Guild Wars 2 Class Spotlight: Ranger
This is the first in a series of class spotlights we’ll be running between now and launch. These write ups are primarily going to be focused on the PvP aspects of the class. I’ll give you some down and dirty strats and builds that worked for me, but keep in mind there are many viable ways to play each class, and balancing is still ongoing so I make no guarantee that this is the be-all end-all strat of choice.
Long-distance death-dealers with an affinity for fuzzy wuzzy pets. For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, Ranger is the apex predator of choice. Sleek, sexy and a ton of fun to play.
• Very strong single target DPS. Viable high-mobility ranged builds keep you out of AOE clusterfucks.
• Limited AOE potential. Medium armor and mediocre utility makes it hard to stay up if you’re being focused or hanging out in the thick of things.
• Ranger pets account for a very large portion of their DPS potential, but tend to die quickly to AOEs. Use pet swapping and commands to keep them alive, and sic them on other ranged classes and casters who are trying to stay on the edge of a fight.
• Rangers firing bows will get extra distance on their shots if they are on higher ground than their target. Utilize terrain accordingly in WvW and sPvP.
GW2 rangers get a wide range of weapon options and some surprisingly cool sword skills, but the advantages of using range weapons and staying out of melee combat in PvP is just too good to pass up. My weapons of choice: Axe/Torch and Longbow. I happily take 30 points in Skirmishing picking up Pet’s Prowess, Quick Draw and Moment of Clarity. I then take 30 points in Marksmanship despite it’s weak minor abilities and put points into Steady Focus, Spotter and Piercing Arrows. Finally, I put 5 into both Nature Magic and Beast Mastery for rejuvenation and more quickness. You may have noticed by now I like quickness. I really like quickness.
I play my Ranger as a dedicated mage killer. My primary target is going to be the enemy Elementalist. You’ll usually find them in the backfield, raining hellfire on the engaged melee classes. Start with axe/torch equipped and skirt around the main fight to get them in range from the side or behind if at all possible. Open with Winters Bite (axe skill 3) to bring your pet in on them, and then light um like a Christmas tree with Throw Torch (torch skill 4). If they’ve turned their attention to you, stay mobile and dodge their ground targeted spells while closing the gap. Now that you’re all up in their grill, blast them at point-blank range with Splitblade (axe skill 2). The closer you are, the more hits you will land, which can cause a ton of bleeds. Due to mages being frail creatures, prone to frightening easily, your opponent will most likely tuck tail and run right about now.
Which works out just fine. Drop a Bonfire (torch skill 5), and then hot swap to Long Bow, standing in the fire gives you combo finishers and also serves to dissuade any melee classes from coming in to bust you up. Start your bow combo with Hunters Shot (bow skill 3) and activate your Quickening Zephyr at the same time. With Zephyr running, you are essentially Legolas hopped up on meth. Unload your entire Rapid Fire (bow skill 2) , and then use the remainder of your quickness to make it rain with Barrage (bow skill 5). If they didn’t get a heal off yet, they will die screaming. If they are still up, swap your weapons again, and hot-swap your pet for 2 more seconds of quickness to finish them off with your refreshed axe skills.