Hello, I am a bit hesitant on sharing this build considering the amount of debates our class is currently getting and the fact I haven’t fully explored this build. I started working on this build slowly about a month ago but with the recent patch this build has become more viable and now has a lot more flex to it. Originally this build was created to be used with Magi armor, but with the addition of the new shout trait you may be able to use pieces other than Magi (pretty much anything with precision on it would work on this build). The other reason I have decided to share is that from the other builds I’ve seen so far no one else has made use of these stats like this. Again I haven’t fully tested the build (especially on other armor sets) but it is a lot easier to use after the June 25th Patch. I also don’t know how viable the build is outside of PVE/Dungeon content since that is what I mainly run, I have ran it in WvW but I run with a zerg normally so I don’t know the true effectiveness of this build in WvW.
This build is currently based around the Magi Armor set (Healing power/Precision/Vitality), and focuses on boons, boon duration, critical hits and getting high stacks of Might on you and your pet. There are a couple of disadvantages with this build, first is the armor set is hard/harder to get and there are no ascended Magi pieces, second there is certain content in game that can’t be critically hit, third is that the build is RNG dependent (the build offers high critical chance, but RNG is still an uncontrollable factor),
and finally your pets survivability is dependent on you landing critical hits if you get stunned or you can’t critically hit than your pet could die easily (so be good at dodging!). There are also advantages, on content that you can land critical hits you will hit harder, this build is also more group friendly as it provides boons, when you hit 25 stacks of might there is a very noticeable increase in damage, this build has more flexibility than the other ranger builds I’ve seen and is a nice change from the Apothecary builds and doesn’t rely on condition damage (you can use warhorn again!).
(Current build I am using can be found here; detailed explanation on will be given below.)
This build essentially lives off the 20 points in Skirmishing so depending on how good you are at dodging and surviving different encounters, you could give up the Magi armor entirely and go for something else that adds precision (Knights, Rampagers come to mind and I’m not sure about Berserkers). From my current experience with this build you only need about a 50% critical hit chance to keep your pet alive with this build, so if you want to put those precision points from equipment after that elsewhere you can. Need to re evaluate, I left it in for you guys to read for now though.
- Magi armor slotted with Superior Rune of Altruism (healing power and boon duration, you also have a lot of flexibility here I chose Altruism because they were cheap and they give boons on heals). Magi can be obtained either from the Karma vendors at the different temples in Orr or through the dungeon vendors for AC and HoTW.
- Main weapon is Shortbow with Superior Sigil of Strength, the type of Shortbow doesn’t matter too much I use Berserker but anything with Precision on it would work out well. Secondary I switch between sword or axe depending on the content I am challenging but I normally carry a Warhorn with Superior Sigil of Strength in the offhand slot.
- Accessories were a little bit more difficult to build for, to begin with there are no Ascended Magi Trinkets so for FOTM I had to mix and match (Precision and Healing power are the main stats of this build so I used anything that gives me either or, for back piece I currently use the Ascended Sclerite Karka Shell). There are exotic Magi trinket that can be bought on the TP and an Exotic Magi back piece can also be obtained through karma as well, so if you FOTM isn’t for you than this part will be easier for you. All the trinkets have been slotted Emerald Jewels (Knight stats), since there is no Magi gems/jewels).
(Current build I am using can be found here; detailed explanation will be given below.)
There is some flexibility with the traits but with each trait there is a trade off if you use something else. I have tried other slight variations on this the build, before the patch the other setup I have used was 0/20/20/15/15 but with the addition to the new grandmaster trait to Nature Magic I am finding the current build slightly superior.
Skirmishing: (20 points)(Precision and Crit. Damage are good for the Magi Set and Might for your pet)
- V Companion’s Might: Very easy to give your pet high stacks of Might with this (I think I’ve seen up to 18 on my pet with this and just Superior Sigil of Strength), other options are I Pet Prowess and Sharpened Edges the rest are maybe more situational. I chose Companion’s Might since with it, it becomes easier to give your pet 25 stacks of might.
- VII Carnivorous Appetite :
This is probably the most important trait in this build since this is what keeps your pet alive, I found this trait to be reliable enough to give up the Beast Master Traitline. It has less healing power in general compared to the BM builds, but it is still enough to give your pet a lot of survivability. With a Shortbow our attacks land twice every second, with more than 50% critical hit chance at least one of those shots will critically hit every second. Each critical hit at level 80 grants your pet 276 Health, as long as your auto attacks land and can critically hit you pet will essentially gain at least 276 health per second on this trait alone (I don’t know if there is an internal cooldown on this trait just yet, so I don’t know if 276 HP/s is 100% accurate).(Need to go over this trait once again, looks like the healing ticks that I thought were from this were from the regen on Guard.)
Wilderness Survival: (20 points)(We take this trait line more for the boons we get in it, such as regen, vigor, protection and for the toughness it adds. You could ignore this trait line or put more points elsewhere and it wouldn’t destroy the build, but I find this trait line has more benefits to this build than the other lines.)
- IV Vigorous Renewal: You can choose anything you want here, but I chose this since we get added benefit because of all the boon duration we run in this build.
- VIII Oakheart Salve: I am not 100% certain if the boon duration we have increases the 5 seconds, but the regeneration is good regardless. The other Major spells here are a lot more situational though, so choose what you think is better for you.
Nature Magic: (30 Points)(A lot of boons here as well as more boon duration, you can get regen/protection/swiftness/condition removal from here. There is also Fortifying Bond, with this any boon from an a source other than yourself is applied double to your pet. If something gives you and your pet a stack of might your pet will gain 2 stacks of might, if a regen is applied to you and your pet the duration on your pet is increased as well.)
- III Nature’s Bounty: Either this or Nature’s Protection.
- VIII Evassive Purity: You can choose what you want here, I chose this since it is useful in getting rid of poisons which will reduce the effectiveness of your Regen boon. You could also go for Nature’s Protection.
- Nature’s Voice: This is really good you can get 100% uptime on the regen boon by spamming Guard, before this trait was added I only put 15 points into Nature Magic and had the other 15 spread out all over. This is very good even with no healing power this heal 130 HP per tick, with a set up like mine it heals 222 HP per tick and with the Signet of the Wild your pet heals 529 HP per second.
Skill Setup (This won’t be a very big section)
- Signet of the Wild is a must
- Guard is a must if you go for Nature’s Voice in Nature Magic.
- Last one is situational, I generally get Quickening Zephyr with Rampage As One, since it is very easy to hit 25 stacks of might when used together. On bosses that have a lot of conditions, like the final boss in AR, I take Signet of Renewal, “Prayer to Lyssa”: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Prayer_to_Lyssa is another option if you play the Human race. In some dungeons on certain parts I may also take trap instead.
- For the elite I take Rampage As One 90% of the time, we get 8s extra on the boons through the boon durations. There are certain situations where entangle might be better (high mob density, wvw, etc..), just judge the situation and choose.
The build has a bit of flexibility in it since you don’t need 100% critical chance (50% is more than enough) you are able to give up precision for other stats but more is better here. Also healing power is the other stat you have some play with, the healing power is solely for you here, so if you are great at dodging you might even be able to pull this build off with an armor set other than Magi such as Knights or Rampagers. With this build you generally want to take a weapon that can hit fast and critically hit lots, critical hits equate to your pet lasting longer and hitting harder. From the build and consumables you can hit 60% critical hit chance very easily 60% critical hit and 30% critical damage increase your damage output by 45%, with a Fury buff your damage output increases by 64%. Short bow, sword, and axe are the best weapons for this build, shortbow for ranged single target damage, sword for single/multiple melee target damage, and axe for multiple ranged damage. If you are lucky you can gain 11 stacks of Might on the “Superior Sigil of Strength”: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Superior_Sigil_of_Strength alone, generally I see 4-8 stacks from this sigil though, for your pet that is probably just short of 25 stacks of might. I try not to stay to far from my party, that way I can regen from my shouts (Guard is very spammable) to the whole party and if I use warhorn I can give Fury, Might and Swiftness to everyone. The damage increase from having high stacks of might is very noticeable, full 25 stacks increases your damage per hit by around 200 damage and lets your condition ticks hit harder too.
We can gain a lot of boons in this build with decent uptime heals grant Might, Fury, andVigor, Guard gives Swiftness and Regen, Critical Hits grant Might to your pet, Dodge removes conditions and grants Protection. If you are lucky you can gain 11 stacks of Might on the Superior Sigil of Strength alone, I generally see 4-8 stacks from this sigil though, for your pet that is probably just short of 25 stacks of might. If you include the buffs from your party, than you and your pet might have hit 25 stacks of Might already. If not Rampage As One will let you hit 25 stacks of Might every 2 minutes very easily.
For pets I generally run Jungle Stalker as a pet, but it depends on the boss I am fighting. Bosses that you fight ranged I use a devourer, bosses that hit very hard I’ll use a bear (bears are useful if you find you are on a boss that may leave you as the last man standing, you can get your bear to tank the boss while you resurrect your team.), I’ve also tried Bird pets but I haven’t gotten a good feel for them yet, and I don’t have any good spider pets just yet to try them out. You could choose whatever you want here, but pets who give boon duration seem to have a bit more appeal in this build.
Not sure what else I can add to this write up, but hopefully this build has been helpful to you. If you have any questions/concerns/suggestions please do post them, feedback is always a good thing, if not you can also post what your impressions or opinion on the build is.
Also thank you for your time in reading all of this (or some of this ).