Ranger 101

Falconer_Joanna

Astellian
Sep 28, 2019
161
100
43
I often get asked different questions about the Archer class, and primarily the Ranger advanced class (since I chose to play that). So rather than answer the same questions repeatedly, I figured I'd place my answers here so I can point people to this post. I'll add a quick disclaimer, I don't say this is the 'best' way if something like that even exists. I'll simply say this is my way. So I invite people to post their ideas/thoughts here.

Stats first, AGI is your #1 stat, you want it as high as possible. DEX is a clear #2, while you definitely want this high too, don't sacrifice AGI to get it. CON is behind DEX, but is not bad by any means. STR is a distant 4th. Certainly having a bit on your Armor or Weapon isn't the end of the world, but I try to avoid it wherever possible. The rest of the stats aren't for you. I try to keep my accessories all AGI/DEX, while I don't mind a bit of CON on my weapon and or armor.

Lets look a bit more at this. AGI adds to your critical accuracy, physical accuracy and evasion. All 3 are vital for the ranger advanced class. Next up is DEX, Dex adds to your critical damage and physical accuracy. By focusing on Critical accuracy, the goal is for you to critical hit better than 50% of the time. I often get asked on the value of STR over DEX. I have run multiple side by side tests, and if you crit more than 50% of the time DEX will do more damage overall than STR. As for physical defense, let warriors worry about that, your job is to kill quickly, not tank. Next I like CON as it adds to you HP and your energy (and thus DOT). The ranger relies heavily on DOT, you should almost always have burns and bleeds going, and CON helps make that hurt. Not to mention the extra HP is always helpful. STR has been covered, it's not bad and it isn't the end of the world if you have a bit of it, but it takes a backseat to the big 3 above. None of the other stats are worth much on your builds. Sure people will point our that WIS and KNW both add to critical accuracy, but the effect is very small. Of the 4 "magical" stats, WIL is probably the best as some archer skills have some pretty hefty mana requirements.

Looking at the Ranger's bonuses, it is the only advanced class of the Archer to get a defensive bonus. While critical evasion and status evasion aren't bad, evasion is very, very good. This turned out to be the primary reason I chose to play the Ranger. I suppose if you like more solo play in Avalon, the Hawkeye would be clearly better, however I find that in groups the ability to last longer in fights and thus continue to apply damage is more valuable for me. Of course AGI helps this, but I like evasion runes too.

Treasures are a different animal. I tend to like treasures that boost Evasion, Critical Accuracy and Critical Attack. Barring those I tend to favor attack over defense for PvE and Defense over attack for PvP. Currently I'm trying to go more for numbers than set pieces. For example I want over 1000 physical accuracy (including eagle eyes), that seems to ensure I hit a huge majority of my targets. Next I want to ensure I get as many critical hits as possible, currently I'm ensuring I have at least 1300 critical accuracy as this seems to get more than 50% critical hits on most npc's with t2 bosses being the most difficult, but around 50% crit rate. All the rest I put into critical attack as this makes sure your critical hits hurt. As I said earlier I prefer evasion runes, but another option is to go with status effectiveness runes, this will raise your damage when using the sniper mode to very high levels. The advantages of this in party situations is very straight forward. Obviously you must use sniper mode to get the best effect out of this, but make no mistake you will see very large damage numbers, and it's pretty funny to use damage runes to increase your attack power (along the lines of the best defense is a good offense)...
 

Falconer_Joanna

Astellian
Sep 28, 2019
161
100
43
Astels

Lets cut to the obvious first. As a DPS class, DPS astels are fairly superfluous, my primary astels are, in order, Knights, Scholars and Muses for solo and Muses, Scholars and Knights for groups. I know I'm probably an outlier here, as some DPS astels do some fairly respectable damage. Nonetheless, I prefer to raise my damage by 20% for 20 seconds (at least) and 10% for the fight, than to use even a high DPS astel (like Seika).

Virgo –Great tanking and aggro holding ability. Her snatch ability works on small mobs. I’ve had her tank monsters that wiped out all the players, but her biggest plus is that she’s easier to advance than Rota. She drops in two different star caller boxes. As anyone who has dropped with me knows, she is my absolute favorite astel. She was my first astel to 9 stars, and with proper care can tank pretty much every boss.

Rota – An absolute monster tank, when at equal level of the other tanks she is very good in boss fights. She can hold aggro and tank a ton of damage. Her primary difference from Virgo is that her special skill reduces the damage you take, while Virgo's reduces the damage she takes. She tends to gain levels very quickly, especially since she benefits from star tales in Ragferant. Additionally, she's actually the best knight for AFK farming as she has the highest normal damage attack of the servant kinghts.

Tetrinio
– The clear winner in PvP, his tether ability has no equal in Rota or Virgo (but it's low status accuracy (~69%) means he needs some help here), and he adds to the horseman effect (which really helps in Avalon with all the moving around I do). He shares Rota's share damage ability and his damage for a normal attack falls between that of Rota and Virgo.

Star Keeper Virgo
- Since her Roar of Provocation has a 40 second cooldown, she's not that useful at holding aggro in PvE. That and the high cost for keep her summoned means she's hardly ever in my PvE deck. Lastly her deck effects aren't all that essential, so I don't bother with her very much, which is a shame as she has a great tank and does very nice damage for a knight
Healers –
A bit more choices here:

Aida
– The queen, if you want a great healer that requires no attention on your part, she’s unequaled. Her special attack works well in PvP (though has a low hit percentage), she’s got great attack range and reigns supreme as the afk farming astel (if you're only using one). Ever since the addition on the Atra regen skill, the shine has come off her star a bit, nonetheless, her healing ability is second to none when properly setup. If I have only one astel out, it’s usually her. Being a guardian, her downsides are gaining her stars and the AP required to keep her around (without deck effects). She’s the one constant in nearly every deck I use. She’s even has her own spot – f4 – where I put nobody else if she's on my bar.

Miho
– The best burst healer astel in the game, if you use her. If you just let her auto-heal, she'll seem lackluster. Her special “attack” is a heal that is better than 3x her normal heal, and her combo attack is a 10 second continuous heal. Properly fitted with star jewels, I have her healing over 3k every 20 seconds (at only 8 stars). When I’m soloing bosses, having her and Virgo out is a given. It’s like playing with two queens in chess. She’s a bit hard to advance, but so worth the effort.

Ram
– Another powerful healer, who’s special attack is a status heal. He has some very nice deck effects, however his 12 second cooldown on his normal heal is a real turn off for me. Like Papilia his co-op heal is a party heal however it's got a longer cooldown than hers.

Cygnus
– I have begun to use Cygnus quite a bit, her normal heal has the shortest cooldown of any astel healers at 6 seconds and is fairly powerful. This alone makes her very useful for AFK farming. Additionally her Co-op heal is very strong, but has a long cooldown requiring strategic use of it. Finally her 'nettle mire' skill is very useful in PvP (in fact she's always on my PvP deck).

Papilia and Grimoire
– They are your ‘party’ healers. I know some people who use them very often, but their group heals don’t seem that useful to an archer. Lets face it, in a party an archer’s job is spike damage our biggest weakness is mana, as we have to sacrifice health to gain mana – having a healer that can quickly regain our health seems a bit more useful, especially if the party healer has their hands full keeping the tank alive in some of the harder boss fights. Grimoire's bonus to physical defense isn't that useful since you should be evading damage (but I know quite a few people who use her for this). Papilia has a nice deck effect in health regen, at high levels having her and Braga on my bar gives me level 1 which is helpful. If I'm in a dungeon that will place a huge demand on our healer, I put her on my bar so as to call her out to help.

Warriors:

In PvE, they are superfluous to our damage numbers. I rarely have them in my PvE decks, and even more rarely have called on them (except for Capricorn for the ‘swift’ deck effect). They can’t hold aggro and don’t do heavy damage, thus aren’t that useful to us.

For PvP, any warrior with a stun is useful (Capricorn is really good, but so is Leo (and he’s very easy to advance)). However neither of them have deck effects I use in PvP so at best one like Capricorn gets there, and is used to quickly knock someone down.

If you're running 3 astels AFK with Spirited Summoner 3 and Companion 3, it is easier to run the third astel if you use a warrior (18 AP/Sec cost for servants, vice 20), in that case Taurus and Draco as your two choices as they are needed for the deck effects. I use whichever one is better against that particular mob. Either one of them easily out damages any knight

Archers:

For PvE, they are there for 2 reasons; they add to your damage numbers and/or they buff you.

Archer
– good for adding to your damage to bosses and his buff to you is very good. Additionally, he adds to the mana regen deck effect (which is very nice). He does single target damage, and thus is good in boss fights to add to your damage (however he often takes a back seat to some of the muses I use). For PvP his Stun Arrow skill has almost a 95% hit percent, making him very useful in PvP. All his deck effects are very nice to have around, thus he tends to be a staple on both my PvE and PvP decks.

Vulpecula
– Other than his ranged attack for damaging mobs and his horseman deck effect, he’s just not very useful.

Unicorn
– I find his usefulness is greatly inferior to Archer, but he adds to the seeker deck effect and does nice single target damage so is often on my bar.

Assassin:

Seika
– Call her in during boss fights, use her special attack and then dismiss her. Being a guardian, you won’t keep her around due to AP cost. Her damage outside her special attack is far below yours as an Archer, but she does do a nice bit of damage. She has the Seeker and Thief deck effect which are both nice. I don't use her as much as I used to since I can get Seeker level 2 without her.

Serpens
– I actually like her poison special attack for mobs more than Vulpecula, Sadly her deck effects (except for Rich) aren’t that impressive. Her co-op skill compliments my mob rotation nicely, and I love her banter, but sadly she just isn't useful enough to stay on more than my afk deck.

Scorpio
- He's got a bleed attack that works nicely with the ranger's rotation, and has two useful deck effects (chemist and health regen) but like Serpens above, I rarely have space for him on my bar.

Flame Corvus
- Not normally on my PvE or PvP decks, however if you're looking to AFK for a short time in Tulie, he's unequaled. He can nearly one hit monsters there. No astel can kill monsters there faster, it's actually fun to watch.

That’s pretty much the only ones I bother with in PvE.

PvP is a different story, Link and Corvus are in my PvP deck, they are very useful. Link is always in my deck when I’m in Avalon (even during peacetime). Both add to the thief deck effect, which is nice.

Muses:

Of all the astels I use, Muses are easily some of the most important ones I have. I'll have to admit, I see a lot of DPS classes who never seem to use them and I simply don't understand this.

Lira
- She's the queen here for me. Just having her out reduces all skill cooldowns by 10%, activate her skill for another 10%. Thus I get a 20% reduction in skill cooldowns, absolutely the best way to start the harder boss fight in any dungeon. She's 1/2 of my max DPS lineup. Everyone who's been in a t2 dungeon w/me has seen her and Kukuma by my side in a boss fight.

Kukuma
- A slight step down from Lira as she reduces Use Time by 10% just being out and adds another 10% when you activate her skill. For normal mob clearing she's probably a bit better than Lira, but for boss fights, where you'll be going through rotations multiple times, Lira wins out. However when I'm in a party and just want to put out max DPS, her and Lira are my first choices.

Aquarius -
Definitely a step down from Lira and Kukuma as she reduces cast times by 10% (and another 10% when you use her skill). Since you only have 2 skills (as a ranger, only one skill for other archers) that even have cast times, her boost isn't all that much, even though the two skills you have are among your most useful skills. However she adds to the mana regen deck effect and thus tends to often be on my bar. Since she's often on my bar for mana regen, I have brought her out and activated her skill to buff mages in my group.

Ursa
- Before the boost to the mana regen deck effect, Ursa was very useful to have around. However if you're running mana regen, he is somewhat unnecessary. He does add to the Seeker deck effect and often makes it onto my bar for that. Like Virgo he's in two different star caller boxes and thus tends to advance quickly (which explains how he got to 9 stars for me without really trying).

Tioka -
He adds to the horseman deck effect and makes you faster, thus he's a constant on my PvP deck. I tend to do a lot of traveling in Avalon, he makes sure I never fall behind.

Mages:

I’ll admit I really want Mages to be useful, I would love to gather a mob, and have Sirius or Canceria wipe them out, but that just doesn’t happen. They are a pale shadow of damage compared to any of our AOE attacks. I keep Sirius on my deck for the seeker effect, but only occasionally call him out (his area attack works well with my normal rotation). I like Canceria’s animation when following you (riding her broom), but other than the occasional novelty, I don’t use her. Sirius adds to the mana regen and seeker deck effects, and thus tends to be a near fixture on my PvE bars, however if I'm calling him out, it means by better astels have already fallen.

For PvP, Pisces ,Glacier and Enakir rule the roost here for their special attacks. Pisces aqua bubble skill is a co-op skill that works well with the ranger's rotation which helps her greatly.

One more word here, I like having a space on my T2 dungeon decks for a savior. I tend to use Eligos on the easier boss and Braga on the harder one (I swap them out before the fight) They do enough damage to be noticeable in any boss fight and I tend to want to burn bosses down quickly. If you don't like using saviors, the concept of using your AP bar during tough fights needs to be stressed. I see so many players finishing a fight with a full AP bar. This is a huge waste of damage potential. Treat your AP bar like your mana or health bars, and use it in fights.
 

Falconer_Joanna

Astellian
Sep 28, 2019
161
100
43
Deck Effects

I often get asked "What Astels should I focus on for my decks?" The thought being there is a "best" deck to use. Nothing could be further from the truth. While there are certain astels that are far more useful than others, I use different decks for different situations. A better answer is that I tend to use certain deck effects and thus boost the astels that support those deck effects. Thus my most important deck effects are:

1) Mana Regen - Archers use a lot of mana, especially when using AOE attacks. You can spam the Regenerate mana skill constantly and rely on your scholar or healing astel to heal you, or you can make sure that you have Mana regen deck effect. It makes a huge difference, thus making life easier on your healers. I use it all the time in PvE. It's usually the effect I build my PvE decks around.

2) Seeker and Rich - I normally have seeker level 2 going for any T1 dungeon (T2 it's rare). I tend to use both for AFK farming. After it's boost, Rich seems to kick in quite often and has become a lot more useful.

3) Rapid Fire - This tends to be an offshoot of my above choices, it does seem to kick in from time to time and sometimes even kicks in when switching areas.

4) Speaker - I know people who love this skill, I always fear it's a double edged sword. Sure it's nice when it kicks in and allows you to instantly recast the last skill, but boy does it mess with your muscle memory as you go through your rotation. Sadly it doesn't seem to fit in with my 'normal' astel selections and thus I don't go out of my way to have this effect running.

5) Horseman - Probably my most used effect in Avalon.

6) Glare - Been using this more in Avalon - it's very useful to have a 27m skill range.

7) Passionate - really nice when this kicks in PvP, saves me a use of Eagle Spirit, especially since Tetrino and Vulpecula add to the horseman effect.

Health regen is nice, but not nearly as important as mana regen. Obviously I use the deck effects to help crafting, dismantling and buying items. Additionally I use Effects to reduce AP/sec use when I want multiple astels out (and yes you can run 3 astels with Companion level 3 and Spirited Summoner level 3). I know people like Ghost in Arena, I find it to be somewhat situational. After it's recent nerf, Stamp isn't as useful as it once was, but it's still not bad. If Zombie kicked in a bit more often it would be much more useful, but I don't go out of my way to put any of those astels on my bar.

Rotation


The other questions I often get are on skill rotation and skill point placement. Again, I'll put in the disclaimer that these are my choices, I never claimed them to be best.

My 'standard' rotation is:

1) Bola Arrow, Rapid Shot, Blast Arrow (Rapid Shot gets +7 power increase, Blast Arrow gets +3 increase to Status Accuracy (to get to 90%) and +4 to duration (36 sec)

2) Ranger Barbed Arrow, Eagle Shot, Ranger Fine Sight Shot (Eagle Shot and Ranger Fine Sight Shot get +7 power increase each)

3) Double Shot

4) Strong Bow, Spiral Arrow

The nice thing about this is that all skills are mobile skills (though many are bugged as this was a recent change) except Blast Arrow. And for those not familiar with how they are bugged, if you activate the skill then move, it will work fine. However if you try to activate the skill while (already) moving, the skill often hangs requiring multiple presses (and spiral arrow's 3rd attack just cancels if you move at all). Nonetheless once you know this it's fairly easy to stop moving, activate the skill, then commence moving again.

The Bounty Hunter would use Triple Arrow after Improved Strong Bow in the 4th slot, and drop the ranger specific skills. The Hawkeye would use the basic archer skills here, but I start it off with Raven Flight after Bola Arrow for harder single targets.

Other skill points go into Phoenix Claw (+7 power), Falcon Arrow (+7 power), Hammer Shot (+3 Status Accuracy).

Clearly I use Hammer Shot before Phoenix Claw and use Lunar Dance/Rising Moon to setup Falcon Arrow. A quick word about Blast Arrow, the description in the patch notes was confusing. What appears to happen is that once you get a burn going, it will burn for the full time (36 seconds in my setup), since it has a 25 sec cooldown, I can get a second burn started before the first finishes. The second burn doesn't reset the first one. The first one continues until the time finishes, the second one then starts. The second one doesn't 'continue' the first burn (i.e. it doesn't continue to increase the first one's damage from the point where the first one finished), instead it starts as if it had been counting up for the time since it hit. In other words, in my setup, I can have 11 seconds of overlap. The first burn's damage will continually increase over 36 seconds, if I hit a second one at the 25 second mark, when the first burn finishes, your damage will drop to the second burn, but your damage will be equal to a burn that has been counting up for 11 seconds. It's almost as if the two burns are running in parallel, but the damage from the second burn isn't being shown (I'm not sure if it's being applied as most creatures don't last long enough to check). While I wished the burn just continued from the point where the first one stopped, that would perhaps be a bit too strong, as it is the skill is very, very good.

Mob rotation

Clearly, the Bounty Hunter advanced class is stronger on mobs, but the Ranger can work. Archer mob rotations require a lot of mana, even with the deck effect at level 2, expect to use the mana regen skill here.

1) Incendiary Arrow, Volley

2) Eagle Strike

3) Maelstrom, Burst arrow (Sadly Maelstrom has a low hit probability at 69%, I would like to improve this, but I don't have the points for it)

4) Sand Mire, Evasive Arrow, Raven Shot (Raven Shot doesn't have a large spread, so some distance helps here)

5) Burst arrow

Obviously the Bounty Hunter would mix in Arrow Rain and use Eye of Typhoon instead of Maelstrom. The Hawkeye would use the same rotation as the Ranger minus Eagle Strike.

One thing I have toyed with is having a skill point for mobs and one for single targets, it hasn't been necessary, but could easily work. Burst Arrow gets +21 to improve damage, Raven Shot and Volley each get +7 to power. The Final +10 go to Eagle Strike to extend duration and Maelstrom to improve status accuracy. I did play around with this, but don't consider killing mobs to be all that hard, so haven't made this a real priority.

Like I said at the start, I don't say this is perfect or even best, it's simply how I do it.
 

bighang

Astellian
Aug 6, 2020
1
0
1
How do i beat mages in PvP?
They just have too many CC and my 1600 evasion didn’t work well against them. I have full set of T2 EQ but I have only 50% win rate against my mages friend with only T2 weapon.

Also, it is so hard to kill a healer using ranger"s DoT skill. I can one shot them when I was hawkeye but can’t do much damage when i go ranger.
 

Falconer_Joanna

Astellian
Sep 28, 2019
161
100
43
@Falconer_Joanna
Thank you for the information. What star jewels do you use for Lira and Kukuma? How much effect did you get if you have tested (e.g. Lira)?
I use status Effectiveness runes in both. Without the runes, I would get 10% having her out and 10% when I activate her, for a total of 20% so my cooldown on Blast arrow would be 20 sec. With Status Effectiveness runes, my C/D is 17 sec while her Magical Muse skill is active.
 

Falconer_Joanna

Astellian
Sep 28, 2019
161
100
43
How do i beat mages in PvP?
They just have too many CC and my 1600 evasion didn’t work well against them. I have full set of T2 EQ but I have only 50% win rate against my mages friend with only T2 weapon.

Also, it is so hard to kill a healer using ranger"s DoT skill. I can one shot them when I was hawkeye but can’t do much damage when i go ranger.
I don't use a ranger for solo PvP as it lacks the stopping power of a hawkeye. For groups, I normally use a astel like Cygnus to do the first stop, though I try to remove scholars first (or at least keep them busy). I also like Glare level 2 in PvP as it extends my range to 27m. If you search old threads, Gioppi goes into quite a bit of detail on how he attacks each class in arena - and he was one of the best. Use his methods in a Hawkeye, and remember to use Lunar Dance to get close.
 

Centorior

Astellian
Aug 10, 2020
27
14
3
Thank you for the guide! Really helps me out on my thoughts about the Astels and current reference stats.

Though I'd like to point out the Astel Archer is a she. Cheers!
 

GoVirgo

Astellian
Sep 26, 2019
145
126
43
I use status Effectiveness runes in both. Without the runes, I would get 10% having her out and 10% when I activate her, for a total of 20% so my cooldown on Blast arrow would be 20 sec. With Status Effectiveness runes, my C/D is 17 sec while her Magical Muse skill is active.
so with all 25 star jewels (total how much % if you could remember?), the effect of magical muse was increased by 15% (20 sec to 17sec)?
 

Falconer_Joanna

Astellian
Sep 28, 2019
161
100
43
so with all 25 star jewels (total how much % if you could remember?), the effect of magical muse was increased by 15% (20 sec to 17sec)?
I have her status Effectiveness boosted by 78.3% with jewels. 17 seconds could be 16.5 to 17.4 seconds as the game rounds off. If we take this at face value, a drop in cooldown from 25 to 17 seconds represents a drop 32%. If 10% is just from having Lira out, then magic muse is dropping cooldown by 22% itself, that's why she and Kukuma are part of my max DPS setup. I can't see Kukuma's drop in use time numbers (since use time is so short), but with her status effectiveness at 71%, I suspect it to be similar. I just know that the first 2 passes through my rotation seem to fly by. It's a shame there's such a long cooldown on these skills (10 min), but with a little luck you can use them on both bosses in the harder dungeons

I try to use those two and one of the saviors at the start of a boss fight, as bursting down their health asap seems to be best. Normally you easily get one full rotation off before the heavy AOE's start. Getting into that second rotation quickly is what I'm shooting for.
 

GoVirgo

Astellian
Sep 26, 2019
145
126
43
I have her status Effectiveness boosted by 78.3% with jewels. 17 seconds could be 16.5 to 17.4 seconds as the game rounds off. If we take this at face value, a drop in cooldown from 25 to 17 seconds represents a drop 32%. If 10% is just from having Lira out, then magic muse is dropping cooldown by 22% itself, that's why she and Kukuma are part of my max DPS setup. I can't see Kukuma's drop in use time numbers (since use time is so short), but with her status effectiveness at 71%, I suspect it to be similar. I just know that the first 2 passes through my rotation seem to fly by. It's a shame there's such a long cooldown on these skills (10 min), but with a little luck you can use them on both bosses in the harder dungeons

I try to use those two and one of the saviors at the start of a boss fight, as bursting down their health asap seems to be best. Normally you easily get one full rotation off before the heavy AOE's start. Getting into that second rotation quickly is what I'm shooting for.
I use Lira and Kukuma a lot for the same reason. But my issue was when I tested status effectiveness jewels on my 7 star Lira, I didn't see the effect. I tested if Kukuma's CD time for her special skill is reduced by using five SE jewels (mostly purple and orange) on Lira because kukuma's special skill has 600 sec CD so I was expecting to see the time difference even if the effect is minor by testing only five SE jewels. But it was exactly the same.... 6min and 42 sec (maybe + - 1 sec error since I used timer but I tested twice) when using Lira's special skill with/without five SE jewels... I got same result for spell power jewels too. Even if five SE jewels have 1% reduction effect, I should see at least 4 sec difference... I don't know if it's bugged only for me or what....
 

Falconer_Joanna

Astellian
Sep 28, 2019
161
100
43
I'm not sure how Astellia calculates the effect, You would expect a drop of either 27.8% or 35% instead I get a drop of 32%. However the goal was to reduce my cooldowns and use time and Lira and Kukuma do that well.
 

Ferara

Astellian
May 6, 2020
195
110
43
Nice guide

Best trick I would add is group your attack with movement together and the ones you can't together then AoE as a third.

You can beat mages much easier running and gunning dash kick falcon