(Mod 11.5) Arsenal’s PvE HR 100% Crit Build
Hello! My name is Arsenal and I’ve played a Hunter Ranger almost exclusively for about 2 years now. If you’ve PUG’d Lostmauth anytime in the past two years, 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 for PvE. 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 13k IL. However, lower IL players can easily reach 80-90% by following this guide.
June 25, 2017 Update
Mod 11.5 has dropped and there aren’t very many exciting changes to take note of. In my previous update, I had advocated taking a look into the updated masterwork armors. However, with the announcement of Mod 12, the masterwork armors will only be best in slot for half a mod. I believe the masterwork armors are IL 480 while the Mod 12 armors will be IL 500. Masterwork prices are currently heavily gated behind the rare resource Fartouched Residuum which drops from Master Spellplague Caverns. So if you just have to have the best in slot armor at all times, you’ll be updating pretty frequently and dropping a LOT of AD for the newest and greatest gear. Such is the way of MMOs. Personally, I’ll probably just be waiting for Mod 12 to upgrade my gear.
The only changes I have made to my personal build is that I changed over to the Demogorgon set and I put the Wheel of Elements into my primary artifact slot. To make room for the Shard of Orcus’ Wand, I had to remove my Belial’s Portal Stone. The effect of this resulted in dropping a lot of Armor Pen. However, that shouldn’t be a problem until Armor Pen requirements are upped in Mod 12. If you’re lucky enough to acquire the Fragmented Key of Stars, that artifact would be considered best in slot for every DPS class.
March 27, 2017 Update
So I’ve finally found some time to make some updates to this page. The main playstyle hasn’t changed. I’m not making any changes to my rotation. Just updating the companions, boons, and a few other things. One notable change is that with the multiple nerfs to power over the past few mods it is becoming more and more important for endgame players to stack power. So, if you’re 4k IL and can constantly hit 100% Crit, I recommend moving a few things over to Power, such as enchantments or armor kits. Otherwise, keep trying to stack to 100% Crit.
I have always been a big proponent for the masterwork gear as it had the highest base stat values in the game and the set bonus from the weapons was unmatched. However, it has become outdated and the Relic Vivified Raid set is best in my opinion. Recently, it was announced that masterwork was going to be getting an overhaul in mod 11.5. I’ll wait to get more information, but if I don’t update this guide again for a while, consider looking in to those sets in the future.
For a reflection on my own build, I do now support going with the Orcus set even though I am not using it. However, I find it difficult at this point to continue investing millions of AD into my character and that’s why I have yet to change.
As always, feel free to leave a comment or question down below and I’ll respond.
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.
Currently, the best gear that you can obtain right now is the Relic Raid set. The pieces drop from the left chest in Fangbreaker Island unrestored and it takes considerable investment in Lanolin, Voninblood, and other materials to restore them up to Vivified quality. As you can see I’m still waiting to get my arms to drop and I’ve done hundreds of runs. If you care, you can feed your gear Voninblood and achieve Tier 3 status and 160 IL.
- Vivified Trailblazer’s Raid Hood
- Vivified Trailblazer’s Raid Coat
- Vivified Trailblazer’s Raid Bracers
- Vivified Trailblazer’s Raid Gaiters
- Trailblazer’s Longbow with Class Feature Hunter’s Teamwork/Careful Attack
- Trailblazer’s Axes with Class Feature Crushing Roots
These are currently the most powerful weapons obtainable. You can acquire them unrestored from the intro quests in Sea of Moving Ice. To upgrade them, you will need to run Assault on Svardborg (Master), which is unlocked through your Storm King’s Thunder campaign. Blue and purple Marks are easily obtainable from the skirmish, but the Superior Marks of Uvar, Stig, and Ild have about a 10% drop chance and are much harder to come by. With the coming updates in Mod 11, there will be a 30% drop chance to receive a Superior Mark. You need 10 Marks total, 5 for each main hand and off-hand, to upgrade to the next quality.
Even if you do not wish to invest in getting your weapons to Legendary, definitely upgrade it to level 59 as they will still be better than whatever you’re currently running and have all enchantment slots open at Epic.
If you do not wish to pursue the Relic 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.
- Shard of Orcus’ Wand
- Baphomet’s Infernal Talisman
- Demogorgon’s Girdle of Might
I used to recommend using the Lostmauth set, and it’s not bad by any means, but the Demogorgon set packs a much stronger punch the higher your stats are. For that reason alone, I now recommend going with the Orcus set.
- Ring of Sudden Precision +4/5 (From Castle Never)
- Ring of Brutality +4/5 (From Demogorgon)
- Greater Ostorian Ring of Dod (From FBI/MSVA)
If you play any of the four 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 Wheel of Elements (Maximum Hit Points, Power, Stamina/Guard Gain)
- 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 Lantern of Revelation (Crit, Armor Pen, Combat Advantage)
- 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)
- Fragmented Key of Stars (Power, Crit, Armor Pen)
- Weapon: Transcendent Dread
- Armor: Transcendent Soulforged
- Offense: Full Brutal or Radiant 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 Quartermaster Rank 12s, 1 Dragon’s Hoard Rank 12, 1 Fey Blessing Rank 12
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 Power Armor Kit, obtained through your Mailsmithing 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 Power, +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 or a Swift Golden Lion, 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. Also, if you do run a legendary mount and remember to use your combat power, consider using Cavalry’s Warning. If you’re not interested in the utility Insignia bonuses and just want more Power, use Assassin’s Covenant.
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.
Storm King’s Thunder
Here is where I differentiate. Overall, these boons are quite underwhelming. Icy Wrath and Vengeful Heat are the “offensive” boons here. If you want to use them, go for it, but doing an extra 2000 damage by chance isn’t really great. I’d rather have the up to 5% recovery and 3200 Max HP. For your final boon, you get diminishing returns by selecting 3/3 for Chill of Winter. But the other boons are so bad it doesn’t really make sense to spread them out like we do in the Tyranny of Dragons campaign.
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 recommend getting the Con Artist from the Emporium Vendor in Protector’s Enclave. It has the following benefits: two offense slots, active bonus stats that are relevant to our class, and three additional ring slots. The Adorable companion gear would be best in slot, but you do have a few options. What it really comes down to is how many +5 Rings you have because having double offense slots is better than having a sub-par ring. Ideally, I would recommend the following.
- Greater Ostorian Ring of Dod x2 (FBI/MSVA)
- Ring of Brutality +4/5 (Demogorgon)
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: With Mod 11, Underdark Rings will no longer work on your companion. Consider upgrading to Greater Ostorian Rings or some of the new companion gear that will come.
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.
- Wild Hunt Rider (On encounter use, 5% chance to increase damage 10% for 5 seconds)
- Siege Master (Deal 4% increased damage, 8% on Stronghold map)
- Air Archon (Additional 5.5.% damage against targets who are not at full health)
- 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.)
- Earth Archon (Additional 6.5% damage against all targets when you are at full 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 some of your buffs wear 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!