Immortal Throne - Mastery Mods > Hunting IT

Cassidy's Ranger Guide


Ranger (archer)- Ishida, Death from Afar
1) – Overview –
The ranger was the first character I played in TQ and still easily one of my favourites. Despite being something of a late bloomer, he can survive in any situation, put out an insane level of piercing damage from range, use pets to cover his *** and move through legendary at a very decent pace. This is the second build presented for the build compendium (see gameplay thread).
2) – Skills and Stats –
Stat wise, the Ranger is a difficult one. You’ll want plenty of dex to use high level bows (250-300), enough int to use +nature skill items to get 3 wolves (250 or so) and plenty of str to get your dps higher. I suggest building dex and str initially until you can wear your chosen gear, then in late normal/early epic when it is time for 3 wolves, go for int.
Health and mana aren’t big considerations – you shouldn’t be getting into too much melee combat and mana pots are plentiful.
=== Nature ===
Heart of the Oak – 12 points (max). This skill grants you and your allies a considerable buff to health and speed (96 percent/10 percent max). With synergies it reduces energy cost and increases your resistances. Get it.
Tranquility of Water (synergy to above)- 0-1 point. Gives a chance that your abilities will use half the mana they usually do. If you are running into mana problems, drop a point into this – otherwise, forget it.
Permanence of Stone (synergy to above) – 6 points (max). Sexy increase to all resistances (12 percent max). An extremely useful skill.
Call of the Wild – 7-15 points. This gives you a pair (or trio) of wolves. While they tend to bite the bullet alarmingly fast in normal, in later difficulties they have surprising staying power. You want them as they keep enemies away from you, as well as buffing you with their lovely damn howl. If you lack at least +3 nature skills from items, only sink 7 points into it. If you can potentially reach 18 (and thus 3 wolves), max it.
Maul (synergy to above) – 1 point. A near useless skill, adding a bit of damage to your wolves. Just grab it as a prerequisite.
Survival instinct (synergy to above) – 1 point. This keeps your wolves alive a little longer.
Strength of the Pack (synergy to above) – 12 points (max). Now this is what we wanted…a high level boost to your damage output (68 percent max). With three wolves, this is practically permanent (woohoo!).
Refesh – 1 point. The most imbalanced skill in teh game :). Allows you to get call of the hunt permanently – pretty much takes this build from average to uber.
=== Hunting ===
Wood Lore – 6 points (max). Offers a modest boost to attack speed and defensive ability. Nice.
Herbal Remedy – 1 point. A decent bit of regen, with a nice boost to poison resistance. This must be cast, but lasts a long time and is more help than you’ll realize.
Art of the Hunt – 10 points (max). A great allround skill, not only does it give you bonus damage to beasts and beastmen (who make up about half of the games menagerie) but pumps your pierce damage, the focus of this build.
Find cover (synergy to above) – 1-8 (max) points. Allows you to dodge projectiles – the main threat to this build. While each point does give a diminishing return on your investments, still a good thing to have – especially late game.
Trail Blazing (synergy to above) – 1 point. Move even faster and escape from traps/slowdowns etc. Useful for this very mobile character.
Marksmanship – 2-10 points. Gives base pierce damage and allows your projectiles to move faster. Mainly useful for its synergies.
Puncture shot arrows (synergy to above) – 12 points (max). Allows your arrows to punch through enemies, giving you mob control. Also boosts pierce and bleed damage and allows your projectiles to move significantly faster. What more can I say – get it.
Scatter shot arrows (synergy to above) – 1-12(max). Your arrows fling off shrapnel whenever they hit/pass through an enemy. Some hate this (especially if you are running textures on med/low – they look like treetrunks!) but with the various pierce buffs, this can rack up to a decent amount of dmg late game, particularly when used in conjunction with Volley and Puncture.
Study Prey – 8 points (max). Think D2’s amplify damage – this is a short duration (thankfully its charge is equally short) skill that allows vastly increased damage to multiple enemies. This can also break the pierce immunity/resistance of the nasty undead/construct foes you’ll be facing. Put it on your right mouse button and use it often.
Flush out (synergy to above) – 1-6 points. Lowers enemies elemental resistances and defensive abilities. This allows you to get more crits and is especially useful if you are using a high elemental damage bow.
Call of the Hunt – 8 points (max). The focus of this build, with synergies this effectively more than doubles your damage output! Has a very long charge time, which can be totally bypassed with refresh.
Exploit Weakness (synergy to above) – 10 points (max). 139 percent increased pierce and bleeding damage. ‘Nuff said.
Volley – 1-6 points (gear dependant). Uber ranger skill with sadly diminishing returns on skill point investment. Allows three arrows to be fired simultaneously, granting some decent mob control in conjucntion with scatter shot and puncture.
=== Other Skills to Consider ===
Monster Lure – Another little friend to keep enemies at bow’s length. Is extremely durable in later difficulties…very, very useful.
Plague and synergies – Pretty useful if you want to go boss running – decreases almost every aspect of your foes abilities, including damage output, speed and damage resistance. Requires a lot of skill points though and even more micromanagement.
Sylvan Nymph and synergies – Another summon with a very decent damage output and late game defensive capabilities. However, also requires a lot of skill points to be effective.
3) – Character Progression
Start by dropping 7 points into your wolves, getting a pair out. Next build up to heart of oak, also putting a single point into maul. This will allow you to breeze through most of act 1 with ease and at high speed.
Now, switch your focus to your hunting mastery. Max out Wood Lore for the boni, then put 3 points into Art of the Hunt, 2 into Marksmanship and 1 into Herbal Remedy. This means you will own against beastmen and beasts for a while, have speedy, powerful projectiles and get that all important pierce multiplier going.
Now focus on maxing out the Hunting tree, putting a single point in all essential skills. By this point you should be around late Egypt, possibly early Orient and really starting to come into your own.
From here you have two choices for build path – instant returns and long term benefits (both end in the same place though).
If you have good gear and are blasting through the game, put a few points into volley and then focus on climbing the Nature tree until you get Strength of the Pack and Refresh.
If you are lacking in gear and are slogging your way through normal, focus on building volley, puncture, study prey and scatter a little first, until you feel comfortable with your killing ability.
Once you have refresh, immediately maximise Exploit Weakness and, if you choose to, Call of the Hunt. Use refresh to make this utterly crazy skill permanent and say hello to +-150 percent dps increase!
By now you should be in late Orient (if you went the long term benefits route) or early-medium epic (if you took the instant returns route). Either way, focus on building up your remaining skills.
If you have sufficient +nature skills items, sink a further 7 points to get 3 wolves out (I wouldn’t do this until Epic though since they die all too fast in normal Orient).
By the time you hit Legendary you should have completed the recommended build. You should now consider maxing out the optional extras, like Scatter or Marksmanship, or perhaps going for Plague or Lure to compliment your character. Finally, maxing Find Cover wouldn’t hurt :).
4) – Lets talk Strategy –
Strategy for a ranger revolves around staying away from monsters – use your wolves as a barrier and focus fire on the mobs that are attacking them. In desperation, leg it and get up against a wall to avoid being surrounded. ‘Kite’ enemies if you must (running away and taking potshots). Also try to line enemies up so that your puncture shot arrows can be used to their full potential. Study prey is a must, use it constantly, especially against undead and constructs. Melee monsters should be eliminated at range or lured into combat with your summons. Ranged monsters can provide a challenge, especially in legendary. Thankfully, find cover helps immensly – just drop a study prey on them and annihilate them forthwith.
Finally, in epic and legendary, you will probably want to use a monster lure to make sure enemies stay away from you (and group together nicely for scatter+puncture:) ).
This character, without good gear tends to move rather slowly at first, but you should start gaining momentum in Egypt. As soon as you can, start using the refresh/call of the hunt technique and watch your damage skyrocket. You can potentially do 7-10k endgame with decent gear – stacks of pierce damage also means your damage isn’t as reduced by enemies armor as other characters tend to be.
5) – Gear –
Your gear for this character is going to be important – a bowman is defined by their bow. If you lack decent gear, slog your way through to Typhon and run him until you get something decent (Torrent bow is a personal favorite). You’ll also want plenty of IAS (to get volley off as often as possible).
An optimum build will have a powerful rare bow (you can find better rares than most uniques in legendary) with an incarnation of Artremis Bowstring with Slow modifier, plenty of +pierce damage items and enough +nature skills to get 3 wolves. A little stun (rings enchanted incarnation of wineskin with stun modifier) with wouldn’t hurt either.
6) – Weaknesses –
The main problem with building a ranger is that they start off slowly and are *highly* gear dependant.
Furthermore they are typically frail, even with heart of the oak pumping them. Massed archers and casters can give you a hard time, as well as strong, fast moving melee monsters. Play carefully, using your summons to lure enemies into a situation where you can perforate them.
However, when up to scratch, the ranger can dominate completely.
-Guide by Cassidy


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