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Guide:Generic Utility Ranger

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WarriorAxe WarriorWarriorSword WarriorRangerUtility RangerAssassinPressure AssassinRitualistHA Ritualist

This guide should serve as a basis for most meta Rangers which use a bow. The build is extremely versatile and can be adapted to almost any situation. The basic build is common in all aspects of PvP.

The Core Build

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The Core Skills

Let's have a look at the skills that should be contained in most (if not all) bars of this type.

Distracting Shot Distracting Shot

  • This is one skill that should never leave your bar if you're using a bow. Its relatively short recharge coupled with its quite devastating skill disabling effect makes it a dangerous skill to enemies of all types.
    • You will want to interrupt important skills and spells, mostly ones with short recharges and/or powerful effects. Disabling resurrection skills is especially important.
    • Word of Healing Word of Healing
    • Diversion Diversion - This skill is one of your top priorities.
    • Shame Shame
    • Resurrection Signet Resurrection Signet
    • Death Pact Signet Death Pact Signet
    • Flesh of My Flesh Flesh of My Flesh
    • Glyph of Lesser Energy Glyph of Lesser Energy
    • Guardian Guardian

  • Do not fire this off randomly (most of the time).
  • Some specific times when firing off a 'random' d-shot can help are things such as when a team has 3 or 4 people low (<40/50%) a d shot fired at the WoH monk can usually hit their WoH. Usually helps if you know when they last used the skill.
  • On splits after a KD and their defensive char is low (30/40%) a d-shot straight after the KD can usually guarantee an interrupt on Patient Spirit/Wielders/WoH although sometimes it is better to use Savage Shot. It depends on how sure you are going to make the kill (certain of a kill you would savage for the +damage, otherwise a d-shot is best for the shutdown)
  • If a char such as a Blinding Surge is spamming on recharge, d-shotting 4/5 seconds after they last used the skill can get an interrupt.
  • During or shortly after a spike is called, a d-shot on the WoH monk can usually catch WoH or even Infuse Health if timed properly, just take into account the arrow flight time. However this is usually better using a savage rather than risking wasting d-shot.

Savage Shot Savage Shot

  • This allows for another interrupt as well as quicker spreading of poison (Apply > normal attack > tab > savage > tab > normal attack > tab > savage > etc).
  • Adds some solid damage when used to interrupt spells, too.
  • If taking Magebane Shot as your elite, you can drop this skill.

Apply Poison Apply Poison

  • This skill allows for the spreading of poison to almost the entire enemy team. Doing this adds immense pressure to enemy monks, meaning they use up their energy and thus will have a harder time keeping red bars up.
  • Maintain this at all times, however realize that the skill lasts 24 seconds and has a 12 second recharge, you will end up very low on energy if you use this on recharge.
  • If your team has another source of poison (usually another ranger with Apply), bring Barbed Arrows Barbed Arrows instead.

Natural Stride Natural Stride

  • This is an extremely versatile skill which allows for increased movement speed and blocking.
    • The blocking effect allows for safer casting of skills like Troll Unguent and Apply Poison.
    • The IMS effect allows for kiting, closing the distance between you and your target, and limited flag running.
  • This skill's short recharge and long duration (relative to the recharge) make it more flexible compared to skills such as Lightning Reflexes and Whirling Defense.
  • Usage sometimes requires watching enemies, as it ends when hexed (or enchanted).

Resurrection Signet Resurrection Signet

  • The standard resurrect in most PvP play.
  • Cover it with Natural Stride to avoid being interrupted.
  • In AB/CM, this skill should be replaced with another skill.

Your Elite Skill

This is where you have to make a decision based on where and what type of game you are playing. You have quite a few choices for elite skills, each with different capabilities and usages.

Magebane Shot Magebane Shot - Build
  • Allows for extreme interruption on enemy casters, as well as a fairly threatening disabling effect.
  • Usage is more similar to savage than d-shot, since it has the same energy/recharge. However use it for guaranteed interrupts on important skills where you are uncertain if the person will block, such as on hard rezzes. This is also used the same as savage in poison spreading, so be liberal with interrupts with this skill, as it has a fast recharge and isn't quite as important as d-shot if it misses.
Crippling Shot Crippling Shot - Build
  • Crippling Shot Rangers, or Cripshots, can be one of the most effective and versatile Rangers on the field.
  • Because Cripshot is unblockable, it gets through monk enchantments like Guardian, and pesky stances like Defensive Stance and Shield Stance.
  • Cripshot can be used offensively:
    • Snare a monk (or other important target), call it, and your Warriors (or whatever) can gank the monk while he/she can't kite.
  • Or defensively:
    • Snare the flag runner to stop the enemy team getting Morale Boosts in GvG
    • Snare an enemy frontliner to relieve pressure on your monks
Burning Arrow Burning Arrow - Build
  • Damage. This has the highest DPS of any Ranger attack skills. It has a decent damage boost plus adds a fairly threatening duration of burning. Because of this it is often used to help assist in spikes.
    • Five seconds of burning (at 10 marksmanship) means five seconds of -7 degen, which comes out to 70 damage, plus the damage from the initial hit of the arrow.
    • Combined with Apply Poison, you will do a total of 100 damage from degen plus damage from the arrow over five seconds.
  • Overall, this skill has far less utility than other Ranger elites, but it has much more killing power than the other Ranger elites.
Melandru's Shot Melandru's Shot - Build - HA Version
  • This skill has its advantages and disadvantages over Cripshot.
    • Longer recharge: This skill's 8 second recharge means that it can't be spammed like Cripshot.
    • Conditional snare: The target has to moving or knocked down for the full effect.
      • This is rarely a problem, as usually the targets you would want to snare are moving anyway.
    • Bar compression: This skill allows for Damage, Cripple, and Bleeding in one, adding pressure and utility at the same time.
    • Short activation: The 1s activation of this skill means it can be used for a temporary, artificial IAS.
    • 5e Cost: Since your elite is cheap, running 13 Expertise to boost other attributes is viable.
Incendiary Arrows Incendiary Arrows - Build
  • This skill is excellent for spreading burning and poison to multiple foes.
  • Requires some attribute reshuffling (Wilderness Survival to 12 to meet the 3 seconds of burning breakpoint)
Prepared Shot Prepared Shot - Build
  • Most often used to fuel Concussion Shot.
Poison Arrow Poison Arrow - Build
  • Swap Apply Poison for Barbed Arrows.
  • Spread -7 degen across the entire enemy team.

Archived Choices

These elite skills were in common usage at some point, but have since fallen out of favor due to nerfs/meta shifts.

Broad Head Arrow Broad Head Arrow - Build
  • Fell out of use due to its many drawbacks:
    • Long recharge: If you miss, you have to wait another 15 seconds to fire off again.
    • Condition Removal: Another player can remove it.
    • Big arc: You have to either be very close to the enemy (which is dangerous), or the enemy has to not move (very unlikely), for this to hit.
  • Prepared Shot rangers using Concussion Shot are generally more effective at applying daze.
Escape Escape - Build
  • Replaced Natural Stride.
  • This skill allows a longer duration of IMS, and an increased block chance.
  • The skill is linked to Expertise, rather than Wilderness Survival.
  • Takes up your elite slot, but doesn't end when you become enchanted or hexed, making it much better protection.
  • The purely defensive nature of the elite kept it from seeing much play over more versatile elite skills.
Empathic Removal Empathic Removal - Build
  • Was used to counter teams who pressure with conditions and hexes in TA.
  • Removal of TA left little reason to take this build.

Variants

You now have anywhere from 2-4 optional slots left (depending on elite choice and arena). These slots are very flexible to playstyle and situation, and plenty of options exist.

Popular Skills

These are the skills most often used by a utility ranger due to their versitility.

Mending Touch Mending Touch
  • Allows for powerful self condition removal, as well as monk assistance and relieving pressure off of a split partner.
  • Short recharge and the fact that it is affected by Expertise (as a touch skill) make this very effective.
Lightning Reflexes Lightning Reflexes
  • This stance can provide excellent anti-spike.
  • The IAS allows for rapid spread of poison and give an obvious increase in DPS.
Pin Down Pin Down
  • A solid snare.
  • If you brought Crippling Shot or Melandru's Shot, this becomes redundant.
  • Similar usage to Cripshot, although long recharge and fairly high e-cost make it slightly less versatile.
Leech Signet Leech Signet
  • An interrupt that can't be blocked by most effects.
Grasping Earth Grasping Earth and Ward Against Foes Ward Against Foes
  • Used primarily in HA for additional snaring on Relic Run maps.
  • Can be strategically used on other maps, but not as frequently as a caster would use them.

Damage

As rangers are not good at a dedicated DPS role (especially when running only 10 marksmanship), it is best to only take one damage-oriented bow attack. The best use of it is to provide assists in spikes called by other teammates. Follow up with Savage Shot for a little extra damage and to possibly interrupt any last second skills.

Point Blank Shot Point Blank Shot or Zojun's Shot Zojun's Shot
  • Using one of these can provide guaranteed large damage for little energy.
  • Only take if you plan to be closer to your opponents anyway for improved interrupt ability.
  • Taking both is detrimental to this build, as damage is not the primary focus.

Survivability

Theses skills provide healing and condition/hex removal to the ranger, and in some cases allies.

Remove Hex Remove Hex
  • Helps remove hexes from yourself and allies.
  • Works decently in split GvG play.
Holy Veil Holy Veil
  • Lengthens cast times of hexes targeted on you (or allies), and can remove a hex quickly.
Purge Signet Purge Signet
  • Usually used as a "last resort."
  • Can be used in incredibly hex and condition heavy matches to remove stacks of hexes/condiitions.
  • Remember to switch to your low energy set.
Pure Was Li Ming Pure Was Li Ming
  • Self and party condition removal.
Antidote Signet Antidote Signet
  • Shorter recharge to Mending Touch
  • Guarrentees removal of Blind, Poison, and Disease
  • Can only be used on yourself, meaning it is less useful in split GvG play.
  • Frees up your secondary profession.
Troll Unguent Troll Unguent
  • This skill is a fairly powerful and cost-efficient self heal. It adds incredible survivability against degen and damage.
  • Can be used to help relieve pressure on yourself, making the job of your monk easier.
  • When casting, use Natural Stride as well to avoid interrupts.
  • Although rare now, if in a 1v1 skirmish with another ranger, you can use this + cancel to draw out interrupts to possibly get up apply or get off a mend touch.

Shutdown

Concussion Shot Concussion Shot
  • Powerful, fairly spammable source of Daze.
  • Don't spam on recharge or you will quickly see your energy gone to hell.
  • Works very well with Prepared Shot in your bar. In this case energy will be only a very little problem.
Blackout Blackout
  • Requires some attribute reshuffling (Dom to 6).
  • Extremely powerful in completely shutting down a monk before a spike.

Pressure

Hunter's Shot Hunter's Shot
  • Cheap source of bleeding to spread around with your poison.
Debilitating Shot Debilitating Shot
  • Pressure monks and other targets with e-denial.

Support

Rend Enchantments Rend Enchantments
  • Can remove stacks of enchantments.
  • Consider Rip first, as Rend has a longer cast time and recharge.
Rip Enchantment Rip Enchantment
  • Cheap, fairly spammable enchantment removal.
  • Use to remove enchants like Prot Spirit before spikes.
"Make Haste!" "Make Haste!"
  • Requires some attribute reshuffling.
  • Assist relic runners, monks, etc.
Song of Concentration Song of Concentration
  • Helps if the enemy team has a lot of interrupts and your monk is having a hard time.
  • Also useful in HA for preventing interrupts on your Ghostly Hero.
  • Cover with Natural Stride.

Hard Resurrection

Death Pact Signet Death Pact Signet
  • Requires some attribute reshuffling.
  • Even cheaper and sometimes more effective than FomF.
    • Notice the drawback.
Flesh of My Flesh Flesh of My Flesh
  • A cheap, effective hard res. Useful over Res Sig in certain situations because it does not need to be recharged by a morale boost.

Detailed Usage

This section is geared mainly towards the GvG roles of a ranger, but many of the concepts apply in other areas.

Primarily, a ranger is concerned with positioning. This is one of the most important things on a ranger, as being in the right place at the right time can either get you the interrupt you need, or force a morale boost. An important thing to remember with this though is to be very vocal with what you are doing (mainly only for when you push far out of your monks range to cripple a flag runner or for when you split off).

Positioning at the Stand

Since most of your time spent will be at the stand (if you are an honourable Euro anyway) you need to know where to stand to guarantee the majority of your interrupts hitting. For the majority of maps where the flag stand is open and there is nothing to hide behind (to stop arrows hitting) your movement is really free and you can go where you want when you want.

Offensive

Most of the time you will want to stand in their backline, pushing up as far if not further than your warriors do. This will allow you to reliably reaction 3/4s and 1s casts. Remember though, while you are interrupting you still need to spread that poison! The main skills to interrupt here are Word of Healing Word of Healing, Glyph of Lesser Energy Glyph of Lesser Energy, Guardian Guardian, and sometimes skills off Necros such as Faintheartedness Faintheartedness

Defensive

When their mesmer or necro is causing lots of problems for your team (with Diversion Diversion, Shame Shame, Lingering Curse Lingering Curse etc.) you need to drop slightly further back, in between your midline and your frontline which is basically where their midline usually is. This allows you to still spread poison but reliably interrupt the main skills that are shutting down your team or piling up the pressure. If you are very dishonourable like Fishy then you should keep down the other team's Apply Poison Apply Poison all match.

Mixed Play

This is what you should be doing the majority of the time, for this you will be running around slightly more than usual perhaps, from as far back as your midline to up to their backline, you will be trying to rupt all of the above skills and spreading your attention about 50/50 to offensive/defensive play perhaps more or less depending on what is causing the main problems.

Splitting

Sometimes when playing against very strong 8v8 builds or a team where you need to force a morale boost/force some kills you need to split.

Offensive

95% of all splitting on a ranger is offensive.

The first type of splitting is going into the other team's base. it's when you either push for something such as lord damage, killing NPCs, or making sure their runner can't leave the base because he has to keep you there. When doing this you need to be vocal, call that you are splitting and ask for people to call if people fall back on you. When on a split, sometimes you can make a kill on rit runners if you can keep their weapons down. Therefore key skills to interrupt are Weapon of Warding Weapon of Warding and Resilient Weapon Resilient Weapon. If a warding chain gets off it can cause a lot of problems with interrupts however. Splitting this way is usually done by going through the back entrance to the other team's base by dropping back behind your own team to the alternate route.

The second type of offensive splitting is more dangerous, and is usually done to cripple a flagger early when he isn't in range of monks, and can allow your team to gain a lot of ground when their team collapse on you. To do this you push straight through the other team to their flagger. Remember to tell your team you're doing this.

Defensive

Rarely you have to collapse on another teams split. When you do do this, it is either to defend the base while your flagger runs the flag/you run the flag. The other type of defensive splitting is to collapse and kill their splitter, usually this is best done a few seconds after time so you can go back to the main team and fight a 7v8 fight where you have an advantage. When collapsing it will usually be on a solo ranger, so d-shotting Mending Touch Mending Touch usually forces a kill since they can't remove cripple once it is applied.

Weaknesses

The ranger has very good defenses via their armor and skills and is difficult to completely counter as a result. However, there are some ways to deal with rangers.

  • Obstruction is the bane of any ranged attacker. There is very little the ranger can do to you if they can't hit, and placing yourself behind an obstacle is entirely free. However, this is not always a feasible option.
  • Landing hexes may prove difficult through interrupts, but once on are difficult for most rangers to deal with, particularly if they cause a miss chance or reduced attack speed. Rangers that can no longer interrupt are not very threatening. Rangers may have Holy Veil to thwart this plan however.
  • Having your own blocking will prevent some attacks and interrupts, but Magebane and Crippling Shot (two of the most popular elites) ignore it.