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Ranger Spirit Build... in dungeons?

ranger spirit spirit ranger dungeon

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#1 cozzybob


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Posted 06 October 2012 - 11:58 AM

My ranger is a support spirit build for open world, pvp and wvw, ect. It's great for everything except dungeons. In dungeons, mostly because of the small spaces and large aoe's and/or constant damage, it's a disaster.

I've been working on some ways of getting around this and came up with a build that I think could work in everything but the more difficult dungeons (COE and Arah, looking at you). Posting for thoughts and advice:


Obviously, most of this is subject to change depending on preferences/situation, and the tree we're really focusing on for talk is Nature Magic. I use moas and the jungle stalker for buffing in dungeons, so I have Concentration Training as my first trait pick. Then I took Nature's Vengeance and Spirits Unbound for the spirits.

My general problem with using spirits in dungeons is that they're so fragile, they die very quickly, and unless you can position them carefully in the dungeon (which can be difficult), they're pretty much useless. However, Nature's Vengeance can twist it around a bit. Instead of buffing the team with my spirits (which is what I usually focus on outside of dungeons), I've started using the Nature's Vengeance perk and their low health to turn them into aoe crowd control, which is excellent for mobs. Now, instead of worrying about the spirits dying, I'm actually trying to encourage it.

My general strategy is to be close to the action (this build has decent health and toughness, so it can take a few hits), summon my spirits around mobs, and activate their secondary abilities for cc. Usually, because they have low health, they'll die quickly, and activate a second time, more or less giving you two great aoe cc's one after the other.

My favorite spirits to use in this strategy are the stone (for immobilize and cripple) and sun (for an aoe blind). Frost could also work, although I find very little use for storm's abilities (that being said, storm is fantastic in wvw). For the curious, all the while this is going on, I'm also keeping up constant fury between the red moa and the warhorn.

Long story short, I think this is an effective strategy for spirit builds in dungeons... but I can't make it work stuff like COE, because that Alpha in particular spams his AOE so much my spirits generally die before I even get close (and don't get me started on those damned golems). Then again, I suppose COE is evil in general.

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#2 Ravnodaus


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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:13 PM

I approve this message.

I run spirits and have done exactly that at times, mostly for aoe intense fights n whatnot. Just change up tactics to use them one at a time for a more sustained aoe cc instead of all out at once.
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#3 Kovares


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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

I really wanted to like spirit builds, but in reality it seems I just can't. The problems they face are just too big, they require intensive traiting, often go down as soon as something even scratches them, and even if they somehow manage to stay up, they suffer from huge unmentioned internal cooldowns. Their only saving grace (kind of) is that rangers do not have that awesome utility anyway, so at least it does not hurt as much to slot them.

If you want that kind of passive support, you should probably have a look at banner warriors, I feel that really is how spirits could have been.
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#4 Quietnine


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Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:36 PM

60sec cooldowns for spirits that live 3seconds in actual combat = non viable.

anet, please fix.

i would love to see ranger spirits work like spirit weapons, untargetable/killable (and who cares, because our spirits dont attack). speccing 30 points in nature just to have them move with you is ridiculous.
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#5 Quarktastic


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Posted 06 October 2012 - 05:02 PM

The Spirit of Nature is the only spirit even remotely useful in dungeons, and only because of its instant resurrect/cure conditions activated ability. Even then, it's much less useful than other elites.
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#6 spritepac


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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:07 AM

See I think spirits work better if you only bring one with you. In dungeons I use spirit of stone for the protection boost and it seems to function well enough. Why spec completely into spirits with 30 points in nature magic when you could easily be doing something better. That being said anet does need to make spirits more appealing to actually spec into nature magic for them. But when used in high moderation 2 rangers each with a different spirit can really make a difference in a dungeon.
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#7 cozzybob


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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:53 AM

I've ran several dungeons with them on this approach, and I actually think it's completely viable--if you use two spirits at a time and have them move with you, that is. They don't always die immediately (assuming you're not running headfirst into danger), and you can more or less purposefully put them in harm's way if the mobs are getting out of hand and you need CC (assuming your second skill is on cooldown). By the time the one spirit goes down, I can usually put my next spirit up, so I usually have 1 up 90% of the time. Sun spirit is still my favorite in this case because I can do about 2 aoe blinds a minute or so, which is incredibly useful. Of course, on this approach, you're not really using the spirits for their passives at all. If you want to keep them alive, it's probably better to leave them bound and position them out of harms way... assuming you can.

That being said, they could definately use some work. You shouldn't have to waste 30 traits just to get them to move with you (although I'd do 30 anyway, because I'm a vit/healing/toughness build), and if they're going to be this fragile, they should have higher toughness or some sort of defense measure. I don't think they should be invulnerable (that'd be op, seriously), but maybe something along the lines of the gaurdian skill weapons. I noticed a friend of mine's weapons can stand some punishment, far more than spirits can... which, again, suggests that spirits need some kind of toughness, or at least a bit more health (perhaps scaled to your own?).

As for spirit of nature, I can't agree (even though I want to). It has a whopping 240 second cooldown, and like I said, in dungeons, spirits don't generally last long. Not to mention the spirit has to be real close to the person downed or suffering from condition in order to work, and even with the nature's vengeance trait, it's a fairly small aoe. I get a lot more bang for my buck out of entangle and rampage as one (entangle especially--aoe immobilize + crazy bleeds, anyone?).

Come to think of it, if there's one thing I'd change about spirits, it'd be spirit of nature. IMO, for the cost of it, it really needs an overhaul.
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