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My Take on Shortbow/Axe+Warhorn for sPvP (Work-in-Progress)

ranger spvp condition damage precision critical hit chance

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#1 Proudfoot

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 02:22 AM

Here's my take on what seems to be the most popular Ranger weapon combo in sPvP so far. The idea of this build is to use a very high crit chance to proc lots of bleeds, combined with the natural ability of the Shortbow and Axe to output lots of conditions. Traps are added in for additional offense (and some defense from cripple).

Cumulative Stats
Power: 1191
Precision: 2025
Toughness: 1685
Vitality: 1041
Attack: 2207
WeaponDamage: 1016
ConditionDamage: 1055
CritChance: 56.81
CritDamage: 30
Armor: 2749
Defense: 769
HP: 16332
Healing: 0

Weapons
Shortbow (Sigil of Superior Earth: 60% chance on crit to proc a 5-second bleed)
Axe (Sigil of Superior Earth) + Warhorn (Sigil of Superior Agony: increase bleeding length)

The shortbow is by far the best Ranger sPvP weapon right now. It can output a ton of conditions, both to a single target and to multiple targets in a team fight. If you're able to flank your opponent (i.e. shoot them in the side or back) your auto-attack bleeds them on every shot, and with the shortbow's extremely high rate-of-fire that can be a lot of bleeds (especially when you add in the bleeds that can proc off crits from the weapon sigil and the Sharpened Edges trait in the Marksmanship trait line). Shortbow also has a lot of utility with an escape (skill 3), a Cripple (skill 4), and an interrupt (skill 5, which dazes by default but stuns if you're flanking).

The axe can also output a lot of bleeds, especially to multiple targets. Your auto-attack bounces between multiple targets, which makes up to three chances to proc a bleed on crit with every throw. Axe skill 2 can land multiple blinds on a single target if thrown from point-blank range. Axe skill 3 chills your target, which can be good both for chasing and escaping.
The Warhorn is my favourite offhand. Skill 4, which calls in a flock of birds, lands 16 or 18 attacks (somewhere in that range) over the course of several seconds, and each of those individual attacks has a chance to crit and proc bleeding. You have to keep them in range and line-of-sight for the hits to land, though. Warhorn skill 5 is excellent for mobility between points, something which this build doesn't have otherwise, and it also gives you 20 seconds of Fury, which significantly raises your critical hit chance (by 20%), meaning that many more bleeds.

I've tried using a Torch instead of a Warhorn, and I've heard of others having success with it. The two Torch skills both output burning, a condition this build otherwise has no access to. More variety of conditions helps combat condi removal, and burning is great for doing relatively quick (burst) damage in a condition build. I'd have a hard time giving up the Warhorn's mobility benefits, though. If your team comp requires you to be more defensive, though, the Torch could be a great option. In addition, there's always the possibility of swapping the Warhorn in while you're out of combat, hitting skill 5, and then swapping the Torch back in before you arrive at the fight. I personally hope that Arena.net takes out the ability to swap weapons and skills during an sPvP match, though, so I don't want to rely on this capability as part of a build.

Utility Skills
Healing Spring
This is the Ranger's best healing skill, hands down. It has slightly less up-front healing and a longer cooldown than Heal as One, but it makes up for those minor shortcomings by also removing a condition and giving the Regeneration boon every three seconds—and not only to you, but to any teammates who happen to be standing in it, as well! On top of all that, it's a Water combo field, so every time you shoot a projectile while you're standing in it, you refresh your regen buff, and the projectile carries that regen with it to wherever it lands. Other combo finishers will have further beneficial effects, as well.

Signet of Renewal
This is a really great defensive skill. It has a passive effect of removing a condition every 10 seconds, which is always nice, but when activated it draws all conditions from allies near your pet onto the pet (poor little Teddy Bear...) and it's also a stun-breaker, which can be life-saving when you're up against an enemy who's counting on landing a deadly burst combo on you. Be aware that the condition removal aspect of this skill can be a bit unreliable, since your pet has to be within a certain distance of you in order for it to draw off your conditions. It's always good to keep an eye on where your pet is, and use your F1 (Attack) and F3 (Return to Me) pet commands to keep a leash on it.

Spike Trap
A trap that bleeds and cripples. You can use this to prepare for a fight, and also to throw at your enemy in the middle of a fight. More conditions means more effectiveness for your offense, and the cripple can be helpful defensively, too.

Viper Nest
A poison trap. Use in tandem with Spike Trap to drop a whole lot of conditions on your opponent all at once.

Alternative Utilities
If you don't much like trapping, you could consider bringing Lightning Reflexes (escape + stun break + vigor) for more defense and Sharpening Stone for even more bleeds. If you do this, you'll want to grab the trait that shortens the recharge on Survival skills. With the bleed-on-crit procs, though, Sharpening Stone isn't the most necessary utility, and two traps are much better than one.

That said, my choices of utility skills change a bit from time to time, so you may find something you like better.

Entangle
For my elite skill, I almost always take Entangle. It slaps the target with a huge 20-stack bleed and an immobilize that lasts until they destroy the vines. Make sure you're within 600 range when you cast it, though, or you'll have wasted a very long cooldown!

Traits
Marksmanship: 20 points

III Keen Edge
Use Sharpening Stone when your health reaches 75%.

Sharpening Stone makes your next 5 attacks bleed your target. Definitely doesn't hurt!

VIII Piercing Arrows
All arrow attacks pierce targets.

Potentially very helpful in team fights, allowing you to spread a lot more poison and bleeding and maybe even land a lucky cripple or daze/stun on a secondary target.

Skirmishing: 30 points

II Sharpened Edges
Chance to bleed on crit. Perfect for this build.

VIII Trapper's Expertise
Traps are ground-targeted and have a 50% larger area of effect.

So much better for team fights, allowing you not to step out of position.

XI Trap Potency
Conditions caused by traps last twice as long, and traps recharge 20% faster.

Absolutely yes please.

Wilderness Survival: 20 points

III Shared Anguish

Incoming disables are transferred to your pet. This effect can trigger once every 90 seconds.

While this trait doesn't allow you to control when it gets activated, it can potentially help you avoid a very costly stun, fear, or knockdown.

VII Offhand Training
Offhand skills have a longer range and recharge 20% faster.
This means more frequent Fury and Swiftness from your Warhorn skill 5, and easier-to-land hits from your birds with the extended, or more burning from your Torch.

Alternatives
The traits from the Marksmanship line could be replaced by something from Nature Magic or Beastmastery, especially if you'd prefer vitality or healing over Marksmanship's power increase.

In Wilderness Survival, Hide in Plain Sight is a very attractive option at the second trait tier, allowing you to automatically camouflage when you're disabled, once every 30 seconds. A lot of big burst skills (like Hundred Blades) are area-of-effect, though, rather than directly targeted, so being invisible won't prevent that Warrior from dicing you up anyways.

Amulet
Rabid Amulet
+798 Condition Damage
+569 Precision
+569 Toughness

Soldier's Jewel
+125 Vitality
+75 Power
+75 Precision

The condi damage, precision, and toughness from the Rabid Amulet are all very important for this build's damage output and survivability. I use a Soldier's Jewel right now because a complete lack of +Vitality frightens me a bit. Having high Toughness is great, but Toughness doesn't protect against condition damage! More play time could very easily change my mind on this jewel choice, though.

Runes
Superior Rune of the Thief
(1) +25 Precision
(2) +27 Condition damage
(3) +50 Precision
(4) +40 Condition damage
(5) +90 Precision

Superior Rune of the Afflicted
(1) +28 Condition damage

I know, I know... Using the runes designed for a different class!? Outrageous!

Well, not really. More crit chance and more condi damage are exactly what this build is designed for. The sixth Rune of the Thief offers +10% damage while flanking, which isn't all that useful since this build's direct damage output is just about as low as it can possibly be.

An extra 10% of weak damage is still weak damage. So you can put in a little more condi damage instead.

Alternatives
Superior Runes of the Afflicted (full set)
Superior Runes of the Undead
Superior Runes of Melandru

With these rune sets you can, for example, mix in toughness instead of precision, for more survivability but fewer crits, meaning fewer bleeds. You could also look for something with vitality and condi damage or precision.

Pets
Wolf
F2 Skill: Fear your target.

While you may not be able to pull off a clutch interrupt on a stomp using the Wolf's ability, you can definitely cause an enemy to run off a point, allowing you to get some flanking shots in while they're fleeing. General disruption is always a good thing.

Black Widow Spider
F2 Skill: Immobilize.

Immobilizing a target allows you to get behind them for some flanking shots, or buy you time to reposition defensively or even start a retreat.

Bear
F2 Skill: Shake it Off (AoE condition removal).

Shake it Off can be very helpful defensively, especially in a team situation. Bears are relatively tanky.

Pink Moa
F2 Skill: Daze.

Some more general disruption to throw your enemy off.

#2 jomsjoms

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:12 AM

can you tell me what exotic bow and exotic armor set you are using? As well as rings/amulets/etc

#3 Daedin

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:37 AM

Great thoughts and great job.  Just really curious on why you decided that crit would benefit you so much with this build.. the 1 second bleed from crits is pretty meh imo.  The sigil perhaps? Still.. all those stats for a sigil proc, 1.5x really low power damage, and the extra 1 second bleed.. idk.  Would be interesting to see how you felt after running shaman's amulet for a day.

#4 PyrexFierceshot

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:25 AM

View PostDaedin, on 07 September 2012 - 12:37 AM, said:

Great thoughts and great job.  Just really curious on why you decided that crit would benefit you so much with this build.. the 1 second bleed from crits is pretty meh imo.  The sigil perhaps? Still.. all those stats for a sigil proc, 1.5x really low power damage, and the extra 1 second bleed.. idk.  Would be interesting to see how you felt after running shaman's amulet for a day.

There's really no point in these builds anymore with the ICD put on the sigil and the duration reduction of our trait. The whole point of running this build pre-release was because our Hunter's Call was able to stack up to 8-16 bleeds just by using it once. They got rid of that and instead increased the attack speed of the shortbow to compensate for bleed stacking. A Power / Precision build utilizing the shortbow would be more effective.

View Postjomsjoms, on 06 September 2012 - 06:12 AM, said:

can you tell me what exotic bow and exotic armor set you are using? As well as rings/amulets/etc

There is only Amulets in SPvP, all the stats of rings/accessories/armor stats are instead condensed into amulets.

Edited by PyrexFierceshot, 07 September 2012 - 03:26 AM.


#5 Proudfoot

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:05 AM

@Pyrex: Is there an ICD on the sigil now? I've wondered why my bleeds weren't actually stacking that high... I'm usually around 5 to 8.

My traits have changed a little bit, and I've been using three traps a lot of the time. Might try making some more tweaks and getting more power if the bleed procs really are being scaled back. I'm not much of a number cruncher for that kind of thing, so input would be great.

#6 Skolops

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:23 AM

View PostProudfoot, on 08 September 2012 - 01:05 AM, said:

@Pyrex: Is there an ICD on the sigil now? I've wondered why my bleeds weren't actually stacking that high... I'm usually around 5 to 8.

My traits have changed a little bit, and I've been using three traps a lot of the time. Might try making some more tweaks and getting more power if the bleed procs really are being scaled back. I'm not much of a number cruncher for that kind of thing, so input would be great.

Hmmm... I love using traps, but I can never feel comfortable with a trap focused build because of the complete lack of survivability.  How do you manage without condition removal and stun break? Heck, I even have a hard time being happy without at least Quickening Zephyr or Sharpened Stone in my build, but I can manage if I keep in mind that the traps make up for the lost DPS.

#7 Proudfoot

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:59 AM

I don't know. I manage somehow. :)  Lots of dodging, and pressuring them down before they can finish me off.

This build isn't the strongest 1v1 build you're ever going to find, and you can get focussed down in a team fight if people figure out that you're relatively squishy, so you want to try to position yourself to not appear like the biggest threat around.

I find traps really help to get an early advantage in a fight, because they burst a ton of conditions onto your opponent right as they initiate combat, and then you can throw 3 more down right away and keep the ball rolling. Then kite, dodge, use your Axe 3 and Shortbow 4/5 to get some soft CC in, and you can manage okay.




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