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The Evasive Conditions Tournament Ranger - Sword/Dagger and Axe/Torch


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#1 KQ

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:53 PM

This is my tournament ranger build that I've recently started using. I have obtained the idea from a couple of other builds that I've seen people posting, and have modified it to my liking and effectiveness.

UPDATED VERSION: http://bit.ly/QPZt2B

Old Version: http://bit.ly/Re3n5f

What it is able to do is successfully tank against multiple opponents via a lot of evasion and survivability (a plenty of toughness and healing). The brunt of the damage comes from the conditions and the pet. It can also be used for roaming without any issue, and even de-bunkering (possible on guardians, not that much on good elementalists). It also doesn't have that much of a problem with dealing against conditions due to the fact that the pet eats up all your conditions.


Stats

Power: 1,078
Precision: 916
Toughness: 2,064
Vitality: 1,091

Weapon Damage: 987
Condition Damage: 1,280
Critical Chance: 4%
Critical Damage: 0
Armor: 3,128
Health: 16,832
Healing Power: 869

Weapons

We're using a sword and dagger in one weapon set, and an axe and torch in the other set. Warhorn is always in inventory to precast before battle.

Axe and torch are used as an opener. I often begin by Ricochetting them a few times and then Winter's Bite when it doesn't seem they're going to dodge. Then I come to melee range and Splitblade them for the max bleed stack. Throw Torch can be used whenever you're not about pull off the Splitblade combo, and Bonfire has multiple uses. It's really great when you've combo'd Bonfire and Splitblade, but you can also use Bonfire to counter backstab thieves or quickly destroy mesmer illusions, for example. Just stand in the field and watch them burn as they're trying to stab you.

In general practice, you're doing your condition combo with axe and torch whenever you deem it's safe enough to do so. You rely on sword and dagger to stay alive. You need to look at your opponent closely and know when to dodge. And there are a plenty of ways to dodge with the sword and dagger weapon set. Stalker's Strike is basically a free evade, and you should always try to use it in melee range for the poison. Serpent's Strike is very similar to this skill, except that you're rotating in a much larger arch. Crippling Talon can be used to apply even more bleeds or to stop fleeing opponents. Hornet Sting and Monarch's Leap is naturally to control your distance in whatever way the situation requires. You'll often even want to use it without a target locked on just so you can control exactly where you will land.

The Slash, Kick and Pounce chain is the most interesting one. To fully utilize the potential of this skill is very hard and requires a lot of practice. This skill chain in this build is not meant for damage. It is meant for controlling your opponent with cripples and for evading as much as you can. The common misconception with this skill is that it locks you in place, when what it gives you are a countless amount of evades. When you're not chasing your opponent with this skill, you'll be wanting to utilize the leaps as much as you can. This is done with several techniques. The most basic one is attacking a opponent without him being targeted, which will you give you two leaps once you cast Pounce, thus effectively evading a potential attack (you'll need to mind the distance from which you're Slashing though because of Kick's 400 range). Another technique is to Slash and Kick and Pounce just once, and then before you're to Pounce twice, you quickly select an opponent to Pounce back to him. Doing this even on immobile golems isn't as easy as it sounds, and it doing it on moving targets really requires some skill. But when mastered, it has the potential of being one of the ranger's strongest assets.

I move back to my condition set if I'm not being as focused as much, or if I've exhausted my evasive skills and have endurance remaining or a heal skill available. Always try to swap weapons within the range of the Geomancy sigil.


Skills

Healing Spring: A most important and most awesome healing skill. Its activation time is way faster than of any of the other ranger healing skills, and it can heal more if you stay in for the full duration of Regeneration. It's also a Vigor field because of your trait.

Signet of the Wild: We have it just because of the passive health regeneration, which is 114 health. You could possibly use its active effect once you're about to spike with your pet though.

Signet of Renewal: Active effect is similar to Emphatic Bond, except that it's of course on demand and on a 60s cooldown. Can't complain much on the passive effect either (one less condition on your pet).

Lightning Reflexes: Use it to escape Backstab thieves, 100b warriors, Blurred Frenzy mesmers, and the like. Or use it when you're in trouble and have exhausted all your kiting tools. This leaves you vulnerable if someone suddenly decides to stun you though.

Rampage as One: It's here for the Stability primarily, and Fury secondary. Use it when defending points (against guardians and engineers for example), or when stomping people. Fury is more useful to your pet than it is to you. As a footnote, 300 in Beast Mastery gives your pet a 300 stat increase in all attributes. And since we're using birds as our pets, which already have high natural precision and vitality, your bird will be doing crits even more. You also gain a stack of might per attack.


Pets

We're using Raven and Owl, due to their natural high vitality and precision. On pet swap they also give us AoE Vigor due to the traits. Use Raven's F2 to evade an important skill or prevent a stomp. You can use Owl's F2 as an opener for Bonfire and Splitblade, or to slow people down.

Another option here would be to take a Fern Hound or Krytan Drakehound and Wolf, for healing and fear. All canines have a visually discernable Brutal Charge which is a 2s knockdown, and it's important that you know how to manage this skill. Basically, you can interrupt your pet using this skill by calling him back (Return to Me; as another footnote, you'll always want your pet to be in Avoid Combat so you can manually choose a target). This is especially important if you want to interrupt an important skill, or a stomp. If you're taking canines then, you'd want to replace Vigorous Training with Intimidation Training.

Just to note that while you're downed (not defeated), you can control your pets as if you're still alive. If I'm having a Wolf, this can equate to interrupting a stomp three times (if they're not under stability), first with Thunderclap, and then with Brutal Charge or Fear. If you're having another canine on pet swap, you can Brutal Charge your foe again. Now while you can't manually cast Brutal Charge, your pet will use this skill first on the first attack if it's not under cooldown, thus further accenting the importance of Avoid Combat and micromanaging your pet well.

Another option would be to take felines (Lynx, Jungle Stalker, Jaguar), but while they do offer a ton of bleeds and damage, they don't offer the utility of canines or birds.

You could also take either a combination of White Moa or Blue Moa, or Fern Hound or Brown Bear if you want to focus more on supportive pets. But personally I wouldn't do this as these pets don't offer that much damage as the pets mentioned above, but they do have a lot of vitality which is less important for pets in TPvP as people usually don't target them. And if they do, you can just swap your pets or use your heal skill, thus essentially wasting your opponents' time.

tl;dr: Best options (imo) are Raven and Owl, or Wolf and Fern Hound.


Traits

Natural Vigor: An essential and cheap trait. More dodges = more epicness.

Vigorous Renewal: The great thing about this trait and Healing Spring is that it will be reapplied with every tick of HS, thus meaning that you will have Vigor for the full duration of HS (if you stay in the field).

Companion's Defense: Especially useful if you're being focused and need to take off some damage from you.

Off-Hand Training: This improves six of your skills, because you'll be using your Warhorn for buffs before battle. You can replace this with Oakheart Salve for more heals.

Peak Strength: I'm not sure does this apply to pet, but if it does, then all the better.

Empathic Bond: An absolutely awesome trait. Your pet draws all your conditions every 10 seconds while in combat.

Rejuvenation: More healing. Always a good thing.

Nature's Bounty: This trait complements Healing Spring excellently as it means you're getting 4 seconds of Regeneration as opposed to just 3 per HS tick. If you keep standing in Healing Spring for its full duration, that additional second adds up and you can get more than 10 seconds of Regeneration (as opposed to constantly having just 3 seconds). You could replace this with Nature's Protection, although it's not really necessary, as I've found Backstab dealing only 3-5k critical damage.

Zephyr's Speed: One of the best traits rangers have at their disposal. Quickness has so many uses, really. You can use it for stomping, rallying or even bursting down opponents with your pet (criticals can go between 1.5k to 4k).

Commanding Voice: Another awesome trait that equates to more chills and blinds from your pets.

Loud Whistle: Equates to more Quickness and more pet swaps.

Vigorous Training: AoE Vigor on bird pet swap.

Nature's Wrath: Gives a little bit more weapon damage.

Natural Healing: Now what most people don't realize is that this trait doesn't give passive healing to just your pet, but it gives passive healing to you as well, and this healing is exactly 133. This means that, together with the SotW signet, you're getting a passive healing of 247.


Equipment

We're using Runes of the Undead for the increased condition damage and toughness. The 5% of toughness to condition damage is absolutely great.

For amulets there's a couple of choices (such as Carrion or Rabid), but what I use are a Shaman's Amulet and a Carrion Jewel, as you get a toughness, healing and condition damage increase with them.

As for the runes, I'm using Geomancy on both weapon sets, and Corruption on the sword and Smoldering on the torch (I believe this gives you two additional ticks of burning). You can carry another sword with Energy if you feel like you'll need to dodge more or you have reached 25 stacks of corruption. Hydromancy is also another viable choice.


Conclusion

Well that's that of the build then. It's the build that has gotten me back to playing the ranger and has proven that rangers can be very viable in tournament play. As it is said that the ranger is the jack-of-all-trades, this build truly shows that -- a versatile ranger indeed.

Edited by KQ, 29 November 2012 - 08:47 PM.


#2 RAD

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

Nice, Ill have to try this out myself KQ. I have been pvping just a tad more then usual lately and was eager to find a good sword/dagger build. Good work.

Although, could it work out if you substituted SoR for something more condition damage? Something like a trap or Sharp Stones? I was thinking since you have empathic bond doing essentially the samething it may be overkill.
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#3 KQ

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:10 PM

View PostRAD, on 27 November 2012 - 02:05 PM, said:

Although, could it work out if you substituted SoR for something more condition damage? Something like a trap or Sharp Stones? I was thinking since you have empathic bond doing essentially the samething it may be overkill.

I find evasion more important than more conditions. SoR offers you an immobilize breaker, something that Lightning Reflexes doesn't give you.

Empathic Bond can also clear off your conditions at odd moments, so if your opponent hasn't yet used his full arsenal of conditions, you can be in big trouble.

#4 Xsorus

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:23 PM

now that you've gotten to play with it, you can see why I was absolutely stomping on people in my video so hard.

#5 Ley Lestard

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:30 PM

Nice build! Personally I love the sword/dagger combo. Going to try that one out for sure.

One question about the pet though, why not use the white raven instead of the owl?
Blinding Slash has higher base dmg and in generall I'm a fan of blind. You have a chill on the axe and a cripple on the dagger so I would think that an additional blind would blend in nicely.

View PostKQ, on 27 November 2012 - 02:10 PM, said:

I find evasion more important than more conditions. SoR offers you an immobilize breaker, something that Lightning Reflexes doesn't give you.

Empathic Bond can also clear off your conditions at odd moments, so if your opponent hasn't yet used his full arsenal of conditions, you can be in big trouble.

Do you know if the internal CD for Empathic Bond and SoR are the same? What I mean is, does the 10 s timer start ticking for both as soon as you enter combat? Or is it always ticking as soon as you equip/trait it?

Edited by Ley Lestard, 27 November 2012 - 03:30 PM.


#6 Xsorus

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:44 PM

View PostLey Lestard, on 27 November 2012 - 03:30 PM, said:

Nice build! Personally I love the sword/dagger combo. Going to try that one out for sure.

One question about the pet though, why not use the white raven instead of the owl?
Blinding Slash has higher base dmg and in generall I'm a fan of blind. You have a chill on the axe and a cripple on the dagger so I would think that an additional blind would blend in nicely.



Do you know if the internal CD for Empathic Bond and SoR are the same? What I mean is, does the 10 s timer start ticking for both as soon as you enter combat? Or is it always ticking as soon as you equip/trait it?

White Raven you get from Hall of Heroes or something, it's from Original Guild Wars

Empathic and SoR are both 10 second cooldowns, Though if you're out of range of Empathic SoR would still kick in... which could be useful.

#7 JROH

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

View PostXsorus, on 27 November 2012 - 03:44 PM, said:

White Raven you get from Hall of Heroes or something, it's from Original Guild Wars

Empathic and SoR are both 10 second cooldowns, Though if you're out of range of Empathic SoR would still kick in... which could be useful.

To add to your response, white raven also has base vitality of 14xx as opposed to the rest of the birds heightened vitality trait.

Overall I'm glad to see this spec (0/0/30/10/30) being used in a build. Myself and Danthin had theorycrafted the same stat setup (using axe/torch and shortbow) and he was using it in WvW I believe, and I had originally intended it to be a healing focused build (which Danthin helped develop into a burn/condition focused build).
However, watching you play it with the different major traits, birds, and sword/dagger instead of shortbow, it really does show off a potential of the setup I think I missed. I'm glad to see you having success with it because it confirms my idea of the stat allocation being viable (and that traps aren't the only viable ranger spec).

That being said, I am definitely having a hard time using sword/dagger. Not that I don't understand it or when/how to use it. But my hands seem to make my character react differently that I see it in my head (too much xbox, not enough keyboard gaming lol). Your videos make it look so much easier than it really is haha.

#8 KQ

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:50 PM

View PostLey Lestard, on 27 November 2012 - 03:30 PM, said:

Do you know if the internal CD for Empathic Bond and SoR are the same? What I mean is, does the 10 s timer start ticking for both as soon as you enter combat? Or is it always ticking as soon as you equip/trait it?

As far as I'm aware, it starts ticking only once you're in combat. I don't see how else would it work, since any condition immediately brings you into combat. So yes, the internal CD is the same for both skills. I haven't tested this out, but I'm definitely certain of this.

I'm using Owl because Chill is one of the best conditions in the game. It's not useful just for its decreased movement speed, but also for its increased skill recharge. Keeping up Chill on someone for 6 seconds is sweet. But I'm already using the Raven anyway.

View PostJROH, on 27 November 2012 - 05:48 PM, said:

That being said, I am definitely having a hard time using sword/dagger. Not that I don't understand it or when/how to use it. But my hands seem to make my character react differently that I see it in my head (too much xbox, not enough keyboard gaming lol). Your videos make it look so much easier than it really is haha.

You definitely need to practice with it a lot, as the ranger sword has a very high skill cap. Also, whose videos? :P

Edited by KQ, 27 November 2012 - 05:57 PM.


#9 Xsorus

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

View PostJROH, on 27 November 2012 - 05:48 PM, said:

To add to your response, white raven also has base vitality of 14xx as opposed to the rest of the birds heightened vitality trait.

Overall I'm glad to see this spec (0/0/30/10/30) being used in a build. Myself and Danthin had theorycrafted the same stat setup (using axe/torch and shortbow) and he was using it in WvW I believe, and I had originally intended it to be a healing focused build (which Danthin helped develop into a burn/condition focused build).
However, watching you play it with the different major traits, birds, and sword/dagger instead of shortbow, it really does show off a potential of the setup I think I missed. I'm glad to see you having success with it because it confirms my idea of the stat allocation being viable (and that traps aren't the only viable ranger spec).

That being said, I am definitely having a hard time using sword/dagger. Not that I don't understand it or when/how to use it. But my hands seem to make my character react differently that I see it in my head (too much xbox, not enough keyboard gaming lol). Your videos make it look so much easier than it really is haha.

It's cause i play with an N52TE pad + Razer Naga.

I've not used an actual keyboard for MMO's since I think EQ.....

Been using N52 pads since very early daoc.

#10 Battosai

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:51 AM

been playing with an improved/altered version of the build you posted for a long time now and it is prolly the most effective build out there for the ranger.

i suggest running wolf/raven ( wolf adds some much needed cc to your kit) as pets.
also frost trap/spike trap/ viper's nest is more effective than lightning reflexes imo.
f.e. combine frost trap with two hydromancy sigils on axe and sword and you got a lot of chill rolling - furthermore it adds another combo field making it a total of 3 available combo fields.
wolf and raven both can trigger either healing, frost armour or fire shield with their respective leaps. same goes for monarchs leap.
add in a thief/guardian/ele anything with blastfinishers and healing spring really starts to shine even more as it's a 15 seconds water combo field.
furthermore i suggest you start using sigil of venom on dagger and sigil of superior life on torch as you can basically perma poison a target now and getting more healing power makes you more durable.
apart from that i'm using a different runeset - rune of the forge as it adds both, defensive and offensive power to the build.
dwayna is an option as well - might want to try melandru/mercy/svanir too, as they can have their uses.
apart from that good guide and insight on the build - glad some other people are still playing the ranger in tournaments and don't get stomped.
cheers!

#11 JROH

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:40 AM

View PostXsorus, on 27 November 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

It's cause i play with an N52TE pad + Razer Naga.

I've not used an actual keyboard for MMO's since I think EQ.....

Been using N52 pads since very early daoc.

That makes sense. The most hardcore I've really ever played a PC game was halo 1, with a classic wasd and mouse. Which, the more I play MMOs (minus maplestory cuz you can macro like crazy for that game and it's only 2D) the less effective it is.

I probably also have some weird subconscious problem with moving passed using a bow on my ranger. I mained competitive ranger in gw1 for so long that I just can't seem to get over the feeling that there's something missing.

Oh well, in the meantime I'll keep gw2 shelved until more updates roll out that make some mechanics fresh and fun to play around with again.

#12 KQ

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:10 PM

View PostBattosai, on 28 November 2012 - 01:51 AM, said:

*snip*

Aye, thanks very much for those suggestions. I've actually been thinking of doing some similar changes to the build yesterday. But I'll be sure to try out your version of the build now.

Edited by KQ, 28 November 2012 - 12:10 PM.


#13 Isms

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Am I missing something about "Natural Healing?" I traited for it to test this out, and I'm getting about 133 health every 3 seconds, which just seems like a complete waste of thirty points to me.

#14 IDarko

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:05 PM

Amazing build! I haven't played it myself yet but as a guildie, i have played against it for testing purposes and alongside it in tournies.

I recommend trying this build! The sword skill has a lot of depth aswell so there is a lot of room for improvement as player. The ranger is a very difficult class to play but mastering it can definitely pay off!

#15 JROH

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

View PostIsms, on 28 November 2012 - 01:34 PM, said:

Am I missing something about "Natural Healing?" I traited for it to test this out, and I'm getting about 133 health every 3 seconds, which just seems like a complete waste of thirty points to me.

I can put it into some mathematical perspective and see if it helps.
With Signet of the Wild, you are healing 475 health every 3 seconds.
The regeneration buff, at base healing power, is only 125 health per second, which comes to 375 health every 3 seconds.
With healing power from Shamans Ammy/Jewel combo, you would be ticking regen at 243 per second, which is 729 health every 3 seconds (very strong).
I made the last calculation because if healing power affected Natural Healing at all, it might make it like having a healing power boosted regen ticking every 3 seconds. If healing power affected healing from SotW more, or Natural Healing at all, this spec might actually be OP.

But, since you are healing for more than an unboosted regen, it does make this extremely potent (depending on your max hp and toughness, as this is one of the few specs I can find for a ranger where toughness adds more to it than vit, but showing that through math would require excessive number crunching).
To give an idea to anyone who may have been a gw1 player, this is like having a constant 4 bar health regen. Which, to give people the idea of how that translates into gw2, you are going to be out-healing 4 bleed stacks. Unfortunately, not poison because it reduces healing, and of course not burning because of how high condition specced burning damage is.


Speaking of which, for the build itself, I understand your rune choice entirely, but if you are looking to get the most damage out of it, you would be better of extending the burn duration as long as possible. Higher condition damage actually helps bleeding more than burning, but by sacrificing runes of the undead for 2x baelfire 2x balthazar and 2x flame legion, and with the sigil of smoldering, burning lasts for 9.5 seconds and deals 5361, with a near constant uptime, provided you hit throw torch. Literally that is the biggest source of damage in this build, so I'm only suggesting to build around capitalizing on that fact.
You can even get a nice little rotation going by going: Winter's Bite -> SplitBlade -> Throw Torch -> swap -> Crippling Talon -> Stalkers Strike -> Serpents Strike -> Hornet Sting -> swap and however many autoattacks in between it takes to kill any remaining time between swaps. Obviously this is just a basic suggestion, but it really highlights the flow that the build potentially has.

#16 Isms

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

View PostJROH, on 28 November 2012 - 02:31 PM, said:

I can put it into some mathematical perspective and see if it helps.
With Signet of the Wild, you are healing 475 health every 3 seconds.
The regeneration buff, at base healing power, is only 125 health per second, which comes to 375 health every 3 seconds.
With healing power from Shamans Ammy/Jewel combo, you would be ticking regen at 243 per second, which is 729 health every 3 seconds (very strong).
I made the last calculation because if healing power affected Natural Healing at all, it might make it like having a healing power boosted regen ticking every 3 seconds. If healing power affected healing from SotW more, or Natural Healing at all, this spec might actually be OP.


I guess you missed my question. I'm referring to the "Natural Healing" trait itself. I was wondering if maybe it's been patched, or there's something I'm missing. T I would never trait 30 points so I could get 133/3=44 health per second. The idea of traiting 30 into BM has nothing to do with whether or not you use a shamans amulet or the regen signet. As the regen signet does roughly 3x this amount, in addition to the other regenerations you'll be constantly applying to yourself, I'd rather invest in more damage as putting all your eggs into HOTs keeps you from being well rounded. Although the Ranger tree is a bit lackluster, I'd rather put the points somewhere else.

Edited by Isms, 28 November 2012 - 02:58 PM.


#17 Xsorus

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

View PostIsms, on 28 November 2012 - 02:55 PM, said:

I guess you missed my question. I'm referring to the "Natural Healing" trait itself. I was wondering if maybe it's been patched, or there's something I'm missing. T I would never trait 30 points so I could get 133/3=44 health per second. The idea of traiting 30 into BM has nothing to do with whether or not you use a shamans amulet or the regen signet. As the regen signet does roughly 3x this amount, in addition to the other regenerations you'll be constantly applying to yourself, I'd rather invest in more damage as putting all your eggs into HOTs keeps you from being well rounded. Although the Ranger tree is a bit lackluster, I'd rather put the points somewhere else.

It's not just Nature's Healing, You're improving your pet by a very large amount, and picking up some very good talents a long the way.

#18 KQ

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:05 PM

With all the given suggestions and further testing, I believe I have came to a new and improved version of my build. I will still keep the old link just for reference's sake, but here is the new one: http://bit.ly/StpjWQ

What has been changed:

Replaced Lightning Reflexes with Frost Trap.
Instead of Raven and Owl, I'm using Raven and Wolf.
Replaced Vigorous Training with Mighty Swap.
Hydromancy and Life runes on Axe and Torch instead of Geomancy and Smoldering.
Hydromancy and Venom runes on Sword and Dagger instead of Geomancy and Minor Corruption.
Instead of Undead runes, I'm using Dwayna runes.
Instead of a Carrion jewel, I'm using a Shaman jewel (together with the Shaman amulet of course).

This has given the build the ability to maintain the Chill condition for a long time, hampering your opponent for quite a lot, especially since they're not able to kite your pet as easily with Chill.
Wolf is really a mandatory pet in TPvP, and the Fear and Knockdown have saved me many times.
With so much Vigor we're getting anyway, Vigorous Training is not needed. Mighty Swap is better for some more pet damage.
Dwayna runes are absolutely awesome for our healing. With these runes, Healing Spring can stack up 22 (twenty-two!) seconds of regeneration, thus effectively giving you permanent regeneration. Without these runes, this number is half as low. I feel this is more important than any of the other runes suggested.
Shaman's Jewel instead of Carrion Jewel to keep with the "lost" toughness from changing the runes.

Edited by KQ, 28 November 2012 - 05:09 PM.


#19 JROH

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:15 PM

View PostIsms, on 28 November 2012 - 02:55 PM, said:

I guess you missed my question. I'm referring to the "Natural Healing" trait itself. I was wondering if maybe it's been patched, or there's something I'm missing. T I would never trait 30 points so I could get 133/3=44 health per second. The idea of traiting 30 into BM has nothing to do with whether or not you use a shamans amulet or the regen signet. As the regen signet does roughly 3x this amount, in addition to the other regenerations you'll be constantly applying to yourself, I'd rather invest in more damage as putting all your eggs into HOTs keeps you from being well rounded. Although the Ranger tree is a bit lackluster, I'd rather put the points somewhere else.

No it isn't the best grandmaster trait option, but it isn't like there is a better option for 30 points either that isn't already being taken. There also really aren't that many greater options to trait into for this particular build layout, and the 300 additional points in pets and healing does help quite a bit considering the build is built with survival tactics being a key factor in effectiveness. I'm honestly not sure what you would do with that 30 points if not in beastmastery. Skirmishing is next to useless in this build (may as well just be running traps at that point, and that's such an exhausted point to make when people are looking to run different builds. Yes traps work. Let's maybe create some other working builds now), traiting farther into nature magic does nothing really except add sponginess, so you are basically left with marksmanship. There is nothing really worth picking up in the marksmanship line except the +30% condition duration, and even then, 5 to 15 points in beastmastery still has a better effect in combat for more quickness.

But if you do have a better suggestion, I will be more than willing to test it open mindedly, as it may be something that I am overlooking.

#20 Garethh

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

People were running builds allot like that 2~ months ago.
Since you seem to enjoy it so much I'll leave it at that :)

Oh and switch torch and dagger.
Torch should be on sword and dagger on axe, sword is the one that can combo for the fire armor and dagger gives an on weapon evade to your other set (something you can use while immobilized).
I find it a bit more practical.

That and natural healing, somenone else mentioned it and I find it utterly impractical.  It is much more common to go with the points in skirmishing instead.  Even 5 more points in nature magic so your pet shares your boons (aka regen) would be a better pet heal.

Edited by Garethh, 28 November 2012 - 06:39 PM.


#21 JROH

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:22 PM

View PostGarethh, on 28 November 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

People were running builds allot like that 2~ months ago.
Since you seem to enjoy it so much I'll leave it at that :)

Oh and switch torch and dagger.
Torch should be on sword and dagger on axe, sword is the one that can combo for the fire armor and dagger gives an on weapon evade to your other set (something you can use while immobilized).
I find it a bit more practical.

That and natural healing, somenone else mentioned it and I find it utterly impractical.  It is much more common to go with the points in skirmishing instead.  Even 5 more points in nature magic so your pet shares your boons (aka regen) would be a better pet heal.

Hey if it was up to me (and possible), I would run 30/30/30/0/0 and have a high power, high condition, constant crit build. Then rangers might actually scare people lol.

#22 jeddahwe

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:35 PM

Great guide!  Much appreciated...I wish all guides were this well written.

My only question is what would I do if I can not play sword, I just have not learned how to use it...Could I be as effective with another weapon?  Say GS?

#23 KQ

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

View PostGarethh, on 28 November 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

People were running builds allot like that 2~ months ago.
Since you seem to enjoy it so much I'll leave it at that :)

Oh and switch torch and dagger.
Torch should be on sword and dagger on axe, sword is the one that can combo for the fire armor and dagger gives an on weapon evade to your other set (something you can use while immobilized).
I find it a bit more practical.

That and natural healing, somenone else mentioned it and I find it utterly impractical.  It is much more common to go with the points in skirmishing instead.  Even 5 more points in nature magic so your pet shares your boons (aka regen) would be a better pet heal.

Yeah, I know people have used a build like this before, but I haven't really seen anyone post a thorough guide on it.

I've actually been trying out using Sword/Torch and Axe/Dagger today in tournaments, and I'm still not entirely certain what works the best. There are pros and cons for both kinds of setups.

And yea, I'm going with Fortifying Bond instead of Natural Healing now just to see what works better. I don't see for what reason would I go in Skirmishing though. I find the 25 points in Beast Mastery necessary for this kind a build.

View Postjeddahwe, on 29 November 2012 - 12:35 PM, said:

Great guide!  Much appreciated...I wish all guides were this well written.

My only question is what would I do if I can not play sword, I just have not learned how to use it...Could I be as effective with another weapon?  Say GS?

I haven't yet tried using a greatsword in this build, but It could work, especially with the recent buff to Counterattack. You should, however, learn to time your first weapon skill, as the third strike in the chain is an evade. This means that you will need to turn off auto-attack.

But I definitely urge you to learn to play with the sword.

Edited by KQ, 29 November 2012 - 07:11 PM.


#24 Xsorus

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

View PostGarethh, on 28 November 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

People were running builds allot like that 2~ months ago.
Since you seem to enjoy it so much I'll leave it at that :)

Oh and switch torch and dagger.
Torch should be on sword and dagger on axe, sword is the one that can combo for the fire armor and dagger gives an on weapon evade to your other set (something you can use while immobilized).
I find it a bit more practical.

That and natural healing, somenone else mentioned it and I find it utterly impractical.  It is much more common to go with the points in skirmishing instead.  Even 5 more points in nature magic so your pet shares your boons (aka regen) would be a better pet heal.

You won't utilize Fire Armor as much as you think. Who gets the benefit of it post is your pets, Both Birds and Wolves.

The reasoning for Sword/Dagger is you have double evades, + 20 seconds of poison you can apply to the target. It also gives you a Snare in the form of Cripple. With Sword/Torch you don't have access to this.

With Axe/Dagger both your snares on one weaponset..Not a good thing..It also Removes the advantage of being able to Bonfire and throw your axes or Split Blade a Target.

These will occasionally apply a Burn on the target which is extra damage.

Throw in the fact that you can run through the Winter's Bite/Torch Throw/BonFire/Split Blade combo and sitll have enough time to weapon swap and throw your dagger which will apply the burn 100% of the time as well.

Also the reasoning for Natural healing is simple...It's a constant health increase... The Regen you get in the Nature's line has a cooldown, This doesn't... You will keep it up constantly.

Buff wise you can go up the Nature's line for the Buffs on your pet, But realistically the only time you'll be actually able to buff your pet a lot is with Rampage..and you'll only be adding maybe 6 Stacks of Might to your pet usually...Not a Huge benefit compared to a constant heal.

Skirmishing Line you wouldn't waste the points, Swiftness on Weapon swap in combat is iffy, Esp if you Birds, which will keep perma Swiftness on ya in combat pretty much.

Probably get more benefit out of Wolves.

By the way, last I checked Fire Armor was something paltry like 50-80 damage..so don't build around it.. I don't know if it applies the burn effect.. but it wasn't noticeable.

#25 KQ

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

Yup, after testing it out for some more, Xsorus' reasoning hits the bullseye. With Sword/Dagger you can chain poison a foe, especially if they remove the first poison. It's also better to have a dedicated evasion set than to go hybrid. Your survivability is much higher that way. As I've said in my opening post, it's best if you use Axe/Torch when you know you won't be in trouble and won't need to evade as much. And Fortifying Bond isn't really that useful. All the boons are already applied to your pet even without it. I've also gone back to using Lightning Reflexes more often, but the traps have their use as well.

But I'm still open to more suggestions and alternatives on the build!

Edited by KQ, 29 November 2012 - 08:25 PM.


#26 Xsorus

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

View PostKQ, on 29 November 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

Yup, after testing it out for some more, Xsorus' reasoning hits the bullseye. With Sword/Dagger you can chain poison a foe, especially if they remove the first poison. It's also better to have a dedicated evasion set than to go hybrid. Your survivability is much higher that way. As I've said in my opening post, it's best if you use Axe/Torch when you know you won't be in trouble and won't need to evade as much. And Fortifying Bond isn't really that useful. All the boons are already applied to your pet even without it. I've also gone back to using Lightning Reflexes more often, but the traps have their use as well.

But I'm still open to more suggestions and alternatives on the build!

I could see using Frost Trap if you don't have access to pain inverter, also other viable things are Muddy Terrain, Sharpening Stones.

I'm not sure on Flame Trap, I like it, but it seems like it's kind of overdone if you have access to Bonfire.

Frost Trap and Muddy Terrain seem like the best bet, though SOR could be decent I suppose (if your pet isn't near ya)

If they improve Pet Shouts, they may end up taking the place of those abilities, I don't think anything can compete with Pain Inverter though if you're an Asura, with Rare Pizza It's 7 seconds of Confusion which is just silly..

Edited by Xsorus, 29 November 2012 - 08:32 PM.


#27 KQ

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

Except that Pain Inverter doesn't apply to Structured PvP... although this build could be used in WvW as well. But ya, I see SotW as mandatory to the build, while the other skills can be changed around depending on the opponent's team composition. It's just a rule of thumb if there's a warrior, thief or mesmer, you'll want to run Lightning Reflexes. If there's a condition master, you need SoR. And this is true most of the time. But if not, just take any of the other trap or survival skills for more damage or control.

EDIT:

View Postjeddahwe, on 29 November 2012 - 12:35 PM, said:

Great guide!  Much appreciated...I wish all guides were this well written.

My only question is what would I do if I can not play sword, I just have not learned how to use it...Could I be as effective with another weapon?  Say GS?

You know actually, this has gotten me to thinking more about the potential effectiveness of greatsword in this build. I've done a couple of changes and it has proven as very viable. All I've basically done was changed to Martial Mastery trait, equipped a Cleric's Amulet, and replaced axe/torch with greatsword with a hydromancer rune.

This has made the build even more versatile, as going the greatsword route makes you excellent for chasing opponents, crossing big distances, even more evasion and stalling on a point. And if you need damage over evasion, a completely different build is away on just three clicks. I still have a lot more testing to do to see does anything else needs to be changed, but for now that's that.

#28 Xsorus

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

View PostKQ, on 29 November 2012 - 09:49 PM, said:

Except that Pain Inverter doesn't apply to Structured PvP... although this build could be used in WvW as well. But ya, I see SotW as mandatory to the build, while the other skills can be changed around depending on the opponent's team composition. It's just a rule of thumb if there's a warrior, thief or mesmer, you'll want to run Lightning Reflexes. If there's a condition master, you need SoR. And this is true most of the time. But if not, just take any of the other trap or survival skills for more damage or control.

EDIT:


You know actually, this has gotten me to thinking more about the potential effectiveness of greatsword in this build. I've done a couple of changes and it has proven as very viable. All I've basically done was changed to Martial Mastery trait, equipped a Cleric's Amulet, and replaced axe/torch with greatsword with a hydromancer rune.

This has made the build even more versatile, as going the greatsword route makes you excellent for chasing opponents, crossing big distances, even more evasion and stalling on a point. And if you need damage over evasion, a completely different build is away on just three clicks. I still have a lot more testing to do to see does anything else needs to be changed, but for now that's that.

Sotw and Lightning Reflex's is mandatory, lightning reflex is just to good, Stun Break + 10 seconds of vigor? Yes please..

SoR you can get by without thanks to Empathic, but you can still throw it in the build if ya want.

Frost Trap probably best bet

#29 Garethh

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:57 AM

View PostXsorus, on 29 November 2012 - 07:56 PM, said:

You won't utilize Fire Armor as much as you think. Who gets the benefit of it post is your pets, Both Birds and Wolves.

The reasoning for Sword/Dagger is you have double evades, + 20 seconds of poison you can apply to the target. It also gives you a Snare in the form of Cripple. With Sword/Torch you don't have access to this.

With Axe/Dagger both your snares on one weaponset..Not a good thing..It also Removes the advantage of being able to Bonfire and throw your axes or Split Blade a Target.

These will occasionally apply a Burn on the target which is extra damage.

Throw in the fact that you can run through the Winter's Bite/Torch Throw/BonFire/Split Blade combo and sitll have enough time to weapon swap and throw your dagger which will apply the burn 100% of the time as well.

Also the reasoning for Natural healing is simple...It's a constant health increase... The Regen you get in the Nature's line has a cooldown, This doesn't... You will keep it up constantly.

Buff wise you can go up the Nature's line for the Buffs on your pet, But realistically the only time you'll be actually able to buff your pet a lot is with Rampage..and you'll only be adding maybe 6 Stacks of Might to your pet usually...Not a Huge benefit compared to a constant heal.

Skirmishing Line you wouldn't waste the points, Swiftness on Weapon swap in combat is iffy, Esp if you Birds, which will keep perma Swiftness on ya in combat pretty much.

Probably get more benefit out of Wolves.

By the way, last I checked Fire Armor was something paltry like 50-80 damage..so don't build around it.. I don't know if it applies the burn effect.. but it wasn't noticeable.
Double evade... but you don't need 2 evades on the same set... you only need the one weapon evades for if you are immobilized or seriously pressed for endurance...
That and poison doesn't stack in dmg, only duration, so having 2 poisons on the same set is actually a bad thing.  They become more cleansable.
Axe/torch has nothing defensive short of a 3s chill and weakness, that's terrible defense.. I'd see having another snare on that set far better than not, if of course you plan for fights to last more than 15~ seconds, you're playing a condition spec so I sure hope you do...  Sword has enough mobility that it doesn't NEED a cripple, since you aren't using it offensively, on the other hand axe isn't in that same situation.

With bonfire, true, you won't leap threw it every time, but the field is next to useless on axe.  It combo's 1 out of every 5 spammables, with no attack on the set being a 100% projectile finisher.
That's not good.
Fire armor is a 1s burn every time you are hit for the next 5s.
In other words 600~ dmg.
A better chance of getting fire armor up (a 1s burn every time you are hit for 5 seconds) is a dozen times better than a 1s burn on 1/5th of your spammable attacks, if the situation lets you line them up, and 1 on splitblade if the stars aline letting you cast it at point blank range at an enemy standing in the bonfire.
The sword leap is on a 6s CD and doesn't have to hit to get the armor making it extremely easy to pull off.

Then you talked like you could swap sets after bonfiring for crippling talon threw the fire field... and you wouldn't be able to if the offhands were swapped...
????

Kinda offpoint though, but blowing crippling talon just for the extra 1s burn by throwing it threw bonfire is BAD.
You should never use such a fantastic ability just because at this time you can do 600 more dmg with it.
If the fight lines up, when they can cleanse calls for it and the situation gives you the chance, sure 600 more dmg is nifty... but it really isn't anything noteworthy in the slightest, especially after you started talking like fire armor is really meh...

And natural healing... really?
Just because its passive doesn't mean its good...
Do you know how much it actually heals for??
With any heal power it ends up being 1/3 of regen on only your pet... that's terrible, terrible healing especially for a tier 3 trait,  especially since you can swap out pets every 16s at that point...
An extra 800 health won't make or break your pet... I promise.

Then skirmishing, you wouldn't waste points by putting them in that line...
Ugh, compared to beastmastery after 15 points.. (aka stuff like natural healing) there is no way to waste points short of just not using them...


View PostKQ, on 29 November 2012 - 09:49 PM, said:

You know actually, this has gotten me to thinking more about the potential effectiveness of greatsword in this build. I've done a couple of changes and it has proven as very viable. All I've basically done was changed to Martial Mastery trait, equipped a Cleric's Amulet, and replaced axe/torch with greatsword with a hydromancer rune.

This has made the build even more versatile, as going the greatsword route makes you excellent for chasing opponents, crossing big distances, even more evasion and stalling on a point. And if you need damage over evasion, a completely different build is away on just three clicks. I still have a lot more testing to do to see does anything else needs to be changed, but for now that's that.
That's great, just beware, its not very tourny viable.
The weapon is a bunch of nifty abilities with little cohesion or overall aim.

Edited by Garethh, 30 November 2012 - 01:14 AM.


#30 Xsorus

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

Quote

Double evade... but you don't need 2 evades on the same set... you only need the one weapon evades for if you are immobilized or seriously pressed for endurance...
That and poison doesn't stack in dmg, only duration, so having 2 poisons on the same set is actually a bad thing.  They become more cleansable.
Axe/torch has nothing defensive short of a 3s chill and weakness, that's terrible defense.. I'd see having another snare on that set far better than not, if of course you plan for fights to last more than 15~ seconds, you're playing a condition spec so I sure hope you do...  Sword has enough mobility that it doesn't NEED a cripple, since you aren't using it offensively, on the other hand axe isn't in that same situation.

Double Evades is good because it'll cover most Channeled Attacks... For example 100B Warriors, you can double evade while immobilized and completely ignore his 100B.

Axe is a Mid Range Weapon usually, To apply poison i would have to move in to attack with that setup. If I'm moving in, I want to switch to Sword/Dagger..which is why Split Blade is last on your combo, Because it's the last ability you're using (on top of the target) before switching over. As for Cleansing the poison....Cleansing the Double Poisons is almost useless, It's got such a short cooldown... You'd have to be a Elementalist really to keep up with it.

Axe has a Chill+Weakness, Which is probably one of the best Defensive Combo's in the game....Chill increases timers on abilities and snares (you can double stack it with Owl as well) and Weakness, well Weakness is just amazing..50% chance to cause glancing blows (half damage hits) and it's like 10 second duration without pizza if I remember. That's one of the best defensive abilities in the game.

Sword's Mobility is actually shit for catching targets (It's great for staying on targets, Not great for actually catching them, If someone is running from you.. before you can get to them..Sword is pretty shit)


Quote

With bonfire, true, you won't leap threw it every time, but the field is next to useless on axe.  It combo's 1 out of every 5 spammables, with no attack on the set being a 100% projectile finisher.
That's not good.
Fire armor is a 1s burn every time you are hit for the next 5s.
In other words 600~ dmg.
A better chance of getting fire armor up (a 1s burn every time you are hit for 5 seconds) is a dozen times better than a 1s burn on 1/5th of your spammable attacks, if the situation lets you line them up, and 1 on splitblade if the stars aline letting you cast it at point blank range at an enemy standing in the bonfire.
The sword leap is on a 6s CD and doesn't have to hit to get the armor making it extremely easy to pull off.

Axe not having 100% combo does suck, But you're probably going to have it got off at least once maybe twice with Splitblade (which is when you're going to use it most)

I wasn't sure if Fire Armor Applied the burn or not, so that's interesting, Still though how useful is that..Since the point of the entire build is not getting hit... Does it apply if you dodge or evade? if not.. Not a huge upgrade...

Quote

Then you talked like you could swap sets after bonfiring for crippling talon threw the fire field... and you wouldn't be able to if the offhands were swapped...
????

Kinda offpoint though, but blowing crippling talon just for the extra 1s burn by throwing it threw bonfire is BAD.
You should never use such a fantastic ability just because at this time you can do 600 more dmg with it.
If the fight lines up, when they can cleanse calls for it and the situation gives you the chance, sure 600 more dmg is nifty... but it really isn't anything noteworthy in the slightest, especially after you started talking like fire armor is really meh...

What would be your combo chain? if you're moving towards the target you're already having Axe/Dagger up... So You throw Winter's Bite, That leaves you with Dagger Evade+Split blade next, Then you have dagger throw, But you want to combo it with fire field, so you weapon swap over, and run that chain..You're basically giving up bleed+cripple..Or you can use it, and give up the burn, before switching over and running the combo on that side, before going back...

It throws the chain off..

It's 600 Extra Damage that's pretty easy to land, You should also use it on cooldown as much as possible, It's a Cripple+Bleed, that does very good damage..and it's got a very short cooldown..

Quote

And natural healing... really?
Just because its passive doesn't mean its good...
Do you know how much it actually heals for??
With any heal power it ends up being 1/3 of regen on only your pet... that's terrible, terrible healing especially for a tier 3 trait,  especially since you can swap out pets every 16s at that point...
An extra 800 health won't make or break your pet... I promise.

Then skirmishing, you wouldn't waste points by putting them in that line...
Ugh, compared to beastmastery after 15 points.. (aka stuff like natural healing) there is no way to waste points short of just not using them...

Ehh, Natural Healing works on you as well as the pet, It's an Extra Regen you can pickup..It's effected by you Pets healing Power (so if you pick up compassion it ends up healing you for 181)...Think of it like SOTW2, Cause that's what it is. ...

As for what else you pickup, If you go 20 Points in the line, you get Vigor on Bird Swap...Very useful, Wolves get the cripple, which is alright I suppose, still not sold on it. Vigor is just so much better.

Bout the only reasonable thing you can pickup if you don't go Nature's Healing, is picking up Malice Training.....and running Spiders with the Wolf/Spider tactic at 20 points in Beast.

If you're running Bows, i actually recommend that pretty much 100% over Dogs, as you can keep up Cripple on the target, 100% by Pet Swapping.. Try it out ...Make sure you use the pet that applies weakness on it's next 3 hits, and the one that applies poison on it's next 2 hits... The way the Cripple Talent works is each of the 3 hits will apply the cripple..and since malice training is 50% duration on conditions, it ends up being close to 15 seconds, or 16 seconds?




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