Analysis of the Elven Ranger


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Mid-Level Epics

Onto 25

Didn't do much on the High Road, jumped in at the end of Stay at the Inn. Was on trap duty for Rest Stop and End of the Road. Then ran Vault of Night. With three (defacto) instakills (DFA, Hunt's End, Manyshot) the raid felt smooth for me. Sometimes you're playing a character and really running into a bag of HPs for the first time. Not so here. Interesting that our Snow Owl can blind mobs like Warforged and Skeletons that you'd think would be immune to blindness. Can it blind oozes? Will try to find out. I killed a Hound inside the Vault by the Golem with DFA. That was fun. Fast level here. I love it when Epics fly by and you're having fun.

Onto 26

I'm only wearing four pieces of Epic equipment; Pinion, Ring of Blind Devotion (Borderlands Treasure Hunt), Epic Bloodstone (Sands rare chest), Epic Necklace of Venom (Red Fens Quest reward). Otherwise, it's heroic gear around the Wallwatch set. I have a +2 Reaper helm in this set so I tend to just wear it all the way to 30. Threw up an LFM and had a splendid group for the Lords of Dust chain. Very easy. Mobs melt. I then jumped into an R8 Grim and Barrett. That went up to R10 for Memoirs of Illusionary Larcener. Look, I'm not gonna tell you I contributed a ton, had 4 kills in each, but always appreciate R LFMs that take anyone. We all need reaper points! Many people on Orien are great about this. Finished the level with TTT and a try for Jack Jibbers. No luck. Interestingly only two of my characters have JJ blades. Well, three, but one is a bank mule for life (now). I'm not a huge farming person.

Onto 27

Finished out 3BC with Ghost, Garl's, and Prove Your Worth. Was able to get the deadly trap in Ghost. I really should have a devotion augment or item on. Probably won't till 29 though. Group broke up after that and I got in on the tail of R3 Druid's Curse. Group dissolved again. Barovian slayers? Alright sure. Pop a pot and head in. 10 minutes into the pot the group broke up. Can't get any flow going here! Isn't it annoying when you are just getting going in a slayer group and people slayer cap? There isn't any good way to deal with this when you are Pugging. I mean, you can't fault them for being done. Barovian slayers weren't all that fun anyway. The mobs activate then rush you which doesn't work well for our build.

Took my ES key and joined a R3 Search and Rescue group. Good DPS against the heavy HP mobs. A sorcerer was killing most of the mobs but I was certainly respectable. A fun test and an enjoyable quest. However, group broke up again and the level is taking forever it seems because I can't string together some quests. Could not be lazy and throw up an LFM but it's Friday and I just want to chill. Into Detour I go and lead the Kill Count by x2. I skip Lost in the Swamp, will get for Free as VIP for Saga since an Orchard slayer group is up and I do have a pot running...

Onto 28

Orchard slayers, then Druid's Deep quests 1-3 finished 27 and takes me through the level. Lot of XP in the Orchard. I'm still not a great slayer character here, even dying once with a Quelled + Lich + Mob swarm + single target DPS and no AOE = death combination. Something to be aware of in Hardcore. Two biggest weaknesses, no AOE and no Uncanny Dodge. Having no UD is a deal breaker if planning to do R10s for an extended time (which I'm not on this build).


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High Epics and Legendary Reaper

Onto 29

I started by running Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. Still a classic! Our ranger was versatile - heal, trap, DPS. At level 28 I'm using Void (Baba Raid) now and achieving 26K crits. Completed the level by doing the dual Undead-themed chains of Delera's and Necro 4. Versatility again shined in Deleras. Achieved 2nd in KC behind the Barbarian. Found a use for my offensive spells in Inferno using Flamestrike to light torches. Also, don't sleep on Holy Smite if you go back and pick up things like Coin Lords Favor. Even without a spell item it clears quests AOE style.

Onto 30

Joined an R10 Tempest Spine. My trapping skill at last hit a wall. Almost all my end game gear is L30 now but still was able to contribute somewhat. Had 8 kills. Hand and the Eyes - also no traps. DFA no longer worked either. Running Fashion Madness and Palace of Stone and found out you can blind rocks. Cool! A Saltmarsh slayer to get my gear and levels up to 32.

Legendary Reaper 6-10.

I've been running a variety of reapers, sometimes 6, sometimes 8, sometimes 10. I weigh in at 2818 HPs, and let me tell you, if I said getting to 2000 was big, being at 2800 is even more comfortable. You can now absorb those sneak hits by mobs or reapers coming up from the side. Can eat a polar ray or arrow from a champion mob. Noticeably more survivable than our Rogue/Ranger. The tradeoff is DPS - it's a lot less than the Rogue/Ranger. I'd call it average. Lossing target marking from Horizon Walker and all the debuffs that essentially allow you to Hunt's End delete the mob is gone. I started to feel the reduction from 5 Manyshot uses to 3. We also have significantly fewer sneak attacks. I've already touched on not having Uncanny Dodge and this is even more glaring now. Not having Misty Step and a "wings" burst is also a handicap. On the plus side, having Heal does benefit the Party.

Gameplay completely changes in Legendary Epics if you aren't wearing an assassinate item. If none of your Snow Owl strikes are working you're no longer using a large part of our build. I do have a ring slot open since the Bound Ring of Elemental Energy (Master Artificer raid) seems to work based on your imbues now. Read above where I touch on this. I have very few imbues in this build and the damage added by this ring is correspondingly weak. I'm talking 50-70 points in high Reaper. Need to look into this more. The ring slot allows you to either wear a loot gen assassinate ring or the optimized version of this in the Ring of the Silver Tongue (Killing Time raid).

Ultimately, I found R6 was a comfortable spot for this build. I'd routinely hit 2nd in Kill Counts running Feywild, DFA worked (although the trip rarely did), and could heal the party as well. Trapping was very quest chain dependent. Some chains (newer) have soaring DCs that I couldn't get but others like Ravenloft, I could.


I wouldn't use this as my endgame build because it lacks Uncanny Dodge, Misty Step, and the huge alpha strike DPS of the Rogue/Ranger. However, the Cleric build is certainly viable and Falconry provides a different and worthwhile game experience worth trying out. For those more accustomed to playing Clerics they could likely have utilized the Cleric spells better than I did. High defense (PRR hit 156 which I feel is solid for a ranged build) self-healing, and HPs make this potentially attractive for hardcore players. The Rogue/Ranger has virtually no self-healing.

With our Cleric life behind us, I am busy clearing out the TR cache. Next up will be Wizard.


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Wizard Past Life - Elven Ranger (gnomes are versions of elves, right?)

If starting this at level one we would go elf, but since iconics allows us to experiment a bit more (and to get to 30 quicker), we have gone Deep Gnome.

Build Concept - Wraithchild

Our split is 11 Wizard/6 Ranger/3 Rogue. We are using Intelligence as our primary stat and going into Harper for Know the Angles and INT to hit/damage. Wraith form will be our stance, so we are an undead horizon walker! A vengeance-seeking elf from beyond the grave. Th level split is Wizard 1 (iconic if starting at one take rogue), Ranger 2-4, Rogue 5, Ranger 6-8, Rogue 9, Wizard 10-19, Rogue 20. 41 points into Horizon Walker, 13 Pale Master, 11 DWS, 13 Harper, 3 Assassin. If you were starting at 1 with Elf and had enough racial points you could get Arcane Archer. Since I didn't (and don't have the racial) I not using an imbue. I had the AA imbue for a bit during leveling but discovered that 70% miss chance is better (displacement plus Wraith shroud first upgrade).

Starting Stats and Feats

STR - 6
DEX - 12 (remember you need to qualify for precision)
CON - 18
INT - 20
WIS - 10
CHA - 6

1. Point Blank Shot, Extend (for buffs like displacement and death aura)
3. Precision
6. Dodge
9. Mobility
12. IC Ranged
13 - Augment Summons
15 - Shot on the Run
18. Insightful Reflexes, Maximize

Heroic Leveling Notes:

- Incredible defenses. 70% miss chance for mobs plus 20% (and increasing) dodge. Can actually tank. I took virtually no damage in heroics. With Insightful reflexes, we have a huge reflex save for our evasion.

- A lot of fun to play. As a wraith, our ranger floats across the battlefield. Paired with the Lich steed this is a timely Halloween-themed build you can have a lot of good times with. Trapping, lots of buffs, high defense, good single target DPS. High-point on DPS was in Spinner of Shadows where I outkilled a sorcerer 43 to 41.

- There are a lot of ways you could go with Enhancements on this build. For example, you could just go Dexterity and not even go into Harper putting that into Arcane Archer, Vistani, deeper into Pale Master, or into Eldrich Knight.

- When choosing epic destinies we take our standard "ranged" layout of Shiradi and Shadowdancer. Third tree...I think I'm going into Draconic. Let's see if we can pick up anything useful here. I looked into Magus and there isn't any low-hanging fruit that pumps up our undead form. Too bad.


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Epics the road to 29

Observations on a legitimately fun road to 29.
  • Trapping, with INT as our base stat, holds up all the way through our journey. For example, I was able to get traps in Prove Your Worth with heroic trapping gear at Level 21.
  • Easy tip that makes a difference, throw in a Darkhallow Negative HAMP filigree into your Shadowstrike. This whole Darkhallow filigree set is perfect for what we are doing and if I were staying in this build for any extended period of time, I would slot the set.
  • Greater Color Spray would be useful. The only downside is, again, the lack of AOE or CC for those quests that have mob rushes, particularly when you are running anything solo, or duo. GCS would alleviate this, and I think we could possibly get the DCs up enough where it would land. Certainly, it would land during the road to 29. But, our Enhancement points are so tight! This is a build that could completely utilize an extra 15. Something to consider if you want to drop points from somewhere to go into Feydark.
  • I absolutely crushed Gianthold, even picking up a build compliment.
  • Some Kill Count observations; at level 27 and 28 led in Vecna Denied R1, 2nd in Search and Destroy and Bark and Blade R4, 1st in Enemy of my Enemy R4. Completely capable of running R1-4 Legendary in the newest content below level 29.
  • There is a certain degree of buff refreshing, even with Extend, that you should be aware of. We maintain Know the Angles, Displacement, Rage, and Tensors. Tensors and Displacement are on a similar refresh (about 2:42), KtA is 2:00 and Rage is 4 something. Tensors and Rage are for HPs. I can't abide by 30-second to 1-minute click refreshes. I don't mind these but be aware these buttons need to be in your rotation between every few fights.
  • Healing was never a huge deal. Defenses and being ranged with extremely high reflex saves and improved evasion means I'm not taking a ton of damage. I was able to go all the way to 29 using only the L5 Ring of Fall's Decay for my Negative healing so my healing could have been far greater had I wanted to optimize. I expect this healing to be more of an issue as my defenses won't carry over into high Reaper. However, you feel like the avenging ghost elf that you are almost impervious to what the mobs can throw at you.
  • Highly enjoyable leveling process through epics. Enough so that I wouldn't mind circling back to this and refining things (as you might imagine since INT and Negative HAMP aren't my focus normally I won't be optimized at 32 in our high Reaper tries).


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Legendary High-Reaper

Overall our Wraith archer was smooth and successful in Legendary Reaper. Negative healing wasn't an issue after all as I had more healing than I expected with a negative HAMP and negative spell power boosted to Legendary levels. I topped out at 2122 HPs in Reaper. Again, quite comfortable and able to take that big spike hit. I would routinely rank 2nd in Kill Counts. Not as high DPS as the Rogue/Ranger, but never felt lacking or underpowered.

Overall Grade A

This was a fun build. Consistently good in heroics, epics, and legendary. Could be even better with refinement. Something I might circle back to, especially taking advantage of a full filigree set taking advantage of our undead form. Know the Angles is a far superior trance to use over Dexterity in Horizon Walker. Horizon Walker's marking is better than Falconry. Next life will be a Fighter where we try out the Kensai top tier tree for the first time as an archer.


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Not Remotely an Elf Fighter Past Life

Using PDK Iconic for the Fighter past life. I have no spin. Our split is going to be 12 Fighter/6 Ranger/2 Rogue. Leveling is Fighter 1, Rogue 2, Ranger 3-7, Rogue 8, Ranger 9, Fighter the rest. Trying a Kensai-focused archer here. Even while building this I don't feel its ideal running into three factors right off the bat:

  • No capstone. We miss out on both the Horizon Walker and Falconry capstone. Are we getting enough to offset that? Dubious.
  • Gearing sets are light armor. Kensai would allow us to make a medium or heavy armor archer but I didn't invest the time and inventory space to make that change since it would essentially require us to scrap the Wallwatch set that has been taking us from Level 15 to Level 32.
  • Need a melee weapon focus to get the 25% HPs from Kensai tree.
Enhancement wise we are going Kensai, Arcane Archer, DWS, Assassin, 2 in Vistani with our free Universal points. As you might see from going into AA and Assassin, we are using imbues. Might go into Stalwart for some PRR as well.

Stats and Feats

STR: 8
DEX: 18
CON: 17
INT: 14
WIS: 8
CHA: 9

Level 1: Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus Ranged
Level 3: Dodge
Level 6: Mobility
Level 9: IC Ranged
Level 10: Shot on the Run
Level 12: Weapon Specialization Ranged (these feats really should provide more), Sneak of Shadows
Level 14: Improved Precise Shot
Level 15: Luck of Heroes
Level 16: Greater Weapon Focus Ranged
Level 18: Toughness, Greater Two Weapon Fighting (the HP boost level!)

As you might deduce from me taking IPS, which I normally do not when using Horizon, I'm going to use it this time around over archers focus. I activated IPS right away, so I don't ever regret the 20% DPS loss.

Kensai adds up to a 6% increase to our dodge cap. It's not a fully idealized tree for us, since it has melee attacks in the enhancements that don't have a ranged version, but the increases to weapon critical profile are immediately noticeable. Second Wind is a great ability and with 3 charges at Level 8 ranger (we will have four total at level 20) I never have to worry about self-healing in heroics.

You already know the preamble about longbow builds in heroics having no AOE, but IPS does mitigate this somewhat, especially in certain quests where mobs oblige you by running into chokepoints. You're only getting killing swaths though when you Manyshot IPS. I was pleased to see my fighter handle epic mobs in Crystal Cove though. At level 16 I ran a couple of CR 23 Coves. No problems at all. DPS was strong and could roam the map freely self-healing.

Trapping was 100% in heroics. Defenses are largely untested, no deaths, no real high damage spikes giving us scares. The issue I always have is going from L32 pre-TR back to 15 on an archer is jarring. I usually don't find my footing again until L18.


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Epics through level 25

Not using IPS for a while, a good tip I can pass on: you will draw a lot more agro. The surgical strikes that usually end up as kills from HW have given way to a more strafing, machine gun style that will bring mobs you wing screaming your way. The upside is our ranger has that medieval autocannon that can pull some impressive kill counts.

The top tier of Kensai is one of the better level 5s in the game. We add Deadly Shot and A Good Death to Sniper Shot. When you factor in these three enhanced shots with Hunt's End and our deadly IPS fire hose, it's a high-activity play style that can be attractive for those looking for a more weapons platoon experience. In addition, we have four other clickies; Power Surge, Reaper Doubleshot, Haste Boost, and Sneak of Shadows. As you can see, this makes our gameplay both more dynamic and more complicated. In order to get the best out of our fighter/archer you will need to be active with your toolbar.

That activity can lead to some rather satisfactory results. I doubled the kill count total of my closest party member in VON 3 and 4. Led an R3 Vault of Night in KC by 25 over the raid group. You can devastate groups of mobs that rush you - for example, standing on a bridge in Reclaiming the Rift provides a field of fire that mows down advancing mobs. IPS is tremendous fun in these circumstances.

However, the 20% damage reduction shows up. I ran an R5 Bark and the Blade to see how it would look versus legendary mobs. Normally, I'd say I would be able to kill 6 or so mobs at L24 while in HW. I ended up with zero kills as my machine gun IPS now felt more like a super soaker and I didn't have the mark and wipeout big single shot. I expect to improve dramatically with L32 gear, but it will be interesting to see.

Still, if you are looking for something that levels smoother, this build certainly fulfills that mark. I'm using Shadowdancer, Shiradi, and Legendary Dreadnaught. I'm relying exclusively on my 4 Second Winds for heals and these have been sufficient. Still haven't died this life.


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Legendary High Reaper

Ultimately, it comes down to Horizon Walker's massive debuffs and bonuses on marked targets, plus two extra Manyshot charges, are superior to the Fighter boosts we are getting here. Much better. We perform adequately in high-reaper but you're going to notice the difference. Combine that with a lack of Uncanny Dodge and no wings burst and it doesn't feel as fluid and dangerous as our Rogue Horizon Walker, even with a solid HP total that clocks in at 2518 with Power Surge.


This isn't a bad ranger build and it does have some merits. Deadly Shot and A Good Death don't scale great in Legendary Reapers - essentially our increases to Ranged Power they are being boosted by aren't keeping up with the Mob HPs. Our Second Wind, a stalwart through the whole process, losses all it's umph in Reaper at cap. Based on my 2500 HPs, it was healing me for 77 HPs when in combat in R10, so basically nothing. So when we start removing key aspects of our build, the stuff that made leveling fun, then we end up with an underpowered archer. I wouldn't recommend doing the Fighter Kensai for reapers at cap, but the journey there is a rewarding one so we get a B+.

Next up is a crazy Blightcaster/Dark Ranger cat archer for our Druid life!


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Cats are Elves, right?

For our druid life, I've decided to try a strange mix of Tabaxi with Blight caster and dark hunter. 13 Blight Caster/6 Dark Hunter/1 Monk. Will this work out? Well, I'm going to get to 30 but is this something you ever want to do? Let's find out.

Stats, Feats, Level order

Str - 8
Dex -12
Con - 17
Int - 13
Wis - 18
Cha - 8

Monk to start since Tabaxi, then Dark Hunter 2-7, and Blight Caster the rest of the way. As you might deduce from our Wisdom being the primary stat we are going back to Falconry. The concept, use AOE like Thorn Wave to supplement my bow. In heroics, this wasn't entirely successful.

1 - PBS, Toughness (free monk feat you can't take zen archery here which would really have been preferable)
3 - Precision
6 - Dodge
9 - Mobility
12 - IC ranged
15 - Shot on Run
18 - Zen archery
21 - Combat archer
22 - Acid spell power epic
25 - Doubleshot

As noted, since you can't take zen archery (and thus be centered) at 1, this probably works better if you aren't Tabaxi and take your monk level later when you can use it for Zen archery. In retrospect, I probably wouldn't have gone shot on the run route because I would like to have an Adept of Form feat along with Maximize for epic SLAs.

Heroic leveling notes:

I'm using some Blight, some Dark Hunter, some Vistani, and capstone in Falconry. I didn't take conjure arrows from HW because I wanted to see how an archer played using only the 50% returning from Falconry. For all intents and purposes, it isn't tenable if you're using a 1,500 capacity quiver like Alacrity. It's something you constantly have to monitor. Yeah, once you get to 28 and can conjure a Void arrow then it won't be an issue, but I did run out of arrows in a quest and you constantly have to grab them. This brings up a major problem in DDO. Where do you even buy arrows? Seriously, if you are an iconic you'd be surprised how hard it is to buy arrows. No one in the marketplace sells arrows with all those ultra-specific vendors. You won't find them in Lordsmarch or the Twelve. Can't buy them on your ship either because the House D vendor won't sell you arrows since you have no House D favor and the vendor next to her only sells crossbow bolts. I mean....come on. I ended up having to go all the way to the general vendor by Kobald assault. I did find out later the general vendor in Eveningstar has arrows but you need a key to get there as an iconic if you don't know to grab them your first run through.

I know I said this before but it is worth repeating, ranged bird attacks are fun. A lot of fun. Since this is my second go around using Falconry, I have a bit more foresight on assassinate gearing. Plus I pulled a +10 assassinate augment from Vecna. In theory, Thorn Wave and Spike Growth with a bow are effective but I was woefully prepared in terms of spell power and enhancements to saves. Thematically it looks cool though, especially Thorn Wave and it fits with an arcane ranged build.

Around level 16 while doing R3 Sharn and then Cogs I feel this build was underwhelming. It isn't something that works well past R1 in heroics. Mainly it suffers from the duality of trying to be ranged with some casting and being great at neither. That isn't to say it can pull out strange moments of success since it does have a ton of buffs and versatility. I was in a group full of newer players in Dreaming Dark R2 (the boss heals itself if you recall) and I was the only one able to do DPS to keep up with the boss healing and that was mainly because I was hitting him with Word of Balance.

Moments like this aside, I was glad to reach 20 where epic abilities allow us to more fully fill out our concept. Grading will be marked down for the heroic experience.


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Epics and Legendary

Our build most shined in slayer areas like the Orchard or in the Night Revels event where it performed exactly how I envisioned. We build up almost 900 TEMP HPs from Death Eater and get full 20/20 stacks of Arcane Warrior. The combination of Carrion Swarm, Thorn Wave, and Shard Storm with Manyshot and Sniper Shot along with Falconry attacks provides a strong sequence of attacks. All of the casting attacks trigger Arcane Warrior. In quests like Wizard King, Spies, Two-Toed Tobais, and the like we excel and it turns out to be a lot of fun.

In addition, our defenses are excellent. I didn't use Shiradi at all this life and have gone Shadowdancer, Primal, and Legendary Dreadnaught. Shadowdancer mantle along with improved evasion with 100+ reflex saves, temporary HPs, and 3053 HPs in Reaper keeps us alive in a lot of situations. I proved hard to kill even in R10 questing.

Unfortunately, our offense does not keep up with our defense in high reaper. We simply don't kill fast enough in a competent R++ group. Not having Hunt's End on steroids leaves us with either the Shadowdancer epic strike alternating with Carrion Swarm. Our combos become harder to manage effectively in R++ because we lack alpha damage. Further, our Falconry attacks are no longer 100% reliable. Trapping also suffers without being in Shiradi.


There were some quests where I felt underpowered. In good groups, I'd lag far behind in R++ Legendary kill counts. In average groups, our completion times would be longer than you'd like if I'm near the top in kills. This feels like more of a flavor or casual build. Probably would be effective on Hardcore because it's very hard to kill and is effective and fun when not facing beefy mobs. Would likely tear thing up on Elite. For example, in Night Revels I could pull huge groups of zombies or kobalds, blind them all then kill with Carrion and Shard Storm with never taking damage as Death Eater covers any attacks that get through all my incorporeality. Could this build be fine-tuned and refined? Undoubtably. But I don't think it is ever going to be something you would brag about in higher reaper. In many ways, it turned out better than I thought for a bow-based Druid life but ultimately there is a ceiling to how effective that is going to be.

Well, we have 7 classes to go; Barbarian, Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Favored Soul, Bard, and Alchemist. We have now accumulated 61 reaper points. I never thought this character was going to get wings and now it is almost certain.


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Quick Summary on Trio of Bow Builds

Alright, not going through every life in the same depth of detail. I ran a Barbarian bow build, 14 Barbarian 6 Dark Hunter. Strong build, and performs well in all phases of the game. Feats follow the path for all other Horizon Walker-focused builds. Stats to start are 8/18/18/10/8/8. Highlights faster movement, same defense through barbarian uncanny dodge plus with DR reduction and more HPs fairly stout. Can trap throughout most of the life.

I made the switch over to Inquisitive based on the caster lives. I did this for two reason, to compare inquisitive to Horizon Walker bow and because easy for gear shifting across all the non-martial classes we need for completionist. Thus far I've done Favored Soul and Sorcerer.

For Favored Soul I selected a 14 FVS/4 Artificier/1 Wizard split. The Wizard is because I'm doing all these on iconic and I grabbed Deep Gnome (gnomes are elves, right?). Stats were 6/11/17/14/20/6. I needed a 13 Dex to hit certain feats such as IPS and Precision and tomes didn't kick in until later somewhat messing up feat pathing. Keep this in mind. Ended up not even being able to take IPS until epics.

1 - Quicken (for heal, resurrection) Point Blank Shot
3. Precise Shot
5. Knowlege of Battle
6. Precision
9. Toughness
11. Rapid Shot
12. IC Ranged, Stout of Heart
15. Empower Heal
18. Sneak of Shadows

Was able to credibly heal in Legendary. Made for a versatile raiding character. I've been experimenting with MacroTech Destiny tree going Shiradi/Macro/Shadowdancer.

Sorcerer was Sun Elf, 17 Sorcerer/2 Artificer/1 Cleric. 8/13/15/12/8/18. Learned my lesson on DEX for feats (so used to having max DEX from HW builds and forgot all about requirements) but when Sorcerer is your main class your BAB is awful so you can't take the feats you want either! Despite that, this was fairly fun, I'm sure a straight-up sorcerer is more powerful but I ended up a buffing sorcerer with a strong ranged attack, some CC, and useful offensive spells while epic leveling. This is a build that utilizes those items such as, hey +6 illusion DC item. Greater Color Spray consistently works. I used Carrion Swarm in early epics then started using the Epic Strike lighting from MacroTech (Storm being our spell power item). That has no save. Neither does the hammer. Chain lightning does get saved but still can do half damage. The low DCs Trap the Soul cause it to hit as well. For Destiny here I went Primal, Macro, and Shadow. Could switch out of Primal once you hit legendary to Shiradi. A good amount of imbues. It's a fun build. Has its moments. Great QoL. Always displaced, teleporting, GH, can Tensors. No trapping on this one, I don't have the skill points for it. Feats were:

1. Point Blank Shot
3. Precise Shot
6. Precision
9. Rapid Shot
12. Extend
15. Maximize
18. IC Ranged
21. OC
22. Spell power whatever you like/use
24. Combat archery
25. Doubleshot

You'll notice we didn't have the BAB for IC ranged until 18. Maximize is big for rune arm and epic strikes. Extend for buffs. Probably needs Quicken. Why? The spells seem too slow from the fire of the dual crossbows so quicken would allow them to go off more seamlessly. Quicken is an option for one of the later epic feats slots. This probably won't play as well in Legendary as the FVS version but leveling is quicker up to 30.

After this life, I have four to go. Alchemist, Artificer, Warlock, and Bard.

Fisto Mk I

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Could you explain this to me? I thought they shared the same cool down, so why / how would use them both?
They share ability CD, but not effect. You can use HE and then use SS after SS CD refresh but effect from HE still in play. Good for open shot to begin battle.


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Yeah the key fact is that activating Hunt's End triggers you to be in a state that last 12 seconds where you get a huge boost on whatever attack you do next. The cool down is shorter than 12 seconds. Mostly useful for initial surprise attacks.


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I'm using some Blight, some Dark Hunter, some Vistani, and capstone in Falconry. I didn't take conjure arrows from HW because I wanted to see how an archer played using only the 50% returning from Falconry. For all intents and purposes, it isn't tenable if you're using a 1,500 capacity quiver like Alacrity. It's something you constantly have to monitor. Yeah, once you get to 28 and can conjure a Void arrow then it won't be an issue, but I did run out of arrows in a quest and you constantly have to grab them. This brings up a major problem in DDO. Where do you even buy arrows? Seriously, if you are an iconic you'd be surprised how hard it is to buy arrows. No one in the marketplace sells arrows with all those ultra-specific vendors. You won't find them in Lordsmarch or the Twelve. Can't buy them on your ship either because the House D vendor won't sell you arrows since you have no House D favor and the vendor next to her only sells crossbow bolts. I mean....come on. I ended up having to go all the way to the general vendor by Kobald assault. I did find out later the general vendor in Eveningstar has arrows but you need a key to get there as an iconic if you don't know to grab them your first run through.
A stack of 100 Flame Arrow scrolls produces a whole lot of arrows. Drag the arrow stack to your hotbar so you know when you’re getting low and need to recast the spell.


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A Couple of XBow Lives

I ran through a pair of Xbow lives on my way to completionist; 15 Alchemist/3 Ranger/2 Rogue and 18 Artificer/2 Fighter. Inquisitive for the first and Great Xbow for the second. Why Great Xbow? Wanted to try it and see if Volley Arbalest of the Damned was any good. Both were INT-based so had full trapping.

The Inquisitive was imbue dice heavy, had around 33 I believe, you can get more but I'm playtesting and getting past lives not creating the best versions of these. Shiradi was my primary for this and the build performed rather well, even in high reaper where imbue builds usually nosedive. I led Kill Counts in multiple R8-10 groups. This is leaps and bounds better than the Sorcerer Inquisitive and if I wanted to play an Inquisitive I'd probably go with this. The bottle heal also provides significant party utility.

The Great Xbow artificer went up to 32 after the changes to ranged Endless fusilade then AOE and ED revamps. Thundershock Weapon is amazing. AOE and knockdown. This was my #1 attack from 15 thru 29. Hunt's End isn't awful, without it being an epic strike it can be used within your normal rotation. The loss of high alpha numbers hurt though. All the other AOEs were subpar. I ended up going top tier in Macrotech to try it out after discovering that Pin is completely useless now from Shiradi. Like I could not get it to work at all. Not to mention that when you're using Pin with a Xbow you stop and do the exaggerated reload animation that you get before doing Endless Fusilade. This makes it virtually impossible to use in combat. Hammer Time from MT is useless now as well. The animation has been slowed down so much that mobs are gone from the area it hits. You can only use it if mobs are stuck around a tank or if they are activated but haven't moved yet. I ended up going Pluck the Strings as my epic strike. It's fine, nothing special. DPS was poor at 32. Not enough RoF and not enough alpha. If I wasn't using Endless Fusilade I was a non-factor in high-reaper. Performance is much better in R3 and lower.

Since Great Xbow builds aren't that common here are the feat breakdowns:

1 - PBS, Precise shot, Rapid shot
2 - Rapid Reload
3 - Precision
5 - Construct Essence
6 - Insightful Reflexes
9 - Luck of Heroes, SWF
12 - IC Ranged
13 - Improved Construct Essence
15 - Improved Precise Shot
17 - WF Ranged
18 - Quickdraw, Second Wind

HPs were good, almost 3,000, and PRR/MRR was high for a ranged build, 180 and 100 without any Sentient Gem (Don't have one in Volley and wasn't going to reset for this). Volley was amazing in content under R3 but I didn't feel it doing anything in high-reaper. Another problem I had was weapon use. Divine Artillery takes you up to 20 but then the pickings are slim. I tried out a ES challenge traded Great Xbow and that wasn't great then ended up going with the Great Xbow from Borderlands trade and that always felt underpowered. Had to use that until 28. Could have made a Thunderforged but those are ML26 so not much point in having it for 2 levels. Therefore, while this build concept makes a stout character that can crush Elite/R1, the lack of weapon options (you're unlikely to have Divine Artillery on hardcore) is a hindrance if you take it into hardcore.

PS: I tried to give Necronomicannon one last try since it was part of the Fey winter set and it is simply a bad rune arm. The Trap the Soul rarely triggers in Legendary high-reaper and the damage and targeting are bad/erratic respectively. Cool concept but not practical for advanced gameplay.


Well-known member
Wings and Completionist

I finished off my two remaining lives (bard - went thrower and warlock, the only one I couldn't pull a ranged build off with) and my Elven ranger is now a heroic completionist! Along the way, I also got Reaper wings for this character. Honestly, I never thought I would have either on this character and it does go a long way to dispelling the idea that alts cannot make progression or be competitive in the game. The road has been an interesting journey through a variety of ranged builds. Now I get to pick up the longbow again and see how it plays post-Hunt's End/Sniper Shot changes. I'm planning on going 13 Rogue/6 Ranger/1 Paladin right now. Sneak attack remains a major differentiator between ranged DPS builds from my experience. After changes to the way imbues work I no longer find the Arcane Archer tree attractive and will be using the Paladin imbue instead. This does free up some APs for me. I've had some talks with players on Dark Hunter vs Ranger. I'm going to stick with Ranger for now, primarily through familiarity. I want to see how archer performs now versus before bow combat changes before I go mixing and matching ranger paths.

The journey continues, back on our main path, a bit stronger, a bit wiser, a bit better geared.


Well-known member
Scattershot vs Manyshot

I want to take a look at the new Scattershot (from Horizon Walker) vs Manyshot. I got to Scattershot at Level 10. You might get there slightly sooner depending on where you put points into other trees, but it should arrive around levels 8 to 10. You get Manyshot as a pure Ranger at 6 or in my case at 8. Both share the same charges (3 at this point) so a discussion equating the two is relevant.

Manyshot remains the best kill weapon a bow archer has. It is the I can usually delete a mob button. Is an angry mob rushing you? Manyshot solves that. Scattershot produces a (small) AOE effect instead of the three-arrow strike of Manyshot. Anyone who played an archer understands rather quickly the tactical applications of Manyshot. As someone who has played hundreds of hours of an archer, I am struggling to decipher the tactical use of Scattershot.

If Scattershot were a tier one or two ability in Horizon Walker, then I could understand its purpose. Until you get Manyshot, archery with a bow is, shall we say, like running on beach sand. Slow single-target attacks. If you want to experience a headache go solo a Saltmarsh quest like that. Even something like Shan To Kar, where mobs are much weaker is like hacking away at a Redwood with a hand ax. Scattershot, in theory, would aid the player by at least allowing those groups of kobolds to be hit with some AOE. I'm not sure it would make much difference in Saltmarsh because the mobs are beefier and here in lies the problem with Scattershot, it is just too weak.

Manyshot will outright kill any regular mob and severely cripple (or kill) a purple name. Scattershot, by the time you get it, doesn't kill groups of mobs. Consider the opening room in Fall of the Forbidden Temple where a large room of mobs rushes you the instant you walk in. Using Scattershot taps them on the shoulder and you have to kite around. Manyshot at least kills one before you have to start kiting. The fundamental purpose of AOE in DDO is that you can kill multiple mobs at once. Scattershot fails this benchmark. I don't see it getting better as the leveling increases. Will Unwavering Ardency make Scattershot better? Unlikely.

Scattershot should either be increased in power so that it actually functions like an AOE attack in killing multiple mobs, or its charges should be divested from Manyshot allowing you to use Scattershot as an opening salvo and then rotating to Manyshot. I would also move Scattershot out of tier 4 and down lower in the Horizon Walker tree. With power changes maybe tier 3 but if left as is this should be a tier 2 ability.