: Use Sharpening Stone when your health reaches 75%

(10) IV: Signet Mastery: Signet Recharges are reduced by 20%

(10) V: Predator?s Instincts: Apply cripple to an enemy when he/she reaches 25% health (15s CD)

(10) VI: Beastmaster?s Bond: Gain Fury and Might when your pet?s health reaches 25%

Every 10 points into a Trait Line you gain the option to select a trait from a number of different options and some are better than others for certain builds, like take Keen Edge for example, upon reaching 75% HP you will activate ?Sharpening Stone? which is a utility skill that will apply bleeds on your next 5 attacks, if you are running a Condition Build this basically means you have remove that skill from your skill bar and replace it with something that could be more beneficial because currently, my understanding is that the Keen Edge proc does not stack with Sharpening Stone.

Beastmaster?s Bond would only be helpful for a player who does rely on their pet to do anything and may even be careless with it and not care for its well-being, but most players will be keeping an eye on their pet and preventing it from getting so low so this trait would not be so good for those type of playstyles.

Predator?s Instincts and Steady Focus are pretty straight forward and can both come in handy in a fight, Steady Focus would be built more for a long range Power Build so like a Longbow, someone who does not need to dodge so much due to not being in the fray all the time, but if you start to become single targeted then you will start to realise that this trait is becoming useless and you may need to change it.

Signet Mastery of course comes in extremely handy if you are running Signets.

(20) VII: Spotter: Increases the precision of nearby allies by up to 70

(20) VIII: Piercing Arrows: All arrows pierce their target

(20) IX: Beastmaster?s Might: Activating a Signet grants might (supposedly 5s)

(20) X: Eagle Eye: Increases Harpoon and Longbow Range (by 25%). Increases Harpoon and Longbow damage by 5%

As you can see, all of your traits at the 20 mark can be very useful so let?s take Spotter for example, this gives you and your allies a precision boost of up to 70 points, there has been some discussions on how this work, some argue it is based on level while others say it depends on proximity to you, but for now I would recommend listening to the proximity argument.

Piercing Arrows, what can I say about this? you will notice (especially in PvP) that some stupid pet or minion or even player will get in the way all the time of your arrows, well this trait allows you to pierce straight through them and damage your original target also. I would recommend this one at all times unless you are not running a Longbow/Shortbow type build.

Beastmaster?s Might will give you a nice Might boon upon activating a signet, so of course this only comes in handy when running signet builds.

Eagle Eye is pretty straight forward and adds a pretty nice Range/Damage boost to your Longbow/Harpoon.

(30) XI: Signet of the Beastmaster: Active effects of signets also affect you.

(30) XII: Remorseless: Regain Opening Strike when you kill an enemy

After investing 30 points into your MM Trait Line you will be presented with these two traits.
Signet of the Beastmaster will allow you have a significant damage increase for a short time or a condition removal or even become immune to all damage for 6 seconds which can be extremely useful at the start of any fight if the enemy pops all their CDs on you.

Remorseless will allow you to regain your Opening Strike after killing an enemy so your next victim will be vulnerable on your first strike, this trait along with the Minor Traits can be a pretty decent damage increase overall when used right.


+10 precision per point
+1% critical damage per point

Minor Traits
(5) Tail Wind: Gain Swiftness when swapping weapons in combat

(15) Furious Grip: Gain Fury when swapping weapons in combat

(25) Hunter?s Tactics: Deal 10% more damage while flanking

So now we are looking at the Skirmishing Trait Line and as you can see we gain 3 Traits as we invest points, just like Marksmanship Trait Line.

Tail Wind will allow us to gain Swiftness when we swap weapons DURING combat, this can be used to kite that annoying Melee or even to flank your enemy, I even use this passive to escape from hairy situations. Overall this is a good trait and should be considered at all times when you are fighting, if you choose this Trait Line of course.

Furious Grip is much like the previous trait but instead of Swiftness we gain Fury which will increase your Critical Chance by 20%, this comes in handy when running traits that proc from critical hits like Sharpened Edges or Companion?s Might.

Hunter?s Tactics is pretty straight forward and comes in handy for us Rangers, especially when we should never be fighting head on as much as other professions. ?Flanking? is when you attack from the side or the back, skills like Cross Fire and Concussion Shot benefit from flanking.

Major Traits
(10) I: Pet?s Prowess: Pet Critical Hit damage is increased by 33%

(10) II: Sharpened Edges: Chance to cause bleeding on critical hits (1s Bleed)

(10) III: Trapper?s Defense: Creates a Spike Trap when reviving an ally.

(10) IV: Primal Reflexes: You gain 5s of Vigor when you are struck by a critical hit (15s CD).

(10) V: Companion?s Might: Critical Hits grant Might to your pet (1s)

(10) VI: Agility Training: Pets move 30% faster

Again, the same as Marksmanship Trait Line we have an option to manually select a Trait when investing 10, 20 & 30 points in to a Trait Line.

Pet?s Prowess increases our Pet?s Critical Hit damage by 33% which is great when running a Pet Heavy Build but pretty useless if you are concentrating more on your own damage output.

Sharpened Edges has been discussed earlier in the Marksmanship Trait Line section of this guide but this trait is a must have for Condition Builds, even though it is only for 1 second, having 25 stacks of Bleeding on a foe for 1 second is much more beneficial than without. This Trait is even stronger when mixed with the Sigil of Superior Earth which has a 60% chance to cause a 5s Bleed on critical hit; see where I?m coming from? Thought so!

Trapper?s Defense allows you to create a Spike Trap when reviving an ally, this could be a strong if co-ordinated with a team but other than that I would not pick this Trait ever. There are far more superior Traits overall that would be priority over this.

Primal Reflexes grants us 5s of Vigor when struck by a critical hit, this sounds all good if we actually needed our dodge mechanic so badly but if you choose to be a ?ranged? Ranger then dodging is not the highest of our priorities. I would only choose this skill if you chose Evasive Purity as a Trait or are expecting dodge a lot, this can be quite strong when coupled with Companion?s Defense.

Companion?s Might will grant our pet Might from critical hits, now this can be really useful if you have a high crit chance as it will make your pet deal much more damage, but keep in mind that it is only applied for 1 second, this should be increased in my eyes due to our pets being so dumb and slow.

Agility Training is pretty straight forward and grants our pet 30% more movement speed, as you can see there is quite a lot of emphasis on our pet in this Trait Line which kinda sucks because this Trait Line is good for Power Builds due to the stat increases.

(20) VII: Carnivorous Appetite: Pets gain health on critical hits (~1457 heal)

(20) VIII: Trapper?s Expertise: Traps are ground targeted and their area is increased by 50%

(20) IX: Honed Axes: You do 10% more critical damage when wielding an axe in your main hand.

(20) X: Quick Draw: Shortbow and Longbow skills recharge 20% faster

Carnivorous Appetite allows our pet to gain health on critical hits which again is aimed at keeping your pet alive and can come in quite handy, especially for more Pet based builds.

Trapper?s Expertise is a must for Trap orientated builds; it is pretty explanatory as it increases their area of effect by 50% and makes traps Ground Targeted. This comes in handy for trapping up those wider corridors or paths and ensuring that the enemy or more enemies are caught in it.

Honed Axes This has recently been changed so that you deal 10% more critical damage when you wield an Axe in your main hand, which is still a must have Trait for anyone running Axes in their build, I personally use it when I run my Condition Build as any extra damage while applying bleeds is nice.

Quick Draw recharges Shortbow & Longbow skills 20% faster, this Trait is amazing for anyone wanting to use either weapon as the Longbow has a very, and I mean very slow ?auto attack? without it and reducing the CD on Rapid Fire is a must as it is your main source of damage from the Longbow while running a Power Build. As for the Shortbow, it allows you to apply bleeds faster with Cross Fire when flanking and is just overall an amazing Trait for SB/LB users.

(30) XI: Trap Potency: Conditions from traps last twice as long and trap recharges are reduced by 20%

(30) XII: Moment of Clarity: Gain Quickening Zephyr at 25% health

Trap Potency is a must have for trap-focused condition builds. You will be doubling the length of all conditions from the Traps and you will also be able to use more Traps with the recharge rate reducing. This Trait is very strong when used with Trapper?s Expertise.

Moment of Clarity is a bad, bad Trait and should never be used, if you allow your health to drop that low then you are pretty much about to be spiked down, so any type of damage increase is pretty useless and this slot could be used up by a more beneficial Trait especially when Quickening Zephyr does not allow you to be healed.

Wilderness Survival

+10 Toughness per point
+10 Condition Damage per point

Minor Traits
(5) Natural Vigor: Increases Endurance Regen by 50%

(15) Companion?s Defense: You and your pet gain 2 seconds of protection when you dodge roll

(25) Peak Strength: Deal 5% extra damage when your health is above 90%

Natural Vigor is considered too high of a regen rate according to some members of SS and AC and when you will be able to dodge 33% more than your opponent this passive Trait is quite strong if you intend on dodging a lot and can also be quite strong with Evasive Purity.

Companion?s Defense grants you and your pet 2 seconds of Protection when you dodge, this can be extremely useful when coupled with the previous Trait and Evasive Purity, especially when Protection reduces incoming damage by 33% but the downside is that a dodge is basically a 1 second invulnerability so essentially we are only gaining 1 second of reduced damage, not an amazing passive but it will do.

Peak Strength allows us to deal 5% more damage when our health is above 90%, now I don?t know about you but how long can you keep your health above 90% if singled out by the enemy? This is a Minor Trait though so it is quite helpful as long as you don?t get focuses or damaged often but the enemy won?t be stupid enough to leave a Ranger alone, we are scary when left alone.

Major Traits
(10) I: Soften the Fall: Create Muddy Terrain when you take falling damage. You take 50% less falling damage

(10) II: Healer?s Celerity: You and your ally gain Swiftness when you revive them (3s)

(10) III: Master Trapper: Incoming disables are transferred to your pet (90s CD)

(10) IV: Vigorous Renewal: Gain Vigor when using a heal skill (5s for Heal as One and Troll Unguent, 2s per regeneration stack on Healing Spring)

(10) V: Expertise Training: Pets deal additional Condition Damage (~12.5% condition damage)

(10) VI: Wilderness Knowledge: Survival Recharges are reduced by 20%

Soften the Fall is pretty much a WvW Trait, because you take 50% less fall damage and you also create Muddy Terrain which will pulse a -50% movement cripple per second so this would come in handy for escaping from enemy by jumping off a cliff etc but currently does not hold a place in sPvP.

Healer?s Celerity grants you and an ally Swiftness upon reviving them for 3 seconds but unless you find yourself reviving all the time manually then this is not that good of a Trait, granted it might play its part during a fight and on the odd occasion you might find yourself thanking the Swiftness for throwing itself upon you after reviving an ally but I assure you that there are far superior Traits that can be used instead of this.

Master Trapper has recently been added in and it is a lovely Trait that allows all incoming disables to be transferred to your pet instead of yourself, the downside is the 90 second CD on it and if you are running a Pet Heavy Build then you are pretty much gimping your overall damage output, but on the other hand this can save your ass when that Warrior comes along to do his Hundred Blades combo or the Elementalist wants to burst you down with his Signet of Earth and Dragon?s Tooth combo. This should be taken if your overall damage is primarily yourself and not your pet.

Vigorous Renewal allows us to gain Vigor after using a Heal Skill but with the passive regen from Natural Vigor this Trait is pretty much a wasted one and ANet should re-work this, although currently it is quite good when used with Healing Spring due to it procc?n from each pulse.

Expertise Training grants our pet more Condition Damage by up to 12.5% according to a few tests that have been conducted during the stress tests, if you are running a Condition heavy Pet such as the Lynx then this Trait is quite strong and can be taken in a Pet Heavy Build or a Condition Build.

Wilderness Knowledge reduces the recharge rate of our Survival Skills such as Sharpening Stone and having this coupled with a Condition Build w/Sharpening Stone will allow overall damage output to be higher than without it, but it also comes in handy for other Survival Skills which I tend to use quite a bit.

(20) VII: Off-hand Training: Offhand Skills have 20% decreased CDs and increased range

(20) VIII: Oakheart Salve: Gain 5s of Regeneration when afflicted with bleeding, poison, or burning (20s CD)

(20) IX: Hide in Plain Sight: Apply Camouflage when you are Dazed, Knocked Down, Launched, Pushed Back, or Stunned (30s CD)

(20) X: Sword Mastery: Sword, Greatsword, and spear CDs are reduced by 20%

As you can see, investing 20 points into the Wilderness Survival Trait Line grants us some nice abilities.
Off-hand Training decreases CDs by 20% and also increases the range of them, this comes in extremely handy when running say War Horn due to the low CD of Call of the Wild which is useful not only in 1v1 fights but are extremely helpful in Team Fights.

Oakheart Salve grants us 5 seconds of Regeneration when afflicted with bleeding, poison or burning and this can proc every 20 seconds, although this sounds great Regeneration is nothing like it was in GW1 and it formulates at ((26/16) * Level) + (0.125 * Healing Power) per second so with this being said, unless you have high Healing Power then this Trait is pretty useless but I would not disregard it if using a Healing Power strong build, this would be extremely strong as it is a free heal every 20 seconds.

Hide in Plain Sight is amazing, I can?t stress how many times this has saved me from that burst combo from a Warrior or a Elementalist, or a Thief or any profession to be honest, every 30 seconds you will be Camouflaged after being Dazed, Knocked Down, Launched, Pushed Back or Stunned so straight away you can see the benefit of this and I myself use this Trait quite often in my builds.

Sword Mastery grants us CD reductions of 20% for our Sword, Greatsword and Spear and although we don?t use a Spear in PvP I know for a fact that both the Sword and the Greatsword are fond weapon choice for a Melee Ranger, I myself prefer the Sword due to the amount of chaos it causes but back to the Trait, it is a pretty nice Trait for those who run Sword or Greatsword as a primary weapon.

(30) XI: Empathic Bond: Pets periodically take conditions from you. (Supposedly once every 10s)

(30) XII: Bark Skin: You and your pet take 30% less damage while under 25% health.

And we finally get to the 30 point investment side of the Wilderness Survival Trait Line and as you can see we have two strong Traits here.

Empathic Bond allows our pet to periodically remove conditions from us and apply it to themselves so straight away you know that if you are running a pet reliant build then you need to go for Bark Skin instead because otherwise your pet could be dropping dead in no time if it takes a high stack of bleeding from you. But with this said, Condition Removal is a very strong counter in the current Meta due to everyone finding Condition Builds more fun to play at the moment.

Bark Skin grants us a 30% damage reduction when our health is under 25%, this is much more useful than Moment of Clarity due to it being a defensive passive and can actually save your ass in those hectic moments, it can even grant you those precious seconds for that much needed Heal.

Nature Magic

+10 Vitality per point
+1% boon duration per point

Minor Traits
(5) Rejuvenation: Gain Regeneration when your health reaches 75% (5s)

(15) Fortifying Bond: Any Boon you get is shared with your pet

(25) Bountiful Hunter: You and your pet deal 5% more damage when you have a boon

Rejuvenation grants us Regeneration for 5 seconds when our health reaches 75%, as stated before without Healing Power our base Regeneration is pretty low so this would not be worth it for Power Builds that focus on Power etc, it could however be great for Support Builds with a lot of Healing Power.

Fortifying Bond grants our pet any Boon we get, this is a great trait when running a Pet Heavy Build or even a Support Build, the damage increase can be great and usually goes unlooked for some builds which sucks, some people just despise their pet but if you don?t come to adore your pet then you might as well play another profession.

Bountiful Hunter is the last of the passive Traits in the Nature Magic Trait Line and with this you and your pet deal 5% more damage when we have a boon. As you can see these passives are aimed more towards having a pet and actually go great with Spirit Support builds because you will always have a Boon on you therefore damage increase and it is shared with your pet so yeah, excellent combo of traits.

Major Traits
(10) I: Circle of Life: Create a Healing Spring on death

(10) II: Concentration Training: Boons applied to your pet last longer (50% increase)

(10) III: Nature?s Bounty: Regeneration you apply lasts 33% longer

(10) IV: Vigorous Spirits: Spirits have twice as much health

(10) V: Strength of Spirit: 5% of Vitality is given as bonus power (Only counts from Gear and Traits)

(10) VI: Nature?s Protection: Receive Protection for 5s whenever you are struck for more than 20% of your total life in a single hit (30s CD)

So you have decided to invest some points in to the Nature Magic Trait Line and you want to know what each Trait does? Well I am here to help you!

Circle of Life creates a Healing Spring on death (Not Downed State) so basically taking this Trait would be suicidal, literally because you would be designing your build around dying which is completely stupid, I don?t understand why this was implemented at all but whatever, don?t use this.

Concentration Training makes our Boons applied by our pets last 50% longer, this is great for anyone running a pet that grants AoE Boons like the Moa which grants Protection to nearby allies or the Jungle Stalker?s Mighty Roar which grants extreme Might to nearby allies.

Nature?s Bounty makes any Regeneration applied last 33% longer; this is great when running a Support Build which has quite a bit of Healing Power in it because it will in turn increase the healing output because as we know, Regeneration stacks in duration and not intensity.

Vigorous Spirits will double our Spirits health pool, now if you have decided to run for a Spirit Build then this Trait is a MUST! I tried running a Spirit Build without this and the NPCs at The Heart of the Mists nearly killed them in 1 hit so this Trait is the only thing that will keep your Spirits alive for a longer time, couple this with the Fern Hound?s AoE Heal and you can keep your Spirits alive even longer!

Strength of Spirit converts 5% of our Vitality given from Gear and Traits to bonus Power, you can use this in a Support Spirit Build to grant that extra bit of Power when fighting which allows you to be considered a ?lethal? enemy, but bear in mind that if you are running a Spirit Build then your Traits have already been chosen for you in this Trait Line.

Nature?s Protection grants us Protection for 5s when struck for more than 20% of our total life in a single hit, this is on a 30s CD so I personally don?t see this being too great, 33% damage reduction for 5s every 30s doesn?t really stand out too much unless of course you come across a Glass Cannon player who keeps picking on you otherwise you won?t find yourself losing 20% of your health in a single hit that common, especially in the current Condition Damage Meta.

(20) VII: Nature?s Vengeance: Spirit?s activated skills are larger and toggle on death

(20) VIII: Spiritual Knowledge: Spirits have a 15% better chance of providing their benefits

(20) IX: Two-Handed Training: Greatsword and Spear damage increased by 5%

(20) X: Enlargement: Pets get Enlarged when you reach 25% health.

As we go deeper in to the Nature Magic Trait Line we can see that this Trait Line is pretty restricted and is only really used for Spirit/Support Builds so going any further is only viable for those builds.

Nature?s Vengeance allows our Spirit?s Skills to be larger and toggle on death; this can be great for Spirit Builds although I personally run Spiritual Knowledge just so I can assist my Team more with the increased proc chance.

Spiritual Knowledge as discussed in the previous Trait grants a 15% added chance of their passive benefits to proc which is excellent if you decide you want to greatly assist your Team in fights.

Two-Handed Training increases Greatsword & Spear damage by 5%, you might think this is a little weird that one of our strongest base damage weapons has a Trait so high in to a ?Support? Trait Line and although it would be completely counter-intuitive to invest this many points in to this Line for a Power Build, if you run a Support Build and choose to have a Greatsword then you will be increasing your damage output as well as being a great Support for the Team.

Enlargementmakes our pet deal more damage when you reach 25% health, this again is aimed more towards you dying and thus should never really be used, it could save your life maybe once or twice in a day but overall there are far superior and much needed Traits you could pick when investing this deep in to this Trait Line.

(30) XI: Spirits Unbound: Spirits can now move and follow you

(30) XII: Evasive Purity: Dodging removes Blind and Poisons from you

If you have invested this many points in to this Trait Line then you are going for a Spirit Build right? Then you will NEED Spirits Unbound as this is what makes it work, without having the spirits follow you makes the Build extremely difficult to pull off successfully.

Evasive Purity has its advantages when linked in with a couple of other Traits mentioned before in this Guide but Blind and Poison are Conditions that are rarely used on you, if ANet changed this to Bleed & Burning then this would be a very strong Condition Removal Trait but as it stands, not that good.


+10 to healing per point
+1 Pet attribute bonus per point

Minor Traits
(5) Zephyr?s Speed: You and your pet gain 2 seconds of Quickening Zephyr when you swap pets

(15) Loud Whistle: Pet Swap CD reduced by 20%

(25) Nature?s Wrath: 10% of healing power is given as bonus power (Only from Gear and Traits)

Zephyr?s Speed grants you and your pet 2s of Quickening Zephyr when you swap pets, this comes in handy with more Melee style Rangers due to the low duration but timed right you can deal some nice damage in those 2s, especially if you decide to go further into this Trait Line for Loud Whistle, I personally would use it for Support Builds that focus more on Melee rather than Ranged.

Loud Whistle reduces our Pet Swap by 20% which as mentioned in the previous Trait is pretty amazing when linked with Zephyr?s Speed and any Build that focuses on their pet more than themselves, a nice passive indeed.

Nature?s Wrath converts 10% of our Healing Power in to bonus power, much like our Vitality to Power trait this just gives us Support some extra damage, another really nice passive.

Major Traits
(10) I: Speed Training: Pets have 10% CD reduction on their skills

(10) II: Master?s Bond: pet attributes increase with each kill, the attributes are lost if the pet is defeated or swapped. (+8 to stats per stack, max 200)

(10) III: Shout Mastery: Shout Recharges are reduced by 20%

(10) IV: Compassion Training: Pets Heal for more (apparently bugged currently)

(10) V: Commanding Voice: Activated Pet Skills (F2) Recharge faster (20%)

(10) VI: Mighty Swap: Pets gain three stacks of Might (10s) when activated

Speed Training allows our pets to have 10% CD reduction on all of their skills, including their F2 skill so this can be beneficial when running a high damage pet such as the Lynx or even couple with Commanding Voice to further decrease the CD on their F2 skill when running pets such as the Moa or the Fern Hound for their AoE Support capabilities.

Master?s Bond is more of a PvE Trait because for each kill your pets attributes gain +8 up to a maximum or 200 but this is reset if your pet is defeated or swapped, in PvP you will be swapping your pet a lot so having this is pretty pointless for PvP especially when there are better Traits that could take its place.

Shout Mastery is currently useless because we do not have any Shouts as of yet, we should have them by launch.

Compassion Training allow our pets to heal more in terms of their F2 Heal but according to recent tests this is considered buggy as the Fern Hound for example does not always take Compassion Training in to account, this should get a buff in the future as the gain is only small.

Commanding Voice lowers the CD on our pets F2 Skill by 20%, so having this coupled with Speed Training can really lower its CD, a pretty good Trait if you ask me but bear in mind this is more for Pet Builds.

Mighty Swap grants our pet 3 stacks of Might when activated which means swapped during combat, this can be a nice Trait when running a DPS Pet such as the Lynx, Wolf, Hyena, Bird etc so if you are running a Pet Heavy Build don?t forget to try this bad boy out but make sure to remember this Trait when in combat, switching pets is a vital part of combat, not only does it keep them alive but when using a Trait like this, it can increase the damage output by quite a bit.

(20) VII: Rending Attack: Drake, Feline, Devourer, and Shark pets cause bleeding when its basic attack crits (5s)

(20) VIII: Stability Training: Ursine, Armor Fish, and Porcine will gain stability (3s) when disabled

(20) IX: Intimidation Training: Active abilities (F2) of Canines and Spiders cause cripple (5s)

(20) X: Vigorous Training: Moa, Bird, and Jellyfish pets grant AoE Vigor when swapped to.

This section is pretty easy because every Trait boosts your specific pet but you have to be careful that you don?t double up on effects such as the Black Widow Spider?s immobilize and then the cripple because that is going a little overkill but it?s down to you, if you are running a Support/Spirit Build then these may not be needed.

(30) XI: Instinctual Bond: When you are downed, your pet gains Quickness

(30) XII: Natural Healing: Your pets have natural health regeneration

Instinctual Bond grants our pet Quickness when we are downed, this can be useful for that little DPS increase from your pet when you are downed but to be honest you are yet again making a build that focuses on being downed and I don?t know about you but when I am down I like to switch to my Wolf and cast its 2s Fear to prevent them from stomping me because in sPvP the downed mechanic is quite a vital phase of combat.

Natural Healing gives our pets natural health regeneration, while I was running my Support Spirit Build I saw roughly a tick of 144 per second on my Fern Hound, I quickly swapped this for something more useful to my build, to be honest these two Major Traits are pretty lack-luster especially for 30 point Traits.


So Traits have finally be done, things are always subject to change over the course of time so if you find any changes please feel free to PM with anything, now we will look more at potential builds and what each one brings. Please take note that i am in no way telling you how to play your Ranger, this is just what i find successful within my own play style.

Spirit Support Build

Weapon Sets ? Sword/War Horn & Sword/Torch

I chose this weapon set because my mentality is that with the large amount of pets & spirits we have out it makes Tab Targeting pretty difficult so it may make the player resort to clicking on your character instead to target you so being at a distance away from your spirits/pets make it easier for your enemy to target you whereas if you are up close and personal with the Sword you are all over the place, especially thanks to Serpent?s Strike and not only that but the 3rd Chain Skill on your ?auto-attack?, Pounce grants 5s of Might to your pet, couple this with Call of the Wild from your War Horn Off-Hand you will find that you can pretty much keep Might stacked on your pet at all times in a fight and all that along with Bountiful Hunter means you are a force to reckon with, and then after using Hunter?s Call you can switch to your Sword/Torch Weapon Set which will increase your damage output with Throw Torch & Bonfire.

Weapon Sigil

Sword/War Horn ? Sigil of Superior Force/Sigil of Superior Battle
Sword/Torch ? Sigil of Superior Force/Sigil of Superior Battle

I chose these because the 5% base damage on our swords come in handy considering we are running such a Support orientated Build and need that extra damage, and i chose to gain 3 stacks of Might (20s) when swapping to them during combat for that added increase in damage, it truly is a strong combo when you think about it logically.

Pet 1 ? Blue Moa

I chose this pet simply because of it?s ability to heal all allies in close proximity along with its F2 Skill Protecting Screech which grants 10s of Protection to all nearby allies. Pretty strong combination and essential to supporting your Team which this Build is all about.

Pet 2 ? Fern Hound

This was my second choice due to its F2 which grants 10s of Regeneration to nearby allies (1300 Heal)
Swapping pets after using Protecting Screech and then using the heal is a great way of keeping your health pool up along with your allies.

Healing Skill ? Healing Spring

I chose this skill because of it?s AoE Regeneration ability and Condition Removal, not only that but timing it right with Blast and Whirl Finishers grants a nice AoE heal for surround allies and can be a vital part of keeping yourself, your spirits or your allies alive in a team fight.

Utility Skill 1 ? Sun Spirit > Solar Flare
Utility Skill 2 ? Frost Spirit > Cold Snap
Utility Skill 3 ? Stone Spirit > Quicksand

These skills are pretty much needed for this build as i am concentrating on Spirits, i chose these three just because they are the biggest benefit to your Team, Protection, Damage increase and Burning damage just screams SUPPORT to me, their Active Skills are a little harder to pull off due to their cast times and animation times but when they do they are nice!

Spirits Unbound is what makes this build work along with Spiritual Knowledge and Vigorous Spirits and without these then you are pretty much gimping your own Build, the only downside is that the Nature Magic Traits are basically already chosen for you.

Elite ? Spirit of Nature > Nature?s Renewal

This Elite is pretty much self explanatory because we are running a Spirit Build here and not only is this a very strong Elite when used correctly but it also adds so much support to your allies.

The trick to this is to not use it until you need to, don?t summon it when just running along to a fight, use it during a fight and then make sure to use Nature?s Renewal to revive those downed allies or even yourself, to do this you need to time it right and start the animation for it just as you go down so that you get brought back alive and you can trololol their face when they see you get back up like a baws.

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The only Trait you might question is Steady Focus but that?s because i had 10 points spare and adding more Power to the build along with a damage increase of 10% when at full endurance just screamed at me but this is all down to your own play style.

After looking at my stats in game and only have 1 hour to try out this Build i decided to just go for a good overall Rune Set so i went with;

Superior Rune of Divinity x6 just because i wanted to further increase myself as a whole, make myself a little tankier along with being able to dish out the damage.

Again, i didn?t have much time to play around with stats so i decided to go with;

Soldier?s Amulet with Soldier?s Jewel just because of the immense Power, Toughness and Vitality it gives which in turn makes me pretty tanky and powerful, a dead Ranger is useless.

Power Based Build

Weapon Sets ? Longbow & Sword/War Horn

I chose these two weapons mainly because i adore the range on the Longbow and its Rapid Fire Skill, it is pretty much the easiest way to crit up to 12k with a Ranger and can deal some serious damage, as for the Sword/War Horn combo i adore the War Horn for Call of the Wild, i have this in almost every build i ever make just because of its usefulness for the Team, this can be swapped out before combat to a Torch or another Off-Hand you prefer.

These weapons mixed with Quickening Zephyr makes any Skill that more dangerous and can see you dropping someone in no time, you just need to be careful for the Dodge, Retaliation etc. because once the enemy knows you are running a Power Build you are pretty easy to take down, don?t forget to keep Steady Focus and Hunter?s Tactics in the back of your mind at all times, this will really increase that damage output from these weapons.

Weapon Sigils

Longbow ? Sigil of Superior Force
Sword/War Horn ? Sigil of Superior Force/Sigil of Superior Battle

The base 5% damage increase from Sigil of Superior Force is pretty straight forward here especially when running a Power Build but can be swapped around for other Sigils depending on your play style, remember i am not here to tell you what is best or not, just to simply help guide you in to a better understanding.

I went for Sigil of Superior Battle because i know i will be starting with the Longbow as i enter combat and switching to Sword/War Horn so having the 3 stacks of Might will increase my damage output quite nicely. Again Sigils can be mixed and matched and there are some i have no even tried yet.

Pet 1 ? Lynx

I chose this pet mainly because of its ability to dish out a lot of damage and condition damage and is pretty much one of the more reliable DPS Pets out there, like you can have a Bird as a pet but expect slow movement. The F2 Ability ?Rending Pounce? is really strong and may even confuse your enemy to think you are running a Condition Build when they start seeing the Bleeds stack on them.

Pet 2 ? Wolf

I chose Wolf as my second pet mainly because it can deal out some nice damage and also plays a role when you are in a Downed State, while you are downed you are still able to swap pets so swapping to a Wolf and activating its F2 Skill ?Terrifying Howl? will cause a 2s Fear to spread to nearby enemies and can give you some extra time for your Team to revive you or even kill the enemy. This again can be changed to whatever suits your play style.

Healing Skill ? Healing Spring

Much like in my Spirit Support Build I chose this skill because of its AoE Regeneration ability and Condition Removal, not only that but timing it right with Blast and Whirl Finishers grants a nice AoE heal for surround allies and can be a vital part of keeping yourself, your spirits or your allies alive in a team fight.

Utility Skill 1 ? Lightning Reflexes
Utility Skill 2 ? Quickening Zephyr
Utility Skill 3 ? Muddy Terrain

Straight off the bat we can see that our Wilderness Knowledge Trait comes in handy here as all of our Skills are Survival based which allows us to use them more often.

Lightning Reflexes is an excellent way to get out of sticky situations by evading backwards quite a distance and granting us 100% Endurance Regeneration for 10 seconds so straight away, we have left the thick of the battle and are on our way to more damage output thanks to Steady Focus or even being able to dodge more incoming attacks depending on if you are in trouble or not. Let?s not forget that this Skill will break you out of a Stun so this can be vital when avoiding those combos from Warriors or Elementalists.

Quickening Zephyr is basically on here to double our damage output for the next 4 seconds, typically this is used just before Rapid Fire to double the damage output essentially but bear in mind that we cannot heal or be healed during this but still, amazing Utility Skill with a CD of 48s thanks to Wilderness Knowledge makes this a strong burst mechanic.

Muddy Terrain is a personal preference, this thing can save your life, save your team mate?s life? it can play a vital part in a team fight I mean this thing has so much to it and so much that can be done with it I don?t know where to start.

I found this became most useful when entering a team fight, place this bad boy on top of your enemy and BAM, 2 ? second immobilize which they can either ride out or pop a CC breaker to remove which then leaves them open for other CCs from your team.

It also plays a strong part in escaping by slowing down the enemy when needed, I actually used this on a Necro to immobilize him for 2 seconds, kite behind him and then stun him with Concussion Shot and he was stunned to death almost, of course this was with a Shortbow but still, you understand where i am coming from.

Elite ? Rampage as One

RaO, well what can i say about this? Like amazing! This Elite was made for damage through and through, prevents CC on you and increases your damage output tenfold each time your pet attacks by giving you Might, combine this with Call of the Wild and Sigil of Superior Battle and you are one tough cookie let me tell you that! This should be used at the start of a fight as it lasts for 20 seconds and in that team a whole team could be dropped. Love it.

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I would have to go for the Superior Rune of Divinity x6 again just its overall awesomeness and ability to really bring out the damage within you, there are a few other options and you could mix and match but until i find a viable combo i will be sticking with these.

Soldier?s Amulet with Soldier?s Jewel just because of the immense Power, Toughness and Vitality it gives which in turn makes me pretty tanky and even more powerful, a dead Ranger is useless.

Condition Based Build

Weapon Sets ? Shortbow & Axe/War Horn (switch to Torch when OOC)

Out of all the weapons we have available to use this combo is the strongest for Condition Damage due to the nature of the Shortbow and the immense Condition damage from Throw Torch and Splitblade combo. The Shortbow was designed with Condition Damage in mind, just look at its ?auto-attack? Cross Fire, you apply a 3s bleed if you attack from the side or behind, this is where Hunter?s Tactics & Quick Draw comes in handy
as you can get up to roughly 4 stacks of bleeds at any one time with your auto-attack but the 4th will drop off quickly all the time and this should not be your main damage output at all, it is just to simply increase the Intensity of the current Bleed or help it maintain a somewhat high stack but due to recent nerfs it is a little harder to keep those stacks high, before the balance change we could get up to 25 stacks of Bleed on a target within 2 seconds, it is a little harder now but we can still get quite high with a bit of luck and the right Traits.

You may have noticed the that I put the War Horn in before the Torch, well using Hunter?s Call as part of your ?Rotation? is still quite good, you can get up to roughly 4k after they finish attacking combined with Call of the Wild but I would use the Boon Skill while out of combat and then switch in the Torch for maximum damage output.

Weapon Sigils

Shortbow ? Sigil of Superior Battle
Axe/War Horn ? Sigil of Superior Earth/Sigil of Superior Geomancy

I personally chose these Sigils because most of the time I will enter a fight with my Axe/Torch weapon set and attack with Splitblade, this skill along with the Sigil & Sharpened Edges is what allows us to get such high stacks of Bleed on the enemy, (remember to use Call of the Wild beforehand for maximum chance) and then I switch to my Shortbow which will give me the Might Boon which will increase my base damage and condition damage so it is a win-win situation, just make sure that when you switch back to the Axe/Torch weapon set you are close to an enemy to apply that 7s Bleed on nearby foes. But much like the other builds, choose what Sigils you feel suit your playstyle more.

Pet 1 ? Lynx

I chose this pet mainly because of its ability to dish out a lot of damage and condition damage and is pretty much one of the more reliable DPS Pets out there, like you can have a Bird as a pet but expect slow movement. The F2 Ability ?Rending Pounce? is really strong especially to increase the overall stack of Bleed on your target.

Pet 2 ? Wolf

I chose Wolf as my second pet mainly because it can deal out some nice damage and also plays a role when you are in a Downed State, while you are downed you are still able to swap pets so swapping to a Wolf and activating its F2 Skill ?Terrifying Howl? will cause a 2s Fear to spread to nearby enemies and can give you some extra time for your Team to revive you or even kill the enemy. This again can be changed to whatever suits your play style.

Healing Skill ? Healing Spring

Much like in my Spirit Support Build and my Power Based Build I chose this skill because of its AoE Regeneration ability and Condition Removal, not only that but timing it right with Blast and Whirl Finishers grants a nice AoE heal for surround allies and can be a vital part of keeping yourself, your spirits or your allies alive in a team fight.

Utility Skill 1 ? Lightning Reflexes
Utility Skill 2 ? Signet of Stone
Utility Skill 3 ? Muddy Terrain

As with the Power Build we can see that our Wilderness Knowledge Trait comes in handy here as most of our Skills are Survival based which allows us to use them more often.

Lightning Reflexes is an excellent way to get out of sticky situations by evading backwards quite a distance and granting us 100% Endurance Regeneration for 10 seconds so straight away, we have left the thick of the battle and let?s not forget that this Skill will break you out of a Stun so this can be vital when avoiding those combos from Warriors or Elementalists. It is generally a good Skill to use and comes in handy for escape

Signet of Stone may seem like a unusual one but hear me out, some people may think that our Signets are pretty underpowered due to their lacklustre active abilities with such a high CD on them but my reasoning behind this is because it grants extra Toughness (not sure how much) for you and your pet which in turn helps us stay alive with 17.3HP and also grants us extra Condition Damage from our Superior Rune of the Undead (granted it calculates from Utility Skills) so in turn a nice outcome but some players might change this to more Condition Removal or other Skills they see fit.

Muddy Terrain is a personal preference, this thing can save your life, save your team mate?s life? it can play a vital part in a team fight I mean this thing has so much to it and so much that can be done with it I don?t know where to start.

I found this became most useful when entering a team fight, place this bad boy on top of your enemy and BAM, 2 ? second immobilize which they can either ride out or pop a CC breaker to remove which then leaves them open for other CCs from your team.

It also plays a strong part in escaping by slowing down the enemy when needed, I actually used this on a Necro to immobilize him for 2 seconds, kite behind him and then stun him with Concussion Shot and he was stunned to death almost, of course this was with a Shortbow but still, you understand where i am coming from.

Elite ? Rampage as One

RaO, well what can i say about this? Like amazing! This Elite was made for damage through and through, prevents CC on you and increases your damage output tenfold each time your pet attacks by giving you Might, combine this with Call of the Wild and Sigil of Superior Battle and you are one tough cookie let me tell you that! This should be used at the start of a fight as it lasts for 20 seconds and in that team a whole team could be dropped. Love it.

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For the Rune section, some players for mixed combinations and I myself have not had chance to compare them all and calculate which one is best with which but if the 6 Set stat increase works for Superior Rune of the Undead as I hope it does then this is what I run, just because of the immense Condition Damage & Toughness it grants considering we have such a low health pool compared to others.

As for the Amulet/Jewel I chose to mix this up a little and went for the Rabid Amulet and the Knight?s Jewel and my reasoning behind this is pretty simple, the Rabid Amulet just screams Condition to me and with such a low health pool I needed some Vitality and it comes with some nice Toughness which should hopefully go with the Rune set.

6. Weapon Sets

In this section i will talk about each weapon we have available to us and a little about their skills.

Weapon ? Short Bow

This weapon is your Bread and Butter for condition based builds, it is especially helpful for those opening hard stuns with Concussion Shot followed by the multiple bleeds/cripples, and without this weapon the Condition build would be pretty useless, unless used with another condition based weapon set.

Weapon Skills ? w/ Quick Draw

Cross Fire
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This skills allows us to put a 3 seconds bleed on our target if hit from behind or the side, this goes well with the whole reason why we use the Shortbow. Mixing this with Quickening Zephyr is one wau of allowing us to put a huge amount of bleeds on to the target within seconds, but the ability to flank your opponent here is key otherwise you will be dealing minimal damage and adding 0 bleeds but using QS would probably be a waste of a Utility Slot because using the right Traits and Splitblade alone will add quite a few stacks as mentioned in the Condition Build.

Poison Volley
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This skill allows us to fire 5 poisoned arrows which poisons the enemy for 2s and reduces their healing effectiveness by 33%, this should be used up close so that the duration is increased because the further away you are the shorter the duration is, it is great for taking out that high defense Guardian or Elementalist.

Quick Shot
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This skill allows us to kite more efficiently and it also gets us out of hairy situations by making an evasive retreat (jump back) and gaining swiftness if it hits, using this along with Lightening Reflexes allows us to get out of serious situations with ease.

Crippling Shot
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As it states, a nice cripple skill and the next 3 attacks from our pet adds bleeding, more DoTs for us, you should try and use this to keep your stacks up. Using this Skill to slow down that Roamer or player attempting to escape can easily secure your team the kill.

Concussion Shot
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Here is our hard stun for this weapon set which allows us to stun for 1 second if hit from behind or the side, this allows us time to apply everything we need or alternatively giving us the chance to escape or prevent theirs.

Weapon ? Long Bow

This weapon defines (in my eyes) a Ranger as a whole, raining hell down on the enemy from afar suits my usual playstyle completely but unfortunately it seems to be a little buggy and at the moment is not as viable as our other builds but ANet are constantly tweaking things and it should all be fine by Launch. That said it allows us to have some AoE with Barrage and some burst damage when using Rapid Fire.

Weapon Skills ? w/ Quick Draw

Long Range Shot
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This is our ?Auto Attack? for this weapon and as it states in the tooltip, the further you are away from the target the more damage it does, an excellent little feature to the skill if you ask me, rewarding the player for kiting and staying as far away as possible, much like a Ranger should do but the only downside is that the further away you are the easier it is for you to miss your arrow or be dodged and the rate of fire is too slow so i wouldn?t rely on this too much.

Rapid Fire
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Here we have our ?Ez Mode? skill as it requires the player to only know when to use the skill and then it deals out large amounts of damage when used in conjunction with Quickening Zephyr, it has a cast animation and dodging will stop this attack from finishing so be careful when you use it as to not waste the damage output.

Hunters Shot
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Fires an arrow and adds a stack of Vulnerability to your for which would mean 1% more damage and gives your pet Swiftness, pretty simple and easy to understand ability, not the best in my eyes but if the buff is right then Hunter?s Shot will be quite viable.

Point Blank Shot
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I cannot explain how useful this skill can be, this allows you to knock someone back and the closer they are to you, the further back they will be knocked, this can be used to interrupt high damaging skills and also push that pesky melee character away from you.

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This is our AoE bread and butter and can be used in conjunction with Point Blank Shot, a little tip is to set your ?Ground Target? skills to activate wherever your mouse cursor, those DOTA/HoN/LoL players know what i mean. (Although i started using it with the graphic now just for preference) but please be careful when and where you use this skill as having all the damage reflected upon you can result in a quick death.

Weapon ? Axe & War Horn or Torch

This weapon combo is very favourable at the moment due to the War Horn giving Boons to yourself and your team, the Torch dealing some high Burning damage along with the insane amount of bleeds we can dish out with our Axe.

Weapon Skills ? Axe

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I personally hardly ever use this as I am too busy using my other Skills to apply my Bleeds or whatever i am using the Axe for, but more times than not i only use Axe for Condition Builds but this has a nice base damage for a auto-attack and can bounce to a maximum of 3 targets which is handy in Team Fights.

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This skill allows us to throw out 5 axes in a cone in front of us and deal damage and add Bleeds to the opponent, we can have some high amount of bleeds stacked on the enemy straight away by using this skill along with the Sharpened Edge Trait & Sharpening Stone Skill.

Winter?s Bite
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We throw an axe at the enemy and Chill the enemy, this will also allow our pet to inflict Weakness on our foe, pretty straight forward and quite strong considering that Chill reduces your enemies Skill Recharge Rate by 66% for 3s, don?t forget to use this!

Weapon Skills ? War Horn

Hunter?s Call
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This skill will summon loads of little birdies to attack your foe and personally it seems quite strong and should definitely be thrown in to your ?Rotation?. Also together with the Sigil of Superior Earth and the Sharpened Edge Trait, it is by far the fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to stack a bunch of bleeds but bear in mind that Sharpened Edges only applies a 1 second bleed.

Call of the Wild
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This skill is very amazing for giving Boons to yourself and your team, never forget to use this during the start of each match for that speed boost and during team fights as it can really change the tide of the battle. This also has a low CD timer so don?t forget about it! Using this Skill and then switching to the Torch before combat provides the most possible damage output currently.

Weapon Skills ? Torch

Throw Torch
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Torch to the face! We get to throw our torch at the enemy and inflicting immense Burning to our foe, just try to make sure they don?t dodge this skill as from i have seen, it is pretty easy to dodge. Damn slow animation.

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This skill allows us to burn foes around us and not only that, it gives us a Combo Field that we can utilize to add Burning to a foe, and considering most of out skills allows us to do this then it is a very strong skill to use, when used right. Running away from the burning field is bad.

Weapon ? Greatsword

This weapon is a favourite for those who enjoy the Ranger profession but want to be more Melee over ranged, some people argue saying that Ranger should only be ranged but this is not true and it has been stated many times on these forums that the first ?Ranger? figures actually also used swords so don?t fret if you want to smash someone?s face in with a Greatsword, it is viable!

Weapon Skills

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This is the ?auto attack? and can deal some mighty damage when used in conjunction with Quickening Zepyhr, and will deal more than some other of our weapon sets ?auto attack? so don?t be afraid to throw some in.

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A nice skill that adds Bleeding to your target, unless you have some high condition damage this does not deal that much damage but most Builds have a nice mix of both Power and Condition Damage so don?t be afraid to throw this Skill in, some Rangers like to run Trap Builds and also have high Condition Damage which is a good combo with this for those who want to be up close and personal.

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This is a lovely gap closer and can also be used to dodge ground target skills as well as deal some nice AoE damage, it also has an amazing animation and should definitely be used when ever it is off CD.

Counter Attack
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This does as it states, it can come in handy to push back those pesky Melee and can be used to block some of those devastating skills by other professions such as a Warrior.

Hilt Bash
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This is a nice skill that will daze your opponent and will stun them if hit from behind, this also adds 50% damage to your pet?s next attack which can be nice.

As you can tell I barely use the Greatsword but it?s not to say that it isn?t viable.

Weapon ? Sword

The Sword is my personal favorite when it comes to Melee weapons just because of the sheer awesomeness of the animations and the ability to increase your pets damage by applying Might every time you use Pounce and let?s not forget the Cripple, oh and did i say how awesome the animations are?

Weapon Skills

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This is our ?auto-attack? for the sword, not only does it look awesome when we attack but each attack except the first has a side effect, so for the first attack it deals flat damage but the second attack adds a 2s Cripple on the target and then the 3rd will make is do a sweet ass Leap at the target and our pet gains a stack of Might for 5s, couple this with Quickening Zephyr/Sword Mastery and a Power Build and you can pretty shut anyone down in no time.

Hornet Sting
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I personally use this Skill to retreat from combat to LoS or escape dangerous AoE skills like that dangerous Dragon?s Tooth and then if the coast is clear within the time short time i evaded away then i can use the Chain Skill to Leap back in to combat and apply a 3s Cripple, this is more of a Evasive move in my eyes although it does deal the same amount of base damage as your auto attack and the chain deals slightly more.

Serpent?s Strike
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This Skill can be quite amazing or bothersome, let me explain?this Skill makes you do a large evasive roll around the target and then strikes your target which doesn?t always hit, now the good thing is this Skill can save your ass by rolling you away from AoE damage and such things but at the same time it can roll you off cliffs or ledges which can be very annoying, i guess just learning when and where to use this is key but i personally enjoy it as it does good damage and applies a Poison for 6s.

Weapon ? Off-Hand Axe

This is a weapon i have tried once and didn?t like due to it?s more defensive nature, and if you can?t tell already i love my Glass Cannon type builds so defense is something i don?t really think about.

Weapon Skills

Path of Scars
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Again, not really used this Skill but from i can see it has quite a healthy base damage and it deals damage in a straight line, pretty straight forward if you ask me.

Whirling Defense
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Here it is, Whirling Defense seems pretty naff to me, although i am sure the new patch means that reflected projectiles will cause Vulnerability but we will have to wait and see. This Skill makes you stand still and start spinning your Axes around to reflect projectile damage, the good thing about this is if you use it in a Healing Spring then you will be healing those allies around you.

Weapon ? Off-Hand Dagger

Again, another weapon i have not had chance to try at all because the War Horn is such a good choice in nearly every situation but i will make sure to try this out at some point and leave better comments on how i feel about this weapon.

Weapon Skills

Stalker?s Strike
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Well straight off i see this as being more of a Evasive attack because it deals low damage but applies a Poison and evades enemy attacks, so i would use this more for defense rather than offense.

Crippling Talon
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This would seem to go very nicely with a Condition based Build because the base damage is quite high and it applies 3 stacks of Bleeding along with a 6s Cripple, ramp that up with Malice and you will be dealing some nice damage with this Skill.

7. Accessories

I will update this section with every rune, Sigil and Amulet/Jewel combination used for a given build type.

Pure Condition Damage:
Runes: I personally use the Superior Rune of the Undead x6. They give you an additional 183 Condition Damage and 50 Toughness, and the set bonus will use 5% of your overall toughness and convert it to Condition Damage, overall the best for condition damage I would say, some other people run with a mix and that?s fine also.

Smellyead, on 03 August 2012 ? 11:21 PM, said:
The best rune setup I think is mixing atleast 2 or 3 for a condition spec based around bleeds/poison. I run with 4 Afflicted for +15% bleed and +15 poison duration then 2 Krait for +15% bleed duration again, in the tPvP team fights they can get drawn out against good teams so the extra duration helps alot there. You miss out on the 100 condition damage and whatever 6 set bonus but I think the extra duration makes up for that. Obviously it?s personal preference and can depend on team composition but in general I wouldn?t run without mixing for maximum effect.

Sigils: For my Shortbow I use Earth, just because of the 60% chance to proc a 5s bleed on the target which adds further to the condition stacking build I use, this is subject to change and can be changed around to suit the players play style.
For my Axe & War Horn combo I use Earth for the Axes and Strength on the War Horn purely because of that chance to apply more Might to yourself which in turn increases your damage output.

Amulet & Jewel: For my condition build I run Rabid/Rabid purely because it provides the highest amount of Condition Damage at a whopping +798 Condition Damage along with another 569 Toughness, I mean come on really? Nothing else to say about this.

8. Secondary Skills

I?ll describe the healing, utility and elite spells I use for a given build type and list the other viable options, but bear in mind that they are mainly aimed at a Condition Build rather than Support or Burst.

Healing Skills

Heal As One ? This tends to be the one I run the most purely because I seem to get focused after a while and having that extra direct healing can really save my life.

Healing Spring ? I used to run this in quite a lot but after a while I realised that none of my PUGs where actually using its field attributes so therefore it became a waste and the regeneration on it is terrible especially when I don?t invest any traits into healing. If I was in a team that would utilize this correctly then I would probably switch back to it, but for now at least Heal As One will be main priority Healing Skill.

Troll Unguent ? I have never used this skill but Regen over Direct heal with no traits aimed at healing seems a little silly although the amount healed over the 10s is a lot higher than the direct heal, quite a few players are running burst builds and therefore you need a ?burst? type heal to get back up there, this linked with a long CD, the longest out of them all makes this not as good as the other two. Heal As One can be used twice by the time this has been used once.

Utility Skills

Lightening Reflexes ? This skill for me was undervalued for a good few BWEs until a good friend of mine over a PM thought I should try it out and I must say, from having no CC breaker to this I can?t explain how many times it helped me escape from certain death or even pull enemies away from their cap. Having this & Quick Shot allows us to gain a substantial amount of escape space if you find yourself in a sticky situation, and for those who want to just chase you down, you are also pulling players off their cap and allowing your own team to ninja in behind them.

Muddy Terrain ? Wow?Wow?Wow? I mean WOW! This skill? to put it bluntly I thought ?Rubbish? when I first read/saw it and never even tried it, this Stress Test I thought I would try it out and OMFG this thing can save your life, save your team mate?s life? it can play a vital part in a team fight I mean this thing has so much to it and so much that can be done with it I don?t know where to start.

I found this became most useful when entering a team fight, place this bad boy on top of your enemy and BAM, 2 ? second immobilize which they can either ride out or pop a CC breaker to remove which then leaves them open for other CCs from your team.

It also plays a strong part in escaping by slowing down the enemy when needed, I actually used this on a Necro to immobilize him for 2 seconds, kite behind him and then stun him, he was stunned to death almost.

Sharpening Stone ? This skill allows our next 5 attacks to apply a bleed, use this before you use Splitblade and you have pretty much gave them the plague.

Alternate Skill ? Quickening Zephyr ? Some people use this to increase the speed in which they can apply the bleeds and if they are running a Longbow they can increase the damage output of Rapid Fire at the same time, this can be useful but it is not as supporting to your build as let?s say, Muddy Terrain.

Alternate Skill ? Flame Trap ? I have noticed some players prefer traps over other skills, as I personally do not like them so players love them and find that Flame Trap has the most burst potential out of the others and I could see this being used to defend cap points or tight corridors.

9. Pets

For a comprehensive Pet Guide check out my post here

10. Your Role in a Team

No matter what profession and what build you are playing, there will always be one role that you can fulfil better than the others. It will mostly depend on your build for a profession that has many viable ones. As of now, Ranger?s don?t really fulfil a particular role to the max but can be found playing as the Roamer.

Roaming: So what does roaming mean? It means that you will spend most of your time running around the map, either turning the tide of team fights or back capping points. This is EXTREMELY important. If you want to be useful, your team needs to announce how many players they are fighting, where the fight takes place and tell you if one of the enemies leaves it.

You NEED to know how many players of the enemy team are in a team fight and where the said fight takes place at all times! If you do things like that, it will become extremely easy to know when you can back cap an enemy point for free, where you are the most needed to win a fight, if you can take care of a secondary objective safely, etc.

When you jump into a fight, make sure that you do not stay any longer than needed to. If the rest of the map is safe, then you can stay until the enemy is stomped. However, if you are needed at different places at the same time go to the first one, make sure your team-mate will win the fight by taking away some HP from his target, applying conditions on it and giving some boons to the player you?re supposed to help, then leave for the second place ASAP.

Do not spend more time than needed at a given place, that?s the most important rule.

11. 1v1 Fights

You can win against any of the Elementalist builds that are the most played at the moment. However, most of them will take some time to take down, enough time for the Ele to get support from his team. Keep in mind that any mistake means death because you?ll get bursted down. You just need to dodge/avoid the obvious stuff. If you get hit by any crowd control from a scepter/dagger Elementalist, you are most likely dead. If you can equip a Soldier Amulet for this match-up, you should do so (except if it?s a support/tank Ele).

Personally I find the Warrior to be one of the easiest to predict in terms of combat animations and as long as you can dodge or avoid their melee attacks by using one of many of our evasive skills then he will drop in no time. The key, like with all melee professions is to keep him at range and don?t allow him to get up close and personal as he will shred through you like a hot knife through butter.

These buggers are extremely annoying to kill and deal a surprising amount of damage for being so ?tanky?. I use that work loosely of course, don?t want people screaming at me, but as long as you know when not to attack, yes you heard me NOT attack then you should be fine. Most Guardians run with Retaliation in mind which is not to be confused with Reflect, in the video below you will see how I destroyed myself by not picking up on what he was doing. I managed to kill him but with a little help from a friend.

If they are running a Power build, then dodge and kite and they won?t stand a chance, but when it comes to a condition build, if you don?t have any condition removal skills then you are going to be in big trouble unless you can heal your way through it or out DPS them in terms of condition damage.

So far I have only fought against Power build Rangers who all do the exact same thing, open with Rapid Fire in which you reply with a dodge and maybe a Quick Shot or Lightening Reflexes for good measure, Power build Rangers currently do a large amount of damage if ignored but they tend to run Longbow which currently is a little..meh but if they are running a condition build then it comes down to a players skill, unless of course one if running some condition removal skills, then you are in big trouble.

I have not fought against many of these but from what I have read, as long as you don?t attack him on his fields or get hit by them then you can do pretty good against him. Although fighting against one with a ton load of pets can be extremely harmful for your Short/Long Bow and you need to get up close and personal to deal damage to him and not his pets. Some community input would be nice here.

These bad boys can be squishy as hell, but if you are playing against, let?s say Lowell then you going find yourself in the downed state most of the time, their ability to stealth like a gazillion times and then just come out of no-where and burst you down is insane, be careful against skilled Thieves, I need practice more against them.

Mesmer (Taken from Lowell as it is true for Ranger)
Okay, this match-up is always fun/frustrating depending on what kind of person you are. You will need to try and play with the line of sight of his Illusions/Phantasms as much as possible regardless of the kind of build he?s running (Power or Condition Damage). The bleeds his illusions can stack (1 bleed/crit) is insane when added to his own spells and the immunes, dazes, extra conditions he can get from shatters. Most Mesmers also run 2 ranged 2s Stuns, but the Magic Bullet is rather easy to dodge. Be careful with that. If he?s a Condi Mesmer and manages to get 5+ confusion stacks on you limit the use of your skills to the minimum. Remember, a good illusion is a dead illusion. Kill them with your Shortbow before he shatters them, as much as possible that is.

12. Downed State

As soon as someone, anyone, enters down state, the fight shifts to a new phase. What a lot of players still do not understand at the moment is that Downed State is one of the most important mechanics in Guild Wars 2. Stomping and Reviving is by far more important than bursting someone down. Let?s take a look at the different scenarios you can face.

You are downed!
Avoid enemy stomps as long as possible, which means not long as a Ranger. We only have our AoE daze which does not last very long and the only possible chance we have is if the enemy is killed before stomping us so we can call our pet to revive us. We are able to swap pets while in our downed form though, so potentially we could summon a wolf and have it cast a 2 second AoE Fear to help prolong the downed state.

A Team Mate is downed!
Your goal is to rally him. You can do it by stomping an enemy before your team-mate is stomped or by reviving him directly. Do the safest thing. If you might get interrupted while stomping your opponent and not while reviving your ally, go for the second option. If it?s the other way around, go and stomp your opponent.

An Enemy is downed!
Your goal is to stomp him. You?ll only be weak against AoE crowd control. The other possibility is to get Stability from one of your team-mates and go for the stomp. That will leave you weak to direct damage
If you know that for some reason you will not be able to stomp the enemy during a team fight, keep damaging him and applying bleeds on him/her so that the people who might try to revive him need more time to do so. It will be extremely helpful for your team-mates who are trying to stomp him before he gets revived.

Everyone is downed!

13. Tips and Tricks

? ?? Swapping your pet before it dies will ensure a lower CD on your switch back

? ?? Don?t forget about those Weapon Swapping procs, like the swiftness as it can help you
chase/escape that little bit easier

? ?? Barrage will continue to deal damage if you cancel the animation early (unconfirmed)

? ?? The Bird type pet?s currently attack twice, bug?

14. Final Statement

This is not my first guide but it is my first ?Good? guide hehe, I feel I have put quite a lot of time and effort in to this and hope that anyone reading can see that.

I am not some super player or an amazing one at that, but as I have said before, I just want to help those out there that may not want to go through mountains upon mountains of threads to find any information on their profession.

I would like as much feedback as possible and I am always open to changing/adding more information so that we can help other players new to the profession.

Don?t think of this as my guide, think of it as yours!


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