(Mod 10) Arsenal’s PvE HR 100% Crit Build
Hello! My name is Arsenal and I’ve played a Hunter Ranger almost exclusively for close to a year now. If you’ve PUG’d Lostmauth anytime in the past year, chances are we’ve run into each other. The Hunter Ranger is a special class in that there are many varied and acceptable build paths depending on your play style but limited in that the Trapper is the only viable paragon path. My hope with this build is to show off some of the options that you have when playing a Hunter Ranger and that you use it as a tool, where appropriate, to modify your build. In order to achieve 100% Crit, I think you will need to be at least 3.5k IL. However, lower IL players can easily reach 80-90% by following this guide.
Mod 10 First Impressions
Ok, so Mod 10 is out on Xbox now so I’ll try to keep most of my updates to my build in this section and I’ll try to edit this over time as things change. The most important thing: largely, I believe almost everything is ok to keep as is. The biggest changes to hit the class were buffs to the Combat and Archery trees and changes to the feat Swiftness of the Fox. Archery is an absolutely boring play-style and Combat, from what I’ve talked about with HRs, really only shines in PvP. The only thing that I’m going to work around is the Swiftness of the Fox changes.
From my first few runs, it is very noticeable that we actually get cooldowns now on our encounter powers. Not always, but often enough to make the class feel awkward. I don’t think stacking recovery is the solution, but if you have a few thousand recovery on your character already, it can’t hurt. SotF now reduces cooldowns based off of Daily powers and At-Wills. What I interpret from this is that it might be decent to stack some AP gain if you have the freedom to do so. Whereas we used to completely avoid At-WIlls entirely, it might be beneficial to sneak in 1 or 2 At-Wills before switching stances and carrying on with our rotation. Using Rapid Strike is probably the best option here. Also, targeted abilities such as Constricting Arrow, Hindering Shot, and Longstrider’s Shot seem to give me lower cooldowns than un-targeted abilities such as Cordon of Arrows. I’m sure some more testing will need to be done.
I think every other part of my build is still valid. As always, leave comments or suggestions down below and I’ll try to respond when I can.
You have three options: Dragonborn, Wood Elf, or Drow. With all three options, you are going to want to choose +2 Dexterity and +2 Wisdom. Your Dexterity will contribute to Damage Bonus and Wisdom will contribute to your Crit, Control Bonus, and Control Resist.
- Dragonborn – This is the best option because your Power and Crit are both increased by 3% and you receive 5% more healing from all spells and abilities.
- Wood Elf – Poor man’s Dragonborn. Additional 1% Crit and resistance to slows.
- Drow – The racial traits are borderline awful but you still get your +2 Dexterity and +2 Wisdom.
This is simple enough right here. Roll to max out on both Dexterity and Wisdom. Add +1 to Dexterity and Wisdom every ten levels.
Pathfinder or Stormwarden? To be fair, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of difference so going one or the other isn’t game-changing by any means. Whereas Stormwarden doesn’t give you any useful powers, going Pathfinder gives you the At-Will power Hunter’s Teamwork/Careful Attack which will apply a small debuff on a single enemy. As Hunter Rangers, we rely almost exclusively on Encounter powers so having this one At-Will available to us is only marginally better than not having it at all. For this reason, I recommend Pathfinder.
- At-Wills: Hunter’s Teamwork/Careful Attack (LT) and Rapid Shot/Rapid Strike (RT)
- Encounters: Constricting Arrow/Steel Breeze (X), Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth (Y), and Fox’s Cunning/Fox Shift (B)
- Dailies: Seismic Shot (LB + X) and Forest Ghost (LB + Y)
- Class Features: Aspect of the Serpent and Crushing Roots
Some of the goals of this build are to have high frame invulnerability, be untargetable, and have high stamina gain. This is mainly accomplished through the powers Fox’s Cunning/Fox Shift, Forest Ghost, Steel Breeze, and by shifting as much as reasonable to dodge incoming attacks.
For your At-Will and Daily powers, the only viable powers are the ones listed above. The At-Wills are borderline useless so I won’t go into detail on those. Seismic Shot will knock back and group up enemies. Use it on multiple enemies for maximum effect. The closer that enemies can be grouped together, the more damage that you can do. Forest Ghost has two main positives and negatives: it only costs 50% of your Action Points and grants you invisibility and movement speed for a short duration but it has a somewhat lengthy cast animation that can be easily cancelled and it targets and damages enemies that you run by. It’s not exactly ideal for slipping past a group of enemies unseen.
For your Encounter powers, Constricting Arrow/Steel Breeze is the best Encounter in the game. Constricting Arrow roots your enemies dealing tons of damage and Steel Breeze, which doesn’t deal too much damage, gives you a 400% stamina gain bonus. Cordon of Arrows has a small cast animation but will target an area on the ground and pull all enemies within its range to the middle of the target area. As stated with Seismic Shot above, grouping up your enemies is one of the best ways to do massive damage. Use the two powers in combination for even better results. Plant Growth also has a small cast animation but is the single highest damaging power in your kit. It has the ability to root an enemy for up to 20 seconds, though this is rarely achieved because the root will break after a certain amount of damage is dealt. Fox’s Cunning/Fox Shift is probably the one Encounter that everyone knows. Triggering Fox’s Cunning will give everyone in your party a free dodge. They can still have a status effect applied to them, e.g. you can still be proned by an attack, but you will negate all incoming damage once. Fox Shift is especially useful as a repositioning tool. Using this deals adequate damage to enemies and causes you to be momentarily invulnerable.
Some alternate Encounters that you might consider are Hindering Shot/Hindering Strike and Longstrider’s Shot/Gushing Wound. Hindering Shot/Hindering Strike is especially useful when leveling and in PvP. People often use this power interchangeably with Cordon of Arrows/Plant Growth, but in my opinion the grouping utility of Cordon of Arrows is far superior than any additional roots being applied to a target. Longstrider’s Shot grants a 20% damage buff to all nearby allies, irrespective of whether they’re in your group or not. Gushing Wound applies a damage over time effect that is amplified when your allies strike the same target. I strongly recommend using this ability when running Tiamat, Demogorgon, and Well of Dragons and Stronghold Dragons.
For your Class Features, you are going to want to run Aspect of the Serpent and Crushing Roots. Aspect of the Serpent uses a stacking mechanism to give you a percent damage buff per stack. When you have the Serpent’s Bite feat applied, each stack will provide more damage and give you 2.5% Crit. This is important in trying to reach our 100% Crit goal. I recommend using Crushing Roots as this will apply a daze to all enemies that you root. If you do not daze your enemies, they can still attack you when rooted.
Some alternate Class Features that you might consider are Aspect of the Lone Wolf and Aspect of the Pack. Aspect of the Lone Wolf gives you a 20% Deflection chance and is great for PvP and inexperienced PvE Hunter Rangers. Assuming you can use your other powers appropriately to dodge incoming attacks and “stay out of the red”, there isn’t a great need for higher Deflection chance. Aspect of the Pack just ensures that you and your nearby allies always have combat advantage regardless of your positioning.
One of the toughest things you’ll have to do is commit your rotation to muscle memory. There are many different interpretations of the rotation across Hunter Rangers and It’s important that you find one that works for you. For me, I like to start in ranged stance. Use Fox’s Cunning (B) before entering the fight so you already have a dodge prepared. Then use Constricting Arrow (X) to root and daze all enemies followed by Cordon of Arrows (Y) to group them all together. Switch to melee stance. Use Fox Shift (B) to close the gap between you and your target. Use Steel Breeze (X) to regain some lost stamina and finally Plant Growth (Y) to finish your rotation. Use Seismic Shot (LB + X) when you are nearest your enemies as it does more damage the closer you are to them. Dodge using your Shift as needed. If you are fighting a boss, I recommend applying Careful Attack (LT) during any time while in melee stance. Otherwise, it’s not worth the cast animation.
For your feats, there are two paths that you can take, both in the Trapper tree. You can focus on the more Control-Focused build, which is what I have done, or you can opt for the Crit Severity build which I’ll explain below. I would recommend my build for lesser geared Hunter Rangers and those who play both PvE and PvP.
For your Heroic feats, it’s pretty straightforward. Focus on Encounter damage, survivability, and stamina gain. Do not put any points into Battlewise (reduced threat), Scoundrel Training (At-Will damage), or Extra Action (AP gain) as those stats they give are completely worthless on Hunter Rangers. Apart from that, you can move around a few points from what I’ve done to fit your play style.
For your Paragon feats, I recommend using my allocated points exactly. The key to the Trapper build is in the two feats Forestbond and Swiftness Of The Fox. This is what allows the Hunter Ranger to have virtually no cooldowns on their Encounter powers when used appropriately in the rotation that I described above. Another vital part of the build is Serpent’s Bite which I detailed when going over the Class Features. Serpent’s Bite and Aspect of the Serpent work together to massively increase your damage and Crit.
Under the Combat tree, there is an excellent feat called Skirmisher’s Gambit. When applied, you increase your Crit Severity by 50% but you also lose 10% Crit Chance. Choosing this option has three major drawbacks.
- It’s 15 points into the Combat tree which would force you to remove 10 points from the Trapper tree.
- If you aren’t geared well enough, losing Crit Chance could be mathematically worse than the added Crit Severity.
- Crit Severity is additive, not multiplicative.
The third point is very relevant because of the addition of the Dread Enchantment which adds 75% Crit Severity on Encounter powers at Perfect and higher. Because of this, many Hunter Rangers can easily stack 160% Crit Severity before the addition of Skirmisher’s Gambit.
If you do go this route, I recommend removing all points from Ancient Roots and Serpent’s Bite and adding them into Fluid Hunter and Skirmisher’s Gambit. If you are geared well enough and play exclusively PvE, this path can deal tons of damage and is a solid option.
To preface my gear a bit, I do use quite a bit of the Masterwork armor. If you can afford it, it has some of the best stats in the game. However, not all of it is best in slot for our high Crit build. I recommend the following items.
- Elemental Dragonflight Raid Hood
- Umbral Assault Coat OR Elemental Elven Assault Coat
- Umbral Assault Bracers OR Elemental Elven Assault Bracers
- Elemental Dragonflight Raid Gaiters
Dragonflight gear can be obtained by having a rank four Marketplace from within your guild. To purchase it, you will need Guild Marks, Seals of the Protector, and Fangs of the Dragonflight. Elven gear can be obtained from the Seal Vendor. To make these items Elemental, you will need considerable investment into both your Icewind Dale campaign and your Black Ice Shaping profession.
- Stronghold Longbow with Class Feature Hunter’s Teamwork/Careful Attack
- Stronghold Tabars with Class Feature Crushing Roots
The Stronghold Unity set bonus that you get from these weapons is far better than every other set out there. Per set of Stronghold weapons in your party, every person in your party, whether they own the weapons or not, receives a 2% increase to damage and outgoing healing and a -2% decrease to incoming damage. When you play with other people who also have these weapons you can have a huge bonus of 10% to all of the aforementioned stats for everyone in your party.
If you can’t afford the Stronghold weapons, the Twisted set from Mantol-Derith is your next best bet. It’ll give you a pretty decent boost to your power and defense.
- Lostmauth’s Horn of Blasting
- Lostmauth’s Hoard Necklace
- Golden Belt of Puissance
As a DPS class, the Lostmauth set’s bonus is far better than any other’s. And as this is a 100% Crit build, with every single strike we are doing an additional hit for weapon damage.
When the Lostmauth set gets nerfed, some people might consider switching to the Orcus set for its bonus of adding up to 20% damage. I feel that this set might be decent for some classes but has its drawbacks for the Hunter Ranger. Just looking at the base stats it gives, we would lose 2060 Armor Pen and 600 Control Bonus (key stats for our class) in exchange for 1060 Deflection, 1000 Movement, and 600 AoE Resist. That’s a lot of stats that we’d have to make up for through other means. Losing all of that for the potential to do up to 20% damage isn’t something that I can recommend.
- Ring of Sudden Precision +4/5 (From Castle Never)
- Ring of Brutality +4/5 (From Demogorgon)
If you play either of the two raids often enough it should be pretty easy to obtain the +4 version of each of the rings. If you’re lucky enough to land a +5 you’ll be able to have two offense slots instead of one offense and one defense slot. In my opinion, you should never equip any of the Rising rings. You’re better off just popping a potion at that point.
Shirt and Pants
- Gemmed Exquisite Elemental Shirt
- Gemmed Exquisite Elemental Pants
Can be obtained through the Leatherworking profession at rank 25 or can be bought off of the Auction House.
- Primary Lantern of Revelation (Crit, Armor Pen, Combat Advantage)
- Sigil of the Controller (Power, Crit, Control Resist)
- Belial’s Portal Stone (Power, Life Steal, Control Bonus)
- Lostmauth’s Horn of Blasting (Power, Armor Pen, Control Bonus)
Lostmauth’s Horn of Blasting is the only artifact that is required for this build. There are many good alternatives out there and you will have to see how they fit into your build. Here are some other options that you might use.
- Primary Wheel of Elements (Maximum Hit Points, Power, Stamina/Guard Gain)
- Shard of Valindra’s Crown (Power, Life Steal, Control Bonus)
- Horn of Valhalla (Maximum Hit Points, Crit, Combat Advantage)
- Sigil of the Trickster (Crit, Deflection, Combat Advantage)
- Weapon: Transcendent Dread
- Armor: Transcendent Soulforged
- Offense: Full Brutal Rank 12s but you could also use Azures for your Crit
- Defense: Full Savage Rank 12s but you could also use a mix of Radiants for HP and Darks for Life Steal
- Utility: 3 Fey Blessing Rank 12s and 2 Dragon’s Hoard Rank 12s
Here’s some quick notes if you can’t afford the Rank 12 variants of these enchantments. The Dread maxes its Crit Severity when it is Perfect: you don’t have to take it to Transcendent if you can’t. The Transcendent Soulforged is nice because it gives you crowd control immunity for three seconds upon resurrection. Other than that, there’s not a noticeable difference between Lesser and Pure; just stick with the Lesser. For my Utility enchantments, I prefer Dragon’s Hoards. However, Dragon’s Hoards have a limit on how much refinement drops per day whereas the Fey Blessings will continually drop refinement all day long. Because of this, I recommend getting your Dragon’s Hoard percent drop chance to 10% first and if you have additional utility slots remaining after you achieve your 10% to then start adding Fey Blessings.
~Update: For my Utility enchants, I’ve since started running 3 Quartermaster Rank 12s, 1 Fey Blessing Rank 12, and 1 Dragon Hoard Rank 12. The Quartermaster enchants are the most expensive Utility enchants in the game, but also the best in terms of what they drop. Upon killing an enemy, it drops a bag of loot that can drop rank 6 and 7 BtA enchants. The quality of the loot depends on the level and quantity of Quartermaster enchants you have. You can save these bags of loot for a double enchants event to get double the reward.
Many people are unaware of this, but adding reinforcement kits to your armor will increase your Item Level by 35 per reinforcement kit. You can add up to eight of them onto your character: four for your head, armor, arms, and feet; and four for your neck, rings, and waist. I recommend applying the Major Critical Strike Armor Kit, obtained through your Leatherworking profession or the Auction House, to your head, armor, arms, and feet. Then apply the Major Stamina Regeneration Jewel, obtained through your Jewelcrafting profession or the Auction House, to your neck, rings, and waist. Together, this will add +800 Crit, +400 Stamina Gain, and +280 Item Level.
These are just the raw, standing still, out-of-combat and group stats that I have. It doesn’t factor in the stats that I receive from rings, companions, or in-combat boons. We need all of those additional stats to achieve our 100% Crit for this build.
For your mounts you have the following three options.
- Imperial Rage Drake (+4,000 Crit)
- Rage Drake (+2000 Crit)
- Heavy Howler (+2000 Crit)
Unless you have a Tenser’s Floating Disk, the Combat Power is almost completely negligible. And then of course you’ll want the fastest movement speed that you’ve unlocked.
For your stable, you’ll have to see what mounts you have at your disposal. Mounts are the most expensive thing in the game so you might have to settle for something other than what I’m using. I believe these five bonuses are the best that you can get on the Hunter Ranger.
- Barbarian’s Revelry: Free Life Steal on every hit
- Shepherd’s Devotion: Increases team’s Defense, Deflect, and Movement by 5% of your Power. Great with Into The Fray from a Guardian Fighter
- Protector’s Camaraderie: Gain up to 12% of your Power when your summoned Companion attacks
- Wanderer’s Fortune: Drops refinement in addition to your Dragon’s Hoards but its effects are exhausted quickly.
- Gladiator’s Guile: Additional 15% movement speed and Stamina Gain equal to 15% of your Power
While it would be ideal to have all epic Insignias, it’s not very important. Uncommon Insignias work just fine. You should focus primarily on being able to complete a set bonus before trying to obtain an epic Insignia.
IMPORTANT READ THIS A little note before we begin. With the addition of the Stable from Mod 9, it is entirely likely that you might start to over-cap on a particular stat. For example, anything beyond 60% Resistance Ignored for PvE is considered wasted. For stats like Control Bonus and Combat Advantage, you start seeing very hard diminishing returns after allocating about 1100-1200 points. You can read more about the math behind this here. Because of this, I have chosen to take some boons that might not be ideal for your build. While in general you will want to go for strictly offensive boons, you will have to evaluate your build to make sure that you do not over-cap on certain stats and change it accordingly. I will notate my differences below.
Tyranny of Dragons
For the final three boons, you may choose to put all three points into one boon, but it is more cost effective to allocate one point each into Dragon’s Thirst, Dragon’s Fury, and Dragon’s Grip.
Very straightforward here. For the last boon, you do have the option of going Elven Resolve for Stamina Gain or Elvish Fury for additional Power. I recommend going for Power but the added Stamina Gain isn’t bad either.
For your final boon, you have the option of going for Rampaging Madness, which will give +4000 of three different stats or you can go for Endless Consumption which gives the chance at tripling your Life Steal Severity. The problem with Rampaging Madness is that it takes a while to build up before you achieve the bonus and then only lasts for 10 seconds thereafter. As Hunter Rangers, we can fire off multiple attacks from our Encounter powers in rapid succession which increases our ability to proc Endless Consumption. For that reason, I recommend taking Endless Consumption.
Here is where I differentiate. For the first boon, I choose Weathering the Storm for the sole reason being that I am over-capped on Combat Advantage. Choose your boon based on what your character needs. For the final boon, I recommend Rousing Warmth. This boon procs when you life steal in addition to when you are healed by standard means.
The only thing you have to decide on is the 4th boon. I do play PvP a bit so I opted to go for Dwarven Footing. Crowd control effects are not that big of a deal for PvE so you might want to take Dwarven Stamina for the additional Stamina Gain.
The Maze Engine
Here is where I differentiate. For the first boon here, I choose to go for the added Incoming Healing Bonus instead of the Life Steal Severity. My character is at the point where I feel like I have sufficient life steal such that any more would be a waste. For that reason, I chose Abyssal Regeneration.
Here is where I differentiate. Just as I did with the Maze Engine boons, I feel like I already have enough Life Steal so I decided to go with Earth’s Renewal for the Regeneration.
The Guild Stronghold boons are the best boons in the game. Because of this, I recommend that you try your best to join an established guild with at least a Rank 10 Guild Hall. The boons that you are able to choose from vary depending on how your Guild has chosen to progress their Stronghold. I have chosen the following boons.
- Power Bonus (+8000 Power)
- Defense Bonus (+8000 Defense)
- Mount Speed Bonus (+20% faster mounts)
- Enhance Overload: Stamina Drain Ward (Decreases effects of Stamina Drain Wards)
For my summoned companion, I can only recommend getting the Mercenary from the Heirloom Pack in the Zen Store. It has the following benefits: three offense slots, active bonus stats that are relevant to our class, and two additional ring slots. The Adorable companion gear would be best in slot, but short of that I recommend the following.
- Band of Loathing (No Sympathy Heroic Encounter in your Stronghold) or Ring of Sudden Precision +4/5 (Castle Never)
- Ring of Brutality +4/5 (Demogorgon)
- Gemmed Exquisite Aberrant Belt of Recovery (Jewelcrafting Rank 25 or the Auction House)
Ideally you will want at least one of your companions to be legendary so you can achieve the legendary bonus and acquire an additional 15% of your companion’s stats as your own.
Note: Bonding Stones are currently bugged to where having Rank 10, 11, and 12 Bonding Stones will proc more often and give you better stats than having three Rank 12 Bonding Stones. A fix is in the works that would fix the multi-proccing bug. When this is released, having three Rank 12 Bonding Stones will be the best option.
Once you reach a certain point in the game you need to start using companions that give percentage stat increases instead of flat stat increases. I use the following.
- Earth Archon (Additional 6.5% damage against all targets when you are at full health)
- Air Archon (Additional 5.5.% damage against targets who are not at full health)
- Young Yeti (10% chance when you take damage to also deal 10% more damage)
- Erinyes of Belial (Additional 10% Crit Severity)
Here are some other options that you might use.
- Blink Dog (Additional 5% Combat Advantage damage)
- Fire Archon (Additional 7% damage against targets at less than 50% health.)
When in combat with all of the boons, Sudden rings, and Bonding Stones proccing, this build tops out at about 115% Crit Chance for me. You might think that it’s excessive but when in combat for long periods of time and your Sudden Ring of Precision +4/5 wears off, you’re still Critting 100% of the time. Even if you don’t have a maxed character like I do, you should be able to achieve about 80-85% Crit chance with this build.
I like to keep an open mind about my build so if you think it could be improved on or if you spot any mistakes, leave a comment and I’ll try to get to it. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this guide updated as future modules are released but I feel like it should hold for quite some time. Thanks for reading!