The Ranger: It’s Like Ash Ketchum and Aragorn Had a Baby

Maybe it’s my play-style, maybe it’s that I know that Mew and Mew-Two need their sequence in the Pokedex reversed, or maybe I’m incapable of handling the kit changes that engineers and elementalists must be able to do, but rangers are super-cool and were underrated until pretty recently due to some buffs.

Longbows and the 2k Club

Next to engineers, I find them to be the most flexible class of all. They have access to a lot of weapons, can go ham from farther away than anyone except engineers and elementalists (unless you only count non-ground-targeting skill 1; then rangers are the only true long range specialists) #Orlandobloom #MCM. Though the longbow ranger does not have the ability to disperse its damage over multiple targets, it is the apex of long-range sustained damage meaning that they can provide the invaluable service of ripping the flesh from a defending elementalists dropping bombs from atop a wall or shred a guardian that is keeping a tight group of zerglings alive amidst a sea of AOE. When one takes into account that a pure assassin longbow-wielding ranger can hit with a 12,000 DMG volley in roughly three seconds, every several seconds, and at a range of 1500, it is obvious why the assassin (precision, power, ferocity) and berserker (power, precision, ferocity) rangers are the high-powered sniper rifles that no zerg can do without.

My Lynx Can Out-DPS Your Warrior

I think 2 races in particular make the best rangers for the most unusual reasons. Humans, because they say something funny when you switch pets, and Norns because they become bears, and therefore, can become “Bear-bow-Norn-bears” which is just really fun to say.

“I choose you!”

-Krytan Ranger

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Referring back to the hastily-chosen title of the paragraph, it is most definitely true that a lynx can out-dps any NPC companion and a lot of player characters that don’t specialize for DPS, though doing so entails using what is preferred as a PvE build because the traits required to make pets worthwhile are mutually exlusive to any that make the ranger either powerful at range or survivable in a knife fight- qualities that are irreplaceable in any PvP situation . Still, it is a wickedly fun way to play and does nicely to train a ranger on how to use their profession skills; you’d be surprised how many level 80 rangers have no idea when to use their pets’ active skill, switch out, or call them to retreat.

“When I want to know if a ranger is any good or not, I watch the pet, not the ranger.”
-Anonymous blogger

Though most rangers, myself included, tend to forgo a beast-master-flavored build, that is not to say that pets are only something to get in the way of being the ranger by being one more thing to worry about. For example, the Reef Drake (I call mine John Legend) is the only pet that can apply confusion which will cause 600 damage per skill use over 5 seconds. Conditions like that work wonderful on elementalists, thieves, and engineers who normally benefit from being able to apply a continues stream of skills. On another note about drakes, they are the only class of pet which can sustain damage, heal themselves, perform knockdowns, and apply conditions without the effects of pet-focused traits. All in all, they are a great choice for PvP or use in roaming. When running with a zerg, moas are a good choice due to their supportive AOE buffs and AOE healing.

It should go without saying, but the joy of catching them all is unparalleled against anything else in exploration. When I was a level 13, I decided I wanted an eagle, so my battle-buddy, Lillica Foster, and I journeyed into the eastern lands of Kryta and into the Mountains of the Billy Goats Gruff to find a Braviary. After getting killed twice by a harpy, once by a ram, and nearly for a fourth time by a rabbit, I caught a Braviary and it was awesome until I found out that it was identical to my hawk in every possible manner.

Highly Balanced Duelists

Though most people regard rangers as a DPS-focused class, they can be built hold their own in a fight. The current PvP meta build is one that puts all potential damage in the hands of the ranger’s conditions, while utilizing the utility slots for cleansing, all while having a relatively high damage threshhold. Though the conditions ranger has difficulty matching the ability of other condition-damage-focused builds to stack bleeds, the build does have the ability to hold on long enough so that most other classes without a lot of cleansing or vitality die before the ranger does. All of that being said, the most common PvP build for rangers is a one that focuses on alpha damage, while having vitality and toughness as an afterthought. Unlike a build focusing on conditions, this one focuses a lot on interrupts and tactical evasion to excecute well-timed combos.

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Trapping: Rangers Do It Better

Because the Rune of the Trapper must be crafted, it is doubtful that you will see this build very often, but it is honestly the best possible build for a roaming ranger in WvW and it does very well in PvE. It allows rangers to become invisible and grants them superspeed after a trap has been laid and makes the ranger’s conditions far more powerful and long-lasting. The reason a trapper ranger is better than a trapper thief is that a ranger’s trapping skills cooldown much quicker that a thief’s, allowing the to make use of the invisibility and speed longer. Without using this rune, it is impossible for a lone ranger to outrun a zerg.

 

At the End of the Day, the ranger is never going to be the center of a zerg’s backline or its iron-plated bulldozer, but it is an easy profession to understand and have fun with right out of the box. Thank you for reading <3

Cheers.
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