November 1, 2006

Guild Wars Build Challenge : The Ranger / Elementalist

I would like to kick off a new feature focused on Guild Wars, and on putting together some builds to use in Random Arena combat. I'll start off with a bit of a FAQ.

1. Why random arenas (RA) builds?
I believe there is a large portion of players that compete in RA and often times builds that support this player are tough to find reliably. Also there are far too many "cookie cutter" builds out there that blanket RA and it would be nice to throw some flavor in there.

2. What should a build include?
Equipment, Attributes, and Skills followed by some tips on how to play the build effectively. Bonus points for pointing out weaknesses and counters to the build (since no build is perfect.)

3. Anything we should avoid in our builds?
You should avoid builds that rely on another player to be effective. Also don't come with builds that are common knowledge (Boon Prot monks for example). While not required it is always nice to have builds that are effective without relying on a huge inefficient combo.

4. What are my goals for this?
I like to discuss Guild Wars builds. I am by far no expert in Guild Wars and play it casually. So if you are looking for uber game discussion you can go elsewhere. This is an attempt to build some creative characters to play around with.

Ranger / Elementalist (R/E) - Burning Poison

  • A Fiery Bow is required for this build
  • A longbow or flatbow for general attacking and a shortbow for closer targets is recommended.
  • Druidic armor for the energy bonus.
  • Expertise 11 + 2
  • Marksmanship 10 + 1 + 2
  • Wilderness Survival 1 + 1
  • Fire Magic 10
  • Conjure Flame
  • Mark of Rodgort
  • Apply Poison
  • Troll Unguent
  • Whirling Defense
  • Distracting Shot
  • Escape
  • Resurrection Signet
How to Play:

This is a fairly straight forward build that I have used for a good while. It is similar to many barrage ranger builds, but I've never been a fan of AOE in Guild Wars. This build is really just meant to surprise a soft target by dropping a poison and burn on them during the opening volley allowing you to sit back and use distract shot to stop any attempted save skills.

Prior to combat you will need to Conjure Flame and then Apply Poison to yourself. Since Apply Poison has the shorter duration try to cast it as close to combat as possible. This takes a few matches to get the timing right, but you will get it.

Once combat begins you should start out with Mark of Rodgort on the target of choice. It is best to cast it before your first hit so the combo catches the player by surprise. Your first attack will hit for normal damage + fire damage along with applying both poison and burn for a few seconds. Since you will keep attacking it will apply both effects again until Mark of Rodgort is finished. That is the core of this build and just ensure you watch your mana so you can keep Apply Poison and Conjure Flame going.

Troll Unguent is your heal and to help with interrupts against it make sure to use Whirling Defense first. Also; use Whirling Defense when you are in trouble with melee and hit Escape to get out of town. I usually save Distracting Shot to stop enemies res signets, but it can be used in other situations.

Side Notes:

Distracting Shot is favored over Savage Shot because of mana considerations.

Apply Poison works with elemental modifiers on your weapon. Confirmed in game.

Change Log:
  • 3 Nov - Swapped out Favorable Winds for Troll Unguent. Troll Unguent is an essential ranger survival skill and since I did state that builds should be self-sufficient it makes sense to have the rangers best heal available. Unfortunately there is little room to pump up Wilderness Survival to get a better increase, but it is still a life saver.

Update: 6 Apr 07 - Spelling corrected and labels updated.