Sep 142016

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I will update this guide periodically as it isn’t entirely complete. I originally posted it over on the arc site and the formatting didn’t transfer over very well.

The HR is an overwhelmingly underrated class. Many consider the HR a little brother to the CW – unable to CC as well and doesn’t do as much DPS. I’d like to shed a little light on a different (and potentially better) way to build a ranger.

Before I get ahead of myself and dive into the details of this build, I need to clarify a few things:

First off, I play on XBOX. Because of some differences between the two systems, I will detail my opinion for the best set-up as it relates to XBOX. Throughout the guide, I will note some differences I’ve heard from PC players where it’s applicable.

Secondly, this build is primarily focused on dealing a ton of DPS. Everything else comes second, but don’t worry he’s no glass cannon. Also, this is a PVE build. The HR is great for PVP and I might make a PVP guide in the future but this build is strictly intended for PVE.

Lastly, everything in this guide is a reflection of a build I came up with. I’m not saying it’s the best, but I sure do enjoy the DPS I can do. Use my guide as a foundation and feel free to experiment. I make only suggestions based on the path I took with my ranger. I am always open to new ideas so any thoughts or questions are always welcome.


This build is essentially a Trapper that capitalizes on Critical Chance/Severity and bonus damage from Combat Advantage. I recommend you have an Item Level of at least 3,000 before you go respeccing just be on the safe side. A “traditional” trapper would be considered mature into his build with an item level of 3000. That is not the case with this one. At 3000 you will just barely be learning to crawl. Patience will pay off as this is an end game build. The result of this build is a ranger that has about 192% critical severity and is an overall DPS machine.

Sneak Peek

Add a Perfect Vorpal and you’re at 192% (ignore the 10% buff from a potion)


I went with Dragonborn for the 3% increase in Power and Critical Strike. If your only options are the default races then I would recommend going with either the Drow or Wood Elf so you can put the +2 into DEX and WIS.

Initial Stat Roll

Dexterity and Wisdom are your best friend. Dexterity gives you a damage bonus while Wisdom gives you an increase in crit chance (which we are going to need later on).

12 – STR
10 – CON
18 – DEX (16 + 2)
10 – INT
18 – WIS (16 + 2)
10 – CHA


I have a decent amount of roll-over points from Mod 5, and if you don’t have as many as me, then I would put the 4th points into Aspect of The Serpent, Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth, Hindering Shot/Hindering Strike, and Constricting Arrow/Steel Breeze, in that order.

Power Rotations

I’ll sometimes change my rotation in certain situations but my general purpose rotation for DPS in dungeons is Hindering Shot/Hindering Strike, Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth, and Constricting arrow/Steel Breeze. As for the passives I slot Aspect of the Serpent and Aspect of the Pack while I have Rapid Shot/Rapid Strike and Hunter’s Teamwork/Careful Attack for my at-wills. Finally, I use Seismic Shot and Forest Ghost for my dailies.

AotS is a great buff and can be very powerful if you know how the stacks work. AotP is something we can take advantage of and it adds an excellent boost in DPS for the rest of the party. A nifty quark to AotP is that you can even use it when you are soloing content because as long as your companion is within 25 feet of you, you’ll have permanent combat advantage regardless of placement (so long as you companion is not an augment).

If you’re feeling squishy or having a hard time soloing stuff, I would swap out Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth for Fox’s Cunning/Fox’s Shift and switch AotP for Crushing Roots. This way, you get a free dodge from Cunning, you can’t get hit wile in Shift’s animation, and your Crushing Roots will prevent you from being hit as often. Also, we’re going to get a nice benefit to our survivability from lifesteal once we do our feats.

For those interested in exactly how I have my powers mapped: (X) Hindering Shot/Hindering Strike, (Y) Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth, (B) Constricting Arrow/Steel Breeze, (LT) Hunter’s Teamwork/Careful Attack, (RT) Rapid Shot/Rapid Strike
How I order my powers is similar to katozee’s, only I have Cordon and Plant Growth in the place of Fox’s Cunning and Shift.

Starting with Ranged Stance: (Y) -> (B) -> (X) -> (RT/LT) -> (RB) -> (Y) -> (X) -> (B) -> (RT) -> (RB) and repeat

The above rotation allows the largest damage buff from AotS to apply to Cordon and Plant Growth (our hardest hitting powers). The second largest damage buff from AotS applies to our powers that apply Strong Grasping Roots.

For boss fights and single target DPS while in a group, your at-will has the power to do more damage than any other attack you have. Careful Attack allows you to mark an enemy and it is a DOT that procs every 1.5 seconds. The amount of damage that it deals depends on the amount of damage that has been done to the marked enemy in each of the 1.5 second intervals. So, in places like Tiamat and epic Demagorgon you’ll see that bad boy go off for 1 to 2 million every second and a half. Something to keep in mind with Careful Attack is that it is affected by Aspect of the Serpent. You can take advantage of this and just hit the boss with Rapid Shot to quickly stack up AotS from ranged stance and let Careful Attack get a nice damage buff. But it is a game of tug o’ war. Also, if you notice that it didn’t crit, just reapply it until it does and all DOTs will tick as well.



This is the bread and butter of this build. Skirmisher’s Gambit from the Combat Paragon increases your critical severity by 50% but your critical chance is reduced by 10%. The Hunter Ranger is the only class with a feat like this and it is extremely powerful. Combine this feat with a Perfect Vorpal and you will be at about 192% critical severity. Since we lost 10% crit chance, we’re going to need to make up for that, but it’s very easily doable.

Heroic Feats

Predatory Action (5/5) – Your Daily powers deal 1/2/3/4/5% additional damage.
Weapon Mastery (3/3) – Increases your Critical Chance by 1/2/3%.
Toughness (1/3) – Increases your maximum Hit Points by 3/6/9%.
Agile Combatant (3/3) – After switching Stances, deal 1/2/3% more damage for 5 seconds.
Endless Assault (3/3) – Your Encounter powers deal 2/4/6% more damage.
Disciple of Dexterity (3/3) – Increase the amount of bonus damage Dexterity gives you by 2/4/6%.
Extra Action (2/5) – Increases your Action Point gain by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Paragon Feats

Trapper Feats

Readied Stance (5/5) – When you switch stances you generate 1/2/3/4/5% more AP for several seconds.
Deft Strikes (5/5) – Your Melee encounter powers cause your next Ranged encounter power to deal 2/4/6/8/10% more damage. Your Ranged encunter powers cause your next Melee encounter power to deal 2/4/6/8/10% more damage.
Forestbond (5/5) – When you apply Grasping Roots you reduce the cooldown of all of your currently recharging powers by 1/2/3/4/5%
Swiftness of the Fox (5/5) – Your Melee encounter powers shorten the cooldown of your Ranged encounter powers by 3/6/9/12/15%. Your Ranged encounter powers shorten the cooldown of your Melee encounter powers by 3/6/9/12/15%.
Thorned Roots (5/5) – Your Strong Grasping Roots are upgraded to Thorned Roots. Thorned Roots deal 40/80/120/160/200% of your weapon damage every second. 250% of your weapon damage is dealt immediately to control immune targets.
Biting Snares (1/1) – When you apply Grasping Roots or Thorned Roots you gain “Biting Snares”. Biting Snares causes your next stance shift to grant you Master Trapper which generates 20% of your AP, increases your damage by 30%, and increases your conrol durations by 60% for 10 seconds. This effect can only be trigged once every 10 seconds.


For the many players who haven’t deviated at all from the Trapper tree, I’ll offer a bit of reasoning behind abandoning a few beloved feats. First off, Ancient Roots: why would we need the longer duration for roots? We don’t have cooldowns to begin with so we are constantly reapplying the roots.

Secondly, let’s go over Serpent’s Bite. The biggest argument you will hear in opposition to this build is Serpent’s Bite vs Skirmisher’s Gambit. To shorten my point I’ll just go ahead and say it: Skirmisher’s Gambit yields more damage than Serpent’s Bite. Below is a link to a spreadsheet my buddy Ney made comparing Serpent’s Bite and Skirmisher’s Gambit.

Click Here to check out the spreadsheet

Combat Feats

Serpent Weave – Shifting lowers Melee cooldowns by .1/.2/.3/.4/.5s.
Bloodletting – While in Melee Stance you gain 1/2/3/4/5% more Life Steal.
Skirmisher’s Gambit – Your critical chance is reduced by 2/4/6/8/10% but your critical seeverity is increased by 10/20/30/40/50%.



Dark Fey Hunter – You gain 400 Power
Fey Precision – You gain 400 Critical Strike
Elven Haste – You gain AP 3% faster
Elven Ferocity – When striking a foe you have a chance to deal up to 20000 Arcane damage (60s Internal Cooldown). Feel free to swap this one out for the defensive one, the damage we get from this is negligible overall.
Elven Fury – When you kill a foe you gain 135 Power for 45 seconds. This buff stacks up to 30 times. Trash mobs make this stack fairly quickly and gives an overall 4,050 extra power when all 30 are applied. A good alternative can be Fey Thistle, which hits enemies for 3,000 damage every time you deflect an attack and it has no internal cooldown.

Dread Ring

Conjurer’s Gambit – You gain 250 Critical Strike and 250 Movement.
Evoker’s Thirst – You gain 400 Life Steal
Illusion Shimmer – You gain 3% deflection chance. You can swap for Forbidden Piercing for the 3% resistance ignored, I have an Axe Beak so i don’t need armor pen
Shadowtouch – When dealing damage you have a chance to deal 20000 Necrotic damage over a few (4) seconds. After this effect ends the target receives 25% less healing from spells for 10 seconds. Here, some people might go with Enraged Growth. The defensive bonus you get from that can be pretty nice especially considering the offensive alternative is merely a drop in the bucket of our DPS.
Rampaging Madness – When you deal damage you gain a stack of “Madness”. When you reach 50 stacks of “Madness” you gain 4000 Power, 4000 Life Steal, and 4000 Regeneration. 10 seconds after gaining this bonus your stacks are reset. You may only gain one stack of “Madness” per second. This can be switched out for Endless Consumption which basically makes you lifesteal for 3x as much as you normally would.

Icewind Dale

Encroaching Tactics – You gain 400 Combat Advantage Bonus
Refreshing Chill – You gain 400 Stamina/Guard Gain. You can swap this one for the alternative if you want the bonus incoming healing. It is counter-intuitive to slot this because of Cool Resolve. However, I like to drain my stamina for the power bonus without leaving me unable to dodge if I need to. So, basically I run around with no stamina but get it back quick enough to change my mind if need be. Otherwise, I just keep using the dodge when it’s available.
Sleet Skills – You gain 2% Crit Severity
Cool Resolve – You gain up to 2000 Power based on how much Stamina or Guard you are missing. Works well with Refreshing Chill
Winter’s Bounty – Chance to gain bonus 10% Action Points when killing a target. (you could also swap for Avalanche if you want to, I just don’t see it as a huge damage booster)


Primordial Might – You gain 400 Power and 1600 Maximum Hit Points
Primordial Focus – You gain 400 Critical Strike and 1600 Maximum Hit Points
Drow Ambush Tactics – Combat Advantage damage bonus is increased by 10%
Dwarven Stamina – You now regain Stamina 5% faster
Abyssal Strikes – Gain +10% Damage versus Demons

Tyranny of Dragons

Dragon’s Claws (1/1) – Grants 400 Power
Dragon’s Gaze (1/1) – Grants 400 Critical Strike
Dragonscale Defense (1/1) – Grants 400 Defense (can swap for Draconic Armorbreaker and get 400 armor pen, but I have an axe beak so no need for me)
Dragon’s Greed (1/1) – Grants 400 Life Steal Rating
Dragon’s Fury (1/3) – Grants 5/6.5/8% increased Critical Severity
Dragon’s Thirst (2/3) – Grants 3/4/5% increased Life Steal


I dont have the last two boons for Tyranny of Dragons, but when (more like if) I get them, I’ll put them into Dragon’s Thirst for the increased lifesteal. The 3% lifesteal we’re missing out on won’t make a noticeable difference in the long run. On top of that, the Earth Archon gives us a damage boost when we’re at full health so that life steal will help us stay at full life.

The only boon I can’t suggest with certainty is the Guild Boon. You might be in a guild that has different boons than me and that could be a good or a bad thing. I have my offense boon set to Power while my defense boon is set to defense. I’d say power is better than armor penetration if you have it available and are already at 60% resistance ignored. For those interested, I use the XP boon from utility and my guild doesn’t have any PVP boon unlocked.


Weapon Enchantment – Perfect Vorpal (this is what brings you up to 192% crit severity)
Armor Enchantment – Trans Elven or Negation (personally I like the Elven)
Offense Slots – Azure or Brutal enchantments
Defense Slots – Dark enchantments
Utility – your preference (I use Fey Blessings)

Summoned Companion

Augments are ancient news. High ranking bonding runestones and a fast proccing companion is the way to go for all DPS classes. I use the mercenary, which can be obtained from the Heirloom pack in the ZEN market. Also, once you get the Heirloom pack, all of your characters can pick it up from the Reward Claims Agent in the enclave. Why the Mercenary? He has 3 offense slots you can slot all rank 12 Bondings into.

You might wonder why I would upgrade the bondings past Perfect (rank 10) since the percent of companion stats you receive remains the same. My answer plain and simply is that the game is wrong. After rank 10, the percentage goes up but the tooltip doesn’t update with the higher levels. Rank 11 Bonding Stones give you 80% of your companion’s stats while a rank 12 gives you a whopping 95% of your companion’s stats. So, when the mercenary procs three companions gift (which he does all the damn time) it’s like you running around with 3 Ioun Stones.

Honorable mentions for the summoned companion go to the Young Yeti, Air Archon, and Zhentarim Warlock.

But Taco, the Zhentarim Warlock is so much better!

Possibly, but only if you play on PC. PC has the Sword Coast and with it all of the cool companion only equipment pieces that would give that Warlock everything it needs to be a great buddy. However, on XBOX we don’t have the shiny and sparkly companion talismans that PC does. As a result, the rings and belts available to our Mercenary are far superior to the lacklustre talismans in the AH.

For those who need to see to believe, I have a little before and after for the companions gifts from my Mercenary with two Rank 12 Bonding and one rank 11 Bonding. Keep in mind, my Mercenary is only rare. I’ll get him legendary one day.



Active Companions

Fire Archon for 7% increased damage (at epic) against targets with less than 50% health. This is going to really be evident at major boss fights where they’re dbelow half health for a bit of time and their health accounts for a lot of damage in dungeons
Earth Archon for 6% increased damage against targets while you’re at full health. There are alternatives and feel free to swap this one out, but whenever you’re running in a group you’re usually going to be at full health thanks to a paladin, healer, and even your lifesteal
Erinyes of Belial for 10% increase in crit severity
Air Archon for the increased damage against enemies not at full health (5% at epic)

You might wonder why I;m going with the Erinyes of Belial. So without it, we’re at 182% crit severity. Increasing that by 10% to bring it up to 192% will actually yield us a 3.6% increase in damage (when our crit chance is at 90%).

AotP gives us permanent combat advantage. Because of this, we can get a consistent damage increase from running the Blink Dog and Intellect Devourer which give you 5% combat advantage damage each at epic. So, feel free to experiment. At the moment, My setup is what I’ve listed.


Lantern of Revelation

+1,000 Critical Strike
+1,000 Armor Penetration
+600 Combat Advantage

Thayan Book of the Dead

+1,000 Critical Strike
+1,000 Armor Penetration
+600 Action Point Gain

Sigil of the Controller

+1,000 Power
+1,000 Critical Strike
+600 Control Resist

Lostmauth’s Horn of Blasting

+1,000 Power
+1,000 Armor Penetration
+600 Control Bonus

Another artifact worth mentioning is the wheel of elements. It’s good to use in the active artifact slot so you can pop it, get the fire buff, and deal an additional 30% damage. Personally, I prefer the Lantern as it’s a damage buff for the entire party.


I’m currently using the Dragonflight Raid Hood, Dragonflight Raid Gaiters, Elven Assault Coat, and Elven Assault Bracers. Get the Lostmauth set for the neck and belt (extra damage every time you crit). I’ll probably switch some stuff out for the Umbral gear once my guild unlocks it. As for the rings I’m currently wearing the Ring of Rising Precision +4 and Ring of Brutality +4. My companion is wearing the Ring of Rising Power +4, Ring of Brutality +4, and the Dragonflight Assault Belt. For my artifact main and off hand I have the Twisted set.

Artifact Main Hand/Off Hand Powers

For the main hand use Hunter’s Teamwork/Careful Attack or Rapid Shot/Rapid Strike. I use Careful Attack because that does an insane amount of damage on boss fights. My off hand has Aspect of the Pack and Combat Advantage Bonus.

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